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Legion Class Preview: Paladin

by - 3 years ago

The Paladin Legion class preview blog post went up today detailing mostly quality of life changes, as well as some cool new active talents. Below, we’ve summarized the changes to each of the class’s specs, including ability, talent, and rotation changes.

Key Notes

  • Retribution will be the only spec with Holy power–the other classes will use only mana
  • Holy, as a plate-wearing healer spec, will have passives and spells that work better in close range of other characters, placing it closer to the front lines
  • Retribution will have less focus on ranged spells to make it feel more like a holy melee warrior
  • Protection will see some simplification with Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

The niche of the plate-wearing holy crusader is well established in Paladin gameplay, with one key exception. Whether Paladins are mitigating enemy attacks, aiding their ailing allies, or delivering punitive justice, it’s in their nature to serve in the thick of the battle. But while Holy Paladins possess the heavy armor and strong defensive ability themes, in practice they spend most of their time behind the frontlines with the more fragile healers. In addition to shoring up the identities of Protection and Retribution Paladins, we’re adjusting Holy Paladin gameplay to bring them closer to the front, where they belong.


Holy will see the most drastic changes as far as the Paladin goes. Holy Power will be removed in favor of mana to reduce “players often feel forced to use abilities in specific orders or ratios.” Overall, Holy, as a plate-wearing healer, will work best as a healer being closer to melee characters and the front line.

  • Lightbringer, a new mastery, increases healing on allies near the caster
  • New Aura talents spread beneficial effects near the user
  • Light of Dawn will return to being a cone spell
  • Talent choices will allow the player to add damage to their rotation if needed
  • Light of the Martyr allows the caster to “rapidly heal” a target with their own health (may be useful when low on mana)
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Ability Changes

  • Holy Light
    • 2.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
    • A slow but efficient spell, healing a friendly target for a moderate amount.
  • Flash of Light
    • 4.0% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
    • A quick but expensive spell, healing a friendly target for a moderate amount.
  • Light of the Martyr
    • 2.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Sacrifices a moderate amount of your own health to instantly heal an ally for a moderate amount.
    • Cannot be cast on yourself.
  • Light of Dawn
    • 4.0% Mana, 1.5 sec cast, 12 sec cooldown
    • Unleash a wave of healing energy before you, healing up to 5 injured allies within a 15 yd frontal cone for a moderate amount.
  • Holy Shock
    • 1.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 10 sec cooldown
    • Instantly trigger a burst of Light on the target, dealing moderate Holy damage to an enemy, or moderate healing to an ally.
    • Holy Shock has double the normal critical strike chance.
  • Infusion of Light
    • Passive
    • Your Holy Shock criticals reduce the cast time of your next Holy Light by 1.5 sec or increase the healing of your next Flash of Light by 50%.
  • Beacon of Light
    • 0.5% Mana, 60 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
    • Place a Beacon of Light on a friendly target.
    • Your heals on other party or raid members will also heal the Beacon of Light target for up to 50% of the amount healed. Your Flash of Light and Holy Light on the Beacon of Light target will also refund 40% of their Mana cost.
  • Mastery: Lightbringer
    • Proximity to your target causes your spells to heal for up to 30% (with Mastery from typical gear) more.

Select Talent Changes

  • Beacon of the Lightbringer
    • Passive
    • The maximum bonus from Mastery: Lightbringer is increased by 24%, and it now increases your healing based on the target’s proximity to either you or your Beacon of Light, whichever is closer.



Protection is in a good place already as far as spec identity and mechanics. Holy Power will be removed, as it “didn’t have a lot of depth” according to the team. Instead, skills will focus more on strategizing with cooldown rotations.

