Tank Rankings / Tier List for WoW Classic Season of Discovery
The Season of Discovery is aiming to completely disrupt the established meta of WoW Classic by including new Runes that drastically increase the power available to all classes. These runes even allow Rogues, Warlocks and Shamans to tank! Keep reading on to find out our early findings on Tanking in SoD.
Summary of Tank Class and Specialization Rankings for the Season of Discovery
Below is a quick summary of the full rankings that we have detailed on this page. While this gives a good outline of the standings of specializations in comparison to one another, we recommend reading the full rankings to understand why certain specializations are ranked as they are.
DPS and Healer Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for WoW Classic's Season of Discovery, please click the links below.
Full Tank Class and Specialization Rankings
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
For the entirety of WoW Classic, Warriors are simply the best tanks, without question. For leveling and early dungeons, Warriors can tank in their DPS specializations to do high DPS while holding threat and not dying, or can go Protection to ensure that they take little damage. Even before runes, Warriors baseline ability to mitigate damage while holding threat in any situation is simply unparalleled to any other tank. They also bring incredibly important debuffs with Sunder Armor, Thunder Clap, and Demoralizing Shout.
For low level content, Warriors are almost god-tier due to their ability to tank almost every boss as a full-fledged DPS. A fully specialized DPS warrior is more than capable of tanking, perhaps even better than most other full tanks on this list. In content that is easily cleared, the best groups will always turn to Warrior tanks for the combination of threat, damage, and built in durability to tank with even while competing for the number 1 spot on the damage meters.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
Shaman tanks are another exciting new addition to the tanking roster in Season of Discovery. This has been something that players have asked for, and Shaman tanks have really delivered on the fantasy and strength that they bring. Shamans have the best AoE burst and snap threat of any tank, making them the absolute best choice for large trash pulls. Their ability to consistently generate mana during AoE fights thanks to a large number of blocks solves their mana issues as well, allowing them to spam abilities freely. However, Shaman's main downside is damage and mana on single target encounter. They don't have quite the resource freedom and damage ceiling that Warriors have, which is what keeps them in the A-tier for now. Shamans also can bring some important raid buffs, making them valuable to any group.
Warlocks make a compelling case as AoE tanks and off-tanks. The combination of Warlock-level damage along with huge AoE burst to gather enemies with is incredibly powerful. The ability to tank in Demonology Meta form is something that has been highly sought after for years, and Warlocks are now getting their moment to shine. However, their single target damage and threat is still noticeably behind the above tanks on this list, and their overall durability is just not the same in raids as other tanks. While Warlocks do not bring the same utility buffs that Druids and Shamans may bring, their ranged damage potential and AoE snap threat is just too strong to ignore.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
Druids are not Warriors, but have some strengths that make them viable and even useful in some raids. While every guild will have multiple Warrior tanks, some guilds may choose to have a single Feral Druid who will usually switch between tanking and DPS depending on the fight. In Season of Discovery, Ferals are getting two important buffs early on that make them a solid choice. Ultimately though, even with critical buffs, Feral Tanks are currently one of the weakest options in terms of tank damage dealt, both for AoE and single target. In SoD where damage is already out of control, a tank's ability to hold threat is incredibly important, where Druids are struggling.
Protection Paladins have their strengths, but have noticeable downsides compared to the options above. They deal the strong AoE damage making them a great option for trash and AoE fights in the raid. However, their main tanking capabilities are outclassed by the other options. Paladins do finally have a taunt in Season of Discovery, although picking it up requires one of your rune slots. Paladins are an excellent tanking option for any normal group, but the main drawback of Paladins is that they do not have the damage flexibility that Warriors and Druids bring. Paladins are just as durable and hold threat just as well, but lack the damage of the above options.
C-Tier Classes and Specializations
Rogues are a new, underwhelming tank option in Season of Discovery. While they will still be viable, there are a couple of key factors that keep them out of the meta early on. First, Rogues do not have the ability to deal snap threat in the same way as other tanks, specifically on AoE. Second, Rogues will be relying heavily on very powerful, but long defensive cooldowns that will make it hard for them to sustain over long periods. For short bursts of intensive tanking Rogues will be quite strong, but damage intake is just not an issue for the current content. Rogues are the worst tanks for AoE threat, which makes them the worst option in the current meta.
- 04 Feb. 2023: Updated for phase 2.
- 14 Dec. 2023: Revamped list based on first week of BFD.
- Upcoming Season of Discovery Phase 2 Class Tuning: February 27th
- WoW Hardcore Self-Found Mode Begins February 29th
- Dragonflight 10.2.5 and Season of Discovery Hotfixes, February 21st
- Gnomeregan Trinket Sends Player to Forbidden Zones in SoD Phase 2
- Season of Discovery Hotfixes: February 20th
- Blizzard Acknowledges Gnomeregan Raid Lockout Bug
- Blizzard on AoE Threat in SoD Phase 2
- Season of Discovery and Classic Era Hotfixes: February 16th