Player Perspectives: Top Tanks of Mythic+

Recently, we have seen many changes come to each tanking spec as well as the wave of hotfixes on March 26th targeted towards improving tank survivability. Since then, we conducted a Raider.IO stats breakdown to see how these buffs have impacted tank class representation in high keys. Fortunately, we found that tank diversity has been steadily increasing since the launch of the hotfixes.

Will we see a shift in the tank meta for Season 2? Today, we interview tank players of each class who have shown high performance in live keys and/or MDI over multiple expansions to take an inside look at the state of tanking in Shadowlands Season 1 and what may come in later seasons. Thank you to Aikio, Dorki, Eltharien, Equinoxmonk, Naowh, and Redwoyer for sharing insights and love for your favorite specs.

Table of Contents

“Be creative in finding ways to overcome weaknesses and deficits of your class and try to put emphasis on your strengths. Having fun and enjoying whatever you do is a huge part of improving.” —Eltharien

Q: What is your first name, main (or favorite) class, and how long have you been playing WoW? How long have you been doing Mythic+? What else do you like to do outside the game?

Aikio: My name is Tural and my favorite class is Demon Hunter. I have played WoW since Legion and started doing Mythic+ around then. I chose Demon Hunter at first because it was a fast class to upgrade the artifact weapon. I’m from Ukraine and am 27 years old. I don’t do much outside of the game, but I play other games like PUBG, CSGO, or single-player games. I also like to watch movies and anime. Sometimes, I go out with my best friend.

Dorki: Hey my name is Vincent. I’ve been playing mostly Druid, but swapped to Death Knight main at the start of BFA. I had been playing WoW casually since The Burning Crusade/Warlords of Draenor/Legion until the end of Legion when Mythic+ took off, so I’ve mostly been doing Mythic+ from the end of Legion until now. Outside of WoW, I’ve always been a big MMO/MOBA player, so I’ve played other MMOs like Guild Wars 2, Black Desert Online, TERA, and Elder Scrolls Online. My favorite game of all time is easily Warcraft III along with all the custom games I’ve played on it like DOTA, League of Legends, etc. Before the whole covid situation, I spent most of my time outside of games doing fitness.

Eltharien: My name is Andre and I’m 25 years old. I was born and raised in Germany and my favorite and therefore main class is my Protection Paladin. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since late Wrath of the Lich King and Mythic+ specifically since Legion (more active since BFA Season 2). My Paladin has also been my first ever class to play in this game and I've been stuck on it since. I’ve gotta add though that I am playing Protection exclusively for Mythic+ and I have never really considered tanking in any raid-environment. You’ll find me playing Holy when I’m raiding. Unfortunately, due to a group-disband and lack of people who are willing to commit to an “off meta-tank” like Protection Paladin, I am currently healing the majority of my keys. Outside of the game, I like to work out at the gym since I am a big fan of powerlifting. I have a background in sales and I've been working for the German Telekom/T-Mobile for 8 years.

Equinoxmonk: My name is Jon. I main a Brewmaster Monk and I’ve been playing WoW for around 16 years. I started doing Mythic+ in Legion in Tomb of Sargeras and did my first push season in Patch 7.3.2 as a Vengeance Demon Hunter. I then swapped to Brewmaster in BFA and I’ve been maining it ever since. Outside of WoW, I mostly stick to movies and exploring different foods. In the realm of video games, I play MOBAs like Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends or single-player games.

Naowh: The name is Robin, or Hrobin if you’re Danish. Don’t really have a main, but my favorite tank is Death Knight. I’ve been playing WoW since late Vanilla but with long breaks just as everyone else. I came back to WoW midway through Legion, got really into Mythic+, and have been playing ever since without any major breaks. Apart from depleting keys, I enjoy being lazy, maybe laying on the sofa watching Netflix, or golfing.

Redwoyer: My name is Linh and I main a Warrior (mainly DPS, but that’s not what most people know me for nowadays). Outside of WoW, I enjoy playing RPG games, listening to music, watching anime, and working out. I’m 29 years old and I’m from Northern California. As for work, I’m a dental hygienist. Overall, I’m a pretty average guy with average ambitions.

