Paladin: Retribution PvE
(v 3.3 live)
What's changed? Basically DSac is now useless and Tier 10 changes our FCFS system yet again. Read on!
Patch 3.3 is the final expected major patch for Wrath, and while other classes received major changes, retribution has changed comparatively little since 3.2. I've mostly just copied and updated relevant parts of the 3.2 post; discussions pertaining to 3.3 begin on page 53. This thread focuses on retribution discussions, primarily endgame pve related. Retribution offers great sustained DPS, is very competitive as a dps class/spec, and it also offers the following raid buffs:
Retribution in Wrath (like most classes and specs) is pretty easy to pick up and play, but can be somewhat difficult to master; hopefully this thread and its' contributing posters will make it easier to understand, for both new and veteran paladins alike. This thread assumes you have basic knowledge of paladins and their talent trees.
This thread has several predecessors, which can be referenced for a lot of old data (some of which is no longer relevant or accurate!):
Arikah's 3.0 thread
Cathela's wotlk beta thread
Cromfel's 2.3 ret thread
..and much of this collection of information is thanks to the frequent posters on these boards, who are too numerous to name.
[top]Tools and faqs
Q: Is there a tool to calculate my DPS using a certain gear/spec setup? Or what item will be better for me?
A: Yes, Rawr, Redcape's Calculator, and Bellator's spreadsheet (updated by Exemplar) which much like this thread will improve in accuracy with time. Note that gear upgrades from all 3 tools are mostly dependent on your current gear.
Q: What seal for PvE? And for PvP?
A: With blood removed, Seal of Vengeance(Corruption) is now our sustained pve dps seal. For mobs that die in under 12 seconds (trash), you may want to use SoR or SoC due to the DoT ramp-up time of SoV. SoC is a good cleave seal, perhaps for things like Anub's adds.
Q: What does weapon speed do to us? Do we want slow or fast?
A: We still want slow. Every .1 speed slower is equal to ~20 DPS due to Seals and Judgements not being normalized to weapon speeds.
Q: What weapon enchant?
A: Scroll down to the enchant section, it explains berserking a bit more...
Q: Should I use a fast 1h weapon to stack SoV quicker? What about libram swapping?
A: No. Switching weapons and librams is always a dps loss.
AGI = Agility
AoW = Art of War
AM = Aura Mastery
AP = Attack Power
ArP = Armor Penetration
AW = Avenging Wrath
BoM = Blessing of Might
BoK = Blessing of Kings
CS = Crusader Strike
CRIT = Critical Strike (rating)
DoT = Damage over Time
DP = Divine Plea
DS = Divine Storm
DSac = Divine Sacrifice
Exo = Exorcism
E4E = Eye for an Eye
GCD = Global Cooldown
HoJ = Hammer of Justice
HoT = Heal over Time
HoW = Hammer of Wrath
ICD = Internal Cooldown
JoW = Judgement of Wisdom
JoL = Judgement of Light
JoJ = Judgement of Justice
JotW = Judgements of the Wise
JoV = Judgement of Vengeance
RV = Righteous Vengeance
Sheath = Sheath of Light
SS = Sacred Shield
SoB = Seal of Blood/Martyr (Removed in 3.2)
SoC = Seal of Command
SoCorr = Don't call it SoCorr please, it's SoV
SoR = Seal of Righteousness
Sotp = Seals of the Pure
SoV = Seal of Vengeance/Seal of Corruption
SoV dot = The DoT portion of SoV
SoV proc = The instant damage portion of SoV
STR = Strength
PoJ = Pursuit of Justice
ppm = proc per minute
This section clarifies some things regarding hits, crits, and expertise. Much of this section is thanks http://elitistjerks.com/f78/t38095-r...e_assumptions/ . The people in that thread have solid math, and Vulajin has provided pretty solid evidence of these theories (40000+ swings!)
Glancing blows are a part of melee combat and cannot be avoided. Glancing blows happen 24% of the time and cannot be critical hits; as retribution, only auto-attacks (whites) are subject to glancing blows.
Our specials are based on a 2 roll system, our normal (autoswings) are a one roll system. SoV dot applications are still based on the 2 roll system, so this is still valid.
You need 8%, not the BC 9%, to be 2H melee hitcapped vs skull level mobs (bosses).
