Paladin 1-60 Leveling Guide
This guide is intended
to lay out a plan for leveling a Paladin to level 60 in a short
amount of time and with a high degree of enjoyment. I'm also
skipping the Battleground PvP. If you're interested in that the only
way to learn is get in there and do it. If you need a more in-depth
guide specifically for doing alliance quests, you can check out
Brian Kopp's 1-70 alliance guide,
which has all the quests linked to thottbot for easy reference,
there is a small fee for it, but I think it's well worth it in my
opinion. If your playing a Blood Elf Paladin then you can
Paladin Blood Elf guide,
which is pretty cool.
I have this 60 Pally, a 60 Priest, an almost 60 Warrior, and another
Pally currently at 42. The 42 Pally is the fastest leveling and most
fun character I've played. This stems from the combination having
leveled several characters and avoiding the mistakes I made with the
first Pally. Do it any way you want but the following approach works
The most important initial consideration is deciding if the Pally is
for you in the first place. I would call the Pally decidedly
overpowered up until level 45-50. After that the Pallys damage
output does not progress much while other classes designed around
damage output are beginning to shine and will eclipse the Pally in
the damage dept.. On the other hand, the Pally can still do
sufficient damage but also has excellent defensive abilities and a
wide variety of group enhancing abilities that make a well played
Pally a huge asset to any group. So the deal in a nutshell is, if
you value damage output above all else and don't enjoy having
support responsibilities you'll probably end up disappointed at
Ill break out important development aspects by 10 level blocks. Ill
assume very little knowledge of the game.
If you have a high level alt or friend, you will be helped
tremendously if you can start with enough gold for bags and some
basic equipment. The more the better, the Paladin is a very gear
Humans get the slightly useful racial talents of +5 to swords and
Maces, a tiny Spirit bonus, and Diplomacy which helps you gain
reputation 10% faster, which is nice. Dwarves get Stone Form, +5
guns (which a Pally cant use at all), +10 Frost Resistance, and Find
Treasure with you wont use because you'll be using Find Minerals
(will explain soon). I prefer Humans but, in the end, there is not
much important difference.
Every time you level up to an even numbered level go see the Paladin
trainer. They will have new skills for you to learn. Get them all
and learn to use them. At lvl 8 you get Hammer of Justice (HoJ, 3
sec stun) which allows you to heal or stop a fleeing mob. At lvl 10
you get you first taste of overpowered with Blessing of Protection
(BoP, castable on either you or others) and Lay of Hands (LoH). BoP
makes you immune to physical damage for 6 seconds and LoH restores
ALL your health at the cost of all your mana (which you should have
pretty much used anyway). If you play wisely its almost like 3 lives
if you use BoP to heal.
Find yourself a good 2 handed weapon (preferable a mace or sword if
human) and plan to stick with 2H weapons for quite some time. You
mail armor will give you the defense you need and the extra hitting
power is better than the extra armor from a shield. In fact, only
break out the sword and shield when in instances with groups.
Always have your aura up, a blessing on yourself, and seal active
when youre fighting. The only aura you have is Devotion at this
point. Later you get others which are pretty self explanatory. Use
the right one at the right time.
Learn to judge Seal of Rightousness for extra damage. You also get
Seal of the Crusader (SotC) at lvl 6. If you judge this it increases
subsequent Holy damage. This can be handy.
Acquire 4 bags ASAP. The bigger the better. More space means fewer
trips to the vendor to sell the crap you find but don't need.
Critical: As soon as you can get to your major city and learn your
two professions Mining and Engineering. If you want something else
you're making a big mistake. Remember, all the crap others make you
can always buy but all the great Engineering stuff is for Engineers
only. Engineering serves to fill in designed in gaps in the Paladin
character. Paladins benefit from Engineering more than any other
class benefits from any profession. You take mining because it
See the weapons trainer in your major city and learn 2 handed Maces
and Sword at a minimum. Learn everything you can afford except maybe
Get your mining pick and turn on Find Minerals ASAP. Mine every node
of copper you see and start advancing your Engineering Skill as
aggressively as possible. In no time you'll be able to make Rough
Copper Bombs and will have a ranged means of pulling non-player
character opponents (referred to as mobs from now on). Other
Engineering goodies include mechanical pets whose level is your Eng.
