Like any traditional MMORPG, Lost Ark features a handful of classes that exist to support other teammates in the party rather than create the most carnage. Every class exists on a spectrum of sorts; most classes fall somewhere between pure damage output and support capabilities. By comparison, the Bard is a pure support class, and then there’s the Paladin, a hybrid DPS and support class that can also take a beating for their teammates. If you’re interested in playing as a tanky hero in Lost Ark helping your teammates survive longer and deal more damage at the cost of your own DPS output, this is the class you want to check out.
Speccing your Paladin can seem a bit confusing at first, especially when you’re unsure of what each stat does or if you’re still weighing out the best engravings to equip, but this Lost Ark Paladin PVE Build guide provides a solid foundation for everything you need to know. You can customize your Paladin as you see fit, kind of. For now, you’ll need to settle on playing Lost Ark as a male character if you want to wield this holy warrior’s sword and spellbook into battle. The good news is that (once you unlock the Book of Coordination and begin to play with different custom builds based on Lost Ark’s robust skill system,) you can respec your skills at any point to play with different combinations of skills and upgrades. However, there are some general rules of thumb that you want to follow when you’re first getting started building your PVE Paladin.
Hat tips to Reiku at Fextralife, Rebecca Jones at Rock Paper Shotgun, and Connor Makar at vg247 for helping to inform the specifics of this Paladin guide.
Lost Ark Paladin PVE Build Guide
Before we start, you should know that Paladins are tankier than the other Warrior subclasses; they use a large sword and a holy book to deal damage and support their allies. Additionally, Paladins do less damage with their martial attacks, but they can cast group buffs to make the team do more damage and survive longer. Once their Piety meter fills, they can activate one of two modes: Sacred Executioner, empowering their blue (Punishment) skills and increasing their base attack range, or Holy Aura, empowering their yellow (Holy) skills and improving the damage output of everyone in the party. A Paladin can activate either mode once their Piety meter reaches the top, but either will drain the Piety meter until it’s empty.
Quite a few of the Lost Ark Paladin’s Punishment skills reward back attacks. So it’s usually worth equipping a handful of Holy spells that can stun your foes and leave them vulnerable, in addition to skills that capitulate on back attacks. That way, you can consistently swoop in from behind and land those sweet killing blows. If you’re playing as a pure Punishment Paladin, you can choose to mix and match between front attacks and back attacks – and leave out Holy spells altogether. Paladin can certainly be flexible in that regard.
Lost Ark Paladin PVE Skills
Assuming you’re already at least level 50 (though it’s recommended you reach 60 to get the most out of this guide), have already completed the North Vern area, and have earned enough skill points to have a total pool of 340 skill points to allocate — as in the Book of Coordination — you have access to everything mentioned in this skills section of our Lost Ark Paladin guide.
Again, your Paladin will probably end up being unique to your personal tastes and your own playstyle, but it’s worth testing your build with the following skills, and then deviating from there as you see fit:
- Charge (Skill Lv 6) – Quick Prep (T1)
- Dash Slash (Skill Lv 10) – Sturdy Armor (T1), Lightning Slash (T2), Ruthless Spirit (T3)
- Wrath of God (Skill Lv 10) – Wide Thunderstroke (T1), Thunder (T2), Light’s Guardian (T3)
- Holy Sword (Skill Lv 10) – Positioning (T1), Weak Point Detection (T2), Condensed Energy (T3)
- Execution of Justice (Skill Lv 10) – Bulwark (T1), Perfect Strike (T2), Light Explosion (T3)
- Holy Explosion (Skill Lv 10) – Enhanced Strike (T1), Light’s Vestige (T2), Explosion Aftermath (T3)
- Godsent Law (Skill Lv 9) – Shield (T1), Wide-Angle Attack (T2)
- Heavenly Blessings (Skill Lv 10) – Inexhaustible Faith (T1), Valor (T2), Heavenly Requiem (T3)
- Awakening: Alithane’s Judgement
Following the skill loadout featured above will give you a functional PVE Paladin that works well both when questing across the world of Arkesia by yourself, or completing Chaos Dungeons and Guardian Raids in a party. As with our other build guides, such as our Sorceress build, it’s recommended that you start here and work your way towards a loadout that compliments your exact playstyle.
