The Stalwart Guardian: A Guide to Protection

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The warrior forum is lacking a quality Protection guide, so I thought I'd take a crack at it. I have been playing tanking classes since *attempting* to do so on my druid in vanilla. (Really I just healed MC every week, let's be real.) More recently, I played a Death Knight in Wrath of the Lich King, and have been playing my Warrior since the release of Cataclysm. I compiled this information from a variety of other sources as well as from my own knowledge and experience.

I hope this guide can be a help to beginners and advanced Protection Warriors alike. Thanks for reading, and feel free to add any suggestions, criticism, or tips for ferocious beard grooming below. Thanks!

Edit: 10/18/2012
-Corrected grammatical and other inaccuracies
-Added some viable options for gems and enchants
-Added descriptions of all talents and viable glyphs
-Added item links for gems, enchants, and the gear suggestion list
-Improved introduction

Edit: 12/08/2012
-Edited some inaccuracies
-Clarified some areas
-Added "Devastate or Revenge?" discussion for single target.

Table of Contents:
I. Abilities and Priorities
II. Mechanics
III. Cooldowns
IV. Talents and Glyphs
V. Stat Priorities
VI. Gems and Enchanting
VII. Pre-raid gear suggestions


I. Abilities and Priorities
In this section I will outline basic abilities, and which you should be using when. Before we get into this, two warrior abilities were changed in an effort to "balance" our AOE damage output with that of other tanking classes. As of 5.0, Revenge's second and third targets now take 50% less and 75% less damage respectively, as opposed to all three targets taking 100% damage. In addition, Deep Wounds deals 50% less damage, for Protection warriors only.

I.I Single Target Abilities
Shield slam: Generates 20 rage, high damage.
Thunder Clap: Use this at least once every 30 sec for Weakened Blows.
Revenge: Generates 15 rage, moderate damage on up to three targets. Cool down resets on dodge or parry.
Devastate: Applies a Weakened Armor debuff, and has a 30% chance to reset the cool down on Shield Slam
Tier 4 Talents: Can be saved for situational usage, or incorporated into the rotation wherever you see fit.

When attacking a single target, use the above abilities following this priority:

Thunder Clap (If Weakened Blows/Deep Wounds is not up)
Shield Slam

Devastate or Revenge?
This is a little tricky. Devastate actually deals more damage then Revenge on a single target, unless Hold the Line procs. For this reason, and the fact that it can proc Sword and Board, it is often the better choice when both abilities are available. However, if Hold the Line procs, or if the 15 rage from Revenge will get you to your next Shield Block/Barrier, feel free to use Revenge, instead.

I.II Multiple Target Abilities
Thunder Clap: Damages all enemies within 8 yards and applies a bleed.
Revenge: While it has a 9 second cool down, it resets on each dodge or parry. With incoming damage from 3+ sources, you will have many chances to dodge and parry many attacks (hopefully!) and will nearly be able to spam this ability.
Shield Slam: I include shield slam due to it's usefulness as a rage generator, I usually stick with revenge on multi-target if it's available.
Tier 4 Talents: Can be saved for situational usage or worked into your rotation, all deal substantial multi-target damage but are on extended cool downs.
Cleave: Use this if you have extra rage, the same as for Heroic Strike above.

When attacking three or more targets, use the above abilities following this priority:

Thunder Clap (To apply Deep Wounds and Weakened Blows)
Shield Slam
Devastate (When nothing else is available)

*Often you will be able to repeatedly use Revenge. Again, tier four talents are not included as they do not generate rage, but they are indeed very useful against multiple targets.

I.III Active Mitigation Abilities
These abilities are the primary way you will spend your rage, and are also the primary way we protection warriors mitigate damage.

Shield Block:
-Blocks all incoming melee attacks against you at the cost of 60 rage. These can be critical blocks. This means that any melee attack that hits you will either be reduced by 30% or 60%.
-See the Mechanics section for more info on Shield Block.

Shield Barrier:
-Grants you an absorption shield, at the cost of 20-60 rage. The ability will use as much rage as is available, provided you have at least 20 and will use up to 60.
-See the Mechanics section for more info on Shield Barrier.


II. Mechanics
This section will cover passive abilities, procs, and the finer points of the Protection Warrior.

II.I Passive Abilities & Procs
Many of these abilities are former talents we now gain just by leveling up. Nice! The information is here, but generally they do their jobs in the background.

