4.0.1 Ret paladin action plan

Its been a busy few weeks.  I got my Glory of the ICC Raider (10) last week and we’re working on getting some more drakes.  Lots of questions remain now that we’re facing patch 4.0.1 but heres what I intend to do.  I’ve tried to keep this as short as possible so if I missed things ask away.  Where I say something remains unchanged refer to the 3.3 Raider’s Crib Sheet.  I will reproduce the gear list for 4.0.1 shortly.  It will be in a new pdf format (making it faster to set up and keep up to date, and allowing for a site redesign).

This is not based on my own theorycrafting, but on reading all the information out there and trying to merge it into a plan.

The Basics

  • Paladins have a new resource called ‘Holy Power’ as well as mana.  Holy Power stacks up to three times and several spells, old and new, make use of it.
  • Ret palas have several new abilities you will be able to access.  Importantly, Templar’s Verdict, which is a hard hitting melee attack using Holy Power and Zealotry, which will make Crusader Strike generate more Holy Power for a short time.
  • Massive amounts of the game have changed, as with any patch, so I suggest reading the patch notes and MMO Champion or another new site.

I’m going for 3/2/31.

Three points (the two in Selfless Healer and the one I dropped into Long Arm of the Law) are completely optional and based on personal preference.  Technically, so are the points in Rebuke and Repentance, but those seem more obvious.

My Glyph choices are there too.  I don’t know which Prime Glyphs will be best, but I’m dropping Glyph of Truth (expertise) since I’ll be able to Reforge to the expertise cap.  CS is our major ability so that one is an obvious Prime.  Between the Primes relating to TV, Exorcism and Judgement I just don’t know.  Since you can learn them all and swap them in and out I’ll be getting four Primes and experimenting.

Major Glyphs are all about resources for Ret and should definitely be changed dependent on the circumstances.  I think Ascetic Crusader will always be good, but otherwise it depends – are you cc’ing something, are you using your AoE?  Swap your Majors depending what you need.

Minors are all dull.  I use LoH a lot so I’ve chosen that.  Apart from that I chose the two PvE Seal Minors for cheap Seal switching.

This is where the theorycrafting gets a bit complex.  Cap hit and expertise.  After this, your strongest stat is Strength.  Then it gets confusing.  Haste is, all other things being equal, a slightly better stat than crit.  However, all other things are not equal and under current conditions latency can make crit the better option (a key part of the effectiveness of haste is the reduction in the CS cooldown – theres no point stacking haste for a 3 second CS when your latency means you only get to use it every 3.3 seconds).  However, Blizzard has made some major changes to spell queueing and latency very late on and the impact of these isn’t clear yet.

For our purposes, assume haste and crit are pretty even.

Mastery is rubbish.

Agility is now bad.  Make sure you change out Agility based items.

You can use Reforging to ensure you make the hit and expertise caps.  You might also want to use gems to ensure you get two blues in there somewhere (hit will be a blue gem) so you can use your Chaotic Skyflare Diamond again.   I plan to keep my Nightmare Tear, drop in a Hit gem and then reforge any excess hit.  Apart from that I won’t touch my stats at this point.  Things will become clearer after a couple of weeks.

Gems & Enchants
I have no intention of regemming beyond getting in CSD.  I think what I was doing before 4.0.1 will still be optimal. If its not, I will regem once its clear its not, not experimentally when 4.0.1 hits.

Enchants should be fine.

(This section is already out of date due to buffs since it was written – please read https://morrighan13.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/retribution-in-the-new-world-order-one-week-after-4-0-1/ for the latest version.)

The basic rotation is simple: CS > Filler > CS > Filler > CS > Finisher

Finishers are those abilities using Holy Power:

  • Templar’s Verdict (Single target)
  • Divine Storm (Multi target)

Filler’s (in order) are:

  • Exorcism
  • Judgement
  • Hammer of Wrath
  • Holy Wrath
  • Consecration

22 thoughts on “4.0.1 Ret paladin action plan

Add yours

  1. Is there any preffered order of fillers to use? I read somewhere that our rotation would be like 111211131114 and so on like that, would that work?

    1. The order they are in is the preferred order – I have seen some theorists put Judgement above Exorcism, but part of the reason for that is mana management rather than dps.

      1. Okay, cool, do I wait for cooldowns? I keep trying to fcfs and it’s messing me up. Like say I hit CS>Ex>CS>Judge>CS>Ex>Judge, would I keep waiting for CS or Judge to cooldown before I cast anything?

      2. Quite honestly, I’ve been ignoring Exo unless it procs to instant. It’s proc averages every 7-8 seconds for me, so I prioritize Judgement over Exo because it’s worthless to waste the cast time when you could be doing just instants.

