Retribution Paladin Equipment Guide for Patch 7.3.2

In this guide we’ll be covering Retribution stat priorities, including a brief explanation of meaningful haste breakpoints (or a lack thereof), and best in slot gear from Antorus, the Burning Throne. We’re also going to have a brief really long discussion on stat weights, which will demonstrate why you’ll never be able to use an addon like Pawn to rate gear for Retribution.

This guide has been updated for Patch 7.3.2.

Stat Priority

All else being equal, this is how Ret Paladins value secondary stats:

Haste ≥ Mastery > Critical Strike ≥ Versatility

Keep in mind that all of Retribution’s secondary stats are extremely close in value. Increasing your item level in a slot is almost always an upgrade regardless of the item’s stats.

Haste Breakpoints and Caps

There aren’t any reasonably attainable hard or soft caps for haste. There are two haste breakpoints you should be aware of that have some gameplay implications. Reaching these breakpoints doesn’t change what gear you’ll end up choosing, and won’t provide any increase in player power. They do, however, make managing your Judgment debuff easier.

  1. 12.5% Haste: This is where you gain an additional global cooldown during Judgment. You will now be able to push out multiple Holy Power spenders before the debuff expires. Playing below this level of haste is a miserable experience. Don’t do it.
  2. 31.25% Haste: This is where you gain a second global cooldown during Judgment. It’s also the point at which you can maintain 100% effective uptime on the Judgment debuff (where the only ability you use when Judgment isn’t up is Judgment itself). Your rotation is now greatly simplified because you rarely need to worry about whether or not you should wait to use a holy power spender until Judgment is off cooldown.

Best in Slot Antorus, the Burning Throne Gear


Item Name

Drop Location


Head Light’s Vanguard Helm Aggramar Critical Strike / Mastery
Neck Chain of the Unmaker Argus the Unmaker Critical Strike / Haste
Shoulders Light’s Vanguard Shoulderplates Coven of Shivarra Haste / Versatility
Back Light’s Vanguard Greatcloak¹ Antoran High Command Critical Strike / Versatility
Chest Light’s Vanguard Breastplate Eonar the Life-Binder Haste / Critical Strike
Wrists Vambraces of Life’s Assurance Eonar the Life-Binder Haste / Mastery
Hands Nascent Deathbringer’s Clutches¹ Argus the Unmaker Critical Strike / Mastery
Waist Grond-Father Girdle Aggramar Haste / Mastery
Legs Argus the Unmaker Haste / Mastery
Feet Burning Coven Sabatons Coven of Shivarra Haste / Mastery
Finger 1 Sullied Seal of the Pantheon Argus the Unmaker Mastery / Versatility
Finger 2 Seal of the Portalmaster Portal Keeper Hasabel Versatility / Haste
Holy Relics Lightshield Amplifier Antoran High Command
Fire Relic Pyretic Bronze Clasp Aggramar

¹ If you are using Whisper of the Nathrezim—which you should, if you have one—replace your gloves with Light’s Vanguard Gauntlets to preserve your set bonus.

Again, keep in mind that because of Warforging and Titanforging, items that aren’t on this list may still be upgrades. Gaining 5 item levels will almost always be the right choice. When in doubt, sim it.

Stat Weight Simulations and Retribution Pawn Values

As we mentioned above, Ret’s stats are extremely close in value. So much so that trying to generate a string you can import into an addon like Pawn will work poorly, if at all. We’ll run through an example of why Pawn for Ret is a bad idea, and a few more examples that show a better way of approaching the problem.

Best in Slot Example

Let’s take the best in slot set we just created, add in Ret’s best trinkets and best legendaries, and run it through SimulationCraft. Here’s what we get for stat weights:

Stat Weights in Best in Slot Antorus Gear

Let’s use those stat weights to evaluate two equivalent level items: a 950 Chain of the Unmaker (score: 155,542), and a 945 Riveted Choker of Delirium (score: 153,707). If those scores are correct, the Chain of the Unmaker has better stats, and should be 1.2% better. Let’s put it on and re-run the simulation:

Hey! Wasn't this supposed to be an upgrade?

It’s actually a very slightly worse item, despite having the higher Pawn value. Even worse, swapping that single item shuffled the whole Pawn string, and now it says the original neck would be an upgrade. If we only trusted the Pawn string that SimulationCraft gave us, we would have ended up equipping a downgrade by accident. Static stat weights aren’t going to work for Ret.

Equal Stats Example

Instead of using our real equipment, we’re going to tell SimulationCraft to ignore all the secondary stats on the best in slot profile’s gear. Instead, it’s going to override everything with equal amounts of haste, critical strike, versatility, and mastery rating (9524 of each in this case). Here’s what that chart looks like:

tat weights with an imaginary, equal stats set.

That’s a little closer to the truth. Of course, such a set doesn’t really exist in the real world, and the value of each stat scales with the amount we have of each. But, if we could build a perfect set of gear, that’s the ratio the stats would be in.

Brute Force Example

So for our last example, we’re going to try to build that perfect fantasy set, using existing equipment. To do that, we came up with a brute force solution: we fed the simulator every possible piece of gear that can drop Antorus, Tomb of Sargeras, the Nighthold, and Mythic+ dungeons. We scaled it up to Antorus Mythic quality, and told it to ignore set bonus restrictions (so the Tier 21 bonuses are always active). Then we had the sim iterate until it couldn’t find any better combinations of gear.

Here’s what it eventually settled on as being the perfect set:

[photo goes here]

The best real world set you can possibly build in the simulator ends up with the same stats we recommend: haste, mastery, crit, vers, in that order.

The outcome of the simulation was lost in a tragic I deleted the wrong folder accident. Expect its return by Friday, December 1.

So if I can’t use Pawn, what do I do?

If you aren’t sure about an upgrade, you need to sim yourself.

Simming your own character is not as scary as it used to be. Until recently you needed to learn how to work with SimulationCraft’s scripting language, look up item, gem, and enchant ID’s, and other obtuse stuff. That’s no longer the case. Free tools like Raidbots provide a friendly interface for Simulationcraft. You can very easily import your character from the Armory, and do simple gear comparisons without having to know how the simulator works.

Update Info

Guide Last Updated: November 28, 2017
Simulationcraft Version: SimulationCraft 730-03 (git build 6f8e1e9)
Want to sim this yourself? Click here.
Learn more about running your own simulations.

Leave a Reply