Ret Paladin Talent Tree Leveling Guide

retribution paladin talent treeLeveling as a Retribution Paladin is easy and loads of fun.  I have had several requests for a guide on what talents to take when leveling a Paladin, so this will remedy my lack of information on the subject.  The Retribution Talent Tree is very straight forward at first, and you have 5 main goals:

  1. Divine Storm @ Level 29
  2. Art of War @ Levels 31, 33, 35
  3. Seals of Command @ Level 39
  4. Divine Purpose @ Levels 49, 51
  5. Zealotry @ Level 69

The idea is to take the Ret Tree straight away without dipping into any of the other trees so you can obtain these top 5 talents as soon as they are available.  There are a couple useful talents that will be bypassed in the process, but can be saved until later due to the increased utility of the other abilities.

Starting Out

When setting out upon Azeroth as a brand new Level 1 Paladin, you must battle and quest your way to Level 10 before you gain access to the Paladin Talent Trees.  At Level 10 you get 1 Talent Point to spend.  From this point on, every two levels, you will get one additional point to spend.

Now, the fun part.  Here is Khor’s Detailed Guide to the Ret Paladin Talent Tree for Leveling.  Keep in mind the path I will take through the tree has LEVELING as the primary focus, not maximized endgame DPS.  However, they are pretty much the same with Patch 4.0.1 and Cataclysm Ret Talent Tree changes.

Levels 10, 11, 13
Crusade – 3/3

Increases damage of Crusader’s Strike and Templar’s Verdict by 10/20/30%.  This is a no-brainer and a monstrous boost to our leveling damage.

Levels 15, 17
Improved Judgement – 2/2

Better than the other alternative at this tier, Improved Judgement helps with fleeing mobs now that Hand of Reckoning provides no damage.

Levels 19, 21, 23
Rule of Law
– 3/3

Increases crit of Crusader Strike by 15% at full rank.  You take this over the movement speed talent first, because at 20 you are mounted anyways, so speed is not a major concern.

Level 25, 27
Pursuit of Justice – 2/2

Movement speed increase by 15%.  That’s huge for leveling purposes, and can also help with PvP while leveling.

Level 29
Divine Storm – 1/1

Divine Storm is a must at 29, making it a must-have for AoE pack killing.  At this point, killing mobs solo is a major time drain.  Three to four mobs minimum at this point in the game.

Levels 31, 33, 35
Art of War – 3/3

Every talent on this tier could be a viable choice here, but making Exorcism instant, free, and deal an extra 100% damage is top priority after Divine Storm. Exorcism now is a viable part of your leveling arsenal, whereas it was a hinderance prior to 4.0.1.

Level 37
Communion – 1/1

Mana replenishment, great for 5-mans and leveling.

Level 39
Seals of Command
– 1/1

Still my favorite talent of all time.  Combine with AoE powerhouses Consecration and Divine Storm and you are a one-man wrecking crew.  A must have as soon as it is available

Level 41
Sanctity of Battle – 1/1

Haste lowers the Crusader Strike cooldown.  Since Crusader Strike is our bread and butter attack, this talent is crucial to leveling and end-game content.

Level 43
– 1/1

Getting a new taste of our new and improved interrupt.  Prior to Rebuke, all we had was Hammer of Justice.  Now, we can silence those casters as we close in!  Very useful in both PvE and PvP.

Levels 45, 47
Long Arm of the Law – 2/2

Head back up the talent tree to grab LAotL.  Improved Judgement helps this become as close to a gap closer as we will get.

Levels 49, 51
Divine Purpose
– 2/2

Giving the majority of our other attacks a chance to generate Holy Power.  Quicker kills says the Ret Paladin.

Levels 53, 55, 57
Sanctified Wrath
– 3/3

A useful talent on many fronts.  While this is a better talent for end-game content, it still is very useful for leveling.  Lower CD on AW, as well as the ability to use Hammer of Wrath for the duration of AW.  Great for tackling high level mobs.

Levels 59, 61, 63
Inquiry of Faith
– 3/3

The best benefit here will be from more than doubling Inquisitions duration.

Level 65
– 1/1

Taking Repentance here is more because of lack of options.  Leveling, we probably won’t need this.  Dungeons while leveling…probably won’t need this.  Can see use in PvP.

