Paladin Class Guide
- 1 Overview
- 2 Key Aspects of the Paladin Class
- 3 Progression
- 4 Items Guide
- 5 2010 Reset Outcomes
- 6 Into the Late Game
- 7 Game progression notes
Being able to both defend and attack with magic and steel makes the Paladin a force to be reckoned with in all stages of his or her career. Paladins have top-notch initial parry values and is augmented in terms of defense by their natural "Shield of Light" spell. This spell made Paladins famously strong in Majesty and is still quite useful in Heroes of Ardania. Unlike other melee heroes which have either strength or vitality as their primary, Paladins have intelligence. On the surface, this allows them to function as an effective spellcaster/fighter hybrid. However, this seemingly small difference has deeper consequences. In the early game, the Paladin is primarily a melee character whose magic abilities are essentially convenient side-abilities that allow early access to defensive spells such as FlameShield and the automatically-learned Shield of Light. Later on, the Paladin is able to utilize magic to such a higher extent as to use it primarily for offense, the qualities of melee classes such as high Armor, and Parry values primarily for defense. This unique combination makes the Paladin extremely powerful and particularly versatile.
Key Aspects of the Paladin Class
- High Defense: The Paladin has high parry and armor. To take advantage of the armor, it's of course necessary to acquire a plate-type armor after leaving Valmorgen. Several types of useful armors may be found at "easy to handle" locations. But the bottom line is clear that as a Paladin, you take less damage from physical combat than almost any other class.
- Spell Combat: The Paladin has Intelligence as the primary stat; at every two levels, paladin gains +1 Int. Int is useful for attack spells in terms of raising damage and increasing the change of hitting, but how can the Paladin utilize attack spells since the class naturally comes with none? (except Harm Undead which only effects Undead type monsters) Besides learning the relatively weak "Powershock" spell from the library, there are limited sources: One is from charged items such as the Wand of Lightning Storm and the Jewel of Fiery Doom; but unfortunately after the "charged items nerf" at April 2011, Heroes' Intelligence is not added to chance to hit formula for those items anymore. So as a paladin you must rely on a more powerful and reliable spell. Windstorm gained from Temple to Lunord or Sun Scorch gained from Temple to Helia serve as a pay-to-use source of spell. However what you need is an unlimited source of spell, namely the Ring of Mighty Devastation which confers the "Exploding Aura" spell. While any class can use the Ring of Mighty Devastation, the item can be used effectively only in conjunction with high Intelligence (such as the Int of an Intelligence-based class) or otherwise, damage and the ability to break through resistance is limited. The Ring of Mighty Devastation is therefore a very useful item for the Paladin, as it allows the class to persistently cast a powerful attack spell. Since Int increase by leveling up, the levels are of importance to the Paladin since it augments spell power.
- "Might and Magic" Duality: The Powershock spell which is available in the library should be turned on against high parry and low magic resistance monsters, and turned off against monsters with high magic resistance. When the Paladin has access to charged items, it is beneficial to use them efficiently. Charged items are generally too expensive to use against easy opponents, but can be very useful against single difficult encounters. When the Ring of Mighty Devastation is obtained, it is generally better to have the ring equipped against more difficult foes, since Exploding Aura does far more damage than the Paladin's melee attacks. When this happens, the Paladin becomes primarily a spellcaster in terms of offense. However, against some foes with very high Magic Resistance it is advisable to switch to only pure melee combat. Compared to vitality and strength classes, Paladins do not do as much melee damage in the long run, but make up for this by being able to utilize attack spells, which can far exceed the damage output possible of melee attacks of any class.
The Paladin is relatively easy to play once leaving Valmorgen. The first priority is to obtain a decent set of equipment, including armor, helm, and weapon as well as missing equipments such as gloves, bracers, boots and accessories. Most of such equipment can be easily collected on easy locations such as Fertile Plains and Ratman Battleground. In particular, a decent plate armor would make fighting rather easy against most monsters since the armor stat is useful at early game. The Paladin can equip the Longsword of True Valour, a moderately useful item early on but is not not only easy to get for a paladin, but also useful even at late game due to Willpower bonus. With about the same effort you could acquire one of two better weapons. Paladin's Abandoned Library Schematic (Blade of Dauros) is not so easily to assemble anymore (2010 reset changed ingredients), and even when assembled it is not so interesting without the Imp Shop upgrade. A better approach would be to assemble Valmorgen schematics such as the Greatsword of Focus and the Midnight Blade. These are easier tasks to accomplish and the benefits can be used much earlier in the game.
As with all other classes, it will be necessary to extensively search the Dark Forest, the Wild Gardens, and the Fertile Plains for items and various schematic ingredients. For a Paladin, the Circlet of Lycanthropy, the Ring of Mighty Devastation, and the Abandoned Library schematics are important items. At some point, when you have obtained the Splinter of Detonation, you would want to consider going to the Sunken City to find a Dark Band to assemble the Ring of Mighty Devastation. The Ring of Mighty Devastation significantly increases the damage output of the Paladin, resulting in a drastic transformation to a more spell-oriented class. This item is arguably one of the most pivotal item for the class, though it lost some of the importance after 2010 reset. Moving on to Thallis and the Desolate Wastelands without it would be more difficult. To use the Exploding Aura spell effectively, high INT is required, so be sure to be efficient in gaining EXP to level up. Also, keep in mind that it is beneficial to train the Magic Resistance stat from 5 to 20.
Dark Forest Aura and Stats Upgrade
For the Dark Forest Aura, Paladins should choose the Aura of Victory because it works extremely well in conjunction with the already high stats of the class. For the Thallis Fairgrounds stats upgrade, it seems like you have 2 choices - or more logical INT+4 from the viewpoint of Ring of Devastation use, or easier way with STR +10 (for carrying purposes).
