Shadowlands, like other expansions in the World of Warcraft series, is far from perfect. There will always be a meta for high-end raiding because some classes are superior than others. In Patch 9.1’s new raid, Sanctum of Domination, the various DPS specialities are ranked based on their viability and strength.
About the Tier List
After the patch 9.1.5 was released on November 6, not much had changed within the raid. There were a lot of system and other non-raid-related changes in this patch’s significant updates. Even the removal of AoE target caps is geared towards Mythic+, as there are few spots inside the raid where the removed AoE caps will have any meaningful influence.. Accordingly, it is crucial to highlight that most of the class modifications focused on covenants and conduits that weren’t getting a lot of attention.
The DPS viability of the raid in Shadowlands, Sanctum of Domination Patch 9.1.5 is the sole basis for this tier list. It’s important to know what will be appreciated in the raid before trying to figure out why these rankings are the way they are. Sanctum’s major focus is on single-target damage, which we prioritize over DPS usefulness and durability.
The new raid’s overall single-target damage is the most important damage profile. With the exception of Kel’Thuzad, this holds true for the majority of encounters.
However, burst damage is no longer as crucial in Castle Nathria as it was in Castle Nathria itself. Due to “downtime” in some of the tougher epic encounters, burst damage and cooldown recharge are vital…. In the new raid, single-target damage is still the most critical factor.
This Is It!
Even while a DPS specialization may be near the bottom of the priority list, that does not imply you should disregard it. A lot of the time you should bring the better player, not the better specialist. Not that you should never consider about your raid composition, only that most of the time player talent will be more essential than class differences if you have the proper raid buffs. Being lower tier simply signifies that, given current tuning, certain specs will be less desirable for use in raids.
Shadowlands DPS Tier List for Sanctum of Domination
We’ve summarized all of the ranks on this page in the table below. We recommend reviewing the entire rankings to get a better understanding of why some specialty are rated as they are.
Shadowlands’ DPS balance has improved in general. The C-tier has been completely removed from the Patch 9.1 tier list. For this game, there is a significantly less gap between the best and worst specs than there was in Castle Nathria.
- Druids of good balance (S-Tier)
- Warrior in Arms (A-Tier)
- Havoc is a demon hunter (A-Tier)
- Wandering Warrior Monk (A-Tier)
- Rogue’s subtlety (A-Tier)
- Assassin’s Rogue (A-Tier)
- Shaman of Enhancement (A-Tier)
- The Paladin of Retribution (A-Tier)
- Warlock of Demonology (A-Tier)
- Mage of Fire (A-Tier)
- The Arcane Mage (A-Tier)
- Magician of the Frost (A-Tier)
- Hunting for marksmanship (A-Tier)
- Hunter with Expertise in Beasts (A-Tier)
- Druid of the Wilds (B-Tier)
- The Warlock of Destruction (B-Tier)
- Apocalypse Knight (B-Tier)
- Shamans of the Elemental Realm (B-Tier)
- Warrior of Pain and Fury (B-Tier)
- Priests of the Shadow Realm (B-Tier)
- Rogue Outlaw (B-Tier)
- Hunter of the Wild (B-Tier)
- Warlock of Affliction (B-Tier)
Patch 9.1.5 Shadowlands DPS Ranking and Explanations
S Tier Specs
Overall, I give it a grade of S.
One of the best classes in Sanctum of Domination is the Balance Druid. Due to Venthyr’s Ravenous Frenzy, the burst DPS of the Balance Druid is some of the highest in the game. In many cases, burst DPS is the most ideal damage profile, even if it is gated behind a 3-minute cooldown. One of the few specs that have distributed AOE is Balance, and it has a tremendous edge over other specifications. The Sylvanas Windrunner encounter has spread adds that must be quickly dispatched, and this is a lifesaver. In addition, eight out of ten bosses have some type of multi-target damage priority, with different degrees of urgency to defeat them. Because you can cast Venthyr’s Ravenous Frenzy while in motion, the kit that Balance has with Stellar Drift and Starfall is significantly more potent. The only significant damage reduction for Balance Druids comes from choosing between Starfall and Starsurge as your primary abilities, which isn’t a problem if you’re trying for AOE damage. In terms of surviving waves of adds, Moonkin is a strong alternative to Balance, which struggles to cope with AOE damage in bursts. Balance Druid encounters were perfectly synced throughout the early stages of Sanctum of Domination advancement, but as guilds have gained considerable DPS improvements, Balance is now more challenging to play in many areas.
Balance Druid is also one of the most durable DPS specs in the game, thanks to Barkskin and the Well-Honed Instincts conduit, which provides massive self-healing. In addition, when we use Restoration Affinity with Heart of the Wild, Moonkin becomes the ideal healer’s ally. As a whole, Stampeding Roar has a lot of value, but it’s rather situational. Stampeding Roar comes in handy in quite a few fights in Sanctum of Domination, though. The capacity to innervate is one of those nice-to-haves, not a need.
Overall Balance is an S-Tier requirement because it includes all of the S-Tier ranking’s parameters.
It is an excellent pick that is useful in almost any encounter, delivering great throughput, exceptional survivability, and universal utility.
Even in the most difficult situations, having a Balance Druid never makes you regret your choice, even if you’d rather have a variety of other spec options. They can’t be killed either. Balance’s S-Tier status is warranted despite the fact that its utility is primarily situational.
A+ Tier Specs
Overall, I’d give this review an A+.
To establish a solid position in Sanctum of Domination, Arcane relies on both amazing funnel damage and excellent defensive abilities that make surviving encounter mechanics quite easy. We can now switch between Kyrian and Venthyr as the encounter requires, bolstering this already impressive status in 9.1.5. By switching to Arcane Echo damage from Mirrors of Torment in 9.1.5, we’ll be able to reduce our reliance on stacking adds on Radiant Spark targets to maximize our boss damage through Resonance. However, Arcane will remain an A+ in general and an S-tier for the final three raid encounters, even though this will help in earlier encounters where Arcane struggles to get a consistent funnel (or even use of Arcane Orb for parts of Arcane’s Eye of Jailer encounter).
