First of all, I would like to introduce myself. You all may know me as Lynea, and I have retail experience with Retribution specifically for many years now. Believe me on that fact or don't, I don't really care.
The purpose of this thread is to provide a specific place for newer and inexperienced players to learn how to play their spec/class a bit, and for older and more experienced players to discuss and theorycraft regarding Retribution PvP.
If you wish to see my armory, you may look here: Lynea - Ragnaros
I usually have my PvE Retribution specs enabled. Occasionally I will switch to PvP. If you are interested in my exact talent build, glyphs, and my current gear, that is where you should look.
Please try and keep the discussion clean from trolling and flames. Constructive criticism is appreciated. The more of it we have, the better the guide will develop and perhaps evolve.
- Techniques and strategies
- Arena Compositions
Spoiler:Primary stat? Strength, of course!
Secondary stats are crit rating, hit rating, attack power, stamina, resilience, armor, and armor penetration.
Other useful stats, but ones that you should never see on your gear are spell power, expertise, haste, and agility.
(Please keep in mind that agility, haste and expertise can be found on BiS PvE gear, but this is not a PvE thread.)
- Strength - You will generally try to get as much as this stat as you possibly can. It scales with several talents and Blessing of Kings.
- Crit rating - Never enough crit. Atleast 30% is recommended, but the more the better.
- Hit rating - You will need 5% hit rating for PvP (your targets will generally be the same level as you (80).) This does not take into account certain class talents and racial abilities. Also, spells such as Exorcism apply to the spell hit rating cap, which is much higher than the melee/physical hit rating cap. It is 'okay' to get a bit more than 5% hit rating, but not required. 163.95 (rounded up to 164) hit rating is equivalent to 5%.
- Attack power - While it does scale well with certain talents and buffs, and does increase your damage output significantly, it does not scale as well as strength. As strength has even more talent and buff based multipliers.
- Stamina - Always a good stat. Without much of it, you would surely die rather quickly. However, you will gain plenty of this stat with your gear. No real need to gem or enchant for it.
- Resilience - Priority survivability stat. The more of this you get, the harder you will be to kill. While 1400 rating is the soft cap for this stat, many paladins do not find the need to obtain this much, as paladins have more defensive abilities and cooldowns than any other class. Aim for 800-1200 of this stat. 1200 being optimal, 800 being the minimum. Aim for the minimum if you are using PvE gear to maximize your DPS. Otherwise, aim for 1200 to maximize your survivability.
- Armor - Like stamina, this will come with your gear and reduces any and all physical damage you take.
- Armor penetration - While not as useful for a paladin as it might be for a Hunter, Warrior or Rogue, it still has its uses. Auto-Attack, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm all deal physical damage, so a bit of armor penetration is welcome. This stat is not worth gemming for.
- Spell power - This does increase the amount you can heal, and does increase the damage of some of your abilities, but you will not gain this stat directly from gear, gems, or enchants. Instead, you will gain this stat from your Sheath of Light talent, that gives you spell power based on your attack power.
- Expertise - While useful against tank specs in PvP, or against certain defensive cooldowns like Evasion, this stat is not worth gemming, enchanting, or gearing for.
- Agility - This stat is on some PvE BiS gear, however, this stat is not worth the itemization points in PvP. It grants a small amount of melee crit, dodge, and armor, but provides nothing significant for a PvP setting.
- Haste - While not being very useful, it is not completely useless. Most of your abilities are instant cast, but this increases your auto-attack speed and the cast speed of various spells that you may use that may not be instant cast spells. These include, but are not limited to, Redemption, Holy Light, Flash of Light, Turn Evil, and a non-Art of War procced Exorcism.
Spoiler:Your gear is one of those things that will always affect your playstyle. Some like to integrate some PvE gear in with their PvP set to maximize DPS output, while others like to go full PvP gear and maximize their resilience.
For the sake of discussion in this thread, I am going to work with a full Wrathful mainset and offset.
For your offset items, neck and cloak specifically, get the hit rating versions if needed. (Is recommended.) Keep your entire gear set in mind, though. It is okay to go over the hit rating cap of 5%, but do not exceed 8%, as it is a waste. If you have reached the desired amount of hit rating, and do not wish to obtain more, then using the crit versions of the above mentioned off-set items is recommended.
Using two parts of Tier 10 for the set bonus can be effective. It is also very popular to use a PvE weapon for additional damage. Using leather items over their plate counterparts are not recommended in PvP, mainly because of the decrease in the amount of armor and attack power you gain. It should also be noted that many PvE "off-set" items such as rings, necks, and cloaks are often used in PvP sets.
The use of PvE items is only recommended once you have a sufficient amount of resilience to keep yourself alive.
I would recommend the Wrathful ring and the Ashen Verdict strength ring to maximize burst damage and survivability.
Strength ring offers 99 strength raw. With kings and Divine Strength, this becomes 99 * 1.15 * 1.1 = 125 strength or 250 attack power and 75 spell power from talent. The Agility ring offers 135 attack power and 40 spell power from talent. This huge loss is not worth exchanging for the 1.13% crit and the negligible dodge and armor that is offered.
This particular part depends on your race. If you are not human, then you must get a PvP trinket such as: Medallion of the Alliance
If you are human, you may choose to use two of these. Recommended trinkets are as follows.
- Sharpened Twilight Scale
- Death's Verdict (Death's Choice being the Horde version.)
- Tiny Abomination in a Jar (Recommended for only when you have another proc based trinket)
- Deathbringer's Will
- Whispering Fanged Skull
- Corroded Skeleton Key (More stamina and survivability)
- Mark of Supremacy (Recommended if you really need the hit rating or like USE trinkets)
- Dark Matter
- Darkmoon Card: Greatness (Strength version)
Gems: (Please note Jewelcrafter-only gems are not taken into account.)
But why not Chaotic Skyflare Diamond instead? Because the Relentless meta gem requires only a Nightmare Tear to activate it, which you can then gem 100% red +20strength gems. If you have a Nightmare Tear and one other blue gem, then by all means, use the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond.
- Relentless Earthsiege Diamond (Recommended for maximizing damage)
Try to use one Nightmare Tear at all times to help activate your meta gem.
- Bold Cardinal Ruby (+20 strength) - Place in all sockets except for meta socket, Nightmare Tear socket, or only in an item's red sockets when you are aiming for the socket bonus.
- Inscribed Ametrine (+10 strength, +10 crit rating) - Only use for yellow sockets, and only use them when obtaining a socket bonus.
- Etched Ametrine (+10 strength, +10 hit rating) - Only use for yellow sockets, and only use them when obtaining the socket bonus or when you really need hit rating.
- Resplendent Ametrine (+10 strength, +10 resilience) - Only use for yellow sockets. This gem is only useful when you are using much PvE gear and lack resilience.
- Sovereign Dreadstone - Only use them for blue sockets, and only use them when obtaining a socket bonus.
Only ones worth having are where you gain +6 strength socket bonus for 2 sockets, or +9 strength socket bonus for 3 sockets when only 1 of them is blue.
Enchants: (Please note that profession-only specific enchants are not taken into account.)
- Head - Arcanum of Torment - Knights of the Ebon Blade reputation.
- - or - Arcanum of Triumph
- Shoulders - Greater Inscription of the Axe - Sons of Hodir reputation.
- - or - Inscription of Triumph
- Cloak - Major Agility
- Chest - Powerful Stats
- Bracers - Greater Assault
- Hands - Crusher
- Belt - Eternal Belt Buckle
- Legs - Icescale Leg Armor
- Boots - Greater Assault or Icewalker (If you need hit rating, get Icewalker.)
- Weapon - Berserking