Retribution Paladin DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Retribution Paladin talents.
Talent Choices for Retribution Paladin
|15||✓ Zeal||✓ Righteous Verdict||✓ Execution Sentence|
|25||✓ Fires of Justice||✓ Blade of Wrath||✓ Empyrean Power|
|30||✓ Fist of Justice||? Repentance||✓ Blinding Light|
|35||✓ Unbreakable Spirit||✓ Cavalier||✓ Eye for an Eye|
|40||✗ Divine Purpose||✗ Holy Avenger||✓ Seraphim|
|45||✓ Selfless Healer||✗ Justicar's Vengeance||✓ Healing Hands|
|50||✓ Sanctified Wrath||? Crusade||✓ Final Reckoning|
Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
If you wish to have a boss-by-boss breakdown of talent choices, you should check out our dedicated page below.
Mythic+ can potentially require a mix of certain AoE and single-target talents, depending on affixes and other variables. If you want advice that is specific to Mythic+, you should check out our page below.
How To Use Retribution Paladin Talents
Some talents will require you to play in a particular way to get the most out of them. You can find more information on how your rotation will look after selecting your talents on our rotation page below.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✔ Zeal||✔ Righteous Verdict||✔ Execution Sentence|
- Zeal causes your Judgment to buff your next 3 auto attacks, causing them to occur 30% faster and deal additional Holy damage. The Zeal buff lasts 20 seconds and can store up to 9 buffed auto attacks.
- Righteous Verdict increases Templar's Verdict's damage by 15% for 6 seconds after casting Templar's Verdict.
- Execution Sentence is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown, 30-yard range, and which costs 3 Holy Power. On cast it applies a debuff, which after 8 seconds runs out and does a high amount of Holy damage + 20% of all damage taken by you during the 8-second debuff window, all in a single hit. This ability cannot critically strike.
Both Righteous Verdict and Zeal are recommended choices for consistent single-target situations, but once you have any situation where you actively cleave by replacing Templar's Verdict with Divine Storm, or frequently drop the Righteous Verdict buff, Zeal will pull ahead for its ability to maintain its priority-target damage regardless of which type of spender you use.
Zeal is currently the recommended choice in this tier for cleave situations. The increased auto attack speed grants more Blade of Justice resets via the Art of War passive and therefore increases your Holy Power available to spend on more Divine Storms.
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✔ Fires of Justice||✔ Blade of Wrath||✔ Empyrean Power|
- Fires of Justice reduces the cooldown of Crusader Strike by 15% and gives it a 15% chance to reduce the cost of your next Holy Power spender by 1.
- Blade of Wrath doubles the proc rate of Art of War and increases the damage of the procs by 25%.
- Empyrean Power grants Crusader Strike a 15% chance to make your next Divine Storm free and deal 25% additional damage.
Blade of Wrath is currently the recommended choice in this tier for single-target. It works fine for cleave.
Empyrean Power is currently the recommended choice in this tier for cleave. It works fine for single-target.
Fires of Justice should only be used if it simulates better for your own character.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✔ Fist of Justice||? Repentance||✔ Blinding Light|
- Fist of Justice causes each Holy Power spent to reduce the remaining cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 2 seconds.
- Repentance is an active ability with an 15-second cooldown. It is a form of crowd-control that incapacitates the target for up to 1 minute. Damage done will break the effect. Repentance can only be used against Humanoids, Demons, Undead, Dragonkin, and Giants.
- Blinding Light is an active ability with an 90-second cooldown. It disorients all enemies within a 10-yard radius around you for 6 seconds. Non-holy damage done to them will break the disorient effect.
The talents in this tier are situational and have no effect on your DPS. Blinding Light is currently the recommended choice in this tier, due to its use as an AoE interrupt. In raids, you should choose based on the requirements of the encounter.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✔ Unbreakable Spirit||✔ Cavalier||✔ Eye for an Eye|
- Unbreakable Spirit passively reduces the cooldown of your Divine Shield, Shield of Vengeance, and Lay on Hands by 30%.
- Cavalier causes your Divine Steed to have 2 charges.
- Eye for an Eye is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown. It lasts 10 seconds, during which time it reduces the Physical damage you take by 35% and causes you to instantly counterattack any enemy that strikes you with a melee attack (dealing Physical damage to them).
