Ret Paladin 8.0.1 PvE Guide


Hey there, Skeletor here. I am a Ret Templar in the Hammer of Wrath Paladin Discord, and you can check me out in-game under the name Ilivath. I have been raiding Mythic progression for a long time, and I have played a Retribution Paladin as my main for even longer.

Heading into Battle for Azeroth, this guide will serve the same purpose as it did in Legion: providing quality and accurate information about Retribution Paladin. You will find a wealth of information and numerical data in this guide, and I recommend you go through it section by section. Pick the topics that are most relevant to you and slowly work through them. If you feel this guide as a whole has too much to absorb, I recommend checking out the slightly easier to digest guides such as WowHead. If video guides are more your speed, then check out Thete on YouTube for some excellent content.

Outside of this guide and the ones I have above mentioned, we have recently been subjected to a veritable onslaught of guides and videos making all sorts of unsubstantiated claims or providing misinformation, both minor and severe. These types of “guides” are a plague to the community as a whole, and it is shameful that some of them even exist. Unfortunately much of this poorly researched and “feelycrafted” content is located on popular and easily accessible sites, giving it high visibility for newer players who, regrettably, do not know any better.

Poorly written “guides” have many negative effects on the community, and I very strongly believe that when undertaking to provide a guide or class-based information, you must hold yourself to a very high standard and provide that information responsibly. These bad “guides” split our community asunder, giving players who unwittingly follow them inaccurate ideas and notions about how the class functions. Thus, when they follow these “guides” and adapt their playstyle to the information found within, they typically end up with poor performance, or only just marginally better than what they were able to do before. Instead of realizing they have been following a source of misinformation, they feel inclined to blame the class design, resulting in disarray amongst the community and between the playerbase and the designers.

With the new expansion looming ever closer, we are seeing these problematic “guides” being churned out at alarming rates. It seems that everyone with a YouTube channel and Beta access is making their own “Ret Changes” video. I watch every single one of these videos that is brought to my attention, and the vast majority of them are inaccurate, poorly researched, and frankly just a lazy approach to creating a community resource. These “guides” and videos are causing confusion regarding the changes we are seeing and what to expect in BfA. As a result, we have misinformed players watching these videos, and without bothering to corroborate the information, take it as gospel. These players then turn to the WoW Forums – our best source of communication/feedback to the devs and designers – and complain incessantly about what they have falsely come to believe are problems or issues. This drowns out the constructive conversation that we still need to have with the class designers and devs. The expansion is not far away, and it is crunch time for the people on Blizzard’s end to really tighten up the class and make good decisions about the changes. They need to be able to filter out all the noise.

By all means, check out as many guides and videos as you wish. Ingest as much information as you can. I ask only that you fact-check what you see and hear against the reputable sources. If you find something that contradicts WoWHead, The Silver Hand, Thete, or the data I have compiled in this guide, do some research and ask some questions before you immediately assume it to be accurate. The minds behind the reputable sources can all be found at the Hammer of Wrath Discord, so come ask us if you’re uncertain about something. Let’s not muddy the waters with poorly researched misinformation to the detriment of the players and the class as a whole.

Legion to BfA Transition

We will being seeing plenty of changes headed into BfA. The most relevant are as follows:

