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The success of a tank depends highly upon his gear. Fortunately, gear for tanking Paladins is mostly the same as gear for tanking Death Knights and Warriors, so it is not difficult to find.

Basics of Tanking

The job of a tank can basically be divided into two things:

  1. Produce a sufficient level of threat so that the mobs keep attacking him;
  2. Stay alive with enough mitigation and large amount of health.

These are also the basic factors concerned when choosing tankadin gear.

Gear Mechanics: Threat Generation

Strength is the primary stat a tankadin needs for threat production. The amount of strength needed depends on your group's DPS.

Other stats that improve threat production include expertise rating, hit rating, block chance and block value. (Hit rating also affects Righteous Defense.) Haste rating is mostly useless because of skill cooldowns. As of 3.2.2, stamina no longer increases spellpower as Touched by the Light was changed to scale from strength instead.

Tankadins no longer need to stack Intellect or mp5 in order to have mana, and there is no level 80 tank gear that has either one.

To effectively tank and maintain a threat lead, Righteous Fury must be turned on.

Gear Mechanics: Survivability

Becoming uncrittable is the foremost concern for level 80 tankadins gearing up for raids. Paladins need at least 540 defense (base 400 + 140 defense), to be uncrittable by raid bosses, and 535 defense to be uncrittable in heroics. 4.92 Defense Rating gives 1 Defense. 540 defense can be achieve by wearing enough gear with defense rating. A naked level 80 Paladin has 400 defense, and will need ((540-400)*4.92) = 689 defense rating to reach 540 defense.

After becoming uncrittable, the next priority is more health and armor, and then block and avoidance.

Lastly, some items have block value (not block rating) on them. When we block an attack, a certain fixed amount of damage is "blocked". This amount is the sum of "block" on your shield and block value from other items, as well as contribution from strength. Block value is good to have but not strictly necessary unless when AOE tanking. Raid bosses usually hit for several thousand damage, so blocking a few hundred is not going to help much. On the other hand, when AOE tanking trash mobs, you are getting more frequent but weaker hits. In such case, damage prevented by block becomes quite significant. Therefore, some tankadins would keep a set with high avoidance and stamina for boss encounters and another with high block value (and block rating) for trash mobs. Blizzard did however announce that in the next expansion blocking will reduce damage by a percentage rather than flat value.

Easily Attainable Pre-Heroic Tanking Gear

Gearing up your tankadin is much easier in WotLK than TBC. There is a great Blacksmithing set and with the new Championing system grinding reps is extremely easy and has some very good tanking rewards as well. Below is a list of some easy to obtain yet good tanking gear. If you still need enchants or gems (to meet 535 defense or certain HP for heroics), see the next section.

Head: [Tempered Saronite Helm] (blacksmith crafted) or [Helm of the Ley-Guardian] (Oculus) or [Tempered Titansteel Helm] (blacksmith crafted)

Neck: [Betrayer's Choker] (quest reward) with [Thick Sun Crystal] or [Amulet of Deflected Blows] (Utgarde Pinnacle)

Shoulders: [Tempered Saronite Shoulders] (blacksmith crafted)

Back: [Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions] (The Wyrmrest Accord honored)

Chest: [Tempered Saronite Breastplate] (blacksmith crafted) or [Silver-Plated Battlechest] (Utgarde Pinnacle quest) or [Breastplate of the Solemn Council] (The Wyrmrest Accord revered)

Wrists: [Tempered Saronite Bracers] (blacksmith crafted)

Hands: [Tempered Saronite Gauntlets] or [Daunting Handguards] (both blacksmith crafted) or [Fireproven Gauntlets] (Kirin Tor exalted)

Belt: [Tempered Saronite Belt] (blacksmith crafted) or [Waistguard of the Risen Knight]

Leggings: [Tempered Saronite Legplates] or [Daunting Legplates] (both blacksmith crafted)

