Welcome to our WoW Classic leveling guide for the paladin class! Noble paladins are known for using their devotion to the light to repel evil they encounter across Azeroth. They can do this in a number of ways, allowing them to serve as a healer, tank, or a damage-dealer. Armed with plenty of useful buffs and crowd control, a paladin is one the alliance’s core classes.
Most level 60 paladins are typically relegated to healing, although a few do occasionally pass as a tank. In even rarer situations, you can find a retribution paladin in a raiding environment, although they are often viewed as a poor DPS class. While retribution is weaker than a pure damage class like a mage, it can still handle its own and is phenomenal for leveling with.
Leveling a paladin is unlike many other classes, so you’ll want to understand how you can make the most of a limited toolkit. We’ll go over helpful tips for leveling a paladin, including how you can allocate your talents, priorities for stats, an effective rotation, and general advice that will make the whole process easier. Don’t let anyone discourage you from playing a paladin if you enjoy it. You can certainly deal respectable damage and can be quite useful if you know what to do!
- Fantastic survivability and utility.
- Can serve as a backup healer in a pinch.
- Fully capable of soloing, but also a great addition to any group with the use of blessings for party members.
- Laidback rotation allowing you to relax.
- Fairly low base damage.
- Not many abilities to use.
- Can quickly run out of mana if spamming Judgement without proper blessing.
- Can be confusing to know what seals, auras, and blessings to use. Also difficult to keep track of them all.
- Big responsibility in any raiding role, required to keeping blessings on party members at all times.
- One of the slowest classes to level.
General Leveling Tips
Paladins certainly aren’t well known for being a quick class to level, but they are very sturdy. This makes them excellent for soloing and tackling stronger enemies like elites, even if it does take them longer than most to kill. The gradual pace of a paladin is perfect for allowing you to slow down and appreciate Azeroth in all of its beauty. One thing you’ll definitely notice is each time you gain a stronger spell or piece of equipment. When damage is naturally hard to come by, each little bit helps make the difference and makes leveling quicker.
Here are some useful tips for leveling your paladin:
- Consider running dungeons every 5 levels or so. Weapon upgrades are huge for paladins, and you need specific ones if you want to use Seal of Command. Dungeons are often the best source for better weapons and they’ll also give you a nice break from the leveling grind.
- Retribution paladins have no consistent area-of-effect damage, which means fighting multiple enemies at once is fairly silly. You won’t be able to damage more than one at a time, while still receiving damage from both. Try to fight one-on-one as much as possible.
- You should also aim to fight enemies that are only equal in level to you. Higher level enemies naturally cause you to deal less damage, but they also grant reduced experience. Lower level creatures are weaker, but they also give less experience.
- This is easier to do if you carefully decide what zones you want to level in. Not all zones are optimally designed for leveling, nor are they all feasible for the alliance. Make sure to pick zones suited for your faction and around your level.
- Make sure to constantly have a stack of relevant food and water. Starting at level 5, every 10 levels you can pick up stronger food and water. You’ll inevitably spend some time eating and drinking, so make sure this time is minimized by using up-to-date refreshments.
- You’re already going to be doing a lot of running for quests, so kill any monsters you see along the way. You can’t reach level 60 from questing alone (unless you always have rested experience), so you’ll need to kill monsters at some point to make up the difference. When you’re already passing them by is a great time to conveniently pick up some experience.
- Paladins certainly don’t need to group up, but doing so is a very smart choice. You are an extremely sturdy class, but you don’t deal a ton of damage. Paladins are a support class, meaning they’re great in combination with other classes. With your auras, blessings, and any heals you manage to send out, other players will love having you in a group, which also makes leveling faster for you!
Paladin Specific Gameplay Advice
- When it comes to deciding on what blessing to choose, you’ll actually want to use Blessing of Wisdom. This will allow you to freely cast Judgement, giving you the biggest benefit from your seals. While Blessing of Might does add more damage, you’ll be able to cast significantly more before needing to drink when using Blessing of Wisdom.
- The seal you use largely depends on what weapon you have. More specifically, what the weapon speed is. If it is 3.5 or slower (3.6, 3.7, etc), then you should use Seal of Command. Otherwise Seal of the Crusader will deal more damage.
