Cataclysm Classic Protection Warrior Rotation and Cooldowns

Last updated on May 17, 2024 at 00:00 by Abide

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Protection Warrior Tank, in order to survive damage and build up threat while doing PvE content in Cataclysm Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to maximize your survivability and threat.


Protection Warrior Stances

Warriors have three different stances, each having unique functions that are needed in certain situations. Some spells can only be used in specific stances as well, making it important for you to understand the general purpose each stance has.

  • Battle Stance Icon Battle Stance — Increases all damage dealt by 5% and reduces damage taken by 5%. Allows you to use abilities that require you to be in Battle Stance Icon Battle Stance, such as Shattering Throw Icon Shattering Throw.
  • Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance — Decreases all damage taken by 10% and increases threat generation by 500%. This is the main stance that ProtectionProtection Warrior uses.
  • Berserker Stance Icon Berserker Stance — Increases all damage dealt by 10% and allows you to use abilities that require you to be in Berserker Stance Icon Berserker Stance like Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind.

Protection Warrior Rotations

If you have not already, we recommend reading the Spells Summary page first. Knowing how each spell and ability works in detail will greatly increase your understanding of the topics discussed on this page.


Single-Target Rotation

The ProtectionProtection rotation is fairly simple, but still remains engaging as you focus on utilizing multiple different procs while maintaining multiple different buffs and debuffs.

  1. Rend Icon Rend — Apply at start of combat, or if it falls off.
  2. Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam — Use on cooldown. The cooldown of Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam will frequently be reset by the Sword and Board Icon Sword and Board talent, allowing you to use it more often; be mindful of these procs.
  3. Revenge Icon Revenge — Use on cooldown.
  4. Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash — Use on cooldown. Make sure to burst with any available cooldowns during the 6 second debuff window.
  5. Shockwave Icon Shockwave — On cooldown.
  6. Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap — To refresh Rend Icon Rend.
  7. Devastate Icon Devastate — Use as a filler during the gaps in your rotation.
  8. Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike — When you have are high Rage.
  9. Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout — If you need to maintain the debuff.
  10. Commanding Shout Icon Commanding Shout — Use this for Rage as needed.

AoE Rotation

  1. Rend Icon Rend — Apply to 1 target.
  2. Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap — On cooldown; spreads Rend Icon Rend via Blood and Thunder Icon Blood and Thunder.
  3. Shockwave Icon Shockwave — On cooldown.
  4. Revenge Icon Revenge — On cooldown.
  5. Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam — On any open globals.
  6. Cleave Icon Cleave — Any additional Rage.


ProtectionProtection Warriors has somewhat limited cooldowns, mostly focused on increasing your own survivability. Cataclysm adds Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry, a raid-wide defensive cooldown.

  • Shield Block Icon Shield Block — 30-second cooldown. Use on cooldown.
  • Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall — 2-minute cooldown. Use to reduce damage taken during high damage raid mechanics.
  • Last Stand Icon Last Stand — 3-minute cooldown. Use whenever your health drops dangerously low.
  • Enraged Regeneration Icon Enraged Regeneration — 3-minute cooldown. Use together with Last Stand Icon Last Stand.
  • Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry — 3-minute cooldown. Coordinate this with your raid to help the group survive raid mechanics.
  • Challenging Shout Icon Challenging Shout — 3-minute cooldown. Use as needed when enemies get loose, usually on trash.
  • Inner Rage Icon Inner Rage — 30-second cooldown. Use when you have high Rage that you can't spend otherwise.
  • Shattering Throw Icon Shattering Throw — 5-minute cooldown. Use this with raid cooldowns such as Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust.
  • Recklessness Icon Recklessness — 5-minute cooldown. Use with major cooldowns such as Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust, ideally when you are not currently tanking.


  • 15 May 2024: Added page.
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