Welcome to Dottzgaming.com, I hope you enjoy your time here on the site! If you notice any issues, typos or errors anywhere, or if you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to use the contact form and reach out!

Image Alt

Paladin Beginner Guide WoW – Overview & Builds for ALL Specs

Paladin Beginner Guide WoW – Overview & Builds for ALL Specs

Guide Written By: Dottz Gaming

Table of Contents

  1. Video
  2. Introduction
  3. Specializations
    1. Holy
    2. Protection
    3. Retribution
  4. Contact Info
  5. Update Log

Video

Introduction

Welcome to DottzGaming.com’s beginner guide for the Paladin class in World of Warcraft! This guide will give you a brief overview to what the class has to offer, its specializations and new player focused talent setups to get you going on your adventures through Azeroth! If you are brand new to WoW and are reading this guide, I also recommend checking out my WoW Complete Beginner Guide, which will teach you all non-class specific things you need to know to get yourself started in WoW.

Paladin’s are holy crusaders, striving to be a beacon of hope in the dark times that face Azeroth, utilizing the light to dispense justice on enemies, protect themselves and allies from harm, or heal their allies in battle. Paladins are a hybrid class, with one tank specialization, one healing specialization and one damage dealing specialization. Protection Paladins are the tanks of the class, providing a great toolkit that boasts strong damage, healing and utility support for themselves and their allies! Holy Paladins are the healers of the class, with the ability to dish out incredibly strong single target healing, while providing some of the best emergency defensive abilities in the game. Finally, Retribution Paladin’s focus on dispensing justice on enemies by dishing out huge burst damage, but still providing great utility to a team. Paladin’s, with all these great things going for them though, are one of the slower and less mobile classes in the game. So do keep that in mind if you are choosing to play a Paladin!

Paladin’s utilize 2 primary resource systems for their skills: mana & holy power. You build up holy power by spending mana on certain skills, and then you use the holy power you generate on more powerful abilities! In addition, Paladins wear plate armor, they utilize Strength as their primary stat for Protection & Retribution and Intellect for Holy, and wield shields, polearms, one-handed weapons, two-handed swords, axes and maces depending on the specialization.

The following races are able to play as Paladins:

  • Blood Elf (Horde)
  • Dark Iron Dwarf (Alliance)
  • Draenei (Alliance)
  • Dwarf (Alliance)
  • Human (Alliance)
  • Lightforged Draenei (Alliance)
  • Tauren (Horde)
  • Zandalari Troll (Horde)

Now that we have a brief summary of the class out of the way, let’s get into the specs and what they have to offer. The following builds are going to be tailored to new players, looking to make your rotation as easy and straightforward while adding as few additional skills to your action bars as possible. If you’re looking for something more advanced and focused on dealing as much damage as possible, I recommend checking out Icy-Veins or WoWhead for builds more tailored towards end game raids, mythic+ and rated PvP. Thankfully, these builds in the article don’t differentiate too much from the “advanced” versions.

