The Retributer’s Path: Gearing/Playing Retribution

I found a nice PvE-oriented Retribution guide.

Source: WoW Paladin Forum

HOW TO: A guide on Retribution gearing and effective DPS.
… 18) Talent Build

This is the most PvE-oriented Retribution build you can have.

Divine Strength: This makes every Strength point you have worth 2.2 AP, rather than just 2.0. It’s a small upgrade looking at it that way, but geared correctly you should end up with something around 400 Strength (before the talent, and that’s low-end), meaning this talent is increasing your base AP by (400 / 10)*(2) = 80 AP.
Why not Divine Intellect?: You’ll end up with enough Intellect, you don’t need any more. Also, consider how much Intellect this would actually increase you by, when geared for Ret. This scales directly with your gear.
Redoubt: You can get either this or Devotion Aura. The point is to go up and get Precision.
Precision: This talent is worth the 8 points you’re spending for it. 3% hit chance is about 46-48 Hit
Benediction: Some people think, “well, I’ve already got Sanctified Judgement, what good is this doing me?” Let me show you in terms of Mana/5, spamming max-rank Seal of Command every 8 seconds (as you should be). We’ll see how much it is over a five-minute period.

Without Benediction
(300) / 8 = 37.5 Judgements cast. Seal of Command costs 280 mana.
(280)*(37.5) = 10,500 mana for all those casts. Divide by 2 for your Sanctified Judgement bonus, = 5250 mana.
Now for Judgement mana. This will vary per Paladin (5% base mana), but let’s use mine.
(37.5)*(143) = ~5363, add the Seal cost for the total mana cost, = 5250+5363 = 10,613 mana.

With Benediction
Seal of Command costs 238 mana with it. (238)*(37.5) = 8925 mana. Divide by 2 for S.J., = ~4463 mana.
Judgement costs 124 mana with it. (124)*(37.5) = 4650, + 4463 = 9,113 mana.
(No Benediction) – (Benediction) = 10,613 – 9,113 = 1500 mana saved over 5 minutes.
(1500) / (300 / 5) = 25 mana per five seconds.

Improved Judgement: This is crucial damage over time because you should always be spamming your appropriate damage Judgement.
Improved Seal of the Crusader: A small buff, but not a bad one. This adds (190*1.15) – 190 = ~29 spell damage.
Why not Vindication?: Doesn’t work on bosses, doesn’t have much effect on those it works on.

The remaining talent choices should be pretty obvious.
… 18) Gear Setup
In general, your gear should prioritize in the following manner:

Strength/AP -> Crit Rating/Agility -> Hit Rating -> Everything Else

Why? Some have said that spell damage is the way to go for Retribution, but this is inaccurate. It is impossible to gear up properly in this manner because pieces that are built for spell damage typically have no strength or crit, just spell crit. Because Seal of Command and Seal of Blood are both based off of melee crit, for both the Seal and Judgement, and because melee stats affect every attack you have aside from Judgement (whereas spell damage affects everything but white damage, the latter of which is much more frequent), it’s clear that melee stats are the winner–math shouldn’t be necessary here, but it’s out there somewhere.

The importance of hit chance, though, cannot be stressed enough, and it’s arguably just as important as attacking behind your target. Every attack that you have, Judgement aside, has physical evasion mechanics. As such, you want to attack behind your target because they will be unable to block (which, when they do, means you can’t crit on that attack), and they will be unable to parry. This leaves only dodges and misses remaining. Dodge you can do nothing about, but miss you can. A single miss can cause a significant loss in DPS because of your slow weapon speed, so be sure to get sufficient hit chance.
… 20) Seals, Blessings, Judgements, and You

The Horde have it nice here because Seal of Blood is superior for DPS. This isn’t to say, though, that Command would be bad for DPS, but it does leave the Alliance Retributers at a disadvantage. I’ll spare some more math, and just say it’s about 20% less damage than Blood overall. This previous calculation also takes into account the proper playstyle: pressing your Judgement and Crusader Strike buttons whenever they are up. Your Blessing and Judgement priority will need adjusting to this style of DPS, and that will be determined by the length of the fight.

