Sepulcher of the First Ones
Notes: An overall easy fight with adds in the start of the encounter, which you cleave down until the boss spawns. At this point the fight is pure single-target, so keep that in mind if you’re struggling with the boss.
Cooldowns: Use them off cooldown in terms of add spawns. The only thing you need to care about is having nothing when the boss spawns and you’re in the last phase.
Legendary: Final Verdict
Notes: Very straight-forward single-target boss. The only thing you need to beware of is puddles, as they can kill you, while also giving a nasty debuff.
Cooldowns: Use them off cooldown, unless you’re about to do a group soak.
Notes: Not a typical ret-friendly fight, with a decent amount of movement. The fight will vary, depending on if you’re going off to kill adds on other platforms or just sticking on the boss. Try sticking with the group, and use bubble if you mess up and won’t make the teleport on time.
Cooldowns: Use them off cooldown, more or less. Cooldown timings will depend on your raid DPS, as the boss pushes into other phases at %HP. If you’re assigned to killing adds, you want to hold cooldowns for when you go over to the other platforms, as the adds will cause a wipe if not killed in time.
Legendary: Final Verdict
Notes: A horrible fight for ret. The fight has a ton of movement and greatly benefits those who have a teleport. Ideally, you want to soak rings early, as you’ll need to plan ahead to drop the debuff before soaking the next ring. However, it is doable; try to save the bubble for the triple-ring later in the phase, as it’s very spicy to dodge as ret.
Cooldowns: Use them off cooldown, hold wings/divine toll for boss shield and add spawns, as they need to die fast.
Legendary: Tempest of the Lightbringer
Notes: Not too complicated for melee players. Try to save mobility in case you get a Night Hunter soak far away. Worth noting is that you can also use blessing of protection on Pinning Volley targets, in case someone eats one.
Cooldowns: Use them off cooldown, and focus Necrotic Ritualists. Avoid using cooldowns if the bosses are about to phase at 50%, as they’ll go immune.
Notes: Quite a weird fight, not anything special for ret though. Try to save mobility for Unstable Mote casts as well as dodging Resonance casts on tank, as they can be quite close to the melee players.
Legendary: Final Verdict
Notes: Straight-up single-target fight. As a hybrid class, you should feel confident blocking motes to reach the boss, as you can self-sustain a whole lot with Word of Glory if needed. Remember to use Divine Shield & Divine Steed towards the end to soak up as many as possible. If you find yourself in a tough situation after Earthbreaker missiles, you can use blessing of protection to avoid dying (also useable on others, of course).
Cooldowns: Use when available, as you should be hitting the boss the whole fight without much downtime. It should not be an issue, but if the raid needs it, save Avenging Wrath for Reclaim to break the shield.
Anduin WrynnSingle Target / Cleave
Notes: The fight will vary a lot depending on how you play it and what you are assigned to. Remember to always have concentration aura on during Wicked Stars, depending on how many paladins there are in the raid.
If you’re assigned to AoE-CCing the first Kingsmourne adds, you will need to pick Blinding Light and hold it for the end of the add cast. Otherwise, use Fist of Justice for consistent add stuns.
If you’re assigned to keeping a Grim Reflection CCed, I would recommend the Wrench Evil conduit to make your life much easier.
Phase three: Try to save Divine Shield for the Hopelessness debuff, as it will save the raid for one soak. IMPORTANT: Use it when the debuff is about to expire, and move far out of the raid, as the explosion is a lot bigger than the circle indicates.
Wake of Ashes: A great tool in this fight, but it can also be used very poorly, as it will put the stunned adds on diminishing return. This applies to intermission adds and Grim Reflections.
Cooldowns: Largely depends on what you’re assigned to do. Remember always to have cooldowns available for intermission phases, as damage done is significantly increased.
Lords of DreadCleave
Legendary: Tempest of the Lightbringer
Notes: Very straight-forward fight, nothing special for ret here. Remember Expurgation and Truth’s Wake conduits.
Cooldowns: Use Divine Toll on pull, and Avenging Wrath for first and each Swarm of Decay, as bosses take increased damage. Cooldowns will line up naturally afterwards.
RygelonSingle Target / Cleave
Legendary: Final Verdict or Vanguard’s Momentum. If you manage to snipe the low Quasars with Hammer of Wrath when they dip low, it provides a ton of value. With the nerfs to their HP, they will usually just flop though, so I would recommend Final Verdict most of the time.
Notes: A quite complicated fight that has been made a whole lot easier with nerfs. There isn’t anything special for ret on this fight. If assigned, you can soak cores from Manifest Cosmos with Divine Shield or, if you see, unsoaked ones.
The hitbox on the quasars is quite huge, so you can snipe them pretty hard with Divine Storm and Divine toll. Just be careful not to kill them too early.
