Here comes my latest and most versatile Paladin build. Scrap my previous suggestions; they are rubbish
It's not only viable in harder difficulties, but also does exceptionally well in RP acting as a soft-tongued diplomat.
Role: Tank, Support, Combat Initiator
Advantages: High survivability, able to guard party members, weak but sustainable DPS, strong in role playing aspects, all-around.
Disadvantages: Micro intensive, shines over endgame, makes all the dirty work to let others shine
Paladin order: Shiedbearers of St. Elcga (order choice may appear questionable, but is priceless in actuality. Read below)
Race: Pale Elf (elemental resistance DRs, yes, please!), Hearth Orlan (slightly more DPS focused works well too), Moon Godlike (more heals, but no helms).
Might: 10 (matching might and dexterity yields the best DPS with this build. I won't elaborate here, since it's too detailed. Let me know, if you need further explanation on this.)
Dex: 10 (we will absolutely need this to sustain some DPS, in the end attack speed will be horrendous. Read below.)
Con: 10 (the build is tanky even with 10CON, but wouldn't suggest to go below for better synergy with high athletics skill)
Per: 17 (Deflection is needed for tanks, awesome in RP)
Int: 14 (Only for RP, offers minor buffs in support abilities. Truth is you can easily dump this to 10 and go 12 might, 12 dexterity, if you don't care for role-playing your character. We said we will be diplomats, so 14 INT feels good)
Res: 17 (More deflection, yes please! Complements the RP side of our character nicely)
Skills: Athletics 9 (so important for a tank), Lore 10 (for RP reasons), Survival 4 (RP and potions).
Weapon set of Choice: Noble (Mace) and shield
Level 1: Lay on Hands (A minor heal, far more useful than FoD in combination with shielding touch, read below)
Level 3: Zealous Endurance (more DR, yes please, we will need as much as we can)
Level 5: Sworn Enermy (this ability offers an absolutely important accuracy bonuses, and a x1.2 damage bonus. Together with your modal, it will allow you to bring a small but sustainable DPS in fights, where you have to contribute. Given your paladin cannot be brought down in fights, small but sustainable DPS is more than it sounds.)
Level 7: Reviving Exhortation (A well-placed revive can turn battles around)
Level 9 Reinforcing Exhortation (It allows you to shield any ally in a radius of 10m, it's a priceless support ability. Being able to shield your damage dealer from afar means a lot in PoE).
Level 11 Hastening exhortion opens hardcore support abilities (this can turn your dual wielding DPS into a killing machine, and by doing things like this is how you win in Path of the Damned), Righteous Soul (makes our Paladin uber tanky). Choice is up to you.
Level 2: Weapon and Shield Style (Absolutely vital. More deflection and more reflex, yes please! We are the shieldbearers after all.)
Level 4: Cautious Attack +10 deflection , -20% attack speed. (more deflection, yes please. Essentially, It stacks with zealous endurance and vulnerable attack. Should be triggered off, if character is not in the centre of focus to gain action speed).
Level 6: Shielding Touch (Modifies lay on hands and yields a +8 deflection bonus for 10sec. Sounds, nah... but it's absolutely fantastic. If you heal someone he absolutely needs this deflection bonus. Moreover it buys your ally time to get out from a difficult situation. Imagine this in combination with Reinforcing Exhortation, it basically turns any character into a tank. The best part? In contrast to other Paladin skills, it can also be used as a self-buff.)
Level 8: Weapon Focus Noble (Paladin's accuracy is not that great, but this together with sworn enemy, will allow to bring in some damage when needed. Why the heck noble? Well, we will go with mace for the 5 DR bypass bonus).
Level 10: Vulnerable Attack, -20% attack speed, +5DR bypass (more stacking DR bypass? Yes, please. As mentioned, it stacks as a modal ability with zealous endurance and cautious attack. Should be almost always on. If vulnerable attack is on together with cautious attack and the paladin is in full-plate things get very slow. Hence, 10 dexterity makes things viable.)
Level 12: Hold the Line (less flanking is always good), Deep Faith (more deflection and saving throws, nice), Superior Deflection (+5 deflection sounds good). Any choice would do.
1: You can have one paladin, one offensive and one defensive modal on at the same time.
2: Depending on talent choice, you can get your deflection sustainable up to 98-103 and spiked up to 106-111 with self-buffs and without bonus items.
3: The suggested skillpoint distribution yields 0 unused points in the end.
4: I value +3 perception, +10DR fire, +10DR freeze, over the heals of a Moon Godlike, but all suggested racial choices are viable.
Things you should forget:
Anything related to flames of devotion (Tried hard to make this work, in the end you spend way too many talent points and gain almost nothing in return. Might work for high might builds, but not for this, but then again if you want to play a DPS build, paladin is not your best choice.)
Greater lay on hands (+10 heal once per encounter, really?). If you want heals, get a cleric and druid in your party.
Feel free to dip in and comment. Thanks for reading.