WoW Protection Paladin Tank Guide

WoW Protection Paladin Introduction

Protection Paladin in 10.1 seemingly has an answer for everything with some of the best tank utility in the game. The talent tree rework added a lot of strong abilities to choose from while retaining the core aspect of what Protection Paladin can be.

Offensive Juggernaut? Check. Off healing? Check. Offering great abilities such as Battle Rez, Blessing of Protection, Spellwarding and Freedom, a poison and disease dispel are things that make Protection Paladin one of the best pug tanks to choose from.

Protection Paladin is a block based tank spec that uses their abilities to generate holy power to then use on Active mitigation, damage and healing. The talent trees offer a lot of abilities to reduce the cooldowns of many core abilities and gain a lot of damage amps making the playstyle variable to your liking, no matter how defensive or aggressive you like to play.

WoW Protection Paladin Strengths & Weaknesses


1. Strong offensive & defensive cooldowns.
2. Lots of interrupts, I mean LOTS
3. Great utility with many available stops and off healing
4. Auras provide a great party buff


1. The Active mitigation can be a little weak compared to other tanks
2. Can feel a little squishy outside of defensives
3. AoE snap threat can be tricky without Avenger’s Shield up

WoW Protection Paladin Stats

Strength is your main stat for protection paladin and should be valued before any secondaries. Ilvl is better than secondaries as you are gearing.

  • Haste: reduces the cooldowns of our more frequent holy power generators as well as effects our GCD, making the rotation smoother and makes our holy power generation quicker, which in turn means for Shield of the Righteous, bigger damage, easier active mitigation.
  • Mastery: Like other tanks this increases our attack power. What makes Mastery strong for Paladin tanks, the that it increases our block chance while within our Consecration(rule #1, always be in Consecration) while also reducing the damage you take while you stand in it. This is a stat we like a lot, pound for pound, we gain more from mastery than any other stat aside from haste until a certain break point.
  • Critical Strike: Increases critical strike chance and the rating itself is also our parry rating. While we are a block based spec, parry does have some use for us. Grand Crusader relies mostly on parry chance to reset the cooldown of Avenger’s Shield. While a useful stat and definitely not something to dump, it’s neither our most important stat.
  • Versatility: Increases the damage we do, decreases the damage(50% value) we take and increases our healing done. All around good stat to keep up but not necessarily prioritize.

Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Critical Strike

WoW Protection Paladin Tier Sets

How the new 10.1 Tier set changes the playstyle

2pc: Avenger’s Shield causes targets struck to burn with Heartfire, dealing an additional 20% of damage dealt over 5 seconds. Heartfire heals you for 100% of damage it deals.

4pc: Judgment critical strikes apply Heartfire and can trigger Grand Crusader.

Coming into 10.1, the new tier set bonuses for protection paladin are solid, both 2 and 4 piece are focused more around Avenger’s Shield, which now applies Heartfire to targets struck, dealing DoT(20%) damage over 5s and passively heals for you 100% of the damage done. Paladin didn’t really need a healing over time component added to their kit but it certainly doesn’t hurt. The 4pc also applies Heartfire on Judgement crits and adds an extra component to resetting the cooldown of Avenger’s Shield, more Shield, more interrupts, more Heartfire uptime.

All in all, the tier set is strong, albeit kinda boring when compared to some of the other tank tier sets. It meshes well with our kit which is incredibly strong for the upcoming patch.

Onyx Annulet

The Onyx Annulet from the Forbidden Reach is going to be one of our better options for the foreseeable future given its damage and defensive bonuses.

Best setup: Infused Storm Stone, Desirous Blood Stone, Prophetic Twilight.

WoW Protection Paladin Enchants, Gems & Consumables

Note: I will be updating this section as further testing occurs after the tuning passes has finished. New embellishments have arrived in 10.1, perhaps changing our Best in Slot embellishment items. Its best to use caution in the first couple of weeks of a new patch to wait on tuning passes before crafting some items. Be aware.


  • Haste and Mastery Gems are your best options in most cases.


  • You have enchants for Protection Paladin, Sophic Devotion and Frozen Devotion. Sophic will provide you with a strength proc with good uptime, good both defensively and offensively.
  • For weapon consumables, the Howling Rune provides a sizable haste bonus for 2 hours, to be used in all content.


