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Retribution Paladin in Battle for Azeroth (BfA)

Last updated on Jun 14, 2018 at 18:45 by urthearso 301 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find information on how to play your Retribution Paladin in Battle for Azeroth. Because the new expansion is still in beta, this guide is simply here to help you perform better in the beta or to give you a sneak peek into what the new expansion has in store for your class.

The other pages of our Retribution Paladin guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Urthearso, theorycrafter for Retribution Paladins. If you have any questions about the spec you can reach him on the official Paladin Discord and Twitter.

1. Foreword

This page will be an introduction to the spec in Battle for Azeroth, going over the abilities, mechanics, and baseline rotation. The primary goal is to help players make a decision on choosing a spec in Battle for Azeroth, and offering the uninitiated a peek into the spec to see if they will find it interesting. Everything here is an early draft of what may end up in the actual Battle for Azeroth guides on release, so there is plenty of room for feedback and optimizing.

In Battle for Azeroth, the Retribution playstyle stays similar to Legion. The Mastery has been changed and now increases all Holy damage done. The Judgment window, which you had to fit all your finishers into, is gone. With the new Mastery, the balance between Holy Power generators and spenders has been redefined. Spenders in general make up less of your total damage and properly prioritizing generators is more important. The iconic Retribution abilities Hammer of Wrath Icon Hammer of Wrath and Inquisition Icon Inquisition are making a comeback in the form of talents to complement our Legion talent tree, together with new additions. Overall, the diversity in both gameplay and decision-making has been improved.

2. Basic Mechanics Changes for Retribution Paladin in BfA

3. Baseline Abilities & Changes for Retribution Paladin in BfA

  • Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath now grants 20% damage, healing, and Critical Strike chance.
  • Judgment Icon Judgment now generates 1 Holy Power, and causes the target to take 25% increased damage from only your next Holy Power spender.
  • Art of War Icon Art of War is a new passive, giving us the Legion version of Blade of Wrath with half proc rate at 2 procs per minute.
  • Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance's absorb shield now equals 30% of your maximum Health. It will burst after 15 seconds, and deal divided Holy damage to nearby enemies, equal to the absorbed amount. The absorb shield and damage do not get increased by any damage modifiers.
  • Retribution Icon Retribution's duration has been halved to 10 seconds.
  • Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike's cooldown has been increased to 6 seconds, up from 4.5.
  • Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed's cooldown has been increased to 60 seconds, up from 45.

4. The BfA Retribution Paladin Talent Tree

BfA Retribution Talent Tree

Some old talents make a return, while there are plenty of new ones. This list will only contain ones that are either new or changed from Legion. The new ones include:

4.1. Level 15 — Single Target

  • Zeal Icon Zeal is a new passive, causing your Judgment Icon Judgment to increase the attack speed of your next 3 auto attacks by 50% and deal additional Holy damage. The Zeal buff lasts 20 seconds and can store up to 9 buffed auto attacks.
  • Righteous Verdict Icon Righteous Verdict increases our Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict damage by 15% for 6 seconds after casting Templar's Verdict. Essentially, Whisper of the Nathrezim Icon Whisper of the Nathrezim reworked into a talent.
  • Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence has been changed into a 30-second cooldown, no longer reduced by Haste. It now deals upfront Holy damage and causes the target to take 20% increased Holy damage for 12 seconds.

4.2. Level 30 — Holy Power Generation

4.3. Level 45 — Crowd Control

  • Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice now reduces the remaining cooldown on Hammer of Justice by 2 seconds per Holy Power spent, down from 2.5.