You (still) need 26 expertise (6.50%) to be expertise capped, not the 6.25% reported lately.
All melee classes seem to suffer a 4.8% crit suppression vs skull mobs; this means that your melee critrate will be on average 1.8% lower than your character sheet implies (HotC covers 3% of this, procs from librams and such not accounted for).
All spell attacks have a 3% crit suppression vs bosses. Because of HotC, we do not notice this at all; also only exorcism and holy wrath are affected by this.
The spell hit cap is still 17% - the only skills we have that are affected by this are exorcism, holy wrath, and consecrate ticks - so this is of little importance to us.
[top]The Basic Rotation..
Basic clash resolution is as follows: HoW > CS > Judgement > DS > Consecration > Exorcism > Holy Wrath
For modified clash resolutions, see below.
After many months of facerolling, sadly not much has changed and we still use FCFS (First Come First Serve) as our "rotation". What this means is basically that it is better to hit a dps skill that is off cooldown - any skill - rather than wait a second for a certain skill to be ready. In the event that multiple skills are off cooldown, use the clash resolution above to prioritize what to use first; these are sorted by DPS, not Damage per Cast.
The reasoning behind FCFS courtesy Avitus:
Lately our sets have had the ability to alter our resolution system. There are several different scenarios in 3.3, these only apply if set bonuses are equipped.
If you have 2pc T9 equipped your best clash resolution is: Judgement > HoW > CS > DS > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath.
If you have 2pc T9 AND 2pc T10 equipped, your best resolution is: Judgement > DS > HoW > CS > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath
If you have 4pc T10 equipped, your best clash resolution is: DS > CS > Judgement > HoW > Consecrate > Exorcism > Holy Wrath
Remember that no matter what priority system you pick and use, we're still bound to FCFS. Roll dat face hard!
(In order of importance!)
If you are looking for stat weightings I suggest you use one of the spreadsheets at the top, as they vary greatly depending on your current gear.
Hit See Observations
32.8 rating gives you 1% hit. At level 80, we require 263 hit rating, or 8%, to be hit capped on white swings, specials, and judgements. Note that Exorcism and Consecration are considered spells and use the spell hit table, thus we can still miss with these abilities. You need to be hitcapped in order to get your maximum dps. Hitcapping is extremely easy with gear alone and shouldn't be gemmed or enchanted for.
Our DPS stat to stack after the hitcap, as we have various talents that multiply it's effect. 1 STR gives you 2 AP baseline, multiplied by 1.15 from Divine Strength (Tier 1 Prot) giving us 2.3 AP per STR when specced. This number is further affected by buffs such as BoK. STR also increases the strength of our utility spells such as SS via talents, and SoV triple dips on STR. It is recommended that you gem all STR after you are hitcapped.
Introduced in late BC, this stat allows us to completely remove dodges from the attack table - you cannot realistically fully remove parries from the table, but you only get parried from the front, so don't attack bosses from the front! 8.2 rating gives 1 expertise; you need 214 expertise rating (26 expertise, 6.5%) to reach the cap. If you are a human using a sword/mace you need 23 expertise (189 rating), and if you are a dwarf using a mace you need 21 expertise (173 rating) to reach the cap due to racials. Capping this stat is a significant dps increase vs uncapped (or none at all) as it affects our whites and strikes. You ideally want to cap this stat alongside hit in order to maximize your dps and this is possible in 3.2/3.3 with the amount of expertise on gear. Anything over the cap is utterly worthless and wasted itemization points. Do not gem for expertise, let it come naturally with gear or glyphs (see glyph section).
Crit See Observations
We are quite reliant on critical strikes to do damage. You can never really have too much crit, but it is not worth gemming for it, gem for STR instead. You need 45.9 crit rating to gain 1% crit at 80. This stat gains no benefits from raid buffs, but you get more per itemization point from crit than you do AGI. This stat also increases your spell crit rating, making it flat out superior to AGI.
We need 52.08 agility to gain 1% melee crit. Like stated before, crit is flat out better, however AGI does scale with raid buffs such as BoK where crit does not. Often found on leather, mail, or sometimes weapons, but not on plate.
