BEST TANKS IN DRAGONFLIGHT: TIER LIST AND PREDICTIONS

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In our previous articles, we’ve already overviewed melee and ranged DPS and healers. None of them can play their parts properly if not protected from incoming damage and aggro. That’s why today we’re looking at tanking specializations. We aim to see which spec will be the best tank in Dragonflight.

DRAGONFLIGHT TANKS TIER LIST

Tanking has completely diverse playstyles since 6 different classes present 6 specs. You can see each of them above, divided into 3 tiers. Now we’ll discuss them all in detail and look at their pros and cons.

S TIER

  1. Protection Warrior. This spec opens S-tier as it has a lot of tankiness and utility in its core. Prot Warriors have solid options to enhance their durability, withstand or inflict damage, and heal themselves. Protection’s current shape in Dragonflight suggests that the spec may become a top tank.
    Prot Warriors can inflict decent AoE damage and generate enough threat to ensure other party members’ safety. You can play the spec differently as there are several builds to choose from. You may, for example, focus on Rend, further spreading it with Blood and Thunder. Talents like Indomitable and Leeching Strikes have great potential for self-healing. There are also various Crowd Control options such as Shockwave or Disrupting Shout.
  2. Vengeance Demon Hunter. Vengeance does not have that many options for reducing incoming damage compared to Protection Warrior. Still, Vengeance DHs have been effective as they can recover lost HP. The reason is Soul Fragments combined with the mechanics that heal you based on your damage. Vengeance might be the first spec on the PvP tank tier list since those mechanics have been adjusted to new talent trees.
    The spec can now use Darkness and Blur, which increase survivability. Many powerful AoE spells can help Vengeance be super effective in Mythic+. Demon Hunters’ mobility has always been second to none, making them strong at protecting others. The ability to move a lot in a short time can help DHs deal with many boss mechanics. That makes Vengeance one of the best raid tanks.
  3. Brewmaster Monk. As always, BM Monk’s tanking process is based on Stagger, a constant passive effect allowing you to delay a portion of incoming damage. The new talent tree has many interactions with that ability, empowering it. For example, you can clear delayed damage with Purifying Brew. Stagger mechanics allows Brewmasters to survive significant damage and makes it easier for healers to recover Monk’s HP.
    BM Monks will definitely be on top of Dragonflight’s tank meta. The spec’s talent trees seem to be very well-structured for tanking purposes. The Brewmaster tree has clear paths for building. You won’t have to make difficult decisions or sacrifice useful talents or get unnecessary ones for the sake of your build. The general talent tree provides several powerful defensive cooldowns, such as Fortifying Brew and Dampen Harm.

Specializations presented above have no visible disadvantages or have minor issues that can be fixed with slight tuning. They are probably the most powerful and well-balanced tanking specs of the expansion. That’s why they take S-tier positions in our tank tier list.

A TIER

  1. Guardian Druid. Bears have always had many ways to reduce incoming damage. That won’t change in Dragonflight, making Guardians solid tanks. Even the new talent trees seem a bit passive since many talents increase Bears’ durability instead of giving them new abilities.
    Guardian Druids lack a little flexibility as there are few building options other than powering up Thrash to make your enemies bleed out. Another problem concerns defensive cooldowns. There aren’t many of them, and they do not appear as effective compared to other specs in our tank rankings. Bears can still make up for that issue because of strong abilities like Ironfur and Frenzied Regeneration. The latter can now be empowered by Innate Resolve, a former Endurance Conduit.
  2. Blood Death Knight. This spec’s both strength and weakness lie in its talent positioning in the trees. You can find powerful in-demand abilities like Dancing Rune Weapon and Gorefiend’s Grasp along with their empowerments in the middle of the Blood tree. You won’t have to make sacrifices to get them. Gorefiend’s Grasp is an essential ability that guarantees Blood DKs a slot in a group and makes them top on Dragonflight’s M+ tank tier list.
    The spec still lacks variability since you don’t want to go around many talents on “the sides” of trees. For example, you may have to give up Icebound Fortitude in favor of other talents. Blood Death Knight still looks like a decent spec. The history of the latest changes suggests that Blood becomes better and better. There is a high chance it will gain more good fixes and may even get to S-tier.

Tanks ranked as A-tier have high potential. They only deal with some insignificant issues. Those are more related to playstyle and flexibility rather than overall effectiveness or performance. Slight fixes might make these specs much better and even place them in S-tier.

B TIER

The only B-tier representative on our list is Protection Paladin. It has always been a versatile spec with many options for enduring damage, healing yourself, and inflicting damage. That hasn’t changed, but there are some considerable problems with Protection Paladin’s inner structure. Those problems are the reason to put this spec in B-tier, according to our Dragonflight’s tank prediction.
First, the talents in both general and specialization trees do not seem very impactful compared to other classes. It’s like you get “small bonuses” instead of “great empowerments”. Second, Avenger’s Shield doesn’t give you Holy Power anymore. That makes the process of generating the resource slower, weakening this spec.

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Hald Twinpack
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