Sharpedge’s PVE Paladin Compendium: (M8 Dev+Prot)

by Andrew on November 24, 2015
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Sharpedge’s PVE Paladin Compendium: (M8 Dev+Prot)

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Sharpedge’s PVE Paladin Compendium: (M8 Dev+Prot)


Anything highlighted in RED is in depth and for veteran theorycrafters, otherwise it will probably pass over your head and not be very useful
Anything highlighted in BLUE is recommended reading for new players
Anything highlighted in ORANGE is not recommended, but included for the sake of the guide being complete and holistic


Section 1: In depth Mechanics
1.1: Powers
1.1.1: At Wills
1.1.2: Passives
1.1.3: Encounters
1.1.4: Dailies
1.2: Feats
1.3: Further Reading

Section 2: Consistent decisions for both DEV and PROT:
2.1: Ability Scores
2.2: Feat Selection: Justice Orientated Fork 1 Justice Orientated Fork 2

2.2.2: Bulwark Orientated
2.2.3: Light Orientated

2.3: Boons

2.4: Companions
2.5: A note on gear choices
2.6: Comparison between dev and prot
Section 3: Devotion Paladin Build
3.1: Premise
3.2: Powers
3.3: Load out
3.4: Gear
Section 4: Protection Paladin Build
4.1: Premise
4.2: Powers
4.3: Load out
4.4: Gear
4.5: Theoretical Recovery build

Change log


To start this off, I would like to say it was a lot of work to put this together and due to the size of the document, I am bound to have made a mistake somewhere, so to my critics out there, try not to be too harsh in your criticism. With the announcement of mod 8 and all the changes I have made to my build since the devotion paladin build’s conception, I knew it was time to update my guide but at the same time, I was struck with a conundrum, I didn’t have enough space in the first few pages to update my old guide there, so I needed to work on a new document and at the same time, I had been doing a lot of testing with protection as well and I wanted to include my results here. Also, remember all paladin players, whilst you might be able to build for dps, if building for dps undermines your ability to tank or heal, then you should sacrifice that dps for party utility. Yes, if you can do dps and you can tank or heal then by all means, build for both, but if you find yourself lacking in the tank or heal department, it is time to reevaluate your build. Paladin is in such a good spot right now that for a new player, I would 100% say this is the class you should be playing for your first character. It is cheap to gear up, you don’t need fancy gear (although you can invest in it) and you will more then likely never get kicked out of a party for playing it with poor gear. With that being said though, I also do NOT recommend investing too heavily into one, because sooner or later the class will be nerfed and when it is, history tells us it will be nerfed into unplayability. Once again, I remind everyone I am a pve purist, my builds are not optimised with pvp in mind and so if you only play pvp, you can stop reading right here and save yourself an hour. With that being said, let us dive into the wonderful world of the paladin together, fasten your seatbelts, take out your reading glasses and accept the fact that with my guide, there is no tl:dr 😀


Dev: Devotion Paladin
Prot: Protection Paladin
Arp: Armour Penetration
AP: Action Points
BG: Burning Guidance
Crit: Critical Strike
PF: Plague Fire
Vorp: Vorpal Enchantment
Crit Sev: Critical Severity
FT: Feytouched Enchantment
SF: SoulForged Enchantment
DR: Damage Resistance
DP: Divine Protector
Aggro: Aggression
RA: Relentless Avenger
DoT: Damage over time
DPS: damage per second
HP: Hitpoints
SoF: Shield of Faith
HoT: Heal over Time

Section 1:

1.1.1: At wills

It is important to note that none of the bonuses provided stack with themselves and so you can only gain the bonus of one specific buff once, although if you use both your at wills, you can benefit from 2 bonuses.

Radiant Strike: 8/10
Radiant Strike, when used, allows you to lunge at an opponent and upon use, gives you the radiant buff which increases the damage you deal by increasing your armour penetration and damage by a flat out 5%. It is important to note that this is a multiplier, so it is multiply your dr by 1.05 and not add 5% to dr. This power is an excellent tool, both for increasing the damage you deal in combat by using it to enter combat and also by allowing you to be more mobile in combat. You can use this to lunge from 1 foe to another, assuming they are not tightly packed together, making this a quick way to traverse the battlefield and escape potentially lethal red zones if you don’t think you have enough time to just waltz out.

Valorous Strike: 7/10
Valorous Strike is an attack that when used applies the Valour buff to you, which increases your damage resistance by 5% (Multiplicative) when it is up. As you are not as a heal OP actively trying to tank things, the bonus this provides is nearly irrelevant for you and so this at will is not as strong as its contenders.

Oath Strike: 9/10 or 6/10
Oath Strike synergises excellently with the Heal OP class. Upon the final strike of the flurry of blows, the power of your healing is increased by 15% for 10 seconds and a heal is unleashed. Depending on your build, the power of oath strike, your tab mechanic and your daily can be the only things you need to keep a party at full life. Added to this, it also provides a constant stream of damage and as a heal OP, this will be the ability that takes up most of what you do in combat actively. However, for the tank OP, it can be a little lackluster and so for them I would use valorous strike.

