Retribution Paladin Talents

Retribution Paladin Talents is current for Patch 5.4.0 .

As we all know, Patch 5.4.0 is the beginning of the Escalation. It is the second non-raid patch of “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria”

Included here are Retribution Paladin’s talents, abilities, and buffs in giving light and better understanding of what is new with regards to Ret Paladins in Escalation.

The Ret Talent Tree seems to have additional features in each content patch, as our DPS and overall damage output is modified by talent and ability changes. Retribution Paladin talents will primarily focus on the Retribution Tree, while dabbling in Protection and Holy. It seems to vary, depending on raid encounters, how far we dip into the other trees, and your guild or raid leader may ask you to spec certain ways for this reason.

Whether you are gaining levels, engaging in PVPs, raiding, or soloing content, it is still very important to pay attention to your talents, and try to create the optimal set-up for whatever you are doing in World of Warcraft at the time. Make sure you are putting points into talents that are relevant to what you are trying to accomplish what you want to achieve in playing the World of Warcraft. A little research can help you optimize the best talent tree for your character. In this post, I will help you go in the right direction.

RETRIBUTION RAIDINGThe current cookie cutter talent build for Patch 5.4.0 raiding Ret Paladins are:

Retribution Spec Passives

Templar’s Verdict
A strong damaging attack that uses 3 Holy Power. 275% weapon damage plus 628 that equates to 3 Holy Power consumed.

Judgments of the Bold
Grants one charge of Holy Power. The Physical Vulnerability Effect of your Judgment can weaken the constitution of an enemy target making them suffer by 4% more from physical damage. Lasts for 30 seconds.

Sword of Light
Increases Spell Power now by 50% (from 30% increase) of Attack Power. Benefit from other sources of spell power is no longer usable in this spell. It now grants 6% of maximum mana every 2 seconds. Useful for healing done by Word of Glory by 30% and mostly beneficial for Flash of Light that increases the damage by 100%.

Two-Hand Weapon Specialization
Increases 2-handed weapon damage by 20%. Since all we use is 2H weapons as Ret Paladins, this is a great passive for us.

Hand of Light
For the new patch, it can now deal additional 15% Holy Damage from the most important skills (Crusader Strike, Hammer of Righteous, Hammer of Wrath, Templar’s Verdict and Divine Storm). This is a great ability as but because Mastery Rating currently is the lowest ranked stat so it still precedents under a good support ability.

DPS Attacks

Templar’s Verdict
Physical damage. See Retribution Passives above.

Crusader Strike
Physical damage. An instant strike that causes 110% weapon damage. Deals 110% weapon damage. Cooldown and GCD are affected by Haste with talents and Sanctity of Battle ability. One of the greatest source of Holy Power that rises up to 100% generation. For this reason, it sits high on the FCFS list.

Spell damage. Before it is a hard hitting attack with a cast time but now with the new patch, it is an instant skill with the help of the Art of War talent. Also, with the Art of War talent, Exorcism costs no mana and can give 100% additional damage. This ability can cause Holy damage ranging from 3040 to 3360 [+42.9% Spell Power.]

Spell Damage. A magic attack that unleashes the energy of a Seal to cause 623 [+ 54.6% of SpellPower] [+ 32.8% of Attack Power] Holy damage. Unleashes damage consistent with the Paladin’s current active Seal to cause 623 [+54.6% of Spell Power] X [+32.8% of Attack Power] Holy Damage. Completely underwhelming attack in its current state. Now changed with higher percentage of Attack Power, this can be used together with the important abilities like TV, CS, Ex and HoW. From a non-AOE attack, it now has a range of 30 yards. Consequently usable enough compared before.

Hammer of Wrath
Physical damage. Ridiculously strong attack used when a target is at 20% HP or lower. Via talents, HoW can be used anytime while Avenging Wrath is active. Sits very high on the FCFS priority list.The ability damage ranges from 1747 to 1930 [+ 161% of SpellPower] Holy damage.

Divine Storm
Physical damage. AoE 100% weapon damage to all targets within 8 yards that costs 3 charges of Holy Power. Not very underwhelming in the current patch. Before, it sits very high on the FCFS priority list but after the patches, some players are now dropping it from their talent specs. The desirable equivalent damage for the cost of 3 charges of Holy Power is not really strong at it used to be.

Holy Wrath
Spell damage. Deals Holy damage divided among all targets within 10 yards. Also stuns Demons and Undead for 3 seconds. Will stun Elementals and Dragonkin via HW Glyph. A strong attack, obviously working better among fewer targets ranging from (o/) / 2 + holy power spell * 0.91 holy damage output. The more targets, the less damage each will take. Can be used in single target rotations if all other abilities are off cooldown (except Consecrate, which is last).

