Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (2024)

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Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (1)

By Ryan Bamsey

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Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (5)

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous has a story that revolves around hordes of demons spewing from a magical wound in the very earth. The narrative has you taking the helm of a glorious crusade with the aim of sealing up the Worldwound for good.

RELATED: Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - Best Nenio Builds

For that reason, the Paladin might be one of the most suitable and natural classes to pick for your main character. These Lawful Good warriors of light are perfect both thematically and mechanically for taking on the challenges that Wrath of the Righteous holds. But how do you build a good Paladin? We've got you covered there.

Paladin Overview

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (6)

Overview of Paladin in Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

Simply put, Paladins are half-casters with an emphasis on dealing handily with evil creatures and supporting their allies. What this means in detail is that they are good at fighting and using magic, but not as good as a dedicated Fighter or Cleric, to use an example.

To make up for this, Paladins also get some unique class features to create a more thematic identity.

  • Smite Evil is a swift action that Paladins can use against any Evil creatures within range. This provides a bonus to attacks based on the Paladin's level and Charisma.
  • Lay On Hands is a Paladin's healing ability. They can use this to heal themselves or their allies when in touch range, or eventually heal many allies in a large radius.
    • They can also use this ability to damage the undead.
    • Paladins eventually take "Mercies" which will add affliction-healing effects to their Lay On Hands ability.
  • Divine Bond is a choice that all Paladins make at the fifth level - they can either gain the ability to bless a chosen weapon in various ways, or gain an animal companion as a steed.
  • Divine Grace is a powerful feature that lets the Paladin add their Charisma bonus to all of their saving throws.
  • Paladins also gain immunities and buffing auras that make them and their allies better at fighting Evil creatures.

As far as their combat options go, Paladins are suited to all sorts of combat - they can succeed well in melee and ranged combat depending on their stats. They are considered a "High BAB" class which means they get the maximum attacks per round.

On the spellcasting side, however, they are somewhat lacking. Their maximum spell level is four so they won't be hitting the biggest spells, but they do get access to very useful options.

One benefit to being a Paladin is that they have Persuasion as a Class skill. Since they are likely to have a high Charisma it's a good idea to keep this skill maxed out at all times - especially if you're making a Paladin for your main character. There are a ton of diplomacy and intimidation checks in Wrath of the Righteous and a Paladin will be very good at passing them reliably.

Paladin Archetypes

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (7)

The archetype options for Paladin in Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

In Wrath of the Righteous, archetypes are ways of more finely tuning a class to your needs. Every base class comes with a handful of archetypes to choose from and they generally trade a natural feature of the class for something new entirely.

Archetypes are classes in their own right, though they will be largely similar to their base class. The Paladin has seven archetypes to choose from.

  • Divine Guardian has an altered Lay On Hands ability and trades their Aura of Courage for some new abilities that lets them protect a chosen ally. This archetype is perfect for anyone who wants their Paladin to act as a tank - they even gain some defensive bonus feats as they level up.
  • Divine Hunter is a ranged Paladin. Their auras are altered to be more conducive to parties of ranged attackers and they even get a distant version of Lay On Hands. They notably give up the ability to wear heavy armor and the choice to get an animal companion as their Divine Bond.
  • Divine Scion gains the Studied Target ability which is a more flexible variant of Smite Evil that can target Neutral and Good foes. They also gain some ranks of Sneak Attack which stacks up nicely with Studied Target. To get these features, Divine Scions give up Smite Evil and their Divine Bond entirely.
  • Hospitaler is a Paladin archetype focused on healing. Their Channel Positive Energy ability is stronger and no longer tied to their Lay On Hands uses, and they now get immunity to death effects. The tradeoff for this is having fewer uses of Smite Evil as they level up.
  • Martyr seeks to combine features of the Bard with the Paladin. They are a supportive archetype with the ability to inflict a small amount of damage to themselves to produce inspiring effects for all nearby allies. They trade the ability to Smite Evil and their Divine Grace to be able to use this and the various other auras they gain.
  • Stonelord is an archetype exclusive to Dwarves in this game. It is another tanky archetype that trades Smite Evil and some of their Mercies for armor class upgrades, damage resistance, a potent defensive stance and various defensive powers.
  • Warrior of the Holy Light trades the Paladin's spellcasting ability for a powerful activated aura that improves many aspects of the Paladin's allies. Eventually, they can also unleash a burst of holy light that damages and blinds Evil creatures while healing Good creatures.