Vengeance: This is a passive buff that grows on you as you take damage. It is a serious contributor to the Prot Warrior's dps output, but if you're getting hit, you're going to have this buff on you. Acknowledge it, but don't worry about it.

Unwavering Sentinel: Increases your stamina by 15%, reduces the chance you will be critically hit by 6%, increases armor value gained from items by 25% and decreases the rage cost of Thunder Clap by 100%. This passive ability essentially makes you a tank. You get it as soon as you choose Protection specialization, so don't worry about this either.

Enrage: This is a passive buff that can be applied to you in a couple of different ways. Regardless of how it is applied, it increases your damage by 10%. You will become enraged when you critically block, and also when you use your Berserker Rage ability. (More on Berserker Rage below.)

Deep Wounds: Applies a bleeding DoT. Devastate applies this effect, but after level 46 you will be able to apply it to every enemy within 8 yards thanks to the Blood and Thunder passive ability, which causes Thunder Clap to apply it as well.

Plate Specialization: Protection warriors gain 5% stamina from wearing all plate. As if we needed an incentive!

Sword and Board: This is a passive ability as well as a proc. Whenever you use Devastate, you have a 30% to reset the cool down on Shield Slam and increase the rage it generates to 25. Use when Shield Slam has a lot of time left on it's cool down to try to get the proc, and then use shield slam immediately afterwards. A graphic pops up to let you know this ability has proc'd.

Ultimatum: Shield Slam has a 30% chance to make your next Heroic Strike or Cleave free of cost. Just a small threat burst for you. A pretty graphic pops up on the screen to let you know to use it, just as with Sword and Board.

Hold The Line: Granted from a glyph, but a proc to look for as no graphic alerts you that it has become active. Causes Revenge to deal 50% more damage following a parry. in my finding, this causes it to deal more damage than Devastate, even on a single target- which moves it up in priority.

Bastion of Defense: Just a passive ability that increases your Block by 10% and your Dodge by 2%. Thanks Blizz. Also decreases Shield Wall's CD by 3 minutes, allowing you to use it every 2 minutes.

Mastery - Critical Block: Increases your chance to block by 4% and to critically block by 18%. A block stops 30% of incoming damage, while a critical block stops 60% of incoming damage. Mastery will raise these values. Due to this passive ability, Mastery is generally considered our most valuable stat. (More on that below).

II.II Taunting & Threat
As a protection warrior, it's your job to make sure the enemy is attacking you. You hold an enemy's attention by building threat. The more damage you deal, the more threat is generated. If a mob gets away, you can taunt it back to you. Threat can be displayed within the Blizzard interface, or you can use an interface add-on such as Omen.

Taunt: Makes the target attack you if it isn't already.

Mocking Banner: An AOE Taunt that can be used every 3 min.

II.III Active Mitigation
There is a lot of information to be had on these two abilities, so I will do my best to outline them. I cannot stress how important they are to playing a Protection warrior, so get familiar with them!

Shield Block: As mentioned above, this ability costs 60 rage and will cause you to block all incoming attacks for 6 seconds. Shield Block can also be applied up to twice, and the cool down is as long as the duration, which means the only thing stopping you from keeping it up all the time is the high rage cost.

Pros to Shield Block:
-Lasts the full 6 second duration regardless of incoming damage.
-Will always block at least 30% (and sometimes 60%) of a melee attack, regardless of how hard the attack hits.
-Can result in a critical block, which not only stops more damage, but also applies the Enrage buff, increasing our threat and damage output.
-Can be glyphed to give a 10% damage increase to Shield Slam when Shield Block is active, which is a nice buff for our hardest hitting ability.

Cons to Shield Block:
-Will never block all of an attack
-Will not block magic or any other type of damage at all
-Always requires 60 rage to use

Shield Barrier: As mentioned above, this ability will consume at least 20 and up to 60 rage depending on how much you have. It grants a damage shield that absorbs any type of damage for 6 seconds, or until the shield is depleted. More rage consumed results in more damage absorbed. The flat amount absorbed is also increased by your attack power.

Pros to Shield Barrier:
-Can completely absorb an attack(s) as long as it doesn't deplete the shield.
-Will absorb magic or melee damage.
-Can be activated for the cheap(er) cost of 20 rage if necessary.
-Can be reapplied before the last one even falls off if the new barrier will absorb more damage.

