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Published November 4, 2018

Not all specializations are viable in WoW Classic. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each spec stacks up when it comes to raiding.

Author’s Note: These rankings are given in the context of raiding only. Any PvP specs or specs with drastically limited ability (such as Ret Paladins) were considered not viable.

Class Spec Role Viability Notes
Druid Balance DPS Poor DPS, some utility from buffs.
Druid Feral DPS Poor DPS and buff is not good.
Druid Feral Tank Cannot reach defense cap.
Druid Restoration Healer Good tank healer and viable raid healer.
Hunter Beast Mastery DPS Pets can’t stay alive, kills DPS.
Hunter Marksmanship DPS Good DPS and good buff.
Hunter Survival DPS Possibly viable with BIS gear.
Mage Arcane DPS Good for fire-based raids (MC & BWL)
Mage Fire DPS Good for non-fire raids (ZG, AQ, Naxx)
Mage Frost DPS/Support Support spec for other mages.
Paladin Holy Healer Good healer with useful utility skills.
Paladin Protection Tank Able to tank some content, but lack of taunt skill and gear make it difficult.
Paladin Retribution DPS Possibly viable in Naxx due to undead damage.
Priest Discipline Healer/Support Typically combined with Holy, but can be deep Discipline can be viable with enough Holy priests.
Priest Holy Healer Main healing spec.
Priest Shadow DPS/Support Good support spec. Usually 1 per raid.
Rogue Assassination DPS Not viable.
Rogue Combat DPS Bread-and-butter rogue raid DPS.
Rogue Subtlety DPS PvP spec.
Shaman Elemental DPS Poor DPS, same buffs as restoration Shaman.
Shaman Enhancement DPS Poor DPS and buffs are not good.
Shaman Restoration Healer Very good raid healer.
Warlock Affliction DPS Combined with Destruction.
Warlock Demonology DPS Combined with Destruction.
Warlock Destruction DPS Combined with Affliction or Demonology.
Warrior Arms DPS Fury is always higher raid DPS.
Warrior Fury DPS Bread-and-butter warrior raid DPS.
Warrior Protection Tank Typical tank choice and only tank for Horde.

5 Comments

  1. bearhugz bearhugz

    Feral does well on private servers. Usually as a tank who will DPS when not tanking. The only downside listed is that they can not reach the defense cap, but Warrior tanks can’t either in the entry raids. And by the time Warriors can reach the cap, threat becomes more important than mitigation – which happens to be a Feral’s specialty.

    Their biggest downside is that they require more healing than a Warrior. You also don’t NEED a Feral. You absolutely need a Warrior to be your main tank. But one or two good Ferals are definitely worth having.

  2. “Viability” posts on a game where the raid content is literally childlike in complexity?

    Hint: With modern gameplay and theorycrafting, every spec is viable. The only people who don’t think these specs are viable are those wonderful pserver cucklords who couldn’t handle three boss mechanics in an encounter and went from being big dick one-button Gods in Vanilla to benched in BC/Wrath.

  3. asdf asdf

    Defense cap is NOT necessary for raiding. If your tanks are going for full on defense cap, they’re doing it wrong.

    Feral is viable, it can tank all of MC, can’t tank Chromaggus or Nefarian and can tank most of the rest of the game. Having a Druid offtank will be a huge boon.

  4. Misszery Misszery

    Dont listen to these bfs melinnial raiders who only know wearing the highest ilvl. Go ahead answer a ” need tank” call with a druid/pally. You will be reevaluating your life choices after all that hard work to get to the end

  5. Carl Carl

    The very first sentance is wrong. There is a difference between viable and optimal. Not all class specs are optimal, yet they are all viable.

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