Protection Warrior PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)
- Main abilities
- Artifact and Relics
- Netherlight Crucible
- Set bonuses
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Can provide the raid with stable self-healing.
- 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 artifact 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.
- The trait Neltharion’s Thunder allows your Thunder Clap to reduce the damage deats by your enemies to you by 1%, the effect stacks up, up to 5 times.
Victory Rush deal major physical damage to your enemy and restores 30% 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 1.5 min.
- The trait Rumbling Voice increases the active time and radius of your Demoralizing Shout by 50%.
- The golden trait Might of the Vrykul allows you to accumulate 50% more Rage under Demoralizing Shout in case you use Shield Slam and Thunder Clap.
Last Stand increases your current and max HP by 30% for 15 secs. CD 3 min.
- The trait Will to Survive increases your Health bonus.
Neltharion’s Fury is your artifact’s active ability. A spell to be maintained for 3 secs, it allows you to utilize critical blocks against any attacks occurring within that time. You can use your defensive abilities during the cast of this spell. CD 45 secs.
Spell Reflection reduces the incoming spell damage by 30% and allows you to reflect a spell within 5 secs. If reflected, the effect is cancelled.
- The trait Reflective Plating kills the absorbing of Spell Reflection provided successful reflection. Now it acts for the whole action period and keeps reflecting spells.
- The trait Gleaming Scales provides an additional 20% cut in the incoming damage.
Ignore Pain spends 20 to 60 Rage and absorbs 90% of the incoming damage. The amount of damage absorbed depends on the amount of Rage spent. CD 1 secs.
- The trait Dragon Skin increases the damage absorbing effect.
- The golden trait Dragon Scales provides a probability that, after a successful attack block, the absorbing effect of your next Ignore Pain is 40% higher.
- The trait Shatter the Bones additionally ups the probability of delivering a critical strike with your Shield Slam while Shield Block is active.
Battle Cry increases the probability of a critical strike by 100% for 5 secs. CD 1 min.
Mastery: Critical Block increases your chance to block an attack by 4%, and the chance of delivering a critical block – by 12%. It also increases the power of your attack by 8%.
* A block decreases damage caused by an attack by 30%, a critical one – by 60%.
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.
- If applied on an enemy: applicable to a target 8-25 m remote; after casting you are rushed to your enemy, you deal small physical damage and immobilize them for 1 sec after which their moving speed is 50% lower for the next 6 secs.
- If applied on an ally: you block the next Melee or range attack onto the selected ally for 10 secs provided you are within the 10-m range of the selected ally of yours.
- The trait Wall of Steel allows your Intercept to redirect 2 additional attacks onto you, and the damage they deal to you is 10% down.
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.
- Shockwave. Allows you to deal minor damage and stun your enemies in a cone 10 m ahead of you for 3 secs. If this ability damages 3 or more enemies, its restoring time reduces by 20 secs. CD 40 secs.
- Storm Bolt. You throw your weapon into an enemy within the 20-m range thus dealing them minor damage and stunning them for 4 secs. CD 30 secs.
- Warbringer. Intercept now deals more damage to all the enemies within the 5m range and stuns them for 2.5 secs. This effect does not cause diminishing on the stun.
* In general, this talent Tier does not affect your DPS a lot and, what’s more important, it gives you additional control. The choice is up to you. Consider, though, that Warbringer is the most beneficial DPS-wise but only in the case you cannot stun the target of Intercept. Also, like it was mentioned above, the Warbringer‘s stun has no influence on the diminishing from your stuns. This could work out in your favor in case your Mythic+ group already has a mass stun.
Tier 2. Lvl 30.
- Impending Victory. Replaces Victory Rush. Demands 10 Rage, deals minor physical damage and restores you 15% of your max HP. After an Experience- or Honor-winning killing of your enemy, the ability restores instantly.
- Inspiring Presence. A passive aura affecting group or raid members within the 60-m range. Restores Health equal to 3% of the dealt damage.
- Safeguard. Your Intercept now redirects 30% of the damage dealt to the selected ally of yours onto you for 6 secs.
* In raid environment, Inspiring Presence is your default pick. Keep in mind that, if your raid has 2 Protection Warriors, both with this talent, the effect is not summed up.
Safeguard is an occasional talent for raids. Helps reduce the damage dealt to the second tank, or it is used as a save on any other member of the raid. It can really come in handy in high-level Mythic+ mission, particularly with Tyrannical Affix, in order to avoid one-shots.
