Wow Protection Warrior Tank Guide

Protection warriors. How much pain in these words. An amazing class that always stays in the B-tier. Only the most skillful players, who learn rotation, logic, and features, can play this tank, as well as the average S-tier players. But if you want to PROWN all those bears and DH’s — catch this WoW protection warrior tank guide. Right here, just now, learn how to:

  • Optimally build up your class to play comfortably in AVG keys and heroic raids.
  • How to rebuild your class into the High Keys and Mythraids mode.
  • How to die with honor in PvP battles.
  • How to be a pervert, collect a “very special” build, and increase your effectiveness to the max.

And of course, learn how to break the cursed circle of “charge, shield block, release.” So if you’re ready — let’s learn how to become the best protection warrior in your realm!

Protection Warrior Overview

Note: First and foremost, it doesn’t matter what you will see in this guide; you should follow two rules. Simulate yourself, and if you’re still not sure about the simulations, use the dummy… trying out your rotation on a real dummy is usually the best way to increase your skill, maximize your DPS, and build a class that will not only be the best on the damage meter but will also be comfortable to play in real keys & raids.

Okay, let’s compare the actual Protection Warrior tank from the Dragonflight with the Shadowlands tank. You’d find that Protection Warrior, for now, is much better than it was in SL.

  • Stances are back, and it means that you can stance dancing for different situations. How about doing a big pull with all defensive cooldowns and maximizing DPS by using the combat stance? Or using the defensive stance for a boss to minimize the possibility of wiping a run.
  • Leech in the new talent trees is back!

And of course, you can combine different builds from SL, now in one DF build. But this information is important only for old players. What can a PVE Protection Warrior offer to newbies or guys who are playing this class for the first time?

  • High mobility, with at least 5 skills for moving out your butts when things get too hot.
  • Simple threat control.
  • Complex gameplay.
  • The least HPS and DPS among all tanks, for all standard builds.

Of course, some weird builds exist, which can maximize your HPS, DPS and transform your B-class Protowarrior into at least an A-class Prot warrior. But to collect it, you have to spend the entire season; that’s why we do not pay enough attention to those builds.

Warrior in Tank Tier-list

As of today, PVE Protection Warrior is not meta, but it’s still not the worst tank for the average player.


The current Tier-list for Mythic+ keys:

  • Guardian Druid (S Tier): Tough and self-healing beast.
  • Vengeance Demon Hunter (A Tier): Agile and magic-resistant demon.
  • Protection Paladin (B Tier): Good at smashing single targets.
  • Protection Warrior (B Tier): Versatile with solid control.
  • Brewmaster Monk (B Tier): Dodge and weave, smooth like a brew.
  • Blood Death Knight (B Tier): Drinks blood, but offensive cooldowns can be ouchie.

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For raids, all are a bit different. First and primal, almost all the tanks, are equal to each other. There are a bit more druids, cause they’re meta for keys, and it’s simpler to collect gear for a quick raid start. And for mythic runs, always the most comfortable is still the Blood DK, cause their save Cooldowns. But in case, the tier list for the Raids by classes is next:

  • Blood Death Knight (A Tier): Demonstrates exceptional survivability, making them an outstanding choice for raids due to their ability to sustain themselves effectively.
  • Brewmaster Monk (A Tier): Exhibits remarkable agility and damage smoothing capabilities, allowing them to excel in raid encounters with precise control and evasive maneuvers.
  • Protection Paladin (B Tier): Possesses commendable single-target performance, but falls slightly behind the top tier in terms of overall effectiveness in raid settings.
  • Vengeance Demon Hunter (B Tier): Holds a respectable position with notable resilience against magical threats, though not reaching the same level of dominance as higher-tier tanks in raids.
  • Protection Warrior (B Tier): Showcases versatility and crowd control capabilities, yet falls short in comparison to the premier tanks when it comes to raw effectiveness in raids.
  • Guardian Druid (B Tier): Demonstrates substantial self-healing and crowd control capabilities, but does not quite match the top-tier tanks in terms of durability and overall raid performance.


