Paladin notes blog

I never really played Paladin before. I thought as I go through the class I would post what I learn about it so anyone else passing through might have something fun to read when they are having trouble sleeping.

I picked Paladin this time for a few reasons. First every single healer I have played has been squishy. Paladins are not. I tend to play Druid heals, which are good for spamming out HoTs over large raids. Paladins spam flash heal on single targets. There is a huge richness to the blessings and bubbles you can put out there, that is intimidating, but can be quite powerful, and I think it will take a while for this to get boring. Seems like a lower skill floor, but perhaps a higher skill cap, meaning I can start doing well from the start, but I can stay with it a while. In addition to heals, I wanted to do melee dps. I got really sick of progression raiding as mage last time during Legion, where it felt like my cast time was always screwed up by some range hose mechanic. I wanted to be that moron pounding on it at point blank, following the herd as they drag the boss all over. I figure when my son wants to drag me along on some hard raid, I can heal, and I can also DPS when OTG needs another body to raid.

So I played 65 levels of Ret. Almost all of it was questing. I like haste better than crit because I hate waiting on buttons while I auto attack, and haste seems to offset that some. Play style is build holy power, judge, finish with holy spenders. You get nice 2-handers, dps is pretty sustain like, without a lot of spikes that you get as say Arms warrior. You have a ton of save the bacon buttons as a DPS, and I was liking the whole thing where the MT got banished, boss switched to me, and I hit some CDs and bubbled with no sweat. AOE dps is a little lacking pre-artifact ( I hear it gets boosted with the artifact). Holy damage is strong late game when you face high physical resist, but early game it feels low as things have low physical resist. I also like the buffs you bring to a raid like kings and wisdom, and the ability to BoP or lay on hands in a pinch. The big bugaboo is you feel slow. You get a horse combat move, that you can get 2 charges of, but it is nothing to write home about, and more of a button to try and catch up to the party or ditch out fast on a game mechanic than it is a means of crossing ground fast.

You can not really use gnome sequencer to macro ret since there are state based procs that throw off those macros. But you have lots of time to get your sequence off manually, and it does not feel as much like a mashfest as some other classes.

I have about 5 levels of Holy under my belt. At this point my tidbits are

  • Use flash heal instead of the efficiency heal. At least in heirlooms, mana is never a problem, and flash heal heals more

  • Light of the Martyr seems to be one you can leave off. It is meant as a heal to use on the run when holy shock and bestow faith are on coodown. It damages you as it heals them, and that healing doesn’t go through the beacon.

  • The DPS sequence for a holy paladin is entirely cooldown driven with no procs and can be readily macroed via gnome sequencer, thus turning 1 button into your DPS mash button. I think it sort of sucks compared to DPS classes, but it is something to do when damage is light and you want to move faster.

  • Talents for me are bestow faith, cavalier, blinding light, devotion aura, divine purpose, sanctified wrath, and beacon of the lightbringer. Bestow faith is a decent insta cast heal that I enjoy and use a lot. I like the 2nd cavalier charge, and do not want another CD for range. Blinding light is the -oh crap it is chewing on me button- that I hit when the tank doesn’t have agro. Devotion aura is low maintenance- I figure the less damage they take, the more laid back my life will be. Divine purpose is where I will likely go as it is procs, but holy avenger can be stacked with Avenging wrath if I feel like I need more control over burst. I will go with sanctified wrath for dungeons, and get judgement of light for raids. Also beacon of the lightbringer seems to be the most interesting. I do not want a CD on beacon. I suppose I will go with Beacon of Faith in raids.

  • Blessing of sacrifice and bubble looks like the cool move when the tank is about to croak

  • Blessing of protection is something to put on that DPS guy who seems to not be able to get above a sliver of life

  • Blessing of freedom is something I need to get better with. Same goes for dwarf stoneform.

Update- I hit 110 last weekend. Here are some thoughts on the trip up from 70

Instances- as you level up from 60-80, the instances are good. Burning Crusade + WOLK are straight forward steam roller type instances. The second you hit 80 though, you get into Cataclysm and Pandaria, and those are much harder to pull off. Around this time that idiot who stands in the game mechanic and relies upon brute power plus the healer to save him from the idiocy starts to die more frequently. The queue times also go longer.

