The Paladin

Ready to serve, paladins can defend their allies with sword and shield, or they can wield massive two-handed weapons against their enemies. The Light grants paladins additional power against the undead and demons, ensuring that these profane beings corrupt the world no longer.Paladins are not only zealots, but also guardians of the righteous, and they bestow blessings on those the Light would shine upon. The Light radiates from paladins, and worthy allies who stand near them are emboldened by its power. (source)

Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.4

Paladin Guide Contents

This Page

Blood Elf Retribution Paladin

More Paladin Guides

For details on rotations, talents, etc. click through to the PvE/PvP guides below:

Your Paladin Can Make Lots More Gold, see our Tycoon Review and Find Out How


The Paladin

Paladins stand as one of the most iconic and extravagant figures in fantasy history, having a place in nigh every world created and in all them representing a mixture of ass kicking combined with a command over the power of the light and general holy abilities to make enemies wilt before them whilst simultaneously aiding their allies.  World of Warcraft is no different.

However this time around paladins have taken a somewhat unique road, what with the utilization of seals and blessings to bring utility to almost any situation whether it be PvP or PvE, all while remaining capable of becoming a frontline fighter, a tank, or DPS.

Retribution paladins, the offensive variant of the Paladin class, have become increasingly viable candidates for raiding positions as well as taking spots on arena teams where we were once seen as only healers. In fact, Paladins are now very common in high ranking arena teams and Ret Pallies are feared in the Battlegrounds.

Holy Paladins have become very viable raid, tank, and PvP healers in addition to being able to provide their team with abilities that mitigate damage and otherwise offer support.

Finally the Protection Paladin has prospered the greatest, finally taking a place alongside warriors and druids as a true possibility for primary tank throughout the raiding dungeons and various instances open to us.

All in all the Paladin class is in most cases at a state of great balance, being capable of taking on almost any role with at least some degree of success, although this is enhanced by actually possessing gear conducive to our desired path.

Mists of Pandaria shouldn’t change any of this to any great degree, other than completely revamping the talent system (which it’s doing across the board.) As of a couple of weeks before the Mists launch, Pallies are looking pretty good.


Patch Notes for Paladins

These are Paladin only, complete patch notes are here.

For the patch 5.4 notes and comments check our post: the Paladin 5.4 changes.

Patch 5.3




  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing was nerfed a bit, it now places an absorb shield for 10% of the amount healed, down from 12%.
  • Daybreak is now a stackable effect with a duration of 10 seconds, stacks up to 2 times, and causes the next Holy Shock to also heal other allies within 10 yards of the target for an amount equal to 75%/150% of the original healing done.
    • Daybreak no longer incorrectly hits the primary target of the Holy Shock.




  • Tier-14 Holy Paladin 4-piece set bonus now reduces the cooldown of Holy Shock by 1 second, down from 2 seconds.

Patch 5.2

Level 30, Tier 2 Talents:

  • Repentance now has a cast time of 1.7 seconds (was 1.5 seconds.)

Level 45, Tier 3 Talents:

  • Eternal Flame’s periodic heal now provides 100% more healing when self-cast.
  • Sacred Shield’s periodic effect can no longer be dispelled. Each individual absorb effect can be dispelled instead.
  • Selfless Healer now boosts Flash of Light by 20/40/60% (was 33/66/100%.)

Level 60, Tier 4 Talents:

  • Hand of Purity now reduces all incoming damage by 10% in addition to its other effects.

Level 90, Tier 6 Talents:

  • Light’s Hammer now also applies a 50% snare for 2 seconds to targets that take damage from the area of effect.


  • Judgment now costs 5% of base mana.
  • Seal of Righteousness now causes melee attacks to deal 9% damage (was 6%) to targets in the area-of-effect.



  • The base damage of Consecration has been increased by 789%, and it now scales less efficiently with attack power by approximately 11%.
  • Grand Crusader now has a chance to activate when the Paladin doges or parries a melee attack in addition to having a 12% chance (was 20%) to activate from Crusader Strike or Hammer of the Righteous.


