New 80 Paladin, What to Spend Emblems on First?

So you’re a brand new level 80 Paladin, and are earning Emblems of Frost and Emblems of Triumph at a rapid rate.  You eagerly want to start smashing heads in Icecrown Citadel, but lack the gear to do so.  Deciding what to spend your hard emblems on can be a daunting task, but ask any veteran Retribution Paladin, and the choices are no-brainers.

There are many gear options out there to spend your Triumph and Frost emblems on, but for the first part of gearing, you really should aim for your Tier 9 and Tier 10 2-piece bonuses.  This will single-handedly give you the greatest DPS boost, and set you up for an increased chance of success.

Don’t forget that reaching your 8% hit cap will be a priority as well, and the Tier pieces will help you towards that goal.  But in regards to spending your emblems, focus on the Tier 9 and Tier 10 pieces, not the +hit.

My recommendations would be:

The reason you would take the item level 232 T9 chest and legs over the cheaper shoulders and gloves is because, well, those are also the cheapest T10 pieces.  Emblems of Triumph are much easier to come by, therefore the 50 emblem cost per T9 is a much more rapid acquisition.

When you have your 2 piece T9 bonus, then you can shift your attention to grabbing the item level 245 Emblem of Triumph Helm.  If the armor pen stat is not high on your priority list, then the T9 helm can suffice as well.  Also, the 245 trinket is a good boost to hit rating if you are just starting out.   There will be much better DPS trinkets available as you progress in gear, and +hit will be available on much of the gear you acquire, but getting hit capped is the number one way to boost DPS in the long run, so don’t completely ignore it when first starting out. 

After you get those core pieces down, then you can start looking at other gear to buy.  For Frost Emblem purchases, your decision will vary greatly upon your current gear.  What stats you lack and what you have surplus of can also sway your decision making.

Regardless, aim for 2-piece T9 and 2-piece T10 first.  That is your priority.


  1. Seth says:

    Have all retri paladins forgot all about using 4items from the tier and using the pvp gloves for the 5% crusaderstrike???

    head,shoulders,leggings,chest = tier9 or tier 10

    gloves = PVP GLOVES 🙂

  2. Xav says:

    The first thing I bought was the Helm of Thunderous Rampage and I’m still saving to buy T10 Shoulders and Gloves for the DS bonus… although my first thought was for a cape or a trinket (I don’t like the ones I have).

  3. Nythil says:

    Hey Khor,

    i’ve spent lots of time in the last 2 weeks whilst getting from 70-80 reading your guide. its been a great help getting my geared for decent damage and allowing optimum improvements.
    I’m a little stuck what next to buy with Emblems of Triumph that i am getting. ( saving up frost for the Libram of three truths.)

    could you have a look at my armoury and let me know what you think?


  4. Khor says:

    Hey Nythil, looks like you’ve got a great handle on your gear so far! I see emblem helm, shoulders, libram, and trinket (all good choices!) and you have 2 T9. Obviously, it looks like your 2 T10 pieces will be shoulders and gloves, and you have that transition set up perfecftly as well. At this point, there is not much else Emblems of Triumph are going to get you. YOu can either start saving them for off-spec gear (I got all my tanking gear immediately after I filled Ret needs), or you can start using them to exchange for epic gems. I’d say go with the off-spec gear first, because that gives you more utility. Up to you though.

    The 245 blacksmithing bracers are a good upgrade for your wrists, and Tyrannical Beheader looks liek you next upgrade weapon-wise.

    That’s a helluva solid start man!

    Good job on the +hit too btw, you are over the cap, but that’s just because most of your gear has +hit on it, not by your choice it would seem. If you find some upgrades that have expertise and can replace some of the +hit rating, that’s a safe change, so long as the hit doesn’t dip below 8%.

  5. humanepally says:

    hi i was just wondering ive been playing my paladin a while and was thinking is it better to have this gear for PVP or raidnig?

  6. Khor says:

    Definitely PvE and raiding 😀

  7. Uniwolf04 says:

    Hey there,

    Great articles. Helped me heaps so far. Most of my Epic gear has been earned through PVP as I really haven’t Raided much yet. I’m wondering on the DPS trade-off if I pick up Turalyon’s Chest and Legs vs a full set of Gladiator’s Scaled gear. With Turalyon I’m getting another 32 Strength which should equal 64 AP (right?) but I have a bonus 150 AP from the set of PVP gear. Would it be prudent to stick with the PVP set until I can swap in more than just the 2 T9 pieces? (Frost Emblems through ICC Heroic dungeons is a slow grind 🙂 )


  8. Khor says:

    I’m always of preference to go with as much PvE gear as possible. That said, certain PvP gear may be your best option, so in those cases go for it. There are some very solid options via emblem gear. All T9, as well as 245 Shoulders and helm. In addition the 245 blacksmithing chest and wrists are solid, as is the 226 blacksmithing boots and belt.

    To get more emblems, I’d suggest tanking random dailies if you can. I can easily net 20-25 emblems of triumph in an hour, depending on the instances I get. That’s tha fastest way to gear up. Going as DPS works, but longer queue times make that slower.

    Just my two cents 😉

  9. Hasselblade says:


    Great site

    Looks like you are becoming a ret consultant.

    Can you have a look at my gear and advise what order I need to improve.

    I am learning here

    Thanks Hasselblade

  10. Adrian says:

    hey can u take a look at my armory, im alystus in the andorhal realm
    i want to be a PvP ret paladin
    reply soon
    -adrian (alystus)

  11. Khor says:

    Hey Adrian, I now redirect all requests for advice to my forums. Post up there and I will be glad to help!


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