Skill divided by 5. So, if at level 40 you have 300 Eng. Skill your
Mithril Mechanical Dragonling will be level 60. There are also
multiple snaring devices that keep your opponent in striking range
like Net-o-Matic projector, explosives that stun, and the Dreaded
Goblin Rocket helmet. There is also a huge damage dealer known as
the Gnomish Death Ray which can crit for up to 5,000! That is why
you will be taking Gnomish specialization when the time comes.
Do all the quests you can in your starting area.
Look for equipment with stamina and intelligence (of the eagle
suffix) or strength (of the bear suffix), or strength & intelligence
(of the Gorilla). Mana wont be much of an issue at this point and
strength gear is more common thanks to Warriors so you'll likely end
up with plenty of that.
Learn First aid, saving mana by using bandages is a very good thing.
At level 10 you get your first talent point, put it in Improved
Blessing of Might (IBoM). You are going to put your first 31 points
in Retribution so its that or Benediction. At this early stage IBoM
will help you more.
At lvl 11 you should have no problem taking on 2 or even 3 mobs of
your same level or one mob 3 levels higher and living through it.
You cant do it all the time but you should be able to do it. Other
characters wont be able to though. From lvls 10-20, after some
practice, you should be able to beat any class in a duel. Between
your mail, healing, BoP, HoJ, relatively good DPS, Blessing of
Freedom, and LoH (shouldn't have to use) you have everything you
need to succeed.
You learn some good new skills in this range such as Redemption
(resurrect dead players), Blessing of Wisdom (quicker mana regen),
Retribution Aura (deals a bit of damage), Blessing of Freedom
(immunity to movement impairing effects), Divine Protection (total
immunity to all damage and debuffs for 8 secs), Seal of Command
(excellent damage dealer w/ 2H weapons) and Righteous Fury
(generates extra threat to focus mobs attention on you). Divine
Protection activates a debuff that prevents BoP from being cast for
one min.. So, you cant have back to back immunities.
Head to Westfall and do the many quests there. The Deadmines is also
the first instance you should encounter. You get the main quest for
the place by following The Defias Brotherhood quest chain. Use this
as an opportunity to learn to group with people. In addition to
killing mobs keep everyone blessed all the time, heal and purify
them when they need it and keep the appropriate aura up all the time
(usually Devotion). You need to master doing this combination of
jobs in order to be an effective Paladin. If you don't have some way
to get a decent money supply besides grinding you'll probably want
to do the Deadmines several times for the better than average
equipment drops and stuff to sell.
Your talent points will be spent on filling out IBoM, then 2 in
Improved Judgment, and the other 3 in either Improved Seal of the
Crusader (ISotC) or Deflection. I could argue the merits of either
of those two about equally so you decide. I tend to favor ISotC
since it improves damage and encourages the use of Judgments. Bad
Paladins seldom use Judgments. The 11th point goes in Seal of
Continue to aggressively advance your Engineering. At 85 skill you
get to make Target Dummies which are very helpful in soloing hard
quests or when you have no choice buy to take on larger groups than
you would like. When they are destroyed/expire don't forget to loot
the Dummy. You get some of the materials back and may get the, hard
to otherwise get, Fused Wiring. Fused Wiring is used in advanced
Engineering devices. It can also be sold at the auction house for
10-15 gold. At skill 100 you can make Flying Tiger Goggles. If
you've been doing a good job advancing your Eng. These will be the
first piece of head armor you can get. Its cloth but has some
stamina, spirit, and armor so its better than nothing. They look
like sunglasses as well.
At level 20 you get the quest in SW Cathedral for your seriously
overpowered (for its level) hammer known as Verigans Fist
(http://www.thottbot.com/?i=4190) . Focus on this alone until you
get the hammer. See Thottbot for where/how to get the components.
