Protection Paladin Tank Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Mar 12, 2019 at 20:19 by Treckie 33 comments

Welcome to our Protection Paladin guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5. 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.

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. Patch 8.1.5 Changes for Protection Paladins

3. Patch 8.1 Changes for Protection Paladins

  • Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector now increases healing done depending on the target's missing health, instead of your own.
  • Ranged Physical attacks are now blockable.
  • Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield is now able to kill Explosive Icon Explosive if it is your primary target.
  • Dauntless Divinity has been removed and replaced with Righteous Conviction Icon Righteous Conviction, which increases the healing done by Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector, as well as always providing the maximum healing increase during Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath.
  • Azerite Fortification have been removed, and replaced with Empyreal Ward Icon Empyreal Ward, which increases the targets armor by a small amount for 1 minute, after being healed by your Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands.
  • New animation for Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath.
  • The Mythic+ affix Necrotic Icon Necrotic has been changed from a magic debuff to a physical bleed.

4. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Protection Paladins

  • Tank threat generation has been significantly reduced, from +900% to +350% bonus threat generation.
  • The amount of damage you Block is dependent on the new Block value that passively comes on your Shield. This value can also be increased with other spells and talents.
  • Mastery: Divine Bulwark Icon Mastery: Divine Bulwark increases both your chance to Block as well as the passive damage reduction you get while you stand in your Consecration Icon Consecration.
  • Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector now heals for a set amount, which is then increased by missing Health, and is now able to Critically Strike, it also has an increased cooldown at 17 seconds.
  • Consecration Icon Consecration had its cooldown reduced and duration increased. However, multiple casts no longer stack with each other.
  • Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield will increase the damage done and Armor gained from your next Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous by 20%. In Legion, this effect used to be gained from standing in Consecration Icon Consecration instead.
  • Some abilities are now on the global cooldown, such as Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector, Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, and Seraphim Icon Seraphim.
  • Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath has been reduced from 35% to 20%, but now also increases your Critical Strike chance by 20%. It is important to note that it now ONLY works for Paladin spells and abilities, which means it does not work with trinkets or other effects any longer.
  • NEW talent Unbreakable Spirit Icon Unbreakable Spirit has been added instead of Knight Templar. This talent reduces the cooldown of Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield, Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands, and Ardent Defender Icon Ardent Defender by 30%.
  • War Mode talents have been added, which are PvP talents that are active at all times in outdoor content, as long as War Mode is turned on.

Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous has received numerous changes for Battle for Azeroth, which are listed below.

  • It no longer requires a target to activate, and instead of dealing damage to your current target it deals damage in a cone in front of you.
  • It has been changed from a flat damage reduction to instead increasing Armor.
  • The Armor gained from Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous is increased by Strength.
  • Its cooldown has been increased to 18 seconds.

5. Protection Paladin Strengths

6. Protection Paladin Weaknesses

  • Limited Active mitigation uptime
  • Squishy outside of Active mitigation
  • Limited mobility outside of Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed
  • Proactive mitigation model, easy to die to unforeseen damage

7. Viability of Protection Paladin in the Current Patch

Protection Paladins are currently one of the well rounded tanks for both raids and dungeons. We have fair self-sustain to dig ourselves out when dropping down to low health as well as very strong active mitigation to deal with predictable damage. Our main weakness is often high melee or constant damage intake as we can not obtain 100% uptime on mitigation. We do have good tools and cooldowns to help us out during active mitigation downtimes, but if the damage is constant enough we will quickly still run out.

8. Changelog

  • 12 Mar. 2019 (spells page): Added note about Light of the Protector crits during Avenging Wrath.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (rotation page): Added note about Light of the Protector crits during Avenging Wrath.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (easy mode page): Added note about Light of the Protector crits during Avenging Wrath.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added a note clarifying use of Divine Shield on Dazar in Kings Rest.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (this page): Added note about Light of the Protector crits during Avenging Wrath.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added note about critical hits to Righteous Conviction.
  • 12 Mar. 2019 (FAQ page): Added Zandalari Race.
  • 05 Mar. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added more advanced tips against Reaping.
  • 05 Mar. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added BiS list, Grace of the Justicar and Judicious Defense.
  • 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 (gear page): Added BiS Azerite from vendor, and Battle of Dazar'alor Raid Trinkets
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (talents page): Minor wording changes on Tier 1, 2 and 5 talents.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Season 2 Outer Ring and the new traits.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (FAQ page): Added Races and improved wording on Haste cap.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added BoD advice for Protection Paladins.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated Azerite and talent recommendations and seasonal affix.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (easy mode page): Minor edits with Season two Azerite Rings.
  • 20 Jan. 2019 (enchants page): Minor rewording of enchants and consumables.
  • 12 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Avenger's Shield hits Explosive Orbs, updated Heartsbane Triad (Waycrest Manor) text.
  • 12 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added new trait Empyreal Ward.
  • 12 Dec. 2018 (this page): Patch 8.1 updates added, including blockable attacks, new Azerite trait and Explosive changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Minor edits for talent and Azerite recommendations.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1 and added Strengths/Weaknesses.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): Minor revisions on trinkets.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Minor wording changes on Tier 2, 5 and 7 talents and priority.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Major revisions, and Mythic added.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added new trait Righteous Conviction.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Minor updates to talents and Necrotic.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary
  • 21 Nov. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Revamped the page with S-B Tier list.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (how to improve page): Added Avenger's Shield buff to Shield of the Righteous.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Added Raid trinkets.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Major update for Mythic+ launch.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Minor rewording on level 100 talents.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added initial boss by boss outline for Uldir.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (talents page): Minor wording changes on Tier 1, 2, and 7 talents.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Uldir raid traits and minor rearrangements.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (easy mode page): Minor edits on Azerite and Talent recommendations.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (FAQ page): Added Azerite and Pawn string to FAQ.
  • 27 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated Repentance paragraph.
  • 25 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Added Quick Navigation enchant recommendation.
  • 22 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Added Darkmoon trinkets.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Revamped the page, and added traits.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Included Inner Light section.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Edited cancelaura macro section.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Added paragraph below stat priority.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Added Inner Light section.
  • 09 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Added Azerite recommendations to page.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Fixed Inquisition link.
  • 21 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Changed wording to better reflect Unbreakable Spirit vs Hand of the Protector.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Swapped Unbreakable to default.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Added War Mode talents.
  • 18 Jul. 2018 (this page): Added Unbreakable Spirit and War Mode section.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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