Shadowlands paladin guide

Shadowlands paladin guide DEFAULT

Retribution Paladin in Shadowlands

Welcome to the Overgear guide on the Paladin’s “Retribution” spec! This guide will show you all the intricacies of the spec in various aspects of the game and teach you how to survive even the toughest Shadowlands challenges. You’ll learn which talents to use, how to equip your character, and which covenant to choose. In each section you will find answers to these and many other questions.

“Retribution” Paladin is one of the most popular specs in the game. The concept of a warrior harnessing light magic appeals to many players. But you can’t get far on just the fantasy alone!

“Retribution” Paladin has 2 resources. The first is Holy Power, which is mainly used to deal damage. It has similar mechanics with classic combo points without targeting (max 5 Holy Power). The second one is mana, which is consumed by most utility abilities.

This guide will teach you which talents to use in any given situation, which covenant, soulbinds, and conduits to choose, which legendaries and equipment to add to your arcenal, and most importantly — how to correctly use your abilities. In each section you will find answers to these and many other questions.


  • Strong continuous burst in any fight 
  • Good AoE
  • A variety of auras which provide multiple ways of strengthening or protecting your allies
  • Retribution Aura grants a unique opportunity to slightly compensate losses during raids


  • Relies on cooldowns
  • Mediocre DPS outside of bursts
  • Low mobility

About the author

Laevate1nn, a raider of the Exorsus Guild since 2018. Twitch —

Main Abilities

Offensive Abilities

All offensive abilities interact with Holy Power — generate or consume it. More on each ability below.

Crusader Strike — your main Holy Power generator. It has 2 charges, deals moderate physical damage to a single target, and generates 1 Holy Power. Base CD 6 sec.

Blade of Justice — second major Holy Power generator with a longer cooldown. Generates 2 Holy Power and deals a lot more damage than Crusader Strike.

Templar’s Verdict — costs 3 Holy Power and deals significant holy damage to a single target. This is a main ST finisher (finishers are abilities that cost Holy Power charges).

Divine Storm — costs 3 Holy Power and deals holy damage to enemies within an 8 yd radius.

Judgment — the only offensive ability to have a 30 yd range. Deals holy damage to the target and causes your next Holy Power ability to deal 25% increased damage.

Wake of Ashes — deals radiant damage to all enemies within 12 yds in front of you and reduces their movement speed by 50% for 5 sec. Secondary targets receive reduced damage. Wake of Ashes also stuns demons and undead for 5 sec. Generates 3 Holy Power.

Hammer of Wrath — hurls a divine hammer that deals holy damage to the target. Only usable on enemies that have less than 20% health or while Avenging Wrath is active. CD 7.5 sec. Generates 1 Holy Power.

Consecration — consecrates the land beneath you, causing holy damage over 12 sec to enemies who enter the area. Limit 1.

Bursts and important passive effects:

Avenging Wrath — Paladin’s only burst with a 2 minute cooldown. While active, increases your damage, crit chance, and healing by 20%. Base duration 25 sec.

Mastery: Hand of Light — increases holy damage by a % of your mastery.

Devotion Aura — party and raid members within 40 yards are bolstered by their devotion, reducing damage taken by 3%. Only one aura may be active.

Retribution Aura — if a party/raid member dies within 40yds, you gain Avenging Wrath for 12 sec. Only one aura may be active.

Crusader Aura — increases mounted speed by 20% for all party/raid members within 40 yds. Only one aura may be active.

Concentration Aura — Interrupt and Silence effects on all party/raid members within 40 yds are 30% shorter. Only one aura may be active.

Art of War — your auto attacks have a 12% chance to reset Blade of Justice cooldown.

Defensive abilities:

Shield of Vengeance — creates a barrier for 15 sec that absorbs incoming damage. When the shield expires, it bursts to inflict holy damage equal to the total amount absorbed, divided among all nearby enemies. Crit chance either doubles the barrier’s capacity or its damage. CD 2 min.

Blessing of Protection — buff yourself or a raid/party member, granting immunity to physical damage for 10 sec. Upon activation, the target receives Forbearance for 30 sec. This effect prevents strong spells such as Blessing of Protection, Lay on Hands, and Divine Shield from affecting the target. Base CD 5 min.

Divine Shield — grants immunity to all damage for 8 sec and removes all threat (Hand of Reckoning can aggro the enemy for a couple of seconds). Cannot be used if you have Forbearance. Also causes Forbearance for 30 sec. Base CD 5 min.

Flash of Light — heals you or your ally at the cost of mana. Base cast time 1.5 sec.

Lay on Hands — instantly heals a friendly target for an amount equal to your maximum health. Cannot be used if you have Forbearance. Also causes Forbearance for 30 sec. CD 10 min.

Blessing of Sacrifice — you bless a party member, transfering 30% of their damage taken onto yourself. Lasts for 12 sec, or until you fall below 20% health. CD 2 min.

Word of Glory — heals a friendly target, costs 3 Holy Power.

Utility abilities

Blessing of Freedom — makes you or your ally immune to movement impairing effects for 8 sec, also removing them when cast. CD 25 sec.

Divine Steed — allows you to ride your class mount for 3 seconds even in combat, increasing movement speed by 100%. It’s basically a sprint, but the game treats it as riding, meaning you will not be affected by such effects like Hunter’s Misdirection. CD 45 sec.

Hand of Reckoning — provokes the enemy and forces them to attack you for 3 sec. Paladin’s taunt ability. CD 8 sec.

Redemption — resurrects an ally outside of combat. 

