Welcome to The Community Protection Warrior F.A.Q.!
- A thread with simple answers to simple as well as complex questions.
If you see anything in this thread which you find incorrect or misleading, please don't hesitate to make a post in the thread or PM me. Everything is fine to comment on, even if it's just something you'd like to see phrased differently. Naturally, you're also encouraged to ask questions you want answered, or post answers to questions you'd like to see included in this main post.
Please keep in mind this project is intended to create a Q&A-post with simple answers to simple as well as complex questions.
All questions won't be added to the F.A.Q., but any kind of questions related to Protection Warriors can be asked in this thread.
For more information regarding this thread, see the bottom of the post.
tip: search in this thread (ctrl + f windows, cmd + f osx) with the numbers within brackets next to the questions below.
 Why is stamina good?
 Why is armor good?
 What is this 'diminishing returns' or DR thing I've heard of?
 Why is parry rating good?
 Why is dodge rating good?
 Why is mastery rating good?
 People say I want different stats or trinkets for different occasions, but how do I know which stats I want?
 What talents for survivability do I want?
 What is this 'unhittability' I've heard about? Do I dodge everything?
 Should I get enough block to be unhittable?
 Should I still stack mastery after 77.4% block?
 So should I save Shield Block and use it as a major cooldown, or should I use it as often as possible?
 How can I tell if an item is an upgrade for me?
 How do I reforge my gear?
 How much parry and dodge do I want?
 So should I go all out parry because of Hold the Line?
 Dodge procs/buffs like Windwalk, Vial of Stolen Memories or Moonwell Phial, do they affect my dodge:parry ratio?
 What swing timer does a raid boss have?
 How exactly does Diminishing Returns work?
 Why is hit rating good?
 Why is expertise rating good?
 Should I cap hit and expertise or should I not? Everybody says different things!
 What's a good ability prioritization/usage for a Protection Warrior?
 Recklessness on the pull? Are you insane? I suffer 20% more damage with it up!
 I heard some Warriors taunt as they pull a boss, why are they doing this?
 Sometimes damage dealers are far above me on my threat meter, why aren't they pulling aggro?
 I see talk about not speccing into Improved Revenge and to drop Revenge from my rotation. What's this about?
 Now with a 500% threat modifier (up from 300%) on Defensive Stance, should I drop all offensive talents?
 When/on what kind of encounters is Safeguard viable?
 When should I use Rallying Cry instead of Last stand?
 When is the best time to apply Thunder Clap and Demoralizing Shout? How do I know if somebody else has applied them?
 Useful links!
 What are the common Protection Warrior abbreviations?
 Am I ready to tank Zandalari dungeons? And what about raids?
 +8% run speed or pure mastery on boots, what's the best way to go?
 Which race should I pick for my Protection Warrior?
tip: search in this thread (ctrl + f windows, cmd + f osx) with the numbers within brackets next to the questions above.
Q: "Why is stamina good?" 
A: Stamina increases your health and is commonly accepted as a primary tanking stat and is rightfully so. Increasing your health increases how many hits you can suffer without dying, it gives your healers much more time to spend casting heals on other players and it increases the odds you come out with healthy amounts of health after suffering a major damage spike.
Take note that increasing your health has no impact on how much damage you suffer - the only secondary gain from a large health pool is a tiny (extremely tiny) increase of overall healing recieved from Blood Craze (if specced into) and Victory Rush. Once your health is high enough for you not to get gibbed (killed very, very fast), many Protection Warriors recommend focusing on decreasing damage taken rather than further increase health.
1 point of stamina increases your health pool by 14 health, but keep in mind we get Sentinel as we chose the Protection tree, increasing our stamina by 15%. There's also Blessing of Kings / Mark of the Wild for another 5% stamina and Plate Specialization for another 5%.
All together, 1 point of stamina is actually 1.25 points of stamina, or 17.5 health.
Q: "Why is armor good?" 
A: Armor decreases physical damage taken. While primarily effective vs. melee swings, it also mitigates the effect from non-bleed special physical abilities. Increasing armor is good, but since bonus armor as a stat isn't really available to players in Cataclysm (and since it's very weak in it's current form) I won't talk a lot about it.
Q: "What is this 'diminishing returns' or DR thing I've heard of?" 
A: Diminishing Returns - DR for short - is referring to how the gain from, value or duration of something diminishes over time, quantity or other factors.
