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World of Warcraft Classes Paladin «Protection»

Protection Paladin PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

A Protection Paladins use Holy power they’re given to protect themselves and any ally who needs protection.

Contents

Introduction

Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:

Advanteges:

  • High DPS.
  • Mediocre selfhealing.
  • Capability of protecting allies from various rypes of damage.

Disadvantages:

  • Paladin is a tank with the lowest health pool.

Basic information on the spec:

The only resource available for a Protection Paladin is Mana only used for auxiliary abilities. This is why the whole gameplay is based on ability restoring time which is influenced by Haste.

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Glossary

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Main abilities

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Talents

General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.

Tier 1. Lvl 15.

  • Holy Shield. Increases the probability of blocking by 15% and allows you to block spells. Also, a successful block deals minor Holy damage to the assaulter.
  • Blessed Hammer. Replaces Hammer of the Righteous. You throw a hammer that flies in a spiral trajectory from the spot where you cast it, and deals Holy damage. The enemies hit with it deal you 12% less damage with their next auto-attack.

* Your default choice is Blessed Hammer – it gives you max DPS, and better reduction of physical damage by auto-attacks since one hammer can hit one target up to 3 times depending on your enemy’s hitbox size.
Holy Shield should be used only for encounters with continuous magic damage. It’s a bit too random to be able to use it against some certain spells as you still are limited in your chance of blocking an attack by the fact that it might not proc. But still it’s better than nothing because if you’re dealing with magic, physical attacks should not take out a large share making your Blessed Hammer not that effective. Soul of the highlord helps you to dead with magic damage and keep doing good dps in the same time.
Consecrated Hammer is the weakest talent on the Tier at the moment.

Tier 2. Lvl 30.

* First Avenger allows you to get the proc of Grand Crusader more often, especially on AoE, which lands you on higher absorb off the trait Bulwark of Order. This talent also increases your outgoing damage.
Crusader’s Judgement is your second-best option on this Tier. Over the whole combat, it gives more charges of Shield of the Righteous that Bastion of Light. With this talent, you can’t let your stacks of Judgment idle as it can restore completely any moment due to Grand Crusader.
Bastion of Light might be good for combats where you need a nice uptime for your Shield of the Righteous through a long period, but in general, this talent is weaker than the other two.

Tier 3. Lvl 45.

  • Repentance. Allows you to paralyze the enemy from a 30-m distance. This effect can be applied to a special share of enemies: only Demons, Dragons, Giants, Humanoids and the Undead. CD 15 secs.
  • Blinding Light. Disorients your enemies within the 10-m radius of you for 6 secs. Any damage – apart from Holy damage – cancels this effect. CD 1.5 min.

* This Tier’s pick is up to you. Choose based on what type of control – if any – your encounter demands. For Mythic+, Blinding Light could be useful as is has no shared diminishing with stuns. This can be used to interrupt casts in mob packs.

Tier 4. Lvl 60.

  • Retribution Aura. An aura with an active range of 60 m. Deals a tiny bit of Holy damage to the enemies attacking you and your allies in Melee.

* Blessing of Spellwarding should be picked for encounters where you sure won’t have to use its initial form, and where you need protection from magic damage. All in all, this is a wonderful talent for Mythic+ with the affix Necrotic as it prevents new stacks from casting but it also cancels the ones already cast on you.
Cavalier is a good one, too. It improves your mobility and is, in fact, your default pick in case you need Hand of Protection.
Retribution Aura is too weak and is barely used today whatever the situation.

Tier 5. Lvl 75.

  • Knight Templar. Your Divine Steed‘s restoring time is reduced by 50%, and all the damage being received during its action is cut by 20%.
  • Final Stand. Utilizing Divine Shield, you provoke all your enemies within the 15-m range to attack you for the next 8 secs.

* Hand of the Protector is your default choice as it is more effective in terms of healing, and is has a shorter restoring period than Light of the Protector.
If you need additional survival, Knight Templar would be a nice option, accompanied by Cavalier. Although, in general, your Divine Steed demands GCD and lasts 3 secs only which might cause some trouble.
Final Stand is a very occasional talent and can be effective if used against strong enemies, but Divine Shield‘s CD is quite long, and, besides, sometimes you have to use it to cancel a debuff on you, and to deprive yourself of a stronger subheal Hand of the Protector, which causes this talent to decrease your efficacy throughout the combat drastically.

