Legion Paladin Class Changes
This post covers all of the changes to Paladins in Legion: talents, spec-specific abilities, artifacts, class changes, spell animations, glyphs, and tier sets.
Leveling 1-20 Guide
Wowhead has guides to each spec written by popular
community members, linked above. The Protection guide is by
, the Holy guide is by
, and the Retribution guide is by
New to Legion, you can also create and submit your own build guide! We designed a new user-friendly UI for writing class guides, which allows you to do the following new things:
Embed Talent, Honor Talents, and Artifact Calculator builds into the guide, with notes on each ability choice.
Leave tags specifying the skill level required for your build, and if it's suitable for different categories of PvE and PvP. Perhaps you're looking for a simple build for an alt, or something specifically for dungeons on your main.
Select stat weights and rank useful enchants, gems, and food.
Leave notes on any important items that impact your build, such as
To set up a Legion Class Guide, just go to "
Create New Guide
" on any guide page and select "Classes" from the guide category, then pick a spec. You can also set up a guide for a spec via the "Create New Guide" option on the
Legion Talent Calculator
Holy Paladins reworked to encourage them to be closer to those they want to heal--since the fantasy of the other two specs has them in the thick of battle.
The biggest change to Holy Paladins from Warlords of Draenor to Legion is the change to our
. Our new mastery increases the effectiveness of our healing based on our proximity to whomever we're healing; meaning we'll spend a portion of our time near the boss with Tanks and melee DPS. This also means that we won't have any absorption-based healing.
The second biggest change is the removal of Holy Power. We no longer have any form of builders or spenders. As such, Word of Glory and Eternal Flame were removed, but Light of Dawn remains as a baseline ability with a 10 second cooldown; though Light of Dawn has reverted to being a frontal cone like it was in Cataclysm.
Another big change to all healers is the removal of Spirit as a stat. All healers recover 4% of their maximum mana every 5 seconds. There are a few trinkets that allow you to recover mana in various ways, but we should be seeing much less change in how to manage mana over the course of the expansion.
Our only new baseline ability is Light of the Martyr, an instant-cast heal that sacrifices a portion of the healing as self-inflicted damage.
Holy Power has been removed as a resource for Holy and Protection Paladins.
Retribution Paladins have had the amount of ranged spells reduced, and keep Holy Power to feel more unique.
Many spells are removed including
Blessings have been reworked.
has been changed to
which no longer inhibits the targets ability to use physical attacks.
no longer reduces your damage dealt.
is now a talent.
With Holy Power removed, the abilities that formerly required Holy Power instead have cooldowns or charges such as
Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous were quite similar and have been merged together. Protection Paladins no longer have access to Crusader Strike, but
now hits all other targets for Holy Damage while you are standing in your Consecration.
Protection Paladins get
as an ability, which temporarily increases movement speed, while other specs will have to talent into it.
Word of Glory, a single-target heal in Warlords, is now a Retribution Talent (
). A new self-heal ability for Protection Paladins is
, which heals for more when you stand in Consecrate.
Raid-wide buffs are removed in Legion and only healers can mass-resurrect.
Seals have been removed.
Most specialization received visual updates for Legion, especially melee. We have videos of the new Retribution and Protection Paladin animations. Additional videos on our
Legion Spell Animations Playlist
There are more spec-specific talents in Legion, with each talent tree row offering more playstyle variety--active, passive, and proc talents. In addition, there are less "themed" rows--eg mobility talents are split among rows, instead of being in the same row.
Create your own talent build with our
Legion Talent Calculator
and if you find a build particularly interesting, click on "Create a Guide" after selecting your talents and leave a little explanation to share with other beta testers!
Speed of Light
Long Arm of the Law
Pursuit of Justice
Hand of Purity
Beacon of Insight
Saved by the Light
The new max-level PvP Honor system allows you to select certain talents based on your Honor Level. These abilities selected will be active in addition to your regular Legion talents.
Rows 1 and 2 cover general talents, Rows 3 and 4 are Paladin talents, and Rows 5 and 6 have spec-specific talents. Please check out the
PvP Honor Calculator
to create your own build and save it with commentary as a guide.
In Legion, more abilities are becoming spec-specific to enhance the fantasy for each spec. To see how an ability has changed each Legion build, click on the spell, and then view the "Changelog" tab on the spell page.
: Empowers your chosen aura and increases its radius to 40 yards for 6 sec..
