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Paladins Guide: Torvald, The Runic Sage

Paladins Guide: Torvald, The Runic Sage

So, we’re gonna try something new today! We’re branching out into Paladins territory, huzzah! And what better way to start than with my favorite role, Front Line. I prefer to tank than support or anything else, but I’ve really been branching out on roles, because you have to! One of the things I think is interesting is that you have to have at least twelve characters mastered at 4 in order to play competitive, and I want to do it! It sounds far more stressful . . . which is how I live my life. But when you’re building characters in Paladins, you’d maybe think that because you don’t have millions of items, and fewer characters at the moment, that you have an easier time setting a loadout or items, but you’d be wrong! Of course you’d be wrong! If I had to give a difficulty to Torvald though, I’d definitely put him on the Easy to Average side. He’s insanely powerful, and I do see a nerf incoming to his shield/shield granting capacity, because with the right build, he can just walk up to anyone he wants and cause them strife.


  • Shielding: Hot damn! Baseline 2000 damage shield? Yes please. You can lower the cooldown a ton, and in a pinch you can really save someone’s life. 2000 is a huge number.
  • Blasting Off Again: Okay, on the right map and location, you can literally ult an entire team off the map! Happened to me once. It has a nice long channel, and you can blast people up into the sky or to their deaths.
  • CQC: Torvald shines in close quarters. Even better if he’s got a pocket healer hanging with him, where he can let his shields recharge! It’s ridiculous and he can definitely be virtually impossible to kill in close quarters. People who come at him with a shield won’t have them for long.


  • So Slow: Torvald doesn’t have a lot of mobility. His jump isn’t so great, and he doesn’t move fast. And if you choose the Cooldown item over the Mobility item, it’s not going to be any better. Your only other option is “Eldritch Speed” which gives a move speed buff during Recharge.
  • Wrecker: The worst enemy for Torvald. And if he’s on the squad, be advised that almost everyone’s gonna have it. Hell, even I build it on Torvald to make breaking down shields that much faster sometimes. While his shield is powerful and durable, a few damage dealers with Wrecker? You’re gonna be in for a bad time.
  • Ranged: Torvald’s gauntlet is incredibly short range, and high-range teams are going to mulch him. He won’t be able to get to them, and being kited is a really big fear for the low-mobility tank. You’d better have someone with you to heal you while you go in, or just try and flank. I cannot stress just how short his range is. And if you hold down the button you’ll still burn ammo even if noone is in range.

As far as item cards go, you have a few options, and these will of course change depending on what kind of team you are facing. But there are a few must-buys for me, and a few priorities. Red cards [damage cards] are a luxury that I wouldn’t stress over unless your team is winning by some ridiculous amount. Green cards are the next lowest. Because while I do get them because I enjoy lifesteal, I don’t get to use it as often as I’d like. The most important to me, are the Haven card [Blue], which caps at 30% Damage Reduction, and for Yellow cards it’s a tie. Either the Chronos Card for Cooldowns, or the Movement Speed card. Both are excellent choices. You have to either focus on your strengths, or cover up for weaknesses. I prefer to capitalize on strengths, since it’s a team game, and my team’s going to likely be around to help as a tank. Flankers and Damagers might be a different situation, but not a Front Liner. I don’t like to go out alone. But what can he do?

LMB: Gauntlet [Channel]: A short-range beam blasts from your gauntlet, doing 50 damage every .1 second. It’s incredibly short range, so you have to be upclose, and it will keep draining ammo even if you have noone in range. It is important to note that it locks on too. If they get behind you you will have to turn fast to keep the lock.

RMB: Recharge [Drain, Shield, Recover 10 secs]: Regenerate 850 Shield Health per second for 2.5s. If you instead channel it at an enemy who has a shield, it drains 2000 health per second from their shield, which is a very high number. Try to avoid standing out in the open when recharging, unless you’re stealing from an enemy.

Q: Protection [Shield, Ally, 7 secs]: For two seconds, you project a 2000 health shield onto an ally. The cooldown is kind of high, so I sure wouldn’t just cast it willy-nilly, even if you have a Legendary cooldown on it. Still, use it in a pinch to give 2k shield, it’s incredibly powerful.

F: Runic Blast [Blast, Disarm/Silence, 14 secs]: Very short range, but Torvald fires a blast from his gauntlet, and will disarm/silence enemies hit with it by 1.5 seconds, which can really be disruptive. You can use it to stop really damaging abilities if you think they’re coming, or to stop a flanker who thinks they’re going to be clever and leap in suddenly.

