The Cataclysm Retribution Paladin Guide.
>last updated for 4.2
Hey. My name is Jorj and I play a retribution paladin. I didn't see an up-to-date Ret Paladin guide on the forums anywhere so I thought I'd take it upon myself to share my expertise with players new to the spec, or just looking for general guidence on dealing damage effectively as a Ret.
This guide will be updated as frequently as possible to ensure that what you're reading is accurate on Live.
The guide itself is intended for Rets wanting to excel in a PvE raiding environment. There will be no discussion of PvP or 5-man dungeons here.
Table of Contents
The Video Guide
- Talent Specialisation
- Useful Resources
- Encounter Specific Tips/Tricks
This is the reccomended spec for a raid-focused Ret Paladin.
Selfless healer may look like a useful filler talent, but remember that the holy power spent on Word of Glory is always better spent on Templar's Verdict.
For a short time on the PTR of 4.2, the buff duration from Selfless healer was increased to 30 seconds, up from 10. This would've made keeping Selfless healer up our top priority in the PvE rotation. The buff was quickly reverted back to a 10 second uptime, as Blizzard stated that Selfless healer was primarily a PvP talent, and it wasn't intended for damage dealing classes to feel they had to heal others to do optimal damage in a raiding environment.
Eye for an Eye
Eye for an eye has a 40% change to deal 30% retribution damage when you are hit by an enemies targeted spell. This averages out at 12% total incoming targeted spelldamage. Many encounters at current progression level will randomly select a target and deal spelldamage (think Nefarian's Shadowflame Barrage, or Chimearon's Caustic Slime!) and depending on how unlucky you are (or lucky depending on how you look at it) this talent can do in excess of 200k damage throughout the duration of the fight.
Pursuit of Justice
Pursuit of Justice grants us a passive 15% movement speed, which may seem trivial at a glance (or not if you've looked into graphs proving how valuable movement speed is), but consider that's 15% more uptime on a boss during a high movement encounter such as Twilight Ascendant Council or Conclave of Wind. If, during a 5 minute encounter you are out of the bosses hit-box (unable to attack) for 1 minute, or 20% of the time, then we subtract the time that Pursuit of Justice grants you (15% of 1 minute = 9 seconds) That's 9 seconds extra we are able to deal damage to the boss that would be impossible without the talent. At an average of 25k dps that's 225k passive damage from that talent, and now you begin to see how valuable movement speed really is.
Prime Glyphs (From highest dps increase to lowest)
Glyph of Seal of Truth
Glyph of Templar's Verdict
Glyph of Exorcism
Glyph of Crusader Strike
Glyph of Seal of Truth is the best DPS gain from a glyph that is available to us. 10 Expertise is the equivalent of 301 Expertise rating, or -2.5% chance to be dodged or parried, significantly reducing the amount we need to reach the parry cap, which is 26 Exp. The glyph is still a greater DPS gain than the others even as much as around 5 Expertise above cap (exact number tbc), making it very unlikely it will be useless to you.
If however, you are so far above cap even after reforging all expertise off your gear, you may be forced to use our fourth best glyph available to us, Glyph of Crusader Strike. You should note that it is probably worth downgrading a piece of gear to something without expertise on if it comes to this, as utilising this glyph is very beneficial to our DPS.
There are no Major glyphs available to us that directly affect our damage output. Instead, the glyphs are focused mainly around mana conservation, with a few exceptions. The most useful major glyphs for a Ret paladin are:
Glyph of the Ascetic Crusader
Glyph of Hammer of Wrath
Glyph of Rebuke
Glyph of Divine Protection
Glyph of Lay on Hands
Without atleast one mana conserving major glyph, you'll find yourself running oom very often, especially if you get unlucky with procs and are forced to use Consecration more often than you would like. For this reason, Glyph of the Ascetic Crusader and Glyph of Hammer of Wrath are highly recommended, as these are the greatest mana conserving glyphs we have.
The third glyph can be situational. In most instances, Glyph of Divine Protection will be most useful to you, as the majority of boss fights contain at least one unavoidable spell ability cast on the raid (think Nefarian's Electricute!), and a 40% spell damage reduction on a one minute cooldown can be extremely handy. However, if you are used in a Lay on Hands rotation, or find using the ability more often than you would like, it may be beneficial to utilise the Glyph of Lay on Hands instead, but like I say it's highly situational, and partly down to personal preference.
The only Major glyphs I would try to avoid would be Glyph of Salvation and Glyph of Consecration. The salvation glyph, although looking attractive with our current burst threat during cooldowns in the beginning of a fight, does not work as you might expect. Instead of stopping your threat generated for the duration of buff, the glyph merely "banks" the threat generated, making it invisible until the buff expires, and you get all that threat back in one big burst, as if you never had salv to begin with.