  • : Base CD is now 6s instead of 4.5s.
  • : Now Grants 1HP and no longer cleaves. The “Judgment Window” is now gone as the debuff will now only buff your next damaging HP spender cast on the target.
  • : Now on the GCD as well as providing a 20% Damage Increase and 20% increased Critical Strike chance versus the old 35% damage increase. This is a buff.
  • : Now on the GCD. Scales purely based on your max health and not secondary stats. It will now also explode for the amount of damage absorbed if it is not fully consumed.
  • : Tooltip update to clarify it prevents harmful effects(physical debuffs such as bleeds).
  • : Sadly still exists as a DPS increase but the duration has been reduced from 20s down to 10s.
  • Mastery:Divine Judgment: Is out and is in!
  • : New mastery! Increases all Holy Damage done by yourself.
  • : Chance for auto attacks to reset the CD .
  • Removal of artifact traits. Some of what I consider the noticeable ones are listed below.
    • : Now exists as a T60 talent called .
    • : Rolled into new talent called .
    • : No more duplicate and casts.
    • : No more duration increase of /.
    • : HP spenders will no longer increase the damage of your next .
    • : Having both and active will no longer increase your Strength by 4%.
    • : No more projecting ‘s.
    • : No more Strength proc.
    • : back to the standard 2M CD.
    • : will no longer heal.
    • : will no longer break you free of hard CC.
    • : is back to a 30s duration.
    • : is back to a 5M CD.
  • Removal of the following talents:
    • Virtue’s Blade
    • Divine Intervention
  • Changes to the following talents:
    • : Now target-able and will also heal the 2 most injured allies near that target within 30yds.
    • : Damage bonus on stunned targets is now only 50% instead of 100%.
    • : Stacks to 10 down from 15. Duration increase from 20s to 25s baseline. Now on the GCD.
    • : Now has a 15% proc chance but provides a 30% bonus to damage and healing of the HP spender.
    • : Boosts ‘s RPPM and causes the next to deal 25% increased damage.
    • : No longer a single tick DoT. Now provides a 20% Holy damage debuff on the target for 12 seconds.
    • : Now provides 1HP and can no longer be chain cast for 100% uptime.
    • : No longer replaces your . Instead grants you a buff increasing the attack speed of your next 3 auto attacks and causes them to do additional Holy damage.
    • : Slight name change with the removal of “The”. Now reduces the CD of by 15% instead of a flat 1s. This is a minor and insignificant nerf.
    • : Each HP spent now reduces the CD of by 2s instead of 2.5s.
  • Addition of new talents:
    • : Akin to except only for .
    • : It’s back! Albeit as a talent and not baseline. Still usable during / and sub 20% execute.
    • : Damaging HP spenders increase the damage of your next .
    • : Similar to the Artifact Trait version. Now has a 45s CD and no longer has a DoT component. Still does Radiant damage which just means Holy and Fire. You now also gain the HP from this ability even if you do not hit a target.
    • : Reduces CD on , and .
    • : HP spenders increase the healing and reduce the cast time of your next stacking up to 4 times.
    • : Inquisition has returned! It is best served as a talent rather than baseline. A “maintenance buff” that consumes HP.

Bug Tracker

Plenty of things that are not working properly or that are intentional design changes that have not been made clear.
– Using a spender with during only grants 2 stacks instead of 3.
does not chain procs properly. The Divine Purpose buff is not consumed immediately when a spender has been cast which can allow you to gain another Divine Purpose proc which is consumed once the first spender has done damage or healing. To see if this bug has affected you open one of your previous logs. Use the menu to navigate to Buffs > Events and select Divine Purpose. Anytime you see “Divine Purpose is refreshed” you missed out on a double proc or potentially higher.
does not grant stacks during . No longer possible at 120.
Using a spender with during only grants 2 stacks instead of 3. No longer possible at 120.
Using with cases the proc to be consumed and consume HP. Now only consumes Divine Purpose. Still not advisable to use Inquisition with a DP proc due to loss of damage. No longer possible at 120..
Using with causes the buff to be consumed and not grant an appropriate duration compared to the amount of HP spent. 2 HP + Proc is giving you 30 seconds of Inquisition instead of 45. This does however work properly with . Fixed.

BfA Design Philosophy

The transition from Legion to BfA is also bringing us some “new” design philosophies.

The most prevalent of the design philosophies is “manufactured downtime”. Starting from the WotLK expansion, there has been a steady increase in the pace of the Retribution playstyle. In its current iteration in Legion, Retribution is a very fast-paced spec, to the point that we currently need to make a choicebetween using our GCDs for DPS or utility. If we wish to use some of our utility spells, it is at the cost of a GCD that could be used for DPS, as one of our core DPS abilities is surely to be off its cooldown. This playstyle can be perceived as somewhat contrary to the idea that Retribution is a ‘utility’ spec, and it seems to be a perception shared by the Blizzard design team.

As I understand it, the intention for BfA is to change Retribution so that core rotational abilities constitute less than 95% of our GCDs, by way of manufactured downtime, allowing us to make use of our utility spells. In a vacuum, those manufactured spare GCDs could be used by utility or healing abilities, but this will be pointless if the encounter design does not require the use of any of those utility or healing abilities at those moments of forced downtime. I believe it is highly unlikely that there will be a raid encounter, let alone many, that will require us to make use of our utility kit that frequently.

Further into the manufactured downtime, Blizzard is also trying to move away from “reactionary” gameplay. This has prompted changes such as putting the majority of DPS cooldowns on the GCD along with some utility, healing, and defensive spells. Blizzard wants people to slow down and really think about what their next spell choice should be rather than combining off and on GCD abilities. This also reduces the focus required to maintain your spell rotation during an encounter, allowing for more breathing room to inspect your surroundings.

Auto-Attack damage has also been massively increased. We can see upwards of ~15% of our overall DPS coming specifically from AA’s. This is an intentional change as Blizzard wants to bring auto-attack damage closer to where it has been “historically”. The last instance of having auto-attack damage at such a high level was during MoP, and that was due primarily to Guardian of the Ancient Kings accounting for half of our AA damage. If we remove the portion of AA damage provided by GoAK, then we need to go back even further to WotLK to see levels of AA damage that will be comparative to what we anticipate in BfA. It is worth noting, however, that we had plenty of baseline interaction with our AA’s during WotLK thanks mostly in part to Seal of Vengeance. In BfA, that interaction will be extremely limited in comparison, as is the only baseline ability creating any kind of AA/spell interaction. Personally, I do not see much point in having AA damage so high for its own sake. I believe it should have some sort of meaningful interaction with the rest of our kit.