Hammer of Justice — stuns the target for 6 sec. CD 1 min.

Cleanse Toxins — removes all poison and disease effects from an allies target. CD 8 sec.

Hand of Hindrance — reduces enemy’s movement speed by 70% for 10 sec. CD 30 sec.

Rebuke — interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell of that school from being cast for 4 sec.


General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Tranquil Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on cooldown, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it.

Tier 1 — 15 lvl. Talents that affect DPS


  • Zeal — “Judgment” empowers you with “Zeal”, causing your next 3 auto attacks to occur 30% faster and deal additional holy damage. Not a bad talent for ST, but not the best one in this tier. Although, Zeal is a default choice for M+.
  • Righteous Verdict — “Templar’s Verdict” increases the damage of your next “Templar’s Verdict” by 15% for 6 sec. Best choice for ST since it boosts our main Holy Power ability.
  • Execution Sentence — a hammer slowly falls from the sky upon the target. After 8 sec, they suffer holy damage. During that time, they receive 20% more damage from your abilities. A weak talent, not used anywhere at the moment.

Tier 2 — 25 lvl. Talents that affect DPS


* Blade of Wrath is a universal choice. Empyrean Power is picked for cleave, AoE or M+.

Tier 3 — 30 lvl. Control


  • Fist of Justice — Each Holy Power spent reduces the remaining cooldown on Hammer of Justice by 2 sec.
  • Repentance — paralyzes a target in a 30 yd range. Only Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids, and Undead can be affected by it. CD 15 sec.
  • Blinding Light — dazes enemies in a 10 yd radius around you for 6 sec. Any damage except holy damage will cancel the effect. CD 1.5 min.

* All these talents are situational. By default, you should pick Blinding Light, since it can interrupt enemies in M+.

Tier 4 — 35 lvl. Mobility and survivability


* It’s best to haveEye for an Eye as a backup. Pick Unbreakable Spirit if you need more saves, and Cavalier if you lack mobility. 

Tier 5 — 40 lvl. Talents that affect DPS


  • Divine Purpose — finishers have a 15% chance to grant you Divine Purpose for 12 sec, making your next Holy Power ability free and deal 20% increased damage.
  • Holy Avenger — triples your Holy Power generation for 20 sec.
  • Seraphim — The Light magnifies your power for 15 sec, granting 8% Haste, Critical Strike, and Versatility, and 13% Mastery.

*Seraphim is great combined with Execution Sentence. Holy Avenger is a strong burst ability. Divine Purpose is a standard talent that doesn’t change the gameplay much. All these talents are similar in terms of power, so choose depending on the situation.

Tier 6 — 45 lvl. Healing


  • Selfless Healer — all abilities that cost Holy Power reduce the cooldown of your next Flash of Light by 25% and increase its healing done by 10%. Stacks up to 4 times.
  • Justicar’s Vengeance — costs 5 Holy Power, deals decent holy damage and replenishes an equal amount of health. If used against a stunned target, damage is increased by 50%. 
  • Healing Hands — The cooldown of Lay on Hands is reduced up to 60%, based on the target’s missing health. Word of Glory healing is increased by up to 100%, based on the target’s missing health.

*The choice is yours. Selfless Healer is useful in any situation. You’re probably better off without Justicar’s Vengeance. Healing Hands can be good during raids and in M+ at the cost of damage.

Tier 7 — 50 lvl. Talents that affect DPS


  • Sanctified Wrath — Avenging Wrath lasts 25% longer. During Avenging Wrath, each Holy Power spent causes a holy explosion dealing a small amount of damage.
  • Crusade — replaces Avenging Wrath, has the same duration. Upon activation, increases your damage done and haste by 3%. During Crusade each Holy Power spent increases your damage done and haste by additional 3%. Stacks up to 10 times.
  • Final Reckoning — calls down a blast of divine energy, dealing holy damage to all targets in the target area and causing them to take 50% increased damage from your Holy Power abilities for 8 sec. CD 1 min. Passive effect: while off cooldown, your attacks have a high chance to call down a bolt that deals holy damage and causes the target to take 10% increased damage from your next Holy Power ability.

*Final Reckoning synergizes well with other bursts, useful in ST and AoE combat. Crusade is a fine alternative.

Here are your common builds:

For ST and cleave:

  1. Righteous Verdict
  2. Blade of Wrath
  3. Fist of Justice
  4. Unbreakable Spirit
  5. Divine Purpose
  6. Selfless Healer
  7. Crusade


  1. Zeal
  2. Empyrean Power
  3. Blinding Light
  4. Unbreakable Spirit
  5. Divine Purpose
  6. Selfless Healer
  7. Final Reckoning


Best choice:

Raid — Venthyr

Mythic+ — Kyrian


  • Ashen Hallow — hallows the target area for 30 sec. Enemies in the area suffer dark magic damage, while allies heal. This effect is reduced if there are more than 5 targets. Within the Hallow, you may use Hammer of Wrath on any target, and its damage is increased by 100%. 1.5 sec cast time, CD 4 min.

Very strong burst, but less useful than the other covenants due to long cooldown.

  • Door of Shadows — channeled blink with great potential (skipping enemies in M+ dungeons, avoiding mechanics similar to raid boss Queen Azshara).


Good burst, useful for AoE and cleave.

  • Summon Steward — summons your stewart to bring you a Phial of Serenity. CD 4 min. May seem useless, but don’t underestimate additional healing. Removing various debuffs, especially bleeding, can be very useful in every aspect of the game.

