Ret got nerfed, HArd

go to any site especialized on azerite traits and you will see 80% of the specs with traits way stronger than the rest, rogue outlaw have “Deadshot” for single target (way better than the rest) and “Keep Your Wits About You” (insanely better than the rest, a single stack is better then 3 stacks of anything else).
more classes/spec have class specific azerite traits that are the best for their classes.
Now look at the “Super OP Light’s Decree” and you will see it at postion 8 on the table.

obs.: ret pally is doing “fine” right now because of the Retribution Passive (20% bonus dmg when someone dies near the Ret), this passive procs 3 to 4 times on progression, inflating the dps, then on week 4 and above ret DPS will fall down because less people are diyng.
It was a stupid nerf to a single trait that was nowhere near OP like people keep saying, just look to all other trait of other specs.


At least on the char shown you also only have 1 trait of it, and no pieces with the 4th ring. Of course you arent gonna see a change…

The next pieces of gear will definitely help but I found having my standing haste needs to be 15% to 17% for it to feel really good. On a second note, I found my taurens to perform better as a paladin compared to my blood elves. Most likely it has to do with the racials. On the alliance side I found my draenei to be better then human. However, that could be that I don’t care for the human characters. I can not talk about dwarves, I don’t play them. Since I made my first paladin tauren in WoD, I found them to play much smoother. It seems like more blood elves are not happy. IDK… maybe a racial thing that needs to be buffed.

Overall I think they do fairly well, but they could use a bit of love. Maybe in the pvp talents… they seem lackluster to me.

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it was in the ballpark of 3%.

You went from doing 10,000,000 damage on a boss fight to 9,700,000
Literally not noticeable with fight length variance and getting upgrades from raiding lmao

Just to elaborate more, the trait itself received a pretty significant tune (30% is 30% there’s no downplaying that). However from my personal experience and logs since the change, I feel it has a small impact in the overall pool of Ret damage. Light’s Decree had a big impact in large AoE pulls, yet in single target wise it accounts for I think a 2% overall reduction? I’m not 100% on the math off the top of my head so please correct me if I’m wrong. Light’s Decree was vastly outperforming the rest of our Azerite traits in all scenarios. It’s still the best single target and AoE trait and this change didn’t impact Ret’s viability even in higher tiered content.

Looking at my guilds personal logs and comparing last week verses this week on Heroic Champions (using Champs since it’s largely a realistic patchwork fight with minimal movement), my Light’s Decree damage is almost the same but with 5 more ticks this week. I did gain 5 ilvls over the first week likely helping make up that difference already that we saw with this change. That’s with two uses of Crusade btw. Also keep in mind we’re talking about 100k damage here in a pure single target scenario (in the context of Light’s Decree procs only hitting one target).

I’m aware this is just one example of my own experience but the only thing I myself have noticed a difference on is Reaping packs. I’m sure I’d notice it on Opulence if we had a consistent gem scenario across both of our kills because the Light’s Decree potential with the add spawns there is pretty insane. Please don’t take that as a slight jab Topaz holders we love and respect your sacrifice, you’re all saints but please buff me, thanks :heart:.


why do you have to be like this, ive played ret since tbc and still keep mine up to date even though im currently maining dh for my guild. both my ret and our guilds main ret is performing incredible. ret is so good right now both method and limit are using one in their wf race.

go to any site especialized on azerite traits and you will see 80% of the specs with traits way stronger than the rest

Yes, we still have on of those. it’s called treacherous covenant.

The first lights decree trait is also worth about 200 more dps than the first treacherous covenant. making our first lights decree “way stronger” than even treacherous covenant

i’ll link this here but chances are you dont know what each of the pretty colors mean

lets also casually look at the hectic add cleave trait sims, how 1 empyrean power is worth more than 3 of any other trait we have available except lights decree, which is a powerful 2nd place

you see how that green bar on lights decree is almost halfway through the white bar on treacherous covenant? that means 1 lights decree is worth almost 1.5 of our other best trait.

the extra stacking made lights decree hit incredibly hard. i had 3 on my paladin and it hit as hard as my divine storm.

lights decree is still one of our best traits even after the nerf. before it was absolutely broken, top trait by a mile.

stop talking, you dont know what youre saying.


