- This article is about the general class description. For related articles, see Category:Paladins. For the Warcraft III hero unit, see Paladin (Warcraft III).
The paladin is a hybrid class with the ability to play a variety of different roles — including healing (holy), tanking (protection), and DPS (retribution). They have auras, blessings and seals that provide useful buffs for other players while withstanding heavy physical damage with plate armor and strong defensive abilities. Paladins are also considered to be holy knights or blood knights.
It is worth mentioning that as Paladins are extremely effective against the undead and demons, the Holy tree also has good DPS talents, such as Consecration, Exorcism and Holy Shock. A good Paladin player is always useful in a group, but in an Undead/Demon infested area, they are invaluble.
Paladins are the virtuous defenders of the weak and tireless, unfaltering enemies of the undead. Mixing elements of the warrior and the clerics of the Holy Light, the paladin is a tough melee fighter. The tradition of the Holy Light is unique to a few of the Alliance races (humans, dwarves, and draenei.) and the blood elves and tauren of the Horde.
The paladin is a "warrior of the Holy Light". They uphold all that is good and true in the world and revile all that is evil and sinister — especially undead and the Burning Legion. They offer succor to the beleaguered and smite their enemies with holy fervor. They are particularly potent against undead, as these creatures threaten the goodly races and the Holy Light burns them terribly. The presence of any evil is reprehensible to the paladin, but he focuses his efforts on destroying undead and demons. These warriors uphold the tenets of the Holy Light and defend the Alliance from the predations of any threat to their peoples. Found in almost every corner of Azeroth fighting the forces of evil and barbarism, these stalwart warriors of faith ceaselessly uphold their vigil against demonic forces from beyond the Dark Portal. Humans, draenei, and Ironforge dwarves are the most likely to become paladins, as these races revere the Holy Light. Blood elves known as Blood Knights bend the powers of the Light to their will, though rumor has it they have recently begun to use the Light legitimately. The Tauren recently became paladins in Catclysm, and using power of the Sun, they founded the Sunwalkers. The paladin order, also called the Knights of the Silver Hand, grew out of humanity’s culture, and its greatest heroes and fiercest proponents are humans. Ironforge dwarves possess the toughness needed to withstand the onslaught of the paladins’ many enemies. High elves rarely become paladins, though this has changed somewhat, as their blood elf brothers and sisters expand the Blood Knight order. The Blood Knights are commonly mistaken as the enemy of the Knights of the Silver Hand by outsiders unfamiliar with the ways of the Light, but this is false presumption. Paladins are the embodiment of good and selfless dedication to the protection of their peoples. They help the innocent and punish the wicked. As such, paladins are generally of good alignment.
There are however, also Fallen Paladins such as those in the Scarlet Crusade.
During the Second War, some paladins' eyes glowed with inner power of the Light, such as the paladin Turalyon. This is not the case for all paladins, though it occurs in game with certain paladin armor sets.
Paladins are a holy order of warriors whose purpose is to defend and shepherd the war-torn populace of Lordaeron. perceived that the pious Clerics of Northshire, who suffered such terrible attrition in the First War, were ill-suited for the dangers of combat. Along with many of the surviving Clerics of Northshire, he sought those of only the greatest virtue among the knighthood of Lordaeron and tutored them in the ways of magic. Led by the crusading , it now rests upon these paladins — christened the Knights of the Silver Hand — to heal the wounds sustained in combat and to restore faith in the promise of freedom from Orcish tyranny.
15 Years After the Second War
The Archbishop, Alonsus Faol, prior to the Second War, founded the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand. The holy knights, or paladins, as they are commonly called, led the battle against the evil orcs and helped to save the lands of Lordaeron from ruin. Though it has been nearly 15 years since the end of the Second War, the paladins still work selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors brandish both their warhammers and holy fire in the battle against all those who would trample the meek and innocent.
Although the paladins were once loved and revered throughout the lands of Lordaeron, they have since fallen on into hard times. The entire Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded for refusing to kill innocent townsfolk who were believed to be contaminated by the dreaded Undead plague of the Scourge. Disenfranchised and driven from their former homes, the paladins still work selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors now brandish both warhammer and holy fire in offensive battle against all who would trample the meek and innocent.
The Knights of the Silver Hand was the original paladin order. Formed during the Second War, it was at its height until the time of the Plague. As paladins were immune to the Plague (and indeed all diseases), many members of the Order survived the initial push of the Scourge. Unfortunately, the corrupted Arthas Menethil killed many paladins upon his return (including ), leaving only a scattered few. The Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded by prince Arthas Menethil when refused to aid Arthas in his purging of the city of Stratholme.
