Retribution Paladin FAQ 2.0

Retribution Paladin news has reached a momentary lull, and that could be a good thing, signaling we may be closer to what we can expect to see when Cataclysm goes live.  Still, there are lingering questions from Patch 4.0.1 and Cataclysm Beta that I continue to see in comments and email.

I will try to address most of the most frequent questions and concerns here:

Ret Paladin FAQ 2.0

What exactly is our specific single target FCFS rotation?

This is a far more complicated answer than you would think.  The current set-up in Patch 4.0.1 is very different than what is currently live on Beta right now.  So, if I gave you a FCFS for live servers, I would be telling you something that is going to change any day now, or at least when Cataclysm launches.  The major differences are:

  • Crusader Strike generates 115% weapon damage compared to the 150% on live servers.
  • Hammer of Wrath damage has been significantly reduced compared to live servers.
  • Zealotry no longer consumes Holy Power when used, and does not share a cooldown with Crusader Strike or Templar’s Verdict on Beta.
  • Exorcism damage has been increased.

These changes are not present on live servers, but we can expect to see them implemented within the next month or so.  However, for those that would like a current FCFS, this is the best I can give you:

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

For now, you want to use Avenging Wrath and Zealotry separately, with Avenging Wrath being used first.  Avenging Wrath FCFS generally follows:

  • HoW > TV > CS > Exo > Judge

Note that this will change when the differences in Beta hit live servers.  Hammer of Wrath may no longer take priority over Templar’s Verdict, and Exorcism may jump higher in priority with a damage increase.

For Zealotry, you use the following:

  • TV > CS >TV >TV (if Hand of Light procs) > CS

The point of all this is that everything is situational, generally reliant upon if Avenging Wrath and Zealotry are active.   My fights tend to start out waiting for 5 stacks of Seal of Truth, then popping AW and using its rotation. As soon as AW ends, I pop Zealotry and go with its own rotation.  When Zealotry is done, I spend the downtime using the normal FCFS until Avenging Wrath is available once more.

Now that I have said all that, I can 100% tell you this information will change when the Beta changes go live, and I will absolutely post up the modfied rotations as soon as I can!

I’m sick of  Haste and can I get a solid number please?

First, let me point you to my wonderfully debated Ret Paladin Haste page.  Everyone wants a haste cap number, and I can give you one:

  • 1019 haste will get you soft capped to allow Crusader Strike to fall to a 3 second cooldown.  With Divine Storm changes, haste will also affect DS in a similar manner.

Now, you can either choose to believe latency plays a part in the haste required, or not.  I completely understand if players want to play it safe and strive for the 1019 haste cap.  For myself, I know how much I lag in raids, and I choose to believe latency does play a part, even with a spell queue system in place…for now.  There are latency fixes on the way, they just aren’t implemented yet. 

I follow the formula on the Ret Haste post I made, and it has served me well so far.

Outside of raiding, no, my Crusader Strike does not reach the 3 second cooldown.  It sits comfortably at 3.86 seconds.  That’s okay, because the haste soft cap is aimed at raids, not normal play.

This will also be a subject that is bound to change when Cataclysm launches, so be sure to check back here for the latest news on WTH to do with Haste rating!

What exactly is our hit cap and expertise cap?

I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this before, and I’m pretty sure I have these linked all over my site, but just in case you might have missed them:

  • Hit Cap @ 80 – 247 Hit Rating, or 8%
  • Expertise Cap @ 80 – 23 Expertise (will be 26 again at level 85) Confirmed by Blizz.

Will you have leveling guides for Cataclysm?

Absolutely!  Although, I will be playing my main to 8,5 and focusing on end game content afterwards.  Once everything has settled down, then I will create some new Rets to help guide through the Cataclysm leveling process.

Can you please update or create new Ret PvP content?

This is my number one priority in terms of new content for this site in Cataclysm.  Honestly, I just couldn’t love Ret PvP in WotLK, strongly preferring to PvP as Holy.  If I have to tie myself to a chair and force PvP on my poor little Ret, I will do so in Cataclysm.

One thing to keep in mind is that PvP is not nearly as one-sided as PvE.  There are many, many different angles and approaches to take.  I will do my best to give you guys something more in Cataclysm!

For those of you wanting PvP info now, RetPaladin.comalways has some good insight on PvP.

Can you create a site or info on Holy and Prot?

