Paladin Tank Guide

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Paladin Tank Guide

#1 » Post by Bluebell » 24 Jul 2012 12:07

I've been getting a lot of questions recently about Paladin tanking and what to do and why, also I've seen a lot of erm, not so good tanks, so I thought I'd write a guide on my views around tanking as a Paladin. Some of these will be standard stuff nothing new, but some will be my own personal opinions.

  • 1. Why Protection?
  • 2. Talents
    • 2.1 Vital
    • 2.2 Recommended
    • 2.3 Useful
    • 2.4 Talents to Avoid
  • 3. Stats, gear and gems
    • 3.1 Which stats to prioritise and how
    • 3.2 Which gems?
    • 3.3 Enchants?
    • 3.4 Gear
  • 4. Glyphs
    • 4.1 Needed
    • 4.2 Optional
    • 4.3 Avoid
    • 4.4 Minor
  • 5. Rotation
  • 6. Useful tips
    • 6.1 General Advice for Tanks
    • 6.2 General Advice for Protection Paladins
    • 6.3 Macros
  • 7. Final points
1. Why Tank as a Paladin?

Paladins are unique in the tanking department. With Sacred shield being constantly up, high spell mitigation and 100% avoidance, they can easily reduce the damage and are especially suited to ICC where spell damage is a major factor. As well as the fact hey can block, something overlooked yet a major thing that only Paladins and Warriors can successfully do, allowing them not only to avoid a lot of attacks but also reduce the damage of those that do hit.

Furthermore, Paladins bring a lot to the raid as their utility is beyond comparison. You have the Auras provided by Paladins, an additional 6% healing to all raid members from a Protection Paladin, as well as Resistances, Push back reduction and much more. Additionally, they can use their various "Hands" spells to help out the raid. I've often been asked how these abilities are useful in PvE, but can assure you that they are. Hand of Protection stops a raid member from taking Physical Damage, great if they have adds or even a boss on them, Hand of Freedom can be used for example against Sindragosa when she slows the MT, meaning the tank can return to the raid. Hand of Salvation is great for if anyone has high aggro, reducing their thread and perhaps the most important, Hand of Sacrifice and Divine Sacrifice, these two direct 30-40% of damage of the target or entire raid to the Paladin. These makes it easier on healers for AoE effects, allows a Paladin to help a fellow tank such as against Kelseeth, or if a raid member starts taking major damage.

There is also Judgements, which I can say from healing, the Judgement of Light is pretty damn good, managing to pull 6k heals per second by itself in 25 man raid, which will ultimately help the healers, and Judgement of Wisdom, mostly used by Rets, which gives mana even to Hunters. Finally they have Blessing of Sanctuary, 10% Strength and health and 3% damage taken reduction, a buff you cannot replicate with any profession or class unlike virtually every other buff. This is great for all classes.

Now, one of the greatest things about Paladins over other tanks is their damage. Other tanks may take time to gain aggro or struggle against Mages and Warlocks, not Paladins. With their main damaging attack and seal they will do insane damage for tanks. Not something Tanks would usually focus on, but in my opinion it helps the raid to have an extra DPS and allows everyone to not hold back. I'll go onto this later, but even without focusing on it, Paladin tanks can pull great DPS and have no aggro issues even against the strongest of DPS classes.

2. Talents

There are various talents a Protection Paladin can take, I'll cut them down into what I see as vital, useful that I recommend, other option talents that I don't personally use and not useful. I could just link a copy of my spec, but it's by no means perfect and I think that to use your class properly you should understand your talents, not just get them because someone says so.

