WoW Classic Season of Mastery DPS rankings: Phase One tier list

There have been a few changes in the rankings since the original launch of Classic WoW.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The next chapter of World of Warcraft Classic, the Season of Mastery, has arrived. And with it, the game is making some intense changes across the board when it comes to its core mechanics.

Raid bosses have a higher health total in the new season and will no longer have a cap on how many debuffs they can be affected by. Plus, World Buffs, like the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer among others, will no longer be available to use in raids. 

As a result of the changes coming to the game during the Season of Mastery, the DPS tier list many players are used to seeing for WoW: Classic has undergone a bit of a makeover. Here are the best DPS options to play during the Season of Mastery. 

S Tier

  • Mage
  • Warlock
  • Shadow Priest

Caster classes will reign supreme in Phase One of the Season of Mastery. The removal of the debuff cap makes certain spellcasters stronger, while the removal of World Buffs pushes some melee classes down the tier list. Mages will want to take a dual-pronged approach, skilling talents in the Frost and Arcane trees, while avoiding Fire altogether. If you’ve played Classic WoW before, you might know that the bosses you’ll face during Phase One are mostly resistant to fire spells, giving Mages no reason to spec into the Fire tree. Warlocks will want to skill most of their talents into the Affliction tree since damage-over-time classes will find the most success in the Season of Mastery thanks to the debuff cap being lifted on raid bosses. The same rule applies to the debuff-heavy Shadow Priests. 

A Tier

  • Warrior
  • Rogue
  • Hunter
  • Balance Druid

Classes like Warriors and Rogues will see a noticeable dropoff in damage between the original release of Classic and the Season of Mastery, mostly because of the disappearance of World Buffs from their damage loadout. Warriors, in particular, who were universally seen as a top-tier DPS option during the first release of Classic, are poised to take a step back in the Season of Mastery. Hunters and Balance Druids are serviceable options but may struggle to keep up with other ranged DPS options in the highest tier of classes. 

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

B Tier

  • Feral Druid
  • Elemental Shaman
  • Enhancement Shaman

Feral Druid, as well as both Shaman specializations, are average choices that require a bit of effort to play to a higher degree than other DPS classes. While these classes can pump out respectable DPS numbers in the right hands, they require a good amount of endgame gear, in addition to an experienced player at the helm. While you could make Feral, Elemental, and Enhancement work to your benefit, you’d be crippling yourself by not picking one of the stronger classes on the table. 

C Tier

  • Retribution Paladin

Retribution Paladins are still the weakest class in WoW: Classic during the new season. With a relatively low damage output in both single and multi-target situations compared to other melee classes, Retribution players will struggle to keep up with other classes in endgame content. Paladin players will find most of their value in the tanking and healing departments during the Season of Mastery.