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Protection Warrior Tank Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Nov 29, 2017 at 18:05 by Vlad 217 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, who has been a long-time leading tank who has competed for world first kills for 5 years. He is one of the casters for both last year's and this year's upcoming Mythic Dungeon invitational. You can watch his stream on Twitch and you can follow him on Twitter.

1. Protection Warrior 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. Protection Warrior Trinkets

2.1. Non-Raid Trinkets

Darkmoon Deck: Immortality Icon Darkmoon Deck: Immortality is the strongest trinket out there for reliable Physical damage reduction, despite its item level being capped at 900.

Writhing Heart of Darkness Icon Writhing Heart of Darkness makes your critical strikes debuff the target to do less damage against you. It has a very high and reliable uptime, although it requires you to deal damage to the target constantly. It loses strength where you might be running in and out of melee range or swapping targets a lot, but for single target it is very powerful.

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.

Chrono Shard Icon Chrono Shard looks like a solid trinket, and while the stats and proc on it are great, it falls behind quite a bit due to very irregular uptime, meaning that if it procs at a good time it can be very solid, but a bad proc can often be wasted. Memento of Angerboda Icon Memento of Angerboda is a fairly similar trinket with much more reliability, even if it procs non-Haste stats sometimes.

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.

Mac'Aree Focusing Amethyst Icon Mac'Aree Focusing Amethyst is always a Haste stat stick. There are several other trinkets that can be Strength Haste stat sticks, and any of them work just as well. A high item level stat stick is a very solid option, both defensively and offensively.

2.2. Raid Trinkets

Aggramar's Conviction Icon Aggramar's Conviction is very lackluster due to the Strength part being weak defensively, together with a Versatility proc that is (at this stage) way less powerful than that form Concordance of the Legionfall Icon Concordance of the Legionfall. While the Aggramar’s Fortitude proc will heal you to full health, due to it being unreliable when that actually happens, the trinket does not have great defensive value.

Aman'Thul's Vision Icon Aman'Thul's Vision is essentially an item level 1000 Unstable Arcanocrystal Icon Unstable Arcanocrystal. It is great for all the same reasons that Unstable Arcanocrystal is great, but in addition to that it has two other procs: 2,200 avoidance (which caps at 20% AoE damage reduction), and the Leech, which is also pretty good. The large Strength proc when empowered by the Pantheon is nice for damage purposes, since the amount of Strength is really high, given its item level.

Apocalypse Drive Icon Apocalypse Drive is more of defensive option than just a regular stat stick with Haste, due to its effect. It will reduce 10 hits by up to 1.2 million damage, whenever it is used. Against bosses with low melee damage, it is going to be super effective in terms of how much damage is prevented, however even against bosses with very high melee damage, 1.2 million is still a large portion of what these "heavy-hitting" bosses end up doing. The secondary effect, that its cooldown is reduced by each melee hit you take is just there to smoothen out its effectiveness for all situations. If you are AoE tanking, the effect will be used up quickly but the cooldown will also be considerably shorter.

Diima's Glacial Aegis Icon Diima's Glacial Aegis is Antorus' much much better version of Tomb of Sargeras' Feverish Carapace Icon Feverish Carapace; you can instead choose when to proc it. Its 4.500 Armor for 12 seconds on a 1-minute cooldown is really solid against any fight with periods of increased physical damage intake.

Eye of F'harg Icon Eye of F'harg/Eye of Shatug Icon Eye of Shatug will be an interesting trinket pair you can swap between mid-fight. Defensively, with the high Stamina and Versatility, Eye of Shatug is a strong option against encounters with incoming magic damage; it will just increase your survivability flat out. Eye of F'harg is a weaker option defensively, but instead features Strength and Armor. It also provides a very small buff to the other tank should he be wearing one as well.

Riftworld Codex Icon Riftworld Codex is a very strange "tank" trinket, as the Critical Strike favors very few tanks defensively, and having the proc be one out of three does not help its case for reliability. All 3 procs will help you out defensively, in varied ways. The trinket itself procs off of damage taken, either providing you with a healing HoT, a shield, or a kind of immolation aura that heals you for 300% of the damage dealt. Effectively, both the HoT and the immolation aura work the same way, healing you over time, with the immolation aura getting a lot stronger against multiple enemies. The shield, however, should be fairly strong. Overall it is a pretty weak trinket due to its unreliability.

Smoldering Titanguard Icon Smoldering Titanguard is the trinket to use against big hits this tier. While the shield is going to be incredibly big, it will only last for 3 seconds, and you can not move or use abilities meanwhile. This one is a strong option against bosses with really hard-hitting abilities that tanks have to soak with big cooldowns.

Reliquary of the Damned Icon Reliquary of the Damned is a Stamina trinket that could rival Infernal Contract Icon Infernal Contract if you need an extra cooldown. Its use effect is not quite as strong, but it has no backlash effect, and passively gives you a solid amount of effective health, making it harder for you to die in the first place.

Leviathan's Hunger Icon Leviathan's Hunger is a tricky trinket to really evaluate. Most often it is compared with a general Strength stat stick with Haste, however those can be hard to come by, and while strength does boost Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain, it is relatively easy to get a high item level Leviathan's Hunger over a high item level Haste stat stick. The heal you get from Leviathan's Hunger differs in usefulness on each fight. It will not, however, prevent you from being one-shotted. It is also great for Mythic+ for self healing.

