Protection Warrior Tank Statistics Priority and Reforging (WoW MoP 5.4)

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General Information

On this page, we explain what the best statistics are for Protection Warriors in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4, how the class benefits from each of them, and what your reforging strategy should be. We also detail what the various caps are (if any) and why they should be attained.

The statistics priority is important as it influences reforging strategies as well as itemisation choices (gear, enchants, and gems).

Make sure to check our Gear Optimisation Guide, which serves as a support guide for this article.

The other pages of our Protection Warrior guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Poyo, Guild Master and Warrior tank of Envy.

1. Basics↑top

As of Patch 5.4, there are two different but equally viable gearing strategies. We present them both below, and then advise you on how to choose between them in a specific section.

1.1. Full Avoidance

  1. Hit Rating (until 7.5%) and Expertise Rating (until 15%);
  2. Parry Rating and Dodge Rating;
  3. Mastery Rating.

This gearing strategy takes advantage of the fact that Riposte Icon Riposte causes your successful dodges and parries to increase your Critical Strike Rating, which in turn boosts your rage generation (since critical strikes with Devastate Icon Devastate and Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam provide you with rage).

1.2. Full Critical Strike Rating

  1. Hit Rating (until 7.5%) and Expertise Rating (until 15%);
  2. Critical Strike Rating;
  3. Mastery Rating.

This gearing strategy bypasses Dodge and Parry Rating (resulting in far fewer dodges and parries), going straight for Critical Strike Rating, therefore granting you more rage.

These statistics have been obtained by combining common sense, in-game testing, and simulations using Simulation Craft.

If you are unsure what the optimal reforging strategy is for the above priority, you can Ask Mr. Robot for a personalised optimisation of your character's gear, by filling the form below.

2. Getting a Better Understanding↑top

Hit Rating and Expertise Rating, until their caps of 7.5% and 15% respectively, will provide you with the best increase in survivability and threat output. Reaching these caps ensures that all of your Shield Slam Icon Shield Slams will land. In addition to the massive damage that Shield Slam does, it also provides you with rage, which is crucial in using your active mitigation abilities often.

Parry Rating and Dodge Rating give you avoidance, and thanks to Riposte Icon Riposte, a great deal of Critical Strike Rating, which increases your rage generation. Your chance to parry will be about two times higher than your chance to dodge because Strength also increases your chance to parry. Dodge and Parry have different diminishing returns curves to compensate for this (something that was not the case in Cataclysm). To make the most efficient use of your Dodge and Parry ratings, it is best to have equal amounts of rating, which will roughly balance the diminishing returns. However, this is only relevant if you are following an avoidance gearing strategy; if you are focusing on Mastery, it is not worth worrying about the balance between your Dodge and Parry ratings.

Mastery Rating is an important statistic for a Protection Warrior. Through Mastery: Critical Block Icon Mastery: Critical Block, it provides you with increased chance to block and increased chance to critically block.

Critical Strike Rating increases your rage generation thanks to the Enrage Icon Enrage mechanic.

Most encounters have abilities that cannot be mitigated or avoided. Also, you need to have a decent amount of health, in order to give yourself the chance to be healed before a subsequent attack kills you. In addition to this minimum amount of Stamina, we feel that Stamina remains quite valuable for Protection Warriors. In addition to the amount of Stamina found innately on your gear, we advise you to obtain some additional Stamina, particularly through gemming.

2.1. Should I Gear for Avoidance? Critical Strike Rating? Mastery?

Your Hit and Expertise Rating caps are essential in any reforging strategy you choose to go for. They maximise your rage generation, and more rage means more Shield Block Icon Shield Blocks and Shield Barrier Icon Shield Barriers.

When choosing the next secondary statistic(s) to go for, you have two options. The first option that is to go for Dodge and Parry Rating. This not only grants you a lot of avoided damage over the course of a fight, but thanks to Riposte Icon Riposte also grants you a lot of extra Critical Strike Rating (the Riposte buff will be up pretty much the entire time), and therefore a large amount of rage.

As an alternative, you can skip the entire avoidance part of the above-mentioned gearing strategy, and you can go straight for Critical Strike Rating. This will provide you with even more rage generation (so, you can use even more Shield Block Icon Shield Blocks and Shield Barrier Icon Shield Barriers), and it will increase your DPS, but it will do so at the expense of some overall damage reduction. This gearing strategy can work well, but it has two notable disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that you will be pursuing items with Critical Strike Rating and Mastery Rating, meaning that you will be competing with plate-wearing DPS classes in your raid, and that the raid will gear up slower as a result. The second disadvantage is that this gearing strategy will cause you to take high amounts of damage (since your avoidance will be considerably lower), damage that you must reduce "manually" through Shield Block and Shield Barrier. This results in a more difficult playstyle.

Finally, another option is to go for Mastery Rating after your Hit and Expertise caps. This will cause you to struggle to maintain high Shield Block uptimes, and it will leave you with no excess rage, so we do not recommend it.

2.2. Hit Cap

At level 90, most races require 2,550 Hit Rating to reach the melee hit cap. Draenei, thanks to Heroic Presence Icon Heroic Presence, only need 2,210 Hit Rating.

2.3. Expertise Cap

At level 90, most races require 5,100 Expertise Rating to reach the expertise cap. Some races, in some cases, only need 4,760 Expertise Rating, thanks to passive racial skills:

3. Changelog↑top

  • 15 Oct. 2013: Improved the stat priority and the stat discussions that follow it. Added discussion for gearing for Critical Strike Rating.
  • 12 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update: nothing to change.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing to change.
  • 25 Apr. 2013: Expanded the Hit/Expertise paragraph to explain how they benefit your survivability. Also added a section explaining why we do not advise gearing for avoidance.
  • 24 Apr. 2013: Removed the avoidance-heavy statistic priority, and placed capping Hit and Expertise in its rightful place.