Best DPS Tier List / Rankings for WoW Classic - Phase 1 Molten Core and Onyxia
After a few weeks of guilds clearing Molten Core and Onyxia in Classic WoW, there are now several hundred logged kills in both raids, so we've dived into the parses recorded on Warcraft Logs in order to see how the different Classic WoW DPS classes are doing and how they rank against one another. Of course, not everything is about raw damage, as as many classes bring unique raid buffs, debuffs, and other specialized utility, which can make a huge difference in those high ranked classes, and the absolute top performers are heavily influenced by gear, group composition, consumables, world buffs, and how well the raid is min/maxed in general, as that leads to faster kills and better DPS. To get a good overview, we're looking at high parses in the
, to see how well each class competes without focusing entirely on the top or bottom of the scale. Keep in mind that Warcraft Logs groups by class, rather than spec as in retail, due to there being no talent look up in Classic.
A handful of Rogue parses have been grouped separately for unknown reasons, likely a submission error. WCL categorizes by Class, not spec, due to there being no way to easily determine talents in Classic.
data so far shows a clearly defined order of damage output from the different classes, with a significant spread between the high and low end. We previously listed our As such, we've categorized each class into tiers of damage dealing potential, though keep in mind that several classes bring indispensable buffs and debuffs, rather than just their own damage, which we've detailed in the breakdown below. Keep in mind that while Warcraft Logs charts are organized class rather than spec, due to being unable to look up player talents in Classic, our rankings below are organized by the performing raid specs. In other words, Warcraft Logs reports Arms and Fury commonly as Warrior, but we'll mainly be talking about Fury, due to it vastly outperforming Arms.
It should be no surprise to see Warriors on top, as their potential has already been well documented, and they have a lot of very competitive pre-raid BiS items. The majority of the top Warrior parses are Fury spec, and several are using
, an interesting choice that while not strictly BiS provides a lot of value for melee heavy raid comps. There is currently a strong split between Alliance and Horde at the top end; while
provides a massive damage boost, Alliance gains several smaller buffs in the form of Paladin blessings, and weapon skill provided by the respective Human and Orc racials can make a big difference when it comes to weapon selection.
Warriors won't be at the top of the damage meters forever, though they're expected to be dominant for the forseeable future. Once Ahn'Qiraj releases in Phase 5, Mages and Warlocks will start to catch up to and likely surpass Melee DPS.
Fury Warrior DPS Guide
Fury Warrior DPS BiS Guide
Like Warriors, Rogues are performing extremely well in the early phases of Classic. Currently, the majority are raiding as Combat, specced for either daggers or swords, with swords generally considered better at this stage, though the difference is largely determined by what drops are available;
are all well represented at the top end. In later phases, Seal Fate dagger builds will rise to better compete for Rogues with enough critical strike to make the build function, though Combat never really ceases to be the go-to build for the majority of raiding Rogues.
Rogue DPS Guide
Rogue DPS BiS Guide
Mages have the simplest DPS Rotation (Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Frostbolt), but with proper gear, consumables, and buffs, they can output seriously scary amounts of damage. Important items being used include
, which is a monstrous upgrade compared to any other currently available chest piece, along with
, and anything else that gives Spell Hit Chance. While Mages have access to
in the Frost tree in order to reduce the amount needed from gear, it remains an important stat, as the cap of 16% is virtually unattainable until Ahn'Qiraj. Once that Phase hits and later raid bosses are no longer immune to fire damage, Fire Mages will begin their climb to the top of the charts.
Mage DPS Guide
Mage DPS BiS Guide
Warlock logs can be misleading due to the way their debuffs and curse limitations work. Because they can only apply one curse each, Warlocks are typically assigned a specific curse to maintain in each encounter/raid, with the best geared player prioritizing
in order to proc
, all of which greatly inflate that player's damage relative to other Warlocks in their raid. This creates a large disparity between the top and bottom performers, as they not only benefit from better gear, but also the ability to use more damaging spells. Like Mages, they'll be stacking Spell Hit along with whatever Spell Crit they can get, and mostly spamming
for the duration of a raid encounter. Although we call them "Affliction" due to the emphasis on curses, one of the top damage builds for Warlocks is actually a
build which dumps points into Demonology instead.
