Protection Warrior Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Sep 29, 2018 at 08:46 by Marok 31 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we have listed the best choices of Azerite traits for Protection Warrior in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch 8.0.1. When starting the quest campaign, you will be given a Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth. This allows Azerite traits to activate on the pieces of gear you will earn while leveling and at max-level. If you want to read more about this, you can do so by checking our Heart of Azeroth guide.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Marok, a Protection Warrior theorycrafter, owner of the Skyhold Warrior Discord, and owner of skyhold.gg, a Warrior community website. He raids in Potent on Mal'Ganis-US. You can follow him on Twitter.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Protection Warrior

Firstly, if you are upgrading from an Azerite piece that is below 340, that is, it does not have the Middle Ring, to a 340+ piece, always equip that 340+ piece regardless of the traits it has.

  • If your current Azerite piece has Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash on it, you only want to replace it with another piece that has Deafening Crash on it. No amount of additional item level outweighs the benefit Deafening Crash provides.
    • You can of course replace your Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash piece with a non-Deafening Crash piece if you have a piece in another slot with Deafening Crash. You want to be using the best combination of your Azerite gear.
  • If going to a higher item level Azerite piece results in a trait downgrade (this mainly applies to Outer Ring traits), only use that piece if it is 10-15+ item levels higher. Azerite pieces have a fixed item level (they cannot Warforge/Titanforge), so generally speaking you will be getting 15 item level upgrades on your pieces anyway. This does not apply to Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash. You want to avoid losing your Deafening Crash trait if possible.
  • If a higher item level Azerite piece has the same or similar strength traits, equip it.

Additionally, it is possible that you will obtain a high item level Azerite piece that you cannot activate any traits on, because your Heart of Azeroth is not the required level. In cases like this, continue to use your lower item level piece until you unlock the first tier on the higher item level piece.

Finally, these are not hard rules, but rather guidelines. A lot of this can vary based on your current traits, the available traits on your higher item level gear, etc. Use your best judgement.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Protection Warrior

2.1. Reorigination Array

All of the Azerite gear that drops from bosses within Uldir has 1 of the 2 Uldir-specific Azerite traits on it, Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix. These traits are always present on the Outer Ring. In additon to those traits' effects, there is a secondary buff that you gain called Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array. Reorigination Array requires that you have at least one Uldir-specific trait active on an Azerite piece. Additionally, it is only active when you are in Uldir. Having more than one Uldir-specific Azerite trait active does not buff or stack Reorigination Array.

Each week you kill three bosses in Uldir, the secondary stat gained from Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array increases by 75. It grants your highest secondary stat. This caps out at 750 secondary stat (10 stacks). For example, say you have more Haste compared to your other secondary stats, and you have killed 6 bosses total, split between 2 weeks. Reorigination Array would grant you 150 Haste while you are inside Uldir (again, as long as you have an Uldir-specific trait active).

Due to this design, these Uldir-specific traits start off being rather weak, but as the weeks go by and more secondary stat is added to Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, they will quickly overtake other traits. Generally speaking, you will want to use the available spec specific trait on an Uldir Azerite piece until your Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array reaches 300+ Haste.

For Protection Warriors, Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans is the better Uldir trait.

2.2. Outer Ring Traits for Protection Warriors

The Outer Ring will always have one spec specific trait that you can choose. As such, only the spec specific ones for Protection Warriors are ranked here. This is primarily due to the fact that the non spec specific traits rely on randomness, whereas the spec specific ones provide a consistent bonus. Consistency of survivability is extremely important for tanks. In other words, you are always going to pick a spec specific trait in this Ring.

Prioritize the traits in the following order:

  1. Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash
  2. Brace for Impact Icon Brace for Impact
  3. Iron Fortress Icon Iron Fortress
  4. Bloodsport Icon Bloodsport
  5. Callous Reprisal Icon Callous Reprisal
  6. Reinforced Plating Icon Reinforced Plating

Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash increases Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap damage and extends the duration of your Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout by 2 seconds. This greatly increases Demoralizing Shout uptime and therefore survivability. Stacking this trait only further increase Thunder Clap damage. No matter how many Deafening Crash traits you have the Demoralizing Shout extension is always 2 seconds. As such, you will want to have 1 Deafening Crash trait and no more. All of the other traits' effects do stack, so doubling/tripling up on them is fine.

