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Posts with tag the-light-and-how-to-swing-it

The Light and How to Swing It: Nerfing Holy Radiance to the ground

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Paladins haven't always had the most amicable relationship with the community team and developers at Blizzard. Retribution paladins have fought for years with the blues over their perception of being constantly nerfed, which is a nice way to say that ret paladins enjoy playing the victim. Their claims do have some merit, though, as the paladin class has undergone major transformations in nearly every expansion, and not always for the better.

In patch 4.3.2, the developers are handling a few balance issues. Fire mages are being tweaked downward, while hunters should be doing slightly better overall. Oh, and the mana cost of Holy Radiance is going up by 14%. Holy paladins are already complaining on the forums about this nerf, but the truth is that it's irrelevant. Even as Holy Radiance has seen two nerfs in as many patches, it's still an amazing spell. It takes a lot more than a 14% mana cost bump to erase Holy Radiance's dominance.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin Protection glyphs

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to my email at

We've recently looked at builds for protection and retribution, so let's continue that trend and take a look at glyphs. I'm going to review all of them, as we're getting pretty close to Cataclysm, and I'm going to also review them in a more global context instead of talking about what is going to help you on hard-mode Lich King.

The way I've set it up is that everything that you're likely going to want without question has an asterisk next to it; those are pretty much things you'll want to take. If you look through the major and minor glyphs, you'll notice that there aren't very many marked as such. There's a reason for that. We just don't have that many spectacular glyphs that are useful in all situations for those types. That's not to say the other glyphs are bad (well, some are, but we'll get to that), but they're more situational and require some choice on your part.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 51-60

This used to be the home stretch. In the old days, hitting level 51 was when players got their second wind after tiring out from the usually dreary 41 to 50. Now, however, it's just another bump in the road, with the endgame barely in sight. With Wrath of the Lich King looming over the horizon, the idea is to get through these levels as quickly as possible. Move along now, there's nothing to see here. Well, maybe a little, so we've cooked up this handy guide to see you through this not-quite-home-stretch.

If you've gotten your Paladin to this point, congratulations. Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking through with what is generally considered to be a boring challenging class. I got through my Paladin on a love-hate relationship. I love the class but I hate how slow everything can be. If you've gotten this far, you likely know what I mean. Seal, judge, seal, auto-attack, and alt-tab to read WoW Insider. If you're still deciding on whether to play the class, Elizabeth's guide from 1 to 20 is a good place to look. There's also the stretch from 21-40 for those of you who've decided to see if the free mount is worth it (I like mine a lot, thank you very much).

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: State of the class

When I first decided to roll a Paladin, I had no interest in healing or tanking. I rolled one back in the days before Burning Crusade, back in the heyday of the Reck Bomb. The idea of having what seemed essentially like a Warrior who had access to spells and could self-heal was extremely enticing. I've also had a fascination with the Paladin ever since I played Final Fantasy IV (released here in the States as Final Fantasy II). I've had a Paladin in every game I ever played where it was possible to have one.

I used paladins to great effect when I played Warcraft 2, and as anyone who's ever played Warcraft 3 can tell you, paladins were central to the story (Arthas Menethil, better known these days as The Lich King, started out as a Paladin of the Silver Hand under Uther the Lightbringer, the original Paladin). Oddly enough, when I started playing WoW back in June of 2005, my first character wasn't a Paladin (I rolled Horde, and thus couldn't). However, as soon as I started playing as Alliance on a different server, I created one immediately.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 41-50

This week I'm going to continue the class guide by talking about levels 41-50. This is the level range I dislike the most when playing most of my characters (more specifically, 45-50), but I'm going to include suggestions to help you get through it as fast as possible. 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.

