Mythic+ Tank Rankings: A Tier List for Dragonflight (Patch 10.0.5 / Season 1)
From the weakest to the strongest tank specialization, each provide unique character distinction and add value toward shaping the Season 1 "meta" of Mythic+ in Dragonflight. The Tank specialization rankings provided for Dragonflight's first Season of Mythic+ are based on pure tanking strength and group-added-value such as utility, survivability, mobility, damage and self-sustain.
This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out over the course of leading up to the season's start and beyond.
About the Tier List
This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary prior and during Dragonflight Mythic+ Season 1. There are often moments of tier set and class tuning, as well as talent changes and secondary stat scaling that will impact the placement 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 first rankings among past seasons on multiple classes. I have worked hard on preparing for Season 1 of Dragonflight, 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 Dragonflight 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, theorycrafters across all specializations, and my own empirical evidence.
To begin with, this Tier list will exclusively focus on the first Season of Mythic+ in Dragonflight. There will be 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 representatives of the class in the community. Moreover, this Tier list will take into consideration every impactful class change and tier set tuning before and after the start of the season.
It is important to note that opinions might vary and that is completely okay, but remember to be respectful when providing feedback as the sole purpose of this tier-list is to help the WoW community with their choice of main or alt each season.
This tier list is entirely based on several factors such as tank durability, group composition synergy, mobility, damage profile, self-sustain 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 season. 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, if having fun is your main drive when you play Mythic+. The list will be updated as much as it requires before and after the start of each season.
Important Note for Season 1 of Dragonflight
This tier-list is based on the assumption that you have your 4-piece tier-set present at all times. Places can vary drastically if this measure is not taken into consideration, as our main purpose is to showcase which specializations will become the best months before the season hits its peak.
Tank Tier List for Season 1 of Mythic+ in Dragonflight
Below you can find the full rankings for Tank specializations in Dragonflight 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.
- Protection Warrior (S-Tier)
- Protection Paladin (S-Tier)
- Brewmaster Monk (A-Tier)
- Blood Death Knight (A-Tier)
- Vengeance Demon Hunter (B-Tier)
- Guardian Druid (C-Tier)
DPS and Healer Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for Mythic+ in Dragonflight, please click the links below.
Full Tank Class Rankings
January 25, Patch 10.0.5 update: Protection Warriors received no changes leading to the Patch 10.0.5 minor patch. Protection Warrior is currently the best tank option for the first season of Mythic+ in Dragonflight, with an amazing damage profile, one of the best party-wide utilities, and, most importantly, extreme durability. They are one of the, if not the most durable tanks in Season 1. On top of this, their mobility is amazing, followed by incredible self-sustain, meaning they have got it all to be placed under S-tier.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Protection Warrior's playstyle consists of maintaining Defensive Stance at all times, having their main mitigation up ( Shield Block), bolstering it further as necessary with Ignore Pain (costing Rage), and spending their excessive Rage on offensive abilities like Execute and Revenge. Let us not forget some of their signature abilities, although they are available to all Warrior specs, such as Thunder Clap, which becomes incredibly strong with the Blood and Thunder talent in the class tree, and Shield Slam. Protection Warrior has several defensive and offensive cooldowns depending on their talent choices, including Shield Wall, Ravager, Shield Charge, Demoralizing Shout, Last Stand, and Spell Reflection. Coming to Dragonflight, they will have a slight improvement in their baseline defenses with general talents like Bitter Immunity. They also have an option to "AoE taunt" with Challenging Shout, which can be quite helpful if they ever find themselves struggling for threat. The high damage profile of the spec, combined with great utility, mobility, and defensives, can make this tank one of the better options out there!