Specializations

Holy

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Crusader’s Might – This talent causes Crusader Strike (an instant damage melee attack) to lower the cooldown of Holy Shock (one of your primary instant heals) by 1.5 seconds, allowing you to cast Holy Shock more often!
  2. Judgement of Light – This talent causes your judgement (an instant damage mid-ranged attack) to add a passive debuff to your enemy, which causes the next 25 attacks against the target to heal the ally that attacks it!
  3. Fist of Justice – This talent causes our Holy Power spenders to reduce the remaining cooldown on our Hammer of Justice by 2 seconds, allowing us to have our primary stun up more frequently!
  4. Unbreakable Spirit – This talent reduces the cooldown of some of your major defensive cooldowns – Lay on Hands, Divine Shield, and Divine Protection – by 30%!
  5. Divine Purpose – This talent causes your Holy Power spending abilities to have a 15% chance to make the next one free and deal extra damage/healing, allowing you to string chains of powerful heals and damage together!
  6. Sanctified Wrath – This passive talent causes your Avenging Wrath, your primary offensive cooldown, to last 25% longer and also reduce the cooldown on Holy Shock by 40%, allowing you to pump out absolutely massive amounts of damage and healing!
  7. Glimmer of Light – A passive talent that causes your Holy Shock to leave a buff on the target (or debuff on the enemy) that causes any future Holy Shock’s (even if cast on a different target) to heal/damage them as well, allowing you to get great area of effect healing or damage! This effect has a cap of 8 targets.
  8. Blessed Hands – This PvP talent causes your Blessings of Protection & Freedom to have 1 additional charge, giving you the ability to have more frequent uptime on these fantastic cooldowns!
  9. Ultimate Sacrifice – This passive talent empowers your Blessing of Sacrifice. This blessing normally transfers a portion of damage your target takes to you, but this talent instead causes ALL of the damage the target suffers to be taken by you instead as a damage over time effect. This is strong because it allows you to completely mitigate damage that your ally is taking, by making it a more manageable DoT on yourself that you can try and outheal! This needs to be used at the right time though, or your enemies will take advantage of it and also try to hit you while this DoT is ticking on you!
  10. Light’s Grace – Increases the strength of one of your primary heals, by making your Holy Light heal for 50% more and reduce the damage your targets receives by 5% for 8 seconds (stacking up to 3 times)!

Rotation

How to Play Holy

When playing as a healer, there isnt a “set rotation” like when you play a damage dealer. It’s up to you to judge what healing spells are appropriate for each situation. The following is a priority list of your heals/skills and things to keep in mind when deciding which skills to use:

  1. Before you fight, apply Beacon of Light to your tank. This will cause any other heals on party members to also heal the tank for 50% of the amount healed and allow you to generate holy power when healing them directly.
  2. Use Judgement on your primary target to get up Judgment of Light for some nice passive healing, and refresh this debuff when it falls off
  3. Use Holy Shock on cooldown.
  4. Any time you get Infusion of Light procs (which occur when your Holy Shock crits, allowing your next Flash of Light to have a reduced cost or your Holy Light to heal for more), spend them on Flash of Light.
  5. Use Word of Glory as your primary holy power spender if a single target needs to be healed, Light of Dawn if multiple people need to be healed.
  6. Use Holy Light for low or moderate damage, and use Flash of Light on targets who are in need of BIG healing and if you don’t have any holy power for Word of Glory.
  7. Only use Light of the Martyr if you need to move, someone NEEDS to be healed and Holy Shock is on cooldown.

Additional Offensive Notes

  • When you want to deal a big burst of healing, use Avenging Wrath to drastically increase your healing throughput!

Additional Defensive Notes

  • If you are taking a huge amount of damage and need to recover, use Divine Shield to prevent yourself from receiving any more incoming damage and allowing you to heal yourself back up!
  • If you or an ally needs a BIG heal in a pinch, use Lay on Hands to get them back to full HP!
  • Use Blessing of Protection if you or an ally needs to be defended from physical attacks, or Blessing of Sacrifice if one of your party members is taking a ton of damage and you want to take some of the damage for them!
  • Blessing of Freedom and Divine Steed should be used when you need some extra movement speed and/or to be freed of movement impairing effects!
  • Use Aura mastery if you want an extra boost from your aura in a tricky situation!
  • Use your auras as necessary for the given situation! Most of the time, you’ll be using Devotion Aura.

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Haste
  2. Mastery
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Versatility

