- Author: Nevermore
- Date: August 20, 2022
- Updated: July 26, 2023
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Protection Warriors are one of the most intimidating behemoths that you can meet in Azeroth, having a reputation for being a purely physical class. With such a reputation, we will naturally benefit from the same stats as all other tanking specializations and physical damage dealers; however, Protection Warriors must meet the requirement for Spell Hit Chance when it comes to their taunt abilities.
Important Note: The Stat Priority of “Block”, “Dodge”, and “Parry” change depending on whether you are the Main Tank or the Off-Tank. As a “Main Tank” you will want to prioritize Dodge/Parry/Block while as an “Off-Tank” you will want to prioritize “Block”->”Dodge”->”Parry”. Whatever role you are assigned, keep in mind that Block Chance/Block Value will always be among the best stats, especially since it influences your “Shield Slam”/”Sword and Board”.
- Hit Rating
- Cap: 8%
- Soft Cap: 26 Expertise
- Defense Rating
- Cap: 540 Defense
- Block Chance/Block Value
- Attack Power
Hit Rating is one of the most important stats for Protection Warriors. If you are not Hit capped, you could find yourself missing at the wrong time, causing a wipe.
Hit comes on gear in the form of Hit Rating. 32.789 Hit Rating provides 1% increased Hit chance with Physical abilities. 26.232 Hit Rating provides 1% increased Hit chance with Spells. Remember, being slightly over is generally going to be better than being slightly under Hit cap!
To never miss Physical attacks, you will need 8% increased Hit chance, or 263 Hit Rating. Alliance players with Heroic Presence will instead only need 7% increased Hit chance, or 230 Hit Rating. Unfortunately, Protection has no Hit increasing Talents, so you will need to rely entirely on gear.
While the majority of our toolkit relies on Melee Hit caps, Taunts still rely on Spell Hit caps. This means that you may need to go beyond the standard 8% Hit Cap if a fight relies on you never missing a Taunt. Alone you will need 17% increased Spell Hit chance, or 446 Hit Rating to never miss a Taunt. This is quickly reduced with Improved Faerie Fire or Misery, reducing it to 14%, or 368 Hit Rating.
This can be further handled by using Glyph of Taunt, increasing the chance for Taunt to hit by 8%. This lowers the Hit needed to 9%, or 237 Hit Rating, meaning your standard Hit cap is more than enough to cap Taunt as well.
Expertise is another invaluable stat for tanking. This stat is not quite as straight forward as Hit rating. 8.19 Expertise Rating converts into one Expertise Skill. Each Expertise Skill reduces the opponents Dodge & Parry chance by 0.25%. The unfortunate effect of this is that Expertise provides zero value between Skill ups, so having 22 Expertise Rating is functionally identical to having 17 Expertise Rating.
The first goal with Expertise is to prevent bosses from Dodging your attacks. This is achieved with 26 Expertise Skill, or 213 Expertise Rating. Fortunately, we have the Talent Vitality. This gives us 6 Expertise Skill, leaving us only needing 20 more, or 164 Expertise Rating.
Humans, Orcs, and Dwarves all have Racial weapon specializations. For Orcs and Dwarves this gives them 5 Expertise Skill when using Axes or Maces respectively. Combined with Vitality, this puts their cap down to 15 Expertise Skill, or 123 Expertise Rating. Humans get 3 Expertise Skill when using Swords or Maces. Combined with Vitality, this puts their cap down to 17 Expertise Skill, or 140 Expertise Rating.
Expertise continues to be useful all the way up to the Hard Cap of 56 Expertise Skill (50 with Vitality, 47 for Humans with Vitality, 45 for Orcs/Dwarves with Vitality). Once you have reached this cap, you also remove the bosses ability to Parry your attacks, effectively guaranteeing your attacks will always land. Unfortunately, this might not quite be reachable without sacrificing too much survivability.
Reaching the soft Defense cap should always be your first priority as a Tank. This cap removes the ability for raid bosses to critically hit you, smoothing out a lot of the potential damage spikes in any encounter. This can be done through either Defense Rating, or Resilience. For Protection Warriors, you will rarely worry about Resilience, getting capped through Defense Rating exclusively.
Raid bosses have a 5.6% chance to Critically Hit. Each Defense Skill beyond the first 400 reduces this chance by 0.04%. 4.918 Defense Rating converts into 1 Defense Skill. To reach the cap you will need a total of 540 Defense Skill. This includes the basic 400 your character has in the Skills page, leaving 140 Defense Skill, or 689 Defense Rating for you to get with gear.
Defense also passively boosts your Dodge, Parry, and Block chances by 0.04% per Defense Skill. 25 Defense Skill is equal to 1% increased Dodge, Parry, and Block chance. This means that going above the Soft Cap is never a negative, but point for point these increases are generally lower than Dodge and Parry rating.
High Stamina is one of the most valuable traits of any Tank currently. Having a massive Health pool allows you to take hits that could kill a more DPS-focused Tank, as well as making Healing less stressful in general.
There is no cap to aim for here, or specific numbers to reach. As soon as you have enough offensive stats, you will want to shift your focus into pure Stamina.
One point of Stamina increases your Health by 10, but any percentage increase to Stamina will increase the value of each point. For example, Vitality provides 9% more Stamina, effectively making each point of Stamina worth 1.09 Stamina instead.
Armor reduces your Physical damage taken, as well as providing you Attack Power when combined with Armored to the Teeth. More Armor is always a positive, but it is rarely something you will want to focus on. Your Armor will passively increase as your gear improves, with each Phases gear giving more Armor than the last.
Block stats come in two flavors, Block Value, and Block Rating. Block Rating increases your chance to Block by 1% for each 16.395 Rating. Block Value increases the amount of damage you will block at a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, Shield Slams damage also scales 1:1 with Block Value, making it a powerful offensive stat.
Shield Block temporarily doubles your chance to Block, as well as your Block Value. This allows it to double as both a powerful Defensive and Offensive cooldown.
Unlike Block, Dodge & Parry entirely avoid an attack, reducing its damage to 0. As this is significantly stronger than simply reducing damage, Dodge and Parry require 45.25 Dodge or Parry Rating respectively for 1% increased chance to Dodge/Parry. Unfortunately, this number does not remain accurate for long due to Diminishing Returns.
Diminishing Returns is a system intended to reduce the value of stacking a single stat. In the case of Dodge or Parry, the more Dodge or Parry Rating you have, the less it increases your chance to Dodge or Parry respectively. This makes it important to try and spread your stats between Dodge, Parry, and Block.
Strength will be your main damage increasing stat. Each point of Strength gives you 2 Attack Power and 0.5 Block Value. Strength is found on almost all of our gear, and is something that will simply passively improve as you get better gear. You will rarely, if ever, want to focus on Strength.
Agility is rarely found on Plate Tank gear, but if you do happen to get it from something like a Trinket, it absolutely provides us value. 1 point of Agility gives us 2 Armor, around 0.015% Crit Chance, and around 0.011% Dodge Chance. This may not sound like a lot, but every bit counts!
While Strength is generally the main damage increasing stat for us, Attack Power is what actually increases our damage. Each point of Strength gives us 2 Attack Power, and with Armored to the Teeth we also get 3 Attack Power for every 108 Armor we have. Attack Power scales all of our damage, but is generally not something you will look for on gear, instead getting it from Strength and Armor.