Venthyr should be considered, especially for Arcanes who may not have another Venthyr option in their party while undertaking a Halls of Atonement or Sanguine Depths’ keystone, because this will flow over into Mythic+ with Arcane Echo becoming uncapped and the proverbial rip-cord being pulled. This is a less likely scenario since that Frost Mage has been given multiple buffs and is performing really well with Venthyr. To sum up, I don’t think anything will change in 9.1.5 for Arcane; if you’re seeking to stick with one covenant, I’d suggest Kyrian.
Overall, I’d give this review an A+.
Historically, the Windwalker race has been a spectrum of highs and lows, with notable examples include Antorus, the Burning Throne, and the early stages of Castle Nathria. Overall, Windwalker is an excellent choice for 9.1 and 9.1.5 raiding. Windwalkers are an excellent choice for most fights after a few months in Sanctum of Domination, although they are less than optimal for a few. When fighting Soulrender Dormazain, Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, Kel’Thuzad, and Painsmith Raznal, Windwalkers can show off their damage potential by bursting high-value targets extremely rapidly, as demonstrated by Painsmith Raznal and Sylvanas Windrunner.
It is Windwalker’s mobility and AOE skills that continue to give him the edge. AOE skills and spells like Touch of Death can be used on additional targets in nearly every encounter in Sanctum of Domination. Like at Castle Nathria, Windwalkers might shine in these battles. Additionally, Windwalkers’ amazing mobility is a huge asset in many encounters. Whether it’s Transcendence, Flying Serpent Kick, or Roll, Windwalkers are well-equipped for any type of combat that calls for mobility. A major benefit of this is that in encounters like Fatescribe Roh-Kalo with revolving dials, Soulrender Dormazain with Warmonger Shackles, and Remnant of Ner’zhul with Orb of Torment, Windwalkers are able to deal with combat dynamics that no other class can. As a result, it’s not a DPS-heavy role, but one that can make the difference between defeat and victory.
Windwalker’s main flaw, and the reason I gave it an A- instead of a better grade months ago after witnessing how well it performed in RWF, is its consistently mediocre or below-average single target damage. When it comes to raiding Sanctum of Domination, the ability to deal single target damage to the boss is often a deciding factor. With the exception of tiny burst windows (which Windwalker is quite good at), fights like Guardian of the First Ones and Painsmith Raznal emphasize single target priority damage, highlighting Windwalker’s weak single target skills. Even while Weapons of Order and Bonedust Brew allow Windwalkers to deal extremely high burst damage, even on a single target, Windwalkers will often find themselves in the bottom third or half of the meters throughout a fight if all other factors are equal. Similar to other classes that receive more attention when it comes to these kinds of things, Windwalker’s utility falls into the category of “not awful,” but not as strong as the ones that normally get that attention. We witnessed several RWF teams that had good Windwalkers bench them in fight like Guardian of the First Ones and Guardian of the First Ones because bad single target without valuable utility leaves Windwalker nearly useless when there’s just one target.
Windwalkers who stick with Necrolord for multi-target but switch to Kyrian for single-target will see an increase in single-target performance in 9.1.5, but it won’t be enough to lift Windwalker much higher than the bottom of the charts, where many Windwalkers find themselves. Windwalkers are likely to rise from a F or D- in single target settings to a D+ or C- in AOE situations as a result of this. As a result of Sanctum of Domination’s emphasis on multiple targets and burst windows, Windwalker receives an A+ overall.
Throne of Thunder into Siege of Orgrimmar may have been the last time Windwalkers had two straight good tiers of raiding, but this is the first time that has happened since.
As a whole, the grade is an A+
With its high single target output, frequent burst, and funneling of damage, subtlety remains one of the stronger options in the new patch Because of the revamped covenant system and the subsequent removal of covenant swap limitations, players can now freely switch between Kyrian, Venthyr, and Necrolord as needed.
- Venthyr presently has a 90% or higher play rate in Heroic and Mythic raiding, however the Kyrian covenant could get a slightly higher play rate if it is coupled with high item level Edge of Night and Echoing Reprimand.
- Venthyr’s damage distribution, frequent bursts, and funnel with Flaming Obedience and Flaming Obedience make it the most likely pick for most engagements.
- When fighting numerous bosses like The Nine or the Eye of the Jailer, Necrolord might see some action. However, this is unlikely because so much of the action is focused on a single target, making switching to assassination the better choice.
As a result, while 9.1.5 offers a modest boost in dynamic, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the specialization’s overall performance or placement on the Warcraft Log. Rogue still lacks raid value outside of sheer damage statistics in two- and three-target cleave circumstances. As a result, it can’t be classified as S Tier.
Night Fae’s Septic Shock received a boost and its covenant legendary (Toxic Onslaught) was reworked in the patch notes. Is this a sign that Raids will feature more of this covenant? No, that’s the quick and simple answer.
However, despite the 2 percent increase in overall damage, Night Fae remains a significant underdog despite the adjustment to the legendary. I’m not sure if this is a feature or a defect, but the legendary exhibits some unusual behavior. Energy regeneration and cooldown reduction aren’t triggered by the Vendetta proc while it’s active.
A Tier Specs
In general, I’d give it a grade of A
Venthyr and Night Fae can now be swapped between factions in 9.1 to give Fire an extra edge in battle. Patch 9.1 substantially nerfed Fire Mage, as many of you are aware. AoE and Mythic+ were the primary targets of this nerf, however it also affected Single Target. Fire’s single target damage has been increased as of July 13th, 2021. Fire Mage has been restored to full functionality thanks to these perks and covenant changes.
However, if you can gain Power Infusion every two minutes, Venthyr is also a very powerful raid character. There isn’t a “optimal” covenant for every situation because the push times and fight lengths for raid bosses rely on your group’s overall damage per second and strategy. Night Fae and Sylvanas Windrunner, as well as Venthyr for Eye of the Jailer and Guardian of the First Ones, provide Fire the versatility it needs to rise above its rivals and reach its full potential.
Blazing Barrier, Mirror Image, Alter Time, and Ice Block, as well as Cauterize as a cheat death, have always made the Fire Mage an excellent defensive choice in raids. Many people consider Fire Mage to be indestructible because to its many defensive abilities, but passive damage mitigation is one area where the spec falls short, as other ranged specs have significantly better damage reduction and require less healing overall.
The mobility of Fire Mages is unmatched, but it isn’t really valuable until there is a mechanic that necessitates it. Only Fire Mage can provide the amount of movement demanded by most mechanics. The Arcane Intelligence and Time Warp of the Fire Mage make them useful. This necessitates the presence of at least one Mage. In spite of the fact that a single Mage is required, having two does nothing to enhance the utility of the spell.
