Vanguards Retribution Paladin PvP Guide 7.0.3

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Highly Rated
Retribution Paladin Guide

This guide is written mainly for players new to playing retribution in arena / PvP.

Guide is also posted in a different format on:

What changed about Rets in 7.0.3?
1.) This is the pre-patch for Legion, Rets and many other specs have been changed completely.

2.) Abilities Removed: Hammer of Wrath, Exorcism, Blessing of Sacrifice, (baseline) Word of Glory, Emancipate, Divine Protection, and all Seals

3.) Judgment now applies a debuff to the targets it deals damage to, increasing holy damage taken on spenders such as Templar's Verdict.

4.) Talents are completely changed.

5.) You can use a total of 3 blessings at any time. For example, without a party you can have all 3 buffs on yourself. In 3v3 your DPS and yourself can have Might while your healer can have Kings.

6.) Glyphs are Removed.

7.) Hands became Blessings. Make sure to update your macros!

PvP Talents

In the talent picture I selected talents that I use as default in arena. Talents and Glyphs should be changed every arena match depending on what composition you're playing, what you're up against, and what strategy you and your opponent might execute.

Level 15:
Highly Recommended: Final Verdict

This increases your Final Verdict damage by 20%. Currently the other 2 talents just don't beat out the damage you can gain from Final Verdict in a PvP scenario.

Level 30
Recommended: Zeal and More Testing Needed

This tier is much more debated than the level 15 one. Some people prefer The Fires of Justice which is higher single target DPS if you can use CS on CD. I find this rarely ever occurs in PvP especially now with our lack of mobility so I prefer Zeal which deals more damage on a longer CD and also can cleave. Greater Judgment is also not bad, this tier needs to be tested more.

Level 45
Recommended: Fist of Justice

Logic here for Fist is very similar to WoD, the other 2 talents are mostly used if you want to strategize around them. Repentance is somewhat improved in the fact that it doesn't use the CD if you cast it on a Beast, but you'll require a lot of effort to land it especially on Druids. Blind is essentially the same as before, not very useful unless you want to rush a game.

Level 60
Recommended: Virtue's Blade or Blade of Wrath

Burst vs Consistent Damage. Divine Hammer lowers the damage too much to be used in an arena setting, but perhaps in Battlegrounds it could be used.

Level 75
Recommended: Any

All 3 talents here are quite unique in what they do. I usually default to Eye for an Eye when I queue skirmishes since that talent is amazing for fighting Melee. If there is no melee on the opposing side any of the other 2 talents will obviously perform better. Try to use Justicar's Vengeance in stuns. Word of Glory is the best if you're not being targeted at all, but you have to be very close to your healer or whoever is getting hit (think small Holy Nova.)

Level 90
Recommended: Divine Steed or Seal of Light

Our Mobility in this pre-patch is horrible, and definitely needs a talent to help it. Both these talents help mobility, Divine Steed is burst and doesn't spend holy power while Seal of Light will keep us 20% faster nearly the entire game.

Level 100
Recommended: Divine Purpose or Holy Wrath

Holy Wrath does 50% of your missing HP as damage. This is incredible burst, but requires very specific scenarios to be used effectively and has a long CD. Divine Purpose is a more consistent choice.


Gems / Enchants / Stats
Gear is scaled in Arena, in general it has a much smaller relevance in PvP. This is still being tested, but the stat-priority assumption is:

Viable Ret Comps
Still being tested.

What rotation do you use in PvP?
There is no "specific" rotation in PvP.

The best I can give you is this in terms of a PvE Damage Rotation:

1. Virtue's Blade or Blade of Wrath to generate Holy Power
2. Crusader Strike to generate Holy Power
3. Judgment (provides debuff that gives your holy power spenders with more damage)
4. Execution Sentence if talented
5. Justicar's Vengeance if talented using Divine Purpose Proc (also talented) only
6. Templar's Verdict to spend holy power.
What macros does Ret have for PvP?
Macros are largely preference. I use a lot of focus and party target macros. The goal is to be able to use your spells without changing your target.
Add #showtooltip to the start of these macros if you want to see it.
Some other general macros:
1.) Focus HOJ
/cast [target=focus] Hammer of Justice

2.) Focus Repent
/cast [target=focus] Repentance

3.) Focus Rebuke
/cast [target=focus] Rebuke

4.) Focus Judgment
/cast [target=focus] Judgment

The Support Macros I Personally Use:
(switch x with number or partyx with Toon Name)

5.) Blessing of Protection
/cast [target=partyX] Blessing of Protection

6.) Blessing of Freedom
/cast [target=partyX] Blessing of Freedom

7.) Word of Glory
/cast [target=partyX] Word of Glory

8.) Flash of Light
/cast [target=partyX] Flash of Light
Get the 3min CD medallion. This is your only choice currently. You will receive it once you enter a battleground or arena in your General spellbook tab.

