Protection Leveling Guide

I found a great post by Iloveari on a protection spec leveling guide that focus on survival. Which means you can take on multiple mobs with little health taken and mana used. The read is quite interesting.

Guide to Prot Spec Leveling and AoE Hotspots!

Bored of activating seal of command then surfing the web for 25 seconds? Want something a little more exciting and interactive? Want to solo quests like easily at level 40? Try Pally AoE!

-Able to easily solo 4 mobs 2 levels above you, 5-6 equal level or lower, and end fights with nearly full mana and health.
-Very tough in PvP, especially against rogues, fury warriors, feral druids, and enhancement shaman.
-Tanking ability for instance runs.

-Fairly slow DPS against a single mob.
-Casters avoid your mitigation and therefore will toast you.
-Ranged are difficult to manage because you can only use SoL to heal if they are close enough to hit.

Let me first say that this guide is a work in progress. As you can see, I am fairly low level still on this toon. Nonetheless, with TBC looming on the horizon and a million pallies about to be created, I thought I’d share my leveling technique with everyone.

Pally AoE? People will surely think the concept is a joke at first. I assure you it is not. I myself have a 60 mage and leveled during the glory days of DM East lasher AoEing, and also the money grinding of the first pull in Strath. I did AoE grind leveling leveling as a mage but this is a whole new ballgame.

The basic idea is to have as much reflection damage and damage mitigation as possible and to fight (preferably) melee oriented mobs. The best possible are dual wielders, but anything that doesn’t stun and cast a lot of diseases (cleanse drains mana fairly fast) will work just fine. After some practice you will be able to handle a couple ranged mobs or a caster or two mixed in but they complicate things enormously.

The current implementation of reckoning is what truly makes this tactic come alive. At 5 points, this talent gives you a 10% chance everytime you take damage to proc a buff that gives you 8 seconds where every time you swing you get an extra attack. Fairly yawn in a fight against one mob…but what if there are 5 mobs?

The build:
This is what I consider to be the absolute bare minimum. You can cheese it a level or two ahead of time but this is where it becomes most efficient.

The gear:
You don’t need super duper awesome gear for this. Mostly whatever you’d normally have would be fine. However, there are two essential things: As good a 1 handed weapon as you can find and a shield with a shield spike. The shield spike is very important. After that, if you can find damage reflection things that’s great, otherwise don’t stress. See bottom for more.

The buffs:
Retribution Aura(RA): Reflects damage every time you are hit.
Blessing of Sanctuary(BoS): This not only reduces damage taken by 14/19/24/80, but also deals 21/28/35/46 damage every time you block. Coupled with our shield spike (20-30 if you buy thorium), you’re returning 40-76 damage every time you block.
Righteous Fury(RF): With our improved talent, this reduces incoming damage by 6%.
Seal of Light(SoL): Chance to heal yourself every time you swing. The bread and butter of Pally AoE.

The strategy:
I am going to assume you are level 35 at this point, so you are in my favorite murloc camp (more on this later). Body pull about 3 or 4 of them and activate SoL. Notice that with several mobs hitting you, reckoning stays up a lot of the time. Thus, you’re getting two chances per swing to heal. If you’re taking extra damage this fight don’t be afraid to judge SoL and then reactivate. With reckoning up thats a potential 4 heals in one swing! Use consecrate once or maybe twice, but I tend to not use it a lot because if you do this correctly you should end the fight with nearly full health and mana, ready to do the next. That is what makes this tactic so efficient, if played carefully there is zero downtime between fights.

As you get higher, you will get Holy Shield. I use this quite a bit, but I normally wait for redoubt to proc first. Nothing irks me more than wasted holy shield charges. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this spell is entirely for damage. Don’t forget that for those 4 charges you have an extra 30% chance to block, and every block means less damage you take. It is as much mitigation as it is damage. A nice suggestion from Cathela was to use rank 1 Holy Shield even after you gain higher ranks later because it still provides the migitation and also the proc damage from BoS and shield spike, while being a little more mana friendly.

