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Best Lost Ark Paladin build: recommended skill levelling, engravings, and awakening skills for PvE and PvP

How to kit out your Paladin for adventures in Arkesia

What is the best Paladin build in Lost Ark? The Paladin is one of only two dedicated support classes in Lost Ark, and as such, he's often in-demand when it comes to teaming up with other players in this MMORPG. Like every member of the Warrior base class, the Paladin earns a high spot on our Lost Ark classes tier list, thanks to impressive attack and defence stats that make him suitable for sub-DPS duties in addition to providing protection for the rest of his team.

On this page we'll give an overview of the Paladin's skills, levelling guide, and which bonus class and engravings to choose when you reach the endgame.

Best Lost Ark Paladin build: Overview

The identity skill at the heart of the Paladin's early game build is the Piety Metre. Like most Lost Ark classes, the Paladin's identity metre increases every time one of his attacks successfully hits its target, so remember that the greater part of piety is battering the shit out of your enemies, I guess; but the Paladin can also passively gain charge, albeit at a slower rate, if you're RP-ing a classic atonement seeker (or are just more focused on support than combat). Max out the Piety Metre and you can discharge all that pent-up righteousness with one of two powerful skill effects:

  • Holy Aura grants your Paladin and all of his nearby allies a 10% attack damage boost for its duration. This is the main support buff in the Paladin's base build.
  • Sacred Executioner enhances the Paladin's Punish skills. This is a more suitable skill to deploy in the moment if you're doing a bit of light sub-DPS work with your Paladin.

A bit of administrivia: only one Piety skill effect can be activated at a time, and the Piety Metre doesn't refill while either one is active. Once the skill times out, the Piety Metre resets to 0% and won't be usable again until it regains 100% charge. You pick which effect to trigger every time you activate the Piety Metre, so no need to worry about locking yourself into a choice in the long-term.


Best Lost Ark Paladin build: Skills and levelling

Support characters are a rare breed in Lost Ark. While most optimum class builds are focussed primarily on dealing as much damage as possible, Paladin builds need to strike a balance between offensive capabilities and useful team buffs. This all starts with the skills you begin accumulating in the early stages of the game. To help you figure all this out, the Paladin's normal skills are all colour-coded: blue for Punish (attack) skills, and yellow for Holy (support) skills.

By the time you reach Level 50 you should have accumulated about 250 skill points, which is enough to put together a balanced normal skill build to take your character into the endgame. For the Paladin, we recommend striking a balance that's just slightly in favour of Holy skills, since he'll have plenty of teammates who can take care of the main offensive. However, don't neglect his Punish skills, just remember that they're a secondary priority overall. Fortunately, it's less essential than for many classes to advance most of his skills to Tripod 3, as in a lot of cases you can comfortably stop at Tripod 2, giving you more points to distribute across a wider variety of skills. Consider allocating your points across the following areas:

Best PvE skills for Paladin

Skill Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Heavenly Blessings (Holy): Summons a Solar Guardian, who inflicts damage to nearby foes and blesses all party members within a 24 metre radius. While blessed, a character's damage received is reduced for 8 seconds. Inexhaustible Faith: Piety Metre gains up to 75% charge when a normal attack hits while this skill is active. Valor: All party members within 24 metres get 15% of your attack power for 8 seconds. Overall attack power is increased by 6%. Absolute Blessing: Mana regeneration speed is increased by up to 50% for all party members within 24 metres for 8 seconds.
Holy Protection (Holy): Creates a barrier for a percentage of max HP for all party members within 24 metres. Lasts for 6 seconds. Quick Pace: Movement speed is increased by up to 25% while the shield is active. Purify: Removes the most recent harmful effect cast on all party members within 24 metres. Vow of Light: When the shield times out, HP is restored by up to 8% of max. Has a 10 second cooldown.
Holy Sword (Punish): Damage a foe with a sword-thrust, which then emits a stream of Divine Light to deal addition damage. Positioning: Charge time is reduced by up to 18%. Outburst of Light: Emits Divine Light even if the attack fails. Release Light: Repeatedly fired light inflicts up to 120% damage. Every additional foe hit by it reduces cooldown time by 1 second (stacks up to 8 times).
Charge (Punish): Charge forward 6 metres, stabbing foes with your sword. Excellent Mobility: Move distance is increased by up to 4 metres. Shining Protection: Charging the skill creates a shield worth at least 15% of max HP for a minimum of 3 seconds. n/a
Executor's Sword (Punish): Attack with rapid sword swings, launching enemies into the air. Use the skill again to finish with a downward slash. Excellent Mobility: During skill use, attack while moving 4 metres. Weak Point Enhancement: Enemy's weak point level is increased by 1. n/a
Godsent Law (Holy): Summons a circle of magical light which inflicts damage to all foes in radius, lasting 2 seconds. Shield: Creates a shield worth at least 10% of max HP for 5 seconds for all party members within the skill's AoE. Wide-Angle Attack: Increases the skill's AoE radius by 30%. n/a
Light Shock (Holy): Unleashes a light shockwave, dealing moderate damage to enemies within radius. Swift Fingers: Light gathering to create the shockwave is now instantaneous. Light's Vestige: Hit enemies get the Light's Vestige debuff, making them vulnerable to 10% additional damage from all party members for 6 seconds. n/a
Wrath of God (Holy): Sacred thunder inflicts damage on nearby enemies. Wide Thunderstroke: The skill's AoE radius is increased by 20%. Faith: Piety Metre gains up to 150% charge when a normal attack hits while this skill is active. n/a

