Top 5 Reasons Your DPS is Low

From reading comments on this site, in addition to PMs and emails I get from players, it seems many Retribution Paladins are not quite reaching the DPS numbers they believe they should be obtaining.  I am leaning towards agreeing that many Rets are underperforming, and I am going to use my own experiences to give my take on why DPS numbers are low.

Keep in mind, when viewing this Top 5 list, that Retribution Paladins are not a top DPS class.  In fact, we are quite the opposite, hanging down in the lower rung of best DPS classes.  It is possible for a Ret Paladin to be the top performing DPS in his or her party/raid, but as a majority, most other classes are  well above us in terms of damage output.

Top 5 Reasons Retribution DPS is Low

1.  You are not Hit or Expertise Capped

This is the obvious one, and should surprise no one.  If you are complaining of low DPS, make sure you are hit and expertise capped.  If you are not, then you may be missing, getting dodged, or getting parried more frequently than if you had your hit and expertise caps.  This is always #1 in terms of gearing and stat priorities, so reach those caps!

2.  Gear Level is Low

If you are hovering around an average gear level of 333 or lower, your damage output and DPS is going to reflect this.  Don’t expect to be cranking out the DPS numbers a 346+ item level Paladin is putting out.  There is a pretty significant difference between the 333 and 346 gear levels.  Similarly, there is also a noticeable difference between the 346 and 359 gear levels.

3.  Inquisition is not Being Refreshed

If you are letting Inquisition fall off, you are losing DPS.  Inquisition should be refreshed anywhere from 6 seconds or under to 2 seconds past expiration.  Really, you want to aim to refresh it as close to zero seconds as possible.  Forgetting to re-apply it, or applying it too often (wasted Holy Power), is going to result in much lower damage totals.  Inquisition should be up for most of the duration of any fight you are attempting.

4.  Out of Position

This goes back to problems I saw in Wrath, and part of this I attribute to us still learning dungeon and raid fights.  The best position for a Retribution Paladin to be in is behind the target.  This gives our expertise rating max benefit, preventing the boss from dodging.  Parries are not removed from the table, but should be minimized with expertise.  Now, sometimes, getting behind a boss isn’t possible (Magmaw, Argaloth), so hit from the side as close as you can (if possible). 

Also, in boss fights, Seal of Truth and the resulting Censure damage should be ticking away at all times.  Letting this fall of is detrimental to DPS.  How does this happen?  Being out of position and away from the boss.  I you are forced to run away and out of normal melee range, find someway to continue attacking.  For instance, on Argaloth in Tol Barad, when the flames start spreading on the ground, try and hug the boss and get under him to continue to DPS.  Running away from him towards the edge of the room is going to seriosuly cut into your damage totals.

So, stay within melee range and try to stay attacking as long as possible.  Being out of position is going to be a major factor in high or low DPS totals.

5.  Group and Raid Composition

So, you are doing all of the above correctly, and still can’t seem to sqeak out more DPS than you know you are capable of.  This may out of your control.  Blizzard has made these fights very difficult for the average player and guild, and having the perfect class set-up can often mean success or wipes.  For instance, if you are for some reason without a Mage or Shaman, you are missing out on Heroism.  That alone is a titanic DPS loss.  If you stack 3 Hunters and 2 Rogues, you are missing on buffs from Mages, Warlocks, DKs, Warriors, etc.  Certain fights are better done with specific classes, and the same holds true for the amount of damage you put out for each individual fight.  If you are missing buffs because of raid composition, there isn’t much you can do…just crank out as much DPS as can!

Each raid boss may require a unique set of classes and abilities for optimal performance. Raid composition in The Dusty Nerd becomes a game-changer in your journey. If you find yourselves lacking essential buffs due to the raid setup, don't be disheartened. Simply focus on maximizing your individual DPS output and coordination with your fellow guild members, teamwork and optimal raid composition can mean the difference between victory and defeat in these challenging encounters.


