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[Ret 5.4 MoP] Retribution Concordance (RetCon) - Siege the Day

Retribution Concordance (RetCon) 1/7/14 5.4 - Carpe Orgrimmar - Siege the Day

This original post is always a Work In Progress. That said, it aims for a high degree of accuracy at any given time. "Game experience may change during online play."

Please Do Not Ask for the following
  • BiS item or item comparison. You can discover this for yourself via any of the available tools.
  • Stat weights/priority. It depends on YOUR gear. Use one of the modeling tools and test for yourself.
  • Request the best ability priority sequence. OP attempts to keep this up to date. However, feel free to posit new, better sequences (with backup information). Question = bad; thesis, antithesis, synthesis = good.
Do not expect answers to these questions.
Welcome to the Retribution Concordance (RetCon) for 5.4. This information is thanks to the frequent posters on these boards, who are too numerous to name. All credit is due to those who have spent hours researching and testing - any errors in typing or comprehension are mine. Please PM me for suggestions, typo reports, or other corrections.
MoP/5.0 Changes
  • Expertise cap decreased. Exp cap also appears to remove all parry. Note that you may still be Blocked from the front.
  • Prime Glyphs are removed.
  • T13 2-piece changed to +15% damage to CS.
  • Librams were removed.
There is no cookie cutter build. Talents are compressed and often situationally useful.

Tier 1
All movement affecting.
  • Speed of Light - +70% move for 8 sec (45 sec CD)
  • Long Arm of the Law - +45% move for 3 sec after a Judge hits
  • Pursuit of Justice - +15% move at all times, plus an additional 5% for each current HP, up to maximum of 3 (15% flat + 15% at 3-5 HP = 30% total bonus).
Movement speed do not stack with boot enchants. Pandaren Step is not useful.

PoJ is the generic winner (other talents may have situational superiority).

Tier 2
PvP or Trash CC
  • Fist of Justice - 6 sec stun, 20 yd range, 30 sec CD (an upgrade that replaces HoJ).
  • Repentance - incapacitate enemy for 1 min. 15 sec CD. 1.5 second cast (reduced by haste).
  • Evil is a Point of View - Turn Evil also will affect Humanoids and Beasts.
While FoJ appears designed for PvP, it has some raid usage depending on fight gimmicks. Repentance has relatively generic utility as Dungeon or Raid trash CC. Evil is a Point of View provides another CC method. The target runs wildly around, causing worry of additional pull or positioning for re-CC. Repentance also affects more types of mobs.

Repentance is useful on trash and in dungeons, while FoJ can provide a secondary interrupt (albeit on the GCD) on boss adds (and rarely on a boss itself).

Tier 3
Healing or damage mitigation.
  • Selfless Healer - Judgment hits reduce FoL cast time and mana cost by 35%, increases effectiveness only if used on others by 20%. Stacks three times (instant cast, double effect). Stack lasts 15 seconds or when used.
  • Eternal Flame - Consumes up to 3 Holy Power to place a protective Holy flame on a friendly target, which heals them for (5,539+ 49% of SP) and an additional (711 + 8.19% of SP) every 3 sec for 30 sec. Healing increased per charge Holy Power. Increased by 100% if used on yourself. Replaces Word of Glory.
  • Sacred Shield - No Mana Cost. Produces shield that absorbs 249 (+ 81.9% SP) damage per 6 seconds. Can be cast on others. Only 1 active at a time.
Selfless Healer may have solo utility (for instant cast) or situational boss utility. EF (loss of HP) produces a loss in DPS and therefore would be undesirable during the typical boss fight (healing/survivability may be worth it on a gimmick fight). SS no longer requires mana. At 30k AP we'll have 15k SP. This means 12.5k shields every 6 seconds as long as we have the GCD to keep it running. By T16 and well over 60k AP this is closer to 25k shields every 6 seconds.

Only using SS during entirely empty GCD can still lead to approx 20% up-time. That is significant free damage reduction. For this reason, and the ability to prioritize more highly on a survivability fight, SS is the recommended PvE talent.

By Siege levels of Haste, and adding on T16 4piece, free GCD may be few and far between. This vastly reduces any utility of SS. Selfless Healer may be superior for instant self-heals while moving.

Tier 4
Vague Hand or PvP utility.
  • Hand of Purity - Reduce target's damage taken by 10% and harmful periodic (DoTs) damage taken by 80% for 6 sec. 30 sec CD
  • Unbreakable Spirit - Reduces the CD of DivShield, DivProt, and LoH by 50%. DivShield is 2.5min, DivProt 30 sec, LoH 5 min.
  • Clemency - Hand of Freedom, Hand of Protection, Hand of Sacrifice and Hand of Salvation can be used twice each before incurring their cooldowns.
Lackluster tier, providing possible marginal PvP utility. Unbreakable Spirit is the generic PvE recommendation (more ability to reduce/avoid damage). Should a gimmick fight benefit from one of the Hands, Clemency would be superior.

Unbreakable Spirit paired with the CD reduction trinket in Siege could lead to well reduced CD on Divine Shield, permitting multiple invulnerability periods on bosses. This is also not to be neglected for Divine Protection - 10 seconds of 40% magic reduction (or 20% magic, 20% physical) with a 21 second CD.

Tier 5
DPS increasers.
  • Holy Avenger - all HP generating abilities deal 30% extra damage/healing, and generate 3 HP for 18 seconds. 2 min CD.
  • Sanctified Wrath - Avenging Wrath lasts 50% longer (30 sec). During AW HoW CD reduced by 50% (3 sec).
  • Divine Purpose - Abilities that cost HP have a chance to proc DivPurp effect. DivPurp effect causes your next HP ability to consume no HP and cast as if 3 were used. Finisher used at 3 HP has 25% chance to proc, fewer HP reduce this chance (8% for 1, 16.6% for 2).
All good DPS increases. SW is the generic winner, but the other talents are not wildly "bad" and are may be useful for certain playstyles.

AW CD is 2 minutes. This matches HA perfectly. Synchronizing the two will enhance the utility of HA. However, faster AW also bolsters SW. Both benefit greatly from this reduced CD and are likely to remain competitive.

T16 4piece has both positive interaction with DivPurp. The extra TV give extra proc chances for the free DS and the DS count as finishers and could proc a free TV.

Tier 6
New DPS ability.
  • Holy Prism - De/buff target. Costs 5.4% Base Mana. Enemy takes 14523 to 17750 (+ 142.8% SP) Holy damage and radiates 9794 to 11969 (+ 96.2% SP) healing to 5 nearby allies. Ally is healed for 14523 to 17750 (+ 142.8% SP) and radiates 9794 to 11969 (+ 96.2% of SP) damage to 5 nearby enemies. 20 sec CD.
  • Light's Hammer - 10 yard AOE. 3268 to 3993 (+ 32.1% SP) Holy damage to enemies and healing to allies every 2 sec for 15 sec. Slows enemies by 50%. 1 min CD.
  • Execution Sentence - Enemies take damage per sec for 10 sec, then burst damage. Allies are healed every sec for 10 sec, then burst healing. 1 min CD. Total Damage: 12989 base + 593.6% SP
Execution Sentence is superior for single-target Boss fights. Multi-target fights incline towards Light's Hammer. T14 breakpoint is somewhere between an average of 1.5 and 1.7 targets for LH to do more damage than ES. If 2 out of 3 LH casts can get 2 targets for full duration, LH wins. More than 2 targets or 2 targets every cast for full cast cause LH to win by a landslide. By T16 the breakpoint is around 1.9 targets, so you need to average 2 every cast.
No longer exist.