Retribution has excelled at two-target cleave damage through the Legion expansion. However, we will be seeing a drastic reduction in this type of damage in BfA. As of right now, only three specs will be specialists in two-target cleave damage: Arms Warrior, Frost Mage, and Destruction Warlock. DoT classes will obviously still benefit from an extra target, but it will not be their primary focus. As a result of this change, we will maintain a ‘single-target’ rotation even with two targets, and only swap to an AoE/cleave focused rotation at three or more targets.

The final shift in design philosophy we will be seeing in BfA is a heavy use of “White Listing” in relation to abilities and items that increase DPS, wherein these abilities and items will only benefit from DPS increasing abilities/items if it is explicitly stated. This is believed to be to combat certain trinkets or items being absurdly powerful for some classes/specs in comparison to others due to interactions with their CDs or Mastery, which we have seen extensively in Legion. Fury and Arms Warrior CDs made overwhelmingly powerful, and Enhancement Shaman Mastery interacted with creating an incredible DPS increase for this spec compared to others. These are just two examples.

In order to help preserve the overall balance of DPS across the various classes and specs, abilities (on-use or passive) and items such as trinkets that increase DPS will no longer benefit from damage increasing moves or talents unless explicitly stated. For further clarification, the Golganneth’s Vitality trinket is a good example. This trinket has a chance to proc extra nature damage on your target. The way it currently functions is that this damage proc will hit for X amount baseline, but if under the effect of AW/Crusade or any other damage increasing talents, the proc will increase accordingly. In BfA, however, due to the White Listing design, the damage proc will always be for the same amount, and not benefit from any increases.

Our damage increasing/modifying abilities that will be affected by this change are , / and . Clicking on those links will show you which spells are White Listed for us. They only increase the damage of spells/abilities that are native to Ret Paladin and our Azerite Traits.

Core Abilities

Rotational Abilities

Abilities used to generate and spend HP to deal damage.

  • : Main ST HP spender. Affected by our .
  • : Main AoE HP spender. Damage is not split among targets. Affected by our .
  • : Long CD and hard hitting HP generator.
  • : Long CD and hard hitting HP generator. Affected by our .
  • : Low CD and Damage HP generator. 2 charges. Charges do not refresh independently.

Offensive Cooldowns

Abilities used to increase our damage output.

  • : Our major DPS CD. Now on the GCD. Provides 20% Damage and 20% Critical Strike chance.
  • : Offensive CD. Read below. Only scales off of Max HP and not secondary stats. Will explode for the amount of damage absorbed if not fully consumed. In AoE it is a “meteor” skill meaning the damage is equally split amongst all targets. Now on the GCD. NOT affected by our .


Abilities used for damage reduction, damage prevention or mobility.

  • : Long CD mobility.
  • : Damage immunity that causes .


Abilities that can be cast on yourself or others.

  • : Removes and grants immunity to movement impairing effects on a targeted party and raid member. Can also be self-cast.
  • : Prevents physical damage and harmful effects on a targeted party or raid member. Causes . Can also be self-cast.
  • : Heals a friendly target equal to your maximum HP. Causes . Can also be self-cast.
  • : Places a small periodic absorb on a friendly target.
  • : Places a periodic mana and health regen on a friendly target(Healers love this).
  • : Short cast heal.
  • : Removes all Poison and Disease effects from a friendly target. Can be self cast.
  • : Taunt.
  • : Single target res.

Crowd Control

Standard mob control affair.

  • : Interrupt.
  • : Stun.
  • : Slow.


Abilities that work in the background to augment your damage and utility.

  • : Increases all Holy Damage done by yourself.
  • : Chance for auto attacks to reset the CD . 2 RPPM. Our baseline RNG to make up for an otherwise bland rotation.
  • :
  • : Increases mounted movement speed. This includes .


Looks cool.

  • : You can now Tebow in-game. Best used before new bosses or after countless wipes.


Battle For Azeroth is bringing us an entirely revamped talent tree with a clear and concise design philosophy. In Legion many of the talent rows served multiple purposes. One of the biggest examples were Single Target and AoE abilities competing on the same row. The first part of this new Philosophy, and arguably the most important, is that the individual talent rows tend to serve a single purpose (e.g., Single Target, AoE, CC, Defensive and Utility). The second part is that the leftmost column will tend to be more passive or straightforward and as you progress towards the right. The talents become more active or potentially require more thought than simply pushing a button. Do not let this alarm you though. This does not mean the entire right column will provide the most DPS, nor does it imply the entire left column will be useless to someone doing high level content such as Mythic Raiding or pushing Mythic + dungeons.