Cons to Shield Barrier:
-Can only absorb so much damage before it falls off, which is usually means it lasts only a short duration.


III. Cooldowns
Warriors have offensive and defensive cooldowns. Some should almost always be used when they are available, and others should be saved for key times or emergencies.

III.I Offensive:
Keep in mind that many of these effects are most useful if timed to be used during a burn stage, or when Blood Lust or a similar ability is active.

Berserker Rage: Should be used on cool down, as it generates 10 rage, and enrages you for 10 seconds. The effect itself lasts 6 seconds, has a 30 second cooldown, and also makes the user immune to fear, sap, and incapacitate abilities for it's duration. I have this ability Macro'd so that whenever I use Devastate or Revenge, I also use Berserker Rage if it is available. This way it almost becomes a passive bonus.

The Macros I use are as follows:

#showtooltip Devastate
/cast berserker rage
/cast devastate

#showtooltip revenge
/cast berserker rage
/cast revenge

*This can be a problem if an encounter includes fear mechanics.

Skull Banner: Increases your group's critical damage by 20%. Time it with Bloodlust.

Recklessness: Causes your special abilities to Crit more. Time with Bloodlust.

Deadly Calm: Reduces rage cost of Heroic Strike for increased DPS and threat. Has a short CD so use it when it's up.

III.II Defensive:

Shield Wall[: Reduced damage taken by 40% for 12 seconds. 2min CD. Use in emergencies or during periods of very high damage- it doesn't last very long.

Last Stand: Increases maximum and current health by 30% for 20 seconds. Another emergency button, possibly more useful but with a longer cool down.

Demoralizing Shout: Decreases damage taken by the Warrior from targets within 10 yards by 20% for 10 seconds. Use often as it is on a short CD.

Demoralizing Banner: Decreases damage done by all mobs within 30 yards by 10%, for 15 seconds. Can be used on CD or saved for periods of very high damage/emergencies.

Rallying Cry: Grants the entire group 20% of their health for 10 seconds. Save this one for times when raid healing is falling behind the damage the raid is taking.


IV. Talents and Glyphs
Talents can have a pretty large effect on your play style, but not nearly as much as in the past. Many talents are quite situational, and all could be useful in *some* scenarios. I will outline each choice and how it could be used in a raid scenario, and give my preferred talent for each tier.

IV.I Talents

Tier 1 - Improved Charge

Double Time: This talent allows you to charge twice before setting the cool down on charge. Very useful talent that will improve your mobility greatly. As charging is limited to opening an encounter or picking up stray mobs, this talent helps ensure it is always available if you need it.

Juggernaut: This talent shortens the cooldown on Charge by 8 seconds, allowing you to charge every 12 seconds instead of 20. The benefits could end up being just as equal to Double Time- the better choice would depend on the needs of the encounter.

Warbringer: The third of the Tier 1 talents is much more situational. Any raid boss is going to be immune to the stun granted by this talent, and stunning one mob in a pack, on a trash pull could actually prove to be problematic if you need to relocate the pack quickly. Definitely very situational and probably more geared for PVP.

Preferred: Double time or Juggernaut are preferred, as they both dramatically increase your mobility.

Tier 2 - Self-Healing

Impending Victory: This talent alters your Victory Rush ability, so that you can use it once every 30 seconds regardless of whether you scored a killing blow. In addition, the cooldown is reset on a killing blow. It heals you for 10% of your health. Serves as a very useful small self heal, made more useful when paired with a Healthstone or Health Potion when your healers need a second or two to recover.

Enraged Regeneration: This talent instantly heals you for 10% of your health, the same amount as Impending Victory. It also restores an additional 10% over 5 seconds. It has a hefty cost of 60 rage, but this can be avoided by using the talent when enraged. Slightly more complicated as in an emergency, you might not be enraged- and spending 60 rage on this ability instead of using that rage on a Shield Block/Barrier would probably be ill-advised. Has a 1 minute cooldown.

Second Wind: Allows you to regenerate 3% of your health every second when below 35% health. It also causes you to generate 20 rage over 10 seconds whenever you are stunned or immobilized. This talent is very situational, and is probably more geared towards PVP. A Protection Warrior will rarely find themselves stunned in a raid encounter, and will just as rarely find themselves below 35% (If things go as planned!)

Preferred: Impending Victory is my choice, as it has the shortest cool down and heals for a small, but comparatively decent amount.

