World of Warcraft WotLK tank tier list - best tanks in WotLK Classic

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Picture of Liadrin in World of Warcraft

If you're getting yourself ready for World of Warcraft's latest classic expansion, Wrath of the Lich King Classic, then you're probably thinking about what character you're going to want to play. If you're planning on tanking in end game content, but not sure what's the best, we have you covered. Our Wrath of the Lich King Classic tank tier list will help you pick the best tank.

This guide will go over which tanks stand above the others and why. This will help you make a decision on which character to level during pre-patch and into the expansion.

If you're thinking about a Death Knight in any capacity though, then you'll want to check out our guide on how to make your Death Knight, as it's changed from the old days. Also check out our guide to the expansion's release date, so you know how much time you have left to get leveled.

Wrath of the Lich King Classic tank tier list

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Tier Class
SPaladin
ADeath Knight
BDruid
CWarrior
D

The list here is fairly straight forward. Given that there's only four classes in the game that are tanks at this point, there isn't a lot to look at. But the reasoning behind this a bit deeper. So let's talk about each class a little bit.

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Protection Paladin

Starting off with the Protection Paladin, there's a lot going on for this class. One thing to keep in mind with tanking in classic is that threat management is a thing. Paladins are kings of taking threat having Hand of Reckoning as a single target taunt, as well as some strong abilities to keep that threat. Shield of the Righteousness is great for single target threat generation, while Avenger's Shield and Hammer of the Righteous are great for AoE.

On top of that this they bring a lot of raid utility. They bring Divine Sacrifice to help soak raid wide damage, Hand of Freedom for movement and many other things.

Lastly they're TANKY and can also dish out some solid damage. The two big things here to talk about are Avenging Wrath, and Ardent Defender. Avenging Wrath increases your damage done, and is a huge cooldown. Ardent Defender is the Paladin's cheat death, which really works out well with Divine Sacrifice.

Blood Death Knight

Next up is the Blood DK. They're a touch squishier than the Paladin since they don't have a shield to block, but they have ways to make up for it. They are the de facto anti-magic damage tank, and honestly complement the Paladin quite well.

They do bring some great utility, with abilities like Death Grip, Strangulate, and the ever powerful Raise Ally as a combat resurrection. On top of their defensive capabilities are quite good with Anti-Magic Shell, and Icebound Fortitude. They also have a bunch of self healing abilities, which eases the burden on the healers. On top of that they have Will of the Necropolis, which isn't exactly a cheat death, but really reduces the amount of damage taken at low life.

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Feral Druid

The Feral Druid is a rather solid tank. They have a massive health pool, which can help to soak up a bunch of damage, and also have some abilities to help increase this. They also bring some solid mitigation as well, but not quite to the level of the Paladin.

They lack single target threat generation, but make up for it in insane AoE threat generation with Swipe. This makes them incredible dungeon tanks, or great for raid encounters where there's a bunch of adds that need to be grouped up.

They can pump out some good DPS as well, due to their hybrid DPS abilities in their kit, so they can contribute in more ways than one. They're a very easy tank to play, which makes them a solid option for anyone looking to dabble in the role for the first time.

Protection Warrior

The bottom of the totem pole is the Protection Warrior. They got weaker than they were in TBC, and frankly, the story of this class is that they're outclassed by the other specs. Some of the things that they used to bring to the group, like Battle Shout is no longer a unique ability.

They are still decent tanks for sure though. They do still bring some solid survivability options, and also have good AoE threat generation abilities in Thunder Clap. Generally though, you're going to have a bit of a harder time as a Warrior by comparison to the other classes.

And that's all that we have for you! If you're thinking about tanking for the first time, we'd recommend trying out a Druid. You have a easier playstyle, and can pivot into other roles if tanking isn't fitting. If you're familiar with the role though, you can never go wrong with a Paladin. If healing is your jam though, then you'll definitely want to check out our Wrath Classic healer tier list to pick the perfect healer to complement your team!