Keep in mind that I focus on M+, so these Weakauras are going to be primarily concerned with M+ performance. Before I jump into my top 3, I’d also generally recommend picking up a WA “package” for any content you’re doing. Each new raid tier will have a few WA groups that aim to include all the major mechanics for each boss, and there are a few WA groups for dungeons with a similar goal. I’m not much into PvP these days but I’d also guess there are some WA groups for arena that track notable cooldowns for the other team. There are addons that compete in this space (like BigWigs, DBM, OmniBar), and personally I use a belt and suspenders approach and use both an addon and WAs for more options, but you could stick with just WAs and be totally set. Now on to my top 3:BFA Dungeons: Targeted Spells
This WA has a few features but its primary purpose is to track “dangerous” spells in dungeons that everyone probably needs to be aware of. The target of enemy spellcasts will be displayed on top of the nameplate of enemies allowing you to quickly see who is about to be thumped and letting you potentially prioritize interrupts, e.g., if two mobs are casting and one target has 50% HP and the other is topped off, you can kick the mob targeting the 50% HP teammate. The WA also displays a spell icon graphic on top of your unitframes so you can see when spells are being cast on a group member. And it also puts a flashing border around your unitframes whenever someone is being targeted by one of the “dangerous” spells to draw your attention to the target in case they need to be healed up quickly or given a defensive cooldown. If you are the target of the dangerous spell, it also makes a ding noise at you to let you know that you’re getting popped.
The list of spells is handpicked by the author (the inimitable Buds, one of the big brains behind the WA addon) and technically editable (though you’ll need to be comfortable digging around in the code to add or remove spells), so you may choose to customize it to your own preferences as far as what spells are included. You can do this by going to the Actions tab of the WA and clicking on the Expand button under On Init and then scrolling down to “Spell List”. The syntax for each of the spells is straightforward, so just copy the format of other spells you see to add a new one.
As a healer this WA is a godsend, but it’s also incredibly useful for tanks or DPS to let you know when you’re being targeted by dangerous spells and to help you see when others are getting dogpiled by enemy mobs on a big pull.BFA: Nameplate Enemy Auras
As you might guess from the name, this WA tracks auras on enemies. It’s particularly useful for classes with offensive dispels (for magic buffs) or soothes (for enrage buffs), but it also includes an Infested tracker making it handy for all users. Enemy aura icons will be displayed above enemy nameplates by default but can be repositioned easily using the Custom Options tab. I rely on this WA to let me know when mobs have enrage buffs that I need to dispel or when a mob has a buff that I need to be generally aware of (like Lightning Shield on Aspix and Adderis or which Triad sister has the Focusing Iris). It also displays a Sanguine icon when mobs are standing in Sanguine pools making it very easy to see if and when a stray mob wanders into a pool and needs to be knocked or kited out.
If you want to add any other aura to the tracker, you can pop open the Spell List via the Actions tab by clicking on Expand under On Init.ZenTracker and Nnogga’s Party CD Front End
I started using ZenTracker and Nnogga’s Front End fairly recently, and the results have been great. There’s a bit more setup required to get this combination working than usual: you have to download both WAs and you’ll need LibGroupInspecT 1.1 which can be found in a few addons (such as Details! Damage Meter which I also strongly recommend using). Once you have everything imported, though, the information this WA pair gives you is remarkable.
ZenTracker is the back end (i.e., it handles all the work of tracking cooldowns) and Nnogga’s is the front end (i.e., it displays the information), and together they will show a list of spell icon cooldowns next to each party member’s unitframe. The list of cooldowns can be completely customized and can display both offensive and defensive cooldowns. You can either track the cooldowns via a graphical cooldown sweep or by adding a timer.
Ever found yourself wondering when your boomkin’s Celestial Alignment is going to be back up so you can pull big? Is Shroud going to be back up for the skip we need to do after this boss? Will Blur be up in time for the DH to taunt the boss off the tank so the tank can reset Necrotic stacks? No more guessing. Now all that information is conveniently displayed right next to your party’s health bars.
And honestly these WAs will probably teach you a bit about other classes because you can mouseover the spell icons and read what the cooldowns do, and lots of us (myself included) still have some learning to do about the cooldowns for other specs.
Unfortunately this is definitely a party-only thing since there is no way you’re going to fit these icons around raid frames, but it’s an incredibly powerful tool for staying aware of your party’s cooldown situation.Honorable Mention: Saw Dingo
I have no idea how it got its name, but it was passed down to me by Limit’s very own Preheat so I assume memes were involved. While the three WAs above all have extensive functionality and a ton of code under the hood, Saw Dingo is notable because of how simple it is. This WA displays an icon and beeps at you when a boss targets you. That’s it. No flashy graphics, no timers, no nameplate mumbo jumbo.
And at first blush you might wonder why anyone would care that a boss targets them (unless you pulled aggro). But the secret genius to Saw Dingo is that virtually every non-AoE boss spell cast begins with the boss targeting someone. So if you hear Saw Dingo beep, you know something is about to happen to you. And once you’ve got some experience with bosses, a lot of times you already know what that spell is going to be when you hear the beep. As an example, the Shark Puncher in Freehold will target you briefly before throwing a shark at you, so if you hear the beep you know you’re about to be visited by the shark fairy and it’s time to start running. There are a lot of fights in the game where the only meaningful things that happen are preceded by the boss targeting you so you can tunnel vision until you hear a beep.
Saw Dingo was what kept me alive on Tyrannical Hyrja and Xavius, so it gets a spot on this list.