Tier 11 Tank PvE Tier List - Cataclysm Classic

WoW Cataclysm Classic: Tank Tier List | Simple Carry


Explore the pinnacle of Tier 11 Tank specializations in World of Warcraft Cataclysm Classic. As the nostalgic journey through Cataclysm reignites, we delve into the optimal classes for tanking in this revived classic realm.
Amidst the resurgence of interest, many players are experiencing Cataclysm anew, perhaps for the first time. Thus, our comprehensive ranking of tank specializations aims to provide invaluable insights.
From the lesser to the supreme, we meticulously evaluate each tank specialization. Whether you're evaluating your party's tanks or contemplating a foray into tanking yourself, this ranking equips you with essential knowledge for navigating Cataclysm Classic's challenges.
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  • Main Tank Survivability: this includes the specialization's ability to survive high damage as a main tank, such as damage reduction abilities, cooldowns, overall durability, and self-healing.
  • Off-Tank Capability: by design, off-tanks normally aren't taking the brunt of the damage in a fight, and so a specialization's ability to act as an off-tank factors in a number of other points, including the ability to deal damage when not actively tanking, utility that can help a main tank and the healers.
  • Main Tank DPS: this takes into account the amount of damage a specialization can deal while still focusing on staying alive and main tanking.
  • Off-Tank DPS: this takes into account the amount of damage a specialization can deal while acting as an off-tank, where it can use periods of downtime between tanking to deal damage.
  • Trash & Adds: this focuses mainly on AoE threat generation and survivability.
  • Raid Utility: this encompasses the utility a specialization has that helps the raid overall.

Tier 11 Tank Tier List for Phase 1 of Cataclysm Classic


WoW Cataclysm Classic: Tank Tier List | Simple Carry
In navigating the inaugural phase of Cataclysm Classic, understanding the prowess of each tank specialization is paramount. While our tier rankings offer insight into the relative strengths, it's imperative to recognize that every tank can conquer the challenges presented in Phase 1.
It's essential to grasp that lower-tiered specializations are not rendered ineffective; rather, they may require a touch more finesse and strategic acumen to excel. With this perspective in mind, let's delve into the current standings for Tier 11:
Tier 11 Tank Tier List Breakdown and Explanations
In dissecting the Tier 11 Tank Tier List, it's crucial to appreciate the multifaceted considerations that underpin each specialization's ranking. Notably, the dynamics shift between raid farming and progression, wherein survivability takes precedence in certain encounters where tanks share equal boss tanking responsibilities.
Moreover, the ubiquity of Blood Death Knights casts a considerable shadow over comparative performance metrics. Their exceptional proficiency across various tanking facets often sets an unparalleled benchmark, thereby influencing the relative standing of other tank classes. This tier list, therefore, juxtaposes the relative performance of tanks against each other, rather than against the content itself, a nuance further emphasized by the dominance of Blood Death Knights.

Diving into the breakdown:

Blood Death Knight (S-Tier): Eminent in versatility and survivability, Blood Death Knights emerge as the quintessential choice, excelling across diverse tanking scenarios with remarkable prowess.
Feral Druid (A-Tier): Positioned as a formidable contender, Feral Druids showcase commendable adaptability and resilience, making them a solid choice for raid engagements.
Protection Paladin (B-Tier): Offering a sturdy performance, Protection Paladins secure their place in the ranks with steadfast defense and utility, albeit falling slightly short of the top echelon.
Protection Warrior (B-Tier): Not to be underestimated, Protection Warriors command a respectable presence on the battlefield, boasting robust mitigation capabilities and strategic utility.
Ultimately, while the tier rankings provide valuable insights into relative strengths, it's imperative to recognize that each tank specialization harbors the potential to triumph in Cataclysm Classic content. Success hinges not solely on the chosen specialization but also on the synergy within the raid group and individual player proficiency.

S-Tier: Blood Death Knight

WoW Cataclysm Classic: Tank Tier List | Simple Carry
Blood Death Knights are the only S-Tier tank in Cataclysm Classic, and with good reason. They are, in almost every aspect of tanking, the strongest of all 4 specializations, and perform absolutely exceptionally at launch, as well as throughout the entire expansion.
  • Main Tank Survivability: Blood Death Knights are the chosen main tank for almost every single situation in Cataclysm, with exceptional self-healing via  Death Strike, strong damage mitigation with their Mastery ( Blood Shield), even going as far as allowing well-geared raid groups the privilege of dropping healers due to the massive healing Blood outputs. They are also by far the strongest tank against magic damage.
  • Off-Tanking: Despite normally being the main tank, and while there are very strong synergies with Feral Druids, Blood DKs can be played very efficiently as an off-tank as well, and it is likely that there will be double-Blood tanking setups in the more hardcore raid groups at expansion launch.
  • Main & Off-Tank DPS: Blood Death Knights have one of the highest damage outputs of all tanks in Cataclysm Classic, when compared with other tanks with the same gearing strategy (survivability or DPS).
  • Trash & Adds: Blood Death Knights have strong AoE damage, along with the benefit of being able to  Death Grip adds and group them for more efficient clears. They are at a slight disadvantage when having to pick adds up, simply because they are one of the slower tank specs, but Death Grip helps to alleviate that issue, along with external speed boosts.
  • Raid Utility: This is the weakest aspect of a Blood Death Knight's kit, but as the weakest, they still bring multiple buffs and debuffs that are extremely useful to the raid group in the form of  Abomination's Might,  Scarlet Fever,  Frost Fever, and  Horn of Winter. The thing they lack is a raid-wide cooldown that other tanks all offer, but this is by no means any reason to remove them from being the only S-Tier tank.
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A-Tier: Feral Druid

