I was talking with a friend last night who has recently leveled a Protection spec Paladin to 70 (Gratz, btw!!)
He really enjoys the play style and is having a blast. He was asking about doing PVP on his Protection Paladin, and specifically what would make a good Arena partner for 2s.
The problems you will run into as a Protection spec Paladin are:
Running out of Mana
Even in Holy PVP gear, you won’t have the starting mana pool of a Holy Paladin, however, the larger issue is that you don’t have the staying power. Without Illumination, you burn through your mana much faster as a Protection spec Paladin than a Holy Paladin does, and because your heals lack the power provided by the Holy talents, you have to cast more heals to get the same throughput. You can’t pot in Arenas, so you are in a situation of hoping your teammate can kill one before you are completely out of mana.
The other major problem is spell pushback. Without the Holy talents, anything hitting you can dramatically reduce your healing throughput. You are especially subject to Hunter pets.
In addition, you are battling all the other issues that plague Paladins in general in the 2s bracket. Our inability to cast on the run which makes it difficult to put distance between yourself and an attacker. The long cast times which leave you vulnerable to pummels, kicks, and counterspells, and with a Protection Paladin’s smaller mana pool, we are especially vulnerable to mana draining.
The advantage you have as a Protection Paladin in 2s is the preponderance of Rogue teams. Rogues have a very tough time with Protection Paladins. They are attacking high armor, and getting damaged for every attack they make against us with Holy Shield, Ret Aura and Blessing of Sanctuary. Protection Paladins are similarly effective when being attacked by Enhancement Shamans, Fury Warriors, and Feral Druids.
I did find my Protection Paladin did better in the larger team brackets, especially as a second Healer in a 5s team with a Druid. The Druid would start out in stealth, and I would run out with the team, so the other team would identify as the healer. Then the Druid would come out of stealth and be mostly unmolested. My primary concern was keeping Blessing of Freedom up on the Warrior and keeping our Druid alive.
Protection Paladins also offer quite a bit in a Battleground situation. Here, you can pot, and drink in between fights which mitigates some of the issues in Arenas.
In addition to healing, Protection Paladins make excellent flag runners and point defenders, and their tanking can be a major advantage in Alterac Valley. I enjoy charging into Drek’s room. “Don’t worry about the Towers, get a couple of healers on me and I’ll tank the whole room.” If you can get a Fear Ward on you for Drek’s fears, you are golden.