Even though DPS in TBC Classic have very different power levels , which decide to which extent you want to stack them. All healers and tanks are accepted in dungeons and raids since they all come with unique advantages that are worth learning about.
We will be ranking each DPS class that is available within TBC Classic below, alongside brief explanations of the reason behind its ranking. This list will be kept updated when TBC Classic progresses, in order to ensure that it is always reflected in the most current meta DPS positions.
In the process of determining the top rankings of DPS in PvE we are mostly concerned with two things:
Damage Throughput -- First and foremost, DPS are there to take on damages. The value of every class and spec for the group is primarily determined by the amount of damage they cause to the raid. This is determined by each spec's individual DPS together with the impact of the buffs and debuffs they can bring.
Desirability -- extending on the last sentence above There are stark distinctions in how "desirable" certain DPS classes are based on the number of players you bring to raid. The most important factor for the tier list's placement is determined by the number of each spec you might want in a raid group. For instance, Balance Druids are crucial to raiding as they provide a crucial buff that is beneficial to the whole raid, but their personal damage is rather low. The worth of the initial Balance Druid during the raid is enormous however, the second Balance Druid is significantly lower in significance. At the end of all, the primary question we are trying to answer is what kind of desirable your class and your spec are to raid.
In closing, one big difference you'll notice between this tier list and the WoW Classic tier list is the flip-side of melee and ranged DPS. While melee DPS (Warriors and Rogues) were very valuable in WoW Classic, the changes have come about and melee has become mediocre at best for the first two tiers that comprise TBC Classic. Rangers DPS are now far more effective than at any point in WoW Classic as well as Hunters and Warlocks sitting in the S-tier in the majority of TBC Classic. In general, ranged DPS are far more valuable than melee in the majority of TBC.
2.1. Specializations and classes of the S-Tier
These are the most effective DPS specializations for the beginning in TBC Classic. Particularly, they are the DPS specializations that you will typically see in raids to show how tough they are. It is likely to be several of these in the majority of raiding groups.
2.1.1. Beast Mastery Hunter
Beast Mastery Hunters are absolute powerful players within The Burning Crusade. Although Hunters might have been non-meta and unpopular in WoW Classic however, everything changes in TBC Classic -- Hunters are one of the strongest DPS classes throughout the expansion, soaring over meters with astounding single-target damage. This is because in TBC Classic pets finally scale according to your stats, allowing them to do real damage to max levels and increase by gear. Additionally, they tear up your meters Beast Mastery Hunters bring Ferocious Inspiration IconFerocious Inspiration as an incredible party buff that is highly-valued in both raids and dungeons.
2.1.2. Destruction Warlock
Destruction Warlocks are the kings of the casters of TBC. For the entirety the casters in TBC, Warlocks excel at both damage and efficiency in every raid, thanks to a mix of incredible scaling, powerful skills, and solid gearing options. Whether you are spamming Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt or Incinerate IconIncinerate, you are certain to have a high-end meter during your raid. Because Warlocks are the most powerful casters in the game, Destruction Warlocks will be placed in groups of casters for very well-built, high-output groups. This isn't even speaking about the many benefits Warlocks provide to raids, but be assured they are the best casters in TBC Classic. Warlocks are the most powerful casting class of TBC Classic.
2.2. A-Tier Classes and Specializations
These are the strong DPS specializations used in the beginning of TBC Classic. These are the DPS specializations that you will always see at least one of, but it's still normal to see several of each as well.
2.2.1. Survival Hunter
Though Beast Mastery Hunters can do more damage, every raid will require one Survival Hunter for their debuff Expose Weakness IconExpose Our Weakness. This buff is highly beneficial for all Physical DPS players in your group. It only improves as you gain more agility. However, even setting aside this one debuff, Survival Hunters are still excellent damage-dealers in their own way. While they aren't producing the same number of hits as Beast Mastery, they still are top-of-the-line DPS and would be sought after if Hunters didn't have the option to go Beast Mastery instead.
2.2.2. Arcane Mage
Arcane Mage may have been only a joke within WoW Classic, but thanks to the addition of Arcane Blast, they IconArcane Blast, they are now a powerhouse to be reckoned with when playing TBC Classic. Arcane can be described as the most robust Mage with a specialization in TBC and has a remarkable raw damage output , as well as some good buffs to raids, making Mages extremely powerful. While they're not as powerful as Warlocks, they're still a good strength of Warlocks in the raw, they're close, and still worth bringing into any group.
2.2.3. Fire Mage
Although Fire Mages will eventually scale to become powerful sources of DPS, they lack the equipment or stats needed in the beginning in the new expansion. The main buff in this case comes from Improved Scorch IconImproved Scorch for an increase in damage caused by fire towards the player, but beyond that they do not bring anything that Arcane Mages are not able to bring. Fire is good by itself, but requires a tier or one of scale before it really pops off.
