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Artifact Series: Paladin

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In the latest part of our artifact series, it is time to move away from the bloodthirsty ways of the Warrior, or the pestilent ways of the Death Knight. Today, we follow the path of the light. It's time for the Paladins.

 

To follow the path of the light is no easy feat. Paladins put themselves in the line of fire in order to defend the weak, to help bring justice to the world in the eyes of the light, to rid this world of the dark evils that have so often conquered it. Regardless of the path they follow, the Paladin bestows their blessing upon those they meet, the power of the light radiating from within them.

 

Each Paladin makes a choice to follow one of these three specialisations:

  • Protection serves as a bastion of the light; Paladins which follow this path use their Holy magic to defend those around them, shielding them from harm. 
  • Holy represents the ability to call upon the powers of the light to heal the wounded, to protect those that cannot protect themselves.
  • Retribution is a path followed by those who must punish the unworthy with a combination of their Holy magic and their weapons.

Protection Paladin - Truthguard

 

A fitting name if there ever was one, this shield and sword are wielded by those who take up arms to protect. The story behind the weapons is as follows:

 

"The titanic watchers Tyr and Archaedas created this shield when their comrade, Loken, fell to corruption. They gave Truthguard to a vrykul champion who used it to expose Loken's treachery. When Tyr and his allies later stole the Discs of Norgannon and fled, the champion stayed behind and held off many of Loken's servants. A desperate Loken sent horrific monsters after Tyr, who fell in combat. In time the vrykul champion migrated to Stormheim in the Broken Isles, where the shield was eventually entombed in the Path of Kings." (source)

 

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While the story of Tyr is not known to many, any players of World of Warcraft will have encountered areas that are based on the Watcher.

 

Tirisfal Glades? Tyr's Fall.

 

Tyr's Hand, Eastern Plaguelands? You guessed it, named after this Tyr.

 

The Knights of the Silver Hand? Their emblem, a silver hand... Tyr's Hand.

 

So why does everyone care so much about this titanic Watcher? He wasn't even important enough to be included in Ulduar, so why should we care? Tyr, in fact, has a fantastic story behind him.

 

When the proto-dragons existed, a massive beast named Galakrond ruled the skies. The aspects that we know today were convinced by Tyr to band together and attempt to kill Galakrond. When the time came, they assaulted the sleeping Galakrond in a mountain range. His sheer size and power scattered the force, leaving Tyr to fight the beast alone momentarily. He used his hammer and fists to beat the proto-dragon, but this was short-lived. The beast threw him off and clamped its jaws down in his direction. It caught his hand and ripped it clean off, leaving only a bloody stump for Tyr to marvel at.

 

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Galakrond preparing to battle the future Aspects

 

He fell unconscious and was taken to a frozen lake by the proto-dragons that we know now as our Aspects. He shortly went missing, but Kalec, one of Malygos' flight, assured them that he had been taken by an intelligent species, not an animal searching for food. They later discovered that the other Watchers had come to his aid. 

 

When Tyr healed, he began to realise that one of his fellow watchers, Loken, was falling to some form of corruption. In an attempt to decipher just how far Loken had betrayed them, he commissioned the aid of a Vrykul champion in order to steal the Discs of Norgannon. This artifact was a library of information that the titans had collected over their years of experiments with life on Azeroth, namely the differing forms of Earthen. 

 

After Loken discovered the theft of the Discs, he sent countless, horrific monsters after the group. Tyr urged the group to move on while he stayed back to cover their retreat. He fell under the relentless assault that Loken sent forth, but he ensured his party members escaped.

 

Before perishing, Tyr crafted the shield for the Vrykul champion with the aid of Archaedas, a stone watcher.

 

Without a doubt, Tyr is an incredible character within lore. He sacrificed a great deal in order to ensure he fulfilled his role as the titans wished. Without his input, the aspects we know today may never have come to fruition. Galakrond may even still have been ruling to this day. 

