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Paladin Tactics

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Chants are what separates paladins from armsmen, and are our most powerful ability. Use of the chants skill in combat can change the outcome of the battle. Use it poorly, and you will still help your group, but raise your skill to the level of an art form, and you will help your group overcome enemies who should have overcome you.

Chant Basics

Chants are a spell-like ability that affect your entire group for as long as the chant is running. Chants run in pulses, with each pulse lasting somewhere between five and six-and-a-half seconds. When you start a new chant your group immediately gets the effect of that chant, and the chant will automatically re-pulse when the old pulse ends. Starting or switching to a new chant costs about 1% of your endurance bar, but most chants do not cost anything to re-pulse so you can keep them running all the time. The only exceptions are the Endurance Chant and the Consolidated Resist Chat lines, both of which cost power for pulses after the first.

With the exception of the Refresh (heal) Chant, chants do not stack with other paladin chants, so in a group with more than one paladin you want to work out who will chant what. You also can't run more than one chant at once, although there is an advanced technique called twisting that gives you something close to simultaneous chants.

Chants and Soloing

The easiest way to solo with your chants is to just stick with the Refresh (or Heal) Chant. This will heal you a certain small amount every 6 seconds. If you are feeling strong, and/or you want to finish a battle quickly then you can switch to the Damage chant halfway through. Or, start with the Damage Chant and switch to the Refresh Chant once you take damage. As you get more comfortable with using your chants, you can start to Twist them.

Note that for minimum downtime, you want to end the fight at almost full health. This is especially important because, unlike the Endurance Chant, the Refresh (Heal) Chant does not work unless the person being healed is in combat.


Twisting is the ability for one Paladin to run multiple Chants at once and gain all their benefits. How does this work? It's a matter of timing and delay. Each chant, when you activate it, lasts for a certain number of seconds before it gets renewed. For the Refresh Chant, that delay is about 6 seconds. So, when you first cast the Refresh Chant, you get the immediate benefit of healing...and every 6 seconds after that, you get an additional heal. The same works for the Battle and Defense Chants. Immediately when you cast these chants, their effects are in place and you can use them.

So how does this allow us to run multiple chants together? Well, it's not that we actually chant them all at once, but rather, we start a Chant and then immediately start a different Chant. This gives us the benefit of the first Chant right away and then the longer lasting benefit of the second Chant. This sounds like uber-powerful (in a way it is), however, there's a limit to how fast you can Twist. There's a casting delay on each Chant, so you can't continuously switch back and forth. However, the casting delay is about 6 or more seconds for each, so as the benefit from your Twisted chant is over, you are almost ready to Twist in another chant.

If we apply this to a real life scenario, let's take Peon the Paladin. Peon is running the Battle Chant while in combat. He's doing fine, but then he realizes that he needs to heal himself in order to continue. However, he still wants to keep beating the snot out of his enemy. So, he changes his Chants and runs the Refresh Chant. Immediately he gets some healing. However, in order to keep his damage up he immediately changes back to the Damage Chant. He can continue doing this forever or until the battle is over. He gets the double benefit of the Refresh and the Damage Chant together.

If you are really ambitious, you can twist three or more chants at once and get the benefit of all of them. You can do this by hotkeying all the chants and running one right after another. When the casting delays are all finished, you start the process again. However, twisting this many chants can cost a lot of endurance, so read Twisting, Endurance and You first.

Double Healing

Double Healing is a special form of Twisting that allows a Paladin to actually heal for TWICE the normal amount every 6 seconds. The way to do this is very simple. Just take the previous example with Peon and switch the placement of the Damage Chants and the Healing Chants.

Peonette the Paladin is running the Heal Chant while in combat. She's doing fine, but then realizes that her group mates are getting hammered. So, she decides to start Double Healing. First, she changes to the Battle Chant and then immediately she changes back to the Refresh Chant. At that time, she gets, let's say, 10 hit points when the Refresh Chant is first starting. She starts to pay close attention to her text window. When she notices that her Refresh Chant has healed for another 10 points (after 6.5 seconds) then she quickly changes to Battle Chant and back to Refresh, getting another 10 hit points. She continues doing this until the battle is over, and she saves her group mates. The timeline of the Double Healing looks like this, where 'H' is a recast of the Refresh Chant, 'h' is a heal tick, 'B' is battle chant and a period '.' is 1 second. If you don't tend to look at your text window while in combat, you can also watch the cup animation over your head. When the cup has raised up and disappeared, it's time to do another twist.


