World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight – Protection Paladin Complete Guide

Quick Links

  • Why Protection Paladin?
  • Best Protection Races
  • Best Talents For Protection Paladin
  • How To Play The Rotation
  • Best Stats And Gear For Protection Paladin

Whether you are a new player or a long-time veteran, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight should provide you with a fresh new WoW experience, regardless of which class you choose to play. The new talent trees have diversified build options and given many specialisations multiple ways to customise their character's setup. Even with being a staple of the WoW scene, Protection Paladin comes armed with some new tools, alongside strong burst damage and a multitude of useful utility options for both you and your group.

This guide will showcase why you should try out Protection Paladin in PvE content. It will run through the best talent builds, rotation, consumables, and pre-raid gear, alongside some helpful tips and tricks.

Why Protection Paladin?



  • Fantastic Utility: Paladins bring some great spells to help out their groups, and being able to provide strong off-healing with Word of Glory can easily save a life
  • Burst AoE damage: With cooldowns such as Divine Toll, Protection can bring substantial damage in Dungeon content
  • Strong Defensives: Multiple defensive options such as Ardent Defender help to keep you alive through the toughest moments
  • Class Fantasy: Paladin has strong visuals, and riding around on your class mount in Avenging Wrath gives off a great Holy Crusader vibe
  • Low Mobility: Very reliant on Divine Steed to get around, and Protection can struggle to kite effectively, which is crucial in high-level Dungeons
  • Punished by Mistakes: Due to having a low health pool, you are vulnerable to taking large chunks of damage and can be quite spiky to heal
  • Weak on Pull: Relying on Shield of the Righteous for active mitigation means you can be vulnerable to being burst down before you can get it up

Best Protection Races

Although WoW races differ in their passive and active abilities, the gaps are minimal, and you should always go for whichever you like the best. Visually liking your character will help your gameplay a lot and unless you are looking to try and completely min-max your output, the difference in racial effects will not have much impact on your enjoyment of the spec. That being said, there are some nice options to consider if you intend to try out Protection Paladin.


Racial Name


Lightforged Draenei

Light's Judgment

Strong burst AoE spell which synergises nicely with Prot's multi-target burst damage profile (2.5 min cooldown)

Dark Iron Dwarf


Provides a good self dispell for poison, curse, disease, magic, and bleed effects (2 min cooldown)

Blood Elf

Arcane Torrent

A useful AoE purge that removes a buff from nearby enemies, especially strong in dungeons (2 min cooldown)



Passively increases your stamina by a flat amount, which is always welcome when playing a tank

Best Talents For Protection Paladin

Protection Paladin Class Talent Tree

Wowhead Build Link

Paladin Class Tree

Row One

Lay on Hands

Excellent single-target burst heal that can be used to save yourself or allies in a pinch

Blessing of Freedom

Removes all movement impairments, useful to counteract slows and roots

Hammer of Wrath

Essential Holy Power generator and execute spell

Row Two

Auras of the Resolute

Devotion Aura is the go-to if there is no other Paladin present

Auras of Swift Vengeance

Retribution Aura is your best Aura, but relies on having a Holy Paladin present to run Devotion

Row Three

Blinding Light

AoE disorient, useful for mass interrupting (Dungeon Build only)

Divine Steed

Your only mobility, use it wisely as 45 seconds is a hefty cooldown

Fist of Justice (2/2)

Lower Hammer of Justice cooldown, nice for crowd control in Mythic Plus

Row Four

Cleanse Toxins

Great dispel for both Poison and Disease effects (Dungeon Build only)


Two horses are clearly superior to one

Seasoned Warhorse

When playing a Paladin, any mobility is good to have

Greater Judgment

More damage on a key spell

Row Five

Holy Aegis (2/2)

Armor is vital for tanking, and extra crit is nice for damage output

Avenging Wrath

The essential Paladin spell and your major offensive cooldown


15-second cooldown interrupt, mainly used in Dungeons, this plus Avenger's Shield makes you a legendary interrupter

Row Six

Judgment of Light

Nice bit of passive group healing from your Judgments

Blessing of Sacrifice

Great spell, especially when off tanking, as it will allow you to smooth out the big hits your co-tank is taking

Blessing of Protection

A full Physical damage immunity, which can be used either as a panic button or to immune mechanics

Seal of Reprisal (2/2)

Extra damage on Blessed Hammer

Row Seven

Sacrifice of the Just

More Blessing of Sacrifices is nice, so throwing it out to help your allies is a nice utility option

Unbreakable Spirit

Cooldown reduction to the majority of your defensives

Row Eight

Aspiration of Divinity (2/2)

Primary stat is important for Protection, and it should be easy to keep this buff up

Divine Purpose

Free procs are great and can be spent on either extra damage from Shield of the Righteous or more healing from Word of Glory

