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Protection Paladin Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.3)

Last updated on Aug 28, 2017 at 18:49 by Vlad 173 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Protection Paladins in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Holy Shield Holy Shield Blessed Hammer Blessed Hammer Consecrated Hammer Consecrated Hammer
30 First Avenger First Avenger Bastion of Light ? Bastion of Light Crusader's Judgment Crusader's Judgment
45 Fist of Justice ? Fist of Justice Repentance ? Repentance Blinding Light ? Blinding Light
60 Blessing of Spellwarding Blessing of Spellwarding Cavalier Cavalier Retribution Aura Retribution Aura
75 Hand of the Protector Hand of the Protector Knight Templar ? Knight Templar Final Stand Final Stand
90 Aegis of Light Aegis of Light Consecrated Ground ? Consecrated Ground Judgment of Light Judgment of Light
100 Righteous Protector ? Righteous Protector Seraphim ? Seraphim Last Defender Last Defender

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.

2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Holy Shield Holy Shield Blessed Hammer Blessed Hammer Consecrated Hammer Consecrated 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.
  • 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 deal 12% less damage to you on their next auto attack.
  • Consecrated Hammer Icon Consecrated Hammer removes the recharge time of Hammer of the Righteous Icon Hammer of the Righteous. Additionally, the talent always causes Hammer of the Righteous, Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous, and Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector to always gain the benefit of you standing in Consecration Icon Consecration (regardless of whether you are or are not).

We recommend taking Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer in this tier. The hammers of this ability will spiral outwards to damage and debuff the same target multiple times (usually 2-3 times depending on the size of the mob and its position), meaning that the uptime per cast on the 12% damage done debuff will be high, as will the amount of damage that the ability deals. All of these factors make it the best talent in this tier in terms of both survivability and damage output.

Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield making you able to block magic attacks as well may sound good on paper, but in reality this damage reduction is still a gamble, so you could not rely on it to survive a strong nuke (anyway, you have Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous for that), but instead you would take this talent just to reduce the overall incoming damage, which it does pretty effectively. It is usually recommended on encounters that either have mainly threatening magic damage (since Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer will not do anything against that) or that have a lot of smaller hits per minute, as in that case it will outshine Blessed Hammer.

Finally, Consecrated Hammer Icon Consecrated Hammer is not worth taking, given how strong Blessed Hammer Icon Blessed Hammer and Holy Shield Icon Holy Shield are.

3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

First Avenger First Avenger Bastion of Light ? Bastion of Light Crusader's Judgment Crusader's Judgment

First Avenger Icon First Avenger provides a big increase in Grand Crusader Icon Grand Crusader proc frequency when it comes to AoE tanking. Since Avenger's Shield Icon Avenger's Shield is one of the strongest tools for AoE damage, this talent is an excellent choice for damage output in both AoE and single target situations. More procs and slightly more damage means a lot more shielding with the  Icon Bulwark of Order Artifact trait.

Bastion of Light Icon Bastion of Light can be considered a form of a cooldown, if you want a period of reliable Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous coverage. It pairs well with Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector to be able to dish out a couple of Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector heals in a short amount of time, but due to the fact that Shield of the Righteous can only stack up to 3 times its duration, you are forced to pace this talent a bit more. That said, it can still help you achieve about 40-50 seconds of straight Shield of the Righteous coverage, which can be really strong on encounters that favor this timing.

Crusader's Judgment Icon Crusader's Judgment is the other side of the coin. Compared to Bastion of Light Icon Bastion of Light, this instead gives you a slightly lower Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous uptime, but it paces that out throughout the whole fight, which is better if the boss stops hitting you every now and then to cast spells, or if you are swapping tanks more often. This talent plays well with the Judgment of Light Icon Judgment of Light talent to boost its healing. Overall, Crusader's Judgment is a solid passive go-to talent. Make sure to always use your Judgment Icon Judgment stacks so you do not end up wasting any.

4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Fist of Justice ? Fist of Justice Repentance ? Repentance Blinding Light ? Blinding Light
  • Fist of Justice Icon Fist of Justice causes your Judgment Icon Judgment to reduce the remaining cooldown of Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice by 10 seconds.
  • Repentance Icon Repentance is an active ability with a 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 Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids, and Undead.
  • Blinding Light Icon Blinding Light is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. It disorients all enemies within a 10-yard radius around you, and 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 15 seconds or so.

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.

