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The Best Tanks in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

In the World of Warcraft universe, it doesn’t matter where you go. There is always something trying to kill you. There isn’t even a border between you and the afterlife anymore. All that prevents you from permanently leaving the mortal coil is the bulwark we call tanks. If you want to stay alive in the Shadowlands, you’ll need to know which tank to bring along and what to expect.

Today, we’ll be covering the best tanks in WoW and what you need to know about each one.

The Best Tanks for PvE

As the tank, you’re the one who determines the flow and pathing of the group. Under most circumstances, you’ll decide when and where to pull mobs, and how to position the group. With that in mind, you will absolutely want to do research and look up fights before attempting them. Poor positioning and failing to anticipate mechanics will get your party killed. I hope you like being in a leadership position.

In terms of importance, follow this list: maintain aggro on all enemies, stay alive by maintaining your defensives, position the enemy properly for mechanics, save your party with emergency cooldowns, and do as much damage as you can. Once you master this list, it just becomes a matter of gearing up, fine tuning your gameplay, and learning what other classes/specs can bring to the table in clearing content.

6/6

Death Knight (Blood)

Blood Deathknight
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

An unrelenting force of death that constantly stitches itself back together, the blood death knight is a tank that constantly fluctuates from the verge of death to full health. By consuming and managing their six runes, death knights generate runic power that can be spent on powerful abilities such as Death Strike. You can have up to three runes recharging at once, so be sure to constantly be spending them. Very much the jack-of-all-trades tank, death knights can respond to any threat but lack some of the more specialized focuses that other tanks have.

Let’s go over their main abilities. Your standard taunt ability is Dark Command, and you have access to a second taunt in the form of Death Grip, which lets you pull and reposition most enemies. Always maintain your main damage mitigator Bone Shield via Marrowrend. If you fail to do so, expect to die very quickly. Death Strike is your primary offensive and defensive ability, healing 25% of the damage taken in the last five seconds and generating a shield based off how much you heal. Heart Strike is the main runic power generator, hitting multiple enemies and slowing them by 20% as well. Lastly, you’ll want to cast and maintain the DoT from Blood Boil on your enemies at all times to continuously generate aggro and provide some healing for yourself. 

For handling multiple enemies, you’ll be reliant on Blood Boil again to quickly place DoTs on everything around you. Death and Decay is another major ability that places a circle around your feet, constantly ticking away at enemies around you and making your Heart Strike hit more targets while standing in it. However, you’ll want to wait for a Crimson Scourge proc from auto-attacking enemies affected by Blood Boil to cast the AoE circle for free (save a rune) in most cases. You can also use Raise Dead and the follow-up ability Sacrificial Pact to detonate the ghoul as a bomb when it’s about to expire, but this combo only really sees use as extra damage when you have nothing else to do.

Blood Deathknight 2
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

As for your defensive abilities, your primary one is Dancing Rune Weapon, which boosts your parry by 40% for eight seconds and mirrors all melee attacks you use. Typically, you pop it at the start of a fight to generate aggro and runic power (Blood Boil, Heart Strike, and Marrowrend all have extra effects during this period), but it can be used to tremendously reduce damage during periods where the enemy rapidly auto attacks you with hard hitting strikes. Lichborne is your next personal defensive, granting 10% leech and complete immunity to fear, charm, and sleep effects. You can use Death Coil on yourself during this window as a fairly strong heal, as you’re considered an undead for the duration. Rune Tap is a bit of a costly defensive, but flat-out reduces all damage by 20% for four seconds with its stronger variant Icebound Fortitude being a free 30% reduction for eight seconds (though on a much longer cooldown).

Then there’s your two anti-magic defensives: Anti-Magic Zone and Anti-Magic Shell. The first one creates a bubble dome that reduces all magic damage by 20% to allies standing in it, which is a life saver during raid wide damage phases. The second one is a personal that absorbs magic damage and renders you immune to magical debuffs, so plan ahead on when to use this to negate debilitating effects. Finally, you have Vampiric Blood to boost your max health and healing received by a whopping 30%. This ability comes in clutch when planned in coordination with your healer to survive massive damage spikes.

