Shadowlands Tank Tier List Predictions - Sanctum of Domination Predictions for Patch 9.1
Welcome to Wowhead's Patch 9.1 Shadowlands Tank Tier List Predictions for the Sanctum of Domination Raid. With the help of our class writers, we've made some Tier List predictions for raiding in Patch 9.1, commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of each Tank spec towards the raid and how we think each spec will perform in the next raid tier based on the current information and PTR raid testing.
This page will continue to be updated as players are able to test the raid on live servers and as tuning passes are made, so stay tuned to Wowhead for updates!
Sanctum of Domination Strategy Guides
If you are the type of person who likes to choose your class based on its power in the current raid, this guide goes over the best Tank specs in the current raid tier and an explanation on why from our Class Writers.
Sanctum of Domination Class Guides
The Sanctum of Domination page in our Class Guides has recommended talent builds, gear and raid tips for each boss in the raid!
Blood DKFrost DKUnholy DK
Havoc DHVengeance DH
Balance DruidFeral DruidGuardian DruidRestoration Druid
Beast Mastery HunterMarksmanship HunterSurvival Hunter
Arcane MageFire MageFrost Mage
Brewmaster MonkMistweaver MonkWindwalker Monk
Holy PaladinProtection PaladinRetribution Paladin
Discipline PriestHoly PriestShadow Priest
Assassination RogueOutlaw RogueSubtlety Rogue
Elemental ShamanEnhancement ShamanRestoration Shaman
Affliction WarlockDemonology WarlockDestruction Warlock
Arms WarriorFury WarriorProtection Warrior
Disclaimers About These Tier List Predictions
This Guide contains
made by Wowhead's Class Writers about how each Tank spec performs in the upcoming Patch 9.1 raid,
, based on current tuning and information from PTR Raid Testing. Raid Testing on the 9.1 PTR was much shorter than previous tiers, with many mechanics changing after the testing had completed. Normal raid testing never occurred on the 9.1 PTR, so there is less information about the
raid fights than previous tiers. We will update these rankings as more information is determined about these fights on live servers and as tuning continues to happen.
The rankings for the predictions use a standard Tier List format, ranking classes on the scale of the best (S Tier) to unviable (F Tier) based on the criteria of throughput, utility and defensive value in Sanctum of Domination.
This Tier List contains predictions and due to the fact that the raid does not release until July 6th and the uncertainty of upcoming class tuning, we're not putting any spec in the S Tier or below a C Tier at the moment. However, once Sanctum of Domination releases, we'll be updating this Tier List to include these Tiers.
These predictions were made by our Class Guide Writers, who are experts at their particular spec, but the rankings are ultimately still their opinion. You may disagree with some of their predictions, as each person values things slightly differently.
Patch 9.1 Shadowlands Tank Tier List Predictions for Sanctum of Domination
For these Tier List Predictions, here is how each class writer is ranking each Tank spec in Sanctum of Domination for Patch 9.1.
: We predict that you are valuable on every encounter in Sanctum of Domination, bringing strong throughput, exceptional survivability and universal utility.
: We predict that you excel in most situations in Sanctum of Domination but have some weaknesses on one or two encounters with your throughput, survivability or utility.
: We predict that you are a solid choice in Sanctum of Domination. You may have a niche on some encounters but lack throughput, survivability and/or utility.
: We predict that you are viable in Sanctum of Domination but suffer from many weaknesses in your throughput, survivability and utility.
: We predict that you are viable, but the spec suffers from many weaknesses and should only be brought if there isn't another option.
No spec has been placed below a C tier, as all specs are viable.
Blood Death Knight
Comments by Panthea
Vengeance Demon Hunter
Comments by Itamae
Comments by Pumps
Comments by Llarold
Comments by Lincoln
Comments by Llarold
Patch 9.1 Shadowlands Tank Ranking Predictions and Explanations
A Tier Spec Predictions
Blood Death Knight
Overall Rating: A+
Blood Death Knights are fundamentally in the same position they were in during Castle Nathria: a very solid tank choice, with their only major drawback being their low damage output.
The changes to
in Patch 9.1 made it that one brought by a Blood Death Knight is essentially an unchanged version of the spell, and in nearly all scenarios will provide the same high value that we saw during Castle Nathria.
The bosses in Sanctum of Domination have less movement overall, however when there is movement, it is large set piece movements which can be disruptive to the feel and flow of how you play Blood Death Knight, as you are unable to utilize
to live. Examples of this are
where you need to run out with the weapon throws on you such as
. Due to this, you will likely see more use of
to mitigate these ranged tankbusters.
