Out of Date Prot Guide, please delete <3

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Edit: If a mod could please unsticky this and sticky the newer, up-to-date thread (located here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/14926133216 ), that'd be absolutely wonderful <3

So, you wanna be a Prot Warrior, huh? Well, hopefully I haven't flubbed my information too badly, because in addition to being one as well, I'm gonna try to show you the way. Or at least, help you find all the information in one place so you don't have to go around asking in every thread “HOW DO I SPEC/GLYPH/GEAR” to random people like Sam or Ethica. Hopefully, this can serve as a decent to even good one-stop shop for all your Protection Warrior needs!

This guide's gonna be a work in progress throughout all of Mists of Pandaria, and I'll try to keep this updated and current with every patch forward. I emphasize that this is a work in progress, and as such, sometimes you may see something wrong or something you need clarification on. That's fine! Be sure to actually post about it in a positive and constructive manner (which, since we're Warriors, means screaming) and I'll correct it ASAP.

If you liked the guide, thanks for reading! Let's get right to it. Be sure to use the brackets for quick navigation purposes!

Table of Contents:

I. Abilities [ABL1]
II. Talents [TAL2]
III. Glyphs [GLY3]
IV. Gear and Stats [STA4]
V. Gems and Enchants [GEM5]
VI. Grabbag: Random Topics [GRA6]
VII. Normal and Heroic Best-In-Slot Lists [BiS7]

But first; why is my rage bar acting funny?

Rage is not the same animal it was in Cataclysm, in fact, it's completely different. I know, I realize Blizzard's futzed with our rage generation before, but they've done it again. You shall adapt or you shall be left by the wayside, because complaining about it will get you nowhere. So, briefly, Rage is generated by certain rotational abilities, instead of outgoing auto-attack damage, as well as damage taken. Damage taken has no bearing on rage generation anymore. Protection warriors of old will feel the difference.
I. [ABL1] Abilities

Though many of our abilities return or are here in new forms, perhaps the largest change out of all of them for us is what we're spending our rage on. Before, we were spending our rage on everything, including Shield Block for mitigation. Now however, with the Active Mitigation system that Blizzard has put in for all tanks, that's what most of our rage will be going towards. Ergo, I'll be breaking this section down into different categories:

Rage Generators:

Shield Slam: 20 Rage (25 if used during Sword and Board procs), 6 Second CD
Revenge: 20 Rage, 9 Second CD
Battle/Commanding Shout: 20 Rage, 1 Minute CD
Charge: 20 Rage, 20 Second CD
Critical Blocks (Cause Enrage): 10 Rage, 3 Second ICD
Berserker Rage (Cause Enrage): 10 Rage; 30 Second CD

Rage Consumers:

Shield Block: 60 Rage, 8 Second CD; 2 charges
Shield Barrier: 20 Rage minimum, 60 Rage Maximum
Heroic Strike: 30 Rage, 1.5 Second CD
Cleave: 30 Rage, 1.5 Second CD
Execute: 30 Rage

Other Abilities

Shield Wall: Reduces damage taken by 40% for 12 seconds. 2 minute CD
Last Stand: Increases current and maximum health by 30% for 20 seconds. 3 minute CD
Demoralizing Shout: Demoralizes all enemies within 10 yards, reducing the damage they deal to you by 20%. Lasts 10 seconds. 1 minute CD
Rallying Cry: Grants you and allies within 30 yards of you 20% maximum health for 10 seconds. 3 minute CD
Demoralizing Banner: Demoralizes all enemies within 30 yards of the banner, decreasing damage dealt by 10% for 15 seconds. 3 minute CD

Keep in mind: Rallying Cry puts Last Stand on cooldown for 10 seconds, and Last Stand puts Rallying Cry on cooldown for 20 seconds, all to prevent you from using both simultaneously, but other than that there is no limitation on these abilities like in Cataclysm. Feel free to help out your raid when applicable!

Our “rotation” if you will, hasn't actually changed in MoP; the priority queue is still the same at its core: Shield Slam > Revenge > Devastate. This is still your single-target priority for abilities for threat, DPS and Rage generation. Devastate, while it actually generates no rage, can be considered a boon for rage generation purely through its ability to proc Sword and Board, which boosts the rage generated by Shield Slam by 5 and additionally resets its cooldown.The other major, major change to these abilities is that while Revenge's cooldown was lengthened, it also resets on a successful Dodge or Parry, and is usable even without either occurring. As such, avoidance is valuable to rage generation in a fashion.

Anyway, this is more or less the priority queue:

Single Target
Thunder Clap (if Weakened Blows isn't up) > Shield Slam > Revenge > Shout (if off cd and you need the rage) > Devastate.

AoE (if more than 3 mobs)
Thunder Clap > Revenge > Tier 4 Talent (Shockwave, Dragon Roar or Bladestorm) > Cleave on Ultimatum Procs

AoE (if 3 or less mobs)
Revenge > Thunder Clap > Cleave on Ultimatum Procs.

On AoE and Heroic Leap
Heroic Leap, unlike its previous incarnations, does a ton of damage, so much so that in fact many DPS warriors use it rotationally (when paired with Colossus Smash). For Protection this is still possible, but iffy depending on mob placement or needs of mobility throughout the encounter. As such, if you’re going to use Heroic Leap for threat, using it as an opener on a pack of mobs is good. If using it for purely DPS gains, pairing it with Bloodbath isn't a bad idea either.