We see here that every six seconds we get two heals happening at once. We also get the added benefit of a Battle Chant in there as well. Because of the way the timing works out there will be a second or two at the end of each twist cycle where the battle chant isn't running, but it will still be operational for about 75% of your swings.

Twisting, Endurance and You

There is one additional cost to twisting: endurance. You may have noticed that whenever you change to a new chant you lose about 1% of your endurance bar. This isn't a problem when you just leave a chant running, but if you are constantly twisting between chants it can chew up your endurance very quickly. Luckily, if you run out of endurance you can still twist, your endurance will just stay at zero.

It used to be a running joke that paladins would go for hours with zero endurance, but this all changed with the endurance chant in 1.53. The endurance chant allows you to recover your endurance even while running or fighting, and at the highest level will recover about 5% of your bar every second. What this means is that you can add the endurance chant to your twist and at higher levels actually gain endurance while twisting. The rule of thumb is that you can twist a number of chants equal to your level of endurance chant with no endurance loss. For example, if you have the fourth highest endurance chant (Chant of Resilience) you can twist together Battle, Shield, Endurance and Heal chants and not lose any endurance. Now the running joke is that paladins always have endurance. We are the official Energizer Bunny of Albion.

Player vs. Environment

Player vs. Environment (PvE) is fighting against monsters, realm guards and other computer-controlled enemies. Most PvE tactics are designed to maximize the amount of experience gained in an amount of time.


Soloing is fairly straightforward. Cast your Aura (AF buff) spell. Find a camp of monsters that are blue to yellow to you, and stand in a safe spot nearby. Pull monsters from the camp one at a time using your taunt spell, and kill them using your chants as described above. If you pick the right level monster to pull, you should be able to finish the battle with close to full health and full endurance, allowing you to pull non-stop. If you don't have one yet, get a good map of Albion to help you choose places to hunt (Kirstena's Atlas is an especially nice source).

Note that Mythic has designed the game with group play in mind, and the paladin is an especially group-oriented class. While we can solo quite effectively, the XP will almost always be faster with a well-balanced group.

Aggro Control

Aggro is the amount of aggression a monster has towards a person. In PvE groups it is very important to be able to manage aggro so you keep monsters hitting the big burly plate wearers (you) and off of the cloth-wearing casters. Luckily, paladins are the best aggro management class in the game.

Paladins have no less than four ways to manage aggro. First, we have our Taunt spell. This spell can be instantly cast in combat from range, and makes the target monster very angry. If a monster sneaks up behind the group and starts nibbling on a caster, you can quickly target the monster and cast this spell to make it switch targets. The second way we control aggro is our heal chant. Monsters hate people who heal, and we can do it twice every six seconds. If you run heal chant, especially if you double heal, you will quickly generate a lot of aggro. That lets casters do their damage without worrying about having the monster attack them. Third, paladins can use the protect ability to take some of the aggro that would otherwise go to a caster. Finally, all the weapon specialization lines have a taunt style that can be used to generate extra aggro. The taunt style will often be your last resort since they are slower and don't work at range, but used well they can still be a life-saver.

Organization with Multiple Paladins in a Group

With our powerful chants, having more Paladins in a group is a good thing. Multiple paladins give you the effects of multiple chants without having to twist, and more importantly our Refresh chants all stack. This means a group of eight paladins all double-healing the highest refresh chant can heal 736 hit points every 6.5 seconds! Here are some basic guidelines for coordinating chants in a multiple-paladin group:

  • 2 Paladins - Simple - One Battle, One Refresh. Highest level Paladin should take Refresh.
  • 2 Paladins - Complex - One Double Heals with Battle and one Double Heals with Defense. Even more complex is One Double Heals with Battle and one Double Heals with both Defense and Endurance (a triple-twist).
  • 3 Paladins - Simple - One Refresh, One Battle, One Defense. Highest level Paladin should take Refresh.
  • 3 Paladins - Complex - One Double Heal Battle, One Double Heal Defense, One Double Heal Endurance
  • 4,5,6,7,8 Paladins - All Double Heal or follow the 3 Paladin Simple rule and keep everyone with one Chant. Just remember that only the Refresh stacks.

