Sunday, March 23, 2008

Retribution Spec Thoughts

I've respecced Coriel to Retribution and have been farming ogres in Nagrand for Kurenai and Consortium reputation. Retribution is hilarious, and so much fun. I walk up to an ogre, and it falls over dead. Never gets old.

After playing Ret for a little bit, I'm coming to agree with the idea of only putting 1 point in Improved Judgement. This reduces Judgement to a 9 second cooldown (or 6 Global Cooldowns), which synchronizes well with the Crusader Strike cooldown (6 seconds or 4 GCDs). You essentially end up with the following DPS Cycle:

It's a very similar concept to the Fury Warrior practice of only putting 1 point in Improved Whirlwind and ending up with the same 6/4 GCD cycle with Whirlwind/Bloodthirst.

(As an aside, it's often easier to talk about DPS in terms of Global Cooldowns, rather than using seconds, and mentally converting.)

If you want to macro this for button mashing purposes, it is:
/castsequence Judgement, Seal of Command, Crusader Strike, Crusader Strike, Judgement, Seal of Command, Crusader Strike

Just remember that you need to lead off with an initial Seal.

In any case, I was also looking at Retribution builds, and I'm thinking about how to distribute the last few points. The base build is 5/8/44 with four points left over. At this point, there are three choices, as I see it: Blessing of Kings, 5/5 Improved Blessing of Might, or Pursuit of Justice.

Kings obviously ensures that your raid has Kings. Improved Might gives extra AP to your DPS. However, you don't have Improved Wisdom to go along with it, so I'm not sure how likely it is a raid will put you on Might/Wisdom duty. Pursuit of Justice makes you move significantly faster, and that always helps. Less time moving is more time doing damage, and less time taking damage from the fire.

So a question to the Retribution paladins out there: which of these three options do you prefer?


  1. I went with improved BoM when I was ret although towards the end I was debating on dropping a few points from it to get BoK since we didn't have too many raiding paladins. I would base your decision on your situation, if all you are doing is soloing/5 manning then BoK would be best imo, if you are raiding and there are other paladins around with BoK then go for BoM.

  2. I don't think speccing down to BoK is worth it. In a raid it is almost certain you will have either a holy or a prot paladin along and they are almost certain to have BoK already. Solo you won't use it anyway since BoM is faster for grinding and in PvP you will tend to overwrite your blessings with freedom/sacrifice/protection fairly quickly so the benefits there are marginal.

    Taking 1/2 Imp. Judgement I would also see as a bad idea. Warriors are forced to drop 1 point from somewhere in fury in order to get everything they need and imp ww is a convenient place to take it from, the convenience is a big help to warriors who are often watching several other things, thunderclap, sunder, demo shout, battle shout, using heroic strikes etc. A paladin on the other hand has nothing to do once the fight starts except judge and crusader strike. It is just being lazy so you can 1 button your way through the raid (yeah, the dps gain is relatively small, 6-7dps or so but after raiding as holy for a long time why would you want to turn retri into the same 1 button raiding that makes holy so boring).

    Imp BoM again depends on the guild, I know several who have one holy paladin spec for it, if thats the case in your guild, take PoJ, if not then imp BoM at 5/5 adds about 44 attack power to each melee (or hunter, or pet) in the raid. While it seems small at ~3 dps in practice due to dual wielding and special abilities it is worth about twice that to each person. 6 dps each for 10-15 people who can benefit from it is a fairly nifty 60-90 dps added to the raid. It can also make a good selling point for your spot on the raid as most melee will love you for it (even if the boost per person is very hard to notice). Assuming you use something like PallyPower to manage blessings it is easy to split wisdom/might and salvation between you and a holy paladin so that shouldn't be a worry. However, I will say that PoJ is an absolutely wonderful ability, it basically enables you to participate in PvP, makes grinding go even faster and saves you a fortune on boot enchants :). If you can avoid taking Imp. BoM and get that instead go for it.

  3. I'm a fan of Pursuit of Justice. Not only is it useful in PVP, but it's great outpacing the warrior with Boar's Speed on his boots.

  4. My Retribution spec always includes Pursuit of Justice. The speed bonus is vital in PvP, but the -3% spell hit is really, really, tasty icing.

  5. I spec with Improved Might for raiding, however, if I were just farming Ogres I am not certain that's what I would chose. Pursuit of Justice is the most fun, hands down. Kings will enable you to fill blessing requests, which depending on what you're doing will come in handy.

