Most of you might know me in Ragnaros (Horde Side) as Pyroching or just Pyro. As most of my friends and fellow guildies know, I was coached by one of the best (if not the best) protection paladins on this server known as Talarina. After several months of information exchange between each other about Protection Paladins, I’ve decided to make my own guide about this so polemical class. Keep in mind that this will be a specific guide for Warmane and not with influences from Retail, since, some issues are still broken in several aspects. With this, let’s start;
• Top Priority Stats
• Build Types & Glyphs
• Enchanting & Gems
• Random Questions (FAQ)
• Gear Issues
After several hours, days, even months (!), I’ve come to a really basic result. Armor will always be superior to Stamina. With this:
Armor > Stamina (Based on fights of course).
There’s a lot of discussion with this with people stating that stacking Stamina on a Protection Paladin is the way to go. They’re wrong. Completely wrong. When you take the choice of going for a so called “Full Stamina” build you’re wasting a lot of stats that will be needed on the table in most of the fights. Going with the so called “Full Stamina” build just means that you will NOT be a healer friend. How you ask? You will take more damage and you won’t be able to MITIGATE (record this word, we’ll use it several times in this guide) most of the damage that an armor based protection paladin can.
Now here’s a typical statement: “Oh, but Stamina gives you more HP that means you can handle more damage “
The answer to this is…: NO! Bringing this to short and really simple terms it’s just an optical illusion. You won’t be able to handle more damage. In fact, each swing from a boss will drop you down to your knees faster. You will stress your healing group without any kind of need.
One major point though: With this I’m not stating that you SHOULDN’T have a Stamina Set. In fact, you should. There are certain fights where you can use and grab stamina pieces. In fact, there’s one crucial point in this guide: There isn’t a proper BiS Set List!
With this said, here’s how I prioritize the stats in Warmane;
• Stamina: It is in fact a top priority. But not over Armor. With this said – I’m referring myself to the gemming process and pieces selection. 1 point in Stamina will give us something like 10~11 hp per point (without buffs involved in the process).
• Armor: This is our top priority hands down. Armor will shine in most of the encounters through the end game raiding content. For example, an encounter with Lich King where most of his direct damage is Physical apart from Soul Reaper (even that is Hybrid, where you still take Physical Damage with Shadow Damage).
• Agility: Now this is where most of the people don’t understand the concept of Agility on Protection Paladins. And I’ll explain: Each point of agility that a Prot Paladin has will give him Armor (Beautiful, right?) + Dodge + Crit. Dodge, as it says, will help us with the damage mitigation (even with the ICC Debuff) and Crit will help our threat scaling. It is in fact a beautiful stat for Protection Paladins. But, keep in mind, we will only gem Agility and not gear ourselves with Agility Gear like crazy.
• Defense Rating: This is one of the most “ignored” stat in Warmane besides the so called cap. It is never bad to have more Defense Rating than what you should. Let me explain you why: Protection Paladins have a crucial Talent called Ardent Defender that will give you a “Second Life”. That same talent will heal you based on your Defense Rating (Yes, Defense Rating does scale this same talent – But keep in mind it scales until 30% of your maximum HP. Keep in mind as well that thanks to a Warmane bug when you get one shot, this same talent, will bring you up to 100% hp. It is not properly scripted so we have to had this “bug” to the table). So it really isn’t that bad to go past the so called 545 cap. It will still benefit you in that aspect (and several others).
• Dodge Rating: As we know, this is one of the most unpopular stats for tanking. In the end game raiding, referring myself to Icecrown Citadel again, we have the Dodge Debuff that will drop our Dodge Rating with the value of 20%. With this said, Dodge is not a viable solution for most of the fights since we will drop 20% of it’s value as soon as we step inside of ICC. But! That doesn’t mean you can’t make a proper balanced stat of it. Dodge will still influence your fights inside ICC even if it’s nerfed with the debuff. With this said, don’t ignore the stat completely.
• Block Value: Block Value is one of the stats we must keep in mind as well. Please, remind yourself: Block Value is NOT the same thing as Block Rating. Block Rating increases the percentage of blocking attacks. Block Value is the amount of damage you block. With this said, for certain fights, you can try to bet on the Block Value itself. Fights like Lich King this stat can be really important, and sometimes, a life savior. People tend to ignore it but if you really want to be optimal, this is one of the things that might save your life and make your life easier for the healers as well. It’s another chunk of mitigation that you get.
