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WoW Paladin Guide: How to Play a Retribution Paladin (Page 2)

Updated Mon, May 23, 2011 by Messiah

Retribution Paladin Seals, Judgements, and Auras

As a Retribution Paladin you really only have two seals that you will use with any regularity in PVE, Seal of Truth or Seal of Righteousness. In most situations when fighting Bosses you will use Seal of Truth for the higher DPS over time. While fighting groups of enemies or enemies that die quickly you will use Seal of Righteousness for the cleave effect granted from your talents and the quicker initial damage it can cause.

Seal of Truth is our main seal and it is complicated due to its damage coming in two parts. Firstly, it does a small amount of damage when you hit someone, secondly it places a DoT on them that hurts them over time. Lastly, the higher the stack the DoT is in on the target (up to 5) the more damage the seal does when you judge it on them.

Seal of Righteousness combined with our talents is a seal that allows you to hit additional targets with your attacks. This means that when fighting normal enemies if there is more than one there, you can hit multiples with the same amount of damage. So against multiple targets you want to switch over to this seal. Due to the extra DoT damage that SoT causes though, it is not as good against single targets.

For complete details read the guide: What are the Best Paladin Seals.

As for Auras, since so many of your talents focus on improving your Aura of Righteousness and granting extra benefits to it, it becomes your only valid choice. Unless of course you are in a fight that really needs some form of resistance that you and no one else can provide.

Basic Attack Rotations for Retribution Paladins

Ok, you have the gear, you have specced retribution, now what? How do you go about doing damage?

A Retribution Paladin uses what is called a FCFS (First Come First Serve) rotation. This can be considered a face roll rotation too, however since some abilities do cause more damage there is a decreasing level of priority that you need to work through. However, since even the lowest DPS attack is not significantly lower, it is better to use any ability rather than wait for another to be available.

The order of priority for single targets is as follows:

  1. Inquisition - Burns all of your Holy Power (HP) to boost Holy Damage by 30% for the next 4 seconds per HPused. This should only be used when you have a full 3 HP.
  2. Crusader Strike - A solid attack that also applies a Seal of Truth stack
  3. Hammer of Wrath - Only becomes available once the enemy is below 20% health
  4. Exorcism - Use when it procs and comes up as an instant from your Art of War talent. Never use this when you would need to cast it.
  5. Templars Verdict - This is a big damage attack but requires you to have 3 HP stacked and ready to make it worth while.
  6. Judgement - Use Judgement to do Vengeance damage once you have a 5 stack up on the target.
  7. Holy Wrath - If you are fighting lots of enemies this becomes a better option, but it still is useful single target.
  8. Consecration - This provides ok DPS against any number of targets but moves up the list when there are more targets.

As with any rotation there are numerous exceptions and situations where you need to break the standard priority. Some of them are outlined in the list itself, such as AoE situations of 5 or more enemies, while others depend of different factors.

For any standard fight though, try to stick to the attack rotation as much as possible. Just remember the basic rule: it's better to be hitting something than nothing, so use an attack any time the global cooldown is up.

When fighting AOE groups of 5 enemies or more the rotation changes slightly so that you can maximize overall damage instead of just focusing on a single target. One of the biggest changes is to use Seal of Righteousness instead of Seal of Truth so that you can get the cleave effect from your Seal of Command talent. Other than that you simply replace Crusader Strike with Divine Storm as your second priority in the rotation, and swap Consecrate up to 7th position instead of Holy Wrath.

Retribution Paladin Cooldowns

We have three major cooldowns that affect our DPS and should be used as often as possible. The only word of caution is to wait a few seconds into a fight to start using them so you do not draw aggro away from a tank due to a spike in DPS too ealy in a fight.

Avenging Wrath increases all damage by 20% for 20 seconds and is on a two minute timer. It also allows you to use your HoW during it's uptime, making it far more usable in a fight, and more mana efficient if you are glyphed for it. Use this one as often as you can.

Guardian of Ancient Kings grants a stacking strength increase that caps out at 20% and lasts for up to 30 seconds. While a great boost all by itself, try stacking it with either of the other two cooldowns for an even bigger boost in DPS.

Zealotry allows Crusader Strike to grant 3 HP each time it hits for 20 seconds and is on a two minute timer. This allows you to shorten your rotaion to CS, TV,next best attack in your regular rotation that is off cooldown, and then repeat. For those 20 seconds your rotation is extremely simple and causes a lot more damage.

Consumables for Retribution Paladins

While items and gear are required for any raid, obviously, you also really should bring along all the consumables that will help you maximize your damage causing ability and your survivability. The ones that every Retribution Paladin should bring to a group or raid are:

  • Flask of Titanic Strength - This flask provides 300 Strength, there is no real alternative.
  • Golemblood Potions - A short term (25 second) boost of 1500 Strength, bring lots!
  • Fortune Cookies, Seafood Magnique, or Beer-Basted Crocolisk - All three of these foods grants a boost of 90 strength and stamina allowing you to cause more damage and live longer.
  • Healing potions - Bring a stack just to be safe.

Retribution Paladin Macros

There are a few simple macros that you can make that will simplify your life. These macros are not really required but do help a bit by saving some time between abilities and simplifying you bar layout or key bindings.

The first macro is one that you should use once you have 3 holy power stacked. It will pop all of the cooldowns and on use trinkets that you have at the same time for maximum DPS gain in the shortest time.

#showtooltip
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast Templar's Verdict
/cast Zealotry
/use item14
/use item13
/startattack

A second macro that I like is one that used Avenging Wrath when it is your next best ability and Hammer of Wrath once it is available. This makes it more automatic for using the best possible attack and will almost always be a DPS increase since you do not have to watch for the drop below 20% health, the macro takes care of that by not being able to case HoW until the target is lower than 20%.

#showtooltip
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast Hammer of Wrath
/startattack

The last macro that I really count on is one that puts two abilities onto the same button or keybind. This allows me to put attacks together to save space. The most commone one is one that use Crusader Strike when pressed or Divine Storm when pressed while holding the Alt key. This allows me to make my single target and multi target rotations more similar feeling as I am pressing the same buttons, just using a modifier key to change the ability.

A similar macro can be made for any abilities that you want to share a single button on your bar. You can stack more abilities using other mod keys like control or shift.

#showtooltip
/cast [nomodifier] Crusader Strike, [mod:alt] Divine Storm

Things to Remember as a Retribution Paladin

Things to do

  • Learn to watch your attack rotation and learn the sequence that works best for you.
  • Learn to switch between seals as required, it will up your DPS and utility.
  • You should always run a threat meter of some sort (the one I prefer is Omen). It will allow you to judge how close you are to the tank and if you need to lay off damage.
  • Remember everything in this guide!

Things to avoid

  • Avoid multiple combats of the same level or higher if you can. You have much lower armor than you do with a shield equipped and do not have any multiple target attacks.
  • Using potions or bubbles too early. Save them and try to use Word of Glory instead.
  • Ignoring some of your stats. Don't focus on just one thing or you're cheating yourself
  • Fast low damage weapons! Even though they often display higher dps rates, they do not factor in how your abilities work. Stick with the weapon that has the highest maximum damage.

For general Paladin information, check out our complete Paladin Guide.

Comments or questions? Post them in our Paladin forums!

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