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 three suggested talent builds based on situation and skill level.
Beginner should try this passive-oriented setup:
For experienced tanks in hard-hitting raid encounters:
AoE and Mythic+ setup:
Tier 1 Talents
is a 3-second stun that hits a cone in front of the casting
. It deals minimal damage, but is useful for reducing 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. It's actually quite good, and very useful as a ranged interrupt against stunnable mobs. While that is solid, the minimum range can cause some problems. It can also provide a slight dps increase over other talents for raid encounters in which you frequently
your co-tank, such as Ursoc and Guarm. With the nerf to
duration, this will probably become the go-to talent in the tier for most players.
Tier 2 Talents
s a self-healing tool at a low cost. If you are regularly getting killing blows, this talent may be detrimental, but that situation is mostly limited to world questing.
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 often 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
. Now that more time has passed for testing in The Nighthold, it's actually proven to be a decent talent. While it lacks the maximum burst DPS potential of
, it's a competitive choice that can have extremely high uptime when using
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's not good in raids, but it works really well in Mythic dungeons. It's particularly good during Skittish and Fortified weeks, and pairs incredibly well with
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. In Mythic dungeons, this pairs incredibly 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.
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 if managed correctly. It is fairly difficult, well above the base Warrior playstyle, and only surpasses
if it is played well. For a more detailed writeup on precisely how to play with this talent,
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. This talent lacks the major appeal of either of the other options in the tier (DPS/25% Health bonus) and is rarely, if ever, worth using.
provides passive and active benefits, and is a great talent for players uncomfortable with
. It makes you much more resilient against boss abilities that deal burst damage, and provides a 25% increase to Ignore Pain. This is a clear self-healing gain over
if your health averages above 75%, but that only occurs in trivial content. This is most useful in two situations: for 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 25% increased health buff.
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
, this talent is not competitive with the other choices in the tier.
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 raids in 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 just as good in those situations, if not better.
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: 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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