• Parry: Parry works similar to the Dodge Rating. So long story short it has the same output as the dodge rating; Sadly, in Warmane, it doesn’t work properly. It is still kinda buggy. It acts like a dodge itself and it doesn’t give the devolving hit after the parry itself. But then again, it’s a stat that we will try to be balance with others when you make a proper stat balance.
• Strength: Strength gives us several aspects. For one, it raises our Block Value for something like 0.7 per 1 Strength. Strength will also increase your Spell Power that will influence the damage output from several spells from your rotation. Although, keep in mind, that too much strength will give you diminishing returns. So that’s one of the main reasons why you don’t gem Strength + Stamina all the way. Once you get near the so called Block Value Cap there’s no point in keep it going. Strength is really good if you’re having threat issues thought (but you really shouldn’t have threat issues).
Hit Rating: 263 or 8% Total.
Defense Rating: 540. There is a huge discussion and you will find a lot of people that state that you need 545 Defense Rating to be capped. And that’s a myth. You only need 540 no matter what. Those 5 points won’t make a proper difference. Still though, with the gear itself and with the gemming you will do it will go through the 545 number. So it doesn’t even matter. Consider yourself ICC ready, for example, when you hit the 540 cap.
Expertise: In theory, it should be 26. But to be fair, 21 is quite enough. You won’t get parried (even with the latest fix – Tested this for about 2 hours. After the count of 50 swings I got parried twice on Lord Marrowgar) and you won’t miss your attacks. ‘Cause to be fair, in fully cap to be Parry Capped (influenced with the Expertise itself) you’ll need 56 points in Expertise, which is not viable at all if you make the math (not even in Retail). So I’ll call it as a cap of 21.
Block Value: This is one thing that most of the players don’t pay attention to. But this is extremely important. There’s a value that you want to reach no matter what; Somewhere between 2500 and 2600 Block Value – This is the cap that you want in a Raid. After those 2600 you’re starting to waste stats. When you get to that cap you should start considering in going for things like armor.
• Expertise: This is your best friend no matter what. You’ll find yourself Expertise capped when you’re rocking Mithrios and the Glyph Seal of Vengeance. If you’re not an owner of the weapon Mithrios don’t be afraid of rocking some Expertise Rating gems to your set. It won’t hurt you; In fact it will help you quite a bit. So don’t hesitate.
• Strength: If you pay attention, you’ll notice that Strength is in every single one of your tanking pieces. Why you ask? Simple! Strength is your second best friend for threat generation. It will give you, when full buffed, Attack Power, Spell Power and even Block Rating. All that a tank needs right? Keep in mind that it has a diminishing return though. So this is why you don’t gem it, since the gear itself, will throw you up in the cap (somewhere between 2500 and 2600 Block Value – Keep in mind that Block Value is indeed a nice thing but please don’t try to rush for it. You will lack the rest of the stats if you actually do that) that you need. Plus, as far as it goes, once you’re fair geared you won’t have that much threat issues anymore.
• Block Value: As I stated above in the post, this is one life savior. But it also counts for your threat since your Holy Shield ability damages your attacker. So this is, as well, one of your threat helpers.
As we know there are several builds. I will go for three specs that are literally the specs that I use personally. Each spec has it’s own explanation and why and when you should use them;
A good spec for starters. This has the “whole package”. In this spec you can find the Seal of Command for when you’re having issues with threat with multiple targets. Many people call this the traditional spec. Personally, I don’t use it since I don’t use Seal of Command myself.
This is my personal spec. In this Spec I drop Seal of Command since I don’t really like to tank with it. Using Seal of Corruption I can hold agro from multiple targets (Press Tab – It’s your best buddy!) from BiS toons. No matter what fight it is. Keep in mind in raid comps you will have classes that can help your threat generation as well. This is the most balanced spec that I’ve used and I’ve seen so far.
This is a personal spec for Lich King. As the title says – MT only. This spec has the goal of betting in survival & mitigation. While we still have all of the raid & personal defensives that we need we also get ourselves more optimal for the LK fight itself. Keep in mind that most of the damage is indeed physical.
These are also a personal spec for Lich King. As the title says – OT Adds Control. This specs are literally built up to make sure that all the Adds are under control and also to help us develop a better mitigation of the damage output from those same mobs. I don’t really use Seal of Command ‘cause Seal of Corruption by itself does the job. If you need Seal of Command to hold the threat of so many adds you’re probably doing something wrong. You shouldn’t really need it no matter what. You have the time needed to deliver the damage output that you need for your threat to rise up and hold the adds properly. Again – The Tab key is one hell of a friend to target multiple targets quickly.
