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Starting at level 10, a Paladin can begin spending talent points to gain new abilities and spells, strengthen existing abilities, and specialize how he/she functions. See the entry on Talents for more information about the Talent system. Paladin Talents have undergone significant changes through patch 1.9 to 2.3. Patch 2.3 actually brought the long overdue Retribution Tree revamp.

Paladin talent trees

Paladins train in three schools: Holy, Protection, and Retribution. Which talent trees the Paladin spends points in determines the Paladin's role in parties and raids. Holy Paladins will mainly be expected to be main healers. Protection Paladins are going to tank. Retribution Paladins will be DPS.

Currently, patch 2.3 has modified key talents in the Protection and Retribution trees such as Weapon Expertise (Protection) being renamed Combat Expertise and will also increase Stamina by up to 10% when maxed out. Pursuit of Justice was changed to a three-rank talent that increases movement speed by up to 15% and reduces the chances that the Paladin will be hit by spells by up to 3%.

Holy

Talent Reqs Ranks Description
Spiritual Focus none 5 Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Flash of Light and Holy Light by 14%-70%.
Seals of the Pure none 5 Increases the damage done by your Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption and their Judgement effects by 3%-15%.
Healing Light 5 Holy 3 Increases the amount healed by your Holy Light, Flash of Light and the effectiveness of Holy Shock spells by 4%-12%.
Divine Intellect 5 Holy 5 Increases your total Intellect by 3%-15%.
Unyielding Faith 5 Holy 2 Reduces the duration of all Fear and Disorient effects by 15%-30%.
Aura Mastery 10 Holy 1 Increases the radius of your Auras to 40 yds.
Illumination 10 Holy 5 After getting a critical effect from your Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock heal spell, gives you a 20%-100% chance to gain Mana equal to 60% of the base cost of your spell.
Improved Lay on Hands 10 Holy 2 Gives the target of your Lay on Hands spell a 25%-50% bonus to their armor value from items for 15 seconds. In addition, the cooldown for your Lay on Hands spell is reduced by 2 min-4min.
Improved Concentration Aura 15 Holy 3 Increases the effect of your Concentration Aura by an additional 5%-15% and reduces the duration of any Silence or Interrupt effect used against an affected group member by 10%-30%. The duration reduction does not stack with any other effects.
Improved Blessing of Wisdom 15 Holy 2 Increases the effect of your Blessing of Wisdom spell by 10%-20%.
Pure of Heart 20 Holy 2 Reduces the duration of Curse and Disease effects by 25%-50%.
Divine Favor 20 Holy
5 Illumination
1 When activated, gives your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock spell a 100% critical effect chance.
Sanctified Light 20 Holy 3 Increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Light and Holy Shock spells by 2%-6%.
Blessed Hands 20 Holy 2 Reduces the mana cost and increases the resistance to Dispel effects of all Hand spells by 15%-30%.
Purifying Power 25 Holy 2 Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse, Purify, and Consecration spells by 5%-10% and increases the critical strike chance of your Exorcism and Holy Wrath spells by 10%-20%.
Holy Power 25 Holy 5 Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by 1%-5%.
Light's Grace 30 Holy 3 Gives your Holy Light spell a 33%-100% chance to reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light spell by 0.5 sec. This effect lasts 15 sec.
Holy Shock 30 Holy
1 Divine Favor
7 Blasts the target with Holy energy, causing 340-1,402 Holy damage to an enemy, or 481-2,599 healing to an ally.
Blessed Life 30 Holy 3 All attacks against you have a 4%-10% chance to cause half damage.
Infusion of Light 35 Holy
1 Holy Shock
2 Your Holy Shock critical hits reduce the cast time of your next Flash of Light by 0.75-1.5 sec or Holy Light by 0.5-1.0 sec.
Holy Guidance 35 Holy 5 Increases your spell power by 4%-20% of your total Intellect.
Sacred Cleansing 40 Holy 3 Your Cleanse spell has a 10%-30% to increase the target's resistance to Disease, Magic and Poison by 30% by 10 sec.
Divine Illumination 40 Holy 1 Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 50% for 15 sec.
Enlightened Judgements 40 Holy 2 Increases the range of your Judgement spells by 15 yards-30 yards and increases your chance to hit by 2%-4%.
Judgements of the Pure 45 Holy 5 Your Judgement spells increase your casting and melee haste by 3%-15% for 1 min.
Beacon of Light 50 Holy 1 The target becomes a Beacon of Light to all targets within a 40 yard radius. Any heals you cast on those targets will also heal the Beacon for 100% of the amount healed. Only one target can be Beacon of Light at a time. Lasts 1min.


