Protection Warrior Dragonflight Leveling Guide From 1 to 70 (Dragonflight 10.2)
When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. The only exception to this rule is if you have a Ring or Necklace with a slightly lower item level, but 2 secondary stats on it instead of 1.
Level by Level Rotation and Talents
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Rotation/Ability Priority to Level Up as a Protection Warrior
Starting at Level 1, you only have one active ability: Slam.
- Cast Charge to initiate combat whenever possible.
- Victory Rush activates whenever an enemy is killed. Use it to heal yourself.
- Use Impending Victory to heal yourself when needed.
- Cast Avatar to generate a bit of Rage and greatly increase your damage.
- Cast Demoralizing Shout to reduce the damage you take, and increase the damage you deal (when using the Booming Voice talent).
- Cast Shield Charge.
- Cast Thunderous Roar.
- Cast Ravager.
- Cast Shield Slam to deal a lot of damage.
- Cast Shield Slam to generate Rage and deal damage.
- Cast Thunder Clap to generate Rage and deal damage, particularly during Avatar with Unstoppable Force talented.
- Cast Execute when enemies are below 20% health.
- Spend Rage on Whirlwind to damage multiple targets if you do not need to spend it on your active mitigation to survive.
- Spend Rage on Revenge to damage multiple targets if you do not need to spend it on your active mitigation to survive.
- Cast Devastate to fill empty global cooldowns, and reset the cooldown of Shield Slam.
- Cast Slam as your filler spell.
- Cast Shield Block as much as possible when tanking something and taking heavy physical damage.
- Further smooth out your damage intake by spending Rage on Ignore Pain.
Summary of Unlocked Abilities and Talents for Protection Warriors
There are very few baseline abilities that you unlock. Most of them come in the form of Talents.
Talents are something that will give you options to optimize your character and change how some of the abilities work.
There are a multitude of possible ways to use your Talent points, and the tree below is just one of many. This tree will provide you with enough crowd control, single target, and AoE damage, together with all the survivability you need in order to get started.
You unlock your first ability of interest at Level 2.
- At Level 2, you unlock Charge. It is both a mobility tool and Rage generator, and should be used to initiate combat whenever possible.
- At Level 3, you unlock Shield Slam. This is your primary attack, which should be kept on cooldown as much as possible.
- At Level 4, you unlock Hamstring. This will allow you to slow down a single enemy when needed so you can get some distance.
- At Level 5, you unlock Victory Rush. This is your primary heal, usable whenever an enemy is killed, and useful for chaining combat between multiple enemies.
- At Level 6, you unlock Shield Block. It is a defensive ability that costs Rage, which allows you to block incoming physical attacks.
- At Level 7, you unlock Pummel, which interrupts enemy spellcasting and stops their ability to cast for a short time.
- At Level 8, you also unlock Taunt, a threat tool which forces the enemy to focus and attack you.
- At Level 9, you unlock Whirlwind. This is a AoE ability that hits up to 5 enemies and costs Rage.
- At Level 10, you unlock Shield Slam, which makes it also generate 15 Rage.
- At Level 10, your Shield Block will also increase the damage of Shield Slam while it is active.
- At Level 10, you unlock Mastery: Critical Block. This unlocks the Mastery stat, increasing your chance to block, critically block, and attack power.
- At Level 10, you also unlock Execute. It is a high-damage combat finisher, normally usable when the target is below 20% health.
- At Level 10, you unlock Battle Shout, a group-wide buff which increases damage done.
- At Level 10, you unlock Heroic Throw, your one of two ranged attacks, primarily used for getting the attention of enemies from afar.
- At Level 10, you unlock Devastate. This is your default filler ability, to be used whenever nothing else is available.
- At Level 10, you unlock Deep Wounds. This is a passive ability, which inflicts a bleeding debuff whenever you use Devastate and Revenge.
- At Level 10, you unlock Vanguard. This is a passive ability that increases your Stamina and Armor.
- At Level 10, you unlock War Machine on the class Talent tree. It helps you gain more Rage and also increases your movement speed after each kill.
- At Level 11, you unlock Ignore Pain from the Protection Talent tree. This is a defensive ability which allows you to spend Rage in order to absorb incoming damage.
- At Level 11, you also unlock Victory Rush increasing the healing of Victory Rush by additional 10%.
- At Level 12, you unlock Leeching Strikes. It will give you a bit more self-sustain.
- At Level 13, you unlock Revenge. It will be one of your main damage abilities, dealing damage in an arc in front of you.
- At Level 14, you unlock Thunder Clap. This will deal damage to enemies around you and generate some Rage.
