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  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: January 31, 2024
  • Updated: February 2, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

In Cataclysm, Paladins are available for only a few select races. Specifically, for the Alliance, Humans, Dwarves, and Draenei can be Paladins. Meanwhile, Horde Paladins can now select Taurens as new devout followers of the Holy Light, besides the traditional Blood Elves!

Thankfully, race doesn’t matter too much for Retribution Paladins. Some races have a minor advantage, but overall, you will do okay as any race — so picking whichever race looks coolest to you, would be our advice.

Wow Horde CrestHorde

The sad reality is that both of the Horde races available for the Paladin class hardly have any useful racial effects for the Retribution Paladin in PvE encounters. Both the Wow Blood Elf CrestBlood Elves and Wow Tauren CrestTaurens mainly have PvP-based racial effects, with those specific bonuses having very situational uses in any PvE encounter. Therefore, the decision is entirely up to you, with aesthetics and your specific preferences being the most important things to take into consideration.

Do you remember when we mentioned Barbie as a devout holy crusader being a common sight? Well, you better get used to seeing that sight even more as Blood Elf Paladins remain one of the most popular Race/Class combinations! Lore-wise, Blood Elf Paladins are now known as true believers in the Holy Light after the events of WotLK, instead of corruptors who sought to twist it. While their passive effects remain mostly better suited for PvP rather than PvE, almost all of their racial effects can have somewhat of a use in specific PvE encounters with the small tweaks they received. Realistically though, most people chose this race only for the aesthetics alone.

  • Arcane Torrent is a racial effect that silences all nearby enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds while also restoring 6% of your total Mana. This racial effect acts as an interrupt for non-player characters, interrupting any spell casting for 3 seconds. This ability is mainly known for its use in PvP, although it has a few uses in PvE as well! The mana regeneration effect gained from this ability can be very useful, especially if you are not careful with your Mana Pool, while its silence effect is considerably better in dungeons than raids since most raid enemies and bosses can’t be silenced.
  • Arcane Resistance has received a massive rework in Cataclysm as opposed to WotLK Classic. The racial effect no longer reduces the chance of being hit by Arcane effects by 2%. It instead now grants 1 Arcane Resistance per level, meaning that you will gain 85 Arcane Resistance for free when you reach the max level. This racial effect has situational uses depending on the encounter you find yourself in!
  • Arcane Affinity increases your initial and maximum Enchanting skill by 10. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides a minor convenience such as easily learning the initial Enchanting recipes.

Tauren joins the ranks of the devout followers of the Holy Light, shocking many on their path to new-found faith. Lore-wise, those special Tauren who choose to walk this path, refer to the Holy Light as An’She, an aspect of the Earth-Mother, taking a liking to calling themselves Sunwalkers. Their racial effects are better suited for PvP rather than PvE, with only War Stomp having a real situational use, depending on the PvE encounter itself. Many people choose to believe that Tauren Paladin is far better suited for the Protection specialization rather than the Retribution specialization due to the Endurance passive.

  • War Stomp is a racial effect that can stun up to 5 nearby enemies for 2 seconds, having a 0.5-second cast time. This racial effect is widely known as a strict PvP spell, however, it does have its uses in certain PvE environments where you need to quickly CC a group of mobs. Besides the situational crowd-control, this ability provides no further value in high-end PvE encounters.
  • Endurance increases Tauren’s Base Health by 5%! This racial effect is better suited for Tanking Specializations as they gain Stamina-enhancing talents that increase their Base HP as well besides any additional bonus Stamina they acquire. This racial effect is somewhat mediocre in PvE for Retribution Paladin, offering a very small survivability boost.
  • Nature Resistance has received a massive rework in Cataclysm as opposed to WotLK Classic. The racial effect no longer reduces the chance of being hit by Nature effects by 2%. It instead now grants 1 Nature Resistance per level, meaning that you will gain 85 Nature Resistance for free when you reach the max level. This racial effect has situational uses depending on the encounter you find yourself in!
  • Cultivation increases your initial and maximum Herbalism skill by 15 while also increasing the speed at which you gather herbs. This racial effect is extremely useful for Alt Druid Characters, however, it’s not that useful for Retribution Paladins. Besides the convenient bonuses for gathering alts, this racial effect brings absolutely no real value in PvE encounters.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance

Alliance has better options when it comes to playing a Retribution Paladin, with most of their available races providing useful PvE racial effects. It can be argued that Wow Human Crest Human is the best possible option, thanks to their Sword Specialization & Mace Specialization racials which grant them very high versatility in their gearing options. Wow Draenei CrestDraenei and Wow Dwarf CrestDwarves have a very tight competition for the second place, with both races bringing in one very useful PvE racial effect.

Clad in heavy armor and armed with a strong sense of justice and vengeance, Humans represent the most iconic Paladins throughout the entirety of Warcraft’s lore. It comes as no surprise that Humans are the best possible option for Alliance when selecting the Paladin Class, showcasing multiple useful racial effects that are very impactful in PvE. Among the most notable ones, their versatility with Sword & Mace Specialization allows them to easily optimize their equipment while Every Man for Himself provides a valuable way to escape from even the most dire situations.

