Retribution Paladin PvP Talents and Builds (Dragonflight 10.2)
Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as a Retribution Paladin and gives you the best combinations you can take.
This page is part of our Retribution Paladin PvP Guide.
Talent Choices for Retribution Paladins
Below is the standard talent build you will be using in arena.0i
While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.
Paladin Talent Tree Highlights
Some important spells to note in the Paladin talent tree:
- Vengeful Wrath is one of the final talents you can take. This makes it so Hammer of Wrath is always a critical strike. This talent had great synergy with Ret Paladin 10.1's tier set bonus. However, in 10.2, the importance of this talent remains to be seen, and it is more optional between picking it up vs. choosing Divine Purpose.
- Blessing of Protection can be taken against physical damage dealers such as Arms Warrior however, you can opt out of this talent against Spell Casters and use it as a flex point into a talent of your choice as it is not required to pick up when selecting the PvP talent Blessing of Spellwarding
- Divine Purpose is in the middle of the talent tree and makes your Holy Power spells have a chance to make your next Holy Power spell free and deal increased damage/healing. Currently, in order to reliably take Vengeful Wrath, you need to choose between Divine Purpose or Divine Resonance. The main difference between the two boils down to preference. Currently Divine Purpose offers more RNG burst damage or healing while Divine Resonance is more reliable in terms of predictability. Going into patch 10.2, this may change as Divine Resonance procs the Paladin Retribution 10.2 Class Set 2pc and Paladin Retribution 10.2 Class Set 4pc so as we proceed into the patch and acquire tier, there may be less of a choice when picking up Divine Resonance
Retribution Paladin Talent Tree Highlights
Some important spells to note in the Retribution Paladin Talent tree:
- Final Verdict vs. Justicar's Vengeance is a common question some newer Ret Paladins may ask. Final Verdict does slightly more base damage than Justicar's Vengeance and has a chance to proc a free use of Hammer of Wrath. This currently has strong synergy with the 10.1 Ret Paladin tier bonuses from the Heartfire Sentinel's Forgehelm gear. Justicar's Vengeance has very niche uses in double DPS 2v2 arena. However, its healing and bonus damage into stuns are both nerfed in PvP, making it less useful than it may seem.
- Crusading Strikes is another new talent that transforms Ret Paladin's auto attacks into Crusader Strike. This makes it so your auto attacks generate one Holy Power every other attack. This talent frees up globals in PvP so we can use our utility spells, such as Flash of Light and Blessing of Sanctuary. It also synergizes with Blessed Champion, Seal of the Crusader, Crusader's Reprieve and Zealot's Fervor to increase our Crusading Strikes damage, frequency, range, and even adding a tiny bit of passive healing.
- Boundless Judgment vs. Improved Judgment is another point of contention in the Ret PvP community. As you acquire your 10.2 2 and 4-piece tier sets Improved Judgment will likely edge out Boundless Judgment due to the ability to proc more Paladin Retribution 10.2 Class Set 2pc
- Wake of Ashes as a capstone talent is fairly straightforward. Both of its secondary talents Seething Flames and Truth's Wake. Seething Flames is mandatory, while you can opt for a different talent of your choice if you do not want Truth's Wake as it does less damage than seething. However most Ret's, as of late, select both.
- Avenging Wrath: Might vs. Crusade is another preference choice. Since the Ret Paladin rework in 10.1 Avenging Wrath: Might has had its effectiveness reduced in half. Crusade is only nerfed by one-third, so although it has a longer cooldown, it is more potent. Currently, both are strong and viable talents. As we progress into the season and more Ret's acquire full tierset, be sure to check back for more updates regarding these talents!
- Final Reckoning was slightly reworked in the 10.0.7 Ret Paladin update. Its damage remains the same in PvP; however, its bonus damage effect is reduced to 15% in PvP combat. Both of the secondary talent's Executioner's Will and Divine Auxiliary are recommended but not mandatory. Divine Auxiliary has a small synergy with Seal of Order that ever so slightly decreases its cooldown. However, you are generally lining up Avenging Wrath and Final Reckoning so that interaction is not as important.
- Execution Sentence is now commonly chosen in PvP. The main advantage it currently has over Final Reckoning is that it provides frequent access to an additional 3 Holy Power when running Divine Auxiliary. Ultimately, the choice between the two is up to you.
- As of 10.2, if running the Retribution 10.2 2 and 4 piece tier set from Zealous Pyreknight's Barbute you will need to pick up the talent Expurgation. Blade of Vengeance can also be chosen for more cleave with the set bonus.
PvP Talents for Retribution Paladins
You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful but can be replaced with other PvP talents, depending on your team's goal.
Mandatory PvP Talents
Blessing of Sanctuary removes all stun, silence, fear, and horror effects from your target. It also reduces the duration of these effects for 5 seconds. This gives you extra utility when playing against teams with several of these effects. This should be used versus teams that rely on stun setups on your healer to get crowd control.
Aura of Reckoning is another option if you want to increase your damage. You will gain 1 stack after you or an ally is hit with a critical strike. At 100 stacks, your next weapon swing will deal more damage and proc your Avenging Wrath.
Situational PvP Talents
Blessing of Spellwarding is a strong talent versus comps with multiple spellcasters. This talent shares a cooldown with Blessing of Protection, which means you can opt out of choosing it in the Paladin talent tree when taking this spell. Spellwarding functions much like Blessing of Protection except for spell damage. However, it does not remove magical crowd control abilities when used on yourself, unlike Blessing of Protection's ability to remove stuns like Cheap Shot
Luminescence is a situational small 2% damage increase for Retribution Paladins and their teammates. Although heavily nerfed from prior patches, it is very easy to maintain due to Crusader's Reprieve and Crusading Strikes giving near full uptime on the buff.
Lawbringer makes Judgment also apply the Lawbringer debuff to its initial target. Enemies hit by Lawbringer will lose up to 2% of their health. This talent is significantly nerfed from where it was in the past and is only semi-useful in Rated Battlegrounds where there is a large number of enemies to spread the debuff to.
Vengeance Aura has been removed from Retribution in 10.1. The patch notes state it was only intended to be removed from Holy Paladin, so if it makes a comeback in a hotfix, this will likely be a good PvP talent.
Judgments of the Pure is an interesting PvP talent that dispels a Poison, Disease, and Magic effect off yourself. Since the loss of the AoE portion in 10.0.7 and the increase in dispel protection passives on casters, this talent will see far less use. It is still okay into Shadow Priests and Survival Hunters to remove damage over time effects like Devouring Plague and Serpent Sting.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2
- 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
- 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5
- 21 May 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1
- 18 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1
- 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Pre-patch.
- 01 Aug. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 28 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
- Updated Talent Table.
- Updated Tier 7 Regular Talent.
- 10 Nov. 2021: Updated PvP Talents.
- 02 Jul. 2021: Updated PvP Talents.
- 08 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 17 Feb. 2021: Updated Tier 1 Regular Talents.
- Updated PvP Talents.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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