The Paladin rifle build is one which revolves around sustainability. It requires the human player to balance providing mana to the the paladin with the bloodmage while also draining the mana of the enemies heroes via the blood mage. All the meanwhile one must try to keep the rifleman alive with holy light by balancing the damage each rifleman takes. Specifically versus undead as the paladin levels, holy light and banish become a weapon against the UD. A paladin riflemen build can lead to numerous end game choices as explained below. To properly execute this strategy it generally requires more skill than that of a normal human build.
Difficulty of build: It can work at all levels. It is not beginner friendly for those JUST learning the game as it is much different than other human builds. Once you get the hang of it it is easier to execute.
- Very high dps.
- Sustainability with the healing and banish/syphon mana.
- No brilliance aura which means sometimes a lack of dispel even if you have priests due to slow mana regeneration.
- Later hero which results in slower creeping at the very start.
- Later hero which results in opponent having map control early game which you cannot contest.
- Fast expansion play by other races is hard to contest.
- No lockdown until tier 3 when you can get an MK. Hard to target specific units with enemy microing away, besides banish.
Race Match Ups
- vs. UD: Ok strategy vs a one base UD but hard to beat a fast expoing UD.
- vs. HU: Very bad strat vs HU. Defend footies are very good vs rifles.
- vs. NE: Does poorly vs NE but not as bad as it does vs HU.
- vs. Orc: Ok strategy vs Orc.
The below graphic indicates the basic build order up until tier 2 at which point various end game options become available depending on the strategy you are versus (which is explained in more depth in the image). The video goes more in depth on how to execute the strategy specifically vs UD.
Mid and late game transitions
Generally MK is always the third hero unless you need brilliance aura for more dispel.
Vs all races but UD, you skill holy light on levels 1 and 3 and devotion aura on levels 2, 4, and 5 for more armor (unless you need divine shield for some reason).
vs. UD you get holy light on levels 1,3 and 5 for increased nuke and devotion aura on levels 2 and 4 unless you need divine shield.
vs Orc: The tower you built in your main should be upgraded to arcane tower. Go 1 barracks and do a timing push when your paladin is level 3 and blood mage is level 2. Get siphon mana and banish. If the orc successfully gets to teir 3 and pumps out tauren you are in trouble unless you can get gryphons out. Base laming by orc is hard to deal with, consider getting towers.
vs UD: If the undead expands early at t2 consider getting mortars to break the expo before you are outmassed. If the undead has expansion or you have a huge lead, consider a tier 2 expansion and go gryphons late game vs ud. Banish on units/heroes along with paladin heal (used as a nuke) and gryphons do large amounts of damage quickly.
vs HU: I would not play this strategy vs human as defend footman are very strong vs this strategy, however, if you do play it consider incorporating mortars to counter casters of human and get fragshards for increased damage vs other unit types.
vs NE: Do not play this opening vs night elf. Demonhunter early game is very strong vs paladin rifles as is Kotg.