Cure Wounds: 7/10 (Dev)
Cure wounds is what I would label a build specific at will. For a light paladin, it is excellent as you don’t need to engage in combat in order to actively heal people. The issue with cure wounds and my primary dislike for it is that unlike your other options, there is no additional bonus on top of the healing it provides. It is a flat out healing tool and provides no additional benefits. That being said, it is so good at what it does that it still deserves to be ranked well, its just that depending on how you build your paladin, it may or may not be necessary.

Shielding Strike: 6/10 (Protection)
Although shielding strike is decent, once you have a half decent geared character, the defence provided by this at will becomes superfluous and ultimately, I would rather have the mobility provided by radiant strike over the defensibility provided by this skill and I would rather have the damage bonus provided by valorous strike.

1.1.2: Passives

It is important to note that with the exception of Aura of Vengeance, no paladin passive stacks with itself. If you have 2 paladins in a party, it is therefore optimal, unless you are using Aura of vengeance, to both use different passives. Furthermore, for the group to actually benefit from your auras, you need to stand up close to them, so no standing at the back out of range, all paladins are close in combat.

Aura of Courage: 10/10
This passive is what I would term a party wide storm spell. When you or your allies (this includes companions) deal damage, they then deal an additional 1% of your HP as damage. So say you have 80k HP, they then deal an additional 800 damage, before buffs. More realistically, you will have 100k HP+, which amounts to 1k damage+. This at first does not sound like much, however, the damage dealt by aura of courage is buffed by other effects, such as buffs provided by clerics or wizards. It cannot crit and it will not proc off of itself (so cannot self loop) also, it receives no benefit from power. However, due to what this power does, it can in some groups, depending on the number of buffs, amount to the same effect as giving every single member of the party storm spell. Therefore, this is an excellent party wide damage buff and should definitely be taken. Also, it is important to note that nothing procs off of it, so you cannot apply the pf debuff via Aura of Courage and the lostmauth set bonus or burning guidance will not proc off of it either.

Aura of Truth: 4/10
Aura of Truth causes enemies within its radius to deal 5% less damage, the debuff increasing by 2.5% per increase in rank. The problem with this passive is it only seems to work some of the time and also that, this passive does not fit with what you as a heal paladin are trying to achieve. Due to this, the power is not a strong choice for a devotion OP and if it gets used, let a Protection OP be the one to use it. If you are in a party that needs that debuff which only works some of the time, the party will not succeed in the dungeon anyhow. Therefore, this passive is not worth a slot and gets a low ranking.

Aura of Vengeance: 3/10 or 8/10
Aura of Vengeance deals 15-35% of your weapon damage to anyone who attacks you or your allies (or your companions). The problem with this power is twofold. Firstly, you (or your allies) need to be able to continuously take damage in a quick set of bursts, in order to make it do anything and Secondly, the base damage of this power is so low, that its effect is almost negligible. However, if you happen to be playing the justice fork of my build and have echoes of light as well as a death slaad companion, aura of vengeance then becomes an excellent choice as it acts as an at will and procs both.

Aura of Wisdom: 9/10
Aura of Wisdom causes you and your allies to gain an extra 10% recharge speed increase. Nothing fancy here, it does what it says on the tool tip (for once).

Aura of Restoration: 5/10 (Dev)
Nothing fancy, works like the tool tip states. The problem with it though is that what it states it is doing, isn’t very much. To put this in perspective, when specced light, your lay on hands can heal for over 100k without buffs and your tab mechanic can crit for over 1M. There is no character in the game with that much life that you can heal, making this essentially useless. You do not need that extra bonus to healing, you over heal, by far, already.

Aura of Divinity: 2/10 (Dev)
This passive releases a wave of healing every 3 seconds to heal up to 3 wounded allies. So basically, it does nothing. You have so many HoTs already and so many ways of healing, this will heal maybe 3 times in an entire dungeon run if you have it up. Just….don’t use it, there is no reason to.

Aura of Life: 4/10 (Dev)
This power is like an automatic SF for the party, it revives everyone in its radius and provides them with some healing. The problem with it, is it ignores the SF, bypasses it and applies resurrection sickness. This means that it can actually contribute towards a party wiping and yet even broken, it is still better then some of the heal OP’s other passives.

Aura of Valour: 2/10
Whether Playing Devotion or Protection, you do not need that extra aggro and so this gets an all low 2.

Aura of Solitude: 4/10
This is good when alone and rubbish in a group. It causes you to deal 12% more damage and healing when there are no allies nearby. Bear in mind, your companion counts as an ally, so if you want to use this, its augment 100% of the way.

Aura of protection: 6/10 (Prot)
It is a solid ability, however, for a protection paladin, you really do not need to stack much dr due to the 80% provided by dp.

