Retribution Paladins Patch 4.0.1

Patch 4.0 is finally here!  The version we are getting is Patch 4.0.1, and Retribution Paladins got their world flipped upside down.  Gone is the ease of face rolling DPS, and in comes the era of Holy Power, with it’s cohort of reliant abilities.  I am stoked, are you?

This site is going to require some massive updating since many of my guides and posts are relevant to WotLK talents and abilities.  The leveling experience will change as well.  I will be continuously updating content so that it is current, so keep checking back to keep current on the changes!

Keep in mind some things can’t and won’t change until Cataclysm, so that content is likely to stay the same.

Now, without further adieu, let’s get into the Patch 4.0.1 Retribution Paladin notes!  As usual my source is MMO Champion, and some of this, plus the full notes on all the classes can be found at MMO Champion [Source].  I have added relevant information to our class notes as well.

Retribution Paladins Patch 4.0.1

Choosing a Spec

At level 10, you will be required to choose a spec.  Retribution, Holy, and Protection are your options, and with them come passive abilities specific to the tree you choose.  The abilties specific to the Retribution Tree are:

  • [Templar’s Verdict] – An instant weapon attack that causes a percentage of weapon damage. Consumes all charges of Holy Power to increase damage dealt: 1 Holy Power: 30% Weapon Damage 2 Holy Power: 90% Weapon Damage 3 Holy Power: 225% Weapon Damage / 1 Mana, 5 yd range, Instant cast
  • [Judgements of the Bold] – Your Judgement grants you 25% of your base mana over 10 sec.
  • [Sheath of Light] – Increases your spell power by an amount equal to 30% of your attack power and increases your chance to hit with spells by 6%.
  • [Two-Handed Weapon Specialization] – Increases the damage you deal with two-handed melee weapons by 20%.
  • [Hand of Light] – Your autoattacks have a 8% chance to grant Hand of Light, causing your next Holy Power ability to consume no Holy Power and to cast as if 3 Holy Power were consumed. Each point of Mastery increases the chance by an additional 1%.

Paladin Mechanics Change [Source]

  • Holy Power – This is a new resource which works similarly to combo points. Paladins will generally want to build up Holy Power until it shines through with a bright yellow glowing effect. Once Holy Power has been built up, it can be consumed to augment existing abilities. For example, Word of Glory can be used to cast an instant-cast free heal. This gives paladins several options for how to spend their Holy Power, depending on the scenario.

Talent Tree

The Retribution talent tree was overhauled.  This build is my current recommendation for Retribution Paladins: 

EDIT: Lucent brought up a good point…[Arbiter of Light] or [Judgements of the Pure] at level 80?  For the moment I am going with Judgements of the Pure as that will be a constant 9% haste when in combat.  This could change with testing, but for now that’s the road I am taking.

Ability Changes

Some of our abilities were changed.  It just so happens that the changes happened to the largest parts of our DPS arsenal.

  • [Avenging Wrath] use is no longer restricted by Divine Shield, Divine Protection, or Hand of Protection, or of using Lay on Hands on oneself.
  • [Seal of Vengeance] is now [Seal of Truth], now deals [ ( 12.5% of AP + 12.5% of Spell Power ) ], up from [ 13% of AP + 6.5% of Spell Power]. Now deals 16% weapon damage when stacked 5 times, down from 33% weapon damage.
  • [Blessing of Might] now also restores mana every 5 sec (Blessing of Wisdom effect). Now automatically affects party or raid members.
  • [Judgement] is now the same spell for all Seals. Unleashes the energy of a Seal to judge an enemy for Holy damage. 5% of base mana, 10 yd range, Instant cast, 8 sec cooldown
  • [Crusader Strike] is now a baseline skill. Now deals 120% weapon damage, up from 75% weapon damage. Grants a charge of Holy Power.  Cost changed to 10% of base mana, down from 5% of base mana. Cooldown increased from 4 sec to 4.5 sec.

