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Protection Paladin Class Guide
The Gotwarcraft Protection Paladin Guide
for Cataclysm

Contents

Protection Paladin Guide

Other Paladin Guides

 

Introduction

The Protection Paladin

Paladins can play many roles and one or another pally build can be effective in almost any situation. The Protection paladin has a primary role as a raid tank, but they can also be used in certain PvP situations. Guarding a flag comes to mind, since they are so hard to take down.

Damage? You want to do damage??? Go to the Retribution page. Prot pallies don't do damage, they soak it. For this reason you probably won't want to level with a Protection build. Come raid time, however, Protection makes for excellent tankage.

Actually, you can level as Protection, but you'll probably want to be in a team all the way, running the various dungeons. By the time you hit 80-85 you'll be an awesome tank. Check out Dugi's Guide for the fastest way to do just that.

 

Buffage, Nerfage, and the "Flavor of the Minute"

Expansions, patches, hotfixes, and updates. Here you think you know your class then an expansion hits and not only trashes your builds, but adds a new mechanic. Holy Power. Then,just when youi start to get a handle on it a hotfix changes things just enough to be annoying. Then the next patch does it again.

Any given patch will buff/nerf a few or many abilities of various classes. At any given point in time any given class might be in "god mode" or "doormat mode." We'll take our best shot at providing solid info here, and we won't be playing the "flavor of the minute" game.

 

This guide is simply intended to provide a general overview of the Paladin class.

For a more in-depth and highly detailed resource on everything Paladin related, from leveling to PvP to Raiding to earning gold, check out the Killer Guides' Paladin guide.

 

Protection Paladin Race Choices

Alliance:

Draenei: Might be the best Pally race for raiding, due to:
  • Increased chance to hit: a 1% increased chance to hit doesn't sound like much, but is useful in raids and somewhat in PvP. Since 4.0 this is a self-only ability.
Dwarf:
  • Stone Form: Nice against bleeds and, as such, is useful for PvP, but rarely elsewhere. The 10% damage reduction might be useful for those "Uh oh..." moments.
  • Increased expertise with Maces: Nice enough, if you're using maces and they're the best weapons available. Expertise is an important tanking stat.
Human:
  • May be the best Pally race for PvP.
  • Bonus to Rep gains: Nice if you intend to gain faction with any of the many factions in the game. In the long run this may save you many hours of faction grinding.
  • Increased Expertise with Swords/Maces: Of small use in all areas, if these are the best weapons. Expertise is a ncie tanking stat.
  • Escape: Very nice for PvP, occasionally useful elsewhere. Allows the use of two "non-escape" trinkets in PvP and can break the occasional PvE mechanic.

Horde

Blood Elf: Now the 2nd best Horde race for Paladins
  • Arcane Torrent: Provides both an A of E silence, nice for PvP, occasionally useful elsewhere; and also regains a small amount of mana, occasionally of small use.
Tauren (Cataclysm only)
  • Best Horde Pally race
  • War Stomp stuns nearby opponents - great for general usage and PvP.
  • Increased Health - Always useful
  • Hebalism skill and speed increased - The heal obtained from herbalism also adds Haste, which is generallt useful.
  • Target of a wide variety of bovine jokes.

 

 

Protection Paladin Class Guide

Protection Paladin Talents

At level 10 you pick your spec, you will then need to spend 31 points in that spec before you can branch out in Ret or Holy, should you want to do so. All of these abilities, along with your other abilities and weapon skills, scale with your level. You now longer have to buy ranks in any given skill.

  • Avenger's Shield - throw your shield at, up to, three opponents, damaging and silencing them.
  • Touched by the Light (Passive) - Increases your total Stamina by 15%, increases your spell hit by 8%, and increases your spell power by an amount equal to 60% of your Strength.
  • Vengeance (Passive) - Each time you take damage, you gain 5% of the damage taken as attack power, up to a maximum of 10% of your health.
  • Judgements of the Wise (Passive) - Your Judgement grants you 30% of your base mana over 10 sec.
  • Divine Bulwark (Mastery) - Increases your chance to block melee attacks. Additional Mastery increases your block chance.

