Raiding as Retribution - 5.4 - Updated 6/23


85 Blood Elf Paladin

Raiding as Retribution - "How to" in 5.4

(I'm still playing as Qris @ Area 52.)

This guide is a work in progress and is being edited regularly. Feedback is greatly appreciated. You can find information on each update in the Change Log.

The information here is drawn from several sources including Exemplar's article on Elitist Jerks and several topics here on these forums, touched up slightly by yours truly. The math here may or may not conflict with that of other theorycrafters; this is to be expected. Much of the information provided 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

• 1 ... What's new in 6.0?
• 2 ... Talents
• 3 ... Glyphs
- 3.1 ... Major
- 3.2 ... Minor
• 4 ... Rotation
- 4.1 ... Inquisition
- 4.2 ... Single Target
- 4.3 ... Multi-Target
• 5 ... Cooldowns
- 5.1 ... Avenging Wrath
- 5.2 ... Guardian of Ancient Kings
- 5.3 ... Holy Avenger
- 5.4 ... Pre-potting
• 6 ... Tier Set Bonuses
• 7 ... Gearing
- 7.1 ... Stat Priorities
- 7.3 ... Reforging
- 7.4 ... Gemming
- 7.5 ... Enchants
• 8 ... Mechanics
• 9 ... Consumables
• 10 .. Races
- 10.1 .. Alliance
- 10.2 .. Horde
• 11 .. Professions
• 12 .. Addons & Macros
- 12.1 .. Useful Addons
- 12.2 .. Macros
• 13 .. Frequently Asked ?s
• 14 .. Resources
• 15 .. Change Log



AM Aura Mastery
AoE Area of Effect
AoW Art of War
AP Attack Power
AW Avenging Wrath
BiS Best in Slot
BoP Hand of Protection (originally Blessing of Protection)
CD Cooldown
CS Crusader Strike
DoT Damage Over Time
DP Divine Purpose
DPS Damage per Second
DS Divine Storm
ES Execution Sentence
Exo Exorcism
FV Final Verdict
GCD Global Cooldown
GoAK Guardian of Ancient Kings
HA Holy Avenger
HoP Hand of Purity
HoPo/HP Holy Power
HotR Hammer of the Righteous
HoW Hammer of Wrath
Inq Inquisition
Judge Judgment
LH Light's Hammer
LoH Lay on Hands
Sim Simulate (specifically, through SimulationCraft)
SS Sacred Shield
TV Templar's Verdict

Edited by Svayne on 7/28/2014 2:48 AM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

1 What's new in 6.0?


2 Talents

Love it or hate it, talent trees are gone. We are now given a set of talent tiers available at progressively higher levels. Each tier contains three talents. The majority of these choices (with the exception of tiers 5 and 6) are inconsequential to your DPS and are geared towards mobility, survival, and raid utility.

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 consistence. 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
• Burden of Guilt - Judgment reduces target's movement speed by 50% for 12 sec

Recommended: No recommendation. FoJ is probably the most popular and Repentance is your generic PvE CC. BoG can be used to slow adds on fights like Immerseus or Siegecrafter Blackfuse. Use what's appropriate for the situation.

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: No recommendation, but Sacred Shield is the generic winner. Even with only 20% up-time, SS offers the greatest personal survival. Alternatively, SH is a very strong clutch 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 noticeable DPS loss if utilized due to the waste of HoPo. Do not use EF as Ret (in PvE).

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, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation 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 minimzed 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/or 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: Discounting trinkets, difference is marginal in end-game gear, albeit with DP lagging behind. The SoO trinket Evil Eye of Galakras favors SW heavily as it reduces the cooldown of AW but NOT HA, wrecking the cooldown sync while greatly increasing AW's potential up-time when running both the trinket and SW. Having this trinket equipped generally leads to SW overtaking its competitors.

