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The Best Retribution Paladin PvE DPS build

The Best Retribution Paladin PvE DPS build

Find out how to build a proper Retribution Paladin for Raids and Mythic+ Dungeons

Retribution Paladin PvE DPS Build
Odealo's Pocket Guide
Updated for Patch 8.1.0

You can find all our other Pocket Guides for other World of Warcraft classes right here: Best WoW Builds

Spec Overview

Retribution Paladins are a solid single and multitarget melee damage dealers. Their lack of mobility compared to other melee classes is somewhat compensated by many good utility and defensive cooldowns but can prove to be fatal in some Raid encounters. Retri Paladins are currently solid, but not outstanding performers when it comes to Raiding, but in dungeons, they provide much-needed support, thanks to their strong utility.

 Pros  Cons
 Switching targets  has no downside  Relies on skill uptimes
 High sustained single-target damage  Subpar mobility compared to other melee specs
 High AoE sustained damage with good burst potential  
 Many good utility and defensive spells  

Statistics Priority

1. Strength - Primary statistic for Retribution Paladins, it increases your total Attack Power and gives a damage boost to all your abilities.
2. Haste - Lowers your global cooldowns and increases the speed of your attacks, it also provides a nice additional boost to your DPS by reducing the cooldown of Holy Power generators.
3. Critical Strike  Versatility Mastery - Critical strike gives you a chance to do additional damage/healing with your attacks and abilities. Versatility Decreases all damage received while increasing all damage and healing done. Mastery provides a bonus based on your specialization;  Mastery: Hand of Light provides a bonus to all Holy Damage done by your abilities.

 

The Best Talent Choices


Level 15: Recommended choice - Zeal
Zeal - Judgement makes your next 3 auto-attacks deal additional damage and occure 30% faster. Lasts for 20 seconds, and stacks up to 9 times. This is the only talent that keeps its value when fighting multiple enemies, and as such is a great choice for AoE and dungeons.
Other two choices (Righteous Verdict and Execution Sentence) provide no boost to your AoE damage, which makes them more situational. Chose Execution Sentence if the encounter requires you to burst something down fast.
Select Righteous Verdict for a nice, sustained boost to your single target damage.

Fires of Justice

Blade of Wrath 

Hammer of Wrath
Level 30: All Three choices are viable, we recommend a simulation to determine which one is the best for your current setup.
Fires of Justice - Provides your Crusader Strike with a 15% cooldown reduction and gives it a 15% chance to reduce the cost of your next ability by 1 Holy Power. Please note that choosing this will make you a bit RNG dependant in short encounters.
Blade of Wrath - Increases damage done by the  Art of War ability by 25% and causes it to reset the cooldown of your
Blade of Justice 100% more often (4 Real Procs Per Minute). This Talent provides a boost to both Single Target and AoE damage.
Hammer of Wrath - Only usable on targets with less than 20% maximum HP or when Avenging Wrath or Crusade is active. Deals moderate Holy Damage to a target in a 30yd range and generates 1 Holy Power. Chose this for increased burst damage in the execute phases. Selecting Crusade at level 100 further increases this talents viability.

Level 45: Recommended choice - Blinding Light
Blinding Light - Blinds all enemies within a 10yd radius disorienting them, lasts 6 seconds any non-Holy damage received by affected targets will break the effect, 90s cooldown. The most versatile Talent in this row, AoE disorient can prove to be very helpful in many encounters.
Other two choices are simply more situational. Fist of Justice enables you to use Hammer of Justice more often, and single target stun is overall less viable than AoE disorient in Raid Encounters. This is, however, a great choice for dungeons.
Repentance Incapacitates a single target for 60 seconds, any damage received by the target will break the effect. Usage of this ability is rather limited due to target limitations (it only works on Humanoids, Demons, Undead, Dragonkin, and Giants).

Level 60: Recommended choice - Wake of Ashes
Wake of Ashes - Powerfull damaging ability with a 45s cooldown. It damages all enemies within 12yd in front of you, while also reducing their movement speed by 50% for 5 seconds; Demons and Undead are Stunned for 5 seconds instead; This ability does Radiant (Holy+Fire) damage. 
Consecration is another viable choice in this row. Thanks to its shorter 20s cooldown it enables you to be more consistant when fighting multiple add spawns during encounters; the main weakness of Consecration is its static nature (when you place it somewhere it stays there, and some adds tend to move around). Divine Judgement provides you with the lowest DPS bonus overall and it should not be considered as an option in this state.

