Protection Warrior Gear, Tier Sets & BiS – Legion 7.3.5
This section of the Protection Warrior guide covers everything you need to find the best Protection Warrior gear and Protection Warrior Tier sets. It tells you all about gear: stat priorities, armor, tier sets, BiS recommendations from dungeons and raids, and legendary item rankings. This guide is written by
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Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
Protection Warriors wear Plate armor, a one-handed weapon and shield, and prefer defensive trinkets.
New Legendary Ring in Antorus
was added in Antorus. It's easy to obtain, simply open up the instance, then kill Argus on any difficulty.
But is it any good?
No. It is not good. You can wear it if you don't have any alternatives, otherwise please don't.
Here's an overview of the importance of the set bonuses on the Prot Warrior tier sets:
Tier 21 Bonuses
T21 2-piece bonus:
to have no cooldown while
is active. Because
is a 30% increase to
, always try to have it active while
is up! With at least 25% Haste (which is fairly easy to accomplish in current gear), this means you can cast
5 times in a row. This is a massive single-target DPS and Rage generation increase. This bonus is a total game-changer - it's amazing! It synergizes with the Tier 20 bonuses, which will probably result in both of them being nerfed to compensate. Until that point, wearing 2-piece T21 and 4-piece T20 is a viable defensive option if you have high item level pieces of T20.
T21 4-piece bonus: Blocking attacks while
is active grants an additional 400% Attack Power to the shield. This bonus had a very negative reaction from the community initially, but it is good despite the lack of flair or synergy with other bonuses. You do
need an active
when you successfully block for the bonus to function! If you block an attack while
is not active, you will gain
. You should cast
immediately in order to not waste the increase from
Rage generation from T20 2-piece and 4-piece is slightly superior overall to the T21 4-piece bonus, but the T21 4-piece is presently worth more
value and generally much higher item level across gear (aside from Titanforging). The loss of Rage to fuel
makes T21 slightly weaker, if item level is equal. Since T21 is competitive in terms of pure defense, and item level is not even remotely equal under normal circumstances, you should wear T21 4-piece as soon as it's available unless you're some lucky person with a super-high item level T20 4-piece.
Tier 20 Bonuses
T20 2-piece bonus:
Item - Warrior T20 Protection 2P Bonus
provides an additional 80 Rage whenever you cast
. This can translate into a fair amount of extra healing or damage via
T20 4-piece bonus:
Item - Warrior T20 Protection 4P Bonus
can shave about 20-25 seconds off the cooldown of
, increasing its usage rate (and Rage generation) by roughly 40%. This translates to about 30 more Rage per minute, which is unfortunately not a huge gain for a 4-piece bonus. If you spec into
(forgoing potentially useful talents in
), this brings the cooldown of
down to ~30 seconds, or about .66 more uses per minute from the 4p. This is worth ~53 Rage/minute, which is only 2/3 the base amount provided by the 2p. It's good, but not great. It is definitely worth wearing if you're not giving up much item level. If you do have to sacrifice a lot of item level to achieve this bonus, it may be worth sacrificing.
Tier 19 Bonuses
T19 2-piece bonus:
provides an increase to damage reduction while Shield Block is active, making maintaining its uptime even more important.
T19 4-piece bonus:
, in conjunction with the prior bonus, provides Rage via Critical Blocks, making Mastery even better!
Antorus, the Burning Throne - Best in Slot
Aiming for best in slot gear in raids is a goal best left for once you've completed progression, as any upgrade is worth using when you're still working on bosses and a BiS piece may not drop for weeks or months. Nonetheless, knowing what Prot Warrior gear pieces are your best options before heading into raid is a smart idea. Also, your mileage may vary based upon Warforging/Titanforging and your Legendaries!
Additionally, I have included all four pieces of tier despite the T20 Protection Warrior 4 piece bonus being, at this point, worth combining with the T21 2 piece. I still expect T20 bonuses to be nerfed soon, which will push Warriors toward the T21 bonuses. Additionally additionally(!), I included
being the best Legendary available. If you have
, then you should wear them instead and use
as your fourth piece of tier. Both are horrendously itemized, so use whichever is higher item level.
Tomb of Sargeras - Best in Slot
This section will be removed once Antorus has been out for a couple of weeks
As a note:
(crafted via Inscription) is tremendously powerful, the best physical damage reduction trinket in the game.
, which drops from the world boss
, is extremely strong for its item level, and outperforms most raid trinkets.
