- Author: Pride
- Date: August 22, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
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.
- Do not forget to activate Righteous Fury & Seal of Vengeance before every fight!
- Activate Divine Plea right before the fight starts — refresh it if it happens to fall off
- Activate Holy Shield right before the fight starts, immediately after Divine Plea, and then use it on cooldown — make sure you have it up all the time
- Use Avenging Wrath at the beginning of the fight
- Use Avenger’s Shield to initiate the fight, and then on cooldown
- Use Judgement of Wisdom on cooldown
- If another Paladin in your raid is using Judgement of Wisdom, use Judgement of Light instead
- Use Hammer of the Righteous on cooldown
- Use Consecration on cooldown
- Use Shield of Righteousness on cooldown
- Use Hammer of Wrath when available
- Use Hand of Reckoning & Righteous Defense to taunt mobs that are attacking other players, or to taunt back from the off-tank
- Holy Shield (Before pull & on cooldown) -> Avenging Wrath -> Avenger’s Shield (Initiation & on cooldown) -> Judgement of Wisdom -> Consecration -> Hammer of the Righteous -> Shield of Righteousness -> Hammer of Wrath (When your target drops to 20% or less HP)
The Protection Paladin rotation is fairly simple. You have a defensive buff, Holy Shield, that you want to keep up on yourself at all times. Following that, you want to use your 5 offensive abilities (Avenger’s Shield, Judgement of Wisdom, Hammer of the Righteous, Consecration, Shield of Righteousness) on cooldown, adding Hammer of Wrath to the mix when your target is at or below 20% HP.
Moreover, you have a wide array of utility spells in your arsenal that you will want to use as necessary, such as Hand of Protection, Hand of Freedom, Cleanse, Sacred Shield and Divine Sacrifice.
First of all, before the fight even starts, you will make sure you have Righteous Fury & Seal of Vengeance active. They are crucial parts of our kit, and you don’t want to panic after realizing you forgot them just as the pull starts.
Then, right before the boss is pulled, activate Divine Plea. This saves you having to use a global cooldown to activate it mid-fight. Every time you attack a target, it will refresh itself, granting you a whole bunch of mana over the course of the fight — which is sorely needed, as our spells cost a lot of mana. There may be situations where Divine Plea falls off, as you are unable to attack an enemy for a long period of time. In those situations, you will need to manually re-activate it during the fight.
After you use Divine Plea, but still before the boss is pulled, you will want to activate your Holy Shield, for the same reason as Divine Plea — activating it before the pull saves you a global cooldown, that you can use on a damaging ability instead. You want to make sure that you always have Holy Shield on when enemies are attacking you, so from that point on you should be using it on cooldown, with higher priority than any other spell.
Use Avenging Wrath right at the start of the fight, followed by Avenger’s Shield, to guarantee that you get a high threat lead. After that, you will want to use Avenger’s Shield on cooldown, as it does a high amount of damage and threat.
With the fight now underway, you have 4 different damage-dealing abilities you want to make sure you’re using on cooldown, ideally with the following priority:
Using these 4 abilities in that order, followed by Holy Shield, gives you a smooth rotation of abilities you can follow at all times.
When your target drops down to 20% or less HP, you can also add Hammer of Wrath to your priority list — however, make sure using it doesn’t cause you to delay Holy Shield, that will not be worth it!
You can make small optimizations to this rotation, such as using Shield of Righteousness after Judgement of Wisdom instead of Hammer of the Righteous, if delaying Hammer of the Righteous means you can hit more targets with it. However, the general idea here is to use your spells as they come off cooldown, in a “first come first serve” or FCFS system — you don’t gain a whole lot of damage / threat by complicating things more than that.
If extra enemies spawn during a fight, or if you lose aggro on an enemy and it starts running towards a DPS player or healer, you should quickly use one of your 2 taunt abilities (Hand of Reckoning, Righteous Defense) to quickly bring them back to you. There are specific fights where the tanks must alternate, taking turns tanking the boss, and you’ll want to use your taunts when it’s your turn to tank there as well.
Make sure you’re using Retribution Aura & Seal of Command in AoE situations
- Holy Shield (Before pull & on cooldown) -> Avenging Wrath -> Avenger’s Shield (Initiation & on cooldown) -> Consecration -> Holy Wrath (if you’re fighting Undead / Demons) -> Hammer of the Righteous -> Judgement of Wisdom -> Shield of Righteousness -> Hammer of Wrath (When your target drops to 20% or less HP)
Protection Paladins have always shined in AoE tanking situation, thanks to our myriad of tools capable of helping us deal threat to multiple enemies.
