Protection Warrior Talents
This section of the Protection Warrior guide provides an overview of all talents, information on which talents work well in different situations, and popular builds in Wowhead's talent calculator. This guide is written by
creates videos on Youtube
and authors the
Blood Death Knight Guide
. He has previously authored the Proving Grounds Tanking and Brewmaster Monk guides on Wowhead. Updated for the latest patch.
Rotation & Abilities
Macros & Addons
s don't have a single catch-all talent setup, so in lieu of that here are two suggested talent builds based on situation and skill level.
This build is useful for raiding, dungeons, and world content. It maximizes defenses at the loss of some offensive potential.
This build turns
(one of your most reliable defensive cooldowns) into an extremely strong offensive cooldown, and maximizes your offensive potential.
Tier 1 Talents
is a 3-second stun that hits a cone in front of the casting
. It deals minimal damage, but can interrupt casts and reduce damage taken against a pack of stunnable mobs. Useful in dungeons, not as useful in raids.
is a single-target, medium range 3-second stun that deals modest damage. Because its damage is so low, it's not worth using against mobs that cannot be stunned, and most stunnable single targets are not very dangerous. Potentially useful for world PvP, but not competitive in dungeons and raids.
into a light dps and CC ability. The damage is modest, dealing only about 30% of a
. While a 2.5-second stun is fairly short, it is not on any kind of diminishing return whatsoever. This makes it very useful as a ranged interrupt against stunnable mobs, although the minimum range can cause some problems. With the nerf to
duration, this will probably become the go-to talent in the tier for most players.
Tier 2 Talents
s a reliable self-healing tool at a small cost. If you are regularly getting killing blows, this talent may lose some value compared to the baseline
, but this is otherwise the only option in the row that provides any personal benefit. It's not worth giving up the benefits of the other options while raiding, but this can be a useful choice for dungeons or solo content.
provides group healing utility, but does not affect the talented
. This can add up to a lot of healing in a raid situation, and is typically worth the loss of the self-healing provided by
into a decent defensive cooldown for other members of your group. This is particularly strong for tank-swap raid bosses, and can provide numerous extra defensive cooldowns to your co-tank.
Tier 3 Talents
provide a modest damage increase. This is simple and effective, especially while using
, but it does not provide the burst of
. It is a competitive choice that can have extremely high uptime when using
, but lacks the maximum burst DPS potential of
increases the damage of Revenge by 5% for each target it hits, up to a maximum of 5 targets. This is the best option for sustained AoE dps. It is considerably weaker than the alternatives in single target, so it works really well in Mythic dungeons, but not so well in raids. It's particularly good during Skittish and Fortified Mythic+ weeks.
is the best option for burst damage output or bosses that have increased damage taken phases, and should be combined with Battle Cry and other cooldowns to maximize damage. This pairs extremely well with
Tier 4 Talents
gives a unique utility to
. Removing the cooldown from
allows you to
multiple adds in quick succession, which is somewhat useful. The increased movement speed on taunted enemies is the star of the show, and can be tremendously helpful when moving bosses. Since Monks can Taunt-sprint mobs at all times, having one as a co-tank makes this talent much less useful. The reduced cooldown on Berserker Rage can also be somewhat useful if you need to break fears or chain Taunt regularly. Once you have 2 pieces of Tier 20 gear, this will also interact positively with
reduces the cooldown of your strongest mobility skill by 33% and gives it even more mobility! Yes!
simply gives 50% increased range to
has a short range, but is usually capable of hitting all mobs currently attacking you, so this talent is underwhelming in most situations. If adds are scattered or you
don't need mobility, this is a fine fallback talent.
