Retribution (6.0.3) - Updated 12/18/14


85 Blood Elf Paladin

Raiding as Retribution - "How to" in 6.0 - Updated: 12/18/2014

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
Adjusted FV priority for current item levels (Judgment moved in front of EDSFV and 4HP FV, 3HP FV moved down behind Exo).

You will not receive a response to questions posted in this sticky. Any questions should go here:

-- Note: I am still playing as Qris @ Area 52.

This is a Retribution Paladin DPS guide focused on providing a thorough understanding of the spec. This guide is a work in progress and is being edited regularly. Feedback is greatly appreciated. You can find information on major updates in the Change Log.

The information here is drawn from several sources including Exemplar's article on Elitist Jerks, Solsacra's thread on MMO-C, and arduous personal testing and simulation. While generally accepted as correct, much of the information provided here is, for all intents and purposes, theoretical and should be taken as suggestion, not gospel.

If you notice any discrepancies anywhere within the thread, be they grammatical, mathematical, or otherwise, please let me know so that I can correct them.

Thank you and have a nice day. :)

Table of Contents

• X ... Table of Contents, Glossary
• 1 ... What's new in 6.0? >
• 2 ... TL;DR Guide
- 2.1 ... Talents & Glyphs
- 2.2 ... Rotation
- 2.3 ... Stat Priority
- 2.4 ... Gems & Enchants
- 2.5 ... Consumables
- 2.6 ... Useful Addons >
• 3 ... Talents
• 4 ... Glyphs
- 4.1 ... Major
- 4.2 ... Minor >
• 5 ... Rotation
- 5.1 ... Single Target >
- 5.2 ... Multiple Target >
• 6 ... Cooldowns
- 6.1 ... Avenging Wrath
- 6.2 ... Seraphim
- 6.3 ... Holy Avenger
- 6.4 ... Pre-potting
• 7 ... Tier Set Bonuses >
• 8 ... Gearing
- 8.1 ... Stat Priorities
- 8.2 ... Gemming
- 8.3 ... Enchants
- 8.4 ... Trinkets (T17) >
• 9 ... Consumables
• 10 .. Races
- 10.1 .. Alliance
- 10.2 .. Horde >
• 11 .. Mechanics >
• 12 .. Addons & Macros
- 12.1 .. Useful Addons
- 12.2 .. Macros >
• 13 .. Frequently Asked ?s
• 14 .. Other Resources >
• 15 .. Change Log >



AoE .... Area of Effect
AP ..... Attack Power
AW ..... Avenging Wrath
BiS .... Best in Slot
BoP .... Hand (originally Blessing) of Protection
CD ..... Cooldown
CS ..... Crusader Strike
DoT .... Damage Over Time
DP ..... Divine Purpose
DPS .... Damage per Second
DS ..... Divine Storm
EDS .... Empowered Divine Storm
EDSFV .. EDS w/ the FV buff active
EF ..... Eternal Flame
EmpS ... Empowered Seals
ES ..... Execution Sentence
Exo .... Exorcism
FV ..... Final Verdict
GCD .... Global Cooldown
HA ..... Holy Avenger
HoPu ... Hand of Purity
HoPo ... Holy Power
HoPr ... Holy Prism
HoT .... Heal Over Time
HotR ... Hammer of the Righteous
HoW .... Hammer of Wrath
Judge .. Judgment
LH ..... Light's Hammer
LoH .... Lay on Hands
HoSac .. Hand of Sacrifice
Sera ... Seraphim
Sim .... Simulate (via SimulationCraft)
SoR .... Seal of Righteousness
SoT .... Seal of Truth
SP ..... Spell Power
SS ..... Sacred Shield
SW ..... Sanctified Wrath
TV ..... Templar's Verdict
WoG .... Word of Glory

Edited by Svayne on 12/18/2014 2:34 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

1 What's new in 6.0?

Universal Changes

• Hit and Expertise have been removed as stats; there is still a 3% chance to be Parried from the front, so you still want to melee from the back whenever you can
• Snapshotting has been removed; all DoTs (like ES) now scale dynamically

• New secondaries have been introduced: Multistrike, Versatility, and Bonus Armor
- Multistrike grants two separate chances for your abilities to MS for 30% damage
- Versatility grants a flat increase to damage, healing, absorbs, and damage reduction
- Bonus Armor is exactly what it sounds like, and is irrelevant to Retribution Paladins

• New Tertiary stats have been added to gear as an RNG proc (like Warforged). Tertiary stats are "bonuses" which offer little to no significant advantage in combat.
- Avoidance causes you to take less AoE damage from creatures
- Leech causes you to heal for a small portion of any damage or healing you deal
- Speed increases your movement speed by a small amount
- Indestructible makes the item it's on immune to durability damage

• Gem sockets are no longer standard; all gear now has a random chance to drop with a Prismatic socket (again, like Warforged). There are no more socket colors and no more socket bonuses. Also, all gems now exclusively provide secondary stats.

• All performance-enhancing professional perks have been removed from the game; your choice of professions will no longer have any effect on your DPS
- Engineer Nitro Boosts now share a CD with combat (Strength) potions and do not stack with other movement speed bonuses

Ability Pruning & Condensation

• Inquisition has been removed (RIP in peace)
• Devotion Aura and Hand of Salvation have been removed from Retribution; Holy retains Devotion Aura and Protection retains Hand of Salvation
• Guardian of Ancient Kings has been removed from Retribution and Holy; Protection Paladins retain Guardian of Ancient Kings
• Hand of Salvation has been removed from Retribution and Holy

• Sanctity Aura: This new Retribution passive grants the Paladin and all nearby party and raid members +3% Versatility
• Righteous Vengeance: New passive, grants an additional 5% Mastery from all sources

Ability & Tuning Changes

• Base damage of all damaging seals (Truth, Righteousness, Justice) is now equal. Seal purpose is now clearly defined by their secondary effects.

