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Paladin Levelling a paladin

Psojed

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#1
Hey, since there's a lot of discussion going on about other classes but Paladins kinda died, I decided to give a few basic tips to our Pally-wannabes.

The basics:
- Paladin is mainly a defensive and supporting class. If you want only to "pew pew", please go play a warrior.
- Paladins can use plate armor, they can also use shields. This makes gearing rather easy, because nearly any item you acquire can be used.
- Paladins can use One-handed Swords, Axes, Maces, Two-handed Swords, Axes, Maces and Polearms, thus some of the neat caster Daggers won't be available to you, but don't worry - there are suitable replacements.
- Paladins are a melee class. No, there are no holy missiles of vengeance :no:

Pros of being a paladin:
- You can be a tank, heal or deal damage, everything works. With proper setup, you can do all three at once!
- Your class has one of the most versatile talents in the game (in my opinion), so you can experiment with different builds and still do your job just fine.
- You have three PANIC buttons. You can use three PANIC buttons on other players too (tho one will kill you).
- You have useful buffs for every class and almost every situation. You also have debuffs that can help the whole raid if required.
- You are the only class in the game that can have an innate immunity to pushback. That means, you can tank 20 enemies and still heal yourself or others while getting beaten, only your mana is your limit.
- You are the only class in the game that can cast Fear on Undead NPCs.
- Even while being a melee class, you are not that gear dependant.

Cons of being a paladin:
- You have no ranged attack until late game. Can't even throw a rock or somethin'. Your most used ranged ability is Exorcism, which is limited to undead enemies.
- You have almost no combat abilities. You will do just fine with autoattacking, but Paladin's rotation is like 1) Seal up, 2) End of rotation, and repeat that every 30 seconds, sometimes add Judgement. That can get quite boring.
- You have very low DPS. Levelling a Paladin is a pain, and you will want to keep equipping better weapons even if you don't really need to, just to speed it up a little.
- You have no slows, speed boost or ranged stuns, you basically cannot catch an enemy player. It gimps you in low level PvP situations, and you need farmable items or professions to make up for it.

That's about it.

How to levelup as a Paladin
Holy Paladin
Just don't.
Holy tree improves your healing abilities and support skills, so if you plan on playing with a permanent group, go ahead, your group will love the extra mana regen from BoW and JotW. Consecration is a weak AoE, you can't really AoE stuff alone with it. Pushback immunity is the best thing here, but what's the point of boosting healing skills if you won't have the damage to kill an elite?

Protection Paladin
Your best bet.
This tree improves your armor, block and defense making you harder to hit and take less damage, thus you can last longer, +3% hit for not missing your hits, shorter stun cooldown comes in handy anytime, and Reckoning. You can also take on higher level enemies thanks to extra hit and by dealing automatic holy damage even if your melee attack hits for 3.

Grab a shield and the fastest weapon you can get. Keep upgrading them both, but keep the speed as fast as you can.
Your rotation is: Seal of Crusader-> Judgement -> Seal of Righteousness, reseal when required. If you fight more enemies, kill one, then judge Crusader on another enemy and repeat.
Judging the Crusader will add bonus Holy damage to your every hit with Seal of Righteousness, so you want to hit fast. After you get 5/5 Reckoning at level 34, you can make a choice: Keep your shield or drop your shield.

Keep your shield - The best weapon you can get is the Flurry Axe, this will last you until 60 and it's still useful if you plan to be a tank. Reckoning becomes only a bonus in that everytime you get crit, you deal an extra attack back to the enemy, your rotation remains the same.
However, you are not gear dependant, you kill enemies with your holy damage from spells, so you can save for a mount and live off quest rewards.

Drop your shield - You get a big slow two-hander, like The Pacifier and spec for Seal of Command after Reckoning. You will use your Reckoning to store up to 4 extra attacks and you can initiate every combat with a BANG. Oneshotting enemies when well-equipped is possible.
The trick is that you simply beat the npc to low health, at low health you stop autoattack and sit down. This gives your enemy 100% chance to crit you with his autoattack, thus a 100% chance to gain a Reckoning charge. So you get crit 4 times, then finish off your enemy with Judgement, Exorcism or whatever. Your next target will then take 5 autoattacks + seal hit at once.
This will however require upgrading your two-hander on a regular basis, because you want to deal as much damage as possible. Keep the weapon speed above 3.00 and always look for highest weapon damage (not DPS!)

