Welcome to our DPS rankings guide. Let's break down which classes are the big winners in Phase 1 of Wrath Classic.
Before, I estimated how each class was going to perform throughout the expansion, right from the beginning to the end. Now Ulduar has hit the PTR, so I think it's a pretty fair time to check back and see which DPS is outperforming expectations and who is behind where we thought they would be.
S - Assassination Rogue is going to be clearly the best DPS and the ones you can stack. They are very competitive and gives a good pull, and can certainly top DPS. B specs, more often than not, the ones that are middle of the pack. C specs are the ones you have to scroll down on details to find, and D is why you are doing this to yourself.
Let's start off with the plate DPS and work our way down. For DK Blood, it's turned out not to be a thing in terms of DPS. The final patch balance pretty much killed off any chance for this spec to be relevant. The other two specializations have swapped places. I've moved Frost from S to A, whilst they are extremely good, you have to be doing that extra level of op to really be in the top spot Here. Frost does perform very well on overall damage, but they aren't quite as good on single Target encounters.
You also need a bit of luck at times with procs happening when you want them, which they don't always do. Unholy DK has moved from A to the top of S. It's quite close between the top two, but the things that Unholy can pull off on a single target and push them to the top spot for me, lining up all the various haste products from weapons, trinkets, potions, heroism and so on, and then using your big cooldowns, such as Army the Dead and Summon Gargoyle, allowing the top and holy performers on DPS to see upwards of 10K, which in tier 7 gear is pretty unreal.
There are a few other factors playing into Unholy being amazing too. In Naxxramas, boss fights are short. An Unholy's damage profile is centered around the three-minute cooldown, Summon Gargoyle, so if bosses are dying in one to two minutes, some of them are starting to now. They're going to be at their strongest for a large portion of the encounter. Also, cooldowns, including someone Gargoyle and Heroism, are resetting after each encounter, and Holy DK can do an insane setup on every single boss in the instance. They even do quite well on longer fights too. This spec in its current state is just kind of overpowered, but for Wrath in tier 7 on Holy DK gets the top spot for me, though.
Next, we have a slight change of tune in the Ret Paladin. I struggle to walk five yards around Dalaran without tripping over a Ret Paladin.
We would step in to make a direct buff to a baseline class. Functionality is quite specific, and that's when a class as a whole is at a point where they're almost never taken in raids across a World spectrum of skill and performance levels. I mean, it is Classic. After all, I would be more surprised if they started trying to balance things than leaving them as they are. I still think Rhett has one of the best-rounded toolkits in the game when it comes to utility, but on the DPS meters, there's not a huge amount you can do. The skill ceiling is pretty low as well, so it's just hard to stand out.
The next is full of Undead Aldor, so I think Rhett is going to remain where it is for quite a long time. To be honest, the final plate class is Warrior, so in Classic Vanilla, they were the best from day one to the end of the expansion. In TBC, they were expected to be average until tier VI around Black Temple Hydro. In reality, they already scaled hard by tier 5 and can be top DPS in Wrath. It was once again predicted that the Warriors would take time to scale up.
Yuri is actually pretty good already on clear fights. If you give it enough things to hit, it can shine, but on a single target. It is still not the most impressive number. I think Ulduar buff gear is going to see Fury scale extremely fast. We may see it jump from A to C all the way to a tier or for older gearing. Get ready for the wave of Warrior re-rollers the moment they start to look semi-decent though you can already feel the scaling start to happen onto Hunter, so Beast Mastery is a bit of a non-starter mainly.
For me, Marksmanship is still in the middle of beats here. With short fights and the ability to reset cooldowns through Readiness, they have a lot of uptime marksman and need a strong weapon, though, and while Envoy of Mortality is good. I think it's a very solid spec, and the Bible has some of the best AoE in the game through the explosive trap, volley, and good single Target damage. The only problem is that you have to go into melee to place traps.
You don't realize how awful some of the boss hitboxes are until you try raiding as a Hunter in Wrath. Every single Dragon model boss in the game currently. I've changed Elemental from A down to B. It's not quite at the same level, the other specs are in A, and much like TBC, the starter, the expansion is the part where it's expected to truly shine. It can be good on overall damage throughout the raid and does bring heroism and good buffs and debuffs, so it's a solid addition.
As for Enhancements, I've moved it down from S right to the top of A. To be honest, it's close to S but just not quite there. It's another one of those specializations which really benefits from having all cooldowns reset on fights apart from fire Elemental.
Shamans are a very Blizz-like enhancement that was expected to start off very well and also scale well with buffed Ulduar gear. I think they're going to continue to be a very competitive pick. Onto the leather enjoys us, then Rogues first, so subtlety it's the PVP spec.
As for Affliction Warlock, I thought it would need more gear to scale, and fights in tier VII would be so short. It wouldn't be fully benefiting from its strong execute phase, and it turns out they get more than enough benefits under an easy S tier and are among the top DPS in the game.
On top of that, Affliction Warlock is only expected to get better and better. The Shadow Priest, I've moved them down from an A to a high B. It's strange that Blizzard gave their dots so much scaling through haste and crit, and they aren't consistently breaking out of that middle of the packed spot.
Lastly, if you want to know more about it, check out WillE's video.