Feet: [Tempered Saronite Boots] (blacksmith crafted) or [Toxin-Tempered Sabatons] (Knights of the Ebon Blade revered) or [Sabatons of Draconic Vigor] (The Wyrmrest Accord revered)

Rings: [Solid Platinum Band] (quest reward) or [Staunch Signet] (quest reward) or [Gal'darah's Signet] (Gundrak) or [Dragonflight Great-Ring] (The Oculus)

Trinkets: [Regal Protectorate] (quest reward) until [Seal of the Pantheon] (Halls of Lightning)

Weapon: [Hammer of Quiet Mourning] (quest reward) or [Eternally Folded Blade] (Halls of Lightning)

Shield: [Saronite Bulwark] or [Titansteel Shield Wall] (both blacksmith crafted)

Libram: [Libram of Zeal] until [Libram of Repentance] (Badge of Justice reward) until [Venture Co. Libram of Protection] (Venture Coin reward)

It is also worth noting [Armored Titanium Goggles]. These are engineer only items and require a [Frozen Orb], but a Frozen Orb can be bought on the Auction House, or if you can run some heroics you may get one. This head piece is comparable to the Tier 7 10-Man, and so can be used in the early end-game.

Easily Attainable Pre-Raid Tanking Gear

Once you have the above set you should dive into heroics. There are many great gear upgrades, including some epics, that will get you well on your way to tanking Naxxramas successfully. The final boss of each heroic drops an epic item equivalent to 10-man Naxxramas gear.

Head: [Ground Tremor Helm] (Gundrak Heroic) or [Armored Titanium Goggles] (Engineer crafted)

Enchant: [Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector] (Argent Crusade Revered)

Neck: [Chained Military Gorget] (25xEmblem of Heroism) or [Titanium Earthguard Chain] (Jewelcraft Created) [Shard of the Crystal Forest] (19x[Emblem of Conquest])

Shoulders: [Pauldrons of Reconnaissance] (Halls of Stone) or [Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons] (Halls of Lightning Heroic) or [Pauldrons of the Colossus] (Gundrak Heroic)

Enchant: [Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle] (The Sons of Hodir Honored) or [Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle] (The Sons of Hodir Exalted) or [Greater Inscription of the Knight] (Scryers Exalted) or [Greater Inscription of Warding] (Aldor Exalted) or [Heavy Borean Armor Kit] (crafted) or [Greater Inscription of the Gladiator] (PvP reward)

Back: [Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions] (The Wyrmrest Accord honored) or [Cloak of the Enemy] (Nexus Heroic)

Enchant: [Enchant Cloak - Titanweave] or [Enchant Cloak - Major Agility]

Chest: [Breastplate of the Solemn Council] (The Wyrmrest Accord Revered)

Enchant: [Enchant Chest - Powerful Stats] or [Enchant Chest - Super Health] or [Enchant Chest - Greater Defense]

Wrists: [Bracers of the Herald] (Ahn'kahet Heroic)

Enchant: [Enchant Bracer - Major Stamina] (Release 3.0.8)

Hands: [Gauntlets of the Water Revenant] (Violet Hold Heroic) or [Fireproven Gauntlets] (Kirin Tor Exalted)

Enchant: [Enchant Gloves - Armsman]

Belt: [Skadi's Iron Belt] (Utgarde Pinnacle Heroic) or [Waistguard of Living Iron] (40xEmblem of Heroism)

Leggings: [Bolstered Legplates] (Violet Hold Heroic) or [Special Issue Legplates] (Argent Crusade Honored)

Enchant: [Frosthide Leg Armor] or [Jormungar Leg Armor]

Feet: [Sabatons of Draconic Vigor] (The Wyrmrest Accord revered)

Enchant: [Enchant Boots - Greater Fortitude]

Rings: [Gal'darah's Signet] (Gundrak) or [Woeful Band] (Halls of Stone Heroic) or [Band of Torture] (The Oculus Heroic) or [Keystone Great-Ring] (Drak'Tharon Heroic)

Note: Rings should be chosen based on your need of defense. If you are capped with only one ring equipped then get the Keystone Great-Ring. If not, then use the rings that get you capped.

