Retribution Paladin Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 28, 2012

WoW Patch 5.4 has hit, and that means that us Retri Paladins get to hit Garrosh. All good so far. So, let’s get you up to speed with your stat weights, reforging and gemming, talents, glyphs, and AOE and single-target rotations in MoP, so you can get out into that brave new world and hit it with a big hammer as quickly as possible!

Updated 17th September 2013 to WoW Patch 5.4

Retribution Paladin Changes in Patch 5.4

No big changes apart from Seal of Righteousness now being less useful.

Retribution “Rotation” and Priorities in MoP

Retribution Paladins have a subtly different rotation than in Cataclysm – it’s the same abilities, but in a different order.

Single-target DPS as Retribution

Follow this priority order for abilities:

  • Top Priority: If Inquisition is about to drop or is not active, and you have Holy Power, cast Inquisition. If not, and if you have 5 Holy Power, cast Templar’s Verdict.
  • Second Priority: If Execution Sentence or Hammer of Wrath are available, cast them, in that order if several are available.
  • Third Priority: If Crusader Strike is available, cast it. If not, if Judgement is available, cast it.
  • Fourth Priority: Cast Exorcism if available. If you have 3 Holy Power, cast Templar’s Verdict.

Note: Templar’s Verdict is in your priority tree twice! If you have 5 Holy Power it’s top priority after Inquisition – it’s lowest priority if you have 3 HP.

AOE DPS as Retribution

For two or more targets, replace Templar’s Verdict with Divine Storm, and replace Crusader Strike with Hammer of the Righteous. Keep switching between targets.


  • Avenging Wrath and Guardian of Ancient Kings should both be used as often as possible. Ideally, use Guardian of Ancient Kings 10 seconds before Avenging Wrath.
  • Devotion Aura should be used in a dungeon when everyone’s taking heavy damage, and in a raid as directed by your raid leader.
  • Divine Shield and Divine Protection are powerful defensive cooldowns. Use them if you’re getting the crap kicked out of you by something!
  • Lay On Hands – a supremely powerful survival ability. I normally have it macroed to a mouse-button click on raid frames. Useful to get yourself or a party member out of a scrape.


Use Blessing of Might or Blessing of Kings, whichever will stack with the other buffs in your party. If you have the choice of either, go for Blessing of Might.

Use Seal of Truth.

Retribution Paladin Talent Choices

Talent choices in Wow 5.x are intended to be flexible, and we encourage you to experiment with them – but here’s a good all-purpose loadout:

  • Tier 1: Pursuit of Justice
  • Tier 2: Repentance – a decent crowd control spell.
  • Tier 3: Sacred Shield – useful shielding for yourself or others.
  • Tier 4: Unbreakable Spirit
  • Tier 5: Sanctified Wrath
  • Tier 6: Execution Sentence – another DPS cooldown. Use whenever possible.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Retribution Paladin

Strength, Hit and Expertise are our strongest three stats. Beyond that, Haste is our strongest secondary stat, then Mastery, then Crit

Note: because MoP gems give twice as much of secondary stats as they do primary stats, that actually means Haste becomes effectively our best stat for gemming.

Reforging: Reforge for Hit and Expertise of 7.5% (2550) each, then reforge to Haste. Reforge out of excess Hit and Expertise first, then Crit and Mastery.
Gems: Use Fierce (Strength /Haste) gems in Red sockets, Quick (Haste) gems in Yellow sockets and Lightning (Haste / Hit) in Blue sockets.
Meta Gem: Reverberating meta gem.

Ret Pallie Glyphs

Retribution Paladin glyphs in 5.4 are particularly situational – but here’s one good all-rounder setup:

Major: Glyph of Templar’s Verdict, Glyph of Double Jeopardy, Glyph of Mass Exorcism
Minor: Your choice! Glyph of Righteous Retreat is fun for annoying gankers.

Retribution Paladin enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulder – Greater Tiger Fang Inscription
  • Back – Enchant Cloak – Accuracy or Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike
  • Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Bracers – Enchant Bracers – Exceptional Strength
  • Gloves – Enchant Gloves – Super Strength
  • Wrist – Enchant Bracers – Exceptional Strength
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Angerhide Leg Armor
  • Feet – Enchant Boots – Greater Precision or Enchant Boots – Greater Haste
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel


There’s a lot of good info out there for Ret players – here is a suggestion for more in-depth information:

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan August 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm

First of all, thank you for the link at the bottom to my Mists ret guide on WoW Insider. I spent a *good* deal of time working on that, it’s good to get it out there.

Anyway, I wanted to go through a few things in your guide that I think aren’t entirely accurate. Hopefully you’ll find them useful and can incorporate them into your post here.

1. Your rotation is almost spot-on — the only thing that’s considered incorrect is that HoW should be doing more damage than Exo because HoW is affected by mastery, whereas Exo is not.

2. The tier 5 choice for your recommended talent build is a bit off, in my opinion. I understand that talents are primarily situational in nature now, but I would definitely recommend Divine Purpose over Holy Avenger here. While most sims are showing that HA and DP are roughly equal in terms of overall DPS, an “all-purpose” build would probably be best typified by one without many extra buttons to push.

Same goes for Clemency, but that’s even *more* of an opinion than DP/HA, so I’ll let it go.

3. Hit and expertise caps at level 85 are about 768-769 now, not 770. Minor point, but I might as well make it.

4. For your “all-purpose” glyph recommendations, Mass Exorcism is one that should *not* be in there. It changes the nature of Exo so much that it changes the way you play and, quite frankly, not one that I can see anyone running around questing or running dungeons with.


Miles August 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

Thank you for your posts new and old ‘ve eard them for a year now and continually go back to them when needed to freshen my memory or learn something new. I’ve become a respected Pally on Bleeding Hollow much due to your posts guiding my way =). KISS (keep it simple stupid) with just raw numbers is greast for me. Thank you again from the bottom of my tankadin heart.


David September 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Hi everyone,

To answer Dan for his first point (exorcism) I think we have do cast exo before HoW just because Exo is a proc (20% chance) and it resets Exo too.
In my mind, if Exo is up and i have a proc of, I feel like I loose one spell I could cast.

I hesitate between Holy Avenger and divine purpose… The first give us a so huge burst for 30 sec but the second save us when we could have un hole in our dps rotation (without proc of Exo or enough holy power). So Holy Avenger put us to have strength/mastery in place of hast (i think) in yellow gem and reforging; Hast with Divine purpose.

But, I have a question about Inqui : do you think it’s better to clic inqui with 1,2 or 3 holy power? (what about glyph double its time but down critics damages?)
Thank you !

P.S. Excuse me about my english ’cause I’m French but i would participate to this talk.


Jeff Simpson November 27, 2012 at 7:34 am

I see you recommend Bold gems for red sockets What do you make of Icy Veins and EJs take on this that you should use haste gems for red sockets once you start raiding


Hugh Hancock November 27, 2012 at 11:02 am

That makes perfect sense – I hadn’t seen the discussion, but now that I have I’m changing our gem recommendations. Thanks!


Jeff Simpson November 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

btw Don’t you mean Dancing Steel for Weapon Enchant?

Reply June 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming yet again to read more news.


Antonetta July 12, 2014 at 5:40 am

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Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will
be grateful to you.


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