 

I do feel, however, that the wielder of the artifact is a very poor choice by Blizzard. The Vrykul have never expressed any affiliation with the light, therefore there is no backstory for the Vrykul ever training to become Paladins. It seems a very odd choice then, that a Vrykul was to wield the Paladin artifact. It would perhaps have been a better choice to make the weapon one wielded by Tyr himself, rather than a human race that mimics the traits of warriors. 

 

Alternative Artifacts for Protection Paladins

  1. The Weapons of the Knights of the Silver Hand

Unfortunately, there are not a great deal of famous paladins that wield the combination of a 1-handed weapon and a shield. It is most likely that Blizzard would need to create further lore if they wanted to add-in other alternative artifacts for this specialisation. 

 

I think that this would be a fantastic route to look into. The Knights of the Silver Hand were an order of Paladins that were created after the end of the First War. The leader of the order was Uther the Lightbringer, however, he created the order along with Archbishop Alonsus Faol. 

 

Whenever they were present on the battlefield in the Second and Third Wars, they inspired any soldiers around them. The sight of a Knight of the Silver Hand immediately rallied armies to their side, ready to fight and die for their cause. 

 

There are a number of paladins that could have been chosen as the basis for this artifact and it most likely would have made more sense than a Vrykul. Lore was invented anyway to supplement this weapon's creation, so it could have been created in relation to any of the first 5 paladins of the Silver Hand.

 

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Arthas as the Crown Prince of Lordaeron

 

They could have even looked back at the weapon of Arthas when he was still Crown Prince and used that lore to create a backstory for the weapon being passed down to him through the Silver Hand.

 

Holy Paladin - The Silver Hand

 

It looks like we're going to be re-visiting Tyr again, but this time it's his own weapon. The story goes like this:

 

"As one of the titanic watchers, Keeper Tyr bore this weapon in countless battles against the titans' enemies. When one of his fellow keepers, Loken, fell to corruption, Tyr and his allies stole the Discs of Norgannon to investigate the extent of Loken's betrayal. Discovering the theft, Loken sent horrific monsters after Tyr's group, but Tyr sacrificed his life to fight the creatures while his comrades escaped with the discs. His hammer was lost with him somewhere beneath the land now named in his honor: Tirisfal." (source)

 

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I'm sure many of you can agree with me when I say: Oh, so very disappointing. Protection and Holy have essentially been given exactly the same lore for the two weapons, given they are wielded by two different people. I feel like this is a big cop-out on Blizzard's part. 

 

Let's see what we can come up with!

 

Alternative Artifacts for Holy Paladins

 

  1. The Hammer of the Lightbringer

This weapon was wielded by Uther the Lightbringer, its adamantite head garnished with Silver Hand emblems on both sides. 

 

This mighty weapon was initially forged when the Knights of the Silver Hand was first established. Archbishop Faol imbued it with the power of the light and bestowed it upon the the first Grand Master of the Paladins - Uther. 

 

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Uther holding the Hammer of the Lightbringer and a Libram

 

When the time of Uther's death came about, his hammer was recovered but there has yet to be a Paladin deemed worthy of carrying such a weapon. Since the player is going to become the leader of their class in Legion, surely it would make sense for us to be worthy of such a great weapon? 

 

This was a perfect opportunity to really solidify the player's position as the leader of the Paladins, but it seems that opportunity was missed for regurgitated lore.

 

Retribution Paladin - Ashbringer

 

The last addition to the Paladin artifacts is, thankfully, not the same piece of lore concerning Tyr. The story surrounding the Ashbringer is as follows:

 

"King Magni Bronzebeard forged the Ashbringer from a piece of crystal purified by wielders of the Holy Light. This gave the sword strange Light-bearing powers. It was named for its ability to slaughter undead, leaving nothing but ash in its wake. Ashbringer passed through several hands, serving both Light and Shadow, before it came to the legendary paladin Tirion Fordring, who used it to shatter the Lich King’s runeblade, Frostmourne, on the top of Icecrown Citadel. Tirion has carried Ashbringer with him ever since." (source)

 

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For the first time since beginning this article, I feel happy for Paladins. Finally, you can wield the Ashbringer permanently. The weapon of Tirion Fordring, this is one of the most iconic weapons in the game.

