Holy Paladin Shadowlands guide
I’m Kina and welcome to my Holy Paladin guide for Shadowlands. I’ve raided at the top level since the end of Warlords of Draenor and I’m excited to share with you my insight into changes that Holy Paladins are receiving in Shadowlands.
What has changed
Changes for Holy paladins TL:DR
- Venthyr is still your best covenant choice for top tier progression raiding. If you do not participate in that kind of content, Kyrian is your go-to Covenant.
- You will have to re-craft legendaries that overlap with Domination socket items.
- Shock Barrier is still BiS for Holy Paladins and should be recrafted/upgraded in your leg slot.
- Maraad’s Dying Breath is your 2nd best legendary to craft and becomes a mandatory legendary to have for the Painsmith, Guardian and Sylvanas encounters to efficiently spot heal. Be sure to change one of your potency slots to Untempered Dedication from Hallowed Discernment to significantly increase theLight of the Martyr’s throughput. Additionally, you should change your level 50 Talent row from Glimmer of Light to Beacon of Faith to improve your throughput with Maraad’s Dying Breath especially with placing your beacon on targets who are afflicted by Shadowsteel Chains in the Painsmith Raznal encounter (for example).
- Radiant Ember’s is a viable craft for Venthyr paladin’s on the back slot but you shouldn’t invest Soul Cinders (new legendary currency) into upgrading to rank 5 or 6 until after you’ve fully upgraded Shock Barrier.
- Kyrian paladin’s Divine Resonance requires manual targeting of friendlies/enemies to fire off its automatic Holy Shocks at each 5 second intervals and should be crafted in the waist slot.
- Holy paladin damage has been nerfed but doesn’t change your playstyle in any way.
- Crusader’s Might has been nerfed to second cooldown reduction of Holy Shock per use down from which somewhat invalidates the talent in progression raiding. Light’s Hammer is now your baseline pick especially when paired with Avenging Wrath. On mobile raid encounters, Bestow Faith can edge over as a superior choice for its holy power generation and small boost in throughput.
- The new conduit Adaptive Armor Fragment will be your go-to choice for your 3rd potency slot in your soulbinds.
- Theotar is still your BiS soulbind for Venthyr
- Kleia is still your BiS soulbind for Kyrian
- Stat Priorities: Haste > Versatility > Mastery>=Crit but still wear your highest ilvl pieces except for your necklace and ring slots if your lower item level pieces have leech.. NOTE: If you’re outgearing the content and/or not min-maxing dps then Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Crit.
Holy paladin damage is taking a hit in with the spec receiving an 8% nerf to all damage output on top of Ashen Hallow, Judgement and Hammer of Wrath damage reduced by an additional 10%. Whilst these changes to tone down paladin damage output, this spec will continue to dominate other healers when it comes to passive damage output (only beaten by a good Kyrian Restoration Shamans) whilst preserving its status as the best burst healer dps in the game.
Paladin’s are also receiving some changes to their healing with Infusion of Light now granting Holy Light to generate 1 holy power (2 if used on your Beacon of Light; does not stack with inflorescence of the sunwell). Additionally, Flash of Light’s healing has been increased by 20% and Crusader Strike’s mana cost has increased to 11% of base mana from 9%.
These changes, in conjunction with the nerf to the Crusader’s Might talent going from seconds of reduction on Holy Shock to 1, do not change your playstyle drastically. The level 15 talent row has become more interesting with Light’s Hammer being your go-to option for most fights; with it providing great on demand healing when paired up with Avenging Wrath. For more mobile fights, Bestow Faith is a competitive option which increases your holy power generation by 5 per minute whilst offering a small boost to your overall throughput.
New Covenant Legendaries:
Radiant Embers: is the new Venthyr covenant specific legendary in that increases its duration and decreases it if you move out of your Ashen Hallow. This legendary has incredible potential with you being able to burst heal for 20 seconds every seconds (2 minutes and 35 seconds) with moving out of hallow after your Avenging Wrath has expired or surpassed 20 seconds duration. Its biggest downside is that mechanics can ruin your burst window if you’re forced to move out of your Ashen Hallow earlier than you want, thus planning your cooldowns around timings of mechanics is even more important than ever when using this legendary.
Divine Resonance: is the new Kyrian covenant specific legendary in that automatically casts a holy shock every 5 seconds for 30 seconds after using Divine Toll. Currently the legendary only casts these additional Holy Shock’s if you’re targeting an enemy/friendly unit regardless of who you cast Divine Toll on. Thus the healing portion of this legendary will require you to manually target a friendly player before each 5 second interval to force the automatic Holy Shock to go on a friendly player and swapping between other injured friendly players will be required to triage heal with this legendary.
