What’s up everybody and if you are stopping by today it’s hopefully because you’re looking to see if the Paladin is still viable after the nerfs. Short answer is yes (spoiler alert). Before we get into this let me give you a short introduction of myself and experience with the Paladin class. I have been playing Neverwinter for about 2.5 years, give or take, I started a little late into the game on the PC side with a Guardian Fighter being that I came from a MMO background, Everquest, WoW, DAoC this game felt very familiar , however, my time on PC wasn’t very eventful simply because I didn’t know anyone and at the time I wasn’t really looking to meet new friends so like any hermit I disappear only to come back on the Xbox One version about 6 months later..this time with friends (Fanfare!) So fast forward ahead to mod 6 the Paladin class is introduced and I jump on board the god mode bandwagon knowing that immediately this class is over powered and with any MMO it will get nerfed. It has happened and surprisingly..I welcome it.
So without further ado let’s break this down with my build for mod 9 while giving you options, because everyone likes choice, for along the way. This will be text based, no screen shots, and if you need any visual aide I will have my Mod 9 Paladin Build video posted below.
CHOOSING YOUR RACE:
Right out the gate I will list viable races for the Oathbound Paladin
- Human- This is for those wanting to utilize more heroic points and 3% more defense over other races
- Sun Elf- This is for those wanting 2% more action point gain and 10% resistance to crowd control effects
- Dragonborn – On initial stat roll you can place +2 on two different stats of your choice (In my case I chose this race and went with Con and Charisma) you also have 3% higher power and critical than that of other races.
- Drow- Debuff Defenses (Note you will have to roll for a decent con and charisma as this is not a race inherit roll)
- Half Elf- Con, Charisma and one other stat attributed on roll also higher deflect and money gains.
- Tiefling- Stat rolls for this build also an option for more DPS
Either of these three races works for this particular build of protection I will simply say choose what you think you want to play this is your character.
As a protection paladin our primary focus is tanking and survival you should upon initial roll focus heavily on Constitution (Attributes to health and defense) and secondary Charisma (This attributes to Action Point Gain and Stamina Regeneration or in game terms the time it takes for your Shield to recharge and how quick you can use your daily power.)
As a Human I would focus your +2 roll into Constitution
As a Sun Elf you cannot choose Constitution in this case Charisma is the viable choice
Dragonborn take both stats.
Whichever race you choose your primary stat roll should be your highest, if not balance with secondary, try to go for 18 to 20 upon your rolls.
- Defense- The in game defense cap is 80% I recommend through gear and enchantments you achieve 50% defense at minimal and rely on boons, mount insignias, and companion stats to achieve the other 30% (this is easily done we’ll get to that)
- Hit Points- Surviving a big hit takes a considerable amount of hit points a comfortable range of HP on a paladin should be about 120K HP + don’t fret too hard on this literally everything gear wise and boon related is HP based. Also one of your Auras is HP related (Courage)
- Deflect- Through gear only and a couple boons i’d recommend around 3500 deflect I will touch up more on this stat as we go along
- Power- This stat is an easy stat to obtain anything above 10K power is viable of course increase this based on not hurting the above three stats
- Armor Penetration- the in game PVE cap is 60% keep in mind Paladin threat in it’s current state is broken, abilities like binding oath or our initial 500% threat bonus do not work, the work around to this is doing damage so aim for at the minimal 60% and if you’re building for PvP there is no cap.
- Recovery- This is a very important stat this determines your cool downs on your encounter powers through gear and boons target 8000+ in this stat
- Critical chance- For this particular build I choose not to focus heavily on Critical Chance while you want some to trigger a certain enchantment you really want less in tangent with a companion (Owlbear) for maximum damage output. 25% is about idea for this.
Gear and Enchantments:
To simplify this Paladin gear is a mix of Restoration and Ward based on the stats listed above you may find yourself swapping upon building up. At my current state I run 2 piece Dusk Restoration for the set bonus of being in group I gain 1000 Power and Defense and 2 Piece Dragonflight Ward for 2000 Maximum Hit Points bonus. Do not panic if you’re running 135 gear and mixing to 140+ gear stats are overall greater than Item level and i’ll clarify that just because a piece of crafted 145 gear states it’ll boost your item level this doesn’t necessarily mean statistically, taking into consideration set bonuses, that it’s better. Gear to your stat strengths.
