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The Light and How to Swing It: Resources to be the best in retribution


With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. At least, he usually does. But Gregg is still pre-occupied. Therefore, Matt Low from World of Matticus will be stepping in temporarily to handle some retribution goodness!

Yeah, you're stuck with me again this week and if you haven't figured it out yet, I am the world's worst ret paladin. So why am I here penning this post? Because I am on a quest. Yes, friends, I am on a quest to be the best ret paladin ever. Now am I going to succeed? Probably not. It's hard to become super awesome on a character that isn't played as often. It is an alt, after all.

Now if I don't want to suck as a retribution paladin, where would I go first?



Step 1: Research

As with any undertaking, I have to start somewhere. So I may as well start with the basics, right? I'm not too worried about gear or best-in-slot lists at the moment but I do need to make sure I'm hitting the right glyphs, spec, enchants and gems.

The spec

I figured I'd start off with one of Gregg's previous posts on specs. He does an excellent job on giving me a guide on how to spec. I could go the traditional Divine Sacrifice spec (5/11/55) or go for the Vindication spec (5/5/61).

But I did some more searching around and there is one more build for retribution that I had not considered (Found it on Stratfu). It is also known as the Aura Mastery spec (11/5/55). It comes in handy if I need some form of silence immunity on the raid like Yogg-Saron. For something more relevant and current, I'd use during the Blood Queen Lana'thel encounter when she hits her air phase for extra shadow resist damage to her Bloodbolt Splash.

In any event, I opted to go for the Divine Sacrifice build. It just seems to be something that I'll make a habit of using fairly often in raids. I'm extremely jumpy about defensive cooldowns.

The glyphs

For glyphs, the Elitist Jerks guide suggested the following:
I do have the option to snag a Glyph of Excorcism. Unfortunately, for that to happen, I need 26 expertise rating. I currently have 17 (or 141) to be precise. The 26 rating happens to be the cap at which any expertise over that amount is unnecessary. If I can hit that number without relying on gems or enchants, then I can switch my glyph accordingly. Until then, I'll be rocking the Vengeance glyph.

The gems

My meta gem's fairly simple: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond. I could have gone for the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, but the Earthsiege has a slight edge. Why? Because the Relentless only needs 1 blue gem compared to the Chaotic's 2. I had no idea a meta gem requirement could make such a difference.

For red gems: Bold Cardinal Ruby
For yellow gems: Rigid King's Amber
For orange gems: Inscribed Flawless Ametrine (Oops, I used strength and haste gems. Guess I better go fix that.)
For blue gems: Nightmare Tear

I would only use the Rigid if I'm below hit. A quick glance at my armory shows that with my current gear, I have 326 hit rating. The cap is 263. I am over by a good 63 points. I'll need to dump some hit but all of that naturally comes from my gear. I guess I won't need hit gems at all. There is nothing I can do here but wait and grab some hit-less gear to replace the ones that do have hit on them.

The enchants

Head: Arcanum of Torment
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe
Chest: Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Major Agility
Bracers: Enchant Bracers - Greater Assault
Hands: Enchant Gloves - Crusher
Legs: Icescale Leg Armor
Feet: Enchant Boots - Icewalker
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Berserking

That's a fairly straightforward list of enchants and augments to use that I found. I'm a little undecided on the boot enchant. I sure as heck don't need that all that hit rating. Maybe I can use the Enchant Boots - Greater Assault instead.

Step 2: Application and testing

Now it's time to put this ret paladin to work! Managed to join up with a random pickup group for Icecrown Citadel and decided to have some fun and give it a shot. The goal with my paladin is to go in to some raid where I can see massive numbers without having to worry about not pulling my weight.

The rotation

My rotation seems fairly easily enough. The model I chose is the first come first serve approach (FCFS). Since I'm already sporting the awesome 2 piece tier 10 bonus, it happens to be this:

Judgment > Divine Storm > Crusader Strike > Hammer of Wrath (If the target is at the appropriate health level) > Consecration > Exorcism.

Now this leads me to wonder if I can obtain maximum efficiency by bringing my face down to the keyboard or by bringing the keyboard up to my face instead.

Anyway, there isn't much to do other than to go out there and record myself for a while. It's not exactly an overnight process but I figure I'll get some data myself for about a week and see where I end up. After that, I'll need to go and cross-reference it with some other retribution paladin parses on World of Logs. So after my first raid, I noticed my DPS on Saurfang is pushing 8300 and Festergut stands around 9000 DPS. That's a little weird and a big discrepancy. The next step is learning how to understand and interpret combat parses to find get down to the bottom of the story. But I think that's a step better suited for Gregg when he returns. Or if he doesn't and you happen to get me again, I suppose I'll need to learn.

Uh, Gregg? You are coming back, right?

Sources

Special thanks to the Bossy Pally for help with resources.



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. Are you ready for the assault on Icecrown Citadel?

Filed under: Paladin, Raiding, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

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