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Protection Paladin Tank Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.2.5)

Last updated on Jun 13, 2017 at 13:11 by Vlad 168 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 one of the strongest trinkets out there for reliable Physical damage reduction, despite its item level being capped at 885.

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. The reflect part could end up doing a bit of damage when AoE tanking, but it is likely pretty unimpactful.

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 healing throughout the fight, and the shield is really what makes the trinket useful. That said, the numbers are not that strong, and it would really only suit fights with a relatively low healing intake on you.

Shifting Cosmic Sliver Icon Shifting Cosmic Sliver has an interesting effect that plays around with 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. Against single-target, it stacks up relatively slowly, but can be an alternative if you feel you want cooldowns more often, combined with Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr Icon Breastplate of the Golden Val'kyr for maximum cooldown reduction. Using it to prolong the duration of Guardian of Ancient Kings is going to be very situational.

Leviathan's Hunger Icon Leviathan's Hunger is likely going to be the trinket with the most effectiveness out of all the Tomb of Sargeras trinkets. Passive Haste is always welcome, and then you also have a damage-dealing ability that heals you for 3x the amount of damage it does, with this damage being increased by abilities that normally increase your damage, resulting in increased healing. Aside from being a high damage output trinket, it also means that you basically will not need any healing for the next 8 seconds, which is very strong (though it will not prevent you from being one-shotted).

As a side-note, The Deceiver's Grand Design Icon The Deceiver's Grand Design is an interesting trinket that is meant for healers, but can currently be used by tanks (although its value is not as high as it is for a healer). That said, it is still looking somewhat useful. The heal it does is very small and ticks very slowly, but the shield whenever you drop below 35% health can be a lifesaver.

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).

Grotesque Statuette Icon Grotesque Statuette's proc to reduce damage is fairly strong, even if you only get a few stacks. You will need to learn to adapt to its randomness, but doing so will allow you to have great success with this trinket.

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.

While Phantasmal Echo Icon Phantasmal Echo's Haste is much appreciated, the lack of Strength, coupled with a weak proc that procs way to easily and with a long cooldown just makes the trinket very underwhelming. Similarly, Ravaged Seed Pod Icon Ravaged Seed Pod is a fairly weak trinket with Haste, however that one at least has potential use in AoE situations (more general use in 5-man content).

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 pretty strong, making Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous and Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector be 30% more effective when standing in Consecration Icon Consecration (instead of 20%).

The 4-piece Tier 19 set bonus, however, is pretty weak (and it was made even weaker in Patch 7.2.5). If you need healing, you are likely already using Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector, in which case the two do not go together very well. That said, with the Saruan's Resolve Icon Saruan's Resolve legendary helm, the 4-piece set bonus is a considerable buff to your self-healing and raid-healing capabilities.

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. It plays well with the 4-piece Tier 19 Set Bonus, but you are unlikely to want to make this synergy happen given that you will have access to higher item level gear from Tomb of Sargeras.

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 will definitely be great for 5-man content, and it is even very good for raids.

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. This might sound strong but realistically it is going to have very limited uses. If you need Holy Shield for an encounter, you should not use this legendary item for it, and instead you should simply take the talent directly and use one of the other two better legendaries. However, on any encounter where Blessed Hammer is very useful, running Holy Shield as well will reduce your damage intake by quite a bit. Purely defensively, it is a decent legendary, although but not amazing.

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 very strong in Mythic+.

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.

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).

Tyelca, Ferren Marcus's Stature Icon Tyelca, Ferren Marcus's Stature provides a sizable DPS increase, and we recommend it for dungeon content (including Mythic+). In raids, however, its usage is very situational due to few fights constantly having 5 targets (the 3-target Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield is usually enough).

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 basically one of the best legendaries for Mythic+.

Chain of Thrayn Icon Chain of Thrayn is a great legendary both for damage and survivability purposes. While its strength certainly comes from making Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath a stronger DPS cooldown, it also increases healing done by 85%, 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 are doing 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, but does not increase your throughput, so you should not choose it over anything else (except the bracers listed below).

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 15-second Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection or Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding is useful, but that is as far as its uses go.

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
  • 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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