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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
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
Patch 7.1.5 Changes
Secondary stats have been rebalanced
, new legendaries have been added, and gear from The Nighthold will finally become attainable. The ideal stat priority for Protection Warriors in Patch 7.1.5 is still being tested and debated. With the increased usage rates of Ignore Pain for Warriors making full use of
, Versatility may rise in value (despite being nerfed slightly more than other stats in Patch 7.1.5), but this has yet to be confirmed. At this point, the old stat priority (seen below) is believed to still be the best course of action.
Gear and Stat Prioritization
Protection Warriors wear Plate armor, a one-handed weapon and shield, and prefer defensive trinkets.
Haste (up to 40%) > Mastery > Versatility > Haste (over 40%) >= Crit
Haste is strong at incredibly low 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 about 30%-35% is required during fights with frequent tank swaps (e.g., Ursoc, Xavius). After that point its value begins to taper off in favor of Mastery and Versatility, but it is still a decent stat overall. 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.
Mastery: Critical Block
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 for Patch 7.1.5, 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 19 Bonuses
Protection Warrior T19 set bonuses
are strong, providing increased Critical Block chance and Rage generation from Critical Blocks.
Item - Warrior T19 Protection 2P Bonus
provides a significant increase to damage reduction while Shield Block is active, making maintaining its uptime even more important.
Item - Warrior T19 Protection 4P Bonus
, in conjunction with the prior bonus, provides considerable Rage via Critical Blocks, making Mastery an even more excellent stat!
The Nighthold - Best in Slot
Aiming for best in slot gear in raids is a goal best left for after completing progression, as any upgrade is worth using, 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!
Warhelm of the Obsidian Aspect
Brooch of the Astral Scryer
Star Augur Etraeus
Shoulderplates of the Obsidian Aspect
Greatcloak of the Obsidian Aspect
Breastplate of the Remembered King
Eternally Recurring Bracers
Goresmeared Abyssal Waistplate
Legplates of the Obsidian Aspect
Sabatons of Unchanging Fate
Star Augur Etraeus
Ring of Braided Stems
High Botanist Tel'arn
Ring of the Scoured Clan
Fingernail of the Fel Brute
Rage of the Fallen
Soul of Flame
Shatter the Bones
Royal Dagger Haft
is a strong trinket option, but only when its passive effect is being used well. Against bosses without considerable burst damage, it is a very underwhelming stat stick.
Emerald Nightmare - Best in Slot
Cursed Beartooth Necklace
Midnight Herald's Pauldrons
Evergreen Vinewrap Drape
Horror Inscribed Chestguard
Fitted Ironbark Gauntlets
Waistplate of Nameless Horror
Dreadful Cyclopean Signet
Tuft of Ironfur
Shatter the Bones
Sloshing Core of Hatred
Vrykul Shield Training
Noteworthy Trial of Valor Gear
Since Trial of Valor only consists of three bosses, a full BiS list would be misleading. Here is a list of the drops that are good items:
Gleaming Val'kyr Cuirass
Chains of the Valorous
- rolled to Haste or Mastery
Drape of the Unworthy
As a note:
Darkmoon Deck: Immortality
(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.
Darkmoon Deck: Immortality
, 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 some Mythic trinkets from Emerald Nightmare and The Nighthold.
Chains of the Valorous
rolled to Haste, Mastery, or even Versatility is probably the best trinket a Protection Warrior can hope to obtain.
In dungeons, many DPS-flagged trinkets like
can provide damage buffs useful for cleaving down add waves.
Impenetrable Nerubian Husk
: Haste with an Armor proc, a great trinket. Drops from Assault on the Violet Hold.
Orb of Torment
: 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 stronger when you wear the decently-itemized neck
Strand of the Stars
(which drops from Court of Stars). Wear this set if you have it, as it is highly competitive with trinkets from
The Emerald Nightmare
. Drops from The Arcway.
The Emerald Nightmare
: The passive Haste is excellent, but the automatic damage reduction when your health drops has not scaled particularly well. As a result, this trinket is fairly forgettable.
Goblet of Nightmarish Ichor
: 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, and great for an expert.
Ravaged Seed Pod
: 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 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 very 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.
Royal Dagger Haft
: 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 first four Legendaries are Protection-specific, and the last is available to all
s. All of these Legendaries have unique and 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.
Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets
: 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.
The Walls Fell
: 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.
: 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!
: The itemization is good, and with the substantial buff in Patch 7.1.5 (increased from 15% to 50%), it rewards using Intercept defensively. After the buffs to nearly every other non-throughput legendary, this has become one of the weakest options.
Mannoroth's Bloodletting Manacles
: These give a steady trickle 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!"
is an interesting legendary. In Patch 7.2, they have had Crit added to them, and now can scale from whichever is highest of Haste, Crit, Mastery, or Versatility. These boots can easily provide 19-25% movement speed at all times. On a mobile class, that's quite helpful for moving out of mechanics and getting across a room quickly. Also, the itemization is solid. Not the first choice by any means, but a very solid and underrated Legendary.
Rethu's Incessant Courage
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.
Archimonde's Hatred Reborn
is a trinket added in Patch 7.1.5 and is primarily an offensive tool. Its cooldown is reasonably short for a 30% absorb shield, and a percentage health-based shield can be combined effectively with Last Stand for a very large self-shield and damage output. The tuning on it is a little disappointing after how strong it was initially during the 7.1.5 PTR, but it is still a decently useful trinket as both a modest defensive cooldown and burst single target dps.
provides two additional charges to
, sending the class' already-high mobility through the stratosphere. Patch 7.2 added Versatility, making it better but not great. 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
: 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 fixes that is currently Beta-only.
Clarified language regarding Kakushan's Stormscale Gauntlets.
Added pre-raid trinket suggestions.
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