• Hand of Sacrifice is no longer on the GCD, Protection and Freedom are unchanged
• Divine Protection now lasts 8 seconds (down from 10 seconds)

Other Changes

• Many Racial abilities and passives have seen changes, some have been removed, and some new ones have been added. You can find more information on these changes in the Races section (section 10, post #9).

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Edited by Svayne on 12/18/2014 11:10 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

2 TL;DR Guide

The following is a heavily diluted version of the guide for reference and exceptionally new Rets. I still recommend checking the main guide for a fuller understanding.

2.1 TL;DR Talents & Glyphs

Highest Single target output: Seraphim + Sanctified Wrath
Relatively steep learning curve, but simple once you've grasped the general flow; requires a lot of attention to cooldowns and Holy Power availability.

Use Seraphim on the pull and on CD ASAP after that. Try to have 5 Holy Power built up within a few seconds of Seraphim becoming available. This talent promotes pretty much standing around and doing almost nothing for a couple of seconds per cycle.

Highest Cleave/AoE output: Final Verdict + Divine Purpose (or SW, or HA)
Essentially the same playstyle as T16 Ret. Has its complexities when using DP, but otherwise requires basically no attention span.

Final Verdict builds tend to perform extremely well in situations where there are frequently large numbers of targets for Divine Storm to hit.

Empowered Seals? Only decent until you get a reasonably good weapon, and easily the most complicated talent to play perfectly with. Limited benefit for a limited time for a comparably lot of trouble. Holy Prism? Lol, nope. Stop using that. DETALENT IT.

And the other talents, the ones that don't make us pewpew harder?
• First tier (L15) affects movement; use whatever's appropriate for the sitatution.
• Second tier (L30) affects CC; same deal, use what's appropriate.
• Third tier (L60) affects utility; Unbreakable Spirit is a good default, but Clemency is extremely strong in groups. Hand of Purity has fewer uses but does shine in some scenarios, like on raid bosses with big DoTs (think Dark Shaman).

Mandatory glyph(s): Glyph of Templar's Verdict
Interchangeable: Double Jeopardy (multi-target DPS), Mass Exorcism (multi-target DPS), Hand of Sacrifice (utility), Divine Storm (survival), Avenging Wrath (survival)

2.2 TL;DR Rotation

With Seraphim + Sanctified Wrath:
ES > Sera > EDS (-3sec) > 5HP TV > HoW > CS > Judge > Exo (<15)* EDS > 4HP TV > Exo > 3HP TV

* Exorcism when Seraphim is on cooldown (15 second window).

With Final Verdict + Divine Purpose:
ES > 5HP EDSFV > DP (-3sec) > EDS (-3sec) > 5HP FV > HoW > CS > J > EDSFV > DP FV = 4HP FV > Exo > 3HP FV
When either Divine Purpose or Empowered Divine Storm (AKA Divine Crusader) falls below 3 seconds remaining of their respective procs, burning them takes priority over all else (except Execution Sentence or Light's Hammer).

Seal of Truth for 1 target or 2 targets that each last longer than the duration of Censure (multi-DoT for 2 long-lived targets). Seal of Righteousness for 2 targets that won't live longer than the duration of Censure, and for 3 or more targets.

Rotate between FV and DS for 2+ targets if using Final Verdict. Make sure you have the FV buff up before casting DS or EDS. Spam Divine Storm at 5+ targets instead if (and this is a big if) the mobs will be alive for a long time.

Use Hammer of the Righteous instead of Crusader Strike at 5+ targets. If not talented for Final Verdict, use Divine Storm instead of Templar's Verdict at 3+ targets.

2.2.1 TL;DR Cooldown Usage

Spoilers: They're all used together. Avenging Wrath, Holy Avenger (if talented), Seraphim (if talented), any Use trinkets you may have, all of them.

Avenging Wrath: +20% damage. 2-minute CD, lasts for 20 seconds unless talented for Sanctified Wrath, in which case it lasts 30 seconds. Use on pull and on CD.

Holy Avenger: Talented CD. Causes HoPo generators to generate 3 HoPo each and deal more damage. 2-minute CD, lasts for 18 seconds. Use with AW.

Seraphim: Talented CD. Grants 1000 of all secondaries for 15 sec. 30-second CD. Build 5 HoPo and use on the pull, and then on CD. Use with AW (and HA).

2.3 TL;DR Stat Priority

Strength > Mastery FOR DAYS > Haste (to 9.52% unbuffed) = Multistrike = Critical strike > Versatility = Haste beyond 9.52%
Mastery is awesome. You want a lot of Mastery. Haste is alright until you have enough to make it worth less than Multistrike and Crit strike; exactly when that happens isn't set in stone. If you don't want to figure it out for yourself with SimCraft, just don't go past 9.52% and you'll be pretty okay. Versatility is the devil.

2.4 TL;DR Gems & Enchants

Mastery gems, Mastery enchants, all day, everyday. For your weapon, Enchant Weapon - Mark of the Shattered Hand at lower item levels, Enchant Weapon - Mark of Bleeding Hollow once you've started picking up raid gear.

And yes, even though you don't have 9.52% Haste, you still want Mastery enchants and gems. Mastery > Haste every hour of every day, and at all levels of Haste.

2.5 TL;DR Consumables

Flask - Greater Draenic Strength Flask or Draenic Strength Flask

Food - Sleeper Surprise (100 Mastery), Braised Riverbeast (75 Mastery), or Fat Sleeper Cakes (75 Mastery). Savage Feast (100 of highest stat) works too.

