Retribution Paladin PvP – Coming Soon!

I have decided to try my luck at Ret Paladin PvP, and began my journey last week, beginning with AV weekend.  This allowed me to pump up some of my PvP gear, most of which had been acquired through VoA.  I finished my main set with Triumph Emblems, and honor bought several other pieces.  I’m still short a couple other gear slots, but I am getting there.  It’s been almost twoand a half years since I did PvP in Burning Crusade, and that was as a Rogue.  So much has changed.

Normally, I try to post helpful information on the site, but this will actually be a self-update of sorts.  I have been scouring the web for helpful Ret Paladin PvP information, and it’s far more difficult to pinpoint than I thought it would be.  From my observations, there are many scattered opinions about PvP, and a select few “concrete” stances in terms of how to PvP as a Ret Paladin.

Here are my observations on Paladin PvP thus far:

  • Holy is the optimal way for a Paladin PvP.
  • Protribution is the second best way.
  • Retribution is the third, has a lesser survivability than the two above, and at times won’t put out the damage a Protribution can.
  • Getting information on gems, enchants, and talents isn’t the easiest to find, but it is out there.  I had to sort through a bunch of crap to find it, though. Too many baseless opinions.
  • Inspecting fellow Paladins on BGs and in PvP areas is worthless and time draining.  I have never seen so many strangely gemmed, geared, and enchanted Paladins.  That’s truly not a knock on them, but goes to illustrate how impossible it is to nail down one solid Ret build for PvP.
  • PvP is an art for those who truly which to master it.  The situations and scenarios far outweigh those of PvE.  PvP is much less of a faceroll than PvP, though with time I can see it becoming very methodical.
  • Arenas as a fresh Ret Paladin are an eye opener.  I literally got slaughtered in matches.  Not having a healer is almost fail from my viewpoint.  Oh wait, I can heal…sort of.
  • Alliance had become much better at PvP, but Horde are still better skilled, more coordinated, and attack with more precision.
  • Mixing and matching my PvP and PvE gear is a challenge, but I’m afraid my need for resilience will knock more of my PvE gear out.
  • Just as in PvE, getting to the hit cap in PvP is equally as important.

I am working on some dedicated Ret Paladin PvP pages for this site, and I welcome any and all constructive help on the subject.  Just remember, PvP isn’t as concrete as PvE, so there is more flexibility in what you can do with gear, gems, enchants, glyphs, talents, etc.  I will try to focus on what is optimal, but that doesn’t set it in stone.  PvP is ever-evolving, so always keep your mind open to new possibilities!

For this post, though, I would love to hear what other Ret Paladins have to say about PvP, and any tips to offer Ret PvPers.


  1. Elbozo - Azuremyst says:

    Hey Khor,
    Really good idea!
    Lately i’m slowly loosing interest with raiding. Clearing icc 10/25 over and over got me bored beyond comprehension. (and lack of drops i need just adds to the frustration)

    Here’s few gemming/stat/talent things i learned. May not be 100% confirmed info, but, good to have something to start with.
    1. Gemming for retri pvp is similar to pve – all str, 1 nightmare’s tear for agi/crit meta gem.
    2. Same is with enchanting. I guess if low on resilience you can use the pvp enchants for head and shoulder.
    3. Hit cap is 5% so you can get capped fairly easy (2-3 pvp pieces can do it i guess)
    4. Afaik no spell penetration is needed for ret pallies, since we don’t use any school of magic that has resistances for it.
    5. For burst dmg the best seal is Seal of Righteousness (which also should be glyphed for).

    That’s about all i got, rest info i found on pvp guides on and all over the net.
    Thx for all the hard work,

  2. Elbozo - Azuremyst says:

    oops – at the end of first paragraph should be “so i started to try out some pvp.” – sorry 🙁

  3. Khor says:

    Thanks Elbozo! The next two articles I have hammered out are on gems and enchants! (I usually release one article a day, so these should hit tomorrow and the next day!).

