TBC Classic Retribution Paladin Guide
Welcome to our Retribution Paladin guide for TBC Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play Retribution Paladin proficiently. Click the links below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.
Paladins are capable of filling all three roles in TBC and are competitive at each, melee DPS healer, and tank. Each specialization will allow you to fill a specific niche because of the plentiful buffs that no other class can offer.
Retribution Paladins are one of the strongest and highly sought melee DPS in TBC because of the wide array of buffs they offer and thanks to new talents their damage is quite competitive. Ret paladins bring 3%increased crit chance against mobs with Improved Seal of the Crusader, 2% damage dealt to the Target with Improved Sanctity Aura and refresh all judgement debuffs on the boss using Crusader Strike. Both factions will have access to Seal of Blood in TBC Classic which is often times the most DPS of any seal and using this seal mitigates a lot of the Mana problems Paladins previously had thanks to Spiritual Attunement and Sanctified Judgement.
In PvP, Retribution Paladins are an extremely burst dependant class that can often times end fights extremely quickly. Paladins are very versatile in that they have a button to respond to most any situation but these abilities usually have lengthy cooldowns and they are very susceptible to crowd controlling effects. Ret Paladins have powerful healing capabilities but are largely limited by a small Mana pool. Paladins are also one of the few classes that is able to Dispel Magic which is extremely useful in getting party members out of various forms of CC.
If you would like to see where Retribution Paladins fall in the overall rankings among DPS specs for both PvE and PvP in TBC Classic, we have created pages dedicated to explaining what classes and specializations are the best of the best through multiple factors. However, ultimately, you should not let these lists dissuade you from playing what you enjoy.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Strong on-demand burst cooldown Avenging Wrath.
- Multiple CC options in Hammer of Justice and Repentance.
- Strong buffs and utility such as Blessings, Auras, and wipe protection in Divine Intervention.
- Capable of off healing in emergency situations.
- Spells are more potent against Undead/Demon mob types.
- Deal damage to themselves in order to use their maximum DPS seal Seal of Blood.
- Limited mobility makes closing gaps difficult.
- Major defensive CDs cannot be used in conjunction with Avenging Wrath.
Best Races for Retribution Paladin
In TBC Classic, Paladins are now able to be both Alliance and Horde! BloodElf is the only Horde race that can be Paladin while The Alliance can choose between Draenei, Human or Dwarf.
Both the new Burning Crusade Races BloodElf and Draenei are the strongest races for Retribution Paladin PvE on each respective faction. Blood Elves because they are the only choice as Horde and Draenei on the Alliance because of how powerful the hit rating you grant to not just you but everyone in your party allowing you to itemize for other DPS stats without sacrificing other DPS stats to maintain hit cap.
In PvP, Human is the strongest of the available races for the Alliance because of how potent Perception is and how easily it can turn the tide of a fight. None of the other races offer any large benefits, as the hit rating requirement in PvP is considerably lower than PvE and you can cleanse off everything except Bleeds that Stoneform would remove.
Blood Elf is the default choice if you are playing Horde as they are the only race that is able to be Paladins. Their racials are still quite good as Paladins are quite dependant on Mana which Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent help with as well as granting you additional magic resistances to bolster Paladin's weakness against spell casters.
Dwarf is in a unique spot, Stoneform can be a powerful defensive cooldown in a situation where you are unable to cast cleanse or have a nasty bleed on you and are taking a lot of Physical damage. Unfortunately Find Treasure and Gun Specialization are both completely useless for Paladins in any kind of combat situation.
Draenei offer a very situationally useful heal in Gift of the Naaru that in an emergency can save you or a party member. Heroic Presence is the most powerful racial though as it allows you and people in your party to itemize completely differently because of the added hit rating. Please note that Heroic Presence is strictly beneficial for physical DPS where as Inspiring Presence grants Spell hit. Draenei Paladins add the most to groups with their powerful buff and healing racials.
Perception is an extremely strong cool down against any stealth class and can net you a massive advantage in PvP. The Human Spirit is not particularly useful in any combat situation. Both Mace and Sword Specialization are quite strong early on in lower gear levels and even later on might alter your gear choices while maintaining Expertise.
Best Professions for Retribution Paladin
Leatherworking is an extremely powerful profession in TBC because of Drums of Battle and Greater Drums of Battle. No other profession offers even close to this level of benefit for a raid group even with the debuff it now incurs, having at least one person be LW in each group is huge.
Blacksmithing is very important for Ret paladins, the weapon Lionheart Champion is extremely powerful and is very reliably able to be crafted due to the materials required, Lionheart Champion has a 3.7-second swing speed which allows a larger benefit for Seal of Blood. This can later be dropped once more powerful weapons become available.
Blacksmithing and Leatherworking are both chosen based on their end game benefits and do not offer any particularly beneficial gold farms.
If you would like to learn more about how your profession of choice can be used to supplement your goldmaking, along with a variety of other means to bolster your income, see our full goldmaking guide linked below:
- 03 May 2022 (Phase 3 gear page): Guide moved.
- 03 May 2022 (gear page): Updated for Phase 5.
- 21 Mar. 2022 (gear page): Updated for Phase 4.
- 24 Jan. 2022 (gear page): Adjusted Legs and Ring recommendations.
- 08 Jan. 2022 (gear page): Updated for Phase 3; separated previous Phase 2 list into a new page.
- 08 Jan. 2022 (Phase 2 gear page): Guide moved.
- 19 Sep. 2021 (Phase 1 gear page): Page restored.
- 08 Aug. 2021 (gear page): Page added.
- 03 Jul. 2021 (rotation page): Added a separate rotation priority for seal twisting.
- 25 May 2021 (this page): Guide added.
- 25 May 2021 (enchants page): Guide added.
- 25 May 2021 (stats page): Guide added.
- 25 May 2021 (rotation page): Guide added.
- 25 May 2021 (talents page): Guide added.
- 25 May 2021 (spells page): Guide added.
- 25 May 2021 (pre-raid gear page): Guide added.
- Wrath Classic Phase 2 Launching on January 17th
- Naxxramas Achievement Rewards to Remain Available Throughout Wrath Classic
- Patch 3.4.1 PTR Development Notes: January 6th
- Summon Gargoyle Changes on the Wrath Classic PTR
- Ahead of the Curve and Cutting Edge Achievements Coming to Wrath Classic
- No Changes Planned for Ulduar Tier Sets Beyond 6 Item Level Bump
- Wrath Classic Season 1 Ends January 9th
- End-of-Year Blizzard Update