  • Glyph of Avenging Wrath - heals 1% of max health every 2 sec for 20 sec.
  • Glyph of Burden of Guilt - Judgment slows target by 50% for 12 sec.
  • Glyph of Divine Protection - reduces magic reduction of DP by 20% but adds 20% physical damage reduction.
  • Glyph of Divine Storm - heals caster for 5% max health.
  • Glyph of Double Jeopardy - Judging increases damage of next Judgment by 20%, but only if 2nd Judge used on different target.
  • Glyph of Harsh Words - Your Word of Glory can now also be used on enemy targets, causing Holy damage approximately equal to the amount it would have healed. Not supposed to work with Eternal Flame.
  • Glyph of Immediate Truth - increases instant damage of SoT by 40%, but reduces Censure by 50%
  • Glyph of Inquisition - killing a target which generates XP/honour increases Inq duration by 30 sec.
  • Glyph of Mass Exorcism - makes Exo melee-range-only, but causes 25% damage to all targets within 10 yds of primary target.
  • Glyph of Templar's verdict - take 10% less damage for 6 sec after using Templar's Verdict or Exorcism.
  • Glyph of Word of Glory - increases your damage by 3% per HP spent after you cast WoG or Eternal Flame. Lasts 6 seconds. Only works on WoG heals, does not function with Glyph of Harsh Words.
Of those available, Double Jeopardy is a DPS increase where there are 2 important targets. Templar's Verdict is a pleasant passive, since up-time is relatively high. Mass Exo is better than the tooltip - apparently your active target takes a full 100% and all subsequent hits are at 25%. This means the trade off is loss of range vs 25% Exo on every target beyond the first - a situational choice.

Immediate Truth is a significant DPS loss. IT is a loss after approx 8 (yes, eight) seconds of combat.

Inquisition is useful for leveling/dailies/etc where you often kill things so quickly that generating HP for anything other than Inq becomes annoying. Note that you must strike the killing blow for it to be effective. It can be situationally useful on dungeon/raid bosses with adds but would compete for 3rd slot with Mass Exo. With Inq up to 1 minute in duration, the Glyph has further lost value.

Will not be covered as the present intent is to make Minor Glyphs cosmetic or similar non-play-impacting changes. Example: changing Judgment graphic from a Hammer to an Axe.
Single Target
Inq > ES (> 5HP T16 Free DS) > 5HP TV > HoW (> T16 Free DS) > CS > Judge > Exo > 3-4HP TV (> SS)

Inq > 5HP TV > ES > HoW > Exo > CS > Judge > 3-4HP TV (> SS)

This is a priority, not a rotation. CD lengths on abilities and HP generation prevent a set rotation from being followed, instead use the best immediately-available ability. Best is listed left to right.

You generally do not want to engage your first Inq until you have 3 HP. Thereafter you seek to refresh when under 2 seconds remaining duration (again, with 3 HP).

Add Sacred Shield at the bottom of priority if desired. Should only be used if it won't delay some other cast (for reference, clcInfo will only recommend if it won't delay another ability).

Outside cooldowns, there should be little reason to alter this priority even with 4 piece T15.

Multiple Target
Inq > 5HP DS > LH > HoW (> T16 Free DS) > HotR > Judge > Exo > 3-4HP DS (> SS)

LH is extremely powerful with 2+ targets. LH beats ES by 1.9 targets, so as long as you get near full duration on 2 or more targets every cast, LH will beat ES.

DS is quite strong (no Armour Mitigation). You can swap from TV to DS with as little as 2 targets. With T15 4 piece, which greatly buffs TV, you would want 4 targets before swapping to DS.

HotR pulls ahead of CS at 1.7 targets. The Holy damage from the splash gains from Inq, as does the Mastery damage from that splash (a double-dip on Inq). Swap at the same time as DS. Given enough targets, HotR would increase in priority over HoW. Guesstimate between 4 and 5 targets it would be better than both HoW (4 looks to be ahead on raw damage, but doesn't account for lost/delayed HoW, it may take 5 to compensate for such loss).

SoR limps far behind Censure and requires 6 4 (5.2 change, see below) targets to pull ahead (not even counting the possibility of rolling multiple Censure). Most fights keep SoT up and Censure rolling on your main target, even as you AOE. This is not counting the GCDs lost to swap seals. Those lost GCD require the targets to be present for 30+ seconds.

5.2 buffs SoR from 6% to 9%.

No special placement for T16 free DS at 5HP. If you have 5 HP and a proc, you use DS, which eats the proc. This means you still have 5HP and still need to do another DS, anyway.

Symbiosis - Faking Ranged with Wrath
The Druid L87 ability, Symbiosis, grants Retribution Paladins the spell Wrath. This is a cast spell with no CD, allowing 'Wrathspam' at ranged. In dungeon blues this may be roughly equivalent to melee setup, but by the time you are geared in epics it only produces 70-80% of total DPS. It is never recommended as primary attackstyle. This is only recommended on a gimmick fight where melee would be impossible or otherwise suffer extreme handicaps, such as inability to be in range 20-30% of the time.

Inq > ES > HoW > (Judge if Censure is at risk of dropping) > Wrath > Judge (any other time) > Exo

Inq up-time remains imperative. This is more for the 10% Crit bonus, than the bonus Holy damage (which Wrath, being Nature damage, does not receive). While additional Judge (beyond necessary for Censure refresh) and Exo may do less damage than Wrath, they are necessary to produce sufficient HP for Inq. You should only need Judge to keep Inq rolling.

Obviously you cannot cast Wrath during movement, but all the other attacks are instants and would remain in the listed sequence. During movement you can add in Exo as an instant.

Glyph of Harsh Words does not seem worthwhile - insufficiency of ranged HP generators and the need to keep Inq running means little opportunity to spare a WoG on the enemy. The additional weaker HP generators (and WoG itself) used would at best eat into the margin gained by the glyph, and at worst result in less DPS than without the glyph.

Note 1: I haven't tested or modeled, but there's a chance that Seal of Insight (granting 10% Cast Speed), could be superior to SoT (losing Censure).
Stats and Gearing
Stat Weights
Rating Conversion for Level 90
StatRating for 1%Value compared to StrDPS increase

Stat weights float in relation to each other. The above is in a roughly T14 Heroic set of gear based on SimCraft. While it is highly recommended you run your own stat weights, in general you can feel safe with:
Str > Haste > Crit=Mastery

By higher tiers it appears:
Str > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Thok's Tail Tip appears to set it to:
Str > Haste > Crit > Mastery

If you want to cheese meters for AOE, continue with Mastery > Crit as it scales faster with multiple targets.

Reforging allows you to exchange 40% of a combat rating already on an item and converts it into a combat rating not already on an item. Example: If an item has Crit, you cannot add more Crit, if it has no Crit then you could reforge 40% of another rating (Expertise, Haste, Hit, or Mastery) into Crit. An item with 100 Hit and no Crit could be reforged to 60 Hit and 40 Crit.

Since we cannot reforge any stat into Str, then we focus on our most important stats.

These are your goals, in order.
Hit cap. Under hit cap, reforge the worst* stat into hit.
Expertise cap. If hit capped and under expertise cap, reforge your worst* stat into expertise.
Next best stat. If you are now hit and expertise capped and you have gear that has not been reforged, aim to reforge inferior stats to superior stats.

* Worst is relative. Generally reforging to Hit or Expertise is a good thing, but you can go further in-depth with reforging. For maximum DPS gain either carefully perform math on your gear to most closely reach Hit and Expertise caps (inverse "Price is Right" rules - closest over the cap wins), or use a website/program (such as my spreadsheet, or WoW Reforge Calculator & Optimizer) which will offer reforging advice. Reforging Item A from Hit to something else and Item B from something else to Hit may permit values closer to Hit/Exp cap, thus permitting a few additional Rating to Crit, Mastery, and Haste - an overall minor DPS gain.

