Mythic+ DPS Rankings: A Tier List for Shadowlands

Last updated on Mar 25, 2021 at 04:37 by Petko 48 comments

From the strongest to the weakest class and specialization, each provide unique character distinction and add value toward shaping the seasonal "meta" of Mythic+. The DPS specialization rankings provided for Shadowlands's first season of Mythic+ are based on pure DPS strength and group-added-value such as utility, survivability, mobility, and self-sustain.

This list will be updated as new tuning and class changes come out over the course of the Shadowlands expansion.

1.

About the Tier List

This tier list is NOT FINAL; it will change and will be updated as often as necessary. There are often moments of Covenant and class tuning that will impact the placing of the specs.

I am Petko, a competitive Mythic+ player and a team captain of "The Boys", most recently an MDI summer finalist. I am more known to be pushing the boundaries of High Mythic+ with several World first and Europe rankings among the seasons on multiple classes. I have worked hard on preparing for the Season 1 of Shadowlands, spending tons of hours per day examining each and every class and spec in a dungeon environment. This Tier list will continue to be updated as much as it requires over the course of Shadowlands and it will also focus on what the "meta" will look like as it stabilizes. Along the way, this Tier list will also be supported by various professional Mythic+ players with high credibility in the community.

To begin with, this Tier list will primarily focus on the first Season of Mythic+ in Shadowlands. At the beginning, there will be also no Warcraft Logs rankings added nor simulation data for the majority of the classes and specs. As a result, this Tier list will be solely based on empirical evidence of the current state of the classes' performance in Mythic+ from my own point of view and the point of view of the group of players testing those classes who are among the best representative of the class in the community. Moreover, this Tier list will take into consideration every impactful class change and Covenant tuning.

This tier list is entirely based on DPS viability examined in each dungeon of Shadowlands. To understand why exactly some rankings are the way they are, you need to understand the importance of the toolkit that some classes provide to Mythic+ groups.

  • With the removal of War-Scrolls (the old BfA ones are still in the game, but cannot be used at Level 60 and there are no Shadowlands ones), classes like Priest, Warrior, and Mage bring additional value to the party thanks to the similar buffs they provide.
  • Most of the mechanics, mob types or affixes are Melee-unfriendly, meaning Ranged classes are more favorable in the Season 1 of Mythic+ in Shadowlands.
  • Classes with very high survivability, self sustain, or immunities have always been valued higher, since you can completely "skip" some mechanics or make the life of the healer easier.
  • Finally, only two classes can provide unique Magical and Physical damage increases to the whole party: Monk with Mystic Touch Icon Mystic Touch and Demon Hunter with Chaos Brand Icon Chaos Brand. This gives these classes priority, depending on group composition.

When deciding what class you want to play for the first Season of Shadowlands, it is important to understand how and why some classes are valued more than the others and what is important in the current dungeons. Dungeons like The Necrotic Wake and Sanguine Depths favor classes with immunities and classes with shorter interrupt cooldowns. Another important thing to keep in mind is the Seasonal affix called Prideful, which prioritizes single target and classes with high self-sustain or off-healing abilities while DPS-ing to help overcoming it.

1.1.

A Final Warning

It is important to understand that this Tier list is NOT permanent and it will be due to change with upcoming changes and tunings over the course of the expansion. I have always advocated to the "bring the player, not the class" motto, meaning: value the player skill more than the class itself. This Tier list should NOT discourage you to play whatever you enjoy the most, as I have always been playing "off-meta" classes and happened to have really good results in an actual Mythic+ environment. The list will be updated as much as it requires and if something is under-performing now, it could become meta due to a hotfix as well as the opposite.

2.

DPS Tier List for Shadowlands Season 1 of Mythic+

Below you can find the full rankings for DPS slots in Shadowlands Mythic+. We encourage you to further read and understand why some classes are placed lower or higher than expected, with several factors taken into consideration.

