Friday, November 7, 2008

Talents at 80 - Suiting Your Needs

The talent trees seem to be shaping up and filling out. Now that beta has closed, I feel like I can safely theorycraft up some talent specs at 80. I didn't want to make this post when there was a possibility that a crucial talent could go *poof* after I made a big deal about putting it into a build. Well, I'm not going to bore you with build-up, let's get straight to it!

PvE Builds

0/10/61 - Maximum damage, raid synergy
This build grabs Blessing of Kings and Divine Strength from the protection tree, and then proceeds to grab every damage-enhancing talent from the retribution tree. An all-around good build, since everyone loves BoKings, and (aside from Improved BoMight, since you'll be buffing BoKings!) there isn't a damage-buffing talent left untouched. Vindication is optional, that can be shifted into another talent if you prefer.

0/6/65 - Maximum damage, non-Kings
A bit more selfish, this is for the retribution paladin who says "screw Kings, I want some of the other goodies!" Divine Purpose gives you the ability to get out of stuns free, which is handy for a lot of situations. Improved BoMight provides more raw damage than BoKings. There's a free floater-point as well for your discretion. A point in Guardian's Favor (making the build 0/6/65), or a point in Eye for an Eye, or even throwing the point into Deflection wouldn't be out of the question.

5/5/61 - Maximum damage, Spiritual Focus
Want to be able to heal without pesky interruptions? Spiritual Focus on the first tier of the holy tree now makes that possible without sacrificing any damage options. You lose out on all the utilitarian options in retribution (Vindication, Divine Purpose, etc.), but by the same token, some people love to retain the ability to heal effectively.

PvP Builds

0/20/51 - Simply Stunning
Stoicism. Divine Purpose. Improved Hammer of Justice. These are the voyagers of the Simply Stunning spec. They are continuing mission, to explore strange, new arenas. To seek out new kills and new ways to piss off rogues. To boldly ret where no ret has ret'ed before! Okay, I'm not a Trekkie, so if that was horrifying to you and you consider it a butchering of a classic, my apologies. But, this build, as the title I gave it states, is focused on stunning and negating stuns. Divine Purpose and Stoicism, combined with the new human racial (or a PvP trinket... haha, non-human suckers!) make a paladin such as this extremely hard to keep stunned. It sacrifices a bit of damage to make it happen, but it still has the punch where it counts. Plus, it grabs the shiny new Improved Hammer of Justice talent. Doesn't look different? Read the fine print: decreases cooldown by 10/20/30 seconds. You can haz 30 second HoJ cooldowns? Yes, we can!

0/20/51 - The Guardian
It's not terribly different from the stun-centered spec above, but it has one key addition - Divine Guardian. Now when you bubble, you give your entire party a mini-shield wall! Decent for group PvP situations. It's not something I would spec, but I can see the appeal.

0/10/61 or 0/6/65 - KILL DEATH MAIM
You may recognize this talent spread from the PvE section. Well, yea, it is. Going for maximum damage is an acceptable method of PvP'ing. You lose a lot of the goodies that prove very useful in PvP (shorter stun cooldowns, damage reduction, utlity talents), but you also can kill a bit quicker, making some of those abilities a moot point anyway.

11/5/55 - Combat Healer
This one is a bit unorthodox. With Sheath of Light, retribution has the ability to pump out some decently sized heals. On some arena teams, there might be the need to call on that ability more than usual. Healing Light pumps up healing appreciably. This spec does not have access to absolute damage or most of the prot goodies. However, it gets some pretty powerful healing ability. Again, this is not something I recommend, since I usually try to bring the pain as swiftly as possible to preclude any need to heal lots, but some people might see the value in a build like this.


My parting words to you on the topic: if you take a look at these builds, there are certain talents that are always included. If you decide to strike out on your own and craft up a wacky, unique spec, make sure to include the backbone of retribution - Divine Strength, Conviction, Vengeance, Judgements of the Wise, Repentance, Crusader Strike, and Divine Storm. It is that solid foundation upon which true retribution specs are built. If any of those are omitted, I'd venture to say that you might be better off investing heavily in another tree.

EDIT 12/2 - altered Simply Stunning spec from 0/18/53 to 0/20/51.


Honors Code said...

The allure of 10/61 for me is that you can PVE and PVP in the same spec. It will probably by my 2nd spec once dual specs are in.

Josh said...

You can "PvP" as any ret spec. If you want to min/max your PvP, though, you best go with something that includes Vindication, Divine Purpose, and maybe Improved Hammer of Justice.

I'm probably going to dual-spec either 0/10/61 or 0/6/65 with 0/18/53, myself. Now that Death Knights are coming to town, and Repentance is acceptable CC, I can't see myself needing to spec prot. Plus, I wouldn't have to change my glyphs switching between PvE ret and PvP ret.