pve protection paladin rotation, cooldowns, & abilities (wotlk 3.3.5a)

Protection Paladins have a large array of spells in their arsenal, offering both simple rotations for both Single-Target and AoE while also offering a large number of utility spells for their allies. However, you should take into consideration the fact that as a Protection Paladin, your mana can become a big problem unless you carefuly use your spells or you have a strong healer that can constantly proc your Spiritual Attunement.

Simple Rotation

Abilities Overview

  • Avenger’s Shield is your initiation ability! It allows you to throw your shield, hitting 3 enemies at the same time. You will want to use this ability, everytime it is on cooldown, but generally, you will want to think of this ability more as an initiation tool rather than a constant ability that you will have to keep track of.
  • Shield of Righteousness is one of your core abilities, dealing direct Holy Damage to your enemy, based on your attack power and Block Value!
  • Hand of Reckoning is our main taunt ability, allowing us to directly force an opponent to attack us, even from far away!
  • Judgement of Wisdom allows you to restore up to 2% of your mana with every single one of your attacks! This ability can not be used without a Seal!
  • Judgement of Light allows you to restore up to 2% of your health with every single one of your attacks! This ability can not be used without a Seal!
  • Judgement of Justice allows you to considerably slow down a target! This ability can not be used without a Seal!
  • Hammer of Wrath is an execution ability that you can only use when your target reaches 20% health! You should use this ability as often as possible whenever it is available as it will generate large amounts of threat!
  • Hammer of the Righteous is the second core ability in your arsenal, being extremely spammable! This ability should only be used when there are 2 or more targets next to you!
  • Avenging Wrath is your main offensive cooldown, allowing you to increase your damage done and healing done by 20%. This ability should always be used as an initiation tool in order to help you increase your threat generation!
  • Consecration is one of the biggest threat generating abilities in your arsenal, blessing the ground beneath your feet and dealing Holy damage to all of the enemies that thread that ground.
  • Holy Wrath is one of your strongest crowd control tools, dealing massive AoE Holy damage to all Undead & Demons caught in the radius. You should keep this ability for dungeons or raids that have high concentration of Undead & Demon foes!
  • Holy Shield is one of your core defensive abilities, allowing you to increase your Block Chance by 30% while also dealing Holy Damage back to any enemy attack you. This ability must be maintained at all times, especially due to its low cooldown!
  • Sacred Shield is an ability that grants you an absoprtion shield, which you can consistently spam on yourself. However, if there is a Holy Paladin in your group, you should always let the Holy Paladin use this ability!
  • Divine Protection is a defensive ability that allows you to reduce all incoming damage by 50 % for a set duration! This ability is especially strong due to the fact that you can combine it with other defensive abilities such as Divine Sacrifice.
  • Divine Shield is one of the trademark abilities of a Paladin, allowing him to create an impenetrable shield for 12 seconds! This ability allows you to become completetly immune to any form of damage or magical effect, however, as a tank, it will instantly make you lose aggro!
  • Divine Sacrifice is an extremely powerful defensive ability that allows you to transfer 30% of all damage taken by your party to you, allowing you to provide huge amounts of damage mitigation. This ability should always be used when you have high health and a specific scenario on your hands.
  • Righteous Fury is your main threat generation tool, increasing the amount of threat generated by 80%. There is one mistake that most Paladins make which can be quite easy to acomplish, a lot of people forget to activate this ability before a fight, make sure to not do the same mistake!
  • Hammer of Justice is an ability that allows you to stun a target, having a lot of practical uses! You should use this ability whenever possible to help your group, especially with pesky fast-moving targets!
  • Divine Intervention is an ability that you should use whenever your raid is about to wipe! This ability allows you to place an ally in “Stasis”, effectively saving them and making them immune to any form of damage for 3 minutes! However, the target of this ability won’t be able to able to act anymore as long as the effect is active, meaning that they can not use any ability or even move!
  • Righteous Defense is an AoE taunt ability that allows you to taunt up to 3 targets at the same time! This ability can be used on an ally to instantly taunt up to 3 targets that are attacking an ally. You should use this ability whenver your allies are in danger!
  • Lay on Hands is a trademark Paladin ability, allowing you to fully heal a target! This ability is best saved for “panic” situations in which either your healers are close to dying or you yourself are almost dead.
  • Sense Undead is an ability that display all Undead targets on your minimap. However, this ability once glyphed, will actually increase your overall damage against Undead by 1%.
  • Redemption is an ability that allows you to ressurect your allies, provided that you are not in combat!
  • Cleanse is one of the best utility abilities in your arsenal, allowing you to remove 1 poison, 1 disease and 1 magical effect from an allied target. This ability is extremely useful in many situations, especially since in a lot of dungeons or raids there are a lot of magical effects placed on players.
  • Divine Plea is one of the strongest abilities in your arsenal, allowing you to regain 25% of your total mana pool during 15 seconds. Due to how our talents work, this ability will be perpetually active as long as you hit your enemy!
  • Blessing of Sanctuary is an unique buff given by Protection Paladin reducing all damage taken by 3% while also increasing strength and stamina by 10%. This buff is essential for tanks!
  • Hand of Freedom is an ability that allows you to grant an ally movement impairing immunity for 6 seconds. This ability is extremely powerful and can be used in various situations to grant a lot of mobility.
  • Hand of Protection is an ability that allows you to grant physical damage immunity for 10 seconds, while also making them unable to perform physical attacks. This ability is a great way to protect caster alliies or to nulify powerful physical damage debuffs.
  • Hand of Sacrifice is an ability that allows you to transfer 30% of the damage received by the target to you, up to 100% of the target’s health. This ability is a great mitigation tool, especially when you are an Off-Tank.
  • Hand of Salvation is a great tool to reduce threat generated by one of your allies, by up to 20%, reducing 2% per second up to 10 seconds.
  • Seal of Command is going to be your main AoE seal, allowing you to severely damage multiple targets with Holy Damage!
  • Seal of Vengeance is going to be your main seal Single-Target, placing a stacking debuff on your target while also improving your Expertise!
  • Seal of Wisdom is a situational seal that you will want to use when your mana pool is dangerously low!