Q: On March 26, Blizzard made hotfixes to all 6 tanking classes, reducing physical and magic damage taken for each class by 10% except for Vengeance Demon Hunter, which received a nerf and a 5% physical damage reduction. How have the recent changes affected your gameplay? Can you feel a difference in survivability?

Aikio: The 10% increase is nice, but I don’t know why they gave Demon Hunter only 5% increase to physical damage, so Demon Hunter is not the best in this aspect. Warrior and bear are doing much better in that sense. This only suggests that the Blizzard does not understand what is really going on and just goes by what most community people believe. They have no general picture in their heads. The same thing happens when people complain about Demon Hunter tank damage output. This is an illusion because Prot Paladin and Brewmaster do more damage in high keys than Demon Hunter. Bear can also do the same as Demon Hunter. But if you’re doing +10-15 keys, of course Demon Hunter can do more because we have burst damage and, if trash dies quickly, it’s never going to show the whole picture. Demon Hunter brings 5% magic damage increase for the whole group through Chaos Brand, giga mobility, and good control with sigils. I don’t like the fact that Demon Hunter got nerfed just because it’s a popular class this moment, nothing more!

Dorki: These changes are as everyone would expect, 10% tankier :^) For high-level tanking, the changes are not as impactful since we’re gated by our DPS to time higher keys rather than the tank’s survival. Therefore, we haven’t really reached that threshold where tanks are like “this is really difficult to tank!” However, these changes have been amazing for the majority of players and certain classes out there that are struggling to reach these higher keys. I know many players have been complaining about the whole “kite meta” and how much they dislike tanking at the moment, so I’m glad they are making changes to combat this issue.

Eltharien: In my case, the changes were definitely notable, but not to an extent where it affected my gameplay. Peaks in damage-taken against heavy-hitters like Stitchwerks in The Necrotic Wake are certainly a little easier to handle.

Equinoxmonk: I noticed the changes immediately once a Fortified week hit. I could play Kyrian with the Stormstout’s Last Keg legendary and be just as tanky as I was on Necrolord in the previous Fortified week. This was a massive improvement for our group because I could do way more damage than I was able to do on Necrolord. Gameplay-wise, the change allowed me to kite less and it made grouping packs a lot less scary than it was before especially against casters.

Naowh: Been playing a lot more Death Knight since I enjoy it the most, and yeah you can definitely feel a difference. It’s a good change, but I don’t agree with only buffing Demon Hunter’s survivability by only 5%. Demon Hunter was already the tank that needed to kite the most, and now it’s even further behind other tanks. Every tank should have a way of actually playing their role and tank mobs through good cooldown usage and planning. Sadly, this is not the case in Shadowlands.

Redwoyer: These changes, among other buffs to Warriors and our legendaries, definitely helped a lot. The 10% increase to damage reduction was huge for Warriors since we really struggle against magic damage and bleeds, and there is a large volume of this in Shadowlands dungeons. You can definitely feel tankier especially in bosses like Hakkar where there’s a mix of magic and physical damage in their tank buster. The change has allowed me to revert back to a playstyle that’s more of a tank than cosplaying an RBG Flag Carrier running away from 3 mobs. Being a tank is a lot more fun in my opinion.

Q: What are your favorite things about your chosen tanking class? What do you like about its playstyle and the utility that it brings to the group?

Aikio: My favorite thing is that you have more responsibility and control over the run. Also, you see the game from a different angle, which helps you to make others' gameplay more comfortable.

Dorki: For bear tank, my favorite thing is definitely its simplicity, but also the amount of little extra things you can do on this class. Being able to shapeshift and having all the Druid utility at hand provides a more interesting tanking experience than some others. Also, being able to play multiple different roles (healing, DPS, tank) is definitely a large perk when it comes to playing Druid. One thing that people argue a lot about is how boring bear feels, but the way I see it is that bear allows you to play the game/role rather than just the class.