  1. jello says:

    Hi…jut quick question bout reason 1. …could you explain me what means cap – its just exactly value – 8% for hit and 26 for expertise or could be more?…and what if I got more ? …

  2. Khor says:

    @ jello – right, 8% for hit and 26 for expertise. Sometimes, you will get a little spillover from gear, so a little over the cap is okay. But a surplus of hit rating and expertise rating is a wasted stat, and will not benefit you further.

    Basically, a cap means the most of a stat you will need to reach a certain objective. Hit for instance, needs 8% hit to reach the hit cap, to prevent our melee attacks from missing. Once you hit 8%, you are golden. If you start adding more hit on top of the 8%, the result doesn’t change, you still don’t miss…but all that extra hit is just a pile of worthless stats. It’s better to focus on the other stat priorities once you reach your caps.

  3. raikalo says:

    Added thought, if you end up with a large excess of hit rating, it’s a good idea to reforge that stat out into something else…after you know you won’t be changing your gear composition a lot.

  4. s7vn says:

    I am a draenai paladin with hit at 838 and expertise at 25. My question is, should I go lower to 21 and expect to regain the upper amount through blessing of kings. The reason I ask is because when I buff with kings it raises my expertise to 35. This has bothered me because I don’t know how I should juggle it. Also kudos to you Khor for a fantastic site. I find myself referencing it daily. Thank you.

  5. HolyShoteR-Warsong says:

    well , i’m a ret paladin, i’m capped with hit and expertise , i use CLCret to help my rotation, my DPS on single target on raids is 11k in mobs and 15k~19k depending on the boss i fight.

    nowadays the only class i lose in the damage done is hunters ,
    my advice for boss fights is to use consecration often to boost dps
    and always keep inquisition ON by refreshing them with 3~5 seconds remaining.

  6. Captoats says:

    Kings doesn’t effect your expertise. SoT prime glyph will. Use that and get your expertise as close to 16 as you can. Even if you go over 26 expertise with the glyph, it is still better to use the glyph.

  7. PallyinTrouble says:

    Hello Khor,

    I have been practicing your rotations and also have hit and expertise caps maxed out.

    Now, do we have a Mastery rating that you feel we should shoot for?

    Then, when you engage a target, either trash or a boss, what is the first attack you are launching besides your weapon. I have been told by fellow in game pallies, that they start every fight with Judgement, then this starts the rotation that you discuss along with AV and Hammer. What is the first spell that you use.

    Now, in Iquisition. Of course I am hitting it when it procs (or shines brightly), but I think I am hitting on a regular basis every time it lights up. Is that what you are talking about. I feel like I am hitting Inq and TV as much as possible then following up with CS, Ex (when it procs) and then Judge?

    My item level is 339 and with AV and Hammer going, I am not getting past 6.5K on a target dummy. I used to hit 12K in LK so this is very demoralizing.

    thanks for all the amazing work you put in!


  8. Khor says:

    @ PallyinTrouble – Mastery is yet to be determined. Gotta wait to see what 4.0.6 brings when it goes live.

    I open with Judgement if I am closing in from a distance, otherwise I open with CS if I am within range.

    Inquisition is something to work on. Yes, it looks as if you are using it too much. It should only be refreshed when it has under 6 seconds left. Hitting it as often as you do is probably a DPS loss 🙁

  9. Mod says:

    I’m having the same problems as PallyinTrouble. My item level is 331 with hit and expertise both capped. I keep Inquisition up all of the time, use AW and Zealotry as often as possible, and I just barely break 6k dps on the training dummies. I know my gear isn’t the best, but is the slightly higher level gear so much better that I would do double the dps?

    I’m not an expert player, but in Wrath I could still top damage in heroics and do well in raids with good, but not the best, gear.

  10. Khor says:

    @ Mod – DPS is very different now than in Wrath. Divine Storm got WTF nerfed, as did Judgement and a slew of other attacks. While we gained some powerful items in Templar’s Verdict, Inquisition, and Zealotry, we now sit at the lower tier of the DPS totem pole.

