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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.
Paladin crest.png

The paladin is a hybrid class with the ability to play all three major roles, including healing, tanking and DPS. They have auras, blessings and seals that provide useful buffs for other players while wearing plate armor to heavily mitigate damage and strong defensive abilities. Paladins are considered holy knights[1] or in the case of blood elves, blood knights. Tauren paladins call themselves Sunwalkers to emphasize their relationship with the sun, specifically An'she.

Paladins begin the game able to wear plate. Paladins can use a shield. Paladins use melee weapons, including one- and two-handed axes, maces and swords, as well as polearms.


Paladins are exceptional tanks, excelling at pulling and holding the attention of multiple mobs simultaneously through the use of reactive threat abilities such as Consecration.

The class also has some of the most mana-efficient, low-threat healing spells in the game, allowing a paladin to easily fill the position of a main tank's healer in a party or raid environment. Their healing efficiency makes them great endurance and battle healers, though paladins lack Area of Effect healing abilities. However, with the inclusion of Eternal Flame, they finally have a Heal over time ability.

The paladin has several abilities designed specifically for use against undead and demonic targets, including Exorcism, Holy Wrath and Turn Evil. Note that undead in this case does not include Forsaken players, who are considered Humanoids for reasons of fairness and balance.

In PvP, paladins are infamous for outlasting opponents and being able to adapt to a variety of situations. With plate armor, a shield, the ability to heal themselves and allies, along with a nearly complete invulnerability every few minutes, they are a hard target to take down. Paladins are also capable of doing a surprising amount of burst damage, and stuns and similar abilities provide plenty of utility. Paladins make great support characters, buffing and healing teammates while being able to survive the enemy's attention and contribute a respectable, if not exceptional, amount of damage, depending on the spec (and patch, like everything else).

However, these "Warriors of the Light" are not indestructible, and are particularly vulnerable to silence and interrupt effects, due to the class's reliance on a single school of magic (Holy). This also means dispel effects are powerful deterrents.

While paladins have strong advantages, mastery of the class is also an arduous exercise in multitasking and attention to detail. Thanks to their hybrid role, inexperienced players may find them hard to balance as a whole.



A dwarf paladin fighting, with the retribution aura, against undead skeletons.

Paladins are 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 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 their factions from the predations of any threat. 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]

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.Template:Fac


The paladin’s code requires that they respect legitimate authority, act with honor, help those in need, 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.[3][4] What they deem "moral" may vary, however. As long as a paladin believes in her/himself and that their endgoal is just - one remains a paladin.[citation needed]

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. [5]


Human paladin

Second War

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 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.[6]

Post-Second War

The holy paladins led the battle against the orcs and helped save the lands of Lordaeron from ruin. Though 15 years had passed since the end of the Second War, the paladins 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 weak and innocent.

Third War

The Knights of the Silver Hand was at its height until the time of the Plague. As paladins were immune to the Plague, many members of the Order survived the initial push of the Scourge. The Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded by prince Arthas Menethil when Uther refused to aid in the purging of Stratholme. Later, after Arthas was seduced by the power of the Lich King, he killed many paladins upon his return from Northrend, including Uther, leaving only a scattered few.

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. These paladins became fanatical in their ambition to destroy the Scourge, to the point that those not wearing their colors are deemed corrupted. Others decided to join the Argent Dawn. Some paladins also turned from the Light and joined Arthas Menethil as death knights.

Others fled south to the Kingdom of Stormwind. The paladin order, still referring to themselves as the Order of the Silver Hand, thrived under new leadership at the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind City. Over time, 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 began to recover.[7]

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.

Notable paladins


Main article: Paladin races

The paladin class can be played by the following races:

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 23 17 22 20 23 33 123 40
Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf 27 16 23 19 20 33 133 40
Alliance HumanHuman Human 22 20 22 20 21 33 123 40
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 19 22 22 23 19 33 123 40
Horde TaurenTauren Tauren World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 27 16 23 16 23 24 137 40

Human paladin

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. Draenei paladins receive an elekk similar to how tauren receive a modified kodo.

As of the Cataclysm expansion, Tauren are the second race of the Horde to be able to take on the role of paladin.[8] Tauren paladins are called Sunwalkers. They receive a kodo mount.