Tier 5 Talents
causes every autoattack to effectively cast Devastate. This frees up global cooldowns to cast Revenge, and is a huge offensive and defensive gain. This is the go-to talent in the row for virtually all situations, and should be used as soon as you are at all comfortable with the class. The community has come to agree that tracking the autoattack timer and delaying Shield Slam casts is a larger potential loss than potential gain, so just use your abilities as they come up!
increases the value of
based upon how much health you are missing. Assuming your health averages around 60%, this translates into the most self-healing by a huge margin. It is strongest against constant sources of damage that keep your health fairly low, but don't run the risk of bursting you from high health to dead in a single shot. Those situations are few and far between. This talent lacks the major appeal of either of the other options in the tier and is rarely, if ever, worth using.
provides passive and active benefits, and is a fine talent for players not yet uncomfortable with
. It makes you much more resilient against boss abilities that deal burst damage, and provides a 20% increase to Ignore Pain. This is even a self-healing gain over
if your health averages above 75%, although that only occurs in trivial content. This is most useful in two situations: beginner tanks having trouble making the most of defensive cooldowns,
, or for experienced players tanking cutting-edge content that deals burst damage large enough to kill a tank without
's 20% increased health buff. With the nerf to only 20% in Patch 7.2.5, this talent's niche has become incredibly thin, and it should hardly ever be taken over
Tier 6 Talents
provides the most bang for your Rage buck with
. This talent interacts positively with Parry (free Revenge casts still trigger the Rage cost reduction for Ignore Pain!), and translates into increased usage rates of both skills over the other talents in the tree. This interacts very positively with
, and using the two together is
recommended for hard-hitting content.
provides up to 15% Haste, which is a lot of damage and damage reduction. Unfortunately, it is much stronger against packs of adds than bosses, and doesn't increase Rage generation as much as
discounts Rage costs. This should only be taken as a simpler, easier option for new players looking to get comfortable with the class before transitioning into using
into a solid offensive cooldown that combos well with
for fights with burn phases. It is generally the best dps talent in the tier, especially during Mythic dungeons or on fast fights in raid with tons of burst damage. It pairs extremely well with
. It is a defensive sacrifice, but the offensive returns are
worth it - if survival is not an issue.
Tier 7 Talents
reduces the cooldowns of your biggest abilities whenever you spend Rage. This can be helpful against the right raid boss, but comes at the loss of a lot of constant damage reduction and output. It is only worth using in progression raiding for niche scenarios in which you absolutely need to cast
more often. In Mythic dungeons, it provides a substantial increase to usage rates on offensive and defensive cooldowns, and works well with
to maximize your dps on AoE pulls.
increases the bonus
damage by an additional 30%, and makes
adds 1 second to the remaining duration of
. This is a massive offensive and defensive gain in single target, and is the go-to talent in this tier for the majority of raid tanking situations.
is a decent damage output tool against AoE packs when combined with other offensive cooldowns, such as
. It also provides a dramatic burst of Parry, which reduces autoattack damage intake and increases the chance of free Revenge procs. On its own or in single target, it is quite weak, providing weak damage output and much less damage reduction than
. It can be a good option for relatively weak-hitting content with lots of mobs, but
is generally at least as good in those situations, and typically much better.
Back to Top
: Improved talent recommendations, and presentation via panel. Clarified some wording and fixed a grammatical error. Up to date for 7.2.5.
: Updated inaccurate information on Devastator. Really thought I'd gotten that earlier. Embarrassing. Also updated Ravager wording slightly.
: Booming Voice language update.
: Updated Impending Victory language.
: Slight language tweaks and updates to DPS talents in row 3.
: Updated and added talent calculators for a variety of situations. Improved recommendations for the majority of talents.
: Clarified language regarding Devastator and Indomitable. Updated breakdowns of Renewed Fury, Vengeance, and Booming Voice as well. Updated calculator.
: Added clarifications to the first row of talents in light of Warbringer changes. Also updated the suggested talent setup.
: Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
: This guide is up to date for Patch 7.1, and the heading has (finally!) been updated to indicate that.
Rephrased language concerning Warbringer.
Took a simplifying pass at talent calculators, and improved some language surrounding Vengeance.
Made a small change to the Beginner's Suggested Talent Setup.
Edited Warlord's Challenge commentary to reflect that DH's Taunt no longer gives the target a movement speed boost, and clarified language describing Indomitable. Converted plain text ability names into links.
Made changes with respect to today's hotfix nerf to Never Surrender.
Updated some thoughts on Indomitable and Never Surrender. Updated the talent calculators.
Revised thoughts on Ultimatum, Avatar, Crackling Thunder, and Indomitable. Also pruned some wordiness.
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