The Paladin is one of three starting classes that you can play in Skyforge without purchasing a collectors edition. True to it’s name the Paladin is one of two tanking classes, the other being a Knight, but it is far from what most MMO players would consider your typical paladin. In place of a traditional tanking and healing paladin the class revolves around shields and invulnerability to stay alive. Although the Paladin has a good chunk of health if you mess up your shields and take too much damage there are very few options for you to heal back up besides health orbs from bosses. Given the shield mechanics timing is key to mastering the Paladin and will take time and skill to truly master.
This article is focused on PvE and group play, for PvP check the overview of Paladin PvP section. Also, keep in mind that in the end you’re going to have to figure out what works best for your play style and in certain situations and I’m merely going to tell you what I use and why, however you may disagree and that’s OK.
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Purification or Divine Scourge? I choose Divine Scourge unless there is a fight where it is critical that I need to remove a CC from me and a group member but most of the time this isn’t needed. Divine Scourge provides good AoE damage and knocks down enemies. This is great for clearing trash or even boss fights where there are a lot of adds spawning. The damage plus knocking down enemies so they can’t damage you or your teammates is crucial.
Aegis of Light II and Onslaught II, grab em! Aegis provides immunity to you and one ally, I mean how great is that. A bonus to this is even if you don’t select a target it will be cast on the lowest health player, perfect for when someone gets hit by an add and lets you get it off them. Onslaught II allows you to jump right into the fight and round up surrounding mobs making them nice targets for your teammates.
Massive Verdict, that’s my verdict. This is how you pull groups of mobs or initiate any fight. A nice ranged AoE attack that generates 10 times more threat than normal giving you some nice aggro at the beginning of a fight.
Wave of Holiness or Anger? Okay, here goes nothing… Early on I started with Holiness because what tank doesn’t love an INSTANT 6 second taunt right? Well, I’ve found many fights where a boss will spawn adds and over time we get overrun due to lack of damage within the group so I’ve switched to Waves of Anger. If you run an all Pantheon group and you know your guys have the damage you can go the instant taunt but even in Pantheon groups Waves of Anger provides nice added damage. Now this ability is tricky to get off because of it’s cast time which leaves you vulnerable to attacks so you are really going to have to time your shields right. If you are in a VoIP and you have a Lightbinder even better! Start by casting your, starting Wave of Anger, and then have the Lightbinder shield you as soon as yours goes down.
Blame. “All your attacks generate 400% more threat, and all your shields absorb 60% more damage. Onslaught makes the monster attack you for 4 seconds.” Yup.
Surge. “Restores 40% of your health if it drops below 20%.” I’ll take it!
Zeal. “Basic attacks inflict 120% more damage and apply an effect that increases movement speed by 3% for 6 seconds. This effect stacks up to 10 times.” Doing more damage with basic attacks is pretty nice but so is up to a 30% movement speed increase. This allows you to get out of the way of big hitting attacks and even pick up adds quicker.
Luminance. “Aegis of Light I and Aegis of Light II cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.”Shields are up quicker, easy choice.
Unwavering Faith. “Celestial Shield cooldown is reduced by 40% if the shield is destroyed.” If your shield is getting destroyed things are getting pretty crazy, having that cooldown reduced is pretty nice.
Retribution (if you go with the Divine Scourge ability). “Divine scourge inflicts 42% more damage. Wave of Wrath inflicts 25% more damage.” I like more damage, this isn’t a must have but I assume you are taking retribution for the knockdown and damage so it makes sense.
I’m not going to spend too much time on symbols as it depends on your build, play style, and they are going to take you a while to unlock, however I do want to mention the class symbol and a handful of noteworthy ones.
Divine Intervention (class symbol). “Incoming damage is completely absorbed if it is more than 10% of the maximum health. The character becomes immune to all damage and negative effects for 4 seconds. The effect is activated no more than once every 70 seconds.” This is hands down one of the best symbols in the game. This isn’t just perfect for tanking and a must have but everyone should unlock this, think about it.
Impulse Barrier. “When Impulse Charge is activated, the character gains a shield that absorbs damage for 3 seconds. Each level of this symbol increases the amount of damage absorbed by 3% of the character’s maximum health.” This allows you to throw up an extra shield each time your impulse charge is up. Make sure to get this and watch your impulse charge, as soon as you have one use it and get that extra shield. With the Paladin health bar a shield that absorbs a percentage of your health is great.
Tactical Defense. “Melee defense is increased by 5% for each level of this symbol. Ranged defense is increased by 5% for each level of this symbol.” More defense, oh yeah!
Clever Maneuver. “Using Dash creates a protective barrier that absorbs damage equal to 5% of the character’s maximum health for 3 seconds.” Another shield based on health percentages, too easy.
Balance. “The character takes 6% less damage for each level of this symbol when they are fighting against three or more enemies.” Yeah, there is always more than 3 enemies.”
Guardian of Humanity. “Threat generated by your attacks is increased by 20% for each level of this symbol”
Eternal Avenger. “When enemies inflict damage to the shields applied by you, 7% of the damage is reflected back at them for each level of the symbol”
Now Lets Play Paladin!
