Burning Crusade Classic Protection Paladin Guide : Preraid gear
Pre raid BiS
Following is a breakdown of most of what we have available to us in a pre-raid situation. (Please feel free to let me know of anything you think I've missed here.)
Threat versus Mitigation
At the pre-raid level, and throughout Karazhan, threat can be achieved solely through your weapon. A good spelldamage weapon like (Continuum Blade), properly enchanted with Major Spellpower (see Enchants guide), combined with some cheap Superior Wizard Oil, will put you at a very comfortable threat level. In any pre-raid situation, you will produce comparable (if not more, especially on Demon/Undead NPCs,) threat to a Protection Warrior/Feral Druid on single targets, and the same to up to three targets as a Feral Druid. On more targets, and through use of Salvation, there is no spec of any class that can produce more threat, (nor mitigate as much damage, usually) than you.
For all 5 mans, it is much advised to wear more spelldamage, giving up some mitigation. As long as healers can still keep up (which shouldn't be too difficult) this will allow you to do more damage, giving DPS more breathing room and ultimately speeding up the run.
- Helm of the Stalwart Defender (crafted)
- Felsteel Helm (crafted)
- Greathelm of the Unbreakable (first boss of Shattered Halls)
- Myrmidon's Headdress (Steamvault Quest)
- Oathkeeper's Helm (crafted)
- Helm of the Righteous (last boss of Mechanar)
- X-52 Technician's Helm (Level 69 Quest Reward
- Cover of Righteous Fury (Level 67 Quest Reward)
- Exorcist's Lamellar Helm (Shard turnin)
Stalwart Defender is the best raid tanking piece, and the Oathkeeper's is best for 5-mans. Felsteel Helm is just a cut under Stalwart, and still very, very good for raids. Myrmidon's Headdress and the Greathelm are pretty comparable if you can't get either crafted helm, with Myrmidon's winning out slightly if you can get a good meta gem. Helm of the Righteous is an excellent 5-man piece until you can get Oathkeeper's made.
- Strength of the Untamed (Cenarion Expedition rep)
- Mark of the Ravenguard (Level 69 quest)
- Steam-hinge Chain of Valor (second boss of Steamvault)
Strength of the Untamed is best for pure avoidance, but Steam-hinge's block value is very valuable in a 5-man.
- Fanblade Pauldrons (Heroic Auchenai Crypts)
- Spaulders of the Righteous (second to last boss of Botanica)
- Shoulderguards of the Bold (ast boss of Shadow Labyrinth)
- Nexus-Guard's Pauldrons (Level 69 quest)
- Warchief's Mantle (Old Hillsbrad Quest)
- Pauldrons of Brute Force (last boss of Underbog)
Spaulders of the Righteous is the best in 5 man situations (possibly raids too, if you want the 2 piece) but the Fanblade Pauldrons offer a bit more mitigation.
- Devilshark Cape (last boss of Steamvault)
- Burnoose of Shifting Ages (first boss of Black Morass)
- Bogstrok Scale Cloak (Slave Pens)
Burnoose is good, but Devilshark is the one you want.
- Vindicator's Hauberk (l70, Aldor Rep)
- Jade-Skull Breastplate (l70, second 'real' boss of Mechanar, not the minibosses)
- Breastplate of the Righteous (l70, last boss of Steamvault)
- Breastplate of the Warbringer (l68 quest)
- Heavy Earthforged Breastplate (l65 Armorsmithing)
- Gilded Crimson Chestplate (l60 quest)
Breastplate of the Righteous is best for 5 mans, while Jade-Skull is best for getting you to 102.4% (see Stats page) as quickly as possible. Once you're there, the Vindicator's Hauberk is better for pure avoidance.
- Bracers of the Green Fortress (l70 crafted)
- Bracers of Dignity (l70, Heroic Mana Tombs)
- Vambraces of Daring (l70, heroic Ramparts last boss)
- Sha'tari Wrought Armguards (l72 Shadow Lab quest)
- Thadell's Bracers (l68 quest)
- Junior Technician 3rd Grade Bracers (l68 quest)
Green Fortress are best for raid tanking, and Bracers of Dignity for 5 mans. There aren't a lot of other wrist options for spelldamage, so you can wear mitigation here and squeeze threat out of other slots.
- Felsteel Gloves (l70 crafted)
- Gauntlets of the Righteous (l70, last boss of Shattered Halls)
- Thatia's Self-Correcting Gauntlets (l70, boss in Arcatraz)
- Dauntless Handguards (from an Alliance-only quest)
- Gauntlets of the Bold (l70, last boss in Steamvault)
- Gauntlets of the Chosen (l70 Scryer reward)
- The Hands of Fate (l70 Q. Reward)
Righteous Gauntlets are probably best for 5 mans, though the block on Thatia's is very nice. None of them compare to Felsteel for raid tanking though. As a sidenote, the Dauntless Handguards are very good block rating. If you have well over 490 defense and are still trying to get to 102.4% avoidance (see Stats page), these gloves do the job very well. After that point though, Felsteel is superior, as the item points are spent in a more raid-friendly fashion.
