Ret Pally – Gems

Retribution Paladin Gems are current as of Cataclysm, Patch 4.0, Patch 4.0.6 and Patch 4.1.  The Retribution Paladin gem priorities are pretty much the same in Cataclysm.  With the new stat changes, Ret Paladins will be wanting to gem pure strength.  Ignore the socket bonuses, strength will provide the greatest DPS gain, even surpassing hit and expertise.  At this point in the game, strength is such a powerhouse stat, that we will be wanting to pile it as high as we can.

Q:  Are you under the hit and expertise cap?
A: Gem strength.  Gear and reforging should be used to reach hit and expertise caps.  Expertise cap can also be helped with Glyph of Seal of Truth.

Q:  When should I gem something other than strength?
A: Strength should always be a part of the gem you are using. If you want to use a hybrid gem (orange or green), then the socket bonus must be a minimum +20 strength.

Retribution Paladin Gems


Strength (Red Slot)

Strength in Cataclysm is such a titanic proponent of our damage, that gemming any hybrid gem is currently a DPS loss, even when trying to reach hit or expertise caps. If you must hit these, try Reforging instead. Should this priority change, I will be sure to give you the information as soon as it is announced!

The only reason to match a yellow or blue socket is if the socket bonus is +20 strength or more.  In which case, the following gems may be used (listed in priority):

Orange Gems (Yellow Slot)

Purple Gems (Blue Slot)

With no prismatic +all stats gem currently available, if you must gem a blue slot, it needs to be Etched Demonseye.  Again, this is only if the socket bonus is +20 strength or more.

Retribution Paladin Gem Socket Examples

  • Red = R
  • Yellow = Y
  • Blue = B

*Assume socket bonus is +20 Strength or more

Gear has the following gem slots:

  • R = 1x Red gem
  • Y = 1x Orange gem
  • B = 1x Blue Gem
  • RR = 2x Red gems
  • RY = 1x Red gem, 1x Orange gem
  • RB = 1x Red gem, 1x Blue gem
  • YY = 2x Red gems
  • YB = 2x Red gems
  • BB = 2x Red gems
  • RRR = 3x Red gems
  • RRY = 2x Red gems, 1x Orange gem
  • RRB = 2x Red gems, 1x Blue Gem
  • RYY = 3x Red gems
  • RYB = 3x Red gems
  • RBB = 3x Red gems
  • YYY = 3x Red gems
  • BBB = 3x Red gems


  1. Andy says:

    right now i have the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond as my meta gem, and i was wondering for the blue gem should i have Sovereign Dreadstone (+10 strength and +15 stam) for my blue gem, or should i get Nightmare Tear (+10 to all stats) help greatly appreciated 🙂

  2. Kaleigi says:

    Great website!! Thanks for all the work you put in, this has helped me out tons!

    Question: I am currently rocking Mirror of Truth and Darkmoon card: Greatness as my trinkets. I was wondering if I should change out my Mirror of truth for the Mark of supremacy? My hit rating is only 220, and from what I have been reading it needs to be about 260’ish.

    I have also been contemplating on getting the 264 gloves from Frost emblem vendor… but that takes away almost 52 hit rating, I am currently wearing the 232 Liadrin gloves.

    Help a n00b pls… =)

  3. Khor says:

    Hey Kal, thanks! My advice would be to switch MoT for MoS, and upgrade to the T10 gloves, which are far better than the 264 version, because it will help you towards 2 T10, which gives a monstrous DPS boost. That way you get more DPS and have your hit rating covered (I’m pretty sure your hit would be covered there).

  4. Arch says:


    Got a question 😀
    I got 2x t10 (shoulders and gloves) rest of my gear is all 251 or higher.. is it better to get the 4set bonus or just stay with my old gear?

