WoW WotLK Classic DPS Rankings and Raid Tier List

WotLK Phase 4Icecrown Citadel

Last Updated

WoW classes ranked by their DPS performance and popularity in Wrath of the Lich King Classic Phase 4 based on the latest Raid Logs from Icecrown Citadel.

Parses: 140151

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Max. DPS
Median DPS
9.56K (100%)
9.38K (98%)
9.37K (98%)
9.17K (95%)
9.14K (95%)
9.06K (94%)
8.93K (93%)
8.91K (93%)
8.89K (92%)
8.72K (91%)
8.66K (90%)
8.62K (90%)
8.56K (89%)
8.40K (87%)
8.32K (87%)
8.26K (86%)
8.22K (85%)
8.10K (84%)
7.84K (82%)
7.57K (79%)
7.42K (77%)
6.38K (66%)
4.17K (43%)
Sort by:
  • Feral Druid
  • Retribution Paladin
  • Fire Mage
  • Assassination Rogue
  • Affliction Warlock
  • Survival Hunter
  • Destruction Warlock
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • Combat Rogue
  • Fury Warrior
  • Marksmanship Hunter
  • Shadow Priest
  • Enhancement Shaman
  • Frost Death Knight
  • Demonology Warlock
  • Balance Druid
  • Elemental Shaman
  • Arcane Mage
  • Arms Warrior
  • Beast Mastery Hunter
  • Blood Death Knight
  • Frost Mage
  • Subtlety Rogue
  • Feral Druid(S-Tier)
  • Retribution Paladin(S-Tier)
  • Fire Mage(S-Tier)
  • Assassination Rogue(S-Tier)
  • Affliction Warlock(S-Tier)
  • Survival Hunter(S-Tier)
  • Destruction Warlock(S-Tier)
  • Unholy Death Knight(S-Tier)
  • Combat Rogue(A-Tier)
  • Fury Warrior(A-Tier)
  • Marksmanship Hunter(A-Tier)
  • Shadow Priest(A-Tier)
  • Enhancement Shaman(A-Tier)
  • Frost Death Knight(B-Tier)
  • Demonology Warlock(B-Tier)
  • Balance Druid(B-Tier)
  • Elemental Shaman(B-Tier)
  • Arcane Mage(B-Tier)
  • Arms Warrior(C-Tier)
  • Beast Mastery Hunter(C-Tier)
  • Blood Death Knight(C-Tier)
  • Frost Mage(C-Tier)
  • Subtlety Rogue(D-Tier)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the data come from?

Our rankings are based on statistics. We use algorithms to process thousands of World of Warcraft Raid Logs (from Warcraft Logs) every day. By analyzing this Big Data from top parses we are able to assess DPS performance of every class and compare them.

How to use these rankings?

If you are looking for the best performing DPS class, the safest option is to pick the ones from S-Tier – they have been ranked as the most popular among World First Guilds and Top Parsing Players as of today and thus considered to be the current Meta in WoW.

PvE DPS Rankings for Wrath of the Lich King

PvE DPS rankings are often classified into different tiers, reflecting the relative performance of various classes and specializations. These rankings could vary over the course of the expansion as patches and gear availability influenced class balance. Different tiers are:

  • S-Tier Specializations (High DPS Potential);
  • A-Tier Specializations (Strong Performers);
  • B-Tier Specializations (Solid Performers);
  • C-Tier Specializations (Decent Performance, Less Competitive);

Class Specializations with the Highest Damage Per Second

Arms Warriors

Arms Warriors are excellent for bleed damage and bleed utility, as well as having decent cleave options. You should play an Arms Warrior if you enjoy damage over time builds and have a Rogue or Feral Druid in your group, or if you want to excel in fights against a single to a few targets. You should avoid playing an Arms Warrior in PvE if you enjoy a class with good defensive options, or if you want a class that isn’t dependent on having good gear.

Fury Warriors

Fury Warriors are one of the strongest cleave damage dealers in WotLK as well as having an easy learning curve. You should play a Fury Warrior if you enjoy being the top DPS in fights against 1-4 targets, or if you want to spend less time learning how to play your class. You should avoid playing a Fury Warrior if you want a strong area of effect ability or if you dislike classes dependent on their gear.