- See also: items usable by Paladin for a complete list of usable items
- After leaving Valmorgen, you can try to obtain a decent sword, such as the Longsword of True Valour, or anything lootable, but having the best weapon before the Blade of Dauros is not too important because at this stage of game, most monsters have poor armor and your character's defense is more important than offense. Remember that what differs paladins from other classes is their defensive capacity.
- Longsword of True Valour (Damage: 14; HTH +10, STR +5, WP +5, Armor +2) An extremely useful weapon, aiding not only in melee combat but also helping carrying and praying effectively. A good approach would be starting the quest just after leaving Valmorgen in order to get the weapon. Even after crafting better weapons, Longsword of True Valour should not be sold or dropped, because it is the only weapon that increase WP for a Paladin. Put it into your cache and use it when praying.
- GreatBlade of Focus (Damage: 16; HTH +15, STR +15; Valmorgen Schematic) The GreatBlade of focus adds +15 to strength and H2H, making it one of the best weapon in terms of melee damage dealing. While other weapons may be preferred as a primary weapon, the GreatBlade of Focus is good to have around - if you can obtain it conveniently. It maximizes melee damage output needed to defeat opponents such as the Nomad Champion; also it increases strength of a paladin, resulting in carrying more items. So it's better to craft it even if you won't use it as a primary weapon.
- Midnight Blade (Damage: 15; HTH +15, PAR +15, DOD +15; Valmorgen Schematic) This weapon adds +15 to combat stats. Thus it can be used to gain a significant increase in Parry. When striving for maximal Parry to gain immunity against melee attacks, this weapon is worthwhile, but loses importance after gaining the "Blessed Blade of Dauros".
- Blade of Dauros (Damage: 19; STR +10, MGR +10, Armor +2; Abandoned Library Schematic). This item is harder to assemble since it requires "Bellanite Shard" and "Shard of Assimilation" now. Its damage is good but bonuses are not good enough as to make this sword the primary choice for most situations. This changes when it is upgraded to the Blessed Blade of Dauros (Damage: 19; STR +20, MGR +20, Armor +4) later on in the game. Thus, at mid-game, it's better to focus on other important schematics such as "Circlet of Lycanthropy" and "Ring of Mighty Devastation". However, the Blade of Dauros is worth crafting when possible to get the MGR bonus.
- Golem Fist (Damage: 10; Slayer ability) An exceptional weapon, although Golem Fist will not be your primary choice, it will become handy when you want to deal A LOT OF melee damage and you don't need the HTH bonus of "GreatBlade of Focus". An efficient use of this weapon would need invisibility gems as well as equipping other damage increasing items (such as Dark Band, Amulet of the Berserker, Belt of Rage, Scabbard of Might) and consuming damage increasing potions (such as Dirgo strength, Goblin strength and Minotaur potions for strength gain; tonic of speed for 20% chance of double attack). You would be shocked after seeing the results!
- Paladin has the option to use plate and chainmail armor types; so after leaving Valmorgen one of the most important aims should be finding a suitable set of armor. Although anything looted would be a good candidate, there are some armors not only better than a Leather Scale Mail but also has exceptional bonuses.
- Mithril Breastplate: (Armor: 11; HTH +10, PAR +5, DOD +5, MGR +10; comes with +4 enchantment) This item, although having some limited armor for a plate mail, is a superb addition to your inventory as well as being an easy loot. It is better not to leave Ratman Battleground until you find this item. This item not only will be obtained early and easily, but it will also serve as the main armor for a long time. It's even useful at end game due to MGR bonus.
- Blessed Magic Plate Armor: (Armor: 14, HTH +5, RAN +5, PAR +8, DOD +8; Found in Thallis) This armor was the best one for the Paladin, but it is nerfed after 2010 reset. It is not worth the trouble to get it for the slight defense at the cost of HTH and MGR loss from Mithril Breastplate. Moreover it is much heavier when compared to Mithril Breastplate.
- Although there are also some useful armors such as the Elven Chainmail, Medusa Mail, Mithril Studded Leather Armor, and regular armors with embedded items, the Mithril Breastplate will greatly dominate them. The only exceptions are the Wizard's Robe, which gives +4 INT and will be used while crafting and spellcasting, and a regular Armor socketed with 3 Shield Beard Rings, which gives +15 WP and will be used while praying. Medusa Mail may also be used when the extra +5 MGR (15 MGR of Medusa Mail vs. +10 MGR of Mithril Breastplate) is really needed.
- This item slot has not so extensive choices. There are few viable choices and most have some use making them worth carrying.
- Farmer's Cloak (HTH +2, RAN +2, PAR +2, DOD +2) This item is obtained early at Venn's Spire and is the best (and only) choice for a pretty while. You will mainly use it as the main cloak until Thallis.
- Protective Cloak (MGR +5) This item drops rather easily and is a must carry item. Equip only when fighting spellcasters together with other MGR increasing items.
- Sneaky Reinforced Cloak ( ART +10, Armor +1) If you have odd number armor, then you may think of using this item. However a Paladin's main defense is Parry/Dodge, not armor; so use it only in special cases like fighting Greater Gorgons.
- Cloak of Holy Defense (PAR +5, Armor +3; Found in Thallis) This is your end-game cloak. It will replace Farmer's Cloak after looting this item at Thallis.
- Early on, most helms are similar in value. your aim should be to find something temporary until crafting Circlet of Lycanthropy:
- Steel Full Helm (Armor: 2; ART -5) is a good option because of the small armor boost, but not so interesting.
- Skullcap of Self-Improvement (Armor: 1; STR +1, VIT +1, INT +1, WIL +1, ART +1) is a better option if you have odd number armor; and also +1 WP means more efficient praying; so put one into your cache even if you are not using it.
- Bandanna of Thought Stimulation (Armor: 0; INT +4) is the best Intelligence source as a helm for Paladin; so it's wise to keep it for crafting even if you are not using for spellcasting.
