|This guide to the Retribution Paladin is primarily intended for use at level 90 in a raiding environment. However, the same principals will still apply during the leveling process, so if you’re looking for advice on leveling your Paladin, check out our Paladin Leveling Guide.
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Other Paladin Guides:
- Speed of Light is grants you a burst movement cooldown, a good choice.
- Long Arm of the Law offers less than the other two and is not recommended.
- Pursuit of Justice is a constant speed increase, pick between this and Speed of Light depending on your personal preference and the demands of an encounter.
- Fist of Justice is an improved version of Hammer of Justice, a single target CC.
- Repentance is a single target CC that lasts longer than Fist of Justice and has a longer cooldown.
- Burden of Guilt lets you slow targets with judgement.
Pick whichever suits the encounter, this choice likely won’t matter very much.
- Selfless Healer is good if you want to throw out emergency heals from time to time.
- Eternal Flame is mostly useless.
- Sacred Shield is not the talent you are looking for.
- Hand of Purity is for encounters with particularly detrimental periodic effects.
- Unbreakable Spirit isn’t the greatest talent for our spec.
- Clemency is likely to see the most use of the three options in this tier.
- Holy Avenger sounds really nice, but falls short of the other two options.
- Sanctified Wrath is the optimal DPS choice at this time.
- Divine Purpose is useful, but sub-optimal.
- Holy Prism is one of two AoE DPS options in this tier, take it or Light’s Hammer for AoE encounters.
- Light’s Hammer is the other AoE option, the choice between it and Holy Prism depends on the exact nature of the fight more than anything.
- Execution Sentence is the best choice for single target DPS.
- Glyph of Double Jeopardy
- Glyph of Harsh Words
- Glyph of Word of Glory
- Glyph of Mass Exorcism
- Glyph of Templar’s Verdict
- Glyph of Righteous Retreat – Bubblehearth
- Primary Stats: Strength
- Secondary: Both Hit and Expertise to 7.5% > Haste
- Weaker: Mastery = Critical
- Useless: excess hit and Expertise.
In-Depth Retribution Rotation:
- Seal of Truth should be your seal of choice.
The key to maximizing your damage is proper management of Holy Power. Try to maintain Inquisition at all times as it boosts the damage of all your holy damage by 30% as well as critical strike chance by 10%, ideally triggering this buff when you have 3 holy power to make maintaining your rotation as easy as possible.
- Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Judgment, Exorcism and Hammer of Wrath are all attacks that build Holy Power.
- Inquisition, Templar’s Verdict, Divine Storm and Word of Glory use everywhere from 1 – 3 charges as are available.
As we can store up to a maximum of 5 Holy Power and our abilities utilize 3 charges at most, you can use this to pool Holy Power for when you’ll receive a damage boost and then unleash a quick Templar’s Verdict followed by any attack that generates Holy Power and then another 3 point Templar’s Verdict.
However, it’s also important that you never waste an opportunity to build additional Holy Power, which means you need to expend it as quickly as possible upon reaching the 5 stack cap or else you’re effectively wasting potential damage while inhibiting yourself from building further charges for future attacks.
- Exorcism should be used on cooldown and whenever The Art of War triggers.
- Hammer of Wrath should be cast whenever possible, either when a target is at 20% health or when Avenging Wrath is active.
- Templar’s Verdict is your primary Holy Power using attack and should be used when you have 3 Holy Power unless you’re pooling Holy Power temporarily or need to refresh Inquisition.
When facing multiple targets, Hammer of the Righteous becomes your primary Holy Power generating attack and Divine Storm your method of expending it. Target switching is necessary to get the optimal effect from Seal of Truth when facing multiple enemies by placing its censure effect on all targets.
- Seal of Righteousness is an effective alternative for large groups.
- Avenging Wrath should be used on cooldown, and will allow you to cast Hammer of Wrath for the duration of the buff regardless of the health of your target. Guardian of Ancient Kings should also be used as often as possible.
Tier 5 Talented Abilities:
Sanctified Wrath lengthens the duration of Avenging Wrath by 50% and lowers the cooldown on Hammer of Wrath by 50% during Avenging Wrath. This effect will be automatic whenever you trigger Avenging Wrath, which should be as often as possible, therefore you only need to remember to include Hammer of Wrath more often in your rotation due to the reduced cooldown time.