Tier 6. Lvl 90.

  • Aegis of Light. This is a channel spell to be maintained by you for 6 secs. You create a giant light shield in front of you thus protecting yourself and all your allies behind you within the 10-m range and decreasing the damage received by them by 20%.

* Justice of Light is your default pick. It does not provide you with a major self-heal, it does, though, allow the raid to heal up a little regardless of their position, unlike Consecrated Ground.
Aegis of Light is an interesting raid cooldown, but it is barely usable during your active tanking since you have to stand still and maintain your channel spell. In theory, it can be used as a personal defensive cooldown in some sort of a special attack because the 20% cut on the damage works on you, too. In this case, you should first use Shield of the Righteous and then proceed with Aegis of Light.
Consecrated Ground is your default choice for Mythic+, and it’s not even because of the group healing properties, but because of the movement impairing. Sometimes it is really great to have an opportunity to get ahead of your enemies.

Tier 7. Lvl 100.

  • Seraphim. Increases Haste, Crit, Versatility and Mastery by 5500. Spends up to 2 charges of Shield of the Righteous receiving 8 secs of duration per charge. CD 45 secs.
  • Last Defender. For each enemy within the 8-m radius, the outgoing damage is increased by 3% and the incoming one is reduced by 3%. The efficiency fades with the growth of the enemy count.

* For raiding, your best pick would be Righteous Protector as it increases your survival significantly this allowing you to restore Health you’ve lost more often. It is particularly effective if combined with Hand of the Protector.
Seraphim enables you to substantially increase the outgoing damage, but it is significantly worse in terms of damage than Righteous Protector. It is a good choice for Mythic+. In raids, however, it is worth the use only in case you are absolutely sure you are going to survive all the mechanics without Righteous Protector.
Last Defender is an extremely weak talent in terms of both survival and damage dealing.

This lands you on a base build that goes as follows:

For raid:

  1. Blessed Hammer
  2. First Avenger
  3. Blessing of Spellwarding
  4. Hand of the Protector
  5. Judgment of Light
  6. Righteous Protector

For Mythic+: 

  1. Blessed Hammer
  2. First Avenger
  3. Blinding light
  4. Cavalier
  5. Hand of the Protector
  6. Consecrated Ground
  7. Seraphim

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Artifact

Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.

Relics

The current spec uses 1 Holy, 1 Iron and 1 Secret Magic relics.

For survival, you are more interested in your relic’s ilvl than its bonus. And yet there are still traits you should prefer over others in case the difference and their ilvl bonus for an artifact are over 1 ilvl.

  1. Unflinching Defence.
  2. Firm Resolve.
  3. Scatter the Shadows (provided the use of the legendary helmet Saruan’s Resolve).
  4. Bastion of Truth (combined with Holy Shield).

If you’re aiming at higher DPS, the situation changes. The trait bonus is incomparably higher than that of the relic’s ilvl.

  1. Consecration in Flame +12 ilvl of the artifact.
  2. Hammer Time +10 ilvl
  3. Stern Judgement +9 ilvl
  4. Righteous Crusader +6,5 ilvl

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. Here you face your first crucial choice between Light and Shadow. This Tier’s choice is basically defined by what traits you got on Tier 3. If you need survival, and in Tier 3 you have Unflinching Defense, you should make your way toward it. As for DPS, your best strategy here is to collect the max sum of artifact ilvl equivalents:

For survival, your priority looks as follows:

  1. Light Speed, Master of Shadows, Refracting Shell, ShadowbindChaotic Darkness;
  2. Infusion of Light, Secure in the Light, Murderous IntentLight’s Embrace;
  3. Shocklight, Torment the Weak, Dark Sorrows.

DPS priority list:

  1. Torment the Weak +44 ilvl (single target)
  2. Shadowbind +43 ilvl
  3. Chaotic Darkness +39 ilvl
  4. Infusion of Light / Secure in the Light +22 ilvl
  5. Dark Sorrows +19 ilvl (becomes better with quantity of targets)
  6. Shocklight / Master of Shadows +11 ilvl
  7. Light Speed / Murderous Intent +10 ilvl

Tier 3. Equal to relics raiting.