Talent Changes

  • [Divine Storm] is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 11. No longer costs mana. Now affects all enemies within 8 yards instead of just 4. Now deals damage based on Holy Power: 1 Holy Power: 22% Weapon Damage, 2 Holy Power: 74% Weapon Damage, 3 Holy Power: 150% Weapon Damage.
  • [Sanctified Wrath] is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 8. Increases critical strike chance of Hammer of Wrath by 20/40%, down from 25/50%. Reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath by 20 secs, down from 30 secs. No longer causes damage to bypass damage reduction effects while under Avenging Wrath. Now allows the use of Hammer of Wrath at all times during Avenging Wrath.
  • [The Art of War] is now a Tier 3 talent, down from Tier 7. Revamped – Your autoattacks have a 7/14/20% chance to make your next Exorcism instant, free and cause 100% additional damage.
  • [Repentance] is now a Tier 5 talent, down from Tier 7.
  • [Judgements of the Wise] is now a Tier 2 and 1 Rank talent, down from Tier 7 and 3 Ranks. Now also causes your auras increase your party and raid’s damage dealt by 3% and your damage by an additional 2%. Replenishment effect now regenerates 1% of the maximum mana per 10 sec, down from 1% per 5 sec. No longer grants you 25% of your base mana.
  • [Divine Purpose] is now a Tier 5 talent, down from Tier 6. Revamped – The following attacks have a 20% chance to generate Holy Power: Judgement, Exorcism, Templar’s Verdict, Divine Storm, Inquisition, Holy Wrath
  • [Eye for an Eye] is now a Tier 1 talent, down from Tier 4. All magic attacks against you have a 20/40% chance to cause 30% of the damage taken back to the attacker as well.
  • [Sanctity of Battle] is now a 1 Rank talent, down from 3 Ranks. Revamped – Haste effects lower the cooldown of your Crusader Strike.
  • [Crusade] is now a Tier 1 talent, down from Tier 4. Revamped – Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Templar’s Verdict by 10/20/30% and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 10/20/30%.
  • [Seal of Command] is now a Tier 4 talent, up from Tier 3. No longer an active seal. Revamped – Your Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Truth and Seal of Justice now also deal 7% weapon damage each time you swing. In addition, your Seal of Righteousness now hits up to 2 additional targets.
  • [Pursuit of Justice] is now a Tier 2 talent, down from Tier 3. No longer reduces the duration of Disarm effects. Now has a 50/100% chance to grant a charge of Holy Power when struck by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect.

New Talents

  • [Zealotry] – Your Crusader Strike generates 3 charges of Holy Power per strike for the next 20 sec. / 3 Mana, Instant cast, 2 min cooldown
  • [Inquiry of Faith] – Increases the periodic damage done by your Seal of Truth by 10/20/30%, and the duration of your Inqusition by 50/100/150%.
  • [Acts of Sacrifice] – Decreases the cooldown by 10/20% and mana cost by 10/20% of your Hand of Freedom, Hand of Salvation and Hand of Sacrifice.
  • [Selfless Healer] – When you heal others with your Word of Glory, it increases the effectiveness of the heal by 25/50% and increases your damage done by 2/4% per charge of Holy Power for 10 sec.
  • [Rebuke] – Interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec. / 10% of base mana, 5 yd range, Instant cast, 10 sec cooldown
  • [Long Arm of the Law] – Your Judgement has a 50/100% chance to increase your movement speed by 45% for 4 sec when used on targets at or further than 15 yards from you.
  • [Guardian’s Favor] – Reduces the cooldown of your Hand of Protection by 60 sec/2 min and increases the duration of your Hand of Freedom by 2 sec/4 sec.
  • [Rule of Law] – Increases the critical effect chance of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Word of Glory by 5/10/15%.
  • [Improved Judgement] is now a Tier 1 talent, down from Tier 2. Now increases the range of your Judgement by 10/20 yards instead of reducing its cooldown.

Removed Talents

  • Righteous Vengeance has been removed from the tree.
  • Swift Retribution has been removed from the tree.
  • Crusader Strike is gone. Now a baseline skill.
  • Sheath of Light is gone. Now a primary spell.
  • Fanaticism has been removed from the tree.
  • Sanctified Wrath is now a Tier 4,
  • Vengeance is gone.
  • Two-Handed Weapon Specialization is gone.  Now a primary spell.
  • Sanctified Retribution has been removed from the tree.
  • Vindication has been removed from the tree.
  • Conviction has been removed from the tree.
  • Heart of the Crusader has been removed from the tree.
  • Improved Blessing of Might has been removed from the tree.
  • Deflection has been removed from the tree.
  • Benediction has been removed from the tree.

Protection Talents for Ret

Holy Talents for Ret

Changes Post 4.0.1

There will continue to be changes after Patch 4.0.1 is released, and you can find those changes here:
(Wowhead has not updated the spells as of 10/17/10, so when you hover over the abilities, the info isn’t current.  The changes I listed are.)

