Post by Obvious
3.3.3 Protection Paladin Gear List and Suggestions for WotLK1. Introduction
2. Going ProtGearing up: Level 70-73
- Intent of this guide: This guide is a list of suggestions for gear for an aspiring protection paladin. If you are leveling a paladin and planning to tank at 80, but want to have the gear before you do the deed, then this guide is for you. This guide strives to cover gathering gear from questing in Northrend, Northrend dungeons, and gear attainable at level 80.
- What this guide is not: Theorycrafting; best-in-slot advice; heavy stat comparison, talent debate. I will link to other resources for these because that information will stay up to date that way.
Gearing up: Level 74-77
- Goals: Maximize your defense rating and your stamina. Clearly these aren't the only tanking stats; we are ignoring dodge, parry, expertise and block entirely to make sure that you are uncrittable. Everything possible should be enhanced with either Heavy Borean Armor Kits or enchants with defense. Get a Belt Buckle. Gem for Stamina or Defense.
- Crafted Gear: The crafted Cobalt plate set is a good starting point for paladins who do not have the benefit of having BC tanking gear. In saying this, I'm not currently planning to cover tank gear from BC or before. Start with this set if you're leveling as a tank or planning to use dual spec to tank dungeons. If you have an engineer, consider yourself blessed. You have the ability to obtain an iLvl200 item at level 72.
- Quests and dungeons: Here's a list of quest rewards you can obtain up through level 73. Notice how three upgrades are from regular Nexus. You need to do some questing in the Coldarra region to open all of these up. This may mean you'll want to be leveling/questing in Borean Tundra as your starting zone for Northrend. Consider these items high priority goals, as their defense rating and stamina are generally superior to that which you recieve from the crafted gear.
- Note on weapons: There are no defense-weapons released in WotLK until you hit level 74.
Gearing up: Level 78-79
- Goals: Start looking at other stats besides pure defense. Ideally, you want to get a good mix of expertise, dodge and parry into your gear by this point. In my humble opinion, dodge > parry > expertise > block rating > block value for 74-78. Continue to use Heavy Borean Armor Kits and Defense enchants on your gear. Get an Attack Power enchant for your weapon to boost your threat and damage since it's relatively inexpensive.
- Crafted Gear: Tempered Saronite set. Starting at level 74, you'll be able to upgrade most of your slots if you chose other quest rewards (perhaps you're Holy or Ret for your secondary spec and chose those instead. These items require anything from 74 to 78, but you can count on them as upgrades as opposed to waiting upgrades to drop in dungeons.
- Quests, dungeons and vendors: From 74 to 77, these items are available to you.
- BoE items to note: This is a list of the three BoE items you can obtain in this level range. Blade-Binding Bulwark is worth picking up on the Auction House. It's probably worth it rather than grinding in Violet Hold for the Riot Shield.
- BoP items to note: Weapon: Crescent of Brooding Fury via quest Wanted: Ragemane's Flipper. Do this at level 74. It's open immediately with no pre-reqs.
- Goals: Now you're looking to make sure that you'll be ready to jump into heroics as soon as possible. Start maximizing the defense rating you acquire from each piece of gear, since the jump to 535 defense skill (for heroics) requires at least ~665 (664.2, rounded up) defense rating at level 80. Defense enchants > stamina enchants at this point. If you don't have another character exalted with Argent Crusade at level 80 for the Arcanum, get their tabard as soon as possible. Same with Sons of Hodir; you'll want to start those dailies and/or collecting Relics of Ulduar. Alternatively you can get the PVP enchant Greater Inscription of the Gladiator.
- Crafted Gear: Crafted gear for 78-79. This included the previously listed Tempered Saronite Gauntlets but I left it as part of the query for completeness. This is a short list.
- Quests, dungeons, and vendors: Pick and choose from these items based on how long you think it will take you to reach 80:
- Reputation Items.
- Rewards from quests. There appears to be only one item; the Silver-Plated Battlechest.
- Dungeon drops and BoE items.
Post by Obvious
Gearing up: Level 80Fresh 80sGoals
Defense rating is your primary concern. Once you have the 535 defense skill to be uncrittable in heroics, you can start expanding your health pool. I am of the opinion that you can never have too much defense rating, so keep piling it on. It will allow you to make changes/upgrades to your gear without having to gem for defense.