So for 60-80, I would if questing do WOLK (BC is garbage xp) and queue for random dungeons.

Around 80, go to Pandaria and do Jade Forest quests. That whole zone is compact and was balanced for ground mounts, so if you have flying, you will be able to rapidly complete many quests at a time, getting you up there fast. There are a ton of mining nodes and herbs in those zones for extra experience and gold. Most of that will likely sell higher in BFA when people need crafting materials particular to old world content to complete achievements in their professions.

Once you hit 90, go to Draenor. You can skip the scenario by a trick that involves kneeling next to a fire in a cave in Pandaria, or just slog through the opening scenario, or get a mage to port you there and fly to the start area. You will want to load up Handy Notes (addon). Each treasure you pick up is worth gold, has gear, and gives you a nice chunk of XP. If you have Draenor flying, you can rapidly pick these up for decent coin and XP. Overall for Alliance, I like to do the full Shadowmoon zone, get my garrison going, and when that is done , follow this guide on getting garrison followers. You should be 95 by the time you are out of Shadowmoon, and likely will be 98 by the time you are done with the rest of the followers.

The main point to Draenor right now is catching up your crafting professions. I took Engineering from 1 to 615 in under 1hr simply by mailing over accumulated materials from other characters I had garrisons with. Even simply taking the other toons through a garrison mine and herb garden harvest was a nice chunk of mats to send over. I do not bother with cooking or first aid, the latter of which will be gone in BFA.

At 98+ go to Legion. You can skip the movie now and get your hearthstone and weapon reward. Heirlooms now scale to 110, and you can get to the top level fast if you have them. I would activate your profession quests in Dalaran, and pick your fist quest zone based upon that. Pick the dps spec weapon for your first artifact. You do not need to do the others unless you want to raid in Legion before BFA. Focus upon profession and garrison missions, and fill with your starting zone quests. Get world quest tracker and look for when invasions are up and go do them if they are. If you have 110 heirloom gear, around this time you want to wean yourself of trinkets and the necklace which give you no exp bonus. Keep the heirloom pieces that do.

As far as your class hideout in Legion goes, do not send followers out on missions unless you are in the gated section of quests for order hall advancement. You will hit a section where you need to do something like 5x1hr missions, and hold followers in reserve until them. Do assign one as a bodyguard though.

Do not pick up any treasures, unless they are a gear upgrade. Once you hit 110, you get the full artifact knowledge bonus for them, and you can then go back and advance it that way.

The first thing I did at 110 other than tidy up some order hall stuff was do Argus. There is an opening scenario which if you complete you will get an AP bonus of something like 5 billion artifact xp. This will take you to about T4 on your weapon. Even the most top end raiding guilds say T21 is about all you should bother with on that weapon, so in one drop you can really improve that weapon. Also there is an 880ish relic for the artifact, which really helps.

It is tough getting through that intro scenario, and you will have to use all of your tricks to do it, but if you pull it off you are way ahead. My suggestion is to run the perimeter in the starting area, avoiding the big stompy patrols. Simply wait at the edge for them to pass, and pull anything you need for credit to the edge of the area. For the 3 bosses, you can mount ride all the way through to the final area and all the enemies will drop. Then you engage the boss on one side away from any adds from pats. Those patrols will kill you. Each boss fight is pretty predictable. He has a big wind up move with a ground target that you can strafe left to get out of, then strafe right to go back. Your bodyguard will likely die several times during this. Having a tanking BG is nice here (hope you did this bit in legion). Use cooldowns to survive when he dies. For me as Ret pally, I would wait until wake of ashes was up, then pop avenging wrath and all other dps CDs after I would open with wake. Wake would stun it for a nice long while (it is a demon) and I could get the full DPS window in without all of the dodgy stuff. I would move off and heal any time I got below 75%, and basically stall for time until the bodyguard self resurrected. The final boss is much easier because the game gives you a tank that is way more rugged, and you can just focus upon not getting 1 shot on the big hit mechanic.