Levels 67
Acts of Sacrifice
– 1/2

Taking this for lack of better options.  Quicker Hand of Freedoms will be big in PvP, and may serve some utility in PvE as well for leveling purposes.

Level 69
– 1/1

The granddaddy of Ret Talents.  For those intense fights and large packs needing AoE, this will keep Holy Power topped off.  Perfect timing as you get ready to enter Northrend for leveling.

Levels 71, 73
Seals of the Pure
– 2/2 (Protection Tree)

12% damage buff to Seal of Righteousness (our main leveling seal).  ‘Nuff said.

Level 75, 77, 79
Judgements of the Pure
– 3/3 (Holy Tree)

Taking this first for the 9% haste, which is constant in combat so long as Judgement is being used.

Level 81, 82
Arbiter of the Light
– 2/2 (Holy Tree)

Crit % increase for Judge and Templar’s Verdict.  A very nice support buff for our DPS.

Levels 83, 84
Blazing Light
– 2/2 (Holy Tree)

A strong buff for Exorcism.  Since it is now a normal part of our DPS rotations, this is a great talent to grab as we near 85.

Level 85
Acts of Sacrifice – 2/2

Really the only option left.  We could dabble in buffing our Word of Glory, but that is more suited to PvP.

Talent Trees

Here is what the talent trees should look like at:


Hope this helps for any of you leveling a Ret Pally.  Again, for me, this is my optimal route to take in the Retribution Talent Tree.  It allows for faster leveling, high DPS, low downtime, and low travel time.

If you want to carve out your own path in the talent tree, by all means go ahead.  There is no right or wrong here, because playstyles are unique to each person.  Just have fun, and enjoy leveling your Retribution Paladin!


  1. incrusiable says:

    ive been fathoming creating a new pally but i sorta want a cow pally so i have been putting it off then i was thinking about making an alliance toon but im afraid of doing that because i will have no cash to work with and i havent lvled a toon on another server or faction with nbo cash in forever i was thinking of doing an alli dk a couple of times jsut to get like 100 gold that i can work with but that takes forever to do i would really like to make another one now though since i lvled back when pallies sucked big ones lol i mean i was 65 when patch 3.0 hit and made us awesome plus in lvling my first pally i had no clue what i was doing gear wise so i know it would be alot faster then the first time what do you think i should do?

  2. Khor says:

    I would say only level a pally if your heart is in it. If your mind is telling you that having enough gold to level plays a part, then you should listen to that, because there are times when frustration leads to discouragement, which leads to abandoned toons!

    Personally, I am getting the itch to level another Paladin, but I am resisting the urge and trying to wait until Cataclysm.

    Heirloom gear also plays a big part for me in my decision making. Heirloom gear and all BoA items can now go cross faction, so making another toon might be easier that way, too.

    Heh, I guess just do what you want to do. If you want to make another Pally, give it a purpose. Be it an alt, bank toon, gatherer, crafter, mule, PvP twink…whatever. That way you have a goal. I won’t make a toon unless they have a purpose.

    Mmmm…I just had an idea. Jotting that one down.

  3. incrusiable says:

    yah i mean i jsut got my second toon to 80 (druid) and was working on my rogue now got him to 450 engineering and his herbalism is getting up to 450 so that i can amke darkmoon cards for cash i litteraly got 450 about 5 mins ago but ive been itching to make a second pallie since first time around i was a complete noob about it

  4. Sion, Laughing Skull EU says:

    I do like the plate wearing classes and whilst the Paladin was great to level I’ve always been a secret fan of the DK. I’m trying not to fall into the rutt of having too many alt chars and whilst I still have a 70 Rogue, Shammy and Warrior, the Pally (Pandorum) is giving me enough satisfaction… in fact i’m about to start the 20 day quest chain for the Venomhide Raptor mount.

