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Lynea June 15, 2011  
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First of all, I would like to introduce myself. You all may know me as Lynea, and I have retail experience with Retribution specifically for many years now. Believe me on that fact or don't, I don't really care.

The purpose of this thread is to provide a specific place for newer and inexperienced players to learn how to play their spec/class a bit, and for older and more experienced players to discuss and theorycraft regarding Retribution PvP.

If you wish to see my armory, you may look here: Lynea - Ragnaros
I usually have my PvE Retribution and tank specs enabled. Occasionally I will switch to PvP. If you are interested in my exact talent build, glyphs, and my current gear, that is where you should look.

Please try and keep the discussion clean from trolling and flames. Constructive criticism is appreciated. The more of it we have, the better the guide will develop and perhaps evolve.

Color code:
Royal blue = Main section.
Red = Sub-section.
Green = Specific term or topic.

Content

  1. Stats
  2. Gear
  3. Talents
  4. Spells
  5. Techniques, strategies, and the Paladin philosophy
  6. Arena Compositions
  7. Disclaimer

1. - Stats
  Spoiler:  
Primary stat? Strength, of course!
Secondary stats are crit rating, hit rating, attack power, stamina, resilience, armor, and armor penetration.
Other useful stats, but ones that you should never see on your gear are spell power, expertise, haste, and agility.
(Please keep in mind that agility, haste and expertise can be found on BiS PvE gear, but this is not a PvE thread.)


  • Strength - You will generally try to get as much as this stat as you possibly can. It scales with several talents and Blessing of Kings.
  • Crit rating - Never enough crit. Atleast 30% is recommended, but the more the better.
  • Hit rating - You will need 5% hit rating for PvP (your targets will generally be the same level as you (80).) This does not take into account certain class talents and racial abilities. Also, spells such as Exorcism apply to the spell hit rating cap, which is much higher than the melee/physical hit rating cap. It is 'okay' to get a bit more than 5% hit rating, but not required. 163.95 (rounded up to 164) hit rating is equivalent to 5%.
  • Attack power - While it does scale well with certain talents and buffs, and does increase your damage output significantly, it does not scale as well as strength. As strength has even more talent and buff based multipliers.
  • Stamina - Always a good stat. Without much of it, you would surely die rather quickly. However, you will gain plenty of this stat with your gear. No real need to gem or enchant for it.
  • Resilience - Priority survivability stat. The more of this you get, the harder you will be to kill. While 1400 rating is the soft cap for this stat, many paladins do not find the need to obtain this much, as paladins have more defensive abilities and cooldowns than any other class. Aim for 800-1200 of this stat. 1200 being optimal, 800 being the minimum. Aim for the minimum if you are using PvE gear to maximize your DPS. Otherwise, aim for 1200 to maximize your survivability.
  • Armor - Like stamina, this will come with your gear and reduces any and all physical damage you take.
  • Armor penetration - While not as useful for a paladin as it might be for a Hunter, Warrior or Rogue, it still has its uses. Auto-Attack, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm all deal physical damage, so a bit of armor penetration is welcome. This stat is not worth gemming for.
  • Spell power - This does increase the amount you can heal, and does increase the damage of some of your abilities, but you will not gain this stat directly from gear, gems, or enchants. Instead, you will gain this stat from your Sheath of Light talent, that gives you spell power based on your attack power.
  • Expertise - While useful against tank specs in PvP, or against certain defensive cooldowns like Evasion, this stat is not worth gemming, enchanting, or gearing for.
  • Agility - This stat is on some PvE BiS gear, however, this stat is not worth the itemization points in PvP. It grants a small amount of melee crit, dodge, and armor, but provides nothing significant for a PvP setting.
  • Haste - While not being very useful, it is not completely useless. Most of your abilities are instant cast, but this increases your auto-attack speed and the cast speed of various spells that you may use that may not be instant cast spells. These include, but are not limited to, Redemption, Holy Light, Flash of Light, Turn Evil, and a non-Art of War procced Exorcism.

2. - Gear
  Spoiler:  
Your gear is one of those things that will always affect your playstyle. Some like to integrate some PvE gear in with their PvP set to maximize DPS output, while others like to go full PvP gear and maximize their resilience.

For the sake of discussion in this thread, I am going to work with a full Wrathful mainset and offset.
For your offset items, neck and cloak specifically, get the hit rating versions if needed. (Is recommended.) Keep your entire gear set in mind, though. It is okay to go over the hit rating cap of 5%, but do not exceed 8%, as it is a waste. If you have reached the desired amount of hit rating, and do not wish to obtain more, then using the crit versions of the above mentioned off-set items is recommended.


PvE items
Using two parts of Tier 10 for the set bonus can be effective. It is also very popular to use a PvE weapon for additional damage. Using leather items over their plate counterparts are not recommended in PvP, mainly because of the decrease in the amount of armor and attack power you gain. It should also be noted that many PvE "off-set" items such as rings, necks, and cloaks are often used in PvP sets.
The use of PvE items is only recommended once you have a sufficient amount of resilience to keep yourself alive.

Rings
I would recommend the Wrathful ring and the Ashen Verdict strength ring to maximize burst damage and survivability.

Posted by sesshomarou View Post
Strength ring offers 99 strength raw. With kings and Divine Strength, this becomes 99 * 1.15 * 1.1 = 125 strength or 250 attack power and 75 spell power from talent. The Agility ring offers 135 attack power and 40 spell power from talent. This huge loss is not worth exchanging for the 1.13% crit and the negligible dodge and armor that is offered.

Trinkets
This particular part depends on your race. If you are not human, then you must get a PvP trinket such as: Medallion of the Alliance

If you are human, you may choose to use two of these. Recommended trinkets are as follows.

