This new series of heroics runs akin to the Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection trio of Wrath in that you must complete them in a specific order. In the interest of fitting all of these encounters in one post, I will need to truncate a lot of descriptions and irrelevant details. If you have any questions or suggestions for your fellow ret paladins, please feel free to drop a comment below!
Warning: This post contains strategies and brief descriptions of the new heroic dungeons in patch 4.3 that may or may not be spoiler-esque. As always with my columns, proceed with caution.
The beginning of the story arc for these new instances has you going into the future to see what would happen if Deathwing were to win. The first two encounters are randomized between four different fights. You will face echoes of four figureheads between the two factions: Baine, Jaina, Sylvanas, and Tyrande.
Echo of Baine The entire encounter with Baine takes place on the floating islands you see before you. The major ability to watch out for is Pulverize. Baine will leap at a random target, dealing a certain amount of damage and sinking the floating island he lands on. Stay on your toes for this and be ready to move or swim to safety. Baine will occasionally use Throw Totem, which hurts and causes a slight knockback effect. Click on the totem to throw it back at him, stunning him and increasing his damage taken by 50% for a short period.
Echo of Jaina To engage Jaina, you will need to gather the 16 fragments of her staff that she left scattered about, which means clearing pretty much every trash pack. This isn't a big deal for us ret paladins -- Seal of Righteousness, Divine Storm, and Holy Wrath (for the stun!) work wonders.
As for the fight itself, Jaina is a big wimp. Watch out for the Frost Blades that she casts after using Blink, make sure someone touches the Flarecore before it explodes and hurts more people, and burn her down. Aside from clearing trash, this will be the fight to get if you're trying to do a speed run for points or what-have-you. Of course, you will probably have to sacrifice several small rodents to the RNG gods to get the fight in the first place, but as a ret paladin, this shouldn't be out of the ordinary in the slightest.
Echo of Sylvanas Hopefully you don't have three melee DPS in addition to your tank, because this fight emphasizes spreading out to avoid sharing damage between a couple of the mechanics. Naturally, the movement speed debuff from Shriek of the Highborne and the debuff from Blighted Arrows can be dispelled using Hand of Freedom and/or 1/2 Acts of Sacrifice. The unique part of this encounter happens when Sylvanas rises into the air and pulls everyone in toward her. She will then summon eight ghouls that will be linked together, and this undead octagon will close around you. Focus-fire one ghoul and use the path its death creates to get out of the middle, because if you are still in the middle when they all converge, you will die. Rinse and repeat for a kill.
Echo of Tyrande For Tyrande, the name of the game is avoid the avoidable damage. Moonlance will stun you if you get hit, so just see which way she is facing (like the druid adds on Alysrazor when they are casting Brushfire) to avoid it. Stardust is interruptible with a 3-second cast time, so toss a Rebuke out for that. When Tyrande summons the Eyes of the Goddess, it would be a good idea to put some distance between yourself and the boss, both because of the high amount of damage they put out and the inconvenient silence effect they apply. Finally, dodge the Tears of Elune as they fall from the sky. (Hint: they hurt.)
Murozond For me, the initial awe of the unique time-traveling mechanic was quickly replaced by the realization that the fight is just rinse and repeat with a rewind. The mechanic I'm referring to is Rewind Time, provided by the giant Hourglass of Time located in the center of the arena. It will basically reset all of your cooldowns, restore your health and mana, and removes all void zones caused by Distortion Bombs on the ground. Be careful how you use this, however, as you can only do it five times. When time resets, make sure to cycle through your cooldowns again (this includes Bloodlust/Heroism!).
After End Time, you go back into the past to retrieve the Dragon Soul. Don't let the massive armies of demons deter you; you won't actually have to fight all of them. However, be aware that this instance is (in my opinion) the longest of the three.
Peroth'arn It's time to play hide and seek with Illidan and a nasty satyr. Much of this fight falls into the typical "don't stand in Fel Flames" genre, but the main difference from a typical tank-and-spank style fight happens around 60% when Peroth'arn hides and sends out his Eyes to search for you. You will regain the Shadowcloak buff you had before the fight, and you will need to dodge the eyes for a total of 40 seconds. If they find someone, Pero will ambush them and gain buffs, often leading to the death of his prey. Our Hands of Sacrifice and Protection should help the hurtin', but it is better for everyone if you don't need to use them. Just stay alive and he will fall in time.
Queen Azshara Sadly, you won't actually fight Azshara. Instead, you will do battle with the eight mages she has in front of her. The mages have a variety of slows, AoE attacks, and knockbacks. Watch out for spell effects on the ground, interrupt what you can, and abuse your glyphed Divine Protection for the rest. Once all eight mages are dead, the encounter is over.
Captain Varo'then and Mannoroth I felt that this fight was a bit awkward because it's not entirely obvious what you should be doing. Technically, you should kill Varo'then first while letting Illidan have his way with Mannoroth, then focus your attention on the waves of adds Mannoroth spawns after Varo'then dies. Of note is the magical sword Varo'then drops upon his death that you need to click on and throw at Mannoroth; this will inflict a steady amount of damage to the pit lord. All of the adds are demons, so use Holy Wrath to stun them when they are relatively close together, giving your tank a sufficient range to pick them all up and to give yourself a nice setup for using Divine Storm.
There is more to the fight, such as the third phase where Tyrande collapses and Illidan gives everyone the Gift of Sargeras, but really the rest of the fight is just dealing with adds and maybe helping Illidan take down Mannoroth. Eventually Malfurion will get sick of the fight and toss the big demon in the garbage for us.
Finally, you return to the present to escort Thrall to Wyrmrest Temple. Naturally, you have some trouble getting there in one piece.
Arcurion Sadly, the Ascendant Council was not the last we saw of these elementals. You should help to interrupt Hand of Frost to keep your tank and healer nice and happy. Also, you can use 1/2 Acts of Sacrifice and/or Hand of Freedom to free yourself of Chains of Frost. Icy Boulders will fall from adds on the edges above, so do your best to dodge these. Periodically, Thrall will become encased in ice, and you will need to break him out (he is the one keeping the adds in check), so be prepared to switch targets while still dodging boulders. At 30%, Arcurion will channel Torrent of Frost, which you can help counter by popping glyphed Divine Protection and keeping up Resistance Aura.
Asira Dawnslayer This fight is a massive headache for casters and only a minor nuisance for us melee, so take a moment to bask in this rare moment. All you need to worry about is getting out of any Choking Smoke Bombs and getting into Rising Fire Totems. Her Blade Barriers will be slightly annoying, but generally this encounter is a cake parade.
Archbishop Benedictus Much like the Echo of Tyrande, the goal here is to avoid bad things. During phase 1, Benedictus will cast Purifying Light, summoning three orbs. Thrall will zap two, leaving us with one to dodge when it hits the ground. Also, Wave of Virtue will sweep the platform, though you can hide inside of Thrall's Water Shell if you need to. At 60%, Benedictus will go dark side and cast shadow versions of his previous abilities. Note that Thrall will be in a prison during phase 2, so you will have to dodge the Wave of Twilight by yourself and there will be three orbs of Corrupting Twilight. As an aside, the Shear spells Benedictus casts (Righteous Shear for phase 1, Twilight Shear for phase 2) are interruptible, so break out your Rebuke button.
The Light and How to Swing It teaches you the ins and outs of retribution paladins, from Ret 101 and how to gem, enchant and reforge your retadin, to essential ret pally addons.