Author wrote:Ran out of Space on the first guide, making a second one with a bit more space
[Guide] Paladins, with In-Depth DPS Development
Paladins are a class that can be best described as a hybrid of a direct damage warrior and a holy caster healer. The Paladin Archetype comes in 4 types, split evenly amongst the more well-built races of each faction: Orc Reaver, Xadaganian Avenger, Kanian Crusader, and Elven Templar.
Special Ability – Barriers. One to three barriers that store the highest hits you’ve taken for ten seconds. After 10 seconds, they will break and you will take the damage. Paladin skills can be used to modify or reduce the damage taken from each barrier. This guide is meant to be a guide. It is not meant to be an end-all auto-win resource. As you develop your class, you will find that certain builds will favor you more than others. The builds and descriptions in this guide are meant to be a step towards your unique build. For this very reason, I will only entertain a "recommended" basic cutter build. The rest of your rubies are up to you to fill out.
Paladins unlock additional attacks by generating Marks of the Pariah on their target. These Marks last for 15 seconds and can go up to 3 stacks per target. Marked Targets can be DoTed with Condemnation, silenced with Penance, slowed with Heavenly Nova, or critically hit with Retribution. They can also be used to generate an AoE attack with Sacred Sunrise. Righteous Word will always apply a Mark. Crusader’s Blow will only apply a mark if actual damage is done.
Canons are the Paladin’s form of mana. They are primarily used for healing skills and Heavenly Nova, and are stored in your inventory in a single stack of 10-60 depending on your stat distribution. They recharge slowly over time and can be quickly recovered with a full out-of-combat Martyr’s Salvation.
The barrier stores the highest one to three hits you’ve taken. Each barrier has an individual countdown, and will flash when close to being broken. Barriers are ordered so that the lowest timer is to the left, and the highest is to the right. If you take a hit for more damage than any of your available barriers, your LOWEST barrier is automatically broken and the highest hit is placed in the newest barrier. Barriers can store virtually unlimited damage, though some mobs and environmental effects may go through them. If damage is equal, the barrier does not break. Your biggest weakness with barriers is when a large amount of mobs attack for holy damage, which continually leak through. Your best use for barriers is against heavy-hitting, slow-attacking mobs and players like 2H Paladins, Melee Healers, and 2H Warriors.
You start off with one barrier by default, and unlock the second at Level 22. Your third is unlocked at Level 40. Barriers appear above your primary skill bar in round bubbles.
[New2.0] Paladins can now control barriers while stunned, meaning you can avoid taking lethal damage while stun-locked, to a point. You cannot control barriers while knocked down, paralyzed, or CCed from such effects like Fear.
Wand Power* [New2.0]
As of the current patch, wand power is bugged. Holy DPS will be harder than normal. Take that into account when choosing your class.
Archetype Members and their Racial Skills
Orc Reaver wrote:
Exhaust Evil, High Hit, Mark [New2.0] (no longer drains mana)
Xadaganian Avenger wrote:
Holy Blow, High Hit, 2s Knockdown [New2.0] (no longer an AoE damage reduction buff)
Kanian Crusader wrote:
Zealous Blow, High Hit, Mark, DoT [New2.0] (no longer requires a spear)
Elven Templar wrote:
Pious Brand, High Hit, Mark, [New2.0] 5s Reduced Healing Debuff (reduced from 20s to 5s)
[New2.0]With the introduction of the new DPS Rousing Shout and removal of Spear limits on Zealous Blow, all Paladins have access in terms of a general PvE/PvP high-hit attack.
1H/2H Sword/Axe/Mace/[New2.0] Spear, Paired Sword and Dagger
Stat Point Allocation - Ultimately up to you, but my recommendation is Luck every point per my Old Spice discussion.
compassone wrote:Old Spice time. Look at your inventory. Look at all that green Luck swap gear, waiting for you to quaff that Luck Elixir that you can’t live without... Now look at mine. No gear here! You tell me I have to stat up for that super robot unicorn that’s about to spear us like a shish kabab and tell me to get armed for bear, because apparently unicorns are a subclass of bear. What do I use?
1. Strength Potion +60
2. Daily Strength Cash Potion +50
3. Strength Elixir +106
4. Strength Trinket +107
5. Maximize Strength +20
"But wait? What about your other stats?"
