Protection Paladin Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated Yesterday at 12:48 by Panthea 20 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Protection Paladin Tank talents.

1.

Talent Choices for Protection Paladin

Level Choices
15 Holy Shield Holy Shield Redoubt ? Redoubt Blessed Hammer ? Blessed Hammer
25 First Avenger ? First Avenger Crusader's Judgment Crusader's Judgment Moment of Glory Moment of Glory
30 Fist of Justice ? Fist of Justice Repentance ? Repentance Blinding Light ? Blinding Light
35 Unbreakable Spirit Unbreakable Spirit Cavalier Cavalier Blessing of Spellwarding ? Blessing of Spellwarding
40 Divine Purpose Divine Purpose Holy Avenger Holy Avenger Seraphim Seraphim
45 Hand of the Protector Hand of the Protector Consecrated Ground Consecrated Ground Judgment of Light Judgment of Light
50 Sanctified Wrath Sanctified Wrath Righteous Protector Righteous Protector Final Stand ? Final Stand

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

1.1.

Raiding

Depending on what kind of end-game content you prefer, the choices you make in the talent tree can vastly depend on what kind of encounter you are progressing at any given time. If you want a better breakdown on what talents to use on what boss, you can follow its dedicated page here.

1.2.

Mythic+

Mythic+ requires a slightly different character layout compared to most other end-game content and may require some quite specific talents due to what kind of enemies or affixes you are up against. The Mythic+ section of the guide can be found below.

1.3.

Rotation

Certain talents requires you to change how you play and changes your rotation in varied amounts. We will go over the strengths of those talents here, but if you want to know how to use those talents in the rotation, follow the link to the Rotation page where we go through the rotation or priority system we follow.

2.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Protection Paladins

Holy Shield Holy Shield Redoubt ? Redoubt Blessed Hammer ? Blessed Hammer
  • Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield increases your block chance by 15%, allows you to block spells, and causes your successful blocks to deal Holy damage to your attacker.
  • Redoubt Icon Redoubt makes your Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous give a stacking buff that increases Strength as well as Stamina by 2% per stack, up to 3 stacks.
  • Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer replaces Hammer of the Righteous Icon Hammer of the Righteous. It has 3 charges (up from Hammer of the Righteous' 2), and the hammer can hit all targets it comes in contact with on its path, multiple times. Enemies that are hit take Holy damage and will reduce the next damage they deal to you.

We heavily recommend Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield as it adds a straight up 15% chance to block as well as making abilities classified as spells blockable. Note that this does not include all forms of damage, but rather only abilities that are normally blockable, as well as abilities classified as spells. Holy Shield is great at reducing overall damage intake, but is not something to be relied upon against big nuke damage, as you will still have a fairly high chance of not blocking. It is recommended on most encounters and shines where the threatening damage is either magic damage or blockable non-auto-attacks.

Redoubt Icon Redoubt, gives a stacking buff that increases Strength and Stamina by 2%, stacking to 3. This is a rather effective talent that basically adds 6% Strength and 6% Stamina at all times as long as you can use Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous once every 10 seconds.

Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer does very well and is more flexible than Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield for its convenient nature. It does not have a target restriction, which allows you to still be casting while kiting or moving, which can cause additional Grand Crusader Icon Grand Crusader procs to allow you to cast more Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shields easier. This effect also allows Holy Power generation on the move, or in transitions where there may not be a target. The hammers from Blessed Hammer will spiral outwards and can damage and debuff the same target multiple times, depending on the size of the mob and its position, meaning that the uptime per cast on the damage reduction debuff will be high.

3.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Protection Paladins

First Avenger ? First Avenger Crusader's Judgment Crusader's Judgment Moment of Glory Moment of Glory

First Avenger Icon First Avenger increases the amount of targets hit by Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield. Due to Avenger's Shield being one of the strongest tools for AoE damage, this talent performs well in pure AoE situations, but falls behind quickly against single target.

Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment will allow you to recharge Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous slightly faster with more Judgment Icon Judgment casts over time. This is advantageous to increase the Holy Power generation to get higher uptime on Shield of the Righteous. Overall, Crusader's Judgment is the go-to talent defensively, and the best talent offensively against single target. Make sure to always use your Judgment stacks so you do not end up wasting any.