Seasons of Plenty: is the new Night-Fae covenant specific legendary in that after 10 seconds of initial application, it boosts the effectiveness of the currently applied seasons buff by % for 10 seconds. Whilst this is an interesting legendary with potential for funny dps padding strategies using Blessing of Summer or Blessing of Autumn on dps, this won’t see any use for raid progression orientated Holy Paladins.
Duty-Bound Gavel: is the new Necrolord covenant specific legendary in that simply gives your Vanquisher’s Hammer an additional charge and buffs the next two spenders (from its baseline of 1). The legendary is rather unimaginative but is a healthy boost to Necrolord Holy Paladin’s throughput should you decide to drop Shock Barrier for more on demand burst healing.
Inflorescence of the Sunwell now gives Holy Light a 30% chance to generate 2 Holy Power when it consumes Infusion of Light. Unfortunately this does not increase the viability of the legendary or the Holy Light spam build but rather nerfs it inadvertently due to removing the 60% increase to Holy Light’s throughput with Infusion of Light.
Shadowlands changes for paladins:
Aura’s have now returned!
Crusader Aura, Devotion Aura, Concentration Aura and Retribution Aura.
Only one can be active at any one time and multiple paladins can’t stack the same aura. Concentration Aura is learnt at level 52 and Retribution Aura’s duration is upgraded by 4 seconds at level
Turn Evil: has returned and is currently a niche crowd control. Be wary of using this in dungeons as the crowd controlled mob will run away from where you applied Turn Evil, potentially pulling more mobs towards your group.
Hammer of Wrath: Generates 1 holy power and becomes usable during Avenging Wrath after level 58 with rank 2 Hammer of Wrath.
Every Paladin specialization has access to the following Holy Power spenders:
Shield of the Righteous (Requires an equipped shield) and Word of Glory.
Crusader Strike now costs 9% base mana for every spec which equates to mana at level
Avenging Wrath and Holy Avenger are now off the global cooldown.
Retribution has Blessing of Sacrifice and Consecration baseline.
Changes to Holy Paladins in Shadowlands
Holy Power is now an additional resource you need to manage and stacks up to 5.
The base cooldown of Holy Shock is now seconds (down from 9). It generates 1 Holy Power and its cooldown reduction will continue to scale with haste.
Bestow Faith: now generates 1 holy power after it heals.
Infusion of Light has been reworked to reduce the cost of your next Flash of light by 30% or increase your next Holy Light by 30%.
Beacon of Light has received multiple changes with it no longer refunding mana. Instead, Holy Light and Flash of light now generate 1 Holy Power when cast on a player with Beacon of Light. Additionally, its healing transfer is increased to 50%, from 40%.
Word of Glory has returned and requires 3 Holy Power to use, whilst Light of Dawn has been reworked, requiring 3 Holy Power to use and now incurs no cooldown.
Aura Mastery: Interacts with your currently selected aura;
Retribution Paladin Overview
Retribution Paladin is a very cooldown reliant melee-DPS spec. Their greatest strength is the high versatility in available burst types, be it single-target, close-range cleave, or AoE. The defensive utility is very good as well, as it offers a damage reduction aura, a strong single-target damage reduction cooldown for others, massive off-heals, and the best immunity in the game.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Patch Changes for Paladins
We are maintaining a list of changes for Paladins, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Retribution's specific changes this patch.
Patch Paladin Class ChangesPatch Retribution Changes
Significant Patch Retribution Changes
New Legendary Powers
Divine Resonance is the new best Kyrian Paladin Legendary Power, casting a Judgment on your current target once every 5 seconds, over 15 seconds.
Radiant Embers is the new Venthyr Paladin Legendary Power, increasing Ashen Hallow's duration by 50%. Leaving the area will end the effect and reduce the cooldown up to 50% proportional to its remaining duration. Running out of the circle early mainly desynchronizes Ashen Hallow from your cooldowns, while staying inside does not provide more throughput than other Legendary Power options.
Seasons of Plenty is the new Night Fae Paladin Legendary Power. It empowers each of your Night Fae blessings once they were up for 10 seconds for the next 10 seconds. Blessing of Autumn, Blessing of Winter, and Blessing of Spring have their effectiveness doubled, while Blessing of Summer has its effectiveness quadrupled (by having both its proc chance and proc amplification doubled).
Duty-Bound Gavel is the new Necrolord Paladin Legendary Power, adding a second charge to Vanquisher's Hammer and a second empowered Templar's Verdict per Vanquisher's Hammer cast.
