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Protection Warrior Tank Gear, Legendaries, and Best in Slot (Legion 7.3.2)

Last updated on Aug 28, 2017 at 22:30 by Vlad 201 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 Prime. 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

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'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.

2.2. Raid Trinkets

Feverish Carapace Icon Feverish Carapace is a proc-based trinket for survivability that gives a bit of Armor. In purely Physical encounters, it can be somewhat useful, but in general you are simply better off with a reliable trinket such as Darkmoon Deck: Immortality Icon Darkmoon Deck: Immortality. You could use both of them, but there are generally other better trinkets out there. The reflect part could end up doing a bit of damage when AoE tanking, but realistically it is quite useless.

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.

Recompiled Guardian Module Icon Recompiled Guardian Module is a pretty passive trinket that will end up doing quite a bit of raid healing throughout the fight, but the shield is really what you want. That said, the numbers are very weak, and the trinket does not really have any use.

Shifting Cosmic Sliver Icon Shifting Cosmic Sliver has an interesting effect that plays around with your Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall; you can either reduce the cooldown of it, or increase the duration of Shield Wall if it is currently up. Against a single target, it stacks up relatively slowly, but can be an alternative if you feel you want cooldowns more often, combined with The Walls Fell Icon The Walls Fell for maximum cooldown reduction. Using it to prolong the duration of Shield Wall is going to be very situational.

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. Tier 20 Set Bonuses

The 2-piece Tier 20 Set Bonus is good. It enables your Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage to instantly generate 20 Rage, and an additional 10 Rage every second for 6 seconds. This means you get 80 Rage every time you use Berserker Rage, assuming you are using Warlord's Challenge Icon Warlord's Challenge to reduce the cooldown, in which case it provides a nice amount of on-demand Rage.

The 4-piece reduces the cooldown of Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage by 3 seconds every time you Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam, so depending on your Shield Slam procs, this Set Bonus will reduce the effective cooldown by quite a bit.

While the 2-piece is pretty solid by itself if you acquire good pieces, it is really together that the two bonuses shine, often reducing the cooldown of Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage to about 25 seconds, meaning you should be able to use it more than twice a minute, increasing your Rage generation (not counting Rage generated from taking damage) by a fair amount. This pairs exceptionally well with Anger Management Icon Anger Management talent to reduce the cooldowns of your abilities constantly, and has made that talent the default choice this tier.

If at all possible, you should try to acquire set pieces in this order (you obviously only want 4, but if you have legendaries for some of the first 4 slots, you may want to use the other two pieces):

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

The 2-piece Tier 19 set bonus is decent (worth about 2,700 Mastery), but it will limit your legendary choices if you try to maintain it It is worth swapping it out if you have item alternatives for both slots that are 10+ item levels higher.

4. Legendary Items

Legendary items have a high item level of 970, 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 need to be able to hit multiple targets consistently for it to benefit you.

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 monute. While this seems strong, and it is certainly not bad, other legendaries are simply stronger.

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.

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. 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

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 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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