Ret Paladins Patch 4.0.3a

Cataclysm is about to get underway with Patch 4.0.3a.  Retribution Paladins are going to notice several changes specifically targeted towards their class and spec, and will notice some other changes as well.

What’s important, is that most of our spells and abilities remain intact, and mostly untouched.  Nothing drastic has been implemented that would completely shake things up.

Here are some additional changes that are note-worthy:

  • Talent Trees for Paladins will be reset due to several talent changes.
  • Tauren Paladins will be available for creation!

Specifically, here is what Ret Paladins can expect to see with Patch 4.0.3a:

Paladin General

  • Exorcism damage has been increased by approximately 50%.
  • Holy Radiance now has reduced effectiveness on targets over 8 yards away from the paladin.
  • Seal of Truth: Periodic damage from Censure reduced by 25%.


  • Crusade now also has a proc on kill to increase the healing done by the paladin’s next Holy Light by 100/200/300% for 15 seconds, in addition to its current effects.
  • Divine Storm: This ability has been redesigned. It no longer consumes Holy Power and instead costs 5% of base mana. It shares a cooldown with Crusader Strike and hits all nearby enemies for 60% weapon damage.
  • Pursuit of Justice now has an 8-second internal cooldown, shared with Blessed Life.
  • Rebuke no longer initiates Auto Attack.
  • Sanctity of Battle now also causes Divine Storm’s cooldown to be reduced by Haste effects.
  • Zealotry no longer consumes 3 Holy Power, but still requires 3 Holy Power to use.


  • Glyph of Divinity has been redesigned. It now grants the paladin 10% of maximum mana upon use.


Exorcism damage has been increased again, making it a monster of an attack when Art of War procs.  This could very liekly move Exorcism up in priority in our FCFS rotations.

Seal of Truth

The damage reduction to Censure is puzzling, especially at 25%. However, this is highly unlikely to make or break our DPS, so I’m not too concerned.  The buff to Exorcism is strong enough to warrant some relief.

Divine Storm

Oh my oh my!  Divine Storm changes are great, and I believe on the beta servers the damage has been increased even further to 80%.  Divine Storm will be completely spammable, although it comes at the cost of Losing Crusader Strike, since they will both be on the same cooldown.  Sanctity of Battle will enable haste to affect Divine Storm at the same rate as Crusader Strike, so you definitely will have to choose which one to use.


The argument on whether or not to include Rebuke in FCFS rotations is officially dead.  Since it cannot initiate an auto-attack, no more speculation!


A great change in that it no longer consumes the 3 Holy Power, however it doesn’t weigh heavily enough to push Zealotry past Avenging Wrath in importance…yet.  I have afeeling Blizz is far from done with AW and Zealotry, so this is just the first stepping stone along a much larger path.


  1. Zonama says:

    I Find Myself Not Using Divine Storm Anymore…..Idk If Thats A Bad Thing But I Single Target And My Damage Is Awesome And I Just Dont Know Why Blizz Is Changing Us So Khor Over All Is The Patch Gunna Help Or Hurt Us Pallys?

  2. Khor says:

    This will help. Divine Storm was pretty much a bust when it could only be used at 3 stacks of Holy Power. This will really help bump up our AoE damage. it won’t be where it was at in WotLK, but it will be better by leaps and bounds when compared to the 4.0.1 changes.

  3. Zonama says:

    So Advice Would Be To Use It When In Large Pulls? And Crusader Strike Will Still Proc Templars Verdict Correct?

  4. Khor says:

    Indeed, and I just put a Divine Storm post up as well 🙂

  5. Zonama says:

    Thanks Khor It Helped Im Glad Your Here To Guide Us Up Through Recount!

  6. Milos says:

    You missed all the nerfs.
    Crusader Strike is down to 115% from 150% – huge nerf.
    Hammer of Wrath is nerfed for almost 30%.
    Protector of the Innocent no longer triggers from self-heals. – huge PvP nerf.

  7. Milos says:

    On the positive side, you also missed cleanse buf ;).