Work in progress Last update on Mar 25, 2021

  1. Fire Mage (S-Tier)
  2. Balance Druid (S-Tier)
  3. Outlaw Rogue (A-Tier)
  4. Elemental Shaman (A-Tier)
  5. Shadow Priest (A-Tier)
  6. Marksmanship Hunter (A-Tier)
  7. Frost Mage (A-Tier)
  8. Windwalker Monk (A-Tier)
  9. Unholy Death Knight (A-Tier)
  10. Affliction Warlock (B-Tier)
  11. Havoc Demon Hunter (B-Tier)
  12. Fury Warrior (B-Tier)
  13. Subtlety Rogue (B-Tier)
  14. Beast Mastery Hunter (B-Tier)
  15. Survival Hunter (B-Tier)
  16. Arcane Mage (B-Tier)
  17. Assassination Rogue (B-Tier)
  18. Demonology Warlock (B-Tier)
  19. Retribution Paladin (B-Tier)
  20. Enhancement Shaman (B-Tier)
  21. Frost Death Knight (B-Tier)
  22. Feral Druid (C-Tier)
  23. Destruction Warlock (C-Tier)
  24. Arms Warrior (C-Tier)
2.1.

Healer and Tank Class Rankings

If you are interested in our other rankings for Mythic+ in Shadowlands, please click the links below.

3.

Full DPS Class and Specialization Rankings

3.1.

S-tier

3.1.1.

Fire mage

Fire Mage suffered a great loss when they lost the ability to passively spread Mastery: Ignite Icon Mastery: Ignite. To compensate for that, Fire Mage is one of the specs with uncapped AoE abilities such as Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike and Flame Patch Icon Flame Patch. The Fire specialization provides the same utility to the party as other Mage specs, with the additions of Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath and the cheat death from Cauterize Icon Cauterize. The main power of Fire Mages comes from their incredible burst due to Combustion Icon Combustion, which provides great single-target, priority-target and AoE damage at the same time. This can neutralize any "dangerous" mobs and can make a pull easier for the whole party. Finally, Fire Mages are known to scale greatly with secondary stats meaning that they will become even better later in the expansion.

3.1.2.

Balance Druid

Balance Druids are among the top contenders for group-wide utility. From Ursol's Vortex Icon Ursol's Vortex and Typhoon Icon Typhoon to Soothe Icon Soothe and Stampeding Roar Icon Stampeding Roar, Balance Druid's biggest strength comes from providing the tools the party needs to relieve pressure from the tank and the healer. Its Force of Nature Icon Force of Nature ability can ease a lot of hard pulls during dungeon runs. Moreover, the ability to provide Innervate Icon Innervate to the healer in HPS-intensive fights can make-or-break some encounters. Its single-target DPS is among the best in the game, making it a great pick against priority-target mobs and bosses. Moreover, they also have a great AoE damage profile. Thanks to Incarnation: Chosen of Elune Icon Incarnation: Chosen of Elune, combined with the Stellar Drift Icon Stellar Drift talent which allows you to move while casting if Starfall Icon Starfall is active, Balance Druids have a great way to sustain DPS while avoiding certain dungeon mechanics. Balance Druids also hold one of the shortest defensive cooldowns in the game with Barkskin Icon Barkskin, along with great passive mitigation from Bear Form Icon Bear Form.

To conclude: Balance Druids are one of the DPS specializations that are considered "meta", not only for their amazing damage profile, but for also holding some of the best party utilities in the game. They are a great pick for any group!

3.2.

A-Tier

Below are displayed the DPS specs are considered strong, but not "meta" unlike S-tier specs. In other words, you are perfectly fine bringing any of those specs and all of them will perform almost equally well; each of them bring unique tools to cope with the dungeon timers.

3.2.1.

Outlaw Rogue

Outlaw Rogue is the specialization with the best crowd-control in Mythic+. Gouge Icon Gouge is an incredible ability for disrupting enemies' casts and is not subject to diminishing returns, just like Blind Icon Blind. Outlaw rogues are also the Melee specialization with the longest attack range if the Acrobatic Strikes Icon Acrobatic Strikes talent is chosen, which makes it easier to maneuver in a Melee situation. Just like the other Rogue specs, Outlaw provides high survivability, self-sustain, and an immunity, making it a great pick for any group.

The biggest weakness of Outlaw Rogue comes from its inconsistent DPS due to Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones, making it unpredictable. All in all, Outlaw does not contribute enough to overall DPS to allow for an S-Tier placement.

3.2.2.

Elemental Shaman

March 19 update: Elemental Shamans received a massive buff to their core damaging abilities: Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning and Earthquake Icon Earthquake. In addition, their Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock damage was also increased by 30% which further strengthened their single-target and priority-target damage. With the current changes, Elemental Shaman has become one of the strongest casters in Mythic+ and have moved up to the A-tier list, where it is placed among the top spots!