The one who is believed to be the first tauren paladin is located 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.


Invokes the power of the Light to protect and heal.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Intellect
  • Critical Strike
  • Versatility
  • Mastery
  • Haste

Holy Light

Ability Min Level
Holy Shock 10
Consecration 14
Beacon of Light 20
Cleanse 22
Holy Light 25
Crusader Strike (2) 26
Divine Protection 32
Infusion of Light 35
Light of Dawn 40
Ability Min Level
Judgment (ability) (3) 42
Light of the Martyr 50
Beacon of Light (2) 52
Blessing of Sacrifice 56
Righteousness 63
Absolution 66
Aura Mastery 70
Mastery: Lightbringer 78
Uses Holy magic to shield him/herself and defend allies against attackers.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Haste
  • Critical Strike
  • Mastery
  • Versatility

Avenger's Shield

Ability Min Level
Avenger's Shield 10
Hammer of the Righteous 10
Consecration 14
Shield of the Righteous 20
Cleanse Toxins 22
Grand Crusader 25
Rebuke 35
Light of the Protector 40
Ability Min Level
Avenger's Shield (2) 42
Judgment (ability) (3) 42
Ardent Defender 50
Blessing of Sacrifice 56
Guardian of Ancient Kings 70
Mastery: Divine Bulwark 78
A righteous crusader who judges and punishes opponents with weapons and Holy magic.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Strength
  • Haste (30%)
  • Critical Strike / Versatility
  • Mastery

Divine Storm

Ability Min Level
Templar's Verdict 10
Judgment (ability) (2) 16
Blade of Justice 20
Cleanse Toxins 22
Hand of Hindrance 24
Shield of Vengeance 32
Rebuke 35
Divine Storm 40
Ability Min Level
Greater Blessing of Kings 58
Greater Blessing of Wisdom 65
Retribution 70
Mastery: Divine Judgment 78


Note: Players technically start in Retribution spec; if a player chooses another specialization at level 10, Protection paladins lose Crusader Strike.

Crusader Strike

Hammer of Justice

Ability Min Level
Crusader Strike Starts with
Judgment 3
Flash of Light 5
Hammer of Justice 8
Hand of Reckoning 12
Redemption 14
Divine Shield 18
Ability Min Level
Divine Steed 28
Blessing of Freedom 38
Heart of the Crusader 44
Blessing of Protection 48
Lay on Hands 55
Avenging Wrath 80

Note: Level 20 mounts require Apprentice Riding (75) (given automatically at level 20) and level 40 require Journeyman (150) (need to train) before trainers will offer them.


