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Protection Paladin Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Sep 02, 2018 at 00:40 by Treckie 21 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Pick up the Azerite gear with the best traits for your Protection Paladin and learn about the Heart of Azeroth. This page is updated for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth 8.0.1.

For more information about the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth, please read our Hearth of Azeroth guide.

The other pages of our Protection Paladin guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Treckie, a long-time leading Protection Paladin who competed for world first kills for 5 years. He currently raids in NollTvÄTre and has been a caster and an analyst of Blizzard's Mythic Dungeon Invitational. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

1. Disclaimer

Currently, Azerite traits are still being tweaked, and simulation tools do not yet fully account for them properly. Therefore, this page is based on some amount of assumptions, and we will continue to refine it through play-testing and theorycrafting as time goes by.

2. Azerite Trait Introduction

Azerite Traits are special effects present on Helm, Shoulder, and Chest slots in Battle For Azeroth. Each Azerite item has either 2 or 3 tiers of Azerite Traits to choose from (items below item level 340 only have 2 tiers, while items above that have 3). In addition to this, every Azerite item also has a +5 item level bonus (Azerite Empowered Icon Azerite Empowered). Each tier, as well as this item level bonus, become unlocked as you gain certain amounts of Azerite Power.

The first tier of Azerite Traits is split between a class-specific choice and a generic choice. Generic choices can be zone-related or content-related (such as PvP traits which are only found on PvP gear but work in PvE content).

The second tier has a multitude of options varying from interesting stat procs to static stat gains. This is the tier that is missing on items lower than item level 340.

The third tier can either be a defensive or healing option.

Azerite gear has fixed traits and stats. Each piece has predetermined Azerite Traits, item level, and can not roll either tertiary stats or sockets. While tuning is always in flux, we will try to list the currently best traits for raiding first. Keep in mind many of these are very raid / dungeon / world / PvP-oriented and do not work well in other types of content.

3. Best Azerite Traits for Protection Paladin

3.1. Outer Ring

Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans as well as Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix are going to be essential to have on at least one piece of gear to enable Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array in Uldir raids. These traits are only obtainable on Azerite gear from the raid Uldir itself. They are good traits by themselves as well, where Archive of the Titans benefits from being reliable, while Laser Matrix is instead a burst of damage and healing.

Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard is our strongest trait. We almost always want to run with one of these traits in our setup, while multiple of this trait do NOT increase the chance to proc it does instead increase the amount of Strength gained. It gives a solid amount of Strength as well on a fairly high uptime. It is s a must have trait for dungeons, but when it comes to raids it is really only beneficial defensively when running Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment.

Bulwark of Light Icon Bulwark of Light provides a fairly reliable but small shielding effect on your Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield casts.

Soaring Shield Icon Soaring Shield is a great trait and you should have at least one Azerite piece with it for Mythic+, it has however very limited uses in raids. Multiple Azerite pieces with this trait do NOT further increase the targets it will hit, but instead increase the amount of Mastery gained per hit.

3.2. Middle Ring

Ablative Shielding Icon Ablative Shielding is our strongest raid-oriented trait, but it loses a lot of value in Mythic+ or rather, when AoE tanking. It is able to proc frequently, as you are likely to go below 40% rather often.

Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace has rather low impact; it basically has 100% uptime of extra Armor in dangerous situations, and causes melee attackers to take damage back which is ok in AoE situations.

Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call provides nice AoE damage in Mythic+.

3.3. Inner Ring

The trait that stands out the most here is definitely Gemhide Icon Gemhide, as this effectively has 100% uptime in any dangerous situation, increasing both Avoidance and Armor. Overall it is great for survival.

4. Azerite Gear for Protection Paladin

As Azerite items can not be Warforged or Titanforged, you will likely be starting to raid with a 340 Azerite armor piece in all slots. Below we have listed the generally top 3 of each item slot, independent of the other slots, that we recommend going for. Keep in mind that for Mythic+, you should always make sure that you have at least one Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard as well as one Soaring Shield Icon Soaring Shield at all times, obtain these in any combination of Azerite items you can obtain.

4.1. Helm

  1. Soulspun Casque Icon Soulspun Casque with Bulwark of Light Icon Bulwark of Light, Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power, and Gemhide Icon Gemhide.
  2. Helm of the Raptor King Icon Helm of the Raptor King with Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard, Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins, and Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage.
  3. Helm of Abyssal Malevolence Icon Helm of Abyssal Malevolence with Soaring Shield Icon Soaring Shield, Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power, and Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage.

