wotlk pve protection warrior tank best in slot (bis) & pre raid
  • Author: Nevermore
  • Date: January 16, 2023
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

In this section of the guide, we will help you choose the best equipment (and, if needed, alternatives) that you can use for each of the different phases of the expansion. The Pre-Raid tab will contain the items that you will want to acquire before you start any serious raiding!

This section of the guide will be divided into two parts: the first part of the section will have a simple BiS list. The second part of the section will have the best items along with all possible alternatives and extended explanations for their use.

Note: stats of the items may change once Phase 2 is released. This list is an educated guess based on the currently available information.

Best-in-Slot

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The next best item that you can acquire is Cloak of the Shadowed Sun.

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Those will be your best options for your ring slots.

Alternative: Essence of Gossamer
Alternative: Rune of Repulsion
Alternative / Threat / DPS: Darkmoon Card: Greatness

These are the best options for your Weapon & Shield.

Alternative: Hero’s Surrender
Alternative: Broken Promise

Alternative: Envoy of Mortality

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Those will be the best options for the ring slots.

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Those will be the best options for the trinket slots.

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Those will be the best Weapon & Shield that you can acquire in the second phase of the expansion.

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Progressive Best-in Slot

Before we dive into the progressive list, there is one aspect that we all must understand! All the Tanking Specializations in WotLK will benefit from different items in different ways depending on the fights themselves. Meaning that while you may often find a set that can work for almost each and every single encounter, this may not hold true in all situations. You will find fights where you may benefit from a higher Parry Chance rather than a higher Block Value or a higher Dodge Chance than Parry Chance, Block Rating, and Block Value.

An example of fights where Protection Warrior benefits more from Block Value would be Algalon the Observer, The Assembly of Iron, and Ignis the Furnace Master while stats such as Dodge Rating and Parry Rating bring far better mitigation in fights such as General Vezax, Hodir, and Freya.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Gundrak – Moorabi (Heroic)
The Nexus – Grand Magus Telestra (Heroic)
The Oculus – Cache of Eregos

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your head slot. You have two main ways of acquiring adequate equipment for your head slot, you can either directly buy BoE items or craft them yourself, or you can go through a dungeon crawl and acquire progressive upgrades.

You will find items such as Helm of the Ley-Guardian, Arcane-Shielded Helm, and Ground Tremor Helm will prove to be very useful in the beginning before getting access to any raid. This is due to the “Defense” secondary stat that they offer. However, you will quickly find yourself replacing those items with either the BoE items or the new Heroic Plus Dungeon items. Treat them as a stepping stone!

In reality, you will want to swap those items as fast as possible and gain either the crafted Armored Titanium Goggles from engineering or directly buy Tempered Titansteel Helm from the Auction House. Both items grant you quite high baseline stats combined with “Defense Rating”, increasing your overall survivability by quite a high amount.

Your best option will be the Heroes’ Dreadnaught Greathelm, acquired from the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, especially for its high baseline stats, very high “Block Value”, and tier-set bonus that it offers. If you can not manage to gain this item, you can use Thane’s Tainted Greathelm, as it will grant you similar high baseline stats. The only issue is that it offers you a “Parry Rating” instead of “Block Value”, reducing your overall mitigation.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)
Naxxramas – Gothik the Harvester (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

For the first two weeks of Ulduar, you will find that the Valorous Dreadnaught Greathelm will prove to be invaluable. This will be mainly due to its high baseline stats and extremely high “Block Value” that it offers. Since it also grants access to the previous set-tier bonus, you will find no better alternative for breaching the gates of Ulduar.

Heroes’ Dreadnaught Greathelm will provide the same type of benefits as its upgrade, giving you quite a powerful option for your head slot, however, if you find yourself “Expertise” starved, you will find that the Helm of Vital Protection will be a better fit.

As a last alternative, you can choose the Platehelm of the Great Wyrm. It has high baseline stats combined with high defensive secondary stats, including “Block Rating”, however, it has one fatal flaw, a lack of gem sockets.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) NM/HM
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) NM/HM
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)
Ulduar – Freya (25) NM/HM
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)

In our current build, the best possible item will be the Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Greathelm. This is mainly due to its high base stats, but most importantly for two different aspects. First, we will always want to benefit from the 4-set item bonus. The second reason is the “Shield Block Rating” which will increase your overall damage mitigation by improving your overall chance to “Block” an attack while Shield Block is on cooldown.

Naturally, the next-best option for this slot will be Valorous Siegebreaker Greathelm since it will provide the same type of benefits, only with lower overall stats.

As mentioned earlier, items can depend entirely on the encounter itself. Naturally, you will want items that will increase your “Block Chance” and “Block Value” as Protection Warrior will benefit the most from these stats. But in some situations, items that will provide Dodge or Parry Chance will be your only options.

Helm of the Faceless is a great alternative due to the high defensive stats it offers, even if it does not provide any stat that enhances your block. While Protection Warrior is not a specialization that relies on Parry Rating, the overall increase will improve your mitigation.

Ironbark Faceguard will be a better option if you are “Expertise” starved, granting you quite a high Expertise Rating Value. However, it will decrease your overall survivability, even if its baseline stats are high.

Lastly, the BiS from Phase 1, Valorous Dreadnaught Greathelm, will still prove itself to be a very valuable choice in Ulduar due to the Hit Rating it offers and the extremely high “Block Value” it grants. If you alter the build to specifically include only items that grant a high “Block Value”, this item will perform extremely well compared to the others.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Gundrak – Zone Drop (BoE)
Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom – Jedoga Shadowseeker (Heroic)
Zul’Drak – Betrayal

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your necklace slot. You have two main ways of acquiring adequate equipment for your necklace slot, you can either directly buy BoE items or craft them yourself, or you can go through a dungeon crawl and acquire progressive upgrades.

Your best initial choice would be to buy either Titanium Earthguard Chain or Burning Skull Pendant, with the latter option being the superior choice due to the very high “Block Value” that it grants. You can choose to maintain those items until you can get into a raid or you can attempt to gain either Amulet of Autopsy, Chained Military Gorget, or Medallion of the Disgraced.

