[Ret-PvE] The Light and How to Swing It

90 Dwarf Paladin
13820
or, A Guide to the More Martial Aspects of Piety ~ by Uther the Lightbringer, as transcribed by Grôgnárd Fôhámmer

Foreword

While this guide is aimed more at those wanting to excel at raiding as a Retribution Paladin, the information is still (mostly) valid for those that are just leveling; things don't change overly much during the grind. I will also not be covering best-in-slot lists except for a general recommendation where trinkets are concerned as the relative strengths of most gear should be obvious, but trinkets can be somewhat murky.

I would also like to say that I intend to keep this guide as free from editorialization as possible, as it is intended to be a useful source of information for my fellow players and not my personal gripe blog. I will, of course, always encourage discussion within this thread, but I will try to keep personal bias out of the post(s) that comprise the guide itself.

Stay strong, my fellows! Raise your hammers high!

Contents

For quick searches, use Ctrl + F to bring up the Find feature and copy into it the section heading you wish to find.

[SEC00] Glossary of Abbreviations
[SEC01] Overview
[SEC02] Talents
[SEC03] Glyphs
[SS031] Major
[SS032] Minor
[SEC04] Rotation
[SS041] Single-Target
[SS042] Multi-Target
[SS043] Ranged
[SEC05] Burst
[SEC06] Utility
[SEC07] Gearing
[SS071] Stats
[SS072] Gemming
[SS073] Enchants
[SS074] Pre-Raid
[SS075] T14/15
[SS076] T16
[SS077] Current Tier Trinkets
[SS078] Valor Upgrading
[SEC08] Consumables
[SEC09] Professions
[SEC10] Game Aides
[SS101] Macros
[SS102] Addons
[SEC11] Resource Links

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[SEC00] Glossary of Abbreviations
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AM - Devotion Aura; after Holy's original Aura Mastery
AoE - Area of Effect
AoW - Art of War
AP - Attack Power
AW - Avenging Wrath; also Wings
BiS - Best in Slot
BL - Blinding Light
CD - Cooldown
aCD - individual Ability Cooldown
gCD - the Global Cooldown
CS - Crusader Strike
DoT - Damage Over Time
DR - Damage Reduction
DPr - Divine Protection
DPS - Damage per Second
DPu - Divine Purpose
DSh - Divine Shield; also Bubble
DS - Divine Storm
DS# - Divine Storm, when cast with '#' Holy Power
EF - Eternal Flame
ES - Execution Sentence
Exo - Exorcism
MExo - Mass Exorcism
FoL - Flash of Light
GoAK - Guardian of Ancient Kings; also Guardian
HA - Holy Avenger
HoL - Hand of Light, the Retribution Mastery
HoP - Hand of Protection; also BoP
HoPo - Holy Power; also HP
HoPu - Hand of Purity
Sac - Hand of Sacrifice
Salv - Hand of Salvation
HPr - Holy Prism
HoT - Heal Over Time
H/FoJ - Hammer/Fist of Justice, depending on talent
HotR - Hammer of the Righteous
HoW - Hammer of Wrath
Inq - Inquisition
iL - Item Level
J - Judgment; usually spelled out
L## - Selected Talent at Level '##'
LAotL - Long Arm of the Law; also Long Arm
LoH - Lay on Hands
LH - Light's Hammer
PPM - Proc per Minute
RPPM - Real Proc per Minute
PoJ - Pursuit of Justice
SS - Sacred Shield
SW - Sanctified Wrath
SoI - Seal of Insight
SoJ - Seal of Justice
SoR - Seal of Righteousness
SoT - Seal of Truth
SH - Selfless Healer
SoB - Sanctity of Battle
ST - Single-Target
SoL - Speed of Light
SP - Spellpower
SwoL - Sword of Light
TV - Templar's Verdict
TV# - Templar's Verdict, when cast with '#' Holy Power
VP - Valor Points
WoG - Word of Glory
#s - number of seconds
#min - number of minutes
#pT## - Referring to a particular tier set bonus, where '#' is the number of pieces required for a specific bonus and '##' refers to the actual Tier


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[SEC01] Overview
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The Retribution Paladin has gone through numerous changes over the years, to the point where it is completely unrecognizable from where it was at game-launch in 2004. Currently, Ret is technically classified as having a dual-resource system in that we have access to mana and a second resource we generate through attacks. Mana, however, is more a relic of times past and currently serves only as a limiter to the number of FoLs we can hardcast in clutch moments. This means we function quite similarly to Rogues or Monks, in that we are constantly cycling through builders and finishers to produce effective DPS.

To that end, the meat of our rotation lies with CS/HotR, Exo, and Judgement (and HoW during Wings/execute) generating HoPo to spend on TV/DS. We also have a Slice and Dice-like mechanic known as Inq, which increases Holy damage dealt by 30% and increases our critical strike chance by 10% while active; this is a huge, very important maintenance buff - so don't let it fall for more than a few seconds where possible! With MoP, we gained a passive ability called Boundless Conviction which lets us pool up to two extra Holy Power beyond what we can spend (as we are limited to a maximum of 3HoPo at a time on expenditures) that allows us to be as flexible as a Monk in how we choose to dump our built up charges.