E: Hyper Beam [Channel, Knockback]: Unleashing the full power of your gauntlet, you fire for 2.5 seconds, and as long as people are caught in the beam, they continue to get knocked back unless they hit a wall. But then you can aim it up and send them higher. Try to use it in open areas, or places that have a visible end to the map, so you can fire them off into the ocean. I cannot stress enough how good it will feel.

There are so many different ways to build a character in Paladins. I’m going to give you my personal build that I’m using right now, and some other cool ones that I’ve tried, and seen successful across the Internet. You can’t just do it all alone; research counts, friends. Another thing to consider when picking a loadout, is what will benefit your team the most. You’re a front liner, and your goal is to keep the team safe, and stand on the point forever. For those of you new to Paladins, you pick five cards, and have a total of 12 points to use. each card uses a point, and each rarity you upgrade them takes a point. And the basic builds they start you with aren’t terrible, but you can do so much more with the character.

  • Infinite Shield Build: Arcane Etching [Rare], Hearthwarder [Rare], Vital Grasp [Uncommon], Glyph of Health [Uncommon], Infusion [Uncommon]. The idea behind it is granting you tons of shield, piles of it. Protection now also gives me 300 shield, Using Runic Blast to drain shield/recharge shield now gives me 300 shield, 300 more hp, and Runic Blast also heals me. It’s all about staying in the fight as long as I humanly can. I’ve been toying with this build, and I’m considering making my Glyph of Health Legendary, and maybe dropping Arcane Etching down another card.
  • Rocky Balboa Build: Glyph of Health [Legendary], Hearthwarder [Uncommon], Lifegiver [Uncommon], Vital Grasp [Uncommon], Infusion [Uncommon]. This is sort of an interesting build. I call it the Rocky Balboa, because Rocky doesn’t start off as the best boxer. What he’s got is Willpower. And this build will keep you in the damn fight. 600+ hp at the start of a match is nothing to sneeze at, especially when coupled with the bonuses shield/healing that your other cards give. It’s not gigantic shield numbers, but he’s already got that. It just gives you that tiny bit of edge to get by.
  • Cooldowns Everywhere: Glyph of Health [Common], Conduction [Uncommon], Timeshaper [Legendary], Winddancer [Legendary], Scribe’s Wit [Common]. This build is for someone that is really confident in how they’re playing, and really know what’s going on. Every card gives you cooldown reduction excepth Health, and Winddancer, which gives 40% movespeed to an ally when you give them Protection. It’s a really interesting build, and not one I go with all that often. It’s risky to me, because if I play poorly, it’s going to be upsetting as I’m not going to be generating all the shields I’m comfortable with. But cooldowns are great!
  • Best of Both Worlds: Glyph of Health [Legendary], Infusion [Common], Vital Grasp [Legendary], Glyph of Siphoning [Uncommon], Conduction [Common]. Not everyone thinks building around Protection/Runic Blast is wise, because the abilities are already pretty goddamn great. I like it, but there are other ways to do things, and that’s the beauty of this game. This build focuses on having a ton of health, and focuses more on Recharge. Lowering it’s cooldown, generates 20% more shield, it’s just a great idea. It’s the other build I run the most, I have to say.

When playing Torvald, you can go balls-deep pretty much all of the time. You’ll have on average 10k total health [combined with shields], and can recharge it, and drain from others with shields! Don’t be afaid, but don’t go in alone on that same hand. You are powerful, because you’re Torvald, but you have no mobility, and being alone can suddenly have you trapped by two or three people with Wrecker, ready to take your lunch money down in an alleyway. Remember that your abilities have low range [except the ult], in particular Runic Blast. It’s got a Silence/Disarm, but it is so damn low range. So don’t miss. Try not to waste it until you know that it’s going to hit. Also remember that two/three tank comps exist, and if you’re going to put up with it, use your shield drain on them instead of just using it to recharge your shield when noone’s around. It can be used aggressively. Be aggressive with it! Save that Hyper Beam until you can knock people as far away, or off the map if you can! It’s incredibly gratifying to win a map by 1% because you blasted their whole team into the goddamn ocean. And it feels good. Really really good. Remember, as my last words, that as Torvald you are incredibly powerful, and always a threat. You have to know when you can go in and be obnoxious, and when you should wait for the rest of the squad to show up. Don’t just run in. . . But make sure to always give them a dose of magiteck hands.

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