For simplicity, Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous will be merged into one ability that converts into AoE damage when the caster is within Consecration, instead of two abilities which are essentially the same thing. Word of Glory will be replaced with an auto self-targeting heal called Light of the Protector.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Ability Changes

  • Defensive
    • Shield of the Righteous
      • Melee Range, Instant, 12 sec recharge, 3 charges
      • Instantly slam the target with your shield, causing huge Holy damage, and reducing damage you take by 25% for 4.5 sec.
    • Light of the Protector
      • Instant, 15 sec cooldown
      • Calls down the Light to heal yourself for 50% of your missing health.
    • Redoubt
      • Passive
      • Your autoattack critical strikes cause you to gain a charge of Shield of the Righteous or Light of the Protector.
    • Mastery: Divine Bulwark
      • Increases the damage reduction of your Shield of the Righteous by 10% (with Mastery from typical gear), and increases your chance to block melee attacks by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
      • Also increases your attack power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Offensive
    • Avenger’s Shield
      • 30 yd range, Instant, 15 sec cooldown
      • Hurls your shield at an enemy target, dealing strong Holy damage, interrupting and silencing the target for 3 sec, and then jumping to 2 additional nearby enemies.
      • Also increases the effects of your next Shield of the Righteous or Light of the Protector by 20%.
    • Hammer of the Righteous
      • Melee Range, Instant, 3 sec recharge, 2 charges
      • Hammer the current target for moderate Physical damage.
      • If you are standing in your Consecration, Hammer of the Righteous also causes a wave of light that hits all other targets within 8 yds for minor Holy damage.
    • Grand Crusader
      • Passive
      • When you avoid a melee attack or use Hammer of the Righteous, you have a 15% chance of refreshing the cooldown on Avenger’s Shield
    • Judgment
      • 30 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
      • Judge an enemy, dealing strong Holy damage.
    • Consecration
      • Instant, 9 sec cooldown
      • Consecrates the land beneath you, causing strong Holy damage over 9 sec to enemies who enter the area.

Select Talent Changes

  • Blessed Hammer
    • Instant, 3 sec recharge, 2 charges
    • Throw a divine hammer that spirals outward from the Paladin, dealing moderate Holy damage to enemies it passes through.
    • Replaces Hammer of the Righteous


Retribution will be the only remaining spec that uses the Holy Power resource. To keep more in line with the fantasy of a melee holy warrior, they’re reducing the focus on ranged attacks for Retribution to make it feel less like a caster.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Ability Changes

    • Crusader Strike
      • Melee Range, Instant, 4.5 sec cooldown
      • An instant strike that causes moderate Physical damage and grants 1 Holy Power
    • Blade of Justice
      • 12 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
      • Strikes an enemy with the Blade of Justice, dealing strong Holy damage and generating 2 Holy Power
    • Judgment
      • 30 yd range, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
      • Judge an enemy, dealing moderate Holy damage and causing the target to take 30% increased damage from your Holy Power generators and consumers for 6 sec.
    • Templar’s Verdict
      • 3 Holy Power, Melee Range, Instant
      • A powerful weapon strike that deals massive Holy damage.
    • Divine Storm
      • 3 Holy Power, Instant
      • A whirl of divine energy, dealing strong Holy damage to all enemies within 8 yds.
    • Conviction
      • Passive
      • Your Crusader Strike and Blade of Justice have a 20% chance to generate 1 additional Holy Power.
    • Mastery: Hand of Light
      • Your Crusader Strike, Blade of Justice, Divine Storm, and Templar’s Verdict deal 45% (with Mastery from typical gear) additional Holy damage.

Select Talent Changes

  • Lothar’s Might
    • 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Flings a blade of holy light to the target location. Reactivating will teleport the Paladin to the blade and strike nearby enemies for moderate Holy damage.
    • Replaces Hand of Hindrance.

Class Changes Overview Blog Schedule

Tomorrow, Warlocks, Death Knights, and Shamans will be in the spotlight.

  1. Sunday (11/8): Hunter
  2. Monday (11/9): Priest, Mage, Paladin
  3. Tuesday (11/10): Warlock, Death Knight, Shaman
  4. Wednesday (11/11): Warrior, Monk, Druid
  5. Thursday (11/12): Rogue

Seth Harkins

PC gamer and lover of (most) things Blizzard. In his off time, he writes bad fan fiction, tends to his growing number of house plants, and enjoys a love-hate relationship with two cats.