PvE Protection Paladin Tank Guide

wow cata protection paladin guide featured image

Faithful defenders and upholders of the Holy Light, Protection Paladins are among the most battle-hardened veterans that you may find across Azeroth, often found leading the charge against fearsome and monstrous enemies.

Protection Paladins are famous among the Tanking specializations as one of the most resilient and sturdiest specializations, having an extremely high amount of survivability through numerous defensive cooldowns while also having a complex arsenal of utility tools in their kit.

Protection Paladin Tank in Cataclysm

Much like other classes/specializations that have massively changed with the arrival of Cataclysm, Protection Paladin has received a large number of improvements and buffs, including one massive resource system overhaul! The most prominent change is the addition of the Holy Power system, a new resource that can allow the use of certain special abilities. In the case of the Protection Specialization, abilities such as Crusader Strike and Hammer of the Righteous act as Holy Power generators while abilities such as Shield of the Righteous, Word of Glory, and Inquisition act as the main Holy Power spenders.

Besides the new system which adds a new flavor to the class, the Protection specialization received multiple buffs to its Talent Tree and in some cases, a complete overhaul for abilities such as Holy Shield and Divine Guardian. The specialization now has one additional massive cooldown besides Ardent Defender, namely the Guardian of Ancient Kings which further enhances the specialization’s already astonishing survivability.

The stat changes brought by Cataclysm have also changed Protection Paladin for the better, with Block Value and Defense Rating being a thing of the past. The specialization has a 30% standard “Block Value” and receives a massive increase in the chance to block attacks through the new Mastery: Divine Bulwark effect.

With all those changes in mind, Protection Paladin became one of the most powerful tanking specializations, with Blood Death Knight being the only worthy rival to its overall performance.

Protection Paladin Tank Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Great Threat Generation
    Famously known as one of the best Threat Generation specializations with Righteous Fury, Protection Paladin maintains its legacy in Cataclysm, having close to no issues maintaining aggro.
  • Enhanced gameplay
    Compared to the previous iteration, Protection Paladins have a considerably enhanced playstyle, receiving an entirely new resource system, Holy Power, along with many buffs to their abilities.


  • Gear Dependent
    Just like with the other tanking specializations, proper equipment is crucial for success. Protection Paladins are plagued by the same weakness, being rather weak without the appropriate gear, requiring a considerable amount of gear to showcase their true potential.
  • Cooldown Reliant
    Protection Paladins struggle in encounters that require them to consistently soak extreme amounts of damage. Since they are cooldown-dependent, Protection Paladins’ survivability drops considerably while all their major cooldowns are not available.

Best Races

Wow Horde CrestHorde

The Horde is typically known for stronger PvE racials than the Alliance, however, that is not the case when it comes to tanking. Most of their racial effects are much better for the role of a DPS, with only a few racial effects being good for tanking. Furthermore, Horde has fewer races that can pick the Paladin class, meaning that the options are even more limited. Luckily, Taurens can now be Paladins, meaning that they are the strongest available race for Protection Paladin since they have access to Endurance. Blood Elf is the only alternative, having only Arcane Resistance as a passive that may be situationally useful for tanking.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance

While Alliance is typically known for its PvP-oriented racial effects, when it comes to tanking, Alliance has a surprisingly higher variety of viable racial effects in PvE than Horde. Dwarf is the strongest option for tanking since they have access to Stoneform, Frost Resistance, and Mace Specialization, followed by Draenei and Human which are also decent picks. Humans are useful for their, Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization, expertise racial effects while Draenei have access to Heroic Presence which provides Hit Rating, Shadow Resistance, and Gift of the Naaru which acts as a strong HoT effect.


We hope this guide has been able to help you decide if PvE Protection Paladin is the class/spec for you. Make sure to check out our other sections, such as talents, gear, gems, etc, to get more information on how to improve your performance as a Protection Paladin in Cataclysm!


About the Author


Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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