Eltharien: I love the outstandingly high amount of damage that Protection Paladins can put out on either single or multitarget, depending on how its specced or depending on what covenant you decide to play while still providing huge offheals and utilities that allow you to cheese mechanics. For example, you can pre-freedom the Charged Stomp on Oryphrion or the Frozen Binds on Nalthor the Rimebinder. You can also use Blessing of Protection for abilities like the Juggernaut Rush in Sanguine Depths. I also like the huge variety in viable legendaries that can be used for raiding and Mythic+; we’re talking about 5-6 viable options in total for Prot Paladins. Also, there's no “best talents” and a lot of talents can be built around your preferences or for different scenarios, unlike Vengeance Demon Hunter where I feel like once you step into higher key-territory, you’re “stuck” with the fiery-soul build without any real alternative. For Protection Paladin in Mythic+, you have about 2-3 viable options in each talent row, one being a little more or less niche than the other but still viable. You can see evidence of this in the Protection Paladin leaderboards on Raider.IO or on Warcraftlogs.

I also like that the class became a lot less secondary-stat reliant compared to BFA when we still had a charge-based system for our active mitigation. This has definitely lowered the skill-floor of the class a bit, which makes it a lot more attractive and easier to pick up for someone who is new to the game or new to tanking in general. The considerably “small” defensive toolkit and the notorious “squishiness” of Paladin tanks keep the skill-ceiling of the class pretty high regardless of how high mitigation uptimes are and how easy the class is to pick up. Protection Paladin is definitely a good spec for someone who wants a tank that is “good to learn tanking with” with a lot of room for min-maxing and improvements as their playerskill increases.

Equinoxmonk: My favorite thing about Brewmaster is the amount of utility you have to take care of yourself and your teammates as well as the natural synergy between Ring of Peace, Leg Sweep, and Clash. I enjoy being able to dispel myself and peel for myself without having to rely on someone else to do it. Playstyle-wise, Brewmaster is more about rotating your Celestial Brew and other cooldowns such as trinkets and Fortifying Brew while maximizing your brew reduction. To me, that’s more fun than the playstyle of keeping up your active mitigation then having to kite because you can’t facetank anything. You’re more of a tanky tank as Brewmaster though not as unkillable as Guardian Druids during incarn.

Naowh: The feeling of being self-sustained; whatever happens, it’s all on you. Blood DK is a very rewarding class and you can feel when you’re playing well. Sadly, the utility is kind of awful, but grip is handy in some situations, as well as Control Undead. Anti-Magic Zone is nice for pride, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of overall damage you lose by bringing a Blood DK.

Redwoyer: My favorite thing about Prot Warrior is that they are typically one of the highest DPS tanks when they are good. I DPS outside of keys, so I always enjoy seeing bigger numbers. Aside from that, Prot Warriors have a very proactive playstyle which is great for me since I have old man reflexes now.

Q: Have you played any other tanking classes in Shadowlands? If yes, how does your main class feel compared to other tanking classes that you play after the recent patch changes and hotfixes?

Aikio: I have played a bit of Brewmaster and bear, but I’m not able to switch my class right now. I feel that some classes like Death Knight, bear, and Warrior can currently survive even better than Demon Hunter!

Dorki: I played every tank throughout the long beta, but on live, I have only played Guardian Druid, Blood Death Knight, and Protection Paladin. Bear is definitely holding up far better than it did in the previous patches/expansions. Currently, bear feels like it’s borderline overpowered in Mythic+ with just a few glaring weaknesses (lack of damage/aggro outside of incarn/convoke).

Eltharien: I gathered some experience on Vengeance Demon Hunter during the Shadowlands beta and decided to level one as a fallback character in case I’d lose interest in my Paladin or if my Paladin would feel too bad for some reason. I'm glad it didn't turn out to be this way. My Paladin wasn't really affected by any current changes except for the buffs made to all tanks. Therefore, nothing really changed to how my class feels compared to other tanks/Vengeance Demon Hunters. However, I have been interested in leveling a Guardian Druid after speaking with Dorki (Tomoboar) in the Shadowlands beta.

Equinoxmonk: I’ve played Vengeance Demon Hunter quite a bit. Vengeance DH is very tanky during Meta and has a lot of utility from it’s sigils, but I just can’t get into the actual playstyle of how you tank mobs and the inevitability of you having to kite really early on if you don’t have Fel Devastation or Meta available, which I feel is the complete opposite of Brewmaster where you can always tank a pack for a long time.

