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Ultimate Guide for Retribution Paladin Wotlk

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Retribution in Wotlk is pretty easy to pick up and play, but can be somewhat difficult to master; hopefully this thread will make it easier to understand, for both new and veteran paladins alike. This thread assumes you have basic knowledge of paladins and their talent trees.


Acronyms/Shortforms


  • AGI = Agility
  • AoW = Art of War
  • AM = Aura Mastery
  • AP = Attack Power
  • ArP = Armor Penetration
  • AW = Avenging Wrath
  • BoM = Blessing of Might
  • BoK = Blessing of Kings
  • CS = Crusader Strike
  • CRIT = Critical Strike (rating)
  • DoT = Damage over Time
  • DP = Divine Plea
  • DS = Divine Storm
  • DSac = Divine Sacrifice
  • Exo = Exorcism
  • E4E = Eye for an Eye
  • GCD = Global Cooldown
  • HoJ = Hammer of Justice
  • HoT = Heal over Time
  • HoW = Hammer of Wrath
  • ICD = Internal Cooldown
  • JoW = Judgement of Wisdom
  • JoL = Judgement of Light
  • JoJ = Judgement of Justice
  • JotW = Judgements of the Wise
  • JoV = Judgement of Vengeance
  • RV = Righteous Vengeance
  • Sheath = Sheath of Light
  • SS = Sacred Shield
  • SoB = Seal of Blood/Martyr (Removed in 3.2)
  • SoC = Seal of Command
  • SoCorr = Don't call it SoCorr please, it's SoV
  • SoR = Seal of Righteousness
  • Sotp = Seals of the Pure
  • SoV = Seal of Vengeance/Seal of Corruption
  • SoV dot = The DoT portion of SoV
  • SoV proc = The instant damage portion of SoV
  • STR = Strength
  • PoJ = Pursuit of Justice
  • ppm = proc per minute



Observations/Theories


Current observations: The melee crit cap is currently 71.2% - this number assumes you are already hit/expertise capped. Due to the nature of paladins, it is almost impossible at this time to reach the melee crit cap (rogues and warriors do have to worry about this though). Melee specials, such as Judgement and CS, are immune to crit capping; their crit cap is 100%. Glancing blows are a part of melee combat and cannot be avoided. Glancing blows happen 24% of the time and cannot be critical hits; as retribution, only auto-attacks (whites) are subject to glancing blows. Our specials are based on a 2 roll system, our normal (autoswings) are a one roll system. SoV dot applications are still based on the 2 roll system, so this is still valid. You need 8%, not the BC 9%, to be 2H melee hitcapped vs skull level mobs (bosses). You (still) need 26 expertise (6.50%) to be expertise capped, not the 6.25% reported lately. All melee classes seem to suffer a 4.8% crit suppression vs skull mobs; this means that your melee critrate will be on average 1.8% lower than your character sheet implies (HotC covers 3% of this, procs from librams and such not accounted for). All spell attacks have a 3% crit suppression vs bosses. Because of HotC, we do not notice this at all; also only exorcism and holy wrath are affected by this. The spell hit cap is still 17% - the only skills we have that are affected by this are exorcism, holy wrath, and consecrate ticks - so this is of little importance to us.


The Basic Rotation...


Basic clash resolution is as follows: HoW > Judgement > CS > DS > Consecration > Exorcism > Holy Wrath At T10 levels of gear, Judgement > DS > CS > HoW > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath is theorized to be the most dps. For modified clash resolutions, see below.

After many months of facerolling, sadly not much has changed and we still use FCFS (First Come First Serve) as our "rotation". What this means is basically that it is better to hit a dps skill that is off cooldown - any skill - rather than wait a second for a certain skill to be ready. In the event that multiple skills are off cooldown, use the clash resolution above to prioritize what to use first; these are sorted by DPS, not Damage per Cast.

The reasoning behind FCFS courtesy Avitus:

There are two elements to our "rotation": FCFS and clash resolution

FCFS: Was chosen very simply due to the fact that due to the cooldowns our abilities have, you can't repeat any reliable short term pattern (for example: "1" "1" "1" "3", repeat) that would maximize DPS. The only patterns that repeat are several minutes long (containing several dozen of casts) and therefore not realistic to offer as a "rotation". Therefore FCFS is the only way to go.

Clash resolution: Skills are chosen in the order of highest DPS first, not highest damage per cast (burst).. and why...

Judgement - Hardest hitter, returns mana, can't go wrong with this as your top priority. DS - DS only pulls ahead of CS with 2pcT10 equipped, as its' effective cooldown drops to 6 seconds, and it hits much harder than CS does. CS - Because of the short CD and ability to proc a seal, you want to keep this on cooldown as much as possible. HoW - This skill only comes into play when a mob is at 20%; it then becomes high priority due to it's extremely high crit rate and fairly short CD. Consecration - Consecration moves near the top of the pile only against multiple (4+) adds. Exorcism - It hits hard, but because of it's somewhat long cooldown (15s) and reliance on spellhit, it isn't great dps. Do not use this on a pull because it will not be instant cast, and will delay entering melee combat. Holy Wrath - Only effective against multiple (6+) demons/undead, you are better off using your free GCD casting DP or a SS on someone. This is as close to a mana dump skill as we have.


Addendum


Lately our sets have had the ability to alter our resolution system. There are several different scenarios in 3.3, these only apply if set bonuses are equipped.

If you have 2pc T9 equipped your best clash resolution is: Judgement > HoW > CS > DS > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath.

If you have 2pc T9 AND 2pc T10 equipped, your best resolution is: Judgement > DS > HoW > CS > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath

If you have 4pc T10 equipped, your best clash resolution is: Judgement > DS > CS > HoW > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath

Remember that no matter what priority system you pick and use, we're still bound to FCFS. Roll dat face hard!


