Shadowlands Tank Tier List for Sanctum of Domination Patch 9.1.5
Welcome to Wowhead's Patch 9.1.5 Shadowlands Tank Tier List for the Sanctum of Domination Raid. With the help of our class writers, we've made a Tier List for raiding in Patch 9.1.5, commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of each Tank spec for the raid and how each spec performs.
This page will continue to be updated, 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.
Disclaimers About This Tier List
This Guide was made to give you an overview of how each Tank is performing in Mythic Sanctum of Domination for Patch 9.1.5 with comments from our Class Writers. We will update this tier list if any tuning changes do occur. This Tier List was made for players who prefer to choose their class based on its usefulness in the current Mythic raid tier. If you don't want to play this way, you don't have to and can pick your class based on whatever factors you wish.
The rankings use a standard Tier List format, ranking each spec 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. These rankings 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 conclusions, as each person values things slightly differently.
Patch 9.1.5 Shadowlands Tank Tier List for Sanctum of Domination
For this Tier List, here is how each Class Writer ranked each Tank spec in Sanctum of Domination for Patch 9.1.5.
: You are an exceptional choice and are valuable in nearly every encounter in Sanctum of Domination, bringing strong throughput, exceptional survivability and universal utility.
: You are a good choice and excel in most situations in Sanctum of Domination but have a few weaknesses on particular encounters.
: You are an average choice in Sanctum of Domination. You may have a niche on some encounters but are a solid pick.
: You are below average in Sanctum of Domination and struggle to stand out on many encounters due to your weaknesses.
: You are viable, but the encounters in Sanctum of Domination show more of your weaknesses than your strengths.
No spec has been placed below a C tier, as all specs are viable.
Tank Ranking Changes from Shadowlands Patch 9.1 to Patch 9.1.5
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
Patch 9.1.5 Shadowlands Tank Ranking and Explanations
A+ Tier Specs
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.
Overall Rating: A+
Brewmaster Monks are a tank with almost no weaknesses. They aren't the best class at dealing damage (Protection Paladin), or the best at self-healing (Blood Death Knight), or arguably even the most mobile (Vengeance Demon Hunter... debatably), but they do everything extremely well, and they have the most well-rounded toolkit of any tank. There's no job a Brewmaster Monk can't handle. Having a Monk in your raid has been mandatory since
was introduced in BFA, and Windwalker and Mistweaver have performed pretty well in Patch 9.1. You might naturally expect their increase in popularity to result in a lot of Brewmasters swapping to other classes, but that hasn't been the case. Brewmaster Monk has remained the most popular tank (roughly tied with Blood Death Knight) due to their broad collection of strengths, and that isn't going to change in Patch 9.1.5.
What will change is Covenant swapping, Conduit swapping, and Legendary availability. Because of this, Windwalker and Mistweaver players will be more easily able to switch into a Brewmaster role at full effectiveness -- and vice-versa. If you want to be a fully-rounded character (aside from ranged DPS), Monk has gone from being a pretty bad choice (all three specs HIGHLY prioritize different Covenants, different Conduits, and different Legendaries), to a terrific option. You can perform at your best as a Necrolord Windwalker, a Venthyr Mistweaver, and a Kyrian Brewmaster all in the same day, without having to sacrifice any of their player power in the name of "meaningful player choice."
For Brewmaster Monks who don't care about offspecs, Patch 9.1.5 has less to offer, but there is still plenty of value in being able to switch Covenants freely. Kyrian is still the dominant Brewmaster Covenant for raid and Mythic+, but Night Fae's
is helpful for movement-heavy encounters like
, and Necrolord's
can provide a smaller, more consistent defensive bonus on hard-hitting encounters like
(this will likely be more important in future raids than the current one, as it was relatively easy from a tank damage intake standpoint). Despite Night Fae's lesser DPS, I would have had an easier time progressing on those bosses if I had the extra mobility afforded by
, and I would have switched back to Kyrian for more traditional encounters.
has had its damage buffed by 100%. Considering it's still in the same talent tier as
, I don't think the meta will shift at all, but there's a possibility. It's still able to miss moving targets, which is a real problem. Theorycrafting and testing are still ongoing.
Overall Rating: A+
The changes in 9.1.5 were of little consequence, so Protection Paladins in Sanctum of Domination have the same 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 more damage than other tank specs. Additionally, the damage in-take is low enough that a Protection Paladins can ultiize their Holy Power or
on off-healing through
Defensively, Protection Paladins still 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
can be used to reduce the number of group soaks that need to be done on a couple of bosses including
can make the spikes and ball mechanics easier on
One thing that still 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,
have added a lot more strategic value to this tier by hard-countering 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.
A Tier Specs
Vengeance Demon Hunter
Overall Rating: A
Vengeance Demon Hunter continues to be a strong pick in Patch 9.1.5 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.
