Paladin Protection Talent Guide

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Talent Guide: Protection (Updated for 2.0 )

The protection tree focuses mainly on tanking, and also increases the survivability of the paladin and his party

Tier 1: Improved Devotion Aura, Redoubt

Improved Devotion Aura (5/5): it’s bad, that’s it, don’t get it if you can avoid it.

Redoubt (5/5), Damaging melee attacks against you have a 10% chance to increases your chance to block attacks with your shield by 6/12/18/24/30% after being the victim of a critical strike. Lasts 10 sec or 5 blocks.
This talent is the only real option for tier-1 protection. It’s quite nice for tanking with a shield, and damage return, since both require blocking to be effective for a paladin. It’ll be up most of the time now, and in combination with defense skill, aversion, and Holy Shield you can greatly reduce the number of crushing blows and crits you’ll take by pushing them off of your hit tables with massive block.

Tier 2: Precision, Guardian’s Favor, Toughness

Precision (3/3), increases your chance to hit with melee weapons by 1/2/3%
Very nice talent for PvP and PvE, works exactly as advertised

Guardian’s Favor (2/2), Reduces the cooldown of your Blessing of Protection by 60/120 sec and increases the duration of your Blessing of Freedom by 3/6 sec.
One of the most powerful protection talents, both PvE and PvP. It brings the offtime on Blessing of Freedom to 4 seconds and almost doubles the amount you can cast Blessing of Protection. Definate gets this if you are going to use the protection tree

Toughness (5/5), Increases your armor value from items by 2/4/6/8/10%
A nice talent, great for tanking, but use it to build up higher in the protection tree. Grab the more important talents first

Tier 3: Blessing of Kings, Improved Righteous Fury, Shield Specialization, Anticipation

Blessing of Kings (1/1), Places a Blessing on the friendly target, increasing total stats by 10% for 5 min. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time.
The second or third most important blessing for most classes in a raid, and a very powerful talent. Get it if your guild needs you to be a “kingsbot” in the raids, or if you like the way it feels. I don’t love it, but I won’t tell you I have any rational reasons for not liking it.

Improved Righteous Fury (3/3), While Righteous Fury is active, reduces all damage taken by 2/4/6% and increases the amount of threat generated by your Righteous Fury spell by 16/33/50%.
The defiance of the paladin’s protection tree. It’s very useful to be able to generate threat and tank for any paladin, and this talent is absolutely vital for a tankadin. Righteous Fury will increase the threat generated by all holy spells by 90% with this talent, plus the damage mitigation is good for anyone, even PvP.

Shield Specilization (3/3), increases the damage absorbed by your shield by 10/20/30%
Underrated talent. Using good tanking gear and Shield Specialization, a paladin can have a higher block value then any other class. Since blocking is critical to paladin tanking, get this talent if you intend to tank, plain and simple.

Anticipation (5/5), increases your Defense skill by 4/8/12/16/20
I explained what defense did earlier, and this talent does exactly what it says. Not a very good talent, and I recommend skipping it. Anticipation has no gear scaling and costs too much for only 20 defense. OK for filler talents, but you want to use gear to get most of your +def.

Tier 4: Stoicism, Improved Hammer of Justice, Improved Concentration Aura

Stoicism (2/2), Increases your resistance to Stun effects by an additional 5/10% and reduces the chance your spells will be dispelled by an additional 15/30%
Great talent for PvP purposes. Spell dispels help to turn a paladin off, and mass dispels on a divine shield are something to be scared of, and this talent protects you against that. Stun resist is nice too. Not very good PvE.

Improved Hammer of Justice (3/3), reduces the cooldown of Hammer of Justice by 5/10/15 sec
Great PvP talent, works exactly as advertised. Don’t get it if you are speccing to be an endgame PvE tank, as most endgame bosses are immune to stun

Improved Concentration Aura (3/3), Increases the effect of your Concentration Aura by an additional 5/10/15% and gives all group members affected by the aura an additional 5/10/15% chance to resist Silence and Interrupt effects.
Not a very good talent, in my opinion. You’re already uninterruptible if you have Spiritual Focus. It does protect you from Pummel/Kick/Cspell and other such spell locks, but 15% is such a low rate of protection that I had to have this fact confirmed to me (thanks Greg). Maybe I'm a little unfair on this talent because of how very much I hate spell lock and how little protection I felt this gave me, but I really don't like it. Play at your own risk here.

Tier 5: Spell Warding, Blessing of Sanctuary, Reckoning

Spell Warding (2/2), Reduces spell damage taken by 2/4%
A nice talent for reducing spell damage taken, something that paladins have a lot of trouble mitigating

Blessing of Sanctuary (1/1), Places a Blessing on the friendly target, reducing damage dealt from all sources by up to 10 for 5 min. In addition, when the target blocks a melee attack the attacker will take 14 Holy damage. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time. 24 Damage reduced, 35 damage returned at level 60. 80 damage reduced, 46 damage returned at level 70.
The least powerful of the 5/15 minute Blessings, but underestimated nevertheless. Great to have up on the group if the quantities of paladins allows. Great for tanks, possibly top buff for both of them. Significantly more effective at 70 than any other level.

Reckoning (5/5): Gives you a 2/4/6/8/10% chance after being hit with a damaging attack that the next 4 weapon swings for 8 seconds will generate an additional attack.
Don’t pass reckoning up, it makes you significantly more powerful melee. Probably good for at least +50% autoattack + seal damage, and could give you a lot more.

Tier 6: Sacred Duty, One-Handed Weapon Specialization

Sacred Duty (2/2), increases your total stamina by 3/6%, reduces the cooldown of your Divine Shield by 30/60 seconds, and reduces the attack speed penalty of Divine Shield by 50/100%
This talent is nothing but good. More stam for tanking, more shield and stam for pvp, no penalty for the shield anywhere. Cheap talent considering how good it is.

One-Handed Weapon Specialization (5/5), increases the damage dealt with one-handed weapons by 2/4/6/8/10%
This is a better talent then it appears, since it increases damage done by Seal of Righteousness when you have a one handed weapon equipped as well. Good for threat generation and soloing.

Tier 7: Holy Shield, Ardent Defender

Holy Shield (1/1), increases chance to block by 30% for 10 sec, and deals 65 Holy damage for each attack blocked while active. Damage caused by Holy Shield causes 20% additional threat. Each block expends a charge. 4 charges. Returns 130 damage at level 60. Returns 115 damage at level 70
The backbone of paladin tanking. Reduces the damage you take and generates hate. Get it if you’re a tankadin.

Ardent Defender (5/5), When you have less than 20% health, all damage taken is reduced by 10/20/30/40/50%
Shield wall every time your health gets critical is nice, but this talent risks letting the paladin getting oneshotted at 21%. Pick it up at your own risk. I strongly recommend it for a PvE tank, but PvP it probably won’t save you often.

Tier 8: Weapon Expertise

Weapon Expertise (5/5), Increases your skill with all melee weapons by 2/4/6/8/10
I don’t understand why paladins have this talent, much less have it in the protection tree. Either I’m missing something or this is a joke, because weapon skill does little enough for us when dpsing already, why bother giving it to us tanking? Skip this.

Tier 9: Avenger’s Shield

Avenger’s Shield (1/1), Hurls a Holy Shield at the target, dealing 270-330 Holy Damage, dazing them and then jumping to nearby enemies. Affects 3 total targets. Lasts 6 seconds. 370-452 damage at level 60. 494-602 damage at level 70.
Ranged pull for a tank, snare PvP. Deadzones in melee range, so this isn’t for threat generation, but it is damned handy to carry with you nevertheless.

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