Another Paladin Guide

I found a nice guide that provides basic overview of stats, skills, talents and builds.

-Enjoy

Source: WoW Paladin Forum

JSCHILD’S 2.1 OMNIBUS PALADIN GUIDE
Figured since I have written a few guides, some new to the paladin class might want them collected all in one place. This is how it is broken down.

1. Stats
2. Defensive Skills
3. Offensive Skills
4. Talents
5. Builds
6. Other Links

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THE BASICS – OUR STATS AND HOW THEY AFFECT US
This is a simple primer on our stats, and rated 1-5 on how important they are to each build type. As with all things, opinions may vary.

STRENGTH:
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 2/5
Retribution: 5/5
One of the two cornerstones to any Ret build. Each point STR gives you 2AP, and if talented gives 110% to AP. This is the primary stat to pick whenever you want to add more damage to your build, even over crit (at least until you approach level 60). This is because not only does it increase your white damage, but also increases the damage of SoC, SoB, and CS. Strength does increase at a linear rate (always 14AP = 1 DPS), which means its importance does decrease a bit over time. Early on, Strength and AP are king, but once you reach around 600 weapon damage per swing (on character sheet, not the weapon itself) crit begins to give better returns. Some people will also mention that Strength increases block value, but it is such a small amount vs. what the player will be taking in that the increase is negligible and not worth trying for gear with more strength when tanking.

AP
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 4/5
Virtually the same as Strength for a Ret build, but I rated it one lower simply because of Divine Strength. Divine Strength gives 10% more STR, making it worth more for a Paladin compared to AP. IE, with Divine Strength, if I have 10 STR, I will get 22AP (10 * 1.1% * 2AP) vs. 20AP for the same item cost. AP also does not affect block values in any way.

AGILITY
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 2/5
Retribution: 4/5
The other linchpin for Ret builds; AGI brings us better crit, more armor, and higher dodge values. Crit is essential for Retribution builds, and has become doubly so thanks to the new Vengeance. We now have almost twice as long to get a crit to keep it up, but we need more crits to get it up to 15% faster. Avoid Agi pre level 35 now when leveling (was not highly recommended before then anyway) due to changes made to reduce effectiveness of twinks. Our Crit and Dodge values now are the same as a level 35, so stacking Agi to get up our crit does nothing until we pass that level. Crit is also a % value, which means it does less for us early on, item cost for item cost, compared to STR for increasing damage, but once you pass around 600 weapon damage (from the character sheet, not the weapon itself) crit begins to give better returns for item cost. At level 70, 25 AGI = 1% crit. The armor and dodge increases from AGI are meager, and is not worth stacking to increase those stats for tanking. There are generally better stat choices for that. NOTE: does not affect JoR, JoV or HS crits, or healing spell crits.

MELEE CRIT

Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 4/5 (5/5 for PvP)
Virtually the same as AGI, item cost for item cost for Paladins. A must for any Ret build, but totally worthless for Prot and Holy builds, except for increasing solo damage. Does not affect armor and dodge rates, unlike AGI. Also, it is reported that 22.1 Crit Rating = 1% Crit.

STAMINA
Holy: 2/5 (5/5 for PvP)
Protection: 5/5
Retribution: 3/5 (5/5 for PvP)
A useful stat for any build, but an absolute must for Protection builds and PvP, but especially for tanks. Not needed on every item slot for Holy or Ret builds, but you still do want some. One of the most important secondary stats for Holy and Ret builds.

INTELLIGENCE

Holy: 5/5
Protection: 2/5(3/5 for AoE Grind builds)
Retribution: 1/5 (3/5 for Imp SoR Builds)
Easily the single most important stat for Holy builds, but useful to any Paladin build. Protection gets a bit more out of it than Ret, since they need to use Consecration more often. It is highly valuable for tanking, but because of stat distribution on most tanking items and our difficulty gearing for Raids, it takes a back seat to other more important skills. Least important for Ret, but do try to get some INT (preferably on gear with STR and STA) to increase sustainability. Imp SoR Ret gains nothing more from INT than Prot or traditional Ret, it simply comes with the majority of gear that SoR Ret uses.

Mp5
Holy: 4/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 1/5
Mp5 (or Mana per 5 seconds) has had a conflicted history, and since TBC has come out, has been largely ignored by the Paladin community in favor of the abundant spell crit available. Before this patch, it would have been ranked 1 or even 2 lower. With the changes to Illumination though, it is much more important in sustaining mana during raids. Less useful in most instances, though it does reduce downtime during them though. Works pretty much as advertised, adding a flat amount of mana, every 5 seconds, regardless of casting.

SPIRIT
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 1/5
Paladins have exactly one useless stat for all builds. There is ALWAYS a better stat than this one to pick, ALWAYS. We get meager returns from it, skip it, and never get a piece of gear BECAUSE it has SPI.


SPELL CRIT

Holy: 3/5 (4/5 for PvP)
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 1/5 (2/5 for Imp SoR Ret Builds)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once the king of all holy builds, due to the nerf in Illumination, Spell crit is no longer the unbalanced monster that it was. Coupled with a shadow priest in a Raid, we could (not kidding here either) heal forever. Now though, we still get nice crits and mana returned on those crits, but only at a 60% rate. It also increases the crit rate of HS, JoV and JoR, since they are dependant on Spell and not Melee Crit.

HEALING
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 1/5 (5/5 when healing)
Retribution: 1/5 (5/5 when healing)
This is simple. If you plan to heal, you need +healing. +SP is nice, but if you plan to MH, you need +healing and as much as possible. Ideally you need +1k to healing to do heroics and Raids. You can make with less, but the more your have, the easier your job will be.

SPELL POWER
Holy: 4/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 2/5 (5/5 if Imp SoR)
First things first, SP is not a replacement for +healing gear, it’s to support your damage capability without crippling your ability to heal. Spell Power helps solo ability, greatly increasing our damage output with most of our abilities. It also increases our threat generation when tanking (virtually all of our threat comes from Holy damage, which SP increases). It helps standard Ret builds the least (SoC only has a 20% coefficient and SoB gets nothing from SP) but it is a must for SoR Ret builds. Here are the coefficients

9.2% per 1.0 weapon speed, One-handed Seal of Righteousness
10.8% per 1.0 weapon speed, Two-handed Seal of Righteousness
73% Judgment of Righteousness
20% Seal of Command
43% Judgment of Command
43% Judgment of Blood
76% Consecration
43% Holy Shock
43% Hammer of Wrath*
43% Exorcism*
19% Holy Wrath*
20% Holy Shield (5% per Block)*
9% Avenger’s Shield
17% Seal of Vengeance (per tick)
43% Judgment of Vengeance
0% Seal of Blood

Heals
71% Holy Light
43% Flash of Light
43% Holy Shock

RESELIANCE
Holy: 0/5 (2/5 for PvP)
Protection: 0/5 (3/5 for PvP)
Retribution: 0/5 (3/5 for PvP)
This stat is totally worthless for non-PvP builds, so if you are not PvP’ing, skip it. Nice to have for PvP, but I would never make it the sole reason for getting a piece of gear.

DEFENSE
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 5/5
Retribution: 1/5
A must for any serious tanking build, not needed for any reason other than tanking and not required until tanking end game content. Once you hit end game content, start working towards 490 Defense, though that is not required until you start Heroics. 490 is not a cap though, as your mitigation is lowered with every additional point, just not needed as much after hitting 490.

+PARRY/DODGE/BLOCK RATING

Holy: 1/5
Protection: 3/5 (5/5 for Raids) (+BLOCK is always 5/5)
Retribution: 1/5
Another mainstay of tanking, and an absolute must for all Raid builds. A player needs 102.4% total avoidance to prevent crushing blows in Raids. Helps with damage reduction in all instances but is not required in huge amounts before raiding, just simply helps. Not required at all for the other builds, but +block does help with AoE grinding, though avoid the Parry and Dodge values when grinding, as those prevent you from being hit and thus proccing Redoubt or Reckoning.

+BLOCK VALUE
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 2/5 AoE Tanking (1/5 for Raids or Instance Tanking)
Retribution: 1/5
This is somewhat different, but often confused with, Block Rating. Block Rating increases the chance to Block an attack. However, Block Value only affects how much damage is blocked. The amount of damage blocked is fairly small, and therefore not worth it, except for AoE builds. Tanks in end game content will be hit for such large amounts that even another 100 damage blocked would not make a difference.

OUR DEFENSIVE SKILLS, WHAT THEY OFFER
This section deals with our defensive skills, which ones to use, and when.