    As for how you fit Improved Might into a raid without Improved Wisdom, you assign each blessing to a paladin who will do light on whomever else will not use the blessing. So the paladin with Imp Wisdom will do wisdom for any class that has a mana bar and Light on all the rest.
    The paladin with Imp Might will get any class that has someone in melee, with Light on all the rest.

    However, if you want to squeeze out the most DPS you can do, get Imp Might but please don't do the math. Hands down, its a complete waste of points. If we did not have Imp Devotion Aura in our talent trees, Imp Might would really get a lot of criticism for its lack of value.

  6. hm,well i normally dont worry about kings.Because if you have a paladin healing normally they have Kings and if a pally tank is there he can give kings, my guild gave me the go ahead to stay ret and i have been toying around with the kings buff myself, 10% to all stats, or greater DPS for all the melee and hunters. Right now i am running 10/0/51. Boosts my str and intl.I like having Pursuit of Justice cause it makes you move fatser which is great when the bosses do something that make you have to run away plues the spell resist. Vindication is good kind of like our Sunder, i dont know if it works on bosses though so that might be gone maybe EyE for An EyE will be gone. As will i guess the one that causes to you to take 4% less damage, that was a waste of a talent point. I am ranting now, all i can say is just play around try different specs, and find one your comfy with

  7. thanks for that explanation of the rotation... much easier to understand that what is at Cromfel.

    regarding the spec, it might depend on what else you are doing besides raiding. If you are doing 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5, each could benefit a bit differently.

    Also, what gear set do you think is required to make a switch to ret viable?.. (I'm full prot geared now, but have 4-5 dpsish items in the bank, and have a lowly oathkeeper as my only ret wep atm.)

  8. Your Ret spec really depends on if you will be raiding or doing Arena. I'll assume you'd be raiding more, so definitely go for the 4/8/48 spec and go for talents that will max out your damage and minimize mana used for seals/judgments. Hopefully you have a Hammer of the Naaru in the bank from previous raids on Gruul.

    If Arena is your cup of tea (as it is mine), then I suggest the 0/20/41 build, which gives much more damage mitigation and a 35 second stun cooldown with 4 pieces of Arena gear.

    If you are going to raid a lot and raid anything past Gruul, I'd suggest you beg the raid leader to put you in a group with a shaman who will drop a Windfury totem. Your DPS will be mediocre at best without it.

    If Arena is your cup of tea (as it is mine), then I suggest the 0/20/41 build, which gives much more damage mitigation and a 35 second stun cooldown with 4 pieces of Arena gear.

    If you are going to raid a lot and raid anything past Gruul, I'd suggest you beg the raid leader to put you in a group with a shaman who will drop a Windfury totem. Your DPS will be mediocre at best without it.

  9. For a raid build 5/5 Improved Blessing of Might is the best choice.

    Mix up your blessing assignments to cover it. One pally on Kings, one on ImpMight+Salv, one on ImpWis+Salv, or something similar.

  10. The thing about 1/2 Imp Judgement is that you do get an extra point to use somewhere, and you don't lose any significant amount of DPS. It might even be easier to have 100% Seal of Command uptime, instead of accidentally clicking Judgement during the Global Cooldown caused by Crusader Strike.

    I'd probably use that extra point to pick up 1/2 Guardian's Favor (if not going for Kings), which can be helpful.

  11. Yay for a bit of Ret love! Pursuit of Justice I see as an absolute necessity while doing PvP (at the very least having two points in it). The speed boost and chance to miss some harmful spells actually pays off a lot more than you think. I working with a (somewhat awkward) 0/11/45 build and it has been great for PvP and running instances (my favorite activities).

    Kings is a much more useful buff in the long run than an improved Might/Wisdom. You just help bring a bit more utility to the table in being able to help the party out instead of being so focused on perhaps one thing. They all have their merits, but that's just my thought. I'm not really a raider, more of a casual/PvP guy so there is possibly a completely different point of view to these talents when it comes to raiding.

  12. Also, what gear set do you think is required to make a switch to ret viable?.. (I'm full prot geared now, but have 4-5 dpsish items in the bank, and have a lowly oathkeeper as my only ret wep atm.)

    I'm not really sure. Ret is gear dependent. I was surprised at how much ret gear I had picked up, as it was my tertiary set. And even with that gear level, I still need 35 hit rating to cap out.

    To be viable, I'd say you need about 1500 AP, 20% crit, and 95 hit rating.

  13. Vindication is vital to a raiding Paladin. However, more than one point is a complete waste.

    If you have a Darkmoon Card: Crusade, and there is at least a single judgement up on the target, Vindication offers a tremendous boost as it will proc all of those effects regardless of if the target is affected by the ability itself.