  • Tepid Versatility: This phial is cheap and grants you a chunk of vers.
  • Eye of the Storm: Gain a Strength buff for being hit by enemies, all around solid
  • Glacial Fury: Like Frozen Devotion, this is also a damage proc Phial that only has offensive benefits, but can do a lot of damage if you aren’t worried about yourself defensively.


  • Cloaks: Regenerative Leech is the better all around enchant.
  • Bracers: Speed, Leech or Avoidance are solid options here depending on content
  • Rings: Devotion of Haste and Devotion of Mastery depending on which stat you feel you need most.
  • Boots: Watch’s Loam, a nice stamina increase
  • Pants: Fierce armor kit, what used to be a consumable is now a permanent enchant gaining our primary stat and stamina.
  • Chest: Waking Stats is a simple primary stat buff.

WoW Protection Paladin Basics

Like most tank specs, Paladin is a builder spender spec, building holy power to then have access to our spenders, damage, healing and active mitigation.

Holy Power Generators:

  • Judgment(1hp,x2 in Wings with Sanctified Wrath)
  • Hammer of Wrath(1hp)
  • Blessed Hammer(1hp)

Holy Power Spenders:

  • Shield of the Righteous(3hp): This is our big AoE damage outside of Avenger’s Shield and our active mitigation, granting a large chunk of armor stackable up to 12s*.
  • Word of Glory(3hp): Our big instant heal

Off the GCD:

  • Shield of the Righteous is off the GCD and can be pressed simultaneously with another one of our builders.


  • Ardent Defender: 20% baseline damage reduction and cheat death while active
  • Guardian of Ancient Kings: 50% damage reduction, 5m cd baseline with many way to reduce that.
  • Eye of Tyr: 25% damage reduction to you applied to affected mobs, with Inmost Light talented, 45s cd and deals respectable damage.
  • Sentinel: Wings. 20% Damage and healing buff, decaying 30% Max Buff and damage reduction buff as well. See talents below for more info.
  • Divine Shield: Bubble, Full immunity, taunts everything nearby with the talent on what can be a 2m cd with the right talent setups.

WoW Protection Paladin Talents

The talent tree is flexible enough to take points where you need and don’t need, this build is more mythic plus focused. I’ve opted into the Poison/Disease dispel
by default since it’s needed in multiple dungeons. Below I’ve listed great flex options you can personalize your kit to the encounter needs.

WoW Protection Paladin 10.1


WoW Protection Paladin Class Tree

With the changes that occurred in 10.0.7 to the spec, Paladin became a juggernaut of utility and in 10.1, they have an answer to every situation that can arise, lots of defensive, external defensives, a great dispel and Freedom.