Despite being sixth on our list, blood death knights are still a very powerful tank that requires constant planning ahead to utilize its cooldowns to their maximum effectiveness. However, due to its lack of mobility besides Death’s Advance, reliance on healing from damage (as opposed to preventing it to begin with), and rune management, it’s considered one of the hardest tanks to learn how to properly play.

  • PLAYERS LIKE
  • Response to every situation and threat
  • Able to reposition enemies with Death Grip
  • Strong choice against casters and magic heavy bosses
  • PLAYERS DISLIKE
  • Requires immediate response to threats
  • Very dependent on having runes available to do anything
  • Gimped by any anti-healing effects such as mythic+ Necrotic modifier

5/6

Warrior (Protection)

Protection Warrior
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

The iconic staple of tanking since the early days of Vanilla, protection warriors continue to charge headfirst into a fray to absorb blows and retaliate ten-fold. By taking hits and dishing them in return, warriors generate pure unbridled rage that they use to reinforce their defenses and bash their foes. While having the potential to be one of the best tanks in the game, they are the most gear-dependent of all tanks and struggle a bit against magical attacks. However, mastering protection warriors means you turn into an unstoppable roid-raging cleaving maniac who shrugs off each blow.

As is fitting of a warrior, you pretty much start off every encounter with Charge to get into melee range and use your Taunt mid-charge to immediately pull aggro and start generating threat. You’ll want to get your main defensive ability, Shield Block, active as quickly as possible to block as much damage as possible. Additionally, you can Ignore Pain to further reduce damage taken by 50%, but it does cost quite a bit more rage than Shield Block. We recommend casting Avatar at the start of the pull to increase the damage of all your abilities by 20% to generate more threat and have an instant 20 rage to start with.

So what’s the best way to get angry/rage and fast? By using Shield Slam on your enemies’ faces until they’re a bloody pulp. As your main rage generator, you’ll want to use Shield Slam whenever it’s off cooldown. Additionally, you’ll be constantly spamming Thunder Clap to generate free rage, slow the enemy, and generate threat across all targets around you. If you manage to get a free proc from parrying/dodging attacks, you can use Revenge at no cost to strike all targets in front of you. Otherwise, you’ll be using Revenge as a rage spender during down times. Devastate will be your filler ability for when you can’t do anything else as free damage. Once the enemy is at 20% or less health, use Execute as often as possible for more damage.

As an important note, there is a 30% chance for Shield Slam’s cooldown to be reset immediately after using any of the other abilities mentioned above. So keep bashing shields into your enemies’ faces!

As for your defensive abilities, we’ll be going over the ones with longer cooldowns, as Shield Block and Ignore Pain are more constantly maintained. Your biggest defensive cooldown is Shield Wall at a whopping 40% damage reduction for eight seconds. However, it’s also on a four-minute cooldown, so save it as your ultimate emergency cooldown. Last Stand is your next biggest ability, working on a three-minute timer that increases your max health by 30% for fifteen seconds and instantly healing you the same amount. Then you have Rallying Cry to provide yourself and the entire raid 15% temporary and max health for ten seconds, which is great when there’s massive raid-wide damage.

Protection Warrior 2
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

Demoralizing Shout is by far the shortest cooldown of your big defensives at forty-five seconds, and it reduces all the damage done by enemies around you by 20% for eight seconds. Just be careful, as it won’t reach enemies beyond ten yards of you. Finally, you have Spell Reflection. This ability can be absolutely busted if timed right, as it reflects the next direct spell cast at you within five seconds of using it and works on a surprising amount of boss abilities. Otherwise, you can also use it to reduce all magic damage taken by 20%.

As for utility options, you have Heroic Leap to reposition yourself quickly if need be. Intervene can be used to charge to an ally and intercept all physical attacks against them for six seconds, which can really save someone who pulls aggro from you. Challenging Shout is an emergency AoE taunt that suffers from a four-minute timer. You also have Berserker Rage to become immune to fear effects and Shockwave as a small frontal cone stun (mainly good for interrupts). Finally, Battle Shout is always appreciated in a group for the extra damage buff to physical DPS.

