Season of Discovery Protection Warrior Tank Stat Priority

Last updated on Jul 15, 2024 at 00:00 by Seksixeny 6 comments

On this page, you will find out the optimal PvE stat priority for your Protection Warrior Tank in WoW Classic - Season of Discovery. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations.


Stat Priority for Protection Tank Warriors

Before we begin, it should be said that gear in WoW Classic tends to be very unique, and as such, you will often be chasing very specific items, rather than simply following a stat priority list. Still, a more detailed explanation on each of a Warrior's relevant stats will help you understand why those pieces are so sought after.


Survivability-based Stat Priority

  1. Defense (4 Attack Power for each point above 300 with Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam and increases chance to avoid attacks);
  2. Stamina (more health per point);
  3. Armor (less physical damage taken per point);
  4. Parry and Dodge % increases (more likely to avoid damage altogether, parry also hastens your next auto-attack so it is slightly better);
  5. Agility (grants dodge and armor);
  6. Strength and Block Value (you gain block value from Strength too, which lessens damage taken when a block happens);
  7. Block % increases (more likely to block, only useful when Shield Block Icon Shield Block is not up).

Threat-based Stat Priority

  1. Weapon stats (DPS, Damage Range, and Speed);
  2. Extra Weapon Skill (great benefit for the first 3 extra skills above the maximum level cap, minor benefit afterwards);
  3. Hit Chance (9% is the cap for special attacks against Molten Core bosses which are treated as being your level +3);
  4. Critical Strike (200% on normal swings, 220% damage on special attacks with full Impale Icon Impale);
  5. Strength and Attack Power (1 Strength = 2 Attack Power for Warriors, 14 Attack Power = 1 Weapon DPS gain).
  6. Agility (grants critical strike);

Priority of Other Stats

  • Spirit (health regeneration outside combat);
  • Intellect (faster weapon skill learning).

Stats Further Explained



In Phase 4 Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam was changed to grant 4 Attack Power for each point of Defense above the default cap of 300 at Level 60, making it a very strong offensive stat on top of its defensive properties detailed below.

Because Molten Core bosses are 3 levels above the current player cap, it is very important to have good defenses in order to avoid critical strikes and crushing blows.

Defense determines your chance to get critically hit, missed or crushed, among other things. WoW Classic's combat is table based, and one of the following results happens when you attack or get attacked by an enemy 3 levels above yours, as Level 60 raid bosses tend to be, in this precise order:

  1. Miss > 5%
  2. Parry > 5%
  3. Dodge > 5%
  4. Block > 10% to 85% (depending on Shield Block Icon Shield Block being active)
  5. Critical Strike > 5%
  6. Crushing Blow > 15%
  7. Hit > 55%

NOTE: Crushing Blows are hits by higher level enemies (typically bosses) that deal 150% of normal damage. Since end game bosses in WoW Classic are Level 63, this means that their base chance to deal a Crushing Blow to you is 15%.

This table can be interpreted like this: if not using Shield Block Icon Shield Block, then there is a cumulative 15% chance to not get hit entirely, 10% chance to block, and a significant 20% chance to get hit for extra damage, of which 5% of these are likely to be a critical hit one shot at low gear levels.

However, all it takes to make the worst (and most likely) case scenario be a block, is pressing the Shield Block Icon Shield Block button, as then you will have a 15% chance to dodge entirely, followed by a whooping 85% chance to block. This is why both Shield Block, and Improved Shield Block Icon Improved Shield Block, are so critical to tank Warriors; these skills make your damage intake very predictable for a low cost.



Stamina is the only stat that will help you survive all types of attacks, and as such, should always be highly valued.



Resistance, while inherently niche due to different bosses dealing different magical damage types, can be very useful while progressing specific bosses. Wearing resistance gear of a type makes you take less damage or even completely avoid damage when hit by that type of magical damage.


Block Chance

Looking at the combat table above, it is easy to understand why Block Chance, while valuable, is generally not very good. Once you use Shield Block Icon Shield Block, even at low gear levels, you are effectively wasting any extra block chance, as Shield Block plus miss, Parry, and Dodge is usually enough to completely push critical strikes off the table. Still, it is a very useful stat to have when Shield Block is not reliable, such as when tanking multiple, or fast hitting, targets.


