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Protection Warrior Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated Today at 08:05 by Vlad 93 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Protection Warriors in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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 Treckie, one of the best tanks in the world, who raids in Nihilum. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Shockwave Shockwave Storm Bolt ? Storm Bolt Warbringer Warbringer
30 Impending Victory ? Impending Victory Inspiring Presence Inspiring Presence Safeguard Safeguard
45 Renewed Fury ? Renewed Fury Ultimatum Ultimatum Avatar Avatar
60 Warlord's Challenge ? Warlord's Challenge Bounding Stride Bounding Stride Crackling Thunder Crackling Thunder
75 Best Served Cold ? Best Served Cold Never Surrender Never Surrender Indomitable Indomitable
90 Vengeance Vengeance Into the Fray ? Into the Fray Booming Voice Booming Voice
100 Anger Management ? Anger Management Heavy Repercussions Heavy Repercussions Ravager ? Ravager

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Shockwave Shockwave Storm Bolt ? Storm Bolt Warbringer Warbringer
  • Shockwave Icon Shockwave is an active ability with a 40-second cooldown. It is a frontal cone attack that deals low Physical damage to enemies within 10 yards, and stuns them for 4 seconds. Its cooldown is reduced by 20 seconds if it strikes at least 3 targets.
  • Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt is an active ability with a 20-yard range and a 30-second cooldown. It deals low Physical damage to the target, stunning them for 4 seconds.
  • Warbringer Icon Warbringer causes Intercept Icon Intercept to now also damage all enemies within 5 yards of the target, stunning them for 1.5 seconds.

In this tier, you have a choice between 3 damaging crowd-control abilities, and you should make your choice primarily on the requirements of your particular encounter.

Shockwave Icon Shockwave is a great choice for keeping multiple targets locked down, and it is especially powerful if you can hit 3+ targets in order to benefit from the cooldown reduction effect.

For stunning a single target, Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt is a great choice, whether you are trying to interrupt the target, or just to prevent it from attacking you for a few seconds.

Finally, Warbringer Icon Warbringer is going to provide the best damage increase, since you will be using Intercept Icon Intercept on a regular basis. Keep in mind that Warbringer deals damage if you Intercept an ally as well as an enemy. That said, Intercept should not normally be used offensively, since there are better ways of crowd-controlling (like Shockwave Icon Shockwave). Therefor, this talent is your go-to choice if there are no specific adds that need to be locked down.

3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Impending Victory ? Impending Victory Inspiring Presence Inspiring Presence Safeguard Safeguard
  • Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory replaces Victory Rush Icon Victory Rush. It is usable at any time (with a 30-second cooldown), damaging the target and healing you for 15% of your maximum health. Getting a killing blow reset its cooldown.
  • Inspiring Presence Icon Inspiring Presence is a passive aura that causes all allies within 60 yards to be healed for 3% of all damage they deal. This aura does not affect you.
  • Safeguard Icon Safeguard causes Intercept Icon Intercept (when used on an ally) to transfer 20% of the damage taken by the target to you for 6 seconds.

The choice in this tier comes down to either Inspiring Presence Icon Inspiring Presence or Safeguard Icon Safeguard.

Inspiring Presence Icon Inspiring Presence will provide your raid with a lot of overall healing, which makes it the go-to choice in fights with high raid damage.

Safeguard Icon Safeguard turns Intercept Icon Intercept into a powerful external cooldown, but you should beware of using it while you yourself are also actively tanking (since it transfer 20% of the damage the target takes to you). Note that Safeguard and the Warbringer Icon Warbringer Tier 1 talent are somewhat incompatible, as one requires Intercept Icon Intercept to be used on an ally and the other on an enemy.

The choice between these two talents depends on whether you need raid survivability or personal survivability (more precisely, for your off-tank).

Finally, Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory is a talent with a number of drawbacks (it costs 10 Rage, it is on the global cooldown, it requires a target in your melee range), all of which make it unappealing for raid content. It is, however, the best talent for solo content.

