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The Paladin Changes in Warlords of Draenor

Draenei Retribution Paladin wearing Battlegear of Winged TriumphThe changes came on Nov 13, 2014, for Paladins and everyone else.

So what’s happening with Paladins in Particular? For Retribution, not much. For Protection and Holy, quite a bit more. Bliz is doing a lot of tweaking to tanking and more to healing.

They’re also doing away with Hit & Expertise, adding new stats, and recalculating how your primary stats work. Nothing big with that last, but tanks might notice a drop in their Parry numbers and Holy will get a few less critical heals.

Otherwise, read on for the abilities that have been hacked, pruned, tweaked, or otherwise changed, plus the new talents and the new Perks and Glyphs.

And, after all that, more changes came with patch 6.1 and still others will come with later patches.

Skip to: Patch 6.1StatsAbilitiesTalentsGlyphsPerks


Paladins in Patch 6.1


  • Level 45: Sacred Shield‘s (Holy) mana cost has been reduced by 34%.
  • Level 60: Hand of Purity now reduces damage taken by 15% (up from 10%.)
  • Level 90: Execution Sentence‘s healing dealt by Stay of Execution has increased by 100%.
  • Level 100:
    • Empowered Seals (Protection, Retribution) has been improved. Liadrin’s Righteousness now increases haste by 20% (up from 15%.) Uther’s Insight now heals the Paladin for 2% of maximum health every 3 seconds (up from 1% every 2 seconds.)
    • Final Verdict (Retribution) now increases the radius of the next Divine Storm by 50% (down from 100%.)
    • Beacon of Insight (Holy) now increases healing received by the target by 40% (upfrom 30%) and moves to the next most injured ally when the target reaches 90% health (instead of full health.)




Armor Sets

  • PvP 2-piece set bonus for Holy Paladins now lasts 12 seconds (up from 8 seconds.)
  • PvP 4-piece set bonus for Holy Paladins has been redesigned. Eternal Flame orWord of Glory now also reduces damage taken by the target by 5% for each Holy Power consumed (maximum of 15%) for 6 seconds. This effect only works in PvP combat.

The following sections are for the original Warlords changes (Patch 6.0)


Stats and More Stats

One of the changes coming is that all specs of all classes will have an “attuned” stat. This comes in the form of an ability that you will gain at level 90. The idea is that it will be a boost to whichever stat lets you character do it’s main job better, whether that’s healing, DPS, etc. It will also give you a clue as to where to stack additional stats when you’re give a choice. Since reforging will be gone the only way to do this will be through various effects and picking one piece of gear over another.

These are all passive and all boost the appropriate stat by 5%.

Intellect no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with spells. The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells. Various spells and abilities will offer increased chances to crit, as well as your gear.

Strength will provide no Crit bonus and the Parry that it provides will be reduced.

Hit and Expertise are going away. Reforging will be dead. Any abilities, such as Holy Insight, or racials that would increase either stat will either be changed or removed.

This leaves you will a 100% chance to hit opponents of up to three levels higher than yours (eg: Bosses.) There will be a chance to be parried, but all tanks will have an ability that will reduce that. The Prot. Pal’s ability, Sanctuary, will reduce the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.

New stats will be added to improve flexibility. The old secondary stats will remain, those being: Crit, Haste, and Mastery. The new stats are:

  • Bonus Armor: Increases Armor and Attack Power for tanking specializations only. Parry and Dodge on existing gear are being changed to Bonus Armor.
  • Multistrike: Grants a chance for spells and abilities to fire up to 2 additional times, at 30% effectiveness (both damage and healing.) See below for abilities that deal with Multistrike.
  • Versatility: Increases damage, healing, and absorption done. Reduces damage taken.
  • Readiness was going to be a new level 90 ability that reduced the cooldowns on various abilities. Right now it looks like that has been shelved. Probably permanently as a major stat, though it might still show up on a trinket or two.


Ability Changes for all Paladins

Some abilities will be restricted to one or two specs, see the sections below for those abilities. The idea here is to streamline things, remove excess abilities (buttons,) zap redundancy, and so on. For Paladins, the pruning focused on removing niche abilities, and trimming cooldowns.

