DPS Rankings / Tier List for WoW Classic Season of Discovery
The Season of Discovery is aiming to completely disrupt the established DPS meta of WoW Classic by including new Runes that drastically increase the power available to all classes. Season of Discovery rankings are based on pure DPS strength and group-added-value such as utility, survivability, mobility, and self-sustain.
Summary of DPS Class and Specialization Rankings for the Season of Discovery
February 15 update:Our initial predictions were far off for two reasons. First, melee Hunters are the strongest class without question, where the new runes have proven more powerful than what anyone imagined. Second, the bosses in the new raid have more armor than Molten Core raid bosses at level 60. Physical damage dealers are struggling, doing significantly less damage than they were at 25. All casters are now better by comparison.
Below is a quick summary of the full rankings that we have detailed on this page. While this gives a good outline of the standings of specializations in comparison to one another, we recommend reading the full rankings to understand why certain specializations are ranked as they are.
- Melee Hunter (S-Tier)
- Mage (S-Tier)
- Warlock (S-Tier)
- Shadow Priest (A-Tier)
- Elemental Shaman (A-Tier)
- Warrior (A-Tier)
- Feral Druid (B-Tier)
- Rogue (B-Tier)
- Hunter (B-Tier)
- Balance Druid (B-Tier)
- Retribution Paladin (C-Tier)
- Enhancement Shaman (C-Tier)
Healer and Tank Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for WoW Classic's Season of Discovery, please click the links below.
Full DPS Class and Specialization Rankings
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
In Season of Discovery, thanks to extremely powerful runes not found in any other version of WoW, Hunters now have the ability to play as melee. This has been relatively underwhelming and quite weak for the majority of Season of Discovery thus far, but with the new rune slots it has proven absolutely incredible. In short, it's over-tuned. Hunters are the best melee DPS in the game at the moment, and this is likely to see nerfs before too long.
Mages scale extremely well with spell power, and they have a naturally strong toolkit due to high base damage on most of their spells, specifically for AoE. Mages are far and away the best class in the game for large-scale AoE, but do not have quite the same single-target output that Warlocks bring. As in WoW Classic, Mages will still be a dominant force both in and out of raids. Their mana is quite limited before 60 and they do not have the single target power of the other classes in S and A tier, but their AoE is still the best in the game without question. No other class even comes close to the AoE power of a Mage, which is why Mage still holds a spot in the A-tier.
Casters in general have struggled in Season of Discovery as they do not have the same scaling potential early on that melee do. However, with some incredible new spells available at 40 and stellar new gearing options, Warlocks are set to absolutely explode. The incredible combination of spell power, buff scaling, and the new rune options allows Warlocks some of the highest burst damage in the game along with the current highest simmed single target damage. The powerful new runes and cooldowns available at 40 is going to allow Warlocks to dominate in a season with short boss encounters.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
Shadow Priests are one of the strongest single target casters right now thanks to unlocking their full rotation and talents at level 40. The combination of DoTs, Mind Blast and their new rotational spell Mind Spike is proving to be incredibly strong while melee are performing far weaker. Shadow Priests have gained enormous amounts of damage since the beginning of Season of Discovery, and are now an A-tier caster.
Elemental Shamans have several incredible new rotational abilities in Season of Discovery, giving them some of the strongest rotational buffs out of any class. Their burst damage with cooldowns and Chain Lightning is also quite strong on both single target and AoE. The consistent damage combined with totem raid buffs makes them compelling for the new raid, especially with melee being quite weak.
With how absurdly powerful the lower level raid gear is, Warriors are scaling much better than we thought. Both for tanking and as DPS, Warriors are topping meters thanks to the exceptional combination of high-damage weapons, raid buffs, and powerful runes that give them the rage necessary to dish out death to their enemies. For both cleave and single target, Warriors are topping meters across the charts within BFD. However, at level 40, Warriors are in need of the full set of raid gear to really scale back to where they were with the significant armor found on bosses.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
While Feral Druids may normally be an off-meta spec, they have some incredible strengths in Season of Discovery. Ferals have the tools they need to powershift and truly shine at level 40, dealing some of the highest single target damage in the game. Additionally, Season of Discovery has given Ferals some attractive new spells and buffs that will make them a staple in most groups. Most notably, Ferals are the only way for Alliance groups to get access to Windfury Totem, which is melee's most desired buff. The only thing that keeps them out of the S-tier is their lack of stacking potential compared to Warriors, which is notably due to the absence of any meaningful AoE or cleave.
Rogues are one of the strongest melee in the game, only just below Warriors. Like Warriors, Rogues are scaling far better with raid gear early on than expected. The addition of new poisons and rotational abilities from runes has made them exceptional on single target, up with Warriors and Hunters as the firm best 3 classes in the game for boss damage. However, Rogues lack the other benefits that Hunters and Warriors bring, which is what keeps them in B-tier for now. This will likely change at higher levels with even more gear.
Hunters are at their strongest relative to other classes early in the game, as they deal exceptional base damage with very little gear. Because they are a ranged DPS that does not rely as heavily on Mana, they are decently strong during the pre-60 phases when resource generation will be the limiting factor for most classes. With the addition of actual pet damage scaling now in Season of Discovery, pets in particular have been quite strong since launch, dealing nearly half of Hunter's damage on most encounters.
Balance Druids primarily use Starfire in raids for damage, which is a very Mana-intensive spell. However, in Season of Discovery Balance Druids have access to the new Wrath rune, which allows it to be cast for free. They will always have a way to do damage regardless of mana, but ultimately their damage will still be quite low compared to every other caster. They also are severely lacking in terms of AoE, which is another reason they are in C-tier.
C-Tier Classes and Specializations
Retribution Paladins have some exciting new runes that looked incredibly promising early on in the brief demo that we saw. However, Rogues, Warriors, and Ferals, have ultimately scaled far better than Paladins at this level. Even with their new rotational ability, it just does not stack up to the fleshed out rotations that other melee bring. While not weak, Retribution Paladins are just not as strong comparatively.
Enhancement Shamans deal mediocre single-target damage, but are a melee and use Mana. This presents a real problem on longer encounters without a solid way to regen. All of the important Shaman buffs and totems can be brought by Resto Shamans, while Enhancement does not have any unique buffs. While you can bring an Enhancement Shaman, they do not offer any unique buffs, and will struggle to compete with every other melee.
- 15 Feb. 2024: Updated after launch for phase 2.
- 04 Feb. 2024: Updated for phase 2.
- 14 Dec. 2023: Revamped list based on first week of BFD.
- Gnomeregan Trinket Sends Player to Forbidden Zones in SoD Phase 2
- Season of Discovery Hotfixes: February 20th
- Blizzard Acknowledges Gnomeregan Raid Lockout Bug
- Blizzard on AoE Threat in SoD Phase 2
- Season of Discovery and Classic Era Hotfixes: February 16th
- Additional Tuning Coming to Priests in Season of Discovery
- Gnomeregan SoD DPS and Healer Rankings: Week 1
- SoD Subjugate Demon Nerf Due to 5-Minute Control of Metamorphosis Warlocks