Season of Discovery Protection Paladin Tank Leveling

Last updated on Feb 10, 2024 at 10:00 by Sellin 5 comments

Welcome to our leveling guide for Protection Paladin Tank. Here, you will learn how to efficiently level your Paladin in Classic - Season of Discovery.



Paladin is one of three classes that can play every role, with Protection being the tanking specialization. Protection Paladin is one of the kings of AoE threat and are incredibly useful in not only dungeons but raids as their ability to generate and maintain threat on multiple targets is unmatched. Leveling as a Protection Paladin can be quite slow and if you do not intend on spending most of your time in dungeons you should consider leveling as Retribution.


Protection Paladin Tank Talents

The talent build recommended above focuses primarily on maximizing your personal survivability, thanks to many of the Runes added through Season of Discovery you will find yourself with plenty of damaging abilities to quickly deal with mobs you may encounter throughout the world though Protection really shines inside of Dungeons this build works both in a group or solo.


Leveling Runes

  • Chest — Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm
  • Hands — Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike
  • Legs — Exorcist Icon Exorcist
  • Waist — Sheath of Light Icon Sheath of Light
  • Feet — Guarded by the Light Icon Guarded by the Light

Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm deals a considerable amount of damage to multiple targets so it makes killing mobs much easier when soloing and in a dungeon where you are likely tanking it allows you to generate quick snap aggro on multiple targets.

Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike acts as an additonal damage button to fill what can otherwise be an empty rotation, this is a great source of mana return but if you find yourself consistently running dungeons to level consider switching over to Hand of Reckoning Icon Hand of Reckoning for the additional threat modifier and the ability to taunt.

Exorcist Icon Exorcist allows you to cast Exorcism Icon Exorcism on any kind of enemy, adding another damaging button. This can be switched out for Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield should you find yourself consistently running dungeons and needing the help to generate multi-target threat.

Sheath of Light Icon Sheath of Light Greatly increases the potency of your damaging abilities.

Guarded by the Light Icon Guarded by the Light Removes basically all mana problems in exchange for limiting your healing output, your primary focus while leveling either solo or in dungeons is likely to be on dealing damage not healing.

If you are unsure where to find these Runes or are just curious what other options may be available, feel free to check out our Paladin Rune guide listed included below to get a better idea of how to plan this all out in your leveling journey.


Leveling Rotation

Your focus on leveling as a Protection Paladin should be maximizing up time and minimizing downtime. Due to an incredibly limited toolkit (Which is fortunately augmented by Runes) your kill time as a Protection Paladin will be rather slow but if you are properly utilizing your abilities such as Seal of Righteousness Icon Seal of Righteousness to deal as much damage as possible and Holy Light Icon Holy Light to keep yourself healthy you should have no issue staying in combat almost constantly. In Dungeons your priority shifts towards maintaining threat, this can be done a number of ways but the most important thing you can do as a Tank is mitigate the damage others in your party are taking. Maintain Righteous Fury Icon Righteous Fury at all times in dungeons for an incredible multiplier on your threat generating abilities. And don't forget to bolster your party with Blessing of Might Icon Blessing of Might or Blessing of Wisdom Icon Blessing of Wisdom depending on their role, the quicker they can kill things the less damage you will take as a tank.

  1. Ensure you have an Aura active.
  2. Ensure you have a Blessing active.
  3. Keep Seal of Righteousness Icon Seal of Righteousness up.
  4. Use Crusader Strike Icon Crusader Strike on cooldown.
  5. Use Exorcism Icon Exorcism/Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield on cooldown.
  6. Use Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm on cooldown.
  7. Use Judgement Icon Judgement on cooldown if you have the Mana for it, keeping in mind that you will need to reapply your seal after.
  8. Melee.

Do your class quest to get Redemption Icon Redemption when possible, if you are planning on leveling via Dungeons this is a crucial ability as deaths are likely to happen no matter how skilled or careful your group.


Protection Paladin Leveling Stats

Leveling as a Protection Paladin Strength is your absolute focus though most gear choices will be quite simple while leveling as it is often a combination of two primary stats, if your intention is to focus on leveling in Dungeons than you should prioritize Stamina above all but Strength. Each Stat has its benefits but these two are what will yield you the greatest returns while leveling:

  1. Strength;
  2. Spirit;
  3. Intellect;
  4. Stamina;
  5. Agility.

Strength increases the amount of damage dealt by not only your abilities but your auto attacks, the faster you kill things the more time you have to regenerate.

Spirit and Intellect both allow you for more time spent in combat, spirit granting you regeneration outside of combat (or after 5 seconds of not spending mana) and Intellect increases the amount of mana available to you by 15 per 1 Intellect.

Stamina and Agility are primarily survival stats while leveling, Stamina gives you more health at 10 hp per 1 point of Stamina and Agility gives you dodge and a very slight amount of crit chance, these are both great stats but should be prioritized below the others, unless your intent is to dungeon level where Stamina then becomes incredibly valuable.


Paladin Weapons

Weapons at this level often do not offer much in the way of stats and as a Protection Paladin very little is impacted by weapon damage so you should focus primarily on fast weapons to proc Seal of Righteousness Icon Seal of Righteousness as much as possible to maximize your damage output.



Leveling Professions while leveling can slow down your time if you are in a rush to max level however, working towards leveling them while you are out in the level appropriate zone will generally save you more time in the long run if you level as you go, this is especially true with Gathering professions such as Herbalism, Skinning and Mining. These can be used both to create supplies for the crafting profession of your choosing or simply to supplement your income by selling the material on the Auction House to help pay for things like new abilities and even a mount at level 40.

First Aid is incredible even as a class that can self heal the fact that you can quickly heal yourself at no mana cost can sometimes be the difference between surviving an encounter or dying.



  • 11 Feb. 2024: Updated for Phase 2.
  • 16 Dec. 2023: Guide updated.
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