Greetings! First off I'd like to say that this won't be a retribution paladin class guide in general but a guide to increasing and maximizing your dps through Dragon Soul encounters. Retribution paladins have been really strong this tier if played properly. Not only do they have huge dps outputs but they are also very useful for the extremely high bursts that are needed to kill encounters such as deathwings spine or madness of deathwing. Some of the tips I wouldn't recommend for players who are still in the process of progressing through Dragon Soul, I will however mention that when I will be explaining the boss fights. One more important thing to mention about retribution paladins is that the trinket choices vary from encounter to encounter so I will say what trinkets would be preferred for which encounter. Do note that you will have 1 static trinket (preferably Eye of Unmaking), and the 2nd you should switch between a few choices. If you have any more questions after reading the guide feel free to leave any questions or remarks by replying to the topic, I'll be glad to answer them.
Morchok can be a pretty bad fight for melee in general but as a retribution paladin you can utilize your class abilities so that you don't need to run out of ''Blood of the earth''. It is important to mention that it'd be best for a retribution paladin to be put on the real Morchok and not the copy because of the extremely high burst you will be doing at the start of the encounter which may cause you to overaggro the copy if you were to be on it to dps it. It's also important to mention that if you are soaking the crystals, be sure not to get knocked away from the boss but towards him so you don't lose any dps by having to reach him.
- Trinket choices for this boss would be Creche of the Final Dragon and Eye of Unmaking, in case you don't have the Creche you can use Vessel of Acceleration or Apparatus of Khaz'Goroth, although I'd really prefer Vessel because it's more reliable than Apparatus for which you need crits in the start and you only get to use your cooldowns twice in the fight).
- If you have the Creche, start the fight with all of your cooldowns up, if you have the protection 4set t11, use your guardian 1 second before the pull and your potion. All your cooldowns should allign with creche for maximum dps in the start.
- If you start on the copy, make sure to Censure cleave the real one with a focus target judgment macro for as long as you can since it will have 5 stacks on it after they split anyway.
- During first Blood of the Earth phase, you can stay inside, use your glyphed Divine Protection (try to delay it so that you take less damage when the stack get higher) followed by a Lay on Hands. Now with the 10% damage reduction done by bosses you should easily survive that.
- During second black phase you can use your bubble with a cancelaura macro to cancel the aura as soon as the black phase ends, try to delay using your bubble for as long as you can, use your Divine Protection early this time, just don't risk too much so you don't die.
- Your second cooldowns will most likely align when your Creche procs, I'd definitely suggest if you have Creche to make a power auras aura or whatever addon for tracking buffs/debuffs to be displayed when the trinket procs.
- Depending on your raid dps, in case you get a third black phase, don't try to stay in the black for too long unless you've got a healer to heal you through part of it. What you can do is just use Divine Protection, nuke for a bit and run out, wait for the stack to drop and run back in or you can run out fast, and as soon as the initial debuff fades run back in with Divine Protection up.
Zonozz is a great fight for retribution paladins because of our cooldowns and how they scale with the stacking debuff on Zonozz. Now, depending on what the raid needs you to do, I can only say that it's best for a retribution paladin not to switch to any tentacles during the black phase due to the ramp up time of Seal of Truth and because the tentacle would most likely die as soon as you get it stacked.
- I suggest using Apparatus of Khaz'Goroth and Eye of Unmaking for this fight because Apparatus you can use at the right time. Even if you don't get to 5 stacks at the start of the fight I strongly suggest using it earlier anyway.
- If you are switching During black phases try to be sure not to lose your censure stacks on the boss and try to censure cleave the big tentacle if you were assigned to it.
- Use your Divine Protection at the start of the black phase when it's hard to heal.
- Delay using your Guardian of Ancient Kings up until your 3rd Cooldowns are up, you will most likely even get heroism at that point. With high stacks on the boss you will be able to pull off insane amounts of damage. Also depending on your raid dps; when you want to use your Guardian of Ancient Kings is entirely up to you. If the raid dps is bad you can use your Guardian at even higher stacks on the boss.
