Monday, May 05, 2008

The Dark Secret of Paladin Levelling

The dark secret of paladin levelling is that the whole Seal/Judgement system--though it looks shiny and complex on the outside--is pretty much irrelevant. 95% of the time, you're better off casting or judging Righteousness (or Command if Retribution), rather than trying to debuff the mob with a special Judgement.

To see this, take a look at Judgement of the Crusader. It increases your damage from subsequent Holy sources, which is usually Seal/Judgement of Righteousness. But instead of judging Crusader, you could have started by judging Righteousness. Your subsequent hits are smaller, but you do a chunk of damage up front. Each method takes pretty much the same time to kill a normal mob.

But judging Righteousness also has the advantage of using less mana, as you can judge the seal you already have running instead of casting a new Seal. For example, if you are fighting two mobs, you can go:

1. Cast Seal of Righteousness.
2. Judge Righteousness on mob 1.
3. Cast Seal of Righteousness.
4. Kill mob 1.
5. Judge Righteousness on mob 2.
6. Cast Seal of Righteousness.
7. Kill mob 2.

That's 3 Seals and 2 Judgements. Now if you debuffed each mob with Crusader first, you end up with:

1. Cast Seal of the Crusader.
2. Judge Crusader on mob 1.
3. Cast Seal of Righteousness.
4. Kill mob 1.
5. Cast Seal of the Crusader.
6. Judge Crusader on mob 2.
7. Cast Seal of Righteousness.
8. Kill mob 2.

That's 4 Seals and 2 Judgements. If you want to debuff mobs, you essentially cast an extra Seal for each mob. And given that it's pretty much the same damage either way, you save mana by using Righteousness all the time. That increases your uptime, allows you to run Blessing of Might instead of Wisdom, which lets you kill even faster, and generally makes you more durable.

That's not to say that the Judgement debuffs are useless, just that their use is very specialized. Judgement of the Crusader is good for fighting much higher level mobs or elites, which take a long time to kill. Light and Wisdom are great in groups. Justice is invaluable to keep your target from running off and aggroing other mobs.

But 95% of the time, you're better off ignoring the whole Seal/Judgement system and sticking with Righteousness when levelling.


  1. That rings fairly true as far as standard build go, but it doesn't cover Prot spec AOE grind builds, where you take on multiple mobs bolstered with SoL, BoS, etc.

    I admit even with that build I just use Righteousness if its a single target most of the time (maybe mess around with Judgement for runners, etc). Crusader then Righteousness is fine if you are going to hit them with Righeousness damage a lot, but I think you are right that basically doesn't happen in normal levelling, pretty much just elites and bosses.

  2. The way I play my protect paladin i actually like when the mob runs off and got more mobs, saves me from having to chase after them.

    I never use Seal or Judgement of Justice for anything. Its irrelevant on my key bar. Actually its been removed for so long I forgotten it actually exist. Thats how much i use that Seal and Judgement.

    I don't think all Protec Paladin plays the same way im sure. Yes sometime I just use Righteousness on a easy mob but then I just switch on the fly to a 2H for that. If its a tougher cookie mob I debuff it. Sometimes i'm using fast judgements or slow judgement depending on how much mana i have and its good to have Wisdom up or be flat OOM. Usually if i fight a mob I've already planned before i attack the mob to make it a multi-mob fight for effiency and i have a debuff seal up. Its amazing how fast a Protec Paladin can burn mana right off the bar.

    Its all in how the person play and i doubt everyone plays the same with their own tactics in how they play. I always debuff and elite or a mob i know gonna last a while or I will be flat out of mana. Only Seals i frequently use is 95% or more Seal of Wisdom and maybe 4% of time Crusader and depends on what kind of mob it is. SoB sometimes when I'm using a 2H and I use a 2H allot even as a Protec Paladin thats just my play style. Seal or Judgement of Light barely ever get used ever and only used when deliberately grinding up mobs for AoE action.

  3. Wouldn't you want to use Seal of Command and Seal of Blood (once you get it) instead?

  4. When I farm/daily my first choice of judgement is always wisdom. Primary to save mana. The only exception is the daily grind in the western edge of Nagarand where I don't want the mobs to run away.

  5. Wouldn't you want to use Seal of Command and Seal of Blood (once you get it) instead?

    Yes. I just didn't want to write Righteousness/Command/Blood all the time. But you can substitute Command or Blood for Righteousness in the above.

  6. I am a 58 ret at the time of this post. Here is my chain. Sanctity Aura, Blessing of Might, Seal of Crusader, Judgement, Seal of Command, Hammer of Judgment or Repentance, Judgement of Command, Seal of Command Crusader Strike...repeat as needed...and I will throw a bomb if Repentance and Hammer are on cooldown.

    I love Engineering for a pally!! Tankotronic goggles here I come!! Also after i hit 70, I will farm all the ores I need to hit 375 BS and drop then drop mining so I can make Boots of the Protector.

  7. As a prot pally i find that SOV is great for the last few levels (ie once you get it) with a fast 1h weapon at least the stack adds up fast. i do use SOR when doing dailies etc when i have a 2h equip (one of the ones from kara... depending... i have all three) then i use SOR since i cant reliably get a 5 stack of SOV going with that long swing timer.

    as a note when I am using a 1h it is usually the badge healing mace, with a 1.6 swing timer. so it is hella fast but then again i am lazy, i know there are better weapons out there, i just dont know where or what

  8. For prot paladin leveling when you're grinding 10+ mobs, I used JoW. It's important to do since consecrate is so expensive.

    I use JoJ all the PvP. Very rarely did I ever use it in PvE, but there were occasions. Jin'Thalor was a good example.

  9. all of this is true but 64+ use SoV as seal of command sucks major balls and SoV crits like a mofo even in healing gear especially post 2.3

    in addition the Dot is dealing damage to the mob while the judgement will hit just as hard as SoR

    also Timbals focusing crystal from heroic magisters terrace procs off SoR,SoV and consecrate so is a great trinket to help twith AoE farming

  10. I disagree with the logic you used as paladins dont even need mana to kill mobs.

    And the mana you do get your better off using towards "tougher" mobs with in that case JotC with SoR up will ultimately do more damage over time and be more mana efficient as the mob has 1.) more AC and 2.) needs to die faster to prevent HP downtime.

    just my logic i guess.


  11. What are you trying to maximize?

    If you're trying to maximize the number of mobs you can kill without drinking or using Seal/Judgement of Wisdom, then yes, SoR for the win (your main mana expenditure will be healing, and this will actually cost you a bit more because you're killing slower and taking more damage). This method is also great if you're watching a baseball game on TV.

    If, on the other hand, you're attempting to maximize your kills/time ratio, it becomes worthwhile to kill faster (taking less damage) and *gasp* drink or judge wisdom every so often. If you take 3/3 Santified Judgement, your mana bar will last longer than you might expect - I might need to slow down and recover mana once or twice per daily quest, using JotC -> SoV to 5 stacks -> JoV -> SoR (optional JoR at 15% for the kill, if the mob lives for the requisite 8 seconds after the JoV).

    Of course, I'm running with a rather unconventional build (Holy Shield/Santified Judgement for solo grinding in spell damage/defense gear), YMMV with a more normal spec.

  12. I thought this was going to be about using a Prot Paladin in T6 to level to 70 in <24 hours played.

    Hint: SM / Scholo / Furnace