- Girdle of Valorous Deeds (l70, Heroic Black Morass)
- Lightwarden's Girdle (l70 Aldor Quest)
- Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard (l70 quest)
- Girdle of the Immovable (l70 heroic Slave Pens)
- Starcaller's Plated Belt (l70 quest)
There aren't a lot of options here, but the Lightwarden's is an excellent 5 man choice until you can get the Valorous Deeds. The Vindicator Waistguard is probably better than the Girdle of the Immovable, unless you put 2 +dodge gems in the latter, making it a much better raid tanking choice.
- Timewarden's Leggings (l70 Keepers of Time rep)
- Leggings of the Resolute Defender (l69 quest)
- Ornate Leggings of the Venerated (l70, second boss in Shadow Lab)
- Leggings of the Righteous (l70, last boss of Black Morass)
- Kirin'Var Defender's Chausses (l69 quest)
Timewarden's are best, properly socketed. Otherwise, Leggings of the Resolute Defender are good for raiding. 5 mans, Ornate Leggings or Leggings of the Righteous.
- Flesh Beast's Metal Greaves (l66 quest)
- Golden Ceremonial Greaves (l64 quest)
- Boots of the Righteous Path (l70, Heroic Arcatraz)
- Starcaller's Plated Stompers (l70 quest)
- Uther's Ceremonial Warboots (l66 Old Hillsbrad)
Golden Ceremonial (Righteous Path is better though) for 5 mans and Flesh Beast for uncrushability. The dodge is very sexy, and there aren't a lot of other options.
- Andormu's Tear (l70 BM Quest)
- Elementium Band of the Sentry (l70, Arcatraz last boss)
- Delicate Eternium Ring (l70 crafted)
- Protector's Mark (l70 quest)
- Dath'Remar's Ring of Defense (l70 last boss of Mechanar)
- Seal of the Exorcist (l70 Spirit Shard turnin)
- Wind Trader's Band (l70 quest)
- Band of Impenetrable Defenses (l70 BoE world drop)
I'm partial to Andormu's/Elementium Band combo. Barring what's listed here, if you can get a random green ring "of Eluding" the massive amount of Agility/Dodge Rating is pretty good. For 5-mans, a mix of high block value (such as Dath'Remar's) and Spell damage (Seal of the Exorcist) is probably best.
- Regal Protectorate (l63 quest)
- Argussian Compass (l70, heroic Underbog last boss)
- Goblin Rocket Launcher (350 Goblin Engineering)
- Gnomish Poultryizer (350 Gnomish Engineering)
- Adamantine Figurine (l70 second boss of Shadow Lab)
- Figurine of the Colossus (l70 last boss of Shattered Halls)
- Dabiri's Enigma (l70 quest)
- Dawnstone Crab (BoP Jewelcrafting recipe)
"Judge a man by the dents in his shield, not the shine of his sword." - Joanadark of Spirestone
- Crest of the Sha'tar (l70, Sha'tar Exalted)
- Netherwing Defender's Shield (l70 quest) Warning: do NOT get the Netherwing Protector's Shield offered from the same quest. There are much better pure mitigation shields, but no real sidegrades to the Caster/Tank stats on the Defender.
- Silvermoon Crest Shield (l70 last boss of Shadow Lab)
- Aegis of the Sunbird (l70, second boss of Botanica)
- Platinum Shield of the Valorous (l68, Shadow Lab first boss)
- Petrified Lichen Guard (l62 Sporeggar rep)
A tank is defined by no other piece of gear than his shield. The Crest of the Sha'tar is far and away the best pre-raid shield, IMO. The Netherwing Defender's Shield probably has the best mix of threat/mitigation for 5-mans.
- Continuum Blade (l70, KoT rep)
- Gavel of Unearthed Secrets (l70, Lower City Rep)
- Greatsword of Horrid Dreams (l70, last boss of Shadow Lab)
- Mana Wrath (l70, last boss of Mechanar)
- Spellfire Longsword (l62, first boss of Slave Pens) - as a bonus it looks cool.
- Diamond-Core Sledgemace (l61, first boss of Blood Furnace)
Continuum Blade is arguably the best tanking weapon a paladin can get for a long time. As a sidenote, there are situations where you don't need spelldamage and a weapon with better tanking stats or more physical damage is much more preferred.
This is a list of non-spell damage weapons that will be useful in certain situations:
- The Sun Eater (l70, heroic Mechanar last boss)
- Fireguard (l70 Swordsmithing)
- Latro's Shifting Sword (l70 Last boss of Black Morass)
- Grom'tor's Charge (l70 quest)
- Revenger (l70, first boss of Botanica)
- On the physical damage weapons, your best bet is probably the Sun Eater as far as mitigation goes. Fireguard is your best threat weapon, if not using Seal of Righteousness. As an aside, the other weaponsmithing choices are not very good tanking options, seeing as we're going for speed for Seal/Judge procs if we're not using our spelldamage weapon.
- Libram of Repentance (l70, heroic badge turnin)
- Libram of Truth (l52 BRD drop)
- Libram of Saints Departed (l61 Blood Furnace)
- Libram of Eternal Rest (l68 Sethekk Halls)
Libram of Repentance is easily the best tanking Libram available.