  • [Hammer of Wrath] base damage has been increased by 300%.  [1253 to 1385] to [4890 to 5404]
  • [Crusader Strike] now deals 150% weapon damage, up from 120%.
  • [Holy Wrath] base damage has been increased by 30%.
  • [Exorcism] now scales from 15% of Spell Power or AP, down from 22,5%. Base damage increased by 30%.

Retribution Paladin Glyphs

Here are the top 3 glyphs for each Ret Paladin glyph category.  These are what I will be using for DPS and raiding until Cataclysm launches.  These may change, but at the current time seem to be the best options: (Edited 10/14/10)




Here are all of the Paladin glyphs that can be found in Patch 4.0.1.

Paladin Prime Glyphs

Paladin Major Glyphs

Paladin Minor Glyphs


  1. Hadowa says:

    Its a flash back to the useless ret pallies in Burning crusade, and the even more useless ret pallies in vanilla every time I log onto my main. I was so very certain I had paid my dues as a retadin in those and that from Frozenthrone onward my class would function well, but apparently Blizz wants more. 🙁

    I’ve made a new level 1 pally (now lvl 10) in the hopes that relearning the new class from the ground up will help but, I’ve lost 6k dps in ICC 10 man and a bit over 2.5k in H 5 mans. In the face of that kind of DPS fail, I fear no amount of practice will help out enough.

  2. Aszmo says:

    I haven’t taken the Ret out for a spin yet, but I have on my DK and the dps is better than it was before the patch, and my gs is 4300.

    I’m really not happy with the parenthesis that pop up around targets.

    I’m figuring that they will correct the issues they’ve created, and things will be better than they are…
    Till then.. I’m a DW DK.

  3. Hadouken says:

    hey guys

    ok, so yesterday was not a good day for me, getting 4k dps in my 10 man icc hc run was really frustrating, i just did not get this new system at ALL.

    But then this morning i stumbled across jackpot (well to me anyway :P)

    I found a video on youtube showing this addon that works in a similar way to serious help in timing, only with holy power now taken into account. I quickly tried it out on one of the org dummys, and self buffed managed 9k! woohoo, thats me back to 11+ k dps in icc 😀

    So, to find this addon, just copy and paste this following line into curse, and it will be the only result!

    Retribution Rotation Helper w/Holy Pow Bar

    Good luck!

  4. Frosty says:

    @ Hadouken

    “I found a video on youtube showing this addon that works in a similar way to serious help in timing”

    Awesome. Now, care to share this video and addon with us?

  5. Coldwinter says:

    Hi guys, I too play a DPS pala in WoW I read a couple of posts here, I’ve never reached 80 I’m at 66 now, but I see you’re talking a lot of T5-T10 gear, anyone can explain to me what this is, or a good post somewhere to read. Thanks a lot.

  6. Lea says:

    i dropped down from 11k dps to ~7k 🙁 i hope blizzard will change something

  7. csiky says:

    My dps decrease too from 18,4k to 13,8k 😛 (bs @ eu)

  8. Hadouken says:

    heres the link to the video. the beginning is a bit irrelivant but be patient 😉

    and as i said in my original post, if you search for ‘Retribution Rotation Helper w/Holy Pow Bar’ on curse or your chosen method of downloading addons, you will find it

  9. Regan says:

    Looks like Blizzard has heard us, or seen the light. Now I just hope we get this buff sooner then later. Like this week, and not having to wait for Cataclysm.

    We think Fury, Arms, Feral cat and Retribution dps is too low and we will be buffing them.

    And here is the web page for the (RRH) [Cata+PTR] Retribution Rotation Helper w/Holy Pow Bar.

  10. Reed says:

    Adding this build and release mechanic that will draw your attention, make me beg the question. Why not just play a DK? Now that the class’s are so similar the extra tools that DK’s have makes them vastly superior for PvP and don’t even look at the warriors who can now laugh at rets with good reason.

  11. Simon says:

    Thanks for this site, its been useful!

    If we wanted to play a DK we would – I use my DK for tank.

    My pala is holy/ret and I tried the ret spec last night in a hc, and my dps was awful 2-3k. I am used to putting out 4-5k dps. But one thing I did notice was that my percentage of overall damage was no.1 in the dps list.

    To me it seems we have mana issues to contend with and the baffling points system of a rogue.

