Are you tired of watching your party members bite the dust as they face their adversaries head-on? Do you long for the freedom to step into the fray without fear, knowing you can take hits while dishing out severe punishment? Look no further, brave adventurer! We’ve got just what you need.
This article delves deep into Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition to bring you the top 7 best tank builds.
With these powerhouse characters on your side, not only will your fellow players thank you for keeping them safe, but they will also relish in the newfound liberty to explore uncharted territories and unleash their full potential.
Whether it’s a stalwart Paladin sworn to protect their allies or a raging Barbarian whose fury knows no bounds, there’s something here for every aspiring defender of justice and bulwark against evil.
So strap on that sword-and-board or flex those arcane muscles; we’re about to embark on an epic journey through DnD’s most formidable tank builds.
By mastering one (or more) of these heroes in shining armor (or perhaps less shiny and more feral), you’ll unlock boundless opportunities to cut loose with confidence—and dare we say it—luxuriate in sweet liberation from constant worry over party wipeouts!
7. Oath of the Ancients Paladin
You’ll love the Oath of the Ancients Paladin, as it’s a fantastic tank and brings enchanting nature-themed abilities to your DnD game!
As an Oath of the Ancients Paladin, you’ll be sworn to protect all that is good and pure in the world while drawing upon ancient powers to smite your foes. With its heavy armor proficiency and access to divine spellcasting, this subclass is perfect for those who want to take up arms against evil with a splash of druidic magic.
While playing an Oath of the Ancients Paladin, you’ll gain access to unique features such as Nature’s Wrath and Turn the Faithless. These abilities allow you to control enemies or make them flee with fear while still holding your ground and protecting your allies.
Your aura will grant resistance against damage from spells, making you and your nearby companions more resilient in combat.
Combining these abilities makes this class one of the best tanks in DnD 5e – giving you freedom on the battlefield while staying true to your oath’s tenets.
So embrace nature’s might as an Oath of the Ancients Paladin, becoming a beacon of hope in a dark world!
6. Bear Totem Barbarian
There is no mountain high enough regarding the sheer resilience of a Bear Totem Barbarian in 5E. The moment you choose this path at 3rd level, you become an unstoppable force on the battlefield, shrugging off damage that would bring most other characters to their knees.
Resistance to all damage types except psychic is just one of the many perks that make this subclass a top choice for tanking. Your relentless rage and uncanny ability to withstand punishment will leave your enemies questioning their life choices as they struggle to put even a dent in your seemingly impervious armor.
But wait, there’s more! As if being a walking fortress wasn’t enough, your Bear Totem Barbarian also gets some sweet utility features.
At 6th level, you gain the aspect of the bear, increasing your carrying capacity (including maximum load and maximum lift) by a factor of two – perfect for hauling around treasure or carrying injured allies out of harm’s way.
And let’s remember the 14th-level feature: ‘Totemic Attunement,’ where your might becomes so great that enemies within five feet of you have a disadvantage on attacks against anyone but you.
So go ahead and embrace the bear’s spirit; roam free across battlefields knowing that few can match your indomitable strength and fortitude.
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5. Moon Circle Druid
As a Moon Circle Druid, you embody nature’s raw power. You transform into fearsome beasts, use your primal might to protect your allies, and lay waste to your enemies.
The Circle of the Moon subclass allows you to fully use Wild Shape, morphing into powerful creatures with offensive and defensive capabilities. This makes you one of the best tank options in DnD 5e.
Becoming a formidable Moon Circle Druid tank involves maximizing several critical abilities:
- Wild Shape: Your bread and butter for transforming into more robust, more durable creatures.
- Combat Wild Shape: Use this feature as a bonus action, allowing you to transform mid-combat without wasting an entire turn.
- Primal Strike: Ensures that magical resistances won’t hinder your beast form’s attacks.
- Elemental Wild Shape: Transform into powerful elementals at higher levels for added versatility and power.
- Timeless Body: Become immune to aging effects and extend your life beyond mortal limits.
With these abilities, you can stand toe-to-toe with the most formidable foes while supporting your party. Embrace the freedom from harnessing nature’s fury, becoming an unstoppable force on the battlefield as a Moon Circle Druid tank.
4. Cavalier Fighter
Imagine yourself charging into battle atop a mighty steed, fearlessly leading the charge and cutting down foes left and right – that’s what it feels like to be a Cavalier Fighter.
This subclass of the Fighter class specializes in mounted combat, giving you unparalleled mobility and power on the battlefield. With abilities that allow you to control the flow of combat and protect your allies, this tank build offers both durability and versatility.