Level 15

This is our ST throughput row. It does not affect our rotational speed. Every talent in this row is affected by .This row is well balanced overall.

  • : This talent greatly increases our resistance to losing DPS via downtime. Zeal can stack up to 9 times and lasts for 20s. Any long transitions aside you shouldn’t lose any stacks. Zeal does not increase the proc chance of /. AoW/BoW are RPPM and RPPM is only affected by Haste not attack speed. It is also the only talent that does not lose value in AoE.
  • : Akin to except only for . Has 0 AoE value due to only working with Templar’s Verdict.
  • : Priority target damage increase. If you have an add that needs to die fast this can be a strong choice. Lines up well with /. Has no AoE value due to target’s potentially dying early and not being able to dump ‘s into the debuffed target.

Level 30

This is our ST generator row that also has an effect on the speed of our rotation. All choices also have an inherent AoE benefit. This row is well balanced overall.

  • : Now provides a 15% CD reduction. This is technically a very slight nerf, but not worth fretting over. This allows for the lowest rotational downtime and has a bit of RNG flair with the HP spender reduction. Increased HP generation allows for both ST and AoE performance increases.
  • : Boosts to 4 RPPM and causes the next to deal 25% increased damage. Increased HP generation allows for both ST and AoE performance increases. Can proc when Blade of Justice is off of CD.After you first Blade of Justice cast on pull BoW will proc immediately. Does not work the same way with AoW.
  • : It’s back! Albeit as a talent and not baseline. Still usable during / and sub 20% execute. Useful in AoE for sniping targets at 20% or lower allowing more HP generation for both ST and AoE performance increases. Is affected by .

Level 45

Straight forward Crowd Control row. Essentially identical to Legion.

  • : Now reduces cd by 2s instead of 2.5s.
  • : Standard long duration CC usable on certain mob types.
  • : Standard short duration disorient.

Level 60

This is our AoE focused row that still provides a benefit to ST damage. Every talent in this row is affected by . This row is mostly balanced.

  • : You don’t need to worry about delaying your for more stacks. Currently it is “weaker” in terms of pure numbers but it does have the benefit in AoE of providing the largest priority target damage. Could use a small buff to be more competitive.
  • : Now generates 1HP. The CD nor duration are affected by Haste. Haste will provide you more ticks during the 6s window. The long CD and short duration is to make this ability easier to use as it will be less affected by movement. Having a target be stationary for 6s every 20s is much more reasonable than the older version that could essentially be used on CD. Roughly even with .
  • : Similar to the Artifact Trait version. Now has a 45s CD and no longer has a DoT component. Still does Radiant damage which just means Holy and Fire. You now also gain the HP from this ability even if you do not hit a target. Roughly even with .

Level 75

This is our Defensive row.

  • : Provides a second charge of .
  • : Makes a 3.5M CD and a 1.4M. Reduces the CD of to 7M as well but we would still most likely only get 1 use per fight still anyways.
  • : Physical DR same as live. Usage will depend on encounter design.

Level 90

This is our Healing/Utility row.

  • : Now stacks up to 4 times and works off of our HP spenders. The Healing benefit can now also apply to you making this more of a “Selfish Healer”.
  • : This is not meant to be a DPS increase. It costs 5HP and does less damage than . On a stunned target it will do more damage total than Templar’s Verdict but it does do less damage per HP spent than Templar’s Verdict. It could either be used just because you find you need the heal or if you have a proc on a stunned target.
  • : Currently the healing provided is incredibly strong.

Level 100

This is our row themed for play style. All pose as a DPS increase in ST and AoE scenarios and have an affect on our rotation. Currently this row has some tuning issues.

  • : Now has a 15% proc chance but provides a 30% bonus to damage and healing of the HP spender. This is our strongest talent in this row by 2.5%. For clarity it can indeed proc off of itself. However, it appears to be bugged. You will gain the proc before the first one is consumed and your initial DP cast will consume both procs.
  • : Watered down version of Legion Crusade. It lasts 25 seconds and now only stacks 10 times down from 15 while providing the same 3% Damage and Haste modifier per stack. This is our weakest talent by a 3.5% margin.
  • : Inquisition has returned! It is best served as a talent rather than baseline. It will be much easier to maintain compared to the past due to having increased HP generation and now befitting from the “Pandemic” mechanic. Pandemic allows you to refresh certain buffs and debuffs before they expire and extend the duration beyond its original value by around 30%. With Inquisition being a 45 second buff if used at 3HP we would be able to use Inquisition with 3HP again around 13 seconds and refresh the buff to a 58s duration. This allows us to very easily maintain the buff without letting it fall off or “waste” HP on a early refresh. Weaker than by ~2.5%.

