Protection Paladin Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 12, 2018 at 10:57 by Treckie 29 comments

This page contains information on which Azerite traits are the best to use in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch 8.1, 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.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear for Protection Paladin

When comparing two Azerite Gear pieces, you should try to specially aim for a few very exceptional traits that outperform the rest (marked as S Tier in the lists below). In particular, you should pay special attention to Outer Ring traits, as these are generally the most impactful.

Most Azerite items that do not have these exceptional traits are not going to be worth sacrificing item level to obtain, thus simply choose which item has the highest item level. Use the lists below to decide between two items that both have exception traits (or neither of which do).

All Azerite traits stack and multiple traits stack and increase the value that would otherwise be increased by having a higher item level piece.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits for Protection Paladin

2.1. 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.

2.2. Outer Ring

2.2.1. S Tier

All these traits work similarly in the sense that they are extremely good and essential to have one of, but stacking more than one of is significantly less important. This is because all traits do not stack in every sense, and what is really good about these is the non stackable part of the traits. All Outer Ring S Tier traits are B Tier traits if you already have one of them.

  • Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans as well as Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix Inside Uldir. Having ONE of these traits inside the Uldir raid is essential, at least once Reorigination Array reaches at least 3 stacks. By that time you should hopefully have been lucky enough to get a piece with it to equip, and use from here on out.
  • Inspiring Vanguard Icon Inspiring Vanguard is by far our best Azerite trait to have one of. Defensively and offensively it is our strongest trait no matter what content you are doing, and is essential to have one of in your Azerite Pieces. However, multiple of these does NOT stack to increase the % chance, abnd while the Strength gained is increased its effect is much lower.
  • Soaring Shield Icon Soaring Shield for Mythic+. Another essential trait, at least when it comes to Mythic+. This trait has however very limited use for raids and should not be regarded as an S Tier trait when it comes to single target encounters, although AoE encounters still empower this trait.

2.2.2. A Tier

  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite provides a solid Haste buff which is refreshed when enemies dies. Can be very strong in Mythic+, but also has plenty of uses in raids with adds..
  • 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.
  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion deals good damage which also heals you in return.

2.2.3. B Tier

2.2.4. 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.
  • Avenger's Might Icon Avenger's Might turns Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath into a slightly stronger cooldown with a large amount of Mastery.
  • 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; 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.

2.3. Middle Ring

2.3.1. 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 weaker when AoE tanking, it is still a strong trait.

2.3.2. A Tier

  • Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace has rather low impact, but very reliable.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

2.3.3. B Tier

2.3.4. 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.
  • 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.

2.4. Inner Ring

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.

2.4.1. S Tier

Gemhide Icon Gemhide is an overall exceptional trait, as this effectively has 100% uptime in any dangerous situation, increasing both Avoidance and Armor. Overall it is great for survival.

2.4.2. A Tier

  • Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage's effect is small, but reliable and frequent.
  • Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses is reliable with timing when it can be used, in Mythic+.
  • Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed is very useful in Mythic+, but can have limited uses in raids except encounters that spawn adds.

2.4.3. B Tier

  • 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).

2.4.4. C Tier

3. Reorigination Array

All of the Azerite gear that drops from bosses within Uldir has 1 of the 2 Uldir-specific Azerite traits on it, Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix. These traits are always present on the Outer Ring. In additon to those traits' effects, there is a secondary buff that you gain called Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array. Reorigination Array requires that you have at least one Uldir-specific trait active on an Azerite piece. Additionally, it is only active when you are in Uldir. Having more than one Uldir-specific Azerite trait active does not buff or stack Reorigination Array.

Each week you kill three bosses in Uldir, the secondary stat gained from Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array increases by 75. It grants your highest secondary stat. This caps out at 750 secondary stat (10 stacks). For example, say you have more Haste compared to your other secondary stats, and you have killed 6 bosses total, split between 2 weeks. Reorigination Array would grant you 150 Haste while you are inside Uldir (again, as long as you have an Uldir-specific trait active).

Due to this design, these Uldir-specific traits start off being rather weak, but as the weeks go by and more secondary stat is added to Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, they will quickly overtake other traits. While inside the Uldir raid, you need to always have one of the Uldir traits on a piece of gear to activate Reorigination Array, even if this means going down in item level or losing other valuable traits and gets more and more important each week. You should aim to always have Reorigination Array provide Haste to get as much value from it as possible.

4. 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

5. Changelog

  • 12 Dec. 2018: Added new trait Empyreal Ward.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Added new trait Righteous Conviction.
  • 21 Nov. 2018: Revamped the page with S-B Tier list.
  • 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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