Overall, protection warriors are a highly aggressive tank, constantly spamming their abilities to use as much rage as possible while having enough to keep their active defensives available. With their strong defensives, they easily soak high-damaging abilities and give their healers enough breathing room during frantic periods. As the expansion goes on and gear options improve, expect to see protection warriors become WoW’s best tank class.

  • PLAYERS LIKE
  • Able to quickly respond
  • Constant threat generation
  • Very strong defensive cooldowns and maintained defensives
  • PLAYERS DISLIKE
  • No real self-sustain
  • Incredibly gear dependent
  • Limited responses to magic damage

4/6

Druid (Guardian)

Guardian Bear
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

Hundred pounds of sheer furious blubber descends upon you. That’s right, you just got mauled to death by a goddamn bear. As an avatar of nature, guardian druids are the most straightforward tanks in the game with strong passive damage mitigation and built-in regeneration. Much like warriors, they generate rage and use it reinforce their hide and bleed their enemies to death. With one of the highest health pools in the game, guardian druids are an excellent choice for when you just need someone to take a beating.

As befitting a bear, your taunt ability is Growl and your two main rage generators are Thrash and Mangle. The first one is an AoE that applies a bleed capable of stacking up to three times and the second one is a single target hit that does more damage on bleeding targets and applies a 50% slow. Spam these two abilities whenever they’re up, especially if you proc Gore, which gives you a free cast of Mangle for even more rage. If you need to interrupt a spell or get into melee range immediately, you can use Skull Bash to close the distance. You’ll also most likely be running the talents Galactic Guardian, which is likely to provide you a free empowered Moonfire from mashing your other offensive abilities. You’ll want to maintain the DoT from Moonfire on your main target at all times as your highest damaging spell. Otherwise, fill in the gaps with Swipe

In regards to what you spend your rage on, Ironfur will be your primary defensive buff that you want to maintain at all times when you’re taking physical damage. As a drastic armor buff for seven seconds, it has the added benefit of being able to overlap with one another to make your incredibly tanky against physical attacks. However, do be careful of its 40 rage cost. Otherwise, you’ll be spending rage on a charge of Frenzied Regeneration whenever you start getting low on health to restore a whopping 24% of your health over three seconds. Just be sure not to be wasteful with the charges. In the case where you’re not taking physical damage and need to spend rage to prevent overflow, just use Maul for some extra damage.

Guardian Bear 2
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

As for your big defensive cooldowns, Survival Instincts is your major one, reducing all damage taken by 50% for six seconds on a three-minute cooldown. Plus, it has two charges, so use it to avoid likely death scenarios. Barkskin is your other main defensive reduced damage by 20% for eight seconds on a one-minute timer. Use it to help deal with medium bursts of damage or magic damage, as your maintenance buffs only reduce physical damage. As a bonus, you can also use Soothe to cleanse enemy rage effects, Remove Corruption on curse/poison effects, and Rebirth to battle rez an ally all without leaving bear form.

For utility, your biggest ability is Stampeding Roar which provides grouped up allies a 60% speed buff for eight seconds. This is amazing when you need to get the hell out of dodge during some boss mechanics. Incapacitating Roar can be used to disorient or interrupt spell casters, but keep in mind that not all enemies can be disoriented. Entangling Roots is another massive snare for helping with add control but requires you to be out of bear form so do be careful with it. Lastly, you can use Dash to shift into cat form if there’s a situation where you need to move quickly as possible. Just be sure to go back to bear before taking a hit.

Simple but incredibly effective, the guardian druid provides great value as a tank given how simple it is to play. If it’s your first time tanking, then we recommend guardian druids as the best tank for beginners.

