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Protection Warrior Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.3.2)

Last updated on Aug 28, 2017 at 22:37 by Vlad 210 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Protection Warriors in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3.2. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Shockwave ? Shockwave Storm Bolt ? Storm Bolt Warbringer ? Warbringer
30 Impending Victory ? Impending Victory Inspiring Presence Inspiring Presence Safeguard ? Safeguard
45 Renewed Fury Renewed Fury Best Served Cold ? Best Served Cold Avatar ? Avatar
60 Warlord's Challenge ? Warlord's Challenge Bounding Stride ? Bounding Stride Crackling Thunder ? Crackling Thunder
75 Devastator Devastator Never Surrender Never Surrender Indomitable Indomitable
90 Vengeance Vengeance Into the Fray Into the Fray Booming Voice ? Booming Voice
100 Anger Management Anger Management Heavy Repercussions Heavy Repercussions Ravager ? Ravager

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Shockwave ? Shockwave Storm Bolt ? Storm Bolt Warbringer ? Warbringer
  • Shockwave Icon Shockwave is an active ability with a 40-second cooldown. It is a frontal cone attack that deals low Physical damage to enemies within 10 yards, and stuns them for 3 seconds. Its cooldown is reduced by 20 seconds if it strikes at least 3 targets.
  • Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt is an active ability with a 20-yard range and a 30-second cooldown. It deals low Physical damage to the target, stunning them for 4 seconds.
  • Warbringer Icon Warbringer modifies Intercept Icon Intercept. When used against an enemy, the target is stunned for 2.5 seconds (in addition to the normal effects of Intercept), and all enemies within 5 yards of the target take damage, but only if they are stunnable (note that they do not get stunned, and note also that bosses are not stunnable). When used against an ally, the effects on the ally remain the same as for Intercept, but any enemies within 5 yards of them will take damage if they are stunnable.

In this tier, you have a choice between 3 damaging crowd-control abilities, and you should make your choice primarily on the requirements of your particular encounter.

Shockwave Icon Shockwave is a great choice for keeping multiple targets locked down, and it is especially powerful if you can hit 3+ targets in order to benefit from the cooldown reduction effect.

For stunning a single target, Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt is a great choice, whether you are trying to interrupt the target, or just to prevent it from attacking you for a few seconds.

Finally, Warbringer Icon Warbringer is going to provide the best damage increase, but it only deals damage to stunnable targets (such as adds/trash). That said, since it is annoying to keep running out of the minimum Intercept Icon Intercept range to be able to Intercept back in, Shockwave Icon Shockwave can sometimes be a better-suited and more reliable stun. Keep in mind also that the Warbringer stun is not affected by diminishing returns, which makes it great for adds that chain-cast even after all other interrupts no longer work, or for adds whose casts cannot be interrupted.

3. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Impending Victory ? Impending Victory Inspiring Presence Inspiring Presence Safeguard ? Safeguard
  • Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory replaces Victory Rush Icon Victory Rush. It is usable at any time (with a 30-second cooldown), damaging the target and healing you for 15% of your maximum health. Getting a killing blow reset its cooldown.
  • Inspiring Presence Icon Inspiring Presence is a passive aura that causes all party or raid members within 60 yards to be healed for 3% of all damage they deal. This aura does not affect you.
  • Safeguard Icon Safeguard causes Intercept Icon Intercept (when used on an ally) to transfer 30% of the damage taken by the target to you for 6 seconds.

Inspiring Presence Icon Inspiring Presence will provide your raid with a lot of overall healing, which makes it the go-to choice in fights with high raid damage. Note that you yourself do not benefit from the heal, and that other players can only benefit from one instance of Inspiring Presence at one time, meaning that if you have multiple Protection Warriors in the raid, only one should be using this talent.

Safeguard Icon Safeguard turns Intercept Icon Intercept into a powerful external cooldown with a very short duration, which could be great for your co-tank in raids, but in the case of raids, it is difficult to argue against taking Inspiring Presence Icon Inspiring Presence. This talent is most useful in higher Mythic+, where some mechanics can 1-shot other players, if you can afford not to take Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory.

The choice between these two talents depends on whether you need raid survivability or personal survivability (more precisely, for your off-tank).

Finally, Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory provides you with a bit of on-demand self-healing, however it does cost 10 Rage and is on the global cooldown, which makes it weak for panic healing, but it can still be efficient. It does provide a bit of personal survivability, and the heal per Rage is higher than what you would get from Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain, but it is still fairly weak for raids, and so we recommend it mainly as a Mythic+ talent, or for solo play.

4. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Renewed Fury Renewed Fury Best Served Cold ? Best Served Cold Avatar ? Avatar
  • Renewed Fury Icon Renewed Fury causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to also enrage you, increasing all damage you deal by 10% for 6 seconds.
  • Best Served Cold Icon Best Served Cold causes Revenge Icon Revenge to deal 5% more damage for each target it hits, up to a maximum of 5 targets.
  • Avatar Icon Avatar is an active ability with a 90-second cooldown. You deal 20% increased damage for Avatar's 20-second duration, and activating Avatar removes all roots and snares.