Utility: Talking about exclusivity and utility, we cannot go by without mentioning Battle Shout, the most desirable buff for any Physical damage DPS. The Warrior class has great overall utility for Mythic+, as they have access to a party-wide external-defensive cooldown with Rallying Cry (which can be further improved if they talent Inspiring Presence), an AoE fear in Intimidating Shout (which they can improve if they talent Cacophonous Roar/ Menace), and Intervene. They have a single-target stun through Storm Bolt (which is great for mob control) and an AoE stun with Shockwave. Let us not forget Spell Reflection, which can be used not only as a 20% magical damage reduction, but also to reflect back any direct casts on them, and Berserker Rage (which can be improved by talented into Berserker Shout if their group lacks Tremor Totem). They have an AoE slow in Piercing Howl (if talented) and a single-target slow with Hamstring. To conclude, on behalf of the utility part, they also have an optional talent for all Warrior specializations with Avatar, not just doing 20% more damage, but also removing all roots and snares on them.
Self-Sustain: Protection Warrior has great self-sustain due to the absorb that Ignore Pain provides, combined with the strong short-cooldown mitigation ability Shield Block. This is further bolstered by talents such as Indomitable and Impending Victory.
Mobility: Protection Warrior is quite a mobile tank, having access to Charge, Intervene, and Heroic Leap, which can help them get to or away from any enemy of their choice.
March 04, Patch 10.0.5 update: Protection Paladin received another round of changes this time, focused primarily on their single-target damage. Protection Paladin has an amazing front-loaded burst, one of the best party-wide utilities, and can provide effective off-healing if needed. Sadly, in Dragonflight, as Avenger's Shield no longer generates Holy Power; they will not be able to maintain Shield of the Righteous at all times, so their downtime must be planned accordingly; failing to do this can result in being squishy. Overall, Protection Paladin holds one of the most useful party-wide utilities in the game and can help off-heal their team; it has a combat resurrection an immunity; all of those combined are making it one of the best tank specs in the current season.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Protection Paladin's playstyle is focused around keeping their Shield of the Righteous active when they enter a pack, followed by being in Consecration at all times because of Mastery: Divine Bulwark. If they have neither, they might consider using one of their major defensive cooldowns to keep themselves healthy or ask the healer for an external. Knowing when to Word of Glory for extra self-sustain or keep up with damage using abilities like Judgment, Hammer of Wrath, Avenger's Shield, or Blessed Hammer while staying alive will be crucial. Remember that even if you at maximum health, if they do not have their active mitigation up, they will end up in a critical situation. Let us not forget their offensive/defensive cooldown of Avenging Wrath, which can provide additional support not only by dealing more damage but also defensively with Riposte.
UtilityProtection Paladin has great party-wide utility, starting with having a Disease and Poison dispel with Cleanse Toxins, access to Blessing of Protection, which can be used both offensively to prevent someone from taking the tank's threat, or defensively by offering immunity to Physical damage. In addition, Blessing of Sacrifice is also another incredibly useful party-wide utility available for all Paladin specs, along with Protection having the optional extra utility of Blessing of Spellwarding. Blessing of Freedom is also a spell that will improve their quality of life in Mythic+. In addition, they can choose to have Turn Evil, if the team needs an additional crowd-control effect, and also the option to have Lay on Hands, a quite powerful single-target healing spell. Going into Dragonflight, all Paladin specs will have access to a baseline combat-resurrection ability with Intercession making their utility even better. Finally, let us not forget the additional enemy control of Blinding Light (AoE disruption) or Repentance (a strong crowd-control ability), depending on the talent choice, and Avenger's Shield, which is often used as an additional interrupt spell; it also silences the mobs for 3 seconds! Having access to a single-target stun with Hammer of Justice can help them control any mobs they consider dangerous, especially the casters in Mythic+.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: Protection Paladin has several defensive options. First they will passively mitigate damage from their Mastery: Divine Bulwark, followed by the go-to defensive Holy Power spender of Shield of the Righteous, further enhanced if you talent Inner Light to keep themselves healthy. Let us not forget the passives like Faith in the Light, Gift of the Golden Val'kyr, Riposte, and Bulwark of Order that will help them self-sustain. They have a few on-use defensive cooldowns like Ardent Defender, Guardian of Ancient Kings, Moment of Glory, and Sentinel (if you choose not to talent Avenging Wrath), but keep in mind they are all talent options and not baseline defensives. If all of this is not enough, remember they have incredible self-healing coming from Word of Glory. In addition, Protection is the only tank specialization that has an immunity with Divine Shield, which is highly valuable in Mythic+.