General Arena Tips
Ret is a hybrid melee, with a large role to supporting your teammates. We have good burst damage during wings, but outside of that we're a bit gimped. We have some off heals and good support, but we're also incredibly easy to CC as a melee class.
As a ret pally, you always have to remember you ARE NOT a warrior. You need to watch your partners the entire game. Do not waste your off heals, and blessings. In an arena match my eyes are on my party screen the most.

Ret PvP Stream - My (Vanguards) Twitch.TV Stream! Be sure to follow!

Ret PvP Page / Question Page

Ret PvP Videos
Check out these channels:

Thanks for reading, I hope this helped you out. Post any other questions you have! If you have specific questions for me you can tweet it to me on twitter.
OLD CATA: Bonus Points: Crit vs Mastery

1.) 2PC - I don't have 2pc because the rng gods have decided not to ever drop pants in any of my raids, also I'm practicing for tournies that doesn't allow PvE gear. so i have not taken this into calculation for my own. If you do take this into calculation however, 2pc obviously favors mastery more. 2PC = more Holy Power = more TV towards ur damage. If you're running a comp where u can be in melee range a lot, do melee attacks a lot and u have 2pc, mastery would > crit.

2.) What comp are you running - if you're running triple dps u should usually go crit. Crit helps towards last word spec which is good when 40second hoj does much less in an arena match that doesn't usually last more than a minute. Also a slightly harder hitting TV in a triple dps match is much less important than a sudden RNG crit heal or crit attack.

3.) What are you fighting - you can't predict this, but I do plan to get 2 sets of Ret PvP Gear. 1 Set for when I'm fighting something I plainly barely get to attack in melee range (mage anyone?) which would be crit. but if i'm fighting say a warrior melee cleave team that trains my dk when I run ret dk priest, mastery would do much better. I'm TVing / crusader striking probably 3x as much as I would against a mage team, making mastery 3x better than it usually is.

4.) How you play - how often do u stay in melee range when u play in PvP? Do you LOS a lot? I los 80% of the games against wizard teams rendering mastery quite useless since I melee once every 20 seconds. Or do you run in and try to just melee / train something down for 5 minutes straight? Mastery might be better for that.

5.) Your Spec - If your last word crit can be much more favorable as having that extra crit for that heal to happen is important. it kinda blows when u have last word and ur heal doesn't crit when ur partner is about to die.

6.) Length of your games - similar ideas, short games favor crit as u probably hammer of wrath spam to be a large % of ur damage making crit more favorable.
I've been playing a Last Word build and I wanted to ask what your thoughts are on JotP vs. Protector of the Innocent?
both are relatively bad, but I would go for 9% haste in general
You can cleanse most of your roots, and my death knight can kill people around 2 times faster than me, why would I freedom myself?

Giving freedom to yourself, especially when under pressure by a melee class (or other set of spam slows, eg. mirror images) is often preferable to giving it to your partner. Example, Rogue is attacking you, you just got out of kidney shot and need to get on the enemy Warlock to deal some damage, your Deathknight partner may be slowed by an exhaust but the repeated application of slows from the Rogue on you make giving your freedom to yourself far preferable, as well watch your mana cleanse is expensive.

I'll add you very rarely want to hoj anything other than a healer, with no other magic debuffs to cover hoj unless they are provided by one of your allies, it is generally instant dispelled and wastes a stun diminish on the target. If it is lined up with a seperate lockout on the healer it is effective, or if you can be sure it won't be dispelled go ahead. Otherwise hoj-repentance or visa versa provides a 12 second set of cc that you can be sure will stick on a healer.

Good information though by the OP.
Sticky requested.
Did you just copy and paste your arena junkies post?
03/10/2011 11:43 AMPosted by Stripez
Did you just copy and paste your arena junkies post?

Pretty much, but how many people are smart enough to go to AJ themselves?
03/10/2011 11:51 AMPosted by Svayne
Pretty much, but how many people are smart enough to go to AJ themselves?

People who are serious about PvP...
03/10/2011 11:51 AMPosted by Stripez
Pretty much, but how many people are smart enough to go to AJ themselves?

People who are serious about PvP...

03/10/2011 11:51 AMPosted by Svayne
Pretty much, but how many people are smart enough to go to AJ themselves?
Yay! This needs to be stickied :O
This is the most helpful thread I've ever seen on this website. Really great stuff, Vanguardy. Hope it gets stickied.
Grats on the sticky!
Hammer of wrath is a spell and requires an 8% spell hit cap, why shouldn't i go for more hit when my hammer of wrath is missing targets at crucial moments in an arena match with a hit cap thats over 5%
03/12/2011 2:35 PMPosted by Sealofleet
Hammer of wrath is a spell and requires an 8% spell hit cap, why shouldn't i go for more hit when my hammer of wrath is missing targets at crucial moments in an arena match with a hit cap thats over 5%

Because of sheath of light

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