Retribution Paladins 4.0.1 – FAQ Compilation

In Patch 4.0.1, Retribution Paladins got their combat mechanics, talents, and abilities flipped upside down.  We all know this very well, as the practice dummies continue to laugh at us as we pelt them with sponges.  There have been many, many questions floating around, and I would love to post information as I get it, but because our class is still changing and details are still being hammered out, I’m forced to sit on my hands.

What I can do though, is address all those pressing questions we have…at least what I have seen thus far from your comments here:

(Edited 10/15/10)

1.  What do we gem now?

We are almost at 100% certainty that we will be gemming pure Strength now and in Cataclysm.

While gemming pure strength is still the way to go in most scenarios, I have seen some utility in keeping strength/crit gems and even possibly strength/haste gems.  Since the stats and their status are in limbo right now, there won’t be any concrete information just yet.

Our current meta gem is [Relentless Earthsiege Diamond].

2.  Is 2 T9 and 2 T10 still the best way to go prior to 4 T10?

Until I see proof otherwise, yes.  Each 2-piece set bonus gives 5% extra damage to all damage sources, giving a total of 10% additional damage.

3.  Is 2 T9 lvl 258 and 2 T10 lvl 251 better than 4 T10 lvl 251?

Honestly, I don’t know yet.  Is the stat gain on the 258 T9 greater than the 10% Judgement and Seal damage?  Right now, I’m saying no.  Factoring in the seal damage buff gives 4 T10 the advantage.

4.  What is our new cloak enchant?

Won’t be using agility anymore, so you will want the +23 Haste enchant [Greater Speed].

5.  Do we switch to the Ashen Verdict Strength ring at Exalted?

Yep.  Agility items no longer give attack power, so all agility gear is pretty much out the window.

6.  What is the new BiS Trinket order for Ret Paladins in 4.0.1?

Still being worked out.  The recent buffs we received the day after the patch went live might have changed things.  Right now, I am loosely holding to:

  • (Edited 10/15) H TAiaJ > H STS > TAiaJ > STS > H WFS > H DC/DV > H DBW > DC/DV > WFS > DBW > Herkuml

Don’t slam me on this just yet, this isn’t concrete and I have seen 3 somewhat legit lists floating around the forums, none of which I can yet confirm.

7.  What are Ret Paladin Reforging priorities?

Number one, hit cap.  Make sure you are at the 8% hit cap.  Number two, if you are hit capped, get expertise capped at 26 expertise.  There is some argument that glyphing SoT and bringing expertise down to 16 is a good way to go.  Number 3, hit and expertise capped?  RIGHT NOW, reforge to haste.  Once you are at haste cap, then crit takes priority.

8.  What is the Haste Cap?

Click here for my Ret Paladin Haste post! (Edited the Haste post to clarify latency confusion 10/17)

I have seen several different numbers here, but I will point you to Exemplar at Elitist Jerks.  He has a good write-up on the haste cap.  Click for [Source].

“Currently the full latency fix is not live in 4.0.1. The BC designed spellqueue still exists.

The ultimate nirvana of Crusader Strike is to reduce the GCD to 3 seconds. This permits you to use CS, a single filler, then another CS with no wasted time.

In a perfect world it takes around 1015 Haste (with Wrath of Air and JotP) to reduce CS to a 3 second CD. However, with latency a factor, on live the best you can do is cast CS, wait for GCD, press an ability, wait for latency, new GCD begins. This means the minimum time between two CS is your CS cooldown + twice your latency. At 100ms latency you would only need around 750 haste. 200ms and you need 510. These are L80 values.

This value is your Soft Cap. Beyond this point haste is unable to accelerate your CS usage (but still increases Autoattacks). At Level 80, up to this soft cap it appears that Haste is superior to Crit. Beyond your soft cap the value of Haste drops below Crit.

NOTE: Spells have a special rule with the GCD. The spell GCD is reduced by haste (to a minimum of 1 second). If you manage to acquire 1015 Haste your spell GCD becomes 1 second. Thus even with zero latency you would have: CS, Exo, 0.5 seconds, CS. Remember that Exo, HW, Cons, and DP are spells. Judge, TV, DS, and HoW are not and use the full 1.5 GCD every time.”

9.  What Seals are we using in 5-mans and raids?

Same as before.  Seal of Truth on single targets and bosses, Seal of Righteousness on trash and AoE packs.

10.  What Blessings are we buffing now?

Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings.  Depends on your group set-up.  If you are caster heavy, bite the bullet and buff kings.  If you are physical damage heavy, then Blessing of Might is probably your best route.  If a Druid is in the group, their Mark of the Wild is the same as our Kings, and they will not stack.  So in that instance, buff Might.

11.  Is it important that all my gear is plate?

Yes. Wearing all plate will increase our strength by 5%.

12.  Holy Wrath does what?

Holy Wrath now hits all targets.  Yes, even humanoids.  It will add an additional stun effect on Undead and Demons (Dragonkin and Elementals if glyphed).