The single target, cleave, and AoE damage dealt by fire is quite good. Combustion gives Fire Mages a lot of burst power, but their damage output outside of cooldowns is limited, making this a spec that relies heavily on those short bursts. It’s unlikely that you’ll stack Fire Mage unless it’s the best ranged DPS available for the job, given it lacks spread cleave and little other usefulness.
In general, I’d give it a grade of A
Frost Mage’s stats have been improved in Patch 9.1.5, with the following changes:
- A 12 percent increase in icicle damage is the result of mastery.
- In addition, Frostbolt damage was upped by eight percent.
- The damage caused by a flurry was amplified by 10%.
In addition, the AoE cap for Frozen Orb and Glacial Fragments has been raised:
There are no longer restrictions on the number of targets that can be affected by the following area-of-effect abilities:
- Fragments of the Ice Age (Runecarving Power)
There are no longer maximum target caps for the following area-of-effect abilities:
- Orb of Ice (Frost)
Covenant exchanges are also being introduced in 9.1.5. Mages with three solid specializations and three separate covenants will greatly benefit from this. Niche builds, such as Necrolord Frost’s massive AoE in Mythic+, are now possible.
When it comes to single target and area of effect (AoE), Frost Mage already has a leg up. Frost, which is excellent at single-target cleave, cleave, persistent AoE damage, and Priority Cleave, has remained largely unchanged. In Priority Cleave, the damage you do to the primary target is increased while the overall damage is also increased.
A portion of Frost’s Cooldown Reduction scales up as new targets are added. However, there is a drawback to this design. Frost’s cooldown is dependent on the boss’s uptime being consistent, so phase transitions can be quite disruptive. In addition to this, Frost’s damage profile is relatively flat, which implies that Frost’s damage is very steady and does not have any burst. As a result, your raid will have some breathing room while doing significant damage in a short period of time. However, at this stage in the tier, burst damage shouldn’t be an issue for most guilds to deal with.
Frost is still the most useful character when it comes to controlling huge groups of foes. Crowd control is a piece of cake with spells like Blizzard, Cone of Cold, and Frozen Orb, and even easier with Frost Nova and Freeze. Hard control like stuns and disorientation are missing from our arsenal. To bring one Mage into the raid, you must bring Arcane Intelligence and Time Warp, but this is more of an artificial necessity to bring one Mage than true value. Blink/Shimmer/Alter Time and Blink/Shimmer/Alter Time are also incredibly mobile and can easily get around mechanics others must avoid. Painsmith Raznal’s Spiked Balls and walls and Eye of the Jailer’s Annihilating Glare are a joke.
It’s no secret that mages have some of the game’s most effective spells for long-term survival and self-defense. A hard immunity is available twice with Cold Snap, Ice Barrier has a short cooldown, Mirror Image is an aggro drop with damage reduction integrated in, and Alter Time is a potential full heal.. Since most of these spells are preventative in nature, the only drawback is the learning curve. Ice Block has proven to be effective in most situations, including Barbed Arrow, thus far.
Frost is an excellent choice for raiding Mages because of these factors. Frost Mages will also be able to use covenant swaps to switch to other specifications with different covenants. With the ability to switch between Fire and Arcane in favor of your favorite covenant, Frost is effectively covered by this ranking. There is no spread cleave, no burst, and no utility to bring if another Mage is already present in the raid. If Frost is one of the finest ranged DPS for the task, you probably won’t be stacking it. Frost in Sanctum of Domination is one of my favorite spells, and I can’t wait to use it on the tougher early-game bosses.
In general, I’d give it a grade of A
In the Sanctum of Domination, assassination is a popular option right now. Rogues have been among the top boss-killers in 9.1 with good showings on single-targeted bosses like Guardian of the First Ones and Sylvanas Windrunner, among others. Many Assassination Rogues have switched to using Flagellation and Lashing Scars to deal single-target damage, which is a very effective strategy now that the majority of players have switched to Venthyr. With the help of the Dashing Scoundrel and the frost-bound Winds of Winter, obedience has showed potential in some conflicts. Because of its ability to survive, Assassination has also become a powerful force that is capable of strong self-survival. As strong as the one-target burst is, it does not have the AoE burst powers of a Balance Druid or Windwalker Monk. However, it remains a reliable single target powerhouse with a cooldown of 2 minutes. Crimson Tempest is still a major concern for Assassination, as it is still reliant on her abilities. Any considerable area of effect (AoE) will necessitate talent investment. Damage to a single target suffers as a direct result of this. A better option would be Hidden Blades, the third skill in that line, but it has the unfortunate side effect of changing our major AoE generator. However, because to this fact, it is essentially useless in terms of AoE damage (apart from the one Fan of Knives every 40 seconds). Exsanguinate, on the other hand, is simply too weak to be of any use in comparison to Alacrity’s dominance. It is impossible for Exsanguinate to have a viable cooldown due to its reliance on bleed-based borrowed power (say that five times fast) and the strength of BFA’s Shrouded Suffering.
Night Fae got some love in 9.1.5, but it’s still a terrible covenant that won’t make a dent in the game’s balance. Having the ability to shift covenants freely is a great perk for those who wish to go Necrolord, or those who want a change of pace, focusing more on cleave rather than single target with Venthyr. However, removing the target cap from Crimson Tempest and Fan of Knives is a great update that doesn’t seem to affect AoE much. While the reports of raid-wide utility during 9.1 have not been followed up, this leaves rogues vulnerable to tuning, which is bad news for them. It’s getting more and harder to bring a rogue into a raid without some sort of raid debuff. This tier has brought us a slew of excellent abilities, including Cloak of Shadows, which has been particularly effective in shielding Obliterate and aiding with puddles in Sylvanas Windrunner’s third phase. For Assassination in particular, the frost set bonus Winds of Winter has given an excellent shield with its short cooldown defense, Feint.
However, Assassination is still at a decent place in this patch, despite all of things. Despite its shortcomings, the spec has flourished because of its niche as an incredibly strong single target that is also resilient enough to survive mistakes. Additionally, Sanctum of Domination is a somewhat melee-friendly raid, especially on some of the latter encounters, which makes opportunity for Assassination. I’m pleased to note that the other renegade specs have also made a solid showing on the meters. In 9.2, I’d like to see all three specs stay viable without fear of missing out on anything.