        Honestly, my main issue is not having enough time to hit everything that procs. I have Zealotry, Avenging Wrath and my Trink all on one macro, and because of Hammer of Wrath being unlocked with AW, just about doubles my DPS for those 15 seconds every 2 minutes. During the 15 seconds I usually Go CS > TV > HoW >CS > TV > Judge. Can usually go through it twice.

        In contrast to the post, I have been loving mastery. My proc chance is up to 16%, which hands me a free TV. Fantastic.

      3. You should only be using Exorcism when Art of War procs, and make sure you don’t miss a Hammer of Wrath when target’s health is under 20%, massive crits! Make sure you are using Seal of Truth for single targets

      4. You are correct. The AoW proc and the Seals are unchanged.

        The HoW advice is now correct (but wasn’t at the time I wrote this article). Theres a newer post on here about rotation. I’ll add a note directing people there.

  2. Thank you so much for this guide.
    However, I want to disagree on the rotation part. I am fairly new to theorycrafting, so by all means point out if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the talent “Divine Purpose” drastically changes things.
    I would go with a priority system along the lines of:
    If 3 HP, TV

    In a fashion very similar to the WotLK FCFS priority system we used to rely on.
    Again, I’m just trying to properly build a system for my pally, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  3. Hi, All

    The patch is here and now I feel more than confused, I Choose
    CS > Filler > CS > Filler > CS > Finisher My fillers are Judgment and Holy Wrath for single target and Judgement and Judg y Cons for AOE. Exor is only ment to be used on Art of War proc Movin the Rotation from the mentioned above to CS > Exo > CS > J > CS > TV, Zelority also ment to be used active on the proper proc. when finished, Activate Avegning Wrath Changing again to CS > HoW > Cs > Judgement > CS > HoW (12 sec aprox.) > TV (Hope for 3 HP)

    Actually Was stressful and frustrating start on 4.5K DPS on a dummy, but with a lot of effort and concentration, I came up with a couple of Auto Hot Key Scripts.

    Since the CS is priority to gain Holy power should be executed upon its cool down. so every single
    keystroke is anticipated by a CS Key press (this only means every time i press an ability I send 2 keystrokes at the time first CS to gain power then the filler). Is a simple macro to implement.

    You only have to watch for HP now, and smart filler rotation with cooldowns.

    Now Remember if you use this rotation care of your build and Glyphs to accomplish this rotation.


    Please If you have suggestions, comments or Questions on this please contact me aldo.de.biase at googlemail 😉

  4. Hello, all.

    My paladin is sitting on 1079 haste, making CS cooldown a neat 3.39 seconds. On dummies I am pulling between 8-9k DPS using:

    If 3x HP, TV – If AoW, Exorcism (2nd priority)

    I use CS and Judgement as a filler and Holy Wrath if there’s not much else to do. I don’t use Consecrate because of the sheer mana cost and ridiculous downtime (10 sec duration, 30 sec CD). I also don’t use Hammer of Wrath (YET! Will be better when it can proc HP) and pop Wings and Zealotry at the same time to do delicious CS -> TV spamming.

    I maintained hit and expertise cap and went haste on everything I could. Crit is meh in comparison and, as stated, Mastery is rubbish at 80.

    I’m happy with the new direction Retribution has taken, although I can’t say I’m happy with losing 5k DPS on Marrowgar! I MISS YOU, DIVINE STORM!

  5. This is a quick reply coz I’m at work and technically meant to be … working.

    About the rotation – now I have a better feel for it maybe I can explain it better. The rotation is a combination of a traditional rotation and FCFS. The frequent CS’s are due to the cooldown pattern. If you went for pure FCFS, you’d have more downtime with nothing to hit, and therefore less dps (very general explanation – but when you try the rotation you’ll get the feeling for it).

    The ‘fillers’ are your FCFS part. When Exo is instant, use it. Otherwise use Judgement.

    I am finding that TV is available more than the stated rotation suggests. I’ve not been able to really check out whether its best to hit it when available or wait for the rotation yet. I spent all last night trying to fix my interface and then when I went to IF for the dummies I got distracted by the armies of shadowy dwarves running around and all the earthquakes (Shadow Priests win the best 4.0.1 talent change hands down). So all I have are a couple of heroics to go on and everything in a heroic dies before I can blink.

    I don’t see any changes to when I pop wings (with hero/on CD/at key points depending on the fight). I’m not sure yet if Zealotry should be kept to stack or not (part of me thinks mmm overpowered TVs, part of me thinks hmmm wouldn’t that waste the extra HoWs?)