You'll need help with Jordans Hammer and I recommend asking a level
60 Pally for help. They have an emotional tie with the class and
that weapon and it they know it wont take them long so the chances
are good that they will help. Have your griffen point in Southshore
established so you don't waste their time. Now you have a weapon
that is waaaay overpowered for level 20 and will be better than
anything else you can get until you are in your mid/late 30s. SoC
with Verigans Fist = some of the heaviest damage a level 20 can do.
Get a good enchant on there as soon as you can. Firey Weapon is
ideal but somewhat pricey. Get the gold somehow.
At lvl 19-20 you can proceed to The Wetlands and Duskwood for some
appropriate questing. Duskwood has plenty of undead which is nice
since at lvl 20 you get Exorcism from your trainer. Do the Stalvan
quest chain as soon as possible. It involves a lot of running around
but you get tons of experience for it. Almost a whole levels worth
from just that quest chain. You'll have to wait a bit for the final
part. Stalvan himself is level 32 I believe.
Continue to look for equipment with stamina and intelligence (of the
eagle suffix) or strength (of the bear suffix)or strength &
intelligence (of the Gorilla). Really try to keep your gear up to
date with a level requirement near your current level.
Most of your questing will be in Duskwood, Redridge Mountains,
Hillsbrad Foothills, and The Wetlands.
Put your next 5 talent points in Conviction followed by 3 more in
Vindication. These compliment you SoC/Verigans fist combo. The next
2 will go in Eye for an Eye. This helps with the casters.
Keep on that Engineering. At lvl 30 and 175 Eng. Skill you get the
Compact Harvest Reaper which is your first helpful mechanical pet.
At that same point you learn to make Iron Grenades which are useful
the entire game. The key thing about this grenade is that you can
use it while you are moving and it stuns the target for 3 secs. This
allows you to stun a runner so you can catch up. You'll need to
learn to throw the grenade where the will be when it hits. At lvl 30
and 200 Eng skill you gain access to your Mechanical Dragonling
which will likely be your fist trinket. Its an shorter duration pet
but does good damage and is reusable without additional materials.
If you're on a PvP server here's where you'll start seeing Horde.
With the exception of Hillsbrad Foothills you'll mostly see level
60s who enjoy killing low level players. Not much you can do about
it except run if you can. If you do see a Horde player (even up to
5-8 lvls higher than you) you stand an excellent chance of winning
if you stay cool and all you special abilities are not on cooldown.
Keep them in melee range and they should be dead.
Continue to look for equipment with stamina and intelligence (of the
eagle suffix) or strength (of the bear suffix). Really try to keep
your gear up to date with a level requirement near your current
Most of your questing will be in Desolace, Arathi Highlands, The
Badlands, and Stranglethorn Vale (gank central). Look at the maps in
the link at the beginning, there are other places as well but the
ones I mention will keep you plenty busy.
Use your talent points on Two Handed Weapon Specialization,
Vengeance, Sanctity Aura, and possibly Repentance. Repentance is yet
another great way to stop runners. For PvP its great but its not as
much use in regular play (PvE). If you don't take this you'll be
able to get a combination in the holy tree that gives a free
critical heal every 2 mins. I've recommended a pretty rigid talent
path but when a Pally is young and has Verigans fist Retribution
just works best.
In this area you will venture into the Scarlet Monastery. This quest
line begins in Desolace (at lvl 30) from Brother Anton who is in the
upstairs of the Inn in Desolace. This is a fun instance, with good
quest rewards, and good drops within. Most of the good stuff in
there has a level 37 requirement to use so you may want to wait
until around then to hit the actual Monastery.
Have you kept on the Eng. Advancement? Its about to pay off big
time. You probably had to buy some of the materials that were not
available to you in the auction house but that's money well spent.
In this range you should be able to make some of the best Eng.
Items. At Eng. skill 200 you make the choice between Gnomish and
Goblin eng. This choice is not reversible. I recommend Gnomish for
one key reason, the Gnomish Death Ray. Most of stuff Goblin Engs can
make can also be used by Gnomish Engs and vice versa. However, the
Death Ray is Gnomish only and its just so much better than the
Goblin alternative of the Dragon Gun. See the Thottbot comments and
you see screenshots of crits of up to 5,000. You can get this in
your mid 30s if you've diligently worked on your Eng skill (240
skill needed). Around this time you can also get the Net-o-Matic
projector which is yet another way to stop runners. Then there's
another helpful pet known as the Gnomish Battle Chicken. I choose to
run around with the Death Ray equipped and either the dragon or
chicken in my trinket slots.