Aura of Wrath: 6/10 (Prot)
Another solid ability that does as the tooltip suggests, however, it pales in comparison to aura of courage and so it is relegated to the dog box.

Aura of Radiance: 4/10 (Prot)
There is nothing particularly impressive about this ability, the damage it deals is minor and it barely generates any threat at all, due to this, I consider it a waste.

1.1.3: Encounters

Burning Light: 9/10 (Dev)
This power releases a wave of energy that damages and stuns enemies, applies a DoT to them and heals allies. In a group, except for boss fights, you will want to use this and alone, this never leaves your bar. It is important to note that only the first hit has a chance to proc things and the dot can’t actually proc anything at all. Furthermore, the dot never crits, so the dot will not interact with the lostmauth horn and only the initial wave of damage.

Burning Light: 7/10 (Prot)
This power releases a wave of energy that damages and stuns enemies, applies a DoT to them and healing yourself. The power us underwhelming for prot, unlike dev and due to this, it does not make the cut. It is important to note that only the first hit has a chance to proc things and the dot can’t actually proc anything at all. Furthermore, the dot never crits, so the dot will not interact with the lostmauth horn and only the initial wave of damage.

Sacred Weapon: 2/10 (Dev)
This power increases your damage and your healing. In certain situations, it can generate large amounts of lag and as of such, I do not recommend using it. The problem with it is in other situations, the strength of your healing is already excessive, no, we don’t need to heal for 3x a party members life and the bonus to damage is so small that we might as well just take another encounter power. All in all, the devotion OP has some really nice encounter power choices and this is just not one of them.

Sacred Weapon: 2/10 (Prot)
This Power increases your damage and causes the target you are currently attacking to be taunted. This power is even more lacklustre on prot then it is on dev as you are likely to have aggro without this and even if you don’t, due to DP, aggro is largely unnecessary. Due to this, this power should never touch your bar.

Smite: 7/10 (Dev)
Due to the DoT and HoT, I consider this to be like a single target version of Burning Light. That makes it really good, however, it also begs the question, why not just use burning light instead?

Smite 4/10 (Prot)
Smite for protection is similar to smite for devotion in that it is inferior to Burning light. Yes, it reduces the outgoing damage of enemies, but with binding oath and divine protector, you don’t need to reduce the outgoing damage of enemies. Furthermore, its single target, making it ineffective in large groups of enemies what are spread out.

Bane: 6/10
Bane allows you to decrease the damage dealt by enemies by 10% and increases the damage you deal to them by 10% when the enemy is marked by bane. You can stack bane on a target up to 3 times and putting it on a target again refreshes all stacks. Alternatively, you can use it on multiple targets. Alternatively, if you are devotion, you can use it on an ally to make them take 10% less damage and deal 10% more damage. At the end of the day though, this tool, whilst good, pales in comparison to some of the other tools an OP has and so therefore, it does not earn a spot on the toolbar.

Templar’s Wrath: 4/10 (Dev)
Well….It does something, unlike Sacred Weapon. The temp HP it gives though is so small it might as well not exist, about 10k temp HP and the damage and stun pales in comparison to Burning light. Therefore, this power is not worth using and is ranked poorly in the heal OP arsenal.

Templar’s Wrath: 8/10 (Prot)
Whilst lacklustre for the Dev OP, this skill is amazing for the prot OP. It is your main tool for surviving crazy amounts of damage, essentially doubling your HP with a layer of temp HP and negating the need for a healer. Due to the amount of DR a prot OP has, monsters barely ever reduce the temp HP this gives you to 0, making it an excellent tool for negating the need for a healer.

Bond of Virtue: 10/10 (Dev)
So long as you are in a party, this never leaves your bar. What it does is it essentially links the HP pools and heals of everyone in the party. When 1 person gets healed, everyone gets healed, making this outright what I term to be the tyrannical threat of healing. If this was a daily power, it would still be an auto include, making this, in my opinion, the strongest supporting encounter power in the entire game.

Binding Oath: 10/10 (Prot)
Binding oath is probably one of the most unbalanced encounter powers in the game. If you can get its cooldown to less then 8 seconds, it doesn’t matter how you do it, you become immune to damage. This is because what the power does is it makes you immune to damage for 8 seconds when you cast it and at the end of the 8 seconds, you take 50% of the damage dealt to you during those 8 seconds and all enemies take the other 50%. The issue is, the power goes on cooldown the moment you activate the ability and whilst a base cooldown of 22 seconds might seem long, its very easy to reduce to less then 8 seconds, so you tend to see quite a few invulnerable OP’s.

Cleansing touch: 7/10 (Dev)
Another situational encounter power. It heals a targeted ally and removes CC effects from them and when you use it untargeted, it removes CC effects and heals you. It is important to note that you can activate this whilst you yourself are CC’d, the only exception being prones, making this a power I assume is worth using in pvp, but one that is inferior to others in pve.

