I’ve been thinking lately about the Retribution rotation. There are several variations on how it can done, and how effective it may be, but the standard First Come First Cast Priority rotation is:
1) Judgement of Light/Wisdom
2) Crusader Strike
3) Divine Storm
4a) Hammer of Wrath, so long as the mob is below 20%
4b) Exorcism, so long as Art of War has proc’d
5) Consecration, so long as it will not pull threat or burn you out of mana
I would also dare to include Holy Wrath, in the cases of multiple Undead/Demon mobs.
Now, when Cataclysm comes out, a new spell will be added to the Retribution tree. Well spread to the Retribution tree. That spell will be Holy Shock. Currently, Holy Shock will not only heal allies within 40 yards, it will also deal damage to enemies within 20 yards based on the caster’s Spellpower. I do wonder if this will be changed to also include the caster’s Attack Power, much like concecration, and several other spells do now, as that would provide a nice boost to Ret single target DPS.
I currently feel bad about Crusader Strike, this poor spell is basically a weak slap with your weapon, no frills, just physical damage equal to 75% of your weapon damage. Now I do agree, that if your weapon has a really high weapon damage, it can have some nice hits, but it would only be a slight bit higher than the average of all your white hits during a fight. In addition, it is only Physical damage, not allowing it to penetrate armor like it used to. I have a fear that Holy Shock, dependant on the damage coefficient it has, will end up doing more damage, and be prioritized higher. A lot will determine on how Cataclysm’s “Improved Crusader Strike” talent will change this spell’s priority. But currently this may change to FCFC rotation to:
1) Judgement of Light/Wisdom
2) Holy Shock
3) Divine Storm
4) Crusader Strike
5a) Hammer of Wrath, so long as the mob is below 20%
5b) Exorcism, so long as Art of War has proc’d
6) Consecration, so long as it will not pull threat or burn you out of mana
Yes, this does add on more attack to the current 4 button faceroll, but it can still be macroed for the most part.
I have thought about this, and how it can be made a little bit more interesting. An example being, a talent in the Ret tree, that will enhance Crusader Strike based on what Seal you currently have up. Another idea was to have Crusader Strike have a slightly higher Crit chance dependant on what target had a debuff placed by Divine Storm, in turn synergizing the two.
Now, for the Seal idea, we could use several different effects based on the current seal that is up. Most importantly, the Seals would need to be taken off of the GCD, so that it wouldn’t completely bork up your rotations.
Seal of Light – When using Crusader Strike while Seal of Light is up, your Crusader Strike has a 25% chance to heal the caster with 50% of the damage dealt by Crusader Strike over 6 sec. Cannot happen more than once within a 10 second period.
This would create a small HoT that would help in situations where healers are extra busy, or imminent incoming damage is on it’s way. It will slow your DPS, but will provide the extra healing in place of it.
Seal of Wisdom – When using Crusader Strike while Seal of Wisdom is up, mana returned to you from Replenishment is increased by 15% for 10 sec.
This would almost act as an “Aspect of the Viper” for Ret paladins, in case mana is running low. Again, it will lower your DPS, but will provide you with more Mana coming in, so that you can unleash bigger strikes again, or even provide a bit more mana to use Concecration more often.
Seal of Righteousness – When using Crusader Strike while Seal of Righteousness is up, Crusader Strike will also damage the target for 30% of the damage done by Crusader Strike as Holy Damage if the Crusader Strike was a critical hit.
This would simply add some Holy damage to targets if you have a Critical Strike. It wouldn’t happen all the time, but would be a nice Seal to have up in moments where a Crit Chance bonus is up. For example, if you are currently using Seal of Vengence (the new one below) or Seal of Command (the new one below), it would increase the crit chance on some targets, so as you see these bonuses go up, you could swap to SoR and get a few strikes in before that buff goes away. Adding synergy and some reaction between seals and your attacks.
Seal of Vengence/Corruption - When using Crusader Strike while Seal of Vengance/Corruption is up, Crusader Strike will add 2 stacks of the DoT (rather than only 1) onto the target upon hit. If the target currently holds a full stack, then your Crusader Strike will increase your Crit chance on the target by 5% for 6 sec.
This would simply add a second stack, instead of just one stack like other Physical attacks would. This would get your stacks to full much quicker. Also, if the stack is already full, it will just put an increased Crit chance on that target for a time duration, allowing you to swap seals, and get some extra attacks in using, for example, Seal of Righteousness. Useful against single targets, as it will increase Crit chance on that target alone.
Seal of Command – When using Crusader Strike while Seal of Command is up, your Crusader Strike will have an increased Crit chance on targets affected by the Seal of Command cleave by 10%.
This would have Seal of Command put a small debuff, basically marking a target as being hit by the SoC cleave. When the Paladin attacks one of those targets with Crusader Strike, it would increase the crit chance on that target. This would allow them to then change Seals and take advantage of the increased Crit chance to get some extra damage in. This is obviously useful against multiple targets, as the “debuff” wouldn’t be put onto a single target, so it wouldn’t be useful in say boss fights. It would however require the Paladin to pay attention to the target they are hitting, and swap targets as needed.
The second idea was to have it synergize with Divine Storm. Basically a single target affected by Divine Storm would have a debuff placed on them whether it be an increase in crit chance against that target, or an increase in damage done. This debuff would be placed on only one target, so in multiple mob situations, the paladin would need to watch for which target got the debuff and target as such. It would again require a bit more awareness of the targets than just spamming buttons.
Personally, I think this would make the Retribution Paladin much more interesting, and somewhat difficult to play than it currently is. It would require more skill and awareness to get the full use out of the abilities.
What do you think? Should the Ret Paladin’s “rotation” be changed, and made a bit more interesting, if not more difficult?