Get Ready to Break the Meta! Learn About the Off-Meta Specs



The “Break the Meta” push week event is upon us! For the entire reset, earn cool prizes if you can push keys with a group composed ONLY of the least popular half of specs for each role, which we determined last week by looking at the Timed Runs Leaderboards for keystones level 10 or higher.



Let’s take a deeper look at the eligible specs for this tournament and go over how they function in Mythic+ so that you’ll know how to play with them and what they bring to the table!


Table of Contents



Eligible Specs



Tanks


The three eligible tank specs for this event are:

  • Blood Death Knight
  • Brewmaster Monk
  • Protection Warrior


Blood Death Knight is a spec that brings some tremendous pieces of utility to a Mythic+ keystone. When played well, they have an incredible ability to survive without external healing, and their Death Grip and Mass Grip are very powerful abilities to control mobs and set up pulls. This season, they also contribute Anti-magic Zone, which should be used on every Prideful spawn!

If you’re playing with a Blood Death Knight, it’s important to be aware that threat can be an issue to play around. They pair well with classes like Rogue and Hunter thanks to their threat redirection effects, while they struggle when paired with DPS specs that deal heavily frontloaded damage on pull.

Brewmaster Monk enhances your group’s Physical damage through Mystic Touch, and they are exceptionally mobile which makes kiting a strong option for them on tougher pulls. Their Ring of Peace can be used as a pseudo-interrupt or to facilitate kiting. It can also be used to skip some enemies, so be on the lookout for opportunities to avoid difficult pulls by ringing enemies to the side and then running through!

Protection Warrior is a spec that is likely to not be considered an off-meta spec in the very near future. It handles incoming Physical damage extremely well, which allows Warriors to face tank pulls that most other specs need to kite, and its early 9.0 weakness of low Shield Block uptime has been largely solved with the reworking of the Reprisal Legendary Power. If you’re trying to win this event, Prot Warrior is a fantastic option for the tanking role - just be aware that they aren’t without weaknesses. Bleed effects in particular can be tricky for Prot Warriors, though if they’re Kyrian they can clear them with their Phial of Serenity in a pinch.





Healers


The three eligible Healer specs for this event are:

  • Discipline Priest
  • Holy Priest
  • Mistweaver Monk


Both Priest specs bring a lot of utility to their groups. Power Infusion remains strong, even in this event without its very best targets being allowed. Both specs also bring a powerful external in the form of Pain Suppression or Guardian Spirit, which can be used to allow the tank to stay in for pulls they’d otherwise need to kite, or to save DPS players when targeted by deadly boss mechanics. Both specs also do well at healing Prideful, though Discipline Priests in particular can have mana troubles if they aren’t careful and/or if they aren’t Night Fae. Speaking of Covenants, Priests can reasonably play every single one, so for full optimization they can be slotted into whichever Covenant your group is missing for the dungeons of that zone - though of course, the swap is a painful process that probably needed to happen last week!

Mistweaver is a spec that requires expert piloting to manage high level dungeons this season. Mana can be a frequent issue if the monk isn’t careful, but they do contribute several useful effects such as Mystic Touch, which represents a lot of extra damage if your group is primarily dealing Physical damage. They also can facilitate skips and/or kiting with Ring of Peace, and their burst healing throughput can be extremely high - it’s just very mana intensive as well!





Ranged DPS


The five eligible Ranged DPS specs for this event are:

  • Arcane Mage
  • Frost Mage
  • Beast Mastery Hunter
  • Demonology Warlock
  • Destruction Warlock


The Mage specs have both gotten a lot less attention than Fire, but there are some solid strengths that they each bring. Arcane’s burst damage is impressive in its own right, while Frost helps provide control to the pull with an array of slows that keep everything nicely grouped up even if the tank starts to kite. Frost also has the benefit of more immunities through Cold Snap.

Beast Mastery Hunter is a flexible ranged spec that has a notable advantage relative to Marksmanship in that it can provide a bloodlust effect without losing DPS. Beast Mastery also handles intense movement without losing any damage whatsoever, which can be very helpful against some bosses.