Brace for Impact Icon Brace for Impact increases your Block by a very solid amount, and also increases Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam damage. Each application of Brace for Impact has its own duration (you never refresh the duration of the buff), so you can have multiple "stacks" up at the same time.

Iron Fortress Icon Iron Fortress also increases your Block, and blocking an attack deals damage to the attacker.

Bloodsport Icon Bloodsport is a bit unique amongst the rest of these traits as it is not a percent damage reduction, but rather reduces damage by a flat amount. More specifically, it increases the size of your Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain. The Leech is a nice bonus as well. In most situations, it is a bit worse than the above two traits.

Callous Reprisal Icon Callous Reprisal causes Revenge Icon Revenge to reduce the damage enemies deal to you by 0.5%, stacking up to 3 times. This trait does stack. For example, if you have 3 of these, you would gain 1.5% damage reduction, stacking up to 3 times (for a total of 4.5%). It also increases the damage of your Revenge.

Reinforced Plating Icon Reinforced Plating causes blocks to increase your Strength for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. While tanking, you will generally always be at 5 stacks, but even with that this trait is a little bit behind the others.

2.3. Ranking System for Middle/Inner Rings

S Tier traits are the strongest traits available. They will provide the most benefit to you in almost all circumstances, and you should aim to get these traits on your gear whenever possible.

A Tier traits are situationally strong or provide good throughput, but are not as strong as S Tier traits in all situations.

B Tier traits are typically weaker bonuses that are either too inconsistent or unreliable for general use, or they provide minor bonuses that do not have a significant impact on your ability to tank.

C Tier traits do not provide relevant tanking-related combat bonuses, and should not be considered for survivability purposes.

The traits within each tier are listed in very rough order from best to worst.

2.4. Middle Ring Traits for Protection Warriors

2.4.1. S Tier

  • Azerite Veins Icon Azerite Veins grants you a chance on taking damage to heal every 3 seconds for 18 seconds. Reaching full health will cancel this effect early.
  • Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed passively increases your Haste and Avoidance.

2.4.2. A Tier

  • Crystalline Carapace Icon Crystalline Carapace causes incoming damage that is greater than 10% of your maximum health to grant you Armor and deal damage to your attacker.
  • Ablative Shielding Icon Ablative Shielding causes damage that takes you below 40% of your maximum health to grant you Armor for 10 seconds. Taking further Physical damage will reduce the Armor bonus granted. This can only occur every 30 seconds.
  • Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.
  • Winds of War Icon Winds of War causes incoming damage to grant you Dodge for 3 seconds, stacking up to 10 times.

2.4.3. B Tier

  • Shimmering Haven Icon Shimmering Haven grants a chance on taking damage to create a pool beneath your feet for 10 seconds. While you stand in this pool, your maximum health and Armor are increased.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
  • Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase your Haste. The amount of Haste granted decreases every second or whenever you take damage.
  • Strength in Numbers Icon Strength in Numbers grants a chance on taking damage to increase your maximum health for each nearby enemy for 15 seconds.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

2.4.4. C Tier

  • Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.
  • Gutripper Icon Gutripper gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Physical damage. This bonus damage occurs more often when the target is below 30% Health.
  • Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules gives your damaging abilities a chance to apply a debuff to your target. This debuff stacks up to 3 times, and when it reaches 3, the target explodes, doing AoE damage.

2.5. Inner Ring Traits for Protection Warriors

2.5.1. S Tier

  • Gemhide Icon Gemhide causes you to gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 seconds when you take damage that exceeds 10% of your maximum health.
  • Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage heals you when you take damage. It can not occur more often than every 6 seconds.

