Retribution Paladins as of Patch 3.3.3

Retribution Paladins have come to another consecutive patch without any major changes.  For that matter, Paladins in general have been more or less left alone.  While there are some WoW players out there clamoring for more attention, I choose to believe that Paladins are finally exactly where Blizzard wants them to be.

Don’t get me wrong, there are always tweaks and adjustments to be made to every class, but for the most part, all three Paladin specs are very strong in my opinion.  Blizzard has made it known they would like to address AoE tanking, as well as making Paladin healing a bit more well-rounded.  But other than that, Paladin news, and Retribution Paladin news in particular, has been non-existent.


The Ret tree has finally evolved to where we can provide heavy AoE damage, as well as consistent, high single target DPS.  I don’t see Blizz attempting to change much here, especially since our DPS scales with gear very well.  If I had to address a few issues, however, they would be:

  • Mana Shortages- With the 2-piece T10 bonus, as well as a plethora of instant melee attacks, we Ret Paladins simply devour mana at a very high rate.  If you get 3 or 4 T10 procs in a row, our mana pool dwindles rapidly.  There are times when I am having to consume mana potions instead of haste potions just to keep my mana supply fresh.  This isn’t an urgent matter, but it is something that I would hope is addressed. Paladin mana usage goes through the roof with ICC raiding.  In all other aspects, it is completely manageable.  Even in ToC I didn’t seem to be running out of mana all too often.  Divine Plea and Judgements of the Wise are more than capable of keeping pace with most aspects of Ret Pally gameplay.  But ICC brings a whole new level of intensity, and our mana pool does seem to be an issue.
  • Seal of Righteousness Futility- I’m not saying this seal serves no purpose…because in PvP I know it has it’s usage for harder hitting judgements.  But Seal of Righteousness is the forgotten DPS seal, with Seal of Command and it’s cleave abilities taking top priority.  I’m not sure how I’d tweak it without removing it completely, but it just seems that Seal of Righteousness falls further and further into the depths of the forgotten.  ( I actually have an idea for Seal of Command replacing Seal of Righteousness at the entry levels, minus the cleave ability, but that’s another issue!)


Despite the AoE discussions that have plagued the WoW forums of late, most of us Paladins feel there is nothing wrong with our AoE tanking.  Because our threat mechanics are so strong with our AoE protection abilities, other classes are comparing themselves to us and feeling shorted.  My hope is that if Blizz addresses this with changes in future patches, they buff the other classes and leave us alone.  AoE threat is generally weak amongst the other classes, I agree, and I will also admit it’s hard not to compare and be a smidge envious.  But don’t touch something that isn’t broken on our part.

With that said, there are also some complaints that Paladin single target threat is stronger than that of Warriors and other classes.  I’m going to have to stop those of you right there.   I have seen this debate in so many threads it makes my head hurt.  Yes, Paladins are good at holding single target threat, but the other classes can be just as good, if not better.  The most common complaint seems to be with Warrior threat.  Bottom line, Warrior single target threat comes down to player skill.  A Warrior should have no problems holding threat against a Prot Paladin.  If the Warrior is having threat issues, I would encourage them to do some research and find the holes in their tanking approach.  Warriors should be better single target threat holders when compared to Paladins.


Ah, the mess that is Paladin healing.  We are the super, spectacular, all-awesome main tank healers.  Our Holy Lights will wash away all your wounds, with a mountain of mana at our beckon.  Sounds good, right?  Well, it is.  We are superb tank healers.  But the problem with Paladin healing lies in several other areas, and it looks as if Blizzard aims to remedy that in a future patch.  I, for one, have been off-spec heals this last month or so, and have been used as a healer more often than DPS for our raids.  Here are my concerns with Paladin healing:

  •  Inadequate Group Heals- Should we be spectacular at group healing?  No, that’s what we have Shaman and Druids for. Let them roll those HoTs and chain heals.  But at least give us some group healing utility.  Sometimes the only option you have for group heals is a Paladin.  Yes, we can spec for Flash of Light, and punch out Holy Shock every time it is off cooldown, but we need a little more flexibility for those crucial situations in later raiding.  Relying upon a Holy Light Glyph for minor group heals is trivial.   This is the biggest issue I am anxiously awaiting Blizz to address.
  • Healing on the Run – More and more of the boss encounters we find in raiding require a heavy dose of moving around.  I, personally, would like to see some improvement in our healing on the run.  A Holy Shock and possible instant Flash of Light is all we have at the moment, and for a big heal, we have to stop and cast, which isn’t always the best option.  I’m not saying blow Paladin healing up and make us a jack-of-all-trades, but at the rate some of these bosses deal out damage, and how often they keep us moving, it  would be nice to see some form of adjustment to keep us as effective at healing as possible.

What would you like to see changed for Retribution Paladins, or any of the other specs?  Is there any shortcoming that you feel needs to be addressed?  I am happy with my DPS.  Four-piece T10 catapulted me into another bracket of DPS, and I have been a strong contributor to our raids.  We have bested all of ICC except Lich King, and my mana concerns are heightened here due to how much I am already out of mana.  Adjustments will be made on my part, but I am hoping we may see something from Blizz as well.  Hell, even if they strengthen mana pots…at least it’s something!


  1. Matt says:

    I wish Armor Pen worked for Rets as well as it does for Warriors. :( We would be the top DPS though, I bet.

  2. Khor says:

    Me too Matt, it would be nice to get more utility out of armor pen. However, I would not like choosing between haste and armor pen on my gear. I hate decisions like that :)

  3. Matt says:

    Which is why I envy hunters. There’s not much they have to worry about. Luckily, those stats will be taken out soon.

  4. James says:

    I’ve been looking to get back into raiding after a break of about 6 months. I have to admit, I’m excited about 2 piece t10, but I can definitely see it causing some mana issues. Does taking a couple points in Divine Intellect help with it at all? I know that with our tiny amount of intellect it wouldn’t be a huge increase, but I understand that the best Ret spec includes Aura Mastery, so I don’t think getting some points there would be a big issue. (Great site by the way, I just stumbled on it. It’s very well organized and I think it looks great. Definitely bookmarked!)

  5. Khor says:

    Thanks James! Yeah, I have all 5 points in Divine Int. It does help, and if you get a chain of Divine Storm procs, you’ll wonder where all your mana went:) But it’s SO worth the DPS!

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