DEVOTION AURA: Gives 861 (1,205 if talented) additional armor to party members within 30 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
Our base aura, and unfortunately, one that does not scale very well, even when talented. Very useful early on, but by end game, gives extremely minimal returns except to cloth wearers. Because of that, generally not used much past mid 30/40’s. As with all Aura’s, when grouped, ask the tank or group leader what aura they would prefer to have up.
Holy: 3/5
Protection: 4/5 (1/5 for Prot AoE)
Retribution: 1/5

RETRIBUTION AURA: Causes 26 (39 if talented) Holy damage to any creature that strikes a party member within 30 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
Our base damage aura. Also, for most classes it will be our most damaging aura. Excels with a Protection AoE build, but still useful for Ret and Holy. SoC Ret builds will generally get more from Retribution Aura than Sanctity Aura, at least until end game.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 3/5 (5/5 for Prot AoE)
Retribution: 3/5 (1/5 for Imp SoR Ret)

CONCENTRATION AURA: Gives a 35% chance of ignoring spell interruption when damaged to all party members within 30 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
This is by far our best PvP aura. A life saver for spell classes and, in conjunction with Spiritual Focus, allows us to heal uninterrupted regardless of damage (we can still be stunned or interrupted by special attacks). Also useful for AoE builds so they can heal while being attacked by several mobs.
Holy: 3/5 (5/5 for PvP)
Protection: 1/5 (3/5 for Prot AoE)
Retribution: 1/5

SHADOW/FROST/FIRE RESISTANCE AURA: Gives 70 additional Shadow/Fire/Frost resistance to all party members within 30 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
These are by far our most situational auras, but can be very nice to have while fighting certain mobs. While the overall protection is not much, it can be a life saver. Also very useful in PvP while fighting Mages, Warlocks, and Shadow Priests.
Holy: 1/5 (3/5 when fighting specific enemies)
Protection: 1/5 (3/5 when fighting specific enemies)
Retribution: 1/5 (3/5 when fighting specific enemies)

CRUSADER AURA: Increases the mounted speed by 20% for all party members within 30 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
This is only a travel aura, and thus does little in any situation outside of moving quickly from one location to another. If you have a long way to go, use it, otherwise switch to a different aura as soon as you dismount.

SANCTITY AURA: Reviewed in talent section.

BLESSINGS: These are 5 min buffs that can be applied to any friendly player. Also come in a “Greater” flavor, and that buff lasts 15 minutes and is applied to anyone in the group or Raid of the same class (IE, if you give a Warrior BoM, all Warriors will receive that same buff). Like Auras, only one paladin can apply one blessing at any one time per person (the advantage is, if you have 3 Paladins, you can have 3 different buffs on yourself, again the same as auras).

BLESSING OF SANCTUARY: Reviewed in talent Section


BLESSING OF MIGHT:
Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing attack power by 220 (264 if talented) for 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
This is the standard offensive blessing, and obviously suited to Retribution paladins. Use it anytime you want to increase your damage, and use it on any class that wants to increase theirs.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 4/5 (3/5 for Imp SoR Retribution Builds)

BLESSING OF PROTECTION: A targeted party member is protected from all physical attacks for 10 sec, but during that time they cannot attack or use physical abilities. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time. Once protected, the target cannot be made invulnerable by Divine Shield, Divine Protection or Blessing of Protection again for 1 min.
The standard protective blessing and one that can be applied to someone other than the Paladin. Of special importance is that the blessing only protects against physical attacks – it will do nothing against spell casting mobs. Great when jumped by multiple mobs or your healer grabs a bit too much aggro. Always keep it handy.
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 5/5
Retribution: 5/5


BLESSING OF WISDOM
: Places a Blessing on the friendly target, restoring 41 (49 if talented) mana every 5 seconds for 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
The blessing that all spell casters will love you for. This is a great blessing for anyone other than a protection paladin (and if there is a second paladin available, they will love it however). Comes in useful in any situation and is highly recommended.
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 4/5

BLESSING OF FREEDOM: Places a Blessing on the friendly target, granting immunity to movement impairing effects for 10 sec. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
A handy blessing for PvE, but it is an absolute must for PvP. Probably among one of the most powerful PvP abilities of any class as it can easily turn the tide of any battle. Make sure to learn how to use this blessing if you plan to PvP any at all.
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 5/5
Retribution: 5/5

BLESSING OF SALVATION: Places a Blessing on the party member, reducing the amount of all threat generated by 30% for 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
The single most important blessing for PvE. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, can compare to this blessing. It literally can mean up to 30% increase in DPS in some classes, because they will take longer before they reach the threat levels of the tank. Useless outside of instances and Raids however.
Holy: 4/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution 5/5

BLESSING OF LIGHT:
Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing the effects of Holy Light spells used on the target by up to 580 and the effect Flash of Light spells used on the target by up to 185. Lasts 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
A very limited utility blessing. Its sole purpose is to provide extra healing on the tank, but it only useful if a paladin is healing that tank. It does not affect any other healer. If you are that healer, check with the tank and see what blessing he wants.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 1/5

BLESSING OF SACRIFICE:Places a Blessing on the party member, transferring 104 damage taken per hit to the caster. Lasts 30 sec. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
An odd, but often useful blessing, allowing the paladin to take damage instead of the person receiving the damage. Useful if the main tank in an instance is in trouble, but otherwise not needed. Can also be applied to a healer that has pulled aggro to help keep them alive. Best used in PvP, when the damage dealt to the party member, will essentially break any CC applied to yourself (Sheep, Sap, etc).
Holy: 3/5 (5/5 in PvP)
Protection: 4/5 (5/5 in PvP)
Retribution: 1/5 (5/5 in PvP)

SEAL OF JUSTICE: Fills the Paladin with the spirit of justice for 30 sec, giving each melee attack a chance to stun for 2 sec. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.

Unleashing this Seal’s energy will judge an enemy for 20 sec, preventing them from fleeing and limiting their movement speed. Your melee strikes will refresh the spell’s duration. Only one Judgment per Paladin can be active at any one time.

This is a decent seal to use against casters, but overall it is not an often used seal. The chance to stun is not especially high, is uncontrollable, and subject to diminishing returns. However, the judgment is extremely powerful in both PvE and PvP. For PvE, it cannot be overstated just how important it can be to keep mobs from running in an instance and causing a wipe. With JoJ, this just doesn’t happen. Mobs fight to the death, making an instance much easier. For PvP, this is one of the most hated Judgments in the game. On first glance, reducing an opponents speed to 100% does not sound like much, but it affects everything. Your epic mount? Now going 100%. That shaman’s wolf form? 100% Nothing short of dispelling it can beat that effect, making flag running a nightmare and severely limiting the movement of the enemy.

SEAL OF LIGHT: Fills the Paladin with divine light for 30 sec, giving each melee attack a chance to heal the Paladin for 133. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.

Unleashing this Seal’s energy will judge an enemy for 20 sec, granting melee attacks made against the judged enemy a chance of healing the attacker for 95. Your melee strikes will refresh the spell’s duration. Only one Judgment per Paladin can be active at any one time.

This is a great seal for AoE protection paladins, but it is of limited use to Holy or Retribution Paladins. However, its judgment is fantastic. If you judge a mob, anyone who attacks that mob has a chance to get health returned to him. This allows a Holy Paladin using SoR or a Retadin using SoC to still get health returned, while retaining offensive ability. Protadins of course, can easily apply both the seal and the judgment and actually out-heal the incoming damage, even from multiple mobs. One of the 3 core judgments used in boss fights. Ask your Raid or group leader what judgment he wants you to apply.
[ Post edited by Ararria ]

SEAL OF WISDOM: Fills the Paladin with divine wisdom for 30 sec, giving each melee attack a chance to restore 121 of the Paladin’s mana. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.

Unleashing this Seal’s energy will judge an enemy for 20 sec, granting attacks and spells used against the judged enemy a chance to restore 74 mana to the attacker. Your melee strikes will refresh the spell’s duration. Only one Judgment per Paladin can be active at any one time.

Pretty much everything here is the exact same as SoL, except you get mana returned. The seal is only ideal for protection paladins, but the judgment is amazing. Again, ask your group or Raid leader what judgment they want you to use.

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OUR OFFENSIVE SKILLS – AND WHAT THEY OFFER

This section deals with our offensive abilities and attacks, and how best to use them in combat situations.

RECKONING: This is a talent in the protection tree, and not a seal in itself.

