pve protection paladin talents & builds (wotlk 3.3.5a)

Protection Paladins have a standard build that can be subjected to various changes depending on what you require for specific fights or raids. We will display two possible builds, keeping in mind that you have complete freedom in altering them if you favor one set of talents over another.

Talent Builds

kurathis's build

This build will be most useful for high-end content, regarding the fact that there are no points in Divinity, so we assume that your party/raid group has capable healers. Besides that, it takes all of the crucial talents you’d expect, like Ardent Defender, Divine Sacrifice and of course Hammer of the Righteous.

There are some choices here that aren’t strictly speaking mandatory. The first of those would be Seal of Command — it helps you generate threat in cleave-type fights and on trash, but isn’t too useful on bosses — thus some people don’t see the appeal in it. Furthermore, this build puts 2 points in the mana regeneration Spiritual Attunement talent, where it will often be enough to only have 1 point — this just helps alleviate any mana concerns you may have during the fight, but if you find you don’t need the extra mana regen, you could absolutely put this talent point elsewhere.

build 2

This build is incredibly similar to the standard build, while shifting some of talent points towards more utility-focused talents. The biggest difference is the talent distribution in the Retribution tree, putting points into Vindication for its attack power debuff and points into Pursuit of Justice for increased mobility. This comes at the cost of trading points from Conviction, thus giving you slightly worse threat output.

This build also puts points into the Judgements of the Just talent, but as we have explained elsewhere, you will likely not need to apply this debuff yourself, so you could move these 2 points to other talents instead.

Notable Talents

  • Divine Strength increases our total strength by 15%. A must-have talent considering how many bonuses we gain from Strength alone!
  • Toughness increases your overall armor from items by 10% while also reducing movement speed impairing effects by 30%. This talent is mandatory considering how reliant we are on armor!
  • Divine Sacrifice is an amazing defensive tool that can be applied to all of your party members within 30-yards of you, granting them a 30% damage transfer buff, redirecting it all to you up to a maximum of 40% of your health. Beware, however, that this effect will break if it renders you below 20% health. You will only want to use this ability for major raid tactics, as it can prove to be a certain life saver!
  • Improved Righteous Fury will enhance your Righteous Fury, offering you a permanent 6% damage reduction while the buff is active, turning the spell into a defensive ability as well as a threat generation tool.
  • Combat Expertise is one of our most important tools, granting us 6% increased strength and 6 expertise. This is one of our most important min-max talent, helping us achieve our Soft expertise cap without much stress.
  • Guarded by the Light is an amazing talent that reduces all total damage spell damage received by 6% while also granting us the ability to perpetually upkeep Divine Plea as long as we hit our target!
  • Judgements of the Just is an amazing talent that grants us the ability to debuff raid bosses with 20% reduced attack speed while also reducing the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by a considerable amount. This talent is very strong, reducing boss damage significantly. However, it doesn’t stack with similar attack speed reducing effects that other classes can provide, such as a Death Knight’s Improved Icy Touch which almost all DKs will take, meaning you generally only need to take this talent if your raid has no DKs. Basically, 10-man raids.
  • Spiritual Attunement is one of our gimmick talents, allowing us to gain mana when we are healed, either by our own heals or someone else’s. This talent will have a high contribution to our overall gameplay in the later phases of the expansion.
  • Touched by the Light is a very strong talent that allows us to stack Spell Power based on our Strength, allowing us to improve spells such as Consecration and Judgement of Wisdom.
  • Ardent Defender is one of our bread-and-butter talents, allowing us to survive major damage by literally negating a possible death! This talent works akin to Cheat Death, allowing us to return to 30% health in the case of death. This talent is absolutely mandatory!
  • Crusade this talent allows us to increase our overall damage by 3% and an additional 3% against certain types of enemies. This talent alone will help you a great deal with threat generation, the more damage we deal, the more aggro we can generate.
  • Seal of Command is an amazing talent that can improve our AoE capabilities, allowing us to hit multiple targets at the same time, dealing additional Holy Damage to each of them!
  • Conviction is an optional talent that increases our overall critical strike chance by 5%. This talent does not improve our overall tanking capabilities but it can be a general good stat improvement for dungeons!
  • Vindication is a very strong talent that can place a debuff on the target, reducing its overall attack power by a considerable amount! Keep in mind that this talent can affect bosses as well!
  • Pursuit of Justice is an amazing talent that improves our mobility, allowing us to move 15% while also reducing any disarm duration! This talent is a great choice if you struggle to position or with pulling packs multiple packs of mobs.


