Ret 5.2 PvP 1st Impressions...

Paladin
Mornin' fellers!

I jumped straight into some arenas yesterday after grinding all weekend to get a full Ret set. I did about 2 hours of 2s with a Disc Priest and so far, it's obvious we're in a better place than last season but I believe there's still more to be desired from the class.

Survivablity is still so/so. The buffs to our healing are enough to keep us alive for a little but without some good blanket damage reduction cooldowns I believe we're going to get trained pretty much by every comp. Whenever you encounter DKs, Necrotic is GG to our puny self heals.

A lack of an instant gap closer is still annoying as hell to play with. Ret is still way too easy to control during wing cycles. What I wouldn't give for a charge or death grip like ability.

Damage is still meh TBH. Running Healer/Ret will not be very good because Ret will still have a hard time bringing down most healers on their own as their burst is predictable and healers are able to save their cooldowns for Wings because without them you're not going to kill anyone.

2 DPS is def the way to go for 2s.

I'll see if I can get some 3s in this week. DK/Ret/Priest will likely be the best comp to run for Ret.

Overall, I predict this season will be lackluster for the spec with RBG teams still preferring Holy over Ret.
I would completely agree with you on everything you said.

I ran a number of 2s last night and the reoccurring theme was most range classes kiting me into oblivion. Seriously though, I could not close the gap even though I could take off most/all of the movement impairing effects.

Our DPS was higher than last season which is always nice but like you said since we are so CD dependent to do any real damage we won't ever be a real threat to most other classes.

I do think we have a better chance now with RBG teams but if I were a RBG leader I would take holy over ret because the amount of heals and utility for holy far outweighs the damage and utility produced by a ret paladin.
I run Holy Priest / Ret Paladin in 2s for points.

We went 10-3 yesterday.

My offheals are amazing and they are not expecting my partner to receive heals for some reason. We do great against double damage, the only time we have to use strategy is for healer/dps comps.

It's still annoying to be CC'd when I pop my cooldowns, though, anyone with a brain should be doing this against me or they will get shredded to pieces. The 2 minute on wings feels smoother as you can pair it with Holy Avenger.

Ret still has the issue of nothing unique to its spec, sure we can deal damage but we bring the same blessings and buffs as a holy for RBG, which makes us become looked over very often. Especially being melee.

We are the only class that is forced to talent for a snare, which I can understand to a point, but it still bugs me.
I run Holy Priest / Ret Paladin in 2s for points.

We went 10-3 yesterday.

My offheals are amazing and they are not expecting my partner to receive heals for some reason. We do great against double damage, the only time we have to use strategy is for healer/dps comps.

It's still annoying to be CC'd when I pop my cooldowns, though, anyone with a brain should be doing this against me or they will get shredded to pieces. The 2 minute on wings feels smoother as you can pair it with Holy Avenger.

Ret still has the issue of nothing unique to its spec, sure we can deal damage but we bring the same blessings and buffs as a holy for RBG, which makes us become looked over very often. Especially being melee.

We are the only class that is forced to talent for a snare, which I can understand to a point, but it still bugs me.


I didn't have as good a record as you yesterday, but I ran into way more Healer/XX comps which proved to be very challenging. I don't think we lost to a single 2 DPS Our talented snare wouldn't be a problem if it were say on the 1st tier vs it being on the 2nd tier, who's going to chose the snare over Fist or Repentance? NOBODY, but I would give up long arm for a ranged snare and it would be so much more effective.
I have zero complaints about arena so far, but I hate that Moonkin and DK have more meaningful RBG utility in their pinkies than Ret has in its entirety. Sac dispel is amazing in arena, fairly useless in RBG's.
I actually am noticing quite a big difference from 5.1 to 5.2.

I have a few different 2s partners I run with, but I usually just pick whoever is online at the time that I am about to cap for the week. Last night, it was a Frost DK. He's slightly under-geared, so I find myself carrying the load more often than not, but it seems to be much easier in 5.2. It came down to a lot of 1 v 2 scenarios and I was able to stay alive long enough to finally finish them both off on multiple occasions. Hell, I even beat a Mage 1 v 1 and my CDs were down. He wasn't very good from what I experienced, though, so I can't brag too much on that one.

Not to mention the new Hand of Sac is pretty awesome.

When there wasn't a healer present, I would end the majority of the 2s in top damage and top healing by a decent margin. We ended up going something along the lines of 10-6, but like I said, he's still gearing up.

Overall, I think 5.2 is a step in the right direction. I still doubt many randoms will care to invite me to their RBGs as Ret, but I refuse to play Holy, so I guess i'll just have to wait and see.
The 5.2 Changed definitely help... But by no means is ret a top pvp contending class. I would probably rank it the 2nd most useless spec in the game from a pvp standpoint just ahead of prot paladins. The overall problem I see is ranged are too strong atm overall. Take mobility in general, a ranged class can still put out a high amount of dmg while moving. Blizzard has compensated for this in every other melee class by giving them an ability to stay on the target instantly. Warriors have charge, deathknights can grip, rogues were just fixed in 5.2 to allow garrote and cheap shot to teleport directly behind the target they are attacking. Imagine if fist or hammer of justice ported the ret behind the target. sure its only 20 yards but there have been games it could have gotten the kill the extra 1 to 2 globals of time.

