Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Seasoned ret paladin Dan Desmond is here to answer your questions and provide you with your biweekly dose of retribution medicine. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or suggestions!
The mists have parted, the continent of Pandaria is open, and new foes await us in the numerous raids and dungeons that the lost continent has to offer. Whether you're leveling a ret paladin for the first time or min-maxing your way to the top of the charts, now is the perfect time to become acquainted with all of the changes that a new expansion inevitably brings.
This guide will bring you up to speed with what being a retribution paladin in Mists is all about, from what our talents look like to what food we should be eating. It is my intention to update this guide continually with any major changes we may experience.
[Last updated for patch 5.4.0, build 17359 on 9/12/13.]
What's new in Mists?
New talent system With the intention of cutting down on cookie-cutter builds, Blizzard redesigned the talent system so that it was based around player preference and situational usefulness. Players now receive their core abilities automatically when selecting a spec, and talents serve to supplement different styles of gameplay.
New abilities While our class has not received another violent makeover like what we saw in Cataclysm, we did receive a few goodies:
Absolve Bolstering our defensive arsenal, Absolve removes all harmful magic effects from your target when Hand of Sacrifice is cast.
Blinding Light Reminiscient of Eadric the Pure's ability in Trial of the Champion, this AoE CC is our level 87 ability and will probably see more use in PvP than PvE, though it could have some usefulness in controlling large packs of mobs, provided you have a tank ready to pick them up after the CC is over.
Boundless Conviction This passive allows us to carry up to 5 holy power at one time. With the increased cap, we don't have to worry as much about "wasting" holy power when we use Judgment or Exorcism from range.
Devotion Aura No longer just the domain of holy paladins, this revamped version of Aura Mastery carries a little more oomph than before with the addition of 20% magic damage reduction. Keep this button handy.
Emancipate With the loss of 1/2 Acts of Sacrifice, ret needed a snare removal tool to replace it. Enter Emancipate.
Hammer of the Righteous Protection was kind enough to loan us their AoE holy power generator. Divine Storm will be our new AoE holy power finisher.
Higher holy power generation The holy power system has been improved upon for Mists, with Judgment, Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Exorcism, and Hammer of Wrath all generating the resource. Hopefully this will make our playstyle more proactive and engaging than before.