In PvE we can distribute our damage to make the most of our group heal chants. Because the Refresh Chant will heal every member of the group who is damaged, that five-point heal could potentially cure 40 points at once. This means it's extremely useful to spread the damage out over everyone in the group.

There are three main techniques to distribute the aggro (and thus the damage) among several paladins. These techniques have the added bonus of keeping monsters from chewing on your cloth-wearing casters:

  • With multiple paladins and a single monster, you play "spin-the-monster." The first paladin pulls the monster to the group using the taunt chant. Both paladins double-heal, to get the healing and to make sure the monster is good and mad and ignores the casters. After hitting it a few times, the paladin with the aggro switches to her detaunt style. This has two effects. First, all the detaunt styles have a high bonus to defense. This will reduce the damage she takes. Second, it will slowly reduce the aggro of the monster, making it swap targets to the second paladin in the group. Once this happens, your group heal chants will start healing both of you, doubling the effectiveness. The paladin who now has aggro starts using his detaunt, and the first paladins switches to normal damage styles. Done well, the monster will start spinning around, dividing damage equally across all paladins as your heal chants works for everyone. If anyone starts to take too much damage, use the enrage taunt to move aggro to a less wounded paladin.
  • Against multiple monsters with no crowd-control (mez spells), designate different tanks to get the first add, second add, etc. Your taunt spell is especially good at grabbing adds. After you have the aggro of your own monster well cemented, you can all switch to focus on one monster (either the largest, the one pulled, or the most damaged). This is known as focusing swords, distributing shields.
  • Multiple monsters with crowd-control spells works the same as without crowd control, except you want to make sure not to hit a monster that's rooted or mezzed because damage breaks the spell. You may want to negotiate a "line of death" with the crowd-control caster. If a monster gets beyond this line of death (e.g. if it resists the mez spell) then it's fair game. Be on the lookout when the mez wears off, because unmezzed monsters tend to make a bee-line for the caster.

Realm vs. Realm

Realm vs. Realm (aka RvR) is the heart of Dark Age of Camelot. It is the element that sets it apart from the other MMORPGs. It is massive warfare against other real thinking opponents, and must be treated entirely different than PvE. Some of the differences are as follows (this is not comprehensive):

  • RvR engagements tend to be very fast.
  • Aggro does not exist. Once an enemy is locked onto your someone, the only way to get them off is to kill them or cause them to retreat.
  • Instead of fighting just a few creatures, you may very well be outnumbered. Tactics need to change to accommodate this fact.
  • There is far more magic than you find in PvE. Area effect spells, mezzes, stuns, roots, etcetera are all far more common.

Realm vs. Realm in a Group

In an RvR situation, paladins play the role of a support tank. We don't do as much damage as an armsman, but our chants make the other members of our group more effective. In particular, our damage chant does a lot of damage when you take into account the damage it adds to every member of the group, and our endurance chant is invaluable for letting the entire group style or sprint for long periods of time. Our resist chants are also useful when going up against casters, though you will need to research which chant to use where (table coming soon). Keep in mind that our chant range is limited (especially the endurance chant) so you need to stay relatively close to your group mates.

In our tank capacity we can still dish out decent damage, and the nine-second stun from the shield slam style can make or break a fight in RvR. Our role is to either close with the enemy and kill them, or to stay back and attack the enemy tanks that are trying to kill our casters and healers. We also fall into the role of rezzers, as there are often many people dead after any engagement. Your best bet is to team up with a healer and to have him heal as you rez, at least until higher levels when clerics can rez a person with a large amount of health.