Glyph of Consecration also has an ambiguous tooltip. At a first glance it might look to be a DPS increase, generating 20% extra ticks from it's increased uptime, but it doesn't work like that. The glyph merely spaces out the time in between the ticks, so you'll always end up with 10 ticks per cast whether you use the glyph or not. Note that Haste does not affect Consecration ticks.
Hit (to 961 or 8.00%) > Expertise (to 481 or 16Exp w/ Glyph) > Strength > Mastery > Haste > Crit
[Section removed due to inaccurate weights. See below.]
Exemplar's spreadsheet was bugged and hasn't been scaling haste with censure as it should, giving haste a much lower value than it has in reality. This has been fixed and it now seems haste has a higher value than crit, but less than mastery.
Meta: Reverberating Shadowspirit diamond
By far the best meta available to us, with perfect socket requirements.
Anything with <20Str socket bonus:
Bold Inferno Ruby
If you can match a 20Str bonus by using one "Half Coloured Gem" ie. 20Str/20Hit, 20Str/20Mas, you'll be netting yourself a free 20 rating. Refer to your Stat Weights to determine exactly when it's viable to gem for the socket bonus.
Arcanum of The Wildhammer (Alliance)
Arcanum of the Dragonmaw (Horde)
Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
1. Greater Critical Strike
2. Critical Strike
Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Dragonscale Leg Armor
Note: Run speed enchants do NOT stack with Pursuit of Justice
As with most classes in current content, Rets do not as much follow as set rotation as they do a priority list. The list for most situations looks like this:
Templar's Verdict (3 HP)
Crusader Strike (<3 HP)
Templar's Verdict (Divine Purpose proc AND <3 HP)
Exorcism (on Undead/Demon)
Hammer of Wrath
Exorcism (if NOT Undead/Demon)
Consecration (if above 75% mana)
As of 4.2 and the release of Firelands, Inquisition now lasts 12, 24 and 36 seconds up from 10, 20, 30. With the 4-piece Tier 11 bonus, a 3 HP inquisition will last 48 seconds.
If you are using the 4-piece Tier 11 bonus, you can save a lot of holy power by refreshing inquisition at only 1 HP as much as possible. This is due to the fact that using 3x1HP inq's would net you 72 seconds uptime using the set bonus, where as using 1x3HP inq would only net you 48 seconds uptime. You use the same amount of Holy Power, but the former optimises consumption.
Note that even using the 4 set bonus, you should have atleast 30 seconds Inq up whenever you use cooldowns, as having to refresh Inquisition during cooldown uptime is a big waste of DPS.
AoE (More than 4 targets)
The priority list for AoE is very similar to the one we use for Single target, the only difference is we'll be using Seal of Righteousness instead of Truth, and using Divine Storm on cooldown rather than Crusader Strike. Consecration also moves above Judgement. It should look something like this.
Templar's Verdict (3 HP)
Exorcism (on Undead/Demon)
Hammer of Wrath
Exorcism (if NOT Undead/Demon)
Consecration (if above 75% mana)
Note: Remember that Divine storm is absolutely not worth using on less than 4 targets, as it will not generate holy power. For anything less than 4 targets, stick to the single target rotation.
Retribution Paladins have three major cooldowns at their disposal.
Guardian of the Ancient Kings
These cooldowns are best used in conjunction with eachother, which means using Guardian of the Ancient Kings 10 seconds before using Avenging Wrath followed instantly by Zealotry as to wait for Ancient Power to stack up and to fully make the most out of your cooldowns.
Obviously there are exceptions to this rule. Zealotry only generates the additional 2 holy power if Crusader Strike is used. This makes it not worth using in an AoE scenario, where using Avenging Wrath and/or Guardian of the Ancient Kings would still be beneficial.
As of this post, you can use Guardian of the Ancient Kings while wearing 4 piece tier 11 Protection gear for an extra 15 seconds on guardian, then switch back to your DPS gear quickly before the pull in the same way you would prepot. This is a pretty significant DPS gain but I expect it to be fixed relatively soon, as the tier 10 mage exploit was.
Kick your Focus target without switching from your Main target:
/cast [target=focus] Rebuke
Zealotry and Templar's Verdict - No CD time wasted:
/cast Templar's Verdict
Keep 5 stacks of SoT rolling on your focus target without moving:
/cast [target=focus] Judgement
Quickly cancel a debuff and get back to DPSing: (press twice)
#showtooltip Divine Shield
/cast divine shield
/cancelaura Divine Shield
Unfortunately I'm not expert in setting up UIs or making them compatible with other resolutions (or macs LOL) so please don't ask about how to make it work, because I don't know. The addons that don't work are probably under profile "Jórj - Jaedenar", I think you need to change bartender and omen at least.
