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wow paladin icon Retribution Paladin Talents

Posted by Khor | 7/17/2009

Here is the most current talent tree for ret pallies as of 3.2:


Divine Sacrifice proved to be immensely valuable in Ulduar, so we are still aiming for this in 3.2. We're now dipping into the holy tree with 5 points for the Seal of Vengeance buff.


From Arikah posted at Elitist Jerks: [Source]


The following scale off of both AP and Spellpower -

  • Seal of Command:
    36% weapon damage
  • Judgement of Command:
    19% weapon damage + 9% AP + 13% spell power
  • Seal of Vengeance: (see below for full details)
    33% weapon damage + 2.5% AP + 1.3% spell power per tick
  • Judgement of Vengeance:
    (1 + (.14 * AP) + (.22 * Spellpower)) * (1 + (0.1 * Stack Size))
  • Seal of Light:
    15% AP + 15% spell power (healing proc)
  • Judgement of Light:
    16% AP + 25% spell power (damage)
    2% of maximum hp (healing proc)
  • Seal of Wisdom:
    4% of maximum mana (mana proc)
  • Judgement of Wisdom:
    16% AP + 25% spell power (damage)
    2% of base mana (mana proc)
  • Judgement of Justice:
    16% AP + 25% spell power (damage)
  • Consecration:
    4% AP + 4% spell power per tick
    (Final rank has 113 base damage per tick)
  • Exorcism:
    15% AP + 15% spell power
    (Final rank has 1028 base damage)
  • Hammer of Wrath:
    15% AP + 15% spell power
    (Final rank has 1139 base damage)
  • Holy Wrath:
    7% AP + 7% spell power
    (Final rank has 1050 base damage)
  • Sacred Shield:
    75% spellpower
Our healing spells scale strictly off of Spellpower.

In addition to seals scaling from both AP and SP, ALL seals can now be triggered from our instant melee attacks, DS and CS. I'll cover the specific seals a bit further down.


Blizzard finally came out and "settled" what we already knew for 3.2. All Judgements are considered melee attacks that cannot be dodged, parried or blocked. They cannot be used while silenced and can still miss if you are not hitcapped. If this is confusing for you, just think of them as ranged physical attacks that are capable of triggering melee events (beserking, AoW ect). Judgements do not stack, and the last/most recent person to judge will be credited with the effects (yes, non-divinity JoL's will overwrite divinity'd JoL's).

Judgement of Wisdom
This is a strong choice for your judgement to use due to equalized JoL and the removal of blood recoil. You want to keep JoW up or you and your mana using dps (hunters in particular) can run into mana troubles. JoW's mana return effect is limited to 15 PPM for spells and physical; because paladins use both, we can see a few more procs than other classes.

Judgement of Light
This was our primary judgement for 3.1, however it has been equalized among all paladin specs to return 2% max hp (it used to scale based on AP/SP). If there are 2 paladins in your raid, you want the prot or holy paladin to use this judgement, so you can keep JoW up. If there is heavy raid damage and you are the only paladin, JoL is a good choice. If you are specced into Divinity, JoL still does benefit from it.

Judgement of Justice
This is your judgement in pvp situations, as all the debuff does is limit movement speed to 100%. This is not considered a movement impairing effect, so freedom or druid shifting will not break it, it can only be pvp trinketed or dispelled. This effect only lasts 10 seconds in pvp, not 20 as the tooltip implies.


Seals scale off AP and Spellpower. Judging a seal no longer consumes the seal, seals have a 30 minute duration. Seals are NOT considered weapon imbues, and can no longer be dispelled. Seals trigger off instant attacks (CS, DS).

Seal of Vengeance/Seal of Corruption
SoV replaces blood (which has been removed from the game) as our primary dps seal. SoV is the biggest reason that STR is our best dps stat, because it is one of the few skills in the game that triple dip on a stat (once for AP, once for SP, once for AP affecting weapon damage). In case the wording on the skill is unclear, SoV has 2 parts to it - the DoT, and the proc. The proc is basically a weaker, modified Seal of Blood proc but without the recoil. The talent SotP increases the damage from the DoT and the proc (which results in a total dps increase of about 6.5%). It takes ~12 seconds in a raid buffed setting to get a 5 stack active. SoV has some odd functionality detailed below:

The seal procs will begin triggering from auto-attacks once you have 5 DoT stacks, however strikes will always trigger a seal proc (but not a DoT application). The table below shows the damage of the proc per DoT application:

Stack Number% of Weapon Damage% with SotP

When an auto-attack lands (does not dodge/parry/miss) that can proc a seal the of the following things happen independently of each other (see 2 roll system).