4.2. Shoulders

  1. Skyscorcher Pauldrons Icon Skyscorcher Pauldrons with Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst, Ablative Shielding Icon Ablative Shielding, and Gemhide Icon Gemhide.
  2. Kraken Shell Pauldrons Icon Kraken Shell Pauldrons with Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard, Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace, and Gallant Steed Icon Gallant Steed.
  3. Lockjaw Shoulderplate Icon Lockjaw Shoulderplate with Soaring Shield Icon Soaring Shield, Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl, and Stalwart Protector Icon Stalwart Protector.

4.3. Chest

  1. Desert Guardian's Breastplate Icon Desert Guardian's Breastplate with Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast, Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace, and Gemhide Icon Gemhide.
  2. Ashvane Warden's Cuirass Icon Ashvane Warden's Cuirass with Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard, Strength in Numbers Icon Strength in Numbers, and Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses .
  3. Harpooner's Plate Cuirass Icon Harpooner's Plate Cuirass with Bulwark of Light Icon Bulwark of Light, Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed, and Longstrider Icon Longstrider.

5. Azerite Traits for Protection Paladin

5.1. Outer Ring

  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion deals good damage which also heals you in return.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast only deals damage but is one of the stronger trait for pure damage.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite provides a solid Haste buff which is refreshed when enemies dies. Can be very strong in Mythic+.
  • Indomitable Justice Icon Indomitable Justice provides fair single target dps that you are able to benefit from most of the time.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming provides a solid Haste buff.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth is hard to obtain but good and reliable secondary stats.
  • Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst can only be obtained on one item, but is a good trait.
  • 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.
  • Avenger's Might Icon Avenger's Might turns Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath into a slightly stronger cooldown with a large amount of Mastery.
  • 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.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge provides pure damage as well as a small slow for a few seconds.
  • Secrets of the Deep Icon Secrets of the Deep has good uptime on the main stat, but requires moving around.
  • 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.
  • 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, low impact buf helps others as well.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands provides critical strike and defensively weak.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back an obvious damage dealer trait, performs very poorly for tanks outside of sustained single target due to its positional requirement

There are a lot of really good engineering traits you can obtain as well should you craft an engineering helm. These are, however, locked at 340 item level and will quickly be replaced with higher item level gear. However, should you get your hands on a pair, it is most likely going to be the strongest option for you in that piece.

Most PvP-oriented traits are very weak in PvE, and should only be picked it you do not feel any other trait helps you in any useful way.

5.2. Middle Ring Azerite Traits

The Middle Ring traits vary a lot in both strength as well as effect. Some of them increase the effect of healing and are meant more for the Holy specialization, while others give passive stat traits that are always welcome. As with the Outer Ring, stacking multiple of the same trait is preferred when possible.

  • Strength in Numbers Icon Strength in Numbers is unreliable but very strong when it procs. For Mythic+ only.
  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power provides a Haste buff which diminishes when you are hit. It is strong against a single target, and weaker when AoE tanking.
  • 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.
  • Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins has an unreliable proc, but provides solid healing over time. It is decent for Mythic+, and rather weak in raids.
  • Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl gives good uptime on random secondary stats.
  • Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules is good for AoE damage.
  • Gutripper Icon Gutripper is good for damage, more so in extended periods sub 30% health.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink provides a weak Strength buff that varies in value.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames can be hard to maintain.
  • Shimmering Haven Icon Shimmering Haven has an unreliable proc and small compared to some other effects.
  • 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.

5.3. Inner Ring Azerite Traits

All healing traits in this Inner Ring are fairly small by themselves but can shift the momentum if you have several Azerite items with the same trait. We recommend prioritizing like this.

  1. Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage's effect is small, but reliable and frequent.
  2. Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses is reliable with timing when it can be used, in Mythic+.
  3. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection while reliable has a very long cooldown.
  4. Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed becomes a lot better in encounters that spawn adds.
  5. Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification has a strong proc to help a little against stuns, but is mostly useless.
  6. Gallant Steed Icon Gallant Steed is nice to have one of for cooldown reduction, but it is very weak otherwise.
  7. Stalwart Protector Icon Stalwart Protector can help the raid out as a very minor raid cooldown, and can be stacked with other Paladins.
  8. 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).
  9. Self Reliance Icon Self Reliance is useless for tanks.

6. 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.

Filter #1:
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Filter #3:
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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

7. ChangeLog

  • 02 Sep. 2018: Added Uldir raid traits and minor rearrangements.
  • 20 Aug. 2018: Revamped the page, and added traits.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 09 Aug. 2018: Page added.
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