, and Strength/Haste stat stick trinkets from World Quests are extremely powerful for their item level, and can be superior to many Normal, Heroic, and even Mythic trinkets from raids.
rolled to Haste or Mastery is probably the best trinket a Protection Warrior can obtain.
In dungeons, many DPS-flagged trinkets like
can provide damage buffs useful for cleaving down add waves.
: Haste with an Armor proc, a great trinket. Drops from Assault on the Violet Hold, making it real tough to come by at high item levels.
: The Critical Strike is not good, but the damage reduction effect is strong. The debuff is fairly easy to maintain, and worth 8% or more damage reduction when fully stacked. It has a situational advantage over Armor trinkets due to affecting spell damage, but is not generally as potent against physical damage. It's good, but not great for Protection Warriors. The ability to force 3-stacks through Battle Cry is a slight advantage, but of limited practical value. Drops from Darkheart Thicket.
: A strong Haste proc that grows slightly stronger when you wear the decently-itemized neck
(which drops from Court of Stars). Drops from The Arcway.
After almost an entire expansion of weak and uninteresting tank trinkets, Antorus, the Burning Throne has a lot for tanks to be excited about. Hell, it's about time!
is probably the hardest-to-acquire of all trinkets from Antorus. Maybe not, we don't know yet! It's also the best trinket by a ridiculous margin. If you get it, wear it. Period!
is unfortunately undertuned. In raids, you may have no choice but to wear this - at least until you acquire a
- but it's just kinda weak. Sorry!
is a great trinket for overall damage reduction. The "Suffering melee attacks reduces the cooldown of this ability by 1 sec" component can be "gamed" to tremendous effect, and this trinket will seriously reduce your damage taken overall. It does have drawbacks when tanking AoE. If one target deals significantly more autoattack damage than the rest, making sure the trinket's active effect is not wasted on weak hits can be a little tougher. Generally speaking, this trinket will clean up in AoE, and the Haste is just icing on top. This thing is
is another strong trinket, possibly the best overall tank trinket from Antorus. 12 seconds uptime every minute is very good, and can easily be fit in between defensive cooldowns or used to fill downtime in Shield Block if actively tanking 100% of the time. For fights in which you swap aggro back and forth, this trinket gets even stronger since you can have it active for a much larger percentage of overall time. It's great!
are an interesting pair of trinkets.
is good on its own and becomes much better when combined with a co-tank wearing
is not great unless you desperately need the Effective Health afforded by the Stamina. Each of these trinkets can be swapped to the other on a 30 second cooldown, and they can be swapped in combat. This can result in some interaction with your co-tank to have the best-optimized setup between the two of you depending on what each of you are doing at a given moment. Overall, they will probably both fall behind other, better options.
is a good concept, but not a great trinket. The Critical Strike is a poor stat, and a randomly-chosen procced HoT, Shield or vampiric AoE aura every 20 seconds just isn't enough to compete with more consistent and effective trinkets available in Antorus (or Haste/Strength stat sticks, for that matter).
is not an amazing trinket overall, but it can be amazingly strong in the right situations. Being unable to use abilities or move while the trinket is active is a tremendous handicap, so this will only really be important for extreme cooldown uses. That said, it will be pretty amazing for them. A 960 version of this trinket absorbs 24 million damage for 3 seconds. That is an amazingly potent defensive cooldown!
is a Strength trinket with a large Armor proc. It can provide a good deal of physical damage reduction, but it is unreliable. The fire damage when it procs is a small bonus. It is an alright choice overall, but not as versatile or reliable as
or most Haste proc trinkets and stat sticks.
is, in many ways, similar to
. That's not a compliment, but
is at least better against single targets. It still pales in comparison to Strength/Haste trinkets.
provides a chance to be HoT'ed when you take damage. It's not a bad idea, but the tuning is a little underwhelming and Versatility isn't as valuable as Haste.
is a Stamina trinket with a damage reduction on-use. This may have a specific application for some players, but chances are good this will never be a better choice than a comparable Strength/Haste trinket.
offers the versatility to choose between reducing the cooldown of
or extending its duration. Both can be good choices, depending on what you need at the moment. Mastery is a good stat, too, so this can have real value in the right situations. Otherwise, (broken record time!) a Strength/Haste trinket will generally be a better choice.
: The passive Mastery is good, and the positive effect of the on-use ability is compelling. While the negative effect seems quite bad, this trinket is good on tank-swap fights. Use the trinket a few seconds before a swap for a free
with little to no negative repercussions.
: While not as strong as Infernal Contract, this trinket is nonetheless solid for reducing damage, and works well against bosses on which you receive no breaks in taking serious damage.