How It works: Every time you are hit (this is any hit, including spells), there is a 10% chance that Reckoning will proc. If it procs, any regular attack during the next 8 seconds will generate another attack, up to a maximum of 4 extra attacks. This extra attack has the same chance to miss, be dodged, etc, as any other regular attack. All seals will proc as normal on this extra attack with one exception. Seal of Command can only proc on the initial hit, not the extra attack (limiting it to a maximum of 3 hits – White, SoC, and White).

Works best with: 1 handed weapons with a weapon speed of 2.0 or less (to try to get the maximum of 4 attacks – a 2.0 weapon does not guarantee 4 attacks – since the proc happens when you are hit, so you could be in the middle of your swing timer and not get all 4 off). Excels for tanks or AoE protadins who are getting hit by multiple mobs at the same time (more hits = more chances to proc). Two handers are also good when fighting single mobs and casters, in addition to fighting Rogues, Fury Warriors, Feral Druids in Cat Form, and Enhancement Shaman in PvP.

HOLY SHOCK: This is a talent in the Holy tree, and is not a seal in itself.

How it Works: Holy Shock is a ranged instant attack, which has a 15 second cool down. It is considered a holy spell attack; uses spell crit, and crits at 1.5x damage. It has a 20 yard range, making it the only effective attack to pull mobs with. It also receives a 43% Spell Coefficient, allowing it to scale with Spell Power. It is also unique in the fact that, if cast on another player, it acts as an instant heal. The amount healed is equal to the amount of damage that would have been dealt if it was an enemy.

Works best with: It is completely independent of weapons, so it does not matter if you have a two-hander or a one-hander. It is an ideal weapon to pull enemy mobs with, starting the fight with a good burst of damage, regardless of what seal you are using. Also can be a life saver when used as a last second heal. The only major downside to this attack is that it uses an extremely large amount of mana considering the amount of damage that is dealt.

SEAL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: This is all Paladins’ base offensive Seal

How it Works: Every time your regular attacks hit, SoR will proc, dealing a flat amount of holy damage. The SoR proc cannot miss, be dodged, parried, or resisted (it can be partially resisted however). Also, the SoR proc CANNOT crit. Its damage is directly modified by 2 primary factors. The first is spell power, which the seal gets 9.2% of Spell Damage per second Swing Speed for 1 handed weapons and 10.8% of Spell Damage per second Swing Speed for two handers. Its base damage before Spell Damage is considered is also affected by weapon speed, essentially meaning slower weapons do more damage. Two Handed weapons also do much more damage with SoR than 1 Handed weapons, even factoring in weapon speed (IE a 2.7 speed 1 handed sword will do much less damage with SoR than a 2.7 speed 2 handed mace would).

Works Best With: High Spell Power builds and with Reckoning. It is our most reliable seal, as it always procs when you hit your target. Its damage is also modified by any ability or talent that increases our damage by a % amount (IE, Vengeance, 1 handed specialization, 2 handed Specialization, Improved Sanctity Aura, etc). Builds with little or no SP should not focus on this seal, since its base damage is fairly low. With even small amounts of SP and JotC, this seal deals out surprisingly large damage over time, especially coupled with Imp SoR talent, which is now applied after all SP is considered. Due to the lack of crit, and therefore burst capability, SoR is not ideal for PvP, with the exception of a build that included Reckoning.

JUDGMENT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: This is all Paladins’ base offensive Judgment

How it Works: Every time you Judge SoR (hereafter JoR) – it deals instant Holy damage to the target. This Judgment, like all Judgments, has a 10 yard range, with a 10 second cool down (8 with talents). While its initial base damage is small, it has a huge 73% Spell Coefficient, allowing its damage to scale very, very well. Like Holy Shock, it uses Spell Hit, Spell Crit, and crits for 1.5x damage.

SEAL OF COMMAND: This is considered the primary damage seal of Retribution Builds and requires 10 points in Ret to be able to obtain it.

How it works: Seal of Command is a much misunderstood seal. First of all, it works on a 7 procs per minute (PPM) basis. Now, contrary to what some people think, this does not mean you get 7 procs a minute, every minute. The actual chance for a proc is a percentage based on weapon speed. IE, if you have a 2.0 speed weapon you have 30 attacks per minute. 7 procs into 30 attacks means each attack has a 23.3% chance of proccing SoC. A 3.8 speed weapon has a 44.3% chance to proc. When it does proc, it will deal 70% of your normal weapon damage + 20% of your total spell Damage. This damage dealt is Holy and thus ignores armor. The SoC proc, unlike SoR is considered a separate attack and it can miss, be dodged, parried, and even resisted. On the other hand, it can crit, and its crit is based on the Paladins Melee crit. It is not normalized, and thus slower weapons will always do more damage per hit (assuming same DPS) than a faster weapon. It is also affected by any and all % increases in damage as well as AP.

Works best with: High AP builds using 2 handed weapons. While SoC DOES get a boost from spell damage, it’s a much lesser amount (item cost for item cost, SoC gets .38 damage from AP (assuming 3.8 weapon speed) to .24 damage from SP). It is less ideal for raiding and instances due to its unreliable nature and ability to crit for very large amounts, leading to pulling aggro from the tank. It excels in PvP, where its burst can help bring down the toughest of mobs. It is a heavily gear dependant seal, so players may notice weak returns on lesser equipment. Also, beyond the % to Proc increasing as weapon speed increases so does its’ damage. Let’s take a look at 2 100 DPS 2 handers, one 3.0s and one 3.8

Avg SoC Damage = 70% * (Weapon Speed * Weapon DPS)
3.0s * 100 DPS * 70% = 210 Avg Damage
3.8s * 100 DPS * 70% = 266 Avg Damage (a 26.67% increase)
That’s a huge increase in DPS, simply by changing the weapon speed, so always use the slowest weapon you can with SoC.

JUDGMENT OF COMMAND: This is the Judgment of SoC.

What is it? Judgment of Command (hereafter JoC) is radically different from the other offensive seals in its mechanics. Like JoB, it has a 43% Spell Coefficient. Also, unlike every judgment other than JoB, JoC uses melee hit, melee crit, and crits for 2x damage. The damage dealt is Holy and instant, and deals another 2x damage on targets that are stunned. Many people do not fully appreciate this, and do not use it much because of the small amount of base damage dealt. However, if the target is stunned, and the judgment crits, it can deal 4x its base damage. Because of this, some paladins in PvP like to gather up spell power to increase the amount of damage it deals on stunned targets. This is generally frowned upon for PvE, since many targets cannot be stunned and SoC gets little and white gets no damage from added Spell Power.

Works best with: Hybrid SoC builds with some spell power and any stunable mobs or players. The mana cost and damage returned is small initially, so mana people only start with it at the beginning of a fight (using max Rank SoC), stun and then judge on the target, then switch to Rank 1 SoC for the rest of the fight. If you have low SP, and the target is not stunned, is not a very effective attack other than to proc Vengeance however.

SEAL OF BLOOD: A Horde only seal available after level 64.

What is it? Seal of Blood is very similar to Seal in Command, but at the same time, extremely different. Unlike SoC, but like SoR, it procs on every white attack. Unlike SoR, but like SoC, it can miss, be dodged, parried, and resisted. And finally, like SoC, it can crit and that crit is based on melee crit. It does 35% of weapon damage (or half of what SoC does) in Holy damage on every hit. Weapon speed does NOT affect its damage in any way since it procs on every hit, therefore a fast 2 hander will do the same damage over time as a slow 2 hander with the same DPS. Spell damage does not affect it in any way shape or form. The seal does have a downside in the fact that 10% of its damage dealt is inflicted on the player.

Works best with: Very high AP Paladins with little to no Spell Power. I originally stated it is not an ideal solo seal, due to the damage it deals the player, but this damage is actually minimal, so it indeed can be used for solo/leveling. It is also our highest damage seal. It excels in groups and raids though, especially when paired with a shadow priest. It procs on every attack, thus evening out your threat, but it can crit, greatly increasing your overall damage. Also, since you are in a group, you can get healed and if a Shadow Priest is available, you pretty much constantly regain mana (you damage yourself; SP VE heals you, thus netting you more mana). Also good for PvP, but does burst less than SoC.

JUDGMENT OF BLOOD: The Judgment of SoB

What is it? Judgment of Blood (JoB) works much in the same way as JoC. It is considered a Holy Melee strike, so it uses melee hit, melee crit, and crits for 2x damage. Also, unlike SoB, it gets a 43% Spell Coefficient. Like SoB however, it does deal damage back to the Paladin. It deals 33% of the damage dealt back upon its user. Its’ base damage dealt is also greater than JoC, but does not deal double damage on stunned targets.