Retribution Paladins

Retribution Paladin is one of the best utility specs in the game, as well as having excellent burst damage. You should play a ret Paladin if you enjoy emitting auras to buff your allies, or if you love being able to periodically output a lot of damage by effectively using your seals in conjunction with your other abilities. You should avoid playing a ret Paladin if you don’t want to spend a long time learning your class, it may take a while to learn how to most efficiently use all of your utility spells.

Beast Mastery Hunters

Beast Mastery Hunter is one of the best burst damage specs in the game, as well as having a very useful pet. You should play a Beast Mastery Hunter if you enjoy racking up lots of damage by combining your abilities with your pet’s abilities. You should avoid playing Beast Mastery Hunter if you enjoy having a strong area of effect damage option or if you don’t want to deal with managing both your character and your pet.

Marksmanship Hunters

Marksmanship Hunters have an amazing single target and burst damage. You should play a Marksmanship Hunter if you enjoy quickly gunning down strong enemies. You should avoid playing Marksmanship Hunter if you don’t like being dependent on your gear, or if you enjoy moving. The Marksmanship spec requires you to have a good weapon and to stay still to dish out the large numbers you can.

Survival Hunters

Survival Hunters are one of the easiest and most efficient classes in the game. You should play a Survival Hunter if you enjoy having a fun and easy rotation that will allow you to fight for a longer time than other classes before needing to recover mana. You should avoid Survival Hunter if you want to be one of the top damage dealers in the group.

Assassination Rogues

Assassination Rogues have some of the best single target damage in the game, with an easy rotation to boot. You should play Assassination Rogue if you enjoy dealing lots of damage to one target with stackable damage over time effects and not spend a lot of time mastering your class. Assassination Rogues lack strong areas of effect damage, and they also lack decent mobility.

Combat Rogues

Combat Rogues have some of the best single target damage in the game, while also having a decent area of effect damage. You should play a Combat Rogue if you enjoy dealing lots of damage against both bosses and mobs of enemies. You should avoid Combat Rogue if you like to have good utility to provide to your group or if you dislike your damage being largely dependent on your gear.

Subtlety Rogue

Subtlety Rogues are the most mobile and useful of the Rogue specializations. You should play Subtlety Rogue if you enjoy sneaking around Combat unhindered or if you enjoy providing helpful buffs to increase your group’s damage. You should avoid Subtlety Rogue if you enjoy dealing large amounts of damage or if you dislike classes with a high-skill floor.

Shadow Priests

Shadow Priests have good utility and decent cleave options. You should play a Shadow Priest if you enjoy providing useful survivability buffs to the group and excelling in fights against a few targets. You should avoid Shadow Priest if you dislike a lack of burst damage, or if you enjoy having a strong area of effect options.

Elemental Shamans

Elemental Shamans are known for the incredible amount of utility they can bring with their totems, as well as having strong burst damage with the ability to turn a lot of their core damaging spells into instant casts. You should play an Elemental Shaman if you enjoy helping your group as well as being able to put out big damage numbers. Elemental Shamans have defensive options, but they’re lacking compared to other specializations. A lot of Elemental Shaman spells consume a lot of mana too, so they perform worse the longer the Combat lasts.

Enhancement Shamans

Enhancement Shamans are also known for the utility they can bring to a group, but they also have excellent damage. You should play an Enhancement Shaman if you enjoy supporting your group with different totems, or if you enjoy dealing decent magical melee damage. You should avoid Enhancement Shaman if you want to spend less time learning how to play your class, or if you want to play a Shaman with decent ranged capabilities.

Arcane Mage

Arcane Mages bring very useful spell power utility to their group, as well as offering excellent burst damage potential. You should play an Arcane Mage if you enjoy helping your fellow casters with helpful spell power buffs, or if you enjoy dealing sudden large bursts of damage with powered-up spells. You should avoid Arcane Mage if you dislike the glass cannon playstyle, or if you enjoy having consistent damage as the fight continues. The Arcane Mage has poor mana efficiency.

Fire Mages

Fire Mages are an excellent Mage specialization that provides powerful single target damage with flashy spells and stays very mobile with instant spell casts. You should play a Fire Mage if you enjoy quickly bursting down your enemies and dislike the usual caster playstyle of sitting still. You should avoid Fire Mage if you enjoy having strong defensive options or if you dislike having long cast times.