Already balanced! All I have to do to get more DPS is to bump up Strength. Everything else is already exactly where they should be. Swap gear? Don’t need it. Found another upgrade for my wand? No problem, let me upgrade the one I already have and just put it back in the same slot. It became Legendary? No problem, I just got +3 Expertise and +3 Strength from my Wand. Expertise was fine before, it’s fine afterwards, and none of my other stats were effected negatively.
This guide is meant for classes that don't need to spec into off-stats like Conviction and Faith. It can be used for those classes, but will have lower effectiveness.
With the advent of upgradable Astral Gear, it should be MUCH more apparent why I have continued to advocate for this. Once you balance your full set of Blue Astral Gear so that you have ideal or slightly subpar secondary stats (which will become par and above par as your Blue gear becomes Epic and Legendary), you will most likely NEVER have to rebalance your stats again. Upgrading your gear improves your stats slightly, so if they’re optimized before, they’re going to be optimized afterwards. Until you reach the Astral Gear balance point, most of your gear can simply be balanced with a few disposable green pieces of gear.
That’s why I’ve been using the following strategy.
Point Allocation via the Pivot Method
This is a justification of Luck stacking at early levels with the expressed goal of developing an end-game stat allocation method that minimizes dependence on continued stat maintenance and cash shop items to remain effective.
Often times, players will /Z and ask what stats they should allocate. Undoubtedly, the most-widely accepted response is "Luck. Every last point." There’s a bunch of varying reasons, such as "There’s not enough Luck gear," or "it’s the most important stat" you can use.
At the end of the day, however, it actually has nothing to do with not having enough Luck or Luck being the most important stat.
It has everything do with the fact that managing a block of stats is much easier than managing an assortment of slightly balanced stats.
Look at it this way. Let’s say I level from 20 to 21. I get a Red Arrow telling me that my Finesse is low for my level. I can go ahead and throw a Stat point into Finesse and call it a day, and then look for Finesse gear, or I can ignore the temporary setback and throw it into Luck. Why? Because undoubtedly, I will come across high-Finesse gear at 22 or 23, and then be short on Expertise or Luck again. Stacking it all into Luck results in having a unique decently sized piece of what could almost be considered a second set of Earrings.
What about me? I have all 74 of my points in Luck. Why Luck? Frankly, it doesn’t even have to be Luck. It could be all Expertise or all Strength if you felt like it. I’m not lazy. I like math, but I don’t like doing math all the time. I’m practical.
It’s much easier to manage a block of 74 Strength or 74 Luck than it is to manage 32 Strength, 16 Luck, 20 Expertise, and 6 Finesse. However, relative to other skills, with the exception to Strength and Intelligence, at end-game, you’ll be hard-pressed to have too much Luck.
Player dependence on Luck should be minimal at best. For most new players, you will never go wrong with statting into full Luck. Dependence on Luck Elixirs. Potions, and Trinkets results in you requiring either gPotatoes, gold, or a time-locked cooldown to be able to reach a crit level that you find acceptable.
One of the most difficult roles a player can have is attempting to balance gear to be effective at-level. The pivot method utilizes three associated points to ensure that you can properly develop and upgrade your character with the minimum amount of gear swaps or recalculations necessary at end-game, where it will matter the most, as opposed to short term gains and losses, where a pick-and-choose mentality may result in the required purchase of a Water of Life.
Primary Pivot: Patronage
Your Patronage is your primary pivot. It follows the stat balance of a single piece of major-slot gear closely as you level and is easy to switch to any low stat quickly and effectively. There is no question what moving this pivot will do. At Level 42 with max Patronage, it is 73 in any major stat. If you are missing 7X Luck, you can readily switch it in. It takes no inventory space, so it is much easier to field-swap than a Potion.
Alternate Pivot: Alchemy Stat Potion "Slot"
Stat potions are flexible blocks of scaling stats. They provide the easiest way to obtain a smaller at-level chunk of stat points. These are equivalent to a swappable ring’s worth of stats in most cases. If possible, you want to localize your stat potion to the maximum possible. At Level 42, for example, you can opt for a +60 Strength potion over +45 Luck/Expertise potions because you get a +15 bonus overall from opting for Strength. Also, because not every stat is available, this is harder to pivot. If your maximum available alchemy potion is not in your primary offensive stat, then treat the potion slot as a piece of GEAR, NOT as a pivot. This maximizes your gained stat points. This does not happen at Level 42, but may happen at later levels as potions better than +60 may become available.