Retribution Paladin
This is the fastest way to level up.
Talents in this tree improve your damage, which means you kill stuff faster. Seal of Command becomes your best friend for damage. You will pray "please proc", but when it procs, they will feel the pain. Extra critical chance, lower mana cost of Seals/Judgements, lower Judgement cooldown, all this is overshadowed by a neat 2 point talent that many people overlook.
Pursuit of Justice that gives +8% movespeed both mounted and on foot. I don't know how people forget that most of the time you keep moving around. This makes you move around faster, and it's available early at level 21. Also the only way you might catch up to someone if you try some PvP. Weapon choice is obvious, you won't be using shields, you want a big slow hammer to beat your enemies hard. There are some specials. You might want to use Ravager longer, because it gives a whirlwind-like proc. And Taran Icebreaker is an exception with very fast attack speed. The reason for this hammer is the fireball proc, which procs damn very often. I once tried if it was better to use Seal of Righteousness with this fast epic, but Commanding is still better.

Seal of Command is a PPM based attack, so the slower your weapon, the more it will proc. It's also great for mana conservation, because a rank 1 SoComm will deal the same damage as rank 5 SoComm. The Judgement damage is negligible, but the proc damage comes from your weapon and attack power, so you can save mana for healing while beating them up, and that means less downtime.
This is the only skill that will scale with your gear. Any other Seals or spels you have get no boost or boost only from spelldamage, which is rare during levelling. Seal of Command will benefit from extra Strength and AP, and there are many items that give you AP, you can even craft some. Don't be afraid to take a shield if you have to, but if you plan to use SoComm with a shield, get a slow onehand weapon with high weapon damage like Heaven's Light.

Hopefully this wall of text will help someone. Ask questions if you want :wink:
 
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#2
Good post:biggrin: - Which profession would you recommend if i plan to play with a warrior and our main focus will be PvP? thought about engineering for nifty trinkets but would like to hear what you think.
 
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#3
Do seal stuff -> alt tab for five minutes -> rinse repeat
Thats how I did it at least

Nice guide though, impressive how much thought can go into stuff like pala leveling.
 

Psojed

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#4
@Tormenting: Definitely engineering. There is no better prof if you want to PvP. You can get benefits of the other profs from other players, but you have to be engineer to use engineer stuff.

But technically speaking, you should take up Engineering and Blacksmithing. Warriors have skills that make you immune to fear, but paladins don't, so I would consider taking up BS for this one item. And well, you can whip up some gear for both of you while you're at it :wink: Either warrior has to do all the mining or you get an alt with mining.

@krutopatkin: Yeah that's how I do it too :biggrin: but newcomers might want to pay attention to their pally at first.
 

arthur187

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#5
Nice guide :)

Would it be viable to switch spec at 40? For example, leveling up to 40 as a tank and then go ret until 60?

What about AOE tank leveling? I remember leveling up my first pala in TBC, pulling 5 - 7 mobs at once and putting that healing seal on the mobs. Is this doable in vanilla?

When should I switch to holy? beginning at 50 (Sunken Temple +) oder level up to 60 and then go back and start healing from ST or BRD?

Obvious question: Do you have any specific specs you could show us?

What are the stat priorities (you only mentioned those on the ret spec)?
 

Psojed

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#6
Yes, it is viable to switch spec at any time.
Unlike a druid or shaman you don't spec from "caster" to "melee", you will keep dealing melee damage with any spec, even your gear will be more or less inclined to your new spec.
And a specific example - if you level as prot, unable to find decent weapons and suddenly Kang the Decapitator drops, feel free to spec ret, it is well worth it.

Don't try to "AoE tank" level on vanilla. Sure, you can still take on multiple mobs using seals of wisdom/light, but you don't get damage reduction from Imp. Righteous Fury, you don't have consecration for the AoE, and proc rate of the seals is lower. Picking off single mobs will always be faster option.

This might be a (Holy) shock, but you don't really have to switch to holy until raiding :biggrin: As long as you keep your int/healing gear handy, you can just swap gear and heal without switching specs. I healed Stratholme as ret with no problem :wink:

The stat priorities are the same for every levelling spec: Weapon damage, Str, Stam, Int, AP, %Crit, Agi.

As prot, I would spend my points like this then choose to drop my shield and start speccing into Ret. You have to respec for endgame, as these talents are basically leftovers from your prot levelling and switching to 2handed.