    1. Finally I’ve got my own Rotation, Following Loaf and Morrighan Rotation, Making the necessary Reinforgements to my gear, to maintain the CAPS.

      So here is my result, First I care about HIT and EXP cap, in order to that I’ve reduced the Hit of my Tiny Abomination in a Jar, My Wrists, and My Sanctified Hands turning them to haste getting a haste rating of 748 or so.

      I’m against to GEM for haste, my own Equipment should give me that stat. So I Kept all my Hybrid GEMS to the minimum, I changed my meta to the skyflare and I acomplish the requirements with a Orange (str+haste) and a purple(str+stam) gem. I will remove the Purple in a near future for a +20str one reasigning my 10 all stat to a blue socket.

      My main prof is Eng and JC, Important for hard core raiders in my opinion.

      How Here comes my improvements on the Rotation:
      Initial stage 1.

      My CS is a 3.65 CS > Judg > CS > HW > CS > TV
      you need to activate Word of Glory to gain 4% plus damage
      before TV spam.

      Stage 2.

      I’ve macro the TV to activate my haste on hands enchant upon its availability.
      When haste on my hands is active I got my CS down to 3.35 here is when the DPS start to scale, since the rotation becomes:
      CS > Judg > CS > (only if art of war Exo) Judg > CS > TV

      Stage 3.

      When haste buf is gone and you should have gain the proc of Judgement of the pure I use Zelority with AoW, moving to a rotation like this, CS> HoW > TV > CS > TV > CS > HoW > TV

      Remember to reactivate Word of Glory to gain 4% plus damage

      Real Numbers:
      Dummy rotation last 8 min.

      Looks complex, but at the end of the line I gain 7.6k as minimun DPS having Burst of 8.5k DPS along the rotation, my mana never gets below the 60%.

      TV Crits: Between 15-20K
      How Crits: Between 9K to 20K ???? Here I’ve got real confused about its priority
      Exo Crits: Between 6K to 12K (only used on ART of WAR proc)

      I don’t Have as much gear as Loaf but this rotation worked for me pretty well. I’m part of a 10/12 25HM Guild.

      FCFS part is the stage 2 part, since If Judgment of the pure is active when Haste enchant is active your CS gets as low as 3.15, meaning that you should be AWARE of the FCFS, Glyph for Holy wrath because cause a significant DPS change when included into the rotation.

  6. Actually 1 point into rebuke rather then selfless healer and 2 into eye for an eye is the most efficient build ATM. Eye for an eye works for PvE EX Bosses like fester and BQ. damage back to them helps your mobile damage. And rebuke stacks your truth stacks and its off the GCD so macro it to your cs

    1. I have a point in Rebuke. I doubt there are many ret palas out there not taking Rebuke since we’ve been waiting for it for sooooo long.

      Eye for an Eye is an option and I have no doubt it might increase your dps on some trash. For levelling purposes I will respec into it for sure – perfect for questing. For PvP its an obvious choice and always has been. This build is a raiding build, however, and I’d rather spec into some utility than trash dps we don’t need.

      1. @Morrighan
        Actually my build would be 3/2/31. The 3 talents from holy would be Judgements of the pure Prot talents would be Seals of the pure and Ret should seem obvious. To get back to my ret spec, while eye for an eye is actually a significant increase in DPS, what would you rather have some extra DPS on the boss or lets say repentance or selfless healer which is almost useless until CATA. If you opt for Rebuke your not going wrong because as I have said in my earlier post it stacks your seal of truth which is crucial to your DPS. A useless point which I chose to put into was the original Divine storm; it is pretty much useless, it does AoE and has no target cap but does almost no damage. You would use it if there is more then 6 targets otherwise TV would crit more then all of it with 3 holy power.

  7. Also I have figured out a solid rotation and have theory-crafted most things for Cataclysm. You want a maximum and minimum of 31% haste as a ret pally because with Judgements of the pure, you will reach 40% haste which is a 2 second Crusader strike. The rotation on priority would be Hammer of Wrath > TV > CS > Exorcism(AoW) > Judgement > HW. This goes for almost all the time as a 2 second CS then a filler is to maximize DPS. Also mastery Isn’t a reliable green point

  8. I play a tank primarily, but been seriously looking at ret as i am getting prepared to “level”. Thanks for your posts i learned a lot, but i am lazy and find ways to use macros to maximize whatever it is im trying to do, came up with this and jumped my dps almost 3k. Run the numbers and see what ya think.

    /cast Crusader Strike
    /cast Judgement
    /cast Templar’s Verdict

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