Condensed Anima Sphere is a new Endurance Conduit that, once you take any damage, will heal you for X% of your maximum Health. This can only occur once every 10 seconds. The new World Boss Mor'geth, Tormentor of the Damned drops this Conduit.
Virtuous Command now refreshes from consecutive Judgment casts, which is a noticeable buff thanks to its synergy with the new Divine Resonance Legendary Power for Kyrian Paladins.
Truth's Wake now does the correct amount of damage implied by the tooltip. This change alongside the new Potency Conduit slot finally allows us to utilize the Potency Conduit in Mythic+.
Night Fae Changes
Blessing of Winter now can be applied to multiple targets at the same time.
Leveling a Retribution Paladin
If you want to play a Retribution Paladin, but currently do not have one at max level, you can check out our leveling guide for tips on your crusade.
Retribution Paladin Leveling Guide
Once you reach max level, it can be somewhat overwhelming to completely change the way you play by suddenly implementing a large number of addons in a short space of time, especially if they have a heavy visual impact on your UI. We recommend using some of the more basic addons recommended on our Addons page below while leveling, so that you have more time to get used to them during the easier phases of playing your class.
Retribution Paladin Addons and Macros
Basics of Retribution Paladin Gameplay
Retribution Paladin is a spec about buffing yourself, managing cooldowns, and handling resource management all at the same time. The fundamental idea of the rotation is simple, you are building and spending Holy Power, while mixing in cooldowns to maximize the effectiveness of your Holy Power abilities.
At all times, you will be figuring out which Holy Power generator you should prioritize over your others while not overcapping Holy Power, and then figure out the best Holy Power spender to use in your current situation. You will also regularly be using your main cooldown, Avenging Wrath.
If you are an absolute beginner to the spec, but would like to learn the basic fundamentals of the class, we recommend looking through the Spell Summary first, as well as the Easy Mode page linked below.
Retribution Paladin Spell SummaryRetribution Paladin Quick Guide
If you are already somewhat familiar with Retribution Paladin, you can head straight to the Talents and Rotation pages to jump right into the more complex, detailed information.
Retribution Paladin Talents and BuildsRetribution Paladin Rotation and Cooldowns
How to Gear Up as a Retribution Paladin
Despite the fact that gearing has become more challenging, due to the huge number of variables that depend on your character, you can find information on how best to gear as Retribution on our dedicated gearing page.
Retribution Paladin Gear
Once you have started to gear up, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate consumables, gems, enchants, and more. We have a dedicated page for exactly this, as shown below, as well as the stats page, where you can find more information on the possibility of a changing stat priority and the necessary changes you may need to make for consumables.
Retribution Paladin Enchants Gems and ConsumablesRetribution Paladin Stat Priority
End-Game as a Retribution Paladin
Starting off as Retribution Paladin can look very different from the absolute end-game raiding and progression as one. Our Mythic+, Raiding, and PvP guides can guide you to performing as well as possible, regardless of your focus in end-game content.
Retribution Paladin Castle Nathria Raid GuideRetribution Paladin Mythic+ GuideRetribution Paladin PvP Guide
Improving as a Retribution Paladin
If you are finding your performance lacklustre, but are not sure where you are going wrong, you can check out the pages below for potential tips, or answers to questions you may have.
Retribution Paladin "How to Improve" GuideRetribution Paladin FAQRetribution Paladin Simulations
Protection Paladin Overview
As a Protection Paladin, you can expect to perform the role of a solid and reliable tank. In general, your damage intake will be relatively smooth, with many attacks being blocked by your shield or softened by your strong active mitigation. No other tank class has quite the array of tricks up their sleeve that a Paladin does.
Note that this guide focuses on aspects that are specific to Protection Paladins and general tanking strategies are beyond its scope. If you wish to know more about the tanking role and what you can do to improve, we recommend that you read our tanking guide.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Patch Changes for Paladins
We are maintaining a list of changes for Paladins, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Protection's specific changes this patch.
Patch Paladin Class ChangesPatch Protection Changes
Leveling as a Protection Paladin
If you do not have a Paladin at max level you can follow the link below to help you in your quest to reach max level. Keep in mind that leveling as a tank, while not always the fastest, means you are great at being able to pull large groups of enemies and AoE them down.
Protection Paladin Leveling Guide
Should you be leveling as a tank, it is recommended to learn the ropes throughout the leveling process as well, as generally it is not tuned to be very hard. Addons are rather important to be able to tank well, such as threatplates, but also tracking buffs and debuffs. Playing dungeons while leveling will give you a sense of those addons before getting thrown into max level content.