In this panel, we will recommend you different sets of glyphs that you may find useful depending on the situations you find yourself in with minor glyphs being the same for each different situation.

  • Glyph of Divine Plea is an amazing glyph that grants us 3% damage reduction from all sources while Divine Plea is active! Keeping in mind that Divine Plea can be maintained indefinitely as long as we attack a target, this glyph is mandatory for raiding!
  • Glyph of Seal of Vengeance is one of our strongest glyphs, allowing us to increase our expertise by 10! This glyph is mandatory for raiding and min-maxing as we do not get a 10 expertise rating but 10 expertise in total as long as we use Seal of Vengeance!
  • Glyph of Righteous Defense improves the chance of our taunting abilities to land on a target! This glyph is similar to other tanking specialization glyphs, being a very good choice in raids!
  • Glyph of Seal of Command is a great tool for early mana management, especially in dungeons! It allows you to regenerate 8% of your base mana pool after you use any Judgement while having Seal of Command active!
  • Glyph of Spiritual Attunement is a good choice if you are heavily struggling with mana! This glyph can be powerful when you are in the early stages of dungeon grinding!
  • Glyph of Consecration is a great tool for Consecration upkeep, allowing you to use more abilities in-between Consecration casts, as it now lasts 10 seconds.
  • Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous is another great tool for AoE allowing you to hit 1 additional enemy. This is very handy on AoE-heavy fights.
  • Glyph of Sense Undead is one of the strongest glyphs that you can acquire, especially since the whole expansion is Undead themed. It allows you to increase your damage against Undead targets by 1% while Sense Undead is active.
  • Glyph of Lay on Hands is a great glyph that reduces the cooldown of Lay on Hands by 5 minutes. This glyph is a great choice, especially considering how strong Lay on Hands is!
  • Glyph of Blessing of Kings reduces the mana cost of Blessing of Kings and Greater Blessing of Kings by 50%! This glyph is extremely good for raid groups that do not have many paladins in them.


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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1 year ago

You should take vindication since boss’ damage calculated as “(attack power + base dmg) * coefficient”. It means that AP reduction for bosses is really effective. Also, in raid environment 1/2 spiritual attunement is enough (divine plea, blessing of sanctuary, hard heals on you, a lot of manareg buffs and effects). Usually im going that build (https://wotlkdb.com/?talent#sZV0tAbuMusIufzxfMzbc:Gkpmcz). There is 2 unspent points. You can go improved stun for stunning beasts on DBS (beasts CD will be same with stun CD). You can go judgement of the just if you are tanking RS HC inside and there is no DK for same attack speed debuff. You can go conviction or seals of the pure for more aggro generation.
Im taking for pursuit of justice for dynamic fights. This talent is slightly better than boots enchant (15 stamina + 8% movement speed), so you can enchant +22 stamina on boots.

Reply to  Indentuum
6 months ago

Hey, thank you for your comment and feedback! We do list a Vindication build 🙂

5 months ago

how do i utilize the glyph of vengeance while using seal of command in the tree?

Reply to  pallytanky
5 months ago

Hey, you don’t. You only use Seal of Command in AoE fights, and then you don’t gain the benefit of Glyph of Seal of Vengeance — you only gain that benefit in single target fights, where you use Seal of Vengeance.

If you are committed to tanking, you can have 2 different talent builds for your dual talent specialization, 1 of which has single target talents & glyphs (like the glyph of SoV!) and 1 has AoE talents & glyphs (like SoC, glyph of Hammer of the Righteous, etc).