Oh no! Something went wrong! I have adds, SoL didn’t proc, reckoning didn’t proc, there are casters/ranged, etc etc etc. Things do go wrong. However, DO NOT PANIC. Most likely you will be fine, you forgot you are a paladin! Wait till you get down to about 10% health and then bubble and heal! If they bring you down again, LoH and keep going! I have pulled off some crazy fights that I thought were completely lost just by sticking it out.

Belenus adds: If you find yourself higher level and have a lot of +spell damage, consider using Seal of Wisdom/Judgement of Wisdom or some combination of SoL and SoW (i.e. judge SoL then use SoW), that way you can use consecrate more without sacrificing all your mana. If you have enough spell damage doing more DPS might be worth the occasional drinking.

Also on the subject of spelldamage, Drauglin adds: Since consecrate receives such a huge coefficent from +spell damage gear, using a low rank consecrate (which will receive the full bonus just like the high would) with high +damage is an extremely mana efficient method of damage.

Misc. Tips:
-Make sure SoL is up at ALL times.
-Make sure you are swinging. If the one you are targeting is running away, swing at another one till it comes back or you are in range.
-Don’t forget to judge SoL often, especially when it has A little commentary on the video:
I am level 42 in this video.
-First, 4 dual wielding ogres, all level 41. Notice I burn a lot of mana in the first fight. I just wanted to display the DPS power of the build in that first fight.
-The second fight is against 4 level 43-44 elementals, much more normal and is a very typical example of what you’ll be doing. Notice my HP and Mana at the end.
-The third fight more of the same elementals. I included this to show how even a bad pull and very few seal of light procs don’t really hurt you that badly. Even though I lose a lot more life in this fight than the others, I encounter little to no downtime because of it. Notice how I can drag them over and pick up another in the middle of the fight and that doesn’t hurt either, something you’ll never see a mage do.
-The fourth fight was just to show how tough this build really is. It’s basically me taking on 6 mobs (Boss Thog’run and crew) including 2 ranged, 2 melee, and 2 casters all level 41ish and I don’t even need to blow a cooldown.
-Notice in the last fight I encounter the bane of Pally AoE: The hero factor. Everytime someone sees a paladin fighting a bunch of mobs they immediately run over to try to save me for some reason. You have to ask them not to or they’ll try to pull mobs off you.

– In every fight notice how I make sure ALL the mobs are in front of me whenever possible. This is because you cannot block (or parry?) when the attacker is behind you.
– Notice in fight 3 when I go to get the last elemental, I hit each of them first to make sure they don’t leash like the first one did. Consecration does NOT stop them from reaching the leash point.

Another video submitted by Novara, this video shows my absolute favorite place, the Duskwallow Murlocs:

This new video is myself as a level 35 pally taking on 16 murlocs 4-6 at a time in one continuous fight.
NOTE: This video is not an example of the real grinding technique, this just shows how tough you can be. It’s just for entertainment purposes. For normal grinding you only want to kill 3-4 at a time (or whatever you find your personal threshold to be that allows you to finish with full mana/health).
High Quality:;6568780;;/fileinfo.html
About my gear in this vid:
I’m using mostly crappy greens I’ve picked up along the way. The only two items that matter are:
My shield is Vile Protector, from which is the easiest decent shield before the SM shield at 39. It has a Iron shield spike.
My weapon is Sword of Omen, from which is accessible at 33 for horde

Grinding Spots:
This will be the major “in construction” section. For now I only have up to level 42 experience, except for what I know from my other level 60s. I encourage you to share your spots and experiences with me so that I may add them to this list! I will continue to update this with new places!

Level 35-38: Duskwallow Marsh: Murlocs.
Ah, my favorite spot. This camp is what made me love Pally AoE. There is probably 30 or so murlocs that are all melee and have no special abilities except for a snare which you can ignore. My record for this camp was 15 in one fight, 4-6 at a time as they kept fleeing and bringing adds. If you clear the camp hop down the hill and kill a few down there but watch out because they cast a disease that is annoyingly mana inefficient to keep cleansing off yourself.