Cooldowns: You can pop wings on pull if you want and save Divine Toll for the quasar spawns, as they will overlap. You can also save both wings and Divine toll for the first spawns, but that means it most likely won’t line up as well later on in the fight. Do what fits the kill timer in your raid the best.
The JailerSingle Target
Legendary: Final Verdict
Notes: A pretty complicated fight that has seen a ton of nerfs and is now a lot more simplified than before.
Ret doesn’t have any particular use in this fight. With 2x divine steed, you should be able to make it around nicely for bombs and other situations. Try to plan ahead your movement prior to bombs and torments to make your life a whole lot easier.
Cooldowns: Cooldown usage on this fight sort of varies depending on raid DPS. You generally want to avoid using cooldowns if you don’t have the Surging Azerite debuff (increased damage). For most people, that means you will use Avenging Wrath on the first set of Surging Azerite debuffs, ~25seconds into the fight. 2nd and 3rd wings will be used off CD (with debuff on if possible). The 4th set of wings you will want to save for last phase when you push the boss and you pop Bloodlust.
Sanctum of Domination
The TarragrueSingle Target
Notes: A quite standard patchwerk type of single-target boss. For ret specifically it doesn’t really change anything. You can easily help out by soaking some of the remnants on the ground as well, but don’t take a lot of stacks. It’s a simple fight and you don’t take a lot of damage, so you can bubble the Predator’s Howl fear if needed.
In terms of anima powers, I would look to pick these up:
Cooldowns: Use them off cooldown. If possible, time your burst rotation after picking up a Soul Empowerment from the ground. The boss has a 10 sec pause when he hits 10% hp, so be careful not to use any cooldowns right before that.
Eye of the JailerSingle Target / Minor Cleave
Notes: A simple fight that does not require a whole lot of strategy. It's mostly a ST fight, but you can cleave down the stygian abductor after Deathlink with divine storm. You should have enough movement with 2x divine steed to be able to get around easily. Remember you can also bubble the beam if you can’t make the Grapple!, or you simply want to stay in and do damage.
Remember: The hitbox on the eye of the Jailer is massive, making you able to hit it while running around.
Cooldowns: Use everything on pull, and the cooldowns vary a lot depending on the raid-DPS, and how fast you push the phases. Generally you cleave down the stygian abductor, and want to aim for having at least a 1-minute burst rotation on the Deathseeker Eye when it spawns.
The NineSingle Target / Cleave
Notes: A fight that requires some coordination by the raid team. You start off with doing 2/3-target cleave and then you end up with a pure ST fight when the two first bosses are dead. Nothing special for retribution paladins, and you should be able to survive everything with shield of vengeance or divine shield. Note that you can also opt to run Cavalier if you want to be safe in terms of getting unlucky with fragments to have the movement.
Remnant of Ner'zhulSingle Target
Notes: A somewhat challenging encounter, mechanically. Luckily rets don’t usually have to drop off Orb of torments, but mainly have to focus on not getting hit by the mechanics during the fight. Divine shield is a nice tool to help you if you’re in trouble, and it also prevents the knockback from Malevolence.
Cooldowns: Hard fight to manage cooldowns on, as it’s largely dependent on when you push the boss. My best advice is to pop everything on the boss on pull, and delay cooldowns later in the fight if you see that the Orb of Torments are about to get hit by Suffering. Note that the health on the orbs did get massively nerfed, so they do get blown up by everyone else as well. This is also why I listed it as a single-target fight, because orb damage is quite irrelevant after the nerf. You tend to pop bloodlust going into the last phase of the fight, so try to save your 2-minute cooldowns for that.
Soulrender DormazainSingle Target / Cleave
Notes: One of the few big add fights in Sanctum of Domination. Nothing special for ret, apart from prioritizing between single target or cleave build. This is a fight where you could opt for the Tempest of the Lightbringer legendary and go full out on adds, although I still would recommend the divine resonance legendary.
Cooldowns: Retribution paladins can play to one of their strengths on this fight, which is AoE burst. I would recommend holding everything until ~30 sec into the fight, when the adds spawn. This fight is also one where I would divine toll into final reckoning to get the combat meditation buff for it. After you do this, all your cooldowns will line up perfectly with the add spawns through the rest of the fight.
If your raid has an immense amount of add damage, you can choose to go for a ST build and popping everything on the boss on pull.
Painsmith RaznalSingle Target
Notes: A very challenging fight at the start of the tier, before receiving several nerfs. Now it’s a more easily doable encounter but requires you to watch your feet. For ret specifically, you can use your blessing of protection and divine shield for what it’s worth. You can BoP tanks in order to help them go through the spiked balls when they get targeted by dualblade schyte. Just remember to coordinate it with the tanks. You can use divine shield to go through everything as well, if you find yourself in trouble. I believe zeal is a good option over execution sentence here, as it can be useless if the boss goes immune when it pops, as well as Zeal makes it easier to swap targets.
