Wrath of the Lich King Tank Tier List

The best performing tanks in WOTLK Phase 3

WOW Tank Tier List WOTLK

World of Warcraft’s Wrath of the Lich King (WOTLK) expansion has expanded on tank classes and playstyles. As you venture into Northrend to face the Lich King and his undead army, you’ll need to be armed with the right knowledge to dominate in PvE content. This is where the Wrath of the Lich King Tank Tier List comes into play.

Understanding the Wrath of the Lich King Tank Tier List for WOTLK can be crucial in helping you excel as a tank in this thrilling expansion. Not only will this tier list be instrumental in guiding your choice of tank class and specialization, but it’ll also prepare you for the dynamic raiding and dungeon scenarios awaiting in the frosty lands of Northrend.

Throughout this article, you’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses of each tank class and learn how they measure up against each other in terms of tier-based rankings. By the end, you’ll have gained a solid understanding of each tank class and will be able to choose one that best suits your playstyle and preferences, allowing you to lead your group to victory on the frontlines of Azeroth’s battles.


Overview of Tanks in WOTLK Phase 3

In the world of World of Warcraft (WOW) Wrath of the Lich King (WOTLK), you play a vital role as a tank during the Phase 3 content. Your main objective is to keep your enemies focused on you, protecting your teammates and ensuring the success of your group in challenging dungeons and raids.

During Phase 3, also known as the Call of the Crusade, you’ll be facing the Trial of the Grand Crusader. We will discuss key tank classes and their rankings to help you understand how different tank specializations perform in this phase. Remember that this tier list is based on a single target and AoE tanking capabilities and their overall raid utility.

In WOTLK Phase 3, tanking classes are sorted into different tiers, with the highest-ranked tanks offering the best threat and survivability. As a tank, your primary responsibility is to maintain the attention of enemies and soak up damage. Make sure to know your abilities and talents well, and don’t forget to coordinate effectively with your team!


Wrath of the Lich King Tank Tier List – Tank Class Performance

This section will discuss the performance of different tank classes in Wrath of the Lich King (WOTLK). Each class is ranked from S to B tier, with S being the best and B being the lowest in this list. Remember, this ranking is based on their performance in a PvE environment.


Protection Paladin – S-Tier

As an S-Tier tank, Protection Paladins offer strong survivability and crowd control. Their excellent AoE threat generation makes them invaluable when handling groups of enemies. With abilities like Consecration and Hammer of the Righteous, you’ll find it easier to hold aggro on multiple targets. Divine Shield and Ardent Defender contribute to your overall durability, making you a reliable choice when it comes to tanking in WOTLK.


Feral Tank Druid – A-Tier

Feral Tank Druids, ranked as A-Tier, are well-rounded tanks with good survivability and threat generation. You can take advantage of your versatility to switch between Bear Form and Cat Form, allowing quick reactions depending on the situation. Druids have high health and solid mitigation thanks to abilities like Survival Instincts and Barkskin. Overall, a Feral Tank Druid is a dependable choice for most encounters.


Blood Death Knight (DK) – A-Tier

Blood Death Knights provide a robust mix of survivability, self-healing, and threat generation as an A-Tier tanking spec and can generate plenty of threat using abilities like Death Strike and Heart Strike. Their innate self-sustain with Death Strike, Rune Tap, Anti-Magic Shell, and Bone Shield makes them difficult to bring down. Although slightly less reliable than Protection Paladins, you’ll find Blood DKs to be strong contenders in most tanking situations.


Protection Warrior – B-Tier

Protection Warriors at B-Tier, have a solid toolkit for tanking but tend to fall behind the other classes in certain aspects. However, their traditional tanking abilities, like Shield Block, Shield Wall, and Last Stand, still provide good survivability. Additionally, they have strong single-target threat generation, which is valuable in boss encounters. While they may not be top-tier in WOTLK, Protection Warriors can still hold their own and provide a viable tanking option for your group.


Role in Raids and Dungeons

Main Tanks

As a main tank in WOTLK, your primary responsibility is to maintain control over the enemy bosses during raids and dungeons. These encounters may include difficult mechanics, such as taunt swapping or managing debuffs. Here are some main tanks you can consider for WOTLK:

  • Protection Paladins: Blessed with strong area-of-effect threat generation and powerful crowd-control abilities, they are highly effective at managing multiple enemies. Consecration and Hammer of the Righteous are key tools for holding and controlling groups of adds.
  • Feral Druids (Bear Form): Offering good physical damage reduction and versatile utility, Feral Druids are a solid choice for a main tank. Their unique ability to off-heal and remove debuffs can be crucial in certain raid situations.
  • Protection Warriors: Known for their high survivability and excellent threat generation, they are well-suited to handle most boss encounter mechanics. Like Shield Wall and Last Stand, their abilities provide reliable damage mitigation.
  • Blood Death Knights: With great self-sustainability and strong damage output, these tanks often excel in encounters involving frequent target-switching. Their ability, Death Grip, allows them to quickly reposition enemies, making them effective at controlling adds.


