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Retribution Paladin DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoW 4.3.4)

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Contents


Retribution Paladin Art Image

In this article, we list your Retribution Paladin (WoW 4.3) core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation). We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that playing a Retribution Paladin will face you with. The other articles of our Retribution Paladin guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Basic Single Target Rotation↑top

The single target rotation for Retribution Paladins follows a priority system. The priority of your abilities depends on whether or not you have 3 charges of Holy Power. Below, we provide you with both situations:

1.1. Under 3 Holy Power

  1. Cast Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike
  2. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict
  3. Cast Exorcism Icon Exorcism
  4. Cast Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath; only available if
  5. Cast Judgement Icon Judgement
  6. Cast Holy Wrath Icon Holy Wrath
  7. Cast Consecration Icon Consecration

1.2. At 3 Holy Power

  1. Cast and refresh Inquisition Icon Inquisition
  2. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict
  3. Cast Exorcism Icon Exorcism
  4. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict

1.3. Single Target Rotation vs. Demons/Undead

Because Exorcism Icon Exorcism is a guaranteed critical hit against Demons and Undead enemies, its position in the priority is higher, switching places with Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict.

1.4. Seal

You should always use Seal of Truth Icon Seal of Truth.

2. Basic Multiple Target Rotation↑top

The basic multiple target (AoE) rotation is based on the same priority system as the single target one, except that Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm takes the place of Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike.

Also, when fighting 4 or more enemies, Consecration Icon Consecration takes the place of Holy Wrath Icon Holy Wrath.

2.1. Seal

You should always use Seal of Righteousness Icon Seal of Righteousness.

3. Cooldown Usage↑top

As a Retribution Paladin, you only have 3 DPS cooldowns. For best results, you should use them as we describe below.

3.1. Avenging Wrath

Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath increases all your damage and healing by 20% for 20 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. Additionally, it allows you to use Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath even when your target is over 20% health.

You should aim to use Avenging Wrath on cooldown. You can delay it slightly in order to stack with Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp or a phase of the fight where the boss takes increasesd damage, but do not do so if it means you won't be able to cast it as many times as you could have during the fight.

3.2. Zealotry

Zealotry Icon Zealotry causes your Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike to generate 3 Holy Power (instead of the usual 1) for 20 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. There are two things to note about using Zealotry:

Your filler spells will generally be Exorcism Icon Exorcism procs from The Art of War Icon The Art of War, Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath or Judgement Icon Judgement. If none of these is available, simply continue to go down the priority list to pick your next spell.

3.3. Guardian of Ancient Kings

Guardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings provides you with a stacking Strength buff (applied each time that you and your guardian perform a melee attack) of up to 20% increased Strength. At the end of the 30 second duration (or when your guardian is killed), the buff wears off and you deal an amount of damage (based on how many stacks you had) split between all enemies within 10 yards.

It is best to couple this with Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath by casting Avenging Wrath after Guardian of Ancient Kings has been active for 10 seconds.

4. Optional Read: Mastering Your Retribution Paladin↑top

In this section, we will give you more details about how to execute your rotation 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 12 seconds for each charge of Holy Power used (thanks to the Inquiry of Faith Icon Inquiry of Faith talent).

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

In general, you will want to apply Inquisition with 3 charges of Holy Power or with a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc (see below), as this makes your rotation easier (it does not require you to constantly track the Inquisition duration) and uses up fewer global cooldowns refreshing the buff.

The only exception to this, when you should use one or two charges of Holy Power, is when the boss is about to die and will not live for the duration of 36 (or even 24) seconds.

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

4.2. Divine Purpose Procs, Crusader Strike and Holy Power Subtleties

Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike generates 1 Holy Power each time you use it.

Your Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose talent gives most of the abilities in your rotation a 21% chance to cause your next Holy Power ability (Inquisition Icon Inquisition or Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict) to consume no Holy Power and be cast as if you had 3 Holy Power. As a rule, you should aim to use up your Divine Purpose procs as quickly as possible, so that you do not risk have them wasted by a subsequent proc (this is reflected in the priority).

4.2.1. Under 3 Holy Power

Whenever you have less than 3 charges of Holy Power, you should use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike on cooldown to maximise your Holy Power gain. At the same time, if you do not have 3 Holy Power, you should not use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict (since its damage is based on how many charges of Holy Power you have).

As such, when you are under 3 Holy Power, your goal is to generate Holy Power, and fill the time between your Crusader Strikes with other abilities.

There is an exception to this, namely when you have a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc and Crusader Strike is not on cooldown. In this case, you should use Crusader Strike, followed by Templar's Verdict (even if you still do not have 3 Holy Power following the Crusader Strike).

4.2.2. At 3 Holy Power

You should never cast Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike when you have 3 charges of Holy Power, as this would waste the Holy Power generation. Instead, you should do one of the following things, in order of priority:

  1. Refresh Inquisition Icon Inquisition if it is about to expire.
  2. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict if you have a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc (this will not affect the state of your current Holy Power charges).
  3. Cast Exorcism Icon Exorcism (only when you have a The Art of War Icon The Art of War proc).
  4. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict.

4.3. Exorcism and The Art of War

The Art of War Icon The Art of War gives your autoattacks a chance to cause your next Exorcism Icon Exorcism to be instant cast, cost no mana and deal 100% more damage. You should only use Exorcism when benefiting from this proc, if you are in melee range of the boss.

If you are out of melee range of the boss (such as during a phase transition, you can cast an un-procced Exorcism, but only if you have already used Judgement Icon Judgement and it is now on cooldown.

4.4. 2-Part Tier 13 Set Bonus

The 2-Part Tier 13 Set Bonus for Retribution Paladins causes your Judgement Icon Judgement to generate one charge of Holy Power.

This changes your priority for when you are under 3 charges of Holy Power. Judgement moves up in the priority list, which now starts with:

  1. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike;
  2. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict (with a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc);
  3. Judgement Icon Judgement.



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