Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Paladin Guide to Meleeing in Raids

In all the threads and posts on the paladin boards, I don't think I've ever seen a decent guide for paladins new to raiding on how to melee in raids safely and effectively. So here is my stab at it.

1. Know your responsibilities.

A paladin's responsibilities in a raid are, in order of importance:
  1. Cleanse
  2. Keep the tanks alive
  3. Keep the party alive
  4. Buff
  5. Judgement of Light / Wisdom
  6. Add extra damage

2. Know your strengths.

Every other class can only do one thing at a time. Paladins are different. Our greatest strength is that we can fulfill ALL our responsibilities at the same time. Embrace your hybrid nature. You can easily heal and cleanse while meleeing.

As well, our combat system is boring for a reason. Go into melee, judge, seal, and then concentrate on your raid.

There are significant advantages to being in the melee zone. You do not have to worry about losing Line of Sight on the tanks, or being out of range. If Judgement of Wisdom is up, your mana regeneration will be great, and you never have to worry about running out of mana.

3. Know your limitations.

Paladins are not a dps class. You will not do as much damage as a hunter or mage. Trying to compete with them on the damage meters is a fool's game. However, your damage is not insignificant. It adds up and is free. You don't need to spend mana to do damage. In my experience, fights with meleeing paladins go faster and smoother.

What this means is that you shouldn't try and increase your dps at the expense of your other priorities. Wear balanced or healing plate. For example, I have [Cloudkeeper Legplates], but I wear [Chitinous Plate Legguards] in raids (a terrible sacrifice given how ugly Chitinous is). Refrain from judging Command constantly. Personally, I often use Seal of the Crusader, as it adds a little dps but also gives more JoL/W procs.

4. Follow the rogues in.

As a general rule, if it's safe enough for the rogues to melee, it's safe enough for a paladin. If the rogues aren't going in, stay back as well.

5. Open with Judgement of Light or Wisdom.

JoL/W is awesome for the raid! If you are meleeing, make sure that they are up at all times on your target.

6. Do not expect heals.

Priests and druids have better things to do than heal paladins. Your health is YOUR responsibility. Make sure you keep yourself healed. If you take a big hit, or your health drops a bit too far, STEP BACK. Back up out of combat and only go back when you have a safe amount of health.

(Actually, as a healer, I would love it if rogues followed this advice as well. There are many times when a rogue's death could be avoided if she'd only step back for a few seconds and let me complete two or three heals.)

7. Know when NOT to melee.

If you find you are taking too much damage, or need to heal a lot, stand back. These fights are rarer than you think, though. Also watch for certain fights with Silences or Interrupts. For example, the Bat priestess in ZG has an AoE Silence effect. Do not melee if meleeing prevents you from fulfilling your other responsibilities.

8. Attack your tank's target.

If you are assigned to a tank, attack her target, opening with Judgment of Light. JoL helps heal her, and attacking her target means that you will always be in range of your tank for heals and cleanses. Let the DPS classes take care of burning down targets.

However, if your tank is not specifically off-tanking something, attack the main target specified by the raid leader.

Okay, that's my guide to paladin meleeing in raids. Any thoughts or other tips before I actually post this on the paladin boards?


  1. Auras! We're portable resistance generators hehe.

    BOP! I try to keep an eye on the dps caster in my group and I bop him on the head if he needs a "timeout" hehe.

    HoW! Throwing hammers at mobs is fun!

  2. All good points!

    Though, usually my first warning that the dps caster needs a "timeout" is his death. :)

  3. you are incorrect in stating a paladin cannot compete with a mage or a hunter in terms of DPS.

    in a raid there really is no reason to "do it all" since there are so many of each class, its just best to work out your roles.

    have a mage set you up with 2-3 stacks of water for a full mc clear. put on your best dps gear, keep command up and judge it as often as possible, if the fight is going to be long enough for the long term benefit of seal of crusader to be beneficial, judge it.

    Just ask for that chance to prove yourself, go all out. if you can break the top 10 at least, people will notice that "pink" paladin name in there. No one can ignore it.

    I've been getting better and better gear for it, and take, and hold the #1 spot in ZG clears, and in MC, I average 5th place.

    if a paladin is farming MC with a guild and can hit 5th place, with similarly geared guildmembers, I don't think theres anything wrong with the class in that potential.

  4. You misunderstand the purpose of this guide. It's not a guide to do *DPS* in a raid. I'm sure if you know what you're doing, and are geared appropriately, you can do significant damage.

