Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Retribution using Seal of the Crusader?

A reader writes in:
I have heard a lot of outcry for some sort of heal-per-dmg component to the ret paladin, as some people see that all we bring is an extra 3% crit to the raid (which in my opinion is invaluable depending on your raid group). I however am in the process of purchasing my Khorium Champion, and then the mats for a Battlemaster enchant.

I also plan on using a modified physical damage build with seal of the crusader ALWAYS on to get as many procs from the weapon, the enchant, and of course the wisdom and light that I can keep indefinitely judged on mob from any other paladins in the group. the build I have right now is linked here. I was wondering what you thought about it. I have aura mastery to benefit caster dps who stay at their max ranges from Sanctity Aura. I was wondering where you think those last few talent points should be allotted to.

I realize the nerf to my possible damage output by using a less than 3.6 speed weapon and not using Seal of Command, but I feel like those are tradeoffs I would gladly take to see the amounts of stacking heals from procs, and judged light, and mana recieved from judged wisdom.

I don't really think that this is a good idea. The problem is that you give up a *lot* of damage by not using Seal of Command. As well, SotC does not improve as you get better gear, while SoC does, so as time goes by you are giving up more and more damage.

The trade-off is something like losing 30% of your damage for extra Light, Wisdom, and Battlemaster procs. If it was a smaller number, like say 5% or less, then it might be worth experimenting with. But something like 30% is way too high to lose.

If you take a DPS slot in a raid, your first priority is to provide massive amounts of damage. Paladins already do lower DPS than other classes, and what you propose would lower that still further.

What this type of playstyle is really good for is grinding or farming. Here you can use the extra procs from Wisdom/Light to keep your mana/health up and reduce downtime.

If you have a slow green or blue 2H, try using both these strategies on some mobs with a damage meter enabled. (People say that you can use the Deathstalker in Shadowfang Keep, I've never tried this.) SotC will add the same amount of damage to a slow weapon as it will to a fast weapon. So you can see how much DPS you do with SotC vs SoC, and you can see if the trade-off is worthwhile. Just keep in mind that the gap between the two will keep growing as you get better gear.

Then you can make a decision on whether to invest in the sword and the enchant, or if there are better weapons out there.

Utility is good, but in the end you will live or die by the DPS you put out. For a DPS player--which is what a Ret paladin aspires to be--maximizing DPS is more important than maximizing utility.

Those are my thoughts, but my advice is to try them both out (before buying the expensive weapon!). It could be that I am wrong, and the difference between the two is much closer than I think it is.


  1. First up I’ll comment on your spec.
    The Vanilla ‘Alliance’ DPS Paladin will typically judge Crusader and then rotate between Melee swings, keeping Command up and judging it along with Crusader Strike. (That’s your rinse and repeat cycle.) For this reason Improved Judgement is a must - although I can understand why you would skip it with your proposed build. Unfortunately outside of judging it Seal of Crusader has only ever really been good for skilling up weapons as while it increases your swing speed and Attack Power it lowers the top end damage of your Weapon to even out the effect and I doubt you are even getting a significant DPS increase over swinging without a seal.

    Also a DPS Paladin with any luck will be grouped in the Melee group with Druid Cats, Shaman, DPS Warriors and typically Rogues so the Aura Mastery isn’t strictly necessary but it isn’t costing you much to get so is probably a mute point.

    I’d take the points out of Pursuit of Justice (Doesn’t stack with Aura and a Meta Gem can give a similar effect) and throw them in Healing Light (with one of the spare points you have remaining) and the last two points into Improved Judgement. As the healing Utility will we worth it when called on.

    I agree with Coriel you are potentially throwing far too much DPS away with Seal of Crusader and while testing it will make sense I can’t see it being anywhere near as effective. I fear with a SoC build over a SoCo build you’d be lucky to do as much damage as Prot Paladin Main Tanking.

  2. The main problem I see with this idea is that both the Battlemaster enchant and Khorium Champion procs are both PPM, so you will actually get more out of them by using a slow weapon then a fast one. Since weapon haste does not affect proc rates, using SotC to increase your attack rate will not increase the number of procs you see from either the Khorium Champion or Battlemaster. JoW/JoL are still on the old percent chance on hit system, so you will get more procs from them.

    Also I agree with everything else said in the above post and by Coriel, your primary goal as a retribution paladin is to deal damage, and gimping that part or your nature for utility will not help a terrible amount.

    And lastly you have to remember to reach the hit cap; with a 2 handed weapon it is the most important stat (since your attacks are slower you lose a lot more from missing than someone who attacks quickly). I would suggest biting the bullet and removing everything from the Holy tree except 5/5 Divine Strength, and spec 8 points into Protection for precision, at least until you have gear that has enough passive hit rating to negate the bonus.

  3. Since weapon haste does not affect proc rates

    I totally forgot that this changed in 2.2. So yes, it's a big hit to this strategy.

  4. 2.3 plans might have some light/hope for Ret Pallies.

  5. What sort of changes do you think Blizzard has in store for paladin dps in the 2.3 patch. I've heard a lot of rumors but nothing concrete which makes me think they'll just lessen a cooldown somewhere.


    Top post has everything confirmed so far for 2.3, scroll down a bit for the ret pally stuff. There are a lot more changes than just the reduced CS cooldown and still more on the way.