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World of Warcraft Classes Warrior «Protection»

Protection Warrior PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

A Protection Warrior is a classical tank in the Azeroth Universe. Zealous and strong, a great ally to rely on. Uses Melee skills to retain the enemies with a shield and single-handed weapon.



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.

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Main abilities

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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.

* 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.

* 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 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.

* 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:

  1. Warbringer
  2. Inspiring Presence for raid and Inspiring Presence for M+
  3. Renewed Fury
  4. Devastator
  5. Booming Voice
  6. Anger Management


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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:

  1. Bastion of the Aspects.
  2. Dragon Skin.
  3. Vrykul Shield Training.
  4. Toughness.
  5. Will to Survive.

DPS (with the account of AoE):

  1. Rage of the Fallen.
  2. Thunder Crash.
  3. Shatter the Bones

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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 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.

  1. Master of Shadows
  2. Light Speed
  3. Shadowbind
  4. Murderous Intent
  5. Chaotic Darkness
  6. Torment the Weak
  7. Refracting Shell
  8. Shocklight
  9. Lights Embrace
  10. Secure in the Light
  11. Infusion of Light
  12. 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:

  1. Bastion of the Aspects.
  2. Dragon Skin.
  3. Vrykul Shield Training.
  4. Toughness.
  5. Will to Survive.

DPS (with the account of AoE):

  1. Rage of the Fallen.
  2. Thunder Crash.
  3. Shatter the Bones

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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.

The Walls Fell significantly decreases restoring time of your Shield Wall. An average Legendary, in general.

Soul of the Battlelord allows you to get the talent Vengeance for free. This, obviously, entitles you to having both Vengeance together with Booming Voice which is a good tie for survival.


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.

Destiny Driver is an extremely occasional Legendary allowing you to increase your save from Intercept for both your target and yourself.

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.

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Let us first consider damage dealing as it has a direct impact on your Rage generation.

  • Main priorities
  1. Shield Slam per CD and per proc;
  2. 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.
  3. Thunder Clap per CD.
  4. Revenge, if you have the proc on free use.
  5. Devastate.

* 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:

  1. Revenge.
  2. Thunder Clap.
  3. Shield Slam.
  4. Devastate.

* Remember: a priority list like this demands a lot of Rage, and you do need it to utilize defensive abilities.

With active Devastator:

  1. Shield Slam.
  2. Revenge (if you have the proc on its free-of-charge use).
  3. Revenge, if you have Vengeance‘s buff.
  4. Thunder Clap.
  5. Revenge.

* Keep in mind that, when playing with the talent Vengeance, you will have to utilize Ignore Pain quite often in order to reduce the cost of Revenge and Ignore Pain respectively.


  • Reducing incoming damage

Active mitigation is presented with Protection Warriors with Shield Block and Ignore Pain.

Shield Block.

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.

Ignore Pain.

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.

Choosing between Shield Block and Ignore Pain.

  • 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

Battle Cry is a DPS cooldown which should be combined with various damage-increasing talents like Avatar.

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.

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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.

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

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Set bonuses


  • 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: 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.

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Pummel 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][]Pummel


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