This is where I am now. I am still moving order hall upgrades and order hall missions along. I need to go out and do world quests to grab gear and resources and gold a bit before I return in earnest to Argus. Oh, once you complete the intial scenario in Argus, bind your hearthstone at that inn in Argus to make it easy to return. There is a port from Argus back to Dal, so you can still use the hub in Dal via an Argus inn bind. Class mission is not as important now since you get the 3rd relic slot open for free, and the gear from it is outclassed by Argus. Still is likely worth it getting your full set of companions. My weak bodyguard companion dies really easy now in Argus, so a few WQs and maybe that will change.

I have not done the Argus storyline yet, and look forward to that. I hear that you can get zone rewards of up to 930ish gear from that zone now, which shortcuts what used to take months.

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Good to read this since my next level 1 is going to be plate. Pally is in the lead for me.

Update 25 Jun 2018

I hit my stride on this Ret pally now. I am around 937 item level, with every piece in the collection at least 910, the level you get from the vendor in Argus. I must say this character is a beast.

First of all, in DPS spec I just walk up to a boss on Argus and start beating on it. Typically I will try to queue for a group or make my own, but I do not wait around. I just start. I have as my companion Vindicator Boros. The guide says I should get Meatball as a combat companion, but I think it helps having the companion tank. Sometimes he dies, but he comes back around 10s later, and usually I have a CD to keep me up in the interim.

DPS as Ret seems to be about using Crusade and managing the rotation. Hekilli helps manage the rotation well for Paladin, so it just comes down to timing that Crusade window, and knowing when you can get in the full 20s window without interruption due to the mechanic. DPS really rockets up during this window, so you need to nail it then.

I have pulled off several crap pulls in DPS spec with this Ret pally that normally I would not try as a non tank. Eye for an Eye, Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection, and Shield of Vengeance all are damage reduction CDs that can extend your life, and you have heals that you can use, in addition to lay on hands. So many oh shit buttons. When it gets bad, I step out, spam a few heals, then step back in. This helps with the longevity on raids too, say when your healer is OOM and everyone is close to dead.

I am using Final Verdict, Greater Judgement, Fist of Justice, Blade of Wrath, Eye for an Eye, Divine Intervention, and Crusade. That Divine Intervention has saved me many times, from that time where I go whoops and fall off a cliff in Argus, to that time when I did not see the telegraph on the ground and got pounded.

I have done the Argus campaign and unlocked Mac’Aree world quests. I am at step 11 of the class hall side chain where you raise 6 companions to 925. Step 18 of that chain gives you an heirloom necklace. The 925 gear comes from companion missions, and so far have only seen one. I have not fished up the Argus mount, Pond Nettle. I haven’t bought my Krokul Flute yet. I made the wormhole generator for Argus, tried it out, wound up on some platform mid fight. My conclusion- this is a cheesy way to zone to Argus from other areas, and largely useless otherwise. Tend to run around with Light’s Judgement from the Matrix Core…shorter CD, and I pair it with Kil’jaden’s Burning Wish. The latter is my best legendary ( it is number 7 on the list for Ret Pally). I use it and the ring you get as your rewarded legendary. Artifact weapon now is lvl 74, one point shy of where you can max out the Netherlight Crucible abilities. I am slowly grinding the rep in Armies of the Light. Long way to go yet. I did the Shoot First, Loot Later achievement on the way to unlocking Paragon of Argus. Not sure how far I am going to go on that achievement, seems like this is a multi week thing, and I missed one week already on vacation (they cycle through the bosses on greater invasions).

I try to clear out the WQs on Argus, and pop bosses along the way. I still do invasions on Broken Shore, and the emissaries.

How is mobility with a Pally? With my Warlock has range and with my Demon Hunter, well: Jumping with wings and that AOE charge move is just ludicrous.

Mobility is the weak point. You get a relatively short cooldown run speed boost that put you on a horse. You can talent that up to 2 charges, or you can pick the talent that auto-bubbles when you die. I like the latter. To compensate, I picked engineering. You can with engineering tinker you belt for a rocket effect, that will catch you up to others. I think that is on a 2 min CD. DH is one of the most mobile characters in the game and paladin plods compared to that. But you can bubble through stuff that would kill others so I suppose it all works out.