2.1 Vital
  • Divine Strength - This improves your strength by 15% when maxxed, which it should be. Strength gives attack power and spell power, both of which mean you hit harder and have more aggro. It also gives you stronger block so you can survive longer and easier.
    Anticipation - This gives 5% dodge, speaks for itself. Even though ICC reduces dodge by 20%, that does NOT make this a useless talent, the debuff reduces by 20%, but you still retain the 5% as the reduction is a fixed value. You can have 50% dodge outside, 30% inside, or 30% outside 10% inside.
    Toughness - The main reason for this is the first part, the 10% armour boost, more armour = less physical damage taken.
    Improved Righteous Fury - Righteous Fury is how you gain and maintain aggro, it will always be up. A 6% total damage taken reduction is an obvious choice for something that will always be up.
    Blessing of Sanctuary - This will make you have a raid buff, give you extra health and strength, damage reduction as well as restoring your mana. You should ALWAYS use this buff on yourself, ignoring all the stat improvements and damage reductions, you might run out of Mana without it.
    Sacred Duty - A 4% stamina increase means you have more health, which is obviously great for a tank. It also reduces Divine Protection cool down allowing you a 50% damage reduction more often.
    Holy Shield - Deals damage when blocking, but the major factor is the 30% increase in block, which allows 100% avoidance. This talent also leads to others.
    Ardent Defender - One of the best talents in WoTLK. Reduces damage taken by 20% when you get to 35% health, making you harder to kill. But the best about this is where it differs from other tanks. Death Knights, Druids and Warriors all have a 30% health increase similar to this. However, Paladins can effectively die, this talent will activate and with the same buffs and aggro, they will still be alive with 30% health. This really sets Paladins apart in some respects, they can effectively die and still be fighting.
    Redoubt - Increase in block value makes your Shield of Righteousness hit harder, makes your block reduce more damage and this talent, along with Holy Shield, gives you 100% avoidance, with this and Holy Shield you will have around 70% block.
    Combat Expertise - Expertise allows you not to be parried, which is obviously a good thing. This will help you get to the Expertise cap. Furthermore the 6% crit improves your aggro abilities, and the 6% stamina is an obvious choice.
    Guarded by the Light - You will run out of mana if you do not have this talent. It gives a 6% spell damage reduction, useful in many situations. However, with this talent you will constantly have Divine Plea up meaning you are always restoring mana.
    Avengers Shield - A great way to do damage or aggro mobs. Also leads to another talent.
    Shield of the Templar - 3% damage reduction from all sources. Obvious. The silence is useful, although not always needed.
    Hammer of the Righteousness - The main ability. Does a lot of damage and to many targets meaning it''s great for AoE and single target tanking. Believe me, this does a hell of a lot of damage.
    Deflection - 5% extra parry, more avoidance is always good. Doesn't suffer from Diminishing returns like gear parry.
    Improved Judgements - You can take 1 or 2 points in this. One point is needed to make your rotation work, the second is purely down to personal preference.
    Judgements of the Just - The stun reduction is nice, but this counts as a combat snare and procs a Mage's Torment the weak, granting them 12% more damage.
    One-handed Specialization - 10% increase to damage done when a one handed weapon equipped (which it will always be). This allows more aggro and DPS.
    Touched by the Light - Increases spell power by 60% of your Strength. This means you will hit harder with your attacks, as you deal Holy Damage, and your seals will hit harder.
2.2 Useful that I recommend

You may have noticed this is not a full spec. That is because not all talents are vital for tanking, but many are very useful and I highly recommend taking them.
  • Divine Sacrifice - An AoE version of Hand of Sacrifice and AoE damage reduction, this is a great utility if you want to help your raid healers out, such as against the Blood Queen and Sindragosa Air Phases.
    Divine Guardian - This gives Divine Sacrifice the damage reduction on raid members. It also improves your sacred shield making you harder to kill.
    Spiritual Attunement - Every time you are healed (NOT overhealed) you gain 10% of that heal as mana. This is great for when you are single mob tanking. Some people suggest you take only one point of this, I prefer two to be able to do maximum DPS constantly.
    Heart of the Crusader - There may be a Ret Paladin or even a Holy Paladin in the raid that has this talent too. But there may not be, and if there is they may die. You will not. This means there will be a 3% crit increase on the Boss at all times.
    Conviction - I put 3 talents here, you can put 5%, basically means you Crit more so have more aggro and do more damage.
    Pursuit of Justice - This is the reason I only take 3 in Conviction, the extra run speed allows you to quicly respond to any threats or just generally get around. When is this useful? Blood Queen when feared and need to get back from Fire, Lich King during phase transitions or defile, Sindragosa and Frost Tombs, etc.
    Crusade - A 3% damage boost against all targets, and a 3% against specific ones, including all mobs and Bosses in ICC making this a 6% damage boost in ICC.
2.3 Useful

  • Divinity - This gives you 2% per talent healing on yourself (Judgement of Light, Seal of Light) and a 1% from other sources, giving you more survivability and the healers an easier job. However at 1% per talent it is pricey.
    Reckoning - Allows more Damage in theory and is good when AoE tanking as it stacks Seal of Corruption/Vengeance. However in Boss fights the DPS is minimal and it can allow you to be parried, meaning you take more damage.
    Guardians Favor - Mostly for the huge reduction on Hand of Protection, but in an ideal raid you shouldn't need Hand of Protection once, never mind twice in the same fight.
    Improved Devotion Aura - The aura doesn't stack with a Restoration Druid, however the 600 armour is nice, in a 25 man group you will most likely use this aura.
    Benediction - Can be useful, as maxxed it's 10% mana reduction on all spells, especially good for consecration. However if you have Mana issues you should not use mana intensive spells in my opinion. If you don't, you will quickly gain the mana back.
    Improved Blessing of Might - You can get this, but you will probably have another Paladin or a Warrior in the raid, and you will give yourself BoS anyway.
    Vindication - Reduces damage the Boss deals with physical attacks, but not by a huge amount. Useful as it stacks with Warrior demoralizing shout.
    Seal of Command - A seal basically for tanking adds. Can be used for RHC/trash or for things such as OTing LK/OS. However, Hammer of Righteouness Stacks your Seal of Corruption/Vengeance on multiple targets and consecration should keep aggro in AoE situations. I do not recommend taking this.
    Seals of the Pure - A 15% damage increase on Judgements and your major Seal. However with Judgements having low base damage, I believe the 6% from Crusade is better than the 15% here. If you don't want to spec into the Ret tree as far as I do though, then this is a good option.
2.4 Talents to avoid
  • Stoicism - This is a PvP talent, pure and simple.
    Improved Hammer of Justice - Although I have used it for specific purpose, and it is useful in some situations, it is not something you want in your raiding spec. Your DPS should be stunning things around you, you do not want to switch target, if you do you don't want to do it twice in a minute.
    Eye for an Eye - You won't be getting crit. If you are, you need more defense.
    Sanctity of Battle - If you spec this far into Ret, get Crusade and ignore this.
    Spiritual Focus - I put this in because I haven seen people with it. You should not have to heal that much whilst tanking, and when you do there won't be huge amounts of push back.
    Healing Light - You do not heal for much, 12% of not a lot is nothing.
    Divine Intellect - Might seem a fix to mana issues, but in reality is only about 500 more mana.
    Unyielding Faith - PvP talent. Against Blood Queen a Shaman should use grounding totem for you or Priest Fear Ward.
    Improved Lay on Hands - Lay on Hands is a "Oh God everything has gone wrong" spell. You should NOT be speccing deep into Holy to get this.
    Aura Mastery - I do like this talent, but it's not a Tank talent. You can double the resistances of Shadow, Frost or Fire during difficult parts of an encounter, or prevent Silencing of your healers during Eye of Eternity of Lich King Phase transition, for example. However you will have to spec heavily into Holy tree, and it just isn't worth it.
3. What gear should I use?