Shield Block Vs. Shield Barrier

I can already hear the question being asked: “Which one do I use when? One's an absorb and the other just lets me block all the time!” Well, the answer isn't really simple. The most simplistic I can make it for you is that “Well, which one prevents more damage?”

Let’s look at the abilities individually first:

Shield Block - 60 Rage, Blocking 100% of attacks made against you for 6 seconds. Blocks can be critical blocks


Shield Barrier - 20-60 Rage, absorb effect which lasts 6 seconds, scales with rage spent, Stamina and Attack Power

Remember that Shield Block, at its core, is just augmenting your normal ability to block, or reduce 30% damage from physical attacks only. Sure, some of the time these can be Critical Blocks (60% reduction), but Critical Blocks are still random, and as such unreliable unless you stack the hell out of Mastery (In 5.4 the ability to crit block cap through gear will be a real possibility for a large number of raiders in normals).

Shield Barrier, on the other hand, scales with both your HP and your Vengeance level simultaneously during an encounter. The formula for its absorption scaling is as follows (at 60 rage):

max(1.8*(AP-Str*2), Sta*2.5)

This means there will be scenarios in which Shield Barrier will reduce more damage over the course of a fight overall on just normal melee attacks. In these situations, Barrier will almost always win out. An easy way to tell generally is to have an addon track about how much your Barrier will absorb for, similar to Blood DKs using an addon to track incoming Blood Shields for mitigation purposes.

If you don’t really feel like dealing with that, then here are some good basic rules to follow:

Do you have a lot of adds beating on your face? Use Shield Block. Reason being: One absorb shield is going to be chewed up fairly quickly by any group of adds over 3 beating on you, and you're going to be back at Square One again. Shield Block gives you a 100% chance to block every attack while it's up for 6 seconds; at that point you will on average, reduce more damage than you could ever hope to with Barrier.

Is the one boss you're tanking beating your face in? If it's melee attacks, use Shield Block. If it's via magic (such as spells being cast like say, Lei Shi), or through a persistent DoT (like Stone Guards, or Iron Qon's Impale DoT) use Barrier.

The realistic answer, however, is that just because you use one doesn't make using the other impossible. While rage is more controlled and “slower” than it used to be, rage also can still dynamically change on you and spike upwards thanks to a few lucky Critical Blocks or avoids at just the right times. Think about not just that your enemy is hitting you, but how your enemy is hitting you; for how much, with what, and how that can be mitigated.

If you know when a spike in damage is coming that cannot be blocked (Triple Puncture on Heroic Horridon, as an example), Barrier will almost certainly be the way to go over Block.

If you have a boss who does the lion's share of its damage via unblockable sorts (e.g: Stone Guards' bleed), Barrier will be the superior option out of the two.

The key here however, is to dynamically observe where damage is coming from, and react to it accordingly as best you can. This is where the “Active” in “Active Mitigation” comes from that Blizzard wanted you to adapt to.

When can I use Heroic Strike and Cleave?

Keep in mind, that Heroic Strike and Cleave are off of the GCD, and compete with our Active Mitigation through consumption of rage. However, because of this, you'll mostly be using Heroic Strike/Cleave on Ultimatum procs, which is procs every time Shield Slam crits, and subsequently also makes them critical strikes.

Why are you listing Execute here? I'm not a Fury warrior!

Execute scales fairly well with Vengeance even in 5.4, and if you can safely utilize it without compromising your own mitigation, no reason not to use it. Even then, you want to use your rage generators, then utilize Execute when you've got enough/they're on cd. (Priority usually goes Shield Slam > Revenge > Execute > Devastate, but this isn't a hard priority you necessarily have to follow).

What's this Riposte junk I keep hearing about?

It's an ability gained at 76 being patched in in 5.4. Clipped from the Official Patch notes:

Riposte is a new passive ability learned by Protection Warriors at level 76. When the Warrior dodges or parries any attack, they gain 75% of their Parry and Dodge as an additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.

Keep in mind, that Riposte's Critical Strike gain is based off of RATINGS FOUND ON GEAR ONLY. This means it DOES NOT scale with Parry gained from Strength.
II. [TAL2] Talents

Talents are completely different from their previous incarnations; now we gain many of the abilities we received as talents just for specializing as Protection, which is great because it makes many of our more necessary tools available to ALL of us from the get-go. Instead of its previous incarnations where we received points every two levels (or every level), we now get to choose from three options every 15 levels. Seems like a lot of dumbing down, but honestly I find this system much more prone to player choice and creativity. Let's take a look at what Warriors have and see how they apply to Protection.

Tier 1: Mobility

This tier more directly affects your mobility-related cooldowns; specifically, it affects Charge. You like Charge, don't you? Of course you do! You play a Warrior! If you don't like Charge go play a Paladin, you wuss.

Juggernaut: I personally like this one. Lowers the cooldown on Charge from 20 seconds to 12 seconds. Pretty up front and self-explanatory. You Charge more often.

Double Time: Another decent one for Protection, but a little more nuanced than Juggernaut; this talent functions so Charge has 2 charges (like Shield Block, or a Monk's Roll ability), but each “charge” of Charge has a 20 second cooldown, and it can only generate rage every 12 seconds. Also, another note; this skill's cooldowns work like Death Knight runes work, in that only one charge will recharge every 20 seconds, so take that for what it's worth. Still a strong choice, especially when you need that pinch rapid charge mobility.

Warbringer: The clear PvP talent choice, and very poor for PvE Protection's uses, and in 5.4 now roots the target instead of stunning them longer than a normal charge duration stun.