Set Bonuses
  • [T13 2P] Your Crusader Strike deals 15% additional damage.
  • [T13 4P] Increases the damage done by your Templar's Verdict ability by 20%.
  • [T14 2P] Increases the damage done by your Templar's Verdict ability by 15%.
  • [T14 4P] +10% damage on Seals and Judgement.
  • [T15 2P] Your Exorcism causes your target to take 6% increased Holy damage from your attacks for 6 sec.
  • [T15 4P] Your Crusader Strike has a 40% chance to make your next Templar's Verdict deal all Holy Damage.
  • [T16 2P] When Art of War activates, all damage is increased by 5% for 6 sec.
  • [T16 4P] Holy Power consumers have a 25% chance to make your next Divine Storm free and deal 50% more damage.
Note the phrasing on T16 2P. Even if AoW is unused (no Exo cast) a fresh proc refreshes the damage bonus. AoW can proc even if already procced, it can also proc if Exo has never been cast - it remains a flat 20% chance on melee.
Gemming, Enchanting, and Upgrading
Pre-raid Dungeon Gear
In pre-raid Dungeon gear, Str is superior to every other stat* by a margin greater than 2 to 1.

Str is sufficiently superior to every other stat, that you do not want to Hit Cap through gemming if it can be done via Reforging. Note: Balhale and myself have both found it may be impossible to Hit cap Dungeon gear without gemming hit.

Gem pure Str except in the following situations:
You cannot Hit Cap via reforging. Use purple Hit gems, or straight blue if absolutely desperate.
You cannot Expertise cap via reforging. Use Expertise in any slot (via appropriate Orange/Purple/Green).

* - Not true for Hit/Exp, but bear with me. Lengthy explanation of why Str is desirable, even compared to double Secondary Stats is: here.

T14 Raid Gear and Beyond
Gemming Str + Haste (Fierce) Orange in Red sockets, full Haste (Quick) in Yellow sockets, and Hit + Haste (Lightning) in Blue sockets yields more dps than going full Str gems. 160 Str vs (320 Haste * 0.54 Str-equivalent per Haste) = 160 Str vs 172.8 Str-equivalent. This will only increase as gear gets better.

Otherwise you want to continue to gem as much Str as possible for the same reasoning as above.

The transition point between Str or Haste gemming is fluid. Please use a tool to determine stat weights for your gear - if 2 Haste > 1 Str, gem for Haste. If 2 Haste is < 1 Str, then gem for Str.

Be advised, if your model shows 2 Haste > 1 Str the changing of your gems themselves can alter this to no longer be true. Ex: Joe the Paladin runs SimCraft and sees 2.05 Haste = 1 Str. Joe swaps out 8 Str gems for Haste gems, re-runs SimCraft and it now says 1.95 Haste = 1 Str.

In general you will see +60 stats for a single socket bonus, +120 for two sockets, +180 for three sockets. Helmets break this rule - single socket and meta provides +180 stats.

Socket bonuses should be uniformly worthwhile. Our "worst" stat is a shade less than half Str in value - the extra stats from socket bonus pushes the total ahead.

Reverberating Primal Diamond is now the baseline Ret Meta Gem.

Wrathion's Capacitive Primal Diamond is superior while it is available. It has a 19.27 * 1.923 (37.056) RealPPM. Every 5 stacks it fires an attack of 280 + 75% AP Nature damage (thus expect no Inq bonus, but CoE should still modify). It can Crit (using melee Crit %). This is literally thousands of free DPS - a large margin better than the standard Str/Crit Meta.

A helm must have a Meta present, even if inactive, to activate socket bonus on that item.

All secondary stats listed are ratings.

HeadNo longer applicable. Head Glyphs have been removed from the game.
CloakSuperior Critical Strike (180 Crit), Accuracy (180 Hit), or Tailor-only Swordguard Embroidery III (4000 AP for 15 sec)
ShoulderGreater Tiger Fang Inscription (200 Str, 100 Crit) or Inscription-only Secret Tiger Claw Inscription (520 Str, 100 Crit)
ChestGlorious Stats (80 Primary Stats)
BracersExceptional Strength (170 Str), Leatherworking-only Fur Lining - Strength (Rank 3) (500 Str)
GlovesSuper Strength (170 Str) beats Superior Mastery (170 Mastery), Greater Haste (170 Haste), or Superior Expertise (170 Expertise)
BeltLiving Steel Buckle (1 gem slot)
LegsAngerhide Leg Armor (285 Str 165 Crit)
FeetGreater Precision (175 Hit) or Greater Haste (175 Haste)
WeaponWindsong (Crit/Haste/Mastery by 1500 for 12 sec - procs can exist simultaneously), Dancing Steel (Str by 1650 for 12 sec), Elemental Force (3000 damage proc)

Until you can easily reforge for Hitcap, using the hit enchants (back and feet) is advantageous.

Windsong can proc all 3 stats (Crit, Haste, and Mastery) simultaneously, but underperforms. Proc rate appears to be 1 PPM for all 3 combined, rather than each separately. This varies from how it performed in Beta. Roughly 13% up-time for any given buff, thus 13%^3 (0.2%) chance to have all simultaneously. Dancing Steel should definitely pull ahead. Windsong does still appear to be superior to Elemental Force.

Recommend the mat-cheaper Windsong on pre-Raid gear. For even Siege LFR Raid weaponry you would want to upgrade to Dancing Steel.

Upgrading is present in 5.4.

For 1500 Justice a rate item can be upgraded. Rares can only be upgraded once.
For 250 Valor an epic item can be upgraded. Epics can be upgraded up to twice, for a total of 500 Valor.

The following is based on my personal investigation of items and number crunching of their stats.
A rare increases all stats by approx 8.51%.
An epic increases all stats by approx 4.17% (two increases = 8.51%).

Using these formulas has produced accuracy within +/- 4 rating point on every item tested. Variance from one item to the next is far larger than occurred in 8.2 (which also had different formulas for the increase - everything now gains more stats from ilvl increase).

As would seem only logical, the more stats an item has at base, the better it performs at upgrade. Be advised that not all items are created equal. Example: you would gain more from upgrading a Normal chest item vs a Heroic wrist item.

Which item should I upgrade?
There is no flat answer. This will involve many personal judgement calls.

In general, upgrading your weapon will provide the largest overall gain. Not only are you gaining Str and secondary stats, but you are gaining raw weapon DPS. This base damage carries over to quite a few of our attacks.

Some gearslots have more stats than others - typically the Chest, Helm, and Legs hold the largest values. You would get more bang-for-the-buck from upgrading these locations.

That said, valor points have a cap of 1000 per week. Thus one week's total valor generates enough to increase two items fully. If you feel you are only a short time from upgrading a currently-best-choice item, then you may be better saving your Valor or spending it elsewhere.

5.3 reduced the Valor cost of upgrades from 750 to 250 per level. Thus 500 Valor to fully upgrade a single item. This drops the required time to generate sufficient Valor to upgrade every slot from 24 weeks to 8. Upgrading a single item twice only adds 1/2 a week. 'Will I replace it soon' becomes less painful by a large degree.
Flask: Flask of Winter's Bite - 1000 Str. No-brainer. There are no MoP cauldrons.
Potion: Potion of Mogu Power being pure Str will be far and away better than any other possible potion. As always, use under AW (and Heroism if possible).
Food: Pandaren Banquet only provides 275 Str, so it weaker than the single person buff from Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp. The new Pandaren Treasure Noodle Souo from the crafted carts provide 300 stats and stack to 5 per-person, per cart (6 uses if you eat one, then refresh stack).
Avenging Wrath
Avenging Wrath increases all damage by 20% while in effect. This lasts 20 seconds with a 2 minute cooldown, thus providing a 16.6% effective up-time.

While the most impact is granted during Heroism as the increased autoattack rate and decreased CS CD allow more (or more superior) attacks, losing an entire Avenging Wrath during a fight because you delayed for Heroism is a net loss.