In PvP, Protection Warriors are not great. That’s all you need to know about the Tier list for arenas and battlegrounds.

The Best Race for Protection Warriors in 10.1

One Of The Best Races For Protection Warrior In World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight

Okay, firstly note that racial abilities are not as valuable as you might think. But! If you want to maximize your Protection Warrior strengths, pay attention to:

(Ally) Dwarves — because of Stoneform, which clears all your debuffs. As a protection warrior, you do not have enough abilities to remove curses and other debuffs, so this can help you stay alive in critical moments.

(Horde) Highmountain Tauren — because of their mass taunt ability, which increases control if you lose threat, for example, after a resurrection.

This is not a strict recommendation, but currently, the top choices from DF Season 2 are Highmountain Taurens and Dwarves. Is it a coincidence? Who knows, but if you want to increase your powers and squeeze everything from your protection warrior, this might be the best choice.

But, please do not worry. All those racial abilities are situational and do not change core mechanics. Even if you play as Vulperas with their dodging first attack ability.

Protection Warrior Guide Basics

Note: Yup, I know that you’re a professional player and can time all the cooldowns precisely, and you know the button rotation for each situation. Here, I’ll provide some simple recommendations that make the game easier for the first few months of playing.

Okay, first, you should know that your attacking rotation, almost all the time, will stay with the following buttons:

  1. Charge or Shield Charge to start the battle.
  2. Shield block.
  3. Shield Slam deals damage to a single target.
  4. Revenge deals almost all AoE physical damage.
  5. Thunder Clap deals with the other part of AoE damage. With perfect anger management, Thunder Clap will deal as much AoE damage as it comes from Revenge.

It doesn’t matter which situation you are in—dungeon, mythic, raid, PvP, or in the open world. These buttons form the foundation of your rotation, and on this foundation, you create the logic.

Protection Warrior logic

The Warrior is a rage generation class. What does it mean? Simple, you generate rage with a basic rotation and some cooldowns. The generated rage is then spent on defenses.

There are two main defenses:

  • Shield block: You have to manage your entire rotation to increase the duration of Shield Block to 100%. The reason is that Shield Block reduces almost all incoming physical damage.
  • Ignore Pain: Ignore Pain requires a lot of rage, but it reduces another 50% of incoming physical and magic damage.

All the spent rage affects the cooldowns of your main abilities, such as Avatar and Shield Wall. Each ten spent rage heals you for 1%, and every 240 rage gives you a free Ignore Pain and a burst of damage for your Shield Slam or Thunder Clap.

So, to be effective, you should spend rage to reduce cooldowns. Reduced cooldowns will generate more rage. The more rage you have, the faster the cooldowns come back. The faster the cooldowns, the more rage you generate. And as you go higher up, Ignore Pain becomes even more valuable.

Rotation priority for CDs and buttons


Your starter is always Avatar. It increases your damage and gives you a burst of damage and rage. Then, depending on the cooldowns, you either charge or Shield Charge to the pack and use Demolition Shout.

Now you have enough rage to use Shield Block twice and maybe one Ignore Pain. After quickly spending some extra rage for defenses, use Thunderous Roar with a Ravager as your main threat generator and rage generator for the next defenses.

If Shield Charge is available, click on it to get extra rage. After you’ve used all your starter cooldowns, you go back to the rotation of Revenge / Thunder Clap / Shield Slam.

Note: You shouldn’t worry about miss-clicking Shield Slam. As usual, when you use Thunder Clap with Revenge, it procs automatically. So, for the first 20 keys, you can chaotically use the main rotation and focus only on cooldowns, health, and rage.

And remember about you will earn a lot of gold in keys, even as the protection warrior.


Here are different situations. If you’re the first active tank, your rotation will be the same as the key rotation, but you have to pay attention to Impending Victory, use more Shield Slam, and, of course, spam Execute during the finishing phase.