- Battered Crown (Armor: 0; PAR +10) is perhaps the best helm to equip until you craft Circlet of Lycanthropy. it will greatly aid in most situation.
- Circlet of Lycanthropy (Armor: 0; HTH +15, RAN +15, PAR +15, DOD +15, Werewolf Form) A very useful item because it gives a pretty good stat boost. True Werewolf Circlet (adds Armor: 1; MGR 10) is the upgrade of the Circlet of Lycanthropy available later on at imp's workshop. The Circlet is the optimal headgear for the Paladin but it requires quite a good amount of searching for ingredients as well as completing Merlan's Quests in order to purchase it (not to mention the 50000 gold schematic cost!)
- Helm of Displacement (Armor: 2; PAR -10, MGR -5, Teleport(Short), Wind Storm) Available at Krolm's Anvil, which is considered to be the hardest location in the game, this item is useful if you need a bit of extra spell power. But is often not as good as the Circlet, since it lacks stat boosts, so use it only when necessary.
- Belt of Balance (Armor: 0; PAR +5, DOD +10, STR +2) At early game you will find this item as the best choice for a belt. It will not lose its importance since none of the later belts have a Dodge bonus and it's not too heavy to carry later on.
- Belt of Brawling: (Armor: 1; HTH +10, PAR +5, STR +8; Abandoned Library Schematic, socketable with a Holster, Scabbard, Sheath) - This belt is a good upgrade for early belts. However, to be effectively used, it must be embedded with either a Holster of Might or a Scabbard of Might (adds HTH +10, STR +8, Damage +1). Socketing/Embedding requires the "Improved Belt of Brawling" Schematic found in the Wild Gardens Library. If you have the luxury to collect ingredients for a second one, you may choose to craft it and embed it with a Scabbard of Pain or a Holster of Pain to use against regenerating monsters.
- Belt of Holy Intervention: (Armor: 1, Parry +15, Strength +16, Int +8; Found in Thallis) Though relatively tame in terms of melee offense, this item is preferred in the long run due to its immense Parry bonus. It also increases the effectiveness of Ring of Mighty Devastation, since in some cases offense will come primarily from spell power, so Parry and Int would need to be maximized.
- Belt of Rage: (Armor: 0; HTH +10, PAR -5, DOD -5, STR +16, Damage +2) This is a powerful belt for all melee classes, including the Paladin, until the Belt of Brawling is obtained because it gives a significant boost to melee damage output and also significantly increases carrying capacity. Later, this item may be upgraded to Belt of Ravaging (Armor: 0; HTH +25, PAR -15, DOD -15, MGR -10, STR +32, Damage +4), greatly increasing melee damage output at the cost of greater defensive penalty. Use it wisely and only when necessary.
- Belt of Reflection: (Armor: 0; PAR -80, DOD -80, Armor -10, Magic Mirror) Found at Krolm's Anvil, this item is only good for one thing, winning pure spellcaster encounters! Notice that the insane melee penalty will greatly discourage you using it against mixed groups like Flesh Scavenger packs. But against Dark Phantoms or Greater Oculi groups, especially when considering the MGR reduction after 2010 reset, this item shines really brightly! Take it, use it, love it...
- Until crafting Belt of Brawling, there may be some other choices other than Belt of Balance. The Ancient Belt of Godly Strength (STR +5, VIT+1, Damage +1 ) is a good item to have around for the offensive boost and also it is an ingredient for the Belt of Brawling. The Ancient Belt of the Godly Mind (INT +5, WP +5, Spell Damage +1 ) is not only a good booster for spellcasting, but it also helps crafting and praying due to Int and Willpower bonuses. Speaking of praying, a Mithril Belt socketed with 3 Shield Beard Rings will increase Willpower by +15 which greatly aids praying.
- After leaving Valmorgen you should try filling your missing slots like boots slot. Of course you may get Boots of Speed from Venn's Spire, however it is virtually useless. Like cloaks, there are not so extensive choices, but they are easy to get and sufficient for an extra slot.
- Silverhide Boots (Armor: 0; PAR +5, DOD +5) and Boots of Evasiveness (Armor: 0; DOD +10) will probably be your first picks. Silver Boots is a better choice since it has a balanced boost and will be your primary choice until late game.
- War Chargers: (Armor: 3, HTH +10, STR +4) This item is a good addition for melee heroes, but not so good for a paladin. Neither the melee boost or armor bonus is really needed for a Paladin; unlike some classes like Gnomes, Monks or WoDs. Moreover it will really cost you a few hundred turns to get a Battle Boots and an additional Rumble Mitts at Fertile Plains. So you are not forced to get it but if you really want you may collect ingredients and craft it. An additional weakness is that, all boots are not socketable anymore after 2010 Reset; so this item is not as useful as War Gauntlets.
- Boots of Lunord: (Armor:2, PAR +10, DOD +15, MGR +5, Damage +1, Speed +2) This item is gained at end-game and replace all boots when earned as a quest reward. It is the ultimate overall boots in game and boost your character both offensively and defensively very nicely.
- Like boots, you should try to fill this slot for some stat gain after leaving Valmorgen. You may get Gloves of the Dump at Sewer Tunnels after a quest, but unlike the Boots of Speed, it will still have some use until you find better Gloves outside Valmorgen. Like Boots and Cloaks, the choices are limited but sufficient.
- Gloves of Deflection: (Armor: 0; PAR +10; Socketable(2)) This items is very useful at the start of the game and it will aid your defensive strategy extremely nicely. You should use it until crafting the War Gauntlets, which also requires this item as an ingredient.
