Mythic+ Tank Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands (Patch 9.1 / Season 2)
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 second 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 prior and during the Season 2 (9.1 Patch) 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 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 Season 2 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 second 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 2 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 Jun 25, 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
June 25 update: Guardian Druids received a minor nerf going forward to the next season of Mythic+. Their primary Endurance Conduit, Well-Honed Instincts, had its internal cooldown increased by 45 seconds, resulting in a lower uptime of its effect. However, Guardian is, all-around, entering as the best tank in Mythic+ in Patch 9.1. They have some of the highest mobility and self-sustain in the game, great overall damage output, a combat resurrection with Rebirth, and great utilities. We expect this spec to perform well on all key levels fitting within any group composition and especially excel on the higher-end keys.
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.
Vengeance Demon Hunter
June 25 update: Vengeance Demon Hunters received no changes going forward to Season 2 of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. The spec has already been performing extremely well in the first Season of Mythic+, and will continue to perform amazingly and likely to be one of the strongest tanks coming into Season 2 of Shadowlands. Vengeance Demon Hunter will have one of the highest damage profiles among all tanks, which is one of the main reasons why it will perform great in Season 2. However, we believe the value of the spec will slightly diminish in higher-end keys, especially now that the Cardboard Assassin Engineering Belt enchantment from Cataclysm is significantly nerfed.
Vengeance Demon Hunters will remain one of the best tank choices going forward to the second Season of Shadowlands. 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%.
June 25 update: Protection Warriors received no changes going forward to the next Season in Mythic+. Protection Warriors are going to be one of the best tanks due to their high damage output and solid mitigation. The combination of the Reprisal Legendary and the Heavy Repercussions talent can get you more than 90% uptime on your Shield Block, allowing you to face-tank the majority of mobs. You are relatively weak against magical damage outside of Spell Reflection which you can use to your advantage. We believe that Protection Warrior will strongly excel at all key levels, and is likely to remain as one of the best tanks in Mythic+ entering Season 2.
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.
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.
Blood Death Knight
June 15 update: Blood Death Knights received a 6% flat buff to all of their damage abilities going forward into Patch 9.1. This will help with both threat generation and sustain and ultimately have a slightly bigger impact on the overall damage contribution of the specialization. Furthermore, the class received a massive rework to their Anti-Magic Zone which now has a numeric cap of soakable damage after which the effect "breaks" and the Zone is gone. The value is equal to 150% of their total health along with their Versatility. However, the cooldown has remained untouched. To conclude, the spec's overall viability in Mythic+ has definitely increased, but in order to further excel and climb the tier-list rankings it needs damage tunings which will ultimately resolve any threat issues they currently have going forward into Patch 9.1.
Blood Death Knight is the tank with one of the highest self-sustain in the game, but at a significant cost in terms of Physical damage 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 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.
Despite its recent damage aura buffs, the spec still experiences issues holding threat, especially against heavy AoE burst specializations which is a major problem. 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. Ultimately the spec is in a much better shape going forward to Patch 9.1 than what it was in 9.0.5, climbing all the way to the lower rankings of A-tier.
June 15 update: There have been no changes for Brewmaster Monks going forward to Season 2 of Mythic+, and they are likely to remain the same as of now. Brewmaster Monk's core issues remain the same: they still hold severe threat issues and are quite squishy compared to the tanks placed above them on the tier list. Their overall damage output, however, is quite competitive and their group utilities are among the best in the game.
Brewmaster's core problems come 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. Brewmaster Monks are one of the best against heavy Physical damage because of Stagger. Its self-sustain is average at best, but the spec does provide great mobility for itself with Roll, making it easier to kite enemies.
The spec can really shine if they get a raw damage numbers increase, which will ultimately help with threat generation. A small adjustment to their defensive toolkit can also help to make the spec more competitive and desirable in Mythic+.
June 11 update: Protection Paladins received no significant changes going forward to Season 2 of Mythic+. Protection Paladins do hold amazing damage output and off-healing tools, and, with a slight durability adjustment, we can see it rise on the rankings. But, as of now, it will remain as one of the weakest tank specializations for the next Season of Mythic+.
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 compared to the rest of the tank specializations. 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, 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. Overall, Protection Paladin is a solid tank specialization with tons of unique Class interactions that can ultimately fit within any group's composition.
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.
- 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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