​MMOSO WotLK Guide: Tier List of the Best PvE DPS Class in WotLK Classic


Players may not be able to decide which Class to play in WoW Classic: Wrath of the Lich King. Hierarchical lists can often be a useful tool to decide which class and specialization to play. Ultimately, the decision of which Class is the most interesting is different for each player. A basic metric used is the amount of damage a particular class can deal in any given scenario, or its damage per second (DPS).


Most Classes are middling in terms of performance, however, there are some clear winners and losers throughout the expansion. All classes have at least one specialization that performed well at some point in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, so players don't have to worry too much about their class choices.

WoW WotLK Classic Class


Ranking criteria

This tier list ranks the performance of all DPS specs throughout the expansion. We compare each spec based on a number of key factors, such as single-target, homeopathic, and area of effect (AoE) damage, as well as any utility that adds value to the team in the form of buffs and debuffs. It is also important to consider the relative difficulty of getting the most out of each major.


Which Class in WoW WotLK Classic to choose to play?


WotLK Class Specialization Rankings

This table outlines the ranking for each specialization. Read on to find a more detailed explanation below.


Tier Specialization

S Frost Death Knight, Unholy Death Knight, Combat Rogue, Fire Mage, Affliction Warlock

A Marksmanship Hunter, Assassination Rogue, Feral Druid, Arcane Mage, Fury Warrior, Demonology Warlock, Enhancement Shaman, Survival Hunter

B Retribution Paladin, Balance Druid, Shadow Priest

C Destruction Warlock, Arms Warrior, Elemental Shaman,

D Beast Mastery Hunter, Subtlety Rogue, Frost Mage


Frost Death Knight

The overall damage of the Frost Death Knight specialization is undoubtedly excellent and stable. They do well in the early stages of the expansion due to the high damage of the magic skills. While many other melee classes have to suffer from a lack of usable armor penetration, Frost DK isn't so concerned. Throughout the expansion, the battle between Unholy and Frost is a back-and-forth for the Death Knight's top DPS position. However, some players may find it difficult to prioritize and rotate Death Knight abilities.


Difficulty: Medium

Single-Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Ebon Plaguebringer: increases magical damage taken debuff (shared with Balance Druids).


Combat Rogue

Combat Rogues are top tier because they can pump out pure raw damage. They do take losses early on due to the lack of armor penetration of the gear, but once this is no longer an issue, they will definitely dominate the damage chart. Most combat rogues will start with assassination as their damage is not hindered by armor penetration. They offer some specific group utility, and like all rogues, they bring a trick.


Difficulty: Medium

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Savage Combat: Increases physical damage taken debuff (shared with Arms Warriors).

All Rogues: Tricks of the Trade provides increases the damage and threat redirection.


Fire Mage

Fire Mages start out fairly weak early on as they need a significant amount of crit to really excel. They have superb single-target and AoE damage, decent Cleave damage, and don't suffer from mana issues in longer fights. Many Fire Mages are sleeper agents disguised as Arcane in the first half of the expansion as they slowly gain enough crit to come out blasting.


Difficulty: Low

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Improved Scorch: Increases spell crit chance debuff (Shared with Warlocks and Frost Mages).


Affliction Warlock

Affliction Warlocks (Afflic) is the top DPS in most expansions. While there may be some small ups and downs in gear sets and short-range combat, they are strong in almost every way. They have a ton of damage over time skills with excellent single target damage. They also have excellent AoE and multipoint cutting potential. Finally, use the potential bonus damage of Drain Soul and Death Embrace during the execution phase. Not only are they great damage dealers, but they are also the best at providing spell crit chance debuffs.


Difficulty: Medium

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Improved Shadow Bolt: Increases spell crit chance debuff (shared with Frost and Fire Mages).

Curse of the Elements: Reduced magic resistance and Increases magic damage taken debuff (shared with Unholy DK and Balance Druid).


Marksmanship Hunter

Marksmanship Hunters (MM) didn't perform well early on as their physical damage relied on armor penetration. However, in the late game, their single-target damage becomes top-notch. They do lack any meaningful AoE and Cleave damage, but they do bring a team buff. Many hunters choose to start with survival and then switch to shooting after gaining more armor penetration.


Difficulty: Medium

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: Moderate

Cleave Damage: Moderate

Utility:

Trueshot Aura: Increases attack power buff (shared with Enhancement Shamans and Blood Death Knights).

All Hunters: Frost Trap, Freezing Trap, Misdirection


Assassination Rogue

Assassination Rogues are a really strong class all throughout the expansion, however, Combat Rogues scale better with gear as the expansion progresses. They perform slightly better during earlier phases than Combat Rogues due to the nature of the shorter fights, but on longer fights and fights with cleave, Assassination Rogues fall a bit behind.


Difficulty: Low

Single Target Damage: High

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Master Poisoner: Increases crit chance debuff (shared with Retribution Paladins and Elemental Shamans).

All Rogues: Tricks of the Trade provides increases the damage and threat redirection.