Stats


(In order of importance!) If you are looking for stat weightings I suggest you use one of the spreadsheets at the top, as they vary greatly depending on your current gear.

Hit See Observations 32.8 rating gives you 1% hit. At level 80, we require 263 hit rating, or 8%, to be hit capped on white swings, specials, and judgements. Note that Exorcism and Consecration are considered spells and use the spell hit table, thus we can still miss with these abilities. You need to be hitcapped in order to get your maximum dps. Hitcapping is extremely easy with gear alone and shouldn't be gemmed or enchanted for.

Strength Our DPS stat to stack after the hitcap, as we have various talents that multiply it's effect. 1 STR gives you 2 AP baseline, multiplied by 1.15 from Divine Strength (Tier 1 Prot) giving us 2.3 AP per STR when specced. This number is further affected by buffs such as BoK. STR also increases the strength of our utility spells such as SS via talents, and SoV triple dips on STR. It is recommended that you gem all STR after you are hitcapped.

Expertise Introduced in late BC, this stat allows us to completely remove dodges from the attack table - you cannot realistically fully remove parries from the table, but you only get parried from the front, so don't attack bosses from the front! 8.2 rating gives 1 expertise; you need 214 expertise rating (26 expertise, 6.5%) to reach the cap. If you are a human using a sword/mace you need 23 expertise (189 rating), and if you are a dwarf using a mace you need 21 expertise (173 rating) to reach the cap due to racials. Capping this stat is a significant dps increase vs uncapped (or none at all) as it affects our whites and strikes. You ideally want to cap this stat alongside hit in order to maximize your dps and this is possible in 3.2/3.3 with the amount of expertise on gear. Anything over the cap is utterly worthless and wasted itemization points. Do not gem for expertise, let it come naturally with gear or glyphs (see glyph section).

Crit See Observations We are quite reliant on critical strikes to do damage. You can never really have too much crit, but it is not worth gemming for it, gem for STR instead. You need 45.9 crit rating to gain 1% crit at 80. This stat gains no benefits from raid buffs, but you get more per itemization point from crit than you do AGI. This stat also increases your spell crit rating, making it flat out superior to AGI.

Agility We need 52.08 agility to gain 1% melee crit. Like stated before, crit is flat out better, however AGI does scale with raid buffs such as BoK where crit does not. Often found on leather, mail, or sometimes weapons, but not on plate.

Haste Haste received some buffs in 3.1; namely for paladins we get 30% more haste from each rating point. Haste increases white damage and SoV damage by giving you a few more attacks against a boss; haste does NOT decrease the GCD on our strikes/judgements, but slightly decreases spell GCD (cons, exo). You will find plenty of it on our sets and pieces, don't enchant or gem for it. You need 32.7 baseline haste rating to gain 1% haste at 80, but adjusted with the 3.1 changes paladins require 25.2 haste rating for 1% haste. Despite all these buffs for haste, it still isn't a great stat for ret and should not be stacked or specifically aimed for.

Attack Power Most of our skills scale off AP, but this stat is bottom of the melee barrel (about tied with ArP) - STR is just so much better. AP isn't really seen on plate (so you often don't have to worry about this) but you will run into it if you dip into leather and mail. Note that despite AP having a 2:1 item stat budget, it is still far weaker than STR as we have no talents that boost it's effect. When comparing or considering pieces with AP vs plate, you need to look at the item stats/level as a whole.

Armor Penetration ArP only affects about 35% of our damage, making it our least desired stat. 13.8 rating now gives you 1% armor piercing; unlike BC, you can no longer fully ignore boss or player armor via this stat. ArPen does NOT increase damage done by seals or judgements, just white damage, CS and DS.

Spellpower Bad item stat for us. Spellpower increases some of our skills' coefficients, but at a rate much slower than STR/AP, and does nothing for our white damage and instant melee strikes - CS and DS gain nothing from spellpower. Avoid this stat (easy to do, since none of our ret gear has spellpower).

Intellect As of 3.1, INT sucks due to JotW/SA changes. 1 INT gives you 15 mana and a negligible amount of spell crit; you need 166 INT to gain 1% spellcrit. INT will increase the mana you get from DP, and your total mana pool, nothing else. You will only find int on hunter/enh shaman gear and it is rare to find a piece of mail better than plate/leather. INT is not a ret stat.

Stamina, Armor Ultimately, stam does nothing more than keep you alive in situations where there is raid damage, and in wrath there is a lot of raid damage. Most of the damage is magic (not mitigated by armor) therefor armor class does not matter to us, as we have no Armored to the Teeth talents like warriors or deathknights. You'll find all the stam you need and much much more on all wrath gear.


Mechanics


(Quirky!) Several mechanics have changed since BC, most notably the Seal and Judgement systems.

The following scale off of both AP and Spellpower - Seal of Command: 36% weapon damage Judgement of Command: 19% weapon damage + 9% AP + 13% spell power Seal of Vengeance: (see below for full details) 33% weapon damage + 2.5% AP + 1.3% spell power per tick Judgement of Vengeance: (1 + (.14 * AP) + (.22 * Spellpower)) * (1 + (0.1 * Stack Size)) Seal of Light: 15% AP + 15% spell power (healing proc) Judgement of Light: 16% AP + 25% spell power (damage) 2% of maximum hp (healing proc) Seal of Wisdom: 4% of maximum mana (mana proc) Judgement of Wisdom: 16% AP + 25% spell power (damage) 2% of base mana (mana proc) Judgement of Justice: 16% AP + 25% spell power (damage) Consecration: 4% AP + 4% spell power per tick (Final rank has 113 base damage per tick) Exorcism: 15% AP + 15% spell power (Final rank has 1028 base damage) Hammer of Wrath: 15% AP + 15% spell power (Final rank has 1139 base damage) Holy Wrath: 7% AP + 7% spell power (Final rank has 1050 base damage) Sacred Shield: 75% spellpower

Our healing spells scale strictly off of Spellpower.