Potion - Draenic Strength Potion all day, err' day. Remember to pre-pot.

Augment Rune - Stout Augment Rune for the dedicated among us.

2.6 TL;DR Useful Addons

DBM (or BigWigs), clcRet, Grid+Clique (2 addons), Skada (or Recount), ExtraCD, WeakAuras, and your choice of unit frames, cast bars, and action bars.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/24/2014 4:23 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

3 Talents

Top DPS talents for Single target: Sanctified Wrath and Seraphim
Top DPS talents for Multi-target: Final Verdict and Divine Purpose
Highmaul sims (Talents & stat weights):

The effectiveness of different talent combinations (Sera+SW, Sera+HA, or FV + any level 75 talent) will sometimes depend on your group's kill times and strategies.

Tier 1 - Level 15
• Speed of Light - Grants +70% movement speed for 8 seconds (45 second CD)
• Long Arm of the Law - +45% movement speed for 3 seconds after Judgment hits
• Pursuit of Justice - +15% movement speed at all times, plus an additional 5% for each current HoPo, up to a max 3 HoPo (15% + 15% at 3+ HoPo = 30% total bonus)

Recommended: No recommendation. PoJ may be the generic winner because of its consistency. LAotL offers a good burst of speed at the beginning of the fight and can help you reach new targets quickly. SoL is strong for combating wind and fixate effects but does have a long CD and requires binding yet another key.

Tier 2 - Level 30
• Fist of Justice - 6 second stun, 20 yard range, 30 second CD (replaces HoJ)
• Repentance - Incapacitates an enemy for 1-minute, 15 second CD, 1.5 second cast
• Blinding Light - Blinds enemies within 10 yards, disorienting them for 6 sec

Recommended: No recommendation. FoJ is the most universally useful choice and Repentance is your generic PvE CC. Blinding Light may have uses in Challenge Modes or add-rich fights, though the removal of its glyph hurts its effectiveness somewhat.

Tier 3 - Level 45
• Selfless Healer - Judgment reduces FoL cast time and mana cost by 35% and increases effectiveness if used on others by 35%. Stacks up to three times
• Eternal Flame - Consumes up to 3 HoPo to heal a friendly target and apply a HoT that ticks every 3 seconds for 30 sec. More HoPo, more healing. Replaces WoG
• Sacred Shield - Produces a shield that absorbs 117% of SP worth of damage every 6 seconds. Can be cast on others. Only 1 active at a time. Costs no mana

Recommended: Selfless Healer is my recommendation, but Sacred Shield is arguably the generic winner. Even with limited up-time, SS offers the greatest personal survival if you have the empty globals to use on it. However, SH is a very strong heal which can be used to save yourself or another raid member (such as a tank or healer) when well-utilized. EF is rubbish and is a DPS loss if utilized due to the waste of HoPo.

Tier 4 - Level 60
• Hand of Purity - Reduces target's damage taken by 10% and harmful periodic damage taken by an additional 80% for 6 seconds (30-second CD)
• Unbreakable Spirit - Reduces the cooldown of Divine Shield, Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands by 50% (new CDs: Divine Shield 2.5m, DP 30s, LoH 5m)
• Clemency - Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, and Hand of Sacrifice can be used twice each before incurring their cooldowns

Recommended: You will find scattered use for each of these talents. Sometimes having multiple BoPs and Sacs is useful. Sometimes having DP or LoH up as often as possible is helpful. Certain fights may have severe tank or raid DoTs that can be minimized by HoP (think Dark Shaman). Use your best judgment.

Tier 5 - Level 75
• Holy Avenger - Zealotry redux. All HoPo generating abilities deal an additional 30% damage and healing and generate 3 HoPo, lasting 18 seconds (2-minute CD)
• Sanctified Wrath - Avenging Wrath lasts 50% longer (30 sec) and Hammer of Wrath CD is reduced by 50% during Avenging Wrath
• Divine Purpose - Abilities that cost HoPo have a chance to proc DP, which causes your next HoPo ability to consume none but cast as if 3 were used

Recommended: Sanctified Wrath for single target. Divine Purpose (in conjunction with Final Verdict) for cleave/AoE-heavy fights. Holy Avenger has its uses in Challenge Modes and for certain encounters; Tectus is one example.

Tier 6 - Level 90
• Holy Prism - De/buff target. Enemies take Holy damage and radiate healing to 5 nearby allies. Allies are healed and radiate Holy damage to 5 nearby enemies (20s CD)
• Light's Hammer - 10 yard ground-targeted AoE. Deals Holy damage to enemies and healing to allies within range every 2 seconds for 14 seconds, as well as slowing affected targets by 50% for 2 seconds per pulse (1-minute CD)
• Execution Sentence - De/buff target. Enemies take increasing damage each second for 10 seconds, then burst damage. Allies take increasing healing each second for 10 seconds, then burst healing (1-minute CD)

Recommended: For single-target, Execution Sentence. For 2+ targets that are consistently within 10 yards of one another, Light's Hammer.

Tier 7 - Level 100
• Empowered Seals - Your Seals also cause your Judgment to empower you with an additional beneficial effect which persists through changing Seals:
- Judgment of Truth: Increases your Attack Power by 15% for 20sec
- Judgment of Righteousness - Increases your Haste by 15% for 20sec
- Judgment of Justice: Increases movement speed by 20% for 20sec
- Judgment of Insight - Heals for 1% of max HP every 2sec for 20sec
• Seraphim - Increases Haste, Critical strike, Mastery, Multistrike, Versatility, and Bonus Armor by 1,000 for 15 sec. Costs 5 Holy Power, 30 second cooldown
• Final Verdict - Replaces Templar's verdict. Deals 200% weapon damage as pure Holy damage and increases the damage and radius of your next Divine Storm by 100%

Recommended: Seraphim for single target. Final Verdict for cleave/AoE-heavy fights. Empowered Seals is extremely lackluster currently.