Retribution may be the Paladin specialization that brings the hammer, but we are still Paladins and that means that we have a truly staggering amount of group defense and general utility at our disposal. Hand spells allow for situational aid for a variety of purposes, FoL and WoG let us heal in a pinch, and AM makes for a powerful raid CD for raid-wide magic damage encounters (of which there are typically lots) and some limited silence/interrupt protection which also has its varying uses. Effective use of utility can make-or-break an encounter, and proving one's self more than a tunneler can lead to raid spots.

It should also be noted that the bulk of Ret's DPS comes from effective use of burst; if you're not using your CDs right, you're basically shooting yourself in the foot. Because of the strength of our burst, our overall sustained is typically weaker than that of other, less burst-reliant classes. Ret is still strong and competitive if handled correctly.

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[SEC02] Talents
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Gone (mostly) are the days of cookie-cutter, everyone runs X talent builds. With the current system, choice, preference, and playstyle all have a role in the talents one chooses. No one should ever look down upon or criticize another player for their talent selections so long as they are not falling excessively behind in their particular task.

Level 15 Talents
• Speed of Light - Increases your movement speed by 70% for 8s. Instant, 45s CD.
• Long Arm of the Law - Your successful Judgements increase your movement speed by 45% for 3s. Passive.
• Pursuit of Justice - You gain 15% movement speed at all times, plus an additional 5% per charge of HoPo up to an additional 15%. Passive.


Recommendation: Preference; determined by fight. Personally, I prefer Long Arm as it's a fairly reliable sprint with an increased uptime based on haste levels. SoL is good for combating Wind effects (Lei Shi in Terrace of Endless Spring, Ji-Kun in Throne of Thunder). PoJ is nice in that's it's a solid, passive speed boost that tends to sit at an average of 125% due to Boundless Conviction's ability to pool extra HoPo.

Level 30 Talents
• Fist of Justice - Stuns the target for 6s. Instant, 30s, 20yd range; replaces HoJ.
• Repentance - Incapacitates a target for 60s; breaks on any damage except Censure. 1.7s cast, 15s CD, 30yd range.
• Evil is a Point of View - Turn Evil may now be used on players and beasts, in addition to Demons, Undead, and Aberrations. Passive.


Recommendation: Preference. Typically, FoJ will be the go-to as it's an instant stun. If long CC is needed, Repentance would likely serve best so that you don't have to worry about chasing things down later.

Level 45 Talents
• Selfless Healer - Your successful Judgements reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Flash of Light by 35% per stack, up to three stacks; healing on targets other than yourself is also increased by 20% per stack. Passive.
• Eternal Flame - Consumes up to 3 HoPo to place a HoT on a target; increased healing if cast on yourself. Instant, 40yd range; replaces WoG.
• Sacred Shield - Places an absorb shield on a single friendly target, triggering every 6s (note: does not trigger on cast!), and persists for ~30s. Instant, 6s CD; modified by haste and attack power.


Recommendation: Depends largely on content and how skilled you are at making effective use of the Paladin toolkit. For 25s, I would recommend SS and try to keep it on someone (even yourself) at all times to help your healers conserve their mana; for 10s, SH is very strong as a clutch heal. EF should never be taken as it means less HoPo for damaging abilities, or a talent you never use; may be good for soloing.

Level 60 Talents
• Hand of Purity - Places a Hand on a single friendly target, granting them 10% DR and an extra 70% DR to DoT effects for 6s. Instant, 6s CD; one Hand per player per Paladin at any one time.
• Unbreakable Spirit - Reduces the ACD of your DPr, LoH, and Bubble by 50%. Passive.
• Clemency - Grants you two charges of HoF, Sac, Salv, and HoP before their individual aCDs are incurred. Passive.


Recommendation: Preference. Unbreakable Spirit and Clemency are arguably the strongest choices at this level. I prefer Clemency as it allows for greater flexing of the Paladin toolkit, though US is looking really strong with the 5.4 changes (LoH every 5mins, Bubble every 2.5mins? Nice.). HoPu is typically the weakest choice as it depends on fights with high DoT damage and also requires the most micro-managing.

Level 75 Talents
• Holy Avenger - HoPo generators deal 30% increased damage and grant 3HoPo per cast for 18s. Instant, 2min.
• Sanctified Wrath - Causes Wings to last 30s and reduces HoW's base aCD to 3s when Wings is active. Passive.
• Divine Purpose - Your HoPo consumers have a chance to cause your next HoPo consumer used in 8s to be free and cast as if at 3HoPo were used; chance to proc is 8%:1HoPo, 16%:2HoPo, 25%:3HoPo. Passive.


