Hardcore Paladin Class Overview

Last updated on May 21, 2023 at 12:00 by Sellin 1 comment

Paladin are a melee-healer hybrid that fully utilizes not powerful melee attacks but can also offer some of the strongest single target heals in the game. While not true tanks they are able to utilize a shield to grow considerably tankier. Paladin provides some of the strongest buffs in the game not only to themselves but anyone in their party in the form of Blessings.

This guide is specifically directed towards using Paladin on Hardcore servers.


Hardcore Classic Paladin Overview

If you are curious about more general Hardcore tips that apply to not just Paladin checkout our Hardcore Classic Overview that includes tips and tricks that will greatly increase your chances of surviving.


Hardcore Paladin Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Extremely strong self healing.
  • +Minimal downtime due to high armor values and passive healing.
  • +Powerful buffs to benefit every role.
  • +Highly sought after for groups/duos.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Below average kill speeds.
  • -Extremely Mana dependent.
  • -Kill speed is tied almost entirely to your weapon.

Races for Paladin

In Classic World of Warcraft only the Alliance races are able to be Paladins.



  • Human — Human is the recommended race for Paladin due to their Sword Specialization Icon Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization Icon Mace Specialization racials which will increase your ability to hit enemies while leveling if using a Sword or Mace. Paladin's damage is done almost entirely by auto-attacking and dealing damage with your seals which in a large part comes from auto-attacking so being able to hit is crucial.
  • Dwarf — Dwarf provides the unique racial Stoneform Icon Stoneform, which grants immunity to bleeds, disease and poison effects while also providing an additional 10% armor. This is a powerful defensive cooldown and can certainly help remove some of the peskier debuffs you will encounter in Classic. This is less valuable as a Paladin as you can cleanse all of the same things removed by Stoneform Icon Stoneform except for bleeds.

Stat Priority

The Stat priority that you will be following for Classic Hardcore is very similar to original Classic, but with a larger emphasis on Stamina. The added Health can at times be the difference between surviving an encounter with an enemy or not and is typically more reliable than gearing towards just damage. While Paladin does have the ability to heal itself, you want to maximize the amount of kills you can do per mana bar to maximize uptime. Focusing on making things as consistent as possible will lead to the best leveling experience.

For a more in-depth explanation of what stats you should be prioritizing and their benefits to your leveling experience checkout our Paladin leveling guide listed below, specifically the Paladin Gear section.


Talent Build/Rotation

While it may be tempting to consider leveling as Protection, as it is the tankiest of the three possible specs, Retribution is the perfect mix of kill speed and durability and the recommended spec. Retribution utilizies two-handed weapons and can help you deal massive burst damage to quickly vanquish foes while still maintaining some of the strongest buffs in the game in the form of Blessings and is a more than capable off-healer.

For a detailed route on how to spend each of your talent points while leveling check out our Retribution Paladin talent build guide specifically for leveling. This page also includes an Retribution specifically priority list of how to deal maximum damage while leveling.



Professions are a huge part of Hardcore leveling as they can provide you with consumables that give considerable stat increases, items that can be used in case of emergencies or the ability to craft gear that will last you for countless levels. Below I will go in depth about the various professions combinations available in WoW Classic and their benefits specifically in a Hardcore context for Paladin.


Herbalism and Alchemy

Herbalism and Alchemy is a great pairing of professions as it will allow you to make consumable potions that not only give you a burst of health in an emergency situation but also offer considerable stat increases and the occasionally solution to a niche situation. Paladin specifically will benefit greatly from Mana potions are your greatest limiting factor while leveling will be the availability of your mana.

There are countless potions offering buffs to give temporary stat increases that will smooth out the leveling process by making you much stronger than you otherwise would be. The only downside to this profession being the time you must invest to harvest your own materials via Herbalism.


Mining and Engineering

Engineering and Mining is a strong combo, and while it offers less static increases than Alchemy and Herbalism, it is still something you should consider as it offers quite a few extra buttons to get you out of a sticky situation. Target Dummy Icon Target Dummy is a usable item that will instantly redirect threat to it, causing mobs to stop attacking you for either 15 seconds or until it dies. You will also have access to bombs that both deal AoE damage and incapacitate/stun whatever you are fighting which can sometimes be the difference in surviving an encounter.


Mining and Blacksmithing

Mining and Blacksmithing are also a great way to utilize your characters profession slots. Blacksmithing will allow you to create pieces of powerful armor and weapons while leveling. It can be difficult to plan around building a specific item as some items in Classic have rather hefty material requirements, but this can be used to plug in any holes in your gear that you may find as you progress through leveling.

If you are curious about the most efficient way to level your professions, or would like a list of many of the useful items you can craft, make sure to check out our Classic Profession guides listed below.


Paladin Specific Tips for Hardcore

Paladin is one of the most consistent classes in all of Classic and has an ability to use that will get you out of almost any sticky situation, but it is crucial to understand how each works as well as being conscious of your Forbearance debuff.

Become familiar with the 5 second rule. As stated above mana is the largest throttle on your leveling speed and maximizing your ability to regenerate mana is just as important as knowing when and how to spend your mana.

Even though you will be leveling as Retribution, having a shield on hand can help get you out of some sticky situations should you be fighting a high physical damage dealing mob or even if you just need some additional defenses when attempting to runa way. It is almost never a bad idea to throw on a shield if you feel that you are in danger.

Paladin benefits greatly from the use of macros. Due to the nature of Seals you will be constantly judging and refreshing them them so adding some quality of life macros can help make this less of a chore. Listed below is a guide on some of the most useful Macros that will greatly simplify using your classes abilities to their fullest extent.


Duo Leveling

Many people are enjoying Classic Hardcore by duo leveling. Paladin is a class that shines when paired with another deal large amounts of damage but especially those with reliable cleave/AoE as the Paladin can enable them to pull much more than usual. Included below is a list of the most popular/effective class duos and their strengths/weaknesses!



  • 21 May 2023: Guide added.
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