Gems: (Please note Jewelcrafter-only gems are not taken into account.)
Meta
But why not Chaotic Skyflare Diamond instead? Because the Relentless meta gem requires only a Nightmare Tear to activate it, which you can then gem 100% red +20strength gems. If you have a Nightmare Tear and one other blue gem, then by all means, use the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond.


Standard Gems
Try to use one Nightmare Tear at all times to help activate your meta gem.

Red
  • Bold Cardinal Ruby (+20 strength) - Place in all sockets except for meta socket, Nightmare Tear socket, or only in an item's red sockets when you are aiming for the socket bonus.
Yellow
  • Inscribed Ametrine (+10 strength, +10 crit rating) - Only use for yellow sockets, and only use them when obtaining a socket bonus.
  • Etched Ametrine (+10 strength, +10 hit rating) - Only use for yellow sockets, and only use them when obtaining the socket bonus or when you really need hit rating.
  • Resplendent Ametrine (+10 strength, +10 resilience) - Only use for yellow sockets. This gem is only useful when you are using much PvE gear and lack resilience.
Blue
  • Sovereign Dreadstone - Only use them for blue sockets, and only use them when obtaining a socket bonus.
Socket Bonuses
Only ones worth having are where you gain +6 strength socket bonus for 2 sockets, or +9 strength socket bonus for 3 sockets when only 1 of them is blue.



Enchants: (Please note that profession-only specific enchants are not taken into account.)


3. - Talents
  Spoiler:  
Everyone is encouraged to read talent descriptions and understand them, then create builds of their own. Every person has their own playstyle, and is encouraged to embrace such.
Seal of Righteousness "spec" - This is a talent build type that focuses on the most effective seal for PvP. The most important talent is "Seals of the Pure". The other requirement of this spec is to use Glyph of Seal of Righteousness. This is preferred for arena, but does perform well in all areas.

Additional control and survivability.
Additional damage.

I utilize Seal of Command currently. Why? First and foremost, I do not play rated arenas, and if I do, I solo 2's. Secondly, my overall gear, weapons, and trinkets optimize my melee damage. As such, my melee hits do a great deal of damage. Enough damage to do some serious harm to my opponents. Thus, I opt for Seal of Command over Seal of Righteousness.

  • The arena specs have Divine Sacrifice, which can be used to break certain CC effects when used preemptively (polymorph, sap, etc) and can mitigate damage done to your partner by a great deal.
  • The arena spec has Benediction instead of Deflection, because mana efficiency is an absolute must. While the parry provided by Deflection is superior in general use, extra precaution is preferred in arena so that you have a smaller chance of losing a match due to being out of mana.
  • These specs have one point in Vindication instead of Sanctified Retribution. As you all know, Sanctified Retribution currently only works while using Retribution Aura (bug). In arena, you will usually use one of the other auras to support your partner, making the Sanctified Retribution talent useless. So, instead, I added the Vindication talent as a junk debuff to make the opponent's friendly dispels be more difficult. Additionally, this usually is more useful against casters and dispellers in battlegrounds and world PvP than having Sanctified Retribution for similar reasons listed for arena.
  • Benediction VS. Deflection - 5% chance to parry (chance to avoid damage) against reduction of spell mana cost when you have almost infinite mana as it is? Well, it all depends on if you have mana issues or want to avoid the issue.
  • Improved Blessing of Might - Sure, it increases your attack power by a small amount when you use it, but often times it will be dispelled/spellstolen, and you might be using Blessing of Kings instead, anyway. Depends on how many points you have available, and your own preferences on which buff you use most often.
  • Seal of Command - With Seal of Rightouesness being fixed, this seal is no longer necessary. Also has the ability to screw up any CC effects like Repentance or Polymorph.
  • Eye for an Eye - Though it may be helpful against opponents that crit you for small amounts and very often (especially rogues), I find it to be rather bothersome when a pesky shadow priest gets out of Repentance because one of their dots critted you.
  • Why no Swift Retribution? - Only 3% haste. Not only is haste a terrible stat for you in general, 3% is very little. Waste of 3 talent points, in my opinion.
  • Vindication - Optional. See the following quote.
Posted by sesshomarou View Post
Vindication will server well as a junk debuff that will reduce the chance of HoJ and Repentance from being dispelled, so I find at least 1 point in it to be necessary. I personally use 2 points as its effect does scale with level and is equal (roughly i think) to the strength of demoralizing shout at level 80. Useful to significantly reduce the damage from physical dps classes.
Everything else is pretty much a must.


Glyphs
Major glyphs:
  • Glyph of Judgement
  • Glyph of Exorcism
  • These two are mandatory. They will grant you the highest situational damage increase, as they are both very nice damage increase and can be used at range. Your third glyph is obviously situational.
  • Glyph of Seal of Righteousness - Mandatory if you are going to use this seal and have atleast 3 points in Seals of the Pure.
  • Glyph of Salvation - Excellent for arena when you need another personal defensive cooldown. Not much use elsewhere.
  • Glyph of Hammer of Justice - Probably the best all-purpose use glyph. The increased range on your stun can be useful, and may catch kiters off-guard.
Minor:
  • Glyph of Sense Undead - Though only really useful against Death Knight ghouls, or Death Knights specced into Lichbourne, it is the only minor glyph available that grants a direct damage bonus.
  • Glyph of Lay on Hands - What's not to like about it? 5 minutes less cooldown on Lay on Hands? Yes, please!
  • Glyph of Blessing of Might - Excellent for not having to worry about reagents when buffing yourself, plus it is less recognizable by dispellers than the Greater blessing is.


