Retribution Paladins – Stats

Retribution Paladin Stats is current Cataclysm, Patch 4.0, Patch 4.0.6 and Patch 4.1.  There are many changes for Retribution Paladins and their stats in Cataclysm, so pay close attention to stat priorities when obtaining gear, gemming, and enchanting.

Retribution Paladins rely on strength as their main stat, and it has been that way for a very long time. This list is what is considered optimal, but keep in mind that every person has different gear, so you may need to make some small adjustments based on what gear you are wearing.

So as a quick refresher, here are the stats you should be aiming for as a retribution paladin:

  1. Strength
  2. Hit Rating
  3. Expertise
  4. Mastery
  5. Critical Strike
  6. Haste

1.  Strength

Strength is what gives us attack power and increases our damage.  This will be a titan for determining DPS and damage output, so this will be our main stat throughout Cataclysm.  Remember, 1 strength = 2 Attack Power.  I am placing this above hit and everything else because it is the only major stat on this list.  Everything below is a secondary stat that can be capped and Reforged.

2.  Hit Rating

Hit affects your hit %, or ability to hit mobs and bosses. At level 80 and 85, Paladins need a total of 8% hit to be capped at 100%, meaning they never miss. Normal melee swings, including Crusader’s Strike, Templar’s Verdict, Judgement, and Divine Storm are all affected by this. Reaching the hit cap should be your number one priority.  It is largest DPS increase you will get from secondary stats.

3.  Expertise

Capping expertise removes a mob’s/boss’s ability to dodge our attacks. To cap this, you need 26 expertise, or 6.5%. It is recommended to maximize DPS, you have both hit and expertise capped.

4.  Mastery

Mastery is the new Cataclysm stat, and as of this posting (which is Patch 4.0.6), it is currently above both crit and haste.  Mastery now adds 2.1% additional Holy damage for every point of Mastery.  This means that at level 85, a Retribution Paladins will have a default 8 Mastery, for an additional 16.8% increase to Holy damage dealt.

5.  Critical Strike

Critical Strike comes very close to Haste in terms of importance.  It’s DPS weight just barely beats out haste, so it is a good idea to try and stack both stats equally, as best as you can.

6.  Haste

Haste has changed from Wrath to Cataclysm, and right up until launch, we could reach the soft cap of Haste by stacking enough to get Crusader Strike to a 3 second cooldown.  At level 85 and equivalent gear, this is no longer possible.  Haste is a heavier stat now, and falls under crit in terms of importance.

Here are a few Haste posts current as of Patch 4.0.6:

NOTE: Remember, this is the ideal rank of stat importance. it varies greatly based on your current gear and talents.  A Ret Paladin that is hit and expertise capped will have Mastery as their top priority, followed by crit, and then haste.


  1. Niallaine says:

    WIth 2 piece set bonus t10, Arp is better than haste, so should specify it

  2. Khor says:

    Really? I wasn’t aware Armor Pen had replaced Haste with the T10 bonus…time to do some research!

  3. Khor says:

    I am still trying to find some concrete evidence to support Armor Pen > Haste for T10 Ret Paladins. While Armor Pen will benefit from more Divine Storms, Haste lowers weapon speed, which is what procs the 2-piece T-10 bonus to begin with.

    With T10 bonuses, Consecration is used much less, and Exorcism is almost completely removed from rotations. Divine Storm has taken their places, due to frequent uptimes. So without any numbers I can scratch off myself, I am not sure which is better.

    Keep in mind, both Haste and Armor Pen are still our weakest stats.

    If anyone has links or sources on this topic, link em up here! I’d love to have some resources for us available.

  4. Hulahop says:

    Well Haste is still better than ArP cause more haste = more attacks = more proc’s from our t10(2 pieces)set bonus. And that result more DS and more dmg, than iff you had ArP. I think you should try get both stats, get like 300 haste and about 200-300 arp ^^ that should be very good.

  5. Gabris says:


    My question is that, 26 expertise is needed in 25-man raid?
    How can i reach it? Pls help me:)

    Really good website!;)

    Pally Forever

  6. Khor says:

    Hey Gabris, glad you like the site! Expertise is a tricky stat, and some Ret Paladins won’t even cap it in favor of other stats. There’s no real set way of capping expertise. You just have to mix and match gear that optimizes your DPS.