Mobility: One of the major concerns for Paladins has always been their limited mobility, being bound to Divine Steed. Luckily that has been improved going forward to Dragonflight if you choose the Cavalier talent in the general Paladin tree.
January 25, Patch 10.0.5 update: Windwalker Monk received massive changes in the future to the season. All in all, the changes will result in a net-neutral change for Brewmaster, with slightly more self-healing, is still a win for the spec. The spec has one of the highest damage profiles, a much improved self-sustain profile, and better endurance. I believe all of the changes done to Brewmaster will ultimately put them from the worst performing tank entering Dragonflight expansion to the second-best one; well deserved A-tier!
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Brewmasters in Mythic+ play in much the same way as they do in raiding content, focusing on using Keg Smash, Breath of Fire, and Shadowboxing Treads-enhanced Blackout Kicks to maintain threat and make ample use of Purifying Brew to clear their built-up Stagger. A key difference in Mythic+ occurs in talent choice, where Special Delivery becomes more appealing than Rushing Jade Wind (removing an extra keybind to juggle) and there is less of a focus on making use of Improved Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox in favor of really taking advantage of Exploding Keg's bonus damage windows with Spinning Crane Kick empowered by Counterstrike. The primary weakness Brewmasters will suffer from in Dragonflight Season 1 comes from once again having an increased reliance on external healing. Without the benefit of the previous 4-piece set bonus (Keg of the Heavens) to provide plenty of self-healing and max HP, they will once again need to carefully manage their defensive cooldowns and really avoid unnecessary harm, particularly from continuous Magic damage. A brief, predictable burst will be easily handled thanks to Diffuse Magic in particular, but any scenario of a caster enemy going uninterrupted will be especially painful due to Brewmasters having the lowest maximum HP of all tank specs.
Utility: First, we will begin by pointing out that this is the only class that can provide Mystic Touch (though any of the 3 Monk specs can do it), which can be extremely valuable if you are running a Physical damage-oriented composition. They have access to an AoE stun with Leg Sweep and the unique Ring of Peace ability, providing them with enough crowd-control to help themselves with kiting if needed. They can dispel Poison and Disease effects with Detox and also have the ability to remove all roots and snares (sort of like Paladin's Blessing of Freedom but also giving 70% movement speed) with Tiger's Lust. They have a single-target crowd-control ability in Paralysis, which can be used on any mob-type. They also provide a group-wide buff called Windwalking (if talented), which can help when mounts cannot be used. Speaking about group-wide buffs, they also have the talent options of Close to Heart and Generous Pour (available to all Monk specs) which are additional party-wide auras.
Defensives and Mobility: Brewmaster Monk is one of the tanks with the most defensive-cooldowns, with several talent options under their belt such as Dampen Harm, Diffuse Magic, Fortifying Brew, Bounce Back, Zen Meditation, and Celestial Brew. Brewmaster Monk also has great mobility; not only do they have Transcendence but also access to Roll, making it easier to move from point A to point B.
Blood Death Knight
March 04, Patch 10.0.5 update: Blood Death Knight received another round of buffs, this time buffing their damaging abilities by 3%. Blood Death Knight remains a solid choice for the first season of Dragonflight, as they are among the most durable tanks, dealing great against magical and Physical damage. There are no significant flaws of the spec outside the inability to compete against the damage of the tanks placed above them or damage taken. This crucial area determines and, unfortunately, sets the meta. If there are any further adjustments on behalf of its damage, I believe this spec has the chance to climb higher, but for now, it will remain on the A-tier.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Blood Death Knight's playstyle has completely shifted going from the end of Shadowlands until now. We have always known the spec for their great sustained HPS; just watch their health spike up once they use Death Strike. They have a "semi" cheat death in the form of Purgatory, and few tanks have such an ability. Blood Death Knight has several major defensive cooldowns with Vampiric Blood and Dancing Rune Weapon (which are in addition to the already strong baseline-talent defensives like Anti-Magic Shell, Anti-Magic Zone, Lichborne, and Icebound Fortitude). Death Knight's passive durability is also amazing thanks to Veteran of the Third War, Will of the Necropolis, and Gloom Ward, and are only part of what Death Knights have. Their playstyle is a lot different from what it was during the Shadowlands expansion, especially Season 4 where the main focus was resetting Dancing Rune Weapon, so even if you have previously played it, it is interesting to explore! Having Gorefiend's Grasp, one of the most iconic and unique spells in the game, will make any DPS player adore you, and it is definitely a solid choice if your aim is to get into Mythic+.