Night Fae

Blessing of the Seasons — blesses an ally with one of the seasons for 30 sec. CD 45 sec.:

  • Summer — ally’s attacks have a 40% chance to deal an additional 30% holy damage. Autumn comes next.
  • Autumn — ally’s cooldowns recover 30% faster. Winter comes next.
  • Winter  — attacks deal additional damage and apply a movement (3%) and attack speed (2%) stacking debuff. Stacks up to 10 times.
  • Spring — increases ally’s healing done by 10% and healing received by 20%. Summer comes next.

An interesting ability. Full cycle lasts 3 min total, granting 90 sec of DPS buffs. Very powerful.

  • Soulshape — turns you into a fox. teleports you 15 yds forward and increases movement speed by 50%. You can teleport every second over 12 sec. Additional blink and sprint for an already mobile class.


Has some AoE potential for M+ dungeons, but weaker than Divine Toll at the moment.

  • Fleshcraft — after channeling for 4 sec, creates a shield of flesh that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. This is most effective against powerful enemies.

Surprisingly strong absorb. A bit better than Kyrian phial. Can be quite useful against raid bosses that sometimes deal massive damage.









  1. Venthyr — Nadjia
  2. Kyrian — Pelagos
  3. Necrolord — Emeni
  4. Night Fae — Korayn


Nadjia the Mistblade

Dauntless Duelist — The first enemy you damage in combat is marked as your adversary. You deal 3% more damage to them, and they deal % less damage to you. You may only have one adversary at a time.

Thrill Seeker — while in combat, you gain a stack of “Thrill Seeker”. Killing an enemy grants 4 stacks. At 40 stacks “Thrill Seeker” is consumed to grant you “Euphoria”, increasing your Haste by 20% for 10 sec. “Thrill Seeker” decays rapidly while you are not in combat.

Exacting Preparation —  bonuses from food, potions, and weapon enchants are increased by 20%.

Theotar the Mad Duke

Soothing Shade — Your spells and abilities have a chance to call Tubbins and Gubbins to your side for 12 sec, parasol in hand. Standing in the shaded area grants you 525 Mastery.

Wasteland Propriety — activating Ashen Hallow signals the start of tea time, granting 10% Versatility to you and 4% Versatility to up to 4 nearby allies. Lasts 10 seconds and can only occur once per 60 sec.

Refined Palate — the effects of potions last 200% longer.

General Draven — soulbind for survivability and possibly for PvP, has no useful abilities for a DD class.



Let Go of the Past — Using a spell or ability reduces incoming magic damage by 1% for 10 sec. Using another spell or ability increases versatility by 1% when it is not a repeat of the previous one. Stacks up to 3 times.

Combat Meditation — Divine Toll  increases your Mastery by 5% for 20 sec and occasionally expels Sorrowful Memories. Walking through Sorrowful Memories extends this effect by 3 sec.


Valiant Strikes — your critical strikes grant you stacks of Valiant Strikes, up to 20. At 20 stacks you heal yourself for 10% of your max health and up to 4 closest allies for 5% of their max health. CD 1 min.

Pointed Courage — increases crit chance by 1% for every nearby enemy, up to 8%.


Hammer of Genesis — damaging a new enemy grants you 2% Haste for 10 sec, up to 5 stacks. 

Bron’s Call to Action — after using 90 damaging or healing abilities, your next ability summons Bron, who knocks enemies back and then attacks and heals your targets for 30 sec.


Plague Deviser Marileth has no useful abilities for a DD class.


Gnashing Chompers — gain 3% Haste for 10 sec after defeating an enemy, up to 15%.

Lead by Example — Vanquisher’s Hammer increases your primary stat by 5% and up to 4 nearby allies’ primary stat by 2% for 10 sec. You gain 2% additional primary stat for each ally affected, up to 8%.

Bonesmith Heirmir 

Heirmir’s Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone — after landing 10 critical strikes, you gain 18% increased chance to critical strike for 10 sec. May only occur once per 60 sec.

Forgeborne Reveries — upon your death your armour comes to life, allowing you to fight for an additional 10 sec. During this time, your damage and healing done is reduced by 50% and you cannot receive healing. Also increases your primary stat by 1% for each enchantment on your armor, up to 3%.

Night Fae


Niya’s Tools: Burrs — your damaging attacks and spells have a chance to toss Niya’s Spiked Burrs under your target. The burrs latch onto the first enemy to cross them, reducing movement speed by 20% and inflicting nature damage over 6 sec. (this path has 1 less potency conduit)

Niya’s Tools: Poison — your interrupting abilities apply Niya’s Paralytic Poison to the target, dealing Nature damage over 30 sec. Debuffed targets take additional nature damage if interrupted once more.

Grove Invigoration — healing or dealing damage has a chance to grant you a stack of Redirected Anima, which increases your maximum health by 1% and your Mastery by 25 for 30 sec, and stacks overlap. “Blessing of the Seasons” grants you 6 stacks of Redirected Anima.

Dreamweaver has no useful abilities for a DD class.


First Strike — damaging an enemy before they damage you increases your chance to critically strike by 25% for 10 sec.

Wild Hunt Tactics — your damage to targets above 75% health and healing to targets below 35% health are increased by 10%. When your spells and abilities are enhanced this way, you gain 10% bonus movement speed for 5 sec.


A total of 16 legendaries are available to the “Retribution” Paladin.

Best item effects:


Your main goal is to deal as much damage with Templar’s Verdict as possible. This is achieved by using finishers after Judgment and replenishing Holy Power in between. The priorities are listed below (if there’s more than 2 targets, just replace Templar’s Verdict with Divine Storm).