Pay more attention to defensive cooldowns, and do not forget to use different talents in raids.

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Micro conclusion

So, how should you play a protection warrior? You have to always start with a burst (if possible) and generate rage from Shield Charge, Intervene, or the classical Charge. Then, randomly use Shield Slam, Revenge, and Thunder Clap. If you feel that you have more rage than you need, always use Ignore Pain. If you feel more comfortable (in low-level content), you can spend extra rage on Revenge to deal damage.

As your Defensive and Burst cooldowns are ready, always use them. With experience, you’ll better understand situations where you need to save exactly one of the defensive CDs or where it’s more profitable to burst all at once.

Protection warrior Leveling

There’s nothing special to say when you’re leveling your protection warrior because each tank class is an immortal beast during leveling. It doesn’t matter whether you collect critical strike, use Shield Wall, or other offensive abilities. In any case, it’s very hard to die while leveling. That’s why there isn’t any specific advice on how to level your warrior from 1 to 69.

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You might ask, what about instances while leveling? Blizzard created a broken Dungeon search system with automatic scaling mobs for players of different levels. It doesn’t matter what skills, abilities, and how much critical strike you collect, as the range of scaling is always random and frustrating.

So, there’s only one piece of advice until you reach level 70: don’t look for guides for talent trees, and don’t collect builds for different tank specs. Just experiment with your new protection warrior and learn the logic of how it works. It will be very helpful in unusual situations and may be valuable when you reach end game content.

Protection warrior stats with explanation for Dragonflight 10.1

Top 1 Protection Warrior Stats

Okay, here’s a simple answer and a more complex one. The simple answer remains the same: collect the highest possible gear level, maximize strength and stamina, and don’t worry too much about secondary stats.

But if you want to become a pro who controls all CDs, parameters, and weak auras, and increase your chances to become a top 100 world tank, you should pay attention to the following stat priorities:

  • Primary stat: Primary stat also adds your block value, critical chance, and other passive bonuses valuable for dealing damage and damage reduction.
  • Speed: Speed decreases the cooldowns of almost all abilities. Thunder Clap, Shield Slam, and even Revenge will all be faster. Speed is essential for proper anger management. Each 10% of speed decreases the cooldown of Shield Block by 1 second, leading to more Avatars, Rallying Cries, and Shield Wall casts, generating more rage and making you more effective.
  • Versatility: Versatility is more valuable than Mastery and Critical Strike because, besides Spell Reflection, it can save you from magical incoming damage. Additionally, versatility gives a damage bonus to all spells and auto attacks.
  • Mastery: With enough mastery, Shield Block with the talent “Brace for Impact” provides about 80% of block value. Moreover, enough mastery gives you a chance to critically block, which multiplies incoming damage.
  • Critical Strike: Important for damage and dodge. In raids, Critical Strike will be higher than Mastery because it increases the critical damage from Execute, which can account for about 50% of your overall DPS in raids if you have enough Critical Strike.

So strive to follow this stat priority: Ilvl > Speed > Versatility > Mastery = Critical Strike.

Best Protection Warrior PvE Builds

At first glance, the new talent system based on the class tree looks good and flexible. However, the truth is that there’s often only one meta build that dominates all situations. Yet, as the previous addon for the world of Warcraft has shown, if you collect enough leech, you can experiment with free talent points.

Therefore, for each spec, we’ll provide one class tree that is optimal for all situations. Afterward, we’ll show you some weird builds that can increase your damage output against multiple enemies.


Battle scarred veteran is almost useless, similar to brutal vitality in raids. Therefore, do not waste your time on those passive abilities.

The foundation of a Raid PVE build for a protection warrior in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is to maximize your active survivability (defensive cooldowns for boss abilities) and increase single-target damage.

Shield Slam Unleashes And Battle Stance Talents Are The Key To Success


The key to the raid is Thunderous Roar, which creates a damage burst and adds one bleed to the target, while also maximizing the effect from Shield Charge.

