WotLK: Protection Warrior Guide
Protection Warriors are a powerful tanking class in WotLK, and with the right gear and knowledge, you will be able to take the front-line position and tank in any raid. Make sure to check out the talents, gear, gems, sections, to get more information on how to improve your performance as a Protection Warrior of your chosen Race.
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The Protection Warrior is an iconic tanking class in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). With their powerful defensive abilities and high overall armor and health pool, Protection Warriors are built to take the front-line position and tank in any raid. As a Protection Warrior, you will have access to strong utility tools to help your allies, such as disarming your opponents, reducing their overall attack speed, and rushing to your allies when aid is required. You will also have access to strong mobility tools, such as the Warbringer talent, which lets you use charge, intercept, and intervene during combat. Protection Warriors are great for single-target threat generation and you should be aware that you are heavily gear-dependent, as your build will be greatly affected by the gear you have. Protection Warriors can suffer from low self-sustain, so be aware you likely need to source this elsewhere.
Protection Warriors have several strong utility abilities that can be used to help their allies. The Vigilance ability can be used to transfer the threat your allies generate to you, while also shielding them and giving them damage reduction. You also have access to the Intervene ability, which can be used to rush to an ally’s aid and absorb the next melee or ranged attack targeting them.
Sunder Armor is another strong ability available to all Warriors, which severely reduces an enemy’s armor. You can also use Commanding Shout and Battle Shout to inspire your allies, either increasing their health pool or their attack power. Finally, Disarm is an incredibly useful spell against mobs found in dungeons or raids, as it can be used to severely dampen any melee or ranged mob’s damage output.
Warriors have three stances to choose from: Battle Stance, Defensive Stance and Berserker Stance. Defensive Stance is the main stance for tanks, reducing damage taken by 10% and damage caused by 5%, but doubling threat generated. The Warbringer Talent gives Warriors the ability to use Charge and Intercept in Defensive Stance, eliminating the need to switch to Battle or Berserker Stance to use these abilities. However, Berserker Stance still offers the ability to use Shattering Throw to increase raid damage.
Choosing a Race
For Alliance Warriors, the Draenei is the best race due to its Heroic Presence aura which increases both physical and spell hit for you and your party.
Human is another great choice, as its Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization racial traits increase your damage and threat generation.
Night Elves are good for tanks mainly concerned about survivability due to their Quickness passive which grants % evade to physical attacks and abilities.
For Horde Warriors, the Orc and Troll are both equally good choices, as their Blood Fury and Berserking abilities are excellent on-use effects to help build initial threat lead. The Axe Specialization racial trait is good for DPS Warriors, although not very relevant for Protection Warriors. Unfortunately Undead and Blood Elves cannot select Warrior as a class in WoTLK.
Choosing a profession
Protection Warriors in Wrath of the Lich King can benefit from several different professions, but two of the best are Engineering and Jewelcrafting.
Engineering offers a range of the best pre-raid gear you can find, such as Armored Titanium Goggles, as well as enchants, such as Mind Amplification Dish, Reticulated Armor Webbing, and Nitro Boosts. In addition, Engineering also provides quality of life gizmos such as a portable bank/vendor/repair, a portable mailbox, a teleporter that can transport you to Northrend locations, all profession tools in one item, and an exclusive auction house in Dalaran.
Finally, Engineering's explosives can provide an AoE benefit. Jewelcrafting lets Warriors craft three Dragon's Eye gems. Jewelcrafting also provides trinkets such as the Figurine Monarch Crab and the Figurine Ruby Hare. Jewelcrafting's versatility also helps, as Dragon's Eye gems can be cut into Fractured, Precise and Rigid Dragon's Eyes that offer more beneficial stats than attack power for threat, dual-spec DPS, or PvP. Overall, Engineering and Jewelcrafting offer the best profession perks for Protection Warriors in Wrath of the Lich King
Helm: The Helm of the Faceless is slightly better overall than the Conqueror's Siegebreaker Greathelm due to its superior strength and better secondary stats. The Helm enchant should be Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector for more defense.
Shoulders: The Conqueror's Siegebreaker Pauldrons are the best option, with an Inscription of Greater Inscription of the Gladiator.
Back: The Titanskin Cloak is the best back item due to its superior item budget, excellent secondary stats and socket.
Chest: For the chest, the Breastplate of the Timeless or Conqueror's Siegebreaker Breastplate are the best options.
Wrist items: These should be Mimiron's Inferno Couplings or Flamewatch Armguards, with an enchant of Enchant Bracers.
Gloves: The Handguards of Revitalization are the best gloves for damage mitigation due to the perfect combination of secondary stats.
Belt: Dragonslayer's Brace is the best belt for a balanced set, with an enchant of Eternal Belt Buckle.
Legs: The Legplates of the Endless Void are the best legs, with the Conqueror's Siegebreaker Legguards being a decent alternative.
Boots: These should be Greaves of the Iron Army, with an enchant of Enchant Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality.
Jewelry: This includes the Bronze Pendant of the Vanir as the best neck, Fate's Clutch and Signet of the Earthshaker as the best rings, Heart of Iron and Royal Seal of King Llane as the best trinkets, and Sorthalis,
Weapon and Shield: Hammer of the Watchers is the best one-handed weapon. The Bulwark of Algalon is the best shield for overall value, with the Northern Barrier a good option for a quick threat swap.