One of the big downsides to the protection tree is that it offers pretty much zero single target damage. I think it’s one of the issues that turns people off (well okay, in addition to raid needs and recruitment issues, but that’s a different post). If you know how and where to do it, Protection offers by far the most efficient method of grinding. How? AoE farming.
Keep in mind that I spec’d protection after I had leveled to 70. So if you are a leveling paladin, this post might be somewhat skewed. You can technically spec into AoE farming at level 35 (Reckoning), but it’s a much more feasible at level 40 when Holy Shield becomes Available.
You want to find a good patch of melee only mobs that don’t run (having 20 mobs running to the 4 corners of the earth simultaneously is not real fun lol). NOT CASTERS, CASTERS WILL RAPE YOU. If you are sub-70 and are leveling, I would suggest starting with 4 to 5, move up to 6 to 8 etc if that’s too easy. For moderate to well geared 70, go wild. Entire villages will fall.
Protection farming isn’t all that super duper gear heavy. The better your gear, the more mobs that you can fight simultaneously. I would at the very least though, invest in a decent 1-hander (2.0 or faster) and a good shield. Your shield is probably the most important piece of your AoE grinding equipment; Find one with a high block Value and some block rating and put a spike on it. Shields with a proc on block ability are absolutely golden (recall that Block Value affects how much you block where as Block Rating affects how often you block).
I prefer to wear a good balance between defensive stats (def, block rating, block value, etc) and spell damage. You probably want to balance your stamina/int in such a way where you have a decent health pool, but aren’t going out of mana after 2 seconds. How you balance your gear is up to you and your grinding style (I tend to favor spell damage). In general, it’s a trade-off: In my tanking gear I take close to zero damage against non-elite mobs, but my mana pool is severely limited. I don’t take damage, but it takes longer to farm. In my full spell gear, I can take things down pretty fast, but I am slightly squishier.
- Shield Spikes: Get one crafted and use this over the other shield enchants.
- There’s a shield that you can get with Sporeggar rep (can’t think of the name/don’t feel like looking it up) that does a 12 damage DoT on block. That is one of if not the best farming shields.
- [item]Figurine of the Colossus[/item]: Heals for 120 on block. This allows you to pretty much chain pull MASSIVE amounts of mobs. When you start getting low on HP, pop it, and watch it heal you to full.
Any buff that reflects damage is nice. Though Ret Aura and BoSanc damage may seem piddly it adds up, especially against craploads of mobs.
Retribution Aura: Returns damage when you are hit
Blessing of Sanctuary: Reduces damage taken by a small amount and deals damage on block.
Righteous Fury: Imp RF reduces ALL damage by 6%
Seals and Judgements
Since Reckoning will proc frequently with the amount of hits that you will be taking, your seals have a chance at procing a lot. If your damage mitigation or mana isn’t quite up to par, you might want to go for Seal of Light or Seal of Wisdom respectively. Personally, I like Seal of Righteousness because I am impatient and it speeds the fight up a little it. Same logic with your judgements: Wisdom for mana, Light for Health, Righteousness for DPS. If my targeted mob is dying fast, I don’t bother judging usually.
Throw on a seal, judging if needed, spam Holy Shield and Consecration. Holy Shield is most important. If you want to conserve mana, try downranking spells. If you have a decent mana pool and aren’t being hit very hard, just spam max rank everything. This technique works well with good spell damage (600+). Otherwise, you can put on your damage mitigation gear, Seal/Judge Wisdom, and spam a very low rank of consecration, relying primarily upon reflective damage from Holy Shield and your buffs.
Once you have the mobs aggro’d, walk backwards until they are all in front. Remember that you cannot block or parry mobs that are not in front of you. It’s also probably worth noting that “front” is defined as a 180 degree radius. You can, if needed, actually go full run and still block and parry if you carefully strafe at just the right angle. This is useful for any encounter or situation where you might need to relocate fast or kite-tank.
Ez-Mode Consortium rep: The ethereals south of Area 52. The Consortium NPC in Area 52 has a repeatable quest. 250 rep (275 human) per 10 Zaxxis Signets. The mobs south of Area 52 drop the signets at an approximate 30% rate, in addition for a chance to get the keys. They also shit cloth and trash greens. Downside: A lot of people seem to like to grind here. I feel like a complete dick mass pulling everything.
Ez-Mode cash and Scryer rep: SW side of the middle tier of the Black Temple. There’s one side with a crapload of Demon Hunter Suplicants around a tent with a patrolling elite. Wait until the elite patrols away, then destroy them. Drops: asstons of cloth, Arcane Tomes, Sunfury Signets, etc.
BTW: The elite isn’t that hard to kill. He doesn’t drop anything other than a piddly amount of silver, but it’s fun just for satisfaction. Wear your tanking gear, JoW & SoW, blow all of your mana and go all out when you pull, he mana drains it anyways. Keep holy shield up. Takes a while but not that hard.