Level 40-42: Badlands: Earth Elementals, Ogres, Troggs.
Another great area, I especially love the elementals because they drop such nice vendor trash, but oh boy are those dual wielding ogres great. I wish I just had a camp with a hundred of those that I could pull 10 at a time.

Level 41-43: Murloc Cave in Swamp of Sorrows but watch out for swamp talker, he’s 50 and a Caster. – Drpancake

Level 45-48: Tanaris: Pirates. If the pirate area is too crowded go to Feralas. 4(3)-46 is a great time to AoE the Woodpaws there, 46-48 you can do the Frayfeather Skystormers, and then go to the Harpies there from 48-50.

Level 46-48: Tanaris: Ogres.

Level 48-51: (after the pirates in Tanaris) is the Thistleshrubs in the southwest corner of Tanaris. -Ruaj

Level 48-50: Blasted Lands, Nethergarde Miners. This is a horde only group, but if you are horde I highly recommend it. Lots of easy non-fleeing humanoids that drop coin and respawn well, and also a few mining nodes for your pleasure.

Level 50-51: Sorrow Hill, WPL — Undead mobs

Level 53-54: Felstone Field, WPL — Undead mobs

Level 48-51: (after the pirates in Tanaris) is the Thistleshrubs in the southwest corner of Tanaris

50-60 is just straight up Plaguelands, its just the best place. However, because it can get crowded, ther are alternatives to the Undead there. From 54-60 you can AoE the Scarlet Lumberjacks with little interference, and theres always the famous 52-60 Eastern Dire Maul Lashers.

Level 54-56: “The cave in the northern part of Iron Tree Woods in Felwood. Level 54ish mobs that don’t hit very hard, are bunched fairly near together, and have a chance to drop living essences which sell nice.” – Waricelm

Level 66+:
You can do this from 66-70 for great exp, plus amazing faction turn ins. Head on out to Blade Mountains and go to Deaths Door. Here are the notable mobs to kill, plus what they do:

Death’s Might
These are Felguard looking mobs. They Mortal Strike. They are the most abundant mob in this little area so learning how to deal with them is key. Ideally you can do anywhere from 4-8 of them at once. 8 is pushing it… 5 is the best bet for safety.

Death’s Watch
These are eye looking things. They Mind Flay (or something similiar) you. If you pull one of these in an AoE just single target this one down while Consecrating the rest.

Void Hound
There are a few of these, you don’t have to ever fight them really.. but in the off chance you do pull one they flame breath, but more importantly do a small punt back (which will interrupt your casting). Make sure these die first if you happen to get one in an AoE pull.

Death Forge Oversmith
These you will probably pull one or two of when you kill the smaller techie fellas. They aren’t dangerous until you get them down to 30%, when they start forcing toxic stuff out their body (they emote this). Either stun them or run, as they will explode on the ground a movement slowing aoe poison sludge.

Deathforge Technicians
These guys are abundant in the southern area.. single target killing the Oversmiths then pulling these for AoE goodness. Only 6-7 is recommended, as they steal your armor (about 3k worth of armor) and Life Leech you when they get low. One at a time this isn’t a problem, but 5-6 and you get problems.

Now, notice nothing in this zone except the Void Hounds will interrupt your casting. This is crucial. However Death Mights will MS you, which makes healing a PITA. A normal AoE fight for me goes like this:

Mount pull
5-6 mobs
Holy Wrath
(BoP wears off)
If there are only 5 mobs or so then spamming FoL or HL on me until Consecrate is up again usually means they all die before I run out of mana.

If there are 6-8 mobs (most I’ve ever done is 9) then You might wanna pull an engineering bomb out of your bags.

Divine Illumination is amazing for after your DS/BoP wears off to keep your mana up while spamming HL on yourself through the MS debuff.

I’ve done this for 56% of my level through 67. I’ve gotten around 190 Mark of Sargeras doing this and 10+ Fel Armaments.

My build is 46?Holy/EnoughinProt for Righteous Defense mitigation/0 in ret.

Hope this helps some people lookin to grind.

Here are a few builds to keep in mind. If you have a special build in mind, feel free to suggest it and I’ll add it to the list! Please explain your choices!

