Paladin Leveling: Protection 1-29

14 Dec

I was playing a Prot Paladin when I first started blogging, in fact it was the Paladin that got me started on it in the first place. It took my AoE Grinding game to a whole new level, allowed me to solo content that I otherwise would never have been able to, and it’s really what kick started the whole process of writing the leveling guides for me. You can thank my first Paladin, Lexington, for everything this blog has become.

But all of that happened several patches ago. I got my Prot Paladin to Northrend and hadn’t tanked a single instance that I can remember. I was a group quest soloing fool, doing my best to mass pull entire zones full of mobs just to see how far I could push it. Then came the nerfs. Then came my dislike of Northrend. Then came my new found love for twinking. Then my wife decided Horde was getting old and she wanted to try Alliance – on a new server. Then I met Cynwise. Then I found a home server I could really love. Then I found a great guild. All that added up to Lexington being left sitting on an abandoned server at level 74, doomed to not see the light of login for over a year.

When I did finally log back into him I found a new purpose, which was grinding reputation for enchants I wanted on the server that had changed with the 4.0.1 patch. I dropped his Prot spec for Ret and started laying waste to instances, and it was fun. I decided to grind honor to buy him a good two-hander and when I finally got it I just couldn’t spend it. That much honor could also buy me a sword and shield. Cool two-hander, or tanking toys… and so it was that I switched back to Protection and with the changes of Cataclysm my love for Prot was reborn. I rolled a new Prot Pally to level with my wife on a RAF account and found that I like it even more, even from a low level perspective.

Playing a Protection Paladin
Paladins play differently than they used to now that we have Holy Power thrown into the mix. In many ways they’re the same, but there are enough differences that the class will not feel the same leveling it up this time that it did prior to 4.0. Paladins have been “overpowered” for a while now, having some of the best defensive skills backed powerful healing and some great damage potential as well.

Paladins used to be incredibly boring to get through the first 30-40 levels with because they had almost no attack spells at all. You used auto-attack and Judgement and that was about it. Luckily 4.x changed that for us by giving us both Crusader Strike at level 1, and also bringing in Avenger’s Shield at level 10 when you choose the Prot spec. Now not only do you have attacks that you can use all the time, but you’re also dealing some significant damage with them.

The days of boring leveling are over. A new age of overpowered has begun, and Paladins are leading the charge.

Protection-Specific Tips
To start this section off, we’re going to look first at the perks of choosing the Retribution tree. The keystone ability you get for choosing Prot is Avenger’s Shield, an instant ranged attack that throws your shield at the target dealing Holy damage, silencing, and interrupting spell casting for 3 seconds, and then bounces to up to two more additional mobs within range of the target. You also get Vengeance which converts the damage you take into Attack Power (5% damage converted to AP, up to 10% of your health). These two really help you in your tanking, both with damage and threat.

You also get Touched by the Light granting you a 15% Stamina boost, +8% spell Hit and bonus Spell Power equal to 60% of your Strength. Finally, there’s Judgements of the Wise which causes your Judgement to grant 30% of your mana over 10 seconds. “Touched” helps ensure that your taunts always hit as well as giving a sweet Stamina boost and a buff to your Spell Power based on your primary offensive stat (Strength) so that your Avenger’s Shield and Consecrate (in particular) deal enough damage to matter.

Holy Power
Our new mechanic, Holy Power, is similar(ish) to a Rogue’s combo points. You build Holy Power by using certain abilities, primarily Crusader Strike, but they build up on you rather than on your target and they expire with time or when consumed by another ability. You can store up to three Holy Power at a time, and the abilities that use it increase in power with each point. At level 29 you get your other HP building attack, Hammer of the Righteous which you’ll use in place of Crusader Strike when fighting multiple targets.

Rather than having finishing moves, Paladins can burn their Holy Power with either healing spells or additional attacks, and since the HP stacks on you rather than the target you can kill one enemy by building up your HP and then kill another by spending the HP built on the first target. When soloing elites or fighting bosses in a dungeon, you can also contribute a great deal of instant-cast healing by using your HP with Word of Glory. I’ll get into the details of that further down.