When it comes to a Single-Target rotation, we will only have one rotation throughout the entirety of the expansion!


In-Depth Explanation

First of all, the Protection Paladin’s rotation is extremely simple! It comprises itself out of 6 spells which you will constantly have to cast in a sequence, one of them being a DoT upkeep.

Aside from those 6 spells, you have many tools in your arsenal which you will want to use to aid your allies, such as Hand of Protection, Hand of Freedom, Cleanse, Sacred Shield and Divine Sacrifice.

You will always want to initiate Avenger’s Shield, you will want to use it in the beginning of the fight combined with our favorite wings (Avenging Wrath) to maximize initial threat generation and spam it on cooldown afterwards.

You will generally want to activate Holy Shield before the fight begins, but you will also want to use it again the next time it becomes available. Holy Shield is one of our most powerful abilities as it increases our block chance by 30%! Not only that it increases our block chance, but it also deals holy damage back to your attacker!

You have access to three different types of Judgement! Each one of them has completely different effects, the first one allows you to regenerate mana with all of your attacks, the second one allows you regenerate 2% health on each of your attacks while the third one allows you to reduce an enemy’s movement speed by a considerable amount.

You will generally want to use Judgement of Wisdom as we have severe mana issues without a consistent healer! And by a consistent healer, we mean someone to consistently proc Spiritual Attunement. In the case there is no other Paladin in your group or raid, you will want to use Judgement of Light!

Consecration is one of your core abilities, allowing you to do consistent damage to your target while also generating consistent and constant threat. Consecration must be maintained at all times! If there is another ability that comes in your rotation and your Consecration is not up, you should always choose to upkeep Consecration instead of casting that ability.

Lastly, come two different spammable skills, which we will consider our “filler” abilities. The use of those abilities depends entirely on your higher stats and the type of fight you find yourself in. Hammer of the Righteous and Shield of Righteousness both have the same cooldown, therefore, they can only be used in specific situations, according to the fight and the stats.

Hammer of the Righteous is best used when there are aditional targets beside the main boss which need to be kept in control. This ability is also best used in combination with a higher Attack Power Value.

Shield of Righteousness is best used when there is only one target available. The ability itself scales better with Block Value rather than Attack Power! You should never use this ability if there are two or more targets around!


When it comes to Area-of-Effect, Protection Paladins have multiple tools at their disposable, ranging from blessing the ground beneath their feet to throwing a “Holy” Shield into their enemies while also striking them with their mighty hammers.


In-Depth Explanation

As we mentioned earlier, Protection Paladins have several tools when it comes to AoE situations.

First of all, one of the most powerful AoE tools in their arsenal is Retribution Aura. This effect returns a specific amount of damage on every melee hit received by the Paladin, turning it into a very potent “Spiked Shield” ability. Considering that all the damage done by this ability is Holy, mobs will have no way of resisting it!

Second of all, your strongest tool comes in the form of Consecration! It allows you to place a zone beneath your feet that does constant holy damage to your enemies. Together with Righteous Fury, this ability will generate a huge amount of threat!

Avenger’s Shield is considered your initiation tool, affecting up to 3 targets. You will want to consistently use this ability throughout your rotation every time the cooldown becomes available!

Seal of Command is one of our most intriguing tools! It makes our basic attacks capable of dealing Holy damage while also targeting two aditional targets. This spell is amazing because it works in conjunction with abilities such as Hammer of the Righteous!

Lastly, Hammer of the Righteous, will be your filler ability, having a low cooldown, you will be using this ability on every possible cooldown!

As a Protection Paladin, we are considered a “spam” specialization, you will want to constantly upkeep Consecration, while also Hammer of the Righteous should be used on cooldown in conjunction with Seal of Command.


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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11 months ago

About the pull, you pop Wings, Throw Avenger at max range and because of travel time you taunt the target. And for god sake, never ever taunt target that is already targeting you.

Pre-taunting is not solution to anything as it either kills dps now or 2 seconds later, either way if he wasn’t able to notice threat situation 10 seconds prior, 2 additional seconds won’t help him and you lost taunt CD.

Reply to  Aik
2 months ago

If a DPS attacks a mob before it gets in my consecrate, they deserve to die. My healers know to heal only me at the start of a pull. If the DPS drags the mob to my consecrate they live. If not they die and I’ll taunt if it goes for the healer. Doesn’t take many times for the DPS to understand this.

Reply to  WhatPsecyaneed
27 days ago

You don’t know how much I agree with this. There is the false misconception that threat is only a tank’s concern. In tbc with only one taunt it has been a nightmare at times with DPS trying to compete on who had the longest **** since pull inception

Reply to  WhatPsecyaneed
10 days ago

Consider opening with hammer of the rightious instead of consecrate for this reason, its instant snap threat consecrate is not, same applies to avenger shield.

Assuming you are not dealing with an metamorphed demo lock or starfall hurricane boomkin noone should be able to out-threat you as a prot pala on aoe

Last edited 10 days ago by Jamielolx
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