pve protection paladin stat priority (wotlk 3.3.5a)

Protection Paladins have a similar stat priority to other tanking specializations in the game, benefiting from reaching the hit cap and expertise soft-cap, then largely focusing on defensive stats — mainly stamina.

As a general rule, to avoid being afflicted by Crushing Blows by a raid boss, you will require a total value of 100.2% total avoidance! Meaning that in order to reach this number, you will have to take into consideration all of your defensive stats, this means dodge, parry, block, miss!

Stat Priority

  1. Hit Rating
    • Cap: 263 rating, or 230 if there’s a Draenei in your group
  2. Expertise
    • Soft cap: 26 Expertise (82 Rating with talents / glyphs, less with racials, read below!)
  3. Defense Rating
    • Cap: 540 rating
  4. Stamina
  5. Armor
    • Cap: 49905 armor (75% physical damage reduction)
  6. Dodge Rating
  7. Block Rating
  8. Block Value
  9. Parry Rating
  10. Strength
  11. Agility
  12. Attack Power
  13. Spell Power

Stat Explanations

Hit rating is by far the most important stat for a Protection Paladin. If your hit chance is not “capped”, you will often find yourself missing your melee attacks and spells, resulting in potentially losing threat on your target, which will likely lead to a wipe. Paladins are a hybrid class between a melee and a caster, so they benefit from reaching both the melee and spell hit caps. You need 32.79 hit rating for 1% physical hit chance, and 26.232 hit rating for 1% spell hit chance.

In order to never miss with physical attacks, you will need 8% increased hit chance, or 263 hit rating. We unfortunately don’t have any talents or other effects which increase our hit chance, but if you have a Draenei in your group, you get the Heroic Presence buff which increases your hit chance by 1%, meaning you only need 7% bonus hit chance or 230 hit rating.

Capping spell hit chance is more challenging, as you need 17% bonus spell hit chance, or 445 hit rating, which is slightly too high. Fortunately, in 25-man raids you’ll typically have a Shadow Priest or Balance Druid, who will apply a non-stacking debuff (Misery / Improved Faerie Fire) which increases your hit chance by a further 3%, reducing the cap down to 14% spell hit chance, or 368 hit rating. Having a Draenei in your group reduces that target by a further 1%, meaning you need 13% bonus spell hit chance, or 342 hit rating.

Generally, it will be too hard to attain the spell hit cap as a Protection Paladin — you would have to sacrifice too many of your other stats in order to get there, which isn’t worth it. Thus we recommend that you stick to the physical hit caps.

Expertise is a stat that reduces the chance of your attacks being dodged or parried. You get 1 expertise for every 8.1974 expertise rating you have, and each point of expertise reduces the chance that your attacks get dodged or parried by 0.25%. Thus, it takes 26 expertise (refered to as the “soft cap”) for your attacks to no longer be dodgable, and 56 expertise (the “hard cap”) for your attacks to also not be parriable.

As a Protection Paladin, you will gain 6 expertise from Combat Expertise and 10 expertise while using Seal of Vengeance due to Glyph of Seal of Vengeance. This means that you need 10 more expertise, or 82 expertise rating, in order to reach the soft cap. Humans get a further 3 expertise when using swords or maces, meaning they only need 7 extra expertise, or 58 expertise rating. Dwarves get a further 5 expertise when using maces, so they only need 5 extra expertise, or 41 expertise rating.

These caps are very low and thus easily attainable by Protection Paladins, so we strongly recommend that you reach them — it will make your threat output a lot more consistent. However, we don’t recommend that you try to reach the hard-cap of 56 expertise — it’d simply take too much investment.

Similarly to TBC, defense rating is one of the most important stats for tanks. It offers a host of defensive benefits: it reduces your chance to be hit and critically hit, and increases your chance to dodge, parry and block.

Bosses in WotLK have a 5.6% chance to critically strike players, dealing double damage. As this double damage can be potentially lethal, you want to eliminate this chance, which you can achieve by stacking defense rating. Specifically, you need to reach a Defense value of 540, which requires 689 Defense rating from your gear, enchants, etc. After that point, defense rating will continue to improve your dodge, parry and block chance, but it isn’t really as useful.

