PvP Arena Tier List (Shadowlands 9.0.2)

Last updated on Dec 17, 2020 at 15:30 by Mysticall 12 comments

Table of Contents

1.

Introduction

One of the recurring themes that you will come across as you work your way into Arena games is "the meta". In short, this refers to the current ranking of strategies according to their strength. With regards to PvP in World of Warcraft, this mostly deals with the team compositions.

The meta can change quickly, after a new patch or hotfix or even depending on the time of day. It is important to know the meta so you can play something that can counter what other people are playing.

Below are all of the relevant team compositions, or comps for short, that are both popular and strong in this expansion. Underneath each comp there is a recommended alternative healer (if you cannot find the best healer), followed by the strengths and weaknesses of that particular comp. Note that within each tier, the compositions are not listed in order of power.

2.

Tier 1

Tier 1 team compositions have both strong defensive and offensive cooldowns throughout an Arena match. These teams also have very few bad matchups or counters.

Composition Strengths Weaknesses
Alternative healer:
  • Multiple sources of crowd control
  • Strong sustained and burst damage
  • Countless utility spells to help healer
  • If the Retribution Paladin is being focused, they will be doing a lot less damage. This is because they will have to spend Holy Power on Word of Glory Icon Word of Glory instead of damaging abilities.
  • Can be difficult to chase mobile targets as no one on this team has much mobility.
Shadowplay: Alternative healers:
  • Strong single-target and spread damage
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns to rotate
  • Spammable crowd control (Fear Icon Fear, Cyclone Icon Cyclone, etc.) makes it difficult for other teams to pressure your teammates
  • The longer the arena match, the more favored this comp becomes
  • Lack of mobility
  • Can struggle against teams with two melee on it if the Warlock is being focused. Teammates will have to help peal off enemy melee to allow the Warlock to cast.
RMP: Alternative healer:
  • Strong burst damage
  • Short offensive cooldowns
  • Multiple stuns and interrupts
  • Potential to swap and kill any enemy
  • Rogues can potentially get swapped to and killed in one stun
  • After using burst cooldowns, Fire Mages' damage is easy to shut down
WMP: Alternative healer:
  • Multiple sources of crowd control
  • Strong sustained damage
  • Short offensive cooldowns
  • Fire Mages can struggle to cast against teams with multiple interrupts
  • Few ways to help teammates that are being focused
  • The Warrior will struggle against teams with multiple roots or slows
Cupid: Alternative healer:
  • Several ways to crowd control enemy healer
  • Strong single-target damage
  • Great utility for teammates
  • Predictable crowd control
  • Very few defensive cooldowns
  • Discipline Priests run out of Mana quickly against teams with two melee on it
Dancing with the Stars: Alternative healer:
  • Multiple ways to crowd control
  • Short burst cooldowns
  • Strong sustained damage
  • Rogues are fragile and can die in a single stun
  • Balance Druids will not have high sustained damage if they are forced to be in Bear Form when being focused.
Alternative healers:
  • A lot of mobility and has the ability to run after enemies that are kiting away.
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns
  • Strong offensive cooldowns
  • Without a trinket available the Windwalker Monk can die in a stun
  • This comp can struggle to help their healer stay alive if they use their stuns to try to get a kill.
Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target and spread damage
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns to rotate
  • Great crowd control (Hex Icon Hex, Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice, etc.) makes it difficult for other teams to pressure your teammates
  • The longer the arena match, the more favored this comp becomes
  • Lack of mobility
  • Can struggle against teams with two melee on it if the Shadow Priest is being focused. Teammates will have to help peal off enemy melee to allow the Priest to cast.
3.

Tier 2

Tier 2 team compositions have the potential to be successful. However, they will struggle against Tier 1 and other Tier 2 teams.

