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Retribution Paladin PvP Guide (Legion 7.2)

Last updated on May 15, 2017 at 15:40 by Mysticall 2 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Retribution Paladin in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2300 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta

Despite its low mobility as a melee class, Retribution is a very strong specialization right now. Strong burst in combination with its powerful utility make it difficult to play and master. Matched with classes with strong consistent damage, like Hunters, it can be a struggle for most classes to play against.

2. Gear

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

3. Artifact Traits

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Unbreakable Will,  Icon Deflection, and  Icon Wrath of the Ashbringer) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

3.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you want to reach is  Icon Ashes to Ashes.

  1. Take  Icon Blade of Light.
  2. Take  Icon Righteous Blade. This will increase your spread pressure against teams that are stacked.
  3. Take  Icon Unbreakable Will. This will give you a second "trinket". This will allow you to break crowd control if the enemy team is not focusing you or break a stun if they are.
  4. Take  Icon Protector of the Ashen Blade. This reduces the cooldown of one of your strongest utility spells.
  5. Take  Icon Ashes to Ashes. This will give you much better on-demand burst. nstead of having to generate 5 Holy Power on your own, you can use your burst immediately and use  Icon Wake of Ashes to generate that Holy Power.

3.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to go for is  Icon Echo of the Highlord.

  1. Take  Icon Deliver the Justice. Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice is a core ability in the Retribution Paladin damage rotation, and this will increase your consistent damage.
  2. Take  Icon Sharpened Edge. Just like the trait above, Zeal Icon Zeal is a core damaging ability and this trait will increase your consistent damage.
  3. Take  Icon Deflection. Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance is a strong defensive and reducing its cooldown will increase your overall survivability.
  4. Take  Icon Echo of the Highlord. This trait is an increase to your overall damage.

3.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden trait,  Icon Divine Tempest, picking up any remaining traits after that. There is no particular order that we recommend here.

4. Relics

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

5. Talent Choices

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

5.1. Regular Talents

5.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Final Verdict Icon Final Verdict is the best choice in this tier. This is an increase to your consistent damage.

5.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Zeal Icon Zeal is the best choice in this tier. This is a strong talent that will increase your consistent damage and is very powerful against teams with two melee.

5.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice is the best choice in this tier. Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice is the strongest crowd control you have. This talent will help reduce its cooldown significantly.

5.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Blade of Wrath Icon Blade of Wrath is the best choice in this tier. Overall, this will give you the most consistent damage against teams. However, if you are playing against a team that will be stacked, Divine Hammer Icon Divine Hammer is the best choice in this tier.

5.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

If you are playing against a team with one or more melee on it, Eye for an Eye Icon Eye for an Eye is the best choice in this tier. This will greatly increase your survivability against melee teams. However, if you are playing against a team with two casters, Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance is the best choice in this tier.

5.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Divine Intervention Icon Divine Intervention is the best choice in this tier. This is the strongest defensive passive you have. Not only does it activate when you should die, it also reduces its cooldown significantly.

5.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

If you are playing against teams that you will struggle connecting to, Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose is the best choice in this tier. This is an increase to your consistent damage. However, if you are playing against a team that you can stick to, Crusade Icon Crusade is the best choice in this tier. This ability will greatly increase your burst damage.

5.2. Honor Talents

5.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

If you are playing against a team with a lot of crowd control, Relentless Icon Relentless is the best choice in this tier. If you are playing against a team with very little crowd control, Adaptation Icon Adaptation is the best choice in this tier. If you want to control when you want to leave crowd control, Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is the standard PvP trinket effect with a 2-minute cooldown.

5.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

If you are playing against a caster, Reinforced Armor Icon Reinforced Armor is the best choice in this tier. However, If you are playing against two melee classes, Sparring Icon Sparring is the best choice in this tier. It helps with survivability and could save your if you are in a stun with no way out.

5.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

Jurisdiction Icon Jurisdiction is the best choice in this tier. This talent will allow you to stun the enemy healer much easier.

5.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

Luminescence Icon Luminescence is the best choice in this tier. This talent will help significantly against teams that have strong AoE damage. However, if you are playing against a team that has Poisons/Diseases, Unholy Death Knight or Assassination Rogue for example, use Cleansing Light Icon Cleansing Light.