Survival:

  1. Unflinching Defence.
  2. Firm Resolve.
  3. Scatter the Shadows (provided the use of the legendary helmet Saruan’s Resolve).
  4. Bastion of Truth (combined with Holy Shield).

DPS:

  1. Consecration in Flame +12 ilvl of the artifact.
  2. Hammer Time +10 ilvl
  3. Stern Judgement +9 ilvl
  4. Righteous Crusader +6,5 ilvl

Other traits are defensive and provide no dps tha’s why they are not accounted for here. Hece their value is considered equal to 0.

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:

cruweight^128866^ilvl^1^209218^7.29 6:7.38 7:7.87^252799^9.53^252922^15.93^252875^35.34^209229^5.69 6:6.94 7:5.3^209217^4.41 6:4.69 7:5.21^253070^37.45^252888^31.58^252091^9.72^252191^9.45^252906^39.46^252088^8.94^253093^37.96^end

 

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Legendaries

A Protection Paladin has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.

Let’s single out the best and the good Legendaries:

Saruan’s Resolve provides an additional charge to Light of the Protector ad reduces its restoring time by 10%. This is the best Legendary for survival as it increases your ability to restore lost Health significantly.

Tyelca, Ferren Marcus’s Stature makes your Avenger’s Shield hit additional 2 targets. This is one extremely powerful DPS AoE Legendary, goes really well with the Legendary chest.

Sephuz’s Secret passively gives you 2% Haste and 10% moving speed. If the proc is triggered, it gives you a 25% Haste and a 75% movement speed boost for 10 secs. CD 30 secs. Since Haste is Protection Paladin’s best stat, this is a very powerful Legendary for any type of combat where you have the opportunity to trigger its active effect regularly. For Mythic+ it is beneficial if you sync it up with your Seraphim.

Pillars of Inmost Light makes your Eye of Tyr deal 300% more damage, and its restoring time is 25% shorter now. This one is a very powerful Legendary. It does, however, lose to Sephuz and Tyelca. It also allows you to reduce the damage coming in on you more often which makes it great for survival.

Breastplate of the Golden Val’kyr. Each enemy hit with Avenger’s Shield reduces the restoring time of Guardian of Ancient Kings by 3 secs. A good Legendary, but it’s not for frequent use because in non-AoE combat the restoring of Guardian of Ancient Kings is long even without Tyelca. Nevertheless, if having an additional powerful CD is critical for the combat, you should use this one.

Uther’s GuardBlessing of Freedom, Blessing of Sacrifice and Blessing of Protection have a 50% longer duration and restore 15% of the target’s max HP. This Legendary is extremely peculiar. It has the capacity to offer longer immunity to physical or magical damage to you or your ally.

Chain of Thrayn. Your Avenging Wrath increases the efficiency of your healing spells by additional 50%, and the outgoing damage – by additional 10%. This one is quite a mediocre Legendary. You can use it in case you feel like your regular healing is not enough.

Aggramar’s Stride increases your moving speed by 75% of one of the secondary stats highest value. This Legendary is quite occasional allowing you to increase your moving speed significantly on a regular basis. If your moving speed is not that critical, or you feel like your Divine Steed is enough, this Legendary is of hardly any value.

Heathcliff’s Immortality reduces your incoming damage by 4% for the time you’re within the Consecration area. This Legendary is quite nice in terms of survival, has the capacity reduce damage almost constantly, unless, of course, you cast Consecration and run off of its active area right away.

Soul of the Highlord provides the talent Holy Shield for free. This one is also an occasional Legendary, but it can come in handy if your encounter entails mixed type of damage, and you’re going to be subject to constant magical damage and major physical damage by auto-attacks. If you only need one type of damage reduction, better leave this Legendary.

Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn has a bunch of secondary stats and a lot of power. Using the trinket gives you a damage absorbing shield for 30% of your max HP. When the effect wears off, the shield explodes dealing damage equal to 75% of that absorbed. In general, this is a nice trinket in case yours are not that good. But still, it’s not as effective for Paladins as it is for other tanks as Paladins have significantly smaller max HP which makes both the shield and the damage it deals less efficient.

Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus gives you a damage absorbing shield once every 30 secs. The shield covers 15% of your max HP. An average Legendary, but it is convenient to use as it is clockwork which enables you to exploit its absorption extremely efficiently. It also helps you to tone down the combat start in case you’re the first to tank.

