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Dragonflight Tank Rankings: Abberus, the Shadowed Crucible Raiding Tier List (Patch 10.1.7)

Update: September 05 – Patch 10.1.7 has been released, but there are no changes to any Tank in this patch.

This tier list focuses on the Tank viability for the new raid, Abberus, in Patch 10.1.7 of Dragonflight. When choosing a tank, you should consider factors such as damage dealt, ability to handle or recover from various types of incoming damage, cooldowns, and utility.

It’s important to note that a tank’s position in the tier list doesn’t mean it should be completely ignored. In most cases, it’s recommended to prioritize the better player or the class that the player is more comfortable with, rather than blindly choosing the subjectively better class. Some raid compositions may require specific tank choices regardless of their strength, such as needing Mystic Touch, Chaos Brand, or Death Grip.

Here is a quick summary of the full rankings:

  1. Protection Paladin (A-Tier)
  2. Blood Death Knight (A-Tier)
  3. Brewmaster Monk (A-Tier)
  4. Protection Warrior (A-Tier)
  5. Vengeance Demon Hunter (A-Tier)
  6. Guardian Druid (A-Tier)

Please note that while this summary provides an outline of the specializations’ standings relative to each other, it’s recommended to read the full rankings to understand the reasoning behind the specific rankings.

If you’re interested in our other rankings for the Season 2 Raid in Dragonflight, please click the links below.

Tanks are relatively close in terms of defensive power. Defensively, every tank is 100% viable. The main differences lie in damage output, utility, and unique buffs they bring to the raid. Some tank choices may perform better on certain encounters, but for the raid as a whole, any option is more than sufficient.

Update: July 25 – Protection Paladins have lost relative strength as the tier has progressed, and their damage is no longer superior to other tanks. With this raid reset, Protection Paladins receive an 8% increase in ability damage, which should help bring them back up. However, for now, they are on the same level as every other tank in the A-Tier.

Segmented Ranking:

  • Damage: A-Tier
  • Utility: A-Tier

Protection Paladins bring valuable raid tools in the form of Auras and External Cooldowns. They also have the flexibility to play defensively with Sentinel or offensively without it. While they no longer boast the highest DPS among tanks, Protection Paladins are still an excellent choice for providing External cooldowns like Blessing of Protection or Blessing of Spellwarding to negate mechanics that would otherwise require sacrificing a player. Ideally, a competitive Mythic raiding roster should have two Paladins to benefit from both Devotion Aura for passive damage reduction and Retribution Aura for additional raid DPS.

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What does Protection Paladin bring?

  • Auras: Devotion Aura/Retribution Aura – Having both of these auras is crucial for any competitive Mythic raid group.
  • Immunity: Divine Shield – Provides complete immunity to any type of damage. Can be augmented with the talent Final Stand for an AoE taunt.
  • External Cooldowns: Blessing of Spellwarding – Paladins can bring Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Sacrifice, but Protection Paladins also bring Blessing of Spellwarding, which can make players completely immune to magic damage.

Update: July 25 – Blood Death Knights have received a 10% damage aura buff, which helps close the gap between them and other tanks, moving them up to A-Tier.

Segmented Ranking:

  • Damage: B-Tier
  • Utility: S-Tier

Blood Death Knights have the most control over their own survival due to Death Strike. However, mismanagement of resources can diminish their strength in this aspect. They can bring enemies to them with Death Grip and provide a raid cooldown with Anti-Magic Zone. Their main weakness lies in damage output. While Blood Death Knights do not bring any required buffs or cooldowns, they are invaluable in situations where enemies need to be grouped together, like on Zskarn.

What does Blood Death Knight bring?

  • Raid Cooldown: Anti-Magic Zone – Absorbs 20% of magic damage taken up to 150% of the DK’s health.
  • Debuff: Insidious Chill – Reduces the speed of auto-attacks from bosses, reducing damage taken.
  • Enemy Displacement: Death Grip/Abomination Limb – Can move enemies such as Golems on Zskarn or adds on Scalecommander Sarkareth.
  • Debuff Negation: Anti-Magic Shell – Can prevent certain debuffs and has knockback/pushback negation with Death’s Advance.
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Update: July 25 – Brewmaster Monks have seen a slight nerf to their AoE damage, but it doesn’t have a significant impact in raid settings.