    What I can tell you is that you don’t want to gem for expertise right now. You are far better off plugging in a Bold strength gem.

    Glyph of Seal of Vengeance will give you extra expertise, so if you are not capped, that Seal is a must.

    You can also look into the Kirin Tor Rep ring if you have the gold to spare. That is some free expertise as well. Since we are winding down with the WotLK expansion though, your 7k gold may be better used elsewhere 🙂

  7. RetPally says:

    About expertise, as Khor stated: “You just have to mix and match gear that optimizes your DPS.” Which is exactly what I did, this should be easily obtained. As of right now, I have 0 Arp on my gear, a little haste (because I was also thinking it would give me more DS resets) and I have 28 exp (over cap even) and I did not glyph for it. I believe (ofcourse I cant be sure about this) if u would focus on our priority list, you should easily get the exp and hit cap, because after crit there isnt a better green stat on gear then hit and exp.

    Madrenn from Thrall (US).

  8. Gdnal says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for this site! I just hit 80 with my Holy Pally through little more than solo grinding. This is also my first WoW character. I finally realized when I started doing instances that being a healer is not a job I love, nor was it one that I was particularly good at. So I dual-spec’ed into Ret and absolutely love it!

    Now with the help of this site, I am learning the specs I need to focus on as well as the gear I need to help me out. I just wish I had learned of this site before spending $1K gold on new equipment when I re-spec’ed!

    Thanks for taking the time to keep this site up!

  9. Sighs says:

    Ive been looking all over for what the stats should actually be close to and have yet to find it. Maybe someone here can help?

    Str – 1941
    Power: 4373
    hr – 270 (i know im slightly over cap this one I can find)
    crit – %33.54
    expertise – 16 (human using a 2h sword)

    Im still a work in progress but wondered what numbers I should be shooting for

    this is all unbuffed

    Im hit capped and gemming for strength

    I have 2 t9 and 1 t10 will have the second t10 in 7 more badges

  10. Elowin says:

    I’m hit capped and my Expertise is 18. I have a the ‘Glyph of the Seal of Vengeance’ which gives 10 expertise when Seal of Vengeance or Seal of Corruption is on. That give me 28 Expertise. That’s how I get expertise capped in raids.

  11. Blastbeatzx says:

    Hey Khor!

    I just barely started playing about a month or so ago and I could never find a concrete player to start with. The guild i am apart of are really helpful and suggested this ret tree guide to help and i have been flying through lvls and quests. 😀

    Thanks for taking the time to make this. It really helped alot!

  12. InrDmons says:

    Best site for Ret Pallies for sure. Keep it up 🙂

  13. Khor says:

    Glad to hear it helps Blast! Keep it up and let me kow if there’s anything I can be of help with!

  14. James says:

    hey Khor,

    Awesome site, i came across this site in my travels for stats for paladins. ive been a tank for ages and neglected my ret side of things. with this guide ive been able to get my ret gear sorted out faster and easier. But i do have a question about the stats –

    How much crit is too much crit? as with crit it starts to get useless after a while and doesnt haold up much weight as a stat. Im currently hit capped, almost at the exp cap but have a staggering 39% crit and ive seen my DPS just stall. it doesnt get any better or wrose really, should i be changing anything?

  15. Khor says:

    Hallo James! I checked your gear and I do have some suggestions. I have a pretty good idea why your DPS stalled. Our gear is good for sure, especially with your T9. I am going to post my suggestions on my forums, so head on over there in a bit. I need to get to my PC, as this laptop is about to die. I’ll hopefully have the thread up in less than an hour!

  16. Minaki says:

    I’m a paladin in training… (The Sha’Tar – EU server – Bloodelf, Name: Minaki) *Posted that if you want to check me out on the armory.*

    And I need to ask.. when I’m leveling.. should I only focus on strength? Or should I prio hit over str? I want to know so that I can build up my gear until I ding 80. Also, should I be running normal instances first for gear before I enter the heroic dungeons? I know that some classes can enter heroics on their 80 ding while others need to gather some better gear.

    And finally, should I let hit/expertise come from gear? Or should I enchant/gem for it untill caped?

    Thank you for a great site!

  17. Khor says:

    When leveling, you want to focus on strength. Don’t worry about +hit until you get to level 80.

    When you ding 80, if you have the funds to buy you some decent gear, then heroics are a good option for you. If not, then I’d suggest running a few normal dungeons first, particularly ToC 5-man.

