Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Retribution Patch 4.0.1 Talent Primer.

I just want to take a little time to do a quick run-down of Talents specs and Glyphs. Holy Power is something you'll really need to experience for yourself to get the hang of before serious raiding starts up, no amount of talking can suddenly make you accustomed to this new mechanic. It's worth noting that a recent change to the mechanic allows Divine Purpose's Proc'd HP points to stack to 4 (invisibly), which reducing the amount of wasted HP due to bad luck but still takes some getting used to.


Suggested 4.0.1 Talent Build for Level 80:
Final 4.0.1 PvE Build:- 3/2/[28+X]. Note that Points spent here in Guardian's Favour and Repentance can be spent elsewhere in Retribution according to your own taste.
Glyphs: Templar's Verdict (P) Exorcism (P) Crusader Strike (P) Aesthetic Crusader (Ma) Hammer of Wrath (Ma) Consecration (Ma) Lay on Hands (Mi)


Every Retribution build at level 80 has to take at least 31pts in the tree, and once those 31pts are spent you can diversify into Holy or Protection. You will want to do this! Ther are only 28 places to invest you talent points that increase your DPS in the Ret Tree, the 5 'spare' points will almost certainly be distributed between Holy or Prot Tier 1.


Masteries are passive abilities and active skills you gain from choosing a specialisation. The Masteries you gain from being awesome enough to choose Retribution are:

Templar's Verdict - Strike that scales with Holy Power
Sheathe of Light - Increases Spell Power by 30% of Attack Power [N.B. Many spells which scaled from AP and SP now only scale from AP or SP, whichever is greater]
Two-Handed Weapon Specialisation - 20% Increased Damage with 2-handed Weapons
Judgements of the Bold - Gain 25% of your base mana over 10 seconds whenever you cast Judgement
Hand of Light - 8% chance on Auto-attack for your next Holy Power ability to cost no Holy Power and cast as if it used 3 Holy Power. Chance increases by 1% for every point of Mastery (~32 Mastery Rating @lvl80)

Talent Run-down

Ret Tier 1:

Eye for an Eye (2 Pts):- We're still in the dark over whether this talent can proc from Boss attacks, but the answer is probably not. Perhaps worth experimenting with it using spare Ret points.

Crusade (3 Pts):- A flat 15% boost to Templar's Verdict and Crusader Strike, your staple DPS abilities. Take it.

Improved Judgement (2 Pts):- Better than you might think, this new talent increases the range of Judgement by 20yards. Ideal for high-movement encounters and opening up at range. Take it. Prerequisite for Long Arm of the Law.

Tier 2:

Guardian's Favour (2 Pts):- Still a strong PvP utility talent, it's of less use in PvE when your raid is switched on. Candidate for spare points.

Rule of Law (3 Pts):- Increases the critical effect chance of your Crusader Strike by 15%. Not as great as it would be if Crit played a greater role in your DPS than it currently does, it's still a DPS-increase. Take it.

Pursuit of Justice (2 Pts):- 100% chance of gaining HP when struck by Stuns, Fears and Immobilises AND 15% increased run speed. Probably the best 2 pts you can spend in Ret for PvP or PvE, take it!

Tier 3:

Communion (1 Pt):- Players affected by your Aura's do 3% more damage, you do 2% more damage and gain Replenishment when you cast Judgement. Take It.

The Art of War (3 Pts):- In a slightly different take to 3.x's AoW, your autoattacks have a 20% chance to cause your next Exorcism to be instant cast, cost no mana and deal 100% additional damage. Awesome talent in terms of 'fun', you'll want to be investing in this.

Long Arm of the Law (2 Pts):- Judgements increase your run speed by 45% for 4 seconds when cast on targets >15yards from you. Whilst not being as good as you might think it's still not bad, and perhaps one that will be tweaked later on. Take it in both your PvP and PvE builds though, you've got nothing better to spend the points on.

Divine Storm (1 Pt):- If we had more than 31 DPS-increasing points to spend debate over whether or not to take this skill would rage long into the night. As it stands, though much diminished it's still our best AoE ability. Take It. [NB As with Whirlwind, Divine Storm no longer has a target limit]

Tier 4:

Rebuke (1pt):- The long awaited Retribution interrupt, it's essentially Kick for Paladins. There aren't any PvE encounters which make this talent mendatory so you may want to give this a miss for now. PvP is another matter.