    One clarification I think I need is the hit cap…I thought it was 8% and you stated 5%. Looks like I have some more research to do!

    Thank you so much for the tips!

  4. Tazak says:

    I play a Ret Paladin named Tazak on Crushridge. I’ve played that toon since Pre-BC and while I’ve only started Arenaing on him for only a little bit, I’ve had years of experience in the Arena on my Rogue Koos on Crushridge as well. The biggest thing that I can recommend for Ret Paladin PvP is socketing pure STR besides when you need to satisfy meta needs. Have either the hit based PvP necklace or ring, and have the Ashen Verdict ring to satisfy the rest of the hit. Your hit cap should be floating around 180. Resilience is key and it is rare that you will see a Ret Paladin bringing in PvE gear unless it is either the 264 2 set T10 gear or heroic version of that for extra chances of DS, but that in itself is a risk due to our mana pool.

    Ret like you said is very difficult to master in Arenas. Sure you can go into a BG and faceroll a guy one on one or pop Seal of Command in a group and tear them up, but when they are organized on a team in arena it’s a completely different story. Due to our limitation of only two interrupts (3 if you are a Blood Elf), our strategy and timing is very very important. Early on, like I have noticed gearing up for PvP, you do very little damage, I had 27% crit chance for a long time but I made up for that with high resilience which helped me and my partner get to 1800 by outlasting other teams. Now our games seem to be very very short as we kill them very quickly, if not they are long games which we can outlast our opponents. I run Boomkin / Ret which is an unorthodox comp and requires a lot of coordination. But because of our team work, timing of Sacrifice, Raid Shield, and BoP, we last a long time and do insane nuking when we get a team where we want to.

    Talent wise, I strongly strongly recommend getting Imp Hammer, it is vital for staying in control and having a short CD on it. Use Seal of the Righteous always as SoC isn’t always viable. Get it glyphed and talented into a bit. Builds vary with comps but I find mine works out best for Arenas / BGs. Like you said Paladins vary a ton in personal talenting / socketing /glyphing, etc. The best way to find out what works in my opinion is to observe other high ranking Paladins, watch Paladin Arena / PvP videos, and the best thing is to just mess around and try new things out. Think you have a spec that works better than another? Try it out. Want to try a new Glyph to see if it makes a difference? Try it out. I see most Paladins with Imp Exorcism glyph but I have found that Fear Undead is much more viable for me in arenas as DK’s and Warlocks seem to be the bane of our existence.

    Haha wow sorry for the meaty comment, but I hope it helped 🙂

    Wow I realized t

  5. Tazak says:

    Haha too long of a message, didn’t realize how long that was.

  6. Elbozo - Azuremyst says:


    The reason hit cap is 5% only is that the 8% is required only for 83/boss lvl’d mobs, so you never miss them. When it comes to fighting enemies at your own level 5% is enough. Also, i was suprised taht no expertise is needed too, but still uncertain on that.

    Also, great post Tazak 🙂

  7. Xav says:

    Very cool tips Tazak, I might give a try on PvP soon 😀


  8. Teturact says:

    Cool to see you trying some PvP Khor

    i love my Ret pvp. BG not arena
    i used a build along the lines of
    happy for other ppl to look at it and see what they think 🙂

    Eng is really handy for PvP also and i make alot of use, i enjoy using Hand Of freedom (removes stuns with the talents) and then rocket boots to get me out of trouble, MC helm can change the battle so fast.
    grenades on the belt are also great for a escape/intrupt,
    picking the fights u get in to is what i find important, no point running in when its 5+ horde , but if u can get 1 or 2 at a time its fun times

    macros for casting hand of freedom on urself, sacred shield, flash of light and clense are very handy

    i watched the viedos made by Thesus on wow movies thats where i picked up my info

    looking forward to see what you come up with,

  9. gankadin says:

    i try Protribution and it’s great till you get against mage that steal your divine plea 🙁

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