- At Level 15, you unlock Devastator. This will replace Devastate with a more passive option.
- At Level 16, you unlock Impending Victory. This will replace Victory Rush with a on-demand heal that is not dependant on killing enemies.
- At Level 17, you unlock Strategist, this is a passive that lets Devastate, Thunder Clap, Revenge and Execute have a chance to reset the cooldown of Shield Slam.
- At Level 18, you unlock Spell Reflection. This will allow you to reflect casts back at enemies.
- At Level 19, you unlock Demoralizing Shout, to reduce the damage taken from enemies.
- At Level 20, you unlock Heroic Leap.It Lets you leap through the air, covering long distances.
- At Level 21, you unlock Best Served Cold. This will increase the damage of your Revenge.
- At Level 22, you unlock Furious Blows, which will increase your auto-attack speed by 5%.
- At Level 23, you unlock Last Stand. It will increase your maximum health by 30% for 15 seconds. Can be used to recover from big hits or to prepare for them.
- At Level 24, you unlock Fast Footwork increasing your movement speed by 5%.
- At Level 25, you unlock Brace For Impact, increasing your Shield Slam damage and the amount you block by 5%, stacking up to 5 times.
- At Level 26, you unlock Blood and Thunder, increasing the damage of Thunder Clap by 10% and also automatically applies Rend to enemies hit.
- At Level 27, you unlock Rend. It will put a bleed on the enemy. It costs 30 Rage to cast.
- At Level 28, you unlock Seismic Reverberation, which will make your Revenge hit another time, for reduced damage, if it hits at least 3 enemies. This is great to mow down multiple enemies.
- At Level 29, you unlock Bloodsurge,which will give your bleed effects a chance to grant you 5 Rage. Additional Rage generation is always good as it allows us to use more of our abilities.
- At Level 30, you unlock Frothing Berserker. It gives Revenge a chance to refund 50% of the Rage spent on the ability.
- At Level 31, you unlock Challenging Shout. A Taunt that causes all enemies within 10 yards to start focusing you. This is amazing in dungeons where you need to keep the enemies off of your other party members.
- At Level 32, you unlock Crushing Force, increasing the damage and critical strike damage of Shield Slam by 5% per rank.
- At Level 33, you unlock Show of Force. It increases the damage of Revenge by 10% and causes it to increase the damage of your next Thunder Clap by 20%. If you weave these two abilities properly, you will notice a solid DPS increase.
- At Level 34, put a second point into Crushing Force, to further increase your Shield Slam damage.
- At Level 35, you unlock Shield Wall. It reduces all your damage taken for 8 seconds. This is one of our strongest mitigation tools when used properly. Use it before you expect to take a lot of damage.
- At Level 36, you unlock Reinforced Plates. It increases your Armor by 20%. A great passive survivability increase for us.
- At Level 37, you unlock Into the Fray, increasing your Haste by 2% for each enemy or ally near you, up to 10%. As long as you have enemies or allies near you, this will provide a lot of benefit.
- At Level 38, you unlock Double Time, providing you with a extra charge of Charge. This will make moving between enemies a lot faster.
- At Level 39, you unlock Brutal Vitality, causing your damage dealt to increase your Ignore Pain.
- At Level 40, you unlock Honed Reflexes. It reduces the cooldown of Shield Slam and Pummel by 1 second. Allows you to cast even more Shield Slam's!
- At Level 41, you unlock Anger Management, reducing the cooldown of Shield Slam and Avatar by 1 second for every 10 Rage spent. Great talent which will only get stronger as we get more Rage generation.
- At Level 42, you unlock Storm Bolt. A single target stun for 4 seconds. This can be used to stun a priority target or as an alternative interrupt.
- At Level 43, you unlock Tough as Nails, causing blocking attacks to deal some damage back to the attackers.
- At Level 44, you unlock Intimidating Shout. It allows you to fear all enemies near you for 8 seconds. This can break early if the feared enemies take enough damage. Another great ability to use in order to get away or to interrupt casters.
- At Level 45,you unlock Impenetrable Wall which causes Shield Slam to generate 3 additional Rage and also reduce the remaining cooldown of Shield Wall by 5 seconds. These are both great benefits, especially since Shield Slam is already one of our highest-priority abilities.
- At Level 46, you unlock Titanic Throw, replacing your Heroic Throw and hitting up to 6 enemies.
- At Level 47, you unlock Enduring Defenses. It will increase the duration of Shield Block by 2 seconds. While the increase sounds insignificant, it does allow us to have a lot more Shield Block uptime.
- At Level 48, you unlock Bounding Stride, reducing the cooldown of Heroic Leap by 15 seconds and also providing a small movement speed boost.