In general, I’d give it a grade of A
There have been no major changes for Arms Warriors in Patch 9.1.5, aside from the game-wide change to AoE caps, although the specialization has been slowly expanding its Mythic+ presence since Patch 9.1 went live. However, even though Arms Warriors’ single-target damage has decreased since they began the tier, they are still at or above average in the majority of fights that contain two target and burst AoE. Even though the enhancements to Fury may appear to put Arms in jeopardy, the fact that it does not have to choose between a single target and AoE covenant makes it easier to maximize performance throughout all confrontations.
The Mythic+ representation of the specialization has progressively increased since the launch of Patch 9.1, to the point where it is now tied with Fury. Kyrian Elysian Might, a Kyrian covenant legendary that allows Warbreaker and Spear of Bastion to sync every 45 seconds with Avatar and Bladestorm for extra more damage, was a major boost to Arms’ damage potential. Arms still has a tiny edge over Fury in intrinsic cleave after the cooldowns of AoE cooldowns have expired, despite this being Arms’ main weakness. Although Whirlwind is no longer target-capped for Arms, the AoE adjustments make it more difficult to utilize on a regular basis because of the hefty rage cost.
Other than that, the next patch won’t bring anything to the table for Warriors. Arms appreciates the new covenant swapping flexibility, but it’s not a big deal because Night Fae and Kyrian are already the finest PvE characters in the game, so they don’t need to constantly switch between them. As a result of the Fury buffs, we can expect the majority of Warriors to stick with Night Fae or Kyrian (after obtaining the outstanding Necrolord transmog set, of course) and switch specs in raid more frequently than before, playing Arms in most single-target encounters and Fury in multi-target encounters. Even though Arms is statistically the least survivable specialization in Mythic Sanctum of Domination, despite superior self-healing, it does not rank much lower than Fury.
A- Tier Specs
A- is the last grade.
It’s worth noting that Sinful Brand’s cooldown was lowered from 60 seconds to 45 seconds. As a result, Venthyr is now more comparable to Night Fae when it comes to raiding. However, Venthyr is now close enough to Venthyr that you will want to switch throughout fights if/when encounter durations favor one spell over another; a historical example is Sludgefist with Destructive Impact being applied to the monster minute by minute.
Havoc Demon Hunters will not notice any additional changes as a result. Overall, the spec is strong, but it will drop from our 9.1 rating of A+ to A-. Historically, Havoc Demon Hunters have seen this dropoff as tiers transition from advancement to farming and more classes receive their best-in-slot gear. Due to Metamorphosis’ very long cooldown, Havoc loses out on 1 and perhaps 2 extra uses as encounter times decrease as the tier gets older.
The removal of the AoE cap has made Havoc’s toolset stronger in all facets of raiding, and our AoE is getting stronger as a result. Nothing has changed from a functional standpoint. Although it won’t break the game, Chaos Brand is a must-have raid bonus for Demon Hunters, and Darkness is an excellent defensive cooldown.
There is no change in the durability of Havoc in 9.1.5. The speed and agility of Havoc are among the greatest in the game, if not the best. Because we have to use our primary movement abilities to optimize the talent, Havoc’s mobility is reduced, but this will not affect any confrontations if you keep your toe on the platforms and out of fire.
In general, the spec will perform the same as it did in 9.1, but the encounters will be shorter because we’re on “farm” near the conclusion of a raid tier.
A- is the last grade.
Compared to Sanctum of Domination, Shadow’s position in 9.1.5 hasn’t altered and remains A-. At the beginning of the tier, I predicted that Shadow would be most appreciated for its ability to target a single enemy, and that prediction has proved accurate. Progressing through some of the game’s most difficult challenges like Painsmith Raznal and the Guardian of the First Ones has allowed this spec to carve out its own niche. However, it suffers from numerous flaws that prevent it from truly succeeding on farm.
To begin with, Shadow’s single target isn’t particularly superior in any encounters, despite its continued strong performance. Fire Mages and Demon Hunters have now reached a level of competitiveness with Rogues that was previously unimaginable before the Frost gem set bonus and some unexpected legendary modifications.
It is also worth noting, however, that Shadow’s AoE damage is based on sustained damage, which means that it hits 10 or more targets for a long period of time. In Sanctum of Domination, there is none of that, especially on the farm. Sylvanas’ Domination Chains, Kel’Thuzad’s Frostbound Devoted, and the rest of Soulrender Dormazain are all about burst AoE, and while Shadow not getting to pad might not matter, it doesn’t necessarily feel good.
Thirdly, Power Infusion, the game’s primary external power source, has no effect on Shadow in Shadowlands Raiding. This has no bearing on the specification’s practicality, but it does affect how it is interpreted in logs (Where even if you discount the extreme cases, many specs frequently get at least one PI per pull).
Shadow’s ability to switch between the four covenants will be less useful to players looking to multi-spec once covenants loosen up in 9.1.5. Every fight in Sanctum of Domination requires Necrolord, and while Night Fae may be a viable option under some circumstances, it’s doubtful.
This tier sees a lot of use for Shadow’s utility. While Vampiric Embrace no longer shines, it is still effective when the raid splits up in Sylvanas Phase 2 and to provide some extra throughput on other encounters, such as Remnant of Ner’zhul, Kel’Thuzad, and Sylvanas Windrunner. Even in Sanctum of Domination, Shadow’s innate self healing and large list of short cooldown defensives help it, albeit the lack of immunity on Guardian of the First Ones and Kel’Thuzad does hurt.
For late-game progress in Sanctum of Domination, Shadow’s single-target ranged damage is a great option because of its specific usefulness and defensive toolbox. Other specs, on the other hand, have access to competitive burst AoE and can have a lot more fun on the farm.
A- is the last grade.
