Dragonflight Class Changes – A brief overview
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is just around the corner so it is a good time to see all the class changes that are coming. Keep in mind that these are already available in the 10.0 pre patch on live servers. The one thing to note here is that NOTHING is set in stone. As you level up and grab new gear, you will get comfortable and experiment more. Once you hit 70, depending on where your interest lies (PvE, PvP, Arena), you can mix and match a lot. And we do mean A LOT. This expansion has brought a lot of positive changes for many classes and you are going to see why.
As the new hero class of the game, Evokers are by far the most exciting class to try out in Dragonflight. If you don’t know about it, we suggest looking at our leveling guide which will bring you up to speed.
Evokers excel at resource gathering. This is because they can just hop in the air and save Vigor for flying, cutting downtime if you use a mount. Additionally, they receive an increase in Perception (thanks to their racial). Now, onto their Dragonflight class changes (which aren’t that many since they’re so new):
- Devastation (red and blue Dragonflight))
Ton of AOE dmg + burst for single target, with emphasis on high health targets.
- Preservation (green and bronze Dragonflight))
Amazing at bunched-up healing, lots of options for shielding players and topping off the raid/dungeons group.
Again, we recommend looking at our leveling guide to figure out the build and what is important when playing an Evoker: https://blog.blazingboost.com/world-of-warcraft/wow-evoker-leveling-guide/
- Beastmaster – overall the best spec for leveling. Has great single target dmg and sustained AOE dmg. It is one of the most powerful specs for now (best solo spec for leveling – you simply cannot die).
- Marksmen Hunter – excellent burst and ton of cleave potential. Not as mobile (you really need to nail down the Aim Shot timing to get the most out of their spec). You can opt not to have a pet (thanks to the talent synergy)
- Survival has never really been considered THAT strong, though it has a nice burst with Mongoose Bite stacks. It is still the worst of the 3 specs, but it is a ton of fun. Very easy and quite versatile, especially if you like being a melee hunter (for some reason :)).
Druids (all around the best class)
- Balance were never the burstiest of classes but remains super viable in Dragonflight. Especially in groups and raids. This is thanks to dot synergies with Starfall, which you can now stack like crazy. You will get some amazing results testing the single target dummies and the fact that you can do whatever you want if you get chased by more mobs than you can handle (run kitty run!)
- Guardian Droods are getting some love with new talents that focus on damage and healing received like Elune’s Favored, yet also get nerfed in a way by losing charges on Survival Instincts. This is a mixed bag since you have to spend more talents to get the baseline buffs when using the original rotation for this spec.
- Resto druids are now very free to go beyond the “required” spec in Shadowlands. They still have some amazing heals with Lifebloom (thanks to new talents that work great in conjunction with your known rotation)
- Blood DKs remain virtually unchanged, with Death and Decay still being the “go-to” spell to provide self-healing. There are some new talents that can further help provide survivability + there are minor dmg buffs to consider. We will need to wait for the complete tier set bonuses to come up with concrete numbers.
- Frost DK’s got nerfed for 2h builds with the newest Dragonflight class changes. You will need to spend more talent points to unlock Might of the Frozen Wastes). Still, their dmg output and cleave damage are still very, very high.
- Unholy DKs are still oh so very bursty (with Death Coil having lower casting cost so you can add more damaging spells to your rotation). Sadly, there’s nothing added in terms of raid utility.
- Havoc DHs are getting some great additions: AoE and Single Target DPS builds are now viable thanks to talent optimization. They are now more bursty than ever if you consider the changes made to Eye Beam and Essence Break
- Vengeance DHs got nerfed hard with the pre-patch since the set bonus for Spirit Bomb doesn’t work anymore. This means they will have to rely on optimizing their rotation. They are still quite strong thanks to the changes made to Frailty in conjunction to Spirit Bomb, Soulcrush, and of course, Vulnerability. Overall, Vengeance looks like a very solid spec that will require a bit more tinkering to get it functional.
- Arcane Mages are back and knocking on the big door when it comes to the DPS charts. While on the surface it seems like they got the same stick, this time it comes with bombs and lasers attached. What this means is there’s a lot more mobility (with talents such as Shimmer and Ice Floes). You will be hard-pressed to pick the end-game talents though since there are so much synergies to consider in your rotation. BUT THIS IS ALL GOOD NEWS!
- Fire Mages remain the most mobile spec yet, though that can change if you get swindled by the sweeping updates done to boost Single Target and AOE damage spells. A bit of a downside is the fact that you will have to rely on Hot Streak! proccing to keep that damage meter up.
- Frost Mages are receiving the biggest overhaul (unlike Arcane which just sees a crapton of dmg buffs). Frost Mages are now tankier than ever and have some new tools of the trade thanks to some interesting synergy spells that support Icicles.
- Windwalker Monks are the supreme masters of PvE melee dmg in Dragonflight, at least at this stage. The changes made to this spec aren’t earth-shattering but they are enough to improve it even further. If you main a monk you want to consider this spec mostly because it is some amazing single vs. AOE dmg capabilities, it is quite mobile and the upkeep to have dmg dots is minimal.
