Protection Paladin Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Protection Paladin, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Protection Paladins
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Recommended Essence Loadouts for Different Situations
Further down, we will clarify all the Essences and benefits of each one and where to use them, but here we provide a few different loadouts for quick access.
This is generally the go-to setup for most content. It is NOT the best defensively, but it offers a good balance and, if you are running Seraphim, you can have great damage output with this setup. Tanks are the most efficient in making sure the raid upholds a high Symbiotic Presence uptime, thanks to being able to use Concentrated Flame.
This is both the best Defensive option again Physical damage, as well as a general AoE tanking setup against many targets that survive a bit longer, for example, in Mythic+ during Fortified weeks.
This is a great setup for Raid encounters, where you may want the extra cooldown from Azeroth's Undying Gift for damage reduction against spiky damage.
Note that, in all 3 of these setups, you can swap an Essence for another if you feel that it has more impact against the particular content you are doing right now. For example, all builds recommend using one of the Corruption Resistance Essences, as Corruption is very powerful, but you do not want to go too high. If your Corruption level is of no concern, due to running low enough anyway and/or being fine with dealing with the extra Corruption, then you are perfectly fine changing one out for another one that would suit that situation better.
Recommended Major Essences for Protection Paladins
Any Essence placed here will give you both its Major and Minor Powers.
Mandatory Major Essences
These Essences have many uses or are very strong in some situations, making them very attractive to have at your disposal, to swap to and from when the encounter suits them best.
- Touch of the Everlasting gives you a passive cheat death effect which also resets your Guardian of Ancient Kings when it gets triggered. This is a very powerful defensive tool during progression and the main benefit is that it allows you to use Guardian of Ancient Kings a lot more freely, as you will get a new one should the cheat death effect proc. A passive cheat death effect when doing new and threatening raid progression is always very strong, but you need to keep in mind that you could get a lot more benefit from another Essence if this one never really procs. It can sometimes be a good idea to use this going into a new fight when you are still unfamiliar with the encounter, and then swap it out once you have gotten used to the incoming damage and the encounter as a whole. You also gain 10 Corruption Resistance by using this Essence.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams increases the recharge rate of Shield of the Righteous by 100% for 15 seconds. This can be a great option against encounters where you would want to ensure a sustained Shield of the Righteous uptime for a longer period of physical damage reduction. As a Minor Power, it has a chance to refund 50% of your Shield of the Righteous charge and when doing so, heal you and give you a small amount of Versatility, further increasing Shield of the Righteous uptime.
- Azeroth's Undying Gift is one of the strong tank options against upfront spike damage. This can effectively be a 40% damage reduction against a big nuke ability on a 45 second cooldown. It is not very strong against sustained damage intake as it drops off very quickly. Its minor effect is also pretty strong against pure physical damage, with a 120 second cooldown.
Situational Major Essences
- The Crucible of Flame's Concentrated Flame deals damage or healing depending on your target. This is a very weak self-heal option, however it deals a lot of damage and is our highest single-target damage dealing Major Power Essence. Its Minor Power also deals damage or healing over time, which results in fairly significant damage throughput on its own. Rank 3 comes with 2 charges of this Essence, and it is essential for high damage to always pair together with Seraphim, and you always want to spend your charges with increased secondary stats. With a short Cooldown, it offers very good synergy with Symbiotic Presence from The Formless Void Essence to ensure a high uptime of its minor effects. It gives you about 100 Haste from EACH other person with the Essence (keep in mind that, every time someone else uses an Essence, you will lose the Haste buff, but regain it next time you cast Concentrated Flame).
- Worldvein Resonance provides passive Strength which goes up and down depending on procs. When used, you can force spawn 3 shards to give you more Strength and also increase the Strength gained from each shard by 300% for its duration. You also benefit from other players Shards. Their range is long enough that you should generally be able to benefit from melee players' shards as well, without interfering too much with positioning. It is a fairly significant amount of Strength, should you be able to maintain a decent uptime on multiple shards. This is a very significant increase in Strength when used, and is considered a strong AoE dps Essence.
- Anima of Death deals fire damage to nearby enemies based on your maximum health. If you are not at full health, it will also heal you for 10% of your health per target hit. Its main use is for AoE burst damage, either to snap threat or to deal a large amount of damage to a big group of enemies. You end up sacrificing 10% health on use, this means you will effectively not be healed against single-target, but you can technically use it as a heal in AoE situations as it will heal you for 10% per target hit. Its Minor Power gives you stacking health, as well as a heal when at max stacks. This effect is very minor, as it disappears when your health goes low, but it helps you do more damage when you use the power.