Recommendation: Saying this now - while one may be mathematically superior at any one time, the actual, relative difference is so small that a handful of crits could skew things such that another looks better. That said, this level's choice depends largely on playstyle preference and meta-gaming of set bonuses. I've been a fan of SW since it was originally announced in MoP-beta (machine-HoW-gun!), but there are still a lot of people that prefer the shorter burst window/higher spike potential of HA - and it is highly reminiscent of Zealotry, a talented ability from Cata that did basically the same thing. DPu is a massive gamble. I haven't used it as Ret since Cata, but it's still a viable choice - if you can handle the streaky "ZOMGNUKE/not-a-damned-thing-for-days" nature of RNG.

Side Note: In regards to DPu and SW, if you have 4pT16 but no Eye, DP will probably be better; if you have Eye, SW will be better ST, while DPu with be better with both Eye and 4pT16 on AoE encounters. Use best judgement when to swap around based on the fight and the needs of your raid group. With Eye, HA is pretty much useless as it becomes desynced from all other CDs.

Level 90 Talents
• Holy Prism - Radiates damage/healing to up to five targets in 15yds depending on initial target - friendly target will splash damage, enemy target will splash healing. Instant, 20s CD, 40yd range.
• Light's Hammer - Slams a Holy hammer into the ground, causing damage to enemies and healing to friendlies within its 10yd Light for 14s. Instant, 1min CD, ground target reticule.
• Execution Sentence - Places a DoT on enemies or a HoT on friendlies; effect grows progressively stronger over 10s, final burst is worth ~40% total damage. Instant, 1min, 40yd range.


Recommendation: Dependent on fight. Most encounters will favor ES for high-uptime, single-boss fights. However, if you can rely on getting at least two targets to stay in it for its full duration, LH will produce superior DPS. HPr really doesn't see a lot of use in raiding environments, as it is fairly weak in most situations where either ES or LH produce more damage to the most relevant target(s) and end the fight quicker. In theory, I think HPr would probably be extremely useful for a fight like ICC's Gunship/Valithria where there's nothing to do but kill lots of adds; otherwise, great as a short CD heal/AoE for questing/soloing old content.

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[SEC03] Glyphs
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There are currently two different types of glyphs, major and minor. Major glyphs tend to have a meaningful and direct impact on several key abilities, while the minor glyphs tend more towards cosmetic effects. As such, major glyphs are largely situational and minors are basically immaterial.

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[SS031] Major
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I'm only going to list the major glyphs most relevant to Ret. These are in no particular order.

Glyph of Templar's Verdict
Glyph of Mass Exorcism
Glyph of Divine Storm
Glyph of Divine Protection
Glyph of Double Jeopardy
Glyph of Avenging Wrath
Glyph of Harsh Words
Glyph of Word of Glory
(Item not found)
Glyph of Inquisition


In the grand scheme, only Glyph of Templar's Verdict or (Item not found) [Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice] could be considered mandatory as they are both fairly strong defensive glyphs. Beyond that, each one has its place and purpose, so use accordingly.

Side Note: The Inq glyph linked is still to the old one; as of 5.4, the glyph extends Inq's duration by 30s on a killing blow to a maximum duration of 2mins. Great for leveling, questing, and heavy add fights.

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[SS032] Minor
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While our minor glyphs are intended to be mostly fun and cosmetic, we do have one that is arguably mandatory: Glyph of the Righteous Retreat. This was a fun glyph designed to give us back the benefit of the infamous Bubble-hearth that was destroyed when Bubble's duration was changed to 8s instead of 10s. While it doesn't really add anything of value to a raid situation, it does help you get out of Dodge on the last wipe of the night and save that few extra gold.

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[SEC04] Rotation
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To be fair, “rotation” in the current sense is a complete misnomer; we no longer have an otherwise set in stone “this, then this, then that other thing, and then this other thing; repeat,” but rather a loose priority system based on squeezing out as much damage as possible with minimal gCD clashing and maximum DPS.

Inq is the lynchpin to the whole rotation – this applies to both the ST and AoE rotations. While active, it grants a passive 30% increase to all Holy damage dealt (and we deal a ton of Holy damage) as well as an increase to crit chance by 10%, and we have only one damage source that can't crit, which are HoL procs. Uptime should be maximized, but not in such a way as to clip it too soon; refreshing in the last 1~3s is optimal to roll those last few seconds, but anywhere from 1~7s would be acceptable. With patch 5.4 bringing this up to a duration of 20s:1HoPo spent, that's 1min for every 3HoPo spent and no room for excuses.

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[SS041] Single-Target
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Single-target fights comprise the bulk of encounters in WoW – these are typically boss encounters, but there are some ST trash pulls, and questing can largely be ST. For these, you will use Seal of Truth and the following priority sequence(s):

Inq > TV5 > HoW > CS > J > Exo > TV3~4


The above is the priority queue that is theorized to produce maximum results with minimal downtime.
For L90 talent usage, ES/LH should be prioritized above HoW but below TV5; HPr just above TV3~4. This is due largely to global-clashing, though HPr is also weakest in terms of damage per key press.

Now, it's true that a single Exo should hit harder than a single Judgement, but Judgement procs Seal damage which Exo does not. This puts Judgement in the same boat of having to take into account multiple damage sources, similar to CS and TV, to be able calculate its true damage per use.