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of a Relentless Inquisitor

Protection

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Holy Shield – This talent boosts our block chance by 15% and allows us to also block spells! In addition, whenever we do successfully block, we deal holy damage back to our attacker.
  2. Crusader’s Judgement – This gives our Judgement a second charge, and allows our grand crusader (a passive that gives us a chance to reset the cooldown on Avenger’s Shield, one of our holy power generators) to also grant a charge of Judgement. This helps reduce downtime on the specialization a lot, allowing us to generate more holy power!
  3. Fist of Justice – This talent causes our Holy Power spenders to reduce the remaining cooldown on our Hammer of Justice by 2 seconds, allowing us to have our primary stun up more frequently!
  4. Unbreakable Spirit – This talent reduces the cooldown of some of your major defensive cooldowns – Lay on Hands, Divine Shield, and Ardent Defender – by 30%!
  5. Divine Purpose – This talent causes your Holy Power spending abilities to have a 15% chance to make the next one free and deal extra damage/healing, allowing you to string chains of powerful heals and damage together!
  6. Consecrated Ground – This talent makes your consecration, your primary ground based area of effect damage skill, have a 15% larger area and reduce enemy movement speed inside the consecration by 50%, helping to keep enemies grouped up!
  7. Sanctified Wrath – This passive talent causes your Avenging Wrath, your primary offensive cooldown, to last 25% longer and causes Judgement to generate 1 additional Holy Power, allowing you to pump out absolutely massive amounts of damage and healing!
  8. Guardian of the Forgotten Queen – A PvP talent that turns one of your defensive cooldowns, Guardian of the Ancient Kings, into Guardian of the Forgotten Queen, which now can make one of your allies immune to all damage for 10 seconds!
  9. Judgement of the Pure – This makes it so that whenever you use Judgement on an enemy, an ally within 40 yards is also healed, allowing you to convert a portion of your damage into healing!
  10. Steed of Glory – Divine Steed, your primary movement skill, lasts 2 seconds longer and prevents you from being afflicted by movement impairing effects! On top of this, you also knock-back enemies you move through.

Rotation

How to Play Protection

If you don’t know how threat works, I recommend checking out my complete beginner guide, as understanding threat is essential for playing a tank properly. Tanks also play a bit more dynamically than damage dealers, responding to what is happening in any given instance.

When tanking as a protection paladin, you want to use your holy power generators to generate holy power on cooldown, and then spend them on Shield of the Righteous for damage mitigation, or Word of Glory if you need healing.  You want to use your skills on the following priority, while using Shield of the Righteous or Word of Glory each time you have enough holy power to do so:

  1. Consecration (while not a holy power generator, you always want to make sure you use Consecration while fighting enemies to deal damage and keep them slowed)
  2. Judgement
  3. Avenger’s Shield
  4. Hammer of the Righteous

When all 3 of these skills are on cooldown and you have no holy power to spend, use Consecration to put down a ground AoE and wait for your skills to come off of cooldown. When your enemies are in execute range, be sure to also use Hammer of Wrath on cooldown.

Additional Offensive Notes

  • When you want to deal a big burst of damage or healing, use Avenging Wrath! While this is active, be sure to use Hammer of Wrath on cooldown as this skill deals a TON of damage!

Additional Defensive Notes

  • If you are taking a huge amount of damage and need to recover, use Divine Shield to prevent yourself from receiving any more incoming damage and allowing you to heal yourself back up!
  • If you or an ally needs a BIG heal in a pinch, use Lay on Hands to get them back to full HP!
  • Use Blessing of Protection if you or an ally needs to be defended from physical attacks, or Blessing of Sacrifice if one of your party members is taking a ton of damage and you want to take some of the damage for them!
  • Blessing of Freedom and Divine Steed should be used when you need some extra movement speed and/or to be freed of movement impairing effects!
  • Use your Holy Power on Word of Glory if you or an ally needs a heal in a pinch!
  • If you need some more damage mitigation than what Shield of the Righteous is providing, use Ardent Defender, and if things are really dire, use Guardian of the Ancient Kings instead.
  • Use your auras as necessary for the given situation! Most of the time, you’ll be using Devotion Aura.

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Haste
  2. Mastery
  3. Versatility
  4. Critical Strike