 

Cataclysm Protection Paladin Tanking Spec (0/34/7)

This build is oriented towards single target threat. Variations will be necessary depending on your gear, your team, the particular boss, phase of the moon, etc. Youi can view this build here.

Protection (34 Points)
  1. Divinity - Rank 3/3 - Increases all healing done by you and all healing effects on you by 6%.
  2. Seals of the Pure - Rank 2/2 - Increases the damage done by your Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Truth, and Seal of Justice by 12%.
  3. Eternal Glory - Rank 2/2 - Your Word of Glory has a 30% chance not to consume Holy Power.

  4. Judgements of the Just - Rank 2/2 - Your Judgement reduces the melee and ranged attack speed of the target by 20% for 20 sec. In addition, increases the duration of your Seal of Justice effect by 1 sec.
  5. Toughness - Rank 3/3 - Increases your armor value from items by 10%.

  6. Sanctuary - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 6% and reduces all damage taken by 10%. In addition when you block or dodge a melee attack you gain 3% of maximum mana.
  7. Hammer of the Righteous - Rank 1/1 - Hammer the current target for 30% weapon damage, causing a wave of light that hits all targets within 8 yards for 583 to 873 Holy damage. Grants a charge of Holy Power.
  8. Wrath of the Lightbringer - Rank 2/2 - Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike and Judgement abilities by 100%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Wrath and Hammer of Wrath spells by 30%.

  9. Reckoning - Rank 2/2 - You have a 20% chance after blocking an attack for your next 4 weapon swings within 8 sec to generate an additional attack.
  10. Shield of the Righteous - Rank 1/1 - Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage. Consumes all charges of Holy Power to determine damage dealt.
  11. Grand Crusader - Rank 2/2 - When your Crusader Strike or Hammer of the Righteous deal damage to your primary target, they have a 20% chance of refreshing the cooldown on your next Avenger's Shield and causing it to generate a charge of Holy Power if used within 6 sec.

  12. Vindication - Rank 1/1 - Your Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous reduce physical damage done by their primary targets by 10% for 30 sec.
  13. Holy Shield - Rank 1/1 - Using Shield of the Righteous or Inquisition increases the amount your shield blocks by an additional 10% for 20 sec.
  14. Guarded by the Light - Rank 2/2 - Increases your Word of Glory by 10% when used to heal yourself, and allows your Word of Glory to grant Holy Shield. In addition, any overhealing will create a protective shield equal to the amount of overhealing that lasts for 6 sec.
  15. Divine Guardian - Rank 1/1 - All party or raid members within 30 yards, excluding the Paladin, take 20% reduced damage for 6 sec.

  16. Sacred Duty - Rank 2/2 - Your Judgement and Avenger's Shield have a 50% chance of making your next Shield of the Righteous a critical strike. Lasts 10 sec.
  17. Shield of the Templar - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath by 60 sec and Guardian of Ancient Kings by 120 sec. In addition, your Divine Plea will generate 3 Holy Power.

  18. Ardent Defender - Rank 1/1 - Reduce damage taken by 20% for 10 sec. While Ardent Defender is active, the next attack that would otherwise kill you will instead cause you to be healed for 15% of your maximum health. Very nice if you can predict that next burst of massive incoming damage.
Retribution (7 Points)
  • Crusade - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, and Templar's Verdict by 30%, and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%. In addition, for 15 sec after you kill an enemy that yields experience or honor, your next Holy Light heals for an additional 300%.
  • Improved Judgement - Rank 2/2 - Increases the range of your Judgement by 20 yards.
  • Pursuit of Justice - Rank 2/2 - You have a 100% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power when struck by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. In addition, increases your movement and mounted movement speed by 15%. This effect does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
Glyphs
  • Glyph of Seal of Truth (Prime Glyph) - Your Seal of Truth also grants 10 expertise while active.
  • Glyph of Shield of the Righteous (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 10%.
  • Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage of both the physical and Holy components of Hammer of the Righteous by 10%.