Works best with: Unfortunately, this judgment does not synergize well with its seal counterpart. It does decent damage, in and of itself, but returns 33% of that damage back to you (as opposed to 10% for the seal). Also, the only thing that affects its damage output is spell power, a stat that is useless for SoB. While still effective at dealing damage and helping to proc vengeance, it is probably the weakest of all the judgments due to this failing.

SEAL OF VENGEANCE: The alliance only seal available at 64.

What it does: Seal of Vengeance is a Holy DoT, which is also stackable up to 5 applications. Each additional application increases the total damage (up to the 5th stack) and refreshes the stacks duration also. Each tick cannot miss, but they can be resisted. It is primarily a tanking seal, and is also proc based on a 20 PPM basis I believe. It gains nothing from AP, but it has close to 100% Spell coefficient (almost 20% to each tick).

Works best with: High SP builds using a one hander and tanking paladins. This is a good seal for 1h/shield Holy paladins (though generally SoR is a better option) and is great for tanks. Since it is a DoT, even if a boss drops his aggro, your ticks will still be going, thus making it much easier to re-establish your hold on him. Over time though it is still disputed which deals more threat over time on mobs and bosses who don’t drop aggro.

JUDGMENT OF VENGEANCE: The alliance only judgment, available at 64.

What it does: Judgment of Vengeance (JoV) is an instant strike, much like JoR. It deals Holy spell damage, thus using spell hit, spell crit, and crits for 1.5x damage. Unlike JoR, however, its damage dealt varies depending on how many applications of SoV are on the target. Also, Judging the target does not remove any stacks of SoV applied to the target. While its base damage is less than JoR, once five stacks are applied, its damage dealt can far surpass JoR’s, even accounting for a lower spell coefficient (43%).

CRUSADER STRIKE: Not a seal, but an instant attack requiring 40 points in the Retribution Tree to obtain.

What it does: CS is an instant attack on a 10 second cool down. It deals weapon damage + 40% of spell damage. The weapon damage is normalized (at 3.3 seconds) so weapon speed is not a factor, only DPS. It is a very well balanced seal in terms of benefiting from AP or SP (.471 damage from AP vs. .472 from SP, item cost for item cost). The damage can crit, and is based on melee crit, but the damage dealt is physical and not holy. Thus the attack can miss, be dodged, parried, etc. It has a secondary effect of refreshing ALL judgments on the target, not just the player’s.

Works best with: Any high SP or AP Ret build. While not an overpowering attack by itself, it has a low mana cost and can be used at least twice in most battles. It can also crit, so in conjunction with SoB or SoC can help with Ret in PvP. It is a boon in raids, allowing multiple judgments on the boss at the same time, though with its 10 second cool down, you need to max your +hit to ensure a hit, since even one miss will cause the judgments to drop (It needs to be 8 seconds Blizzard!!!). A great utility attack and a must for any Ret Build.

WHAT JUDGMENT OF THE CRUSADER AND BLESSING OF MIGHT BRING?

This is a math breakdown of what JotC and BoM brings to a Ret Paladin at level 70 for the various builds. Here are the following assumptions.

Blessing of Might: at 70, offers 220 AP – 264 AP if talented
Judgment of the Crusader: at 70, offers 190 SP – 218 if talented.
Seal of Command: 70% of Weapon Damage + 20% of SP, 7 Procs per min.
Seal of Blood: 35% of Weapon Damage, Zero Benefit from SP, procs on each hit.
Seal of Righteousness: gets 35.7% of SP, procs on each hit.
Auto Attack: Zero benefit from SP
Crusader Strike: 100% of Weapon Damage, 40% from SP, Can be used 7 times in initial minute.
Judgment of Command: 0% from AP, 43% from SP, Can be used 15 times in 2 minutes.
Judgment of Blood: 0% from AP, 43% from SP, Can be used 15 times in 2 minutes.
Judgment of Righteousness: 0% from AP, 73% from SP. Can be used 15 times in 2 minutes.
So using these numbers, the base values for going full out with SoC, SoB, and SoR are as follows (this assumes judging and using CS ASAP).

Using BoM/Imp BoM
SoC: 4.49 DPS/5.39 DPS SoC Combined: 26.61 DPS/31.95 DPS
SoB: 5.50 DPS/6.6 DPS SoB Combined: 27.62 DPS/33.16 DPS
SoR: 0.00 DPS/0.00 DPS SoR Combined: 22.12 DPS/26.56 DPS
Auto: 15.71 DPS/18.86 DPS
CS: 6.41 DPS/7.70 DPS
JoC: 0.00 DPS/0.00 DPS
JoB: 0.00 DPS/0.00 DPS
JoR: 0.00 DPS/0.00 DPS

Using JotC/Imp JotC
SoC: 4.43DPS/5.09 DPS SoC Combined: 23.51 DPS/26.98 DPS
SoB: 0.00 DPS/0.00 DPS SoB Combined: 19.08 DPS/21.89 DPS
SoR: 19.38 DPS/22.23 DPS SoR Combined: 45.59 DPS/52.29 DPS
Auto: 0.00 DPS/0.00 DPS
CS: 8.87DPS/10.17 DPS
JoC: 10.21 DPS/11.72 DPS
JoB: 10.21 DPS/11.72 DPS
JoR: 17.34 DPS/19.89 DPS

Using Both Combined
SoC: 50.12 DPS/58.93 DPS
SoB: 46.70 DPS/55.05 DPS
SoR: 67.71 DPS/78.85 DPS

Again, these values do not count any modifiers, like 2h spec or Sanctity Aura. Just something to be used as a guide when soloing or trying to maximize damage.


OUR TALENTS AND WHAT ONES ARE THE BEST CHOICES

This section should help you decide what talents are best for you, and your build. They are rated 1-5, based on what tree and how useful they are. Opinions may vary however.

HOLY TREE (Primary focus is Healing)

Tier 1

DIVINE STRENGTH (5/5), increases strength by 2/4/6/8/10%
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 4/5
This is a bread and butter talent for Paladins wanting to increase their physical damage. As such, Holy and Protection do not need this talent as both generally have low STR anyway.

DIVINE INTELLECT (5/5), increases intellect by 2/4/6/8/10%
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 3/5 (1/5 for Raid Tanks – Edit)
Retribution: 2/5 (3/5 for Imp SoR Retadins)
This is the bread and butter of Holy paladins, for 2 reasons. Increased INT also increases Spell Crit and Holy Guidance converts 35% of INT into Spell Power. Ret builds generally have such low INT that a 10% increase is negligible.

Tier 2

SPIRITUAL FOCUS (5/5), decreases chance to be interrupted by taking damage when casting Flash of Light and Holy Light by 14/28/42/56/70%
Holy: 4/5
Protection: 2/5 (4/5 for Prot/Holy Builds)
Retribution: 2/5 (4/5 for Ret/Holy Builds)
This is one of the best PvP tools a Paladin has. Using Concentration Aura, a Paladin cannot have his spells interrupted except through special attacks. Also is great in PvE for added survivability. Some people might wonder why I do not have Prot and Ret ranked higher and the reason is our bubbles.

IMPROVED SEAL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS(5/5), increases damage dealt by Seal of Righteousness and Judgment of Righteousness by 3/6/9/12/15%
Holy: 3/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 0/5 (5/5 for Imp SoR Retadin builds)
This was once considered the “weakest” talent in the Holy tree. After Patch 2.1 however that has all changed. It now increases the damage increase AFTER spell power and effects are factored in, which means it scales very well. Greatly increases a Holy builds solo ability and increases threat generated by a Protection build. Generally worthless for Ret, but is the cornerstone to a Ret build focusing on using SoR.

Tier 3

HEALING LIGHT (3/3), increases the amount healed by Holy Light and Flash of Light by 4/8/12%
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 3/5
A fantastic talent for anyone wanting to increase their healing capability. A must for Holy or any Prot/Holy or Ret/Holy Builds. It also does scale with +SP and +Healing gear, so it is worth it for any Holy Hybrid build.

AURA MASTERY (1/1), Increases the range of your Auras to 40 yards
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 1/5
Wow…10 Yards to aura. Whoopee. Can help in Raids, but otherwise a total waste

IMPROVED LAY ON HANDS (2/2), gives the target of your Lay on Hands spell a 15/30% bonus to their armor value from items for 2 min. In addition, the cool down for your Lay on Hands spell is reduced by 10/20 min.
Holy: 2/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 1/5
Another talent that 99% of the time is worthless. LoH on a 40 min cool down is still way too long to rely on in any way possible. It can come in handy in Raids for the final boss to help your tank out a bit, but otherwise, skip.

