Protection Warrior PvE Guide (WoW BfA 8.1.5)
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Demands minimal external healing while receiving static damage.
- Low restoring time on defensive abilities.
- Great damage dealing with no loss in survival.
- High mobility.
- Maintains stuns with a short CD without diminishing on a target.
- Reflects spells.
- Can decrease damage coming into an ally by 30%, with a short CD.
- Prone to strong unblockable physical damage.
- Has short HP stock.
Basic information on the spec:
A Protection Warrior has one key resource which – like with all specs of the class – is Rage. As a tank, Warrior is oriented on providing max decrease on the incoming damage as it has no opportunity to recover the received damage.
Aggro (Aggravation) is used in the game to express the enemy’s wish to hit someone. The higher the aggro, the higher the chance to become the victim of your enemy’s attacks.
(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Mitigation (often used as Active Mitigation) stands for decreasing or softening the incoming damage. It demands certain abilities of short action but with short restoring time, as well. The developers started using this ability model in the Mists of Pandaria that’s why the term has become quite used by any class with a tank specialization.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your azerite armor has.
Heroic Throw allows you to throw your weapon into the selected target 8-30 m away from you, deal them minor physical damage but increase the menace level significantly. CD 6 secs. Devastate simply deals medium physical damage filing in pauses. Thunder Clap deals physical damage to all the enemies within the 8-m range and decreases their moving speed by 50% for 10 secs. Generates 5 Rage. Victory Rush deal major physical damage to your enemy and restores 20% of your max HP for you. You can only use it within 20 secs after a killing of an enemy that brings your Experience of Honor.
Heroic Throw allows you to throw your weapon into the selected target 8-30 m away from you, deal them minor physical damage but increase the menace level significantly. CD 6 secs.
Devastate simply deals medium physical damage filing in pauses.
Thunder Clap deals physical damage to all the enemies within the 8-m range and decreases their moving speed by 50% for 10 secs. Generates 5 Rage.
Victory Rush deal major physical damage to your enemy and restores 20% of your max HP for you. You can only use it within 20 secs after a killing of an enemy that brings your Experience of Honor.
Shield Wall reduces all your incoming damage by 40% for 8 secs. CD 4 min. Demoralizing Shout cuts 20% off the damage dealt to you by your enemies for 8 secs. CD 45 sec. Last Stand increases your current and max HP by 30% for 15 secs. CD 3 min. Spell Reflection reduces the incoming spell damage by 20% and allows you to reflect a spell within 5 secs. If reflected, the effect is cancelled. Ignore Pain spends 40 Rage and absorbs 50% of the incoming damage. The amount of damage absorbed depends on the amount of Rage spent. CD 1 secs. Battle shout. Increases the attack power of all raid and party members within 100 yards by 10% for 1 h. Mastery: Critical block – increases your chance to block and your chance to critically block. Also increases your attack power.The numbers depends on mastery amount.
Shield Wall reduces all your incoming damage by 40% for 8 secs. CD 4 min.
Demoralizing Shout cuts 20% off the damage dealt to you by your enemies for 8 secs. CD 45 sec.
Last Stand increases your current and max HP by 30% for 15 secs. CD 3 min.
Spell Reflection reduces the incoming spell damage by 20% and allows you to reflect a spell within 5 secs. If reflected, the effect is cancelled.
Ignore Pain spends 40 Rage and absorbs 50% of the incoming damage. The amount of damage absorbed depends on the amount of Rage spent. CD 1 secs.
Battle shout. Increases the attack power of all raid and party members within 100 yards by 10% for 1 h.
Mastery: Critical block – increases your chance to block and your chance to critically block. Also increases your attack power.The numbers depends on mastery amount.
Taunt is quite transparent with the title. It provokes your enemy to attack you for 3 secs. CD 8 secs. Intercept is an ability you can apply on an enemy or an ally. Depending on the target, you get different effect. Has 2 charges. Heroic Leap jumps you to a spot 8-40 m remote. Wherever you land, you deal minor physical damage to your enemies within the 8-m range. Also, utilizing Heroic Leap instantly restores Taunt. CD 45 secs. Pummel interrupts your enemy’s casting and prevents them from casting spells of the same school for the next 4 secs. CD 15 secs. Berserker Rage allows you to cancel Fear, Sap and Incapacitate effects on you and become immune to them for 6 secs. CD 1 min.
Taunt is quite transparent with the title. It provokes your enemy to attack you for 3 secs. CD 8 secs.
Intercept is an ability you can apply on an enemy or an ally. Depending on the target, you get different effect. Has 2 charges.
Heroic Leap jumps you to a spot 8-40 m remote. Wherever you land, you deal minor physical damage to your enemies within the 8-m range. Also, utilizing Heroic Leap instantly restores Taunt. CD 45 secs.