 

The origin of the sword is just as grand as its appearance; it originates from the Second War, where Highlord Mograine had slain an orc warlock. He found an artifact on the orc's body, a pure manifestation of shadow. He touched the orb with his bare hand and quickly found the hand had shriveled up, taking the appearance of an undead's hand.

 

Mograine attempted to keep the orb a secret, but the arrival of the Scourgeforced him to reveal it to his fellow members of the Silver Hand. They concluded the orb was a force of pure evil and they would need a force of pure light to combat the coming onslaught by the Scourge. In an attempt to destroy it, a Holy spell sent at the orb forced a reaction to occur. The orb purged itself of the dark taint and became an orb of pure light.

 

The members of the council decided that the orb would be forged into a weapon that would slice through the undead with such force that only ash would be left behind. 

 

The Ashbringer.

 

They traveled to Ironforge to meet with King Magni of the Dwarves, the brother of the supposedly slain Muradin Bronzebeard. King Magni forged the sword for them himself on the Great Anvil of Ironforge, pouring such grief and emotion into his actions that he believed he would never be able to forge such a weapon again in his life. The sword was one of a kind.

 

The extract references the concept of the sword serving both the Light and Shadow: this refers to the fact that Mograine eventually fell to the might of the Scourge, deceived by his son Renault. Renault was under the influence of the dreadlord Balnazzar, who forced him to slay Alexandros, Darion's father, with the Ashbringer. To use the sword for such a heinous act corrupted the essence of the sword, turning it into the Corrupted Ashbringer.

 

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The Corrupted form of the Ashbringer

 

The Ashbringer is purified once again during the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel. Tirion reveals to Darion that they were being used by the Lich King and he and his Death Knights were sent knowingly into a trap to die. Darion relinquishes the sword to Tirion who, upon touching it, frees the sword from its corruption and purifies it.

 

Tirion goes on to use the sword to defeat the Lich King and shatter the legendary weapon, Frostmourne.

 

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Tirion wields the Ashbringer within Icecrown Citadel

 

As a weapon for Paladins, the Ashbringer is the most iconic there is. There is no better weapon to be given as an artifact and I think the backstory truly details that. The sword responds so strongly to the touch of the light, its essence is made of pure light, it represents everything the Paladins stand for. I see no reason for an alternative weapon, since this is a perfect match.

 

A weapon worthy of the any Paladin, regardless of stature. Let's just hope the players are worthy of the weapon.

 

Next time on the Artifact Series, we will be moving on to the mail-wearing classes, namely the Hunters!

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I have been playing Paladin for quite a while (end of WOTLK). I enjoyed it a great deal until they change the class itself, especially when removing/changing the healing spells in WOD. Now, they are giving us horrible artifacts :( 

I read the warrior artifact article and really looked forward for the Paladin one. In comparison, the Paladin is so disappointing. Usually WoW lore is great, but why on earth would they give the same lore for both the weapons?!

 

Also, I have never heard of Galakrond before. Who is he? Would be grateful if you could provide some information on him. Is he as powerful as deathwing was in cataclysm?

 

:) thanks :)

 

Ps: Will you be doing the priest artificats as well? My alt is a priest and I hope the lore is better than the one for paladins.

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Hi there Amarax,

 

I know the feeling, the same happened for me with the Arms Warriors in Warlords (Whirlwind pls).

 

The Paladin lore just seemed so lacking for the first two artifacts, I'm praying that we might see some changes throughout Alpha/Beta, at least to give them slightly different lore. 