When you meet Horde anywhere near your level its dead horde time.
Even two at a time is quite possible with all your abilities coupled
with these Engineering goodies. Initiate fight, use hammer/grenade
to keep the opponent in range. If that's not enough Divine Shield
and fire up the Death Ray then heal. Still not enough? Let the
Dragon rip. At this level with what we've discussed so far you're
just about invincible against anyone whose level you can see. You
can even beat up on some skull level players thanks to the dragon
and Death Ray.
At level 40 proceed to SW Cathedral for your free horse.
Hurray, you can wear plate mail now. Continue to look for equipment
with stamina and intelligence (of the eagle suffix) or strength (of
the bear suffix) or strength & intelligence (of the Gorilla).
Intelligence is becoming more of a concern here. Start to really try
to find some of the Eagle plate soon. Somewhere in here its also
time to trade in your Verigans Fist for a better 2H weapon. There
really aren't many to choose from. There is an epic called
Nightblade with a 39 level requirement. Its nice. Fiery remains a
good choice for an enchant. With Nightblade and Firey, just about
every hit you'll proc either SoC, Fiery, or the shadow bolt. Good
times. Maybe throw a little Frost Oil on for fun. My 42 Pally is
using this combo right now. I'm killing mobs absurdly quickly and
have no problems with horde except the level 60 gankers.
Questing areas include Tanaris Desert, The Hinterlands, Arathi
Highlands, Searing Gorge, Azsahara, Feralas, and Stranglethorn Vale.
You can slow down on the Engineering now but the sooner you get to
300 the better. Remember, the mechanical pets level is your Eng.
skill level/5. Another tip, always look for cheap goods at the AH
and put in the minimum bid. Sometimes you get good stuff cheap.
Place bids just before server maintenance shutdown for the best
odds. Just yesterday I got 4 stacks of 20 Thorium Bars for about
1.3G each. I have them in the bank and could easily make 5G on each
stack if I just list them when the supply is low. As I said before,
find a way to make money and devote it to Engineering. I have 300
skill at lvl 42 and I can only call my character overpowered, it
wont last but, hey
Continue to kick the crap out the horde whenever you see them. As
you get nearer to lvl 50 you many notice its not as easy as it used
to be. Just concentrate on outlasting them and you'll continue to do
For these 10 talent points I recommend the Holy tree for your
remaining points since it is more group friendly. I like Divine
Intellect and Spiritual Focus for this level range. As you approach
level 50 you may even decide to give up on your Retribution focus in
favor of Holy for group support emphasis. You could also go
protection for tanking or the dreaded Reckoning for PvP burst damage
but I think the Protection tree isn't what it used to be. More on
This level range also has 3-4 instances that should help hone your
group skills Uldaman, Sunken Temple (may be better in the next
range), ZulFarrak, and Maraudon. The bosses in these places can
easily give you gear that you can find yourself wearing at level 60.
In these places you really need to use all your skills to keep the
group productive. You must do damage, heal, buff, cleanse, manage
runners with Judgment of Justice, and generally keep aggro off the
cloth wearing classes. If you have not figured it out, Blessing of
Salvation is the one for just about everyone who might take agro
away from the main tank (usually a Warrior, sometimes you or a bear
form Druid) in instances. They may ask for others but don't give it
to them. Aggro management is a key skill and damage happy boneheads
can really ruin your groups progress when the damage classes keep
getting themselves killed. If you have a Priest in the group,
consider it your job to help keep them alive. Priest healing draws
aggro very effectively if the tank cant maintain threat on all the
attacking mobs. At this point, group dynamics will clearly show you
what's in store for the future. You'll see many mistakes that will
alert you to bad groups in the future. If you're not in a good guild
now is the time to seek one out. Grouping with strangers is
sometimes unavoidable but try to do it as little as possible.