Stamina is the core stat of any tank. 1 point of stamina increases your health by 10 points — though talents and raid buffs cause you to gain a higher bonus effectively, making Stamina even more powerful.

You will want to stack as much as possible from any form of equipment, enchantments, gems and flasks. There is no precise number for how much stamina you should acquire — after you’ve reached your other caps, and your threat is fine, get as much stamina as you can!

Armor is very straightforward: it reduces all physical damage you take. This stat is incredibly important for tanks — you don’t want to be labelled a “paper tank” due to your low armor value!

The cap for Armor is 49905, resulting in a 75% physical damage reduction.

Dodge is the first form of complete mitigation available to Protection Paladins, allowing you to completely avoid an attack. Dodge chance is afflicted by diminishing returns, meaning that the more dodge rating you acquire, the harder it will be to increase your overall dodge percentage.

At the base amount, it takes 39.35 dodge rating in order to get 1% increased dodge chance. However, there are diminishing returns to dodge rating — meaning the higher your dodge rating, the more points you will need to get 1% increased dodge chance.

Being a shield-centric specialization, Protection Paladins rely a good amount on the 2 block-related stats, block rating being the first of those two. Simply put, block rating increases your chance to block attacks — 16.40 block rating increases your chance to block attacks by 1%.

Holy Shield increases our block chance by 30% while active, and you generally want to aim for ~45% total block chance in order to always mitigate attacks. Therefore you should be aiming for a 13-15% block chance through your gear, in order to reach this goal.

Note: Block rating and block value are NOT the same thing — a common misunderstanding among newer players. Block rating increases your chance to block attacks, while block value increases your shield’s “strength”, aka how much damage it prevents every time you block.

Block value is the 2nd block-related stat that Protection Paladins have access to. It’s a very straightforward stat, increasing the amount of damage your shield prevents each time you block. As Protection Paladins, we get a good amount block value inherently from our strength value.

With Holy Shield active and a solid amount of block rating through the rest of our gear, we get a fairly high block chance, meaning our block value ends up reducing the damage we take from attacks fairly often. It’s a pretty good stat, but not good enough that you’d intentionally sacrifice other defensive stats for it — particularly stamina.

Note: Block rating and block value are NOT the same thing — a common misunderstanding among newer players. Block rating increases your chance to block attacks, while block value increases your shield’s “strength”, aka how much damage it prevents every time you block.

Parry is the second complete mitigation tool available to Protection Paladins, allowing you to completely avoid an attack. Parry chance is afflicted by diminishing returns, meaning that the more parry rating you acquire, the harder it will be to increase your overall parry percentage.

At the base amount, it takes 45.25 parry rating in order to get 1% increased parry chance. However, there are diminishing returns to parry rating — meaning the higher your parry rating, the more points you will need to get 1% increased parry chance.

In the earlier phases of the expansion, 18 to 20% parry chance will be a good amount to aim for, as a general rule of thumb.

Paladins are a Strength-based class, so it is no coincidence that it is a useful stat for Protection Paladins as well. Its main use comes in the form of increasing our attack power, as 1 strength gives you 2 points of attack power — increasing our threat. Furthermore, the Touched by the Light talent converts 60% of our strength into spell power, which boosts our threat further, and our healing by a modest amount as well.

But the benefits don’t end there for us: as a Strength-based class, strength also increases our block value! Specifically, 1 strength gives you 0.5 block value. This bonus is strong, making strength both an offensive and defensive stat — but it’s not so strong that you’d want to start stacking strength gems, enchants, etc.

Some people may be confused to see Agility in this list, as it is typically associated with Rogues and Hunters. However, it’s not exclusively useful for them, as it confers a variety of benefits for everyone; specifically, it increases armor, dodge chance and critical strike chance. 2 of those 3 benefits are obviously very useful for tanks.

The catch here sadly is that, while not a bad stat by any means, it’s typically mainly found on leather and mail pieces, which aren’t good for tanking, hence we rate it so low in the list. If you do see it on an otherwise decent item however, don’t be put off — it’s still a useful stat!

Being a Holy / physical hybrid, Protection Paladins benefit tremendously from attack power. Several of our abilities (even spells!) scale with attack power, so more attack power means more damage and thus more threat, which is great. However, you generally don’t want to focus on this stat at all; you will get a decent amount of attack power via the strength naturally found on your gear.

