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Protection Warrior Tank Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.2)

Last updated on Apr 17, 2017 at 19:15 by Vlad 182 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

This page is a gear reference for Protection Warriors. It lists your best items and Legendaries, gives you gearing advice, and shows you how you will be competing for loot with other classes.

The other pages of our Protection Warrior 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 tanks in the world, who raids in Nihilum. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

1. Best in Slot List

We are currently not providing a Best in Slot list, but we do make trinket, set bonus, and legendary item recommendations below.

When it comes to gearing, the item level of the items always comes in question, thus a list to blindly follow will not do much good, since any item can be competitive if it comes with a socket or if it is sufficiently Warforged/Titanforged. The only thing to really try to avoid are items with Critical Strike. A general rule of thumb is that if the item has Critical Strike, it needs to be either 10 item levels higher OR have a socket (15 item levels for jewelry), to really compete with a piece that has Haste and Mastery/Versatility.

Mythic+ can also proc high item level pieces, which means they are highly competitive as well.

2. Trinkets

2.1. Non-Raid Trinkets

Many trinkets from Mythic+ dungeons are very competitive, however they need to proc Warforged/Titanforged to be competitive with Best in Slot raid gear. That said, raid trinkets are not really that great for you. When comparing trinkets, you have to assume the trinkets are all of relatively close item level to be competitive. Here are all the trinkets to look out for from non-raid content.

Darkmoon Deck: Immortality Icon Darkmoon Deck: Immortality is one of the strongest trinkets out there for its item level; its weak point is that it is capped to 865 item level.

Unstable Arcanocrystal Icon Unstable Arcanocrystal provides an amazing set of secondary stats and, because of it, this is easily one of the strongest trinkets out there; its strength and weakness come from being passive, but in most cases that ends up working in your favour.

Impenetrable Nerubian Husk Icon Impenetrable Nerubian Husk is overall a great trinket, but hard to get at a significant item level; keep an eye out for the armor proc, as it is very powerful.

Chrono Shard Icon Chrono Shard's Strength is solid for dealing damage, and the Haste proc is great for both damage and survival (Memento of Angerboda Icon Memento of Angerboda is a very good alternative that is stronger DPS-wise, but weaker survivability-wise).

Horn of Valor Icon Horn of Valor is overall a strong trinket, with an on-use effect that provides a lot of on-demand Strength. This is great for dishing out more damage and increasing survivability.

Fel-Oiled Infernal Machine Icon Fel-Oiled Infernal Machine provides Haste on demand, and it is a pretty solid choice of a trinket, and it lines up quite well for damage output when using Avatar Icon Avatar/Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice. Its on-demand Haste also makes it strong for survivability during periods of high damage intake.

Coagulated Nightwell Residue Icon Coagulated Nightwell Residue is a decent trinket, being able to shield you often on demand; it should not be used on cooldown, but can be used quite often if the situation demands it.

Shivermaw's Jawbone Icon Shivermaw's Jawbone is especially great on encounters with multiple targets to hit (a great one for Mythic+).

2.2. Raid Trinkets

Goblet of Nightmarish Ichor Icon Goblet of Nightmarish Ichor's Versatility proc is not terribly high, but the trinket still provides a fair amount of damage/healing and damage reduction (6-10% damage/healing and 3-5% damage reduction, depending on its item level).

Chains of the Valorous Icon Chains of the Valorous, if it has Haste or Mastery, is an amazing trinket for Warriors, guaranteeing a high item level with lots of Strength and stats. Even its Versatility version is decent, but definitely not as strong as the others.

Grotesque Statuette Icon Grotesque Statuette's proc to reduce damage is fairly strong, even if you only get a few stacks. You will need to learn to adapt to its randomness, but doing so will allow you to have great success with this trinket.

Animated Exoskeleton Icon Animated Exoskeleton has a huge amount of Stamina that often feels redundant to have on a trinket, but this trinket is mainly to be used against tank busters; while the on-use effect is pretty weak and would often be removed within a single hit or two, the passive effective health provided is not to be ignored.

Infernal Contract Icon Infernal Contract's passive Mastery is appreciated, and the on-use effect is interesting and can be very rewarding if used correctly. It is best used against single large hits followed by periods of low damage, where it effectively works as a 4 million damage shield, with a small drawback. The drawback can can give you more issues if used during extended periods of high damage intake.

Royal Dagger Haft Icon Royal Dagger Haft is a trinket with a very effective passive defensive proc, without having any actual defensive stats on it. On the face of it, this last feature is unappealing, but the proc, which is effectively a cheat death, can be extremely powerful, especially against any boss that has very unpredictable tank damage, or when you are first learning a boss fight and you do not quite know how to play effectively against it yet.

While Phantasmal Echo Icon Phantasmal Echo's Haste is much appreciated, the lack of Strength, coupled with a weak proc that procs way to easily and with a long cooldown just makes the trinket very underwhelming. Similarly, Ravaged Seed Pod Icon Ravaged Seed Pod is a fairly weak trinket with Haste, however that one at least has potential use in AoE situations (more general use in 5-man content).

3. Tier 19 Set Bonuses

Both the 2-piece Tier 19 set bonus is very powerful and should be obtained as soon as possible, since Shield Block Icon Shield Block has a high uptime and therefore this is very important to your survivability. The 4-piece bonus is also strong, although not as high of a priority as the 2-piece (it mostly helps with AoE tanking).

