Retribution Paladins – Stats

Retribution Paladin Stats is current Cataclysm, Patch 4.0, Patch 4.0.6 and Patch 4.1.  There are many changes for Retribution Paladins and their stats in Cataclysm, so pay close attention to stat priorities when obtaining gear, gemming, and enchanting.

Retribution Paladins rely on strength as their main stat, and it has been that way for a very long time. This list is what is considered optimal, but keep in mind that every person has different gear, so you may need to make some small adjustments based on what gear you are wearing.

So as a quick refresher, here are the stats you should be aiming for as a retribution paladin:

  1. Strength
  2. Hit Rating
  3. Expertise
  4. Mastery
  5. Critical Strike
  6. Haste

1.  Strength

Strength is what gives us attack power and increases our damage.  This will be a titan for determining DPS and damage output, so this will be our main stat throughout Cataclysm.  Remember, 1 strength = 2 Attack Power.  I am placing this above hit and everything else because it is the only major stat on this list.  Everything below is a secondary stat that can be capped and Reforged.

2.  Hit Rating

Hit affects your hit %, or ability to hit mobs and bosses. At level 80 and 85, Paladins need a total of 8% hit to be capped at 100%, meaning they never miss. Normal melee swings, including Crusader’s Strike, Templar’s Verdict, Judgement, and Divine Storm are all affected by this. Reaching the hit cap should be your number one priority.  It is largest DPS increase you will get from secondary stats.

3.  Expertise

Capping expertise removes a mob’s/boss’s ability to dodge our attacks. To cap this, you need 26 expertise, or 6.5%. It is recommended to maximize DPS, you have both hit and expertise capped.

4.  Mastery

Mastery is the new Cataclysm stat, and as of this posting (which is Patch 4.0.6), it is currently above both crit and haste.  Mastery now adds 2.1% additional Holy damage for every point of Mastery.  This means that at level 85, a Retribution Paladins will have a default 8 Mastery, for an additional 16.8% increase to Holy damage dealt.

5.  Critical Strike

Critical Strike comes very close to Haste in terms of importance.  It’s DPS weight just barely beats out haste, so it is a good idea to try and stack both stats equally, as best as you can.

6.  Haste

Haste has changed from Wrath to Cataclysm, and right up until launch, we could reach the soft cap of Haste by stacking enough to get Crusader Strike to a 3 second cooldown.  At level 85 and equivalent gear, this is no longer possible.  Haste is a heavier stat now, and falls under crit in terms of importance.

Here are a few Haste posts current as of Patch 4.0.6:

NOTE: Remember, this is the ideal rank of stat importance. it varies greatly based on your current gear and talents.  A Ret Paladin that is hit and expertise capped will have Mastery as their top priority, followed by crit, and then haste.


  1. Matt says:

    Hi Khor, excellent help for people like me that are still having problems dealing with pre-cata changes…

    Let me ask (an idiot?) question… I have read about the cap concept on skills 2 thru 6 that you describe in the post, but what about STRENGHT? Does it cap??

    Thanks a lot and keep with the good work!

  2. Slackergrim says:

    Has this been updated post cata? I just went to the Haste like and it said to ignore that and Crit was more important.

  3. Khor says:

    Hasn’t been updated just yet. I am leaning on Crit replacing Haste, just need a few more confirmations before I pull the trigger…

  4. Neo says:

    it might be just me but mastery seems to give a more dps, although it can be random, most my dps burst comes from it, i got nearly best blues b4 raid and with all those crit and haste my combat ratings r still terrible like 10% crit and 6-8% haste, anyone know b4 getting maybe full epics if mastery is better? i cant see anyone in full heroic blues having more then 15% crit jsut seems not worth it? alot easier to get high mastery at low gear aka heroics?

  5. Swiz says:

    Great site. Made me realize how little thought I’ve put into the game and how, if you want, you can really enjoy the game at another level. Anyway, is there a place on the site that lists average Stats at 85? I mean, what “might” you want for Strength, I know to Cap Hit and Expertise, but I’m wondering what a “good” number for Strength would be. Thanks again for all the time and effort you’ve put into this website.

  6. Naomi says:

    Just wondering how the feeling is toward other ret paladins. I tank our raids but when I’m not needed, they have me go ret. One comment a guildie had was that they don’t see the need for a ret paladin in a raid, vs. other melee dps classes. Ret is not “good dps” in their opinion. I can see their point. I did over 12k on Magmaw but rogues and DKs are still on top, so what’s the point? Maybe that will change if they buff our mastery, but I guess it’s hard to balance PvE and also have PvP be fair.

