Protection Paladin Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1

Last updated on Oct 13, 2020 at 22:28 by Treckie 8 comments
General Information

This page contains information on which Azerite traits are the best to use in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch Pre-9.0.1, when playing as a Protection Paladin. If you have not yet obtained your Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth, you can check out our Heart of Azeroth guide for a walkthrough of how to do so, as well as further information on it.

For more information about how the new Essence system introduced in Patch 8.2 affects you, please refer to our Protection Paladin essence page.


Choosing Azerite Gear for Protection Paladin

When comparing Azerite Gear pieces, the general rule of thumb is to use the item with the highest item level you have. In very rare cases, it can be better to use a lower item level Azerite piece if it only has great Azerite traits, compared to one with only terrible traits. However, your main goal with your Azerite gearing is mainly going to be to obtain Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard and a Light's Decree Icon Light's Decree somewhere in your set.

ALL Azerite traits stack in some way. The strength of the effect which does stack is the same effects which would otherwise increase with item level.


Choosing Azerite Traits for Protection Paladin


How to Use this List

S Tier traits are the strongest traits available. These are the exceptional traits that you will mainly be aiming for when choosing Azerite gear.

A Tier traits are situationally strong or can provide good throughput, but are not as strong as S Tier traits.

B Tier traits are typically weaker bonuses that are either too inconsistent or unreliable for general use, or they provide minor bonuses that do not have a significant impact on your ability to tank. Some of these can provide significant offensive value, however.

C Tier traits do not provide relevant tanking-related combat bonuses, and should not be considered for survivability purposes. Some of these can still be considered offensively but is really only something you choose should you require to use that Azerite Piece due to another rings exceptional traits.

The traits within each tier are presented in a rough descending order of usefulness. This list mainly cares about survivability, however a big damage increase can be more useful than some really bad defensive traits.


Outer Ring and Second Ring

The Outer Ring and the Second ring shares most of their traits and are therefore listed together as they have the same priorities. Your gear will be able to fit a combination of six different traits, which are shared between the Outer ring and the Second ring. As mentioned above, one of these six traits should always be Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard, while you try to obtain as many Bulwark of Light Icon Bulwark of Light as possible. The last traits will depend on what Azerite pieces you happen to be able to choose from, and you can follow this list.

Note that these rings also features a single non-Paladin trait, which is specific to that piece and the effect is specific to the raid/dungeon/zone it is originally from. This trait is the top left trait in the Second Ring.


S Tier


A Tier

  • Avenger's Might Icon Avenger's Might provides high ammounts of mastery when Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath is up and couples very well with Light's Decree Icon Light's Decree.
  • Clockwork Heart Icon Clockwork Heart provides strong secondary bonuses on a reliable timer. This is definitely a very strong trait, but can be tedious to make great use of due to offset timer with Seraphim Icon Seraphim.
  • Heart of Darkness Icon Heart of Darkness provides a bit over 300 secondary stats in total. This is a very sizeable amount of secondary stats in from a trait and are active at all times.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite provides a great Haste buff which is refreshed when enemies die. It can be very strong in Mythic+, but also has plenty of uses in raids with adds. This trait can be incredibly difficult to obtain as it only exists on very few pieces.
  • Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard if you already have one Inspiring Vanguard trait, more still increase your Strength gained even further, which means it is still a great trait.
  • Soaring Shield Icon Soaring Shield can be good to have should you be running with Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment as it does not stack with First Avenger Icon First Avenger. This buff lasts for 8 seconds, and should you get Grand Crusader Icon Grand Crusader procs and cast multiple Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield before the buff runs out, you will gain an extra stack, up to a maximum of 4.