Reduces magicalall damage taken by 40%20% for 8 sec.
Proximity to your target causes your spells to heal for up to 12% more.
: Your maximum health is increased by 15%.
: Returns all dead party members to life with 35% of maximum health and mana. Cannot be cast when in combat.
Sacrifice a portion of your own health to instantly heal an ally for (500% of Spell power). You take damage equal to 50% of the healing done. Does not cause your Beacon of Light to be healed. Cannot be cast on yourself.
Devotion Aura - Talent
Daybreak - Removed
Holy Insight - Removed
Holy Radiance - Removed
Sacred Cleansing - Removed
Sanctified Light - Removed
Supplication - Removed
Interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.
Strikes an enemy with the Blade of Justice, dealing 400% Physical damage and generating 2 Holy Power.
When any party or raid member within 40 yards dies, you gain 100% increased damage for 10 sec.
Creates a barrier of holy light that absorbs (Attack power * 10) damage for 15 sec. When the barrier is consumed, all damage absorbed is dealt as Holy damage divided across all enemies within 8 yds.
: Places a Hand on an enemy target, reducing movement speed by 70% for 10 sec.
: Places a blessing on an ally that causes them to regenerate 1% of maximum health and mana per 15 sec. You may only have 3 Greater Blessings active at one time.
: Places a blessing on an ally that gives their attacks a 10% chance to deal 30% additional damage as Holy. You may only have 3 Greater Blessings active at one time.
: Places a blessing on an ally that grants them an absorption shield. It absorbs up to (1.8 * Spell power) damage, and will be refreshed to full strength every 6 sec, even if fully consumed. You may only have 3 Greater Blessings active at one time.
: Cleanses a friendly target, removing all Poison and Disease effects..
- Protection Only
Absolve - Removed
Emancipate - Removed
Exorcism - Removed
Righteous Vengeance - Removed
Sanctity Aura - Removed
Seal of Justice - Removed
Seal of Righteousness - Removed
Seal of Truth - Removed
Supplication - Removed
Reduces magicalall damage taken by 40%20% for 8 sec.
Interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.
Increases your threat generation while active, making you a more effective tank.
Calls down the Light to heal you for 25% of your missing health. While you are standing in your Consecration, Light of the Protector's healing is increased by 20%
Increases all damage and healing you deal by 35% for 20 sec.
: Cleanses a friendly target, removing all Poison and Disease effects.
: Summons your Holy Charger to ride for 3 sec, increasing movement speed by 100%. Useable while indoors or in combat.
- No longer Protection
Hand of Salvation - Removed
Holy Wrath - Removed
Sacred Duty - Removed
Seal of Righteousness - Removed
Shining Protector - Removed
Hand of Freedom now renamed to
Hand of Protection now renamed to
- Holy Only ( Removes Poisons, Diseases, and Magic )
- Protection & Retribution Only ( Removes Poisons & Diseases )
- now generates Holy Power for Retribution Paladins
Blessing of Kings - Removed
Blessing of Might - Removed
- Holy & Protection Only
Hand of Sacrifice - renamed to
and Holy and Protection
Harsh Word - Removed
- Protection & Retribution Only
- Protection Only
Sanctity of Battle - Removed
Seal of Insight - Removed
Seal of Truth - Removed
Seal of Command - Removed
Turn Evil - Removed
Word of Glory - Retribution Talent
Artifact Weapons and Traits
Retribution Ashbringer Calculator
Protection Truthguard Calculator
Holy Silver Hand Calculator
Our Artifact Calculators, linked above, let you browse traits, relics, and appearances in the modelviewer.
Our class guides have recommendations on how to spend Artifact Power and choose Relics.
comprehensive Artifact Weapon guide
covers the following:
All artifacts by spec
: any hidden abilities like
, and flavor effects like
: their perks, costs, how to acquire traits, and max level bonus traits.
: how they increase ilvl, how they modify traits, and how to acquire them.
: your first one and later ones for offspecs.
: how this increases the rate at which you acquire Artifact Power, how to increase your AK level, how much extra AK you get at each rank.
: Every appearance organized by spec, how to get them, and modelviewer and video links.
Artifact Lore, Wowhead's Art Interview on Artifacts, and FAQ.
Paladins have class-specific sets from Raiding and PvP, as well as from the Order Hall. Dressing Room links and more armor sets are found in the
Legion Armor Guide
Major glyphs have been removed in Legion and cosmetic effects have either been converted to minor glyphs, toys, or class books sold on vendors.