    THat said, DPS will always be better in 5-mans and raids than it is on dummies. For your gear level, I would be aiming for 6k to 7k on the dummies, and probably 7k to 8k in runs. If you can hit 7.5k at a 331 gear level, you are doing okay 🙂

  11. Elbozo says:

    I’ve come by a wierd problem with my ret dps. I’m currently geared with full 346’s with 2 faction epics and an epic axe from cho’gall and 1 333 trinket, and i’m suprised that i’m not doing any more damage then i used to do with full 346’s. It’s especially strange, since i’m hit/exp capped, almost to the exact minimal amount i need, reforged everything so i don’t loose the more valuable stats, yet still, my dps is average in comparison to others most of the time. It might be due to that i’m more used to tanking and lost my mdps instincts but i really can’t put a finger on it.

    Do you think it might be because that i try to refresh zealotry at last possible moment, my glyph choices are wrong or my priority system is wrong? Any hints to check what i’m doing wrong would be apreciated.

  12. Mod says:

    Thanks for the response Khor, and thanks for the entire site. It’s very helpful.

    I can just break 7k dps in dungeons, so I guess I just need to practice some more and get some better gear!

  13. Bee_Boo says:

    Thanks for nice summary Khor, this kicked me into getting Power auras and setup them for inq fade warning 🙂 (this will be done today, i promise)
    Now i have ilvl 349 equipped and on dummy i can pull around 10,5k dps. And it feels very unsatisfactory.
    On magmaw i can get dps up to 15k, but still it feels awkward.

  14. Mango says:


    I thought I should put my opinion here also.

    First, many thanks for all the effort maintaining this site, you’re doing a great job.

    The problem with Ret right now, in my opinion, is that is too much “randomness” involved. I’m around an average 334 ilvl and, on dummy, I’m sitting around 7.5K ( average ).
    I’ve made a test, on the dummy, 5 minutes long fights, same gear but separate fights …. first fight I had a ton of procs, pulled out around 9.5K and I was pretty happy. Second fight was just OK, managed around 7.8K got some procs but nothing special. Third and fourth fights were awful barely reaching the 6.7K, no procs at all, I was waiting for the CS to refresh, pretty long time just auto-attacks.
    So, looking at this, I say it is ok to have procs, no fight is the same but I don’t think that the differences should be that big, the DPS output on a couple of minutes fight should be more or less the same.


  15. Hammerhead says:

    Hi Khor,

    Thanks for all the information on your site.
    With all you information I was able to up my dps to around 7k in 5 man dungeons with 333 gear with 10k on bosses where moving is not an issue. But I’m still not there compared to other dpssers.
    I’m struggling with Inq. Do you pop Inq at the first 3 holy power? Or only from the HoL proc? Do you refresh Inq only with 3 holy power? Isn’t that a dps loss on trash? My dps drops on trash if I skip a single TV. I mostly pop Inq after Zealory, because then the next CS will activate a TV.


  16. Palalalala says:

    @HolyShoteR-Warsong: Are u using the consecration glyph?

  17. Anthony says:

    If you guys are raiding, post some numbers that you are pulling maybe?

    I’m not fully geared as Ret since Ive been mainly a tan but I got into a pug that took down Magmaw in BWD and the first 2 bosses in BoT and I topped charts both fights that I was in Ret which was Magmaw and the twin dragons in BoT.

    Magmaw, I topped charts with 14K in a 346 ilvl, missing some enchants and gems as well since my bracers are only 333 and my drops are just not happening.

    The twin dragons had a lot of moving at times, so I saw my dps at the top of the charts with 12.3K.

    Imo, I think those are decent numbers to be pulling right now..I’m not stat guy or whatever, but I feel satisfied with what I’m pulling with the gear I have now.

    Post your experiences!

  18. Anthony says:

    Double Post, sorry…

    But I probably could have pulled maybe a few more K dps if my rotations were solid, but as of now, its iffy to be honest. I havent done much in Ret for the longest time ever, so I was a bit out of shape you could say. As Rets, keep your head high, and hopefully the Mastery thing turns out to be better in the future since a lot of the gear now days is stacking Mastery left and right.