However, it actually takes a fair amount of gear (around ToT) to get to the point where the above priority is strongest. This is largely due to weapon damage pushing CS/Truth (Seal hit, not the DoT portion – that's Censure), and the fact that Judgement appears to scale with weapon damage.

Prior to about LFR ToT, a “better” priority would be:

Inq > TV5 > HoW > Exo > CS > J > TV3~4


All in all, not a truly drastic change on paper – and the average DPS difference between the two is also quite small in practice.

Side Note: Those that choose to make use of DPu, that proc has roughly the same weight as TV3~4 when not capped on HoPo. Delaying HoPo generation for a DPu proc hurts DPS more than you might think, but don't let Dpu procs go to waste either; if there's 1~2s left on it, it becomes highest priority – so make sure you use it.

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[SS042] Multi-Target
---------------------------------


AoE covers most trash pulls, cleave-centric boss mechanics, and mob-farming. We are currently in such a state that we swap to the AoE rotation at a mere two targets – except with 4pT15, where HolyTVs pushes the HotR/DS breakpoint up to four targets. For the most part, you will also continue to use SoT on anything less than about four targets – less than eight if you are liberally tabbing through to sprinkle Censure on multiple mobs; beyond those points, SoR will be able to splash out more damage, though it's not recommended to swap Seals mid-fight as every global is precious.

Inq > DS5 > HoW > MExo > HotR > J > DS3~4

Inq > DS5 > HoW > HotR > J > Exo > DS3~4


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[SS043] Ranged
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A unique, though mostly useless, form of Ret is the ranged “Wrathadin.” This relies entirely on a friendly Druid granting you Symbiosis, which gives us the Nature spell Wrath. Our version of the spell is on a 2s cast time and deals a surprisingly respectable amount of damage. You will still use SoT.

Inq > HW5 > HoW > (J to maintain Censure) > Wrath > Exo > J > HW3~4


I do not recommend attempting to use this outside of dungeons, as trying to play purely as a ranged spellcaster costs weapon strikes, AoW procs, and uses of CS; it also requires use of HW instead of TV, which is a significant DPS loss past lvl80.

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[SEC05] Burst
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Ret is a burst-oriented spec, and perhaps the most burst-dependent spec in the game. Popping your CDs, early, often, and burning hard is the way to do it! However, there is still a micro-management method to it – and your burst can depend greatly on the L75 talent you selected. The key to using any burst, of course, is to stack as much as possible at one time to increase your damage – and knowing when, exactly, the best burst window is.

In general, you want to try and pop GoAK, wait 11s, then pop your potion, Wings, on-use trinkets, profession clickies, et cetera. It is also at this point when you would ideally want to cast ES, as it takes a snapshot of all your stats and buffs when it's cast – and carries all that throughout its duration, even if a buff falls of first. So, if you have GoAK and Wings both a 2~3s left on their buffs, and you cast ES, the ticking DoT will retain the Guardian's strength buff and Wings' flat damage buff for the remaining 7~8s after Wings/GoAK end!

With HA, you want to do all the above and pop HA, too. Your rotation will shift drastically – generator > TV, repeat – to maximize your TV output. Speccing HA has the benefit of making some rather absurdly large numbers, what with its 30% bonus damage to generators stacking with Wings' 20% to all damage done for the duration. The two CDs' durations are even compatible, as HA is up for 18s and AW up for 20s.

If you take SW, however, you can pop Wings/GoAK more or less together as SW extends Wings to the same 30s duration as GoAK. Ideally you still want to delay Wings a second or two so that the Guardian's final explosion benefits from Wings' damage boost. SW also changes the rotation slightly, in that you will typically be using HoW every other global – HoW > filler > HoW > TV > repeat, where a “filler” is any other HoPo generator not on CD that is of highest normal priority. Usually this is going to be CS, but J may end up in there on occasion.

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[SEC06] Utility
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I personally cannot stress this enough: If you don't know what's in your spellbook that doesn't deal damage, you fail. It's true that every global not spent on damage is a global wasted – on personal DPS. But there is more to a raid than one player. Maximizing personal DPS can be detrimental if it comes at the cost of raid DPS – or raid HPS – as a hybrid class. It's not your job to stand there and heal, no – but sacrificing a global to HoP a Mage that stripped an add off a tank, or Sac'ing a healer through heavy raid damage and then Bubbling, can do wonders to increase overall raid performance.

This, largely, is where the L45/60 talents will come into play, and it's all still down to playstyle and preference. You can talent for more utility, but you don't have to – but try to understand what you bring to the table on top of damage. Going beyond a pewpew-machine can potentially make you more desirable to raiding guilds.

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[SEC07] Gearing
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Ret is, of course, a two-handed based, plate-borne, melee DPS spec. This means, simply put, that if it's plate, has strength, but does not have dodge or parry, you probably want it. With weapons, it gets a little more complex, but your usually safe taking any two-handed weapon that's a higher item level than what you currently have, preferring one with strength.