In Sanctum of Domination there are more scenarios where grips are useful;
(Heroic/Mythic) it is used to bring in the
it is used to bring in
is useful to bring the
With Patch 9.1.5 you are able to swap covenants freely which will allow you to play Necrolord for
, allowing you to rotate between
to gather each wave of
s. You also have the option to play Venthyr for enhanced mobility with
to allow encounters such as
be made easier (but is not necessary by any means).
Defensively Blood Death Knights are in a very good place for
and bring good value to the raid composition with
. However, as with many raid tiers in recent memory, the value of your tank choice is primarily dictated by the DPS and Buff/Debuff Matrix Meta. This tier Arms Warriors, Windwalker Monks and Havoc Demon Hunters are all quite meta choices, which means the tank role will have more flexibility in choice. This can change at any moment, however, and many guilds may want to protect themselves from this lottery by using Protection Warrior, Brewmaster Monk or Vengeance Demon Hunter, just to be on the safe side.
Vengeance Demon Hunter
Overall Rating: A
After seeing the first week of Mythic, Vengeance Demon Hunter is a strong pick in Patch 9.1 for Mythic
as there weren't any major changes to the spec from prior patches. While we have never been the strongest spec defensively or offensively in raids, we make up for it through exceptional mobility and strong utility for this tier. In general, outside the World First Race, tanks are tuned within a small margin of each other, so differences in survivability or damage are rarely the determining factor for tank selection. As always, we are reliant on borrowed power, this time from our legendary
for progression. Our survivability in general is quite strong as long as we don't have to constantly tank, and the majority of fights this tier do not require high uptime on actively tanking.
Our high mobility through
with the talent
allows for precise placement of the many tank bombs and kiting any adds on encounters such as
, reducing the burden on healers significantly. We are the premiere option in such situations. In addition, we bring a required raid buff in
, good add control and solid burst threat, as well as a strong passive cheat death through
that can be used as an additional cooldown or to save a pull. Kyrian Vengeance Demon Hunters also offer solid burst for adds and vulnerability phases with
lining up for every add spawn on
. Defensively, we have powerful, short cooldowns in both
enabling consistent mitigation for tankbusters such as
and a good amount of self-healing through
. There are also a number of add phases that require good control this tier, of which we have plenty through our sigils. Finally, our spell priority is fairly simple and has some empty GCDs, with none of our cooldowns aside from
requiring any resources, so it's generally easy to plan around using cooldowns, focus on positioning for the raid, and use our utility without losing too much.
Our weaknesses remain the same as always, and do have an effect on our favorability this tier. We have the lowest overall DPS among all tanks on Single Target encounters, especially for priority target damage whether it's burst or sustained. Without
, we struggle to survive on encounters with 100% tanking uptime and high physical damage without liberal use of externals, due to the low uptime on
and our base armor being one of the lowest among tanks, but luckily there aren't any fights like that this tier. We also lack raid utility and cooldowns beyond add control, being dependent on how strong our counterparts in Havoc are for the raid. Since Havoc is very strong this tier, we are less favored since only Demon Hunters bring
, but Havoc brings an additional raid cooldown in
After the release of Mythic
we have seen the rise of Prot Paladins and Blood DKs as the top guilds currently use those for progression, Guardian is steadily in the middle of the pack just below those 2, we provide great damage, a good mobility cooldown for the raid and we are extremely tanky, however most of the raid encounters have medium to low tank damage and are less about pushing high DPS and more about having a raid cooldown or some form of immunity cheese.
Guardian Druids enormous defensive capabilities were largely put to waste in a tier where tank damage taken is relatively low and as tanks, we are yet again a role where utility is the most relevant aspect to top end progression.Our DPS overall is quite high and still very relevant on fights like
, where we can comfortably utilize catweaving to it's full potential, this allows us to help the raid meet tight phase dps checks while still requiring very little external healing as tanks. We comfortably trivialize high physical damage encounters with massive armor gained from
as it scales with all the agility gained from higher item level gear. An example of this is,
encounter which is a large physical damage hit that also hits your raid for a portion of the damage you take, so if you mitigate a large amount of damage your raid will take almost no damage which is incredibly important on this fight. We also have very strong defensives with relatively short cooldowns in
, that can be rotated through to greatly reduce most of the dangerous mechanics that other tanks will struggle with.
As far as damage goes for tanks, a good catweaving Guardian Druid brings top tier DPS, only really marginally behind Protection Paladins and ahead of all the other tanks and catweaving itself remains one of the most enjoyable and fun rotations to master in the game currently.