Diminishing returns on avoidance means the more you have of the stat, the less you will gain if you further increase it. If you originally need (NOTE: purely fictional numbers) 50 parry rating to increase your chance to parry by 1%, then eventually you will need 100 parry rating to further increase it by 1%. DR is implemented into the game to prevent tanks from avoiding "too much" damage with high end gear or much later on in an expansion.
The stats subject to DR are parry rating and dodge rating, and since they do similar things, you want to keep both of these ratings at almost equal values to minimize the "loss" to DR.
Diminishing returns does not mean that you can't dodge (or parry) many times in a row. It has no impact on anything but your total avoidance.
Diminishing returns does not "kick in" at a certain point or come in intervals; it's always there and affects every single rating point.
Q: "Why is parry rating good?" 
A: Parry rating increases your chance to parry melee swings made against you. A parried attack reduces the damage by 100%; you completely avoid the damage it would have caused.
A parried attack also procs our talent Hold the Line, but keep in mind since parry is subject to diminishing returns (see above), you do not necessarily want to prioritize parry rating over dodge rating. How much more parry rating you want varies depending on gear and item procs, but generally if you have 20-30% more parry rating than dodge rating you're doing it right.
Your base parry is 5.00%. With ~346 tank gear, you will need roughly 200 parry rating to increase your chance to parry by 1%, but as you reach 1000-2000-ish parry rating you'll need roughly 300 parry rating for another 1% parry.
Q: "Why is dodge rating good?" 
A: Dodge rating increases your chance to dodge melee swings made against you. A dodged attack reduces the damage by 100%, just like parry would.
Your base dodge is 5.00%. With ~346 tank gear, you will need roughly 200 dodge rating to increase your chance to dodge by 1%, but as you reach 1000-2000-ish dodge rating you'll need roughly 300 dodge rating for another 1% dodge.
Q: "Why is mastery rating good?" 
A: Mastery increases your chance to block and critically block melee swings made against you. A block is 30% less damage taken, and if a block occurs you have a chance to critically block. A critical block blocks twice the amount - 60%. For every 179.28 mastery rating you gain 1 point of mastery, and for every 1 point of mastery you gain 1.5% block and 1.5% critical block.
Among all defensive ratings, mastery is particularly unique for two reasons. First and foremost, it covers the attack table at a very rapid rate - roughly three times faster than dodge or parry. This allows us to reach combined avoidance values exceeding 100%, making virtually all attacks against you at least blocks. Secondly, since there is no diminishing returns on mastery and since our mastery increases both chance to block and chance to critically block, mastery has what one can call a reversed diminishing returns (RDR); it becomes stronger the more you cumulate.
Currently, our base mastery is 8 points, our base block is 32% and our base critical block is 12%.
Q: "People say I want different stats or trinkets for different occasions, but how do I know which stats I want?" 
A: In most encounters normal stat balancing applies. However, there are circumstances that make certain stats more desirable for an encounter. E.g. in a magic damage heavy fight, since magic damage cannot be blocked or avoided, stamina is a preferred stat, or a way to mitigate magic damage through resistance. This is why, prior to gaining the Mirror of Broken Images trinket, protection warriors were recommended to stack extra stamina for the Nefarian encounter because of the big hit from Nef's electrocute ability.
Another example is the Chimaeron encounter, whom in last phase begins to hit too hard for normal mitigation (via block) to be very effective, thus tanks would switch to extra avoidance in hopes to avoid few extra attacks before getting killed, giving the raid time to finish the encounter. It is the function of the tank to be aware of the boss mechanics, so he / she can switch to an appropriate trinket of choice.
Q: "What talents for survivability do I want?" 
A: Must have survivability talents for protection warriors are, beginning from the top; Toughness, Shield Mastery, Hold the Line, Last Stand, and Bastion of Defense. From the Arms tree, you should also count Field Dressing.
Optional and situational talents include Impending Victory (should always be accompanied by the Glyph of Victory Rush), Safeguard, and Blood Craze. None of the last three are a must-have, however.
Q: "What is this 'unhittability' I've heard about? Do I dodge everything?" 
A: "Unhittable" is a state when your miss, dodge, parry, and block cover the entire combat table, pushing normal hits of the table. The easiest way to determine that is to add all your stats together; dodge-% + parry-% + block-% + 5% standard miss chance (7% if you're a Night Elf). Once that number reaches 102.4% you have successfully removed normal hits from the combat table and every physical hit that you suffer is either avoided or blocked, every time. The term unhittable does not refer to avoiding every hit but for the lack of normal hits.
Q: "That sounds cool, so I should get enough block to be unhittable?" 
