[Top 5] DCUO Best Tank Powers That Are Excellent (2022 Edition)

An atomic hero blasting enemies with a long range attack
Tanks for the memories

Become an Army of One

This is a public service announcement.  With the rising threats of more and more exobyte villains running around the streets of our dear Metropolis, we would like strong fighters to consider joining the Science Police to help keep our streets safe.

When we think about classic heroes, they are most often tanks.  Superman, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Wonder Women are all examples of what would be considered heavy-hitting tanks.  Many heroes want to be the ones to swoop in, punch the bad guy, and fly off.  These powerhouses are tanks that protect from the strongest of villains.

If your goal is to be a physically strong protagonist like Superman, you definitely want to be a tank.  This guide will help you decide what powers to choose for your next tank build.


5. Ice

An ice hero using his powers

He looks like a reall chill guy, but he has been giving me the cold shoulder lately.

Putting ice in last?  That’s cold, but chill out because by no means does that mean that it is a bad option.  Ice has great defensive capabilities which allow it to outlast some of the Tank alternatives which can further be buffed by moves like Ice Armor and Ice Elemental.  Another great move, Reflection, protects from damage for a short period while reflecting the next three attacks back to the attacker.

While it may be hard to penetrate their diamond-like defenses, few battles are won with only defense.  The move Inescapable Storm pulls in your distant opponents towards you so that you can demolish them with a more powerful move.  It is not just one, but the enemies near your target are drawn in.  Then, you can chain a move that freezes them or deals heavier damage while they are all in range.

Ice may not deal as heavy damage as the other tanks, but its killer defenses are a force to be reckoned with.  Your ice build is even able to use Shatter Restraints to make you and your team immune to control effects. You can strategically choose moves that will leave you fighting with the rest of the tanks, despite the disadvantage of lessened damage output.  

What Ice Excels In

  • Strong Defenses
  • Able to Freeze Opponents

Best Ice Powers

  • Ice Armor
  • Inescapable Storm


4. Atomic

An Atomic hero Blasting a Bunch of Demons

So we now know that demons have reason to fear an Atom bomb as well.

Atomic has a bad reputation for being one of the worst power choices, even having the least characters among the Tank powers.  But when you learn to master Atomic skills and combinations, its use as a Tank is actually quite remarkable.

The secret to mastery of the Atomic tank is… the Quark-Gluon Aura.  While tanking, this hard-to-pronounce aura can give increased control resistance and damage absorption while not blocking.  It also heals 2% of max health for each attack given.

The catch to this aura is the stacks that are needed to activate it.  Certain moves can provide you with either Nuclear Pressure or Molecular Charges.  You need to use one of a few options for moves once you have stacked 3 Nuclear Pressure and 6 Molecular Charges to activate the aura.

Thankfully, these are moves that you would already use to draw in opponents, damage them, and heal yourself.  Some of these moves have familiar abilities, such as providing immunity to control effects for your team or healing yourself over time.

Once you have activated the aura, you can refresh it for fewer stacks with moves Atom-Powered Assault, Neutrino Blast, or Proton Remedy.  A lot of skill and strategy are required in order to effectively Tank as an Atomic hero, but if you are willing to put in the time, it will be worth it.

What Atomic Excels In

  • The power of the Quark-Gluon Aura
  • Ability to Daze Enemies

Best Atomic Powers

  • Atomic Reorganization
  • Nuclear Burst


3. Earth

An Earth Hero fighting against one of Brainiac's subordinates

Brainiac's forces cannot withstand the powers of EARTH.

It’s important to have rock-solid characters who are down-to-earth who won’t give you the cold shoulder or get burned out too quickly.  Thankfully, your Earth build is about as solid as they come.  With an unyielding defense, your Earth hero won’t get as much damage as some of the other powers.

This defense can be further fortified.  Your thick skin is strengthened with Gemstone Shield, and by causing aftershocks by move combos, you can increase the amount of damage absorbed.

Another option is to chain Jackhammer and Upheaval to activate the ability Stone Skin which increases your defense by 55%.  This allows you to fight more aggressively without worrying about blocking powerful moves because you will be able to endure them.