Warlock DPS Guide
Warlock DPS BiS Guide
The best performing Hunters have raided Molten Core and Onyxia for two straight weeks, as evidenced by already obtaining
, giving them a serious leg up over their competition who are mostly using
. This early advantage has propelled Hunters above the competition, though the charts should start to even out again as Mages and Warlocks continue to gear.
Hunter DPS Guide
Hunter DPS BiS Guide
Shadow Priests are an interesting sort, as only one is typically brought to raids in order to stack
, granting a significant damage boosts to Warlocks. In spite of this, Shadow Priests are doing better than anticipated relative to other classes, though even at the absolute top end they still rarely rise to the middle of the pack. Getting
this early is a huge boost, as the extra MP5 goes a long way toward mitigating their mana problems, although they tend to be consumable heavy in order to keep their damage up.
Shadow Priest DPS Guide
Shadow Priest DPS BiS Guide
Feral Druids as DPS are fairly rare compared to their Tank builds; for them to really shine they need two specific items:
is crafted by Leatherworkers and
from Gnomeregan. Even with these nifty items, Feral Druids are fairly low on the charts, with the top performing Feral Druids doing about two thirds of what the very best Hunters are doing. Because Feral ignores weapon damage in favor of stats and buffs, the top performing Feral Druids prioritize the Crowd Pummeller, which only has 3 charges and requires a good deal of farming in order to keep them on hand for every encounter.
That said, while Feral Druids don't bring much in the way of their own damage, they still bring a ton of utility to the raid, most importantly
Feral Druid DPS Guide
Feral Druid DPS BiS Guide
Elemental and Enhancement Shaman
Shaman are in a rough spot on the charts. With only around 3% of all Shaman parses logged as DPS, the overwhelming majority are currently playing Restoration in raid. The top performers appear to be Elemental focused entirely on damage without off-healing the raid, while Enhancement has fallen a bit behind. The two are fairly close however, and it will take a larger sample size with more refined gear to see exactly which comes out on top. In any case, like Druids the real value of Shaman isn't in their own damage, but in the buffs they bring - most notably
, which has an
impact on Warrior damage. Due to exactly how powerful that buff is, many raiding Shaman lean toward Enhancement in order to talent into
to increase their buffs further, though they have a fairly stale rotation made up of only two long cooldown abilities, so they spend most of their time alternating Windfury and
to maximize buff potential. Windfury aside, Shaman bring several other useful totems including
and spell resistances, which can be very important in Molten Core.
Elemental Shaman DPS Guide
Enhancement Shaman DPS Guide
Retribution Paladins are in a similar state to their Horde counterparts. They too have a rather bland rotation, so even the top performing DPS Paladins are frequently off healing during boss encounters. With only about 100 Paladin parses so far, they aren't quite as popular as Shaman, but neither are particularly well represented compared to the several thousand Mages, Warriors, Rogues, Warlocks, and Hunters. The top players are using
, which drops from Molten Core, and a few are also activating
in order to increase their output, but even then aren't doing that much damage regardless.
Overall, this is where Retribution Paladins were expected to end up, and exactly why they're so commonly disregarded in favor of their healing counterparts; Holy Paladins are among the very best healers in Classic, and unlike Shaman who need to spec fairly deep into Enhancement in order to increase the value of their buffs,
is at the very top of the Retribution tree where any build can access it.
Retribution Paladin DPS Guide
Retribution Paladin DPS BiS Guide
At this time, less than 1% of all Druid DPS are logged as Balance, and none of them come close to the top of the meter. While Druids are already not represented very well and this sample size is even smaller, it goes to show how little raiders are valuing Balance Druids compared to Feral, although they do provide a strong caster buff while in
. Still, there's little expectation that Balance will rise to anything other than the very bottom of the barrel, given how mana and debuff intensive they are in order to deal effective damage, which even then only barely keeps up with the low end.
Balance Druid DPS Guide
Balance Druid DPS BiS Guide
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