Tier 2: Healing and Survivability

This talent tier affects your ability as a tank to self-heal.

Enraged Regeneration: Changed in 5.4, Enraged Regeneration is now free, heals you instantly for 10% of your health, and another 10% over 5 seconds. If you're under the effect of Enrage however, the effects of Enraged Regeneration are now doubled, making this a great talent for raids and a very potent extra cooldown.

Second Wind: Second Wind in and of itself is a great talent for situations when a Protection Warrior is taking a lot of damage, but not nearly enough damage to outright kill them. In raids, these situations are few and far between.

Impending Victory: Like the original glyph it's named after, this talent replaces Victory Rush and allows us to use it for 10 rage on a 30 second CD whenever we want, as opposed to only after scoring a killing blow on something that gives us experience or honor. In other words, it gives us greater degrees of control over our health directly. It's also only 10 rage, and while I realize that means its competes with Barrier and Block, for 10 rage for 10% health this isn't a bad trade-off in the least...but it is still a tradeoff.

Tier 3: Shout At (All The) Things

This talent tier focuses on shouting! More importantly and specifically, it also focuses on controlling your enemy in some fashion. Through shouting. I know, I don't get it either.

Staggering Shout: Roots everything within 20 yards of you that's snared for 5 seconds. Overall, probably won't get a heck of a lot of use as Protection on raid bosses, but who knows? This could be the thing your raid needs on Heroic Garrosh Hellscream in T16 for all we know at this point.

Piercing Howl: Piercing Howl is exactly the same as in the past; at 10 rage per cast and a 15 yard range for a 50% movement speed snare, this baby will make you happy if your job is kiting the hell out of a group of adds. It's easily spammable at 10 rage and has no cooldown. Remember though; because it costs rage it competes with your AM abilities!

Disrupting Shout: AoE interrupt for 10 yards. Small range, but great effect if you have to move a group of casters quickly. This really shines in 5mans, and encounters with a lot of casting adds. Good choice as a default talent when you don’t specifically need a root/slow, extra interrupts are always useful in 5-mans and can help if someone botches an interrupt rotation in raids.

Tier 4: Area of Effect Damage

This tier is all about giving us new and fun area of effect attacks; two of which warriors of different specs have enjoyed for years now.

Bladestorm: Changed in 5.4, Bladestorm now has a 60 second cooldown, and its Weapon Damage has been nerfed from 240% to 160%; has the potential to be great on the right encounter, but the weapon damage nerf makes it a little less attractive to use. It does however, synch up nicely with Bloodbath now.

Shockwave: Shockwave, my old friend! You're back in my arms once again! Shockwave by far, in my mind is the best AoE spell out of the three in terms of usability, and it's a tad bit survival ability as well if the mob you're using it against is stunnable. At a 20 second cooldown with very nice damage scaling, the only thing NOT to love about this ability is its conal-positioning, but if you've been a Protection Warrior for any semblance of time, you've gotten used to it by now. (In 5.2 this ability is being changed: if it fails to hit 3 targets or more, the cooldown will be doubled to 40 seconds)

Dragon Roar: Even Blizzard couldn't resist riffing Skyrim in (more than) one way, so Dragon Roar exists. A point-blank AoE spell that ignores armor, instantly crits everything it touches, stuns it for 0.5 seconds AND knocks it back about a yard AND flat on its back, this move is literally the highest single-target DPS option out of the three. Let me say also, this ability hits HARD. Really hard. Guess that's why Breath attacks have historically hurt like hell in WoW since its inception.

Tier 5: Raid Utility

This tier is all about giving the Warrior extra utility where necessary so he or she can be a greater asset to their raid.

Mass Spell Reflect: Performs just like normal Spell Reflect, but on a much longer cooldown at 1 minute and it works on the entire raid as long as they're within 20 yards of your position. Nice if you're expecting a lot of magical burst and it can be reflected, but otherwise absolutely useless. Also works independent of your own personal Spell Reflect cooldown, which is handy.

Safeguard: The same talent it was before, but without the threat drop component it used to have. If you're trying to shoehorn this as another potential DR cooldown to be used on your co-tank, realize that this ability will give them two buffs: one which intercepts the next attack on them (and thus making the attack hit you), and another which is the actual DR% ability. If you really want to get the most mileage out of this, communication with your co-tank (or other intended target) is definitely advised.

Vigilance: Changed in 5.4; Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior using it from its target, but instead flatly reduces damage taken by the target by 30%, in addition to giving Taunt no cooldown. Fantastic ability when you need to reduce someone's damage intake sharply via externals or need a lot of taunts.

Tier 6: Damage

This tier is all about numbers. BIG NUMBERS. Or rather, giving us more cooldowns to beef up our damage to achieve BIG NUMBER STATUS.

Avatar: You turn into a giant brownish colossus version of yourself; in addition to feeling more special, you deal 20% additional damage for 24 seconds and you are immune to all movement impairing and immobilization effects. This option is great if you’ve got a stiff burst DPS requirement (ala tendons on Spine) and you’re tasked with helping out. Mathematically, it’s still an inferior talent DPS-wise to Bloodbath, and now without the rage generation attached, Avatar is no longer the de-facto Protection option.

Bloodbath: (And Beyond) Ahem. Now then, Bloodbath. At a 1 minute cooldown and a 12 second duration, this ability makes your special attacks to deal 30% additional damage as a bleed DoT and snares the target for 50% move speed reduction; it constantly refreshes during the duration until the buff on you runs out, and then the DoT will tick until it expires. The real strength of this ability when paired with Protection is the 1 minute cooldown (allowing for more uses during a fight on average) and the fact that Protection's damage breakdown is very much lopsided with regards to special attacks. Its cooldown also lines up perfectly with Dragon Roar.