Moment of Glory Icon Moment of Glory is sort of an offensive AoE cooldown that also generates a lot of Holy Power. However, compared to the options in this row, First Avenger Icon First Avenger does more sustainable AoE damage and Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment does more sustainable single target damage. Moment of Glory benefits from being a cooldown, but with a rather limited use.

4.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Protection Paladins

Fist of Justice ? Fist of Justice Repentance ? Repentance Blinding Light ? Blinding Light
  • Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice causes each Holy Power spent to reduce the remaining cooldown of Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice by 2 seconds.
  • Repentance Icon Repentance is an active ability with an 15-second cooldown. It is a form of crowd-control that incapacitates the target for up to 1 minute. Damage done will break the effect. Repentance can only be used against Humanoids, Demons, Undead, Dragonkin, and Giants.
  • Blinding Light Icon Blinding Light is an active ability with an 90-second cooldown. It disorients all enemies within a 10-yard radius around you for 6 seconds. Non-holy damage done to them will break the disorient effect.

The choice in this tier is entirely up to you; Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice vastly reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice. It does, however, suffer from diminishing returns if your group likes randomly stunning constantly, and unless used often, Hammer of Justice by itself might be enough without the lowered cooldown. It is generally the go-to talent though, since you can just throw it out every 25 seconds or so (more often with Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment).

Repentance Icon Repentance has its uses, in cases where you want to crowd control some important add in a trash pack, or maybe an important add on a boss fight. While a mob is under the effect of repentance, mobs have a slightly shorter body pull range, but will still pull you into combat should you get to close.

Blinding Light Icon Blinding Light is a great AoE crowd control/interrupt for 5-man content, and it does not suffer from diminishing returns. This means that if the add is susceptible to crowd control, it can be interrupted no matter how many other stuns it has already suffered. Its long cooldown means that using it requires more planning.

5.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Protection Paladins

Unbreakable Spirit Unbreakable Spirit Cavalier Cavalier Blessing of Spellwarding ? Blessing of Spellwarding

The first question you need to ask yourself when looking at these talents is if you need Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection or Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding. You first have to make sure what you need the most; both can be used to cheese plenty of mechanics and abilities, especially in raids. If you do not particularly feel you need either, you choose Unbreakable Spirit Icon Unbreakable Spirit.

Unbreakable Spirit Icon Unbreakable Spirit is the go-to talent unless you need to use Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding for a dungeon or encounter. The reduction in Ardent Defender Icon Ardent Defender will be relevant quite often, but also the reduction of the cooldown of Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield becomes quite relevant should you use the Final Stand Icon Final Stand talent.

Cavalier Icon Cavalier is a good talent for when extra mobility is prioritized.

Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding is an amazing tool for both dungeons and raiding, for any situation that involves magic damage, giving you a magic-damage immunity. Aside from being immune to magic damage, it also prevents the application of numerous magic debuffs, but does not remove them; this allows you to perform creative fight strategies. Note that unlike Blessing of Protection, the bosses will still target you while it is active. That said, they may choose to ignore you with a targeted spell if Spellwarding is active.

6.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Protection Paladins

Divine Purpose Divine Purpose Holy Avenger Holy Avenger Seraphim Seraphim
  • Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose causes your Holy Power spending abilities to have a 15% chance to make your next Holy Power spending ability free and deal 20% increased damage and healing.
  • Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger provides a 3-minute cooldown that triples all Holy Power generation for its 20-second duration.
  • Seraphim Icon Seraphim is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown and costs 3 Holy Power. It grants 8% Haste, Critical Strike, Versatility, and Mastery for its 15-second duration.

Divine Purpose Icon Divine Purpose adds to the smoothness of your damage intake by spreading out your Holy Power gains over the course of the fight rather than all at the same time. A free Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory also has a chance to trigger this proc, making you able to fish for more Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous uptime should you wish.

Holy Avenger Icon Holy Avenger is a strong cooldown that triples all Holy Power generation while it is up. This means that a single Judgment Icon Judgment while Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath when running Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath will give you 6 Holy Power. This ability easily gives you 100% uptime on Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous while it is up, however, since the Shield of the Righteous duration only stacks three times, you will undoubtedly waste some uptime to be able to spend all the Holy Power you get when this is up.