When Blizzard chose to adjust the Shards of Domination power level in patch 9.1, the biggest modification was to the Frost set. Outlaw rogues may take full advantage of Winds of Winter’s high attack speed and enhanced crit chance thanks to Alacrity and Adrenaline Rush, as well as its boosted crit chance thanks to Between the Eyes. It’s still lacking in burst cooldowns, which might be a problem in specific situations like Kel’Thuzad, which is why the Outlaw rogue has been reworked to deliver equivalent single target damage as Assassination and Subtlety. Assassination and Subtlety struggle with cleaving in most fights, therefore having access to Blade Flurry is a huge advantage in certain situations. However, in my perspective, Outlaw is only slightly worse than the other rogue specs, mostly because Restless Blades need a lot of boss uptime to reset cooldowns, which might be tough to take advantage of on some fights.
Rogues’ major flaw is that they don’t have a lot of utility in a large group. Because nearly every attack in this raid targets Feint, rogues are incredibly resilient, even without the other excellent defensives that they have access to thanks to Feint’s newfound strength. Most of the pain points on encounters, like Banshee’s Fury on Sylvanas Windrunner, which effectively nullifies your probability of death during a number of intense periods throughout the raid, are caused by magic damage like Cloak of Shadows. Restless Blades Outlaw has a long cooldown on both of these mobility spells, putting you on par with Demon Hunters in terms of mobility.
If you don’t have to bring buffs or extra ranged DPS players to fill all of your raid’s open slots, an Outlaw is a fine option. However, it may not be the first pick for every boss. As with any Rogue spec, damage tuning is the most important aspect in determining whether or not a rogue may enter a raid. The lack of burst choices and constant cooldowns in Outlaw can make it difficult to plan around some situations, which is why I think an A- is a reasonable grade.
A- is the last grade.
Because the Nether Portal update is so minor, you should be in a position similar to prior patches where the single target Demonology profile shines in Sanctum of Domination without any extra adjustments in 9.1.5. Even on Mythic difficulty, you’ll probably be using Demonology in at least half of the combat. When fighting the Tarragrue, Guardian of the First Ones, and The Nine you must concentrate on a single target, hence the 1 minute damage profile is ideal.
If you can manage it, using Wilfred’s Sigil of Superior Summoning as your primary legendary while pumping as much damage as possible into Summon Demonic Tyrant will continue to be one of the better choices for Priests to use Power Infusion. One of the greatest burst specialties becomes one of the weakest in the mid-pack if you don’t have Power Infusion, and the opposite is also true if you do.
The Tarragrue, Soulrender Dormazain, Guardian of the First Ones, and most recently Sylvanas Windrunner are all encounters where Demonology is the preferred spec for Warlocks because of its superior single-target damage. If your other raid members are capable of/sufficient for the necessary add cleave, there are also some considerations for possible upside on any of the encounters (which there is lots). Defeating the likes of Remnant of Ner’zhul, Painsmith Raznal, Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, and Kel’Thuzad will be difficult for Demonology.
Where Demonology is going downhill is in our ability to reliably and consistently cleave two targets. This is where Destruction will overtake Demonology in many encounters, even if the encounter is mostly single target. Demonology is still struggling with the ability to reliably and consistently cleave two targets.
Curse of Weakness, Demonic Gateway, and Create Soulwell are all still available to us as Warlocks, and they provide us with superior raid survivability and raid utility. Demonology’s arsenal of survivability tools includes Soul Link, which provides the most passive damage mitigation for Warlocks, as well as Unending Resolve, Soul Leech, and the option to talent into the newly improved Dark Pact.
A- is the last grade.
If you need a ranged dps, Destruction Warlock is an excellent option. If you compare us to other ranged DPS, we fall behind in only a handful of instances, which is why Destruction gets an A- grade.
We have a good overall DPS output, especially on cleave and AoE, but we fall behind when it comes to single target. The Destruction spec’s strength has always been its ability to gather Soul Shards and then use Chaos Bolt to do a significant amount of damage, which it can then repeat on another target using Havoc. For the Destruction class, mobility can be a problem. But with proper rotation and cooldown management, it is possible to minimize the amount of wasted DPS. For example, you can walk while performing an instant-cast spell like Conflagrate, or you can use Demonic Circle to your advantage.
The Destruction spec, on the other hand, is capable of playing a variety of roles by switching talents and managing cooldowns. Using Wilfred’s Sigil of Superior Summoning and Rain of Chaos from Dark Souls: Instability, we can deal a ton of damage in a 2-minute burst. Cinders of the Azj’Aqir and Roaring Blaze can also be used if we prefer more constant damage and 3-minute cooldowns. If there are several adds, speccing into Shadowburn can result in one of the most mobile high-damage dealing specs. In a fight like Kel’Thuzad, a Destruction Warlock can be a very significant tool to the raid by adapting to the needs of the group.
When it comes to tankiness, Destruction Warlock excels because to Soul Leech and our mastery while also providing several useful spells such as Create Soulwell, Demonic Gateway, and Soulstone for our party members.
The fact that many people have seen Demonology parse higher than Destruction is noteworthy, but Demonology is dependent on the use of Power Infusion to achieve this feat on a regular basis. Destruction, on the other hand, does not scale as well, meaning that the very top percentile of parses will be heavily skewed in favor of Demonology.
A- is the last grade.
In Patch 9.1.5, Fury Warriors received a few small improvements aimed at enhancing their single-target viability by increasing the damage of auto attacks by a whopping 43%, and buffing Hack and Slash to allow greater channel versatility. The combined effect of these two buffs is a 5% increase in single target damage. Even though Arms is now ahead of Fury in terms of boss damage, these enhancements should be enough to bring it considerably closer to Arms performance.
For multitarget damage, we’ve already seen Fury surpass Arms in large AoE raid encounters like Soulrender Dormazain and even Sylvanas Windrunner, while Fury continues to perform quite well in all but the most difficult Mythic+ push groups. To a large extent, this is due to the legendary Kyrian covenant ability Elysian Might, which stacks with Recklessness and Bladestorm to deal huge burst damage over the course of one minute on cooldown. As of Patch 9.1.5, the burst AoE of Bladestorm will continue to scale with higher target counts, but the innate cleave damage is still limited to five targets – however, Fury compensates for this with the newly buffed Merciless Bonegrinder, which allows Whirlwind to deal significantly more damage at higher target counts, well beyond the normal cleaving single-target abilities that would normally be capable of delivering. Bladestorm’s short cooldown and Whirlwind’s lack of rage cost make this a solid combination that should keep Fury’s place as a top-tier Mythic+ specialization regardless of how the dungeon is set up.
