The Protection Warrior in WoW Classic is a faithful protector that generates and expends Rage, its main resource, as well as shields for its own protection and that of its allies.
The Protection Warrior is without a doubt the best WoW Classic Tank. Although weak in the beginning and lacking threat generation, the more equipment they gain, the more they can afford to leave defensive talents behind to maximize DPS and threat generation — even to the point of giving up the shield to be ambidextrous in PvE!
In PvP, it is also the best Tank when it is necessary to carry the flag in Warsong or tank the various bosses in Alterac Valley. On the other hand, it is very weak in terms of pure DPS, and will thus not bring much in wild PvP or Arathi Basin.
This is the standard build for all early Protection Warriors with little equipment. Everything here is done to maximize your survival using various raw defensive talents, such as Shield Specialization or Deflection, but also CC such as Improved Revenge. The only real problem with this build is that it has very weak threat generation, forcing the DPS to reduce their DPS and let you gain your threat back before they start getting stuck in again.
Once a decent level of equipment is obtained, this build loses much of interest and we strongly advise you to use one of the following two builds.
Similar to the previous build, this very famous build allows well-equipped tanks to remove some purely defensive talent points, in order to place them in talents that increase their DPS (and therefore their threat) in a considerable way: Deep Wounds and Impale .
Although this is not a build in the Protection specialization, we found it more interesting to put it in this guide because it is a tanking-oriented setup. This build has one very interesting feature: it offers the player the option of not playing with a Shield, but 2 one-handed weapons with high attack speed.
Why this build? This allows you to generate a phenomenal amount of threat not only through a Fury and Flurry-oriented build, but also with the help of Protection Tree talents such as Defiance. What's more, the DPS gain for this build is considerable, but it comes at a price: survival.
By playing ambidextrous you do not wear a shield, and therefore lose out greatly in survivability. As if that were not enough, you must also play with gear that is stated to do damage, not to defend yourself. As a result, the Anticipation talent gains greatly in value in this build, just like Bloodthirst, among others.
Note: This build is only for Warriors with excellent mechanical skill, and is strongly discouraged during levelling.
Stats to prioritize
Defense (up to 440) > Block chance > Dodge > Parry > Strength > Agility > Stamina > Hit (8% Cap)
Defense (up to 440) > Block chance > Strength > Agility > Dodge > Parry > Stamina > Hit (8% Cap)
Defense (up to 440) > Hit (8% Cap) > Critical Strike > Strength > Agility > Dodge > Parry > Stamina
- Demoralizing Shout ,
- Shield Slam (or Bloodthirst in Ambidextrous build),
- Revenge ,
- Always keep 5 stacks of Sunder Armor on the target,
- Heroic Strike if there is only one target and you have too much rage,
- Cleave if there are at least two targets and you have too much rage.
Recklessness is undoubtedly the flagship offensive CD of the Warrior, but at a significant price. Not only is the cooldown especially long (30 minutes), but it also increases the damage you take by 20%. So, use it as soon as possible, but be careful not to die!
Note: Recklessness shares its cooldown with Recklessness and Retaliation, so be sure which of the three you should use.
This is the defensive equivalent of Recklessness but without the negative side-effect, since the Shield Wall reduces all damage you suffer by 75% for 10 seconds. This is the last-chance panic technique, so save it for cases of extreme urgency!
Note: Shield Wall shares its cooldown with Recklessness and Retaliation, so be sure which of the three you should use.
Finally, Retaliation is the sister technique of the two previous, and this time favours PvP encounters. Like the Shield Wall, Retaliation has no negative side-effect outside its 30-minute CD, and can deal heavy damage to anyone who attacks you in melee combat for a handful of seconds. This is the dream technique against Rogues who believe they are all alone.
Note: Retaliation shares its cooldown with Recklessness and Shield Wall, so be sure of which of the three to use.
What race to play for my Protection Warrior?
The power of the Orc is as incomparable in PvE as it is in PvP thanks to its Blood Fury and Axe Specialization racials. No race equals it in PvE. Finally, Hardiness gives them a clear advantage over other races in PvP.
The Tauren has real defensive abilities as a Tank: War Stomp allows you to have one more CC in case you are in trouble, and Endurance allows you to have a higher health point pool.
The Human has some serious advantages, but far fewer than those of the Orc. Mace Specialization and Sword Specialization are rather useful, Diplomacy is decent for reputation grinding, and Perception is very useful in PvP.
The Dwarf's Stoneform is a serious asset in PvP, especially against Rogues. Frost Resistance is also great against your nemesis: the Frost Mage.
World of Warcraft: Classic has a number of races to choose from, and making that choice has long-term consequences. You don't want to regret your choice later, so we've broken down the races in our tier list for WoW: Classic.
If you follow our advice in choosing your professions, then Mining is an excellent option. With either Engineering or Blacksmithing, you become almost self-sufficient. It is also an excellent source of income via the Auction House.
The Engineering profession is the best choice by default as it's great both in PvE and PvP. From Goblin Sapper Charge and the Arcanite Dragonling to the Dense Dynamites, this profession will always be useful!
World of Warcraft: Classic has a number of professions to choose from, from crafting armour with Blacksmithing and Leatherworking to farming materials with Herbalism and Minning. With something for everyone, here is our Classic Profession tier list.
Note: While many macros exist, we've just listed those that we think are crucial for Warriors of all levels of play — therefore this list is not extensive.
Allows you to cast Mocking Blow, or Battle Stance if you are in a different stance.
/local run texture, name, isActive, isCastable = GetShapeshiftFormInfo (1); if isActive then CastSpellByName ("Mocking Blow"); else CastSpellByName ("Battle Stance ()"); end;
You can cast Shield Bash or Pummel with the same bind.
/ local run texture, name, isActive, isCastable = GetShapeshiftFormInfo (3); if isActive then CastSpellByName ("Pummel"); else CastSpellByName ("Shield Bash ()"); end;
Allows you to cast Taunt if you are in Defensive Stance, or to cast Defensive Stance if you are in a different stance.
/ local run texture, name, isActive, isCastable = GetShapeshiftFormInfo (2); if isActive then CastSpellByName ("Taunt"); else CastSpellByName ("Defensive Stance ()"); end;
Causes you to cast Charge in Battle Stance if you are not in combat. If you are, cast Berserker Stance then Intercept.
/ texture script, name, isActive, isCastable = GetShapeshiftFormInfo (1); if isActive then CastSpellByName ("Charge (Rank 3)"); else CastSpellByName ("Combat Stance ()"); end;
You Charge in Defensive Stance if you're not in combat. If you are, cast Berserker Stance then Intercept.
/ texture script, name, isActive, isCastable = GetShapeshiftFormInfo (2); if isActive then CastSpellByName ("Intercept (Rank 3)"); else CastSpellByName ("Defensive Stance ()"); end;
You cast Intercept and Berserker Stance if you are in combat. If you are not, then cast Combat Stance and Charge.
/ texture script, name, isActive, isCastable = GetShapeshiftFormInfo (3); if isActive then CastSpellByName ("Intercept (Rank 3)"); else CastSpellByName ("Defensive Stance ()"); end;
Discover our guide to the classes in World of Warcraft: Classic. We take a look at each class, including Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock and Warrior, and look at what you can expect from each and how they match up.