Abilities that will be Removed

  • Divine Favor has been removed.
  • Divine Plea has been removed. Mana costs for Paladins have been adjusted accordingly.
  • Holy Light has been removed.
  • Inquisition has been removed.

Abilities to be Changed for All Paladins

  • Hand of Sacrifice is now off of the global-cooldown.
  • Redemption’s mana cost has been reduced by 95%.
  • Selfless Healer no longer causes Bastion of Glory to apply to Flash of Light.
  • The Level 30 talent Evil is a Point of View has been removed and replaced with Blinding Light.
  • The level 30 talent Repentance‘s cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds.
  • Turn Evil‘s cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds and now has a 6-second duration in PvP (down from 8 seconds.)
  • Word of Glory now has a 1.5-second cast time (up from instant cast.)
  • Eternal Flame’s periodic healing effect has been changed. Its duration now scales with Holy Power, instead of its healing. Its effect at 3 Holy Power remains unchanged.
  • Hammer of the Righteous now deals 50% Physical weapon damage (up from 15%) to the primary target, but the primary target is no longer hit with the Holy damage.
  • Your Seals will no longer cost any mana.

Some Healing Changes

Basically Bliz feels that healers are too powerful, so they’re going to make a few tweaks. They’d like to see players spending a bit more time at less then 100% health, without necessarily increasing their danger of actually being killed. They will also be trying to adjust things so that healing abilities don’t scale out of proportion to health pools and content.

Regarding “Smart Heals” Blizzard says, “…we’re reducing the healing of many passive and auto-targeted heals, and making smart heals a little less smart. Smart heals will now randomly pick any injured target within range instead of always picking the most injured target. Priority will still be given to players over pets, of course.”

Multi-target heals will be tweaked in a similar fashion, making them heal less or sometimes cost more mana.

Cheap and easy healing spells are also being removed or tweaked. The idea being to make the choice of when to use low cost and low “throughput” spells vs higher cost and higher throughput spells more interesting. Here are some examples:

  • Paladin Higher Efficiency: Holy Light, Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Light of Dawn
  • Paladin Higher Throughput: Flash of Light, Holy Radiance

Protection Paladin Changes Coming in WoD:

Bliz is mucking around a bit with the tanking system. They’ve decided that, for now, they like the “active mitigation” model, where your efforts result in less damage taken, rather than just randomly avoiding it. Part of the idea is that active mitigation results in “smoother” incoming damage, as opposed to the damage spikes seen when a parry is missed. Their goal to keep both stats (dodge & parry) “on the low side.”

As a result, the amount of Parry gained per point of Strength has been reduced by 25% and items in Warlords will lo longer have either stat. Various effects might still add to your parry.

To make up for the loss of Parry there is a new ability: Resolve

  • Vengeance has been removed and replaced with a new passive ability, Resolve, which increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds.
  • Riposte is a passive ability (level 76) for Protection Paladins and other plate-wearing Tank specializations. Riposte has been redesigned to convert Critical Strike into Parry, a defensive stat. That also helps keep secondary stats balanced in offensive value for you.
  • Mastery: Divine Bulwark now also passively increases Attack Power by 8% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.
  • Sanctuary now also reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%.

With Mists of Pandaria and future items Dodge and Parry have been replaced with Bonus Armor. If an item had both Dodge and Parry on it, it has been replaced with an additional useful secondary stat. Head, Chest, Hand, Wrist, Waist, Leg, Feet, Weapon, Shield, and Off-hand items that had tanking stats (Dodge, Parry) or healer stats (Spirit) have been replaced with a different universally useful secondary stat.

All tanking stances and similar effects now increases threat generated by 900% (up from 600%.)