We also bring
, which is a huge mobility tool that will bring immense value for your raid in
as there is many heavy movement periods throughout the raid. This includes helping your raid do the new dance
, avoiding laser beams of death
and navigating the dangerous intermission phase on
. On that note, our own personal mobility tools like
, will all be exceptionally useful this tier as getting where you need to be as fast as possible is integral on certain encounters, which includes collecting our broken souls spawned from
encounter and using
to blink through a giant death beam
Night Fae remains a great choice for PvE with the extreme flexibility and power of
being able to be used as a powerful DPS cooldown, raid healing cooldown or defensive cooldown, depending on the required situation. The other 3 covenants are very close in power and are still good choices that may even surpass Night Fae on certain fights. Guardian power is heavily fueled by extremely powerful legendaries like
that really boost us to the top of the tank ranks.
Our weakness remains the same as usual, and it is the only reason Guardian doesn't make it to the illustrious S Tier; Utility - the lack of a raid buff/debuff and no raid cooldown. Having a raid buff/debuff or raid cooldown remains a large contributing factor when choosing which tanks to bring in the current raid environment. This tier however, DPS Warriors and Demon Hunters got a fair amount more representation comparatively to Castle Nathria which meant that the burden of bringing certain tanks just for buffs/debuffs was greatly diminished and the tank meta instead shifted to the utility of a raid wide cooldown like
along with immunity spells like
Overall, Guardian is a defensive powerhouse with an enjoyable and flexible playstyle and is an excellent choice for anyone heading into Mythic
as it can comfortably tank all the bosses without issues.
Overall Rating: A+
Brewmaster Monks are a tank with few weaknesses. They are average to above-average in most important areas. They handle physical damage well, they handle predictable, large bursts of damage extremely well, they deal respectable damage and have a small but decent collection of offensive and defensive cooldowns. As a downside, they have small health pools compared to the other five tanks, and they are relatively reliant upon healers to keep their health pools full. Also, having a Monk in your raid is still absolutely mandatory thanks to
The greatest strength and weakness of Brewmaster Monk stems from the design of
. It causes them to take more damage than other tanks, which means they require more healing, but the healing generally does not have to be as immediate, and
helps inflate Brewmaster's healing intake quite a bit. On the good side,
lets Monks comfortably survive hits of burst damage that would kill other tanks -- despite those tanks having better overall damage reduction. On the bad side, it leaves Monks weak against spell damage, DoTs, and bleeds, all the mechanics that don't play nicely with
does a lot to compensate for Brewmaster's weakness against burst spell damage. It's an extremely strong defensive cooldown that's available about every 30 seconds, and it can help mitigate almost every major burst of boss damage in
. Brewmaster's defensive toolkit basically puts them in a position to comfortably handle every single encounter in the raid.
was the one potential problem spot for Monks in testing. It was a weird fight on the PTR, and a weird fight during Heroic week. In spite of how high her burst damage is at times, she's generally not a very frightening fight on Heroic, and the initial misgivings about her ability to quickly kill Monks have turned out to be mostly unfounded. Basically, she just doesn't do a lot of damage outside of giant burst windows. That plays right into Monk's strengths! To be clear, she still has the following problem issues for Monks: stacking bleeds, stacking spell damage over time, healing absorbs, tanks running away from the raid (and healers), and big bursts of physical and spell damage, in addition to packs of adds and high movement requirements (the latter two are Monk strengths). But that hasn't been a problem! Monks are handling themselves extremely well this tier, and Sylvanas hasn't proven to be an insurmountable problem in Heroic, nor has the first half of the raid on Mythic.
The other 9 fights in the raid are all ideal Monk encounters. There's plenty of opportunities to show off the strength of
. There are several good
opportunities that can totally eliminate "Dodge This Wall of Death" raid mechanics (e.g.,
). There's plenty of enemies to kill with
, such as adds on
, or clones on
. Our first bit of experience with
has made it look like an excellent tier for Monks, and the looming threat of
being overtuned seems to have largely been overestimated. Brewmaster Monks will remain a popular, competitive tank in
Overall Rating: A+
Compared to Castle Nathria, Protection Paladins in Sanctum of Domination have been given more opportunities to provide value to their team and flex their current strengths. The number one reason for this is that the Venthyr brand of Protection Paladin outputs the most damage of any tank and helps beat any DPS check. A Venthyr Protection Paladin that leans into their damage through talents, trinkets, and legendary choice will be doing 10%+ or more damage than other tanks. Additionally, the damage in-take is low enough that a Protection Paladins can ultiize their Holy Power or
on off-healing through
. In the last raid,
wasn't viable because every Holy Power was so precious but the tuning of Sanctum of Domination has helped one of the spec's characteristics excel.