Naowh: I play all the tanks. I haven't been playing a lot of Brewmaster Monk, but that’s about it. Like I said, I don’t have a main. I usually play the tank that currently performs the best, which has been Demon Hunter so far in Shadowlands, both in raiding and the MDI. However, with recent changes, I think Warrior is going to outshine DH in high keys, and currently it’s more like “bring the player and not the class”, which is a good thing because it shows that the current class balance is actually very nice.

Redwoyer: Yes, I also tank on a Demon Hunter alt. In the latest patch, the comparison between Warrior and Demon Hunter is still the same as before for me. Warrior is tankier against physical damage during their cooldowns while Demon Hunter is much stronger against magic damage. Warrior is more of a “stand still and tank” playstyle while Demon Hunter has higher pack control but has to kite a lot more. One big thing is that Demon Hunter did lose some damage output in the latest patch mainly due to the nerfs to their Repeat Decree conduit, so Warriors definitely pull ahead in that regard now.

“For high-level tanking, the changes are not as impactful since we’re gated by our DPS to time higher keys rather than the tank’s survival.” —Dorki

Q: How do you feel about tanking high Mythic+ or MDI in Shadowlands compared to previous expansions? What improvements/modifications would you like to see Blizzard make to Mythic+ or your specific tank spec to improve overall quality of life?

Aikio: This is really hard question because I play high keys and my desires are connected only with this! It would be nice to have rewards in the form of mounts and all that. Also, it would be great to get better gear from the higher keys you push! If I decide to switch classes, I need to do PVP and raid to get top gear. This is a problem and demotivates me to mainswap.

Dorki: Tanking has definitely been much more challenging than the previous expansions because of the amount of damage tanks take, aggro issues etc. I’m personally a big fan of the current state of tanking which is probably a hot take because I’ve seen all over Twitter/Reddit/forums and even in my stream where people are constantly complaining about how bad tanks are at the moment. The previous expansions were a bit too lenient on tanks. A lot of tanks (*cough* Prot Warrior BFA) could karate chop their keyboards in past patches and be immune to damage/not require any healing. Blizzard has definitely been addressing these issues as seen with the threat modifier buffs and increased damage reduction (DR) on tanks that we’ve been seeing which is great. I’m hoping for damage output profiles on classes to be closer. Currently, tanks like Blood DK and bear struggle hard with threat on pull and fail to compete with higher damaging tanks in timing keys.

Eltharien: I think tanking became more challenging going into Shadowlands compared to BFA, especially after Season 4 where tanks used to have crazy amounts of versatility. I also kinda dislike the high amount of “unavoidable” or not “outplayable” mechanics that will straight up (almost) oneshot a majority of tanking specs after a short amount of time (sometimes even through cooldowns) if you don't find yourself kiting at some point. Enforcing kiting from a spec that is not very much suited or not designed to kite, (i.e. high mitigation uptimes on classes like Paladin tanks), is an issue I see with how some mobs/dungeons are scaled.

A change I’d like to see would be Blizzard removing Fortified and Tyrannical (just let the whole dungeon scale per key level but don't bring additional scaling factors for trash or bosses) and giving tanking specs with lesser damage outputs an increase in how much threat they generate. I’ve been dealing with threat issues due to lack of tank DPS output in BFA and now other classes are suffering from that issue to a certain extent in Shadowlands.

Equinoxmonk: I really enjoy tanking as a Brewmaster in Mythic+ this expansion. Being given Celestial Brew puts survivability more in your hands compared to how it was in previous expansions. You’re tankier than you were in Season 1 of BFA, but not as tanky as Season 3 or Season 4 of BFA yet. I think if they release strong tank trinkets in the next raid, then we’ll be tankier than we were in all of the last expansion.

I’d like to see Blizzard step away from 20% count affixes for a while. I think they make routing not as fun, but I enjoy the idea of Prideful and how it makes you more powerful. I hope they make the rest of the seasonal affixes a reward-type affix. Specifically for my class, I want them to rework our 2 conduits Celestial Effervescence and Evasive Stride. They need to change Celestial Effervescence to a buff on healing received after your Celestial Brew falls off instead of your healing done while Celestial Brew is active. Evasive Stride should be massively buffed percent-wise or changed into a magic damage reduction conduit that makes you stagger X% more magic damage.