  • Avenging Wrath now has a cooldown of 2 minutes for Retribution Paladins (was 3 minutes.) The cooldown remains unchanged for Holy and Protection Paladins.
  • Seal of Justice now causes melee attacks to deal an additional 20% (was 16%) as Holy damage.
  • Sword of Light now increases Flash of Light by 100% (was 30%) and increases the Paladin’s damage with two-handed melee weapons by 15% (was 10%.)
  • Absolve is a new passive ability for Retribution Paladins. Absolve removes all harmful magic effects when Hard of Sacrifice is cast on a party member.

Glyphs and Gear


Paladin Race choice:

Since the Paladin is such a versitile class it’s hard to say which race is “best.” It really depends on what your game is. Humans might arguably be “the best,” at least for PvP, with their escape ability allowing two DPS/Healing trinkets. Blood Elves have the useful Arcane Torrent and Tauren have War Stomp, neither of which will be much use if you’re Holy.

Pandarens cannot become Paladins.


  • Good with Jewelcrafting.
  • Heal: This is a tiny heal compared to the others you already have, so isn’t as useful as it is for others. Still, it requires no mana and no Holy Power, and is an instant cast.
  • Increased chance to hit: a 1% increased chance to hit doesn’t sound like much, but is useful in raids and somewhat in PvP. Ret and Prot will find it much more useful than Holy.
  • Resistant to Shadow Damage


  • Stone Form: Nice against bleeds and, as such, is useful for PvP, but very situational elsewhere. Also comes with 10% damage reduction.
  • Ranged weapos expertise is useless to you.
  • Resistance to Frost: Yawn.
  • Good with Archeology.


  • May be the best Pally race for PvP.
  • Increase Spirit: Is of some use to Holy Pallies since they get 50% of Spirit based mana regen active while in combat, via Meditation. Other flavors of Pally have no use for Spirit.
  • Bonus to Rep gains: Nice if you intend to gain faction with any of the many factions in the game. In the long run this may save you many hours of faction grinding.
  • Increased Expertise with Swords/Maces: Of some if swords and maces are the best weapons available. Holy will get +1% Spell Hit by equipping either of those weapons, not that Holy has much need for Spell Hit.
  • Every Man for Himself (Escape:) Very nice for PvP, occasionally useful elsewhere. It means that you don’t have to carry the PvP escape trinket.

Blood Elf:

  • Good at Enchanting
  • Arcane Torrent: Provides both an A of E silence, very nice for PvP, occasionally useful elsewhere; and with also regains a small amount of mana, occasionally of small use. The Silence is also nice when tanking caster trash.
  • Resistant to magical damage: Of small use against magic throwing things in raids, not so much elsewhere.


  • Best Horde Pally race, and likely the best tanks of either faction, due to War Stomp and their increased health.
  • War Stomp stuns nearby opponents – great for melee, not so much for healing.
  • Increased Health – Always useful, even if it doesn’t scale well at very high level. It’s still the equivalent of a bunch of Stamina gems or enchants.
  • Hebalism skill and speed increased – The heal obtained from herbalism also adds Haste, which is generally useful.
  • Resistant to Nature damage
  • Target of a wide variety of Man/Cow jokes.



Tradeskill wise many paladins choose to take up either Blacksmithing or Engineering combined with Mining, I suggest never attempting to combine Blacksmithing and Engineering onto a single character unless you have massive amounts of gold to burn through. Mining will provide raw materials for either profession and greatly reduce your costs. Still, you might want to consider waiting on the crafting skills until you have a nice gold stash and/or are level 85+.

Blacksmithing provides us similar benefits as to a Warrior, weapons mostly, but there are some good armor sets at high level.

Engineering, on the other hand, has some very nice tanking gear for paladins and lots of cool gadgets. Some of the backfires will generate threat, which is great if you’re Protection, not so hot otherwise.