During AW, even if the target's health is above 20%, you can use HoW. Make sure to use those HoW that become available.

Sanctified Wrath talent extends this buff by 10 seconds (total 30 seconds), for up-time of 25%. It also reduces the CD of HoW, permitting more usage during this buff.

Note: AW matches with Holy Avenger talent. Should you decide to select that talent, it would be advantageous to macro their usage together.

Note 2: Evil Eye of Galakras reduces the CD on AW, but not HA. This de-syncs the two and reduces strength of HA while simultaneously increasing SW.

During AW with SW the recommended priority effectively becomes: HoW, J, HoW, TV/Inq, repeat.

With T15 4piece it is: HoW, CS, HoW, TV/Inq, repeat. T16 4piece returns to the default recommendation.

With HA this is: Filler, TV/Inq, repeat. Use the highest priority filler currently off CD.
Hard to tell if HA+ T15 4 piece should be CS, TV/Inq, Repeat. This can be napkin mathed, but has not yet as of this writing.

If you're using Divine Purpose (why are you using Divine Purpose?!?!?), just stick with the ordinary priority during AW.

Guardian of Ancient Kings
Guardian of Ancient Kings provides a stacking Strength buff. The buff stacks to a maximum of 12, providing a 12% bonus to Str. The buff lasts until the Guardian dies or when it expires 30 seconds after cast.

If you are using the Sanctified Wrath talent, you would engage both GoAK and AW simultaneously to match their 30 second durations. Otherwise, it is advised to use GoAK first to stack the Str bonus. After 10 seconds you would use AW. This would provide the maximum Str benefit for the entirety of the AW.

GoAK CD automatically resets when boss combat ends or on death. This means the ability will always be available after a wipe or if used late in a previous boss fight.

Holy Avenger
The talent Holy Avenger grants a new 2 minute CD. This CD causes all HP generators to generate 3 HP on usage, and increases the damage of HP generators by 30%.

If you use this talent, it is advised to macro AW and HA together for a single button press.

Note: Evil Eye of Galakras reduces the CD on AW, but not HA. This de-syncs the two and reduces strength of HA while simultaneously increasing SW.

Potions have a 1 minute CD outside of combat. Within combat a potion can only be used a single time. To maximize potion usage, it is possible to pre-pot. This is the practice of using a potion a few seconds before combat engages, such as while the tank is running in. This places you on the 1 minute potion CD, but it immediately begins ticking down as it began outside of combat. Thus 1 minute later, in the middle of the fight, you can again use a potion. This second usage is your combat usage and prevents further potion usage during the fight.

Tank threat should, ever since the Cataclysm Firelands buff, not be an issue, even for Pre-pot purposes. If you find yourself struggling with threat early in a fight, and the fight does not involve a threat gimmick, stage an intervention before your tanks' become underthreat addicts.

CD Usage with Pre-potting
If you pre-pot then you may choose to begin CD usage shortly after the pull to stack with this benefit.

While this gains some additional bonus from the Str bonus of the potion and can permit an additional CD in a fight (first CD used earlier, the timer may be up to re-use an extra time before end of fight), it does have some drawbacks. Historically initial threat could be an issue, requiring throttling of DPS or using a GCD on Hand of Salvation - such requirement tended to be a loss of DPS compared to an unthrottled CD period.

Overall popping throttled or HoS CD vastly weakens that CD cycle. Assessment seems to be that this is a DPS gain if you have an additional CD usage at the end of the fight due to starting the cycle earlier. This would be the same quantity of full-power CD usage, plus the partial-power initial CD usage. If you are unable to gain an additional CD usage during the fight, then you trade one full-power CD usage for a partial-power CD usage. The partial-power, even under Mogu Power, is likely less boost than a full-power CD without throttling or HoS GCD requirement. As stated above, threat should be a non-issue, so at this time that should not be a drawback.

Typically between 3 to 8 seconds of the 25 second pre-pot duration will be lost waiting on the pull or with the tank running in. This gives 22 to 17 seconds of Str buff. You have 'wasted' some buff time, however since this is a second 'bonus' potion and does not prevent later use of a potion, you still have a net gain.

With 20sec/HP Inq, it is recommended you build 2HP and then engage Inq for 40 sec duration. This means 18 to 13 seconds of Str buff under Inq.

You may desire to hold ES until GoAK stacks are high or some trinket (and/or Dancing Steel) proc is about to expire, in order to cast it at maximum efficacy. Be aware this anywhere-up-to-12 second delay could lose an ES cast by the end of the fight, making it a subjective call.
  • Spells do not have partial resists. [Confirmed - no partial or full resists]
  • Glancing blows (only on mobs 3+ levels higher than you, such as Skull bosses) happen 24% of the time on auto-attacks. A glancing blow deals 75% damage and cannot crit.
  • Boss level mobs have melee and spell crit suppression of 3%. This means you will crit less frequently than the % displayed on your character screen.
  • Autoattack Crit Cap is 73% (100% - 24% glancing - 3% suppression). Crit above this level would not generate more crits.
  • Ability Crit Cap is either 97% (100% - 3% suppression) or possibly 100% (103% - 3% suppression). Either is beyond possibility for Ret Paladin gear.
The above are unchanged from previous gameplay.
  • Expertise changed from points to a Rating conversion which matches Hit.
  • You need 7.5% Hit (2550 Hit rating) to be melee capped. 2549 rating provides an 0.04% chance to miss while producing equal overall DPS. Autoattack, Crusader Strike, Judgment, Templar's Verdict, and Hammer of Wrath all use the melee hit cap.
  • You need 7.5% Expertise (2550 Expertise rating) to be dodge capped. Spell attacks cannot be dodged. Dwarves will need 2210 Expertise Rating with maces, and Humans would need 2210 Expertise Rating with swords or maces. 2549 rating provides an 0.04% chance to be dodged while producing equal overall DPS. 2209 has the same benefit.
  • You need 15% Spellhit to be spell capped. Both Hit and Expertise contribute to Spellhit, therefore at 7.5% Hit + 7.5% Expertise you would be at 15% Spellhit and cap. The only ability that is affected by this is Exorcism.
  • Autoattacks, Crusader Strike, Judgment, and Templar's Verdict are all considered melee attacks, using Melee Hit and Crit %. They are susceptible to parry and dodge.
  • Hammer of Wrath is ranged Holy damage and can be dodged, but not parried. It is susceptible to Hit and Expertise.
  • Exorcism is a spell attack, using the Spell Hit and Crit %. It cannot be dodged, parried, or blocked.
  • All damaging attacks do 200% damage when they Crit (previously default was 150% for spells), before Metagem modifier. Only change to Ret paladins from this is Exorcism.
Ret Specific
  • Art of War not normalized. Faster weaponspeed = more autoattacks. More autoattacks * 20% = more AoW.
  • Gain SP equal to 50% of AP. Cannot gain SP from other sources (Int, enchants, etc).
  • Mastery damage bonus is applied to: Crusader Strike, Templar's Verdict, Hammer of the Righteous, Divine Storm, and Hammer of Wrath.
  • Sword of Light is a Ret specific bonus of 30% damage to 2H melee weapons, also grants 6% of your maximum mana every 2 sec, and increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 30% and Flash of Light by 100%.
  • Inquisition behaves like a DoT for the purposes of clipping the last tick. Any refresh within the last 2 seconds is no-clip (the remainder gets added to the duration of the new cast). Example: Use 3 HP to refresh Inq with 1.5 seconds remaining and the new Inq is 61.5 seconds long.
Note that 5.2 increased SoL from 10% to 15%. 5.3 increased it to 30%.
Inquisition should no longer be able to be refreshed to lower duration. Example: you have Inquisition buff with 45 seconds remaining, 1 HP, and use the Inquisition ability - you should no longer drop to 20-22 seconds on Inquisition buff.
Haste and the Soft Cap
There does not appear to be a soft cap on Haste. If we were to somehow push Haste to extreme levels (such as over 50%), you continue to gain benefit. By continually reducing the CD of abilities affected by SoB, you are able to 'replace' lower damage attacks with higher damage attacks. This continues to net an increasing benefit, especially as autoattack speed continues to increase AoW procs.