  • PLAYERS LIKE
  • Easiest tank to pick up
  • Excellent sustain and large health pool
  • Great utility options, especially battle rez
  • PLAYERS DISLIKE
  • Lack of great options against magic damage
  • Requires having a major cooldown on standby always
  • Enlarged character model makes it difficult to dodge some mechanics

3/6

Paladin (Protection)

Protection Paladin
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

Testaments to what one’s faith in the Light can do, protection paladins are stalwart defenders of Azeroth, channeling their faith to both shield themselves and purge their enemies. Revolving around spending holy power, protection paladins maintain a constant slew of defensives and powerful heals to survive. As a bonus, they’re also the hardest hitting tank in the game by a fair margin.

Your standard tank taunt is Hand of Reckoning. However, in a lot of situations you might want to start off with Avenger’s Shield, to hit up to three targets and silence them, especially if you’re trying to position caster enemies. Plus, it generates one holy power. You’ll want to immediately want to drop Consecration around your feet once you position the enemy, as standing in Consecration provides multiple benefits to you besides its AoE damage. It reduces the amount of damage you take by a flat percent, increases your attack power, and increases your block chance. Naturally, you’ll always want to be standing in Consecration when you can. Plus, your Hammer of the Righteous becomes an enhanced frontal cone attack when cast while standing in Consecration.

On that note, Hammer of the Righteous is your primary holy power generator (1 point) and damage dealing spell. It also has a 15% chance of resetting the cooldown on Avenger’s Shield. As mentioned above, try to always cast it from consecrated ground. Hammer of Wrath is another holy power generator (1 point) but requires your enemy to be at 20% or less health, so use it when the conditions are met. Judgment is your other main holy power generator (also 1 point) and marks your enemy to take 25% extra damage from your next holy power spender.

In this case, you’ll be spending those holy power points on Shield of the Righteous constantly. The ability slams your target doing a respectable amount of damage and more importantly granting you your main defensive armor buff for just over four seconds. You’ll want to maintain those buff at all times that you’re taking physical damage. Otherwise, you’ll be spending your holy power on Word of Glory as a powerful self-heal that scales with the amount of health you’re missing. You can also use it on other friendly targets, but it’s best used on yourself in most cases. You also get a free one every five Shield of the Righteous casts. Should the situation call for damage or healing, pop Avenging Wrath to increase your damage, healing, and critical chance by 20% for twenty seconds.

Before we go on to the defensive abilities, we would like to point out that one of the reasons your damage as a protection paladin is so high is because you have no target cap on your abilities. All those empowered cone Hammer of the Righteous casts will hit everything in front of you, so your AoE damage will skyrocket in comparison to other tanks.

Protection Paladin 2
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

For your major defensives, well protection paladins have some of the absolute best options in the game. Ardent Defender reduces all damage taken by 20% for eight seconds and functions as a lifeline in the event that you would be killed by an attack, healing you to 20% of your max health on a two-minute cooldown. Guardian of the Ancient Kings is your bigger defensive ability, reducing all damage taken by 50% for eight seconds, but is on a five-minute cooldown. The next two abilities cause a debuff (Forbearance) for thirty seconds to prevent layering them on top of each other. Lay on Hands heals yourself or a friendly target for an amount equal to your max health. Divine Shield renders you immune to all damage and spells for eight seconds, but will drop all your aggro unless you’re talented into Final Stand (we don’t recommend this, as the other talent option is much better).

Utility wise, you provide all the standard options that every paladin has access to. Blessing of Freedom renders a target immune to movement impairing effects. Blessing of Sacrifice reduces an ally’s damage taken by 30% but transfers all the damage to you (useful for saving people when you’re healthy). Blessing of Protection renders an ally immune to physical attacks for ten seconds but does apply the Forbearance debuff mentioned above. We don’t recommend using Flash of Light to heal while actively tanking as you can’t block, parry, or dodge during the cast. It’s also not nearly as powerful as Word of Glory.

All things considered, if you’re looking for the best AoE tank, bring a talented protection paladin. They’ll also constantly be keeping themselves alive and mitigating damage by a considerable amount while dishing it out.