Cleansing touch: 5/10 (Prot)
The heal heals for around 17k, which means that you gain around 51k temp hp from this, however, the temp HP here is far less then that of templar’s wrath, making it inferior in that department. Furthermore, the heal itself is not that amazing, considering how large life pools are in mod 8. That being said however, the ability of this encounter power to remove CC makes it worth considering for certain situations, so it is not entirely useless.

Banishment: 3/10
This power essentially time stops a group of enemies for a period of 20 seconds, making them invulnerable to damage whilst CC’d. It is situationally useful and has the potential to be good, however, due to it relying on heavy party co-ordination and teamwork, I do not see this being used unless you and everyone in your group do dungeons regularly and have each other on teamspeak. Furthermore, as it resets the monsters, it essentially gives them an additional chance to hit, making it a potential party killer encounter power. All in all, I advise not using this, even though the dr it gives to the party can be useful for devotion. For protection, I never advise using it because the taunt mechanic should be unnecessary, because you should firstly have the monsters aggro already and secondly, because of how it prevents the dps from killing things.

Divine Touch: 6/10 (Dev)
The damage is ok, the healing is unnecessary. Due to this, it is like an inferior smite and I would not suggest using it. It is a solid encounter power, but there are much stronger alternatives. You may consider using this when playing alone.

Divine Touch 6/10 (Prot)
The power is ok, its not bad, but its not amazing either. The shield it provides isn’t that strong relative to the incoming damage but all in all, the encounter power isn’t one to shy away from.

Vow of enmity: 10/10 (Dev)
Like bond of virtue, this power is ridiculous in a group environment. Firstly, it is important to note it is unique in that it has no CD but instead functions like a warlocks curse mechanic, only it is limited to 1 target. Once it is put on a target, any damage dealt to that target is converted to healing. Take note, I do not know how much of that damage is converted to healing, due to the absurd amount of heals the class has, it is nigh on impossible to work this fact out. This synergises extremely well with bond of virtue and like bond of virtue, in a party environment it is an auto include on your toolbar. If bond of virtue is the tool that spreads the healing like tyrannical threat, then vow of enmity is like the mark that determines where it starts. I would outright call it a mistake for a heal OP to not be using this on their toolbar in every single bit of group content.

Vow of Enmity 5/10 (Prot)
I haven’t actually ever recorded this boosting your damage to a target, on either dev or prot, that being said, it isn’t the primary function of vow anyhow. If you are in a situation where you need the aggro of a particular target (the boss for example) and you just can’t get it, its worth considering using vow as it is excellent for getting the aggro of a single target. Otherwise, it should never touch your bar.

Absolution: 3/10
The shield blocks almost no damage and the bonus healing is irrelevant. This power is not worth a slot. For protection, the same holds true for the shield and so its just an all around bad ability.

Relentless Avenger: 8/10 (Dev)
In all non group content, you will want this on your bar, it deals decent damage and it refills a massive amount of AP. In all boss fights in group content, you should use this instead of Burning light. The downside of this encounter power is the fact that it knockbacks enemies, the upside is that it regenerates 1 third to 1 half of your AP per use. This power allows you to permanently keep up your daily power, if it weren’t for the repel effect, it would be a 9-10/10. Also, its important to note that if you push shift while using RA and you get the timing right, you can have the animation play out but interrupt the knockback effect, giving you the AP but not knocking back foes. It requires every precise timing though and you will probably need a macro of some sort to do it reliably.

Relentless Avenger 7/10 (Prot)
This ability is still good for generating AP on prot, but it generates nowhere near as much AP as it does on dev. This is because all of the allies it hits on dev also leads it to generate AP and because it can’t hit allies on Prot it can’t generate nearly as much. It is still ok for AP generation, but not the super star it is on dev and the taunt it provides is once again, of little use. I don’t really recommend using this unless you cannot keep up perma bubble without it, in which case, put it on your bar.

Circle of Power: 3/10 (Dev)
The benefit from this encounter power only effects you. So basically, it is of no use to a party at all and therefore for a support class, is useless. This is not worth a slot.

Circle of Power 8/10 (Prot)
As a protection OP, you have rediculous amounts of power and this boosts that number even further, if you happen to be using aura gifts, this means the party benefits immensely. The DR while nice, isn’t wholely necessary but it does still help, still, if you can’t keep up AP, drop this for RA.

1.1.4: Daily Powers

Divine Judgement: 6/10
It does ok damage, however, as a daily power it is only useful when playing alone. In a party, there is no reason to use this. This works as it states on the tooltip.

Heroism: 6/10
It keeps you alive and near the front of combat. It gives you your health in temp HP, 15% more dr and CC immunity upon activation. It is a good tool for survival and probably about as good as divine judgement for solo play. It is no shield of faith though.