Storm Bolt: A a 30 second cooldown, it's a semi powerful attack that grants you another stun, but also hits a truckload harder (500% weapon damage vs. 125% normally) when the target is incapable of being stunned. This maths out to be the lowest DPS option of the three, but if you're in a situation where you need another stun...this is the place to find it.
III. [GLY3] Glyphs

Let's move onto Glyphs, shall we?

Glyphs, like talents listed above, are mostly situational and will depend on the needs of your raid, or you as a tank. As such, Blizzard has flat-out tagged ones absolutely useless to Protection by labeling them as “Fury” or “Arms” only. I will cover ones that are un-tagged, and tagged “Protection Only” for the sake of expediency.

Major Glyphs

Blitz – Charge stuns an additional two targets. Situational; see reasoning above regarding Warbringer.

Bull Rush – Charge generates an extra 15 rage. Pretty neat, if you need the rage and can Charge.

Death from Above – Drops CD on Heroic Leap to 30 seconds, and boosts its damage. One of the higher DPS options for other specs, definitely great for Prot if you need the extra mobility granted by the glyph.

Enraged Speed – You run 20% faster while Enraged; only controllable if you count on using Berserker Rage for a mobility boost, otherwise fairly random.

Gag Order – Makes Pummel and Heroic Throw also silence your target for 3 seconds. Purely useful against casters, but rarely raid bosses.

Hamstring – When you absolutely have to spam Hamstring on a target...accept no substitutes. If you don't...look elsewhere for glyphs.

Heavy Repercussions – Makes Shield Slam hit harder during Shield Block. Potent considering how frequently you're using both abilities in tandem.

Hindering Strikes – Heroic Strike and Cleave also reduce target's movement speed by 50% for 8 seconds. Would stay away, as a Warrior you have much better tools for slowing mobs down than spamming Heroic Strike or Cleave.

Hold the Line – Improves the damage of Revenge by 50% following a Parry; not necessary in my eyes, but still amazing for Protection damage, and synergizes nicely with Revenge's cooldown resetting on avoidance.

Incite – Using Devastate during Deadly Calm reduces Heroic Strike or Cleave's cost by an additional 20 rage, which makes your next three Heroic Strikes or Cleaves all FREE. Essentially, this is a massive boost to personal damage, and if you're planning on using Deadly Calm, there honestly shouldn't be a reason to not take this glyph.

Long Charge – Increases the range of your Charge ability by 5. Not exactly huge or gamebreaking.

Recklessness – Decreases critical chance of Recklessness by 20%, but increases its duration by 50%. In shorthand, this means it's reducing the critical chance granted by Recklessness to 30%, but increasing its duration to 18 seconds. Keep in mind, during Recklessness you are locked out from Shield Wall.

Rude Interruption – Whenever you interrupt a spell with Pummel your damage is increased by 6% for 20 seconds. There are stronger ways to boost your personal damage as a Protection Warrior than through Rude Interruption.

Shield Slam – Shield Slam now dispels one magical effect; situational at best.

Shield Wall – Reduces damage taken by an additional 20%, but its cooldown is increased 2 minutes. Shorthand, this means Shield Wall now gives 60% damage reduction for 12 seconds at a 4 minute cooldown. Situational glyph is situational.

Spell Reflection – Reduces cooldown of Spell Reflection by 5 seconds, making it a 20 second cooldown.

Unending Rage – Increases your maximum rage capacity to 120 from 100; allowing you to pool rage more. Situational, but definitely useful for scenarios where you're going to spend a lot of time pooling rage.

Hoarse Voice – Reduces cooldown and rage generation of your Battle and Commanding Shouts by 50%, meaning you instead gain 10 rage and it has a cooldown of 30 seconds instead of 1 minute.

Resonating Power – Increases the damage and cooldown of your Thunderclap by 50%, effectively turning it into a 9 second cooldown. Though the damage increase is nice, the new cooldown on the ability makes it kind of wonky to fit into the existing Warrior rotation. Very situational at best.

Victory Rush – Increases total healing provided by Victory Rush or healing of Impending Victory following a killing blow by 50%. Depends heavily on the type of content you're doing and whether or not you tend to score a lot of killing blows.

Low's Glyph Picks for This Patch

Overall, we have some very nice options. My current setup is as follows:

Hold the Line (Damage)
Heavy Repercussions (Damage)
Death From Above (Mobility/Damage)

Other strong contenders for Glyph slots in my mind are:

Unending Rage (Rage Management)
Resonating Power (Damage)
Incite (Damage)
Gag Order (Heroics/Add management)
Shield Wall (If I need to only use it once an encounter, but this is very iffy)

Though, as with talents, glyphs will change based on the needs of the tank and/or the raid. Keep this in mind and carry a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind or two with you, trust me :P

Minor Glyphs:

Intimidating Shout – literally the only minor glyph that actually does something worth mentioning, it keeps your feared mobs in place! For the one or two times you use Intimidating Shout.

Blazing Trail – if you don't use this glyph you aren't a Warrior. That simple. Science proves this.

