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Protection Paladin Tank Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.3.2)

Last updated on Aug 28, 2017 at 19:03 by Vlad 175 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

This page is a gear reference for Protection Paladins. It lists your best items and Legendaries, gives you gearing advice, and shows you how you will be competing for loot with other classes.

The other pages of our Protection Paladin guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Treckie, one of the best Protection Paladins in the world, who raids in Prime. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

1. Best in Slot List

We are currently not providing a Best in Slot list, but we do make trinket, set bonus, and legendary item recommendations below.

When it comes to gearing, the item level of the items always comes in question, thus a list to blindly follow will not do much good, since any item can be competitive if it comes with a socket or if it is sufficiently Warforged/Titanforged. The only thing to really try to avoid are items with Critical Strike. A general rule of thumb is that if the item has Critical Strike, it needs to be either 10 item levels higher OR have a socket (15 item levels for jewelery), to really compete with a piece that has Haste and Mastery/Versatility.

Mythic+ can also proc high item level pieces, which means they are highly competitive as well.

2. Trinkets

2.1. Non-Raid Trinkets

Darkmoon Deck: Immortality Icon Darkmoon Deck: Immortality is the strongest trinket out there for reliable Physical damage reduction, despite its item level being capped at 900.

Writhing Heart of Darkness Icon Writhing Heart of Darkness makes your critical strikes debuff the target to do less damage against you. It has a very high and reliable uptime, although it requires you to deal damage to the target constantly. It loses strength where you might be running in and out of melee range or swapping targets a lot, but for single target it is very powerful.

Unstable Arcanocrystal Icon Unstable Arcanocrystal provides an amazing set of secondary stats and because of it, this is easily one of the strongest trinkets out there; its strength and weakness comes from being passive, but in most cases that ends up working in your favour.

Chrono Shard Icon Chrono Shard's Strength is solid for dealing damage, and the Haste proc is great for both damage and survival (Memento of Angerboda Icon Memento of Angerboda is a very good alternative that is stronger DPS-wise, but weaker survivability-wise).

Horn of Valor Icon Horn of Valor is overall a strong trinket, with an on-use effect that provides a lot of on-demand Strength. This is great for dishing out more damage since its cooldown lines up with that of Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, which results in very high damage when coupled with Seraphim Icon Seraphim.

2.2. Raid Trinkets

Feverish Carapace Icon Feverish Carapace is a proc-based trinket for survivability that gives a bit of Armor. In purely Physical encounters, it can be somewhat useful, but in general you are simply better off with a reliable trinket such as Darkmoon Deck: Immortality Icon Darkmoon Deck: Immortality. You could use both of them, but there are generally other better trinkets out there. The reflect part could end up doing a bit of damage when AoE tanking, but realistically it is quite useless.

Reliquary of the Damned Icon Reliquary of the Damned is a Stamina trinket that could rival Infernal Contract Icon Infernal Contract if you need an extra cooldown. Its use effect is not quite as strong, but it has no backlash effect, and passively gives you a solid amount of effective health, making it harder for you to die in the first place.

Recompiled Guardian Module Icon Recompiled Guardian Module is a pretty passive trinket that will end up doing quite a bit of raid healing throughout the fight, but the shield is really what you want. That said, the numbers are very weak, and the trinket does not really have any use.

Shifting Cosmic Sliver Icon Shifting Cosmic Sliver has an interesting effect that plays around your Guardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings; you can either reduce the cooldown of it, or increase the duration of Guardian if it is currently up. Using it to prolong the duration of Guardian of Ancient Kings is going to be very situational. This trinket is, simply put, just not very impactful. While you could combine it with Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr Icon Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr, you will not be able to reduce the cooldown in any meaningful way, especially with Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous being so strong.

Leviathan's Hunger Icon Leviathan's Hunger is a tricky trinket to really evaluate. Most often, it is compared with a general Strength stat-stick with Haste, however those can be hard to come by and it is relatively easy to get a high item level Leviathan's Hunger over a high item level Haste stat-stick. Defensively speaking, Strength also does close to nothing for you. The heal you get from Leviathan's Hunger differs in usefulness on each fight. It really shines where you have high reliable damage intake on you, like a bleed/DoT or a string of unavoidable incoming damage. It will not, however, prevent you from being one-shotted. It is also great for Mythic+ for self healing.