- At Level 49, you unlock Punish, a stacking buff which increases your Shield Slam damage while also reducing the damage the enemies deal to you.
- At Level 50, you unlock Armored to the Teeth, gaining Strength equal to a % of your Armor. Protection Warriors are, by default, a high Armor tank, so having some of it be converted to Strength is great.
- At Level 51, you unlock Focused Vigor. Passively increases your Strength and Armor while also providing Critical strike chance!
- At Level 52, put a second point into Armored to the Teeth, for even more Strength.
- At Level 53, you unlock Shield Charge. It allows you to charge at an enemy and deal a lot of damage to them and other targets nearby. It also stuns your primary target. Amazing initiation tool, it also has no minimum range, so you can even use it when standing next to your target.
- At Level 54, you unlock Avatar. It transforms you into a colossus, removing roots, and increases all your damage dealt for 20 seconds. Amazing offensive ability, use this as much as possible.
- At level 55,you unlock Champion's Bulwark, increasing Shield Charge's damage by 20%, grants you Shield Block, a free Revenge and an additional 20 Rage. This just gives us everything we need and more.
- At Level 56, you unlock Unstoppable Force. It causes Avatar to increase the damage of Thunder Clap and Shockwave by 50%. It also reduces the cooldown of Thunder Clap by 50%. This means that you can cast Thunder Clap every other global cooldown while in Avatar windows.
- At Level 57, you unlock Shield Specialization, increasing your block chance and value by a %. Blocking is our main mitigation tool, so any increase in this department is a welcomed one.
- At Level 58, you unlock Wild Strikes, increasing your Haste and also causes your auto-attack critical strikes to provide you more attack speed.
- At Level 59, put a second point into Shield Specialization.
- At Level 60, put a second point into Wild Strikes.
- At Level 61, you unlock Booming Voice, enhancing Demoralizing Shout to also generate 30 Rage and increases your damage dealt to enemies hit with it by 20%. Amazing talent, both offensively and defensively.
- At Level 62, you unlock Thunderous Roar. It deals initial physical damage to all enemies and also applies a Bleed effect on them for 10 seconds. Great tool to increase our already high damage and the Bleed also works with Bloodsurge.
- At Level 63, you unlock Violent Outburst. For every 30 Rage you spend, it gives you a stack of Seeing Red. After reaching 8 stacks, it transforms to Violent Outburst. Violent Outburst causes your next Shield Slam or Thunder Clap to deal 200% increased damage and generate 100% more Rage. If you are facing a single enemy, use this on Shield Slam, if there are 4 or more enemies, then Thunder Clap.
- At Level 64, you unlock Thunderous Words. Increases the duration of Thunderous Roar's Bleed effect by 2 seconds and increases the damage of all your Bleed effects by 15% all the time. More damage!
- At level 65, you unlock Ravager, Throwing a weapon to the targeted location to deal damage over time and grant Rage every time it deals damage. A lot of extra damage and Rage. Just be sure to try and keep the enemies in it.
- At level 66, you unlock One-Handed Weapon Specialization. Increases your damage dealt and Leech by 5%. Plain and simple damage buff.
- At level 67, you unlock Indomitable, increasing your maximum health by 10% and also heals you for 1% of your maximum health for every 10 Rage you spend. This will add up to a lot of extra healing over the course of an encounter.
- At level 68, you unlock Endurance Training, increasing your Stamina by 5% and also reduces the duration of various crowd control effects on you by 10%. More health is good and the reduced crowd control might be handy in PvP!
- At level 69, you unlock Battering Ram, which enhances Shield Charge with an attack-speed steroid and increased critical strike damage.
- At level 70, you unlock Shockwave, which stuns all enemies in front of you and deals damage to them. Great in almost any situation where enemies can be stunned.
War Mode Talents to Level Up as a Protection Warrior
The following PvP talents are recommended for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. You may find that different PvP talents work better for you, depending on your playstyle. Experimentation is encouraged!
General PvP Talent
Morale Killer significantly reduces the cooldown of Demoralizing Shout, allowing for more damage reduction and damage output in conjunction with Booming Voice.
Protection Warrior PvP Talents
- Dragon Charge improves mobility and inflicts moderate damage to targets along your path.
- Sword and Board provides a near-constant increase to Shield Slam and Devastate damage through more frequent critical strikes.
- 23 Nov. 2023: Updated Rotation priority.
- 06 Nov. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.2
- 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
- 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
- 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Swapped Thunderlord for Battering Ram and reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 21 Dec. 2022: Updated talent calculator pick order.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
- 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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