When it comes down to what stat to stack past certain caps, individual stat weights and their relation to strength comes into play. In general, at around the early LFR T14 level (~iL473), haste becomes superior gem fodder than strength due to the way that gems have been designed this expansion. Haste has no known break points prior to the 50% hard cap – which is just barely out of reach until T16. In general, the following stat priority should be sufficient:

Strength > hit > expertise > haste > mastery = crit


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[SS071] Stats
---------------------


Strength – Increases AP at a 1:2 ratio; increases SP at a 1:1 ratio (SP is set to ½ AP via SwoL). Affects weapon damage.

Hit – Decreases your chance to miss with attacks; this is important for HoPo generation. 7.5% is required to not miss a melee attack against a raid-level target; 6% is suggested for dungeons. 1% = 340 rating

Expertise – Decreases the chance that your attacks will be dodged or parried, and contributes to spell hit; this is also important for HoPo generation. 7.5% is required to remove a raid-level target's chance to dodge your attacks; 6% for dungeons. Parries cannot be removed with anything less than 15% (12% dungeons), but targets cannot parry from behind. 1% = 340 rating

Haste – Through SoB, this has become our key stat. SoB causes melee haste to reduce the aCD and gCD on all of our primary rotational abilities (but not talents). This means that, with more haste, we generate HoPo incredibly fast. Haste also still affects our swing timer, meaning more white damage, Seal hits, and relatively more frequent AoW procs. 1% = 425 rating

Side Note: There appears to be a unique breakpoint caused by 4pT16 where stopping at 40% is recommended. This is caused by rotational bloat from the FreeDS eating spare globals, and haste not providing more opportunity to use free globals beyond this point.

Mastery – Known as Hand of Light, this passive ability generates a secondary damage packet based on the initial damage of CS, HotR, HoW, TV, and DS. Is pure Holy damage and further increased by Inquisition. 1% = 600 rating

Crit – Increases the chance your attacks have to be a critical hit, which causes double normal damage. Roughly equal in terms of potential DPS to gains made by mastery, but is subject to RNG. 1% = 600 rating

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[SS072] Gemming
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There are two prominent methods of gemming – haste-biased and strength-biased. As the names indicate, each method seeks as much of one stat as possible, though it does split the difference with the other on certain gems. One of the main reasons for there being two different gemming methods is the way in which secondary stats have been handled on gems this expansion, there being double the amount of secondary stats on gems compared to primary stats on gems (JC Serpent's Eyes got borked on this, though).

Due to the way stats interact, there is a point in gearing (usually somewhere around iL 478) where stat values shift such that 2 haste rating is equal to or stronger than 1 point of strength. It is at this point where it is typically better to gem more towards the haste-bias, though either option should produce comparable results.

Strength-biased:
Meta: Capacitive Primal Diamond or Reverberating Primal Diamond
Red Sockets: Bold Primordial Ruby or Perfect Bold Pandarian Garnet
Yellow Sockets: Fierce Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Fierce Tiger Opal
Blue Sockets: Etched Imperial Amethyst or Perfect Etched Roguestone
– Hit Control: Sovereign Imperial Amethyst or Perfect Sovereign Roguestone
Prismatic: Bold Primordial Ruby


Haste-biased:
Meta: Capacitive Primal Diamond or Reverberating Primal Diamond
Red Sockets (1): Wicked Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Wicked Tiger Opal
Red Sockets (2): Fierce Vermilion Onyx or Perfect Fierce Tiger Opal
Yellow Sockets: Quick Sun's Radiance or Perfect Quick Sunstone
Blue Sockets: Lightning Wild Jade or Perfect Lightning Alexandrite
– Hit Control: Forceful Wild Jade or Perfect Forceful Alexandrite
Prismatic: Quick Sun's Radiance


Note: “Hit Control” refers to a gem recommendation if your personal hit level is unable to be kept to near cap with reforging alone. This is an issue in T15. If this is the case and you choose to shuck hit on gems to stay down near the cap, stam is a preferable alternative as it increases your survivability, albeit on a very small scale.

Note2: Due to item level escalation and stat weight fluctuations, it may be feasible - if not recommended - to use "Red Sockets (2)" for red sockets with a haste-biased gemming setup. With even crit breaking the 2:1 ratio with strength, this will free up reforges in favor of more damaging secondary stats at a relatively small loss of strength.

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[SS073] Enchants
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Weapon - Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel
Shoulders - Greater Tiger Fang Inscription
Chest - Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Bracers - Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength
Gloves - Enchant Gloves - Super Strength
Legs - Angerhide Leg Armor
Cloak - Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike or *Enchant Cloak - Accuracy
Boots - (PoJ)Enchant Boots - Greater Haste or (other L15)Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step

*Not generally recommended unless unable to reach hit cap with gems/forges; likely only useful in dungeon blues.

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[SS074] Pre-Raid
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Reserved for future use.

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[SS075] T14/15
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For these two tiers, set bonuses are key. Increased TV damage from 2pT14 is worth more than breaking for even iL522 non-tier. Lei Shen's Final Orders and Relic of Xuen are both still really strong trinkets when transitioning from T14 into T15. All in all, T14 felt like a crit-heavy tier. Haste-biased gemming recommended with a weapon above iL470.