Other Professions:

  • Cooking – great for the food buffs.
  • First Aid – obviously not essential, but nice every now and then when you just don’t want to burn the mana.
  • Any two of the gathering skills (mining, skinning, or herbalsim) either to fuel another profession or to make gold.

Tradeskills for the min-max crowd 

All of the tradeskills have certain self-only benefits, such as the extra gem socket that Blacksmiths can add to gloves, bracers, and belts. Gems with primary stats (Str, Int) have half the value of other gems (Mastery, Hit, etc.) so the extra two slots from Blacksmithing can give you 640 Mastery/Crit/Etc. Vs 320 Int or Str.

  • Alchemy gives increased results to you from potions & flasks that you create. You will get about 30% more effect and an extra hour of duration from your elixirs and flasks.
  • Blacksmithing can put gem sockets on gloves & bracers, in addition to all the cool plate stuff you can create. With the gems you will be able to get 320 points in a primary stat (Int/Str) of 640 in a stat such as Haste or Crit.
  • Enchanters can enchant their own rings with Int or Str or Stam. Enchanting both your own rings will give you 320 points to that stat.
  • Engineers get a “haste” for their gloves and a nice cloak upgrade. Synapse Springs adds 1,920 to your best stat for 10 seconds, with a 1 minute cooldown. This is great because it’s an “on demand” item, not just a random proc. Add it to a macro to use when you need it.
  • Herbalism‘s  Lifeblood has been improved and it offers Haste rating (about 2,880 points worth) for 20 seconds. In addition, while harvesting M of P herbs you can occasionally find yummy Life Spirits and Water Spirits
  • Leatherworkers get a fur lining which adds more Int, Str, or Stam to your bracers than any enchant.
  • Inscription has the best shoulder enchants, by far. Not to mention the ability to create various other items and glyphs.
  • Jewelcrafting makes some nice self-only gems that will add about 320 worth of whichever stats.
  • Mining adds 480 Stam, which is great for tanks, but not so hot for DPS.
  • Skinning provides 480 crit rating, which is not only lower than the other ratings provided by other profs, but crit also seems to be weaker (for you) than other stats (eg: haste, hit, etc.) It’s owrth about 1.5 gems.
  • Tailors get the Lightweave Embroidery which offers a chance for a big Int (2k) or Attack Power (4k) boost lasting 15 seconds.


Paladin Specs & Leveling

Unhappy Tauren Paladin

Unhappy Tauren Paladin

Paladin mechanics partially changed in Cataclysm. You still use mana for various things, but now have a Holy Power (HP) system in addition to mana.

HP works somewhat like the Rogue’s Combo Points in that you build up to three HP points using abilities such as Crusader Strike or Holy Shock and then use those points to power another ability, such as Word of Glory or Templar’s Verdict. The more points that you use to drive those abilities the better the effect.

This section is only a brief overview of Paladin leveling, check out our Paladin Leveling Guide for more information. If you want something that will show you the fastest way from any level to the level cap (90 or whatever) then look at Dugi’s guide.

Unlike most other classes paladins actually possess multiple variations of leveling builds, each viable in an alternate manner and the end result leveling speed will likely be entirely dependent on personal skill and play style.

Currently one can gain XP through grinding, questing, dungeons, PvP and any combination of the above. Want to smash your way through everything? Go Retribution. Want to do lots of dungeons with little to no wait time? Holy Healing or Protection Tanking will do just fine.

Want to level as a pure “Care Bear” Holy Pally? Questing/grinding will be painful, but do the dungeons or group (Battlegrounds) PvP and your groups will love you and you’ll level as quickly as anyone. Healers have very short wait times in dungeon finder Queues, the only problem is seeing the same dungeon a few times.

Holy Paladin Leveling

Your damage is … weak, and you’re not going to be rounding up groups of things and killing them. Not in less than a week, anyway. But you’re excellent at keeping your partner intact, allowing him to lay waste to everything. Questing is likely to be a bit on the dull/tedious side, but if your partner is a damage machine then you can move quickly.