I’m not going to go through the others, since they’re all literally self-explanatory and you shouldn’t need a guide to tell you which superfluous glyphs to take. Use your imaginaaaaaaaaaation!
IV. Gear and Stats [STA4]

Gear and stats have changed a bit since the Cataclysm has parted the Mists on the shores of Pandaria. Many of our stats are important, but all important in different ways. Plate, obviously, is still important and our intended armor class. You will be tanking with a shield, because if you’re not, well, you can’t use a good chunk of your Prot-only abilities, and that just makes you look silly. Don’t be silly. That’s bad and makes us all sad for you.

However, the statistics on your gear are important as well, but not quite as restrictive as tank gear has been in the past. Most tank-centric stats are not inherently “useless” or “ignore this at all costs” like they were before, or others aren’t absolutely “stack this until x” as they were before. I’m getting ahead of myself here, let’s get to the brass tacks:

Stamina: Stamina remains the de-facto EH (Effective Health) stat next to armor, which is impossible to stack in surplus thanks to Blizzard not itemizing pieces with bonus armor. Stamina raises your health pool, which lets you supposedly live longer in worst-case scenarios, e.g: scenarios where you have little or no healing and a boss is trucking you. However, Stamina is not a mitigation stat, it just allows you to live longer. It is a strong stat for its purpose, and if you’re finding yourself dying to magical burst, accept no substitutes. Keep in mind, that if you don’t have enough health to survive hits in an encounter, you are going to die, and you should make sure to at least have enough health to last.

Mastery: Mastery buffs your chances to block, as well as Critical Block. Both of these chances scale independently of each other; your Block Chance actually has a very small DR on it, versus Critical Block, which scales as normal up to 100%. This is your defacto damage smoothing stat, and if you're a 10man Protection Warrior, there's no reason NOT to be stacking the hell out of this given the opportunity. If you're a 25man...well, make sure you don't crumple when the bosses start punching you? D:

In 5.4, given the right itemization, a Protection Warrior *will* be able to Critical Block Cap; this means that they can achieve 100% Mastery and have every block made be a Critical Block. The numerical plateau for this is 19641 Mastery Rating (Pre Blessing of Might/Grace of the Air), after which Mastery's value *heavily* falls off due to only buffing your Block chance, which in effect turns it into a worse version of Avoidance in every way.

Parry: Parry is an avoidance stat, or rather, a stat which results in damage avoidance; basically, when you parry an attack, you take zero damage. That simple. Boss parry-hasting no longer exists, as such Parry is not a dangerous stat to have. Parry also procs a use of Revenge while it is on cooldown, which leads to it indirectly buffing Rage generation. In addition to being found as a secondary stat on gear, Warriors also receive bonus Parry in relation to their total of Strength. As stated by Berthold on Elitist Jerks:

Since MoP, the benefit of strength got greatly increased, it gives almost as much parry % (952 for 1%) as parry_rating (885 for 1%) does. This means that some of the DD-gear (hit/exp/strength) can turn out great. This also applies to trinkets, e.g., lessons of the darkmaster has EXP/STR on it and isn't too bad if you go for avoidance. However, socketing for strength shouldn't be done as secondary stats have double the amount on gems that primary stats. Lastly, strength increases our dps quite significantly and it slightly increases Shield Barrier (as the non-buffed AP Bonus is ignored for Shield Barrier calculation).

Basically, Strength is now a good source of Parry, and will be the reason your Parry to Dodge ratio will be as out of whack as it is. Don’t panic!

Dodge: Dodge is a weaker avoidance stat mathematically than Parry, as it takes more rating per-percentage point of Dodge to make a difference, thanks to a very harsh Diminishing Return on it. It also, like Parry, allows for additional usages of Revenge when it is on cooldown. Dodge isn’t useless, but you don’t want to be stacking it at the expense of other very real stats you could be using, and as such you’ll probably spend more time reforging out of it than gemming for it or reforging into it.

Extra special note on avoidances: Avoidance as a whole allows for more Total Damage Reduced over the course of the fight, as the more times you Dodge or Parry an attack you are taking zero damage per attack. While this sounds all well and good, remember that these are still random chances, and because of that they are unreliable. In addition, this may make you a dreaded member of the “Spikey Tank” club; do not shy away from either as these are both powerful damage reduction stats, but remember that because they are random, they are not dependable.

Hit: Reduces the chance your attacks have of missing the target. This is gold with regards to Threat Stats and boosting your own personal DPS. There is also a very real link between your attacks connecting and rage generation, seeing as you need Shield Slam and Revenge to actually connect to generate Rage. As such, Hit is very valuable to us. Our attacks have a 7.5% chance to miss Raid Bosses (Skull Mobs, Boss Mobs or mobs level 93+), which requires a rating of 2550 to suppress.

Expertise: Expertise reduces the chance for our attacks to be dodged, and then parried, in that linear order. It has also changed how it works since Cataclysm; before Expertise would per-point sort of pull double duty, reducing both chances for an enemy to Parry an attack, as well as Dodge an attack. Now, however, Expertise first reduces an enemy’s chance to Dodge an attack until the threshold, and then reduces an enemy’s chance to Parry until the second threshold. This has led to some people referring to the “Expertise Softcap,” which is erroneous.

The values for each are 7.5%, which means that in order to suppress a raid bosses chance to Dodge, you need 7.5%, or 2550 Expertise rating, and to suppress a raid bosses chance to Dodge and Parry your attacks, you need 15% Expertise, or 5100 Expertise rating. Easier way to read this:

Hit needed for cap: 7.5% (2550 rating)
Expertise needed for Dodge: 7.5% (2550 rating)
Expertise needed for Dodge AND Parry: 15% (5100 rating)

This has very real implications for our Rage generation (and related through that, our mitigation thanks to our abilities), and because of this many people believe that Expertise AND Hit are strong mitigation stats for Prot Warriors. They’re not wrong, either. Keep in mind, though, that the abilities Thunder Clap, Dragon Roar, and Shockwave cannot be dodged or parried, but can miss. As such, Hit leads as the more important of the two stats.

