This is a tier list ordering of Tanks created by a real Diamond player in the NA region (me). It is just my opinion so feel free to disagree with it. This list is not based on player behavior as it's very easy for a bad player to make a character look bad. The list is instead based on the maximum impact you can have considering you do your job and play the character properly. It also assumes you are functioning as single "main tank". And as always with all tier lists, this is assuming the characters are being played at an exactly equal skill level, which is NEVER the case!
Johanna – she's either "Goddess of Immortality" if she's on your team, or "that b*tch won't die" if she's on the other team. Easily first pick or ban material. Very nice waveclear combo, and a choice of ults which are both viable. She is a fairly easy character to pick up and learn as well. Her mere presence is oppressive and makes the enemy team respect positioning. Her Shield Glare makes for a fantastic safe and long range interruption on channeled objectives.
ETC – 2 words. MOSH. PIT. Super easy and simple setups for AOE comps. Combos so easily with mages allowing you to 2v5. If you hear the cowbell, your whole team is probably dead. In higher level games > will help out the team tremendously too. He's very team friendly and quick on the peel as well. You don't have to be a Hindu to respect this cow.
Mal'Ganis – another oppressive presence that really annoys people by taking them out of the fight with sleep. He is hard to learn by timing your survivability skills properly, but once mastered this will be a guy who stays in the frontlines forever and is free to dive whenever he wants. His skills have low cooldowns and double function for both engaging and escaping. His life swap ulti is kind of meme status and can be countered by heal reduction (watch out for Ana), but his bat ulti is amazing and feels like a super upgrade over Dehaka.
Garrosh – absolute terror in low level games, and still a major threat in higher level games as well. Still a popular ban ever since he came out. Getting thrown is basically instant and guaranteed death. Throwing allies adds another level of complexity allowing you to save people in danger, or could even be used offensively to set up kills (give Uther a little boost for easy stuns). His taunt ulti sure beats the hell out of Varian's taunt as well! He can be countered by Anduin and Medivh so if you're picking this guy you might want to ask to have those banned.
Diablo – an oldschool favorite. Strongest 1v1 lockdown in the whole game, and provides easy setups for "pickoff and deletion" team comps. The problem is that he has lost some survivability over the years and went from instaban material to second string pick. He's still a solid choice but will take damage going in and really needs the team to follow up behind him pretty quickly. His presence is less oppressive than the above choices and he suffers against drawn out poke wars and sustained kiting. This is why the game says he's "all in" – you need to pick and choose your battles wisely, as you are incapable of holding the frontlines forever.
Muradin – another oldschool favorite. Easiest tank in the game to learn. Best choice in a pinch if you are forced to tank and don't normally tank. Simple and effective stuns, and good at peeling if you take >. Avatar ulti is basically training wheels while you learn how to use your trait to heal after (and even during) some fights, or a good choice if you are uncomfortable picking his active talents. Once you know your limits though, real Muradin players will pick Haymaker as this move is a real Play Maker. Dwarf Toss double functions as an engage and an escape too. The problem with Muradin is that he has weak frontlines presence and if you miss your stun, the threat level basically drops to zero for the next few seconds. Muradin will struggle against strong frontlines or double bruiser teams, as he can only peel or fend off one diver at a time. Anyone else can simply walk right past him without any danger.
Anub'Arak – master of disables as he is capable of throwing out 3 disables in quick succession. His cocoon ulti is amazing at taking high priority targets out of the fight and the duration can be super long if nobody bothers to break it open. The problem is his survivability is not where it should be. He was designed as an anti-mage, and he's okay at that, but he really falters against fast autoattackers like Raynor. His talents are also very old and outdated, and feel stale. One problem is that Burrow Striking to engage puts you at risk, and Harden Carapace just isn't enough to keep you safe. It's a joke compared to Johanna's Iron Skin (which doesn't even take up a QWE slot). This beetle has quite the stopping power if you can aim and land all your skills. Unfortunately he is not able to take hits and dies pretty easily.
Arthas – the "worst of the best" barely makes it into the tier list. I have seen amazing players make this character look good and worthy of wearing a crown, but objectively speaking he does not offer much to the team. His slow aura feels like it has no range and therefore little to no impact. If you miss your roots, he becomes completely useless. These roots are also very easy to sidestep and dodge because it makes a very loud audible sound cue and also has a slow projectile speed. Both his ults seem to have their place but they both have super long cooldowns. Despite these flaws Arthas definitely has his place on the front lines and just makes the list as a "viable tank".
Other picks such as Tyrael, Blaze, Stitches, and Varian are not listed here, as I personally consider them to be bruisers and not real tanks. You can still play Taunt Varian alongside a main tank listed above – this can work great as long as you have a very strong DPS capable of bursting. I also purposely chose not to include Cho'Gall who is an absolute wildcard. It is not recommended to pick any of these as single main tank unless you absolutely know what you are doing. When you know what you are doing, you can forget about tier lists because Individual Player Skill will beat out relative character strength differences every time. A highly skilled Tyrael player is a better main tank pick than an average joe playing Johanna who normally plays DPS but is picking her just to fill the role.
Again this list is solely my opinion and you may disagree with some of the ordering or the content. Feel free to add your comments below. Thank you for reading.
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