T15 has one of the most amazing set bonuses Ret has ever received – 4pT15 allows a chance on using CS to turn the next TV into a HolyTV. This practically doubles TV's normal damage, as it is then affected by Inq and bypasses mob armor, which further increases the resultant HoL proc. Capable of producing some truly ridiculous numbers. 2pT15 is similarly potent, but somewhat gimped as is requires Exo to be used on a fairly consistent basis and only effects Holy damage. This is a tier flooded with hit, so creative gemming may be necessary if you're adamant about staying as close to the cap as possible. Stam gems aren't exactly a favorite option, but using the hybrid haste/stam gem in blue sockets to control your hit is acceptable.

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[SS076] T16
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T16's set bonuses are somewhat disappointing after those of T15, but they're no less useful. 2pT16 is a passive damage boost that procs on AoW activation for an extra 5% to alldamage for 6s, which is really nice in that we don't have to push a low-priority button for the benefit. As to 4pT16, our HoPo consumers have a 25% chance to proc a free use of DS at +50% damage. While this is nowhere near as strong as 4pT15's HolyTVs for ST encounters, it's rather absurd for AoE – especially combined with DPu.

With 4pT16, rotation becomes:

Inq > FreeDS > TV5 > HoW > CS > J > Exo > TV3~4


There is some argument, from a very strict min-max standpoint, for FreeDS > Inq, as applying Inq can proc a FreeDS; use this at your own discretion based on your time remaining on Inq.

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[SS077] Current Tier Trinkets
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With 5.4 nerfing RPPM and the return of ICD trinkets in Siege of Orgrimmar, trinkets lose a little bit of the fun we've had with them in T15. However, SoO's trinks are probably some of the most insanely OP to date.

Evil Eye of Galakras offers a a reduced CD rate on several key abilities with relatively long CDs – most notably Wings and GoAK for Ret. This means that an LFR Eye will allow for wings roughly every 1.5min and GoAK every 2.2min. While that should provide significantly more damage over the course of a fight, the forced de-sync means we'll still have to watch them very closely and possibly be forced to hold one or the other if their respective CDs are with a few seconds of each other. So far, HA is not affected by the trinket, potentially making it an undesirable talent.

Thok's Tail Tip is likely to be our second trinket of choice as it amplifies a variety of damage sources. Note, this is not a flat increase in stats; it instead increases the stats (or crit damage) by a percentage of your total rating. This does still make it much easier to reach the 50% haste cap by shaving a few thousands of rating off the haste necessary to reach the magic number of 21250 rating.

There is also a cleave-trink, Fusion-Fire Core, that could be handy on trash and heavy AoE/cleave boss fights. Unfortunately, there's a fairly long ICD on its strength proc and a very low chance to proc the cleave, and absolutely no benefit to ST encounters except the strength proc.

Skeer's Bloodsoaked Talisman was looking to be an amazingly strong trinket, until the RPPM nerf. Its functionality is similar to T15's Fabled Feather of Ji-Kun in that it procs two separate buffs, one of which stacks. An LFR Skeer's provides an average of about 3.1% crit chance over it's duration, with the final half-second of its duration giving roughly 31% increased crit chance. It may still be a strong contender considering what it could do for ES (as crit is the only secondary stat ES scales with), but we'll see how things pan out once the RPPM changes go live.

---------------------------------------
[SS078] Valor Upgrading
---------------------------------------


In 5.1 an NPC was added to certain faction hubs that allows for the trading of VP to permanently increase the iL of a single piece of gear by 4, up to two times. The primary focus for any such upgrades should be weapon – first, foremost, and always! – and then trinkets. These are typically the two areas of greatest damage potential due to raw weapon damage and/or procs/on-use functions. After these pieces are boosted, it's typically best to aim for the highest iL pieces next, preferencing the ones with the most haste first.

As this is really the only valuable use of VP in 5.4, don't hesitate to boost any item you have so that you don't waste potential VP gains.

-----------------------------------
[SEC08] Consumables
-----------------------------------


If a Great Pandaren Banquet is provided, it's okay to use it; the best single food available (Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp is only an extra 25 strength and takes a fair amount of mats to make – though each single craft does give you five servings. Flask will, of course, be Flask of Winter's Bite and potion will be Potion of Mogu Power. A stack of Tome of the Clear Mind is also recommended, for swapping talents and glyphs on the fly (I tend to go through half a stack of these per raid). Acquiring a Kafa Press would be recommended, as the haste functions similarly to a miniature, personal Heroism. Be warned that use of a Kafa Press, as with other such consumables, will trigger the 1min CD on potions. Use on-pull if there will be no Hero, or when you'd use your second pot if 'Lusting on-pull.

Another handy trick is to get a four-set of Holy PvP gear. The bonus for this set reads, "You gain 1 Holy Power each time you cast Flash of Light." Meaning, you can generate HoPo out of combat and run in with Inq up and at full, and with HoPo still to burn if you can time it right around pulls. Makes opening burst windows that much more potent, Warp or no. Due to the mana cost of FoL, having water or mage food on hand would be recommended for this trick.

