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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. However, they have low ATK and (with certain exceptions) a very short attack range – on the same tile as themselves. 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.


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


Protector Defender.png
Blocks 3 enemies.

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.

  • Hoshiguma and Nian have a range of the tile ahead of them.
  • Blitz and Liskarm have a range of two tiles ahead of them and can attack aerial enemies (though they are still treated as melee units in a similar vein to Lord Guards).


Guardian Defender.png
Can heal allies by using the skill.

Guardian Defenders (Chinese: 守护者; Pinyin: Shǒuhù zhě), formerly known as Healing Defenders, are capable of restoring the HP of friendly units with their skills, allowing them and nearby friendlies to be less reliant on other sources of healing such as Medics 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 before promoted to Elite 1, at which they can block three enemies.


Juggernaut Defender.png
Cannot be healed by allies.

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] but their skills/talents allow Juggernaut Defenders to sustain themselves in various ways.

Juggernaut Defenders have the highest DP cost of all Operators and like Guardian Defenders, can only block two enemies until Elite 1 at which they can block three enemies.

Arts Protector

Arts Protector Defender.png
Normal attacks deal Arts damage while the skill is active.

Arts Protector Defenders (Chinese: 驭法铁卫; Pinyin: Yùfǎ tiěwèi; lit. "Arts-Wielding Ironguard"), 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 while their skill is active, granting them better offensive capability than other Defenders.


Duelist Defender.png
Only restores SP when blocking enemies.

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 Dreadnought Guards.

Duelist Defenders' DP cost is the second highest of all Defenders, just below Juggernaut Defenders. Unlike most other Defenders, all Duelist Defenders have a range of the tile ahead of them.


Fortress Defender.png
When not blocking enemies, prioritizes dealing ranged AoE Physical damage.

Fortress Defenders (Chinese: 要塞; Pinyin: Yàosài) have a ranged AoE attack like that of Artilleryman 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 of two tiles in front 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.


  1. Indirect healing (i.e. those which do not show green numbers above the target) such as Angelina's Part-Time Job talent and Bard Supporters' trait affect Juggernaut Defenders as usual.