This article is about the general class description. For related articles, see Category:Paladins. For the Warcraft III hero unit, see Paladin (Warcraft III).
This is the call of the paladin: to protect the weak, to bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world. These holy warriors are equipped with plate armor so they can confront the toughest of foes, and the blessing of the Light allows them to heal wounds and, in some cases, even restore life to the dead.
Pilt:Paladin crest.png

The paladin is a hybrid class with the ability to play a variety of different roles including healing, tanking, and DPS. They have auras, blessings, and seals that provide useful buffs for other players while withstanding heavy physical damage with plate armor and strong defensive abilities. Paladins are considered to be holy knights[1] or blood knights.

Paladins are extremely effective against undead and demons - however contrary to popular belief, unless specifically stated their attacks do not do extra damage to either - its main bonus is that no race has any special resistance to it. A good Paladin player is always useful in a group, but in an Undead/Demon infested area, they are invaluable.

Paladins begin the game able to wear cloth, leather, and mail, and then at level 40 can train to wear plate. Paladins can use a shield. Paladins can use the following melee weapons: One-Handed Axes, One-Handed Maces, One-Handed Swords, Polearms, Two-Handed Axes, Two-Handed Maces, and Two-Handed Swords.

Overview Edit

Paladins are also excellent tanks, excelling at tanking multiple mobs at the same time through use of their reactive threat abilities like Consecration. Paladin tanks have gained widespread acceptance in the community.

The paladin class has some of the most mana-efficient and low-threat healing spells in the game, allowing them to easily fill the position of a main tank healer in a party or raid situation. Their healing efficiency makes them great endurance and battle healers, though paladins lack area of effect healing abilities (healing multiple targets at once). With the inclusion of Eternal Flame they also have a Healing over Time effect.

Paladins have several anti-undead and demon abilities such as Exorcism, Holy Wrath, and Turn Evil that make them very effective when fighting demon and undead targets (not including Forsaken players, who are considered Humanoids for balance reasons).

In PvP, their most known strength is their ability to outlast opponents. With plate armor, their ability to heal themselves and allies, and a near-complete invulnerability every few minutes, they are a hard target to take down. Paladins can also do a surprising amount of burst-damage and have good access to stun abilities. Paladins also make great supporting characters, buffing and healing teammates while being able to survive the enemy's attention. Paladins are particularly vulnerable to Silence and Interrupt effects, as all of a paladin's abilities are part of a single magic school (holy). In addition, dispel effects are powerful against paladins.

While Paladins have strong advantages (some players have cuttingly referred to them as 'Easy Mode') they are also an arduous exercise in multitasking. Thanks to their hybrid roles, inexperienced players may find them hard to balance as a whole.

Background Edit

Pilt:Epic paladin.jpg

Paladins are the virtuous defenders of the weak, and tireless, unfaltering enemies of the undead. Mixing elements of the warrior and the clerics of the Holy Light, the paladin is a tough melee fighter. The tradition of the Holy Light is unique to a few of the Alliance races (humans, dwarves, and draenei) and the blood elves and tauren of the Horde.

The paladin is a "warrior of the Holy Light". They uphold all that is good and true in the world and revile all that is evil and sinister, especially undead and the Burning Legion. They offer succor to the beleaguered and smite their enemies with holy fervor. They are particularly potent against undead, as these creatures threaten the goodly races and the Holy Light burns them terribly. The presence of any evil is reprehensible to paladins, but they focus their efforts on destroying undead and demons.

These warriors uphold the tenets of the Holy Light and defend the Alliance from the predations of any threat to their peoples. Found in almost every corner of Azeroth fighting the forces of evil and barbarism, these stalwart warriors of faith ceaselessly uphold their vigil against demonic forces from beyond the Dark Portal. Paladins are the embodiment of good and selfless dedication to the protection of their peoples. They help the innocent and punish the wicked. As such, paladins are generally of good alignment.[2]

There are however, also Fallen Paladins such as those in the Scarlet Crusade.[3]

During the Second War, some paladins' eyes glowed with inner power of the Light, such as the paladin Turalyon. This is not the case for all paladins, though it occurs in game with certain paladin armor sets.

Code Edit

The paladin’s code requires that they respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use their help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents. While they may adventure with others from different organizations, they will never knowingly associate with evil persons, nor continue an association with someone who consistently offends their moral code. Paladins may accept only henchmen, followers, or cohorts whose intentions are good.[4][5] Paladins must be good or will lose all Light-given abilities if they ever willingly commit an evil act, becoming ex-paladins. Atoning is usually a long and difficult process.

