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  • Raid healing: 2/2 in Improved Blessing of Might to provide additional raid utility just in case there isn't a Retribution Paladin or Warrior with Commanding Presence. The glyph selection is preferential, although Glyph of Holy Light is mandatory. Glyph of Holy Shock is an attractive option because many fights in Ulduar are highly mobile and because Infusion of Light depends on Holy Shocks -- the more you can pump out, the better. Last glyph slot is discretionary.
  • Retribution PvP: This is close to the PvE build but skips on raid utility and focuses on control and survivability. Glyph selection only differs with Exorcism, which is no longer usable against player targets, so it instead uses Glyph of Salvation for more mitigation.
  • Retribution PvE: Retribution talents are no-brainer choices, and this build picks up everything that can add to DPS. It climbs Protection for Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian, both useful talents in Ulduar where the raid takes quite a bit of damage. Glyph selection is mandatory: Judgement, Consecration, and Exorcism. Glyph of Consecration can be swapped out due to preference as it doesn't increase DPS directly but cleans up rotation and conserves mana.
  • Tank: Although the core build is 0/53/6 12, this build goes up into Holy for Improved Lay on Hands, which gives the tank flexibility to use Lay on Hands proactively (50% boost to armor). The only mandatory glyph is Glyph of Divine Plea, which is a 3% damage reduction across the board. Glyph of Seal of Vengeance is a good choice for the expertise and a curious third glyph would be the Glyph of Salvation which requires some creativity to use but provides 20% damage mitigation.
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Table of contents

Playing the Paladin class
  • Must have and must miss talents
    It's hard to determine the best and worst talents for a class that has three different roles. The best tanking talent is obviously going to be useless if you're primarily a healer, and the worst thing for a prot pally might be excellent with a ret build. Nevertheless, there are certain talents in all three trees that shine brightly, and other talents that make you ask "Who actually takes these?" These ... are those talents.
  • Paladin macros
    I decided to respec ret and give the most-vilified spec in WoW a swing while I leveled. I used the popular Seal/Judge Crusader, Seal of Command, Judge Command, Crusader Strike combo. But I kept forgetting to instantly re-seal Command after Judging, and as a result, I was pretty slow to kill things. I decided it was time to make a macro.
  • Paladin blessings explained
    Whether you're retribution, protection, holy, or something in-between -- whether you swing a two-hander, tank all the mobs, or heal your party -- there's one thing that all paladins have to do in groups, and that's bless people.
  • A field guide to bad Paladins
    A couple lifetimes ago, I wrote a pretty comprehensive guide to bad rogues for Encrypted Text. I considered doing the same for paladins, but as I didn't have a 70 Pally yet, I decided to hold off for a while. Well -- good news, everyone! I'm 70, and it's time to offend every race, spec and playstyle with the Field Guide to Bad Paladins. Please direct all Crusader Strikes to management.
  • Snappy answers to stupid Paladin questions
    Like any other class, paladins are often bombarded with questions, comments, cheap shots, snipes, and advice from misinformed players of other classes. It's hard to know how to respond to some of these comments without violating all of Blizzard's code of conduct or ripping out your own hair...
  • Epic mount quest walkthrough for the Horde and Alliance
    WARNING TO ALLIANCE PALADINS: If you value your sanity, do not read any farther. The ease of the Horde epic mount quest, as compared to the Alliance one, will make you cry tears of blood, smash your face into the keyboard, and run wild in the streets with your hatred. Admittedly, smashing your face into the keyboard will help prevent you from being labeled AFK in AV....
  • Leveling build for a Retribution Paladin
    This guide is meant to be a resource to new paladins who'd like some advice on a single build to go from 1 to 70, focusing on leveling quickly. To level quickly, I'm a big fan of doing the most damage possible in the least amount of time.
  • Just what is a Paladin?
    What is a paladin, and what should a paladin be? Are we healing clerics, supporting the raid through magic and buffs? Are we defenders, standing in front of the foe with our shield and our sword? Are we holy warriors, charging into battle like Uther? Or are we a mix of two or three of these -- a capable tank that can switch off and heal, a healer that does best in melee situations, or a true hybrid that can step up to any challenge?
  • Surviving levels 1 to 20
    A lot of people want a high-level Paladin to heal, tank, or smash faces, but aren't sure how to get up to the point where it becomes fun. Does it get beyond Seal of Righteousness, Judge, Seal of Righteousness, Judge, heal? How can I make the same content I've done five times interesting? When are people going to stop laughing at my blood elf?
  • Levels 21 - 40
    Be prepared -- going from 20 to 40 will take you a lot longer than going from 1-20. If you're on a PvP server you'll have to level in a contested area (this means you are automatically flagged for PvP), and that means you are likely to be ganked by opposing players who will often be a much higher level than you. If you're on a PvE server there is no threat of ganking unless you flag for PvP or wander into an area held by the opposing faction, but the difficulty level also ramps up here as well.
  • Levels 41 - 50
    Since you got your mount at 40, you'll notice a distinct drop in travel time, but please be careful when mounted -- enemy mobs can still hit you, potentially knocking you off your mount to make your escape on foot. You may have chosen to respec at 40 to Protection or Holy, but I'm continuing as Retribution for leveling purposes (though Prot grinding is also quite fun). As such, certain quests / areas may be harder for some specs than others, so I've tried to offer alternative zones when possible just in case you start having trouble.
  • The defense cap defined
    Many WoW players (and several of our readers) often comment that there is no such thing as a defense cap. This is true in the strict sense that there is no upper limit on how much defense you can have, nor any statistical diminishing returns. However, that's not to say that there's not a point where the utility provided by more defense starts to fall off....