In addition to seals scaling from both AP and SP, ALL seals can now be triggered from our instant melee attacks, DS and CS. I'll cover the specific seals a bit further down.


Judgements


Blizzard finally came out and "settled" what we already knew for 3.2. All Judgements are considered melee attacks that cannot be dodged, parried or blocked. They cannot be used while silenced and can still miss if you are not hitcapped. If this is confusing for you, just think of them as ranged physical attacks that are capable of triggering melee events (beserking, AoW ect). Judgements do not stack, and the last/most recent person to judge will be credited with the effects (yes, non-divinity JoL's will overwrite divinity'd JoL's).

Judgement of Wisdom This is a strong choice for your judgement to use due to equalized JoL and the removal of blood recoil. You want to keep JoW up or you and your mana using dps (hunters in particular) can run into mana troubles. JoW's mana return effect is limited to 15 PPM for spells and physical; because paladins use both, we can see a few more procs than other classes.

Judgement of Light This was our primary judgement for 3.1, however it has been equalized among all paladin specs to return 2% max hp (it used to scale based on AP/SP). If there are 2 paladins in your raid, you want the prot or holy paladin to use this judgement, so you can keep JoW up. If there is heavy raid damage and you are the only paladin, JoL is a good choice. If you are specced into Divinity, JoL still does benefit from it.

Judgement of Justice This is your judgement in pvp situations, as all the debuff does is limit movement speed to 100%. This is not considered a movement impairing effect, so freedom or druid shifting will not break it, it can only be pvp trinketed or dispelled. This effect only lasts 10 seconds in pvp, not 20 as the tooltip implies.


Seals


Seals scale off AP and Spellpower. Judging a seal no longer consumes the seal, seals have a 30 minute duration. Seals are NOT considered weapon imbues, and can no longer be dispelled. Seals trigger off instant attacks (CS, DS).

Seal of Vengeance/Seal of Corruption SoV replaced blood (which has been removed from the game) as our primary dps seal. SoV is the biggest reason that STR is our best dps stat, because it is one of the few skills in the game that triple dip on a stat (once for AP, once for SP, once for AP affecting weapon damage). In case the wording on the skill is unclear, SoV has 2 parts to it - the DoT, and the proc. The proc is basically a weaker, modified Seal of Blood proc but without the recoil. The talent SotP increases the damage from the DoT and the proc (which results in a total dps increase of about 6.5%). It takes ~12 seconds in a raid buffed setting to get a 5 stack active. SoV has some odd functionality detailed below:

The seal procs will begin triggering from auto-attacks once you have a debuff stack of any size, and strikes will always trigger a seal proc (but never a DoT application). The table below shows the damage of the proc per DoT application: Stack Number % of Weapon Damage % with SotP 0 0% 0% 1 6.6% 7.6% 2 13.2% 15.2% 3 19.8% 22.8% 4 26.4% 30.4% 5 33% 38%

When an auto-attack lands (does not dodge/parry/miss) that can proc a seal the of the following things happen independently of each other (see 2 roll system).

1) A "hidden strike" which uses melee combat mechanics occurs. If it lands it refreshes/stacks SoV DoT. Only white swings can trigger a refresh or stack. (This hidden strike mechanic can also proc things like berserking..) \\wat the fack is going on here w/ hotfixes, update this later 2) A weapon damage based proc will occur if you used a special (CS/DS/judge) or if you have a 5 stack (from auto attacks). This attack can not be avoided.

Remember #2 happens regardless of #1 landing, it just requires the initial attack (autos, cs, etc) to land.

DoT functions and mechanics: DoT application is melee hit/exp based. (Cannot be resisted like a spell, but can be dodged or parried) DoT will still be applied even if your white swing is fully absorbed (in a PvP situation). DoT is only applied via auto-attacks (whites). DoT ticks always hit. DoT ticks are reduced by partial resist on skull mobs, but not by players (it is holy damage). DoT gains from CoE (and equivalents).

Seal Proc functions and mechanics: Proc (after 5 stack/triggered from specials) can NOT be dodged or parried, it occurs as long as your initial white/strike lands. Proc suffers from partial resists (it's holy damage). Proc gains from CoE (and equivalents). Proc can crit. (like SoB did)

With the release of 3.2.2, SoV stack interaction should now be functioning correctly and the damage you get from procs/judgements is solely based on your stack count.

Seal of Righteousness It's still an option to use this seal, however since the critical breakpoint has been reached (ILvl 252 gear), SoC now hits harder and can cleave things. In general, SoR has been relegated to a PvP seal due to its' harder hitting judgements. SoR procs also cannot miss or be dodged/parried (unless your initial auto misses), and judging SoR results in an additional SoR proc. It is the only seal that behaves in this manner.

Seal of Command SoC is our cleaving/trash seal. SoC procs follow all standard melee attack rules, no longer have an ICD, and can crit. Judging on a stunned target no longer guarantees a crit, and the judgement is fairly weak to being with, you use this seal for its' proc damage. The cleave effect on this seal is based on the middle of the target hitbox; if you are at maximum melee range it is possible for you to be missing out on SoC cleaves (if there are adds being tanked nearby, Anub25H is a very good example of this). You also need all the targets that you want cleaved in front of you, or at least stacked on top of each other; unlike DS, SoC procs will not hit adds positioned in a circle. The cleave range is about that same as protection's HotR, 8 yards (slightly smaller than DS' 10 yards).


Strikes and DPS skills


These spells are used in the retribution skill rotation.

