Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Paladin: The Jack-Of-All-Trades

I've been experimenting on different Holy Paladin variations since 2.3 hit. Not just because I was bored, but because I want to be able to make an effective jack-of-all-trades Paladin. Ever since the original Diablo, Blizzard has set the caster-warrior class as a hybrid and I believe a lot of World of Warcraft players do not realize that hybrids are supposed to be able to a little of everything and not be too great at one feat.

Let me explain why I think this:

Back in Diablo, you could have three classes: Warrior, Sorcerer, and Rouge. Most people thought inside the box and played them as they should be... A tank, a mage, and a ranged fighter. However, I took a different route that not many people took and that is a hybrid of the Warrior and Sorcerer. I named him a Spellwarrior. In Diablo, everyone can learn every spell in the game by finding spell books. If you put the right points (str, vit, energy, etc), you could make any class a hybrid. In this case, I put points into Vitality and Energy. I was able to off-tank, heal, do a bit of with crowd control, and damage with this character.

Once Diablo 2 was released, I noticed that they had made a Paladin class which acted a lot like my Spellwarrior. He could give auras which my guy couldn't, but he could do damage, tank, and heal (well, somewhat... not really helpful in this game). I was ecstatic that I finally have a pure character that fit my playstyle.

The same mindset I had with the Diablo series is the same I had when I came into World of Warcraft: Find and play the jack-of-all-trades class. Now, there are a lot of classes in the game which can do this (Druid, Shaman, and Paladin) but Shamans were part of the Horde and I didn't feel like looking at a bear's butt (:P) so I choose the Paladin. Having played the class for over 7 years, it was the right choice and fit into my comfort zone.

Back to the real point of this post:

Time and time again, I see Paladin running around with 61 points into the Ret tree, 61 in Prot, or 50/11/0. These are all fine and great. I will be the last one to tell you how to play your character. However, in the true aspect of the character, I do not believe this was how Blizzard wanted the character played. All three trees were made to support each other: Holy-Prot, Prot-Ret, and Holy-Ret. There are a view out there who even go across the board into all three trees.

I always laughed when I heard a Paladin complain that Ret was weak and they wanted Blizzard to buff Ret Paladins. The bottom of the Ret tree was weak and will always be weak (in my opinion). Under Sanctity Aura, there is only one good talent and that is Repentance. The others are OK but not something that stands out to me.

Having said that, I've tried three different builds that can be deemed jack-of-all-trades. The 40/00/21, the 41/20/00 and the 40/11/10. I'll start in order.

40/00/21: The pure Shockadin build. Most people believe (as I did) that Sanctity Aura was the key for adding DPS. Well, I was wrong and I think a lot of people are still decieved by it (I'll explain why in the next build). What I liked about this build is that you can heal and do grat burst damage. Vindication is now my new favorite Paladin talent. -15% to the target's stats. That's 15% of their base HP and MP gone. The key for a Shockadin is to get your opponent's health down and then burst Hammer Of Justice for the stun, Judged Seal Of Righteousness, Holy Shock and Hammer Of Wrath for a good 2,200-2,700 damage within a matter of seconds. You also get a nice talent called Pursuit Of Justice which can be very helpful while chasing down an opponent or just to be lighter on your feet. This is a good build but it doesn't work as well as I would have liked it.

41/20/00: Another good build. Not as mana efficient as the 40/00/21 though. That is a huge drawback! After 3-4 fights, you will be drinking. I never thought that Benediction (from the Ret tree) was as helpful as I thought. You really do miss something once it's gone. You also lose Vindication. /cry but we can manage without it. There are 3 bonuses with the 20 in Prot though. First is Blessing Of Kings. 10% to all stats! That's an extra 600 HP and MP (for me). Remember Sanctity Aura? Throw it out the window because Kings is the reason why it's not that great. I had found that my spell damage dropped only 30 points! I went 21 points down in Ret for something I could get with 11 in the Prot tree (also the HP and MP boost). The second is the ability to block more damage with Sheild Spec and Redoubt. Third is Improved Concentration Aura. Your cast bar will never be interrupted by damage and an your party's resistance to silence can help in PVP and PVE. Again, the problem was the loss of mana. I did not like all the downtime the build had.

