Protection Warrior PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight / 10.0.7)
PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as an Protection Warrior, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.
This page is part of our Protection Warrior PvP Guide.
Playstyle for Protection Warriors
The Protection Warrior focuses solely on stalling a game and protecting his team for as long as possible. While doing this, you must push out as much damage and pressure as possible to help drain the enemy team's Mana pool.
PvP comes down to good judgment and decision-making. No two matches are identical, and you will have to use your toolkit differently versus some enemies than the general guidelines indicate. However, the most important part is to master the fundamentals of playing Protection Warrior, like dealing damage and reacting to enemy cooldowns, before thinking about how to outplay your opponents, you should focus on the information and rotations listed in this section for starters.
Before the Gates Open
Coordinate with your team who your kill target will be and any potential swaps you can do. The main focus of your team should be to hit the target you can do the most damage to but also prevent the most damage from, like an enemy, Shadow Priest.
Understanding Protection Warrior Damage
The single target damage rotation of Protection Warrior is not that complex, as it is mostly about Shield Slam and Thunder Clap being used on cooldown.
Revenge is a decent damage button when you have excess Rage or if it procs
Rend should be maintained at all times and passively spread with Thunder Clap
This list serves as your sustained damage rotation priority.
- Maintain Hamstring on your kill target at all times.
- Use Avatar for when you wish to burst.
- Maintain Rend on your primary target
- Use Execute when the enemy drops below the threshold.
- Use Shield Slam on cooldown to deal damage and generate Rage.
- Use Thunder Clap to deal damage and spread Rend.
- Use Revenge when it procs or if you have excess Rage.
You should spend your Rage on Ignore Pain most of the time, but you can also, use it on Shield Block against Physical damage users. It is important to note that Shield Block only works against Physical melee or ranged attacks, meaning the damage of Templar's Verdict or The block does not reduce Envenom.
Do not be afraid to sit on high or near maximum Rage: should you require chaining Ignore Pain back to back or use Execute at maximum power to close out the game. However, do make sure you spend it before it hits the maximum, or else you will have wasted damage and Rage for Anger Management.
When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.
- Use Storm Bolt to stun your kill target.
- Prepare and track Outburst
- Use Avatar
- Use Shield Charge
- Use Shield Block to increase the damage of Shield Slam
- Use Shield Slam to consume Outburst
- Use Shield Slam on cooldown to deal damage and generate Rage.
- Use Thunder Clap when Shield Slam is not available.
- Use Execute when available.
- Use Revenge when it procs.
Shield Wall is your primary defensive cooldown and is extremely strong. The cooldown is lower than you might think because of Anger Management, so do not hold onto it for too long.
Ignore Pain enjoys the liberty of having only a 1-second cooldown. This means that you can keep yourself permanently shielded as long as you have the Rage for it. This is vital for reducing the damage you take and keeping your healer's Mana high.
Heroic Leap has great pursuit potential but can be equally powerful when trying to survive. Breaking the line of sight of enemies will nullify most of their damage and is a great way to prevent being killed by unstoppable cooldowns like Combustion.
Rallying Cry is an excellent defensive for you and your team, especially with Inspiring Presence. Beware, as the health gained is lost at the end of the duration and can surprise kill you or your teammates.
Shield Block blocks any non-enhanced melee attack and ranged attack (Hunters). It does not work against abilities like Templar's Verdict or Obliterate that is Frost-enhanced. Shield Block serves as a great defense against any weapon-based attackers; even physical ranged ones like Hunter.
Impending Victory is your only on-demand heal and should be taken advantage of when you can.
Shield Bash is excellent for your team as well, allowing you to reduce permanently the damage of a target, or even multiple targets, by 15%.
Good Avatar Usage
Avatar is your primary burst cooldown, which significantly enhances your damage output and is almost crucial to being able to apply any pressure. However, roots are also a great counter to Protection Warrior, and it can often be a good idea to hold onto Avatar for abilities such as Frost Nova, so you can break free and help your team.
Good Intimidating Shout Usage
Intimidating Shout is a powerful ability that can make or break your game. This ability is as strong offensively as it is defensively. For this reason, this ability can be the hardest to determine the best use.
Some good ways to use it offensively are to use it as a follow-up-CC to an already applied CC on the enemy healer or to start a CC chain. The enemy team will try to stop your team from applying other forms of CC like Polymorph or Hex. If you can land an Intimidating Shout onto all of the enemy team, your team will be in a prime position to burst and apply CC without worrying about being stopped. This way, you can turn the tides of a fight by, for example, using it on a Windwalker Monk with Storm, Earth, and Fire during Fists of Fury, to nullify their offensive burst and let you Storm Bolt your kill target to counter pressure with your team.
Intervene is one of the best tools Protection Warriors have for the team. It allows you to reposition your chosen teammate quickly and redirect all melee and ranged attacks onto you. Keep in mind that this ability does not do anything against spells. Use it frequently and in response to enemy attempts to kill your teammates.
It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.
- 21 Mar. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.0.7.
- 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
- 29 Jul. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands Season 4.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 28 Feb. 2022: Page updated for Patch 9.2.
- 08 Nov. 2021: Page reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
- 04 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
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