Mythic+ Tank Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands (Patch 9.2.5. / Season 4)
From the strongest to the weakest class and specialization, each provide unique character distinction and add value toward shaping the Season 4 "meta" of Mythic+. The Tank specialization rankings provided for Shadowlands's fourth and final Season of Mythic+ are based on pure tanking strength and group-added-value such as utility, survivability, mobility, and self-sustain.
This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out over the course of the season.
About the Tier List
This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary prior and during Season 4 of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. There are often moments of Covenant, class tuning, and secondary stat scaling that will impact the placing of the specs.
I am Petko, a competitive Mythic+ player, known to be pushing the boundaries of High Mythic+ with several World first and Europe rankings among the seasons on multiple classes. I have worked hard on preparing for Season 3 of Shadowlands, spending numerous hours per day examining each and every class and spec in a dungeon environment. This Tier list will continue to be updated as much as it requires over the course of Shadowlands and it will also focus on what the "meta" will look like as 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 third 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, this 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, this 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 synergy, mobility, and both personal and external party-wide cooldowns.
A Final Warning
It is important to understand that this Tier list is NOT permanent and it will be due to change with upcoming changes and tunings over the course of the expansion. I have always advocated to the "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.
Important Note for Season 4/Patch 9.2.5.
This tier-list is assuming you have two Legendaries equipped and both the 2-piece and 4-piece tier set bonuses active. Finally, always check the tier list after every major update; there are always changes toward the tier-list, which I will account for as fast as possible.
Tanks Tier List for Shadowlands Season 4 of Mythic+
Below you can find the full rankings for Tank specializations 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 Aug 02, 2022
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
Blood Death Knight
August 02, Patch 9.2.5 update: Good news for Blood Death Knights; they were the best tank during the entirety of Season 3, and are looking to remain on the top spot for yet another season. Having the highest self-sustain, great damage output, and amazing single-target are just a few of the details they hold to make them such a powerful pick for any group composition, getting a well-deserved S-tier ranking.
Blood Death Knight is the tank with the highest self-sustain in the game. Their unique defensive toolkit makes them very useful against Magical damage and slightly more vulnerable against Physical. In addition, the spec provides Anti-Magic Zone to the whole party, as well as a combat resurrection in the form of Raise Ally. Moreover, the spec is known for its ability to "Mass-grip" an uncapped amount of mobs with Gorefiend's Grasp; it also has a single-target grip with Death Grip which can make certain pulls easier to form into a cluster.
Blood Death Knight's biggest disadvantage is being less mobile compared to the rest of the tank specializations and being very "spiky" when it comes down to healing. That, however, has been compensated by the crazy-good survivability of the spec, combined with amazing damage output.
August 02, Patch 9.2.5 update: Brewmaster Monk received no changes going forward to Season 4, which can be translated as both good and bad. The good thing is that they are still the second-best tank, and the bad thing is that they cannot yet match the survivability of the Blood Death Knight combined with their high damage profile. Paired with great utility and mobility, Brewmaster Monks can fit really well with heavy Physical-oriented compositions due to Mystic Touch being present. They are, overall, placed under A-tier for now as the second-best tank spec in the current meta.
Brewmaster Monk is one of the highest damage profile tanks in the current meta of Season 4 in Mythic+. Outside of this, the spec provides great group utility with Leg Sweep, Tiger's Lust Ring of Peace, and Mystic Touch. Brewmaster Monks are one of the best against heavy Physical damage because of Stagger. Its self-sustain is great due to their 4-piece bonus, which makes it much better compared to the last season. The spec does have great mobility with Roll, making it easier to kite enemies. One of the biggest disadvantages of Brewmaster Monks is their vulnerability to magical damage, unlike other tanks.
As predicted, with slight damage adjustments, we can see Brewmaster shine, and since they got them in a form of a tier bonus, we expect Brewmaster to be one of the best tanks for Season 4, with the only disadvantage really being high-magical damage vulnerability.
Vengeance Demon Hunter
August 02, Patch 9.2.5 update: Once again, Vengeance Demon Hunter received no changes going forward to Season 4. While their overall performance is great, especially for lower-end keys, the higher the key goes the more they struggle to survive, being especially vulnerable without active mitigation on. The spec, however, is a great fit within any group, with good damage, amazing utility and by being one of the most mobile tanks in the game.
Vengeance Demon Hunters will remain a great tank choice going forward to the third Season of Shadowlands in Mythic+. They have some of the highest self-sustain and damage output among tanks. Their passive mitigation from Demonic Wards and high mobility as a tank make it easy to navigate while staying in a healthy state. Moreover, they are currently one of only two tanks with a cheat death passive from the Last Resort talent, helping them survive otherwise-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, and Sigil of Chains, if talented. It is also important to note that the spec provides Chaos Brand, which synergizes well with the spellcasters in the party by increasing all magical damage done by 5%.