  • Glyph of the Ascetic Crusader (Major Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30%.
  • Glyph of Holy Wrath (Major Glyph) - Your Holy Wrath now also stuns Elementals and Dragonkin.
  • Glyph of Lay on Hands (Major Glyph) - Reduces the cooldown of your Lay on Hands spell by 3 min.

  • Glyph of Blessing of Might (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Might by 50%.
  • Glyph of Blessing of Kings (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Kings by 50%.
  • Glyph of Truth (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Truth by 50%.

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Option #1: More efficient A of E tanking

  • Drop 2/2 in Enternal Glory
  • Drop Divine Guardian
  • Drop 2/2 Pursuit of Justice
  • Add 2/2 Hallowed Ground for better Consecrations
  • Add 3/3 Rule of Law increases the crit effect chance of Crusader Strike, Word of Glory, and Hammer of the Rightous.

Option #2: Pick talents according to your game, how much healing you are, or are not, doing, etc.

  • If Consecration is important to your tanking routine then grab 2/2 Hallowed Ground
  • Do you have another movement buff? Then drop the 2/2 Pursuit of Justice

Protection Paladin Rotations

  • With 4.0 you will need to juggle Holy Power along with your other abilities.
  • The Pull:
    • Reckoning, Excorcism, Judgement, or Glyphed Avenger's Shield for single targets
    • Regular Avenger's Shield for up to three targets

  • Most basic routine: Pull > Judgement > Crusader Strike x 3 > Shield of the Righteous

 

 

Protection Paladin Class Guide

Tankadin Abilities

A large part of what creates the paladin’s overall tanking capabilities is the sheer number of abilities in his arsenal, at any given time you can have holy shield going, mana returning via Spiritual Attunement/Heals, and be busting out a judgement on one of the targets.

With that in mind let’s cover the core abilities of a paladin tank:

Holy Power (HoPo)
This is a new resource mechanic similar to Rogue combo points. Depending on talent build and ability usage this gauge will fill or empty (you'll find it under your Mana/HP bars.) The amount of HoPo in the gauge can boost the effects of spells and other abilities.

Blessings
Blessings have been cut down with WoW 4.0. There are two blessings: Kings and Might. Both blessings now last an hour and now it only takes a single cast to bless your entire party/raid.

  • Kings (level 22) functions similarly as before though it now also increases base resistance by a percentage based on level.
  • Might (level 56) increases attack power as a percentage but it also increases mana regeneration.

 

Block

Mastery effectively provides additional "block rating" for Protection Paladins. In sum more Mastery means more blocking. For Paladins a block is a straight 30% damage reduction on the attack and increased rating increases your chance to block.

 

Avenging Wrath

(Level 72) Increases all damage and healing caused by 20% for 20 secs, this is great for massively boosting your starting threat levels.

Righteous Defense


(Level 36) Righteous defense is a slightly tweaked taunt ability, if acts on the same mechanics of bringing your threat to the exact level of the currently aggroed player, however this is useable from a range, allowing you to hold position and force the loose monsters to return to you as opposed to chasing them down.

Cleanse


(Level 34) Nothing better than a tank who can cleanse himself, it removes a lot of the hassle when healers are busy… healing, and you’re left to deal with the debuffs yourself.

Consecration

(Level 24) Consecration is one of our primary threat sources when dealing with mob packs, throw it down and watch the threat build as it ticks away, the only problem is that it’s something of a high mana cost spell – Fortunately it benefits enough to +spell damage to even this factor out.

Seals

Seals present yet another method of build threat, restoring mana, health, and numerous other effects that can all directly benefit both you, the tank, and the rest of the party as well – This enhances our utility dramatically.

Seal of Righteousness


Your level 3 seal. A straight-up damage increase.

Seal of Insight


Your strikes will heal you for a small amount and restore mana. Judging it damages the enemy and restores 15% of base mana.