Naowh: Tanking in Shadowlands is way worse than any previous expansion. Hopefully it will get better further into the expansion, but you just feel weak. Living high keys without Treants/Cardboard Assassin (stupid Cata belt enchant) is almost impossible. The latest buff to all tanks drastically improved this which is a good thing, so hopefully with some more secondary stats, we can once again do what we’re supposed to, tank. Regarding MDI, it’s the same. In previous expansions, you just pulled a group of mobs until you ran out of CC and the group couldn’t handle the incoming damage. In Shadowlands, you generally tailor way more pulls around what the tank can survive.

Redwoyer: It’s not as bad in the latest patch, but I haven’t really enjoyed tanking high keys much in Shadowlands. Tanking Mythic+ right now involves a lot of kiting away from 3-4 mobs, which is not really that fun in my opinion. I just feel like I’m not making much of an impact on the key and it’s just not enjoyable. In Legion, there was a lot of kiting as tanks also, but you were typically kiting from 20 mobs instead of 4 so you just felt more powerful back then. On top of that, target caps really force you into either playing with certain classes or just pulling in an inefficient way. From a tank POV, I think this is awful since it severely limits who I can actually play with. Lastly, this is sort of off topic, but I really hope that they implement a seasonal affix where the most efficient way to deal with it is NOT to just skip it all together.

Q: Now that you’ve had some time to play with the new patch changes and hotfixes to varying tanking classes, do you think we will see a shift in the tank meta for Shadowlands Season 2? What tank specs do you think look especially strong and why?

Aikio: I’m playing only MDI right now, so I have no idea what gonna be best. If Blizzard adds a second legendary, everything will change instantly!

Dorki: We’d have to see what changes/borrowed powers we’re getting in Season 2 to tell. For all we know, Blood DK might get some insane new legendary or buffs making them the best tank. But as of now, the only potential change is that we’ll see more Prot Warriors. Prot warriors have really decent damage while being able to facetank most trash packs for sustained periods. However, nothing beats Chaos Brand at the moment with the Boomkin/Fire Mage meta unless people change it up and something like Windwalker/Rogue becomes more FOTM. Delete raid buffs!

Eltharien: I strongly believe that Protection Warriors and Guardian Druids are going to shine in future seasons, but I also believe that the DPS meta will have a large impact on the tank meta. As long as you’ll see comps like Fire Mage, Boomkin, Holy Paladin + “X”, Vengeance Demon Hunter will always be a solid pick unless “X” is going to be Havoc Demon Hunter because the 5%-buff that Demon Hunters bring to the table have such a high impact on overall damage and therefore dungeon speed.

Equinoxmonk: I think the tanking meta completely relies on what new trinkets there are for tanks if they nerf trash auto attack damage in keys, and how good Havoc Demon Hunter is in keys. If Havoc Demon Hunter is better in keys in Season 2, we could either see Protection Warrior/Bear/Brewmaster Monk be the best tanks because Havoc Demon Hunter can cover your magic buff. If not, we’ll continue seeing Vengeance Demon Hunter and probably Protection Warrior as the top two Mythic+ tanks if the new affix isn’t super unfriendly to them. If Holy Paladin remains the meta healer, then Brewmaster won’t be meta unless they get a really strong self-sustain legendary. However, if Holy Paladin gets large nerfs, then more tank-healing healers like Restoration Shaman/Holy Priest become the best, which in turn makes Brewmaster become a lot stronger.

Outside of potential changes, as it stands right now, I think VDH/Prot Warrior will be top 2 tanks and Bear/Brewmaster tied for 2nd, which is basically the same as it is now.

Naowh: Yes. With tanks being more “tanky”, the need of Boomkin treants significantly drops, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a more “physical” meta again. For example, Windwalker Monks are doing great damage, so if you play Rogue/Windwalker/Mage, it would be a good thing to add a Warrior for Battle Shout. Warriors are looking very strong. It almost feels like BFA against physical damage, but you still get trucked if there’s any magic damage or bleeds. Apart from that, Guardian Druids are looking solid, but their only issue is keeping aggro outside of incarn. Brewmaster Monks are currently underrated as well. No one really plays Brewmaster Monk in Mythic+ right now, but I think they’re currently very strong. Sadly, Paladins and Death Knights are still somewhat behind due to their design, which is not suited for high Mythic+.