Frost Mage

Frost Mages bring a lot of utility to the group, as well as bringing an excellent ranged magic damage pet. You should play a Frost Mage if you enjoy supporting your group, or if you enjoy having a pet deal consistent ranged magic damage. You should avoid Frost Mage if you dislike managing a pet, or if you enjoy doing a lot of damage.

Affliction Warlocks

Affliction Warlocks always deal lots of damage, especially at the end of a fight when their targets are in low health. You should play Affliction Warlock if you like sitting back and letting your damage over time spells drain your enemy's health. You should avoid Affliction Warlock if you dislike having a long ramp-up time to your damage, or if you want to have strong burst damage options.

Demonology Warlocks

Demonology Warlocks bring excellent caster utility to the group, as well as providing excellent burst damage. You should play Demonology Warlock if you enjoy helping your fellow casters or if you enjoy having strong burst damage potential. You should avoid Demonology Warlock if you dislike being dependent on your pet, or if you dislike focusing more on supporting your fellow casters instead of dealing damage.

Destruction Warlocks

Destruction Warlock brings a lot of utility spells to the table as well as having excellent burst damage. You should play Destruction Warlock if you enjoy supporting your fellow spellcasters or if you enjoy dealing large amounts of damage with big flashy spells. You should avoid Destruction Warlock if you like having strong single target damage (compared to the other Warlock specs) or if you want a spec that can scale well with the gear they have.

Balance Druids

Balance Druids bring lots of utility to the group, as well as being one of the best areas of effect damage dealers in the game. You should play Balance Druid if you enjoy supporting your fellow casters or if you enjoy quickly taking down large groups of ads. You should avoid Balance Druid if you enjoy having strong single target damage, or if you dislike a steep learning curve.

Feral Druid

Feral Druids have some of the highest single target damage in the game with their bleed effects and their ability to remove the energy cost of any of their attacks. Feral Druid also has incredible mobility with their movement speed is increased by 30% just by being in cat form. You should play a Feral Druid if you enjoy dealing lots of damage to bosses, or if you enjoy playing a class that can quickly move around. You should avoid Feral Druid if you dislike spending a long time learning how to play your class, the Feral Druid rotation is difficult and full of variables. Feral Druid also loses overall damage potential as a fight continues, so prepare for your damage to suffer if a fight drags on.

Frost Death Knight

Frost Death Knights have some of the best single target damage in the game with their damage over time effects and with their obliterate ability. Frost Death Knights also have excellent burst area of effect damage with their ability to spread their damage over time effects to nearby targets. You should play Frost Death Knight if you enjoy dealing consistent high damage to a single target and quickly bursting down large groups of enemies. Learning how to most effectively use your runes can be daunting, Death Knights also lack decent mobility options.

Unholy Death Knights

Unholy Death Knights are very nice to have as a supporting damage dealer with their ability to provide strong spell damage vulnerability debuffs on the enemy. Unholy Death Knights can dish out some of the strongest areas of effect damage in the game by spreading damage over time effects to multiple enemies like Frost Death Knights. You should play an Unholy Death Knight if you enjoy supporting your fellow spellcasters in the back while playing up front or if you enjoy quickly destroying large groups of enemies. You should avoid Unholy Death Knight if you dislike the steep learning curve that comes from learning how to play a Death Knight, or if you want a character with strong mobility options.

Learn About DPS Rankings in WotLK

What classes/specs are the top DPS in WotLK?

In Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK), the hierarchy of top DPS classes and specializations can change as the expansion progresses, influenced by gear availability, patch changes, and raid encounters. Early in the expansion, classes like Fury Warriors and Arcane Mages often stand out.

  • Fury Warriors excel in single-target damage, relying on their powerful weapon strikes and critical hits, while Arcane Mages use their mana-based spellcasting to unleash incredible single-target damage. Their high damage output makes them sought-after choices in many raid groups.
  • Assassination Rogues also make their mark with steady damage output over time, thanks to their bleeds and poisons. While their single-target damage is remarkable, Assassination Rogues truly shine in encounters that require crowd control and precise positioning of the enemy. They are valuable assets in raids that demand control over the battlefield.
  • Survival Hunters offer a unique blend of damage and utility. They are known for their trap weaving skills, using a variety of traps to control and damage enemies. This utility, combined with their ranged damage abilities, makes Survival Hunters a popular choice for raid encounters where crowd control and utility are essential.