- Your aura will shift depending on how many enemies you are fighting. Once you have Sanctity Aura, it becomes your best single target option. The defensive bonus from Devotion Aura makes it the better option when fighting multiple enemies.
- Don’t be afraid to use your lengthy cooldowns when in a pinch. As a paladin, you have several. Lay on Hands will fully heal you or an ally at the cost of all your mana, but does have an hour long cooldown. Divine Shield is your own personal bubble, while Blessing of Protection is a secondary bubble that you can also use on yourself.
- Feel free to use Hammer of Justice on cooldown. At max rank it stuns for 6 seconds and has a 60 second cooldown, meaning you can effectively keep enemies stunned 10% of the time. This will help mitigate the damage you take, letting you spend longer without sitting to eat. You can do the same with Repentance once you learn it, but it only works on humanoids.
- Make sure to use all your abilities as soon as you can. This will create natural gaps where you are doing nothing but auto attacking, which will allow you to benefit from Blessing of Wisdom’s mana regeneration.
- Strength – Your best stat is going to be strength. This will give you 2 attack power per strength point. This directly boosts the numbers of your auto attacks, which is one of your biggest sources of damage.
- Agility – Another solid stat choice is agility. This also gives you attack power, but at a 1:1 ratio. However, agility also provides a small critical hit chance and dodge chance, making it a great stat for damage and defense.
- Stamina – Because paladins need to fight in melee range, you’ll want some stamina to allow you to soak up enemy attacks. If you’re having a hard time staying alive, then you might want some more stamina.
- Intellect – Intellect is also fairly useful for a paladin because it will let you cast Judgement with less strain to your mana pool. With Blessing of Wisdom this is less of a problem, but intellect can help ensure that.
- Spirit – Spirit is also helpful, but just not as good as any of the other stats here. You’ll be able to use spirit regen in between Judgement casts, but spirit isn’t often a convenient stat to acquire because you’ll generally sacrifice strength or agility.
Despite the sheer number of auras, seals, and blessings a paladin has, there are only a few you really want to use for leveling. You’ll always want to use Blessing of Wisdom, but your aura depends on the situation and your seal will change based on your weapon speed.
When fighting just one enemy, Sanctity Aura is your best choice for max damage. For multiple targets, Devotion Aura is likely a safer choice. If you have a weapon attack speed of 3.5 or slower, you’ll use Seal of Command. Otherwise, use Seal of the Crusader.
Open every fight with your seal, then use Judgement. After that you’ll simply auto attack until Judgement is ready again. Because you’re using Blessing of Wisdom, you shouldn’t have too much issue using Judgement whenever it is available. If your seal ever expires, you’ll simply reapply it. Once an enemy is at 20% health or lower, you can start using Hammer of Wrath. The rest of the time will be filled with auto attacks.
- Single Target: Sanctity Aura > Seal of Command/the Crusader > Hammer of Wrath > Judgement > Auto Attack
- Multiple Targets: Same as single target but using Devotion Aura.
Progression: 5 points Benediction > 3 points Improved Seal of the Crusader > 5 points Deflection > 2 points Pursuit of Justice > 5 points Conviction > 1 point Sanctity Aura > 1 point Seal of Command > 3 points Two-Handed Weapon Specialization > 5 points Vengeance > 1 point Repentance > 5 points Divine Strength > 5 points Divine Intellect > 5 points Improved Devotion Aura > 3 points Precision > 2 points Guardian’s Favor
Your best choice of leveling is going to be the retribution spec. Although retribution paladins don’t have many offensive abilities, they have great survivability when playing alone. Because of the weapon you receive from your class quest, Seal of Command is not useful to you until you find a stronger and slower weapon. You’ll instead want to use Seal of the Crusader until at least level 30, at which point you should then consider taking Seal of Command if you’ve found a replacement. There is an alternative protection oriented build you could start using at this point that takes advantage of the Reckoning talent, but it requires you to be engaged and focused, completely disrupting the retribution paladin playstyle.
Abilities to Train
- Level 1-20 – Train every ability that is offered to you.