2.2.4. Demonology Warlock
Demonology Warlocks have the opposite problem to Fire Mages. Demonology is actually incredibly strong when you are at level 70 and for your initial clears of Karazhan along with other raids, Demonology may be the most preferred spec for Warlocks. But once Warlocks begin to acquire their Level 70 crafted sets and raid gear, Demonology does fall off gradually, especially in the higher tiers of raid.
The spec does not scale nearly as well as Destruction and does not provide the same necessary debuffs Affliction can bring. The spec isn't awful, but it isn't able to increase in size and can easily slide off in future leveling. Many Warlock specs will still make use of the Demonology tree however, they will only use the Demonic Sacrifice IconDemonic Sacrifice to get the buff to either their Shadow or fire damage. However, Demonology Warlocks are still Warlocks. Their only negatives mainly stem from non-being Destruction. Similar to Survival Hunters, they are still very powerful when compared with other DPS classes.
2.3. B-Tier Classes and Specializations
These are the subpar DPS specificizations for the beginning of TBC. They're not very popular however, they aren't in any way unimportant either. It is possible to see them in raids, however having one as a primary who is specialized in this field isn't unusual.
2.3.1. Elemental Shaman
Elemental Shaman are the best casting class for support within TBC Classic and also have an excellent ranged DPS on their own, which starts off strong due to the abundance of Spell Hit and Critical Strike they can get from their talent alone. They are a source of Bloodlust IconBloodlust/Heroism IconHeroism and provide the unique Totem of Wrath IconTotem of Wrath, which can be combined with Wrath of Air Totem IconWrath of Air Totem for a massive spell damage buff for the Shaman's group. Elemental Shamans are the ideal caster support, making them extremely sought-after for TBC Classic's raids.
2.3.2. Shadow Priest
Shadow Priests are similar to Elemental Shamans with regard to their function in raids. They have a powerful caster and healer assistance. Shadow Priests don't have the power they Hunters, Mages, and Warlocks bring, but more than compensate for the difference with their incredible power. Shadow Priests are able to bring Shadow Weaving IconShadow Weaving along with Misery IconMisery for some solid power-ups to the boss. Additionally, they include Vampiric Touch IconVampiric Touch to serve as an option to regenerate some important Mana for their party. If you are in a group of arcane Mages or healers or healers, Shadow Priests are invaluable.
2.3.3. Enhancement Shaman
Enhancement Shaman may be, the best Physical damage support class in TBC Classic. They offer powerful melee support totems like Windfury Totem IconWindfury Totem, Grace of Air Totem IconGrace of Air Totem and of Earth Totem IconStrength of Earth Totem IconStrength of Earth Totem that grant significant damage enhancements to their group as well as have utility totems such as Tremor Totem IconTremor Totem and Poison Totem for Cleansing Totem IconPoison totem that cleanses Totem that can keep allies protected and out of the control of the crowd. Although they are the most powerful of all Shamans are the best support for casters, Enhancement Shamans are the most effective melee support, making them extremely sought-after in raids.
2.3.4. Fury Warrior
Fury Warriors are similar to Combat Rogues in that they scale well, but are a bit underwhelming in the beginning of TBC Classic. Warriors might have been one of the heroes in WoW Classic, but unfortunately TBC is nowhere near as accommodating to them. This is one of the biggest issues for Warrior players, as Warrior was easily the most sought-after type in WoW Classic this means there's a surplus of Warrior players in comparison to the amount of players they would like to have as raiders for raids in TBC Classic. With the introduction of a new level of raiding, however, Fury is on the rise and will soon scale to once again be an important melee specialization.
2.3.5. Combat Rogue
Combat Rogues will eventually become one of the strongest meleeweapons, but they must to scale; more accurately They require Warglaives. Rogues aren't very strong at first when playing TBC Classic, as they are one of the classes that scales extremely easily with weapons and equipment.
As Tier 5 progresses, the players will begin to climb right until they reach the top of the meters at which point currently they're laying in wait. Rogues will still be able to carry Improved Expose Armor IconImproved Expose Armor to get a great Armor debuff on the boss. This can be beneficial for the raid. This makes the presence of at most one Rogue worthwhile.
2.4. Specifications and Classes of C-Tier
These are the less effective DPS specializations used in the beginning of TBC Classic, but they are still required. The following are DPS specializations that you will every time you see only one of. While they themselves are not extremely powerful, they all offer a unique buff or debuff that makes them worth being considered a raider, but are not enough to warrant a second place in the raid.
