Paladin Leveling Guide From 1 to 70 for TBC Classic
In this article, we will help you leveling in TBC Classic as a Paladin. Paladins are not the fastest leveler in the game largely due to their kill speed of mobs but are the kings of sustainability. As a Paladin, you will have access to a wide variety of abilities that if used correctly can help maximize your uptime, kill speed and rate at which you are able to gain levels.
Paladins are not one of the fastest leveling classes in the game largely due to their mob kill speed, but they are extremely durable with their ability to heal, wear gear with plenty of Armor, and a large number of passive abilities that sustain your Mana and health, limiting downtime and making the leveling process extremely steady. Retribution is by far the fastest leveling spec if you plan to play solo as a Paladin, as the extra damage that the talents in the Retribution tree grant will help you level considerably faster than anything you will gain by speccing Holy or Protection.
General TBC Leveling Advice
Providing non-Hunter leveling advice is outside the scope of this article and is covered in our general TBC leveling guide.
Every Paladin spec is useful in its own way and fills a role that is important to a group, but Retribution will be the best by far for solo leveling, while also allowing you to off-heal when needed.
If you are going to be leveling with other people, Holy can be a good choice. Holy Paladins offer some of the strongest single-target healing in the game, regardless of the level, and can spend talent points to make their already extremely powerful blessing spells even stronger.
Protection is another option if you are looking to play a tank role. Protection can be played both solo or in a group and is by far the most durable of any Paladin spec. The ability to pull multiple monsters at once and kill them without much risk of dying is enticing, but the kill speed still ends up being slower than what you would be able to do as Retribution. Prot shines in group content similar to Holy, but allows you to play solo if you decide.
General Rules for Leveling as Paladin
- Keep a Seal buff up at all times. Depending on your specialization this may change but typically while leveling you will be using Seal of Righteousness.
- Make sure you have a blessing active at all times. The benefits of your Blessings are all very different and what blessing you choose to level with is largely up to personal preference, the two I would recomened for leveling are Blessing of Wisdom for more uptime and minimizing the amount of drinking you need to do between fights or Blessing of Might to increase your kill rate and potentially cut down the amount of abilities you have to use per mob kill.
- Use an Aura buff. Paladins have quite a few different Auras they can choose from, while leveling it is important to make sure you have one up at all times, best practice is using the aura that matches the damage type you are taking, for example if you are fighting mobs doing physical damage Devotion Aura is your best choice.
- Always be auto attacking. Paladins deal the vast majority of their damage by auto attacking both from the physical aspect and the damage that is included in the seal that you choose, making sure you are always auto attacking ensures you will get the maximum benefit for mana and time spent in combat.
Leveling in a Group as a Paladin
Leveling in groups both in the open world and dungeons is an increasingly popular and efficient way to level in TBC Classic. Paladins are able to level at the same consistent speed solo, but they really shine in a duo or larger parties that utilize their extremely powerful utility. Paladins are masters of sustained combat and require very little downtime, pairing them with classes like Rogue, Warrior, or any class that requires downtime between figthing mobs can drastically increase your kill and leveling speeds.
Leveling through Dungeons is a strategy that many have began to test and has seen considerable success with on the Beta, due to the uncertainty of how respawns in the world will be. Dungeons may be the fastest way to level in TBC. With a strong group, especially with gear already from Classic, you could realistically expect to see experience gains as fast as, if not greater, than what you would solo questing. Starting from Level 15 as Alliance for Deadmines or Level 10 as Horde for Ragefire Chasm, you could viably farm dungeons all the way to level 70 if that is what you wanted to do. Paladins are an extremely strong support to any class, but some group comps are stronger than others.
A 'spell cleave' group takes advantage of multiple spell casters with strong AoE abilities, namely Mage or Warlock, in order to AoE down large groups of mobs by taking advantage of their area of effect damage and slowing abilities, which allows for the mobs to be controlled in a way that you can survive their large numbers. Your other main option would be a melee cleave group. Paladins are a class that sustains in combat extremely well and melee cleave groups main advantage is their extremely low downtime, typically filled with Warriors and Rogue, as their main resources for dealing damage either regenerate quickly or are generated in combat, making the Paladins strengths shine in constant fighting.