    It's more aimed at people who are healing and cleansing, which is the standard paladin role. It's more to encourage new paladins to heal/cleanse from melee range, and utilize their class to its fullest potential, rather than standing at the back.

    If you cleansed/healed from melee, I'd be surprised if you broke 50% of the lead dps' total. If that puts you in the top half of the raid group, your DPS classes have serious problems.

  5. Great guide. I sent it to all my paladins so they dont see that they have to get burned out on healing every raid. Though this will all change in patch 2.0 from what ive seen on the PTR.

  6. Wow, this is a great guide! A lot of things in my blog are aimed more towards the casual player who won't get to raid, so I wonder - how much does a Paladin's role change in a standard pre-BRD 5-man instance, in your experience?

    WoWGrrl player blog with tips and tricks for newbies

  7. Valdesta, it doesn't change very much in 5-mans. In fact, it's only once you hit raiding that you see the pressure to just stand at the back and heal.

    In a 5-man you need to off-tank, hit things, cast heals and generally do a bit of everything to keep your party alive.

    This guide is an attempt to drag the raiding paladin experience back a bit to the 5-man experience.

    In my opinion, doing a 5-man as a paladin is the best experience you can have in WoW.

  8. You say that doing 5-man instances as a paladin is the best experience in WoW. I personally completely agree on that. :)

    I played almost all classes to a certain level and I found being a paladin to be the most flexible and fun. I have outdamaged mages, finished bosses as the last man standing and tanked quite some instances as well. There is nothing you can't do as a Paladin, this is the class'pro but also it's con.

    It is never certain what you are needed for and therefore need to collect far more sets then other classes (most sets I wear are hybrid sets focussing on 2 of the 3 different tasks)Though it makes a paladin a nice addition to a team it will all backfire if the Paladin isnt properly prepared.

    I dont have much experience in raids due to lack of time, and now even interest, for it. I do know however that support is what a Paladin is actually all about. We are not meant to be the number one in any of the meters, we simply have to work far too hard to keep up with the natural classes for damage tanking and healing. In stead we provide support to all those classes... we are what they can relie on should things go bad. Unfortunately there are only very few people who actually see it this way and therefore the Healadin/loladin discussions break out all the time.

    Simply said: The power of a Paladin lies not in excelling in Damage, Tanking or Healing. But it lies in reliable support in all 3 tasks. From raids to 5-man instances, even in PvP we shouldn't try and force an unnatural way for our class. In stead follow the natural possibilities by providing support to our allies where needed... in my experience I usually help on DPS, in harder fights I help out the healers and in rare occasions I help with tanking. (when we pull just a little more then the tank can handle, or when he/she is unable to assist another player under attack)

    For those that don't agree with me please take a look at all the different abbilities we paladins got. Our Blessing are beneficial for all classes and tasks, and so are our seals. It is true that we usually just get to focus on only 1 of the 3 tasks at any given time, but the days of the healadins are over. Now that all classes are available for both sides and the tier 4 and higher sets include melee/tanking and heal speccs Paladins might get to do what they were supposed to do all along. Help out wherever needed ;)

  9. How much has this changed since TBC? I know with the cleave fix coming in 2.1, it might be safe for Paladins to once again be on the front lines. Also, I assume the best way to heal in situations like this is to click a spell and then the person, so you can remain targeted on the boss, correct?

    I think a lot of Paladins need to figure out the melee vs. DPS role at times as well.

  10. Oh... on a second note... Rogues shouldn't be getting healed to begin with. They need to back off and bandage if at all possible, most of the healing should be focused on tanks and such in boss encounters.

  11. Totally disagree I'm afraid. Holy spec paladins are full time healers, from range. AoE fear, silence, damage, just adds to the healing burden of the party, and can be raid wipers. Stay back, max range, and spam FoL. You'll top healing meters, and be the difference maker in close fights. Guaranteed. Never go melee, that's the wrong spot for you, no doubt. 41 DPS from a healing mace aint worth the risk, judging wisdom is a waste of time as no one else benefits from it. Judging light is mana inefficient healing anyway. Just stay back and heal, that's your spec, that's your job.

    - Qualen (Dath'Remar)

  12. Dearest Qualen -

    Have you ever paid attention to your mages' mana bars? Alright, I'll take it as a no, since you don't think anyone benefits from 74 mana per 2-3 seconds.

    Well, I play a mage. Was in an end-game raiding guild (Vashj/Kael status). Lots of fights I couldn't keep up my mana bar without the aid of JoW, including mana gems and a good potion rotation. Please, l2p. :)

    Faulty, of Garithos.