Tier 6 - Level 90
• Holy Prism - De/buff target. Enemies take Holy damage and radiate healing to 5 nearby allies. Allies are healed 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 16 seconds (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. As usual, use your best judgment. HoPrism lacks significant uses for Retribution in current raid content.

3 Glyphs

As of patch 5.0, glyphs are significantly less important to our DPS. Where we used to glyph for increases to things like TV damage, we now glyph primarily for survival.

3.1 Major

Glyph of Templar's Verdict
Glyph of Divine Storm
Glyph of Avenging Wrath
Glyph of Double Jeopardy
Glyph of Mass Exorcism
Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice
Glyph of Inquisition
Glyph of Blinding Light

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 raid damage at no real cost to the Paladin.

Double Jeopardy is a DPS increase where there are 2+ important targets that you don't have to move out of melee range to rotate Judgments on. It is completely useless on single-target fights such as Iron Juggernaut.

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 Spoils.

The Armory's tooltip for Glyph of Inquisition is incorrect. This glyph now causes Inquisition's duration to increase by 30s each time the Paladin scores a killing blow on any foe that yields experience or honor. This can be useful for add-heavy fights.

Gylph of Blinding Light provides situational utility. It causes Blinding Light to become a 3-second knockdown (stun) as opposed to a damage-broken disorient. This could be potentially life-saving in a pinch on fights like Galakras where there are large groups of stun-vulnerable mobs. Particularly useful in Challenge Modes.

Immediate Truth is a DPS loss and should be avoided. "IT is a loss after approximately 8 seconds of combat." (Exemplar)

3.2 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 7/24/2014 3:38 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

4 Rotation

Retribution's rotation has a distinct "whack-a-mole" feel to it, and strong performance revolves around intelligent use of cooldowns. Good ES snapshotting, Inquisition up-time, and ability prioritization are all marks of a talented Retribution Paladin.

4.1 Inquisition

Inquisition is one of the most important abilities to our damage output. It is imperative that it be up as close to 100% of the time as possible.

Cast your initial Inquisition with 3 Holy Power. In a perfect world you'd always refresh Inq at 3 HoPo, but it's better to refresh at 1 or 2 HoPo than to let it fall off.

Inquisition acts as a DoT for the purposes of clipping. If you refresh it within its last 3 seconds, the remaining time will be added to the duration of your refreshed buff; if you refresh at 2 seconds with 3 HoPo, your new Inq will last for 62 seconds. It is ideal to refresh Inq at ~2 seconds remaining.

4.2 Single Target

Inq > ES (> 5HP T16 Free DS) > 5HP TV > HoW (> T16 Free DS) > CS > Judge > Exo > 3-4HP TV (> SS)
Important: This is NOT a rotation. It is a priority queue. Something a lot of people get confused about is "how do I cast Inq without first generating HoPo?" The answer is that you don't. Standard opener is CS > Judge > Exo > Inq > Cooldowns > ES.

4.3 Multiple Target

Inq > 5HP DS > LH > HoW (> T16 Free DS) > HotR > Judge > Exo > 3-4HP DS (> SS)
Pretty simple: trade TV for DS and CS for HotR for AoE. HotR and DS both overtake their single-target counterparts (CS and TV) at a mere 2 targets.

LH is vastly superior to ES when there are 2+ targets consistently within range of your Hammer's arcing light AoE.

On average, Seal of Righteousness requires 4 or more targets that will survive for 30+ seconds to pull ahead of Seal of Truth. Seal swapping when engaging an appropriate number of targets is a DPS increase.

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Edited by Svayne on 7/28/2014 3:01 AM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

5 Cooldowns

Our cooldowns are a large part of our DPS, so its important to know what each one does and how to use them effectively, which I'll cover in the next section. All of our CDs are off of the GCD. On-use trinkets and Golemblood potions share this characteristic -- they can all be used within the same GCD as other skills.

5.1 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.