There still may be points of inflection. If Haste is high enough, you may gain more damage from 1 more Crit/Mastery Rating than 1 more Haste Rating, as you make the attacks you are already producing hit harder.

Tests have shown at approx 40% Haste you get the following results:
Single target - Haste is still king.
Three or more targets - Mastery pulls slightly ahead (margin increases for every target beyond 3).

Note that if you are interested in the Mastery angle, you must average 3 targets for the benefit to be present. Thus every 1 second with a single target you need 1 second with 5 targets to maintain the average. In short, it's pretty much only for AOE-fest bosses.

Use your tools (SimC or spreadsheet) to monitor your stats.

Attacks: Base damage and Coefficients at L90
((AP/14) * Weaponspeed) + Weapon damage
Generates Holy Power? No
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? N/A.

Crusader Strike
((((AP/14) * 3.3 ) + Weapon damage) * 125%) + 791
Generates Holy Power? Yes. Generate on Miss? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes.

Hammer of the Righteous
((((AP/14) * 3.3) + Weapon damage) * 20%)
Generates Holy Power? Yes. Generate on Miss? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes.

AOE damage calculated as: ((((AP/14) * 3.3 ) + Weapon damage) * 35%) as Holy.

If the single-target portion hits, the AOE portion automatically hits all targets in range. Each target takes the full AOE damage, the AOE value is not split between targets like Holy Wrath in Cataclysm. Thus more targets means more total damage done.

Templar's Verdict
((((AP/14) * Weaponspeed) + Weapon damage) * 275%) + 1,727
Generates Holy Power? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes on GCD.

Divine Storm
(((AP/14) * Weaponspeed) + Weapon damage) * 101.25%
Generates Holy Power? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes on GCD.

Seal of Righteousness
((((AP/14) * 3.3 ) + Weapon damage) * 9%)
Generates Holy Power? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? N/A.

Cannot miss. Hits all targets in range.

Seal of Justice
((((AP/14) * Weaponspeed ) + Weapon damage) * 20%)
Generates Holy Power? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? N/A.

Seal of Truth
((((AP/14) * Weaponspeed ) + Weapon damage) * 12%)
Generates Holy Power? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? N/A.

Cannot miss (hits if the attack generating it hits).

Censure: 107 + (9.4% SP) per stack. At 5 stacks 535 + (47% SP). Ticks every 3 seconds, reduced by haste. Censure is now applied by melee attacks (auto, CS, TV and J), this leads to far more reasonable stacking and for easier target swapping. Censure application can miss, while Censure ticks cannot miss.

Base Damage: average 623
Coefficient: 54.6% of SP and 32.8% of AP
Generates Holy Power? Yes. Generate on Miss? No.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes.

Damage does not change based on seal.

Base Damage: average 6,960
Coefficient: 67.7% of AP (no benefit from Spellpower).
Generates Holy Power? Yes. Generate on Miss? Yes.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes.

Hammer of Wrath
Base Damage: 1747 to 1930
Coefficient: 161.0% SP.
Generates Holy Power? Yes. Generate on Miss? Yes.
Haste Reduction from Sanctity of Battle? Yes.

Mastery Damage
This adds an additional 14.8% + 1.85% per Mastery (value / rating) damage of Crusader Strike, Divine Storm, Hammer of the Righteous, Hammer of Wrath, and Templar's Verdict as Holy Damage.

The original attack (CS, DS, HotR, HoW, or TV) is calculated, modified by de/buffs and armour. Mastery then takes the appropriate % of this damage and applies that as a flat value. The Mastery cannot Crit - if the base attack Crit then you are taking 15+% of the Crit, so the increase is already factored. The only de/buffs which impacts Mastery are Inquisition and CoE.
When it comes to racials that impact PvE damage, the Alliance is superior.

Heroic Presence now grants only the Draenei the +1% hit. Not a bad bonus, as it will allow additional reforging of stats and more possible gear combinations. A free HoT to marginally increase survivability is of minor PvE or PvP use.

Dwarves could net 1 free Expertise via Mace specialization. Again, free secondary stats is free additional DPS. Stoneform which can clear poison/disease/bleed effects on a 2 minute cooldown could be a minorly useful PvP ability.

A human could net 1 free Expertise via Mace or Sword specialization. Free secondary stats is free additional DPS. The free CC break can provide a few additional seconds of DPS (or move to survival spot) in PvE, and in PvP allows replacement of PvP trinket with something providing more raw Resilience or DPS stats.

Horde paladin racials have little to no impact outside of PvP purposes.

Blood Elf
A silence effect and some extra mana regen. The addition of Rebuke to baseline makes the silence less important. Mana should be a non-issue, the additional gain is unimportant. Possibly of PvP utility during Rebuke cooldown, or on a Boss fight where multiple interrupts are necessary.

A 2 second AoE stun and higher base health. Possibly useful in PvP, but not for PvE as most bosses are immune to stun.
Mixology adds additional Str to . Precise value currently unrecorded. Also provides the benefit of extended flask duration. Raw stats are likely tied with Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, Inscription, and Jewelcrafting, but the extended duration may be considered an extra edge.

is a useful starting trinket.

Socket Bracer and Socket Gloves, allow two additional gems. Naturally you want to use or . Tied with Enchanting, Engineering, Inscription, and Jewelcrafting at 320 Str.

If 640 Haste > 320 Str then BS could edge out other professions.

Enchant Ring - Greater Strength provides 160 Str. Two rings, total of 320 Str. Tied with Blacksmithing, Engineering, Inscription, and Jewelcrafting.

which provides Sockets for Tinker's Gears makes this an excellent starter helm. This is obsoleted by the next tier.

Synapse Springs II now boosts Str by 1920 for 10 seconds every minute. This locks out trinket cooldowns for 10 seconds. Excellent boost but cannot be stacked with trinkets during CD phases, requiring some CD juggling. Averages to 320 Str boost, the equivalent of Blacksmithing, Inscription, and Jewelcrafting.

Lifeblood provides 2880 haste for 20 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. This is average 480 haste or 1.13% at L90. You likely would not want to use this under Heroism as it could cause sub-3-second CS cooldown issues.(Rough modeling says sub-3-second CS CD does not appear to be a bad thing). Weaker than the crafting professions.

Secret Tiger Fang Inscriptionprovides 520 Str and 100 Crit.

This is 320 strength more than the Greater Tiger Fang Inscription. Tied with Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, and Jewelcrafting.

grant 160 Str over the regular Rare Bold. Multiply by two for 320 Str bonus. Tied with Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Engineering, and Inscription.

If 2 Haste > 1 Str then JC falls behind BS. only grants 480 Haste, a bonus of only 50% stat.

Fur Lining - Strength (3) provides 500 Strength to Bracers.

This provides 330 Str beyond the (new) 170 Str bracers enchant. 10 Str ahead of other crafting professions.

Toughness, the self-only perk of Mining, provides 480 stamina and thus absolutely zero damage. No DPS increase, marginal survivability increase.

Master of Anatomy provides 480 Crit rating. This is 0.8% at L90. 480 Crit is a bit more than half the DPS of 320 Str. A weak DPS increase compared to the crafting professions, but still superior to Mining.

