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Protection Warrior Gear Recommendations
This section of the Protection Warrior guide covers everything about gear and Artifacts: stat priorities, Artifact Traits and which order to select them, gear recommendations from dungeons and raids, and legendary item rankings. This guide is written by
creates videos on Youtube
and authors the
Blood Death Knight Guide
. He has previously authored the Proving Grounds Tanking and Brewmaster Monk guides on Wowhead. Updated for the latest patch.
Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
Gear and Stat Prioritization
Protection Warriors wear Plate armor, a one-handed weapon and shield, and prefer defensive trinkets.
Haste > Mastery > Versatility >= Crit
Haste is strong at
gear levels. It reduces the global cooldown as well as the cooldowns of
. It increases Rage generation,
usage. About 35%-40% Haste is required to maintain very high uptime on
when constantly tanking, and at least 30%-35% is preferred during fights with frequent tank swaps (e.g., Ursoc, Xavius). Note that you do not
35% Haste to be defensively capable, nor should you, for example, wear a 20 item level downgrade just to reach 40% Haste. It is a better stat than any other secondaries up to 40%, but not to the degree that you should sacrifice overall item level.
provides potent damage reduction against autoattacks and increases attack power. It strengthens
and increases defenses while
is down. Mastery provides vastly more damage reduction from blockable attacks than Versatility.
Versatility increases damage and healing done, and reduces damage taken. It increases
on top of simply reducing the amount of damage taken, making it useful against special abilities. Versatility is more effective against boss ability damage than Mastery, although most damage
s take can be blocked. Because Versatility and Mastery both provide percentage-based increases to healing, they also increase the other's value. As a result, the best course of action is to try maintaining a balance, with an emphasis on more Mastery (about twice as much Mastery as Versatility).
Critical Strike provides Parry chance and the chance to deal double damage. Its only other interaction is in providing free Revenge casts, which is good in its own right, but not highly competitive with other stats.
Haha, there is no Protection Warrior Pawn string! The class' SimCraft module is being worked on, but is not yet up to date. Once it is fully-functioning,
check out this article
to help better understand how to use it to create your own Pawn strings.
Tier 20 Bonuses
Protection Warrior T20 set bonuses
provides an additional 80 Rage whenever you cast
. This can translate into a fair amount of extra healing or damage via
can shave about 20-25 seconds off the cooldown of
, increasing its usage rate (and Rage generation) by roughly 40%. This translates to about 30 more Rage per minute, which is unfortunately not a huge gain for a 4-piece bonus. If you spec into
(forgoing potentially useful talents in
), this brings the cooldown of
down to ~30 seconds, or about .66 more uses per minute from the 4p. This is worth ~53 Rage/minute, which is only 2/3 the base amount provided by the 2p. Not great.
Tier 19 Bonuses
Protection Warrior T19 set bonuses
are strong, providing increased Critical Block chance and Rage generation from Critical Blocks.
provides an increase to damage reduction while Shield Block is active, making maintaining its uptime even more important.
, in conjunction with the prior bonus, provides Rage via Critical Blocks, making Mastery even better!
Tomb of Sargeras - Best in Slot
Aiming for best in slot gear in raids is a goal best left for onec you've completed progression, as any upgrade is worth using when you're still working on bosses and a BiS piece may not drop for weeks or months. Nonetheless, knowing what pieces are your best options before heading into raid is a smart idea. Also, your mileage may vary based upon Warforging/Titanforging and your Legendaries!
Additionally, I have included all four pieces of tier despite the Protection Warrior 4 piece bonus being, at this point, extremely weak. Should that bonus be tuned up to compensate, knowing which pieces of tier you want is important. Until the bonus is improved, just wear non-tier upgrades in two tier slots - if you have them.
As a note:
(crafted via Inscription) is tremendously powerful, the best physical damage reduction trinket in the game.
, which drops from the world boss
, is extremely strong for its item level, and outperforms most raid trinkets.
, and Strength/Haste stat stick trinkets from World Quests are extremely powerful for their item level, and can be superior to many Normal, Heroic, and even Mythic trinkets from raids.
rolled to Haste or Mastery is probably the best trinket a Protection Warrior can obtain.
In dungeons, many DPS-flagged trinkets like
can provide damage buffs useful for cleaving down add waves.
: Haste with an Armor proc, a great trinket. Drops from Assault on the Violet Hold, making it a little tough to come by at high item level.
: Haste with a strong self-healing on use effect. This trinket is best for single target fights. Drops from Vault of the Wardens.
