Retribution Paladin Guide - WOW Dragonflight
Game Guides , World Of Warcraft , WOW Gameplay Guides
Retribution Paladins are thematically holy crusaders, using two handed weapons to turn the power of the light into absurdly powerful damaging abilities. Paladin only has one damage specialization, and this is it. It’s primarily a melee spec with a very limited number of ranged abilities to use.
Why play Retribution Paladin
If the thought of playing a Holy Crusader, a melee wielder of the light with strong support options and insane burst interest you, then Retribution Paladin might be the class for you.
The strengths of Retribution Paladin are readily apparently and not at all insignificant
Retribution Paladin has:
Powerful burst damage in both AoE and single target
One of the very few full damage immunities WoW has in Divine Shield
An incredible amount of utility that will find frequent use
Strong self healing and party healing options when necessary.
There are a few drawbacks to playing a Retribution Paladin, most namely:
Sustained damage outside of major cooldowns is poor.
Low mobility - this is a Paladin-wide problem, you only have access to Divine Steed.
Other than your Divine Shield immunity, very few actual damage reduction tools
The community generally perceives Retribution Paladin as a weak spec.
The basics of Retribution Paladin gameplay
The core rotation of a Retribution Paladin centers itself around using abilities like Blade of Justice & Judgement to generate Holy Power, which is then immediately consumed to deal significant damage with our spenders - Templar’s Verdict & Divine Storm. Although your mobility options as a Paladin are limited, you have access to a lot of utility and buffs to help you in a fight and have very potent healing capabilities for a damage specialization.
Playstyle: The core gameplay of Retribution Paladin centers itself around generating and spending Holy Power efficiently to minimize any downtime in your rotation. While doing this, you have access to a wide array of cooldowns that significantly increase your damage for short durations.
Stat Priority: Your mastery also buffs the entirety of your damage toolkit with a flat Holy Damage % increase. Because of this you generally want to prioritize stats in this order - Strength > Mastery > Haste >= Crit > Versatility.
Critical Damage Cooldowns: In terms of cooldowns for damage, you have access to quite a few.
You generally have and often use:
Final Reckoning - It has two components, an active on use and a passive proc that only happens when it’s off of cooldown. The use effect does a large amount of AoE damage and applies a 50% Holy damage taken debuff to targets hit for 8 seconds. The proc does little damage and increases the damage of your next Holy Power spender by 10%.
Divine Toll - Casts Judgement on up to 5 enemies. Deals double the damage of your regular Judgement and generates 1 Holy Power for each enemy hit. This is a significant burst cooldown.
Avenging Wrath - Gives you a long 20 second long buff that increases your damage, healing and critical strike chance for the duration. This is your significant damage cooldown that most of your burst window revolves around.
CD Utilization: Fortunately Retribution Paladin, while maybe slightly restrictive in the ordering of your cast sequence in an opener, is very forgiving after the fact. Once you’ve gotten into combat and these abilities are coming back up, or you’re moving between pulls in a dungeon and these abilities are coming back up and they’re a little bit desynchronized, you can just press them as you get them to gain the full benefit of them. Missing a cast of these abilities is much more punishing than the benefit gained from maximizing their use.
Dragonflight Changes: Now that we’ve made it to Dragonflight, there are a few things that have changed about the way you play a Retribution Paladin but the vast majority of the difference is just maximizing the value you get from Consecration. When you Divine Storm, it buffs your consecration by a significant amount and makes it an extremely powerful ability, and to have good damage overall you need to make sure you’re keeping Consecration as close to 100% uptime with the buff gained from casting Divine Storm as possible.
Retribution Paladin Utility
As a Retribution Paladin, you have access to a lot of utility to not only help yourself but also frequently your party, too, with it most notably being your healing potential.
You have access to Blessing of Sacrifice, which transfers 30% of the damage taken of the ally that you cast it on to you instead. This is a solid external damage reduction in the form of damage taken to you, and is incredibly effective when used on anyone other than a tank.
You have access to Divine Shield, one of the very few immunities in the game which allows you to solo mechanics that would otherwise require the group or raid to help you as well as survive otherwise unsurvivable hits in combat.
In Dragonflight, you now have Intercession, an ability used to resurrect players while in combat which sees a lot of value and generally every single group will want at least one of those resurrection abilities as very few classes have them.
Word of Glory is your main healing ability to help other people. It heals for a significant amount, only costing your Holy Power resource that would otherwise be translated to damage.
Hammer of Justice is your single-target stun. It lasts for 6 seconds and functions essentially as a second interrupt and will see frequent, on-cooldown use.
Lay on Hands is another healing ability that Retribution Paladin has access to, healing the target for the max HP value of the paladin. This is a very long cooldown but an extremely potent (even to the tank) heal that can absolutely save your group a wipe.
As a Retribution Paladin, a major part of the benefit you bring to a dungeon group or raid is through your utility and healing, and the way you use your utility is what sets you apart!
To learn more about Retribution Paladin, keep an eye out for more guides from us in the near future!
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