Elemental Shaman's biggest strength comes from the spiky AoE burst made possible by the soft-capped (20 target) main damaging ability: Earthquake Icon Earthquake. Its single-target DPS and very high off-heal utility from Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance make Elemental a great choice for a Ranged representative in the group. Moreover, the high spectrum of utility tools provided to the party by Shaman makes it a valuable pick. Shaman is also one of three classes in the game that provide "lust" in the form of Heroism Icon Heroism or Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust.

Tremor Totem Icon Tremor Totem, Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental, Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem and Cleanse Spirit Icon Cleanse Spirit are among the most-used utilities of the Shaman. Recently added to the Elemental toolkit, Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace has closed a gap in their playstyle with the ability to move while sustaining DPS, thus making Elemental Shaman a valuable pick for any group composition. Elemental Shaman is the caster with the shortest interrupt cooldown in the game with Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear, making it a great combination with any other Ranged in the group.

3.2.3.

Shadow Priest

Shadow Priest's main strength is multi-dotting, for which it is the best specialization in Mythic+. Shadow Priest also provides very good overall "peel" for the group composition, group-wide off-healing, and high self-sustain. Vampiric Embrace Icon Vampiric Embrace is very useful during HPS-heavy encounters and when dealing with the Manifestation of Pride during Prideful Icon Prideful. With Purify Disease Icon Purify Disease, Dispel Magic Icon Dispel Magic, and Mass Dispel Icon Mass Dispel, Shadow Priest is among the top Ranged contender for a spot in the group. Outside of that, Priest is the only class in the game that provides Power Word: Fortitude Icon Power Word: Fortitude, increasing the healthpool of all party members. Finally, Priest is one of two classes that can readily negate the Bursting Icon Bursting affix with Mass Dispel which makes them extremely valuable.

Shadow Priest also provides excellent crowd-control with abilities such as Mind Control Icon Mind Control, Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream, Shackle Undead Icon Shackle Undead, Psychic Horror Icon Psychic Horror.

The main weakness of the spec comes from Silence Icon Silence's long cooldown, which is among the highest in the game for an interrupt. This is important as disrupting targets in Mythic+ is essential to avoid as much damage as you can in order to increase the group's overall DPS.

3.2.4.

Marksmanship Hunter

March 25 update:Marksmanship Hunter received several buffs, with one being a 5% increased in the damage of their Aimed Shot Icon Aimed Shot by 5% and the other one being 10% buff to Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots. These changes will not be enough to put the spec anywhere higher on the A-tier rankings, but will definitely strengthen their current position.

Marksmanship Hunter currently has one the highest amounts of AoE-burst and overall DPS in the game. The combination of their Trueshot Icon Trueshot cooldown and Trick Shots Icon Trick Shots passive makes their burst reach unparalleled numbers. On top of this, the ability to freely move while casting makes it easier to dodge avoidable damage which is crucial to ensure higher group DPS. Hunter is also among the three classes in the game that can provide a "lust-effect" in the form of Primal Rage Icon Primal Rage. In addition to the amazing toolkit, Marksmanship Hunter also has a knockback spell in the form of Bursting Shot Icon Bursting Shot which can be utilized on several occasions in Mythic+. Hunter also has great mobility, thanks to Disengage Icon Disengage and Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah.

The Hunter toolkit is among the best for Mythic+. From a slow with Tar Trap Icon Tar Trap to a mass-root with Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot, Hunter provides unique tools to cope and relieve pressure from the tank and the healer. Finally, the great self-sustain from Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration and immunity from Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle makes Hunters a top contender for the DPS slot in Shadowlands' Mythic+.

Hunter is also one of two classes able to transfer its threat to the tank or another target using Misdirection Icon Misdirection, which works similarly to a Rogue's Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade. Another strength is the ability to dispel Enrage effects with Tranquilizing Shot Icon Tranquilizing Shot.

3.2.5.

Frost Mage

Mage is among the three classes in the game that provide a "lust-effect" through Time Warp Icon Time Warp, making them desirable in Mythic+. Their toolkit also offers a permanent slow on enemies to make it easier for tanks to kite, crowd-control with Polymorph Icon Polymorph, and high self-sustain due to Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier. In addition, Frost Mage also holds an immunity, a vital option against life-threatening situations, in the form of Ice Block Icon Ice Block. The high mobility of Mages also adds value, further compounded by the ability to provide Arcane Intellect Icon Arcane Intellect to the whole party and benefit other casters within a group. Frost Mages even provide decent damage output, which is essential to determining which tier a specialization belongs in.