3.1 Stats

You have 5 stats to worry about tanking, Defense, Strength, Stamina, Hit and Expertise.

You need 540 [color=#FF40BFDefense[/color] to tank raids (Mobs which have a skull symbol on their portrait) and 535 for RHCs (Mobs which are 3 levels above your own). Defense does two things, firstly, when capped at 540 it prevents you from being critically hit. This is essential in your damage mitigation, without it you are putting the healers under severe pressure. Defense also increases your avoidance (dodge, parry and to an extent, block) making you harder to kill. The higher your Defense, the higher these stats are. You can find your avoidance easily with this macro (thanks to justice)

Code: Select all

/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Need 102.4 combined avoidance. Currently at:",0.8,0.8,1)
/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage(GetDodgeChance()+GetBlockChance() + GetParryChance() +5+(GetCombatRatingBonus(CR_DEFENSE_SKILL) + 20)*0.04,1,0.5,0)
Just remember you have +30 from Holy shield.

The next stat to prioritize is Hit Rating, You need 8% hit, in theory you may have an Spriest or a Dreanei to improve your Hit, but I don't think you should count on it. You want 8% so that you will always hit, meaning you have greater aggro. Remember Exorcism and Hand of Reckoning (taunt) are spells, so need far higher hit, so expect them to miss.

After this is Exerptise, you need 26-28 Expertise to not be parried by the boss. This is low, but finding expertise tank items is hard.

Stamina is obviously key for a tank. You want lots of it to survive. If you don't have enough you'll be easily killed by the Boss or make it very close for your healers. Furthermore, your Judgement of Light and Seal of Light heal for a % of your health, so the more you have the more they restore, and ICC/Blessing of Sanctuary increase Stamina by a % as well.

Armour has become a strong part of any tank's kit due to the 20% dodge reduction in ICC. You should aim for gear which has green armour (means more than standard items), as the majority of damage taken in ICC is Physical, and hard hitting bosses such as Fester and Rotface have melee attacks.

Strength increases your Damage/aggro and your block value. It is actually more important for Protection Paladins than Ret Paladins due to Touched by the Light and Divine Strength.

I always say you should prioritize like this:

Defence till cap --> Hit till cap --> Expertise till cap
--> Whilst always keeping Stamina high

However, once capped on all these:

Armour --> Stamina --> Strength
--> Whilst still building defense but not stacking

Do not get Haste. It will mess with your rotation, and you benefit less from Attack Power than other classes.

Agility is useful, as it gives armour, dodge and crit, but it does not give enough to be of benefit for stacking.

3.2 Gems

You should gem to reach the caps above if your gear is low, or high if you need one or two increases. Yellow gem slots are the bane of tank's lives.

  • Enduring Eye of Zul +10 Defense Rating +15 Stamina
    Rigid King's Amber +20 Hit Rating
    Thick King's Amber +20 Defense Rating
    Champion's Amertine +10 Strength +10 Defence Rating
    Inscribed Amertine +10 Strength +10 Crit
  • Sovereign Dreadstone +10 Strength +15 Stamina
    Precise Cardinal Ruby +20 Expertise
    Bold Cardinal Ruby +20 Strength
  • Solid Majestic Zircon +30 Stamina
You can stack purely +30 gems, and all prismatic gems should be +30 Stamina, however I try get the socket bonus. I also recommend against pure Strength gems and believe you should always go +Str +Stam, the Inscribed Amertine is only really for if you have no choice.

You can stack purely Dodge, but I believe it's not worth it. In WotLK, Defense is the best avoidance stat as you gain more avoidance from 1 defense than you do 1 dodge, as well as dodge suffering from diminishing returns (the more you dodge, the less likely you are to dodge the attacks after). The Avoidance "Cap" is 102.5%. Although not technically a cap, it is what you should aim for. If you take into account Holy Shield and Redoubt (combined 60% block rate) then you easily have this cap (as well as 5% chance for the boss to miss). The 2.5% is to counter in diminishing returns on parry and dodge.

