Retribution Paladin Covenants, Soulbinds, Legendaries & Gear guide

Patch 9.2.5 Last Updated: 29th Aug, 2022
Ranishka Retribution Paladin Author
Ranishka

Covenants

As briefly mentioned in the introduction, the only competitive option for ret at the moment is kyrian, so I won’t touch on the other covenants. This applies to raiding, M+ and even PvP as well. There is not much to say about the choice, it just provides a very strong kit for ret in all situations. Divine toll provides a very strong burst on both ST and AoE, and synergizes with the other 1-minute CDs, as well as the ringing clarity conduit providing a really strong ST burst.

The Summon steward ability gives you a phial of serenity which works like a health pot in raid situations and is off the GCD, so it’s easy to use. It also removes curses and bleeds, which can be very helpful in encounters where you need a de-curse, or remove a bleed.

Soulbinds and Conduits

For retribution paladins, Mikanikos is the best choice in almost all situations. This is the case for most classes playing kyrian, due to the overall strength of the soulbinds. Effusive Anima Accelerator also provides some flexibility, which is very nice for Divine Toll timings.

For all conduits, the ones not mentioned are pretty much useless or just not worth ever picking.

For all conduits, use the rankings here in order to prioritize what conduits to enhance when getting increased renown levels.

For potency conduits, I’d rate them in this order:

  1. Ringing clarity – Extremely strong in all situations, never play without it.
  2. Virtuous command – Very good sustained damage for single target, especially with the divine resonance legendary. Doesn’t lose all its value on cleave.
  3. Templar’s vindication – A good ST conduit. The downside to this conduit is that it loses 100% of it’s value on AoE.
  4. Expurgation – A good all-around pick, which has decent value on all fights. A good option to replace templar’s vindication, as it does work on both ST and AoE. It is however important to take your own crit% into account, as it naturally benefits a lot from it.
  5. Truth’s wake – I never play this on pure single-target, as it’s only good on AoE and also loses value if the targets die or become immune. Does see play on hybrid fights or AoE due to the 4-set bonus.

For potency conduits, I’d rate them in this order on multi-target:

  1. Ringing clarity- Too good to pass up on, even on AoE.
  2. Truth’s wake - Previously a very bad conduit, it is now the best conduit for sustained AoE damage.
  3. Expurgation - The second-best choice for AoE fights, also good on hybrid fights, as it essentially only does single-target damage.
  4. Virtuous command - Still retains some of its damage on pure AoE-fights, but is also very good if the fight contains periods of single-target damage.

Endurance conduits ranking:

  1. Condensed anima sphere – An incredibly strong conduit which just provides you with a lot of sustain in all situations.
  2. Divine Call – A decent conduit which can be important in certain situations where you need to lower the cd on your divine shield. With the unbreakable spirit talent and this conduit, it reduces the cd on your bubble to ~3minutes.
  3. Shielding Words – Usually you don’t use word of glory a whole lot in PvE content, but it provides a decent shield for when you do use WoG (usually a tough situation).
  4. Golden path – It's an alright conduit which provides low sustain in PvE situations.

Finesse ranking:

  1. Light’s barding – It's a very good conduit which gives ret paladins the sorely needed mobility together with the Cavalier talent.
  2. Echoing blessings – Very minor, but makes both you and the target you’re using blessing of sacrifice on take almost 10% less dmg, which could make a difference in tough spots.
  3. Wrench evil – It doesn’t really see any play, could be better than nothing in encounters or keys where you need to fear important casts or prioritized targets.

For pure ST encounters, this is my go-to choice:

https://www.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/kyrian/forgelite-prime-mikanikos/paladin/AwaWZZYBBS1EChMFMPoKFS5LCiUuPgoiFXYACjUrNQo

For multi-target fights I’d go with this: 

https://www.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/kyrian/forgelite-prime-mikanikos/paladin/AwaWZZYBBS1EChMFMPoKFS2rCiUtrgoiFXYACjUrNQo

In certain fights, I would go with Hammer of Genesis as well, where you have frequent add spawns which gives you decent up-time, Rygelon for instance:

https://www.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/kyrian/forgelite-prime-mikanikos/paladin/AwaWapYBBS1EChMFMPoKFS2rCiUtrgojFXYACiUrYwo1KzUK

Legendaries

In this section we will talk about what the best legendary for retribution paladins are.

Divine Resonance

Personally, I haven’t used any other legendary than divine resonance since 9.1 hit, and you don’t need to either. It is the best option for ST, and still retains its value on AoE fights, or during add spawns. It’s just incredibly strong and has good value in all situations. With the Unity legendary, you will always have this regardless.