4 Glyphs

Glyphs ordinarily have no significant impact on our DPS, although there are situations (multi-target, mostly) in which particular glyphs can offer some slight increase. Outside of these situations, we primarily glyph for survival and utility.

4.1 Major

Glyph of Templar's Verdict - Reduce damage taken by 10% for 6 sec after dealing damage with Templar's Verdict or Exorcism

Glyph of Divine Storm - Causes your Divine Storm to also heal you for 4% of your maximum health

Glyph of Avenging Wrath - While Avenging Wrath is active, you are healed for 1% of your maximum health every 4 sec

Glyph of Double Jeopardy - Judging a target increases the damage of your next Judgment by 20%, but only if used on a different target

Glyph of Mass Exorcism - Reduces the range of Exorcism to melee range, but causes 25% damage to all enemies within 8 yards of the primary target (but still deals 100% damage to the primary target)

Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice - Hand of Sacrifice no longer redirects any damage to the Paladin

Glyph of Judgment - Increases the range of Judgment by 10 yards

Glyph of Templar's Verdict is recommended for its high up-time. Divine Storm and Avenging Wrath are nice passives for when Double Jeopardy and/or Mass Exo serve no real purpose in an encounter. Hand of Sacrifice is a strong option for helping to reduce incoming tank or raid damage at no real cost to the Paladin.

Double Jeopardy is a DPS increase where there are 2 or more targets that you rotate Judgments on. It is completely useless on single-target fights such as Butcher.

Mass Exorcism causes 100% damage to your primary target and 25% of that damage to all other targets within 8 yards, but you lose the ability to use it at range. Strong for target-rich fights such as Tectus or Brackenspore.

Glyph of Judgment is essentially a replacement for the old Retribution PvP 2-piece. You probably won't find much use for it, but it's an okay default if you can't decide what else to use, or if you find yourself getting stuck at range during an encounter.

4.2 Minor

Glyph of the Falling Avenger
Glyph of the Righteous Retreat (Bubblehearth!)

Minor glyphs no longer affect our damage or healing efficiency in any way. These are the only two which could potentially save you a repair bill here and there.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/24/2014 4:30 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

5 Rotation

Retribution's rotation is a loose priority system based on what hits hardest and on efficient use and build-up of Holy Power, our primary resource. I'd recommend taking this section in small-ish steps, especially if you are newer to Retribution.

Due to formatting constraints, it can be difficult for me to clearly lay out some of this information. If you are horribly confused by the end of this section, please refer to Solsacra's thread on MMO-C. The formatting there is much cleaner and potentially easier to understand. Link:

5.1 Single Target

This is the Base rotation without any talent choices. The T17 4p set bonus is included, which causes Exorcism to generate 3 HoPo when used after HoW. This is denoted by ExoBC, which stands for Exorcism with the Blazing Contempt buff up.

ES > EDS (-3sec)* > 5HP TV > HoW > ExoBC** > TV (AW/-35%)*** > CS > EDS (AW/-35%) > Judge > EDS > 4HP TV > Exo > 3HP TV (> SS)

* Exorcism with Blazing Contempt up (T17 4p set bonus) and LESS than 3 Holy Power. This will grant 3 Holy Power. ** If Divine Crusader (Empowered DS buff) has less than 3 seconds remaining on it, cast DS. *** During Avenging Wrath or in Execute range (<35% target HP).

5.1.1 Talent- & Tier-based Variations

This is the Divine Purpose rotation (plus the T17 4p) with no other talents active.

ES > DP (-3sec) > EDS (-3sec) > 5HP TV > HoW > ExoBC > TV (AW/-35%)* > CS > EDS (AW/-35%) > J > DP TV > EDS > 4HP TV > Exo > 3HP TV

* Also entails using DP on TV during AW or sub-35% target health.


This is the Seraphim rotation. It's essentially the base rotation with one caveat: Exorcism should be prioritized over EDS and 4HP TV when Seraphim is on cooldown.

ES > Sera > EDS (-3sec) > 5HP TV > HoW > ExoBC > TV (AW/-35%) > CS > EDS (AW/-35%) > Judge > Exo (<15)* > EDS > 4HP TV > Exo > 3HP TV

* Exorcism when Seraphim is down (15 second window).

Neither Sanctified Wrath nor Holy Avenger will directly affect this priority.

This is the Final Verdict rotation, which includes Divine Purpose. FV introduces a 100% damage buff for Divine Storm after every cast of FV, causing DS to become a more prominent part of the single target priority.

ES > 5HP EDSFV* > DP (-3sec) > EDS (-3sec) > 5HP FV > HoW > ExoBC > EDSFV (AW/-35%) > DP FV (AW/-35%) > FV (AW/-35%) > CS > Judge > EDSFV > DP FV = 4HP FV > Exo > 3HP FV (> SS)

* Empowered Divine Storm w/ the Final Verdict DS buff up.

One thing about Divine Storm for single target: When talented for Final Verdict, you should only ever use an EDS proc if you also have the FV buff up or if there are <3 seconds remaining on the EDS buff (Divine Crusader). The rules change slightly for multiple target; you can read more about that in the Multiple Target section.

This is another Final Verdict rotation, but with SW or HA instead of DP. When using SW or HA, the only change is that DP is removed from the above priority.

