I am kinda surprised that there weren't any complains about Retribution paladins in Shadowlands on this subreddit. Maybe it's not as bad as WW monk, but it still has issues. I am no game development expert, but it feels like Blizzard didn't invest enough time in Retribution compared to other classes. The best example would the covenant abilities. 2 covenant spells use baseline abilities which makes it not very creative and boring, third one feels wrong and fourth one is weird. Anyway, here is a summary of what's wrong with Retribution paladin in Shadowlands:
Kyrian. It's an aoe Judgement. If there are 5 targets, you will cast 5 Judgements and gain 5 holy power. If there is only 1 target, you will cast 1 Judgement and gain only 1 holy power, which makes this ability beyond bad on ST. 1 min CD.
Necrolord. It's a hammer, that makes your next Templar's Verdict proc Divine Storm. That's it. Exciting. 30 sec CD.
Venthyr. It's a 30 second Death and decay ability, but it deals damage only to 1 target, which makes this ability visually weird. You also can cast Hammer in Wrath when you stand in that zone. My main problem with that ability is that there are already 2 mechanics that lets you cast HoW when target is over 20% (Wings and Final Verdict). And also because it has 4 min CD.
Night Fae. It's 30 sec buff ability and it has 4 rotations. Well, this one can be interesting. It can feel great if you like to play support class and buff other people, and if you don't, well too bad since it will be probably the best ability for retribution paladins because of its versatility in all aspects of the game. 45 sec CD. The reason why I think this ability is bad is because we already have 2-3 buff maintenance abilities from talents. No reason to have forth one.
Dead talents. There are at least 4 of them, not sure if that is a lot with current class design standards. Those talents are:
Fires of Justice. It's never used and probably never gonna be.
Eye for an Eye. This spell is too gimmicky and we already have BoP to protect ourselves from physical damage.
Justicar's Vengeance. Not much to say about it. This spell costs 5 holy power which makes it too expensive to use.
Healing Hands. This talent promotes using Lay of Hands on low hp targets. This talent is not usable in arenas for obvious reasons. It will also feel bad when you use the Lay of hands on somebody and that target already got burst healed by somebody else, which will make your lay of hands go on full cd.
There is also talents that just don't work with each other. Those talents are: Execution Sentence, Seraphim, Inquisition. These talents have the same function. They are holy power spenders that increase our damage done by X% amount for Y seconds. All of them have GCD and cost 3 holy power. Blizzard said that they gonna fix this issue, but that was few months ago, so we will see how Blizzard can keep their promises.
The "Great" Unpruning. This one is my favorite one. Retribution paladin didn't gain much from unpruning. Actually it's quite the opposite, we got nerfed. Here are the examples:
Word of Glory. Currently in BFA it's a talent that does fat heals on 3 low hp targets. It has 1 min CD with 2 charges and it costs 3 holy power. This talent gave us a good utility in M+, especially on bursting weeks. In Shadowlands this spell has been changed. Now it's a baseline ability that heals the same amount as flash of light, it only heals 1 target and also costs 3 holy power. So basically our best mythic+ utility is gone.
Divine Steed. The Heart of the Crusader is a baseline passive that buffs our mounted speed by 20% and it also increases Divine Steed's speed. In Shadowlands this passive was changed into an aura. The problem is that you can have only 1 aura at the time and paladin usually is gonna use the devotion aura in 90% of time. It means that divine steed is unintentionally being nerfed by 20% and it is the only spell that gives us mobility. Switching auras in the middle of the battle is not an option since it's on GCD.
Retribution passive. Same thing as Divine Steed. It was a baseline passive for rets and now it's an aura. It's not gonna be active in 90% of the time, unless you are doing LFR. Anyway, this passive/aura shouldn't exists in the first place, because it promotes the degenerate gameplay. Why would I save my teammate if I can benefit from his death?
Blessing of kings and wisdom. Not much to say here. These buffs got removed for no particular reason, but who cares, the effects of those buffs were already kinda useless in BFA.
The AOE potential of Retribution paladin.
Consecration. This ability is now a baseline ability, but unfortunately it deals so little damage that it's not even worth to press it vs multiple targets.
Sanctified Wrath. This talent is basically Light's Decree from azerite traits. Currently it deals 1/3 damage of fully stacked Light's Decree trait. Its usefuless will be also decreased in shadowlands since we gonna lose the uptime of Wings from Vision of Perfection.
Divine Storm. This ability is the only source of good aoe damage, but it's capped at 5 targets which will make the tornado effect from legendary pretty useless.
I really hope that Blizzard will change something. I actually don't care that much about covenants, I just want the base spec work properly. Feel free to disagree to correct me. I don't like creating threads, especially the negative ones, but it seems that complaining a lot is the only way to get something fixed. I want to play this game and have fun. I want to be excited for the Shadowlands, but the current class design won't let me.
Covenant spells are boring and uninspiring for Rets.
Too many dead talents.
Too many talents that don't work with each other.
Retribution's utility and mobility got nerfed because of unpruning.
Retribution spec currently has no aoe potential.
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