Consecration Widely viewed as a necessary part of the retribution rotation, as our DPS is not very competitive without it. Should be used against both single and multiple targets. Consecration has some odd behavior on skull level mobs; the first tick can be fully resisted (miss) and subsequent ticks can also be partially resisted (due to mob level difference). You cannot work around the partial resists at all, but they are often small enough to not matter.

Hammer of Wrath With the release of 3.0, this skill was buffed a substantial amount, to the point where it is used on cooldown vs targets under 20% health (due to deep ret talents that give this skill a 50% base crit chance, in addition to gear). It is now an instant ranged execute, but retains its' fixed mana cost. Using this skill does not reset your swing timer.

Exorcism Chnaged again in 3.2. This is now usable on all mob types, can crit (based on your spell crit), and has 100% crit chance vs undead and demon mobs. It uses the spell hit table so you can still miss with this even if melee hitcapped. It has a base cast time of 1.5s which means you will never ever use this without an AoW proc available - when used with AoW it becomes instant and does not reset the swing timer. Note that because it is not a base instant cast it does not benefit from Benediction.

Holy Wrath Also uses the spell hit tables, can crit. Has no target limit so it is very useful on certain fights with many undead/demon adds. Changed from a 60s cooldown/20yd range (BC) to a 30s cooldown/10yd range, and it now stuns all targets that it hits for 3s, and shares stun DR with HoJ.

Divine Plea You will need to use this to keep your mana up in both PvE and PvP. It scales off your total mana pool, and is dispellable. DP is usually responsible for 10% of our total mana income on bosses.

And of course, our talented instant attacks:

Divine Storm Our 51 pt talent, it is basically the same as a warrior's whirlwind ability except that DS heals for negligible amounts. Despite it seeming like an underwhelming talent it is critical to our DPS as it can and will trigger seals and RV. This skill is normalized to 3.3 weapon speed.

Crusader Strike Our still bland 41 pt talent, yet still crucial to our DPS as it also triggers seals and RV. CS no longer refreshes your or any other paladins' judgements. This skill is also normalized (to 3.3).



Special Talents


and their ..."specialness" This is just to cover some talents that have odd quirks or interesting functionality.

Art of War AoW seems like it becomes more important in pve, but realistically nothing has changed. Exorcism still has a 15 second cooldown, and the chances that you will not see a crit on the pull (7.5 seconds in) while raid buffed are 1.6%, while the chances you won't see a crit in 15 seconds is 0.2% - therefore there is no reason to stack crit or worry about not being able to use it every 15s. AoW has been changed to proc on all melee crits, which means whites, strikes and judgements, but not seal procs.

Righteous Vengeance Once again stealing from the warriors! The RV dot does indeed "roll" like the warrior version, meaning critical judgements and DS's in succession will refresh the dot duration, not overwrite it. The RV dot is a magic effect and thus dispellable, can be partially resisted by bosses, but is not mitigated by armor. With 2pc T9 equipped, RV crits for 200% damage, just like any of our other melee abilities. How RV rolls courtesy Redcape:

It adds the new critical damage onto any remaining damage in the dot and then resets the duration with the new damage total. There is absolutely no need to maintain the stack in any fashion, the stack falling off does not cause you to lose dps. Sheath of Light One of our most exciting talents for wrath. This talent helps to increase our damage because of the way we double-dip in AP and SP, gives retribution paladins heals actually worth casting/using, and makes STR that much more important. Sacred Shield finally also scales from spellpower granted by this talent. The healing portion of this talent acts the same way as RV; getting a crit heal while still having a sheath hot active "rolls" (see above).

Sacred Shield We used to use this a lot in pve, but now this is more of a pvp ret utility. Using this does not reset the swing timer. Sacred Shield also has a 6s ICD even when talented, so it is capable of refreshing itself every 6 seconds, even if the 'old' shield has not been fully used up.

Divinity This has an odd double dipping interaction with your own heals (JoL, DS heals) which causes it to multiply twice, like so: (original heal number) * 1.05 *1.05. It is taken in pve builds only when you are trying to get to DSac. If you pick up this talent, you may want to use JoL and have other paladins use JoW.


Talent Options


There are several talents that provide (de)buffs that can already be covered by other specs, or are highly situational, so let's look at situations and numbers below. Many of these can be juggled or dropped to gain other talents if they are already covered, giving us some freedom in our talent choices. Tailor your spec by using the core spec provided above, and finding out what you already have covered in your raid.

Aura Mastery - If you really want raid utility and miss having DSac, AM provides a weaker alternative. It now only lasts for 6 seconds, and of course it still only applies to the base aura effect (using this with ret aura active only increases the thorns-like damage, it does not increase the 3% damage from sanctified retribution). This can be useful on fights with heavy magic damage spikes. Of course, AM does require that you be running the appropriate aura before use, however AM is NOT on the GCD.

Heart of the Crusader - This is a critical debuff to have in your raids, however it is early enough in the tree that both protection and holy paladins can reach this. This is also covered by an elemental shaman and does not stack.

Vindication - Turned into an actual debuff in 3.2, our "demo shout" requires no thought or resources to apply, thus saving your druid/warrior/warlock friends a GCD and some rage/mana. It's situational because this is a mandatory talent for protection paladins, so if you raid with one then you don't need this (ps go make friends with a prot paladin). Demo shout is superior for AoE situations like Anub's adds, because vindication only procs on attacks (such as DS) and not from consecration - Vindication is superior for single targets because it is applied on your first melee attack and is basically a passive debuff.

Swift Retribution - Another required buff for your raid, but if you have a moonkin in your roster who is always present, he can provide this buff (does not stack).

Divinity - Due to JoL no longer scaling this talent has diminished value. It is still increases JoL healing, but only from 2.0% to 2.1% of max hp (2.2% on yourself only).