- War Gauntlet: (Armor: 2; HTH +5, PAR +10, STR +4; Socketable(2)) This item, unlike it's Boot counterpart is extremely useful because it also gives some defensive boost, it is relatively easier to craft, it is socketable with 2 Dwarven Beard Rings, and there is no replacement for this item as a Paladin. When you find Rumble Mitts, also an important schematic components, you may consider entering the Dark Forest and start Merlan's Quests, as well as collecting schematics in the Wild Gardens plus key items at Brashnard Ruins. You may also consider crafting more than one pair and embed them with different Dwarven Beard Rings (Parry will be the main choice, but H2H, Dodge and Strength are valid choices in some circumstances).
- Like cloaks, boots and gloves, this slot needs to be filled after leaving Valmorgen. Similar to cloaks; the bracers you will find outside Valmorgen do not boost as much as boots or gloves, but they have greater versatility and most are socketable. Because they are not very heavy, they are worth carrying along in your inventory.
- Mithril Bracers: (PAR +5; Socketable(2)) This is a basic bracer with small defensive boost, being an overall standard bracer until late game. And also like cloaks, the bonus is not so high but still useful and configurable via sockets.
- Nevryl Bracers: (MGR +5; Socketable(2)) This is a useful bracer against spellcasters, required even at end-game. The bonus is small but it is hard to increase MGR substantially; so always carry this item at your inventory together with other MGR boosters and use when necessary.
- Bracers of Defilement: (Poisoned Weapon (1)) One of the most useful general use items in the game, this item grants the paladin a poisonous attack, disabling regeneration and healing spells of enemies and increasing overall damage. Moreover, gaining poison from an item instead of readying a poison will free a precious slot at readied items. Also you will not lose important boost when equipping this bracer instead of others; so use this item against regenerating monsters. However, for damagewise, it's better to use more damaging poison bottles when you need to deal extra damage. Also certain monsters are immune to poison; there is no need to equip when fighting against them.
- Holy Bracers: (PAR +15, DOD +10; Found at Thallis) Although greatly nerfed after 2010 Reset, this item is still the best a paladin may get; thus it will be your main armband at end-game replacing all others for general use.
- This item slot has a lot of items providing great variety for specific battles. You would generally have offensive, defensive and magic resistant sets through most of the game; and in all sets there will be a necklace. After leaving Valmorgen, the first thing you should do is arriving Lormidia and buying Blue Charm and Green Charm at Magic Bazaar; as well as some booster potions and charged items with your remaining money.
- Green Charm: (+4 Armor, -7 MGR) This is one of the best items for the early game. It gives immense defense for the early fights and it's already being sold at Lormidia. This should be your main amulet for physical combat for a long time.
- Blue Charm: (+10 MGR) This item is one of the early defensive items against spellcasters. Equip this item only when fighting spellcasters along with other MGR boosting items.
- Token of the Forest: (PAR +5, DOD +5, ART +4) This item is not as easy as obtaining Green Charm, however it has more useful defensive boost. You need relatively high Dodge and Parry in order to use it efficiently; and it will have decent use until you obtain Ring Amulet.
- Neckband of Smiting: (Damage +2) The first necklace that gives an offensive boost, you will find this item on most places. Equip it along with other damage boosting items when you need serious melee damage output.
- Ring Amulet: (PAR +5, DOD +5, MGR +5, Armor +1; Socketable with a ring via Ring Amulet schematic) This item has a loooong and annoying quest; however it will give you quite a good boost for the late game. By the time you get it, it will replace most other amulets; readying you for the late game. In order to use it efficiently, you must embed a ring into it. The best candidates are Ring of Protection (adds PAR +10, DOD +10, MGR +10, Armor +2) and Dark Band (adds HTH +10, RAN +10, PAR +10, DOD +10, Damage +2) Unfortunately you may not use Black Band or Ring of Divine Protection; you should choose between these 2 rings. Remember that you will get only 1 Ring Amulet through game; so choose it wisely and don't make a mistake at crafting (your (modified int)/2 + craftmanship should be higher than 30). The choice depends on the playing style of the paladin; and don't forget this item will be the main necklace at end-game (which gives a slight tendency for Dark Band)
- Amulet of the Berserker: (Damage +5, Armor -2) Found at mid-late areas (Sunken City, Dark Forest), this item is a replacement for Neckband of Smiting. There is also similar Neckband of Smashing (Damage +5;) which is gained by upgrading Neckband of Smiting at Imp's Workshop. Use one of these necklaces along with other melee damage increasing items, when you need serious damage output.
- Rezzenthells Spellkiller: (MGR +25) Found at Sunken City, this item is a replacement for Blue Charm. It's better you find this item before venturing Thallis; you will really need the boost for Thallis spellcasters. Later on you may find Dwarven Locket (MGR +40) at Krolm's Anvil. This item will replace all other MGR boosting necklaces at end game.
- There are also some necklaces for specific purposes. Rockgnaw Honor Token (STR +5) not only allows you to use Goblin Shop, but it is also one of two necklaces that gives STR boost (other being a socketed Nevryl Amulet); which means carrying more items or gold. Greater Amulet of Iron Will (WP +5) should be used when praying in order to gain more piety. Later on, when you have enough Shield Beard Rings; you may consider socketing a Nevryl Amulet with 3 Shield Beard Rings in order to gain 15 Willpower for praying and with 3 Goblin Beard Rings for a 12 Strength boost.
- This item slot, just like necklaces, has great variety and even more useful bonuses. As necklaces, you should better keep a defensive, offensive and resistant rings in your combat sets. After starting the game, one of your early aims should be collecting 500 gold to buy Ring of Protection, which can be purchased from Valmorgen Marketplace.
- Ring of Protection: (PAR +10, DOD +10, MGR +10, Armor +2) As mentioned before, this item is available from the very start and will be a in your inventory for a LONG time. It will be your standard ring for a very long time and stay in your inventory until Thallis. Notice that since it gives Magic Resist, you will also use it as a resistant item against spellcasters. Although the quest reward Tholarian Signet Ring (MGR +15) gives slightly higher Magic Resist, it is not worth to lose the extra bonuses; especially at battles against mixed Spellcaster/Fighter monsters (like vampires with skeletons) Later on you will probably choose Dark Band or Ring of Mighty Devastation on regular fights, especially after obtaining Dryad/Medusa Potion.
