Patch 4.3 Retribution Paladin (Retri) Quick-Start Guide – talent specs, glyphs, gems and reforging, stats and rotation / priorities

Forward the Retribution paladin! We’re one of the most versatile classes in the game, but that doesn’t mean we can’t mash some faces if we feel like it. So, to get all the info on talent specs, rotations, glyphs and gems, reforging, all that good stuff, before you wander off to hit some horrible ex-dragon gribbly things with a hammer in Patch 4.3, read on!

Updated 29th Nov, 2011, for Patch 4.3

Retribution changes in Patch 4.3

Retribution Paladins have had a major buff and a significant nerf in 4.3. The major buff comes in three parts: the melee attack power buff, giving us +10% Attack Power, a buff to 2-Handed Weapon Specialisation, upping damage from 20% bonussed to 25%, and a boost to Seal of Truth, increasing our Judgement damage.

The nerf comes in the form of a massive change to Sanctified Wrath, dropping the critical bonus on Hammer of Wrath to 2/4/6%.

This doesn’t change your spec or glyphs. Sanctified Wrath is still a strong talent choice. It does rather reduce the value of Hammer of Wrath in your rotation – we don’t have hard numbers yet, but you should probably use Templar’s Verdict before it, at least.

Tier bonues: once you get 2-piece Tier 13, Judgement becomes much stronger. It moves up the priorities to just behind Templar’s Verdict with Divine Purpose – moving Hammer of Wrath down.

4-piece T13 is lovely. Once we get this, we should focus on using Guardian of Ancient Kings 10 sec before using Avenging Wrath and Zealotry for maximum DPS, and if at all possible make sure Inquisition has enough duration we don’t have to refresh it during Zealotry.

Retri Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Retridins don’t have a rotation as such. Instead, we have several priorities for things we need to do in any combat. In order:

  • Top Priority: Generate Holy Power – Whenever you can, use Crusader Strike, no matter what else is available.
  • Second Priority: Use Holy Power – Try to keep Inquisition up as much as possible – refresh it, using whatever Holy Power or Divine Purpose procs are available, when it has 3 seconds or less to run. Otherwise, use Templar’s Verdict when you have 3 Holy Power or a Divine Purpose proc.
  • Third Priority: Use Situational Abilities – Use Hammer of Wrath if it’s available. If not, use Exorcism if Art of War has procced.
  • Fourth Priority: Fill A Global Cooldown – If you’ve got nothing else to do on a Global Cooldown, use Judgement, Holy Wrath or Consecrate (if it won’t run you out of mana) in that order. Tip – put them on your castbars in that order and cast the furthest left one that’s available.

As a basic rule, use all your cooldowns (Zealotry, Guardian of Ancient Kings, and Avenging Wrath) as soon as they’re off cooldown. If possible, cast Guardian of Ancient Kings about 10 sec before Avenging Wrath, ideally in a Bloodthirst/ Time Warp effect, as they stack, but the DPS loss isn’t huge if you don’t.

AOE: Use the same rotation as above, but replace Crusader Strike with Divine Storm. Only swap to this priority system on 4 or more targets – it’s a DPS loss on 3 or less.


Retribution Talent Spec

This is the standard Retri talent build for 4.3

There’s one optional point here. Place it in Divinity (first tier Holy) if you want to help your healers out a bit, or in the second point of Eye For An Eye (first tier Retribution) for marginal DPS increase.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Retri

Strength is absolutely king for Retri. Hit rating up to Hit Cap is next, followed by Expertise rating to the Expertise cap. After that, Mastery is the next best stat, with Crit and Haste less valuable, and Hit and Expertise after the cap being not valuable at all.

Reforging: Reforge to the Hit Cap (961 unless you’re a Draenai, in which case it’s 841), then Expertise Cap (26), then Mastery. Reforge from Crit and Haste as your top priority.

Gems: Use a Bold Inferno Ruby unless the socket bonus provides 10 Strength or more per socket. In that case, use a combination gem depending on whether you’re at Hit/Expertise cap – Skillful Ember Topaz (Str/Mastery) or Etched Demonseye (Str/Hit).

Retribution Paladin Enchants

Remember to check if your profession offers better enhancement options for a slot!

Head Arcanum of the Wildhammer (Alliance) or Dragonmaw (Horde)
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Major Strength
Hands Enchant Gloves – Mighty Strength
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots – Mastery. If you absolutely need more hit, Precision can be used instead.
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Landslide


Prime: Seal of Truth, Templar’s Verdict, Exorcism.

Major: Divine Protection is almost vital – use it if you don’t know a boss does a lot of AOE physical damage. Ascetic Crusader and Lay On Hands are other solid choices. Holy Wrath (stuns demons and elementals) is very situationally useful.

Minor: Really doesn’t matter – whatever you like.

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