WoW Classic Paladin Guide - The Best Paladin builds for Vanilla

WoW Classic Paladin Guide
p3ter 12.06.2019 0

wow classic paladin guide

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 Paladin class. In this WoW Classic Paladin Guide, we'll try to describe the optimal ways of playing this character, both during the leveling process and in the endgame. We'll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the two races available for Paladins. We'll also discuss the best choices regarding stats, professions and provide some general tips for this Alliance-exclusive class.

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About Paladins in Vanilla

Paladins are tough holy Warriors wearing massive plate armors and weaving flashy and bright spells to buff their allies and aid them in combat through various buffs. This class has access to various seals and blessings that provide tons of utility. 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. It can be quite disappointing to players, who wanted to play as a durable holy knight who can cleave the unfauthful to find out that the class is mainly a healer in the dungeons and raids. That being said, you can definitely role-play as the main tank in many less demanding situations. You have to optimize your threat generation though, it's a standard mechanic that's important for all the tanks in WoW. 

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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 (AoE grinding with skills like Consecration is one of the recommended ways) but great late game healing with abilities like Holy Light and overall usefulness. The class is pretty self-sufficient, you can pretty much quest all by yourself, however you won't be doing it super fast.


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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.



Human :

-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)


Dwarf :

-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.


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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 (damage isn't that great even if you consistently proc Seal of Rightousness), they lack crowd controls and they are extremely gear dependent - you'll have to invest some money into your Paladin to get him endgame-ready. Below there is full list of pros and cons to picking this class.


Pros :

-Self reliant - can solo content easily (not the quickest at completing quests though)

-Can perform all three roles (however with different outcome)

-Very tanky - can sustain through a lot of damage (also using self heals from skills like Seal of Light to judge foes an heal off of them)

-Amazing group utility - best in the game, great for dungeon runs and raids

-Free mount at level 40


Cons :

-Slow and dull leveling - killing a single mob can take a long time

-Low mobility

-Not enough cc

-Paladin PvP is very underwhelming (they're 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. You have to be prepared for the long days of grinding.


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, we view it as the most important thing to master in Vanilla WoW. Don’t cast heals if they are giving you more than 100% of your health - every resource spent on a spell that's overhealing is basically wasted, 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.


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Remember that some of your skills, like Holy Shock can both heal your allies and hit your enemies, dealing holy damage, it does bonus damage to undead mobs (not the Undead players though). In the endgame content (for example, raid boss fights), you have to learn the timings around using skills like Blessing of Protection and Divine Shield to withstand the strongest burst - it can make the difference between ending up dead or staying alive. If you have mana problems, make sure to use the Seal of Wisdom. Use Cleanse to remove the most important debuffs. Avenging Wrath is a great ability to increase both your healing and damage output. If the monsters are attacking a wrong party member, you can always save them with Blessing of Salvation to take the aggro. Paladin probalby isn't the most difficult class in Vanilla WoW, but it has quite a few important cooldowns to manage. In general, skill-usage might take a while to master.


paladin leveling guide

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. Later on, when you are lvl 60, you'll probably reset it all and go for a Protection, or more likely Holy Paladin setup, but this one is better to get to high level as fast as possible. 


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


paladin build

This is how final talent 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.


Stat priority

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. Blacksmithing is definitely the safe choice. The other possibilities are geared more towards the economy and that may vary server to server. 

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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 extra 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. All the Vanilla WoW professions are: Tailoring, Skinning, Mining, Leatherworking, Herbalism, Engineering, Enchanting, Blacksmithing, Alchemy, Frst Aid, Fishing and Cooking. Moreover, make sure to take a look at our other class guides. 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. If you plan to get started with Vanilla, you can also check out other class and profession guides. Paladin is just one of nine playable classes in Classic. The remaining ones are: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior.


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WoW Classic

Vanilla WoW (patch 1.12) is a way for Blizzard Entertainment to revive the good old times in the MMORPG genre. The game is slower paced and much more demanding than the current Battle for Azeroth version. Players get a chance to taste the old-school grind without all the facilitations of the newer titles in the genre. This will also force the players to team up, create parties and join clans much earlier in the game, since it will often be the most efficient way of progressing. If you're one of the players that miss the old MMOs, WoW Classic might be perfect for you!


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