Tier 3 - Shouts

Disrupting Shout: This talent is usable every 30 seconds, and interrupts all spell casting within 10 yards. Also prevents any spells in that school from being cast for 4 seconds. Useful for getting pesky casters to run towards you, or to serve as a backup in an interrupt rotation.

Piercing Howl: Slows all enemies within 15 yards by 50% for 10 seconds. Situational at best- suited more for PVP.

Staggering Shout: Causes all enemies within 20 yards that are snared to be rooted for 5 seconds. Also situational at best, would have limited use in a raid setting.

Preferred: I prefer disrupting shout, as the other two focus on limiting the target's mobility and have little use comparatively in a raid setting.

Tier 4 - AOE Damage Abilities

Shockwave: Causes damage in a cone in front of you, and stuns all enemies affected for 4 seconds. Has a short 20 second cool down.

Dragon Roar: Causes damage to all enemies within 8 yards, briefly knocking them back and causing damage. The damage is always a critical hit. Has a 1 minute cool down, but lacks the positional requirement of Shockwave. This ability causes no threat, so don't try AOE pulling a pack by leading with it. (Thanks go to Rataoskr for pointing this out.)

Bladestorm: Causes you to become a "whirling destructive force" for 6 seconds, preventing loss of control of your character. You can still dodge, block, or parry. However, you can only use shout abilities, and you can be disarmed. Additionally, if you need to perform any other abilities, you will need to worry about canceling Bladestorm first.

Preferred: I prefer Shockwave due to it's short cool down and that I am used to having it in my arsenal. Dragon Roar will come out on top in it's share of encounters and also lacks a positional requirement, so it may be the better choice in some cases. DR's threat issue has also apparently been fixed, which improves it's usefulness.

Tier 5 - Protection

Vigilance: Vigilance focuses your protective gaze upon a party member, transferring 30% of the damage they receive to you for the next 12 seconds. Very useful for saving a party member who is in trouble. Keep in mind that you will be taking additional damage for this period- a raid announcement to your healers could be beneficial.

Safeguard: Allows you to charge towards a party member at high speed, removing movement impairing effects on you and intercepting the next attack made against them. Also reduces their damage taken by 20% for 6 seconds. Useful indeed, but trickier to use than Vigilance as the very nature of the ability causes you (and anything you're tanking) to rush towards the affected party member- not always preferable.

Mass Spell-Reflection: While a pretty cool talent, it is no better than situationally useful, as many spells in raid encounters are, unfortunately, not able to be reflected.

Preferred: I prefer Vigilance as it allows me to step in and help a party member from a distance, without having to put them in harm's way by physically moving over to them.

Tier 6 - Ultimate Abilities

Avatar: Very useful as it provides a 20% DPS/Threat increase. Lasts for 20 seconds and has a 3 minute cool down. (Additionally, you become huge when you use it!)

Storm Bolt: Hurls your weapon at the target, dealing 100% weapon damage and stunning it for 3 seconds. Deals 300% damage against targets permentantly immune to stuns. Has a short cool down of 30 seconds. Can be useful for grabbing a loose mob on trash pulls, as well as for the increased damage on bosses.

Bloodbath Causes all of your special attacks to apply a bleeding DoT for 30% of their damage over 6 seconds. Bleeding targets move at 50% speed. Bloodbath has a 12 second duration and a 1 minute cool down. A useful Threat/DPS increase, but probably has less utility than the other two options in a raid setting.

Preferred: The offensive worth of each talent is probably similar. Avatar has been nerfed significantly as of 5.1, and now only breaks movement impairing effects rather than granting immunity. In addition it no longer grants additional rage generation.

IV.II Glyphs
As of 5.0, generally only Major Glyphs affect your game play. I have listed those that apply to Protection Warriors below. There are many others, but they are generally geared more towards damage dealing or otherwise.

Glyph of Unending Rage: Allows you to have a maximum of 120 rage, up from 100. Just useful in every situation as it allows you to pool more rage for damage mitigation, or even Execute.

Glyph of Heavy Repercussions: Causes your Shield Slam to deal 50% more damage when Shield Block is active. Shield Slam already hits relatively hard, and as it is a critical portion of your rotation in most scenarios, this glyph amounts to a substantial DPS/Threat boost.

Glyph of Hold the Line: Increases the damage of the next Revenge following a successful parry by 50%. Another hugely useful boost to your DPS/Threat. Revenge is crucial to your rotation, and you will generally be dodging and parrying a lot of incoming attacks.