Before you go jump into that 5-man dungeon after switching to your brand new Paladin you might want to wait a little longer. Paladins are good, but in the beginning without anything unlocked they are terrible! Paladins don’t just need to have all their shields unlocked they need talents that can make them stronger and reduce their cooldowns. Be patient while trying to play the Paladin because in the beginning it is rough.
The key to tanking as a Paladin is to time your shields appropriately. This comes not just from mastering your class but understanding boss fights. If you pop your shields as soon as they are off cooldown you are eventually going to be hit without a shield and you will die. You need to really pay attention to boss mechanics and animations and time your shields for when you know you are about to take damage. Don’t forget that you have more shields than just your Celestial Shield and Aegis of Light, you should be utilizing your dash shield and impulse charge shield (if you have the symbols). These little shields can be great to absorb damage while waiting to use your main shields for heavy hitting abilities. Also, in case you didn’t know you can cast Celestial Shield while in the middle of fighting without interrupting your current attack or rotation!
When you are pulling multiple mobs you want to lead with Massive Verdict which is your ranged AoE damage that generates increased threat. From here use Onslaught II and dash in to the enemies closing the gap and pulling them in nice and neat for your dps. Now it’s up to you on how you want to proceed. You can use Divine Scourge for a nice knockdown and then use your r-click ability Waves of Wrath for some added AoE damage. Lets not forget you also have Waves of Anger for some channeled AoE damage. Basically, the Paladin has many ways to do some good AoE damage, your choice!
For single target damage there aren’t many options for the Paladin but your bread and butter is Punishing Bolt and Justice Blade. To really maximize your single target damage you can use talents and amulets to really buff these abilities. You can also use Onslaught ability with the Frenzy talent for some more single target damage, look into it.
If you haven’t paid much attention you might not be aware that Holy Ground is amazing. When you active Holy Ground your abilities do not consume Righteous Anger plus most abilities have additional effects when used on Holy Ground. For example Punishing Bolt deals extra damage! Seriously read up on this.
Keep in mind that you can make one ally invulnerable using Aegis of Light II. The great thing about this is you can pick any group member to become invulnerable! Is your Lightbinder about to get AoE’d to death but doesn’t realize it? Invulnerable! Is that Berserker whacking away next to you but doesn’t realize a frontal is about to kill him? Invulnerable!
Equipment really depends on how you want to build your character and is really hard to give advice on. For example if you want to be really heavy on single target damage then your amulets and weapon should probably give you increased damage to Punishing Bolt. If you want AoE damage then look for items that increase damage to Seal of Light and Divine Scourge.
Shield Power. “Increases the effectiveness of damage absorption effects.” As a Paladin our shields are our lifeblood, our health bar is merely a fail safe when things go wrong.
Discharge Recovery. “Increases the frequency of Impulse Charges and the amount of impulse damage.” The more abilities you get off with Impulse Charges the more mini-shields you get and the higher your damage output, win-win.
Adaptation. “Incoming damage is temporarily reduced if you take consistent hits.” Anything that reduces damage to a tank is good.
The Paladin is actually really fun in PvP due to their high survivability, utility, and decent damage output. This section is meant as a basic overview of the Paladin class in PvP and not as an in-depth guide.
There are many ways to build your Paladin in PvP so I’ll let you decide for yourself if you’d rather have Purification or Divine Scourge and you can choose between Harsh Verdict because for a ranged stun or Righteous Verdict for some good ranged damage. Given Paladins high survivability from multiple shields and invulnerability you’re always going to find yourself in the middle of a fight hacking on someone, which is awesome, but you shouldn’t be blinding chasing someone thinking you can one shot them. As a Paladin you should be focused on max disruption and mayhem from all your knockdowns and saving your allies with Aegis of Light II.
In Small Battles you really want to play however you are needed. If their team is aggressive and trying to burn down your dps you need to focus solely on keeping them alive by knocking down their attackers and letting them escape. If your team is the aggressors you should charge in and knock down an easy target for your team to pick off. Again, be a team player!
In Great Battles you really shine by fighting on the point, pushing back a team, or a running a flag depending on the situation. For example in Ring of Immortals you’re going to want to fight on the point as much as possible. There is nothing worse than watching a Paladin chasing some enemy off the point while one player on the enemy team walks up and takes the point. You should stand strong and throw up shields laughing because they can’t kill you as you wait for backup. In Alcedon Facility you should almost always stay on the cart whether attacking or defending to either push or halt the push. The only exception is if you need to push into their team to pull their attention away from the cart and give your team an advantage.
Remember, I’m playing your typical front lines Paladin in PvP that is focused on objectives and supporting their teammates. The Paladin is actually capable of doing some pretty heavy damage if you build correctly but I’ll cover that in a more in-depth Paladin PvP guide in the future. Until then experiment with the class and see what you can come up with.
Did I leave something out or you want me to get more in-depth on a part? Let me know in the comments and I’ll look into it!