Critical Strike: Better in 5.4, Critical Strike rating synergizes well with the Enrage changes, which include Shield Slam and Devastate critical strikes proccing Enrage. You also are capable of generating this through Riposte with Avoidance, but if you're taking a piece for the Mastery and it's got Crit on it, it certainly isn't the worst thing on the planet you could take.

Secondary stats in general are very well balanced for Protection Warriors this expac, and as such there isn’t really a wrong way to gear, per se. Well, there is (Don’t gem for Dodge, Crit or Haste!). But there are more subtle ways for you to be gearing wrong, or right, depending on what scenarios you’re involved in, your healers, what abilities you’re using, and how you’re playing.

As such, stat priorities can and will change. I will attempt to list the most popular ways for gearing:

Defensive: Stamina > Hit 7.5% >= Exp 15% > Mastery > Parry > Dodge

Offensive: Stamina > Hit 7.5% >= Exp 15% > Parry >= Dodge > Mastery

The two schools of thought regarding these stat priorities is actually dependent on a few factors; raid size (10's vs. 25's), personal DPS, healing and raid DPS.

DPS issues aside for Protection Warriors, Riposte can be a very potent boost to your arsenal, provided your gear is tailored to take advantage of it. You won't be doing Brewmaster levels of DPS, but you'll definitely be doing enough. In addition, most 25man tanks will probably end up with something similar to the "Offensive" build anyway, as Mastery isn't nearly as potent a stat in 25mans versus its potency in 10mans.

That being said however, use whatever is best for you and your raid. If you are done with Mastery as a Warrior, or are running an Offensive build, you should be utilizing Avoidance for the TDR, synergies with Revenge, and Riposte gains.

If you’re changing your stats around, please be aware of the possible consequences of them, and how it can affect your damage taken, or how your healers will heal you. If possible, feel free to talk to them about this, or see how they handle certain changes in your gearing.
V. Gems and Enchants [GEM5]

Piggy-backing off of our previous topic, the idea of Gems and Enchants. Gems and enchants, because of how secondary stats work for Protection, are slightly more fluid in certain slots than others. I will attempt to list contenders, but will try to list them in order from “Generally most desirable” to “Eh, it’s helpful.”

Meta: Indomitable Primal Diamond (If you don't have the legendary available, then Austere Primal Diamond )
Blue: Solid River's Heart, Puissant Wild Jade, Sensei's Wild Jade, Confounded Wild Jade
Red: Fine Vermilion Onyx, Guardian's Imperial Amethyst, Defender's Imperial Amethyst, Precise Primordial Ruby
Yellow: Fractured Sun's Radiance, Puissant Wild Jade, Sensei's Wild Jade, Confounded Wild Jade

Whether or not you match socket bonuses depends entirely on what those set bonuses are. Strength socket bonuses on gear is possible, and actually useful because of Strength’s relationship with our avoidance. Dodge sockets, on the other hand, are pretty useless, as you’re already on fairly harsh Diminishing Returns just from gear alone. If you're gearing Riposte, obviously Dodge pures or Dodge hybrids will be in slots where yellows would go, due to lack of better options.

Enchants, on the other hand, are fairly cut and dry in some slots, versus slightly ambiguous in others:

Shoulders: Greater Ox Horn Inscription (Secret Ox Horn Inscription if you are a Scribe)
Chest: Enchant Chest - Superior Stamina
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Protection
Bracers: Enchant Bracer - Mastery
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery, Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise
Legs: Ironscale Leg Armor
Feet: Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - River's Song, Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel
Shield: Enchant Shield - Greater Parry

Note on weapon enchants: River's Song will result in a slightly higher (on average) Total Damage Reduction over the course of the fight (thanks to Dodge), and Dancing Steel results in (slightly) higher personal DPS. The differences between each are so minor it's barely worth mentioning; if you feel like doing "more" damage, use Dancing Steel. If you want to "reduce more damage," then take River's Song.

In 5.4, you should be using River's Song, thanks to the DPS gains through granted to us by Avoidance stats through Riposte. If you don't believe it's giving you enough of a boost to make it worth it, then Dancing Steel is your next bet. Windsong pre-Crit Block cap is semi-useful because of the Mastery and Crit gained from it, but post-Crit Block cap its completely worthless.
VI. Grabbag: Random Topics [GRA6]

This is just my random appendix for other things; consumables, race choices, and whatever else needs to be discussed I suppose.

Consumables: <Witty hook goes here>

Food: Back to the Basics

Secondary stat food is pretty underwhelming in MoP, so it’s pretty simple; Stamina if you think you need it/want the extra cushion/are just eating the feast*. Strength to pad meters and get a small amount of parry if you don’t need the stam.

*You can get a Strength food buff off a feast via speccing arms/fury, eating, and going back to prot. It should also be noted that Banquet of the Grill will give 275 Strength to a Strength spec (Arms/Fury) and 250 stam as Prot, whereas Banquet of the Oven will give 275 Stam as Prot and 250 Strength as Arms/Fury. Any other cooking spec banquet else will give 250 in either, and Pandaren banquets will give 275 in either.