4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Renewed Fury ? Renewed Fury Ultimatum Ultimatum Avatar Avatar
  • Renewed Fury Icon Renewed Fury causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to also enrage you, increasing all damage you deal by 10% for 6 seconds.
  • Ultimatum Icon Ultimatum causes your Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam critical strikes to make your next Focused Rage Icon Focused Rage (within 10 seconds) cost no rage.
  • Avatar Icon Avatar is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. You deal 20% increased damage for Avatar's 20-second duration, and activating Avatar removes all roots and snares.

Avatar Icon Avatar is generally the best choice in this tier. It is an active DPS cooldown, which also has the benefit of removing snares and roots, utility that is certainly welcome. It pairs well with other abilities like Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry or Ravager Icon Ravager, being able to produce great burst DPS.

Ultimatum Icon Ultimatum is a solid choice against a single target when used in combination with Vengeance Icon Vengeance and Heavy Repercussions Icon Heavy Repercussions. When coupled with Vengeance Icon Vengeance, this talent, unlike the others in this tier, provides a survivability increase, making it the obvious choice when you need to save maximum Rage for Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain. It also pairs well with your Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry (read more on how to maximise this here).

Renewed Fury Icon Renewed Fury has the advantage of being entirely passive, and it could work if you find yourself using Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain a lot throughout fights. However, it does not have the same value as the other talents in this tier.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Warlord's Challenge ? Warlord's Challenge Bounding Stride Bounding Stride Crackling Thunder Crackling Thunder

The talents in this tier are mostly situational, so you should make your choice based on the requirements of the fight and on your playstyle and preference.

Crackling Thunder Icon Crackling Thunder is a solid go-to talent for dungeons, since the extra range on Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap increases ease-of-play and also makes it easier to pick up stray adds. It may even result in a DPS increase, although in most cases Thunder Clap is capable of hitting all the adds attacking you.

Bounding Stride Icon Bounding Stride should be taken if you need to move a lot throughout the fight, and it is also a great choice for solo content.

Finally, Warlord's Challenge Icon Warlord's Challenge is useful in case you need to pick up several adds spawning at the same time in different locations. You can even use this to increase your threat against a target, but beware of diminishing returns that may render the target immune to Taunt. Given the low cooldown of Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage, Warlord's Challenge can have high uptime, making it very useful in raid content when adds spawn frequently.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Best Served Cold ? Best Served Cold Never Surrender Never Surrender Indomitable Indomitable
  • Best Served Cold Icon Best Served Cold causes Revenge Icon Revenge to generate 2 additional Rage for each target that it hits.
  • Never Surrender Icon Never Surrender causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to ignore up to 100% more damage, depending how much health you are missing (the more health you are missing, the more damage is ignored).
  • Indomitable Icon Indomitable passively increases your maximum health by 25%, and also causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to ignore 25% more damage.

The best talent choice in this tier completely depends on how the encounter will be played out.

Never Surrender Icon Never Surrender is a great choice if you find yourself actively tanking for the majority of the fight. This talent shines the most when you find yourself sitting at around 50% of your maximum health throughout the majority of the encounter, which favours it for fights with a slow and steady damage intake, where you can safely go down to 50-70% of your maximum health to maximise its benefit.

Indomitable Icon Indomitable, however, will give you a permanent 25% boost to your health, and also make every single Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain you use about 25% stronger as well. This makes Indomitable a stronger choice for most raid encounters, especially against bosses with high nuking abilities.

If the fight is a long-term cleave / AoE encounter, Best Served Cold Icon Best Served Cold is decent due to the increased Rage it provides, making it the only talent with an offensive perspective in this tier. However, it is defensively inferior to the other alternatives in this tier.