A: Yes and no. Warriors cannot get to 102.4% without really fancy BiS hard mode gear and even then it is partially DPS gear. Start-up warriors should aim to reach 77.4% as soon as possible, because at that point using Shield Block (+25% block) will put you to 102.4% for 10 seconds, making it a reliable tanking CD.
Q: "Right... well I probably won't get gear that fancy, should I still stack mastery after 77.4%?" 
A: Yes, because a) any excess block from Shield Block, beyond a 100%, is converted to critical block, b) your survivability, when shield block is not active, still depends heavily on your ability to block as many attacks as possible, and finally c) because when you have really high block, trinket functions like that of Porcelain Crab and Vial of Stolen Memories will also allow you to, temporarily, reach unhittable.
Q: "So should I save Shield Block and use it as a major cooldown, or should I use it as often as possible?" 
A: As with many other things, it depends. Shield Block is an ability that triggers lots of effects; there's the threat boost from Heavy Repercussions, the bonus block and crit block for physical damage and the -20% magical damage taken. The common approach is to use it as often as possible, unless the boss is going to have a long downtime or you're going to need it for a specific purpose like bursting threat or decreasing a major magical damage spike.
For instance, when tanking either Nefarian or Onyxia, it's recommended to utilize the decreased magical damage taken as well as possible. Try to line it up to cover a breath attack, but don't bother waiting if Shield Block comes off CD right after a breath was performed.
Q: "How can I tell if an item is an upgrade for me?" 
A: Plain and simple; analyze the item. Ask yourself - what do you currently wear? Which stats will you gain if you wear the new item? Apply the same logic to your gear as you do to your gems and reforges; consider which stats you want.
If you know how much health you gain from stamina, how armor impacts your survivability, just how good much better mastery is than an avoidance rating etc. it's quite easy to determine if the item in question is an upgrade or not.
"Upgrade" isn't necessarily "the most stamina" or "the most mastery"; tanks don't work quite the same as damage dealers do. All stats are attractive to us and sometimes it may most certainly be worth it to sacrifice some avoidances in favor for a higher amount of stamina and armor - or the other way around.
"But that did not answer the question."
I know it didn't, primarily because there is no right answer. There are many ways to determine if an item is an upgrade or not. The addon RatingBuster converts ratings to percentages and calculated diminishing returns automatically, making it quite simple to mkae a direct comparison to whether you'll gain or lose combat table coverage, damage taken or similar.
Simplified; imagine if you gain 0.5% dodge but lose 0.5% block and nothing else, then the item is definately an upgrade. If you gain 0.4% dodge but lose 0.5% block and nothing else, even if the 0.4% dodge should reduce more damage than 0.5% block, you also gain critical block and cover a larger part of the combat table (which, for normalization of damage taken among other things, is something great). Overall, it can be tricky to know exactly what's the best approach. However, gaining the 0.5% block is usually far easier than gaining similar amounts of dodge or parry. At similar rating amounts, mastery will always be your best choice, but with a fairly larger pool of rating points dodge or parry may well take upper hand.
It's not always possible to create weights for all of these stats, leaving it up to you to decide.
Q: "How do I reforge my gear?" 
A: Reforging gear as a Protection Warrior is quite simple. Just follow the following checklist:
> You want mastery on all gear pieces (perhaps with the exception of a good trinket).
> You want as little offensive stats (hit, expertise, etc.) as possible, unless of course you're unable to generate sufficient long-term threat. However, if you hold a proper rotation, this shouldn't be a problem even during T12.
> You want a relatively balanced amount of dodge and parry, with slightly more parry to account for Hold the Line and dodge procs (trinkets, Windwalk, more on this on question #16).
There may be complications of a few select gear pieces if the item has an extremely minor amount of an offensive stat plus dodge. To determine if you want to reforge the dodge or the offensive stat to mastery, either run your numbers through a spreadsheet or, again, use an addon like RatingBuster for a more clear overview of the gain/loss. But in the end, you won't really go wrong even if you decide to always reforge out of the offensive stat.
Q: "How much parry and dodge do I want?" 
A: As much as possible, of course. You will never have "too much" avoidances. There may be a point in the future where other stats like offensive stats or stamina are to be preferred over avoidances, but you will never stop desiring it.
Q: "So should I go all out parry because of Hold the Line?" 
A: No, you shouldn't. Because of diminishing returns (see question #3) you want to wear an about as much parry rating as dodge rating in order to maximize your avoidances and minimize your damage taken.
