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World of Warcraft Classes Paladin «Retribution»

Retribution Paladin PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

A Retribution Paladin is a warrior of the Light, a priest in shining armor, a Melee master. Apart from brutal force, they use Light magic to protect their allies and for their own deeds.



Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:

  • Powerful continuous burst in any type of combat.
  • Great AoE.
  • A unique ability, during exploration, to slightly compensate for raid losses due to Retribution.
  • Multiple Blessings allowing to empower of protect your allies in various ways.
  • Legendaries that have approximately equal DPS values are variable.
  • CD dependency.
  • Rather average DPS on a single target.
  • Extremely low out-of-burst DPS.
  • Low mobility.

Basic information on the spec:

A Retribution Paladin utilizes 2 resources – Holy Power (hereinafter – HP) is the main resource for dealing damage; the mechanics here is quite similar to that of Combo Points regardless of the target (max 5 HP); and Mana is the secondary resource used by the majority of auxiliary abilities.

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Main abilities

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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.

Tier 1. Lvl 15

  • Execution Sentence. For 7 secs, it applies an effect on your target. Once the time is over, major Holy damage is dealt to the target. Empowered by the effect of Judgment. In order for this empowerment to kick in, the Judgment should be on the target at the moment of damaging; Judgment has no effect on damage during Execution Sentence. CD 20 secs.
  • Consecration. Leaves under you a puddle of light that deals damage to all the enemies within its range. CD 12 secs.

* Final Verdict is your default talent for any situation. Execution Sentence may be a nice choice in 7.3 on a single target. Simcraft can tell you if this talent lands you a win or not. Consecration overpowers Final Verdict on 3+ targets but it only works if all the targets are within the active range of the talent all the time. Otherwise, it’s better you keep Final Verdict.


Tier 2. Lvl 30.

  • Zeal. Replaces your Crusader Strike. This ability’s base damage is slightly higher. Also when used it applies a buff by the same name. The buff allows you to deal to an additional target – closest to you – 40% less damage than to the main one. The effect sums up, up to 3 times, which means you can deal damage to 4 targets at a time but each ‘leap’ onto a different target would take away 40% of Zeal‘s main damage. Remember that you are the source of that cleave, so find a location optimal for damaging as many targets as possible.
  • Greater Judgment. Your Judgment now hits 2 more targets dealing critical damage in case your targets have above 50% of Health.

* At the moment, Zeal is your best choice on a single target as well as for 2 targets. In case you have 3+ of them, Greater Judgement is your choice. Also, Greater Judgment becomes your default choise with 2T21. Don’t forget about The Fires of Justice, though. It can be effective in any kind of combat but the randomity involved makes the talent unreliable. Its strongest power, however, is beyond your luck. that being multiple enemy combats, combined with Divine Hammer in order to keep Judgment on all the targets; and with The The Fires of Justice you can get to trigger more Divine Storms more often.


Tier 3. Lvl 45.

  • Repentance. Paralyzes your enemy from a 30-m distance. This effect can be applied to a special share of enemies: only Demons, Dragons, Giants, Humanoids and the Undead. CD 15 secs.
  • Blinding Light. Disorients your enemies within the 10-m radius of you for 6 secs. Any damage – apart from Holy damage – cancels this effect. CD 1.5 min.

* All talents of this Tier are occasional. Your default choice should be Blinding Light as it allows you to interrupt castings in Mythic+ with enemy packs.


Tier 4. Lvl 60.

  • Divine Hammer. A replacement for Blade of Justice. Using this ability allows you to deal Holy damage to all the enemies within the 8-m range of the Paladin for 12 secs, once every 2 secs. The first strike against your enemy generates yor 2 HP.

* On a single target, it’s Blade of Wrath. For encounters with constant AoE, Divine Hammer is your pick.


Tier 5. Lvl 75.