 

On the topic of Galakrond, I'll give you a quick run-down of who he is:

 

Prior to the what is referred to as "mortal history", the titans were still ruling over Azeroth and seeing to its maturing. At the time, the ancestors of the proto-drakes currently found in Northrend were found in huge numbers across the world. They were known as Proto-Dragons. The largest of them was Galakrond. 

 

We don't know a huge amount about the beast, but what we do know is that he was far larger than any other proto-dragon of the time. He sought to kill and feed from the other proto-dragons that were alive, then turning them into his own undead proto-dragons. 

 

As he fed from the living proto-dragons, he became more powerful, but also further corrupted. His body itself began to mutate because of his cannibal activities and eventually he began growing extra limbs, eyes on his body, his colour changed. Malygos notes that he is surrounded by a strange green aura which Richard Knaak, the author of the Dawn of the Aspects books, says is most likely some form of Fel energy. 

 

In order to defeat Galakrond, the leaders of each proto-dragonflight banded together under the banner of Tyr the Watcher to overthrow the legendary beast. He slowly became weaker since the dragonflights now knew to hide from him and he could only feed from his own undead followers. Due to this, they were eventually able to force him to choke to death on a boulder.

 

In regards to whether or not he is more powerful than Deathwing... 100% yes. Galakond is in a completely different league from Deathwing. If the Scourge had succeeded in re-summoning him, there would have been no way to defeat him in the present-day. It is likely life would have been unable to flourish if he had remained alive, since he would have simply fed off of those who could not hide. 

 

If you compare the Cataclysm to what Galakrond could do, I feel like we would be comparing a Death Knight to the Lich King. No contest.

 

Of course, I'm aiming to do every artifact for all the classes. Hopefully the Priest artifacts will be a better read for you!

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Just a little comment, 

 

Don't think you would be able to use Arthas' hammer as an artifact weapon considering it was used to create Shadowmourne in the ICC legendary quest line. Might need to confirm this but if memory serves me correctly Morgraine asks you to retrieve it from the cave where frostmourne was found by Arthas, and when it is returned to Darion he uses it as the base to forge the axe and sister weapon to frostmourne, Shadowmourne.

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Thanks for the comment Hearu.

 

I think that's a pretty solid idea as an alternative to the Ashbringer for retribution; you're correct about the hammer. It was initially called Light's Vengeance and was used by Arthas throughout his life as a Paladin. He was initially given it as a gift when he completed his ritual of initiation into the Paladin order. I think it was Gavinrad the Dire that initially gave it to him, one of the first Knights of the Silver Hand.

 

He eventually ends up discarding it in Frostmourne Cavern, but Darion sends us to retrieve it. He believes that the only weapon that could provide a template to rival the strength of Frostmourne is Light's Vengeance. He combines it with the metal saronite, thereby creating the first step of the legendary quest: Shadow's Edge.

 

Unfortunately, to compete with the Ashbringer is a pretty tough task. As a paladin weapon, the Ashbringer in its non-corrupted form, as the player will wield, is a "holy" weapon. It is used to do the bidding of the Light. If I remember correctly, Arthas actually purged Stratholme while still wielding Light's Vengeance. To some extent, perhaps this almost taints the weapon, thereby ruling it out as a Paladin artifact. I suppose you could consider that Arthas believed he was doing the right thing and that it was just in the eyes of the Light, but that's a whole different discussion.

 

Nonetheless, a really good suggestion, I missed that one. Definitely one that could have been considered by Blizzard.

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I'll support Truthguard in the fact that there isn't many shield and sword Paladins. Going for another race to find something that embodies pure defensive abilities is going to have to be a requirement for the class to succeed. What I don't like is the scale factor. A Vykrul wielded this.... so it would be like trying to use a piece of battleship plating as a shield.