Off Tanks

As an off-tank, your role is to support the main tank and manage additional enemies or raid mechanics. You’re often required to handle adds, switch targets, or provide backup during emergency situations.


Tank Specific Encounters

There are encounters in WOTLK where your choice of tank can significantly impact the group’s success. Knowing how to adapt and execute the strategies required can help maximize your performance in these fights:

  • Razorscale: Off-tanks need to quickly pick up and control Iron Dwarves, prioritizing Dark Rune Sentinels. Good communication between tanks is crucial for managing the constant inflow of adds.
  • Thorim: The off-tank will engage Sif, and her adds in the arena while the main tank handles Thorim’s mechanics. Proper tank positioning and quick target-switching are crucial for managing the adds and interrupting their casts.
  • Anub’arak: The off-tank must hold the attention of the Nerubian Burrowers, kiting them away from the boss while managing the incoming damage from their debuffs.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Understanding your role in raids and dungeons and mastering your class’s toolkit will help you become an exceptional tank in WOTLK.


Gear and Stat Priorities

Strengths and Weaknesses

As a tank in Wrath of the Lich King, it’s crucial to gear up properly to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Strengths include high health, armor, and threat generation, while weaknesses are often lower damage output and susceptibility to crowd control effects. To optimize your survivability and threat generation, focus on these essential stats: Stamina, Armor, Defense Rating, Dodge, Parry, and Hit rating.


Recommended Gear Sets

For WOW WOTLK tank classes, the Tier 8 gear sets obtained from the Ulduar raid are highly recommended. These gear sets provide powerful bonuses that boost your armor, health, and threat generation, making them ideal choices for a tank. Collect the appropriate set for your class to maximize your performance in raids.



Enchant your gear to further enhance your stats and abilities. Key enchantment priorities for tanks include Stamina, Defense Rating, and Dodge, which significantly affect your overall survivability. Make sure to enchant crucial gear pieces, such as your weapon and armor, to significantly impact your tanking performance.



Gems are another way to enhance your gear and improve your stats. Socket your gear with gems that boost Stamina, Defense Rating, and Dodge to prioritize survivability and threat generation. Feel free to mix and match gem colors to activate socket bonuses as long as the bonuses align with your stat priorities.



Don’t forget to bring along consumables like elixirs, flasks, and food buffs that grant additional bonuses to your core tanking stats. These temporary boosts will give you an edge during difficult encounters and can make the difference between a successful raid and a wipe.

Remember to always gear and prepare yourself thoughtfully, considering your unique tank class’s strengths and weaknesses. By prioritizing the appropriate stats, gear sets, enchants, gems, buffs, and consumables, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a formidable tank in Wrath of the Lich King.


Talents and Glyphs

Paladin Talents

As a tanking Paladin in Wrath of the Lich King, you’ll want to focus on the Protection talent tree. Some key talents to help you excel as a tank include:

  • Divine Strength: Increases total Strength by a percentage, enhancing overall damage and threat generation.
  • Touched by the Light: Increases your spell power by an amount equal to a percentage of your Stamina, boosting your survivability.

While diving into the Protection tree, don’t forget to allocate some points to the other trees, such as the Retribution tree, to improve your damage output.


Death Knight Talents

Death Knights have multiple tanking options, with most players choosing to tank as either Blood or Frost. Key talents for Blood tanks include:

  • Blade Barrier: Reduces damage taken and increases parry chance while your Bone Shield is active.
  • Vampiric Blood: Temporarily increases your maximum health and grants you healing for a portion of the damage dealt.

For Frost tanks, consider investing points in these talents:

  • Unbreakable Armor: Grants increased armor and Strength for a short duration, boosting your survivability.
  • Toughness: Increases your maximum armor value, making you more resistant to physical damage.


Druid Talents

As a tanking Druid, you’ll focus on the Feral Combat tree. Key talents to consider include:

  • Survival of the Fittest: Increases your maximum health and reduces your chance of being critically hit by enemies.
  • Thick Hide: Enhances armor contribution from items and reduces all physical damage taken.

Don’t forget to pick up some utility talents from the other trees to further improve your tanking capabilities.


