Protection Warrior Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Protection Warrior, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Protection Warriors
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
All Essences are compared using their Rank 3 values/effects.
Default Choice of Essences for Protection Warriors
As a general guideline, assuming you do not need to use a situational Essence for a specific encounter, your Essence choice should be the following.
- Raids general: Vision of Perfection in your Major slot, Memory of Lucid Dreams,Nullification Dynamo and The Formless Void in your Minor slots.
- Raids damage oriented: The Crucible of Flame in your Major slot, Conflict and Strife,Nullification Dynamo and The Formless Void in your Minor slots.
- Mythic+: Vision of Perfection in your Major slot, Aegis of the Deep, Memory of Lucid Dreams and Conflict and Strife in your Minor slots. If you need corruption resistance then use Endurance.
Major Essences for Protection Warriors
These are the Essences you should primarily use in your Major slot.
Vision of Perfection (Major: Vision of Perfection / Minor: Strive for Perfection) has a chance to activate Avatar for 35% of its base duration (7 seconds). It also grants you and 2 nearby allies Haste when this happens. This synergizes extremely well with things like Bastion of Might and Unstoppable Force. The Minor power is also quite strong, reducing the already short cooldown of Avatar, granting you Versatility, and healing you for 5% of your maximum health when you activate Avatar. Note: If this Essence procs (meaning you have Avatar active) and Avatar itself comes off cooldown right after, be sure to let your current Avatar buff expire before casting Avatar. Casting Avatar with Avatar already active will overwrite the duration, not extend it, wasting the proc.
The Crucible of Flame (Major: Concentrated Flame / Minor: Ancient Flame) is a ramping single-target attack that resets after three hits. The ability can also be used to heal yourself or allies, but it does not heal enough to be useful for that purpose. The Minor power has a chance to apply a stacking DoT that deals a small amount of damage, not enough to be considered strong by itself. The Major is extremely strong for single-target DPS. This Essence does nothing for survivability; use it in situations where you can safely sacrifice survivability for damage.
Situational Major Essences for Protection Warriors
Azeroth's Undying Gift (Major: Azeroth's Undying Gift / Minor: Hardened Azerite) provides a large damage reduction on a short cooldown. This Essence is fantastic if you need another cooldown for surviving large burst damage and the like. The Minor is also quite powerful, granting you a large amount of Armor when you drop below 35% health, further improving your survivability.
Nullification Dynamo (Major: Empowered Null Barrier / Minor: Null Barrier) grants you a magic absorption shield, and also dispels all harmful effects from you when it is cast. The shield itself is useful for magic damage burst, and the dispel is situationally very powerful. The Minor grants a passive magic absorption shield, which is quite valuable in the majority of situations since most encounters deal enough magic damage to make this worthwhile. Additionally, when the shield expires, it explodes, dealing damage equal to the total amount absorbed.
Memory of Lucid Dreams (Major: Memory of Lucid Dreams / Minor: Lucid Dreams) is an essence that has been gaining some popularity in higher Mythic+ keys. This provides you with a very strong cooldown every 2 minutes by increasing your rage gain by 100% for 15 seconds. For example, if Shield Slam normally gives you 15 Rage, then with this essence active it would give you 30 instead. This synergizes extremely well with Anger Management because of the cooldown reduction it provides, mainly for Avatar and Demoralizing Shout. While this essence is active, you should try to maximise your Rage generation and usage, meaning that you will be casting a lot of Ignore Pain in order not to waste any of the extra Rage. Using that much Ignore Pain in combination with Shield Block also provides a lot of sustainability for the duration. In most situations Vision of Perfection is still a better Major essence for Mythic+ because of its simplicity and damage provided.
The Formless Void (Major: Replica of Knowledge / Minor: Symbiotic Presence) is a really interesting one as it provides you with the ability to replicate your targets currently slotted major essence. The downside is that the cooldown is 30% longer than the essence that you replicated. This should be mainly used on DPS essences like Blood of the Enemy providing us with a even stronger burst window combined with Avatar. The minor power also increases your Corruption resistance by 10.
Touch of the Everlasting (Major: Touch of the Everlasting / Minor: Will to Survive) provides you with a cheat death that also gives you 85% damage reduction for 3 seconds after it has procced and resets the cooldown of your Shield Wall. This essence can be situationally used when doing new difficult content that you are not familiar with yet to help you learn and recover from mistakes. The downside of this essence is that if you do not die then it loses most of its value making any of the other essences mentioned here a lot better. The minor power also increases your Corruption resistance by 10.
Strength of the Warden (Major: Vigilant Protector / Minor: Endurance) provides you with a AoE taunt and increases your damage dealt by 50% for 6 seconds while also granting you 15% dodge chance for the duration. While an AoE taunt and the 50% increased damage does sound great the reality is that in those 6 seconds you are not able to cast a lot of spells. Furthermore if you miss a damaging spell like Thunder Clap in that 6 second window the benefit of this essence falls drastically. This can be used situationally when you need the extra threat in Mythic+ situations,although thanks to Avatar this is not often the case. The minor power also increases your Corruption resistance by 10.
Any Essence not mentioned above is simply not worth using as your Major.
Minor Essences for Protection Warriors
Memory of Lucid Dreams' Minor power is Lucid Dreams. It occasionally refunds 50% of the cost of your Rage spenders, heals you, and grants you Versatility. Overall, this Essence as a Minor is quite good for survivability and is generally your first choice.
Nullification Dynamo's Minor power is Null Barrier. It grants a sizable magic absorption shield every 15 seconds. When the shield expires, it explodes, dealing damage equal to the total amount absorbed. This does a considerable amount of damage assuming you are in a situation with a reasonable amount of magic damage.
Aegis of the Deep's Minor power is Stand Your Ground. It grants Versatility for each enemy within 10 yards, up to 10 enemies. While below 35% health, the Versatility you recieve is doubled. You also heal for a small amount every 4 seconds for each stack. This Essence is generally your strongest Minor in Mythic+.
For Mythic+, Aegis of the Deep and Memory of Lucid Dreams are usually your best choices. There is not enough magic damage in most dungeons to justify taking Nullification Dynamo. Honorary mention for Mythic+ should also be Sphere of Suppression. The minor power grants you haste and speed when a enemy attacks you. Both of these stats are valuable for Protection Warriors and have a high overall uptime in dungeons.
Situational Minor Essences for Protection Warriors
Conflict and Strife's Minor power is Strife. Your attacks have a chance to grant you a stacking Versatility buff. Assuming you do not have to stop attacking for a long period of time, you are able to maintain essentially 100% uptime on max stacks of this buff. While this Essence as a Minor is quite good, it is usually outperformed by the above Minors in terms of survivability. For maximizing damage, it is one of your best choices.
Symbiotic Presence should be your default go-to minor essence from the 3 ( Symbiotic Presence, Endurance, Will to Survive) that provide Corruption resistance. It gives you a significant amount of Strength and a bit of Haste when anyone in the group uses their essence. In raids specifically this will have a pretty high uptime, especially when you are also using The Crucible of Flame.
Any Essence not mentioned above is simply not worth using as a Minor.
- 12 Feb. 2020: Added Endurance as recommended corruption resistance Essence for Mythic+.
- 02 Feb. 2020: Added 3rd minor essence.
- 14 Jan. 2020: Added new 8.3 essences.
- 05 Jan. 2020: Added new essences and suggestions for a more damage oriented build.
- 26 Aug. 2019: Updated page layout and Essence suggestions.
- 15 Jul. 2019: Updated for Season 3.
- 25 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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