---------------------------------
[SEC09] Professions
---------------------------------


Most crafting professions yield the same static bonus of 320 strength, but Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting are the most flexible of these. Blacksmithing allows you to add an extra socket to both your bracers and gloves for more gems, which is really nice for off-specs, too. Jewelcrafting provides special gems with an increased stat budget of 160, effectively doubling Bold gems but only increasing Quick gems by half; as such, Jewelcrafters should use the Bold Serpent's Eye and make use of available red sockets. However, Quick Serpent's Eye may prove superior at certain high gear levels, as the value of haste compared to strength approaches the .75:1 mark

Enchanting allows the Enchanter to place special enchants on their rings for primary stats. At 160 strength per ring, this is a total of 320 and ties with most other crafting professions. Great money-maker, as enchants are always in demand.

Inscription allows the Scribe to make use of special shoulder enchants, with 520 primary stats and normal secondary stats. This makes for a gain of 320 strength

Leatherworking provides a slightly increased gain than other crafting professions with a static stat boost by allowing the Leatherworker to line their bracers with 500 of a primary stat. This is an increase of 330 strength over the normal bracer enchant, and 10 more than most crafting professions.

Alchemy's primary benefit is that it doubles the duration of flasks. Very handy money-saver in that it cuts down on flask consumption. Also provides a weaker flask which provides 320 primary stats based on spec, which is a nice boost for dailies, dungeons, soloing older content.

Engineering has a lot of really cool toys. Most important is the Synapse Springs which can be attached to gloves. These are an on-use effect that provides 1920 to a primary stat, based on spec, for 10s with a 60s CD. This translates to the equivalent of a static 320 strength, but wins out over static-perk professions in that it can be paired with ES to make it tick harder, in addition to being stackable with other CDs. Downside is that it locks other on-use trinkets, but as there are no good on-use trinkets outside of heroic 5-mans, currently of very minor concern.

Tailoring provides a special embroidery for the Tailor's cloak which procs 4000 AP for 15s on a 55s CD. This actually averages out to approximately 500 static strength, assuming one proc every 60s.

Herbalism grants access to a 2min CD called Lifeblood, which heals the Herbalist and gives 2880 haste for 20s. While this may seem good on paper, it doesn't really do much for our burst cycles, does not benefit ES at all, and averages out to about 480 static haste. Strongest of the gathering professions, but still weak compared to any of the crafting professions.

Mining and Skinning are both next to useless from a DPS standpoint as Miners gain 480 stamina and Skinners gain less than 1% crit.

Recommendation: For maximum potential output, Tailoring and Engineering would be the superior professions if you can properly manage ES around their respective perks. Best idea would probably be to pick one of these two and pair it with one of the other crafting professions.

----------------------------------
[SEC10] Game Aides
----------------------------------


The following is a list of addons and macros that are by no means required, but may prove useful in cutting down on keybinds or in making things like procs and CDs easier to monitor.

---------------------------
[SS101] Macros
--------------------------


#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast [mod] Hammer of the Righteous; Crusader Strike


#showtooltip
/cast [mod] Divine Storm; Templar's Verdict


#showtooltip
/cast Execution Sentence
/cast Light's Hammer
/cast [nomod] Holy Prism
/cast [mod, @player] Holy Prism
/run local G=GetSpellInfo SetMacroSpell("##", G"Execution Sentence" or G"Light's Hammer" or G"Holy Prism")

Bolded part of this macro must match whatever you choose to name the macro. Makes it so that you never have to move spell icons around when you change your L90 talent. Very useful. Not my original work; credit to whoever it was that first posted it so long ago I forgot already.

#showtooltip
/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cast Divine Shield

One press will activate bubble, a second will remove it – nice for quickly clearing personal debuffs without significantly hampering output.

#showtooltip
/cast [@mouseover] <spell name here>

This is a handy macro for utility spells as it lets you throw Hands about without having to change targets. Also good for Reckoning, other taunts, and Judgement for Double Jeopardy.

---------------------------
[SS102] Addons
---------------------------


CLCRet/Retribution FCFS helper: Useful for learning and practicing the rotation. Doubles as an Inq tracker and can also track trinket procs and ability CDs like Wings/GoAK/ES. May require slight tweaks to base rotation string.

OmniCC: Customizable cooldown timer to more easily track aCDs at a glance.

WeakAuras: Highly customizable addon useful for tracking a wide variety of buffs, debuffs, spells, abilities, and so forth. Can take awhile to figure out how to set it up to your liking.

ReforgeLite: Very handy addon for optimal reforging. Accurate to a fault out of the box; works better if you plug in your personal stat weights as found via SimCraft or spreadsheets.

Deadly Boss Mods (DBM): Library of timers and trackers for instanced group play. Typically required by most guilds to ensure that all players can make themselves aware of important upcoming encounter mechanics.

MikScrollingBattleText: MSBT condenses a variety of floating information and contains it in small sections for a less cluttered screen.

