Cataclysm Classic DPS Rankings Tier List

Cataclysm expansion is back, and with it the need to know which classes and specs stand on top of the DPS list, and which are currently lacking in their performance. This guide will help you to decide which class and spec to play in Phase 1 of Cataclysm Classic for the best possible DPS, with the pros and cons of picking each class.

DPS Rankings for Phase 1 of Cataclysm Classic

In Tier 11 of Cataclysm Classic, all DPS specializations can clear the available content, but some may find it more challenging than others based on their tier ranking. The tier list categorizes specializations into S, A, B, C, and D tiers based on their damage output and utility. Here is what the tier list for DPS specs in Cataclysm Classic looks like for Phase 1.

S-Tier DPS Specializations in Cataclysm Classic

S-tier specializations are the top performers.

Fire Mages are exceptional due to their high AoE and strong single-target damage, combined with great mobility from Scorch. They contribute to the whole group significantly with Time Warp, which is basically a mage version of Bloodlust / Heroism. The downside of the Fire Mage is a reliance on RNG and good gear to perform efficiently.

Survival Hunters also have high DPS with an easy rotation, providing useful raid abilities like Hunting Party and Misdirection.

Unholy Death Knights excel with high burst and AoE damage, bringing valuable raid abilities and defensive cooldowns such as Anti-Magic Zone, though their performance diminishes in later raid tiers of Cataclysm expansion.

Demonology Warlocks offer strong AoE and single-target damage and significant raid utility which is already enough to consider bringing at least a warlock to any raid. However, on top of being extremely useful with their utility, they also perform well in multi-target scenarios but struggle with movement-heavy fights.

Arms Warriors shine due to their high burst and cleave damage, along with useful raid-wide utility like Rallying Cry and excellent mobility, although they have some RNG dependency with talents such as Sudden Death.

A-Tier DPS Specializations in Cataclysm Classic

A-tier specializations perform well but have certain limitations.

Shadow Priests provide solid single-target and cleave damage, with useful raid utilities like Mind Quickening and Replenishment, and the only thing that holds them back from being an S tier is the fact that they heavily struggle in high-movement fights.

Affliction Warlocks are strong in multi-target scenarios, offering many buffs and debuffs, however, they don’t perform up to par with Demonology, and thus Demonology is often preferred.

Frost Death Knights are strong in single-target and AoE bursts, bringing utility useful in 10-man raids. But underperform in comparison to Unholy spec.

Assassination Rogues perform well in Tier 11 with excellent AoE and single-target bursts, although they face challenges with low-target cleave scenarios.

Elemental Shamans bring serious damage across various scenarios and provide valuable raid buffs but lack top-tier performance in any single area, making them jacks of all trades, but masters of none.

Retribution Paladins are sought for their Communion buff and fantastic overall raid utility, offering burst-oriented single-target damage and the Lay on Hands emergency heal.

Arcane Mages, though strong in burst damage, struggle in longer fights and have limited unique utility, making them borderline between A and B tier.

B-Tier DPS Specializations in Cataclysm Classic

B-tier specializations are average performers.

Balance Druids excel in multi-target and AoE fights, offering excellent utility but lacking any meaningful DPS cooldowns, which prevents us from placing this spec higher on the tier list.

Enhancement Shamans perform best in AoE scenarios with average single-target damage, offering raid buffs but less utility compared to Elemental.

Combat Rogues provide mediocre single-target damage but strong cleave and burst, bringing useful debuffs and Tricks of the Trade.

Feral DPS Druids have mediocre damage output and a difficult rotation, with great utility but limited by positioning requirements.

Marksmanship Hunters offer average damage and a simple rotation but often perform worse than Survival Hunters, however, they provide some utility with the Trueshot Aura buff which prevents them from dropping even lower on the tier list.

C-Tier DPS Specializations in Cataclysm Classic

C-tier specializations are outperformed by other specs within their class.

Destruction Warlocks have specific situations where they shine with Bane of Havoc ability, but generally, Demonology or Affliction are better choices in almost all scenarios.

Beast Mastery Hunters rarely outperform other Hunter specs and offer limited unique raid utility, which makes them the worst spec choice among other hunter specs.

Subtlety Rogues have strong single-target bursts but struggle with cleave and AoE encounters, having complex rotation and high gear requirements to be able to perform at their peak. However, unlike Fire mages who have the same gear issue, Subtlety Rogues never get to shine as bright as mages do.

Fury Warriors are in a weak spot, requiring high gear and preparation for mediocre results, with the critical strike buff from Rampage being their only redeeming quality preventing them from going into D-tier.

D-Tier DPS Specializations in Cataclysm Classic

The only D-Tier specialization, Frost Mage, is focused mainly on crowd control, making it more suitable for PvP rather than PvE content. Frost Mages can still be played in PvE, but they may face challenges in finding groups due to their lower-than-average performance, especially considering that other specs for the same class are outperforming Frost Mages in every way possible. Thankfully, mages who want to focus on PvE have a choice of simply switching to the Fire spec, which shines all the way up in the S-tier.

Understanding this tier list can help players optimize their raid compositions and personal performance by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each specialization. If you want to try out a new class or spec, but don’t want to bother with gearing or leveling – we offer various character services that can help you with getting a new character leveled and ready to go! You can check out our Cataclysm Classic character services here. You can also contact us directly via live chat here on the website or via Discord if you have more questions regarding the best classes in the Classic version of Cataclysm. Our support team is available 24/7, and is always ready to assist!

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