Seraphim Icon Seraphim does not provide much survivability, since despite its bonuses, it consumes Holy Power from Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous, making it expensive to cast. With the downtime in dungeons, Seraphim will always have a high effective uptime on packs when and where it matters, since you can choose to save it to start the next pull with. While it should not be compared with your other cooldowns against high damage intake, all the secondary stats it provides will most definitely increase your survivability for its duration.

7.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Protection Paladins

Hand of the Protector Hand of the Protector Consecrated Ground Consecrated Ground Judgment of Light Judgment of Light

Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector is not a very useful talent these days, as an untalented Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory can already be used to heal other players than yourself. This talent makes that heal a little bit stronger, but effectively you can already do what this talent lets you do.

Consecrated Ground Icon Consecrated Ground makes it easier to stand inside Consecration Icon Consecration if you are moving around a bit, as you want to make sure you are standing within it. The slow makes Consecrated Ground your default choice when it comes to Mythic+ dungeons, where kiting enemies can potentially help deal with some troublesome affixes, or just running away from mobs to give you a few seconds of not taking damage.

The default raiding choice in this tier should be Judgment of Light Icon Judgment of Light, since it is easy to use and provides a steady amount of passive raid healing. The healing itself is not high, but it can still make a difference and it is generally a strong choice compared to the other talents in this tier.

8.

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Protection Paladins

Sanctified Wrath Sanctified Wrath Righteous Protector Righteous Protector Final Stand ? Final Stand

Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath is generally the best talent in this row, as it makes Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath last longer but also generate a lot more Holy Power for its duration, especially paired with Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment. Avenging Wrath becomes a very powerful defensive option where Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous is valuable.

Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector gives quite the cooldown reduction to both Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath as well as Guardian of Ancient Kings Icon Guardian of Ancient Kings, however without Sanctified Wrath Icon Sanctified Wrath, Avenging Wrath is not very strong from a defensive point of view. Should you instead value the cooldown reduction of Guardian of Ancient Kings, you may be better off with Final Stand Icon Final Stand as a talent to get a much stronger cooldown instead. This means Righteous Protector does both jobs well, but not either that great.

If you need another strong defensive cooldown, Final Stand Icon Final Stand is a great choice. It is an extremely powerful tanking cooldown, since it actively makes you immune to all damage for its duration. Final Stand comes can be extremely useful in dungeons, due to being able to make some complicated pulls a lot less threatening. In raids, however, there are some bosses where you might want to use Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield to remove a debuff, or soak a mechanic or ability; the boss will still target you for 3 seconds during Divine Shield after you use taunt and you would not need to run Final Stand.

9.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

Opting into War, War-Mode makes you eligible for open world PvP, but also grants you the following benefits:

  • World Quests at maximum level have 10% increased rewards (30% if you are Alliance).
  • You gain 10% increased experience while leveling (30% if you are Alliance).
  • Allows you to earn Conquest Points towards weekly gear rewards.
  • Grants you the use of PvP talents in the open world.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended that you enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself eligible for open world PvP, and the possibility of being "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

9.1.

PvP Talents for Protection Paladins

This list is going to be assuming you care little about actual PvP combat, and focuses rather on optimal talents for outdoor PvE such as World Questing and Leveling.

  • Warrior of Light Icon Warrior of Light makes Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous deal 30% more damage at the cost of less armor granted. This is generally fine for outdoor content since tanks usually do not struggle to survive in outdoor content.
  • Steed of Glory Icon Steed of Glory increases the duration of Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed by 2 seconds, which means you can travel a lot further per steed charge, allowing you to quickly get between two places. Note however that it does cause you to knock back enemies that get close to you, which can be a negative aspect if you are trying to gather them up to AoE.
  • Unbound Freedom Icon Unbound Freedom turns your Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom into a 30% speed increase, helping you get around slightly faster when questing and leveling.

Talents, such as Hallowed Ground Icon Hallowed Ground and Shield of Virtue Icon Shield of Virtue, do what Protection Paladins already do very well with either Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom or Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield. Shield of Virtue most importantly makes Avenger's Shield silence players, as it does not do it normally, but it will silence targets around it as well and has very limited use.

Most other talents are either very weak or benefit players around you instead and are very limited in use.

10.

Changelog

  • 24 Nov. 2020: Removed reference to Conflict and Strife in PvP Talents.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 29 Oct. 2020: Updated phrasing for Blessed Hammer.
  • 26 Oct. 2020: Updated PvP Talents.
  • 13 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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