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World of Warcraft has had several expansions over the years, and the release of Classic Wrath of the Lich King is an occasion many have looked forward to. Widely renowned as one of the best expansions for PvP, most classes had high viability and Arena gameplay was exciting and fast-paced.

RELATED: World Of Warcraft Classic: The Best Wrath Of The Lich King Dungeons, Ranked

However, whether you are a WotLK veteran or just starting out on your Northrend adventures, it can be tricky to know what to play. This guide will provide an overview of how every class and specialisation ranks when it comes to PvP in Classic WotLK, including strengths and weaknesses and recommended team compositions.

WotLK Classic: PvP Criteria

Defining what exactly makes something good in a PvP environment can be tricky, as player skill is a huge factor in how certain compositions can perform. Lowly ranked specs can easily beat higher ones if piloted correctly, but that being said, there are certain factors that make something well suited for PvP.

These qualities are primarily being considered in regard to Arena, as Battlegrounds have greater variance depending on the map and amount of players involved.

Damage/Healing Output

PvP can be simple at times — the team that can output more damage will hold an advantage over the other. Whether it's through high amounts of burst, or constant damage over time, a spec's damage output is key to how successful it will be in the Arena. Likewise, healers that can more comfortably top their teammates will have an easier time, and earn a higher rank in the tier list.


Alongside raw output, utility is paramount to PvP performance. Whether it be through crowd-controlling enemies or aiding their allies, certain specs and classes will have natural advantages over others, and can even hard-counter certain strategies thanks to their tool kits. Alongside this, being able to survive incoming damage is of high importance, and specs that can remain alive via the use of their own cooldowns or off-healing tend to do better, as they rely on less support from their teammates.


Specialisations that naturally go together will be ones that complement each other's strengths and also make up for their weaknesses. For example, an Arena team featuring two high burst DPS specs will naturally have greater combo potential than a team with one burst and one consistent DPS. Doubling down on your spec's strengths is always a strong move, and the best Arena team comps are ones with a clear goal in mind, being able to exploit an opponent's weaknesses via their strong inter-spec synergy.

WotLK Classic: PvP Specialisation DPS Rankings

The bread and butter of any good Arena or Battleground team, DPS players are the ones doing the damage and picking up kills. Some specs are better at high burst damage, letting you destroy your opponents' health bars before they can react, whereas some specialise in spreading AoE dot damage, slowly wearing down the opposition under a constant barrage of ticks.

With so many DPS specs on offer, there are going to be a lot of variances — and some really shine in WotLK PvP, which inevitably causes others to fall by the wayside.

  • S Tier: The crème de la crème, these specs are found in the majority of compositions and excel in a number of important areas.
  • A Tier: Very strong, able to be frequently used, will have a number of pros.
  • B Tier: Decent, certainly viable, normally possessing one or two key weaknesses but not uncommon to see in Ranked play.
  • C Tier: Normally worse versions of other specs, these struggle to cement a place and will rarely be used except for in niche strategies.
  • D Tier: Very poor, expect a tough time if you plan on playing one of these.
Tier Spec Synergies
  • Arms Warrior
  • Affliction Warlock
  • Elemental Shaman
  • Subtlety Rogue
  • Arms: Elemental Shaman, Enhancement Shaman, Holy Paladin
  • Affliction: Shadow Priest, Frost Mage, Restoration Shaman
  • Elemental: Destruction Warlock, Fire Mage, Restoration Druid
  • Subtlety: Frost Mage, Holy Paladin, Discipline Priest
  • Frost Mage
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • Destruction Warlock
  • Shadow Priest
  • Marksmanship Hunter
  • Feral Druid
  • Frost: Subtlety Rogue, Shadow Priest, Affliction Warlock
  • Unholy: Arms Warrior, Retribution Paladin, Holy Paladin,
  • Destruction: Arms Warrior, Elemental Shaman, Restoration Druid
  • Shadow: Affliction Warlock, Frost Mage, Restoration Shaman
  • Marksmanship: Feral Druid, Retribution Paladin
  • Feral: Arms Warrior, Marksmanship Hunter
  • Frost Death Knight
  • Retribution Paladin
  • Enhancement Shaman
  • Beast Mastery Hunter
  • Balance Druid
  • Frost: Melee DPS, Holy Paladin
  • Retribution: Unholy Death Knight, Marksmanship Hunter,
  • Enhancement: Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight, Marksmanship Hunter
  • Beast Mastery: Enhancement Shaman, Holy Paladin
  • Balance: Fire Mage, Affliction Warlock, Restoration Shaman
  • Assassination Rogue
  • Fury Warrior
  • Survival Hunter
  • Fire Mage
  • Assassination: Frost Mage, Discipline Priest
  • Fury: Holy Paladin
  • Survival: Affliction Warlock, Discipline Priest
  • Fire: Affliction Warlock, Balance Druid
  • Arcane Mage
  • Demonology Warlock
  • Combat Rogue
  • Arcane: Caster DPS
  • Demonology: Caster DPS
  • Combat: Frost Mage

