Dragonflight has brought substantial change to the gameplay of World of Warcraft and as you're about to find out for all the very widespread anger about ret paladins not getting Justice and Shadow priests being left in the dark, dragonflight is actually a silent win for a huge number of specs, it's time to talk about the big Winners and the unfortunate losers.
Okay when we call a spec a winner we mean it's more enjoyable to play in dragonflight than it was in shadowlands and that it's something you should be paying attention to, being a loser does not necessarily mean a spec is bad it's just that the transition over to the talent trees didn't go as well as it did for others it's also subjective Better or Worse mean a lot of things to a lot of different people so we’ve devised three key stats gameplay which is a mixture of satisfying button presses, potential mechanical depth and how it feels for well class fantasy ahigh score means that there's fun to behave, Effectiveness which basically is how much respect can bring outside of its core role that's things like blessing and protection, Mass grip, wind Rush, healthstones, it's a mixture of the reasons why people would actually want you to be in their group and the more ways that you can feel good about your contribution without it just being a bigger number than strength which is how good a spec probably will be at its job and this obviously has so many asterisks attached because it's all about tuning but we'll try to take weak and strengths and design into account so it’s more like chance that this class ends up being really strong that actual strength itself.
Let’s talk about the winners Warriors in general are eating obscenely good this time around, their class tier is full of fun stuff and prot Warriors are basically a greatest hits of modern prod with some bonus awesome, new things like Rend spreading via Thunderclap combined with with some bleed leech stance dancing to maximize damage when it's safe and having access to AOE stuns and interruptions that lets them control packs, not like a DK but getting there they are fun, powerful effective they’re an excellent tank and they are just looking really well equipped for anything dragonflight throws at them.
Arms is like prot a refined version that Shores up gameplay weaknesses arms can build loadouts specialized for almost any encounter massive executes for raids, sweeping strikes for two Targets or cleave Whirlwind and Rend clap build for AOE, it's supposed to be a master of weapons that can adapt to any situation and they've basically nailed that fantasy a lot less downtime than usual too because of extra rage generation so they feel less boring and they've got some new defensive options that remove some of their frustrating squishiness, they may actually be one of the best examples of a talent tree and class fantasy actually working together with real good gameplay results.
Fury Warrior right a strong class tree and a few new builds make it excellent you can go with shadowlands build or toy around with the new auto attack talent that replaces raging blows called Annihilator which is very different it drops the cooldown of bloodthirst so you can press it almost every other button between Rampages, slams and everything else resulting in this kind of crazy rhythmic you know one two one two three kind of feel, it's kind of like this Unga Bunga whack-a-molelike thing that just screams Fury but with Odin's Fury being back and a few new talents on both trees meaning that it feels real good.
On brewmaster then your mileage may vary a bit because it does have a lot of buttons but it also has a ton of interactivity across them, it’s kind of hard to optimize because of just all of its tools but having defensive and Mobility tools and then using the them properly just makes it a great spec to mean, basically it's a good spec made great although that greatness may be hard to spot through talents that may seem at first glance just a tad messy.
So what happens when you give a shadowlands wind walker some black market Adderall the answer is dragon flight Windwalker getting access to new tools and actual resource generation it's just turned this thing into a monster basically it feels fast it feels Furious and even when there’s downtime you're almost thankful for a second of rest with old and previously exclusive talents being things you can actually take together now, Wind walker just ends up being a joy to play and if tuning permits it an absolute monster from Mythic plus, it also benefits from the usual crazy monk movement and the monk tree offering more defensives than before just leaving it in a really good position.
You may notice a trend the winners are mostly specs that have got access to their Shadow lens kit in ways that just unlock a bit of new potential so resto Druid is a prime example here because routing enables resto Druid to basically just customize and create some great synergies across different play Styles in a way that is a lot more mix and match feeling than many other specs, Nature’s swiftness feels good to have again and now Nature's vigil gives them some potential well burst damage via healing cooldowns so they're fun to build they're fun to play they're strong in most situations and they bring a hell of a lot of utility with things like innervate and stampeding Roar, they were already good but now they're better and I guess it also may help that they’re chewed really strong right now too who knows if that'll last two whole years later core.