The Holy tree contains talents focused on healing and caster-related buffs.

Protection

Talent Reqs Ranks Description
Blessing of Kings none 1 Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing total stats by 2% for 10 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
Improved Blessing of Kings 1 Blessing of Kings 4 Increases the effectiveness of Blessing of Kings by an additional 2%-8%.
Divine Strength none 3 Increases your total Strength by 3%-15%.
Stoicism 5 Protection 3 Reduces the duration of all Stun effects by an additional 10%-30% and reduces the chance that your spells will be dispelled by an additional 10%-30%.
Guardian's Favor 5 Protection 2 Reduces the cooldown of your Hand of Protection by 60 sec-120 sec and increases the duration of your Hand of Freedom by 2 sec-4 sec.
Anticipation 5 Protection 5 Increases your chance to dodge by 1%-5%.
Improved Righteous Fury 10 Protection 3 While Righteous Fury is active, all damage taken is reduced by 2-6%.
Shield Specialization 10 Protection 3 Increases the amount of damage absorbed by your shield by 10-30%.
Anticipation 10 Protection 5 Increases your defense skill by 4-20.
Toughness 10 Protection 5 Increases your armor value from items by 2%-10% and reduces the duration of all movement slowing effects by 6%-30%.
Divine Guardian 15 Protection 2 When Divine Shield is active 15%-30% of all damage taken by party or raid members within 30 yards is redirected to the Paladin.
Improved Hammer of Justice 15 Protection 3 Decreases the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice spell by 10 sec-30 sec.
Improved Devotion Aura 15 Protection 3 Increases the armor bonus of your Devotion Aura by 17%-50% and increases the amount healed on any target affected by your Devotion aura by 2%-6%.
Blessing of Sanctuary 20 Protection 1 Places a blessing on the friendly target, reducing damage taken from all sources by up to 7 for 5 min. In addition, when the target blocks a melee attack the attacker will take 14 holy damage. Players may only have one blessing per paladin at a time.
Reckoning 20 Protection 5 Gives you a 2-10% chance after being hit by any damaging attack that the next 4 weapon swings within 8 sec will generate an additional attack.
Sacred Duty 25 Protection 2 Increases your total Stamina by 3-6%, reduced the cooldown of your Divine Shield spell by 30-60 sec and reduces the attack speed penalty by 50-100%
One-Handed Weapon Specialization 25 Protection 5 Increases all damage you deal when a one-handed melee weapon is equipped by 1-5%
Holy Shield 30 Protection
1 Blessing of Sanctuary
1 Increases chance to block by 30% for 10 sec and deals 59 holy damage for each attack blocked while active. Each block expends a charge, 4 charges.
Improved Holy Shield 30 Protection
1 Holy Shield
2 Increases damage caused by your Holy Shield 10-20% and increases the number of charges of your Holy Shield by 2-4.
Ardent Defender 30 Protection 5 When you have less than 35% health, all damage taken is reduced by 30%.
Combat Expertise 35 Protection 3 Increases your expertise by 6, total Stamina and chance to critically hit by 6%.
Avenger's Shield 40 Protection
1 Holy Shield
1 Hurls a holy shield at the enemy, dealing 270-330 Holy damage, dazing them and then jumping to nearby enemies. Affects 3 total targets. Lasts 6 sec.


The Protection tree contains talents focused on defense, damage mitigation, damage return and one-handed weapons.

A paladin tank would normally invest at least 51 talent points in the protection tree to get Avenger's Shield, although it is not strictly necessary. It is the only ranged ability that a protection paladin has to pull with other than via items or via proximity/judgements or other close range abilities, it bounces and tags a total of 3 targets and applies a 6 second snare to its targets. With 3.0 and inscription, this ability can be modified with a Glyph to increase its damage by 100% while reducing the number of targets hit by 2, making it ideal for tanking hard hitting mobs or bosses that you want to have individual tanks upon. Since patch 2.3, there are more useful talents than the points we can spend, so we see a lot of tanking builds with some minor variation here and there. However, as long as it contains the following core talents, it should be viable: Redoubt (Now with Shield Specialization built into it), Toughness, Improved Righteous Fury, Anticipation, Blessing of Sanctuary, Sacred Duty, One-Handed Weapon Specialization, Holy Shield, Ardent Defender, Combat Expertise, Avenger's Shield, Hammer of the Righteous Deflection.