Other than that, the next patch won’t bring anything to the table for Warriors. Increased Covenant Swapping Flexibility is a good feature, but the practicality is restricted because many players are unlikely to exchange covenants between bosses on a regular basis, thus it’s not a big deal if you just use it once or twice a game. If you’re a Night Fae or Kyrian warrior, you’re more likely to stick around and use the Fury buffs to justify switching from Arms to Fury on single-target fights and back again on multi-target ones.
B+ Tier Specs
Overall, we give it a B+.
The nerfs to Celestial Spirits were a major factor in my decision to slightly increase feral power. It has been a long time coming for Feral to have a legendary that can compete with Draught of Deep Focus and can be used in non-Single Target situations. Despite the fact that Draught of Deep Focus was a solid throughput legendary, Feral was unable to adapt to engagements that were not exactly one-on-one. With a strong 1-minute burst cooldown, this spell simultaneously fixes the problem and provides feral a new strength. A cooldown category that has historically been extremely useful in advancement fights (I found it particularly useful in Eye of the Jailer). My minor boost is also linked to these boosts on a secondary level. As a result of the nerfs to some overpowered covenant legendaries, the gap between the different specs has been narrowed significantly
A lot of the content in the Sanctum of Domination is single-target-heavy, which is great for us because of our affinity for fights like Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, Guardian of the First, Soulrender Dormazain, and of course, Sylvanas Windrunner! Feral is one of the best fighters in the game, and he dominates the boss damage rankings. I’d be glad to put feral in the A+ tier if the sole qualification for raid strengths was throughput.
It’s unfortunate that Feral’s real downfall, functionality, hasn’t altered. When it comes to raid CD, Unholy DK has been weakened, but this only causes the meta to move towards more Havoc DHs and Warriors, which compete with Feral Druid for raid spots. Despite this, Feral retains Stampeding Roar. Feral is, in my opinion, still a very strong spec that is receiving too little attention. Solid to outstanding throughput, but it still struggles in engagements with a heavy concentration on AOE and good defensive kit. This is still the case. It would be easy to stack feral if it had utility comparable to other melee specs or if raid bonuses were not available. Although Feral is a solid spec, I believe it will continue to be underestimated due to the fact that Guardian and Balance share all of our utility (and Balance brings even more of their own).
Overall, we give it a B+.
With 9.1.5, not much has changed for Retribution. Although Ret can now easily choose between the Kyrian and the other covenants, this won’t have much of an influence because Kyrian will nearly always be the better choice in any given encounter. As a bonus, Ret’s Divine Storm was uncapped, but it was not what held him back from advancing farther in Sanctum of Domination. While other specs obtain tiny damage improvements, Ret will remain essentially unchanged, putting Ret at a slight disadvantage.
Despite this, Ret’s strengths and limitations remain the same as they were at the start of the expansion: it has good burst damage, but little damage between burst windows and difficulty performing well on prolonged cleave. In general, its single objective is still good enough, but not better than what other specifications can deliver. For example, the blessings of freedom and protection granted by Fatescribe Roh-Kalo and Sylvanas Windrunner can be used to soak up a Fate Fragment, while Holy and Prot Pally are both well-liked and both provide the same benefit.
This tier, Ret doesn’t have any serious issues, but there aren’t many reasons to explicitly include one in your group. It’s just a playable, middle-of-the-road spec.
Overall, we give it a B+.
The Elemental stock has declined a bit as we enter 9.1.5. Elemental is traditionally weaker the further into the farm we go because it doesn’t get as much damage from shorter kill periods as most other dps specs do. Stormkeeper’s burst AoE or priority target burst on a single target and our highest single target dps talent build allow us to maintain strong sustained single target DPS while still being able to deal powerful burst AoE or priority target DPS on a single target. On bouts like Soulrender Dormazain or The Nine, our powerful/mobile sustained single-target will keep us pretty strong, and we don’t have to worry about sacrificing single-target to offer that AoE. Our lengthier dps cooldown – Fire Elemental – is fairly poor, limiting our single-target burst, which is the biggest flaw in our damage profile going into 9.1.5. DPS can rise on reduced kill times when the focus is on one single target, and this might affect Elemental in the middle of a raid as a result of that single-target burst.
At terms of overall utility and mobility, Elemental is in the same spot it has been from the beginning of its expansion. Spiritwalker’s Grace & Icefury, a tool that will help us cope with enemies like Soulrender Dormazain or Guardian of the First Ones, and throughout Sanctum of Domination, allows us to move while keeping our dps. Even with the help of the Thunderous Paws conduit, we still have a hard time travelling quickly from place to location, albeit this is alleviated for some Elemental Shaman by the increased stock of Night Fae in raiding.. As we progressed deeper into Nathria’s farmlands, Night Fae grew increasingly popular due to its higher highs when used with single-target or AoE concentration. Using Soulshape, we’re able to improve our point-to-point movement significantly. We still rely on Bloodlust and Wind Rush Totem as our core utility components, which are covered by a wide range of additional stats. There are instances when Wind Rush Totem shines on its own, like as when we can traverse Painsmith Raznal numerous times.
Last but not least, we still have a number of short cooldowns to assist reduce the damage we incur from Astral Shift, Harden Skin, and Necrolord Fleshcraft. Having so many cooldowns at our disposal allows us to take a lot of damage without fearing for our lives.
B Tier Specs
Frost Death Knight
Overall, I give it a B.
Frost’s single-target damage is fair, but it improves dramatically when there is cleave involved. Frost DKs excel in the cleave specialty in logs like Soulrender Dormazain and The Nine. Having uncapped Frostscythe in 9.1.5 has no effect on raids because it will not be used. For the most part, Frost does not deliver enough priority damage to warrant a ranking of A or higher.
Frost Death Knight’s grip (which is extremely important) and superb set of defensives are the Frost Death Knight’s greatest assets in the raid. In addition to knockbacks and heavy delays, we have the option to abuse Death’s Advance to tamper with a wide variety of other game dynamics. Anti-Magic Shell and Anti-Magic Zone are still effective in nearly every encounter (resist Despair on Fatescribe Roh-Kalo and soak arrow damage on Sylvanas Windrunner, for example). To help with Soulrender Dormazain Mythic, Death Grip comes in handy. In the end, Veteran of the Third War, Permafrost, and Death Strike all work together to make Frost an extremely durable DPS spec!
