Today we will take a look at the DPS balance in Sanctum of Domination, based on data of the week of July 13th. For this analysis we will use data provided by Warcraft Logs Heroic Sanctum of Domination statistics. Warcraft Logs' Sanctum of Domination Statistics Page Disclaimers and Source The data for this article was taken from the Sanctum of Domination Statistics Page on Warcraft Logs under the Shadowlands Patch 9.1 partition for Heroic difficulty in the week of July 13th. While Mythic will eventually be the benchmark used, there are currently not enough Mythic parses in the new raid to have significant data about balance yet. The idea of this article is to give a perspective of the state of class balance for Sanctum of Domination in Shadowlands Season 2, looking at the data of the most recent week in the raid. We say perspective, as there are inherent biases in looking at the data this way. Specs that are considered underpowered are generally played less and tend to appear weaker than they actually are. This happens as many performance-oriented players will tend to play the strongest spec or class, increasing even further the gap between top and bottom specs. The balance between specs is very delicate and will likely change throughout Season 2, as player acquire more gear, different classes and specs tend to perform better with more secondaries. DPS Rankings in Shadowlands Season 2 - Heroic Sanctum of Domination Week of July 13th With players still learning the new raid and Mythic week class tuning coming in effect July 13th, rankings are very still in heavy flow.
Position Spec and Class Population Size Change from Last Week 1 Assassination Rogue 38224 0 2 Subtlety Rogue 11197 ↑6 3 Arms Warrior 23261 ↑4 4 Demonology Warlock 8049 ↑2 5 Havoc Demon Hunter 23095 ↓2 6 Feral Druid 59794 ↓2 7 Arcane Mage 29519 ↑10 8 Elemental Shaman 43072 ↓3 9 Shadow Priest 56558 ↓7 10 Retribution Paladin 29207 ↑1 11 Marksmanship Hunter 67059 ↑11 12 Beast Mastery Hunter 46058 ↑8 13 Balance Druid 83183 ↑6 14 Unholy Death Knight 66063 ↓5 15 Destruction Warlock 48766 ↓2 16 Outlaw Rogue 13556 ↓6 17 Survival Hunter 2301 ↑4 18 Frost Mage 66389 ↓4 19 Windwalker Monk 29206 ↓4 20 Frost Death Knight 9392 ↓8 21 Fury Warrior 11665 ↓5 22 Enhancement Shaman 44866 ↓4 23 Fire Mage 3263 0 24 Affliction Warlock 12979 0 Spec Analysis for Week of July 13th For the second week of Sanctum of Domination, we've invited the class writers from the specs with most movement in rankings to help contextualize these movements in statistics, Arcane Mage, Beast Mastery Hunter, Marksmanship Hunter, and Frost Death Knight. Arcane Mage About the Author Malon has been throwing spells at bad guys since 2005. He raids with <Emerald Omen> on Stormscale-EU, and dreams of having a Mage trainer named after him. He would also like to get the Warlock class renamed to 'Fuzzy Cuddlebears'. He's not sure which is more realistic. Malon is a moderator on the Mage Discord server, Altered Time.
Like several other specs, Arcane suffers from poor community perception and hasn't been a truly meta pick for years, so it's no surprise that it began the tier from a low place. However, it's also natural that it would climb as players grow more comfortable with the spec and see what it's capable of - helped by some of the best players in the world running it in the world-first race.
In terms of the raid itself, the fights are pretty well balanced between those that favour Frost (like
Remnant of Ner'zhul
) and those where Arcane can really shine. Of these, three stand out in particular:
. The timings of all our cooldowns line up really well with these fights to exploit a period of low movement or something important that needs to happen: for example, Fate-scribe's
lines up with
Touch of the Magi
. We're also just great at nuking low-health priority targets with
, like the
Beast Mastery Hunter About the Author
Hello! I'm Impakt, the range DPS officer for BDGG, the #2 North American guild. I have been playing WoW for over a decade, and have been a high-end raider since MoP. I currently play Hunter and Warlock for BDGG, but I have played many other classes and specs competitively in past tiers. My primary focus in-game is progression raiding. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to chat, the best way to get ahold of me is through Twitter @Impaktx.
Hunter in general was noticeably behind other classes in the raid, so the buffs were warranted. However, the results that you are seeing on Warcraft Logs are more what I would call a perception buff than an actual buff. Often when a class is underperforming, you will hear and see lots of people complaining about it on social media and in other platforms, but the difference between it and even the best classes is still small enough that player performance will be significantly more important. Hunters were slightly underperforming and needed a buff, but the huge surge in logs is more because of the perception change overall. More people were comfortable playing Hunter (and playing with Hunters) after the buffs, and thus you see a larger sample size and better results overall when looking at the higher percentile rankings.
