All One D&D Paladin class changes, explained

The Paladins will be unleashing their holy wrath in One D&D.

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The new Unearthed Arcana article for Dungeons & Dragons has featured a playtest version of the paladin class in preparation for its update in the upcoming revised Player’s Handbook that’s set to launch in 2024. This new paladin version has seen some balance tweaks, with some of its overpowered features toned down and new abilities added to beef up the class.

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One D&D changes the paladin’s Divine Smite

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Divine Smite allows D&D’s paladin class to unleash holy might against their opponents, but it was restricted to melee weapon attacks. This will no longer be the case, as the new version of Divine Smite can be used with Unarmed Attacks, allowing paladins to infuse their fists with radiant energy and use it with ranged weapons to inflict their wrath from afar.

The new version of Divine Smite has some limitations, as it can no longer be paired with the Smite spells that paladins use in combat, which could previously be used to unleash a ton of damage in a single attack. Additionally, Divine Smite can only be used once per turn, so the new paladins won’t be able to unleash all of their powers in a single, destructive round.

One D&D has changed the paladin’s spellcasting feature

Paladins have exclusive access to Smite spells, which allow them to infuse different elements and effects into their weapon at the cost of a spell slot. Unearthed Arcana has changed most of these spells, as all but Searing Smite and Wrathful Smite have had the concentration requirement removed. This means that paladins don’t have to worry about their powerful combat spells fizzling out after taking a single blow.

Additionally, Paladins now get spell slots at level one, allowing them to use these powerful magical attacks from the start. The rest of the paladin’s spell slot progression remains the same, so they don’t get more slots overall than they did in the Player’s Handbook, but gain earlier access to them.

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One D&D has changed the paladin’s class features

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The paladin’s support powers have been changed, as Lay on Hands can no longer heal diseases at level one and won’t get the chance to until level fifteen. On the plus side, Lay on Hands now has more utility, as it can now be used on undead and constructs, allowing some of D&D 5E’s more unusual races to be healed. A similar change has been made to the paladin’s protective Aura powers, as they now stack and are considered part of the same ability rather than having separate effects.

The paladin has had some of its aspects tweaked, as they still get Channel Divinity, but it has an additional use, as they gain Abjure Foes at level nine, allowing them to daze and frighten foes with their holy magic. The Divine Sense ability has also become part of Channel Divinity, and it’s now received at level three, not level one. Paladins have also had some features shuffled and changed, as Divine Health has been scrapped, but they gain an Epic Boon Feat at level twenty, with Divine Conduit being pushed down to level eighteen.

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One D&D has changed the paladin’s mount

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In the old days of D&D, paladins could summon unique mounts from distant planes, giving them a fine steed they could use in battle. This power was diminished in D&D 5E, as it was moved to the find steed spell, which only summoned a fragile creature for the paladin to ride.

In Unearthed Arcana, the find steed spell has been upgraded, with paladins always having it on their spell list at level five, and they can cast it once a day for free. The new version of find steed can be used to summon a Celestial, Fey, or Fiend mount with additional powers, while using a higher-level spell slot will give them more powerful stats.

One D&D has changed the Oath of Devotion

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The Oath of Devotion subclass was the only one featured in Unearthed Arcana, and it has received some changes, most notably with its magical powers. This means that the Oath of Devotion spell list has been changed, with sanctuary, lesser restoration, beacon of hope, dispel magic, and freedom of movement replaced with shield of faith, aid, aura of vitality, blinding smite, and staggering smite.

Oath of Devotion’s subclass features has also been changed, as Sacred Weapon can now be used as a Bonus Action, Aura of Devotion is gained at level ten, and Holy Nimbus is received at level fourteen. They also gain the Smite of Protection ability at level six, allowing them to give temporary hit points to an ally when performing a Divine Smite. At the same time, they have lost the Turn Undead and Purity of Spirit abilities.

One D&D’s paladin is more balanced

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In D&D 5E, the paladin could deal ridiculous amounts of damage in one turn if the player was willing to burn through most of their resources in a single flurry of blows. This often led to situations where the campaign’s villain was OHKO’d by a Divine Smite-infused critical hit, followed by Smite spell attacks. The new paladin in Unearthed Arcana isn’t quite as different as the new version of the D&D druid, but many of the changes make sense, and it feels as if their abilities have been spread out more, with extra limitations put on their damage output.