Talent Ratings

Only the Top 10 profiles are shown for each setup. The profiles however contain all the talent combinations. Simulation profiles are available here for ST and here for Hectic Add Cleave.

Priority System

This is our general rotation. And yes, it is a priority system and not a rotation. You start at the top of the list and work your way down until the required criteria is met and you use that ability.

  1. when is down OR ‘s CD is less than 10 seconds and has 15 or less seconds remaining.
  2. with 5HP.
  3. while at 0HP OR at 1HP if remains on CD for greater than 1 GCDs.
  4. at 3HP or less.
  5. at 4HP or less.
  6. with 4HP or less.
  7. at 4HP or less.
  8. at 2 Charges and at 4HP or less.
  9. at 4HP or less OR with a proc.
  10. regardless of charges at 4HP or less.
  11. at 4HP or less and everything is on CD for a GCD or longer.

Further Considerations

  • Ensure has more time remaining than the length of . If Inquisition is at or below 20s remaining and the CD of Avenging Wrath is less than 15 seconds you can refresh Inquisition with 3HP to avoid having it run out during Avenging Wrath.
  • Replace with at 3 or more targets. If you have 2x traits you can use on ST when a mob is below 20% HP ONLY to maintain the buff.P
  • Ideally you should end up with 4HP or more going into , but we don’t want to delay usage. If you play your rotation properly this should happen naturally in most cases.
  • When using at 3HP and is usable and talented, make sure is on CD for 2 or more GCDs. The reasoning behind this is that will take 1 GCD and your next HP spender will take 1 GCD.
  • When using at 4HP make sure is on CD for 2 or more GCDS. takes 1 GCD and your next HP spender will take 1 GCD.
  • When using at 3HP make sure is on CD for 2 or more GCDS. takes 1 GCD and your next HP spender will take 1 GCD.
  • When using at 4HP make sure and are on CD for 2 or more GCDs. As I’ve said multiples times above so far this just helps ensure we do not “waste” potential casts of high priority abilities.
  • When using at 3HP follow the same logic as using at 3HP.
  • When using at 4HP follow the same logic as using at 4HP.


With a large number of viable talent builds there are a large number of possible openers. If I was to add every single one this page would quickly become a mess. Instead I will show you a few examples and give you some general tips to make sure your opener is correct.

General Tips

  • should be your #1 priority(in scenarios that cause you not to overcap HP) after using / to ensure you can get the maximum number of uses.
  • is sadly on the GCD. You should not use it pre-pull anymore. Use it to fill gaps in your rotation.
  • can be used pre-pull as it has a 3s delay.

Pre-Pull Opener

It is not worth doing.

ES HoW Wake Inq

Zeal/RV HoW Wake Inq

ES HoW Cons Inq

Zeal/RV HoW Cons Inq

ES HoW Wake Crusade

Zeal/RV HoW Cons Crusade


Avenging Wrath

Coming from an expansion where we exclusively used , is a bit more lenient in terms of usage.

  • It does not matter how much HP you have when you activate Avenging Wrath.
  • As stated in Further Considerations ensure that the remaining time on Inquisition is equal or greater than the duration of Avenging Wrath
  • Make sure you can make full use of the 20s duration.

One of the more common concerns is whether or not you should delay Avenging Wrath. Unfortunately I am not able to give you a simple “Yes” or “No” answer. However, I can provide you with the knowledge you need to make this decision for yourself.

  • If there is an intermission phase that will not allow you to fully benefit you should delay your usage.
  • Delaying Avenging Wrath to sync up with depends on the length of the fight. With a 2M CD you can expect to use it at roughly 0:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 and so on. So you want to ensure that if you delay Avenging Wrath, you will not lose a potential use of Avenging Wrath. Examples below.
    • Fight Length 4:30. Given that Avenging Wrath is a 2M CD with a 20s duration, we would not want to delay Avenging Wrath more than 10s total to ensure we benefit from 3 uses.
    • Fight Length 3:30. Given that Avenging Wrath is a 2M CD with a 20s duration, we could delay our 2nd Avenging Wrath up to 1:10 to make full use of 2 uses.


usage is very similar to Legion. The biggest change is that is now a talent so you might not always have it available for the quick HP generation. For Crusade to be worth considering you have to be able to play it near perfect.