- Brewmasters are getting the biggest amount of changes and these can feel quite threatening at first glance. For one, you are now saddled with up to 6 cooldowns to dish out damage, which coupled with your regular rotation abilities can be quite a handful. Trying to fit everything which includes survivability and mobility will be a true test to see how viable this spec is in the end-game content.
- Mistweaver Monks are also getting some much-needed love. Thanks to the sweeping changes and the new talent system, you can now combine abilities and spells and get some great synergy, and getting mana back thanks to Spirit of the Crane is going to make playing this spec that much more interesting to manage.
- Shadow priests are not just coming back: they are breaking the door, hinges and all, and saying “we’re here to stay!” Thanks to the Dragonflight class changes, shadow deals some insane AEO damage. Using Shadow Crash is a must, though their real impact is going to be single-target DPS. They also look ridiculously strong for Arena and World PvP.
- Not much is changing for the Holy spec, it has been consistently the best healer for raids when it comes to overhealing and damage reduction abilities. They also get a some new options for self-protection which was a much sought-after feature since Legion.
- Disc Priests are a mixed bag kind of deal. On one hand, there wasn’t really that much of a need to change their rotation, but their damage output has never been “amazing.” Dragonflight isn’t going to change that much, though they are getting some new healing options. Sadly nothing on more burst, damage-wise 🙁
- Retri Palas are like the poster child for WoW, though sadly, they are yet to receive some huge change to make them truly stand out from other specs and classes. There’s still enough burst and single target dmg for them to kill pretty much anything coming their way.
- Holy on the other hand, is getting some nice with the Dragonflight class changes. We are talking about talents that infuse abilities that increase healing done by big heals like Holy Light. The problem is, if we take the Holy Priest as a comparison, it will absolutely smoke a Holy Pala in sheer numbers. Still, their survivability alone is more than enough to warrant a spot in a raid.
- Protadins remain at the very top when it comes to tanking. They lose some survivability because Holy Shield has been reworked (no longer can it blog magic damage) but there are new buffs in the Consecration and Divine Bulwark ballpark.
- Subtlety Rogues should be happy to hear that there won’t be A TON of new abilities or changes to their already difficult-to-manage rotation. With that being said, several changes will impact their gameplay, predominantly Shadow Dance which is now an absolute must. Many talents synergize greatly with it and provide a lot of AoE dmg options as well.
- Assassination Rogues, unlike Subtlety, will gain relatively little, though what they do get is in line with the abilities from Shadowlands’ Covenant. You get more abilities and spells to play with, though what you end up with in the end game will be up to you and how they will pair up with tier-set bonuses.
- Last but not least, Outlaw Rogues get a clean slate. Right now they do a ridiculous single target dmg output thanks to applied synergies to abilities that come naturally in your rotation. This spec is going to be helluva fun for every occasion, and you can style it to your need, regardless if PvE or PvP.
- Prot Warriors are arguably the best tanks coming into Dragonflight. The few talents they lose or gain matter litter in the grand scheme of this spec. There’s a bit more flexibility for survivability but overall, it is just a great spec with excellent mobility thanks to some of the newer changes.
- Fury Warriors can feel a bit “weak” if we compare their damage output in Shadowlands. Several new talents and abilities can fit their rotation and add some much-needed single target DPS or AOE, though it feels like you have to choose one or the other. This doesn’t translate well in gameplay and they suffer for it.
- Arms Warriors are right now, a much better option if you want to level a warrior in Dragonflight. This is because there are a lot of added talents that will help you against a group of mobs. Their survivability is also improved and gets a kick from talents such as Leeching Strikes.
- Enhancement Shamans are getting some much-needed buffs to their existing roster of spells. If you main an Ench Shaman, you will notice more crits and better dmg across the board. There is a trade-off though – spells like Crash Lightning hit fewer targets (though for higher dmg). The Ench Shamans are falling into the group of “up to 6” targets, meaning super strong AOE for smaller groups.
- Ele Shammies, however, aren’t getting much love with the Dragonflight class changes 🙁 There is some small buff and trade-off for big spenders vs. power generators but the overall lineup remains the same.
- Resto shamans are getting the longest end of the stick with the changes. They are now more versatile than ever and have stronger mobility and survivability, not to mention the legendries from Shadowlands that get carried over as talents and spells hold some amazing opportunities to utilize the spec even further.
- Destro locks aren’t getting a flurry of changes as other classes and specs. Overall they remain quite versatile though their strongest choices are tough to get and require you to spend some “not so great” talents to get them.
- Daemonology warlocks get more options and are very fun to play with, thanks to the improved survivability and tankiness of the summoned demons. You can improve the Felguard to do an even more ridiculous AOE damage, though then you will have to sacrifice single target DPS. It is a trade-off in most cases.
- Affliction Warlocks are at the very top across all DPS charts in Dragonflight. The spec has seen some insane buffs across all spells and talents, and the crossover of Soul Rot means you will be getting even more options to decimate AoE and single-target DPS.
The best class build?
What do YOU think is going to be the best class build in Dragonflight? We’re rooting for Affliction Warlocks (all hail the dot spammers!)
Are you excited to try out a new build for Shadowlands’ end-game content? We suggest taking a look at our normal clears for the very first raid in Dragonflight – the Vault of Incarnates. Secure yourself some epic drops and skip the queues: https://blazingboost.com/wow/dragonflight-boost/vault-of-the-incarnates-boost