Hallowed Ground

Consecration is a key ability for Protection, and more damage is nice

Row Nine

Of Dusk and Dawn

Best Paladin spec for making use of the Dusk passive, reducing damage taken by four percent

Seal of Alacrity (2/2)

Haste is great for you

Seal of the Crusader (2/2)

Free Holy Damage increase proc, synergising with practically everything you do

Row Ten (Keystone Talents)

Sanctified Wrath

Causes you to burst with Holy damage when spending Holy Power during Avenging Wrath

Zealot's Paragon

Extends Avenging Wrath when you Hammer of Wrath and Judgment, also increases their respective power

A shared tree between all three Paladin specialisations, the class tree will let you gather a bunch of extremely useful spells and as some powerful passives. Your route through the tree will vary slightly depending on your build, but the core spells remain very similar.

Similarly to the other Paladin specs, Prot chooses to pick up Of Dusk and Dawn. A very strong passive talent, it will tend to have some impact on how you play. Building up to five Holy Power and then back down to zero is fairly important, as you want to maintain the damage reduction and also the damage/healing increase buffs.

Best Protection Paladin Raid Talent Build

Wowhead Build Link

Protection Paladin Talents (Raid)

Row One

  • Avenger's Shield

Row Two

  • Blessed Hammer
  • Redoubt

Row Three

  • Holy Shield
  • Grand Crusader
  • Shining Light

Row Four

  • Inspiring Vanguard
  • Ardent Defender
  • Barricade of Faith
  • Consecration in Flame

Row Five

  • Bulwark of Order (2/2)
  • Light of the Titans (2/2)

Row Six

  • Relentless Inquisitor
  • Avenging Wrath: Might
  • Strength of Conviction (2/2)

Row Seven

  • Bastion of Light
  • Guardian of Ancient Kings
  • Crusader's Judgment

Row Eight

  • Focused Enmity
  • Gift of the Golden Val'kyr (1/2)
  • Eye of Tyr
  • Righteous Protector (2/2)

Row Nine

  • Ferren Marcus' Favour (2/2)
  • Divine Toll

Row Ten (Keystone Talents)

  • Divine Resonance

The Protection raid talent build focuses on reducing the AoE capacity of Avenger's Shield and puts more emphasis on its single target damage. The differences are not that large between this and the Dungeon build, as most of Prot's abilities are used in the same way whether you are facing one target or many.

Ferren Marcus' Favour causes Avenger's Shield to deal increased damage to the primary ta. And a standard raid build emphasises single target damage, as burning down the boss' hp is typically the priority in a raid encounter.

Some of your Core Talents include:

  • Blessed Hammer: which turns your Crusader Strike into a spinning AoE hammer, reducing damage enemies deal to you
  • Ardent Defender: a core defensive, which will save you from dying once during the duration, alongside reducing your damage taken
  • Grand Crusader: a proc that resets your Avenger's Shield cooldown, based on avoiding an attack or using Blessed Hammer
  • Bastion of Light: an old active, now taken in Dragonflight, this active ability causes your next three Avenger's Shields or Shields of the Righteous not to incur a Holy Power cost
  • Eye of Tyr: returning from the Legion expansion, this 1-minute active deals a burst of AoE damage and reduces damage taken from afflicted enemies

Best Protection Paladin Dungeon Talent Build

Wowhead Build Link

Protection Paladin Talents (Dungeon)

Row One

  • Avenger's Shield

Row Two

  • Blessed Hammer
  • Redoubt

Row Three

  • Holy Shield
  • Grand Crusader
  • Shining Light

Row Four

  • Consecrated Ground
  • Ardent Defender
  • Barricade of Faith
  • Consecration in Flame

Row Five

  • Sanctuary
  • Bulwark of Order (2/2)
  • Strength in Adversity

Row Six

  • Tyr's Enforcer
  • Avenging Wrath: Might
  • Strength of Conviction (2/2)

Row Seven

  • Bastion of Light
  • Guardian of Ancient Kings
  • Crusader's Judgment

Row Eight

  • Soaring Shield
  • Gift of the Golden Val'kyr (1/2)
  • Eye of Tyr
  • Righteous Protector (2/2)

Row Nine

  • Divine Toll

Row Ten (Keystone Talents)

  • Bulwark of Righteous Fury
  • Divine Resonance

Due to the nature of your Consecration spell, the Protection dungeon build takes a few talents that augment your AoE potential. Consecrated Ground expands the ground effect and causes it to slow enemies, which is vital for being able to kite effectively. Prot lacks slows in general, so this is very welcome, especially if your group lacks crowd control.

Additional class tree talents include Cleanse Toxins and Blinding Light, which are generally much more helpful in Mythic Plus content, owing to the higher number of enemies and debuffs encountered. Being able to help out your healer with important dispels helps to make Prot one of the utility tanks around, and added to your powerful Word of Glory off heals, the spec can shine in a supportive role.

