Paladins are a lot of fun to play as in World of Warcraft, no matter if you prefer PVP, PVE, or something else entirely. Their class fantasy is strong and there’s a good mix of specs to pick from to suit different areas of the game.

As with any class, there are some Paladin specializations that suit different aspects of the game better than others. It can be hard to know what the best Paladin spec to pick is at first, especially if you’ve never played one before.

It’s important to note that the most vital thing to consider when picking what to play is whether you actually enjoy it or not, though. There’s no point picking a Holy Paladin if you find the rotation boring, for example.

To help you get the most out of your Paladin, here’s a quick guide to picking the best Paladin spec in Dragonflight.

Best Paladin Spec for Solo Leveling

The Paladin class is well balanced in terms of specs, as it has a DPS spec, Healer spec, and Tank spec. Both the DPS and Tank spec are equally viable for solo leveling, but my personal recommendation would be to go for the Protection Tank spec.

wow paladin protection

While the Retribution DPS spec is absolutely viable for solo leveling, Protection is simply more durable and offers much more versatility during the leveling experience.

One of the best reasons why you should pick Protection as the best Paladin spec for your solo leveling experience is that it offers a lot of self-healing and damage mitigation. The combination of Divine Shield, Word of Glory, and Hand of the Protector is great for warding off damage and keeping yourself topped up.

If you enjoy doing dungeons while leveling, you’ll almost always get quicker queues while playing as a Protection Paladin. While getting into Tanking might not be for everyone, Protection Paladins offer a lot of useful spells that can benefit their group. The rotation can take a while to master, but it’s worth your time.

Alongside the heavy-hitting damage, increased survivability, and damage mitigation that the Protection Paladin tree offers, the standard Paladin tree gives Protection players even more tools to use while they’re leveling.

The standard Paladin tree offers CC abilities like Hammer of Justice and other useful abilities like Cleanse Toxins which can speed up your leveling process immensely.

Best Paladin PVP Spec for Arenas

The best Paladin spec for Arenas does admittedly depend on whether you prefer Healing, DPS, or Tanking, but if you’re good with Healing in World of Warcraft then the best spec to pick up is Holy Paladin.

It’s versatile, fun to play, and comes with a variety of unique abilities.

wow paladin holy tree

One of the main reasons why Holy Paladins are so great for Arenas is that they offer plenty of damage abilities alongside a wide variety of heals, like a Discipline Priest. Being able to chuck out some extra damage in a tough match can make all the difference.

Judgment, Consecration, and Hammer of Wrath all stand out as being particularly useful for Arenas, especially with the movement slow that Consecration offers.

Moreover, you can empower the standard Paladin ability Devotion Aura (which reduces damage taken by 3% for you and your allies) with the Holy ability Empower Aura. This can make a huge difference in an Arena match.

If Healing is not your style in World of Warcraft, the Retribution spec is also very viable for Arena players to pick up and try out. If you’re willing to change specializations on the fly, it can be fun to try out both and change things up.

wow paladin retribution tree

While Retribution doesn’t offer quite as much as Protection in terms of damage mitigation, it makes up for it with great damage boosts, buffs, and utility spells.

Abilities like Crusade are useful for boosting your Haste, Empyrean Power and Righteous Verdict are great move-specific damage boosts that work well in a pinch, and Tempest of the Lightbringer can help you to damage more foes than normal with Divine Storm.

When looking at the Retribution talent tree, there are a few moves that stand out to me as being particularly great for Arenas. Wake of Ashes, for example, is a very useful move as it does a good chunk of damage and applies a 5 second 50% slow while also stunning Demon and Undead enemies for 5 seconds. This is very handy when fighting Warlocks.

In general, Retribution Paladins offer plenty of burst damage for Arenas and decent utility for teams, too. The standard Paladin buffs and enhancements like Avenging Wrath help to make this spec even more appropriate for Arenas.

Best Paladin Specialization for Battlegrounds

All the Paladin specs are suitable for Battlegrounds to some extent, but the main one that I would suggest picking up is Protection. This is mainly due to the amount of survivability that the spec offers, along with the self-heals and group utility.

There are some abilities in the Protection Paladin talent tree that stand out as being exceptional for larger team fights in Battlegrounds, and Consecrated Ground is one of these. This talent makes your standard Consecration 15% larger and applies a 50% slow to any enemies that step within it.

Protection Paladins also have some great moves that help to make fights a lot quicker and reduce cooldowns, too.

Bastion of Light is an ability that ensures that your next 3 Shield of the Righteous casts or Word of Glory casts cost no Holy Power, and Uther’s Counsel means that your Lay on Hands, Divine Shield, Blessing of Protection, and Blessing of Spellwarding have their cooldowns reduced by 20% during a fight.

Protection Paladins can perform well in 1-on-1 encounters and in team fights too, especially with the added utility from the standard Paladin talent tree.

Best Paladin Specialization for PVE

Both Retribution and Protection Paladins are fine in PVE settings, but Holy Paladins stand out from the crowd and have the potential to perform incredibly well.

Being able to put out some damage while offering powerful heals in a variety of forms is always a good thing for PVE Healers, and Holy Paladins meet all of these requirements. While they might not be able to offer as much damage as other off-DPS Healers, they can offer consistency.

The aforementioned Devotion Aura and Aura Mastery combo that Holy Paladins can offer is incredibly powerful, especially if you’re looking to tackle M+ dungeons.

Long term buffs and enhancements are another positive aspect of bringing a Holy Paladin to a PVE setting. One of the best examples of this is Power Infusion, which applies a 25% Haste boost for 20 seconds on your selected player.

Best Paladin Spec for Soloing Old Content

The best Paladin spec to pick up if you want to solo old content is Protection. Retribution is a close second and Holy wouldn’t be terrible by any means, but picking up a solid tank with self-heals is a great way to get through old raids for transmog, mounts, and Battle Pets.

One of the main reasons why Protection Paladins are great for soloing old raids and dungeons is that they can withstand a lot of damage. They’re not the most mobile tanks by any means, but they can take heavy hits from bosses and often burn through mechanics without needing to move around too much.

I’ve already mentioned that Protection Paladins have great self-healing abilities, and that’s another reason why I recommend using one to solo old raids and dungeons.

In general, Protection Paladins offer a complete toolkit that completionists and achievement hunters will be able to use to their full advantage when trying to solo any tricky older raids or dungeons.

What to Do After Picking a Spec

Once you’ve picked which Paladin spec you want to get to grips with, there’s a few things you can do next.

Firstly, if you’re in the process of leveling up then look up some speed leveling methods to get you from level 60 to 70. Max level is where half the fun is, after all, and there’s a few methods that can make the grind a lot quicker.

If you’re a PVP fan, take a look at which comps and teams are currently popular on your server. Even if you don’t see Paladins in many of them, it’s good to know who you might be playing with or against. Understanding popular compositions is one of the best ways to ensure that you succeed in PVP.

If you prefer PVE, start checking out the easier M+ dungeons to trial your new Paladin specialization. Even if you’re an experienced player, it’s good to give yourself time and space to get used to the new rotation when you’ve just changed specializations.

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