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glyphs Retribution Paladin: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Retribution Paladin guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Retribution Paladin rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Retribution Paladin Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

New Abilities

  • trade_archaeology_gemmeddrinkingcup.jpgBoundless Conviction is a new passive ability granted to all Paladins. It increases Holy Power capacity to 5 (from 3). Abilities that cost Holy Power can still only consume a maximum of 3 Holy Power, so this change allows you to pool Holy Power and it will alter gameplay somewhat.
  • ability_paladin_hammeroftherighteous.jpgHammer of the Righteous is an AoE attack that generates a charge of Holy Power.
  • spell_holy_auramastery.jpgDevotion Aura is a defensive raid cooldown. It is a combination of the old spell_holy_powerwordbarrier.jpgDivine Guardian (which was previously only available to Protection Paladins and has been removed from the game) and spell_holy_auramastery.jpgAura Mastery (which was previously only available to Holy Paladins and has been removed from the game) abilities. The 20% magic damage reduction will probably be its most useful feature.
  • Tier 3 talents offer you a choice between ability_paladin_blessedmending.jpgSacred Shield and inv_torch_thrown.jpgEternal Flame (and ability_paladin_gaurdedbythelight.jpgSelfless Healer, but this is a passive talent). We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.
  • Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between ability_paladin_holyavenger.jpgHoly Avenger and two passive talents, ability_paladin_sanctifiedwrath.jpgSanctified Wrath and spell_holy_divinepurpose.jpgDivine Purpose. We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.
  • Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between spell_paladin_holyprism.jpgHoly Prism, spell_paladin_lightshammer.jpgLight's Hammer, and spell_paladin_executionsentence.jpgExecution Sentence. We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.

Changes to Existing Mechanics

Removed Abilities

Rotation and Spell Usage

The Retribution Paladin rotation remains similar to the Cataclysm version, detailed in our guide. It is likely to end up being:As you will notice, there is no longer a need for two different priorities (one below 3 Holy Power and one at 3 Holy Power), thanks to Holy Power having a maximum capacity of 5, but abilities still only utilising 3 Holy Power. The result is that even if you use a Holy Power generating move at 3 Holy Power, it will not be wasted.

In multiple target situations, the chief (and possibly only) differences are:

Talents

Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 means of increasing your movement speed:
  • ability_paladin_speedoflight.jpgSpeed of Light, an active movement speed boost that lasts for 8 seconds;
  • ability_paladin_longarmofthelaw.jpgLong Arm of the Law, a passive ability that increases your movement speed by 45% for 3 seconds each time you judge;
  • ability_paladin_veneration.jpgPursuit of Justice, a passive talent that increases your movement speed by 15% at all times and grants you an additional 5% for each charge of Holy Power you currently have (up to a maximum of 3).
Your choice here will depend greatly on the requirements of the encounter. Each of these talents has specific merits, and you will need to think about how your playstyle can best make use of these.

Tier 2 talents offer a choice between 3 utility spells:

  • spell_holy_fistofjustice.jpgFist of Justice, a 6 second stun on a 30 second cooldown. This is an improved version of spell_holy_sealofmight.jpgHammer of Justice (an ability granted to you by default), the improvement being the increased range at which it can be cast and the lower cooldown.
  • spell_holy_prayerofhealing.jpgRepentance, a 1 minute long form of crowd-control that is broken by damage.
  • achievement_bg_topdps.jpgBurden of Guilt, a passive talent that slows the target of your spell_holy_righteousfury.jpgJudgment by 50% for 12 seconds.
These spells will be largely irrelevant for raiding. Picking one over the others will be a matter of personal preference or, possibly, encounter mechanics.