  19. Kaknees says:

    Nice Site Khor.
    Still reading, but am having the same types of problems I see listed here. Long gaps where CS is waiting for cooldown and nothing else is available to use.
    I am Hit(8.15%) and Exp(27 w/seal) capped. My gear item level is 350, all 346 and 359. Haste at 10.39 and Crit at 10.46. I am using FCFS(CLC-RET), last updated on 1/16/2011, to help with rotation…and i am probably 98 percent on target for matching what it is telling me to hit. ( minus the times it tells me to hit TV when I do not have HPx3 up. INQ is normally always up and I do not think it is popping more than it should be.
    In raid I am averaging 9-10k….at the same time my retpally guildy, who’s gear level was just a bit lower than mine, was averaging the same fights(magmaw). Not just once, but consistently. Neither of us can figure out what is going on. Heeelp!!

  20. HolyShoteR-Warsong says:

    Khor i need your opinion ,
    in my server any of the first kills contained retribution paladins, do u think ret pallies are being ignored for raids?

  21. Milos says:


    Outdps-ing some low geared/skilled ppl in random dungeons means absolutely nothing. What Khor suggest are just basic steps. You can maximize everything and our dmg will still be crap and will be at the very bottom.
    Ret is currently hands down THE WORST DPS class and no rets at all in top raids tells a lot (having them in first kills on your server tells only about your server and trust me it’s nothing positive).
    And if you think your 15-19k at boss fights means something look at dps breakdown of Paragon when they kill Sinestra yesterday.
    No rets at all in 25 men (which is highly expected) and top dps is around 30k (only prot tank had 17k btw).

    Patch might change something and this is still to be seen. Taking previous experience into account when ppl talked about how it will be fine at 85 and everything but we always end up crap doesn’t give me much confidence.
    One thing is certain, we are totally broken atm and there is a long way to make rets useful. Moreover, the bad (lolret) publicity is already spreading and we are on the verge to become what we’ve been in TBC.

    For all those ppl that play rets with mostly laymans and think therefore our dps is fine, please read what really top ppl are saying:

  22. GoodbyeRet says:

    Thank you so much for your explanations and the link. You are 100% correct.

    I love Khor and this site! His information has made the game so much more enjoyable and less time consuming thanks to painstaking research.

    However, I do agree with you that even with all that the great Khor has taught, us we are a truly broken class.

    I have played Wow for 4 years, all as a ret paladin and I was pulling 11-13K on LK and now, I am barely pulling 5-6 in cata heroics. I have been dropped from heroics many many times and I don’t get invited to raids. Why should my guild bother? The only thing I can offer is a bit of CC and some very basic survivability and that is damage output at all. The most recent guild raid has zero ret paladins..why…dps is awful.

    Now, I guess, I could spend more hours practicing a near pointless rotation but I am choosing not too. No game this should be this frustrating and difficult and thus ruin the enjoyment. I just want to login and play, not pour over countless details of each stat, each gem, each enchant, etc, at the same time stress about going from number 1 or 2 on the dps charts in November to dead last now.

    Why Blizz hates ret paladins? No idea and it is obvious they made an outrageous error in ruining probably the most potent and truly honorable classes the game has. For years I have been proud to be ret paladin, now…it is embarrassment.

    Not sure what I will do. Maybe give up the game or just suspend my account and wait to see if they finally fix us. I don’t think Blizz cares anyway since they are generating $100 million dollars a month in revenue.

    Thanks Milo for your words and of course Khor for your rocking information.


  23. Paulros says:


    Thank your for the great site.