If not talented for Sanctified Wrath, burn with other cooldowns ~10 seconds after popping GoAK, and then on CD after that. If talented, pop at the same time as GoAK.

5.2 Guardian of Ancient Kings

Guardian of Ancient Kings provides a stacking Strength buff which will stack up to 12 times, granting you an additional 12% of your current Strength (including bonuses from buffs, trinkets, and potions). The buff lasts for a total of 30 seconds and has a CD of 3 minutes.

Again: if using Sanctified Wrath, pop AW at the same time as GoAK; otherwise, wait until ~10 seconds after popping GoAK in order to let Ancient Fury build.

Holy Avenger and any other CDs, including potions and on-use trinkets, should be burned ~10 seconds after GoAK activation. This will provide the highest possible Strength benefit from Ancient Fury.

5.3 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.

Thanks to the reduced base CD on AW, it is now possible to sync these two cooldowns on every use. Caveat: When using the Evil Eye of Galakras, syncing these cooldowns becomes relatively difficult after the first use. AW's cooldown will be around 1.5 minutes while HA remains at 2 minutes.

5.4 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, or use HoS then you are losing much of your increase and possibly even incurring an overall loss.

Be especially mindful if you must use HoS during pre-pot duration. Not only are you wasting a GCD during the pot duration, but you are putting HoS on CD for 2 minutes. Remember that HoS reduces current total threat by 2% every second. 2% of 5-10 seconds worth of threat is significantly lower than 2% of 30-60 seconds of threat. An attempt to avoid an early threat issue can lead to a threat issue a minute later and produce further loss of DPS due to throttling.

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Edited by Svayne on 3/19/2014 11:59 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

6 Tier Set Bonuses

T16 2p - When Art of War activates, 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.

T16 2-piece is your run-of-the-mill special damage bonus and does not require you to actually consume the proc to gain the damage bonus. T16 4-piece adds yet another RNG-based filler to the priority queue.

T15 2p - Exorcism causes your target to take 6% increased Holy damage from your attacks for 6 sec. This effect applies to the AoE caused by Glyph of Mass Exorcism.
T15 4p - Crusader Strike has a 40% chance to make your next Templar's Verdict deal all Holy Damage.

The implications of these set bonuses working together are significant in terms of DPS. Increase Holy damage dealt by 6% and then land an all-Holy TV, modified by both the 6% and by Hand of Light.

T14 2p - Increases the damage done by Templar's Verdict by 15%.
T14 4p - +10% damage on Seals and Judgement.

T14 2-piece is simple: more TV damage means more DPS. T14 4-piece is another straight DPS increased. More damage is more damage.

7 Gearing

7.1 Stat Priorities

Pre-40% Haste
1. Strength
2. Hit & Expertise (to 7.5%)
3. Haste
4. Mastery
5. Critical

Post-40% Haste
1. Strength
2. Hit & Expertise (to 7.5%)
3. Mastery
4. Haste
5. Critical

These are very simplified values. Views on optimal gearing at higher item levels (Heroic+) are mixed at best. Some choose to keep stacking Haste to 50%, others quit cold at 40% and start stacking Mastery and/or Crit instead.

Mastery versus Crit is it's own thing entirely.

Crit is widely considered to be more beneficial to single-target DPS than Mastery. This is true to an extent, but it also relies on RNG being in your favor and having a decent item level TTT to boost your Crit damage. I have personally tried the all-Crit route, both with 40% Haste and with as close to 50% as possible. It's fun, it's possible to rank with it, but I'm unsure of the consistency of its performance.

Mastery continues to be far superior to Crit--at least at face value--for AoE-heavy fights such as Protectors, Spoils, and Heroic Siegecrafter (cleaving mines). Mastery builds are also far more consistent than Crit builds because they're less reliant on RNG. That said, Crit has the potential to outperform Mastery even on these fights assuming a reasonably high item level TTT and some good will from RNGesus.