Seal of Truth


A damage seal, adds stacking DoTs. When 5 stacks are on the target then the weapon strikes do more damage. Judging Truth adds damage, which increases with the number of stacks on the target.

Seal or Justice

Is your opponent running too much? This Seal does damage and slows your opponent for 5 seconds. Judging it adds damage.

 

Auras

This is the last piece of the puzzle concerning our viability as tanks, less important than the above abilities but still another buff on top of an already immense spell library.

Devotion Aura

Fairly weak, especially at the higher end tanking situations, but it can’t hurt to have slightly more armor in some fights and difficult situations.

Retribution Aura

Damages any oppopnent that strikes a raid or party member within 40 years. This one dramatically improves AoE threat generation and damage, the great thing about it being that so long as the mobs beat on you and you alone you’re gaining free threat constantly, somewhat like a secondary passive consecration effect.

Concentration Aura

This reduces the time that party casters lose when casting spells while being attacked.

Crusader Aura

20% increased mount speed for party/raid members within 40 yards.

Resistance Aura

This brings solid amounts of damage reduction when fighting elemental-damage heavy trash and bosses that appear throughout the raid dungeons.  It’s almost like carrying around a few pieces of +resist gear for the entire team, just without the lost inventory space.

 

 

Cataclysm Protection Paladin PvP Build (0/31/10)

See above for Protection Paladin abilities. See he section right below the PvP glyphs for notes on abilities, talents, glyphs, etc. Gems and enchants and gear will be in the section following that one.

View the full build here.

Protection (31 Points)
  1. Divinity - Rank 3/3 - Increases all healing done by you and all healing effects on you by 6%.
  2. Seals of the Pure - Rank 2/2 - Increases the damage done by your Seal of Righteousness, Seal of Truth, and Seal of Justice by 12%.
  3. Eternal Glory - Rank 2/2 - Your Word of Glory has a 30% chance not to consume Holy Power.

  4. Judgements of the Just - Rank 2/2 - Your Judgement reduces the melee and ranged attack speed of the target by 20% for 20 sec. In addition, increases the duration of your Seal of Justice effect by 1 sec.
  5. Improved Hammer of Justice - Rank 2/2 - Decreases the cooldown of your Hammer of Justice spell by 20 sec.

  6. Sanctuary - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the chance you'll be critically hit by melee attacks by 6% and reduces all damage taken by 10%. In addition when you block or dodge a melee attack you gain 3% of maximum mana.
  7. Hammer of the Righteous - Rank 1/1 - Hammer the current target for 30% weapon damage, causing a wave of light that hits all targets within 8 yards for 583 to 873 Holy damage. Grants a charge of Holy Power.
  8. Wrath of the Lightbringer - Rank 2/2 - Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike and Judgement abilities by 100%, and increases the critical strike chance of your Holy Wrath and Hammer of Wrath spells by 30%.

  9. Shield of the Righteous - Rank 1/1 - Slam the target with your shield, causing Holy damage. Consumes all available charges of Holy Power to determine damage dealt.
  10. Grand Crusader - Rank 2/2 - When your Crusader Strike or Hammer of the Righteous deal damage to your primary target, they have a 20% chance of refreshing the cooldown on your next Avenger's Shield and causing it to generate a charge of Holy Power if used within 6 sec.

  11. Vindication - Rank 1/1 - Your Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous reduce physical damage done by their primary targets by 10% for 30 sec.
  12. Holy Shield - Rank 1/1 - Using Shield of the Righteous or Inquisition increases the amount your shield blocks by an additional 10% for 20 sec.
  13. Guarded by the Light - Rank 2/2 - Increases your Word of Glory by 10% when used to heal yourself, and allows your Word of Glory to grant Holy Shield. In addition, any overhealing will create a protective shield equal to the amount of overhealing that lasts for 6 sec.
  14. Divine Guardian - Rank 1/1 - All party or raid members within 30 yards, excluding the Paladin, take 20% reduced damage for 6 sec.

