World of Warcraft Shadowlands launched on November 23, but the real game doesn't begin until December 8, which is the beginning of Season 1. And today we will talk about the best specs in Shadowlands early Season 1. The video below is from Skilled Capped WoW Guides. If you find this guide helpful, don’t forget to subscribe his channel on YouTube. Now let’s begin!
Before going into the best specs so far in Shadowlands Season 1, we should first ask ourselves a question: What makes a spec good in Arena?
There are two main things that affect how good a spec is during any point in the expansion - throughput and options. Throughput is simple - Does the class do a lot of damage or healing? If the answer is yes, it might be good in Arena. The second criteria is probably more important - How many options does a spec have? Options refer to the abilities a player has to adapt to changing Arena environments. This can be in the form of defensive options and the different defensive cooldowns a player has. This can also be offensive options and how many offensive cooldowns a player has. Options also refer to how many CC abilities are available and how well they can shut down enemy cds.
Generally speaking, a spec is good if it has high throughput and a variety of offensive and defensive options for dealing with other classes and specs. If a class has a lot of tools that counter other popular specs and if it can also deal a lot of damage or healing, it is probably one of the best specs in Arena.
We will start by the strongest Melee DPS in early Season 1.
It is one of the most consistent specs in Arena right now for having amazing damage and a wide set of defensive options available for any composition. Warriors offer a Mortal Strike effect with their primary damaging ability, which is especially strong right now, given how high damage is across the board. The PVP talent Storm of Destruction causes Bladestorm to apply Mortal Strike, allowing Warriors to spread healing reduction to multiple targets. Arms is also incredibly durable in Arena - having access to Defensive Stance and Ignore Pain. One of the problems with Warriors in last expansion was the 3 minute cooldown on Die by the Sword. In Shadowlands, Die by the Sword is now a two-minute cooldown, which allows it to line up better with many offensive cooldowns. Rallying Cry is also a one-minute cooldown when used with a PVP talent - Master and Commander, which gives the Warrior a temporary AoE heal for their entire team. The primary strength of a Warrior's defensive Tool kit is how many options they have for their team. Intervene is back in Shadowlands and allows Warriors to intercept Melee attacks on their partner for 6 seconds. When paired with Disarm and Hamstring, Warriors give their team multiple ways to deal with other Melee DPS. With the new PVP talent called Overwatch, Warriors can spell reflect a spell cast on their party member when they are affected with Intervene. Against setup based compositions like Rogue Mage, the Warriors defensive Toolkit gives them the ability to shut down kill attempts with ease. War Banner can be used preemptively to deny Polymorph, Blind, Sap and Psychic Scream. If the War Banner is not killed immediately, the kill attempt will almost certainly fail. As far as control is concerned, Warriors have one of the strongest CC abilities in the game with Storm Bolt. This is an instant cast ranged CC which cannot be dodged or parried and is only avoidable with Shadowmeld or physical immunities. This ability can be used defensively to shut down the enemy kill attempts or offensively to train down an enemy target or CC an enemy healer. Intimidating Shout is also incredibly strong. Being an undispellable AoE fear, it's really good both offensively and defensively once again. Another addition to Warriors and Shadowlands is Shattering Throat. This is a high value ability right now, given how popular Holy Paladins are. It is even good against really any team with a damage absorption effect as it deals 500% increased damage to targets with shields.
All in all, Warriors are definitely the strongest Melee DPS in Arena right now. They have incredibly consistent damage throughput while having many defensive options for their team. The spec works well in a wide range of comps and will probably be one of the best Melee for this entire Season if they're not nerfed.
Trailing behind Arms Warriors is Windwalker Monk. Monks have similar strengths to Warriors by having both consistent damage and good control options. They also have some of the best mobility of any Melee class, which allows them to chase down enemy targets or quickly escape death. The biggest strength of Windwalker right now is just how consistent its damage is. Their standard damage rotation deals a lot of damage with Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury dealing high baseline damage. When this high baseline is increased with offensive cds, Monks deal a ton of damage to enemy players. Monks also have really good control options for dealing with the current meta. Grapple Weapon is extremely valuable right now with how popular Melee Cleaves are on the latter. It is also really good into Rogue Mage and can deny kill attempts during Shadow Dance. Leg Sweep is another high value spell right now into Melee Cleaves because it is on a low cooldown AoE stun that can instantly deny Melee cds. Ring of Peace continues to be very strong and is really powerful into Discipline Priests. Finally Monks have some of the best mobility of any Melee spec. One of the best ways to deal with enemy cooldowns is to simply avoid them. Transcendence allows Monks to instantly avoid enemy damage when cooldowns are popped and is a great reset button for getting a favorable defensive position with their Healer. Tiger's Lust is also high value right now with the popularity of Balanced Druids. It also continues to be strong into Mage teams for helping Healers avoid Frost Nova into Ring of Frost.