My idea would have been to construct a shield in Ironforge, just as the Ashbringer was. Build something from scratch seeing as no real Paladin has done this before. Though in a way this helps tie in lore from other races, who in a way we are all trying to save from the Legion too. 

 

I'm not even going to get started about The Silver Hand. I understand the lore desire, but no. Its a VW on a stick. No crace (cept maybe Tauren) in its right mind should even have the ability to hold it. 
Uther the Lightbringer, THAT should have been the hammer, I agree. You still get your hammer and tome, but its more to scale and people would understand that lore. Plus the idea of wielding his hammer from Warcraft 3 days is a hat tip to my childhood. Dang shame they didn't consider this. I'm thinking I may walk away from Paladin heals if this stays as is. 

 

Ashbringer. Nuff said. LOL!!!!!  At least they nailed that. 

Edited by CelticArchangel

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A Vykrul wielded this.... so it would be like trying to use a piece of battleship plating as a shield.

 

This was the issue for me as well. It seems like there is a lot of forced Vrykul lore in Legion, whether due to them wanting to bring them back into the fold, or just by their own choices. The Warrior-Vrykul link I can vaguely understand, but it had no place in the lore of the Paladin. 

 

 

My idea would have been to construct a shield in Ironforge, just as the Ashbringer was. Build something from scratch seeing as no real Paladin has done this before. Though in a way this helps tie in lore from other races, who in a way we are all trying to save from the Legion too. 

 

Lore could have easily been created, whether linking it to a legendary Paladin, creating a link, whatever. Truthguard, in my opinion, wasn't the right choice by a mile. I would rather have seen Prot Paladins using some kind of shield "made" of the light. They could have even used an off-hand that, when they block, creates a shield made of pure energy, constructed by the Light. Not Truthguard. 

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      Official Preview Druid, Mage, Shaman Animations (Build 24473) Priest Animations (Build 24473) Restoration Shaman Animations (Build 24500)
    • By Stan

      With maintenance tomorrow, Blizzard is planning to deploy PvP tuning for several classes.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Druid Shred now deals an additional 25% damage while stealthed in PvP situations (was 50%). Rake now deals an additional 50% damage while stealthed in PvP situations (was 100%). Feral Enraged Maim now costs 5 Combo Points. Enraged Maim incapacitates the target for 5 seconds (was 6 seconds). Enraged Maim now has a 10 second cooldown (was 6 seconds). The damage of the Lunar Inspiration version of Moonfire is reduced by 20% in PvP situations. Ferocious Wound reduces the maximum health of the target by 15% (was 25%). Demon Hunter Imprison's duration on players is now 3 seconds (was 4 seconds). Detainment increases Imprison's cooldown to 45 seconds, up from 30 seconds. Monk Mistweaver PvP Template Versatility increased by 5% PvP Template Armor increased by 10% Mana Regeneration increased by 5% in PvP situations. Life Cocoon's absorb is increased by 10% in PvP situations. Paladin Holy Avenging Crusader heals for 175% of damage dealt (was 200%). Shaman Restoration Earth Shield reduces all damage the target takes by 10% (was 15%). Warlock Destruction Chaos Bolt's damage is reduced by 10% in PvP situations. Focused Chaos increases Chaos Bolt damage by 65% (was 75%). Firestone increases critical strike chance by 65% (was 75%). PvP Template Intellect increased by 6%.
    • By Stan

