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Retribution Paladin DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated Today at 06:21 by Vlad 73 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Retribution Paladin core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Retribution Paladin.

The other pages of our Retribution Paladin guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewers

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Fardion, a top parsing Retribution Paladin. You can follow him on Twitter.

1. Single Target Rotation

The single target rotation for Retribution Paladins revolves around dealing as much damage with your Holy Power spenders as possible to the target while they are debuffed by your Judgment Icon Judgment. Therefore, you will always want to generate Holy Power while Judgment is on cooldown, use Judgment, and use your Holy Power while the target is debuffed.

  1. Generate Holy Power
    • Use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike and Blade of Wrath Icon Blade of Wrath to generate Holy Power.
      • Always make sure that at least one of its 2 charges is used and charging.
      • Make sure never to over-cap your Holy Power.
  2. Cast Judgment Icon Judgment.
    • This debuffs the target to take increased damage from your Holy Power spenders for 8 seconds.
  3. During the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff, cast Holy Power spenders.

During Judgment Icon Judgment, you will have to generate additional Holy Power in order to use as many spenders as possible. If you have the  Icon Ashes to Ashes golden artifact trait, then you should use  Icon Wake of Ashes at this time, as it generates 5 Holy Power.

You should make it a point to have the debuff applied by Judgment Icon Judgment active when you use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict, and when Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence deals its damage. It is recommended to delay casting your abilities very slightly to facilitate this.

In order to better understand this rotation, you must understand the subtleties related to Holy Power. Please read our section that deals with Holy Power.

2. Opening Rotation

This is the sequence of abilities you should use at the start of the encounter.

  1. Prepot;
  2.  Icon Wake of Ashes;
  3. Judgment Icon Judgment + Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath (or Crusade Icon Crusade, if you have taken this talent);
  4. Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence (if you have taken this talent) or Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  5. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike;
  6. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  7. Blade of Wrath Icon Blade of Wrath;
  8. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike;
  9. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike;
  10. Judgment Icon Judgment;
  11. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  12. Continue your normal rotation.

3. Multiple Target Rotation

When facing multiple enemies, you will be using mostly the same rotation as above, except that you should replace Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict with Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm against 3 or more enemies (against 2 enemies, you should not use Divine Storm).

You will still want to build Holy Power outside of Judgment Icon Judgment, and then use this Holy Power during the Judgment debuff to damage the targets with your Holy Power spenders.

4. Cooldown Usage

As a Retribution Paladin, you only have one DPS cooldown by default, Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath. It should be used as many times as possible during the encounter. The best time to use it is while the debuff applied by Judgment Icon Judgment is active and you are using your Holy Power spenders.

It is also worth attempting to time it so that it is up during key points of the fight (when you require burst damage) such as on the pull, when the boss is taking increased damage, or when adds are spawning. You should also attempt to stack Avenging Wrath with Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp.

Your talents can provide you with a few other important abilities. We cover them in a subsequent section.

In addition to this, you have an ability called Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance. This grants you a 15-second damage absorption shield (which absorbs up to a moderate amount of damage), which explodes when it is consumed by damage, dealing this damage as Holy damage divided between all allies within 8 yards. You can use this ability both defensively (to protect yourself from damage) and offensively (to reflect damage taken on to your enemies, even by sometimes standing in harmful effects to proc the shield).

5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Retribution Paladin

In this section, we will give you more details about how to execute your rotation based on the priorities mentioned above.

5.1. Mastery: Divine Judgment

Your Mastery: Divine Judgment Icon Mastery: Divine Judgment increases the damage done by your Judgment Icon Judgment, as well as the damage increase that the Judgment debuff provides to your Holy Power spenders.

5.2. Artifact Ability

Your artifact ability,  Icon Wake of Ashes, deals damage to enemies in front of you and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. With the  Icon Ashes to Ashes trait, Wake of Ashes also generates 5 Holy Power when used.

The above rotations mention when and how to use  Icon Wake of Ashes, but essentially it should only be used as a Holy Power generator.

5.3. Holy Power Subtleties

5.3.1. Pooling Holy Power

You can have up to a maximum of 5 Holy Power at one time. Only one ability, Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance, consumes more than 3 Holy Power (it consumes 5, although this should never be cast without a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc). This means that you do not need to dump your Holy Power as soon as it reaches 3 charges, and you can continue to use Holy Power-generating abilities at 3 charges.

5.3.2. At 5 Holy Power

When you are at 5 Holy Power, you should never use a Holy Power-generating ability. Instead, you should cast a Holy Power spender such as Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence or Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict/Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm. Note that you should make it a point to use Holy Power spenders while the target is debuffed by Judgment Icon Judgment as much as possible.

5.3.3. At 3 Holy Power

In order to maximise your Holy Power gains, you should use your Holy Power-generating abilities on cooldown. If all of them are on cooldown, then you should use an ability that consumes Holy Power.

This works well in conjunction with the need to have the debuff applied by Judgment Icon Judgment (thanks to Mastery: Divine Judgment Icon Mastery: Divine Judgment) up when you use your Holy Power spenders, because it gives you something useful to do while you wait for the cooldowns of Judgment and your spenders to line up.

5.3.4. Below 3 Holy Power

When you are below 3 Holy Power you have no choice but to use Holy Power-generating abilities. If all Holy Power-generating abilities are on cooldown, then simply wait for them to become available (though this should only happen very rarely).

5.4. Abilities and Cooldowns from Talents

5.4.1. Tier 1 Talents

When using Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence, you should aim to have the debuff applied by Judgment Icon Judgment up when Execution Sentence deals its damage. Use it as often as possible throughout the fight, but make sure that the target will still be alive 7 seconds later when it deals its damage.

Consecration Icon Consecration should be used on cooldown while making sure that you place so that as many enemies as possible take damage from it for as long as possible.

5.4.2. Tier 5 Talents

If you are using Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance, then you should use this ability against single targets only when benefiting from a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc. Note that, as a Holy Power spender, its damage is increased by the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff, so fitting it when the debuff is up is optimal (provided that you have the Divine Purpose proc).

If you have the Whisper of the Nathrezim Icon Whisper of the Nathrezim legendary cloak, or if you have unlocked the  Icon Echo of the Highlord artifact trait, then you should use Divine Purpose procs on Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict instead. In this case, you should not pick the Justicar's Vengeance talent.

5.4.3. Tier 7 Talents

If you are using Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose, then you should use the procs on Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance against a single target and on Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm against multiple targets. If you have the Whisper of the Nathrezim Icon Whisper of the Nathrezim legendary cloak or the  Icon Echo of the Highlord artifact trait, then Divine Purpose procs should always be used on Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict against a single target.

If you have taken Crusade Icon Crusade, then you should use this ability as often as possible throughout the fight.

Currently, Holy Wrath Icon Holy Wrath should be taken.

6. ChangeLog

  • 30 Aug. 2016: Added a clarification that Justicar's Vengeance should no longer be used once you have the Echo of the Highlord artifact trait.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Jul. 2016: Added a mention that Justicar's Vengeance is a Holy Power spender that benefits from the Judgment debuff.
  • 21 Jul. 2016: Fixed a few minor inconsistencies regarding Holy Power pooling and spending (does not affect rotation).
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Completely revamped the single target rotation and added an opening rotation.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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