DPS PvP Rankings / Tier List for Wrath of the Lich King Classic
This guide will focus on rankings for the Arena, where 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 matches occur. Doing well increases your team's rating, and the higher you go, the more points will be gained upon the weekly reset. These points can then be used to buy arena gear, which mirrors PvE gear in item level, but with some item budget allocated to Resilience and PvP-oriented set bonuses.
We will be ranking each DPS class available in Wrath below, alongside a short explanation on the reasoning behind its position. This list will be kept updated as Wrath progresses, in order to always reflect the current meta healer ranks.
Feel free to also consult our PvP Healer rankings page if you are interested in learning more about your potential partners in the arena, or our guides on compositions in each bracket (2v2, 3v3, and 5v5) to learn which kinds of teams best suit your class.
PvP DPS Rankings Summary
You can find below a quick summary of the current PvP DPS rankings:
- Warlock (S-Tier)
- Warrior (S-Tier)
- Elemental Shaman (S-Tier)
- Mage (A-Tier)
- Death Knight (A-Tier)
- Rogue (A-Tier)
- Shadow Priest (A-Tier)
- Feral Druid (B-Tier)
- Hunter (B-Tier)
- Retribution Paladin (B-Tier)
- Enhancement Shaman (B-Tier)
- Balance Druid (B-Tier)
In order to further understand the reasoning behind these ranks, we would recommend you to read the rest of the page, as that is explained in more detail in the next few sections.
Healer PvP Rankings
If you are interested in other PvP rankings for Wrath of the Lich King, check the following links:
PvP DPS Ranking Details
When sorting out the rankings for DPS in PvP, we are primarily concerned with three things:
- Damage Throughput — first and foremost, DPS are there to deal damage. You will not win unless you kill the other team. Unlike in PvE, however, sustained damage is usually less important than burst damage, although some classes still rely more on sustained damage to overwhelm the enemy healer.
- Utility — this is probably the most skill-based portion of PvP, and where the best players shine. Control abilities such as Fear and Polymorph are game-defining abilities in Arena matches, as you effectively can take other players out of the fight for short periods of times. Effective use of control abilities, and the number of options available to a class are hugely important in how valuable a class is in Arenas.
- Survivability — just as you want to kill your enemies, you are also trying to not die. Defensive abilities and cooldowns are also quite important, especially when you are trying to reset or live long enough to regain offensive pressure. Some classes are significantly more durable than others, which has a huge impact on their effectiveness in Arenas.
These rankings will focus on these factors, and are specifically written in the context of 2v2 and 3v3 Arena. These rankings also could hold up decently well for 5v5 arena, but 2v2 and 3v3 are the significantly more popular and more competitive brackets. It is also important to note that group composition is incredibly important in Arena; playing a comp that utilizes your class's strengths can turn a B-tier class into an A-tier comp.
If you would like to know more about recommended arena compositions for any of its brackets, consult our guides below.
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
Warlocks are one of the most powerful DPS classes in PvP in terms of sustained output and durability. There are several Warlock Arena builds that could be considered high-tier with most Warlocks playing either Affliction for a DoT-based playstyle or Destruction for a burst-based playstyle.
Warlocks utilize DoTs to overwhelm their opponents over time, but at the same time utilize some incredible defensive tools that make them incredibly difficult to kill. Their health regen from Siphon Life along with Drain Life is quite high, their passive damage reduction is among the best out of any class, and they have some incredible control spells to deal with anyone in range, primarily Fear. The single most important addition to the Warlock toolkit is Soul Link however, as now all Warlock specs can easily pick it up, which is what turns them into such insanely durable casters that can wreak havoc safely in any comp.
Warriors are the antithesis of Rogues; instead of utilizing a stealthy, controlled style of play to set up and execute kills, Warriors are there to smash. Warriors can put incredible pressure on enemy healers thanks to a combination of high burst and solid sustained damage.
