WotLK Classic is expected to release at the end of the year. As the Beta of the game is currently in full swing, more and more people want to know about the best classes in the Wrath of the Lich King. Due to different criterias, there are too many ways to answer this question — but it’s worth trying.
WotLK class PVE rankings
First of all, many players must be interested in the various rankings of the WoW classes in WotLK. Such rankings can be made judging by the Beta, good old data from the original game and reliable one from the private servers. But even though the WotLK Classic release is aimed to save the class balance of the patch 3.3.5, the game’s content will still be released gradually — phase by phase.
That means that all the class rankings strongly depend on phases. For instance, WotLK top DPS is expected to be different on each stage of the game, because various enemies in every particular raid demand following various tactics. And who seemed to be top DPS of Wrath of the Lich King while farming Naxxramas may seem helpless in the Icecrown Citadel.
Not only types of raids affect the rankings content. Specifics of gear are also very important. Once such a characteristic as armor penetration becomes much more popular in the second phase, some classes may suddenly step out of the shadows and steal the title of the WoW best PVE classes.
Usually WotLK specs are ranked by tiers from S to D — from the strongest to the weakest. The following table is aimed to sum up the expectations of the best DPS classes in WotLK first phase:
|Affliction Warlock, Enhancement Shaman, Unholy Death Knight, Arcane Mage, Assassination Rogue
|Frost Death Knight, Demonology Warlock, Feral Druid, Destruction Warlock, Survival Hunter
|Shadow Priest, Fire Mage, Balance Druid, Combat Rogue, Retribution Paladin
|Marksmanship Hunter, Fury Warrior, Elemental Shaman, Arms Warrior, Beast Mastery Hunter
|Subtlety Rogue, Frost Mage
This DPS ranking of the first phase of WotLK may appear very situative. Affliction Warlocks are able to deal enormous single-target damage, but without proper equipment they may be too dependent on other classes’ buffs with reduction of cooldown. Damage caused by many dots of Shadow Priests is important, especially comparing it to the poor state of Shadow Priests in Burning Crusade Classic, but single-target encounters are not for this spec.
Arcane Mages are too dependent on mana, and being on top of WotLK DPS tier list won’t satisfy you for long, until a solution to the mana problem is found. Balance Druid — better known as Boomkin, — can be considered one of the best in Wrath of the Lich King just because of how valuable its help is to other classes: this druid shares a lot of essential buffs with party and raid… But the actual damage of Boomkin is average.
The proper WotLK healer tier list is not so easy to find or put together from many different guides scattered throughout the Web. The same can be said about the list of best tanks in WotLK. But don’t be afraid of it: it’s just that the number of specs of tanks and healers is fewer than the number of DPS specs, so it’s much simpler to define the most preferable classes in WotLK without marking them by letters of a tier list.
|Blood Death Knight
What made players evaluate Holy Paladin as the undoubtedly best healer in the Wrath of the Lich King? Mostly this spec was praised for, probably, the most powerful glyphs in the game. Like Glyph of the Holy Light, which turned that strong skill into an AOE-heal that saved many melee-damagers who carelessly stood around the tank during the fight with a dangerous boss or pack of mobs. Holy Paladin in WotLK has many skills and talents with a similar mechanic. They either redirect the damage received by players to the paladin («Divine Sacrifice») or heal someone else aside from the chosen target for the same amount («Beacon of Light»).
If the Paladin’s status as the most OP Wrath of the Lich King class can be debatable, the Holy Paladin is surely absolutely OP! But what about Protection specialization? Well, the first phase of WotLK favors tank-paladin too, but in further phases a Feral Druid can take its place. The sheer number of HP of a well-equipped Feral Druid in 3.3.5 is threatening…
The given rankings may also serve as a guidance of the easiest classes to level in the upcoming WoW Classic game. For instance, Warlock is good in leveling due to its enormous DPS in any spec. Besides, in any spec it can be followed by a demon who will tank unfortunate enemies, whose fate is to be target dummies for a test of warlock’s AOE-dps.
The easiest melee class in WoW WotLK is a Death Knight — how could a heroic class of an expansion not be the easiest? Especially considering the fact that in those days Blood Death Knight could also act as a competitive damage-dealer. But if you seek for the truly fastest way to level in Wrath of the Lich King, there are other options which are even easier than leveling a Blood DK!
Best Classes for PVP
But what are the best classes for PVP in WotLK? It depends on what kind of PVP is preferred by the player. If your bloodlust leads you to the arena, one of the best and analytical suggestions is given by blogger Earpugs. Here is his arena tier list for WotLK with an additional rank S+:
|Elemental Shaman, Fury Warrior, Holy Paladin
|Feral Druid, Unholy Death Knight, Marksmanship Hunter
|Affliction Warlock, Discipline Priest, Subtlety Rogue, Retribution Paladin, Shadow Priest, Restoration Shaman, Enhancement Shaman, Restoration Druid, Arms Warrior, Frost Mage
|Destruction Warlock, Fire Mage, Arcane Mage, Protection Warrior, Frost Death Knight, Assassination Rogue, Beast Mastery Hunter
|Arcane Mage, Protection Paladin, Survival Hunter
|Blood Death Knight, Demonology Warlock, Fury Warrior, Holy Priest, Combat Rogue
Although the explanation of each and every choice may take a couple of minutes, general observations can be made. For example, for any kind of arena it’s crucial to have a combination of skills that gives an opportunity to quickly immobilize a few enemies and buff you and your ally. That is why Shaman with his Wind Shear, Grounding Totem, Earth’s Grasp talent and Glyph of Stoneclaw totem is evaluated this high. Or a Marksmanship Hunter, who can disarm one opponent with only fast Chimera Shot and continue dealing huge amounts of instant damage while running after his doomed ally…
Search for the best PVP class in 3.3.5 outside arenas may bring you to the specs that have already been proclaimed as top in the PVE: Affliction Warlock, Blood DK and Holy Paladin. Unlikely a one and only champion can be chosen in this competition, but there is one criteria by which a Paladin can win — sometimes even its healing spec is so hard to fight that it seems to be a tank. Some players have even called it «Tank-Heal» specialization, and surely there were reasons for it.
If a short attempt to define the best classes of WotLK Classic has only increased your doubts — relax and remember, that even the hardest choice is not so hard when you’re ready to use some of WotLK services!