- Ring of Might: (HTH +10, RAN +10, Damage +2) Similar to Neckband of Smiting, this easy-to-find item is an early offensive boost at your arsenal. Use it when you need extra Hand-to-hand of damage along with other offensive items.
- Ring of Divine Protection: (Parry +15, Dodge +15, Magic Resist +15, Armor +2; Found at Thallis) This item is Paladin's class-specific ring found at Thallis. This item will replace Ring of Protection and become your standard ring, especially when you need the defensive boost.
- Dark Band: (PAR +10, DOD +10, HTH +10, RAN +10, Damage +2) Found at Sunken City and HFM North, this item is a good update for the Ring of Might. Not only it will be your main ring until Thallis, but you will also need extra drops for Ring of Mighty Devastation schematic and Ring Amulet (if you choose it for socketing into Ring Amulet). So it is better to drop at least 2 Dark Bands before venturing into Thallis.
- Ring of Mighty Devastation: (Exploding Aura) As mentioned before, this item is very important to the Paladin in the long run because it grants the Exploding Aura spell which opens up the doorway to spell combat. Unlike some other melee classes, Paladins can not use spell granting items like Amulet of Destruction; so this item is a staple for utilising your high Intelligence into something useful and destructive. This item is hard to craft and requires rare ingredients as well as finishing Merlan's Quests and 100000 Gold! (it will be a bothering issue to carry 100000 Gold into the Wizard's Tower, so the simplest method is to hire an army of "porters" aka fighters, thugs et al.) Never forget that Exploding Aura also hits the caster; so you need high Magic Resist in order to use this item efficiently. Later on, through the workshop on the Desolate Wastelands, it's possible to upgrade the Ring of Mighty Devastation to the Ring of Mightier Devastation which adds +10 MGR.
- At the very start of the game, you will obtain a Rat-Catcher Keepsake from an easy quest. Although useful (and a mandatory choice), you will seek out better options after leaving Valmorgen. These items are not only useful to use and carry but they are also included in a lot of schematics, so obtaining multiple copies of these items is a good idea.
- Carved/Black Accessories
- Black Claw and Carved Claw: (HTH +15) These 2 items give exactly same bonus, but it's better to use the Carved Claw because it's lighter than Black Claw. However, the Black is a schematic item for the Paladin's Midnight Blade, so both items are useful. These items will be your offensive booster until you find Scabbard of Might
- Black Leaf: (DOD +15) This is a good item when fighting ranged opponents like Dragons. Unlike Parry, it is hard to raise Dodge considerably when needed; so always carry this item in your inventory along other Dodge boosters. You will need it even at end game areas like Thallis.
- Black Stone: (PAR +15) This item is one of the best Parry boosters in your arsenal. Since it is easy to boost Parry for a Paladin, you will not need it against regular monsters. But eventually upon progression, you will be forced to fight against stronger melee opponents and your standard items will fail providing damage immunity against melee fighters. At those times it is better to equip Parrywise items like Black Stone. This item will have a good use for the most phases of your game; even at the end game. So always carry one in your inventory
- Carved Tooth: (STR +15) This item has gained importance after the introduction of weight system. Although a good damage booster, there are better options for this slot. However this item is the best source of Strength between all accessories as a paladin. So always carry one in your inventory and use it when you need to carry more items and gold.
- Scabbard of Might: (HTH +10, STR +8, Damage +1) The ultimate offensive accessory, you may loot this item easily at Dark Forest of Valley of Gur-Mechina. Don't get disappointed when you drop a Holster of Might instead this item; you may use the holster for socketing Belt of Brawling. Throughout the game you will mostly use this accessory along with Black Stone.
- There are limited choices for this slot and you will not have an item in this slot for along time. Although there may be some server event artifacts, our primary concern will be Desert Artifact.
- Desert Artifact: (Apocalyptica; 50 charges) This powerful item is gained after a long and difficult quest at end-game areas. But the reward is an item that grants the powerful Apocalyptica spell which is a much stronger version of Lightning Storm. Since it is not a charged item like the wand, it will benefit from your high Intelligence; thus don't waste it on easy battles. After receiving a rumour at Thallis Inn, you may upgrade it to Restored Desert Artifact which has 100 charges.
Other Important Items
- At the start of the game you will not access to small amount of consumables but useful charged items at wizard's guild. Healing Potions (HP +30) and Health Grubs (HP +5) are good for recharging your HP at the early start. Wand of Lightning Storm (Lightning Storm) grants you Lightning Storm spell, which hits 5 enemies for 8-25 damage for 4 rounds. This item is useful for special hard fights, and prove use until mid-late game.
- After leaving Valmorgen, you should prefer wast amount of Invisibility Gems (Invisibility), Anti-Magic Gems (MGR +90) and Potion of Monster Detection (Detect Monster) for venturing behind the gates of Valmorgen. These items will greatly ease most battles just like Wand of Lightning Storm, but like the wand you only need to use them at certain conditions. You should especially consider having "Detect Monster" spell all the times since it is really cheap (6 Gold per turn) and the outcome is awesome.