Chains of the Valorous Icon Chains of the Valorous or any kind of stat sticks are solid if high enough item level and preferably with Haste; since they are passive and reliable they are all useful (defensively, though, you should avoid the ones with Critical Strike).

Animated Exoskeleton Icon Animated Exoskeleton has a huge amount of Stamina that often feels redundant to have on a trinket, but this trinket is mainly to be used against tank busters; while the on-use effect is pretty weak and would often be removed within a single hit or two, the passive effective health provided is not to be ignored.

Infernal Contract Icon Infernal Contract's passive Mastery is appreciated, and the on-use effect is interesting and can be very rewarding if used correctly. It is best used against single large hits followed by periods of low damage, where it effectively works as a 4 million damage shield, with a small drawback. The drawback can can give you more issues if used during extended periods of high damage intake.

Royal Dagger Haft Icon Royal Dagger Haft is a trinket with a very effective passive defensive proc, without having any actual defensive stats on it. On the face of it, this last feature is unappealing, but the proc, which is effectively a cheat death, can be extremely powerful, especially against any boss that has very unpredictable tank damage, or when you are first learning a boss fight and you do not quite know how to play effectively against it yet. It works well as a safety net, especially when using Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield, should you be unlucky with blocks; once you are used to the fight the trinket should quickly fall out of favor.

3. Tier 20 Set Bonuses

The 2-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus is good enough; effectively it just means you will get more Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield casts off while doing your normal rotation. Note that the 2-piece Bonus does not proc Grand Crusader Icon Grand Crusader and simply resets its cooldown.

The 4-piece Bonus, however, is pretty strong and should be acquired as soon as possible for survivability. It provides you with a 5% damage done reduction on anything hit by Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield. This effect lasts for 10 seconds, making it pretty much 100% uptime on any boss.

If at all possible, you should try to acquire set pieces in this order (you obviously only want 4, but if you have legendaries for some of the first 4 slots, you may want to use the other two pieces):

  1. chest;
  2. cloak;
  3. legs;
  4. helm;
  5. gloves;
  6. shoulders.

The 2-piece Tier 19 set bonus is still decently strong, but it is not worth losing much in terms of item levels trying to keep it; replace it if you have both pieces with higher item levels.

The 4-piece Tier 19 set bonus can still be used for raid healing, combined with Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector and Saruan's Resolve Icon Saruan's Resolve, but you are realistically never going to be doing this.

4. Legendary Items

Legendary items have a high item level of 970, which makes them extremely strong. They are so strong, in fact, that a legendary item is always going to be worth equipping over any other item you might have in that slot.

However, there is a limitation on the number of legendary items you can have equipped at any one time (by default 1, but by now most players should be able to equip 2). Since some legendary items are better than others, if you have more items than the limit, you will have to choose which ones to equip.

Below, we will do our best to guide you through this process, as well as provide any other relevant information.

Saruan's Resolve Icon Saruan's Resolve adds a second charge to your Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector, which is very strong in any healing situation; with it you can use Light of the Protector a bit more freely since you should have another charge ready and always counting down. It also reduces the cooldown slightly. It should always be coupled with the Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector talent for quick healing and off-healing. This is by far the best survivability legendary you have, giving you a lot more flexibility with healing yourself.

Pillars of Inmost Light Icon Pillars of Inmost Light drastically increases the damage done by  Icon Eye of Tyr, which is very good for damage output in 5-man content or any kind of AoE situation. It also reduces the cooldown to 45 seconds, which makes you able to use it much more often. This legendary is definitely great for 5-man content, and it is even very good defensively in raids where you want to make more frequent use of Eye of Tyr during Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous downtime.

Soul of the Highlord Icon Soul of the Highlord gives you the Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield talent. The ring does not empower Holy Shield if you are using this talent, but it basically just allows you to use Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer and Holy Shield at the same time. You should look at this ring and ask yourself if Blessed Hammer is good for you or not; if it is, then this ring is great for you. In a fight where Blessed Hammer is not very useful, you should instead take Holy Shield and use a different legendary. On any fight where melee damage is of relevance, this ring performs very well, which works out for most fights in Tomb of Sargeras.

Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr Icon Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr is not particularly strong against a single target, but it can be a nice option. Its real strength comes from being high on stats (and good stats at that). Being able to regularly hit multiple enemies with Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield greatly increases the potency of this item, and makes it strong in Mythic+.

Archimonde's Hatred Reborn Icon Archimonde's Hatred Reborn is similar to the heirloom trinket with an absorb shield on a very short cooldown. This is a very strong legendary effect if utilised well. It also explodes for 75% of the damage absorbed, split between all nearby enemies, making it effective both offensively and defensively. Its total usefulness is not amazing, but the absorb is nice to have.

Heathcliff's Immortality Icon Heathcliff's Immortality is a fairly solid legendary, with great stats for you, although its effect is not exactly revolutionary (but still quite good nonetheless). It does better the higher the damage output of the boss is.

Tyelca, Ferren Marcus's Stature Icon Tyelca, Ferren Marcus's Stature provides a sizable DPS increase, and it shines in most 5-man content. In raids, however, its usage is very situational due to few fights constantly having multiple. Since it always boosts the damage output of Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield, it is great defensively, where you can hit multiple targets due to  Icon Bulwark of Order. The Bulwark of Order shield is also unaffected by the Necrotic affix, therefore providing great healing throughput in such cases.

Sephuz's Secret Icon Sephuz's Secret is considered a very strong legendary when it can proc, but for raids, its uses are limited. It still gives a bit of a benefit when it does not proc, but you definitely want to be able to proc it for it to be effective. It shines in 5-man content, and is one of the better legendaries for Mythic+ or the raid encounters where you can reliably proc it.

Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus Icon Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus gives you a shield for 15% of your maximum health every 30 seconds; this sounds a lot better than it actually is, which is not to say that it is bad, but while it will produce decent numbers over the course of the fight, if you do not take advantage of knowing when the shield will come, you are getting a lot less out of this legendary than you could. It has a guaranteed socket, and 3 passive stats, making it passively a decent throughput legendary.

Chain of Thrayn Icon Chain of Thrayn is a decent legendary for damage, but it is overall rather unimpactful. Its main use is that it also increases healing done by an additional 50%, making Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector heal you to close to full health every time. If coupled with Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector, you can also do very solid off-healing to raid members or the co-tank during your burst.

Rethu's Incessant Courage Icon Rethu's Incessant Courage has great stats, and 3 sockets, so you can add another 450 stats of your choice. For 5-man content, it seems decent since it will let you reach the next pack faster, and then self-heal when you are actively tanking, however it is still very weak. The heal itself is fairly weak and slow, there are some encounters that can be effective on, but realistically it is not why you get this legendary.

Aggramar's Stride Icon Aggramar's Stride is a nice movement and quality of life increase; it is a lifesaver on any progression encounter where more mobility is an important element. That said, it is weak on low movement fights.

Uther's Guard Icon Uther's Guard increases the duration of your blessings and heals their target for a small amount; both of these effects are minimal and this is considered the worst legendary. If you do have it, there might be some encounter where a 15-second Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection or Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding is useful, and an 18-second Blessing of Sacrifice Icon Blessing of Sacrifice can be nice for your co-tank or someone who has a debuff; that said, it is not a very useful legendary.

5. Loot Competition

Regarding the loot you will get from raid or dungeon bosses, you will compete with other classes in the following cases:

Item Type Competing Classes
Tier Tokens Demon Hunters, Holy/Retribution Paladins, Priests, and Warlocks
Plate Armor Death Knights, Holy/Retribution Paladins, and Warriors
  • Amulets
  • Cloaks
  • Rings
Trinkets Blood Death Knights, Vengeance Demon Hunters, Feral Druids, Brewmaster Monks, and Protection Warriors

6. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated trinket and legendary item recommendations.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated trinket and legendary item recommendations and added Tier 20 Set Bonus recommendations.
  • 28 Mar. 2017: Updated trinket and legendary item rankings.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated legendary ranking (including new items) and added recommendations for Tier 19 Set Bonuses.
  • 21 Dec. 2016: Revised the Sephuz's Secret text.
  • 17 Oct. 2016: Added BiS list.
  • 19 Sep. 2016: Updated the texts for Sephuz's Secret, Heathcliff's Immortality, and Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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