  8. Khor says:

    @ Milos – Yeah, I’m waiting to make sure they are actually in before I post them…haven’t seen the changes on the official notes yet. Want to make sure before I post them up 🙂

  9. Empact says:

    With the changes and what not, is there a new Spec you suggest?

  10. muntzz says:

    I hope our single target stays the same. I’m hitting 15k in ICC and 10-12k on Hallion. Our AoE completely sucks up until now, but hopefully we see a boost. It’s weird going from the top 5 (sometimes top) in single target DPS and then drop to the bottom on trash packs.

  11. Fulgora says:

    I like the changes to Seal of Truth. Here’s my problem right now:

    Tank runs in and starts tanking. I count to five. I /dance with the raid boss. Go make a sammich. Read Khor’s site. Come back and Judge to run in fast, I pop AW and HoW my way to glory. Then I am right on the tank for threat at this point. I HoSal myself(and it’s glyphed too). Sooner or later, often sooner, I am right on the tank’s butt again for threat. I bubble, drop threat, cancel aura, go back. Then crit, crit, crit ZOMG I am back at the tank’s level for threat. I stop attacking. Censure keeps ticking. I am now tanking. Happened last night in Ony and in OS. In ICC it is not this bad, as my guild’s DK tank is awesome, but PuG pally tanks? No, I only fight for about half of the battle.

  12. 4.0.3a sux says:

    Huge nerf on CS… my CS cri avg is to 6k from 8.2k (5.7k gs ret pal)

  13. Creamyo says:

    Fulgora, I understand your pain, I have to wait like 10seconds on LK and the spirits cause of the threat pull, It’s so annoying, And the WORST THING IS

    Also if somebody can link me to the new meta gem cause I’m using “chaotic skyflare diamond?” now and it says
    “More blue than red gems” WTF?//

  14. Milos says:

    It’s now official.
    CS is nerfed to 120% (from 150%). HoW is nerfed for at least 30%.
    TV is also nerfed despite the tooltip.
    SoT is nerfed. Only Exo is buffed.
    Overall ret is at least 20% down with damage.
    And than locks cry for their 12% over the board.
    Blizzard is just ridiculous and ppl saying things will balance at 85 are nothing but suckers!

  15. Sith says:

    I’m seeing the same thing…it seems were lacking in most areas now, just mediocre. With all the new gear, gems, lvling, ect coming up this should make up for what were seeing now, all this looks to be another temporary set back.

  16. Christolight says:

    I ran ICC25 with my Guild last night and I too noticed a 25%-30% drop in Boss DPS ….shoulda rolled a Warrior 🙁

  17. paul says:

    so this patch realy sucks deep, wy ? we can burst any decent dps out,
    before this patch iam doing about 7 – 11,5k on the dummy, now i do on the dummy not more then 3k yes 3k ! wy ? where totaly nerft,
    i am pissed of excorsim dont work always a miss , alot parry dand dodge , i dont had that befor, randon HC i dit 7 -7.5 k
    now not more then 3k no blizzard this is the way, you make a hell of a game but to fast to deploy somting what not working properly, and as extra no more portals ,we are going back in time this way , so iam not pleased and happy with this
    also hopes that in future days like the patch befor improvemnts for the ret pala’s , divine storm is a laugh share cooldowm with cs ??

    sorry that i am so negative but thats the way it is

  18. paul says:

    so this patch realy sucks deep, wy ? we cant burst any decent dps out,
    before this patch iam doing about 7 – 11,5k on the dummy, now i do on the dummy not more then 3k yes 3k ! wy ? where totaly nerft,
    i am pissed of excorsim dont work always a miss , alot parry dand dodge , i dont had that befor, randon HC i dit 7 -7.5 k
    now not more then 3k no blizzard this is the way, you make a hell of a game but to fast to deploy somting what not working properly, and as extra no more portals ,we are going back in time this way , so iam not pleased and happy with this
    also hopes that in future days like the patch befor improvemnts for the ret pala’s , divine storm is a laugh share cooldowm with cs ??

    sorry that i am so negative but thats the way it is

  19. Gravetender says:

    Ret Paladins got rolled over in this patch, we create more threat than Deathwing himself without the added edge of causing enough damage to counter this. The shared CD of CS and DS is ridiculous, i added CS back to test it out and it is still a dead talent dont waste a point on it, every time you use it you are destroying the CS and HP build to make actual dps.