The best possible choice will be the Medallion of the Disgraced due to its “Block Value” increase that it offers, however, you can also use the other two options as they have good baseline stats and severely enhance your overall “Defensive Rating”.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Eye of Eternity – Heroic Judgement at the Eye of Eternity
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

The best choice before entering Ulduar will be the Nexus War Champion Beads. This will provide you with the best defensive option if you already have the necessary soft “Expertise” cap. Besides its high baseline and secondary stats, the item itself grants you a gem socket that can ideally grant you additional stamina.

Boundless Ambition is the next best option for this slot before breaching the gates of Ulduar, as it grants you similar baseline stats, with a high expertise rating replacing two defensive stats. In some situations, Boundless Ambition can prove itself to be better than the Nexus War Champion Beads, however, it really depends on the rest of your setup.

If you do not have access to the Eye of Eternity Heroic version quest, the Drakescale Collar can be a perfect choice. If you have enough expertise rating from the rest of your items, the Drakescale Collar can be considered even better than Boundless Ambition. Once again, it depends completely on your overall itemization and the rest of your items.

Both Heritage and Medallion of the Disgraced can be considered great initial choices, however, Heritage will be a better option if you don’t have enough “Hit Rating” to reach your soft cap while Medallion of the Disgraced is the superior version if you already have your hit cap as it provides you with a very decent “Block Value”.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Freya (25) HM
Ulduar – Kologarn (25)
Ulduar – Dark Rune Ravager (10)
Ulduar – Dark Rune Ravager, Arachnopod Destroyer (10)

The best possible option for this slot will be the Bronze Pendant of the Vanir. This is mainly due to its insanely high baseline stas and powerful defensive secondary stats. Even if the item itself does not grant you any “Block Rating” or “Block Value” increase, it presents itself with quite a high defensive rating, dodge rating, and parry rating.

If your entire build is oriented around “Block Value”, the Necklace of Unerring Mettle will be your actual BiS as it offers you a very high increase in “Block Value”. Even if the baseline stats will be lower than that of Bronze Pendant of the Vanir, the increase in block value will improve your mitigation overall.

Both Titanstone Pendant and Shard of the Crystal Forest grant you a decent alternative and a very good set of stats with the difference between them being that one grants you Hit Rating while the other one grants you Expertise Rating. All and all, both of them are very good items until you can manage to get your actual BiS.

Nexus War Champion Beads will be used in the beginning weeks of Ulduar until you can replace it, however, if you do not manage to gain it, you can use the Fervor of the Protectorate, even if it grants overall lesser stats.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Sunwell Plateau – Lady Sacrolash, Grand Warlock Alythess
Gundrak– Drakkari Elemental
Halls of Lightning – General Bjarngrim

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your shoulders slot. Since there are no potential BoE items that can be bought, you will either have to go through a dungeon crawl in Northrend or choose the Spaulders of the Thalassian Defender from Sunwell Plateau.

The best possible option will be the Heroes’ Dreadnaught Pauldrons as it also grants you access to the tier-set bonuses. However, Spaulders of the Thalassian Defender gains an honorable mention due to its insanely high “Block Value” while Abomination Shoulderblades can prove itself to be a valuable alternative due to its high baseline and secondary stats.

However, until you get enough gear to join the new Heroic Plus Dungeons or if you never had the chance to raid the Sunwell Plateau, you will want to start with items such as Pauldrons of the Colossus and Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons, with the former option being the superior choice.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Loatheb, Gluth (25)
Naxxramas – Gothik the Harverster (25)
Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Sunwell Plateau – Lady Sacrolash, Grand Warlock Alythess

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

We will have one honorable mention to the Spaulders of the Thalassian Defender item from the Sunwell Plateau, as it grants an insane amount of “Block Value”, proving itself to be quite valuable for damage mitigation. This being said, the item itself can bring value, even if it has lower baseline stats than the rest of the items.

The best possible choice before the gates of Ulduar are breached will be the Valorous Dreadnaught Pauldrons due to its high baseline stats and Dodge Rating plus Block Rating combination while also granting you access to the 4-set item bonus. However, not all players value the 4-item set bonus, calling it too weak, by merely empowering your Shield Wall for two seconds, preferring either Burdened Shoulderplates or Pauldrons of Unnatural Death instead for their baseline and secondary stats.

Heroes’ Dreadnaught Pauldrons will still provide you a good choice in case you don’t want to raid Naxxramas anymore, however, you will likely want to gain its upgrade instead.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (25)
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (25)
Ulduar – Thorim (10)
Ulduar – Kologarn (10)

The best item for this slot for the second phase of the expansion will be the Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Pauldrons. This is mainly due to the item granting you access to the 4-set item bonus combined with the high baseline stats. The item itself grants you quite a high amount of Expertise Rating besides its Dodge Rating. While it does not enhance your overall “Block Value” or “Block Rating”, the item itself enhances your overall survivability by a high amount.

Shoulderplates of the Deconstructor is the next-best option, especially if you don’t have enough Hit Rating from your other items. If we keep in mind the 4-set item bonus from tier 8, Valorous Siegebreaker Pauldrons will prove itself to be the better option, however, if you find yourself without enough Hit Rating, Shoulderplates of the Deconstructor will simply be better, especially since you don’t want to miss your taunts.

Lastly, Shoulderguards of the Solemn Watch will be your best initial option, especially since it grants you a better “Block Rating” than the previous BiS from phase 1. However, you will want to swap this item as fast as possible with either the tier-8 shoulders or the Shoulderplates of the Deconstructor. Since Protection Warrior benefits more from Dodge Rating rather than Parry Rating, this item can be considered just a stepping stone. Bare in mind, however, that even if Protection Warriors do not primarily benefit from Parry Rating, benefitting primarily from Block Chance and Block Value, they will still improve their mitigation from raw Parry Rating.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
The Nexus – Commander Stoutbeard (Heroic)
The Wyrmrest Accord – Honored

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your cloak slot. There are two main ways to acquire a good cloak once you reach level 80, you can either directly buy a cloak, either a BoE, crafted, or reputation cloak. Or you can choose to go through a dungeon crawl and acquire much more powerful versions such as the ones released with the new Heroic Plus Dungeons.

The best possible choice will be the Gale-Proof Cloak since it grants you high baseline stats and plenty of defensive secondary stats combined with much-needed Expertise Rating before entering a raid. However, it will not aid you with your Hit Rating.