For Meta I believe there are three choices. +32 Stamina +2% Armour from items, +32 Stamina +5% Block value and +42 Attack Power + Minor Run Speed Increase. I believe the armour is best, and if you take Pursuit of Justice then the Run speed is useless. I do not think taking offensive Metas is worth it.

There is also +32 Stamina + 2% reduced Spell damage which may be worth looking into, however I believe the others are better.

3.3 Enchants

I won't cover all enchants here, just ones I believe will create confusion. I won't mention Profession enchants, because they are nearly always better so not worth mentioning, especially those which grant bonus armour.

Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector - Argent Crusade +37 Stamina +20 Dodge
Arcanum of the Frosty Soul - Sons of Hodir +30 Stamina +25 Frost resistance

My reasoning behind this is that the Frost Resistance Enchant, along with Aura and Frost gear brings you to the 510 cap (or most efficient threshold), and is useful for tanking Sindragosa. However, other than against her you will not be using Frost gear so the standard Tank one should be preferred. If you are well geared, or no one needs the extra helm, you can take a second helm and enchant it with the frost resistance.

+22 Agility
+225 Armour

As stated before, Agility is useful but I believe Armour more beneficial overall.

Get +10 stats, ignore +275 health.

Armsman + 2% Threat +10 Parry
+15 Expertise
+Hit rating
+44 Attack Power
+18 Stamina

If you're gearing the 2% threat increase might be useful, but once medium geared it becomes useless, if you need Expertise or Hit, get the relevant enchants to get yourself to the cap. Other than that, you can get agility or Attack Power. The stamina enchant here isn't that great as it's from TBC. I use Expertise or Attack Power, depending on my gear.

Tuskar's Vitality +15 Stamina +7% Run Speed Increase
Icewalker +12 Crit +12 Hit
+22 Stamina

If you need hit rating, take Icewalker. Once at the cap, I suggest Tuskar's Vitality if you did not take Pursuit of Justice, but if you did pure +22 Stamina.

Blade Ward
+26 agility
+Hit rating
Blood Draining

Blade ward or Mongoose is best here. You can get +26 agility if you are wanting a cheap enchant. Avoid Lifeward, it may look good but the proc is low and insignificant, the same for Blood Draining as the "desperation heal" is very low. You might want to get a hit rating enchant if low.

+20 Defense Rating
+18 Stamina
Titanium Plating - Increased block value
Titanium Shield Spike - Damage on block

As always, if you're low on a threshold, take the defense. Shield spike is useful given your 70% block chance but the damage is small. I take the Titanium Plating here, as it provides both defencive and offencive stats

3.4 Gear

Now, this is where I differ from a lot of Tanks. I use two DPS items in my gear setup and may even use a third once fully geared. I do this because I have plenty of Stamina and Defence to feel comfortable enough to get the extra strength and crit. Furthermore, the Strength Items can give Hit Rating, which some tanks may miss out on.

Items with excess armour (the armour will be green to highlight it) can be useful as, well, extra armour is always good. But remember if it has extra armour, it has one less stat in one place. Always use plate, never anything else.

BoE items that drop:
Avoid Belt of Lonely noble.
Avoid Wodin's Lucky Necklace.
Avoid Marrowgar's Frigid Eye.
Avoid Blood Queen's Crimson Choker
Avoid Crypt Keeper's braclets.
Avoid Zom's crackling bulwark.
Use Harbinger's bone band until you find a better ICC25 or HC ring, most from the instance are better.
Use Ring of Rotting sinew if you have nothing else. It is also good if you no longer need excess Defence or Stamina.

Ring - I use the ICC rep DPS ring, because I believe the proc on the Defesce ring isn't that great, whereas the increase in damage can be. VDW 25 HC ring is the best, and there are not many good pairs to use with it. Lady DW 25 HC ring is very poor, I might even go as far as to say the ToC10 HC armour ring is 2nd BiS. Due to the lack of decent rings, I use the ICC DPS ring.
Neck - Rotface 25 HC neck is the best pure tank neck, and you may want to use Lady DW 25 HC if you want extra damage once full geared. The VDW neck is worse than both of these and is not for Paladins.
Shield - Shields are hard to come by. If you don't lack defence,it might be a good idea to actually use a PvP shield. It gives far more Stamina and Armour. However it does lack Strength. BQ 25HC shield is the best, however Gunship 10HC is better than BQ 25 N.
Weapon - I believe Last word is the best Tank Weapon. It gives a great proc which is ALWAYS up and once you get it you probably won't need the defence stats from normal tank weapons. However ICC25 HC LK weapon would give more damage due to the DPS and how Hammer of Righteousness works. A faster weapon means you hit more, meaning more aggro and Corruption/Vengeance will proc. Always use one handed weapon and prioritise Strength over Agility. Only use an Agility weapon if you have no level 80 +Strength weapon.
Waist - The belt from EoF is BiS here as it gives nice Armour, making it even better than its ICC25 HC counterpart
Bracer - DBS ICC10 HC gives the best bracer due to Armour, even better than 277 Marrowgar. Any tank bracer is better than the only available BoE 264 bracer, as mentioned before.
Back - If you lack hit, BPC 25 N and 25 HC is useful, otherwise again the Armour on EoF cape makes it BiS. ToC25 HC Tribute cape is good for purely avoidance stats.
Libram - Libram of Valiance is the best Libram. It is bought with Emblems of Triumph and gives 200 Strength constantly. You may as well buy Libram of the Eternal Tower for Emblems of Frosties, for a reason I'll go into at part 6. But use Libram of Valiance most of the time.
T10 gear and main set - Paladins do not need their 4 set bonus due to Divine Plea not being manually reset often, however 2 set is essential. I recommend using Set Gloves and Chest, focusing tokens on these two, and crafting BSing legs. This is due to their superior armour. Set shoulders are comparatively poor, Gunship 277 shoulders are the best, followed by BPC 10 HC. Set Helm is superior, however until you get your 3rd HC token you can use Lady DW Helm. You can even switch them around for Sindy, using different Frost Enchants.
Boots - You can craft BSing boots until ICC25 HC, but VDW ICC25 HC are superior and give Expertise when most other items don't
T9 Gear - The Tier Nine gear is worth getting if you cannot afford higher gear or go to ICC yet. The set bonus is useful with 5% Damage boost on Hammer of Righteousness and reduces taunt cool down, which is good if you're low geared and prone to losing aggro. The Four set bonus here is useful too, but you is not worth swapping better gear for it just to get set bonus. It also gives Block Value, something ICC gear does not give.