For this level range your HP is going to be spent on Word of Glory heals, and that’s it. Heal yourself or heal somebody in the group. It doesn’t matter what you do with it, just be sure to spend it if there’s a need for it. I ran a random dungeon with my new Paladin at 38 and the healer asked why I kept healing. WoG is the only HP dump we have at this level so you either use it or lose it.

Self Healing
There’s one thing you’re going to need to be aware of at end game just as much as you are now at low level, and that’s healing yourself. With the Prot talents you have a chance to make your Word of Glory consume no HP, meaning you can cast it and then recast it and potentially re-recast it at times. If you’re in a group you can do this to help your healer by throwing heals to people who are low now and then, but you can also cast it on yourself which is what I tend to do most often.

When you finish a pull though, whether you’re in a dungeon or just questing, take a look at your health. If you aren’t topped off then go ahead and spend any excess HP you’re holding onto for a WoG cast to refill. If you don’t have any HP to spend then take a look at the ground around you. Do you see any critters? If so, go use Crusader Strike on the critter get in a charge of HP and then use it on WoG. The good thing about Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous is that they give you HP when you cast them, regardless of who/what you cast them on. Save a tank, kill a squirrel.

Seals and Judgement
A Seal is a Paladin-specific buff which typically adds some sort of extra bonus to your attacks. In this level range our only Seal is Seal of Righteousness which adds some Holy damage to each of our attacks. The Seal in use also determines the power of your Judgement spell, which in this case is just extra Holy damage.

There used to be multiple forms of Judgement, and they used to do different things based on your seal, but now it’s all an amount of damage. Seal of Righteousness provides the single highest Judgement damage of all the Seals at this time. Note that Judgement can only be cast if you have a Seal active, so always make sure that buff is up or else you lose access to one of your most useful attack spells.

Auras are another Paladin-specific buff, but these apply to your whole raid as long as they are within 40 yards of you. Our aura for most of this level range is Devotion Aura which provides a nice bonus to our Armor, which you may or may not replace at level 26 with Retribution Aura which deals damage to enemies whenever they hit you.

There are several auras to choose from as you get higher in level, but Retribution and Devotion are the two auras you’ll use most often while leveling. I generally run around in Retribution aura because the extra DPS appeals to me more than the extra survivability of Devotion, especially with Word of Glory in our tool belt now.

Devotion Aura doesn’t grant all that much armor so it’s not crucial, but Retribution Aura similarly doesn’t deal all that much damage to mobs that attack you. So use whichever one you like. If you find you’re taking more damage than you want, then switch to Devo, while if you’re not having survivability issues then Ret Aura will at least help you kill a little bit faster.

Important Spells & Abilities
There are a lot of spells and abilities that come with being a Paladin, but I’m going to try to keep it simple and limited to only the most important ones for a Retribution spec. There are other spells that you’ll get in this level range as well, I leave them out only because I do not find them critical to playing a Ret paladin.

Level 1-10:

  • Crusader Strike (1): An instant strike that causes 120% weapon damage.
  • Judgement (3): Unleashes the energy of a Seal to judge an enemy for Holy damage.
  • Seal of Righteousness (3): Fills the Paladin with holy spirit for 30 min, granting each single-target melee attack additional Holy damage. Only one Seal can be active on the Paladin at any one time.
  • Devotion Aura (5): Gives additional armor to party and raid members within 40 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Hammer of Justice (7): Stuns the target for 6 sec.
  • Word of Glory (9): Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for 115 to 127 per charge of Holy Power.

Crusader Strike is your key to Holy Power generation until level 29, at which point it will share the load with Hammer of the Righteous. It also does a decent amount of damage and is your bread and butter attack against bosses or other single targets as you’ll cast it basically every other global cooldown. Once you get Hammer of the Righteous you’ll switch back and forth between the two depending on the situation.