Balance issues are fixed making them a pretty fantastic spec the eclipse change where it’s just bonus damage and you can repeat the same eclipse is I think enough for many people to just win the winner tag on top of that Talent options are almost a best of from Shadow lens it has plenty of flavorful Choice like summoning in fairy dragon or growing the wild mushrooms now an extra 10 AP Cost on Star Surge is a downgrade though and Stellar flare being more of a core part of irritation especially when multi-mobs and AOE could be a deal breaker for some but aside from those things real good.
Feral then while somebody's finally taken a good hard look at this spec and decided to remove a few of the small blockers that made an otherwise great spec kind of suck so Primal wrath being expanded by a bunch of talents has given them some actual AOE gameplay it feels a lot more full of energy in general and the removal of Sabretooth basically puts rep management back on the menu and that’s fun, you can now pick an alternative to blood towns that simplifies the spec without neutering it although overall the Tiger's Fury extension does mean it's easier to keep dot snapshotted it's a slightly lowered skill ceiling I suppose but it's not like the extra effort was never worth in the meters overall then it's left a fantastic talent tree and fantastic spec.
Enhancement Shaman may just be the best that it's been in years and it comes with a ton of great choice here a full physical build rocking Doom wins for big big storm strikes feels great a hot hand lava lash flame shock spreading build for fire Nova is just satisfying as hell and using ice strike and hailstorm to get these like crazy Big Chain Lightning across a pack just feels like an amazing setup to sort of well-set up and then execute so that feral Spirits having high up time and the ability to pick between these different builds as you like does show what a good talent tree can do now, you still can't use a two-hander to one shot win Fury people in PvP but the jewel wheeled Elemental spell sword fantasy is just executed really really really well, let’s hope the tuning lets this one shine.
For Elemental there is a caveat, lava burst and surge talents are currently super weak so part of your choice is kind of dead the problem though is that beyond that a few of the core talents really do give them a lot of very fun options with electrified shocks enabling this like six second window of big nature damage with ice Fury Frost shocks as well as surge of power and Elemental blast replacing Earth shock you are well constantly playing to open up these windows of big damage that you can then execute on with proper cooldown management and to a lot of people that's going to feel fantastic, you can also choose more simple talents for an easier time there's a lot of choice in the tree as well and plenty of fun to be had across the different Talent builds the class tree is also full of fantastic Shaman flavored utility too.
Affliction is a bit of a mild winner as a spec malefic Affliction Doom Blossom and Dread touch add some complexity back into an otherwise perhaps a little bit lacking gameplay style especially with haunt and single Target or with dark glare and its new AOE upgrade Talent a good Improvement on slightly boring gameplay bringing it up though it obviously still does have some issues with rampant AOE Nightfall now works with drain soul for a faster Channel which is a quite a nice touch also warlock as a whole gets an S for Effectiveness because I mean come on they’re like non killable they’re mobile and they need to be they offer Health stones to the whole team they’ve got Gateway and summon so that does mean the demo and Destro are also winners too just slightly less improved than Affliction as I ended up being.
Outlaw Rogue is quite something, so seven Macomb points dread blades is back and Restless blades affects it then dread blades just turns it into this turbocharge paced crazy fast back that honestly does feel great and uh well it ends up producing its own cooldown so in our testing it's had between 30 and 50 uptime in a fight so it's a blisteringly fast spec and with the Rogue class tier it's actually got access to a ton of fun toys and plenty of energy to hit buttons, it can still get wrecked in AOE during blade flurry downtime though and if you don’t like roll the bones well you’re screwed but outside of that man it’s looking pretty damn good okay.