Frost Mages also have great 2-target cleave DPS and decent single-target DPS, making their priority-target damage great against important mobs such as the Seasonal Prideful Icon Prideful Affix and boss encounters. Moreover, being able to enter stealth with Invisibility Icon Invisibility provides Frost Mages with the unique ability to skip certain packs, mobs or bosses. To top it off, they also have Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal which can create an opportunity for them to benefit from an enemy magical buff for up to 2 minutes within a dungeon.

The biggest disadvantage of the spec comes from the relatively low overall damage profile, compared to the rest of the specializations placed under S tier.

3.2.6.

Windwalker Monk

March 25 update: Windwalker Monks received a massive buff to their core damage abilities of Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick and Fists of Fury Icon Fists of Fury. Mark of the Crane Icon Mark of the Crane's damage bonus was increased to 15% (was 10%) per unique target you have hit in the last 20 (was 15) seconds with Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick, Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick, or Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm. In addition, Fists of Fury Icon Fists of Fury now deals 70% damage to its secondary targets, up from 50%. This will further strengthen their AoE damage profile. While these buffs will not change their single-target damage, it will definitely improve their AoE damage profile, moving the spec once again into the A-Tier rankings. There, they stand to be one of the best melee options in Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 1.

Windwalker Monks do not scale very well with secondary stats, so they will be better during the early stages of Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 1, before falling behind. With their great toolkit, they will be a more-than-viable choice. Windwalker Monks have strong group utility with Tiger's Lust Icon Tiger's Lust and Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep. Their overall raw damage output is great, comparable to the specs placed under A-Tier. Their single-target DPS and Execute Icon Execute-like ability, Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death, provides solid damage output and is especially useful against high-priority targets like the Prideful Icon Prideful Affix's Manifestation of Pride and boss fights. They also have several defensive cooldowns, depending on talent choice. Monk is the only class that can provide a 5% Physical damage increase, thanks to Mystic Touch Icon Mystic Touch.

The biggest disadvantage of the spec is its inability to fit within the majority of group compositions. A Melee or Physical-damage-heavy composition is the best fit for Monks, which in the current state of Shadowlands is very unlikely to be seen outside of Rogue and Marksmanship Hunter. The spec has little to no self-sustain and lacks passive mitigation.

3.2.7.

Unholy Death Knight

Unholy Death Knight's biggest strength comes from very high single-target DPS and AoE burst windows. Furthermore, Death Grip Icon Death Grip and a second disruption spell in Gnaw Icon Gnaw make Unholy Death Knights a great addition to any group composition. They can also bring a single-target stun with Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate or a massive AoE slow through Grip of the Dead Icon Grip of the Dead, depending on talent choices. Furthermore, they have a great self-sustain ability in the form of Death Strike Icon Death Strike, which can save you in critical situations.

Finally, Death Knights can bring Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone to the party making them very effective against heavy magical damage such as Bursting With Pride Icon Bursting With Pride from the Prideful Icon Prideful Affix spawn, along with the ability to resurrect allies through Raise Ally Icon Raise Ally.

The biggest disadvantage of the Unholy Death Knight is its low mobility and high reliance on cooldowns, making it hard for the spec to compete with those ranked at S-Tier.

3.3.

B-Tier

Specializations placed under B-Tier are a viable choice for any group looking to excel with any of the specializations here. The main reason why those specialization are placed on B-Tier is not because they are bad, but rather other specs just scale better or have better utility. In Mythic+, not everything comes down to raw output, but rather to group composition and utility; in other words, "what do you bring to the group to help complete the dungeon".

3.3.1.

Affliction Warlock

Affliction Warlock is the strongest spec in the B-Tier category and, while it performs great in raiding, things are not the same in Mythic+. Affliction's core problems come from being unable to excel on low-healthpool mobs, having low mobility, and no immunity. Affliction Warlock's single-target DPS is among the strongest in the game. Its sustained-Cleave and AoE damage from Vile Taint Icon Vile Taint and Malefic Rapture Icon Malefic Rapture are also quite deadly.

This specialization provides mediocre party utilities— Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil, Create Healthstone Icon Create Healthstone, Banish Icon Banish, Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury, and Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway—making it not as attractive as other ranged DPS. In addition, while the specialization's self-sustain is decent, they completely lack a mobility boost outside of the Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush Talent.

We believe this spec will greatly improve in the rankings once its secondary stats start scaling up. For now, its raw output and low contribution to beneficial group utility spells, lack of an immunity, and low mobility prevent Affliction from reaching higher than B-Tier.