Hop into the dungeon or battlegrounds queues, keep your group alive (and help the PvP group to win,) and you’ll level as fast as anyone.

If you’re questing then grab a warrior or rogue or a Ret Pally and keep them healthy while they kill everything in sight.

If you’re dungeoning then you’ll be in demand all the way from level 15 to the end-game raids. Adjust your talents and gear for the best healing.

If you’re PvP leveling, which can be very fast if your side wins, then you will need to select talents and gear for more suvivability. Resilience is very important in PvP, for example, and useless elsewhere. Gearing for resilience will cost you some stat points.

See our Holy Paladin guide for more, including PvE rotations, or our Pally leveling guide for tips.

Retribution Paladin Leveling

Retribution paladins can either be a lot of fun or really boring, it’s all in the eye of the beholder, quite honestly.  I loved retribution almost as much as protection, but it was more the fact that I macro’ed the entirety of one-fight’s spell casting and attacks into one key, this freed up my time for watching football while I mindlessly killed things. (You can no longer do this due to macro changes.)

Another thing is that retribution can be much better for questing as opposed to protection, you’re generally better capable of selectively killing quest mobs for any given objective whereas protection shines when fighting ten at the same time.

Lastly, Retribution Paladins have little to no downtime while leveling due to heavy armor, heals, and the instant heal Word of Glory.

See our Paladin Leveling guide for more on leveling, our Retribution guide for PvE and Rading, and for face-smashing goodness our Ret PvP page.

Protection Paladin Leveling

Protection Pallies will endeavor to find an enjoyable method of combining our great AoE tanking capabilities with our stacking damage buffs, designed to slowly whittle down surrounding groups of monsters.

Retribution Aura, Avenger’s Shield, Consecration, and other abilities come together to provide us immensely effective AoE capabilities.  By itself none of the above would deal more than possibly a small amount of our overall damage, however when built up in unison they easily do enough to drop large group of mobs at once. The Holy Power mechanic just makes this better as it’s easy to gather enough Holy Power to be firing off regular (instant and mana free) Word of Glory spells. Especially at higher level rounding up large groups and burning them down is what you do best, when you’re not tanking.

Seal of Insight and Blessing of Might are also big helps towards becoming an A of E grinding machine. See the Pally leveling page or, for more about tanking and such, see our Protection Paladin page.

Super Fast Leveling all the Way to the Cap!

Dugi will get you leveled faster, all the way through Mists of Pandaria


Paladin Seals and Blessings

Paladin abilities are quite varied in their usage, being separated into numerous categories such as seals, blessings, judgements, heals, etc.  All in all we have more than a few methods of buffing ourselves, injuring opposition, and aiding our teammates.

The Seals

Seals play a large part in turning paladin DPS from good to better.  Whether you be a tank, healer, or DPS paladin, seals play a large part in maintain mana, health, and consistent damage for some.

All in all, seal usage is but one crucial part of a paladins arsenal, without proper judgements, blessings, and sometime even aura selection, it won’t make a paladin great by itself.

  • Level 3, Seal of Command. Adds damage. You’ll use this until level 24, when you’ll pick up…
  • Level 24, Seal of Truth. Does more damage and adds a Damage over Time (DoT) effect to the opponent. Your Glyph of Immediate Truth pushes more of that damage to the beginning of the attack.
  • Level 32, Seal of Insight. Use this if you’re Holy and I like to use it while tanking. It restores mana and health. IN patch 5.4 it no longer restores mana, but for Protection your Guarded by the Light will take care of that.
  • Level 42, Seal of Righteousness. This is greatly changed over what is was before. It deals minor damage to all nearby enemies and you’ll use it for mashing down groups.
  • Level 70, Seal of Justice, Retribution only. Melee attacks to more damage and reduce the opponent’s speed.