4. - Spells
  Spoiler:  
Main "rotation"
Everyone knows this, really.
Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, Judgement, Exorcism on Art of War procs, Consecration.
(Please note that this is in the perfect situation, where your opponent is standing still, you are not being attacked, you are not being crowd controlled, and your partners do not need your assistance.)

And for the love of god... don't macro them. There is the possibility of them being situational, ya know. You can't Judgement of Justice that guy running by you on a mount straight away because you only have it in your cast sequence macro... GG sir.

Other useful abilities and tactics
  • Divine Storm - When given the opportunity, try to hit as many targets that aren't CC'ed as possible. This will result in the greatest possible healing from the spell for your team.
  • Judgement of Justice - Use this on mounted players, or players whom are trying to mount. Also useful against Rogues (Sprint), Druids (Sprint and Travel Form), and anyone that is an Engineer (Nitro Boosts).
  • Cleanse and Purify - You should cleanse most debuffs off of yourself as soon as you can. (This should be obvious.) Against Shadow Priests and Affliction Warlocks, this can be tricky. If you dispel Vampiric Touch or Unstable Affliction, it's going to hurt a LOT. If you have any disease (Devouring Plague, for example) or poison debuffs while you have Vampiric Touch (VT) or Unstable Affliction (UA) on you, use Purify instead. This way, you won't risk killing yourself by dispelling those DoTs.
  • Consecration and Divine Storm - Consecration, many paladins like to use to try and get stealthers out of stealth. Against a skilled stealther, this is very unlikely. Not to mention Consecration is a mana hog. I recommend that you only use it while actively fighting, if at all. Divine Storm is better, in my opinion, for getting the stealthers out of stealth. It is less predictable, and it does work. Especially effective when they restealth when they are right next to you.
  • Divine Plea - Use it as often as possible, so long as you don't feel you will need to heal yourself within the next 15 seconds. It's nice for helping to keep your mana up, especially when you do not have a target to cast your judgement on for mana.
  • Holy Wrath and Turn Evil - Often times, I see Paladins that act like these spells don't even exist. You can stun undead and demons with Holy Wrath, and fear them with Turn Evil. This includes both Warlock pets, and Death Knight ghouls and gargoyle.
  • Redemption - You guys know this is usable in arena, right? Why don't I ever see anyone attempt it? If you can manage it, try it. You might be able to get it off before being interrupted. You can also use Divine Shield and cast it to increase your chances of finishing the cast.
  • Sacred Shield - Keep this up at all times. Duh, I know. But when on a team, instead of using it on yourself, place it on the person in your team that is recieving the most damage.
  • Divine Protection - Divine Shield and Lay on Hands on cooldown, no forbearance debuff, and you need a defensive cooldown? Use this! This also may be more effective than using Divine Shield, because it is not easily visible. Though it can be dispelled or spellstolen, often times it will go unnoticed. Use it instead of Divine Shield at the proper time to avoid being dispelled or recieve a Shattering Throw.
  • Divine Sacrifice and Hand of Sacrifice - Use it on a teammate that is taking a lot of damage! It will help them to survive. Also, if you use it just before being sapped or polymorphed, it will break the sap or polymorph when the player(s) you used the spell on takes damage.
  • Hand of Freedom and Divine Purpose - Always save Hand of Freedom to break stuns. (Note: It only works when you have the mentioned talent.) Naturally, you can cleanse out of most snare effects, and you should. The only exceptions are Frost Trap, Hamstring, Piercing Howl, and Wing Clip. You may use Hand of Freedom to get out of those if a stun isn't an immediate threat, or the enemy's stun is on cooldown. You can also use it on your partner, but only use it on them when it is Frost Trap, Hamstring, Piercing Howl, and Wing Clip. Other effects, simply cleanse them like you would on yourself, and only do this if absolutely necessary.
  • Also, another note: Using Hand of Freedom to handle the snares applied to you that are almost endless by a Rogue or Frost Mage are excellent opportunities to use them. Be especially careful with the Mage, however. It is likely they will try to Spellsteal it, so only use it at great moments where you can close the distance quickly.
  • Hand of Protection - This is particularly effective when you need to save a spellcaster buddy from a physical DPS. Note that it does not prevent any spell damage, but it also allows the player being protected by it to cast spells. Example: Save your healer from that evil Warrior, while still being able to cast heals or continue to DPS!
  • Hammer of Justice and Repentance - Try to time the use of these abilities with the CC's of your friends, or if you need to self heal. Keep in mind that there are many ways to break these effects. Generally people will trinket the stun, and use an alternate ability to break the Repentance (like Warriors), or wait for damage to break the Repentance. This does not apply to other Rets. When fighting another Ret Paladin, Hand of Freedom to get out of Hammer of Justice, and trinket to break Repentance.
  • Hand of Reckoning - Though you cannot actually "taunt" a player like you can a mob or boss, and it won't do damage to players, it can keep those pesky restealthing Rogues or Druids in combat!
  • Righteous Fury with Improved Righteous Fury - It reduces damage done to you. Try to keep it up at all times. It also works as a dispell/spellsteal buffer, meaning it may inhibit that Mage from spellstealing your Avenging Wrath for another few seconds.
  • Seal of Justice - Really handy when damage really isn't your goal, but interrupting that damned healer! Keep in mind that it does apply to stun diminishing returns.
  • Seal of Vengeance - An absolute must to keep a Rogue or Druid from restealthing, especially when the Rogue's Cloak of Shadows is on cooldown.
Auras
  • Devotion Aura is generally best against Warriors or Hunters unless they are geared well enough to stack armor penetration. This aura is probably best being used against those "low gs" physical damage dealing players.
  • Retribution Aura is best against Rogues, armor penetration stacking Warriors and Hunters, or anything that's going to hit you for small amounts, but really fast. I guess that applies to Frost Death Knights and Enhancement Shaman as well.
  • Concentration Aura is only useful in arena compositions where spell resistance is already covered by another member of the team, and you want to help out your caster teammates against pushbacks.
  • Shadow Resistance Aura is useful against Shadow Priests and Affliction Warlocks.
  • Frost Resistance Aura is only useful against Frost Mages.
  • Fire Resistance Aura is useful against Fire Mages, Elemental Shaman, and Destruction or Demonology Warlocks.
  • And don't use Crusader Aura if you aren't mounted. It's about useless if you aren't.