  • PLAYERS LIKE
  • High raid-wide utility
  • Devastating AoE damage output
  • Excellent damage mitigation and self healing
  • PLAYERS DISLIKE
  • Low mobility
  • Cooldowns are rather long
  • Incredibly reliant on being able to stand in Consecration

2/6

Monk (Brewmaster)

Brewmaster Monk
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

Always with a drink in hand, the brewmaster monk is an intoxicated master of martial arts, dulling their sense of pain with furious amounts of alcohol. Naturally, this translates into being a bit of an oddball of a tank as their primary passive Stagger delays a portion of all damage taken into a DoT upon themselves. With this one passive, brewmaster monks negate the single greatest threat to all other tanks, extreme burst damage.

With Stagger in mind, brewmaster monks’ kit revolve around reducing the amount of damage from Stagger and constantly shielding themselves. But before we dive into it, first things first, your standard tank taunt is Provoke. From there you’ll want to hit the enemy with a Keg Smash, doing AoE splash damage and slowing all enemies by 20%. You’ll be doing this often as your main offensive ability and to give yourself Shuffle, which doubles the effectiveness of Stagger. Follow it up with a Blackout Kick, granting you more Shuffle, damage, and increased dodge chance while being on an incredibly short cooldown. Do your best to always maintain Rushing Jade Wind around yourself to provide constant AoE damage and generate threat. Touch of Death is a long cooldown, but one of the hardest-hitting abilities you have with the advantage of purging some of your Stagger damage based off how hard you hit.

Otherwise, you’ll be filling in the gaps with Breath of Fire as a small AoE and reducing damage taken by 5% from targets affected by Keg Smash. Tiger Palm is also a decent single target filler, but is rather lack luster and really only used to prevent your energy from overflowing. 

Defensively, you’re mostly relying on the passive reduction in damage from Stagger/Shuffle. However, you do have two major active cooldowns: Purifying Brew and Celestial Brew. The first one removes 50% of the Staggered damage you have ticking on you. If you eat a massive hit, simply pop this to remove half of it. The second one provides you a massive shield that can be increased by 200% depending on how much Stagger you cleanse with Purifying Brew. The two abilities naturally synergize incredibly well and have their cooldowns reduced by Keg Smash

Brewmaster Monk 2
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

You also have Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox as a mixture of an offensive and defensive ability. It’ll summon a minion that deals AoE damage based off how much Stagger you recently purified as well as redirecting 25% of the remaining Stagger damage to the minion instead. Finally, you have Fortifying Brew as your major six-minute emergency defensive. It will boost your health instantly by 15%, increases Stagger’s effectiveness by 10%, and flat-out reduce all damage by 15% for fifteen seconds. Its cooldown is also decreased by Keg Smash.

As for self-healing, brewmaster monks have a passive that periodically generates Healing Spheres around you when you take damage. Walking through them will give you a large burst of healing, so allowing them to accumulate around you and walking through them after taking a massive hit is a very viable strategy. Additionally, you can use Expel Harm to heal yourself and reflect some of the damage healed onto the enemy. It also pulls in the Healing Spheres around you. Vivify is a simple hard cast healing spell that you can use on yourself during intermission phases.

Utility wise, you have access to the standard monk abilities: Roll and Transcendence. The first one literally has you roll in a direction (great mobility/repositioning) and the second one lets you set up a waypoint to warp back to. Make sure to plan ahead with Transcendence, so you don’t create a warp point that gets you killed. As a brewmaster, you have access to Clash, which is supposed to be a fusion between a warrior’s Charge and a death knight’s Death Grip. In theory, you and the enemy charge each other before colliding halfway and rooting enemies around both of you for four seconds… but it’s really buggy and tends to result in only a halfway charge on your part. 

Overall, brewmaster monks are considered one of the best tanks in WoW, especially in high-tier play for their unique tanking mechanic and the breathing space they give their healers.