Glyph of Shield Wall: Increases the damage reduction by 20% for a total of 60%, at the cost of an increased cool down (4 minutes). You should rarely if ever need to lengthen the cool down of this ability for 20% more damage reduction.

Glyph of Incite: Allows you to perform Heroic Strike/Cleave for free when under the effects of your Deadly Calm cool down. Allows you to maintain higher DPS without losing Shield Block/Barrier uptime, but probably not as useful overall as some of the other choices.

Glyph of Resonating Power: Increases the damage and cool down of Thunder Clap by 50%. Can't really think of a situation where this glyph would be a better choice than some of the others.

Glyph of Death From Above: Shortens the cool down of Heroic Leap and increases it's damage by 100%. Very useful talent for improving mobility substantially.

Glyph of Enraged Speed: Increases your movement speed by 20% when you are enraged. Another mobility increasing talent, could be useful depending on some encounters.

Preferred glyphs are hard to choose as they are so encounter-based. I nearly always have Unending Rage active, and would probably not go without Glyph of Death From Above now that I have gotten used to the reduced CD it grants.

V.I Stat Priorities:
This is always a very interesting section. There are still different trains of thought on stat priorities, but first, the basics behind each stat before we come up with a priority.

Stamina: Stamina constitutes your health pool. You need a certain amount of stamina, as much damage you will take in any dungeons or raids will be un-mitigatable, and without enough health, that damage will kill you. (Or at least give your healers a really hard time!) I have been in the practice of using a lot of Stam + Another stat gems on my gear, to get the best of both worlds and try to stay balanced.

Mastery: For protection warriors, Mastery increases chance to Block and Critically Block. Blocking is one of your primary ways of mitigating damage, so the more the better. In addition, the more you critically block, the more you will buff yourself with Enrage, and the more damage you will output. For this reason, Mastery is regarded as our most important stat.

Hit/Parry Cap: As Protection Warriors, we mitigate a lot of our damage by spending rage. In order to generate rage, we need to land our rage-generating abilities. If those abilities are missing or being dodged/parried at times when we desperately need to get a Shield Block/Barrier off, we can run into trouble. For this reason, Hit and Expertise are valuable. In addition, they provide us with a decent increase in threat; you aren't generating any if your attacks aren't finding their mark.

Parry/Dodge: Due to the way diminishing returns work in 5.0, dodge rating is less valuable then parry. The math on this can be found below. You want to shoot for having half as much dodge rating as parry. Reforging parry and dodge to hit and expertise is a good way to keep them balanced as well as to work towards your hit/exp cap.

Diminishing returns theory-crafting:

Stat priority will look like one of these options:

Mastery > Hit/Exp cap (7.5%) > Parry > Dodge - This option feels comfortable with the stamina naturally present on gear - better against melee heavy encounters.
Stamina > Mastery > Hit/Exp cap (7.5%) > Parry > Dodge - This option sacrifices some mastery for stamina, which will favor encounters with non-mitigatable damage.

To meet these priorities, simply reforge your Parry and Dodge so that you meet the hit/exp caps, and at the same time try to keep your Dodge % at half of your Parry %. It's not so hard!

V.II Trinkets

As a small aside, many are often confused about which types of trinkets to use. Generally, I always stick with at least one Stamina trinket. If I am going into a fight with a lot of magic, or otherwise unavoidable damage, I will take two stam trinkets. Otherwise, I'll put an avoidance trinket in the other slot (Preferably mastery, then parry, then dodge.) Obviously, discard this rule in the case of a massive upgrade.


VI. Gems & Enchanting:
Generally there are disagreements over gemming with a focus in mastery, or a focus on stamina. I will provide a few options for each. I will not be including any gems that do not have one or the other, as they are generally too valuable of stats to not have at least one of them on a gem.

Meta Socket: Austere Primal Diamond

Focusing on Stamina:
Blue Socket: Solid River's Heart
Red Socket: Defender's Imperial Amethyst or Guardian's Imperial Amethyst If you need Expertise.
Yellow Socket: Fractured Sun's Radiance

Focusing on Mastery:
Blue Socket: Puissant Wild Jade
Red Socket: Fine Vermilion Onyx or Keen Vermilion Onyx If you need Expertise.
Yellow Socket: Fractured Sun's Radiance

*For additional sockets, place either a Mastery or Stamina gem- or use it to help you reach Hit/Exp caps if you absolutely need to.