As a viable alternative, albeit a weaker one from a purely defensive point of view, you can use the Cloak of Armed Strife.

Durable Nerubhide Cape will present itself as a powerful BoE alternative in case you don’t desire to go through the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, providing you with high baseline stats, Expertise Rating, and Dodge Rating. The only issue with the item is that it does not grant you any Defense Rating.

Alternatively, if you have no gold at all and it’s your first character, you can start with items such as Cloak of the Enemy or the Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions. Both grant you a decent amount of baseline stats and defensive stats, however, you will want to swap them as soon as possible.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (Multiple Bosses) (25)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (Multiple Bosses) (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

The best option before entering Ulduar will remain the BiS from the last phase, the Platinum Mesh Cloak. This is mainly due to the item granting you high baseline stats and a much-needed Hit Rating. Even if it grants you lower defensive secondary stats than the next-best option, the Hit Rating will allow you to use your gems for additional Stamina instead of socketing them with Hit Rating gems.

The next-best option, Shadow of the Ghoul, will grant you quite high defensive stats through increased “Block Rating” and increased “Block Value”, however, it will demand that you change either an enchantment, gem socket, or item to fulfill the need of Hit Rating.

The Cloak of the Shadowed Sun can be a great alternative, however, it grants you lesser secondary stats, making it a stepping-stone item. Since you will want to optimize your equipment as much as possible, you will want to swap this item as fast as possible. In terms of baseline stats, it is quite similar to the items listed above.

If you can not gain any of the above-mentioned items, you may choose to use the Gale-Proof Cloak. While it is not as potent as the other options, it can be a great initial option.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Mimiron (25) HM
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)
Ulduar – General Vezax (10)
Ulduar – Stormcaller Brundir, Steelbreaker, Runemaster Molgeim (10)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (Multiple Bosses) (25)

By far the best possible choice for Protection Warriors in the second phase will be the Titanskin Cloak. While it does not grant you defensive secondary stats apart from the “Defense Rating”, it will grant you much-needed Hit Rating and Expertise Rating.

The next-best option will be the Cloak of the Makers as it grants you very similar baseline stats coupled up with a high Dodge Rating, a high Defense Rating, and a much-needed Hit Rating.

The Saronite Animus Cloak can be considered the smaller version of the Cloak of the Makers, basically giving you exactly the same type of stats, being different only by granting a lower amount and the item level of the cape itself.

Cloak of the Iron Council will prove to be a stepping stone type of item, granting you decent amounts of baseline stats paired up with a high amount of “Block Rating”, Expertise Rating, and Defense Rating. You will quickly want to swap this item as fast as possible with an upgrade.

Shadow of the Ghoul remains a great option, especially in the first weeks of Ulduar. Since the item grants you both a high “Block Value” and a high “Block Rating” plus high baseline stats, you can safely maintain this item as long as you have enough Expertise Rating, Defense Rating, and Hit Rating until you can get an item such as the Saronite Animus Cloak. Depending on how much “Block Value” your equipment has, you will want to maintain this item for a long time to bolster the remainder of your equipment with raw “Block Value”. Even if it means sacrificing Stamina over it.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
The Wyrmrest Accord – Revered
Halls of Stone – Sjonnir the Ironshapper (Heroic)
Drak’Tharon Keep – The Prophet Tharon’ja (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your chest slot. Since there are actual no BoE items that you can directly buy, apart from the reputation chest from the Wyrmrest Accord, you will want to go through a dungeon crawl in order to gain good chest piece.

The best possible choice as a fresh 80 Protection Warrior will be the Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate from the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, however, until you manage to get into those new dungeons , you can start with either Ziggurat Imprinted Chestguard or Sun-Emblazoned Chestplate as they both grant you plenty “Defense Rating” and good initial baseline stats. However, you will want to change them as fast as possible before actually entering any raid.

Massive Skeletal Ribcage can prove itself to be an alright alternative to the tier set item, however, it does not grant you any gem sockets. The strong point of the item is the massive Expertise Rating that it grants.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Four Horseman, Gluth (25)
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
Naxxramas – Grobbulus (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Heigan the Unclean (25)
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

For the Pre-Raid option before the release of Ulduar, you have two main choices, both of which can prove very valuable. You can either choose to use the Valorous Dreadnaught Breastplate for its 4-set item bonuses and high baseline stats or you can use the Dragonstorm Breastplate for its almost completely identical baseline stats and secondary stats.

The only true difference between the two items is the difference in secondary stats, one giving you Parry Rating while the other one grants you Block Rating and the item set bonuses.

As an alternative, you can use the Chestguard of the Exhausted as it grants you pretty high baseline stats while also increasing your “Block Rating”, this will be useful whenever Shield Block is on cooldown.

Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate will be a safe choice, especially since it grants you access to the item set bonus. However, you will want to gain an upgrade as soon as possible, since its baseline stats are lower than the previously mentioned items. In terms of secondary stats, it grants you exactly the same type of stats as its upgraded version, only slightly lower.

Breastplate of Tormented Rage and Undiminished Battleplate will be alright initial choices, however, you will want to swap them as soon as possible due to the fact that they have no gem sockets. While Breastplate of Tormented Rage grants you three secondary, the Undiminished Battleplate gives you only two secondary stats, making it the weakest option.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Hodir (25)
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (10)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (10)

The best possible option will be the Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Breastplate. This is mainly due to its high baseline stats, huge increase of “Block Value”, and access to the 4-set item bonuses. Since the 4-item set bonus enhances your Shield Wall, allowing you to reduce magical damage by 10% as well, we will want to have the bonus active, especially for Hardmode bosses.

As a viable alternative, you can use the Unbreakable Chestguard, especially since it grants you the same type of increased “Block Value” that the tier item grants you. Overall, the items themselves are pretty similar in raw baseline stats, however, the tier bonuses simply outclass this item.

Breastplate of the Timeless can be a stepping-stone alternative, especially if you lack Expertise Rating. You can use it for its high baseline stats, however, you will find that the Valorous Siegebreaker Breastplate will be a better option just for the tier-set bonuses alone.