Divine Sacrifice / Divine Guardian- Was absolutely required for 3.1 raiding and arguably for 3.2 as well, this talent was heavily nerfed for 3.3 (rightfully so, it was previously the single most powerful talent point you could have for your raid). Using the bubble before DSac used to prevent the cap from ever being met, giving your entire raid 30% damage reduction for 10 seconds; it now only gives your party 30% absorption until you either take 200% of your total hp as damage, or if you drop below 20% total hp - you can't use the bubble to immune the damage now. Divine Guardian is now required to "restore" DSac's old functionality and even then it is not as powerful as before. Because of the major changes to these talents, and their deep placement in the prot tree, these talents are best left to holy or protection paladins and cannot be taken in any serious pve retribution build. DSac is more or less a pvp talent for retribution now.


Recommended Major PvE Glyphs


[Glyph of Judgement] This is your primary glyph as retribution. 10% more damage on one of our primary attacks is mandatory.

[Glyph of Consecration] This is a PvE glyph, it saves a ton of mana and some GCD clashes over the course of a fight (worth 108mp5). With our GCD as locked as it is this is also a mandatory pve glyph.

[Glyph of Seal of Vengeance] We now have the option of glyphing for 10 expertise! This glyph grants exactly what it says, 10 expertise (82 rating, 2.5%) when using our primary dps seal. This is a decent option if you are under the expertise cap or if you want to use other stronger items in place of expertise items. It's worth noting that if you benefit from even half of the expertise (example, glyph puts you at 31 expertise) it is more dps than the exo glyph. The main benefit of this glyph is a lot of freedom in gear choices, as you can drop weaker expertise pieces.

[Glyph of Exorcism] An option if you are naturally expertise capped, or perhaps for pvp. This glyph is worth ~50 dps, and as noted above you can gain more from using freed itemization on non-expertise gear.

[Glyph of Seal of Command] PvP glyph - note that even if your judgement is fully absorbed, you will still get 8% base mana back (unlike JotW's absorb mechanics).


Recommended Minor Glyphs


[Glyph of Sense Undead] 1% damage to undead, in an expansion filled with undead mobs. Our only real useful minor glyph.

[Glyph of Lay on Hands] Self explanatory, taken for lack of decent minor glyphs.

The other four minor glyphs are your choice for the last minor slot. They aren't particularly useful in pve or pvp situations, but they can save you a reagent here and there.


Recommended Gems


Sometimes you will have to ignore socket bonuses because they are terrible! This is more a guide for when you want to meet such requirements. We finally have epic gems available, and so rare cuts have been removed from the lists. Due to JC changes (removal of the prismatic portion of the dragon's eyes) all paladins are equalized in gemming options.

Metas:

[Relentless Earthsiege Diamond] This is the preferred meta, simply because of fairly easy gem requirements. You do lose between .5 and 1 DPS between this and the CSD but you gain more DPS by not using 2 blue gems. Do not use [Chaotic Skyflare Diamond] because 2 blue gems suck.

Prismatic: You will be using one (and only one) of these to fulfill your meta requirement. Use it in a blue slot, preferably one with a good socket bonus (like str). [Nightmare Tear]

Red slots: You will be gemming pure STR in almost everything. [Bold Cardinal Ruby]

Yellow slots: If you have ONE socket in a piece that is yellow with a STR bonus of 4 or higher, you can safely use these - a piece with 2+ yellow sockets is better off gemmed with pure STR. [Etched Ametrine] [Inscribed Ametrine]

Blue slots: Gemming for blue sockets is always a dps loss until we have 10 str socket bonuses (aka, not in this xpac). You should use the prismatic tear above. You do find the following gem used in pvp gear, though. [Sovereign Dreadstone]


Professions


The quick and dirty of it is, if you are min-maxing every point you can get, Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting is the strongest combo for ret pve (because STR is far superior to AP). Gathering professions are the weakest.

Profession perks:

JC: 42 Strength (34 str vs. 20 str) BS: 40 Strength (extra 2 sockets) Alchemy: 80 AP (Using 180 AP Flask + 1 more hour on flasks)* LW: 80 AP (Bracer enchant) Enchanting: 80 AP (2x Ring enchants) Inscription: 80 AP (Better shoulder enchant + no need to do Sons dailies) Engineering: Glove enchant (Use effect worth ~57 haste) at the expense of 44 AP, or rockets worth ~59 dps Tailoring: Embroidery on cloak (proc worth ~130 AP) at the expense of 22 agility Skinning: 40 Crit Rating Herbalism: None

  • A special note on alchemy's flask ([Flask of the North]): because this flask does not stack with other flasks and does not benefit from mixology, you will be using Endless Rage flasks like the rest of us for pve. However for pvp, you will get 40 STR from drinking the flask.


Enchants


Head: [Arcanum of Torment] Shoulders: [Greater Inscription of the Axe] / [Lesser Inscription of the Axe] Chest: Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats / Enchant Chest - Super Stats Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Major Agility / Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed Bracers: Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault / Enchant Bracers - Striking / Hands: Enchant Gloves - Crusher / Enchant Gloves - Precision (if hit is a problem) Legs: [Icescale Leg Armor] Feet: Enchant Boots - Icewalker (unless you are way over hitcap, use this) / Enchant Boots - Greater Assault Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Berserking / Enchant 2H Weapon - Massacre

How berserking works: Berserking is a ppm based proc, similar to mongoose - in a raid environment it has a ~75% uptime. It can only trigger off attacks flagged as melee attacks and melee specials (Judgements, CS, DS, white swings). It has increased uptime since 3.2 due to SoV's hidden strike mechanic, which seems to be able to trigger and refresh the buff. Because of this, this is our only real choice for any dps weapon enchant.