*Keep in mind there are perfect versions of lesser gems you can buy that have the same stats as the ones listed above, in the case there are none available to you. Just search for the adjective on the AH.

VI.II Enchants

These enchants have been removed from the game as of 5.0. Don't worry about them!

Greater Ox Horn Inscription

Enchant Cloak - Greater Protection
Enchant Cloak - Accuracy <-- If you need help hitting Hit cap.

Enchant Chest - Superior Stamina

Enchant Bracer - Mastery

Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery
Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise <-- If you need help hitting Exp Cap.

Living Steel Belt Buckle
Ironscale Leg Armor

Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step

Enchant Weapon - Colossus
Enchant Weapon - River's Song

Enchant Shield - Greater Parry


VII. Pre-Raid Gear
Here list of some gear options you can seek out to ready yourself for heroics and/or raiding. Most will be from regular dungeons, heroics, or crafting. Keep in mind that mastery on an item can make if valuable to a Protection Warrior even if it looks like a DPS item.

*Also, I am leaving out the entire 450 Spiritguard set created by blacksmithing; they are valuable upgrades, but just go search the AH or contact your BS friend- you don't need me to list them all!

Helm of Rising Flame
Sightfinder Helm

Whirling Dervish Choker
Widow Chain
Necklace of the Dark Blaze
Whirling Dervish Choker

Bladesworn Shoulders
Spaulders of Immovable Stone
Vigorsteel Spaulders

Stormscale Drape
Cloak of Failing Will
Soulrender Greatcloak
Phantasmal Drape

Chestplate of the Stone Lion
Breastplate of Wracking Souls
Canine Commander's Breastplate
Hateshatter Chestplate

Serrated Forearm Guards
Bubble-Breaker Bracers
Ri'mok's Shattered Scale

Axebreaker Gauntlets
Axebreaker Gauntlets
Gauntlets of Resolute Fury
Hive Protector's Gauntlets

Bladesworn Girdle
Sparkbreath Girdle
Waistplate of Imminent Resurrection

Sap-Encrusted Legplates

Bladesworn Warboots
Stonestep Boots
Wraithplate Treads
Mindfire Sollerets

Heart of the Earth
Crystallized Droplet
Lime-Rimmed Signet

Iron Protector Talisman
Heart of Fire
Bitterest Balebrew Charm
Bubbliest Brightbrew Charm
Brawler's Statue

Masterwork Phantasmal Hammer
Ook's Hozen Slicer
Inelava, Spirit of Inebriation

Shield of Blind Hate
Impervious Carapace
Shield of Blind Hate
Not a prot warrior, but /bump anyway.
Hmm well it's much better than the other Prot guides that have been posted over the past couple weeks that's for sure. A couple areas of improvement I would suggest. There appears to be a couple mispoken areas throughout the guide. Unless I'm mistaken with your intent there are a couple places where you mention Shield Block or Slam and I'm pretty sure you meant the opposite.

Although personal opinion/preference is unavoidable with the current talent and glyph setups, it feels like there is just so much of it in here. Making it less obvious through wording tends to help make it look more professional. Also here is some mathematical information on the Parry to Dodge ratio. I feel that explanation was somewhat quick and lacking.

Finally, although Prot is only my off spec, I'm pretty sure Stamina is more valuable than Mastery so why not gem for Stamina instead?

Sorry to sound very critical or nit-picky. Overall it's likely to be a pretty helpful guide. Good work!

Right now, it's debatable between Stam and Mastery. On fights with primarily physical damage, Mastery comes out way ahead due to its interaction with shield block and the rage provided as a result, making it a both a strong offensive and defensive stat. On fights with non blockable damage, fights like SG, Will of the Emperor, Elegion, etc. Stam wins by a massive margin due to the pure EHP it provides. That all said, still giving the edge to Mastery due to the aforementioned advantages the stat provides in most situations.

OT: Was actually planning on compiling a Prot guide in the style of the other warrior guides just to maintain theme.
from the bottom up, I love that you have a gear guide, but I disagree with the gems and enchants you provide. Due to the change in priorities for prot warriors, Hit 7.5/Exp 15>Mast>Stam>Parry>Str>dodge, gemming and enchants are much more flexible and some enchants like hit to cloak and expertise to wrists can make a larger difference.
A little nit picky with the rotations vs priorities thing, and same for the talents, as on some fights Dragon's Roar is better than Shockwave, i.e. all bosses w/o adds that can be stunned.

