After the class design reworks, how does each spec feel in Battle For Azeroth?



Some got a lot of love, some got worse, and some barely got touched at all.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the World of Warcraft subreddit by user Jallfo. It has been lightly edited and republished with permission.

I’ve seen a ton of threads about the class changes and wanted to give those without access a condensed summary of how the classes feel on the Beta. Before we get started I want to lay out a few notes:

  • I currently have every class at 940+ ilvl on live and have completed all of the mage towers save the healing ones. So I have a pretty good idea how each of them plays.
  • For the sake of transparency: I am a consistent AOTC raider that parses ~85%+. I am an above average player but definitely not going to be setting records any time soon. My opinions may be different than the casuals or very hardcore.
  • When I say a class “feels finished” I am measuring how many gaps it has or obvious / glaring issues that are clearly going to be replaced or reworked….. not how fun it is to play. This also means that when I say something “needs changes” I mean that there is a compelling reason for it. Not some a minor gripe.
  • I primarily play tank classes and Mythic+ is my favorite content.
  • I am not a healer. So while I’ve tried the specs out, my analysis here won’t be the best.
  • I’m a PvE carebear. This is 100% PvE feedback
  • This is a current assessment as of April 25 2018… so Azerite armor is not yet implemented. Fully subject to change.

Death Knight: Overall rating – 3/10

Would I play it in BFA? Hard to judge because obvious rework coming.

Is it probably finished getting changes? No – confirmed by blizzard

Should it be getting changes? Yes

Does it feel strong? Yes, blood feels insane on alpha right now. Other specs still TBD.

  • Blood: Feels just as strong as ever. Received a bunch of new talents (Legion shoudlers are now a talent) and I think overall they’re in a satisfactory place.
  • Unholy / Frost: Not touched but per Blizzard they are working on them.

Demon Hunter: Overall rating – 9/10

Would I play it in BFA? I would happily main this class in BFA.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes

Should it be getting changes? No

Does it feel strong? Yes both specs have a great talent system with a lot of variety.

  • Havoc: Seems pretty good with the rework but I really worry that dark slash will become a DH version of colossus smash and the rotation is going to boil down to spamming CS inside of dark slash windows.
  • Vengeance: Love the changes to fracture. It feels a lot better overall. This spec has the ability to have like 12 buttons that are actually useful via talents. If you want a lot of buttons to press, play these guys.

Druid: Overall rating – 1/10

Would I play it in BFA? I would only play this class if I had an affinity for druids or some attachment to a character. There are just too many other great classes to play something this boring. If you’re a feral only player then go for it.

Is it probably finished getting changes? I want to say no – seriously it just can’t go live this way. But the answer is probably yes.

Should it be getting changes? Yes – this class is the worst one on the beta

Does it feel strong? Yes. It feels strong, just like it is on live. You can basically re-create the BFA druid experience on live by unequipping your artifact to see how it feels. But just because something is strong doesn’t make it an enjoyable experience.

  • Guardian: Literally unchanged with the exception of 1 talent and FR healing for more. Easily the worst offender of all of the specs in terms of feeling different. It’s very strong but very boring.
  • Feral: Nearly identical (which is fine it got an overhaul in 7.3). The only high point of this spec.
  • Restoration: Borderline identical. Lost an unused heal. Can’t move during tranq which sucks.
  • Balance: The ST balance spec is going to be the worst rotation in the game. AoE feels okay but you’re cranking out fewer Starfalls due to terrible AP regen. Having Moon as a talent is a huge mistake.

Hunter: Rating – 7/10

Would I play it in BFA? If you’re happy with hunter now, you’ll like it in BFA.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes

Should it be getting changes? No. People might not like it, but it is definitely a complete class and every spec has seen updates.

Does it feel strong? I’d say so. Hunters always seem to find a way. If anything, they didn’t lose a ton, which in BFA means that they’re doing fine.