Haste received some buffs in 3.1; namely for paladins we get 30% more haste from each rating point. Haste increases white damage and SoV damage by giving you a few more attacks against a boss; haste does NOT decrease the GCD on our strikes/judgements, but slightly decreases spell GCD (cons, exo). You will find plenty of it on our sets and pieces, don't enchant or gem for it. You need 32.7 baseline haste rating to gain 1% haste at 80, but adjusted with the 3.1 changes paladins require 25.2 haste rating for 1% haste. Despite all these buffs for haste, it still isn't a great stat for ret and should not be stacked or specifically aimed for.
Most of our skills scale off AP, but this stat is bottom of the melee barrel (about tied with ArP) - STR is just so much better. AP isn't really seen on plate (so you often don't have to worry about this) but you will run into it if you dip into leather and mail. Note that despite AP having a 2:1 item stat budget, it is still far weaker than STR as we have no talents that boost it's effect. When comparing or considering pieces with AP vs plate, you need to look at the item stats/level as a whole.
ArP only affects about 35% of our damage, making it our least desired stat. 13.8 rating now gives you 1% armor piercing; unlike BC, you can no longer fully ignore boss or player armor via this stat. ArPen does NOT increase damage done by seals or judgements, just white damage, CS and DS.
Bad item stat for us. Spellpower increases some of our skills' coefficients, but at a rate much slower than STR/AP, and does nothing for our white damage and instant melee strikes - CS and DS gain nothing from spellpower. Avoid this stat (easy to do, since none of our ret gear has spellpower).
As of 3.1, INT sucks due to JotW/SA changes. 1 INT gives you 15 mana and a negligible amount of spell crit; you need 166 INT to gain 1% spellcrit. INT will increase the mana you get from DP, and your total mana pool, nothing else. You will only find int on hunter/enh shaman gear and it is rare to find a piece of mail better than plate/leather. INT is not a ret stat.
Ultimately, stam does nothing more than keep you alive in situations where there is raid damage, and in wrath there is a lot of raid damage. Most of the damage is magic (not mitigated by armor) therefor armor class does not matter to us, as we have no Armored to the Teeth talents like warriors or deathknights. You'll find all the stam you need and much much more on all wrath gear.
Several mechanics have changed since BC, most notably the Seal and Judgement systems.
The following scale off of both AP and 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 replaced 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 a debuff stack of any size, and strikes will always trigger a seal proc (but never a DoT application). The table below shows the damage of the proc per DoT application:
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. (This hidden strike mechanic can also proc things like berserking..)
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)
With the release of 3.2.2, SoV stack interaction should now be functioning correctly and the damage you get from procs/judgements is solely based on your stack count.
Seal of Righteousness
It's still an option to use this seal, however since the critical breakpoint has been reached (ILvl 252 gear), SoC now hits harder and can cleave things. In general, SoR has been relegated to a PvP seal due to its' harder hitting judgements. SoR procs also cannot miss or be dodged/parried (unless your initial auto misses), and judging SoR results in an additional SoR proc. It is the only seal that behaves in this manner.
Seal of Command
SoC is our cleaving/trash seal. SoC procs follow all standard melee attack rules, no longer have an ICD, and can crit. Judging on a stunned target no longer guarantees a crit, and the judgement is fairly weak to being with, you use this seal for its' proc damage. The cleave effect on this seal is based on the middle of the target hitbox; if you are at maximum melee range it is possible for you to be missing out on SoC cleaves (if there are adds being tanked nearby, Anub25H is a very good example of this). You also need all the targets that you want cleaved in front of you, or at least stacked on top of each other; unlike DS, SoC procs will not hit adds positioned in a circle. The cleave range is about that same as protection's HotR, 8 yards (slightly smaller than DS' 10 yards).
[top]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:
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.
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 3s, and shares stun DR with HoJ.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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. With 2pc T9 equipped, RV crits for 200% damage, just like any of our other melee abilities.
How RV rolls courtesy Redcape:
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).
We used to use this a lot in pve, but now this is more of a pvp ret utility. 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.
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.
Caveat: There are no two exact situations that are the same. Looking at one paladin's spec may vary from another, due to guild progression, rostering, ect. The specs below are provided only as a base, hence the new sub-section below.
The core PvE DPS talents are: 5/5/55.
The most common PvE spec for 3.3 is: 11/5/55.