1) A "hidden strike" which uses melee combat mechanics occurs. If it lands it refreshes/stacks SoV DoT. Only white swings can trigger a refresh or stack.
2) A weapon damage based proc will occur if you used a special (CS/DS/judge) or if you have a 5 stack (from auto attacks). This attack can not be avoided.

Remember #2 happens regardless of #1 landing, it just requires the initial attack (autos, cs, etc) to land.

DoT functions and mechanics:
DoT application is melee hit/exp based. (Cannot be resisted like a spell, but can be dodged or parried)
DoT will still be applied even if your white swing is fully absorbed (in a PvP situation).
DoT is only applied via auto-attacks (whites).
DoT ticks always hit.
DoT ticks are reduced by partial resist on skull mobs, but not by players (it is holy damage).
DoT gains from CoE (and equivalents).

Seal Proc functions and mechanics:
Proc (after 5 stack/triggered from specials) can NOT be dodged or parried, it occurs as long as your initial white/strike lands.
Proc suffers from partial resists (it's holy damage).
Proc gains from CoE (and equivalents).
Proc can crit. (like SoB did)

One last note, which is it's odd interaction with other paladins' SoV stacks. If you do not have a DoT of your own on a target, but another ret or protection paladin does, your SoV proc's damage is based on their DoT stack (this will usually only occur with DS since it can hit non-targeted enemies). However, if you have even one DoT application on a target, your proc damage will then be based on your DoT stack. This simply means that protection paladins play very nicely with retribution paladins, as Hammer of the Righteous applies DoT stacks quickly to multiple targets, and then DS will hit up to 4 targets with fully charged SoV procs.

Seal of Righteousness
We haven't used this seal since we were leveling up, and it sickens me to say that it is now an option to use. This seal cannot crit, but also cannot miss or be dodged/parried (unless your white swing or special misses). While this seal doesn't benefit from 2H spec or weapon damage increases, it does benefit from SotP, which is in all our primary pve talent builds. With 5/5 SotP, SoR averages about 100 dps higher than SoC until you are in Ilvl 250+ gear. Judging SoR triggers an SoR proc.

Seal of Command
This is a weak option for a pvp seal. SoC has been retooled again; it is no longer ppm based, rather it triggers on every attack (like blood used to) and has no ICD. Judging is no longer a guaranteed crit vs stunned targets. SoC procs are still capable of criticals and follow all the standard melee attack rules. SoC pulls ahead of SoR only when fighting 3+ mobs that only live for 12s each. Judging SoC also triggers an SoC proc.

Strikes and DPS skills

These spells are used in the retribution skill rotation.

Widely viewed as a necessary part of the retribution rotation, as our DPS is not very competitive without it. Should be used against both single and multiple targets. Consecration has some odd behavior on skull level mobs; the first tick can be fully resisted (miss) and subsequent ticks can also be partially resisted (due to mob level difference). You cannot work around the partial resists at all, but they are often small enough to not matter:
Originally Posted by http://elitistjerks.com/1052225-post672.html
I tested this situation while wearing a massive amount of + hit (22% spell hit or so) and things didn't change noticeably. There simply were only 4 combat log entries most of the time, something like:

Boss is afflicted by your Consecration
Boss takes 20 Damage from your Consecration (60 resisted)
Boss takes 30 Damage from your Consecration (50 resisted)
Consecration fades from Boss

Sometimes I got 4 ticks, sometimes 1, but against a +13 level mob I never got anywhere near 8. There simply weren't entries in the log for those other ticks. I won't claim to know the precise mechanics of this, but it does seem evident that mobs can totally resist Consecration ticks if they are high enough level in addition to the debuff application that we are all so familiar with. I don't actually have a paladin that can test this anymore since I did it just after 3.0 launched against the level 83 dummy and my level 80 paladin has no way to fight a level 93 mob.
Hammer of Wrath
With the release of 3.0, this skill was buffed a substantial amount, to the point where it is used on cooldown vs targets under 20% health (due to deep ret talents that give this skill a 50% base crit chance, in addition to gear). It is now an instant ranged execute, but retains its' fixed mana cost. Using this skill does not reset your swing timer.

