Paladin 31 Point Talent Tree and More!

(Updating continuously throughout the day!)

Update 1 – Check out MMO Champion for all the details on these changes!  I am working on links here, as well as my take on the initial changes.  WoWhead has not updated the info yet, but MMO Champion is current for those wondering.

Update 2 – Still working on this from work.  Sorry guys, slow in progress!  Hopefulyl most of you have seen the trees by now!  Pretty impressive.  I feel pretty fortunate.  One of my Hunter friends is grumbling over their changes.

The new Cataclysm Beta build is up (12479), and with it comes the 31-point talent trees!  Also, picking a tree at level 10 yields some powerful bonuses!  I have to admit, they took every powerful Ret talent we have and crammed them into the 31-point tree!   Lots of fat was trimmed.  It looks awesome! 

The only info I am not for sure on at this time is how often we gain talent points.  I assume it’s close to every other level, otherwise we’d be able to fill out two complete trees for one spec.  Hope to have concrete info on this soon.

So what is new?  Well, just about everything!  First, let’s take a look at the abilties and talents we get as Ret Paladins once we choose the Ret tree at level 10  Choosing a specific tree is as simple as placing your first talent point into the tree you want to level up as.

Level 10 Talents

Acquired skills given automatically when the Retribution tree is chosen.

  • Divine Storm
  • Sheath of Light
  • Two-handed Weapon Specialization
  • Divine Purpose

Divine Storm – Well, it looks like this is back on the table again at level 10.  I’m hesitant to even comment on this because it could get taken right back out given recent posts by Ghostcrawler.  I mean, who knows at this point.  It is Beta after all.  If it stays, then this will definitely help with leveling, as AoE grinding will be a-plenty.  It still doesn’t even come close to making this viable for single target rotations in end-game content.  I’m not sure it’s anything more than a mana sink at earlier levels even, in regards to single targets.  That all depends on how powerful the rest of our attacks are.

Sheath of Light – At level 10, this isn’t nearly as powerful as it will be once Art of War is obtained.  Art of War now lies in the 3rd tier of the Ret tree, so this will play a heavier role at the level.  When Holy Light becomes instant with Art of War, the healing effect of this is likely to be utilized much more often.

2H Specialization – Extra 6% damage bonus with 2-handers at level 10.  Yes please.

New Ret Paladin 31-Point Talent Tree

MMO Champion has the new 31-point trees online, checkout the Ret tree HERE!

Also, here is my current set-up were Cataclysm to go live tomorrow: Ret Paladin Cataclysm Talent Tree
Notice I opted for 5% extra crit on Judgement from Sanctified Light instead of Repentance.  That may change, we will see how useful Repentance becomes in lvl 85 end-game content.

Tier 1

  • Improved Judgements
  • Heart of the Crusader
  • Crusade

Improved Judgements – Stays the same by reducing cast time by 2 seconds.  Down from Tier 2.

Heart of the Crusader – Stays the same by increasing crit chance on Judgement affected targets by 3%.  Down from Tier 2.

Crusade  – The first huge change!  Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and Hammer of the Righteous damage increased by 5/10/15%.  The additional 15% damage against humanoids, dragonkin, demons, undead, and elementals more than DOUBLES its original buff (up from a total 6%).  Looks like this will be my talent to invest in when leveling a new Paladin!  Down from Tier 4.  Already a significant boost to Crusader Strike, helping pave the road to Divine Storm recovery!

Tier 2

  • Eye for an Eye
  • Righteous Vengeance
  • Pursuit of Justice

Eye for an Eye – New talent, same name.  Attacks made against you have a 5/10% chance to proc your judgement.  Probably good for PvP.  Not seeing any PvE benefit here.  At least nothing that supercedes other talents.  Down from Tier 4.

Righteous Vengeance – Stays the same at a 10/20/30% damage increase, but adds Hammer of the Righteous to Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, and Judgement.  Dropping all the way from Tier 10 to Tier 2 is huge, and will immediately make a huge impact for leveling purposes.  It also makes it possible to dip into from the Protection Tree.

Pursuit of Justice – Increases movement speed by 15% which is the same, but the current version loses the 25% duration reduction from disarming abilities.  Not a huge loss.  We still have our movement speed, which has proven very valuable as boss fights have become frequently mobile.  Down from Tier 3.