5. - Techniques, strategies, and the Paladin philosophy
I encourage everyone to read all of it before dismissing it. Thank you.

Paladin philosophy? What philosophy?
- - First and foremost, your role is to support others. Not DPS. Not heal. Not kill. Support is what defines us, and there isn't any other class in the game that is better at it. Use the knowledge above to help your allies stay alive, and to help control and finish the enemy. Buffs, cooldowns, heals, dispelling, crowd control, stealth breaking, and DPS assistance, are all involved in this.
- - I would like to especially encourage everyone to find a way they like to play, and are good at it, and follow through with it. This information is provided to help get you there, but is by no means a specific guideline you must follow.


Techniques and strategies.
  Spoiler:  
This particular portion of the guide is aimed at how to play against specific kinds of enemies. These are only tips that may help you. Again, not something you must follow by the letter.

Death Knight
  • Their pets are undead, which means you have guaranteed crits with Exorcism on them, and you can use Holy Wrath and Turn Evil on them.
  • Icy Chains, Diseases, Mark of Blood, etc; You will want to Cleanse these as often as you can, whenever possible. Yes, Unholy Death Knights can make their diseases undispellable, but if you keep them cleansed, finding the right time for them to use Death Coil can become difficult and frustrate them. The purpose of cleansing such things is because snares are never good, of course, but also, many of a Death Knight's strikes rely on the number of diseases applied in some way. With more diseases applied, Death Strike heals more, Blood Strike deals more damage, etc.
  • Death Knights that have Lichborne talented, be wary of them. If you can time it properly, you can hit them with Holy Wrath or Turn Evil while they are using Lichborne, as it turns them into undead for the spell's duration.
Druid
  • Always cleanse Entangling Roots and Mangle. These are a couple of a Druid's primary CC effects, and can be removed with a single Cleanse.
  • Try to keep Insect Swarm and Faerie Fire dispelled at all times. Why? Yes, they are very easily applied and very frequently. However, removing these can cut the Druid's damage by a decent amount. You can ignore Moonfire, primarily because the damage it does is rather terrible.
  • Use Judgement of Justice whenever you can, especially if you are putting a great deal of pressure on the Druid. This way, they cannot change into Travel Form and easily run away.
  • Consecration can be effective at getting a Druid out of stealth. Drop it on top of them if you think they may restealth when given the opportunity. Divine Storm is also useful when used right when they restealth, as it will knock them out of stealth if it hits them.
  • Try to avoid using Hammer of Justice when the Druid is in Bear Form, as they take reduced damage in that form. The ideal time to stun a Druid is when they are in Human form. Also, using Repentance to catch a Balance or Feral Druid in Human form while they are healing can be very effective. Especially when you follow up with a Hammer of Justice and heavy burst damage.
Hunter
  • Always try your hardest to stay in their "dead zone". This refers to the 5 yard minimum range that Hunters have where they cannot use any ranged attacks on you.
  • Detterence cannot prevent a Judgement. Use this to your advantage if they are using Detterence when they are at very low health and within range.
  • Only use your PvP trinket when frozen by a Freezing Trap/Arrow or when put to sleep by a Wyvern Sting. Try to save Hand of Freedom for Concussion Shot and Ice Trap/Snake Trap (slowing traps).
  • Repentance is particularly useful when the Hunter tries to Disengage from you when you are in melee range. If successful, get back in melee range and follow up with a Hammer of Justice and burst.
  • The pet can generally be ignored, unless it is a Beast Mastery Hunter. You will want to save your stun for the pet, then. Though, when faced with a Beast Mastery Hunter, they may use Bestial Wrath. This ability will turn the Hunter, and their pet, red. While under the effects of this buff, they are immune to stuns. Do not try to stun them, or the pet, while it is active. It's just a waste of the cooldown.
Mage
  • Blink can be a particularly troublesome ability for a Paladin. Use Repentance to get in range of the Mage, since they cannot Blink out of it. (Pray they don't trinket it.) Position yourself between the Mage, and where they would appear if they were to use Blink right at that moment, then use Hammer of Justice. If done properly, right after they Blink, you will be already on top of them wailing away.
  • Use similar positioning for when they use Ice Block, as Mages tend to use Blink just as they come out of it.
  • Always keep Slow Cleansed. Cleansing Frost Mage snares is impossible at the current time due to snare stacking bugs. Save Hand of Freedom for a very good opportunity. Beware that most Mages will attempt to Spellsteal your Hand of Freedom.
  • Never use Blessing of Kings when fighting a Mage. They will just Spellsteal it and it will benefit them. Use Blessing of Might instead.
  • Countering Spellsteal is a lot simpler than some people will think. Do not be afraid to rebuff yourself, as Spellsteal is a very expensive ability, and will only force the Mage to go out of mana that much quicker. Always keep as many buffs up as possible, as they will play as "junk buffs" for the Mage to Spellsteal as they try to Spellsteal your Avenging Wrath (wings). The more buffs you have, the less likely Avenging Wrath will be Spellstolen.
  • Mages are incredibly difficult to beat as a Retribution Paladin. Especially Frost Mages. Best of luck to you.
Paladin
  • Holydins are not something you can kill without some help. It is futile to try. However, Protection and other Retribution Paladins are beaten in similar ways.
  • Against other Rets, remember to keep up Sacred Shield at all times. Use your trinket on Repentance only. Use Hand of Freedom when they use Hammer of Justice on you. You can expect them to treat you the same way.
  • It all boils down to doing more damage while keep yourself alive as best as possible. Often times you can use Divine Protection during a duel and get away with it, as it is hardly noticeable. Do not be afraid to use instant Flash of Lights with Art of War procs. Infact, it is encouraged to help keep yourself alive.