Sanctity of Battle (1pt):- Haste reduces the cooldown of Crusader Strike. In 4.0 @lvl80 this is going to be significant due to the high haste rating on gear. 50% haste from gear and effects result in the optimal 3sec CS cooldown, which probably won't be achievable at level 85. Take this ability and go nuts whilst it lasts.

Seals of Command (1pt):- Your damaging Seal Procs now do an additional 7% weapon damage, and your Seal of Righteousness will now cleave to 2 nearby targets. No brainer, take it.

Sanctified Wrath (3pts):- Largely unchanged in 4.0, it has had the former Glyph of Avenging Wrath effect rolled into it which allows you to cast Hammer of Wrath regardless of target health whenever you pop Wings. Due to a recent buff to Hammer of Wrath Damage, Wings and Zealotry shouldn't be activated at the same time.

Tier 5:

Selfless Healer (2 Pts):- 50% stronger Words of Glory and 4% more damage caused per Holy Power used. This is not a damage increasing talent, use Holy Power on anything other than a Templar's Verdict or Inquisition (lvl81) and it'll be a DPS loss. It does however mitigate the DPS loss somewhat. May be interesting in PvP but not too useful in PvE because you shouldn't be wasting HP on heals except in specific circumstances (e.g. phase changes).

Repentance (1 Pt):- Still the same effect, still out only effective CC. You'll definitely want to take this in Cataclysm Heroics, but for now you can avoid it at your discretion in PvE. I'll be taking it, it's been a life-saver in the past.

Divine Purpose (2Pts):- Pretty much every non-CS special attack you will do will have a 40% chance to grant you 1 Holy Power. Take It, Obviously. [N.B. If this procs when you're already at 3 Holy Power you will gain a 4th application, though you won't see it in the UI].

Tier 6:

Inquiry of Faith (3Pts):- Increases the periodic damage of your Seal of Truth (your main single-target Seal) by 30%. Take it. [N.B. Also increases Inquisitions duration by 150%, but that is meaningless until lvl81+ is unlocked].

Acts Of Sacrifice (2pts):- This is a strange one. 20% Cooldown reduction of Hands of Freedom, Salvation and Sacrifice is great for PvP, and would be pretty good for PvE if the old Glyph of Salvation (20% damage reduction) still existed as a Major. It doesn't, and so in theory this talent should be avoided in PvE. The great unknown is just what sort of state Threat will be in come 4.0. If any classes are threat capped this talent will be a DPS-increase for the Raid, otherwise it's of only marginal value.

Tier 7:

Zealotry (1 Pt):- Our Superb, Ultimate Talent - except it kinda isn't. Zealotry costs 3 Holy Power, but causes Crusader Strike to generate 3 Holy Power per hit. For 15 seconds our rotation becomes hectic, spammy and not at all elegant, and Divine Purpose procs are wasted. You'd want to synergise it with Avenging Wrath but this inevitably steps on the toes of Sanctified Wrath's tertiary effect of allowing Hammer of Wrath to be cast regardless of target Health. Instead, keep Zealotry and Wings phases independent of one another. Take it, but use the opportunity to practice with it.

You should continue to synchronise AW with Bloodlust/Timewarp, Zealotry phases gain little from the Bloodlust cooldown.

Off-Spec Trees:

At level 80 you only have a total of 36 Talent points, leaving 5 spare once you've invested the bare minimum into Retribution. The result is that Tier 2 Holy and Prot is beyond your reach. Thankfully, there are a total of 7 places you can invest your remaining talent points which increase your DPS.

Protection Tier 1.

Divinity (3 Pts):- A relic of 3.X, this increases the healing you take and do by 6%. Avoid at level 80, but consider at level 85 if Tier 2 Prot has something really juicy you want to take.

Seals of the Pure (2 Pts):- Increases the damage done by your Seal of Truth/Righteousness/Justice by 12%. It should also affect Seal of Truth's DoT and Seals of Command. Probabably a toss-up between it and Arbiter of the Light, this should be the better PvE talent presupposing it scales the abilities correctly.