- Offense enchantments- In this build I mix Silvery and Dark Enchantments to help with Armor Penetration and Recovery I do not focus the power stat ,or Radiant, as you can easily obtain this stat through gear.
- Defense enchantments- Primarily Azure Enchantments for Defense you can take a defense slot for Silvery (deflect) or Radiant (for HP) but I would stack Azure overall.
- Weapon enchantment- For this particular build I have found the dread enchantment seems to fit best. While this typically is a DPS enchantment and relies on Critical Hits to trigger its damage reduction added bonus your encounter powers, regardless of critical hits, do cause dread to proc X% of your weapon damage as necrotic damage every second while reducing their defense by X% for players and decreasing their damage resistance by X% for monsters. This is very group friendly while allowing you to overall do some decent damage. Note- I placed X in front of the percentage base because this number changes depending on quality you have obviously the idea is Transcendent but you may not have that immediately
- Armor enchantment- Shadowclad aka the savior enchantment and of course it’s runner up counterpart would be negation (If you’re having troubles stacking defense or lower Item levels can consider this) but in the end I found the Shadowclad seemed to be the clear winner simply because every time and I mean EVERY TIME you get hit this adds X% to your deflect rating upon deflecting an attack, which you deflect A LOT, the enchantment resets the stacking and continues building up this is great for anything in game that hits ridiculously hard such as Demogorgon or Orcus that a single swing shows up as 400k+ but in reality you either completely shrugged it off or at least reduced it significantly and i’ll explain the complete shrug off damage portion here soon.
- Rings- Rising Power and Defense (If RNG is good to you +5s here for double offense and defense slots if not +4s will be fine) simply because you can maintain a constant 1350 power and defense while in combat as opposed to a sudden ring which gives a burst stat of 4000 with a cool down on activation.
Keeping in mind that our primary goal is to tank while doing damage to hold aggro better. The following is what I have found to work best with this build the only substitute options would be Wheel of Elements and Thayan Book of the Dead if you want and i’ll show where they can be an option.
- Sigil of the Devoted- This is your main go to artifact in order to obtain this you must have a cleric level 60+ and complete the Artifacts of Legend quest on the cleric. This artifact I highly recommend getting to Mythic first and fast as it will be your main slotted artifact ability allowing you to regain Action Points really fast with a 1 minute cool down.
- Sigil of the Great Weapon- Once again this requires a level 60+ Great Weapon Fighter class with the Artifacts of Legend quest completed. This gives Max Hit Points, Power and Armor Penetration a great substitute would be Wheel of Elements.
- Black Ice Beholder- This can be obtained via Kessels Retreat skirmish and various artifact pacts or the auction house. I recommend the entire 3 piece set. The belt itself (Greater Belt of Black Ice) at Legendary will give a +2 Con and +2 Charisma stat increase our two primary attributes. The necklace (Greater Cloak of Black Ice) gives X% action point gain based on quality and power, critical and armor penetration. Lastly the artifact (Black Ice Beholder) gives Recovery, Armor Penetration, and Combat Advantage Bonus and all 3 pieces cause your powers to have a chance -unstated to deal additional unresistable damage equal to 10% of your weapon damage –extra damage = better aggro holding
- Heart of the Black Dragon- Obtainable via Trade Bars or Auction House. This gives Recovery, Armor Penetration, and Action Point Gain a good substitute for this would be Thayan Book of the Dead
- Weapons- Will be the twisted set as its crazy for stacking power and even defense when getting hit honorable mention would be the burning set but honestly the 25% chance for AP gain doesn’t proc much. Also artifact powers will be Oath Strike (PVE) Valorous for PvP and Whatever Aura you choose to run, mine mainly stays on Vengeance, in whatever situation you are in.