0/26/0 (Level 35)
The base. Has the most important things. You can swap 3 Toughness into Imp HoJ if you like, you can drop BoK if you like. The important parts are Redoubt/Shield Spec, Reckoning, and Blessing of Sanctuary.

0/31/0 (Level 40)
I recommend shooting for this right away. At this point you can then branch off and pick up something else (Spiritual Focus for example) if you’re not interested in Avenger’s Shield.

10/31/0 (Level 50)
Spiritual Focus directly after getting Holy Shield. Very nice for level 50.

10/41/0 (Level 60)
Avenger’s Shield and Spiritual Focus, that way you can swap to Concentration Aura and cast uninterrupted heals when you need to. An excellent build for 60. Remember that Avenger’s Shield has a minimum range of 8 yards and a cast time, so you won’t be using it during an AoE fight. However, it is nice for pulling and hitting runners.

27/34/0 (Level 70)
This build picks up all the major talents in for AoEing in Prot up to Holy Shield and also manages to get Divine favor and 10% cheaper consecrates. A solid healer/AoEr mix.

0/41/18 (Level 70)
This build focuses on Prot talents, getting full Imp HoJ and also Seal of Command. If you are planning on tanking a lot I’d recommend dropping Benediction in favor of Deflection, but for AoEing parries aren’t what you really want.

20/41/0 (Level 70)
Avenger’s Shield and nice healing with full Divine Illumination. Pretty straightforward.

0/31/30 (Level 70)
Here’s an odd build, it picks up Holy Shield and Vengeance. A lot of those retri talents could be moved, I just threw something together on this one. You could drop Holy Shield for Repentance as well if you are a PvPer.
[ Post edited by Iloveari ]
Notable Gear:
I am only listing a few of the multitude of excellent items out there. I don’t plan on spending much time on this part, but this is just to give you an idea of what to look for. Remember, proc chances multiply when you have multiple mobs hitting you. 5 mobs hitting you makes a 3% chance to proc into 15% chance. : Mmmmm, proc heals! Wonderful! : Damage AND heals! Even better! : Extra swings = more heals! : Damage reflection! : Everyone’s favorite trinket finally has a use! : Great proc for AoEing! : Great melee trinket, exceptional for our tactics.
I greatly prefer fast weapons to slow ones. Fast weapons = more heals. However, beggars can’t be choosers, and slow weapons work as well so… : Extra swings = more heals! : Extra swings = more heals!

Crusader and Lifestealing would really be great, fiery not bad either. I have read that since procs per minute are based on weapon speed, and reckoning are extra swings, the proc rates double when reckoning is up…however I haven’t seen this “proven”. Regardless, extra heals and damage is always good no matter what.
Also if you are cheap, you might consider as it is an easy quest to do and a neat little extra bit of damage.
Another useful thing is a weapon chain, as SoL doesn’t work when you are disarmed! Normally you’d have to avoid mobs such as the bloodsail swashbucklers in STV, but with a weapon chain they are fair game!

A word on Shield Spikes:
No respectable PAoEladin does not have a shield spike. It really is a huge benefit to your damage, as you will be blocking a whole lot, especially when you get holy shield and double it with redoubt. Here are your choices:
Iron Shield Spike: 11-16(?) dmg returned, cost is typically 1g or less
Mithril Shield Spike: 16-20 dmg returned, cost is typically 1-3g
Thorium Shield Spike: 20-30 dmg returned, cost is typically between 8-20g
Note that it says “Requires Blacksmithing”, that means it takes a blacksmith of the required skill to apply it to your shield, much like an enchanter applies an enchant. You do not have to be a blacksmith to have a shield spike.

For a more indepth discussion of Prot AoE gear, check out this wonderful thread:

Later I will update this with consumable information, such as using or even to up your damage! Skulton also recommended which could be a noticable damage increase and is cheap to make and use.

Source: World Of Warcraft Paladin Forum


13 Responses to “Protection Leveling Guide”

  1. 1 seansflow March 19, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Very interesting, Now, my paladin is only level 30, so I don’t have all the skills to be effective at this yet I don’t believe, but thanks for the advice, very cool.