Spell damage. Deals Holy damage over 10 seconds to all enemies in affected area. Very weak AoE attack with only 914 (+8% of Attack power) * 9. Usage of the ability is best when all other abilities are on cooldown and multiple targets within the area. Consecration is very discouraged when fighting against a single target.

DPS Buffs

Avenging Wrath
Increases all damage and healing by 20% for 20 seconds. Huge and crucial buff in all aspects of Ret gameplay.

Allows Crusader Strike to generate three Holy Power per attack, lasts for 20 seconds. Does not consume Holy Power when used. Average buff with huge potential. Auto attacks now have a 20% chance to increase critical strike chance up to 3% in a duration of 9 seconds and can stack up to 3 times making the critical strike very strong. Still looking forward for the possible combination of this to AW for relentlessly super strong damage output.

Consumes only up to 3 Holy Power (from limitless consumption) to increase Holy damage by 30% and critical strike chance up to 10%. Lasts 10 seconds every Holy Power charge consumed but is only limited up to 3 charges. This can be boosted up to a duration of 30 seconds with the Inquiry of Faith talent. First on the FCFS DPS Rotation priority list. Must be active as often as possible.

Combat Support

Divine Plea
Replenishes 12% of mana over 9 seconds, but reduces healing by 50%. The percentage of mana regenerated increased compared to the last patch but the duration sadly decreased. The short duration can keep you up with your mana concerns but is unnecessary in the middle of a fight. Use it when necessary to recover some mana but never let it interrupt DPS rotations and melee fight performance.

Interrupts spell casting, as well as preventing any spell from that school of magic from being cast again for 4 seconds. Great PvP tool, and will find use in PvE as well. Much needed spell to take the place of Hammer of Justice’s limited interrupt ability.

Places an enemy in a state of meditation for up to 1 minute, making them unable to attack or move. Effect will break if attacked unless Censure is used. Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoid and Undead are very most likely affected by this ability.

Hammer of Justice
Stuns an enemy 6 seconds. One of our core abilities from vanilla WoW that refuses to change its basic function. Solid for PvP and has plenty of utility in PvE as well. With just a 1 minute cooldown, defeating an enemy upon stunning is a very useful key in victory. Usually does not work on end-game bosses.

Heals & Cleanse

Word of Glory
Heals for 4803 to 5350 [+49% SpellPower] per charge of Holy Power (Consume up to 3 Holy Power). Extremely useful healing ability, probably the number one healing ability for Ret Paladins specially now that it has greatly improved after the patch. During leveling, can be effectively used at even 1 or 2 stacks of Holy Power. Can help ease a healer’s work in a party and raids by self-casting. Can be improved by Glyphs [See Glyphs page]

Holy Light

Now improved with up to 2x greater than the heal from the last patch. With a much faster casting speed of 2.5 seconds that heals between 8390 to 9387 [+ 78.5% of SpellPower]. Very valuable now for healing compared to the last patch which defines this ability a normal heal compared to Flash of Light and Word of Glory.

Flash of Light
Big and quick heal with a high mana cost. Very different from what Flash of Light has been in the past, where it was cheaper with an average heal. Very big base mana required (37.8%) for 11882 to 13331 [+112% of SpellPower] with a 1.5 second cast. Great for healing in combat when Word of Glory is unavailable but make sure that your mana can suffice the consumption.

Divine Light
Very massive heal that can be used in emergencies or in high damage situations. Up to 36% base mana consumption and a 2.5 second cast making it not so efficient during combat. For Rets, I suggest that you only use this when out of combat to replace up to 75% HP. This can heal up to 15910 to 17725 [+ 149% of SpellPower] HP thus making it good after taking heavy damages.

Holy Radiance
Heals target for 5098 to 6230 [+ 67.5% of SpellPower] and all allies within 10 yards for 50% of that amount. If there are 7 or more allies within 10 yards of range, the healing effectiveness diminishes. The best use of this as a Ret, in my opinion, is to use this in case of emergencies when the healers within your party or during a raid to help the healers have their breaks. Also, this can help gather a charge of Holy Power.

Lay on Hands
Heals target for HP that is equivalent to Paladin’s maximum HP. If used on self, no Divine Shield or Hand of Protection for 2 minutes. This is a great PvP tool, and also an excellent tool when leveling. But the best use as a Ret, in my opinion, is to use this to save a tank during a raid. This can pull some heavy stress off healers, and may make or break that particular attempt. This ability cannot be used on a target with Forbearance. Glyphing [Divinity] for Lay on Hands will also restore 10% mana.