ES > 5HP EDSFV > EDS (-3sec) > 5HP FV > HoW > ExoBC > EDSFV (AW/-35%) > FV (AW/-35%) > CS > Judge > EDSFV > 4HP FV > Exo > 3HP FV(> SS)

The next two sub-sections, which explain Seraphim and Empowered Seals usage, are directly quoted from Solsacra's theorycrafting thread on the MMO-C forums.

Seraphim Usage

To use Seraphim optimally you will need to pay close attention to both its duration and CD. As Seraphim hits ten seconds remaning of its CD, take note of how much HoPo you have, and how many generators are available. This means that dumping a TV at three HoPo may be optimal if you know you can regenerate five HoPo before you reach at most three seconds before Seraphim is ready. This means that optimal Seraphim usage encourages doing nothing, waiting for generators and Seraphim to become available. The length of the pooling period before Seraphim's activation/CD reset should be up to five seconds, to ensure at least two generators are available upon activation.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you have stopped your rotation too early in preparation for the activation of Seraphim, eg: a wait equal to or greater than four seconds, you can use EDS or Exorcism, even if you're at Holy Power cap. We want to cram as many abilities into that brief 15 second window as possible. Seraphim is off of the GCD, so pop it preferably <200ms before your opening generator. Align Seraphim with your other CDs.

All pooling should be done before Seraphim is off cooldown, as pooling afterwards will cause a hefty DPS loss by pushing back your two minute CD's (Avenging Wrath & Holy Avenger).

Empowered Seals Usage

EmpSeals entails cycling through SoT/SoR to maintain the AP buff and Haste buff. For the pull, if you are not using Bloodlust/Heroism you will need to be in Seal of Righteousness and perform this sequence as your opening rotation:

Not talented into HA: SoR > J > SoT > CS > Exo> J > CDs/HoW > TV
Talented into HA: SoR > J > SoT > CS > Exo> J > TV4 > HA/AW+HoW

Twists from Seal of Truth to Seal of Righteousness will need to be performed just above Crusader Strike in the base rotation if Liadrin's Righteousness is down, or in place of Exorcism if Liadrins Righteousness is still active, but has less duration than the cooldown of Judgment.

Twists from Seal of Righteousness to Seal of Truth will need to be performed just before CDs or before Crusader Strike if Maraad's Truth is down, or (like Righteousness) in place of Exorcism if it is still active, but has less duration than the cooldown of Judgment.

If you need to refresh Maraad’s Truth before you hit Judgment in your priority, you can prioritize Judgment ahead of Crusader Strike to maintain it.

There is no inherent need to quickly jump back to Truth. The swap conditions to Truth are similar to Righteousness, however the buff provided is far more important. For this reason, Seal of Truth is the seal we will want to have active during CDs. Liadrin’s Righteousness expiring is far less important; in fact, it is often optimal to let the buff fall off before refreshing. This ensures that full use of the Haste buff is dedicated to your damage dealing and not seal cycling. Try to refresh Liadrin’s Righteousness before CDs, preferably less than 5 seconds before they’re available, then make the swap back to Truth if you’re using talents like Holy Avenger or Sanctified Wrath, even if said Judgment clashes with abilities like Crusader strike, or any other low priority ability.

5.1.2 Single Target APL (SimulationCraft)

This is SimulationCraft's present APL (Action Priority List) for 1-2 targets. This section can be difficult to understand outside the context of SimulationCraft, so don't feel too bad if you don't understand it at first, and don't feel like you need to.

Examining the APL can help you better understand some more specific timings and ability placements depending on different talent choices and buff availabilities.


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Edited by Svayne on 12/21/2014 10:58 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

5.2 Multiple Target

For 2 targets which will each be alive for longer than the duration of Censure (Twin Ogron, Brackenspore's big add), multi-DoTing Censure is a DPS gain. If neither target will be alive long enough for the full duration of Censure, Seal of Righteousness is superior. For 3 or more targets, Righteousness is the way to go.

Light's Hammer is superior to Execution Sentence at 2+ targets which are consistently in range of the hammer's Arcing Lightning AoE.

Final Verdict cleave/AoE: at 2+ targets, you will begin rotating between Final Verdict and Divine Storm as your finishers. Remember to take note of the availability of Final Verdict's buff before using Divine Storm.

"This is a bit finicky; the DPS difference between actually alternating FV and DS and simply using your EDS procs in a normal single target rotation is minuscule over the course of a long boss fight. Use discretion when cleaving as it isn't necessarily increasing your overall output, as opposed to allocating damage to other targets at a minor single target loss. The reason this doesn't always come out ahead is tied to the probability of proc wastage from Empowered Divine Storm and its requirement of having a Final Verdict buff present." (Solsacra)

General cleave/AoE: at 2+ targets, Empowered Divine Storm's priority shifts up significantly. At this point, you will want to treat EDS as if you also have the Final Verdict buff, e.g. you'll use EDS before Judgement instead of after it. You will also be prioritizing 5 HP EDS over everything else for multi-target (just as you would with EDSFV for single target), similar to the way it was prioritized in T16.

Outside of EDS: if you are not talented for FV, then you will continue to spend HoPo and DP procs on TV until 3 targets, since DS is so weak on its own. At 3+ targets, you will simply sub Divine Storm in for Templar's Verdict.

You will want to start using Hammer of the Righteous instead of Crusader Strike at 5+ targets. 5+ targets is also the point at which you want to start using Divine Storm exclusively instead of alternating between FV and DS for sustained AoE. That said, it's rare that 5+ mobs will live long enough to qualify as sustained, meaning you'll usually want to prefer to continue weaving. Use your best judgment.