In exceptional circumstances paladins may act unlawfully if they are certain it is for the greater good, but they must never work for unjust or evil causes knowingly. Since paladins believe in honesty, honor, and loyalty, even pretending to support what they know is an unjust cause in order to bring down a greater evil is heavily frowned upon.

Paladins don't always have to work within good or neutral organizations, as seen by the Scarlet Crusade and others; however, they do have to believe they are working for good organizations or have faith that their cause is good and just. Paladins can be evil (as illustrated by Renault Mograine and Arthas, before he took up Frostmourne), but as long as they believe their cause to be just, the Light will continue to serve them.[3]

History Edit


The Knights of the Silver Hand was the original paladin order. Formed during the Second War, it was at its height until the time of the Plague. As paladins were immune to the Plague (and indeed all diseases), many members of the Order survived the initial push of the Scourge. Unfortunately, the corrupted Arthas Menethil killed many paladins upon his return (including Uther the Lightbringer), leaving only a scattered few. The Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded by prince Arthas Menethil when Uther the Lightbringer refused to aid in the purging of Stratholme.

Following the invasion of the Scourge, many of the order's paladins joined a zealous group of followers of the Light known as the Scarlet Crusade. Many of these paladins have become fanatical towards their ambition of destroying the Scourge, to the point that those not wearing their colors are deemed corrupted. Others decided to join the Argent Dawn. Some paladins have also turned from the Light and joined Arthas Menethil as death knights.

Many fled south to the Kingdom of Stormwind. The paladin order, still referring to themselves as the Order of the Silver Hand, now thrives under new leadership at the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind City. Over time, the followers of the Holy Light spread their philosophy to the dwarves of Ironforge, who soon adopted the tenets of the order as well. Though decimated, the Knights of the Silver Hand eventually bounced back.[6]

In a World of Warcraft questline, Tirion Fordring vows to restore the original order, which later merges with the Argent Dawn to form the Argent Crusade.

Second War Edit

Archbishop Alonsus Faol perceived that the pious Clerics of Northshire, who suffered such terrible attrition in the First War, were ill-suited for the dangers of combat. Along with many of the surviving Clerics of Northshire, he sought those of only the greatest virtue among the knighthood of Lordaeron and tutored them in the ways of magic. Led by the crusading Uther the Lightbringer, it rested upon these paladins — christened the Knights of the Silver Hand — to heal the wounds sustained in combat and to restore faith in the promise of freedom from orcish tyranny.[1]

Post-Second War Edit

The holy paladins led the battle against the evil orcs and helped save the lands of Lordaeron from ruin. Though 15 years had passed since the end of the Second War, the paladins still worked selflessly to protect humanity from the gnawing jaws of evil. Empowered by the Light, these mighty warriors brandished both their warhammers and holy fire in the battle against all those who would trample the meek and innocent.

Third War Edit

Although the paladins were once loved and revered throughout the lands of Lordaeron, they fell onto hard times. The entire Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded for refusing to kill innocent townsfolk who were believed to be contaminated by the dreaded Undead plague of the Scourge. They were disenfranchised and driven from their former homes.[2]

Notable paladins Edit

Races Edit

Main article: Paladin races

Pilt:Paladin silver hand.jpg

The paladin class can be played by the following races:

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei TBC 23 17 22 20 23 34 58 80
Alliance Ironforge dwarfIronforge dwarf Ironforge dwarf 27 16 23 19 20 33 70 79
Alliance HumanHuman Human 22 20 22 20 21 40 58 80
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf TBC 19 22 22 23 19 44 58 125
Horde TaurenTauren Tauren Cataclysm 27 15 24 15 23  ?  ?  ?

Blood elf paladins belong to the Order of Blood Knights, while human and dwarven paladins are usually from the Knights of the Silver Hand. Currently, draenei paladins are members of an organization called the Hand of Argus, but this may change with time as the draenei are now part of the Alliance and some may consider joining the Silver Hand.

As of the Cataclysm expansion, Tauren are the second race of the Horde to be able to take on the role of paladin.[7] Tauren paladins are called Sunwalkers.

Tauren do not receive a charger mount, but a new type of kodo mount. This is because tauren paladins are a part of separate order, the Sunwalkers, and not the Bloodknights; so it would not make sense lore-wise to have Chargers.

You can find the one who is believed to be the first tauren paladin in-game on The Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff named Aponi Brightmane. She has a conversation with Tahu Sagewind about drawing powers from the sun as the druids can draw power from the moon.