UNYIELDING FAITH (2/2) increases your chance to resist Fear and Disorient effects by an additional 5/10%.
Holy: 3/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 3/5
For PvE, this is worthless, just go ahead and skip it. For PvP though it can be very handy when fighting those Warlocks and Shadow Priests.

Tier 4

ILLUMINATION (5/5), After getting a critical effect from your Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock heal spell, gives you a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to gain Mana equal to 60% of the base cost of the spell.
Holy: 5/5
Protection: 1/5 (5/5 for Prot/Holy Builds)
Retribution: 1/5 (5/5 for Ret/Holy Builds)
Pretty much the defining talent of Holy Paladins, even after the nerf from 2.1. One of the major reasons we are so efficient. If you plan to heal with any regularity, pick this talent up.

IMPROVED BLESSING OF WISDOM (2/2) increases the effect of your Blessing of Wisdom by 10/20%.
Holy: 3/5 (4/5 for Raids)
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 1/5 (2/5 for Imp SoR Retadins)
A nice boost if you use it a lot, and people in Raids will love you for it. Grants an extra 8 mana per second at Rank 6.

Tier 5

PURE OF HEART (3/3), Increases your resistance to Curse and Disease effects by 5/10/15%.
Holy: 0/5 (1/5 for PvP)
Only useful if you are PvP’ing and really only then against Warlocks. Skip unless you plan to PVP a lot AND Warlocks give you trouble.

DIVINE FAVOR (1/1), When activated, gives your next Flash of Light, Holy Light, or Holy Shock spell a 100% critical effect chance.
Holy: 5/5
For 1 talent point, you get a free critical heal every 2 minutes. A must for any deep healing build. If you can get it, do not pass it up.

SANCTIFIED LIGHT (3/3), Increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Light spell by 2/46%.
Holy: 3/5
This is a great talent that is applied to the wrong heal. Holy Light is our mana intensive heal, so while the extra crit chance is nice, it is our least used Heal in instances and Raids. Still, without a doubt take it if you are going deep in Holy.

Tier 6

PURIFYING POWER (2/2), Reduces the mana cost of your Cleanse and Consecration spells by 5/10% and increases the critical strike chance of your Exorcism and Holy Wrath spells by 10/20%.
Holy: 2/5 (3/5 for Raids)
This is a nice filler talent, especially since it is only 2 points. For Raids, it will greatly increase you mana efficiency when you Cleanse-Bot and the massive increase in crit chance is awesome when dealing with undead or demons. Do not skip over more important talents to get this, but if you have a few points to spend and don’t know where, plop them here.

HOLY POWER (5/5), Increases the critical effect chance of your Holy spells by 1/2/3/4/5%.
Holy: 5/5
If you are this deep in Holy, get it. Improves your chance to crit with all heals, Holy Shock, and Judgment of Righteousness.

Tier 7

LIGHT’S GRACE (3/3), Gives your Holy Light spell a 33/66/100% chance to reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light spell by 0.5 sec. This effect lasts 15 sec.
Holy: 4/5
This is a great talent for when you need to put out big heals fast. You can use lower ranks of Holy Light to more or less have a harder hitting Flash of Light in a fast time. Also is a must in PvP when you need to get those big heals out as fast as possible.

HOLY SHOCK (1/1), Blasts the target with Holy energy, causing 204 to 220 Holy damage to an enemy, or 204 to 220 healing to an ally at rank 1. Deals and heals 530 to 574 damage at rank 5 (level 70)
Holy: 4/5 (5/5 for PvP)
This is our 31 point Holy talent. It gives us two important effects. First, it is our only Instant cast heal, making it a split second life saver in PvP and PvE. Second, it gives Holy paladins controllable Burst to increase their damage potential. A must if going deep in Holy.

BLESSED LIFE (3/3), All attacks against you have a 4/7/10% chance to cause half damage.
Holy: 1/5
As a Holy Paladin, your job is to be NOT hit, or worst case, hit only a little. Since there is no way t control this ability, it might halve the damage of a rogue’s kick or a Warriors’ hamstring, while letting that Pyroblast turn you to ash. Simply not reliable enough to be worth the 3 points.

Tier 8

HOLY GUIDEANCE (5/5), Increases your spell damage and healing by 7/14/21/28/35% of your total Intellect.
Holy: 5/5
Just get this. My god how we needed this. If you don’t get this, stop playing WoW right now, it’s that good.

Tier 9

DIVINE ILLUMINATION (1/1), Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 50% for 15 sec.
Holy: 3/5 (5/5 if you Raid or do instances all the time)
This is the big daddy of them all for Holy and it is a nice talent. Allows a paladin to go full out on healing for 15 seconds at half the mana cost, so really comes in handy for those long boss battles. Also does help regenerate some minor mana if you get a crit, but not significant since patch 2.1 Pretty much useless for soloing or if you rarely run instances or Raids however.

Protection Tree (Primary focus is Tanking)

Tier 1

IMPROVED DEVOTION AURA (5/5): Increases the armor bonus of your Devotion Aura by 8/`6/14/32/40%.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 2/5
Retribution: 1/5
Some might disagree, but rarely do I find this Aura useful except for early on in the game. Past that, we have so many auras’ that can be of help to us, there is almost always a better choice than Devotion aura. YMMV however.

REDOUBT (5/5), Damaging melee attacks against you have a 10% chance to increases your chance to block attacks with your shield by 6/12/18/24/30% after being the victim of a critical strike. Lasts 10 sec or 5 blocks.
Holy: 2/5
Protection: 4/5 (5/5 for AoE Protadins)
Retribution: 1/5
This is the only real choice for Tier 1 in Protection in my opinion. Unfortunately, if you are not being hit by a fast mob or tanking, it does little for either Holy or Ret builds. It shines in early tanking and especially AoE grinding. If you plan to tank at all as a Paladin, you need this talent. Be warned however, that by the time you start raiding, your avoidance will be so high that this talent will be of little use.

Tier 2

PRECISION (3/3), increases your chance to hit with melee weapons by 1/2/3%
Holy: 2/5
Protection: 5/5
Retribution: 5/5
This talent is a must, especially for Raids. Ret cannot deal damage when they miss and Prot cannot hold agro when they miss. If you plan to do many Raids or instances then I highly recommend you take this talent.

GUARDIAN’S FAVOR (2/2), Reduces the cool down of your Blessing of Protection by 60/120 sec and increases the duration of your Blessing of Freedom by 3/6 sec.
Holy: 3/5 (4/5 in PvP) Edit (increased value for Raids – extra protection for casters who pull aggro)
Protection: 1/5 (4/5 in PvP)
Retribution: 1/5 (4/5 in PvP)
While the ability to use BoP more often is nice, the real reason for this talent is for PvP and BoF. The inability for your opponent to lock you down can have a massive effect on the outcome of fights in PvP. Highly recommended if you plan to PvP often or are on a PvP server.

TOUGHNESS (5/5), Increases your armor value from items by 2/4/6/8/10%
Holy: 2/5
Protection: 4/5
Retribution: 2/5
A nice talent, but really only a must for those who plan to tank often. Needed for serious endgame tanking but does not have to be taken early on.

Tier 3

BLESSING OF KINGS (1/1), Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing total stats by 10% for 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
Holy: 3/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 3/5
This is easily one of the most conflicted Blessings we have. It is almost never the “best” blessing to have, but is almost always the second best to have up. Also highly sought after by raids. Not a must, but groups with 2 paladins or Raids will love you for it.

IMPROVED RIGHTEOUS FURY (3/3), While Righteous Fury is active, reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6% and increases the amount of threat generated by your Righteous Fury spell by 16/33/50%.
Holy: 2/5 (5/5 for Holy builds that want to off-tank also)
Protection: 5/5
Retribution: 2/5 (5/5 for Ret builds that want to off-tank also)
This is the first MUST talent for Protection. Greatly increases our threat generation (Note, increases the threat bonus of Righteous Fury, for a bonus of 190%, not 210% as some think). Also reduces all damage taken by 6% making this vital to Protection and helpful to any build at all. Get it or quit playing WoW if you plan to tank at all.

SHIELD SPECIALIZATION (3/3), increases the damage absorbed by your shield by 10/20/30%
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 4/5
Retribution: 1/5
Again, pretty much a must if you plan to tank or AoE grind. Not much use otherwise.