Yorsahj is quite the aoe fight, your dps will mostly depend on how much aoe the raid is doing, the trinket choice yet again and whether or not to split up your Zealotry and Avenging Wrath. Yorsahj isn't the best fight for pallys since we have to run to the slimes and stack Censure on them, and the fight is pretty random considering you don't know if you're going to have the black slime up or not.
- Trinket choice, by far the best would be using Blood Link Fetish with Eye of Unmaking. In case you don't have Blood Link Fetish you can use Apparatus of Khaz'Goroth although it's a baby compared to Blood Link Fetish.
- Start the fight by prepotting and waiting for the add slimes to spawn. If black spawns; save your cds for it. Once the 3rd Forgotten One spawns, switch to Seal of righteousness and use Avenging wrath and start using Divine Storm(use Zealotry as well but only if the raid aoe is weak and you have 4set, if not; wait until the aoe finishes and use it on the boss), use Consecration as the first filler after Divine Storm.
- If the raid gets the blue slime and a mana void is up, be sure to censure cleave the mana void for extra dps, use a Judgment Mouseover or Focus target macro for that; I'd prefer using a mouseover for this one since you'd have to put the mana void into focus every time it spawns. Also try to throw a few Hammer of Wraths into it when it gets lower but only if you are meant to be killing it.
- Use Guardian of Ancient Kings on the yellow + black combo, switch to Seal of Righteousness(most guilds use hero at that point) followed by your Avenging Wrath, Zealotry and Potion (don't use your Guardian and a Potion if you don't have at least Avenging Wrath up for that phase).
Hagara is a pretty good fight for rets if you start with the lightning. Starting with frost is horrible because your cds don't align at all with Burn phases and you spend too much time switching targets, or if you are using the tactic where you stay under the frost aoe, having the melee chilling in there, you lose a lot of effective dps. Basically, it doesn't even matter how you are going to use your cds because you can only squeeze in 2 of them max and that's with delaying the 2nd time whereas with lightning you'd be able to get them up for a 3rd time.
- Trinket choices would be Eye of Unmaking and Apparatus of Khaz'Goroth; Apparatus is the best because you can use it every time during bursts unless the stack falls off which it shouldn't unless the raid fails to link on time.
- Start the encounter with only prepotting, don't waste your cooldowns just yet because when you get to lightning phase you won't have them for the burst at the end of the phase.
- If frost is first, u might as well try using your cds right at the start, they might be up for the burn phase; Obviously, if your raid dps is high, delay them fot the burst.
- During lightning phase try to get a Divine purpose proc up before the lightning mob dies, and use it in the last second to refresh your inquisition so that you have it up for the burst, as well as trying to get a crit to have 5 stacks of apparatus ready for the burn phase. Also try to have 3 holy power. Use Guardian of ancient kings just about before the final crystal gets charged, use zealotry and avenging wrath and pot and burst her during feedback.
- During frost phase, just run around nuking the crystals, using Hammer of Wrath on the ones that are low to get a Divine Purpose proc and try to stack up 3 holy power for the burst. If you had lightning first, your cooldowns should be up again for the 2nd burn. Obviously, if you are inside the frost aoe use you Divine Protection to reduce the damage taken by the ice aoe.
- Between the frost and lightning phases, when you get Ice Tombs up, switch to Seal of Righteousness and start using Divine storm on them, cleaving off of Hagara.
Ultraxion is a pretty good fight for rets and you should be contributing with a lot of dps. Retribution paladins are also good soakers with the Divine Protection glyph. An important thing to note for rets who use Gurthalak is to stand as close to the boss as possible since there's a bug that the tentacles that Gurthalak spawns bug out because of Ultraxions huge hit box and simply do nothing instead of attacking the boss. I also strongly suggest binding the extra action button to a key for this encounter.