S Tier DPS

Arms Warrior
  • Pros: Huge burst damage, Mortal Strike healing debuff, AoE Bladestorm burst, good mobility
  • Cons: Weak to Disarm, low crowd control
Affliction Warlock
  • Pros: Huge sustained damaged via DoTs, regular silences
  • Cons: Susceptible to burst, low mobility
Elemental Shaman
  • Pros: Huge burst damage, strong totem support for team, high single target and AoE damage
  • Cons: Low mobility
Subtlety Rogue
  • Pros: Unrivaled crowd control, extremely tricky to kill with Vanish and Evasion, good single target burst
  • Cons: Quite squishy outside of cooldowns, high skill requirement

A Tier DPS

Frost Mage
  • Pros: High crowd control and slows, high burst single target
  • Cons: Squishy outside of Ice Block
Unholy Death Knight
  • Pros: Strong damage over time, high AoE damage, high durability, good control with Death Grip
  • Cons: Low mobility, susceptible to pet control, and being dispelled
Destruction Warlock
  • Pros: Huge burst damage if left alone, decent crowd control, synergise well with other burst classes
  • Cons: Susceptible to burst, low mobility, prone to being interrupted
Shadow Priest
  • Pros: Excellent sustained damage, strong crowd control options such as Mind Control, decently tanky despite being Cloth wearers, ability to offheal
  • Cons: Lacking any real burst damage, very susceptible to running out of mana
Marksmanship Hunter
  • Pros: Excellent burst damage, good crowd control, highly mobile, Chimera Shot disarm, high versatility
  • Cons: Quite squishy, slightly prone to pet control, limited healing
Feral Druid
  • Pros: Extremely high burst damage, great mobility, ability to offheal, strong crowd control, strong defensives such as Barkskin
  • Cons: High skill requirement

B Tier DPS

Frost Death Knight
  • Pros: Strong burst damage, Hungering Cold allows for some huge combos, can reposition enemies with Death Grip
  • Cons: Less survivability than Unholy, quite squishy, low mobility
Retribution Paladin
  • Pros: Excellent utility and off healing, strong burst damage with Avenging Wrath, various defensives and immunities
  • Cons: Awful mobility, weak sustained damage, prone to being kited
Enhancement Shaman
  • Pros: Massive burst damage, nice unique utility options including instant cast Hex, synergise extremely well with other melee thanks to Bloodlust
  • Cons: Fairly reliant on burst, lacking defensive options, prone to being kited
Beast Mastery Hunter
  • Pros: High burst damage during Bestial Wrath, highly mobile, easy to play, able to tame exotic pets
  • Cons: Less utility than Marksmanship, reliant on burst damage, prone to pet control
Balance Druid
  • Pros: High burst damage with Starfall, strong sustained damage with DoTs, great mobility, ability to offheal, strong crowd control,
  • Cons: Prone to being burst down

C Tier DPS

Assassination Rogue
  • Pros: Good sustained damage, fantastic crowd control
  • Cons: Weaker in most departments than Subtlety, high skill requirement, extremely squishy
Fury Warrior
  • Pros: Decent single target damage
  • Cons: Weaker than Arms, lacking Mortal Strike, lacking crowd control, low mobility
Survival Hunter
  • Pros: Wyvern Sting puts pressure on enemy casters, able to play at multiple ranges
  • Cons: Struggles compared to Marksmanship and Beast Mastery, lower damage and less utility, quite squishy
Fire Mage
  • Pros: Huge burst damage with Pyroblast, as well as nice sustained damage, good crowd control options such as Blastwave
  • Cons: Lacking the defenses and utility of Frost,

D Tier DPS

Arcane Mage
  • Pros: High damage if able to cast
  • Cons: Weaker than both Frost and Fire, prone to interrupts, very high mana usage
Demonology Warlock
  • Pros: Strong damage while in Metamorphosis, looks amazing!
  • Cons: A weaker version of both Affliction and Destruction, does not specialise in anything, prone to being burst, low mobility
Combat Rogue
  • Pros: Strong burst with Killing Spree
  • Cons: Low sustained damage, weaker version of both Subtlety and Assassination outside of Killing Spree cheese

WotLK Classic: PvP Specialisation Healer Rankings

Healer balance in WotLK is pretty good, despite a couple of choices being noticeably better than the others. Most healers can bring something to the table and certain compositions will favor slightly lower-ranked healers for either their burst damage or utility.