Trinkets: [Seal of the Pantheon] (Halls of Lightning) and [Essence of Gossamer] (Azjol'Nerub Heroic)

Weapon: [Red Sword of Courage] (Utgarde Pinnacle Heroic)

Enchant: [Titanium Weapon Chain]

Shield: [Royal Crest of Lordaeron] (Culling of Stratholme Heroic) or [Titansteel Shield Wall] (Blacksmith Created) or [Crygil's Discarded Plate Panel] (35xEmblem of Heroism)

Enchant: [Enchant Shield - Major Stamina] or [Enchant Shield - Defense]

Libram: [Venture Co. Libram of Protection] (Venture Coin Reward) or [Libram of Obstruction] (15xEmblem of Heroism)


Red: [Bold Scarlet Ruby] or [Bold Bloodstone]; [Solid Sky Sapphire] or [Solid Chalcedony] if the socket bonus is no good)

Yellow: [Thick Autumn's Glow] or [Thick Sun Crystal]; [Enduring Forest Emerald] or [Enduring Dark Jade]; [Solid Sky Sapphire] or [Solid Chalcedony] if the socket bonus is no good)

Blue: [Solid Sky Sapphire] or [Solid Chalcedony]; [Enduring Forest Emerald] or [Enduring Dark Jade]

Meta: [Eternal Earthsiege Diamond]; [Austere Earthsiege Diamond]; [Effulgent Skyflare Diamond]

Other Tips

  • During certain raid encounters, high resistance of specific schools of magic is needed. (e.g. Hydross the Unstable) Therefore, you need to replace the usual equipment with high-resistance gear. Some fights in 5-man instances also benefit from resistance gear, although it is not strictly necessary. Please see the related link for a list of resistance gear.

Wish-List after Patch 3.3

With the changes in Patch 3.3, this raiding gear can be purchased with [Emblem of Triumph] that will now drop from 5-man heroics, in addition to most WotLK raids. The costs may be subject to further change. Also, remember that with items that cost emblems of lower value than [Emblem of Triumph], you can trade [Emblem of Triumph] for [Emblem of Conquest] at the Emblem of Triumph vendor, and so on through the rest of the lesser emblems. Look to the emblem flow chart on any of the emblem information pages for more information about the conversion rate.

Head: [Faceplate of the Honorbound] (75x[Emblem of Triumph])

Neck: [Shard of the Crystal Forest] (19x[Emblem of Conquest])

Shoulders: [Shoulderplates of Enduring Order] (45x[Emblem of Triumph])

Back: [Platinum Mesh Cloak] (25x[Emblem of Valor])

Chest: [Turalyon's Breastplate of Conquest] or Liadrin's Breastplate of Conquest (50x[Emblem of Triumph]) Tier 9 Piece, available at the blacksmith shop in Dalaran. Turalyon's is available to Alliance and Liadrin's for the Horde.

Wrists: [Bracers of Dalaran's Parapets] (60x[Emblem of Valor])

Hands: [Turalyon's Handguards of Conquest] or Liadrin's Handguards of Conquest (30x[Emblem of Triumph])

Belt: [Shieldwarder Girdle] (28x[Emblem of Conquest])

Leggings: [Turalyon's Legguards of Conquest] or Liadrin's Legguards of Conquest (50x[Emblem of Triumph])

Feet: [Kyzoc's Ground Stompers] (40x[Emblem of Valor])

Rings: [Clutch of Fortification] (35x[Emblem of Triumph]) and [Signet of the Impregnable Fortress] (25x[Emblem of Valor])

Trinkets: [Glyph of Indomitability] (50x[Emblem of Triumph]) and [Valor Medal of the First War] (40x[Emblem of Heroism])