3.3.2.

Havoc Demon Hunter

March 19 update: The biggest disadvantage of Havoc Demon Hunter, prior to Patch 9.0.5, was their damage output. However with the recent buff to Unbound Chaos Icon Unbound Chaos increasing the talent's damage from 300% to 500%, that is not the case anymore. This buff still allows the specialization to fit within any caster composition, due to Chaos Brand Icon Chaos Brand which increases the damage from all magical spells by 5%; it is especially powerful if you lack a Vengeance Demon Hunter in your group. To conclude, the specialization has the potential to excel as one of the best Melee choices for any group, with a high priority to be picked if the party lacks a Vengeance Demon Hunter. But, as of now, their tier-list ranking will remain under the B-tier.

Havoc Demon Hunter is one of the specializations with the highest mobility and survivability in the game, thanks to Fel Rush Icon Fel Rush, Vengeful Retreat Icon Vengeful Retreat, and the leap of Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis. Its unique ability to provide Chaos Brand Icon Chaos Brand in the group makes it a favorable pick in combination with several casters in the party. Out-of-combat crowd-control such as Imprison Icon Imprison gives you the ability to skip mobs without getting in combat, allowing you to "buy" time in each dungeon. To top that, Havoc Demon Hunter has two immunities, with one being Netherwalk Icon Netherwalk and the other being the 1-second leap when casting Metamorphosis Icon Metamorphosis. Finally, high self-sustain and an amazing group toolkit such as Darkness Icon Darkness and Chaos Nova Icon Chaos Nova makes the spec among the best melee specializations in Shadowlands' Mythic+.

The biggest disadvantage comes from the target-capped AoE on most of their abilities such as Blade Dance Icon Blade Dance, doing significantly lower overall damage than any of the mentioned A or S-Tier specs. The medium to low single-target DPS of the spec is also something to take into consideration, as the focus of the Prideful Icon Prideful Seasonal affix in Shadowlands is high priority-damage.

3.3.3.

Fury Warrior

Fury Warriors provide great overall raw output, with decent single-target DPS and AoE cleave. They are also a high mobility specialization with great self-sustain. Warrior is the only class in the game that provides Battle Shout Icon Battle Shout, making it incredibly useful for melee-heavy compositions. In addition, they have great passive mitigation coming from Warpaint Icon Warpaint. They also provide Spell Reflection Icon Spell Reflection which can further reduce their magical damage intake by 20% — this is very useful in many cases. Finally, they are one of the few DPS specializations in the game that provide a external defensive ability to the whole party with Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry.

The biggest disadvantage of Fury Warrior comes from having no immunity and being unable to fit in the current "meta" of a caster-oriented group, thus justifying their current placement.

3.3.4.

Subtlety Rogue

Rogue has been dominating Mythic+ for quite some time now. In Battle for Azeroth, a Rogue was always required in a group and things are no different now. Subtlety Rogue is a great pickup if your group lacks single-target and priority-damage output which is very important coming in Shadowlands, Season 1 of Mythic+, due to the seasonal affix, Prideful Icon Prideful. Their strength comes from the insanely high single-target burst, due to the combination of the Legendary power Akaari's Soul Fragment Icon Akaari's Soul Fragment and the conduit Deeper Daggers Icon Deeper Daggers. This makes Subtlety Rogues perfect for dealing with important mobs, Prideful and bosses, cementing their place as one of the top melee picks for any Mythic+ group.

Contributing to Subtlety Rogue's strength is the Rogue's toolkit, with high survivability (Feint Icon Feint, Evasion Icon Evasion, or Riposte Icon Riposte), immunity (Cloak of Shadows Icon Cloak of Shadows), self-sustain (Crimson Vial Icon Crimson Vial), and high mobility. On top of that, Rogues are the king of the mob control in dungeons, paired together with unique Vanish Icon Vanish skips and out of combat CC such as Sap Icon Sap and Shroud of Concealment Icon Shroud of Concealment.

If that was not enough Rogue is also one of two classes able to transfer its threat to the tank or another target using Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade, making it easier for the tanks to hold threat. In addition, they are one of three classes that can dispel Enrage effects with Shiv Icon Shiv when combined with Numbing Poison Icon Numbing Poison.

3.3.5.

