Mythic+ Tank Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands
From the strongest to the weakest class and specialization, each provide unique character distinction, adding value towards shaping the Seasonal "meta" of Mythic+. The Tank specialization rankings provided for Shadowlands's first Season of Mythic+ are based on pure tanking strength and group-added value such as utilities, survivability, mobility and self-sustain.
This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out leading up to the release of Shadowlands.
About the Tier List
The tier list is NOT FINAL, it will change and will be updated as often as necessary, there are daily/weekly covenant and class tuning as that will impact the placing of the specs.
I am Petko, a competitive mythic + player and a team captain of "The Boys", most recently MDI summer finalist. More known to be pushing the boundaries of High Mythic + with several World first and Europe rankings among the seasons on a multiple classes. I have been working hard on preparing for the Season 1 of Shadowlands, spending tons of hours per day examining each and every class and spec in dungeon environment. The Tier list will continue to update as much as it requires before and after the release of Shadowlands and it will also focus on what the "meta" will look like, once it stabilizes. Along the way, this Tier list will also be supported by various professional Mythic+ players with high credibility in the community.
To begin with, this Tier list will primarily focus on the first Season of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. At the beginning, there will be also no Warcraft Logs rankings added nor simulation data for the majority of the classes and specs. As a result, the Tier list will be solely based on empirical evidence of the current state of the classes' performance in Mythic+ from my own point of view and the point of view of the group of players testing those classes, who are among the best representative of the class in the community. Moreover, the Tier list will take into consideration every impactful class change and Covenant tuning.
This tier list is entirely based on several factors such as: tank durability, group composition, mobility, and personal and external beneficial party cooldowns.
A Final Warning
It is important to understand that this Tier list is NOT permanent and it will be due to change with the upcoming changes and tunings prior to the release of the expansion. I have always advocated on "bring the player, not the class motto" meaning, value the player skill more than the class itself. This Tier list should NOT discourage you to play whatever you enjoy the most, as I have always been playing "off-meta" classes and happened to have really good results in an actual Mythic+ environment. The list will be updated as much as it requires and if something is under-performing now, it could become meta due to a hotfix, as well as the opposite.
Tanks Tier List for Shadowlands Season 1 of Mythic+
Below you can find the full rankings for Tanks slots in Shadowlands Mythic+. We encourage you to further read and understand why some classes are placed lower or higher than expected, with several factors taken into consideration.
Work in progress Last update on Oct 24, 2020
DPS and Healer Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for Mythic+ in Shadowlands, please click the links below.
Full Tank Class Rankings
Vengeance Demon Hunter
Currently the kings of Mythic+, Vengeance Demon Hunters are the best tank overall in the current state of Shadowlands. It has one of the highest self-sustain and the highest damage output as a tank. Its passive mitigation from Demonic Wards and high mobility as a tank make it easy to navigate while staying in a healthy shape. Moreover, they are currently the only tank with a cheat death passive from Last Resort, helping them survive fatal damage. Furthermore, Vengeance Demon Hunters have one of the best toolkits as a tank with spells such as Sigil of Silence, Sigil of Misery, or Sigil of Chains. It is also important to note that the spec provides Chaos Brand, which synergizes well with the spell casters in the party.
Protection Paladins are currently one of the best performing tanks in Shadowlands, only slightly behind Vengeance Demon Hunter. They have amazing defensive and offensive toolkit, with tons of cooldowns to fill in the window gaps. However, these cooldowns are also Protection Paladin's main weakness, as survivability is much lower (to the extent that you can easily die) when they are still recharging. Rotating Shield of the Righteous will be the main focus if you want to stay alive. Moreover, Protection Paladin has great interrupt power with Avenger's Shield and Rebuke, has an immunity from Divine Shield, and provides AoE damage reduction party aura from Devotion Aura. Overall, Protection Paladin is a solid tank specialization with tons of unique class interactions.