Holy Avenger alters your rotation significantly in that it allows you to use one Holy Power generating attack for every 3 point Holy Power attack you use on a target for the duration of the buff, 18 seconds. Holy Avenger also increases the damage of your attacks that generate Holy Power by 30%.
Retribution Paladin Gems for DPS
Strength used to be all powers, but the value of the secondary stat gems is double that of the Str gems, for example: 320 Haste Vs 160 Str. This means that it will be worth your while to match socket bonuses. Your Plate Bonus adds to all Str gems.
- Yellow sockets can use the Orange gem if you need the Str.
- Blue sockets can use the purple gem.
|Gem Priorities for Retribution|
|Meta||Reverberating Primal Diamond: +216 Str & Increased Crit Effect|
|Red||Bold Primordial Ruby: 160 Str|
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste|
|Orange||Fierce Vermilion Onyx: +80 Str and 160 Haste|
|Purple||Etched Imperial Amethyst: +80 Str and +160 Hit|
|Prismatic||Bold Primordial Ruby: 160 Str|
|Cogwheel||Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste - requires an engie helm, such as this.|
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession. Your Plate Bonus adds to all Str enchants. Included in this list are some Hit and Expertise enchants, if you need to cap off either of those stats.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel: Sometimes increases Str by 1,650.|
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Fang Inscription: +520 Str and +100 Crit, requires Inscription
Greater Tiger Fang Inscription: +200 Str and +100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: +180 Crit rating
Enchant Cloak – Accuracy: +180 Hit rating
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Exceptional Strength: +170 Str
Socket Bracer: Requires Blacksmithing, self-only, pop in a nice gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Super Strength: +170 Str
Enchant Gloves – Superior Expertise: +170 Expertise
Socket Gloves: requires Blacksmithing, self-only, drop in a nice gem
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Sockets your belt, pop in the best gem.|
|Leggings||Angerhide Leg Armor: +285 Str & 185 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Greater Precision: +175 Hit rating
Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery and Slight run speed increase.
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Strength: +160 Str, Requires Enchanting 550|
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour and provide only one stat. If you have the Alchemy skill the effect and duration of flasks and elixirs will be increased, including the value of secondary stats, by about 30% and an hour. Foods are available that provide secondary stats, but they’re only worth about 200 points.
Your Plate Bonus adds to all Str consumables.
- Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp: 300 Str
- Potion of Mogu Power: 4k Str for 25 Seconds
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 60k HP, probably worthwhile to have a few of these on your bar.
- Flask of Winter’s Bite: 1,000 Str for 1 hour
Elixirs – you can have one battle and one guardian elixir up at a time. Going with the flask will generally be the better choice.
- battle: Elixir of Weaponry: 750 Expertise for one hour.
- battle: Elixir of the Rapids: 750 Haste
- battle: Elixir of Perfection: 750 Hit
- guardian: Mantid Elixir: 2,250 Armor
Race choice for Retribution Paladins
Yes, I know you want to play an Undead or Gnome Paladin. Sorry, it ain’t happening. Not even Pandarens can be Paladins.
As far a DPS abilities, none really stand out.
Blood Elf – Best hair, subject to off-color jokes.
- Arcane Torrent is your one and only worthwhile ability. Somewhat redundant with Rebuke, it’s an area effect interrupt/silence, which is definitely useful when fighting groups with casters. It’s not a PvP interrupt. The mana gain from AT is minor.
- Good with Enchanting, if youre taking that skill.
Draenei – Squids. As Paladins. Ok, whatever…
- +1% Hit saves some rating points to reforge into something else.
- Their Heal might make some difference on occasion, but it isn’t important.
- Good with Jewelcrafting, if you want that skill.
Dwarf – Short, best beards in the game.
- Ranged Expertise is of little use to you.
- The Stoneform ability reduces damage by 10% in addition to washing away bleeds and such. Probably more PvP value than PvE, but then there are those times…
- Good with Archeology.
