Classic Protection Paladin Tank Guide
Welcome to our Protection Paladin Tank guide for WoW Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play the Paladin class as Protection Tank. Click the links #below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Protection Paladin guide.
Champions of the light, Paladins bring powerful blessings, potent heals, and an array of auras that make them excellent at supporting a raid group. Paladins are also clad in plate armor, making them quite durable and hard to kill in PvP. Perhaps most importantly though, Paladins have a wide array of powerful cooldowns, some of which are considered to be among the most powerful in the game.
Protection Paladins are one of three possible tank specs in WoW Classic, along with Protection Warriors and Feral Druids. For raiding, Protection Paladins are far and away considered the worst of all three. Protection Paladins are considered to be not viable in raiding for a number of reasons, most notably because they do not have a taunt ability. This makes swapping with other tanks on enemies and bosses impossible, which makes them nonviable for many bosses and raids in WoW Classic. Paladins also are the only tank to use Mana, making their spell usage severely limited compared to other tanks since they need to worry about running out of Mana.
While Protection Paladins are not good for raiding, they can be incredibly strong for lesser content, specifically in dungeons. With strong AoE and cooldowns, Protection Paladins can be good for tanking dungeons when they do not need to worry about managing threat with other tanks and need to hold multiple enemies at once. Protection Paladins are also one of the best power levelers in the game at 60, which can be an incredibly profitable farming method by helping other people level in exchange for gold.
Protection Paladin in the Season of Mastery
Although the Season of Mastery brings with it a number of changes to how you may experience the content of WoW Classic, these tweaks do not include any adjustments to how you play Protection Paladin. As such, this guide will cover all you need to know regardless of which version of Classic you wish to play.
However, due to certain pieces of content from later Phases now being available at an earlier date, gearing recommendations for Protection Paladin will be different. Because of this, we have created additional pages detailing your best in slot items for both pre-raid gear and the current raids available.
Protection Paladin Strengths
- Powerful raid buffs;
- Strong cooldowns;
- Strong off healing;
- Strong AoE threat generation;
Prot Paladin Weaknesses
- Only tank that uses mana, which severely limits spell usage compared to other tanks;
- No taunt;
- Poor single target threat generation;
- Damage toolkit is limited;
- Limited and poorly itemized gear options;
Best Races for Retribution Paladins
Paladins are an Alliance only class, meaning you must be Alliance to play a Paladin. Within the Alliance, Paladins can choose to be either Human or Dwarf.
Humans are going to be the best race for Protection Paladins primarily due to the extra weapon skill you get from Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization. In WoW Classic, weapon skill is incredibly important and will increase your chance to hit, reduce glancing blows, and reduce dodged attacks. This is worth going Human for, as it is a significant DPS and threat increase that Dwarfs just cannot match. Humans also have some other nice racial abilities such as Diplomacy which is a nice quality of life bonus when farming important reputations. Perception can also be quite good in PvP, but is situational and hard to use since you need to activate it to detect stealthed targets around you.
- Diplomacy increases your reputation gains be 10%.
- The Human Spirit increases your Spirit by 5%.
- Mace Specialization increases your weapon skill with maces by 5.
- Sword Specialization increases your weapon skill with swords by 5.
- Perception is a 3-minute cooldown that increases your stealth detection for 20 seconds, making it easier to spot stealthed units near you.
Dwarf is a viable race due to Stoneform, but is not as good as the damage and threat increase that human offers with their weapon specializations. Stone Form gives you an 8-second immunity to any bleed, poison, or disease, which can be incredibly important in some raids. In AQ40, poisons are incredibly common, making Stone Form invaluable on many bosses. While it will not be meaningful in every raid and dungeon, when it is usable, it is powerful. Stone Form also gives 10% armor while active, making it a nice tank cooldown to use if you will not need it elsewhere for the debuff immunities. In PvP, Stone Form is a game changing ability against Rogues and Warriors, and can counter their bleeds and poisons that could potentially kill you. Specifically against Rogues, Blind is considered a poison effect, giving you a free counter against one of their best control spells.
- Find Treasure allows you to sense nearby treasure, showing it on your minimap.
- Frost Resistance increases your frost resistance by 10.
- Gun Specialization increases your weapon skill with guns by 5. This is useless for Paladins since you cannot use guns.
- Stoneform is a 3-minute cooldown that makes you immune to bleed, poison, and disease effects for 8 seconds, while also increasing your armor by 10% while active.
Best Professions for Protection Paladins
The best profession to have as a Prot is Engineering. It provides powerful items that you can use in both PvE and PvP content to either deal damage or help you get out of a tough spot. There are several unique items accessible only through Engineering that are considered to be some of the strongest utility items in the game.
While Engineering is a great profession, probably the more important thing to think about is how you plan to make gold. Gold is incredibly important in WoW Classic for a number of reasons and will be quite hard to come by especially at the start. Check out the Paladin Goldmaking section for more information on other potential professions for making gold.
- 02 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Phase 6.
- 02 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with Phase 6 Naxxramas Enchants.
- 24 Aug. 2020 (rotation page): Added threat swap section.
- 22 Aug. 2020 (rotation page): Updated to include the Greater Blessing of Kings threat rotation.
- 06 Aug. 2020 (gear page): Reworked for Phase 5 BiS with alternatives.
- 26 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Librams.
- 21 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Added BiS for AQ.
- 18 May 2020 (enchants page): Updated with current World Buffs as of Phase 4.
- 14 Apr. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with Zul'Gurub enchants.
- 14 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Zul'Gurub gear.
- 13 Mar. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Arathi Basin gear.
- 23 Feb. 2020 (gear page): Updated for P3.
- 09 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Updated with Raid BiS.
- 22 Oct. 2019 (gear page): Updated Pre-Raid BiS to include Dire Maul.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (this page): Page added.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (enchants page): Page added.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (stats page): Page added.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (rotation page): Page added.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (talents page): Page added.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (spells page): Page added.
- 17 Aug. 2019 (gear page): Page added.
More Classic Paladin Guides
More Classic Guides from Other Classes
Classic Dungeon Guides
Classic Profession Guides
- Changes to Death Knight Character Creation Restrictions Coming
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