Satrina Buff Frames (SBF)
Tidyplates: Threat Plates (requires Tidy Plates)
Deadly Boss Mods (DBM)
My UI Video
If you'd like to know exactly which addons I'm using to raid with, watch this video.
Encounter Specific Tips n' Tricks
Using the Judgement macro it's possible to keep 5 stacks of truth on Halfus whilst keeping the drakes as your main target. You can also use the Rebuke macro to interrupt his shadow nova without switching targets.
Valiona & Theralion:
Again using the Judgement macro you can keep 5 stacks of Truth rolling on the dragon in the air. You'll need to switch Focus when one of them lands but it's overall a massive DPS increase.
If you are targeted by Blackout you can also run outside of the raid, bubble to dispel the debuff, cancelaura using the macro and run back to continue dps. Although not a personal DPS increase this is a big save of movement time for your raid.
If you use your cooldowns at the start of the fight, they won't be up in time for the headphase where they're twice as useful. Pop your guardian 10 seconds before headphase (about when the chains come down) and use everything on the head for maximum damage. It's a good idea to pop your second potion then too.
Omnotron Defence System
Again you can use the Judgement macro on the last golem you were on (be careful of the shield!)
You can also try to save cooldowns for when your main target is Arcanotron and you can stand in the Power generator for 50% extra damage.
Pay attention to Caustic slime. If you miss a crusader strike, you put it on a 4 second cooldown without generating any holy power. Watch the debuff closely and use your ability as soon as it wears off. Never use cooldowns during Feud or you'll be missing a hell of a lot and save your third set of cooldowns for the last phase and Bloodlust.
As Zealotry is limited to a single target, use it in the beginning of the fight on it's own. When the dark sludge spawns you can use GaK, and then AW 10 seconds later and spam that Divine Storm button for maximum damage. Try not to use cooldowns in Red phase or you'll end up getting parried 8% of the time.
Cooldowns line up nicely with ground phase on this encounter, but during air phase you can use judgement on cooldown and keep up the exorcism debuff without going oom from using other abilities.
Get a death knight to make a macro using Dark Simulacrum on you whenever you get Mind Controlled. As soon as you free yourself, either pop AW as usual to get the most out of the Stolen Power buff, or if it's on cooldown use Seal of Truth. The death knight will also get these buffs for a nice burst to his own damage.
In phase 2, if you are targetted by Exploding Cinders while on the platform, you can simply bubble and cancelaura the debuff without exploding, saving you the trouble of having to jump off the platform, and extremely useful if you are assigned to interrupt.
Conclave of Wind
If you are an engineer, you can use your Parachute to float into the centre of a platform and cancel aura to land right ontop of the boss, saving you 5 or 6 seconds running time every use.
When running from one of the Jin to the wind booster, you can Judgement the boss behind you to get the Long arm of the Law buff and slice a second or 2 off your running time.
Hand of Protection will make you immune to the squall line, meaning you won't even get picked up if you run through it. Use this if you find yourself in a sticky situation with boss timers.
You won't take damage from the ice patch if you use Hand of freedom while running through it.
You can clear your stacks of Acid Rain in phase 2 by using bubble and quickly using the cancel aura macro.
Keep 5 stacks of censure rolling on one of the dogs using the focus target macro. Don't bother doing this in heroic as you typically don't kill the dogs and as such it's just wasted dps.
Use Seal of Righteousness until phase 2 and stand in the middle of the fragment adds for extra damage.
Help taunt the spinners down from their webs using Righteous Defence as well as Hand of Reckoning. If there are more than 3 up in melee, divine storm them down with the drone.
It's not possible to keep up 5 stacks on this boss 24/7, however you can throw a judgement or hardcast an exorcism on him as he flies over while you're waiting for an initiate to spawn or unable to otherwise dps on the ground. Remember to save your 2nd set of cooldowns (including GaK) for his "down" phase where he's taking aditional damage. You should also save bloodlust and shatter/second potion for this time.
This is as "Patchwerk" as fights get for melee in Firelands. If you know your rotation, you can execute this encounter flawlessly.
When Majordomo is in his scorpion phase, stand behind him until he's 90+ energy then quickly move infront of him to avoid as many parries as possible.
Using Seal of truth, spread a couple of stacks of censure to the kitties as Majordomo himself jumps out of melee range when he's in his cat phase.
On your second set of cooldowns, stagger Avenging Wrath for use with Divine Storm on the seed adds.Useful Resources
ElitistJerks - Pretty in-depth discussion about class mechanics and patch changes.
SimCraft - Use this tool to determine which talent/glyph/gear/rotation combinations are optimal.
WowReforge - Using this tool can help you optimise your reforge options to make sure no rating is wasted.
So I hope you found the guide useful, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have on the spec or class in this thread or on my youtube videos.