    So a Retribution raiding Paladin who keeps up Judgement of the Crusader and two of his raid's other judgements will get the heal, the mana and the counter for his trinket even if the Vindication is immune. That one point in Vindication doubles up the judgement affects and speeds up the Darkmoon Card stacks. In theory, it will also proc other chance abilities, however, I have not done any first hand review of this so I cannot say for certain.

    However, a good solid majority of raid targets are completely immune to this ability so anything more than one point to trigger the effect in the first place is completely wasted.

  14. I'm a raiding Ret Paladin and Id take Pusuit of Justice as t6 raiding is all about surviving to the end of the fight. Moving faster gets you out of trouble quicker and also helps you get to the boss faster for a little bit more deeps.

    Here is the spec I raid with:

    The rumor is that vindication will proc JoW and JoL on bosses and I tend to agree. You have to be very miserly with your mana when raiding so any regen is a huge plus.

  15. Yeah pursuit of justice is vital if you are going to do any sort of PvP as a ret paladin. Right now I'm playing a weird prot/ret spec that grabs the 6% dmg reduction and 10% ac boost in the prot tree. I end up only have 4 points left over to put in holy for the str increase.

  16. I picked up Pursuit of Justice on my Ret Pally but that's because I PvP a lot on it.

  17. I consider Pursuit of Justice to be almost a requirement. Blessing of Kings can be very useful to make things easier on whoever's assigning pally power buffs.

    I was going to say the same thing as Dyermaker: a single point in Vindication can increase the effectiveness of Judgement of Wisdom, giving you a good deal more mana even when the boss is immune to it.

    But your spec really depends on your gear. A lot of the dps plate badge gear added in 2.3 and soon 2.4 is covered with +hit (as it's largely intended for warriors). Having so much extra +hit can enable you to remove all of your points from Prot entirely and make a nice 10/0/51 build.

    But my pally doesn't yet have much of this gear, so she's still using a 5/11/45 build. I tend to take Improved Devotion Aura instead of Redoubt because I don't even OWN a shield, let alone equip one, and I've gotta put 5 points somewhere.

  18. I have Seperate builds for Raiding and for PvP.

    For raids i have the 5/8/48 build that Rohan originally gave me, but i'm going to try what you suggest here for my next raid to see what happens!

    For my arena team i go 5/0/56.

    I'd like to see a link to the 0/20/41 build that was mentioned above.

  19. Your standard 0/20/41:

    Basically, enough Prot for Imp. HoJ (with Stoicism as a garnish), and 41 Ret for Crusader Strike and the more PvP oriented talents (Vindication, EfaE, PoJ). Can also swap things around for more damage talents, but I've seen few of these builds including Fanaticism.

    Very nice from a durability and utility POV, but is a significant reduction in damage from 5/10/46 or similar.

  20. I hate to ask here, but Cromfel site is blocked at work and a bit elitist anyway, so...

    I'm a full prot pally now, but just don't have the time to run instances, so I'm soloing and doing arena and BG.

    How effective are the ret arena builds at soloing/farming?

    Now that 2.4 is here, I think I'm going to green-gem my current Ret gear in the bank, just to get an idea of what I could do now. If it's viable, then I'll get some blue gems, and build from there

    And finally, in my 2v2 team, I tend to be the target, as many teams think I'm holy. If I am acting as that damage sponge, what spec might be good there?

  21. Here's my 0/20/41 build:

    To Anonymous Prot Pally, Ret can solo very easily. You won't be able to take on 8 melee monsters at the same time, so watch your aggro. The ones you do go after will die quickly.

    If you tend to be the target in a 2v2 arena, then I definitely suggest the build above, as you will have a lot more damage mitigation. I love it when I get targeted instead of my hunter partner for 2v2's.

  22. 1 Vindication - JoW

    3 PoJ - DPS increase for fights that you move more than 5 seconds.

  23. Thanks for the input...

    But I have a crazy idea...

    As an INTERIM step, until I have a full ret gear set, would it make sense to use the ret gear I have, and the rest prot gear, and go with a 1H+sheild prot/ret build until I have a full ret set, and then respec to the 20/41 build?..

    My main concern is that my 2H (Oathkeeper) is kinda sucky, as there are 1H with almost as much damage, and I'd have the extra armour from the sheild, along with reactive damage.


