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Paladin Basics
A very basic guide for new or struggling paladins.
Last updated July 6, 2007 @ 1:02:46PM
Viewed 3167 times

A beginners paladin guide

I have a few friends with paladins who were struggling with how to play the class and as a result, had become somewhat frustrated. In talking with them, I found that they were not aware or confused about how to use paladin-unique spells. With a few adjustments to their techniques and spell usage, they were able to significantly improve their effectiveness so I thought I would outline some basics for any new or struggling pallys out there.

I am only going to address very basic attack sequences and those you would use primarily for soloing/questing on average mobs. I acknowledge that there are many variations on these and what you should actually do in a given situation depends upon the actual fight and your talents but hey?ya? gotta start somewhere. I also realize that there is a lot of great information on the scrawl for pallys but much of that information is somewhat in-depth and requires some concentration to absorb and understand so my goal here is to keep it very simple and address this to pala-noobs :P


First things first - Seal vs. Judgment

Pallys are unique because several of the paladin?s spells are dual purpose in that a given spell can either be used as a seal or as a judgment. If you cast a spell onto yourself like a buff, you are in effect holding it; this is called a seal and produces one kind of effect. You can also throw the seal off of yourself and onto a target at which point it becomes a judgment and produces a different effect from when it was a seal.

For example: Seal of Righteousness is one of the first spells a paladin will train and it can be used either as a seal or a judgment. When you initially cast it, it is similar to a temporary buff like the warrior?s Battle Shout and you hold onto it as a seal. This adds a certain amount of holy damage to your melee damage. If you then judge Seal of Righteousness by throwing it on to your target, it becomes Judgment of Righteousness and will do big holy damage to the target.

Learning which spells are dual purpose and their respective effects is the main challenge of the paladin early on and essential to being a successful paladin.

Remember: A spell is a seal when you hold it and a judgment when you throw it on to your target. The same spell will have different effects depending upon whether it is a seal or a judgment.



Basic Seal/Judgment spells (Note: all of these will be listed as seals on your UI buttons)

Seal of the Crusader-
Increases your attack power and speed but with less damage done per hit.

Judgment of the Crusader-
Increases the amount of holy damage done to the target.
Note: Judging Crusader does no damage by itself but rather it enhances subsequent holy damage and significantly so. Also, it is on a timer but the timer is reset every time you successfully hit the target.

Seal of Righteousness-
Adds holy damage to each melee strike.

Judgment of Righteousness-
Causes major holy damage to the target all at once.

Seal of Command-
Chance on hit to add weapon damage + an additional amount of holy damage. Higher ranks add more holy damage.

Judgment of Command-
Like Judgment of Righteousness, this judgment causes major holy damage to the target all at once but not as much as Judgment of Righteousness on a non-stunned target. However, if the target is stunned or incapacitated, Judgment of Command will produce massive holy damage. Much more than even Judgment of Righteousness.
Note: Seal of Command is a retribution talent.


Basic non-Seal Spells

Judgment-
A generic spell used to throw (judge) whatever seal you happen to be holding. It has a range of 10 yards and a 10 second cooldown by default.
Note: Judgment by itself has no effect unless it is used in conjunction with a seal.

Hammer of Justice-
A stun spell. You cast it on to the target and it stuns the target for x number of seconds. Unlike other incapacitating spells like sap or sheep, you can continue to DPS the target without breaking the stun. Hammer of Justice is on a 1 minute cooldown by default.



Basic Attack Sequences-

Here is a basic attack sequence you can use with a 1H weapon and shield. (It also works fine for 2H weapons if you do not have Seal of Command.)

? As you approach your target, cast and judge Seal of the Crusader and immediately cast and hold Seal of Righteousness. Try and do both of these before the target gets into melee range. You can judge at 10 yards out.

? Start wailing on the target. You will see melee damage displayed as white numbers and holy damage displayed as yellow.

? When your judgment spell cools down after 10 seconds, judge Seal of Righteousness and immediately re-cast it again. Repeat this sequence until the target dies.

So here is the short version:

While approaching the target?
1. Cast and judge Seal of Crusader
2. Cast and hold Seal of Righteousness
Once in melee range?
3. Hit the target until Judgment cools down
4. When Judgment cools down, Judge Seal of Righteousness
5. Immediately re-cast and hold Seal of Righteousness
6. Repeat steps 3 ? 5 until your target is dead

Simple but effective.


2H Weapon Attack Sequence with Seal of Command-

? As you approach your target, cast and judge Seal of the Crusader and immediately cast and hold Seal of Command. Try and do both of these before the target gets into melee range. You can judge at 10 yards out.

? Start wailing on the target. You will see melee damage displayed as white numbers and if Seal of Command procs (it usually will proc 2-4 times per fight in my experience) you will see considerable holy damage displayed as yellow.

? A second or so before Judgment cools down, cast Hammer of Justice to stun the target. Immediately judge Seal of Command which will cause big holy damage to the stunned target. Immediately re-cast and hold Seal of Command. When your judgment spell cools down after several seconds, judge Seal of Command and immediately re-cast it again.

? From this point, just repeatedly hold and judge Seal of Command until the target dies. However, if the fight lasts long enough for you to get a second stun in, by all means do it. Most of the time it will not.

Short version:

While approaching the target?
1. Cast and judge Seal of Crusader
2. Cast and hold Seal of Command
Once in melee range?
3. Hit the target until Judgment cools down
4. When Judgment cools down, cast Hammer of Justice
5. Immediately Judge Seal of Command
6. Immediately re-cast and hold Seal of Command
7. When Judgment cools down, cast Seal of Command
6. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until your target is dead


2H Weapon Attack Sequence with Seal of Command (Variation)-

As an alternative, after you stun and judge Seal of Command, you might consider switching back to using Seal of Righteousness for the remainder of the fight. Especially if you know you will not have another chance to stun the target. The advantage here is that Seal of Righteousness causes more consistent damage while Seal of Command has to proc on hits and does less damage when judged on a target that is not stunned.

Even so, Seal of Command is worth using if you have a high damage weapon and especially if you also have the [Reckoning] talent trained all the way up (double hits for the next 8 seconds). I use it exclusively with my [The Oathkeeper] as I have Reckoning maxed out. If Reckoning and Seal of Command proc at the same time, you basically get a quad hit. Knarly dude! If it is a crit on top of that, ZOMG!

Short version:

While approaching the target?
1. Cast and judge Seal of Crusader
2. Cast and hold Seal of Command
Once in melee range?
3. Hit the target until Judgment cools down
4. When Judgment cools down, cast Hammer of Justice
5. Immediately Judge Seal of Command
6. Immediately cast and hold Seal of Righteousness
7. When Judgment cools down, cast Seal of Righteousness
6. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until your target is dead


Concluding thoughts?

As I wrote this, I was at first concerned that I was being too obvious but I then realized that this is not the case for someone who knows next to nothing about paladins and wants to try the class out. For instance, I know nothing about warlocks so what may be very obvious Oobla or Vicegrips would be all Greek to me. In light of this, I hope that those of you who are new to the paladin class or those who have tried pallys and have struggled will find this useful.
 
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