. Sold by
in Light's Hope for .
Fantasy and Gameplay Blog
The following information has been taken from Blizzard's
Legion Class Preview Series: Paladin
The paladin’s tools of war lay bare their motivations. Clenched in one hand is the weapon, a deadly device for exacting righteous judgment. Locked in the other hand is the shield, a symbolic and literal barrier protecting good from evil. Stalwart and steadfast, these protectors are ardent defenders of the Light and all that it touches, and are rejuvenated by its radiance in return. So dedicated they are to their cause that they consecrate the very ground upon which they battle corruption.
The Protection Paladin arsenal is already closely aligned with its theme. The primary change is the removal of Holy Power, which didn’t have a lot of depth and mostly amounted to limiting use of only a couple of abilities. Instead, these abilities now have cooldowns to allow for better interaction with other abilities.
We’re also addressing an awkward control issue with Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous. To improve control and depth, instead of two functionally identical (apart from the AoE) abilities, we’ve switched to one that conditionally triggers the AoE while standing in Consecration. Judgment is a good example of an ability that is staying simple—baseline—so as to provide a strong platform for talents and other effects to build upon. For defensive buttons, we’ve replaced Word of Glory with a self-focused spell, Light of the Protector, allowing it to be much more interesting and impactful.
To serve as instrument of the Light is to hold an unshakable faith. Oftentimes the most dedicated paladins become fanatical in their devotion, instruments of retribution against those who dare defy the laws of the divine. These paladins are vengeful guardians of the weak—crusaders judging and punishing the wicked. Their resolute conviction in the divine order of all things assures them that victory is inevitable—but they will fight to the end to ensure that the Light prevails.
We’re making several tweaks to Retribution to amplify their character. In particular, we’re refocusing most of their core abilities on short-range combat. So many of the Retribution Paladin’s abilities were ranged spells that they started to feel more like a caster than a melee crusader. A new ability, Blade of Justice (along with several new talents) will impact gameplay significantly, bolstering the inherent Retribution themes. Separating them from the other types of Paladins, Retribution Paladins continue to use Holy Power, serving as a strong mechanic for building interesting gameplay.
Like priests who serve the Light, holy paladins are devout in their faith. After spending much of their lives in hallowed halls studying divine doctrine, those who pledge themselves to a holy order become beacons of the Light for their allies in conflict, taking up the heavy armor and weaponry of justice. Holding the unwavering belief that any battle waged to eradicate evil in the world is righteous, these paladins stands on the frontlines in service to all others dedicated to the cause. The truth and virtue of the Light imbues these sacred knights with the power to revitalize their comrades. If necessary, they even lay down their own lives to serve as martyr for the greater good.
We love the unique identity of the Paladin healer and are modifying the gameplay to better support it. Single-target healing from Beacon of Light remains their marquee ability, but other abilities and talents have been adjusted to encourage Holy Paladins to be near the people they want to heal—including melee characters, when necessary. This is incentivized by Lightbringer, a new Mastery, which increases healing on allies near you. This is further reinforced by the addition of a row of Aura talents that provide a variety of localized beneficial effects, and refinements to some spells, such as Light of Dawn returning to being a cone.
Talents will also provide players with options to incorporate offensive capabilities while healing. When allies are in need, Light of the Martyr allows the Holy Paladin to rapidly heal them by sacrificing personal health. Finally, we’re addressing gameplay restrictions caused by Holy Power—in which players often feel forced to use abilities in specific orders or ratios—by removing it in favor of making Mana the primary resource.
Paladins have deep roots in Warcraft lore as holy knights, protectors of the people, and dispensers of justice. Where a Holy Priest serves as voice of the Light, preaching to the downtrodden and disillusioned, the Paladin serves as hand of the Light, defending the faithful and enforcing divine law like a righteous hammer.
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.
Blizzard has lately been very
active on Twitter
, posting clarifications on Legion developments in response to user questions. We track all of the significant tweets with our
Blue Tweet Tracker
, which lets you filter conversations by class and role.
These class tweets are grouped by month and topic--some of the earlier tweets are included for archival purposes, but may reflect outdated design choices.
