PVE TBC Classic Prot Paladin Tank Guide - Work in Progress

This is very much a work in progress right now.

How to Play a Protection Paladin in Burning Crusade Classic PVE

Disclaimer 1

While I have edited the content, and made changes where applicable for Burning Crusade Classic, parts of what you'll see here are verbatim from old guides I saved from the now defunct Maintankadin site. Please see the Sources page for the original authors. Most of them have long sense left the game.

Disclaimer 2

This entire guide is based upon the knowledge of the original release of Burning Crusade. There is a real possibility that things could be different, and I will attempt to update the guide as new information becomes available. 


The Basics

The basics of playing of Protection Paladin in group content are:

Keep aggro. 

Don't die. 

That's it. That's your job as a tank.

Keep Aggro

Paladin threat is DPS-based, and in a tanking role is roughly comparable to an equivalently geared mage. Paladin damage, and by extension threat, scales up as they take hits.

Paladin threat is generated through Holy Damage. Three Points in Improved Righteous Fury increases all threat from Holy damage by 90%. All of the following tanking abilities are increased by the Paladins spell damage, though coefficients do apply.

  • Avenger's Shield (a pulling tool) does 494 to 602 and jumps, hitting up to three targets total. It also will daze those targets.
  • Exorcism does 619 to 691 damage to a single undead or demon target at up to 30 yards.
  • A target that has Judgment of the Crusader on it will have its Holy damage taken increased by up to 219.
  • Seal of Righteousness adds Holy damage to each swing of the Paladin's weapon.
  • Judgment of Righteousness does 208 to 228 Holy Damage.
  • Holy Shield, when activated, does 155 Holy Damage per block.
  • Consecration is a 10-yd AOE doing 512 Holy Damage per target over 8 seconds.
  • Retribution Aura does 26 when struck and Blessing of Sanctuary does 46 upon a block.
  • Avenging Wrath is available every 3 minutes and increases all damage done by the Tankadin by 30% for 20 seconds.
  • Blessing of Sacrifice is available every 30 seconds, and transfers 45-104 damage per hit from the target to the tankadin for 20 seconds.

Paladins can't cast any of these spells without mana. Paladin mana is constantly replenished while tanking thanks to mana returned from heals received with a class ability called Spiritual Attenement.

Don't die

This happens through knowledge of the encounters and in concert with your healers, but you should do everything you can to make their job easier. Mana is a huge deal for healers in Burning Crusade Classic. Mana they don't have to spend on your can save the idiot Hunter hanging out in the fire. 

Paladins have the most complex cooldown management of the tank classes. Most Paladin spells are short-term self-buffs, mob debuffs, or DoT's. Keeping track of these durations and refreshing them mid-combat while performing other tanking tasks is an essetnial Tankadin skill. Some new players to the class may find this to be quite demanding. 

Most of our abilities are tied to the global cooldown and have different cooldown durations: managing these cooldowns so that they never coincide (so you can always hit every ability as soon as it's available) is vital to success.

Paladins have comparable mitigation to the other tanking classes, with a slight disadvantage when taking slow hits and a slight advantage when taking fast hits.

Active Mitigation doesn't exist in Burning Crusade Classic. The closest thing to it is keeping your Holy Shield buff active to help you block. Much of your survival is set before the encounter ever begins. The first aspect of Tank damage management is manipulating the combat table into as advantageous a configuration as possible to hit important breakpoints on your secondary stat called the Defense cap and Uncrushable. It comes from your gear, gems, enchants and consumables. You'll need Stamina, Armor, Defense, and avoidance like Dodge and Parry. It's complicated. See the Stats page for more information. 

