Retribution Paladin Design in 10.0.7

Well met!

We’re doing a substantial rework to the Retribution talent tree in patch 10.0.7. Rebuilding the Retribution talent tree from the ground up means significant changes ahead. However, the talent tree itself will not be available in our first PTR build(s), so initial testing on the PTR will be missing important context.

Nonetheless, we’d like to share our major goals for Retribution with you.

Button bloat: Retribution Paladins currently have a fairly large number of abilities, and some of these feel unnecessary and inefficient. We’re working to tone this down and have a more focused set of abilities and cooldowns.

Stacking modifiers: There are currently several talents and abilities that provide stacking bonuses, which can make for a confusing and messy playstyle that deals extreme burst damage, but in return leaves your core abilities feeling unsatisfying and under-tuned. We intend to significantly change this. We want your core abilities to feel good and powerful when used in all situations. This doesn’t mean we’re reducing all elements of burst damage, but we do want to make burst more purposeful and deliberate, while also allowing options that provide sustained damage.

Survivability: Retribution Paladins currently have one of the highest death rates across all forms of content. For a plate wearing class with hybrid healing, this doesn’t feel right. We’re looking to strengthen them through a mixture of passive bonus and improvements to active abilities and cooldowns, while keeping the degree of challenge that results from being a melee-based spec.

Maneuverability: We recognize that there’s an issue here and we hope to make some improvements. However, we want to set clear expectations. Retribution Paladins should not expect to gain the mobility of Rogues.

Utility: The changes that Dragonflight brought to Retribution have caused some conflict for players, forcing the Ret Paladin to choose between providing benefits to their groups or benefiting themselves. This choice can be interesting, but due to the way this has historically worked for Paladins, it hasn’t felt right in Dragonflight. So, we’re looking to make changes here that allow you to feel good and improve your own damage while also providing the group benefits that you’re used to. We’re also looking into additional utility improvements for Paladins during the 10.0.7 test cycle.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback on the points above, as well as anything else about Retribution that you’d like to share. Thank you!


to little, to late

playing ret since 2005, just delete this specc, not gonna wait 6 months for a fix, always the same fiesta


So it will be either insignificant or will buff it to next expansion level. Maybe(!) become viable/better.

Edit: Holy also needs to be looked at btw.

  1. That’s fine with me, I use a lot of different abilities tbf. Wouldn’t mind it being a bit less.

  2. Sounds really good, I’d love my damage to be more stable, great change.

  3. Interesting, haven’t had that yet. I usually just pull the entire area as ret for world quests with a % bar and it’s fine. but more survivability is always welcome.

  4. that’s is fine, we don’t need what rogues have, just a bit more mobility, something around warrior mobility I’d say. I would like a charge ability tho, the horse is fine in PvE, but in PvP it’s basically holding up a huge sign with “stun me please”. So I’d like a second look at if the horse maybe should be changed to something else.

  5. I kinda like having a full dps build. I get bres by default anyways which is the only thing I use to help others during the raid fight.

Looking forward to when the new tree hits PTR. also a small thing, could the glyph that gives 4 wings on avenging wrath be updated to fit the current model of the wings? or maybe a new glyph for it. because it’s now the 4 wing version of the old model of the wings, and the current wings just look better imo.

edit: I did some research and have come to the conclusion that horse should be replaced with long arm of the law and pursuit of justice. (I’ve been playing since bfa so I never experienced these, but they sound better than horse)

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Please just get rid of the horse. It’s so bad compared to when we had speed of light. Why is selfless healer locked behind a better talent when it was so useful for self healing before? Why does single target talents mean I have to pump Holy power into seraphim a la slice and dice on rogue back in the day? It’s like we’re a Petri dish for ideas and you take all the good stuff and give it to other classes and we’re left with the scraps

Edit: actually looking at old abilities I was misremembering - I did actually mean Pursuit of Justice instead of speed of light, but my point stands


Ive played Retribution since vanilla and heres my suggestions in general:

Auras feels very paladin and I think its something that should be emphasized more. Crusader Aura and Devotion Aura should definately stay, perhaps with some buffs. Maybe add a 10% movement speed to Crusader Aura outside of mounted speed, so it has a purpose in situations where youre not mounted. This would also help a bit with the mobility issue without giving us rogue movement.
Devotion Aura could add some sort of AoE heal effect, for example: every time the paladin takes damage, everyone in the aura gets a small heal.
Retribution Aura should imo be removed and turned into a passive effect, that would be pretty cool lorewise to always get burned by the light if you attack a paladin.
Concentration Aura should also be removed imo, but the Aura Mastery effect of being immune to interrupts should stay as a standalone spell.