For pure tank
  • Corroded Skeleton Key - Buy this after getting two T10. Extra shield and lots of health
  • Sindragosa's Flawless Fang - Great Trinket as it gives Stamina and allows for high resistance when needed
  • Petrified Twilight Scale - This trinket from RS is good purely due to its high armour and item level. I still personally prefer the strength as I dislike the proc on the trinket, but it is still a good trinket nonetheless
  • Unidentifiable Organ - The Armour here is nice, however I do not like the Trinket. With a Paladin's high avoidance and Sacred Shield, I have often see myself lose the stacks it gives, I do not use this and never plan on doing so
  • Juggernaut's Vitality - Like Corroded Skeleton key but slightly worse. Useful if you can get it
  • Ick's Rotting Thumb - Great starting trinket, get it if you can
  • Lavanthor's Talisman - Drops in VH and is very good for its level. Is great for starting tank
  • Glyph of Indomintability - If you have spare Emblems of Triumph you can get this, some more armour is nice but the Use is more for RHC than Raids
  • Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman - If you can get it, this is great for a starting tank, requires you to loot and do the Quest of Onyxia's head from Onyxia's Lair raid
For DPS increase
  • Darkmoon Card:Greatness - Good item, as it gives Strength, great for DPS boost and block, get the Strength one, not Agility
  • Whispering Fang Skull - Great for DPS as it gives blanket Crit and a lot of Attack power
  • Death's Choice - The best of DPS trinkets, especially for Protection Paladins. The Strength allows more damage and greater block
  • Mark of Supremacy - If you need the Hit, it's very useful and the extra DPS boost with Avenging Wrath is great for starting a boss
  • Vengeance of the Forsaken - Good from ToC if you need the Expertise, but not worth it if you don't
  • The Black Heart - Great trinket from ToC 5, giving Stamina useful even for ICC, the Armour is useful, but the Stamina is what makes the trinket
  • Corpse Tongue Coin - May seem useful and gives the most gear score, however has bad stats for Paladins and isn't worth the roll.
  • Death Bringer's Will - The Armour penetration is pretty useless, the Haste proc is actually bad for your rotation. Cannot be relied on
  • Herkumi War Token - The haste is again bad for you and the Attack Power is not worth 60 Emblems of Frost, especially with better Trinkets out there
  • Tiny Abomination in a Jar - By the time you get this, you shouldn't need the Hit. The Proc isn't that good for a Protection Paladin either as a one handed weapon will do small damage and there is not much haste to make you proc often
  • Shard of Crystal heart - Although the hit is nice, Mar of Supremacy is better due to the activation
  • Purified Shard of the flame - Drops from Onyxia and although may look nice, it is only useful for healers for the two set proc. Only get it if you are truely, truely desperate
  • Needle Encrusted Scorpion - Anything with Defencive stuff is better, the Armour pen is pretty useless
I haven't mentioned Naxx/Ulduar trinkets because I do not believe they are worth the trouble to get them.

If you are quite well geared, I see no reason why you shouldn't run one Tank one DPS trinket to help with your Aggro/Damage. You can use two DPS, but I suggest only doing this if you are comfortable with your own gear and your raid group.

Do not be afraid to experiment with your gear once you're experienced. Try balance your Hit rating/expertise so that you don't need to gem it. Ask your healers for feedback on the amount of damage you're taking. Try push it if you think you can. But remember you are a Tank first. Do not swap too much for that little bit more DPS.