  • PLAYERS LIKE
  • Great mobility
  • Constant healing and damage reduction
  • Great at surviving through burst damage
  • PLAYERS DISLIKE
  • Fairly low health pool
  • Damage output is very combo reliant and can be disrupted
  • Have to manage defensives a bit more carefully than other tanks

1/6

Demon Hunter (Vengeance)

Vengeance Demon Hunter
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

Filled with fury towards their enemies, vengeance demon hunters relentlessly pursue their target while enhancing themselves with demonic abilities thanks to the fel energy running through their bodies. The single most mobile tank in the game, vengeance demon hunters focus on tearing Soul Fragments from their enemies to heal for a percentage of recently taken damage. They also generate fury, but it’s less important in comparison to the Soul Fragments.

Demon hunter tanks have their offensive and sustain abilities fairly separate. For the most part, you’ll be going on the offensive first, getting your DoTs ticking and generating enough threat before using sustain abilities like Shear to start generating Soul Fragments. A maximum of 5 Soul Fragments can be up at a time. You can either manually run over the Soul Fragments to collect them or use an ability pulls in nearby ones. 

Before we start, your standard tank taunt ability is Torment. Typically you want to begin with placing a Sigil of Flame at the feet of your enemy and leaping to them with Infernal Strike. This combo does a fair bit of burst damage and more importantly gets your DoTs ticking on all enemies hit. Try to save one charge of Infernal Strike for repositioning purposes or just spam it if that’s not a concern for the fight. From there you’ll want to activate Immolation Aura to start generating fury and pulsating damage. You’ll mostly be using Shear (or more likely Fracture which is an essential talent that replaces Shear) to generate additional fury and Soul Fragments. Otherwise fill in the gaps with Throw Glaive to generate extra threat.

As for spending fury, you’ll want to channel Fel Devastation when it’s available to inflict cone damage and heal yourself for a portion of the damage done. If that ability is on cooldown, use Soul Cleave to avoid overflowing on fury and consume two nearby Soul Fragments for healing. You’ll mostly be alternating between Soul Cleave and Shear/Fracture for all of your self healing.

Vengeance Demon Hunter 2
Image: Blizzard Entertainment via HGG

In regards to your defensive abilities, always have at least one charge of Demon Spikes available as your main damage mitigator. It’ll drastically increase your armor and increase your parry chance by 15% for six seconds. You can also mark the biggest threat to yourself with Fiery Brand every minute to do a burst of damage and reduce damage taken from them by 40% for eight seconds. Finally, you have Metamorphosis as your emergency cooldown, transforming you for fifteen seconds to increase your health by 50%, armor by 200%, and grant 20 extra fury, as well as producing an extra soul fragment from Shear/Fracture. While not as many options as some other tanks for defensive abilities, it’s important to note that these abilities also reduce magic damage which is incredibly valuable.

As for utility, besides being able to kite majority of enemies and reposition easily, demon hunters have access to multiple CC options. Sigil of Silence silences all enemies in an area for six seconds, Sigil of Misery disorients all enemies caught for thirty seconds, and Sigil of Chains (another essential talent) to slow targets by 70%. You also have access to Imprison as an on demand sap. Most importantly are the next two abilities: Disrupt and Consume Magic. Disrupt is your interrupt on a fifteen second cooldown that gives you 30 fury for a successful interrupt. Consume Magic removes a single buff from an enemy and grants 20 fury. These fury gains are fairly substantial and let you spam your offensive abilities more often, so be sure to get in the habit of using them.

If you’re looking for a simple yet effective self-sustaining tank with plenty of mobility, then demon hunter is the choice for you. Additionally, it’s the only viable tank in incredibly high level mythic+ dungeons as actually tanking hits stops being feasible and kiting is the only way to survive. This makes demon hunters the best solo tank for smaller group content.

  • PLAYERS LIKE
  • Constant AoE pressure
  • Very strong self-sustain
  • Amazing mobility and kiting potential
  • PLAYERS DISLIKE
  • Main defensive buff is harder to maintain compared to other tanks
  • Fights/phases with untargetable enemies make self-sustain impossible
  • Managing Soul Fragments and fury effectively can be somewhat difficult

The Best Tanks for PvP

This section will be exponentially shorter, as the main principles of each class are covered in the PvE section above. Also tanks aren’t really considered viable for arenas and you really only want one or two tanks at max for battlegrounds to hold objectives and buy time for reinforcements. So with those factors in consideration, we’ll be focusing mainly on what to do in battlegrounds.