Base priorities:


  1. Templar’s VerdictifDivine Purpose procs
  2. Divine Stormif Empyrean Powerprocs
  3. Hammer of Wrath once available
  4. Final Reckoning on recharge
  5. Templar’s Verdict on 5 Holy Power, with Judgment debuff
  6. Templar’s Verdict on 3 Holy Power, if you have <10 stacks of Crusade, with Judgment debuff
  7. Templar’s Verdict on 3 Holy Power, with Judgment debuff and Righteous Verdict will expire in 1 second. 
  8. Wake of Ashes on 0 or 1 Holy Power, if Blade of Justice is on cooldown. 
  9. Blade of Justice on 3 or less Holy Power 
  10. Crusader Strike with 2 charges, 4 or less Holy Power 
  11. Judgment on 5 Holy Power or if Crusader Strike and Blade of Justice are on cooldown
  12. Crusader Strike on 4 or less Holy Power
  13. Templar’s Verdict on 3 or more Holy Power, with the target debuffed by Judgment

Detailed instructions: 

  • Try using finishers after Judgment (exception: you’ve mistakenly debuffed a target that died too quickly. In this case there’s no point in standing around and looking at the target with 5 Holy Power and waiting for Holy Power generators to recharge).
  • Judgment must be used as frequently as possible, with minimum delays. Judgment during Crusade should be on the target 100% of the time. Though, it’s not that hard thanks to increased haste from this talent. It’s also preferable to use Crusade under such raid buffs like Bloodlust / Heroism / Time Warp, or when the target is receiving increased damage.


  1. Blade of Justice
  2. Crusade or Avenging Wrath
  3. Hammer of Wrath
  4. Templar’s Verdict
  5. Wake of Ashes
  6. Templar’s Verdict
  7. Hammer of Wrath
  8. Move on to standard rotation, using Judgment before finishers.

Choosing a race


  • Human (Alliance)
  • Tauren (Horde)


  • Human (Alliance)
  • Blood Elf (Horde)


Basic stat priority looks like this:


Haste reduces the cooldowns of your main abilities, GCD, speed of auto attacks. 

Mastery increases holy damage.

Versatility simply amplifies damage dealt and reduces damage taken.

Crit increases your chance to deal double damage with your abilities. 


These stats are connected quite tightly, while their value is constantly changing. 

After upgrading your gear, it’s highly recommended to use Simcraft or There is nothing more accurate than simulations to tell you which of the stats you should look at first.

Based on the priorities above and simulations of your character you can choose gems, enchants, and consumables.



Sharpening stones, Oils, and Kits


Flasks and Pots

BiS Gear & Trinkets

Will be available later


Repentance on cursor:

#showtooltip Repentance

/cast [@mouseover] Repentance

Rebuke with modifiers, used on focus or the current target:

#showtooltip Rebuke

/cast [@focus, exists, harm][@target, harm, nodead] Rebuke

Blessing of Freedom on cursor, as it’s sometimes useful to give it to your ally:

#showtooltip  Blessing of Freedom

/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Freedom

Blessing of Sacrifice on cursor, as it’s sometimes useful to give it to your ally:

#showtooltip  Blessing of Sacrifice

/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Sacrifice

Blessing of Protection on cursor, as it’s sometimes useful to give it to your ally:

#showtooltip Blessing of Protection

/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Protection

Lay on Hands on cursor, as it is sometimes useful to give it to your ally:

#showtooltip  Lay on Hands

/cast [@mouseover] Lay on Hands


Bartender4 — highly customizable panel addon.

Chatter — allows you to customize chat.

Deja Character stats — adds more information about the character.

Sexy map — makes your minimap sexy!

Shadowed unit frames — an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.

WeakAuras — probably the most important addon in modern WoW. With its help, you can set up almost anything, and on you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec, check out this link for Retribution auras.

BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods — addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately. 

ElvUI — all-in-one global build for fans of a neat and concise interface. Replaces several addons at once. On you can also find a large number of different customized profiles for ElvUI.

Details! Damage Meter — the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment.

Plater Nameplates — addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from — what else do you need?

Pawn — helps you find gear upgrades, requires SimCraft.

SimulationCraft — simplifies your char’s simulation by creating an in-game line for quick import to Raidbots or SimCraft.

Exorsus Raid Tools — addon for raids with a lot of useful features

Move Anything — allows you to move and resize any part of your interface.

World Quest List — groups your world quests to the left of the map and filters them by zones.

PRO Tips:

When playing as a Retribution Paladin, you can be extremely useful to your raid if you can spot the need for Blessing of Freedom/Blessing of Sacrifice/Blessing of Protection/Lay on Hands and use them in the nick of time. With quick reaction you’ll be able to save your ally before they even ask for help. To do this you will need customized raid/party frames and a certain knack for keeping track of them during battles.


This concludes our guide. We hope you have no more questions and are ready to get down to practice. Thanks for tuning in! Best of luck in the world of Azeroth!


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Retribution Paladin Shadowlands 9.1 guide


Hi, and welcome to the Method Retribution Paladin guide, written by Ranishka. With a few occasional breaks from the game, I have been a ret main since vanilla. In the past I’ve had a more casual approach to the game and focused on PvP, until I started raiding semi-hardcore back in BfA, and have been playing ret at an increasingly higher level ever since.

Ret has always been a niche spec, but in later expansions it has seen some play due to it frequently being a viable choice, and even strong in certain encounters. Listed below are some strengths and drawbacks of the spec:


  • Very strong AoE burst.
  • Good ST burst.
  • Provides certain utilities for the raid like immunity soaking, blessings, lay on hands etc.
  • Decent self-sustain, with being a hybrid class and being able to heal when needed.


