Protection Warrior Tank Stat Priority — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will find out the optimal stat priority for your Protection Warrior. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations. Our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Protection Warrior stat priority.
The Basics of Stats for Protection Warriors
The general stat priority for Protection Warriors is:
- Item level;
- Critical Strike.
The stat priority for Protection Warriors in Mythic+ is:
- Item level;
- Versatility >= Critical Strike;
Versatility is roughly equal to Critical Strike and better in some situations, as it is a source of flat constant damage reduction and not random like Parries provided by Critical Strike.
For Protection Warriors, the value of each stat is very close together. So while Critical Strike is the worst secondary stat, is it not by any means a "bad" stat. It is still very close in value to the better stats. Generally speaking, the stat priority should only be followed when comparing gear of the same item level. A piece of gear with a higher item level than what you currently have should be equipped regardless of its secondary stats.
In the same vein, it is also important to understand that having more stats is better than having "better" stats. For example, if you had to choose between 20 Critical Strike and 10 Haste, you are better off with the 20 Critical Strike.
Enchanting and Gemming generally also follows the Stat priority, since the more stats you have the better. There are some enchants, however, that do not provide any stats, but other beneficial effects. To see if any of them are worth using, take a look at our Enchants & Gems guide.
Getting a Better Understanding of Protection Warrior Stats
Below, you can find a detailed explanation of what each of the stats provides for Protection Warriors. As a tank, your main priority is to survive and you should optimize your stats as such. If you are comfortable with the class and have no issues surviving, you can start looking to optimize for a more DPS-oriented stat priority. To get a better idea of this, you can take a look at our Simulations page.
Haste does a few things. It reduces the global cooldown, increases your attack speed, and reduces the cooldown on Shield Slam, Thunder Clap, resulting in increased Rage generation and damage. But most importantly, it reduces the cooldown of Shield Block. This gives you much more control over your active mitigation and helps smooth out your damage intake.
To expand on the above, the increased Rage generation increases the total amount of Ignore Pain you get proportionally to the amount your Haste is increased by. An X% Haste increase equates to X% more Rage over the course of a fight, which equates to X% more Ignore Pain. The extra Rage also contributes to further cooldown reduction via Anger Management.
Versatility increases all your damage and healing done (including Ignore Pain), and decreases all damage taken. Versatility does not require luck or rely on playing a certain way. It reduces all damage, making it a solid stat for survivability.
Compared to other stats, it has greatly increased value on magic damage heavy fights, and is first in the priority in those situations. Other stats rely on you being able to block/parry attacks, or require the attack to be Physical damage for them to reduce damage.
Mastery ( Mastery: Critical Block) increases your chance to block, your chance to critically block, and your Attack Power. Not only does it increase your overall damage reduction, the increased attack power also increases the size of your Ignore Pain.
As seen from the stat priority above, Critical Strike increases in value for Mythic+. This is because it provides both defensive ( Riposte) and offensive (increased critical strike chance) benefits. The majority of the damage taken in dungeons is melee meaning that with higher Critical Strike you can parry more often reducing the incoming damage. Critical Strikes also increases your overall damage output helping you complete the key faster. While it is a good stat for overall damage reduction, it is also unreliable and does nothing against any other type of damage.
Armor reduces Physical damage taken. It is a completely passive and consistent stat, making it quite good for survivability. It does absolutely nothing for damage, however.
There is a very common misconeption about Stamina in that it is only useful for "surviving one shots" or something similar. That is definitely part of it, and having enough health to survive mechanics is important, but it is not the whole story. Simply put, Stamina does the same thing as damage reduction does, that is, it reduces the impact damage has on you. The disadvantage Stamina has is that, while it increases your overall survivability, the damage you take has to be healed up. This is why stacking Stamina can be detrimental. You become a healing "sponge", making it difficult for healers to heal you. The point here is that Stamina is a good stat, and its value should be taken into consideration when making comparisons.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 07 Jan. 2021: Modified Mythic+ stat priority.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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