WotLK Paladin leveling guide - Best Ret talent spec and glyphs for Classic

Tirion Fordring art in World of Warcraft

Tirion Fordring art in World of Warcraft
September 26, 2022: Wrath Classic launches today!

Are you looking to get into World of Warcraft's latest Classic expansion, Wrath of the Lich King Classic? Does the call of the Light beckon you to take up arms as a righteous Paladin in the fight against the Lich King? Well, our WotLK Paladin leveling guide should help you quite a bit!

Leveling in World of Warcraft is a pretty lengthy process. Regardless of what class you play, knowing what the best spec, talents and even professions that you roll with can make that process much smoother. Our guide will cover all those details and more as you venture into Northrend.

While you're here, if you're interested in other Wrath of the Lich King Classic content, then check out our DPS Tier list, our Healer Tier list and our Tank tier list. You might also be interested in our dungeon guides, such as our guide for Utgarde Keep.

Best Paladin leveling spec for Wrath Classic

To kick things off, we're going to talk about each of the pros and cons of each spec as it comes to leveling.


  • Pros
    • Very tanky
    • Multiple single target and AoE Taunts which is great for groups
  • Cons
    • Gear dependent
    • Slow to kill by themselves
    • Low mobility


  • Pros
    • Great single target heals
    • Very sought after for groups
  • Cons
    • Little solo damage options
    • lack of mobility


  • Pros
    • Great Area of Effect damage
    • Strong offensive and defensive cooldowns
    • Big burst damage
  • Cons
    • Lacks a bit of single target damage
    • Low mobility
    • very gear and stat dependent

Based on all of these factors, the spec that we recommend for leveling is going to be Retribution. This is more so true if you plan to level solo, as you'll often be fighting a bunch of mobs at once.

If you plan on exclusively leveling via dungeons, then tanks and healers are always going to be in demand for queues. We're going to focus more on the solo experience.

Leveling tree for Retribution Paladin
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WotLK Retribution Paladin leveling tree

Next up, we're going to look at the leveling tree for Retribution leveling. We'll go through each level bracket for what talents you will want to take, with a brief explanation at the end.

Level10 - 20

  • Level 10 - 14: Benediction (all ranks)
  • Level 15 - 16: Improved Judgments (both ranks)
  • Level 17 - 19: Heart of the Crusader (all ranks)
  • Level 20: Seal of Command

Benediction reduces the cost of your instant cast spells, which you have quite a few of them. Improved Judgments decreases the cooldown of your Judgment abilities. Heart of the Crusader increases the critical strike chance against enemies hit by your Judgments, and Seal of Command is a damage boost.

Level 21 - 39

  • Level 21 - 25: Conviction (all ranks)
  • Level 26 - 27: Pursuit of Justice (both ranks)
  • Level 28 - 29: Sanctity of Battle (ranks 1 and 2)
  • Level 30 - 32: (Two-Handed Weapon Specialization)
  • Level 33: Sanctity of Battle (rank 3)
  • Level 34: Sanctified Retribution
  • Level 35 - 37: Vengeance (all ranks)
  • Level 38 - 39: Divine Purpose (both ranks)

Our points here are increasing our critical strike chance and our damage. We also get some nice quality of life from Pursuit of Justice and as defensive passive from Divine Purpose.

Level 40 - 60

  • Level 40 - 42: Judgements of the Wise (all ranks)
  • Level 43 - 44: The Art of War (both ranks)
  • Level 45: Repentance
  • Level 46 - 48: Fanaticisim (all ranks)
  • Level 49: Crusade (rank 1)
  • Level 50: Crusader Strike
  • Level 51 - 53: Sheath of Light (all ranks)
  • Level 54 - 55: Crusade (ranks 2 and 3)
  • Level 56 - 58: Righteous Vengeance (all Ranks)
  • Level 59: Improved Blessing of Might (ranks 1)
  • Level 60: Divine Storm

In this bracket, our points continue to flush out our damaging abilities. We also gain access to two key skills, Crusader Strike and Divine Storm. Repentance is also a great utility and CC spell that can come in handy in group situations, as well as solo leveling.

Level 61 - 80

  • Level 61 - 65: Divine Strength (all ranks on Protection tree)
  • Level 66 - 67: Guardian's Favor (both ranks on Protection tree)
  • Level 68: Improved Blessing of Might (rank 2)
  • Level 69 - 70: Santified Wrath (both ranks)
  • Level 71 - 73: Swift Retribution: (all ranks)
  • Level 74 - 75: Vindication (both ranks)
  • Level 76 - 78: Stoicism (all ranks)
  • Level 79 - 80: Toughness (ranks 1 and 2)

The final stretch of points in this are split between flushing out other parts of the Retribution tree, while also dipping into the Protection tree for some nice additions. Divine Strength increases our base Strength, and given that's our main stat, it's very nice. Also Toughness gives us a bit more tankiness which is always welcome.

Now this build will get you through your leveling process, but if there's a talent build that you end up going for later, you can hold off on putting the last two points in Toughness if you want.

Best Paladin leveling professions for WotLK Classic

When it comes to professions, you can pretty much do whatever your heart desires here. That being said, we'd recommend picking up at least Jewelcrafting and Engineering. You'll also pick up Mining to fuel these professions.

Mining gives a passive Stamina boost, which is great. Additionally, Jewels are going to always be in demand for gear sockets, so being able to craft your own jewels and sell excess ones on the auction house will be a great benefit.

Best Paladin glyphs for WotLK Classic

For Glyphs, we have a few options here. We have three Major and three Minor glyphs to work with. Here's what we'd recommend for those.


  • Glyph of Avenging Wrath
  • Glyph of Hammer of Wrath
  • Glyph of Crusader Strike (for more Single target fights)
  • Glyph of Divine Storm (for more AoE fights)


  • Glyph of Blessing of Might
  • Glyph of Sense Undead
  • Glyph of Lay on Hands

For our majors, Avenging Wrath gives us a 50% reduced cooldown on our Hammer of Wrath while in Avenging Wrath. Additionally, Hammer of Wrath reduces the cost of the skill by 100%. Crusader Strike / Divine Storm are interchangeable depending on the situation.

For minors, Blessing of Might increases the duration of the skill. Sense Undead increases your damage while using Sense Undead. Finally Lay on Hands reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by 5 minutes, which is arguably the most useful of the three.

And that's all that we have for you! The Paladin is a very strong class overall, and by the end of the expansion, they are top tier. While you're here, definitely check out our Wrath Classic PVP tier list, as well as some other dungeon guides, for the Nexus, and the Culling of Stratholme.

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