• March 30, 2023

The pre-patch for WoW is something special. Not only will it probably run significantly longer than any previous pre-patch, but it also took the extremely influential corruption effects out of the game. And last but not least, it also brought the item and level crush to Azeroth. All of this, of course, has a significant impact on the play styles of the various classes and specs. Add to that the class changes that are also already on the live servers, and all of this really shakes up the performance of the classes. Therefore, it is currently more worthwhile than in other pre-patches to take a look at those. For some classes or playstyles, you can even get a glimpse of Shadowlands. Even though Pact abilities, Legendarys and other skill ranks will be added to the game, this will not change the strong or missing synergies.

Table of Contents

  1. 1Tanksin the pre-patch
  2. 2Healersin the pre-patch
  3. 3DpS play stylesin the pre-patch

A number of top players and experts have therefore sat down (via wowhead) and taken a close look at the classes as well as the current logs from Ny'alotha. They provide information about why some play styles are suddenly significantly better or worse than before and what this might mean for Shadowlands.


in the pre-patch

For the tanks, only the distributed DpS was analyzed. The defensive side of the coin could also be examined, but that would go beyond the scope of this article due to its complexity.

Source: wowhead Source: wowhead
Gameplay Ranking in pre-patch Ranking in Patch 8.3 Change
Protection Paladin 1 4 - 3
Protection warrior 2 3 + 1
Guardian Druid 3 2 + 1
Blood Death Knight 4 1 + 3
Brewmaster monk 5 6 - 1
Vengeful Demon Hunter 6 5 + 1

Tanks have been significantly shaken up in terms of DpS. The loss of the Corruption effects is especially noticeable here, as it was responsible for much of the DpS. With the pre-patch, however, the balancing has gotten a bit off track. That's not too dramatic, though, since it should level out again with Shadowlands. The Paladin, which is now far ahead, benefits enormously from an Azerite perk that will soon be history.

  • Winner Protection Paladin
    • With the return of Holy Power for tanking Paladins, the Azerite perk Decree of Light has been hugely upgraded. Thanks to a strong synergy of Protector of the Righteous and Vision of Perfection, you also benefit tremendously often from your Wrathful Retribution, which also lasts longer thanks to the perk. Together, this provides a massive damage increase at the current time. However, with the removal of Essence and Azerite Perks, this should be toned down in Shadowlands.
  • Loser: Blood Death Knight
    • No more twilight devastation! That alone causes the Death Knight's DpS to drop precipitously. Since he was the tank with the most health, this loss hits him the hardest. In turn, there were no innovations that would have countered this. On the contrary, with the loss of Ossuarium, the number of death blows and thus the DpS drops even further.

Healers in the pre-patch

In contrast to tanks and their defense, it is much easier to determine the healing of playstyles. However, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. Because you can only ever heal as much as you take damage. And at the moment, the healing classes are more likely to be at the top, as they can heal a lot in a short time and thus "steal the healing" from the other healers, so to speak. With the launch of Shadowlands, things can quickly look very different.

Source: wowhead Source: wowhead
Gameplay Pre-Patch Patch 8.3 Change
Holy Priest 1 4 - 3
Restoration Shaman 2 5 - 3
Discipline Priest 3 2 + 1
Restoration Druid 4 3 + 1
Mist Caster Monk 5 6 - 1
Holy Paladin 6 1 + 5

Healers have also seen some changes due to the change in the pre-patch. The Holy Paladin, who was considered the best healer in patch 8.3, slips mercilessly to the last rank, while especially Holy Priests can rejoice. Some of this came from the loss of Corruption effects, while others came from targeted buffs to class abilities. It should be noted, however, that some damage-reducing abilities such as Aura of Devotion or Power Word: Barrier, while very strong, do not show up in healing, which may make these classes a bit stronger than they appear on paper.

  • Winner Holy Priest
    • Circle of Healing went from being a talent to an ability and in its place, Circle of Prayer moved up. Combined with the Azerite perk Prayer Litany, this makes for a good synergy. Apart from that, the bosses die faster and faster, which is good for the Holy Priest and his strong cooldowns (Hymn of God and Benediction: Redemption).
  • Winner : Restoration Shaman
    • Blizzard has given some massive buffs to the Shaman's main healing spells. Spring Tide, Chain Heal, Wave of Healing, and Healing Rain have all become stronger. Although they cost more mana in return, this is hardly significant in the currently very short battles. And the Earth Shield, which is now a standard ability again, also helps with healing.
  • Loser Holy Paladin
    • With the removal of Corruption effects and the reworking of talents, a unique synergy is gone, thanks to which Holy Paladins could keep their Wrathful Retribution active for almost the entire fight. While the Shimmer of Light playstyle has been retained and even strengthened (since you currently benefit from the talent and Azerite Perks), the mana cost added to Crusader Strike makes it less effective. Also, the adjustment that Divine Destiny now affects Word of Glory instead of Holy Shock doesn't help the playstyle much. Last but not least, at least in raids, tanks have become stronger and need less healing, which devalues Flame of Faith.