    Here is a link to my armory:

  5. losgann says:

    my pali is my first toon and first 80 . i am soo confused i could scream ! i would like to know what the hit cap is and where i am going wrong in gemming my gear ( if i am ) any help would be greatly appriciated 🙂

    name is losgann relm :the venture co country : us

  6. Arch says:


    Hitcap is like 260ish (so u are kinda overcapped with 435 XD), and also u got some 30stam gems in a yellow socket. So better to just gem 20str if you’re not going for the socket bonus.
    Good luck 😀

  7. losgann says:

    Thanks Arch! much appreciated 🙂

  8. Khor says:

    4 T10 will trump all 🙂

  9. Khor says:

    Hey Losgann! Hit cap is 8% for melee. Spell hit uses a different table, but we don’t worry about it, so you want your melee hit cap at 8% minimum. As far as gemming goes, I have a whole post dedicated to gemming. Look on the sidebar for the big Ret Paladin gemming link 🙂

    Bottom line for gemming: Strength, strength, strength.
    More complicated rules to gemming: At 2 piece T9 and above, gem orange slots with +str/+crit if slot bonus is +str.

  10. Khor says:

    Haha Arch beat me to it…oops. Khor needs to read all the comments before he posts 🙂

  11. Kaleigi says:

    Hey guys, need to know what to get for my next t10 piece. I currently have 245 breastplate, 245 legs, 245 helm, 251 gloves, 264 shoulders, 264 belt…. I have 100 frost emblems… should I save them and keep running VoA for drops, or should I get another t10 piece? And if so, which one should I upgrade?

    Thank you very much for the help! =)

  12. Elgar says:

    Hi Khor,

    Could you confirm my gemming ? What do you believe I should aim for ? How can I optimise my current gear ?

    Thanks heaps!


  13. Andrew says:

    You have it listed to where the orange gem of choice is Str/Crit, but I’ve seen other sites display that Str/Haste is the better way to go once you’ve got the bonus from T10, because the haste lets you proc the refresh on DS more often. Is the DPS increase from quicker DS refreshes not so significant that crit still outweighs haste?

  14. Khor says:

    The logic seems to be there Andrew, but I have yet to see that supported on EJ. Haste does start to rival crit at higher gear levels, talking 4 T10 and above here, but I don’t think it ever surpasses it. I’ll do some research and see if some of the top guys on EJ have numbers on this. My own numbers give str/crit the edge still.

    EDIT: Found my answer on Elitist Jerks. Redcape is about as knowledgable as they come on Ret Paladins, and here is what he had to say:

    “There is a perception that the current modelling for haste is not entirely accurate and reliable while the modelling for crit is completely solid. This perception is quite accurate, since all of the good sims take haste into account when finding 2t10 proc rate as well as reduction of the GCD for Consecrate and Exorcism but these calculations are necessarily approximations and don’t reflect the way a real combat unfolds. It is nearly certain that in some fights haste comes out noticeably above crit and in some fights it is the reverse but actually nailing down a ‘firm’ value for haste is effectively impossible.

    Depending on the gear, sim chosen and settings on that sim haste comes out slightly above or slightly below crit. We know that haste and crit are close and we know the value of crit quite precisely. Given those things most top players gem for crit over haste. They are hedging their bets by doing so and I think that is most likely the right thing to do.”

  15. Naonia says:

    Hello Khor would like your opinion regarding my gear and gems to be i don’t know if i did put the right gems into my gear i don’t seem to do proper dps as i should to.I am using the right rotation as i believe is the right one but still i am not able to get out the right dps

    Thx for the help

  16. Dan says:

    Awesome site and tons of good info.

    Question: What leather crafted boots were referenced early and why?

    Also please have a look at my armory and let me know where I might be able to improve setup. I am 95 badges away from 4pc T10. I dont know if I should upgrade my belt to the 60 frost one or wait till after i get my 4pcT10.

    Thank you for your time.

  17. tee says:

    hey, ive been looking at all the forums for things about the hit cap, really i just have two questions an would really appericate help with them. first off.. is it bad to be over capped? like at 10% does that mean more glancing? i have no gems with hit, its just because of my gear.

    second.. which seal is best cuz i get more damage with seal of command on but everyone says to use seal of corruption.