  • Lacks raid-wide utility like Anti-Magic Zone, Rallying Cry etc.
  • Low mobility, with divine steed being the only movement-ability (it did get a lot better with two charges and 6sec steed though).
  • Sustained ST damage is low compared to other classes.
  • Lacks a damage reduction ability, which makes it hard to survive certain hits without externals.

Disclaimer: At this moment, kyrian is the best option for rets in every situation, and this guide won’t cover the other covenants. This means the guide won’t apply the same way to readers playing other covenants (for whatever reason). The guide does not cover PvP either, as it has specific tunings and is a whole different game in certain regards.

What has changed

9.1 Changes:

For ret there were almost zero tuning changes to the spec itself in 9.1. It did however receive a legendary for kyrian, which has been the go-to legendary for most rets since the patch hit:

Virtuous command also received a bug-fix, making it refresh the duration on consecutive judgement hits. Not very noticeable, but makes it slightly better, especially with the new legendary.

Truth’s wake also received a bug-fix, making it do the correct (higher) amount of damage. Usually not a good pick regardless, but it could be used in M+.

A new endurance conduit was also added for all classes, which gives provides the player with good sustain in all situations:

Apart from that, ret is very much in the same spot as it was in Castle Nathria. It’s not bottom tier, but not soaring at the top either. It is still not the best pick for most raid comps, but completely viable if you already have what you need in the setup, and it can even outperform other classes if played correctly.

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Paladins are one of the most versatile classes in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in both player-vs-player (PvP) and player-vs-environment (PvE) settings, capable of healing, dealing damage or tanking. While Protection Paladins might not be as effective in PvP as other specializations such as Holy or Retribution, they can still find their niche and help you climb to your desired rating.

In PvE, Protection Paladins are great tanks due to their defensive cooldowns and the ability to sustain themselves with minimal heal intervention in low-difficulty environments. You have various damage reduction or healing effects to keep yourself up while healers will be busy topping up the DPS in your group.

In PvP, Protection Paladins were nonexistent at the start of the season but quickly became mainstream as more players realized their healing potential without spending mana. They started replacing the traditional healers in meta compositions before being nerfed to being situational instead of being mandatory. While their representation is less compared to Holy or Retribution, they do have some viable compositions to climb with, usually playing a back-oriented support role instead of a damaging one.

Here are the best Protection Paladin talents and build for PvP and PvE.


Protection Paladins are in a decent spot PvP-wise due to their offhealing capabilities and powerful defensive cooldowns. They can be hard to kill, especially if you kite around the map and spam your abilities from a huge range to generate Holy Power. With this resource, you can spam Word of Glory to keep yourself or your allies topped up. While some players tend to play Protection Paladins in melee range and withstand a lot of damage, they usually fail since their role is more of a secondary or primary healer role instead of a melee DPS.

Playing similar to a melee DPS won’t work out since tanks take additional damage in PvP to ensure they can be killed by other players. It’s recommended to trade your defensive cooldowns when you’ve found yourself in melee range so you don’t drop too low on health and are able to slowly recover it back.


Level 15: Holy Shield – This is the best talent in PvP since it can allow you to block certain key spells from your opponents, while also doing a nice amount of damage. If you are not facing spellcasters, you can go for Blessed Hammer for ranged Holy Power generation.

Level 25: Crusader’s Judgement – Judgement is the main damaging ability, which also generates Holy Power, so getting more stacks of it is crucial for success. Other talents are lackluster in PvP.

Level 30: Fist of Justice – This is the default pick since it reduces the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice. With this talent, you can easily spam-stun your opponents just as the diminishing returns ends.

Level 35:Blessing of Spellwarding – During most of your matches, you’ll be facing characters with a lot of magical damaging effects so taking this talent should help you withstand their pressure during key offensive cooldowns. If, however, you’re facing a mixed damage composition and might need Blessing of Protection, Cavalier is the better talent to go for.

Level 40: Seraphim – As a default pick in most of your games, Seraphim increases your stats by a lot for the cost of three Holy Power. You’ll be doing much more damage and healing during its duration, giving you a lot of kill opportunities against opponents.

Level 45: Hand of the Protector – This is the talent that gave the Protection Paladins a way to replace the healer in many compositions during the early months of Shadowlands. There were and still are plenty of opportunities to offheal as a Protection Paladin in three-vs-three due to this talent.

Level50: Sanctified Wrath – This talent allows you to be much stronger during your Avenging Wrath and gives Judgement more opportunities to generate Holy Power for your other spells.


Your stat priority is Versatility > Haste > Mastery > Critical Strike.

Versatility is your core stat since it increases your damage, while also making you harder to kill. While the damage increase might not be as high as the others, the additional survivability it grants is crucial to negate your weakness. Haste is the best secondary stat after Versatility, giving you faster attacks and globals to increase your damage. Mastery and Critical Strike are lower in priority, but if you have higher item level gear with these stats, feel free to use them instead. As for the Legendary item, you want to go for Reign of Endless Kings to be harder to kill.


The optimal covenant for a Protection Paladin in PvP is Kyrian. Summon the Steward ability is a great additional sustain tool and can help you avoid death in situations where you’re out of cooldowns or Holy Power. The extra seconds granted due to its healing can become the main reason you survived an encounter. Divine Toll is also an amazing ability, allowing you to do a lot of damage and generate Holy Power on demand.