Impending Victory helps you heal up which can be great in low-level Mythic+ and in open world gameplays. For raids, this talent is pretty weak compared to the bonuses of the other two. Even if you consider this talent from the viewpoint of your own survival, Impending Victory has a huge disadvantage – it’s prone to GCD which, in general, has a negative effect on your survival.
Tier 3. Lvl 45.
- Renewed Fury. Ignore Pain increases all the outgoing damage by 10% for 6 secs after casting.
- Best Served Cold. Your Revenge deals 5% more damage per each target hit (up to 5 targets are accounted).
- Avatar. Actuating this talent cancels any movement-impairing effects on you, and your outgoing damage grows by 20% for 20 secs. CD 1.5 min.
* Renewed Fury is the most stable and reliable talent in terms of DPS as compared to the others as it has high uptime, is triggered passively and increases the damage by any abilities.
Best Served Cold proves better only in situations with continuous AoE.
Avatar may be better in the sole case when you need burst damage.
Tier 4. Lvl 60.
- Warlord’s Challenge. Passively decreases the restoring time of your Berserker Rage by 15 secs. During active Berserker Rage, your Taunt has no restoring time and makes your enemies move 50% faster.
- Bounding Stride. Reduces the CD for Heroic Leap by 15 secs. It also increases your running speed by 70% for the next 3 secs.
- Crackling Thunder. The active range of your Thunder Clap grows by 50%.
* All in all, this Tier’s talents are pretty occasional, so the pick is up to you.
Warlord’s Challenge is good for collecting several enemies or in case you need to speed your enemies up.
Bounding Stride increases your mobility.
Crackling Thunder allows you to get large groups of enemies spread all over the place get together a bit easier.
Tier 5. Lvl 75.
- 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.
- Never Surrender. Ignore Pain now increases the damage ignored with low Health level up to 100%.
- Indomitable. Increases your max HP and empowers Ignore Pain by 20%.
* By default, Indomitable is better for survival and easier to handle as your HP stock is quite high, and it makes your mitigation significantly more potent. This talent should also be used in case of massive incoming damage.
Playing with Devastator allows you to free GCDs and makes your auto-attacks extremely important. This talent brings you significantly more Rage which allows you to activate Ignore Pain more often. Devastator also goes greatly with the talent Vengeance which, eventually, increases the number of your Ignore Pain even more.
The talent Never Surrender is the weakest on the tier, and it’s not to be used in any situation.
Tier 6. Lvl 90.
- Vengeance. Ignore Pain reduces Rage spending in your next Revenge by 35%, and Revenge reduces 35% of your spending on the next Ignore Pain.
- Into the Fray. Your Haste goes 3% up per each enemy within the 15-m range, up to 5 enemies are accounted.
- Booming Voice. Demoralizing Shout now generates 60 Rage and increases the damage dealt by you to the targets under this effect by 25%.
* Vengeance is an amazing talent as it allows you to save a load of Rage which, in its turn, can be used to reduce the incoming damage. The talent’s mechanics also helps keep the DPS up increasing your survival.
Booming Voice allows you to deal burst damage or provides you with an additional survival option in the form of 60 Rage. It is a nice pick in Mythic+ with a pool of a huge pack of enemies or against a Tyranical Boss.
Into the Fray only looks fine with its max bonus. In any other case, it loses a lot to the other two talents.
Tier 7. Lvl 100.
- Anger Management. Every 10 Restoring time spend reduce the restoring time of Battle Cry, Last Stand, Shield Wall and Demoralizing Shout by 1 sec.
- 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% for12 secs.
* Heavy Repercussion is a wonderful talent for max decreasing damage that can be blocked. With high Haste value, you can maintain 100% Shield Block uptime.
In case the encounter involves a lot of non-blocked damage, Anger Management is your choice. It also goes really well alongside many other talents which, at the end of the day, increases both survival and DPS.
Ravager is a very weak talent, as compared to the other two. Its outgoing damage is too small, and DPS bonus on parry is not that strong.
So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:
- Inspiring Presence for raid and Inspiring Presence for M+
- Renewed Fury
- Booming Voice
- Anger Management
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.
A Protection Warrior uses 1 Iron, 1 Blood and 1 Fire relics.
All in all, a Warrior always values ilvl more. But sometimes you have to pick relics within the same ilvl range, so the relic priority should be divided into two sections.