POWERS AND ROTATION: Ishtart (81 points – http://nwcalc.com/index.html#/op?b=39ni:zivz55:9qlm:6092s,1x1l050:15u5551:150z000:1000000&h=0&p=oop&o=11 )
After the nerf somethings definitely changed here but are still very viable in terms of surviving and doing damage
- At wills- Radiant Strike and Oath Strike are by far your best options here in both terms of holding threat and doing additional damage. Radiant will be your 2nd opener this will allow you to charge into enemies from a distance and increasing your damage and armor penetration. Following up with strikes Oath Strike this will, on the third swing, make any target focus on you this is actually one ability that works as intended ignore the less damage portion from allies as this only seems to apply in PvP in that case Valorous Strike is a substitute.
- Auras- Train all Auras with a minimal of three points except for Wrath and Valor, one Wrath isn’t all that great because you’re goal is to stay alive not allow hit points to diminish so you will be healed or full HP more often than not, and secondly Valor doesn’t seem to work in terms of holding threat one of our broken abilities and one could make the argument if allies get hit you want to hold threat but why are your allies playing in red? Primarily you’ll run Aura of Courage almost 24/7 this is HP based and added damage for you and allies. Now why the other Auras? You’re a situational tank whether you’re struggling with recovery times, secondary aura would be wisdom, or having issues with damage resistance, Protection and Truth are great options here, you need to be able to swap the auras based on what you’re doing. PvPers, solo plate stealers, Aura of Solitude FTW.
- Daily Powers- While the bubble(Divine Protector) has been nerfed to 6 seconds and dropped from 80% to 50% reduction it still overall is something in the case of a protection Paladin you do not want to dismiss and will be the very first power you place 4 points into you will be using this still as often as possible and timing it especially for those oh **** moments. Secondly if you’re clearing trash and or soloing around the only viable daily to use, if you know you wont die, is Divine Judgement really cool animation and does significant damage.
- Encounter Powers- Binding oath. Dare I say this is still very overpowered if used properly in the right hands? Sure they nerfed this in terms of overall damage output but in terms of absorbing damage and survival you can literally god mode yourself this should always be your main opener. Templar’s Wrath if for nothing else temporary hit points all day and even in PvP this can be a nuisance to enemy players as the stun is a great interrupt –stuns trash mobs as well. Burning Light another great, heavy hitter, AOE encounter power that once again immobilize/interrupt enemies. To utilize this power properly you must charge this ability by holding down the corresponding button or key and once the meter is full releasing. This power maybe a bit difficult to use in PvP often times I switch to Relentless Avenger for knocking people off plates –note do not use this in PVE you will make enemies and often times be booted knockbacks are no bueno.
So how does a rotation work generally.
Usually you will open with Binding Oath, Charge in with Radiant Strike, Pop Divine Protector if needed here, follow up Templar’s Wrath, Charge Burning Light-release, and use your class feature to activate Judge reducing cool down powers/increasing damage (Justice Path Feature which is coming up next) ending with a few Oath Strikes as needed, rinse and repeat.
If I haven’t melted you with a wall of text yet hey thank you for making it this far we’re almost done so let’s get through this process quickly.
Heroic- Toughness 3/3 ,Divine Action 5/5, Wrathful Strikes 3/3, Exemplar’s Haste 3/3, Light’s Shield 1/5, and Steadfast 5/5
I reiterate this a lot but anything for survival and damage is what is trained here notice there’s no Critical trained here for this particular build and humans your 3 additional points can raise Light’s shield.
Justice Paragon– Bound by Light 5/5 Control Strength over movement speed (Swift Flash) because what threat we do have Control Strength applies you won’t miss the movement bonus unless you’re a PvPer swap these.
Flash of Light 5/5 Encounter Powers have a 25% chance to reduce cool downs of allies powers by 10% this pretty much explains itself Furious Reversal could be an option in PvP as a solo player but the timer/reuse doesn’t shout “train me!”
Radiant Champion 5/5 You and at least two allies near each other have shorter cool downs and 25% more movement hence why you won’t miss swift flash. Again for PvP soloers Stem the Tide is amazing coupled with Aura of Solitude you may consider this.
Echoes of Light 5/5 At will powers have a chance to reset your encounter cool downs, usable every 15 seconds thank you nerfs, still viable and procs quite often also beacon isn’t viable as protection because we’re not healers.