Strength is, of course, our primary stat. Thanks to Sanctity of Battle, Haste is and has been our best secondary stat throughout the expansion. Mastery trails behind slightly while Crit tends to lag behind a little more.

In current (late) raid gear, it's possible to hit a point in Haste (around 40%) where Mastery begins to overtake it in value. This is made possible in large part by the trinkets available to us in SoO, namely Galakras and Thok's.

You can and should read more about the aforementioned Haste breakpoint in the next post, under section 7.4.3 Late Raid Gear (T16) & Breakpoints.

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Edited by Svayne on 7/6/2014 2:33 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

7.3 Reforging

Reforging allows you to exchange 40% of a combat rating already on an item and converts it into a combat rating not already on an item. Example: If an item has Crit, you cannot add more Crit, if it has no Crit then you could reforge 40% of another rating (Expertise, Haste, Hit, or Mastery) into Crit. An item with 100 Hit and no Crit could be reforged to 60 Hit and 40 Crit. (Exemplar)

Reforge priority is as follows:

Hit & Expertise (to 7.5%) > Haste > Mastery ~= Crit
Mastery is superior to Crit for the most part, although there are those who swear by Crit. Consensus is that Mastery is greater for 2+ targets while Crit is superior for single target DPS after a certain point. That said, the ST difference is relatively small and the sheer quantity of 2+ target fights in current content tends to favor Mastery.

Deviations: Hit cap is 6.5% for Draenei, Expertise cap is 6.5% for Humans when using Swords or Maces and for Dwarves when using Maces.

7.4 Gemming

Gemming strategy is different in pre-raid dungeon gear than in raid gear. I've outlined the different strategies here, but you'll need to sim your own character to figure out when you personally start reaching the various breakpoints that are detailed here.

7.4.1 Pre-raid Gemming

In pre-raid dungeon gear, Strength is superior to all secondary stats by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. Pre-raid gear, you are safe to gem as we did in Cataclysm: straight Strength in red sockets, Strength/Haste in yellows, Strenght/Hit in blues.

7.4.2 Early Raid Gear (T14/T15)

Gemming is a little different now due to gems having double secondary stats attached to them. In early raid gear, we'll no longer gem straight Strength. Haste gems will take precedence (up to around 40% Haste), as 2 Haste > 1 Strength after a certain point, generally as soon as you start picking up epics. With higher item level gear being so accessible now, you may be better off skipping Strength-only gems entirely.

7.4.3 Late Raid Gear (T16) & Breakpoints

There are two important break points in late raid gear which greatly affect gearing strategies. Typically, the first such break point is the one at which Mastery's value exceeds half that of Strength. At this point, 2 Mastery > 1 Strength and you will begin gemming for Expertise instead of Strength in your red sockets. Ex: Exp/Haste or Exp/Mastery gems, depending on how progressed your gear is and how much Haste you have. Gemming for Expertise allows for better reforging; you will be able to reforge out of Expertise and into more valuable secondaries, such as Haste and Mastery.

To further elaborate: since 1 Str is worth less than 2 Haste or Mastery in late raid gear, given the option it would be more efficient to socket gems that give 160 Mastery and 160 Haste instead of 80 Strength and 160 Haste, right? You can't do that, so the next best option is to gem for Expertise/x and be able to reforge out of Expertise and into the Haste and Mastery that would have been gemmed for if such gems existed.

The second break point is the one at which Mastery will begin outperforming Haste. With Thok's Tail Tip, you'll reach this point at ~40% Haste. Around 50% without. Upon reaching this break point you'll want to start gemming for x/Mastery instead of x/Haste in your red sockets, but continue gemming straight Haste in yellow sockets. You may or may not find room to gem for Hit/Mastery instead of Haste/Hit.

