Paladins has fast established itself as one of the most popular games on Steam, but playing it is no simple feat. There are so many characters that it can be difficult to know which one is the best to play as, and who suits your preferred style. That’s why we at PCGamesN have put together a list of the best Paladins champions.
Need help getting started? Our Paladins beginner’s guide is full of tips.
This character guide offers two choices for every role in the game, so if you don’t click with one champion there’s always another to try out. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the Paladins characters you can play as. Instead these are the heroes that get the job done in the most fun and effective way.
Characters on the front line of battle are proficient damage dealers, but they really excel in absorbing damage and preventing the enemy from pushing. They’re Paladins’ tank units, and are great for players that want to be in the centre of the action.
Fernando is one of the most reliable picks in Paladins. His high health pool and laser shield ensure his survivability is very high, so he can stay present on the battlefield for longer. That means he’s got plenty of time to use his Flame Lance; a short-range flamethrower that lays down continual and consistent damage. It barely requires aiming, and is perfecting for charging into a group with. For anyone beyond the short range of the lance, the Fireball skill is the weapon of choice.
As a front line tank character, Fernando should be absorbing up as much damage as he can in order to allow other champions a chance to throw out damage and capture objectives. Fernando's ultimate ability can really help out with that; Immortal prevents anyone around him from dropping below 1500 HP for four seconds, which is invaluable for capturing points or making a strong push.
Your Fernando loadout should ideally focus on increasing his survivability and effectiveness as a tank. Dire Need is a solid pick; it shields nearby allies for five seconds when you activate Fernando’s own shield. This offers your teammates that little extra boost in defence for when making big manoeuvres. Towering Barrier and Safe Travel will help increase the strength of your shield, so you can fend off incoming damage for longer. You should also consider Last Stand; it allows you to heal when using your shield, provided you’re under 50% health.
Like Fernando, Torvald is adept at shielding and offering low, sustained damage. His standard gauntlet attack latches a beam onto a single target, which can be painful to the enemy provided you stay in range. Also short range is Runic Blast, but if you can land a hit it silences and disarms an enemy player. Not suffering from such distance issues is Hyper Beam; this ultimate attack is near limitless in range, and knocks back anyone caught in its few seconds of fire.
Torvald’s other speciality is shielding, and he can regularly throw out a 2000 health shield to any ally. It only lasts for two seconds though, so it’s vital to trigger it just as your ally is about to take serious damage. As for personal defence, Torvald can regenerate his own shields with the Recharge skill. This skill can siphon shields from enemy players, so recharging in front of a Fernando is rather effective.
A Torvald loadout should be built around improving the Recharge skill, as this is what will keep you on the frontline. Vital Grasp is, as the name suggests, rather important, and Conduction will reduce the cooldown on Recharge so you can keep your shields topped up more often.
If kills are what you’re chasing, damage champions are the Paladins characters you need to play as. Their skills are primarily focused on inflicting massive pain on the enemy with speed and aggression.
Cassie is an easy damage dealing champion to get to grips with. Her crossbow demands some accuracy since it’s single-shot, but it is painful should you hit, and its secondary fire, Disengage, will push targets backwards. Blast Shot is equally punishing, offering big explosive damage and reducing enemy healing by 50% for three seconds.
The important thing about Cassie is that she’s really swift; her Dodge Roll ability allows her to move quickly in any direction and then follow up with a shot that deals 30% extra damage. Even without the roll she’s a champion who can zip around the map laying down constant fire. She can aid allies with her ultimate, Scout, which reveals all enemies to everyone for eight seconds.
For her loadout, Drain Life is a solid shout due its healing properties, which will help keep you dealing damage for longer. Quiver is also helpful, as extra ammo goes a long way when you can kick out as much damage as Cassie. It’s also worth considering things like Incitement and Onslaught; they rely on Cassie rolling around a lot, but successful shots right after doing a Dodge Roll will lifesteal and reduce cooldowns.
A flying dragon with a rocket launcher, it’s obvious from the moment you see Drogoz that he’s dangerous. Each of his rockets does a mean 950 damage, although their slow travel time means there’s some skill required to hit a target successfully. The launcher can also be loaded with a full magazine and then fired as a batch with Salvo, which does 100% damage to shields and 250 damage per rocket. It’s a useful attack to fire when you’ve hit peak altitude with Drogoz’s Thrust jump ability.
Drogoz can also spit at his target, sending out a giant ball of saliva that will erupt if shot with a rocket. If that’s all a bit too gross for you, his ultimate skill is a more polite Dragon Punch, which can be tricky to aim with but will insta-kill if you land it just right.
A Drogoz loadout can offer numerous focuses, but increasing the effectiveness of Fire Spit is a solid direction. Masterful will help reduce its cooldown with successful hits, and Lung Capacity will allow the spit ball to travel further. Cards that help buff Thrust, like Propel and Thrill of the Hunt, are also useful for helping Drogoz move out the way and stay alive longer.
A good team always needs a doctor, and that’s where Paladins’ support champions come in. If you want to be a medic that focusses on keeping allies alive, you’ll want to play as one of these characters.