October 23 update: Brewmaster Monk's recent conduit buffs to Celestial Effervescence, Evasive Stride, and Scalding Brew will impact their overall damage performance and self-sustain positively. This change will elevate the spec to the best performing spec on the B-tier list.
The recent nerfs to Brewmaster Monk to Celestial Brew and Purifying Brew made them fall of slightly behind the rest of the tanks. Brewmaster's core problem come from its inability to provide enough damage output and its vulnerability to heavy magical damage. Outside of this, the spec provides great group utility such as Leg Sweep, Tiger's Lust Ring of Peace and Mystic Touch. You are the king of heavy physical damage mitigation because of Stagger. Self-sustain is at most average and but the spec does provide great a mobility for themselves with with Roll, making it easier to kite enemies.
October 8 update: Guardian Druid's recent change to their Frenzied Regeneration increased their self-sustain by a tiny bit, but not enough to move the spec up the rankings.
Guardian Druid did climb the ranks with the recent buffs and new talent, and Legendary powers given to them. Guardian Druid is a versatile tank that provides mediocre utility in Shadowlands Mythic+ environment. Their self-sustain is also average but their damage output is one of the weakest.You still have one of the strongest personal defensive in the game Survival Instincts but with quite a high cooldown. To compensate that, you have a second personal defensive cooldown with Barkskin.
The biggest disadvantage of having a Guardian Druid in a group is its high vulnerability versus heavy magical damage. On the other end, they are one of the highest mobility tanks in the game with great group utilities such as Stampeding Roar and Rebirth.
Blood Death Knight
October 23 update: Blood Death Knight's recent nerfs to their core conduits Blood Bond, Meat Shield, and Debilitating Malady negatively impact not only their survivability, but also their damage output. This change will endanger the spec's placement at the lower spectrum of B-Tier, with a possibility to eventually match Protection Warrior at the bottom of the list.
Blood Death Knight is the tank with the highest self-sustain in the game, at a significant higher cost in terms of physical mitigation. Their unique defensive toolkit makes them very useful versus magical damage and slightly more vulnerable against physical. In addition, the spec provides Anti-Magic Zone to the whole party, as well as Raise Ally. Moreover, the spec is known for its ability to "Mass-grip" uncapped amount of mobs with Gorefiend's Grasp (it also has a single-target grip with Death Grip). Furthermore, the spec has severe issues with holding threat, making it vulnerable to aggro issues against heavy burst AoE team-members. The recent nerf to Death's Due had a significant impact on the viability of the spec further justifying their placing. To summarize all of the nerfs, the spec will move down from A-Tier to lower B-Tier.
Blood Death Knight's biggest disadvantage is being less mobile and very "spiky" when it comes down to healing. Furthermore, their overall damage output is not enough to put the spec anywhere higher than B-Tier.
Simply the worst tank choice among all, Protection Warrior do feel quite behind in terms of toolkit. Their inability to hold threat with the combination of low self-sustain and mediocre mobility puts them at the bottom of the list. With the recent buff to their armor, they are doing better than before. They have a very strong physical damage mitigation toolkit but are rather weak versus magical damage outside of their Spell Reflection. The recent nerf to the Legendary power Misshapen Mirror also impacted them negatively, due to the inability to provide any group externals, outside of their Rallying Cry. On a positive note, Warriors are the only class that provide Battle Shout, meaning they can be very useful to a heavy physical damage orientated group, which, unfortunately, is quite unlikely to be considered "meta".
With all that said, we believe that Protection Warriors will continue to climb ranks and will get better with better gear, due to how well they scale up with the secondary stats.
- 24 Oct. 2020: New round of class, spell and conduit changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36294)
- 12 Oct. 2020: Second round of changes based on continued Discord feedback and latest balance changes.
- 08 Oct. 2020: First round of updates based on 36165 Beta Build.
- 08 Oct. 2020: Guardian Druid and Blood Death Knight and Brewmaster Monk recent spell changes.
- 07 Oct. 2020: Guide added.
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