Other talents worth noting for paladin tanks include: Guarded by the Light, which provide some protection against spell damage and reduces mana costs of Holy Shield, Avenger's Shield and Shield of Righteousness; and Blessing of Kings.

Reckoning is a very good skill when AOE leveling/farming. With more than four to five mobs keep hitting you, reckoning will be up most of the time. This is a very significant improvement in dps, health regen or mana regen when combined with Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Light, or Seal of Wisdom respectively. Nevertheless, its usefulness in end-game instance tanking is not much, so most tankadins would put the points to some where else at level 70.

Concerning PvP, paladin's protection tree is not as designed as the warrior's against enemy spellcasters, since your damage output comes from blocking and being hit by melee damage, and your improved armor and defense will not lower spell damage at all. With Reckoning however, at close proximity to casters, higher damage output may be dealt. Improved Hammer of Justice is excellent if they're trying to cast, so not only do you interrupt them, but you can also get in heals more frequently. Also, with Sacred Duty, you can use Divine Shield while still pummeling spellcasters without slowing or stunning effecting you, and like before, more time for healing as well. Improved Concentration Aura is also useful, especially if you have caster groupmates. Stoicism provides some protection against stun and dispel.

A typical healing raiding paladin who selects talents in protection will invest 5 talent points in the protection tree, selecting Blessing of Kings(1/1) and Improved Blessing of Kings(4/4) since an extra 10% to everyone's stats takes the edge off of new encounters and speeds up raid progression.

For Retribution Paladins, Divine Strength is a must for the extra 15% strength. Blessing of Kings and Improved Blessing of Kings could be chosen if interested. If Blessing of Kings is chosen, it is basically for the benefit of the raid because Blessing of Might is better for retadins' DPS.

Retribution

Talent Reqs Ranks Description
Deflection none 5 Increases you Parry chance by 1-5%.
Benediction none 5 Reduces the mana cost of all instant cast spells by 2-10%.
Improved Judgements 5 Retribution 2 Decreases the cooldown of your Judgement spells by 1-2 sec.
Heart of the Crusader 5 Retribution 3 In addition to the normal effect, your Judgement spells will also increase the critical strike chance of all attacks made against that target by an additional 1-3%.
Improved Blessing of Might 5 Retribution 2 Increases the attack power bonus of your Blessing of Might by 12-25%.
Vindication 10 Retribution 2 Gives the Paladin's damaging attacks a chance to reduce the target's attributes by 10-20% for 15 sec.
Conviction 10 Retribution 5 Increases your chance to get a critical strike with all spells and attacks by 1-5%.
Seal of Command 10 Retribution 1 Gives the Paladin a chance to deal 62-64 additional Holy damage. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time. Lasts 30 sec. Unleashing this Seal's energy will judge an enemy, instantly causing [0.16 * AP + 0.25 * SP + 0.24 * MW] Holy damage. This attack will always be a critical strike if the target is stunned or incapacitated.
Pursuit of Justice 10 Retribution 2 Reduces the duration of all Disarm effects by 25-50% and increases movement and mounted movement speed by 8-15%. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
Eye for an Eye 15 Retribution 2 All criticals against you cause 10-20% of the damage taken to the attacker as well. The damage caused by Eye for an Eye will not exceed 50% of the Paladin's total health.
Sanctified Seals 15 Retribution 3 Increases your chance to critically hit with all spells and attacks by 1-3% and reduces the chance your Seals will be dispelled by 33-100%.
Crusade 15 Retribution 3 Increases all damage caused by 1-3% and all damage against Humanoids, Demons, Undead and Elementals by an additional 1-3%.
Two-Handed Weapon Specialization 20 Retribution 3 Increases the damage you deal with two handed melee weapons by 2-6%.
Sanctified Retribution 20 Retribution 1 Damage caused by targets affected by Retribution Aura is increased by 2%.
Divine Purpose 20 Retribution 2 Reduces your chance to be hit by spells and ranged attacks by 2-4% and gives your Hand of Freedom spell a 50-100% chance to remove any Stun effects on the target.
Vengeance 25 Retribution
5 Conviction
3 Gives you a 1-3% bonus to Physical and Holy damage you deal for 30 sec after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell, or ability. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
Improved Retribution Aura 25 Retribution 2 Increases the damage done by your Retribution Aura by 25-50%.
The Art of War 30 Retribution 2 Increases the critical strike damage of your Judgement, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm abilities by 5-10% and when these abilities critically hit the cast time of your next Flash of Light is reduced by 0.75 sec to instant cast.
Repentance 30 Retribution 1 Puts the enemy target in a state of meditation for up to a minute. Any damage caused will awaken the target. Usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead.
Judgements of the Wise 30 Retribution 3 Your Judgement spells have a 33-100% chance to grant the Replenishment effect up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of their maximum mana per second, and to immediately grant you 15% of your your base mana.
Fanaticism 35 Retribution
1 Repentance
5 Increases the critical strike chance of all Judgements capable of a critical hit by 5-25% and reduces threat caused by all actions by 6-30% except when under the effects of Righteous Fury.
Sanctified Wrath 35 Retribution 2 Increases the critical strike chance of Hammer of wrath by 25-50%, reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath by 30-60 secs and while affected by Avenging Wrath 25-50% of all damage caused bypasses damage reduction effects.
Swift Retribution 40 Retribution 3 Your Retribution Aura also increases casting, ranged and melee attack speeds by 1-3%.
Crusader Strike 40 Retribution 1 An instant strike that causes 110% weapon damage. 6 sec cooldown.
Sheath of Light 40 Retribution 3 Increases your spell power by an amount equal to 10-30% of your attack power and your critical healing spells heal the target for 20-60% of the healed amount over 12 seconds.
Righteous Vengeance 45 Retribution 5 Increases critical damage bonus of your Judgement and Divine Storm spells by 8-40%.
Divine Storm 50 Retribution 1 An instant weapon attack that causes damage to up to 4 enemies within 8 yards. The Divine Storm heals up to 3 party or raid members totaling 25% of the damage caused.