Spell power used to be our primary threat-boosting stat in previous expansions, and that unfortunately changes in WotLK. It still does more or less the same thing: it improves the damage of our spell-type abilities, and our healing. However, several of our spells now also scale with attack power, and as our gear naturally has strength on it, we no longer need spell power for threat. It’s not a useless stat by any means, it’s just massively outclassed by strength and attack power.

 

About the Author

Nevermore

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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waaaaw
waaaaw
8 months ago

does prot paladin didnt need spell power in wotlk ?

Red
Red
Reply to  waaaaw
8 months ago

No he does not. In WotLK there are a few things that turn a percentage of strength into spell power. Strength comes with all prot plate now so it is easy to gear

Red
Red
Reply to  Red
8 months ago

The talent that gives you spell power from strength is “touched by the Light”

Bills
Bills
5 months ago

“The Expertise cap is 26, just like every other melee class.”
– Is 26 Expertise the soft or hard cap?

“The Block Value offers us great damage mitigation…”
– Are you referring to actual Block Value, or are you saying Block Chance?

“Parry rating will be the last stat due to the fact that it does not bring in as much avoidance as the dodge stat…”
– Are you referring to the difference on a point-by-point basis, or are you referring to the fact that we can only parry physical attacks, while we can dodge all types of attacks?

Bills
Bills
4 months ago

As a quick note on here, raid bosses can no longer perform crushing blows in Wrath of the Lich King as Blizzard has changed the mechanic to only happen from mobs 4 levels higher than the player, not 3.

earendel
earendel(@earendel)
3 months ago

Dungeons have the same defence cap? Can you tank heroic dungeons without defence?

AA Paladin
AA Paladin
Reply to  earendel
1 month ago

Technically, yes, you can.

However, it’s made a lot easier (for your group and you) if you reach 535 Defence for Heroics, and 540 for Raids.

randobagabones
randobagabones
2 months ago

ty for guide

Last edited 2 months ago by randobagabones
Pietflosse4
Pietflosse4
2 months ago

in the pre raid gear i have enough defence rating? because at the moment i go for it but not reach the 540 and the missing items have lower defence rating than my actuall gear i just miss the shulder and Head Enchantement

AA Paladin
AA Paladin
Reply to  Pietflosse4
1 month ago

I know this is an older comment, but if you are missing out on the 540 Defence, you can utilize the enchantments from TBC (Greater Inscription of Warding / Greater Inscription of the Knight) if you reached the appropriate reputation levels with The Aldor or The Scryers, respectively.

You can also utilize Arcanum of the Defender (Revered reputation with Keepers of Time) for a helmet enchant, as well.

Zhyna
Zhyna
14 days ago

I would definitely skip hit and focus on block value instead.

Hit only apply to melee damage from your one hand weapon. Even a 8% chance of missing would only apply to those melee damage only. So in the end a total loss of 1 or 2% of damage depending on your weapon.

Block value mitigate damages and increase the holy damages of the Righteous Shield by a lot, resulting in more threat than the melee lost.

Heyitsme
Heyitsme
5 months ago

Combat expertise does not give hit.

74yden
74yden
3 months ago

can i go into wotlk using resilience as prot pally?

Merritt
Merritt
Reply to  74yden
1 month ago

Late reply but no, resilience only effects damage caused by other players now.

AA Paladin
AA Paladin
Reply to  74yden
1 month ago

It depends on what you’re asking…

Can you tank using resilience? Absolutely.

Are you going to take the same amount of damage as a tank who is using legitimate defensive stats? No, you’ll take more. In PvE, Resilience just grants you immunity to critical strikes, while Defence (and other defensive stats) provides you mitigation.

Bong
Bong
1 year ago

Block value should be above anything, defense is good if you don’t want to be one shoted but Block value buffs your Holy Shield which also increase block value and gives damage in return.

Last edited by Bong
Rando
Rando
Reply to  Bong
1 year ago

Reaching Def Cap for raiding is a must. Block value is the least of your concerns when tanking.

AA Paladin
AA Paladin
Reply to  Rando
1 month ago

Block Value should NOT be the least of your concerns when tanking – it provides damage mitigation AND increased damage from Shield of Righteousness.

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