    I am currently averaging 9k in HC’s. i am geared up to 349 and this can only make me wonder at my rotation.
    I do think that with the new dungeons and there mechanics that i would rather assist keeping the party alive than to kick out high dps. I am constantly using Lay on Hands on tank and word of glory on dps, interrupting and sleeeping spellcasters. I do think that we are now a very valuable class in all HC’s and hope that peeps see ur blog on ret palas roles and takes this to heart.
    I am interested in ur haste v crit advice as in WOTLK i stacked crit and was the highest dps’r on boss fights. I am not a expert so i dont understand all the mechanic’s but does stacking haste as a third important stat increase the chance of art of war and then increasing the chance of Excorcism?
    thank you for your time

  24. Elexquisa says:


    reason 1 and 2 are crap IF you say dps is low compared to other classes and or players.

    Most of other classes, are at the same ilvl as you and most of them do more dmg. And about the caps, every class got caps in stats, im sure not everyone got them capped.


  25. Khor says:

    @ Elex – Most Rets are aware that their DPS doesn’t compare to other classes. However, most are also well aware that their own personal numbers may be below what they should be.

    Remember, there are all kinds of players out there..casual, casual hardcore, pure hardoccre, pvp’ers, etc. This post is aimed as a foundation for recognizing core DPS problems, which WILL reflect lower DPS numbers.

    Beyond this list are more intricate details, that we may discuss at a later date 🙂

  26. Cilkia says:

    Well… i can get around 10k on dummies (with AW, guardian and zealotry + carefully watching inq), but i managed to get 16k once on Rahj in HoO normal with 342 iLvL. Normally on Boss fights i can get 12-13k if there isn’t too much running around involved and 8k overall…(when im lucky of course, getting procs and all that)

  27. Couthful says:

    Nice listing to go through instead of getting frustrated with ones DPS. Have to admit lots of Rets lose DPS because they simple don’t press buttons quick enough or they are lagging. Great site.

  28. JustNoticed says:

    “The best position for a Retribution Paladin to be in is behind the target. This gives our expertise rating max benefit, preventing the boss from dodging. Parries are not removed from the table, but should be minimized with expertise.”

    Just FYI, 26 expertise completely removes dodge from a boss’s hit table, regardless where you stand. Parry still has roughly 7.5% chance of occurring. However parry is completely removed from the hit table by standing behind the boss, as bosses can not parry a melee attack from behind them.

    Your point is valid, but for the wrong reasons.

  29. Ocacia says:

    For those pally’s complaining of 6-7k dps on a training dummy, keep in mind that you are missing buffs you would have from being in a group/raid and the dummy is missing any debuffs that would be provided by the group/raid and that will definitely put a damper on your dps output. It is also wise to note that our dps got messed up pretty bad when cata came out and our mechanics changed, 4.0.6 should be a nice noticeable increase to our dps and smooth out some of our randomness during a fight.

  30. richard atchison says:

    I tried using Inq and found that my dps dropped significantly. I now use it only when everything else is on cooldown. Further I have arranged the buttons (for lack of a better word), so that I always first to Guardian of ancient kings, then to avenging wrath and one of the two trinkets which give me either 1605 strength or 1425. During this time I am always watching for Zeolotry to proc and I go to it immediately and then generally run a rotation of CS/Judgment/ TV/ Hammer of Wrath. I only use Inq when everything is on cooldown and generally with CS and I view both as fillers. I did 14.5 K in a normal dungeon today although on average over a complete dungeon I expect to do about 8.5K with highs around 11K I suggest that those who are not pleased with their dps consider excluding Inq from their rotation as in my view it comsumes more holy power than it yields in dps. My gear score is 349 and I have everything you can get from the normal dungeons. Good luck and thank you all for sharing your experiences and suggestions