When in Battlegrounds, healers are the cornerstone of a good team, and will regularly be targeted by enemy players on account of their ability to keep key members alive. Whether it's protecting your flag carrier or making that clutch heal on your Arena team, you can generally be happy with most of the healer specialisations on offer in Wotlk.

Tier Spec Synergies
  • Holy Paladin
  • Discipline Priest
  • Holy: Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight, Beast Mastery Hunter
  • Discipline: Subtlety Rogue, Frost Mage, Affliction Warlock
  • Restoration Druid
  • Restoration: Elemental Shaman, Destruction Warlock,
  • Restoration Shaman
  • Restoration: Affliction Warlock, Shadow Priest, Balance Druid
  • Holy Priest
  • Holy: None

S Tier Healers

Holy Paladin
  • Pros: Amazing team support via Blessings and Hands, strong spot healing with Beacon of Light, various defensives and immunities, great mana conversation
  • Cons: Low mobility, limited crowd control
Discipline Priest
  • Pros: Great team support with spells such as Pain Suppression, fantastic healing with Penance, difficult to kill, ability to Mana Burn enemies
  • Cons: Low mobility, can struggle to escape pressure

A Tier Healers

Restoration Druid
  • Pros: High mobility, great utility and crowd control, able to instant cast heals on the move
  • Cons: Are prone to burst, can easily run out of mana, high skill requirement

B Tier Healers

Restoration Shaman
  • Pros: Strong instant heals, ranged interrupt with Wind Shear, good totem utility, decent mobility
  • Cons: Lacking big cooldowns, and a high number of spells to manage which can make them complicated to play

D Tier Healers

Holy Priest
  • Pros: Limited
  • Cons: Heavily cast reliant, struggles to escape enemy pressure, all-round worse version of Discipline

WotLK Classic: PvP Specialisation Tank Rankings

Sadly for the tanks, PvP can be a tough world, and the majority of specs are simply not well suited to Arena gameplay. Tanks do have more specialised roles for certain Battlegrounds, and make excellent flag carriers in instances such as Warsong Gulch where their high durability can allow your team to secure an objective.

For Arena, however, their low damage is an issue, and you may find yourself struggling to climb the ranks when tank-spec — unless you are playing a very particular composition that allows for it.

Tier Spec Synergies
  • Protection Warrior
  • Protection: Elemental Shaman, Marksmanship Hunter, Holy Paladin
  • Protection Paladin
  • Protection: Arms Warrior, Feral Druid, Enhancement Shaman
  • Blood Death Knight
  • Blood: Affliction Warlock, Shadow Priest

B Tier Tanks

Protection Warrior
  • Pros: Decent burst damage with Armour Penetration, great crowd control thanks to Shockwave, good mobility
  • Cons: Poor sustained damage, low self-healing, lacking Mortal Strike of other Warriors

C Tier Tanks

Protection Paladin
  • Pros: Strong interrupt with Avenger's Shield, ability to off heal, strong team support with Blessings and Hands
  • Cons: Low damage, low mobility

D Tier Tanks

Blood Death Knight
  • Pros: High durability with Death Strike, able to reposition enemies with Death Grip
  • Cons: Very low damage, low mobility, lack of team support

WotLK Classic: Arena Team Compositions

While many classes can shine in the Arena, when it comes to the premier game mode of 3v3, there are some famous compositions that really show off the inter-spec synergy that helps make WotLK PvP such a fun experience.

Colloquial Name Composition
  • Arms Warrior, Enhancement Shaman, Holy Paladin
  • Subtlety Rogue, Frost Mage, Discipline Priest
Shatter Play
  • Frost Mage, Shadow Priest, Restoration Shaman
Shadow Play
  • Affliction Warlock, Shadow Priest, Restoration Shaman
  • Marksmanship Hunter, Feral Druid, Discipline Priest
  • Arms Warrior, Unholy Death Knight, Holy Paladin
  • Arms Warrior, Elemental Shaman, Holy Paladin
Cupid Cleave
  • Marksmanship Hunter, Retribution Paladin, Discipline Priest
  • Affliction Warlock, Balance Druid, Restoration Shaman
  • Destruction Warlock, Elemental Shaman, Restoration Druid
  • Protection Warrior, Marksmanship Hunter, Holy Paladin

NEXT: Classic WoW: Most Useful PvP Trinkets, Ranked