Top 3 D&D Best Tank Classes That Can Withstand Massive Damage

DnD Best Tank Class
Every party needs a tank.

It’s time we talk about one of the most important roles to fill in every party of adventurers. Those characters that soak up all the damage while drawing off the enemy.

Characters that can shrug off the hits and look back at their enemies with a smirk on their face that says: “is that all you got?”

We are talking about the characters that take massive damage and deal massive damage in the front row. The tanks.

“Tank” tends to be a tricky term to define But no matter what the game is, the tank’s objective is always the same: keep enemies away from the party, buff allies, and survive attacks from all directions. They must be sturdy, and they must hit hard.

We’ve prepared a list of the three sturdiest and most powerful builds for tanking in D&D, 5th Edition. Let’s get into it.

3) Hill Dwarf Druid – Circle of the Moon

The Moon Circle Druid: for when your tank needs to go beast mode.

We hardly ever think about spellcasters as tanks. For the most part they tend to be cannons of awesomeness with the integrity of a sheet of paper, but not the Moon Circle Druid.

See, these nature mages can turn themselves into beasts with high challenge ratings, better AC’s, and higher HP caps. In other words, they become furry (or feathery) damage sponges. Big enough to take the hits and cover the party.

If you are planning to tank with a Moon Circle Druid, go for the Hill Dwarf to make it the most durable. These are just a few of the benefits:

1. Dwarves get an Ability Score Increase of +2 to Constitution. Hill dwarves get +1 on the Hit Point Maximum every time they level up.

2. Throw in the Tough feat at level 16(when you cap out your Constitution) and you’ll get a boost of 32 more Hit Points. You also get +2 on your HP Maximum every time you level up after taking the feat.

3. When you shapeshift into a beast, you take that beast’s HP Maximum. If it drops to zero, you still have fresh HP from your class.

4. Turning into a large beast makes you bigger and faster; useful for providing cover or running between rivals to trigger their opportunity attacks and draw fire away from your allies.

5. You will eventually be able to turn into a mammoth as many times as you want, even if it drops to 0 HP. Think of it as having 126 Temporary HP in addition to your class’s HP Maximum. This makes tanking a whole lot easier and a lot more fun.

Circle of the moon, D&D 5E Shapeshifting Druid:

2) Half-Orc Barbarian – Path of the (Bear) Totem Warrior

Orc plus bear plus barbarian.

Nothing says “come at me, bro” quite like the Bearbarian. This bulky mass of anger can take pretty much any kind of punishment thrown at it. It has the highest hit dice in the game and resistance against all types of damage except psychic. Unlike other warriors, barbarians don’t wear armor (not that they need it), and like The Hulk, the angrier they get, the more powerful they become.

Why is the Bearbarian such a great tank? Not only can it withstand lots of damage, but when lunging blindly into battle, enemies have advantage against it, which makes it hard to ignore.

For this particular build, Half-orc is the go-to race. The Half-orc has racial traits that mesh well with the barbarian features, not to mention it’s also thematically tailor-made. Let’s take a look at it:

1. Ability Score Increase of +2 on Strength and +1 on Constitution. Perfect for martial classes.

2. Score a critical hit and your Savage Attack trait allows you to reroll for extra damage (already doubled from the crit). And because you get advantage on every attack roll with your Reckless Attack barbarian feature, your chances of hitting a critical are higher.

3. Reckless Attack lets you attack with advantage, but it also means enemies attack with advantage against you.. Enemies will go straight to you, drawing them away from your party.

4. Drop to 1 HP instead of 0 if you want to (and you’ll want to).

Barbarian Path of the Totem Warrior:

1) Scourge Aasimar Crown Paladin – Cavalier Fighter (Multiclass)

The next best thing to a real tank.

This mounted knight designed by the Dawnforgedcast is as tanky as they come. To put it plainly, you are a wingless angel who gets the attention of baddies with a combination of spells and features granted by the Crown Oath you made as a paladin. You also burn them with the radiant damage of your racial trait. All of that while riding on a warhorse for additional HP, speed, and damage.

Between disadvantage for the enemy when attacking anyone other than you, buffing for your allies, and riding a warhorse while wearing heavy armor, it’s really difficult to land a hit on you. And even if that happens, you can heal yourself.

Go for this build and you will embody the textbook definition of “tank”. Here are a few of the benefits:

1. Champion’s Challenge (Crown Oath Channel Divinity) allows you to force a creature to stay within 30 feet of you. It’s perfect for keeping the big bad boss away from your party.

2. Using Unwavering Mark (Cavalier Fighter feature) when attacking a creature imposes disadvantage on the creature’s attack rolls against anyone but you. At the same time it allows you to attack it with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn, as long as you stay within 5 feet of it.

3. With Compelled Duel (Paladin Spell) you draw the target to you. It can’t move farther than 30 feet away from you without making a Wisdom Saving Throw. While under the effect of the spell, it has disadvantage on attack rolls against anyone else but you.

4. Find Steed lets you summon a much smarter mount when need be. At higher levels you can even get flying mounts.

5. Healing Hands (Aasimar trait) heals you for a number of hit points equal to your level. Lay On Hands (Paladin feature) grants you a pool of hit points equal to 5 x your Paladin level.

Build by Dawnforgedcast:

That’s it for our top 3 list of the best tank classes that can withstand massive damage. But remember: at the end of the day, no matter the build, the best tank is the one that is fun to play while efficiently protecting the party and surviving.

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Alex is a writer living in New Orleans, where it's much too hot to do anything but play Apex Legends. His fiction and essays have been published in multiple magazines and journals.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Monster Hunter World, Persona 5, Apex Legends, Battlefield V, Fallout 76,
Top 3 Favorite Games:Resident Evil HD Remaster, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Dark Souls 3

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