Lay on hands: 2/10 (0/10 when prism is fixed)
It is important to note that you can just spam use this to keep up prism. As it only consumes fractional AP, it is easy to use this to spam prism faster then with any other daily power. The healing provided by the daily power itself though, is largely irrelevant. It is worse then cleanse, which is an encounter power and it is worse then lay on hands, which is an at will. Don’t use this, its rubbish.

Shield of Faith: 8/10
The mechanics of this party wide CW shield that never pops is quite complex. Firstly, it creates an additional layer of dr over some allies in the area (not sure how large the area is, it seems massive though, it might actually cover the entire instance, also, not sure how many, but it is not everyone as in tiamat, it will shield a large number of players but it always seems to shield the caster last, so as it exceeds its target cap, I do not get shielded) that blocks 50% of incoming damage. This is unmitigatable dr (arp has no effect on it) and it does reduce piercing damage. Secondly, because its an additional dr layer, it can reduce damage beyond the dr cap. So if a tank natively has 80% dr and is capped, then shield of faith is applied, they will then take only 10% of incoming damage and block 90%, because shield of faith is blocking 50% of that remaining 20%. Secondly, shield of faith stacks with itself, so if you have 5 paladins in a group all using shield of faith, the party will be taking 1/32 of the damage that is incoming without even having any dr whatsoever. Due to these mechanics, there is not a single method of reducing damage that is more effective then this. In Tiamat, if there were theoretically 25 OP’s using this, they would take 1/33554432 of the incoming damage….essentially just round down to 0. Of coarse, they wouldn’t kill the dragon, but that is besides the point. This daily power by itself allows me to swim in the lava in the lostmauth fight without dying. Ask those who have done dungeons with me, they know.

Healing Font: 3/10 (Dev)
This puts a fountain on the ground that heals allies who are standing near it. Its another one of the many healing mechanics the class has, but doesn’t actually need. Once again, bond of virtue and vow of enmity heal so much, that things like this become worthless.

Divine Protector: (Bubble) 10/10 (Prot)
This is the defining power of the protection OP arsenal, it is perhaps the most broken power to exist in this game. What it does is it redirects all the incoming damage of all party members within your line of sight to you, whilst giving you an extra layer of dr equal to 80%. This means you take almost no damage, just by using this and your party takes no damage at all, meaning there is no punishment for poor play. A really brokenly overpowered mechanic and the strongest daily power in the OP arsenal. There is a reason protection paladins are known as bubbledins.

1.2: Feats

Take note, I am only commenting on feats where I found some discrepancy in my testing between what the tool tip says it does and what it actually does.

This feat is a little complex, it gives you (1.03)^rank HP, which means its slightly better then it looks like on paper and actually gives you close to an 11% HP increase. Furthermore, this feat does take into account your gear and does not calculate from your base HP, making it a strong feat in general.

Light’s Shield:
Like toughness, this gives you ((1.005)^rank-1)*100% DR per rank, rounded off to the nearest %. At rank 5, it therefore gives 3% DR.

Exemplar’s haste:
This feat adds 2% recharge speed increase per rank, the equivalent of 400 recovery.

Impassioned Pleas:
I spent about 30 minutes testing this ability and have come to the conclusion it does nothing, for either dev or prot. My methodology was to do a full respec and take off all gear except for a weapon with no weapon enchantment, then to spec feats up till impassioned pleas and then to spam divine call 3 times so it was empty and then bash dummies with the same at will and count how many hits it took to full all 3 pips. After doing this with and without impassioned pleas, I can safely say the feat does nothing. If anyone has any information to contradict me here, please say so. However, due to these results, I would recommend not using this feat.

This is one of the selling features of Justice. When you activate a daily power, prism activates, which causes all allies (people other then yourself) to be healed within a 20 second time period whenever you are healed. It has no ICD, no target cap and I suspect it is instance wide or at least has a massive area. Take note that as devotion, every single time bond of virtue or vow of enmity attempts to heal you either directly or indirectly, it will then shove these heals onto everyone else, which will subsequently get shoved back onto you by bond. All these heals have a chance to proc burning guidance, which then damages your avowed target, which then procs vow again, creating a giant loop. Something to bear in mind is that if you do have prism and you are doing any content in a group that is larger then 5 people, then please do NOT activate your daily power as it will cause significant lag. Prism may give you great power, but please use that power responsibly.

1.3: Further Reading:

In this section, I will list important resources I consider worthwhile for any theorycrafter to read, for paladins and other classes:

Section 2: Consistent Decisions for both Dev and Prot:

2.1: Ability Scores

When it comes down to your ability scores, its fairly simple, you want to max out on Constitution and Charisma. Wisdom is all together a lacklustre stat, whether you are playing dev or prot and so because of that, I would not recommend investing in it. For your starting rolls when creating a character, you want 16/16 of those 2, or 18/18 if you choose half elf or 18/16 if you choose human, or 16/18 if you choose drow.