A PvP talent spec looks more like: 0/17/54.
There are several talents that provide (de)buffs that can already be covered by other specs, or are highly situational, so let's look at situations and numbers below. Many of these can be juggled or dropped to gain other talents if they are already covered, giving us some freedom in our talent choices. Tailor your spec by using the core spec provided above, and finding out what you already have covered in your raid.
Aura Mastery - If you really want raid utility and miss having DSac, AM provides a weaker alternative. It now only lasts for 6 seconds, and of course it still only applies to the base aura effect (using this with ret aura active only increases the thorns-like damage, it does not increase the 3% damage from sanctified retribution). This can be useful on fights with heavy magic damage spikes. Of course, AM does require that you be running the appropriate aura before use, however AM is NOT on the GCD.
Divine Sacrifice / Divine Guardian- Was absolutely required for 3.1 raiding and arguably for 3.2 as well, this talent was heavily nerfed for 3.3 (rightfully so, it was previously the single most powerful talent point you could have for your raid). Using the bubble before DSac used to prevent the cap from ever being met, giving your entire raid 30% damage reduction for 10 seconds; it now only gives your party 30% absorption until you either take 200% of your total hp as damage, or if you drop below 20% total hp. Divine Guardian is now required to "restore" DSac's old functionality and even then it is not as powerful as before; DG's effect will still break if you drop below 20% hp and you can no longer be immune to the redirected damage by using the bubble. Because of the major changes to these talents, and their deep placement in the prot tree, these talents are best left to holy or protection paladins. DSac is more or less a pvp talent for retribution now.
Heart of the Crusader - This is a critical debuff to have in your raids, however it is early enough in the tree that both protection and holy paladins can reach this. This is also covered by an elemental shaman and does not stack.
Vindication - Turned into an actual debuff in 3.2, our "demo shout" requires no thought or resources to apply, thus saving your druid/warrior/warlock friends a GCD and some rage/mana. It's situational because this is a mandatory talent for protection paladins, so if you raid with one then you don't need this (ps go make friends with a prot paladin). Demo shout is superior for AoE situations like Anub's adds, because vindication only procs on attacks (such as DS) and not from consecration - Vindication is superior for single targets because it is applied on your first melee attack and is basically a passive debuff.
Swift Retribution - Another required buff for your raid, but if you have a moonkin in your roster who is always present, he can provide this buff (does not stack).
Divinity - Due to JoL no longer scaling this talent has diminished value. It is still increases JoL healing, but only from 2.0% to 2.1% of max hp (2.2% on yourself only).
[top]Glyphs, Gems, Consumables, Enchants, Professions
I won't mention horrible glyphs, because they are horrible! Some glyphs are of debatable use, and there are (slightly) better uses for the slots, so they are also left out. Apologies in advance for the hard to read colors, but there doesn't seem to be a way to override wowhead's item links.
If you don't want to know why we choose the glyphs, then the TLDR is: Judgement, Cons, SoV for majors, Sense Undead for minors.
[top]Recommended Major PvE Glyphs
[Glyph of Judgement]
This is your primary glyph as retribution. 10% more damage on one of our primary attacks is mandatory.
[Glyph of Consecration]
This is a PvE glyph, it saves a ton of mana and some GCD clashes over the course of a fight (worth 108mp5). With our GCD as locked as it is this is also a mandatory pve glyph.
[Glyph of Seal of Vengeance]
We now have the option of glyphing for 10 expertise! This glyph grants exactly what it says, 10 expertise (82 rating, 2.5%) when using our primary dps seal. This is a decent option if you are under the expertise cap or if you want to use other stronger items in place of expertise items. It's worth noting that if you benefit from even half of the expertise (example, glyph puts you at 31 expertise) it is more dps than the exo glyph. The main benefit of this glyph is a lot of freedom in gear choices, as you can drop weaker expertise pieces.
[Glyph of Exorcism]
An option if you are naturally expertise capped, or perhaps for pvp. This glyph is worth ~50 dps, and as noted above you can gain more from using freed itemization on non-expertise gear.
[Glyph of Seal of Command]
PvP glyph - note that even if your judgement is fully absorbed, you will still get 8% base mana back (unlike JotW's absorb mechanics).
