Tankadin Guide – Playing as a Protection Paladin in WoW Classic

Tankadin Guide Playing as a Protection Paladin in Vanilla WoW

This guide is written to help players that want to try tanking as a Protection Paladin in World of Warcraft Classic. Note that there are a few things to keep in mind as this is not an easy role to fill:

  • Most people will think of you as inferior to a warrior or druid tank.
  • Use all consumables that you can.
  • While playing a Protection Paladin at level 60 can be challenging if the group is not willing to work with you a bit, it’s more than possible to be successful.

Why Tankadins Are Good

  • The best AoE threat generation in the game.
  • The ability to generate threat without having to worry about being rage starved.
  • Able to Cleanse.
  • Able to wipe out every debuff in the game – for 15 mana (only paladins are capable of doing this).

While we don’t have a traditional taunt ability, there are a couple of ways to monitor and regain aggro:

  1. We can use Blessing of Protection on whomever has aggro, allowing us the opportunity to generate enough threat to maintain aggro when the bubble either wears off or is cancelled by the player.
  2. We can use items such as Masterwork Target Dummy from Engineering that makes all mobs in the vicinity focus on it until it’s dead, allowing for you to generate some additional threat or for your group to burn the mobs down while they’re focused on the Masterwork Target Dummy.

Protection Paladin Stats in Vanilla WoW


  • Stamina: 1 Stamina gives you:
    • 10 Health Points
  • Defencs: The more Defense you have, the less likely you are to be the victim of a critical strike. (Critical strikes = 200% regular damage, so they can be nasty!) To ensure you don’t experience this, you would reach 440 Defense. However, due to Redoubt and Reckoning requiring receiving critical strikes, we don’t want to achieve this. But with every point of Defense you obtain, you’ll also receive 0.04% in Dodge, Block, Parry and Miss, totaling 0.20% total avoidance per point of Defense.
  • Agility: 1 Agility gives you:
    • 2 Armor
    • 0.05% Dodge
    • 0.05% Melee Critical Strike
  • Strength: 1 Strength gives you:
    • 2 Melee Attack Power
    • 0.20 Block Value
  • Intellect: 1 Intellect gives you:
    • 15 Mana
    • 0.02% Spell Critical Strike
  • Spell Damage: Spell damage increases the amount of damage your spells cause. As a Protection Paladin, here are the coefficients that we care about:
  • Mana per 5: This is an important stat for Protection Paladins since we rely exclusively on spells for our threat generation. Items from the Deathbone Guardian set are a great addition to any paladin’s inventory when first starting out tanking at level 60. With a misleading name, Mp5 ticks every two seconds, rather than every 5.


Righteous Fury

Righteous Fury:

If you are tanking you want this up at all times, DO NOT forget to use this before a boss fight or whenever you are just sitting not doing anything and have the mana. With Improved Righteous Fury, this causes your holy spells to cause 90% additional threat. It is imperative to have this up at all times when tanking.

Seal of Righteousness

Seal of Righteousness:

This is the standard seal used when tanking inside dungeons. It provides threat on each successful melee attack, while if the boss or target dodges, parries or your attack just misses, your Seal of Righteousness won’t generate any threat.

Seal of Wisdom

Seal of Wisdom:

Seal of Wisdom and its corresponding Judgement effect are nearly mandatory for the longer fights when we’re tanking them. This is mainly used in raids since our threat does not come from Seal of Righteousness in raids.



Judgement is the spell we use to either cause a significant amount of damage from Seal of Righteousness or place debuffs on the target with Seal of Light or Seal of Wisdom. Most of the time in dungeons you’ll be using Seal of Righteousness and Judgement followed by a reapplication since the mobs will likely die too soon for Seal of Wisdom to be beneficial. In raids, however, we don’t use Seal of Righteousness for threat, so Seal of Wisdom and Judgement is used instead.



Consecration is one of the few reasons paladins are easier to play when it comes to AoE tanking. It does have a hefty mana cost, coming in at 565 for Rank 5, but the threat it puts out is well worth the cost. (Sitting at 0 spell damage, it works out to be 91.2 threat per second) It should be mentioned that it is possible to downrank your spells if you are running low on mana, as any threat is better than none.