4.4. Level 60 — Hybrid Cleave

  • Divine Judgment Icon Divine Judgment builds one stack per enemy hit by your Holy Power spenders, and stacks up to 15 times. Each stack increases the damage of your next Judgment Icon Judgment by 20%. Essentially, it is a talent to increase priority target damage while cleaving as many enemies as possible with Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm. In single target situations Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict only builds a few stacks before each Judgment, resulting in a very small damage increase.
  • Consecration Icon Consecration now generates 1 Holy Power and the cooldown has been changed to 20 seconds, not reduced by Haste. The duration has been changed to 6 seconds, while in Legion the duration was equal to the cooldown. Consecration is still very immobile in nature, but the front-loaded approach makes it easier to utilize.
  • Wake of Ashes Icon Wake of Ashes is the reincarnation of our Artifact Ability.
    • Cooldown has been increased to 45 seconds, up from 30.
    • Slow and Demon/Undead stun duration has been reduced to 5 seconds, down from 6.
    • The 5 Holy Power generation from the Artifact Trait Ashes to Ashes has been inherited.
    • Now the 5 Holy Power will always be generated, regardless of if you hit an enemy or not.

4.5. Level 75 — Defensives & Mobility

4.6. Level 90 — Heals

  • Selfless Healer Icon Selfless Healer causes Holy Power spenders to reduce the cast time of your next Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light by 25%, and increases its healing done by 10%. Stacks up to 4 times.
  • Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance has moved from the level 75 row to the level 90 row. Increased damage on stunned targets has been halved to 50%.
  • Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory has moved from the level 75 row to the level 90 row. It now heals a friendly target in 40 yards range and the 2 most injured friendly targets within 30 yards radius.

4.7. Level 100

  • Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose procs now make the next Holy Power consumer free and deal 20% increased damage and healing. Additionally, the proc chance has been reduced to 15%, down from 20%.
  • Crusade Icon Crusade's duration has been increased to 25 seconds, up from 20. It has a maximum of 10 stacks, down from 15.
  • Inquisition Icon Inquisition is a Holy Power spender, bringing back a buff that we have to maintain at all times. This buff increases our damage and Haste by 8%. The buff lasts 15 seconds per Holy Power spent, up to 3 Holy Power. To refresh the buff you want to recast it with at least 2 Holy Power below 13 seconds left. You never want to refresh during Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, so make sure it has at least 20 seconds left before using it.

5. Azerite Traits for Retribution Paladin

Azerite Traits are the new version of the Artifact traits of Legion. They are a mix of small defensive/utility and damage boosts. None of the Azerite traits so far have a strong influence on how you play, though this may well change as more are released. As it stands right now, we will most likely be using sims in Battle for Azeroth to figure out the optimal traits, although in many cases there is only one choice of trait per spec, as well as a generic one that benefits all specs. In this instance you will usually choose the Retribution-specific trait, but sometimes the generic one can be better.

6. Baseline Single Target Rotation for Retribution Paladin in BfA

The baseline rotation for Retribution is easier than before, while staying very similar to Legion. With the new Mastery: Hand of Light Icon Mastery: Hand of Light you no longer have to delay any Holy Power spenders while waiting to open the Judgment window.

Retribution is still about generating Holy Power and spending it. The goal is always to prioritize Holy Power generators over others, and using the more important ones as often as possible. Make sure to prioritize the generator Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice after resetting it with Art of War Icon Art of War.

  1. Cast Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath on cooldown.
  2. Cast the Holy Power generators in the following priority to generate Holy Power:
    1. Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice
    2. Judgment Icon Judgment
    3. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike
  3. Cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict once you are either at the 5 Holy Power cap, or when there are only Holy Power generators left that would over-cap your Holy Power.

7. Multiple Target Rotation for Retribution Paladin in BfA

To generate Holy Power, you will be using the same priority list as above. Whenever you are facing 3 or more targets, you should replace Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict with Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm.

8. ChangeLog

  • 14 Jun. 2018: Updated the new Art of War passive, changes to Blade of Wrath changes, Divine Purpose, Selfless Healer, Divine Judgment, and Fires of Justice.
  • 02 Jun. 2018: Updated to reflect the changes to Word of Glory.
  • 30 May 2018: Fixed typos.
  • 29 May 2018: Page added.
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