As ret, I would spend my points like this, which can evolve into two viable endgame builds:
- "WSG spec" originally created with Blessing of Kings, everyone in BGs will love it. But there is always the option to get Consecration and pushback immunity.
- a hybrid that I call HolyRet. The free heal every 2 minutes will come in real handy, and you still enjoy the benefits of the ret damage boost.
 
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#11
I kinda disagree on your thoughts of holy paladin, in vanilla a full-on shockadin specc is my prefered levelling specc, it basically goes seal of command -> holy shock.

With a holy specc you are actually able to AoE farm with vanilla paladins just like protadins did it in TBC, you have an easier time both tanking and healing in dungeons (tanking because Consecration, healing should be self-explanatory), Imp BoW reduces your downtime by quite abit and you are even less gear dependant than a ret or prot paladin.

Furthermore with the shockadin specc, you can switch to two-hander and SoC when you are in places where AoE farming is ineffecient (if you can't reliably grab 4+ mobs).

Edit: Oh and! one thing worth noting in the pros of levelling a paladin, cheap mount!
 
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Psojed

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#12
I kinda disagree on your thoughts of holy paladin, in vanilla a full-on shockadin specc is my prefered levelling specc, it basically goes seal of command -> holy shock.
Well, that is all fine and nice, but you get to seal of command + holy shock at level 51. If you go Seal of Command first, I don't see any reason to suddenly spec into holy. And if you go holy shock first... well have fun :tongue:

With a holy specc you are actually able to AoE farm with vanilla paladins just like protadins did it in TBC,
Sounds like you never actually tried it. Try it on the testrealm.

and you are even less gear dependant than a ret or prot paladin.
To put it into simpler terms. Ret paladin can equip a 2h weapon and go beat em up naked (well, who would do that, but yeah, it works). Can you do the same as Holy?

Furthermore with the shockadin specc, you can switch to two-hander and SoC when you are in places where AoE farming is ineffecient (if you can't reliably grab 4+ mobs).
SoC with Holy Shock comes at level 51. This topic was about levelling from the start :wink:

@borislav, foolhd: My first char was a druid, I played him several times later. I also played priest, mage and hunter and shaman (but i hated the totems :p ) in the past. I levelled a warrior for Elsaboom once. So you could say the classes I don't play are warlock and rogue. But I'm sure there are others to write up something about the other classes :yes:
 

Psojed

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#14
Psojed is many things. I made some of my history available.

But yeah, I played paladins even before they were playable, so I guess many people only know me as a paladin.
 
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#15
Well, that is all fine and nice, but you get to seal of command + holy shock at level 51. If you go Seal of Command first, I don't see any reason to suddenly spec into holy. And if you go holy shock first... well have fun :tongue:
When I've done it I never really used Holy Shock much, it's simply too mana ineffecient to spam, the point of the specc is to get SoC and Consecrate as early as possible, then straight on to Imp BoW.

Sounds like you never actually tried it. Try it on the testrealm.
Yeah I've done it before, on private realms and back in retail, you just gather up a bunch of mobs, hit them with Seal of Wisdom on, put on Retribution Aura and keep up Consecrate healing yourself through until everything is dead.

To put it into simpler terms. Ret paladin can equip a 2h weapon and go beat em up naked (well, who would do that, but yeah, it works). Can you do the same as Holy?
Well yeah, in that regard they work exactly the same, ret paladin will be alittle faster, holy paladin will have less downtime doing it.
 

Magnifican

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#16
Hey Psojed and the rest of you! I really appreciate this guide and I was wondering. Is protection and retribution paladin really viable for endgame? Will guilds and raidteams actually let me join as a tank or dps? I mean, people say that everything is viable with the right gear and so on. But in vanilla, as most people know, several specs where simply not viable. Trying to get into raids as protection caused people to come at you hard, calling you names and asking you to go healer or reroll. I imagine that Kronos will go 100% blizzlike and not adjust the stats and make any class balance changes. Which is all well and good for those who wants to have it exactly like the old days, but at the same time makes it almost impossible for some of us to fully enjoy the spec we would prefer.

What are your thoughts on this? Should I be prepared to heal as a pally or simply stick with a warrior like so many others, or will we be able to make viable tanks and dps on Kronos?