However, Frost hasn’t seen any significant changes in terms of damage, be they buffs or nerfs. There are now more competitive alternatives for different fighting styles in our raids, which means our raid usefulness is still great. But Frost isn’t the worst melee in the game, either. Frost is on par with Unholy in my book, which is why I gave him a B!
Unholy Death Knight
Overall, I give it a B.
Compared to other melee specs, Unholy lags short in terms of damage. When it comes to downtime, downtime damage can be highly flexible, but the throughput isn’t quite there yet. Because our conduits often scale incredibly poorly with increasing ilvl, this is the main reason. DPS conduits are so awful that we even employ a tank conduit.
While Unholy’s total throughput isn’t spectacular, it still provides a lot of effective damage. Especially during the execution burn periods. The late Bloodlust of Soulrender Dormazain, Painsmith Raznal, Kel’Thuzad, and Sylvanas Windrunner all work great with Army of the Dead!
When it comes to evading boss mechanics and giving grip utility, Unholy will always have a solid toolset. As well as being able to pre-immune our abilities and totally neutralize ground effects, Anti-Magic Shell and Death’s Advance can be used to counteract knockbacks or prevent heavy slowdowns (particularly on Remnant of Ner’zhul). To top it off, we’ve got Death Strike to heal us, which gives us a 10% stamina boost. You can use Death Grip to keep your hands on the Nine and Abomination Limb to keep your hands off of the Soulrender Dormazain. Another raid cooldown that can come in handy in numerous bouts is Anti-Magic Zone.
Other classes have been given a boost, and potency conduits scale quite well with them. However, I still believe that Unholy provides decent single-target priority damage with a good burst of damage. Because of this, we are unable to use our execute on the final boss, but we can take use of many other mechanics and still deal significant damage. My assessment for Unholy, because of its low damage output, falls into the B-tier category.
Beast Mastery Hunter
Overall, I give it a B.
It’s a mixed bag for Beast Mastery Hunters in Sanctum of Domination at this point in time. In patch 9.1.5, the Necrolord and Venthyr covenants gained slight enhancements. Simply bringing our worst covenant into line with others, the Necrolord buff is all that is needed here. Our finest single target covenant was Venthyr, which was already tied for first place. The increase in power makes it our most potent single-target covenant to date. Night Fae and Venthyr can be swapped out depending on the fight ahead of the hunters. In terms of single-target damage, Beast Mastery’s is above average, with a notable strength being the ease with which mechanics can be performed. Fragments of the Elder Antlers, like Marksmanship, provides us with a powerful burst of cleave damage. Beast Mastery lacks any burst AoE when there are more than four targets, unlike our Marksmanship rivals. That’s why fights like Soulrender Dormazain and Painsmith Raznal usually put us behind. As a result, Beast Mastery’s boss damage is robust as well as constant and impactful. Fights like Guardian of the First Ones, Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, and Sylvanas Windrunner are among our strong suits.
Hunters aren’t really sought after because of our low survivability and utility in raids. Ranged DPS, such as Painsmith Raznal, take a tremendous amount of damage from our lack of survivability. For Hunters, Binding Shot is the only actual utility they have in a raid, and it’s only effective for a few encounters, including Kel’Thuzad and Sylvanas. Our lack of survival and utility makes it difficult for us to deploy Hunters during raids. Unless they’re providing above-average damage, they’re of little help to us. Bringing Beast Mastery Hunters to Sanctum of Domination isn’t necessary at this time, given our current status and the fact that we have Aspect of the Turtle immunity, Binding Shot, and burst cleave damage to compensate. It would be great if Hunter got some love soon.
Overall, I give it a B.
Marksmanship Hunters aren’t quite up to par in raids as of patch 9.1.5. Necrolord and Venthyr covenants gained small improvements for hunters, although they have been underperforming. With these improvements, they’ll be able to compete with Kyrian and Night Fae. We’re below average in terms of single-target performance.. It’s been the Night Fae’s Fragments of the Elder Antlers that have saved our marksmanship at this tier. Soulrender Dormazain’s and Sylvanas Windrunner’s fights are much simpler to win with AoE damage from marksmen.
Marksmanship Hunters aren’t particularly sought after outside of our burst AoE specialization because of our lack of durability and raid utility. Ranged DPS, such as Painsmith Raznal, take a tremendous amount of damage from our lack of survivability. For Hunters, Binding Shot is the only actual utility they have in a raid, and it’s only effective for a few encounters, including Kel’Thuzad and Sylvanas. Our lack of survival and utility makes it difficult for us to deploy Hunters during raids. Unless they’re providing above-average damage, they’re of little help to us. At this time, there is no compelling reason to send Marksmanship Hunters to Sanctum of Domination aside than our immunity to Aspect of the Turtle, Binding Shot, and burst AoE. It would be great if Hunter got some love soon.
B- Tier Specs
Overall, I’d give this a B-
Patch 9.1.5 hasn’t done much to improve the viability of Survival as a game mode. There are many more DPS specs vying for a slot on the raid team now that the Covenant’s additional versatility and a slight buff to Flayed Shot have opened the door to a new build. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t require a lot of utility or insane DPS, you’ll have a hard time finding a place in our class.
Survival is enjoyable, but it’s presently not a game changer.
Overall, I’d give this a B-
In the Sanctum of Domination farm, Affliction has developed into a little better-than-expected raiding class. Even if you can’t compete on pure single target, you can become a pseudo Windwalker Monk for burst AoE damage on encounters like Soulrender Dormazain, Painsmith Raznal, and Kel’Thuzad by switching legendaries to Decaying Soul Satchel and speccing into Sow the Seeds. Affliction still has among of the finest baseline scaling among dps classes, thus it has potential into later raid patches in the expansion, but regrettably it remains somewhat uncompetitive in priority damage at this point.
Warlocks’ utility in a raid group isn’t diminished by the fact that their damage output is lower. Still the only one that has a Healthstone, and the only one who can add a Summon stone to their arsenal to make up for roster changes. Only a small number of plausible options exist to our two existing curses – Curse of Weakness and Curse of Tongues – in terms of raid advancement. A last note: The most effective approach to move all 20 members in a raid is to use Demonic Gateway.