A snake-wielding support champion (yes, really), Mal’damba is an effective combination of damage and quick heals. His Spitting Cobra weapon fires venom globs that deal surprisingly high damage for a healer character, and when ‘reloading’ the snake will leap forward and cause a stunning effect on enemies it hits. If Mal’damba finds himself in trouble, he can escape combat using Slither: a short-range dash that makes him untargetable.
On the healing side of things, Mal’damba can fix up single targets with Mending Spirits, which replenishes a huge amount of health over five seconds. There’s also the Gourd, a type of grenade that heals all allies and damages enemies caught in the area-of-effect splash. Should enemies take a little more encouragement on the way to the grave, the ultimate Dread Serpent ability inflicts fear on all enemy champions in an area and causes them to take an extra 20% more damage.
Everyone on the team is relying on healers to keep them fit and healthy. As such, loadouts that keep Mal’damba on his feet are your best bet. Afterall, no one else is looking out for you. Otherwordly, Liminal Passage, and Fleeting all buff the Slither skill, which will help keep you out of danger and available to heal. Many Gourds is a sensible skill that helps keep you both dangerous and helpful to allies, while Incorporeal will make you a touch less squishy.
Ying’s strength comes in her adaptability. She can quickly turn from a supporting healer into a damage dealer. It’s all down to her Illusions. Ying can create copies of herself that not only work as a distraction, but will heal allies around them. Ying can also use them as beacons to teleport to, allowing her to dive in and out of danger as needs be.
Illusions can be changed from supportive to offensive tools by using Shatter, which will direct Ying’s copies to rush nearby enemies and then explode. Combined with her default beam from the Illusory Mirror, Ying is a nifty damage dealer. She won’t turn the tide of battle, but she can offer speedy bursts of pain that will pay off as part of a larger team effort.
It’s Ying’s ultimate ability that makes her so valuable, though. It’s a global heal, meaning when triggered every ally on the map starts recovering damage, no matter where they or Ying are located.
In regards to loadouts, Rewind is an excellent choice for Ying. It creates a new Illusion at your original location when you swap places with a recently dead Illusion. All her other cards are buffs, such as Brittle, which reduces the cooldown on Shatter. Having Fracture in your deck will cause Shatter to heal illusions by between 25 and 100% of their max health, which will prove useful in keeping your clone army alive and dangerous.
Not all fights are fought face-to-face. Flankers are champions who sneak in from the sides or backline of a battle and catch enemies unaware. If your style is a bit more guerilla warfare, these are the Paladins characters to choose.
The revolver-toting Androxus is a solid choice for flanking duties, thanks mostly to the Nether Step ability. This allows Androxus to dash up to three times in any direction; left, right, up, down, or anywhere in between. It means he can gain height or quickly circumnavigate gangs of enemies to take them by surprise. And that’s exactly how you want to play Androxus; the enemy must never see you coming. Get the drop, fire as many bullets as you can, and move on to the next fight. It’s important to pick your battles well; Androxus may be a good damage dealer, but he’s no tank.
This accursed warrior’s other skills are handy for turning the tables on enemies caught off guard. Reversal will absorb all damage taken to Androxus’ front and fire it back, while his ultimate ability will grant him the power of flight and mutate the revolver into a dragon spirit that shoots explosive green fireballs. Yup; you could say Androxus is a little on the aggressive side.
An Androxus loadout should include Sleight of Hand, which generates ammo for the revolver each time Nether Step is used. Considering you’ll be using both a lot this card is essential. Marksman is also handy for keeping the revolver topped up; if all three bullets fired by the Defiance rapid attack hit their mark, Marksman will refund one. Heads Will Roll increases damage dealt, but only take this if you’re able to consistently score headshots. Finally, Dogfighter will increase your damage output if you can stay in the air. Jumps and Nether Step will help keep you aloft.
As the fastest character in Paladins, Evie excels as a harasser. Like other flanking champions she should be attacking the backline and surprising enemies, but kills aren’t her focus. Instead she offers quick, unpredictable damage that will soften up targets and allow other characters to deal the finishing blow.
Speed comes in two forms with Evie. Blink teleports her forward for a quick gap-closing movement, while Soar allows her to fly around the map for two seconds on her magic staff. Constantly using these will aid you in keeping Evie mobile, diving in and out of fights. Should you end up in a fight that’s a bit too heavy, Ice Block will freeze Evie in a frosty cube and make her immune to damage for three seconds. It’s just enough to shield you from the worst, and following up with Soar can help get you out of danger.
Ice Storm is Evie’s ultimate, and it’s best used as part of a team effort. When activated it summons a slowly moving circle of blizzard that will cripple, damage, and slow anyone caught inside it. The slow and cripple effects mean enemies are pretty much frozen, meaning allies can jump in and make the most of stationary targets.
Mobility is Evie’s greatest asset, so consider this when building her loadout. Wormhole makes Blink a superb in-and-out tool, as triggering it again within four seconds of the first use will teleport you back to where you started. It’s perfect for ambushing enemies and then quickly escaping. Considering how often you’ll use Blink it’s wise to take Flicker, which heals Evie every time she teleports. You can also increase the range of Blink with the Teleport card.
Those are our picks of the best Paladins champions. Sign up now, use these characters and you’ll soon dominate the realm. Got your own favourites? Let us know who they are in the comments.