Math done on the subject suggests that Hold the Line allows you to wear roughly 20-30% more parry rating that dodge rating (basically you can have 1.2-1.3 times more parry rating than dodge rating and still see a gain in survivability. I, personally, would also suggest that you calculate your dodge:parry ratio when fully buffed. Basically, pick up a calculator, look at your character sheet and divide the amount of parry rating you see with the amount of dodge rating you see. If the answer is somewhere around 1.2-1.3, then you're in roughly the right spot.
If you want to know your ideal ratio, refer to this graph. Creds to user Kolmagorov for the graph. Read this thread if you want to learn more on the subject.
Q: "Dodge procs/buffs like Windwalk, Vial of Stolen Memories or Moonwell Phial, do they affect my dodge:parry ratio?" 
A: Yes and no. If you were covered by procs like these the majority of the time, then accounting for them would make sense. This may be true for certain encounters where you're not in aggro constantly.
By accounting for them your passive avoidance would be slightly lower while your avoidance with the trinket up would be slightly higher. The avarage overall avoidance is likely to be a tad bit lower if you do account for them. Due to the nature of avoidance (RNG) it would be suggested to maximize the passive amount.
Q: "What swing timer does a raid boss have?" 
A: All bosses have different swing timers and swing for different amounts. Using World of Logs to filter my combat logs, I've concluded the following debuffed swing timers:
Code:Debuffed (-20%) melee swing timers in Firelands: Shannox: 1.8 Riplimb: 1.8 Beth'tilac: 2.4 Beth'tilac drone: 1.7-1.8 Rhyolith: 1.8 Rhyolith Spark: 2.4 (they also hit fairly weak; their melee dmg is almost insignificant) Alysrazor: - (Has no melee swing) Alysrazor Hatchlings: 1.2 Baleroc: 1.2 Majordomo Staghelm: 1.5 Ragnaros: 1.8
Hardmode Shannox/Riplimb and Alysrazor hatchlings seem to have the exact same swing timers as they have on normal mode. This probably stays true throughout the entire raid, but I'll confirm it once I get my hands on logs of the other encounters.
Q: "How exactly does Diminishing Returns work?" 
A: Diminishing returns is basically a concept where the end value of your stat is diminished by a degree, determined by the size of that stat. So essentially, the more you have of the said stat, the more it will diminish. For example, if you had 1614 dodge rating, it pre-DR it would translate into 9.13% dodge. However, due to diminished returns the actual value would be 8.34%, so you would lose 0.79%.
This decay of value is solved using the following equation.
Code:1/xl = 1/c + k/x xl = avoidance after DR c = class dependent cap of the stat k = also a class dependent constant x = pre-DR %-value of the stat
Both k and c are constants, so we can quickly turn those into actual values.
C for dodge is 65.63144 so 1/c is obviously 0.0152366.
K for warriors is 0.956.
We'll use the same above example dodge so 1614 dodge rating converts 1614/176.7189 = 9.13314875.
Thus k/x is 0.956/9.13314875 = 0.10467365.
After that we do the sum 0.0152366 + 0.10467365 = 0.11991025.
Finally we finish the equation 1/0.11991025 and result is 8.339570754 or ~8.34% dodge.
Q: "Why is hit rating good?" 
A: Hit rating increases your chance to hit with all abilities. Versus a boss (considered level 88) your base chance to miss is 8%. For every 120.109 hit rating, your chance to hit increases by 1%.
Hit is particularly useful for ensuring that your debuffs never miss, and capping hit can work wonders for picking up freshly spawned mobs. If you're interested in increasing pure TPS, however, expertise may be a better option.
Q: "Why is expertise rating good?" 
A: Expertise rating increases your expertise, decreasing the risk your attacks are parried or dodged. Take note that your abilities Demoralizing Shout, Thunder Clap, Piercing Howl, Heroic Throw and Shockwave cannot be parried or dodged but can miss.
For every 120.109 expertise rating, your chance not to be parried or dodged increases by 1% each. For this reason, one could say expertise is roughly twice as good at generating more threat than hit up to the softcap of 26 expertise (6.5%) where your attacks cannot be dodged. Past 26 expertise, you still increase your chance not to be parried up to 14% is covered (56 expertise).
Q: "Should I cap hit and expertise or should I not? Everybody says different things!" 
A: No, investing valuable stats on hit and expertise is a waste because Vengeance is so powerful. First of all, hit rating and expertise only decrease the chance of your attacks missing and getting dodged / parried. They do not remove them completely. Secondly, 30-40 seconds into an encounter, Vengeance will have stacked high enough to make any misses meaningless. The amount of attack power you receive from Vengeance, coupled with 300% threat boost from Defensive Stance, will allow you to generate TPS that no damage dealer can match. It means that the first 30 seconds of the fight can be dicy but with proper pulling and team work, it should not be a problem.