The first of these tools is Retribution Aura, an aura that deals a small amount of damage to enemies that attack us. The damage might seem low, but when you’re in AoE tanking situations with DPS players trying their hardest to rip thread off you, every little bit counts — make sure you use this aura in AoE fights.
Furthermore, in fights with 2+ enemies, you should be using Seal of Command instead of Seal of Vengeance. The extra damage it deals to secondary targets will be incredibly useful in AoE encounters, and particularly when combined with Hammer of the Righteous.
The start of the fight will look like it does for single-target encounters: you open with Divine Plea, followed by Holy Shield, followed by Avenging Wrath into a big Avenger’s Shield. After that point however, you’ll want to play differently.
The first ability you should be using is our good-old Consecration, immediately after the pull, and then on cooldown with the 2nd highest priority after Holy Shield. The amount of threat it deals cannot be rivaled, particularly as Hammer of the Righteous only affects up to 3 enemies, meaning Consecration should be your bread-and-butter when there are 4+ enemies. Use it right after the pull, where you want enemies to be positioned.
We get an extra ability we can use in AoE situations: Holy Wrath. You should be using this ability on cooldown right after Consecration, but do note that you can only use it when the enemies you’re fighting are Undead or Demons.
Following that, you use your remaining 3 damage abilities with the following priority:
You can also use Hammer of Wrath when the target drops to 20% or less HP, just like in the single target rotation.
However, Judgement of Wisdom, Shield of Righteousness and Hammer of Wrath do not deal AoE damage, so when you have to hold multiple monsters on you, they should have lower priority than Consecration and Hammer of the Righteous, which you should always be using on cooldown.
AoE tanking can be challenging, so make sure you’re ready to use your taunt spells (Hand of Reckoning, Righteous Defense) on any monster that you happen to lose aggro on, before it kills that overly-eager DPS player — looking at you, Demonology Warlocks!
How come there is no 96969 rotation reference?
Probably because the author of this guide seems to think Hammer of the Righteous and Shield of Righteousness share a cooldown, and describes them as mutually exclusive based on number of mobs the fight…. Which is completely false.
Heya, we don’t think HotR and SoR share a cooldown, but I think you’re right, the way the rotations were phrased was a bit awkward and didn’t make it obvious that you should still be using both of these abilities in single-target and AoE!
So I have updated this guide, which hopefully makes this a little bit more clear.
Thank you for your comment & your feedback, and I hope the updates make the guide more useful to you! 😄
Heya! So this guide is aimed at players with a wide range of WoW knowledge: complete beginners, to experienced players that may have never played Prot Paladin before.
The 96969 rotation isn’t bad by any means, but it’s not significantly better than just doing a normal First Come First Serve rotation, while being pretty difficult to explain to beginners (the page you linked is absolutely massive!). So to that end, we decided to keep things a bit simple and not go into too much detail.
I do think it’s useful for players to have that type of knowledge, so I updated the guide a bit to give players an idea of something similar to the 96969 rotation.
Thank you for your comment & your feedback, and I hope my answer helped you! 😄
Thanks for the update, all good (:
That is patently false, and Theck did the math to prove it in OG Wrath (Wayback link since the Maintankadin forums were closed years ago): https://web.archive.org/web/20100906121429/http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/guides/theorycraft/969-and-fcfs-rotation-theory
FCFS will naturally become 9696/6969 when you prioritize keeping HS and Judgment on CD whilst also attempting to minimize empty GCDs, other “rotations” that stray from this will typically lose survivability from the loss in HS/Judge uptimes at the expense of very little gain in DPS/TPS
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.
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.
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
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
Unless your a ret pally 😉
helo. I give up tank with my paladine. I never play wow before, start now 28/02/2023. But tank is hard, for exemple the scarlat monastery cathedral, we all die becouse i dont know need to cleam all mobs before start the boss. And people dont be paciente to tech, they just kick you from the party… so, be a tank is the most important and dificult thing.
I’m noob, but for me i think Tank> healer> DPS dificult level. Tank is the vanguard, a vanguard cant be someone who do not know the way to go. So for that things and the kick from party, people not paciente i give up to be a tank. I will reset my talents and change for retribuition paladine.
Bro dont give up! You just dont have enough experience, you need a lot of practice and you can be a good tank!
dude, paladine is so broken, so unfar. I’m a completle noob, i creat 10 characts and play at level 30 with every class. but all classes i die in pvp for horde mother fuckers, my paladine is the one who never die wtf, if the guy dont kil me with 1 hit, my paladine wins the fight kkkk kkkk thats so funny kkkk. i kil 2 people, i never start the combat but i defend myself. i win against a rogue and a shaman.