    Ret Pala in PvP is well pretty much a target without a healer buffing you whilst you try to get 3hp and proximity to target, AW HoW is great but during the cooldown on it i think just hide because you are no danger to anything except your own repair bill. I seem to find the almost constant silences and stuns mess more heavily with our class than any other, every second silenced is more time you are target no1 on the bg. To make our dire situation even worse the Mages, DK’s and Priests and Shammies seem to be having a faceroll time in PvP and raid damage meters… and they seem to be getting buffed as we are nerfed further, i can only summise that Blizz doesnt play a Ret Palla.

    Overall i think the changes to Ret are all damaging to the classes long term existence in Cata, Blizz bleeds on about Balance but it seems that they must be weighing a different version of balance than the dictionary prescribes. Our raid positions are already becoming doubtful with only decent damage on static bosses and even this doesnt compare to other classes that out perform us in aoe, PvP we are nerfed to oblivion.

    I love my Ret, but it is wasted time and effort playing a class that even with perfect timing and skill you are going to be substandard, for that reason i quit the game for a while to wait and see if any further changes are implemented.

  20. lordmogg says:

    @ Fulgora – I have the exact same problem. But I don’t even bother with the bubble or HoSal anymore. My damage is so high sometimes, over such a short period of time that I always end up having the highest threat. sometimes I die other times the tank can keep up. sometimes the healer saves me. but what I do find is the boss tends to do a funny dance between me and the tank and a lot of the time cant attack because they are too busy trying to decide who to attack 😉

    these changes will be old in a few weeks time and there will be more changes. We will either get buffed or nerfed. It’s the way of it. But as Gravetender simply states. If its not enjoyable then many rets will stop playing. Unless you only enjoy the levelling / questing aspect of the game then end game is a bit disappointing.

    My ret is my main. I have it at a decent gear and Tear set up. jemmed and enchanted to the eyeballs. I can easily hit 11 – 15 k dps in raids. it has taken me an age to get to this place but if from what im reading we have been knocked back down again I may stop playing it myself and get my mage up and running instead. shame really.

    I know not everyone can be pleased. But I thought the testing in the Beta servers is the reason for ironing out things. Its like fixing a broken bone with just a band aid, realising it isn’t working then shoving another one on top. When in reality is should of just been fixed properly before release in the first place. that’s the idea of testing surely.

    I’ve not had a chance to play since I downloaded all the new items. I’ve done a couple of pilgrim achieves and hopefully ill get to king talan ikriss (sp) with me hat and robe on for another one later today. wife willing. But for some reason even though the new changes to the world are fantastic and exciting I feel a little less excited about playing it on my main. shame really.

  21. Morgan says:

    can’t say I really like the way things are, myself…
    I’m not testing in raid at the moment, since I’ve had enough of re-tuning my char every week… I’ll wait something solid to work on for further tests (for what it could matter, I’m around 6050/6100 GS on both PvP and PvE sets).

    I have to admit that PvP now has returned to be a pain, almost like it was on the first steps of tbc, when the standard sentence I heard was something like “retribution? AHAHAHAH respec holy”. Burst is gone unless using Wings/HoW combo, I almost can’t damage several classes: being kited to death, cced or overhealed is the standard(priest and mages as usual, not to mention druids and rogues… damn, rogues were my favourite dish in WOTLK bgs). I find the so long whished kick almost useless, as 80% of heals used in pvp are instacast or too quick to be effectively kicked (I’ve had lots of pvp with more than decent results, not a genius of course, but I’ve always been able to kick when needed… and now this happens almost… uhu… never… when I could kick I’m usually cced, stunned, distanced, freezed, dazed, confused… )

    What to say? last season, retries were really over the top in BGs and almost sucking in Arenas, where the big deal was. Now the top PvP will be BGs… and we’re nerfed here… someone has to be laughing heavily at us, in a dark corner of Blizzard palace 😐

    And requiring more blue than reds on our most common meta, sounds really, really like a bad tasted joke -.-“

  22. Fulgora says:

    I haven’t noticed a huge difference in DPS in a PvE environment since the patch. I mean, nothing to make me want to buy emo music and a box of razors, and to spam the “Q” and “shift + 1” keys all over every forum that’ll accept my post. I am still competative, and with the RNG on my side I can sometimes outshine better geared players and – to be honest – I’m not that great of a player. :/ I still peak at 9 – 11k on average five man bosses when I blow all CDs and level off at 8 – 10 k on ICC boss fights with the buff.