Make sure to get your Thrash Blade after you kill the princess in
Maraudon. The quest for this is Corruption of Earth and Seed. Its a
fine 1H sword that you may well be using at level 60.
At lvl 44 you get Hammer of Wrath. This is hammer of Holy energy
that that you can fling at runners. It can crit for up to 1200 armor
penetrating Holy damage but is only usable when the target is at or
below 20% health.
The home stretch. Here you'll spend most of your time in Un Goro
Crater, Searing Gorge, Winterspring, and the Eastern and Western
Plaguelands (EPL & WPL). The Plaguelands have lots of undead so
you'll like it there.
There is also a Paladin specific quest in Chillwind point available
at level 50. This is fun. Sunken Temple, Dire Maul (get the
Energized Chestplate from DM East!), and Black Rock Depths (BRD) are
the instances for you until you hit 60. You can try Scholomance,
Stratholme, and Blackrock Spire before 60 especially if you have a
good guild. However, at lvl 60 you do get the final rank of many of
your good abilities so most folks only want sub-60s if they are
friends/guildies or they absolutely cant find anyone else. The new
instance group size caps make this more of an issue. DM and BRD
along with all the quest grinding should get you to 60 in short
In BRD get all the Marshall Windsor related quests out of the way up
to and including Jail Break. This is the quest chain that you need
to get your key to Onyxia's lair. You also need to do Attunement to
the Core to allow you access to Molten Core later.
Other quests of interest that provide good rewards are The Battle of
Darrowshire and Order must be Restored. You can knock out both back
to back with a group of 15-20 folks. Tons of people have these but
haven't gotten around to doing them. Look for a group in IF for both
and you'll get it soon enough. Tip: In order to complete Darrowshire
you have to leave the raid group after all the killing is done. See
Thottbot for details.
The advancement from lvl 50 to lvl 60 is pretty quick, Id say, with
all the quests and content available and all the undead that allow
you to use Exorcism and Holy Wrath. This turns into a Grind guide at
later levels from 57-60 mostly.
Now for the biggest consideration of all. In this range, you will
find it hard to deny the fact that your relative damage is now below
that of other classes. You still have enough to get the job done but
the easy superiority you once enjoyed simply isn't there anymore.
Your damage dealing abilities quit advancing a while ago and the
other classes and mobs continued to advance. When you run into Horde
its not the all but guaranteed victory it was 10ish levels ago. Even
Engineering does not work as well as it did. A level 60 Dragon is
less effective against a lvl 60 player than it was against a lvl 45
This is where many acquire their dissatisfaction with the class. Hey
I liked this overpowered character, what happened?! It is my opinion
that balance happened. Given the broad combination of Paladin
abilities like plate armor, the ability to equip a shield, healing,
LoH, two forms of invulnerability, buffs, cleanse, ability to
resurrect, and auras, how could the damage stay relatively high
without making the other classes look like crappy alternatives?
Other classes have some of these attributes but none has all of them
all the time like the Pally. Like it or not, this is what we get.
After 1.5 years it is safe to assume that the class will not be
changed much so try not to think in those terms.
This is not to say that the Pally cant do damage, they can. Its just
that relative to other classes it is lower and more random.
Finally, in this range you might consider a talent respec.
Everything will depend on how you want play your Paladin. PvP
oriented? Configured for raid instances? Other? You decide.
At lvl 60 groups will expect you to use your group support
capabilities very fully. You will be expected to have a mana pool of
around 4,000+. You will be asked to heal and cleanse because you
can. You will not be welcome as a tank, Warriors have always been
better than you at that. You can still focus on the Retribution tree
and have enough in Holy to be an effective Pally. However, you need
to acquire a bunch of Intelligence heavy gear. You should really
keep multiple sets of gear so you can change your focus by way of
In conclusion, do you like but understand the limitations of the
class and the reasonable expectations of those you group with. Try
to avoid sacrificing everything for a bit more damage. You'll never
be on a par with other classes but you will diminish your other
virtues that are your real strength. You are a hybrid, efforts to
strongly specialize are an unproductive exercise in futility. This
is by design.
For me, the hyper versatile Paladin is the finest class in the game.