For Beast Mastery specifically, these buffs were awesome since tuning is where BM is suffering the most. Beast Mastery is still the most mobile ranged dps, has an excellent utility toolkit, and a unique immunity. If Beast Mastery can do reasonable damage, it will always be more than viable on any raid encounter because of the flexibility it provides to players learning new encounters for the first time. Personally I would still classify BM Hunter as a B-tier specialization overall for the raid, but for anyone not on the cutting edge of mythic progression I would say it is easily B+ or even A-tier. Comfortability and mechanical ability matter more in most cases, which is why Beast Mastery is still excellent for the new raid. Marksmanship Hunter About the Author
I'm Moofz. I main Hunter and do both Mythic+ and raiding at a high level. I write the Marksmanship Hunter guide and most Hunter-related content and news for Wowhead. I also have a Hunter Mythic+ website, stream raids and dungeons on Twitch, and do YouTube content. I've also commentated multiple Race to World First events over the past couple of years and organize community Mythic+ events with Keystone Masters. Feel free to message me via Twitter or find me in the Trueshot Lodge with any Hunter questions or inquiries. Overall Rating: B+ At the start of patch 9.1, Marksmanship Hunters were ranked very low on the totem pole and performed as expected. After Heroic week, Hunters were buffed across the board. Marksmanship Hunters received a 10% buff to Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot, Multi-Shot, and Rapid Fire as well as a 15% buff to Kill Shot. These buffs equated to approximately a 7% buff in both single target and in AoE depending on your gear. Heading into Sanctum of Domination, Marksmanship is looking decent so far. We're about middle of the pack in single target performance and one of the top specs for burst AoE. Unfortunately, our severe lack of defensive abilities make us expendable in raid. We're only really brought for our burst AoE damage since other classes can do similar single target and cleave damage. Week 1 of mythic, we are seeing guilds bring Hunters to AoE fights, not so much to single target fights, as expected. For fights such as Soulrender Dormazain, Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, and even Mythic Sylvanas Windrunner, Marksmanship Hunters bring some much-needed burst AoE damage for important parts of the fight. Despite Kyrian dealing more damage in a patchwork situation, the fights in Sanctum of Domination actually cater more towards Night Fae. Wild Spirits paired with the new covenant legendary Fragments of the Elder Antlers gives us a ridiculous amount of burst, assuming there are less than 5 targets (which holds true for every fight except Soulrender). Night Fae has another niche that makes it favorable in raid, and that's the soulbind - Korayn. Since the Sylvanas encounter ends at 50% health (45% in Mythic), Wild Hunt Tactics and Careful Aim give a huge bonus for a large majority of the fight. Outside of our burst AoE niche, Marksmanship Hunters aren't really desired due to our lack of survivability. This is especially noticeable on fights such as Painsmith Raznal where ranged DPS take an insane amount of damage. Other classes such as Balance Druids or Mages have a much easier time surviving. As stated earlier, our single target is just average, so on fights where our burst AoE isn't required, we aren't seeing too many guilds bring Hunters. We might see 1 or 2 Hunters max per fight. All in all, Hunters are in a decent spot, but we're definitely not the flavor of the month in raid and could definitely use some help with our survivability. Outside of our immunity Aspect of the Turtle and our burst AoE, there really isn't a reason to bring Marksmanship Hunters to raid currently. Frost Death Knight
About the Author
I'm Bicepspump, a semi-hardcore player currently playing on Kazzak. You can often find me on the Death Knight discord discussing rotations and builds, on my stream ( B1cepspump), running some juicy Mythic +, or on my youtube channel where I've started doing video guides. Big shoutout to everyone on the Acherus discord that have given me valuable insight through numerous discussions. I take part in writing and optimizing the action priority list for SimulationCraft and continuously test different hypotheses using the SimulationCraft program. Furthermore, I work with the WoWAnalyzer website where I develop modules for the Death Knight specs. Please feel free to contact me on Discord as Bicepspump#6318, I'm always happy to have a healthy discussion! Outside of playing WoW, I work as a data scientist and enjoy playing other games such as Dota 2!
Frost Death Knights jumped hard in the rankings this week but I wouldn't be too alarmed. Frost DKs have a small population which makes them especially vulnerable to large jumps early in a tier. To give an example, not a single Frost DK killed heroic Sylvanas the first week. More than 20 did the following week but didn't perform too well. This boss alone is probably a large reason why Frost dropped so much. I believe as more Frost DKs kill the boss, the rankings will go up and we'll see a rubber-band effect in ways.
For more information on specs in the Shadowlands Season 2, check out our Sanctum of Domination Class Guides!
Blood DKFrost DKUnholy DK Havoc DHVengeance DH Balance DruidFeral DruidGuardian DruidRestoration Druid Beast Mastery HunterMarksmanship HunterSurvival Hunter Arcane MageFire MageFrost Mage Brewmaster MonkMistweaver MonkWindwalker Monk Holy PaladinProtection PaladinRetribution Paladin Discipline PriestHoly PriestShadow Priest Assassination RogueOutlaw RogueSubtlety Rogue Elemental ShamanEnhancement ShamanRestoration Shaman Affliction WarlockDemonology WarlockDestruction Warlock Arms WarriorFury WarriorProtection Warrior