Retribution Paladin Overview and Raiding Guide (2.3.2)

Paladin class discussion.

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holydudez

Post#16 » Wed May 07, 2008 11:23 am

Stormherald is the best for both pve and pvp. The slower speed makes up for LHE's proc. Maxdps.com has it at about 2 dps over the sword. Also the mace has 62 stam, 68 with kings, which is useful for any melee class, while the sword has none.

Also on the issue on enchants, goose>exec>savagery. Goose begins to scale very well once your gear gets solid. Also paladins get 1% crit for every 25 agility and SoComm procs ignore armor, while warriors get 1% crit for 33 agility. An often proc that boosts your crit chance by 5% as well as some haste is hard to beat, you need about 500 passive armor pen for exec to compete, even then it seems mongoose is still slightly ahead.

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Preview: Retribution Paladins and WoW 3.0

Post#17 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:13 pm

Preview: Retribution Paladins and WoW 3.0
(AKA: How We Got Our DPS On)

This post will consolidate and explain the major changes to Retribution Paladins in WoW 3.0, on the basis of the most recent PTR version. Once the test realm version goes live, I will update the main post.

Summary
Retribution got buffed tremendously and in many areas. Single-target DPS, multi-target DPS, mana/health regeneration, raid utility; you name it, you got it.

In a nutshell, a 3.0 Retribution Paladin, geared and played properly, should never need to eat or drink between pulls, should never die to anything less than an elite mob intended for 3+ players (or raid mobs, naturally), can both hold aggro on and kill an effectively unlimited number of mobs, and can effectively tank any normal 5-man dungeon with decent support.

Talent and Ability Highlights
  • AP to Spell Power conversion: 30% of Attack Power adds to Spell Power. At 2K AP (average at T4/badge gear level), that's 600 spell power. With the heal scaling, this also makes our heals effective again.
  • All damaging abilities that previously scaled only with spell power now scale with both AP and spell power, making previously gimped spells like Consecration, Exorcism, and Hammer of Wrath extremely useful.
  • The Seal/Judgement system is revamped, making it much easier to both debuff and damage your targets.
    • Judgement has been removed and split into Judgement of Light, Wisdom, and Justice. Each applies the debuff as well as doing damage.
    • Judgements do not consume your active Seal, and do extra damage based on the effect of that Seal.
    • Judgements are now on the global cooldown.
    • Judgements no longer refresh on melee hits or Crusader Strike. This minor nerf is more than made up for by the buffs.
  • Sanctity Aura and Seal/Judgement of the Crusader are gone and their effect is now inherently part of all Paladin abilities.
  • Retribution Aura is now the primary Retribution... er... aura (fittingly enough). In addition to receiving a buff in and of itself, it now incorporates a 2% raid-wide damage increase and a 3% raid-wide haste.
  • Repentance has a 1 minute duration and affects more unit types, making it a respectable CC ability akin to a Rogue's Sap, except that it is recastable after its cooldown expires.
  • Judgements now restore 20% of max mana, making it almost impossible to go OOM. They also restore mana over time to an entire raid.
  • Divine Storm, the 51-point talent, is a Whirlwind that deals Holy damage and heals the Paladin and nearby party/raid members. It's unbelievably good - so good that I expect a huge nerf any time now.
  • Hit rating, crit rating, and crit granted by most talents now also applies to spells, meaning that everything the Paladin does will crit at a ridiculous rate.

Talents
I'm not going to go over every talent in this post - that's been done elsewhere and I'll replace the original thread after 3.0 is released.

However, this is the level 70 build I recommend. It has everything a Paladin could possibly need for solo play, group DPS, and raid DPS. Not having Kings hurts, but you can be sure that the Protection and Holy Paladins will be bringing that along.

