- Author: Nevermore
- Date: August 20, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Aside from your gear and talents, there are 3 additional ways you as a player can increase your character’s power: gems, enchants, and consumables, which make your character significantly more powerful when combined correctly.
Many guilds and raid groups may not invite you at all if you don’t have the correct combination of these, but worry not — this guide will help you avoid that problem!
This is the best meta gem that you can acquire, increasing your stamina by 32 while also giving you a 2% increased armor from items. Thanks to our handy Armored to the Teeth talent, the 2% increased armor portion also slightly increases our damage and threat — a beautiful gem all in all!
Expertise is an incredibly powerful stat for tanks, as it reduces the chance for your attacks to get dodged or parried. It’s no wonder, then, that these pure expertise gems are extremely good for us.
You will need at least 1 Red gem in order to activate your Meta gem. After that is done, you should keep socketing these gems into Red sockets while you’re under the expertise soft-cap — see the Stat Priority section for more information.
After that point, you will always want to stack stamina-enhancing gems, such as Solid Majestic Zircon!
In general, gems that match Yellow sockets won’t be very powerful for you, so you will generally prefer to use pure stamina Blue gems (Solid Sky Sapphire / Solid Majestic Zircon) in Yellow sockets instead.
However, if you have an item with a Yellow socket that offers a really strong socket bonus (such as stamina or strength) and you’re under the hit cap, you could consider using the gems listed above. This will generally be really rare, however – 90% of the time, you’ll be using Blue gems here.
As a tank, pure stamina gems like the ones listed above are your bread-and-butter. You will want to use them in nearly every single socket available in your equipment, with the exceptions listed above.
Alternatively, if you’re getting close to either the soft or hard cap in your expertise, you could consider using a couple of Stamina + Expertise gems (Guardian’s Dreadstone / Guardian’s Twilight Opal) even in the Blue sockets, in order to round up the expertise stat. This, however, will be rare.
Engineers who have enough defense should use the Engineering-exclusive Mind Amplification Dish. Everyone else should use Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector.
Greater Inscription of the Gladiator is your best option for a shoulder enchant, offering some much-needed stamina. It is purchased from your faction’s honor vendors (in Stormwind / Orgrimmar) for 10,000 Honor points.
Alternatively, you can also use Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle, which requires Exalted reputation with the Sons of Hodir. However, it’ll generally be inferior to Greater Inscription of the Gladiator.
Enchant Cloak – Mighty Armor is your best option for a cloak enchant. Not only does it provide us with a considerable amount of armor, but it also empowers our attack power stat through the Armored to the Teeth talent. However, players with the Engineering profession could apply the Flexweave Underlay to a second cloak, which they can then use for its slow fall effect; but it is, strictly speaking, inferior for tanking.
From a tankiness perspective, Enchant Chest – Super Health will be your best option for a chest enchant.
However, if you feel that you’re already beefy enough, you could also go for the Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats instead. It trades ~150 HP for +10 strength and +10 agility, which increase your attack power, parry chance, crit chance, and dodge chance by a small amount as well. This means it’s slightly weaker for tanking, but better for your damage and threat generation.
This enchant will be your best option for the bracer slot, offering a whole lot of stamina.
Alternatively, if you find that you’re just slightly under the expertise cap, you could use the Enchant Bracers – Expertise enchant instead — though, this should only be temporary. You’ll generally want to avoid capping expertise with enchants.
Players with the Engineering profession should use their exclusive Reticulated Armor Webbing enchant in this slot. Everyone else should be using the incredibly powerful Enchant Gloves – Armsman enchant instead.
Alternatively, if you find that you’re just slightly under the expertise cap, you could use the Enchant Gloves – Expertise enchant instead — though, this should only be temporary. You’ll generally want to avoid capping expertise with enchants.
The only possible and viable choice for your waist.
This is by far the most tanking-focused leg enchant in the game.
If you’re slightly short on gold, you could go for the cheaper and weaker Jormungar Leg Armor instead.
Players with the Engineering profession should use their exclusive Nitro Boosts enchant in this slot. Everyone else should use Enchant Boots – Tuskarr’s Vitality instead.
