Protection Paladin Tank Gear and Best in Slot — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, you will find the best gear and best in slot items for your Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3.
Best in Slot List for Protection Paladins
With the removal of Warforging/Titanforging we can once again offer a Best in Slot list. It will feature exclusively raid gear as it will have the potential for the highest item level outside of weekly chest items. Should you get pieces with Corruption on them you may want to use them even if its item level may be lower than on this list. Items from the weekly chest are guaranteed to be Corrupted. Should you receive other pieces from a higher difficulty, they are in almost all cases going to be better than the ones mentioned here.
Trinkets are listed below, as they serve vastly different purposes depending on what you are up against.
All items available from 8.3 relevant content will have a chance to become Corrupted which empowers the item with one of many effects, you can visit the Corrupted Items page for more information.
We recommend to generally not be raiding with much corruption above 20 to avoid spawning the Eye of Corruption. This effect can force you to take extra damage if you are not able to move out of your current position. If you however are able to move freely, going to a higher level of corruption is safe. Even below 20 Corruption you are subject to a random magic slow effect. If your Corruption is low it will not slow you for a lot and it can be negated by casting Blessing of Freedom on yourself. It is important to note that the azerite trait Heart of Darkness activates once you are above 25 Total Corruption, which means after taking Corruption Resistance into account. You can also play above 40 corruption should you wish to, but it will require you to be able to move quite freely as the Eye of Corruption will increase with more Corruption. Above 40 you will also spawn a Thing from Beyond, which can be completely negated by using Hammer of Justice on it.
For Protection Paladins, the only item you can get with guaranteed Corruption is the Faralos, Empire's Dream and this is a great weapon dealing a lot of damage with its effect.
There are currently nineteen different Corruption effects able to procc on any items acquired in 8.3 relevant content. Most of these also have three different Tiers of strength, the higher the tier, the stronger effect and the more Corruption per piece. Below, we will highlight some of the more powerful effects, but remember they may come with significant amounts of Corruption.
- Glimpse of Clarity reduces the cooldown of your next spell, which is great for Judgment casts.
- Ineffable Truth increases the cooldown recovery rate to allow them to be used more often.
- Twilight Devastation deals great AoE damage scaling off your health.
- Echoing Void also deals great AoE damage scaling off your health.
- Infinite Stars Best for single target damage.
Gouged Eye of N'zoth
8.3 also brings in a new item that you are able to purchase from Wrathion called Gouged Eye of N'Zoth, which allows you to add a socket to one piece of gear. Gear from old raids or pieces that already have a socket, as well as Azerite gear, are not able to get the socket added to them. This is best used on pieces of gear you are unlikely to replace in the near future. If you get a Mythic Faralos, Empire's Dream, we would recommend that is where you use the first Gouged EyE of N'Zoth on as you will not replace it and it is rather easy to obtain since it is from the very first boss. Other good options are pieces from the Mythic+ cache which are guaranteed to be Corrupted, assuming you will raid with all that Corruption as it will be a fairly high amount at the start of content. For more information, please visit our Horrific Visions page.
All Azerite pieces from the raids have basically the best possible Azerite traits available from the two most outer rings, including the new and rather strong Heart of Darkness trait. The raid Azerites may be lacking some of the good inner ring traits compared to those available from Titan Residuum and it is important to keep those in mind when buying Azerite gear.
With Titan Residuum it is possible to choose specific Azerite Pieces that drop from dungeons which may have exceptionally strong traits. These items which you can buy are listed below. As mentioned in the Azerite Traits page, we heavily recommend to have at least one Inspiring Vanguard, as well as one Soaring Shield in your set-up. Once you have made sure your gear features these two traits, it is recommended that defensively you go for three times Bulwark of Light if possible. Note that the Third Ring and the Fourth Ring also matters, so do not blindly go for the previously mentioned combination. Below, we mention some of the best Azerite pieces you can specifically buy for each slot from Titan Residuum, but keep in mind that pieces with Inspiring Vanguard and Soaring Shield will lose some value if you already have one of those traits:
- Soulspun Casque: Inspiring Vanguard, Bulwark of Light, Overwhelming Power as well as either Gemhide, and Impassive Visage. This Helm only has exceptional traits.
- Helm of the Raptor King: Bulwark of Light, Inspiring Vanguard, Azerite Veins, and Impassive Visage. This Helm only has great traits as well, with Azerite Veins being great in Mythic+, but slightly weaker in Raids.
