More known to be pushing the boundaries of High Mythic + with several World first and Europe rankings among the seasons on a multiple classes. I have been working hard on preparing for the Season 1 of Shadow lands, spending tons of hours per day examining each and every class and spec in dungeon environment.
The Tier list will continue to update as much as it requires before and after the release of Shadowlands, and it will also focus on what the “meta” will look like, once it stabilizes. At the beginning, there will be also no Warcraft Logs rankings added nor simulation data for the majority of the classes and specs.
With the removal of War-Scrolls (the old BFA ones are still in the game, but cannot be used at max level and there are no Shadow lands 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 Shadow lands.
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. 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 Dashing to help to overcome it.
We encourage you to further read and understand why some classes are placed lower or higher than expected, with several factors taken into consideration. Fire Mage suffered a great loss when they lost the ability to passively spread Mastery: Ignite.
To compensate for that, Fire Mage is one of the specs with uncapped AOE abilities such as: Flame strike and Flame Patch. The Fire specialization provides the same utility to the party as other Mage specs, outside of Dragon's Breath and the cheat death from Cauterize.
The main power of Fire Mages comes from their incredible burst due to Combustion, which provides great single-target, priority-target and AOE damage at the same time. Even after the recent nerfs, Marksmanship Hunter remains one of the top Mythic+ DPS specializations in Shadow lands and will continue to be dominant.
The combination of the True shot cooldown and 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.
In addition to the amazing toolkit, Marksmanship Hunter also have a knock-back spell in the eyes of Bursting Shot which can be utilized on a several occasions in Mythic+. From slow such as Tar Trap, to immobilize Binding Shot, Hunter provides unique tools to cope and release pressure from the tank and the healer.
Finally, the great self-sustain from Exhilaration and immunity from Aspect of the Turtle makes Hunters a top contender for DPS slot for Shadow lands Mythic+. Hunter is also one of the two classes able to transfer its current aggro towards the tank using Misdirection which works similar to Rogue's Tricks of the Trade and have the ability to dispel enrage effects with Tranquilizing Shot.
October 23 update: With the recent round of beta changes, Outlaw Rogues suffered significant nerfs to their most powerful conduits Ambidexterity and Triple Threat. Gouge is an incredible ability to disturb enemies' casts and is off the Diminishing Return list, just like Blind.
Just like other Rogue specs, Outlaw provides high survivability, self-sustain, and immunity, making it a great pick for any group. The biggest weakness of Outlaw Rogue comes from its inconsistent DPS number due to Roll the Bones, making it unpredictable.
Outside that, Priest is the only class in the game that provides Power Word: Fortitude, increasing the health pool of all party members. Finally, Priest is one of the two classes that can get rid of the Bursting affix by using Mass Dispel, which makes them extremely valuable.
The main weakness of the spec comes from Silence's long cooldown (among the highest in the game for an interrupt). This significant nerf will lower the spec from S-tier to A-tier, and it will equalize the power of Subtlety Rogue to the rest of the melee specializations on the A-tier.
To conclude, the spec will top the ranks of A-tier, but it will no longer hold domination over the rest of the melee specializations, potentially opening the door for new group compositions. Their strength comes from the insanely high single-target burst, due to the combination of the Legendary power Atari's Soul Fragment and the conduit Deeper Daggers.
This makes Subtlety Rogues perfect for dealing with important mobs, Prideful and bosses, cementing their place as a to pick for every Mythic+ group. On top of that, Rogues are the king of the mob control in dungeons, paired together with unique Vanish skips and out of combat CC such as Sap and Shroud of Concealment.
This significant nerf will lower the spec from S-tier to A-tier, and it will equalize the power of Subtlety Rogue to the rest of the melee specializations on the A-tier. To conclude, the spec will top the ranks of A-tier, but it will no longer hold domination over the rest of the melee specializations, potentially opening the door for new group compositions.
