Paladin Class Changes in Dragonflight

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A new WoW expansion is getting closer and closer to its release on November 28. Each build makes it easier to speak about various class changes and suggest firm predictions on Dragonflight meta. This text will cover crucial Paladin abilities changes.

Paladin Class Tree

The revamp of the talent system in the new expansion leads to the emergence of two separate trees for class and specialization. One tree contains basic class talents which are accessible in every spec. And another one — those that belong only to a particular specialization.

Players have 31 points to spend in the class tree and 30 points in a spec one. These restrictions will make players choose a limited number of skills and traits by holding more or less to the right, middle, or left branches. One more feature to remember is that talents placed in octagons must always be chosen out of two options.

Changes in the class tree system led to the emergence of fascinating new combinations in rotations of all Paladin specializations. For example, look at the Recompense. It brings variety to the use of the Blessing of Sacrifice. 50% of the damage transferred to you under that spell’s effect increases the damage of your Judgment or healing of your Word of Glory. That can sound OP, but only before you read the skill’s restrictions. Still, it’s important to remember that this passive is in an octagon, which confronts you with the choice. And the Recompense seems much more attractive than the Sacrifice of the Just. The last trait only reduces the cooldown of the Blessing.

The Seal of Order is another fresh passive in the new Paladin talent tree. It’s at the end of the left branch, and its primary function is to improve the Of Dusk and Dawn spell, which is right before it. This former Runecarving Power buffs you with the Blessing of Dawn when you have a maximum of Holy Power or with the Blessing of Dusk when you don’t have holy power. The total effect of the buff with the Seal of Order taken can be evaluated by looking at the picture.

Retribution Paladins will be interested in the Judgment of Light talent that can be found in the class tree. There’s no doubt that making 25 attacks after Judgment heal the attacker will be especially effective for the damage-dealing spec. Finally, at the bottom of the right branch, you can see the Seal of the Crusader. This trait not only refers to the Vanilla Seal removed in WotLK but also reflects part of that spell’s effect. And a chance to make your target receive up to 6% more holy damage may play its role in any spec.

Retribution Changes

But what changes will Dragonflight bring to the Ret Paladin spec itself? In the middle of the left branch, you can see the octagon with a choice between the Ashes to Dust and the Radiant Decree. The first is a new trait with which the Art of War grants a chance to reset the CD of the Wake of Ashes. And the second is a total replacement for the Wake of Ashes. The minor difference between these two spells is that Radiant Decree spends 3 Holy Power, and its damage is slightly reduced. But the main difference is that the new spell will deal much more damage to secondary targets. In contrast, the Wake of Ashes damage is reduced after hitting the primary one.

The Execution Sentence spell can also be empowered with fresh Paladin talents in Dragonflight. They’re the Executioners Will and the Executioner’s Wrath. And you can choose between them in different situations as they are in an octagon. The Wrath adds a pleasant AoE to the skill’s effect, making enemies around it receive 20% of the damage to the primary target. It may become a powerful AoE burst, because the primary target gains 10% of all the damage you have dealt to it during the effect of Sentence. And imagine how destructive it can be to combine with the Wake of Ashes. However, the Executioners Will makes the spell even more painful to a single target due to the exciting possibility of prolonging its duration up to 8 more seconds.

One of the most exciting skills added to the Retribution Paladin tree is, of course, the Exorcism. This legendary spell was removed in Legion, but now it returns with a changed effect. As in the past, it also blasts an enemy, but not only with instant damage. It also makes it receive some Holy Damage as a DoT. And what is especially interesting is how this DoT is cast on everyone around the target if your primary enemy is the puddle from Consecration.

Holy Changes

Holy Paladin won’t receive lots of crucial changes. For instance, the Protection of Tyr used to be an Artifact trait in Legion, and now it’s in the middle of the spec tree as a talent. As in the past, it makes the Aura Mastery ability to increase the amount of healing received by a party or raid. The only difference is that the effect of this buff is decreased from 15% to 10%. But this little nerf can be one more reason for choosing the Unwavering Spirit instead of the Protection of Tyr, just because it reduces the cooldown of the Aura Mastery.

The former 6th-tier Paladin’s trait Awakening is a little changed. It’s still one of the end-game talents, being at the bottom of the middle branch. The effect is also the same, although the chance to trigger the Avenging Wrath is now 7/15%, and the Wrath will last 2 seconds less.

The chance depends on how many points are put into the talent, but obviously, you won’t leave it with only one. Not only due to the power of trait. But also because without putting two points here, you can’t take the last skills of the spec tree. And that’s particularly sad, as the former Night Fae Covenant Blessing of Summer spell is right after it.

However, Holy Paladin has many important passives among the generic class traits. Like the Golden Path, which used to be a Conduit in Shadowlands and once again makes your Consecration heal everyone in it. Or the new Touch of Light trait that, a few times in a minute, can empower your healing effects with additional healing and damaging effects with additional damage. And don’t forget about the Rebuke, an interrupt ability which finally became available for Holy spec.

Protection Changes

Since the first preview of the new Paladin talents, the Sentinel has been in the spotlight. It’s a fresh skill with an interesting mechanic, which makes you keep an eye on the consumption of Holy Power. Because the power of this spell’s effect depends on its current number of stacks. And you may prolong the buff to your maximum health and damage reduction by spending your class resource, every 3 units of which will make each stack hold on for a second or more.

The Eye of Tyr is a former Artifact spell. It works the same way as in the Legion, striking a holy flash that decreases the damage dealt by the enemies around and damages them a bit. The Gift of the Golden Val’kyr is a much more interesting passive inspired by the Legion. It used to be an effect of the Breastplate of the Golden Val’kyr legendary. But apart from reducing the Guardian of Ancient Kings CD, now it casts this spell on you when your HP is less than 30%.

A few new Paladin’s talent tree changes are also brought by former BfA traits. For example, the Inner Light was an Azerite Power, which will once more increase your block and damage those who attack when the effect of the Shield of the Righteous ends. And the Bastion of Light, which is also going to empower the Shield, along with the Word of Glory.

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