The Auras

  • Devotion Aura is the only aura. It’s obtained at level 60. and grants the entire party, group, or raid immunity to Silence and Interrupt effects and reducing all magic damage taken by 20%. Lasts 6 sec. It’s on a 3 min cooldown. In 5.4 you will have a  Glyph of Devotion Aura. The Glyph of Devotion Aura causes Devotion Aura to no longer affect party or raid members, but the cooldown is reduced to 2 min, from 3 min.

The Blessings

Blessings are another aspect of the paladin class, allowing you to give teammates and fellow raid members a large overtime increase to damage, mana regeneration, or with BoK (Blessing of Kings) an overall increase to all statistics.

With 4.0 the Blessings have been completely overhauled. There are now only two Blessings, both of which last an hour and buff the entire group or raid with one cast. Blessing of Might now increases both attack power and mana regeneration.

In patch 5.3 the mana costs of these was greatly reduced.

  • Blessing of Kings (lev 30) – Your entire party or raid gets +5% to their Str/Int/Ag.
  • Blessing of Might (level 81) – Your entire party/raid gets a big Mastery boost, which scales with your level.

The Judgement

Before 4.0 Judgements were another key to effectively fighting, leveling, defeating bosses, boosting raid DPS and health, and finally renewing your own mana pool to maintain unstoppable killing.  Almost every judgement had some use at some point.

With 4.0 and later Judgments are pretty much just a ranged attack. Special effects come from your Seals, but judging those seals only does Holy damage. So now it’s good for pulling mobs and adding some extra damage, but it no longer delivers effects. Glyph of Bladed Judgment changes the appearance.

Mists of Pandaria Paladin Talents

Any Paladin spec can choose any one talent from any one row, for six talents at level 90. The differences between specs is accounted for by the abilities, several of which are unique to each spec.

Changing talents is easy and works just like changing glyphs. Open up your talent page, click the row with the talent you want to change, pay the cost (one dose of dust/powder/tome per talent,) pick the new one, learn it, and you’re good. Your trainer can also wipe all of your talents so you can start fresh.

See below the image for descriptions. There were no major changes in patch 5.3

Paladin Talents in Mists of Pandaria

Level 15
Speed of Light – Increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 sec, pretty much a “Sprint” ability. Long Arm of the Law- A successful Judgment briefly increases your movement speed by 45%. Pursuit of Justice – You gain 15% movement speed at all times, plus an additional 5% movement speed for each current charge of Holy Power up to 3.
Fist of Justice – stuns the target for 6 seconds.
Repentance – puts the enemy to sleep for up to a minute. Burden of Guilt – your judgements reduce opponent movement speed by 50%. In 5.4 this is: Evil is a Point of View which allows the Paladin to use Turn Evil on players and beasts. 

Selfless Healer – Your successful Judgments reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Flash of Light per stack and improves its effectiveness per stack when used to heal others. Stacks up to 3 times.
Eternal Flame – Replaces Word of Glory. Consumes up to 3 Holy Power to place a protective Holy flame on a friendly target, which heals them every 3 sec for 30 sec. Doule effect if used on yourself. Improved in 5.4. Sacred Shield – Protects the target with a shield of Holy Light for 30 sec. The shield absorbs damage every 6 sec. Improved in 5.4 and has charges.
Hand of Purity – Places a Hand on the friendly target, reducing the damage of harmful periodic effects by 80% for 6 sec (up from 70% in 5.3,) plus all damage by 10%.
Unbreakable Spirit – When your Divine Shield, Divine Protection or Lay on Hands are on cooldown, spending Holy Power will reduce the remaining cooldown by 1% per Holy Power spent, up to a maximum of 50% reduction. In 5.4 it is simpler, it  It now reduces the cooldown on Divine ShieldDivine Protection, and Lay on Hands by 50%. Clemency – You can use Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation twice each before incurring their cooldowns.
Holy Avenger – Abilities that generate Holy Power will deal 30% additional damage and healing, and generate 3 charges of Holy Power for the next 18 sec.
Sanctified Wrath – Avenging Wrath lasts 50% longer and grants more frequent access to one of your abilities while it lasts. In 5.4 the Holy version now also increases the critical strike chance of Holy Shock by 20%. Divine Purpose – Abilities that cost Holy Power have a 25% chance to cause the Divine Purpose effect: Your next Holy Power ability will consume no Holy Power and will cast as if 3 Holy Power were consumed. Lasts 8 sec.
Holy Prism – Sends a beam of light toward a target, turning them into a prism for Holy energy.
Light’s Hammer – Hurl a Light-infused hammer into the ground, where it will blast a 10 yard area with Arcing Light for a few seconds: Deals Holy damage to enemies within the area, and briefly snares them,  and does healing to allies within the area every 2 sec. Improved in 5.4 to be a “smart heal” and to no longer heal critters and minions. Execution Sentence – A hammer slowly falls from the sky, causing holy damage or healing, depending on the targets, over 10 sec. This damage is dealt slowly at first and increases over time, culminating in a final burst of damage.