Paladins have an extremely small DPS rotation as the vast majority of their spells are situational or buffs. This means that you can choose to skip many more abilities than you normally would on other classes, but you will find that it is not needed and could potentially be a bad choice. Paladins receive their Level 40 mount for nearly free as a quest reward, which allows you to spend more gold on item upgrades and training abilities than most classes, who have to save for riding. Making sure you have the highest ranks of the abilities you are using, as this will help make the leveling process as easy as possible and there is no real reason to try and save gold in the earlier levels, given that your first mount is free.
Recommended Skills to Upgrade as a Paladin
- Seal of Righteousness
- Holy Light
- Devotion Aura
- Blessing of Might
- Seal of the Crusader
- Divine Protection
- Hammer of Justice
- Lay on Hands
- Blessing of Protection
- Blessing of Wisdom
- Righteous Fury — If you are tanking
- Retribution Aura
- Blessing of Freedom
- Flash of Light
- Divine Intervention
- Seal of Command — Retribution Only
- Divine Shield
- Hammer of Wrath
- Summon Warhorse
- Summon Charger
Devotion Aura and Retribution Aura are the two auras you will generally be using while leveling. Retribution Aura deals a small amount of damage to mobs that hit you with Physical damage and can increase your kill speed or save a weapon swing or two, despite the damage being mostly negligible in shorter fights. Devotion Aura increases your armor and can help not only you, but your party members, survive against Physical damage.
If you choose to level as Retribution at Level 30, you will be using almost exclusively Sanctity Aura, as it is the only aura that directly increases your damage and can greatly increase your kill speed.
Blessing of Might will be your go-to early on, as the vast majority of your damage will be dealt with Auto Attacks and Judgement, which scales from the attack power the buff grants you. When you reach Level 14, Blessing of Wisdom is typically better, as it lessens your down time between mobs. Later on, if you choose to level as Retribution, the talent Sanctified Judgement will help greatly with your Mana problems and choosing Might after that point will be better if Mana is not a problem for you anymore. Paladins' biggest strength is their ability to sustain and limit downtime, but Paladins will rarely be able to match other classes kill speeds. You can narrow the difference in experience gained by maximizing your uptime, however.
Deciding what seal to use as a Paladin while leveling can be a bit confusing, but it is almost entirely dictated by the speed of your weapon.
Seal of Command has a proc rate that will equal out to about 7 procs per minute; the speed of your weapon impacts this by increasing the probability of a proc the slower the weapon is.3.5 is the sweet spot where you will almost certainly gain more damage from Seal of Command procs in addition to the higher weapon damage from a slower weapon compared to the constant damage increase to each swing applied by Righteousness.
Seal of Righteousness is your go-to with a faster weapon, as the seal is a flat increase to damage and not a proc like Seal of Command. The more attacks, the more you benefit from this flat increase.
If your weapon is slower than 3.5, then Seal of Command is better. If your weapon is faster than 3.5, then Seal of Righteousness is better.
Regardless of which seal you choose, you will be using Judgement on cooldown. On longer fights, specifically if you think an enemy will take more than ~30 seconds to kill, you can swap to Seal of the Crusader just to use Judgement and then promptly swap back to your previous seal. This will place a debuff on the target that increases their Holy damage taken, but will be refreshed by melee attacks.
Leveling Strategy as a Paladin
Leveling as a Paladin is extremely simple, as almost all of your damage will be dealt by auto attacking and casting Judgement on cooldown. If your health is too low to fight more monsters, cast either of your heals: Flash of Light, if you are missing a small amount of health, or Holy Light, if you are missing a lot. There is not a ton of nuance to the Paladin leveling gameplay while soloing, and the best way to level is to focus on just keeping your leveling speed consistent while minimizing downtime. If you find yourself using too much Mana, you can delay Judgement slightly to make more use of your natural Mana regeneration between casts.
Professions While Leveling
If you are rushing to 70, then leveling professions will slow you down. The combat benefits of each profession are typically not worth the time you would have to invest to obtain them for leveling. There are, however, some professions that are very useful for leveling and, at Level 70, that can be worth doing while you level.
First Aid is a must-have profession at max level and while leveling, as it provides healing for no Mana. The cloth you naturally gather while leveling is ususally more than enough to level it as you go. Herbalism, Mining, and Skinning are great choices for making gold towards your epic or flying mount, and can also be useful for helping to level other important professions later on, such as taking Mining to help level Engineering or Skinning to help level Leatherworking.
Progressing your Paladin at Level 70
By the time you hit maximum level, it will be very helpful to read the rest of our guides. Pick Holy Paladin if you intend to heal at maximum level. Retribution Paladin if you intend to play a melee dps and Protection Paladin if you intend to tank.
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