Another option is to summon the Brick Golem.  By using this behemoth, it activates the ability Earthen Bond which transfers a portion of the damage you would receive to your golem.  But worry not because you have moves like Fortify Golem and Totem to heal your Brick Golem.  BUT be warned, the abilities Earthen Bond and Stone Skin cannot be used simultaneously.  So you will have to decide which route you want to take.

What Earth Excels In

  • Strong Defenses
  • Abilities to Fortify Defenses Further

Best Earth Powers

  • Summon Brick Golem
  • Shards


2. Fire

A fire hero powering up for a huge attackWoah, Woah, Woah!  Where's the fire?  Oh wait...

I’m sure it burns many people to see Fire in the top 2.  But, there is hope because your hot-headed hero will still turn your enemies to ashes when they try to stand against the forces of good.

The thing that puts fire ahead of many others in my book is the great potential that fire has to heal itself.  Tanks are typically fighters leading the charge in direct confrontation with the enemy, and as a result, they will need more healing than their distance-fighting friends.  In a case where you may not have a healer on the team, you don’t have to worry about surviving because fire has itself covered.

Even though fire does have some pretty killer attacking moves, let’s see the power of its other moves, like Immolation.  This move shields your character, which is a standard ability that all powers have.  But what makes this one different is that when opponents attack you while you’re shielded, they receive damage.  The main drawback is that it doesn’t protect from 100% of the damage while Tanking.

But when you get the lessened damage from that shield, you can by using moves like Backdraft which damages your enemies, pulls them to you, and heals you.  The healing increases when your opponents are burned from moves like Stoke Flames which also heals your health over time while dealing some minor damage to nearby enemies.  Fire is a great tank option, especially for those who complete a lot of solo and duo missions where there is no healer for you.

What Fire Excels In

  • Able to Heal while Dealing Damage
  • Able to Burn Opponents

Best Fire Powers

  • Immolation
  • Backdraft
  • Stoke Flames


1. Rage

A Rage hero is annihilating nearby opponents

I'm enraged about how easy this battle must be for a Rage hero.

Few people will be shocked to see rage reigning on the top as the best Tank ability as this hard-hitting type is what people think of when they envision the power that comes with being a Tank.  It would be child’s play for a Rage hero to actually destroy a real military-grade tank.  Think about it.  What would scare you more?  A Bruce Banner that shoots out pretty beams of ice or a Bruce Banner that turns into a Raging green lunatic when angered.  (No offense to superpowered heroes and villains like Iceman, Mr. Freeze, Killer Frost, etc.)

But when you’re strong enough to deal out some of the heaviest damage in the game, there is no doubt that you’re going to be up close and personal with the enemy.  With moves like Outrage and Lacerate, your opponent will not be able to take more than a few hits.

What’s even better is that there are many moves that heal as you’re dealing damage, like Channel Hate and Ragebringer.  But the best move is probably Severe Punishment because for the next 8 seconds after using this move, you will recover some of the damage you take from your enemy.  But there is a catch!  When the time runs out, you take back all of the damage that you recovered during that time in the form of a Rage Crash.

So why would anyone waste their power for a move like that?  You can combo this move with another move to reduce or completely ignore the delayed damage from your Rage Crash.  Just make sure that you have enough power to use a move to protect yourself.  Ultimately, the Rage hero would do just fine on his or her own, but when working with a team, there isn’t anyone who can get in the way.

What Rage Excels In

  • Healing while Dealing Damage
  • Powerful Attacks

Best Rage Powers

  • Channel Hate 
  • Severe Punishment


Regardless of what powers you choose to Tank with, you will be an asset to your team providing the combat skills needed to move forward on your mission.  Take leadership in the domination against your enemies while the support roles provide you with much-needed backup.  In the comments, write what kind of tank you would like to join the Science Police to protect Metropolis.


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By day, Alex is a teacher, voice actor, and friend. But at night, he can be a Dragonborn assassin, a superhero (or villain), or even the Pokémon League Champion. For now, enjoy reading his adventures!
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: DC Universe Online, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, The Sims 3
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