PVE Retribution Paladin DPS Guide WotLK 3.3.5a

Welcome to the Retribution Paladin PVE guide for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. In this guide you will learn how to properly play a Retribution Paladin in dungeons and raids, whether those might be normal or heroic.Retribution Paladin is viewed as one of the most useful classes to have in your dungeons or raids due to the high amount of utility they poses and also the  burst-type capabilities of their specialization.

This guide overviews the Retribution Paladin regarding the latest patch:3.3.5a which includes

BiS Gear, gems, enchantments, gameplay and spell rotation tips. 

Best Races

Considering the expansion we are reviewing is Wrath of the Lich King, the paladin class has somewhat of a one sided availability when it comes to races that are able to select this class with Horde having just the Blood Elves and the Alliance having several choices which range from Human, Dwarf and Draenei.


  • Blood Elf: The only race that can select the Paladin class in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the Blood Elves offer  three distinct racials abilities:Arcane Torrent, Arcane Affinity,Magic Resistance. Arcane Torrent works as a two second silence which has utility  for interrupting spell casts, altho it’s mainly used in pvp scenarios, Arcane Affinity works just as the gem cutter draenei racial which increases Enchanting skill, while Magic Resistance reduces the chance to be hit by spells by 2% which is an extraordinary mitigation tool against spell casters type of mobs.


  • Human: One of the three available races for the Paladin class in Alliance, which has several amazing racial abilities, among them being Diplomacy which increases your reputation gain by 10%, this will help you out grinding your  reputation for the item enchants more faster than the other races. The extra expertise from Sword Specialization and Mace specialization alongside withThe Human Spirit  will help you min-max your stats better.

            Humans also benefit from one extremely strong racial, Every Man for Himself, altho this mostly has a pvp application, it can be used to evade certain stun or incapacitated effects from dungeons and raids.

  • Dwarf:  Due to the nature of the expansion, frost damage is especially expected to be encountered during dungeons and raids,  Frost Resistance helps you mitigate some of the damage you receive, while just like the human race, Mace specialization will help you with expertise in order to min max your stats in a more efficient way. The Dwarf race has one more interesting defensive racial  but it is better suited for the Protection Paladin specialization, Stoneform, which increases your armor by 10% and removes debuffs.
  • Draenei: Another suitable choice for the Paladin class, the Draenei race has one major racial ability which is able to buff up the entire party or raid, Heroic Presence, a highly sought  buff which increases the entire party’s hit rating by 1%. While this may not seem like much it offers the opportunity for all the players benefiting from this buff to increase other valuable stats while not being forced to reach the hit cap. Just like the Blood Elves, Draenei benefit from Gem cutting, increasing their skill for the Jewelcrafting and a Shadow Resistance racial which reduces the chance to be hit by shadow spells by 2%.

Best Professions

  • Mining is one of the profitable professions you can pick up, you can also use it to grind up engineering since the only downfall of engineering is having either a lot of materials to level it up or having a lot of gold
  • Engineering is a must have for high end raiding, and that is for two reasons, first of all, engineering haste gloves Hyperspeed accelerator, which is a huge boost to your haste, it offers 340 haste rating every 48 seconds, its a must have for any haste abusing class.

And second of all, Nitro boots, which is an amazing escape mechanism for hard encounters and it helps you avoid issues like “Defile bombing” your raid.

Saronite bombs are also a very nice addition to your rotation, you can bind them to a macro and get around 2k DPS for free.

  • Jewelcrafting – Usually when people have maxed out their gear and they aim for high end raiding, they pick jewelcrafting with engineering in order to min max their stats, jewelcrafting allows you to create 3 special gems which offer a lot more stats than normal gems which can boost your overall performance by a lot.
  • Alchemy can be an extraordinary profession, its a money maker for sure when combined with herbalism, it offers 2 hour flasks, transmutations and access to a lot of useful potions. Due to the fact that raiding requires a high amount of consumables, you will want to pair alchemy with herbalism in order to maximize the potential gain of the profession.
  • Enchanting / Tailoring is always a good pair, the sheer fact that you can create bags can boost your revenue and everything that you are going to create with tailoring you can disenchant for a large profit on the auction house, tailoring provides an useful bonus enchantment for your cloak while enchanting offers you the possibility to enchant your rings. However, Enchanting is extremely expensive to level up especially if not paired with Tailoring.
  • Leatherworking / Skinning can be useful early in order to create some revenue but in the end game it falls off extremely badly so I would not advise you to pursue those professions due to the fact that alchemy/herbalism can prove much more profitable
  • Blacksmithing – Can provide early game bonuses and the fact that you can craft your own armor helps your leveling grind a lot but at the end game when you will be spamming dungeons and raids, blacksmithing becomes obsolete.


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9 months ago

This strange obsession to reformate the guides is literally breaking the guides. Now the link provided on the Ret page links to the Prot talent build section.

Revert the guides back to the single page. Those are much easier to navigate and require no additional work.

Reply to  Kowkan
9 months ago

The link to the talents has been fixed.

1 year ago

What seals, buffs, and judgements types do we want to be using?

Last edited by Michael
Reply to  Michael
1 year ago

Hi, you can use Seal of Vengeance/Corruption or Seal of Command, depending on the situation (most of the time, Seal of Command vs mobs and the other one vs bosses)
Concerning the buffs, you should use blessing of might while levelling. At lvl 80 m, blessing of kings becomes the most valuable because you will mostly play in dungeons or raids with the buffs of other classes)
About judgements, you can use Judgement of Light if you are alone or in a dungeon/raid without a Protection Paladin TANK or a Holy Paladin HEAL. If at least one of them is present, you should use Judgements of Wisdom.
About your Aura, let the protection aura to a Paladin Tank and the concentration aura to a Paladin Heal. Adapt your aura depending on your opponents and don’t underestimate the extra resistance they can give you

Last edited by Agarash
1 year ago

Hey which weapon combo is ideal? swords/maces/shields?

Last edited by Jerry
Reply to  Jerry
1 year ago

This is for the Retribution dps spec so only use a 2h weapon (2h axe, mace, sword and polearm)

Last edited by Chris
11 months ago

Where is the talent tree? It was literally here yesterday.

Last edited by Alexis
5 months ago

I am curious about two things. Firstly, is seal twisting still a thing in WotLK? Secondly, do Rets add a sufficiently powerful raid buff to allow for more than one of them in a raid? IN TBC, it is usually just one Ret per raid; however, in WotLK, it seems that Rets are a top tier dps, so will we stop competing for raid spots?

3 months ago

Thank you very much for this guide. If I understand well, Engineering + Jewelcrafting is the most optimal combo for raiding content, is that right? Is it possible to know exactly how much stats does Jewelcrafting give compared to Enchanting for exemple? Like a breakdown of the stats for each profession (you have this breakdown on the fire mage guide for exemple). Thanks again: 🙂

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