Continuing with my comparisons of PHB2 classes with similar PHB1 classes, this time I’m comparing the warden with the paladin. We shall compare a Str/Wis warden with a Cha/Wis paladin.
The paladin has substantially better armor class. But the warden has better movement and better special defenses, and one point less armor penalty. I favor the paladin here.
I’ll say the Warden makes up for this with the second wind ability (I don’t much favor taking second winds in combat, so I don’t consider this ability that great).
The paladin has an extra healing surge, and a very useful Lay on Hands ability. The warden has substantially more hit points. I think a like the paladin a bit better here.
The paladin needs to use an implement rather than a weapon for his daily powers, while the warden can use a weapon for both. So I’ll say the warden is back to even.
Next we compare the defender powers. These are hard to compare without playing. The paladin can mark at range and cause damage at range. But the warden marks multiple foes as a free action.
A Str/Wis warden has one cool at-will power (Thorn Strike), and a bunch of really blah powers. I slightly favor the paladin here.
The warden seems to have a broader, more consistent, and more interesting selection of powers than the paladin. The paladin has a terribly limited selection of useful utility powers, but has a few good ones. I think I’d give the warden the edge for his better daily powers and the better selection.
The warden has the very impressive Font of Life ability. The paladin has Divine Mettle and can give a saving throw to someone else with a bonus once per encounter. Despite the paladin’s flexibility, I have to give the warden a solid edge here.
Finally, the Paladin needs melee training to have effective charge and opportunity attacks, while the warden does not. But Cha gives more skill bonuses than Str, partially making up for this.
So, overall, I’d have to say that the warden is better than the paladin, but not by a large margin.