Seal of Righteousness and Devotion Aura are the two buffs that you want to have up at all times. Auras have no duration and persist through death, so the one you have active when you die will still be active when your rez. Seals are only 30 minute buffs though, and must be active in order for you to use Judgement, so be sure to have your Seal active at all times, and if it gets dispelled during combat be sure to reapply it right away.

Hammer of Justice seems mostly PvP related, but it’s also great for questing and dungeons to either stop running mobs or to interrupt an enemy spellcaster. It’s also great for stunning a mob long enough to get off a Crusader Strike followed by a Word of Glory when you’re in desperate need of a heal, or to stun a mob and then use your Mining/Herbalism before somebody comes and steals your node.

Word of Glory is an amazing spell, one of my favorite additions to the Paladin. It’s an instant cast heal that requires no mana, instead healing you for an amount based on how much Holy Power you have available. Unlike most of your other HP abilities, WoG heals you for a flat amount, multiplied by the HP used. So if it heals you for 120 with a single point of HP, then it will heal you for 360 if you have three points of HP. So if you’re in a fight for your life then you can alternate Crusader Strike-Word of Glory, or you can build up a bigger stack if healing isn’t quite so time sensitive.

Level 11-19:

  • Flash of Light (16): A quick, expensive heal that heals a friendly target for 392 to 438.
  • Lay on Hands (16): Heals a friendly target for an amount equal to the Paladin’s maximum health and restores 160 of their mana. If used on self, the Paladin cannot be targeted by Divine Shield, Divine Protection, Hand of Protection, or self-targeted Lay on Hands again for 2 min.
  • Exorcism (18): Causes Holy damage to an enemy target. If the target is Undead or Demon, it will always critically hit.
  • Hand of Protection (18): A targeted party or raid member is protected from all physical attacks for 10 sec, but during that time they cannot attack or use physical abilities. Players may only have one Hand on them per Paladin at any one time. Once protected, the target cannot be targeted by Divine Shield or Hand of Protection again for 2 min.

I mention Flash of Light rather than Holy Light because enough though FoL cost 3x as much mana as HL, the cast time is significantly reduced, and if you need a heal badly enough that you’re going to spend a cast time on it, you want to make sure it’s big enough to be worth it. If you need to heal, and you need it now, then FoL is the way to go if Word of Glory won’t cover it and/or Lay on Hands is on cooldown. Our other big heal, the top dog of all heals, Lay on Hands appears at the same level. If you, or someone else is about to die, this is a literal life saver. The strongest healing spell in the game, even on a crit, can’t top the healing potential of this bad boy.

Exorcism isn’t used quite so often as Prot, but it is useful for ranged pulls or for killing fleeing targets. While leveling I’ll usually start off a boss fight with Exorcism for my pull followed by an immediate Avenger’s Shield so that I can front load my threat as much as possible. If you’re facing a group of trash with 4+ targets you can also pull with this targeting one on the far left or right side of the pack and then casting Avenger’s Shield on the target on the opposite end so that you can load damage only all of the targets.

Hand of Protection is one of the Paladin’s “bubbles”, preventing all physical damage to the friendly target that you cast it on. The good thing is, this will keep you alive against all forms of physical damage, including falling damage. The bad thing is, it does nothing at all against Magic damage and it prevents you for using any attack spells either. The best use for this, other than jumping off of cliffs, is to use it when you have no Holy Power, Lay on Hands is unavailable, and you’re being attacked by physical mobs. Pop HoP for immunity and then use your spells to heal yourself back to full. This is about the only time I bother casting Holy Light as I have the time to safely use it with its long cast time rather than spending additional mana on FoL.

One thing to note about HoP, if you’ve gotten the use out of it that you need (such as an emergency heal), you can right-click on the buff to cancel it, which will remove the restriction of attacking. I have a /cancelaura macro attached to my Crusader Strike for this purpose which I’ll have down in the macros section below. Another side note on this one, is that it will give you the Going Down achievement if you don’t already have it. Just get to a ridiculous height and jump, then wait until you’re a few seconds from hitting the ground to cast it.

