Protection Warrior Pre-Patch Guide for WotLK Classic
The Pre-Patch period of Wrath of the Lich King Classic is a time to allow players to level or gear up characters while experiencing some of the class changes of the coming expansion before its official launch. Here you will find recommended talents, gear, and some rotation tips for a Protection Warrior when you can only reach a maximum level of 70.
Talent Builds for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
Protection Warriors have the choice of either a more standard, deep Prot tree tanking spec; or a more offensive build that sacrifices defense for much higher damage output. The deep Protection spec is better for raiding and overall gameplay, while the second, damage spec truly shines in easy content such as 10-man raids and dungeons.
Normal Tanking Spec
This is a very well-rounded overall spec, excelling at both AoE and single target tanking. With this spec you gain access to many of the new abilities and talents in WotLK, such as Vigilance, Warbringer, Critical Block, Damage Shield, and Sword and Board. You also unlock the powerful 51 talent point Protection ability Shockwave, giving you a huge cooldown to use in AoE situations.
Unrelenting Assault Spec
This spec plays around the Unrelenting Assault talent, which reduces your Revenge cooldown by 4 seconds and increases the damage it deals by 20%. This is extremely powerful when paired with the Improved Revenge talent, allowing your Revenge to hit 2 targets at once and deal even more damage. This is the core concept of the build; you want to use Revenge as much as possible, dealing massive damage to 2-4 targets at a time.
This is a much more damage-oriented spec, giving up most of your defensive capabilities for a much higher damage output. This build is mostly useful in dungeons and 10-man content, but can even be used in high end raids with great gear. If you are trying to play this build in an end-game raiding group, it is recommended to drop talent points from Juggernaut and Cruelty, and instead place them in Toughness for a good boost to your mitigation. This will help when tanking some of the stronger raid bosses.
Lastly, when using this build, you will need to swap to Battle Stance constantly to use Sweeping Strikes. This pushes your AoE damage even further, allowing our Revenge to hit 2 more times per use. Be aware that when using this spec you will want to use Glyph of Sweeping Strikes and Glyph of Cleaving to further increase your AoE capabilities.
Best Glyphs for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
Glyphs are a new consumable of sorts introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. Glyphs greatly improve certain spells when you learn them, supporting and even enabling some builds. In the pre-patch of WotLK you only have access to two major glyphs, as the third slot requires Level 80 to unlock.
Major Glyphs for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
- Glyph of Revenge — Is a decent choice for Rage management and you have no other real glyphs you can use during the pre-patch.
- Glyph of Heroic Strike — Is a decent choice for Rage management and you similarly have no other real glyphs you can use during the pre-patch.
- Glyph of Cleaving — Can be swapped out with Glyph of Heroic Strike for trash and bosses with multiple targets.
Minor Glyphs for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
- Glyph of Thunder Clap — Is great for a minor glyph, slightly increasing the range of your AoE ability.
- Glyph of Bloodrage — The impact of this glyph is fairly minor overall, but it helps out your healers a bit and makes you generally a little bit safer.
- Glyph of Charge — With Warbringer allowing you to charge in combat, this glyph helps your mobility out slightly when you need to move.
- Glyph of Battle — This glyph typically is not used, but is very nice while leveling or in general solo play to reduce how often you need to cast Battle Shout.
Stat Priority for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
The list below is in order of your desired stats. Keep this in mind when looking at different gearing choices.
- Defense Rating
- Hit Rating
- Expertise Rating
- Block Rating
- Block Value
- Dodge Rating
- Parry Rating
Spell Rotation for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
Protection Warrior Single-Target Tanking Rotation in Pre-Patch
- Shield Slam — This is the main ability for a Protection Warrior, dealing very high threat and damage, you will want to be sure to use this whenever it is available. Your new talent Sword and Board gives your Devastate and Revenge abilities a 30% chance to reset the cooldown of Shield Slam, letting you use your main spell even more.
- Revenge — Next you will want to use Revenge as it deals massive damage thanks to the Improved Revenge talent. Your new talent Sword and Board gives Revenge a 30% chance to reset the cooldown of Shield Slam, letting you use your main spell even more.
- Devastate — Devastate remains similar to how it was in TBC, simply being a rotation filler. Your new talent Sword and Board gives Devastate a 30% chance to reset the cooldown of Shield Slam, letting you use your main spell even more.
- Heroic Strike — Lastly, you want to use Heroic Strike whenever you are above 60 Rage to prevent yourself from wasting Rage. If you are using the Glyph of Revenge, be sure to always use Heroic Strike after using Revenge.
Protection Warrior AoE Tanking Rotation in Pre-Patch
- Thunder Clap — is your main AoE ability, being greatly buffed in WotLK. This now hits unlimited targets and does much higher damage, especially when paired with Improved Thunder Clap and Incite.
- Shockwave — This is the new 51 point Protection talent spell, dealing massive damage to all enemies in front of the Warrior and stunning them for 4 seconds.
- Revenge — This is your third-best AoE ability thanks to Improved Revenge, making this skill hit 2 mobs instead of 1.
- Cleave — Your last priority when AoEing, only use this when you have extra Rage. Ideally you will be using Glyph of Cleaving with this.
- You will then follow your Single-Target rotation shown above until a higher priority AoE spell is available again.
Best in Slot Gear for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
Your best in slot gear does not change much from Phase 5 of TBC, but ideally you can change a few pieces of gear. Below is a list of recommended best in slot gear, as well as some easy to obtain choices.
However, for newer players especially or if you are playing on one of the Fresh Servers, the gear listed below may not be realistic to obtain for most players in only a month. If you want the most efficient start possible, we would highly recommend farming Honor in the pre-patch through battlegrounds. This will allow you to buy the full "Brutal" PvP set, which is close in power to gear from Sunwell Plateau. While not BiS, it is the closest you will get within the short time frame, and you are guaranteed to obtain it with enough farming.
Best Enchants for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
Your enchants mostly stay the same from TBC, not requiring much change. Check out our TBC enchants page for a list of available options.
Best Consumables for Protection Warrior in Pre-Patch
Your consumables are mostly the same from TBC. You do not need nearly as many consumables as before, making this a very easy shopping list.
- Flask of Fortification or Flask of Relentless Assault
- Fisherman's Feast or Spicy Crawdad
- Ironshield Potion & Haste Potion
- 01 Sep. 2022: Fixed incorrect weapons linked.
- 29 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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