WoW Paladin DPS Class Guide - Season of Discovery

Paladin DPS in the Season of Discovery Guide

The Retribution Paladin in SOD introduces significant changes from its meme status in previous versions. The glyph system brings newfound staying power, elevating Retribution Paladins beyond their historical reputation. With increased damage output and added utility reminiscent of the TBC shadow priest, the new Retribution Paladin sustains mana for casters over prolonged fights.

The major update comes through the introduction of a new seal, Seal of Martyr, mirroring the TBC Seal of Blood. Despite expectations for it to carry the TBC "Seal twisting" playstyle into Classic, it appears to be non-functional, posing a significant disappointment. The hope is for future changes to reinstate the engaging TBC counterpart. Without it, the Paladin assumes a less intricate playstyle, focusing on judging, refreshing seals, and a few additional abilities, notably the weaker-than-TBC Crusader Strike.

Retribution Paladin Guide - Dragonflight 10.2 - WoW: Dragonflight Articles

Best Rune for Paladin DPS

Chest Rune

Chest Rune

Legs Rune

Legs Rune

Gloves Rune

Gloves Rune

Best Talent Builds for Paladin DPS - Phase 1

Best Talent Builds for Paladin DPS - Phase 1


While aiming for the primary damage abilities in the Retribution Spec, going full 31 into the spec is unnecessary. This allows you to retain Blessing of Kings and other beneficial talents, including a deeper mana pool from the holy tree. The 31-point talent, Repentance, deals no damage and is skippable in PvE situations.

Strengths and Weaknesses 

Retribution viability, almost non-existent in original Classic, has significantly improved in SOD. While not reaching the damage output of fury warriors, they now fall within the range of hunters and warlocks. Maintaining Judgement of Wisdom proves beneficial for many casters. Their utility extends to serving as a caster mana-battery for mage groups, offering an additional layer of versatility. Inspiration is another valuable asset, allowing Paladins to act as a tremor totem for healer groups in factions without access to Tremor Totem, ensuring tank healers aren't interrupted by fears.

In terms of AoE, Paladin DPS utilizes Divine Storm as a substitute for Seal of Martyr, enabling decent AoE damage. While capped at 4 targets with a lengthy cooldown, it enhances AoE damage potential.


1. Great caster-group utility with mana regeneration from Seal of Martyr.

2. Superior seal choice due to pure physical scaling and mana regeneration for the Paladin and other casters in the group. This scales further with druids in the group using Nature's Grace, as it procs on the bonus attack.


1. Lackluster AoE damage, with Divine Storm replacing the main single-target effect.

2. Likely falling significantly behind primary DPS classes such as Mage, Warrior, and Rogue.

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How to Play Paladin DPS

Single Target Rotation

If the target will survive longer than 20 seconds, start combat with Judgement while Seal of the Crusader is active. Cast your primary seal, Seal of Martyr, before your auto-attack triggers.

Cast Crusader Strike on cooldown. Note: If you have a druid with Nature's Grace in your group, use Crusader Strike after a swing completes to reset the swing timer with the "windfury" proc from Nature's Grace.

Between auto-attacks, cast Judgement for bonus damage. Recast Seal of Martyr before the next auto-attack to maintain the buff.

Rotation with Divine Storm

1. Cast Crusader Strike on cooldown.

2. Cast Divine Storm on cooldown.

3. Use Judgement with Seal of Command when Seal of Command has only a few seconds left on its duration to get some free damage. Avoid overcasting due to potential mana intensity.

Stats and Gear for Paladin DPS

Stat Priority

1. Hit to 9% (6% gear with 3/3 Precision).

2. Strength.

3. Agility / Crit.

4. Intellect.

After reaching hit cap, aim for a balanced mix of strength and crit (agi / crit), with strength being the priority in most cases. Old Paladin-specific gear focused on spell power, but it's no longer necessary as damage scales primarily with strength. When equipped with Seal of Martyr, the only ability using a spell damage coefficient is the seal damage from Seal of Command, which has a very small coefficient.

Gear Recommendations for Paladin DPS - Phase 1

1. Verigan's Fist:  Aim for this staple weapon at level 25.

2. Shiny Silver Breastplate:  Crafted by Blacksmiths and serves as an outstanding chest piece with significant strength. Also used in crafting the Changemith's Silver Plate, your best-in-slot chest.

3. Westfall Leggings: Deadmines quest reward, make sure to acquire these.

4. Forced Watcher's Cuffs: Rare drop from Stockades, the best early-level bracers.

5. Green Iron Gauntlets: Moderately challenging to acquire as they require iron, but strong for the early game.

Running 2-3 pieces of the Blackened Defias Armor set, with boots and helm at a minimum, provides significant strength.

Best Races for Paladin DPS

Best Alliance Races

The Paladin Leveling Guide for WoW Shadowlands - GotWarcraft.com

Humans with increased proficiency in both swords and maces are likely the go-to choice for Paladins. The potential nerf to weapon skill might pose an issue, but it's doubtful dwarfs offer a significant damage increase over them.

Best Professions for Paladin DPS


Traditionally the best choice for any class in Classic due to powerful bombs and useful trinkets. While not as notable early on, having a head start on engineering is advantageous.


Allows crafting of Silvered Bronze Breastplate, the best chest available until nearly level 40.


Creating your own consumables proves beneficial, aligning with the advantages offered by blacksmithing.


The Season of Discovery brings a revitalized Retribution Paladin, offering increased damage and valuable utility. While facing challenges in AoE scenarios, their enhanced viability and unique contributions make them a valuable asset to caster groups.

As we delve into the Season of Discovery, the Retribution Paladin emerges from the shadows of its former meme status. With new tools at their disposal, these Paladins bring not only enhanced damage but also unique utility, reshaping their role in the WoW landscape. Whether supporting caster groups or unleashing single-target damage, the Retribution Paladin is ready to carve its path in this evolving adventure. Until next time, may your seals be true and your crits be devastating. Safe travels, fellow adventurers!