Final Verdict

The best single-target legendary (excluding divine resonance). It also provides good utility with the ranged Verdict & Hammer of Wrath procs on fights where there is a lot of movement, e.g., the Jailer.

Tempest of the Lightbringer

Tempest of the Lightbringer is a good option for M+ and in some raid encounters. It can be a good option for “padding the meters”, as it gives damage on cleave, but has zero value on ST fights. Although it can provide a similar or higher overall damage in an encounter, it usually comes down to being irrelevant damage, so I would advise against it. It can be a good choice for encounters where your party/raid is lacking AoE damage, for example on Anduin Wrynn. It is the go-to 2nd legendary on any AoE fight.

Vanguard’s Momentum

Vanguard’s Momentum is an alright 2nd choice legendary and fits somewhere between single-target and AoE. It has a lot of potential in some encounters but requires a tad more from the user. Rygelon is a very good fight for this legendary, as you should be able to keep 3x stacks for a long time during the Collapsing Quasar spawns.

Of Dusk and Dawn

In my opinion, it is a pretty underrated legendary, which provides 6% increased damage at nearly 100% uptime if played correctly. This is also easier now with the overall increased stats, in addition to the tier-set bonuses. It can be a good option on fights stuck between single-target and AoE and provides damage reduction, which can come in handy when progressing a raid.

Double legendaries in 9.2:

The new tier set bonuses don’t have any mind-blowing synergy with our current legendaries. However, legendaries such as Vanguard’s Momentum and Of Dusk and Dawn might see some usage together with the Divine Resonance legendary.

As it looks right now, though, things will mostly stay the same as before, with Tempest of the Lightbringer being the best on pure AoE and final verdict being the best for pure ST. For a mixture of the two, you can pair divine resonance with any of the damage-providing legendaries in the mix that fit your playstyle.

Recommendations:

Pure single-target: divine resonance & final verdict

Pure AoE: divine resonance & Tempest of the Lightbringer

Mixed fights: divine resonance & final verdictOf Dusk and Dawn / Vanguard’s Momentum

Gear

Retribution Paladin Tier Set:

As you can see, the bonuses revolve around your auto-attacks and Art of War procs. This indirectly buffs the Zeal and Blade of Wrath talents, making them even stronger options than before. They will give you more Art of War procs, meaning higher Seraphim uptime & more Wake of Ashes casts. Naturally, this makes Windfury Totem a lot stronger for ret paladins as well.

The tier sets are a moderate power increase for the spec, each of them providing around 4% DPS on pure ST fights, with the 4-piece providing a significantly larger buff to sustained AoE damage. 

These sets aren’t that complicated in themselves, but they might change your playstyle by quite a bit, depending on how much you put into it. From the 2-piece, you get a more or less random Seraphim buff.

The 4-piece has good synergy with the 2-piece and is a solid increase for cleave damage. Naturally, you will almost always want to press Wake of Ashes as soon as you can after getting a reset to proc to get it off while having the Seraphim buff. You sometimes want to hold it if you have your cooldowns coming up and need to ensure that you have a Wake of Ashes ready. In some cases, you will get unlucky with the procs and miss out on a Wake of Ashes during the burst window.

I would recommend getting a tracker for your auto-attacks to time your abilities. Overall, you want to fit as many hard-hitting abilities into the proc-window as possible. This includes Divine Toll, and in some situations, you should be holding Divine Toll for a Seraphim proc. Previously this would be very bad, but with the Effusive Anima Accelerator you will get it back for the next burst window (assuming you’re not holding Divine Toll for too long.)

Gear:

In this tier, a lot of the gear is already set in stone, with tier sets and such, which you will naturally want to acquire.. Although there are 3 items you want to get your hands on as a ret:

    • Gavel of the First Arbiter - 2h mace that drops from the Jailer, simply outclasses all other weapons and is a must-have for a BiS gear setup.
    • Scars of Fraternal Strife - After the buff in 9.2.7 it is one of the best trinkets out there. It’s use has negative effects as well though, and gains more value on AoE fights than on single-target.
    • The First Sigil - A very strong on-use trinket that you can hold for situations where you need to pop off.
    • Old Warrior’s Soul – A very strong trinket with loads of stats complimenting the other on-use trinket, while also providing minor sustain to the group. In 9.2.7 this is still one of the best trinkets out there.
    • You 100% want to get your hands on the two Mechagon rings - Logic Loop of Divison & Overclocking Bit Band - very strong combo with almost 100% uptime on the buff.