All November 2015 Tweets (Click to view)
In the latest Legion Alpha build, tanks and healers will notice significant changes to the tuning on many of their defensive abilities. These may appear to be “nerfs” at first glance, but are actually part of a widespread adjustment to improve overall tank (and tank healer) gameplay, that includes reducing the strength/frequency of defensive cooldowns, and adjusting creature tuning to compensate.
Over the course of Warlords of Draenor, tanks have been mostly self-sufficient, providing the vast majority of their own survival, with only minor direct assistance required from healers. Encounter design has unfortunately reinforced this, focusing tank damage into more and more bursty moments in an attempt to challenge tanks. This has made long-cooldown defensive ability usage more and more important, while also further trivializing direct healing requirements.
For Legion, we want to return the overall tank gameplay to a more stable environment. In that, we have laid out some specific goals that we aim to hit:
Tanks will require more direct healing. This will also improve on healer gameplay, as it’s more engaging when there’s a mixture of the types of healing that need to be used on any single encounter.
Active Mitigation abilities for tanks (such as Shield Block or Death Strike) should feel rewarding, allowing an experienced tank to meaningfully reduce damage taken.
Healers should care about the time and mana required to heal tanks, so that taking less damage as a tank is considered valuable.
Tanks and healers’ long-cooldown defensive abilities (such as Barkskin or Shield Wall) should feel like a valuable resource. These abilities should be strong, but not necessarily available for every danger during a specific encounter.
Tanks should have much more survivability than a non-tank. However, they don’t necessarily need to be extremely more sturdy. If the difference in ‘tankiness’ between tanks and non-tanks becomes too much of a gap, we then risk having situations such that if any one add gets loose, it’s likely to instantly kill any poor healer or damage dealer they hit–as the damage that these creatures deal would need to be exponentially higher to offset the sturdiness of the tank. This also brings a risk that tanks would opt to ignore enemy abilities that are designed to be dangerous to non-tanks, just taking those relatively minor blows rather than trying to avoid them as intended.
In raid encounters, tanks should spend more time tanking, and less time waiting for their turn to tank.
Tanks should be able to handle solo content quite effectively. They need to do less damage than dedicated damage dealers, but that difference can be moderate. It doesn’t have to be a massive difference.
Looking at these goals, we’ve made the following changes for tanking in Legion. We hope that these explanations will help you understand the bigger picture, in that these should be viewed as an overall improvement to the style of tank gameplay, rather than nerfs.
In order to ensure that tanks require direct healing from healers, we’re increasing the amount of damage that makes it past a tank’s mitigation. This will include reducing or removing passive defensive abilities, along with the below changes.
We’re toning down how frequently you’re able to use Active Mitigation abilities. This change will generally affect the length of their cooldowns, and not necessarily the strength of the ability. We believe these abilities are important to tank survival; but, when the uptime on these abilities gets too high, skill in knowing when to use them strategically matters less.
EDIT: Passive healing from healers (such as Beacon of Light) will be toned down, and other tank heals adjusted to compensate.
There are many long-cooldown defensive abilities that will be able to be used less frequently, and, in some cases, these abilities may be weaker. Many of these abilities are currently either too numerous or usable too frequently, resulting in a strong cooldown for almost every threatening moment of every encounter.
Encounter design will be adjusted to account for these changes. Overwhelming burst damage will be toned down, in favor of more steady and consistent damage on tanks.
The damage of creatures that are intended to be tanked in group content will be reduced overall, in order to ensure that tanks can still perform their role just as well as before.
Damage output by tanks will be increased, and their scaling with gear will be improved. This is being done so that tanks can stay in-line with damage dealers as a group gears up together.
Please note that many of these changes are preliminary, and we’ll be tweaking our changes based on testing and feedback. We’ll continue making adjustments as the Alpha moves along, until classes are in a more balanced state, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts throughout this process.
For more info on the latest Legion Alpha changes, see our summary thread:
A lot of great discussion here, and we share a lot of the concerns (even the cynical ones), and will be doing our best to actually meet the stated goals.
Tanks will indeed have much more health than DPS; apologies if that was unclear. It's just that their total effective health can safely be in the 5-15x of a DPS range, doesn't need to be 50x. 50x is kinda silly. Raid bosses will still 1-shot DPS, and that's fine.
Healers are being adjusted with tank healing in mind.
The comments about tanks spending less time waiting for their turn to tank isn't an indication that they'll be expected to run around more, just that they'll have more engaging encounter gameplay.