Not only can you dish out severe damage with your lance or other weapons, but you also have access to powerful features such as Unwavering Mark, which discourages enemies from attacking anyone but you.
As a Cavalier Fighter, you’ll become an unstoppable force while riding your loyal mount, whether it’s a warhorse or something more exotic like a griffon or even a dragon. Your Born to the Saddle feature ensures you excel in mounted combat, making it difficult for enemies to knock you off your perch.
Warding Maneuver also grants extra protection against attacks targeting you or your allies. Combine these abilities with the standard Fighter features such as multiple attacks per round and Action Surge, and it’s easy to see why this tank build is among the top 7 best in DnD 5e (2024).
So saddle up and embrace the freedom of ruling the battlefield as a Cavalier Fighter!
3. Life Domain Cleric
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being a Life Domain Cleric, channeling divine power to heal and protect your allies in their time of need. As a tank built in DnD 5e, you’ll be on the front lines, bravely facing down enemies while ensuring your party remains healthy and robust.
A Life Domain Cleric is an excellent choice for those who enjoy supporting others and taking on the crucial role of healer in any adventuring group. As a Life Domain Cleric, several abilities make you incredibly effective as a tank:
- Heavy Armor Proficiency: This allows you to wear heavy armor, significantly reducing damage.
- Channel Divinity: Preserve Life: You can instantly restore health points to yourself or your teammates in dire situations.
- Divine Strike: Add radiant damage to your weapon attacks, helping you deal with undead or fiendish enemies more effectively.
With these powers at your disposal, it’s no wonder that many adventurers rely on the compassion and strength of a Life Domain Cleric. Embrace the call to adventure and feel the freedom from knowing you’re making a difference – through healing wounds or vanquishing evil foes.
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2. Eldritch Knight Fighter
You’ll feel invincible, wielding both sword and arcane spell as an Eldritch Knight Fighter, a formidable force on the battlefield capable of striking down enemies and casting spells in the heat of combat.
This subclass allows you to combine martial prowess with magical abilities, giving you unmatched versatility and survivability. As an Eldritch Knight, you can choose from various defensive spells like Shield and Absorb Elements that can help protect you when your heavy armor isn’t enough.
And with your access to powerful melee attacks like Great Weapon Fighting or Dueling Fighting Styles, no enemy will stand long against your might.
One of the keys to success with this tank build is choosing the right spells that complement your fighting style and bolster your defenses. Spells such as Blur or Mirror Image can provide a much-needed boost in dodging incoming attacks while keeping enemies at bay.
Additionally, certain offensive spells like Booming Blade or Green-Flame Blade work wonders when combined with the Eldritch Knight’s War Magic feature allowing for additional damage output during each turn.
Couple these capabilities with feats like Sentinel or War Caster, and you’ve got an unstoppable juggernaut ready to unleash chaos on any foe who dares challenge your freedom-loving spirit!
1. Ancestral Guardian Barbarian
As an Ancestral Guardian Barbarian, you’ll harness the power of your ancestors to become a formidable protector and defender on the battlefield. Your unique connection to the spirits of your forebears allows you to call upon their wisdom and strength to aid you in battle, making you a resilient and unyielding tank.
Becoming an Ancestral Guardian Barbarian offers several key benefits:
- Ancestral Protectors: When you rage, ancestral spirits swarm around one enemy of your choice, hindering its attacks against anyone other than yourself.
- Spirit Shield: You can use your reaction to reduce damage dealt to allies within 30 feet by channeling the energy of your ancestral spirits.
- Consult the Spirits: Gain access to valuable information through communing with ancestral spirits during short rests.
- Vengeful Ancestors: Turn incoming damage back on attackers as necrotic energy when using Spirit Shield.
- Enduring Ancestors: Temporarily gain resistance to all damage types while raging.
Choosing this subclass means embracing the strengths and traditions of those who came before you. As an Ancestral Guardian Barbarian, not only do you exemplify incredible toughness and resilience, but also a deep sense of loyalty towards protecting your allies.
By tapping into this ancient power source, you’ll be able to shield them from harm while simultaneously striking fear into the hearts of your enemies. This freedom from the danger you provide will enable your companions to focus on dealing devastating blows without fearing for their safety – ensuring that nothing can stand in your way together.
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You’ve made it to the end, but one final secret awaits you. Which tank build will reign supreme in your next D&D 5e campaign? Only time will tell as the battlefield shifts and heroes rise from the ashes.
Take these powerful builds with you on your journey, and remember: The actual test of a fantastic tank is not only in its ability to withstand damage but also in its ability to protect its allies. Choose wisely, and may fortune favor your path.