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.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Blessing of Spellwarding Blessing of Spellwarding Cavalier Cavalier Retribution Aura Retribution Aura
  • Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding replaces Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection. It has a 3-minute cooldown (down from 5), and it protects against all magical attacks, instead of against Physical damage. Otherwise, it functions exactly like Blessing of Protection, but since you can still receive physical damage while it is active, it does not prevent you from tanking a mob with it active.
  • Cavalier Icon Cavalier causes your Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed to have 2 charges.
  • Retribution Aura Icon Retribution Aura is an aura that is applied to all party or raid members within 60 yards. Whenever yourself or an affected by Retribution Aura receives a melee attack, the attacker takes a small amount of Holy damage.

The first question you need to ask yourself when looking at these talents is if you need Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection. Since Blessing of Spellwarding Icon Blessing of Spellwarding replaces Blessing of Protection, 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 get to choose.

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 that, it also prevents the application of numerous debuffs (such as Necrotic), 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 when it comes to targeted spells (in the Nighthold raid instance, this is only an issue during Phase Three of the High Botanist Tel'arn encounter in Mythic mode and on the Star Augur Etraeus encounter).

Cavalier Icon Cavalier is a great go-to talent for general use, and during movement-heavy fights (and Mythic+ dungeons), or simply if Blessing of Protection Icon Blessing of Protection is needed.

Finally, Retribution Aura Icon Retribution Aura is incredibly weak. Considering that you would need more than 10 Retribution Aura hits to make up for the damage of one auto attack, it is hardly worth it even in large AoE pulls, and in most cases it simply provides more DPS to use Cavalier Icon Cavalier in order to be able to move around more.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Hand of the Protector Hand of the Protector Knight Templar ? Knight Templar Final Stand Final Stand
  • Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector replaces Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector. Its cooldown is 10 seconds (down from Light of the Protector's 15 seconds), and it can be used on any friendly target, not just yourself. It heals for the same amount (30% of missing health) and also benefits from standing in Consecration Icon Consecration (causing its healing to be increased by 20%).
  • Knight Templar Icon Knight Templar reduces the cooldown of Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed by 50%, and reduces all damage you take by 20% while you are mounted on your Divine Steed.
  • Final Stand Icon Final Stand causes your Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield to also force all targets within 15 yards to attack you for its 8-second duration.

The default choice in this tier should be Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector. This effectively lowers the cooldown of your only self-heal by 33%, making it a lot more accessible to counter damage spikes. If you have the tier 7 Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector talent (which also affects Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector), then you will have access to self-healing that is far more controllable.

Knight Templar Icon Knight Templar can be a great mobility tool, but the sacrifice you make using this instead of Cavalier Icon Cavalier is too great. While you can use both talents at the same time, it will hardly ever been necessary to obtain that much mobility. The damage reduction it offers is nice, and can technically be stacked with other abilities against heavy nukes, but since it is on the global cooldown and only lasts 3 seconds, it is very annoying to use and halts your rotation when you do so.

If you need another strong defensive cooldown, then you could take Final Stand Icon Final Stand. It is an extremely powerful tanking cooldown, since it actively makes you immune to all damage for its duration. That being said, it is very hard to really justify using it over Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector. On a longer fight, where damage is steadily incoming, Hand of the Protector will be a lot more useful than a strong cooldown every 5 minutes. There are also some bosses where you might want to use Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield to remove a debuff, which it still does very well even without having to take Final Stand. All in all, this talent does not add a lot and we do not recommend taking it outside of very fringe cases. Its greatest feature is that it can make some Necrotic pulls in Mythic+ much easier, but we still do not feel that it is necessary.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Aegis of Light Aegis of Light Consecrated Ground ? Consecrated Ground Judgment of Light Judgment of Light
  • Aegis of Light Icon Aegis of Light is an active ability with a 3-minute cooldown. It is a channeled ability that, for 6 seconds, reduces the damage you and any allies located within a 10-yard radius behind you take by 20%.
  • Consecrated Ground Icon Consecrated Ground causes up to 6 allies who stand within your Consecration Icon Consecration to be healed every second, and also reduces the movement speed of enemies in your Consecration by 50%.
  • Judgment of Light Icon Judgment of Light causes Judgment Icon Judgment to apply a debuff with 40 charges to the target, called Judgment of Light. When the target is attacked, the attacker is healed and one charge is consumed.

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.