Level 21-29:

  • Blessing of Kings (22): Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect by 5%, and all magical resistances for 1 hour. If target is in your party or raid, all party and raid members will be affected. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Consecration (24): Consecrates the land beneath the Paladin, doing Holy damage over 10 sec to enemies who enter the area.
  • Retribution Aura (26): Causes 9 Holy damage to any enemy that strikes a party or raid member within 40 yards. Players may only have one Aura on them per Paladin at any one time.
  • Holy Wrath (28): Sends bolts of holy power in all directions, causing Holy damage divided among all targets within 10 yds and stunning all Demons, Dragonkin, Elementals and Undead for 3 sec.
  • Hammer of the Righteous (29): Hammers the current target for 30% weapon damage, causing a wave of light that hits all targets within 8 yards for Holy damage. Grants a charge of Holy Power.

Blessing of Kings is another buff that you want to have up at all times, increasing your main stats by 5% and giving you some magic resistance as well. The blessing changed in 4.0.1 so that they now hit your whole party and they last for 1 hour as regular and greater blessings were combined into one.

Consecration is a decent ability to use if you’re in a big group of mobs, but the damage isn’t as good as it used to be and the mana cost is ridiculous, not to mention the cooldown was increased. Prior to 29 this is your only source of AoE threat, so you’re going to use it. As you get higher in level you’ll be able to reduce the mana cost significantly, but for now use it only when you have to.

Retribution Aura is our DPS aura, allowing us to deal extra damage by getting hit. You’re now a metal porcupine, congratulations. Holy Wrath is our new AoE spell of choice. It used to only work on undead and demons, but now it works on everything and applies a stun to specific types of mobs. The damage works for everything though and the animation actually looks cool now compared to what it was in the previous version. If you want to spend mana on AoE, do it with Holy Wrath, not Consecration (for now).

Leveling a Protection Paladin
Starter Rotation: Crusader Strike, Judgement, Crusader Strike
Questing Rotation: Avenger’s Shield, Crusader Strike, Judgement, Crusader Strike
LFG Trash Rotation Pre-29: Avenger’s Shield, Crusader Strike, Holy Wrath, Crusader Strike, Judgement, Crusader Strike
LFG Trash Rotation 29+: Avenger’s Shield, Hammer of the Righteous, Holy Wrath, Hammer of the Righteous, Judgement, Hammer of the Righteous
LFG Boss Rotation: Exorcism, Avenger’s Shield, Crusader Strike, Judgement, Crusader Strike, Holy Wrath, Crusader Strike

The Starter Rotation is what you’ll use prior to level 10. Basically just switch back and forth between Crusader Strike and Judgement until everything is dead.

While you’re questing you have two options. The first is to just keep on doing single target forever, the second is to do multiple mobs at once. I’m still a huge fan of AoE grinding, so I like to have at least 3 mobs on me at all times. When you first get Avenger’s Shield you can one-shot three mobs at a time with it, and if some do survive by some miracle then you can easily finish them off with CS and Judgements. If you’re going single target then go ahead and lead with Avenger’s Shield, but if you’re doing multiple mobs then save the shield until you have at least three mobs grouped together.

Before you get Hammer of the Righteous at level 29 your LFG Trash rotation is basically the same as what you’ve used for questing. Make sure your groups know what kind of pulling method you’re going to use though, so they’re not charging ahead when they need to hold back, and they’re not holding back when you’re ready for them to charge ahead. Let them know how you handle things so that they can adjust accordingly. Feel free to switch Judgement and Holy Wrath in the rotation if you find that you’re having mana issues. It’s better to have too much mana regen going on than not enough. Hammer of the Righteous takes the place of Crusader Strike so long as there are three or more mobs to attack. I tend to stick with HotR until I’m down to just one, but that’s a personal preference.