Chains of the Valorous Icon Chains of the Valorous or any kind of stat sticks are solid if high enough item level and preferably with Haste; since they are passive and reliable they are all useful (defensively, though, you should avoid the ones with Critical Strike).

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.

3. Protection Warrior Tier 21 Set Bonuses

The 2-piece Tier 21 Set Bonus becomes incredibly strong when combined with the 4-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus and the Anger Management Icon Anger Management talent. This is because during Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry you will be able to spam Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam for 5 seconds, which will reduce the cooldown of Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage and generate a great deal of Rage, which due to Anger Management will reduce the cooldown of Battle Cry again. This leads to a cycle of Rage generation that makes your cooldowns available very quickly leads to frequent Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pains.

The 4-piece Tier 21 Set Bonus is decent, but not by any means worth not running the aforementioned combination.

The best combination of items here will depend on what pieces you can get with a high item level from Tomb of Sargeras, but the best Tier 21 pieces to use, in order, are:

  1. gloves;
  2. chest;
  3. cloak;
  4. helm;
  5. shoulders;
  6. legs.

4. Protection Warrior Legendary Items

Legendary items have a high item level of 1000, 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.

Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles Icon Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles provides a lot of self-healing. Assuming you would never really use Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain at full health (unless you are capped on Rage), these bracers make each use of Ignore Pain also heal you, and even if Ignore Pain absorbs most of the hit, 10% of the damage always goes through anyway. With talents like Devastator Icon Devastator or the Tier 20 Set Bonuses that increase Rage generation a lot, this item is even more powerful. It will not stop you from dying to one-shot mechanics, but everywhere else it will keep you alive longer. These bracers are very powerful against steady incoming damage, and defensively we rank them as the best legendary. Note that with the Vengeance Icon Vengeance talent, even the cheaper Ignore Pains or free Revenge Icon Revenges will heal you as though they were used with their full Rage costs.

Soul of the Battlelord Icon Soul of the Battlelord gives you the ability to have two talents from the same row, that is Vengeance Icon Vengeance together with either Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice or Into the Fray Icon Into the Fray. Realistically, since Into the Fray is pretty weak, you will be using Booming Voice for the damage output and Rage on-demand. This legendary allows you to go for a balanced setup: you can keep the defensive benefit of Vengeance, while also getting a bit more Rage through Booming Voice, and Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout acts as a DPS cooldown. All this together with Anger Management Icon Anger Management allows for a really high uptime on Demoralizing Shout, and during Demoralizing Shout you generate 50% more Rage with Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam and Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap, meaning even more Rage to get Demoralizing Shout up again faster.

Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets Icon Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets is overall a great legendary, the strength of which comes from its damage output. That said, even its defensive aspect, in terms of Rage generation, makes this a very strong legendary to use in most cases.

Thundergod's Vigor Icon Thundergod's Vigor can be very strong if you are fighting multiple targets; it is also a very good choice in Mythic+, where you are constantly hitting multiple adds, coupled with Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice for a lot of damage with a high uptime. In raids, its uses are limited since you would want to hit multiple targets for greater effect, however in Antorus with the Tier 20 + Tier 21 Set Bonus combination, you will be restricted a bit in other legendary choices, making this a solid option to further increase Rage gain.

Ararat's Bloodmirror Icon Ararat's Bloodmirror gives Shield Block Icon Shield Block and Spell Reflection Icon Spell Reflection an additional charge. This makes it a very situational legendary: it will basically not do much at all on some fights, while it can be very useful on others. This legendary benefits a lot on tank swap fights where you can recharge the charges when you do not need them, so you have more available when you do need them. Spell Reflection having twice as many charges is great, as it is very useful on anything magic-related, and you might get two damage spikes quickly one after another before the other tank takes over.

The Walls Fell Icon The Walls Fell causes Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam to generate 2 more Rage and reduce the remaining cooldown of Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall by 4 seconds. This is a huge cooldown reduction, and can be stacked with Anger Management Icon Anger Management to reduce the cooldown of of Shield Wall to about 1 minute. This effect is not necessarily that strong, but with the new 2-piece Tier 21 Set Bonus, the 2 extra Rage from each Shield Slam adds up quite a bit more Rage, and you will have a ton of Shield Walls throughout the fight too.

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.

Insignia of the Grand Army Icon Insignia of the Grand Army's strength depends on your Netherlight Crucible traits; it is therefore difficult to judge, but defensively it is certainly quite weak compared to your other options. Offensively, with the correct traits, it could end up providing a solid amount of single target damage.

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 really increase your throughput, so unless you feel you want the movement, it is not really a great legendary. When Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry is up, it greatly increases your movement speed, turning it into a sort of sprint.

5. Protection Warrior 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

  • 29 Nov. 2017: Updated Set Bonus recommendations, trinket discussion, and legendary rankings.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Made a small update to the discussions for Leviathan's Hunger and Soul of the Battlelord.
  • 19 Aug. 2017: Updated trinket, set bonus, and legendary item recommendations.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated trinket and legendary item recommendations and added Tier 20 Set Bonus recommendations.
  • 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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