There in exception to the rule however, when running 5-man content, where your Vengeance is often in a limbo, going up and down between every trash pack and even boss not being able to provide you with full Vengeance. In such cases, it is perfectly acceptable (if you experience difficulties in maintaining threat) to put on some extra expertise and hit rating, just to make your pulls and burst more reliable, allowing for a more smooth run. Just keep in mind that, in such a case, you are sacrificing survivability to increase your threat and should only do so if you are confident in your abilities, and that of your group.
It is also worth considering hit rating when facing off many mobs at once. Missing Rend can be crucial for your opening AoE threat, missing Demoralizing Shouts or Thunder Claps will also increase your overall damage taken.
Q: "What's a good ability prioritization/usage for a Protection Warrior?" 
A: To maximize threat output, I'd suggest an ability prioritization based around our talent Sword & Board, essentially the "Sword & Board-rotation". With Shield Slam as the obvious number one ability, we want to use either Revenge or Devastate as soon as Shield Slam is on cooldown, where Revenge is the stronger of the two. Shield Slam has a 6 second cooldown, so there's three global cooldowns to fill before the cooldown has resetted naturally.
In practice, this means you'll do a Shield Slam > Revenge > Devastate > Something else* > Shield Slam. Whenever Sword & Board procs you immediately use Shield Slam, starting over again.
* Something else: there are plenty of choices. This is the ideal time to refresh either Demoralizing Shout or Thunder Clap, this is also when you want to use other high threat abilities like Shockwave (a hard hitter which cannot be dodged or parried), Heroic Throw (also cannot be dodged or parried, plus a 50% bonus threat modifier), Rend (although only slightly stronger than Devastate if a Bleed damage debuff is present) or Concussion Blow (with a 100% bonus threat modifier).
Outside of the pull, Heroic Throw and Concussion Blow only make worthwhile fillers in certain scenarios, like when you desperately need a threat increase and/or have low amounts of vengeance. In the middle of an encounter you can safely ignore using these as a part of your rotation.
Obviously, also make sure never to drain your rage with Heroic Strike, but don't forget to use it either. It's a button that in most cases can - and should - practically be spammed.
If you do these things but still have issues keeping aggro, then you may want to reevaluate your spec to contain key offensive talents like Heavy Repercussions, Deep Wounds, Incite, Cruelty or War Academy.
Should neither an improvement of ability usage nor a change of talents make a notable increase in threat generation, you may want to look into increasing your toon's offensive stats. Expertise is the per point of rating, for a tank, highest dps increasing stat. While it's difficult to make a direct comparison, it could be estimated to be roughly twice as strong an increase to your tps than what increasing hit would provide, although hit is not to be frowned upon either.
And last but not least, always remember to use Intervene as often as possible.
Bottom line, our ideal rotation does change a lot depending on vengeance levels, talents, raid setup etc. If you want to maximize your output I'd suggest you looked over Airowird's (WarTotem's) Protection Warrior spreadsheet on Tankspot.com, plugged in your stats and evaluated the results.
Q: "Recklessness on the pull? Are you insane? I suffer 20% more damage with it up!" 
A: While it is a shame we have to suffer more damage, the increase of burst threat is extreme. Using Recklessness on the pull allows your damage dealers to freely dps earlier on, it also allows to to perform reliable pulls without having to sacrifice defensive rating points. Not to mention, as you pull a boss, you usually have Shield Block up completely covering for the additional damage taken, and your healers are all at full mana with nothing else to heal.
Q: "I heard some Warriors taunt as they pull a boss, why are they doing this?" 
A: Because taunt uses a fixate mechanic, which makes the boss attack only you, regardless of your threat level, for the next three seconds. This is a good precaution for if your first couple attacks miss or get dodged / parried. A DPS, with short ramp up time, can easily pull aggro off you at that time and die. However, if the boss has fixate on him, you have time to use Challenging Shout and hit him with more globals to maintain aggro.
It's not necessarily recommended to do this, but it can be incredibly helpful in a few scenarios.
Q: "Sometimes damage dealers are far above me on my threat meter, why aren't they pulling aggro?" 
A: Because you don't steal aggro when you pass 100% threat; you steal aggro when you pass 110% threat and in melee range, or 130% threat and outside of melee range.
