Retribution Talent Guide

This retribution talent guide goes over each of the talents in the Paladins retribution talent tree. The retribution talent tree is for Paladins that wish to do damage in combat. Retribution is the most common leveling build for Paladins and now considered one of the strongest builds for them. The extra damage it provides allows paladins to level quicker than the other two builds, and is strongly recommended to be used while leveling up.

Since there are so many real DPS classes though, it is suggested that once you are looking for groups you go either Protection to Tank or Holy the heal, as you will have a far easier time finding a place in groups or raids.

Return to the Paladin Talent Guide. The Paladin Talent guide contains the links to the Holy and Retribution Talent guides along with resources to better help you understand Talents and the best ways to go about spending your Talent Points.

Tier 1

Tier 1 is available at level ten, when your first talents open up.

  • Deflection - Max 5 points, increases your chance to parry by up to 5%
    • While potentially in the wrong tree as it is defensive, it is a good talent. 5% parry is hard to turn down as it reduces the damage you take.
    • Most protection Paladins come to Retribution to get this talent.
    • Must have for Paladin Tanks, Skip as Retribution.
  • Benediction - Max 5 points, reduces the cost of all instant cast spells by up to 10%
    • Greatly improves your mana pool since almost all of your abilities are instants.
    • Useful for all paladin builds
    • Recommended

Tier 2

Tier 2 talents are available as soon as you have 5 points in that talent tree.

  • Improved Judgement - Max 2 points, decreases the cooldown of your Judgement by up to 2 seconds.
    • By reducing the time between Judgements by 20% it allows you to do 20% more judging which in turn provides that much more damage.
    • For 2 points its a big return on investment.
    • Recommended
  • Heart of the Crusader- Max 3 points, in addition to the normal effect, your judgement spells also increases the critical strike chance of all attacks against the opponent
    by up to 3%.
    • A great ability that ups everyone's critical hit chance against the target. A great buff and a reason to have a Retribution paladin in a raid.
    • Must have for Retribution Paladins, recommended for all others.

  • Improved Blessing of Might - Max 2 points, increases the attack power of your blessing by up to 25%
    • This is the seal that you are most likely to be using as a Retribution Paladin.
    • As such a 25% increase to it's effectiveness should not be dismissed.
    • Recommended

Tier 3

Tier 3 talents are available as soon as you have 10 points in that talent tree.

  • Vindication - Max 2 points, provides up to a chance on all attacks to reduce all the the targets attributes by up to 20% for 15 seconds.
    • A semi-useful ability as it will decrease the targets effectiveness in combat and allow you to drop them faster.
    • Nice, but not needed.
  • Conviction - Max 5 points, increases your critical strike chance by up to 5%
    • Critical strike gear takes a while to add up. 5% is a big bonus for 5 points and since you will be attacking non stop well worth the points.
    • Recommended
  • Seal of Command - 1 point skill, a seal that provides a chance to deal additional holy damage. Unleashing the seal will hit for even more holy damage, and will always critically hit if the target is stunned or incapacitated.
    • This is the retribution paladins bread and butter seal.
    • Best used with a big slow two-handed weapon since it procs on a per minute basis, therefore the fewer swings you take the more chance each swing will get the bonus damage.
    • Must have for Retribution Paladins
  • Pursuit of Justice - Max 2 points, increases all movement speed by up to 15%, but does not stack with other increases.
    In addition it reduces the duration of all disarm effects by up to 50%.
    • This is handy in the PvP environment since you have no stares, and few stun abilities. It allows you some hope of catching players as they flee.
    • While it effects mount speed, it doesn't stack with your mount speed aura and therefore has little benefit.
    • If your into PvP and have a few spare points grab it.
    • Recommended

Tier 4

Tier 4 talents are available as soon as you have 15 points in that talent tree.

  • Eye for an Eye - Max 2 points, will cause all critical hits against you to do up to 20% of the damage back to the attacker, to a max of 50% of your health.
    • This is really focused at PvP players where you tend to take huge spell critical's. While it does not stop you from taking the damage, at least you can take the other person with you.
    • It is very satisfying to be hit for large damage and have a portion of it reflected back at the attacker and have them die. It doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it can make you smile!
    • Must Have for PvP

  • Sanctified Seals - Max 3 points, increases your chance to critical hit with all spells and attacks by up to 3% and reduces the chance your seals will be dispelled by up to 100%
    • The 3% bonus to hit is significant when trying to reach Hit Cap for raids.
    • Making seals resistant to being dispelled is great in PvP.
    • Must have talent.


  • Crusade - Max 3 points. A passive ability that increases all damage you cause against demons, humanoids, undead and elementals by up to 3%.
    • This talent ups the damage significantly percentage wise, since it will effect most of your damage.
    • Must have talent.

Tier 5

Tier 5 talents are available as soon as you have 20 points in that talent tree.

  • Two-Handed Weapon Specialization - Max 3 points, increases the damage you cause with two-handed weapons by up to 6%.
    • As a Retribution paladin you will mainly be using two-handed weapons for their base damage to get higher holy damage from your ability procs.
    • Allows you to produce even more damage
    • Must have talent
  • Sanctified Retribution - Max 1 point, damage caused by targets affected by your Retribution aura is increased by 2%.
    • This immediately increases your damage and your parties damage output by 2%.
    • It provides a strong group benefit and a reason to have a Retribution Paladin in the group.
    • Strongly Recommended
  • Divine Purpose - Max 2 points, reduces your chance to be hit by spells and ranged attacks by up to 4%, and gives your Hand of Freedom spell up to a 100% chance to remove any stun effects on the target.
    • Ranged damage is an issue for a paladin and this will lower the damage slightly.
    • The real power with this talent though is in PvP where you can remove stun effects with your Hand of Freedom.
    • Recommended for PvP

Tier 6

Tier 6 talents are available as soon as you have 25 points in that talent tree.

