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Retribution Paladin DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (MoP 5.4.8)

Retribution Paladin Art Image
General Information

On this page, we list your Retribution Paladin coreabilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of WarcraftMoP 5.4. We also explain whento use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtletiesthat you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a RetributionPaladin.

The other pages of our Retribution Paladin guide can be accessedfrom the table of contents on the right.


1. Single Target Rotation↑top

The single target rotation for Retribution Paladins follows a prioritysystem.

  1. Keep up Inquisition Icon Inquisition (ideally with 3 Holy Power).
  2. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict (when you have 5 Holy Power).
  3. Cast Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence.
  4. Cast Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath on cooldown
    • It is only available when the target is below 20% health or whenAvenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath is active.
  5. Cast Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike on cooldown (it generates Holy Power).
  6. Cast Judgment Icon Judgment on cooldown (it generates Holy Power).
  7. Cast Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm if you have the 4-Part Tier 16 Set Bonus, andyou have a Divine Storm proc from it.
  8. Cast Exorcism Icon Exorcism on cooldown (it generates Holy Power).
  9. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict (when you have 3 Holy Power).

In order to better understand this rotation, you must understand thesubtleties related to Holy Power. Please read our section that deals with Holy Power.

1.1. Seal

You should use Seal of Truth Icon Seal of Truth. Against 4 or more enemies which survivefor 30+ seconds, you should use Seal of Righteousness Icon Seal of Righteousness.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

The multiple target (AoE) rotation is based on the same priority system asthe single target one. As the number of targets you are facing increases,certain changes occur, as follows:

If you have the 4-Part Tier 16 Set Bonus, you must be on the look-out forthe Divine Storm procs, since they are very important.

You should switch targets between your enemies constantly in order tobenefit from Glyph of Double Jeopardy Icon Glyph of Double Jeopardy, and to maintain full Censure stacks(from Seal of Truth Icon Seal of Truth) on each target.

Against 4 or more enemies, Seal of Righteousness Icon Seal of Righteousness is better than Seal ofTruth, but only in case you manage to switch the seal during a moment ofdown-time, or if the targets will live for a long time.

If you have a proc from your 4-Part Tier 15 Set Bonus, then Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict is better thanDivine Storm Icon Divine Storm against 2-3 targets, but Divine Storm remains better against4 or more targets.

3. Cooldown Usage↑top

As a Retribution Paladin, you only have 2 DPS cooldowns by default. Forbest results, you should use them as we describe below:

  • Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath should be used as many times as possible during theencounter. You can delay using this ability slightly in order to stack withHeroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp or a phase of the fight where theboss takes increased damage. It is also highly beneficial to stack it withGuardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings whenever possible (see below).
  • Guardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings should be used as many timesas possible during an encounter. For the best results, you should firstactivate Guardian of Ancient Kings, and then, 10 seconds later, castAvenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath. Note that if you are using the Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrathtalent, then you should simply use Avenging Wrath and Guardian of AncientKings at the same time.

You also have a very powerful raid cooldown in your arsenal, namelyDevotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura. You should consult with your raid leader as to when thebest time to use this spell is.

Your talents can provide you with a few other important abilities. Wecover them in a subsequent section.

4. Optional Read: Mastering Your Retribution Paladin↑top

In this section, we will give you more details about how to execute yourrotation based on the priorities mentioned above.

4.1. Refreshing Inquisition

Inquisition Icon Inquisition is a self buff that increases your Holy damage by 30%.It costs Holy Power to cast, and it lasts 20 seconds for each charge of HolyPower used.

Maintaining 100% Inquisition uptime is crucial for your DPS, and for thisreason it is your top priority.

In general, you will want to apply Inquisition with 3 charges of HolyPower, as this makes your rotation easier (it does not require you to constantlytrack the Inquisition duration) and uses up fewer global cooldowns refreshingthe buff.

The only exception to this, when you should use one or two charges ofHoly Power, is when the boss is about to die and will not live for 60 (or even40) seconds.

You should begin saving Holy Power to refresh Inquisition when the buff hasaround 5 seconds remaining.