Pummel interrupts your enemy’s casting and prevents them from casting spells of the same school for the next 4 secs. CD 15 secs.
Berserker Rage allows you to cancel Fear, Sap and Incapacitate effects on you and become immune to them for 6 secs. CD 1 min.
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
- Into the fray. You gain 3% Haste for each enemy within 15 yards (maximum 5 enemies) The more haste the better that is why this is the best choice in the tier for raidin and m+.
- Punish. Shield slam deals 20% more damage and reduces received damage by 3% for 9 sec. A weak talent because 3%is very little and it doesn’t stack, it is the worst choice even if you need more saving abilities.
- Impending victory. Replaces Victory rush. Requires 10 Rage to use, deals minor physical damage and restores you 20% of your maximum health. Killing an enemy reset the cooldown of Impending victory. Grants warrior a healing ability that he doesn’t have but has 30 sec CD and heals only for 20% of HP. Not a very strong talent.
Tier 2. Lvl 30
- Crackling thunder. Increases the radius of Thunder Clap by 50%. Take it for m+ if you need to gather a lot of mobs that spread among raid and you lack aggro range to hit multiple enemies.
- Bounding stride. Reduces the cooldown on Heroic leap by 15%, and Heroic Leap now also increases your run speed by 70% for 3 sec. Take it if you lack mobility.
- Safeguard. Reduces damage taken by the target with you intercept ability for 6 sec. This is your choice if the second tank lacks saving abilities and cannot survive an attack.
Tier 3. Lvl 45
- Best served cold. Revenge deals 5% more per target hit (up to 5 targets). A good talent but it is weaker than Unstoppable force.
- Unstoppable force. Avatar increases damage from Thunder Clap by 100% and reduces its cooldown by 50%. The best talent in this tier. You can deal a great bursting damage during Avatar with Thunder Clap in raids and m+.
- Dragon roar. Roar explosively, dealing damage to all enemies within 8 yards and reducing their movement speed by 50% for 6 sec. Has 35 sec cd and generates 10 Rage. A weak talent.
Tier 4. Lvl 60
- Indomitable. Increases your max HP by 10%. Just 10% hp that’s it, no use.
- Never Surrender. Ignore Pain now increases the damage ignored with low Health level up to 100%.Could be useful if healers have a really hard time healing up raid but usually this talent is not used.
- Bolster. Last stand’s cooldown is reduced by 60%, and it additionally causes you to block all melee attacks. The best choice in the tier. Reduces the cooldown of a strong save and also improves it adding up block for the whole duration of it. Our choice.
Tier 5. Lvl 75
- Menace. Intimidating shout disorients enemies for an additional 4 sec, and causes enemies to cover in fear instead of fleeing.
- Rumbling earth. When shockwave strikes at least 3 targets, its cooldown is reduced by 15 sec.
- Storm bolt Hurls your weapon at an enemy causing damage and stunning for 4 sec. 30 sec CD.
*The choice if after you, the whole tier is situational.
Tier 6. Lvl 90
- Booming Voice. Demoralizing Shout now generates 40 Rage and increases the damage dealt by you to the targets under this effect by 15%.
- Vengeance. Ignore Pain reduces Rage spending in your next Revenge by 35%, and Revenge reduces 35% of your spending on the next Ignore Pain.
- Devastator. Replaces Devastate. This passive ability now allows your auto-attacks to deal additional damage, generated 5 Rage and provides 30% probability of finishing the restoring of your Shield Slam instantly.
*Booming voice grants you deal bursting damage or an additional option to survive for 40 Rage. A good choice for raiding and mythic+.
Devastator. A good talent for raiding because removes downtimes in rotation but a bit worse for mythic+. Choose according to your situation.
Tier 7. Lvl 100
- Anger Management. Every 10 Restoring time spend reduce the restoring time of Avatar, Last Stand, Shield Wall and Demoralizing Shout by 1 sec. The best choice because it reduces burst and saving abilities that allows you to use them more often improving your survivability and damage. It is used in raids and m+.
- Heavy Repercussion. Shield Slam prolongs Shield Block by 1 sec, and Shield Block increases the damage dealt by Shield Slam by additional 30%.
- Ravager. Throws spinning weapon into a spot within the 40-m range. The weapon deals damage to all your enemies in a small area for 7 secs. While active, it increases the probability of parrying attacks by 35% for 12 secs.
So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:
In BFA typical sets were removed and Azerite armor took their place. Now every chest/helmet/shoulders have a few rings for traits.
- Bloodsport. Ignore pain prevents additional damage, and grants you with leech for 8 sec. One of not many really good traits for warrior’s survivability if there are problems with healing in raid or m+
- Bastion of might. Avatar increases your mastery by 20 sec and instantly grants you Ignore pain. A great trait for raids and m+ that grants mastery during Avatar improving your block and damage.