Paladin Abilities, by Spec.

These are the unique abilties you get for each spec of Paladin. These are in addition to all of the basic abilities shared by all Paladins. You can see a list of all the common abilities here.

Protection tanks should take note of the Vengeance changes in 5.4. Go here for the notes.

At level 50 all Paladin get Plate Specialization, which increases your most important stat by 5% if you are wearing Plate in all your armor slots (Int, Str, Stam.)

(P) = Passive effect. You do nothing to fire it off.

Holy Spec Protection Spec Retribution Spec
10 Holy Insight (P) 10 Avenger’s Shield 10 Sword of Light (P)
10 Holy Shock 10 Guarded by the Light (P) 10 Templar’s Verdict
20 Denounce 10 Vengeance (P) 20 Hammer of the Righteous
20 Sacred Cleansing (P) 20 Hammer of the Righteous 28 Judgments of the Bold (P)
28 Holy Radiance 20 Holy Wrath 34 Divine Storm
34 Holy Light 28 Judgments of the Wise (P) 46 Exorcism
39 Beacon of Light 34 Consecration 50 The Art of War (P)
46 Divine Plea 40 Shield of the Righteous 54 Emancipate
50 Infusion of Light (P) 50 Grand Crusader (P) 70 Seal of Justice
54 Divine Light 64 Sanctuary (P) 75 Guardian of Ancient Kings
56 Daybreak (P) 70 Ardent Defender 80 Absolve
62 Divine Favor 75 Guardian of Ancient Kings 80 Mastery: Hand of Light (P)
64 Tower of Radiance (P) 80 Mastery: Mastery: Divine Bulwark (P) 81 Inquisition
70 Light of Dawn
75 Guardian of Ancient Kings
80 Mastery: Illuminated Healing (P)


Paladin PvP

In the battlegrounds, prior to Cataclysm, anyway, one of the most feared opponents is the well played Retribution Paldin. A combination of high survivability and great burst damage put them at the top of the “we want you on our team” classes.

Holy Paladins can also do very well if the BG group is organized enough to let them heal effectively (hard to do when everyone is running amok and out for himself.) In the 3 and 5 person arena brackets, and Rated BGs, Holy Paladins are doing very well. The key, of course, is teamwork.

Protection Paladins are excellent guardians of flags and bases. Already very hard to kill, when teamed with a healer they’re nearly unstoppable.

For more info on Pally PvP see our Holy Paladin and Retribution Paladin pages. We also have a Holy PvP Gearing page.

Skill-Capped has a lot of Pally PvP stuff: Videos, Forums, etc., and all Constantly Updated, Join Up Now and Get Better



The Numbers: Gear, Stats, Etc.

Gear, gems, enchants, potions, repairs, toys, and various other things can be expensive. If you have the cash, then great! Otherwise check out our gold guide.

Note: Relics are gone in Mists of Pandaria.

The different specs will value the various stats in very different ways, so look to the individual spec pages for more info on how the various stats apply to that spec. This section will give them an overview. If you want to know how stat caps work then go here.