  7. Déggial says:

    This order stats applies to PvP Ret Paladin as well!?

  8. Spence says:

    Hey Khor,

    First off you have a GREAT site! I give it 10/10 and i only discovered it today :D.

    I made a retribution paladin the day after the first major cataclysm patch, 4.0 i believe. Right when they did the talent tree changes, And I’m loving them! Paladins have always been my favourite class but i never had time to make one, Was mastering my rogue 🙂 Fun but old now. I have a few questions on some information i could not find in the forums:

    1) What stats should i be looking to reforge into hit and mastery? I currently am getting working on full PVP
    gear set, I have the bloodthirsty 5/5 and boots/Rings.

    2) For PVP spec i have the 7/2/32 With the 1 point in “Act of Sacrifice” instead of Divine Storm, is Divine Storm needed for PVP at all or was i correct at not putting it in my PVP Off Spec. (I’m more of the 1v1 type, Mainly in PVP i like to down the players that are capping a base or carrying the flag so i dont have much use for AOE).

  9. Spence says:

    *Included with above post*

    I dont think i got my message across the way i intended for Question 1 >.<

    What i meant to get across is what spec a i reforging into, I have been told to reforge my crit into hit till i capped then move onto reforging it into haste. But i never had any knowledge on expertise reforging, Do you have Any suggestions into how to reforge for maximum DPS?

  10. DragonBæne says:

    Hi guys……as from patch 4.6 , wont mastery become more important then haste and crit due to the dmg increases? For me its still debatable whether mastery should be before crit.

    1 Strength
    2 Hit Rating
    3 Expertise
    4 Mastery
    5 Critical Strike
    6 Haste

  11. DragonBæne says:

    i mean 4.0.6

  12. Humanaggro says:

    Hi Khor!
    First, I would like to thank you for this amazing site!
    Now, to my question. I wondered if there is anything that I could change in my current gear that would increase my DPS. I’m hit and expertise caped with SoC so that is not a problem. Just wanted a few tips if something is “wrong” with the gear, or glyphs, talents, etc. Thanks in advance for helping!

    Here is a link to my pally:

  13. Spence says:

    Thanks to this site i transformed my ret pally from meh to always top of the charts 😀 Thanks!

    Been working on healing set in arena but for Bg’s this is my pally to dateõs/simple

    What really helped was the reforging guides and stats priorities 😀 i know once i get my ret geared gemmed and chanted that i will be a monster 🙂

  14. Andrew says:

    Right, so if I understand right, I should try to have crit and mastery fairly equal and high?, would you recommend reforging crit to mastery or just leaving it alone and only reforging haste to mastery?

  15. buldoza says:

    what about intellect?

  16. Athenos says:

    What about intellect is right! Wont you run out of mana fast without?

  17. shadybrothers says:

    We get mana from a strength conversion, the more strength you have, the more mana you have.
    (please correct me if I’m wrong 🙂

  18. sagg says:

    1 – str
    2 – crit
    3 – haste
    4 – mastery
    5 – hit
    6 – exp

    9.5k dps!

  19. LCRoberts says:

    Would be nice if someone addressed most of the comments above – some REALLY good Q’s up there….

  20. tristeñ says:

    my stats go
    1 str obiously
    2 hit to cap
    3 mastery
    4 crit
    mainly pvp just started pve again first time since 4.0.6 without many enchants or even right reforging easy over 10k dps and horrible pve gear . will hit 20k on boss with a lil work.
    pvp wise have full bloodthisty with 5 vicious and only 3095 resillience reforged hit to cap mastery around 13% crit to 7% and hardly ever not no 1 in damage if not top 3 with ease. not bragging here just showing my stats for you guys to consider

  21. Randoraze says:

    Hey guys,

    I started a debate with a fellow pally over expertise. I understand that having your expertise capped means the mob that you are fighting cannot dodge your attacks. But why is expertise important if you are already hit capped? If your hit is capped doesn’t that mean you aren’t going to miss that boss anyways? and how can a mob dodge or parry you if you are behind them DPS’ing like you are suppose to be?

    Just a little confused about this. I used to raid as holy so I’m still a little new to the ret world. I always remember expertise as a fury warrior and DK stat.

    thanks for your help!!