But the icing on the cake is Sudden Death, which allows you to use Execute (if it procs) on a target at any time.

High Keys

The key build is based on passive survivability, increasing the uptime of Shield Block, and using Brutal Vitality to convert your AoE damage back into healing.

In all other aspects, the High Keys Talent class tree is similar to the raiding tree.

Raid One Handed Weapon Protection Warrior Class Tree


PVP builds

There’s no one-size-fits-all build for PvP Protection warriors because it doesn’t matter whether you focus on a critical strike to increase your dodge or enough attack power. There’s nothing that can save you from magical incoming damage.

The warrior class lacks sufficient self-healing abilities, making it almost useless for PvP battles.

However, if you think you’re brave enough to challenge your powers, you can check out this talent tree.

Protection Warriors With Enough Critical Strike And Attack Power


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Rare/Weird Builds

Note: This is the experimental part. The advice in this section is only for experienced players or for players who are overgeared for their keys. It’s also for players who are willing to spend tons of time farming enough leech to compensate for their lack of survivability.

So, if you’re confident in your skills and want to add some fun to your gameplay, you can use some tricks that will make your protection warrior great again.

First Fun Build

First and foremost, forget about Endurance Training and Shockwave. Instead, use Titanic Throw and Improved Heroic Throw.

Why? Now you can have a real alternative for Shield Charge with a macro that combines your usual charge and Titanic Throw. Titanic Throw with Deep Wounds will give you extra threat (much more than Thunder Clap with Avatar) and much more damage. Also, with two charges and Shield Charge, you will have much more mobility and the possibility to actively kite a group without losing threat. And last but not least, with this build, you can forget about your taunt ability because your Titanic Throw acts like a mass taunt spell, giving you enough threat as a starter and increasing threat if the prot warrior is actively kiting.

Extra safe build for not experienced warriors

Another build is very safe if you’re not skilled enough but still want to go for high keys. You may lose a little damage, but it’s much simpler to keep track of your Shield Block durations.

All you need for this build is to choose Unnerving Focus and Bolster. With this setup, you can get an extra 15 seconds for Shield Block each pack and an additional 50% rage generation at the start (and save your burst CDs for the middle of the battle). However, on the other hand, all this extra survivability and rage steal your damage and threat. If you don’t have a damage dealer who can compensate for the 7% loss in your damage, you may become a burden for your group.

But you will be an immortal burden! This build also works well with Barbaric Training, and you may not need to use Leeching Strikes.

Since the Protection warrior is still on the B-list of key tanks, you can experiment and combine both builds to gain an advantage in different situations. But you have to remember that in each experimental build, you lose Shockwave, which is a strong control spell.

Enchantments and Consumables

Here’s all maximally standard exactly for protection warrior, so you can use this ordinary guide, to gear you at the start of your journey.


Go for gems that give you Haste, it’s the best stat for Protection Warriors! These gems rock:

Do not prioritize critical strike chances for your Protection Warrior. Instead, always prefer attack speed. The reason is that attack speed reduces your Shield Block cooldown. The main rule remains the same: increase the duration of active Ignore Pain and strive to collect 100% duration of Shield Block value during the key.

Enchants for protection warriors

Here’s nothing special… All the maximally ordinary.

RingsDevotion of Haste
WeaponSophic Devotion for big AoE pulls
or Frozen Devotion
CloakRegenerative Leech
ChestWaking Stats
WaistShadowed Belt Clasp
BracersDevotion of Leech
LegsFrosted Armor Kit
BootsWatcher’s Loam

Potions & Oils for protection warriors

For Protection, go for these potions and vials:

Pop your combat potion with Bloodlust or Heroism for max damage. For healing, use Refreshing Healing Potion.

Feast on either Feisty Fish Sticks or the Grand Banquet of the Kalu’ak for food buffs.

And don’t forget to grab those Weapon Oils and Weightstones for extra gear power!

