DPS Rankings / Tier List for WoW Classic Season of Mastery
No game is perfectly balanced, and WoW Classic's Season of Mastery is no exception. Some classes are better than others at the high end for pure DPS and, inevitably, a meta exists. This ranking is based on pure DPS output in a raid scenario right now in the game, assuming you are Level 60 with full pre-raid BiS gear and perfect consumables.
It is important to note that, just because a DPS class is not "S tier", this does not make it unplayable; most classes in the game are viable if played well with the right consumables. This ranking is simply to showcase which is the true best of the best when played perfectly with top gear and consumables.
This list will be updated based on new BiS lists as Classic's Season of Mastery progresses.
If you were looking for TBC Classic advice, please refer to our TBC Classic DPS Rankings.
Summary of DPS Class and Specialization Rankings for the Season of Mastery
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.
- Warlock (S-Tier)
- Rogue (S-Tier)
- Mage (S-Tier)
- Hunter (A-Tier)
- Warrior (A-Tier)
- Shadow Priest (B-Tier)
- Feral Druid (B-Tier)
- Retribution Paladin (C-Tier)
- Enhancement Shaman (C-Tier)
- Balance Druid (D-Tier)
- Elemental Shaman (D-Tier)
Healer and Tank Class Rankings
If you are interested in our other rankings for WoW Classic's Season of Mastery, please click the links below.
Full DPS Class and Specialization Rankings
There are a few important notes about the changes to the tier list from in WoW Classic. The first and most significant change is that ranged DPS is now significantly more important than melee DPS, at least for the initial launch of Season of Mastery. Most of the new raid encounters heavily favor ranged DPS with their new mechanics, which means Warriors and Rogues are less important than they were before, at least for the moment. World buffs are also no longer allowed in the raids, which heavily benefits casters as melee gained significantly more from the buffs than casters did. Finally, there are some significant gear differences due to what is available from the start that will affect balance.
S-Tier Classes and Specializations
Warlocks are one of the most powerful range DPS in the game in terms of raw damage output, which is enough to put them into the S-tier. Casters usually take a while to scale in WoW Classic, but thanks to dungeons like Dire Maul being available from the start, casters will have exceptional gear options available to jump-start their damage. Additionally, the removal of the debuff limit means that Warlocks can freely DoT enemies with Corruption, which is quite powerful on many of the raid encounters in Phase 1. Finally, because of the freshly buffed and revamped raids, the fights are now significantly longer in duration than before, which makes Mana a huge issue for every caster. Warlocks have Life Tap however, which gives them an incredible advantage on the hardest encounters.
Rogues are one of the strongest melee in the game. They have a rough time leveling, but even with little gear, they quickly become one of the best single-target specs in the game. Once you get raid gear, you will be topping meters in no time. Just like Warriors, the addition of the top tier weapons from Rank 14 gives Rogues the edge they need to make them one of the dominant DPS specs. In Season of Mastery however, Rogues also have early access to their tier 0.5 dungeon set, which is by far the strongest of the dungeon tier sets available. This set for Rogues is BiS until AQ 40, which gives them a monstrous gear advantage from day 1 that should make them incredible in raids. The only reason that they are below Warlocks is because they are still melee, which has proven to be a significant downside on several of the buffed encounters.
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.
A-Tier Classes and Specializations
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 inherently strong during Phase 1, and should be a common class in any raid. While they may fall off later on, Hunters are always a strong choice early on in WoW Classic, and one of the best classes to start off on for leveling and early content at Level 60.
Warriors are the most powerful DPS in the game, without question. Their base damage even while leveling is incredibly high, and when it comes to 2-4 target cleave, they are in a league of their own. Warriors and Rogues both require weapons though, and without access to the top tier weapons from later raids (or Rank 14) Warriors are will take awhile to really start to scale. Warriors also benefit significantly from shorter kill times on bosses due to their strong, long cooldowns Death Wish and Recklessness. No other class has anything close to the burst potential that Warriors do, and it is almost entirely due to these cooldowns. Unfortunately, with the longer kill times and less melee-friendly mechanics in Season of Mastery, Warriors will still be strong, but may take a while to find their footing. However, if you manage to hit rank 14 on a Warrior early on, then you would have access to the gear needed to really scale.
B-Tier Classes and Specializations
Shadow Priests have no real AoE and decent single-target damage. Their main contribution to the raid is Shadow Weaving, which increases the target's Shadow damage taken. Some raids will bring 1 Shadow Priest for this purpose. Luckily, because of the debuff limit being removed, Shadow Priests can make full use of their entire rotation, allowing them to use Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Flay even though they take up debuff slots. However, Shadow Priests use a significant amount of Mana without a solid way to regenerate it, which presents a large problem for the longer raid encounters.
While Feral Druids may be an off-meta spec, they have some very real strengths. Feral Druids have access to Wolfshead Helm and Manual Crowd Pummeler early on, which are BiS for them all the way through WoW Classic. This gives them an early power spike compared to many other specs, putting them higher than they might be later on. Their major downside is Mana; Ferals need lots of Mana to power shift, and while consumables will help, they cannot do it indefinitely. This need for Mana is amplified in Season of Mastery, and Ferals will not be able to power shift nearly as much as they would like early on.
C-Tier Classes and Specializations
Retribution Paladins are a rarity in most raids. They bring Sanctity Aura for extra Holy damage, but only other Ret Paladins can benefit from it, since no other DPS do Holy damage. All of the Paladin buffs can be brought by Holy Paladins as well, meaning Rets are not necessary for Paladin buffs. Rets can make use of both melee and spell power consumables, giving them a slight edge early on when consumables are more meaningful, but Rets are already fighting for a spot due to low damage, and are solidly in C-tier for all of WoW Classic.
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 Warriors and Rogues.
D-Tier Classes and Specializations
Balance Druids bring a small 3% spell damage increase to their group, but sadly their low damage and Mana issues are too severe to be worth a spot. Balance Druids primarily use Starfire in raids for damage, which is a very Mana-intensive spell. Because of the high Mana cost, you will be forced to downrank it quickly, especially in pre-raid gear, which will result in very low damage. This is going to be amplified on the harder raid encounters, especially early on in progression, which makes it hard to justify their raid spot.
Elemental Shamans suffer from the exact same problems as Balance Druids, but they do not bring any sort of unique buff to their group. A Restoration Shaman will bring the same buffs, making Elemental a poor choice due to Mana problems and low damage.
- 13 Nov. 2021: Guide added.
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