Consumables


Flasks and elixirs: Just flask, they last the same time amount as an elixir and last through death. [Flask of Endless Rage]

Food: More interesting choices this time around - you have traditional STR food, in addition to some new foods that actually support our double-dipping into AP/SP. Dragonfin and Fish Feast are roughly equivalent: [Dragonfin Filet] [Fish Feast]

Potions: (it might be wise to carry a stack of each) [Runic Mana Potion] If you have mana issues [Potion of Speed] If you don't


Tier Gear


Tier 9


Maths: RV damage average: 7% of our total dps Average critrate in a raid: 45% (45*7)% = 3.15 2pc: Allowing RV ticks to crit results in a ~3% dps boost. As is the case with most wrath sets, this scales with your gear (as more STR increases the dot strength, and more crit means it will crit more often).

4pc: 5% more crit to our judgements is paltry and probably our worst set bonus in wotlk. It works out to a ~0.5% dps increase.

2T9 also slightly changes our clash resolution system, please see above.


Tier 10


Pegged as the final tier set of this expansion, this is our best and most interesting set so far. I've also opted to include the T10 libram as a comparison to the T9 and pvp ones.

Libram comparison chart, thanks exemplar. The T10 libram requires 39 seconds to reach equivalence with the T9 libram, and is better after that point. Obviously, the T10 libram can be used with any seal making it useful on fights where you need to use SoC. The T10 libram also becomes more powerful than the pvp librams at a mere 2 stacks, 5 seconds into a fight. The chart assumes you use CS at time 0 - in real FCFS situations at the T10 level, equivalence time is slightly higher at about 45 seconds. The T10 libram will likely be one of your last badge purchases if you already have the T9 libram. Time T9 T9 Average T10 T10 Average 0 sec 0 Str 0 Str 44 Str 44 Str 5 192 100 88 100 10 192 128 132 88 15 192 144 176 110 20 192 153.6 220 132 25 192 160 220 146.66 30 192 164.57 220 157.14 35 192 168 220 165 40 192 170.66 220 171.11

Tier 10 2pc - Your melee attacks have a 40% chance of resetting your DS cooldown: The most interesting bonus we've ever had, but because of the random nature of the proc it makes it very difficult to get a solid % increase number. It appears that this can only proc from auto-attacks. This bonus also changes our FCFS system again, please see the rotation section. Without the bonus, DS usually accounts for 7% of our total dps; based on current theorycraft, 2T10 provides a ~2% dps increase due to more DS usage (it is closer to 3% on paper but due to reaction times as well as increased GCD usage it is less). It is very likely this will be used in pvp, due to the burst damage DS can provide.

Tier 10 4pc - Increases damage done by seals and judgements by 10%: Yes, this applies to the SoV dot as well as the SoV proc, though it isn't as clear-cut as it sounds. The bonus stacks additively with SotP and anything else that increases seal/judgement damage, so damage from seal dots/procs is increased by 9%, and judgements for some reason are increased by 11-12%. Nonetheless it is still our best bonus of the expansion and is worth roughly 3-4%.

Tier 10 looks to provide up to a 6% DPS increase in most situations. 4PC is very desirable and will be eventually be seen on almost every ret raider.


Add-ons


Pre-facing this by saying these add-ons are entirely optional. Listed in no particular order: ForteX - ForteXorcist tracks your buffs and debuffs on multiple targets, as well as tracking cooldowns, item procs and various junk like healthstones. It can be customized in many different ways and is one add-on I'd recommend even to experienced paladins. It also looks pretty. OmniCC - OmniCC is an addon that adds text to items/spells/abilities that are on cooldown to indicate when they'll be ready for use. It's pretty useful to know when your abilities are ready, especially now that we use FCFS. Very helpful for newer paladins, still helpful for experienced ones. Omen - Omen is a threat meter. Pulling aggro often means death, don't do it. Grid - Grid is a modular, lightweight and screen-estate saving grid of party/raid unit frames Paladins are a hybrid class; even if you are a dps role, you should have some small raid frames to help res the dead, or to toss salv on the lock in group 4, ect. Itemrack - This is a mod to make swapping equipment easier through popout slot menus, equip slot buttons, gear sets and automated swaps. Hybrid class means lots of gear sets! Swap entire sets at the click of a butan. This is also a very, very stable mod that often doesn't even need updating when major patches hit. Quartz - Quartz is a modular approach to a casting bar addon. This one is more pvp related these days - it comes with a swing timer bar (which we used to watch in sunwell, not so much now) and you can set it up to see your own and enemy spell casts. Clcret - i highly recommend this addon this addon to all the retribution paladins both newer and experienced ones, this addon works as FCFS rotation helper and will show which ability you should use at the time and also you can edit it with your prefered rotations , it comes also with a swing timer.


Macros


You can get by just fine without them, but these are helpful in many situations.

Cleanse on mouseover

  1. showtooltip Cleanse

/stopcasting /cast [target=mouseover,nomodifier,exists] Cleanse; [help] Cleanse; [target=targettarget, help] Cleanse Auto-attack / CS if possible

  1. showtooltip Crusader Strike

/startattack /cast Crusader Strike Start autoattack with DS

  1. showtooltip Divine Storm

/startattack /cast Divine Storm Change librams based on what seal you are using with these macros. Because you don't usually swap seals in combat, the single GCD makes this worthwhile (if used when not melee'ing).

  1. showtooltip Seal of Vengeance

/cast Seal of Vengeance /equip Libram of Valiance

  1. showtooltip Seal of Righteousness

/cast Seal of Righteousness /equip Deadly Gladiator's Libram of Fortitude Hammer of Wrath on mouseover

/cast [target=mouseover,exists,harm][target=targettarget,harm][] Hammer of Wrath Salv on mouseover (yes I like mouseover macros okay?)

