Protection Warrior Raid Soloing Guide

Why?

Because it’s challenging. Because it’s fun. Because there may be some awesome loot drops. Personally, I do it for the fun and challenge; it’s also quite cathartic to solo-kill a boss that gave your entire raid headaches Back In The Day. The prospect of getting some sweet transmog gear is tempting, but beware: Legion raids do NOT fall under the Legacy Loot rules introduced in Battle for Azeroth. This means that:

  • Any loot that drops is locked to the loot table for your chosen loot spec (which isn’t a HUGE problem, since you don’t have to worry about weapon drops from Legion content anyway),
  • Drop rates are just as low as you remember from running the raids as current content,
  • Farming specific pieces can be extremely frustrating

On average, I get 1-2 loot drops for a full raid clear, along with a few hundred gold. I’ve decided to consider loot an added bonus from soloing, rather than the sole purpose.

How?

Talents

As a Protection Warrior, there’s really only one solid talent build for soloing:

You might, under some circumstances, consider choosing Bounding Stride for increased mobility, though I MUCH prefer Crackling Thunder (the increased range on Thunder Clap lets you do a bit more DPS on a boss that you’re kiting at a distance). Bolster turns Last Stand from a decent health boost with a long cooldown to a damn good defensive ability that complements Shield Block. I could go either way with the level 75 choices, but I find Rumbling Earth to be a bit more useful than Storm Bolt, especially for add fights (most bosses can’t be stunned by the bolt anyway). Anger Management is extremely powerful, as it can dramatically reduce the cooldown of our most important abilities.

Azerite Traits

Azerite trait choices are a bit less clear-cut. Since self-healing is a weakness of the spec, I lean towards traits that mitigate this shortcoming. Azerite Veins and Impassive Visage work well, and their effects stack if you have them on multiple pieces of gear. Deafening Crash and Brace for Impact provide decent defensive boosts and large DPS improvements; be aware that the Demolishing Shout buff from Deafening Crash does NOT stack. Bastion of Might can be INCREDIBLY overpowered, especially if you can get it on 2-3 pieces of gear: the damage boost, free Ignore Pain, and mastery increase during Avatar can yield some impressive numbers and big damage mitigation. Finally, Lifespeed and Overwhelming Power are good sources of Haste, which we always need more of. Most of the other traits are too ineffective or RNG-based to be of much use for soloing.

Other Gear Azerite Essences

Vision of Perfection: obtained by defeating King Mechagon in the mythic-only Operation: Mechagon dungeon. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but since it both shortens Avatar’s cooldown AND has a chance to proc a lesser version of it, it sounds quite powerful.

Anima of Life and Death: the burst healing (up to 50% of your maximum HP at rank 3) and AoE DPS (10% of your maximum HP inflicted on EVERY mob in range) is incredibly strong. The only drawback is the long cooldown (2 minutes). The minor power gives a decent upgrade to your HP pool (a bit over 30K), with a VERY small HoT baked in.

Memory of Lucid Dreams: the major power isn’t great, but the minor power is worth using (periodically refunds spent rage, heals you, and buffs your Versatility for a bit).

Strengths

The real key to successful soloing as Protection is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the spec. Prot warriors have excellent physical damage mitigation with Shield Block, Demolishing Shout, and a Bolster-boosted Last Stand. Proper use of Shield Block (including NOT using it while Last Stand is active, unless you REALLY need the health boost ASAP) is a must. We also have great DPS potential, and it truly shines in AoE situations. Pop Avatar and Demolishing Shout, spam Thunder Clap, and mobs will melt away!

Weaknesses

On the flip side, we have terrible magic damage mitigation and self-healing. This means that an unchecked caster (or group of them) or a semi-powerful DoT can quickly cause a painful death. In typical group content this isn’t a big deal, because we have healers to keep us up. However, soloing raids is anything BUT typical group content. Our mitigation tools are Ignore Pain (which can absorb around 35k at full strength) and Spell Reflection. IP is too weak and costs too much rage to be reliable, but it’s better than nothing if you know a big magic attack is coming. Spell Reflection is free, but has a long cooldown and doesn’t actually “reflect” very many things. Our self-healing is limited to Victory Rush (which is only usable for trash or add fights), Last Stand, and whatever azerite traits we have available. Thus, I find that fights involving DoTs are often the hardest to solo, especially since we have no mechanism for cleansing/dispelling ourselves.

Consumables

Here’s my personal list of consumables that I prefer:

Who/What/Where?