Level 75: Recommended choice - Unbreakable Spirit
Unbreakable Spirit - Provides an 30% cooldown reduction for your Divine Shield, Shield of Vengence,
and Lay on Hands.  This is a defensive talent (same as other two choices in this row), but in contrast with other two, 
Unbreakable Spirit actually increases your damage slightly (thanks to CD reduction on your Shield of Vengence) and as such is the best choice for Raiding.
Eye for an Eye viability largely depends on the encounter, making it really situational, and situational = worse most of the time. Cavalier increases your mobility in combat by adding a second charge to your Divine Steed ability; this can compensate for a lack of mobility but is the worst choice overall, as lack of mobility can be somewhat compensated by situational awareness and right character placement.

Selfless Healer

Word of Glory
Level 90: We recommend choosing one of the above, select whatever fits your playstyle better.
Selfless Healer - Your Holy Power requiring abilities reduce the cooldown of your next Flash of Light by 25% and increase its healing done by 10%, this effect stacks up to 4 times.
Word of Glory - 40yd range Heal that also targets 2 most injured friendly targets within a 30yd range, this ability has 2 charges and a one minute recharge time.
Justicar's Vengeance  is meant as an ability that heals you while providing a boost to your DPS, but in reality, it just costs too much to be worth it; your HP is better spent on Templar's Verdict

Divine Purpose

Crusade

Inquisition
Level 100: All Three choices are viable, a simulation may be required to determine the best choice for your current setup.
Divine Purpose - Your Holy Power consuming abilities now have a 15% chance to increase damage and healing done by your next Holy Power consuming ability by 20% and reduce its cost to 0.
Crusade - Your Haste and Damage are increased by 3%, this bonus is increased by another 3% for every Holy Power spent during uptime of the ability, this effect stacks up to 10 times; Crusade lasts for 25s, and replaces Avenging Wrath. Please note that Crusade increases the viability of Hammer of Wrath, and might be flat out the best pick if you have chosen Hammer of Wrath at level 30.
Inquisition - Your Haste and Damage are increased by 7% for 15s per each Holy Power spent on this ability, for a maximum of 3 HP spent for a 45s duration.

 

 

The Basic Rotation

Retribution Paladins do not have a Rotation per se, but rather use a priority list for Holy Power generation and Holy Power spending. Holy Power generation is prioritized until there are 5 HP stacked or the next HP generator used puts HP over the threshold, therefore wasting the excess.

Use following Priority for Holy Power generation:
1. Wake of Ashes
2. Blade of Justice
3. Judgment
4. Hammer of Wrath
5. Consecration
6. Crusader Strike (at 2 charges)
7. Crusader Strike (at 1 charge)
When you reach 5 HP or the next ability would cause you to lose excess HP, please use the following Priority:
1. Inquisition (This should be used with 2+ Holy Power)
2. Execution Sentence
3. Templar's Verdict / Divine Storm (when facing 2+ enemies)  / 
Offensive cooldown usage:
1. Avenging Wrath/Crusade (should be used when available)  

Please note that your priority list may differ slightly in some places because of talent choices.

Tips and Tricks for Improving your Gameplay

1. NEVER waste your Holy Power (check Priority list for Details)
2. Do not waste your Global Cooldowns (every second counts in a Raid encounter)
3. Stay behind your target at all times (C'mon... you are not a tank!)
4. Use your Shield of Vengence for a slight damage boost (please check Talents section for more detail)
5. Use all your cooldowns when available
6. Refresh your Inquisition only when it is about to expire, and try to keep its uptime as close to 100% as possible
7. Always try to improve and analyze your mistakes

END NOTE

This is an early version of our guide, we plan to upgrade upon it, and add further sections. So please leave your suggestions in the comment section below. We would also like to state that this is meant as a pocket guide and therefore we will not go into too much detail (please visit more specialized sites for a much more in-depth build/stat/gear/rotation analyses).

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.