Welcome to Simple Carry's tank tier list for the new raid featured in Dragonflight Season 1, Vault of the Incarnates. Based on their capacity to survive, be useful, and deal damage as of Patch 10.0, tanks are ranked here from strongest to weakest.
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Tank Tier List for Vault of the Incarnates in Patch 10.0
How the Specs Were Rated
For tanks, we're defining each tier as follows:
- S: A superb inclusion as one or even two copies in raid setups, this decision will undoubtedly stand out.
- A superb option, tanks in this tier will frequently be found in the top raid compositions.
- B: A strong spec that is capable of handling all the content but, in comparison to the tiers above, lags behind in terms of damage, durability, or usefulness.
- C: spec with flaws that make it substantially more difficult to utilize efficiently.
- D: A spec with significant survivability concerns that necessitates a very high level of pilot skill and/or tactical sacrifices in order to defeat bosses.
- F: A spec with egregious flaws that urgently needs developer attention and that we'd be shocked to see used in even a small number of raid configurations.
NOTE: As there are only 6 tanks and we are trying to be as objective about them as possible, you will find that multiple tanks fall into the same tier leaving some tiers vacant.
Vault of the Incarnates Raid Tank Ranking & Explanations
Protection Warrior (S Tier)
Blood Death Knight (S Tier)
Brewmaster Monk (B Tier)
Vengeance Demon Hunter (B Tier)
Protection Paladin (B Tier)
Guardian Druid (B Tier)
S Tier Tanks for Vault of the Incarnates
Warrior's earlier Beta versions would have unquestionably cleared the bar into S Tier; this version, we believe, would too, though we're less sure. Since then, the spec has had its value to the group reduced. For example, it no longer has an AoE shield wall, and its damage has been somewhat adjusted down. It continued to get minor nerfs into 10.0. Despite this, it continues to be a reliable damage dealer and adds Battle Shout, which might be quite useful given that DPS Warriors might not have much of a place at this tier.
Warriors are also incredibly resistant to the majority of incoming damage, and they even get the potent Spell Block effect to make up for a weakness they have to some incoming Magic damage. They can sit in defensive stance if there is significant incoming damage thanks to Heavy Repercussions, but they can also build more offensively and spend more time in battle stance when they aren't tanking or on encounters that deal less damage.
As a result of Rallying Cry, a potent raid cooldown that the Warrior class also possesses, this spec is our choice for the one that top raid teams are most likely to use.
Blood Death Knight
When played properly, Blood Death Knight is incredibly resilient, which matters more in some tiers than others. When it comes to tank danger, different raid testing days felt very differently, but generally speaking during early Mythic progression it's best to err on the side of tanky, and Death Knight is an excellent way to achieve so. You might instead see tankiness sacrificed for pure damage in the Race to World First, albeit Death Knight still performs admirably on that front.
The spec's weakness is mobility, however the knockback immunity provided by Death's Advance may come in handy in a number of encounters, including those involving Dathea, the Ascended's Zephyr Slam, and Blowback. There are a few bouts when these tools appear to be effective, but it's not apparent if it will get to the level of mandatory or insane. Death Grip and talent alternatives like Gorefiend's Grasp and Abomination Limb also vary drastically in usefulness from tier to tier and from fight to fight.
On a tank, Anti-Magic Shell can be extremely effective at times, allowing for the entire disregard of or significant mitigation of several tank mechanics. Another useful addition to a Death Knight's raid defense is Anti-Magic Zone, however again, its effectiveness will depend on the nature of the incoming damage and how easy it will be to group together during a particular battle.
Based on how well this tank performs in particular against the final two bosses of the raid, totally immunizing crucial mechanics in both fights, we have promoted Blood to S tier. Anti-Magic Shell against Mortal Stoneslam is the best illustration of this, however Death's Advance against Hurricane Wing also provides exceptional quality of life. The last phase of Raszageth is particularly good for Blood DK, who can easily manage the tank breath and soak far more tornadoes than anyone else in the raid. The Blood DK grip suite is also fantastic in all but the last phase of Raszageth versus Volatile Sparks and the interval additions.
Due to how well Blood DK performs in those encounters, many guilds that have advanced to that point in the raid have switched one or both tanks to it, which, in our opinion, justifies placing it in S Tier.
B Tier Tanks for Vault of the Incarnates
Vengeance Demon Hunter
Given that Havoc Demon Hunters appear to be in a strong tier, Vengeance Demon Hunter's Chaos Brand, an immensely potent raid bonus, is likely to be redundant. However, based on raid testing, the spec still appears to be a strong choice, offering strong damage and great mobility choices that are useful for a number of encounters, including Dathea Ascended, Broodkeeper Diurna, and Sennarth.
Due to the frequent tank changing that occurs in raid fights and the fact that tanks do not always get hit, Vengeance does not always have its mitigation active. However, this can easily be controlled. Sigil of Silence, Chaos Nova, Sigil of Chains, and Sigil of Misery are four utility options on the Vengeance DH trees that all revolve around mob control, but these effects find far less value in raid than Mythic plus and will typically not even be talented unless the fight specifically calls for them.
The Hunt recently gave Vengeance a significant nerf to their self-healing, which has dropped them into our list's B Tier. Although overall self healing is still powerful, they have lost the capacity to survive particularly hazardous situations without the aid of a well-timed Hunt.
Brewmasters are excellent at doing damage as well, though recently they have seen some nerfs in that area. The thing that holds them in the B Tier right now is their tankiness, but with recent mild survivability buffs, they might be strong enough to survive Mythic Progression.
Another factor that could help them rise to popularity is the Mystic Touch debuff they provide, as both Windwalker and Mistweaver could perform well or be benched in favor of other DPS or Healers. Brewmaster's mobility is a strength, and similar to Vengeance Demon Hunter, there are many encounters in this tier where it might come in handy!
The damage and utility of Protection Paladins are both excellent, and their tankiness has recently been improved. However, one of the improvements, a 40% healing increase to Word of Glory, only serves to counteract the 40% changes to Player Health and Monster Damage, which hurt flat-healing tanks much more than those who percent healed. Because of concerns about the spec's durability during Mythic progression, this spec has been placed in B rather than A.
However, if the raid fights are not particularly hazardous for tanks, this spec may have the chance to shine thanks to its excellent damage and utility, including Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Spellwarding, not to mention their offhealing potential. Additionally, the Prot Paladin's lack of mobility may be overcome with skilled play, which is especially important for Mythic raiding Prot Paladins. Prot paladins also bring Devotion Aura, but the best Mythic advancement teams probably already have access to this ability thanks to a Holy Paladin.
Guardian is in our B Tier not for any particular flaws, but rather for a lack of advantages that would make min-maxing raid teams pick it over the alternatives.
After the most recent significant buffs to the spec toward the end of the Beta cycle, their damage and survivability, especially against incoming Physical Damage, are both quite good. However, the utility that they bring is largely replaceable or redundant, unless the other three druid specs are all absent from a raid group or multiple Stampeding Roars are required. Druids do carry Mark of the Wild, although it's probable that a DPS or healing druid already has this.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The fact that no tanks on our list are graded worse than a C indicates that the tanks in this patch look to be very well balanced, and we anticipate that skilled players of any of these classes will be able to succeed in Cutting Edge and even Hall of Fame gameplay.
Thank you for reading our Vault of the Incarnates Raid Tank tier list! We will be back with a Healer Tier list shortly so stay tuned!