Boss fights are pretty simple for us as we don’t have a whole lot going on. Paladins have a very simple rotation that’s easy to stick to. Don’t bother with HotR unless the boss spawns adds or something as CS gives you better damage against a single target which in turn is better threat generation. The Exorcism cast is really only for the initial pull, so don’t bother trying to keep it in an actual rotation as casting spells strips your avoidance and makes you easier to hit.

Talent Spec: Protection 29

  • Seals of the Pure 2/2: Increases the damage done by your Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Truth, and Seal of Justice by 12%.
  • Eternal Glory: Your Word of Glory has a 30% chance not to consume Holy Power.
  • Divinity 2/2:Increases all healing done by you and all healing effects on you by 2%.
  • Judgements of the Just 2/2: Your Judgement reduces the melee and ranged attack speed of the target by 20% for 20 seconds. In addition, increases the duration of your Seal of Justice effect by 1 second.
  • Toughness 3/3: Increases the critical effect chance of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Word of Glory by 15%.
  • Hammer of the Righteous 1/1: Hammer the current target for 30% weapon damage, causing a wave of light that hits all targets within 8 yards for Holy damage. Grants a charge of Holy Power.

We start off with Seals of the Pure because it’s the only damage increase you can get at that level so it’s the only thing that’s going to help you in questing which is your only option at this point. It’s not a lot of damage, but it’s more than you had before so you’ll take it. Eternal Glory gives your Word of Glory a chance to consume no Holy Power meaning that you can cast it back to back (to back) for lots of healing. Healing is a good way to generate AoE threat early on which is another reason why you should us WoG whenever you have a full three charges of HP just sitting there. The one point in Divinity is mostly just to get us to the next tier, but it does help our healers.

If you find that you have survivability issues, you may consider switching the two points from either of the other talents in the first tier to Divinity to give your healers an extra 4% bonus healing on you. Paladins seem squishy to me when I heal them in the 19’s bracket on my twinks, but I never had problems myself.

Judgements of the Just slows down the attack speed of mobs that are hitting you, so it’s a good survivability tool that also helps in PvP. For this level range that’s all it does for us. Toughness increases your Armor for even more survivability. You are a tank after all, so getting hit in the face is kind of your thing; you might as well make it hurt less.

And we finish up this level range with Hammer of the Righteous for some yummy AoE goodness. This used to hit only three targets (four if glyphed), but now it hits everything within 8 yards of your target. It shares a cooldown with Crusader Strike so you either have to use one or the other. When you have multiple mobs you want this, and when you’re facing just one you want to use CS instead.

I’m going to list at least two options for each glyph type that you can choose from, and below each section I’ll mention why I choose them and under which circumstances I might change from one to another.


These are your two best choices for threat and damage. Do you want to have better threat against trash (HotR) or better threat against bosses (CS)? That’s the question, and your choice of glyph is your answer. I prefer to go with HotR because I like to AoE while I’m questing as well, so it’s just more valuable for me to take it over CS.


Using Consecration makes the high mana cost and short durability of Consecration a bit less painful, allowing you to make more use of it when tanking. I don’t like having threat issues, so I like to use Consecrate when I can afford it. Dazing Shield is useful, though not necessary as it slows down the targets that it hits. It’s great for kiting or for setting up really large pulls and such, but you probably don’t want to get into the habit of doing that too much if you’re not familiar with tanking. I always end up using this glyph because I like to get a little creative with my shield casts, but that’s me.


As with most classes, our minor glyphs kind of suck. Most Paladin minor glyphs right now just reduce the mana cost of spells that you’ll likely only cast outside of combat anyway, where casting your buffs and then drinking to restore your mana would negate the glyph’s use, not to mention we don’t care about mana much to begin with. But, these are the only glyphs we can use at this level range, so there you have it. You’ll at least be casting Kings on everyone in LFG and on yourself while questing, so you might as well pick that one up first.

Protection Macros
I don’t use a whole lot of fancy macros on my Paladin just yet, but I do have a few that are particularly useful.