  1. showtooltip Hand of Salvation

/cast [target=mouseover,nomodifier,exists] Hand of Salvation; [help] Hand of Salvation You can modify the Salv macro to other things like HoP, HoSac, HoF ect.


BEST IN SLOT (BiS)


Introduction


In the context of this thread, "Best in Slot" means the best items assuming you had access to all 25 man items. Note the point of these lists is not that you only should only equip these items; you should use any upgrade even if it is not listed here. There are many different gear variations that are marginally less dps. The first two lists are based on all Heroic Mode items and whether you are allowed to use only Plate (Strength based but you can use agility items from quests and vendors) Items or All Items and then the final list uses Normal Mode items only.


Heroic Plate Priority List


Item Name

Head: [Sanctified Lightsworn Helmet] Neck: [Ahn'kahar Onyx Neckguard] Shoulders: [Sanctified Lightsworn Shoulderplates] Back: [Winding Sheet] Chest: [Sanctified Lightsworn Battleplate] Wrist: [Polar Bear Claw Bracers] or [Taiga Bindings] Hands: [Fleshrending Gauntlets] Waist: [Coldwraith Links] Legs: [Sanctified Lightsworn Legplates] Feet: [Blood-Soaked Saronite Stompers] Finger1: [Might of Blight] Finger2: [Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance] Trinket1: [Death's Choice] Trinket2: [Tiny Abomination in a Jar] or [ Whispering Fang Skull HC] or [Core of the assassin] Main Hand: [Glorenzelg, High-Blade of the Silver Hand] or [Shadowmourne] Ranged: [Libram of Three Truths]


Heroic All Items Priority List


Item Name

Head: [Sanctified Lightsworn Helmet] Use one 20 expertise gem in this set Neck: [Sindragosa's Cruel Claw] Shoulders: [Sanctified Lightsworn Shoulderplates] Back: [Shadowvault Slayer's Cloak] Chest: [Sanctified Lightsworn Battleplate] Wrist: [Polar Bear Claw Bracers] Hands: [Fleshrending Gauntlets] Waist: [Astrylian's Sutured Cinch] Legs: [Sanctified Lightsworn Legplates] Feet: [Frostbitten Fur Boots] Finger1: [Band of the Bone Colossus] , [Seal of Many Mouths] Works fine too :) Finger2: [Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance] Trinket1: [Death's Choice] Trinket2: [Tiny Abomination in a Jar] or [ WFS HC] or [Core of the assassin] Main Hand: [Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General] or [Shadowmourne] Ranged: [Libram of Three Truths]


Normal Plate Priority Items List


Item Name

Head: [Sanctified Lightsworn Helmet] Neck: [Ahn'kahar Onyx Neckguard] Shoulders: [Sanctified Lightsworn Shoulderplates] Back: [Winding Sheet] Chest: [Sanctified Lightsworn Battleplate] Wrist: [Polar Bear Claw Bracers] Hands: [Fleshrending Gauntlets] Waist: [Coldwraith Links] Legs: [Sanctified Lightsworn Legplates] Feet: [Blood-Soaked Saronite Stompers] Finger1: [Skeleton Lord's Circle] Finger2: [Ashen Band of Endless Vengeance] Trinket1: [Death's Choice] Trinket2: [Tiny Abomination in a Jar] or [ WFS], [Core of the assassin] , [Herkuml War Token] works pretty fine too :) Main Hand: [Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter]/[Shadow's Edge] Ranged: [Libram of Three Truths]


Ruby Sanctum Patch 3.3.5 Plate Priority BiS


Neck: [Ahn'kahar Onyx Neckguard] =>[Penumbra Pendant] Boots: [Blood-Soaked Saronite Stompers] => [Apocalypse's Advance] Wrist (Alliance): [Taiga Bindings] => [Bracers of the Heir] Trinket: [Death's Choice]=> [Sharpened Twilight Scale]


Ruby Sanctum Patch 3.3.5 All Item BiS


Wrist: [Polar Bear Claw Bracers] => [Umbrage Armbands] Trinket: [Death's Choice]=> [Sharpened Twilight Scale] Boots: [Frostbitten Fur Boots] => [Apocalypse's Advance] Neck: [Sindragosa's Cruel Claw] => [Penumbra Pendant]


Ruby Sanctum Patch 3.3.5 Normal Mode Plate Priority BiS


Neck: [Ahn'kahar Onyx Neckguard] =>[Penumbra Pendant] Boots: [Blood-Soaked Saronite Stompers] => [Apocalypse's Advance]


Agility Items vs Strength Items for Ret Paladin:


First of all you will use full strength items for your main set, put this in consideration that you should never use any agility items for main set (head-chest-shoulder-leg-hands). if you would like to use some agility items to maximize your crit, use them as offset but don't use too much agility items because of the stacking bug of Gbok and Gbos in Eternal-wow. you can use some offsets agility items on rings and bracers.


Isoperimetric Inequality Theory :


This theroy explains why agility items is better than strength items sometimes, Isoperimetric Inequality means as you get more strength the value of the other stats for ret paladin will rise including agility-haste and even Armor penetration, thats why you see some trinkets with Arp as Sharepend Twilight Scale is more dps than Death Verdict even with the stacking of Gbok and Gbos. as you get more strength the need for the other stats will increase, that means when you get enough strength (around 2500 strength) you should ignore this stat and try getting other stats as agility because by doing so you will do more dps. The stacking bug of Gbok and Gbos will just increase your dps but it won't change the bis list that include agility items, means it won't change your gear choices. going full strength build won't max your dps, don't say the stacking bug of Gbok and Gbos will do, no it won't. Agility items will still increase your dps more than full strength build, doesn't matter even if Gbok stacking with Gbos or not.



now we will talk about some of the advanced techinques i have tested and found it worth trying because it can really maximize the dps and the damage done:

in my own experince with retribution paladin i have tested alot of great ways can really maximize your damage and your dps as retribution paladin and i would like to share my ideas with all fellow ppl who like this class and like to do the highest Dps possible. and i have managed to find some advanced ways can really maximize your damage and dps to its fullest.

we all know that following the clash resolution and FCFS will maximize your dps but... i will add some of my advanced techniques that will make you do even more damage and more dps.


