Paladin Leveling Guide – Classic Hardcore (2024)

Paladin Leveling Guide – Classic Hardcore (1)


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Paladin Leveling Guide – Classic Hardcore (2)

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Paladin is a true hybrid class, having access to dps, healing and tanking spec. Viability of each for endgame content is debatable, but the reputation of paladin being one of the slowest leveling classes does not have to be certainly true. Having all three roles at exposal, gives paladins a plethora of tools to tackle any situation leveling can throw at them. While retribution paladin gives you the fastest leveling, there are options to mass pull in later stages of the game. Due to the risk you are taking on with that, we will not be discussing it here.


Paladins are Alliance exclusive class, opposite of shamans.

Dwarf – The only notable bonus you get when playing as a dwarf is Stoneform, giving you the ability to cleanse yourself of many debuffs that will come your way on your leveling journey.

Human – if you decide to go with true vanilla race, you get two impactful late game bonuses and a number of smaller bonuses that are not so important. Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization steer your itemization a little with small +5 skill bonuses.


Most of the Retribution tree’s talents will only make you better at what you already excel at.

Talent link

Milestone talents

Pursuit of Justice and Seal of Command – will really speed up your leveling via both mounted and run speed, as well as giving your seal a semi-windfury type of proc, depending on your weapon’s swing speed, you will use this over Seal of Righteousness.

Sanctity Aura – Will increase all your holy damage, start using this over Retribution Aura as your offensive aura.

Repentance – Enables you to tackle larger groups of humanoid enemies.

Consecration – Will increase your damage output when facing multiple enemies and will go well together with your Sanctity Aura.


Blessings, in your leveling Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom. In almost all situations, might will help you kill enemies faster. If you get into situations where you need to outlast enemies, or you want to help out healing a dungeon group, wisdom will be very welcome. These last among the lowest buffs of any class, so remember to refresh them every 5 minutes.

Seals will empower you for a short duration as well as enable you to use Judgement and unleash their active effects. If your mana pool allows it, use Seal of the Crusader to increase your holy damage and then Seal of Righteousness for your main damage amplifier. This will mainly come into play at later stages of the leveling because you will not have enough mana at early levels and the payout is very low. As you acquire Seal of Command, start using it unless you have a fast hitting weapon with higher dps.

Aura is your class’s passive buff for anyone in your group. Pick one and don’t worry about it because it doesn’t have a duration. For your defensive options, Devotion Aura will give you armor increase, and if you encounter heavy spell damage of either shadow, frost or fire, you can opt for one of those. For offense, use Retribution Aura if you face constant melee hits, and change that for Sanctity Aura whenever you unlock it at later levels.

Your healing spells are Holy Light (longer cast, higher cost and bigger heal) and Flash of Light (quick cast, cheap cost and small heal), you can use these depending on your situation.

For dealing damage, you can use your Judgement in combination with seal of choice as your main mana spender, but you will rely heavily on melee swings. In situations where you are facing anything undead or demonic, consider using Exorcism or Holy Wrath as your mana allows it. Last but not least, in later stages of the leveling you will get Hammer of Wrath, to finish off low or fleeing enemies even from range.

Your crowd control spells are Hammer of Justice, Turn Undead and later on Repentance.

For your defensive cooldowns you get many options, Divine Protection that later turns into Divine Shield for absolute protection and Blessing of Protection for purely physical negation. Lay on Hands is your last resort, healing you to full at the cost of all your mana.

If you need to tank and generate threat, enable Righteous Fury.

Class Specific Quests

Most notable quests for paladin are:

The Tome of Valor (Level 20) – is a decently difficult quest and only doable if you intend to delve into Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep, along with two more areas populated by elite enemies. As a reward, you will get Verigan’s Fist. A weapon that will last for quite some time until you need to replace it.

The Tome of Nobility (Level 40) – is a simple pickup and turn in quest that rewards you with your mount free of charge Summon Warhorse, only drawback is that it is a spell and costs mana.


Strength > Agility > Intellect > Spirit > Stamina

Strength works well for us for obvious reasons, but agility is also very good when you get to 5/5 in Vengeance. Intellect gives you a bigger mana pool, while Spirit and Stamina are about the same value and will give you better survivability.