  • Justicar’s Vengeance. Demands 5 HP, deals nice Holy damage and restores you Health equal to 100% of the damage dealt. If the talent was applied on a stunned target, the effect is 100$% stronger.
  • Eye for an Eye. Enables Paladin to reduce the incoming physical damage by 35%, and if they should be subject to a Melee attack, they instantly put up a counter-attack dealing medium physical damage. CD 1 min.
  • Word of Glory. For 3 HP, it restores a nice share of Health to you as well as to up to 5 allies within a 15-m radius. Has 2 charges, CD 1 min.

* Your base wish is to have an Eye for an Eye up your sleeve. The reason is it’s an additional save, even though it saves you from physical damage only. Justicar’s Vengeance is okay for some solo content, however, with the Legendary ring Soul of the Highlord, it can play its role for accelerating Crusade as well as fot more damage into single stunned targets. Word of Glory could work fine for Mythic+, but keep in mind it’s an HP spender which means you’re losing in your DPS. But here, a good old rule comes to mind – The Dead do not damage.


Tier 6. Lvl 90.

  • Divine Intervention. Reduces the CD of Divine Shield by 20%. It also enables the shield to save you in case you receive damage that would’ve been terminal for you. Instead of death, you get buffed with Divine Shield which restores 20% of your max Health. The effect wouldn’t work in case Divine Shield is on CD at the moment, or if you’re under Forbearance.
  • Justice of Light. Now Judgment hits the target with 40 charges of Justice of Light. Each successful attack by your allies on one of these targets restores them a tiny share of Health.

* The easiest and the most reliable choice is Divine Intervention. It’s always good to have the ability to survive a deadly strike. However, if you get to run around a lot in the combat, and you have no intention to die, Cavalier is your best choice. If for your raid, each HP point is crucial, you could use Justice of Light.


Tier 7. Lvl 100.

  • Divine Purpose. Finishing moves have 20% probability to apply the effect Divine Purpose on you for 12 secs. The effect allows you to cast the next finishing move with zero HP spent, with no impact on the effect.
  • Crusade. Replaces Avenging Wrath, has the same duration. After being used, it increases Haste and the damage dealt by 3%. During Crusade, each HP spent increases the Haste and the damage dealt by additional 3%. The effect can stack up, up to 15 times.
  • Holy Wrath. Deals Holy damage to no more than 4 closest enemies. The damage equals 200% of the Health you lack, up to 120% of your max Health stock. The damage against players is 35% of the lacking Health.

* Crusade is the only pick on the Tier as ir gives significantly more DPS as compared to other talents. In general, Holy Wrath is not that bad, but to provide its max efficiency you’d have to be at your min Health which drastically increases your chances to be killed. Divine Purpose is mainly used for Open World and for questing. With Soul of the Highlord, this combination turns out to be really interesting as you are able to keep Crusade on you.

So, we can boil it all down to the following build:

Final Verdict
Zeal / Greater judgment with 2T21
Blinding Light
Blade of Wrath



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Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.


This spec uses 1 Fire and 2 Light relics.

For Retribution, the weapon ilvl is extremely important. But there are also several traits that still are more valuable than ilvl. Here are the traits listed with their weapon ilvl equivalent:

  1. Wrath of the Ashbringer 4.7 ilvl
  2. Highlord’s Judgment 3
  3. Might of the Templar 2.7
  4. Deliver the Justice / Righteous Verdict 2.4
  5. Sharpened Edge 0.6 ilvl
  6. Deflection 0.1

If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out if it’s worth replacing Relic A with Relic B.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. Here you face your first crucial choice between Light and Dark. Essentially, this Tier’s choice is going to be crucial as some of the traits on this Tier provide more dps than those on Tier 3. So, you need to aim at collecting the highest weapon ilvl equivalent sum, like it was done in the Relics section.

  1. Torment the Weak 4.2
  2.  Infusion of Light 3.9
  3. Secure in the LightShadowbind 3.8
  4. Light Speed 3.7
  5. Chaotic Darkness 3.5
  6. Murderous Intent 3.4
  7. Master of Shadows 3
  8. Shocklight 2.8
  9. Dark Sorrows 1.7

Tier 3. Choosing your traits on Tier 3, follow the rule of the highest sum.

