Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pally Tanking 101

Hey all, I thought I would take a break from all the Holy paladin centric posts to write a bit about tanking as a paladin. I have had experience tanking as a prot pally early on in the expansion along with in TBC mostly in heroics. I was actually the OT when me, my bf and our irl friends were all wiping in 10 man Naxx trying to get KT down (usually because we would hit enrage timers). Remember those days?

Anyway, I know there is a TON of great prot pally resources out there that any aspiring paladin tank can look up so my goal is NOT to replicate that. I just want this post to kind of be a very simple, easy guide to prot paladin tanking as I am not a great paladin tank by any means.

So here goes!

I. Spec & Glyphs

I have just listed some preliminary specs I made up but feel free to tweak them however you see fit. I will make a comment though as to why there is only one point in Improved Judgements. This is due to the optimal tanking rotation called the 969 rotation and having 2 points in Improved Judgements will throw it off.

MT / 5 man Heroics: this or this
OT: Example here

Major Glyphs:

Minor Glyphs:

II. Gems

For all you newbie tanks, the magic number to hit is 535 defense for 5 man Heroics and 540 defense for raid bosses. That is defense skill NOT defense rating. What is the difference? Defense rating is what is on gear and gems but when translated to defense skill, the number you get is lower. Your defense skill will be on your character sheet.

Tanking is highly dependent on gear and gems will help supplement your stats as a tank. There are a whole crapton of gems available for tanks to use in all sizes and shapes (and colors). I will bold/italicize gems I find useful.

Keep in mind:

  1. Orange gems fit in both red and yellow sockets
  2. Green gems fit in both blue and yellow sockets
  3. Purple gems fit in both blue and red sockets

Red sockets: These gems always gives you more avoidance stats such as dodge, parry, expertise, def or hit.

Blue sockets: ALWAYS Solid Sky Sapphire, it's a waste of a blue socket otherwise unless you are seriously lacking in defense.
Yellow sockets: Any gems matching this socket will always give you some defense or hit rating so unless you want the socket bonus and or need the hit/defense, you can just ignore the socket color.

III. Auras

Now, this may seem very straightforward but I have heard examples of prot pallies using Conc. Aura to tank -.- so please forgive me if I seem to be stating the obvious.

There are 2 auras a prot pally can possibly use to tank, which are Devo and Ret Aura.

You can regard Devo aura as the mitigation aura and Ret aura as the threat aura. If you are fairly "squishy" as a new tank, Devo aura may work out better for you. However, Ret aura is usually best to use in 5 man Heroics or raids without Ret pallies to help with your threat. Otherwise, in raid settings prot pallies usually have on Devo aura.

IV. Seal

Use Seal of Corruption, no argument allowed. This is because as you auto-attack, you will stack up to 5 times, a DoT on the mob. This is great to use for aoe tanking outside of just Consecration or when aggro wipes happen midfight. Also if you want to use the Glyph then you have to use this seal! Just trust me, this seal is the best for tanking.

Finally, make sure you have Righteous Fury up, now go and tank!


  1. Unrelated comment is unrelated (though I dig this post since I'm converting tankadin, but anyway):

    Some friends and I created a group blog called AngryHealers. It's part ar-har-har, part rant, part Genuine Helpful Stuff...but we're sans a full-time holy pally. I don't count anymore. ;)

    Would you be interested in joining the insanity as a writer? There's no set plan yet we're just like LETS DO THIS and OKAY NOW POST THINGS.


  2. a few things i would like to point out:
    - should never be gemming for +hit or +expertise since it should all come from the gear
    - the best gems for a red slot are dodge/stam (regals) unless you want to max out threat in which case you go with str/stam (guardian)
    - never gem for parry since dodge is superior unless you reach 88% dodge which is impossible with current gear... parry require more rating to get 1% parry compared to dodge and has harder diminishing returns
    - seal of choice: vengeance/corruption since the DoT effect is massive and the seal will be spread to nearby attackers via hammer of the righteous for even more AOE ticking dots
    - pally threat is perfectly good without using ret aura so devo is the choice
    - an agi/stam (shifting) gem can be used in case of dodge/stam for some extra threat andd mitigation in place of avoidance

  3. @Anonymous, k thanks for the tips

  4. Howdy! I just have seen that your Rss of this blog is working without any mistakes, did you execute all the options all by yourself or you simply turned to the initial settings of the widget?


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