Draenei paladins no longer receive charger mounts, but a separate type of elekk similar to how tauren receive a modified kodo.

Mechanics Edit

Blessings Edit

Main article: Blessing

Blessings are spell buffs that can be cast on most friendly targets. The blessings for paladins have been reduced down to Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings. Might gives mastery. Blessing of Kings increases strength, agility, and intellect.A druid's Mark of the Wild can overwrite this spell. So the rule would be: if a Druid is in the party or raid cast Might; if there is no druid cast Kings. If you're tanking, cast Kings unless MP5 is needed, then cast Might.

Seals Edit

Main article: Seal (ability)

Seals are long term self-buffs which boost the paladin's power temporarily. Effectively, they add a weapon proc to their melee strikes. Additionally, paladins can unleash these seals upon an enemy, causing holy damage.

Hands Edit

Main article: Hand (spell)

Hands are spell buffs that can be cast on party and raid members. Hands are derived from previous blessings, and includes Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice, and Hand of Salvation.

Specializations/stats Edit

Invokes the power of the Light to protect and heal.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Intellect
  • Spirit
  • Mastery Rating
  • Haste Rating
  • Critical Strike Rating
Icon Ability Min Level
32px [Holy Insight] 10
32px [Holy Shock] 10
32px [Denounce] 20
32px [Sacred Cleansing] 20
32px [Holy Radiance] 28
32px [Holy Light] 34
32px [Beacon of Light] 39
32px [Divine Plea] 46
Icon Ability Min Level
32px [Infusion of Light] 50
32px [Divine Light] 54
32px [Daybreak] 56
32px [Divine Favor] 62
32px [Tower of Radiance] 64
32px [Light of Dawn] 70
32px [Guardian of Ancient Kings] 75
32px [Mastery: Illuminated Healing] 80

Uses Holy magic to shield him/herself and defend allies against attackers.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Hit Rating (7.5%)
  • Expertise Rating (15%)
  • Mastery Rating
  • Haste Rating
Icon Ability Min Level
32px [Avenger's Shield] 10
32px [Guarded by the Light] 10
32px [Vengeance] 10
32px [Hammer of the Righteous] 20
32px [Holy Wrath] 20
32px [Judgments of the Wise] 28
32px [Consecration] 34
Icon Ability Min Level
32px [Shield of the Righteous] 40
32px [Grand Crusader] 50
32px [Sanctuary] 64
32px [Ardent Defender] 70
32px [Guardian of Ancient Kings] 75
32px [Mastery: Divine Bulwark] 80

A righteous crusader who judges and punishes opponents with weapons and Holy magic.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Hit Rating (7.5%)
  • Expertise Rating (7.5%)
  • Strength
  • Haste Rating
  • Mastery Rating
  • Critical Strike Rating
Icon Ability Min Level
32px [Templar's Verdict] 10
32px [Sword of Light] 10
32px [Hammer of the Righteous] 20
32px [Judgments of the Bold] 28
32px [Divine Storm] 34
32px [Exorcism] 46
Icon Ability Min Level
32px [The Art of War] 50
32px [Emancipate] 54
32px [Seal of Justice] 70
32px [Guardian of Ancient Kings] 75
32px [Mastery: Hand of Light] 80
32px [Absolve] 80
32px [Inquisition] 81

Skills/Glyphs Edit

Tag Source
16px [Book of Glyph Mastery] (requires 425 inscription skill)
T:# Learned from a trainer with # Inscription skill
M:# Minor Inscription Research (requires # Inscription skill)
N Northrend Inscription Research (requires 385 Inscription skill)
V:# Vendor (requires # Inscription skill)