Chnaged again in 3.2. This is now usable on all mob types, can crit (based on your spell crit), and has 100% crit chance vs undead and demon mobs. It uses the spell hit table so you can still miss with this even if melee hitcapped. It has a base cast time of 1.5s which means you will never ever use this without an AoW proc available - when used with AoW it becomes instant and does not reset the swing timer. Note that because it is not a base instant cast it does not benefit from Benediction.

Holy Wrath
Also uses the spell hit tables, can crit. Has no target limit so it is very useful on certain fights with many undead/demon adds. Changed from a 60s cooldown/20yd range (BC) to a 30s cooldown/10yd range, and it now stuns all targets that it hits for 2s.

Divine Plea
You will need to use this to keep your mana up in both PvE and PvP. It scales off your total mana pool, and is dispellable. DP is usually responsible for 10% of our total mana income on bosses.

And of course, our talented instant attacks:

Divine Storm
Our 51 pt talent, it is basically the same as a warrior's whirlwind ability except that DS heals for negligible amounts. Despite it seeming like an underwhelming talent it is critical to our DPS as it can and will trigger seals and RV. This skill is normalized to 3.3 weapon speed.

Crusader Strike
Our still bland 41 pt talent, yet still crucial to our DPS as it also triggers seals and RV. CS no longer refreshes your or any other paladins' judgements. This skill is also normalized (to 3.3).

Special Talents

and their ..."specialness"
This is just to cover some talents that have odd quirks or interesting functionality.

Art of War
AoW seems like it becomes more important in pve, but realistically nothing has changed. Exorcism still has a 15 second cooldown, and the chances that you will not see a crit on the pull (7.5 seconds in) while raid buffed are 1.6%, while the chances you won't see a crit in 15 seconds is 0.2% - therefore there is no reason to stack crit or worry about not being able to use it every 15s. AoW has been changed to proc on all melee crits, which means whites, strikes and judgements, but not seal procs.

Righteous Vengeance
Once again stealing from the warriors! The RV dot does indeed "roll" like the warrior version, meaning critical judgements and DS's in succession will refresh the dot duration, not overwrite it. The RV dot is a magic effect and thus dispellable, can be partially resisted by bosses, but is not mitigated by armor.
How RV rolls courtesy Redcape:
It adds the new critical damage onto any remaining damage in the dot and then resets the duration with the new damage total. There is absolutely no need to maintain the stack in any fashion, the stack falling off does not cause you to lose dps.
Sheath of Light
One of our most exciting talents for wrath. This talent helps to increase our damage because of the way we double-dip in AP and SP, gives retribution paladins heals actually worth casting/using, and makes STR that much more important. Sacred Shield finally also scales from spellpower granted by this talent. The healing portion of this talent acts the same way as RV; getting a crit heal while still having a sheath hot active "rolls" (see above). This effect stacks with the SS hot, meaning using a FoL on yourself (with SS active) and getting a crit results in a 130% strength HoT.

Sacred Shield
Since this spell now works properly as retribution you can expect to be using it a lot, it is fairly potent when combined with Divine Guardian. Using this does not reset the swing timer. Sacred Shield also has a 6s ICD even when talented, so it is capable of refreshing itself every 6 seconds, even if the 'old' shield has not been fully used up. With 3.2, having SS active on a target and using FoL results in a hot; it does not require that the shield be triggered, only the SS buff. Note that any paladin can get the hot from any other paladin's SS (example: a holy paladin uses FoL on the tank, and the tank has used SS on himself, resulting in a hot).

This has an odd double dipping interaction with your own heals (JoL, DS heals) which causes it to multiply twice, like so: (original heal number) * 1.05 *1.05. It is taken in pve builds only when you are trying to get to DSac. If you pick up this talent, you may want to use JoL and have other paladins use JoW.

Divine Sacrifice
A powerful raid cooldown, when used in combination with the bubble you effectively give your entire raid 30% damage reduction for 10s (as damage "immune'd" by the bubble does not count towards the break limit**). Divine guardian increases the damage redirected to you from 30% to 40%.

**After many months of testing, logging and data combing, it appears that the damage "immune'd" by the bubble actually does count towards the 150% limit. However, DSac very often absorbs much much more while under the bubble. This is because of latency; often times we use DSac while the raid is taking enormous amounts of damage (for example, a Freya3 ground tremor) and the game simply cannot sync the damage taken with the limit in the 1 second window that it occurs in. In other words, to get the maximum possible benefit out of DSac, you need to use it at the last possible second before the raid takes damage, to ensure that the limit threshold is not eaten by you absorbing your tank's steady damage, but rather the entire raid's in that split second moment of pain.