2.2: Feat Selections: Justice Fork 1: (Protection)

Human: Justice Fork 1: (Devotion)

Human: Justice Fork 2:


2.2.2: Bulwark:

Note: I do NOT recommend a Devotion Bulwark build.

Bulwark (Dev):


Bulwark (Prot):


2.2.3: Light:

Note: I do NOT recommend a Protection Light build, but if you wish to do one, I would do it exactly the same way as a devotion Light build.


2.3: Boons:

These are the boon choices I recommend, the only ones I will give feedback on are the final boon choices, as the rest are mainly stat choices which I will discuss further on in the guide. I would recommend finishing dread ring though first, it will be the campaign that has the biggest impact on your performance.


Dark Fey Hunter
Fey Precision
Elven Haste
Elven Ferocity

Elven Resolve:

Stamina Regeneration is essential for an OP. Sanctuary provides you with both an extra dr layer and you and the party with a very powerful healing mechanic. You never want to be found in combat without stamina, it is such a vital tool that not having stamina could cause the party to wipe.

Dread Ring:

Reliquary Keeper’s Strength
Illusory Regeneration (I always thought regen in this game was an illusion myself)
Forbidden Piercing

Burning guidance:

Burning guidance is an ability that has a chance to proc when the game makes an attempt to heal a character (There is an important distinction between making an attempt and actually healing, as even if a character is sat full health and you can’t heal them, because you attempted to, there is a chance you proc burning guidance). When burning guidance procs, it hits for 2k damage as its base damage. Nothing (with the exception of Feytouched) in the game procs off burning guidance, so you cannot apply plaguefire debuffs, or apply dots based off of the damage from burning guidance. Burning guidance has a chance to activate whenever you heal an ally, but it does not include yourself, so when running around solo, burning guidance won’t do anything, unless you got a companion active. A companion is counted as an ally, so having a companion active and healing it can proc burning guidance. The damage of burning guidance can be buffed however, so things that increase damage will effect it and so will things that decrease damage, it is not piercing damage. With a good dc and a MoF SW, I have seen procs of BG hit for 11k+. It is important to note that as this is a proc, it has not target cap so long as all targets are within its AoE and furthermore, it has no ICD. This makes Burning guidance the most powerful boon for any OP with prism and definitely the first one you should strive to get. The archons have no effect, but you should get a fey enchant for the purposes of buffing BG’s damage.


Encroaching Tactics
Refreshing Chill
Sleet Skills
Cool Resolve


Icewindale doesn’t have a very good set of final boons for a heal OP. Due to the ICD on Rousing warmth, there is really no reason to take it and also, rousing warmth does not stack. We can’t expect to kill things to proc winter’s bounty and shared survival does absolutely nothing worthwhile, that leaves us with Avalanche that, whilst does very little for us, does more then the other boons do. It is the best of a bad set of choices.

Tyranny of dragons/Rise of tiamat

Dragon’s Claws
Dragon’s Gaze
Draconic Armorbreaker
Dragon’s Blood

Dragon’s Fury (1) Dragon’s Revival (2)

This one is debatable, you could take a point or two in Dragon’s Revival, however, like critical strikes, you also get critical heals, which maxing out critical severity takes advantage of.However, the second and third tier of the crit severity feat is not working, so until it is, only invest 1 point there.


Strongholds boons are interesting, because they allow you to completely alter your gear. On the 1 hand, you could take the arp boon and completely forgo stacking arp on gear, which is really easy for an OP. This allows you to not have to use gear that has crit on it, which is the stat which I more or less forgo having and unfortunately, is the stat which is pretty much on all gear with arp. Alternatively, you could take the power boon and then worry about arp on your gear. For the Defensive boon, I recommend the HP boon for the purposes of survivability, DR will not be an issue for you.


Primordial Might
Primordial Focus
Drow Ambush Tactics
Dwarvern Stamina

Demon Slayer

A chance to kill something outright makes a much bigger difference then a 10% damage increase when your base damage is as low as a paladins (because you going to be beating at opponents for far longer), or any of the other bonuses for that matter, which is why I took this feat over any of the others.


For your active companion, you want the one that provides you with the most stats. If you have a lot of currency and can afford rank 10 bondings or higher and a legendary companion, that companion would be an active companion with bonding runestones and a fast attack speed. In this category, I would recommend the dancing blade or the zhentarim warlock, as you need them to be able to proc companions gift and these are 2 of the better companions for doing that. However, if you cannot afford what is listed above, then you want an augment for your active companion, the cat and the ioun stone of alure being 2 of the cheaper ones. The gear that you put on your augment should be gear that provides you with stats that you are lacking in, so for paladin, it is probably gear with arp however, with the stronghold boon it is no longer an absolute requirement.

For the companions that are just there for active bonuses, I would recommend poison dot companions for devotion (death slaad is a must have), or the archons. For protection, the yeti and other on damage taken companions are all excellent choices. The archons are also a good choice.