Overall my real issue with ret is its struggle to kill healers. Even against teams where the healer plays poorly and trinkets the first stun and pops CDs without wings being used can last through a rets cc chain alone on the next stun unless you are able to get the healer somewhat low before you stun again, but rets normal sustained dmg doesn't force healers into that position they can almost stay topped the whole time.
Did arena for the first time this xpac with a shadow priest that has never done arena. No Skype, no vent. Was fun. My gear is kinda crap compared to what we were facing, but my damage and healing were respectable. Look forward to more.
Rets might have improved marginally since last patch but our overall position has weakened on the demand front in PvP.

Arenas: We are good in 2's thanks to the nature of burst tunneling, have utility in 3's thanks to improved off heals, and I haven't tested in 5s. Arenas are not the problem in my view for Rets at all. We aren't the best to bring, but we can bring a fair amount to the table.

RBGs: We are sadly one of the least effective classes in RBGs. Nothing a Ret brings to an RBG is unique and/or done in a better way than another class.

I have a similarly geared DK specc'd frost at present and he is a better fit for almost any PvP situation.

- In RBGs there are much better talent selections, more CC utility, more overall survivability thanks to blood-presence being a viable stance for frost when being tunneled

- Frost DKs are better at dismantling healers thanks to ranged silence, necrotic, anti-fear mechanics, short-term magic immunity, they are harder to CC (lose control wise) and do more collateral damage via diseases

- Frost Strike, which is a bread and butter low-cost rotation filler, crits for around 40-50k on reasonable resi targets. Templars Verdict, which requires 3 holy power, and 3 additional holy power for inquisition meaning a considerable setup, crits for 50-60k on same target. I can get 3-4 frost strikes off in the time I get 1 TV off. Lets not mention obliterate

- Wings is enemy number 1 and most players have worked out that standing there eating hits from a Ret pally with wings is a fast way to the GY. Rarely do Rets with Wings not get attention from CC. 2min CD now was always needed considering other classes' burst CDs. Without wings, Rets simply have to work so much harder to setup their damage than a frost DK does. Whats the animation on a DK using pillar of frost? Its subtle let me tell you

- My Frost DK can switch to Blood spec and be an effective tank in BGs/RBGs using the same gear as frost spec. Ret gear can be used more or less for a pally tank (add shield/1-h weap of course) but overall is vastly inferior to the blood tank in this regard (no presence equivalent that instantly gives Pallys tanking credibility)

- The CDs available to a frost DK are far more balanced in terms of the time the CD lasts and the effect they have whilst active. AMS/Lichborne before needing to trinket makes fear a joke on a DK. On a Ret pally, fear is abominable esp if you running burden of guilt (yes that speed increase applies to your fleeing speeds when feared as well)

- Pallys being able to emancipate snares is amazing and makes us hard to peel (with snares only), but DKs trump this with double deathgrip, chillblains, chains of ice, strangulate being ranged, glyphed D&D and a myriad of other ways to snare/slow others if they get snared themselves. Rets have few to no peels aside from Burden (seals are situational and a DPS loss in general when not truth)

Most importantly the workrate required to succeed on a Ret Pally comparative to the DK is incredibly skewed. I can do 3 times the damage on my DK with half the effort. I can survive multiple attackers better on a DK even with limited healing options and no bubble. I am sure there are context-based examples where a Ret trumps a DK sure, but its a grasping at straws experience let me tell you. I WANT to play my Ret in RBGs and arenas. I want to justify my position, but with a frost DK available to me I just can't. I wouldn't invite a Ret myself to my RBGs so I wouldn't burden anyone else I know with my inferior class that gets outdone in every department by another class.

I can help my team FAR better on a DK than on a ret and hence I run a DK for RBGs and keep my Ret Pally for 2's with my bestie's BM hunter, 3's with a healer and my bestie's BM hunter, and end up having an 1800 cap on conq each week as a result. This is not a gear issue as I have adequate gear to compete, I just compete a hell of a lot better on my DK.

Just my 2 cents. Ret can pretend its a L2play issue or delude themselves with the glass-half-full analogies but at the end of the day, we are mid-to-bottom for most PvP play if we spec Retribution.

I love the Retribution spec, but it is not a tenable class in larger-scale PvP when the alternative is to spec Holy (which is a much more group-benefitting spec)

Thanks and peace :D
Basically what Cheekypuff said (nice post btw Cheeky). Holy power has always felt right on Holy paladins (and clearly was designed for holy as evidenced by its first iteration) and was clunky in Cata for Ret (read terrible). While it has been improved a lot, its still not in a great spot because INQ is pretty much required and must be re-upped so often that TV usage is limited.

So then people say well you can use TV a lot when you open up with CD's, but on the contrary right back to what Cheekpuff said, anyone with a brain is gonna cc you out and run/los for the 20 seconds then continue to beat on you, so at the end of the day what good is a burst mechanic when its not able to be used (don't get me wrong, if you can land you will be steamrolling... its just being able to get there in the first place).