Bulwark of Righteous Fury is a former Shadowlands legendary and helps to empower your Shield of the Righteous damage, which is especially good against multiple enemies. Additional targets hit thanks to Soaring Shield means you can quickly build up stacks and unleash them in an Avenging Wrath combo for large damage.

The removal of Holy Power gain from Avenger's Shield means Prot is not quite as spammy as it was in Shadowlands, and you may find yourself having to concentrate to keep up your Shield of the Righteous mitigation. If you know it will drop, kiting can be a good next option, as you don't want to be face-tanking high-difficulty enemies without the damage reduction.

Be careful when kiting, as running out of your Consecration means you will lose your damage taken reduction from Divine Bulwark.

How To Play The Rotation

The Basics

As a Tank specialisation, Protection strikes a balance between dishing out damage and using their abilities to reduce incoming damage to stay alive. While you are not solely focused on damage like a DPS, it is your job to hold the aggro of enemies, and doing as much damage as possible will aid you in this task.

Similarly to the other Paladin specs, Prot utilises the Holy Power resource. Certain abilities will generate Holy Power, up to a maximum of five, and others will spend it, using three at a time. It is the core gameplay loop of building and spending that Prot relies on, and being comfortable with how the resource works is essential.

You do not want to overcap, i.e. waste Holy Power by continuing to generate above five.

Prot Paladin follows a pretty simple damaging rotation and is centered around keeping your abilities on cooldown. Your primary rotational spells are:






  • Your first priority is to make sure you are standing on this area of effect, as it will enable your Mastery: Divine Bulwark and also damage all enemies within it


Shield of the Righteous

  • Your damaging Holy Power spender, this will consume three Holy Power to strike all enemies in front of you and apply an Armor buff for 4.5 seconds
  • It is vital to maintain this buff, but SotR can also be used in order not to overcap on Holy Power



  • Single target hammer throw
  • Generates one Holy Power


Hammer of Wrath

  • Single target hammer throw, only usable during Avenging Wrath or when enemies are under 20 percent health
  • Generates one Holy Power


Avenger's Shield

  • Throws a shield that bounces between 3 enemies and silences any cast


Blessed Hammer

  • Throws a spinning hammer that moves outwards, striking enemies and reducing the damage they deal to you
  • Generates one Holy Power

Shift Avenger's Shield above Judgment in your priority list when there is more than one enemy present.

These are your core damaging spells, and you will build and spend Holy Power through them. However, there is one more core spell that also consumes Holy Power; Word of Glory. This is a strong single-target heal that can be applied to either yourself or an ally. Is it a great tool for self sustain and helping your healer(s) out with the health of the group.

For pure damage, you would want to only spend Holy Power on Shield of the Righteous, but you can use Word of Glory liberally, depending on the situation. If your health is fine, it is essential you prop up the group with this spell, as part of playing Protection Paladin well is looking out for your team members, as well as places to use your utility spells.

As a tank, you also have a number of important defensive cooldowns:



Ardent Defender

  • 2-minute cooldown
  • Reduces all damage taken by 20 percent for 8 seconds and if killed, reset your health to 20 percent

Eye of Tyr

  • 1-minute cooldown
  • Blast nearby enemies with Holy Damage, and reduce the damage they deal to you by 25 percent for 9 seconds

Guardian of Ancient Kings

  • 5-minute cooldown
  • Reduce damage taken by 50% for 8 seconds

Divine Shield

  • 5-minute cooldown
  • Grants immunity to all damage and negative effects for 8 seconds

While some of these cooldowns are pretty long, they can be substantially reduced by selecting the best available talents as options, such as Righteous Protector, to help bring them down to a manageable timer via the spending of Holy Power.

These cooldowns are essential for keeping you alive if you are doing high-end content, and knowing when to use them is something the best Protection Paladins are aware of ahead of time. Try to practice using them and figuring out when they are necessary. Some are stronger than others, and blowing a big defensive on something avoidable could be costly in the long run.

Divine Shield is a good panic button but will drop all the aggro you currently have!

Protection Paladin Macros

One of the most important macros for any class and spec is combining your trinket uses with your cooldowns. This can be done by referencing the slot the trinket is currently equipped, either slot 13 or 14. You will want to combine trinkets with Avenging Wrath when playing a Protection Paladin.

  • #showtooltip /cast Avenging Wrath /use 13

Another helpful macro can be to cancel certain buffs. Divine Shield will make you fully immune to all damage, but it will drop all of your aggro, and instead of right-clicking the buff, you can simply use this macro in place of the spell, and recast it to cancel the buff.