2.4.1. Affliction Warlock
Affliction Warlocks are another class that has benefited substantially from the transition to TBC Classic from Vanilla. The debuff cap is now up by 40 from 16 giving Affliction Warlocks the ability to use the majority of their DoTs with no worry for the moment. However, Affliction is uninjurious compared to their other Warlock specs, as Shadow Bolt IconShadow Bolt combined with the other more popular capabilities still don't scale too well compared to any DoT. Affliction continues to be used in raids, but mainly because of Malediction IconMalediction along with Shadow Embrace IconShadow Embrace. A majority of raid groups place the Affliction Warlock in the tank group too as they can make use of imps to activate Blood Pact IconBlood Pact to provide tanks with the nice Stamina bonus.
2.4.2. Retribution Paladin
Retribution Paladins are another required buff class that can provide some personal power, however the majority of their desirability is due to buffs. Retribution does decent personal damage and comes with some useful advantages, but they specifically provide Improved Seal of the Crusader IconImproved Seal of the Crusader which offers everyone in the raid the chance to increase their Critical Strike chance. Additionally, Retribution Paladins also bring Improved Sanctity Aura IconImproved Sanctity Aura that is two percent more damage for everyone in the party.
2.4.3. Arms Warrior
Arms Warriors are quite similar to Retribution Paladins in both the damage they do and their popularity in raids. Arms Warriors do relatively low damage when first introduced, but with a little investment in Blacksmithing they can be a little better. The most important reason to get the Arms Warrior however will be their Blood Frenzy IconBlood Frenzy buff. It grants everyone who joins the raid 4% more Physical damage to the subject, which is valuable for both melee and Hunters.
2.4.4. Balance Druid
Balance Druids have come quite a long way since WoW Classic, but are in a way less than other DPS specs. They lack the damage potential that other specializations in range can provide however they make up for it by providing incredible utility, buffs, and an important boost. Every raid should have at least one Balance Druid primarily for Improved FaerieFire IconImproved Fire, which grants the entire raid +3 percentage chance to strike the debuffed target. Additionally, Balance Druids give the entire group an extra Critical Strike of 5% chance from the Moonkin Form IconMoonkin Form, which is incredibly valuable for groups of casters. Therefore, Balance Druids are C-tier because they are designed specifically and only for buffs to raids.
2.4.5. Feral Druid
Feral Druids are identical to Balance Druids early on in TBC Classic, but with some key variations in how important the buffs they provide. Ferals don't have all the brute DPS output of the other ranged and melee specs, but aren't as powerful, and Feral Tanks have the same buff that they provide. Even though raiders may prefer to use the Feral but it's only to enhance a Hunter group or a melee group. Ferals also have a bleed debuff from the Mangle (Cat) IconMangle (Cat) which they place on bosses. However, this is only a minor DPS boost in the case of Warriors and Rogues as it isn't so crucial.
2.4.6. Marksmanship Hunter
Marksmanship Hunter are unfortunately the weakest out of three Hunter specializations. Although Beast Mastery is a powerful class and among the top DPS classes on TBC Classic, Marksmanship's talents and toolkit just do not synergize well with what makes Hunters strong this expansion. Marksmanship Hunters have the ability to include the Trueshot Aura IconTrueshot Aura in groups however this is not enough to rival the damage and buffs brought by both Beast Mastery and Survival Hunters. Marksmanship isn't the most desired Hunter specialization. So, be prepared for a difficult experience in justifying your raiding spot as compared to the different Hunter specializations.
2.5. D-Tier Classes and Specializations
These are the off-meta picks. They are not played often and do not provide something that is sought-after in raids. It's not that you shouldn't play them, but you should expect to have the ability to justify your own spot.
2.5.1. Assassination Rogue
Assassination Rogues have the same issues that Combat Rogues, however, they also deal less damage, and with no unique features. The two Assassination and Subtlety are plagued by the same issue They just do lower damage than Combat but do not bring anything new than that to. They are more PvP-focused specializations and are extremely rare to encounter in raids, due to how scarce melee spots are.
2.5.2. Frost Mage
Frost Mage is an area of specialization built around PvP. It is easily one of the strongest specializations within Arena However, it's not well-designed for PvE. Arcane and Fire both do more damage. Frost offers nothing new for the battle. Without a specialty to stand out in, it's tough to justify a place in the raid as a Frost Mage.
2.5.3. Subtlety Rogue
Subtlety Rogues face the same issues that Combat Rogues face, but have less damage, but without providing anything distinctive. Each of Assassination and Subtlety have the same issue in that they deal lesser damage than Combat without bringing something more into the game. They are more focused on PvP and will be quite rare to come across on a raid particularly considering how few melee spots are.