  15. Sacred Duty - Rank 2/2 - Your Judgement and Avenger's Shield have a 50% chance of making your next Shield of the Righteous a critical strike. Lasts 10 sec.
  16. Shield of the Templar - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the cooldown of Avenging Wrath by 60 sec and Guardian of Ancient Kings by 120 sec. In addition, your Divine Plea will generate 3 Holy Power.

  17. Ardent Defender - Rank 1/1 - Reduce damage taken by 20% for 10 sec. While Ardent Defender is active, the next attack that would otherwise kill you will instead cause you to be healed for 15% of your maximum health.

Retribution (10 Points)

  1. Crusade - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, and Templar's Verdict by 30%, and the damage and healing of your Holy Shock by 30%. In addition, for 15 sec after you kill an enemy that yields experience or honor, your next Holy Light heals for an additional 300%.
  2. Improved Judgement - Rank 2/2 - Increases the range of your Judgement by 20 yards.

  3. Rule of Law - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical effect chance of your Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous and Word of Glory by 15%.
  4. Pursuit of Justice - Rank 2/2 - You have a 100% chance to gain a charge of Holy Power when struck by a Stun, Fear or Immobilize effect. In addition, increases your movement and mounted movement speed by 15%. This effect does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.

Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Shield of the Righteous (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 10%.
  2. Glyph of Crusader Strike (Prime Glyph) - Increases the critical strike chance of Crusader Strike by 5%.
  3. Glyph of Word of Glory (Prime Glyph) - Increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 10%.

  4. Glyph of Focused Shield (Major Glyph) - Your Avenger's Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage.
  5. Glyph of Dazing Shield (Major Glyph) - Your Avenger's Shield now also dazes targets.
  6. Glyph of Hammer of Justice (Major Glyph) - Increases your Hammer of Justice range by 5 yards.

  7. Glyph of Truth (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Truth by 50%.
  8. Glyph of Blessing of Kings (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Kings by 50%.
  9. Glyph of Blessing of Might (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Might by 50%.

PvP Notes:

  • Blocking, while still valuable, is much less so than in PvE. Stacking Mastery is excellent in PvE, but doesn't help against the mage or backstabber.
  • Vengence decays too quickly to be really valuable. In PvE you have constant damage raining down upon you, not quite so much in PvP. Smart players will let your vengence decay as part of their strategy.
  • Resilience is a better stat to stack than stam as it scales better at high levels.
  • Haste is not an important stat due to Prot mechanics (eg, lots of instant spells.)

Click here for Instruction, videos, more, and get better.

 

 

Protection Paladin Class Guide

Stats, Gems, Etc. for Protection Paladins

How much does it all cost? Let us count the ways...

  • Buy your gear, repairs, gems, enchants, enhancements, and consumables.
  • Do the same for your alts.
  • Do the same for your buddies
  • Collect a second gear set for your Ret/Holy build.
  • Buy your PvP set, at least the starting one.
  • Collect mounts and pets.
  • Throw gold at beggars and those Gnome or Undead dancers in the taverns.
  • Got enough gold? If not, check out the Tycoon addon.

 

Primary Stats

  • Strength -According to Blizzard Str now provides parry rating. It remains the primary (and so far only) source of raw AP and spell power for all Paladins. Note that your "Touched by the Light" passive abilitiy now increases your spell power by an amount equal to 60% of your Strength. Strength no longer adds to Block Rating.
  • Stamina - Stamina, of course, remains important in providing for a large health pool. Note that the AP bonus provided by Vengeance is regulated by maximum health additional hit points indirectly translate to additional AP and thus threat. Vengence is actually a very powerful threat stat.
  • Agility - This stat provides a bit of dodge and has little, if any, other value for the Protection Pallie. Skip it, unless the piece is a big upgrade over youir older gear.
  • Int - Spell casting is not your main thing, so skip Int.
  • Spirit - useless. Your various abilities will regen mana fast enough that you won't need spirit.