  1. Wrath of the Ashbringer 4.7 ilvl
  2. Highlord’s Judgment 3
  3. Might of the Templar 2.7
  4. Deliver the Justice / Righteous Verdict 2.4
  5. Sharpened Edge 0.6 ilvl
  6. Deflection 0.1

Other traits are defensive and provide no dps tha’s why they are not accounted for here. Here their value is considered equal to 0.

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:

cruweight^120978^ilvl^1^252799^3.21^186927^2.82 6:2.82 7:2.86^252922^2.17^238062^2.56 6:2.98 7:2.58^252875^4.69^252888^4.19^252091^3.36^186941^-0.23 6:0.08 7:-0.11^184759^0.87 6:0.96 7:0.82^184843^-0.09 6:-0.05 7:0.1^185368^3.23 6:3.15 7:3.38^186945^5.3 6:5.74 7:4.85^252191^3.53^252906^4.68^252088^3.98^253070^4.73^253093^4.58^end


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A Retribution paladin has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.

Let’s take a look at the good Legendaries only, the better ones – to the worse ones:

  1. Whisper of the Nathrezim. Passively increases the damage dealt by your finishing moves.
  2. Chain of Thrayn. Passively increases the whole outgoing damage during Crusade.
  3. Liadrin’s Fury Unleashed. Additional HP during Crusade.
  4. Soul of the Highlord. This one is a bit random. It can enhance your burst DPS, but it can also help you keep it as up as possible out of bursts.
  5. Ashes to Dust. Nice for burst AoE.
  6. Scarlet Inquisitor’s Expurgation. Passive AoE increase.
  7. Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish. This one is to be used in the sole case of not having at least two of the aforementioned.

Other Legendaries are of no great importance for this specialization.

* Any combo of the first 4 Legendaries is extremely powerful.

If you’ve got different Legendaries out of the first list, and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, we recommend you use Simcraft.

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Let’s first review the priorities on a single target.

The key point is to deal max damage with Templar’s Verdict and Execution Sentence, if you have it in your talents. This means, you should never trigger your finishing moves unless you have the debuff of Judgment on your target. In the gaps between Judgments restock your HP.

Below, there is the priority list for utilizing abilities (with 2+ targets, simply replace Templar’s Verdict with Divine Storm):

  1. Execution Sentence, if on the stock, so that it is over while Judgment’s debuff is active.
  2. Templar’s Verdict with the proc of Divine Purpose, if the buff is about to finish.
  3. Templar’s Verdict with 5 HP, if you’ve got the debuff of Judgment.
  4. Templar’s Verdict with 3 HP, if your Crusade stacks are less than 15, and you have the debuff of Judgment.
  5. Templar’s Verdict with 3 HP, if you have the debuff of Judgment and the buff of the Whisper of the Nathrezim is over in 1 sec.
  6. Wake of Ashes with 0 HP, or with 1 HP, if Blade of Justice is on CD.
  7. Blade of Justice with 3 or less HP and the talent Blade of Wrath.
  8. Crusader Strike with 2 charges and 4 or less HP.
  9. Judgment with 5 HP, or if Crusader Strike and Blade of Justice are on CD.
  10. Consecration, if you’ve got the talent.
  11. Templar’s Verdict with <3 HP, with the proc of Divine Purpose and the debuff of Judgment on the target.
  12. Templar’s Verdict with 2 HP, and the buff of the talent The Fires of Justice, with the debuff of Judgment on the target.
  13. Crusader Strike with 4 or less HP.
  14. Templar’s Verdict with 3 or more HP, with the debuff of Judgment on the target.

