The Grumpy Elf did a post recently where he talked about what he loved about being a hunter. I thought that was a great idea for a post, only of course I’ll do it about my favourite class – the paladin. The idea is to pick one ability that no other class has, or that this class does best, that you really love. Grumpy had trouble picking one ability, well in fact he couldn’t, and I suspect I’ll have similar trouble. We wouldn’t pick the class as our main if we didn’t love it after all.
Paladins are a hybrid class, they can go 3/4 of the available roles. As a hybrid they have access to abilities from the other roles which is really useful. I mean I’ve come to appreciate my warrior more, but the lack of any healing abilities aside from Victory Rush, is a problem. So what is the paladin ability that I love the most?
The art of soloing
This should get a post of it’s own, and it might one day. Grumpy says that hunters are fantastic for soloing and I have no reason to disbelieve him. However, paladins are epic for it and a lot more straightforward in execution than hunters. I started my warcraft career, so to speak, as a ranged dps, I then went to healing and it’s only in Mists that I’ve completely swapped to melee. You see I like going and smacking bosses in the face, I like getting up close and personal, going toe to toe with the bosses. The friend who recruited me to the game plays a mage. He absolutely loved kiting things, he killed the whale shark in Vashj’ir solo, and didn’t take a single point of damage. Me, I just don’t have the patience for it.
Every Wednesday I clear Ulduar twice, first on my warrior and then on my paladin. It’s mount runs, first on 10 and then swap to 25 for Yogg; second is 25 man all the way through and I’m hoping I’ll pick up some legendary fragments. Well this reset the second run got cancelled so I went to Ulduar on my own. I’ve got all the 25 man achievements but I’m missing a few 10 non-metas. So I went to see if I could get any on my own. This comes to the first ability, perhaps my favourite paladin ability.
Seal of Insight
Odd ability to choose right? Well I wasn’t really concentrating and wound up getting knocked off my vehicle while clearing the trash before the first boss. I expected I’d die and then start over again, didn’t work out like that. I got a lot of vengeance from the dozens of mobs beating on me, so just from a couple of Crusader Strikes I healed myself from half health to full. I didn’t dip below 99% for the entire rest of the trash. Of course I had to suicide in order to be able to get back in a vehicle to kill the boss, but the trash was cleared alone and not in a vehicle. The amount of healing that was putting out was staggering, and the dps was pretty insane too. It almost made me wonder what would happen if I kept every single trash mob alive and then pulled the boss. Could I then kill the boss before it killed me? Unlikely but I do wonder how much health I could chip off the boss before dying.
I got a good half dozen achievements done, and cleared half of the raid. I almost feel sorry for Ulduar. It’s held up as one of the best raids and I cleared half of it in an evening solo. I then went and did 25 man Lord Morrowgar just for kicks. His regular melee got me down to about 70% health, but when he did Bone Storm my Insight healed me back up to max, and got a nice dps boost as well.
I suppose this isn’t really one ability, rather the several that there is to choose from. The above choice is obviously used as Protection. Now you’d expect survivability as a tank but what about dps? Now dps are supposed to be relatively squishy, even the plate wearing ones. After all if you can put out the damage you can’t survive everything as well, that would just be overpowered. Well Retribution and Protection are so similar these days that they are like two halves of the same coin.
The big ability, the overpowered one that makes PvP players really hate paladins, is of course Lay on Hands. It’s a huge heal which essentially is a reset. If you’re taking on a mob and it’s slowly chipping down your health, you can heal using Word of Glory, and use the Divine bubbles. If it gets too low just throw Lay of Hands on and the poor NPC or PvP player has to start from the beginning. This ability is available in any spec, and can be used on other people. So if I spot someone low on health, and it’s worth it not to keep it for myself, then I can heal them for whatever my health is. On my tank that’s about 570k when buffed which is going to heal anybody up to max, or 335k as dps which is likely to do the same. This ability has saved many encounters, clinched victory from the jaws of defeat and all that cliche stuff. I once on a Zul’Gurub run, on a disastrous Jin’do attempt, threw Lay of Hands on the healer. I promptly died but we were close enough to the end that because the healer survived we managed to complete the encounter. I have a paladin in my raid group who’s saved my bacon a couple of times by giving me his Lay of Hands. It’s a ability which means the healers stop having a heart attack, it gives a lot of breathing room.
Something else really worth mentioning is of course Ardent Defender, it saves you from death. You get hit with someone that will kill you, not only do you not die you get 15% of your health back. Only available as Protection of course but so useful when you have to take the hit, but naturally don’t want to die. I soloed Not So Friendly Fire the other day. Now if your timing is good you can get the bot in the way, and get out of the way yourself. However, doing it solo, the boss is in your face and that rocket strike actually takes a lot longer to land than I expect. So rather than keep missing them I just stood there and activated Ardent Defender, instant win. Lay of Hands afterwards and boom you’re golden.
Yeah so far it’s all been about surviving and soloing and all that stuff. Well paladins are so good at it, death knights used to be king but I say move over please. We might not have fancy portals like mages, but Heart of the Crusader lives on even though we lost our auras. You will never fly faster in Azeroth than a paladin with 310% flying. We’re also one of the few classes which have class specific mounts.
What more do you need? Oh yeah I was supposed to pick one ability. Um, I really don’t know. Holy Avenger is brilliant when you need holy power fast, healers all dead, Lay of Hands on cd, approaching low health. If you pop this you can heal up to max in no time useful for Protection. It also gives you a dps boost as well, great for that last frantic try, when the raid groups dropping like flies, and the bosses health is practically in single digits. For Retribution it’s not the talent that simmed the highest for dps but to blow something up fast nothing is better.
Gah I just really don’t know. I said that would be the case didn’t I? You see I suppose at the end of the day it’s not a single ability that makes me love my paladin. I love what I can do with it, nothing else is as good. I suppose if I played other classes as much, and learned their ins and outs, then they might be better in certain instances. Sometimes I wish that I had another classes ability, like a mages portals, or a timewarp/hero button. I’m definitely slightly envious of my co-tanks aoe dps, he’s a death knight and does like 80-100k easily. I did like 160k in Ulduar when there were millions of them, but I can’t get trash mobs in Mogu’shan Vaults off him for love nor money.
Though at the end of the day there isn’t a class I’d rather play. I have an alt of every single class, all of them level 80 or higher. None of them can hold a candle to my paladin. It’s why it’s my main, and why I love it so much.