  31. Nicole says:


    I’ve only been playing for abt two months now, and I have just been playing casually and for fun. So, I’m up to level 59 now, but honestly I haven’t been paying much attention to specifics. I’m a college student, so I don’t have much time to read through guides and get totally in depth, but I don’t want to be a crummy player…I just looked at the leveling guide for my spec, so I rearranged my talent tree. Just so you know, I started out as Holy, but didn’t do so well in dungeons so when I had the option to switch I went to retribution. So, I haven’t had as much time playing as retribution as I had playing holy, and honestly I don’t know my way around my spells as well as I would like to. My DPS is always pretty low in dungeons, I’m usually on or very close to the bottom. I was wondering if anybody can give me some tips on how to get my DPS up and just be more effective overall. And please, I REALLY mean it when I say that I only play casually, as far as overall game knowledge and especially specific paladin knowledge goes, I’m still new. That being said, even if you think something is completely self evident as something I should be doing, tell me lol, bc I probably have no clue. I really appreciate anyone who helps out. ( *embarassed look* idk what most of the acronyms mean either… I might ask you to explain them to me) If there is somewhere else that I should go for info as well, I would appreciate recommendations too. Thanks everyone.

  32. Khor says:

    @ Nicole – Glad you stumbled onto the site here! The information I have put online is actually geared towards the casual player, breaking down the specifics of the class into a much simpler format than can be found on other sites.

    In terms of your DPS at level 59, it’s really hard to measure good vs bad dps at that level, because gear fluctuates based on how the player is leveling. Some keep gear up to the level they are in, and others are still using level 30 gear well into their 50s. So, I wouldn’t be too concerned about your DPS right now.

    The important thing to work on is getting used to killing things quickly while leveling. This means the use of Crusader Strike, Templar’s Verdict at 3 Holy Power, Judgement, and Exorcism with Art of War procs (makes Exorcism instant cast). You generally want to use your highest attacks first.

    For you, this would probably be Templar’s Verdict (TV), then Crusader Strike (CS), followed by Exorcism (EX), and lastly followed by Judgement.

    You can play around with the multiple target attacks, but it’s currently best to stick to the attacks I listed above.

    Hope this helps!

  33. richard atchison says:

    I noticed today that on several bosses my spells were largely on cool down at the start of the fight. The tank moved quickly from the mobs and went directly to the boss. This is not a critizism of the tank but rather an observation which could explain why our dps varies widely from fight to fight. To achieve my highest dps I need to have everything ready to go and the difference is significant. I use recount and have it set to current fight. Pehaps we need to have a minute break before starting a tough boss but it would require all of us to rethink how we function in a dungeon

  34. Thordin-Retpala says:

    Hey guys,

    Ive been new to wow since september 2010 and i love my main ret pala ‘Thordin’. Im now at itemlvl 351 now but i have some question: first of all some pala from my guild who is being seen as a very good one told me a i should reforge all my items to haste and lower something else and get my exp to 26, now is this correct about the haste? i have 3.97 sec cd on cs atm so it does help but i got my doubts about my dps… second, my exp is 35 now, and there is no way i can get it lower, i reforge everything to lower my exp but its still 35, is this bad or will it drop according to my progress and newer gear? tnx for this great website!

    Greets Thordin

  35. Ulliel says:

    So. My item lvl is 240 (check me at armory Eu Realm Alonsus), i’m missing something in my rotation.. i feel as if i dn’t know how to use my pala.. and my dps gets to 7k tops on the dummy.. it should be way higher. i know we don’t have much of a fixed rotation now.. but what would you suggest me to start with? i normally go with Judgement, then CS, then filler, then any shiny buttons that keep on showing up :P. also. i refresh inquisition once in a while… not as much as i should prolly.. Halp.. i wanna learn to use my Pala!! plz


