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WoW Classic Season of Discovery Tier List - Best Class & Spec Picking for Season of Discovery

11/10/2023 6:47:37 PM

Picking the right class for the WoW WotLK Classic Season of Discovery can be a daunting task. This guide is designed to help you make this important decision. We will discuss each class in detail, highlighting their unique aspects and abilities, and hopefully, by the end, you'll have a clearer idea of which class fits your playstyle.

WoW Classic Season of Discovery Class Picking Guide - Best Class & Specs Ranking For SoD

World of Warcraft Classic's upcoming Season of Discovery expansion launching on November 30th will introduce numerous new features to breathe life into the leveling experience, including four distinctive leveling phases with increasing level caps up to level 60, a reimagined 10-player version of the Blackfathom Deeps raid for phase one, an open-world PvP event in Ashenvale, and most significantly a new Rune Engraving system that allows players to discover over 100 new Runes through exploration that can be attached to gear to grant new spells and permanently modify class roles, enabling new combinations like mage healers and rogue tanks in addition to new abilities for all classes, fundamentally changing the way the game is played. So what class should you play for WoW Classic Season of Discovery? Pick a class that offers a role you enjoy and also has potential for new roles/playstyles from runes.

Related Read:

WoW Classic SoD DPS, Healer, Tank Tier List for Phase 1 Raids & Dungeons

WoW Classic Season of Discovery Rune Tier List - Best Runes for Each Class in SoD Phase 1

WoW Classic Season of Discovery Tank Tier List - Best Tank Specs For SoD Phase 1

WoW Classic SoD PvP Tier List - Best Class To Play for PvP in Season of Discovery Phase 1

1 - Shaman (S Tier)

The Shaman, with its ability to tank, heal, and deal damage (both melee and ranged), is a highly versatile class, making it an S-tier choice. The Enhancement Shaman, with its dual-wield specialization, offers an increased hit chance with melee and range attacks. Elemental Shamans can now choose to use the high-damage Lava Burst, making them suitable for raids. This class's flexibility, coupled with the addition of new runes and abilities, makes it an ideal choice for players seeking a multifaceted role.

Caster DPS:

Elemental shaman DPS got a ton of support going into sod. Overload + Lava burst is going to be a massive DPS increase for Ele shamans and we could see elemental shamans become a very real DPS spec. TBD if it will be better than Fire mage

Melee DPS:

Enhance gets some major help with dual wield spec, LL, etc… but so far it’s unlikely to be on top of the meters. If they get Maelstrom weapon in a future rune, then keep an eye out for enhanced damage


The shaman tank runes seem to be lacking some direction. Increasing block chance and value is only valuable in its ability to push crits/crushes off the table, but they are now crit-immune anyway which means you probably shouldn’t stack defense. Unclear what their threat will look like but it’s unlikely they will be a top-tier tank. Good for dungeons, but not optimal for raids likely.


Resto Shaman got some iconic resto shaman abilities from future expansions but nothing spectacular so far. In terms of healing specs, they seem to have gotten the least so far of the healing classes


Elemental shamans will absolutely be globaling people on repeat. They still lack the cc/getaway tools they would need to excel in a 1v1 scenario but in group PVP, elemental shamans will be DPS monsters. Enhance/melee shamans will probably be less viable because of the difficulty of sticking to a target, but can probably get high-roll wf procs for crit videos. Resto isn’t as good as other healing classes but still viable

2 - Warlock (S Tier)

The Warlock class lends itself well to players who like to juggle between being a Caster and a tank. The new Talent metamorphosis increases armor, threat generation, and crit immunity, allowing Warlocks to tank in Dungeons and Raids. Additionally, new spells like Shadow Bolt and Chaos Bolt provide an improved Caster experience. The Warlock class's unique capability to tank and its robust crowd control make it a top-tier pick.


Warlocks seem to be getting a rune package that is pushing for fire damage with chaos bolt and incinerate. It remains to be seen if this will be able to push warlock DPS to eclipse that of mage DPS but it likely will at least be competitive with shadow lock if not better.


Warlock tanks seem to be quite interesting. Of all the sod tanking classes, warlock tanks are probably the worst or second-to-worst with the rogue. They can still be crushed and the 500% armor increase isn’t enough mitigation to really be very tanky. Their threat remains to be seen but it seems sufficient, they just lack the mitigation of their other tank counterparts.


