PvE Protection Warrior Tank Guide

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Battlefield veterans hardened through many encounters with death during their icy conquest of Northrend, Protection Warriors are among the toughest and most resilient behemoths, safeguarding all allies with their great shields. Standing tall as an impediment to all that would dare threaten their allies, those stalwart protectors stop at nothing for their allies, facing the most ferocious and formidable foes to ensure that victory is achieved, with as few casualties as possible.

Protection Warriors are known as the predominant Block tanks in the game, having access to the most powerful form of Blocking, Critical Block Chance. Their kits are loaded with defensive and utility tools, providing va

This guide will teach you how to play a Protection Warrior in PvE encounters, no matter if they are difficult dungeons or terrifying raids. We will be covering everything from enchants and consumables, to talents, rotations, macros, and addons.

Protection Warrior Tank in Cataclysm

Only a few things have changed for Protection Warriors with the arrival of Cataclysm, compared to the many changes that other classes/specializations received. Their kits work extremely in almost the same fashion as they previously did in WotLK, with only a few tweaks made to their abilities and talents. For those of you who have experienced Protection Warrior in WotLK, you will find that the same engaging and fun proc-based playstyle is still at large, only this time, it is enhanced by better Rage and Threat Generation.

The main changes that Protection Warriors now enjoy are a far better Threat Generation through the empowered Defensive Stance, consistent Rage generation through the Sentinel effect, and the transformation of the old Critical Block talent into the new Mastery: Critical Block effect. Their overall rotation plays almost identically, with Devastate, Shield Slam, Revenge, Thunder Clap, and Shockwave remaining core staples of the specialization.

Protection Warrior Tank Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Amazing Threat Generation
    While Threat Generation was sort of an issue for Protection Warrior in the previous expansions, in Cataclysm, the way Defensive Stance works now ensures that no Warrior will ever have to worry about their Threat ever again.
  • Powerful Defensive Tools
    Protection Warriors have some powerful defensive cooldowns that they can use to either reduce the overall damage they receive such as Shield Wall or drastically increase their total health pool such as Last Stand. Those cooldowns allow them to survive even the most perilous boss mechanics, making them very tough to kill.
  • Amazing Mobility
    Protection Warriors have amazing overall mobility thanks to the Warbringer talent which allows them to use Charge, Intercept, and Intervene in any stance! Additionally, they also gained an extra mobility tool in Cataclysm, Heroic Leap.
  • Engaging Gameplay/Consistent Procs
    One of the specialization’s strong aspects is its fun and engaging playstyle! Since your abilities cost little to no Rage and Rage generation is not an issue you will have little to no downtime while playing a Protection Warrior. The consistent proc of Sword and Board also ensures that you will consistently spam Shield Slam, emphasizing that you will always have a button to press in combat.


  • Gear Dependent
    Just like with the other tanking specializations, proper equipment is crucial for success. Protection Warriors are plagued by the same weakness, being rather weak without the appropriate gear, and requiring a considerable amount of gear to showcase their true potential. Until Protection Warriors gather a high amount of Mastery to increase their Block Chance, their overall survivability is low.
  • Cooldown Reliant
    Similarly to Protection Paladins, Protection Warriors struggle in encounters that require them to consistently soak extreme amounts of damage. Since they are cooldown-dependent, Protection Warriors’ 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. The strongest available race for Protection Warrior is Tauren as it has access to Endurance, followed by Troll with Berserking and Regeneration, and Orc with Blood Fury and Axe Specialization. The rest of the races don’t have any specific tanking racial effects aside from the situational ones such as Arcane Resistance or Shadow Resistance.

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 and Night Elf are the strongest options for tanking since they have access to Stoneform, Frost Resistance, Mace Specialization, Quickness, and Nature Resistance but Human and Draenei 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 Warrior 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 Warrior 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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