How do DPS rankings change as the expansion progresses?

DPS rankings in WotLK are dynamic and subject to change over time. As the expansion progresses and new content is introduced, class balance and the availability of gear can significantly impact DPS rankings.

For instance, early in the expansion, Rogues and Fury Warriors are often regarded as top contenders for high single-target damage. However, as the expansion continues, classes like Arcane Mages gain prominence due to their incredible single-target damage potential, mana management, and the power of their Arcane Mage specialization. This demonstrates the importance of staying up-to-date with patch changes and adapting to new gear to remain competitive in DPS rankings.

Which DPS meters or addons are recommended for tracking DPS?

To accurately track and analyze your DPS performance in Wrath of the Lich King, many players rely on DPS meters and addons. These addons provide detailed information about the raw damage numbers, including the damage dealt to individual enemies and other players. They are essential tools for players looking to assess their performance and contribution to the raid group.

What are the best DPS rotations for my class/spec in Wrath of the Lich King?

The optimal rotation for a specific class and specialization in WotLK depends on various factors, including gear, talents, and the specific encounter. For example, Arcane Mages rely on a rotation that involves building up mana with Arcane Blast and then unleashing it with Arcane Missiles or Arcane Barrage. Managing mana and maximizing damage in this way is crucial for Arcane Mage specialization.

Assassination Rogues, on the other hand, focus on applying and maintaining bleeds and poisons on the enemy to deal consistent damage over time. Survival Hunters weave traps and shots into their rotations to maximize both damage and utility, depending on the situation. The choice of the best rotation is highly dependent on your class and specialization, as well as the mechanics of the raid encounter.

How does gear and stat prioritization affect DPS rankings?

Gear and stat prioritization play a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of DPS classes and specializations in WotLK. Understanding which stats are most beneficial for your class is essential. In earlier phases, some physical damage dealers benefited significantly from Armor Penetration, which allowed their attacks to bypass enemy armor, resulting in increased damage output. However, the effectiveness of Armor Penetration could vary based on the enemy's armor values.

Frost Mages, for example, benefit from spell power and mana. The availability of legendary weapons can dramatically impact DPS rankings, as these items can provide significant boosts to damage levels. Players need to optimize their gear and stats to achieve the highest possible damage output in various raid encounters.

What are the differences between single-target and multi-target DPS rankings?

Different classes and specializations excel in single-target and multi-target DPS situations. Subtlety Rogues, for instance, are known for their exceptional single-target damage, focusing on eliminating a single enemy efficiently. In contrast, classes like Frost Mages and Survival Hunters have strong cleave-type abilities, making them valuable in fights with multiple enemies.

Frost Mages can utilize spells like Blizzard to damage multiple enemies simultaneously, while Survival Hunters can use their traps and multi-shot abilities to target multiple foes. The choice of class or specialization often depends on the nature of the raid encounter and the number of enemies you need to deal with.

Are there any notable changes in DPS rankings between PVP and PVE content?

While some classes and specializations may perform well in both player versus player (PVP) and player versus environment (PVE) content, the priorities and strategies in each type of gameplay can differ. Combat Rogues and Arms Warriors, for instance, are often favored in PVP due to their crowd control abilities and burst damage potential. In PVE, the entire expansion, class balance, and utility spells come into play and influence DPS rankings.

In PVE, factors like raid composition, raid tools, and encounter mechanics become more critical. Classes that bring raid buffs and support spells, such as Balance Druids and Shamans with their mana regeneration and spell power buffs, may have a significant impact on the success of the raid group.

How does player skill impact DPS rankings?

Player skill is a pivotal factor in achieving high DPS rankings in WotLK. Even if a class or specialization is considered strong, the individual player's skill can make a significant difference in performance. Some players excel with popular specializations, while others may master less common ones. Understanding your class and specialization, adapting to the mechanics of specific raid encounters, and executing rotations and abilities effectively are key to achieving top DPS rankings.

What are the utility capabilities of top DPS classes?

Many top DPS classes in WotLK offer valuable utility spells that go beyond raw damage. Balance Druids and Shamans, for instance, bring unique raid tools to the table. Balance Druids can provide valuable mana regeneration for the raid group, helping to sustain casters throughout the encounter. Shamans, on the other hand, offer spell power buffs that benefit the entire group.

