TBC Classic Retribution Paladin Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Retribution Paladin in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in TBC Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS.
If you have not already, please read the spells summary page. Knowing how each spell and ability works in detail will greatly increase your understanding of the topics discussed on this page.
As a Retribution Paladin, your damage come largely from Crusader Strike , Judgement and Seal of Blood/Seal of the Martyr auto-attacks but Ret Paladins have quite a few other damaging spells they can use they are just a bit more situational and not hardwired into the rotation. Paladins do not have a particularly complicated rotation, it is easier to consider it a list of priorities to follow. Listed below is the order of importance for each spell in your damage rotation. Please note that the list below does not factor in seal twisting, but I will touch on that later in the guide.
This guide assumes you are using the talent build that can be found at talents page and are playing a max level character. If you are looking for leveling-based help, please refer to leveling page for a leveling-specific rotation.
Non Seal Twisting Rotation
- use Seal of the Crusader to apply Judgement of the Crusader to the boss, casting Crusader Strike will keep this debuff up as well as any other judgements other Paladins cast so you only need to judge Seal of the Crusader once in a single target situation.
- Keep Seal of Blood/Seal of the Martyr up.
- Use Crusader Strike on cooldown to maintain judgement debuffs on the mob and deal damage.
- Use Hammer of Wrath whenever possible when the target is below 20% health.
- Use Judgement on cooldown, Judgement is off the global cooldown so consider macroing seal of blood/martyr into your Judgement cast to ensure maximum uptime.
- Use Consecration sparingly unless the fight is very short as it will drain your Mana quickly, it is best used against multiple mobs or physical damage immune enemies.
- Exorcism can be used situationally against Demons and Undead mobs, it does not scale with attack power so it does not get stronger with your gear and it is never worth casting if either Crusader Strike or Judgement would come off cooldown during its cast. It is typically only useful in a situation against a physical damage immune mob or you not in melee range and cannot get in melee range for whatever reason.
Seal twisting is a very advanced tactic and can be difficult to pull off but if successful can help increase your damage considerably. Seal twisting is gaining the benefit of two seals on an auto-attack swing. it is only possible to twist from Seal of Command or Righteousness to other seals at this point, you will be twisting to seal of Blood/the Martyr for maximum DPS. The way seal twisting is performed is by attacking a mob with Seal of Command up and in the last .4 seconds of your swing timer you will cast the seal you are twisting to as mentioned before this will almost always be Seal of Blood or Seal of the Martyr. If performed correctly your attack will have gained the benefit of both Seal of Command and Seal of Blood/The Martyr doing a lot more damage than just one of the two. While you are spending some time in Seal of Command, it is crucial to remember that you only want to cast Judgement with Seal of Blood/the Martyr active. Twisting is nearly impossible without a swing timer of some kind so consider downloading either an addon or a WeakAura to track your melee swings.
Seal Twisting Rotation
The rotation while seal twisting is considerably different and can be quite challenging as it is a constantly-updating list of priorities as opposed to a set rotation you can follow. Below I will include the priorities in order from most important to least. Your weapon/swing speed plays a large factor in this so know that the difficulty of this rotation can change if you get a new weapon.
- Use Crusader Strike on cooldown, try to ensure you always have Seal of Blood/Seal of the Martyr active when Crusader Striking.
- If the timer for your swing is 1.6 seconds or more get ready to twist; the global cooldown from casting your Seal of Command is 1.5 seconds.
- Once your timer for your swing reaches 0.4 seconds until your next melee swing cast Seal of Blood/Seal of the Martyr.
- cast Judgement only with Seal of Blood/Seal of the Martyr active.
- In your downtime from twisting or using high-priority abilities such as Judgement and Crusader Strike you can use Consecration against groups of mobs, though it is quite expensive, or Exorcism if the mob is an Undead or Demon. Please note these are the lowest priorities and should only be done if no other action is available to you.
Seal Twisting Notes
- You want to ensure you are always using Seal of Command rank 1 while twisting, you never want to be judging Command and the benefit from the seal other than its added judgement damage is the same across all ranks.
- Delaying Crusader Strike slightly is okay if you are ensuring a twist.
Your Blessings are incredibly powerful buffs that should be kept up at all times. You will want to coordinate with the other Paladins in your raid to see who should be buffing what on each class, since you can only use one on any given person at a time. With the Greater Blessings, they will last 30 minutes, so you generally will not need to worry about refreshing them in the middle of a fight, but you will want to check between pulls to make sure none are in danger of falling off.
Paladins have some of the strongest cooldowns and utility in the game and taking full advantage of them is important and can sometimes even save your raid from wiping.
- Avenging Wrath is a 20-second buff that causes you to deal 30% increased damage. It also gives you the forbearance debuff preventing you from being able to use Divine Shield, Divine Protection or cast Blessing of Protection on yourself.
- Blessing of Protection gives a friendly target a buff that gives them immunity against physical attacks and debuffs for 10 seconds, however they cannot autoattack or use physical abilities during this buff.
- Blessing of Sacrifice provides a party member with a buff that transfers some of the damage they would be taking to the Paladin each time they are hit.
- Blessing of Freedom removes all movement impairing effects on a friendly target for 10 seconds.
- Lay on Hands heals a friendly target for an amount equal to the caster's maximum health and gives the target 900 Mana. This however takes all of the Paladins man so only use this in true emergencies.
- 03 Jul. 2021: Added a separate rotation priority for seal twisting.
- 25 May 2021: Guide added.
- Wrath Classic Patch 3.4.2 PTR Notes: May 18th
- Death Heat Map for Hardcore Characters and Their Killers
- BlizzCon 2023 in Coming on Nov 3-4
- Blizzard Announces Hardcore Classic
- Icy Veins is Getting a New Look
- Wrath Classic 3.4.2 PTR Schedule
- Official Support for Hardcore Classic Realms Coming Soon?
- New Sons of Hodir Tabard to Be Added to Wrath Classic