  • Crusade gives you 1 stack by default so you need to use 3 HP spenders to build your 10 stacks. This should be done as quickly as possible so make sure to prioritize your HP spenders regardless of your HP until you reach 10 stacks.
  • Your first ability after Crusade will always either be Hammer of Wrath or a damaging HP spender.
  • As shown in the Openers section, when Wake of Ashes is talented you will open with Wake of Ashes then Crusade. Due note however the CD of Wake of Ashes is now 45s so it will not line up with each Crusade.
  • When Wake of Ashes is not talented you will build to 4HP first then use Crusade.
  • When using Crusade later in the fight you need to ensure you have at least 4HP for maximum benefit.
  • Make sure you can make full use of the 20s duration.

As far as whether is is worth it to delay Crusade or not please refer to the last list of the Avenging Wrath section. Please note that Crusade lasts 25s and not 20s like Avenging Wrath. You will need to slightly adjust for this.

Shield of Vengeance

may have been a quasi-Offensive/Defensive CD during Legion;However, it is my understanding in BfA that our DPS will be tuned with SoV in mind. It is our hardest hitting ability by a large margin. We will want to use as much of the absorb as we possibly can for maximum damage. Realistically we can expect this to amount to 3-4% of our overall damage. This does mean that has the potential to be a DPS increase if we can get an extra use on a given fight.


You should continue to have the same mindset as in Legion. All of our secondary stats are very close in value and generally speaking ILVL upgrades will be better. AS always follow the above advice.


Below you will find the commonly accepted Haste break points. These are not “caps”. I am also not advising that you should should be at one of the listed values below. These are just the mathematical points where new stuff happens. It is important to note these numbers do not account for latency and human reaction time. In realistic scenarios you would need a bit more Haste to achieve the following results.

  • Number of GCDs Available:

    • 9: 12.53% or 5.17% with .
    • 10: 25% or 16.82% with Inquisition.
    • 11: 37.51% or 28.51% with Inquisition.
    • 12: 50% or 40.19% with Inquisition.

  • Number of GCDs Available:

    • 5: 25% or 16.82% with .
    • 6: 50% or 40.19% with Inquisition.

  • Number of GCDs Available:

    • 14: 5.05% or 0% with .
    • 15: 12.53% or 5.17% with Inquisition.
    • 16: 20% or 12.15% with Inquisition.
    • 17: 27.56% or 19.2% with Inquisition.
    • 18: 35.02% or 26.19% with Inquisition.
    • 19: 42.59% or 33.26% with Inquisition.
    • 20: 50% or 40.19% with Inquisition.

  • Number of Casts during assuming Hammer of Wrath is used on CD:

    • 4: 27.5% or 19.16% with .
    • 5: 65% or 54.2% with Inquisition.
    • 6: 102.5% or 89.25% with Inquisition.
    • 7: 140% or 124.3% with Inquisition.


Below you will find a Pre-Raid gearset and a Raid gearset. This is NOT a BiS list. This is a general idea of gear you could aim for. In the world of Titanforging and Sockets your results will vary and you have to sim yo self. Additional credit to Solsacra for helping create the Pre-Raid and Raid profiles and Urth for some minor edits to the Pre-Raid profile.











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Azerite Trait overview and ratings below. Please note that the lack of comments on some traits is me deciding there was nothing special worth mentioning outside of the tooltip. This does not mean that a trait is bad because it lacks commentary. Please refer to the ratings charts below for a better idea of the power of these abilities.
Initial Azerite Trait ratings. The “x” denotes how many of each trait is being used or “stacked”. This will be updated constantly with SimC updates and BfA updates. check back often. Important notes below as well.

Tier 3 DPS

: Affected by Inquisition, Avenging Wrath/Crusade, Execution Sentence and Mastery. The ticks from this ability can also crit.
: Indirectly benefits from damage increases such Inquisition, Avenging Wrath/Crusade, Execution Sentence, Mastery and Versatility by increasing the damage of Judgment. The effectiveness in the real world can vary due to the potential of not always being at max HP.
: Only the amount of Haste gained increases with more traits. The duration or stacks gained are not affected. Dropping your stacks due to extended mechanic, intermissions or time between pulls in M+ will heavily devalue this trait.
: Indirectly benefits from damage increases such Inquisition, Avenging Wrath/Crusade and Versatility by increasing the damage of Crusader Strike. Dropping your stacks due to extended mechanic, intermissions or time between pulls in M+ will heavily devalue this trait.
: Only available from Uldir. The effect works in all zone. However, inside Uldir it will enable for further benefit.
: Only available from Uldir. The effect works in all zone. However, inside Uldir it will enable for further benefit.
: Only available as Quest gear or from Champions of Azeroth reputation.
: More incentive to always be behind the target for maximum effectiveness.
: To be clear this is NOT an AoE. It is more of a DoT.
: Can lose value if you;re not able to consistently stand in the circle.
: Make sure to collect the orbs.
/: PvP Trait. Reduced effectiveness in PvE.
/: PvP Trait. Reduced effectiveness in PvE.
/: PvP Trait. Reduced effectiveness in PvE. Provides very small personal damage boost as other allies attacking a target can also consume the stacks.

