pve retribution paladin gems, enchants, & consumables (wotlk 3.3.5a)
  • Author: Pride
  • Date: September 20, 2022
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

Besides your gear and talents, there are 3 additional ways you as a player can increase your character’s power: gems, enchants, and consumables, which make your character significantly more powerful when combined correctly.

Many guilds and raid groups may not invite you at all if you don’t have the correct gems, enchants and consumables — but worry not, this guide will help you avoid that problem!

Gems

This gem will be your strongest option for the meta slot by a long shot. Its requirements have been toned down slightly since The Burning Crusade, making it a lot easier to activate.

The Chaotic Skyflare Diamond is technically individually slightly stronger than the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond, as crit rating boosts the crit chance of our spells as well, while agility only boosts our physical attacks. However, its activation condition requires 2 Blue gems, which will ultimately make it slightly worse than Relentless Earthsiege Diamond.

Strength is your strongest stat, as explained in the Stat Priority section, so you’ll be using strength gems (Bold Scarlet Ruby / Bold Cardinal Ruby) as much as possible.

This means that you will be using them in every socket you run into, unless that item has a particularly strong socket bonus you could activate with a different color gem, or if you need to activate your Meta gem.

You need 1 Yellow gem to activate your Meta gem, which you will automatically get by using the Tears (Enchanted Tear / Nightmare Tear) for the Blue socket requirement anyway, as they count as 1 gem that has every color (Red, Yellow and Blue) so they activate your Meta gem for free.

However, the gems listed above aren’t bad at all — they’re very slightly weaker than pure strength from Red socket section. It is not a bad idea at all to use them in Yellow sockets of items with powerful socket bonuses, such as strength, crit, or haste. They’ll typically be a good bit cheaper than Red gems, too.

If you’re close to the hit cap (explained in the Stat Priority section) but haven’t quite reached it, you can also choose to use a couple of Etched Monarch Topaz / Etched Ametrine. This is a last resort however, avoid deliberately socketing these for hit.

You need 1 Blue gem to activate your Meta gem, and the Tears (Enchanted Tear / Nightmare Tear) are your best option for that one slot. They count as 1 gem that has every color (Red, Yellow and Blue) so they activate your Meta gem for free.

Ignore all other Blue sockets, socketing Red gems into them instead. You could in very rare occasions socket a Sovereign Twilight Opal / Sovereign Dreadstone into a Blue socket of an item that has a really really strong socket bonus, but it’s usually best to just put Red gems into them.

Enchants

This is your only viable option for this slot.

If you don’t quite have the Knights of the Ebon Blade reputation necessary to buy it yet, you can temporarily use Arcanum of Triumph (purchased with 40 Stone Keeper’s Shard from Wintergrasp).

Players with the Inscription profession should use their profession-exclusive Master’s Inscription of the Axe enchant here, while everyone else uses Greater Inscription of the Axe.

If you don’t quite have the The Sons of Hodir reputation necessary to buy it yet, you can temporarily use Inscription of Triumph (purchased with 30 Stone Keeper’s Shard from Wintergrasp).

Players with the Tailoring profession should use their profession-exclusive Swordguard Embroidery enchant here, while everyone else uses Enchant Cloak – Greater Speed.

Players with the Engineering profession but no Tailoring can use Flexweave Underlay instead, for the fun slow fall effect — though in practice this will result in a small DPS decrease compared to using Enchant Cloak – Greater Speed.

This is your only viable option for this slot.

Players with the Leatherworking profession should use their profession-exclusive Fur Lining – Attack Power enchant here, while everyone else uses Enchant Bracers – Greater Assault.

Additionally, players with the Blacksmithing profession should use Socket Bracer to add an extra socket to their bracers. It stacks with enchants.

Players with the Engineering profession should use their profession-exclusive Hyperspeed Accelerators enchant here, while everyone else uses Enchant Gloves – Crusher.