  • Retribution Aura (flex): Only 1 paladin in raid needs to be running this, but when a raid or party members takes 30% of their HP in damage(in a single hit) everyone gains a 5% damage and healing buff which decays over 30 seconds on a 30 second ICD. This is a strong all around talent that shouldn’t be difficult at all to proc in any challenging situations, something you may want to be stance dancing around.
  • Cleanse Toxins (flex): Poison and Disease dispel, while not needed in every dungeon, there’s some where this goes from very nice to required(Overgrown Ancient, AA)
  • Blessing of Freedom (flex): This for me is mostly an easy default pick but there are many dungeons or raids where this ability simply isn’t required, where its useful its incredibly useful though.
  • Hammer of Wrath (default): Ranged execute ability on targets below 20% HP or usable during wings, this is also a Holy Power generator and deals great damage. Default pick in all scenarios.
  • Obduracy (flex): This is a good point to spend if you can, but there are a lot more enticing options to choose from. An increase of 2% avoidance and speed is nice but there are better points to be spent elsewhere.
  • Divine Steed (default): Paladins are jokingly referred to as the wheelchair tank, so any mobility you can grab is a go to pick.
  • Seasoned Warhorse & Cavalier (flex): Seasoned Warhorse increases the duration of pony(steed) by 2 seconds while Cavalier grants you a second charge, both are useful but Cavalier having the 2nd charge will come in more clutch more often than extra duration. If you have points to flex out of, these are points you should truly be considering.
  • Great Judgement (default): Judgement causes your target to take 20% increased damage from your next holy power ability, aka, Shield of the Righteous.
  • Fist of Judgement (flex): This reduces the CD of Hammer of Justice, your baseline 6 second single target stun significantly, and man is this worth taking in Mythic + and some raid encounters.
  • Blinding Light (flex): Full AoE stop, I’ve talked A LOT about how incredibly useful full AoE stops are in mythic plus, this is a great ability on a relatively short CD of 1m30s, while pugging this ability simply sky rockets in value.
  • Rebuke (default m+, flex raid) & Punishment (flex): Jokingly your back up interrupt since Avenger’s Shield and Divine Toll will be doing the brunt work of your overall kicks. Punishment adds a nice reward for you doing your interrupt rotation. Punishment adds another means of Holy Power Generator by successfully using your interrupt, in mythic+, Punishment is a great pick to tack onto Rebuke.
  • Avenging Wrath (default): We’re going to talk more about Wings in the Spec class tree for many reasons due to the Sentinel ability. TLDR here, 20% damage and healing increase and allows Hammer of Wrath to be casts on a target at any health.
  • Sanctified Plates (default): This talent I don’t expect will remain how it is intended to go live.. for 2 points you gain 20% increased armor, 10% increased Stamina and damage reduced from incoming AoE attacks by 10%.. This is so stupidly good its unreal.
  • Justification (default): Judgement damage increased by 10%, simply and basic, but judgement is also a large portion of your damage and it see’s synergies with the new Fading Light talent under Of Dusk and Dawk, which we’ll get to later.
  • Unbound Freedom (flex): Adding a 30% movement speed buff to Blessing of Freedom is so nice since Paladin is one of the slowest tank specs in the game, AND this adds a nice feature where you is cast Freedom on a friendly target you also gain the benefit, since is going to be crazy nice on the 1st boss in Court of Stars which Freedom can remove.
  • Blessing of Protection (flex): First off, if you are a new Paladin tank in raid or mythic plus, DO NOT CAST THIS ON YOURSELF, you will immediately lose all threat and most likely kill someone in your party. While you can use this on yourself in raid to lose threat purposefully, giving your co tank the threat they need, this is 99% of the time going to be used to give a party or raid member a full physical immunity, removes harmful effects such as bleeds(think Fenryr, Hall of Valor). There was a day I wouldn’t be caught dead without this talent, but now the class tree has a crazy amount of good stuff that you can utilize very well.
  • Improved BoP (flex): Reduces the Cd of BoP by 60s, if you have a DPSthat dies a lot, may be worth taking.
  • Golden Path (flex): This talent provides a substantial amount of passive healing just for standing in your Consecration(which you should always be in anyway).
  • Afterimage (flex): Every 20 holy power spent, your next Word of Glory bounces for 30% effective healing onto another target, admittedly this is mostly for pathing but does provide nice off healing passively to your party or raid.
  • Holy Aegis (default): 4% increase armor and critical strike for 2 points, unfortunately with how good other options are and pathing. This shores up a secondary stat that we typically aren’t farming for on gear and the armor increase is welcomed.
  • Unbreakable Spirit(default): Another talent (this is a pattern, which I’ll explain better in the spec tree) of Divine Protection and Lay on Hands by 30%, which on its on is hefty, when combined with other talents we’ll see later, very strong.
  • Lightforged Blessing (flex): Shield of the Righteous heals you and your allies (limit on how many) for 2% maximum health, this is a new talent that is able to help a lot in rot damage encounters and will provide some nice passive self healing. In the end, you’ll be able to cast less Word of Glories on yourself in total, which means more Shield of the Righteous cast which creates a nice feedback loop.
  • Crusader’s Reprieve (flex): I’ll open by saying this new talent is going to be very underrated, Auto-attack range increased by 3 yards and Blessed Hammer heals you for 2% of your max hp. Off the bat the heal with be nice in high rot scenarios and against bleeds, this will thoroughly help your base self sustain, especially when combined with Lightforged Blessing. This real value in this talent is the yard range increase, having any range to your interrupt is incredibly wonderful, add auto attack range while your back peddling kiting its a very nice damage increase that was otherwise a loss.
  • Blessing of Sacrifice (flex): This, like Blessing of Protection, was a button I never thought I’d opt out of taking but the tree itself has so many strong options where unless you have a DPS or healer that you know is squishy or tends to take frontals, you can add a lot of party benefit by given them a 30% Damage Reduction.

WoW Protection Paladin Capstones

  • Strength in Conviction (flex): While standing in your consecration(which you should always be anyway) your Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory have 20% increased damage and healing.
  • Divine Purpose (default): Your holy power abilities (Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory) have