I just saw a post in the FAQ thread about the class and talent changes:
http://forum.twinstar.cz/showthread...sked-Questions?p=674695&viewfull=1#post674695

"The biggest impact on the pre Naxxramas content though is of course all the class/talent changes and these things, as you probably know, can unfortunately not be changed."
I did not know this. What does this entail specifically? The talent trees are the same as vanilla, thats a given. But are the damage numbers on spell X not possible to adjust at all? I guess we wont see much of protection paladins then :sad:
 
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Lharts

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#18
Invisusira is a pretty bad example...

To save you from alot of headache, go heal. At least for PvE.
As dps you will never keep up with pure dps classes.
As prot you are missing important abilities like taunt, mocking blow and challenging shout. BoP can be used to cover it up a bit.

Of course you can play the spec you want, but like you mentioned already its not going to be easy to find a raid that carries your weight arround.

You can tank, you can dps, just not as good as others.
 

Aieris

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#19
From my experience, there usualy is free spot for one ret and one prot paladin, but they must have holy gear with them as well, because, in some fights (like Chromagus), you will be useless.
 

Psojed

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#20
Stop misinforming people please. Just because I made a video from our first kill where I had holy gear does not mean that you cannot DPS on Chromaggus. Actually, if your raid isn't low on healers, you are more benefical autoswinging the boss, because you can dispel while attacking.

The only fight where you really should switch to healing gear is a fight where melees can't engage.
 

Magnifican

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#21
The thing is though Psojed, as much as I love for your posts, is that Lharts & Aieris seems to have a point. I for one HATE healing, and in late BC, Wrath and Cata I did not have to heal, ever. I was able to play Paladin the way I wanted because my other specs were viable. Now when it comes to vanilla, EVERYONE says the same thing - Heal or gtfo! This is very sad for me and this is why I was wondering if there were any kind of tuning to class balance made by Kronos development team, and this is also why paladins like you should be all for it as well, you know, so people wont laugh at us as much ;) Its not a matter of makin an effort, its a matter of being to far behind by default, which makes it even harder to get that nice piece of gear to become viable to begin with!

Retribution had terrible damage output and were far behind the others they all say, ok then, but at least let me tank! No, you cannot keep threat, you dont have abilities like taunt, mocking blow and challenging shout. This is also why the class polls on forums show that paladins are most likely going to be the least played class of all.
That leaves me with warrior. And while I love warrior, there are by far the most popular class according to polls and the obvious choice for tanks, which again might make it harder to get into groups, because spots are filled already.
What to do, what to do...


EDIT: btw mate, the videos you showed me are both against undead enemies. Of course we might be viable against the type of enemy our spells are extremely effective against, but how do we fare against beasts, humanoids and the like in raids? Molten Core, Onyxia, Blackwing Lair? I guess I could play another class and focus on pally once Naxx comes out, but how silly is that?
 
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Psojed

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#22
Now when it comes to vanilla, EVERYONE says the same thing - Heal or gtfo! This is very sad for me and this is why I was wondering if there were any kind of tuning to class balance made by Kronos development team, and this is also why paladins like you should be all for it as well, you know, so people wont laugh at us as much ;)
Well, this is where we differ, because I take what I have and I use it to the fullest. I don't need any powerups. If the whole server will hate me for playing ret? Heh, so be it. It's their decision to hate the paladin class.

paladins are most likely going to be the least played class of all.
If that is true, that just means I will have no trouble gearing up. :wink: And other paladins will probably have eaiser time getting into raids too.
I love warrior
Well, what are you doing here then? :yes: Go get a warrior! I play paladins because I love the class too.

the videos you showed me are both against undead enemies.
If there are no other videos than killing undead, then I have to link undead videos :rolleyes2: Besides, you realize that the "undead" enemy only gives us 1 damage spell with a 15s cooldown, right? No benefits for tanking.
The prot tanked living strat, dire maul north, BWL, MC, even AQ. Rewatch plz :)
 
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Aieris

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#24
What i meaned is that if you want to maximaly contribute to the raid effort, you will have to be holy (because that is the thing, you do best) or have holy gear to be able to do, what your raid curently needs.
 

Psojed

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#25
Exorcism, Holy Wrath (AoE)
Yes Lharts the 1 damage spell with 15seconds cooldown is named Exorcism...
Holy Wrath is out of the question because casting it resets your swing timer, resulting in a dps loss. The only place where you want to cast holy wrath is after Nefarian summons the skellys. And I sometimes cast it to aggro a pack of bloodhounds in BRD.
 
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