We especially look forward to more feedback based on playtesting; thanks for what you've given so far! This is going to be an iterative process, and we'll keep adjusting based on it. It surely isn't perfect yet, but we'll keep reading, responding, and tweaking!
Are encounters going to be tuned to have longer time-to-kill for tanks as well?
I ask because in a world where tanks need to be actively healed, dying so quickly that they must be spammed all of the time (read: less than 3 or 4 seconds for 100-0) just leads to a WotLK situation where one person gets to spam the tank forever and everyone else ignores it and nothing is really any different.
Absolutely, yes. It's very important that this is the case.
I'd like to note that "use Active Mitigation to avoid X ability" isn't usually engaging gameplay. How about I use AM because it helps me survive a powerful attack, not because I get a debuff if I don't.
Binary AM checks like you mention will continue to be extremely rare. They're still an interesting mechanic to see everyone once in a while, but will not be common. Sorry if what I said gave the impression otherwise.
In regards to tank healing, I am very much a fan of "Many hits to be killed, many heals to be healed." This adds variety and allows the engaging task of healing prioritization (i.e. what makes healing fun).
Most of the posts on here have pretty much already spelled out the problem which is scaling. Once you start scaling these heals more than you scale the HP pools, you run into near instant top offs. Then this begins the slippery slope of competitive (raids) top offs, and the trivialization of mechanics. Then the mechanics become more bursty to make healing more engaging and the cycles repeat.
More attention needs to be paid to ensuring that the gear scaling doesn't lead to instant topping off, so that encounter design no longer needs to keep ratcheting damage to extremely bursty levels. Exponential gear curves work great for DPS, but terrible for healing and tanking. We are of a symbiotic relationship in this regard.
We generally agree with this thought process. The fact that tank healing gets spikier as ilvls rise is a huge problem that we're making some significant changes to help address. Most notably, Spirit's removal, and the changes to how secondary stats scale with ilvl will help. The % of a tank's healthbar that you can heal per second went up over the course of Warlords, by a massive amount (probably about 3x). We don't want it to not go up (it gives a good feeling of progression), but it should only go up a little (probably to 1.5x).
I echo the sentiments of other tanks in this thread regarding the removal of active mitigation abilities. Being responsible for accurately recognizing and appropriately responding to potential threats is fun, is engaging, and does not need to be changed. Requiring active responses to incoming damage increases the skill cap, and is one of the things that allows good tanks to outshine other more mediocre players.
We agree with your sentiments; perhaps my wording was not clear. We are not removing active mitigation abilities; we're making them more active. Apologies of my original post was unclear about that. Currently, you can maintain 70-100% uptime on most rotational active mitigation, making them rather passive-feeling. By making them 40-60% uptime, the choice of when to use them becomes more skillful.
On the topic of tank offense, we see lots of discussion about how tanks need to have ways to trade defense for offense, such as choosing to use resources on defensive abilities or offensive abilities, what choices they are for that, how effective they are, etc.
We actually completely disagree with that whole premise, because it leads to a lot of un-fun cascading effects. You may focus more on damage, and frustrate healers with needing more healing. You may focus on your assigned role of tanking, maximizing defense, while doing meager damage. While there are definitely upsides (it can certainly be fun trying to ride the line of not giving up too much defense, while maximizing offense), there is a better way.
Instead, we think that how skillfully you play your class should affect both your offense and defense. If you're trying hard to play your character well, you should be performing well at all of your jobs, and that includes both survival and damage dealing for tanks, not sacrificing one for the other. You shouldn't have to give up your mitigation in order to deal respectable damage. You shouldn't have to accept doing trivial damage if you want to really make sure you survive and minimize healer assistance. Both of those goals should be aligned, and you should be rewarded for playing well with great damage and survivability.
We won't be removing absolutely all damage/survivability tradeoffs, but the few that remain will be significantly toned down.
Links to major datamining updates:
22201 on July 12
22133 on July 5
22053 on June 28
22018 on June 23
21996 on June 21
21952 on June 14
21874 on June 8
21846 on June 2
21796 on May 26
21737 on May 19
21691 on May 9
21655 on May 5
21570 on April 27
21531 on April 21
21491 on April 13
21414 on April 6
21375 on March 30
21287 on March 17
21249 on Mar 9
21215 on Mar 3
21134 on Feb 23
21108 on Feb 18
21063 on Feb 10
20979 on Jan 27
20914 on Jan 13
20810 on Dec 15
20773 on Dec 2
20740 on Nov 20
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