Bring back the seals! Examples:
Seal of Righteousness: Add holy damage to all attacks and some kind of proc chance to reset CD on Judgment for example.
Seal of Haste: Increases haste by 5% and movement speed by 10%.
Seal of Light: Your attacks heal yourself for 20% of damage caused. Maybe also heal others.

Give Blade of Justice a passive slow effect.
Remove Seraphim and Wake of Ashes. Instead give Final Reckoning a shorter cooldown, bigger radius and also add a daze effect.
Remove Divine Steed… maybe add a ranged ”grip”, but instead of the janky DK-grip its more like a slow pull by the light, or similar to druids vortex with a light orb that draws enemies in.
Give wings shorter duration and shorter cooldown.
Combine Blessing of Freedom and Consecration into one spell, where if you cast consecrate it clears roots and snares on all players inside it, and make it placeable like Final Reckoning. This would also help in PvP to make it non dispellable.


Button bloat: Damage rotation feels Great 10/10. Is it fun? I don’t care, its engaging and enjoyable. Because of that “button bloat” i don’t play Ret for puny fun anymore, i am now Ret Enjoyer. Our damage rotation is SUPERB. We hava a lot of decision making, which i find positive.
Survivability: Yeah we need more of that A LOT MORE if you don’t want to give us mobility.
Maneuverability: Well, if you don’t want us to move faster at last give us more damage in return. It feels super bad being last person in M+ that gets to packs of mobs. This decreases our DPS. Paste of M+ is very fast and being last one to get to group of mobs lowers our Dmg output. Also Horse Has to Go(away).
Regards Ret Enjoyer


remove the horse and give us long arm of the law back is my only request.


First of all, let me thank you for finally giving Ret the attention it needs.

  1. Button bloat.
    Seraphim feels like a pain to use.
    Final reckoning is fun.
    Execution sentence, i never liked in it’s current form, but it has synergies with the other 2 abilities.
    Exorcism… just no. It’s awful to press. Please remove it.

  2. Stacking modifier
    This is mostly a balance thing. There isn’t much i can say until i see the actual tree and the synergies.

  3. Survivability
    Ah! The crux of the issue.
    This can be alleviated by giving Ret acess to both SoV and divine protection. Or divine protection and some other new defensive. Basically, i think every class needs at least 2 low CD defensives for high mythic+ at this time. A one shot ensues otherwise. This is the main issue atm.
    Of course, passives will help too.

  4. Manueverability
    Some years back there was an idea of an ability that would toss a hammer to a target location to which the paladin would holy teleport to by swapping places with it.
    I was always sad to not see it implemented.
    I don’t hate divine steed. I think it felt great in SL when it went up to like 6 second duration. But, lower cooldown and off gcd functionality would be greatly appreciated.
    Back in WoD we had choices such as speed of light and a passive run speed increase of 15%. Those were nice options to have.

  5. Utility
    First, let me say i appreciate the combat res. I think that it is very costly to cast for prot paladin versus other tanks and i hope you review that.
    I did have more utility in SL though. These days i cannot take something like dispel toxins due to how difficult it is to get. It feels strange not to have it.
    I know there is no sense in asking for the moon. Unlike other paladins i am not fond of seals or blessings. I think they brought a hoist of problems with them. Maybe the return of improved sanctity aura would be interesting (the one from back in TBC that gave 2% damage to the party).


Yes, Ret will rise again! Pls blizzard make us top tier dps atleast for one expansion. Also give us buffs we provide to raid/party, like blessing of might/blessing of kings. Survival is only issue in PVP, i so far did not experience issue in PVE, i can sacrifice my dmg and spam Wog To keep myself alive easy if needed. Mobility i do not care if they Give us more raid utility and consitent Dmg. Maybe inqusition needs to make comeback or Seals we used to have in the past. Would be nice to have Seal of Martyr for example back.

Nice, this is needed badly.

Everyone else here will be talking you what feels bad but I want to take a different approach.

