I've got Blood Elf Paladin (primary spec retribution) level 85 and I got kind of stuck with my game progress. My average item level is 350 and when I enter Cataclysm heroic dungeons, other players often complain about my DPS and quality of my gear. But the problem is that I have better gear than the one dropped in normal difficulty dungeons, so I'm stuck.

What should I do? Are there any other ways to improve my equipment?

For those who are interested, this is my character. I would appreciate any other advice as well.

  • 5
    It's been a while since I played, but generally speaking, optimal builds and a thorough knowledge of correct dps rotation cycles is generally more important than gear level.
    – Beofett
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 16:51
  • I second what @Beofett said, and it's been a while since I played as well (Rogue), but looking at your gear it looks like the first step is getting rid of your blues. Can you get someone to craft purples for you? Most of the time PvP gear won't be as useful for raiding as boss drops, but a little PvP may get you a couple upgrades. If you have the coin definitely check out the auction house or make friends with people who can build you some upgrades.
    – Chris
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 16:56
  • not sure if this would really be an answer but, just keep at it with the heroics. Nevermind what the others say about dps, just attack things roll on every upgrade and you should be okay. Then when able just queue up for raid finder and do that every week. :]
    – stay
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 16:58
  • 1
    Not worrying about maximizing dps, and just attacking things, is why I boycotted random groups, and ultimately stopped playing. The amount of contribution by a DPS character who knows his rotations and builds vs. one who "just attacks things" is often the difference between a fast run and an instance where the group wipes repeatedly. Faster runs = more chances for better drops, too. If you're doing an instance every 45 minutes you'll get more loot than if you're taking an hour and a half only to have the group give up before half the bosses are dead.
    – Beofett
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 17:02
  • @Beofett This, this x a trillion. Outdpsing 99% of the populace whilst having a BOE 378 weapon + levelling greens made me sad. A lot.
    – hkf
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 22:39

4 Answers 4


The most obvious answer is, just keep doing heroics and deal with the elitist hate.

Other than that, Strength is your primary stat. Period! So your weapon (agility) and your relic (intellect) need to be replaced with items with Strength. In addition to that, your helmet and one of your rings are itemized for tanking (Dodge, Parry, Block).

You want to focus on replacing your poorly itemized pieces asap, as well as the crafted pvp items you have equipped (Gloves, Belt, Pants). The stats you want the most are: Strength (Over everything else), Hit (To Cap), and Expertise (To Cap). At this point Mastery, Crit, and Haste are next in line. If you want to read more on this check out the post below.

As far as talents go, your 3 points in Clarity of Purpose are completely wasted and would be much better spent in Seals of the Pure (Tier 1 of the Protection Tree). You shouldn't be healing yourself at all in a dungeon (And if you absolutely have to, you should be using a 3 point Word of Glory).

I would personally replace Glyph of Judgement with Glyph of Templar's Verdict as it will yield a much higher dps increase than Glyph of Judgement.

I would recommend that you try and find a guild with friendly members that will run dungeons with you while you learn your rotation and collect better gear.

If you are not an addon purest and would like a rotation helper, CLCRet is a great tool to help you learn your rotation. It keeps track of all of your cooldowns and buffs and tells you via an icon what ability should be used next to continue your optimal rotation. It isn't perfect, but it will help you learn timings (like making sure Inquisition doesn't fall off).

If you want to read some really good information about Retribution Paladins (Specs, Rotations, Glyphs, Stats, Reforging, Gemming, Enchanting, Cooldowns, etc) I recommend this post on Elitist Jerks.

  • 1
    I have been playing a paladin as my main character since the LOLRet days of Vanilla when the only spec was holy spec.
    – Adanion
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 17:42

After a quick look at your character the first thing you should do is get rid of all the gear with resilience on it unless you are PVPing. Resilience is a PVP only stat and is useless in dungeons.

Secondly, as Beofett mentioned in his comment ¹ ², a good understanding of your class abilities and usage priorities is vital to becoming a good DPSer. I don't know too much of retribution paladins (played a hunter myself), but this forum should provide you with a lot of important information about your spec and class.

Third, the auction house is your friend. You can pick up many upgrades for a gold cost there, but they will be better than the resilience pieces that you have.

Forth, I noticed that you are an engineer, you can make use of some tinker abilities to your gloves if you don't have them enchanted.

  • His engineering is far too low currently for anything that could benefit him.
    – Adanion
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 17:08
  • 1
    Doesn't mean he can't spend a little time to go level it up.
    – Sorean
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 17:12
  • If hes able to aquire 390 pvp its certainly way better than anything he as on atm. I myself never really went to dungeon with pvp gear but I've seen enough people pulling their weight even with pvp gear.
    – Philipp
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 17:29

Another way to obtain is raising your reputation with the different factions in Cataclysm (granted, most of the time the maximum item level you get from them is 359 - with a few exceptions of Molten Front quest line (either 365 necklace or ring) and Thrall quest line (365 cape). But it's another way to aquire higher level gear.


First of all: learn to use your class, to the tinyest detail. I've seen people in full pvp pulling their weight and outdpsing the rest of the group. Learn your rotation, and learn it well. As Adanion suggested take a look at this post on Elitist Jerks. Their suggested rotations are:

Inq > CS > HoW > Exo > TV > J > HW > Cons
Inq > CS > TV > HoW > Exo > J > HW > Cons


  • Inq = Inquisition
  • CS = Crusader Strike
  • HoW = Hammer of Wrath
  • Exo = Exorcism
  • TV = Templar's Verdict
  • J = Judgement
  • HW = Holy Wrath
  • Cons = Consecration

The first is suggested for high-end gear, so you should be using the second. Remember that these are priority based, which means that you should use the best available, provided it's out of cooldown and you have the Holy Power to use it.

Then, your talents. As others have said, those three points in Clarity of Purpose are wasted, since you're a dps, not a healer. The glyph choice is good, but it can be better. Once again Elitist Jerks comes to our rescue.

Then, at last, your gear. Put gems in your missing sockets. Don't listen to the people complaining and don't throw away all the gear you have to get PvE greenies, keep doing Heroics and substitute it gradually. Get rid of PvP gear first, then change your blues and everything with parry rating on it. Don't forget that you can buy great gear with Valor Points and Justice points. As soon as you can hit the LFR and get to the Dragon Soul, it will be your best source of gear. If you level up Engineering you can also get this beauty

Always keep in mind that gear is your lowest priority. Try to learn every secret of your class and I swear that you'll see the improvements.

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