Major Glyph Source Major Glyph Source
16px [Glyph of the Alabaster Shield] Protection (Paladin) 16px 16px [Glyph of Avenging Wrath] T:230
16px [Glyph of the Battle Healer] Scroll of Wisdom 16px [Glyph of Blinding Light] T:265
16px [Glyph of Beacon of Light] Holy (Paladin) 16px 16px [Glyph of Blessed Life] N
16px [Glyph of Consecration] Protection (Paladin) T:205 16px [Glyph of Dazing Shield] Protection (Paladin) N
16px [Glyph of Denounce] Holy (Paladin) N 16px [Glyph of Divine Plea] Holy (Paladin) 16px
16px [Glyph of Divine Protection] T:80 16px [Glyph of Divine Storm] Retribution 16px
16px [Glyph of Divinity] T:135 16px [Glyph of Double Jeopardy] T:120
16px [Glyph of Final Wrath] Protection (Paladin) T:180 16px [Glyph of Flash of Light] N
16px [Glyph of Focused Shield] Protection (Paladin) N 16px [Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous] Protection (Paladin)Retribution 16px
16px [Glyph of Harsh Words] N 16px [Glyph of Holy Shock] Holy (Paladin) 16px
16px [Glyph of Holy Wrath] Protection (Paladin) T:90 16px [Glyph of Illumination] Holy (Paladin) T:109
16px [Glyph of Immediate Truth] N 16px [Glyph of Inquisition] Retribution 16px
16px [Glyph of Light of Dawn] Holy (Paladin) N 16px [Glyph of Mass Exorcism] Retribution Scroll of Wisdom
16px [Glyph of Protector of the Innocent]  ?? 16px [Glyph of Rebuke] T:335
16px [Glyph of Templar's Verdict] N 16px [Glyph of Turn Evil] T:375
16px [Glyph of Word of Glory] T:300
Minor Glyph Source Minor Glyph Source
16px [Glyph of Bladed Judgment] Scroll of Wisdom 16px [Glyph of Contemplation] M:75
16px [Glyph of the Falling Avenger] Scroll of Wisdom 16px [Glyph of Fire From the Heavens] M:75
16px [Glyph of Focused Wrath] Protection (Paladin) Scroll of Wisdom 16px [Glyph of the Luminous Charger]  ??
16px [Glyph of the Righteous Retreat] Scroll of Wisdom 16px [Glyph of Seal of Blood] M:75
16px [Glyph of the Mounted King] M:75 16px [Glyph of Winged Vengeance] M:75

End-game expectations Edit


Paladins are a very unique class due to having the ability to perform any of the three major functions required in group or raid play depending on their spec.

Tanking Edit

Main article: Paladins as tanks

Through the protection tree paladins gain an increased ability to tank enemies. Paladins are especially well known for their ability to tank many enemies at once with rapid threat production. Paladin tanking was once largely reliant on reflective damage, but can now effectively generate multi-target threat. Strong stamina scaling and simple and very high threat generation make paladins perhaps the best tanks in the game.

Damage Edit

Main article: Paladins as DPS

Through the retribution tree paladins are able to significantly increase their damage output while also bringing a large amount of unique raid utility.

Healing Edit

Main article: Paladins as healers

Through the holy tree paladins are able to empower their healing even further. The holy tree's most important talent, Beacon of Light, allows a paladin's direct heals to be mirrored to the affected friendly target. Holy Paladins are widely regarded as the strongest tank healers in the game due to the high output of Holy Light in combination with Beacon of Light.

Suggested professions Edit

Mining is the most popular gathering profession choice for paladins because of the stamina bonus from Toughness. Herbalism is also a popular choice for Tauren paladins because of its Lifeblood healing ability, and their +15 racial bonus.

Engineering is a good choice for Paladins because of its various ranged explosive and guardian-type devices.

The Paladin's ability to wear mail/plate, use shields, and wield almost all types of melee weapons makes Blacksmithing a good choice if Mining is chosen as a gathering profession. Paladins will be able to produce highly sought-after shield and weapon enhancements such as weight/sharpening stones, shield spikes, and weapon chains that counter disarm effects.

Jewelcrafting offers some higher level paladin-friendly benefits once the player can use socketed gems.

Inscription provides a means to produce class-specific glyphs that give enhancements to existing abilities and traits. Buff scrolls that boost existing stats can be of use. Other Glyphs can be sold at Auction or given to other players as gifts.

Alchemy offers a wide variety of potions and elixirs that boost health and mana and provide additional temporary traits and bonuses to existing stats. It is a profession useful to any class and can easily be combined with a Tauren Paladin's Herbalism bonus.

First Aid is recommended as a fair backup healing plan for yourself when mana (or Holy Power) needs to be saved for others, if you intend your paladin to be a healer-type. It is useful to any class and easy to learn.

Cooking allows you to learn recipes that give you short-term stamina bonuses, which is always useful to any class.

Additional notes Edit

  • In-game paladin is often abbreviated into pala, pal or pally by players.

See also Edit

Patch changes Edit

References Edit

  1. Of Blood and Honor, page 5
  2. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 54, 77.
  3. 3,0 3,1 Blizzard Entertainment Bornakk 2010-06-30. 0. Ask CDev #1 Answers - Round 1. Archived from the original on 2010-10-01.
  4. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 90.
  5. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 79.
  6. Dark Factions, pg. 154-155.
  7. Old official World of Warcraft: Cataclysm site → Class combinations matrix

External links Edit


Talent calculators

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