Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Shadowlands Pre-patch Week 1 DPS Rankings and Analysis

Recommended Posts


Update: Today's hotfixes nerfed Shadow Priests and Arcane Mages, but it remains to be seen by how much. You can read the changes here.


The first reset of the pre-patch has arrived and we're going to be looking at the WarcraftLogs stats for Ny'alotha and the DPS specs in particular. After we checked in on day 2 of the patch many things were hotfixed and the rankings have shifted, so we also poked our guide writers to comment on the current standings, as some specs have already been nerfed from the below rankings.

This time around we'll start with the 95th percentile, where Shadow Priests have pulled ahead even further, and we have a new spec in the top, as Warlocks get one top and one bottom ranking spec:


    The 50th percentile is a little different, but it's the same specs in the general top, with somewhat different individual standings:


    So why are these specs performing so well? Let's see what our experts have to say.

    Shadow Priest, Publik:


    Shadow Priest is still a very dominant ranged spec in pre-patch. A large chunk of this strength is coming from the reworked SP having some very overpowered interactions with an Azerite Trait, Spiteful Apparitions Spiteful Apparitions, and not necessarily the base class specifically. The rework changed just about everything with Shadow, including the way Priests generate Shadowy Apparitions Shadowy Apparitions, which directly correlates to this Azerite Trait being even stronger than it already was before pre-patch. Going into Shadowlands without this trait I still expect Shadow to perform very well in raids, simply due to the amount of options available in the toolkit in the form of talents and other baseline changes to the spec, just not to the insane degree it is at now.

    Affliction Warlock, Motoko:


    First and foremost the new Affliction spec spender changed Affliction fundamentally into a much more versatile spec that is able to deal damage in burst windows and is extremely efficient in doing so. Where previously on distant multi target Affliction damage was limited to single Unstable Affliction Unstable Affliction applications, Malefic Rapture Malefic Rapture for the cost of a single shard can damage ANY target affected by at least 1 DoT. Encounters with relatively short living adds, such as Vexiona or Il'gynoth previously used to be a bit ill-suited scenarios for a Spec without any "burst AoE" capabilities, and even situations with longer living targets (Drest'agath and to a lesser extent Xanesh, Ra-den, N'Zoth) saw the spec constrained by the actual amount of resources generated while still tied to an exclusively single target spender. Malefic Rapture changed all of it, and created a new profile where Affliction can output single and multitarget or plain AoE damage in a cadence that suits both situations where you need high sustained output, or frequent spikes of damage.

    Last but not least, the rotational changes opened up new Essences to be used, in particular Blood of the Enemy Blood of the Enemy, when paired with Manifesto of Madness Manifesto of Madness, and Memory of Lucid Dreams Memory of Lucid Dreams.

    Arcane Mage, Dutchmagoz:


    One major reason Arcane is doing so well, is due to changes to Rune of Power Rune of Power, which now automatically drops when casting Arcane Power Arcane Power. On October 20th, the interaction with Vision of Perfection and Rune of Power has been nerfed, so you no longer get a free Rune when it triggers Arcane Power. This will cause a pretty sizable drop-off in DPS for Arcane. This will most likely also change the best major Essence for Arcane to Worldvein Resonance Worldvein Resonance again, which wasn't very far behind Vision, but still enough to cause a meaningful nerf. The exact impact of these nerfs will still have to be seen throughout the coming reset.

    Since pre-patch removed corruption, and Arcane wasn't very reliant on corruption compared to other specs and classes (especially compared to Fire Mages), it gained a lot of relative strength. Additionally, Arcane getting its major cooldown Arcane Power reduced from a 3 minute cooldown to a 2 minute cooldown makes it so that it lines up much better with the timers of various adds and fight mechanics in Ny'alotha.

    Alongside the above reasons, Arcane also got some new tools to deal efficient cleave DPS without having to give up any single target DPS via Touch of the Magi Touch of the Magi and Arcane Echo Arcane Echo.

    Another reason Arcane is doing so well is due to the changes to its mastery, which now also boosts Arcane Missiles Arcane Missiles damage. Due to this, talents and traits before seen as "dead" talents and traits, are now very strong, like Amplification Amplification and Arcane Pummeling Arcane Pummeling.

    Beast Mastery Hunter, Azortharion:


    Beast Mastery is one of the strongest ranged specs in the WoW prepatch, even though it has lost the stat amplifiers that were so strong for it. This is because of its awesome stat scaling combined with Dance of Death Dance of Death letting it keep a huge uptime on the buff. It also changed very little and is very easy to play, with a strong toolkit for both single-target and AoE.

