Classic Retribution Paladin DPS Guide

Last updated on Dec 02, 2020 at 01:29 by Impakt 20 comments

Welcome to our Retribution Paladin DPS guide for WoW Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play the Paladin class as Retribution DPS. Click the links #below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Retribution Paladin guide.



Champions of the light, Paladins bring powerful blessings, potent heals, and an array of auras that make them excellent at supporting a raid group. Paladins are also clad in plate armor, making them quite durable and hard to kill in PvP. Perhaps most importantly though, Paladins have a wide array of powerful cooldowns, some of which are considered to be among the most powerful in the game.

While Retribution Paladins are not going to top meters with their damage, they do offer incredibly support tools and cooldowns that can make them worth a raid spot in some groups. Your seals and Judgement Icon Judgement combine to unleash Holy damage upon enemies, which can be reasonably effective when played well. While Retribution Paladins are not considered to be a meta class, they are viable when you put in the effort with extra consumables and prep.

In PvP, Retribution Paladins are walking juggernauts that beat their foes down with auto attacks and Holy damage. While you have limited mobility, your array of powerful cooldowns enables you to take on any player out in the world, and more importantly to support your group when needed. Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice is one of the best stuns in the game, and can be devastating when setting up kill windows on potential targets.


Retribution Paladin in the Season of Mastery

Although the Season of Mastery brings with it a number of changes to how you may experience the content of WoW Classic, these tweaks do not include any adjustments to how you play Retribution Paladin. As such, this guide will cover all you need to know regardless of which version of Classic you wish to play.

However, due to certain pieces of content from later Phases now being available at an earlier date, gearing recommendations for Retribution Paladin will be different. Because of this, we have created additional pages detailing your best in slot items for both pre-raid gear and the current raids available.


Retribution Paladin Strengths

  • Powerful raid buffs;
  • Many important cooldowns;
  • Durable in PvP;
  • Strong off healing;

Retribution Paladin Weaknesses

  • Low sustained damage;
  • Low mobility;
  • Damage toolkit is limited;

Best Races for Retribution Paladins

Paladins are an Alliance only class, meaning you must be Alliance to play a Paladin. Within the Alliance, Paladins can choose to be either Human or Dwarf.



Humans are going to be the best race for Retribution Paladins primarily due to the extra weapon skill you get from Sword Specialization Icon Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization Icon Mace Specialization. In WoW Classic, weapon skill is incredibly important and will increase your chance to hit, reduce glancing blows, and reduce dodged attacks. This is worth going Human for, as it is a significant DPS increase that Dwarfs just cannot match. Humans also have some other nice racial abilities such as Diplomacy Icon Diplomacy which is a nice quality of life bonus when farming important reputations. Perception Icon Perception can also be quite good in PvP, but is situational and hard to use since you need to activate it to detect stealthed targets around you.



Dwarf is a viable race for PvP due to Stoneform Icon Stoneform, but is not a damage increase making them strictly worse in PvE. Stone Form gives you an 8-second immunity to any bleed, poison, or disease, which can be incredibly important in some raids. In AQ40, poisons are incredibly common, making Stone Form invaluable on many bosses. While it will not be meaningful in every raid and dungeon, when it is usable, it is powerful. In PvP, Stone Form is a game changing ability against Rogues and Warriors, and can counter their bleeds and poisons that could potentially kill you. Specifically against Rogues, Blind Icon Blind is considered a poison effect, giving you a free counter against one of their best control spells.

  • Find Treasure Icon Find Treasure allows you to sense nearby treasure, showing it on your minimap.
  • Frost Resistance Icon Frost Resistance increases your frost resistance by 10.
  • Gun Specialization Icon Gun Specialization increases your weapon skill with guns by 5. This is useless for Paladins since you cannot use guns.
  • Stoneform Icon Stoneform is a 3-minute cooldown that makes you immune to bleed, poison, and disease effects for 8 seconds, while also increasing your armor by 10% while active.

Best Races for Retribution Paladin

  • PvE: Human
  • PvP: Human

Best Professions for Retribution Paladins

The best profession to have as a Ret is Engineering. It provides powerful items that you can use in both PvE and PvP content to either deal damage or help you get out of a tough spot. There are several unique items accessible only through Engineering that are considered to be some of the strongest utility items in the game.

While Engineering is a great profession, probably the more important thing to think about is how you plan to make gold. Gold is incredibly important in WoW Classic for a number of reasons and will be quite hard to come by especially at the start. Check out the Paladin Goldmaking section for more information on other potential professions for making gold.



  • 02 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Phase 6.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with Phase 6 Naxxramas Enchants.
  • 06 Aug. 2020 (gear page): Reworked for Phase 5 BiS with alternatives.
  • 26 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Librams.
  • 21 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Added BiS for AQ.
  • 18 May 2020 (enchants page): Updated with current World Buffs as of Phase 4.
  • 14 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Zul'Gurub gear.
  • 14 Apr. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with Zul'Gurub enchants.
  • 13 Mar. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Arathi Basin gear.
  • 23 Feb. 2020 (gear page): Updated for P3.
  • 10 Dec. 2019 (gear page): Added link to PvP gear and BiS page.
  • 09 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Updated with Raid BiS.
  • 22 Oct. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed and no updates were necessary for the release of Dire Maul.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (gear page): Page added.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (enchants page): Page added.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (stats page): Page added.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (rotation page): Page added.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (talents page): Page added.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (spells page): Page added.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (this page): Page added.
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