Renewed Fury Icon Renewed Fury is the go-to talent due to its high uptime, and its uptime is higher the more Rage you are able to generate, since it means more Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain casts. In many situations, you will find an uptime around 80% on Renewed Fury Icon Renewed Fury, meaning a great increase in damage overall.

Best Served Cold Icon Best Served Cold can be a good option for dungeons, however it will only be useful against AoE packs. While you will need a constant 2 mobs for Revenge Icon Revenge itself to even do more damage than if you had Renewed Fury Icon Renewed Fury, your other attacks are not increased at all; Renewed Fury requires you to constantly use Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to keep up. Overall, Renewed Fury is just more consistent, even in dungeons.

Avatar Icon Avatar is weak compared to the other choices, but it can be a useful talent as a DPS cooldown. It pairs well with other abilities like Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry, Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice, and Ravager Icon Ravager, being able to produce great burst DPS for burst phases or AoE packs.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Warlord's Challenge ? Warlord's Challenge Bounding Stride ? Bounding Stride Crackling Thunder ? Crackling Thunder

The talents in this tier are mostly situational, so you should make your choice based on the requirements of the fight and on your playstyle and preference. However, if you are using the 2-piece Tier 20 Se Bonus, you should use Warlord's Challenge Icon Warlord's Challenge.

In genera, Warlord's Challenge Icon Warlord's Challenge is useful in case you need to pick up several adds spawning at the same time, or if the boss needs to be moved from one place to another quickly. The Tier 20 Set Bonuses makes this talent essential, as the 15-second reduction in Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage cooldown makes a big difference.

Bounding Stride Icon Bounding Stride is great for on-demand movement, and it is generally a nice quality of life improvement.

Crackling Thunder Icon Crackling Thunder is a solid go-to talent for dungeons, since the extra range on Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap increases ease-of-play and also makes it easier to pick up stray adds. Since Thunder Clap will be used in your rotation, and does quite a bit of damage, it is important to make sure it hits all relevant targets. If the mobs are already hitting you, the extra range is made a bit redundant, but it can help the initial pull be less messy.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Devastator Devastator Never Surrender Never Surrender Indomitable Indomitable
  • Devastator Icon Devastator passively causes your auto attacks to deal additional damage, generate 5 Rage, and have a 30% chance to reset the remaining cooldown of Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam.
  • Never Surrender Icon Never Surrender causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to ignore up to 100% more damage, depending how much health you are missing (the more health you are missing, the more damage is ignored).
  • Indomitable Icon Indomitable passively increases your maximum health by 20%, and also causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to ignore 20% more damage.

The best talent choice in this tier depends on how the encounter will be played out, but we feel that Indomitable Icon Indomitable is a good default choice when you are starting out. Since playing with Devastator Icon Devastator can be complicated, we recommend using Indomitable until you can manage to play with Devastator correctly. Once you can play Devastator proficiently, it definitely competes with Indomitable and in the majority of cases, it is the better option.

Indomitable Icon Indomitable will give you a permanent 20% boost to your health, and also make every single Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain you use about 20% stronger. This makes Indomitable a strong choice for most raid encounters where the main focus is just surviving rare but large hits. Once the damage intake becomes too high, while it should not outperform Devastator Icon Devastator in Rage generation, it might be a safer option than using Devastator, especially if you are not yet used to it. Once you get used to playing with Devastator, you should be able to make the decision between the two yourself.

Devastator Icon Devastator removes Devastate Icon Devastate from your rotation and makes it passively integrated in your auto attacks, so now your auto attacks have a chance to proc Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam, which frees up a global cooldown for you. While it sometimes can be useful to track your swing timer, the added benefit from doing so is very minor; it can make low-Rage situations more bearable, but realistically there is no real benefit. For survivability purposes, Devastator almost requires you to play with Vengeance Icon Vengeance, since you rely on casting Revenge Icon Revenge, and so free Revenge casts are welcome.

It is difficult to obtain much effectiveness out of Never Surrender Icon Never Surrender. The "cap" of Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain is 3x 60-Rage casts, but Never Surrender doubles this cap no matter what your current health is. While this might seem strong, it has no chance to outperform Devastator Icon Devastator with Ignore Pain shields, as the Rage generation is too valuable. And while you could technically save up Ignore Pains worth 6-7 million before a big hit, Indomitable Icon Indomitable plus its 3x Ignore Pains that are always 20% stronger would do that job for you anyway. All this means that Never Surrender is just never worth taking compared to the other talents.

Read more about how to utilise Ignore Pain to its full potential here.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Vengeance Vengeance Into the Fray Into the Fray Booming Voice ? Booming Voice
  • Vengeance Icon Vengeance causes Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain to reduce the cost of your next Revenge Icon Revenge (used within 15 seconds) by 35%, and also causes Revenge to reduce the cost of your next Ignore Pain (also within 15 seconds) by 35%.
  • Into the Fray Icon Into the Fray passively grants you 3% Haste for each enemy within 15 yards, up to a maximum of 5 enemies.
  • Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice causes Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout to also generate 60 Rage, and increase your damage to targets affected by it by 25%.