Secondary Pivot: Cash Shop Potion/Elixir
This pivot will provide you with either an easier or harder time at end-game, depending on your set-up. This can be considered a chest-piece swap gear in level. With the implementation of free daily 4 hour cash potions in your primary offensive stat (Strength/Intelligence), it has become more practical to get all your secondary offensive stats (Finesse, Expertise, Perception, Faith, Wisdom, Luck) in their proper places and buff with the shop potion. Raid instances or periods where you need to upgrade to Elixir-quality, you would simply upgrade to an elixir-strength primary stat. If it is unavoidable, then utilize a secondary gear set for daily potions versus elixirs. The reasoning: if you are 88 Luck short of your cap and plan to use a +88 Luck Elixir, you are forced to depend on that Luck Elixir to reach your nominal stat balance, or be ineffective once they tick out. The daily potion comes as Strength or Intelligence, so that will not help you with your 88 Luck deficit. If it does tick out, you have to switch in Luck gear in order to reach the nominal Luck level or suffer a lower crit rate. On the other hand, if all your stats are in relatively balanced range for your class, you can look at daily potions as a direct damage increase with no need to rebalance when using, and not require a second gear set when your potions wear out.
Locked Pivot: Stat Points
To minimize dependence, as opposed to the "what you need as you level" method, this is a long-term stat development that simplifies high-level gear modification, especially during endgame gear acquirement, when utilized. You should not consider a low stat warning in any stat to imply that you should put the stat there when leveling. Gear balance changes fluidly as you level, so you could very well stumble upon a +6 Finesse cape that fixes your Finesse at Level 13. You could very will discard that cape for an Expertise one at 15. You might have too much Finesse or Perception to be comfortable at endgame Good luck feeling you have too much Luck at endgame.
Utilizing the pivot:
As you level, dump every last stat point into Luck, if you’re looking for an easy run. You can choose another stat if you wish, but Luck is the easiest one to devote to. If it breaks and you’re Level 47 and Full Mythic/Draconic and you’re in the rare state of nature where you’re luck-high, THEN buy a Water of Life. Until then, the benefits of a few reallocated stat points are negligible and not worth the mental effort required. This is nominally locked to minimize your cash shop influence on Water of Life requirements.
Balance your gear. Try to each your recommended stat balance. In most cases, start with Luck first, then your non-offensive accuracy/resist stats (Perception/Expertise/Faith), then your augment stat (Finesse/Wisdom), and finally your primary offensive stat (Strength/Intelligence). Any time you have issue reaching a stat and can’t find gear for it, apply your patronage or the maximum alchemy potion possible first. If you get too much, you can then swap out gear down to the nominal level. Do not be afraid to be a few points short or high, but don’t have it exceed more than +/- 15. Use your patronage first since you may have less access to higher-level alchemy potions in your alternative stats.
Do not expect to fill all your slots with Legends and Epics and hope it works out. Sometimes, sacrificing a few stat points is better than being heavily over your limit to the point that it is detrimental to your other stats. Go down a quality level if necessary.
If you are still short a secondary stat and have used your patronage, then select for potion. You should never have to use your elixir pivot if you have sufficient gear available. If it is REALLY necessary and you cannot balance any way at all, THEN select for elixir, but you shouldn’t need to use it.
Once you finish balancing all your secondary stats, all your remaining pivots can be converted to primary offensive stats.
If you manage to complete this process without using any pivots, you can enjoy a nice hefty chunk of more than 200 additional primary offensive stat points.
If you manage to complete this process using only the primary pivots you have an additional augmentation ability.
-[Normal] You can use your secondary elixir pivot for the primary offensive stat, as needed (i.e. for raids).
-[Heroiconomic] Juggle. Put the elixir in your patronage stat, and move your patronage to your primary offensive stat, as needed (i.e. for raid bosses and harder heroics). This is especially useful if your stat is just 10 or so stat points shy of where you want it, as it gives your patronage stat an additional 15 or so points at 42 to help you meet your preferred cut-off when it counts, and skimp a bit on normal grinds. It can also be used with one piece of swap gear to purposefully over-stat if you have extra elixirs in the patronage stat and a piece of light gear to swap out. For example, if I’m running 400 Luck preferred, I can elixir up to 416, patronage into Strength, and swap out a [+20 Strength/ +16 Luck] belt for a +35 Strength belt and have 400 Luck, plus an additional +15 Strength and Patronage. In addition, since I have more buff rubies for Strength, I can enjoy an additional +3% benefit for swapping the patronage out of Luck.
And that, simply, is how you stack Luck and only have to use a Water of Life once in your life.