Composition Strengths Weaknesses
TSG: Alternative healers:
  • Strong single-target and cleave damage
  • Multiple ways to interrupt casters or healers
  • Several defensive cooldowns to rotate
  • Struggles versus teams with roots or snares
  • If playing with a Mistweaver Monk, they will need to look for drinks throughout the game to stay at high Mana
  • Chances of winning are lower the longer the game goes into dampening
RPS: Alternative healers:
  • Strong single-target and spread damage
  • Multiple ways to crowd control and lock down the enemy healer
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns to rotate
  • Shadow Priests struggle versus melee teams that will focus them the entire game
  • The Rogue can potentially get swapped to and die in a stun
WLS: Alternative healer:
  • Great sustained single-target damage
  • Easy to swap targets if an enemy overextends into your team
  • Multiple ways to crowd control the enemy healer
  • Your healer will have to do most of the setting up for crowd control. This can be difficult versus teams with roots or snares
  • Very little utility to help the healer if they are being focused
Hero Cleave Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target and cleave damage
  • All teammates have can survive into late dampening
  • Multiple utility spells to help teammates that are in trouble
  • Although they have great survivability, Unholy Death Knights will struggle when games have high dampening
  • Demon Hunters and Death Knights will struggle to connect to targets with teams that have multiple roots/snares.
Jungle: Alternative healers:
  • Strong single-target damage
  • Very mobile
  • Multiple sources of crowd control
  • Predictable crowd control
  • Hunters and Feral Druids lack defensive abilities
  • Struggles against teams with strong sustained damage
Turbo: Alternative healers:
  • Strong single-target damage
  • Short burst cooldowns
  • Multiple interrupts
  • Enhancement Shamans are fragile and can die in a single stun
  • Predictable damage
  • Very little crowd control
RLS: Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target and spread pressure
  • Multiple sources of crowd control
  • Several defensive cooldowns
  • The Warlock will struggle to cast against teams with multiple interrupts
  • Rogues are fragile and can easily die in a single stun.
  • Difficult to kill enemies that are low
Shadowcleave: Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target and spread pressure
  • Short offensive cooldowns
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns
  • Low mobility
  • The Death Knight will struggle against teams with multiple slows or roots
  • The Warlock can have hard time casting against teams with several interrupts
  • Little to no tools to help teammates that are being focused
Alternative healers:
  • Several interrupts
  • Multiple defensive cooldowns
  • Strong offensive cooldowns
  • Without a trinket available the Demon Hunter can die in a stun
  • Spammable crowd control (Polymorph Icon Polymorph, Cyclone Icon Cyclone, etc.) makes it hard to get pressure
  • Very little crowd control
Thundercleave: Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target damage
  • Multiple interrupts
  • Short offensive cooldowns
  • Predictable burst damage
  • Few defensive abilities
  • Low mobility
Vanguards: Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target and cleave damage
  • Several utility spells for teammates being focused
  • Multiple interrupts and stuns
  • Retribution Paladins lack personal defensives
  • Very little crowd control for enemy healers
  • Will struggle to connect to enemies with multiple roots or snares
4.

Tier 3

Tier 3 comps will struggle against most other teams. It is not impossible to win, but it is better to play a Tier 1 or 2 team composition.

Composition Strengths Weaknesses
Beastcleave: Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target damage
  • Short offensive cooldowns
  • Multiple sources of crowd control
  • Low mobility
  • Very few defensive cooldowns
  • Predictable crowd control
FLS: Alternative healer:
  • Strong single-target and spread pressure
  • Multiple interrupts
  • Several defensive cooldowns
  • Feral Druids are fragile and can die in a single stun
  • The Warlock will struggle to cast against teams with multiple interrupts
Deletion: Alternative healers:
  • Short single-target burst cooldowns
  • Very mobile
  • Very little crowd control
  • Both Enhancement Shaman and Windwalker Monks are fragile and can die in a stun
  • Predictable damage
5.

Conclusion

No matter what class or specialization you play, there is always a team composition you can play. Every team has a weakness and it is important to know them. Teams and their weaknesses can change frequently throughout a season. If there is a team comp that is missing, please let us know in the comments so we can add it to the list.

6.

Changelog

  • 17 Dec. 2020: Updated Tier List for Shadowlands.
  • 02 Nov. 2019: Made several changes to the guide.
    • Updated all Tier 1, 2, and 3 compositions.
    • Added additional description to new comps added.
  • 10 Nov. 2017: Guide added.
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