Libram: [Libram of Defiance] (25x[Emblem of Triumph])

For your weapon and shield, you can keep [Red Sword of Courage] from Utgarde Pinnacle Heroic and [Royal Crest of Lordaeron] from Culling of Stratholme Heroic until you are able to acquire a raid level weapon and shield from an actual raid. For gem and enchanting suggestions, look to the Pre-Raid Tanking Gear section above. Remember that as you are able to stay comfortably within the defense rating soft cap of 540, you should begin to gem and enchant more for stamina and strength, for further mitigation and threat generation respectively as you begin/continue raiding.

Alternative weapons to the [Red Sword of Courage] from the new Icecrown 5 man instances are [Lucky Old Sun] from Forge of Souls Normal mode, [Rimefang's Claw] from Pit of Saron, and [Falric's Wrist-Chopper] from Halls of Reflection. Remember these instances will be more challenging than the traditional Wrath of the Lich King heroics. As for shield there is also the option, though a difficult drop [Splintered Door of the Citadel] from Halls of Reflection Normal mode for your shield.

Additionally, once you've begun to acquire [Emblem of Frost] from raids and running the first random dungeon heroic each day, you can eventually replace some of the above with the following items from the Emblem of Frost vendor.

Back: [Sentinel's Winter Cloak] (50x[Emblem of Frost])

Chest: [Cataclysmic Chestguard] (95x[Emblem of Frost])

Hands: [Gauntlets of the Kraken] (60x[Emblem of Frost])

Belt: [Verdigris Chain Belt] (60x[Emblem of Frost])

Trinket: [Corroded Skeleton Key] (60x[Emblem of Frost])

Libram: [Libram of the Eternal Tower] (30x[Emblem of Frost])

Tier Pieces There are pieces known as the Lightsworn Battlegear available at the blacksmith shop in Dalaran. There is the option of obtaining these gauntlets and leggings both item level 251 and 264 from [Vault of Archavon]. These can be upgraded to 264 versions upon raiding and obtaining a A Mark of Sanctification is a token used to upgrade tier 10 Icecrown Citadel gear.

Six versions exist: Three normal and three heroic. Normal versions of the Mark upgrade from the base tier 10 gear, while heroic versions upgrade further to the heroic tier 10 gear. Like other gear tokens, there are three types:

Ability paladin shieldofthetemplar.png
Ability paladin shieldofthetemplar.png
Ability paladin shieldofthetemplar.png
Ability paladin judgementsofthejust.png
Ability paladin judgementsofthejust.png
Ability paladin judgementsofthejust.png


Marks of Sanctification (all sorts) drop from the last boss of each wing of Icecrown Citadel:

The non-heroic Marks of Sanctification are only found when raiding as 10-man Heroic or 25-man Normal. The heroic Marks are only found when raiding as 25-man Heroic. Marks are not found under 10-man Normal.

Other considerations

When upgrading using these Marks, the new piece of gear does not retain the enchants or gems of the old piece of gear.

Patch changes

External links

Conqueror's Mark of Sanctification Protector's Mark of Sanctification Vanquisher's Mark of Sanctification
Conqueror's Mark of Sanctification (heroic) Protector's Mark of Sanctification (heroic) Vanquisher's Mark of Sanctification (heroic)

Useful links

Maintankadin Forum: Gear Section A good place to discuss anything about tankadin gear
Beginning Level 80 Plate Tank Gear Frequently updated listing of plate tank gear, that can be obtained without dungeon boss drops.
Advanced Level 80 Plate Tank Gear Frequently updated listing of plate tank gear, that can be obtained from dungeons (via boss drops, badges, etc.).
List: Tanking Gear Uncrushability Value (TBC) A handy list of avoidance/blocking provided by tanking gear
Resistance Gear (TBC) A complete list of resistance gear Sandbox A useful tool for planning your gear! Another useful tool for gear planning.

See also