  • Fighting a Protection Paladin is similar to fighting another Retribution. The differences are that they can take a lot more damage, have smaller but more frequent heals, and can silence with Avenger's Shield. If you can out last them with instant Flash of Lights from Art of War procs, you should do fine.
Priest
  • Don't bother with Discipline Priests. Fighting healers is usually a waste of your time unless you have help or greatly outgear them.
  • Watch out for Vampiric Touch. If you dispel this DoT, it will do massive damage to you. You can use Purify to remove Devouring Plague without fear of dispelling Vampiric Touch in order to minimize the damage you take.
  • Use Hand of Freedom when they use Mind Flay.
  • If the Priest is dispelling you a lot, be sure to rebuff yourself, especially Righteous Fury and Sacred Shield as often as you can.
  • When Dispersion is used, keep track of its duration. When it is close to ending, that is an excellent time to stun them and burst as hard as you can.
  • Be wary of heals. If you have been feared out of Hammer of Justice range, use Repentance to interrupt them and keep them from healing as much as possible.
  • Try to pay attention to how long you are fighting the Priest. Their fear is on a 26 second (23 seconds for a Shadow Priest) cooldown. Trinket the first one, and try to avoid the rest if you can manage it. Back away from them just as it comes off cooldown, and you may get lucky.
Rogue
  • Seal of Vengeance/Corruption is particularly useful here, especially if you have a relatively low amount of crit rating. This DoT will keep the Rogue from restealthing unless they use Cloak of Shadows.
  • Do not ever use Hand of Freedom on the first stun when a Rogue opens on you. Wait for the second stun and use Hand of Freedom then. If you Hand of Freedom the first stun, the Rogue will just hit you with the second stun.
  • Do not ever use your trinket on a stun. Save it for Blind, instead.
  • You can coax Rogues to kick you if you hard cast a heal. (Means you actually cast it without an Art of War proc) This is essentially a waste of time and a short cooldown for them, as you can still use your melee attacks on them at will. This is particularly effective if you wish to cast Holy Light within the next 5-8 seconds. If timed properly, you can get the heal off before their kick comes off of cooldown.
  • Do not be afraid to use Consecration, especially while the Rogue is unstealthed and in melee combat with you. This can make restealthing more difficult for them.
  • Use Retribution Aura at all times. A Rogue's strategy against plate wearing classes usually involve ways to bypass armor, which will render Devotion Aura about useless. Since Rogues dual wield, this means that they will hit you many times and very frequently, meaning you will get that much more damage output from Retribution Aura.
  • Use Judgement of Justice when you apply pressure to a Rogue, as this will keep them from bothering with Sprint, unless they use Cloak of Shadows.
  • If the Rogue uses Cloak of Shadows and has intentions to restealth, or already has restealthed, use Divine Storm quickly to knock them back out of stealth.
  • If a Rogue uses Evasion and tries to run away, or uses it as a defensive cooldown to keep attacking you, avoid using melee damage abilities. Use Judgement (Judgement of Justice if they are trying to run away), Exorcism, Consecration, and other spell related abilities to damage them and keep them in combat.
Shaman
  • The only buff you should worry about keeping up is Sacred Shield, as a smart Shaman will keep you Purged.
  • The largest threat a Shaman poses to you is from their totems. Keep an eye out for Grounding Totems, Stoneclaw Totems (for the damage absorption), and Earthbind Totems. Any of these totems listed need to be taken as a priority. Destroy them whenever you can. Stoneclaw Totems have a decent amount of health, but usually can be knocked down with a Crusader Strike. Their absorption effects are more powerful on the caster. Earthbind Totem's effects can be Cleansed. Use this to your advantage to get close and knock it down. Also, if possible Earthbind Totem can just be avoided.
  • There really isn't much you can do against Restoration Shaman, unfortunately. Ignore them unless you have help.
  • Enhancement Shaman can do a lot of damage in a hurry. Use a lot of instant Flash of Lights when fighting them.
  • Elemental Shaman can be tricky, but if you can keep Flame Shock Cleansed, they shouldn't be too much of a threat.
Warlock
  • Warlocks are kind of like Mages, as in they are very difficult to beat with a Retribution Paladin. Especially those that like to use Fear a bit ... too much.
  • Since the pets are demons, you can use Holy Wrath and Turn Evil on them. Use this to your advantage. A well timed Holy Wrath and Turn Evil on a Succubus can leave its owner quite vulnerable.
  • Demonology Warlocks are particularly interesting. By this, I mean that during their Metamorphosis, they are classified as a demon. Which means you can use Holy Wrath and Turn Evil on them. Fear spamming as a Paladin is really fun.
  • Destruction Warlocks are somewhat tricky. If you see them casting Immolate, time your Cleanse to go off the very moment Immolate is applied, and you can avoid Conflagration.
  • Affliction Warlocks are particularly nasty. Never Cleanse Unstable Affliction, as it will silence you and deal a great amount of damage. If Unstable Affliction isn't applied, spam Cleanse to get as many of those DoTs off as possible. If absolutely necessary, you can use Divine Shield to wipe off all the DoTs without worry of taking damage from Unstable Affliction.
Warrior
  • Save your trinket for their fear. Use Hand of Freedom on Hamstring only. Ignore Piercing Howl.
  • Do not use Divine Shield against a Warrior unless the situation is absolutely dire. Use Repentance to interrupt their Shattering Throw. This is probably the only time Repentance will be useful against a Warrior.
  • You can use Hand of Reckoning to use up a Warrior's Spell Reflection.
  • Try and use Flash of Light with Art of War procs as often as possible. If the pressure the Warrior puts on you is too great, which is often the case, don't be afraid to use Seal of Light.
Seal Dancing
This is an advanced technique, and is not recommended for beginners to try. When you have an elevated understanding of your opponents, your teammates, what goes on around you, and the effects of each of your seals - Only then should you try and bother with this. It isn't effective, and possibly even detrimental, when used without understanding how to. If used properly, however, it will win you arena matches and duels against opponents that you don't think you'd normally have a chance against.

