WoW Shadowlands Best Paladin Spec - What Should You Play?

World of Warcraft Best Paladin Spec
Choose how you'll spread the Light through Azeroth.

What Paladin spec is best for you?

   Paladins are warriors of the light, using holy energy to heal their allies or deal devastating blows to their enemies. They’re like a Priest but with a hammer. Paladins are a very diverse class, and they can take on all three of WoW’s roles: Tank, Healer, and DPS. With each Paladin spec working very differently from each other, it can be hard to decide which one fits your playstyle. Luckily, we’re here to break down each spec and help you figure out  which one is the perfect option! 

1. Protection Paladin

A Protection Paladin faces off against hordes of the undead

With their sword and shield, Protection Paladins valiantly throw themselves in front of danger to protect their friends and allies. As you might have guessed from their name, Protection Paladins are Tanks. This means that they lead groups in PvE content, and are designed to take heavy amounts of damage. They use abilities that generate Holy Power before spending that Holy Power on abilities designed to either heal or keep enemies focused on them.

 Protection Paladin Excels At:

  • Magic and Bleed Damage: Much of the damage in World of Warcraft is either Magic based, or has some sort of Bleed attached to it. With a variety of abilities such as Blessing of Spellwarding, Divine Shield, and Holy Shield, Protection Paladin is very good at mitigating this damage. Sometimes they can even negate it entirely. Their mastery, Divine Bulwark, also provides some protection because it lets them increase their chance to block melee attacks. 
  • Healing: Due to their bond with the light, Protection Paladin has many options when it comes to healing and keeping themselves alive. Abilities like Lay on Hands, Word of Glory, and Hand of the Protector, allow Protection Paladins to be self-sufficient healers. It also means that they can heal allies in a pinch and heroically save a group from wiping at the last second. 
  • Utility: World of Warcraft doesn’t have a support role, but Paladin is about as close as it gets. Protection Paladin has nearly unmatched group utility. They have several different blessings which can be used to easily deal with a variety of mechanics, they have a protective bubble to heal allies, and they can bring an aura to the group that can help with anything ranging from damage to mount speed. 

Choose Protection Paladin If:

  • If you want a tank with an old-school feel, Protection Paladin is a fantastic option. You get to bounce your shield off of enemies and drop hammers on their heads, all while shining with Holy Light. The spec has a very classic RPG feel to it which is appealing to much of WoW’s target audience.
  • If you’re hoping to be a team player who can come in clutch and save their group, then Protection Paladin is the spec for you! The combination of high damage, solid healing, and unique utility makes Protection Paladin pretty good in any situation. This is definitely the spec for someone wanting to be a hero! 

Protection Paladin Details:

Protection Paladin Guide: 

A guide to playing Protection Paladin

2. Retribution Paladin

Tirion Fordring, an iconic Retribution Paladin


As holy avengers, Retribution Paladin is an unrelenting force against evil. They’ll do what it takes to save the day no matter how uncertain things may be. Retribution is the DPS spec for Paladins. Similar to Protection Paladins, they use abilities to generate Holy Power. However, they spend their Holy Power on high damage abilities that devastate their enemies. 

Retribution Paladin Excels At: 

  • Burst Damage: In both single-target and AOE situations, Retribution Paladins have fantastic burst damage. Their cooldowns, such as Avenging Wrath, are incredibly powerful and allow you to deal incredibly high damage when pressed. Retribution Paladins can also use Retribution Aura, which will give them Avenging Wrath whenever an ally dies. This allows them to make the most out of bad situations and avenge their teammates! 
  • Damage Immunity: The less damage you take as a DPS, the more your healers can focus on keeping others alive (and the more they’ll love you). Damage mitigation and immunities are something that Retribution thrives at. Not only do they have great heals like Word of Glory, but they also have Divine Shield, which is one of the best immunities in all of WoW! 

Choose Retribution Paladin If: 

  • If you want to live out the RPG fantasy of being a holy crusader who slices their enemies with swords of holy fire, then you’ll love Retribution Paladin. Paladins have some of the strongest class fantasy in the game, which can heighten the experience of WoW if you’re the kind of player who is very focused on RP and Lore! 
  • If you want to play a DPS spec that does great damage while also providing plenty of utility for their group. Between Auras, Blessings, and Lay on Hands, Retribution Paladins are a great melee pick for those still wanting to do the most for their teammates. 

Retribution Paladin Details:

Retribution Paladin Guide: 

An in-depth Retribution Paladin guide

3. Holy Paladin

A Holy Paladin wielding The Silver Hand

Given their close relationship with the Light, it probably doesn’t surprise you that Paladins make excellent healers. The Paladin healer spec, Holy Paladin, uses the Light to heal and bless their allies, while still dealing shocking damage. Like the other Paladin specs, Holy Paladins generate Holy Power, which then gets spent on healing abilities. 


Holy Paladin Excels At: 

  • Single-Target Burst Healing: When they focus their healing onto one player, there’s no force in the game that out-heal a Holy Paladin. With abilities like Beacon of Light that increase Holy Paladin healing on a particular target, this spec is perfect as a Tank healer. While they are perfectly capable when it comes to healing an entire group, they tend to shine when given a Tank to focus on. 
  • Durability: WoW, and MMOs in general, tend to meme on their healers for being very squishy. Holy Paladin is the exception to this rule. Holy Paladins are not only exceptionally durable as plate wearers, but they also have a huge array of defensives and quick heals at their disposal to keep themselves alive through anything. 
  • Damage Weaving: Holy Paladins need Holy Power to do most of their healing. This Holy Power is generated mostly by using damaging abilities, meaning that Holy Paladins have to do damage  to heal. Holy Paladins do insane amounts of damage, blowing all other healers (and some DPS) out of the water. This makes them an in-demand healer that many top-tier groups will take to squeeze out as much damage as possible. 

Choose Holy Paladin If:

  • If you’re wanting to focus on healing in raids or PVP, Holy Paladin is a top-tier choice. Their unmatched single-target Tank healing and solid damage output make them a frequent choice for raids. For PVP, Holy Paladins have great mana efficiency, high damage, and incredibly useful utility which makes them the ideal PVP healer. 
  • If you want a healer with a high-skill cap, Holy Paladin is a fantastic option. While Holy Paladin can definitely be played very well on a casual level, there is an insane amount of min-maxing that can be done. This is especially true when it comes to maximizing both your damage and your healing simultaneously, which makes this spec very satisfying and rewarding to play. 

Holy Paladin Details:

Holy Paladin Guide: 

An in-depth Holy Paladin Guide

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From the beautiful continents of Azeroth to the chaotic world of Pandora, Bella has experienced her fair share of wild stories, and has dedicated herself to bringing those stories to the rest of the w
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