You should also have a macro that automatically re-casts your Seal once you Judge it, so that you don’t lose a single swing where you could’ve had another SoComm/Blood attack. This is the macro:
/cast Judgement
/cast Seal of Command

Your priority should be as follows:
Salvation -> Might/Wisdom -> Kings -> Light
Salvation is always first because, of course, you’re producing a lot of threat. In a raid, Salvation should never, ever be off you.
Might and Wisdom share a priority slot because this is determined by the fight length. In a case where you only have two Paladins present, yourself and another, you’ll want to see how long a fight is before picking what your second Blessing is. A good rule of thumb here is, if the fight is significantly longer than five minutes, go with Wisdom. If it’s at or slightly longer than five minutes, go with Might.
Kings comes third here because the single crit typically provided by Kings is not worth the loss in attack power in comparison to Might. Might wins out for DPS in the end.
Light is listed because you should have it if you can get it. It helps when you have to step back and bring yourself back up.

This is a priority that you’ll learn as you raid with Retribution, but the priority between Crusader/Light/Wisdom changes frequently. Usually it’s between Crusader/Wisdom. Much like between BoMight/Wisdom, this is determined by the fight’s length. In a long fight where you either don’t have another Paladin or you may not be able to keep up another Paladin’s Judgement all the time (Gruul is a good example, due to Shatter), JoWisdom is the superior option. With JoWisdom up, you may also be able to spam some Consecration every now and again, because the mana gain provided by this and BoWisdom combined should be positive even while you’re spamming Crusader Strike/Judgement.

… 21) FAQ

Q: “My guild leader or raid leader is apprehensive to give Retribution a shot. He among others are convinced Retribution sucks in a raiding environment. What do I do?”

A: The best thing you can do is ask for (or otherwise attempt to receive) a single chance, and when you get that single chance you prepare like crazy and give it hell. You may also be in a situation where you are needed as a healer, which is practically everyone’s case. Just see if they can get another healer.

Q: “What are good stats for entering Karazhan?”

A: Something around 1300 AP and 23% crit, as well as the needed hit chance. You’ll also want for your weapon, at the very, very least, an Oathkeeper.

Q (Alliance): “Seal of Command isn’t that great for spamming. It costs more mana and does less damage than Blood. Should I just keep up Rank 1 and swing?”

A: If you do that, you won’t keep up on damage. You’ll have mana efficiency to damn near infinity, but you don’t need it, because even spamming it with the right Blessing/Judgement priority you should have a positive mana gain. If you really start aching for mana, don’t be afraid to pot. I bring a few stacks of Unstable Mana Pots to every raid, they’re cheap to make and are more than enough.

Q (Horde): “I’m still confused about Seal of Blood. My Seal of Righteousness even does more damage than this crap. How is it better than Command?”

A: It can crit, and it crits for double. That makes up for the damage by leaps and bounds because of that extra damage, and it’s helping you keep Vengeance up. On top of that, the Judgement is based on melee crit, not spell crit like Righteousness. It also has the same spell damage coefficient as JoCommand (43%), so it will always do more damage because its base is higher.

Q: “How can I best utilize Avenging Wrath?”

A: Use it early on when you’re sure that using it and going all out will not pull aggro. The idea is that if you use it early, you’ll be able to use it again later. You should be able to, in any (raid) boss encounter, use Avenging Wrath at least twice.

Q: “How much % hit do I need to be maxed out against a boss? I can’t seem to find a straight answer.”

A: I can’t either, tell you the truth. I slipped what I thought was the answer in there somewhere, which I believe is 5.6%. According to Gregthegreat, though, it’s 8.6% with special abilities. I can’t find a source on it, though. If someone could answer this one with a source, that’d be great.


2 Responses to “The Retributer’s Path: Gearing/Playing Retribution”

  1. 1 Mike December 11, 2007 at 8:42 am

    A good website that I found for the hit rating caps for boss fights is About halfway down the right side you’ll see “hit caps for bosses.” This has it all broken down for melee hit and spell hit for every class, along with special talent setups that can lower your needed hit rating to “never miss.” The site also appears to be updated frequently. I found it to be a great resource, told my entire guild about it and hope it helps you as well. You can armory my paladin named Dantes on the Blades Edge Server.


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