Protection Paladin Tank Guide — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Jul 21, 2021 at 08:12 by Panthea 42 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Protection Paladin guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. Here, you will learn how to tank as a Protection Paladin in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your survivability.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Protection Paladin guide.

1.

Protection Paladin Overview

As a Protection Paladin, you can expect to perform the role of a solid and reliable tank. In general, your damage intake will be relatively smooth, with many attacks being blocked by your shield or softened by your strong active mitigation. No other tank class has quite the array of tricks up their sleeve that a Paladin does.

Note that this guide focuses on aspects that are specific to Protection Paladins and general tanking strategies are beyond its scope. If you wish to know more about the tanking role and what you can do to improve, we recommend that you read our tanking guide.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Strong active mitigation and cooldown kit against predictable incoming damage.
  • +Unique group utility and damage reductions with Blessings and Auras.
  • +Good burst capabilities with coolodwns for damage and threat generation.
  • +Great emergency cooldowns like Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands and Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield when things look dire.
  • +Good self and group healing with Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory and Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands.
X Weaknesses
3.

Patch 9.1 Changes for Paladins

We are maintaining a list of changes for Paladins, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Protection's specific changes this patch.

4.

Leveling as a Protection Paladin

If you do not have a Paladin at max level you can follow the link below to help you in your quest to reach max level. Keep in mind that leveling as a tank, while not always the fastest, means you are great at being able to pull large groups of enemies and AoE them down.

Should you be leveling as a tank, it is recommended to learn the ropes throughout the leveling process as well, as generally it is not tuned to be very hard. Addons are rather important to be able to tank well, such as threatplates, but also tracking buffs and debuffs. Playing dungeons while leveling will give you a sense of those addons before getting thrown into max level content.

5.

Basics of Protection Paladin Gameplay

Tanking in general means a lot of pressure to not only do damage and thus threat to make sure things are attacking you, but also about surviving those attacks. As a Protection Paladin, this generally means generating as much Holy Power as possible, so you can spend it on Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous to reduce damage intake. With our active mitigation not being up constantly, it is important to make sure you can cover those times when Shield of the Righteous is down with another cooldowns should damage intake still be high. If you are fairly new to the class and spec and need to jump into it right away, we recommend the Easy Mode page linked below.

If you have got the basics down and want to improve your class knowledge, go to the Talent and Rotation pages for more in-depth information.

6.

How to Gear Up as a Protection Paladin

Tanks are generally quite uncommon, so finding a group as a tank is not too difficult and gearing up might happen rather fast. At the start, all you really want is higher item level, as you value all the stats you can get. Once you have options of similar item levels you can follow these pages to read more on how the different stats influence your character, as well as what gems, enchants, and consumables you should be using. You can also find a page dedicated for more end-game gearing information in the BiS and Gear page.

7.

End-Game as a Protection Paladin

End-game content comes in many forms that can vary quite a lot in both gearing and playstyle depending on what you focus most of your efforts into. While tanking in raids or in Mythic+ on the surface seems similar, there are many ways they differ, and you can focus on them separately in the pages linked below. Shadowlands also brought Torghast, a new game mode, for which you can find a Protection Paladin guide just below. PvP is typically not played with tank-specced players, so we recommend you play one of the other Paladin specialisations (Holy / Retribution) should you wish to learn more of that.

8.

Improving as a Protection Paladin

Tanking can sometimes be rather unforgiving, especially if you are not quite sure what is actually going wrong; below we have linked a few resources aimed at helping you improve playing your character.

9.

Changelog

  • 21 Jul. 2021 (easy mode page): Corrected typo in Legendary table column header.
  • 21 Jul. 2021 (Legendaries): Corrected typo in Legendary table column header.
  • 18 Jul. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Removed PTR references.
  • 18 Jul. 2021 (easy mode page): Removed Kyrian M+ Legendary choice.
  • 18 Jul. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated M+ Legendary choices for Kyrian.
  • 18 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Updated boss information for Guardian, Kel'Thuzad, and Sylvanas; also removed PTR references.
  • 04 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Fixed wrong spell references on Painsmith Reznal and Fatescribe Roh-Kalo.
  • 03 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Guide created.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 29 Apr. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Added initial content.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Added Legendary focus (single-target DPS). Included information around The Mad Paragon being used for Protection.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated Soulbind trees. Included new Necrolord change that it generates 1 Holy Power as of Patch 9.0.5. Updated Fleshcraft in line with 9.0.5 rework. Updated text on Dreamweaver as it looks like it is not changing any time soon.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Changed recommended Level 50 talent as the previous suggestion was only recommended for expansion launch where gear levels were very low. Updated Pelagos tree. Updated Theotar tree. Added Legendary focus (single-target DPS).
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added Valor recommendations. Added and updated trinket recommendations. Added PvP gearing section.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Updated Level 50 talent suggestions.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 06 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Added Feet enchant to the list.
  • 03 Mar. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Updated tips and talents for many fights. Added specific raid utility tips on Sun King's Salvation and included Mythic notes for Sire Denathrius.
  • 01 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Updated Level 50 Talents.
  • 01 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added Royal Decree to Endurance Conduit list.
  • 10 Feb. 2021 (stats page): Re-write of Critical Strike section to clarify strengths of the stat.
  • 20 Jan. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added summary table of Covenants.
  • 19 Jan. 2021 (stats page): Revised information on Strength to include small gains to parry from increasing Strength.
  • 05 Jan. 2021 (easy mode page): Re-written Shield of the Righteous section to highlight uptime and how to manage it.
  • 22 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Added Castle Nathria loot. Fixed incorrect dungeon link.
  • 19 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added additional tip for Sire Denathrius, Hungering Destroyer. Updated Huntsman to say adds spawn on 90% if immune.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added guide.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (stats page): Updated info on Haste.
  • 05 Dec. 2020 (Legendaries): Updated information about Retribution legendaries used for Protection.
  • 05 Dec. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added small note to Punish the Guilty to indicate it is still best after nerfs.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 29 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Added an additional helmet choice.
  • 29 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Replaced Shield of the Righteous management tip with Holy Power management tips. Added Aura tips.
  • 25 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Removed reference to Conflict and Strife in PvP Talents.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Reviewed for Shadowlands launch. Corrected typo.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Reviewed for Shadowlands launch.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Removed BfA information. Added Shadowlands Dungeon Gear.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Reviewed for Shadowlands release. Removed Spellwarding from cancelaura Macro as Blessing of Protection works for both spells. Replaced Grid Click Sets with Clique. Added more addons.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated for Shadowlands with Oils, Armor Kits, New enchants.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Removed BfA info.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Removed BfA information. Added Covenant FAQ.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated to fix Soulbind trees and update some information with regards to Fleshcraft.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated with latest changes.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 17 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page created
  • 29 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Updated phrasing for Blessed Hammer.
  • 29 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Removed reference to Light of the Protector.
  • 26 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Updated PvP Talents.
  • 26 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Added section on Auras.
  • 26 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Added section on Auras.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 26 Aug. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated and added Mythic tips.
  • 13 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated Za'qul Main tank and Off tank Essence recommendations.
  • 12 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated Essence recommendations.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added Eternal Palace advice for Protection Paladins.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 12 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Updated and added Mythic mode.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 05 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Mythic advice for BoD.
  • 29 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated BoD advice according to live mechanics.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added BoD advice for Protection Paladins.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Major revisions, and Mythic added.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added initial boss by boss outline for Uldir.
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