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 Tomb of Sargeras. 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 ≥ Critical Strike ≥ Versatility > Mastery

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 using Tomb of Sargeras gear. This may change in Patch 7.3.5 when Antorus, the Burning Throne becomes available, but you don’t need to worry about it for now.

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 Tomb of Sargeras Gear


Item Name

Drop Location


Head Diadem of the Highborne BoE Trash Drop Versatility / Critical Strike
Neck String of Extracted Incisors Demonic Inquisition Haste / Versatility
Shoulders Radiant Lightbringer Shoulderguards Fallen Avatar Critical Strike / Mastery
Back Radiant Lightbringer Cape¹ The Desolate Host Haste / Versatility
Chest Radiant Lightbringer Breastplate Maiden of Vigilance Haste / Mastery
Wrists Bonemeal-Crusted Armplates Demonic Inquisition Critical Strike / Versatility
Hands Radiant Lightbringer Gauntlets Harjatan Versatility / Critical Strike
Waist Soul-Render’s Greatbelt Kil’jaeden Critical Strike / Haste
Legs Greaves of Impure Midnight¹ Kil’jaeden Haste / Mastery
Feet Spiked Terrorwake Greatboots BoE Trash Drop Haste / Versatility
Finger 1 Seal of the Second Duumvirate Kil’jaeden Haste / Critical Strike
Finger 2 Yathae’s Thumb Ring Sisters of the Moon Critical Strike / Versatility
Holy Relics Blessing of the White Lady Sisters of the Moon
Fire Relic Smoldering Thumbscrews Demonic Inquisition

¹ If you are using Whisper of the Nathrezim—which you should, if you have one—replace your pants with Radiant Lightbringer Greaves.

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 not work. 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 Tomb of Sargeras Gear
That says haste is our worst stat. We know that’s not true, but let’s pretend for a moment and try swapping out a high haste piece for one with the stats it recommends. So let’s put on a Locket of Splintered Souls. The scores in the stat weights say it should be an upgrade (95,396 vs. 92,949 on our old neck; a 2.6% upgrade!), so let’s put it on and re-run the simulation:

Hey! Wasn't this supposed to be an upgrade?
It’s actually a significant downgrade. Even worse, swapping that single item shuffled the whole Pawn string, and now it says haste is our second best stat:

Oh, you! Pawn is such a rascal.
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 (7680 of each in this case). Here’s what that chart looks like:

Stat 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 Tomb of Sargeras, the Nighthold, and Mythic+ dungeons. We scaled it up to Tomb of Sargeras Mythic quality, and told it to ignore set bonus restrictions (so the Tier 20 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:

The very best in slot. Like no one ever was.
The best real world set you can possibly build in the simulator ends up with the same stats we recommend: haste, crit, vers, mastery, in that order.

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: October 24, 2017
Simulationcraft Version: SimulationCraft 730-03 (git build 1dcbef9)
Want to sim this yourself? Click here.
Learn more about running your own simulations.

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