Flasks: (Careful you don’t get an asterisk next to your achievement)

For flasks you have 3 basic options:

Stamina -1000 Stam. Nothing to sneeze at, provides a nice buffer for progression fights that challenge tank survivability. Default “Tank flask”

Strength -1000 Strength. While it will give you some parry, the Strength flask has two main purposes: Padding meters on farm/non-tank-threatening bosses to rank, and also to get out some extra DPS on progression if you’re cutting it close to the enrage and don’t need the stam.

Crystal of Insanity - 500 Str AND 500 Stam. Its 15minute CD, not consumed on use, drop off a rare in Vo4W (http://www.wowhead.com/npc=50339). Makes a very nice “Farm boss flask”, provides a little of both worlds for no cost*. Note that it doesn’t persist through death so its not recommended for a progression fight as it won’t be up very pull.

*The monetary value of your sanity has not been calculated

Potions: Warning: Does not actually give you wings

Tanks have two options for potions

Strength - 4000 STR on use for 25 seconds. 4000 Strength is alot. And if you pre-pot you can have it up on the pull when reck/banner/bloodbath/trinkets/dragon roar are all ready to go to get a nice chunk of damage in, as well a huge threat lead. As long as you potion before you initiate combat you can potion again 1 minute+ in and use a second one during execute range/second round of cooldowns

Armor - 12k Armor for 25 seconds. Its roughly 5% physical damage reduction. If you’re on a fight that pushes your survivability so hard (with only physical hits) you need an extra 5% DR for a couple stints of 25 seconds, this is the potion to use. But those are very few and very far between, if it at all. And completely non-existent in normal modes. So, these exist, but 99% of the time you want to be using STR pots.

Racial Abilities

Let’s open this brief with a disclaimer: Your racial choice should be based on you wanting to play that race. However, each one has a potent set of abilities that may or may not make the choice for you. I’ll be quick as we go through each one.

Alliance Races:


Every Man for Himself - A PvP trinket ability on a 2 minute cooldown, it lets you immediately get out of stuns, fears or charms. Remember, you can use Zerker Rage to break fears, but this is still fairly useful if getting stunned annoys the hell out of you.

Diplomacy - Rep gains increased 10%. Fairly self-explanatory.

The Human Spirit - Increases spirit by 3%. Completely not necessary for tanking.

Weapon Specialization: Swords and Maces - Increases expertise by 1% when using a mace or a sword. Useful for threat stats, slightly alleviates necessity to stack expertise.


Stoneform - Removes poison, bleed and disease effects and prevents 10% damage for 8 seconds, on a 2 minute cooldown.

Frost Resistance - Reduces Frost damage taken by 1%.

Crack Shot - Expertise with ranged weapons increased by 1%. Useless for warriors in general.

Mace Specialization - Increases expertise when wielding maces by 1%. Useful for threat stats, slightly alleviates necessity to stack expertise.

Explorer - You find additional fragments in archaeology digs. Doesn’t even apply to anything except archaeology, obviously.


Shortblade Specialization - Increases expertise when wielding a dagger or 1handed sword by 1%.

Escape Artist - Removes any immobilization effects or movement speed reductions on a 1.5 minute cooldown. Every Man for Himself’s less useful younger brother.

Expansive Mind - Increases mana pool. Warriors don’t have mana; ‘nuff said.

Engineering Specialist - Increases Engineering skill by 15, and also raises cap by 15.

Arcane Resistance - Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.

Night Elf:

Shadowmeld - You meld into the shadows, entering stealth and dropping threat until Shadowmeld ends. 2 minute cooldown, effectively snares you in place.

Quickness - Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 2% passively.

Wisp Spirit - Transform into a Wisp upon death, increasing your speed as a ghost by 75%.

Elusiveness - Reduces the chance for enemies to detect you while Shadowmelded.

Nature Resistance - Reduces Nature damage taken by 1%.


Gift of the Naaru - Heals target for 20% of their total health over 3 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.

Heroic Presence - Increases your chance to hit by 1%. No longer affects the entire group.

Gemcutting - Passively boosts Jewelcrafting skill by 10, and also increases the cap by 10.

Shadow Resistance - Reduces Shadow damage taken by 1%.


Darkflight - Turn into your true form, and increase your movement speed by 40% for 10 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown.

Viciousness - Increases critical strike chance by 1%.

Aberration - Reduces Shadow and Nature damage taken by 1%.

Flayer - Allows you to skin animals 0.5 seconds faster, as well as increases your Skinning skill by 15.

Two Forms - Shift between human and worgen form.

Running Wild - Drop to all fours, activating your true form and run at mount speed. Works wherever ground mounts work.

Neutral Races:


Epicurean - Increases bonuses gained from foods eaten by 100%. Incredibly powerful, especially as a tank.

Gourmand - Increases Cooking skill by 15.

Inner Peace - Rested experience bonus lasts twice as long.

Bouncy - You take 50% less falling damage. I can only think of a few scenarios where this would be life-saving.

Quaking Palm - You put an enemy to sleep for 3 seconds. Useful as an interrupt or CC, but not required.

Horde Races:


Blood Fury - Boost your attack power based on level and class for 15 seconds. 2 Minute cooldown. Neat personal damage boost.

Hardiness - Reduce stun effects by 15%. Useful if you hate being stunned.

Command - Damage done by Death Knight, Warlock and Shaman pets increased. Completely useless.

Axe Specialization - Increases expertised while wielding an axe or fist weapon by 1%.


War Stomp - Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. 2 Minute cooldown.

Endurance - Base health increased by 5%.

Cultivation - Increase Herbalism skill by 15, and also allows you to herb faster.