Vengeance Icon Vengeance provides a powerful boost to survivability, without really losing any damage, through a large discount on Rage spent on Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain. It requires you to effectively weave Revenge Icon Revenge and Ignore Pain; depending on your dodges/parries, you can get quite a bit of Rage reduction on a lot of your Ignore Pains.

If you are consistently facing multiple enemies, then Into the Fray Icon Into the Fray can end up providing a sizable increase in Haste; it is quite weak if you cannot get the full benefit from having 5 adds nearby. While it is an easy-to-use talent for learning the Protection specialisation, especially for dungeons, it is not recommended.

Finally, Booming Voice Icon Booming Voice can provide some burst damage or emergency survivability through the 60 Rage that it generates, and it can be coupled with Avatar Icon Avatar for damage. It is a great choice for Mythic+ (either bosses or for big trash pulls), but in a raid setting, it does not do that much for you defensively; when this is not a concern, the extra DPS cooldown is more than welcome. This talent pairs well with the Thundergod's Vigor Icon Thundergod's Vigor legendary, or the tier 7 Anger Management Icon Anger Management talent, which allows a very high uptime on Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout for both damage output and damage reduction.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Anger Management Anger Management Heavy Repercussions Heavy Repercussions Ravager ? Ravager
  • Anger Management Icon Anger Management causes every 10 Rage you spend to reduce the remaining cooldown of Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry, Last Stand Icon Last Stand, Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall, and Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout by 1 second.
  • Heavy Repercussions Icon Heavy Repercussions causes Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam to extend the duration of Shield Block Icon Shield Block (assuming it is active when Shield Slam is used) by 1 second, and causes Shield Block to increase the damage of Shield Slam by 30%.
  • Ravager Icon Ravager is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown. You throw your weapon at the targeted location, where it will spin in place for 7 seconds, dealing damage to all enemies within 8 yards every second. Moreover, using Ravager increases your Parry chance by 35% for 12 seconds.

All the talents in this tier improve your survivability, but the choice will depend on several factors, most importantly the type of encounter you are progressing on.

Heavy Repercussions Icon Heavy Repercussions is the best choice when you are constantly taking melee damage that can be blocked. Using this talent and having a lot of Haste can lead you to potentially having 100% Shield Block Icon Shield Block uptime, which is very strong in encounters that threaten mainly through blockable damage. Heavy Repercussions also boosts Shield Slam Icon Shield Slam damage by 30%, which makes it a great talent both defensively and offensively.

Anger Management Icon Anger Management is the go-to talent in this tier, as it plays well with many other talents and abilities. It is an excellent choice for encounters in which you find yourself wanting your main defensive abilities to be available a lot more frequently. Anger Management is very useful on encounters where the majority of big damage spikes are not blockable, or where most of the damage intake is low with a few bursts here and there. Talents like Devastator Icon Devastator and the current tier pieces help amplify the effectiveness of Anger Management Icon Anger Management a lot; your cooldowns will be available more frequently due to such a hige Rage generation. You also generate 50% more Rage during Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout, due to  Icon Might of the Vrykul, which further increases Rage generation and decreases the recharge time on your cooldowns.

Finally, Ravager Icon Ravager seems like a good AoE talent, but realistically it does less damage in total than one Thunder Clap Icon Thunder Clap cast; the only useful part of this talent is the 35% parry for 12 seconds, and even that is not worth much and can most certainly not compete with the other two talents.

9. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Added Lightforged Augment Rune and new 7.3 epic gems.
  • 19 Aug. 2017: Updated all talent sections.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated Indomitable description to account for Patch 7.2.5 changes and updated the discussions of 4, 5, and 7 talents.
  • 25 May 2017: Changed Into the Fray and Ravager to situational talents instead of recommended.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: Updated tier 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 talent sections.
  • 19 Feb. 2017: Updated Warbringer description to further clarify things, and made a slight edit to the tier 5 talent discussion.
  • 11 Jan. 2017: Updated Warbringer description to account for correct Patch 7.1.5 change (following a patch note confusion).
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Updated talent descriptions to account for Patch 7.1.5 (including removing Ultimatum and adding new talent), and changed the discussion for most of the tiers.
  • 25 Oct. 2016: Inspiring Presence is now only applied to party and raid members.
  • 22 Oct. 2016: Made updates and improvements to tier 2, 3, 5, and 6 talent discussions.
  • 24 Sep. 2016: Updated the Vengeance Rage cost reduction to account for a recent hotfix.
  • 20 Sep. 2016: Updated the Vengeance discussion, and also made a small tweak to the tier 3 talent discussion.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 21 Jul. 2016: Removed a mention that Warbringer only works if Intercept is used against an enemy, and updated the talent discussion accordingly.
  • 20 Jul. 2016: Changed our opinion of Ultimatum to say that it is a good choice against a single target when used together with Vengeance and Heavy Repercussions.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Revamped tier 5 talent discussion.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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