Gear
In 2.4, Retribution Paladins are often forced to wear gear that has Intellect and mp5 in order to avoid going OOM in long fights. This is no longer the case. Also, given the removal of Precision and the fact that hit rating now applies to both melee and spells, it's now quite reasonable for a Retadin to wear Warrior plate. Thus, in order, the most important attributes to aim for now are:

  • Strength/AP: As always, Strength > AP because of the bonuses from Blessing of Kings and Divine Strength. Your ultimate goal, however, is to stack as much AP as possible.
  • Crit Rating/Agility: They're about equally good; get whichever you can find.
  • Stamina: Stay alive, bro.
  • Hit Rating: You need 136 to cap your melee attacks and melee special attacks. You need 214 to cap your spells, but that's a very low priority. You no longer get Precision, so it all has to come from gear.
  • Expertise: As valuable as hit rating up to the cap. You want around 88 or so.
  • Haste Rating: It's still an open question whether haste is good for Retribution: it improves white damage and that's about it. It also lowers the GCD on spells, but that's not an issue here as the major issue in Retribution rotations is cooldowns, not the GCD.
  • Armor Penetration: This applies only to white damage and Crusader Strike, but these are a significant portion of DPS, so don't ignore it. (Divine Storm, Judgements, and Seal of Command are Holy damage and ignore armor.)


The above list is about it. Intellect and mana per 5? Forget about them. Spirit? Pshaw. Spell power? Get AP, you numbskull.

Rotation
Precast Seal of Command. This is now said to be somewhat better than Seal of the Martyr/Blood, but your mileage may vary. Remember, it lasts 2 minutes and isn't consumed by Judgements, so you can safely ignore it - just don't forget to recast when it expires.

In a raid or party, you may be expected to apply CC. In this case, get ready to drop Repentance on your target as soon as the pull is made. It's instant cast, which is good because it only has a 20 yard range, shorter than most other CC abilities. This will be your priority. It helps to set focus on the mob you are CC'ing because you'll need to be able to alert your party if it breaks early - remember that you can't recast it until the cooldown is finished.

Lead off with Judgement of Wisdom. This is what you will use always unless you have a Holy Paladin judging it, and in that case use Light. If you are with a Protection Paladin, have them do Light because your Wisdom will be more powerful than theirs.

This will start your autoattack (in fact, just about everything starts it, so don't worry on that count). Now hit Crusader Strike and Divine Storm (the order isn't really important). Watch out for CC'd mobs; if there are any around, skip DS. You're like a Warrior or Hunter here; you can easily break crowd control and look like a noob if you indiscriminately use Divine Storm.

If you are clear of CC, now use Consecration to add some extra DPS. Your goal is to recast Judgement, Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, and optionally Consecration as soon as the respective cooldowns are up. Since Judgement is on an 8 second CD, CS is 6 seconds, DS is 10 seconds, and Consecration is 8 seconds, you'll have to pay attention.

When the mob hits 35% health, start adding Hammer of Wrath to your rotation. It's instant so it no longer resets your swing timer, and it does disgusting amounts of damage.

If you are taking damage from mob AoE or secondary abilities, you have two powerful self-healing tools: Divine Storm and The Art of War. DS will return 20% of damage done as healing to you and up to two other nearby party members. It should already be part of your rotation, so keep it up. Secondly, whenever you crit with Crusader Strike, Judgements, or Divine Storm, The Art of War will give you an instant-cast Flash of Light. With this you should be able to keep yourself fully healed through most incidental damage.

Some other tidbits: Avenging Wrath no longer has a penalty for casting it, so use it whenever your threat situation allows. With Sanctified Wrath, it allows you to penetrate damage immunities and shields, so you may wish to keep it as an ace in the hole for certain fights. Using AW no longer keeps you from using Divine Shield, so in the [likely] event you pull aggro with your insane DPS output, you can avoid getting instantaneously smashed.

More coming later.
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amanita
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Post#18 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:51 pm

Hot post, Lealla.

I'd like to add a very brief PvP perspective to the discussion, if I may. I didn't get a beta key so this is just my experience as a 70 on the PTR, 4/5 Brutal and S3 weapon.

My first impression of the new Ret Pally was how awesome they had improved the overall structure to the spec. I was kind of worried about having to relearn the entire class all over again but so far, I've found that the new skills and mechanics are fairly easy to pick up on. DPS rotation has a couple of new tweaks, like tossing in Divine Storm and not having to reseal all the time but it's nothing too tough.

