Protection Paladin Frequently Asked Questions — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 20:55 by Treckie 29 comments

On this page, we go over several of the most frequently asked questions regarding Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. This will be updated as more common repeated questions surface over the course of the expansion.

1. Should I Play Defensively or Offensively?

This is the main question most people will ask with tanking. 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.

2. Do Azerite Traits Stack?

Yes, but not in every way. In general, traits stack and increase value the same way getting an item with higher item level would increase its values. This means that increased chance to proc, duration of buffs and debuffs, stacks, or effects gained does NOT stack. Having two of the same trait will always net you at least some benefit, rather than absolutely none.

3. 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 Azerite gear or 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,'s rankings and statistics are a good place to see what others are doing.

4. How Much of X Stat Should I Have?

For the most part, there is no set "amount" of any stat 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 of your worst stat is often better than having 100 of your best stat, since the differences are not as big as many people think.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 02 Sep. 2018: Added Azerite and Pawn string to FAQ.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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