The only reason you would have to pick Breastplate of the Timeless over the Valorous Siegebreaker Breastplate would be the extremely high Expertise Rating that the item grants.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom – Herald Volazj (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
The Culling of Stratholme – Salramm the Fleshcrafter (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your bracers slot. There are two different types of items that you can acquire for this slot. You can either directly buy a pair of bracers from the Auction House, granting you the best possible choice as a Fresh 80 for this slot, the Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets. Or you can go through a progressive dungeon crawl and gain similar items.

By far the best available choice with the release of the second phase as a Fresh 80 will be the Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets for its extremely high stats, however, depending on your realm’s economy and whether someone actually buys it and places it on the Auction House you may not have access to this item.

Through a progressive path, you will want to start with items such as the Bindings of Dark Will and the Bracers of the Herald, both of which grant you very high baseline stats and plenty of Defense Rating and Parry Rating. Naturally, the latter item will be the superior choice.

The new Heroic Plus Dungeons will grant you access to the former 10-man raids, allowing you to gain either the Minion Bracers which will grant you extremely high baseline stats and defensive secondary stats for a 10-man item or the Bracers of Lost Sentiments which will aid you in reaching your Expertise and Hit soft caps at the expense of some defensive stats.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25)
Naxxramas – Instructor Razuvious (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

For the Pre-raid phase of Ulduar, your best option will be the Bindings of the Hapless Prey. This is mainly due to the high “Defense Rating” and very high “Block Value” that it grants paired up with quite high baseline stats. Since Protection Warrior benefits the most from stats such as Block Rating and Block Value, you will want to gain as many items that give you those two stats as long as you have enough Hit Rating and Expertise Rating.

You can use Bracers of the Unholy Knight as a viable alternative, especially since it grants similar baseline stats. Even if Protection Warrior benefits the most from Block Rating and Block Value, it will still gain mitigation value from stats such as Dodge Rating and Parry Rating, making this item quite a powerful alternative.

Another relatively good choice would be the Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets, granting you quite high secondary stats alongside high baseline stats. This item alone has stats that can compare even to the highest available loot in Ulduar! The best part of this item is that you can directly buy it from the Auction House since it is a BoE item.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (10)
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25)

Sadly, Ulduar does not grant us a lot of choices when it comes to the wrist slot. We will have two main options to pick from, with Mimiron’s Inferno Couplings being the best choice. This is mainly due to its highbaseline stats combined with the high secondary stats. It will also grant you much-needed Hit Rating. While it does not exceed in defensive stats, it still proves to be the best option for the simple lack of a better option.

Flamewatch Armguards are the only alternative presented by Ulduar, granting you both decent baseline stats and secondary stats. There is not much else to say about this item, other than that it can be considered a lesser version of Mimiron’s Inferno Couplings, practically giving you the exact same type of secondary stats.

If you wish to skip over the Flamewatch Armguards, you can still use the Bindings of the Hapless Prey as it grants you high baseline stats and severely enhances your “Block Value” while still granting you plenty of Defense Rating.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Kirin Tor- Exalted
Violet Hold – Ichoron (Heroic)
Halls of Stone – Zone Drop (BoE)
The Sunwell Plateau – Felmyst

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your gloves slot. You have the choice to either directly buy a BoE item or a reputation-based item as your first pair of gauntlets or you can choose to go through a progressive dungeon crawl.

The best possible choice will be the Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards, it becomes available through the new Heroic Plus Dungeons in the second phase of the expansion. This is mainly due to its high baseline stats paired up with a decent amount of Expertise Rating and Defense Rating/Parry Rating.

Gauntlets of the Master will prove itself to be a great alternative, especially as a fresh level 80 character. Since it gives quite similar stats to both in baseline stats and secondary stats, the only clear differences will be the accesibility to the item tier set bonus and the fact that one of the items will aid you with your Expertise Cap while the other one will aid you with your Hit Rating. The Gauntlets of the Master also has no gem sockets compared to the Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards

However, until you can get into the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, you have other more affordable options or simply easier dungeons that you can explore for some juicy loot. You can gain the Fireproven Gauntlets from the Kirin Tor quartermaster as a decent initial choice or you can directly buy an average initial choice such as the Refined Ore Gloves.

As an honorable mention, the Borderland Fortress Grips will grant you stats which will remain relevant even in the initial raids of WotLK.. As the item grants decent baseline stats and secondary stats. While the item itself can hold up on its own, you will likely want to swap it pretty fast.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Noth the Plaguebringer (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Grand Widow Faerlina (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

The best possible choice for the Pre-Ulduar gearing part will be the Valorous Dreadnaught Handguards. This is mainly due to the high baseline stats and the high “Defense Rating”/”Parry Rating” that it offers paired up with the item set bonuses. The Hit Rating will also help you reach your soft cap, especially since its crucial to land your taunts.

Gauntlets of the Disobedient will be the next-best option, even if they do not grant you access to the tier set bonus. This is mainly due to the high baseline stats and the decently high “Block Value” that it grants paired up with “Block Rating”.

Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards will be a good alternative until you manage to get your “Hands” on any of the previously mentioned items. It basically grants the same type of benefits as the Valorous Dreadnaught Handguards, with slightly lesser stats.

Lastly, Callous-Hearted Gauntlets can be a great option for fights where “Block Value” is outshined by Parry Rating and Dodge Rating, granting you quite a high baseline stats.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Freya (25) HM
Ulduar – The Iron Council (25)
Ulduar – Mimiron (25)

The best possible option for this slot and the only item that will not be a tier item from this set will be the Handguards of Revitalization. This is mainly due to the very high baseline stats, combined with the two gem sockets and high secondary stats. Even if Protection Warrior benefits more from “Block Value”, the high amounts of Parry Rating and Dodge Rating will increase your overall mitigation.

Handguards of the Enclave will provide you with the next-best alternative, especially since they grant you a spectacular amount of “Block Value”. However, the item has no gem sockets, meaning that it will have an overall lower Stamina than our first choice.

Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Handguards grants you a decent alternative, however, it is better suited for sets that do not have enough Hit Rating. The item itself grants you lower overall defensive stats than the previously mentioned items, being treated as a stepping stone. Most Protection Warriors choose to ignore the item altogether, however, it can still provide you with plenty of value in lack of any better option.