  • Survival: Got a full rework and feels more fluid.
  • Marksmanship: The rework is going to appeal to some but others might not like it. I prefer it to Legion.
  • Beast Mastery: BM hasn’t changed too much but definitely has some new talents and ways to play.
  • Pets: worth noting pets got a total rework too.

Mage: Rating – 8/10

Would I play it in BFA? If you’re an arcane mage you might not like BFA but Fire and Frost will be good to go.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes (except a talent or two that are TBD)

Should it be getting changes? No. This class is complete although largely unchanged. Kind of a “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” situation.

Does it feel strong? Yes. Similar to the hunter, the mage barely lost anything, which in BFA means that they’re doing great. Frost feels as good as ever and Phoenix Flames now adds to hot streak with every hit which feels great too.

  • Frost: Basically identical, very few talent changes (this spec feels great though)
  • Fire: Basically identical, got Phoenix Flames as a talent that competes with Flame On, making it awkward as hell. The loss of Cauterizing Blink hurts more than you’re anticipating.
  • Arcane: Major rework. TBD on how it feels in raids. Leveling wise I think it felt worse. Arcane Missiles is no longer affected by the charge system.

Monk: Rating – 8/10

Would I play it in BFA? The MW work is fantastic. They’re the most fun healers on BFA right now. WW / BrM remain steadily above average. I feel like most people that play monk do so because they love the class — if that’s you, then you’ll be more than fine.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes

Should it be getting changes? Yes, although the class is complete in terms of kit. I think WW / BrM could still use some more love since changes have been so minimal.

Does it feel strong? Yes, especially MW. Monk received a lot of changes in Legion so they seemed to not want to change it much for BrM and WW. I expect BRM to be middle tier and WW to remain strong.

  • Brewmaster: Same old same old here. Stagger is in this funky spot but overall this spec feels fine. No major changes which sucks but really it could be a lot worse. As of now, can’t hold weapons on your shoulder like Legion which is very disappointing. I expect this to change.
  • Mistweaver: Back to its former glory. Soothing Mist is now castable and makes other spells instant. VERY positive rework.
  • Windwalker: Mostly the same as it is on live with a few talent changes here and there. It feels fine, though untouched.

Paladin: Rating – 6/10

Would I play it in BFA? If you’re a ret only player then you’ll find out quickly if you love or hate the changes. Everything else seems to be more of the same.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes

Should it be getting changes? Yes. Prot / Holy could use some touching up.

Does it feel strong? Overall I’d say they’re at a similar power level to live servers. Take that for what you will.

  • Holy / Protection: I haven’t played either of these too much but feedback I’m seeing is that they’ve been touched up a bit and haven’t been *too* negatively affected by things. Probably going to feel mostly the same on live but with GCD issues.
  • Retribution: Totally reworked. I think it’s much better now but others seem to not like it.

Priest: Rating 6/10

Would I play it in BFA? The priest specs are feast or famine. If you’re a healer then I’d say with full confidence that you’ll be great in BFA. Shadow… not so much.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes (except a talent or two that are TBD)

Should it be getting changes? Yes. Shadow needs some focus.

Does it feel strong? The healing specs feel very strong. Shadow is just so hard to judge at terrible haste levels.

  • Holy: Same old same old. Overall feels good and didn’t have a ton of changes. Will continue to be the more flexible healing spec.
  • Discipline: Got bubble back which is a huge blessing. Feels better than Legion but worse than MoP.
  • Shadow: Clunky now, but I actually think it’ll be fine at higher haste levels. People are complaining about it but really I think they’re just used to having Sephuz / ilvl 940+ gear. I have hope here.

Shaman: Rating – 4/10

Would I play it in BFA? They’ve done nothing to fix Shaman’s fragility in high levels of Mythic+ if you want to focus on that content, especially the higher keys — play something else if that’s your focus. For raiding I suppose they are going to be fine, but once again all I can ask is “why not bring something else?”

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes

Should it be getting changes? Yes. The defensive kit is far too weak for the way the game is today.