1 - Libram Switch:


we will use ( Libram of three Truths ) >>>> 220 str after it stacks 5 times. ( Libram of Valiance ) >>>>> 200 Str requires seal of corruption/vengeance.

i have found that we can switch between these 2 Librams in the middle of the fight to maximize the dps and the damage, so instead of using 1 Libram we will use 2 Librams but..... it's kinda risky and need some practice to do it perfectly because you can lose Libram of three Truths stacks easily if you didn't switch to the other Libram before the 5 stacks from Libarm of Three Truths Vanish. and you have to watch the Gcd because you need to do this Switch when all the other Abilites is on CD so you can do it the safe way and switch without losing even 1 sec . - this Switch will trigger the Gcd thats why you need to time it properly means when all the other abilites is on cooldowns.



2 - Seal Switch/seal dancing:


this is the hardest Technique and very very risky and will require patience and alot of time to practice it without making any mistakes. let me explain.. we will use normally seal of Corruption/Vengeance untill you get 5 stacks then we will switch to the other seal ( seal of righteousness ) .

- recommended Glyph for this Technique : >>>>>>>> Glyph of seal of Righteousness which will give you 10% extra damage to seal of Righteousness.


the benefit from this tactic is that seal of corruption has a nice Dot and seal of righteousness has a very high judgements hits so we will combine both of their effects to maximize our damage.

The method that maximizes damage is this: Don't use spell to reset SoV , use your melee hit.(i Recommend using some addons that shows your Auto attack speed as Clcret or Quartz). Based on your attack speed( changes using the fight ) calculate your white hit(100% deals a reset)

when Sov is 3/4 one, calculate your next melee hit such that as soon as you switch to SoV and the Gcd for it is done your white hit takes place, so you don't even waste a second more in so and you pop back SoR

-with this technique we will get the the double effects from both seals which will make your damage more powerful.

warnings:


- its a very risky and most of the ret palas dont like this technique because losing seal of Corruption/Vengance Stacks will lead to a Dps Loss but if you mastered it you will do alot more dps than the current dps you doing.. for example if you are doing 21k dps in fights like deathbringer surfang with mono seal you will do like 25k dps if you did this seal switch perfectly without losing seal of corruption/vengeance stacks even once.

- and you have to watch the Gcd so you can switch the seals when all the other abilites is on CD and try to never lose seal of corruption stacks.

- it will take alot of time and practice to master this technique.

- its better to reset seal of corruption stacks with your auto attack so watch your auto attack speed to decide when exactly you can switch.

- Don't Bother switching seals or libarms on the bosses that require paying alot of attention to the tactics.. i mean on bosses as (Bpc-BQ-Sindra..etc) because it can lead to distract from the tactics while you switching seal and libarms, so i recommend trying this Techiques only on tank n spank fights like (Deathbringer- Festergut..etc) and any bosses that don't need you pay alot of attention for the tactics.

-Don't bother Switching seals or libarms if you dont know how to time it perfectly because if you failed on it you will lose instantly 2-3k dps atleast, so i recommend from anyone want to try this techiques get addon as Clcret or Quartz or any kind of addons that shows your melee swing speed because you will rely heavily on melee swings speed on switching between Sor and Sov so you wont waste much Gcds.


Note:


To be proffessional on seal swithing you have to keep this in mind , >>> you will never reset seal of venegeance with a spell because if you did reset it with a spell you will lose a dps .

the way that will maximize the damage by only this >>> you will reset seal of Vengeance/Corruption by your Auto Melee Swing only not by another melee Spells (DS-CS)...Keep this in mind!!!! you will calculate your melee Swing Speed by an addon to make it easier for you!



3 - Chaos Bane Aura:


if you have Shadowmourne you should cancel Chaos bane Aura by an addon Called (Freeme) the spell id is 73422 , this techinque worth 300-800 dps increase. if you ask me why, the reason is very simple than you expect. the reason is : when you get Chaos bane aura you get 270 strength for 10 sec yes its good but if i you cancled the aura you will start gaining soul fragements again instantly after the chaos bane aura canceled so in the end of the fight you will find chaos bane damage is more than 3.5%-4% of your dps.i think its definetly worth canceling the aura. i tested this techinque in the dummy and on raids, i have found it worth 400 dps increase atleast.



4- Timing your Divine Storm :


This Technique based on that sometimes as a ret paladin you get stuck and don't know what ability to use because all your abilites are on CD therefore your dps drop, the main reason that can cause this to happen is that you don't time your Divine storm, means that you use it on a time you shouldn't use it on. I will explain now : First of all, you must get a swing timer addon as Clcret or Quartz. Secondly, after you get the addon watch closely your swing timer.

(1) if you have more than 1.5 sec untill your next auto hit to take place and there is a free ability you can use, don't use Divine Storm. use the other ability first then after it followed by Divine storm.

(2) if you have less than 1.5 sec untill your next auto hit to take place, use Divine Storm even if there is an ability is off CD, by doing so you won't waste a use of Divine storm, and you might get a reset to Divine Storm CD again due to tier 10 4pc Bonus.


Conclusion :


this 4 Advanced techniques if you mastered them you will look at insane Dps.

This post is combined knowledge that I've gathered from the various guides and forum posts about retribution paladins. The Main Source is : http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t68951-retribution_updated_3_3_a/