Retribution Paladin DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (MoP 5.4)

Retribution Paladin Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Retribution Paladins in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.

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 Anafielle (@Anafielle), one of the authors of Sacred Duty and an accomplished raider on her own.

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Speed of Light Long Arm of the Law Pursuit of Justice
30 Fist of Justice Repentance Evil is a Point of View
45 Selfless Healer Eternal Flame Sacred Shield
60 Hand of Purity Unbreakable Spirit Clemency
75 Holy Avenger Sanctified Wrath Divine Purpose
90 Holy Prism Light's Hammer Execution Sentence
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance Icon Dust of Disappearance (and Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90). You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents offer you a choice between 3 means of improving your movement speed.

  • Speed of Light Icon Speed of Light is an active ability, with a 45-second cooldown, which increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds.
  • Long Arm of the Law Icon Long Arm of the Law causes your successful Judgment Icon Judgments to increase your movement speed by 45% for 3 seconds.
  • Pursuit of Justice Icon Pursuit of Justice passively grants you 15% increased movement speed, and an additional 5% increased movement speed for each charge of Holy Power that you have, up to a maximum of 3 (so, up to a grand total of 30% increased movement speed).

Your choice here will depend entirely on your playstyle and the requirements of the encounter.

Speed of Light Icon Speed of Light is excellent because it offers you a reliable movement speed burst.

Pursuit of Justice Icon Pursuit of Justice offers you a constant, passive movement speed boost, which is excellent for moving out of harmful effects. You need to be pooling Holy Power to get the full benefit of this talent (which you often will not be).

Long Arm of the Law Icon Long Arm of the Law will prove to have a high uptime. In most encounters, it should satisfy your need for moving quickly. It is especially good when you need to move often from one target to another, since you will probably judge when you are not in melee range.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents offer you a choice between 3 means of crowd-control.

  • Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice is an improved version of Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice, which it replaces. Fist of Justice stuns the target for 6 seconds, with a 30-second cooldown, from a 20-yard range.
  • Repentance Icon Repentance puts the (Demon, Dragonkin, Giant, Humanoid, or Undead) target to sleep for 1 minute. Damage done to the target will break the effect, and only one target can be under this effect at one time (from the same Paladin).
  • Evil is a Point of View Icon Evil is a Point of View allows you to use Turn Evil Icon Turn Evil on Humanoids and Beasts.

The talent choice here is largely irrelevant, and it will not affect your performance in any way. You should choose based on your own preference, or on the requirements of the encounter, in terms of add crowd-control.

That said, during Tier 15 raiding you will probably want to choose Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice for most encounters, since the stun is very useful against adds.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents offer you a choice between 3 healing abilities.

  • Selfless Healer Icon Selfless Healer causes your Judgment Icon Judgments to reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light by 35% per stack. Additionally, if used on players other than yourself, it also increases their healing by 20% per stack. If you have Bastion of Glory Icon Bastion of Glory stacks, this healing bonus also applies when Flash of Light is self-cast, consuming Bastion of Glory. The effect can stack up to 3 times.
  • Eternal Flame Icon Eternal Flame replaces Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory. It costs Holy Power (up to 3), heals the target for an amount roughly equal to Word of Glory's healing, and places a HoT on the target, lasting 30 seconds. The power of the HoT is dependant on the amount of Holy Power with which the spell is used. When Eternal Flame is used on yourself, the HoT's power is increased by 100%.
  • Sacred Shield Icon Sacred Shield places a 30-second buff on the target, which then goes on to create a damage absorption shield every 6 seconds. The individual shields being broken by damage or expiring has no effect on the main buff. Sacred Shield can be active on more than one target at once. It uses a charge system, having 3 charges and a 10-second recharge time.

Your choice here is between either Selfless Healer Icon Selfless Healer or Sacred Shield Icon Sacred Shield, since Eternal Flame Icon Eternal Flame costs Holy Power, and thus negatively affects your DPS.

Sacred Shield can easily be incorporated into your rotation (which has some down-time), and doing so will reduce a sizeable amount of damage over the course of the fight. We believe that this is the superior choice in most cases, so we advise it.

Selfless Healer will provide you with the greatest utility for your raid. You will nearly always have 3 stacks of the buff, due to the frequent usage of Judgment Icon Judgment in your rotation. This way, you can always pitch in and help out a low health raid member with a strong, instant-cast Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light. Even used on yourself, the heal is quite effective.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between 3 ways of situationally improving your utility.

  • Hand of Purity Icon Hand of Purity places a 6-second buff on a target, reducing the damage they take from harmful periodic effects by 80%, and from harmful periodic effects that cannot be prevented by immunities by 40%. It also reduces all damage taken by 10%.
  • Unbreakable Spirit Icon Unbreakable Spirit reduces the cooldown of Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, Divine Protection Icon Divine Protection, and Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands by 50%.
  • Clemency Icon Clemency gives each of your Hand spells 2 charges. This means that you can use them twice before triggering the cooldown (but the cooldown will begin ticking as soon as it is used for the first time).

We believe Unbreakable Spirit Icon Unbreakable Spirit should be the default choice in most encounters. It greatly improves survivability (by allowing more frequent use of Divine Protection Icon Divine Protection) and utility (allowing you to bypass mechanics or reset debuffs more often with Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield).

Clemency Icon Clemency will literally double your already powerful utility. In case your Hand spells turn out to be useful in an encounter, this talent will undoubtedly be a strong choice.

Hand of Purity Icon Hand of Purity's usefulness depends greatly on the number of effects that are affected by it. If it works against relevant boss mechanics, it can be an excellent cooldown to use on the tank. As a rule, debuffs that cannot be removed through immunities (such as Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield) are not affected by Hand of Purity either.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between 3 powerful performance-enchancing talents.

  • Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger is a 2-minute cooldown that, for 18 seconds, causes your abilities that generate Holy Power to deal 30% additional damage and healing, and to generate 3 charges of Holy Power, instead of 1.
  • Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath passively increases the duration of Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath by 50%. Additionally, while Avenging Wrath is active, it reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath by 50%.
  • Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose gives your abilities that cost Holy Power a 25% chance to cause your next Holy Power-costing ability cost no Holy Power and be cast as if you had 3 charges of Holy Power.

Currently, Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath provides the highest DPS of the three talents, so we advise taking it. The difference between all three talents is quite small though.

At lower (pre-raid) gear levels, Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger will perform better than Sanctified Wrath. It is also worth noting that since Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath has been changed to have a 2-minute cooldown, Holy Avenger lines up perfectly with it and they can be used together. When doing this, the DPS will be only slightly lower than what you would get from Sanctified Wrath, but we still feel that Sanctified Wrath is the better choice.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between 3 abilities that are centered around damaging multiple enemies and healing multiple allies.

  • Holy Prism Icon Holy Prism can be cast on an ally or enemy target. If cast on an enemy, Holy Prism deals damage to them and heals 5 nearby allies. If cast on an ally, it heals that ally and damages 5 nearby enemies.
  • Light's Hammer Icon Light's Hammer places a hammer at a target location on the ground for 16 seconds. During this time, the hammer will heal the 6 most injured nearby allies, as well as damaging all nearby enemies. Enemies' movement speed is also reduced by 50% for 2 seconds each time they take damage.
  • Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence can be used on enemies or on allies. If used on an enemy, they take a certain amount of damage over 10 seconds (the damage they take is low at first, and it increases gradually). If used on an ally, they will be healed for a certain amount over 10 seconds (the effect is also gradually increasing). If Execution Sentence is dispelled, it will instantly deal damage or healing to the target (depending on who it is cast on) equal to 5 times the value of the most recent tick.

For single-target DPS, Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence is the best choice, without any doubt. For AoE DPS, Light's Hammer Icon Light's Hammer may provide more DPS than Execution Sentence, but the difference is small.

Holy Prism Icon Holy Prism requires too many global cooldowns to use to its full potential, and, thus, it should never be taken.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

There are several Major Glyphs that are of interest to you, although none offer clear performance improvements.

  • Glyph of Double Jeopardy Icon Glyph of Double Jeopardy increases the damage of your next Judgment Icon Judgment by 20% when used on a different second target. This will not be of any use in single target fights, but when there are several targets, it can be a slight DPS boost.
  • Glyph of Templar's Verdict Icon Glyph of Templar's Verdict reduces the damage you take, for 6 seconds after using Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict or Exorcism Icon Exorcism, by 10%. This glyph is a nice way to help out your healers in progression encounters.
  • Glyph of Mass Exorcism Icon Glyph of Mass Exorcism reduces your Exorcism Icon Exorcism to melee range, but causes it to deal a small amount of AoE damage, in addition to its single target damage. It is useful in fights where there are multiple targets. Note that the damage that Exorcism does to each target is buffed by the 2-Part Tier 15 Set Bonus, providing a considerable increase in AoE damage.
  • Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice Icon Glyph of Hand of Sacrifice removes the damage transfer component of Hand of Sacrifice Icon Hand of Sacrifice, making it safer to use.
  • Glyph of Blinding Light Icon Glyph of Blinding Light causes your Blinding Light Icon Blinding Light to knock down enemies for 3 seconds instead of blinding them. This has some situational uses in encounters with adds.
  • Glyph of Harsh Words Icon Glyph of Harsh Words allows your Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory to be cast against enemies, damaging them. While it is not a better use of Holy Power than Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict, it does provide you with a way to deal damage if the target is out of your melee range.
  • Glyph of Divine Storm Icon Glyph of Divine Storm heals you for 5% of your maximum health when you use Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm. You are unlikely to ever find uses for this glyph, but if there is an encounter where you need to AoE a lot, and you also need extra healing, then it is a good option.
  • Glyph of Word of Glory Icon Glyph of Word of Glory grants you 3% increased damage, for 6 seconds, for each charge of Holy Power that you use on Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory. This glyph is useful both if you are using Word of Glory to heal injured raid members (making up somewhat for the lost DPS), or if you are using Word of Glory to damage enemies at range (through Glyph of Harsh Words Icon Glyph of Harsh Words).
  • Glyph of Inquisition Icon Glyph of Inquisition extends the duration of Inquisition Icon Inquisition by 30 seconds, for a total of up to 120 seconds, each time you land a killing blow on targets that yield experience or honor. This glyph is highly situational, and its benefit is hardly reliable, but when you can actually land killing blows with it, it will prove very useful.
  • Glyph of Divine Protection Icon Glyph of Divine Protection adds 20% Physical damage reduction to your Divine Protection Icon Divine Protection cooldown, at the expense of 20% magic damage reduction. This can be useful in certain situations.
  • Glyph of Avenging Wrath Icon Glyph of Avenging Wrath will provide you with a small amount of self-healing over the course of the fight.

9. Minor Glyphs↑top

Minor Glyphs are purely cosmetic, and have no effect on your gameplay.

One glyph is worth mentioning, though. Glyph of the Righteous Retreat Icon Glyph of the Righteous Retreat increases the cast speed of your Hearthstone by 50% while Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield is active, allowing you to successfully bubblehearth once again.

10. Changelog↑top