  18. Khor says:

    @ tee – If you are over hit cap with gear alone, it’s not hurting you too bad. Many Rets are over hit cap due to the abundant availabilty of +hit on gear. That said, it’s always best to see if you can swap out pieces later on to gain more DPS while lowering hit, so long as hit doesn’t fall below cap.

    Seal-wise, Seal of Command for trash and multiple mobs. Seal of Vengeance for single targets and bosses.

  19. Hazeblazer says:

    AWSOME GEM TIPS 100% what i needed to know thanks so much for taking the time to put this info together and publish it A+++ job

  20. Pauliee says:

    hi im trying to gear my pally up for raiding. i hav not yet gotten ne raids armor and i think i hav sum very decent armor as is. the only thing that concerns me is my gems. i do not want to gem my armro wrong n lose precious dps. sum bonuses i can c r worht trying to obtain n others not so much. if there is ne advice u can giv that wud b very helpful. Also, gr8 guide on the n comments on BiS pre raid gear, helped my dps soar lol. neway ill try n link my armor. also my shoulders r not getting gemmed cu im replacing with lightsworns soon.

  21. Spispop says:

    Hi Khor,

    Ive been reading through the postings and have been trying to regem as specified above. The problem i’m running into is that While gemming Bold Ruby’s I lose alot of my expertise rating. I know Strength and Hit are main but I was under the impression that Expertise is needs to be around 18 minimum. Right now, if you look at my armory link Im at 16 with using accurate ametrines. If I replace those with inscribed or Bolds ill lose a lot of Expertise. I guess right now Im confused on which route to go. Any help would be appreciated!

  22. ShadowzKnow says:

    Hey Khor, I have a couple 245 emblem pieces (shoulders and helm), does the ‘socket +str and +crit in yellow’ rule apply for that aswell? I’m abit confused lol check out my armory if ya can. thx =)

  23. Khor says:

    @Shadow – No, it only applies when you have Tier 9 pieces. The gemming has to coincide with the 2 T9 buff at minimum.

  24. Jwoww says:

    Khor, does that mean that when u have 4pieces of T10 u should swap the str+crit gems to pure str gems ?

  25. Khor says:

    @Jwoww – No, even at 4 T10 you still gem +str/+crit in those yellow slots. 🙂

  26. ShadowzKnow says:

    hey its me again lol i was wondering how i could get hit rating up cos wen i swap my 245 emblem shoulders to T10 shoulders my hit goes down 2 summin like 6.7% D: wat should i do! do i jst gem hitrating or get a piece of gear (trinket etc) with hit?

  27. dailymanny says:

    hey khor just wanted to say thanks for answering my question a while back and thank you so much for this site it has helped me tremendously and everyone compliments my dps…i was number 3 in a voa25 last night with under 5k gs and it feels great! i do have another question though…those JC gems are nasty…i’m currently BS and i’m wondering if i should switch to JC for more dps? thanks!

  28. Joe says:

    my JC will have with thoes 30+ gems lol regem ur gear before it gets replaced with new gear thats green and have all the “basic” gems with outstanding stats makes ya wonder what the enemies are like in the expansion lol they arent hard i played them

  29. Vermilion says:

    Khor, by only listing str gems, excluding even meta gems in the WOTLK portion, are you insinuating that even meta gems should be ignored for the rest of WOTLK?

  30. Khor says:

    @ Verm – Nah, I accidentally deleted the meta ones, I’ll be bringing it back 🙂

  31. Simon says:

    Are strength gems still as good for retribution, considering we use a lot of magic since 4.0.1?