Tier 3

  • Judements of the Wise
  • Art of War
  • Seals of Retribution

Judgements of the Wise – One of my favorite talents.  Stays the same for now.  Down from Tier 7.

Art of War – Holy Light instant cast instead of Flash of Light!  Yes please!  Actually, I think Blizzard had to do this to compensate for the gobs of stamina they are throwing on gear.  Otherwise, staying the same.  The only way to make Exorcism instant.  Down from Tier 7.

Seals of Retribution – Goodbye Seal of Command!  Damaging Seals now deal an additional 15% weapon damage each time you swing, and Seal of Righteousness now hits up to 2 additional targets.  Oh me oh my!  Blizz had 2 seals that essentially performed the same task.  Seal of Command gets wiped out, and now Seal of Righteousness stands alone.  It fills the SoC void by hitting just as many targets via the talent.  Still only works with melee attacks.

Tier 4

  • Swift Retribution
  • Fanaticism

Swift Retribution – Auras increase haste by 7/14/20%.  Big boost from our current version.  Remains to be seen how viable haste is in Cataclysm.  Could be a huge buff.  Could be medicore.  I’m hoping for huge.

Fanaticism – Stays the same by increasing Judgement crit chance by 18% and reducing threat by 30%.

Tier 5

  • Repentance
  • Sanctified Retribution
  • Sanctified Wrath

Repentance – Staying the same.  Paladin version of  Sheep.

Sanctified Retribution – Staying the same.  Retribution Aura increased by 50%, and all damage by players affected by your Auras increased by 3/6/9%.

Sanctified Wrath – Still give Ret Aura a 50% damage increase and 60 second decrease on Avenging Wrath cooldown.  What’s NEW: When Avenging Wrath is active, Hammer of Wrath may be used as if target was below 20% HP.  What’s GOING AWAY: When affected by Avenging Wrath, 25% of damage bypasses damage reduction effects.  Not sure if this balances out, because I can’t really tell if the amount of damage getting through on the previous effect is greater or less than the damage done by Hammer of Wrath (Might get 3 or 4 in during AW if it takes priority).  This is a great move by Blizz giving us situational rotations, even if it is only during Avenging Wrath.  We’ll see if the numbers work out in our favor.

Tier 6

  • Conviction
  • Sanctity of Battle

Conviction – Vengeance has been renamed Conviction.  Same spell, different name.  Gives you a 1% bonus to Physical and Holy damage you deal for 30 sec after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell, or ability.  This effect stacks up to 3 times.

Sanctity of Battle – The 3% increase to crit is gone, as is the 15% damage increase to Crusader Strike (see Crusade above).  Exorcism gets a boost from 15% damage increase to 20%, and also reduces cooldown by 4 seconds.  Essentially, the other buffs got thrown in to other talents, so not really losing anything.  The damage increase is nice, but the 4 seconds off the cooldown adds a nice mix to our rotations, even when it is not affected by Art of War.  Mroe to come on how Exorcism factors into our rotations.

Tier 7

  • Divine Retribution

Divine Retribution – No info available yet.


  1. Ronark says:

    Holy Shock has gone back to being a Holy-only ability. Also, the “Divine Purpose” gained at level 10 is NOT the one we have in our current Talent Tree- Instead, this version grants 2% MAX mana back every 1 second.

  2. Khor says:

    Hey Ronark, you’re right. I remember seeing the Holy Shock change, but I guess I didn’t remember it when I was posting. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Cloud says:

    Man, I REALLY want to see what exactly Divine Retribution is. I would imagine it will be another simple move to keep up our single target damage, but I can always hope for some amazing effect to go along with it lol

  4. Alledar says:

    I was just surprised when i looked over the trees to see that Improved Crusader Strike has become a deep Protection talent instead of in the ret tree but i absolutely love the new change to Sanctified Wrath “while under the effects of Avenging Wrath you may use Hammer of Wrath as if the target had 20% or less health.” Looks to be a promising talent tree!

  5. Lucrecio says:

    E4E would be pretty interesting for Prot Pallies though (had GC not already said they´re changing it).

  6. Kirono says:

    Just a tidbit, is that talents are gained on the odd levels when you’re not receiving new spells. That way each level feels like something special.


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