4. Glyphs

4.1 Needed
  • Glyph of Divine Plea - Vital. Due to Guarded by the Light talent, your Divine Plea will be constantly up, This is an extra 3% damage mitigation.
  • Glyph Seal of Vengeance - You only need this if you don't have the Expertise cap, ignore it if you do. It gives you 10 Expertise when using Seal of Vengeance/Corruption but remember if you switch Seal you will lose the Expertise
  • Glyph of Righteous Defence - Righteous defence and Hand of Reckoning, so, your taunts, are classed as spells. Although the melee hit cap is 8%, the spell hit is much higher meaning you have a chance to miss with your taunts. If you miss with your taunt it can be catastrophic.
4.2 Optional
  • Glyph Hammer of Righteousness - Good for AoE tanking and mob control
  • Glyph of Avenger's Shield - Increases damage done for Avenger's shield meaning it does more DPS for you and can be used as a single taunt but is no longer AoE
  • Glyph Shield of Righteousness - Reduces mana cost of a Spell you use a lot, so useful if you have mana issues
  • Glyph of Salvation - Reduces damage on you by 20% but you should very, very rarely be using Hand of Salvation on yourself
  • Glyph of Turn Evil - Useful for fighting Shambling Horrors at Lich King, but not much else
  • Glyph of Judgement - You will use Judgement a lot, but its base damage is low so will do little
  • Glyph of Holy Wrath - Not much Damage but useful for tanking at LK during enrage on Shambling Horrors
4.3 Glyphs to Avoid
  • Any Glyphs of spells you don't have, or healing glyphs.
  • Glyph of Spiritual Attunement - The amount from this talent is already low, 2% is barely anything, not worth the slot
  • Glyph Seal of Command - Even if you get the talent, when you're AoE tanking you'll be blocking/parrying/dodging from so many mobs BoS will give you all your mana
  • Glyph Hammer of Justice - You should not be needing to stun
  • Glyph of Consecration - This will ruin your rotation
  • Glyph of Avenging Wrath - The DPS increase won't be that high, so not worth it
  • Glyph Seal of Righteousness - You should never use this seal anyway
  • Glyph of Exorcism - You use this spell so rarely it isn't worth the glyph
4.4 Minor Glyphs
  • Glyph of Sense Undead - An extra 1% Damage against Undead, always have the sense on whilst in ICC, why not huh?
  • Glyph Lay on Hands - 5 minute reduction on Lay on Hands, may as well
5. Rotation
Every boss fight, you should activate Sacred Shield, and then Divine plea. You pull a boss that needs to be attacked to pull with exorcism, One that requires you to go near, upon aggroing use Avengers shield to maintain aggro whilst moving to position.

Always use Seal of Corruption, only use Light if you're lacking heals and only Command if AoE tanking. Never use any other seal.

Your standard rotation is this, it is known as the 96969 due to the cooldowns:


If you want, you can replace some Holy Shields with Avenger's Shield and Holy Wrath. Constantly keep Sacred Shield up, when it comes to 10 seconds left prepare to replenish it.

You always want Blessing of Sanctuary and Blessing of Kings, in that order. Always ask for Blessing of Kings from other Paladins.

In terms of Auras, I believe Consecration benefits the raid the most. Followed by resistance auras depending on the boss. Remember Aura mastery doubles resistances and a Ret or Holy Paladin may use it with your Aura.

Devotion Aura will benefit only yourself and the OT in most situation. The raid members will not be getting Physical damage.

6. Useful Tips

I've picked up a lot of things whilst tanking.

Remember, you tank for the raid, not yourself. DPS will always attack from behind, so you should move the boss well out of AoE so that they won't get hit by the AoE on the floor. This means moving more than you think you should. The boss being merely out of the way is not enough. And always make sure the Boss is facing away from the raid. Some bosses have cleave which does AoE physical damage to all targets in front, and some do AoE to all those in front of them. This is important for nearly every boss.

6.1 General Tank Tips
  • Download Omen, or another threat metre, if you see someone high on aggro use threat reduction such as Hand of Salvation on them
  • Have your Off Tank taunt Lady Deathwhisper with 10% mana shield left, and then taunt back, this gives you both an aggro lead
  • When Tanking Kelseeth, Armour is useless so do not use trinkets that give Armour, use Stamina ones, even Strength trinkets are better than armour here
  • This also works for items, it is useful to have two sets if possible, one with Stamina, one with Armour/Avoidance
  • Be prepared to move yourself and the boss
  • React quickly to things that happen around you, if someone makes a mistake try help them before it wipes
6.2 General Protection Paladin tips
  • Use Hand of Salvation on every cooldown on Lady Deathwhisper as you lose threat in Phase 2
  • When pulling a boss, use Avenging Wrath whilst pulling to give you the DPS boost you need to secure aggro, but wait till after Exorcism is cast
  • Judgements have 10 yard range and proc Divine Plea, if your Divine Plea is going to run out try use Judgement on the Boss to keep it going
  • If you have time, you can switch to Healer weapons and heal yourself and the raid, remember to turn off Divine Plea
  • Divine Plea is based on your total mana. If you switch to Healer items, your mana will regain quicker
  • If you use DPS items, try use Avenging Wrath when they proc for extra damage
  • Divine Shield (bubble) can be used to get rid of some debuffs such as Rotface
  • I have noticed Holy Shield does not always have its stacks reduced, making me use it only if I have everything else off Cooldown and excess mana. You can try yourself and watch the stacks to see if you think it's worth keeping up
  • If you are not being attacked, you can use Exorcism, such as during a Sindragosa Frost Breath or Blood Queen Air phase, but never use it when the boss is directly attacking you
  • Divine Sacrifice reduces your damage taken as well as the raid's, useful if you're going to take damage, or the raid is (Blood Queen)
  • Holy Paladins benefit from your Sacred Shield as they can put a Heal over Time on you with it
  • If you find yourself running out of Mana when tanking one mob, do not use Consecration or Avenger's Shield
  • Always keep your Judgement up
  • Avenger's Shield can be used to Aggro mobs, it is ranged and hits multiple targets
  • Always have Cleanse and Hand of Freedom on your action bar, you never know when they can be needed
  • Help your raid! If you see an ally stuck in slowing ooze, use HoF on them
6.3 Macros
  • You can macro an ability to a trinket:

