WoW: Shadowlands Summary — Rankings, Statistics, Plot, and Reception

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Shadowlands is about to finish its run and is drawing to an end. It’s time to take a step back and delve into our WoW: Shadowlands Summary to admire the incredible achievements of the WoW community and relive this expansion’s story of protecting the balance between life and death.



Below are the raiding ranking of classes and specs according to Warcraft Logs.

The positions of top DPS were constantly changing, while Healers and Tanks were more stable.

Holy Paladin, Restoration Shaman, and Discipline Priest stayed in the top 3 Healers from patch 9.0.5–9.2.0. Their seats were only replaced by Restoration Druid, Holy Priest, and Mistweaver Monk from patch 9.2.5–9.2.7.

Blood Death Knight, Guardian Druid, Protection Paladin, and Brewmaster Monk took turns to be the strongest Tanks.

Especially Blood Death Knight and Protection Paladin were 2 safe picks in raids. Blood Death Knight has incredible self-healing, while Protection Paladin has strong durability and great defensive cooldowns.


Below are the Mythic+ ranking of classes and specs in all keys according to Warcraft Logs.

The same goes for DPS in Mythic+ contents. Their positions were hardly ever the same. Outlaw Rogue and Fire Mage were the most favorable in almost all seasons. Their burst AOE damage is astonishing. Rogues can also skip certain packs and mobs in Mythic+ Dungeons, contributing greatly to clearing dungeons in time.

Once again, Restoration Shaman, Holy Paladin, Discipline Priest, Restoration Druid, and Holy Priest were crowned as the most potent Healers throughout 4 seasons.

Brewmaster Monk stayed as the most efficient Tank from seasons 1–4. Vengeance Demon Hunter, Guardian Druid, and Protection Paladin took turns to be dominant. In season 4, Blood Death Knight also made it to the list.


Below are the strongest PvP composition ranking in each season, according to Drustvar.



The chart above displays the number of guilds that have cleared all Mythic Raids content according to‘s Shadowlands statistics.

Complexity Limit (US), whose former name was Liquid, kinged Castle Nathria Mythic in 2020. After 2 years, they were again the first Guild that cleared all bosses in Fated Sanctum of Domination Mythic.

Another Guild that can rival Complexity Limit’s achievements is Echo (EU). They also eradicated all bosses from Sanctum of Domination Mythic and Sepulcher of the First Ones Mythic.

The numbers also present how the heat of clearing Fated Raids was nowhere near the hype of the original ones.


As statistics of Active Player have shown, Shadowlands has met its ups and downs during its two-year run.

The game’s peak number of active users was 9,515,127 in July 2021, gaining 435,000 players. This was the time when patch 9.1: Chains of Domination was released. The player count reached its lowest in January 2021, with only 7,510,914 active users.

WoW gained the most players in April 2021. 653,867 people decided to join the fun as the changes patch 9.0.5 brought to Warcraft since March 2021 started working its wonders.

858,777 players were lost in July 2022, as this was the last month of season 3 PvP and Mythic+. Perhaps because players had finished all activities and were taking a break before the start of season 4 on August 2.

Please note that the above data are all estimated and might not perfectly represent the real player count from month to month.



The Shadowlands consists of 5 new zones. 4 leveling ones: Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, Revendreth, and 1 max-level location: the Maw. Whichever Covenant you are in will provide you their unique set of cosmetic armors and specific covenant abilities for each class.

Oribos, a neutral city for Alliance and Horde, serves as Shadowlands’ new capital city.

Near the end of WoW’s 8th expansion, Zereth Mortis was introduced with quests for Alliance and Horde. The land is not controlled by either of these factions.


There are 8 new dungeons: The Necrotic Wake, Plaguefall, Mists of Tirna Scithe, Halls of Atonement, De Other Side, Sanguine Depths, Spires of Ascension, and Theater of Pain. Torghast is an infinite dungeon that promises more and better rewards the deeper you explore.

There is also 1 megadungeon: Tazavesh, the Veiled Market.

And 3 new raids: Castle Nathria, Sanctum of Domination, and Sepulcher of the First Ones.


Cross-faction grouping allows Alliance and Horde to join forces in battling through Dungeons and Raids of all difficulties, Rated Arena, Rated Battlegrounds, Torghast, and most legacy instanced content. You can’t form a cross-faction Guild, but you can always create friendly communities.


Legendary items return to WoW under the name of Runecarving. By collecting and returning Memories to the Runecarver, he will repay your kindness by imbuing your armors with legendary power.


Never before the 8th expansion has WoW performed a level squish. If you were at the level cap of 120 in Battle for Azeroth, you had surely been squished down to level 50 in Shadowlands, as this expansion’s level cap is 60.


Patch 9.2.0 brought forth a new crafting system called Protoform Synthesis. You only need the required patterns and enough reagents to craft your Zereth Mortis mounts and battle pets.

The system of Creation Catalyst came with the arrival of patch 9.2.5. You can put in the Creation Catalyst items from Mythic+, PvP, or Fated Raids to receive tier sets pieces in return.



Sylvanas Windrunner shattered the Helm of Domination, tearing Azeroth’s sky to stare straight into the depth of Shadowlands. She triggered events that could endanger the balance of life and death.

The Scourge swarmed across Azeroth. Mawsworns abducted each faction’s leaders. Anduin, Jaina, Baine, and Thrall also fell victim to Sylvanas’s ambition.

Nathanos Blightcaller, Sylvanas’s champion and bodyguard, was finished off by Tyrande before she entered the land of the deaths to continue her pursuit of the Banshee Queen.


The Arbiter, an Eternal One, was responsible for judging mortals’ souls and sending them to their fitting afterlife. Along with its shutdown, all souls were damned to the Maw, where they would be tormented for eternity.

The more souls streamed into the Maw, the stronger the Jailer became. While that, Shadowlands’s other domains started wilting due to the lack of Anima, a primary resource in this dreary realm. Being the Maw Walker, you escaped the Jailer’s grasp. You were tasked with saving your abducted allies, restoring the cosmic balance between life and death, and unveiling major events along the way.

Read more in detail about the main story and its preludes here.


At first, WoW: Shadowlands received positive reception. 3.7 million copies were sold on launch day, breaking records worldwide. It scored 83 on Metacritic and an 8 out of 10 from IGN. However, it can’t be denied that WoW’s 8th expansion evokes mixed critiques among players. Some consider it one of the most enjoyable expansions, while others just wish it to be a Murlock’s dream due to its content. After all, it only received a user score of 3.0. It pales before comparison with Wrath of the Lich King, which scored 7.8.

Blizzard could have done better, as Shadowlands had great potential for characters and storyline. Take Arthas, for example. Many players were excited and eagerly anticipated the infamous Lich King’s return. But in the end, all they received was a disappointment. Their discontent was too much that players even created a threat in the Blizzard forum named “you did Arthas dirty.”

There are many things to do and get before Dragonflight’s release. You can see them here. Make sure to finish and obtain everything possible, for they will be removed in the next expansion.

You’re welcome to check out WowVendor services here if you are ever in need of aid.

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