Hi, and welcome to the Method Retribution Paladin guide, written by Ranishka. With a few occasional breaks from the game, I have been a ret main since vanilla. In the past I’ve had a more casual approach to the game and focused on PvP, until I started raiding semi-hardcore back in BfA, and have been playing ret at an increasingly higher level ever since.
Ret has always been a niche spec, but in later expansions it has seen some play due to it frequently being a viable choice, and even strong in certain encounters. Listed below are some strengths and drawbacks of the spec:
- Very strong AoE burst.
- Good ST burst.
- Provides certain utilities for the raid like immunity soaking, blessings, lay on hands etc.
- Decent self-sustain, with being a hybrid class and being able to heal when needed.
- Lacks raid-wide utility like Anti-Magic Zone, Rallying Cry etc.
- Low mobility, with divine steed being the only movement-ability (it did get a lot better with two charges and 6sec steed though).
- Sustained ST damage is low compared to other classes.
- Lacks a damage reduction ability, which makes it hard to survive certain hits without externals.
Disclaimer: At this moment, kyrian is the best option for rets in every situation, and this guide won’t cover the other covenants. This means the guide won’t apply the same way to readers playing other covenants (for whatever reason). The guide does not cover PvP either, as it has specific tunings and is a whole different game in certain regards.
What has changed
9.1.5 Retribution Paladin Changes:
- The following area-of-effect abilities are no longer maximum target capped and instead deal reduced damage beyond 5 targets:
- divine storm (Retribution)
- Vanquisher's Hammer (Necrolord Ability) now increases the effectiveness of the free Holy Power spender by 25%
- Righteous Might (Necrolord Conduit) damage effect increased by 400% and healing effect reduced by 50%
- Blessing of Seasons (Night Fae Ability): Blessing of Spring now increases healing done by 15% (was 10%) and healing received by 30% (was 20%). Blessing of Winter now reduces the hostile target's attack speed and movement speed by 5% per stack (was 3%) and its damage has been increased by 40%
These changes don’t change much for ret in its current state. As 9.1.5 is uncapping a ton of AoE abilities in the game, naturally, divine storm is included. This merely means you should pay a bit more attention to being in range of all the targets you’re hitting. It also buffs Final Reckoning, making it slightly stronger than Sanctified wrath, which is uncapped prior to 9.1.5. Final Reckoning is already the go-to choice for most situations, though, so it doesn’t really change anything.
As for the other changes, it’s quite a big buff to Necrolord ret, and a small one to Night Fae. As it looks right now, Kyrian will still be the best option for ret, especially for raiding. However, it is hard to tell how the Necrolord buffs play out without any sims to rely on. So this is all subject to change after the patch goes live, seeing as the buffs might make Necrolord a viable or even better option than Kyrian for certain types of content - though this is more likely to be true for M+ or PvP than for raiding.
For ret there were almost zero tuning changes to the spec itself in 9.1. It did however receive a legendary for kyrian, which has been the go-to legendary for most rets since the patch hit:
Virtuous command also received a bug-fix, making it refresh the duration on consecutive judgement hits. Not very noticeable, but makes it slightly better, especially with the new legendary.
Truth’s wake also received a bug-fix, making it do the correct (higher) amount of damage. Usually not a good pick regardless, but it could be used in M+.
A new endurance conduit was also added for all classes, which gives provides the player with good sustain in all situations:
Apart from that, ret is very much in the same spot as it was in Castle Nathria. It’s not bottom tier, but not soaring at the top either. It is still not the best pick for most raid comps, but completely viable if you already have what you need in the setup, and it can even outperform other classes if played correctly.