Warrior's biggest weakness is what you would expect out of a melee: up-time. Inexperienced Warriors can be easily countered by Mages and other ranged classes, meaning it is up to the Warrior and their team to work together. With the right support however, Warriors are unstoppable juggernauts that will wreak havoc in the Arena. Wrath has increased Warrior's own toolkit for getting back in range tremendously as well, most notably being the addition of in-combat charge. Wrath's arena style and meta overall lend themselves heavily to Warrior, and the larger number of tools in their toolkit allow Warriors to really shine throughout the expansion.
Elemental Shamans are known for their top-tier caster support in PvE, but they bring all of that support and more into Arenas. Elemental Shamans have a variety of powerful totems and buffs to support their team, with perhaps the most powerful buff being Bloodlust/Heroism. This huge Haste buff enables your team to set up extremely dangerous burn periods where the other team will be running scared and forced to play defensively.
As a hybrid class, Elemental Shamans also offer some of the most effective off-heals in the game, helping their team to play defensively when needed. Purge is also a powerful tool for clearing enemy players of debuffs and helping to set up kills. Above all, though, Elemental offers some incredible burst thanks to their own hard-hitting abilities' cooldowns, which enables them to set up kills with even only moderate set-up. That burst combined with some new CC and knock-back additions to their toolkit in Wrath are what make Elemental Shamans so dominant throughout the expansion in PvP.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
Mages have some shiny new additions to their bag of tools in Wrath, but not as many PvP-focused abilities as for other classes. Mages were already S-tier and incredibly strong in PvP for all of TBC, so they recieved fewer new things than other classes. Thus, Mages are still strong, just a bit weaker relative to everyone else when it comes to arena in Wrath.
Blink is the bane of melee, enabling them to break stuns and disengage quickly. Most Mages choose to play Frost in high-tier Arena, giving them access to tons of Roots, Slows, and other control spells that allow them to set up incredible control chains on enemy healers. The Mage play style is less about overwhelming your enemy team and more about securing a win by bursting down one target while keeping every other target out of the game through continuous control abilities. There is no question that Mage is a force to be reckoned with, and is a staple class in some of the most popular and most successful Arena comps.
Death Knights are the new class added in WotLK, and like Warriors are melee juggernauts who dominate the arena. The main difference between them in Warriors is that instead of having a charge, they bring spells like Death Grip and Chains of Ice to bring their targets to them and keep them there.
Death Knights have no movements speed spells or dashes, which makes their biggest weakness similar to Warriors: up-time. However, with certain comps and by playing carefully, you can easily abuse your juggernaut status and run over anything in your path. One of the most common comps in Wrath is "TSG", which is Warrior-DK-Holy Paladin, known for being a melee cleave that just jumps in head first and brutalizes enemies until they die.
Rogue are one of the only melee classes that focus on stealth and getting controlled burst in an opener as opposed to running at their targets until they die. For that reason, Rogue has one of the highest skill ceilings in the game, and is one of the most popular melee to play in PvP. Possibly the single most popular Arena comp is Rogue-Mage-Priest (RMP), because their playstyles are so complementary. Rogues have incredible utility and amazing burst, but lack passive sustain and defense. Rogue's signature Stealth allows them to control matches from the start, picking and choosing how to open. Rogues offer a powerful array of cooldowns that make them extremely appealing to new players looking to learn, but also have an almost limitless skill ceiling where players can always find new ways to showcase their skill and finesse.
Shadow Priests are similar to Warlocks in their play style, but provide less utility in favor of more defensive tools and support. Shadow Priests have access to significant off-healing from the standard Priest healing arsenal, which allows teams to play defensively even if the healer is being pressured or controlled. They still have some control, and more importantly offer Mana Burn if you are looking to play a drain-comp or are trying to overwhelm the enemy healer with high damage and Mana drain. Shadow gains tons of damage going from TBC to Wrath, and are a significantly more offensive option than they have been previously.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
Feral Druids offer the jack-of-all-trades toolkit that Druids bring, with a focus on melee DPS. Wrath has given Ferals a ton of damage, cementing their identity as the only melee with a DoT-based playstyle. Feral has incredible burst now, with some of the strongest normal melee abilities, but with large Energy costs and positional requirements attached to them, bursting is not easy.