Other Protection Changes:

  • Avenging Wrath is no longer available to Protection Paladins.
  • A new passive ability (level 50,) Shining Protector, gives defensive value to the new Multistrike stat. “All heals you receive, including multistrikes, have a chance equal to your multistrike chance to trigger Shining Protector, healing you for an additional 30% of the triggering heal.”
  • Bliz tweaked the level 45 talent Eternal Flame in order to reduce its massive self-healing amount, and provide better balance between talents on that row.
  • Sanctified Wrath was changed to buff it further, in order to give Protection Paladins more burst threat and damage, while retaining its core damage-splitting identity. It now increases the damage of Holy Wrath by 100% and causes it to generate 1 Holy Power.
  • Bastion of Glory no longer affects the periodic healing of Eternal Flame. It still affects the direct healing portion of the ability.
  • Holy Wrath’s damage has been increased by 100%, and its cooldown increased to 15 seconds (up from 9 seconds.)
  • Guardian of Ancient Kings is now only available to Protection Paladins.
  • Hand of Salvation is now only available to Protection Paladins.
  • Grand Crusader now triggers from any avoidance, not just dodge and parry.
  • Guarded by the Light now also makes Word of Glory and Eternal Flame instant cast.

Tanking in PvP

Want to play a tank in PvP? It hasn’t been viable for awhile, but Bliz would like to change that. Tanks will do somewhat more damage, have a lot less Crowd Control (CC) available, and they’ll be a bit squishier than otherwise. The goal is to do both less damage and to take less damage than DPS classes.

  • Tanks now take 25% additional damage while engaged in PvP combat.

Holy Paladin Changes

We made several changes for Holy, to go along with other larger system changes to compensate for the removal of Guardian of Ancient Kings from Holy, and merged its benefits into Divine Favor. In order to follow through on our change to merge all types of Haste %, we removed the Spell Haste % from Seal of Insight to a Holy-only passive, so that it didn’t also increase Protection’s baseline Haste by 10%. Our changes to healer mana and mobility also indirectly increased the value of Selfless Healer by a large amount, so we brought it back down to be even in power with the other talents on its row. We also raised the range of Denounce to be consistent with other spells. Lastly, we adjusted the critical strike chance of Holy Shock, to increase the value of Critical Strike for Holy Paladins.

  • Avenging Wrath now also increases all of the Paladin’s healing by 20% for its duration.
  • Denounce‘s range has increased to 40 yards (up from 30 yards.)
  • Holy Shock now has twice the normal chance to critically strike (instead of having an additional 25% chance to critically strike.)
  • Infusion of Light now also passively increases Haste by 10%.
  • Seal of Insight no longer increases spell Haste by 10%.
  • Selfless Healer for Holy no longer causes Judgment to grant Holy Power. It also is only usable on Flash of Light, no longer on Holy Light or Holy Radiance.

Other Holy Changes

Retribution Paladin Changes

Looks like Retribution is getting off rather lightly this time around. I guess Bliz is pretty happy with the spec.

  • Judgments of the Bold has been removed.
  • Judgment now naturally generates 1 Holy Power for Retribution Paladins.
  • The Art of War’s effects have been merged into baseline Exorcism.
  • Sanctity Aura is a new passive ability for Retribution Paladins which grants 3% Versatility to the Paladin and all allies within 100 yards.
  • Sword of Light (Retribution) now also makes Word of Glory and Eternal Flame instant cast.


The Changes to the Paladin’s Talents

Assume that there will be a lot more in the way of tweaks between now and when Warlords is actually released (“on or before” Dec 20, 2014.) There probably won’t be much in the way of new replacements for individual talents, beyond what we have now, but we’ll see. Here’s what there is so far:

  • The level 30 talent Evil is a Point of View has been removed and replaced with Blinding Light.
  • The level 30 talent Repentance‘s cast time has been increased to 1.7 seconds.

The level 100 Talents

Also see our post on all of the new talents, for all classes. Note that in a numbers of cases each spec actually has access to different talents.

Talent #1:

  • Holy gets Beacon of Faith: Beacon of Light can now be placed on two targets.
  • Protection and Retribution get Empowered Seals: Your Seals also cause your Judgment to provide additional effects. This restores some effects that were removed from Judgment awhile back. Each effect lasts 20 seconds.
    • J. of Justice speeds you up a bit,
    • J. of Insight heals,
    • J. of Righteousness increases attack speed,
    • J. of Truth increases Attack Power.