2.5: A Note on Gear Choices:

This goes for both dev and prot and it relates to the stats you stack heavier. There are 2 routes, to stack offensively and take gear that stacks power, recovery, arp and crit, or to stack defensively and take gear that stacks defense, recovery and hitpoints. Although route 1 is more optimal in any premade group, route 2 allows you to do things like tank eCC and to play even more recklessly then you do already. As of such, I went route 2 rather then route 1, however, I do strongly recommend going route 1 unless you, like me, prefer to play incredibly recklessly. (I don’t blame you, its fun :D)

2.6: Comparisons Between dev and prot:

This is the question that most people are probably interested in, how does devotion compare to protection and honestly, my answer is…They both overpowered. Devotion is ridiculous because of how well it synergises with itself, being able to do ridiculous amounts of damage while stacking high survivability and healing when multiple dev pallies are working together. On its own, its able to tank, heal and dps fairly reliably as well, however it cannot make a party invulnerable in the same manner a prot OP can. A prot OP can make parties invulnerable, however, it cannot match the damage output of a dev OP and it does not synergise in the same manner that a dev OP does. The dev OP is the creature of the party, where as the prot OP is the creature the party leaches off of. At the end of the day, I would say pick one off your personal preference. You will have smoother runs with a prot pally then a dev pally, but dev pally seems to be (from personal experience) a whole lot more fun to play.

Section 3: Devotion Paladin Build:

3.1: Premise:

The premise of the dev OP is simple, it is your job to make sure that when your allies in the party take damage, that damage doesn’t drop their hitpoints below 1. Whether you do this by increasing their damage resistance or by healing them constantly, so long as you achieve this you are fulfilling your roll. Fortunately, the dev pally is so good at this, that you can deviate and focus on other things as well, like dealing damage through prism and bg.

3.2: Powers:

Yes, I am aware no pity, no mercy is a warlock feat, however, its a bug on NW:calc and the only way I could get the entirety of the powers menu onto 1 picture was to use a screen shot of NW:calc so unfortunately, you will have to live with that there :p

3.3: Loadout:

Ap gain in dungeons:

Non AP gain dungeons:

Solo Rotation:

3.4: Gear Choices

With mod 8 and the introduction of the new rings, this is where it gets interesting. For a mount, I recommend the snail or the coastal flail snail if you are Mr moneybags. For your main gear set, I would recommend 2/4 dusk set for the set bonus as well as the recovery on the gear. Take note though, that at the time of the guides writing the set bonus is not actually working but I am assuming at a later date it will be fixed, until then though, different sets with different stat allocations may be optimal. I also recommend 2/2 drowcraft shirt and pants for the 2 piece bonus of an extra heal. In fact, I have considered doing a crit based build because of those pants but whether or not I decide to is up in the air, I am still testing there and if I do, it will be an update. For your main artifact as devotion, I recommend the wheel of elements and for the other 3, just take whichever ones help you meet your stat requirements. Artifacts with AP gain are also good. For the rings, I recommend 1 ring of rising focus and then either 1 ring of rising power, ring of rising defence or 1 ring of sieging. They have pulled the ring of natural order from launch but if it comes back, it is also a contender for the second slot. For your belt, I recommend either a sash of charisma or a belt of constitution and I recommend an AP gain cloak for the neck slot. In terms of stats, you are aiming to have 6k arp, 8k recovery, as much power, hp and defence as you like and if you want to do a crit build, then crit is also an option. For weapon enchantment, you want either a feytouched, holy avenger or terror enchantment, vorpal would be my forth choice in this category but I rank them in the order given. Fir armour enchantment, I recommend negation, soulforged or elven battle enchantment, in the order listed. Finally, no more stamina or AP gain then 1k of either stat, they have horrible diminishing returns and aren’t worth investing in beyond that point. You want the aura of wisdom offhand bonus.

Section 4: Protection Paladin Build:

4.1: Premise:

The premise of the protection OP is to ensure that monsters aren’t hurting your allies and are hurting you instead. It is all about redirecting damage and keeping the pressure on you, while your allies keep the monster population down low. Healers exist to pick people up when you make a mistake, remember that and try to play flawlessly.

4.2: Powers:

4.3: Loadout:

Some small side notes, although I use courage and wisdom, vengeance and wisdom are also a viable choice here if you intend to do a lot of standing in the red. Vengeance procs echoes of light and so if you are going to take a lot of damage quickly, it is definitely a good choice as it will deal damage and reset your cooldowns if you are justice.