Unfortunately it's now time to talk about the losers, these are the specs that just need a bit more love in order to not feel left behind, Okay you probably knew this one was coming Guardian Druid, Guardian just did not get the time and attention that it needed the spec is boring but effective they got nothing really new or exciting and there isn't really much choice in the talent tree it feels uninspired and uninteresting which is a stark contrast to the other three Druid specs which were handled well so let's hope that this one gets quite a lot of love relatively soon.
Protection Paladin, while it does have some cool new damage oriented talents unfortunately for many blessed Hammer appears to now be a staple again and while it does continue to be an amazing Shield tossing off healing fantasy prot does lose a fair bit in the transition, the class tree for Paladin hasn’t returned much of paladins historic utility and it feels like the shadowlands version but worse you know like not having Ash and Hollow as an example that then losing holy power generation from Avengers shield and being disproportionately hurt by the dragonflight healing Nerf has just overall left prot paladins feeling unloved and to many just a bit betrayed.
Sadly we've got a stick with the paladins because of ret, they do have some cool new abilities and potential builds but there are severe balance issues and uh really just things that limit their choice heavily it's not terrible it can still be a fun spec but it does feel like it could need more having the worst mobility in the game and bringing nothing special to the table also puts ret in a fairly frustrating position, there's been minimal developer communication that has also meant that they just feel a bit abandoned.
And to continue the trifecta unfortunately paladins are just losing out in general holy is another example of players kind of just wondering what the devs were smoking uh prohibitive Mana costs on damage abilities that are required to build the whole new power you need to heal a Mastery that still doesn’t make complete sense for being a melee healer balance issues that push towards a weird unintuitive play style, loss of Ash and Hollow just everything about holy feels like they stopped like 60 percent of the way through fixing problems on beta, all of the class tree talents are also here as a present problem too so at its core it's a good spec and dragonflight did bring back some cool abilities and builds but it does have identity issues and just things that stop it from feeling amazing.
Shadow priest essentially its identity crisis the spec, there's lots of fun ideas but like our other losers they haven't actually had time to Iron out all the issues resource generation issues, mind Spike isn't fully integrated with the talents the idle capstones are a great idea but are all passives and don't interact perfectly mindful Insanity feels great as does mind spikes one two sort of Rhythm with mind blast but problems with multi-dotting and blizzard being unwilling to give shadow priest it's uh I guess Legion level skill ceiling with crazy void form uh that just feels not great so it's not a bad thing to play in paper but there's just small issues that make it frustrating rating, now that does mean that 10.1 or 10.2 could end up making this one of the best things in the game because the scaffolding and the structure of a brilliant spec are actually there it just needs to be built and also rip ghost spam which is kind of sad.
Frost Mage they rebuilt the shadowlands frost Mage which unfortunately includes all of the talent options and ideas that they cannot balance correctly so it still is a very low effort, flurry, ice lance, hold your frostbolt uh key spec despite all the potential it exists with things like glacial Spike and Ray of frost for fun now a good thing is the change to a charge system for flurry that does reduce its uh prop Reliance to a degree but otherwise this is just the same now some new utility the Mage tree is nice and they are by no means weak they just have a hell of a lot of unrealized potential and that's been a bit of an ongoing theme.
So that's it for the winners and the losers every other spec in the game in our opinion goes into either the neutral or mixed pile with most specs actually seeing some nice improvements and pretty good talent trees so that means that if blizzard can sort of take notice and make sure this loser pile gets updates over the next few patches then dragonflight balance issues aside could be in an overall insanely good spot I mean we were genuinely surprised going through every spec in the game and just seeing how many of them have actually been improved to the point where it does actually make the alt friendliness of dragonflight almost the problem because the Temptation is to play far far far too many of them which does mean more class content to come because I am pretty sure I'm going to have quite a lot of alts this time around I imagine it’s the same from Matt as well.
So there you have it the winners and The Losers of dragonflight big thank you to our sponsor for supporting us on today’s video of course you can check them out down below and as a parting thing head down to those comments and let me know what you are planning to main this time around and if it's changed all right, that’s it for me I'll see you next time!