Classic Paladin PvP Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Paladin in a PvP environment in WoW Classic, with a focus on Battlegrounds but also including World PvP and Dueling. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses.
Paladins are juggernauts clad in plate armor, that use the power of the light to heal themselves and bless others. In PvP, this translates to incredibly durable fighters who can heal themselves. As Holy, you can make use of your powerful single-target healing and array of cooldowns to support other players in the heat of battle without worrying about your own safety. As Ret, you are a slow-moving force that will aim to auto-attack enemies to death with your Holy damage from your Seal of Command and your Judgement. Paladins do not offer the same flashy, fast-paced playmaking style that Rogues and Mages might, but make up for it with their durability and recovery.
While Retribution Paladins are not considered a "meta" spec for PvE, they can be quite fun and strong in PvP. Your rotation in PvP is going to be the same as in PvE, but with the added bonus of chasing your target around. Use your cooldowns to keep yourself going, along with your Flash of Light and Holy Light to recover when you need to. While you do not need to play super defensively all the time, it is important to recognize the dangerous times where it is good to keep yourself topped and safe as opposed to just chasing someone down for the kill.
This build is designed to pick up 31 points in the Retribution tree for Repentance while also putting 7 points into Protection for Guardian's Favor. Your cooldowns are incredibly important to your success as a Paladin, and lowering the cooldown of important abilities like Blessing of Protection and increasing the duration of Blessing of Freedom is too good to pass up. Most of the other talents fall in line with the standard PvE damage talents, but there are some additions, such as Eye for an Eye to help you against casters and Spiritual Focus to enable you to get heals off without needing to worry as much about spell pushback. Aside from keeping the 31 points in Ret and 7 points in Protection, there is lots of room for personal preference in this build, especially with Improved Lay on Hands.
One area many Paladins will choose to shift points into is Improved Hammer of Justice. Hammer of Justice is one of the most powerful stuns in the game and is going to be critical to setting up kills in PvP. Reducing its cooldown by 15 seconds can be a worthwhile investment, depending on what type of PvP you are looking to get into.
If you do decide to play Retribution, you can find more on the required and recommended gear in our dedicated PvP Best in Slot and Gear guide below.
This is a standard Holy build that is designed for control. Hammer of Justice is an incredibly powerful control too and will help your allies set up kills on a defenseless target. This build opts to take Improved Hammer of Justice to give Hammer of Justice a shorter cooldown, allowing you to set up kill windows more often for your allies.
The main tree in the build is, of course, Holy, with the full 31 points used to pick up Holy Shock. Holy Shock will be one of the only damage spells that you will have, making it incredibly important if you choose to solo in the open world. There is not much room for change with the Holy points since the only talents that you do not take are useless to you as a Holy and will never be useful in PvP. An argument could be made for Improved Seal of Righteousness if you wanted better damage options, but as a healer, this will not help you normally.
The main area of personal preference comes with the extra points in Protection needed to pick up Improved Hammer of Justice. These are not particularly strong talents, and you could choose to instead put some points into Retribution to pick up Improved Judgement for more frequent Judgements.
If you choose to play Holy, you can find more information on their gearing requirements in our gear guide below.
PvP Gameplay Tips for Paladins
Use Your Cooldowns
One of the biggest mistakes that new players make is being too frugal with their abilities. Spells like Lay on Hands can be intimidating to use since they have a 1-hour cooldown and it is understandable to be scared of using them incorrectly. But, it is important to remember that until you become an expert at your class limits, it is always better to be more generous than conservative with your cooldowns. You will always regret not having used a cooldown more than using it at a not optimal time.
Remember that the 5-second rule is something to pay attention to. Your Mana will not start naturally regenerating until 5 seconds after casting a spell that costs Mana, meaning you should try to use your Mana in bursts. If you are going to heal yourself, heal yourself to full quickly before going back to chasing your target around while auto-attacking as Ret.
Part of mastering Paladin is understanding when you need to play defensively, which means recognizing dangerous situations. This holds true for PvP in general, but especially Paladin due to your lack of mobility. If a Rogue is about to open, or if you are fighting multiple enemies, make a greater effort to keep yourself close to full health if possible. This reduces the likelihood of you getting burst down before you have a chance to react, which is the main source of danger. Do not be afraid to use something like Divine Shield if someone opens and you think large damage is incoming. Lots of times the best uses of your immunity is to prevent damage, not to recover after the damage has been dealt.
Consumables for PvP as a Paladin
Consumables are an important part of PvP in Classic. While they are not required, and you can win fights without them, they definitely will give you the edge in fights. If you use as many consumables as possible all the time, you will quickly drive yourself bankrupt, but having some of the more important ones in your bags for when you need to win an important fight is highly recommended. Some of the most important consumables for PvP are listed below:
- Major Healing Potion
- Major Mana Potion
- Heavy Runecloth Bandage
- Limited Invulnerability Potion
- Free Action Potion
- Living Action Potion
- Invisibility Potion
- Swiftness Potion
- Magic Dust
- Clutch of Foresight
- Wail of the Banshee
Noggenfogger Elixir is also a popular consumable used for PvP. When you drink it, it will do one of three things: make you smaller, turn you into a skeleton, or cast a slow fall spell on you. The shrink effect can be useful to make it harder for players to see and target you, and the slow fall can allow to jump off high places and not die, while attackers will not be able to follow.
Engineering is a powerful profession for PvP. There are many consumables and trinkets that are very strong in PvP, which is why Engineering is such a common profession for PvP-focused players. Some of the useful consumables and items from Engineering are listed below:
- Arcanite Dragonling
- Dense Dynamite
- Goblin Sapper Charge
- Goblin Land Mine
- Dark Iron Bomb
- Iron Grenade
- Thorium Grenade
- 10 Dec. 2019: Added note about gearing and BiS for Holy and Retribution in PvP.
- 14 Aug. 2019: Page added.
- Classic Community Council Chat: December 8th
- Ashenvale PvP Event Bug Being Worked On
- Shadowfang Keep Soloed By Metamorphosis Warlock in Season of Discovery
- More Ashenvale PvP Changes in SoD: December 7th
- Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer Enthusiastic About Reviving Blizzard Franchises
- Level 25 Mage Deadmines Solo in Season of Discovery
- Season of Discovery Hotfixes: December 6th
- Actions Against Exploitative Accounts: November 2023