Enchanters have access to this exclusive ring enchant, which they can apply to both of their rings.
Enchant Weapon – Mongoose is the most powerful enchantment you can acquire for a Protection Warrior in this expansion! The sheer amount of agility received by this enchantment is simply outstanding.
Alternative: Enchant Weapon – Blood Draining (This is an extraordinarily strong enchantment if you have high avoidance!)
Alternative: Enchant Weapon – Blade Ward (If you struggle with your Parry Rating, Blade Ward provides you with solid reinforcement in the form of 200 Parry Rating and a damage counterpart on your next parry.)
Wrath of the Lich King enforces the idea of “Stamina Meta” for tanks, with Enchant Shield – Major Stamina being the best choice for this item slot!
Alternatively, if you lack enough Defense Rating, you should choose Enchant Shield – Defense, gaining 20 Defense Rating rather than the Stamina boost.
Your best option for the flask / elixir slot will be the Flask of Stoneblood, a very straightforward option that increases your health.
Alternatively, you can use the combination of Elixir of Mighty Strength and Elixir of Mighty Fortitude. This option is slightly less tanky than the flask but, on the upside, it increases your damage and thus threat, somewhat. Bear in mind, however, that Elixirs do not persist through death, so if your guild wipes often, this may end up being more expensive than a plain ol’ flask.
Your best option for buff food will generally be Rhinolicious Wormsteak, granting you some much-needed expertise along with the standard +40 stamina.
Fish Feast will be the most accessible food for most raids, due to how commonly useful the stats given by it are!
If you’ve already reached the experise soft-cap (26 expertise), you could use Dragonfin Filet to buff your strength instead. Alternatively, if you’re not hit capped, you could use Snapper Extreme — but, in general, you should not rely on buff food for your hit cap.
The best potion that you can utilize as a Blood Death Knight is the Indestructible Potion. Its primary purpose, of course, is to make you tankier by increasing your armor, resulting in higher physical damage reduction!
Indestructible Potion also grants you enhanced attack power due to the Armored to the Teeth talent, allowing us to gain even more damage by simply stacking more armor!
You will want to activate this potion 2-3 seconds before your raid pulls the boss, known as pre-potting. This allows you to use a 2nd Indestructible Potion during combat, after the first one fades 2 minutes later.
If you’re not tanking, you could use Potion of Speed instead, which will increase your DPS by a small amount. Like with the Indestructible Potion, you will want to pre-pot so you can use it twice per fight.
These scrolls do not stack with buffs from other classes — in this case, Priests and Druids. However, if your raid doesn’t have a Priest or a Druid (in a 10-man raid, for example), you could bring these scrolls and get the corresponding buff. Nonetheless, they’ll generally be useless in 25-man raids.
For your Shield Enchant, 190 HP isn’t really vital to a Protection Warrior – the better option would be Titanium Plating:
For me, personally, on my Warrior, I use Enchant Chest – Powerful Stats instead of Enchant Chest – Super Health because it provides an additional 0.10% overall avoidance, while sacrificing only 165 Health.
Also, I use Enchant Cloak – Major Agility as it provides:
The only difference would be the 181 armor with your enchant.
Also, because you’re not defence-capped with your suggested gear, it’s always recommended to use either Enduring Forest Emerald or Thick Autumn’s Glow.
Also also, for the Flasks/Elixirs – I agree with your choices, but just a note that most tanks will have an abundance of the different flasks/elixirs (especially the elixirs since we can start getting those at 70)
Thank you for the feedback! The entire gear section has received a massive overhaul! I do agree with what you said! Regarding the build itself, it depends on whether you want enchants for Effective Health Points or for more Damage Mitigation from stats such as Block Value/Armor/etc.
Spoken like someone who has no idea what they’re talking about.
what about sharpening stones?
You are unable to use Sharpening Stones on items past (I believe 165 ilvl) so you wouldn’t be able to use them on level 80 items.
“Many guilds and raid groups may not invite you at all if you don’t have the correct combination of these, but worry not — this guide will help you avoid that problem!”
No, my friend… this guide will generate that problem.