Vanguards Retribution Paladin PvP Guide 7.2

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Retribution Paladin Guide

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

Guide is also posted in a different format on:


Level 15:
Highly Recommended: Final Verdict

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

Level 30
Recommended: Zeal

Crusader strike is rarely used on CD in PvP, this makes Fires of Justice a bit more lackluster.
Rarely do Rets run out of globals for things to do in PvP, making the longer CD on Zeal not much of a problem allowing it to buff our Crusader Strike damage significantly without a big cost. Due to this, Zeal will almost always do more damage than the other talents on this tier other than extremely specific situations.
Greater Judgment is useful in fast games but keep in mind Crits have reduced effect in PvP. Over a long-game unless the other team was above 50% HP the entire game and you were getting kited a lot Zeal will be superior.

Level 45
Recommended: Fist of Justice

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

Level 60
Recommended: Blade of Wrath or Divine Hammer

Blade of Wrath provides the best consistent damage and also good holy power generation. Crits are also 150% in PvP, making Virtue's Blade much worse than it would be in PvE.

Divine Hammer received a buff in 7.1.5. If you play in a composition where AOE damage is useful it should be used against any teams that you believe will generally be stacked such as melee cleaves. As long as Divine Hammer can occasionally hit 2+ targets it will beat out Blade of Wrath.

Level 75
Recommended: Any

Justicar's Vengeance has a lot of synergy with Divine Purpose. Basically, you use it with the proc or when the target is stunned. This talent is excellent especially in 2v2, when you hit healers a lot during stuns.
Eye for an Eye should be picked against any kind of physical damage team that will focus you.
Word of Glory is a good choice against DOT cleaves that has a low physical damage component to it.

Level 90
Recommended: Divine Intervention and Divine Steed

Divine Intervention is an increase to our survivability. Not having to press Bubble when we get low is like a large indirect increase to our health-pool pre-bubble. This is generally my default talent.
However, our Mobility is horrible, and having at least one talent to help it is nice. If you plan to for example, chase a Mistweaver Monk in 2v2 you should use the mobility talents instead.

Level 100
Recommended: Divine Purpose

Holy Wrath now does 35% of your missing HP as damage. This is still decent burst, but with the long CD mixed in Divine Purpose will almost always be superior outside of 2v2 Skirmishes or Duels. Crusade requires a ramp up time and is generally not as useful in PvP compared to how strong it is in PvE.


Artifact Traits
1. Wake of Ashes
2. Blade of Light
3-5. Righteous Blade x3
6. Unbreakable Will
7. Protector of the Ashen Blade
8. Ashes to Ashes
9-11. Deliver the Justice x3
12-14. Sharpened Edge x3
15-17. Deflection x3
18. Echo of the Highlord
19-21. Wrath of the Ashbringer x3
22-24. Highlord's Judgment x3
25-26. Embrace the Light x3
27. Divine Tempest
28. Healing Storm
29-32. Might of the Templar x3
33. Endless Resolve
34. Ashbringer's Light
35. Ferocity of the Silver Hand
36-39. Righteous Verdict
40. Blessing of the Ashbringer
41. Judge Unworthy
42. Wrath of the Ashbringer (4th point)
43-44. Might of the Templar and Righteous Blade (4th points)
45-etc. Any of the (4th points) until Concordance
PvP Talents

Similar to the earlier talent picture this shows talents I would default to in arena, but PvP is a situational game and talents are constantly switched. Read below for a more detailed explanation on PvP talents.

Tier 1
Largely preference and situational based, Gladiator's Medallion gives you the most control of when you want to be out of a CC.
Adaption is nice for teams that has 5second+ CCs that your healer cannot dispel or if they're doing a good job of Cross CCing, adaption also has nice synergy with our artifact trinket. An example of a comp Adaption would be good against is Turbo Cleave Holy Pally.
Relentless is best for teams that constantly CC you over and over, I tend to use it against Mages.

Tier 2
Reinforced Armor by default, Sparring when you fight physical melee teams.

Tier 3
Law and Order provides us with a much needed extra slow, this is the default talent in 1v1 or for open world fighting. Jurisdiction should be used when you are playing with a teammate that already provides a slow and when you don't plan to kill the healer. It's very difficult to use a 10yd range spell on healers you are not killing for CC. Jurisdiction should be the usual default talent for Ret Hunter Healer 3v3.

Tier 4
Luminescence is an amazing talent, 20 yards is a huge radius for heals to be "cleaved". Holy Ritual is useful in double dps 2v2 or for solo play.

Tier 5
Blessing of Sanctuary is what makes Rets unique in arena in my opinion. Being able to get your partners out of CCs this often is definitely one of our strengths. When you do battlegrounds or just feel like you want to do more damage Vengeance Aura is preferred over Seraphim's Blessing.

Tier 6
Lawbringer is the highest DPS as long as you need to swap targets at all. This is what you'll be using the vast majority of the time.
Divine Punisher is decent if you plan to never swap targets, this kind of situation is rare.
Hammer of Reckoning is used when you're playing a pure "set-up" team. a team that doesn't need to do damage outside of when you CC the healers. That way even though you do less consistent damage that burst of Hammer of Reckoning could win you the game.

Viable Ret Comps
Legion allows much more diversity in general, you can be successful with many different comps. These are the best comps I have played this patch:

Ret | Hunter | Healer (Restoration Druid most likely being the best)
Ret | Rogue | Healer

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

This is a basic priority for doing maximum damage:
1. Virtue's Blade or Blade of Wrath to generate Holy Power
2. Crusader Strike / Zeal to generate Holy Power
3. Judgment (provides debuff that gives your holy power spenders with more damage)
4. Execution Sentence if talented
5. Templar's Verdict or Divine Storm to spend holy power.

If you're speccing Justicar's Vengeance keep in mind that JV does less damage in PvP than it would usually do. This is due to the spell templates in PvP, JV is nerfed in arenas and such meaning it does less than TV if the target is not stunned.

When to use Divine Storm?
If you're hitting at least 2 targets and you have the artifact traits Divine Storm will deal more overall damage and also provide a slight heal to your team. As long as it doesn't break CCs and your team can make use of the AoE damage, you will generally want to Divine Storm over Templar's when hitting 2+ targets. Divine Storm is also ranged so you can use it when getting kited. Keep in mind it also goes through most LOS and pillars so you can use it to stop drinks!

You use JV when:
Target is Stunned
You have a Proc and you're missing a bit of HP
You really need the heal and you can't cast

You use TV when: (more damage than JV unless target is stunned)
Target is not stunned
You have a proc and you're not missing HP
What macros does Ret have for PvP?
Macros are largely preference. I use a lot of focus and party target macros. The goal is to be able to use your spells without changing your target.
Add #showtooltip to the start of these macros if you want to see it.
Some other general macros:
1.) Focus HOJ
/cast [target=focus] Hammer of Justice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.) Flash of Light
/cast [target=partyX] Flash of Light

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

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

Ret PvP Page / Question Page

Ret PvP Videos
Check out these channels or my earlier Twitch VODs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People who are serious about PvP...

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

Because of sheath of light

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