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Build Shop: Paladin 5/8/41 + 7

Chris Jahosky

Every Tuesday, Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.

Welcome back to the wonderful world of Build Shop! I've got a lot to say this week, since this is a spec that is near and dear to my heart (even though my Paladin is Protection spec these days) -- Retribution. I've tried to strip it down to the essentials (or what I think is the essentials) so that you can shift points around depending on what you want to do with it.

Holy (5 points)

  • Divine Strength (5/5) - Increases total strength by 10%. This is really the only talent worth taking in the Holy tree for this build. This talent allows you to stack strength with better returns than stacking attack power.
Protection (8 points)
  • Redoubt (5/5) - Damaging melee and ranged attacks against you have a 10% chance to grant you an increased 30% chance to block for 10 seconds (or 5 blocks, whichever comes first). In the off chance that you ever pick up a shield with this build, this will be more useful for tanking than Improved Devotion Aura.
  • Precision (3/3) - Increases your chance to hit with attacks and spells by 3%. This talent is the reason to spec into this tree. Whether you'rePvPing or raiding, this talent has a use -- it's 3% less hit rating you need on your gear, allowing you greater flexibility with your enchants and gems.
Retribution (41 points)
  • Improved Blessing of Might (5/5) - Increases the attack power bonus of Blessing of Might by 20%. A pretty solid talent that increases your buffing power -- a definite plus for groups.
  • Improved Judgement (2/2) - Decreases the cooldown on your Judgement by 2 seconds. Being able to use Judgement more often means more damage in less time, so this can be a definite DPS increase if you're using the max rank of your damaging seals.
  • Improved Seal of the Crusader (3/3) - Causes your Judgement of the Crusader spell to increase the crit chance of all attacks made against the target by 3%. Another DPS increase, this one effects your group / raid as well as you.
  • Seal of Command (1/1) - Gives a chance to inflict 70% of your weapon's normal damage as Holy damage. This seal procs at a rate of 7ppm (procs per minute). As such, slower, high damage range weapons tend to see better returns with this seal. If you're Alliance, this is really your only damage dealing option if you're Retribution spec. Horde paladins should use Seal of Blood for PvE encounters, but both factions should probably useSoC for PvP for the burst potential.
  • Conviction (5/5) - Increases your chance to crit by 5%. Almost every talent tree in the game has a talent like this. If you're going to be dealing damage, don't pass it up. A higher crit rate means more Vengeanceup time, and that means more damage dealt.
  • Vindication (1/3) - Gives your damaging attacks a chance to decrease all of the target's stats by x%. This is a filler point, needed to advance further in the tree. There are other options available (Pursuit of Justice is handy if you like to PvP), but it's probably best to place this in whatever talent you think will be the most useful. You'll have 7 points left over with this spec, so start thinking now about what you might want (I list my suggestions further down).
  • Crusade (3/3) - Increases damage caused to Humans, Demons, Undead and Elementals by 3%. Not bad -- a 3% damage increase to 4 of the 7 enemy groups, and also applies to PvP combatants.
  • Two Handed Weapon Specialization (3/3) - Increases damage done with two handed weapons by 6%. A solid boost to your DPS output -- every bit helps, so don't pass this up.
  • Sanctity Aura (1/1) - Increases Holy damage by 10%. Sadly, the effects of this [non-improved] aura are only really useful to you (or maybe another Ret paladin, if you're grouped). This will boost the damage of your SoC, and because we're about to grab the improved version, should be the aura you use most of the time.
  • Improved Sanctity Aura (2/2) - The amount of damage caused by targets affected with Sanctity Aura is increased by 2%. This is a nice little group buff that also increases your own damage (it all adds up -- if we're fighting humans with a 2h weapon right now, we'd get a 11% damage bonus).
  • Vengeance (5/5) - Grants a 5% Physical / Holy damage bonus for 30 seconds after you land a crit. This stacks up to 3 times for a total of 15%, which is most definitely a great buff. Don't skip this one! Having a decent crit rate will allow you to keep this fully stacked (assuming the fight lasts long enough).
  • Sanctified Seals (3/3) - Increases your chance to crit with attacks and spells by 3% and reduces the chance your seals will be dispelled by 100%. Aside from the nice crit boost, this is a useful talent for PvP, since it keeps your seals from being removed by those purge-happy Shaman.
  • Repentance (1/1) - Puts your enemy to sleep for 6 seconds. This has a minute cooldown and will break on damage, but can be used from range and is a prerequisite to Fanaticism, another essential talent.
  • Fanaticism (5/5) - Increases the crit chance of all Judgements capable of a crit by 15%. In addition, it will also reduce your threat by 30% (unless you have Righteous Fury on), making it great for PvE fights where pulling aggro is a concern.
  • Crusader Strike (1/1) - An instant attack that causes 110% weapon damage and refreshes all Judgements on the target. This is the first and only instant weapon attack available to paladins at the moment, so don't pass it up. Aside from increasing your DPS by giving you a new source of damage, Crusader Strike gives you something to do other than auto-attack in a fight, allowing you a greater degree of control over when you cause damage.

So, that leaves us with 7 points. You can put these anywhere you like, but here are some of the talents I like (and why):
  • Sanctified Judgement (3/3) - Gives your Judgement a 100% chance to return 80% of the mana cost of the Judged Seal. This makes for some incredible mana efficiency, which is a good thing since as a Retribution Paladin, your mana pool will be quite small.
  • Pursuit of Justice (3/3) - Increases your movement and mounted speed by 15%, and decreases the chance you'll be hit with spells by 3%. A very nice talent for PvP, since foot speed is something that paladins really lack. It also provides some protection against spellcasters by decreasing their chance to hit.
  • Vindication (3/3) - This is mostly useless in raids and other PvE encounters because many mobs are immune, but it does work against players so is worthwhile for PvP.
If you like to PvP, you could also consider putting enough points into Protection to pick up Improved Righteous Fury (to reduce the damage you take) and Blessing of Kings (for some more stamina and other stats). I really wouldn't recommend putting any additional points into Holy, but play around with these points and see what you like.

That wraps up this edition of Build Shop, but I'll be back again next week. What do you want to see on Build Shop? Send me an email with your questions, comments, or builds and we'll talk shop.

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