ANTICIPATION (5/5) increases your Defense skill by 4/8/12/16/20
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 4/5
Retribution: 1/5
This talent is only for people who want to main tank, and are having trouble reaching the 490 defense cap to become uncrittable. If you are reaching 490 from gear, then you can spec out and find a better use for those 5 talent points if you need something else more.

Tier 4

STOICISM (2/2), Increases your resistance to Stun effects by an additional 5/10% and reduces the chance your spells will be dispelled by an additional 15/30%
Holy: 1/5 (4/5 for PvP)
Protection: 1/5 (4/5 for PvP)
Retribution: 1/5 (4/5 for PvP)
This is a fantastic PvP talent. While the stun resists are nice, the real reason for this is the 30% chance for your spells to resist being dispelled. With mass dispel and other effects, this can make a Paladins life miserable in PvP. If your main focus is PvE, skip it though.

IMPROVED HAMMER OF JUSTICE (3/3) reduces the cool down of Hammer of Justice by 5/10/15 sec
Holy: 1/5 (2/5 for PvP)
Protection: 1/5 (2/5 for PvP)
Retribution: 2/5 (4/5 for PvP)
Another good PvP talent, though much more suited to Ret builds because of its synergy with Seal of Command. Again, not that useful in PvE since you will almost never be able to use it twice in one fight and virtually all bosses are immune to stuns.

IMPROVED CONCENTRATION AURA (3/3) Increases the effect of your Concentration Aura by an additional 5/10/15% and reduces the duration of any Silence or Interrupt effect by 10/20/30%.
Holy: 1/5 (3/5 for PvP)
Protection: 1/5 (2/5 for PvP)
Retribution: 1/5 (2/5 for PvP)
A mediocre talent, and totally worthless for PvE. In PvP, only really useful for the 30% reduction in Silence and Interrupt duration, but 30% is still not enough to make a large difference in most situations. Not really recommended, even for PvP builds.

Tier 5

SPELL WARDING (2/2), Reduces spell damage taken by 2/4%
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 1/5
One of the few “optional” tanking talents, this helps us with our weakness against magic damage. Combined with Improved Righteous Fury gives the Paladin 10% spell mitigation. Only useful for tanking builds though.

BLESSING OF SANCTUARY (1/1), Places a Blessing on the friendly target, reducing damage dealt from all sources by up to 10 for 5 min. In addition, when the target blocks a melee attack the attacker will take 14 Holy damage. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time. 80 damage reduced, 46 damage returned at level 70.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 4/5
Retribution: 1/5
One of the cornerstones to Paladin tanking. If you plan to tank, this is pretty much required if going deep into Protection. Not only mitigates all incoming damage, but also generates threat.

RECKONING (5/5): Gives you a 2/4/6/8/10% chance after being hit with a damaging attack that the next 4 weapon swings for 8 seconds will generate an additional attack.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 5/5 Pre-Raid (3/5 Post Raid)
Retribution: 3/5
This is another major talent of the Protection tree and one not to miss if going deep into Prot. A must for AoE grinding also. Generally, the more people hitting you, the more damage you are dealing. Can also be useful in certain Ret builds for more burst, though very unreliable due to the fact that if SoC does not proc on the first swing, it cannot proc on the free second swing. Also loses its value as your avoidance goes up.

Tier 6

SACRED DUTY(2/2), increases your total stamina by 3/6%, reduces the cool down of your Divine Shield by 30/60 seconds, and reduces the attack speed penalty of Divine Shield by 50/100%
Protection: 4/5 (5/5 for Raids)
Not a must have for AoE builds, but still very useful for 2 very different reasons. Tanking Paladins need it for the extra stamina, while Paladins who PvP will love it for more DS and no attack speed penalty with it up.

ONE-HANDED WEAPON SPECIALIZATION (5/5), increases all damage dealt when a 1 handed weapon is equipped by 1/2/3/4/5%
Protection: 3/5
Another very good talent, it now essential gives you a flat 5% increase to total damage, instead of just 10% to melee and SoR. Not essential, but considering the increase in damage and threat, highly, highly recommended.

Tier 7

HOLY SHIELD (1/1), increases chance to block by 30% for 10 sec, and deals 65 Holy damage for each attack blocked while active. Damage caused by Holy Shield causes 20% additional threat. Each block expends a charge. 4 charges. Returns 155 damage at level 70
Protection: 5/5
Whether you are this deep in protection for tanking or AoE grinding, you must get this build. It is simply a must and you would have to be crazy to skip this.

IMPROVED HOLY SHEILD (2/2), Increases damage caused by your Holy Shield by 10/20% and increases the number of charges of your Holy Shield by 2/4.
Protection: 3/5 (5/5 for AoE grinding)
A nice new talent, but not a must for tanking. Most bosses hit slow, so our charges are rarely used up, but helps with multi mob tanking. It is a must for AoE grinding though and is amazing for that.

ARDENT DEFENDER (5/5), When you have less than 35% health, all damage taken is reduced by 6/12/18/24/30%
Protection: 5/5
A very nice talent, and highly recommended. A nice buff from where it was before but still risks being leapfrogged. Pretty much required though and is amazing for Prot AoE grinding.

Tier 8

WEAPON EXPERTISE (5/5), Increases your skill with all melee weapons by 2/4/6/8/10
Protection: 1/5 Pre-Raids (4/5 Post Raids)
Do not take this until you are 70, and plan to Raid. It is of little use while leveling and grinding, but, after doing some research and listening to some experienced Tankadins, I have upgraded this drastically for anyone who is tanking in Raids. Provides more use than reckoning for endgame content due to extremely high avoidance stats.

Tier 9

AVENGER’S SHIELD (1/1), Hurls a Holy Shield at the target, dealing 270-330 Holy Damage, dazing them and then jumping to nearby enemies. Affects 3 total targets. 494-602 damage at level 70.
Protection: 4/5
The end of the tree and much better now since it has no dead zone. Great for pulling, but not to be used for general threat generation. Highly recommended.

Retribution Tree (Primarily for PvP and Soloing)

Tier 1

IMPROVED BLESSING OF MIGHT (5/5), increases the melee attack power bonus of your Blessing of Might by 4/8/12/16/20%.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 2/5 (3/5 for Raid buff)
A weak talent, granting 44 more AP at level 70. Your raid group will like the extra AP but not really worth spending the points on it otherwise.

BENEDICTION (5/5), Reduces the Mana cost of your Judgment and Seal spells by 3/6/9/12/15%.
Holy: 3/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 4/5
A very good talent, focusing on increasing our efficiency. Especially important for Ret builds due to them generally lacking mana compared to the other 2 builds.

Tier 2

IMPROVED JUDGMENT (2/2), Decreases the cool down of your Judgment Spell by 1/2 sec
Holy: 3/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 4/5
Another very good all around talent that is helpful to all the builds. 20% more judgments are fantastic for soloing.

IMPROVED SEAL OF THE CRUSADER (3/3), Increases the melee attack power bonus of your Seal of the Crusader and the Holy damage increase of your Judgment of the Crusader by 5/10/15%.
Holy: 2/5
Protection: 2/5
Retribution: 1/5 (3/5 for Imp SoR Retadin)
Generally this talent gives weak returns (28 extra Spell damage) but I can recommend it to anyone who heavily uses SoR. Otherwise, it is best to skip it.

DEFLECTION (5/5), increases your Parry chance by 1/2/3/4/5%
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 3/5 (5/5 for any tank)
Retribution: 3/5
One of our best filler talents and a must for any paladin tank. More or less a 5% reduction to all incoming damage. Take it when you don’t know where to spend the next points.

Tier 3

VINDICATION (3/3), Gives the Paladin’s damaging melee attacks a chance to reduce the target’s Strength and Agility by 5/10/15% for 10 sec.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 2/5
A talent that looks amazing on paper but is actually very weak in practice. Made doubly worthless because it affects hardly any bosses. One plus is its very high proc rate. If you want a debuff for filler, it’s ok, otherwise skip.

CONVICTION (5/5), increases your chance to get a critical strike with weapons by 1/2/3/4/5%
Holy: 2/5
Protection: 3/5
Retribution: 5/5
Useful for any build, but an absolute must for any Ret build. Get this if you plan to go deep in Ret at all.

