WotLK Classic Paladin Guide: Ret, Holy and Prot Paladin

WOTLK has everyone excited, from returning players to those who had never tried WOTLK. If you’re new or returning, this basic guide will show you all you need to know about playing a Paladin, the different skills/builds, and what gear you should focus on for PvP and PvE. This guide will go over Retribution Paladin, Holy Paladin, and Protection Paladin, so if you were thinking of playing a Paladin, this guide is for you!

An Introduction to WotLK Classic Paladin

If you’re new to World of Warcraft, you may not know what the Paladin class is, but don’t worry; we will give a quick run down and viability check for Paladin during WOTLK. If you don’t enjoy leveling up, or struggle with it, check out our guide here to get your character to level 80 as fast as possible.

So, what is a Paladin? A Paladin is one of the 8 classes available to play during WOTLK (Including Death Knights). The Paladin is a virtuous champion of the light who can protect the party (Tank), heal the party (Healer), and deal massive melee damage (DPS). Now most players at this point will think, ‘well, they’re like a jack-of-all-trades master of none.’

But that couldn’t be further from the truth; statistically, we know that Paladin is one of the most powerful classes to fulfill any party's roles during WOTLK. Paladins deal permanent 1% more damage to undead and have a higher critical strike percentage against undead; this makes them extremely viable during WOTLK since the expansion features the undead.

Dealing more damage means keeping aggro for Protection Paladin is easier, and DPS comes off stronger than other classes. Not only is the tanking and DPS better, but the Holy Paladin is also renowned for being the best single-target raider in all of WOTLK.
If that piqued your interest, let’s review some of the builds and how they play out.

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WotLK Classic Retribution Paladin

Retribution Paladin is the damage specialization for Paladin. Retribution features a powerful 2-handed melee Paladin that deals exponential damage on a simple rotation. Retribution is the class for you if you enjoy a more relaxed play style with few buttons to worry about on top of raids' mechanics.

WotLK Classic Retribution Paladin Build

Above is the image for the build you should be doing for a Retribution Paladin. It features 54 talents in Retribution and 19 in Protection. We recommend if you will level up as a Retribution paladin from level 1 that, you focus on the Retribution tree early on to maximize damage output.

Retribution Gear (BIS)

●Head: Sanctified Lightsworn Helmet
●Neck: Penumbra Pendant
●Shoulders: Sanctified Lightsworn Shoulderplates
●Cloak: Shadowvault Slayer's Cloak
●Chest: Sanctified Lightsworn Battleplate
●Bracers: Scourge Hunter's Vambraces
●Hands: Fleshrending Gauntlets
●Waist: Coldwraith Links
●Legs: Sanctified Lightsworn Legplates
●Boots: Treads of the Wasteland
●Rings: Seal of Many Mouths
●Rings: Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance
●Trinket 1: Tiny Abomination in a Jar
●Trinket 2: Sharpened Twilight Scale

●Libram: Libram of Three Truths
●2 Hander: Shadowmourne

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WotLK Classic Protection Paladin

Protection Paladin is the Tank specialization for Paladins and is equipped with basic self-healing and party/self-damage mitigations. Protection Paladin has rated the best tank for WOTLK due to its effective aggro management and the strongest physical/magical absorption. Below we will go over a popular 3.3.5 Protection Paladin build and how you should focus your talents.

WotLK Classic Protection Paladin Build

Above is the best Protection Paladin build that features a good amount of damage mitigation along with damage output to keep aggro easily for dungeons and raids. If you’re leveling from level 1, we recommend getting Righteous Fury as early as possible to tank low-level dungeons, but then switch into retribution specialization so that questing won’t be too difficult.

Protection Paladin Gear (BIS)

●Head: Sanctified Lightsworn Faceguard
●Neck: Bile-Encrusted Medallion
●Shoulder: Sanctified Lightsworn Shoulderguards
●Cloak: Royal Crimson Cloak
●Chest: Sanctified Lightsworn Chestguard
●Bracers: Bracers of Dark Reckoning
●Gloves: Sanctified Lightsworn Handguards
●Waist: Belt of Broken Bones
●Legs: Legguards of Lost Hope
●Boots: Grinning Skull Greatboots
●Ring: Ashen Band of Endless Courage
●Ring: Juggernaut Bandor Devium's Eternally Cold Ring
●Trinket: Petrified Twilight Scale
●Trinket: Sindragosa's Flawless Fang
●Libram: Libram of Valiance

●Weapon: Mithrios, Bronzebeard's Legacy, or Bloodvenom Blade
●Shield: Icecrown Glacial Wall

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WotLK Classic Holy Paladin

The Holy Paladin is the healer specialization for Paladins, which features solid single target healing and is a must for main tank healing in a raid. Holy Paladin is one of the strongest Arena duo partners as they pump out heals with very low mana cost in the late game. Holy Paladin’s damage is inconsequential, so leveling up as a Holy Paladin may be difficult unless you only do Dungeon Diving for levels. Below we will show you our favorite Holy Paladin build and explain the priority for leveling.

WotLK Classic Holy Paladin Build

Holy Paladin will focus 51 points into Holy, 5 points into protection, and 15 points into Retribution. While leveling, we recommend doing retribution early on and focusing on Holy once you are comfortable with your damage while solo questing. If you want to focus on pushing Holy early, make sure only to do dungeons or have people to help you with questing, as Holy has a low damage output.

Holy Paladin Gear (BIS)

●Head: Turalyon's Headpiece of Conquest
●Neck: Arcane Loops of Anger
●Shoulders: Turalyon's Spaulders of Conquest
●Cloak: Kurisu's Indecision/Shroud of Displacement
●Chest: Turalyon's Tunic of Conquest
●Bracers: The Lady's Brittle Bracers/Brace Guards of the Starless Night
●Gloves: Turalyon's Gloves of Conquest
●Waist: Belt of the Lonely Noble/Sjonnir's Girdle
●Legs: Puresteel Legplates/Turalyon's Greaves of Conquest
●Boots: Protectors of Life/Recovered Reliquary Boots
●Ring: Marrowgar's Frigid EyeHeartmender Circle
●Ring: Oath of Empress Zoe
●Trinket 1: Ephemeral SnowflakeTalisman of Resurgence
●Trinket 2: The Egg of Mortal Essence

●Main-Hand: Seethe
●Shield: Protector of Frigid Souls

If you’re struggling to get your hands on any Paladin class gear, check out our store to get ahead of the curve and save you hours of grinding.


Paladin is one of WoW’s S-Tier ranked classes, and we hope you enjoy our builds and gear guides. If you want to check out our store for great deals on all wotlk gold, gear/boosts etc., please navigate to our homepage. If you enjoyed this guide and want to see more, check them out here. As always, let the light guide your way.