Knowing this is great, because if you spot a damage dealer far above you on threat, completely drop your rotation, wait for him to pull aggro and instantly taunt and then burst out all threat you held back with. This way you'll gain those 10% threat he exceeded yours with for free, set a new threshold and benefit from the abilities you wouldn't have otherwise. If you're fast enough, the damage dealer pulling aggro is extremely unlikely to ever suffer a melee swing.
Q: "I see talk about not speccing into Improved Revenge and to drop Revenge from my rotation. What's this about?" 
A: The reason is simple; Revenge is quite weak single target. With a 378-weapon and when specced into War Academy and Deep Wounds, Devastate will hit harder on avarage than Revenge even at 100% vengeance when factoring in the higher chance to crit. Add the bleed damage debuff to this and Devastate creates an even larger gap.
With a 359 weapon and worse, Revenge is slightly ahead in this scenario - but only very slightly.
"But", you think, "Revenge costs less rage allow me to do more Heroic Strikes". That's entirely true, but it's only 10 rage per Revenge. That's 1 Heroic Strike per 3 Revenges. If you - at any point in between these Revenges - overcap rage, then the benefit was lost. The lower rage cost certainly can help you get through a situation of unexpectedly low rage and this would be your primary reason to keep it in your rotation.
If you want to save 2 talent points to spend in something else, it's most certainly worthwhile to consider dropping Improved Revenge and Revenge from your spec and rotation.
Q: "Now with a 500% threat modifier (up from 300%) on Defensive Stance, should I drop all offensive talents?" 
A:I'd say no. Even prior to this rather major buff we didn't pick up offensive talents to increase our threat; we picked them up to increase our damage output. The defensive talents often ignored - Blood Craze and Impending Victory to be specific - are simply so weak on the avarage encounter that the additional damage you can cause is likely to benefit your raid or group far more.
Q: "When/on what kind of encounters is Safeguard viable?" 
A: Any time that a fellow tank or raid member is taking considerable damage. E.g. on Magmaw, MT just prior to mangle, on Omnotron, person focused by Magmatron's Acquiring Target ability, any player during Atramedes' Searing Flame, Cho'gall during Flame empowerment etc. Surprisingly, there are a lot of niches for Safeguard and only comes down to reaction time and making sure it does not compromise the raid, due to being out of position or significantly lowering a tank's threat. Look around and you'll find many places to make use of it.
Q: "When should I use Rallying Cry instead of Last stand?" 
A: There is a couple of easy enough rules governing the use of Rallying Cry. Rallying Cry only provides 20% extra hp for 10 seconds. That means that the extra hp must somehow be useful during that duration. If they aren't, then the buff was wasted. Either the buff has to prevent someone from dying, due to hp loss, or make it less likely to happen, in case of more random damage. The buff must also be useful for majority of the raid; using it just for 1-2 people is not useful. Last but not least, using Rallying Cry should never cost a tank his survivability, so he or she must be prepared to get by comfortably without Last Stand, which provides a much more powerful buff.
Good examples of usage are Blackout during the Valiona & Theralion encounter, Searing Flame on Atramedes, Electrocute on Nefarian, etc.
Q: "When is the best time to apply Thunder Clap and Demoralizing Shout? How do I know if somebody else has applied them?" 
A: Assuming you follow the S&B-rotation suggested above, the absolute best time to apply these debuffs is on the "Something else"-slot. Keep in mind, however, that once you've built sufficient threat you most commonly focus purely on survival and should as of such interrupt your offensive rotation should either of the debuffs fail to apply, fall off or similar.
To track if these debuffs are up or not, get a debuff tracking addon, and/or similar debuffs together. Remember which other classes have these debuffs. All tanks have both of them; Paladins will apply it passively with their regular rotation, Death Knights will apply them passively with their diseases, and Druids have to manually cast demoralizing roar, while the attack speed debuff is applied with their Mangle and Maul abilities. Some Hunter pets can also apply those debuffs, such as the Tallstrider or the Fox (attack speed), and Bear or Birds (attack power).
Here is a list of all debuffs:
Attack speed debuff:
- Frost Fever (Death Knight - also dps Death Knights)
- Judgements of the Just (Paladin)
- Infected Wounds (Druid)
- Thunderclap (Warrior)
- Earth Shock (Enhance Shamans)
- Tail Spin (fox Hunter pet)
- Dust Cloud (tallstrider Hunter pet)
Physical damage debuff:
- Scarlet Fever (Death Knight)
- Vindication (Paladin)
- Demoralizing Roar (Druid and bear Bunter pet, same ability name)
- Demoralizing Shout (Warrior)
- Demoralizing Screech (carrion bird/vulture hunter pet, normal birds are "birds of prey", they have disarm instead)
- Curse of Weakness (Warlock)
A great way to track them is by using either Power Auras Classic or WeakAuras. Both of these addons allow you to track and display these debuffs in many ways. I can personally recommend tracking them with the inverted logic, in which case you make a list for the debuffs and make the addon display an icon if either of these debuffs isn't on the target.