The main difference between both is really a preference scheme. In one we have Crusader Talanted and in the other we have Seal of the Pure Talented. In overall it all comes up to your personal preference.
As for Glyphs I’ll say that it really depends in several aspects – If you feel concerned about your threat or if you want to mitigate your damage. With this I’ll say that we have a good pack:
Glyph of Divine Plea (3% damage reduction. A MUST HAVE!)
Glyph of Seal of Vengeance (Helps you in the expertise issue.)
Glyph of Righteous Defense (Those 8% will make the difference. With this you can invest more time in the Armor stack through gems for example).
Glyph of Sense Undead (1% damage increase with all abilities while fighting undead – ICC is filled with undeads)
Glyph of Lay on Hands (Reduces in a good portion the cooldown of our ability Lay on Hands. Always a good thing to have.)
Third minor is really a pessoal thing. So decide what minor you want to use in this spot!
Glyph of Seal of Vengeance (Same explanation as above.)
Glyph of Judgement (10% damage increase whenever you cast your judgements. Kindly nice.)
Glyph of Consecration (Simple: Consecration lasts more time and the cooldown is reduced)
Glyph of Holy Wrath (Yes. You might need this. Specially when you’re solo tanking Lich King and you need that stun available to stop the Shamblings from hitting you with Shockwave. This might help you when you have hunters that are struggling to do a proper Tranq shot, for example).
As the title says, this is where I’ll tell you how I enchant and Gem myself. This is literally how I believe that it’s the best way to enchant and gem yourself;
Head: Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector
Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Gladiator – Is one of your options. This is the one I’m currently using. You can also use:Fortitude of the Scourge or Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle
Back: Scroll of Enchant Cloak – Mighty Armor
Chest: Scroll of Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats or Scroll of Enchant Chest – Super Health – I’m not including the Defense Rating enchant since you won’t need that Defense Rating in overall perspective.
Wrists: Scroll of Enchant Bracer – Major Stamina – If you have Leatherworking:Fur Lining – Stamina
Hands: In case you have Engineering: Reticulated Armor Webbing – In case you have Leatherworking: Glove ReinforcementsIn case you don’t have any of them I would highly suggest: Heavy Borean Armor Kit. Yes, I will not recommend the enchant Armsman for a simple reason. Those 2% threat generator are only 2%. It won’t scale. Those 2% threat won’t help you in threat generation that much sadly. Plus the parry rating benefit gets a huge diminishing return so it’s not that worth. You might use it; It’s not awful. But I wouldn’t recommend it when using the calculator.
Legs: Frosthide Leg Armor
Boots: Scroll of Enchant Boots – Greater Fortitude. No I won’t recommend Tuskkar’s Vitality. You’re wasting Stamina for a Minor Run Speed Increase and, to be fair, if you want to be a really good tank you must know where to place yourself no matter what. Besides that you MUST have reflexes no matter what. That minor run speed increase won’t save your life if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you don’t have the reflexes. Your life doesn’t depend on that.
Weapon: Scroll of Enchant Weapon – Mongoose
Shield: Titanium Plating
Rings: In case you have Enchanting, don’t forget to enchant your rings! Enchant Ring – Stamina
So here’s how I believe you should gem yourself. Like this it will make your stats table really balanced and quite all around for every single fight;
Yes, when you’re a fresh Protection Paladin you might consider yourself in gemming Stamina. It is indeed not a bad start. Plus it isn’t bad as well to gem some Strength + Stamina gems as well. Then again – Once you start gearing up you might consider going with the gems listed above. ALWAYS TRY TO GET THAT SOCKET BONUS!
Keep in mind we’re gemming Agility like that because of a really simple fact: Three stats rise thanks to Agility. Dodge + Crit + Armor. Amazing right?
The rotation for Protection Paladins is one of the simplest ones. But, keep in mind, to master the Protection Paladin and to know what to pop and when to pop takes time. As long the time goes you’ll learn the ways of proper tanking and when to pop what. There are a few points that you must keep in mind if you’re starting though:
1. Righteous Fury. NEVER FORGET TO TURN IT ON BEFORE FIGHTS. I’ve already seen tanks fail in Light of Dawn attempts thanks to that. Keep your Sacred Shield & Holy Shield & Divine Plea up all the time. Don’t hesitate. Those are your top priority. You MUST keep them up 100% of the times. Even if people tell you that the Holy Paladin can use Sacred Shield on you (it is true) tell them to shut up. Your Sacred Shield is way stronger and lasts longer. Don’t forget this. Divine Plea is also your best friend; While rocking Glyph of Divine Plea you take 3% less damage plus it restores your mana pool. So keep it up always – You don’t need to spam the cast of it; Your melee attacks will refresh it so try to keep it with an uptime of 100%.