Swordguard Embroidery (3), grants 4000 AP for 15 seconds, and has a 55 second ICD with 15% proc chance. Assume procs every 60 seconds and this would be an average 1000 AP, compared to 705.6 AP (320 Str * 1.05 Plate Specialization * 1.05 Kings * 2 AP per Str) from other professions. However, this replaces the normal cloak enchant. 1000 AP - 706 AP = 294 AP is more of an increase than 180 Hit or Crit to cloak, so it may be the best profession perk.
Macros and Mods
None presently listed. Feel free to submit useful macros.

Mods are purely optional. Some players run with none, some with dozens. This section is intentionally light, focusing on two that are of great assistance with Ret specific tasks, namely priority and timing.

CLCRet/CLCInfo will help you properly follow your priority setup and track procs or temporary buffs.

OmniCC is an addon that adds text to items/spells/abilities that are on cooldown to indicate when they'll be ready for use. It integrates nicely with CLCInfo.

Other recommended mods are a threat meter, unit frames, and bar mods - there are many options from which to select. Pulling threat leads to death and zero DPS. Having units and bars in efficient locations reduces eye movement and chance you are looking at the wrong place on your screen at the wrong time - this increases DPS and reduces chance of death.

This author strongly recommends personalization of the UI to fit your needs and playstyle. Designing your own UI rather than using the default or a pre-packaged UI is the difference between a meal at a 3-star Michelin ranked restaurant and McDonalds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What seal for PvE?
A: There are now only two PvE seals. Seal of Truth provides superior single-target DPS, while Seal of Righteousness can provide superior multi-target DPS with 4+ targets.

Q: What seal for PvP?
A: There are three possibilities for PvP: Seal of Truth, Seal of Righteousness, and Seal of Justice. SoT requires stacking on a single target and would be inferior for target swaps or long time off target (application from ability usage and not just autoattack mitigates this). SoR provides instant damage and cleave to hit multiple targets. SoJ produces much less damage, but applies a -50% runspeed debuff for 8 seconds. Which is superior is likely a personal choice depending on team composition, buffs, debuffs, and similar factors.

Q: What does weapon speed do to us? Do we want slow or fast?
A: All things being equal (Str and iLevel, therefore average DPS), we generally still want slow. Seals are not normalized to weapon damage, thus the higher damage range on slow weapons is superior.

Q: What weapon enchant?
A: Dancing Steel.

Q: Should I use a fast 1h weapon to stack SoT quicker?
A: No. Switching weapons is a DPS loss. The majority of our damage is physical (Auotattack, CS and TV). The lost damage during the ramp up period is greater than the boost to Censure ticks. The fact that CS, TV, and Judgement also apply stacks of Censure make this even more moot.

Q: Should I swap librams?
A: What's a libram?

Q: Should I grab this leather/mail piece of gear?
A: No. Leather and Mail items no longer have Attack Power as a separate stat. Classes naturally wearing those armour types gain 2 AP per Agility. The lack of Attack Power vs. a Plate item with Str means the Leather and Mail will always be inferior. Additionally, if you wear all Plate you get the Retribution Plate Specialization bonus of +5% Str.

Q: Should I take a higher DPS weapon with Agi?
A: Usually, no. An Agi weapon of equivalent iLevel should never be as good as the Str weapon due to the same lack of AP issue. If the Agi item is sufficiently higher iLevel and thus significantly more weapon DPS, it could surpass any loss of Str to Agi.

Q: Do you have a Best In Slot gear list?
A: No. This thread will not cover an overall BiS discussion, though may theorycraft specifics of trinket mechanics and possibly identify a specific BiS item. With gemming and reforging making gear highly configurable, a single BiS is far more fluid. Check the rest of the Paladin forum, there may be a BiS themed thread.

Q: How does CD Reduction work?
A: CD Reduction functions like Haste. 100% CD Reduction would allow you to use the CD twice as often. CD Timer * (1 / (1-CDreduction%)) = Reduced CD Timer.
Valuable Resources
The following tools can all be used for stat and gear comparisons, recommendations of upgraded items, and comparing different attack priorities.

Simulationcraft is a program which can be downloaded and run. Fully armed and operational battle station. Ret module presently supported by Balhale.

My MoP Retribution Paladin Spreadsheet is an Excel Spreadsheet (requires macros). 5.4 version updated Sept 30.

WoWReforge.com is a useful website for reforging to maximum effect.
AGIAgility (stat)
AoEArea of Effect
AoWArt of War (spec)
APAttack Power
AWAvenging Wrath (ability)
BoMBlessing of Might (ability)
BoKBlessing of Kings (ability)
CDCool Down
CSCrusader Strike (ability)
CritCritical Strike (rating or percent)
DoTDamage over Time
DivPurpDivine Purpose (talent)
DSDivine Storm (spec)
ESExecution Sentence (talent)
ExoExorcism (ability)
GCDGlobal Cooldown
GoAKGuardian of Ancient Kings (ability)
HAHoly Avenger (talent)
HoJHammer of Justice (ability)
HoLHand of Light - the damage dealt by Mastery
HoTHeal over Time
HotRHammer of the Righteous (spec)
HoWHammer of Wrath (ability)
HPHoly Power
ICDInternal Cooldown
InqInquisition (ability)
JJudgment (ability)
JudgeJudgment (ability)
LHLight's Hammer (talent)
PoJPursuit of Justice (talent)
PPMProc Per Minute
SoBSanctity of Battle (spec)
SoJSeal of Justice (ability)
SoRSeal of Righteousness (ability)
SoTSeal of Truth (ability)
SoT DoTThe DoT portion of SoT - aka Censure
SoT procThe instant damage portion of SoV
SSSacred Shield (talent)
STRStrength (stat)
SWSanctified Wrath (talent)
TVTemplar's Verdict (spec)

While supplies last (order now!). No guarantees implied. Your mileage may vary (or kilometerage). Not available in certain states (of mind). For indoor or outdoor use only. Not for use by small children (that's why we have ovens and barbecue sauce). May cause incontinence and/or temporary blindness while driving. If effects last for more than four hours, brag and link the damage meters.

Thread Change Log
9/24/12 Initial Post. Updated gemming information based on some discussion. Updated again for more gemming clarity.
9/25/12 Shed doubt on Windsong. Blue sockets.
9/27/12 Formatting fix.
9/30/12 Synapse Spring trinket lockout is 10 sec, not 15.
10/8/12 Priority HP4 notation.
10/10/12 Expanded glossary
10/11/12 GoMassEx, HotR, weapon enchant recommendation updates.
11/23/12 SoJ scales with AP. Updated HotR to show it's normalized.
2/25/13 Requested cleanups. Some 5.2 tweaks. Some notes about Upgrading (even though non-applicable when 5.2 starts)
3/5/13 5.2. Inq can't be refreshed to lower duration. HoP update.
3/18/13 SoL correction for FoL doing 100% bonus heal.
3/26/13 Spreadsheet update. More Thunderforged items. itemID displays on Item Calc tab.
3/28/13 Clarified priority under Avenging Wrath header.
4/1/13 - Rewrote Pre-pot section.
4/22/13 - With 4 piece T15 swap to DS at 4 targets, not 2.
5/21/13 - 5.3 SoL changed from 15% to 30%. 5.3 spreadsheet link. Upgrading is back and cheaper than before.
7/17/13 - Updated Single Target priority sequence.
8/26/13 - Glyph of Templar Verdict tweak, added HoL and GoAK to glossary.
9/6/13 - 5.4 updates, new thread title, and new spreadsheet.
9/9/13 - Tier16 priority defined.
9/17/13 - Fixed talents. Thanks Kwayver.
9/30/13 - Spreadsheet update.
10/23/13 - Minor tweaks.
10/28/13 - Formatting fixes for new forum software. Thread links are doubtless broken. Sorry.
10/30/13 - New "Do Not Ask" question.
1/7/14 - CD Reduction Math courtesy of Teleros.


