WoW Shadowlands DPS rankings: Patch 9.1 tier list

Patch 9.1 introduced a swath of balance changes. See how your main stacks up to the field.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Patch 9.1 introduced several tuning and balance changes to various classes and specializations across the game. With some classes receiving massive overhauls and others getting a handful of nerfs and buffs applied to some of their abilities, almost every player will see their class affected by the patch in some way.

The options for DPS players have become slightly more shuffled in terms of rank since last patch, but most of the familiar faces are still relatively close in the rankings to where they were at the launch of Shadowlands last fall. Players will recognize that many of the top-tier classes in Patch 9.0 are still powerful in Patch 9.1. But a handful of newcomers are sneakily sliding up the tier list going into WoW‘s next major content patch.

Here’s how every DPS spec stacks up going into WoW: Shadowlands Patch 9.1

S Tier

  1. Balance Druid
  2. Shadow Priest
  3. Windwalker Monk
  4. Destruction Warlock

The top tier of DPS classes in Patch 9.1 consists mostly of ranged specializations. Balance Druid takes the top spot on our list thanks to the fact that it was one of the strongest options for DPS players in Patch 9.0 and has only been buffed going into Patch 9.1. Additionally, Windwalker Monk finds itself in this tier as the only melee DPS option thanks to its strong, consistent single-target DPS in raids and effective AoE damage in Mythic+ dungeons. 

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

A Tier

  1. Elemental Shaman
  2. Havoc Demon Hunter
  3. Subtlety Rogue
  4. Retribution Paladin
  5. Demonology Warlock
  6. Unholy Death Knight
  7. Arcane Mage
  8. Frost Mage

The high tier of DPS specs is made up of reliable ranged options such as Elemental Shaman, Demonology Warlock, as well as several high-powered melee specs like Havoc Demon Hunter and Retribution Paladin. Subtlety Rogue stands out as a newcomer to the higher tier thanks to the immense amount of buffs the class received prior to Patch 9.1. With raw damage increases to core abilities like Gloomblade and Backstab, Subtlety became a competitive choice for raiding and Mythic+ practically overnight. 

B Tier

  1. Fury Warrior
  2. Assassination Rogue
  3. Enhancement Shaman
  4. Fire Mage
  5. Outlaw Rogue
  6. Affliction Warlock
  7. Marksmanship Hunter
  8. Survival Hunter
  9. Arms Warrior

The classes in this tier are definitely less competitive than the specs you’ll find in the previous two tiers, but these options still have their merits for players who are expertly skilled and know their way around their class. Affliction Warlock, for example, was a former “flavor of the month” spec a short while ago, but after several nerfs and general balance changes to the spec throughout the lifespan of Patch 9.0, the spec is in a weaker but still workable state. Experienced Affliction players can still pump out some serious numbers with the spec. Other classes in this tier that experienced recent sweeping changes include Fire Mage and Arms Warrior. 

C Tier

  1. Frost Death Knight
  2. Beast Mastery Hunter
  3. Feral Druid

This unholy trinity of classes should be avoided at all costs if you’re looking to play PvE content at a competitive level. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice by limiting your overall throughput whenever you play these classes. Like all classes, these three options can be serviceable in the right hands, but the payoff isn’t going to be all that substantial—even for seasoned veterans. You’ll have to put in 10 times as much effort for maybe half the reward as other classes. Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Feral Druid and Frost Death Knight can be some of the most fun melee DPS options available in the game.