PVE Protection Paladin Tank Guide WotLK 3.3.5a

Game: Wrath of the Lich King
Content Type: Gaming Guides

Welcome to the Protection Paladin Tank guide for World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King 3.3.5a. In this guide, you will learn about playing a Protection Paladin in a raid. The guide includes Talents, Glyphs, Gems, Enchantments, BiS Gear, Add-ons, Gameplay & Skill rotation tips.

First, we have a core build that consists of all talents that are necessary for tanking. From here, you have 13 talent points to allocate where you see fit.

Protection Paladin Core 0/53/5 Talent Tree with 13 points left WoW WotLK 3.3.5a

Below we have a standard build that takes some damage talents from the Retribution tree. We still have our core taking talents, but we add the damage for better threat generation. For multitanking purposes, one 1 talent point from Crusade can be re-allocated to Seal of Command. Divinity can also be taken for increased survivability.

Protection Paladin 0/53/18 Talent Tree Wow WotLK 3.3.5a

Gems are situational and depend on the build and equipment. They are used to reach the required stat caps. There are two options for gemming as a Protection Paladin: flat stamina and combined stats.

To put it simply, there is one main rotation for a Protection Paladin: the 969 rotation. It uses 5 skills: two with 6-sec cooldown and tree with 9-sec cooldown. Use a 9-sec skill, then a 6-sec skill, then a 9-sec skill, then another 6sec skill and so on.

9-sec CD:

6-sec CD:

Defense -> Stamina -> Armor -> Expertise & Hit rating -> Strength -> Parry, Dodge -> Block

Defense rating over 540 is mandatory to be the main tank, as it makes you uncrittable. Hit cap for raids is 8% (263 rating) or at least 5% (164 rating) against level 80 mobs if you’re just starting. Expertise cap is 26, which can be easily acquired through Combat Expertise, Glyph of Seal of Vengeance, racial weapon passives, and gear.

Stamina & Armor are self-explanatory – the more the merrier. Strength isn’t a priority for a tank. Parry, Dodge, and Block are left out for last because Defense already increases all of them. It’s worth mentioning that Block is last on the list because it only reduces the damage, not mitigates it completely.

There is no real BiS list for tanks as a good tank will always want to adjust his armor depending on the encounter. Rings, Trinkets, and Amulets are often changed depending on the needed stats: HP Pool, Armor or Resists.


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Hi, the core build of that specialization should be in my opinion 0/51/5. Indeed, Jugements of the Just is kind of useless on bosses, because they can’t be slowed, you never use Seal of Justice, and your Hammer of Justice doesn’t affect them… So put two points just to reduce by 10 sec its cooldown seems expensive.

After that, if you are beginning in tanking at level 80, the second build is indeed nice, because you’re dealing more damage to generate more instant threat. Now, instead of the two points in Jugements of the Just, you can take the Seal of Command to increase your multi-tanking (mainly in donjons, or for tanking adds in raids). You can put the last point in 2/2 Spiritual Harmonization to complete it : it will be a good way to manage your mana issues, because new tank will have more difficulty to keep up the Divine Plea all the time.

For advanced tanking (MT1), I recommand a 5/56/10 build with : 5/5 in Divinity to help a lot your heals in raids, and 5/5 in Seal of the Pure to increase a lot the damage/threat generation of your Seal of Vengeance/Corruption. That will largely compensate for the loss of damage of the Retribution tree. The 5 points you have left will be put in Benediction, to reduce well enough the amount of mana used in the processus of taking the aggro. At this level, you don’t need to reduce by 2 seconds the cooldown of your Judgements (because you have mastered the timing of the 969 rotation), and the bonus of 3% in critical strike will be applied by a Retribution Paladin.


No offense to you but Hammer of Justice + Judgements of the just is a must have for lod as a pala.
The build you should be running is along these lines
It provides all the utility you need as a prot pala. The AP reduction, the % attack speed slow, 30 second HoJ for valks, blood beast, and what ever else you need to stun.