Tank warlock PVP is looking absolutely oppressive. With haunt, master channeler, and 500% armor plus the normal warlock kit of spammable fear, defensive dispel, and soul link. Warlocks tank is shaping up to be one of the most oppressive duelists in classic Wow. Though the demon form will make them susceptible to paladins. Watch out for Warlock Tanks in the open world

3 - Paladin (A Tier)

The Paladin class has seen notable improvements in the Season of Discovery. The ability to taunt and use Avenger's Shield for ranged pulls has enhanced their tanking capabilities. Retribution Paladins, with their two new melee damage abilities, now have a more defined rotation. Though not as flexible as Druids or Shamans, the Paladin's diverse abilities make it a valuable addition to any raid group.


Ret paladins get a lot of support from runes. So far it looks like they still won’t be top DPS, but they get a lot of utility so people will no longer think you're griefing by playing one.


Beacon of Light is an absolutely massive healing buff. They probably won’t take the HPS lead from priests, but keep an eye out because they are going to be very strong.


Pallies get taunt! They will probably be AOE tanking kings and the new aegis runes mean they will probably be insane mitigation tanks, but seems like they may fall behind warriors and bears in single target threat. If a pally could get a very high defense skill (470ish) + some parry/dodge/block, then they will probably hit 100% passive mitigation even with just the 30% block buff on aegis without the proc


Ret's get a kick and some decent damage abilities. They probably won't PVP gods unless they get some more support but they will probably be a good counter to tank locks who will probably be very busted in PVP on launch.

4 - Hunter (A Tier)

The Hunter class, known for its soloing capabilities and easy leveling, remains a popular choice. The new runes allow you to choose between playing as a Melee or a Range Hunter. The addition of abilities like Carve, Flanking Strike, Explosive Shot, and Chimera Shot enhances the Hunter's versatility. With the option to play with or without a pet, the Hunter class is a solid choice for those seeking a ranged DPS role without playing a Caster.

Ranged DPS:

Hunters are getting some very strong runes to buff their ranged dps abilities. It’s likely they won’t be out DPSing mages on ranged damage, but these are already some pretty massive buffs to their dps. Keep an eye out for Hunter DPS going forward

Melee DPS:

Melee hunter seems to be getting quite a bit of rune support. Unsure how this will work out in practice but it seems unlikely for them to take a meta DPS spot


Hunters now get a disarm with Chimera Shot, but nothing particularly exciting on the PVP front yet. Still expect them to be world PvP kiting nightmares early on.

5 - Druid (A Tier)

The Druid class, similar to Shaman, can cover all roles - tank, heal, and DPS (both melee and ranged). The new runes and abilities, such as Mangle and Savage Roar, make Feral Druids more viable in raid groups. The class's ability to adapt to any role, along with the new healing spells for Resto Druids and additional abilities for Balance Druids, make it a strong contender.

Cat DPS:

Cats get some absolutely massive rune support by adding windfury totem to their kit. That + leader of the pack means they are now an amazing melee support DPS, not to mention the added support they get in their kit. Their individual DPS will likely still lag behind warriors and rogues, but cat's are now either close to optimal, if not actually optimal for speed run raid compositions.

Bear Tanking:

Bears were already very close to warriors in terms of their ability to perform as tanks. Now with the ability to give wf, become crit immune + 20% damage reduction, and the addition of lacerate, bears are likely now the best tanks in sod. They still lack the passive/active mit of paladins and warriors, but their health bars and armor buffs more than makeup for that.

Caster DPS:

Boomkins get some actual talents now but nothing so far that’s really spectacular. Keep an eye on the horizon for more boomie support, but they are so far likely gonna be pretty middle to bottom of the pack on meters


Resto Druid got some pretty good support with Living Seed and Lifebloom but unless they get some more significant support, they will probably stay at the bottom of the healer meters for now.


Ferals get a kick + charge which is good for PvP. But likely nothing that is going to outshine warlocks/rogues in 1v1s or shamans in group damage. Boomies can still do some good damage if they’re left alone.

6 - Priest (B Tier)

The Priest class is known for its healing abilities, but in the Season of Discovery, it can also deal significant damage. New abilities like Penance and Mind Sear, coupled with new runes, make Priests a great choice for those seeking flexibility between healing and DPS roles.