Their strength comes from the insanely high single-target burst, due to the combination of the Legendary power Atari's Soul Fragment and the conduit Deeper Daggers. This makes Subtlety Rogues perfect for dealing with important mobs, Prideful and bosses, cementing their place as a to pick for every Mythic+ group.
On top of that, Rogues are the king of the mob control in dungeons, paired together with unique Vanish skips and out of combat CC such as Sap and Shroud of Concealment. December 15 update: Balance Druids suffered a significant hit on their AOE damage profile by nerfing Star fall by 6%.
From Ur sol's Vortex and Typhoon to Soothe and Stampeding Roar, Balance druid the biggest strength comes from providing the tools the party needs to release pressure off the tank and the healer. Balance Druids also hold one of the shortest defensive cooldowns in the game with Bark skin, topped with great passive mitigation from Bear Form.
Balance Druids have great damage output in Mythic+ while relying heavily on cooldowns, making their sustain AOE mediocre. December 15 update: With the recent nerf to Unholy Death Knight's mastery effectiveness by 20%, the spec's signature AOE and single-target burst will diminish significantly.
This change alone will not be enough to move Unholy Death Knights off the A-tier, as they will remain one of the strongest melee choices this season. Unholy Death Knight's biggest strength comes from very high single-target DPS and AOE burst windows.
They can also bring a single-target stun with Asphyxiate or a massive AOE slow Grip of the Dead, depending on talent choices. 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 S-Tier.
Their single-target DPS and Execute ability (Touch of Death) provide great output and is especially useful against high priority targets like Prideful affix and boss fights. A heavy melee or physical damage composition is the best fit for Monks, which in the current state of Shadow lands is very unlikely to be seen (outside of Rogue and Marksmanship Hunter).
October 23 update: The recent beta build changes nerfed Affliction Warlock's main conduit: Focused Malignancy. Affliction Warlock's single-target DPS is among the strongest in the game, as well as, its sustained Cleave AOE damage from Vile Taint and Malefic Rapture.
The spec provides mediocre party utilities (Mortal Coil, Create Hearthstone, Banish, Shadow fury, and Demonic Gateway), making it not as attractive as other ranged DPS. In addition, the spec self-sustain is decent, and they completely lack mobility boost outside of Burning Rush if talented.
October 23 update: Survival Hunter's main source of AOE damage comes from Wildfire Bomb, and with the recent nerf of the Flame Infusion conduit, that power is slightly diminished. Finally, the spec has an immunity Aspect of the Turtle and is one of the three classes in the game with a “lust” (Primal Rage).
Hunter is also one of the two classes able to transfer its current aggro towards the tank using Misdirection, which works similarly to Rogue's Tricks of the Trade. January 13 update: Frost Mages received tons of attention in the past few months, with the final adjustment of 9% flat buff to all of their damaging abilities.
But despite being in the past the best performing Mythic+ specialization, Frost Mage currently cannot provide the same damage output as the specs listen under “S” and “A” tier list. In addition to their amazing toolkit such as permanent slow of the mobs, making it easier for the tanks to kite, CC such as Poly morph and high self-sustain + immunity such as Ice Barrier and Ice Block, Frost Mages also provide decent damage output, which is essential to determine if a spec deserves S, A, B, or a C tier.
The high mobility of Mages also adds value, further compounded by the ability to provide Arcane Intellect to the whole party making it valuable pick if there is another caster within the group. Moreover, being able to enter stealth with Invisibility provides Frost Mages with the unique ability to skip certain packs, mobs or bosses.
To top it off, they also have Spell steal, which can create an opportunity for them to benefit from an enemy magical buff for 2 minutes within the dungeon. Havoc Demon Hunter is one of the specs with the highest mobility and survivability in the game, thanks to Few Rush and Vengeful Retreat paired together with the jump of Metamorphosis.