August 02, Patch 9.2 update: Protection Warrior received great changes that will increase the survivability of the spec. Ignore Pain's absorption was increased by 30% and the absorb cap is now based on the maximum Health (was twice the Ignore Pain absorb value). While their Physical mitigation remains their strongest asset, Protection Warriors are quite vulnerable against magical damage outside of Spell Reflection. Overall, I do believe that this spec will likely be in the best position ever since the release of Shadowlands and it will climb up the rankings.
Protection Warriors have a very strong Physical damage mitigation toolkit but are rather weak to Magical damage outside of their Spell Reflection. Furthermore, the specialization's self-sustain is mediocre. To compensate, they are quite mobile with Heroic Leap and Intervene which allows them to escape dangerous situations. The spec also has a great defensive external in the form of Rallying Cry which be useful in many cases. In addition, Warriors are the only class that provides Battle Shout, meaning they can be very useful in groups that are heavily Physical-damage-oriented.
August 02, Patch 9.2.5 update: Protection Paladin received small buffs lading to Season 4. Their Armor got increased by 5% and Holy Shield has now a bonus Block chance of 20% (was 15%). Despite those changes, Protection Paladin will not be climbing up the rankings. Their damage profile is still one of the best there is, however, the survivability part of the specialization could definitely use some light adjustments to be able to match the tanks placed above them. Still, it is a solid tank for any group composition.
Protection Paladins also have an amazing defensive and offensive toolkit, with tons of cooldowns to fill in the gaps. However, these cooldowns are also Protection Paladin's main weakness, as their survivability can be at risk if they have no active mitigation up. Maintaining Shield of the Righteous will be the main focus if you want to stay alive, and if you have hard time kiting, due to limited mobility from Divine Steed. Moreover, Protection Paladin has great interrupt power with Avenger's Shield and Rebuke, which is especially useful if you are running a range-orientated comp since most of the ranged specializations' kicks have longer cooldown compared to the melee kicks. Protection Paladin is the only tank specialization that has an immunity with Divine Shield, and passive party-wide damage-reduction from Devotion Aura. Finally, your off-heals can save lives with Word of Glory, something not to underestimate especially against HPS-heavy encounters. Overall, Protection Paladin is a amazing tank option with tons of unique Class interactions that can ultimately fit within any group's composition.
June 08, Patch 9.2.5 update: Guardian Druid is entering this season as one of the worst-ranked tanks in Mythic+ due to several reasons. Their single-target is among the worst and they are quite a CD-dependant tank, meaning outside of Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc they are squishy. I believe if you play around the spec (more specifically around Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc), you can get the most out of it, and potentially reach higher than its current standing, but with the end of the old seasonal affix, they will not have the same CDR provided to them by killing Urh Relic. On a positive note, the barrier of entry is relatively low for the spec meaning it is quite beginner-friendly which is always a desirable detail.
Guardian Druid is a versatile tank that provides great utility in the Shadowlands Mythic+ environment. Their self-sustain and damage output are great. They still have one of the strongest personal defensive cooldowns in the game, Survival Instincts, but still with quite a high cooldown. To compensate that, they have a second, shorter defensive cooldown with Barkskin. In addition, Guardian Druids are one of two tanks that have Combat Resurrection (CR) in the form of Rebirth. Guardian is one of most mobile tank specializations that can fit within any group composition — melee cleave, spell cleave, or hybrid — which makes it great for uncoordinated groups (PUGs). Finally, Guardian Druid's AoE damage output is one of the highest among all the tanks, which can make up some time if you can really get the best out of the spec based on your routes (pull big while having Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc up and pull small while it is on cooldown).
The biggest disadvantage, as already mentioned, is Guardian's quite low single-target damage and being vulnerable without their major cooldown – Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc, which ultimately drags the spec down some rankings.
Mythic+ Dungeon Difficulty Rankings
For a full ranking of the relative difficulty of the different Mythic+ dungeons based on the current week's Mythic+ affixes, please check out our guide below.
- 02 Aug. 2022: Major changes based on the most recent build regarding Season 4.
- 08 Jun. 2022: Major changes based on the most recent build for Patch 9.2.5.
- 12 Apr. 2022: Major changes based on the most recent Patch notes.
- 16 Feb. 2022: New round of spell and specialization tuning based on the upcoming 9.2. patch.
- 28 Oct. 2021: New round of spell and specialization tuning based on the upcoming 9.1.5 patch.
- 25 Jun. 2021: Guide updated based on internal feedback.
- 15 Jun. 2021: Tier list updated based on the 38872 PTR build for Patch 9.1.
- 19 Mar. 2021: Guide updated based on the latest patch notes (9.0.5.)
- 31 Jan. 2021: Guide requires no changes after recent tuning changes based on the most recent Build (37176).
- 13 Jan. 2021: Blood Death Knight buffs.
- 15 Dec. 2020: New round of class and spell changes.
- 07 Dec. 2020: Updated guide after Protection Paladin conduit changes.
- 16 Nov. 2020: New round of class and spell changes.
- 09 Nov. 2020: New round of class and spell changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36512).
- 30 Oct. 2020: New round of class, spell and conduit changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36401).
- 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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