    This is a hard class to play now!

  12. Logan says:

    After some more testing I’m not too disappointed, yeah burst damage is gone but single target dps is pretty damn good, one thing i would like to see changed though is judgement which hits pretty soft and/or cd on HW shortened from awful 15 secs which will every now and then w’out exorcism proc leave me just standing there waiting for something to come off CD doing nothing. Overall changes are nice and possibly with some more haste what I mentioned above could become a non issue.

  13. lronmanthepally says:

    I suggest you use this instead of the 85 one they have

  14. lronmanthepally says:

    I also suggest you might wanna use these too

  15. Thaldai says:

    Hi Khor
    I dont know if you do much pvp, but is there any chance if you could link a good pvp talent buid and glyphs?

  16. RIPSKI says:

    Hey first of all i love this site its BA and saves me a lot of time with all the BS you have to do.

    I need some help with forging and my current gear to max DPS. I got the 25m Behemoth shoulders 370 and Gatecrasher Gaunts 370 FROST piece. However i have full 5/5 T10 with sanc chest. I cant decide which ones to wear. Currently i am wearing both 370s but im missing the 4piece proc of T10. Which is better?

    Not sure what to do here open for suggestions.

    Also what seal is best for DPS? all i have been using in ICC is Seal of Truth because its DOT does so much dmg. Is this the right move or is there some kind of seal rotation i should be doing for mobs to single targets etc.

  17. Krept says:

    Hey Khor, love your site mate, but I have a major issues with HP: Why can’t busting out abilities at lower amounts be useful, but not as good? WoG is the only ability worth considering at less than 3 HP, which is something I don’t like about HP, as a ret, it’s just not flexible. I think Blizzard should look into taking DS off HP, and adding Consecrate to it, increasing damage by 50% at 1 charge, 50% and a 25% slow to whomever stands on it and 50% damage the slow and extends it’s duration by 2 seconds for three.

    While this would need tweaks, it means that we have options to blow an ability, may not have been best to use it with cons, but this gives you a bit of wiggle room, 1 is good for trash, gives your cons a good damage boost, 2 is great for PvP, especially if you need it down for the slow fast, and 3 is good for both, more damage in PvE and more damage and longer slow effect in PvP.

    Your thoughts on making HP a little bit more flexible, or not at all?

  18. Tracy says:

    I am not stoked, I am bored. HP is boring.

  19. Cinly says:

    First of all I would like to thank you for thsi great website. Like others who “live” around this websit I too find all the info very helpfull.
    The only thing, and it might be that I didn’t find it, is I can’t find a PVP build.
    As today I bought my dual spec I am anxiously looking for a build.
    All hel;p will eb appreciated it.

    Thanks in advance,


  20. Nevyn says:

    oh man, I am so disheartened – I spent the last 6 months learning, researching & tweaking my ret/tank pally & now I just can’t play her. I got 5k dps on a target dummy only self buffed & thought ‘well ok, that’s not too bad’ but can’t replicate that in hc’s & last night I tried tanking ICC – OMG! I couldn’t hold the aggro at all 🙁

    I’m gonna keep trying though, she’s my eldest after all 🙂 so keep the info coming Khor, there’s a lot of sad peeps out here need you 🙂

  21. Corcoran says:

    What about gemming and gear specs? Since Ret Pally’s no longer have Judgement of Wisdom, are we supposed to stack intellect now? I’m so lost on this new patch and it sucks!

  22. Vrata says:

    Jo Hej

  23. Synchro says:

    I can say after I’m picking up what the new spec has to offer I got a 21789 crit hit using holy power wings and stacking everything. This is on a pvp ret pally 4 pieces away from full wrathful gear gs of 5800. Its great doing this kind of dps and being able to one shot allies.

    My talent tree is:

    Have you guys considered doing a pvp info page also?

    Also for the tanks out there, you have to get out of the consecration mind set. You need to rely on multi hit spells now and don’t be in a hurry while your doing it. learn the basics again and slow down. Once you get that again then you will catch on with what they changed. Also if your a tank and getting owned by reg heroics then your getting to much threat. that was a new one to me so check your talent tree and get it down. Lots to learn still here. Good luck all.

  24. Synchro says:

    I forgot to mention for Corcoran all my gems are for strength +20 bold cardinal ruby. We now have one Judgment that combines all 3 we had before. So if your trying to build mana use your Seal of Righteousness and Divine Plea combo.


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