Beast Mastery Hunter

March 25 update: Beast Mastery Hunter received another major buff, this time to their baseline AoE-damage ability Beast Cleave Icon Beast Cleave; its value went up to 90%, from 75%. This substantial buff will increase their overall performance in Mythic+, further solidifying their placement under the B-Tier rankings as one of the best specializations within their bracket.

Beast Mastery Hunter is known to scale amazingly well with secondary stats. This means that early on in Shadowlands its performance will be not so great, but it will rapidly increase with better gear. Despite this, the spec earns its place in the rankings partly because of its sustained AoE from the Barbed Shot Icon Barbed Shot and Stomp Icon Stomp combination. Beast Mastery Hunter provides the same utility as Marksmanship Hunter, except for Bursting Shot Icon Bursting Shot, but in return it offers Intimidation Icon Intimidation. Beast Mastery Hunter is one of the few specializations in the game with unlimited mobility and a ton of ways to avoid incoming damage or mechanics while not sacrificing its own DPS, which makes it extremely valuable in heavy-movement situations like Mythic+ dungeons.

Hunter is also one of two classes able to transfer its threat to the tank or another target using Misdirection Icon Misdirection, which works similarly to a Rogue's Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade. Another strength is the ability to dispel Enrage effects with Tranquilizing Shot Icon Tranquilizing Shot.

The spec's biggest disadvantage comes from solely relying on its pet to do the majority of the damage. There are multiple abilities from mobs to bosses that can kill your pet and force you to cast Revive Pet Icon Revive Pet, which was changed from a 2-second cast to 4 second in Shadowlands. In addition, the spec's overall damage is not enough to put it anywhere higher than B-Tier.

3.3.6.

Survival Hunter

Survival Hunter's AoE damage is in good shape, but its single-target and priority-target DPS is among the lowest in the Mythic+ scene. Survival hunter also has great party utilities with Binding Shot Icon Binding Shot and Tar Trap Icon Tar Trap, great self-sustain from Exhilaration Icon Exhilaration, and strong mobility from Disengage Icon Disengage and Aspect of the Cheetah Icon Aspect of the Cheetah. Finally the spec has an immunity, Aspect of the Turtle Icon Aspect of the Turtle, and is one of three classes in the game with a "lust-effect" through Primal Rage Icon Primal Rage.

Hunter is also one of two classes able to transfer its threat to the tank or another target using Misdirection Icon Misdirection, which works similarly to a Rogue's Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade. Another strength is the ability to dispel Enrage effects with Tranquilizing Shot Icon Tranquilizing Shot.

Unfortunately with the current state of the spec, Survival's raw damage numbers are decent but not good enough. That, and the fact that Survival is hybrid Melee-Ranged specialization which can be hard to fit into party compositions, puts the spec into the B-tier.

3.3.7.

Arcane Mage

Arcane Mage's recent changes have reverted the power that was once brought to the spec. Its uncapped AoE could boost the spec up the rankings if not for the cooldown-dependent gameplay. Most of Arcane's abilities are out of sync, making it harder to time cooldowns without "holding" them for a long time. The utilities that Arcane Mage provides are similar to Frost and Fire, except for Cauterize Icon Cauterize which is only available to Fire Mages and the permanent slow from a Frost Mage's abilities. Arcane's biggest strength comes from one of the highest single-target DPS or 3-target burst. That said, the combined raw output of the spec and its group utilities are not enough to put it anywhere higher in the rankings.

3.3.8.

Assassination Rogue

Assassination Rogues are known to have an amazing single-target burst with Vendetta Icon Vendetta, and amazing mob control using Garrote Icon Garrote which is incredibly useful against caster mobs. Just like Subtlety and Outlaw, Assassination Rogues have very high survivability, self-sustain, and an immunity, making it a perfect pick for a melee slot. The main disadvantage comes from the inability to provide enough overall DPS to compete with the other specs put under "S" or "A"-tier. Its AoE Cleave is significantly lower than Outlaw's, but the overall toolkit brings it near the upper side of B-Tier rankings. Overall DPS has a huge impact on general group composition. For solely that reason, Assassination Rogues are awarded B-tier.

3.3.9.

Demonology Warlock

March 25 update: Demonology Warlocks received a flat 3% buff to all of their damaging abilities. This change positively impacts their overall damage profile, where the main issue has been DPS outside of their major cooldown — Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant — and it moves this Warlock specialization up in the B-tier rankings.