I have created auras with these functions for both addons. Use their Import-functions to import the auras.
WeakAuras -10% physical damage: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=xWz0EE1W
WeakAuras -20% attack speed: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=V2ED5Jxx
Power Auras -10% physical damage: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=ZP9btwb8 (I cannot confirm if these work as they should as I write this, made them a while back)
Power Auras -20% attack speed: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=UPTG25EV (I cannot confirm if these work as they should as I write this, made them a while back)
Q: "What other useful resources are there on the web? (Useful links)" 
A: There are plenty. To link to a few interesting threads/reads:
- The Protection Warrior thread on elitistjerks.com. Always worth reading through if you want in-depth facts for anything.
- Airowird's (WarTotem's) Protection Warrior spreadsheet on Tankspot.com. Very accurate, very easy to use. Just by plugging your stats in and looking through it I'm fairly sure you may learn something.
- Kolmagorov's dodge:parry-ratio graph thread. Read this if you're interested in finding your ideal ratio and learn why we treat it like we do.
- Pulveriser's Protection Warrior Guide here on MMO-Champion.com. A comprehensive and well presented video and written guide on Protection Warrior basics.
- Warrior Point of View videos. You can learn a lot from watching others play.
- MMO-Champion RaidComp. While not Protection Warrior-specific, knowing which classes apply which debuffs is relevant to your rotation.
Q: "What are the common Protection Warrior abbreviations?" 
A: Let's see, I'll write down anything that pops up in my head (I'll probably forget a few):
Code:All abbrevations are baseline abilities unless marked as anything else, CTC: Combat Table Coverage (see the entry on Unhittability) B&T (BnT): Blood and Thunder (talent) BC: Blood Craze (talent) BS: Battle Shout BR: Berserker Rage CB: Concussion Blow (talent/ability) Dev: Devastate DoT: Damage over Time (a ticking debuff placed on a unit, dealing damage by each tick) DR: Diminishing Returns (has a specific entry above) DS: Demoralizing Shout DTPS: Damage taken per second DW: Deep Wounds (talent) EH: Effective health (basically your health * your armor * your block value if unhittable) EJ: Elitist Jerks (a guild site and community for sharp theorycrafting) GOGO: It's time to pull (Whoever says this probably believes you're pulling too slowly) HL: Heroic Leap HoT: Healing over Time (an ability putting a ticking buff on a unit, healing by each tick) HT: Heroic Throw HtL: Hold the Line (talent) HPS: Healing per second IR: Inner Rage LS: Last Stand (talent/ability) MD: Misdirection (Hunter ability, also often referring to the Rogue ability Tricks of the Trade) PH: Piercing Howl (talent/ability) RC: Rallying Cry RDR: Reversed Diminishing Returns (Our Mastery grows stronger the more we stack of it, thus the "reversed" diminishing returns) Reck: Recklessness Rev: Revenge S&B (SnB): Sword and Board (talent) SB: Shield Block SBSB: Shield Block Spell Block (Shield Mastery-talent) SR: Spell Reflection SS: Shield Slam SW: Shield Wall SW: Shockwave (talent/ability) TC: Thunder Clap TPS: Threat per second TotT: Tricks of the Trade (Rogue ability) TTL: Time to live (how many melee swings you can survive without healing on a specific encounter) VR: Victory Rush WA: War Academy (talent) WoL: World of Logs (a website to which you can upload your recorded - /combatlog - combatlogs to analyze them)
Q: "Am I ready to tank Zandalari dungeons?" 
A: If your item level is 346, you gear consists mainly of PvE protection pieces and if you've treated it with a few gems and have the confidence to tank it (aka; you've tanked easier 5-man dungeons with the character previously) then yes, definately. Don't worry about gem and enchant-costs; you'll save money on repair bills by pimping your gear.
"But what about raids? When can I tank those?
Again, if you meet the ilvl requirements with proper gear, then yes. T11 raids (Blackwing Descent, Throne of the Four Winds and the Bastion of Twilight) were designed to be doable in 346+ gear. As T12 was implemented, the T11 raids were nerfed drastically. Most agree that Zandalari dungeons are far more gear demanding than the normal mode T11 raids.