Dungeons AP gain:

Dungeons non AP gain:

Solo setup:

4.4: Gear Choices:

For the most part, my gear recommendations mirror those of devotion. 2 of the 4 piece dusk set, the snail mount, the drowcraft shirt and pants and 1 ring of rising focus then 1 ring of rising defence. Take note though, that at the time of the guides writing the set bonus is not actually working but I am assuming at a later date it will be fixed, until then though, different sets with different stat allocations may be optimal. For the active artifact, until you got really good AP gain I recommend the sigil of the devoted and even after that point I still recommend it so that you can keep up 2 daily powers at once. (Heroism and DP) For your weapon enchantment, I recommend terror, with vorpal or holy avenger being secondary choices. For armour enchantment, I recommend brairtwine, negation, elven battle and then soulforged in that order. For belt, either a sash of charisma or a belt of constitution and for clok, take your AP gain cloak of choice. Ideally, you want 6k arp, 8k recovery, then as much power, hp and defence as you can get. Crit is an optional stat if you want to try out a crit based build. For the offhand, you want the aura of wisdom offhand bonus.

4.5: Theoretical Recovery Build:

Please note, this is pure theory, I haven’t tested it because I cannot afford to, either on preview or on live and to be honest, it is completely unnecessary but if you feel like investing in a really expensive cheese build that potentially doesn’t even work, then go ahead and try it out.

The idea is to stack as much recovery as possible, you need to have at least 16.4k recovery off of gear, you need aura of wisdom, the aura of wisdom offhand bonus, the max intelligence roll (19) and an owlbear belt. The idea is to reduce the cooldown of binding oath to less then 7 seconds, so you can reliably cast binding oath forever and ever and be completely invulnerable 100% of the time. With that much recovery, you would be able to use DP and heroism, making you not only damage immune, but also CC immune as well. I don’t recommend trying this though, as you are pushing VERY far into diminishing returns on recovery this way, for a minor gain that isn’t really that necessary.


@jaegernl for inspiring me to do a lot of the testing I have done for devotion. Also, he has contributed quite a bit and so he deserves special mention here. I sent you a copy to proofread, but lazybones here never got around to reading it :p
@bkt5789 For taking the time to proofread my guide and being a general help all around.
@kolatmater for providing the initial groundwork from which I experimented with protection OP
@obsidiancran3 for inspiring me to take a look into the world of bulwark.
@guiilleee for constantly questioning me and getting me to try out new things, I made quite a few discoveries after testing stuff that you questioned me on
@boatmanfall3n for questioning me and for bringing the devotion paladin alive on xbox 1
@dufisto for taking the time to read through and critique my work in my devotion guide, it is always good to have someone make you second guess yourself.


So, after taking this time to read through all of this, I advise you to take a break, get something to drink and then let it all sink in. If you have any questions, feel free to ask as I know this is not easy reading. To sum it all up, although the class itself is simple to play and doesn’t require much in the way of skill, there is still a lot to learn about it through experimentation. Once again though, I do not advise investing too heavily into the class, as I foresee a nerf on the horizon. This may or may not be the final iteration of this guide, it probably will not be (especially with the wider audience who will now read through this document)
Leave a reply
  • jeremy
    December 16, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    for the powers and feats you dont have specified which tree is for the other races i only see human so im not sure which i should be going for

  • December 31, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Thanks for writing this, I’ve been looking for an Oath of Devotion guide for a while. Been working on my own version and concur with much of what you’ve written. I look forward to testing it out and comparing it to my own over the coming days and weeks.

  • Aegerius
    January 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks alot bro, this is extremely helpful.

  • Panzer
    January 19, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    This is fantastic! I built a full blown healer, similar to your light path dev, but I certainly missed some stuff and as such, the char had been benched and was about to fall victim to a protection respec. I will still respec to match your suggestions. In your opinion, what is the BEST route to go for dev? Did you prefer Justice over Light, and can Justice heal enough to keep a group alive like a cleric?

    • January 20, 2016 at 9:04 am

      I would recommend justice, you will have no issues with healing and because of the way prism works, I would actually say its the stronger healing path. You can definitely keep the group alive and a cleric will fail to compare with you as a healer.

      • Dark One
        January 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        New to Paladins which of these are the Bubble Specs that I see in chat being asked for so much. Seem to not take any damage what so ever. I intend to level a paladin next.

  • Jack
    February 25, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    it can be used for pvp?

  • Matt
    March 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Which boons you choose in Maze Engine?

    • March 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      I am not updating this guide for mod 9 I am afraid and leaving it at mod 8, you will have to find another resource for mod 9 and beyond.

  • eric
    April 2, 2016 at 12:01 am

    having trouble getting power to sync. is there a prefer order for use in the justice/prot…OP
    as a new player coming to the game at mod 8 ur a life save, ihad litterially pooch this char. without ur guide i would be lost & have quit so ty ever so much

  • Russ AKA CreelTheBold AKA Sir LeoLightNight
    May 26, 2016 at 2:53 am

    You said cloaks that give AP gain, ok, I have no idea what ones do that. Can you assist and give me a clue. thanks

  • Flgoms
    August 3, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    You are recommending items that were only obtained by opening old lockboxes. Is there any other way to obtain them? Like Snail mounts, for example.

  • Jahjah
    August 17, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Have you tried bulwark Dev ? What’s that like

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