I believe that SoB affects both TV and DS, as was evident in last night's H Madness run.
Great stuff. I noticed one thing, though. Arent gems +100% itemization for secondary stats, rather than 50%? If so, would suggest gemmingforhit is optimal, then STR after cap, then reforging for Exp. Also, socket bonuses are fairly powerful. With a three socket piece, and a single yellow socket, using an orange str/haste gem would likely be worth it, instead of staying with hit or str gems and losing bonus.
Gemming str-haste on reds and full haste yellows,yields more dps than going full str gems since they have double secondary stats.
I started to rewrite the gem section, then stopped. I'm still inclined to say gem for Str. Here's why.

Let's say you have gear where it is possible to reforge stats to hit and expertise cap. Your options are:
Gem hit/exp to (near) cap. Reforge lesser stats to better stats.
Gem Str. Reforge lesser stats to hit/expertise.

In both you would achieve Hit/Expertise cap. In the first you're just gaining more Secondary Stats, but in the second you gain Str.

Example with numbers:
Hit/Exp cap in gems, 500 extra Haste, 300 Crit, 200 Mastery (total 1000 secondary stats) on gear.
500 Str in gems, Hit/Exp cap via reforge.

Using the values Balhale previously calculated for stat weights (listed in OP):
500 Str vs (500 * 0.54) + (300 * 0.43) + (200 * 0.43) Secondaries
500 vs (270) + (129) + (86)
500 vs 485

Str won. Cap Hit and Expertise via reforging, if possible. Unless you hunt for Exp/Hit items in Dungeons, it's actually hard to cap without gems. Absolutely use the gems if you need to reach caps. However, by the Heroic Epics stage there's a lot of Exp/Hit and it's easy to cap (easy to overcap, actually).

That said, Fordragon is accurate on Yellow sockets. OP will be updated appropriately.
I think you misunderstood the argument, Exemplar. Because of double secondary stats on gems, and 2 haste > 1 strength, it's always better to prioritize haste over strength, which means:

  • Fierce Vermilion Onyx (80STR/160HAS) in red slots
  • Quick Sun's Radiance (320HAS) in yellow slots
  • Lightning Wild Jade (160HAS/160HIT) in blue slots

If you find yourself short of the hit or exp caps, even after reforging, use the appropriate hit>exp>haste>str gems instead:

  • Precise Primordial Ruby (320EXP) or Accurate Imperial Amethyst (160EXP/160HIT) or Etched Imperial Amethyst (80STR/160HIT) in red slots
  • Rigid River's Heart (320HIT) or Accurate Imperial Amethyst (160EXP/160HIT) or Etched Imperial Amethyst (80STR/160HIT) in blue slots
  • Wicked Vermilion Onyx (160EXP/160HAS) or Lightning Wild Jade (160HIT/160HAS) in yellow slots
I'm going to fix the reforges on my pre-raid gear set today and run a stat weight sim at the pre raid gear level to see if it's still worth gemming hybrids. I'll probably do a normal one either tomorrow or the day after.

Also, it's worth matching anything that has a yellow or red socket, and probably most blue sockets as well, especially at lower gear levels where hit/exp overcapping is not as much of a concern.

I think you misunderstood the argument, Exemplar. Because of double secondary stats on gems, and 2 haste > 1 strength, it's always better to prioritize haste over strength, which means:

The stat weights you are basing this assertion on are the T14 Heroic Gear stats. Stat weights for pre-raid and early raid are more favorable to Strength and lead to 1 Str > 2 Haste. Seems better to have a separate weighting/section for release gearing and remove it after a few weeks.

I think you misunderstood the argument, Exemplar. Because of double secondary stats on gems, and 2 haste > 1 strength.

The argument by Wrathblood was clearly Hit/Exp over Str. Which I explained is unlikely to be a net gain. Haste over Str, as Fordragon suggests, is definitely wise. The OP was updated to cover both portions.

Balhale - in a thrown together Dungeon gear set I get Haste at 0.46 Str, Crit at 0.29 Str, and Mastery 0.28.

So rule of thumb would be to gem Str until you get epics. You could continue to do so and have very little lost opportunity.

By the end of the tier you can follow:
Red - Str/Haste gems (Orange - Fierce).
Yellow - Haste gems (Yellow - Quick).
Blue - Str/Hit gems (Purple - Etched).

You always match colours (or typically hybrid colours) for socket bonuses. They're worth it.

Only use further Hit (or any Expertise) gems if you cannot reforge or enchant your way to caps.

OP updated per gibborim's suggestion. Pre-raid and raid gear gemming differentiated.

Somewhat related: I'm inclined towards Accuracy cloak, unless you literally cannot reforge away enough Hit. Why? Worst case you wind up with extra Mastery/Crit (effectively same as enchanting Superior Crit), best case you net some extra Haste and an overall gain (since it's better than Crit). Since the boot enchant is guaranteed Haste, I wouldn't try the same gimmick there.

Blue - Str/Hit gems (Purple - Etched).

Shouldn't it be: Blue - Haste/Hit gems (Green - "Lightning")?

Edit: to reiterate my comment on SoR proccing on DS: it hits only once per single DS hit: you could also say that the initial DS hit procs a normal SoR. SoR scales linearly with the number of mobs hit by DS

Edit2: tested HotR, and it seems that it applies the active seal on the primary target, that is to say: SoT/Censure and SoR AoE. Weird behaviour of SoJ: also hit every target in range, not just primary target... couldn't verify if it applied snare debuff

Edit3: HotR applies SoJ and SoJ debuff to every target in range
You literally cannot reforge away enough hit in T14H gear if you also want to match the blue sockets and the hit bonus on the boots. As I'm going through getting my pre-raid (463) set reoptimized it's exactly the opposite. I can barely scrape together enough hit and exp.

Why str/hit in blues instead of haste/hit? If str/haste is better than str then haste/hit should be better than str/hit.

Anyway, here are the results for the pre-raid gear set stat sim both using SW:

This (higher dps) set has as much haste as I could get without dropping horribly under hit/exp cap (14160 str, 2549 hit, 2535 exp, 4725 haste, 2564 crit, 917 mastery):

Normalized to Str:
Str - 1.00
Hit - 0.79
Exp - 0.56
Haste - 0.48
Mastery - 0.30
Crit - 0.30

My results agree pretty well with yours then.

With a less haste focused set (14337 str, 2550 hit, 2542 exp, 2901 haste, 2725 crit, 2237 mastery), I got:

Normalized to Str:
Str - 1.00
Hit - 0.77
Exp - 0.54
Haste - 0.59
Mastery - 0.30
Crit - 0.31

Both sets are gemmed for strength.

Getting a Lessons of the Darkmaster trinket is a huge priority - the thing has about a quarter of the needed expertise on it.
I also ran some Windsong vs. Dancing Steel runs.

Windsong (1500 crit,mastery,haste):
PreRaid - 64166 dps, 19.5% uptime on each buff
T14H - 113210 dps, 21.8% uptime on each buff

Dancing Steel (1650 str):
PreRaid - 64619 dps, 45.5% uptime on the buff
T14H - 114763 dps, 51.4% uptime on the buff

At preraid gear level, Dancing is a 0.7% increase over Windsong. At T14H gear level, it is a 1.4% increase over Windsong.

Your enthusiastic praise of Windsong over Dancing should probably be toned down, but Windsong isn't a bad alternative for people who can't afford Dancing.

Shouldn't it be: Blue - Haste/Hit gems (Green - "Lightning")?

Probably. OP updated for Epic Raid gear gemming.

Not sure I understand your DS+SoR comment. DS hits 4 targets, do you get 4 SoR, or 16 (1 per target, per hit)? 4 SoR is original assumption (one proc that cleaves), while 16 is the definition of exponential (4^2). Original assumption requires 6 targets. Exponent would reduce necessary total targets.

I also ran some Windsong vs. Dancing Steel runs.