Best PvP skills for Paladin

Skill Tripod 1 Tripod 2 Tripod 3
Execution of Justice (Punish): Hold the sword one-handed while spinning in place to inflict huge damage to an opponent, then perform a crushing blow for a further 50% damage finisher. Rune Prison: Target is pulled into the centre of rotation. Strength Release: Damage is increased by 30%, or by at least 100% while in Sacred Executioner status. Light Explosion: The Paladin gains push immunity when this skill is activated. Activation also causes a light explosion from the scar created by the skill, inflicting up to 200% damage during the last attack and knocking opponents into the air.
Godsent Law (Holy): Summons a circle of magical light which inflicts damage to all foes in radius, lasting 2 seconds. Shield: Creates a shield worth at least 10% of max HP for 5 seconds for all party members within the skill's AoE. Wide-Angle Attack: Increases the skill's AoE radius by 30%. Grace: All party members within God's Decree receive a blessing buff from the Light's Guardian, granting -70% to incoming damage for 1 second.
Heavenly Blessings (Holy): Summons a Solar Guardian, who inflicts damage to nearby foes and blesses all party members within a 24 metre radius. While blessed, a character's damage received is reduced for 8 seconds. Mind Enhancement: Mana cost for this skill is reduced by up to 67%. Perseverance: The skill's damage reduction is increased by up to -34%. Heavenly Requiem: The skill's AoE radius is increased by 20%, and damage increases by up to 388%.
Holy Protection (Holy): Creates a barrier for a percentage of max HP for all party members within 24 metres. Lasts for 6 seconds. Quick Pace: Movement speed is increased by up to 25% while the shield is active. Robust Protection: Shield duration is reduced by 2 seconds, but its gauge is increased by up to 158%. Vow of Light: When the shield times out, HP is restored by up to 8% of max. Has a 10 second cooldown.
Holy Sword (Punish): Damage a foe with a sword-thrust, which then emits a stream of Divine Light to deal addition damage. Propulsion: While the skill is active, the Paladin can attack while moving forward 4 metres. Vital Point Hit: Element changes to lightning, increasing crit damage by up to 60%. Condensed Energy: Focuses light into a single point and fires it in a narrow AoE radius, inflicting up to 170% damage.
Wrath of God (Holy): Sacred thunder inflicts damage on nearby enemies. Wide Thunderstroke: The skill's AoE radius is increased by 20%. Thunder: On lightning attack hits, foes are electrocuted for up to 3 seconds. Express Fury: Grants 15% of the Paladin's attack power to all party members within 24 metres for 8 seconds. Overall attack power is increased by 6%.
Charge (Punish): Charge forward 6 metres, stabbing foes with your sword. Excellent Mobility: Move distance is increased by up to 4 metres. n/a n/a

Lost Ark characters start out with a decent suite of early-game abilities, and new skills unlock fairly frequently as you progress through the first 20 or so character levels. Gaining XP and levelling up gives you skill points that you can spend on improving skill levels and unlocking "tripods". Tripods are enhancements to skills that become available at skill levels 4, 7, and 10; applying one gives that skill a new secondary function. Every tripod has three options for you to choose from.

There's a limit to how much you can customise any Lost Ark character's build until they reach Level 50 and you gain access to endgame Engravings and Awakening skills (see below). Until that point, the path each class takes will be relatively linear; so throughout the early game, selecting your normal skills and their enhancements is the key to setting up a build that's to your liking.


Best Lost Ark Paladin build: Engravings

Once a Lost Ark character reaches Level 50, you can apply Engravings to them. Engravings are part of Lost Ark's endgame content, and allow you to apply a variety of buffs and boosts to customise your character's kit a little more. As well as generic engravings available to all characters, every class has two "class bonus" engravings unique to them. Effectively, these let you pick a subclass for them to specialise in.

The Engravings for the Paladin class are Blessed Aura and Judgement, which, as you might expect, respectively hone the character's focus more towards his Holy or Punish skill specialisms:

  • Blessed Aura is the Holy build option. Utilising the Holy Aura effect from the Piety Metre now provides up to 20% damage resistance for all party members, and also grants the whole party HP regen up to 2% of maximum for 1.5 seconds.
  • Judgement is the Punish build option. The damage dealt by all Punish skills is increased by up to 25%. The duration of the Sacred Executioner effect from the Piety Metre is doubled, as is the Piety Metre gain whenever a Punish skill hits a foe.