- You should use Eye of Unmaking and Creche of the Final Dragon, Creche should allign with your cooldowns perfectly.
- Start with Guardian with 4set t11 protection, a pot and use your cooldowns as soon as creche procs, or even earlier since Creche has a very high proc chance.
- When you get fading light, try to time it so that you're in the middle of a global cooldown when it's below 1 seconds left on the debuff to maximize the dps. Also note that if the debuff gets to 0.3 seconds you are going to die regardless if you pressed the Heroic Will due to latency, so be careful with that.
- It is key to use your cooldowns every time you have the Creche proc up even if you don't have Guardian up for the 3rd time you use your cooldowns.
- If soaking, you should easily survive the damage from the aoe with the 10% nerf to boss damage, any case, a priest shield is always helpful.
Warmaster Blackhorn isn't one of the best fights for retribution paladins. We can pull off some really good numbers though if we censure cleave multiple targets. Our survivability is pretty decent with Divine Protection glyphed so you shouldn't be afraid of solo soaking. What you need to watch out for is the lines that the two adds make and try not to get cleaved by the cleaving mob so you don't get the debuff. Also I recommend using a focus target macro for the last phase because it's pretty hard to hover over to use judgment on Blackhorn when you are dpsing the dragon as it's huge!
- Trinkets don't really matter on this fight as much as on the other fights, you want to preferably have Creche of the Final Dragon and Eye of unmaking, and try to time your cooldowns so you use them when Creche proc is up as always.
- You can use Guardian at the start of the fight and it should be back once more later in the last phase, use Zealotry and Avenging Wrath as well.
- What you want to do is stack censure on as much targets as possible and keep them up. First get 5 censure stacks onto the 2 ground mobs then proceed nuking the drake that has been pulled down.
- Refresh the censure stacks on the 2 ground mobs as you dps the drake down, and try to save your judgment in case the twilight barrage spawns far away so you can get there as quickly as possible.
- Use your Divine Protection in situations where you are about to solo soak so you don't risk dying since there's already a lot of damage reduction buffs used during the barrages during which you would benefit from Divine Purpose much less.
- In the last phase, be sure not to stand in any extra fires that were left over from the previous phases. Censure cleave off of the dragon into Warmaster to increase your dps by using a focus target macro for judgment.
- Continue using Avening Wrath and Zealotry unless you are sure you'd be able to benefit from Guardian with the cooldowns up before the boss actually dies.
Retribution paladins are really good for the Spine of Deathwing encounter because of the insane bursts they can do to tendons. Depending on your raid dps and setup, you will either be doing 2:00 minute burns to tendons or 1:30 minute ones. Depending on the tactic you will be using are a few different Trinket choices. It's also important to mention that your dps would be much higher if you were to do 2:00 minute burns so you could have your cooldowns up every time you are dpsing the tendons. Paladins are also good aoers for this fight. Unless you are assigned to aoeing the bloods, try to avoid doing so as it can wipe the raid.
- For 1:30 bursts; definitely use the Rotting Skull trinket and for 2:00 minute bursts use the Apparatus of Khaz'Goroth trinket.
- Start off by nuking those corruptions, try not to get aggro from the spawning Amalgamations, use your Divine Protection to reduce the damage done by Grasping Tendrils during spin phases and also use a Holy radiance to help healing the raid a bit – do that for every spin phase.
- Nuke the amalgamation until it gets low and you are supposed to stop on it until it gets 9 stacks. In case you have another amalgamation by the side being offtanked, just dps it to keep your crits up for Apparatus .
- Always try to have more than 24 seconds of Inquisition up before the burn phase starts, just as the amalgamation reaches 9 stacks I strongly suggest you use abilities that can proc Divine Purpose so that you get Inquisition up right before the tendon burst.
