Generally with most tanks you want Item level over all stats as more stamina and main stat will always be good. However when you are look at the same item level then the priority to look for should be:
- Item Level
- Critical Strike
As to what you should be running when you’re looking at min maxing your DPS then you should sim yourself as your weights will change based on your current gear.
Strength: This is your primary stat as a Protection Paladin and does a bit of everything. It increases your damage, the armor bonus granted from Shield of the Righteous and it increases your chance at parrying attacks.
Haste: Haste does a lot for a Protection Paladins, as well as increasing your attack speed it also decreases your global cooldown and the cooldown on some of your abilities, this reduces the overall downtime between your Shield of the Righteous stacks. The more haste you have, the more holy power you are able to generate and the more Shield of the Righteous’ you are able to cast, overall smoothening your damage intake. The breakpoint is around 20% haste which is when you’ll want to look at prioritising other stats as the value of haste begins to diminish.
Versatility: This just increases all your damage and healing done while reducing all damage taken. Very similar to our mastery the benefit of versatility is that it’ll be active outside of your Consecration however it isn’t as good as mastery on heavy physical damage due to mastery giving us more block.
Mastery: Our mastery is very strong for physical damage. Mastery: Divine Bulwark, increases our chance to block as well as reducing the overall damage we take while we remain within our Consecration. In addition to this, mastery also increases our attack power which is a small DPS gain.
Critical Strike: This increases the chance for your spells to deal double damage. Additionally, as a tank, all critical strike grants your bonus parry chance which isn’t the best defensive stat you can look for on a Protection Paladin and you’d only be looking at getting more Critical Strike if you’re focussing on increasing your damage output.
Unfortunately paladins have a very limited number of races which they can play and the better ones are actually alliance.
Tauren: Endurance gives you more health which is always nice since paladins generally have a lower HP pool compared to other tanks. Brawn makes your critical strikes deal 2% more damage and healing which is also nice as you crit a lot as a paladin.
Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent is nice to have as Paladin’s don’t have a way to purge.
Lightforged Draenei: Light's Judgment is a very strong on demand AoE DPS cooldown and it deals Holy Damage which protection paladins can increase.
Dwarf / Dark iron: Stoneform / Fireblood Is very nice to remove nasty debuffs you may be afflicted with. (Dwarf Only) Might of the Mountain, identical to Tauren’s Brawn, makes your critical strikes deal 2% more damage and healing.
Human: The Human Spirit is just a nice boost to all your secondary stats and when you have Seraphim, an ability which gives you 8% of all secondary stats it just synergises nicely.
Rings: You will enchant your rings with Enchant Ring - Tenet of Haste should be your go to enchant for both offence and defence as paladins scale extremely well with haste.
Boots: Soul Treads - Useful for sire.
Weapon: Enchant Weapon - Sinful Revelation, Enchant Weapon - Celestial Guidance, Enchant Weapon - Lightless Force All 3 are viable options. Sinful is best for damage on single target, Lightless Force is best for damage on Cleave + AoE and Celestial Guidance is best for defence.
Similar to ring enchants you will gem for Haste for defense and general use. However, it is good to sim yourself to find out which stats would be best for you offensively, otherwise.
Flasks: Spectral Flask of Power will be your go to choice for pretty much all content. Spectral Flask of Stamina can be used if you feel like you need a larger health pool to survive the content you are doing.
Weapon Oil: Shadowcore Oil
Food: Feast of Gluttonous Hedonism as your all around option. Tenebrous Crown Roast Aspic if you feel like you want to have a bit more Haste.
Armor Kit: Heavy Desolate Armor Kit.
Healing Potion: Spiritual Healing Potion.
Augment Runes: Veiled Augment Rune.