4.2. Holy Power Subtleties

4.2.1. Pooling Holy Power

Thanks to Boundless Conviction Icon Boundless Conviction, a passive ability, you can have upto a maximum of 5 Holy Power at one time. However, no ability that consumesHoly Power can consume more than 3. This means two things:

  • You do not need to dump your Holy Power as soon as it reaches 3 charges,and you can continue to use Holy Power-generating abilities at 3 charges(this is explained in greater detail in the sections below).
  • You can now pool Holy Power to deliver a greater burst of damage(two Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdicts in quick succession).

4.2.2. Generating Holy Power

The following abilities generate Holy Power:

The abilities that cost Holy Power are:

Remember that no ability can consume more than 3 Holy Power, and that youhave a maximum capacity of 5 Holy Power. In order to maximise your Holy Powergains, you should always prioritise a Holy Power-generating ability over onethat consumes Holy Power, unless you have 5 Holy Power. This general rulecan be detailed further.

4.2.3. At 5 Holy Power

When you are at 5 Holy Power, you should never use a Holy Power-generatingability. Instead, you should do one of the following things:

4.2.4. At 3 Holy Power

In order to maximise your Holy Power gains, you should use your HolyPower-generating abilities on cooldown. If all of them are on cooldown, thenyou should use an ability that consumes Holy Power.

4.2.5. Below 3 Holy Power

When you are below 3 Holy Power, you should not use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdictor refresh Inquisition Icon Inquisition (unless it is about to expire right away, or ithas already expired). Instead, you should use Holy Power-generating abilities.If all Holy Power-generating abilities are on cooldown, then simply wait forthem to become available.

4.3. Exorcism and The Art of War

The Art of War Icon The Art of War, a passive ability, gives your autoattacks a chance toreset the cooldown of Exorcism Icon Exorcism.

4.4. Alternative Look at the Rotation

A different way to look at the rotation, which may help you put intopractical use better, is as follows:

  1. Cast Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence. This is your top priority.
  2. Generate Holy Power until 5 (but not more than 5 since it would be wasted,using the following abilities, in order of priority:
    1. Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath;
    2. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike;
    3. Judgment Icon Judgment;
    4. Exorcism Icon Exorcism.
  3. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict when you have 5 Holy Power, or 3-4 Holy Powerand no Holy Power generator available.
  4. Keep up Inquisition Icon Inquisition with 3 Holy Power.

4.5. Abilities and Cooldowns from Talents

4.5.1. Tier 5 Talents

Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath has two implications on your rotation:

Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger should be used as a DPS cooldown, and stacked withAvenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath and Guardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings wheneverpossible. While Holy Avenger is active, your DPS rotation will probably be:

Finally, Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose will produce its effects passively. However,you must watch out for its procs, and be prepared for abilities not toconsume Holy Power. If you are not careful, you can end up capping yourHoly Power. Having a means of tracking this buff, and instantly using itsprocs on either Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict, Inquisition Icon Inquisition, orDivine Storm Icon Divine Storm.

4.5.2. Tier 6 Talents

Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence should be used on cooldown, against yourmain target. This is your highest priority ability. It is important to notethat Execution Sentence deals damage based on your Strength at the time when itwas cast (even though it deals damage over time). At the start of the fight,you should wait to cast Execution Sentence until yourGuardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings has fully stacked your Strengthbuff.

If you chose Light's Hammer Icon Light's Hammer, simply place the hammer down at alocation where the adds you want to damage are. This is also your highestpriority, in case you chose it over Execution Sentence.

If you chose Holy Prism Icon Holy Prism, then you will cast it on a raidmember who is near to the adds you want to damage.

5. Changelog↑top

  • 29 Sep. 2013: Fixed a minor inaccuracy in section 4.4.
  • 11 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
    • Added mentions of using the 4-Part Tier 16 Set Bonus, since its benefitsare quite considerable.
    • Adjusted the multiple-target section a bit.
    • Updated the mentions of Inquisition Icon Inquisition to account for the fact thatit now lasts 20 seconds per stack, up from 10.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing to change.
  • 26 Apr. 2013:Added a mention of how the 4-Part Tier 15 Set Bonusaffects the multiple target rotation.
  • 23 Apr. 2013: Revamped multiple target rotation. Made other smalltweaks throughout the guide. Added an alternative explanation of how therotation works in practice.

2015 0.7