Tier 3 talents offer a choice between 3 healing spells:

ability_paladin_blessedmending.jpgSacred Shield provides an absorption shield that lasts for 30 seconds and absorbs a small amount of damage every 6 seconds. Sacred Shield can only be active on one target at once. The absorption amount scales with your gear. This spell could provide you with a substantial amount of absorbed damage over the course of an entire fight.

inv_torch_thrown.jpgEternal Flame is a HoT that can be kept at 100% uptime. It costs Holy Power to use, and this ability replaces inv_helmet_96.jpgWord of Glory. Due to the Holy Power cost, this ability will turn out to be a DPS loss and it should not be taken.

ability_paladin_gaurdedbythelight.jpgSelfless Healer grants you a stacking buff, each time you use spell_holy_righteousfury.jpgJudgment, which reduces the mana cost of your next spell_holy_flashheal.jpgFlash of Light by 35% and increases its amount of healing by 35%, but only if cast on other players than yourself. This effect stacks up to 3 times. Since it will not benefit your survival, and it is unlikely that you will need to help out on healing the raid, this talent will probably not be chosen very often. Still, it could have usefulness on certain fights.

As a default choice, we believe that Sacred Shield will be best (provided that you keep 100% uptime on it on yourself or on another raid member). In certain situations, though, the other two talents may also work.

Tier 4 talents offer a choice between 3 talents that grant you some utility:

  • spell_holy_sealofwisdom.jpgHand of Purity is an active ability with a 30 second cooldown that reduces the damage the target takes from DoTs by 70% for 6 seconds. From the description, it sounds like this ability is quite strong. It remains to be seen, however, how many boss abilities are affected by this.
  • spell_holy_unyieldingfaith.jpgUnbreakable Spirit is a passive talent that reduces the remaining cooldown of spell_holy_divineshield.jpgDivine Shield, spell_holy_divineprotection.jpgDivine Protection, and spell_holy_layonhands.jpgLay on Hands by 1% for each charge of Holy Power you use, up to a maximum of 50% of the cooldown's duration. The ability seems most useful in reducing the cooldown of Lay on Hands, allowing you to cast it more often, saving raid members who are dangerously low on health.
  • ability_paladin_clemency.jpgClemency is a passive talent that essentially grants your Hand spells two charges. This allows you to use them twice before the cooldown is triggered. This will most likely be of use in conjunction with spell_holy_sealofsacrifice.jpgHand of Sacrifice.
It is very difficult to tell which of these talents will be the best choice. In all likelihood, this will depend on the encounter. For instance, Hand of Purity's value would be greatly diminished on a fight without any DoTs on the tank, while Clemency would be very potent on a fight where there is ample opportunity to cast Hand of Sacrifice.

In any case, since you are going to spend global cooldowns to cast these abilities (except Clemency, which is passive), the result will be a small DPS loss. However, the benefit to the raid is likely to be greater.

Tier 5 talents offer a choice between 3 spells that improve your DPS:

ability_paladin_holyavenger.jpgHoly Avenger causes your Holy Power generating abilities to generate 3 Holy Power instead of 1 for 15 seconds, every 2 minutes. It is similar to the old spell_holy_proclaimchampion_02.jpgZealotry cooldown. If this talent is taken, the rotation during Holy Avenger will probably be: ability_paladin_sanctifiedwrath.jpgSanctified Wrath increases the duration of spell_holy_avenginewrath.jpgAvenging Wrath by 50% and, while it is active, reduces the cooldown of spell_paladin_hammerofwrath.jpgHammer of Wrath by 50%. This will undoubtedly also be a DPS increase, but it is hard to say, yet, how great of one.

spell_holy_divinepurpose.jpgDivine Purpose gives you a chance, each time you use an ability that costs Holy Power, to have your next Holy Power-costing ability (cast within 8 seconds) cost no Holy Power and be cast as though you had 3 Holy Power. While this is also a DPS increase, we believe that its randomness factor will ultimately make it less desirable than the other two talents.

As such, we currently feel that Holy Avenger will be the best choice, but this still remains to be determined by the actual balancing of these abilities.

Tier 6 talents offer a choice between 3 hybrid DPS-healing spells:

spell_paladin_executionsentence.jpgExecution Sentence is a single target DPS spell that deals damage to the target in an escalating manner (slowly at first, and then ramping up to a burst).

spell_paladin_lightshammer.jpgLight's Hammer places a hammer at a targeted ground location. The hammer deals damage to nearby enemies and heals nearby allies.

spell_paladin_holyprism.jpgHoly Prism, when cast on an ally, heals them and deals damage to all nearby enemies. When placed on an enemy, it deals damage to that enemy and heals all nearby allies. As a Retribution Paladin, you will most likely use this on yourself or another ally, so that the spell damages nearby adds.

