The Light and How to Swing It: Retribution paladin glyphs

Gregg Reece
G. Reece|11.24.10

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Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Please send screenshots as well as any comments to

Hey there, paladins. Sorry I missed you all last week, but I caught something after visiting family for the weekend. Traveling hundreds of miles just to catch the flu. Ugh.

In other news, the world has shattered with patch 4.0.3a. The good news is that we should have some tauren paladins at this point on the live realms, or people who are about to either race/faction-change to them or roll up new ones. The bad news is that there still aren't going to be worgen paladins in Cataclysm. I had thought Blizzard would have reconsidered its poor decision by this point, but Blizzard's devs still haven't accepted the fact that werewolves with glowing wings are cool. Oh, well.

Today, we're talking retribution glyphs. A lot of you probably have your glyphs set up at this point but might be unsure of what you ended up picking. Others of you might be looking for alternatives that match up better with how you're playing the spec. And others are here because you read all of the articles on the site or are interested in rolling one of those cowadins I mentioned earlier.

Prime glyphs

Crusader Strike* This ups the critical strike chance of your main attack by 5 percent. Not too surprisingly, this is a must-have glyph.

This adds a DoT component to your exorcism attacks. The DoT does an additional 20 percent damage over 6 seconds. This isn't a bad glyph, but unfortunately for it, there are better ones to choose from. This comes in a close fourth, and you may want to swap it in depending on your playstyle.

Being as Judgement isn't a massive damage ability like it was back at the beginning of Wrath and instead is now just rotational damage and buff upkeep, the additional 10 percent damage isn't all that exciting for us.

Seal of Truth*
With the advent of reforging, this glyph adds a bit more complexity. Sure, a flat 10 expertise skill (not rating) is a major boon, but you can also reforge any existing Expertise on gear into other stats like crit, haste, or mastery. If you're over the cap and don't want to muck with reforging, then you could always just swap this out for Glyph of Exorcism above.

Templar's Verdict*
Here's another must-have glyph: a 15 percent damage buff to your primary holy power finisher. This is going to be your Number 2 glyph.

Major glyphs

Ascetic Crusader* This is probably going to be your biggest mana saver in the major glyph department. More mana means more chances to use Consecration, and as such, you'll want to grab this one. The rest of them really come down to playstyle.

Consecration This will increase Consecration's duration from 10 seconds to 12 seconds in total and take the cooldown from 30 seconds to 36 seconds. With the way the Cataclysm dungeons are set up, trash groups take longer to kill and you're not often doing a lot of AoE to begin with. However, this is an extremely expensive ability now, and anything to offset its cost is useful. Use at the discretion of your playstyle.

Divine Plea The ability Divine Plea has been nerfed from providing a 25 percent mana boost down to a 10 percent boost. So, the relative power of the glyph has gone up, but the ability's usefulness has gone down a bit. Still, it's a free 10 percent mana or 15 percent with this glyph.

This is now the only way to get mana out of Lay on Hands. It's 10 percent of your maximum mana, which is the same as the new Divine Plea. Over the course of a long fight, you'll get more mana back from the Divine Plea's glyph than you will this one, but over a short burst, having two abilities that give you back 10 percent each would be more useful. In essence, your mileage may vary.

Hammer of Wrath Of the mana-saving major glyphs, I'd have to say this is one of my favorites. I really like the talent Sanctified Wrath and being able to pop Avenging Wrath in order to start nuking my target from afar. As my playstyle lends itself to that, I get a lot of use out of reducing Hammer of Wrath's cost to 0. Your playstyle might lend itself differently, so choose accordingly.

Holy Wrath This is a pretty good glyph for solo play in Cataclysm. We're going to be seeing a lot of dragonkin and elementals in the expansion, both in dungeons and while questing. Being able to stop them in their tracks for a couple seconds could be useful to both you and your party.

Lay on Hands
Not recommended anymore, because without Glyph of Divinity, you don't get any mana out of it, and two glyphs to get some mana out of a long-cooldown ability isn't worth it. There's also the bit about it used to be a minor glyph and is now a major glyph, but the other changes to Lay on Hands I think already disqualifies it for mana savings. If you want it for survivability, then go ahead and grab it.

Rebuke If you're one of the designated spell interrupters in your group, then this is a good way of getting rid of that mana cost. If you don't do much spell interrupting at all and don't even have the talent, then ignore this glyph.

Minor glyphs

Blessing of Kings Mana savings on buffs. I'd grab the Blessing of Might glyph first, though, as druids can provide an alternative to Blessing of Kings and usually will.

Blessing of Might I'd grab this before I'd grab Glyph of Blessing of Kings. Blessing of Might is a more unique buff than the other.

Insight It's a good leveling seal to keep yourself alive but not really what you'll be using in dungeons and raids.

Justice If you run a lot of PvP, then grab this, as you'll be casting it after every graveyard rez.

Righteousness You're more likely to be in Seal of Truth than in Righteousness, but if you do need to swap for some reason, it'll probably be in the middle of a fight. You're still probably better off with Glyph of Truth, though.

Truth This is going to be your primary seal while running dungeons and raids, so you'll be casting it the most often.

The Light and How to Swing It tries to help paladins cope with the dark times coming in Cataclysm. See the upcoming paladin changes the expansion will bring. Wrath is coming to a close and the final showdown with the Lich King is here. With Cataclysm soon heating things up, will you be ready?
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