Clerics Aren’t Just for Healing they’re for Tanking
Most people consider clerics as squishy healers that can’t take a lot of damage. Those people are wrong. While clerics get less health than paladins or fighters with a D8 hit die, their other abilities more than make up for.
These abilities are
- access to all armor and shields
- access to healing in defensive magic
In addition to these core abilities clerics have quite a few archetypes that offer abilities in the ways of being a tank.
- The Forge domain lets you enchant your armor for free
- The grave domain lets you cancel critical hits and heal when enemies die
- the life domain buffs your healing letting you take more damage than should be allowed
- light domain can impose disadvantage on enemies attacking you
- the nature domain can grant resistance to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage
That’s quite a few archetypes that give you bonuses to tanking.
While there health may only be at a D8, clerics make a great tank. This is because of their defensive and healing magic along with their archetypes the makes it harder for people to hit you, damage you, or crit you.
Can’t Touch this Monk
Monk is a class most people think of when thinking of high AC without equipment. However their unarmored defense is a little bit weaker than barbarians in terms of being a tank. That being said maxing out dexterity and wisdom will still give you a high AC.
Most of the monk’s tank abilities come from its core abilities such as
- being able to take the Dodge action as a bonus action
- deflecting projectiles
- immunity to disease and poison
- proficiency in all saving throws in the ability to reroll a failed saving throw
As you can see monks get the most core abilities that help with them being a tank.
In addition the open hand monastic tradition can let you heal.
Because of all the base abilities to help you become a tank monks make a decent tank. Their average health and AC that takes some work to get up there are the only limiting factors.
The Tank Rogue
Anyone who looks at the row class makeup to the same conclusion I did. Rogues could make interesting tanks. While their hit die is a D8 and can only wear light armor they have some other abilities I can help them out.
- Uncanny Dodge lets you half physical damage
- evasion that you take no damage if you succeed the check
- Slippery mind give you proficiency to wisdom saves
- elusive make sure you can’t get attacked with advantage
These are some great abilities that only need a high AC.
In addition to the core abilities the mastermind archetype that you redirect attacks to things next to you.
Rogues would make a decent tank if you could do something about their low AC. With that being said as a standalone class they are not the best but could be if you multiclass correctly.