Protection Paladin Strengths and Weaknesses


  • AOE tanking
    • Paladins have a strong ability to AOE tank, particularly against melee heavy mob groups. Consecration, Retribution Aura, Holy Shield and Blessing of Sanctuary produce large amounts of threat against an unlimited number of mobs.
  • Crush "Immune" 
    • Properly geared Tankadins can be uncrushable before even entering Karazhan. Overall they are more dependably uncrushable than Warriors as Improved Holy Shield grants 8 charges over 10 seconds.
  • Long-range Taunt
    • While the Righteous Defense taunt is on a 15-second cooldown, it has a 40 yard range and will also taunt 3 targets off the teammate receiving Righteous Defense. As an alternative, Avenger's Shield can be used at 30 yards, easily giving over 1000 threat on up to 3 targets.
  • Fast/Burst Threat
    • Due to the way many of the mechanics work and the fact that Paladins start with a full mana bar, Tankadins can frontload threat quickly. This allows DPS to open up against the target sooner. Additionally, the daze effect of Avenger's Shield will make sheep easier to place away from the Raid. This mechanic also allows the Paladin extremely strong burst threat for phase changes mid-battle.
  • High Threat
    • When main tanking a mob or boss, particularly one which does a frequent number of melee strikes, Paladin threat will build very high over the course of the fight. This increased threat ceiling allows for DPS to push themselves more and more without fear of pulling aggro, increasing overall raid DPS.
  • Scalable Threat
    • Due to the high holy damage multiplier given by Improved Righteous Fury, paladin threat is easily scaled upwards to meet the needs of an encounter by stacking spell damage and holy spell damage via gear swapping and consumables.
  • Reactive Threat Generation
    • A MT Paladin can generate close to 75% of his base threat without engaging in active melee. This can be especially helpful against bosses who have reflective melee damage, or parry mechanics.
  • CCers Protection
    • The many ranged threat abilities Paladins enjoy, along with the long-duration static-placement AOE spell Consecration, allow a Paladin to excel in situations where trash or boss adds are being CC'ed. The Paladin can act as protection of the vulnerable CCers by gaining initial aggro on mobs to be CC'ed from long range and providing insurance against accidental CC break or death of the player responsible for crowd control.
  • Group Composition
    • While a peripheral benefit, it is still notable that in most cases a tank group will include a Paladin for their auras, regardless of the spec of the Paladin. If a Paladin Tank is employed, they will be bestowing the same auras on the other tanks in the tank group, while freeing up an additional spot in the tank group for including another utility raid member, such as a Shaman for Windfury Totem or a Druid for their Tree of Life healing increase aura, while still having the same number of total tanks. Having a paladin tank also donates an additional blessing to all raid members. 
  • Active Judgment
    • Because a MT or OT Paladin will melee, a judgment can easily be maintained on the target. Judgment of Light can help with healing melee DPS in fights with small AE components. Judgment of wisdom can help mana-based DPS maintain a higher level of mana, thus helping with long term DPS. Improved Judgement of the Crusader (if talented) will increase the crit chance of anyone attacking that target by 3%.
  • Avoidance of tank CC
    • Using Blessing of Sacrifice, a tankadin can avoid certain types of CC such as gouge, sheep, and breakable fear. For example, on the Moroes encounter in Karazhan, you can have your Paldin is tanking Moroes. A non-cloth wearer DPS should stay 2nd on the aggro list for Moroes. This player should remain close to, or in melee range of Moroes. The Tankadin should place Blessing of Sacrifice on the this player shortly before a gouge is expected. Moroes will gouge the Tankadin, attack the 2nd on the aggro list, immediately un-gouging the Tankadin, and Moroes will retarget the tankadin.


  • Silence
    • Any long lasting silence will shut down a Paladins ability to cast causing threat to slow or even stop. Additionally, if Holy Shield falls off, the Paladin will become susceptible to crushing blows.
  • Fear
    • On multiple occasions Paladins can and have successfully MT'd bosses that fear. Paladins have 2 bubbles that can be used to overcome this and of course the PVP trinket. Fear is an inconvenience, not a game breaker for a prepared Paladin. In addition, tremor totems are a valid way to help handle fear.
  • Mana Burn
    • Mana Burn can seriously hurt the Paladins threat generation capacity, especially initial front-loading, as well as increase the damage they take uniquely among the tanking classes.
  • Mana Dependency
    • A Paladin without mana is a Paladin without threat and susceptible to crushing blows; however, a Paladin receives mana back from heals received, but not from overheals. For this reason Paladins often struggle in OT'ing roles when compared to a druid as these roles are often are accompanied by decreased damage taken. An over-geared Paladin could have similar mana problems but should simply downgrade his gear. Additionally, Holy Shield provides a significant part of the Paladins threat but obviously does not proc when the Paladin is not being struck.
  • Overspecialized
    • The tanking paladin cannot perform any role other than tanking without a full gear swap. The limited mana pool on their tanking gear has them OOM very quickly as a healer, and their DPS is almost entirely based on taking hits. A Tankadin, in tank gear, contributes much less when not tanking than a Feral Druid, and substantially less than a Protection Warrior. They can change gear between fights to act as a support healer.
  • Slow hitters
    • Mitigation is less effective on mobs that hit extremely slowly (equivalent to warriors when getting hit every 2.4-2.7 seconds, at 3.5 a Paladin is taking 6%-8% more than the warrior)
  • Limited Mobility
    • The Paladin is the only tank class that does not have a charge-like ability. When a Paladin has to get close, they have to walk.
  • Extremely gear dependent
    • Paladins have to gear carefully to balance threat, mitigation, and staying power.


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