: A strong Haste proc that grows slightly stronger when you wear the decently-itemized neck
(which drops from Court of Stars). Drops from The Arcway.
is a Strength trinket with a large Armor proc. It can provide a good deal of physical damage reduction, but it is unreliable. The fire damage when it procs is a small bonus. It is an alright choice overall, but not as versatile or reliable as
or most Haste proc trinkets and stat sticks.
is, in many ways, similar to
. That's not a compliment, but
is at least better against single targets. It still pales in comparison to Strength/Haste trinkets.
provides a chance to be HoT'ed when you take damage. It's not a bad idea, but the tuning is a little underwhelming and Versatility isn't as valuable as Haste.
is a Stamina trinket with a damage reduction on-use. This may have a specific application for some players, but chances are good this will never be a better choice than a comparable Strength/Haste trinket.
offers the versatility to choose between reducing the cooldown of
or extending its duration. Both can be good choices, depending on what you need at the moment. Mastery is a good stat, too, so this can have real value in the right situations. Otherwise, (broken record time!) a Strength/Haste trinket will generally be a better choice.
: The passive Mastery is good, and the positive effect of the on-use ability is compelling. While the negative effect seems quite bad, this trinket is good on tank-swap fights. Use the trinket a few seconds before a swap for a free
with little to no negative repercussions.
: While not as strong as Infernal Contract, this trinket is nonetheless solid for reducing damage, and works well against bosses on which you receive no breaks in taking serious damage.
: Even though it has Crit and a negative component to its death protection effect, being able to survive a random tank death is
powerful. Now that the trinket has a six minute internal cooldown on its life-saving effect, its value has diminished considerably. Surviving death is still very powerful, so this trinket can have some use, but it is no longer a top priority.
: The passive Haste is excellent, but the automatic damage reduction when your health drops has not scaled well. As a result, this trinket is forgettable.
: Provides a large amount of Strength and a huge Versatility proc. This trinket is worth a ton of damage, damage reduction, and self-healing. The inability to fully control the Ichor spawn times is a drawback, but you can control how quickly you pick them up. A great trinket overall.
: This works well against autoattack damage and bosses who have special abilities that hit multiple times in quick succession. This trinket has been fixed, and it longer has a chance to refresh its duration. It is still among the best defensive trinkets available from Emerald Nightmare in single target tanking situations. It causes the affected target's damage output to cycle down over twenty seconds, then snap back up. This trinket is good for a novice, great for an expert.
: A large amount of passive Haste with a moderate Leech proc on a 1-minute cooldown is a decent damage and self-healing trinket for tanks - particularly in AoE scenarios. This is categorized as a dps spec trinket, but a well-run raid should recognize its potential for tanks. If you are pugging or trying to coin it, this will be a tougher acquisition.
The first four Legendaries are Protection-specific, and the last is available to all
s. All of these Legendaries have uniquely compelling effects, but some are less valuable than others. Blizzard made huge strides with Patch 7.2 toward making all legendaries equal in value, and most "suboptimal" legendaries now have better effects or extra secondary stats to make them more appealing.
: The only Warrior legendary that directly increases DPS, it provides a strong damage increase and a decent defensive component. Should you have multiple Legendary items to choose from, these are the best all-around option. #1 in the "3 Best Protection Warrior Legendaries" trifecta.
: One of the best Legendary options for AoE tanking. It scales proportionally with the number of targets you're tanking, and has a great Legendary effect on a well-itemized piece of gear. Patch 7.2 took the already-good effect and tripled it. The rich get richer! #2 in the "3 Best Protection Warrior Legendaries" trifecta.
: These give a steady stream of self-healing. They are well-itemized and scale doubly with gear (increased health means more healing, and increased Haste means more rage), providing passive-but-noticeable healing. Patch 7.2 added Versatility, pushing these from "very good" to "great!" #3 in the "3 Best Protection Warrior Legendaries" trifecta.
is both an offensive tool and a decent defensive cooldown. Its cooldown is reasonably short for a 30% absorb shield, and as a percentage health-based shield, it can be combined with Last Stand for a very large self-shield. It is a good single target dps option.
allows Protection Warriors to take
at the same time. This is pretty good for Warriors without multiple pieces of the trifecta. Otherwise it will come up short.
grant one additional charge to both
. This has the potential to be great in the right situation, providing extra defenses when you need them most. Outside of situations in which you need an extra charge of
, this will probably not see any use. This is especially true if you already have
is an interesting legendary. These boots can easily provide 19-25% movement speed at all times, and turn
into a free sprint! That's quite helpful for moving out of mechanics and getting across a room quickly. The itemization is also solid. Not the first choice by any means, but definitely an underrated Legendary.
is a crafted Legendary belt added in Patch 7.2. The itemization is very good, and the effects are decently helpful for world questing, dungeons, and even raids. With the addition of secondary stats to most other "utility" legendaries, this belt's three sockets make it comparable to other suboptimal legendaries, but not significantly better than the worst options.