Ability Min Level Faction/Race
Summon Exarch's Elekk 20 Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei
Summon Sunwalker Kodo 20 Horde TaurenTauren Tauren
Summon Thalassian Warhorse 20 Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf
Summon Warhorse 20 Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf
Alliance HumanHuman Human
Ability Min Level Faction/Race
Summon Charger 40 Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf
Alliance HumanHuman Human
Summon Great Exarch's Elekk 40 Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei
Summon Great Sunwalker Kodo 40 Horde TaurenTauren Tauren
Summon Thalassian Charger 40 Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf
Level Abilities (choose one)
15 Holy (Paladin) Bestow Faith
Protection (Paladin) Holy Shield
Retribution Final Verdict
Holy (Paladin) Light's Hammer (paladin talent)
Protection (Paladin) Blessed Hammer (paladin talent)
Retribution Execution Sentence
Holy (Paladin) Crusader's Might
Protection (Paladin) Consecrated Hammer
Retribution Consecration
30 Holy (Paladin) Cavalier
Protection (Paladin) First Avenger
Retribution The Fires of Justice
Holy (Paladin) Unbreakable Spirit
Protection (Paladin) Bastion of Light (paladin talent)
Retribution Zeal
Holy (Paladin) Rule of Law
Protection (Paladin) Crusader's Judgment
Retribution Greater Judgment
45 Fist of Justice Repentance Blinding Light
60 Holy (Paladin) Devotion Aura
Protection (Paladin) Blessing of Spellwarding
Retribution Virtue's Blade
Holy (Paladin) Aura of Sacrifice
Protection (Paladin) Cavalier
Retribution Blade of Wrath
Holy (Paladin) Aura of Mercy
Protection (Paladin) Retribution Aura
Retribution Divine Hammer (paladin talent)
75 Holy (Paladin) Divine Purpose
Protection (Paladin) Hand of the Protector
Retribution Justicar's Vengeance
Holy (Paladin) Holy Avenger
Protection (Paladin) Knight Templar
Retribution Eye for an Eye
Holy (Paladin) Holy Prism
Protection (Paladin) Final Stand
Retribution Word of Glory
90 Holy (Paladin) Fervent Martyr
Protection (Paladin) Aegis of Light
Retribution Divine Intervention
Holy (Paladin) Sanctified Wrath
Protection (Paladin) Judgment of Light
Retribution Cavalier
Holy (Paladin) Judgment of Light
Protection (Paladin) Consecrated Ground
Retribution Seal of Light
100 Holy (Paladin) Beacon of Faith
Protection (Paladin) Righteous Protector
Retribution Divine Purpose
Holy (Paladin) Beacon of the Lightbringer
Protection (Paladin) Seraphim
Retribution Crusade
Holy (Paladin) Beacon of Virtue
Protection (Paladin) Last Defender
Retribution Holy Wrath
Honor Level Talent
1 Gladiator's Medallion
2 Holy (Paladin) Defender of the Weak, Protection (Paladin) Relentless Assault, Retribution Hardiness (honor talent)
4 Holy (Paladin) Divine Vision, Protection (Paladin) Shield of Virtue, Retribution Jurisdiction
6 Holy Ritual
8 Holy (Paladin) Avenging Light, Protection (Paladin) Hallowed Ground, Retribution Vengeance Aura
10 Holy (Paladin) Spreading the Word, Protection (Paladin) Judgments of the Pure, Retribution Lawbringer (honor talent)
13 Adaptation (honor talent)
16 Holy (Paladin) Vim and Vigor, Protection (Paladin) Inquisition, Retribution Reinforced Armor
19 Unbound Freedom
22 Pure of Heart
25 Holy (Paladin) Ultimate Sacrifice, Protection (Paladin) Guarded by the Light, Retribution Blessing of Sanctuary
28 Holy (Paladin) Blessed Hands, Protection (Paladin) Steed of Glory, Retribution Divine Punisher
31 Relentless (honor talent)
34 Holy (Paladin) Divine Favor, Protection (Paladin) Softened Blows, Retribution Sparring (honor talent)
37 Holy (Paladin) Cleanse the Weak, Protection (Paladin) Warrior of Light, Retribution Law and Order
40 Holy (Paladin) Light's Grace, Protection (Paladin)Retribution Luminescence
43 Holy (Paladin) Darkest before the Dawn, Protection (Paladin) Sacred Duty, Retribution Seraphim's Blessing
46 Holy (Paladin) Avenging Crusader, Protection (Paladin) Guardian of the Forgotten Queen, Retribution Hammer of Reckoning

Suggested professions

  • The paladin's ability to wear plate, use shields, and wield almost all types of melee weapons makes Blacksmithing [Blacksmithing] a good choice if Mining [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.
  • Engineering [Engineering] is a good choice for paladins because of its various ranged explosive and guardian-type devices.
  • Jewelcrafting [Jewelcrafting] offers some higher level paladin-friendly benefits once the player can use socketed gems. Draenei paladins have +10 racial bonus, [Gemcutting].
  • Inscription [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 [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 [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 [Cooking] allows you to learn recipes that give you short-term stamina bonuses, which is always useful to any class.

End-game expectations

Vindicator Maraad

Paladins are one of the few classes that can perform any of the three major functions required in group or raid play, depending on their specialization.


Main article: Paladins as tanks

Through the protection specialization 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.


Main article: Paladins as DPS

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


Main article: Paladins as healers

Through the holy specialization paladins are able to empower their healing even further. The holy specialization'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.


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


See also

Patch changes


  1. ^ Of Blood and Honor, page 5
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 54, 77.
  3. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 90.
  4. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 79.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Paladin unit overview
  7. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 154-155.
  8. ^ Old official World of Warcraft: Cataclysm site → Class combinations matrix

External links



Talent calculators