: Even though it has Crit and a negative component to its death protection effect, being able to survive a random tank death is
powerful. Now that the trinket has a six minute internal cooldown on its life-saving effect, its value has diminished considerably. Surviving death is still very powerful, so this trinket can have some use, but it is no longer a top priority.
: The passive Haste is excellent, but the automatic damage reduction when your health drops has not scaled well. As a result, this trinket is forgettable.
: Provides a large amount of Strength and a huge Versatility proc. This trinket is worth a ton of damage, damage reduction, and self-healing. The inability to fully control the Ichor spawn times is a drawback, but you can control how quickly you pick them up. A great trinket overall.
: This works well against autoattack damage and bosses who have special abilities that hit multiple times in quick succession. This trinket has been fixed, and it longer has a chance to refresh its duration. It is still among the best defensive trinkets available from Emerald Nightmare in single target tanking situations. It causes the affected target's damage output to cycle down over twenty seconds, then snap back up. This trinket is good for a novice, great for an expert.
: A large amount of passive Haste with a moderate Leech proc on a 1-minute cooldown is a decent damage and self-healing trinket for tanks - particularly in AoE scenarios. This is categorized as a dps spec trinket, but a well-run raid should recognize its potential for tanks. If you are pugging or trying to coin it, this will be a tougher acquisition.
The first four Legendaries are Protection-specific, and the last is available to all
s. All of these Legendaries have uniquely compelling effects, but some are less valuable than others. Blizzard made huge strides with Patch 7.2 toward making all legendaries equal in value, and most "suboptimal" legendaries now have better effects or extra secondary stats to make them more appealing.
: The only Warrior legendary that directly increases DPS, it provides a strong damage increase and a decent defensive component. Should you have multiple Legendary items to choose from, these are the best all-around option. #1 in the "3 Best Protection Warrior Legendaries" trifecta.
: One of the best Legendary options for AoE tanking. It scales proportionally with the number of targets you're tanking, and has a great Legendary effect on a well-itemized piece of gear. Patch 7.2 took the already-good effect and tripled it. The rich get richer! #2 in the "3 Best Protection Warrior Legendaries" trifecta.
: These give a steady stream of self-healing. They are well-itemized and scale doubly with gear (increased health means more healing, and increased Haste means more rage), providing passive-but-noticeable healing. Patch 7.2 added Versatility, pushing these from "very good" to "great!" #3 in the "3 Best Protection Warrior Legendaries" trifecta.
: Gaining additional Shield Wall casts in a fight can be a humongous defensive gain, so this ring is capable of being pretty strong. The increased Rage generation is nice, if not a huge change. If it does not provide an additional Shield Wall, or does not provide it quickly enough, then it is not particularly strong on its own. The itemization is not great, so the value can vary all the way from minimal impact to game-changingly awesome. This interacts very positively with the Tier 21 2-piece bonus, which is nice. Nice enough to jump into the top 3? No, but nice enough to jump into the top 4! =|
is both an offensive tool and a decent defensive cooldown. Its cooldown is reasonably short for a 30% absorb shield, and as a percentage health-based shield, it can be combined with Last Stand for a very large self-shield. It is a decent single target dps option.
allows Protection Warriors to take
at the same time. This is pretty good for Warriors without multiple pieces of the trifecta. Otherwise it will come up short.
grant one additional charge to both
. This has the potential to be great in the right situation, providing extra defenses when you need them most. Outside of situations in which you need an extra charge of
, this will probably not see any use. This is especially true if you already have
is an interesting legendary. These boots can easily provide 19-25% movement speed at all times, and turn
into a free sprint! That's quite helpful for moving out of mechanics and getting across a room quickly. The itemization is also solid. Not the first choice by any means, but definitely an underrated Legendary.
is a crafted Legendary belt added in Patch 7.2. The itemization is very good, and the effects are decently helpful for world questing, dungeons, and even raids. With the addition of secondary stats to most other "utility" legendaries, this belt's three sockets make it comparable to other suboptimal legendaries, but not significantly better than the worst options.
: The itemization is good, and it rewards using Intercept defensively. After the buffs to nearly every other non-throughput legendary, this is one of the weakest options.
provides two additional charges to
, sending the class' already-high mobility through the stratosphere. Beyond a few extra bursts of mobility, this legendary provides very little overall. It is at least well-itemized. Making a gear set with both
equipped is helpful for out-of-combat mobility in dungeons. Just remember to switch back to your normal gear set before getting back into combat!
is pretty easy to obtain. That's about where the positives end. It's just not a great Legendary for tanks. Sorry!
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