I play warrior DK and Paladin, for me the fantasies of the classes have always been different - warrior is highly mobile and has a lot of cool tools to deal with other melee and really should always be the ultimate slugger - DK is the slower moving unstoppable juggernaut that is difficult to escape from being of slows and pulls and other CC and is exceptionally good at killing casters - Ret paladin is not super mobile, it’s not super good at locking someone down preventing them from running away but you have excellent utility, you can heal, you have LoH, BoP, Sac, Sanctuary.

I feel like people would agree with me that those fantasies are shared for most players.

When it comes to ret specifically I actually think you should look into making them more hybrid ranged/melee - currently there is a very fun ret build where you can pump out judgements and hammer of wrath and exorcism and final verdict and honestly it’s really damn fun. I don’t think Ret should be a caster but I do really enjoy this build.

I also think that more ability to save your healers or other teammates from getting globalled by other classes cough ele sham cough would feed their fantasy.

Lastly please take this opportunity to update the class mounts for paladins! Thanks :pray:


Nice to see Ret getting some love. I’m actually having fun with it in BGs, even after the nerfs. Until you’re getting kited it feels okay.

Mobility is the massive issue, especially when the class flavor is screaming out with options.

How about a sort of personal leap of faith? Call it Deus Ex Paladina, Where we fly to an ally’s location maybe with a brief aoe stun as we land?

Or Avenging Flight, something like demon hunters have where our wings actually take us up and we descend like the wrath of the light we’re supposed to be?

Or Light Moves ( EDIT: ‘Speed of the Light’ is actually way better) where we turn into an actual gold ghost, remove cc and essentially teleport 30 yards?

The horse is cool, but needs to come with some kind of cc immunity and dmg reduction built in, as it’s such a big ‘kick me’ sign.

(So are wings incidentally. And bubble. As ret pallies I get that we’re not supposed to be subtle but I think the telegraphing of cooldowns needs to be balanced, at the moment we’re essentially walking weakauras for the opposition)

The choice heavy damage rotation and even associated button bloat is a plus in my eyes. Every six secs or so we get to choose between buffing ourselves, healing ourselves or others, bursting, delivering aoe etc. Loads of fun. Give us more choices if anything.

This could certainly be tuned but I’d be sad to see it go as it’s the heart of the hybrid class for me.

Survivability feels okay to me but if the stats say we’re one of the most killed class across the board then that’s certainly not right for hybrid plate wearers.

But yeah, class flavored mobility options are necessary and plentiful.

What about Hpal?

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Is it possible to do seals again or some sort of “diffrent judgments”?I’m not saying “i want the wotlk 3 judgments back”,but what about a reversed blackout combo that brewmasters have,like for example if we use crusader strike,the next judgment will be “judgment of the crusader” which gives is a small str buff or something,if we do divine storm before a judgment,we get “judgment of the divine” giving us aoe on melee attacks like how seal of righteousness did,with templar’s verdict maybe “judgment of the templar” and get the seal of truth dot back like,we do this and for 30 secs out attacks put a dot which stacks 5 times.
If that’s not rly possible,maybe bring back the old zeal from legion,maybe divine hammer aswell(again,from legion) or make exorcism an upgrade of blade of justice,like how exorcism used to be our “blade of justice” before legion.
For survivability maybe bring back sacred shield from cataclysm or an unpurgeable divine intervention for pvp.
For mobility,if possible,remove divine steed entirely and just add back long arm of the law,sure,some could say the “mounting crusader” theme is strong with that ability but such a “crusader” shouldn’t be stopped by any freeze or after 4 secs(if you talent into it).
Overall,I hope this rework just makes the spec feel better to play,it’s far better to have a “feel good” gameplay of the spec rather than a clunk-fest,but op dmg-wise(atleast imo).
As a final idea(i rly cant get out the seal system idea out of me),is it possible to atleast make blessings of seasons(from holy now) as a baseline spell which does diffrent things specific to your spec? To look back in the past,maybe have the holy “seasons” get judgment of wisdom,judgment of light,judgment of justice and maybe something that puts a small dmg reduction on a chosen target(only holy having the ability to buff allies,if chosen),as for prot:light/the dmg reduction one/maybe something related to more holy power generation and a stacking dot,as for ret:the dot/holy power generation/a speed boost (something like a 15% bonus speed for 30 secs when that buff is active)/and dmg reduction,again for prot/ret,no buffing of others,let them be abit selfish,let the holy be the self-less one.

By the Light this is great news! The 5 points you mentioned are on spot.

Stacking Modifiers: I hope we get a balanced choice between burst and sustained damage on our tree.

