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Defender is one of the eight Operator classes in Arknights.


Defenders have high HP and DEF and can block up to three enemies, with few exceptions. For this reason, Defenders are best placed in front of a formation to hold enemies back, draw enemy fire, and protect friendly units behind them.

Most Defenders have low ATK and a very short attack range – on the same tile as themselves – with certain exceptions, making Medics a prudent choice for support.


The Defender class is divided into six branches: Protector, Guardian, Juggernaut, Arts Protector, Duelist, and Fortress.


Protector Defender.png

Protector Defenders (Chinese: 铁卫; Pinyin: Tiěwèi; lit. "Ironguard [Defender]"), formerly known as Normal or Tank Defenders, are basically that – they focus on protecting friendlies by withstanding enemy attacks and blocking them due to their block count of 3, with their skills/talents typically boosting Protector Defenders' already high DEF or help them hold off enemies more effectively by increasing their block count and/or drawing enemies' attention. With few exceptions, Protector Defenders have no RES, making them highly vulnerable to Arts damage.

A select few of Protector Defenders have an extended default range of 2 tiles ahead of them, which allows them to target aerial enemies.


Guardian Defender.png

Guardian Defenders (Chinese: 守护者; Pinyin: Shǒuhù zhě), formerly known as Healing Defenders, are capable of restoring friendly units' HP (including themselves) like Medics, making them less reliant on other sources of healing to sustain themselves and useful on operations that limit/restrict the usage of Medics.

Guardian Defenders are also somewhat resistant to Arts damage due to having some RES; however, their DEF is not as high as Protector Defenders and they can only block two enemies, which is increased to three once promoted to Elite 1.


Juggernaut Defender.png

Juggernaut Defenders (Chinese: 不屈者; Pinyin: Bùqū zhě; lit. "Unyielding [Defender]"), formerly known as Enmity Defenders (after the namesake mechanic in Granblue Fantasy), cannot be directly healed by friendly units[note 1] and their skills/talents allow Juggernaut Defenders to sustain themselves in various ways. However, Juggernaut Defenders have the highest DP cost of all Operators, and like Guardian Defenders, can only block two enemies or three from Elite 1.

Arts Protector

Arts Protector Defender.png

Arts Protector Defenders (Chinese: 驭法铁卫; Pinyin: Yùfǎ tiěwèi; lit. "Ironguard Bender [Defender]"), formerly known as Arts Defenders, are identical to Protector Defenders as the name implies, but have lower DEF in exchange for higher ATK and possessing innate RES that increases in each promotion; true to their name, their attacks will deal Arts damage only while their skill is active, granting them better offensive capability than other Defenders.


Duelist Defender.png

Duelist Defenders (Chinese: 决战者; Pinyin: Juézhàn zhě) can only block a single enemy and only generate SP while blocking an enemy, but have much more ATK than other Defenders which are on par with Brave Guards. Duelist Defenders' DP cost is the second highest of all Defenders, just below Juggernaut Defenders. Unlike most other Defenders, all Duelist Defenders are able to attack enemies 1 tile ahead of them.


Fortress Defender.png

Fortress Defenders (Chinese: 要塞; Pinyin: Yàosài) have a ranged AoE attack like that of Bombardier Snipers which they will use when not blocking enemies, though at a shorter range of 2×3 tiles (with a 1-tile extension at Elite 2) ahead of a minimum range covering the tiles ahead of them. Fortress Defenders have a notably lower DEF but higher ATK than other Defenders, and a high DP cost – between Protector/Guardian and Juggernaut Defenders.


  • When the subclass categorization was originally announced, Blitz and Liskarm were tentatively classified into their own unique subclass, known as "Longstrike/Pointman Defender". The final release instead classifies them as Protector Defenders.
  • While most Defenders except for Fortress and Duelist Defenders can only attack enemies on the same tile as them, all of the 6★ Defenders (excluding Saria) have an extended attack range of 1 tile that allows them to attack enemies ahead of them like that of most melee Operators, regardless of their branch.


  1. Indirect healing, such as from Angelina's Part-Time Job talent and the area of effect of Muse Supporters or Saria's skills, affect Juggernaut Defenders as usual. They simply cannot be targeted.