Glyphed Mass Exorcism is superior to Judgment at 2+ targets. However, the glyph of Double Jeopardy puts Judgment back in front of Exorcism as long as you're rotating targets. At 3+ targets, Mass Exorcism is superior even to Double Jeopardy.

5.2.1 Multiple Target APL (SimulationCraft)

As seen in the last section, this is another APL from SimulationCraft, but for multiple targets (more than 2). At 3+ targets, refer to the cleave list. At 5+ targets, refer to the AoE list. In both cases, Seal of Righteousness is utilized.




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Edited by Svayne on 12/21/2014 10:59 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

6 Cooldowns

All of our CDs are off of the GCD. On-use trinkets and Strength potions share this characteristic -- they can all be used within the same GCD as other skills, with the exception that most on-use trinkets can't be used at the same time.

6.1 Avenging Wrath

Avenging Wrath increases all damage and healing by 20% while active. When active, it allows you to use Hammer of Wrath regardless of target health. It lasts for 20 seconds and is on a 2-minute CD. Talenting for Sanctified Wrath causes Avenging Wrath to last 30 seconds and cut HoW's cooldown in half.

Use Avenging Wrath at the beginning of the fight, and then on cooldown from there.

6.2 Seraphim

Seraphim is a talented cooldown at level 100 (Tier 7). This short cooldown costs a whopping 5 Holy Power, lasts 15 seconds, and has a 30 second cooldown, giving it a distinct Inquisition-like tone. During the 15 seconds it's up, Seraphim grants 1000 Haste, Mastery, Crit strike, and Multistrike to Ret Paladins.

Use this ability on CD, as soon after it becomes available as is humanly possible. Addons such as WeakAuras can help with upkeep. You can read more in-depth about proper usage of this talent in the Single Target rotation section.

6.3 Holy Avenger

Holy Avenger is a talented cooldown (available in Tier 5) which causes your HoPo-generating abilities to deal 30% more damage and healing as well as generate a full 3 Holy Power. This allows you to spend half of every GCD on TV (big burst). The buff lasts for 18 seconds and has a cooldown of 2 minutes.

Use Holy Avenger in conjunction with Avenging Wrath for every cast.

6.4 Pre-potting

Potions have a 1 minute CD outside of combat. Within combat a potion can only be used a single time. To maximize potion usage, it is possible to pre-pot. This is the practice of using a potion a few seconds before combat engages. This places you on the 1 minute potion CD, but it immediately begins ticking down as it began outside of combat. Thus 1 minute later, in the middle of the fight, you can again use a potion. This second usage is your combat usage and prevents further potion usage during the fight.

Pre-potting is not a 100% guaranteed DPS increase. Its utility is based partially on tank threat. If the usage of the potion increases your threat to the level where you need to stop/slow DPS, then you are losing much of your increase and possibly even incurring an overall loss.


7 Tier Set Bonuses

T17 2p - Spending Holy Power has a 30% chance to allow the use of Hammer of Wrath regardless of your target's current health.
T17 4p - Hammer of Wrath causes your next Exorcism to generate 3 Holy Power.

T16 2p - When using Exorcism, all damage is increased by 5% for 6 sec.
T16 4p - Holy Power consumers have a 25% chance to make your next Divine Storm free and deal 50% more damage.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/12/2014 5:34 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

8 Gearing

8.1 Stat Priorities

The best way for you to figure out which stats you should be gearing towards is to sim your character with scaling and reforge plots with SimCraft. I cannot stress this enough; if you want truly accurate stat values, you need to sim your own character. However, for those who prefer some form of guideline, you can find an outline below.

Stat Priority
1. Strength (Primary)
2. Mastery
3. Multistrike = Haste to 9.52% (unbuffed)
4. Critical strike
5. Versatility = Haste beyond 9.52%

Haste is EQUAL to Multistrike in value for the most part. At some point, Haste falls off hard and Multistrike takes precedence by a large margin. Where exactly this happens depends on your talent choices and your gear, but 9.52% is essentially the "STOP GETTING MORE" point regardless of anything else.

If you want to know exactly where you should be going with Haste in your current gear, you must sim yourself with scaling and reforge plots. You can find a link to the sim tool used for basically everything (SimulationCraft) in the Resources section of this guide.

8.2 Gemming

Gem sockets are no longer standard on gear. All gear (even trinkets) now has a chance to drop with a Prismatic socket, just as it has a chance to drop as Warforged. Gems are now individually more powerful and socket bonuses no longer exist.

Prismatic (All) sockets:
Greater Mastery Taladite or Mastery Taladite

Remember how long this section used to be? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

8.3 Enchants

Enchants are more limited in quantity now, but are individually more powerful.

Item slot - [Optimal enchant]
- [Less effective, cheaper alternative]

Cloak - Enchant Cloak - Gift of Mastery
- Enchant Cloak - Breath of Mastery

Neck - Enchant Neck - Gift of Mastery
- Enchant Neck - Breath of Mastery

Ring - Enchant Ring - Gift of Mastery
- Enchant Ring - Breath of Mastery

Weapon - Enchant Weapon - Mark of Bleeding Hollow
- Enchant Weapon - Mark of the Shattered Hand

Mark of the Shattered Hand is superior at lower item levels, but Mark of Bleeding Hollow pulls ahead quickly as you start picking up raid gear.

8.4 Trinkets (T17)

The following is a tentative BiS trinket list for the tier. This list includes all raid trinkets, the Skull of War, and the Scabbard of Kyanos. What this list does not account for are WF and sockets, which may variably affect trinket placement.