Holy Shield

Holy Shield:

Holy Shield increases our chance to block by 30% for a maximum of 4 blocks for a duration of 10 seconds. Holy Shield has a threat modifier of 20%, so at Rank 3, Holy Shield causes roughly 296.4 threat per block. (Holy Shield‘s damage is 130, multiplied by 1.20, totaling 156, and because it’s Holy spell damage, Righteous Fury increases that threat by 90% for a grand total of 296.4)

Blessing of Sanctuary

Blessing of Sanctuary:

Blessing of Sanctuary causes you to take up to 24 less damage from all sources (physical and magical) while also causing 35 holy damage on every successful block. Combined with Holy Shield, this is a great tool for threat generation, causing 66.5 threat per block.

Vanilla WoW Devotion Aura


More often than not, Retribution Aura will be the go-to aura for Protection Paladins since it provides 38 passive threat on all attacks that hit us (including partial blocks, too). If your healer(s) is/are having a tough time keeping you alive, you can use Devotion Aura for a very slight reduction in physical damage taken. If you’re tanking a caster mob, both Retribution and Devotion Aura are useless and you should change to a resistance aura.

Blessing of Protection

Blessing of Protection:

This allows you to “bubble” a party or raid member, forcing any physical-attacking mob to focus on the second person on their threat table (Hopefully, that’s you!) Keep in mind that this does NOT include casters, they will still fire away at your target since they’re not protected from magical damage.

Divine Protection Rank 1

Divine Protection Rank 1:

This is one of the Paladin’s best traits. Simply by spending 15 mana, we can eliminate any debuffs in the game (with the exception of Forbearance, of course). With the help of a macro, we can use this and still maintain aggro over the target by casting it, and then immediately cancelling the effect:

#showtooltip Divine Protection
/cast Divine Protection
/cancel Divine Protection


Allows the Paladin to remove 1 poison, 1 disease, and 1 magic effect. Incredibly helpful and useful!



This talent build is aimed for raid-tanking at level 60. It’s vital for you to pick up Blessing of Kings so that you can learn Greater Blessing of Kings (at level 60) since that’s how we generate 95% of our threat while in raids. Since Greater Blessing of Kings is learned at level 60, its baseline threat is 60, multiplied by 1.90, for a total of 114 threat. This means that if you buff five players, you’ll be generating  570 threat every global cooldown.

pve paladin protection talents wow classic standard build

The reality of the situation is that One-Handed Weapon Specialization is pretty useless for us since our melee damage is never relied on for threat. Reckoning is beneficial in raiding content since we’ll be relying on mana regeneration to allow us to generate threat and extra swings (especially with Flurry Axe) are always a welcome sight with Seal and Judgement of Wisdom. If necessary, you can move one point from Precision into Anticipation for an added 0.32% overall avoidance.

Gear List

Click here to view our guide that shows the BIS Pre Raid list for Protection Paladins.


I am going to list consumables you NEED to use to even be good raiding. If you raid without these you will be bad. I am warning you.

The EXTREME MINIMUM amount you will need. I will list more you can use after this list.

Added consumables you can use. You don’t need all of these for a majority of the content, use them to push the limits of your tanking ability.

  • Elixir of Giants (25 Strength).
  • Elixir of Superior Defense (450 Armor).
  • Gift of Arthas (Attackers receive 8 more damage from all sources). (Useful for AoE).
  • Limited Invulnerability Potion (Immune to physical attacks for 6 seconds). (Useful for Satura in AQ40).
  • Swiftness Potion (50% Run speed for 15 seconds). (Useful for kiting Gluth Adds and Satura in AQ40).
  • Winterfall Firewater (35 Attack Power).
  • Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops (25 Stamina). (Yes Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimearok Chops stack with Tender Wolf Steak).
  • Nightfin Soup (8 Mana per 5).
  • Rumsey Rum Black Label (Only obtainable through fishing). (15 Stamina). Southshore no longer sells this item.
  • Rumsey Rum Light (Only obtainable through fishing). (5 Stamina). (Light/Dark Rums stack, Black Label counts as a Dark).
  • Gordok Green Grog: You can get this from Stomper Kreeg in Dire Maul North after completing a Tribute Run. (10 Stamina).
  • Spirit of Zanza x1 ​requires Revered with Zandalar Tribe. Trade in a Honor Mark for a Zanza. (50 Stamina, 50 Spirit). (Doesn’t stack with Dirges).
  • Swiftness of Zanza x1 requires Revered with Zandalar Tribe. Trade in a Honor Mark for a Zanza. (20% Run speed). (Useful for kiting Gluth Adds).
  • Stratholme Holy Water: You can get this from respawning boxes after a cleared Undead Stratholme run. (438-562 AoE Holy Damage to Undead). (1 minute cooldown). (Good for Threat in Naxx). (Shares a cooldown with Thorium Grenade).
  • Thorium Grenade: If you’re an Engineer this is very useful on AoE pulls. Also can be used to pull. Doesn’t work on bosses though. (Does 300-500 AoE damage and stuns for 3 seconds unless they take damage). (1 minute cooldown).
  • Goblin Sapper Charge: If you’re an Engineer this is useful on AoE pulls. (Deals 450-751 AoE damage and 375-626 damage to you). (5 minute cooldown).