Tanking Firelands is different. As JP rewards and T11 raids award 359-gear, it's likely Blizzard has designed Firelands to be optimal when you've reached the ilvl 359 mark. Keep in mind there are plenty of great items to gain from the quests and crafts introduced in patch 4.2, also keep in mind that lower ilvl pieces often are stronger if they're better itemized.
But keep in mind that no matter what gear you have, if you play incorrectly you will die - or at least suffer unnecessary high amounts of damage. Not putting up your debuffs, not generating sufficient threat (either dragging out combat length or losing aggro) etc will make it difficult for your healers to keep you up - even if you're dressed in high end gear. Be honest with yourself and do your best to learn and improve!
Q: "+8% run speed or pure mastery on boots, what's the best way to go?" 
A: An often debated topic with no correct answer. The choice is practically between +35 mastery, +8% run speed vs. +50 mastery.
Some claim additional run speed to be completely wasted, as us Protection Warriors have incredible mobility already with Heroic Leap, Charge, Intercept and Intervene. By being perceptive it's no impossible task to stay clear of any dangerous fire or always be at the right place to pick up adds.
Some claim additional run speed to be invaluable, creating opportunities worth more than what a higher amount of flat stats would. It has the potential to decrease the amount of ticks you suffer from initially unavoidable ground AoE sources, there isn't always something (in range) which you can charge at. A freshly spawned add could perhaps make a melee swing towards a healer because you were out of range to charge it as it spawned.
Either way, all content is doable with or without run speed enchanted. It's up to you to decide if you prefer whether you want the higher amount of flat stats or the increased movement speed.
Q: "Which race should I pick for my Protection Warrior?" 
A: Regarding racials, there are only two that truly stand out as clear winners; the Night Elves' Quickness and the Dwarves' Stoneform. Quickness is passive, most likely reduces the most overall damage on the avarage encounter. Stoneform, however, can be used as a CD during high damage bursts and works for against both physical and magical damage. The Draenei and their Gift of the Naaru is a reasonably efficient tank racial as well.
If you are playing on the hHorde side there are no clear winners. Taurens gain extra health from Endurance but with mitigation being so much more stronger than a little more health, it does not count for much. There are other small niches that are filled by various other racials, a free pvp trinket, escaping roots, extra threat stats, and so forth but none of them can currently compete with quickness and stoneform for their major benefit to tanks.
Most races have racials beneficial in some form, but in the end you truly should pick whichever race you'd rather play.
Worth mentioning is that racial magical resistance does not stack with raid buffs thusly they shouldn't be used as deciding factors for which race you want.
I'm sure many of you remember the thread user Calmwinds initiated a few weeks ago and I hope it's not only I who think it's a great idea. Calmwinds recently got wrapped up in something completely different and hasn't got the time to lead the project and as of such I opened a thread regarding this instead.
What is this?
This is going to become a community-driven F.A.Q. for Protection Warriors. Every other day, we will raise a frequently asked question or similar and help creating a complete answer by writing arguments, both hard mathematical facts and conceptual, and counter arguments for the various possible approaches one can take. After collecting sufficient information, a summarized answer will be created by someone/me and rated by the community. If no reasonably strict/well rounded answer can be found, the answer will give the reader facts and arguments, or possibly a bottom line with exceptions, to help them find their own answer.
What's the goal?
The goal is to create a thread with answers and arguments to the most common questions or thoughts risen by other Protection Warriors. It will be guide-like in the way that it's intended to be educational, but it will not be a complete overview of neither tanking nor the class/spec as a whole. The reason for this is to improve the avarage knowledge and help more players get a chance to drive concepts forward, or simply simplify the process of learning more advanced or non-obvious things about our class and role. Eventually, the thread could end up as a place where you drop by to ask a short, simple question for a short, simple answer. Preferably, I want to see well thought-out arguments. It doesn't have to be 100% accurate, what's important is to point out something of value others might have missed.
And who am I?
I am Iyona, some guy who loves playing his Protection Warrior and loves sharing the experience with other fellow or wannabe Protection Warriors. I love teaching, helping, discussing and learning. I want to it clear that I do not in any way claim to be a know-it-all or to have a perfect answer to anything, but for this project I will be assuming the position as a project leader and - with the help from the community - create summarized Qs and As everybody can feel satisfied with. I will leave anything related to this project up to debate and criticism, both before and after it's "published".
Code:To do: - Just how good is Vigilance anyway? Can we find estimated numbers on different encounters? - Discuss stats past unhitability. - Discuss the effects from using different flask/elixir combos. - A mention of Sunder Armor may be worthwile.