Nature Resistance - Reduce Nature damage done by 1%.


Berserking - Increases melee and ranged attack speed and casting speed by 20% for 10 seconds. 3 minute cooldown.

Regeneration - Increases health regeneration by 10%, and allows for normal regeneration of 10% of health in combat.

Beast Slaying - Increases damage done to Beasts by 5%.

Dead Eye - Increases expertise with ranged weapons by 1%. See Dwarves for reasoning why this is useless.

Da Voodoo Shuffle - Reduces duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%. Trolls indeed, be flippin’ out...mon.


Will of the Forsaken - Removes any Charm, Fear or Sleep effects. Shares a 30 second cooldown with similar abilities (E.g: Berserker Rage), and is on a 3 minute cooldown.

Cannibalize - Regens 8-9% of health and mana every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Requires a humanoid or undead corpse nearby and must be channeled. If the player takes any action, moves or takes damage, the cast ends.

Touch of the Grave - Your attacks have a chance of dealing Shadow damage and healing you for the same amount.

Shadow Resistance - Reduces Shadow damage taken by 1%.

Blood Elf:

Arcane Torrent - Silences casters within 8 yards for 2 seconds.

Arcane Resistance- Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%

Arcane Affinity - increases Enchanting skill by 10, and raises cap by 10.


Rocket Jump - Allows you to jump forward. 2 minute cooldown, shares cooldown with Rocket Barrage.

Rocket Barrage - Activates your belt rockets, dealing fire damage to your target. 2 minute cooldown, and shares cooldown with Rocket Jump.

Time is Money - 1% increase to casting and attack speed.

Best Deals Anywhere - Get best discount on vendors regardless of faction standing.

Pack Hobgoblin - Summon your Pack hobgoblin, allowing you bank access for 30 seconds. 1 minute cooldown.

Better Living Through Chemistry - Increases Alchemy skill by 15, and raises the cap by 15.

As you can see, most of the races have very little measurable difference between each other, save for certain stand-out abilities (Expertise buffs, Pandaren food buffs resulting in double stamina values, Every Man for Himself...). Racial abilities are situational, and as such there’s no real wrong race to be. Be what you want and what you enjoy the animations/armor on.

Verdict: At the end of the day, unless you really, REALLY need a specific bonus, or are like Blood Legion or something pick what you want to watch flipping around for hours on end every week (GNOME IS MASTER RACE. PROVEN WITH SCIENCE).
I'd like to take a moment to thank some people who helped out a lot with this project; mainly because I've been lazy and haven't really worked on it for a long time, hence why it didn't get done until 5.1. People are listed in no definite order:

Samayael, for giving me such a great format to crib
Ethica, for bein' Ethica.
Clutche, for letting me bounce things off his head
Ðemolition, for his awesome work on the Consumables section and also being around to bounce stuff off of.
Sparklefever/Kangarooster, for his incessant yelling at me to get stuff done <3

If I've left anybody out, it's totally not on purpose. Feel free to yell at me later or something :P
gnome is stupid
VII. Best In Slot [BiS7]

A few people have been asking, so me and Clutche put together a normal Best-in-Slot listing for Protection Warriors stepping into Siege of Orgrimmar; mainly so some people can know what they're going for. This will also be edited to reflect any changes in future patches or new raid tiers that Blizzard puts out after the writing of this guide.

Clutche and I have started off our normal listing here:

Normal Mode Mastery Build BiS (Asteriks next to items to signify Warforged)

Helm: Faceguard of the Prehistoric Marauder
Neck: Juggernaut's Ignition Keys*
Shoulders: Krugruk's Rigid Shoulderplates*
Back: Qian-Ying, Fortitude of Niuzao
Chest: Chestguard of the Prehistoric Marauder OR Icy Blood Chestplate*
Bracers: Bracers of Blind Hatred*
Hands: Calixian Bladebreakers* if using offset chest, use Handguards of the Prehistoric Marauder
Belt: Untarnishable Greatbelt*
Pants: Legplates of Willful Doom*
Boots: Malkorok's Giant Stompers*
Ring 1: Bloodclaw Band*
Ring 2: Devilfang Band*
Weapon: Xifeng, Longblade of the Titanic Guardian*
Shield: Ancient Mogu Tower Shield*

Thanks to Bladestorm for the Avoidance Build listing here:

Normal Mode Avoidance Build BiS (Asteriks signify Warforged)

Helm: Faceguard of the Prehistoric Marauder
Neck: Blackfuse's Blasting Cord*
Shoulders: Pauldrons of Violent Eruption*
Cloak: Qian-Ying, Fortitude of Niuzao
Chest: Earthbreaker's Steaming Chestplate*
Bracers: Bracers of Sordid Sleep*
Gloves: Shockstriker Gauntlets*
Waist: Untarnishable Greatbelt*
Legs: Legguards of the Prehistoric Marauder
Boots: Treads of Unchained Hate*
Galakrond Control Band*
Ring of the Iron Tomb*
Weapon: Encapsulated Essence of Immerseus*
Shield: Shield of Mockery*

(Will Work on Heroic BiS later today, hopefully)
Annnnnnd last one. Reserved.
I said 8!
I helped too! Kind of!
12/26/2012 08:32 PMPosted by Clutche
I helped too! Kind of!

Get back in the basement Clutche, we didn't say you can come out
so is this going to be like the tank who cried wolf?

where so many people posted bad guides nobody believes the guy who has a decent one


Also liked and sticky requested.

Oh, might want to mention Shockwave's change in 5.2 under the talent.

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