  2. 2 Rudy March 19, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    you’ll be fine. I was able to take on 2-3 mobs 2-3 levels higher. I just had green gear and good Blue 1h weapon

  3. 3 Jake June 5, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    I have started a guild on the horde side of Sisters of Elune server. It is an all Paladin guild named The Blood Knights. I a havent been playing long (less than one year) but i have taken your advice. The guild is 2 weeks old and i have 61 Blood Elf Paladins, know im a noob but thats fast rite? Anyways i sent you this because i thought you may want to be a part of an all Paladin guild on a RP Server. My Knights could use your experience and advice, I am trying to create a website and im not very good at it lol… Thank you for your Protection Lvl’ing Guide. If you would like to have a role in building the support and strength on a much bigger scale the offer is open to you. I welcome any help that you can advise, Ive never seen an all one race all one job guild. I just wanted to see if an all Blood Elf, Paladin guild would be as impressive as I imagined. I hope you think the same, o and my toons name is Evilprince. Thank’s for your time and the is my girlfriends e-mail that I use… lol

  4. 4 Jamie July 5, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Well I have to say I’ve been using this build, and started using it at lvl 30 ( not as effective as now lvl 50) but I’m amazed what a pally can actually take. Can anyone link a website that helps in chooseing a good weapon? Seems like theres not enough sites that talk about weapons, and gear. I’m working on becoming a master armor smith and that will help when headed to outlands.

  5. 5 Monte October 30, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    I’d like it a lot better if the talent links weren’t broken. Level 40 for 31 points only shows a 30 point build. 50, again missing a point and does not match the description given. I don’t even want to talk about 60. Need to find a good protection build, but this isn’t the place I’m going to get it, apparently.

  6. 6 Devical November 24, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Well u should add when to farm in Hellfire Ramparts 🙂 It’s one cool place… near Temple of Telhamat u have Bonestripper Vulture. 🙂

  7. 7 Therecann December 29, 2007 at 12:14 am

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect that AV would be an excellent location to grind 51-60, going through the caves. I’m going to try it out in about ten levels. 🙂

  8. 8 robert king February 3, 2008 at 3:39 am

    why was my post removed….?
    i linkd some good high end stuff for those thats not leveling for this kind of thing

  9. 10 Bubhearth March 25, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Another way to aoe grind is in instance grps. I’m currently setting my palladin up to do this. You can do huge pulls in instances provided you have a good healer (priest best, can shield for the roundup, then renew/greater heal/shield during fight) Bring mages or warlocks with you to blizzard/rain of fire while you spam con & let them take threat just from beating on you. Works amazingly well. When lvling my priest I healed a pally through SM for about 10 easy/fast lvls.

    Cath for example. First pull = entire 1st hallway, 2nd middle lower yard, 3rd left lower yard, 4th right lower yard. Same for upper yard (mid, left, right) Cath itself is about 5 pulls & then bosses. So fast you can do 2-3 runs in the time it takes most grps to do just 1.

  10. 11 Dracon September 14, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I like your guide. I just wish there was more Protection Paladins could do before level 35. I got so frustrated trying to level a Protection Paladin up to that level that I respecced to Retribution at 23! Ugh! Even with Retribution and a slow two-hander, I can tank fairly well, but that may be the point. How about some guidance getting to level 35? Or give up and do Retribution?

  11. 12 Dragonsfire- blades edge server March 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I dont know if its known.. but at 41 or so.. i was bored with my ret paly who is now 80.. so i decided to screw around.. and found the hinterlands. mobs there are 41-47 and he handled them easily and skinned em while he was there.. neway.. my prot pally hit 42 the other day and i went back. shes got herbs and skinning to make gold for epic flying ( 🙂 ) she seems to have little problem with the area, and its great grinding exp… shes been twinked from scarlet mons if that helps any..

  1. 1 Flamen ~ Blood Knight of the Blackhand « Lost In The Grind Trackback on March 20, 2007 at 12:11 pm

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