13.  What is our closing/distance attack now that Hand of Reckoning deal no damage?

Judgement is your primary closing/distance attack now.  Exorcism is a better option if Art of War is procced.

14.  Best combat heals?

I am liking Word of Glory more and more.  This spell is looking more genius every day I play.  Word of Glory is your instant heal at the expense of Holy Power and its damaging attacks.  Flash of Light hits quick and hard, but at a high mana cost.  However, with Rets having little mana concerns at the moment, a FoL every now and then won’t cripple our mana pool too much.

15.  What damage should I be doing in 5-mans and raids?

Honestly, I have no idea.  I’ve seen some Rets posting they hit 11k DPS, and others saying they can’t top 5k.  It’s too soon to ballpark DPS numbers, so stay tuned.  As soon as we have a better idea, I promise I’ll have those numbers up!

16.  How the heck do I get my guild tabard off when I have no guild tabard equipped?!?!

Just equip a tabard and then unequip it, it should take the auto-tabard off.  Pretty sure this is a bug.

17.  I thought max flying speed was only supposed to cost 250g?

Actually, there are 2 different flying costs.  The first is what we see now, increasing our mounted flying speed to 310%.  That is in-game and costs 5000g without rep bonuses.

The second is the ability to fly in Azeroth, which costs 250g.

Therein lies the confusion.  Unfortunately, 310% at 5000g is one of the Cata gold sinks.


  1. DEMONJEANK says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time on researching and posting your findings here, We all really appreciate it a lot!

    So I applied everything you posted here and my dps went up from 4k to 6.5k


  2. DEMONJEANK says:

    BIS Trinkets:

    284 STS > 277 TAiaJ > 264 TAiaJ > 277 DBW > 271 STS > 264 DBW > 258 DV/C > 264 WFS > 245 DC/V > 251 WFS > 264 HWT

    …can anyone here clarify what these acronyms stand for?

    i know that
    TAiaj = Tiny abom in a jar
    DBW= death bringer’s will
    HWT= Hergumi War Token

  3. Khor says:

    TAiaj = Tiny Abomination in a Jar
    DBW= Deathbringer’s Will
    HWT= Herkuml War Token
    STS = Sharpened Twilight Scale
    DV/C = Death’s Verdict / Death’s Choice
    WFS = Whispering Fanged Skull

    :) Sorry ’bout that!

  4. Zawaz says:

    I am having major mana issues. I am 35+k HP 6.5k mana avg gear lvl263 4 pc t10 str gemmed with meta requirement met. Glyphs and talents from EJ. Also using the Single target & multi target rotations (on separate tool bars) that you suggested in a previous article which have brought up my dps 1.5k in random heroics. I have macro’d rebuke/CS in a starting attack and also have a AW/Zealotry macro when off cd. Everything is a great improvement over the noobness after the patch, but mana is completely tanking. Any suggestions?

    P.S. I have been an avid reader of your site since I started playing WOW in March and I highly recommend it to any Ret pallies that come to me with questions, keep up the great work!


  5. Smurfan says:

    I am a little confused in working out the haste soft cap.
    Atm on my toon i have 726 Haste (22.14%), my latency varies between 400-600. Should i be getting rid of some haste or trying to get some more? I want to make sure i have the desired cool down time for my CS.

  6. Akiliez says:

    So is the +20 Haste gem a better choice for yellow sockets then the +str/crit?

  7. Akiliez says:

    Also what would be a good blue gem for the 2 to have the meta work? +exp/stam if you are hit cap?

  8. Lykaon says:

    I’d like some more clarification on gems myself. Since the meta requires two blue, we have to pick something there. Should we use a Nightmare Tear for one and then what for the other? Or is the nightmare tear also devalued now such that we’d be better off with exp or hit?

    Furthermore, is it now true that there is no amount of socket bonus that would warrant filling a yellow slot? Logic would suggest that since getting to the haste cap is so important that we would could/would use haste/str or pure haste to fill yellow slots, allowing us to pick up some str socket bonuses as well.

    That would allow us to keep crit on gear instead of reforging it for haste.

    I had the 2pc T9 before, so my yellow sockets are full of crit/str gems. Expensive to replace them all, so I really want to make sure I’m making the right choice.

  9. Khor says:

    Hey guys, the haste situation is tricky. For one, the soft cap involves a small calculation based on your average latency. That’s going to be inconsistent from player to player.

    Second, gemming is something I am watching, and I have seen everything from matching yellow sockets with +str/+haste to gemming solid +haste. I think the +str/+haste is viable, btu I will wait to get some concrete numbers. I’ll update this page as soon as I find out!

  10. AlphaBob says:

    I’m not so sure about the wisdom of changing the current +21 Agility meta for a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond which requires TWO blue gems instead of one.

    While Agility GEAR tends to be useless because Armor Pen is gone and that class of gear has no corresponding Strength buff, remember that Agility still generates crit rating, so we are essentially trading a Agility=Crit Rating gem for a pure Crit Rating gem that requires a second blue gem.

