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Protection Paladin Tank Easy Mode

Last updated on Jan 30, 2018 at 13:16 by Vlad 192 comments

Table of Contents

This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialisation without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.

1. The Basics of Protection Paladins

Protection Paladins are tanks with a very versatile skill set. In general, your damage intake varies a lot depending on whether or not Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous is active. It is important to get comfortable and not panic just because you get low on health, as you have great tools to get yourself out of low-health situations. No other tank class has quite the array of tricks and utility up their sleeve that a Paladin does.

Aside from keeping yourself alive and healthy, you have a variety of abilities that can help the rest of your team out to ensure the best possible outcome in the encounter.

2. Talent Choice for Protection Paladins

These choices are optimised for ease of use. That said, only viable talents are suggested and the gains in survivability and DPS from choosing only the "best" talents are not gamebreaking.

The tier 7 Seraphim Icon Seraphim talent is a very important part of playing a Protection Paladin efficiently, especially for Mythic+, but it will take some practice to play with properly.

3. Stat Choice for Protection Paladins

Currently, you will want to prioritise secondary stats as follows:

  1. Haste;
  2. Versatility;
  3. Mastery;
  4. Critical Strike.

4. Basic Rotation for Protection Paladins

The basic rotation of a Protection Paladin is based on the following priority.

  1. Use Judgment Icon Judgment (this will reduce the remaining cooldown of your Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous).
  2. Use Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield.
  3. Use Consecration Icon Consecration (note that this takes priority over Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield if there is no Consecration already active). Standing in it improves your active mitigation.
  4. Use Hammer of the Righteous Icon Hammer of the Righteous (or Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer, if using this talent).

When facing multiple enemies, you should prioritise Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield for both damage output and  Icon Bulwark of Order shields. Overlapping two Consecration Icon Consecrations on top of each other will still make each of them do the full damage.

The Protection Paladin rotation is not very complicated, since all abilities have different cooldowns, and you basically just press whatever is coming off cooldown next. When two abilities are ready at the same time, you prioritise according to the list above. Having downtime with nothing to cast is not uncommon.

Note that the above-mentioned points do not include your active mitigation (covered below).

5. Active Mitigation Abilities for Protection Paladins

Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous and Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector are your two active mitigation abilities (though Light of the Protector is a heal, so it does not really mitigate damage). Both abilities are off the global cooldown, so fitting them into your rotation is easy, but it is important to talk about exactly when they are best used.

Optimal Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous timing depends greatly on your circumstances, but in general, you should aim to have it active whenever you are taking significant amounts of damage, while always making sure that at least one of its charges is used so that you do not waste the recharge time. Ideally, when tanking, you want to try to keep at least 1 charge in reserve in case of emergencies, and if you know heavy periods of damage intake are coming, save two charges. Under normal circumstances it is not possible to keep 100% uptime for an extended period of time, so be ready for the higher damage intake after it fades.

Effective self-healing from Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector is essential, as a big heal can turn the tide, while a small heal will be useless and put the spell on cooldown. If you are slowly getting low on health, you can reliably wait until you drop down to 30-50% remaining health before casting it to maximize the heal. If the boss has abilities that deal burst damage, try to time it right after a big attack has hit, so your health goes right back instantly.

Remember that since both of your active mitigation abilities are 20% stronger while you are standing in your own Consecration Icon Consecration, you should always aim to do so.

6. Cooldown Usage for Protection Paladins

Due to the incredible strength of Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous, it is best to try to use these cooldowns when Shield of the Righteous is not available, in order to smooth the damage intake, as very rarely will you need a cooldown AND Shield of the Righteous.

  • Guardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings should be used before a period of large damage, or when your healers are unable to heal you for a while.
  • Ardent Defender Icon Ardent Defender is best used to bypass deadly encounter mechanics, or to save your life in critical moments.
  • Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands should be used as an emergency reactive cooldown to top yourself off when you have dropped low on health. Note that you can also use it to save other raid members.
  • Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield can be used to clear debuffs or avoid fatal damage, but note that since you become immune, the boss will not attack you and instead move to the next target on the threat table.

Additionally,  Icon Eye of Tyr, your Artifact ability, should be used as often as possible throughout the fight when your Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous is unavailable, in order to buy yourself some time.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Treckie, who has been a long-time leading Protection Paladin who has competed for world first kills for 5 years. He is one of the casters for both last year's and this year's upcoming Mythic Dungeon invitational. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

7. ChangeLog

  • 30 Jan. 2018: Made a small update to the usage of Shield of the Righteous.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated the page to account for changes made to the rest of the guide.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated tier 3 talents to match updates on the talents page.
  • 28 Mar. 2017: Made a small tweak to the rotation.
  • 24 Jan. 2017: Added easy mode page.
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