Retribution Paladin DPS Guide — Season 4

Last updated on Apr 22, 2024 at 12:50 by Bolas 56 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Retribution Paladin guide for World of Warcraft — Season 4. Here, you will learn how to play as a Retribution Paladin in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

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


Retribution Paladin Overview

Retribution is the melee DPS spec of Paladin. It can use the wide array of utility options that Paladin is known for, including its sought-after Auras, along with some incredibly strong defensive abilities. Retribution is one of the most popular specs in the game due to its strong class fantasy and good all-round damage and utility toolkit.


Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Strong defensive cooldowns, including Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, Divine Protection Icon Divine Protection, and Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance.
  • +Brings raid-wide Aura buffs with Retribution Aura Icon Retribution Aura and Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura.
  • +Excellent utility options, including Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Sacrifice Icon Blessing of Sacrifice, and Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom.
X Weaknesses
  • -Mobility options are limited, and are poor at dealing with knockback effects.
  • -Difficulty taking cleave talents while maintaining high single-target output.

Dragonflight Changes for Paladins

We are maintaining a list of changes for Paladins, so you can see what changes with every patch of Dragonflight.


Retribution Paladin and Guide Changes for Season 4

  • Retribution has received no changes in Season 4.
  • Bullion section added to the Gear guide.

Leveling a Retribution Paladin

If you would like to play a Retribution Paladin but do not yet have one at max level, you can refer to our leveling guide.

Once you reach max level, it can be overwhelming to completely change your UI by suddenly implementing a lot of different add-ons, especially if they have a large visual impact on your UI. We recommend using some of the more basic add-ons recommended on our add-ons page below while leveling so that you are used to them by the time you get to endgame content.


Basics of Retribution Paladin Gameplay

Retribution gameplay revolves around managing your Holy Power and maximizing your spells’ cooldowns and GCDs. It can be reactive, but especially during cooldowns, it will be very important to plan your casts several spells ahead in order to not accidentally waste Holy Power.

There are two popular talent builds with different gameplay styles. Crusading Strikes Icon Crusading Strikes is the most popular by far, which includes a lot more passive Holy Power generation but has a significant amount of downtime in its rotation. Templar Strikes Icon Templar Strikes or base Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike is the alternative, which will require a bit more focus on maximizing individual GCDs and generally has more control over its Holy Power generation.

If you are an absolute beginner to Retribution and would like to learn the fundamentals of the class, we recommend looking through the Spell Summary, as well as the Easy Mode page linked below.

If you are already fairly familiar with Retribution Paladin, you can jump straight to the details on how to best perform.


How to Gear Up as a Retribution Paladin

Although gearing has become much more complex due to the many variables that can depend on your character, you can find information on how best to gear as Retribution on our dedicated gearing page.

Once you have started to gear up, you will want to ensure you have the appropriate consumables, gems, enchants, and more. We have a dedicated page for exactly this, as shown below, and the stats page, where you can find more information on the possibility of a changing stat priority and the necessary changes you may need to make for consumables.


End-Game as a Retribution Paladin

The playstyle and gear you use in endgame content as a Retribution Paladin can look very different from when you start out. Our Mythic+, Raiding, and PvP guides can guide you to perform as well as possible, regardless of your focus on endgame content.


Improving as a Retribution Paladin

It can sometimes be difficult to identify exactly what you need to work on to improve your performance. Many players will run into similar issues, so we have set up specific pages to address any common questions or problems Retribution players face.


Retribution Paladin Viability in Dragonflight

Retribution is comfortably viable as a spec. It has strong defensives and group utility that makes it valuable in any type of content. Its damage throughput is currently fairly strong, but talent limitations mean that you will generally be pigeonholed into focusing on either single-target or AoE damage.



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