/cancelaura Blessing of Protection
/cast Crusader Strike [same for Judgement, Hammer of the Righteous, etc]

This is the one that I mentioned up above that cancels my BoP right before I attack. BoP gives you immunity to physical damage, but at the expense of not allowing you to attack. Generally you want to cast this when you need to heal yourself (if you’re targeting yourself), so after you’re finished healing it’s time to get back to combat rather than just waiting for it to end itself. Basically this one saves me the trouble of canceling the buff myself.

I use a version of this macro for all of my primary attack spells as I mention in the macro text itself.

/cast [modifier:alt] Consecration
/castsequence reset=combat/9 Holy Wrath, Consecration, Holy Wrath

This macro I use for my AoE, just to save space on my bar. I don’t cast Consecration as often as I do Holy Wrath, and if I have an option between the two I generally go with HW unless the fight is going to last long enough for Consecration to be worth it. So using this you’ll cast Holy Wrath and for the next 9 seconds or until you cast it the button will change to cast Consecrate instead. For long fights with lots of AoE I have it cycle to another cast of Holy Wrath. You also have the option of holding Alt to force a Consecrate cast if you can’t or don’t want to use Holy Wrath.

Gearing Up as Protection
As a melee class we’re looking for stats that impact our melee performance such as Strength, Attack Power, Hit, Crit and Haste. As a tank though, you also want to look for survival stats such as Stamina, Dodge and Parry.

Stat Priority: Strength and Stamina, Dodge and Parry

In short, we’re going to stack Strength and Stamina first and foremost, followed by our avoidance stats of Dodge and Parry, and then on to any other DPS stats (attack power, hit, crit, haste, etc). Most of the stats that you want to cap at end game don’t even exist in the early stages, so this is really all you need to watch out for.

If you have access to heirloom gear and want to know which ones to use:
Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge or Venerable Mass of McGowan with the Crusader enchant
Polished Breastplate of Valor with the Greater Stats enchant (+4 all)
Polished Spaulders of Valor
Swift Hand of Justice two of these

If you don’t have access to BoA items then you want to look for gear via dungeons. Here is a short list of items that come to mind for me:

Ragefire Chasm
Subterranean Cape Cloak, +4 Str, +4 Agi
Cavedweller Bracers Wrist, +3 Str, +3 Stam
Stone Guard Greaves Legs, +4 Str, +5 Stam, +4 Crit [Horde-only Quest]

Cape of the Brotherhood Cloak, +5 Agi, +3 Stam
Cookie’s Tenderizer Mace, 13.5 DPS, +3 Str, +2 Stam, +2 Hit
Gold Plated Buckler Shield, 672 Armor, +3 Str, +5 Stam
Smite’s Reaver Axe, 13.5 DPS, +2 Str, +3 Stam, +2 Hit
Cookie’s Meat Mallet Mace, 11.7 DPS< +3 Str, +3 Stam [Quest]

Wailing Caverns
Cobrahn’s Grasp Mail Belt, +8 Str, +3 Agi
Kresh’s Back Shield, 700 Armor, +3 Stam, +5 Dodge
Mutant Scale Breastplate Chest, 164 Armor, +8 Str, +6 Stam
Savage Trodders Boots, 113 Armor, +5 Str, +5 Stam
Cleansed Pauldrons Shoulders, +5 Stam, +4 Int, +4 Spirit [Quest]
Pythas’ Vest Chest, +5 Str, +7 Stam, +5 Crit [Quest]

Shadowfang Keep
Phantom Armor Chest, +3 Str, +11 Stam, +5 Crit
Baron’s Scepter Mace, 14.1 DPS, +2 Str, +3 Stam, +2 Hit
Butcher’s Slicer Sword, 14.1 DPS, +2 Str, +3 Stam, +2 Hit
Comander’s Crest Shield, 700 Armor, +2 Str, +4 Stam, +3 Dodge
Rift Bracers Wrist, +3 Str, +4 Stam, +3 Crit
Silverlaine’s Family Seal Ring, +5 Str, +3 Stam
Breastplate of the Terrible Price Chest, +7 Stam, +5 Int, +5 Spir [Quest]
Deathstalker Pauldrons Shoulder, +4 Str, +5 Stam, +4 Hit [Quest]

