Top 10 Retribution Paladin FAQ

I get many Retribution Paladin specific questions on this site here.  Whether it is via comments, email, PMs, or forums threads, there seems to be much in common with many of the questions I see.  I have compiled the 10 most frequently asked questions I get, and hopefully this will help answer player’s questions a bit easier.

1)  When is it appropriate to use a +strength / + crit gem?

The easy answer is when you have at least 2 piece T9 or better, you can use the +str/+crit gems.  This is the best way to gem through ICC currently.

2)  When should I drop my 2 piece T9?

Only drop 2 T9 when you have your 4 T10 complete.  2 T9 and 2 T10 is still very powerful in ICC.

3)  Should I gem for hit rating if I am under the cap?

Tricky question.  For most Paladins, I will say no.  Hit comes with gear, and with everything easily obtainable from level 232 and up, hit shouldn’t be a problem.  However, if a brand new level 80 Ret Paladin is rocking a mixture of blue and purple gear, then gemming for hit is okay.  This will help with DPS in 5-mans, and the occasional 10 man they may venture into.

4)  Should I gem for expertise if I am under the cap?

No.  Always no in my book.

5)  Why is Glyph of Consecrate our third glyph of choice?  Isn’t Exorcism more DPS?

Glyph of Consecrate does not add more DPS by itself.  It extends the duration of Consecrate for the same amount of damage, but in return it helps free up your FCFS priorities by getting more powerful attacks more often.  This results in a much higher DPS.

Exorcism can be glyphed if a Ret Paladin is expertise capped from gear alone, but it replaces Glyph of Seal of Vengeance, NOT Glyph of Consecrate.  Exorcism damage is such a low part of our arsenal, that glyphing for it yields a very minimal result.

6)  Which leather pieces are better than their plate counterparts?

This is a tricky question, because it really depends on your current gear set-up.  Yes, their is an ultimate BiS list with some leather on it, but those pieces work in tandem with everything else on that list.  My general rule of thumb is to keep leather pieces with haste/crit/AND attack power as secondary stats, in addition to the primary agility/stamina.  But that’s my rule.  Each player needs to determine if it is a DPS upgrade, either by looking at the stats, testing them out on dummies and in raids, or plugging them into programs like Rawr.

On an individual case by case scenario, usually I can pin point the better item, but it does take research and calculations.

7)  Which Ashen Verdict DPS ring is more overall DPS?

See this post…Ashen Verdict Rep Rings for Ret Paladins.

8)  When should I buy Herkuml’s War Token?

Most players ask me this in direct reference to purchasing HWT or T10.  Always, always 2 T10 before Herkuml’s War Token.  Some will even say 4 T10 before the trinket, but I’ll stay shy of going that far.  Some players are in such desperate need of a good trinket, that it might be viable after 2 T10.  I see lots and lots of +hit trinkets skyrocketing useless hit ratings way past the cap out there 🙂

9)  What is a Ret Paladin’s least desired stat?

My un-sexy answer is spell power, but most of us know this already.  Of the viable melee DPS stats, Armor Penetration is our worst stat.  It provides the least benefit compared to all the others…as of Patch 3.3.

10)  My DPS is low on ICC boss fights, where am I going wrong?

This could be a combination of factors.  I check specs, gear, enchants, gems, glyphs, etc…but more often than not, the real reason behind low DPS is awareness and positioning.  Read this on How to Improve Ret DPS for more information!


  1. Nagasaky says:

    How does haste affect a ret paladin? I’ve always heard it’s useless as arpen.

  2. Ronark says:

    Actually, Haste is on pare with Agility (and pulls ahead a bit) when you acquire either the 2pc T10, TAJ, or Shadowmourne.

    Depending on your armor sets, you sometimes don’t want to gem STR/Crit in Yellow sockets as well- This is a rare case that really only applies once you reach high numbers of crit due from wearing Leather (around the 50% unbuffed crit marker). Once this happens, you will gain more damage point-per-point with gemming straight Strength, even in yellow sockets with a +4 STR bonus.

  3. Xav says:

    Hitting more often can lead to trigger T10 2 pcs bonus.

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