5.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Against most teams, Blessing of Sanctuary Icon Blessing of Sanctuary is the best choice in this tier. This gives you extra utility when playing against teams with multiple Stuns, Silences, Fears or Horrifies. Alternatively, if you are playing against a team that has spammable crowd control, Cyclone Icon Cyclone or Fear Icon Fear for example, use Vengeance Aura Icon Vengeance Aura for a good damage increase.

5.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Lawbringer Icon Lawbringer is the best choice in this tier. This gives you the biggest damage increase in this tier. It also increase the amount of time you will have to deal maximum damage with the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff.

6. Racial Bonuses

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

6.1. Horde

The passive Orc racial bonus (Hardiness Icon Hardiness) is great if you find yourself being stunned a lot and having a hard time against melee classes.

The Blood Elf Silence (Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent) is really strong as well. This adds to the crowd control you can bring to the table.

6.2. Alliance

The Human racial bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns.

7. Playstyle

Retribution Paladins have two main roles in PvP: use your strong single-target damage to force cooldowns and use your utility to help you or your teammates survive until you can use your burst cooldowns again. With tools such as Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom, Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Sanctuary Icon Blessing of Sanctuary, it makes your team very hard for the enemy team to kill. It is important to rotate cooldowns properly and know when it is a good idea to use Blessing of Sanctuary Icon Blessing of Sanctuary to break crowd control or when to use Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection on you or a teammate that is being focused. You also have Flash of Light Icon Flash of Light that comes in handy when the enemy has no kicks or is not focusing you.

7.1. Before Gates Open

Know exactly who you will use Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice on. Most of the time, you will be using it on the enemy healer and trying to kill a DPS.

You should also use your Greater Blessing of Kings Icon Greater Blessing of Kings and Greater Blessing of Wisdom Icon Greater Blessing of Wisdom on you or your teammates. Use Greater Blessing of Kings Icon Greater Blessing of Kings on your teammate that will be getting focused and use Greater Blessing of Wisdom Icon Greater Blessing of Wisdom on your healer.

7.2. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns. If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. Retribution Paladins have Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice that should be used on enemy healers, depending on your teams strategy.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Zeal Icon Zeal and Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice to generate Holy Power.
  2. Use Judgment Icon Judgment for the debuff it applies.
    • This debuff makes the target take increased damage from your Holy Power spenders for 8 seconds (or longer with the Lawbringer Icon Lawbringer talent).
  3. While the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff is active, use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict.
  4. Use Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm if the enemy team is stacked.
  5. Use Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice on the enemy healer.
  6. Use your burst rotation.
  7. After your burst, perform your sustained damage rotation until your burst cooldowns are available.

7.2.1. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Make sure your target has the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff.
  2. Use Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath.
  3. Use  Icon Wake of Ashes.
  4. If your target is stunned, use Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance.
  5. If your target is not stunned, use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict.
  6. Use Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice procs.
  7. Use Zeal Icon Zeal to generate Holy Power.
  8. Use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict.

7.2.2. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Use Zeal Icon Zeal and Blade of Justice Icon Blade of Justice to generate Holy Power.
  2. Maintain the Judgment Icon Judgmentdebuff.
  3. While the Judgment Icon Judgment debuff is active, use Templar's Verdict Icon Templar's Verdict.
  4. Use Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice on the enemy healer.
  5. If you have 5 Holy Power and the enemy is stunned, use Justicar's Vengeance Icon Justicar's Vengeance.
  6. Use Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm if the enemy team is stacked.

7.3. Defensive Techniques

Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield is your main defensive ability. This makes you immune to everything for 8 seconds. Most of the time, you will let it proc with the Divine Intervention Icon Divine Intervention talent.

Shield of Vengeance Icon Shield of Vengeance is strong if you can use it before an enemy uses a stun, but can be just as effective if you do not. Use this as your first defensive against caster teams that are focusing you, because Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection will not help you much.

Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection is your secondary defensive ability. This is a powerful ability that can be used on either you or your teammates. This makes the player immune to all physical damage. It is powerful against melee teams, but makes you very weak to teams with casters.

Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom can also be used defensively. It can be used on you or a teammates. If your teammates are being focused and they need a way to get away from the enemies, use this on them.

Blessing of Sanctuary Icon Blessing of Sanctuary. Use this on a teammate that is in crowd control and does not have or wants to use trinket.

8. ChangeLog

  • 15 May 2017: Guide added.
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