Following the invasion of the Scourge, many of the order's paladins joined a zealous group of followers of the Light known as the Scarlet Crusade. However, many of these paladins have become fanatical towards their ambition of destroying the Scourge, to the point that those not wearing their colors are deemed corrupted. After leaving the Crusade, some paladins decided to join the Argent Dawn. Some paladins have also turned from the light and joined Arthas Menethil as death knights.
Others fled south, to the Kingdom of Stormwind. The paladin order, still referring to themselves as the Order of the Silver Hand, now thrives under new leadership at the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind City. Over time, the followers of the Holy Light spread their philosophy to the dwarves of Ironforge, who soon adopted the tenets of the order as well. Though decimated, the Knights of the Silver Hand eventually bounced back.
In a World of Warcraft questline, vows to restore the original order, which later merges with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade.
Code of conduct
A paladin must be good and will lose all Light-given abilities if he ever willingly commits an evil act. Additionally, the paladin’s code requires that he respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use their help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents. While he may adventure with others from different orginizations, a paladin will never knowingly associate with evil persons, nor will he continue an association with someone who consistently offends his moral code. A paladin may accept only henchmen, followers or cohorts whose intentions are good. A paladin who violates this code, becomes an ex-paladin, and loses all Light-given abilities until he atones for his violations. - per wowrpg. Atoning is usually a long and difficult process.
In exceptional circumstances a Paladin may act unlawfully if they are certain it is for the greater good (for example, they can turn against their current master if he turns out to be evil) but they must never work for unjust or evil causes knowingly. Since a Paladin believes in honesty, honour and loyalty, even pretending to support what they know is an unjust cause in order to bring down a greater evil is heavily frowned upon.
Paladins don't always have to work within good or neutral organizations as seen by the Scarlet Crusade and others — however, they do have to believe they are working for good organizations or have faith that their cause is good and just. A paladin can be evil (as illustrated by Renault Mograine and Arthas before he took up Frostmourne, but his holy powers did start to weaken after he culled Stratholme; the further down the dark path he went, the more they faded until eventually left him), but as long as they believe their cause to be just, the Light will continue to serve them. 
- (formerly, later a death knight and then became , now dead)
- (formerly, now the current Lich King)
- (formerly, later a death knight, redeemed by his son)
A paladin that has chosen to spec retribution is able to increase his DPS by a considerable margin and fight several targets at a time with a good efficiency. Retribution damage favors slow two handed weapons and cause sudden damage spikes through both melee and spell crits. Through the now baseline retribution talent Crusader Strike and tier 3 talent Divine Storm they can deal considerable weapon based burst damage for AoE damage or for single target damage Templar's Verdict is a new melee range attack that deals additional weapon damage base on Holy Power consumption. Additionally, retribution paladins bring a large amount of raid utility, making them valuable in endgame instances. Retribution paladins are popular for their increased damage abilities for groups, such as Heart of the Crusader, which grants all attacks against the target a 3% increased chance to crit, and Communion, increasing the damage of the paladin's group by 3%.
Paladins are also excellent tanks. Spiritual Attunement provides the paladin with a percentage of mana, based on ability level, each time they receive healing. They also excel at tanking multiple mobs at the same time through use of their reactive threat abilities like Holy Shield and Consecration, an AOE effect that deals significant threat to all mobs within range. Paladin tanks have gained widespread acceptance in the community.
The paladin class has some of the most mana-efficient and low-threat healing spells in the game, allowing them to easily fill the position of a main tank healer in a party or raid situation. Their healing efficiency makes them great endurance and battle healers, though paladins lack area of effect healing abilities (healing multiple targets at once) and healing over time effects. Paladins do have a form of indirect healing from the spell Judgement of Light.
Paladins have several anti-undead and demon abilities such as Exorcism, Holy Wrath, and Turn Evil which make them very effective when fighting Demon and Undead targets (not including Forsaken players, who are considered Humanoids for balance reasons).
In PvP, the paladin's most well-known strength is his/her ability to outlast his opponent(s). With plate armor, their ability to heal themselves and allies, and a near-complete invulnerability every few minutes, they are a hard target to take down. Paladins can also do a surprising amount of burst-damage and have good access to stun abilities. Paladins also make great supporting characters, buffing and healing team-mates while being able to survive the enemy's attention. Paladins are particularly vulnerable to Silence and Interrupt effects, as all of a paladin's abilities are part of a single magic school (holy). In addition, dispel effects are powerful against paladins.