If you’re slightly shy off meeting your expertise or hit caps (explained in the Stat Priority section), you can use the Enchant Gloves – Expertise and Enchant Gloves – Precision enchants respectively. This is more of a last resort, however — do not rely on these enchant for your cap.

Additionally, players with the Blacksmithing profession should use Socket Gloves to add an extra socket to their gloves. It stacks with enchants.

This is your only option for this slot.

This is your best option for this slot.

If you’re strapped for cash, you could use the more budget-friendly Nerubian Leg Armor instead.

Players with the Engineering profession should use their profession-exclusive Nitro Boosts enchant here, while everyone else uses Enchant Boots – Icewalker.

If you are hit-capped already (see the Stat Priority section), you should use Enchant Boots – Greater Assault instead of Enchant Boots – Icewalker.

Players with the Enchanting profession should use their profession-exclusive Enchant Ring – Assault enchant here. There are no other options.

This is your best option for this slot.

If you’re strapped for cash, you could use the slightly more budget-friendly Enchant 2H Weapon – Massacre instead, but it is significantly weaker.

Consumables

The Flask of Endless Rage is the strongest option for the flask / elixir slot.

However, the Elixir of Mighty Strength is almost as good, offering +126 attack power to the flask’s +180 attack power. So if they’re significantly cheaper on your server, by all means, consider using them. However, keep in mind that flasks persist through death, so if you find yourself dying frequently in raids, it might just be cheaper for you to use the flask anyway.

Dragonfin Filet will be your best option for the buff food slot, offering you the maximum amount of strength possible.

In a pinch, you can also use hit rating (Snapper Extreme) or expertise (Rhinolicious Wormsteak) food, in order to hit your hit and expertise caps respectively. This is only a last resort however — do not rely on them for your cap.

Potion of Speed is the best potion available to us as Ret Paladins. You should aim to use 2 in a fight: 1 just before you pull the boss (called “pre-potting”) and another 2 minutes into the fight, when your cooldowns are available again, as stacking your cooldowns is always the best option.

You can still use scrolls in Wrath of the Lich King — however, they do not stack with stat-boosting effects offered by class buffs.

For Retribution Paladins, you will most likely be getting the strength and agility buffs from Gift of the Wild, Strength of Earth Totem or Horn of Winter, meaning scrolls will be useless for you. If your raid doesn’t have any of those buffs for some reason, you could use the listed scrolls instead.

 

About the Author

Pride

Classic WoW is my jam, with a passion for PvP. Most know me as Baranor, the ret paladin guy, but I'm secretly a druid main, don't tell anyone. In my free time I play Switch games, particularly JRPGs. Some day I'll be making my own games and I humbly hope you play those too!
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Greenlee
Greenlee
1 year ago

Love the info here but I’m confused as to why you didn’t list which blue socket to pick? our meta gem needs 2 blue ones as well so one I’m sure I could use a prismatic gem but what about the 2nd?

Naar
Naar
4 months ago

Hi. Thank you for the guide.
Provided the hit cap is met, would it be pragmatic to prioritize Nightmare Tear in non-red slots for more STR and AGI? Then Deft Ametrine, and Quick King’s Amber last?

Thayne
Thayne
Reply to  Naar
4 months ago

You can only have one Nightmare Tear. They are unique-equipped.

Naar
Naar
Reply to  Thayne
4 months ago

Thanks. I have noticed it just now.

Naar
Naar
Reply to  Pride
1 day ago

Some people advised me to sacrifice some str gear for agi to reach cca 60 % crit chance. Why not use Inscribed Ametrine in that case?

MF_V
MF_V
2 months ago

i’m almost certain that rets used consecration instead of exorcism on their glyphs

Ingek
Ingek(@chickeneater)
2 months ago

Do you cap your expertise at 26? or hold it at 16 due to using vengeance on bosses? Why would you cap a full 26 if the extra 10 wouldnt do anything? or is the 26 a soft cap? im just trying to understand a bit more. love all the info listed.

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