Retribution Paladin DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.1
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 9.1.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Retribution Paladin 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||Empyrean Power||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 (With 3 Holy Power or more).
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 (With 2 Holy Power or less).
- Cast Hammer of Wrath (With 4 Holy Power or less).
- Cast Blade of Justice (With 3 Holy Power or less).
- Cast Judgment (With 4 Holy Power or less).
- Cast Crusader Strike at 2 charges (With 4 Holy Power or less).
- Cast Consecration.
- Cast Crusader Strike at 1 charge (With 4 Holy Power or less).
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
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 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. Always use Seraphim before using Wake of Ashes or delay both to use it together with Final Reckoning. Make sure to use Seraphim before using Avenging Wrath if possible, because you do not want to waste the global cooldown during Avenging Wrath.
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 also use Holy Avenger with the first Holy Power Generator during Avenging Wrath, because it does not trigger the 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 know 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 break crowd control on 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.
- If using the Radiant Embers Legendary Power, be aware that your hallowed area will despawn once you take a single step outside of the circle. Make sure that you only use Ashen Hallow with this Legendary Power when you are absolutely sure you will not have to move out and make your area despawn before you wanted it to. Unintentionally despawning the circle can make this Legendary Power a large damage loss over other Legendary Powers since the cooldown reduction will not make up for this at all.
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 Toll's value is strongly tied to how many enemies you can hit, so make sure to use it on multiple enemies whenever possible.
- Divine Toll sometimes pulls enemies that are out of combat, so make sure to hold some safety distance to mobs you do not want to pull.
- Always cast Divine Toll during Execution Sentence (if talented).
- The Ringing Clarity Conduit rolls three separate chances for up to three extra hits on your current target, the procs are pooled and then released one after another in roughly 0.3-second intervals.
- If your use the Divine Resonance Legendary Power, the extra Judgments that will be thrown every couple of seconds on your current target will only deal unbuffed damage. They do apply the Judgement debuff and generate Holy Power however, so be aware of those implications by making sure you are not overcapping Holy Power and consume existing Judgement debuffs on your current target before the extra Judgements will trigger.
Before using Blessing of the Seasons, there are a few details to learn beforehand.
- 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 desirable Blessings.
- If using the Seasons of Plenty Legendary Power, make sure to communicate with your Blessing targets that they will see a huge increase in Blessing effectiveness after 10 seconds during the Blessing's duration so they can consider how to utilize their cooldowns to make the most of this spike in power.
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 three things to learn about how to merge the Covenant Ability into your rotation.
- Vanquisher's Hammer generates 1 Holy Power.
- Always use Vanquisher's Hammer on cooldown.
- Always use Vanquisher's Hammer during Avenging Wrath whenever possible.
- If using the Duty-Bound Gavel Legendary Power, you should consider waiting for 2 charges and then use them together with other cooldowns and trinkets every 1-minute similar to how Kyrian Retribution Paladins play. If talented, Execution Sentence, Seraphim, and Final Reckoning should always be used together with these 2 charges.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 20 May 2021: Updated Consecration priority.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated for the Vanquisher's Hammer change.
- 04 Mar. 2021: Increased Hammer of Wrath priority.
- 16 Jan. 2021: Added Divine Toll Holy Power note.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- J. Allen Brack Game Maker's Notebook Interview From Just Before the Lawsuit
- Patch 9.1 Hotfixes: August 2nd
- Fly Without a Mount, Cast Spells, Even in Instances on BCC PTR!
- Sanctum of Domination Mythic and Heroic DPS Log Rankings, Week 4: A Look At Individual Bosses
- Teldrassil Animated Wallpaper Engine and Fan Art (Both During and Pre-Burning)
- Advanced Nightborne Customization (Fan Concept)
- The Most Popular DPS for Mythic+ in Shadowlands Season 2 (Week of July 27)
- Korthia Rift Treasures Suggested Map, Route and Tips