  22. ZxEKevin says:

    I know people are going to call me a noob for this. At this point in time I think haste is the best stat to reforge for at this time. Obviously strength and hit are still the most important. But I believe haste creates a legitimate rotation for Ret, it makes it less dependent on procs. I keep all my mastery, hit, and haste then reforge crit into haste. Right now my crusader strike is at a 4 second cd. If we could get enough gear to get that cd down to about 3 – 3.5 seconds, crusader strike could be every other attack. I am a main spec pally tank and with CS being such a small cd it would be similar to the pally tanking rotation. I pull around 9.5k dps on the dummy with a 340 ilvl. Any feed back would be appreciated. I’d like someone else to try this out and let me know what they think.

  23. Aaron says:

    I don’t think that’s noobish Kevin, I’ve always put haste at the top of the list, so if that makes you a noob, call me one as well. I always make sure I’m hit capped, but I’m not expertise capped because i focus on mastery and crit after haste, repectively. Of course, strength is the most important stat for ret pallies, but it’s not reforgeable, and its a given stat we receive from just about every piece (along with stam) so I don’t take it into consideration when reforging. haste>mastery>crit>expertise, while being hit capped is what i shoot for. All of my sockets are either +30 stam and +20 str (sovereign demonseye) or +20str and +20 haste (can’t remember name), with a few mastery ones thrown in there. ilvl 355, havent done dummy in a while, maybe its time to see if it works. Usually 17-18k dps on random H bosses.

  24. Willie says:

    I never understood how Haste was being phased off the stat chart… I’m a fan of reforging on others opinions to try it out.. What a 100G at lvl 85 anyway. What should the haste be capped at til you > crit ?
    I am hit capped > exp capped > 16% mast > crit 8% > haste 4%

    Where should I go from here to re-stat for (what %/rating) haste > exp ?

  25. darkchickens says:

    im not too sure whats going on, im 355 ilvl and am only hitting 10-11k on a dummy without my CDs
    i have:
    17 mastery
    hit capped
    expertise capped
    9% crit
    7.5% haste
    and 3903 strength
    and yes im keeping up inquisition and folowing the FCFS rotation

  26. Zyax says:

    Okey guys, this is what works for me!
    Im a BE Paladin playing on Tarren Mill EU
    I have been trying alot of stuff.. Probebly spent 2k gold on reforging giving Haste, Crit, and mastery the highest priority! But atleast for me Mastery has been the most powerfull third stat!
    Hit 1st, Exp 2nd and mastery 3rd.. Then Crit and last Haste!
    But still when you are reforging you got to look at what stats the gear you are reforging got..
    Lets say its 100 haste and 100 crit you can work with!
    Then I woud reforge the haste into mastery if you are Hit and Exp capped becuz haste is the weakest stat in my opinion!

    Atm i got this stats:
    8.07% hit (8%=capped)
    5.14% haste
    7.47% crit
    18exp (16=soft cap.. to get this to capped use Glyph of Seal of Truth wich grants you 10 free exp while Seal of Truth is active wich = 26 exp and then you are capped)
    Other than that always stack strength, no matter what! That is the first prio gem since you can reforge evrything else to what you need!

    When it comes to Rotation i recomend using the CLCRet addon! It is rly great to keep up with your first prio spells and rotation!
    And when you are raiding is all about getting the dps burst right!
    Like me i start of with popping Avenging wrath at the start when i got Inquistion up!(Its important to always refresh it!) After that its depending on the boss fight if I would use Guardian or Zealotry! Like against Magmaw when the head is down you pop Guardian AND Golemblood Potion wich gives you 1200 strength for 25 sec, when you stack the potion and the Strength you get from the Guardian you will get a insane dps burst! But only use it if u know u can stand and dps for around 20-30 sec without needing to run away!

  27. Zyax says:

    Forgot 16.32 mastery!
    I hope evryone could sorta undertand what i tried to say 🙂
    But it did look a bit messy xD

  28. steve says:

    ye those stats are just like mine but when i put them into it say haste becomes are best state i am startin to think u need to find a balance in the states

  29. Erik Bjornebekk says:

    i go for strength, mastery, critt, haste…. i do 25k dps..

    1800++ mastery

  30. Peter says:

    Ok ive got a lvl 85 ret paladin what armor spc should i be looking for IE strenth,stamina or other.

  31. Jace Nelson says:

    Ok we def need a update on the new patch that is downloading as I speak. lol I also need to know what is the best way to set you bar in game. I just changed from heals so I am a little dumb to the dps. Please help. Thank You

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