    Code: Select all

    /use Mark of Supremacy
    /cast Avenging Wrath

    Code: Select all

    /use Glyph of Indomintability
    /Cast Divine Protection
    This also works with /13 and /14 depending on where the trinket is.
  • When you need to switch Aggro, it's useful to have Righteous Fury removable:

    Code: Select all

    /cast [button:1]Righteous Fury
    /cancelaura [button:2]Righteous Fury
  • The same works for using Bubble to remove stacks:

    Code: Select all

    /cast [button:1]Divine Shield
    /cancelaura [button:2]Divine Shield
  • And if you need to heal and need to cancel Divine Plea's healing reduction:

    Code: Select all

    /cast [button:1]Divine Plea
    /cancelaura [button:2]Divine Plea
  • If you're very low on mana and desperate, or need to switch weapons to healer weapons you can swap both at the same time. I recommend using PvP ones if you can for the extra health, and remember to use one to switch back to Tank weapons!

    Code: Select all

    /equip Wrathful Gladiator's Gavel
    /equip Wrathful Gladiator's Barrier
  • A very useful pair of macros is for Libram swapping. If you believe you may die, switch to Seal of light, but doing so will make your Libram redundant. If you don't have the EoF Libram, swap it for something else:

    Code: Select all

    /cast Seal of Light
    /equip Libram of the Eternal Tower

    Code: Select all

    /cast Seal of Corruption
    /equip Libram of Valiance
7. Final points

I hope you've learnt something reading this. But most of all I hope you try it out yourself and experiment yourself. It's what feels right to you. I feel comfortable switching DPS items for my Tank items to increase my DPS, and feel I can push my class. I believe I bring more to the raid if I do 10k DPS than if I have a little more survivability but only do 4k.

If you have any questions feel free to post them here or ask me ingame, or indeed anything you disagree with me on or think I forgot.

Seal of Corruption and Seal of Vengeance are interchangeable, one is Alliance and one is Horde, they are essentially the same thing. The Seal with the yellow crossed swords.
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Re: Paladin Tanking

#2 » Post by Intervention » 24 Jul 2012 12:52


Code: Select all
/cast Seal of Corruption
/equip Libram of Valiance
or /cast seal of vengeance if you are Alliance.

Also, you missed Glyph of Avengers shield.
Use: Your Avenger's Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 100% more damage.

Very nice for single target aggro. If you are a main spec tank or main tank in raids then it's very nice.
Glyph of Righteous Defense - Righteous defense and Hand of Reckoning, so, your taunts, are classed as spells. Although the melee hit cap is 8%, the spell hit is much higher meaning you have a chance to miss with your taunts. If you miss with your taunt it can be catastrophic.
Could also switch for a hit trinket if you are going to be taunting a lot and might give you a 'dps increase' if you really care about dps. If you swap the above glyph for Glyph of Avenger's shield then you could capitalise on your dps i guess. But with ilevel277 gear your hit will be very high. I have almost 10% hit i think and i might miss a taunt 1/10 full ICC runs.
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Re: Paladin Tanking

#3 » Post by blue_cypher21 » 24 Jul 2012 13:12

thanks blue for uploading this. :) -kaiseki

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Re: Paladin Tanking

#4 » Post by Alexandros » 24 Jul 2012 14:07

Oh my god, this guide is beautiful. So colorful, organized, and clear. kudos to you Babbles :D .

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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#5 » Post by blue_cypher21 » 25 Jul 2012 16:22

just some questions here blue.

for the weapon enchant, you didn't include the enchant crusader? is it bad compared to the others you have mentioned there? because if you are gemming str, isn't it better to have the crusader proc as well?

for the gloves enchant, is the engineering enchant which gives off 800 armor any good? i heard from junkstar that having a high amount of armor is good. but im not sure if this also applies to paladin.

for my dps trinkets, i have herkumi, wfs and mirror of truth. so should i just use wfs and mirror?

may i also know your stats at the moment? like ur hit, expertise, str etc. I just want to compare it with mine if its ok.

That's it. Thanks!

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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#6 » Post by Bluebell » 25 Jul 2012 16:52

Permanently enchant a melee weapon to often heal for 75 to 125 and increase Strength by 100 for 15 sec. when attacking in melee. Has a reduced effect for players above level 60
Crusader has less effect when you're level 80, making it not very good, the heal is very bad and the strength increase is small, especially for a level 80.

I would get the Armour enchant, yes, as I said I didn't list Profession enchants because in most situations they're better.