Feral's biggest strengths come from being a Druid. Druids bring incredible control, some of the best defensive abilities in the game, decent off-heals, and Bear Form for when you are the kill target. Bear Form specifically is exponentially stronger than ever before, dealing out huge damage on its own and making you significantly more durable against melee.
Hunters offer several different, unique play styles based on what specialization you choose.
Beast Mastery is a glass cannon, offering solid burst and pet-centric damage while bringing the least utility and control out of any Hunter spec.
Survival offers excellent control abilities that can be utilized for a slower playstyle built around Viper Sting for a slower-paced game.
Marksmanship is the most common Hunter spec in arena, offering incredible burst windows through lining up multiple instant damaging shots.
Hunters have options, and the comps are as varied as the playstyles. However, Hunters also have some issues, specifically around line-of-sight and how easily pets can die in Arenas. This mainly presents an issue for Beast Mastery, and is why the spec is primarily played in 2v2 where games are either shorter or it is harder for the pet to be killed if facing only a single DPS. Overall, Hunters bring solid damage and control, but suffer compared to the burst or CC chain potential of the classes ranked above. Above all however, Hunters have one of the weakest defensive toolkits out of any class, making them excellent targets for any comp. Wrath did offer Hunter some amazing new tools however, specifically with a reworked Disengage and Deterrence.
Retribution Paladins take a big step forward in Wrath, with the introduction of Divine Storm and several other damage talents that give Ret some of the biggest burst in the game.
Outside of the burst windows with wings up, Retribution is a more defensive, utility-based version of a Warrior, where you sacrifice damage and mobility for utility and defensive capabilities. Retribution still offers exceptional burst, but it is much less consistent and a little RNG-based compared to what other classes can bring. Retribution Paladins do offer the entire Paladin arsenal, however, which includes some incredible utility and defensive cooldowns to help get your team out of a tight spot. Retribution's biggest problem is mobility, however, as their only mobility spell is Hand of Freedom. Outside of Freedom, you can easily be controlled and kited which can make it extremely difficult to deal with some classes without coordinated help from your team.
Enhancement Shaman in Raids are a powerful melee support that brings some incredible buffs. In PvP, they bring those same buffs, and now have the consistent damage and durability to thrive in a melee cleave. The type of melee-cleave that Enhancement Shamans excel in is strong in arena, although Shamans do have some issues with the playstyle compared to Death Knights and Warriors. Some excellent new additions in Wrath have given them more CC options, better mobility, and excellent chasing tools to ensure they get uptime when needed on the enemy. Shamans also bring Bloodlust, which is an excellent buff for your team and can create some solid pressure for any comp.
Balance Druids originally earned the name "Boomkins" in TBC because of their massive Starfire crits, allowing them to nearly one-shot enemies sometimes with the right setup. Wrath continues that trend for Balance Druids, offering them shiny new tools and talents that both increase their damage and give them utility to survive and thrive in arenas.
While Balance brings the standard Druids arsenal of utility and defensive tools, their damage is amplified in cleave setups thanks to Starfall and their DoTs. Balance can do massive spread damage, but they are prime kill targets and ripe for interrupts or disruption by the enemy team. Line-of-sight is another major issue, which can make it difficult to set up kills. Balance Druids can be deadly, but require a solid team with significant coordination to properly set up and execute kills, but even then are highly susceptible to control and focus from the classes above, which can force you to play more defensively.
- 21 Sep. 2022: Page added.
- Chinese Realm "Region Unavailable" Messages Appeared for EU Players
- Changes to Death Knight Character Creation Restrictions Coming
- Free Character Transfers in Wrath Classic: March 3rd
- Wrath Classic Hotfixes: March 1st
- Wrath Classic Hotfixes: February 24th
- Wrath Classic Hotfixes: February 21st
- Wrath Classic Hotfixes: February 16th
- Season of Mastery Realms Closing This Week, Transfers Open