Purifying Fire 5/5 At will powers do additional fire damage resets upon use of an encounter prism is an ok alternative if you find yourself running with players needed to bounce a heal off you onto them but overall Purifying Fire is better in terms of damage
Vengeful Judge 1/1 Divine Call (Aka your class feature this is RB by default on Xbox I want to say Tab on PC??) applies judge to you when activated increasing your overall damage dealt by 35% and reducing your cool downs significantly and even a chance to grant a charge of Divine Call. If not the single most important reason to go Justice is this right here. If you time this right in your rotation you can literally god mode yourself (Not your group RIP bubble reliants) with high recovery while using Binding Oath.
Bulwark Paragon- Unflinching Resolve 5/5 Control Resistance is increased by 10% I.E. Stuns, Knock backs, Roots
Stand Fast 5/5 Don’t move gain 5% defense and deflect not only great for PvP and plate holding but thing when you’re casting a bubble or holding out your shield..remember 80% cap is easy to obtain
Sanctity 5/5 Think of this as an added Sudden Ring of Defense or Deflect or Regen either way you get healed often even when using your shield it counts as heal, running with a cleric or healiden, you get the idea even though it alternates those three stats it’s 3 stats worth alternating in terms of surviving.
Final note on this after the bubble nerf Light path no longer seemed viable in those moments where the bubble is down even if Warriors Bastion states you gain 10% more defense from equipment overall one feat does not increase the survival rate of the bulwark path.
Delving into boons can be a wall of text in itself so as I stated in my video any chance you can train Defense over power take it any chance you can train any stat over critical take it this is generally deflect and sometimes life steal but survival. Lastly two boons from Sharandar and Dread Ring are optional I will explain in those respected areas but below are the boons I use
- Dark Fey Warder- 400 Defense
- Fey Elusiveness- 400 Deflect
- Elven Haste – 3% Action Point Gain
- Elven Ferocity- chance when striking a foe deal up to 20000 additional damage triggers a lot with burning light now this can be swapped for Elven Tranquility for those of you lower item levels, having a harder time surviving, as the heal proc is really nice but once you build yourself up I recommend doing more damage.
- Fey Thistle- You will deflect a lot with this build why not do an extra 3000 damage. Note Elvish Fury sounds good but in all honesty does you no good in both PvP and Boss fights this is generally for trash clearing if you can kill the mobs before your group mates or you’re soloing quest thats about it.
- Reliquary Keeper’s Strength- 250 Power and Movement over critical
- Evoker’s Thirst- 400 Life Steal over Regen (Regen only works out of combat)
- Illusion Shimmer- 3% Deflect Chance. I don’t need added Armor Pen PvPers can consider this if they want to swap
- Shadowtouched- Chance when dealing damage additional 20000 Damage again like Sharandar Enraged Regrowth is a viable option for those lacking in terms of defense.
- Rampaging Madness- Dealing damage builds stacks once you hit 50 gain 4K power, Life Steal, and Regen this is like having another Brutality ring or lifesteal ring easy to achieve and proc quite often an option for those lacking in defense or surviving would be Augmented Thayan Bastion
- Encroaching Tactics- 400 Combat Advantage Damage because you’ll be in CA quite abit placing yourself in front of an enemy your allies behind the enemy will do extra damage and honestly AoE resist well you can block most AoE attacks what’s the point?
- Appreciation of Warmth- 400 Incoming Healing Bonus. I choose this only because I don’t have an issue with Stamina gain and if I need heal ill take a big heal please.
- Rapid Thaw- 400 Recovery , yes please no crit severity needed here.
- Cool Resolve- Added Power the more your stamina drains. You may think Cold Shoulder sounds nice but let’s be realistic if Orcus hits you for 400,000 damage do you honestly think 398,000 damage is going to make a difference?
- Rousing Warmth- Seeing as you get healed from many sources this gives you 3000 extra damage quite often and damage= better aggro holder
- Primordial Vitality- 400 Defense and 1600 Hit Points (As I stated at the beginning anytime you can train Defense over power do it)
- Primordial Regenesis- 400 Life Steal and 1600 Hit Points (Cutting out Critical as much as possible)
- Drow Ambush Tactics- Combat Advantage Bonus 10%
- Dwarven Footing- Control Effects 5% shorter duration (Don’t really have an issue with stamina gain)
- Abyssal Strikes- 10% damage versus demons only time I took damage over control because I have so much control bonus this one you won’t notice if trained or untrained may as well do additional damage to keep that threat on you.