  • Vengeance - Max 3 points, gives you up to a 3% bonus to the physical and holy damage you deal for 30 seconds after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell or ability. This ability can stack up to 3 times.
    • Since you will be critical hitting a lot anyway, you should have no issue keeping a full stack on your opponent, gaining 9% additional damage.
    • Must have Talent
  • Improved Retribution Aura - Max 2 points, increases the damage your aura causes by up to 50%.
    • While this talent ups the damage significantly percentage wise, it doesn't add up to a lot for retribution paladins.
    • You will however have this aura up for other reasons, so it can be worth having if you have the spare points.

Tier 7

Tier 7 talents are available as soon as you have 30 points in that talent tree.


  • The Art of War - Max 2 points. Increases the damage you Judgement, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm abilities cause by up to 10% and when those abilities critically hit the cast time of your next Flash of Light is reduced by up to 1.5 seconds.
    • The abilities listed are your core damage causing abilities, raising their damage by 10% for 2 talent points is a steal.
    • Converting your Flash of Light spell into an instant after you crit can allow you to actually use it to self heal while fighting.
    • Must have talent
  • Repentance - 1 point skill, puts the target into a state of meditation for 60 seconds. Any damage ends this effect.
    Can be used against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids, and Undead,
    • This ability basically gives you ranged sap, similar to rogues, making you useful to have for crowd control.
    • Great for PvP as you can stun an opponent that is running away to give yourself and others a chance to get to them, or to interrupt a big spell cast.
    • Strongly Recommended
  • Judgements of the Wise - Max 3 points. Your Judgement spells have up to a 100% chance to grant the Replenishment effect to up to 10 party or raid members causing mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of their maximum mana per second. In addition it immediately grants you 15% of your base mana.
    • This ability allows you to keep mana throughout a fight, without it you will quickly be reduced to only doing normal attacks.
    • Grants some raid utility as you grant other players mana as well.
    • Must have talent

Tier 8

Tier 8 talents are available as soon as you have 35 points in that talent tree.

  • Fanaticism - Max 5 points, increases the critical strike chance on all of your Judgements by up to 25%, and reduces your threat by up to 30% (except while effected by righteous fury).
    • Adds to the burst damage ability that you require in PvP. Useful for an increase in damage for PvE as well.
    • The 30% reduction in threat is the huge part of this talent for most players as it will keep you alive and not drawing threat away from the tank in groups.
    • Must have Talent
  • Sanctified Wrath - Increases the critical strike chance of Hammer of Wrath by up to 50%, reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath by up to 60 seconds, and while affected by Avenging Wrath up to 50% of all damage caused bypasses damage reduction effects.
    • The critical strike increase on Hammer of Wrath, while nice, is not the biggest part of the ability since you can only use it while your target is low on health.
    • Avenging Wrath is a huge damage boost and being able to use it more frequently will boost your damage significantly.
    • Bypassing damage reduction effects will allow you to get through armour or other items that prevent damage. This is significant in PvP with abilities such as Pain Suppression.
    • Strongly Recommended.

Tier 9

Tier 9 talents are available as soon as you have 40 points in that talent tree.

  • Swift Retribution - Max 3 points. Your Retribution Aura also increases casting, ranged, and melee attack speeds by up to 3%.
    • Provides a big speed boost to everyone in your party or raid.
    • Provides yet another group buff to have a Retribution Paladin around for.
    • Another reason to have you Retribution Aura active.
    • Recommended

  • Crusader Strike - 1 point skill, an instance strike attack that does 110% of weapon damage in holy damage.
    • Provides for some solid controllable burst DPS on a target. Enables you to hit that big damage burst when you need it.
    • Must have talent
  • Sheath of Light - Max 3 points. Increases your spell power by up to 30% of your attack power, and causes your critical healing spells to heal the target for up to 60% of the healed amount over the next 12 seconds.
    • Since Holy damage amounts are boosted by having more spell power this is a solid increase. Especially since you will be stacking attack power anyway.
    • The heal bonus is nice and makes up for the lack of healing power as Retribution a little bit, however since you will not have much mana, do not count on it being that useful.
    • Strongly Recommended

Tier 10

Tier 10 talents are available as soon as you have 45 points in that talent tree.

  • Righteous Vengeance - Max 5 points. When your Judgement and Divine Storm spells deal a critical strike, your target will take up to an additional 40% damage over 8 seconds.
    • These are two of your three main attacks and as such increasing their damage is a big deal.
    • When you critical at max level you will be doing significant damage, so 40% of this is also a significant amount of damage.
    • Strongly Recommended

Tier 11

Tier 11 is the top tier talent and is available as soon as you have 50 points in that talent tree.

  • Divine Storm - 1 point skill, an instant cast attack that causes holy damage to up to 4 enemies within 8 yards. The Divine Storm then heals up to 3 party or raid members for up to 20% of the damage caused.
    • This ability provides the Retribution Paladin some real AoE attack utility.
    • Since most groups are now AoE tanking enemies instead of using crowd control this will add a significant amount of damage.
    • Also provides health back to group and raid members, providing yet another reason to have a Retribution Paladin in a group.
    • Must have talent

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.

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