DpS playstyles in the pre-patch

A lot has changed in the various DpS play styles. Of course, the loss of corruption effects plays just as big a role here as the class adjustments. To that end, it should be noted that some classes are currently still benefiting from the fact that popular azerite perks have become talents or abilities and can now be doubly active. For others, the further ranks of abilities that are unlocked on the way to the maximum level in Shadowlands have a very large impact on the DpS. Therefore, there will be some changes with the launch of the upcoming expansion. But until then, some classes can look forward to a massive increase in performance.

Source: wowhead Source: wowhead
Gameplay Pre-Patch Patch 8.3 Change
Shadow Priest 1 8 - 7
Affliction Warlock 2 4 - 2
Arcane mage 3 7 - 4
Beast Domination Hunter 4 5 - 1
Frost Mage 5 9 - 4
Unholy Death Knight 6 21 - 15
Elemental Shaman 7 16 - 11
Marksmanship Hunter 8 13 - 5
Destruction wizard 9 2 + 7
Fire Mage 10 1 + 9
Balance Druid 11 19 - 8
Survival hunter 12 20 - 8
Lawlessness Rogue 13 22 - 9
Retribution paladin 14 17 - 3
Frost Death Knight 15 14 + 1
Deception Rogue 16 24 - 8
Weapon warrior 17 3 + 14
Assassin Rogue 18 10 + 8
Amplifier Shaman 19 12 + 7
Wind runner monk 20 23 - 3
Devastation Demon Hunter 21 11 + 10
Furor Warrior 22 15 + 7
Demonology Warlock 23 6 + 17
Fierceness Druid 24 18 + 6

After what feels like a hundred patches, the Deception Rogue gives up the red lantern to the Ferocity Druid, at least for a short time. The real loser, however, is the Demonology Sorcerer, who slips from the top ten to second to last place. On the other hand, Unholy Death Knights, Shadow Priests and Elemental Shamans can rejoice - they make big leaps forward.

  • Winner Unholy Death Knight
    • The Plague Slinger's huge leap forward is mainly due to the fact that his mastery now not only increases Shadow damage, but also boosts the damage of his companions. In the same vein is the change to Unholy Contamination, thanks to which the companions become even stronger. And thanks to Vision of Perfection, you'll be able to combine your cooldowns more often, which will also increase damage.
  • Winner Shadow Priest
    • With the launch of the pre-patch, the amount of Shadowy Appearances that your Priest can make appear has been increased. This, combined with Malicious Appearances, has caused damage to explode. However, the Azerite perk has already been toned down, which should bring the Priest back closer to the rest of the classes.
  • Winner Arcane Mage
    • After the adjustments, the Arcane Mage also benefits tremendously from an old Azerite perk - the Arcane Spell. This has already been toned down as well, which shouldn't make mages very happy.
  • Winner Elemental Shamans
    • Shamans benefit from the lava eruption buff. This is to compensate for the loss of the azerite perk Eruptive Potential, which is currently still available. There is also a minor bug. Because actually Lavasog should be generated (from 15 to 10 percent). However, that hasn't happened yet, which makes the lava eruption even stronger.
  • Winner Frost Mage
    • The Vision of Perfection promotes a strong synergy of different abilities. This is because when triggered, it activates the Rune of Power and Icy Vein n, which in turn can be extended with Thermal Void. However, the Vision of Perfection has already been weakened, making the synergy not as good as before.
  • Loser : Devastation Demon Hunter
    • Gleven wielders scaled well with stats that are now unfortunately missing, making them extremely weak especially on single targets. Thanks to changes in talents, they now also have to sacrifice area damage to achieve maximum single target damage. With Shadowlands, however, this will get better, as they will then get a few more stats with a level perk and the pact abilities will address and improve exactly the weakness.
  • Loser : Weapon Warrior
    • Weapon warriors have benefited massively from the synergy of aggression management, power trial, and lucid dream recall. All of that is still there, but it is no longer boosted by the massive amounts of speed that were still available in patch 8.3. This makes for a big drop in DpS.
  • Loser : Demonology Warlocks
    • Demo-witchers also suffer massively from the now missing tempo. Especially since the entire playstyle was built around Summon Demonic Tyrant, which now puts out significantly less spells than before, which lowers the overall damage significantly.
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