2. As you might notice we have other Threat Abilities such as: Shield of Righteousness, Hammer of the Righteousness, Judgements and Consecration. If you pay attention as well they have a 6 seconds cooldown or a 9 seconds cooldown. There isn’t a really exact order for them, they can be kindly situational. What you really want to do though is to make sure you rotate those Cooldowns properly so you always have one threat ability available to use (it is most likely impossible to be out of cooldowns, lol). What I usually do, follows this order; (10 Seconds to Pull) Sacred Shield > Divine Plea > (Fight Begins) Hand of Reckoning > Holy Shield > Consecration > Hammer of the Righteousness > Judgement of the Light or Judgement of Wisdom if you’re running OOM (Out of Mana) for example – One of those Judgements is fine and situational.
3. You have defensives. USE THEM! They are one of the things that make Protection Paladins really decent. Divine Protection, Divine Sacrifice (don’t forget to cancel the raid effect if you want to use it on yourself) etc.
Q: Mithrios vs Havoc’s?
Almost all of your abilities benefit from Mithrios, Bronzebeard’s Legacy. And just with this it should be a enough reason to never swap your weapon no matter what. Havoc’s will give you the Crit and the Haste. Yes it does have more weapon damage but it won’t scale on your main threat abilities. And if that’s not enough – Your trading Expertise and Strength for the damage itself. You’re not generating threat has you should. So the answer is Mithrios.
I’ll try to post a picture of threat generation of both weapons soon.
Q: So is Stamina stacking bad?
Not necessarily. For example – Magical damage fights like Blood Queen – It is in fact a good idea to use a Stamina Set. Your armor won’t mitigate much damage but the Stamina will help you survive and endure even more. So with that – It’s a situational thing. You should keep in mind that sets will change according to each fight. There isn’t a proper BiS set list. There is one really balanced set list that you can follow – But that doesn’t mean it’s BiS.
Q: What Set Pieces to Use?
Personally I only recommend a 2 piece for most of the fights. Yes, both have their benefits but I’ll strongly recommend use only 2 piece bonus. And those pieces would be gloves and chest piece. You will get more benefits using off-pieces from raids than the tier pieces + tier bonus itself. Your stats cap will be reached faster with those same off-pieces than with the tier. With this said, the answer is 2 piece.
Q: What about the Libram? What should I use and why?
I would recommend Libram of Valiance. In later game – This is the best libram. In certain fights you might change librams and decide which one fits better for you. But in overall perspective and in end game content Libram of Valiance will rule supreme.
There are two characters that you can watch for an idea of the gear wise situation;
This is my personal toon. Some few changes need to be done specially after the latest tests and it’s still a work in progress. Not fully geared.
This is what I can call as personal BiS. This is the gear that I try to optimize my paladin for. With this build we’re literally pushing for the most balanced stats optimization. In overall and using maths this is the gear that you want if you want to see your defensive stats properly balanced. The only change that can be done is swapping Ashen Band of Endless Courage for Juggernaut Band (25 HC). Of course the armor itself from Ashen Band is a huge help since the armor proc is amazing for fights like LK. So it really is a kindly situational change. As I stated in the beggining – There isn’t a proper and truly BiS list for Prot Paladins.
P.S: The owner of the toon is known as Talarina.
You can also see the overall stats that I have using this gemming, glyphing and gear with other of my paladins in this screenshot:
Buffs beings used with the screenshot taken:
Stats with buffs included:
Again this is my OVERALL PERFORMANCE GEAR. Not my armor set, not my stamina set. This is what I believe to be the most balanced set between both – And that’s my main reason of stating that is in fact my preference for all around performance. With the correct procs and fully buffed (ring, libram, weapon enchant) I hit the 45~46k armor without any armor pieces.
EDIT: I’m not trying to be an elitist here. I am just trying to help the new players – With this don’t flame, don’t insult, don’t rage. We all have different oppinions. Constructive criticism is welcome – I’ll be more than willing to give answers and read proper criticism. For you to be wise everyday you shall learn.
If my English fails in any means – I’m sorry but English is my second language. So if it has some misspells or errors in the grammar – I’m sorry.
I’m also adding the different tanking sets that you want to get for each situation. Working on that to make a proper post.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your time! Hope this guide helps you to understand Protection Paladins properly! Enjoy!