With the Night Fae covenant, our mobility is unaffected, and Soulshape is still the answer to the mobility issues warlocks have been infamous for in previous expansions. Even though teleport is no longer an option, it nevertheless provides warlocks with another method of pre-planning mobility for specific mechanics. If you’re affliction, you have the advantage of being able to cast most of your DoTs while you’re moving, which isn’t a huge deal for most classes. While you should ideally refresh your DoTs within their pandemic range for maximum efficiency, doing so when you have nothing better to cast is perfectly fine. Additionally, you can schedule DoT refreshes in advance so that you can move exactly when you need to refresh them.
Finally, Warlock’s resistance to all except pure physical damage has remained robust. As long as Soul Leech is active, you’ll enjoy one of the strongest passive damage decreases in the game thanks to Demon Skin. Resolute Barrier, a new conduit, can drastically shorten the long cooldown of Unending Resolve. And if you find yourself in a dangerous situation with many potential victims, the combination of Soul Rot + Drain Life can save your life.
Affliction’s damage is woefully underwhelming in a situation involving fast and furious advancement. It is only because Affliction has the opportunity to switch to either Demonology or Destruction that I haven’t given it a lower rating than a C- or lower. Unless you’re adamant about playing Affliction, I recommend switching to one of those specs.
C Tier Specs
This is a C (B*) grade.
Because of Windfury Totem, your group’s overall strength (especially in melee) has a direct impact on your ability to use Enhancement at B or higher levels. Rogues and Arms Warriors stand to gain the most, but even if you don’t, the additional damage you take may be worth it. However, it is something that you only want one Enhancement player for, is only applicable in one-on-one circumstances, and any second Enhancement player brings nothing of value. If you can take use of this effect, it ranks as a B, but if it has to stand on its own, it is ranked as a C. Nothing in 9.1.5 gets in the way of it.
We’ve dropped from A (with Windfury Totem) / B (without) to B / C during the course of Sanctum because of the low system scaling gains from Covenants and Conduits.
There are many distinct builds and possibilities in Enhancement, but as 9.1 progressed and all of its systems were unlocked, we quickly fell behind. Doom Winds, for example, are no longer a viable option for us in AoE, and we’re unable to engage in that kind of combat anymore. As a result of a lot of talent difficulties and stats that don’t directly scale with different builds, we are relegated to being a single-targeted, sustained boss turret — yet our strongest strength was our flexibility of builds and damage profiles. As a result of this and the lack of adjustments in 9.1.5, we’ve slid down the ranks as a result of Windfury Totem and other specifications that benefit from it.
Sanctum of Domination has a few battles where we’re okay, but we’re not near the top of the heap, and that makes it difficult to sell the show. It’s difficult to predict your damage output from pull to pull because we’ve changed our damage profile to be a low burst sustained DPS with a lot of emphasis on randomness (thank you, Hot Hand, Elemental Spirits, and Witch Doctor’s Wolf Bones). Even if you can’t handle the mechanism, there are other specs that can keep cooldowns on it and do it consistently.
Unless a monster arena in Sanctum explicitly needs the use of displacement tools, our mobility isn’t spectacular, but it is incredibly dependable thanks to Ghost Wolf, Spirit Walk, and even Feral Lunge. Astral Shift and Vital Accretion, on the other hand, have substantial cooldowns, which can cause problems if a fight’s damage pattern is more frequent than we have tools for. Using Healing Surge in a proactive manner can also help us mitigate the rot damage that can be dealt during certain encounters.
However, the most obvious benefit of Enhancement is the Windfury Totem, which is basically free damage on top of your own output for the melee group – but you need to be doing enough paired with that to earn the slot in your melee team. Other than that, we have a slew of low-priority tools like Capacitor Totem and Wind Shear’s reduced cooldown interrupt, and we may use Wind Rush Totem to meet the raidwide mobility cooldown requirements of some battles. If you can’t gain it elsewhere in your raid, this is a crucial component in avoiding telegraphed deadly features in Sanctum of Domination’s massive boss arenas.
This is where we begin to explain how these figures came to be.
The official WarcraftLogs API is what we use every day to get the most recent data from the newest Raid Logs.
There’s a lot of information here – literally thousands of Logs. Those summative data are provided by algorithms that do the arithmetic for you.
We only include the most recent Raid Logs – we never utilize data that is more than a year old (within the last two weeks).
Also, we don’t limit our data sets to just 1% of the top performers. That’d be a statistically invalid sample of players because there aren’t enough of them.
Instead, we gather as much information as possible from as many players as we can. A better-averaged summary, rather than extreme cases, can be obtained by removing outliers.
Our WoW DPS Rankings have a lot of different columns, and we’ll go into what each one signifies.
- The popularity of a class or spec is based on the number of World Top 50 Guilds that use it for Progression Raiding in the most recent Raid Tier. If you’re trying to figure out how much DPS each class can provide, you can look to the top guilds for guidance.
- Using the most recent Raid Logs from SoD, the median DPS is the average DPS of each spec in that data set (Sanctum of Domination Raid).
- The highest possible DPS value for any DPS spec is known as the “maximum DPS” (in the current sample, thus in the last 2 weeks of Raid Logs).
Despite the fact that no data is perfect, we think that our Shadowlands DPS rankings are as fair as they can be.
We use genuine Raid Logs instead of simulation-based data, which means using tools like SimulationCraft to model the damage output of ideal players in optimal settings – rather than “on paper.”
Class balance is constantly altering as players improve their characters and Blizzard tweaks particular specs.
Since it is not “fixed in stone,” the present meta is not.
Take a look at the following Shadowlands DPS Charts:
The evolution of the best DPS spec may be seen in this graph.
Damage charts in World of Warcraft are constantly changing.
You should come back to this page from time to time to see the most recent DPS data.
The most recent WoW Shadowlands PvE DPS rankings are available below (Raiding)
Using our DPS Charts, you can see which classes and specs are now the best in WoW.
There is a lot of information here about the greatest ranged and melee DPS. Even healers and tanks are ranked according to their DPS!
If you’re curious in the most popular classes in World of Warcraft, we’ve arranged them alphabetically.
On top of that, you’ve seen our Shadowlands Patch 9.1.5 DPS Class Tier List featuring the best DPS classes.
As a result of the above, you should have a good grasp of the current WoW meta and overall class balance in the game.
As World of Warcraft Devs are always tweaking things, these stats are subject to change.
Make sure to check back frequently to stay up to current on the most recent DPS meters!