- Upon arriving Lormidia, it is a good idea to visit Magic Bazaar in order to buy some buff potions with your remaining money. Potion of Dirgo Strength (STR +40) (along with Potion of Goblin Strength (STR +4)) not only increase your melee damage, but also increase your carry capacity. Shapeshift Tincture (STR +10, Max HP + 35, Armor + 6) is a useful item for physical combat and the added HP helps utilizing better healing aids. Regeneration Elixir (Regeneration (1)), gives small but useful boost for long battles unless you are poisoned. Tonic of Speed (Winged Feet) is an item with 2 uses: firstly, it reduces travel time between locations, secondly it gives 20% chance of Double Attack. Since turn is the most valueable resource in the game, it is greatly advised to use this potion whenever there is a travel cost more than one turn between two locations. When you have decent gold income, you may consider having Dirgo Strength (along Goblin Strength) and Shapeshift Tincture all the time. Later in the game you will probably have more gold than you can reasonably spend, so having all the potions (expect of the Shapeshift Tincture, which doesn't work along with better alternatives) on all the time is worth considering.
- Also you will find Rejuvenation Tonic (HP +100) at Lormidia Marketplace which is an intermediate healing aid between Healing Potions and Elixirs of Health. You should consider using them when you have around 150 HP; then change to Elixirs of Health (HP +150) when you reach 200-250 HP.
- You will find varying charged items on your adventure. But most of them have limited use and not so interesting. One exception is Jewel of Fiery Doom (Inferno) which is also sold at Elven Village after having a nice talk with barmaid. This item grants Inferno spell, which hits 7 enemies with for 30-40 damage with better accuracy than Lightning Storm; although not continously hitting like the wand. Similar to the wand, this item will become useless upon reaching mid-late areas.
- After completing Merlan's Quests, you will have access to powerful potions. Dryad Potion (RAN +20, DOD +35, PAR +30, MGR +30, ART +20) will become your default melee combat potion, while Medusa Potion (PAR +20, MGR +50, INT +20, Max HP +45) will be used not only against dangerous spellcasters but you will also consume while acting as a spellcaster; especially after crafting Ring of Mighty Devastation
- There are also some passive items useful to have in inventory. Holy Water, Travellers Cloak, Mountain Boots, Hermit's Wardstone and later on Lightning Distractor and Strengthening Ground Potion prevents turn loss events either passively or by using one of these items. Gate Key is a useful item that allows easy travelling at Dark Forest, Dark Bellanite fragment is a rare item that allows you to recharge some items at Wizards Tower.
2010 Reset Outcomes
In September 2010, the game had a world reset as well as new additions and sytem changes. It is not suitable to include all changes in this guide, however some important updates that effected the playing style of a Paladin is listed below.
- Combat stat training is removed from game; and to compensate this, all combats stats increase at every level-up (even after level 5) as well as increasing beyond 95. This feature greatly buffed melee combat abilities of paladins since they already didn't need so much combat stats training; and moreover starting with high combat stats means much higher end-game stats when combined with standard paladin gear which gives high stat boost, especially for parry. (even though some of them were nerfed)
- Primary stats increase at every 2 levels instead of every levels. This update, when combined with charged nerf, greatly weakened spellcasting abilities of Paladins. As a paladin you already start with not-so-high Intelligence, and there are not much Intelligence booster items, even at Thallis. One of the best way to gain Intelligence was leveling up, but it is now somewhat broken. Together with some other facts, this feature reduces the efficient use of Ring of Mighty Devastation at late game.
- Magic resistance training is limited to 15 points instead of up to 50 MGR. This feature not only makes spellcaster enemies more dangerous, but it also damages efficient use of Ring of Mighty Devastation. Until mid-late game Medusa Potion and Anti-Magic Gems will disable most spellcasters; but you will need some serious preparation against dangerous spellcasters like Dark Phantoms at end game.
- There are also some other changes like nerfing of Charged Items, weight system addition, removal of East Cheswick Trading Post; but they affected most classes pretty equivalently. As a conclusion it may be said that all these changes leads to a more melee oriented play style for Paladins when compared to magic oriented play style before reset.
Into the Late Game
In the late game, Paladins become one of the most powerful classes, owing to their exorbitant parry abilities derived from Paladin-specific items, and their relatively higher INT for a melee fighter at high levels, which allows significant damage in conjunction with the Ring of Mighty Devastation. The "Exploding Aura" spell allows Paladins (and also Solarii) to exceed the damage of any ranged or melee class by relying on magic damage, while abundant defense boost makes the Paladin exceptionally durable. While Exploding Aura clears large crowds of monsters that are vulnerable to magic; the Paladin can fall back to melee and utilize their offensive items to defeat enemies that are otherwise very difficult to kill using spells (e.g. the Abomination, Nomad Champion, Liche, Warlock, and the Thallis Dwarf). Thus, the Paladin is not only one of the most powerful classes late in the game, but also the most well-rounded and versatile.
Below is a subjective set of items for different periods of the game. The standard (defensive) items are written in normal font while the magic resist boosters are in italic and offensive items are bold. Note that this is not a must-have list of items; you may handle quite well even you don't have some of them. But certain items (like War Gauntlets or Circlet of Lycanthropy) will greatly simplify the game for you. Also never forget that as all classes, you need a serious preparation for late game areas like Thallis or Krolm's Anvil. It is grealy recommended to collect or craft at least the staple items before venturing further at late game.
Game progression notes
This section is a work in progress
After leaving Valmorgen and buying basic equipment (like charms), Paladins have a few options to start off with their adventure. Doing Mayhew quests for some extra gold may be a good starting point (also, doing the quests earlier yields more experience). Another, though more challenging option is doing the Tempus Fugit quests. Not only the reward is quite big, but it's also an opportunity to find a better sword in The Royal Timekeepers' Basement (do not open the chests). Be prepared though, because after entering the basement, it takes some exploring to get out. The Goblin Territory is a good place for low level heroes, especially if you leave Valmorgen as soon as possible. Catacombs may be tempting for a Paladin, but remember that Vampires are tough opponents and Harm Undead spell won't be effective against them (Invisibility Gems or AMGs will help a lot, but they are expensive).
Doing the Longsword of True Valour Quest before venturing into harder locations is a good idea.