      Five years ago, Blizzard released the fifth World of Warcraft expansion: Mists of Pandaria. Check out our retrospective to learn more about raids, features and changes that were added throughout the expansion!
      Overview
      The fifth expansion added Pandaren and Monks. Below is an overview of the most interesting highlights.
      Mists of Pandaria Pre-Patch (5.0.4)
      New Talent System
      New layout for specializations was introduced with Core Abilities for each spec.  Account-wide Mounts, Pets & Achievements
      Allowed working on a wide variety of Achievements across multiple characters. Once you earned a mount or pet on one character, all characters on that account were able to summon it. Cross-Realm Zones (CRZ)
      In Mists of Pandara, cross-realm zones were introduced for the first time and over the years, they've become an essential part of the game. AoE Looting
      One of the most desired features of the expansion was AoE looting. Players no longer had to click each corpse individually to get loot. All loot can be picked up with a single right click. BattleTag Support
      The permanent account-wide nicknames on Battle.net made their way into the game. Patch 5.1 (Landfall)
      The first content patch of the expansion added a new max-level zone called Krasarang Wilds with new daily quest hubs and two factions.
      Operation Shieldwall (Alliance) Dominance Offensive (Horde) Brawler's Guild
      The first Season of Brawler's Guild was added to the game. New Scenarios
      Mists of Pandaria had a lot of scenarios if you remember. In Patch 5.1, Blizzard added the following:  "A Little Patience", "Lion's Landing", "Dagger in the Dark", "Domination Point" and Assault on Zan'vess". Patch 5.2 (The Thunder King)
      The second content patch brought Throne of Thunder, Tier 15 sets, a new zone called the Isle of Thunder with new factions and world bosses.
      Here's a look at Tier 15 Sets. Note that Throne of Thunder is easily soloable right now, so if you like any of those, go grab them!
      Blizzard (Source)
      The beating drums of war are growing louder, and both the Alliance and Horde are gathering along the shores of the Isle of Thunder. It’s time to face the risen king and his growing army. Before you strike out against the terrors of the island, though, take a peek at the tier 15 armor sets that can be found inside the Throne of Thunder.

      Death Knight - All-Consuming Maw

      Druid - Haunted Forest

      Hunter - Saurok Stalker

      Mage - Chromatic Hydra

      Monk - Fire-Charm

      Paladin - Lightning Emperor

      Priest - Exorcist

      Rogue - Nine-Tail

      Shaman - Witch Doctor

      Warlock - Thousandfold Hells

      Warrior - Last Mogu
      In Patch 5.2, Wrathion wanted to investigate the origins of the mogu's power and emulate them. In Mists of Pandaria, players were able to get a Legendary cloak with unique effects.
      Patch  5.3 (Escalation)
      In this patch, both factions got new scenarios and Garrosh Hellscream declared martial law in Orgrimmar, expelling the Darkspear Trolls from th city and sending his elite Kor'kron Guard throughout Durotar and the Barrens to supply his war in Pandaria. Vol'jin began an insurrection agaist the Warchief, and both the Aliance and the Horde shared the same goal of success. 
      Brawler's Guild
      Two new tiers of bosses were added to the Brawler's Guild. PvP
      Deepwind Gorge battleground was added to the game.  The Tiger's Peak Arena was introduced. Patch 5.4 (The Siege of Orgrimmar)
      Garrosh built a compound beneath Ragefire Chasm and infused the True Horde with the pilfered essence of Y'shaarj, eager to rebuild the Horde in his image: strong, obedient and pure. The tensions stoked by Garrosh Hellscream's arrogance reached a boling point with the devastation unleashed upon the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Siege of Orgrimmar contains 14 bosses and four wngs as members of the Horde and Alliance take the war directly to Garrosh's doorstep.
      Timeless Isle
      A new max-level PvE zone located to the east of the Jade Forest was added to the game with a new faction and world bosses like the four August Celestials or Ordos, who drops Damien's Ice-Vein Mask :). New Raid Mode
      With SoO Blizzard introduced Flexible raid mode, where players could form groups sized anywhere from 10-25 people, and the difficulty would automatically adjust to allow an appropriately challenging experience. The Proving Grounds
      To learn a new or perfect your current playstyle, Blizzard added the Proving Grounds to the game. You could access them by talking to your Class Trainer or Trial Master Rotun inside the Temple of White Tiger. (Source)
      Do you have any fond memories of Mists? Feel free to share them in the comments below!