Retribution Paladin PvP Gems

As a Retribution Paladin in the PvP arena, gems are a crucial part of your arsenal.  I have seen Ret Paladins gemming everything from strength, to pure crit, strength and haste, to even intellect and spellpower for PvP.  It’s a melting pot of gem preferences out there.  So what gems are best for Ret Paladins in PvP?

First, let me tell you I have scoured Elitist Jerks, the WoW forums, Arena Junkies, and as many other WoW sites as I could, and have had to sort through a bunch of opinions on PvP gemming.  What I tell you here is the optimal way to gem as a Ret Paladin for most scenarios.  There may be other situations that call for slightly different gem slotting, but for the most part, stick with this.

Retribution Paladin PvP Gems

Strength – As a Ret Paladin, you will want to gem strength, strength, and more strength.  Bold Cardinal and Scarlet Rubies should decorate your gear, as solid strength provides the most damage output.  Trying to batter down the high resilience of other players will require a high damage output, and gemming for solid strength is the best way to do so.

Strength gives attack power, is affected by Blessing of Kings, increases spell power, and increases heals with the spell power buff.  This is a far greater advantage than using a strength/crit or strength/haste gem.  Strength all the way.

Resilience – Gemming for pure resilience should only be done if you are really low on your gear-based resilience.  It’s not going to replace strength gems, but it will hold up your survivability enough until you get enough gear to compensate the current lack of resilience.

Retribution Paladin PvP Meta Gems

  1. [Relentless Earthsiege Diamond]

There are other options in the meta gem department that would decrease stun/snare/root resistance, but I opt for the damage increase.  This is an arguable topic, so I do not fault anyone for taking other meta gems, but my goal as a Ret Paladin in PvP is to put out as much damage as possible.  By increasing the crit and crit damage, I am adding to my arsenal to beat through all that stacked resilience and stamina.

Gem for DPS

The general philosophy for Ret PvP gems is to gem for DPS.  Our best bet is strength, so putting any other gems in is more than likely a DPS loss.


  1. DrVavylis says:

    Khor m8 you are not absolutely right about the meta gem. The Relentless Earthsiege Diamond ( the better option. The chaotic meta needs 2 blue gems so it’s a dps loss.

  2. Khor says:

    Whoops, you’re right! It’s a small difference, but the Earthsiege does yield a smidge more DPS! Thanks for the sharp eye!

  3. incrusiable says:

    KHORE!!!!!! never never never ever gem for resiliance i dont care how low your resil is! you will get beter gear to facilitate the resil. if you gem resil you last longer yes but your loosing dps.

  4. Khor says:

    Hehe, inc you’re right. If someone were to come up to me and ask me, should I gem resilience? I’d more than likely say no, unless they were using them as fiullers as they saved the gold for better gems. In that instance, I’d say okay. But you’re right, it should be strength the majority of the time 🙂

  5. Ataxxia says:

    You forgot to mention that 1 of the gems should be a nightmare tear for the meta requirement and should be placed in the pants since they offer the highest strength gem bonus

  6. WillieKaboom says:

    I def agree with Nightmare Tear for the meta, only way to go with that.. Str+ all the way and under certain situations, I’d use yellow slots for crit+, never resilience. I think Res+ is a useless gem. If ur equiping the right gear, res+ shouldnt even be a concern. Survivabilty will be fine if u know ur class, and have the proper gear with the corresponding gems according to your class.

  7. Thaldai says:

    Thank you for info Khor, I do alot PvP myself.

  8. Shatoz says:

    I am new to the World of Paladin PVP and trying to gem the best I can. I dont Gem resiliance, i get that from my Gear, but someone was telling me to Gem Armor Pen. So the question is Armor Pen or Str with some Crit?

  9. Healsrus says:

    i asked around and noticed that many ppl said Ret pallies never gem armor penetration

  10. gau says:

    only gem +str in every slot, or maybe +str/sta or +str/crit IF you want to get those slot bonuses, but ar-pen gem for retadin is… not a good option CMIIW

  11. tsuk says:

    Armor pen is worthless for a paladin imo most of your moves are holy dmg armor does not reduce their dmg only resilience does. Moves like crusader strike converts 93% weapon dmg into holy dmg and divine storm 110%weapon dmg so i say stack str and crit

  12. Darksyd says:

    hello all i have a question with the new patch and stats.i know the stats for pve my pally is ok trying to figure out for the pvp spec wat stats are we using for pvp. is it the same as for pvp do we need to go haste on our gear to get cs cd down to 3 sec?

  13. azzler says:

    this is a very good guide thanks alot i was extremely stuck as a new ret pally and this website in total helped me alot just wanted to say thanks

  14. Murfnpally says:

    1. [Relentless Earthsiege Diamond]
    since this is changed to require more blue than red to be active anyone have a better alternative?

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