Protection Paladin Addons and Macros
Basics of Protection Paladin Gameplay
Tanking in general means a lot of pressure to not only do damage and thus threat to make sure things are attacking you, but also about surviving those attacks. As a Protection Paladin, this generally means generating as much Holy Power as possible, so you can spend it on Shield of the Righteous to reduce damage intake. With our active mitigation not being up constantly, it is important to make sure you can cover those times when Shield of the Righteous is down with another cooldowns should damage intake still be high. If you are fairly new to the class and spec and need to jump into it right away, we recommend the Easy Mode page linked below.
Protection Paladin Quick Guide
If you have got the basics down and want to improve your class knowledge, go to the Talent and Rotation pages for more in-depth information.
Protection Paladin Talents and BuildsProtection Paladin Rotation and Cooldowns
How to Gear Up as a Protection Paladin
Tanks are generally quite uncommon, so finding a group as a tank is not too difficult and gearing up might happen rather fast. At the start, all you really want is higher item level, as you value all the stats you can get. Once you have options of similar item levels you can follow these pages to read more on how the different stats influence your character, as well as what gems, enchants, and consumables you should be using. You can also find a page dedicated for more end-game gearing information in the BiS and Gear page.
Protection Paladin Stat PriorityProtection Paladin Enchants and GemsProtection Paladin BiS and Gear
End-Game as a Protection Paladin
End-game content comes in many forms that can vary quite a lot in both gearing and playstyle depending on what you focus most of your efforts into. While tanking in raids or in Mythic+ on the surface seems similar, there are many ways they differ, and you can focus on them separately in the pages linked below. Shadowlands also brought Torghast, a new game mode, for which you can find a Protection Paladin guide just below. PvP is typically not played with tank-specced players, so we recommend you play one of the other Paladin specialisations (Holy / Retribution) should you wish to learn more of that.
Protection Paladin Torghast GuideProtection Paladin Castle Nathria Raid GuideProtection Paladin Mythic+ Guide
Retribution Paladin PvP Guide
Holy Paladin PvP Guide
Improving as a Protection Paladin
Tanking can sometimes be rather unforgiving, especially if you are not quite sure what is actually going wrong; below we have linked a few resources aimed at helping you improve playing your character.
Protection Paladin "How to Improve" GuideProtection Paladin FAQProtection Paladin Simulations
Retribution Paladin Shadowlands guide
Hi, and welcome to the Method Retribution Paladin guide, written by Ranishka. With a few occasional breaks from the game, I have been a ret main since vanilla. In the past I’ve had a more casual approach to the game and focused on PvP, until I started raiding semi-hardcore back in BfA, and have been playing ret at an increasingly higher level ever since.
Ret has always been a niche spec, but in later expansions it has seen some play due to it frequently being a viable choice, and even strong in certain encounters. Listed below are some strengths and drawbacks of the spec:
- Very strong AoE burst.
- Good ST burst.
- Provides certain utilities for the raid like immunity soaking, blessings, lay on hands etc.
- Decent self-sustain, with being a hybrid class and being able to heal when needed.
- Lacks raid-wide utility like Anti-Magic Zone, Rallying Cry etc.
- Low mobility, with divine steed being the only movement-ability (it did get a lot better with two charges and 6sec steed though).
- Sustained ST damage is low compared to other classes.
- Lacks a damage reduction ability, which makes it hard to survive certain hits without externals.
Disclaimer: At this moment, kyrian is the best option for rets in every situation, and this guide won’t cover the other covenants. This means the guide won’t apply the same way to readers playing other covenants (for whatever reason). The guide does not cover PvP either, as it has specific tunings and is a whole different game in certain regards.
What has changed
For ret there were almost zero tuning changes to the spec itself in It did however receive a legendary for kyrian, which has been the go-to legendary for most rets since the patch hit:
Virtuous command also received a bug-fix, making it refresh the duration on consecutive judgement hits. Not very noticeable, but makes it slightly better, especially with the new legendary.
Truth’s wake also received a bug-fix, making it do the correct (higher) amount of damage. Usually not a good pick regardless, but it could be used in M+.
A new endurance conduit was also added for all classes, which gives provides the player with good sustain in all situations:
Apart from that, ret is very much in the same spot as it was in Castle Nathria. It’s not bottom tier, but not soaring at the top either. It is still not the best pick for most raid comps, but completely viable if you already have what you need in the setup, and it can even outperform other classes if played correctly.
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