Feral Druid

Feral Druids (Cat) have a unique place here, they have a lot of damage, offer many druid buffs and utilities, and are able to get out of the tank when needed, giving them a very comfortable niche. As with other physical damage dealers, the lack of armor penetration in the early stages does hurt their overall DPS. However, with the right gear, they really start to take off and are often at the top of the damage table in many fights.


Difficulty: Medium

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: Moderate

Utility:

Leader of the Pack: Increases range and melee crit chance (shared with Fury Warriors).

Mangle: Improved bleed damage (shared with Arms Warriors).


READ MORE: MMOSO WOTLK - What are some really good healers for WOTLK? Rankings


Arcane Mage

Arcane Mages perform really well early on due to being able to gain spell hits in their talents. They excel at shorter fights and single-target fights and their AoE is respectable. But in the last half of the expansion, as the fights get longer their damage becomes average. Once spell hit is no longer an issue many Arcane Mages make the switch to Fire as their damage goes through the roof.


Difficulty: Low

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: High

Cleave Damage: Very Low

Utility:

Arcane Empowerment: Increases damage buff (shared with Beast Mastery Hunters and Retribution Paladins).


Fury Warrior

Fury Warriors start off very weak at the beginning of the expansion, their physical damage suffering from heavy reliance on Armor Penetration. However, their skills and talents scale really well throughout the rest of the expansion. Many warriors will choose to go Arms at the beginning and soon grab a 2nd two-handed weapon to make the switch to Fury. Their single target and cleave damage is often unparalleled near the end of the expansion and is often at the top of DPS charts.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: Moderate

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Rampage: Increases melee and range crit buff (shared with Feral Druids).

Battle Shout: Increases attack power buff (shared with Paladins).

Commanding Shout: Increases party health.


Demonology Warlock

Demonology Warlock (Demo) is a very interesting profession. Their very high damage potential is only marginally beaten by Affliction Warlocks in longer single-target fights. In shorter AoE fights, with Metamorphosis, they are really top damage dealers. Additionally, they provide a very powerful and unique spell power buff to the raid. Early on, with poorly equipped gear, this buff was slightly less effective than the Elemental Shaman version. However, in the better equipped later stages, most teams will choose to always have a Demon Warlock, as this spell power buff becomes very powerful in teams with many spellcasting classes.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: Very High

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Demonic Pact: Increases spell power buff (shared with Shamans, except this one scales with the Warlocks spell power).

Improved Shadow Bolt: Increases spell crit chance debuff(shared with Frost and Fire Mages).


Enhancement Shaman

Enhancement Shamans (Enh) has quite a lot of damage rotation and a higher skill cap with the potential for higher damage. The damage they provide is decent for single target, split and AoE damage. They won't be #1 on the leaderboards, but consistently perform well in all competitions. They are also brought to the group to obtain a large collection of shamanic totems and utility tools.


Difficulty: High

Single Target Damage: High

AoE Damage: High

Cleave Damage: Moderate

Utility:

Unleashed Rage: Increases attack power buff (shared with Marksmanship Hunters and Blood Death Knights).

Heroism / Bloodlust, Purge, Wind Shear, Hex, and many Shaman totems.


Survival Hunter

The Survival Hunters perform really well in the early stages of the expansion, with a lot of their single-target and AoE damage coming from magical sources, bypassing the armor penetration problem of physical damage dealers early on. Their skills are mostly instant cast giving them an edge on other ranged classes too. However, other classes damage scales with better gear and the overall potential of Survival starts to fall off and Marksmanship takes a dominant lead. They also don't provide much in the form of utility for the group.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: High

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

All Hunters: Frost Trap, Freezing Trap, Misdirection


Retribution Paladin

Retribution Paladins (Ret) have great AoE and Cleave potential, but their single target damage is rather average. Near the beginning of the expansion they are average at best but in later phases they are top-tier cleaving machines. They have a number of specialization unique buffs and still provide a vast array of Paladin utilities as well. They can also wield the legendary Shadowmourne making them absolute powerhouses.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: High

AoE Damage: High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Judgment of the Wise: mana replenishment buff (shared with Shadow Priests, Frost Mages, and Destruction Warlocks).

Heart of the Crusader: Increases crit chance debuff(shared with Assassination Rogues and Elemental Shamans).

Sanctified Retribution: Increases damage buff (shared with Arcane Mages and Beast Mastery Hunters).

Swift Retribution: Increases haste buff(shared with Balance Druids).

All Paladins: Blessings Auras, Hands Buffs, Cleanse.


Balance Druid

Balance Druids (Boomkin) provide some of the best AoE damage in the game but their single-target damage is lackluster in comparison. They stand in the middle of the pack on damage meters throughout the entire expansion. While none of their buffs are unique to the specialization, like all druids, they provide a wide range of other buffs and utilities to the group.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: Moderate

AoE Damage: Very High

Cleave Damage: High

Utility:

Improved Faerie Fire: Increases spell hit debuff(shared with Shadow Priests)

Moonkin Form: Increases spell crit buff(shared with Elemental Shamans)

Improved Moonkin Form: Increases haste buff(shared with Retribution Paladins)

All Druids: Rebirth, Gift of the Wild, Innervate, Abolish Poison, Remove Curse, Thorns, Entangling Roots


Shadow Priest

Shadow Priests perform very well near the beginning of WotLK but then are consistently average all throughout the rest expansion. Their skill rotation is a bit more involved than other classes while still producing similar results. They have great multi-dot and AoE damage too. Like all priests, they provide a number of buffs and utility to the group and have a unique damage mitigation talent.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: High

AoE Damage: Moderate

Cleave Damage: Moderate

Utility:

Dispersion is a damage mitigation cooldown.

