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Gearing Up for War
Retribution Paladins are a DPS class. They have some utility, but most of their tanking ability is gone by the time you’re over level 50. You’ll begin to notice that properly geared tanks have a few thousand more HP than you – as you go up in level that difference goes from a few thousand to ten thousand or more.
And that’s fine. Your job is to kill things quickly. In order to do that, however, you need to have the proper gear. So what is good Retribution Paladin gear? Let’s find out.
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The Stats to Look For with Gear
Hit – Your Hit Rating determines your ability to actually make contact with an opponent. Obviously, you can’t do damage if you’re missing your enemy altogether, so stacking up your Hit stat will also increase the damage that you do. Hit is widely regarded as the most important stat for physical damage classes in World of Warcraft (as of World of Warcraft : Cataclysm).
The calculations in regards to the benefit from an individual point of Hit changes frequently – refer to a World of Warcraft wiki, such as Wowpedia, for information as of the latest patch. It is important to read this information because Hit can be capped – that is, you can reach a point at which you will never miss a particular target. Adding more Hit beyond that is useless.
Expertise Rating – This isn’t much different from Hit. Instead of reducing the chance of missing, Expertise reduces the chance of your attacks being parried or dodged. Just as with Hit, increasing Expertise makes it more likely your attacks will connect with the target, which increases your damage output.
As with Hit, Expertise has a cap that can be reached. Beyond this cap your benefits from adding Expertise are minimal. This cap may change at any time, so refer to Wowpedia for the latest information.
Strength – This stat increases your Attack Power, which in turn increases the amount of damage you do with your attacks. It’s a fairly straightforward stat – increasing your strength increases the damage that you can do. Strength is likely to be one of the easiest stats for you to collect, as well, as a lot of Plate gear has a lot of +strength gear. Such gear is great not only for Paladins, but other DPS melee classes like Fury/Arms warriors and Frost/Unholy Death Knights.
Haste – An increase in your haste rating increases your attack speed. Obviously, this means that you can attack more frequently, which means you will do more damage. Retribution Paladins should take the Sanctity of Battle talent, which makes the Haste stat reduce the cooldown of Crusader’s Strike as well. With Sanctity of Battle talented most Retribution Paladins stack haste until the cooldown for Crusader’s Strike reaches three seconds.
Crit – Another obvious bonus to damage, Crit increases your chance of critically hitting a target, which obviously boosts your overall damage output. The ability to deal a big burst of damage is nice, but the easiest way to raise Crit is usually to stack up +agility gear, and that sort of gear is rarely well suited for a Paladin.
Mastery – This is a new stat introduced with the patches leading up to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Mastery gives bonus based off your class specialization. In the case of Retribution Paladins, Mastery gives us the chance to use an ability that requires Holy Power without consuming any Holy Power. Mastery is relatively new and not incredibly well understood, but this stat will let you use Templar’s Verdict more frequently, which will boost your damage.
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Ultimately, finding the right gear is about finding gear that has the right combination of stats. Since there is always new gear being introduced, trying to remember the best gear is worthless. As long as you know the stats that are most important to Retribution Paladins you should have an easy time finding the best Retribution Paladin gear.
Looking to play a Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft? You'll find everything you need to know here.