WoW Cataclysm Classic: Tank Tier List | Simple Carry
Feral Druids are an excellent tank to have in a raid, however moreso as an off-tank than a main tank. While they certainly have sufficient defensive cooldowns to survive most damage, they aren't as durable as Blood Death Knights, and are mostly desired for the exceptional DPS they can output.
  • Main Tank Survivability: Feral Druids have a solid set of defensive capabilities, as well as a very large health pool, but by acting as a main tank, they often forego the main bonus they bring to a raid, which is their ability to DPS while in Cat Form, as they will often have to stay in Bear Form.
  • Off-Tanking: Feral Druids are undoubtedly the best off-tank in Cataclysm Classic in terms of synergy with the raid and the role of an off-tank.
  • Main & Off-Tank DPS: While main tanking, Druids are unable to enter Cat Form as often, meaning they lose a chunk of damage they would normally be able to deal. As an off-tank, however, they are essentially the closest thing to another DPS you can have from your tanks. They can swap into Cat Form and, due to Feral being a DPS and Tank specialization tree, deal a massive amount of damage for a tank.
  • Trash & Adds: With multiple movement speed increases and solid AoE threat generation, Feral Druids are excellent at picking up adds as necessary, only adding to their value as an off-tank.
  • Raid Utility: Feral Druids have a number of raid utility abilities to offer, including instant 3-stack  Faerie Fire (Feral) via  Feral Aggression,  Stampeding Roar,  Innervate, and the in-combat resurrection spell,  Rebirth.

B-Tier: Protection Paladin

WoW Cataclysm Classic: Tank Tier List | Simple Carry
Protection Paladins are in a very interesting spot in Tier 11, mainly due to the fact that it sits on the border between A- and B-Tier, not necessarily due to its own strengths and weaknesses, but due to the other tanks that exist and their performance. With how the raids in Tier 11 are setup, many raid compositions will lend themselves more to running a Blood Death Knight with a Feral Druid as their off-tank, but Protection Paladins can certainly still bring a lot of positive points to the raid.
  • Main Tank Survivability: With many defensive abilities at their disposal, as well as being able to hit their Mastery ( Divine Bulwark) cap in Tier 11, the survivability of a Protection Paladin is certainly close to, or even on-par with Feral Druids, but is still lacking compared to Blood Death Knights.
  • Off-Tanking: Paladins have a number of tools, such as  Hand of Sacrifice, to help them perform well as off-tanks and can be a solid choice for your raid.
  • Main & Off-Tank DPS: Protection Paladin DPS is, depending on the situation, either acceptable, or absolutely excellent. Depending on gearing strategies between tanks, Paladins should be able to contribute competitive single-target DPS output, while bringing absolutely superb AoE damage.
  • Trash & Adds: Picking up and managing trash or adds in a boss fight is one of the strongest parts of playing a Protection Paladin and it is one of the only areas they truly excel beyond their jack-of-all-trades role in. With  Avenger's Shield, they can easily reposition caster mobs, as well as doing it frequently due to  Grand Crusader resets.
  • Raid Utility:  Divine Guardian is Paladin's raid-wide utility, and it is excellent for helping to survive periods of large incoming damage. They also have  Hand of Sacrifice, which can be used to reduce the damage taken by your co-tank, along with the rest of their assortment of "Hand of" spells.
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B-Tier: Protection Warrior

WoW Cataclysm Classic: Tank Tier List | Simple Carry
Warriors are in a strange spot in Tier 11, simply due to the fact that there aren't many things they are the best at compared to other tanks, but can be an extremely fun tank to play and will still be able to complete the content available in Cataclysm Classic.
  • Main Tank Survivability: Warriors suffer from a similar issue that Paladins do, in that the lack of gear at the start of the expansion will impact their performance, and this is doubly true for Warriors, due to the poor scaling of their Mastery ( Critical Block). While they do have a number of defensive cooldowns, they are extremely susceptible to magic damage, and lack almost any form of self-sustain to make up for it.
  • Off-Tanking: With exceptional mobility and  Vigilance, Warriors can perform well as an off-tank, but may struggle to compete against double-blood tanking comps or Feral Druid off-tanks.
  • Main & Off-Tank DPS: The DPS output of a Protection Warrior is certainly strong, especially in AoE situations, and they also have the benefit of  Vigilance, which can provide additional DPS output as an off-tank by continuing to stack  Vengeance, something that no other tank can do.
  • Trash & Adds: The mobility a Warrior brings is excellent for picking up adds, but their weakness against magic damage is reinforced against caster adds, simply because they have no reliable way of grouping them up easily when compared to a Paladin or Death Knight outside of interrupting and manually moving them. Their AoE threat generation is, however, excellent, especially when picking up a group of adds that need an immediate burst of threat generation. They are also able to nearly spam taunt different adds or trash mobs when benefiting from  Vigilance and its taunt reset mechanic.
  • Raid Utility: Warriors have a number of useful raid utility spells, including  Sunder Armor,  Shattering Throw (which can be used to boost raid burst DPS on  Heroism/ Bloodlust), and  Rallying Cry, and while Guardian Druids can use  Faerie Fire (Feral) and instantly apply 3 stacks via  Feral Aggression, it will be fairly rare to see a Guardian Druid and Protection Warrior tanking duo, meaning Protection Warrior can substitute for the armor debuff when tanking with a Blood Death Knight or Protection Paladin. Protection Warriors also have access to  Safeguard, which essentially allows you to reduce the damage your co-tank, or another raid member, takes by 30%, on a 30-second cooldown.


In conclusion, the Tier 11 Tank PvE Tier List for Cataclysm Classic offers invaluable guidance for adventurers navigating the challenges of Azeroth. However, for those seeking to expedite their journey to the upper echelons of raiding prowess, Simple Carry's boosting services present a compelling solution.
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