- Helm of Abyssal Malevolence: Bulwark of Light, Soaring Shield, Overwhelming Power, and Impassive Visage. Overall, just great traits as well, as long as you can get Inspiring Vanguard somewhere else.
- Skyscorcher Pauldrons: Inspiring Vanguard, Righteous Conviction, Ablative Shielding, and Gemhide. Great defensive traits if you do not get Inspiring Vanguard from somewhere else.
- Lockjaw Shoulderplate: Bulwark of Light, Soaring Shield, Elemental Whirl, and Stalwart Protector. While the Third and Fourth Rings are not great traits, you need to obtain Soaring Shield and Bulwark of Light somewhere.
- Breastplate of Arterial Protection: Bulwark of Light, Blood Rite OR Soaring Shield, Azerite Veins, and Gallant Steed. Allows you to choose Blood Rite, which is a great trait if you already have one Soaring Shield trait.
- Harpooner's Plate Cuirass: Soaring Shield OR Inspiring Vanguard, Bulwark of Light, Lifespeed, and Longstrider. Fair Third and Fourth Rings, but allows you to choose between Inspiring Vanguard or Soaring Shield, depending on what you need in your gear.
- Ashvane Warden's Cuirass: Soaring Shield, Inspiring Vanguard, Strength in Numbers, and Bulwark of the Masses. While it has no Bulwark of Light, it offers good AoE tanking survivability with Strength in Numbers and Bulwark of the Masses, and guarantees you have both Soaring Shield and Inspiring Vanguard if you lack it elsewhere.
Trinkets for Protection Paladins
In Battle for Azeroth, Strength provides solid damage reduction in the form of strengthening your Shield of the Righteous, and you will find Strength on most trinkets one way or another.
Jes' Howler is a good and balanced defensive as well as offensive trinket, as it will not only buff you, but also your group with a small amount of Versatility.
Vial of Animated Blood gives passive Mastery, so it reduces overall damage, with a Strength on-use effect to boost your Shield of the Righteous quite a bit. The amount of Strength decreases over 18 seconds, so when used correctly, it can be fairly good for burst survivability or damage.
Mchimba's Ritual Bandages provides passive Strength with a rather weak on-use effect to shield you. This is, however, the only use trinket available for on-demand absorb, which can make it very strong against encounters with big burst abilities but it performs poorly against sustained damage.
Lingering Sporepods provides passive Strength, as well as a fairly decent ammounts of healing in Mythic+. Its impact is very weak, and it barely deals any damage at all. Can be a decent option if you aquire one of max item level.
Merektha's Fang deserves an honorable mention as one of the most powerful AoE damage dealing trinkets in the game. Be careful when using it however as it is a channel ability and you are not able to dodge, block, or parry when channeling it.
Ny'alotha, the Waking City
Lingering Psychic Shell is definitely the most impactful trinket from this tier. However, it is very important to understand how it works to make good use out of it. When used, it gives you a very small shield for 8 seconds, however, as long as this shield is active ALL damage is reduced by 80%. This means that against a single hit, nomatter how big it is, it will reduce all damage taken by 80%. This trinket is incredibly strong and basically makes you unable to die from huge tank nuke abilities. If you are however otherwise up against a series of attacks that will deplete this shield, only the first few attacks will be reduced and you will quickly again take regular damage, heavily weakening the trinkets effectiveness against such encounters.
Humming Black Dragonscale has a very small procc effect, with a relatively high uptime, which makes it a decent general trinket you could use anywhere, should you not need any specific trinket to use against certain mechanics.
Sigil of Warding is a strong shield on a 2 minute cooldown with the added benefit of slightly growing in size if you are taking magic damage. Realistically however, this shield will be depleted rather fast to benefit much from the increase in strength, but it is a sizeable shield on a 2 minute cooldown should this be benefitial in an encounter.
The Ra-den trinkets are not very well suited for tanks at least defensively, and you will lose a lot of the benefit from the Void-Twisted Titanshard as you will take damage that will remove the shield very quickly. Vita-Charged Titanshard fares rather well on its own however as you will get Haste and also buff party members' Haste at the same time.
The Eternal Palace
Azshara's Font of Power drops from Queen Azshara in The Eternal Palace. It provides an incredibly high amount of Strength on use, but requires you to channel for up to 4 seconds to get its full benefit. The Strength provided is so high on demand that it can definitely be worth both offensively as well as defensively in tank swap encounters where you can channel for 4 seconds before you taunt the boss.