    Here’s my things todo:

    Obtain Netherwing Drake, Shatari Skyguard mount, Sea turtle … as well as gear up all specs. Plenty to do and my internet is finally getting switched on 19th 🙂

  5. incrusiable says:

    well in the end i made a human paladin but see im one of those kinds of people that likes all of wow including pve AND pvp so i like to pvp when not raiding or lvling and since you can lvl from pvp i do it alot

    i got into wsg at lvl 16 and im buffing everyone in the room and this weird fealing came over me like it was wrong that i was doing this lol call it stupid or whatever but that made me delete him and jsut make a blood elf pallie already got it up to lvl 13 in 2 hours (minus the 45 minuets it took me to get from silvermoon all the way to orgrimmar to get axe training lol

  6. Sion, Laughing Skull EU says:

    Horde all the way 😉

    Khor, you need to get some kind of forum that we can spam to talk about our anticts outside of the topic.

    Levelling has been made so easy these days; quest helping, pvp xp and the rest I am glad though because its more likely new players will stick with the game.

  7. Khor says:

    Haha, I’m itching to start a new Paladin, but I’m controlling myself until Cataclysm.

    I have forums plans underway, but there is another particular ret site that has forums as well. I am trying to maintain a casual hardcore focus, with the potential forums serving as a helpful guide. I want players to feel comfortable asking questions and seeking advice without fear of getting flamed or shot down. That may require some persistent moderator duties on my part, but that’s the plan 🙂

  8. incrusiable says:

    well i have moded on other forums before and i check this site at least once everyday so i could help out with that if needed……also when you make your tauren pally are you gonna make him on shadowsong? if not what server where you thinking of?

  9. Halitoo says:

    looking for a realm suggestion, as well as a class to go with it. any inputs appreciated. also looking for a group to lvl with. thanks

  10. Kaxafir says:

    I got a pal at lvl 22, i hate lvling, but i’m lvling as prot, got healer and dps talents in there.
    I can link my specc if anyone is instancers :p just like me.

    I wear the healing mace ( to tank with, i tried 2 dungeons, one with healing mace, one with DPS mace.
    (Links for maces)
    (Healer mace: Enchant: 22int)
    (DPS mace: Enchant: 15 agi)

    After some time, i concluded, whatever i did, i was laying nr 1 on dmg, and with the healing mace, i still had alot of mana to work with, it was pretty nice, the DPS hammer want you to drink the whole time. And with the specc (look above) i can que for tank / heal / DPS, after a half min, maximum, you got a que.

    Kaxafir of Earthen Ring ( warr and main )
    Fiercé (pala) (Armory link: COMES LATER ARMORY IS DOWN )

  11. Kaxafir says:

    Sorry for doubleposting, but, i done anything wrong in the overstanding?
    talents, weapon etc? because i’m really courious about the paladin and the speccs, i leveled as warr, i was nub, but i could still write “Can i have a boost” Anyhow, I need to get my things fixed and ready to go.

    1 question, I can level as prot and still heal and DPS?

    2 question, Is prot instanceleveling any good? or is it just something i tell myself?

    3 question, I’m doing 50 DPS overall whole instance, i done ca 40k DMG (ca 50% of all DMG) on 1/3 part of the instance, is it a good sign or?

    4, i played pala on a friends account, i must say, i suck at tanking at lvevel 80, but PvE and PvP healing i’m pretty strong, at level 22 i’m good at tanking and bad on healing (I got 30 spellpower or so) What does it mean?

    Kaxafir of Earthen Ring 🙂

  12. Khor says:

    @ kaxafir – My goodness! Looks like there’s alot to respond to! I am going to direct you to my new forums to post for help there! Just copy and paste what you wrote here in a new thread on the forums, and in the meantime, I’ll start formulating a response 🙂

    Right now the only link to the forums is in my navigation menu up top, but you can click here too if you would like: Ret Paladin Forums.

  13. Sheadow says:

    Hey, I just wanted to post this. Pulling 1.4k dps as ret in BC regular dungens at level 64. Awesome changes to the ret paladin. I have been playing WoW since vanilla, and finally decided to get into the paladin.

  14. MattyP says:

    Man this is f*cking awesome! haha, I’ve been pondering over my first Ret Pally and this is a great help out 😉


  1. […] Ret Paladin Talent Tree Leveling Guide | Retribution Paladins – WoW […]

  2. […] Paladin Leveling Guide Ret Paladin Talent Tree Leveling Guide | Retribution Paladins – WoW ~ This site has all the information you need to know… don't know about anyone else, but I have […]

Speak Your Mind