Otherwise a solid guide and I look forward to competing with you
why don't vengeance work in bgs ?
thank you drunk
Thanks for the input! This is the first guide I have written so I will take your suggestions into full account. Keep them coming!!
I corrected a number of errors, improved formatting, included more detailed/less opinionated talent and glyph sections, and added item links to everything.

Hope the Protection Warrior community can take something away from this guide! Feel free to continue adding comments, criticism, and questions.
Not bad.

Glyph of Heavy Repercussions: Causes your Shield Block to deal 10% more damage when Shield Block is active. Shield block already hits relatively hard, and as it is a critical portion of your rotation in most scenarios, this glyph amounts to a substantial DPS/Threat boost.

Couple spots where you mean Shield Slam instead of Shield Block.

Probably worth mentioning that Dragon Roar generates no threat in the parts that mention AoE talents. Not that threat is a big deal, but there's bound to be confusion for any new tank who takes that talent and ends up trying to pick up adds with it.

A section on profession perks would make a nice addition, too.
10/18/2012 06:19 AMPosted by Ratatoskr
but there's bound to be confusion for any new tank who takes that talent and ends up trying to pick up adds with it.

Yeah I didn't even know it generated no threat. Feels like something they should put in a tooltip.
Thank you Rataoskr, I had actually just cleared up the slam/block issues as you posted! I will add the Dragon Roar info as well. Don't think I realized that either!

A profession perks guide is currently in the works on my notepad. Coming soon!
I would personally not add any DPS gear to pre raid item list. If it is hit/exp + mastery...sure keep it there...but any dps stat such as haste or crit should be removed and never be OK'd for pre raid anything except dps. Go through your gear list you have a few doubles

I would add in the entire masterwork crafted set from BS, if not mistaken it's all tank pieces, would have to double check

I would add in the 476 drop items and crafted items as they are cheap now, such as the shield, crafted chest and gloves, drop chest, cloak, and ring (i think)

Cons to Shield Barrier:
-Can only block so much damage before it falls off, which is usually means it lasts only a short duration.

change block to absorb

Blue Socket:
Puissant Wild Jade

if having a stam option for other sockets, then add the most obvious one...pure stam gem here

Shield of Blind Hate
Impervious Carapace
Shield of Blind Hate

remove 1 of the Shields of blind hate and add the masterwork crafted one.

10/17/2012 08:22 PMPosted by Lunchbuffet
Abilities and rotation

Change all rotations to priority list, we haven't had a rotation in a long time, just priority lists.
Also you didn't really give the priority lists you just named abilities and what they do. That is good, but add in a priority list like

SS > Revenge > Devastate > TC > HS
(just an example)

Vengeance: This is a passive buff that grows on you as you take damage. It is a serious contributor to the Prot Warrior's dps output, but if you're getting hit, you're going to have this buff on you. Acknowledge it, but don't worry about it.

% of damage over the last 20 seconds, it is a serious contributor to prot warrior THREAT and damage

10/17/2012 08:22 PMPosted by Lunchbuffet
Multiple Target Rotation

cleave will pretty much only be used on ultimatum procs...also if there are 3 or less adds revenge > TC and should be used every chance where as TC will take priority with more than 3.

Cleave and HS will almost never...actually i think it is safe to say SHOULD never be used outside

For the Tier talent sections you should add a "best choice" answer. Missing glyphs such as Death from Above. A lot of little things to adjust. This isn't as much of a guide as it is a overview of things in MoP.
10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
Go through your gear list you have a few doubles

There are not doubles, there are 450 non heroic items and heroic items.

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
I would add in the entire masterwork crafted set from BS, if not mistaken it's all tank pieces, would have to double check

I noted that the Spiritguard set crafted through blacksmithing is a valuable upgrade but I am not going to include each individual piece.

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
change block to absorb

I have already changed "block" to "absorb".

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
if having a stam option for other sockets, then add the most obvious one...pure stam gem here

Purely stacking stamina is not advised, the guide attempts to give players some direction rather than opening up more confusing options.

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
remove 1 of the Shields of blind hate and add the masterwork crafted one.

One of those shields is a 435 i level and one is a 450. There are many viable items in game. This list is a list of suggestions for pre-raid gear, not every 450-463 ilevel item that has tanking stats on it

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
Change all rotations to priority list, we haven't had a rotation in a long time, just priority lists.