Blackfathom Deeps
Algae Fists Mail Gloves, +8 Str, +5 Stam
Tortoise Armor Chest, +9 Stam, +9 Dodge
Band of the Skull Crusher Ring, +7 Str
Dusk-Stained Cloak Cloak, +5 Str, +5 Stam
Scales of Aku’mai Legs, +10 Stam, +7 Int, +7 Crit
Shield Against the Evil Presence Shield, 891 Armor, +6 Str, +6 Stam

The Stockades
Skeletal Gauntlets Gloves, +8 Str, +5 Stam
Hogger’s Shiny Ring, +6 Stam, +6 Dodge [Ally-only Quest]
Rifle Commander’s Eyepatch Helm, +8 Agi, +11 Stam, +8 Hit [Ally-only Quest]
Shield of the Stockades Shield, 945 Armor, +6 Stam, +4 Int, +4 Spir

Grubbis Paws Gloves, +8 Str, +5 Stam, +5 Crit
Thermaplugg’s Central Core Shield, 917 Armor, +6 Stam, 5% when hit to deal 35-65 Nature damage
Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator Cloth Helm, +12 Int, +8 Spir, Use: 146-167 Nature frontal cone and Lightning Shield effect
Charged Gear Ring, +4 Arcane Res, +4 Nature Rez, Random Enchant (Eluding: +12 Dodge +5 Agi, Stamina: +10 Stam, Strength: +10 Str, Bear: +7 Stam +7 Str, Gorilla: +7 Int +7 Str, Tiger: +7 Agi +7 Str)
Barechus’ Greaves +7 Str, +11 Stam, +7 Crit [Ally-only Quest]
G-Team Belt Belt, +8 Stam, +5 Int, +5 Spir [Ally-only Quest]

The cloth helm isn’t meant for you of course, but that Use ability is quite tasty. Chances are high that if it drops it’ll end up going to a clothie (and rightly so), but if nobody wants it you can put it to go use for that ability.


Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Class, Guide, Leveling, Melee, Paladin, Play Styles



19 responses to “Paladin Leveling: Protection 1-29

  1. Ali

    December 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    This really helped me out a lot, thank you! Unfortunately, I read this guide at lvl 29, dinged in my first dungeon, and now I’m really hoping you make a follow up guide for the next bracket. ;) thanks again!

    • Psynister

      December 18, 2010 at 1:07 AM

      The next version will be out soon…ish. Might be after the holidays, might be before, I’m not sure. Soon though.

      • Ali

        December 23, 2010 at 5:55 PM

        Thank you for the updated guide! :) I’ve been letting my alt sit while I worked on leveling my 80s, so the new guide will get me kick started back on my paladin alt. Thanks again.

        • Psynister

          December 23, 2010 at 7:08 PM

          My pleasure. Good luck, and have fun!

  2. skinnemuva

    December 30, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    If I remember correctly your judgments used to consume your seals; is that not the case anymore? For some reason I am remembering having to reapply seals after every judgement used (which was very often).

    • skinnemuva

      December 30, 2010 at 2:49 PM

      Awesome guide by the way, as always.

    • Psynister

      December 30, 2010 at 3:33 PM

      You do remember correctly, but it’s actually been a long time (several months, maybe a year) since that was the case. When I rolled my first paladin I had to use a macro to cast Judgement and then reapply the seal every time, but it’s been a while.

      Now the seals are just a 30 minute buff and they dictate how much damage your Judgement does.

      • skinnemuva

        December 30, 2010 at 4:29 PM

        Great, awesome change! Thanks for the follow-up.

        • Psynister

          December 30, 2010 at 4:31 PM

          There’s also only a single Judgement now instead of 3. The effects of the different Judgements have been absorbed by the seals themselves, so no mure JoL/JoW/JoJ, it’s all just Judgement now.