    Hit and expertise gets better as gear gets better. If you are in beginning blue and a few odd purple gear pieces, gemming for hit isn’t a bad idea. Otherwise, let it come with gear, it’ll come alot quicker than you think. I wouldn’t recommend gemming for expertise at all.

  18. Lyreth says:

    Right now I currently have 4pcT10(1 piece Sanc), mostly ICC25 gear, some 10 man gear mixed in. For whoever was curious about the stats they may have.

    I’m currently sitting at:

    2432 Strength
    5423 Attack Power
    38.50% Crit
    20 Exp(123 rating – without SoC)
    467 Haste
    286 Hit
    72 Armor Pen(I don’t roll on gear OR gem for ArP)

    When fully raid buffed in a 25, and all of my trinkets, ring, weapon, and everything procs, I’m at about 11,000 Attack Power, 49% Crit, 30 Expertise(just over cap but only from the Glyph). The way it seems to me currently, is on a boss fight for a Retadin you start out slow, but once you build up some momentum you climb the dps chart. Because of some of the trinkets and the new libram and all it takes about 15-20 seconds and then you’re operating at 100% potential.

  19. Malyon says:

    Hi guys! Could someone explain the effect AP has to spell power? I mean strength increases your spell power by what amount? Sry if its a dumb question, but Im new to the paladin ‘scene’ :)Thx

  20. Lyreth says:

    Since WotLK Retadins simply gear out hit, expertise, strength, crit, and haste. Get hit and expertise capped and stack as much strength and crit you possibly can. You want to used Inscribed Ametrines(+10str +10crit) in any yellow socket that gives a +STR bonus. As far as the spell power part of your question, it’s not of very much importance as long as you are stacking these stats you will be fine.

  21. Fuzzyywuzzyy says:

    You ONLY gem the yellow slot with +4str or more and ONLY if you have ONE yellow slot in the piece.

    Yes gem yellow:

    NO don’t gem yellow:

  22. Delajin says:

    Hey Khor great site, it has definitely helped alot. I have a concern though as i run ICC i feel like i’m not pulling the DPS i should be. I’m pretty solid on rotation(not that hard with FCFS). But if anyone on here could look at my stats and gear for suggestions it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

  23. Khor says:

    Hey Dela, I’ll be happy to help! One request, with more incoming requests for help on checking gear and specs, I am redirecting everyone to the forums. Open up a thread there with your link and anything else, and we will start dissecting what improvements can be made. And fyi, I did peek at your armory, and there are some tweaks that might help up your DPS!

  24. Delajin says:

    Thanks for the quick response Khor i’ll head over there now.

  25. Scrapmetal says:

    I think your strength explanation is wrong, Blessing of Might doesn’t affect our strength in the slightest, it just adds 687 AP (talented). The talent that makes strength better is Divine Strength, increasing it by 15% – so every 20 strength you get an extra 3 str, or 6 AP.

  26. Thunorian says:

    I have up until now, been using other resources for ret pally advice, and fear i was steered down the wrong track. If you check my gear on (azjol-Nerub) you will see i stupidly gemmed for hit and crit, as somewhere i read that i should be hard capped on hit rating and crit would make all the difference. As it happens my DPS seems to be all over the place. I use the same rotation for most mobs, CS, JoW, DS, CS, Ex, Consecration, rinse and repeat until HoW is up, (using seal of command). and my dps will go from 2.5k on one mob, all the way up to 5-6 on another, which lets face it, unless you are looking at Overall data on recount, is pretty daft.
    I now know that i should only be worrying about 8% hit rating, and 26 expertise, but where do i stop slotting/enchanting for strength and start worrying about haste? I’m not in a raiding guild so getting t10 stuff is a long process that I have really only just started, but i’ve seen Ret pallies in t9 gear still doing 7k consistently and not really had much of a chance to check their gems.

    To sum up, i now know where i have gone wrong with my gems, but im a little confused on where to start with replacing them. Should i just go nuts on +str gems and not worry too much about haste and Arp?

  27. Khor says:

    Hey Thunorian, glad you found your way here! Let’s see if I can help you with gems and stats…

    First, you will gem all strength, strength, and even more strength. Even if it’s a blue slot, still gem all strength. Now, if you have at least 2 pieces of T9 gear, then you can gem a +str/+crit orange gem in yellow slots where the slot bonus is +strength. With me so far?