Into mid game areas
With some better gear and a supply of consumables, you will want to move into more beneficial (item wise) locations, most notably Fertile Plains (FP; Also Ratman Battleground may be considered some alternative). The main purpose will be item hunting and it should be possible as early as around level 10 (proceed with caution though! If you're not familiar with the game it's better to gain some more levels).
As soon as you feel comfortable in FP, you should consider doing Merlan quests. Completing them will unlock Merlan's potions and schematics, which is a very important milestone in progression of every hero. They (and some of DF encounters) should be doable around level 15. The Dark Forest Paladin's Keep encounter will also grant a very important reward, but it will require serious preparation (though if you loose after winning some fights it is still beneficial due to big XP and gold rewards for each round of battle).The Dark Forest alone is quite a tough place, and the item yielding encounters are both harder and less frequent than in FP. Ultimately, you will need to explore it at some point for schematics and ingredients.
A trip to Elven Valley in search for accessory items may greatly boost your defense and allow crafting the very important schematic weapons. Hellfire Mountains South is a good place to gain some items and a lots of gold, as long as your defenses are good enough. Parry around 190 should be more than sufficient to easily win melee fights, while against dragon pits you'll probably need Dryad Potions to boost dodge and AMGs to disable their spells (with good items it becomes easy, and RoMD does wonders there, but at that point there are more profitable locations).
Generally you should have the important schematic items (like the RoMD, Circlet of Lycanthropy and others mentioned above) in mind all the time when choosing the locations you explore. Obtaining each of these items will get you closer to end game locations and greatly boost your combat capacity. Other locations, not mentioned here, may also be worth visiting from time to time. Take a look at the Wiki and decide yourself. Doing BC (look below) earlier is also an option.
Mid-late game areas
The most difficult and often most rewarding locations (pre-Thallis) are the Sunken City (SC), Buried Cathedral (BC) and Valley of Gur-Mechina. Some of the key items and schematic ingredients can be found there. These locations also have good (or very good) gold/turn and xp/turn ratios.
Sunken City is the most profitable out of the three, assuming that you have high enough defenses. Parry of 200 will grant immunity against Bog Golems, allowing you to loot the most profitable encounter in SC (the rare Ruined Building). It's better to have at least 220 Parry though. This provides immunity against Flesh Hunters, which can deal lost of damage due to their poisonous attacks. This way you will only have avoid Flesh Reapers (which occur with a mob of normal Flesh Hunters), who have around 140 H2H, meaning you need 240 Parry to be sure that you won't get hit. Being immune against Flesh Hunter Shamans is quite easy with AMGs, you only need 140+ MGR. Fights against Shamans mixed with ordinary Hunters can be quite long, so be sure to equip enough gems. And don't ever forget about equipping poison, it is essential in SC! Having a bit lower parry than needed for immunity doesn't necessary rule out taking part in fights, but if the difference is bigger it may quickly become unprofitable. Never allow Shamans to paralyze you while there are Flesh Hunters around. It will disable your defenses which often means you will die horribly fast.
Buried Cathedral is generally less profitable than SC, but it has a lot lower requirements. You simply need 150 MGR to be immune during Vault encounters. This can be easily achieved with AMGs, so even a fairly low level Paladin can visit BC and get one of the many useful items that can be found there. It's a good place to get some of the schematic ingredients from. The gold/turn ratio is lower than SC mostly because the profitable encounters are not as frequent and that you need to use AMGs. Equipping offensive gear will shorten the fights, reducing the number of gems used per encounter.
Valley of Gur-Mechina
Valley of Gur-Mechina is a great place for a Paladin - it's full of undead and it has a distinctive character. Sadly after the introduction of DF and post reset item drop rearrangements it's less attractive than SC and BC. Parry requirements are rather low, 220 will grant you immunity but you can easily manage with a score below 200. You need a decent H2H value, which shouldn't be a problem. A high MGR, on other hand, is essential. Vampire Queens can leech XP and 140 MGR is a bare minimum (it may be enough for immunity, but it is advised to have more as the exact estimate is not known). If you use AMGs, equip more than you think will be needed, just in case something goes wrong. Liche require higher MGR for immunity against their damage dealing spells, but they are not that dangerous. Both the Queens and Liche summon other undead, so if you don't have enough offensive power you may get crowded (Harm Undead should do the job, though). Watch out for Banshee, as they are ranged attackers and can paralyze you. You will also encounter other spellcasters, but they are not very dangerous on their own. Overall, the Valley is without doubt worth visiting for it's atmosphere and the pleasure of smiting some undead. But when profits and item hunting opportunities are concerned, it probably wont be your first or second choice.
Late game and Beyond
It gets much tougher in the late game areas, mostly because it is much harder (or impossible) to achieve immunity and offense requirements are much higher as well.
You won't visit Desolate Wastelands for the goods, nor for the gold. Item drops aren't that bad (though nothing special), but the special encounter rate is too low to make this location profitable enough, especially compared to SC. So your main goals are finding the Imp's Workshop and routs to other locations like Thallis, as well as searching for quest encounters.
There are two main groups of enemies in the Wastelands: Sand Golems and Reavers. The golems are easily disabled with parry, but the reaver encounters are much more challenging because you will need 225 Parry, 225 Dodge and 120 MGR for immunity (which is not possible to achieve with pre-Thallis gear and without blessings). You should get close though, so there's no need to avoid fights with them if your gear is good enough. You can manage without RoMD here.
Ruins of Thallis
This is where you get most of your best items from. Thallis is a challenging place, where you have to be ready to spent a few hundred turns on item hunting. It is a very good idea to pray for Blessing and Vigilance enchantments, which will aid your defense, as well as offense. You may consider other enchantments, like Sun Scorch, Wind Storm or Petrify, but they aren't essential. Extra armour from Stone Skin won't help you much. Don't forget to stock up some Resurrections and have consumable enchantments active all the time.