Weapon Progression

Large Axe4.33VendorsBuy Wooden Mallet if you use Maces
Edge of the People's Militia11.211QuestThe People’s Militia in Westfall
Trogg Slicer11.913QuestGathering Idols Loch Modan
Miner's Revenge13.015Elite questOh Brother Deadmines Foreman Quest
Headbasher17.620Dungeon QuestThe Fury Runs Deep Stockades
Orc Crusher18.218Elite questTharil’Zun Redridge Mounts Group Quest
Smite's Mighty Hammer19.718Dungeon dropMr. Smite in The Deadmines
Ancient War Sword21.726Elite questDefeat Nek’rosh Wetlands
Archeus23.929Elite questA Daughter’s Love Duskwood
Strike of the Hydra25.626Dungeon dropAku’Mai in Blackfathom Deeps
Corpsemaker28.929Dungeon dropOverlord Ramtusk Razorfen Kraul
Silver Spade31.131QuestVenture Company Mining Stranglethorn Vale
Ravager37.337Dungeon dropHerod in Scarlet Monastery
Bonebiter38.834Dungeon questIn the Name of the Light in Scarlet Monastery
Beastslayer42.650QuestThe Mighty U’cha in Ungoro Crater
Limb Cleaver42.750Dungeon questHurley Blackbreath in Blackrock Depths
Force of Magma48.151Dungeon dropBael’Gar Blackrock Depths
Dreadforge Retaliator50.554Dungeon dropEmperor Dagran Thaurissan Blackrock Depths.
Doomulus Prime55.758Elite questThe Perfect Poison Silithus


Engineering / Mining

As with almost any other class in hardcore, engineering comes in as one of the best choices due to its utility and access to Grenades and Dummies. If you decide to pick up skinning and farm up some Light Leather and Medium Leather before dropping it and switching to Engineering, you can get yourself Flying Tiger Goggles and upgrade them to Green Tinted Goggles.

Alchemy / Herbalism

Paladins don’t have trouble sustaining, and choosing to regenerate out of combat with food and water. Where alchemy comes into play is with amount of potions you will have to craft to level it up, allowing you to stop much less to eat and drink and even buff your stats of choice with different elixirs, Swiftness Potions are also a big help considering your only means of engage and disengage being running.

Honorable mentions

Cooking / Fishing / First Aid

Cooking can give you many stat buffing food that increase your stamina and spirit while leveling. Paired with Fishing, if you want to spend your time on it, you can use the caught fish to level up cooking all the way to max skill level. You can use Bandages from First Aid to let your mana regen and bandage yourself while in your buble.

Duo/Trio Leveling Combinations

Paladin is a good addition as a supporting class for any one, but it will go best together with ones that excel at dealing damage and can use health as a resource. As such, Warrior and Warlock are great leveling partners. Warriors being able to generate rage from taking damage, and benefiting from paladin blessings and healing. Warlocks can convert their health to mana endlessly and keep dishing out damage while paladin heals them back up.


You can tackle dungeons in many ways as a paladin. If you have your gear set ready, you can choose to heal with enough Intellect and Spirit. Tank with shield and enough Stamina and Armor. Or just stay and deal damage while throwing out some supporting spells and heals while in your retribution gear.


HoJ Macro – will stop any cast going on and instantly stun your current target enemy.

#showtooltip Hammer of Justice
/cast Hammer of Justice

Judgement + Seal Macro – bundles up your judgement with any seal of your choice.

/cast Judgement
/cast Seal of Command

Cancel Bubble Macro – Will cancel your buble aura and allow you to attack as usual.

/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cancelaura Blessing of Protection

Closing Remarks

You can look at paladins as either one of the most boring classes to play, relying on their weapon swings as their main source of damage. Or as the most versatile classes to group in dungeons with, able to fulfill any role if only you keep up with your gear management. The usefulness of paladin healer in raids and dungeons, combined with one of the most chill leveling experiences will ensure you a place in any group environment.

Paladin Leveling Guide – Classic Hardcore (3)

Paladin Leveling Guide – Classic Hardcore (4)

Paladin Leveling Guide – Classic Hardcore (2024)
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