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Tips and advice for paladins

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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.


Holy Protection Retribution
Primary Stats
Secondary Stats
Stats to Avoid

Healing and non-Retribution DPS

Spell crit rating is the primary stat for a healing set, but for DPS it is largely useless. Seal of Righteousness and Seal of Vengeance cannot crit. Their Judgements can crit, but if there is a tradeoff between spell damage and spell crit, spell damage should be taken for a dps set. And any build having Holy Shock will include (as a matter of course) Divine Favor which gives a guaranteed crit to your next heal or Holy Shock, and can improve dps in that manner.

For a real solid healing build (or any other pally build) spirit should be ignored. There may be times in dungeon runs where you have time that you're not spamming spells where spirit could help you regen your mana. But when you're not spamming spells is hardly the time that you really need the mana regen that you want from spirit. Furthermore, spirit gives us no side bonuses that some priests and druids have such as a bonus to healing.

In a raid, there is usually more than one healer. One for the tank and one for the group. If you are the healer of the tank and continually find yourself assisting in the group healing it is usually one of two problems. Either the tank is not generating enough aggro or the DPS group is not watching what they are doing and dealing too much DPS, which thus pulls the aggro off of the tank. This usually leads to a group wipe.

Protection

Since patch 3.0.2, Paladins no longer need added Spell Power from equipment, not even on a weapon. Paladins share the same tanking equipment with Warriors and Death Knights. The primary aggro stat is Strength, although paladins still benefit from Spell Power. Through the talented passive skill Touched by the Light, Spell Power is scaled to Strength (patch 3.2.2), providing all the Spell Power that is needed. Changing your old Spell Power weapon to a Warrior tanking weapon is suggested as much of the aggro is build up from weapon damage, Hammer of the Righteous and other abilities. Most paladins will notice an increase in aggro buildup when switching to a DPS tanking weapon, which comes along with the improved survivability.

You may find that hit rating (as of patch 2.3) is helpful when tanking to reduce the number of Righteous Defense resists, or perhaps you may find that the number of resists you see is acceptable due to not having to use it as frequently as the next guy. Hit rating bonuses can also be helpful, considering the fact that we have to actually hit with our melee weapon in order for your favorite seal (of Corruption or of Vengeance) to proc. Unlike warriors, druids, and death knights, we also get threat from Holy Shield, assuming they are already attacking us, and Consecration, assuming they are in the vicinity.

Protection paladins do NOT need intellect, mana regeneration, or spirit on their tanking gear. A tanking paladin should expect to either take enough damage that the heals that are cast on them will give them enough mana regen. to finish the battle, or dodge/parry/block enough hits to generate mana by Blessing of Sanctuary.

See also Paladins as tanks: Gear Mechanics for more detailed information concerning paladin tanking gear.

Retribution

Pre-patch 3.0

Retribution paladins are by far the best talent specialization for single-target soloing. As of patch 2.3, Retribution paladins can be equally viable in raids as well. With the right build, Retribution paladins can kill mobs quicker than mages, warlocks, or rogues, though downtime is increased. A good Retribution paladin should put over ten points into Protection, as you'll want 3/3 points into precision, and Blessing of Kings is actually more effective than Blessing of Might, even if it is improved. In addition, critical hit rating is what is needed. Blessing of Might, unfortunately, adds nothing to that. 5 points into Holy for Divine Strength is also extremely useful. Vindication is nice for PvP (3/3 for 15% reduction in all stats, including Stamina), and for solo / small group PvE, but it is mostly useless in raids as raid encounters tend to be immune to it. Every ability that improves Seal of the Crusader is absolutely essential, and Seal of Command is just a given - DPS is non-existant without it, and Crusader Strike is a necessity too. Aside from those points, simply throw the rest wherever you want - this talent spec is kind of loose.

As of patch 2.3 there are a lot more desirable talents in Retribution - most notably the buff to Fanaticism that will reduce threat generated by your attacks by 10/15/20/25/30%. If you plan on raiding, this is absolutely critically important to have. No more holding back your DPS to prevent drawing aggro, you can finally go all-out and even use Avenging Wrath without immediately aggroing everything.

The kind of stats you'll be wanting to obtain are, in order, Attack Power, Critical Strike Rating and Hit Rating. By extension, you'll want, again, in order, Strength and Agility (these two should be pretty evenly balanced), Intellect, and finally Stamina. The key to Retribution Paladins is to bring down enemies quickly, not long, sustained, fights that require lots of mana. In raid situations, you'll need to chain chug mana potions and pray you're in a group with a Shadow priest.

You should never be afraid to throw on Mail or Leather gear if that's what your stats require, but try to keep most of it plate.

If you are unsure which weapon to look for, just imagine that you are an Arms warrior. A very good starting point for any Retribution paladin is to take up Blacksmithing and make either [Lionheart Blade], [Thunder], or [Lunar Crescent]. After this, there are two paths you can take - you can either level up for blacksmithing to 375 (requiring huge amounts of grinding or money) and make the second tier and eventually third tier weapons, or you can raid and get your epic weapons that way. [Despair], [Gorehowl] are both great weapons to obtain through Karazhan. once you progress into Gruul's Lair, [Hammer of the Naaru] is a very nice weapon to have, as that extra intellect goes a long way to keeping up sustained DPS.

Aside from this, you should just experiment and do what works, it takes a lot of practice, a unique gear, stat, and spec combination, and a little luck to get Retribution nailed down.

Patch 3.0

As of Patch 3.0, Retribution paladins received tremendous buffs. Most notable of these are the two new abilites, Judgements of the Wise and Divine Storm. JotW grants you mana back and 0.25% of your total mana replenished every few seconds over an amount of time, and Divine Storm deals extra damage to your main target and damage to two nearby targets, both as Holy Damage, and heals random party members for 20% of the damage dealt.

With Judgements of the Wise, the need for Intellect has been abolished. Gear restrictions are no longer based on whether you have any Intellect at all, which means you can concentrate on pure DPS gear, with stats such as Strength and Critical Strike Rating.

Your DPS rotation after Patch 3.0 is quite simple, as a point of fact. It is a FCFS which comes down to three simples things: Use Crusader Strike whenever it is up, use Divine Storm whenever it is up, and work your judgements in around those. If you have a lull in abilites, throw down a down-ranked Consecrate.

Patch 3.2

In Patch 3.2, Seal of the Martyr and Seal of Blood were discontinued, while Seal of Command was boosted.

See Also

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