If you specialize in the Blessed Aura engraving, you may find yourself wanting to add more yellow (Holy) skills to increase your impact with those skills when in Holy Aura mode. Likewise, if you specialize in the Paladin’s Judgment engraving, you may find yourself adding more blue (Punishment) skills to increase your damage-dealing capabilities while in Sacred Executioner mode.
Note: Cards in Lost Ark give you a noticeable benefit when equipped as a complete set. The card set that is most beneficial to any PVE Paladin, regardless of build, is the Farewell, Weapon set, which grants an HP bonus of +12% when all six cards are equipped in the Card Collection menu.
Lost Ark Paladin Engravings
From here, you want to continue specializing your engravings and combat stats to make your build more concise around your exact playstyle. As you specialize further, you are strongly encouraged to focus your build around one of the two class-specific engravings that apply to the Paladin: Blessed Aura or Judgment. The primary difference here is that Blessed Aura grants your party a stronger defensive buff while Holy Aura is active, whereas Judgment sharply improves the DPS of your blue Punishment skills while in Sacred Executioner mode. All engravings are slowly earned by collecting and reading Engraving Recipe Books, which are obtained through quests, Chaos and Abyssal Dungeons, as well as Guardian Raids. It takes time and effort to unlock and power up each engraving to tier three, so you want to be deliberate in how you spec your engravings here. You can view a full list of engravings and their descriptions and effects in Lost Ark’s Book of Coordination menu.
The Blessed Aura engraving description is as follows:
- Lv. 1: With Holy Aura, Damage received -10% and 2% of Max HP restored every 2.5s for all party members.
- Lv. 2: With Holy Aura, Damage received -15% and 2% of Max HP restored every 2s for all party members.
- Lv. 3: With Holy Aura, Damage received -20% and 2% of Max HP restored every 1.5s for all party members.
The Blessed Aura Paladin is much more of a support class than its Judgment cousin. The Holy Aura mode is far more powerful, giving the party a sharp bonus to armor and an additional heal-over-time buff that increases everyone’s survivability. To make this Paladin excel, pair the Blessed Aura engraving with generic engravings that give you stronger armor (ex: Heavy Armor) and give your support spells more effectiveness (ex: Expert).
Combat stats in Lost Ark are confusing to the untrained eye. Your base stats (Intelligence, Vitality, etc) are largely influenced by your equipment, but then you have to manually allocate points into a completely separate set of combat stats that act as modifiers to specific parts of your build. When choosing your combat stats as a Blessed Aura Paladin, you will reap the highest boost to your Holy Aura mode by maximizing Specialization. You should also boost your Endurance as much as you can, which will improve your own armor and HP score.
The Judgment engraving description is as follows:
- Lv. 1: Punishment Damage +15%. When Punishment skill hits, Piety Meter gain +100%. Duration of Sacred Executioner +100%.
- Lv. 2: Punishment Damage +20%. When Punishment skill hits, Piety Meter gain +100%. Duration of Sacred Executioner +100%.
- Lv. 3: Punishment Damage +25%. When Punishment skill hits, Piety Meter gain +100%. Duration of Sacred Executioner +100%.
The Judgment Paladin is sort of like a Dark Knight or an Anti-Paladin rather than a support class. This build is designed to prolong your Sacred Executioner mode as long as possible, giving you the power to continuously land impressive blows against your enemies without relent. That said, what you gain in personal DPS, you lose in group support. Your best bet is to pair the Judgment engraving with generic engravings that increase your attack power (ex: Cursed Doll, Master of Strikes).
As a DPS-focused Paladin, give yourself a much higher Crit score than the other Paladin variant, though you should also boost your Swiftness and Endurance scores to keep your movement speed and skill cooldowns at a manageable level while maximizing your own personal survivability.
And that’s it for our Paladin PVE build guide! Paladins are beefy enough to stand up to the toughest foe, making this class a powerful ally in Lost Ark’s plethora of raids and dungeons. If you’re hungry for more Lost Ark knowledge, here’s our guide on 16 things you might have missed.