Survival Hunters and Feral Druids bring trap weaving and bleed effects, respectively. Survival Hunters can use their traps for crowd control and utility, making them valuable in encounters where control over the battlefield is essential. Feral Druids excel in providing consistent damage through bleeds and are often sought after for their Multi-DoT capabilities.

Are there specific raid tools or strategies that impact DPS rankings?

Raid compositions and strategies can significantly impact DPS rankings in WotLK. In shorter fights, classes with strong burst damage and raid buffs may shine, as they can quickly contribute to the encounter's success. Classes with cleave-type abilities, like Fan of Knives for Assassination Rogues or Frost Mages with their AoE spells, may find themselves in demand for cleave-type fights featuring multiple enemies.

The presence of Armor Penetration or the lack thereof on gear can also play a significant role in how much damage certain classes can deal to bosses. Frost Death Knights, Demonology Warlocks, and Arms Warriors were known for their exceptional damage potential, especially in specific phases of encounters like Icecrown Citadel.

What are the best classes for Icecrown Citadel?

In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) expansion, Icecrown Citadel was one of the most challenging and iconic raid instances. The best classes for Icecrown Citadel would depend on various factors, including the specific encounter, raid composition, and group strategy. However, several classes and specializations were particularly well-suited for different roles and encounters within Icecrown Citadel.


  • Protection Warriors: Known for their high survivability, threat generation, and crowd control abilities, Protection Warriors were strong tanks throughout Icecrown Citadel. They excelled at tanking many of the bosses, particularly those with hard-hitting melee attacks.
  • Blood Death Knights: Blood Death Knights were also effective tanks due to their self-healing capabilities and strong mitigation. They were often used for various encounters, providing a different approach to tanking.


  • Holy Paladins: Holy Paladins were valuable healers for their strong single-target healing and powerful utility spells like Hand of Protection and Hand of Freedom. They were commonly used for tank healing and support.
  • Restoration Druids: Restoration Druids were versatile healers who excelled in healing over time (HoT) spells and AoE healing. They were often used for raid healing and for dealing with encounters that involved high raid-wide damage.
  • Discipline Priests: Discipline Priests were effective for their unique damage mitigation abilities and powerful single-target healing. They provided strong support for tank healing and mitigating heavy damage.


  • Arcane Mages: Arcane Mages were highly sought after for their exceptional single-target damage output. The encounter "The Lich King" particularly favored classes with high burst damage, making Arcane Mages a popular choice for this fight.
  • Assassination Rogues: Assassination Rogues, known for their steady damage over time with bleeds and poisons, were valued in encounters where sustained damage was required. They were often chosen for their consistent damage output.
  • Marksmanship Hunters: Marksmanship Hunters were popular for their strong single-target damage and kiting abilities. These hunters were effective in various encounters, including those where ranged DPS was favored.
  • Unholy Death Knights: Unholy Death Knights brought strong AoE damage capabilities, making them valuable in encounters with multiple adds. Their crowd control and multi-target damage output were well-suited to certain fights.

Utility Classes:

  • Shamans: Shamans provided valuable raid support through totems and spells. Restoration Shamans were excellent healers, and Enhancement Shamans brought strong melee DPS and utility, while Elemental Shamans provided ranged DPS and totem benefits.
  • Warlocks: Warlocks, particularly those using Demonology specialization, were known for their utility, including providing healthstones and summoning valuable raid members. They were also effective in certain fights, especially with their pet and DoT abilities.

Melee DPS:

  • Fury Warriors: Fury Warriors excelled in single-target and burst damage, making them valuable in encounters with short phases or when quick damage was required.
  • Combat Rogues: Combat Rogues had strong cleave damage and crowd control capabilities, which made them a good choice for fights with multiple enemies or adds.

Raid Buff Classes:

  • Classes like Paladins (for auras and blessings), Priests (for Power Word: Fortitude), and Death Knights (for Horn of Winter) were frequently brought for their raid-wide buffs and utility.

Ultimately, understanding the unique capabilities and utilities of your class, adapting to encounter mechanics, and working effectively within the raid group are essential for achieving top DPS rankings in WotLK. The choice of class and specialization should align with the specific encounter, and player skill and coordination with the group are critical for success.