Weapon Stats

Your weapon is by far the largest contributor to your threat building capabilities, and you should aim to upgrade it whenever possible. As a tank, you will mostly care about the DPS and attack speed of your weapon, in order to build high threat and quickly generate Rage, but total weapon damage has its perks in Season of Discovery due to the introduction of Devastate Icon Devastate, which scales with your weapon's damage.

Thus, while faster weapons are generally better for steadier Rage and threat generation, as well as faster Rage dumping with Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike, slow weapons deal more Devastate Icon Devastate damage!


Weapon Skill

Weapon Skill allows you to hit enemies more often and, more importantly, for a lot more damage when you land a Glancing Blow. Glancing blows are regular hits that deal reduced damage. Molten Core bosses are counted as being your level +3, which means 40% of your attacks will be glancing blows, which deal 35% reduced damage if you have the default maxed weapon skill.

Level Difference Chance to Occur Base Damage Penalty
0 10% 5%
1 20% 5%
2 30% 15%
3 40% 35%

You can get some benefit by increasing your weapon skill further with racials such as Axe Specialization Icon Axe Specialization, Sword Specialization Icon Sword Specialization, or Mace Specialization Icon Mace Specialization, Runes such as Axe Specialization Icon Axe Specialization, or with items such as Expert Goldminer's Helmet Icon Expert Goldminer's Helmet.

Having at least +5 skill is a huge damage increase against end game bosses such as the ones in Molten Core as it massively increases your Hit chance and lowers the Glancing Blow penalty, as you can see in the table:

Defense / Weapon Skill Difference Glancing Penalty Miss Chance Hit Cap
15 (baseline vs Molten Core Bosses) 35% 8% 9%
14 31% 7.8% 8.8%
13 27% 7.6% 8.6%
12 23% 7.4% 8.4%
11 19% 7.2% 8.2%
10 (any Rune, racial, or most items) 15% 6% 6%
9 11% 5.9% 5.9%
8 7% 5.8% 5.8%
7 5% 5.7% 5.7%
6 5% 5.6% 5.6%
5 5% 5.5% 5.5%
4 5% 5.4% 5.4%
3 5% 5.3% 5.3%
2 5% 5.2% 5.2%
1 5% 5.1% 5.1%
0 5% 5% 5%


Hit allows your attacks to land more often, which can often be the difference between having Rage or being Rage-starved, and between quickly establishing threat on an enemy or having a quick wipe, due to eager DPSers pulling aggro on pull.



As a Warrior, Agility increases your dodge, your armor and your critical chance. This makes it a rather valuable stat for tanking.


Critical Strike

Critical Strike allows you to occasionally deal higher damage, gaining extra Rage in the process. Higher critical strike also leads to higher Flurry Icon Flurry uptime, making it a great stat for Warriors.



Class Health gained per tick
Druid Spirit * 0.09 + 6.5
Hunter Spirit * 0.25 + 6
Mage Spirit * 0.10 + 6
Paladin Spirit * 0.25 + 6
Priest Spirit * 0.10 + 6
Rogue Spirit * 0.50 + 2
Shaman Spirit * 0.11 + 7
Warlock Spirit * 0.07 + 6
Warrior Spirit * 0.80 + 6

As the table shows, Warriors are the class that gains the most health regeneration per point of Spirit in WoW Classic. This makes it a very powerful stat while leveling, despite Warriors having too much maximum health for it to matter at higher levels.



  • 15 Jul. 2024: Added information on Defense to Attack Power conversion at 60.
  • 10 Jul. 2024: Updated for Phase 4.
  • 02 Apr. 2024: Updated for Phase 3 with Sunken Temple in mind.
  • 12 Feb. 2024: Updated for Phase 2 with Gnomeregan in mind.
  • 15 Dec. 2023: Simplified critical strike sections to account for Level 25 lack of talents and ability to hit the critical strike cap.
  • 09 Dec. 2023: Further explained Glancing Blows vs MaxLevel +2 BFD bosses and weapon speed importance for Devastate.
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