I’d love to, and I’ve tried to get something started in the past, but time constraints have not allowed me to do so.  I work a full-time job and stay home with my kids as a stay at home dad, so my time is pretty full.  In order for me to create this site, I have to play my Paladin…heavily.  To create other sites would be simple, but I would not be able to play those other specs enough to give you what I feel is quality information.  Should this change in the future, I will be sure to let you guys know!

All that said, there may be a few pages along the way to help with off-specs…I don’t want to leave you guys completely high and dry!


  1. Naididae says:

    Actually, our rotation on beta right now is:

    Inquisition > Exorcism > HoW > TV @3 HP > CS > if time until any of the skills below is more than 1s Judge > HW > Consecration

  2. Naididae says:

    Also, if the rotation stays as it is, some modeling show crit a bit ahead of haste now, since TV lost so much of it’s importance.

  3. Khor says:

    Dead on Naididae. Inquisition isn’t available at level 80, but it does take top priority in our FCFS at 85.

    I think our stat priorities will evolve as Cataclysm progresses. I also think crit will still be best after str/hit/exp, so we’ll see!

    Exorcism is a monster in Beta from what I hear.

    I do have one quesiton for you Naididae…HoW still takes precedence over TV, even with its nerf in place?

  4. Naididae says:

    Yes, because with Inquisition it’s damage coefficients actually go back to what it is on live.

  5. Naididae says:

    Oh, and TV got nerfed as well.

  6. Khor says:

    Ah, good to know! Thank you!

  7. Palidar says:

    Thanks for all your hard work Khor. It is much appreciated.


  8. Triggap says:

    So what’s the word on Mastery? Is it worth reforging to, how much is everyone aiming for, anything we know yet?

  9. Khor says:

    @ Triggap – Mastery is not worth it at level 80. There are many players experimenting with it and stacking it instead of haste/crit. Those players do see DPS increases, but from what I’vbe seen the DPS increases don’t quite keep up with getting haste cap, then focusing on crit.

    If a player is hit/exp/haste capped and can’t reforge to crit, then mastery is the way to go 🙂

  10. Krystalle says:

    Does it matter if my CS cool-down is at 2.86sec in raids (ICC). Would it bet better off if reforge those extra Haste into Crit Rating?

  11. Naididae says:

    yes it would

  12. Krystalle says:

    Let me rephrase my question. Should I aim to reforge/enchant my CS to the lowest as possible such as to 2sec or less or would those extra Haste be a waste?

  13. Naididae says:

    If you can get it to 1.5 (lol) go for it, but since it’s impossible to get that low with gear, get to 3s + 2 times your latency (including raid buffs), and get crit, which is far more valuable than mastery and more valuable than haste after your soft cap (haste still beats mastery at this point though).

  14. Volios says:

    hey great post! just 1 question. when u said to use Zealotry after Avenging Wrath, do u mean immediately or when’s the best time for it?

  15. FatRet says:

    So to sum it up, did ret get nerfed again?
    And given the same gears and playing skills, will ret be out dps by warriors and DKs?

  16. Grinton says:

    I really appreciate the guides!
    As a note to your final point, until you have made prot and/or holy guides, could you please provide some sites you might recommend as good guides? Maybe a link paghe on your site? Please?

  17. Jolelli says:

    I don’t know if your FCFS takes threat into consideration. But I have had problems since 4.0 with stack to 5 then AW. Maybe its bad tanks, maybe its just threat is designed to be more of an issue now. For me, getting to 3 HP popping Zealotry CS>TV until Zealotry fades, then hitting AW seems to give tanks enough head start for me not to pull threat. It might not be the highest rotation, but its better than dead Ret…. lol

  18. Gwar says:

    Thanks for all the info and ret updates. Hopefully we won’t be out dps’d as much as we are now at 80 as when we hit 85. Here is a site/page for new holy.

  19. phr0stbyte says:

    I love your site. It’s the most up-to-date (always) site I’ve found for us ret pallys 🙂 Thanks a lot.

  20. Didlysquaat says:

    Hey Khor, I know allot of retribution paladins that hate the new high rng damage playstyle the ret has now, I have a talent spec that takes out high rng damage and brings back high survivability and a stable output of nice damage. This build is only ment for lvl85 though, since our burst damage compared to other players hp is really high at lvl80.
    If you would like me to share it with you e-mail me.

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