Promodrial stone gems — the onyx crucible

The new Primordial Stone Gems are added in Patch 10.0.7. They fit into the Onyx Annulet ring. But right now, the Onyx Annulet isn’t worth it if you have rings above 428+ Item Level.

For single-target, go with Freezing Ice Stone and Desirous Blood Stone with Prophetic Twilight Stone.

For AoE (2+ targets, like Mythic+), use Storm Infused Stone and Desirous Blood Stone with Prophetic Twilight Stone.

Protection Warrior Gearing

Top Protection Warrior Armory

East or West, but the Onyx Crucible set is the best. In all others, you have to pay attention to stats, not to exactly gear.

After you collect the Onyx Crucible set you should focus on striving to collect:

  1. As much haste as possible. Recommended for about 39%
  2. At least 19% of critical strike
  3. All others for mastery and Versatility. 

And do not forget to collect Beacon to the Beyond trinket. And Oninous Chromatic Essence. For today, these two trinkets are the best for a raid, as for M+ Keys.

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Of course, items from a raid, like primal molten defender are still rocks, but If you can close the Mythic raid and farm that item, be honest with yourself, you do not need this guide.

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Protection Warrior Addons, Tips, and Hints

In the global arena of World of Warcraft, addons play a pivotal role. Our educational WoW Best Addons Dragonflight guide is a resource for learning about the top addons for WoW: Dragonflight retail. It provides a comparative analysis and explains the importance and application of each addon in the current expansion.

There’s nothing particularly special in the end game content specifically for Protection Warriors. You should install a WeakAura for each M+ key and raid to know when to use your Shield Block effectively.

You should also install Deadly Boss Mods (DBM) to see all Boss cooldowns and avoid unnecessary deaths.

Additionally, using the Details addon is helpful to analyze your statistics after completing an instance. It allows you to learn from your mistakes and identify areas where you performed well.

Mythic Dungeon Tools are essential for each tank as it helps you learn, create, and test new routes for dungeons.


To be honest, there’s not much that’s new. You can use some macros to make your life simpler, like a charge on mouseover. These macros have been available for Protection Warriors since the Wrath of the Lich King.

👉 Charge and Intervene on the cursor.

#showtooltip Charge

/cast [target=mouseover,help,exists,nodead] Intervene; Intervene

/cast [target=target,harm,exists,nodead] Charge; Charge

👉 Heroic Leap on the cursor.

#showtooltip Heroic Leap

/cast [@cursor] Heroic Leap

👉 Pummel on the focus or the main target if there is no focus.

#showtooltip Pummel

/cast [@focus, harm, exists][@target] Pummel

👉 Storm Bolt on the cursor. When pressing the right mouse button, it casts :StormBolt: Storm Bolt on the primary target.

#showtooltip Storm Bolt

/cast [@mouseover, harm, exists][@target] Storm Bolt

👉 Stance switching in one button.


/cast [stance:2]! Defensive Stance ;!Battle Stance

Final thoughts: The king of passive damage

Okay, all through the article, we’ve discussed how the Protection Warrior may not be the best class in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight. However, even if you don’t plan to play high-level keys in the current season, this class can still be a lot of fun.

One of the best things about the Protection Warrior is its simplicity. It’s a “spend more to take more” kind of class. Additionally, the Protection Warrior is excellent at passive dealing damage. For example, Shield Slam unleashes Earthen Smash, which deals AoE damage to nearby enemies, making it a very powerful ability.

Charge and Thunder Clap create many bleeding effects, and all those cries increase your damage reduction. Even if you’re not competing for the top of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational (MDI), you’ll still find some fun skills in your spellbook.

Lastly, when you compare the Protection Warrior to other tank specs, you’ll find that it’s very straightforward. Perhaps the most straightforward might only be the Protection Paladin with the rotation “Bubble, wipe a group, wipe yourself.”

Interested in playing as DPS? Check out our guides for Arms Warrior and Fury Warrior.