Tier 2 DPS

: Will have reduced effectiveness while taking damage.

Tier 2 Utility

Tier 2 traits are still strongly connected to either DPS, Tanking or Healing specs. As far as wanting to take a T2 Utility trait over a DPS trait will have to be personal preference. I would advise not taking one unless it somehow becomes mandatory to survive a certain encounter or scenario which seems unlikely.

: The only trait I feel is worth mentioning at this time. It has decent strength but it is removed upon reaching full HP.

Tier 1 Utility

I can’t tell you which Utility trait is best. All I can do is offer my observations to help you decide on what may be useful in your situation.

: It is important to note that the Speed stat suffers from Diminishing Returns. The 1st trait will give you a speed-boost but subsequent traits will not increase your Speed very much. Divine Steed is also considered a mount so you do not benefit from the Speed increase until Divine Steed runs out leaving you with 2s off the buff left.
: This would be heavily encounter specific if it ever has a use.
: Has some value.
: Decently effective in M+ and potentially Add heavy encounters.
: Provides solid Physical and AoE damage reduction.
: Potentially could have value.
: Provides a minor movement speed benefit.
: Mini Prydaz. Can have some value.
: Very weak at this time. Benefit is mostly in Solo play.
: May have potential in AoE scenarios in group play. Probably better suited for solo play.

Azerite Ratings

These charts are interactive. You can mouseover the names on the left for WoWHead Tooltips, the bars for DPS Gain and Total DPS, and you can use the legend on the right hand side to disable specific options. In general PvP Azerite Traits have reduced effectiveness in PvE. I am unaware if the same is true for PvE traits in PvP. The chart will account for reduced PvE effectiveness in most cases. To find the best possible Azerite gear use this nifty Azerite Power Finder. Select Paladin and in the bottom left check the box named “Select Multiple” and choose what traits you’re looking for. Simulation profiles are available here for ST and here for Hectic Add Cleave.


Initial Trinket ratings. This will be updated constantly with SimC updates and BfA updates. check back often. Important notes below as well.

    does not yet properly spawn tendrils. In-game testing for this trinket leads me to believe it is lackluster and I would expect a buff.
    is not working properly in SimC. The versatility is not being split properly. In-game expect it to perform at about 50% of what is listed here. This will be a group DPS benefit but a personal DPS loss.
    – Raid trinkets are not properly supported at this time. Disc of Systematic Regression is not properly split in AoE.
    is not fully implemented. The buff duration nor cooldown are affected by our HP spenders. Realistically this trinket will perform better than listed here.
    is channeled and prevents you from attacking or auto-attacking for 3s.

Trinket Rankings

These charts are interactive. You can mouseover the names on the left for WoWHead Tooltips, the bars for DPS Gain and Total DPS, and you can use the legend on the right hand side to disable specific options. Simulation profiles are available here for ST and here for Hectic Add Cleave.


Sim. Yo. Self. Only 1 Strength gem can be used and it is potentially worth using.



The secondary stat enchants are our best options at this time. is just not good and is meant for casters so it has a reduced proc chance for melee.

Weapon Enchant Rankings

Simulation profile is available here.


Sim yo self.




is our best option when available. When it is not available you will need to sim yo self.

Food Rankings

Simulation profile will be available once food is properly implemented. I had to use a clever work around to produce these results, but it takes some effort to do and cannot be accomplished by simply loading a profile.


Both potions are very close in ST and pulls ahead in AoE.

Potion Rankings

Simulation profiles are available here for ST and here for Hectic Add Cleave.




Blood Elf

: AoE purge. Grants 1HP on use. 1.5M CD.

: 1% increased critical strike chance.


: 78 Strength at lvl 120 and 19 Strength at lvl 110.

Lightforged Draenei

: Call down a strike of Holy energy, dealing (Attack power * 12) Holy damage to enemies within 5 yards after 3 sec. IT is best to use on multiple targets if possible. In a single target scenario you can pop it on CD or use it during Crusade at 15 stacks. There is no difference DPS wise. NOT affected by our .


: 2% bonus Critical Strike damage.


: 2% additional secondary stat gain

: Stun removal


: 2% bonus Critical Strike damage.

Dark Iron Dwarf

: 4% increased movement speed indoors.
: 1% physical damage reduction.
: Increases Strength by a flat amount and additional Strength for each poison, disease, curse, magic and bleed effect removed.

Racial Rankings

Simulation profile is available here.



There are several useful addons to assist with your gameplay as a Ret Paladin.

WeakAuras 2: Most versatile addon in WoW. For the inept such as myself there is a wonderful site called WAGO with a number of community made WA’s. More in the Additional Resources section.