- Use your guardian of ancient kings when the amalgamation reaches 9 stacks, as soon as the tendon is up, use your Avenging Wrath, Zealotry and Apparatus/Rotting Skull.
- I strongly suggest you macro /tar Burning Tendons into Templars verdict so that you target the tendon instantly because it spawns before the animation of the plate going up.
- Save your bubble for when you get gripped during Tendon burns, you can use the cancelaura macro so you cancel it instantly. Remember, use it if you are the first target of the Corruption to break the grip on every person, if you are not you; will only negate its damage on yourself.Any case, if the raid is coordinated properly, Breaking grips during Tendon burns should never occur.
- If you're doing 1:30 bursts remember to use your Rotting Skull trinket every time.
- You should have your Guardian up again for the burst on the last Tendon, along with all other cooldowns.
Madness of deathwing is a pretty bad fight for ret overall. We can do good damage but mostly if we do things we aren't really supposed to do aka whore. The reason behind rets being low on this encounter is that spellweave procs of so little of our abilities. Warriors benefit almost twice as much overall than rets for example(not in whole, but for example for rets spellweave is usually 10% of our damage while for warriors it's20%). Few key things are; when to use your cooldowns, how to use them best and ofcourse, the trinkets.
- Blood Link Fetish is by far the best trinket for this fight. The proc itself can proc spellweave which increases our dps by so much when we need to aoe bloods. If you don't have it, you can always use Apparatus as the 2nd choice, but it will not be as good as Blood Link Fetish.
- First off start with your Cooldowns up as soon as you can. You will have them up for the first cataclysm and you will benefit from them for the entire duration.
- When you switch from the Limb Tentacle to the Corruption, if you want to get nice dps you should censure cleave into the Limb Tentacle although I wouldn't recommend it if you're progressing on deathwing, or if you're told not to bring it any lower.
- Be vary of the Corrupted Parasite debuff so you don't kill anyone if you get it, on the first platform you can dream to avoid taking more damage as it spawns, on other platforms you can use Divine Protection to reduce the damage.
- It's preferred for the ret paladins not to switch to the Elementium Bolt as they do really low damage due to Censure stacking up.
- When the Bloods spawn and you go kill the Corrupting Parasite by cleaving off of the Parasite into the bloods, I suggest you switch to Seal of Rigtheousness before the aoe starts, and as it starts, start off with a Divine storm followed by a Holy wrath as those are the only two aoe abilities that rets can use to proc Spellweave on multiple targets.
- Proceed on nuking the arm tentacle as you kill the 2nd parasite and the Corruption dies. Wait until Cataclysm is cast to use your cds which include Guardian of Ancient Kings.
- Nothing changes on the 2nd platform except that you delay your cooldowns for until cataclysm on that platform and you won't have Guardian of Ancient Kings up for it.
- When you get to the 3rd platform and you need to switch to the Blisterings, it's not recommended for the rets to switch to the 2nd ones when you have your cooldowns up as you do huge dps with cataclysm is up. At all times except when you have cooldowns up, switch to the blisterings. If you're having problems killing the blistering because you are progressing; I wouldn't suggest not switching to them.
- On the 4th platform, as the Elementium Bolt is landing, use you bubble before it lands, cancel aura after it lands and nuke it down.
- When the last phase starts and you are nuking Deathwings head, use your cooldowns whenever they're up.
- Switch to seal of righteousness when the bloods spawn and use Divine storm and Holy Wrath on them. Try to put a Consecration on the floor as well.
- If you or another player used dream and don't have it up for the Schrapnel debuff, remember that Blessing of Protection works to save someone.
- When you dps the two Elementium Terrors, try to stack censure on both and proceed nuking deathwing after they both have censure stacks on them.
Thank you for reading this guide, I hope it helps some of you do more dps on certain boss fights. If you have any special inquiries regarding that you should leave a question in the thread or pm me on the forums. I apologize for any typos made.