Destruction and Demonology Warlock can both pump out incredible damage. In particular, they excel in their cooldown windows, which are every 3 minutes for Destruction and every 1.5 minutes for Demonology. Outside of their cooldowns, they provide helpful utility through Healthstones and Gateway, which can be used to set up some clever skips or facilitate kiting.





Melee DPS


The seven eligible Melee DPS specs for this event are:

  • Arms Warrior
  • Assassination Rogue
  • Subtlety Rogue
  • Enhancement Shaman
  • Feral Druid
  • Frost Death Knight
  • Survival Hunter


Arms Warriors can feel like entirely different specs depending on their covenant choice. The standard Raid covenant of Venthyr provides solid single-target DPS, but in Mythic+ they can also choose to play Night Fae for a tremendously powerful burst AoE cooldown that synergizes beautifully with their kit and can transform them into overall damage powerhouses. Another underrated piece of utility they bring are the Parry-Taunt and Parry-Intervene combinations which can relieve a lot of pressure and potentially save your tank from brutal physical tankbusters - you do need to learn what can be parried and what can’t, however!

Rogues have been seen mostly as Outlaw since Battle For Azeroth’s Season 2 started, but both Assassination and Subtlety have unique strengths that are worth considering for this event. Of course, the strongest Rogue things are not spec-specific but rather tied to the class as a whole - effects like Shroud of Concealment which were previously meta-defining and are now merely very very good. Assassination can offer high overall damage along with potent single-target burst that’s well suited for handling Prideful mobs. Subtlety does best when there’s a priority target to dump damage into surrounded by less important enemies that they can use to generate Combo Points - this is something that can often be very valuable, especially this week with Inspiring mobs that need to die quickly if they’re involved in a pull.

Enhancement Shaman is a spec that pairs well with other auto-attackers who can benefit from Windfury Totem. Like Subtlety Rogues, they can funnel a solid chunk of DPS into a priority target, and they thrive when they can set up for their burst cooldowns - something that is often possible in Mythic+ for players with some foresight. They can sometimes suffer from a lack of inherent tankiness, and require particularly observant pilots as the keystone level gets to the point where avoidable damage starts to one-shot.

Feral Druid is the only Druid spec eligible for play in this competition, and it’s absolutely worth considering if alone for the access to all the powerful spells in the base Druid kit. Highly based on bleed effects, they scale well beyond the point where most melee specs are target capped, though in practice the delayed nature of their damage and the number of set-up globals they have to spend means that particularly in low keys things can die too quickly for the full potential to be realized. Their single-target damage can be fantastic, largely because they only need to change over one or two talents to switch between a raid build and a Mythic+ build.

Frost Death Knight is one of my picks for strongest specs eligible for this event. Their cleave damage is phenomenal - look at Warcraftlogs Statistics for a fight like Stone Legion Generals for proof! The challenge for Frost is that their damage requires planning ahead and solid knowledge of when there will be an opportunity to get full value out of their abilities - if these decisions are miscalculated, you can find yourself waddling from one pack to the next while your Breath of Sindragosa evaporates along with your overall DPS.

Finally, Survival Hunter is a spec that has never found a home in the PVE metagame ever since it was reworked to be a melee spec. There are some things working in Survival’s favor this expansion - largely uncapped AoE, for example, could potentially mean they slot in well to a group that is interested in setting up big pulls. They also have a nice AoE focused legendary in Wildfire Cluster that can further push them into that niche. The challenge for Survival Hunters comes from their single-target DPS, so they pair well with groups that have high damage specialists for the boss encounters and Prideful spawns of the dungeon.





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About the Author


Dratnos hosts the The Titanforge WoW Podcast. He’s also an Officer in the World 36th guild poptart corndoG, and a commentator for events such as the MDI and the Race to World First! He streams on Twitch, where he likes to review his friends’ logs.