Which of these talents you will choose depends on whether you wish to damage a single target (Execution Sentence) or multiple enemies (Light's Hammer or Holy Prism). In the case of multiple enemies, it will also depend on how these adds enter the encounter and how they behave.

Glyphs

There are several Major Glyphs that can, in certain situations, be useful (Minor Glyphs are purely cosmetic):
  • inv_glyph_majorpaladin.jpgGlyph of Inquisition reduces the damage bonus of spell_paladin_inquisition.jpgInquisition by 15%, but increases the duration by 100%. This is obviously a DPS loss, but it will make the rotation easier to maintain for those who are less experienced with the spec.
  • inv_glyph_majorpaladin.jpgGlyph of Harsh Words allows your inv_helmet_96.jpgWord of Glory to be used as a damaging spell against enemies. Currently, this seems to do a decent amount of damage, making it a viable alternative to spell_paladin_templarsverdict.jpgTemplar's Verdict when you are out of melee range.
  • inv_glyph_majorpaladin.jpgGlyph of Mass Exorcism causes your spell_holy_excorcism_02.jpgExorcism to deal 25% of its damage to nearby enemies. As a drawback, Exorcism is reduced to melee range. This glyph could prove to be a DPS increase in very specific situations (where you are in melee range for the whole fight and there are adds next to the boss).
  • inv_glyph_majorpaladin.jpgGlyph of Templar's Verdict has a small damage reduction effect. For 6 seconds after using spell_paladin_templarsverdict.jpgTemplar's Verdict, you take 10% reduced damage. This will probably be mandatory for raiders.
This concludes our Retribution Paladin preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!
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You forgot that Ret can use Hammer of the Righteous now. It is their HoPo generator for AE situations.

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You forgot that Ret can use Hammer of the Righteous now. It is their HoPo generator for AE situations.

Thanks. It's been fixed now :)

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Be careful

It seems that the Exorcism Glyph increase the cooldown of exorcism to 19,5 s and it matters because it gives you Holy Power. So I prefer using the two Word Of Glory glyphes instead, that I only cast for burst DPS under Holy Anvenger and Holly Wraith and ideally at the end of Ancient King (the pet)

Those burst having a different GCD, I use /Macro to cast them together.

Am I right ?

Also, what do you think about Haste priority under critical strike ? With Holy Power given by so many casts, and passive abilities proc on automatic attacks ?

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Be careful

It seems that the Exorcism Glyph increase the cooldown of exorcism to 19,5 s and it matters because it gives you Holy Power. So I prefer using the two Word Of Glory glyphes instead, that I only cast for burst DPS under Holy Anvenger and Holly Wraith and ideally at the end of Ancient King (the pet)

Those burst having a different GCD, I use /Macro to cast them together.

Am I right ?

Also, what do you think about Haste priority under critical strike ? With Holy Power given by so many casts, and passive abilities proc on automatic attacks ?

I hadn't noticed that inv_glyph_primepaladin.jpgGlyph of Mass Exorcism increases the cooldown of spell_holy_excorcism_02.jpgExorcism by 5 seconds, but you're right, it does.

I'm not going to put it in the article yet, though, since I don't believe it is intended. The glyph tooltip doesn't mention it. When it becomes confirmed, I'll update the article. If it turns out that it is intended, then I don't know what the effects will be. As it is, we've got a fairly decent Holy Power generation, so it might not be a big hit to our DPS to use this glyph - especially if it ends up hitting the secondary targets (the only situation in which I postulated this glyph may be useful).

As for stat weights, it's honestly premature to make assumptions.

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Due to Art of War, I'm sure how much that cooldown increase actually matters. But yeah, hopefully it is a bug.

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I asked about the glyph of mass exorcism on the beta forums, and GC said it was a bug that would be fixed. So no worries there.

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Due to Art of War, I'm sure how much that cooldown increase actually matters. But yeah, hopefully it is a bug.

Yep, true. The proc rate seems pretty decent.