Eternal Glory (2 Pts):- 30% chance for your Word of Glory to consume no Holy Power. Avoid when Ret.

Holy Tier 1.

Arbiter of the Light (2 Pts):- Increases the critical effect chance of Judgement and Templar's Verdict by 15%. Pretty tasty in PvP, it's slightly weaker in PvE than SotP and JotP. Probably.

Protector of the Innocent (3 Pts):- I can't envision a situation where Retribution or Protection would take this talent (save it being extremely buggy and proccing on Judgement Heal of Replenishment ticks). Avoid unless Holy.

Judgements of the Pure (3 Pts):- Increases casting and melee Haste by 9% for 1 minute following a Judgement. That's 9% passive haste, which affects Exorcism (yawn), Holy Wrath (yawn), Crusader Strike (Yay), Auto Attacks (Yay) and Ret Mastery. The math needs to be crunched on it, but it's worth at least one point and probably all three.

Final 4.0.1 PvE Build:- 3/2/[28+X]. Note that Points spent here in Guardian's Favour and Repentance can be spent according to your own taste.


Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to discuss glyphs, but Antigen at Haz Mace Will Raid has a great run-down of Glyphs here. Here are my thoughts

Prime (AKA the only ones that Really matter):

1st: Glyph of Templar's Verdict - 15% More TV damage. Obvious choice.
2nd Glyph of Exorcism - 20% increased damage for Exorcism.*
3rd: Glyph of Crusader Strike - 5% more Crit for CS.*
4th: Glyph of Judgement - 10% more damage for Judgement.

*after WoL analysis, Glyph of Exorcism appears to contribute significantly more DPS than Glyph of Crusader Strike and Glyph of Judgement. Priority adjusted accordingly

Also consider: Glyph of Seal of Truth - Still at least better than Glyph of Crusader Strike below the Expertise Cap. Probably better to take this than reforging your gear to reach the cap.


Why oh why isn't Glyph of Seal of Truth a Major? Anyway, most of the Majors are mana cost reductions, which aren't that useful to Ret. On the other hand, Major's should be the slot with most situational utility and so are prime candidates for tailoring to specific encounters. Here are the more situational Glyphs.

Glyph of Divine Protection: no physical damage reduction, but in trade you gain 40% magical damage reduction. On a 1 minute cooldown. No longer causing Forbearance. Awesome IMO.
Glyph of Salvation: Could have potential on burn phases for threat capped players, we don't really know enough about how it works just yet.
Glyph of the Aesthetic Crusader: Flat mana cost reduction on our spammiest spell. Probably will turn out to be a staple of Ret over time.
Glyph of Turn Evil: Much less of a trade-off to take it in 4.0 than 3.X, it's still situational in PvE. Great in PvP.
Glyph of Holy Wrath: Extends Holy Wrath's stun to Dragonkin and Elementals. V. useful in lvl85 content, you shouldn't be using it much anywhere other than Ruby Sanctum till then.
Glyph of Consecration: Would be a no-brainer in 3.X, but the changes to the spell in 4.0 (10 sec duration, 30 sec cooldown, 55% base mana cost, less damage per tick) make the spell extremely situational. However it is the only Major glyph that represents an actual DPS increase. Further analysis of WoL data indicates that Consecration is higher up in damage-per-cast than I was expecting, boosting the value of this Glyph.


Glyph of Lay on Hands
and any others you fancy. None are particularly valuable for Retribution, though Glyph of Seal of Righteousness and Seal of Truth will make Seal Switching less of a mana-related headache.


Antigen 12/10/2010, 18:12  

Great review, SZ. I like that we have two "free, but mandatory" points in the Ret tree that have no bearing on DPS whatsoever. You see a benefit to taking Guardian's Favor. I, on the other hand, like Acts of Sacrifice; both decisions I'm sure were based on personal experience.

I agree that Zealotry is clunky, but at high levels of haste (I think the "soft cap" at 80 is 1230 rating), it's just CS>TV>CS, etc. for the whole duration. Until we get there, though, it is just a mess of weaving in off-cooldown abilities.

Also, I'm not sure if Divinity will see much use in any PvE Ret builds at 85, simply because we have Arbiter of the Light and Blazing Light to finish off, both of which are technically DPS talents.

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