[top]Recommended Minor Glyphs
[Glyph of Sense Undead]
1% damage to undead, in an expansion filled with undead mobs. Our only real useful minor glyph.
[Glyph of Lay on Hands]
Self explanatory, taken for lack of decent minor glyphs.
The other four minor glyphs are your choice for the last minor slot. They aren't particularly useful in pve or pvp situations, but they can save you a reagent here and there.
Sometimes you will have to ignore socket bonuses because they are terrible! This is more a guide for when you want to meet such requirements. We finally have epic gems available, and so rare cuts have been removed from the lists. Due to JC changes (removal of the prismatic portion of the dragon's eyes) all paladins are equalized in gemming options.
[Relentless Earthsiege Diamond]
This is the preferred meta, simply because of fairly easy gem requirements. You do lose between .5 and 1 DPS between this and the CSD but you gain more DPS by not using 2 blue gems. Do not use [Chaotic Skyflare Diamond] because 2 blue gems suck.
You will be using one (and only one) of these to fulfill your meta requirement. Use it in a blue slot, preferably one with a good socket bonus (like str).
You will be gemming pure STR in everything.
[Bold Cardinal Ruby]
With 2T9 equipped, if a yellow socket has a 4 STR bonus or better, you can gem one of these (usually inscribed). Once you replace 2T9, it's recommended that you just gem everything pure STR.
Gemming for blue sockets is always a dps loss until we have 10 str socket bonuses (aka, not in this xpac). You should use the prismatic tear above. You do find the following gem used in pvp gear, though.
The quick and dirty of it is, if you are min-maxing every point you can get, Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting is the strongest combo for ret pve (because STR is far superior to AP). Gathering professions are the weakest.
Bolded enchants are what you should be using at endgame levels (the good/expensive stuff).
Head: [Arcanum of Torment]
Shoulders: [Greater Inscription of the Axe] / [Lesser Inscription of the Axe]
Chest: Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats / Enchant Chest - Super Stats
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Major Agility / Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed
Bracers: Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault / Enchant Bracers - Striking /
Hands: Enchant Gloves - Crusher / Enchant Gloves - Precision (if hit is a problem)
Legs: [Icescale Leg Armor]
Feet: Enchant Boots - Icewalker (unless you are way over hitcap, use this) / Enchant Boots - Greater Assault
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Berserking / Enchant 2H Weapon - Massacre
How berserking works: Berserking is a ppm based proc, similar to mongoose - in a raid environment it has a ~75% uptime. It can only trigger off attacks flagged as melee attacks and melee specials (Judgements, CS, DS, white swings). It has increased uptime since 3.2 due to SoV's hidden strike mechanic, which seems to be able to trigger and refresh the buff. Because of this, this is our only real choice for any dps weapon enchant.
Flasks and elixirs:
Just flask, they last the same time amount as an elixir and last through death.
[Flask of Endless Rage]
More interesting choices this time around - you have traditional STR food, in addition to some new foods that actually support our double-dipping into AP/SP. Dragonfin and Fish Feast are roughly equivalent:
Potions: (it might be wise to carry a stack of each)
[Runic Mana Potion] If you have mana issues
[Potion of Speed] If you don't
This sub-section is outdated due to major changes in 3.1 Please refer to the 3.0 thread if you were looking for what it did.
Refer to the 3.1 thread for full math and such. T8 is not as outdated as T7 was (the mechanics didn't change as much) so the 3% dps boost from the 4pc should still be valid.
4pc: 5% more crit to our judgements is paltry and probably our worst set bonus in wotlk. It works out to a ~0.5% dps increase.
2T9 also slightly changes our clash resolution system, please see above.
Pegged as the final tier set of this expansion, this is our best and most interesting set so far. I've also opted to include the T10 libram as a comparison to the T9 and pvp ones.
Libram comparison chart, thanks exemplar. The T10 libram requires 39 seconds to reach equivalence with the T9 libram, and is better after that point. Obviously, the T10 libram can be used with any seal making it useful on fights where you need to use SoC. The T10 libram also becomes more powerful than the pvp librams at a mere 2 stacks, 5 seconds into a fight. The chart assumes you use CS at time 0 - in real FCFS situations at the T10 level, equivalence time is slightly higher at about 45 seconds. The T10 libram will likely be one of your last badge purchases if you already have the T9 libram.