Redwoyer: It’s really hard to say if there will be a shift in tank meta for Shadowlands Season 2 since we still don’t have all the information on tunings and raid tier sets (if it’s gonna be a thing). As it is right now, Vengeance Demon Hunter, Protection Warrior, and bear are all looking strong since they’re all good at some mixture of tankiness, damage, and mob control.

Q: In an ideal world, what group composition would you love to run to support your favorite tanking class in high Mythic+?

Aikio: Right now, my favorite comp is Vengeance Demon Hunter, Holy Paladin, Mage, Boomkin, and Windwalker Monk.

Dorki: My favorite tanking class is Blood DK, so ideally something like Holy Paladin for its damage output, Winwalker Monk, Rogue, and Boomkin because these classes can’t rip aggro and don’t require Chaos Brand as heavily. I’d say the same for bear tank. However, the current meta comp is still the way to go with Windwalker instead of Rogue for more damage.

Eltharien: Kyrian Protection Paladin, Venthyr Holy Paladin, Fire Mage, Balance Druid, and Havoc Demon Hunter.

Equinoxmonk: My ideal group comp would be Frost Mage, Resto Druid, Beast Mastery/Marksmanship Hunter, and Outlaw Rogue. Between all of those classes and Brewmaster, you have insane mob control, plenty of knocks for Sanguine weeks, soothes, interrupts, and big slows to keep mobs grouped while kiting.

Naowh: Well you can basically play anything with a Blood Death Knight, so I don’t really have one. Previously, we played Rogue/Monk/Mage + DK which was fun, but you can feel the lack of damage.

Redwoyer: I really enjoy playing heavy melee comps, so any mixtures of the melee being good would be really fun. It just works out that most melee specs are generally tankier too, so you can have a more straightforward way of approaching routes that way. It’s sort of the opposite of what you’re asking, but I just want to be able to play with any comps and not feel like I’m behind before the key even starts.

Q: Many tanking classes seem to have several viable covenant options right now for high keys. How did you pick your covenant? Was it based on your team’s group composition or purely based on your individual specs?

Aikio: I picked my covenant (Night Fae) to do PVP for bis gear, but then I started playing in the MDI and haven’t changed my covenant yet since I have no time play live servers during the tournament.

Dorki: Night Fae is super fun to play as a Druid and it provides so many different use scenarios (burst single-target, large AoE damage, strong defensive cooldown). Also, the soulbinds are extremely powerful, making Night Fae my go-to pick. However, everyone plays Night Fae, so it definitely hurts our comp not having a Venthyr/Kyrian tank :(

Eltharien: Tank covenants are probably the least impactful ones in Mythic+ and therefore allow for more variance to fill a specific covenant in your comp. For example, you’ll sometimes see Vengeance Demon Hunters play Necrolord or Venthyr instead of Kyrian if it is beneficial for their team as a whole. In my current case, I mainly playing Venthyr to cover the Venthyr-spot in my group even though I highly dislike it. It has been this way on Protection due to Venthyr being bis for our Holy spec. There definitely are downsides to not being a Kyrian for Mythic+ as a Protection Paladin, but these downsides are manageable up to a degree where you could play necrolord of Night Fae if it was needed without it being too much of a crutch.

Equinoxmonk: I was originally Kyrian because I was the only one in my group pre Night Fae Hunter nerfs and it was the strongest covenant for Brewmaster. I played Necrolord once it got buffed because it gave our group the Necrolord bonus and it was tankier compared to Kyrian. Once the tank changes went live, I swapped back to Kyrian because I could play a more damage-focused playstyle while not being squishy. However for this upcoming Fortified week, I will be playing Necrolord to fully cover the covenant bonuses in my group since our Rogue will be playing Venthyr.

Naowh: Generally, you want to play a tank that’s either Kyrian or in some cases Necrolord. Since Holy Paladin is meta right now, they cover Venthyr, and you also bring a Mage to basically every dungeon, so that covers Night Fae. I believe that Rogues and Shamans can play Necrolord, while Windwalker is the only option for Kyrian outside of tanks. Therefore, it really depends on what your group comp looks like.