The Retribution tree contains talents focused on damage output, two-handed weapons, holy damage, and damage avoidance.

DPS Retribution Paladins: Gone from being the underestimated Paladin spec to becoming a formidable holy melee fighter, the Retribution Paladin brings buffs and debuffs, offhealing, cleansing and excellent damage when properly geared. The Retribution tree has both raid and arena viability and can be of interest to any Paladin who would rather deal damage than take or heal it.

For those interested in being a melee damage Paladin, 51 talent points should be invested in the Retribution tree. It is strongly advised that any serious Retribution spec for Divine Storm and Crusader Strike. It is also highly recommended that the Paladin puts 3 points into Sanctified Seals, as it gives a 3% critical bonus to melee, ranged and spells for everyone who attacks the judged target.

The most common Retribution builds have at least 51 points in the Retribution tree, and some Retribution Paladins decide to spec for Blessing of Kings bringing more party and raid utility, not to mention being able to give more survivability to their fellow PvP'ers in Arena and Battlegrounds (of course, there may be others in the arena who have Blessing of Kings already). However, people who spec into this build lose some benefits from the Retribution tree. This build is able of putting out a good amount of damage while still bringing excellent raid utility. Several variations of Retribution build exist, such as 0/5/56 or 0/10/51.

As for PvP builds, there are a few variations. A common PvP build tends to be 0/16/45, being specced for increased survivability Divine Purpose and for shorter cooldown on your primary stun Improved Hammer of Justice this build is very potent for high end arena play, as your stun when combined with the Gladiator PvP set bonus and the Improved Hammer of Justice talent has its cooldown lowered to 35 seconds, making it quite semi effective as Crowd Control.

It is not recommended to spec into the Eye for an Eye talent. There are many issues involved with this talent, such as the Stamina increase with Burning Crusade made it less effective, and that it may break crowd control effects on enemies that have just casted a spell on you. Vindication is an excellent choice, however, as the 20% reduction of all stats can be very useful in many situations. Note, that most bosses are immune to Vindication, but it still serves a purpose when fighting trash mobs, solo'ing, and of course PvP'ing.

Some PvP'ing Paladins choose to not use the max rank of their Seal of Command, due to the fact that it may be too mana consuming compared to the damage dealt after the removal of spell damage from Retribution sets, as the Judgement still scales with your spell damage. Rank 1 still has the same proc rate as the max rank. However, you will notice a large decrease of damage done by your Judgement of Command, even without any spell damage (especially when using it against a stunned target). Using Rank 1 also makes skipping the Sanctified Judgements talent more reasonable, and allows redistibution of the points into Divine Purpose for more survivability against physical and ranged attacks.

Holy Paladins usually put 5 points in Benediction for the reduced mana cost of seals.

Paladin Tanks usually max Benediction and Deflection here. Other retribution tree talents that maybe useful for tankadins include Improved Judgements and Pursuit of Justice. While Retribution Aura is the most frequently used aura for tankadins, it is now too far in the Retribution tree to get Improved Retribution Aura.

See also


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