Vampiric Embrace provides a small amount of healing based on damage done.

Misery: Increases spell hit debuff (shared with Balance Druids).

Vampiric Touch: mana replenishment buff(shared with Retribution Paladins, Frost Mages, and Destruction Warlocks).


Destruction Warlock

Destruction Warlocks (Destro) has decent damage, and if that's your playstyle, it's a respectable choice. Having said that, the other two majors, pain and demonology, will always trump doom. They do provide some unique utility for teams, providing mana regeneration and some crowd control, but overall they'll be somewhere in the middle of the damage meter.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: Moderate

AoE Damage: Moderate

Cleave DamageVery Low

Utility:

Improved Soul Leech: mana replenishment buff (shared with Retribution Paladins, Shadow Priests, and Frost Mages).

Aftermath talent provides a daze effect to Conflagrate and Shadowfury is a really effective AoE stun. Both of these help out with managing additional enemies in some encounters.

Improved Shadow Bolt: Increases spell crit chance debuff (shared with Frost and Fire Mages).


Arms Warrior

Arms Warriors are brought to the raid for their extensive amount of buffs, debuffs, and 2 target cleave damage. They suffer from the lack of armor penetration early on and with a focus on bleed damage, they quickly become outperformed by Fury Warriors.


Difficulty: Low

Single Target Damage: Low

AoE Damage: Moderate

Cleave Damage: Very High

Utility:

Blood Frenzy: Increases physical damage debuff (shared with Combat Rogues).

Trauma: Improves bleed damage debuff(shared with Feral Druids).

Battle Shout: Increases attack power buff (shared with Paladins).

Commanding Shout: Increases party health buff.

Sunder Armor: Decreses the target's armor debuff.

Shattering Throw: Decreses the target's armor debuff.


Elemental Shaman

Elemental Shamans (Ele) can do well in the early stages, and a good player will do well throughout the expansion. They also provide a lot of utility to the team, but these buffs are also provided by stronger classes. They have a good single target, AoE, and cleave damage potential, but they won't exceed DPS in most situations. Enhancement shaman can still perform better than elemental even in caster friendly combat.


Difficulty: Low

Single Target Damage: Moderate

AoE Damage: Moderate

Cleave Damage: Moderate

Utility:

Totem of Wrath: Increases spell power buff (shared with Demonology Warlocks).

Totem of Wrath: Increases crit chance buff (shared with Retribution Paladins and Assassination Rogues).

Heroism / Bloodlust, Purge, Wind Shear, Hex, and many Shaman totems.


Beast Mastery Hunter

While they do perform remarkably well in leveling and solo content, Beast Mastery Hunters (BM) are the worst of the three Hunter specializations for group content. Their damage is very dependent on their pet staying alive. They also lack any significant AoE or cleaving capabilities. It's certainly still possible to clear content with this spec, and they do provide some utility to the group. However, with their buff being provided by Retribution Paladins (which perform really well later on), they are often overshadowed by Marksmanship Hunter at every stage of the expansion.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: Low

AoE Damage: Low

Cleave Damage: Low

Utility:

Ferocious Inspiration: Increases damage buff (shared with Retribution Paladins and Arcane Mages).

All Hunters: Frost Trap, Freezing Trap, Misdirection.


Subtlety Rogue

Subtlety Rogues (Sub) really only shine in PvP content where their toolkit is very powerful. Their damage in PvE is very low throughout the entire expansion. While their own damage is low, they do still provide damage buffs to the group. However, the increase from those buffs pales in comparison to the damage potential that the other 2 specializations, Assassination and Combat would provide.


Difficulty: Moderate

Single Target Damage: Very Low

AoE Damage: Low

Cleave Damage: Low

Utility:

Hemorrhage: Unique debuff for increased physical damage.

All Rogues: Tricks of the Trade: Increases damage and redirects threat.


Frost Mage

Frost Mages are also seen as a PvP only specialization. Their damage is probably the worst damage of all classes in PvE content. They do provide buffs to the group, however, other classes can also provide them and they deal more damage. It also has a rather dull skill rotation, primarily casting Frostbolt with a few Frostfire Bolts and Deep Freezes mixed in.


Difficulty: Low

Single Target Damage: Very Low

AoE Damage: Very Low

Cleave Damage: Very Low

Utility:

Enduring Winter: Mana replenishment buff(Shared with Retribution Paladins, Shadow Priests, and Destruction Warlocks).

Winter's Chill: Increases spell crit chance buff (Shared with Affliction Warlocks and Fire Mages).


When you need Classic WotLK Gold can be traded at MMOSO, our prices are based on market prices, and will be lower than average, so as to give users the greatest discount. It is our aim to serve every user well!


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Aug-25-2022

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