Warrior Talents

For Warrior tanks, the Protection talent tree is where you’ll spend most of your points. Some important talents to include in your build are:

  • Last Stand: Temporarily increases your maximum health, giving you a solid boost to your survivability.
  • Shield Mastery: Reduces the cooldown and increases the effect of your shield-based abilities, improving your threat generation and survivability.


Important Glyphs

As a tank, several glyphs will prove beneficial to your role. Some notable examples for each class include:


Helpful Addons and Macros

This section will explore some useful addons and macros for tanks in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. As a tank, having the right tools at your disposal can greatly enhance your gameplay and overall performance in both raids and dungeons.

Addons for Tanks

You may find several add-ons helpful as a tank in WOTLK. Here’s a list of some recommended addons:

  • Deadly Boss Mods (DBM): DBM helps you stay informed about boss abilities and mechanics, allowing you to react and adjust your tanking strategy accordingly. Get DBM here.
  • Omen Threat Meter: This addon tracks and displays the threat levels of party or raid members, allowing you to ensure that you maintain threat on your target. Download Omen Threat Meter here.
  • Grid: Grid is a compact and highly customizable raid frame addon that displays the health and status of your group members, making it easier to monitor their well-being and prioritize your actions during combat. Install Grid here.
  • Tidy Plates: Tidy Plates enhance the default nameplates by providing additional information, such as the target’s health, debuffs, and threat level. This add-on can help you manage multiple targets more effectively. Get Tidy Plates here.


Macros for WOTLK Tanks

Macros are crucial for streamlining your gameplay and making certain actions more efficient. Here are some useful macros for WOTLK tanks:

  • Taunt Macro:
/cast [@mouseover,exists,harm,nodead] Taunt; Taunt

Use this macro to cast your Taunt ability on your mouseover target if it’s an enemy and not dead; otherwise, it casts Taunt on your current target.

  • Intervene Macro:
#showtooltip Intervene
/cast [help,nodead] Intervene; [target=targettarget,help,nodead] Intervene

This macro casts Intervene on your friendly target or, if your current target is an enemy, on your target’s target, allowing you to quickly protect a party or raid member who has drawn aggro.

  • Defensive Cooldown Macro:
/castsequence reset=30 Shield Wall, Last Stand

This macro activates your Shield Wall ability and casts Last Stand once its duration expires, ensuring that you have consecutive defensive cooldowns available.

Remember, these are just a few add-ons and macro suggestions that may be beneficial for tanks in WOTLK. Feel free to experiment with other addons and macros to find those that best suit your playstyle. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of certain addons and macros may vary depending on your class, spec, and role.


Wrath of the Lich King Tank Tier List Wrap Up

Finding the perfect tank class for you can be challenging in the world of WOW Wrath of the Lich King. Keeping it friendly, here are some insights to help you in your decision-making process.

First off, you’ll find that Protection Paladins consistently rank as S-Tier, making them a solid choice for those who want a reliable and well-rounded tank. Their survivability, utility, and AoE threat generation make them a popular choice for players tackling the challenges in Wrath of the Lich King Classic.

On the other hand, if you prefer something a little more versatile, Feral Tank Druids and Blood Death Knights both grab an A-Tier placement. Feral Tank Druids offer great mobility and utility, while Blood Death Knights bring unique abilities and a fun playstyle to the table.

Lastly, don’t overlook the role of Protection Warriors as B-Tier tanks. While not as popular as other tanking classes in this expansion, they still have their place in certain situations and team compositions.

Ultimately, the choice of which tank class to play in WOTLK is yours. Remember that the tier list should serve as a guide, but personal preferences and your playstyle are crucial factors in your decision. Enjoy your tanking adventures in Northrend and may you always stand strong against the forces of the Lich King!


Wrath of the Lich King Tank Tier List – FAQs

Which tanks are top-tier in WOTLK dungeons?

In Wrath of the Lich King dungeons, the S-tier tanks provide excellent threat and survivability. Blood Death Knights, Feral Druids, and Protection Warriors are top-tier WOTLK dungeons choices.


Which tanking class is easiest in WOTLK?

For players new to tanking in Wrath of the Lich King, Protection Paladins are considered easier to learn and manage due to their straightforward abilities and solid survivability. However, your personal playstyle and experience may determine which tanking class is easiest for you.


How many tanks are needed in WOTLK raids?

The number of tanks needed for WOTLK raids varies depending on the encounter and raid size. Generally, 10-player raids require 2 tanks, while 25-player raids might require 3 or 4 tanks. Some fights may have specific tanking mechanics requiring additional tanks, so studying each encounter and planning according to your raid’s composition and strategy is essential.