Does it feel strong? Resto yes, elemental and enhancement no. I can think of a reason to bring basically any other melee or ranged DPS than a shaman, especially since drums exist.

  • Restoration: Welcome back earthshield! We missed you! Other than that… nothing really major.
  • Elemental: Has some funky talents / rework stuff but is still going to be plagued by being a squishy turret. In a world with Mythic+ becoming increasingly popular I can’t justify playing this.
  • Enchancement: I’m going to be honest, I’ve not played this because it’s my least favorite MDPS spec in the game. But a quick look at the changes and talents show that they moved some stuff around and frankly the changes don’t make a lot of sense to me. Someone with more experience might be able to chime in but…. this just doesn’t look good.

Rogue: Rating – 7/10

Would I play it in BFA? Yup, as long as I was willing to play all three specs. If you’re sub only then consider looking elsewhere. The GCD changes hurt.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes

Should it be getting changes? Yes. This class needs compensation for the GCD issues

Does it feel strong? Until they majorly change their kit, there will always be a place in a group for a rogue.

  • Assassination: Feels almost identical. Loss of artifact stuff is some what noticeable, especially with having to talent into Poison Bomb.
  • Subtlety: I haven’t touched it, but I heard it’s mostly the same. GCD changes are brutal for Shadow Dance / Symbols.
  • Outlaw: Reworked, people seem to have mixed emotions on it. Seems more consistent now.

Warlock: Rating – 10/10

Would I play it in BFA? Yes. This is the most positively changed class on the beta.

Is it probably finished getting changes? Yes (except a talent or two that are TBD)

Should it be getting changes? No

Does it feel strong? Very. They seem to have an answer for just about everything.

  • Affliction: Shadowbolt replacing the drain system greatly changes the rotation. No longer reliant on reap cycles. I think it’s a positive change overall. This spec will be strong.
  • Demonology: Just absolutely crazy right now. Most people know this already. Wins award for best overall rework.
  • Destruction: Feels super strong, reworked to be more similar to MoP / WoD. Soulburn is back. Will be nice to play this again.

Warrior: Rating – 3/10

Would I play it in BFA? Sadly… no. I want to main warrior so badly but I just can’t in its current form. The Arms rework is great – especially in dungeons. But Fury was destroyed by the GCD changes and Prot is going to be the worst tank if they leave things as is.

Is it probably finished getting changes? No – confirmed by Blizzard

Should it be getting changes? Yes. This class needs compensation for the GCD issues, and Protection needs a way to handle magic damage since other classes can heal from it.

Does it feel strong? No. It feels weak af.

    • Arms: Total rework. Feels good in practice, feels terrible on a dummy.
    • Fury: One of the specs hit the hardest by the GCD change and overall lack of updates. Needs help, badly.
    • Protection: Still in progress per their message but if it doesn’t get a way to heal like all other tanks have then it is going to be objectively worse for magic damage fights. They’re on suicide watch for sure. I also worry that the “changes” that are coming are just going to be filling the empty talent slots and not actual important changes.

Pre-Azerite Spec Rankings (Best to worst based on how much I would like to main one):

Healer: Don’t read too much into this. I’m not a healer but if I had to guess….

  • Mistweaver
  • Resto Druid
  • Disc
  • Resto Shaman = Holy Priest
  • Holy Paladin

Ranged:

  • Demonology
  • Frost
  • Destruction
  • Fire
  • MM
  • Affliction
  • Beast Master
  • Arcane
  • Shadow
  • Elemental
  • Balance

Melee:

Not ranking the DK specs due to impending changes.

  • Havoc
  • Feral
  • Windwalker
  • Arms
  • Assassination
  • Ret
  • Survival
  • Outlaw
  • Subtlety
  • Fury
  • Enhancement

Tank:

  • Vengeance
  • Blood
  • [BIG GAP]
  • Brewmaster
  • Protection Paladin
  • [BIG GAP]
  • Guardian
  • Protection Warrior

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