Communication and Coordination

These are the two essential elements that will determine who wins the battle in a large engagement. Without communication, there is no coordination, without coordination, a well coordinated enemy will pick us apart one group at a time. Here are some guidelines to follow when setting up communications and coordination:

  • The goal or objective of the force should be decided on before anything else happens.
  • One group leader should be set up as the force commander. This person should assign someone to start a chat group and invite the key people first (group leaders, sub-commanders, etc.), followed by any designated scouts, then as many of the remaining force as possible. Determine at this time if a communications tool will be used (Game Voice, Voice Commander, Roger Wilco, etc). If so, time should be taken to set this up. The group leader should not be the chat group leader as adding people to the chat group can become a full time job.
  • The force commander should make sure the groups are well designed for their roles. If not, groups should be split and reformed to fit their roles.
  • Groups should stay together unless their role dictates otherwise (such as scouts, etc). If you get separated in battle, always reform at the earliest possible chance. Groups are more likely to survive if they are together.
  • Always follow your group leader's directions. Even if in conflict with the force commander's directions. Again, groups are more likely to survive if they are together.
  • Group leaders should follow directions from the force commander as the situation allows. There will be times when a group leader must ignore the force commander, but communicate this to the force commander if at all possible at the time, or as soon as possible after the fact. If you do not communicate, you may cause the entire force to be lost.

Basic Tactics

Still to come.

Flanking Maneuvers

Flanking maneuvers are best utilized by a group of tanks with speed support, preferably minstrels, but at least with theurgists/sorcerers. The role of this group is to circle around to the side or rear of an opposing force and to attack it's weaker support classes before they realize you are there. If successful, and coordinated with a frontal attack by the main group, it will often tip the battle in your favor, even against a superior number of foes. Here are some ideas to make this more effective:

  • Target healers and casters first. They tend to be the weaker classes, and while you are attacking them, they can not cast (you interrupt their casting). In addition, these are the classes that can do the high damage attacks or heal their friends.
  • If you do have a good flanking group of mostly tanks, split into 2-3 smaller groups to attack more than one at once. You should still be able to kill them in a couple swings, and you create more havoc that way.
  • Perhaps more important than the damage you cause is the confusion you cause. Your sudden appearance will cause some to turn to face you, be ignored by others and cause some to flee. This splitting of the attention prevents them from working together as a focused force.
  • This tactic is well used to draw an enemy force into a trap. Set up behind cover near a position you know the enemy will cross. The main body has the appearance of being weaker than it is and should be able to draw the enemy into a desirable position. Stay out of sight until they pass you and someone from the main force let's you know to attack.

Assassin/Archer Baiting

This is a two man tactic for getting rid of those harassing assassins and archers. What you need is a Paladin and an infiltrator to work this out. The Paladin should don a set of robes (I carry two dyed different colors to change them) and a staff. This will make you look like a caster. With your armor buff and armor chant running, your armor factor and hit points will be much better than a caster's would be. Now, stand still and wait for an assassin or archer to attack you. The infiltrator should be about six paces behind you to avoid AE mezzes and to have an easy approach to the enemy or to see his arrows. When attacked, switch weapons and both of you attack. Keep in mind, there is a good chance you may still die, but a good infiltrator should be able to get the kill.

Groups with Mostly/All Paladins

As with PvE, groups with mostly or all Paladins require different tactics than other groups. A group that consists of a large number of Paladins is fairly self sufficient and extremely powerful. The more Paladins in a group, the more effective your chants. You can heal in combat, rezz after combat, and buff yourselves with extra armor, damage or resistances. You will still move slowly (although sprinting with endurance chant helps), and it may help to have clerics, friars, theurgists and/or wizards from another group to buff you for maximum effect, but you can survive on your own. Combined with the fact that you can hit hard and take a decent beating, make us a unique class in this game. Some tips to keep in mind in this type of group:

  • DOUBLE HEAL. If you don't know what this is, refer to the chants section above. This will maximize your healing potential, and provide you with the benefits of other chants. While you do lose endurance faster, combats are relatively brief, and styles will seldom drain you of your endurance. Plus, the benefits from the chants typically will be equal or greater than the benefits from your styles (add to that the fact that you will live longer).
  • Stay close together, but not too close. Your chants have a limited range. This range varies from chant to chant, so you don't want to stray too far from each other. You also don't want to be too close, or you are vulnerable to AE spells and mezzes.
  • If you are thinking about retreating, don't. In RvR, odds are, you will not get away. But if you stay and your group wins the engagement, your fellows can rez you. Worst case is that you all die and need to release. At least you can regroup in safety. If you do get away and the enemy wins, odds are they will guard the bodies till they auto-release, so you probably won't get a chance to rezz your fellows, and you will have to wait for them to return.

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