While Paladins have strong advantages (some players have cuttingly referred to them as 'Easy Mode') they are also an arduous excercise in multi-tasking. Thanks to their hybrid roles, inexperienced players may find them hard to balance as a whole. Any attempt to multi-task usually results in a much weaker character. There is also the issue of a Paladin's spell-casting abilities. While Mana will always be less important than to a mage or priest, it still powers the Paladin's most commonly used abilities, and must be juggled with Strength and/or Stamina.
Also, there are less paladin trainers than other standard classes (although druids also suffer from few trainers), and most of them are in the capital cities.
- Main article: Paladin races
The paladin class can be played by the following races:
Blood elf paladins belong to the Order of Blood Knights, while human and dwarven paladins are usually from the Knights of the Silver Hand. Currently, draenei paladins are members of an organization called the Hand of Argus, but this may change with time as the draenei are now part of the Alliance and some may consider joining the Silver Hand.
In CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
As of the Cataclysm expansion, Tauren are the second race of the Horde to be able to take on the role of paladin. Tauren paladins are called Sunwalkers. Tauren do not receive a charger mount, but a new type of kodo mount. This is because tauren paladins are a part of separate order, the Sunwalkers, and not the Bloodknights; so it would not make sense lore-wise to have Chargers.
You can find the one who is believed to be the first tauren paladin in-game on The Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff named Aponi Brightmane. She has a conversation with Tahu Sagewind about drawing powers from the sun as the druids can draw power from the moon.
Draenei paladins no longer receive charger mounts, but a separate type of elekk similar to how tauren receive a modified kodo.
Weapons and armor
- See also: Paladin sets
Paladin stats by paladin type
- Main article: Tips and advice for paladins
Primary stats for each paladin type in alphabetical order, and not necessarily in order of importance; that is left up to the player based upon their goal and playstyle.
Secondary stats can be optionally obtained after your primary stats have been met, if you choose to do so.
|Stats to Avoid|
- Main article: Paladin abilities
Paladins play a key role by buffing their allies. However, they also have a few other handy spells and abilities in their arsenal.
- Main article: Paladin auras
In addition to spell buffs (see Blessings below) paladins have the ability to use auras, area-of-effect buffs that boost the abilities of all party members within a certain radius. Only one aura may be active per paladin, but multiple paladins can use different auras within a group (although two paladins using the same aura gain no additional effect instead defaulting to the aura cast by the higher level paladin). The auras themselves cost no mana to operate, have no innate cooldown (other than the Global Cooldown), and may be switched between at will.
- Main article: Blessing
Blessings are spell buffs that can be cast on most friendly targets. The blessings for paladins have been reduced down to Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings. Might gives MP5 and Attack power (by 10%); a Shaman's Mana Tide Totem will overwrite the mana portion of Blessing of Might, however. Blessing of Kings increases strength, agility, stamina, and intellect by 5%. It also increases all magical resistances by an amount based on level. A Druid's Mark of the Wild can overwrite this spell. So the rule would be: if a Druid is in the party or raid cast Might; if there is no druid cast Kings. If you're tanking, cast Kings unless MP5 is needed, then cast Might.
- Main article: Seal (ability)
Seals are long term self-buffs which boost the paladin's power temporarily. Effectively, they add a weapon proc to their melee strikes. Additionally, paladins can unleash these seals upon an enemy, causing holy damage.
- Main article: Hand (spell)
Hands are spell buffs that can be cast on party and raid members. Hands are derived from previous blessings, and includes Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice, and Hand of Salvation.
- Main article: Hammer of Wrath (spell)
A signature finishing blow, Hammer of Wrath is an instant cast spell used on enemies with 20% or lower health. This spell has a cooldown of 6 seconds, range of 30 yards, and can also be glyphed to cost no mana. Happening within a blink of an eye, the graphic actually consists of two hammers. One of which is wielded and "thrown" by the player while the other bolts directly towards their enemy in the same instant.It is most commonly used against enemies who are fleeing due to its range, but it is also used in the last stages of battles against bosses.
Paladin talents are split into 3 categories:
- Main article: Paladin quests
Paladins have several class-specific quests which allow the character to learn valuable spells.
Paladins are a very unique class due to having the ability to perform any of the three major functions required in group or raid play depending on their spec.