: Gaining additional Shield Wall casts in a fight can be a humongous defensive gain, so this ring is capable of being pretty strong. The increased Rage generation is nice, if not a huge change. If it does not provide an additional Shield Wall, or does not provide it quickly enough, then it is not particularly strong on its own. The itemization is not great, so the value can vary all the way from minimal impact to game-changingly awesome.
: The itemization is good, and it rewards using Intercept defensively. After the buffs to nearly every other non-throughput legendary, this is one of the weakest options.
provides two additional charges to
, sending the class' already-high mobility through the stratosphere. Beyond a few extra bursts of mobility, this legendary provides very little overall. It is at least well-itemized.
Finding Gear on Wowhead
From simple recommendations to advanced filters, Wowhead can help you find the gear you want.
is a great way to search for gear if you are new to Wowhead's filtering system.
Choose what item category, gear slot, and class specialization you're interested in, and it will return results for you. You can further narrow it down by source--including gear from LFR and heroic dungeons.
You can find the Item Finder via Tools > Item Finder or Database > Items > Item Finder.
returns personalized gear suggestions for you and shows which content has the most upgrades.
Simply load up the
with you preferred character and it will list gear recommendations in a 20 ilvl range for you. It will also list how many gear upgrades each boss has so you can plan out bonus rolls. Finally, the character planner will perform an audit and let you know if you have any missing enchants, glyphs, or gems.
If you have a character in our
which is great for tracking vanity collections and viewing your character in our 3D modelviewer, you can click on the "Planner" button in the header to access the tool. If you don't, you can just enter your information in at Tools > Character Planner.
Wowhead utilizes a powerful system of item filters to narrow down the gear you need.
, you can enter in some basic options at the top--the name of the item, its item level, the level the players needs to be. The "Usable by" dropdowns cover factions, class, and role.
The dropdown menu right above "Stat Weights" opens to display a variety of advanced options. These cover the following:
General item info such as Added in Expansion/Patch, BoE/BoP, Unique-Equipped, Class-Specific.
Stats: All primary stats, secondary stats, defensive stats, and weapon stats.
Source: All in-game sources, ranging from raid difficulties to the Black Market Auction House to sold by a vendor.
Miscellaneous: Many of these filters are not relevant to equippable gear such as Crafting Reagents and Toys, but you can filter for items that are currently obtainable.
Once you've selected a filter from the menu, click on Apply filter for search results. You can repeat the process to filter for multiple criteria at once--for example, Agility gear that is found in Mythic Foundry.
Over on the right-hand side of the page, you can select a particular Gear Slot or Quality to narrow results even further.
Finally, you can quickly view a subset of items at once using the Database Menus. Head to Database > Items and mouseover the Weapon and Armor options for quick links to gear arranged by armor type and slot.
Back to Top
: Clarified language regarding set bonuses. 4p still isn't great.
: Added BiS list for Tomb of Sargeras.
: Updated for Patch 7.2.5. Added new Legendaries, Tomb trinkets. Still need to complete the Tomb BiS list.
: Updated for Patch 7.2.
: Moved Artifact recommendations to separate page.
: Updated offensive relic trait recommendations.
: Changed language about stat priority and Haste specifically.
: Updated notes regarding ideal trinkets.
: Updated language regarding Thundergod's Vigor.
: Added a blurb about Simcraft and Pawn Strings.
: Updated for Patch 7.1.5! Nighthold BiS added.
: Added a section on Aggramar's Stride, easily the coolest pair of Plate Legendary movement speed boots. *Oh, they're the only pair?* Well, that's pretty neat!
: Added a non-raid trinket note, and updated some language regarding Emerald Nightmare and The Nighthold trinkets.
: This guide is up to date for Patch 7.1, and the heading has (finally!) been updated to indicate that.
: Added a Trial of Valor gear section. Updated Emerald Nightmare trinkets section.
: Slight updates to stat priority and Infernal Contract.
: Added a slight clarification concerning the Rage of the Fallen relic.
: Further updates concerning Grotesque Statuette.
: Improved language concerning the Artifact trees, Haste, Mastery, and Versatility.
: Updated notes regarding the currently-bugged Grotesque Statuette.
: Update the Stat priority to indicate recent napkin math and simmed stat weights.
: Removed pre-raid suggested gear list, and edited the EN BiS list and trinket listings.
Fixed a missing link and updated stat priority to account for 10-3-16 Shield Slam rage generation hotfix.
Updated stats section further to account for post-hotfix theorycrafting.
Updated stats section to reflect 9-27 Protection Rage nerf hotfixes.
Updated stats section to reflect gearing priorities "Right now" vs. "Wearing full Nighthold gear."
Re-ordered Legendary choices by priority
Clarified language concerning pre-raid suggested gear list.
Added a pre-raid suggested gear list and an Emerald Nightmare BiS list.
Updated the value of Dragon Scales based on a fix that is currently Beta-only.
Clarified language regarding Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets.
Added pre-raid trinket suggestions.
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