None of our strengths or weaknesses have changed particularly with patch 9.1.5, as our other Covenants aside from Kyrian don't have any particular niches in Sanctum. Kyrian continues to remain the strongest option both defensively and offensively on every single encounter. In addition, our spec changes primarily affecting situations with more than 5 targets means that they don't have a large effect in this raid.
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. We are able to skip waiting for bridges on Sylvanas by utilizing
allowing us to get there more quickly to interrupt
. Also, with our passive reduced magic damage taken, we're a strong candidate for soaking the
that needs to be cleaned up, rather than tanking in the final phase. 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 still 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
With the release of 9.1.5, we are well and truly deep into
), and we now have a much better picture of how the tier has played out and how farm is going for many mythic guilds. With that information we can observe that Guardian Druid remains steadily in the middle of the pack, we provide great damage, a good mobility cooldown for the raid and we are extremely tanky. We are great on every encounter and excel on most, but we still don't bring a massive raid damage reduction cooldown. However the healing output from
is an excellent substitute and can make certain encounters like
much easier for your raid.
9.1.5 brings only more buffs in the removal of the target cap on
which will be a nice buff for clearing trash and won't really have much impact on the raid itself as there isn't any real heavy AoE encounters. The removal of conduit energy and the ability to swap covenants freely should also not really be a large impact for most raiding Guardian Druids as Night Fae is fairly dominantly our best raid covenant with a notable mention for Venthyr on the mildly more AoE oriented fights like Soulrender/Fatescribe.
There may also be some pesky raid members soon asking you to go Kyrian to buff them with the Kyrian specific legendary
for their huge parses, this is actually one of the biggest buffs you can give to a single player in the raid which is quite crazy and can net them upwards of a 1000+ DPS, this can be pretty fun and make you very popular. Both the removal of AoE caps and the ability to freely swap covenants/conduits are great changes for the game, and will help those Guardian Druids who do a lot of Mythic+ or play off specs frequently.
This tier had a bigger focus on raid cooldowns rather than a raid buff/debuff compared to the previous tier, but as gear rises that becomes less and less of an issue as you are able to blast content down much faster which is great for Guardian Druid largely negating one of our key weaknesses, lack of raid cooldowns for progression.
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
Protection Warriors are still in good shape in
. As I have said in previous iterations of this column, the class is still reeling from the effects of the
nerfs in Patch 9.0, and that has put them at a real disadvantage when tanking high-uptime bosses, but
has risen in popularity to compensate (moreso in Mythic+, but it is very popular for Sylvanas).
uptime has never been higher.
Patch 9.1.5 will allow for freely-swappable Covenants and Conduits, as well as making Legendary acquisition much, much faster. This is all great, and it will permit Protection Warriors to easily maximize their other specs without having to make significant sacrifices. Kyrian and Night Fae have both been good, competitive covenants for Protection Warriors throughout Patch 9.1, and being able to freely swap Covenants can be good both for players who are still progressing (swapping to Night Fae to gain
for a movement requirement, for example), or for players on farm who are trying to parse. Night Fae has been slightly ahead of Kyrian in terms of DPS during farm, but it is still less popular due to the switching restrictions. With the Patch, there's a decent chance that Night Fae's popularity among Protection Warriors will see a modest increase. Speaking personally, I will be switching back and forth regularly. I really like them both. There is also the potential to switch to Necrolord for
, which can be used to help maximize other raid members' DPS. This has been incredibly niche thus far in Patch 9.1 and it will probably remain that way, but it is much more easily available as an option in light of free Covenant swapping.
For autoattacks, Warriors are second to none at damage reduction. Protection Warrior's biggest pain point is unblockable damage. Unfortunately, for Protection Warriors, Sanctum of Domination's most dangerous tank mechanics are unblockable spells, such as
's weapons and their subsequent DoT (
's ticking DoT effects (
offers very little in terms of real damage reflection, only the ability to mitigate or deflect damage at a less effective rate than
. That being said, these defensive issues are relatively minor. Even at their worst, Protection Warriors are still a defensively competitive tank. Unfortunately, their single-target damage output is relatively weak, and Sanctum of Domination is a very single-target-heavy raid. There's just not a lot of AoE tanking opportunities for Protection Warriors to shine. Their damage output is nice in Mythic+ and on raid trash, but that's about it.
Protection Warriors offer excellent group utility, in the form of
, but given how popular Arms and Fury Warriors have been during this tier, that utility has been devalued somewhat.
is the most versatile raid cooldown in the game and having more available is always a good thing, but for groups that need more, stacking more DPS Warriors has been really easy to justify.
Ultimately, these are the reasons why Protection Warriors popularity has been low in Sanctum of Domination. It's a good class with a decent toolkit, and Patch 9.1.5 will offer more freedom for Protection Warrior mains and offspeccing DPS Warriors alike -- and that's all great! -- but it won't have a radical impact on the class' overall strength or its community perception.
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