Shadow is getting quite a lot of support in the runes so far, however, mind flay and dots still can’t crit which holds back the class. They are getting good enough options that they likely will be far more viable, but nothing so far is looking like it will suddenly make them optimal. Maybe with some future runes, but Homunculi looks like it will be an essential raid CD for bosses


Priest Healing was already the strongest healer in the game at 60 and that seems like it will probably continue. They got a wide variety of new tools to increase their healing, and also got a power word barrier which likely could greatly help with some raid mechanics. Penance is a very good heal, but nothing they got from Runes was spectacular. Likely just a consistently good choice if you are looking to heal in sod.


Shadow priests were already very strong in PVP due to their very durable nature for a caster. With additional dots and shadow word death it is looking like shadow priests will be more than viable as a PVP caster, especially in duels. They likely won’t excel in group PVP as much as other casters such as Ele shaman or mage, but they can certainly hold their own now.

7 - Rogue (B Tier)

The Rogue class, known for its fun PvP and crowd-control capabilities, has seen significant enhancements. The ability to use ranged weapons and tank in raids, thanks to new runes, makes Rogues more versatile. However, Rogues still primarily serve as DPS, limiting their role options compared to other classes.


Rogues are getting the traditional assa rotation of poison abilities. It’s hard to say how effective this will be in practice but just slaughter from the shadows is a major DPS increase over the current combat daggers build. We should see a significant single-target DPS increase for rogues, but they will probably still be living in the shadows of warriors.


Rogue tanks were probably a mistake to make by Blizzard. As of today, moderately geared rogue tanks are actually quite bad as they don’t have much armor and will get crushed for 80% of their health by bosses when they get hit. However, rogue tanks have the potential to be the absolute most busted tank spec in the game depending on future runes and gear. Vanilla rogues were already able to get to 70-80% avoidance by Naxxramas with conusemes+buffs, and with these runes it’s entirely possible by the end of sod they can hit 100% avoidance. This would quite literally break certain encounters, as they would actually dodge or parry every single melee mechanic from a boss. They won’t be good on launch, but keep an eye out for this spec.


Rogues were already one of the strongest PVP classes in a 1v1 scenario because of their Flowchart-style cc chains. They do get some new tools but nothing that seems to be truly game-breaking for pvpers. They will likely still be very good, but none of the runes seem OP for PVP so far.

8 - Mage (C Tier)

Mages, known for their high damage, excellent farming capabilities, and crowd control, remain a solid choice. In the Season of Discovery, Mages gain more single-target spells and even healing abilities. While the idea of a Mage healer may seem unusual, it adds an interesting dynamic to the class.


Fire mage DPS was already the best caster spec in traditional vanilla, and they are getting some rather significant buffs with runes like burnout. However the real darkhorse of mage dps will be arcane with arcane blast. If mages are able to sustain Burnout + Arcane blast they will likely be doing untold amounts of damage. It is just a question of whether they can manage to maintain that level of mana consumption


Mage healing is actually quite good despite it only being the 3 abilities so far. Mages have a lot of mana regen with gems and evocative so they are good for longer fights where efficient healing is paramount. They will likely be a viable raid healer in sod, though not as good as some of the other traditional healing specs.


Frost mages got ice lance, icy veins, and fingers of frost so the damage output of frost mages in PVP will be substantially greater. Frost mages were already a top-tier PVP class prior to sod, and they will probably remain a top-tier PvP spec going into SoD.

9 - Warrior (D Tier)

Warriors, while still formidable in raids and farming, haven't seen as many changes as other classes in the Season of Discovery. The new rune, Victory Rush, does provide a smoother gameplay experience, but overall, if you're seeking a dramatically different playstyle, Warriors might not be the best pick.


Fury Warriors get some insane DPS runes for their fury spec. Although their runes were boring, they will likely equate to at least a 25% DPS increase, and they were already so strong I don’t see other classes bridging the gap. Likely will retain the top DPS spot


Although prot warriors got a bit more support, they may fall behind bear tanks in terms of output. Sword and Board tanks will likely still be great mitigation tanks, but pallies may be better


Warbringer is a game-changer for PVP warriors. Warriors will suddenly be very sticky even without defensive dispels. Expect warriors + healers to be a menace in PVP.

Remember, the joy of WoW Classic Season of Discovery lies in exploring and discovering the best specs, runes, and rotations for your chosen class. Happy adventuring!

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