- The Formless Void's Replica of Knowledge is an interesting Essence where you are technically able to swap and use different Essences throughout the encounter. As there are generally only two tanks in a raid, you cannot be stealing his Essence every time as then you may as well just use it yourself. This Essence however can give you access to some damage dealing or healing Essences during different parts of the encounter, and is mainly effective when paired with Essences such as Focused Azerite Beam or Purifying Blast for burst AoE damage. You also gain 10 Corruption Resistance by using this Essence.
- Vision of Perfection grants your abilities a chance to gain Avenging Wrath for 35% of its normal duration, as well as some very minor Haste for you and two allies nearby. Avenging Wrath is not massive defensively, but you will benefit from added Critical Strike on Judgment, as well as an Avenging Wrath proc WILL also proc the full 20 seconds buff which guarantees your next Light of the Protector as a critical strike. Its minor effect also reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath, gives you a very minor amount of Versatility, as well as heal you whenever you use Avenging Wrath or when it procs from its Major Power. It is quite a weak Major Essence by itself, but can be used in combination with Avenger's Might traits to stack high uptime on a lot of Mastery, thus a fair amount of pure damage reduction when it is up and you are standing in your Consecration.
Lackluster Major Essences
While some of the Essences below are rather weak to slot in your Major slot. They may offer a really strong Minor effect which you would like access to, but compared to the other Major Essences, this will see little use as the Major slot.
- Sphere of Suppression's Suppressing Pulse will reduce the attack speed of all enemies nearby by 25% when used defensively. This can be very valuable should melee attacks be the main concern and it has a very short cooldown. It can also be used as a kiting tool, as it will reduce movement speed by 70% for 8 seconds, and you will also gain 50% movement speed at the same time. That said, Paladins already have tools such as Divine Steed and Consecrated Ground, meaning they gain very limited benefit from this effect from the Essence. Its Minor Power basically guarantees you an amount of Haste at all times, as long as you are being hit.
- Strength of the Warden's Vigilant Protector taunts all nearby enemies for 6 seconds, increases your dodge chance by 15% as well as increases your damage dealt to all targets affected by 50% for its duration. This does give us access to another AoE taunt outside of Final Stand, and can be situationally useful in Mythic+ dungeons for a big damage boost as well. The duration of this effect is however very short and hard to really take advantage of. In raid situations, this is a taunt that is subject to Diminishing Returns on duration like all taunts against raid bosses, this means that a tank has used their taunt on the target within the past 20 seconds, its duration is halved. You also gain 10 Corruption Resistance by using this Essence.
- Nullification Dynamo's Empowered Null Barrier provides a strong magic shield which also removes many dispellable debuffs from you. While this effect is pretty weak on such a long cooldown, its passive effect makes this Essence a strong option in its own right. The passive only absorbs magic damage on a set timer, but it also explodes for reliable and sizeable damage.
- Aegis of the Deep reduces damage per attack by a very small amount on a fairly short cooldown. This is weak against single target, but can be very effective when AoE tanking mobs hitting often, but for lower amounts. You also gain a minor amount of Avoidance for 6 seconds. Its Minor Power gives you Versatility for each target within 10 yards, and that Versatility is doubled when below 35% health. You will also receive a small heal every few seconds, which is increased for each target nearby. This is a strong AoE tanking option defensively, but very weak single target.
- Ripple in Space is a very niche Essence. It can be an amazing tool for us Paladins, as this is our only way to avoid a knock-back. This can be used to deal AoE damage on a 1-minute cooldown, but also has the benefit of reducing damage taken by 10% after use. As mentioned before, it is very limited in use, but it can be an incredibly strong tool to have at the right moment. Its Minor Power gives movement speed and Strength after moving 25 yards quickly, which again is super limited to PvE.
- Conflict and Strife's Conflict allows you to gain the Steed of Glory talent, which increases the duration of Divine Steed by 2 seconds, and you are also immune to movement impairing effects, and you knock back enemies you run through. This is a rather limited PvE talent, as the movement gain is still very minimal. As a Minor Power, you do get stacks of Versatility which have a very reliable uptime.
Recommended Minor Essences for Protection Paladins
Once you reach Heart of Azeroth Level 55, 65, and 75, you will gain access to an Minor Essence slot, which will ONLY give you the Minor Power from an Essence. Keep in mind what Major Power you have chosen and compliment it with the following Minor Power Essences.