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of a Holy Sigil

Retribution

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Righteous Verdict – This causes your Templar’s Verdict, your primary offensive Holy Power spender, to increase the damage of your next Templar’s Verdict within 6 seconds by 15%, allowing you to string powerful successive attacks together!
  2. Blade of Wrath – This talent makes your Art of War passive (which causes your auto-attacks to have a chance to reset the cooldown on Blade of Justice (an instant damage attack that generates holy power)) to occur 100% more often and increase the damage of the next Blade of Justice by 25%! This is great because it allows you to generate more holy power, which will then allow you to use your holy power spenders more frequently!
  3. Fist of Justice – This talent causes our Holy Power spenders to reduce the remaining cooldown on our Hammer of Justice by 2 seconds, allowing us to have our primary stun up more frequently!
  4. Cavalier – This talent gives your Divine Steed, your primary movement speed enhancing skill, a 2ndcharge, allowing you to use it more frequently!
  5. Divine Purpose – This talent causes your Holy Power spending abilities to have a 15% chance to make the next one free and deal extra damage/healing, allowing you to string chains of powerful heals and damage together!
  6. Healing Hands – This talent gives the Retribution Paladin strong off-healing, by causing your Lay on Hands (which restores allies to 100% health) to have it’s cooldown reduced by up to 60% based on the target’s missing health. In addition, your Word of Glory (your primary healing holy power spender) has its healing increased by up to 100% based on your target’s missing health.
  7. Sanctified Wrath – This passive talent causes your Avenging Wrath, your primary offensive cooldown, to last 25% longer and cause you to radiate holy damage as you spend holy power, allowing you to pump out absolutely massive amounts of damage and healing!
  8. Aura of Reckoning – This passive talent makes it so that whenever you are critically struck in combat, you gain a stack of Reckoning. When this occurs 50 times, your next weapon swing deals 250% increased damage and gives you Avenging Wrath for 6 seconds!
  9. Lawbringer – This causes your Judgement to apply Lawbringer to the target for 45 seconds, making any future Judgements cause all enemies with the Lawbringer effect to suffer 5% of their max HP as additional holy damage!
  10. Law and Order – This talent makes it so that when your Hand of Hindrance (a skill that slows enemy movement speed), is dispelled, its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds. In addition, Blade of Justice applies Hand of Hindrance to the target for 3 seconds, allowing you to have stronger uptime on the slow!

Rotation

Dealing Damage

The rotation for Ret Paladin is extremely straightforward. Simply put, you want to use your holy power generators to generate holy power on cooldown, and then spend them on Templar’s Verdict when fighting 1 enemy, Divine Storm when fighting multiple. You want to use your holy power generators on the following priority, while using Templar’s Verdict or Divine Storm each time you have enough holy power to do so:

  1. Wake of Ashes
  2. Blade of Justice
  3. Judgement
  4. Crusader Strike

When all 4 skills are on cooldown and you have no holy power to spend, use Consecration to put down a ground AoE and wait for your skills to come off of cooldown. When your enemies are in execute range, be sure to also use Hammer of Wrath on cooldown.

Offense

  • When you want to deal a big burst of damage, use Avenging Wrath! While this is active, be sure to use Hammer of Wrath on cooldown as this skill deals a TON of damage!

Defense

  • If you are taking a huge amount of damage and need to recover, use Divine Shield to prevent yourself from receiving any more incoming damage and allowing you to heal yourself back up!
  • If you or an ally needs a BIG heal in a pinch, use Lay on Hands to get them back to full HP!
  • Use Blessing of Protection if you or an ally needs to be defended from physical attacks, or Blessing of Sacrifice if one of your party members is taking a ton of damage and you want to take some of the damage for them!
  • Blessing of Freedom and Divine Steed should be used when you need some extra movement speed and/or to be freed of movement impairing effects!
  • Use your Holy Power on Word of Glory if you or an ally needs a heal in a pinch!
  • Use your auras as necessary for the given situation! Most of the time, you’ll be using Devotion Aura.
  • Use Shield of Vengeance when you’re going to take a big hit from your opponent. This will absorb the hit, and also turn the damage back on them when the shield expires!

Secondary Stat Priority

In PvE content, the stat priority for all the secondary stats is about equal, so you can focus primarily on ilvl upgrades! However, if you want to follow the PvP stat priority to be able to use 1 set of gear for both activities, it is as follows:

  1. Haste
  2. Versatility
  3. Mastery
  4. Critical Strike

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Night Fae

Recommended Legendary: Memory of a Relentless Inquisitor

Contact

If you have any questions about the build, join our discord server and ask @Dottz about the build in the #wow-general channel!

Update Log

12/3/2020 – Guide created