  • #showtooltip /cast Divine Shield /cancelaura Divine Shield

If you need to interrupt an enemy at a set time, having them as your focus will allow you to use this macro for an easy interrupt rather than retargeting during the fight.

  • #showtooltip /cast [@focus,harm,nodead] [ ] Rebuke

Due to having so many utility spells, there may be times you need to cast a certain helpful ability on an ally. Instead of having to target their player frame, you can use this macro in place of the spell, e.g. for Blessing of Freedom.

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@NAMEOFPLAYER] Blessing of Freedom

Best Stats And Gear For Protection Paladin

Once the first Dragonflight season begins, you will get most of your BiS (best in slot) PvE gear from the Vault of the Incarnates raid or high-level Mythic Plus. Before tackling that content, however, you will want to gear up using some easier methods. Both Mythic zero dungeons and early renown levels can set you up for a smooth entry into the season and can be farmed quite reliably without much time investment.

This list will prioritise items featuring the Haste stat, but also include a healthy mix of secondaries. Here are the following recommendations for your Best in Slot Pre Raid gear.


Gear Name




Decay Mother's Wrathful Gaze

Brackenhide Hollow

Decatriarch Wratheye


Bromach's Disentombed Locket




Mantle of Crushing Waves

Halls of Infusion

Primal Tsunami


Fireproof Drape

Ruby Life Pools

Kokia Blazehoof


Cuirass of Irreparable Madness

The Azure Vault



Reinforced Fisherman's Vambraces

Iskaara Tuskarr

Renown Level 14


Relic Handler's Gauntlets

Dragonscale Expedition

Renown Level 12


Trapmaster's Utility Belt

Brackenhide Hollow



Drake Hunter's Greaves

The Nokhud Offensive



Ohn'ahran Plainswalker Boots

Maruuk Centaur

Renown Level 11


Circle of Ascended Frost

Halls of Infusion

Khajin the Unyielding


Thunderous Downburst Ring

The Nokhud Offensive

The Raging Tempest


Granyth's Enduring Scale

The Nokhud Offensive



Irideus Fragment

Halls of Infusion

Watcher Irideus




Forgemaster Gorek


Crystalized Bulwark

The Azure Vault


If you can either craft it yourself or have the gold to purchase them, then getting some gear from Blacksmithing is the ultimate option for pre-raid. However, at the start of the expansion, these pieces will be very expensive, and you might want to hold off buying any before your early raids or Mythic Plus. The list above is orientated towards easy-to-acquire gear, but if you want to reach maximum power for the start of the season, consider investing in some crafted items.

Stat Priority

Your primary stat as a Protection Paladin is Strength, and this should be your number one goal in acquiring, as it directly increases the damage of your spells and the Armor gained from your Shield of the Righteous. As a tank, you should also consider maximising your Armor and Stamina, as these will help to keep you alive, which is your main role. Additionally, you have four secondary stats to choose from:

  • Critical Strike, which increases the chance for extra effective attacks and heals.
  • Haste, which increases your attack speed and decreases certain cooldowns.
  • Mastery, which grants damage reduction and chance to block magic damage whilst in your Consecration, overall chance to block, as well as Attack Power.
  • Versatility, which increases damage and healing as well as reduces damage taken.

For survivability, your general stat priority should be:

  • Strength > Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Critical Strike

Although Haste is your best secondary stat, once you reach around 25-30 percent, you can start prioritising other stats, as your rotation will be sufficiently smoothed out, and you will start to encounter diminishing returns,

Due to the flexible nature of secondary stats, you might want to try simming your character using tools such as Raidbots. This will let you know which stats to aim for regarding DPS output, and if you are not having any trouble surviving, investing in more damage will always be the next best thing.

Gems, Enchants, And Consumables

As noted above, you will want to go for Strength followed by Haste when gemming.

Your best gems will be:

  • One Fierce Illuminated Diamond (Strength and Haste)
  • Multiple Quick Ysemerald (Haste)

Gems are created via the Jewelcrafting profession, and you should try to socket the highest quality gems you can find, which will result in a higher amount of stats.

Your best enchants are:

Gear Slot

Enchant Name


Wafting Devotion


Tiered Medallion Setting


Homebound Speed


Sustained Strength


Writ of Speed


Fierce Armor Kit


Plainsrunner's Breeze


Devotion of Haste

Your list of consumables is as follows:

  • Phial: Phial of Elemental Chaos (Raid) / Phial of the Eye in the Storm (Dungeon)
  • Potion: Elemental Potion of Ultimate Power
  • Health Potion: Refreshing Healing Potion
  • Food: Hoard of Draconic Delicacies / Timely Demise
  • Weapon Buff: Howling Rune

In the same way as acquiring your gems, try to get the highest quality consumables you can and remember to be well stocked up before taking on any end-game content.

Source: Read Full Article