Protection Paladin Frequently Asked Questions — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we go over several of the most frequently asked questions regarding Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth Shadowlands 9.1. This will be updated as more common repeated questions surface over the course of the expansion.
Should I Play Defensively or Offensively?
The basic answer is that, if you are doing progression or are on a character you do not feel comfortable playing offensively with, you should play defensively. As you start to get comfortable, you should start looking at DPS a bit more and play a more mixed style, where you start pushing DPS while slowly giving up survivability.
Once you feel completely comfortable with the encounter and you will not hold your raid back, you can then go for DPS. This point is different for every person, as it depends on your group, your character, your gear, and your skill level.
What Covenant Should I Pick?
Each Covenant comes with its own list of pros and cons, and you should be aiming to make an informed choice based on the type of content you want to engage with.
What Piece is Better, X or Y?
Generally speaking, a higher item level means it is better. However, if the higher item level has critical strike, and the lower item does not, and it is within 5 item levels, the non-Critical Strike item can still be better. When it comes to rings, 10 item levels is the general rule of thumb.
Note that this does not apply to trinkets for which you will compare the effects.
It is difficult to give a perfect answer, because an upgrade for you may not be an upgrade for someone else. In other words, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer, even when talking about 2 completely identical comparisons from you to another person. Everything in your gear has an effect on everything else.
This applies to gear, set bonuses, trinkets, and even talents in certain situations.
The only exception to this rule is when a specific fight dictates a certain set of optimal talents, for example. If you are curious about what kind of setup to go for a specific fight, WarcraftLogs.com's rankings and statistics are a good place to see what others are doing.
Is There a Haste Cap?
For the most part, there is no set "amount" of any stat, Haste or otherwise, that you should have. Nor are there stat goals or a particular distribution of stats that you want to go for. It is very common for people to overestimate the importance of having the "right" secondaries, when in reality, having a higher quantity of stats will almost always beat having "better" stats.
Having 120 Mastery or Versatility is still going to be better than having 100 Haste, since the differences are not as big as many people think. When it comes to Haste, you simply want as much as you can get as you can not really go wrong with it. Mastery and Versatility are also good defensively and do not have a cap either.
Where Can I Find A Pawn String?
This is a very common question for people wanting a quick and easy way to have an addon tell you if an item is an upgrade or not, but it has its flaws. Choosing upgrades is, luckily, very simple, as item level almost by itself dictates if an item is an upgrade or not. A pawn string would simply put not be very accurate for us to compare gear defensively or offensively as they would also differ depending on your currently equipped gear which Pawn would not take into account.
What Race is Best for Protection Paladins?
There is no "best" race for Protection Paladins as most races have on-use effects which vary a lot in usefulness, and your choice of race will depend on what situations you need the different racial abilities for. It is important to note that no race will perform a lot stronger than the others, and all are viable. Races with activate abilities will be a lot stronger than the others against content where their racial ability works, but no race has one which works everywhere.
Horde Players can choose between Tauren, Blood Elves, and Zandalari Trolls. While Taurens are the better choice defensively, as they get more Stamina thanks to Endurance, as well as a 5 target AoE stun War Stomp, the Blood Elf AoE Dispel Arcane Torrent is very useful in many dungeons and even certain raids. Zandalari Trolls have a bit of variety of what to bonus they want to gain when tanking, and while their Regeneratin' heals you to full over 6 seconds, it also breaks on damage and has very limited uses. Their slow fall, Pterrordax Swoop, is not usable in dungeons or raids. Zandalari Trolls can choose between a few different Loa abilities and, for tanking, two of them are relevant. Embrace of Bwonsamdi causes your attacks to deal damage and heal in return. This effect has very minimal impact and deals approximately 2,500 damage and healing, occurring three times a minute. Meanwhile, Embrace of Krag'wa procs Health and Armor, and proc-related increased survivability is nothing to be relied upon.
Alliance players has a few more options. The Dwarf races are usually the better ones defensively, with Lightforged Draenei chosen for damage. Both Dwarf races have a personal dispel. The Dark Iron Dwarf racial increases primary stat for each effect removed, while the classic Dwarf reduces physical damage by 10% for its duration. While most races have an elemental damage reduction, the Dark Iron Dwarf racial reduces Physical damage by 1%, which is very useful as a tank. If damage reduction is not your highest priority, the Lightforged Draenei have a racial AoE spell that deals massive damage to everything close to your target on a two and a half minute cooldown. You also explode when you die, healing friendly players and damaging enemies. The classic Draenei Racial is weak, since it only heals 20% of your health over 5 seconds with a long cooldown. You gain some Strength from Heroic Presence, but it is still very low impact compared to most racials. Humans gain 2% more of all secondary stats, roughly equal to about 70 secondary stats depending on your gear, but their active ability Every Man for Himself can have great uses against certain enemies which may crowd control your character.
How Viable are Paladins in the Current Patch?
Protection Paladins are currently one of the well rounded tanks for both raids and dungeons. We have fair self-sustain to dig ourselves out when dropping down to low health, as well as very strong active mitigation to deal with predictable damage. Our main weakness is often high melee or constant damage intake, as we can not obtain 100% uptime on mitigation. We do have good tools and cooldowns to help us out during active mitigation downtimes, but if the damage is constant, we will still run out of mitigation options.
Can I Sim Myself?
Offensively, yes you can. SimulationCraft supports Protection Paladin DPS, and this is the recommended way to determine if an item, trait, or talent is an upgrade for your damage output. As traits are in constant flux, I would maybe not trust it fully at the moment.
Defensively, no. It is not recommended to sim tanks for defense in general. There are simply too many factors and variables that go into accurately modelling a tanking situation, and there is no single metric that will tell you "this item or trait will make you more tanky." For example: something can reduce your overall damage taken, but not improve your ability to survive spike damage, two factors of tanking which will vary in importance depending on the encounter. You will be much better off following the recommendations of a guide with respect to defensive gearing than you will by following sims.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Removed BfA information. Added Covenant FAQ.
- 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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