    Unholy Death Knight, Abyssalwave:


    Currently the combination for Unholy’s new talents, revamped stats, Azerite traits, and Essences let Unholy do ridiculous damage. Unholy’s mastery now also affects their minions which means it affects Magus of the Dead Magus of the Dead from both the Azerite trait and the Talent (Army of the Damned Army of the Damned). You will see people using primarily triple Magus of the Dead and triple Heart of Darkness Heart of Darkness in order to gain as much Mastery as possible. Also the ability to have sockets on every piece of gear lets you stack even more mastery to hit a baseline of over 300-350. Vision of Perfection Vision of Perfection also spawns even more Magus of the Dead which again scale off your mastery. All of this allows Unholy to deal high amount of damage during the prepatch.


    We'll be checking in on the DPS logs throughout the pre-patch and analyzing the stats for not only the top specs, but other as well. You can also check out the full pre-patch class guides here, for even more details on each spec.

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Reply to this topic...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

    Sign in to follow this  

    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    • Similar Content

      • By Staff
        Due to consistent, extended queue times, Blizzard enabled free character moves for players who have characters on high population realms.
        If the service is available on your realm, you can access it in the Services section of the Shop on your char selection screen for that realm. You won't be able to select a destination realm that also has a high population.
        With the launch of Shadowlands, great numbers of players have left Azeroth for the afterlife, dramatically increasing player populations on every realm. For a small number of realms, demand has been overwhelming, and we’ve been working around the clock to address issues on those realms and make the game available to the maximum number of players.
        Today, we’ve enabled the Free Character Transfer service for players who have characters on high population realms that are experiencing consistent, extended queues. If this service is available on your realm, you’ll access it in the Services section of the Shop on your character selection screen for that realm.
        Please note:
        You cannot select a destination realm that also has a high population. Realm to realm character transfers take time to complete, and the duration is higher when more players are using the service. You cannot log in to your character until the migration has completed. You cannot cancel a migration in progress. Blizzard Customer Support cannot cancel a migration or speed up the migration process. Character migrations are irreversible. The free service may be disabled at any time, as necessary. We strongly suggest that any players planning to use a Free Character Transfer do so as soon as possible.
        Thank you very much!
      • By Stan
        Players keep discovering fun toys scattered across the Shadowlands, and it turns out you can have your very own shoulder demon/angel, and they interact with each other.
        Bondable Sinstone comes from the Taskmaster's Trove in Revendreth. It summons a demon named Sinny that gives you questionable advice. You can get Bondable Val'kyr Diadem from the Gift of Chyrus in Bastion. The toy summons a Val'kyr called Angelis. You can have Angelis and Sinny up simultaneously, and they have some fun interactions too.
        Here's how they both look, image courtesy of Gaara779.

        Source: Reddit
      • By Stan
        We're looking at the potential of a fun new item from Engineering called Momentum Redistributor Boots.
        The boots redistribute a significant portion of your fall damage into nearby enemies,  so if you land properly, you will be able to kill other players. The item is on a 3-minute cooldown.
        Source: Reddit
      • By Stan
        Here are some useful tips if you are leveling alts through the Threads of Fate system.
        The Threads of Fate system allows you to ignore the main story and level up your character by doing various objectives and completing world quests.
        You should first visit every area to accept all campaign quests if you plan on leveling through spamming dungeons.

        Image courtesy of Reddit user stephyandthecats
        Each dungeon gives you 10% toward the progress bar.
        You should also focus on progressing through the quests simultaneously, not one by one, if you are mainly leveling through dungeons. 
        Reddit user Kerotos summarized how much XP you're going to get via dungeons.
        Reddit user Lucasion pointed out that Threads of Fate is available for alts to switch to at any time until your character hits 60, meaning at any point, you can choose to skip the rest of the story. However, if you hit 60 while doing the story, the Fatescriber no longer gives you the option to swap to the Threads of Fate system, so your alt becomes locked into finishing the story.
        If you are leveling an alt through the storyline, make sure you return to Oribos and swap to the Threads of Fate BEFORE hitting level 60!
        Remember that choosing Threads of Fate is PERMANENT and cannot be undone, but if you choose replay storyline, you can swap to Threads at any time.

        Image courtesy of TheYamagato
        Source: Reddit, Reddit, Reddit
      • By Staff
        Blizzard reported on Twitter that they are currently under a DDoS attack which may result in high latency and disconnections for some players.
        Some servers in the EU region are currently under fire and Blizzard are working to mitigate the issue.
        Placeholder for tweet 1332744357372436482
    • Create New...