Hekili: Priority assistant addon akin to CLCRet. Allows you to customize the displays as well priority list used.


There are not as many needed macros as there used to be. I’ve excluded pretty much all mouseover, focus target and what other macros as you can just Google them. 13 is the first trinket slot and 14 is the second trinket slot. Adjust accordingly.

1. ”’Burst Macro”’:Used if Avenging Wrath/Crusade and trinket have same duration.
/cast Avenging Wrath
/use 13

2. ”’Burst Cast Sequence”’:Used if Avenging Wrath/Crusade and trinket have different duration’s. First press is Avenging Wrath/Crusade and second press is trinket. After 20 seconds the macro will reset back to the first line which is Avenging Wrath/Crusade.
/castsequence reset=20 Avenging Wrath, 13

3. ”’Wake/Cons Macro”: Single button for either Wake of Ashes or Consecration .
/cast [talent:4/2] Consecration
/cast [talent:4/3] Wake of Ashes

Additional Resources

My YouTube: I HAVE BEEN UNBANNED FINALLY! An online database to share WeakAuras, ElvUI profiles and potentially other sharable World of Warcraft addon elements.

SimulationCraft: Invaluable resource for testing various fight, gearing and talent scenarios. Please visit the Hammer of Wrath Discord for a detailed usage guide.

WoWHead Ret Paladin Guide: Maintained by Rebdull in the Hammer of Wrath Discord.

Thete Gaming: Retribution video guides and other assorted videos. Maintained by Thete in the Hammer of Wrath Discord.


I wish to acknowledge the following individuals and groups who have worked very hard in the Paladin community to make these resources available. This list is not in any order. I know I’m probably forgetting somebody. If you think you should be here PM me in Discord.

Hammer of Wrath Paladin Discord– THE BEST PALADIN RESOURCE

HulaHoops– Guild Leader, Proofreader and the best Hammer of Wrath Mod. Send her cat pictures.

Mbdtf– Hammer of Wrath Admin.

Thordros– Silverhand Guide Creator.

Rebdull– WoWHead Guide Maintainer

Thete– Video Guide Maker.

Mserrano– Retribution Simc Coder and dirty Warlock.

Solsacra– Legendary theorycrafter. Tolerates my stupid questions.



Giuseppe Arcimboldo– GOAT.

Abija- CLCRet/CLCInfo Creator.

Hekili– Creator of Hekili the priority helper addon.

WeakAuras– Best Addon ever created.– Online WeakAura database



    -Additional Trinket notes.


    -Trinket and Azerite Data updated 4:43AM EDT.


    -Trinket and Azerite Data updated 11:55AM EDT.


    -Added Simulation profiles.
    -Trinket Data updated 5:08PM EDT.


    -Removed BfA Pre-Patch section.
    -Added ST and HAC Talent Ratings.
    -Updated Bug Tracker
    -Graph backgrounds are no longer white. Thanks Rebdull.
    -Sims are now graphs.
    -Divine Right rotation note.
    -Updated Darkmoon trinket.


    -120 Trinkets.
    -Updated Collective Will/Stronger Together.
    -BattleField Focus/Battlefield Precision added to SimC.
    -Updated Azerite charts 3:30PM EDT.
    -Updated Azerite charts 7:30PM EDT. Added Dagger in the Back from front of target.
    -Updated Trinket notes.
    -Updated Potion sims.


    -Stupid pre-pull opener.
    -Wake/Cons Macro.


    -Blade of Wrath procs immediately on pull after first Blade of Justice cast.
    -Some bug fixes.


    -Bug Tracker added.


    -Updated Pre-patch sims.


    -Divine Storm is no longer worthwhile on 2 targets with Divine Judgment.


    -Inquisition consumes T21 4P buff.
    -Blade of Wrath can proc when Blade of Justice is off CD.


    -7/17/2018 Hotfixes were a BUFF not a nerf.
    -Updated Pre-patch Consumables after 7/16/2018 Hotfixes
    -Updated Pre-patch Talents after 7/16/2018 Hotfixes
    -Updated Pre-patch Gear after 7/16/2018 Hotfixes
    -Updated Pre-patch Trinkets after 7/16/2018 Hotfixes
    -Updated Pre-patch Stats after 7/16/2018 Hotfixes
    -Updated Talents after 7/16/2018 Hotfixes.
    -Inquisition/Divine Purpose bug.


    -Updated Opener for “Zeal/RV HoW Wake Inq”.
    -Updated notes due to bug.
    -Old War is now the recommended potion for ST and AoE. Was not properly ignoring armor first pass.
    -Updated “Further Considerations” for .


    -Initial Pre-patch Release.


    -Initial Release.