Tier 10 2pc - Your melee attacks have a 40% chance of resetting your DS cooldown: By far the most interesting bonus we've ever had, but because of the random nature of the proc it makes it very difficult to get a solid % increase number. This bonus also changes our FCFS system again, please see the rotation section. Without the bonus, DS usually accounts for 7% of our total dps; based on current theorycraft, 2T10 provides a ~2% dps increase due to more DS usage (it is closer to 3% on paper but due to reaction times as well as increased GCD usage it is less). It is very likely this will be used in pvp, due to the burst damage DS can provide.
Tier 10 4pc - Increases damage done by seals and judgements by 10%: Fairly self-explanatory, this is a huge bonus and pretty much guarantees that BiS lists will all use 4T10. The 10% does not apply to SoV's dot effect, just the proc portion of seals. Since seals and judgements typically make up between 30 and 35% of our damage, we can safely say that 4T10 provides a ~3% dps increase.
Tier 10 looks to provide up to a 5% DPS increase in most situations. We'll have solid evidence of how exactly the 2pc works shortly, and this will be updated!
Pre-facing this by saying these add-ons are entirely optional. Listed in no particular order:
You can get by just fine without them, but these are helpful in many situations.
Cleanse on mouseover
Provide data samples when reporting possible bugs please. Green text means it has been fixed, blue means devs are aware of it, red means it has been recently discovered and not commented on by devs.
Sanctified/Swift Retribution not always working:
If you are running any aura besides Ret aura, you can lose the 3% damage/haste buffs when losing another aura. This happens most often in 25 mans when another paladin moves out of/back into your range, though it's been noted to happen everywhere (even solo). The only solution we have for this right now is simply to always run retribution aura :/
JotW not returning mana for killing blows:
This occurs when judging SoR, because doing so triggers an SoR proc (which will sometimes kill the mob before the judgement does). Devs are aware of this issue.
See SoV seal description for full explanation. SoV (the damage proc portion) does not recognize the difference between your stack and another paladin's stack, and bases your proc damage on the lowest applied stack. JoV also does not recognize paladin stacks properly, but gives the opposite effect of the proc's problem.
Fixed: in patch 3.2.2 (see notes)
Tier 9 2pc is busted:
Our tier 9 2 piece bonus is providing 1/10th of your crit chance to RV (so with 45% crit RV is only critting 4% of the time...).
Fixed: in patch 3.2.2 (see notes)
Judging SoR results in a double SoR proc, widely documented.
Hotfixed (stealth): Judging SoR triggers a single SoR proc as of 8/11. Still double procs with JotJ as prot.
Hand of reckoning:
HoR deals damage to bosses even if they are immune to taunts. Unclear if it is intended or not.
Hotfixed: Hand of Reckoning no longer damages targets that are immune to taunt, including players.
Older bugs can be found in the 3.0 ret thread - 3.1 was bug free (link in intro section)
12/08/09 - patch v3.3
10/01/09 - updates 'n bugs
09/22/09 - patch v3.2.2
08/26/09 - major bugs (t9), sov
08/20/09 - priority system update
08/11/09 - minor bug updates
08/06/09 - bugs!
08/05/09 - minor corrections
08/04/09 - patch v3.2
Alright the header tags have been changed... thanks for the help with them wraith, you saw the mess I was making in those pm's ;p
This is complete until 3.1 release when it will require quite a few updates - how will that be done? Just bump this post with an updated version or something?
Ok this gets a 1 week stand for people to read and spot errors, after that it goes live on Friday.
Once it is live you can update it freely, as the author you "own" the post and have editing rights.
I noticed one minor thing for the sake of completeness. You omitted HoW from the Acronyms / Short form list. Those of us who have played a good long while know what it means, however the truly new to the class might look for it as it is the 2nd cast listed in your basic rotation 2 chapters down.
My 1st post is a critique . . . sorry , but it happens to be my profession ;-) Fantastic write up, excellent site. Information like this is invaluable to those of us who want to be the best player they can be.
Pls, check out talent links. Seems not be working.
MMO-C changed servers to be hosted by Curse, so links don't work well atm. You can check the Paladin FAQ in the normal Paladin sub-forum for working talent links.
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