- Author: Nevermore
- Date: August 16, 2023
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
In this section, we will first share a simple stat priority list for Retribution Paladin PvP in Wrath of the Lich King, and then explain each stat in more detail.
- Hit Rating
- Critical Strike Chance
- Spell Power
- Armor Penetration
- Expertise Rating
Retribution Paladins have a specific advantage when compared to any other Hybrid Specialization, more specifically, the lack of buffs that increase resistances against Holy Damage. Since Holy Damage can’t be resisted, Retribution Paladins don’t require any Spell Penetration, as their damage is a mix of Physical Damage & Holy Damage.
Click a stat to expand the section and see details!
Resilience – When it comes to Player versus Player content we have one main stat that we have to be concerned about and that is Resilience. It offers reduced damage from critical strikes, reduces the effects of mana-draining abilities, and also reduces the overall damage that you receive from other players and their pets. Considering we are a plate class, we are overall pretty tanky to begin with and resilience will make us go a long way.
Since there are two types of builds which are commonly used, we will showcase the ideal Resilience Rating for both the Standard PvP Build and the Hybrid PvP Build.
Standard PvP Build:
- Season 5: 802
- Season 6: 950
- Season 7: 1058
Hybrid PvP Build:
- Season 5: 455
- Season 6: 559
- Season 7: 622
Hit Rating, even in PvP situations, is the most important stat you can acquire! Hit Rating allows you to land your attacks, making sure your melee attacks and your spells will not miss. The Soft Cap for melee classes is 5%, however, you can play with 3% without worrying that you will miss the majority of your attacks. Even though Retribution Paladins have spells such as Exorcism, they don’t require the 7% Soft Cap that casters require in order to land them successfully.
You need a 32.79 hit rating for a 1% physical hit chance and a 26.232 hit rating for a 1% spell hit chance.
Strength is an innate stat for us Retribution Paladins! For every single point of Strength that we add to our build, we gain 2 points of Attack Power. This means that we will direclty increase our damage the more Strength we gather.
Due to our synergy with this stat, we will prefer items that increase our overall Strength, with Agility items being our second-best option.
Critical Strike Chance is one of the strongest stats for Retribution Paladins, even if there are diminishing returns against opponents that stack Resilience Rating. While we may not benefit as much from the damage increase caused by critical strikes, we heavily rely on consistently dealing them due to The Art of War talent.
Stacking as much Critical Strike Chance as possible is mandatory in order to proc the effect as often as possible! Anything between 45% – 60% Critical Strike Chance will make sure that you will benefit from The Art of War proc consistently.
Haste is one of the most straightforward stats — it makes you attack faster. You gain 1% increased attack speed for every 32.79 Haste rating you have. Generally speaking, you will make use of this stat only if you end up playing the Hybrid PvP build, as the majority of the PvP items grant Critical Strike Chance alongside Resilience Rating. You will heavily favor Critical Strike Chance/Haste Rating items throughout the majority of the expansion, with Haste Rating seeing a decline towards the last PvP Season in favor of Armor Penetration.
Spell Power is an interesting stat for Retribution Paladins due to several factors. Since the Retribution Specialization is in fact a hybrid specialization, Spell Power influences both some of our damage spells and the majority of our healing effects. Retribution Paladins also have access to an unique effect, Sheath of Light , which increases your overall Spell Power based on a percentage of your Attack Power.
This specific effect plus the fact that some of your vital abilities such as Consecration, Judgement, Exorcism, and Flash of Light, are directly influenced by your Spell Power, made Spell Power an extremely important stat. Due to those interactions, an odd Spell Power Hybrid Build variant arose which makes use of caster items and trinkets. The build itself, is quite experimental and very situational, so don’t overuse caster items!
Armor Penetration is treated as one of the worst stats for Retribution Paladins by the community, however, we deal both Holy & Physical Damage! This is especially true for the last PvP Season, in which PvE items grant higher amounts of Armor Penetration. Both our Crusader Strike and Divine Storm deal direct Weapon Damage, which is enhanced by Armor Penetration.
Keep in mind that you will only use this stat in Season 8, as the previous PvP seasons offer PvE items with low amounts of Armor Penetration. There are only a few PvP items that grant Armor Penetration, with the Necklace Slot being the only one one that offers items with Armor Penetration.
Expertise Rating is an optional stat for PvP that shines only in some specific situations. This stat is mostly useful against melee classes that heavily rely on dodging and parrying attacks in order to mitigate damage. This stat is especially useful if you fight against Death Knights, Druids, and Rogues!
Since you can’t optimize yourself perfectly for each and every single opponent, you may choose to ignore this stat in favor of other offense-oriented stats such as Haste Rating.