  36. Dest says:

    I agree with the posters saying that ret pallies have been throughly beaten down with the nerf bat. It does take quite a bit more concentration to pull decent dps now in any environment, but be aware that most caster classes were buffed for cata ( ie why shadow priests are super uber) and most fights are geared toward caster classes. That said, I am not a complete ret noob and pull average about 14-16k in a heroic and have been up to 25k on heroic boss encounters. Raids are slightly more difficult depending on movement involved, but anywhere from 12-20k is possible but not much more than that. Of course I know that there are better players out there than me, but I am sitting at a 358 item level (just gained yesterday) before was around 355 and here are some things that worked for me.
    1. Use the elitist jerks retribution concordance, it is extremely helpful
    2. As mentioned before hit and exp cap is a must, but don’t go too much over.
    3. Gem straight strength unless the stat from correct gems is 30 or above (pretty rare at this point) meet hit/exp ONLY through refitting.
    4. Clc ret is your friend. Basic rotation is priority based- crusader strike/ judgement/ holy wrath (later two are fillers until you get a proc) and used until crusader strike is available again. Exorcism is used only when procced or out of melee range due to a boss mechanic (use sparingly because it drains lots of mana). Templars verdict should be used only at 3 holy power or when procced. Inquisition should ideally be used only at 3 holy power also for the duration til 4 piece bonus, otherwise you waste time refreshing. I use consecrate and divine storm only in very large packs of mobs, though consecrate could be used on bosses it does deplete quite a bit of mana.
    5. Special cd abilities- guardian of ancient kings, avenging wrath, zealotry. Obviously use whenever possible. I recently read that it helps to use the guardian at the start of the fight to get the 20 strength stacks going and then pop either zealotry or avenging to get the most of those stacks. Still working on that to figure out what is the best option. Don’t blow these too early because you will pull off a weaker tank and surely die.
    6. Right now it is said that haste is our WORST stat and should be reforged off gear when possible. My understanding of stat priority is: 1. Hit/expertise 2. Strength and more strength 3. Mastery and/or crit depending on gear or raid makeup 4. Haste- a little is ok but since they added home latency into the equation and other general debuffs, it takes an insane amount of haste to make it worthwhile and that probably won’t happen in this gear.

    I did learn quite a bit from tons of research on the internet, some of this info is from elitist jerks. Another good website to judge gear and look for best in slot information is, although keep in mind that they have prot pally gear mixed in with ret on the list, so be mindful what you pick up. Although you may have the same strength/ stam on the two items, even if you reforge the tank stat on the piece (dodge or parry) the remaining tank stat you cannot reforge is useless to a dps and not the best choice. Again, I do not claim to be the best by any means, but I figure this may help some people out. I too started with very low dps at 85 and could not figure out why until I went and did the research. I apologize for any grammar/spelling/punctuation errors in this text, it is very late and I cannot sleep. I hope this helps some people, if not, I tried. Remember also on dungeon trash it is very difficult to get holy power going, so you may have to adjust your rotation slightly =). Good luck! Remember you most likely will not be top dps in a raid with tons of casters, but it is easy to top the meter in heroics…

  37. Dest says:

    Ps. The word refitting in the last post should be reforging- stupid auto correct!!


  38. Gucci says:

    Thank you so much for making this website! I’m so looking forward to using all of this information to improve my Paladin.

  39. Somedude says:

    Nice article…

    I was wondering you would get more into specifics and tactics, to-do things. The Inquisition part makes sense, and I do religious follow it, likewise for Zealtory and AW.

    I do have a question though, would it be possible for you to list down DPS brackets one should expect/achieve at a certain ilvl? For example, a 333 guy should be pulling say 3-4K, 346 would be about 6-8K? and so on…

    I dont usually do PVE and I am not sure as to when exactly I can start raiding. My ilvl is roughly 349, and the highest DPS I have pulled is 16K on heroics. Maybe you can help with some inputs here

    Thanks in advance…

  40. Ome says:

    Ret’s dps is a lot based on buildup in my experience. In Wotlk this was the case already a bit with the need of SoT(SoV @ wotlk) to stack up to 5, along with the t10-libram, now with Inquisition buffing all holy (<- basically all but white melee hits) damage with 30%, this imo w=even more confirms of the so called Steamroller-dps a ret paladin is.