From the new patch, the removal of poison and disease effects are now not limited to 1 each. It is now capable of removing all Poison and Disease effects. For Rets, this is mainly a self-cleansing tool but can be used if needed to help clear off debuffs from tanks and healers to maintain their roles. Glyphs [Sacred Cleansing] for Cleanse will also help the removal of all magic effects.


Seal of Righteousness
Deals additional 9% Holy damage to all targets within 8 yards. Not nearly as strong as Seal of Command was in WotLK, but it is the best we have. Best use for this seal is for AoE and single mobs that will die in under 20 seconds or so. It can cost 16.4% on your base mana.

Seal of Insight
Chance to generate 4% base mana on each attack, and yields 15% base mana when judged. Also deals damage when used with Judgement. This ability can now increase your casting speed by 10%, improve healing spells by 5% and a chance to heal your Paladin for 0.15*Attack power and 15*Holy Power Spells. Ret Paladins shouldn’t be using this much unless they are completely out of mana replenishment options during combat.

Seal of Truth
Causes Censure, which deals 107 (+9.4% of SpellPower)*5 Holy damage over 15 seconds that stacks up to 5 times. Also, this has a chance to cause 12% additional weapon Holy damage to melee attacks. This is our main raiding seal for single targets and bosses. The damage over time far outweighs the single output of damage SoR yields and replaces SoC.

Seal of Justice
Deals 20% additional Holy damage and causes single melee target attacks to reduce target’s maximum run speed by 50% for 8 seconds. Pure PvP seal, great for locking down those pesky Rogues, Hunters, and Mages who keeps running around and hitting from afar.

Stat Buffs

Blessing of Kings
Increases Agility, Strength, Intellect, and Stamina by 5%. Will buff entire party and/or raid. Does not stack with Gift of the Wild and another Blessing from a different Paladin. One hour duration. If your group consists of heavy casters, BoK is the best buff.

Blessing of Might
Increases mastery by 3000. Will buff entire party and/or raid. It has a duration of one hour. If your group is melee and heavy tanks, use BoM. Again, blessing by another Paladin does not stack with this blessing.


Hand of Salvation
Removing 100% total threat by for 10 seconds. Probably our most important Ret Hand. Since our burst damage is fairly high in its current state, Hand of Salvation may find itself being used quite frequently to keep aggro off the tanks. Players can only have one Hand on them from one Paladin at a time.

Hand of Freedom
Grants immunity from movement impairing effects for 6 seconds. Great PvP tool and also useful in PvE as well especially during leveling. Players can only have one Hand on them from one Paladin at a time.

Hand of Sacrifice
Reducing damage taken by 30% and transferring the damage taken to the Paladin for 12 seconds or until the 100% of target’s HP is taken. With only a short cooldown of 2 minutes. Not really a Ret tool, unless you are feeling like becoming a sacrificial martyr for the tank in raids. Players can only have one Hand on them from one Paladin at a time.

Hand of Protection
Immune to physical attacks for 10 seconds, but cannot attack or use physical abilities. Good for PvP, especially when throwing on your healers or squishy casters. Not much use in PvE, where other shields are more useful. Cannot be used on a target with Forbearance. Players can only have one Hand on them from one Paladin at a time.

Hand of Reckoning
Taunts the target to attack you but doesn’t inflict any damage. Useful in leveling, pulling additional mobs, and helping in raid environments if a stray trash mob gets on a healer or caster. Be careful, though, try to pull back to the tank as quickly as possible. This has no effect though if the target is already attacking you so don’t be a hero all the time!

Shields & Protection

Divine Protection
Reduces all magical damage taken by 40% for 10 seconds. Useful for periods of high damage in PvE. Glyphing for Divine Protection will also reduce magical damage taken by 20% for the same duration.

Divine Shield

Protects Paladin from all damage and spells for 8 seconds, but reduces damage dealt by 50%. Great in PvE for a last minute death avoidance or to help drop threat output. Cannot be used on a target with Forbearance.

PvE Talents

PvP Talents

Eye for an Eye
There are no changes in the patch for this ability. All magic attacks have a 40% chance to cause 30% damage to the attacker. Great for PvP, especially against hard-hitting Mages and Warlocks. May find use in PvE if other spells prove underwhelming (cough*divinestorm*cough).

Guardian’s Favor
Decreases Hand of Protection cooldown by 60 seconds and increased duration of Hand of Freedom by 2 seconds.


Selfless Healer
With successful Judgments, reduction of cast time and mana cost of the next Flash of Light by 35% per stack. It can also improve effectiveness by 20% per stack when used to heal other. This may stack up to 3 times.

Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Baz Wilson says:

    I was wondering if you could give me a heads up on where to find a decent ret talent tree to look at as everysite i go on always comes up saying the tree is flagged for update.

    your assistence in this matter is greatly appreciated

    Baz Wilson

  2. Khor says:

    The talent tree on this page is up to date as of Patch 3.3. 11 / 5 / 55

  3. Igor says:

    Khor hello,
    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and it’s very useful to a paladin, especially the beginning one, like me.
    Recently I’ve encountered a problem I’d like to discuss with you if you have time and wish, of course.
    In short – I’m bad at dps. Now with the details. I’m not sure you’d be able to see my armory, I play on russian servers in Euro WoW zone.
    Try this link: Maybe it’d open for you.
    If no, those are the base stats (no food, flask etc):
    Str 2455, Dex 145, dam 2365-2787, speed 3.22 (136), expertise 22 (32 With symbol), crit 31.83, hit 359 (recently got chest with tons of hit on it), attack 5421. 246 ilevel. I’ve got only 232 piece – Liandrin gloves without Triumph thingie. other 245, 251, 264. And 251 hatchet Ramaladni from Marrowgar.
    And with all this stuff I let out around 10k dps on trash LCC mobs, 6.3 on Marrowgar, 6.8 on Saurfang and whooping 5.9-6.0 on Rotface (today). 6.0 recently on simple Jaraxxus and even less on Beasts.
    And that sucks a lot. I’ve been talking to a fellow paladin (he’s mainly in ToGC stuff and with Hercumli war sign) and he says I should produce around 8++ k dps with my level of items. He’s here:
    He’s heavy haste geared, my strength and crit are somewhere better, and – he produces better dps. Why?!
    The only things that suck are my trinkets. I’ve got

    Should I get the hercumli war sign as Death’s choice or whispering fang aren’t dropping to me? And where can be the problem?


  4. shoter says:

    hey guys, i’ve being reading and trying to make a good build and i endend in this :

    check it out and comment please.

  5. Xanzaa says:

    i found that if your looking to maximize your own PvE dps and are a regular raider i have made a spec that helps a lot for both raid bonus and solo damage

    this link helped me maximize my dps out by dipping into the holy tree for some increased mana and to help raid in times of need with aura mastery. i left out any un-required pvp talents in my spec as i dont pvp but feel free to mix it up a bit and let me know how it works for you.

    Xanzaa from Darkspear Horde =]

  6. HrPuffnStuff says:

    @xanzaa – I like your spec, however I am wondering why you took 2 points in Vindication and left out Pursuit of Justice. Seems like the 15% movement speed increase would provide more raid utility and more dps as you would be getting to targets faster and in/out of situations faster. Just seems that the 2 points in Vindication would be of much more use in PoJ.

    @Khor – Thank you for all of this info. I am currently running ICC content with my guild and we are 6/12 so far and working on Putricide. I am going to be respeccing once the servers come up to see how switching a few talents around affects my dps. I seem to top out around 6k on tank and spank bosses like festergut, however, I feel I should be doing more considering my gear

    I am consistantly in the top 3 for single target on our dps charts, which I absolutely love, but I am always looking for ways to improve. Please pay no attention to my spec if you look at my wow-armory link as I have not respecced for 3.3

    Any suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  7. pearola says:

    I still dont see the point where you put aura mastery over Divine Sacrifice… maybe if aura mastery double the haste of ret aura when it active? but i dont think aura mastery does that.

    Imo, Divine Sacrifice would help the raid alot, since you are usually in melee group, pop-ing divine sacrifice at the right time can be very helpful in fights like Festgut/BQ and more.

    Anyway, I do see some other ret pallies with aura mastery in their spec, and I just want to get some ideas from other people, feel free to bash my idea 😀


  8. WoWman says:

    What stat is more needed for a Retribution Paladin?

  9. Khor says:

    @ WoWman – Strength, hands down 🙂

  10. pearola says:

    so.. any idea to my question?

    thanks, still waiting for some answers.


  11. false says:

    ok so i was wondering why i see some pallys with rogue gear on.
    is some leather gear better then the plate i dont get it? hear is an example.
    plus what is with the gems on her wepon i look at some pallys and wonder am i missing somthing

    please look at my spec and gear let me know what i might be able to do to up the dps i push about 12k on trash in 25man and around 6 on single target.

  12. Khor says:

    Hey false, your DPS actually isn’t too bad. Paladins will iften take some leather items because the stat itemization is better than plate on certain pieces. You will see more haste/crit/AP/agi on one piece of leather as compared to str/crit/random DPS stat on plate. The leather will occasionally yield more DPS. It’s best to plug your numbers in to rawr and see if that optimizes your DPS. If you don’t use rawr, then working on dummies to test gear out is always an option, too.