If you're new to tanking at 80, you will not have the vast health pool that many other tanks have. Chances are, you will be ridiculed and/or kicked by jerks using the LFD tool for just their two Emblems of Frost. As a tank, expectations will be high for your particular role. If you have the tenacity to persevere through this kind of setback, you are more worthy of the right to using the tool than any of them. Let your groups know that you're learning the tank role and/or that you've just hit 80 (but that you have the necessary defense rating to be there, etc) before you begin each dungeon, and you may find your groups more receptive to your limitations in experience tanking or your ability to chain pull. You might even get some friendly advice.Enchant for defense and threat; gem for stamina and avoidance
Head - Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector
; Arcanum of the Savage Gladiator
Shoulder - Greater Inscription of the Gladiator
; Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle
Cloak - Titanweave
; Mighty Armor
; Major Agility
Chest - Powerful Stats
; Super Health
Wrist - Major Stamina
Hands - Armsman
; Armor Kit
Legs - Frosthide Leg Armor
; Jormungar Leg Armor
Boots - Greater Fortitude
; Tuskarr's Vitality
Weapon - Blade Ward
; Superior Potency
; Exceptional Agility
may be acceptable as well
Shield - Defense
; Major Stamina
; Titanium PlatingCrafted Gear
Originally, back when we started WotLK, the only crafted items with defense that existed were the items with Titansteel in their names. These covered the Head, Boots, and Shield slots. These items are still viable if they are all you have access to, or don't have the funds/ability to farm up the materials you need for the newer crafted items introduced in Ulduar, ToC, and ICC. You don't necessarily have to splurge on crafted items right away unless you intend to be tanking raids soon. Keep this in mind, though: Every piece of gear you get enables you do go further in content, tank more groups of mobs and generate more threat. If you have the ability and time to get the materials needed for these items, I strongly urge you to pick them up upon hitting 80.Full list of crafted items with defense rating
(does not include the very viable Engineering goggles if you are an engineer)Gear purchased with Emblems
You've probably been doing some randoms during your leveling process, and if not, you'll be getting them soon. These, conditionally and in my opinion, are the best way to spend your first Emblems of Triumph:
Libram - 25 Emblems of Triumph - Libram of Defiance
. Most likely you don't have a decent tanking libram before this point, so this is your chance to get that upgrade now.
Shield - 35 Emblems of Heroism - Crygil's Discarded Plate Panel
(if you don't get the Titansteel Shield Wall
crafted). You want as much block value on your shield as possible to maximize the threat you get from Shield of the Righteous.
Finger - 35 Emblems of Triumph - Clutch of Fortification
. This should be a huge stamina and defense boost compared to any rings you picked up leveling up. You will probably use this ring for a long time. Could be used in conjunction with the Titanium Earthguard Ring
.Gear from Heroics
No list here. You will be the judge of this yourself. I can give you a basic heuristic set to decide if you need an item:
- Does it have comparable or superior defense rating or other mitigation/survival stats?
- Does it have comparable or superior stamina?
If you answer yes to those, you should need the item. Some item budgets sacrifice some defense rating for other avoidance stats, so keep that in mind as well, that if you're losing 5-10 defense but gaining 30 or more in dodge, expertise, or parry, you'll want those dynamic stats to round out your overall survival. As you get the higher item level pieces of gear, you will notice that your defense rating allows a lot of lee-way for these stats.Veteran 80s
You may already have some tanking gear from off-spec rolls. Maybe you've tanked before, several patches ago. Every little bit helps in making the switch. Here are some resources that may help you:3. Other notesRatingBuster
is a helpful addon that will help you decide if an item is an upgrade or not. It has a couple or shortfalls, but can be used in combination with the above heuristics as a guide in-game.V1.0 04/09/2010
If you would like to see more added to this, reply to let me know and I will try to expand upon sections that are weak.
Post by Obvious
Nice work! I think it's 664 defense rating for 535 skill though. Otherwise, I think this is pretty sticky-worthy.
Thanks, I updated that. Forgot to check/change the defense skill rating when I remembered only 535 Defense Skill for heroics.
Post by svirve
I thought I'd check this out since you want it stickied.
You need 665 (664.2) defense rating to get to 535 skill. Being at 664 leaves 0.04 chance to be critted (not much but it will happen).
Some grammar, Like Capitalized Letters (protection and paladin are not nouns) and using "an" in front of a word starting with a consonant.
Your English is good so I'm guessing you've just been a bit sloppy, it's worth fixing though.
In my honest opinion, block value and rating > all until you start raiding. It's not hard to reach ~2 000 block value. Having 30% block from HS and another 30% from redoubt, it's not hard to reach unhittable either.
Also, this comment made me wonder.
What this guide is not: Theorycrafting; best-in-slot advice; heavy stat comparison, talent debate. I will link to other resources for these because the information will stay up to date that way.
Do you not intend to keep this up-to-date? Or do you just specifically refer to the more theorycraftish stuff?
Definitely worth a sticky :)
Post by Obvious
With the removal of defense rating (and thus the concern for maintaining a specific defense skill as you level) this guide is fairly useless as presented. Most of the item links provided above used "defense rating" as a filter, which is now gone. I'm actually very saddened by the removal of defense rating personally, as they have also removed the reduced chance to be hit that was granted by defense skill as well. I really noticed this when tanking Sindragosa, where the Frost Breath debuff stacks would continue to build each time instead of falling off like I was used to when one of the Frost Breaths would inevitably miss.
At level 33, you have 13 talent points available to you to obtain maximum rank Sanctuary
, taking the place of defense skill. Dodge and block return mana along with Judgements of the Wise
, a base skill for a Protection paladin.
I'll look into the scope of this guide and see what I can come up with for edits to get it up to date. I may extend it to as low at level 58 (earliest Outland questing) for my next set, and in the future as far as 85 once I've level capped and items/stats are fairly finalized.
In the mean-time, best advice is stay as hit-capped as possible and stack that stamina and dodge rating.