For higher survival:
DPS (with the account of AoE):
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 intermediary as your key priority is to pick the better trait on Tier 3. If you’re not lucky, and Tier 3 has no good options, then pick the best one on Tier 2.
- Master of Shadows
- Light Speed
- Murderous Intent
- Chaotic Darkness
- Torment the Weak
- Refracting Shell
- Lights Embrace
- Secure in the Light
- Infusion of Light
- Dark Sorrows
Tier 3. Like it was said before, Tier 2’s traits are weaker. The very Tier 3, however, completely coincides with the relic priority list:
For higher survival:
DPS (with the account of AoE):
A Protection Warrior has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.
Let’s single out the best and the good Legendaries:
Mannoroth’s Bloodletting Manacles is definitely the best Legendary providing you with a load of self-healing. The more rage you spend, the more you heal. That is why your talent Devastator and various Rage-generating Set bonuses synergize with these hands. Keep in mind, though, that the talent Vengeance decreases the cost of the abilities in Rage, Mannoroth’s Bloodletting Manacles still heal you as if you’ve spent your initial Rage count demanded by those abilities.
Kakushan’s Stormscale Gauntlets increases Rage generation and the outgoing damage. One fine Legendary providing you with a bonus to both of your gameplay aspects.
Thundergod’s Vigor is a wonderful Legendary for tanking huge packs of enemies which is particularly relevant to Mythic+ realia. It is not just as useful in a raid but still in can come in handy.
Ararat’s Bloodmirror. Your defensive cooldowns’ additional charges may look good in encounter where you take turns tanking the Boss with quite long sessions. This gives you an opportunity to restore all your charges by the time it’s your turn again. An occasional Legendary.
Timeless Stratagem gives you additional mobility which a Warrior has enough of without it. And still, these shoulders have lots of nice secondary stats. But they do occupy the Tier slot. An extremely occasional Legendary this is.
Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus is an average Legendary but it can be used effectively in case you can track down the time you get a new shield.
Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn is another average occasional Legendary, allows you to survive massive damage dealing some nice out, too.
Aggramar’s Stride increases your running speed; gives the effect of some nice short sprint during active Battle Cry. In general, a Warrior has no problems with mobility whatsoever which makes this Legendary unused in case there is anything better to pick.
Sephuz’s Secret is great for Mythic+ or for raid encounters where you have the opportunity to trigger this ring’s proc constantly. Otherwise it’s quite a mediocre Legendary.
Insignia of the Grand Army empowers the effects of Tier 2 of the Netherlight Crucible. Average legendary.
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, in case the talent Vengeance is used, and you have your recent Ignore Pain‘s buff in the form of reducing the Rage cost of Revenge.
- 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 90% 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 with 60 Rage 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
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 50% with traits, 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.
Neltharion’s Fury is a maintained 3-sec spell. During it you get a 100% chance of defending yourself with critical blocks and deal damage due to your traits. Demands GCD and you not relocating during the whole active period of the ability, although you can keep utilizing your defensive abilities ad active incoming damage decreasing. This ability is best used whenever you have a gap between your Shield Block buffs and when receiving major blockable damage, or against a large group of enemies.
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
ilvl (Strength, Stamina, Armor) > Haste > Mastery >= Versatility > Crit
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.
For survival Enchant Neck – Mark of the Heavy Hide;
For DPS Enchant Neck – Mark of the Hidden Satyr.
- Ring: Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste.
- Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Strength.
- Flasks and Potions:
- Flask of Ten Thousand Scars, 1950 Stamina for 1 hour against burst damage;
Flask of the Countless Armies to empower your Ignore Pain.
- Potion of Prolonged Power, 2500 Strength for 1 min; you can use Unbending Potion as an additional cooldown against physical damage. For burst damage, use Potion of the Old War.
- 2 pieces: The chance of delivering a critical block grows by 10% during active Shield Block.
- 4 pieces: Your critical blocks generate 5 Rage.
- 2 pieces: Berserker Rage instantly restores 20 Rage, and 10 more once every 1 sec over the next 6 secs.
- 4 pieces: Shield Slam reduces the restoring time for your Berserker Rage by 3 secs.
- 2 pieces: Demoralizing Shout increases your next Shield Block‘s active time by 6 secs.
- 4 pieces: When an attack is blocked, the max amount of damage that can be cut by the already active effect of Ignore Pain is increases by (Attack power * 4). This effect is triggered once a sec or less often.
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