  32. MaQmlgh says:

    Hey Khor,

    Had a question about gems now with 4.0.1. Everything I have read said to go back to the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, crit, but I had a crazy idea and went for the invigorating earthsiege diamond for the haste and poss health. with that you need two blue gems, just like the chaotic which I use a nightmare tear for one and forceful eye of Zul with the haste and stam. my toon as 4 T10.25, was wondering what everyone’s thoughts were on that. Toon is MaQmlgh on the demon soul server.

  33. King says:

    So gem all strenght now and don’t bother with socket bonuses?

  34. Khor says:

    @ King – Strength is a safe bet. There is debate on other gems to use, including str/crit and str/haste. I’m hoping to get solid info to you guys soon on this.

  35. Koneko says:

    I don’t think I ever noticed this but did the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond always Say “Requires more blue gems than red gems”?
    I could have sworn it had a more specific number.

  36. Murfnpally says:

    It changed with 4.0.3a

  37. Michael says:

    Koneko, both the Relentless and the Chaotic metas now require more blues than red. Which leaves us pretty screwed up. Do we use Etched to get hit, instead of finding hit on gear? I’m so lost right now it isn’t even funny.

  38. Ekkusu says:

    I’m betting on Destructive Skyflare Diamond now.

  39. Ekkusu says:

    On second thought, perhaps Thunder Skyflare Diamond is better now.

  40. Koneko says:

    Yeah I been looking and looking at metas and really not sure what to do….maybe the Etched wouldnt be too bad an idea, then can reforge the hit from some other piece of gear into haste or something….@_@

  41. spike says:


    [Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond] needs more blue gems to work, so i think we have to use some [+20 Strength and +20 Hit Rating] or [+40 Hit Rating] so we can use this meta gem.:(

    What are u geming?

  42. Pat says:

    Hey khor great site. But the thing is for the meta gem for cata the requirement “more blues than red” you said they would change that in cata, but they didn’t.are they gona change it or should i switch my meta gem to something different, or just try and put a bunch of blues in my gear?(which would prolly lower my dps by a bunch) LMK thanks

  43. Cialis says:

    This is the suitable blog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You understand a lot its nearly arduous to argue with you (not that I really would need…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  44. jaden says:

    off topic but for pvp should i bypass the socket bonus which is yellow socket i+ 20 res on one blue socket +10 str and blue socket +20 res?/ please help

  45. Ellistan says:

    Hello, love the site. It’s been a great resource for me to find information. But..

    “The only reason to match a yellow or blue socket is if the socket bonus is +20 strength or more.”

    I’m curious, what is the reason behind not matching sockets? If i put in a Bold Inferno Ruby i dont get the bonus anyway, right?

  46. shandri says:

    Khor i have always stacked Strength gems no matter what the socket bonus is, should i change from this wen socket bonuses are +20str or above or jus leave all Str gems? Its pretty much always gonna b -20 Str for +20 mastery/crit and im unsure if this would really help our dps. Can u point me one way or the other pls 😀

    PS Your a legend mate, readin your bio u sound so similar to me 20 summet father of 2, i barely find time for wow let alone runnin a website like this. Hats off ta ya man!

  47. Kanegasi says:

    If you put a bold gem, you get +40 str. If you put in a hybrid gem, you lose 20 str and gain 20 of whatever second stat is on the gem. The reason behind the socket bonus is if you have +20 str bonus or more, that makes up the str loss from not using a pure gem, allowing you to put in a hybrid gem and gain 20 more of another stat of your choice.

    Short version:
    – not 20 str bonus, 40 str gem (no extra stat)
    – 20 or more str bonus, 20/20 hybrid gem (20 extra points in the second stat PLUS more str if the bonus is more than 20)

    read my reply above. you can still stack bold gems if you so desire even if the socket bonus is 20, but if it’s more than 20, you will gain strength if you match sockets. if the bonus is 20 exactly, your strength will not change whether or not you match sockets, but if you use hybrid gems to match the sockets, you get 20 more of a stat per hybrid gem used to get the socket bonus.

  48. Megie says:

    I think this web site is very well informed I only use this site For my pally ++rep for site

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