It's important to note that choosing one of these Engravings does not disallow the use of the other effect from the Piety Metre, so while your build from here on in will focus more heavily on one side or the other, you're still not being forced to straight-up choose between support and attack. Of course, due to the high desirability of Paladins specifically in support roles, most players will default to Blessed Aura, but both are incredibly strong choices. It's not uncommon to see a player run two separate Paladin builds to take advantage of both.

The number of engravings you can equip is variable, and depends on the engraving slots you have available. Class-specific bonus engravings require Learned Engraving slots, which you unlock by reading books you accumulate throughout your adventures in Arkesia. The two "generic" engraving types that can be equipped by all classes (damage boosts and utility buffs) are equipped according to how many engraving points you have available through a combination of your character's equipped accessories (such as necklaces, earrings, rings, etc.) and their Ability stones, all of which can be picked up as loot or from merchants throughout the game. Shuffle your loadout until you've maxed out your engravings points to 35 and you should be able to equip about three generic engravings in addition to your class bonus.

Your choice of generic engravings for the Paladin will need to depend somewhat on where your focus is. For a DPS or sub-DPS Paladin, the usual suspects for those roles are ideal for the job:

  • Grudge increases damage by up to 20% when fighting Boss level or higher monsters, while reducing incoming damage from them by the same amount. This is one of Lost Ark's best engravings in general, and it's a top choice whenever you're in doubt. It works particularly well for the Sorceress, though, because mitigating her vulnerability to incoming damage is one of the hardest parts of this build to get right.
  • Master of Strikes increases damage dealt by attacks not dealt from behind or to the head by up to 16% (this applies to all skills except awakenings).
  • Cursed Doll increases attack power by up to 16%, but reduces incoming healing by -25% (not including natural passive health recovery).

However, for a support Paladin, you'll want something more along these lines:

  • Awakening, which reduces the cooldown on your character's awakening skills (see below).
  • Expert, which increases healing and shield effectiveness, especially to party members who are low on HP. This is probably the most important one, as it brings the Paladin's healing capabilities more in line with those of the Bard in terms of effectiveness.
  • Heavy Armour doubles the Paladin's defences.

Best Lost Ark Paladin build: Combat Stats and accessories

In addition to Engravings, accessory items in Lost Ark (necklaces, earrings, and rings) are your source for Combat Stats. These substats can have a major effect on your character, and it is important to target gear with the right stats for your build. While leveling, Paladins should use Crit to increase critical strike rate and damage, plus some Swiftness to reduce cooldowns. This will help increase your damage output and smooth out the leveling process before transitioning to a more supportive playstyle in the endgame. Once you do reach endgame and start running group content like Abyssal Dungeons, drop the Crit and replace it with Specialization to buff up your Holy Aura.


Best Lost Ark Paladin build: Awakening skills

Like Engravings, Awakening Skills become available once a Lost Ark character has reached Level 50. Again, there are two options to choose from, and unlike with Engravings it's not an either/or proposition: you can unlock both Awakening Skills if you'd like, although you can only equip one at a time.

The Awakening skills for the Paladin are:

  • Alithanes's Light: Imbues your sword with holy energy for a massive amount of damage. After an attack hits, the energy sticks to the target, exploding and dealing 100% of the damage again.
  • Alithanes's Judgement: The Paladin jumps up and emits a holy light that beelines towards his target and can overcome the shields of enemies Guardian Monster type and below. Upon landing, enemies within radius are hit with massive damage, and all party members get a 10 second shield equal to 80% of the Paladin's max HP.

As with most aspects of the Paladin's build, there's no bad choice here. However, Alithane's Judgement is clearly the superior option in the likely event that you're focussing your Paladin build on support. Even if you're building a DPS Paladin, Alithane's Judgement is almost a match for Alithane's Light in terms of damage, plus has the benefit of the shield; so unless you're going for a laser-focussed maximum-damage build, it's probably still the better choice overall.


Since you need to be at Level 50 to take advantage of most of Lost Ark's character build materials, be sure to check out our guide to levelling up fast in Lost Ark to help you get there as quickly as possible. If you're looking for detailed advice on how to build other character classes in your roster, we also have build guides for the Gunslinger, Deathblade, and Sorceress.

About the Author

Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Guides Writer

Rebecca can usually be found working through her latest fiction-induced anguish by recreating all those lovely doomed characters in The Sims. More recently she discovered a fondness for Genshin Impact, which she pitches to bewildered friends as "Pokémon but with hot people instead of made-up animals". She also loves horror games and will play them at any opportunity, despite the fact that they make her so panicked she once threw her controller in a self-defence reflex. (The controller survived; Rebecca's dignity did not.)

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