Tyranny of Dragons
- Dragon’s Claws- 400 Power. Only time I take power over hit points simply due to having 140K HP at this point and needing to get my power slightly up not a big deal.
- Dragon’s Shadow- 400 Deflect
- Dragonscale Defense- 400 Defense this one again for PVE if you hit 60% Armor Pen Cap you’re good if you want for PvP swap them
- Dragon’s Greed- 400 Life Steal
- Dragon’s Grip- Increased Control Strength I only recommend doing 1 or 2 in here and putting your last into Dragon’s Thirst by this time you should have no problem holding aggro as best the Paladin class can with it’s broken threat threshold this is about as good as it gets.
The Maze Engine
- Abyssal Regeneration- 400 Incoming Healing Bonus- Yes please
- Demonic Resilience- 5% shorter duration in control effects. Combat Advantage is nice but not needed at this time get out of stuns quicker
- Demonic Swiftness- 3% Action Point Gain
- Baleful Clutch- 10% Increased Control Strength. The only viable tanking option here
- Unassailable Tide- 300 Defense and 2000 Hit Points
- Either of the two in this case because they both suck for a Paladin and honestly you just want the 2000 hit points they offer you
- Blazing Resilience- 400 Recovery and 2000 Hit Points
- Wall of Wind- Best damn boon in this whole thing great for surviving and gaining 1000 recovery for ten seconds triggers often.
The following is relatively expensive but in the end worth it. Two exceptions, cheaper, can be made and that is both the Air Archon and Earth Archon both allowing you to deal additional damage when at full health and additional damage when enemies are not at full health.
- Shadow Demon- Chance when deflecting damage you take no damage once every 30 seconds this is your main augmented companion stack with 3X Bonding Runestones for Companions Gift he procs it often and fast as well he hit’s like a truck.
- Owlbear- Mainly the reason we have very little critical in this build you simply do 50% additional damage based on your power every time you fail to crit. It is night and day with taking this companion off doing damage then re equip him and watch those numbers climb.
- Blacksmith- Damage Taken 25% chance to reflect 10% of that damage back this happens a lot stacks well with Aura of Vengeance
- Galeb Duhr- Deal up to 10% more damage based on the percentage of damage you have taken through internal testing removing him and being smacked by a large enemy and following up with burning light this can be the difference of 1000+ extra damage with him equipped every tick.
- Yeti- Damage Taken 10% chance for you or your companion to increase damage dealt by 10%. One this procs alot you’ll know because your character grows in animation and two he’s a great off tank to call out in one particular fight *Cough* Orcus.
I will not dig too much into this only because I have covered this in the video below.
That being said – Your mount equip power either needs to be from the Flail Snail Mount (Super Rare and Expensive) 25% action power gain after you cast a daily power or the Gorgon Mount (Not as rare or expensive can get with trade bars.) 15% action point gain after you cast a daily power.
Insignias- Regal of Courage and Barbed Insignia of Aggression in every mount giving you Defense, AP Gain, Armor Pen, and Incoming Healing Bonus and you want to stack your mounts for Protectors Camaraderie / Friendship these do in fact stack see video below
How to process:
- open link
- choose bonuses from the list and consult all available bonus
- click on bonus and you get a list of mounts with this bonus
- consult Auction House for interested mounts then buy it
- setup your insignias for all mounts (eventually search corresponding insignia in Auction House)
ex. of Ishtart choice for stacked bonus (Power & Defense) 🙂
The Paladin is a versatile tank and it is arguably harder to play now after the nerf. By harder I mean requires patience and brain because we no longer are the gods of easy mode and a good paladin will know his strengths and weakness and when to dip in and out of a fight. Many are changing to healiden after this patch and that’s fine but for those of you who don’t want to throw in the towel just yet stick with it you’ll find a much more rewarding experience as you grow. Thank you for taking the time to read through this wall of text and if you need a quick rundown of everything without the need of explaining things here’s the video of it in quick format. Enjoy and see ya around!
PS4 Players some things may change I recommend checking this out as I know you don’t have quite everything listed here