How To Improve As Retribution Paladin — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Jun 28, 2021 at 18:41 by Urthearso 28 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.


Playing Without Active Aura

You should always have some active aura in any situation.

  • If your group does not have another Paladin, you should use Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura.
  • If your group does have another Paladin who is already using Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura, you should use Retribution Aura Icon Retribution Aura.
  • If you are doing anything in the open world (leveling, world quest, running to a dungeon or world boss etc.), you should use Crusader Aura Icon Crusader Aura.
  • If you are doing PvP, you can use Concentration Aura Icon Concentration Aura. Do not forget to bring the Pure Concentration Icon Pure Concentration finesse Conduit for the additional reduction of fear effects.

Wasting Global Cooldowns

Staying idle in combat and not using all your available Global Cooldowns to actively generate or spend Holy Power is the biggest mistake you can make. Always be casting.


Not Staying Behind Your Target

Staying in front of your target allows the target to block (reduces the damage by 30%) your attacks, or worse, parry (nullifies all damage) them. Always stay behind your target if possible.


Overcapping Holy Power

You should always be conscious about you current Holy Power amount and make sure to use Holy Power spenders before continuing using your Holy Power generators so that you do not exceed the 5 Holy Power cap. You have to learn how much Holy Power your Holy Power generators build, so that you can plan ahead to use them as efficiently as possible while keeping their priority in mind.


Prioritizing Crusader Strike

Using Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike at 2 charges when other Holy Power generators are ready just to get it on cooldown again is huge mistake. Never use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike unless you have no other Holy Power generator left.


Prioritizing Consecration

Using Consecration Icon Consecration with anything but the lowest priority is a massive DPS loss, make sure to only use it when nothing else is available.


Not Using Shield of Vengeance

While Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance is considered a defensive cooldown, you should use it as often as possible in a fight when you can absorb damage for the additional damage gain. If there are important mechanics where you need Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance as a defensive, you should absolutely delay it for that.


Not Using Cooldowns

Not using your cooldowns Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger, Seraphim Icon Seraphim, Final Reckoning Icon Final Reckoning Wake of Ashes Icon Wake of Ashes, and Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence as often as possible leads to a massive damage loss. Always use them on cooldown in given priority and only ever delay them for encounter mechanics that require you to use all cooldowns to counter them. The only reason to always delay Seraphim Icon Seraphim and Wake of Ashes Icon Wake of Ashes for 15 seconds is so you have them ready for Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence. Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger can be delayed to align it with your next Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath if it is going to be the last one that fits into the encounter.


Properly Using Execution Sentence

  • Not applying Judgment Icon Judgment and Final Reckoning Icon Final Reckoning debuffs before casting Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence is a huge mistake, because the final big hit will not benefit from the Holy Spender damage increases.
  • Not building more than 3 Holy Power before casting Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence, so you can roll more damage into the big hit.
  • Make sure to get cooldowns up before casting Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence, because you do not want to waste global cooldowns during the burst window getting cooldowns like Seraphim Icon Seraphim up.

Not Knowing How to Sim Yourself

It is impossible to correctly play and optimize a Retribution Paladin without using Raidbots to sim your own character, as there are simply too many variables involved to intuitively figure out what gear to wear and so on without simming it first. Generally speaking, a simulation should be the first and final say in the gear you end up wearing for any given situation.

On top of this, simming is now very easy with no need to understand SimulationCraft APLs or installation yourself. All you will need is the in-game SimulationCraft AddOn, and the Raidbots website. Below you can find a video on how to sim your own character using the website.


Analyzing Your Mistakes as a Retribution Paladin

When it comes to identifying and improving your mistakes, we strongly recommend the website WoWAnalyzer — it will analyze your logs and give you a report detailing how you did on the problems above and more.



  • 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 10 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Execution Sentence and Final Reckoning changes.
  • 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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