Overall Monks offer their team really high consistent damage as well as multiple control options for shutting down many meta comps.
In spite of recent nerfs, Subtlety Rogues are still one of the best Melee DPS in Arena. The strength of Subtlety Rogues is in its ability to elevate other classes. The spec fills a lot of gaps that other classes have, like stuns for Mages in RMP and for Hunters in Thug Cleave. Subtlety Rogues are the bread and butter to so many setup based comps and have a strong offensive Toolkit despite the nerfs. The most obvious strength of Subtlety Rogues is its front loaded burst damage. It gives Rogues massive single target damage and almost always forces one or more cooldowns when paired with damage from a Mage or Hunter. Right now Rogues are using one of two Legendaries - Mark of the Master Assassin and Invigorating Shadowdust. Mark of the Master Assassin can be used to maximize damage in openers and after vanishes and gives Rogues big upfront damage. Invigorating ShadowDust is another popular option, which allows their banish to reset important cds and can throw off cooldown tracking by resetting cooldowns on kick blind and Kidney Shot. With how high damage is overall, Subtlety Rogues are really good at punishing mistakes. If an enemy team does not react quickly to Rogue setups, they will almost always be forced to use cooldowns or die if offensive cooldowns are used. The front loaded burst is made even better when combined with the multiple control options that Subtlety Rogues bring. Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot are used during every burst setup and can be followed with Smoke Bomb or Shadowy Duel for increased pressure.
Overall the nerfed Subtlety Rogues is still a huge threat in 3v3 and will continue to be powerful due to its ability to synergize with other specs well. If Frost Mage, Arcane Mage lock or Hunters are buffed in the near future, Subtlety Rogues will passively remain as one of the best Melee DPS in Shadowlands.
Rounding out the best Melee DPS specs in the game, there are 2 hybrids - Retribution Paladins and Enhancement Shamans. These hybrid specs practically share the same primary strengths, which are their powerful offensive cds, team utility and amazing healing. Retribution Paladins are an excellent support spec due to their strong healing potential. Word of Glory healing is incredibly high right now, which is really valuable in the current meta where damage is also really high. This ability combined with the Healing Hands talent allows Retribution Paladins to top their team off even if their healer is CC. Blessing of Freedom and Blessing of Protection are also really good in the current meta. Freedom can be used defensively to kite Melee DPS and on Healers to avoid Root Beam from balanced Druids and Ring of Frost from Mages. Blessing of Protection is really high value right now, given the popularity of Melee Cleaves. And it is really good into Rogue Mage for removing Kidney Shot or blind to deny kill attempts. Aside from their utility, Retribution Paladins offer massive burst damage during offensive cds. Avenging Wrath damage is really high, especially paired with Divine Toll. This Covenant ability paired with a Ringing Clarity conduit allows Retribution Paladins to get multiple judgment casts off in a short period of time, potentially allowing 4 judgment casts over 2 global cooldowns.
Enhancement Shamans offer similar strengths to Retribution Paladins. Their burst damage is incredibly high during cooldowns and they offer tons of team utility with their totems and off healing. The Doom Winds Legendary combined with Ascendance and Bloodlust give Shamans a super scary set of offensive cooldowns. These cooldowns can also be paired with the Venthyr ability called Chain Harvest, which deals AoE damage and healing. The spell can be made instant cast with Maelstrom procs and can instantly heal the entire team. Enhancement Shaman off healing is also strong right now with Maelstrom procs giving them instant cast heels similar to Word of Glory. Shamans also remain incredibly disruptive against caster DPS and spells like Grounding Totem and Tremor Totem are really good into any team with Shadow Priests, which are the best Caster DPS right now.
To conclude the section on Melee DPS, Arms Warriors are definitely the best DPS due to their amazing consistency and flexibility in the current meta. But playing with any of these specs will give you a high chance of success in Arena.
In consideration of the length of the video, we will only talk about Melee today. Casters and Healers will be in the next article. If you are interested, stay tuned to MmoGah. We are also a website where you can buy cheap WoW Gold and WoW Power Leveling service. I will see you next time!