Consumables from Quests

You can also set your Hearthstone to Goldshire and ask for a Summon to go retrieve a Darkmoon Faire Buff from Sayge. (2 Hour Cooldown).

  • 10% Stamina Combination: Confiscate the Corn, Speak against your brother openly. (3,1).
  • 10% Armor Combination: Slay the man, Let your friend go. (1,3).
  • 10% Damage Combination: Slay the man, Execute your friend painfully. (1,1).
  • 25 All Resist Combination: Turn him over to liege, Remain Quiet. (2,3).
  • 10% Intellect Combination: Turn him over to liege, Show not so quiet defiance. (2,2). (In case you need to heal).

Also consider getting an Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator, which you can use for the buff then switch back to your tank helm. (Reflective shield that deals 5 damage whenever you are attacked. Drops in Gnomeregan and is easily solo farmed.)

This guide was originally posted by Cysthen on the WoW One forums and has been preserved here.


About the Author


If I'm not working or spending time with the family I'm probably gaming. Some of my favorite recent games I've played are Far Cry 5, World of Warcraft Classic, and 7 Days to Die.
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3 years ago

Yeah, I agree. So much wrong information. First of all the defense cap you want to aim for is 390, which is the crush cap. Secondly reaching that without sacrificing too many important stats like sp and int, which in turn would diminish your threat and endurance in fights. Paladin is super weirdly talented so getting crit sometimes is actually helpful, because Redoubt + Holy Shield ramps up your avoidance with 60% block chance for 10 seconds.

Divine Strength vs Divine Intellect – Well, each to their own but I’d rather have more Int than Str for Boss fights. GBoK is your best threat generator in raid bosses because it’s mana-efficient compared to all other greater blessings, so you really need that talent. So a bigger mana pool and mana regen helps there alot. Fast weapon like Flurry Axe, which has a great chance-on-hit effect, helps your mp5 ridiculously and thus helps you generate more aggro with GBoK.

I’d advise to look from Holyfrog, he has pretty valuable information about Paladin tanking skill rotation, pre-raid gear and video footage about the boss fights.

Reply to  Tirionfordring
3 years ago

Correcting my error. 390 defense is not the crush cap. In boss fights, you should prioritize for higher defense, but you should also aim for the maximum avoidance 102,4 % (dodge, parry & block combined). So higher defense increases the avoidance.

Reply to  Tirionfordring
3 years ago

As I’m sure you are now aware, Defence is different than Crush Immunity. Reaching a certain amount of defence will not make you immune to crushing blows. Reaching the defence cap (Which is 440 in Classic/Vanilla) will eliminate the chance of you receiving a critical strike (200% of normal damage) Reaching the crush cap (102.4% – a combined value of your Block, Dodge, Parry, AND Miss) eliminates the chance of you receiving crushing blows (150% of normal damage) which is definitely not an easy task to accomplish.

Unlike Warriors, one of our best bets for mitigation (Redoubt) relies on us receiving a critical strike, so Paladins should never focus on reaching 440 defence. Using defence for the added mitigation grants you 0.16% total avoidance per point of defence.

Obtaining “Blessing of Kings” is entirely dependent on what you are doing; raiding or just running dungeons since using this method in a dungeon won’t generate enough threat. However, in a raiding situation, yes, it’s recommended you pick this up. It all just depends on what you are doing in-game. “Flurry Axe” is a great weapon for tanking, absolutely.

In a raiding environment, you’re not really relying on your spell damage, since 97% of your threat comes from spamming the heck out of “Greater Blessing of Kings.” In dungeons, however, it’s always beneficial to have spell damage gear.

3 years ago

Lol. Except the part on consumables, this is so wrong.

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