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Retribution Paladin DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Nov 27, 2017 at 22:14 by Vlad 299 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Retribution Paladin core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3.5. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Retribution Paladin.

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

About Our Reviewers

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Fardion, a top Retribution Paladin. You can follow him on Twitter, and you can also reach him on the official Paladin Discord channel if you have any questions about the spec.

1. Single Target Rotation

The single target rotation for Retribution Paladins revolves around dealing as much damage with your Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict (and Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence, if using this talent) as possible to the target while they are debuffed by your Judgment Icon Judgment. Therefore, you will always want to generate Holy Power while Judgment is on cooldown, use Judgment, and use your Holy Power while the target is debuffed.

  1. Generate Holy Power
    • Use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike and Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice to generate Holy Power.
      • Always make sure that at least one of its 2 charges is used and charging.
      • Make sure never to over-cap your Holy Power.
      • If you have the Righteous Verdict Icon Righteous Verdict Artifact trait, try to make sure you are benefiting from it when you using Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice (by using a Holy Power spender before Blade of Justice, if you have the Holy Power for it).
  2. Cast Judgment Icon Judgment.
    • This debuffs the target to take increased damage from your Holy Power spenders for 8 seconds.
  3. During the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff, cast Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict and Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence (if you have taken this talent), and use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike if you need to generate more Holy Power.

During Judgment Icon Judgment, you will have to generate additional Holy Power in order to use as many spenders as possible. If you have the  Icon Ashes to Ashes golden Artifact trait, then you should use  Icon Wake of Ashes at this time, as it generates 5 Holy Power.

You should make it a point to have the debuff applied by Judgment Icon Judgment active when you use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict. It is recommended to delay casting your abilities very slightly to facilitate this.

In order to better understand this rotation, you must understand the subtleties related to Holy Power. Please read our section that deals with Holy Power.

2. Opening Rotation

This is the sequence of abilities you should use at the start of the encounter. This depends on whether or not you have the Liadrin's Fury Unleashed Icon Liadrin's Fury Unleashed legendary ring, and on whether or not you are using Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence.

2.1. With Liadrin's Fury Unleashead

  1. Prepot;
  2. Precast Judgment Icon Judgment if Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust is going to be used at the start of the fight; otherwise, use it between steps 4 and 5.
  3. Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice;
  4. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike (or Zeal Icon Zeal);
  5. Crusade Icon Crusade + Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  6. Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent + Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict (if Blood Elf) OR Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike (if not Blood Elf);
  7.  Icon Wake of Ashes;
  8. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  9. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  10. Continue your normal rotation.

Special thanks goes to Khunee from the Paladin Discord for this rotation.

2.2. Without Liadrin's Fury Unleashed

  1. Prepot;
  2. Judgment Icon Judgment;
  3. Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice;
  4. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike (skip this step if you have 4-piece Tier 21 Set Bonus);
  5. Crusade Icon Crusade + Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence (if using this talent) OR Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  6.  Icon Wake of Ashes;
  7. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  8. Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike or Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent (if Blood Elf);
  9. Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict;
  10. Continue your normal rotation.

3. Multiple Target Rotation

When facing multiple enemies, you will be using mostly the same rotation as above, except that you should replace Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict with Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm when it deals more damage against multiple targets than Templar's Verdict deals against a single target. If you have a fully unlocked Artifact weapon (with all 3 golden traits), then it is worth using Divine Storm even against 2 targets. Otherwise, you should use it when facing 3 or more targets.

You will still want to build Holy Power outside of Judgment Icon Judgment, and then use this Holy Power during the Judgment debuff to damage the targets with your Holy Power spenders.

If you have the Righteous Verdict Icon Righteous Verdict Artifact trait, you should make sure to have its buff active before you use Divine Hammer Icon Divine Hammer, especially if you are waiting for a group of adds to spawn.

4. Cooldown Usage

As a Retribution Paladin, you only have one DPS cooldown by default, Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath. It should be used as many times as possible during the encounter. The best time to use it is while the debuff applied by Judgment Icon Judgment is active and you are using your Holy Power spenders.

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 Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp.