Survivability: Divine Shield needs a lower cooldown and should be off GCD. Duration can be reduced 1-2 seconds to compensate.

Maneuverability: 45 seconds is too long as Steed cooldown. Lower cooldown to 30-35 seconds. It also shouldn’t be on GCD.

Utility: I think it’s best if we have a single aura. Crusade and Retribution passives turned into auras in SL which to me made no sense. Revert them back into passives and buff Devotion aura to 5%.

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As everyting this blue post has stated is very vague on what they will actually do, just stating basic gripes many Rets has stated since alpha (amd prior) til now.

So Warrior? DH, druid, monk, hunter, Evoker or Shaman? Wonder why they singled out Rogues as they are far above the rest, at what point would one go into rogue lvl of mobiliy?

  • Replace consecration with Divine Hammer (so that it follows you around when doing m+)
  • Make exorcism an AoE talent alternative that replaces Blade of Justice, and spreads dot when hit by hammer.
  • Give ret some kind of raid buff back ( Blessing of Might, perhaps? )
  • Change Crusader Aura to something more useful for the whole group, maybe a movement speed buff or something.
  • Make retribution aura a passive that return a little bit damage from everyone that takes damage.
  • Maybe give back a spell like Sacred Shield that increases rets defensives passively, without the need to spend both globals and holy power on it.
  • Remove Divine Steed from global cd, and maybe make it automatically provide an undispellable freedom.
  • Give us a gap closer. Maybe bring back Long Arm of the Law. Either that or give us something new and cool, like we throw a sword/hammer that we can reactivate to teleport to.

With these changes and competetive damage I think it would be a great fun spec to play :smiley:


Few ideas from my perspective, I am a PvPer, so hopefully the plusies don’t get too mad at me.

Button Bloat

Too many small buttons and short cds. Ideal buttons for damage, templar, crusader, judge and exorcism (remove blade of wrath, hate the spell) and hammer of wrath for execute. Change base cds, 2 holy power gen on judge over BoD. Beef up damage on crusader, left of tree can make it cleave in consecration.


Remove the % damage on hpower spender after judge, spenders should hit hard as they are spending resourse, some mods needed for bigger windows but not just on rotation. ES/FR should be a choice node or remove 1 of them. Personally old hand of light mastery was better, leads to stacking mastery in pvp, doesnt effect BoJ and CS, would rather % damage of attacks was added on as holy over flat holy buff.

Remove SoV, just give us Dprot, 1 min cd, % based wall, useable while stunned off gcd.
Return cataclysm sacred shield, when you hit 30% proc absorb shield, next heal on you increased by %, 90 sec icd.
Devo aura is 6-10% damage reduction to self, 3% for party. Another choice would be an aura like old eye for an eye, reflecting spell damage taken.


Remove the horse ideally, its lame, looks silly. Ideally replace with long arm, judge sprint or emancipate. If you MUST keep the horse, off gcd and it supresses snares when mounted. (big troll make it knock people down, its a trample, right??.. please don’t)

Double freedom should be a baseline talent in ret tree but remove the % sprint if we get long arm.

I have high hopes, you made sp more enjoyable in pvp with a return to cata like talents. I’ve played ret since tbc and for me, the most enjoyable was Cata (take that wrath enjoyers) design was great, with WoD a close 2nd.

This is good news overall! Thank you for listening. That said I think you need to be more open-minded about Retribution. While it is fair that you have a specific theme in mind when it comes to the spec does it really make sense? Does it make sense that a fighter on plate armor (warrior) can move quickly when needed, but a holy warrior that uses divine magic cannot? That said when it comes to a game I understand there have to be advantages and disadvantages at every choice you make (class ,race etc). But in the last 3 expansions Retribution is pretty much lacking in all aspects of PvE content. Is it okay to have less mobility than rogues? Sure. Is it even okay to have less mobility than anybody else ? Yeah probably. Is it okay to have nothing to make up for that? Not in my opinion. Since you already made the comparison with rogue I’ m gonna stick with that. Rogue has better mobility, better survivability, better utility and better damage. Ret most probably has better burst damage but that’s about it. So what is the reason to choose Ret over Outlaw other than class fantasy? I understand it plays a major role in choosing a class , but you have to remember that it is still a game and we have to feel rewarded for our choices,outside of class fantasy. But thanks again for listeling to feedback , your efforts are being noticed.

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