Great Minor Essences
- Null Barrier from Nullification Dynamo provides a magic shield on a 15-second timer. It explodes after 10 seconds, dealing damage equal to damage absorbed. If the shield can reliably be used up by magic damage, this is a very strong option offensively, as well as defensively, as it will reduce some of the damage which would not be reduced by your active mitigation otherwise.
- Strife from Conflict and Strife provides high Versatility with a very reliable uptime. While it does not have any fancy effects, secondary stats are very strong.
- Symbiotic Presence from The Formless Void provides a Strength buff with some Haste with a very high uptime, depending on how often people use their Essence. In a raid situation, tanks using Concentrated Flame are usually the ones best suited to making sure to keep a high uptime on the buff, and whenever you use your Essence yourself, you will get around 100 Haste from each person using this Essence. This means you can get a lot of Haste each time you use your Essence, but keep in mind that, the moment anyone else who is using Symbiotic Presence uses their Essence, they will steal that Haste away from you. You also gain 10 Corruption Resistance by using this Essence.
- Sphere of Suppression provides a medium haste buff with 100% uptime when actively tanking. While it does not have any fancy effects, secondary stats are very strong.
- Stand Your Ground from Aegis of the Deep grants Versatility for each enemy in proximity and doubles this amount when below 35% health. This Minor Power also heals you every 4 seconds, which is then increased in power for each enemy around you. A very strong Minor Power when AoE tanking defensively, should you not be using it as a Major Power.
Good Minor Essences
- Lucid Dreams from Memory of Lucid Dreams gives Shield of the Righteous, as well as Seraphim, a chance to refund half of its charge, heal you, and increase Versatility for 8 seconds. This is a solid defensive choice when Shield of the Righteous is effective.
- Hardened Azerite from Azeroth's Undying Gift provides you with a lot of Armor once you fall below 35% health. After 4 seconds, this amount diminishes to half for another 4 seconds. This can only proc once every 2 minutes. This is a strong choice against physical damage.
- Strive for Perfection from Vision of Perfection reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath and increase Versatility by a small amoun. While more Avenging Wrath is always welcome, it may not have a large impact. Note that this essence will help increase the uptime on Avenging Wrath when paired with Righteous Protector.
- Ancient Flame from The Crucible of Flame deals a lot of damage, if you can get the buff to stack to 3 and maintain it for a period of time. However, it is not reliable to stay up at all times.
- Lifeblood from Worldvein Resonance gives a lot of Strength, assuming a couple of people in your proximity are using this Essence too. This is a very solid option for damage and survival should you be able to keep the stacks high.
- Endurance from Strength of the Warden has a very weak minor effect in terms of healing provided and it can also trigger and deplete all stored healing if you dodge or parry an attack when at full health making it extremely weak. This Essence also increases the health of every tank specced player in the raid who is using the Essence by 3% each. This is a fairly useful essence to gain Corruption Resistance from, should you not wish to play with Symbiotic Presence from The Formless Void.
Low-Impact Minor Essences
- Will to Survive from Touch of the Everlasting provides you with some Avoidance should you drop down below 35% health. When this triggers it also increases the duration of your next Shield of the Righteous by 50%, this effect however, is rather weak and can only occur once every minute. You also gain 10 Corruption Resistance by using this Essence.
- Anima of Life from Anima of Life and Death increases max health stacking up to 10 times, and heals you every 5 seconds while at max stacks. You gain these stacks when you kill an enemy which yields experience of honour, meaning it is going to be rather hard to stack up in raids, and its effect is rather weak there too. Can have uses in Mythic+ but the heal is still very weak in such a scenario.
- Reality Shift from Ripple in Space provides movement speed as well as Strength if you move 25 yards within 4 seconds. This can be hard to reliably do as a tank outside of when you engage with an enemy.
- 09 Apr. 2020: Added recommended load-outs.
- 14 Jan. 2020: This page have been updated with the new 8.3 Essences and balance changes.
- 13 Jul. 2019: Page have been updated with improved Essence recommendation.
- 24 Jun. 2019: Page added.
- Mists of Pandaria Timewalking Guide (July 14th - July 21st)
- Zappy Boy Nickname Now Cannon
- Eye of the Jailer Mechanic in Shadowlands
- List of Corruption Effects on Sale Through July 17th
- Pre-expansion Event Details, Time in the Shadowlands, Major Lore Implications, Renown Catch-up: Full Bellular Interview
- Patch 8.3 Hotfixes: July 13th
- Horrific Visions Nerfs Coming July 14th/15th
- Every Man For Himself Human Racial Renamed to Will to Survive in Shadowlands