Bartender4: Addon which allows for the custom placement and addition of action bars so that you can configure your UI to works best for your needs.

HealBot/Vuhdo: Convenient addon for use of Hands and heals. Can double as raid frames.

Clique: Addon that provides similar functionality to HealBot and Vuhdo, but without native raid frames. Good for use with Blizzard's default raid frames or other addons such a Grid.

---------------------------------------
[SEC11] Resource Links
---------------------------------------


Exemplar's Retribution Theorycrafting thread at ElitistJerks (WARNING: may contain lots of math):
elitistjerks.com/f76/t130889-ret_5_3_mop_retribution_concordance_retcon_who_ordered_mogugai_panda/

Anaxie's Retribution Theorycrafting and BiS List thread at MMO-Champion (WARNING: may contain foul language and enormous egos):
http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/1155054-Anaxie-s-Totally-Awesome-MoP-Retribution-T14-BiS-list-amp-Theorycraft/
Wowhead data repository:
http://www.wowhead.com

SimulationCraft website:
http://www.simulationcraft.org

Curse's WoW Addons:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/
Edited by Grôgnárd on 12/3/2013 5:24 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
11665
Good job master dwarf.
Reply Quote
90 Draenei Paladin
16405
Good job master dwarf.


/agree

For Uther!

But yay updated guide, good read so far.
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
13230
Love this Hopefully it doesn't take ages to get it a sticky at the top :P
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
11665
Love this Hopefully it doesn't take ages to get it a sticky at the top :P


Don't worry, it'll be sticked by next expansion.
Reply Quote
90 Dwarf Paladin
13820
Don't worry, it'll be sticked by next expansion.


Yeah, that's only nine months away - blink of an eye!

...To a Gallifreyan. >_>
Reply Quote
90 Human Paladin
7065
Nice work Grog, may I just recommend that you edit in the mouseover Hand cast macros? Think it was;

#showtooltip Hand of Sacrifice
/cast Hand of Sacrifice@mouseover

or something along those lines. Very useful macro so you don't lose focus on your current target to cast your Hands.
Reply Quote
90 Dwarf Paladin
13820
Yeah, I can add a mouseover macro. I actually use HealBot for Hands and things, so I should probably add that to AddOns, too, huh? After raid. >_>
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
13645
Been looking forward to reading this, and it's pretty spot on, nice one Grog!

Now let's get in this time machine and head to about 9 or 10 months from now - we might be able to catch it getting stickied by then!
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
18840
I use Grid+Clique for all utility spells. Frees up my whole UI with mouseover macros lol
http://i.imgur.com/7lvNPP1.jpg

Great job, Grog!
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
11665
I use Grid+Clique for all utility spells. Frees up my whole UI with mouseover macros lol
http://i.imgur.com/7lvNPP1.jpg

Great job, Grog!


I am interested in your binds, post more before I smoke you for 12 hours.
Reply Quote
90 Dwarf Paladin
13820
08/23/2013 09:48 PMPosted by Majintherm
I use Grid+Clique


Meh. HealBot better; one addon for utility and raid frames. :p
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
18840
Meh. HealBot better; one addon for utility and raid frames. :p

Yeah, I've used grid for so long it's one of those addons youre so use to,playing without it feels odd. I'm also so meh the way healbot and vuhdo look, it's weird.

I am interested in your binds, post more before I smoke you for 12 hours.

http://i.imgur.com/vWCLGla.jpg
main bar ingame keybinds and my naga remapped keybinds.
I am a very weird player, I use arrow keys(left and right are strafe, up is forward) and number pad for binds, then naga for the rest(all the keys being remapped to make my ui look even weirder. I used to stream with cam pointed at keyboard/mouse just to show how I play but havent bothered buying a new one/I dont think anyone would care to watch a very goofy hand placement. I know, wtf sounds retarded, but it's how I play xD
Edited by Majintherm on 8/23/2013 10:22 PM PDT
Reply Quote
90 Dwarf Paladin
13820
08/23/2013 10:21 PMPosted by Majintherm
I'm also so meh the way healbot and vuhdo look, it's weird.


Yeah, I'm not crazy about it's limited library of skins, either, but it's the functionality that keeps me running it. It's actually even really good for classes that don't heal - I use it on my Rogue for Tricks, Warrior for Safeguard, Mage for Remove Curse, and a second DK that I've been neglecting as Unholy for Frenzy.
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
9410
Love the formatting too. Well done, Grog!
Reply Quote
90 Dwarf Paladin
13820
Remember, to help get this stickied, click Request Sticky and Like it frequently. Also, actually Report the post using the "Other" option and say that this guide is up-to-date and the other one is not being maintained. The Report trick is how we got the old Ret and Prot guides that are still up there stickied.
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
17090
Woo, finally finished this bad boy!
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8825
Spot on guide, Grog. Requested a sticky and liked, I hope to see this get a sticky before the next expansion xD
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
11785
Great Job Grog !!
Reply Quote
Great Job man, you deserve argent crusader paladin at light hope for your work.
Reply Quote

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