PvE Protection Warrior Rotation & Cooldowns 

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The overall rotation of a Protection Warrior remains almost identical to its WotLK iteration, having close to no changes. The proc-based playstyle remains at large with Shield Slam, Revenge, and Devastate being the main core abilities. The only actual change to the gameplay is the added cooldown to Heroic Strike and Cleave, with the abilities now having a 3-second cooldown. This change, paired together with the added Rage Generation can result in overall excess Rage if you don’t spam your abilities properly.

In this section of the guide, we will go over the rotation and abilities of Protection Paladin Tank, in both Single-Target and AoE/Cleave encounters.

Single-Target Rotation

  1. Cast Defensive Stance
  2. Cast Charge at the beginning of a fight
  3. Cast Demoralizing Shout as soon as possible to reduce the damage taken.
  4. Cast Rend at the beginning of the fight
    • Recast Rend if you don’t manage to refresh it
  5. Cast Thunder Clap and refresh it after its duration ends
  6. Cast Shield Block on cooldown
  7. Cast Heroic Strike combined with Devastate/Revenge whenever you have excess Rage
  8. Cast Shield Slam on cooldown
  9. Cast Revenge on cooldown whenever it’s available
  10. Cast Devastate (Main Filler)

As every Protection Warrior should know, the Single-Target rotation is not actually a rotation, but rather a priority list based on the situation. You have access to debuff abilities that need to be maintained on the target such as Demoralizing Shout, Rend, and Thunder Clap which should be applied as soon as possible and refreshed consistently while you will also have access to direct damage abilities such as Devastate, Revenge, and Shield Slam that will be used in a specific order depending on whether you have access to any proc or not.

Your main filler ability will be Devastate, being spammed as much as possible throughout the encounter to deal damage and maintain Sunder Armor. Revenge is the first proc that you will watch out for, being prioritized over Devastate whenever it becomes available. This ability often tends to confuse players as it has a very similar cooldown to Shield Slam. In an ideal situation, you will want to cast Shield Slam first and then Revenge to hopefully gain the Sword and Board proc.

Shield Slam is the next ability that is heavily tied to a proc effect! It should be used on Cooldown whenever it’s available, especially before casting either Revenge or Devastate if Sword and Board did not proc. Since you will spam Revenge and Devastate, you are guaranteed Sword and Board procs, however, in the eventuality that it doesn’t proc, Shield Slam will take priority over both abilities.

Lastly, if you generate excess Rage, you will want to use macros in order to bind Heroic Strike to your other abilities such as Revenge and Devastate. Since Heroic Strike now has a 3-sec cooldown, you won’t be able to use it consistently as you previously did in WotLK on every Devastate/Revenge cast.

AoE/Cleave Rotation

  1. Cast Defensive Stance
  2. Cast Charge at the beginning of a fight
  3. Cast Demoralizing Shout as soon as possible to reduce the damage taken.
  4. Cast Rend on your main target
  5. Cast Thunder Clap to spread Rend
  6. Cast Shockwave on cooldown
  7. Cast Shield Block on cooldown
  8. Cast Cleave on cooldown together with Devastate/Revenge
  9. Cast Shield Slam on cooldown
  10. Cast Revenge on cooldown whenever it’s available
  11. Cast Devastate (Main Filler)

The AoE priority order is almost identical to the Single-Target one, with the only exceptions being the addition of Shockwave and the replacement of Heroic Strike with Cleave! You will maintain the same debuffs, Rend, Thunder Clap, and Demoralizing Shout, however, you will spam Thunder Clap consistently instead of only casting it to refresh Rend and its Attack Speed reduction effect. This will spread Rend to all nearby targets while also empowering the damage of Shockwave, with the ideal situation of casting 3 x Thunder Claps before each Shockwave. Shockwave should be always used on Cooldown!

Cleave will take the place of Heroic Strike, being cast consistently whenever you have excess Rage. Shield Slam, Revenge, and Devastate will have the same priority order as they did in Single-Target encounters.


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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