Of these, Divine Scion and Divine Guardian are notable for how much they change up the Paladin's role in battle. The former is a far more aggressive warrior who doesn't necessarily want to be the first into the fray so they can take advantage of their Sneak Attacks, while the latter is a defensive powerhouse that can pair up with a glass cannon to aid them in wreaking havoc.

RELATED: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous: Most Powerful Accessories

Paladin Build Options

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (8)

A Paladin with an Angel Spellbook in Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

How you build a Paladin will depend on how you wish to play one. When it comes to stats, you'll want to focus your attention on either Strength or Dexterity depending on your chosen combat options. There are plenty of finesse weapons in the game that make a Dexterity build attractive, but a strong, heavy weapon-wielding Paladin is also thematically and mechanically plausible.

Charisma is a great stat for the previously mentioned Persuasion options in the game but also for enabling your spellcasting. A minimum of 14 Charisma will ensure that you can cast spells of every level you'll have access to if you spend at least 11 levels as a Paladin.

If you don't wish to go all the way to level 20 as a Paladin there are some attractive multiclass options for you:

  • Two levels in Deliverer is a great way to increase your damage output quickly. Not only will you get Studied Target, but you'll get Determined Zeal. This ability will have you dealing extra damage to any enemies that are more than two steps away from you on the alignment chart - as a Lawful Good character in a game full of the Evil, this is extremely good. Three levels will also get you a rank of Sneak Attack.
  • Picking any class that grants you an animal companion before you reach level five in Paladin will let you choose from a much larger list of animals than the Divine Bond feature does. This means you can give Divine Bond's benefits to any animal in the game.
  • Leveling in Fighter will halt your Paladin progression a touch but it will give you some extra combat feats - this is a great option if you find yourself ignoring the Paladin's extra features in favor of simply going up to enemies and attacking. Three levels in Mutation Warrior is noted as one of the better multiclass dips in the game as it grants two extra feats and the Mutagen ability, which lets you get easy, temporary stat bonuses.

When it comes to Mythic Paths, Angel is quite an easy option to go for. Its strengths line up extremely nicely with the Paladin's strengths and while they cannot merge their spellbooks there will be considerable overlap that makes the character a better spellcaster by default. It gives them a really good boost in power. Alternatively, Aeon may suit the more Lawfully minded players.

Sample Paladin Build

Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - How To Build A Paladin (9)

A Paladin build in Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

This sample build is a basic example of how to take a Paladin all the way to level 20. It details useful feats to take, how to make the Angel Mythic Path work for you, and some useful spells to look out for.

This build is for a Human with 18 STR, 14 DEX, 12 CON, 8 INT, 10 WIS, and 16 CHA. If you want some alternatives, check out our builds for Seelah, the game's resident Paladin.