I would use WFS, but I think you would be better using a tank trinket (the key) or getting Mark of Supremacy to go with it, because you won't crit much meaning the mirror won't proc a lot, and the passive crit isn't great.

Without any buffs (not even my own BoS or devotion aura) and going with my standard gear, 1 tank trinket 1 DPS I'm at:

Strength: 1951 (4454 AP)
Stamina: 3322 (39974 health)
Armour: 32213
Crit: 19.74
Expertise: 29
Hit: 10.49%
Defence: 583
Dodge: 27.68%
Parry: 19.53%
Block: 12.32% (Block stops 1734 damage)
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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#7 » Post by Anoth » 26 Jul 2012 10:51

Strength: 1777 (3824 AP)
Stamina: 3446 (41214 HP)
Armor: 31642
Crit: 11.61%
Expertise: 27 (With SoV Glyph)
Hit: 10.86%
Defense: 597
Dodge: 30.33%
Parry: 23.34%
Block: 12.88% (Block stops 1431 damage)

But my gear is different yours... I have a crappy shield still. ---> Klorel Also I use different type of gearing don't use dps trinkets.

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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#8 » Post by Arockalypse » 26 Jul 2012 11:04

im no expert about paladins, but instead of using Heavy Borean Armor Kit, use Greater Inscription of the Gladiator it only costs 10k Honor Point
15 resi rating is equal to 22 def rating in terms of crit avoidance at level 80.
(15 resi = 0.18% crit avoidance, 22 def rating = 0.18% crit avoidance)
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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#9 » Post by Anoth » 26 Jul 2012 11:10

Yeah but when def capped makes no difference. Also I would be using that if I had the honour rofl, don't pvp enough.

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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#10 » Post by belendor » 26 Jul 2012 14:37

very nice guide mate, many usefulll things for people that want to learn pala tanking(wich is OP!!!!)

An additional 6% healing to all raid members from a Protection Paladin from the devo aura.
Isn't this still bugged?
I don't agree 100% with it is needed to get Glyph of Righteous Defence, if u hit gets high enuf u don't need it.

3)Here are my stats with no buffs what so ever
Strength: 1951 (3882 AP)
Stamina: 3842 (45174 HP)
Armor: 37676
Crit: 18,39%
Expertise: 28
Hit: 9,55%
Defense: 622( way to high :/)
Dodge: 27,66%
Parry: 21,95%
Block: 13,32% (Block stops 1768 damage)

Glyph of judgement/avenger shield/divine plea
sense undead/lay on hands/kings
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No need to mention the other paladins.

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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#11 » Post by belendor » 26 Jul 2012 14:38

btw i changed a bit of my gems yesterday cus i was way over the def cap :)
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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#12 » Post by Cover25 » 26 Jul 2012 14:49

Being over the def cap isn't bad. I Like to keep my def at 600 because it gives me more avoidance.

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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#13 » Post by Bluebell » 26 Jul 2012 15:16

Babbles wrote:Improved Devotion Aura - This talent is bugged here, as the healing effect does not work. I may move it up to the above section if it did work. The extra armour is nice, but you 600 is not that much for the Tank and you won't always use Devotion Aura. The Healing if working also does not stack with resto druid.
My reasoning behind the Righteous defence glyph is because I don't think, if Exp capped, there is anything better. Sure, you can get 10% more Judgement damage, but it's very low damage, Avengers shield is only a little more aggro and is still useful when it hits 3 targets. Yes, when you get enough hit you might only miss taunt 1/10 times, but I don't want that risk, I don't want the chance for the MT to die, when I go to taunt the LK, I miss and he runs off and kills another 4 people.

And as I said in the guide, you should still keep building defence after the cap, it's just you *need* it at the cap. I usually put +Defence +strength, or +Defence +Stamina gems in yellow slots
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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#14 » Post by Intervention » 26 Jul 2012 15:19

You can go for +18 stamina on gloves too if you want. Armour has different meanings depending on your raid.

My stats are...

Strength: 2259 (4738 AP)
Stamina: 4332 (50074 health)
Armour: 33104
Crit: 11.61%
Expertise: 25 (Just need to get my boots from DW and it's all good to 28 or something)
Hit: 303 (9.24%)
Defence: 597
Dodge: 31.83%
Parry: 24.17%
Block: 12.88% (Block stops 1968 damage)
An additional 6% healing to all raid members from a Protection Paladin from the devo aura.
Isn't this still bugged?
Yes the healing part is but the armour bonus is not. I still suggest speccing into this. Having that extra armour is great for bosses that have cleaves and such.
Being over the def cap isn't bad. I Like to keep my def at 600 because it gives me more avoidance.
Yes, just be aware of diminishing returns on statistics. Each defense stat scales differently. In order of what scales the most is dodge > parry > block. That is in my tanking guide in the tanking section. That's why it's depressing to see Paladins gem into parry.
btw i changed a bit of my gems yesterday cus i was way over the def cap :)
Just regarding this, some people think 540 is all you need. You should always get more then 540 because you are not all the time crit immune with 540 depending on boss mechanics and such.
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Re: Paladin Tank Guide

#15 » Post by Bluebell » 26 Jul 2012 15:21

OP ICC25 HC gear :<
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