Rethu’s Incessant Courage is a craft Legendary. Its healing effect is incredibly small. It’s okay at the very beginning, until you get the first two Legendaries.

Insignia of the Grand Army increases the efficacy of the Netherlight Crucible’s second Tier by 50%. With best traits becomes a very strong legendary as for dps, as for surviveability.

As you can see, many Legendaries are extremely occasional, and some of them are empowered on the count of others. You can find a use for almost every Legendary, so just keep in mind which of them you already got, and where you can use them.
And still, there is a certain ranking for Legendaries for embracing damage dealing or for providing stable survival bonuses.

Mythic+ DPS:

  1. Tyelca, Ferren Marcus’s Stature.
  2. Pillars of Inmost Light.
  3. Sephuz’s Secret.
  4. Chain of Thrayn.
  5. Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn.

Mythic+ survival:

  1. Saruan’s Resolve.
  2. Tyelca, Ferren Marcus’s Stature.
  3. Sephuz’s Secret.
  4. Heathcliff’s Immortality.
  5. Pillars of Inmost Light.

Raid DPS:

  1. Tyelca, Ferren Marcus’s Stature.
  2. Pillars of Inmost Light.
  3. Sephuz’s Secret.
  4. Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn.
  5. Chain of Thrayn.

Raid survival:

  1. Saruan’s Resolve.
  2. Soul of the Highlord.
  3. Sephuz’s Secret.
  4. Heathcliff’s Immortality.
  5. Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn.

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Gameplay

The whole gameplay can be divided into two parts: damage dealing and utilizing defensive abilities.

Damage Dealing.

Prioritylist for single target:

  • Survival:
  1. Judgment.
  2. Avenger’s Shield.
  3. Consecration.
  4. Hammer of the Righteous (Blessed Hammer, if you’ve got the talent)
  • DPS:
  1. Avenger’s Shield.
  2. Judgment.
  3. Consecration.
  4. Hammer of the Righteous (Blessed Hammer, if you’ve got the talent)
  • AoE:
  1. Avenger’s Shield.
  2. Consecration.
  3. Judgment.
  4. Hammer of the Righteous (Blessed Hammer, if you’ve got the talent)

Active Mitigation.

Avenger’s Shield is not influenced by GCD meaning you can use it any time. It is the main incoming damage reducing ability. You have 3 charges of this ability. The active time is 4.5 secs, and your charges’ CDs can be reduced by Judgment. Keep in mind, though, that reaching a 100% uptime of this ability is impossible. For that reason, only use the ability in case you are about to receive massive damage. But don’t let the stacks idle out, either. So just keep 1-2 stacks in restoring in order to have at least 1 in stock in case things go south. It is reasonable to collect all 3 stacks only in case you are going to take the Boss, and you are about to receive massive damage over and over for a long time.

Light of the Protector is also beyond the influence of GCD. It restores 30% of your lacking Health. This means that the less HP you have, the more it restores. The acceptable level is when you’re at 30-50% of your HP. This percentage still keeps you above the death threat, but the restoring you are facing is already quite sensible.

If you need time to restore your Shield of the Righteous charges, sometimes you can receive several attacks without it, and instantly restore your Health with Light of the Protector, and activate Shield of the Righteous after that.

CD usage.

Guardian of Ancient Kings allows you to reduce the incoming damage by 50% for 8 secs once every 5 min. It is reasonable to use this one right before you receive massive damage. It can be combined with Shield of the Righteous, or vice versa in case your shields need a recharge.

Ardent Defender saves you from fatal damage during its action time. It also reduces the incoming damage by 20% for 8 secs. It should be used any time you have a fat chance of dying, for instance, if you’re willing to restore your Shield of the Righteous stacks and then utilize Light of the Protector, but you have absolutely no desire to die in the meantime. You can also use it on higher Health levels solely to benefit from its 20% damage reducing properties. In this case, though, you need to be sure you are not going to die within the next 1.5 min.

Lay on Hands is a very potent healing cooldown. You can apply it on your allies, but still try to use it wisely. Keep it as Plan B as your cooldown, because if you don’t, and things get tricky, you might end up health-less, and barely any heal would be able to kick up your HP.

