WoW Classic Paladin Guide - Best builds for Vanilla
About Paladins in Vanilla
When you start reading about classes in Vanilla World of Warcraft you will gain knowledge that many of them are very unbalanced. Some excel in healing, some in tanking and others in dps. There aren’t really many reliable choices that put all three of those in equality and the story is the same when it comes to Paladins.
Paladins are tough holy Warriors wearing massive plate armours and weaving flashy and bright spells to buff their allies and aid them in combat through various buffs. They are especially known about this one as those heavy healers provide tremendous amounts of utility across group. Although they were made to be a hybrids between Tanking, Damage Dealing and Healing they aren’t really viable as the first two in end game content. Because of that Paladins also are hurt during leveling phase. They lack offensive abilities to gain experience fast and they aren’t very mobile which makes leveling even longer. The only advantage that they have during this phase is that they can fight many monsters at same time and sustain through quite a lot of damage. If you are willing to play Paladin prepare for sluggish leveling but great late game healing and overall usefulness.
Best race for Paladin
Holy Warriors are one of two classes with the lowest amount of races to choose from. Only Humans and Dwarves can become Paladins in Vanilla which makes this class Alliance bound. On the other side of conflict we have Shamans which are Horde only but from those two Paladins are considered to be better. When it comes down to choosing a race the choice is very simple since Humans are considered to be better in PvE content and Dwarves to shine more on Player vs Player environment. Depending on which of those two you want to focus your gameplay you might choose one option over another. Here are racial traits of those two races.
-Diplomacy increases reputation gains by 10%
-The Human Spirit increases Spirit by 5%
-Mace and Sword specializations increase specializations in those weapons by 5
-Perception Improves stealth detection for 20 seconds (3min cooldown)
-Stone Form active ability gives immunity to Bleed, Poison and Disease effects for 8 seconds and additionally improves their armor by 10%
-Frost resistance improves this attribute by 10
-Treasure Finding shows hidden treasures on minimap
-Gun Specialization improves spec with this weapon by 5
As mentioned before if you are planning to fight against monsters and take part in end game raids Humans are usually better choice. On the other hand those who seek player on player action should choose Dwarves. In the end the choice is yours and all races are good in their own ways. Remember that during Classic World of Warcraft leveling is much longer than on retail version so you will probably main only one character and you won’t create any alts. Because of that make a wise decision and stick with it. Never regret choosing one race over another as they are all decent.
Pros and Cons of being a Paladin
As Paladins are one of the more tanky classes with heals available in their arsenal they are able to solo more content than others. This means that duelling elites and rare monsters is easier for them than for Rogues or Warriors. They also shine in group utility providing tremendous amounts of useful raid and party cooldowns. We can also surely call them most self reliant class as they are dealing with ease with small tanking tasks, healing and dealing damage (not in a fastest fashion but still..). On top of that Paladins similarly to Warlocks get their free mount at level 40. However it isn’t all that perfect with this class. Paladins are prone to dispells in PvP, they are quite slow levelers, they lack crowd controls and they are extremely gear dependent. Below there is full list of pros and cons to picking this class.
-Self reliant - Can solo content easily
-Can perform all three roles (however with different outcome)
-Very tanky - can sustain through a lot of damage
-Amazing group utility - best in the game
-Free mount at level 40
-Slow and dull leveling
-Not enough cc
-One of the worst PvP classes (hard to kill but also not too scary to fight against)
-Very gear dependent
As you can see Paladins are clearly the good choice for Raiding and endgame PvE content but they are quite bad when it comes to lower levels in both PvP and PvE. If you want to be a Holy Warrior prepare yourself for a long way to level 60 and make sure to bring with you a lot of patience - you will most definitely need it.
General tips for Paladins
As every mana user Paladins have to obey the five second rule. This is basically the idea of throwing all of your important cooldowns and abilities right after starting the fight. By doing this you will be able to start recovering mana much faster. In Vanilla World of Warcraft after 5 seconds of not using mana players were able to start recharging with a speed based on their Spirit attribute. Because of that it is important to use everything on the beginning and conserve after that through auto attacking only.
On top of that always make sure to be efficient. Don’t use heals if they are giving you more than 100% of your health, don’t use offensive abilities when the monster is about to die from auto attack anyways, use your best rotation at each level and always check for new additions to your tool kit, try to fight only monsters with same level as you as those will reward you with their full experience rewards. In short : Be efficient and pay attention to how you are playing.
During early stages on the game when you are leveling your Paladin the build you want to play with focuses on Protection tree with a small Retribution contribution. This talent route is designed to upgrade Reckoning ability and improve overall speed of farming on this low damage class. Keep in mind that at level 32 you want to respect (erase you talents) to go with main build choice rather than full Retribution tree.