  24. I'll go out on a limb and say that's probably not a good idea Karl. The PPM mechanics of SoC make the damage loss going from a 2-hander to a 1-hander with the same DPS quite high. Reactive damage from a Shield Spike or similar is unlikely to bridge the gap. Even with an Oathkeeper (which is not at all bad these days BTW, S1/BS Tier 1 it aint but 93DPS is okay and 26 Hit Rating is tasty-sauce) you will be doing more damage than with any 90dps 1-hander you'd care to mention.

    That said, if you have a whole lot of tank gear you may be better served by grinding and doing BG's as Prot and saving up your honour and gold for Ret pieces. This however would shatter any illusions of doing well in the Arena until you get S1 honour gear and respec. Alternatively, think about investing in the new Rep-based PvP gear (honoured with each outland faction) as it has a fairly nice balance of stats for new-to-Ret players.

  25. @zebra

    thanks for the input. The other problem with the prot gear is that I'm sick of grinding with it, and I just don't do instances anymore.

    I do have enough ret gear to get me up to 900ish AP, without making my ret goggles yet. I just green-gemmed it all, as most of it will be very temporary.

    I'll go out with the oathkeeper on some felboars and see what happens. :D

    I've got a full heroic tank set, I just can't get the energy to do 3 hour pug runs anymore. And if I'm going ret, there's not much ret gear in instances anyway.

  26. On the topic of 1/2 Imp Judgement. It is worth noting that Judgement is not on the global cooldown so even with 2/2 as long as you always use CS first you can still judge while the GCD is up (you just can't reseal until it ends).

  27. In any fight where you find yourself on the move for any portion of it, Pursuit of Justice will get you there quicker and therefore get another few swings in on the mob. It can also save your life if you're a little laggy in moving out of an AoE.

    70 paladin, formerly of Runetotem server

  28. I feel like just one more voice in the wilderness given the 27 comments already here that I'm not going to respond to, and most of what I say will probably be redundant, but given I raid ret in sunwell and have done so since the advent of the first 25 mans and since I also arena ret on a 2300+ top-10 team (3v3) I feel I can speak with possibly more succinctness and authority.

    One thing is for raiding one point in vindication is smart, unless this has been hotfixed. This equals about 16 MP5 (don't quote me on that) since vindication procs (even immune ones on bosses) will still proc Judgement of Wisdom. If this isn't a raid spec disregard this.

    Imp blessing of might depends on whether you already have any "raid bitch" holy pallys specced into it. Once again, if you do, use the points in vindication or PoJ, if not stick with imp BoM. Since you seem to be farming primarily BoW is generally better than might unless you just want to get huge crits.

    Next, you should consider dropping precision. You already have 6% hit, and if you're not raiding you don't need that full 9%, tho I suppose some 72-73 mobs will require 6%+ hit to never miss against.

    On the subject of blessing of kings I subscribe to the view that ret pallys should not spec into it unless they're going full 0/20/41 arena spec. Otherwise I don't see any reason to pick it up. Might/wisdom are both better for farming and in 25 raids there will always be plenty of holy paladins specced into it. A

    And, on a side note, as long as you have 5%+ hit 5/0/56 is the most fun spec to run around 1 shotting clothies in a BG with :) (and what I raid with incidentally, since my PvE gear is at the point where I have more hit than I need regardless of whether I spec into precision or not.

    -Agrippina/Messallina, Perenolde

  29. Also, pursuit of justice is just plain sexy no matter what you're doing. Keep in mind there are huge cascading benefits to having it as well. In PvE that equates to either a 6 agi benefit due to feet enchants, or a +10 hit/-6 agi net benefit as well if you go with surefooted instead. So it's more than just a -3 spell hit PvP sexiness and all around PvE and PvP run speed benefit. Personally I'd never construct a ret spec without it because I feel there always should be points going around to grab it.

    -Agrippina/Messallina, Perenolde

  30. I too am having a problem. I can't decide between this build, , or putting the BoK spec into Pursuit of Justice. >.>

  31. Why do so many of you ret pallys feel compelled to get BoK outside of a arena 0/20/41 build? I don't see the reasoning at all - all holy pallys are specced into it in raids and it takes away precious points from vindication or PoJ. Imo ret pallys who spec into kings for PvE fail.

    Also, I'm seeing conflicting reports about vindication and JoW procs. Even assuming vindication still procs JoW does it proc JoW if the target is immune? I don't see any reason to grab vindication for raiding if it doesn't proc off immune targets, since virtually all bosses are immune and bosses is where you actually need JoW.


  32. Lets not forget another handy little bonus to pursuit of justice. In PvP, hunters and casters alike just love to sic things on us/slow us and move backwards to wear us down with shots. Pursuit of justice helps close the gap much faster... >:D