SEAL OF COMMAND (1/1), Gives the Paladin a chance to deal additional Holy damage equal to 70% of normal weapon damage. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time. Lasts 30 sec.
Unleashing this Seal’s energy will judge an enemy, instantly causing 68 to 73 Holy damage, 137 to 146 if the target is stunned or incapacitated. Deals 228 to 252 Holy damage, 456 to 504 if the target is stunned or incapacitated at highest rank.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 2/5
Retribution: 4/5
The core damage ability for Retribution builds. Procs an average 7 times per minute, so use the slowest speed weapon you can use. The judgment is nice as it uses melee crit and crits for double damage. If you plan to go Ret, I highly recommend it (your only other alternative is Imp SoR until level 64 and then Seal of Blood is an option). Amazing burst in PvP.

PURSUIT OF JUSTICE (2/2), Increases movement and mounted movement speed by 4/8%. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
Holy: 1/5 (3/5 for PvP)
Protection: 2/5 (4/5 for PvP)
Retribution: 1/5 (3/5 for PvP)
A nice PvP talent and amazing for flag runners. Otherwise, I really wouldn’t recommend it unless you want a minor reduction in travel times or don’t want to buy speed enchants or carrot on a stick. Rendered useless by Crusader Aura at level 62.

Tier 4

EYE FOR AN EYE (2/2), All spell criticals against you cause 15/30% of the damage taken to the caster as well. The damage caused by Eye for an Eye will not exceed 50% of the Paladin’s total health.
Holy: 0/5 (3/5 for PvP)
Protection: 0/5 (3/5 for PvP)
Retribution: 0/5 (3/5 for PvP)
If you mostly do PvE, this is a completely worthless talent. Ignore it, skip it, whatever. However, this can be a very handy talent for PvP or Arenas and can help turn around a bad situation.

IMPROVED RETRIBUTION AURA (2/2), Increases the damage done by your Retribution Aura by 25/50%
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 3/5 (4/5 for AoE grinding)
Retribution: 2/5
Generally the highest damage Aura for a paladin. Awesome against Rogues or Fury warriors. Can generally only be out-damaged on a regular basis by Holy or Imp SoR Ret Builds using Sanctity Aura. A great boost to Protection AoE grinders also.

CRUSADE (3/3), Increases damage dealt against Humanoids, Undead, Demons, and Elementals by 1/2/3% damage.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 2/5
Some people think highly of this talent, and it is good filler but that is about all. It will virtually never end a fight early. Far inferior to crit damage. A 500 dmg hit now does 515. Not very recommended except maybe if you PvP all the time.

Tier 5

TWO-HANDED WEAPON SPECIALIZATION (3/3), Increases the damage you deal with two-handed melee weapons by 2/4/6%.
Holy: 1/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 4/5
A worthy use of talent points, a 6% increase in all damage dealt with a two hander. Also applies to SoR, SoC, SoB, and SoV. Nice talent and one to pick up for any Ret Build.

SANCTITY AURA (1/1), Increases Holy damage done by party members within 30 yards by 10%. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
Holy: 4/5
Protection: 1/5
Retribution: 3/5 (5/5 for Imp SoR Build)
A good talent for soloing, as it greatly boost Holy damage and is fantastic when paired with SoR. SoC benefits a bit less since it only procs 7 times a minute on average. It is not a group friendly aura though, since it only benefits the paladin and a holy Priest. In a group, don’t be selfish and use something that benefits the whole group.

IMPROVED SANCTITY AURA (2/2), The amount of damage dealt by players affected by Sanctity Aura is increased by 1/2%
Retribution: 2/5
A minor group and solo buff. Doesn’t add much to soloing, but can have a good impact on the group since it increases ALL damage. Makes the use of Sanctity Aura a little less selfish, but still ask the group what aura they would prefer instead of just assuming.

Tier 6

VENGEANCE (5/5), Gives you a 1/2/3/4/5% bonus to Physical and Holy damage you deal for 15 sec after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell, or ability. This ability stacks up to 3 times.
Retribution: 5/5
THE core talent for Ret. This, coupled with a high crit rate pretty much ensures you will have Vengeance up most of the time. After the patch, it is up long enough to even jump to another mob and crit again before it fades. If you plan to go deep into Ret at all, you must get this talent.

SANCTIFIED JUDGMENT (3/3), Gives you judgment spell a 33/66/100% chance to refund 50% of the base mana cost of the judged Seal.
Retribution: 3/5
This Talent essentially makes your judgments free. Greatly reduces your mana load when going all out against mobs. Also one of the biggest reasons we use about 80% of the mana a shockadin uses when going full out. If you have mana issues, seriously consider getting this talent.

Tier 7

SANCTIFIED CRUSADER (3/3), In addition to the normal effect, your Judgment of the Crusader spell will also increase the critical strike chance of all attacks made against the target by 1/2/3%.
Retribution: 4/5 (5/5 for Raids or Imp SoR Retadins)
A nice increase to our crit chance, which helps to proc Vengeance. However, only useful if you regularly use JotC. Fantastic buff for Raids or SoR Retadins since that is their main seal by far. This or Sanctified Judgment is one of our core late fillers. Choose whichever you prefer the most, or get both if you have the points to spare.

REPENTANCE (1/1), Puts the enemy target in a state of meditation, incapacitating them for up to 6 sec. Any damage caused will awaken the target. Only works against Humanoids.
Retribution: 4/5 (5/5 for PvP)
Another form of CC, though limited in length. Very useful for SoC for another stunned Judgment for double damage. Extremely useful for PvP. Get it.

DIVINE PURPOSE (3/3), Melee and Ranged critical strikes made against you cause 4/7/10% less damage
Retribution: 1/5
Not that useful, lets melee crits do 180% damage instead of 200%. Not worth the talent points, choose something else instead.

Tier 8

FANATICISM (5/5) Increases the critical strike chance of all judgments capable of critical strike by 3/6/9/12/15%
Retribution: 5/5
A highly fantastic talent. Get this, it is a must. More crits, more damage, nothing not to like here.

Tier 9

CRUSADER STRIKE (1/1), Instant attack dealing weapon damage + 40% of the paladin’s Holy Spell damage. Refreshes all judgments on the target.
Retribution: 5/5
Fantastic and you would be crazy no to take this talent. If you plan to use it in raids, make sure to get enough +hit to ensure you don’t miss. A massive boost in DPS and a godsend in PvP. If you plan to go this deep in Ret, you simply must get this.

OUR BASIC BUILDS – FOR BOTH LEVELING AND END GAME
Another basic primer on the standard build types – focusing on both leveling and end game content according to tree and focus.

SECTION ONE
LEVELING BUILDS

Retribution w/ Seal of Command
This is the grand-daddy and most commonly used of the leveling builds. Stacked with AP, and later, melee crit, it is a powerful build that offers great burst for PvP and good, if inconsistent damage. Main cons to this build include a lack of mana and unreliability. Points throughout this guide are presented in order they should be taken.

Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Either Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3 or Deflection 3/5 (Imp SotC, at very early levels gives meager returns)
Seal of Command 1/1
Conviction 5/5
Crusade 3/3
Deflection 4/5
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Two-Handed Specialization 3/3
Either Deflection 5/5 or Imp Sanctity Aura 1/2
Vengeance 5/5
Repentance 1/1
Sanctified Crusader 3/3
Imp Sanctity Aura 2/2
Fanaticism 5/5
Crusader Strike 1/1
After that, you can put them wherever you want – highly recommended choices are either
Holy
Divine Strength 5/5
Spiritual Focus 5/5
Healing Light 3/3
Or
Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Precision 3/3
Toughness 2/5
Blessing of Kings 1/1

Filler points should be placed according to your needs and wants as there are tons of variations on this build.

Retribution w/Improved Seal of Righteousness

This is a much lamented variant, which is slowly coming into favor. It is by no means superior, nor inferior to, SoC for most of the game. What it offers is solid and consistent damage, and once you reach 57, and can start getting outlands gear, higher mana and healing abilities than a standard Ret build without changing gear. What it lacks is serious burst damage, and thus not ideal for PvP, compared to a build focusing on Seal of Command. Gear focus should be on SP, AP, and Melee crit. This build comes in 2 parts, you will be respeccing at level 50.