PvP Talents

The three PvP talents you should use by default are Guardian of the Forgotten Queen, Shield of Virtue, and Steed of Glory. These talents will make you much harder to kill and also give you the ability to shield your ally from damage for 10 seconds every three minutes. The Steed of Glory talent will make you immune to most CC abilities, while also giving you a two-second knockback effect, capable of interrupting key abilities from your opponents.


Protection Paladins remained some of the best tanks in Shadowlands. They provide great utility tools, especially in Mythic+ where their offhealing allows you to withstand a lot of powerful damaging effects done by small group of adds or strong bosses.

In raids, you have various tools to withstand deadly blows from the bosses alongside a safety net in Divine Shield, giving your healers a second chance at topping you off before you die. Overall, Protection Paladins will always find a spot in both dungeons and raids to tank.


Level 15: Holy Shield – This is the best talent in PvE since it can allow you to block certain key spells from your opponents, while also dealing damage. If you’re not adds or bosses with powerful spells, you can go for Blessed Hammer for ranged Holy Power generation.

Level 25: Crusader’s Judgement – Judgement is the main damaging ability, which also generates Holy Power, so getting more stacks of it is crucial for success. First Avenger is a decent alternative for Mythic+ since it allows you to absorb a nice chunk of damage.

Level 30: Bliding Light – This offers great CC that can help you take multiple adds in Mythic+ by blinding them for a couple of seconds while you take down another group.

Level 35:Unbreakable Spirit – Unbreakable Spirit reduces the cooldown of your main defensive cooldown of Ardent Defender. It helps you survive long fights by having this damage reduction ability more often.

Level 40: Divine Purpose – This is the best talent in the row since it allows you to get a free Holy Power finisher which deals either 20 percent more damage or healing. By default it should be picked, but if you need some additional burst or offhealing, then Holy Avenger might be a better choice.

Level 45: Judgement of Light – Every time you’ll use Judgement, there will be a debuff to heal your party or raid group. While in the short term it won’t be that impactful, it can quickly add up during longer fights. Since you’ll be using Judgement frequently, it’s important to pick this talent to get additional utility for your teammates.

Level50: Righteous Protector – This is the default talent in most situations since it reduces the cooldowns of your main offensive and defensive cooldowns. It can help you have more survivability or burst phases.


Your stat priority is Haste > Versatility > Mastery > Critical Strike.

Haste is your primary stat up until around 20 percent, when it becomes less effective the more you stack of it. Afterward, you should stack Versatility since it increases your damage, while also making you harder to kill. Versatility also provides both a reduction in damage taken and an increase in self-healing, in addition to providing a noticeable damage increase, putting it on the pedestal in regards to stat priority. As for the Legendary item, you want to go for The Magistrate’s Judgement to reduce Holy Power costs for abilities.


The optimal covenant for a Protection Paladin in PvP is Kyrian. Summon the Steward ability is a great additional sustain tool and can help you avoid death in situations where you’re out of cooldowns or Holy Power. The extra seconds granted due to its healing can become the main reason you survived an encounter. Divine Toll is also an amazing ability, allowing you to do a lot of damage and generate Holy Power on demand. Other covenants come close as well and might be better suited in certain scenarios, but the overall best pick is Kyrian.

Retribution paladin burst guide Shadowlands 9.1

Protection Paladin Shadowlands 9.1 guide


Hey! I’m Tokaine, the best tank you’ve never heard of and the number 1 advocate for T.D.M (Tank Damage Matters). I’ve been tanking since cataclysm, mainly playing protection warrior until legion where I branched out into other tank classes as I climbed the world ranks.

Protection Paladin, what warriors turn into when they drink too much holy water and get tired of shouting angrily at their enemies, instead opting to just throw a variety of golden hammers at them to replace the shouting.

Now, protection paladins are known for their utility and damage… their tankiness is well… we’ll get into that later! Lets focus on the utility, which protection paladin excels in compared to pretty much every other tank. Blessing of Protection and Spellwarding have a multitude of uses in both M+ and Raiding environments. Additionally they also have Blessing of Freedom, Blessing of Sacrifice as well as insane on demand and passive off healing.

On paper protection paladins bring the most out of any tank in the game and I’m not just referring to utility, their damage is unmatched as well, being able to burst an absurd amount of damage during their cooldowns. Everything sounds great right? Well, paladins are by far the squishiest of all the tank classes and are very gear dependent. If you’re pretty well geared you won’t really notice it as much however compared to something like a Brewmaster or a Guardian Druid, if you’re undergeared for the content you will REALLY feel it. Additionally, similar to the protection warrior, a mistake on a protection paladin will be way more punishing than other tanks.

What has changed

Patch 9.1

There are no changes to Protection Paladin as a class for 9.1.

Domination Sockets

In the Sanctum of Domination there are special types of gear which drop with “Domination Sockets” in them, these sockets grant powerful bonuses from Shards of Domination which you obtain from killing the raid bosses. If you have 3 of the same type of shard you are able to obtain a powerful set bonus that works in both the raid and torghast, the 3 set bonuses are as followed:

  • Unholy - Chaos Bane grants you a stacking main stat buff based on the level of your shard, at 15 stacks you gain a massive main stat buff for 15 seconds before it resets and starts stacking again.
  • Blood - Blood Link places a DoT on your primary target which leeches health from them healing you for the amount of damage it deals, it heals an ally if you are full health.
  • Frost - Winds of Winter makes it so your critical strikes start storing up a % of the critical hits damage and after 20 seconds it will explode and deal all the stored up damage, you are then granted an absorb for 100% of the damage dealt by the winds.