Hi ! No offense to you too but ^^
Let’s start with your Retribution tree : as I said, if you are not a new tank, you don’t need to reduce by 2 seconds the cooldown of your Judgements, and the bonus of critical strike will be applied by a Retribution Paladin in your raid. So put this 5 points in Benediction seems a lot more usefull.
Now, Vindication is absolutely NOT a good talents, because it does not affect bosses ! DO NOT TAKE IT !
Seal of Command is also good if you are new at tanking, but then I prefer the first build that Malphaz presented, with the little modification I suggested. Otherwise you will mostly use Seal of Corruption/Vengeance, or in some cases Seal of Light if you are mt2.
Pursuit of Justice is also a nice talent, but not that important. So I maintain that you should put this 5 points into Seals of the Pure to increase your threat generation. Do not forget that a tank must keep the aggro especially in raid, so Seals of the Pure is primordial for that.
Now, let’s take a look upon the Protection tree. I agree that Hammer of Justice is very usefull, but survivability is far more important in my opinion. If you trust your raid to deal cleverly with mobs who need a stun, put the last 4 points to complete 5/5 Divinity as I did. Otherwise, you can put this 4 points to reduce by half your cooldown of HoJ as you did, but if you are always in the obligation to stun mobs as a tank, that could mean the other raid members are not doing there job correctly ^^ your main duty here is to be the one who takes damages, so focus on survivability seems more important than controlling blood beasts or val’kyrs, etc (if all the raid members are focus on them as they should be, the mobs will die fast enough, so the cooldown reduction could be pointless)
So in short : increasing your threat generation and your survivability are the most important things as a tank, that is why I SUGGESTED my version 🙂


*Furthermore, like Vindication, the attack speed slow of Judgements of the Just does not work on bosses


Does it make sense to reduce Benediction to 4/5 to have 2/2 in Spiritual attunement? It seems to me that would leave me with more mana


Okay lets begin with everything you said

You do still take the 2 sec off judgements because it increase threat generation and has it line up better in your 6969 rotation and the 3% crit buff is to make sure it stays up on all new targets you attack. Benediction isnt helpful, you are generating 25% of your mana every 15 seconds and getting mana everytime you block, parry, or dodge. You can keep Divine plea by hitting ANYTHING. Vindication DOES apply to bosses, it is the paladins version of Demo shout. Seal of Command is used for AoE fights that you need to keep aggro on more than one target. Seals of pure isnt worth 5 points as a tank even if it does increase threat and in a raid you get MDS + ToTS e very 30 seconds (maybe not mds as its a pretty much a waste for a hunter dps wise) Now the stuns ive experience enough and my guild just holy wraths the valks. Blood beasts tho still need to be stunned, as that blood power shouldnt be moving fast at all. The judgements of the just is pretty mandatory for bosses as it still procs just like Infected wounds + Icy Touch as to reduce the damage you take.


As I said, you don’t need the 2 sec because it gives nothing if you have mastered the 969…
3% on new targets ? In raid, the main targets are bosses so the switching between targets is only there when you are not facing bosses but random mobs (not worth it).
Benediction IS helpfull : taunt the first target and throw everything on your target to take the aggro without it and you will have a problem : you will not have enough mana to adapt with the situation (divine plea is a cool regeneration, but a slow one).
No Vindication DOES NOT apply to bosses 🙂
For the Seals, it is your opinion but I strongly recommand to put 5 points to increase by 15% your Seal’s damage.
And for the stuns, it is your opinion too 😉
And finally : as I said, like Vindication, Judgements of the Just IS NOT effective on bosses, you do not make them weaker or slower, that is why they are bosses and not random dudes.


I dont know about Warmane but Vindication apply on bosses. BUT, DKs cover that debuff 24/7 so it wont apply. If that what you meant, then I agree that is not a core talent

Last edited 22 days ago by Drak

Hello! Thanks a bunch for the guide! What do you recommend for librams


My opinion is that Libram of the Sacred Shield is the BiS for a prot pally but Libram of Defiance works too for endgame tanking.


Hi, what’s about consumables for prot pally (food, flask, ….)?


i want to use prot pala for world pvp in pve gear. what would you change about any of this to have high sustain damage and also basically never die if played smart. please help.


this guide is tottally wrong.
forget crusade forget conviction wtf why you need damage on a tank?

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