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Guide to PvP as a Paladin

PvP as a Holy Spec:

Holy Spec Paladins require the correct gear style to really be most effective. Holy Shock becomes the bread and butter of any offensive Holy-spec spell casting. When I was Holy Spec and PvP’ing, I found that around 300 spell damage was a sufficient amount to make many of my spells crit for around 1000, and of course this is not mitigated by armor. Depending on your guild and raid progression, places like Zul’Gurub can be excellent sources of Spell Damage items, such as the BloodCaller off of Hakkar. At the same time, being holy spec, you do not want to limit the other roles that you can perform. You’ll be one of the best healing options for any group in Warsong Gulch. Being able to cast almost un-interruptedly with Spiritual Focus (Talent) and Concentration Aura makes for excellent heals, even when under pressure. Cleanse is even more powerful in PvP because of its multiple spell types covered in a single cleanse. If you can understand the balance between using Flash of Light for fast, efficient healing, and Holy Light, when you have the time to cast and need to land a big heals, you’ll be invaluable to your teams’ success.

PvP as a Ret Spec:

This was a very different build for me. As a primary healer in raid environments, the biggest change was the gear requirements. Paladins must have Attack Power, Agility, and Crit to really be effective. Don’t be afraid to use blues like Blackhands Breadth in place of your healing trinkets in this spec, because you’ll want to have Vengeance up as much as possible. Repentance (31 Point Talent) is a great spell interrupter, and you’ll want to make sure that you always have that and Hammer of Justice ready against offensive spell casters. I prefer Seal of Command with 2-H weapons with this spec, as you’re only like to burst someone down if you can mix Vengeance, Seal of Command Crits, and Judgments of Command. Paladins are all about attrition with this spec, and will want to manage their Mana efficiently. Sometimes, being able to Stun and Heal, or cast Repentance and Heal will turn the tide in the battles, so managing your cool downs is of the utmost importance.

So what Blessings should I use?

Each Blessing has its own unique purpose:

Blessing of Wisdom and Might are both fairly straightforward. If you need that extra mana regeneration to last through a longer fight, use Blessing of Wisdom. If you feel like you can DPS someone down with that extra attack power boost, certainly use that. Remember, in either Holy or Ret spec, you’ll be improving these blessings through talents, so take advantage of what you’ve spent points in.

Blessing of Freedom is our bread and butter. Especially when you’re with a flag carrier, Blessing of Freedom can be what makes the difference. This will clear nearly every moving impairing effect, and will allow a Druid, for instance, to be able to travel safely away from a battle in travel form. Remember, this Blessing wipes any previous blessing that you have on the target, and it only lasts 15 seconds, so be prepared to Re-bless when needed.

Blessing of Sacrifice is maybe the most underused Blessing that we have in PvP. If you are with a group, casting Blessing of Sacrifice will not only help take the edge off of your primary damage takers, but will keep you from being Crowd Controlled. If a Mage polymorphs you, and then hits the target you have Blessing of Sacrifice on, the damage that you take from your Blessing target will break the sheep. Many times, this will also break Fear within a few ticks, and seduction. This can be invaluable in groups, as you’ll render almost all forms of Crowd Control completely null and void.

So when should I use Divine Shield?

This is maybe the single more misunderstood ability that Paladins have. In group PvP, Divine Shield is more than a tool to avoid direct deaths. Divine Shield is often most useful when you cast it to remove debuffs, such as Mind Control or Polymorph. Remember, it can also remove all forms of player casted debuffs, so often times you can allow the competition to unload on you, and divine shield to force their attention elsewhere. Also remember, for the duration of the shield, you’re invulnerable and not losing health. Many times, it’s better to heal others while Divine Shield starts and they’re taking damage, and then heal yourself near the end of the effect, right before you’re vulnerable.

Other miscellaneous tips!

Divine Favor, which is a guaranteed crit, will also affect Holy Shock. If you have any trinkets you’d like to use, chaining the three can provide very high burst damage. In order, you’d want to cast the damage trinket, then divine favor, and then Holy Shock.

Remember, any Spell Damage trinkets also affect things like Consecration, and Judgment of Command. These trinkets often have a duration, rather than single spell, so make the best use of their entire duration, but do not dump mana unnecessarily.

Blessing of Protection will allow friendly spell casters to continue casting even when immune to physical attacks. Against a Warrior or Rogue, this will give a caster 12 seconds of complete invulnerability, and will save then cast time with no interruption. This ability can be dispelled, so make sure to keep an eye on all targets of Blessing of Protection.

Hybrid gear might give you flexibility, but it will not make you the most effective at specific roles. Getting healing and mana gear will make your Melee DPS significantly lower, while Attack Power and Critical Strike gear will make your healing much less, and severely limit your mana pool. Always make sure you have the gear in line with what you’d like to specialize in, and don’t be afraid to swap gear out constantly.

Suggested User Interface Mods

Holy Hope Mod:

This mod helps a Paladin maintain control over Judgments and Blessings in an easy to use Graphical Interface. It also has controls for summoning the Paladin mount.

Decursive:

This mod is a must have for any Paladin that PvP’s in groups. It will allow you to push one button, and the mod will target and cleanse any effected targets. It also gives a detailed list of who is debuffed, and gives options about priority and debuffs to ignore.

TheoryCraft:

This mod will calculate your damage and healing from spells based on your current gear. It will give you a fairly accurate reading of how often you will critical strike, and what your average hits would be. Very helpful when comparing gear and understanding how upgrades will affect your character.

Conclusion:

PvP as a Paladin can take on many forms. We are a hybrid class, and will be able to perform many roles. Paladins must make choices about what they are most comfortable doing, and tailor their spec and gear to that decision. Remember, you play your character, and you know your individual strengths and weaknesses so don’t be afraid to play your own way!