6/6

Warrior (Protection)

WoW Warrior

Unfortunately, without any real meaningful self-sustain, you’ll crumple to the continued onslaught of most players. You may be rather difficult to kill through all of your damage mitigation, but once they wear off you’re doomed. Your best usage is to just Charge through enemy lines and attempt to disrupt their healers as much as possible using abilities like Shockwave.

5/6

Monk (Brewmaster)

WoW Monk

With your mobility, you’re quite good at transitioning between different points and being a constant nuisance to people trying to cap objectives. However, beyond slowly whittling down people and being unkillable in general, you’re not contributing too much to the team.

You do have a fair bit of damage if you pop all of your offensive cooldowns at once with Touch of Death being your main one. Seeing as the ability kills a target instantly if it has less health than you, and you’re a tank… well the kill range on it is rather large. But outside of that ability specifically, you’re best off just holding a point and buying time for allies to come help you.

4/6

Death Knight (Blood)

WoW Death Knight

Besides being able to sustain yourself through constant fighting and hitting surprisingly hard with Death Strike, you have the ability to disrupt the strategies of a lot of classes. Your Anti-Magic Shell ruins the debilitating effects of every spell, Death’s Advance prevents you from being kited, and Death Grip can be used to rip a backline player (such as a healer) into your eagerly awaiting bloodthirsty group.

The slew of diseases you can throw on other players helps too to keep them debilitated at all times, and you can talent your Death and Decay to be the most ridiculous slow in the game for holding chokepoints.

3/6

Paladin (Protection)

WoW Paladin

Frankly put, you hurt people… a lot. Between the attack bonus from standing in Consecration and you popping Avenging Wrath, you put out a tremendous amount of damage when the situation calls for fighting off a wave of attackers on an objective point.

Plus the amount of healing you can generate through Word of Glory can easily save your teammates from death. Between that heal and your other utility spells such as all of your blessings, you can easily function as an incredibly unkillable off healer.

2/6

Demon Hunter (Vengeance)

WoW Demon Hunter

With your high mobility and excellent self-sustain, you can easily transition as a sole defender between any objective points. Every time you come close to death, simply pop one of your healing/defensive abilities to get yourself back in the fight. Additionally, all of your sigils are fully effective against players, so you have a large amount of CC options.

Alternatively, you can keep one of their major damage dealers on constant lockdown by non-stop harassing them and preventing them from mounting up. They’ll probably try to stun you and gather enough distance to safely mount, but thanks to your mobility and leaps, that becomes an impossible task.

Another bonus is Spectral Sight, as you can rip pesky stealthers like rogues out of hiding. This prevents saps and stuns they would attempt on most solo defenders to back cap objectives.

1/6

Druid (Guardian)

WoW Druid

The biggest meatiest and frankly most impossible to kill tank in a PvP setting. If you want someone to distract the enemy team and infuriate them by being immortal, then go guardian druid. With Frenzied Regeneration constantly being available and their massive health pool, it becomes a herculean effort to actually deplete guardian druids’ health to zero. Physical damage dealers will not be able to break through Ironfur’s defenses and magic users will struggle to outpace the self-sustain.

If you’re trying to defend a point, then your bleeds and defenses should out-sustain most attackers and deal with annoying stealthers as bleeds aren’t easy to cleanse. Should you actually start getting low, you can disorient enemies with Incapacitating Roar and shift out of bear form to get heals such as Overgrowth ticking on yourself before immediately shifting back to bear.

As for running flags, with access to Stampeding Roar and Dash in cat form, your movement speed is incredibly impressive. Plus your CC from Entangling Roots, Incapacitating Roar, and Ursol’s Vortex cannot be understated for peeling enemies off you when you don’t want to fight.

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And that’s it for our guide on the best tanks in WoW: Shadowlands. We hope it has helped you decide on which tank to play or bring along with your group. If you have differing opinions, feel free to let us know in the comments.

Happy gaming!

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