Divine Shield makes you immune to any type of damage and debuffs for 8 secs. It also, upon casting, cancels these negative effects. It is extremely brainless to use Divine Shield without Hand of Reckoning while directly tanking a target because Boss removes you from the aggro-list and moves on to the next ally of yours on it which can end badly. That is why this ability is used to cancel debuffs or avoid fatal mechanics on encounters while Boss is taken care of by a different tank.
* Playing the Hand of Reckoning trick allows you to ignore one of Boss’s mechanics completely receiving no damage / debuff off it.

Eye of Tyr reduces the damage coming to you from the hit enemies by 25% for 9 secs. Use it as frequently as possible, preferably during the gaps between your Shield of the Righteous.

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Stats

First of all, one important thing should be noted. Your key objective is to STAY ALIVE! That is why your top priority is getting hold of the class. Stats are only there to help you get steadily less damage, more self-healing and deal more damage.

Your base priority ranking can be divided into two categories: survival and DPS.

Survival:

Armor (it means ilvl) >> Haste > Versatility >> Mastery > Crit

DPS:

Strength >> Haste > Crit >> Mastery = Versatility

  • Mastery and Versatility are very close to each other in values and their weight is going to be quite volatile, meaning, for example, your Mastery would grow if you collect more Versatility.

What does each stat do?

  • Strength increases your power of attack used in calculating the damage/heal provided by your abilities.
  • Stamina increases your max Health. The higher your max HP count, the more damage you can receive without being killed.
  • Haste increases both DPS and HPS as it affects your main abilities’ CD. This enables you to trigger those abilities more often. It also affects GCD which, in its turn, reduces the intervals between utilizing your abilities.
  • Crit increases the chance of doubling the damage or the heal. Its significance is a lot higher for DPS than for survival (critical hits of Judgment restore you 4 secs of Shield of the Righteous CD; also, Crit has effect on your Parry).
  • Mastery may seem a nice stat at first site, but it is not. Shield of the Righteous provides nice base damage reduction, and needs no increase to it. The chance of blocking which also grows with Mastery, isn’t stable, either. A block has a chance of working against an attack in case your Parry and evasion failed, which makes this stat inconsistent and unpredictable. The only way to make Mastery interesting for you is using Holy Shield against magic. In this case, it has the opportunity to reduce the damage coming in from magic attacks.
  • Versatility is a great stat for survival and an average one for DPS as it only reduces incoming damage, increases the outgoing one, and healing, too.

Based on these priorities, you can see that the strongest stat is your main characteristics which can only be increased by upping the ilvl (exceptions: trinkets, necks and rings). Out of the secondary stats, Haste stands out in any scenario, that is why:

  • If you get a new thing with an ilvl 10 points higher than your current one, use it regardless of its secondary stats.
  • If the difference is 5 ilvl, pick the item that has more Haste and Versatility on it.

With jewelry, thigs are more complicated. That is why, in general, it is recommended you consult the approximate values of stats in the line for the addon Pawn provided by Paladin Liminara: 

( Pawn: v1: "Balanced": Strength=2.75, Stamina=3.57, CritRating=2.65, HasteRating=3.6, MasteryRating=3.38, Versatility=3.35, Armor=9.99)

 

( Pawn: v1: "Survival": Strength=1.66, Stamina=4.23, CritRating=2.08, HasteRating=3.1, MasteryRating=3.02, Versatility=3.02, Armor=11.74)

 

Based on the aforementioned characteristics, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

  1. Gems:
  1. Chants:
  1. Food:
  1. Flasks and Potions

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Set bonuses

T19:

T20:

T21:

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Macros

 

Rebuke with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

/cast [mod:shift,@focus][]Rebuke

 

Your Blessings at the cursor’s position (you need to care not only about yourself but about your allies as well)

#showtooltip Blessing of Protection
/stopcasting
/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Protection

 

#showtooltip Blessing of Freedom
/stopcasting
/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Freedom

 

#showtooltip Blessing of Sacrifice
/stopcasting
/cast [@mouseover] Blessing of Sacrifice

 

Also, Lay on Hands at cursor’s position

#showtooltip Lay on Hands
/stopcasting
/cast [@mouseover] Lay on Hands

 

A useful macro to cancel any defensive cooldown on you that remove you from your enemies’ aggro-list:

/cancelaura Blessing of Protection
/cancelaura Divine Shield