WoW SoD tier list: Best tanks classes in WoW Classic Season of Discovery

Protect the entire party!
WoW character wielding City Guard Heater transmog from the Trading Post
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Tank is the most important role in any dungeon or raid party. In this guide, we’ll tell you about the best tank classes in World of Warcraft Classic Season of Discovery.

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Tanks charge in, raise their shields (or anything else they might be carrying), and yell, “Come at me, bro.” As a tank, it’s your job to keep the rest of your group alive by having all the enemies and bosses focus on you. This allows the damage dealers to do as much damage as possible while the healer keeps the party alive. In retail WoW Classic, only three classes could play as tanks: Warriors, Druids, and Paladins.

In Season of Discovery, well, let’s just say that almost anyone can tank now and it’s almost ridiculous. If you’re a veteran tank, you need to know about the new tanks because it gets weird.

Best tanks in WoW Classic Season of Discovery

S-tier

Warrior

An orc warrior standing on the character creation screen
Warrior. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Veteran WoW players will have seen this one coming a mile away. In the early days of WoW, no serious group or raid was complete without a warrior. Warriors were the de facto tanks in WoW Classic, and it looks like not much has changed in Season of Discovery. The runes only make them stronger.

Because Warriors can wear the best armor in the game, don’t rely on mana, and have a bunch of damage-reducing abilities, they are the ideal tanks for Season of Discovery. If you really want to play a tank in SoD, there’s no better option than the Warrior. 

Druid

A Night Elf Druid standing on the character creation screen
Druid. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Druids make great DPSers, good healers, and great tanks. When they get into their Bear Form, they get better armor and some nice tanking abilities. Going through a dungeon with a Druid tank is relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, Druid tanks weren’t that great with raids back in WoW Classic. Sure, they could tank small groups of raid enemies, but they weren’t ideal for bosses.

In Season of Discovery, Druids get some fantastic runes for their Feral (Bear) form, making them even better tanks for larger groups of enemies and maybe even raid bosses. However, what does give druids an edge over other tanks is that they can swap between damage and tanking forms quite easily, which I imagine will really make them desirable during the endgame. If you are on the fence about being a tank during Season of Discovery, the Druid is an excellent choice for you. Even if you don’t like tanking as a druid, you can easily switch to his DPS or healing specialization.

Paladin

A Dwarf Paladin standing on the character creation screen
Paladin. Screenshot by Dot Esports

As someone who played Paladin when the game first came out, they were not the best class in WoW. Paladins are supposed to be a mix between a Warrior and a Priest. Instead, they seemed like Warrior wannabes that couldn’t really tank and would occasionally pop a heal. The Paladin was only useful as a healer during the late game because they couldn’t maintain aggro.

Thankfully, things are looking up for Paladins in Season of Discovery. Thanks to runes, they can actually become reliable tanks. Back in the early days of WoW, Paladins could only tank low-level dungeons, and even that wasn’t always ideal. The problem was the lack of a proper taunt ability, which drew enemies to attack them. Thankfully, in Season of Discovery, a rune finally gives classic Paladins a dedicated taunt. Not only that, but they get a bunch of threat-generating abilities that should fix all the issues they had in the early days of WoW. Combined with plate armor that Paladins will get to wear past level 40, we’re looking at some really powerful tanks in Season of Discovery.

A-tier

Shaman

A Troll Shaman standing on the character creator screen
Shaman. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Wait, Shamans can tank? Since when? Since Season of Discovery. Thanks to a couple of new runes, Shamans not only get a taunt ability but even buffs that reduce their damage and increase their threat generation. So, yeah, even though we joked about Shaman tanks back in the early WoW days, Blizzard made it a reality. Are Shamans good at tanking, though? Well, for most five-man dungeons, they can be just as effective as Paladins, but anything beyond that will probably be too much. We’ll have to wait and see until more updates roll out, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. 

As you would expect, Shamans tanks get most of their buffs through totems and they will still be able to buff the entire party while tanking. Shamans get an ability that lets them gain mana each time they block an attack. In a way, this makes them ideal for tanking smaller mobs but I imagine it won’t be ideal for large bosses. I definitely recommend tank enthusiasts try playing a Shaman tank because it’s going to be quite an experience.

Warlock

A Gnome Warlock standing on the character creation screen
Warlock. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Warlocks can tank too? But they wear cloth armor—how can they tank? With a few runes and a lot of demonic magic, Warlocks can also tank in Season of Discovery. After Warlocks obtain the Metamorphosis ability, they can turn into a powerful demon. This gives them 500 percent increased armor, taunt, and AoE abilities. Yeah, it sounds wild, but it’s true.

Warlocks are still going to be powerful damage dealers as they have always been and I’m worried that many veteran Warlock players won’t be interested in tanking. With that said, I am very curious to see how Metamorphosis will play out in the later phases of Season of Discovery.

B-tier

Rogue

An Undead Rogue standing on the character creator screen
Rogue. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. I can get behind Warlocks turning into a tanky demon but how can Rogues be tanks? They don’t have strong armor and they can’t use magic to turn into demons, so how can they possibly tank?

It turns out they can’t. Instead, they make enemies focus on them and become incredibly hard to hit. Thanks to a few new runes and builds Rogues become almost impossible to hit. They also get a taunt ability and once they gather a crowd of enemies, they just start dodging and parrying all attacks. When they do get hit, it hurts them, but since it doesn’t happen often, they can technically tank in a group.

The problem is that this kind of tanking only works with melee attacks. Once they get shot by magic abilities, Rogues will go down just like that. It’s safe to say that in later phases this will probably be remedied so they become better tanks.

As things are now, I really wouldn’t trust a Rogue tank to lead me through Deadmines but, hey, that’s what the Season of Discovery is all about—discovering new things in WoW Classic.

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Author
Aleksandar Perišić
Staff Writer. Aleksandar has been gaming ever since he can remember and has been writing game reviews long before he joined Dot Esports. He loves MMORPGS, Nintendo and Indie games. He also steals gifts on Christmas but then gives them back when everyone starts to sing.