  • 7.5% Hit to be melee capped in M of P, for raid bosses. This affects all of your melee attacks, preventing them from missing. Crusader Strike, Templar’s Verdict, Judgement, and Hammer of Wrath all use the melee hit cap.
    • For PvP 3% Hit is just fine.
  • 7.5% Expertise for melee since opponents can Dodge after hou “Hit” them.
    • Try for 3% for PvP, but 6% is better for those dodgy other classes.
  • 15% Hit to be spell hit capped. The only abilities that are affected by this are Exorcism, Holy Wrath, and Consecration. Hit, Expertise, and any racial Hit/Expertise bonuses all add into this. Holy’s Holy Insight takes care of this 15% nicely.
  • Melee Hit and Expertise follow this progression:
    • 3% cap for same level opponents
    • 4.5% for +1 level
    • 6% for +2 level (such as dungeon bosses)
    • 7.5% for +3 level, ie: raid bosses.

Spell Hit is the combined total of your Hit, your Expertise, and any appropriate expertise racial (such as Humans with swords.)

Autoattacks, Crusader Strike, Templar’s Verdict, and Judgement are all considered melee attacks, using Melee Hit and Crit %. Other than Judgement they are susceptible to parry and dodge. Judgement cannot be dodged, parried, or blocked, though it can miss.

Hammer of Wrath is ranged Holy damage, but behaves like many Hunter attacks in that it uses Melee Hit and Crit %.

Other Stats

The exact value of your stats depends on your gear, your level, and the various buffs provided by your group and the debuffs on the opposition. More specific details (and rotations and talents) are provided on the build pages: Protection specretribution spec, holy spec.

  • Strength- This is the most important stat for Protection and Retribution Paladins. It remains the primary (and so far only) source of raw AP for all Paladins.
    • For Retribution Str is far and away the most important stat
    • Str is important for Protection, but Stamina is also important. Maybe more so.
  • Intelligence- This is the most important stat for Holy Paladins. It adds more mana, mana-regen, spellpower and spell crit and can be enhanced via gear, gems, and enchants.
    • Retribution and Protection have little need for brains.
  • Spirit- For Holy Pallies Spirit is without a doubt the most important secondary stat. In the new healing model healer mana matters and regen is the most important consideration for a tank healer
    • Retribution and Protection have no use for Spirit.
  • Stamina – There are no significant changes for Protection Paladins regarding this stat; however note that Vengeance is regulated by maximum health. Up to 10% of your Maximum Healthas Attack power. Obviously Tauren Pallies will have an slight edge here.
    • Tanking and PvP obviously require a lot more than otherwise.
    • Holy, outside of PvP, needs no additional Stam.
  • Agility is worthless to any flavor of Paladin.
  • Dodge Rating – Very important for tanks, not so much for others. Shares a Diminishing Returns feature with Parry.
  • Parry Rating – Parry Rating will be gained from STR as well as items. According to Blizzard parry “provides the same avoidance as Dodge.” Again, Very important for tanks, not so much for others
  • Mastery
    • Protection: Very important as it goes directly to your blocking, not as important as it was in Cataclysm, due to block mechanic changes. .
    • Holy: Not so hot, many heals are unaffected by this Mastery
    • Retribution: Medium importance
  • Haste- decreases cooldown times, decreases the time between DoT ticks and might add an addition tick at high ratings.
    • Holy: This is the best stat for increasing healing output.
    • Retribution – The worst stat, get rid of it
    • Protection: Not needed for threat or blocking, so not important.
  • Expertise:This stat reduces your opponent’s chance to dodge, block, or parry your attacks.
    • Retribution: Cap this stat (7.5% )
    • Protection: Consider Capping this stat (7.5%)
    • Holy: Not at all important, though it will add into your Spell Hit.


Gems and Enchants and Reforging

There are more details on the build pages: The exact value of your stats depends on your gear, your level, and the various buffs provided by your group and the debuffs on the opposition. More specific details are provided on the build pages: Protection, Retribution PvP or DPS , Holy healing or PvP.