Aegis of Light Icon Aegis of Light is a great choice of a talent to add a raid cooldown, but given its positional requirement (reducing the damage of your allies behind you), using it effectively while tanking can be difficult. It does also work as a personal 20% damage reduction, but in most cases it is undesirable due to its 3-minute cooldown and the fact that you have to stand still channeling; it can still be used against nukes if you make sure to have Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous up beforehand, and then cancel the cast after the hit has landed. There are multiple encounters where it can be used to help the raid out however, tank-swapping encounters where there are moments during which you are not actively tanking, this ability can be excellent for the raid.

Consecrated Ground Icon Consecrated Ground is outclassed by Judgment of Light Icon Judgment of Light in practically every raid situation, making Consecrated Ground an undesirable raiding choice. However, Consecrated Ground is 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.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Righteous Protector ? Righteous Protector Seraphim ? Seraphim Last Defender Last Defender
  • Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector causes your Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous casts to reduce the remaining cooldown of Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector and Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath by 3 seconds.
  • Seraphim Icon Seraphim is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown. It increases your Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, and Versatility by 5500, and it lasts 8 seconds per charge of Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous available when using it, consuming the charges in the process. It can consume up to 2 charges.
  • Last Defender Icon Last Defender causes you to take 3% reduced damage and deal 3% increased damage for each enemy within an 8-yard radius around you. The effect has diminishing returns, however.

Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector increases the frequency with which you can use Light of the Protector Icon Light of the Protector, and this should be your go-to single target talent. It provides a good amount of flexibility to your kit, allowing you to self-heal more often to recover from bursts of damage. You should also be using the Tier 5 Hand of the Protector Icon Hand of the Protector talent (if you do not need one of the alternatives in that tier) to gain even more benefit. When using Righteous Protector, you generally want to let yourself drop low on health, heal up, use Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous, and this way your heal will be available again before the Shield of the Righteous buff will expire, allowing you to use it again. Another advantage of Righteous Protector is that it allows you to use Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath more often. All in all, this is the go-to talent for personal survivability.

Seraphim Icon Seraphim does not exactly provide an increase in survivability, since despite its bonuses, it consumes charges of Shield of the Righteous Icon Shield of the Righteous, making it a great choice for increasing your damage output but not for reducing incoming damage. With the importance of Mythic+ in Legion, this is a very important talent to learn to use, as it requires careful planning and you need to think ahead a bit more if you want to use it safely. Generally, you will not use this for raids during progression, unless the damage the boss does is pretty low, but in dungeons its effects are strong, and can make Paladin tanks deal considerable amounts of damage in each pack; it is good on both single target and AoE. Since it has a 45-second cooldown, it does not line up nicely with Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, which means you should be delaying using Avenging Wrath until Seraphim is about to be ready.

Last Defender Icon Last Defender requires you to be able to consistently tank a lot of mobs to really be worth taking over the other talents. It only has fringe uses in raiding, and even in Mythic+ you cannot consistently have enough mobs around for it to be useful over the other talents. It has weaker defensive capabilities than Righteous Protector Icon Righteous Protector, and less damage output than Seraphim Icon Seraphim.

9. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated most of the talent discussions considerably.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Made updates to tier 2, 3, and 5 talents.
  • 28 Mar. 2017: Made updates to tier 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 talent evaluations.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated the talent descriptions to account for Patch 7.1.5, and changed some talent discussions (tiers 1, 4, 6, and 7).
  • 14 Nov. 2016: Removed a mention about Blinding Light not damaging raid bosses.
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Updated Bastion of Light, Crusader's Judgment, First Avenger, and Retribution Aura descriptions and discussions to account for Patch 7.1 changes.
  • 17 Oct. 2016: Updated Consecrated Ground evaluation.
  • 22 Sep. 2016: Updated Hand of the Protector and Light of the Protector healing percentage (now 30% of missing health).
  • 19 Sep. 2016: Updated tier 1, 4, 5, and 7 talent sections to slightly re-evaluate our recommendations.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 21 Aug. 2016: Updated Hand of the Protection description to account for a recent hotfix that changed the healing amount, and revamped Hand of the Protector, Seraphim, and Righteous Protector discussions.
  • 04 Aug. 2016: Added Cavalier talent in place of Blessing of Salvation.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Removed a mention that Hand of the Protector's healing is not increased if you stand in Consecration, since this has been fixed.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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