I asked about the glyph of mass exorcism on the beta forums, and GC said it was a bug that would be fixed. So no worries there.

Thanks for asking on the official forums, and for posting back here. I suspect it was not intended, so I'm glad to see that confirmed.

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I thought I had read that they were removing Consecration and Holy Wrath for Ret but I didn't see those mentioned under the removed abilities?

I know this is purely subjective but was wondering about how the heals for Ret feel? With the right build, do you think there could come a time when if you stacked multiple ret's for dps that you could cut a healer and could it be efficient? I know it's very early for this type of conjecture but this is the first thing that has interested me into trying MoP.

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I thought I had read that they were removing Consecration and Holy Wrath for Ret but I didn't see those mentioned under the removed abilities?

Oh gosh, right you are! Updated that section now. Thanks!

I know this is purely subjective but was wondering about how the heals for Ret feel? With the right build, do you think there could come a time when if you stacked multiple ret's for dps that you could cut a healer and could it be efficient? I know it's very early for this type of conjecture but this is the first thing that has interested me into trying MoP.

Well, Ret healing is fairly solid, especially since inv_helmet_96.jpgWord of Glory now only has a 1.5 second cooldown and Holy Power generation is much higher than in Cataclysm. Having said that, however, I don't think you could ever have "multiple rets" making up for a healer. And I don't see why you would. They would, maybe, manage to keep players alive, but at a great cost to their DPS.

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I don't really agree with the rotation set up here. The part I don't agree with is how/when you cast Templar's Verdict. Before explaining myself, here's my proposed rotation:

The reason I put it this way instead of just "Templar's Verdict at 3 HP" is because holy power generation is the biggest priority outside of Inquisition. If you cast a Templar's Verdict at 3 HP when you have, for example, one of the holy power generation spells ready to use, you are delaying the next Templar's Verdict by a global cool down. Instead, you should generate that holy power immediately to get the cool down going. The only reasons Templar's Verdict should be cast is if you cannot generate holy power with the current global cool down because you are either maxed out on holy power or everything that generates holy power is on cool down already. What do you think? Do you agree with this line of thinking?
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I don't really agree with the rotation set up here. The part I don't agree with is how/when you cast Templar's Verdict. Before explaining myself, here's my proposed rotation:

The reason I put it this way instead of just "Templar's Verdict at 3 HP" is because holy power generation is the biggest priority outside of Inquisition. If you cast a Templar's Verdict at 3 HP when you have, for example, one of the holy power generation spells ready to use, you are delaying the next Templar's Verdict by a global cool down. Instead, you should generate that holy power immediately to get the cool down going. The only reasons Templar's Verdict should be cast is if you cannot generate holy power with the current global cool down because you are either maxed out on holy power or everything that generates holy power is on cool down already. What do you think? Do you agree with this line of thinking?

I agree absolutely. I've modified the rotation to reflect this :) Thanks a lot for your post!

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No problem! The only other possible change to that rotation is going to be the order of the things between the two templar verdicts. That will have to be training dummy tested and theory crafted though. I'll have to wait for the training dummies personally though. That will all depend on the final scaling factors applied to each of the individual spells. Also, we need to see the effect of haste....I have a feeling there will be haste soft caps with rotation changes.

Edited by kretan

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I'm having a hard time finding info on Seals? Could someone enlighten me on changes if any? I am SOOO excited for my Ret pally. This (from reading) seems to be the playstyle I have wanted my ret to be for a long time (and to an extent was in cata) - a dps with lots of damage mitigation aides and heals.Posted Image

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I'm having a hard time finding info on Seals? Could someone enlighten me on changes if any? I am SOOO excited for my Ret pally. This (from reading) seems to be the playstyle I have wanted my ret to be for a long time (and to an extent was in cata) - a dps with lots of damage mitigation aides and heals.Posted Image

Sorry for the long delay. spell_holy_sealofvengeance.jpgSeal of Truth remains your main DPS seal. In AoE situations, you can switch to spell_holy_righteousnessaura.jpgSeal of Righteousness.

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Are they still on the GCD? I thought I read that they might come off.

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They remain on the global cooldown.

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