Back to 2's, we have improved some with the changes, but as a DPS support/support DPS class in my opinion (again i am no pvp guru, only been to 1800) we will always work better with another DPS than with a healer, precisely because of the huge limitations of the spec outlined by Cheekypuff. As the group (3s/5s or RBGs) gets larger working with a healer becomes more viable but at that point why would a healer take a ret when you can get better dps/survivability from most other specs.

Ret is stuck in an in between place of support dps/support heals/utility so your behind the curve any way you slice it. Throughout Wow's history Ret is probably the most problematic spec the Devs have had and clearly they have struggled mightily with it as observed by several DRASTIC revamps of the spec along with abilities that have come and gone or been relegated to near uselessness (divine storm which was awesome when it first arrived but now? the devs have clearly given up on a spot for it in any type of rotation). Still not sure why the devs won't just bite the bullet and provide the proper tools for Rets to shine as true DPS and not just support utility function, but oh well, it is what it is.

Definitely agree with your thoughts about this season Zombgief.
Ret feels balanced but other classes are still way too strong, which makes us below average relative to other classes.

1) Too squishy, always getting trained
2) Can't do any damage if im using all my Holy Power to stay alive
3) Can't do any damage once Wings go down, people save all their defensives for Wings
4) Staying on top of good players is still very difficult.
My offheals are amazing and they are not expecting my partner to receive heals for some reason


This. Rets can do as much damage as anyone and they can heal for 50% of a healer. Its nuts. Enjoy.
What do you mean by demand front? If anything most peoples representation in arena is going to go down this season. I don't know if people have bothered to look but there are literally a billion compositions out there right now. I haven't seen this much diversity in arena in years.

I think saying that you have improved marginally is completely low balling it. You aren't god mode, but the changes aren't mediocre.

Retribution is incredibly solid in double DPS 2s. It has and always has had a high skill cap. If you can't play it well you're probably going to come to the conclusion that the spec sucks.

Retribution might not be top dog but it's incredibly solid in 3s arena at the moment. Wings being lined up for more kill opportunities is big, healing is a lot more potent and the sacrifice dispel is massive.

RBGs I have no experience and it's a complete utility thing as to why DKs are brought there.

Retribution does have to work a lot harder than most classes, more notably a frost DK. Frost DKs are face roll but they really aren't that great in arena, which is why I am puzzled why they are mentioned a lot in this thread (well one giant post anyways). UH has a way higher skill cap and is way better in arena. If I had the choice between a well played unholy DK, frost DK or retribution paladin it would go in this order. UH > Ret > Frost. (in arena anyway)

Frost sucks, unholy is incredibly powerful.

Retribution does need an overhaul to be competitive in RBGs but so don't like 90% of melee who aren't a flag carrier. It goes way beyond retribution being bad, it's just a fundamental problem with range vs melee in that particular style of play.

I feel like a lot of retribution paladins are hung up on the fact that they aren't pure damage dealers (as a role) in PvP. A lot of them have a different vision of the class than what the class actually plays like. I see lots of people looking at score boards at the end of arena/BGs and just noticing damage. Oh 'x' class just did 2x as much damage as me, retribution sucks. When in reality a well played retribution paladin is helping to contribute to that damage by supporting, and healing. In my 3s games when I play with a retribution paladin my damage wouldn't be possible without that support by my paladin teammate, nor would the match drag on that long.

I might end the match doing 2-2.5x the damage, but the retribution paladin gave me more damage with sacrifices and freedoms. Furthermore the healing produced is nearly equal to the damage produced, which for all intent and purpose is just as useful.

I think if they figured out the whole ranged is 500x better than melee in RBGs (DKs and prot warrior flag carriers excluded) people wouldn't have such a negative outlook on retribution as a whole. Well that and trying to get most retribution paladins away from the mindset that they aren't warriors when in comes to PvP.
I just started pvp on this toon. I'm still gearing so I don't really have an opinion especially since I have no arena exp on this toon. I just have a question for the pro ret pally pvpers.

What could be done to improve ret in pvp? I see many concerns but is it just 1 thing such as damage? Would you say that all ret dmg (for pvp) needs a % buff like 10% or more? As for the vs range would extending HoJ/FoJ range to say 40yds correct it?
Does Divine Protection (if u cast before Fear) stop fear? I think Anti-Magic Shell for Dks prevents fear from going through, and I don't have a ton of exp so I was just wondering if our version does the same.

Also how do u feel Exo is in 2s/3s? Are u ok with the range/cd? Seems a bit long to me even with Art of War passive. The range could be a bit further maybe?
Overall, to me, RET does ok. I never have a problem finding an RBG group (I guess one of the FEW benefits of my small server) but a few tweaks would really make us viable.

I'd allow us to cast our magic shield while CC'd - this would be a HUGE defensive ability to allow us to combat mages and warlocks. I'd also like to some class ability to lessen the GCD on Silence/disarm/fear, and how about a long distance silence (or a glyph for it) And small buff to damage would we ok with me as well, but that's really it.

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