    I am not much of a PvPer but I get by. Usually the only PvP I do is defending myself against would-be gankers. Human racial + wings + HoW stops most, then add in HoJ and Bubble, well… Let’s put it this way, while in Gilneas my resto druid got flagged by running through Horde territory earlier. A tauren warrior ganked her – total blue wall. So I popped wings, two-shotted him, then I CS/Word of Glory my way to victory through his mage and rogue buddies. I admit, it was not like they were an arena team and working well together but neither am I.

    On the topic of class DPS though, Blizz said (somewhere along the lines concerning Cata rebalancing) that hybrid DPS classes (DKs, warriors, paladins, shaman, druids, etc…) aren’t supposed to do (ideally) the same level of DPS as a pure DPS class (mage, lock, rogue, hunter). Not sure if they are sticking to that. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind a bit of a nerf in exchange for utility and having that utility be… you know… useful. With class homogenization, and the “bring the player not the class” mentality, I doubt any class will offer any real utility unique to them. My main was a hunter, and I prided myself on trapping and kiting from zombie chow to Faction Champions to the Blood Beasts, back when… you know… it was bad for melee to AOE them down. XD

  23. towelyey says:

    Hey there ret bros, i was just wondering if rebuke still has a chance to generate holy power, in other words, do we still macro all our attacking spells?

    p.s Keep up the good work 🙂

  24. charmy says:

    All about balance? Ret, pallies are back to vanilla. (lfm except rets). Rdps have been buffed while rets continue to be nerfed. If they wanted balance, they should of left pallies alone.Our burst damage is so over the top even seasoned tank’s shiver at the sight of pallies.
    If we wanted combo we would of rolled a rogue. In pve it matters not due to constant battle, however in pvp stop/starts reduce our mellee class to clothies. Its time blizz got fair dinkum and understood the constant stuffing around of players toons will drive players away.

    Soz had to get that off my chest. Now back to post. while exo has been buffed if your considering adding to so called left hand rotaion, its still in combo class (right hand mouse fcfs) due to cast time. im currently leading in with judge Cs and plausing b4 Hw. Plausing b4 Hw to allow tank get aggro and to stack tanks stun affect on mobs. only using Ds on mobs and as filler in fcfs. Reforging haste at 80 is delicate but achievable to acceptable 3 attack speed. marco’ing Dp and zeal helps heaps. i also have How on middle mouse key just for fun. hope this helps. C

  25. Astraphos says:

    Couple of points here:

    1). HoW was totally OP, and as much as it hurts me to say it, the nerf had to happen.

    2). There’s too much focus on lvl 80 dps figures; essentially, Rets were given a tremendous boost to single-targets in 4.0.1. In reality, now 4.0.3a has hit, we are still doing more damage on single-targets than in 3.3.5 (although substantially less than in the previous patch).

    3). Some people are completely dismissing the concept of appropriate scaling. Looking at the changes to Exo and HW in particular, spell scaling (especially at 85) seems to provide a more tangible means of achieving higher dps rather than straight base value increases.

    4). PVP for ret has been seriously hurt by 4.0.3a, from both a burst damage perspective and self-healing point of view. Then again, the buff to the Crusader talent may somewhat negate the nerf to the Protector of the Innocent talent.

    All in all, although a little disappointed with the noticeable damage reduction, I do believe that at 85 the Ret build will be a feasible dps spec in PVE. In regards to PVP, I think Blizz have been too quick to make the cuts to really appreciate the knock on effect (especially all levels leading up to 85).

    Just my 2 cents 🙂


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