In raids, we recommend Unbreakable Spirit as the default choice, mainly allowing you to use Shield of Vengeance more frequently, which slightly increases your damage dealt. You can switch to Eye for an Eye for Physical damage heavy encounters. Lastly, if you absolutely need additional mobility for raid encounters, you can use Cavalier.
Cavalier is currently the recommended choice in this tier for dungeons.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✘ Divine Purpose||✘ Holy Avenger||✔ Seraphim|
- Divine Purpose causes your Holy Power spending abilities to have a 15% chance to make your next Holy Power spending ability free and deal 20% increased damage and healing.
- Holy Avenger provides a 3-minute cooldown that triples all Holy Power generation for its 20-second duration.
- Seraphim is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown and costs 3 Holy Power. It grants 8% Haste, Critical Strike, Versatility, and 12.8% Mastery for its 15-second duration.
Seraphim is currently the recommended choice in this tier.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✔ Selfless Healer||✘ Justicar's Vengeance||✔ Healing Hands|
- Selfless Healer causes Holy Power spenders to reduce the cast time of your next Flash of Light by 25% and increase its healing done by 10%. It stacks up to 4 times.
- Justicar's Vengeance is an active ability that has no cooldown but costs 5 Holy Power. It deals a moderate amount of Holy damage to the target, healing you equal to the damage dealt. Against stunned targets, the damage and healing are increased by 50%.
- Healing Hands reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by up to 60%, based on the target's missing health. Additionally, Word of Glory's healing is increased by up to 100%, based on target's missing health.
We recommend either Selfless Healer or Healing Hands in this tier. Healing Hands is generally more impactful, but Word of Glory comes with a very high 3 Holy Power cost, which significantly reduces the amount of damage you can output if you use it often.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Retribution Paladins
|✔ Sanctified Wrath||? Crusade||✔ Final Reckoning|
- Sanctified Wrath extends Avenging Wrath by 25%. During Avenging Wrath, each Holy Power spend causes you to explode for Holy damage in a small AoE around yourself.
- Crusade replaces Avenging Wrath. It increases your damage and Haste by 3% for 25 seconds and each Holy Power spent during Crusade increases your damage and Haste by an additional 3%, up to a maximum of 10 stacks (so a 30% increase to both damage and Haste).
- Final Reckoning is a two-part ability, it has one passive and one active ability with a 1-minute cooldown, 30-yard range, and an 8-yard AoE casting circle. The active ability does a Holy damage in an area and causes a debuff that increases damage taken by your Holy Power spenders by 50%. This effect does not get consumed by Holy Power spenders. The passive effect is only active while the active ability is not on cooldown. It grants your attacks a high chance to deal Holy damage to a single target, and causes the target to take 10% increased damage taken by your Holy Power spenders. This effect does get consumed by Holy Power spenders.
Sanctified Wrath is the recommended consistent choice in this tier for both single-target and cleave damage.
Final Reckoning is the recommended choice in this tier while using Execution Sentence to maximize burst damage. This is also the recommended choice for Kyrian Paladins using the Pelagos Soulbind and for Necrolord Paladins using the Duty-Bound Gavel Legendary Power.
PvP Talents (War Mode)
In Shadowlands, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:
- PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
- 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
- 10% more experience gained while leveling.
- Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.
With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.
Retribution Paladin PvP Talents
- Divine Punisher causes two consecutive Judgments on the same enemy to generate 3 additional Holy Power.
- Lawbringer causes your Judgment to apply Lawbringer to initial targets hit for 1 min. Casting Judgment causes all enemies with your Lawbringer effect to suffer up to 10% of their maximum Health in Holy damage.
- Jurisdiction increases the range of Blade of Justice and Hammer of Justice by 10 yards, and radius of Divine Storm by 4 yards.
- Luminescence grants 4% increased damage and healing for 6 seconds to allies who got healed while affected by your Aura.
Unbound Freedom, Blessing of Sanctuary, Ultimate Retribution, Law and Order, Vengeance Aura, Aura of Reckoning, and Judgments of the Pure have limited use for PvE content in terms of increasing your damage in the open world in a small group setting. For the purpose of leveling and World Quests in Battle for Azeroth, the choices above are better options.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 04 Mar. 2021: Updated talent recommendations for Seraphim update.
- 16 Jan. 2021: Updated talent recommendations for Kyrian Paladins.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 10 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Execution Sentence and Final Reckoning changes.
- 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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