2.5.2. A Tier

  • Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses causes you to gain a moderate absorb shield when surrounded by 4 or more enemies, but can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • Personal Absorb-o-Tron Icon Personal Absorb-o-Tron grants you a chance, when taking damage, to gain a large absorb shield for up to 1 minute. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.
  • Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection causes you to gain an absorb shield every 30 seconds.
  • Moment of Glory Icon Moment of Glory causes your Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry to grant additional health and its duration is increased to 12 seconds.

2.5.3. B Tier

  • Auto-Self-Cauterizer Icon Auto-Self-Cauterizer grants you a chance, when taking damage, to self-heal for a large amount and remove most bleed effects as well as slowing nearby enemies by 30% for 5 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340 .
  • Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification heals you when you are stunned, immobilized, or knocked back.
  • Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed causes you to self-heal and gain Speed for 6 seconds whenever an enemy you damaged dies.
  • Bury the Hatchet Icon Bury the Hatchet causes your Victory Rush Icon Victory Rush to grant you a large Physical absorb for 10 seconds.

2.5.4. C Tier

  • Longstrider Icon Longstrider increases your movement speed by a percentage of your highest secondary stat, with a maximum movement speed gain limit.
  • Self Reliance Icon Self Reliance causes you to be healed every 3 seconds while no enemies are within 20 yards of you.

3. Rotational Changes for Protection Warriors

With Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash, Avatar Icon Avatar should be used in conjunction with Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout as much as possible. That way you extend your Demoralizing Shout uptime as much as possible (via the extra Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Claps you get during Avatar Icon Avatar with Unstoppable Force Icon Unstoppable Force). Demoralizing Shout's cooldown is half that of Avatar's, meaning you will be able to have Avatar up with Demoralizing Shout every other Demoralizing Shout. Generally speaking, you should try not to delay Avatar or Demoralizing Shout or you risk them becoming desycned. If for some reason they stop lining up during an encounter, it is worth delaying either ability to line them up again.

If you have a Callous Reprisal Icon Callous Reprisal trait, you should track the debuff on your target and make sure to maintain 3 (max) stacks of the debuff. This means it is worth forcing/spending Rage on Revenge Icon Revenge in order to keep the debuff up, only if doing so still allows enough Rage for Shield Block Icon Shield Block.

4. Best Azerite Gear for Protection Warriors

4.1. A Note on Deafening Crash Gear

Within Uldir, there are no Azerite pieces with a Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash trait. As such, there are only two sources of high item level (370+) Azerite gear with a Deafening Crash trait. The weekly Mythic+ chest, and the Warfront gear cache (or other PvP related rewards). Both of these systems are rather random, and as such it may be some time before you get a high item level Azerite piece with Deafening Crash.

You will want to save all of your high item level Azerite gear because you may receive a high item level Deafening Crash Icon Deafening Crash piece in a any of the available slots (head/shoulder/chest).

4.2. Best Azerite Gear for Uldir

Taking all of the above into account, the best combination of Azerite gear possible for Uldir is the following (assuming equal item level):

The chances that you receive those the Mythic+ pieces from your chest is slim. As mentioned above, hold on to any high item level Azerite gear that you get so you can always make sure you are using the best combination of your available gear.

4.3. Best Azerite Gear Outside of Uldir

In terms of what is best outside of Uldir (since you do not have Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array), the pieces above are still the best combination. The only caveat being that when you are not raiding, you will want to use the Azerite Reforger to switch the helm's (Gridrunner Galea Icon Gridrunner Galea) trait over to Brace for Impact Icon Brace for Impact.

If doing that becomes too expensive, the following pieces would be best (again, assuming equal item level):

5. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Protection Warrior. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

Filter #1:
Filter #2:
Filter #3:
Reset Filters
Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

6. Changelog

  • 29 Sep. 2018: Reorganized page. Added note about rotational changes with Deafening Crash.
  • 10 Sep. 2018: Updated Azerite gear recommendations.
  • 18 Aug. 2018: Added note to the item level section. Adjusted the rankings of a couple of traits.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Added Protection Warrior Azerite page.
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