While the spec does not rely on a long cooldown for damage— a good thing— its DPS numbers are lower than what they should be and that alone is a massive factor in Mythic+. In addition, its base damage outside of Summon Demonic Tyrant Icon Summon Demonic Tyrant are rather low, compared to the rest of the specializations, listed above them. Furthermore, the Warlock class provides mediocre party utilities in Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil, Create Healthstone Icon Create Healthstone, Banish Icon Banish, Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury, and Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway, making it not as attractive as other Ranged DPS options. It also has low mobility, outside of Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush.

That being said, Warlock does have a combat resurrection with Soulstone Icon Soulstone — one of the two Ranged classes in the game to have such a spell. Demonology Warlocks also have great passive mitigation with Soul Link Icon Soul Link.

Just like in Battle for Azeroth, Demonology Warlock will continue to scale well with secondary and primary stats as item levels continue to increase, and we believe that with slight damage adjustments the spec has the potential to shine and climb the rankings. However, its overall utility, damage output, low mobility, and lack of an immunity bring the spec into B-Tier.

3.3.10.

Retribution Paladin

Retribution Paladin is one of the strongest specs to be placed under B-Tier. Through great utility abilities such as Blessing of Freedom Icon Blessing of Freedom, Blessing of Sacrifice Icon Blessing of Sacrifice, Lay on Hands Icon Lay on Hands, and Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura, Retribution Paladins are certainly a strong pick in the current state of Shadowlands. They have some of the strongest AoE and single-target burst in the game, with the combination of Execution Sentence Icon Execution Sentence, Avenging Wrath Icon Avenging Wrath, and Final Reckoning Icon Final Reckoning. They also have an immunity with Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield.

The biggest disadvantages of Retribution Paladins are how dependent they are on their cooldowns for damage, low mobility outside of Divine Steed Icon Divine Steed, and low self-sustain, making the spec less-desirable in a standard group composition.

3.3.11.

Enhancement Shaman

March 19 update: Enhancement Shamans received a minor buff to their overall damage profile through a 40% buff to the damage of Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash. This change alone is not enough to place the spec anywhere higher on the tier list.

The Enhancement specialization is very rewarding and fun to play, and feels like one of the most complete specializations in Shadowlands. However, there are several factors that determine its low placement such as mediocre damage output, low self-sustain, no immunity, and low mobility. The spec can really shine if paired with a mostly Melee group or one with heavy Physical damage due to the benefits of Windfury Totem Icon Windfury Totem.

On the positive side, Shaman's utility is among the best in the game, thanks to Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental, Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem, Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem, and Tremor Totem Icon Tremor Totem. Furthermore, the class has the shortest interrupt cooldown in the game with Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear, which makes Shaman very valuable in groups where other players have high-cooldown interrupts. Finally, it brings Hex Icon Hex and Purge Icon Purge.

Sadly, the great utility and mediocre output is not enough to warrant a placement higher than B-Tier, but it definitely makes Enhancement Shaman one of best choices within this bracket. This spec could really shine if its damage values were to get even a slight buff.

3.3.12.

Frost Death Knight

Frost Death Knight's strength comes from the AoE and Cleave damage output the spec provides. Frost Death Knights have the same utility as Unholy Death Knights, with the exception of having a little extra self-sustain if talented into Permafrost Icon Permafrost. Their single-target burst can be spiky, and their sustained single-target damage is mediocre at best.

The biggest drawback of the spec, just like Unholy Death Knight, comes from low mobility and cooldown-dependency resulting in low DPS outside of their cooldowns. That said, the overall damage output is not comparable enough to the specs listed in A-Tier, and they further lack in group utilities. With just Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and Death Grip Icon Death Grip, Frost Death Knights are one step short in reaching higher rankings.

3.4.

C-Tier

Specializations listed under this tier lack several things to be placed higher. Specs under this tier need either raw damage tuning or Covenant-ability interactions to be able to be competitive.

3.4.1.

Feral Druid

Feral Druid's current state in the season is relatively weak, compared to the rest of the DPS specializations. The lack of raw damage output puts the spec behind. Moreover, its single-target is not very high, but its cleave and AoE capabilities are among the top of the C-Tier group. Primal Wrath Icon Primal Wrath is a rare uncapped-target cleave ability, especially among Melee, making the spec a potentially viable option if its ability damage is ever increased. In addition, they have great survivability with Survival Instincts Icon Survival Instincts and Barkskin Icon Barkskin and great passive mitigation through Bear Form Icon Bear Form.