- Deafening crash. Thunder clap deals an additional damage and extends the duration
- of Demoralizing shout on affected enemies by 2 sec, up to 6 sec. If you have Blooming voice you should have at least 1 Deafening crash because it improves your major damage ability on a single target and AOE.
- A good raiding trait Treacherous covenant which is good to have in amount of 1-2. This trait increases strength but has its downside. It stops granting strength if your health is below 50% and you take 15% increased damage if your health while below 20%. If you want to deal great damage then this talent is amazing because warrior rarely has his hp drop below 50% because of blocks and absorbs. But be careful, I don’t recommend to take this trait if the bosses you are going to fight were not killed by your raid before and might give a trouble.
- Bonded souls. Your spells and abilities have a chance to trigger Bonded souls for 15 sec. During Soulbond, every 5 sec you and your nearest ally are both healed and gain Haste for 5 sec. A great trait that grants haste and heals you with an often proc.
Let us first consider damage dealing as it has a direct impact on your Rage generation.
- Main priorities
- Shield Slam per CD and per proc;
- Revenge, when the other tank is tanking the boss.
- Thunder Clap per CD.
- Revenge, if you have the proc on free use.
* Don’t forget to use Intercept as it is, too, a Rage-generating ability. But don’t use it in case it leads to an unwanted turn of the Boss or their relocation.
For 3+ AoE:
* Remember: a priority list like this demands a lot of Rage, and you do need it to utilize defensive abilities.
With active Devastator:
- Shield Slam.
- Revenge (if you have the proc on its free-of-charge use).
- Revenge, if you have Vengeance‘s buff.
- Thunder Clap.
- Reducing incoming damage
You have 2 charges, each providing for 6 secs a 100% chance of a Melee combat. Blocking reduces the damage by 30%. A block can be critical meaning 60% of the damage is blocked. The duration of the buff on each of the Shield Blocks sums up completely (with the Legendary pants it’s up to 18 secs, but no more).
- Shield Block should be used against physical Melee attacks.
- Not all your enemy’s special attacks can be reflected. Sometimes it takes a few fails to figure out if the spell you’re interested in prone to blocking or not.
- It is effective against groups of enemies.
This ability can absorb 50% of N damage, where N is defined by your Power of the Attack, Versatility and the amount of Rage you spend on the ability, up to 60. Max absorb can equal 3 used on Ignore Pain. The talent Never Surrender doubles this max value.
- While you are off your tanking duty, you should occupy yourself with stacking as much Ignore Pain as possible before you get to attack the Boss.
- Ignore Pain works against any type of damage.
- Despite the fact that this ability is referred to active damage decreasing ability, the game doesn’t agree with that. There are, in fact, several Bosses who demand you to have active damage decreasing for some ability. In this case, you should use Shield Block.
- If you are about to receive physical damage from a Boss while you are on your max HP, use Shield Block, and then activate Ignore Pain once you’ve lost some of your Health.
- In general, with active tanking you should concentrate on maintaining max uptime for your Shield Block. Ignore Pain should be utilized on low HP level or before receiving massive damage.
- Cooldown usage
Avatar. Dps cd that should be combined with various talents for damage increase such as Demoralizing shout (if you have Booming voice)
Last Stand is used in case of a critical situation as it increases both your current and max Health.
You can also use it before receiving massive damage. It is easier for your Heals to recover a tank with higher max HP as you can bear significantly more damage before you die.
Shield Wall is best used just prior to receiving massive damage rather than on low Health levels.
Demoralizing Shout is utilized in a manner much like that of Shield Wall – best used before receiving damage. Although the incoming damage reducing effect is notably weaker, but so is the CD which means you can trigger this ability way more often. Perfect moments to use it would be a pool or before you get the Boss back to you. This is the moment when the healers in your group/raid may not react on time and restore the Health you’ve lost.
Spell Reflection allows you to reduce the incoming magic damage by 20%, for 5 secs. It can even reflect some spells back onto your enemy (often Bosses’ potent magic abilities do not get reflected). Since the ability only works against a single type of damage, it defines against which cooldowns you should use it.
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
ilvl (Strength, Stamina, Armor) > Haste > Mastery > Crit => Versatility
This specialization’s Mastery ups the chance of delivering a critical block as well as the power of attack.
Haste speeds up Rage generation and reduces the restoring time for your key abilities, such as Shield Block, Revenge, Shield Slam and Thunder Clap. This all is very beneficial for both your DPS and survival.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
- Quick Owlseye – 40 haste.
Flasks and Potions:
Pummel with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
Heroic Throw at cursor’s position. If there is no enemy at cursor’s position, the ability is applied to the current target.
#showtooltip Heroic Throw /cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead][@target]Heroic Throw
Taunt at cursor’s position. If there is no enemy at cursor’s position, the ability is applied to the current target.
#showtooltip Taunt /cast [@mouseover,harm,nodead][@target]Taunt