We are in the pre-patch of Shadowlands and can't wait until the new expansion is here. But now that we have time: Which class and specs are actually the best for Shadowlands?
Since we are all currently stuck in the pre-patch, the players and pros have taken the trouble to find out which of the classes and specs are currently the strongest in the game. We already have access to some patch notes, so we can make some statements about the development of the classes and their specs. So, you can decide on early which class build you want to use at the start of the new expansion, for both the Horde or the Alliance (FOR THE HORDE! Does anyone in EU even play ally?).
Since all classes have the ability to do damage and it's fun to kick the shit out of monsters, bosses and enemy players, our list focuses on the damage output of the specs! The builds are based on the max-level of 60 - there you have the possibility to reach talents that maximize your damage.
3. Beast Mastery Hunter
The Beastmaster Hunter deals very good damage and brings some strong cooldowns to the raid group. He can use Feign Death to drop the aggro of monsters or use Misdirection to redirect them to the tank. Something that every Hunter-Main is happy about is the stable sized has been increased to 200 pets. In addition, all hunters can now use Kill Shot to finish off a weak enemy, Eyes of the Beast, Hunter's Mark, and Arcane Shot.
To prevent aggro problems, Hunters' Misdirection now really transfers 100% of the aggro to the tank. However, the healing from Mend Pet has been reduced by 66%. Bestial Wrath now deals damage to your target immediately upon use. Multi-shot and Beast Cleave now only affects a maximum of 5 targets.
The new talent supports your damage as a pet master pretty well - Bloodshed lets your pet attack and deals bleeding damage to the target over 18 seconds. It also gives your opponent a debuff, which causes your pet to take 15% more damage over 18 seconds as well. Venomous Bite is now called Spitting Cobra, and will cause a cobra to appear after Bestial Wrath expires and fight with you for 15 seconds.
The special feature of the Beastmaster Hunter is the ability to reduce cooldowns. This means if you use your skills correctly, you can use them more often and cause more damage. For example, Cobra Shot reduces the cooldown of Kill Command by 1 second. Using the Barbed Shot reduces the cooldown of Bestial Wrath by 12 seconds after all, and the cooldown of Barbed Shot itself can be reduced by critical auto attacks. With enough crits, you can use the strong skill Bestial Wrath more often.
2. Affliction Warlock
The Affliction Warlock deals consistently high damage. It is the perfect choice for multi-target combat and can conveniently cast its DoTs while running. The weaknesses of the Affliction Warlock it takes a certain amount of time to spread its DoTs among all enemies.
Let's get to the new features: The cast time for your summons has been increased from 2.5 seconds to 6 seconds, but will now have the Dark Calker talent, which reduces the casting time for the next summon by 5.5 seconds. All warlocks can now use Curse of Tongues, Curse of Weakness, and Curse of Exhaustion, but a target can only be affected by one curse at a time.
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The Aff-Lock's new ability Malefic Rapture your damaging periodic effects erupt on all targets, causing Shadow damage per effect.
The Affliction Warlock is a DoT monster, and you should definitely always make sure your DoTs don't expire on the targets. Especially Agony you always want to keep it active because it does more damage the longer it ticks and this damage is increased based on your stacks (with the talent Writhe in Agony you can push this stack up to a maximum of 15). Helpful here is the change that Unstable Affliction now lasts 16 seconds instead of just 8 seconds. Also, Sowing will now plant Demon Seed on 2 additional targets.
1. Shadow Priest
Shadow Priests have a very good cooldown to damage ratio. This means that if you learn your kit and master your rotations, you should do more than good damage! Shadow Priests can really unfold their true potential when you raid bosses and targets that live longer. This also leads us to his weakness: It takes a bit longer to build up your damage, and you have to be very careful not to let your DoTs and Buffs run out.
This is evident from the fact that reworking your kit will cause you to do more damage against targets affected by your Vampire Touch, Devouring Plague, and Shadow Word: Pain, or unlock additional bonuses for other skills. This is due to the new Shadow Weaving Mastery, which ensures that your damage is increased by each active debuff and DoT on a target.
So your kit is mainly based on the debuffs and dots and also your maintenance of Void Form, where you do 20% more damage and cast speed.
Shadowy Apparitions has also been reworked so that when you use Mind Blast, Devouring Plague, or Void Bolt, you create a shadow of yourself that moves and attacks all targets that are affected by your Vampire Touch. Critical hits even can create 2 "Shadowy
Of course, other classes and specs are also high up on the list. Among others, you can find the Arcane Mage and Unholy Death Knight at the top. The Elemental Shaman has also been strengthened.