10 March 2010

Healing as a Retribution Paladin

I healed in a raiding environment as a shaman, priest and druid. The only healing class I never had at max level was a paladin. I tried to level a paladin. A lot of times. I must have 4 or 5 lvl 20 paladins. But before WotLK, levelling a paladin was soooo boring.

But now, retribution paladins have been heavily buffed, and with some bind on account gear leveling a paladin has became incredibly easy and fast.

Thanks to these changes I finally managed to get past the level 20 with a paladin and I'm proud to present you Naohmy :

WTF ? I have a lvl 50 paladin ??

I'm glad the retribution spec is very fast for questing, but in instances, I like healing. And you know what ? Healing as retribution is a lot of fun ! Here is how I do it :

My spec :

Naohmy has a full retribution spec. At the moment, it's a 0/0/41 spec. I think it's a pretty common levelling spec. I just didn't pick Improved Blessing of Might because increased running speed is great while leveling.

I picked first the talents that can help me healing : all talents which increase critical chance, Art of War, Judgement of the Wise, and I will pick Sheath of Light as soon as I can.

As you can see, the retribution tree as a lot of tools to help you while healing :

  • You'll always have a lot of mana if you judge thanks to Judgement of the Wise
  • You have instant Flash of Light if you crit in melee.
  • You have a lot of crit. (Last time I healed, I was with a boomkin and a feral druid. I was at 20% spell crit and 23% melee crit on my judged target. That's A LOT at low level. A lot of instant and critical Flash of Light.

For the glyphs, I have glyph of Judgement and glyph of Holy Light. It was the best available when the slots unlocked. If you are ready to change glyphs when you switch from questing to instancing, you can take Glyph of Judgement and Glyph of Exorcism (replaced by Glyph of Vengeance when you learn the spell) for questing, and you can choose between Glyph of Holy Light, Glyph of Flash of Light and Glyph of Seal of Light.

My Gear :

Of course, I'm not healing in retribution gear. As I love my alts, I get all the available bind on account gear. In my healing set I have the cloth shoulders and dress (it has spirit on it but my demo use it too), the healing mass, and the spell power and haste trinkets. As long as I can judge and melee things, I can't go oom. Thus I just pick whatever gear has the most spell power for the other slots.

How to ?

First of all, you want to choose the right seal and the right judgement. Generally, the best is to use seal of wisdom and to judge Light. If there is another (reliable) paladin who judges Light, you can judge wisdom. You can also pick Seal of Light if you have the glyph and you don't have any mana problem. But beware, if the tank takes heavy damage and you have to cast Holy Light, you can go oom pretty fast.

Then, you want to judge the tank target and stab it with your heally weapon. Thus :

  • you'll get plenty of mana
  • the tank and the dps will heal themselves without you have to do anything. That's especially great to heal the splash damage on the dps.
  • you'll get instant Flash of Light to heal the tank without having to stop autoattacking.

There are some case you don't want to be in melee range though. For example, if the mobs has some high damage aoe spell, or if you're on the drakes in Sunken Temple that put to sleep some random melee target. In these case, judge the tank target and go back at max range asap.

There are some cases where you'll have to heal more than with just your judgement of Light and Art of War procs. Prefer the use of Flash of Light if the damage is light. It is fast and cost very little mana. But if the tank health start dropping faster, cast Holy Light as soon as you can. It is a long cast, thus don't wait until the tank is at 5% health to start casting !

Of course, don't forget all your paladin tools :

  • Use Hammer of Justice to interrupt healing or if the tank take heavy damage, and repentance to stun a mob for a longer time. (Great if you grab aggro while healing).
  • Have Hand of Protection, Hand of Salvation and Divine Protection ready when you or one of the dps takes unwanted damage. Keep your Lay of Hands and Hand of Sacrifice for the tank if he is dying.

Well, I'm only level 50, and I don't know if healing as retribution is still viable in Outland, but for now, healing with instant Flash of Light while stabbing stuff and jumping is a lot of fun ! That, and the recent post from the Bossy Pally about tanking with a retribution spec, and we could say that retribution is the best spec to do anything you want with your leveling paladin !


  1. Very interesting! I've been experimenting with leveling a healing paladin (it's been so long since I levelled my main paladin that stuff has changed considerable since then), but I went the traditional route, going holy off the bat and accepting that it will take me years to kill stuff while soloing. It didn't even occur to me to just heal in a ret spec.

    At the beginning of Wrath, I did heal the instances early 70s instances in my ret spec, but my gear was really good. Plus, I think the spellpower/healing bonuses from retribution talents have been nerfed since then (I could be wrong, though, I haven't been closely keeping track of all the changes.)