Holy
Either Divine Strength 5/5 or Divine Intellect 5/5
Improved Seal of Righteousness 5/5
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3
Conviction 5/5 (Option: if you plan to PvP much, also get Seal of Command)
Either 5/5 Deflection or 3/3 Crusade and 2/5 Deflection
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Two Handed Specialization 3/3
Improved Sanctity Aura 1/2
Vengeance 5/5
Then when you turn 50, you will Respec to this
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3
Conviction 5/5 (Option: if you plan to PvP much, also get Seal of Command)
Either 5/5 Deflection or 3/3 Crusade and 2/5 Deflection
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Two Handed Specialization 3/3
Improved Sanctity Aura 1/2
Vengeance 5/5
Repentance 1/1
Sanctified Crusader 3/3
Improved Sanctity Aura 2/2
Fanaticism 5/5
Crusader Strike 1/1 – then back to holy.
Holy
Either Divine Strength 5/5 or Divine Intellect 5/5
Improved Seal of Righteousness 5/5
You can then choose to get

Holy
5/5 Spiritual Focus or 3/3 Healing Light and 2/5 Spiritual Focus
Illumination 5/5
Or
Protection
5/5 Redoubt
3/3 Precision
Then filler points as you want.

Protection Area of Effect
This is also one of the newer ways to grind and quest. Unlike any other paladin build (where you want to fight mobs one at a time) you WANT to fight multiple mobs. It offers extreme survivability, great tanking ability, and late game, slightly better healing than SoC Ret. Its weaknesses are low DPS vs. single mobs, casters, and mobs that disarm, knockdown, or in any way disable you. It’s a very different experience from Ret, but one I highly recommend to anyone who has not tried it. Gear should be all plate, and AP/SP/STA, while getting shield spikes for your shield. Any weapons or gear with a chance to proc also excel with this build.

Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Precision 3/3
Toughness 2/5
Improved Righteous Fury 3/3
Shield Specialization 3/3
Toughness 5/5
Blessing of Kings 1/1
Blessing of Sanctuary 1/1
Reckoning 5/5
One-Handed Specialization 5/5
Holy Shield 1/1
Improved Holy Shield 2/2
Ardent Defender 5/5
You now have a choice – get Ardent Defender (get a few filler talents first) or go to Ret. If you are just focused on leveling, head to Ret.
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3
Conviction 5/5 (you can also grab Seal of Command for solo mobs and casters)
Improved Retribution Aura 2/2
Or
Holy
5/5 Divine Intellect (mana is more a concern of AoE builds than strength)
5/5 Spiritual Favor
5/5 Improved Seal of Righteousness (for a total of 20.75% increase in SoR damage)

SECTION 2
HOLY BUILDS

Standard Holy/Protection Build:

This is the standard Build for Holy (primarily Healing) Builds. They excel at single target healing, high survivability, and can also Main Tank instances (even including Heroics with good gear and a good group). They also can serve as a useful off tank in raids if need be. Gear will be primarily +Healing, Int, Mp5, and Spell crit (solo gear will trade +healing for +Spell Power).

Holy
Divine Intellect 5/5
Spiritual Focus 5/5
Healing Light 3/3
Improved Seal of Righteousness 2/5
Illumination 5/5
Divine Favor 1/1
Sanctified Light 3/3
Improved Seal of Righteousness 3/5
Holy Power 5/5
Holy Shock 1/1
Light’s Grace 3/3
Improved Seal of Righteousness 4/5
Holy Guidance 5/5
Divine Illumination 1/1
Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Toughness 5/5
Improved Righteous Fury 3/3
Blessing of Kings 1/1
Precision 3/3
Shield Specialization 3/3

Shockadin:
This is the standard Build for offense in the Holy Tree. It offers the least (though not by a huge margin) DPS of any offensive build. What it excels at is BG and Arena healing and burst. Instead of focusing on +Healing, it wants as much +Spell Power as possible. Burst comes from HS and JoR. Generally they also collect +Healing gear for instances and Raids.

Holy
Divine Intellect 5/5
Improved Seal of Righteousness 5/5
Healing Light 3/3
Spiritual Focus 2/5
Illumination 5/5
Divine Favor 1/1
Sanctified Light 3/3
Spiritual Focus 3/5
Holy Power 5/5
Holy Shock 1/1
Then you can either finish Holy and go to Ret, or go to Ret first, I believe Ret provides more immediate benefits.
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3
Conviction 5/5
Crusade 3/3
Eye for an Eye 2/2
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Then
Holy
Light’s Grace 3/3
Spiritual Focus 4/5
Holy Guidance 5/5

Shockadin w/Vengeance
This is a more melee offensive build of the Shockadin, based on using Spell Crit and swinging a 2 hander, while healing when needed. I have little experience with it myself, but the damage dealt based on my calculations is less than Imp SoR Ret, but greater than a traditional Shockadin. By design it will have less SP than a standard shockadin build since it uses a 2h for increases melee and SoR damage.

Holy
Divine Intellect 5/5
Improved Seal of Righteousness 5/5
Healing Light 3/3
Spiritual Focus 2/5
Illumination 5/5
Divine Favor 1/1
Sanctified Light 3/3
Spiritual Focus 3/5
Holy Power 5/5
Holy Shock 1/1
Then
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3
Conviction 5/5
Either (Deflection 5/5) or (Crusade 3/3 and Eye for an Eye 2/2) or (Crusade 3/3 and Deflection 2/5)
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Two handed Specialization 3/3
Improved Sanctity Aura 1/2
Vengeance 5/5

SECTION 3
PROTECTION BUILDS

Instance/Raid Tank
This is the build for any serious Raid tank. You can still Prot AoE with this build, and +healing gear allows for instance healing (might be a bit weak in Raids), but solo will be slow against individual mobs. (Edited to standard Raid Cookie Cutter).

Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Precision 3/3
Toughness 5/5
Improved Righteous Fury 3/3
Shield Specialization 3/3
Anticipation 5/5
Blessing of Kings 1/1
Blessing of Sanctuary 1/1
Reckoning 5/5
Spell Warding 2/2
Sacred Duty 2/2
One-Handed Weapon Specialization 5/5
Holy Shield 1/1
Improved Holy Shield 2/2
Ardent Defender 5/5
Avenger’s Shield 1/1
Then
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Deflection 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2

If do not plan to Raid, you can go into
Holy
Divine Intellect 5/5
Spiritual Focus 5/5 or Improved Seal of Righteousness 5/5
Healing Light 3/3

BOSUTEI’s RAID BUILD

Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Precision 3/3
Toughness 5/5
Blessing of Kings 1/1
Improved Righteous Fury 3/3
Shield Specialization 3/3
Anticipation 5/5
Stoicism 2/2
Spell Warding 2/2
Blessing of Sanctuary 1/1
Reckoning 5/5
Sacred Duty 2/2
One Handed Specialization 5/5
Holy Shield 1/1
Improved Holy Shield 2/2
Ardent Defender 5/5
Avenger’s Shield 1/1
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Deflection 5/5

SECTION 4
RETRIBUTION BUILDS


Retribution Raid Build:

This is a build for any Retribution build planning on doing Raids. It is focused on maximum damage and utility.

Retribution
Improved Blessing of Might 5/5
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3
Conviction 5/5
Seal of Command 1/1
Crusade 3/3
Two Handed Specialization 3/3
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Improved Sanctity Aura 2/2
Vengeance 5/5
Sanctified Judgment 3/3
Sanctified Crusader 3/3
Repentance 1/1
Fanaticism 5/5
Crusader Strike 1/1
Then
Holy
Divine Strength 5/5
Then
Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Precision 3/3

Retribution w/ Reckoning:
This is an interesting hybrid. It deals less damage overall than traditional Retribution Builds (but excels vs. fast attacking mobs), but brings with it more armor, more damage reduction, and overall greater survivability (it does better vs. multiple mobs, but cannot AoE). Again not much experience with this, but I know many who like it.

Protection
Redoubt 5/5
Precision 3/3
Toughness 5/5
Improved Righteous Fury 3/3
Blessing of Kings 1/1
Shield Specialization 3/3
Reckoning 5/5
Retribution
Benediction 5/5
Improved Judgment 2/2
Either Improved Seal of the Crusader 3/3 or Deflection 3/5
Seal of Command 1/1
Conviction 5/5
Crusade 3/3
Deflection 4/5
Sanctity Aura 1/1
Two Handed Specialization 3/3
Either Improved Sanctity Aura 1/2 or Deflection 5/5
Vengeance 5/5
Repentance 1/1

END GAME GUIDES
There are several good guides out there, and so I figured I would link to the most important ones that delve into much more specific areas, like tanking and Raiding while Ret. I am not responsible for any of these guides, unless otherwise mentioned. Enjoy and thank you everyone for your support.

Tankadin 102 Tanking Guide

Improved SoR Retribution Guide


Pre-Raid Tanking Gear – 2.1 Updates Complete

The Retributer’s Path: Gearing/Playing Ret

The Retributer’s Path 2: Raiding as Ret

The Light Works in Mysterious Ways

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