How To Improve As Retribution Paladin — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Jan 14, 2020 at 00:00 by Urthearso 70 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.


Not 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.


Staying Behind Your Target

Staying in front of your target allows the target to block (reduce the damage by 30%) your attacks, or worse parry (nullifies all damage) them. This concerns auto attacks, Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike, Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict, and the Holy damage of Zeal Icon Zeal. Always stay behind your target.


Not 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.


Not 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.


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 (up to 4% additional damage for single target, depending on your gear). 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.


Using Cooldowns

Not using your cooldowns Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, Wake of Ashes Icon Wake of Ashes, Consecration Icon Consecration, 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.


Not Delaying Execution Sentence

Delaying Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence to use it together with other cooldowns like Wake of Ashes Icon Wake of Ashes, Consecration Icon Consecration or after pooling Holy Power sounds like a good plan, but it is not. Never delay Execution Sentence, and it will naturally align with your Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, which is the most important thing. Only delay Execution Sentence if you accidentally delayed it earlier and Avenging Wrath is ready in a few seconds.


Not Delaying Judgment with Divine Judgment

Delaying Judgment Icon Judgment to use it with a higher amount of stacks of Divine Judgment Icon Divine Judgment makes no sense at all. If you use one Judgment with a few stacks, and then another one when Judgment is ready again, it will contain all the stacks that you build in-between. The damage gain will be the same as if you delayed Judgment for its full cooldown and then used it with a higher stack count. Not only do you not get a higher amplification from Divine Judgment, but you would also loose a full cast of Judgment, losing you the raw Judgment damage, the 20% Holy Power spender amplification, and the Holy Power in the process. Never delay Judgment.


Having High Inquisition Uptime

Maintaining Inquisition Icon Inquisition is not for everyone, but if use it, you have to commit yourself to try to maintain a 99% uptime of the Inquisition Icon Inquisition buff. If you can not maintain a high uptime, choose a different talent.


Equipping too much Corruption

Corrupted gear theoretically increases your overall damage, but that only holds true if you are not constantly trying not to die from the side effects of high Corruption. Playing within safe corruption thresholds very likely will increase your uptime and give you more damage while also keeping you alive.


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.



  • 14 Jan. 2020: Updated for Patch 8.3. Added high Corruption vs uptime note.
  • 24 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 15 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
  • 11 Mar. 2019: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1.5 and no changes are necessary.
  • 21 Jan. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the opening of Battle of Dazar'alor and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
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