    The long buildup dps can be compensated on the meter with proper cooldown management, still Retribution is tied down to 1st stack up 3 holy power to pop inquisition ( dont pop zealotry n then inq, you waste a nice TV with it)

    If you are running a random hc, with some very good dps along, its hard to get on top of a meter, as most mobs area dead before your SoV is stacked on the target ( as i personalle cba to pop my aoe seal normally 😛 slackadin ftw)

    Im playign on 359 item level, and im around 17-20k overall dps mostly, some stand-still fights i can reach higher. but like mentioned above: keeping up Inquisition is a dire must if you want to be of any meaning on a dps meter. next to that you should ofc know your spell-priority's: Heavy hitters are nice to blow asap, but spamming CS when on CD is very very considerable to do instead as CS is THE main holy power generator. and therefore key to popping your heavy hiiter TV. Procced Exorcisms have enough time on it to allow you to pop a CS anyway, so you keep your holy power-reg @ a max, an still are able to use the procced Exo or TV(hand of light) as a filler, whilst maximising HP-generation.

    @ least that is my view and experience in it.

    Good knowledge and insight of a fight is very important as well: what a waste it is if you just popped a shiny CD, and you need to swap target for example. nothing to do there, its just the design sometimes, (think of Atramedes or Omnotron defense system-fights, or even worse; Ascendant counsil, where your 1st target: Ignacious is very likely to take most damage, and you need 2 hold off because of the HP-balance)

    I know it may sound excessive to go on multiple forums and stuff to dig into information, but if you want to get the max out of a character, you need to put in effort as well. High dps doesnt come from silly buttonsmashing anymore nowadays. Retri has a clear spell priority, and Inquisition is a dire must to keep up.

    My regards, and thanks to Khor, who admins this site

    Omebagger – Arathor EU

  41. Blizzy says:

    Gladly Blizzard has introduced the dummy targets in big cities for us to be able to test our potential without group buffs. Remember to keep testing yourself when you make a small change as a ret pally to see where you stand and keep pushing yourself for higher dps on the boss/raid target dummy instead of the 85 mob dummy. Can give u a better feel for what to expect out of yourself within a group which feels awesome 😛

  42. Spoilz says:

    Hi, I just started out with Retribution Paladins and I’m frustrated, I am following the FCFS, I’m hit capped / Expertise capped, look at my char:
    I’m topping 14-15K in Raids, I think I should do alot more with 354 Itemlevel?
    It’s getting really annoying. I know I lack str from 2 of the gear pieces, Neck and Ring, just haven’t found anything better yet, can’t be the problem tho, I input my stats into and I got 18.5k that’s more reasonable I think?

    I need help, someone please.

  43. Azomoff says:

    I’m playing a 61 pally atm but I’ve noticed a few things I’m having trouble with my DPS in 5 mans.
    Positing after the pull and targeting / assisting the tank / focus for next target. I’m sure my positioning problem will be fixed with practice and but I always seems that I’m having trouble acquiring new targets after the last target dies. Also I seam to never get Hammer of Wraith & Exorcism off quick enough. Any recommendations on tactics or macros is greatly appreciated.

  44. ironwulf says:

    i love the site…if i may, i play a ret pally and i always stay in top three of 10 man raids…alot of it is gear, reforging properly, geming for strength following rotation, i refresh inquisitiion and zealotry as often as possble, stay behind target that the tank has turned or run through if not….alot changed after WoTLK…and now i am excited as is my guild, that i hit so hard…..i ususally am one of last ones standing in raid boss fights……awarness is key and maximum damage is paramount…..rets have bad rep but upgrade ur gear as much as possible , gem for strength, buff, reforge, enchant and u will be fine..i hit for over 10k consitsantly in dungeons and up to 20k in raids…..long live ret pallys….;)

  45. ironwulf says:

    also it helps with food buffs and flasks of strength…..

  46. Gallador says:

    This forum saved WOW for me. Thank you so much everyone for all your input. It will always be my first port of call……

  47. Nooneimportant says:

    If your dps is low it’s most likely because you lack the skill, gear and buffs do have their place but missing to hit certain abilities quickly enough by just tenths of a second can over the course of the fight result in the same dps loss as not even having any gems in any socket and/or being unenchanted completely.

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