If you missed the last two installments of the leveling guide, you can find 1-20 here, and 21-40 here. Before we get started on level 41, I have a couple of recommendations: First, make sure your First Aid skill is leveled up and you have a nice stock of bandages, as sometimes you'll be low on mana and a bubble/bandage can save your life. Second, always carry around a stack or two of the best water (and maybe food) you can get, and if you've leveled cooking, try to keep yourself food buffed as much as possible. Third, take a deep breath -- some of the zones you have to quest in at this level range are notorious ganking grounds on PvP servers, and many have tough mobs that may give you trouble (especially if they have a level or two on you). You will likely find yourself running back from the graveyard a lot, and that's always frustrating. Just keep on at it, and you'll get through it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Leveling, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Levels 21-40

Over here at The Light and How to Swing It, we've gotten behind on our class guide. If you missed the first installment and have just rolled a Paladin, check out Elizabeth's guide on levels 1-20. As Elizabeth said in her article, until you hit 40 or so, Retribution is probably the best talent tree for solo leveling unless you're doing a lot of instances where you are healing or tanking. Even so, Prot and Holy specs get far more effective at 40, so my advice is also to stay Ret until then, as it really will speed things up.

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. Mobs have more health and do more damage, and you will probably find quests are harder to complete. Generally, you won't need to group up for quests (your bubble and your ability to heal yourself is invaluable), but in many zones it's not a bad idea. Since Blizzard increased the amount of experience gained from quests in this level range, it may be advantageous to group up and finish a quest quickly, rather than do it solo.

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Filed under: Paladin, Leveling, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret gear, part 2

Two weeks ago, I presented the first part of a list of gear for aspiring retribution paladins. This week, I'm going to finish up that list and go over everything from gloves to librams to weapons. Again, this list is meant to help your up and coming or aspiring retribution Paladin get geared up correctly. Just as before, I'm going to skip over PvP gear (because that really doesn't require a list) as well as heroic / raid gear, which isn't really immediately accessible to you if you're just starting out. It was commented on last time, but just as a precaution, there is a lot of so called "Warrior" gear on this list and very little that has spell damage or intellect. As you improve your retribution set, you'll likely pick up gear that has more of those stats on it, but for now I suggest going for gear which increases strength / attack power and melee crit above almost anything else. Alright, let's get to it!

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Filed under: Paladin, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Ret gear, part 1

Many of you will remember the series of articles I wrote about maximizing Paladin DPS a few months ago. The point of that series was to discuss how to DPS efficiently no matter what your spec was, but the subject of gear was only briefly touched upon. 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.

With that in mind, I'm creating a list of suggested gear for up and coming or newly 70 Retribution paladins, and where said gear can be obtained. I'm staying away from gear obtained by PvP because you really don't need a list for that, and raid / heroic gear is out because this list is for those of you who are just starting out. Individual pieces will be first categorized by slot, and then by the method obtained (crafted, quest, instance, etc), but I'm leaving it up to you to decide what you should get.

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Filed under: Paladin, Guides, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Command vs. 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 (other abilities not withstanding).

Ah, times they are a changin'. Burning Crusade made the Paladin class available to the Horde and all paladins got a new (but not the same) Seal: Alliance got Seal of Vengeance, and the Horde got Seal of Blood. I'm still not sold on SoV. There are times when it comes in handy, but for Retribution paladins it didn't replace the old standby, Seal of Command. Seal of Blood, on the other hand, can be looked at not just as an alternative to SoC, but a replacement. The question is... is SoB better than SoC? The answer isn't exactly cut and dry, so join me as I examine each Seal, and try and draw some conclusions.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: Maximizing Paladin DPS, Part 1

Welcome to the first part in a three-part series on Paladin DPS! We will be examining how to squeeze the most DPS out of your Paladin, no matter what their spec. Before we get started, I'd like to say a few words about Paladin DPS in general.

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.

If you're the type of Paladin that I've described above in reason 1, then this article should help you. Though I won't be recommending gear you should shoot for (that's a topic for another time), I will be discussing the stats you should be aiming for, so you can adjust your own gear accordingly.
For everyone else, it is my hope that this series lays a little enlightenment on you, so that afterwards, you can make a more informed opinion regarding Paladin DPS.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's start with Retribution!

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Talents, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

The Light and How to Swing It: PvP Healing Build

Greetings Paladin fans! Once again, we're here to examine the various aspects of one of the most beloved (and reviled) classes in the World of Warcraft. This week we're looking into the mechanics behind healing in a PvP situation. 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...

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Talents, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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