40/11/10: Can this be the jack-of-all-trades build? In my eyes, the answer is YES! You get your normal 40 points of Holy, you get Blessing Of Kings and you get Benediction for Mana with a 8 second cooldown on your Judges. I can main heal, do decent DPS, and off-tank (badly but survivable). Love to solo? This is your build. You can help in many situations. Just make sure you have Stam, Int and spell damage / healing on your gear. It is important to have a high spell damage and balanced HP and MP. I believe mine is around 9,200 health and 9,500 mana, as well as 600 spell damage, 1,100 healing.

The main important thing here is to learn that Paladins can be more than just pure Ret, pure Prot, or pure Holy. You can play as you want but I would try out some of these builds for the fun of it. I would love to try the new Ret Paladin builds but my gear is not set for it and I feel like I would not be successful without proper gear.

After months of research, the 40/11/10 build, in my opinion, is the best Paladin build if you want to heal, do damage and more importantly, solo. If you plan on getting to 80 soloing, I would highly recommend this build.

(This will be my last post until Monday. I have a very busy end of the week ahead of me.)

9 comments:

Tarn said...

Ouch, losing vindication, pursuit of justice AND eye for an eye? I hear ya on the min dmg loss and the imp health, armor and blocking being good for pve, but no way am i going into pvp with that. maybe when wotlk comes out i'll try the build but for now i'll stay classic shock.

tarn said...

oh, also, 6% of base seems like a lot! i spam BoW before every fight to make sure its on w/o having to look but a 6% i could drain myself, especially if hitting party members as well.

Aticus said...

You're absolutely correct Tarn. The classic Shockadin build is better for PVP than PVE.

Anonymous said...

Hello i have a lvl 70 retribution spec paladin i spent some points in Prot tree for more survivability, there's a good PvP build for Retadins it's 0/20/41, u get
35sec Hammer of Justice CD, wich is very good imo, Blessing of Kings, wich is way better than getting Imp Might,Sancity Aura+Imp Sancity Aura+Crusade it will add %5 more damage, Retribution can be really good if used correctly.

Anonymous said...

Hello i have a lvl 70 retribution spec paladin i spent some points in Prot tree for more survivability, there's a good PvP build for Retadins it's 0/20/41, u get
35sec Hammer of Justice CD, wich is very good imo, Blessing of Kings, wich is way better than getting Imp Might,Sancity Aura+Imp Sancity Aura+Crusade it will add %5 more damage, Retribution can be really good if used correctly.

Joel said...

Hello i have a lvl 70 retribution spec paladin i spent some points in Prot tree for more survivability, there's a good PvP build for Retadins it's 0/20/41, u get
35sec Hammer of Justice CD, wich is very good imo, Blessing of Kings, wich is way better than getting Imp Might,Sancity Aura+Imp Sancity Aura+Crusade it will add %5 more damage, Retribution can be really good if used correctly.

Joel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilo said...

Like Joel above me said
I would like to try out a 0/20/41 enabling me to have Crusader Strike and BoK. I have a great imo, and great dps. I am going for a prot-ret dps/support build for 3s. I will notify you if this works out in the end.

However, If not. I would most like repec into a Shock. Being the safest out of all builds for dps/support.

Protadin said...

You might be surprised to find that as a Prot Pally, not only can I solo just about any situation I wade into, but that I have enough power to heal myself satisfactorily should the need arise. By using Ret Aura, Holy Shield, a shield spike, Blessing of Sanctuary, and Darkmoon Card: Vengeance, I can let anything beat itself to death on me.

Even in PvP, Prot is extremely viable. However, this spec's bane is casters. As you are relying on blocking with your shield, beware the heavy DPS casters can drop on you, and juggle your talents to make sure they can't run far. A prudent timing of Avenger's Shield and Hammer of Justice keeps my targets under my hammer long enough for me to beat them. Judgment of Justice also helps.