The healing improvements were really welcoming. 7k+ crit Holy Lights? Art of War proccing instant Flash of Lights? Amazing mana recovery mechanics? Yes please. This is one aspect I think where a bit of learning will come in for Ret Pallies who can't afford to throw more than 2 Holy Lights in an Arena before becoming virutally useless. Spot healing is definitely a viable tactic now, similar to Dreamstate boomkins now.

Avenging Wrath + Divine Shield + Crusader Strike + Judgement + Divine Storm = Still useful while bubbled. As it stands right now, the increased time between attacks along with having only 1 instant strike and a Judgement that does negligible damage means that when we're bubbled, we're very limited to the amount of pressure we can apply. On top of that, healing when bubbled also needs to be carefully considered because when it drops and you have no mana left, GG. The new changes allow for more constant pressure even during DS making it both an effective tool for rushing or defending.

Repentance. 10 secs in PvP means its our version of Blind and we finally have a viable CC, albeit on a longer cooldown. Again, this is another improvement to applying pressure on opponents. While repentance was something that didn't receive high trinket priority, that will certainly change when people start noticing how much longer it lasts.

Retribution Aura. THORNS AURA LAWL RITE. Consecration has become a decent ability to use again with Sheath of Light.

New Judgements means that we have more options in terms of seals we want to use. OOM and useless after being mana burned? SoW + JoW will put you right back in the game WHILE dealing decent damage with the chance to critically hit, which means Art of War proc, which means instant Flash of Light, which means health restored. The applications are endless and gives more tactical choices to ret pallies depending on the situation.

Now, I've heard that Ret Pallies at 80 will succumb to normalization and will once again be only subpar in the DPS department. I haven't been able to test it out and I really hope it isn't the case where Ret started off awesome and by the end of the Xpac, be useless once more. As of now, I've had incredible results with Ret, sometimes almost too unreal. While flagged on the isle, I was jumped by a Prot Warrior in SSC gear. A few seconds later, an S2 warlock decided to join in along with an s2/s3/s4 rogue. I killed them all.

Anyway, I've gotta get back to work so that's about it for now.


edit: Hammer of Wrath. Use it. It's the best ever.

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Post#19 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:04 pm

amanita wrote:edit: Hammer of Wrath. Use it. It's the best ever.

Holy crap, yes. Talented, you can hit 75-80% crit chance easily, with a base of 1.5K. That's ~3K damage every 6 seconds, for an extra 400-500 DPS added to all your other rotations. Wow.

While I really don't think Ret is going to make it to 3.0 live in its current state (it's just too good at level 70), I very much hope that Blizzard preserves most of its current flavor, as the new mechanics are amazing.
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amanita
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Post#20 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:22 pm

Yes, definitely worth it now that it's virtually an instant 3k crit. Does it still reset the swing timer?

I also like the fact that Divine Storm and Crusader Strike are proccing seals now. Imagine Divine Storm with Seal of Justice. SUP AoE STUN.

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Post#21 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:32 am

Hammer of Wrath definitely does not reset the swing timer. Also, I guess I didn't notice seals proccing on those abilities, but that explains some of the horrifying feats of destruction I was pulling off with Seal of Command...
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amanita
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Post#22 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:58 pm

Like a 5k crit KB through Power Word Shield?

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Post#23 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:04 am

The 8982 changes nerfed Seal of Command a bit (along with Blood/Martyr and Vengeance/Corruption), but restored the 6% damage increase from 2H Specialization and the 25% crit chance increase from Fanaticism.

Still nothing about Divine Storm, which is good IMO.
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amanita
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Post#24 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:21 am

9014 - Judgement of the Wise now returns 33% of base mana instead of 20% of maximum mana.

If Ret gear doesn't have Int anyway, it could be a buff.

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Post#25 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:25 am

Exactly - if you're rolling Warrior gear, you don't have Int, so it actually improves (or at least has a neutral effect) on Retribution mana, while negating the ability for Holy Paladins to spec for JotW for ridiculous amounts of regen.

The 9014 patch is basically a huge nerf for Holy Paladins.
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