After trying and being disappointed by other tires, I keep coming back to the minion DHF for front wheel traction and dependability. It's confidence inspiring, weight is within reason, and doesn't feel horribly slow for how knobby it is. I also personally think the 2.5 width is just about as perfect as it gets for all around aggressive trail riding. Definitely will be overkill for some I suppose so luckily they offer a 2.3 option for folks with other priorities.
I pair it with either a DHR, High Roller II, or Ardent rear depending on mood/conditions. All of those work great for their intended uses. DHR being super aggressive riding where maximum brake traction is needed, HR II for all around riding with solid compromise of traction and rolling resistance, and the ardent for maximum speed as long as you can sacrifice some traction and durability.
All of my opinions are formed entirely around my experience riding in Utah and the surrounding rockies, so dry and rocky terrain. Mud, loam, and roots are not common here. The few times I've had these tires on such terrain though.. I found them to be incredible in loam/soft dirt, ok in mud not perfect, and mediocre on wet/slippy roots. Then again, are any tires great in mud and slippy roots? Maybe... I have no idea.