Redwoyer: I’m currently playing Night Fae because it’s good for both raiding and Mythic+. However, I would play Kyrian if my group comp didn’t include one. Since I don’t have to do that, I chose Night Fae Prot Warrior since it has the highest DPS potential out of all of our covenants, and Ancient Aftershock is really nice for dealing with big caster packs.

“The thing that helped me most was to be open-minded while focusing on my own gameplay to see how I can improve. Tank is the most impactful role in a Mythic+ group, so the success of the key is heavily dependent on the tank.” —Redwoyer

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring tank Mythic+ key pushers or MDI competitors? Why and when do you think tanks should follow a current meta or when they should simply play the class they love?

Aikio: I try to play what class I most like but am ready to change if the time is right! Good luck everyone.

Dorki: When it comes to tanking, play the tank you are most comfortable with! It is so important for tanks to be focusing on the bigger picture rather than their own character. The tank is usually the one in charge of routing, leading the group, and controlling mobs, which means that you’ll have an easier time if you are super comfortable with surviving on your class. This leads to my next point which is not worrying about the small things like “is mastery better than ilvl? Should I use 210 Decanters trinket or 213 Hateful Chain? Is Niya better than Korayn?” etc. My last tip is to learn a lot when playing tank. Tank generally has to be the most knowledgeable player and you can definitely learn a lot from just experiencing or watching streams/YouTube!

Eltharien: My biggest advice would be to just play whatever class and covenant you enjoy playing the most, gather experience over time and don’t get too influenced by whatever class is considered to be the current meta unless you’re striving to play at the highest level in the world. Be creative in finding ways to overcome weaknesses and deficits of your class and try to put emphasis on your strengths. Having fun and enjoying whatever you do is a huge part of improving. If you don't enjoy the class you’re playing and you simply do it to follow a “meta”, you'll find yourself not improving as fast as you would in a scenario where you enjoy what you do.

Equinoxmonk: My best advice if you want to push as a tank to first learn the dungeons and how they interact with your class. This is important because, once you start forming routes, you’ll know the struggle points of your class in each dungeon and how to play around them. After that, learn how to route around your class and your groups comp, not all classes can do the same pulls as other classes for example my group which has no Boomkin or Demon Hunter tank and as a result can’t pull a lot of casters without major DPS cooldowns because we just don’t have the silencing capabilities that they do but that just means we have to get more creative in our routing.

Outside of just your personal play you’ll have to find a group which is one of the hardest parts of pushing keys. You just have to put yourself out there, keep pugging and adding people you click with then start pugging with them and slowly build up a friends list then form a group from there.

As far as the meta goes there’s no reason to follow the tank meta atm unless you just really like playing the meta tank(s) because every tank right now is capable of pushing very high io (3k+) so you should just play what you love.

Naowh: I could talk for hours about advice. If people want to become better at Mythic+, I suggest they watch my YouTube video, “How to become a better Mythic+ player”. It all really depends on what your goal is. Playing “meta” tanks is only really needed if you’re pushing the highest possible keys in the world. If you’re just a casual gamer, I would just recommend playing whatever you enjoy.

Redwoyer: The thing that helped me most was to be open-minded while focusing on my own gameplay to see how I can improve. Tank is the most impactful role in a Mythic+ group, so the success of the key is heavily dependent on the tank. 99% of the time when a key is depleted, there’s always something that you could have done better as a tank whether it be through routing, communicating with your team, making better calls, and so on. Due to this, it’s really important to have a growth mindset and just focus more so on getting better as an individual player. As for the meta, I think that you can play whatever you have the most fun at until it’s like 2-3 keys level below what would be world first keys. Outside of those keys, I feel that you can do well with any tank as long as you’re competent at that class. Basically, it really just depends on what your goals are.


About the Author

Vitaminpee specializes in tanking classes in WoW and other MMORPGs and loves doing competitive Mythic+. She is the Editor and Assistant Producer of Raider.IO and is currently pursuing her Masters of Business Administration. She is a partnered Twitch streamer and Discord Partner. Feel free to message her via Twitter for any business-related inquiries.