Secondary Stats

  • Dodge and Parry - Rating still exists on gear. Note that Str now increases Parry rating.
  • Hit Rating - The vast majority of Protection Paladin abilities are based of the melee hit table, not the spell hit table. As such Prot. Paladins are interested in only reaching the 8% melee hit cap. Any hit over the cap can be considered wasted. Note that your Touched by the Light ability adds 8% Spell Hit, so only go for the melee cap. Level 85: 8% requires 961 Hit rating / 841 for Draenei
  • Expertise - Exp. and Hit are your best threat stats (you can't aggro what you don't hit.) 26 points minimum is recommended (which means the boss can't dodge your strikes,) but higher is still good, up till 55.
  • Haste, Mastery, and Crit are weak threat stats.
  • Mastery, while useless for threat, is excellent for mitigation. You'll want a lot of it.
  • Blocking - ultimately you want to get to 102.4% block, which means that all boss strikes will have to go through a block and will do reduced damage. To be clear, the 102,.4% combines the boss's base miss chance, your dodge and parry, and your block.
  • Armor has nothing to do with hit chances, it's strictly mitigation for after you've been hit.

Mitigation strategy for tanking

  • Mitigation makes life easier for your healers if your threat is adequate.
  • Vengence is a pretty powerful threat ability, so maxing out Hit & Expertise isn't as necessary as before.
  • Mastery should be as high as possible to maximize blocking.
  • Reforge haste, then crit into Mastery
  • Next, reforge Expertise and Hit into Mastery.
  • Next, reforge Dodge and Parry into Mastery, but try to keep the values of the pair nearly equal.
  • Once the 102.4% coverage is reached then reforge into dodge and parry.
  • If you are having threat issues, then keep hit & expertise at the cap until you get better gear.

 


Gems

Gems for both strategies, and for PvP, are shown.

  1. Strategy 1: Gem for Stam, which increases threat via Vengence.
  2. Strategy 2: Gem for Mastery, which increases block and helps get closer to the 102.4% cap.

 

Enchantments

Gems for both strategies, and for PvP, are shown.

  1. Strategy 1: Enchant for threat and Stam, which increases threat via Vengence.
  2. Strategy 2: Enchant for Mitigation and Mastery, which increases block and helps get closer to the 102.4% cap.
  3. PvP: Enchants are more offensive in nature.

 

Consumables for the Paladin Tank

 

Professions for the Protection Paladin

  • Alchemy - better tanking through chemistry. You get increased benefits from your own potions.
  • Blacksmithing - You can add a gem socket to both your bracers and your gloves. Drop in a couple of Stam, Resilience, Mastery, or whatever gems.
  • Enchanting - Enchant your own rings.
  • Engineering - You can create a very nice iLevel 359 "helm" and add cogwheels to it. This is in addition to other useful Engie gadgets.
  • Inscription - 195 Stam and 25 Dodge enchant for your shoulders.
  • Jewelcrafting - Create three self-only gems for your gear. Adds 101 to Stam or 67 to another stat .
  • Leatherworking - a 195 Stam bracer enchant is far superior to the next best, which is a +50 Dodge or Expertise enchant.
  • Tailoring - No really useful enchants, unles you need the AP proc for your Retribution spec.

 

Gear Guide

PvE:

 

PvP:

 

 

 

1-85 Paladin Leveling Guide

Once you have your Protection Paladin Plan the fastest way to get leveled into that end-game iis with an automated 1-80 (85) Paladin leveling guide. You'll never again have to ask, "Where do I go and what do I do when I get there..." Zygor's guide is an in-game guide that shows up as a small window on your screen. It shows the current quest and displays an arrow pointing the way to go, showing you the most efficient way to knock out the most quests in the least time.

Zygor's Guide is much like having a skilled partner helping you out every step of the way. Its fully updated for Cataclysm and the 4.x patches, including its nifty Talent Advisor.

Grab yours now and cruise to 85. Then you can be the one to answer the "Where do I go at level...?" questions.

Grab your copy here, or read our Zygor review first.

 

 


 

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