You have two types of seals. Obviously, you have your damage seals, which have the first letter of their names in red. The second type is the utility seal, and they have the first letter of their names in blue.

The idea is to switch from your damage seal to a utility seal when it would be most effective, and know when to switch back to whichever damage seal that is most effective for your situation. As the environment changes, you may wish to change from one damage seal to another damage seal when appropriate.

Seal of Righteousness - Standard PvP DPS seal. Use this as a "general use" damage seal, as it usually has the highest damage output.

Seal of Vengeance - As discussed earlier, this can be useful against stealthers. However, it can prove to be superior for damage if you are sitting on and DPSing an enemy stationary healer.

Seal of Command - While some Rets use this almost exclusively for whatever reason, I find it particularly effective when fighting a cluster of enemies. Prefferably when there are 3 enemy targets, or more, in a tight enough cluster to where the cleave effect will reach its greatest potential. This can be particularly effective in 3's, 5's, or in bottle-neck areas of battlegrounds (such as where the flag is in EotS). Note that while some say this will break CC effects, this should not be the case. The cleave is supposed to have a "smart effect" to it where it will not hit targets that are CC'ed by effects that will break on damage, such as Repentance or Polymorph.

Seal of Light - Think of this seal as your primary "turtle" effect. When you are being focused and peeled, and have one or more targets in your melee range, use this. Use this in conjunction with your Art of War proc Flash of Lights, Sacred Shield, and defensive cooldowns (such as Divine Protection or glyphed Hand of Salvation). This will make you exceptionally hard to kill, especially if you are not CC'ed, and have a great deal of resilience.

Seal of Justice - Using this while DPS'ing a healer, or a tough and hard hitting caster, while one of your teammates is focusing on them, can make their lives very difficult. Particularly effective when you and your teammates have CC effects ready and are hitting hard and fast on the target.
- However, the effect of this seal shares diminishing returns with other stuns, such as Hammer of Justice. This means that you should wait to switch to this seal after you have used your Hammer of Justice, or are prepared to use Hammer of Justice purely as an interrupt, rather than a stun. In the case that you manage to get 3 procs from this seal within a timely manner, and Hammer of Justice is off cooldown, do not use it until 16 seconds has passed since the last proc from the seal.
- One should also note that it is common that people will try to trinket procs from Seal of Justice. This is partially due to a reaction to the loss of control of their character, and the use of Seal of Justice is so rare, they hardly or don't even know what it is.



6.- Arena compositions
In most cases, Retribution paladins are better off on double dps 2's teams, or in 3's or 5's. The main reason for this is because while they do have incredibly awesome burst, their lack of CC abilities and a Mortal Strike effect (reduce healing by 50%) make doing arena 2's with a healer super hard. But aside from that, they are incredibly versatile in world PvP, battlegrounds, or competent arena teams. Recommended compositions for 2's are with a Mage, Rogue, Restoration Shaman, Discipline Priest, or Marksman Hunter. These aren't the only compositions, however. Try hard, experiment, and think outside the box!


7. - Disclaimer
I am by no means trying to act superior to other players by creating this. I am just trying to help however I can. Please keep the flames and trolling to a minimum. Thank you. Constructive criticism is welcome.



Edited: November 7, 2013
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jk23no June 15, 2011  
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Thank you! I've been searching posts like this. This is very helpful for Retadin beginners.



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zanyuki June 15, 2011  
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Great guide Lynea; covered points that I overlooked in my daily PVP routine.

Just a question though: if you use Devotion Aura while fighting a Warrior with armor penetration equipment, isn't the aura useless anyway? After all as I understood it armor pen is a percentage figure (for example pierces through 50% armor), so no matter how many armor Devotion Aura gives the damage would most likely be the same.

Do enlighten me if I'm wrong though.



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Lynea June 15, 2011  
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Posted by zanyuki View Post
Great guide Lynea; covered points that I overlooked in my daily PVP routine.

Just a question though: if you use Devotion Aura while fighting a Warrior with armor penetration equipment, isn't the aura useless anyway? After all as I understood it armor pen is a percentage figure (for example pierces through 50% armor), so no matter how many armor Devotion Aura gives the damage would most likely be the same.

Do enlighten me if I'm wrong though.
You are right if the Warrior is geared enough to stack that much armor penetration. The aura gives 1205 armor without talents. This also applies to Marksman Hunters, who are very well geared. Against those particular opponents, you may consider using Retribution Aura instead. I'll edit that in. Moment.



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Noblesix June 15, 2011  
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for the 6634563654 time, ArP on palas is fail. rets with dbw or stc fail.