The abilities are listed in the order that they should be prioritized- I will clarify this in the descriptions for those sections. For all intents and purposes "Priority list" and "Rotation" are used interchangeably now.

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
Missing glyphs such as Death from Above.

Glyph of Death From Above and any other glyphs are, while possibly useful, by no means worth replacing any of the glyphs I have included. This is not a database of everything warriors can use, it's a guide on how to be an effective protection warrior in Mists of Pandaria.

10/18/2012 07:08 AMPosted by Ethica
For the Tier talent sections you should add a "best choice" answer.

The first talent I listed in each tier is clearly the best choice, in my opinion. You would gather this if you read through them.

Finally, an item with some haste or crit that also has a ton mastery IS a viable option. For example, the Sightfinder Helm has 560 mastery on it (a ton) and 350 or so crit rating. Reforge the crit to hit, exp, or whatever you need, and its a very viable item. It's certainly not going to make or break you in a raid setting, and I can attest to this personally.

I appreciate all of your feedback and criticism. However, this IS a guide on how to play a Protection Warrior in Mists of Pandaria. I feel player new to the class and specialization would find all of the info they need here. I also modeled this after guides I have read myself in the past, so I don't see how it isn't a guide. Thanks for the input.
Thanks for guide.

I asked this on another thread. this is pvp related hoping someone can help me explain these 2.

New to Prot BGs. (new to Prot in general)
Q: What should I be using more often: Shield Block or Barrier?
My logic tells me Barrier since it helps with spells and melee.
10/18/2012 08:03 AMPosted by Lunchbuffet
Glyph of Death From Above and any other glyphs are, while possibly useful, by no means worth replacing any of the glyphs I have included. This is not a database of everything warriors can use, it's a guide on how to be an effective protection warrior in Mists of Pandaria.

How is something like Death From Above not preferred on certain fights over something like Heavy Repercussions? Yet you have Glyph of Resonating Power. Some fights (heroic stone guard) you won't even use block once. Elegon it is great for add tanking and movement back to the boss. Will it is great for dodging his deadly combo and there is a stomp you cant make it out of fast enough of over shooting where you need to go. I wasn't referring to every glyph...I was referring to DFA specifically. There has been more use for that than HR in MSV, Challenge mods, Heroics, and dailies.
Lunch is my dog!
Thanks for posting this.

Cleave: Use this if you have extra rage, the same as for Heroic Strike above.

This looks like an oversight; you do not mention Heroic Strike anywhere above where this statement appears in the guide. Maybe you intended to include Heroic Strike in the single target rotation (lowest priority)?

10/17/2012 08:22 PMPosted by Lunchbuffet
*Also, I am leaving out the entire set created by blacksmithing; they are valuable upgrades, but just go search the AH or contact your BS friend- you don't need me to list them all!

OK to not list each item, but I suggest at least putting in the name (Masterwork Spiritguard) and the iLvl (450), so that my future customers know what to ask for when they come shopping. Yes, I'm a 600 blacksmith (shameless plug).
Why is your gear list ordered in descending order?
Don't have the time currently to go over in too much detail, but a few things are missing. I'm very much not a fan of your gemming section, and as Ethica said not including stam gems for a blue option is just strange.

They way I'd organise it would be as what stat you prefer. Eg:

Stam option:

Red: Stam / Exp
Blue: Stam
Yellow: Stam / Mastery

Mastery option:

Red: Mastery / Exp
Blue: Mastery / Stam
Yellow: Mastery

*Not sure why you are suggesting parry-combo gems when your own stat priority lists exp as more valuable.

A few sections you don't seem to explain much if anything. It just feels like you are listing tooltips without any insight to which is better. Take your glyph section for example. You list every glyph slightly related to a prot warrior, but don't say what to take and what to avoid.

Unending Rage, allows you to pool rage, it's good.

Shield Wall -> TERRIBLE, don't touch with a 10 foot pole unless you have a bloody good reason to.


Also glyphs like Death From Above NEED to be added. It is the best glyph we have, for all specs and situations. Enraged Speed can also be useful in certain situations. It feels very much incomplete when you list incredibly situational glyphs like shield wall, yet miss near mandatory ones.

Other than that, your guide's layout needs a look at. Bolded-underlined text with no indents for both section titles and spell names is a terrible idea.

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