  • Diplomacy increases the rate at which you gain reputation by 10%, a major boost for your reputation grind. The only real benefit of this racial effect is that you can acquire reputation-based items a bit faster than the other races, with no other practical use in PvE encounters.
  • Every Man for Himself is a crowd-control removal ability just like the Undead race, but this one has universal applicability. It is useful in PvE scenarios but has much more use in a PvP encounter, where Humans are typically considered the strongest race in the game. Since Melee DPS classes are often found in the thick of the battle, they are susceptible to all sorts of powerful Crowd-Control abilities that may impair their performance or downright result in their death. This racial effect may be used in such scenarios to escape such a fate!
  • Sword Specialization increases your overall Expertise by 3 whenever you use a Sword! This racial effect is very strong for optimizing your character, especially since most of the weapons we desire in this expansion will be swords! When paired up with the Glyph of Seal of Truth, this racial effect grants some outstanding results.
  • Mace Specialization increases your overall Expertise by 3 whenever you use a Mace! This racial effect is strong, yet not as strong as the Sword Specialization racial since most of the weapons we desire will be swords in Cataclysm. However, when paired with a Mace and the Glyph of Seal of Truth, this racial effect grants some amazing results.
  • The Human Spirit increases your overall Spirit by 3%. This racial effect is entirely useless for us in Cataclysm, with Spirit being one of the worst stats for Retribution Paladins. The only use for this racial effect is empowering our mana regeneration by a very tiny amount through the Judgements of the Pure Talent.

Known as devout followers of the Holy Light, Draenei are among the finest of Paladins. However, Cataclysm has brought true misfortune upon the Draenei, with one of their extremely strong racial effects, Heroic Presence, being nerfed into the ground. They still retain powerful bonuses that enhance their overall performance in PvE content, however, not to the same extent that they did back in WotLK Classic.

  • Heroic Presence has received a massive nerf when compared to WotLK Classic! The racial effect no longer empowers any nearby allies, now only granting you a 1% increased chance to hit with both your spells and attacks. The removal of this effect massively hurts Alliance as a whole, especially with how many high-end guilds chose to always bring a Draenei for better Hit Rating optimization.
  • Gift of the Naaru has been modified in Cataclysm when compared to WotLK Classic, the effect now granting a 20% max HP Heal-over-Time effect lasting 15 seconds. This change can be considered both a buff and a nerf, depending on how you look at it. It can be considered a buff since it no longer requires a high amount of Attack Power or Spell Power in order to be effective. It can be considered a nerf if you previously managed to acquire enough Attack Power or Spell Power in order to gain a HoT stronger than 20% of your max HP.
  • Gemcutting increases your initial and maximum Jewelcrafting skill by 10. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides a minor convenience such as easily learning the initial Jewelcrafting recipes.
  • Shadow Resistance has received a massive rework in Cataclysm as opposed to WotLK Classic. The racial effect no longer reduces the chance of being hit by Shadow effects by 2%. It instead now grants 1 Shadow Resistance per level, meaning that you will gain 85 Shadow Resistance for free when you reach the max level. This racial effect has situational uses depending on the encounter you find yourself in!

Brave and resilient, Dwarves are the last available race that can embrace the Holy Light and fight in the name of retribution and justice! Their racial effects remain somewhat the same as they did back in WotLK Classic, receiving minor adjustments meant to improve their overall quality of life. Unfortunately for the Dwarf race, this expansion favors Swords over Maces, meaning that their Mace Specialization will only prove useful during certain moments of the expansion such as during the Firelands raid.

  • Explorer is a new racial effect introduced in Cataclysm that is directly tied to the new Archaeology profession. This racial effect allows Dwarves to find additional fragments when looting an archaeological site while also allowing them to survey faster than any other race. This effect has absolutely no direct implication in PvE content, being just a replacement for the old Find Treasure racial effect.
  • Frost Resistance has received a massive rework in Cataclysm as opposed to WotLK Classic. The racial effect no longer reduces the chance of being hit by Frost effects by 2%. It instead now grants 1 Frost Resistance per level, meaning that you will gain 85 Frost Resistance for free when you reach the max level. This racial effect has situational uses depending on the encounter you find yourself in!
  • Mace Specialization increases your overall Expertise by 3 whenever you use a Mace! This racial effect is strong, yet not as strong as the Sword Specialization that Humans have since most of the weapons we desire will be swords in Cataclysm. However, when paired with a Mace and the Glyph of Seal of Truth, this racial effect grants some amazing results.
  • Stoneform removes all poison, disease, and bleeding effects while also reducing all damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. This effect is far better suited for Tanking Specializations, however, it does have its uses in certain PvE encounters. If you don’t use it for the debuff removal, you can use it in conjunction with Divine Protection for increased survivability.
  • Gun Specialization increases your chance to critically hit with Guns by 1%. This racial effect is entirely useless for us as we can’t even use guns. Can you imagine a Dwarf Paladin pulling a gun on a dragon?

 

About the Author

Nevermore

Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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