    So, if you have a piece of gear that has 3 red gem slots, gem all bold +strength gems.

    If you have a piece of gear that has 1 red and 1 yellow gem slots with +str as the socket bonus, gem a bold +str and orange +str/+crit gem.

    If you have a piece of gear that has 1 red and 1 yellow gem slots with +crit as the socket bonus, gem all bold +strength gems (since the socket bonus is not +strength, it’s a DPS loss to gem for the socket bonus).

    If you have a piece of gear that has 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 blue gem slot with any type of socket bonus, you gem all bold +strength gems.

    Hope that makes some sense!

    Now, onto haste and armor pen. Haste is very good, especially at T10 gear and above. However, we do not gem for it, under any circumstances. Strength provides the best DPS boost, no ifs ands or buts 🙂 When you get to T10 levels of gear, choosing plate gear with +haste and +crit will be top priority.

    Armor penetration is our worst DPS stat because it is based on melee damage. Since about half of our DPS comes from Holy spell damage, it negates the usefulness of armor penetration. Therefore, we do not gem for it, and it falls to the bottom of our useful DPS stats on gear.

    The order goes (for plate gear): strength > crit > haste > armor pen.

    Make sure when doing 5-mans and the like, that Seal of Command is your primary seal. That is what pushes us to high DPS in those dungeons.

    PS Simplified TLDR version: gem all bold +strength gems in all your gem slots with the exception fo the 2 T9 rule I mentioned above 🙂 You can armory me if you would like to see how I have gemmed. Khor on US Shadowsong 🙂

  28. Romanian says:

    First Hi all, so from my personal experience for me Haste I better then crit and arp,my paladin has 6.3k gs I have a 3.6sec weapon,4 pices of t10.5 and tiny a bomb in a jar.. Haste helps a lot to get to 8 motes and refresh DS … I have +500 haste and I want moreeee!! I’m doing+13k in icc25 hm and +10k in rs25 man

  29. Jonathan says:

    Hey Khor, awesome little guide there but i have one question. Wich one is the better, Agility or Strength? My friend says Agility while i personaly go for Strength (we are both level 80 ret paladins)

  30. Khor says:

    Strength is always better for Paladins.

  31. Aleksander says:

    haha, I’m overcapped alot on my pala.

    Hit rating 382
    Expertise 52, and i don’t Gem for any of those xD
    DMG 2601
    Str 2010
    AP 4758
    Crit 31,99%
    So yeah. I’m doing decent dps also. 10-11k dps in icc 25man.

  32. Joe says:

    All i know is stacking strength and haste and being hit capped at 8% with your crit at 30% unbuffed and having some AP is killer just doing solo things but when buffed in raid im pushing almost 10k dps a second. i found when i first started doing ret pallys from level one i focused on strength and haste with some agility for crit.The only gems I have are 20+ strength and 10 strength and 10 haste and im good and set to go the thing about it is more strength + more haste and armor pen + crit= MAD DPS!!! Expertise or how ever its spelled i dont care for it doesnt help me at all in raid or solo questing because i hit the target and get him down before he can hit me and in raid the target is beating on the tank not me and AOE attacks just cannot be avioded just healed through so in conclusion STRENGTH+CRIT+AP+HASTE=SUCCESS!!! My name in WOW is Zonama Realm Kul Turis have any more questions you know where to find me thank you all and lets spank CATACLSYM!!!!!!!

  33. Kenneth says:

    Latest changes as far as i know is going to be that HASTE will be an important stat i think that rets are gonna focus on aswell…as what ive seen that it will make ur crusader strike asjit load faster if u going to get more haste…MOAR HASTE= moar/faster crusader strike = moar holy power = more burst!..? right:P

  34. Joe says:

    Kenneth your right when my trinket procs for haste 600 haste plus my base damage i do more dps when my +600 haste procs VS strength or crit
    plus with my card of greatness then strength plus the haste damage is awesome so i think and agree with you haste with as many times as u can swing ur weapon VS everytime u hit ur weapon with the base damage haste is gunna help out more way to go kenneth

  35. Revons of crushridge says:

    The title says it hasn’t changed for 4.0 or 4.01 but It has, please update this. Armp is gone and our t10 4pc has changed.