Feral Druid's damage is known to scale well with secondary stats and we do believe that the spec will move up in tier as players get more gear, but for now it lacks enough in its complete package to be unable to get out of C-Tier.

3.4.2.

Destruction Warlock

The current state of the Destruction spec feels weak outside of their major cooldown: Summon Infernal Icon Summon Infernal. The spec relies on the interaction between the Legendary Power Wilfred's Sigil of Superior Summoning Icon Wilfred's Sigil of Superior Summoning and Soul Shard-spending AoE abilities, such as Rain of Fire Icon Rain of Fire, to be able to excel in damage output. Furthermore, the spec's party utilities — Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil, Create Healthstone Icon Create Healthstone, Banish Icon Banish, Shadowfury Icon Shadowfury, and Demonic Gateway Icon Demonic Gateway — are not particularly amazing, making it not as attractive as other choices among Ranged DPS.

With that said, the Warlock class is one of two Ranged classes in the game with a combat resurrection through Soulstone Icon Soulstone. In addition, their 2-target cleave due to Havoc Icon Havoc is currently among the strongest in the game. Warlock is also the only class in the game that has Curses available in their toolkit such as Curse of Exhaustion Icon Curse of Exhaustion, Curse of Tongues Icon Curse of Tongues, and Curse of Weakness Icon Curse of Weakness However, these often have little impact in a Mythic+ environment. Finally, Warlocks are the only source of Healthstone Icon Healthstones, although the ability to acquire them prior to entering the dungeon — without having to have an actual Warlock in the run — makes it less valuable.

All in all, Destruction Warlock lacks mobility outside of Burning Rush Icon Burning Rush, has low self-sustain, and no immunity, while also not providing enough raw damage output or utility to be placed anywhere higher than a C-tier at its current state.

3.4.3.

Arms Warrior

The recent changes to Arms warrior with its Mastery:spell interactions, brought the spec slightly up the rankings. While its core build remains the same, Arms' output is significantly lower than other specializations. The spec can shine if put into a heavy-melee composition where Battle Shout Icon Battle Shout can be a deciding factor, but overall, the spec lacks raw damage output. Moreover, the spec's biggest strength comes from burst AoE and higher damage when Execute Icon Execute is usable. Furthermore, Arms Warriors have no immunity, mediocre passive mitigation, and low self-sustain, which is highly desirable in Mythic+ environment.

Arms Warrior is another spec where it needs slightly more time to scale with its primary and secondary stats before shining and moving up the ranks. We believe later in the season Arms will be in better shape than it is right now.

4.

Mythic+ Dungeon Difficulty Rankings

For a full ranking of the relative difficulty of the different Mythic+ dungeons, based on the current week's Mythic+ affixes, please check out our guide below.

5.

Changelog

  • 25 Mar. 2021: Adjusted Marksmanship Hunter, Beast Mastery Hunter, Windwalker Monk, and Demonology Warlock based on the latest Build.
  • 22 Mar. 2021: Frost Mage, Windwalker Monk and Assassination Rogue adjustments.
  • 19 Mar. 2021: Guide updated based on the latest patch notes (9.0.5.)
  • 31 Jan. 2021: Guide requires no changes after recent tuning changes based on the most recent Build (37176).
  • 19 Jan. 2021: Survival Hunter rankings adjustment (Build 37142).
  • 13 Jan. 2021: Frost Mage, Assassination Rogue and Fury Warrior buffs based on the most recent Build (37142).
  • 15 Dec. 2020: Balance Druid, Unholy Death Knight and Marksmanship Hunter nerfs.
  • 14 Dec. 2020: New round of class and spell changes best on the most recent Beta Build (36839).
  • 07 Dec. 2020: New round of class adjustments.
  • 16 Nov. 2020: New round of class and spell changes.
  • 09 Nov. 2020: New round of class and spell changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36512).
  • 30 Oct. 2020: New round of class, spell and conduit changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36401).
  • 24 Oct. 2020: New round of class, spell and conduit changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36294).
  • 19 Oct. 2020: New round of changes based on the most recent Beta Build (36206).
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Third round of changes based on continued Discord feedback and latest balance changes.
  • 09 Oct. 2020: Second round of updates based on recent Beta Build.
  • 09 Oct. 2020: Fury Warrior and Outlaw Rogue changes.
  • 08 Oct. 2020: First round of updates based on 36165 Beta Build.
  • 08 Oct. 2020: 15 specialization and class talents, legendaries and covenant changes.
  • 07 Oct. 2020: Guide added.
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