- Level 24 – Blessing of Wisdom rank 2, Hammer of Justice rank 2, Holy Light rank 4, Bless of Protection rank 2
- Level 30 – Devotion Aura rank 4, Holy Light rank 5, Lay on Hands rank 2
- Level 34 – Blessing of Wisdom rank 3, Divine Shield rank 1
- Level 40 – Hammer of Justice rank 3, Devotion Aura rank 5, Holy Light rank 6, Blessing of Protection rank 3
- Level 44 – Hammer of Wrath rank 1, Blessing of Wisdom rank 4
- Level 50 – Lay on Hands rank 3, Divine Shield rank 2, Holy Light rank 7
- Level 54 – Hammer of Justice rank 4, Blessing of Wisdom rank 5, Holy Light rank 8, Hammer of Wrath rank 2
- Level 60 – Holy Light rank 9, Hammer of Wrath rank 3, Blessing of Wisdom rank 6, Devotion Aura rank 7
- Redemption: At level 12, you’ll unlock the ability to start a class quest for the Redemption spell. It is extremely simple, but will require you to run around a bit and will cost 10 Linen Cloth to complete. Redemption is important because it allows you to resurrect fallen allies. Only priests can also resurrect without a cooldown for the alliance, making you quite handy in a group setting.
- Verigan’s Fist: At level 20, you should do whatever you can to complete the class quest line that rewards the weapon Verigan’s Fist and Sense Undead. This will require you to traverse across multiple zones and head into a few dungeons to pick up items. This is absolutely worth the hassle because it rewards you with Verigan’s Fist, an insanely powerful weapon that you may not replace until your mid-high 30s. It does have a quick attack speed though, meaning you’ll only want to use Seal of the Crusader with it.
- At level 40 you can wear plate, but pick stats over armor type. Paladins can use every armor type in the game. You should use this to your advantage because paladins also benefit from just about every stat. You should aim for plate armor if it is convenient because it will make you tankier, but stats should still come first. Don’t go crazy and run around in strictly cloth armor though, because this will get you killed very quickly.
- Prioritize weapon damage range and speed instead of DPS. Unlike other melee classes, damage range is the most important weapon stat for a paladin. This is because Seal of Command uses 70% of your weapon damage, a figure calculated from damage range. To use Seal of Command effectively, you’ll need a weapon speed of at least 3.5 or slower to ensure you receive 7 procs per minute.
- Weapon upgrades are always a huge damage boost. Much of your damage as a retribution paladin comes from auto attacking. This means that anytime you find a new weapon to use, you’ll definitely notice an increase in power. Consider running dungeons often to try and find blue weapons to make leveling easier.
If you haven’t thought about taking up professions while you’re leveling, then now is a good time to pick some. Professions will extend the time you take to reach max level, but often times the time investment is well worth it. You can use professions to make gold, which is essential if you want to buy mounts. Considering movement speed directly translates to leveling speed, professions can indirectly help you level by funding your mount. They’re also fantastic for making armor and consumables that make combat much smoother.
Paladins benefit most from these professions while leveling:
- Mining – A solid profession to pick up for any class is mining. You can use this just to gather ore to sell, but you can also keep it to make armor with blacksmithing or bombs in engineering. As you’ll find many nodes naturally questing, mining requires very little effort for you to level.
- Engineering – If you’re already planning on taking mining, engineering is a great pairing. Not only is engineering one of the best endgame professions, but it is also quite useful for leveling. Bombs become more important, crowd control gadgets are more effective, and all your cool toys can actually be used in the open world.
- Herbalism – A great alternative is herbalism. You’ll also find plenty of herbs while you quest, so this is another low effort profession. You can sell the herbs on the auction house, or better yet, save them for potions and elixirs.
- Alchemy – One of the best leveling professions is alchemy. You can make plenty of fantastic potions and concoctions that help you deal more damage while also being tougher to kill.
- Seal of Command – This macro simply ensures that your auto attack begins without you needing to right click on an enemy. This will also ensure your attacks begin even if you’re out of mana.
/cast Seal of Command
- Seal of the Crusader – Just like the Seal of Command macro, this macro uses your seal while also starting your auto attack.
/cast Seal of the Crusader
- Bubble Toggle – This macro is excellent and a must-have for any paladin. With one press, this macro allows you to use your invincibility bubble to clear any debuffs and impairments. If you press it again, it will remove the bubble without you needing to right click the buff on your buff bar.
/cast Divine Shield
/unbuff Divine Shield