Red Sockets
Bold Serpent's Eye, JC-only
Fierce Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Fierce Tiger Opal

Once 2 Mastery > 1 Strength:
Wicked Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Wicked Tiger Opal

After 40% Haste (before raid buffs):
Skillful Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Skillful Tiger Opal
Keen Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Keen Tiger Opal

Yellow Sockets
Quick Sun's Radiance or Perfect Quick Sunstone

After 40% Haste (before raid buffs):
Fractured Sun's Radiance or Perfect Fractured Sunstone

Blue Sockets
Lightning Wild Jade or Perfect Lightning Alexandrite

After 40% Haste (before raid buffs):
Sensei's Wild Jade or Perfect Sensei's Alexandrite

Meta Socket
Capacitive Primal Diamond
Reverberating Primal Diamond

There is the possibility that, with enough red sockets and Expertise from gear, you will gain too much Expertise from gemming for it. Should this happen, simply replace some of the Expertise gems with Strength/x gems in order to shave some of the fat.

7.5 Enchants

Item slot - [Optimal enchant]
- [Cheaper, less effective alternative]
- Additional info

Shoulder - Greater Tiger Fang Inscription
- Alternatively, Tiger Fang Inscription
- Inscription-only Secret Tiger Claw enchant is superior.

Cloak - Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike or Enchant Cloak - Accuracy
- Tailoring-only Swordguard enchant is superior.

Chest - Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
- No lesser alternative.

Bracers - Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength
- Alternatively, Enchant Bracer - Mastery
- Leatherworking-only Fur Lining - Strength (Rank 3) enchant is superior.

Gloves - Enchant Gloves - Super Strength
- Alternatively, Enchant Gloves - Greater Haste

Belt - Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Free gem socket, a must-have.

Legs - Angerhide Leg Armor
- Alternatively, Brutal Leg Armor

Feet - Enchant Boots - Greater Haste or Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
- Interchangeable depending on needs or preference.

Weapon - Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel
- Alternatively, Enchant Weapon - Windsong

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Edited by Svayne on 6/23/2014 12:32 AM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

8 Mechanics

• Glancing blows (only on mobs 3+ levels higher than you, such as Skull bosses) happen 24% of the time on auto-attacks. A glancing blow deals 75% damage and cannot crit.

• Boss level mobs have melee crit suppression of 4.8% and spell crit suppression of ~2.1%. This means you will crit 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 rating to percent conversion is 102.45 per 1%.

• You need 7.5% Hit (2550 Hit rating) to be melee capped. Draenei only need 2210 Hit rating due to racials. Autoattack, CS, Judgment, TV, and Hammer of Wrath all use the melee hit cap.

• You need 7.5% Expertise (2550 Expertise rating) to be dodge and parry capped. Spells cannot be dodged. Dwarves need 2210 Expertise rating with maces, and Humans would need 2210 Expertise rating with swords or maces.

• You need 15% Spellhit to be spell capped. Both Hit and Expertise contribute to Spellhit, therefore at 7.5% Hit + 7.5% Expertise you would be at 15% Spellhit. Only Exorcism uses Spellhit.

• Autoattacks, Crusader Strike, Judgment, and Templar's Verdict are all considered melee attacks, using Melee Hit and Crit %. They are susceptible to parry and dodge. Hammer of Wrath is ranged Holy damage and can be dodged, but not parried. It is susceptible to Hit and Expertise.

• All damaging attacks do 200% damage when they crit, before modifiers.

• We gain Spell Power equal to 50% 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.

• Inquisition behaves like a DoT for the purposes of clipping the last tick. Any refresh within the last 3 seconds is no-clip (the remainder gets added to the duration of the new cast). Example: Use 3 HoPo to refresh Inq with 2.5 seconds remaining and the new Inq is 32.5 seconds long.

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Edited by Svayne on 3/19/2014 11:59 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

9 Consumables

Flask - Flask of Winter's Bite is the obvious choice. 1000 Strength.

