First and most definitely foremost, a big congrats to Nordicslayer of Enveloping Shadows for completing our guild first Shadowmourne! I am, for the record, super jealous, as I haven't even completed my infusion quests yet. But still, a great thing to see completed!
And one more for posterity...
God, that is so awesome; it should be illegal. Let's make them illegal until I get one. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.
Anywho, I have put off writing about Cataclysm this and that for a while. I figured that Blizz was going to turn our trees inside out 10,000 times before Cata went live, so any speculation on my part would be a waste of letters. However, hell is slowly freezing over and the most recent builds are looking more concrete, so without further ado...
I've put together what I think is the "cookie cutter" spec for PvE Retribution in Cata: 2/3/32
This spec takes every damage-increasing talent I could get my grubby hands on. I randomly heard one day in Vent that Cata will have more movement fights, so that pretty much reinforced the need for Pursuit of Justice in my mind. I love that talent.
Rather than go over the talents I did take, I'm going to go over the talents that I could take using the 4 extra talent points we have.
Eye for an Eye - Rather than just critical strikes, this talent is now affected by all damaging attacks. Still fairly lackluster in my mind's eye.
Rebuke - Not a bad choice for 1 talent point. We've wanted a reliable interrupt that's not on a 1 minute cooldown for so long. Those poor non-Belf paladins and their one interrupt and lack of style.
Repentence - I still hate this spell. It never works the way I want it to. Just the other night in Ruby Sanctum, a trash mob got loose and was threatening to stomp the healers, so I hit it with an Exorcism and drew it away from the pack, turned and casted Repentence on it... only to have the tiniest edge of Ana's Consecration snap it back to ferocious reality. I get that it has the same mechanic as Sap, but paladins don't have the option of sneaking up on something and putting it out of commission in a neat little corner; give us a CC that works in the heat of battle! It could be something like Radiance a la Eadric the Pure; just give us something better than that oops-I-sneezed-on-your-CC-target-and-it-broke spell.
Selfless Healer and Acts of Sacrifice - PvP talents, through and through. When I'm smashing away at a boss, I am anything but selfless with my Art of War procs, and I don't use my Hand spells on cooldown, so I don't think reduced cooldowns and mana costs will change much.
Protector of the Innocent - I'm pretty wary on a talent that increases the damage done by one of my Auras. Last night, according to the logs, my Ret Aura ticked 47 times, for a total of 18,528 damage over the course of 3.5 hours. Meh.
Judgements of the Pure - This is the talent I wanted to think over. Fully-talented, this results in a 9% haste increase. While haste isn't as much of a BFF to us as Strength or Hit is, its general function is increasing the amount of damage we can do in a set amount of time.
All this being said, and provided we undergo no more major overhauls before launch, I will probably be going with the following spec at 85:
I had one extra talent point from going 3/3 JotP, so I threw it in Rebuke.