Bloodthirsty Urchin drops from Lady Ashvane in The Eternal Palace. It effectively works very similarly to Diamond-Laced Refracting Prism from BoD, but since it does not provide a shield, it provides a constant amount of healing throughout the entire encounter.
Chain of Suffering drops from Za'qul, Harbinger of Ny'alotha in The Eternal Palace. Can be an amazing tool to reduce spike damage from, for example, a nuke-like ability from the boss. Feel free to use on your co-tank on most tank swap encounters, but be careful when using this when your co-tank and you both are taking damage.
Edicts of the Faithless drops from The Queen's Court in The Eternal Palace. It provides a sizeable Physical or Magical shield every 40 seconds. Each time this shield is fully absorbed, it boosts the next shield by 10%, up to 100%. This can be a great trinket for overall damage reduction if you can assure the shield is always consumed. This is generally not an issue on some fights, but the trinket takes 6+ minutes to stack up to its full potential, and if you at any time do not deplete the shield, it resets back to 0% increase. Swapping the trinket between Physical and Magical is also a cast, so you have to be careful should you wish to change the effect in combat, this also resets the bonus effect from the shield.
Vision of Demise drops from Za'qul, Harbinger of Ny'alotha in The Eternal Palace. It provides a fair amount of Haste, increased depending on the health of your enemy. This trinket has a very short cooldown and while it can not be obtained in Protection loot specialization, it is still a very good Haste trinket for us. On encounters with adds you can always change target to a lower health enemy to gain a higher amount of Haste.
Crucible of Storms
As mentioned above, Idol of Indiscriminate Consumption is an incredbily strong selfhealing trinket both for raids as well as Mythic+, it heals for so much that it will effectively almost always heal you up to full health unless you are in a rare situation where there are no enemies or friendly players closeby. This can be an option if you need to heal back to full health once every minute.
Battle of Dazar'alor
While Battle of Dazar'alor trinkets comes at a much lower item level, some of the effects are incredibly strong for their itemlevel, and may very well still be worth using in some situations.
Bwonsamdi's Bargain is a strong defensive trinket during progression. While it puts a healing absorb on you, with the amount depending on how big the attack that would otherwise kill you is, it is easy to heal off as a Paladin. This is best used during progression, when you are still unfamiliar to the encounters or their damage patterns. Once you get accustomed to the fight, it loses a lot of value.
Diamond-Laced Refracting Prism is still a nice trinket for overall healing, however it will not make a huge impact in terms of survivability. Its healing is still very potent despite its itemlevel.
Operation: Mechagon Gear
Operation: Mechagon has a few pieces of gear with special effects, mainly the rings. There are four "If" rings, and four "then" rings that can be combined for an effect. The best "If" ring, and only one you can reliably really proc is the Logic Loop of Recursion as your rotation is very diverse and you can satisfy that "If" requirement the easiest. When it comes to the "then" rings all of them do vastly different things, but they are also all rather effective at what they do. Ideally you would want the Overclocking Bit Band for what is essentially passive Haste, but the shield from Protecting Bit Band will be effective against constant magic intake, while the Shorting Bit Band will be the strongest DPS alternative.
Anodized Deflectors gives you a bit of parry as well as a load of Avoidance on a rather short cooldown, which also triggers a small frontal cone attack. This effect is off the Global Cooldown, but the bracers have no secondary stats on them, which lowers their value if you can not benefit from the use effect a lot. It is on demand Avoidance which can be useful against certain AoE mechanics that could be threatening for the tank
Fusion Hacker provides a fair increase in damage despite its lack of secondary stats. Should you not have a higher item level weapon and you want dps, then this is a fairly good choice.
Salvaged Mekacycle Shielding is generally not worth a lot in terms of damage absorbed. The shield it provides is too small and does not come often enough to be worth losing some secondary stats over.
- 14 Jan. 2020: Added Corruption gear, Gouged Eye of N'Zoth, and Mechagon gear.
- 11 Jan. 2020: Re-added the BiS list and added Ny'alotha, the Waking City trinket recommendations.
- 14 Jul. 2019: Added The Eternal Palace trinket recommendations.
- 07 Jul. 2019: Benthic gear has been added.
- 25 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 14 May 2019: Updated Crucible gear recommendations.
- 15 Apr. 2019: Added Crucible of Storms gear.
- 20 Jan. 2019: Added BiS Azerite from vendor, and Battle of Dazar'alor Raid Trinkets
- 10 Dec. 2018: Minor revisions on trinkets.
- 04 Sep. 2018: Added Raid trinkets.
- 22 Aug. 2018: Added Darkmoon trinkets.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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