If you’re a fresh 120, or just new to the scene and a bit cautious, start off with the raids from Warlords of Draenor (they’ll drop a LOT of loot, as an incentive). Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry are both pretty easy at lower difficulties and are good places to practice. Hellfire Citadel is a wee bit tougher, but you’ll HATE the first fight. I guarantee it. If you’re semi-confident, try soloing Nythendra in Emerald Nightmare. It’s a mechanically-easy fight, but a bit of a gear check, so it’s a decent indicator of where you are in your soloing journey. Legion raids are where the real fun begins, as you often have to actually pay attention to fight mechanics! Don’t be afraid to take on intimidating bosses; after all, what do you have to lose except a bunch of gold for repairs? The MOST important thing is to have fun: it’s a game, after all!

My Soloing Progress at Level 120

I’ve included this table not as a way to brag, but as a reference for the item levels I had when making my first solo kills on bosses. If you’re an excellent soloer, or a better prot warrior player than I am (which is a pretty low benchmark, let’s be honest), you can probably succeed with lower ilevels than this.

Emerald NightmareTrial of ValorNightholdTomb of SargerasAntorus
Raid Boss Difficulty Item Level
Nythendra Mythic ilvl 356
Elerethe Renferal Mythic ilvl 357
Dragons of Nightmare Mythic ilvl 427
Ursoc Normal ilvl 338
Ursoc Heroic ilvl 367
Il’gynoth Heroic ilvl 344
Il’gynoth Mythic ilvl 370 (as Fury)
Cenarius Heroic ilvl 369
Cenarius Mythic ilvl 379
Xavius Normal ilvl 325
Xavius Heroic ilvl 369
Raid Boss Difficulty Item Level
Odyn Normal ilvl 365
Odyn Heroic ilvl 366
Guarm Normal ilvl 344
Guarm Heroic ilvl 366
Helya Normal ilvl 344
Helya Heroic ilvl 411
Raid Boss Difficulty Item Level
Skorpyron Heroic ilvl 327
Skorpyron Mythic ilvl 356
Chronomatic Anomaly Heroic ilvl 327
Chronomatic Anomaly Mythic ilvl 360
Trilliax Heroic ilvl 339
Trilliax Mythic ilvl 369
Spellblade Aluriel Heroic ilvl 339
Tichondrius Normal ilvl 339
Tichondrius Heroic ilvl 341
Tichondrius Mythic ilvl 414
Krosus Normal ilvl 365
Krosus Heroic ilvl 405
High Botanist Tel’arn Normal ilvl 354
High Botanist Tel’arn Heroic ilvl 369
Star Augur Etraeus Normal ilvl 368 (as Fury)
Star Augur Etraeus Heroic ilvl 370 (as Fury)
Grand Magistrix Elisande Normal ilvl 333
Grand Magistrix Elisande Heroic ilvl 369
Grand Magistrix Elisande Mythic ilvl 422
Gul’dan Normal ilvl 333
Gul’dan Heroic ilvl 369
Raid Boss Difficulty Item Level
Goroth Normal ilvl 362
Goroth Heroic ilvl 375
Demonic Inquisitors Normal ilvl 362
Demonic Inquisitors Heroic ilvl 375
Harjatan Normal ilvl 362
Harjatan Heroic ilvl 375
Mistress Sassz’ine Normal ilvl 368 (as Fury)
Mistress Sassz’ine Heroic ilvl 411 (as Fury)
Sisters of the Moon Normal ilvl 362
Sisters of the Moon Heroic ilvl 397
Maiden of Vigilance Normal ilvl 362
Maiden of Vigilance Heroic ilvl 397
The Desolate Host Normal ilvl 367
The Desolate Host Heroic ilvl 397
Fallen Avatar Normal ilvl 363
Fallen Avatar Heroic ilvl 397
Kil’jaeden Normal ilvl 367
Kil’jaeden Heroic ilvl 440
Raid Boss Difficulty Item Level
Garothi Worldbreaker Normal ilvl 362
Garothi Worldbreaker Heroic ilvl 375
Felhounds of Sargeras Normal ilvl 372
Felhounds of Sargeras Heroic ilvl 433
Portal Keeper Hasabel Normal ilvl 399
Portal Keeper Hasabel Heroic ilvl 429
Antoran High Command Normal ilvl 368
Antoran High Command Heroic ilvl 388
Varimathras Normal ilvl 410
Aggramar Normal ilvl 399
Argus the Unmaker Normal ilvl 399

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