Defensively, Protection Paladins perform well in Sanctum of Domination. With their higher-than-average constant armor value and block chance, they take less physical damage than Vengeance Demon Hunters or Blood Death Knights in all situations and Guardian Druid in some situations.
all give a Protection Paladin very strong tools to counter different magic types and magic damage profiles that challenge tanks in this raid.
is a stand-out mechanic in Sanctum of Domination because "magic block" on specific boss mechanics like
from an earlier boss like
have given Protection Paladin more opportunity to shine defensively than they had in the last part of Castle Nathria. The only issue is the Xymox style "tank bomb" mechanics on
but having a
in the bank can easily negate those damage spikes.
One thing that makes it difficult to roster a Protection Paladin is the need for buffs or debuffs from other classes. They will have to take a backseat to Warrior, Monk or Demon Hunter simply because if their DPS counter-parts are not available roster-wise, you'll want their tank specs in the raid to cover buffs or debuffs. Similarly, Holy Paladin brings a lot of similar utility to Protection Paladin while also bringing great damage and
that usually keeps it relevant among healers. However,
add a lot more strategic value to this tier with their potential to hard-counter specific mechanics where needed like
. And the simple truth is that as time goes on and more people get gear, the need for a Protection Paladin will go down as their damage and off-healing become less important.
Overall Rating: A
Protection Warriors are in great shape in
. Well, technically they're in the same shape they have been in since Patch 9.0.5 and the March 30th Hotfix that provided an additional 10% passive damage reduction, but it's not bad! More importantly than class changes (since Patch 9.1 didn't add any big ones),
's encounters emphasize more of Protection Warrior's strengths, whereas
tended to expose the class' weaknesses.
One of the biggest issues Protection Warriors faced in
was a lack of defensive versatility caused by limited cooldown uptime, which exacerbated gaps in mitigation tools like
. The class is still reeling from the effects of the
nerfs in Patch 9.0, and that puts them at a real disadvantage when tanking high-uptime bosses like Sludgefist, or when dealing with constant bleeds or ticking spell damage.
's encounters are all basically standard taunt-swap fights, which really helps Warriors maximize their defensive value. Getting 20-30 seconds of breathing room during a tank swap lets short-cooldown defensive staples like
reset. Warriors are a very strong tank when they have their main defensive tools active, and relatively weak when they don't. Protection Warrior is a land of contrasts. In a situation where you're taunt-swapping roughly every 30 seconds, Warriors are at or near full strength almost the entire time they are actively tanking. That's good! There is also a lot of tank movement in this tier, particularly a lot of "leap away, then charge back in after a few seconds" mechanics. Warriors are terrific at this kind of fight design. It's just a great tier for Protection Warriors.
Protection Warriors still offer top-class group utility for a tank, in the form of
. The buff matrix design makes having at least one Warrior mandatory, and Fury Warriors are fairly common -- but getting that buff from a Protection Warrior is not a problem, and
makes doubling (or tripling) up on Warriors totally justifiable.
can also provide an external cooldown for your other tank, but it's very small.
has also been a good piece of group utility in previous tiers that can be used to reflect damage to bosses or to clear ground mechanics. Its current value in
is a bit different than it was in
. There are more boss mechanics, such as
, that can be reflected for extra damage, but also fewer mechanics that can be cleared or removed with it (like
). Many of the reflectable mechanics during PTR testing, such as
, were changed to simply be deflected, rather than offering real damage reflection. Bummer. Protection Warrior's damage potential remains pretty low as a result.
And let's talk about Protection Warrior's damage, folks! It's bad! Protection Warrior and Blood Death Knight have been locked in a death struggle to be fifth place among tanks, and Warriors have been winning that largely-irrelevant contest for several months. With Blood Death Knights getting a flat 6% damage increase in Patch 9.1 and Protection Warriors receiving a 10% boost to damage for non-Venthyr
, neither of the two worst-in-show tanks (at dealing damage) are going to be rocketing up the meters. The fifth-place death struggle continues.
Protection Warriors are in a very competitive spot for
. While they still have the same basic weaknesses they did in
(constant spell damage, bleeds, and gaps in active mitigation), the encounter design in
is well-suited to the class, and they should handle themselves capably. Protection Warriors weren't a popular class in
, but they've been getting a lot of positive publicity from the community lately, and with good reason. Their defensives are top-notch, and their group utility is excellent. Things are looking good!
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