01. M Vial of Convulsive Shadows (695) BRF
02. H Vial of Convulsive Shadows (680) BRF
03. M Horn of Screaming Spirits (695) BRF
04. M Forgemaster's Insignia (695) BRF
05. H Horn of Screaming Spirits (680) BRF
06. N Vial of Convulsive Shadows (665) BRF
07. H Forgemaster's Insignia (680) BRF
08. Scabbard of Kyanos (665) BoE (Sync w/ AW)
09. M Tectus' Beating Heart (685) HM
10. M Bottle of Infesting Spores (685) HM
11. N Horn of Screaming Spirits (665) BRF
12. N Forgemaster's Insignia (665) BRF
13. 3/3 Skull of War (670) DMF
14. H Tectus' Beating Heart (670) HM
15. H Bottle of Infesting Spores (670) HM
16. 2/3 Skull of War (655) DMF
17. N Tectus' Beating Heart (655) HM
18. N Bottle of Infesting Spores (655) HM
19. 1/3 Skull of War (640) DMF
20. <PvP and Heroic dungeon trinkets go here>

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Edited by Svayne on 12/17/2014 9:35 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

9 Consumables

Flask - Greater Draenic Strength Flask grants 250 Strength. Draenic Strength Flask grants 200 Strength and is a cheaper alternative.

Potion - Draenic Strength Potion grants 1000 Strength for 25 seconds.

Food - Sleeper Surprise is our best option, granting 100 Mastery. Alternatively, Braised Riverbeast and Fat Sleeper Cakes each grant 75 Mastery. Savage Feast is the new max-level feast which grants 100 of your highest secondary stat.

Augment Rune - Stout Augment Rune grants 50 Strength and stacks with flasks, but is lost on death. These are looted from Satchels of Savage Mysteries and from LFR bosses. They are tradable so you can find them on the AH as well.

10 Races

Many racials have been brought up in an effort to make each race roughly comparable to the others in performance. In this venture, Blizzard has mostly succeeded, but it's still important to know what each race has available to it.

10.1 Alliance (Eww)

Draenei Racials
- Heroic Presence: Increases your Strength, Agility, and Intellect by 65 @ L100
- Gift of the Naaru: Heals 4% of max health every sec for 5 sec. 3-minute CD.

Human Racials
- The Human Spirit: Increases Versatility rating by 100 @ L100
- Every Man For Himself: Free CC break. 2-minute CD. May be used to earn a few extra seconds of DPS time or to get to a safe spot during an encounter.

Dwarf Racials
- Might of the Mountain: Increases Critical strike bonus damage and healing by 2%
- Stoneform: Clears all magic, curse, poison, disease, and bleed effects and reduces incoming Phyiscal damage by 10% for 8 seconds. 2-minute CD.

10.2 (For the) Horde

Blood Elf Racials
- Arcane Torrent: Instantly grants 1 Holy Power and AoE silences for 2 sec on a 2-minute cooldown. Use on CD unless an AoE interrupt is needed at a specific time.
- Arcane Resistance: Static 1% reduction to Arcane damage taken.
- Arcane Acuity: Passively grants an additional 1% Critical strike chance.

Tauren Racials
- Brawn: Increases Critical strike bonus damage and healing done by 2%
- War Stomp: 2-second stun. 2-minute CD. Very little use in PvE due to its cast time.
- Nature Resistance: Static 1% reduction to Nature damage taken.
- Endurance: Increases Stamina by 197 @ L100. Some usefulness for survival.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/11/2014 1:11 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

11 Mechanics

• At level 100, Versatility converts at a rate of 130 rating to 1%, Multistrike at a rate of 66 rating to 1%, Mastery at a rate of ~49 rating to 1%, Haste at a rate of 100 rating to 1%, and Critical strike at a rate of 110 rating to 1%.

• Glancing blows no longer happen against mobs up to 3 levels higher than you (including raid bosses). It's still possible to land glancing blows against mobs higher than that, i.e. 4 or more levels higher than you.

• Boss level mobs have melee crit suppression of 4.8% and spell crit suppression of ~2.1%. This means you will crit somewhat less frequently than the % displayed on your character screen.

• Autoattack crit cap is 71.2% (100% - 24% glancing - 4.8% suppression). Crit above this level would not generate more crits.

• Ability crit cap is either 95.2% (100% - 4.8% suppression) or possibly 100% (104.8% - 4.8% suppression). Either is beyond possibility for Ret Pally gear.

• Hit and Expertise no longer exist as stats. All characters now have a 100% chance to hit, 0% chance to be dodged, 3% chance to be parried, and 0% chance for glancing blows, when fighting creatures up to 3 levels higher.

• Autoattacks, Crusader Strike, Judgment, and Templar's Verdict are all considered melee attacks. They are susceptible to Parry. Hammer of Wrath is ranged and cannot be Parried. Exorcism is a spell and cannot be Parried.

• All damaging attacks do 200% damage when they Crit, before modifiers. Critical hits only deal 150% damage in PvP, before modifiers.

• We gain Spell Power equal to 100% of AP from Sword of Light. Cannot gain SP from other sources (Intellect, enchants, etc).

• Mastery damage bonus is applied to: Crusader Strike, Templar's Verdict, Hammer of the Righteous, Divine Storm, and Hammer of Wrath.

Source (Partial):
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Edited by Svayne on 12/11/2014 12:53 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

12 Addons & Macros

12.1 Useful Addons

clcRet -
- This addon is an absolute must-have for new Rets. It tracks your ability cooldowns and makes suggestions of what you should use next in your rotation based on editable skill priorities. Below, you'll find a rotation string for Seraphim and for Final Verdict.

Seraphim + Sanctified Wrath (or Holy Avenger)
es eds_4s tv5 how exo_bc tv_aw_exec cs eds_aw_exec j eds tv4 exo tv3
Exorcism should be used ahead of EDS and TV4 when Seraphim is down, but clcRet does not currently support an argument for this.