    Going to a second blue requires giving up a +20 STR gem. The best bonus I can work out is getting a +6 STR socket bonus for the second blue, and depending on which blue I use, the best end result is a loss of 4 STR. So our primary stat has been reduced for a slight gain in Crit Rating.

  11. Khor says:

    @ Alpha – Excellent points. I’m not a fan of that either, and you might be right. I will do some more research and crunch some more numbers.

  12. Fulgora says:

    Okay, question about the flying. XD

    What you posted, I knew. But you wrote “without rep bonus.” The Dalaran trainer offers no rep bonus, despite being exalted with Kirin Tor, so I went to Outlands and the flight trainer there offers me nothing. So where is this rep discount you speak of?

    For the record, in OL, I went to the Honor Hold flight trainer.

  13. Joe says:

    I’m sorry for this, but can someone please explain thar graphics concerning holy power. How do I read the bar, and what do the graphics around the target mean?

  14. Handera says:

    Hey Khor, are you still keeping your attack power enchants for now? That is, does ap still work that way?

  15. Khor says:

    @ Handera – Yep, still keeping AP enchants for now :) AP still works the same.

  16. Anthony says:

    Wait…so you are saying to drop 4pc t10 for 2pc t9 and 2 pc t10?

  17. Tehforce says:

    Before you go ahead and spend 5k on 310% flying skill beware that they just added a change to the “What a long strange trip its been” meta achievement. This achievement will now reward you with 310% flying skill as well as the Violet Drake. So if you’re kinda close to finishing up that meta achievement of you’re not in a hurry to get the 310% flying skill, think about getting it through the achievement and save yourself 5k gold.

  18. Khor says:

    @ Anthony, no 4T10 still beats 2T9 and 2T10…I’m just saying don’t drop 2T9 until you get to 4 T10.

  19. Metin says:

    A few questions here:

    1) After hit cap, should I aim for 26 expertise unbuffed or with Seal of Truth active?

    2) Until I get use to the new rotation, I am relying on CLCRet addon. I’m using it right out of the box. Is the default priority rotation optimal?

    3) CRCRet sets up the Holy Power bar right in the middle of the screen which is nice. What addon can be used to generate a sound to indicate 3 Holy Power? I have Power Aura Classic installed but having a hard time figuring it out. And it’ll be nice to generate a sound when Seal of Truth stacks 5.

  20. Captoats says:

    Very good read, thank you for compiling this, I’m sure it is helping a lot of people.

    One thing though, from what I can tell, SoT still outweighs SoR on AoE after a certain time. I tested my dps from behind on the lvl83 dummy using only five judgements and auto attacks, hit/exp capped, with each seal, and this is what skada reported:

    Seal of Truth: 119k damage
    Censure: 38.1k total, 2.2k average hit
    Auto attack: 31.6k total, 2.3k average hit
    Judgement: 18.9k total, 3.8k average hit
    Seal of Truth: 17.5k total, 0.9k average hit
    Seals of Command: 12.9k total, 0.4k average hit

    Seal of Righteousness: 59.5k dmaage
    Auto attack: 27.4k total, 2k average hit
    Judgement: 16.2k total, 3.2k average hit
    Seal of Righteousness: 8.9k total, 0.5k average hit
    Seals of Command: 7k total, 0.3k average hit

    Seal of Righteousness (3 mobs): 91.3k damage
    Auto attack: only affects one target, simple 27.4k damage
    Judgement: only affects one target, simple 16.2k damage
    Seal of Righteousness: affects 3 targets, 8.9k x 3 = 26.7k damage
    Seals of Command: affects 3 targets, 7k x 3 = 21k damage

    I highly advice you to check my math and do your own tests.

    For single target SoT clearly outdamages SoR, but for multiple targets, SoT and SoR are kind of tied. For short pulls (ie heroics or ~30sec AoEs) SoR seems to pull ahead because there is less ramp up time. When you are AoEing for a while (ie a large pull in ICC) the passive DoT on SoT pulls it ahead sometime between the fourth and fifth judgement. So, really, it is situational. For single target burst, SoT still beats SoR because SoR is incredibly weak, barely ahead of SoJ (Aka, SoR is not the new SoComm, you can AoE with it, but not burst). If you have 3 targets to hit for a short amount of time, SoR SHOULD be more damage than SoT, but who knows. Also, one thing that I couldn’t test attacking a dummy is that if the target dies with stacks on it, you could potentially lose dps because those DoT ticks that took rampup time are gone, and now you have to reapply the dots.

    What is your opinion on this? (I’m not trying to prove you wrong, just find out if my observation is worth noting)

    Second, with seal damage taking a big nerf to the face, is 4pc t10 REALLY still as good as it was? Pre patch, seal damage and judgements were huge parts of our damage, but now they are 4-5th damage, still worth potentially losing stats over for a buff? I guess this also affects TAiaJ, because it was so awesome since it worked with seal damage.

    Also, hit cap is now 240 for 8%, not 263 (from what I have heard), and expertise seems to be capping at 22 instead of 26, although this may just be a bug.

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