Our 4 new covenant specific legendaries are as followed:

  • Kyrian - Divine Resonance, this legendary makes it so after you cast your Divine Toll, for 30 seconds after you will automatically cast an Avenger’s Shield every 5 seconds for 30 seconds, resulting in an additional 6 casts and 6 holy power generated.
  • Necrolord - Duty-Bound Gavel, this legendary gives your Vanquisher’s Hammer an extra charge as well as making your next 2 Word of Glory’s grant Shield of the Righteous instead of just your next Word of Glory.
  • Venthyr - Radiant Embers, this legendary increases your Ashen Hallow effect to 45 seconds, up from 30 however if you leave the area it will end Ashen Hallow and reduce its cooldown by up to 50% in proportion of the remaining duration left when you moved outside of the hallow.
  • Nightfae - Seasons of Plenty, this legendary empowers your blessing of the seasons by 100% for 10 seconds.

Unfortunately, the protection paladin has some very strong legendaries from before and most of these new legendaries don’t really have a place in our current sets of gear. The only one with some potential is Venthyr’sRadiant Embers and that is mainly down to the fact that you can reduce yourAshen Hallow down to near 2 minutes so if you want to have it up for a shorter period of time but more frequently, this would allow it.

Patch 9.0.5

  • Fleshcraft became incredibly strong, increasing the shield amount as well as adding a 20% damage reduction buff while channeling. Additionally tanks are able to dodge, parry and block during the channel.
  • There weren’t too many changes individually to protection paladin. The main one is that our legendary The Ardent Protector’s Sanctum was redesigned so when your Ardent Defender procs as a cheat death it restores an additional 40% health. Additionally, when it expires without activating the cheat death part it has its remaining cooldown reduced by 40%.
  • Protection Paladin, along with pretty much every other tank, received a flat 10% passive damage reduction.

Patch 9.0


Paladin guide shadowlands


Retribution Paladin Overview

Retribution Paladin is a very cooldown reliant melee-DPS spec. Their greatest strength is the high versatility in available burst types, be it single-target, close-range cleave, or AoE. The defensive utility is very good as well, as it offers a damage reduction aura, a strong single-target damage reduction cooldown for others, massive off-heals, and the best immunity in the game.


Strengths and Weaknesses


Patch 9.1 Changes for Paladins

We are maintaining a list of changes for Paladins, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Retribution's specific changes this patch.

Patch 9.1 Paladin Class ChangesPatch 9.1 Retribution Changes


Significant Patch 9.1 Retribution Changes


New Legendary Powers

Divine Resonance IconDivine Resonance is the new best Kyrian Paladin Legendary Power, casting a Judgment IconJudgment on your current target once every 5 seconds, over 15 seconds.

Radiant Embers IconRadiant Embers is the new Venthyr Paladin Legendary Power, increasing Ashen Hallow IconAshen Hallow's duration by 50%. Leaving the area will end the effect and reduce the cooldown up to 50% proportional to its remaining duration. Running out of the circle early mainly desynchronizes Ashen Hallow from your cooldowns, while staying inside does not provide more throughput than other Legendary Power options.

Seasons of Plenty IconSeasons of Plenty is the new Night Fae Paladin Legendary Power. It empowers each of your Night Fae blessings once they were up for 10 seconds for the next 10 seconds. Blessing of Autumn IconBlessing of Autumn, Blessing of Winter IconBlessing of Winter, and Blessing of Spring IconBlessing of Spring have their effectiveness doubled, while Blessing of Summer IconBlessing of Summer has its effectiveness quadrupled (by having both its proc chance and proc amplification doubled).

Duty-Bound Gavel IconDuty-Bound Gavel is the new Necrolord Paladin Legendary Power, adding a second charge to Vanquisher's Hammer IconVanquisher's Hammer and a second empowered Templar's Verdict IconTemplar's Verdict per Vanquisher's Hammer cast.


New Conduits

Condensed Anima Sphere IconCondensed Anima Sphere is a new Endurance Conduit that, once you take any damage, will heal you for X% of your maximum Health. This can only occur once every 10 seconds. The new World Boss Mor'geth, Tormentor of the Damned drops this Conduit.


Conduit Changes

Virtuous Command IconVirtuous Command now refreshes from consecutive Judgment IconJudgment casts, which is a noticeable buff thanks to its synergy with the new Divine Resonance IconDivine Resonance Legendary Power for Kyrian Paladins.

Truth's Wake IconTruth's Wake now does the correct amount of damage implied by the tooltip. This change alongside the new Potency Conduit slot finally allows us to utilize the Potency Conduit in Mythic+.


Night Fae Changes

Blessing of Winter IconBlessing of Winter now can be applied to multiple targets at the same time.


Leveling a Retribution Paladin

If you want to play a Retribution Paladin, but currently do not have one at max level, you can check out our leveling guide for tips on your crusade.

Retribution Paladin Leveling Guide

Once you reach max level, it can be somewhat overwhelming to completely change the way you play by suddenly implementing a large number of addons in a short space of time, especially if they have a heavy visual impact on your UI. We recommend using some of the more basic addons recommended on our Addons page below while leveling, so that you have more time to get used to them during the easier phases of playing your class.

Retribution Paladin Addons and Macros


Basics of Retribution Paladin Gameplay

Retribution Paladin is a spec about buffing yourself, managing cooldowns, and handling resource management all at the same time. The fundamental idea of the rotation is simple, you are building and spending Holy Power, while mixing in cooldowns to maximize the effectiveness of your Holy Power abilities.

