Retribution 101

Current as of: Patch 3.3.5

I think it's about time I made a beginner's post for retrib... What? I've done that before? Well, how about we condense all the gearing/gemming/speccing/glyphing advice into one post, put it on its own page, and make it readily available with a link on my front page? You read my mind!

How should I spend my talents?

The core Retribution PvE spec is 5/5/55, leaving 6 points available to play with.

Bypassing a long discussion on raid cooldowns, here are your options:

DivSac build: 5/11/55

AM build: 11/5/55

If your raid needs neither, I'd probably go with 5/7/59 for maximum utility and survivability.

What about those pesky glyphs?


Glyph of Judgement, Glyph of Consecration, and one of the following:

If you are expertise soft-capped (26 points, 214 rating, 6.5%): Glyph of Exorcism

If you are not expertise soft-capped: Glyph of Seal of Vengeance


The only important minor glyph is Glyph of Sense Undead. Otherwise, pick whichever two others you feel you would benefit from the most.

How should I gear up?

Hit to cap (263 rating, 8%), then Strength.

As we can get a free 10 Expertise from a glyph, gearing for it is unnecessary.

Use Rawr and/or your best judgment for upgrades.

How should I gem my gear?

Meta: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond

Everything else, follow this flowchart:
Use Rigid King's Amber / Etched Ametrine if in need of hit.

What about enchants?

Head: Arcanum of Torment
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe
Chest: Powerful Stats
Back: Major Agility
Wrists: Greater Assault
Hands: Crusher
Waist: Eternal Belt Buckle
Legs: Icescale Leg Armor
Boots: Greater Assault / Icewalker
Weapon: Berserking

What professions should I get?

From what I can tell, Blacksmithing, Jewelcrafting, and Engineering are the top three in terms of melee DPS at the moment. Go with what makes you happy. In the case of Engineering, swap out the following enchants for their Engineering counterparts:

Back: Flexweave Underlay
Hands: Hyperspeed Accelerators
Boots: Nitro Boosts

What about auras, seals, and blessings?


If you're using an AM build, go with whatever resistance would benefit your raid during a fight (i.e. Frost Resist for Sindragosa, Fire Resist for Blood Prices, etc.) and use AM during a useful period to double your raid's resistance to that school of magic.

If not, keep up Ret Aura by default. If your raid leader needs you to do something else, you can easily change it up.


Single-target (> 15 seconds): Seal of Vengeance / Corruption

Multi-target (2 or more): Seal of Command

If you're in an encounter that involves heavy switching, resulting in less than 15 seconds of DPS time on any one target, use Seal of Command, or Seal of Righteousness if trying to watch cleaves. The ramp-up time of Seal of Vengeance / Corruption means that, until you get 5 stacks of the DoT up, you're not putting out your maximum DPS. As such, it takes five weapon swings to apply a full stack of DoTs, roughly translating into 15 seconds, give or take a second or two due to weapon speed and haste.


By default, Blessing of Might. PallyPower and the presence of other paladins can change this, so apply whatever blessings your raid leader wants you to.

What about Judgements?

Try to keep both of the useful Judgements (Light, Wisdom) up on the boss at all times. As such, communicate with your raid members to see what Judgements they're using.

Typically, holy paladins will be judging Light, so judge Wisdom if you have one in your raid.

What buttons do I push?

We use a First Come, First Serve (FCFS) priority system, meaning that whatever comes off cooldown first, hit it, depending on what else is off cooldown and what the priority of the spell is. Anyway, here's the priority ranking:

Judgement > Crusader Strike > Divine Storm > Hammer of Wrath > Consecration > Exorcism > Holy Wrath

When you get 2-piece tier 10, the priority changes a bit due to the proc:

Judgement > Divine Storm > Crusader Strike > Hammer of Wrath > Consecration > Exorcism > Holy Wrath

What consumables should I nom on?

Flask: Flask of Endless Rage

Potion: Potion of Speed

Food: Dragonfin Filet / Fish Feast

Any useful addons or macros I should know about?


PallyPower. I'll take this addon over having seals, blessings, and Righteous Fury on my bar any day. Plus it helps your raid coordinate blessings and auras. Pretty sweet stuff.

Power Auras. Great for seeing procs and the like. I use mine to watch for Art of War. Not necessary but very useful, especially for other specs and classes.

Omen, Recount, and Deadly Boss Mods. Necessary raiding addons. Just get them.

(Yes, I'd say Recount is necessary; if you're botching your rotation, your DPS will suffer, and you'll notice a relative drop in your DPS output, shown in Recount. Try not to tunnel vision the meters, though.)