Mythic+ Tank Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands
From the strongest to the weakest class and specialization, each provide unique character distinction and add value toward 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 utility, survivability, mobility, and self-sustain.
This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out over the course of the Shadowlands expansion.
About the Tier List
This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary. There are often moments of Covenant and class tuning that will impact the placing of the specs.
I am Petko, a competitive Mythic+ player and a team captain of "The Boys", most recently an MDI summer finalist. I am more 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 the Season 1 of Shadowlands, spending tons of 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 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, 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.
Tanks Tier List for Shadowlands Season 1 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 Mar 19, 2021
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
March 19 update: There were no significant changes to Vengeance Demon Hunters coming into Patch 9.0.5, outside of receiving a 10% nerf to their Kyrian, Night Fae, and Venthyr abilities — Elysian Decree, The Hunt, and Sinful Brand, respectively. This change does impact their position on the tier list, and they will remain the strongest tank for the duration of Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 1.
Currently the kings of Mythic+, Vengeance Demon Hunters are the best tank overall in the current state of Shadowlands. They have some of the highest self-sustain and the highest 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.
March 19 update: Protection Warriors received a massive 10% buff to all of their damaging abilities, with an additional 10% damage buff to their Thunder Clap which will further help the specialization excel. Moreover, the Reprisal Legendary Power now grants you Shield Block for 4 seconds after using Charge or Intervene, which makes Protection Warrior's survivability one of the best in Mythic+. To summarize, these much-needed changes for the specialization resulted in completely changing the tank tier list and becoming the second-best tank in Mythic+ Season 1 of Shadowlands.
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. 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. Unfortunately this 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 higher item level gear, due to how well they scale up with additional secondary stats.
Guardian Druid climbed the ranks with its recent buffs, new talent, and Legendary powers given to them. Guardian Druid is a versatile tank that provides great utility in the Shadowlands Mythic+ environment. Their self-sustain is average and their damage output is rather weak. They still have one of the strongest personal defensives 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.
The biggest disadvantages of having a Guardian Druid in a group are its high vulnerability against heavy magical damage and its low damage output. On the other hand, they are one of the highest-mobility tanks, have great Physical damage mitigation, and also have great group utilities such as Stampeding Roar and Rebirth.
Protection Paladins are currently a decent tank choice for Mythic+ in Shadowlands. Their biggest strength comes from the ability to have an additional interrupt in the form of Avenger's Shield, which can benefit caster-oriented groups due to the longer cooldowns on their own interrupt abilities.
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 is much lower — to the extent that they can easily die — when they are still recharging. Maintaining 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 passive party-wide damage-reduction from Devotion Aura. Overall, Protection Paladin is a solid tank specialization with tons of unique Class interactions that can ultimately fit within any group's composition.
Nerfs to Brewmaster Monk's Celestial Brew and Purifying Brew shortly before the launch of Shadowlands made them fall off slightly behind the rest of the tanks. Brewmaster's core problem, however, comes from its inability to provide high damage output and its vulnerability to heavy Magical damage. Outside of this, the spec provides great group utility with Leg Sweep, Tiger's Lust Ring of Peace, and Mystic Touch. It is the king of heavy Physical damage mitigation because of Stagger. Its self-sustain is average at best, but the spec does provide great mobility for itself with with Roll making it easier to kite enemies.
Blood Death Knight
Blood Death Knight is the tank with the highest self-sustain in the game, but at a significant cost in terms of Physical mitigation. 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 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.
However, the spec has severe issues with holding threat, making it vulnerable to issues with team members that have heavy burst-AoE. A nerf to Death's Due has also had a significant impact on the viability of the spec further justifying its placement.
Finally, Blood Death Knight's biggest disadvantage is being less mobile and very "spiky" when it comes down to healing. These downsides, along with its overall damage output, is not enough to put the spec anywhere higher than B-Tier.
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.
- 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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