Final Verdict + Divine Purpose
es eds5_fv tv_dp_4s eds_4s tv5 how exo_bc eds_fv_aw tv_aw_exec cs j eds_fv tv_dp tv4 exo tv3
When using SW or HA instead of Divine Purpose, DP arguments will be ignored.

ForteXorcist -
- Highly configurable spell and cooldown timers. Particularly useful for monitoring Inquisition and various de/buffs (trinket procs, potions, cooldowns).

WeakAuras 2 -
- Highly confirgurable visual and audio cues for various in-game events. Can be used to track de/buff stacks, time left on Inquisition, and/or various other crucial elements.

12.2 Macros

Mouseover Judgment Macro
/cast [target=mouseover,harm] Judgment; [harm] Judgment

This macro will allow you to Judge your current target, but will instead cast it on whatever your cursor is hovering over if it's different than your current target. Useful for utilizing the Double Jeopardy glyph effectively.

Divine Shield Cancelaura Macro
/cast Divine Shield
/cancelaura Divine Shield

This macro allows you to bind your Divine Shield so that it activates on the first use and is removed on the second use. You can use this functionality to stop an incoming spike in damage where you may have otherwise died, and then remove the bubble early in order to start DPSing at full potential again a bit earlier.

Seal Cast Sequence Macro
/castsequence [nomod] !Seal of Righteousness, !Seal of Truth

One-button macro for seal swapping between Seal of Truth and Seal of Righteousness. May help reduce keybind bloat. Credit Argalan for contribution.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/18/2014 2:36 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

13 Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why does Crusader Strike have a higher priority than Judgment or Exorcism? And why does Judgment have a higher priority than Exorcism?
A. Crusader Strike is the only one of these three that deals Mastery damage, and it has the shortest CD. Judgment deals seal damage and has a shorter CD than Exo.

Q. Is the Immediate Truth glyph a DPS increase since they nerfed Censure so much?
A. No. Glyph of IT was also nerfed (from 40% to 30% bonus seal damage) for the express purpose of making it a DPS loss, or at best DPS-neutral.

Q. What seal(s) should I be using for PvE?
A. Seal of Truth for single-target, Seal of Righteousness for multi-target (2+ targets).

Q. Is it okay to use mail/leather gear?
A. No; these items no longer have attack power as a secondary stat. This lack of AP versus Strength gear (which we do get AP from) makes Strength gear vastly superior. In addition, using all plate gear grants a free +5% Strength via Plate Specialization.

Q. What about higher-DPS Agility weapons?
A. No, an Agility weapon of similar item level should never be as good as a Strength weapon for the same reason that plate > mail and leather gear (lack of AP).

Q. I still don't understand something or have a question that isn't answered here.
A. Please create a new thread or post elsewhere with your question. There's a post cap that even stickies must adhere to, so try not to clog this thread up too much.

14 Other Resources

Solsacra's Theorycrafting & Discussion Thread (MMO-C)

Elitist Jerks - Retribution Concordance

SimulationCraft - Useful, easy-to-learn sim program.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/11/2014 12:39 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

15 Change Log

Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
Adjusted FV priority for current item levels (Judgment moved in front of EDSFV and 4HP FV, 3HP FV moved down behind Exo).

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014
Addendum to Multiple Target section about FV/DS weaving @ 2 targets. Various other (minor) tweaks and corrections around the guide.

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014
Attached a new TL;DR section to the beginning of the guide.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014
Changes to the Rotations sections, including EDS/DP timings, Seraphim pooling timing, and EmpS seal swap placement. Updated APL added for both single target and multi-target. Changes to the Trinket BiS profile.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014
Talents section adjusted to reflect new findings; SW and Seraphim are presently our best DPS talents for Highmaul. Also added a "quick facts" box to the top of the Talents section which displays the current top-DPS talents.

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014
Updated for patch 6.0.3 (level 100-current). Constant WIP.

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Edited by Svayne on 12/18/2014 2:36 PM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

Reserved for future use.

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Edited by Svayne on 2/14/2014 1:58 PM PST
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85 Human Paladin
Wow, i'm impressed. It's very neat and organized.

I'll definitely go ahead and give it a read as I will be raiding soon on this toon, yet i'm sort of new to Retribution Paladins.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
Been 3mins must be safe to post now.

Can i recommend powerauras? Not only is it good at tracking inq its good at tracking other things like divine protection/trinkets/ect.

Also why not just edit your old guide? Why remake it?
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
Wow, i'm impressed. It's very neat and organized.

I'll definitely go ahead and give it a read as I will be raiding soon on this toon, yet i'm sort of new to Retribution Paladins.

Thank you.

Been 3mins must be safe to post now.

Can i recommend powerauras? Not only is it good at tracking inq its good at tracking other things like divine protection/trinkets/ect.

Also why not just edit your old guide? Why remake it?

Sure, I'll tack it up there in just a bit; thanks for the suggestion. I used that myself until the in-game auras were launched.

The reason I didn't just edit the old guide is because I no longer have access to the account under which it was written.
Edited by Svayne on 10/12/2014 10:39 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
The reason I didn't just edit the old guide is because I no longer have access to the account under which it was written. You move away and have no time for games for the better part of a year and things tend to happen/get lost...but here I am anyway!

Okay just curious.

/requested sticky

Glad to have you back. Awesome guide!

edit: try emailing and ask if they will switch out your guides.
Edited by Celyndrashad on 12/6/2011 3:55 AM PST
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
Thank you, and thank you. I'll certainly email them.
Edited by Svayne on 10/12/2014 10:39 PM PDT
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