Human – Best Pally race overall?
- Expertise with Maces and Swords is nice if the best weapon available is a mace or sword. Also adds to your Spell Hit for the rare times that you want that.
- The escape ability has occasional PvE use and allows the replacing of the PvP escape trinket with something that adds stats.
- Spirit gain is useless.
- Diplomacy is very nice if you’re going to be doing any rep grinding, but obviously won’t add much to your DPS numbers.
Tauren – Big, warm, and fuzzy makes the Tauren the ultimate Pally race. Oh, that’s not enough? Ok…
- 5% health bonus is always nice, but probably more useful for PvP than PvE and it doesn’t scale well at very high level.
- War stomp is an Area Effect stun which is, again, probably more useful for PvP than PvE, but should help with some crowd control.
- Good with Herbalism, which is a nice cash skill and adds a Haste & Heal effect.
Professions for the Ret. Pally
You can use the professions for gear, gold, or just for the buff. Note that Blacksmithing might be the best profession, since it allows slotting two gems and those gems can have stats other than Str. For example, 640 Haste Vs 320 Str. You can also slot 320 Hit and 320 Expertise if you need it.
Leveling a profession can cost, big time. Check our wow gold tips for info on increasing your cash flow and maybe making some extra gold with your profession.
- Your Mixology ability increases the effect of your personal potions. This means a 320 Str add to your Flask of Winter’s Bite, for 1320 Str total. Roughly 30% effect is also added to your Elixirs. You can also create an Alchemist’s Flask.
- You can also create a nice trinket which will add to your Mastery, sometimes add Str, and also increase healing done to you.
- The ability to turn into a dragon (if you have lots of gold and the Archeology skill) is also fun.
- Can add an additional gem socket to your bracers and gloves, for the finest gems you can afford.
- Can make your starting PvP set, keys, sharpening stones, and a few other interesting items.
- Can add 160 Str to each on your rings, not to mention all those other nice enchants.
- Reinforced Retinal Armor is a fine starter helm. Add in a couple of Cogwheels (see below) for more goodness.
- Synapse Springs boosts Str for 10 seconds every minute. This locks out trinket cooldowns (CDs) for 15 seconds. Excellent boost but cannot be stacked with trinkets during CD phases, requiring some CD juggling. Str boost is 1940.
- Shoulder enchant adds 520 Str. and 100 Crit. You can also make glyphs, of course, and a number of other useful items, in addition to everyone elses shoulder enchatns.
- Create gems that are much better than everyone else gets. Also create useful rings, neckpieces, and other items.
- Fur Lining adds 500 Str to your wrist item.
- Swordguard Embroidery – Sometimes get 4000 Attack Power for 15 sec.
- Can make yourself a flying carpet.
- Mining adds 480 Stam at 600 skill
- Herbalism adds 2880 Haste for 20 sec (along with a small heal) at 600 skill. You can also find life and mana spirits.
- Skinning adds 480 Crit rating at 600 skill
Paladin Leveling, the easy Way
If you’re leveling your Paladin, with the intent of reaching the end-game Retribution goodness, then you need to know that the fastest way to get leveled is with an semi-automated Paladin leveling guide (it doesn’t actually play the game for you.). You’ll never again have to ask, “Where do I go and what do I do when I get there…”
Zygor’s guide is our preferred leveling guide. It’s an in-game guide that shows up as a small window on your screen. It shows the current quest and displays an arrow pointing the way to go, showing you the most efficient way to knock out the most quests in the least time.
What? You want to do a few dungeons and/or clean up the Battlegrounds for a few levels? No problem. Zygor has been gemming and gearing for Int and is smart enough to figure out where you are and where you need to go, not matter what level you start with or how many you gain in the dungeons. Watch the vide on his home page and he’ll show you exactly how that works.
Zygor’s Guide is much like having a skilled partner helping you out every step of the way. Its fully updated for for all the lastest patches and expansions, including its nifty Talent Advisor. Grab it now and cruise to the level cap. Then you can be the one to answer the “Where do I go at level…?” questions in the chat channels. Grab your copy here or read our Zygor review first.
Like this page? How about recommending it and/or commenting?