As an off-healer you can help in the intermission phases, as you can hit the spiked balls while running to generate holy power in order to use Word of glory.
Cooldowns: A bit weird fight to manage cooldowns on. You pop everything on pull, and then you’ll have some damage from the 1-minute burst on the spiked ball as well. Depending if you have giga DPS or not, you will have all cooldowns up after every intermission, where you will pop everything on the Shadowsteel Horrors before they blow up the raid. As with a lot of encounters, CD timings depend on when you push the boss.
Guardian of the First OnesSingle Target
Notes: A very straightforward and easy fight, although it requires a certain amount of healing and DPS. Most groups will probably opt for rets to use their divine shield to soak the obliterate cast on the tanks. That means you need to go on top of the tanks after the Sunder cast, when the boss is starting to cast 2x Obliterate (which you soak), after moving out before he casts Sunder again. It is very important to have the Unbreakable spirit talent here, as it allows you to soak twice during the encounter.
You might also be asked to use blessing of protection on the tanks, which follows the same pattern as mentioned above, meaning you cast it after the first Sunder.
Cooldowns: As straight forward as it can be, you pop lust and all CDs on pull, and then you use your CDs whenever they become available. I would be careful on some of the purification protocols as they can one-shot you if you don’t have shield of vengeance up for it.
Fatescribe Roh-KaloSingle Target
Notes: Definitely a special encounter and requires a lot of coordination on mythic difficulty. I would highly recommend checking out the guide for the boss itself, as it can be hard to wrap one’s head around the first time.
You might end up being the one who does the runes. You can end up taking a whole lot of damage here, so try to off-heal as much as possible, and you can also build holy power on the boss when he’s in the middle in order to WoG, even though he is immune. 2x Divine steed is also a must in this fight, as you might end up needing a lot of movement abilities in order to manage mechanics if they choose you.
Cooldowns: Annoying boss to manage cooldowns on. Always pop everything on pull, and use it off CD after, but it’s hugely depending on when you push the boss, when the tank add bursts into small adds, and if you get assigned runes or not. You kind of have to think for yourself and remember that bursting the small adds really isn’t a priority most of the time.
Important: Remember to always have your big CDs for the last phase, when you bloodlust and burn the boss.
Kel'ThuzadSingle Target / Cleave
Notes: The talent build above is assuming you stay out of the Phylactery realm, and you spend most of your time cleaving the adds, as boss damage doesn’t matter at all until the last phase. If you are going into the phylactery and bursting the Remnant of Kel’Thuzad, you want to choose execution sentence and blade of wrath.
Cooldowns: This fight is poorly designed in the terms of pushing the boss, as you want to wait for certain timings when doing the delay strat. This makes cooldown management very weird. Usually, you will always pop wings on pull, and 1-minute cooldowns on Soul shards or whatever needs to die during the phase. You will then have 2-minute cooldowns ready for every intermission, regardless if you’re going in or staying out of the phylactery. You will have 1-minute cooldowns in order to nuke the boss and cleave the adds in the last phase even if you pop everything in the last intermission.
Sylvanas WindrunnerSingle Target / AoE
Notes: The hardest encounter in Sanctum of Domination, and a long fight that requires you to know the mechanics and strats well. This naturally goes for ret as well, and you want to check out the guide for the boss itself.
Ret itself isn’t an insanely strong pick in the fight, but it’s decent. You are not doing a whole lot in Phase 1, apart from blowing up Dark sentinels and bursting the boss. Remember you can use blessing of protection, divine shield, or phial of serenity to remove the Barbed arrow stacks in the first phase if you get unlucky, or you need to help out someone in the raid.
Phial of Serenity also works on the Curse of Lethargy in phase 2, which does a lot of damage if not decursed. Do not do this if you have blessing of freedom, as it will also remove the curse. Remember you can freedom other raid members as well.
Not a scripted fight at all, but the first phase usually plays out the same. Pop all CDs on pull, and then you’ll have the next 1-minute CDs on the boss and/or first set of arrows. Save the next big wings for the dark sentinel pack.
After the first phase it’s near impossible to say when you should pop CDs, as timings will vary a lot between different raids, and you might also end up on different platforms (left/right) in mythic difficulty. Try to adapt your CD usage to what your raid needs. Most likely you will end up bursting the AoE packs, focusing on the Mawforged summoner and Mawforged Souljudge. You might also want to save some CDs for the Mawforged colossus if you’re assigned to it and it lives for too long. Focus on surviving (off-healing) to make it to the last phase.
This will depend on when you use your CDs in the second phase. All you need to know is that you use them off CD, but not immediately before Veil of Darkness, Banshee scream or platform switch (Raze), as you won’t be able to utilize the CDs during these mechanics. If possible, save CDs for bloodlust, but don’t stress about it. It’s better to have 2-minute CDs without bloodlust and 1-minute CDs during bloodlust instead of saving the 2-minute CDs for bloodlust.