Potion - Potion of Mogu Power is pure Strength (4000) which is amazing for us. Use potions only under a CD cycle and/or the effects of Bloodlust or similar.

Food - Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp provides 300 Strength, making it our best option. Pandaren Treasure Noodle Soup comes from noodle carts of the same name and provides the same bonus as the player-made alternative.

10 Races

When it comes to racials that impact PvE, the Alliance is superior. Horde Paladin racials have little to no impact outside of PvP purposes. (Exemplar)

10.1 Alliance

- Heroic Presence: Grants a static +1% Hit to the Draenei. This buff no longer applies to the character's party or raid. Affords a little more freedom in itemization.
- Gift of the Naaru: %-based HoT with some use for PvE sustainability.

- Sword/Mace Specialization: Free +1% Expertise when wielding a Sword or Mace.
- 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.

- Mace Specialization: Free +1% Expertise when wielding a Mace.
- Stoneform: Clears all poison, disease, and bleed effects and reduces incoming damage by 10% for a short time. 2-minute CD. Some use for PvE sustainability.

10.2 Horde

Blood Elf
- Arcane Torrent: 2-second silence and instant 2% mana regeneration (1.2k mana) on a 2-minute cooldown. Very little use in PvE because of Rebuke, some use in PvP.
- Arcane Resistance: Static 1% reduction to Arcane damage taken.

- War Stomp: 2-second stun. 2-minute CD. Very little use in PvE. Some use in PvP.
- Nature Resistance: Static 1% reduction to Nature damage taken.
- Endurance: Base health increased by 5%. Limited usefulness for survival.

Draenei is arguably the best race available for Retribution Paladins. Draenei 1% Hit is equal to Humans' and Dwarves' racial 1% Expertise bonus, but their racials require certain weapon types in order to be effective.

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Edited by Svayne on 5/7/2014 10:04 AM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

11 Professions

An important part of maximizing your DPS is the professions that you choose. Certain professions, such as Leatherworking and Tailoring, provide very valuable perks such as Strength bonuses or AP procs. Others, such as Skinning and Mining, provide trivial or worthless bonuses in terms of DPS. As a rule of thumb, you want crafting professions for the greatest benefit to your DPS.

The majority of crafting profession currently offer a 320 Strength or equivalent benefit, including: Blacksmithing (2 free gem sockets), Leatherworking (LW-exclusive Wrist enchant), Enchanting (2 ring enchants), Alchemy (greater benefit from flasks), and Engineering (Synapse Springs, a controllable DPS cooldown). The exception is Tailoring, which offers a statistically superior (albeit RNG-based) perk.

Tailoring is potentially one of the most powerful DPS professions. Tailoring-only Swordguard cloak enchant procs for 4000 AP for 15 seconds on an ICD of 55 seconds. This averages out to a slightly higher Attack Power bonus than other professions. Rationale: 4000 AP * ~0.25 up-time = ~1000 static AP = ~500 static Strength > 180 Crit or Hit. If you arbitrarily equate 180 Hit to 180 Haste, and then average that out to a liberal 130 Strength, this still averages out to a strong 370 Strength gain over the globally available cloak enchants. 370 > 320 perk gain.

Engineering is also a popular profession for a few reasons. Nitro Boosts (rocket boots) are useful in many situations, including certain raid encounters (such as Thok), clearing dungeons quickly, and PvP. Gliders and parachutes also have some uses. In terms of direct DPS gains, we have the Synapse Springs tinker for the Hands slot. This tinker, which does not overwrite enchants, is a controllable 1920 Strength CD which lasts for 10s and has a 1m cooldown. If used on cooldown, this levels out to an average benefit of between 320 and 321 Strength over the course of a fight. If used intelligently with other cooldowns, this benefit can be increased exponentially.