Lastly, the Gauntlets of the Royal Watch provide a very well rounded option, granting you high Stamina, high defensive secondary stats while also granting you a good amount of Hit Rating. While the item itself is quite good, you will want to gain either Handguards of Revitalization or Handguards of the Enclave as they are simply better items stats-wise.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Utgarde Pinnacle – Skadi the Ruthless (Heroic)
Azjol-Nerub – Anub’arak (Heroic)
Drak’Tharon Keep – Zone Drop (BoE)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your waist slot. You have two main choices when first searching for the proper equipment for your waist slot, you can either go through a slow dungeon crawl and acquire progressive upgrades or you can directly buy a BoE item and directly jump into some low-tier raids.

With the release of the second phase of the expansion, the new Heroic Plus Dungeons grant us some very interesting new choices that allow us to gear our characters much more efficiently. For your waist slot, the Waistguard of the Tutor will prove itself to be the best possible option that you will be able to acquire before entering any 25-man raid. This is mainly due to the high baseline stats combined with a very high “Block Value” secondary stat. Just like we mentioned in the previous sections, Protection Warriors thrive specifically when they stack large amounts of “Block Value”

As a great alternative, you can use Skadi’s Iron Belt, as it grants you similar stats to the best available option, especially enhancing your Block Value.

However, until you can manage to get into the new Heroic Plus Dungeons or gather enough emblems to buy an item such as the Waistguard of Living Iron which offers pretty decent defensive stats, you will want to either buy the Waistguard of the Risen Knight as it is a great initial choice or simply try to gain the Ancient Aligned Girdle from Heroic Azjol-Nerub as it grants you a very high amount of Stamina. The only issue with the item is that it only grants two secondary stats instead of three secondary stats, as you will find on the majority of items. Once again, you should treat the Ancient Aligned Girdle as a stepping stone item, merely a survivability boost until you can gain an upgrade that will optimize your defensive stats.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Maexxna (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Patchwerk (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

The best possible choice for Pre-Ulduar would be the Ablative Chitin Girdle. This is mainly due to is very high baseline stats combined with the gem socket and the combination of Defense Rating, Parry Rating, and Hit Rating. While Parry Rating does not scale perfectly with Protection Warriors, it will increase your overall survivability while the Hit Rating will be a much-needed necessity since we always want to be the reaching our soft Hit Cap.

The next-best alternative will be the Waistguard of the Tutor. This is due to the very high “Block Value” combined with high baseline stats that the item offers. This alternative is perfect if you already have your Hit cap and Expertise cap.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Razorscale (25)

For the Waist slot, the BiS choice differs the most depending on which fight you currently find yourself in. As some fights favor Block Value over Parry and Dodge Rating while others favor Block Rating and Block Value completely, you will find yourself wanting to swap between two items in order to optimize your mitigation completely.

For fights that favor Block Value, your best choice will be the Dragonslayer’s Brace, as it provides very high baseline stats paired up with high “Block Value” and quite a high “Block Rating”. The only issue the item has is that it has no “gem sockets”.

The second choice which is better in fights that do not rely so much on Block Value will be the Indestructible Plate Girdle. The best part of this item is that you can quickly attain it since it is a crafted item and it has extremely high stats, both for its baseline and secondary stats. It also has two gem sockets.

As a decent alternative to the two previously mentioned items, you can use the Shieldwarder Girdle, as it grants you high amounts of Stamina paired up with quite a high amount of Dodge Rating and Hit Rating. The item itself can be considered quite good, however, it pales in comparison to the previously mentioned items, being used as a stepping-stone of sorts. The good part about it is that while the recipe for the crafted item may not be looted and the Dragonslayer’s Brace may simply not drop, this item can be acquired through Emblems of Conquest, removing the RNG element to some extent.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Violet Hold – Cyanigosa (Heroic)
The Oculus – Cache of Eregos (Heroic)
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your legs slot. Since there are no good BoE items that you can gain right after reaching level 80, you will have to rely on a slow progressive dungeon crawl. Luckily, the new Heroic Plus Dungeons that come with the second phase of the expansion, will grant us some pretty neat gearing options.

Since we know that gearing our Protection Warriors depends on what type of fights you will encounter, your best choice will be between the Legplates of Inescapable Death and the Heroes’ Dreadnaught Legguards. The first option will grant you plenty of baseline stats and very strong secondary defensive stats, especially in the form of “Block Value”, while the second option grants you access to the tier-item set bonuses while also granting you high baseline stats and a different form of damage mitigation through Dodge/Parry rating.

As a viable alternative, you can use the Bolstered Legplates since they give you very high baseline stats, two gem sockets, and a very high “Defense Rating”, allowing you to reach your Defense Soft Cap pretty fast in the early gearing process. Ley-Guardian’s Legguards can be treated as the lesser version of the Bolstered Legplates, as it grants the same type of stats, only slightly lower.

If none of the previous items are available, you can start with the Staggering Legplates, as they will grant you a very high Stamina baseline plus a high Hit Rating, allowing you to quickly reach your Hit Soft Cap.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
The Eye of Eternity – Malygos (25)
The Obsidian Sanctum – Sartharion (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
The Eye of Eternity – Malygos (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

The best possible choice for the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase will be the Legplates of Sovereignty. This is mainly due to the very high Stamina baseline that it offers alongside its high secondary stats. Due to an insanely high “Defense Rating” paired up with a high Parry Rating and Expertise Rating, this item will fully a big portion of your mitigation stats while also helping you in achieving your Expertise Soft Cap faster.

As viable alternatives, you can use the Dragon Brood Legguards, especially if you lack Hit Rating or the Legplates of Inescapable Death since it offers you a very high amount of “Block Value” alongside its gem sockets and decently high baseline stats. Since the Legplates of Inescapable Death has two gem sockets, you can end up having as much Stamina as the Legplates of Sovereignty.