OP updated with your info and more caveats, but I do not understand some of your numbers. According to Blizzard the mechanics are:
Dancing Steel: 1PPM on melee attacks that land.
Windsong: 1PPM on melee damage, or non-periodic spell damage/healing, with a 1-second cooldown.

So Windsong has more proc chances (we'll have to determine if things like apply/refresh Censure count). Windsong can simul-proc all 3 buffs. Both enchants have identical 12 sec durations. I don't see anything to incline to more/longer procs for Dancing Steel.

I'm not sure how Dancing Steel could have up-time of more than twice Windsong, or are you saying Haste has a 19.5-21.8% up-time, Mastery a separate 19.5-21.8% up-time, and Crit a separate 19.5-21.8% (with reasonable overlap between the three)? If Censure applications or Seal procs can proc Windsong (remember the proc-fest that was Avalanche?), it could have significantly higher uptime than presently predicted by your Sim.

I'm unaware of extensive Ret testing in Beta. As far as I can tell no one even tested to figure out PPM, we eventually were handed them, much less test edge cases specific to individual classes. Pretty easy test - autoattack for prolonged period with no haste and see if we're getting 1 (only autoattack), 2 (seal or censure app, not both), 3 (auto, seal, and censure app), or more PPM.

Dancing Steel: 1PPM on melee attacks that land.
Windsong: 1PPM on melee damage, or non-periodic spell damage/healing, with a 1-second cooldown.

So Windsong has more proc chances (we'll have to determine if things like apply/refresh Censure count). Windsong can simul-proc all 3 buffs. Both enchants have identical 12 sec durations. I don't see anything to incline to more/longer procs for Dancing Steel.

I'm not sure how Dancing Steel could have up-time of more than twice Windsong, or are you saying Haste has a 19.5-21.8% up-time, Mastery a separate 19.5-21.8% up-time, and Crit a separate 19.5-21.8% (with reasonable overlap between the three)? If Censure applications or Seal procs can proc Windsong (remember the proc-fest that was Avalanche?), it could have significantly higher uptime than presently predicted by your Sim.

I'm unaware of extensive Ret testing in Beta. As far as I can tell no one even tested to figure out PPM, we eventually were handed them, much less test edge cases specific to individual classes. Pretty easy test - autoattack for prolonged period with no haste and see if we're getting 1 (only autoattack), 2 (seal or censure app, not both), 3 (auto, seal, and censure app), or more PPM.

I'm saying that each separate buff has 19.5-21.8% uptime. So total Windsong has 60-65% uptime vs. Dancing's 45-50%. Anyways, I'll do the check when I get a weapon with Windsong on live.

However, those buff numbers are roughly what I remember from beta when I messed around with Windsong.

Not sure I understand your DS+SoR comment. DS hits 4 targets, do you get 4 SoR, or 16 (1 per target, per hit)? 4 SoR is original assumption (one proc that cleaves), while 16 is the definition of exponential (4^2). Original assumption requires 6 targets. Exponent would reduce necessary total targets.

It's linear, not exponential. example: 4 DS hits, 4 SoR hits. I thought DS would not proc any seal.

It's linear, not exponential. example: 4 DS hits, 4 SoR hits. I thought DS would not proc any seal.

Then SoR takes 6+ targets. Not counting loss incurred by GCD to swap seals. DS was resolved to only proc one seal on use an Xpac or two ago. I misunderstood your comment in the other thread and took it to mean this fix had been broken in MoP. OP tweaked back to original SoR commentary.
If haste gems are superior to strength in raid gear and beyond, shouldn't the BS sockets be filled with pure haste gems instead of strength?
Btw something that was bothering me Balhale,is SimC accounting the 10% crit from Inq?
So it would appear that as long as you can reforge out of hit/exp into haste, it could be benefitial to gem full exp/hit/haste over str? It would be a bit risky because 2 haste is only slightly better than 1 str, and you can't always reforge perfectly so there's always risk of losing more stats than gaining. Also, losing a lot of str could cause haste value to drop below 50%.

Btw something that was bothering me Balhale,is SimC accounting the 10% crit from Inq?

Yes, it is. The raidbuffed stats snapshot does not show 10% from Inquisition because it takes place before combat begins. The same thing happened with Eye of Unmaking; the strength doesn't show up in the snapshot, because the buff is only up during combat.

So it would appear that as long as you can reforge out of hit/exp into haste, it could be benefitial to gem full exp/hit/haste over str? It would be a bit risky because 2 haste is only slightly better than 1 str, and you can't always reforge perfectly so there's always risk of losing more stats than gaining. Also, losing a lot of str could cause haste value to drop below 50%.

As long as you can hit/exp cap from gear alone you should because then you are trading the weaker haste/crit/mastery for stronger hit/exp/str (can't get str from anything but gems). Besides, at the T14H level you can't reforge out enough hit to do that anyway.
a brief comment about the priorities not changing under SW: Imo they do slightly change, as it should prove beneficial to prioritize harder-hitting judgment over cs as there should be no dps loss incurred by postponing a CS which you would normally get outside SW usage. It is the case as it's impossible to have empty GCDs under the said CD. That being said, I am personally wondering which priority would be better under SW : 5TV > HoW > Exo > CS > Judg > 3TV or maybe straight 3TV > HoW > Exo > Judg > CS

The resoning behind trying to put 3TV at the top is getting more hard-hitting attacks while under long SW as it seems to me it may not be a gain to always build to 5 hp while under SW

The rotations in practice should look as follows, assuming opening 3hp inq then cds :

normal 5tv prio : HoW - Exo - HoW - CS - HoW - TV - HoW - CS...
judge over cs 5tv : HoW - Exo - How - Judge - HoW - TV - HoW - Judge...
3tv prio : HoW - Exo - HoW - 3TV - HoW - CS - HoW - 3TV...

Moreover, I do think that nearing the end of SW may call for the return of the original priority as the additional damage of harder-hitting abilities may no longer outweigh postponed generators, especially CS shotly after SW ends

I have no idea where to fit ES into this, though (after 3hp inq before cds;first/second gcd of cds; some other place?)

I myself use the 3TV prio, but I do so only under gut instinct. I am not a theorycrafter myself, so I put forward this idea for testing for the greater minds of the community. I apologize if i overlooked somethings that makes this proposal void or if this has been tested earlier. Cheers
The only difference between 3 and 5 HP TVs under SancWrath is trading one Exo/CS/Judge for one TV if you start SancWrath with no holy power.

Is your Judgment hitting harder than your CS even including mastery?
nope, forgot judgment does not benefit from mastery -_-. The 3hp tv priority may produce more gain than 1 TV, however, depending, on procs as when you do not try to "cap" HP, you leave more room for fitting exo procs (as HP does not go over 3) whereas you would be forced to use 5hptv otherwise. consider such circumstances :

5hptv : how - exo - how - cs - how - (EXO PROC that cant be used immediately) TV - how - EXO PROC USED -
3hptv : how - exo - how - tv - how - (EXO PROC) - exo - how - tv - how - tv

as you see, striving to cap hp (which is ungrounded under SW as there never occurs a scenario in which you cannot use a filler and without such a scenario, going over 3 hp loses its benefits) pushed exo proc 2 gcds and created a (likely, especially under bloodlust) danger of an additional exo proc overriding the unused one.

What interests me is this : -
-is there any downside to this strategy? only scenario i can think of in which this could be a dps loss is when at the end of SW we are left with an empty gcd in which 3hp tv would be used under the normal priority
-where to fit ES in this?
ES should take the place of your first exo. I don't know that there is a specific downside to that plan.
is there a downside of ES in the burst phase at the beginning, should I start the fight with ES or wait for the first burst after 10 secs with goak?

And when I play with HA, should I use ES directly before the burst macro or directly after and loose one cooldown 3 hp?