I understand and agree that it was overperforming. My problem is its almost impossible in my experience to get into mythic+ as ret because we bring nothing that cant be found in some way somewhere else. For a brief moment in time we brought massive aoe well suited to this season and there was a reason to take us. Now thats gone and its very disappointing. You can say its only a nerf to aoe and specifically reaping, but that “small” nerf completely guts the class where pugging keys is concerned.

wtf? we still do? no its not? we still deal aoe dmg equivalent to a hurricane, not an asteroid colliding with earth

ret is also a strong pick in keys

lights decree got nerfed by 30%, not rets aoe. my 385 ilvl lights decree pieces went from ~1100 dmg per hp spent to 791.

Yeah it never feels good getting nerfed but this is not a world ending catastrophic nerf.

at least get into keys and try it before you whine


First of all, I respect you for even replying at all. S

Second, I can not disagree with you more.

Ret this expansion has constantly been middle to below middle of the pack in uldir, until the release of 8.1. And there were almost no rets at all timing keys above a 15. Until the release of 8.1.

In 8.1 We got two amazing traits to fill out our rotation and give us identity as glass cannons that can do both single target well, and have some of the best aoe burst in the game. We were starting to creep into the top 7 for overall in BoD and we were actually good picks for m+ given the reaping affix.

To call this a fix is just short sighted, it’s not fixing an overtuned trait. Its gutting the ONLY good trait that ret had. Now Lights decree is garbage in ST and okay in AoE.

And if you are saying this happened because of too high burst on reaping packs. Please go look at DH, go look at frost mage, go look at BM hunter. Did any of these classes get their AoE gutted? No of course not.

It’s hard to see this nerf justified in any other way than blizzard decided that ret can never be above middle of the pack.

Please if you have any avenues to talk to game designers. Or the balance team. Please get a definitive answer as to why this was nerfed why to nerf a class that was already just above middle of the pack. Or at least why we didnt get something else in return.

Thanks for reading Ythisens. I’m at work and typed this on my phone. Sorry if it’s a bit scuffed.

correct it is mostly an AOE nerf, especially since most of the raid tier LD is paired with the free divine storm trait.

Single target though stacking lights decree comes several spots behind stacking treacherous covenant (a generic trait) I was in a jaina pug and the other ret pally had 2x treacherous covenant where i had no treacherous covenant and I had 2x lights decree and the difference was about 3k dps ilvl’s were within 1 point of each other. (obviously there could be other factions like getting frozen etc).

as well if you have to stop dps during wings for mechanics it is like removing your azerite traits whereas i believe treacherous covenant is a constant damage buff assuming you aren’t constantly sitting below 50% (like phase 3 mythic ghuun).

I think what is disappointing for me is the significant AOE nerf for m+ and aoe raid bosses without bringing the single target damage to be inline with a stronger generic trait that many classes have access to when stacking especially since it seems designed to be stacking lights decree with 2 or 3 pieces with so many boss loot tables in the tier giving lights decree.

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stop dude. youre clueless. 1 lights decree is our best trait in st. you have to have one. one empyrean power is also one of our best st traits.

these traits are our two powerhouse aoe traits. one EP trait is worth more than 3 of any other trait except decree.

it’s not gutting it, its bringing it in line with the rest. it was an aoe trait that was so overtuned it was simultaneously one od our bis st traits.

this is non-negotiable.

lets look at sims real quick.

here is hectic add cleave trait sims for havoc

eyes of rage, our best specific trait for aoe, is worth 3,807 dps with 3 traits.

Now here is ret

empyrean power, our best add cleave trait, is worth 5,322 dps with 3 traits and lights decree is worth 4,744 dps with 3 traits.

ret aoe is still bursty and on par with dh when using lights decree and EP

Completely and utterly wrong. I had hope that a blue wouldn’t go willingly spreading mis-info before citing their claims. Pre-nerf, Light’s Decree first point (the one that gives 5 extra seconds of Wings/Crusade, the real reason this trait was such a powerhouse) was above and beyond the best trait, both ST and AOE.