Lastly, you can use an item such as the Valorous Dreadnaught Legguards. While its stats are similar to the other items, providing you with decently high baseline stats and secondary stats, alongside the potential tier-set bonus, the other items will simply outshine it in terms of pure mitigation. Notheless, it is still a very good option in case you can’t get the other items.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Freya (25)
Ulduar – Hodir (10)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25) HM

The best possible choice for the second phase of the expansion will be the Conqueror’s Siegebreaker Legguards. This is mainly due to its high baseline stats, two gem sockets, potential for the tier-set item bonuses, and its fantastic secondary stats. Since Protection Warriors benefit the most from “Block Value”, this item will grant you an outstanding amount of it, allowing you to increase your overall survivability.

Naturally, the Valorous Siegebreaker Legguards come as a second-best choice, since they are the basic version of the item, granting you the same type of stats and item bonuses.

As viable alternatives, you can choose either the Wyrmguard Legplates or the Legplates of the Endless Void. As mentioned previously, even if Protection Warrior benefits the most from Block Value, there will be fights where other forms of mitigation such as Parry Rating and Dodge Rating will be required. Meaning that for some fights, the Legplates of the Endless Void will prove invaluable, especially since they offer you insanely high overall stats.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan, Gluth (25) (BoE)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your feet slot. There are two main things that you can do for this slot, especially as a fresh level 80. You can either buy BoE items directly, or you can go through a slow progressive dungeon crawl.

If you managed to get plenty of gold, you can actually directly buy the best possible option directly from the Auction House, if you are lucky enough to find it available. Inexorable Sabatons will grant you the best possible stats, being powerful enough to carry your stats even in the beginning of Ulduar. The item grants you extremely high baseline stats combined with a very high “Block Value”, severely enhancing your overall survivability and damage mitigation. You should still keep in mind that some fights won’t favor “Block Value”, meaning that you will have to rely on items that grant you Parry Rating and Dodge Rating instead.

However, since the item will be extremely contested, you may want to start with an item such as the Tempered Titansteel Treads which will be easier to acquire.

As viable alternatives, you can use either of the Plague-Impervious Boots, Greaves of Ancient Evil, or Slaughterhouse Sabatons as perfectly acceptable options. Both Plague-Impervious Boots and the Greaves of Ancient Evil are great options for fights where “Block Value” won’t grant you the best form of mitigation, both items granting you Dodge Rating and Parry Rating, instead.

As a great alternative for a build that focuses on Block Rating and Block Value, you can use the Slaughterhouse Sabatons, as they are a great pick and great alternative to the Inexorable Sabatons.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan, Gluth (25) (BoE)
Naxxramas – Gluth, Thaddius (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

Just like stated before, the Inexorable Sabatons will be your best choice for the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase, especially since they grant you a very high “Block Value”. However, you should keep in mind that there are other alternatives that you may find useful, especially in fights where “Block Value” will not prove so efficient. A perfect example of this situation would be the Kyzoc’s Ground Stompers, granting you plenty of Dodge and Parry Rating to increase your overall survivability.

The Sabatons of Endurance are a perfect alternative in case you don’t have enough Expertise Rating while the Plague-Impervious Boots are another great option for fights where “Block Value” won’t be efficient.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Zone Drop (25)
Ulduar – Mimiron (10) HM
Naxxramas – Anub’Rekhan, Gluth (25)

Just like in the previous sections of this guide, the best option depends entirely on the encounter itself. There are two main options which can be swapped depending on the fight itself, meaning that you may want to gain both items to optimize your fights as much as possible.

The Greaves of the Stonewarder will be the best possible option when it comes to encounters where Block Value is the most efficient stat while the Greaves of the Iron Army is the best choice if it comes to fights where you benefit the most from Parry Rating. The Greaves of the Iron Army will be especially good if your overall gear lacks Expertise Rating.

As viable alternatives, you can directly buy either Spiked Deathdealers or even the Inexorable Sabatons, as both options are great. Following the same school of thought, the Spiked Deathdealers will be a great initial option, especially in fights where you benefit more from Parry Rating and Dodge Rating while the Inexorable Sabatons are a lot better in builds that stack as much “Block Value” as possible and in encounters where “Block Value” is the most efficient form of mitigation.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
The Sunwell Plateau – Entropius
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)
Drak’Tharon Keep – The Prophet Tharon’ja

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your ring slots. You have 3 main options which you can use, you can either use a very powerful ring from a previous expansion, buy a powerful initial ring from the Auction House and pair it with one from a dungeon, or you can directly go through a slow progressive dungeon crawl to acquire the best possible options before raiding.

The Titanium Earthguard Ring can be a great choice for the beginning as it will be very affordable directly from the Auction House, giving you decently high baseline stats and moderate amounts of defensive secondary stats.

Until you can reach the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, you can start with a slow progressive dungeon crawl and acquire good initial items such as the Keystone Great-Ring or the Unsmashable Heavy Band which provide you with great starter stats, the latter option being strong enough to be taken even into raids.

Once you get into the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, you will be able to gain either Deflection Band or the Signet of the Accord which grant very high baseline stats combined with quite powerful secondary stats which will help you get closer to your Defense Cap, Hit Rating Soft Cap, and the Expertise Soft Cap.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25)
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (25)
The Sunwell Plateau – Entropius
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Obsidian Sanctum 10 Drop)
Utgarde Keep – Ingvar the Plunderer (Heroic)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

For the Pre-Ulduar phase of the gearing process, you will have many available choices when it comes to your ring slots, each of them giving varying types of benefits that tend to be similar to each other. Therefore, we will differentiate the items through slight stats adjustments, since all of them are very similar.

Among the best combinations, you will find the Signet of the Impenetrable Fortress and the Gatekeeper. While they do not grant high defensive stats, they grant you plenty of Hit Rating and Expertise Rating to reach your soft caps. If you choose to use those rings, you will gain most of your defensive stats from the rest of your equipment.

The Sand-Worn Band is a great option if you already have plenty of Expertise Rating as it will aid you in increasing your overall Mitigation by adding Parry Rating and Dodge Rating to your stats.

The Ring of Hardened Resolve is an honorable mention, even if it comes from the previous expansion, as it grants you a very high amount of “Block Value” and quite a decent amount of Expertise Rating and Defense Rating. The only downfall of the item is the relative low Stamina that it grants and the fact that it only brings Stamina as a baseline stat.

Both the Deflection Band and the Signet of the Accord grant you similar types of stats and can be quite useful, depending on which stats you need to optimize, as one of them grants you Hit Rating and Dodge Rating while the other one grants you Expertise Rating and Parry Rating.