  • Are hybrid tanks going to be left behind?
    There is an actual person behind that character every night, and if the gap in overall "tank quality" between the classes has narrowed to the point that it doesn't matter whether a warrior, druid, or paladin is tanking, then you have the choice of giving the job to the person based on skill and experience, and just secondarily on whether their class is the most ideal for the encounter.
  • Who knew shields were so complicated?
    Reader Mike emailed in to ask us a question that we've long contemplated on the vagaries of Shields. Specifically, he was wondering why he and a warrior buddy both had different multipliers for block on their character window, but both blocked for approximately the same amount. Well, since I'm a prot warrior and therefore love shields and want to make little shield babies with them, I figured I'd provide some information.
    Pimp My Profile: Pre-heroic Protection Paladin
    He had recently shelved his Warrior in favor or leveling a new Paladin to 70 to be the main tank for our casual group. Having played the class for only two months, he had a few questions and concerns.
  • How to tank as a Paladin
    Before the Burning Crusade, Paladin tanks didn't really exist. Players certainly could spec into Protection (and some did, I'm sure), but the player base as a whole wasn't ready to even accept the possibility that a Paladin could or should tank. The gear didn't really exist for it, the Protection tree was weak, and most seemed willing to accept their role as heal / buff bots in raids...
  • The Sadists' guide to PalAOEadins
    It's slow at killing single targets (hint: bring a two-hander along), casters are a nightmare because they don't "hit" your shield, and you'll constantly get people coming along trying to save you from all the nasty mobs, but it's a great spec for a certain kind of personality. By which I mean the sort of personality that enjoys watching your opponents futilely beat themselves to death on your shield while you sit back and replenish your health and mana on their tears, which is the sort of personality I have.
  • Three easy steps to Retribution PvP
    I think I'll get into character and write about something that some people find taboo... Retribution PvP. After writing about a few rules on healing in PvP, let's indulge ourselves with a little retributive mayhem.
  • Seal of Command vs. Seal of Blood
    For a long time, there was no confusion as to what Seal should be used if you were a Retribution spec Paladin using a two-handed weapon. You would cast Seal of Command, and hope that each time you swung your mighty weapon that it would proc, dealing heavy Holy damage to your target. As a passive ability that only activated (on average) 7 times a minute, there wasn't much you could do other than auto-swing and cross your fingers.
  • Raiding Ret without the noob
    But how can we help these Paladins become good Retribution Pallies, instead of falling into the dreaded trap of the "retnoob"? I talked to raid leaders, ret Pallies, and read the forums for sage advice on how to successfully raid as Retribution.
  • Maximizing Paladin DPS, part 1, part 2, and part 3
    Paladins dealing damage is a hot button topic these days, especially where their main DPS tree, Retribution, is concerned. Retribution paladins in particular have to put up with a lot of abuse from other players and even sometimes from within their own class. The main reason for this is twofold, in my opinion: 1) some paladins, especially the new ones, spec into Ret without knowing how to gear for it, which just feeds the stereotype that paladins can't DPS or are bad at it; 2) many players are unaware of the benefits of having a Ret Paladin in their group, or are just biased because they feel that being able to wear plate, heal, and do damage is simply too much for one class to do.
  • Heal me for dummies
    "I don't know anything about how to heal! How can I keep my party from become a splat on the floor when I'm not even holy?" Relax -- you don't really need to be a healing spec to heal regular, non-heroic, non-raid instances. All you need is a few add-ons, a tiny bit of gear, and some knowledge on how to properly play a healer.
  • Downranking Holy Light
    Ever since Blizzard changed the spell coefficient of downranked heals a few patches back, I've been wary of downranking. However, I've been going into fights lately that require more efficiency, and sometimes larger heals than Flash of Light can provide. As a responsible healer with respectable gear, it is my duty to find a solution to this problem.
  • A PvP healing build
    Reader Draeth from Deathwing wrote in recently to ask why so many successful Paladin PvP healing builds are 41/20/0 (or some variation thereof). The 41/20 is quite common for Paladin healers that are interested in maximizing their chances for survival in Arenas and other PvP venues, and there's a number of reasons why...
  • A guide to shockadins
    The Shockadin is mostly a PVP spec, though some claim to be able to heal in raids just fine as long as they change their gear. This is what is so intriguing to me: that the DPS is supposed to be similar or better than a Retribution Pally, but that you still have plenty of Holy for healing.
  • Hybrid itemization 2.4 and beyond
    "We do plan to have more specs share some loot. I know it's great when the Retribution-Paladin piece drops, but that's a piece that isn't good for 26 other classes/specs, so hopefully we can make it so the item will apply to more classes/specs so even the randomness of loot won't be so much of a big deal." -Bornakk on Wrath of the Lich King
  • Magister's Terrace and the meatshield drops to look for
    Assuming you won't be raiding Sunwell Plateau anytime soon, the new 5-man dungeon Magister's Terrace is the obvious choice for new loot drops if you're raising a Warrior, Druid, or Paladin whose primary responsibility will be tanking.
  • Retribution gear part 1 and part 2
    While it is important to know what to do (and sometimes, what not to do) in a fight, the type of gear you're wearing will heavily dictate how effective you are. There's no replacement for experience, but the right gear will turn a good Paladin into a great one.
  • Pre-epic plate healing gear part 1, part 2, and part 3
    Far too many months ago, I set out to create a paladin to help my guild out in end-game. After a brief flirtation with Ret, I decided to level as a prot paladin, and have as such picked up two sets of very serviceable prot AOE grinding and actual instance tanking gear. But as I draw closer and closer to 70, I'm finding a lot of people asking me to heal their instances, which I would dearly love to do -- except that I don't have the gear for it.
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