Utility: Blood Death Knight has great utility, with their signature spells being Death Grip and Anti-Magic Zone (great party-utility). Death Knights have amazing mob-control in Mythic+ due to the Blinding Sleet and Asphyxiate talents. They are one of the few melee classes that have access to a "ranged" interrupt with Mind Freeze being a 15-yard interrupt rather than regular melee range. Frost Death Knight can also talent Control Undead which will be useful in some of the dungeons to have a pet fighting alongside them since they do not rely on Raise Dead to do damage, unlike Unholy. They can further talent Sacrificial Pact to get that extra kick of defensiveness. Insidious Chill (located in the general talent tree) will also help their tank survive better on boss fights. In addition, having the ability to combat res an ally is quite valuable in any group composition with Raise Ally. Coming to Dragonflight, Death Knights will get additional offensive cooldowns as talent options like Empower Rune Weapon, Abomination Limb, and Soul Reaper.
Mobility: Blood Death Knight now has improved mobility. With Wraith Walk (but remember, they cannot cast any abilities during it) and Death's Advance (which can have 2 charges if they talent Death's Echo), they can escape dangerous situations that otherwise will kill. Do not forget to hold at least 1 of the Death's Advance charges for utility (immunity to knockback effects).
Vengeance Demon Hunter
January 25, Patch 10.0.5 update: Vengeance Demon Hunter received no changes leading to the Patch 10.0.5 minor patch. Vengeance Demon Hunter have received several nerfs, not only to durability but also to their self-sustain. Previously one of the best tanks, they are now one of the squishiest in a few weeks. They still perform amazingly among the lower key levels, but the higher the key, the harder it becomes for them to face the tank. We hope this spec gets further changes; for now, it will be placed on the B-tier list.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Vengeance Demon Hunter's playstyle has changed significantly from Shadowlands, as they are a lot more durable now with the Extended Spikes and Feed the Demon talent choices; these mean they will have Demon Spikes much more frequently, which improves the survivability aspect of the class. Even if they have no Demon Spikes available, they can fill the void with the Demonic class talent, giving them Metamorphosis for 8 seconds and breather room until their most-used mitigation comes off cooldown. As mentioned, their major cooldown is Metamorphosis, with Demon Spikes being their minor, and passive mitigation against magical damage coming from Demonic Wards; passive Physical mitigation, meanwhile, comes from Thick Skin and Mastery: Fel Blood. Their offensive playstyle will consist of gathering Soul Fragments and spending them on Spirit Bomb, while using their Fury for spenders like Soul Cleave and Fracture. Finally, their damage profile is one of the highest among all tanks, with competitive single-target, they are in the seat of becoming one of the best tanks in this season!
Utility: Vengeance Demon Hunters are one of the tanks with the best party-wide utility in the game such as Chaos Nova (a mass AoE stun), the newly introduced general-talent option of Darkness, Consume Magic (a Purge effect), and Chaos Brand (a unique debuff that increases magical-damage taken 5%). Having Spectral Sight as a baseline utility will help them reveal any stealthed mobs in the dungeons. Do not forget that Demon Hunter has access to Imprison, one of the few crowd-control abilities that does not put you in combat if you walk over the mob (similar to Rogue's Sap). Coming into Dragonflight, all DH specializations will have an offensive class talent choice with The Hunt, which can be enhanced with the Unnatural Malice or Relentless Pursuit talent choices. In addition, there is Sigil of Misery, Sigil of Silence, and Sigil of Chains depending on their overall talent choices. They are also one of the few tank specializations that have a talent option to allow their interrupt to have an extended range with Improved Disrupt (15 yards).