Segmented Ranking:

  • Damage: S-Tier
  • Utility: B-Tier

Brewmaster Monks offer a strong all-around choice for tanking, although they have the most rotational keybinds compared to other tanks. However, passive talent options like Press the Advantage can reduce the number of keybinds and make the spec easier to manage. Monks bring solid damage output, damage smoothness with Stagger, and have strong but infrequent defensive cooldowns. Mystic Touch is a significant reason to bring a Brewmaster, as the other Monk specializations are comparatively weaker.

What does Brewmaster Monk bring?

  • Debuff: Mystic Touch – Increases physical damage dealt to the target by 5%.
  • Buff: Generous Pour – Reduces AoE damage taken by players within 10 yards by 4%.
  • Buff: Close to Heart – Increases healing taken by players within 10 yards by 8%.
  • Speed: Taunt Hasty Provocation – Forces bosses to run faster when taunted.

Update: August 23 – Protection Warriors received a buff to their defensiveness, including increases to Spell Reflection damage reduction and HP from Vanguard. However, the change to defensive stance is not as impactful as it may seem since you spend minimal time in that stance. Nevertheless, being able to deal more damage while in the stance is beneficial for learning encounters.

Segmented Ranking:

  • Damage: B-Tier
  • Utility: S-Tier

Protection Warriors have a required buff, Battle Shout, which is a mandatory raid buff for any physical damage dealers. They also possess the strongest non-healer raid cooldown, Rallying Cry, which increases the effective Health of every player in the raid. Additionally, they have an AoE silence/taunt with Disrupting Shout. Although the cooldown is relatively long, it can be useful on encounters like Scalecommander Sarkareth to silence adds and bring them to you, or on Neltharion in Phase 3 to taunt all portal adds and stack them on the boss.

What does Protection Warrior bring?

  • Buff: Battle Shout – A mandatory raid buff that increases Versatility for every player.
  • Raid Cooldown: Rallying Cry – One of the strongest defensive cooldowns available.
  • AoE Silence/Taunt: Disrupting Shout – An AoE silence that doubles as an AoE taunt.
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Update: July 25 – Vengeance Demon Hunters remain unchanged this week but have moved up to A-Tier following a re-evaluation. They have high damage output, and their tier set helps alleviate defensive issues in raid settings.

Segmented Ranking:

  • Damage: S-Tier
  • Utility: B-Tier

Vengeance Demon Hunters are a strong all-round tank option. The tier set greatly improves their defensive capabilities while providing excellent damage output. In this raid, their utility is not fully showcased, as Havoc is a strong Melee DPS option, and there are limited circumstances where Sigil of Silence is invaluable. However, if your raid team requires Chaos Brand, playing Vengeance can be a solid option.

What does Vengeance Demon Hunter bring?

  • Debuff: Chaos Brand – Provides a 5% bonus to magic damage for the raid group.
  • Raid Cooldown: Darkness – Shines when the entire raid is stacked together.
  • AoE Silence: Sigil of Silence – An AoE silence that can be applied from a distance.

Update: August 23 – Guardian Druids have seen another adjustment due to their high performance in Mythic+. However, this has a minimal impact on raiding, as their healing sources are not very potent in single target scenarios.

Segmented Ranking:

  • Damage: S-Tier
  • Utility: B-Tier

Guardian Druids are highly effective tanks in Mythic+ settings, and this translates to their raid performance as well. They provide exceptional single target damage and are a solid all-round tank option. However, they do not possess any boss-breaking utility required for the raid, and everything they bring can be provided by another Druid specialization.

What does Guardian Druid bring?

  • Buff: Mark of the Wild – Provides a mandatory raid buff that increases Versatility for every player.
  • AoE Movement Speed: Stampeding Roar – Speeds up raid movement, increasing overall DPS.
  • Healer Support: Innervate – Can benefit core healers in the raid.
  • Enemy Displacement: Ursol’s Vortex – Useful for keeping enemies in place on encounters like Zskarn or Scalecommander Sarkareth.

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