Read more about how to utilise Ignore Pain to its full potential here.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Vengeance Vengeance Into the Fray ? Into the Fray Booming Voice Booming Voice
  • Vengeance Icon Vengeance causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to reduce the cost of your next Focused Rage Icon Focused Rage (used within 15 seconds) by 35%, and also causes Focused Rage to reduce the cost of your next Ignore Pain (also within 15 seconds) by 35%.
  • Into the Fray Icon Into the Fray passively grants you 3% Haste for each enemy within 10 yards, up to a maximum of 5 enemies.
  • Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice causes Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout to also generate 50 Rage, and increase your damage to targets affected by it by 20%.

Vengeance Icon Vengeance provides you with the best single target damage, and heavily reduces the cost of your Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain when you weave this ability in with Focused Rage Icon Focused Rage. When used correctly, it lowers the effective cost of Ignore Pain by 25%, saving you a lot of Rage that you can use for more mitigation. This benefits from Ultimatum Icon Ultimatum and Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry to further reduce Rage costs during a time of need. Note that while with proper weaving of Ignore Pain and Focus Rage, you will improve your Rage management, improper weaving will punish you severely.

If you are consistently facing multiple enemies, then Into the Fray Icon Into the Fray can end up providing a sizable increase in Haste, increasing both damage output and survivability. However, it is quite weak (especially compared to Vengeance Icon Vengeance) if you cannot get the full benefit from having 5 adds nearby. It is an easy-to-use talent for learning the Protection specialisation, especially for dungeons.

Finally, Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice can provide some burst damage or emergency survivability through the 50 Rage that it generates, and it can be coupled with Avatar Icon Avatar. That said, unless bosses have specific burst phases, we do not recommend taking it.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Anger Management ? Anger Management Heavy Repercussions Heavy Repercussions Ravager ? Ravager
  • Anger Management Icon Anger Management causes every 10 Rage you spend to reduce the remaining cooldown of Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry, Last Stand Icon Last Stand, and Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall by 1 second.
  • Heavy Repercussions Icon Heavy Repercussions causes Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam to extend the duration of Shield Block Icon Shield Block (assuming it is active when Shield Slam is used) by 1.5 seconds, and causes Shield Block to increase the damage of Shield Slam by 30%.
  • Ravager Icon Ravager is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown. You throw your weapon at the targeted location, where it will spin in place for 7 seconds, dealing damage to all enemies within 8 yards every second. Moreover, using Ravager increases your Parry chance by 30% for 12 seconds.

All the talents in this tier improve your survivability, but the choice will depend on several factors, most importantly the type of encounter you are progressing on.

Heavy Repercussions Icon Heavy Repercussions is the best choice for fights in which the main damage intake can be blocked. Using Using this talent and having a lot of Haste can lead you to potentially having 100% Shield Block Icon Shield Block uptime, which is very strong. Heavy Repercussions also boosts Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam damage by 30%, which makes it a great talent both defensively and offensively.

Anger Management Icon Anger Management is an excellent choice for encounters in which the cooldowns of your main defensive abilities are too long for the frequency of dangerous abilities, although this is generally a pretty rare situation. The talent also lowers the cooldown of your Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry, allowing you to line it up nicely with Avatar Icon Avatar.

Finally, Ravager Icon Ravager can work when you need burst AoE damage coupled with other cooldowns such as Avatar Icon Avatar, and the Parry chance it grants makes it a good choice for AoE tanking.

9. ChangeLog

  • 24 Sep. 2016: Updated the Vengeance Rage cost reduction to account for a recent hotfix.
  • 20 Sep. 2016: Updated the Vengeance discussion, and also made a small tweak to the tier 3 talent discussion.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 21 Jul. 2016: Removed a mention that Warbringer only works if Intercept is used against an enemy, and updated the talent discussion accordingly.
  • 20 Jul. 2016: Changed our opinion of Ultimatum to say that it is a good choice against a single target when used together with Vengeance and Heavy Repercussions.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Revamped tier 5 talent discussion.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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