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Iluminati3476 June 15, 2011  
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Posted by Noblesix View Post
for the 6634563654 time, ArP on palas is fail. rets with dbw or stc fail.
And for the nth time too, Arp is NOT fail. Its just not a priority. There's a difference. Its affects on CS, DS and white hits are underrated. Its huge. You should explore other threads that have mentioned this and learn a thing or too to maximize dps. especially in pvp.

Going back to the guide. Excellent work, these comments and tips surely will enrich players old and new alike.

Really wanted to ask about agi since u kind of disregard it for pvp--- yes done my fair share of research (crit>agi but agi affected by bok, bnlah blah) but had a specific example that might play with agi-- the ashen rings. Yes Vengeance ring wins with all the math and stat weighing (PVE) and is proven to but is this BIS PVP ring too? Oh and not just vs the might one... what would you recommend



Edited: June 15, 2011
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FTLK June 15, 2011  
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Agree on like 95% of this guide, this one is nice, vote for sticky.

Some points I have to disagree / make corrections:
-Agility, in fact, is quite a decent stat for Retpallies. Granted, you aren't gonna get any of it off your gear (you really want to get STR Rings/Cloaks/Necklaces, because they easily provide the double amount of AP), it is in fact quite good for a Retpally, as a Pallys Agi -> Crit scaling is slightly better than a Warr or DKs ones, and you basically get the same amount of Crit off Agility as off CR (Crit Rating, for the record). Also, Agility scales with Kings and provides dodge+armor. The only reason why CR might be preferrable is, that your Heals dont benefit from them by any means, and a Crit heal heals 160% (Sheath of Light buff) more than a non crit one.
-2pts t10 is srs lolz. DS'ing thrice while the Healer is stunned, then finish him off with a HoW? Sign me up.
-For the trinkets I would take TaiaJ and DV/DC, or WFS, depending on your preference (DV/DC is AP and WFS is CR for the static, their procs are nearly identical, 510 STR is 1172 AP pre Kings, vs straight 1250 from WFS [stats from heroic versions]), while TaiaJ is just plain insane, as the free swing gives you a Seal proc.

On the talents I basically can't complain (tho I'd opt out one point in Vindication, afaik it does not scale here, and -46 AP is rather meh. I just took it for the pesky debuff.), it's good to see that still some good players know that Deflection>Benediction (parryhastelol). I've skilled this way (wanted to mess around vs Melees with the dodge, might not be 100% optimal): Molten World of Warcraft Armory

And, last but not least:
/castsequence reset=6 Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, Crusader Strike
as a macro is fine, as long as you don't go for 2pts+ of t10. Never have your Judgement on it, tho, as you might need to JoJ a runaway guy.

And for the record, again:
Instant Exorcism'ing and FoL'ing resets your swingtimer, I've already posted this in the bugtracker.

€: Some supplements:
(i) If you click around my character sheet, you might notice that I went for the 8% melee PvE hit-cap. Well, let's cut this short. Yes, it is intended. Rating worth 8% melee hit results into 10% spell hit, and with 10% spell hit you basically hit everything with your stuns/repentances. A BE retpally can achieve 10% spell miss (4% base + 2% racial + 4% talents), also, having 'overhit' vs tanks never hurts; and iirc pally tanks dont have -spell hit talents, while you have at least 2% overhit vs any other tank (only BEs have -2% hit vs holy spells). I opted for this really tough hit cap because I once lost a duel vs another retpally, simply because my Repentance failed to hit. If it's worth it for you, go ahead, get this load of hit.
(ii) You might want to use PvE Necklaces/Cloaks/Rings, if you can get your hands on some, as Retpally scaling with STR compared to straight AP is just ridiculous. You can easily get 50-60% more AP from these slots by taking PvE items with STR on them instead the stupid PvP ones with straight AP. Heck, you might end up having more Stats overall if you in turn gem Resilience everywhere.



Edited: June 15, 2011
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Lynea June 15, 2011  
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Posted by Helpmepls View Post
Hello Lynea, as a Ret pally pvper mostly BGs, I did not gear for armor penetration. Holy damage is enough. While it might be true that arm pen may affect CS, gearing for +str worked better for me. Pallys have really nice scale ratio of str to attk power. And a lot of pallies at the time that I was still active, before my account and my pally got deleted by the cleanup, does not use the nightmare tear + relentless earthseige diamond trick, which is very helpful I you want to go all str, which I did. And I only use pvp trinkets in arena. In BG, Darkmoon Card Greatness and another proc attk power trinket (forgot the name) did wonders for me. I also used tuskar's vitality for the shoe enchant instead of the greater assault. The additional move speed was really helpful, as Rets do not have close gap skills unlike warrs. But aside from those, basically, we're in the same boat regarding your guide, but sometimes, when we are winning in bgs, I become lazy and do away with microing and use some skills such as turn evil on lock and dk pets . Talk about bad pvp habits . But in arenas, it's a differrent story. I would highly recommend this guide.
On most of your points, I do agree. But about Tuskarr's Vitality boot enchant, that should not stack with Pursuit of Justice talent. So, if you were going to get a stamina enchant on your boots, I would go for a straight stamina enchant. Overall, though, I do not recommend stamina, as when full geared, it isn't really needed. But again, everyone has their preference, and I'm keen to that. Not trying to force anyone.


@ Azurewrath and ForTheLichKing, yes, agility is indeed a decent stat. But I did not really cover it as there won't be any space for the stat on your gear if you use full PvP gear, except your cloak enchant and meta gem.