With the nerf to the Light’s Decree damage, it STILL REMAINS the best trait for both single target and AOE (nothing has changed on this front because it’s still frontloaded with 5 seconds of Wings/Crusade, and thus the problem is unaddressed), but the subsequent value of the second and third point has dropped to approximately 450 dps per point. This makes any point past the MANDATORY first point among the very worst of choices we could make for ST, but still best for AOE damage. Compare this to Treacherous Covenant, which retains a flat (but boring) benefit for ST and AOE, and can generally be considered our best trait, performing top 1-2 for both AOE and ST.

The problem here stems from the trait not being distributed effectively. Because the Wings duration is on the first point, the first point becomes absolutely mandatory for all modes of gameplay. And because of the 30% nerf, the trait becomes un-defendable trash for ST but still amazing for AOE. This creates an unhealthy situation where Ret players desperately search for an azerite piece that has ONE LD trait, but then begin to wholesail avoid it after that (unless they build an AOE set, but one of the main reasons of the additional ring was to reduce the necessity of dozens of sets).

This problem is due to Blizzard’s insistence to use a hammer when more delicate tools are called for. This trait could have been better addressed by nerfing the direct damage to secondary targets and/or splitting the Wings duration into 3 pieces to mitigate the front-loading of the first point.

This same issue is shared with Empyrean Power, an excellent trait that suffers from the same front-loading of value that LD suffers. Empyrean Power has a flat proc chance regardless of rank, meaning further points in the trait only slightly increase damage.

Once again, Ret paladins desperately gear for a single point in Empyrean Power and then avoid any further points like the plague, in this case even for AOE, where even the extra damage falls well behind basic stat traits like Treacherous Covenenant, Endless Hunger, Ancient’s Bulwark or Relentless Inquisitor.

You can also looks at other Specs and see there is a handful of them that have AoE traits that are more powerful stacked 3x than Empyrean Power. Either way for Ret at least Bloodmallet is not a good resource for the overall picture.

Also if you use the chart properly you can tell that you do not want to keep stacking Empyrean Power. Most of the value is in the first trait. If you look at the value of the 2nd and 3rd trait you will see there are better options that give more of a benefit than the continual stacking of Empyrean Power.

The best thing about this in general is that Ythisens said this was a Nerf targeted at AoE. The reality is that this is only a small nerf in ST about ~1.4 -2% on average. Our AoE however is actually stronger on average. This is due to the Hotfix also changing it so the Empryean Power and Divine Purpose can now Proc Light’s Decree. A single proc in AoE is all that it takes to have this change be a net positive.

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yes, because lights decree and empyrean power alter your abilities and cannot stack further. this isnt unique to ret, everyone has traits like this.

quit complaining and take the literal 2 traits that make ret playable again

I’m not complaining. I am just pointing our it you view other specs they have traits that are stronger than what we have. Frost, Unholy, Arcane, Windwalker, Assassination, Outlaw, and Arms to be exact.

And I already mentioned this was a buff to AoE. So why would I be complaining about a buff?

They can (just take a look at Legion artifact traits whose effects stacked linearly), but Blizzard decided to make azerite traits almost universally stack as right-skewed distributions this expansion, and now we are seeing balancing issues stemming from this decision.

It’s the same problem as certain legendaries in Legion having binary effects (Mantle of Command giving 1 extra charge of Dire Beast). When you leave no room for tuning, the only way to bring something in line is to tear it down.

Forethought and wiser decision in trait creation would have prevented issues like this. The LD nerf addressed its over-value for AOE but killed its single target value in the process. Because a 30% nerf is easy and expedient, they didn’t do the RIGHT thing which would be to address its overpowering strength in AOE while leaving its single target unmarred. More wiggle-room and future-proofing in trait creation would prevent something like this. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Can we have a cm that plays hunter please?

This answer still doesn’t make sense. LD is still the best Ret Trait and the other Ret traits are often a mix of really boring and bad.

I think why this answer is frustrating to so many people is that Ret is not in a great spot overall yet they are recieving nerfs over stronger classes that are recieving buffs in some cases, and while trait diversity is the claimed reason, nothing is being done to improve the traits people have complained about for 3-4 months now.

I appreciate the blue post but Im sure I speak for everyone here that we’d appreciate trait improvements/balancing way more than platitudes and mental gymnastics.

Letting one of my abilities deal an absurdly low amount of bonus damage over time on the handful of occasions that I crit is really unfun.

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