  13. false says:

    ok thanks

  14. Thaldai says:

    Hi Khor
    I just wonder why you put 2 on Unyielding Faith, isn’t thats more PvP?
    For me I think we should take out those 2 points and fill out Divine Intellect


  15. Khor says:

    Ah Thaldai, thank you, you are very correct! I have no idea why I had that there. Definitely not optimal. Thanks for finding the error! Now it should link correctly 🙂

  16. Nytengale says:

    Hello Khor

    I posted this in another area it probably was not the best place for it but shows this as the most popular spec.

    Any comment on this one. I am using it and it seems pretty cool but what do I know about pallies lol.


  17. Todd says:

    @ Nytengale

    The talents Vindication and Eye for an Eye are seldom used at least for PVE. The meager reduction of AP that occurs with Vindication just ins’t worth the two points that could go into another tree. Eye for an Eye is all about damaging your opponent after he hits you with a crit. NPC’s don’t crit the same way that players do, so that just leaves boss crits for this talent to work with, and if you’re getting hit by boss crits, you’re likely already dead. It might be a good talent for PVP. I’d put those 4 points towards some fear resistance with Unyeilding faith or some stun resistance with Stoicism, or even up your mana pool by getting some divine intellect.

  18. pastacio says:

    in the build link, i do not see the point of specing any further down the holy tree beyond seals of the pure or w/e its called 5pts into intillect seems like a gross missuse of pts as retadins dont have enough intillect to justify this

  19. Paul says:

    lol, we need a update on this, and as always, Great job! best wow blog out there

  20. Khor says:

    Ugh, yeah, this is my worst procrastination to date. The update to this post is half-done, and I keep putting it off!

  21. RetForever says:

    I’d be interested to know exactly which attacks proc seal damage and/or stack censure. Is it just white melee hits now? It’s really difficult to find a straight answer anywhere, especially after all the changes they’ve done to our class.

  22. jeff says:

    Seal of Truth

    Causes Censure, which deals Holy damage over 15 seconds. This is our main raiding seal for singel targets and bosses. The damage over time far outweighs the single output of damage SoR yields.

    gonna interrupt the serious convo to point out ya mis spelled single…sorry at work and bored 😛

  23. lordmogg says:


    I’m not sure of the exact figures and such but why do we not sink 2 points into Eye for an eye? Instead of Communion and Acts of Sacrifice?

    In regards to communion the extra mana is good for all but on a selfish basis I never seem to want for it anymore.

    In regards to Acts of sacrifice I can honestly say I have never once used Hand of freedom, Salvation or Sacrifice in the entire time I have played a Ret.

    Surely in such instances and because we are purely ” supposed ” to be DPS ( Hint at Blizz there ) the chance to cause some attack within Eye for an Eye is a much better option?

    What do you think or anyone else for that matter??

  24. Varaxill says:


    First I would like to say that this is the best site for retri paladins that I found. Khor really really good job. I didnt play for one year duo to my job that lead me to USA, but once I returned I found evertyhing that I need on this site.
    My build is very simmilar to the one you post but instead of divine storm and both talents in Acts of Sacrifice I have both talents in Eye for an Eye and only one in Acts of Sacrifice.
    I think that damage is bigger since and still my clense will dispell moving debuff…
    I would like to hear from you what do you think about it and why do you think divine storm is more important that Eye for an Eye ?

    Thank you very much and keep up with awesome job

  25. Khor says:

    @ Varaxill – Yeah, I was dragging my feet on the Eye for an Eye change. I know EJ has posted that one point in E4aE is a small DPS boost on boss fights, but I was going to wait until raiding to verify that.

    However, given the cooldown reducer of Acts of Sacrifice isn’t really helping all that much, so the best choice so far is to place the extra point in E4aE and not AoS. Divine Storm stays put, and with the Mastery change incoming, we’ll see if that changes DS’s utility at all.

  26. jaden says:

    based on your new talent tree set up theres 1 point left…should it be unused? if not where should i put the last point??

  27. Khor says:

    @ Jaden – Dangit, this is liek the third time I have fixed that stupid link! Hah. You can either put that in Acts of Sacrifice or fill out Eye for an Eye. I choose Sacrifice, which allows Cleanse to remove a movement impairing effect. But you can go 2/2 Eye for an Eye as well.

  28. Florismart says:

    Are you planning on, or do you know about a Prot pally website that does the same level of awesome as you do for ret?

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