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Protection Warrior Tank Easy Mode

Last updated on Aug 19, 2017 at 10:16 by Vlad 210 comments

Table of Contents

This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialisation without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.

1. The Basics

Protection Warriors have great mobility and do well when tanking multiple enemies. Due to their ability to block attacks, Protection Warriors have a predictable and smooth damage intake, making them relatively easy to heal.

Your main goal throughout fights will be to maximise your Rage generation, and then use this Rage on the various active mitigation abilities at your disposal in order to keep yourself alive.

2. Talent Choice

These choices are optimised for ease of use. That said, only viable talents are suggested and the gains in survivability and DPS from choosing only the "best" talents are not gamebreaking.

3. Stat Choice

Currently, you will want to prioritise secondary stats as follows:

  1. Haste;
  2. Mastery >= Versatility;
  3. Critical Strike.

4. Basic Rotation

The basic rotation as a Protection Warrior is based on this priority.

  1. Use Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam on cooldown.
  2. Use Revenge Icon Revenge if using the Vengeance Icon Vengeance talent and you are alternating between Revenge Icon Revenge and Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain (and Revenge is next in the series).
  3. Use Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap on cooldown.
  4. Use Revenge Icon Revenge if you have a cost-free Revenge proc.
  5. Use Devastate Icon Devastate.

Against multiple targets, using the above priority will still generate the most Rage, thus allowing for the most active mitigation usage and best survivability. If you are interested in simply dealing more damage against multiple targets, then you should use Revenge Icon Revenge even when you do not have a cost-free proc (although it is likely to proc often when tanking multiple enemies anyway).

In addition to the above, you should use Intercept Icon Intercept to generate Rage throughout the fight. If you are actively tanking, use this only if you can avoid turning the boss around or moving it from its position. If you are not actively tanking, you can use Intercept on the current tank to help reduce some of the damage they are taking. If you will need to use Intercept for movement, make sure to save at least one charge for that time.

5. Active Mitigation Abilities

Your rotation is only there to generate Rage for you, which you should then invest into your active mitigation abilities, Shield Block Icon Shield Block and Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain.

The amount of damage that Shield Block Icon Shield Block mitigates is based on the power of the attacks it is mitigating. Blocked attacks have 30% of their damage reduced (60% of it is reduced if your Mastery, Mastery: Critical Block Icon Mastery: Critical Block, procs). Therefore, a very powerful attack will result in a much greater damage reduction from Shield Block than a weak attack will. The damage absorption of Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain is independent of the incoming damage. Ignore Pain will absorb the same amount of damage, regardless of whether the attack made against you deals 100,000 or 500,000 damage.

It is also possible to use both Shield Block Icon Shield Block and Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain at once, if you want to maximise the damage mitigation when facing damage that can be blocked.

We advise you to aim for an almost 100% effective uptime (as in, while you are actively tanking) on Shield Block Icon Shield Block, and saving Rage to use on Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain when you are low on health or when burst damage is incoming.

6. Cooldown Usage

As a Protection Warrior, you have a number of defensive cooldowns.

  • Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall should be used before you receive a large amount of damage. Since it lasts for a reasonably long time, you should try to use it for longer periods of high damage intake.
  • Last Stand Icon Last Stand should be used when your health drops to a dangerously low level, or in preparation for receiving a large amount of damage. If you can, couple this with another small cooldown to help the healers top you off.
  • Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout should be used as many times as possible during the encounter. Try to use it when bosses are dealing particularly high amounts of damage or when you have no other means of improving your survival.
  • Spell Reflection Icon Spell Reflection reflects the next spell cast against you back to the attacker. With the  Icon Reflective Plating Artifact trait, it reflects an unlimited number of spells and also reduces all magic damage taken by 30% (or 50% with the Gleaming Scales Icon Gleaming Scales trait). This makes Spell Reflection an amazing tool to reduce the damage of magic abilities.
  •  Icon Neltharion's Fury should be used whenever you anticipate you will take considerable damage from blockable attacks. Since it guarantees critically blocking all attacks, it should not be stacked with Shield Block Icon Shield Block, but instead used to fill gaps in your Shield Block uptime.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Treckie, one of the best tanks in the world, who raids in Prime. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

7. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 19 Aug. 2017: Updated the description of Spell Reflection slightly.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated the page to reflect changes made elsewhere in the guide.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Made a small tweak to the rotation.
  • 19 Feb. 2017: Updated the single target rotation slightly.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated the talent suggestions, stat priority, and rotation to account for Patch 7.1.5 changes.
  • 12 Dec. 2016: Added easy mode page.
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