Retribution tree :
5/5 Benediction + 2/2 Improved Judgement + 3/5 Deflection + 1/1 Seal of Command + 2/2 Pursuit of Justice + 5/5 Conviction + 5/5 Parry + 1/1 Sanctity Aura + 1/3 Two Handed Weapon Specialization
Protection tree (erase all previous talents and start from scratch) :
5/5 Redoubt + 3/3 Precision + 2/2 Guardians Favor + 3/3 Shield Specialization + 1/1 Blessing of Kings + 1/5 Toughness + 3/3 Improved Hammer of Justice + 3/5 Toughness + 3/5 Reckoning + 5/5 Reckoning + 1/1 Blessing of Sanctuary
Retribution tree (this time keep talents from protection and don’t respec) :
5/5 Benediction + 2/2 Improved Judgement + 3/5 Deflection + 2/2 Pursuit of Justice
Protection tree :
5/5 One Handed Weapon Specialization + 1/1 Holy Shield
Retribution tree :
5/5 Conviction + 2/2 Improved Retribution Aura
This is how final build looks like.
Class specific add-ons
When it comes to addons the most useful tool that every auto attacking class can use during WoW Classic is a Swing Timer. By tracking when your characters perform attack and when not you are able to use skills in between animations. Because of that you will be able to deal more damage and don’t interrupt any damage you are about to deal. On top of that you should always have with you damage meter like Skada or Recount to see how much dps and healing you have and to compare those numbers with other players. Xp / Hr tracker also comes in handy when you want to see if the location you are leveling on is good one or not really. As a Paladin ReckCounter is also nice addition which lets you see how many Reckoning stats you have currently applied on a target. Don’t forget to also install Outfitter which will let change into Spirit Set with just a single click.
On your journey across Azeroth you will find many pieces of gear - some of them are better and some of them are worse. Since there is a rarity system in the game it is easy to evaluate the usefulness of many items but for those that are quite similar in both rarity and attributes players use stat priority. It basically determines which statistic is more valuable for your class than the others. For example mages will always want to increase their Intellect but they might have trouble deciding whether they want more Spirit or more Stamina. This is exactly where stat priority comes in handy - it helps you decide what statistics are more important than the others. Below is a tier list for Paladin but keep in mind that there are more than just 5 main attributes and usually they are more important than them.
Strength > Stamina > Intellect > Agility > Spirit
Strength : Increases melee attack power by 2 points for every point in Strength. Also improves the amount of damage that can be blocked by shield.
Stamina : Adds +10 value into health for every point.
Intellect : Increases the amount of mana by +15 for each point and improves Critical Strike Chance by 1% for each 54 points in Intellect.
Agility : Increases Critical Strike Chance by 1% and Dodge Chance by 1% for every 20 points in Agility also improves armor by 2 for every single point.
Spirit : Improves health and mana regeneration
As you can see it is pretty obvious that Strength is most important to leveling Paladins. Stamina is also crucial as it improves your survivability. Ideally as a Paladin you want to fight few mobs at the same time and because of that you want to be more tanky. Intellect is great since it not only improves much needed mana but also increases crit. Agility is also great but not as great as Strength. Spirit should be not sought after on your regular equipment. Try to find parts with a lot of Spirit to make full Spirit Set out of it. Keep in mind that this stat priority applies to solo levelers and not to group healers.
Best Professions for Paladin
In Classic World of Warcraft Professions played a main part in the game. Each one of them was unique in its own way and useful at different stages of the game however some professions were more useful than the others. For plate users like Paladins it might look obvious to take Blacksmithing with a support of Mining. By picking this combo Holy Warriors gain access to powerful BoE and BoP armory which is available only through crafting. They also are able to gather resources around azeroth to help fulfill their artisan desires.
Although Blacksmithing is a very solid choice some people take two gathering professions like Skinning and Herbalism or Herbalism and Mining. With that combo they are able to gather resources much faster and profit much bigger while leveling. It takes almost no time to pick up an herb or to mine an ore on your way from one place to another so it is always easy profit without much effort. Many Vanilla players believe that the most important profession for early levels is Skinning. During the early stages of the game you will find many skinnable creatures. Those can be skinned for additional loot in the form of bones, skins and other junk items. Unlike Herblore and Mining those can be instantly sold to Vendors for quick profit.
If you want to learn more about Professions you can visit our Classic WoW Professions Guide where we dive deeply into each and every one of them. You can also check out our blog, Facebook and Twitter pages to find news from MMORPG world. Sign up and join our community to connect with other players just like you today.
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