Talent #2

  • Holy gets Beacon of Insight: You place a Beacon of Insight on an ally which greatly improved your next single target  heal directed towards that ally. When consumed, or the target is healed, the beacon moves to the next most injured ally (within 40 yards.)
  • Ret & Prot both get Seraphim: All of your secondary stats (Haste, Crit, Mastery, MultiStrike, Readiness, Versatility, and bonus armor) all get increased by 30% for 10 seconds, with a 30 second cooldown.

Talent #3: 

  • Holy‘s talent is Saved by the Light: When your Beacon of Light target drops below 30% you instantly grant them a shield equal to 30% of their health for 10 seconds. You cannot shield the same target twice within one minute.
  • Protection gets Holy Shield: Increases your Block chance by 10%, spells now have a chance to be blocked, and each block deals Holy damage to the attacker.
  • Retribution has Final Verdict: A mighty strike, doing all of the damage as Holy. It also increases the radius and damage of your next Divine Storm, both by 100%. Replaces Templar’s Verdict.


Paladin Glyphs in WoD

The most interesting change coming to glyph in WoD will save you some gold. Various glyph swill be learned, by all classes, automatically, just as you do now with your abilities. You will still have to manually install them in your glyph pane, but they will appear automatically in your “glyphs list.” All the other glyphs you will have to buy or beg as always. All Paladins will learn:

  1. At level 25, Glyphs of: Harsh Words, Flash of Light, Alabaster Shield, Dazing Shield, Avenging Wrath, Templar’s Verdict
  2. At level 50, Glyphs of: Denounce, Divine Storm, Word of Glory
  3. At level 75, Glyphs of: Light of Dawn, Final Wrath, Double Jeopardy

Glyphs will also have categories and you will only be able to load one glyph from any one category at a time. For example, the Glyphs of Hand of Freedom and Liberator are in the same category.

The New Glyphs

  • Glyph of Ardent Defender: Ardent Defender no longer reduces damage taken, but if its duration expires without being consumed, its cooldown will be reset to 60 sec.
  • Glyph of Cleanse: Now has two charges, but also has a +4 second cooldown.
  • Glyph of Hand of Freedom: Hand of Freedom immediately reduces the remaining duration of all effects which cause loss of control of a character by 25%.  Any additional loss of control effects applied within 4 sec have 25% reduced duration.
  • Glyph of Judgment: 10 yards additional range.
  • Glyph of the Liberator: Reduces Hand of Freedom’s cooldown when not used on yourself.
  • Glyph of Merciful Wrath: Reduces the cooldown and effect of Avenging Wrath by 50%.
  • Glyph of the Consecrator: Your consecration effect moves with you. Sweet.

Dead Glyphs: Glyph of Blinding Light, Glyph of Word of Glory

There are no changes to the minor glyphs, so far.


The New Paladin Abilities are “Perks”

Beyond that level 90 ability that adds 5% top one of your stats all of your new abilities, from 91+, will be perks. These don’t add to your button list, they’re all “passive,” and what they do is enhance an existing ability. Examples are 20% more damage or 20% faster cooldown.

In earlier WoD builds there were 9 perks for every spec of every class. At the moment there are four. I assume, like everything else, this will change. Also, the perks are learned randomly. At level 91 you will learn your first perk and it will be randomly picked from the available list. As you go on you’ll get the rest, randomly, until you have them all.

Currently the perks look like this:

Holy Protection Retribution
  1. Empowered Beacon of Light – your single target heals to 10% more healing to your Beacon of Light target.
  2. Enhanced Holy Shock – A chance for your next Holy Shock not to trigger a cooldown.
  3. Improved Daybreak – 100% more healing from Daybrak.
  4. Improved Forbearance – 30 second reduction of Forbearance.
  1. Empowered Avenger’s Shield hits two more targets.
  2. Improved Block does an additional 10%
  3. Improved Consecration – 100% more damage.
  4. Improved Forbearance – 30 second reduction of Forbearance.
  1. Empowered Divine Storm – 25% chance, when using abilities that consume Holy Power, to improve your next Divine Storm.
  2. Empowered Hammer of Wrath can now be used on targets of 35% or lower health (instead of 20%.)
  3. Enhanced Hand of Sacrifice – cooldown reduced by 30 seconds.
  4. Improved Forbearance – 30 second reduction of Forbearance.

 So what do you think? Leave a comment below!


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