Its unique ability to provide Chaos Brand in the group makes it favorable pick in a combination with several casters in the party. The biggest disadvantage comes from the capped AOE on most of their abilities such as 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 this Seasonal affix in Shadow lands is high priority damage due to Prideful. The spec can really shine if paired with mostly melee and heavy physical damage group (because of the Wind fury Totem it provides greatly benefiting them).
Furthermore, the class has the shortest kick in the game with Wind Shear (12-second cooldown), which makes Shaman very valuable in groups where other players have high-cooldown interrupts. 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 the best choices within this tier.
Their recent changes allowed them to hold one of the strongest AOE and single-target bursts in the game, with the combination of Execution Sentence, Avenging Wrath, and Final Reckoning. January 13 update: Fury Warriors received a flat 8% buff to all of their damaging abilities, except for Blade storm and Dragon Roar.
Warrior is the only class in the game that provides Battle Shout making it incredibly useful for heavy melee composition. The biggest disadvantage of Fury Warrior comes from no immunity and relatively low damage output, which is further justifying their current placing.
Its AOE Cleave is significantly lower than Outlaw or Subtlety rogue, but the overall toolkit brings it right to the border of the upper side of B-Tier. Despite this, the spec earns its place in the rankings partly because of sustained AOE from the Barbed Shot and Stomp combination.
Beast Mastery Hunter is one of the few classes in the game with unlimited mobility and ton of ways to avoid damage or mechanics while not sacrificing DPS, which makes it extremely valuable in heavy movement situations, such as Mythic+ dungeons. Hunter is also one of the two classes able to transfer its current aggro towards the tank using Misdirection, which works similarly to Rogue's Tricks of the Trade.
October 23 update: Further nerfs to Frost Death Knight's main conduits Unleashed Frenzy, Ever frost and Eradicating Blow will continue to diminish the spec's position on the B-tier list. Frost Death Knight's strength comes from AOE and Cleave damage output the spec provides.
October 30 update: Elemental Shamans suffered yet another round of nerfs in the face of Lava Surge, bringing its pro value to 10% (was 15% before). Their single-target DPS and very high off-heal utility of Ancestral Guidance makes it a great choice for a ranged representative in the group.
November 16 update: Feral Druid received a flat 9% buff to all of their damaging abilities bringing the spec to the top of the C-tier list. Feral Druid's current state in the beta is relatively weak, compared to the rest of the DPS specializations.
Feral Druid's damage is known to scale well with secondary stats, and we do believe that the spec will move up tiers as players get more gear, but for now, it lacks the package needed to get out of C-Tier. December 15 update: The recent buff to Destruction Warlock's core ability Chaos Bolt by 22% will make their single-target and duo-target damage one of the best in Mythic+.
The spec relies on the interaction between the Legendary power Wilfred's Vigil of Superior Summoning and shard spending AOE abilities, such as Rain of Fire, to be able to excel in damage output. Furthermore, the spec party utilities (Mortal Coil, Create Hearthstone, Banish, Shadow fury, and Demonic Gateway) are not particularly amazing, making it not as attractive as other choices among ranged DPS.
All in all, Destruction Warlock lacks mobility outside of 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. These changes will positively reflect on Arms Warrior's single-target and priority-target damage, but will not be enough to place the spec higher than it currently is.
Arms Warrior is another spec where it needs slightly more time to scale with its secondary stats before shinning and moving up the ranks. October 23 update: Demonology Warlock received a recent nerf to their best performing dungeon conduit Carnivorous Stalkers, cutting its power in half.
Furthermore, the class provides mediocre party utilities: Mortal Coil, Create Hearthstone, Banish, Shadow fury and Demonic Gateway, making it not as attractive as other ranged DPS options. Just like in BFA, Demonology Warlock will continue to scale well with secondary and primary stats once we start increasing the power of our items, and we believe with slight damage adjustments, the spec has the potential to shine and climb the rankings, but overall utility, damage output, low mobility, and no immunity bring the spec into C-Tier.
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.