  3. Pouncealot

    January 1, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Hello Psynister,

    I’m back to playing WOW and decided to level another Paladin. My Tauren is level 22, and wow have they changed a LOT! I’m loving it. I just stumbled upon your new Prot Paladin guide. I googled Pysnister + Leveling Prot Paladin and voila! I was hoping you had a new guide. Although I never follow guides 100%, it’s always nice to get another perspective, and I’ve alwys enjoyed yours, so thank you!

    You know, I don’t see too many guides focused on tanking while leveling. It’s mostly end-game guides. Although I have a few 80’s, Im an altoholic. That’s where I have the most fun. :) It’s been a while since I’ve tanked. I did two instances this morning and the group was great. I told them it had been a while since I’ve tanked anything. The healer and DPS said I did well. We ran another instance together. They wanted to run more but I had to log since my daughter was sould be getting up soon. I chose Paladin since it’s easy getting into tanking mode, then say a Warrior. Once I’m comfortable with tanking again, I’ll eventually roll a Prot Warrior.

    I’m loving Holy Power, I use it on myself, and have used it a few times on others in instances. Since it’s been a while since I’ve played a tank, I most likely will level most of the way via instances. I picked up the epic shield Wall of the Dead and Flurry Axe earlier today. My Paladin is mining/blacksmithing. I snapped up the recipe for Mithril Shield spike at the AH, will definitely get the Sporeggar rep for their shield too, loved that with my BE Paladin.

    • Psynister

      January 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Always a pleasure, and congrats on the new blog site/layout.

      I don’t know why so many people automatically assume that you have to be DPS if you want to level with anything other than LFG. Tanks are probably the single best levelers in the game, especially when AoE is an option. So many quests are about killing so many of a certain mob, and tanks will often not only do it faster, but also with significantly less downtime.

      Paladins are definitely the easiest of the tanks to get into. I do a fair job at bear tanking, but the Warrior just doesn’t want to work for me. I’ve rolled and deleted more Warriors than I care to remember.

      Holy Power is one of my favorite additions to the game, and I’m able to solo even more things than I used to be able to. It’s just sick and wrong, in a fantastic kind of way.

      Good luck!

      • Pouncealot

        January 3, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        I agree with you, tanks make awesome levelers while questing! I’ve quested with all my tanks, the amount of mobs you can take down (not to mention surviivabilty) is insane, I love that!

        I have some free time today, so am taking a break from LFG, leveling up mining and tossing in questing too. Blacksmithing is currently maxed out until I hit level 35. My Paladin is 33 atm, a fingernail away from 34. Anyway, I’m laying the smack down on fools (err mobs) in Arathi Highlands. ;) I’ve been stacking Strength/Stam. Wasn’t one of the must have stats for Prot Pally’s agility? Or am I getting that confused with bear tanks?

        • Psynister

          January 3, 2011 at 10:56 AM

          Agility will offer you some Dodge and melee Crit, but it’s not crucial to your survival or your performance so I wouldn’t particularly seek it out.

  4. skinnemuva

    January 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Hey, just wanted to follow up. I got my prot pally to lvl 29 last night (and beyond) and hammer of the righteous is amazing. After you get that you can really aggro as many mobs as you want (even elite ones in dungeons) and hold aggro on all of them. As long as the healer is up for it you can really tank a lot of mobs! There were a couple times in SM:GY where I had 10 plus elite mobs beating on me and never lost aggro to anyone and was also out dpsing the dps by a good margin! I love this class and spec!!!

    • Psynister

      January 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      It only gets better from there. Now that HotR hits everything around you instead of just 4 targets your threat output is amazing. Couple that up with Blizzard’s idea to move all of the good AoE spells into higher levels and you’re not only going to rule the threat charts, you’re also going to rule the DPS charts in many cases as well.

      It won’t be too long before you’re also getting frequent resets of your Avenger’s Shield cooldown and just tearing through mobs left and right. Protection is the spec of mass slaying. None of this wussy 1v1 crap, bring ’em all on.

      • skinnemuva

        January 19, 2011 at 6:23 PM

        Hehe, I love it! It makes me giddy!


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