  36. Chris says:

    Due to reforging in 4.0 i trimmed my over the cap hit and expertise.
    So the question is which is higher for us now on the priority scale-Haste or Mastery? I didnt see any mention of Mastery yet- thoughts and explainations to back the conclusion?

  37. Chris says:

    Think haste is better…not possitive though

  38. Khor says:

    @ Chris – From what I have read so far, mastery is a very low-valued stat for us at 80. We’ll see, I doubt Blizz intends to leave it that way.

  39. Mithrin says:

    Hey i was just wondering if they made a change to paladin’s and crit, when logged in after the patch last night, seen my trainer and learned my new abilities i notices i dropped about 10% crit, gear hasnt changed but i’m down to 26% crit chance now, did I miss something?

  40. Gilford says:

    Hey Khor i have a question. I already cap mint Hit at 8% and Expertise is 28, without any glyph, so mine question is, with the introduction of Reforging and Mastery, should i reforge mine gear and take out Crit to add Mastery ? Or should i keep the Highest Crit possible ?

  41. Khor says:

    @ Gilford – Mastery is our lowest prioritized stat atm. Keep the crit for now 🙂

  42. Thoril says:

    Hey Khor,

    you wrote above, that nothing has changed for 4.0.1, but I’m pretty sure it has. To totall nuke the level 83 (boss) enemy chance of parry the old 6.5 percent expertise didn’t match anylonger. i had to go up to 14.25 percent (not calculated, done it through reforging) to get down to 0 percent.

  43. Khor says:

    @ Thoril – Yeah it has changed…I am working on edits as we speak 🙂

  44. Abelius says:

    Hi there, Khor. Thanks for the site and your insightful info.

    I’ve rolled a paladin in another account that I have, with rushing instances for the other alts in my primary account in mind… and, funny enough, I’m not looking back anymore! Awesome class this one. I’ve never played a hybrid, and it’s really exciting to be off-tanking, healing and dps’ing at the same time. xD

    I only wanted to ask a question anyway. I’ve concluded from my little experience as retri that intelligence is not important at all, but what about the prot and holy talent specs? I suppose intelligence and spirit must be top priorities for a holy (don’t know the order), but for tanking I have my doubts now with patch 4.0.1 online…

    Could you clarify that for me, please?

  45. Jt says:

    Cool website

  46. Captoats says:

    @ Abelius For tank information I suggest they have always very up to date and very accurate in their theory-crafting. Basically you are now looking for block cap instead of def cap. That is way to complicated to explain here.

    @ Thoril As for the expertise post, to eliminate parry pre-patch it took 52 expertise, so 14.25% to eliminate parry doesn’t sound too shocking really.

    Keep in mind that dodge and parry are NOT the same thing at all. A boss can dodge an attack from both the back and front, but a boss can only parry from the front. Standing behind the boss eliminates the need to cap expertise for parry so you just need to worry about dodge. This patch, expertise cap for dodge seems to be about ~22-23 if I remember correctly. Pre patch it was 26 (hooray for more buffs!). Also, hit rating has also been buffed, lowering the hit rating needed from 263 to 240.

    @ Mithrin Yes, crit rating gives significantly less crit % per point now than it did. That is part of the reason that it is below haste now (besides the buff to haste). Still, crit is crit and its function has not changed. It just gives you less bang for your buck.

    and just so everybody sees it:

    Reforge to hit cap, then work on your soft haste cap. Anything left over after your soft haste cap should be crit. Mastery is what ArP was last patch for us, nowhere near good enough to ideally want, but it has its benefit, however small it is. Blizzard will probably change something though as I’m sure they don’t want their new cataclysm stat to be bad for any spec.

  47. Abelius says:
  48. Abelius says:

    Ups… epic fail at HTML labeling… xD

    I meant:

    Sorry. 😉

  49. Captoats says:

    >.< yes, i always forget the failsafedesign part haha. thats why its bookmarked 😛

  50. Adridalis says:

    I have 13.44 mastery or so and I’ve had good luck with hand of light proc’s with that mastery rating but of course I could always go a bit lower and get back some haste and critical strike rating. What is a good idea number for mastery rating.

    25.26% crit
    14% haste or so
    13.42 mastery

    hit and exp capped

    I get somewhere between 6.5k-6.8k on a big training dummy.

    Other question is I’ve seen people swear by the fact that crit is now completely useless for a pally any word on that as of 4.01 or is crit still a good stat to stack.

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