- Author: Nevermore
- Date: July 27, 2022
- Updated: July 27, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
In Wrath of the Lich King, Paladins are available for only a few select races. Specifically, for the Alliance, Humans, Dwarves and Draenei can be Paladins. Meanwhile, only Blood Elves can be Horde Paladins.
Thankfully, race doesn’t matter too much for Protection Paladins. Some races have a minor advantage, but overall, you will do okay as any race — so pick whichever race looks coolest to you, would be our advice.
Blood Elf is the only available race for Paladins in the Horde, and thus the best race by default. The rule that being the best by default isn’t a great situation sadly applies here, as Blood Elf racials are overall pretty weak, largely being more useful in PvP than in PvE.
Blood Elf being the only race that can be Paladins amongst the Horde has led to a large number of plate-armored Barbie-like tanks — a fan-favourite race-gender-class combination, undoubtedly inspired by the legendary Lady Liadrin. Their racials aren’t all that good, being better suited for PvP than PvE, but if we’re being honest for a moment here, a lot of people would pick Blood Elf for the aesthetics alone!
- Arcane Torrent is an-use racial with a 2 minute cooldown, which silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds, while also restoring 6% of your total mana. The mana regeneration component is trivial, but the AoE silence can help reposition caster-type mobs — though it will generally be more useful in dungeons than raids, as many raid enemies (including bosses) are immune to silence.
- Magic Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Magic spells by 2%. This essentially combines all of the various Resistance-type racials out there, making it surprisingly flexible. Still, its benefit is mostly neglectable in PvE, while being alright in PvP.
- Arcane Affinity increases your initial and maximum Enchanting skill by 15. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides minor convenience.
All 3 Alliance races are great picks for a Protection Paladin. It could be argued that Human is the slightly better option, thanks to their Sword Specialization & Mace Specialization racials increasing their expertise by 3 when using swords or maces. Every Man for Himself is also surprisingly useful while tanking, allowing you to break out of crowd control effects without needing a dispel from your healers. However, all 3 races offer unique benefits that are handy but not incredibly useful, so the choice here is not as impactful as it is for other classes and specs.
It’s no surprise that most people consider Human the best race for Paladins, as some of the most iconic characters in the Warcraft lore have been Human Paladins: Turalyon, Uther the Lightbringer and Tirion Fordring, just to name a few. Humans have very useful racials that will improve your performance, while also looking very cool to boot!
- Sword Specialization & Mace Specialization increase your expertise by 3 when using swords or maces. This is lower than the 5 expertise that other races get with equivalent racials, but you have more versatility in picking different weapon types, while other races are generally forced into 1 specific weapon type.
- 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. It is particularly useful as a tank, as you’re frequently afflicted with crowd control effects, and being able to break them on your own without requiring a dispel from the healers is undoubtedly a very useful tool.
- Perception passively increases your stealth detection level by a small amount. Since there aren’t a lot of stealthed mobs in PvE, this benefit is largely not too useful.
- Diplomacy increases the rate at which you gain reputation by 10%, a major boost for your reputation grind. Whilst a beneficial quality of life racial, it doesn’t impact actual gameplay.
- The Human Spirit increases your spirit by 3%. This is unfortunately nearly useless for Protection Paladins.
The dwarves have long been considered one of the toughtest and most resilient races in all of Azeroth, being born of stone. This of course makes them a great candidate for a Protection Paladin race, and indeed Dwarf Prot Paladins are the “beefiest” Prot Paladins out there. Their one weakness is that their racials lack the versatility and universal applicability that Humans get out of their racials, but this isn’t a big weakness at all.
- Mace Specialization increases your expertise by 5 when using maces. Most of the strongest weapons you could use tend to be axes and swords, making this racial better on paper than it is in practice. Regardless, it is incredibly powerful if you’re using maces.
- Stoneform is an on-use spell that gives you +10% increased armor for 8 seconds and removing all poison, disease and bleed effects, on a 2-minute cooldown. This racial is a godsend for Protection Paladins, giving you one more defensive cooldown for moments that call for it — making Dwarves the tankiest Protection Paladins out there.
- Frost Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Frost spells by 2%. This is mostly a neglectable racial when it comes to PvE.
- Find Treasure is a very cool racial from a roleplay point of view, allowing you to see treasure on the minimap. This is very fun to use while questing and leveling up, but it unfortunately has 0 relevance in raids.
- Gun Specialization increases your critical strike chance with guns by 1%. This racial effect is entirely useless for Paladins, as we cannot use guns.
Draenei have long been intertwined with the Light; it’s no coincidence that one of the main characters in the Burning Crusade’s launch trailer was a male Draenei Paladin. Their racials unfortunately aren’t as powerful for you individually, but they’re incredibly handy for boosting your raid, with raids requiring a minimum of 5 Draenei so as to have the Heroic Presence buff on every party. As Protection Paladins don’t gain any earth-shattering benefits from the other races’ traits, you could be a team player and go Draenei — though ideally you’ll want your casters or healers to take this slot.
- Heroic Presence increases the chance to hit with spells and physical attacks by 1% for you and all party members within 30 yards. Every single DPS group will want to have at least 1 Draenei for this powerful buff, meaning your raid needs 5 Draenei in total. Those 5 Draenei will ideally be casters or healers, as they don’t gain much of a benefit from any of the other races — but a Protection Paladin is a fine candidate too.
- Gift of the Naaru places a heal-over-time effect on a single target that lasts 15 seconds, with a 3-minute cooldown. The healing effect scales with spell power, so it can do a modest amount of healing, but it will unfortunately be largely inconsequential when cast on you during raids, as your health pool as a tank is significantly larger than what it heals for.
- Shadow Resistance reduces the chance you will be hit by Shadow spells by 2%. This is mostly a neglectable racial when it comes to PvE.
- Gemcutting increases your initial and maximum Jewelcrafting skill by 5. This doesn’t have a gameplay impact besides minor convenience.