Your talents can provide you with a few other important abilities. We cover them in a subsequent section.

In addition to this, you have an ability called Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance. This grants you a 15-second damage absorption shield (which absorbs up to a moderate amount of damage), which explodes when it is consumed by damage, dealing this damage as 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).

5. 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.

5.1. Mastery: Divine Judgment

Your Mastery: Divine Judgment Icon Mastery: Divine Judgment increases the damage done by your Judgment Icon Judgment, as well as the damage increase that the Judgment debuff provides to your Holy Power spenders.

5.2. Artifact Ability

Your Artifact ability,  Icon Wake of Ashes, deals damage to enemies in front of you and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. With the  Icon Ashes to Ashes trait, Wake of Ashes also generates 5 Holy Power when used.

The above rotations mention when and how to use  Icon Wake of Ashes, but essentially it should only be used as a Holy Power generator.

5.3. Holy Power Subtleties

You can have up to a maximum of 5 Holy Power at one time. Only one ability, Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance, consumes more than 3 Holy Power (it consumes 5, although this should never be cast without a Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose proc).

Holy Power should be spent, whenever possible, while the target is debuffed by Judgment Icon Judgment, since they take increased damage from Holy Power spenders at this time. If Judgment is not active and it is on cooldown, then you should pool Holy Power to 5. It is not advised that you generate additional Holy Power once you are at the cap (since it would go to waste), but if Judgment is too far off, you can use a Holy Power spender to prevent you from wasting Holy Power.

5.4. Abilities and Cooldowns from Talents

5.4.1. Tier 7 Talents

If you have taken Crusade Icon Crusade, then you should use this ability as often as possible throughout the fight.

Holy Wrath Icon Holy Wrath should be used as often as possible throughout the encounter in order to damage multiple targets. Note that you must be low on health for this to be effective. The lower your health is, the better, and you can even purposefully take damage for this reason (but be careful not to put your life in danger).

6. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 27 Nov. 2017: Updated a mention that referred to using the 2-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus to now refer to the Tier 21 Set Bonuses.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated rotation slightly to mention using Execution Sentence before Judgment so that it lands during the Judgment window.
  • 18 Jul. 2017: Added Wake of Ashes to the opening rotation (omitting it was an error).
  • 10 Jul. 2017: Updated the opening rotation with Liadrin's Fury Unleashed.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Made a small tweak to the opening rotation (without the legendary ring).
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Added mentions to both single and multiple target rotations to help take advantage of some of the Artifact traits added in Patch 7.2.
  • 31 Jan. 2017: Made an improvement to the Divine Storm usage against multiple targets.
  • 17 Jan. 2017: Moved Judgment up on the priority lists for the opening rotations.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Tweaked and improved the opening rotations.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated the rotation and opening rotation, and removed mentions of Greater Blessing of Might (since it is no longer in the game).
  • 27 Nov. 2016: Updated the Holy Power section of the guide and removed mentions to some talents that are never recommended.
  • 16 Nov. 2016: Updated the Greater Blessing of Might recommendation since the previous recommendation was made invalid.
  • 14 Nov. 2016: Added a mention about using Greater Blessing of Might.
  • 31 Oct. 2016: Updated the opening rotation.
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Updated the page to account for the change of Blade of Wrath into a passive talent.
  • 29 Sep. 2016: Removed Justicar's Vengeance from the rotation, since this talent is no longer viable for progression content.
  • 15 Sep. 2016: Removed Execution Sentence from the rotation, since this talent is no longer viable.
  • 08 Sep. 2016: Added more details to Holy Wrath usage.
  • 04 Sep. 2016: Fixed a small error in the description of Shield of Vengeance.
  • 30 Aug. 2016: Added a clarification that Justicar's Vengeance should no longer be used once you have the Echo of the Highlord Artifact trait.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 29 Jul. 2016: Added a mention that Justicar's Vengeance is a Holy Power spender that benefits from the Judgment debuff.
  • 21 Jul. 2016: Fixed a few minor inconsistencies regarding Holy Power pooling and spending (does not affect rotation).
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Completely revamped the single target rotation and added an opening rotation.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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