This all may look kind of scary at a glance, but with a little bit of practice, pretty soon you’ll find yourself following all those rules without giving it a second thought. Some key notes:

  • Never utilize finishing moves unless there’s a debuff of Judgment on the target (exceptions: you had made a mistake before it, and used Judgment on a target that died really quickly, and your debuff didn’t have the time to leap over to the next target. In this case, there is no use in standing and staring at the target with 5 HP, and waiting for HP generators to cool down).
  • If the Judgment debuff finishes on the target during your next GCD, and there is an opportunity to utilize a finishing move (be it over 3 HP or the proc of Divine Purpose), let your finisher go. Thus, you avoid a situation in which you are stuck with 5 HP, and Judgment is still on CD. You will always have something to generate HP before your Judgment cools down.



  1. Prepot Potion of the old War
  2. Blade of justice
  3. Judgment
  4. Crusade
  5. Templar Verdict
  6. Wake of Ashes
  7. Templar Verdict
  8. Crusader strike(or Arcane Torrent if you are Blood Elf)
  9. Templar Verdict

With Liadrin’s Fury Unleashed and without T21:

  1. Prepot.
  2. At the very beginning of the combat, use Judgment. If your Bloodlust / Heroism is used off a pool, you need to press it so that Judgment is already pressed when your Bloodlust is active. If Bloodlust is not utilized off the pool, use Judgment between issues 4 and 5.
  3. Blade of Justice.
  4. Crusader Strike (or Zeal).
  5. Crusade + Templar’s Verdict.
  6. Crusader Strike, then Templar’s Verdict (if you’re a Blood Elf, instead of Crusader Strike, use Arcane Torrent).
  7. Wake of Ashes.
  8. Templar’s Verdict.
  9. Templar’s Verdict.

Without Liadrin’s Fury Unleashed and T21:

  1. Prepot.
  2. Judgment.
  3. Blade of Justice.
  4. Crusader Strike (with 4 pieces t20, leave this step, as at step 3 you already have 3 HP).
  5. Crusade + Templar’s Verdict.
  6. Wake of Ashes.
  7. Templar’s Verdict.
  8. Crusader Strike or Arcane Torrent (for a Blood Elf).
  9. Templar’s Verdict.

On AoE, some of the talents are replaced. Their use is described in the main priority list. For openers, just replace Templar’s Verdict with Divine Storm.


Use it as often as possible, with minimal idling. Judgment during Crusade should aim at 100% presence on the talent which is not that difficult considering the increased Haste with this talent. It is also recommended that you use Crusade with various raid enhancements like Bloodlust/Heroism, or whenever your target receives increased damage (e.g. Maiden of Vigilance in Tomb of Sargeras during the sphere collecting phase – it’s better if you wait a minute before discarding your burst so that you can discard it here instead of doing it right away. Thus, if the cast is not interrupted the moment it becomes possible, and you hold on to 22-23 stacks, your second set of wings cools down right on time for this phase).

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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:

Strength > Haste > Crit = Versatility = Mastery

This spec’s Mastery increases the damage dealt by Judgment and increases the bonus damage dealt by the Judgment itself and our finishing moves. Mastery becomes stronger with T21.

Some info on the Haste rating:

All the other percentages often mentioned in the community – 20, 22 and 25% – are nothing more than unsupported information based on personal feelings, tops.

Due to this stat interrelation, it’s obvious that the values of the latter are going to vary extremely within the group with the change of equipment. That’s why is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.

Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

  1. Gems:
  1. Chants:
  1. Food:
  1. Flasks and Potions

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Set bonuses


  • 2 pieces: Your HP spending attacks deal 7% more damage.
  • 4 pieces: Utilizing HP generating abilities you get a 20% chance of accumulating an additional 1 HP.



  • 2 pieces: Damage by Judgment goes 60% up.
  • 4 pieces: Using Judgment decreases the spending of HP on your next HP spending ability by 1 HP unit.

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Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

/cast [mod:shift,@focus][] Rebuke

Blessing at the cursor’s position; it’s recommended you do something like this to every Blessing you have:

/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Protection