Ret Paladin FCFS Rotations

Retribution Paladins FCFS Rotation is current for Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 and Patch 4.1. Yes, Ret Paladins are still using a FCFS priority system for DPS.  It is a little more complex this time around, but still a FCFS nonetheless.  This rotation is fairly set in stone, but there could be some priority changes leading up to Cataclysm.

First, the Ret Paladin FCFS rotation is centered around Crusader Strike and Templar’s Verdict.  Crusader Strike is the best source of Holy Power, which is what Templar’s Verdict uses to deal out large chunks of damage.  The talent, Divine Purpose, also yields Holy Power from other attack sources, but at a very low % rate.

Ret Paladin FCFS Rotation at level 85:

Without Glyph of Exorcism:

  • Inq > CS> TV> HoW > Exo > Judge > HW > Cons

With Glyph of Exorcism:

  • Inq > CS> TV> Exo> HW > Judge > HW > Cons

With 3 Holy Power

  • Inquisition > TV

NOTE: Templar’s Verdict must be used with 3 charges of Holy Power, otherwise it is a DPS loss.

NOTE 2: I previously had TV above CS in terms of priority, but I think there was some confusion in terms of Holy Power generation.  If there is less than 3 Holy Power stacked, use the first two FCFS rotations.  If you have 3 Holy Power Stacked, then your world becomes one of two abilities: Inquisition and Templar’s Verdict.  Use Inquisition if it needs to be applied or refreshed, otherwise, use Templar’s Verdict.

The new mastery system and damage buff to Crusader Strike and Templar’s Verdict switches the FCFS priority system up a smidge.  Templar’s Verdict is now a high priority behind CS and Inquisition, with Crusader Strike taking precedence over everything but Inquisition to generate Holy Power, thus yielding more Templar’s Verdicts.

Glyph of Exorcism Priority Source: Elitist Jerks Retribution Concordance by Exemplar

AoE FCFS Rotation for Retribution Paladins

Using this rotation is pretty simple.  All you are doing is swapping Templar’s Verdict for Divine Storm.

  • DS > HoW > Ex> Judge > HW > Cons

Now, using this rotation should be done only if there are 5 or more mobs in one pack.  As soon as it drops below 5 mobs, using this rotation is still a DPS loss after Patch 4.0.6.  Even with Divine Storm’s damage buff, it still puts it viable at 5 mobs or greater.  The only difference comes at 4 mobs, where using single target and AoE rotations yields a very small difference in DPS numbers.  Three targets still holds true at single target FCFS.

Avenging Wrath and Zealotry

Right now, it is best to use both Avenging Wrath and Zealotry together.


  1. Stephen says:

    [quote]With Glyph of Exorcism:
    Inq > CS> TV> Exo> HW > Judge > HW > Cons[/quote]

    ok so HW is in the rotation twice is this on purpose or a typo? im quite new to all this and just wondering if i understand it right.

  2. Imrahil says:

    Thank you Khor, hadn’t really used my Pally since WoTLK, but now back up to scratch.

    Fantastic guide (on whole site).

  3. Lightpaly says:

    This might sound noobish, but what does the Ex stand for?

  4. Lyssix says:

    So, I assume that when your instant exorcism comes up, you’ll use that right away and then re-start your rotation, correct?? Or just pick up where you left off?

  5. Ninda says:

    With Glyph of Exorcism:
    Inq > CS> TV> Exo> HW > Judge > HW > Cons

    Is this wrong?
    I know Hammer of Wrath is verry hign the rotation list and can be used when popped Avenging Wrath.

    Inquisition –> Crusader strike –> Templars Verdict –> **Hammer of wrath or Holy Wrath?**

  6. Infy says:

    forgive my ignorance, but the initial Inq should be 3 stacks of HP correct? As well as TV?

  7. Cilkia says:

    hmm i don’t use AV and zealotry together, i rather wait until my fury of angerforge is ready and then use 1 of them (most of the time zealotry) together with the trinket. the other one i use to fill the place between the start and the 5 stacks of raw fury necesairy to use the trinket, together with guardian. That way i’ll always have an “extra attack” (TV with zeal and HoW with AV) and a strenght increase(trinket and guardian) it just gives me the feeling im doing the same damage ad keep it, instead of bursting really high for 20 seconds, and then dropping again. In PvP however, i tend to use it sometimes.

    never use less then 3 HP, always a waste (except if you need a REALLY fast heal with WoG, which is DPS loss anyway)

  8. Isilador says:

    @Ffont and Ninda- The latter HW in the priority system is Holy Wrath, and im assuming the first is Hammer of Wrath
    (typo I’m guessing).

    @Cilkia – It is considered a net DPS loss to use your CD’s seperately, yes your damage is less “spiky” but it is still an overall damage loss.

    To clear up some confusion I have had in the past (as well as some guild members), CS should be used every 3rd CD ideally (almost never happens due to procs and CD clashes), unless it will not generate holy power (3 holy power with a divine purpose proc).

    In Layman’s terms, dump your holy pwer so you can generate more before using a CS.

  9. VathShu says:

    I’m trying to get the rotation down and am finding that Inq is never available for a starting hit. Has this changed since your rotation listing?

  10. ds says:

    Just a note.. I’m with vath shu .. want to know why inq is listed as first and not avail now .. and y use it with only 1 hp going in? if stated earlier that 1hp is a waste? shouldn’t inq be w 3hp? having trouble with this rot also

  11. Pixin says:

    Hi. I wanted to first of all thank the people making these guides. I am not new to the game but, definitely new to paladins. I wanted to ask the creators of these guides to give an abbreviation deciphering key…Is it somewhere on the site and I missed it? I am so confused with the Paladin spells since they all have very similar names that it would be grand if there was some way to know what each was in the rotation. Just a key at the introduction part of this article. Yes some are obvious…but not all have played paladin before… thanks in advance.

  12. Achiiles says:

    Im playing retri and i found that using zel and inq with ancet kings give more dps/dmg then AV with kings. just a tip 😛 Also keep in mind u can do 2 TV meanwile the inq ticks down 3 time u get 3 HP u need to hit the inq again got 34 sec on inq so 2 TV and third time HP is up to 3 u must hit inq unless u procc on instant 3 HP.

  13. Sniffler says:

    @ ds and VathShu, this isn’t a rotation, it’s a priority list…

    @ Pixin… HP – Holy Power, TV – Templars Verdict, CS – Crusader Strike, Inq – Inquisition, DS – Divine Storm, HW – Holy Wrath, Exo – Exorcism, HoW – Hammer of Wrath, DG – Divine Guardian, AW – Avenging Wrath, Zeal – Zealotry, Cons – Consecration, J – Judgement…

    I think that’s everything,
    Just so you know, this priority list is not updated for 4.3, especially when you get 2 piece set bonus from Tier 13, judgement becomes a much higher priority because it generates 1 holy power.

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