Retribution Paladin Playstyle and Rotation Guide

Patch 10.2.7 Last Updated: 7th May, 2024
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Playstyle & Rotation

Your gameplay is based on your Holy Power (HP), which you can have from 0 to 5. You have generators and spenders. Main goals always stay the same, to generate holy power as fast as possible to spend it on more finishers.

Generators are: Crusader Strike, Blade of Justice, Judgment, Hammer of Wrath, Wake of Ashes and Divine Toll

Before moving to spenders I’d like to focus on Judgment a little more. Judgment isn’t a simple HP generator - it also leaves a debuff on target that empowers next HP spender by 20%.

Spenders are: Templar's Verdict, Divine Storm and Word of Glory

You also have spells like Consecration and Divine Hammer.

Basic idea is to use generators while you have them and stop doing that after reaching 5 HP.

Spenders should be used if:

General Rotation

Your spell priority should look like this:

  1. Avenging Wrath
  2. Execution Sentence on primary target or Final Reckoning
  3. Blade of Justice if your Expurgation is about to fall of or it expired
  4. Templar's Verdict / Final Verdict at 5 Holy Power
  5. Wake of Ashes at 2 or less Holy Power
  6. Divine Toll (3 Holy power or less on ST, 1 HP at 2 targets, 0 at more targets. Also the Judgment debuff ideally shouldn’t be on targets)
  7. Hammer of Wrath
  8. Templar Slash if it is going to expire and you are not 5 Holy Power
  9. Blade of Justice with 4 or less HP
  10. Judgment with 3 or less HP and there is no Judgment on your target
  11. Templar Verdict at 4 Holy Power
  12. Crusader Strike / Templar Strike / Templar Slash
  13. Judgment
  14. Consecration

Single Target Opener

  1. Blade of Justice should be your first global because of the Tier Set
  2. Judgment (you usually start the fight from some range, so you won’t be able to hit the target with anything else anyway. Plus you want to apply the Judgment debuff and put the spell on CD to get it back as fast as possible)
  3. Avenging Wrath
  4. Execution Sentence or Final Reckoning + on-use stat trinkets and racials
  5. Hammer of Wrath (if you have 5HP go to the next point)
  6. Templar's Verdict / Final Verdict
  7. Divine Toll
  8. Templar's Verdict / Final Verdict
  9. Wake of Ashes
  10. Proceed with basic priority

Multi Target

There are a few things that change on multi-target for Retribution:

Multi Target Opener

  1. Blade of Justice to apply Expurgation
  2. Judgment (you usually start the fight from some range, so you won’t be able to hit the target with anything else anyway. Plus you want to apply the Judgment debuff and put the spell on CD to get it back as fast as possible)
  3. Avenging Wrath
  4. Final Reckoning + On-use stat trinkets and racials
  5. Divine Storm
  6. Divine Toll
  7. Divine Storm
  8. Wake of Ashes
  9. Proceed with basic priority


Major Cooldowns

Your major cooldowns are Avenging Wrath / Crusade.

It is a 1 min cooldown (2 min if Crusade) that basically you want to use from the start and almost never hold it. Holding any of your bursts may cause you to lose one during the fight, however there are some cases where you want to hold and it will be worth it:

  • Encounters with waves of adds
  • Encounters with damage amplifiers

Abilities like Final Reckoning, Execution Sentence and Divine Toll should always be used together. If your Avenging Wrath / Crusade is ready - they all should be lined up.

Delaying Avenging Wrath / Crusade also means that you are going to delay the rest of your CDs.

More tips:

  • You always want to have maximum Holy Power before going into Final Reckoning to maximize the the number of spenders during the next Final Reckoning.
  • During Divine Resonance from Divine Toll you are going to find yourself in a situation when you won’t be able to spend all Judgment debuffs between the Divine Resonance ticks. It is weird, but it is how it is, it isn’t your fault, it is just a current design of a spec.

Defensive Cooldowns

Retribution Paladin has a lot of defensive abilities that can be applied to friendly targets. But let's start with personals.

Personal Cooldowns

  • Divine Shield: This is a total immunity for 8 seconds. It is on GCD, so be careful. This spell causes a Forbearance debuff that won’t allow you to get Blessing of Protection, Spellwarding (from Protection Paladins) or Lay on Hands.
  • Shield of Vengeance: This is a talent from your spec tree that you won’t be able to skip due to its positioning. This defensive CD can also bring you some dps increase. This is basically an absorb that explodes on the exact amount of damage you’ve absorbed. This ability is also on a GCD.
  • Divine Protection: A simple damage reduction cooldown for 8 sec. It allows you to decrease incoming damage by 30% for 8 seconds. Now it is a baseline spell. This one is not affected by a GCD so it will become your main emergency button.

Defensive CD’s that can be applied to you allies

  • Lay on Hands is a talent from the general tree. Simply heal the target for an amount equal to your maximum health. Causes Forbearance. Can be casted on yourself;
  • Blessing of Protection is a talent from the general tree. Makes your target invulnerable to all physical damage for 10 seconds and also removes all physical debuffs from the target. You also should know that while your target is under Blessing of Protection it is also removed from the agro table. Still can use taunt under this effect, however when the effect of it fades the enemy is going to ignore this target. Causes Forbearance. Can be casted on yourself;
  • Blessing of Sacrifice is a talent from the general tree. This is a damage reduction ability that can be used only on your allies but not on yourself. You are reducing the damage taken by chosen ally by 30%, however you are going to get all this prevented damage. It is a good idea to pair Blessing of Sacrifice with Shield of Vengeance to not die of Blessing of Sacrifice damage or just to proc faster the explosion of it. If you are going to save an ally from a very powerful ability it can be worth to pair it up even with Divine Shield.
  • Blessing of Freedom isn’t a pure defensive cooldown. However it removes slows and roots effects. Some of them can be combined with damage effects. Your Unbound Freedom talent from a Class Tree also adds a 30% movement speed increase. And if you are applying Blessing of Freedom to your ally you are also going to get a Blessing of Freedom on yourself.