Mobility and Self-Sustain: The mobility of Vengeance Demon Hunter is likely one of the best across all tank specs, with the ability to easily escape dangerous situations with Infernal Strike and Vengeful Retreat, and with high self-sustain coming from Leech effects like Metamorphosis and Shattered Souls.
February 14, Patch 10.0.5 update: Guardian Druid received another set of changes leading to the Patch 10.0.5 minor patch. One of the most significant changes done to the spec is the buff to Ironfur by 20%, Reinforced Fur has doubled the numerical value than before, and Ursoc's Fury now gives you an absorb shield based on 50% of damage dealt by Thrash and Maul (was 30%). However, Guardian Druid's main weaknesses still need to be addressed fully going into Dragonflight. Yes, their AoE damage is one of the best (especially if they play the "Arcane" build that is Moonfire-focused), but their single target is one of the weakest across all tank specializations. The changes will make them a lot more durable when Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc is on cooldown, a feature that many guardians have been asking for. I am glad to see the tank balance becoming better and better as the gap between each of the specs is shrinking, but are the changes enough for Guardian Druid to climb higher? Time will tell.
Playstyle and Cooldowns: Guardian Druid's playstyle consists of relying on Rage to survive through Ironfur or Frenzied Regeneration, and to deal damage with Maul. They are also known for doing extremely big pulls and surviving due to Incarnation: Guardian of Ursoc, so once you see a Bear pop their Incarnation, just follow and enjoy the ride. They have a chance to pick up some minor cooldowns depending on their talent choices such as Pulverize and Rage of the Sleeper. Abilities like Thrash, Mangle, Swipe, and Moonfire are one of the core baseline spells they will end up using. Overall, Guardian is one of the most flexible tank specializations out there, and you will not be sorry for maining one.
Utility: Guardian Druids have a raid-wide buff added in Dragonflight with Mark of the Wild (available to all Druid specs), which provides additional value to the already strong utility toolkit. Some of their utilities include Hibernate, Stampeding Roar, Remove Corruption, Soothe, Mass Entanglement or Ursol's Vortex (depending on the talent choice), Renewal, Cyclone, Mighty Bash or Incapacitating Roar (depending on talent choice), Typhoon, Innervate, and much more. Guardian is one of the few tanks that can also offer off-healing to its group if needed, (especially if they have Heart of the Wild talented) as some encounters or situations do not require them to stay strictly in Bear Form (because of downtime). Druids are also one of the few classes that have access to a stealth ability with Prowl, allowing them to do any skips without using an Invisibility Potion. Moreover, they have access to Rebirth, a battle-resurrection that is limited to only a few specializations in the game.
Defensives and Self-Sustain: Guardian Druid is one of the few tanks that has access to several defensive cooldowns with Barkskin being only a 1-minute cooldown, Survival Instincts as an extra on-use defensive (and can gain an extra charge if they talent Improved Survival Instincts), followed by great passive mitigation with 25% on-demand Stamina from Bear Form, 6% permanent damage-reduction from Thick Hide (if talented in the class tree), 10% damage reduction from Ursine Adept, and much more.
Mobility: Druids of any spec have a talent to increase their movement speed by 15% with Feline Swiftness. In addition, they can choose to talent Tiger Dash or Wild Charge to gain extra mobility if they are in combat and need to move as quickly as possible.
- 04 Mar. 2023: Further Adjustments based .
- 14 Feb. 2023: Further Adjustments based on the most recent Patch.
- 25 Jan. 2023: Further Adjustments based on the upcoming 10.0.5 Patch.
- 21 Dec. 2022: Further Adjustments based on the latest class changes.
- 18 Nov. 2022: Updated with the initial iteration for Season 1 of Dragonflight.
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- Helmless Neltharion Model with a Scar in Patch 10.1
- Official Patch 10.0.7 Content Update Notes
- A Preview of the New Recruit a Friend System in Patch 10.0.7
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- Mythic+ Tier List in Dragonflight Season 1 (Week 14)
- Dragonflight Patch 10.2 Zone and/or Theme Revealed?