Mists of Pandaria gems start at item level 417, the enchants require ilevel 372.

Gems with secondary stats, such as Haste or Spirit, have twice the value of gems with primary stats, such as Str or Int. PvP Gems (Power, Res.) no longer have the 2x stat value of the other secondary stats.

Protection Tanking:

  • Survivalist: Use gear, Gems, and Enchants to maximize your Mastery, Dodge, and Parry. Reforge Haste and Crit into Mastery. This will make life easier for your healers and Vengence will allow you to generate enough threat. Reforge crit & Haste into Mastery
  • More Threat: Cap Hit and Expertise first, Gems for Str, then go for Mastery. This is the recommended route in Mists of Pandaria, patch 5.3.


  • Gem for Strength only.
  • Enchant for Strength where possible, then hit/expertise > Mastery when Str enchants aren’t available.
  • Reforge Haste, then Crit into Hit > Expertise > Mastery


  • Gem for Int, or resilience and PvP Power if you PvP.
  • Enchant priority is the same, go for Haste when Int isn’t available.
  • Reforge into Haste


Leveling gems and enchants? Stick to the cheap stuff. You’ll be out of that gear soon enough. If you have lots of gold then feel free to buy the best gems & enchants available.


Core Retribution Abilities in Mists

Core Retribution Abilities in Mists

Paladins in the Mists of Pandaria

Completely up-to-date patch notes can be found here.

Note that  this section dates to the beginning of M of P. We’re leaving it in for legacy sake, if you’re curious about the changes.

There will be some changes coming in Mists of Pandaria, with the complete redesign of the talent and ability system that the expansion will bring. You can play with some of the new talents and abilities on WowHeadNews.

Here’s some of what’s happening:

  • Relics are gone.
  • Auras are gone, Seals are on the Aura bar.
  • Prime Glyphs are gone
  • Talents, as known in Cataclysm, are gone
  • All Paladins can pick from a common pool of “talents.” There are six tiers, obtained at levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90. Each has three talent choices. Any Paladin of the appropriate level can pick any of the talents. You will have six talents at level 90.
  • All Paladins share a common pool of abilities, just like always.
  • Each Pally spec will have a set of abilities unique to that spec. Many old talents have become specialization abilities.
  • You no longer have to see your trainer to learn new stuff, you get it automatically as you level.
  • You might want a Druid in your group for their Symbiosis ability. Unfortunately, Paladins don’t get much from that.
  • You will also get these abilties as you level, there is not need to visit your trainer, unless you want to respec something.
  • Lots of other changes.

This video is an overview of the Paladin talents and abilities in Mists of Pandaria. This is from Blizcon 2011. While all of the abilities have changed somewhat from the date of this video it will still give you a good idea of how the system works.


Leveling Your Paladin Faster

As you know there are thousands of quests in WoW (and a few zillion monsters) that await your wrath. It’s keeping track of all those quests and their details (maybe looking them up on some website) that can become a drag. The in-game quest helper is a big help, but even that doesn’t show you the most efficient path to take, especially when you might be dungeoning or PvPing in between quests.

The question of Where to go and What to do never arises since we’ve been using Dugi’s Guide. Dugi’s almost automates the whole leveling process for your Pally (or any class that you’re playing.) Not by playing the game for you, but by keeping track of everything, including all the info you need to complete each quest, and by automatically updating as you go.

It even updates if you gain a few levels PvPing or dungeoning. Enter the guide at any level, PvP for a few levels, do some dungoens, come back and Dugi’s will detect your new level, update appropriately, and clean up your old quests.

Pick your starting point (whether you’re level 1 or 67) and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, tracks your objectives, automatically sets a waypoint arrow, and includes the important quest info. You will never again wonder where to go or what to do, even if you’re brand new to WoW or decked head to toe in Heirlooms.

Dugi’s is always updated for the latest patches and expansions. Grab yours here, now and cruise to the level cap faster than ever before.


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