Don't get me wrong on this. I won't downrate the stat, as it does give usefull minor stats. If you were to use certain PvE parts in your gear that were BiS, then I could understand the possibility of an agility item. The only agility item that I would recommend, however, is the Ashen Verdict ring. Because any armor parts that you use as leather, you will be losing the armor offered by plate, and that's something you don't want.


Also, @ ForTheLichKing, I wanted to cover PvE parts of gear, but I wanted there to be a discussion on it first before I included any and made any mistakes someone might disagree with. And I don't really wish to cover bugs in this thread. When absolutely relevant and necessary, I'll include them. But otherwise, I'm going to leave that info for the bug thread up on the sticky list.



Edited: June 15, 2011
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FTLK June 15, 2011  
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Yeah, as already said, you won't have much slots where you can get Agility without being heavily punished for having much less armor and such things.

Heck, it might be even worth gemming for if you want to go for crit, but I think that gemming for STR is better than for Agi/CR, hence why nobody's doing this.

And as for the Ashen Verdict ring: It would be a trade of 92 AP (and 23 Stam) for 88 Agility (ignoring Kings). Speaking on 'pure stats', this is a net gain, as if you WOULD gem for these Stats, you would need to use more sockets to gain these 88 Agi than the 92 AP and 23 Stam.

However, I am unsure how this pays off in reality, as you might want to be aware that Pallies perform better with some stats than other ones. (eg: on paper it's 1Agi is worth 1STR, but in reality it might be 2Agi ^= 1STR .. hope you get my point.)

I might want to try this one out, however.



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Clovis June 15, 2011  
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I'd point out that Judgement of Justice is useful against any Druid, not just Feral Druids. I hate when Paladins put that stuff on me, as I rely on my mobility quite a lot to stay alive, regardless of Druid spec.



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Noblesix June 15, 2011  
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Posted by Azurewrath View Post
And for the nth time too, Arp is NOT fail. Its just not a priority. There's a difference. Its affects on CS, DS and white hits are underrated. Its huge. You should explore other threads that have mentioned this and learn a thing or too to maximize dps. especially in pvp.

Going back to the guide. Excellent work, these comments and tips surely will enrich players old and new alike.

Really wanted to ask about agi since u kind of disregard it for pvp--- yes done my fair share of research (crit>agi but agi affected by bok, bnlah blah) but had a specific example that might play with agi-- the ashen rings. Yes Vengeance ring wins with all the math and stat weighing (PVE) and is proven to but is this BIS PVP ring too? Oh and not just vs the might one... what would you recommend
Your ArP(adin) makes me laugh.

want to maximize rets dps ? go str.



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Lynea June 15, 2011  
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Posted by Noblesix View Post
Your ArP(adin) makes me laugh.

want to maximize rets dps ? go str.
Armor Penetration generally isn't a stat you would want to aim for, I understand. The only items I recommend that have the stat on them are trinkets. But the reason for those trinkets aren't for the armor penetration. Though the stat isn't entirely bad for a paladin, it's the procs of those trinkets that we are after. Best dps and burst procs available.

Posted by Clovis View Post
I'd point out that Judgement of Justice is useful against any Druid, not just Feral Druids. I hate when Paladins put that stuff on me, as I rely on my mobility quite a lot to stay alive, regardless of Druid spec.
Fixed that info for you.



Edited: June 15, 2011
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FTLK June 15, 2011  
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Posted by Noblesix View Post
Your ArP(adin) makes me laugh.

want to maximize rets dps ? go str.
Mind stop trolling?

Yeah, if you go through 5 instances if theorycrafting you might realize that STR benefits a Retpally much more than ArP does (brool story co, not that we did not already knew that /sarcasm).

However, ArP is not USELESS to a Retpally.

You know what, Spirit, for example, would be PLAIN USELESS for a Retpally, as is STR or ArP to a Shadowpriest.

There's a small, but fine, difference between sub-optimal and plain useless.

Got it?

€: @ Clovis (and possibly everyone else out here): Always. Always.! Use. JoJ (Judgement Of Justice, for the record). in. PvP. Period. You use anything else - that guy might pop Nitro Boosts, Swiftness Potion, w/e, and run away. Besides, JoL and JoW proc rates are TERRIBAD, while JoJ is a 'surefire' deal, as it's effect always applies. It's one of the most effective CCs ingame, as basically you can not get rid of it besides with dispel and Insignia.



Edited: June 15, 2011
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xFrenzy47x June 15, 2011  
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Giving out a spec isnt really wise.. rather tell player which talents work 100% and exactly what effect they have on target or w/e .. would increase the length of the Thread ofcourse but having data that helps is better then copy-ing your spec..

Specs should be based on your playstyle arena partner etc..

My spec http://armory.molten-wow.com/charact...eras/?group=1/ i 2v2 with a Unholy Dk.. We don't have any cc so going for pure dps is better for obvious reasons =3

Nice Guide none the less .. better then what i've seen before



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Lynea June 15, 2011  
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Posted by Frenzy47 View Post
Giving out a spec isnt really wise.. rather tell player which talents work 100% and exactly what effect they have on target or w/e .. would increase the length of the Thread ofcourse but having data that helps is better then copy-ing your spec..

Specs should be based on your playstyle arena partner etc..

My spec http://armory.molten-wow.com/charact...eras/?group=1/ i 2v2 with a Unholy Dk.. We don't have any cc so going for pure dps is better for obvious reasons =3

Nice Guide none the less .. better then what i've seen before
Yes, definitely. I agree, but I'm opting for other player's opinions as to what info I should put out there as far as spec is concerned. While the spec I posted is one of the best for 3's and 5's arena, and is also nice when used elsewhere, such as a battleground. As for other talent setups, like I said, I want to get some other player's opinions in on that before I add anything to it.



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