Retribution Paladin DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.0.2
On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Retribution Paladin in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Retribution Paladin DPS rotation.
Single Target Rotation for Retribution Paladins
Please check the additional Holy Power Generators, Spenders, and Cooldowns, which are to be considered on this page.
|Arcane Torrent||Execution Sentence||Final Reckoning|
|Divine Toll||Holy Avenger|
|Blessing of the Seasons|
The single target rotation consists of alternating Holy Power generation and Holy Power expenditure while utilizing cooldowns.
We begin with using cooldowns if their conditions are met.
Always cast Avenging Wrath on cooldown.
Then, follow the Holy Power generator priority to build Holy Power until you are either at 5 Holy Power, or until the next generator you use would put you over 5 Holy Power (thus wasting the excess).
- Cast Wake of Ashes.
- Cast Blade of Justice.
- Cast Hammer of Wrath.
- Cast Judgment.
- Cast Crusader Strike at 2 charges.
- Cast Crusader Strike at 1 charge.
- Cast Consecration.
To spend your Holy Power, use the following priority.
- Cast Templar's Verdict.
It is important to note that, when generating Holy Power, if you have enough Holy Power to spend, and you have only 1 Crusader Strike charge available, you should immediately stop generating Holy Power and go to the Holy Power-spending priority list. This changes slightly when Avenging Wrath is active, or if your target has less than 20% Health. In those situations you already want to spend Holy Power even if Crusader Strike at 2 charges is available.
Multiple Target Rotation for Retribution Paladins
Cooldown Usage for Retribution Paladins
As a Retribution Paladin, you only have one DPS cooldown by default, Avenging Wrath. It should be used as many times as possible during the encounter.
It is also worth attempting to time it so that it is up during key points of the fight (when you require burst damage) such as on the pull, when the boss is taking increased damage, or when adds are spawning. You should also attempt to stack Avenging Wrath with Heroism/ Bloodlust/ Time Warp.
Your talents can provide you with a few other important abilities. We cover them in the Talent section.
Each Covenant choice provides you with different extra abilities. You can find additional details about each of them in the Covenant section.
Shield of Vengeance grants you a 15-second damage absorption shield (which absorbs up to 30% of your maximum Health), which explodes when it expires or is consumed by damage. This explosion deals Holy damage divided between all enemies within 8 yards. You can use this ability both defensively (to protect yourself from damage) and offensively (to reflect damage taken on to your enemies, even by sometimes standing in harmful effects to proc the shield).
Optional Read: Mastering Your Retribution Paladin
In this section, we will give you more details about how to execute your rotation based on the priorities mentioned above.
Note that, if you enter combat with a Raid encounter, it will set your Holy Power to 1. If you engage as the very first player with Blade of Justice, it will only generate 1 Holy Power, because it was not cast during combat. To avoid this issue, use Judgment as your first ability instead.
Abilities and Cooldowns from Talents
Level 15 Talents
If you have taken Execution Sentence, then you should use this ability as often as possible throughout the fight. Always use Judgment and Final Reckoning before using Execution Sentence on a target, otherwise it will not benefit from the Holy Spender damage taken debuffs provided.
Level 25 Talents
If you have taken Divine Purpose and also play with Divine Purpose, always first consume the Divine Purpose with another Holy Power spender than Divine Storm, otherwise it will consume both at the same time.
Level 40 Talents
If you have taken Seraphim, then use this ability as often as possible throughout the fight. You can delay it if you know there will be adds spawning soon. Make sure to use Seraphim before using Avenging Wrath if possible, because of the GCD. Always use Seraphim before using Wake of Ashes.
If you have taken Holy Avenger, then use this ability as often as possible throughout the fight. You can delay it if you know there will be adds spawning soon. You can use Holy Avenger during Avenging Wrath, because it does not cause a global cooldown.
Level 50 Talents
If you have taken Crusade, then you should use this ability as often as possible throughout the fight.
If you have taken Final Reckoning, then you want to make sure to only use it when you have at least 3 Holy Power. If you also use Execution Sentence, you want to make sure to always use Final Reckoning before Execution Sentence.
Abilities and Cooldowns from Covenants
Before using Ashen Hallow, there are many details to learn beforehand.
- Because of the 30-second duration, you need to plan the usage of Ashen Hallow ahead of time to achieve the best possible outcome.
- Use Ashen Hallow as long as you long that your targets wont move out of the circle for some time. If you are in a pre-made group, you can communicate with your tank to make sure they dont move the enemies outside of your circle.
- Make sure you stand in a safe position that wont be dangerous to stay in for the next 1.5-second duration of the cast.
- Absolutely cast Ashen Hallow before using all your other cooldowns, otherwise you will waste precious time during your time-limited peak state.
- Ashen Hallow will not attack or pull enemies that are not in combat.
- Hammer of Wrath does double damage while you stay inside the circle, make sure to prioritize it properly.
- Do not think that because Ashen Hallow allows you to use Hammer of Wrath freely while staying inside the circle, that you should not use it together with Avenging Wrath to extend the duration, during which you can freely use Hammer of Wrath. This is a common mistake.
- Always use Ashen Hallow first, and then immediately use Avenging Wrath right afterwards to maximize your burst. The Ashen Hallow and itss Conduit Hallowed Discernment are buffed by Avenging Wrath. Never split those two, the cooldown already aligns every Ashen Hallow with every second Avenging Wrath.
Unless you need to keep Door of Shadows ready to escape from some encounter mechanic, use it to quickly travel to your enemies to reduce downtime and therefore increase your DPS.
Before using Divine Toll, there are a few details to learn beforehand.
- Divine Toll casts Judgment on up to 5 nearby enemies.
- Each Judgment will do 100% increased damage.
- Each Judgment will generate 1 Holy Power, up to 5 total.
- Each Judgment will apply their consumable 25% Holy Power spender damage taken debuff.
- Divine Tolls value is very tied to how many enemies you can hit, so make sure to use it on multiple enemies whenever possible.
- Divine Toll somtimes pulls enemies that are out of combat, so make sure to hold some safety distance to mobs you dont want to pull.
Before using Blessing of the Seasons, there are a few details to learn beforehand.
- Use Blessing of Summer on someone who attacks with few, but hard single hit abilities. Arcane Mages are the best choice.
- Blessing of Summer deals Holy damage, but does not gain increased Holy damage from Mastery: Hand of Light.
- Use Blessing of Autumn on someone in your group who is using his big damage cooldowns.
- Blessing of Autumn grants 30% cooldown-recovery speed, not cooldown reduction.
- If you are in a group, but you cannot communicate with them, use Blessing of Autumn on yourself.
- Use Blessing of Winter on someone who attacks very fast, preferably dual wielding players.
- Use Blessing of Spring on a tank or healer and make sure to use it on cooldown to quickly rotate to your more potent blessings.
- Use the blessings before entering combat whenever applicable.
- You can use the blessings while running between trash packs to rotate to the more desireable blessings.
Unless you need to keep Soulshape ready to escape from some encounter mechanic, use it to quickly travel to your enemies to reduce downtime and therefore increase your DPS.
Before using Vanquisher's Hammer, there are two last things to learn about how to merge the Covenant Abilties into your rotation.
- Always use Vanquisher's Hammer on cooldown.
- Always use Vanquisher's Hammer during Avenging Wrath whenever possible.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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