Many people don’t want to use their dual spec for 2 tank builds though so this talent build just gives you a little bit of both!

AA Paladin
AA Paladin
4 months ago

In terms of Judgements of the Just

If it doesn’t stack with similar abilities, that means it doesn’t stack with Thunder Clap – an ability that generally provides a 10% decrease in attack speed, but if you grab Improved Thunder Clap (i.e Protection Warriors) then one of you has a pointless talent chosen, and Protection Warriors should ALWAYS pick up Improved Thunder Clap.

Spiritual Attunement is one of our gimmick talents, allowing us to gain mana when we are healed, either by our own heals or someone else’s.

I have never witnessed (or heard of) a Paladin generating mana from their own heals via Spiritual Attunement, nor have I experienced this myself. It does specify that it is based on “…other friendly targets’ spells” in the tooltip.

For Glyphs…

Dungeons/Trash Pulls – Glyph of Hammer of the Righteous / Glyph of Divine Plea / Glyph of Righteous Defense or Glyph of Holy Wrath or Glyph of Exorcism

paladin master
paladin master
1 year ago

is getting ‘touched by the light’ useless? cuz it gives spellpower and heal crit , and if you are in a doungen or raid you dont need to heal your self… you can spend them on something like stoicism …. any coment on that.?

Last edited 1 year ago by paladin master
Reply to  paladin master
1 year ago

Touched by the Light is a must-have. Spell power increases the damage dealt by your seals, Judgement, Holy Shield and Consecration. This means this talent alone will make threat a non-issue paired with Righetous Fury.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jimmyturbo
Reply to  paladin master
11 months ago

It is not useless. Most of your attacks are spells. This just makes strenth also good for your spells. Pick it up

10 months ago

Is Kings still the go-to self blessing? Sanctuary was rubbish in TBC, but updated talent looks viable. Get the Str and Stm from kings, plus dmg reduction, and mana.

Reply to  Vicious
7 months ago

Nope, Sanctuary was buffed to also give the same 10% strength and stamina buff that Kings gives (the 2 do not stack!) so you trade 10% agility, intellect and spirit (by not having Kings) for 3% reduced damage taken and the mana restoration buff. The 3% reduced damage taken buff doesn’t stack with the Discipline Priest talent that does the same thing, but if you can only pick 1 of those 2, go with Sanctuary!

5 months ago

2/2 Improved Judgements is not needed. Only need 1/2 for the 969 rotation to work, though there may not be better places to put that point depending on the raid comp. Seal of command is also largely unneeded for Prot, as most of our attacks already hit multiple targets. If you can’t hold aggro on AoE pulls without it, you’re doing something wrong with your rotation.

Pursuit of Justice is generally a bad talent for Prot in PvE. Think of it this way, Tuskar’s Vitality gives 15 stam+8% movement speed increase, while Greater Fortitude+PoJ gives 22 stam+16% movement speed. One seems better than the other in a vacuum, however you have to consider your other talent choices. Putting those two points into Conviction grants 2% crit, a stat we basically will never see as a Prot Paladin outside of Agility enhancements, and certainly not in flat percentages. 2% crit made Lionheart Helm and Blackhand’s Breadth pre-raid BiS in Vanilla. It’s huge. It’s basically like always having a third trinket. I would personally take a flat 2% crit over 80 health and an extra 8% movement speed any day. If 80 health and 8% movement speed are the difference maker to a fight, something else is wrong. 2% crit will be felt more significantly in every fight in the game, guaranteed. In regards to the disarm, it’s not really much to write home about, as most of our abilities do not require a melee weapon to cast. That aspect of it is highly situational at best, and meaningless most of the time, and is more useful in PvP as Ret than PvE as Prot.

Last edited 5 months ago by JonS
Reply to  JonS
4 months ago

should put 2 points in sanctity of battle as it gives 2% crit chance + 10% more damage on exorcism pull, and 4 points in conviction

Last edited 4 months ago by Kamikaze
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