- Main article: Paladins as tanks
Through the protection tree, paladins gain an increased ability to tank enemies. Paladins are especially well known for their ability to tank many enemies at once with rapid threat production. Paladin tanking was once largely reliant on reflective damage, but can now effectively generate multi-target threat through the AoE spell Consecration and the multi-target attack Hammer of the Righteous to hold aggro on multiple targets (although reflective damage such as Holy Shield is still helpful as well). Strong stamina scaling, simple and very high threat generation and the superb Ardent Defender talent make paladins perhaps the best tanks in the game.
- Main article: Paladins as DPS
Through the retribution tree, paladins are able to significantly increase their own personal damage output while also bringing a large amount of unique raid utility. Through abilities such as Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, Templar's Verdict and Seal of Truth retribution paladins are able to increase their own personal DPS greatly above the normal level. In addition, retribution paladins bring large amounts of raid utility, such as a 3% increased critical strike chance from Heart of the Crusader, 3% increased haste from Swift Retribution, and 3% increased damage from Communion.
- Main article: Paladins as healers
Through the holy tree, Paladins are able to empower their healing even further. The holy tree's most important talent, Beacon of Light, allows a Paladin's direct heals to be mirrored to the affected friendly target. Holy Paladins are widely regarded as the strongest tank healers in the game due to the high output of Holy Light in combination with Beacon of Light.
Mining is the most popular Gathering Profession choice for Paladins because of the Stamina bonus from Toughness. Herbalism is also a popular choice for Tauren Paladins because of its Lifeblood healing ability. Skinning is less useful since it is best combined with Leatherworking, when a Paladin can wear Mail armour straight away.
Paladins are the most limited class in the game in terms of ranged damage. They cannot use any ranged weapons. Exorcism and Hand of Reckoning are the only ranged damage opportunities before Holy Shock (for the Holy Paladin) and the limited-use Hammer of Wrath becomes available at mid-levels. (Avenger's Shield becomes available at level 50 for Prot Paladins). Due to this ranged limitation, Engineering is a good choice for Paladins because of its various ranged explosive and guardian-type devices.
The Paladin's ability to wear mail/plate, use shields, and wield almost all types of melee weapons makes Blacksmithing a good choice if Mining is chosen as a gathering profession. Paladins will be able to produce highly sought-after shield and weapon enhancements such as weight/sharpening stones, shield spikes, and weapon chains that counter disarm effects.
Jewelcrafting offers some higher-level Paladin-friendly benefits once the player can use socketed gems.
Inscription provides a means to produce class-specific glyphs that give enhancements to existing abilities and traits. Paladin is one of four classes that have tree-specific glyphs because of the versatility of the class. In addition, Buff scrolls that boost existing stats can be of use. Other Glyphs can be sold at Auction or given to other players as gifts.
Alchemy offers a wide variety of potions and elixirs that boost health and mana, and provide additional temporary traits and bonuses to existing stats. It is a profession useful to any class and can easily be combined with a Tauren Paladin's Herbalism bonus.
First Aid is recommended as a fair backup healing plan for when mana (or Holy Power) is exhausted, if you intend your Paladin to be a healer-type. It is useful to any class.
Other professions do little to benefit the Paladin in-game.
Paladins have received a new resource system, similar to Rogue's combo points called Holy Power. It is gained by using various spells, such as Holy Shock and Crusader Strike, and consumed by spells such as Divine Storm and Holy Shield. Up to three stacks of Holy Power is applied, and it will stay available for 30-seconds in and out of combat.
|Paladin Class Changes by TGN on YouTube|
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|Paladin videos by TGN on YouTube|
|Protection Paladin 5 vs 1||Retribution DPS Rundown|
|Protection Guides by TGN on YouTube|
|Rotations||Word of Glory in action|
- In-game paladin is often abbreviated into pala, pal or pally by players.
- Paladin attributes
- See Paladin races for paladins by race.
- See List of paladins for notable paladins of various races from lore.
- See Paladins: Tips and Advice for further advice and tips on the paladin's varying roles.
- See the paladin category for further information on the paladin class.
- Statistics of paladins from Warcraft II.
- Divine Magic
- Spell Damage Coefficients
- Paladin twinking guide
- BC tanking equipment (paladin)
- ^ Of Blood and Honor, page 5
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 54, 77.
- ^ a b Bornakk 2010-06-30. 0. Ask CDev #1 Answers - Round 1. Web.Archive.org. Archived from the original on 2010-10-01.
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 154-155.
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 90.
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 79.
- ^ Old official World of Warcraft: Cataclysm site → Class combinations matrix
- Talent calculators