At all times, you will be figuring out which Holy Power generator you should prioritize over your others while not overcapping Holy Power, and then figure out the best Holy Power spender to use in your current situation. You will also regularly be using your main cooldown, Avenging Wrath IconAvenging Wrath.

If you are an absolute beginner to the spec, but would like to learn the basic fundamentals of the class, we recommend looking through the Spell Summary first, as well as the Easy Mode page linked below.

Retribution Paladin Spell SummaryRetribution Paladin Quick Guide

If you are already somewhat familiar with Retribution Paladin, you can head straight to the Talents and Rotation pages to jump right into the more complex, detailed information.

Retribution Paladin Talents and BuildsRetribution Paladin Rotation and Cooldowns


How to Gear Up as a Retribution Paladin

Despite the fact that gearing has become more challenging, due to the huge number of variables that depend on your character, you can find information on how best to gear as Retribution on our dedicated gearing page.

Retribution Paladin Gear

Once you have started to gear up, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate consumables, gems, enchants, and more. We have a dedicated page for exactly this, as shown below, as well as the stats page, where you can find more information on the possibility of a changing stat priority and the necessary changes you may need to make for consumables.

Retribution Paladin Enchants Gems and ConsumablesRetribution Paladin Stat Priority


End-Game as a Retribution Paladin

Starting off as Retribution Paladin can look very different from the absolute end-game raiding and progression as one. Our Mythic+, Raiding, and PvP guides can guide you to performing as well as possible, regardless of your focus in end-game content.

Retribution Paladin Castle Nathria Raid GuideRetribution Paladin Mythic+ GuideRetribution Paladin PvP Guide


Improving as a Retribution Paladin

If you are finding your performance lacklustre, but are not sure where you are going wrong, you can check out the pages below for potential tips, or answers to questions you may have.

Retribution Paladin "How to Improve" GuideRetribution Paladin FAQRetribution Paladin Simulations



Paladin Beginner Guide - Overview \u0026 Builds for ALL Specs (WoW Shadowlands)


Protection Paladin Overview

As a Protection Paladin, you can expect to perform the role of a solid and reliable tank. In general, your damage intake will be relatively smooth, with many attacks being blocked by your shield or softened by your strong active mitigation. No other tank class has quite the array of tricks up their sleeve that a Paladin does.

Note that this guide focuses on aspects that are specific to Protection Paladins and general tanking strategies are beyond its scope. If you wish to know more about the tanking role and what you can do to improve, we recommend that you read our tanking guide.


Strengths and Weaknesses



Patch 9.1 Changes for Paladins

We are maintaining a list of changes for Paladins, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Protection's specific changes this patch.

Patch 9.1 Paladin Class ChangesPatch 9.1 Protection Changes


Leveling as a Protection Paladin

If you do not have a Paladin at max level you can follow the link below to help you in your quest to reach max level. Keep in mind that leveling as a tank, while not always the fastest, means you are great at being able to pull large groups of enemies and AoE them down.

Protection Paladin Leveling Guide

Should you be leveling as a tank, it is recommended to learn the ropes throughout the leveling process as well, as generally it is not tuned to be very hard. Addons are rather important to be able to tank well, such as threatplates, but also tracking buffs and debuffs. Playing dungeons while leveling will give you a sense of those addons before getting thrown into max level content.

Protection Paladin Addons and Macros


Basics of Protection Paladin Gameplay

Tanking in general means a lot of pressure to not only do damage and thus threat to make sure things are attacking you, but also about surviving those attacks. As a Protection Paladin, this generally means generating as much Holy Power as possible, so you can spend it on Shield of the Righteous IconShield of the Righteous to reduce damage intake. With our active mitigation not being up constantly, it is important to make sure you can cover those times when Shield of the Righteous is down with another cooldowns should damage intake still be high. If you are fairly new to the class and spec and need to jump into it right away, we recommend the Easy Mode page linked below.

Protection Paladin Quick Guide

If you have got the basics down and want to improve your class knowledge, go to the Talent and Rotation pages for more in-depth information.

Protection Paladin Talents and BuildsProtection Paladin Rotation and Cooldowns


How to Gear Up as a Protection Paladin

Tanks are generally quite uncommon, so finding a group as a tank is not too difficult and gearing up might happen rather fast. At the start, all you really want is higher item level, as you value all the stats you can get. Once you have options of similar item levels you can follow these pages to read more on how the different stats influence your character, as well as what gems, enchants, and consumables you should be using. You can also find a page dedicated for more end-game gearing information in the BiS and Gear page.

Protection Paladin Stat PriorityProtection Paladin Enchants and GemsProtection Paladin BiS and Gear


End-Game as a Protection Paladin

End-game content comes in many forms that can vary quite a lot in both gearing and playstyle depending on what you focus most of your efforts into. While tanking in raids or in Mythic+ on the surface seems similar, there are many ways they differ, and you can focus on them separately in the pages linked below. Shadowlands also brought Torghast, a new game mode, for which you can find a Protection Paladin guide just below. PvP is typically not played with tank-specced players, so we recommend you play one of the other Paladin specialisations (Holy / Retribution) should you wish to learn more of that.

Protection Paladin Torghast GuideProtection Paladin Castle Nathria Raid GuideProtection Paladin Mythic+ Guide

Retribution Paladin PvP Guide

Holy Paladin PvP Guide


Improving as a Protection Paladin

Tanking can sometimes be rather unforgiving, especially if you are not quite sure what is actually going wrong; below we have linked a few resources aimed at helping you improve playing your character.

Protection Paladin "How to Improve" GuideProtection Paladin FAQProtection Paladin Simulations




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