What pieces you go for will depend on the current legendaries you have. Assuming you have none, the 4 best pieces are the helm, shoulders, cloak, and legs. If you have the legendary shoulders (Timeless Stratagem Icon Timeless Stratagem), it is acceptable to use the hands (if you do not have Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets Icon Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets) since their item level will compensate for the stats.

4. Legendary Items

Legendary items have a high item level of 910, which makes them extremely strong. They are so strong, in fact, that a legendary item is always going to be worth equipping over any other item you might have in that slot.

However, there is a limitation on the number of legendary items you can have equipped at any one time (by default 1, but by now most players should be able to equip 2). Since some legendary items are better than others, if you have more items than the limit, you will have to choose which ones to equip.

Below, we will do our best to guide you through this process, as well as provide any other relevant information.

Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets Icon Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets is the only legendary that increases your DPS. Given that it also provides a Rage gain, it is a very solid choice overall.

Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles Icon Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles provides some nice self-healing in situations where healing would not otherwise really be incoming. That said, assuming you never really use Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain at full health (which you should not) these bracers make each use of Ignore Pain also heal you a bit. If using the Devastator Icon Devastator talent with high Rage generation, these bracers are very powerful against steady incoming damage. We rank them as the second-best legendary, overall.

The Walls Fell Icon The Walls Fell causes Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam to reduce the remaining cooldown of Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall by 4 seconds. This is a huge cooldown reduction that can have Shield Wall's cooldown down to about 2 minutes and 30 seconds (depending on the number of procs).

Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus Icon Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus gives you a shield for 15% of your maximum health every 30 seconds; this sounds a lot better than it actually is, which is not to say that it is bad, but while it will produce decent numbers over the course of the fight, if you do not take advantage of knowing when the shield will come, you are getting a lot less out of this legendary than you could. It has a guaranteed socket, and 3 passive stats, making it passively a decent throughput legendary.

Archimonde's Hatred Reborn Icon Archimonde's Hatred Reborn is similar to the heirloom trinket with an absorb shield on a very short cooldown. This is a very strong legendary effect if utilised well. It also explodes for 75% of the damage absorbed, split between all nearby enemies, making it effective both offensively and defensively. Its total usefulness is not amazing, but the absorb is nice to have.

Destiny Driver Icon Destiny Driver boosts Intercept Icon Intercept, making it something of an external cooldown. If you also have the  Icon Wall of Steel, this is even better, resulting in a good damage absorption for both you and your target.

Thundergod's Vigor Icon Thundergod's Vigor can be very strong if you are fighting multiple targets for a sustained period of time (such as during dungeon content), allowing you to use Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout more often. Against a single target, it is very weak.

Sephuz's Secret Icon Sephuz's Secret is considered a very strong legendary when it can proc, but for raids, its uses are limited. The passive 2% Haste is worth a bit over 700 Haste, even if you cannot get the item to proc; the fact that you can sometimes manage to proc it makes it a worthwhile choice in some cases. For 5-man content, you can proc it on demand most of the time using abilities like Shockwave Icon Shockwave.

Timeless Stratagem Icon Timeless Stratagem grants your Heroic Leap Icon Heroic Leap 2 additional charges and also comes with a 3rd set of secondary stats which makes for guaranteed throughput. The stats themselves are perfect for Protection Warriors, and it gives you great mobility almost constantly. There are, however, not many raid encounters where this kind of movement is needed, and it becomes pretty redundant.

Rethu's Incessant Courage Icon Rethu's Incessant Courage has great stats, and 3 sockets, so you can add another 450 stats of your choice. For 5-man content, it seems decent since it will let you reach the next pack faster, and then self-heal when you are actively tanking, however it is still very weak. The heal itself is fairly weak and slow, there are some encounters that can be effective on, but realistically it is not why you get this legendary.

Aggramar's Stride Icon Aggramar's Stride is a nice movement and quality of life increase, but does not increase your throughput, so you should not choose it over anything else.

5. Loot Competition

Regarding the loot you will get from raid or dungeon bosses, you will compete with other classes in the following cases:

Item Type Competing Classes
Tier Tokens Hunters, Monks, Shamans, and Arms/Fury Warriors
Plate Armor Death Knights, Paladins, and Arms/Fury Warriors
  • Amulets
  • Cloaks
  • Rings
Trinkets Blood Death Knights, Vengeance Demon Hunters, Guardian Druids, Brewmaster Monks, and Protection Paladins

6. ChangeLog

  • 17 Apr. 2017: Updated Chain of Valor description to no longer incorrectly refer to Paladins.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Updated the legendary and trinket rankings.
  • 19 Feb. 2017: Removed outdated BiS list.
  • 12 Jan. 2017: Further updated the text for Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles to more clearly explain their viability.
  • 11 Jan. 2017: Updated text for Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles.
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Added Tier 19 set bonuses and updated assessments of Legendaries.
  • 22 Oct. 2016: Updated the BiS recommendations, and added a mention of Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles in the legendary section.
  • 29 Sep. 2016: Fixed a small typo.
  • 23 Sep. 2016: Added Best in Slot recommendations.
  • 20 Sep. 2016: Updated the text for The Walls Fell slightly, and moved it up on the page.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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