- Author: Nevermore
- Date: August 20, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Professions are a crucial part of your World of Warcraft character, with a potential to offer a large boost to your damage, healing, or survivability, while also allowing you to generate some gold.
This section will cover some of your best options for professions as a Protection Warrior.
Like with most other classes and specs in the game, Engineering will be your strongest profession. For the second profession slot, we recommend Jewelcrafting, though Blacksmithing comes incredibly close to it, and several other professions are incredibly competitive.
Engineering is the king of professions for PvE content, offering a vast, vast array of different benefits.
Similar to other tanks, Protection Warriors don’t use the ubiquitous Hyperspeed Accelerator glove enchant, as haste is not too powerful of a stat for us. Instead, we will be using the Reticulated Armor Webbing glove enchant, which offers a permanent +885 armor boost. Furthermore, as Engineers, we can use the Mind Amplification Dish helm enchant, which offers a minor +8 stamina bonus over the standard helm enchant, Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector.
Additionally, as an Engineer, you have access to the Nitro Boosts boots enchant, passively giving +24 crit rating and coming with an on-use effect that massively increases your speed for 5 seconds. Even if, as Protection Warriors, we are granted enormous mobility, this tool will still prove itself to be invaluable in certain tacky situations.
Jewelcrafting is an extremely potent profession for most classes / specs, and that includes Protection Warriors. Not only do you gain access to powerful, Jewelcrafter-unique gems, but you also get to sell gems to others, granting you a steady income.
The main benefit of Jewelcrafting is the Jewelcrafter-unique gems, Dragon’s Eye, which are more powerful than regular gems, but are limited to 3 equipped at a time. The main ones you’ll be crafting as a Protection Warrior are Solid Dragon’s Eye and Precise Dragon’s Eye, resulting in +63 stamina or +42 expertise rating compared to using regular epic gems.
The following professions are considered viable, but offer a lesser benefit compared to the best professions, so they’re not recommended. If you’re not focused on making your character 100% optimized, you can use any of these professions just fine.
As a Leatherworker you gain access to the Fur Lining – Stamina bracer enchant, which proves a +62 stamina increase over the standard enchant available to everyone, Enchant Bracers – Major Stamina. This is just 1 stamina less than what Jewelcrafting offers, though Jewelcrafting has far superior flexibility, as you can use many different types of gems.
As a tank, Leatherworking also gives you access to different resistance-boosting Fur Lining effects (for example, Fur Lining – Shadow Resist) which improve your resistance against a specific school of magic. This can be situationally useful, though you’ll usually gravitate towards Fur Lining – Stamina.
There are, sadly, no other useful benefits gained from Leatherworking, since you don’t want to use leather or mail gear as a tank. It’s not particularly good at gold generation, either.
Blacksmiths can add 2 extra gem sockets to their gear — 1 on wrists, and 1 on hands. Socketing 2x Solid Majestic Zircon into them translates into a +60 stamina bonus. This bonus ties Mining and Enchanting, but Blacksmithing overall has more flexibility, as you can socket anything you need in those 2 extra sockets — you’re not forced to go for stamina if you need another stat more.
Moreover, Blacksmithing allows you to craft some neat gear for yourself, which is especially useful early on in the expansion, or when your character is a freshly dinged level 80. However, the crafted gear is generally not as powerful as it was in previous expansions.
As an Enchanter you gain access to the Enchant Ring – Stamina enchant, which you can apply to both of your rings for a modest +60 stamina. This bonus ties Blacksmithing and Mining, offering superior flexibility to Mining, but inferior flexibility when compared to Blacksmithing.
Apart from the ring enchants, as an Enchanter you get to enchant your own items, which saves you a decent bit of gold that you would have otherwise spent tipping other Enchanters. Furthermore, you can sell your own enchants on the Auction House, generating a nice little income.
Miners gain access to the Toughness passive, which offers a +60 stamina boost. This bonus is incredible for tanks, tying Blacksmithing and Enchanting, though both of those offer flexibility that Mining just doesn’t have.
Mining is an extremely good gold-generating profession, allowing you to make some gold on the side, which will be invaluable as a tank.
As an Alchemist, you gain access to the Mixology passive effect, which increases the effectiveness of flasks and elixirs you consume, but only if you can craft them yourself. This results in a +650 health increase when using a Flask of Stoneblood, our preferred flask. This is, sadly, a smaller boost than what other professions can offer, but not by much — after raid buffs and talents, it works out to being roughly equivalent to a +54 stamina bonus.
Alchemy can be considered the best profession when it comes to gold generation, especially when you think about how many flasks, elixirs, and potions are in constant demand. Alchemists, just like in TBC, can acquire a sub-specialization, allowing them even more possibilities to acquire more gold.
Protection Warriors, being a physical tank, can also use the attack power embroidery: Swordguard Embroidery. This gives you a +400 attack power boost for 15 seconds, with a 45 second internal cooldown. This translates into a possible +133 attack power bonus on average if it procs exactly every 45 seconds, or a +100 attack power bonus on average if it procs every 60 seconds.
While both embroideries offer a significant boost, as a Protection Warrior you will generally not need the extra threat, so they’re only really useful for the extra damage they provide. This is unfortunately not as useful, particularly as our damage scaling isn’t great — you’d much rather stack expertise, or defensive stats like stamina and armor. To make matters worse, using this embroidery prevents you from using the superior cloak enchant, Enchant Cloak – Mighty Armor.
Being a tank, you don’t want to use cloth gear, meaning this is where the combat-related benefits that Tailoring offers for you end. It isn’t really great as far as gold generation is concerned, either.
As a Scribe, you gain access to the Master Inscription of the Pinnacle shoulder enchant, which provides a +40 dodge rating boost when compared to the equivalent reputation shoulder enchant, Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle. Unfortunately, this bonus fails to keep up with what other professions offer; you will typically want to stack stamina rather than dodge, opting to use the Greater Inscription of the Gladiator enchant instead.
Scribes also get to make Glyphs and Scrolls, providing a nice source of income. Yet, many will argue that the real benefit in Inscription comes in not having to grind The Sons of Hodir reputation for the shoulder enchants!
Skinners gain access to the Master of Anatomy passive, which offers a +40 crit rating boost. Protection Warriors benefit from critical strike chance, but not to such an extent that they should consider it a better stat than their defensive stats.
Skinning is generally not that good at gold generation either, so it’s overall not a great profession.
Herbalists gain the Lifeblood active skill, which heals you for 3600 over 5 seconds, with a 3-minute cooldown. This can theoretically be useful for Protection Warriors, as we lack any form of self-sustain. However, considering how small the heal is compared to our total health pool and how long the cooldown is, this effect won’t help you at all.
On the flip side, Herbalism is one of the strongest professions for gold generation, since herbs are used in Alchemy and Inscription, and thus always in demand. This makes it a good profession to have on an alt, particularly a Druid, Rogue or Hunter!