Level

Build

1

Paladin 1: Weapon Focus (Glaive), Power Attack

2

Paladin 2

3

Paladin 3: Cleave, Mercy - Fatigued

4

Paladin 4: STR +1

5

Paladin 5: Selective Channel

6

Paladin 6: Mercy - Staggered

7

Paladin 7: Cleaving Finish

8

Paladin 8: STR +1

9

Paladin 9: Improved Critical (Glaives), Mercy - Exhausted

10

Paladin 10

11

Paladin 11: Great Cleave

12

Paladin 12: STR +1, Mercy - Blinded

13

Paladin 13: Improved Cleaving Finish

14

Paladin 14

15

Paladin 15: Dazzling Display, Mercy - Paralyzed

16

Paladin 16: STR +1

17

Paladin 17: Cornugon Smash

18

Paladin 18: Mercy - Confused

19

Paladin 19: Critical Focus

20

Paladin 20

  • This build ends up with 22 Strength and a leftover point that can be put anywhere without affecting anything unless you have managed to gain a stat bonus over the course of the game that puts a stat on an odd number.
  • While it starts out as a basic physical frontline build, at level 15 we pivot into a Dazzling Display build with the aid of Mythic Feats which will be detailed below.
  • Glaives are chosen for this sample build as there are plenty of great examples of them in the game, but there are plenty of weapons that can really work well for a Paladin. Longswords, Warhammers, and Scythes are all great options.
  • If you wish to lean in on the Dazzling Display aspect of the build and go for more success there, consider trading some initial Strength points for Charisma points.

Mythic Abilities

Mythic Feats

Sword Of Heaven

Angelic Halo

Unrelenting Assault

Weapon Focus (Mythic) (Glaive)

Everlasting Flame

Burning Bright

Leading Strike

Extra Feat: Dreadful Carnage

Guide the Faithful

Piercing Rays

Abundant Smite

Power Attack (Mythic)

Speed of Light

Blinding Light

Abundant Casting

Improved Critical (Mythic) (Glaive)

Grand Blessing

Inspirational Leader

Flawless Attacks

  • Much of this build can be changed to your taste, but there are some standouts that make the build work. For example, taking Dreadful Carnage as an Extra Feat enables Cornugon Smash to have a far more effective passive benefit.
  • Everlasting Flame and Speed of Light are fantastic picks for Sword of Heaven - they will cut down on micromanagement and let you cast spells pretty much every turn. This is great when paired with the Angel's spellbook, which is full of amazingly useful spells.
  • Piercing Rays is a particularly useful thing to pick up when choosing Angelic Halo options. It reduces the spell resistance of nearby enemies, and spell resistance is one of the most annoying things to deal with in the entire game.
  • While Abundant Casting does not affect the Angel's spells, it's a great ability to pick up for your bread-and-butter Paladin spells.
  • If you make great use of the Summon abilities that the Angel Mythic Path grants you, it may be worth considering slotting in Ascendant Summons somewhere, perhaps in exchange for Abundant Casting.

Useful Spells

Level 1: Cure Light Wounds, Bless, Unbreakable Heart, Lesser Restoration, Challenge Evil, Divine Favor

Level 2: Effortless Armor, Remove Paralysis, Communal Protection from Chaos/Evil

Level 3: Angelic Aspect, Archon's Aura, Greater Magic Weapon, Cure Moderate Wounds, Prayer

Level 4: Greater Angelic Aspect, Holy Sword, Restoration, Cure Serious Wounds, Death Ward, Burst of Glory, Pure Form, Blade of the Sun

Level 5: Cleanse, Flame Strike, Vinetrap,

Level 6: Aegis of the Faithful, Heal, Communal Ward Against Harm, Holy Hymn

Level 7: Sun Marked, Greater Restoration, Holy Word

Level 8: Mass Cure Critical Wounds, Gale of Life, Solar Chains, Storm of Justice

Level 9: Mass Heal, Fortress of the Faithful, Wrath of the Righteous

Level 10: Army of Heaven, Phoenix Gift

  • Angel gets access to a whole host of incredibly powerful buffing spells, so it's important not to ignore these. Aegis of the Faithful (and it's AoE upgrade Fortress of the Faithful) are especially useful.
  • If you find yourself relying on these buffs a lot, it may be prudent to slot the two Enduring Spells feats into your Mythic Abilities build.
  • Some of these spells, such as Flame Strike and Storm of Justice, provide really useful ranged attacking options that further improve your versatility in battle.
  • Having access to every healing spell is definitely a boon, and picking up Boundless Healing as a Mythic Ability is no bad idea, especially if you don't like taking dedicated healers such as Daeran or Sosiel along with you.

NEXT: Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous - Best Ember Builds

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