12 Addons & Macros

12.1 Useful Addons

clcRet -
- This addon is an absolute must-have. It tracks your ability cooldowns and makes suggestions of what you should use next in your rotation based on editable skill priorities. A standard priority string for this addon follows:

inq inqes ds_4t16_5hp tv5 how ds_4t16 tvaw cs j exo tv3
This string includes the T16 4p proc (ds_4t16). Against multiple targets, simply use HotR when CS is suggested and DS when TV is suggested.

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.

OmniCC -
- Adds text to items/abilities that are on cooldown to more clearly indicate when they will be ready for use. Useful for pinpoint CD tracking on major abilities and items.

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 target. The same macro can also be used for abilities such as Exo and HoW. Simply replace "Judgment" with the name of the desired ability. Useful for Censure cleaving.

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 when healers are stressed or you might have otherwise died, and then remove the bubble early in order to start DPSing at full potential again before you normally would have been able to.

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Edited by Svayne on 6/23/2014 11:45 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

13 Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is Exo behind CS and Judge in the priority? I swear Exo hits harder.
A. Exo appears to hit harder, but only if you ignore the Hand of Light (Mastery) and additional Seal damage that's attached to CS and Judgment, respectively. Exo benefits from neither and also scales horribly.

Q. What seal(s) should I be using for PvE?
A. Seal of Truth is your go-to DPS seal. Seal of Righteousness is our large-group AoE seal, and is only worth swapping to for 4+ targets with reasonable health pools. Potentially more if you can effectively multi-DoT Censure instead.

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 attack power versus Strength gear (which we gain 2 AP per point of Str 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. You have several options: post here, post elsewhere in this sub-forum, or you may otherwise contact me directly @ Svayne#1779.

14 Resources

Elitist Jerks - Retribution Concordance

SimulationCraft 5.4 - Useful, easy-to-learn sim program.

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Edited by Svayne on 3/9/2014 4:56 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

15 Change Log

Monday, June 23, 2014
Several updates to section 7 Gearing, including a short discussion about the 40% Haste breakpoint and Mastery vs. Critical strike at higher item levels.

Sunday, Apr. 13, 2014
Started reformatting in preparation for WoD. Updated talents section. Updated stats, gemming, and reforging sections for clarity. Updated racials section for clarity.

Sunday, Mar. 9, 2014
Updated section 11 Professions to reflect the +10 stat buff to globally available Wrist enchants, which brought the LW wrist enchant in line with other profession perks. (Took me long enough to update for this, jeeze.) Also added Engineering discussion and elaborated on the benefits of the Tailoring-only Swordguard cloak enchant.

Monday, Jan. 27, 2014
Replaced section 7.1 Stat Weights with Stat Priorities.

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013
Updated section 7.1 Stat Weights with more average item levels and their respective average stat values. Expanded on the implications of said values in section 7.1.1.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
Added section 7.4.3 Late Raid Gear to better cover late-item level gearing strategies, particularly the switch to Expertise>Strength gemming and Mastery>Haste bias at higher item levels.

Monday, Dec. 9, 2013
Updated sections 7.3 Reforging, 7.4.2 T14 Raid Gear and Beyond, and 7.5 Enchants to reflect late-gear gemming and reforging strategies (Matery vs. Haste).

Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013
Updated for patch 5.4 - currently a WIP.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012
Re-introduced sections 7.1 Stat Weights and 7.2 Using Stat Weights.

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012
Updated for patch 5.0, T14 (level 90-current).

Monday, Sep. 3, 2012
Updated for patch 5.0 (level 85-current).

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Edited by Svayne on 6/23/2014 12:51 AM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin

Reserved for future use.

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Edited by Svayne on 2/14/2014 1:57 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 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. :) Let me know if you find anything out of place. I'm still skimming it myself.

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 is. Just editing a few things here and there. And 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. 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!
Edited by Svayne on 9/8/2012 7:23 AM 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, but I'm not too worried about a sticky at the moment. Still a lot of kinks to work out.
Edited by Svayne on 12/6/2011 9:56 AM PST
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