Lastly, the Unsmashable Heavy Band can be a good initial choice, even if it grants overall lower stats than the rest of the items as it grants quite a decently high amount of “Block Value” which will prove valuable in a lot of encounters.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Thorim (25) HM
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (25)
Ulduar – Auriaya (25)
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)

Considering the best possible choices for your ring slots as a Protection Warrior in Ulduar, we sadly don’t have many choices. However, the choices presented are very powerful, even if they are not very diversified. The most powerful ring that you can pair up with any of the other 3 choices will be Fate’s Clutch. This is mainly due to its high baseline/secondary stats paired up with complementary Expertise Rating to aid you in reaching your Expertise Soft Cap.

The second ring that you will want to use depends entirely on the encounter itself with options such as the Signet of the Earthshaker providing you with a great deal of “Block Value” while options such as the Platinum Band of the Aesir grant you additional Expertise Rating and Dodge Rating as a main form of Mitigation.

Lastly, you can use the The Leviathan’s Coil, however, you may want to swap it as fast as possible since you should only treat this item as a stepping-stone due to its low overall stats.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Azjol-Nerub – Hadronox (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Gundrak – Gal’darah (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your trinket slots. Since the only Trinket that you can actually directly buy from the Auction House, Darkmoon Card: Greatness, is a trinket meant for a Hybrid Build that helps with Threat Generation, you will want to go through a slow progressive dungeon crawl in order to get your hands on some good trinkets.

The best possible choices will be the Essence of Gossamer and the Figurine – Monarch Crab. However, the Figurine – Monarch Crab can only be attained from Jewelcrafting, meaning that it will depend entirely on you if you want to dedicate to an entire profession only for a trinket that you may find yourself changing fast.

Due to the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, we can get early access to the Repelling Charge, granting you a high initial Defense Rating that you can use to reach your cap faster. However, until you can actually get into a Heroic Plus Dungeon, you will want to progress through Normal Dungeons and Heroic Dungeons, meaning that you will start with items such as the Offering of Sacrifice.

Lastly, the Valor Medal of the First War can be a great choice due to the high Dodge Rating that it offers, however, you will have to keep in mind that the Meta is highly focused on stacking stamina, meaning that ultimately, you will actually want to prioritize Essence of Gossamer as much as possible.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (Multiple Bosses) (25)
Azjol-Nerub – Hadronox (Heroic)
Naxxramas – Sapphiron (25)
Darkmoon Faire – Darkmoon Nobles Deck
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (Multiple Bosses) (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

For the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase, you will be able to use trinkets such as the Defender’s Code and the Essence of Gossamer for your best choices due to the Stamina, Armor, Dodge Rating, and “Block Value”-like effect that they grant you. Realistically speaking, Figurine – Monarch Crab is a better choice than Defender’s Code, but you must have Jewelcrafting as a requirement in order to craft it and actually use it.

Rune of Repulsion is a valuable alternative as it grants you a decent amount of Parry Rating, especially on the on-use effect, however, it drastically reduces your overall Stamina.

As an alternative for Hybrid Build, you can use the Darkmoon Card: Greatness or the Grim Toll which will aid you with Threat Generation. However, bare in mind that some people might consider this as “Trolling”

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Ignis the Furnace Master (25)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (10)
Azjol-Nerub – Hadronox (Heroic)
Ulduar – Ignis the Furnace Master (10)
Ulduar – General Vezax (25)
Ulduar – Thorim (10) HM
Naxxramas – Zone Drop (Multiple Bosses) (25)

The second phase of the expansion grants us quite some interesting trinkets to use. The best possbile combination will be the Heart of Iron and Royal Seal of King Llane mainly due to the very high stamina that they will grant you and the on-use effects that they will grant you.

As second-best alternatives, you will be able to choose between the Essence of Gossamer and the Figurine – Monarch Crab as they will both grant you the best amount of Stamina available. However, you can only gain the Figurine – Monarch Crab if you have Jewelcrafting as one of your professions.

Sadly, Ulduar doesn’t have many other competent tanking options, leaving you with alternatives such as the Furnace Stone or The General’s Heart as viable options. Neither of them can be considered great, as they will reduce your overall Health Pool.

Furnace Stone is good for fights where you will take high amounts of Physical Damage as you can greatly increase your Armor while The General’s Heart actually grants you an effect similar to “Block Value”.

Lastly, there is a possibility for you to create a Hybrid Build with a focus on Threat Generation by adding items that increase your overall Attack Power or Armor Penetration. Some examples for this type of build would be the Mjolnir Runestone or the Grim Toll. However, many would consider such a build on the Troll side.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas  10 Drop)
Utgarde Pinnacle – King Ymiron (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity 10 Drop)
The Oculus – Varos Cloudstrider (Heroic)
Utgarde Keep – Prince Keleseth (Heroic)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity10 Drop)
The Nexus – Keristrasza (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your weapons slot. Since we will now have access to the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, we will be able to gain more powerful items quite quickly after reaching level 80.

The best possible choice will be the Slayer of the Lifeless from the Heroic Plus Dungeons paired up with either The Skull of Ruin or the Barricade of Eternity. However, until you can reach the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, you will most likely start with options such as the Bulwark of the Noble Protector and the Infantry Assault Blade, or the Cloudstrider’s Waraxe.

The Red Sword of Courage paired up with the Royal Crest of Lordaeron will be the best option before actually entering any Heroic Plus Dungeon or Raid due to their very high baseline stats.

You can also use Hailstorm as an alternative, especially if you have issues generating Threat, however, the weapon itself is largely considered a “meme” choice.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)
Naxxramas – Four Horsemen (25)
Naxxramas – Patchwerk (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity 10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former The Eye of Eternity10 Drop)
Naxxramas – Patchwerk (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

The best Weapon & Shield combination for the Pre-Ulduar gearing phase will be the Last Laugh and the Wall of Terror. Together they offer a very good combination of baseline stats and secondary stats, in terms of raw Stamina, Defense Rating, Hit Rating, Parry Rating, and Dodge Rating.

Ideally, you will want to gain those two weapons, however, if you do not manage to do so, there are plenty of alternatives that display very similar stats. The closest alternative to the Last Laugh in terms of similar stats will be the Broken Promise.