B Tier

  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion deals good damage and also heals you.
  • Seductive Power Icon Seductive Power provides a good amount of stats, however it requires some movement to maintain, which can be complicated at times and greatly reduce its effectiveness.
  • Battlefield Focus Icon Battlefield Focus and Battlefield Precision Icon Battlefield Precision only deals damage but is one the stronger traits for pure damage.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast only deals damage but is also one of the stronger traits for pure damage.
  • Indomitable Justice Icon Indomitable Justice provides fair single-target damage that you are able to benefit from most of the time.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury only deals damage, and relies on the DoT ticking for 12 seconds to do damage, which is not always the case in dungeons.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming provides a solid Haste buff.
  • Grace of the Justicar Icon Grace of the Justicar is generally a healing trait, but it deserves a special mention as it can provide a fair amount of raid-healing in very rare situations, but only in those situations where the whole raid is constantly below 100% health. This is mostly useful on Mythic Jaina in BoD, and is a very weak trait for other content.

C Tier

  • Secrets of the Deep Icon Secrets of the Deep has good uptime on the main stat, but requires moving around.
  • Inner Light Icon Inner Light provides a small AoE DPS increase if played correctly, but has an internal cooldown causing it to not deal damage often. The block it provides is mostly redundant but in AoE situations it has value.
  • Ruinous Bolt Icon Ruinous Bolt only deals damage to nearby enemies when it procs.
  • Incite the Pack Icon Incite the Pack provides you with some Mastery as well as two allies with a very small Mastery buff.
  • Judicious Defense Icon Judicious Defense performs very poorly due to rather low numbers, as well as not having very reliable uptime. This works better against enemies which attack fast, but with smaller attacks.
  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion is a rather big buff, however since it is to Critical Strike it is defensively weak.
  • Tradewinds Icon Tradewinds provides both you with a Mastery effect, and up to 2 allies with a minor Mastery effect; it is a low impact buff that helps others as well.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands provides Critical Strike and is defensively weak.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back is an obvious damage dealer trait; it performs very poorly for tanks outside of sustained single target due to its positional requirement.

Third Ring


S Tier

  • Ablative Shielding Icon Ablative Shielding is our strongest raid-oriented trait, but it loses some value in Mythic+ or rather, when AoE tanking. It is able to proc frequently, as you are likely to go below 40% rather often.
  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power provides a Haste buff which diminishes when you are hit. It is strong against a single target, and while slightly weaker when AoE tanking, it is still a strong trait. It can still only lose one stack per second from attacks, no matter how many hits you take.

A Tier

  • Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins has an unreliable proc, but provides solid healing over time. It does well in Mythic+, and rather weak in raids if you get topped up to full Health too fast.
  • Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed, Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon, and On My Way Icon On My Way are all reliable passive traits with a small amount of secondary as well as tertiary stats.
  • Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace has rather low impact, but is very reliable.
  • Woundbinder Icon Woundbinder provides a small amount of Haste with a fair uptime as it can proc from Judgment of Light Icon Judgment of Light as well.

B Tier


C Tier

  • Shimmering Haven Icon Shimmering Haven has an unreliable and small proc compared to some other effects.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink provides a weak Strength buff that varies in value.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames can be hard to maintain but is average for damage.
  • Winds of War Icon Winds of War has a short duration, but it is maintained most of the time; that said, Dodge is not a reliable stat.

Fourth Ring

All healing traits in this Inner Ring are fairly small by themselves but having several Azerite items with the same trait can be effective.


S Tier

  • Gemhide Icon Gemhide is an overall great trait, as this effectively has 100% uptime in any dangerous situation, increasing both Avoidance and Armor. Overall it is great for survival. Generally, this is the best trait in Raids.
  • Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage has a small, but reliable and frequent effect. Generally, this is the best trait in Mythic+.

A Tier

  • Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed is very useful in Mythic+, but can have limited uses in raids except encounters that spawn adds.

B Tier

  • Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses is reliable with timing when it can be used in Mythic+.
  • Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection while reliable, has a very long cooldown.
  • Empyreal Ward Icon Empyreal Ward grants the target of Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands a minor armor buff for 1 minute.
  • Gallant Steed Icon Gallant Steed is nice to have one of for cooldown reduction, but it is very weak otherwise.
  • Longstrider Icon Longstrider benefits from being stacked (in the maximum amount it can stack to, but not the percentage of the secondary stats that are turned into movement speed).

C Tier


Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Protection Paladin. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

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