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World of Warcraft Column: The Best Tank Classes in WoW

By Reza Lackey on March 10, 2014

This week in the WoW Factor we look at upcoming honor changes to Battlegrounds and I attempt to rank the tanking classes by how fun they are to play. I bet you’ll disagree with my first pick!

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Honor Changes

Blizzard will soon be increasing the rate at which Honor points are earned in several Battlegrounds. In an upcoming hotfix (probably during the week this is posted), the following adjustments will be made:

In Silvershard Mines, bonus Honor will now be awarded for every 200 points your team earns instead of the current 265 points.

In Arathi Basin, Eye of the Storm and Battle for Gilneas bonus Honor will be awarded twice as fast as before - every 130 points, down from the existing 260 points.

Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks are getting two different adjustments; The Focused Assault debuff will now trigger one minute after both flags have been taken instead of the previous three minutes. Additionally, a small amount of bonus Honor will be awarded for each flag the enemy team was unable to capture.

The last change is with Strand of the Ancients - the Honor bonus earned for destroying a gate (or defending a gate in the case of the defending team) is being doubled.

These changes will make Battlegrounds a more viable solution for earning Honor as right now there are quicker and more efficient ways, namely running 5-mans and converting the Justice points earned into Honor.

Best Tanking Classes

I thought it would be fun to take a look at the different tanking classes and try to rank them based on how much fun I’ve had playing them. I was toying with the idea of ranking them from best to worst but in my opinion there is really no “best” class type in WoW - the various classes are, for the most part, very different from one another and the best fit is often times situational - the “best” class really comes down to your play style (of course gear and experience play a role in this as well). So, here’s my list of the most fun tanking classes in WoW:

The Warrior is the tried-and-true tanking class in many RPG’s and there is no exception here. Warriors are capable of not only fulfilling a tanking role but also damage (DPS).  Their three talent specializations, Arms, Fury and Protection all rely on Rage, the resource that Warriors use to perform special moves. As a tank, Warriors will use their Protection specialization (no sh**, I know) along with their defensive stance which will reduce all incoming damage by 25% and increase threat generation.

Protection Warriors will use one-handed weapons and a shield in their off-hand that allows them to use many of their key tanking abilities like Shield Slam, Shield Block, Shield Barrier and Sword and Board.

The Warrior is currently my favorite Tanking class in the game because of their high mobility and their great performance when there are many threats to deal with at one time. Their charge and heroic leap abilities also make entering combat fun and quick. I also sway in the direction of classes that use shields as they’ve always appealed to me - slamming your shield in the face of a foe feels great. Try it, you’ll see. The Warriors rage resource is also very straight forward - the more damage you deal and take, the more Rage you generate - very simple. The Warrior is a great class to chose if you’re looking to play a tank for the first time as the rotations are not as complicated as some other tanking classes. I love the simplicity of the class and enjoy the variety of attacks at my disposal.

The Monk is the most recent class to be added to the game and is the one of three classes that can specialize in tanking, healing and DPS. Monk tanks will use the Brewmaster specialization where they focus on avoiding and parrying incoming damage. The Monk tank has a unique ability called Stagger in which 80% of the damage dealt to them is applied immediately while the remaining 20% is applied over the following 10 seconds as damage over time. Unlike the Warrior, the Monk Brewmaster manages two resources, Energy and Chi. Brewmasters use abilities that consume Energy that then generate Chi. The Chi is spent on specific abilities that generate threat and increase survivability. Using hand-to-hand martial arts and a Keg Smash ability, the Monk proves to be a very unique tank.

Monk Brewmasters are perhaps one of the more complicated tanking classes in the game and it is for this reason that I rank them at number two. As someone who has been playing WoW since beta, the more intricate approach to this class makes it feel very fresh without being overwhelming - the many abilities at their disposal and the two resources to manage keeps fights interesting and often times intense when not over-geared. The one downside to the Monk class as a whole is the lack of weapon use as they rely heavily on hand-to-hand combat. I love seeing my characters wield large, ominous weapons and use them to slay enemies and the monk sadly does little to satisfy this desire. If you’re a seasoned WoW player I recommend giving the Monk a try as it’s one of the most unique classes in the game and as it’s a bit more challenging to play than most classes, I wouldn’t recommend the Monk as your first tank unless you want a slightly steeper learning curve.

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