You will also have alternatives such as the Split Greathammer and Hailstorm which are more damage-oriented and they aid you in generating Threat, however, they will lower your overall “Defense Rating”.

Both The Skull of Ruin and the Barricade of Eternity will provide great alternatives to the Wall of Terror, one of them providing you with increased “Block Value” while the other one provides you with Parry Rating. Both items are very similar, their use depends entirely on two factors: whether or not you have your Expertise Soft Cap and whether or not you will benefit more from Parry Rating or Block Value in a specific encounter.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (10) HM
Ulduar – Flame Leviathan (25)
Ulduar – Thorim (10)
Ulduar – Yogg-Saron (10) HM
Ulduar – Thorim (25)
Ulduar – Algalon the Observer (25) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (10) HM
Ulduar – Hodir (25)
Ulduar – Auriaya (10)

There are many weapon choices with the coming of Ulduar, however, when it comes to the BiS, we will have Sorthalis, Hammer of the Watchers, and Bulwark of Algalon as our main choices. This is mainly due to their insanely high baseline stats, the combination of Expertise Rating and Parry Rating granted by Sorthalis, Hammer of the Watchers along with its Defense Rating, and the combination of high defensive secondary stats paired up with a gem socket granted by the Bulwark of Algalon.

However, until you can manage to get those items, you may find items such as the Shiver or Titanguard perfectly viable as alternatives for your main weapon. Both weapons grant you a much-needed Hit Rating, especially if you did not manage to get the soft Hit Cap from your other items while also granting you moderately adequate defensive stats.

As a stepping stone, you can choose the Legacy of Thunder, however, you will quickly want to swap it with an upgrade, since its stats are good enough only for Ulduar’s progression and not for any Hardmode content.

You can also use weapons such as the Caress of Insanity or Vulmir, the Northern Tempest which are traditionally DPS items for fights where you need to generate more Threat. However, you should always keep in mind that those weapons will be highly contested, especially at the beginning of Ulduar. A raid may choose to equip its tank with such a weapon only in the case that it has huge troubles in generating and maintaining Threat.

Returning to shields that you can use, The Boreal Guard is the next-best alternative to the Bulwark of Algalon. Since both items have very similar stats, the only difference is that one grants you Dodge Rating while the other one grants you Parry Rating and one additional gem socket.

Northern Barrier is a great alternative if you lack Hit Rating and Expertise Rating, especially if you are close to hitting your caps. Lastly, the Shieldwall of the Breaker will grant you very similar stats, however, instead of Hit Rating, it will grant you Parry Rating and a lower baseline stat amount than the Northern Barrier.

Fresh 80

Item
Source
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Heroic + Dungeons (Former Naxxramas 10 Drop)
Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom – Herald Volazj (Heroic)

As a fresh level 80, you have several choices for your ranged slot. By far the best possible choice will be the Armor Plated Combat Shotgun, especially due to the Stamina it offers paired up with Defense Rating and Hit Rating. Due to how strong the item is in itself, it may be the best possible item that you can acquire, especially early on. You may even choose to disregard any other possibilities, but due to our policy to inform you, we will present you with some alternatives.

Accursed Bow of the Elite is a perfectly viable alternative, even if it does not grant any defensive rating, especially due to the Hit Rating it offers. The Haste Rating in itself does not really do anything for you as a Protection Warrior but the Agility that it grants will increase your overall Dodge Rating and Armor Value.

From the same perspective, the Nerubian Conquerer will grant you Agility, being an alright alternative, even if it does not grant you any defensive secondary stats.

However, since both items require you to access the new Heroic Plus Dungeons, you can start with an item such as Titanium Compound Bow from Ahn’Kahet, as it will grant you a decent amount of Agility.

Pre-Raid

Item
Source
Naxxramas – Noth the Plaguebringer (25)
Naxxramas – Kel’Thuzad (25)

Your Pre-Raid options will often be defined by the BiS items from the previous raid tiers, and any other new dungeons or raid BoE items that arrive with the new phase.

Just like in the previous chapter, the best possible item for this slot, especially during the Pre-Uludar gearing phase will be the Armor Plated Combat Shotgun. However, you may find plenty of alternatives in case you wish to simply try a different item or you can’t find any engineer or any Armor Plated Combat Shotgun at the Auction House.

Spinning Fate will be the next-best alternative since it will grant you a decent amount of Hit Rating and a decent amount of Agility. Envoy of Mortality will only grant you Agility which will enhance your defensive stats by a tiny amount, however, it won’t grant you direct defensive stats through its secondary stats.

Best-in-Slot

Item
Source
Ulduar – Razorscale (25)
Ulduar – XT-002 Deconstructor (10)

The best possible choice for your ranged slot will be Veranus’ Bane. This is mainly due to the high Stamina that it offers paired up with solid defensive stats and Hit Rating. Since it is very important to hit our Defense Cap and our Hit Rating soft Cap, this item will be extremely valuable.

As a viable alternative, we can use the Magnetized Projectile Emitter, even if it does not grant any solid defensive stats. Simply put it, apart from Veranus’ Bane, the only item that can actually grant similar stats will be the Armor Plated Combat Shotgun, so you may want to keep it until you can actually gain the best option.

 

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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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Bills
Bills
3 months ago

Ignoring the fact that your gear doesn’t reach either defence cap, why in the world do you have DPS pants, instead of something like Bolstered Legplates?

Heroes’ Dreadnaught Handguards and Heroes’ Dreadnaught Breastplate are also much better choices than those listed, buy-able for 60 and 80 Emblem of Heroism, respectively.
Pauldrons of the Colossus are a much better option for your shoulders – they carry a Yellow Socket, along with Block Rating instead of Parry Rating, which offers MORE mitigation per point.

You should never exclude Seal of the Pantheon while you don’t exceed (or meet) the Defence cap.

Crygil’s Discarded Plate Panel is also a better option overall for your shield as it does offer more overall mitigation than Royal Crest of Lordaeron.

Bills
Bills
3 months ago

Also, your neck piece should be Chained Military Gorget – your current choice doesn’t offer enough.

badguide
badguide
24 days ago

This is not the best gear. bad guide

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