Mists of Pandaria Retribution Paladin Guide – Talents, Rotation and Glyphs

With Mists of Panderia looming over the horizon we think it’s about time to take a look at the specs for the Retribution Paladin. Note that this guide is primarily optimized for group PvE.

Basic changes
While unlike the massive pally makeover that happened in Cataclysm there have been some significant alterations leading up to Mists. Paladins have a newly redesigned the talent system so that it is now based around player preference and situational usefulness.

Players receive their core abilities automatically when selecting a spec, and talents serve to supplement different styles of gameplay.

Paladins also have a slew of new abilities:

  • Blinding Light is an AoE blind which could be useful in PvP and crowd control.
  • Boundless Conviction allows us to store an additional 2 Holy Power.
  • Devotion Aura this revamped version of Aura Mastery carries a little more oomph than before with the addition of 20% magic damage reduction.
  • Emancipate gets rid of one movement debuff.
  • Hammer of the Righteous is an AoE damage ability that debuffs and gives you holy power.

The stats have been retooled a bit, interestingly enough. Normally strength would be head and shoulders above any of the other stats, but while it’s still your most important attribute its dominance isn’t quite so pronounced anymore.

Hit and expertise of course needs to be capped at 7.5% as soon as possible, this will make sure your attacks and spells don’t miss.


Strength and Haste are now looking almost equally important. Because of a retooled Sanctity of Battle, haste now affects both the cooldown and global cooldown of Judgment, Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Exorcism, and Hammer of Wrath, this is huge. After you’ve got hit and expertise capped, look to add to these, with a slightly higher focus on strength.

Since cataclysm, rotations have been more about using the right abilities when they would be most effective instead of in any particular order, with that in mind here are some guidelines in no particular order:

  • If Inquisition is about to drop or is not active, and you have Holy Power, cast Inquisition. If not, and if you have 5 Holy Power, cast Templar’s Verdict.
  • If Exorcism or Hammer of Wrath are available, cast them, in that order if they’re both available
  • If Crusader Strike is available, cast it. If not, and if Judgement is available, cast it.
  • If you have 3 or 4 Holy Power, cast Templar’s Verdict.
  • For 3 targets or more, replace Crusader Strike with Hammer of the Righteous and Templar’s Verdict with Divine Storm in the above rotation.
  • Avenging Wrath and Guardian of Ancient Kings should both be used as often as possible. Ideally, use Guardian of Ancient Kings 10 seconds before Avenging Wrath.
  • Use Devotion Aura in a dungeon when everyone’s taking heavy damage, and in a raid as directed by your raid leader.
  • Divine Shield and Divine Protection are powerful defensive cooldowns. Use them if you’re taking heavy damage.
  • Lay on Hands is a powerful survival ability. Useful to get yourself or a party member out of a scrape.

Talents are not so clear cut anymore, there are a lot of viable options at most trees:

Tier 1
All of these are movespeed bonuses, Long Arm of the law and Speed of Light provide big, temporary boosts while Pursuit of Justice is a smaller passive boost that scales with your holy power. I recommend you take Pursuit of Justice as it’s the most reliable choice but it’s up to you to decide what you need.

Tier 2
Here Fist of justice will probably be the best option, although the other CCs last much longer Fist is a hard stun which cannot be overlooked. Choose which one would be more efficient for the situation, and repentance will give you a large window for situations where you need to back off and regroup.

Tier 3
The choice here is between Selfless Healer and Sacred Shield, choose the shield if you’ve already got a lot of healers in your raid.

Tier 4
All of these are viable but I prefer clemency as it lets me use my hands more often (yes I know how that sounded).

Tier 5
Divine Purpose win the race here in terms of raw damage output but due to it’s random nature isn’t extremely reliable. Go for Holy Avenger if that puts you off.

Tier 6
At the final tier you should take Execution Sentence, as it seems to offer the most bang for your buck.

Retribution Paladin glyphs in 5.04 are particularly situational – but here’s one good all-rounder setup:

  • Glyph of Templar’s Verdict, Glyph of Double Jeopardy, Glyph of Mass Exorcism.

Yet another one of our many staff and a long-time contributor (We need all the staff, how do you think we keep it so busy around here?), Salman is one of our many news writers. ...