To get your Paladin items, you have to loot Warrior Guilds. You will face three different kinds of heroes: Warriors, Paladins and WoDs, which makes it the most problematic guild in Thallis. Warriors of Discord, in particular, are probably the most difficult opponents in the whole location. They deal lots of damage (which you won't be able to avoid) and can take a lot of abuse before they die. You should easily achieve immunity against Warriors and Paladins, though. Warriors have lots of armour, so to kill them in melee you will need to boost your damage and use poison. Ironically Paladins on their own are the easiest opponents out of the three - you don't even need a very high H2H, because their defenses are a lot lower then you would expect. Detailed estimates of Thallis heroes' attributes can be found here.
Unfortunately you don't know which of the three hero classes you will face, so you need a universal strategy. It seems that the best one is using a RoMD (combined with Medusa potions, of course). Maximize parry and shield yourself against your own spells with AMGs (your opponents have no offensive spells). Disable Power Shock, which isn't effective. This allows you to kill Warriors efficiently and gives you a good chance to kill the WoDs before they kill you. It's not the best strategy against Paladins (which will resist your spells quite easily), but it's only a minor drawback. Each victory grants you an item, but not necessary a Paladin one, so you will have to endure a lot of such fights during your item hunt.
Don't avoid other locations, if you can achieve immunity against the opponents. Encounters against Ranged heroes, Dwarfes, Barbarians, Paladins & Monks, Healers & Warriors and Cultists with their Dire Bears should be easy. RoMD isn't needed for those encounters (though it can be helpful in Temples to Agrela). It's probably best to avoid spell casting heroes and any hero types that can hit you reliably. If you have 150 MGR (without AMGs) or better, you can tackle Dark Phantoms from the Remains of Mausoleum encounter, which is very profitable. Extra fights will give you XP, expensive items and gold (which will quickly over-encumber you - don't hesitate to drop the excess). It's probably best to avoid encounters which can be guarded by random heroes. It's very hard to be prepared against each and every possibility, and the odds of getting you class items are low.
Ruins of Gar Uta
Your main goal here is to do the three quest series, which grants you the Boots of Lunord. The quest includes a fight with 7 Greater Wights, 7 Vampire Queens and a Dark Phantom. After about 80 rounds they will summon about 30 Shadow Stalkers. You will need to kill them before you'll be able to attack the Dark Phantoms. Your "Harm Undead" spell won't be enough to deal with the crowd and it won't be effective against Greater Wights. Use RoMD or the fight will most probably time out.
Other than that, Gar Uta isn't very profitable gold wise and it gives no item hunting opportunities at all. It does grant a good XP output, though. As long as you can handle the fights - Ice Spiders are generally better to be avoided, while you need about 310 Parry to fight the Toughened Yeties comfortably without RoMD. If your Parry is considerably lower than 300, be very careful with them. If you can handle this, you can get lots of XPs, even at high levels.
Overall, KA is most probably the hardest location in the game. Your H2H, Dodge and Parry receive a -10 penalty there. The monsters are tough, though there are some some encounters that won't be harder than what you have witness in Thallis or Gar Uta - as long as you have proper equipment. Be prepared, don't even think about visiting this place without Blessing, Vigilance and a healthy reserve of Resurrections. Petrify is also helpful. I assume you have Dirgo Strength, Goblin Strength and Detect Monster on all the time. It is advised to use also Tonic of Speed and Regeneration Elixir. Have a supply of both Total Restoration Tinctures and Healing Elixirs (for the easier fights - more cost effective), as well as AMGs. (When not avoiding any fights expect the dragons and with a full set of items, you can expect about 6 gems per round average usage)
You will search for ingredients allowing the Imp to improve your items, as well as some key items like the Dwarven Locket or Belt of Reflection. You do not have to enter all the lairs to get them. Disable PowerShock, Harm Undead spells. RoMD won't be of much use in KA. The Invisibility blessing from the Abandoned Temple is usually worth it's cost. By now you should know the game and your hero's capabilities well.
Barbarian Spirit encounters are easy if you have good enough parry (315 - effectively 305 in KA - should grant you immunity). Greater Oculus and Dark Phantom ones shouldn't be a problem by now (unless you have less than 150 MGR - with Medusa potions but without AMGs). Fighting Towering Golems is a suicide, but the Loot of Gold special encounter may give you a free reward. Just use the Amulet of Teleportation, set your flee hp to max and you should be safe. Have some Resurrections ready because always something can go wrong.
At first Flesh Scavenger are better to be avoided, but feel free and try to tackle them. To be melee immune you need only 280 effective parry, but it's much harder to not get killed by the Shaman's magic attacks. Have at least 140 MGR without AMG bonus. With 280 effective Parry and 160 MGR aided by AMGs you should be able to kill them without big problems. You can ready your Harm Undead spells to kill the summoned Shadow Stalkers efficiently, especially if the fight involves more than one Shaman. RoMD won't be effective against the Flesh monsters. Without a complete set of top-tier items this encounter is difficult even with the Invisibility blessing.
Fighting Ancient Dragons won't give you anything but gold and experience, and they are hard to kill - best to avoid them. Death Reaver fights also won't give you items, but while it's hard to be immune and they poison you, killing a big pack will only cost you a few Healing Elixirs. The XP rewards are nice, so it's worth the effort. Exactly 321 Parry (311 effective) is needed for immunity - having one less means you'll get poisoned and will probably need healing aids.
If you want to kill the Towering Golems, get the Invisibility blessing, equip the Golem Fist and maximize DMG, Parry, HPs and H2H (in this order). Equip invisibility gems, TRTs and reduce the healing potion usage limit so you won't lose too much gold if something goes wrong. Check if your healing HP limit isn't too low - they can do lots of damage in one round. With full equipment and proper preparation you should be able to kill one at once without healing aids.
Article originally written by Veneficus and updated by Beceka, Mishtar Mesudar & Sir Prozous