Mythic+ 101: Know Your Melee DPS (Shadowlands)



Team synergy is the secret ingredient at the core of successful Mythic+ groups. The road to synergy starts with understanding not only your own class and role, but also from studying the patterns and styles of other classes to inform your own gameplay. This knowledge will not only boost your dungeon success overall, but it will also greatly improve your personal performance as a healer or tank. This level of awareness distinguishes a good teammate from a great one.

In this chapter of the Mythic+ 101 Series, we will provide intermediate level information, tips, and tricks to understand the patterns to track for each unique melee DPS specialization.

Keep in mind that this chapter is not a guide on how to play each melee DPS class; this is a guide on how to understand the important details of each spec from the perspective of the healer and tank. This guide is about building synergy with your melee in Mythic+.

Before we get started, we also want to extend a big thank you to all of the streamers who provided us with gameplay clips and insights into each spec. Thank you to: Biz, Elbro, JPC, Muffin, ProjectU, Psybearslat, Qrva, Seliathan, Speed, and Taiga.

Want to learn how to synergize with your melee DPS players in Mythic+ like a pro? Read on!



Table of Contents






Death Knight



  FROST

How to best use them: Frost Death Knights (DKs) are amazing at focusing down priority targets while still providing cleave damage to the rest of the pull. Big pulls are no problem for them because most of their spells are either uncapped or have Square Root Secondary Target (SQRT) scaling. Keep in mind that they have to do a little bit of setup before they can burst, as it’s best for them to pool Runic Power before going into their cooldowns.

How to pull for them: Large AoE pulls every 2 minutes aligned with their Breath of Sindragosa allows them to show off their huge burst and cleave potential. If they are running the Obliteration talent instead of Breath of Sindragosa, their damage profile will be less bursty but stay more consistent throughout the dungeon with their 1 minute long Pillar of Frost.

Utility:

InterruptMind Freeze15 second cooldown
StunAsphyxiate45 second cooldown (talent)
Hard CCControl UndeadPseudo CC; see individual spec section
Battle RezRaise Ally30 runic power cost

  • Frost DKs do not typically use a full-time undead pet so that they can use Control Undead on mobs as a temporary CC in De Other Side, Plaguefall, and The Necrotic Wake or as a way to buff the entire party with the Ancient Captain in Theater of Pain.
  • Anti-Magic Zone allows them to reduce the entire group’s magic damage taken by 20%. This is an extremely versatile spell that can be used to reduce not only group damage, but also act as an external cooldown for a specific party member.
  • Death Grip can be invaluable on Sanguine weeks or on any caster-heavy packs to assist the tank with grouping mobs. For example, if you are the DK and you use your Death Grip on the Kyrian Dark-Praetors in Spires of Ascension when they jump away, your tank will be eternally grateful to you!
  • DKs have the longest-range interrupt of any melee DPS class, with a 15-yard cast range (Mind Freeze). This makes them invaluable especially in melee-heavy comps for assisting with grouping mobs or getting their assigned interrupts even when mechanics force them to move away.
  • Last but certainly not least, they bring an ever-important battle rez. However, keep in mind if you are using them to do a death skip, the DK will need to generate 30 runic power to cast their res, so make sure the tank and healer are prepared to keep them safe while they hit a mob a few times first.

Defensive capability: Healers will find DKs to be fairly sturdy due to their passive health increase, and their ability to prevent the application of magic effects with Anti-Magic Shell (Bursting weeks really show off this strength). They also gain free casts of Death Strike whenever they get the killing blow on an enemy, which gives them access to some self-healing.

Covenant choice: The most common covenant choice for Frost DKs is Necrolord. However, for high key pushing, both Venthyr and Kyrian Frost DKs have achieved comparable key levels, making DKs highly flexible in terms of their covenant. See their current standings here.
  • Necrolord DKs have access to Abomination Limb, a 2-minute long AoE cooldown with a grip effect (tanks everywhere rejoice!)
  • Venthyr DKs get Swarming Mist, a 1-minute long cooldown that deals AoE damage, supplementing their burst-heavy DPS with something that can be used between their cooldown cycles.
  • Kyrian DKs get Shackle the Unworthy, a flexible 1-minute long cooldown that works well in single-target/priority damage situations, while still giving some additional damage in AoE pulls.

See it in action: Take a look at the clip below from Muffin, showing off Frost DK’s great burst potential in the first pull of Sanguine Depths. Notice how he still funnels most of his damage into the scariest mob (the Regal Mistdancer) while still dealing a large amount of damage to the rest of the pack.





  UNHOLY

How to best use them: Unholy Death Knights (DKs) have great AoE burst potential which scales better and better with more mobs, especially if they live for a long time. Their single-target damage is strong for Tyrannical weeks as well.

How to pull for them: As a tank, track their Army of the Dead as it is an incredibly potent cooldown that has a huge recharge time; if your DK is running the Army of the Damned talent, their cooldown will be somewhere around the 3-5 minute range. Unholy DKs have numerous other cooldowns but they are all very short (between 60-90 seconds), giving them frequent access to the rest of their burst.

It is very common to do a pull timer before a key begins if you have an Unholy DK; this allows them to pop Army of the Dead before the key starts which gives them partial benefit for the first pull of the dungeon.

Utility:

InterruptMind Freeze15 second cooldown
StunAsphyxiate

Gnaw
45 second cooldown (talent)

1.5 minute cooldown (pet stun)
Hard CCControl UndeadPseudo cc; see individual spec section
Battle RezRaise Ally30 runic power cost

  • Unlike their Frost DK counterparts, Unholy DKs should only be using their Control Undead on mobs as a temporary CC in De Other Side, Plaguefall, The Necrotic Wake, and Theater of Pain. If an Unholy DK does not have access to their pet, it is a fairly substantial DPS loss, so only use this as a CC if absolutely necessary.
  • Anti-Magic Zone allows them to reduce the entire group’s magic damage taken by 20%. This is an extremely versatile spell that can be used to reduce not only group damage, but also act as an external cooldown for a specific party member.
  • Death Grip can be invaluable on Sanguine weeks or on any caster-heavy packs to assist the tank with grouping mobs. For example, if you are the DK and you use your Death Grip on the Kyrian Dark-Praetors in Spires of Ascension when they jump away, your tank will be eternally grateful to you!
  • DKs have the longest-range interrupt of any melee DPS class, with a 15-yard cast range (Mind Freeze). This makes them invaluable especially in melee-heavy comps for assisting with grouping mobs or getting their assigned interrupts even when mechanics force them to move away.
  • Last but certainly not least, they bring an ever-important battle rez. However, keep in mind if you are using them to do a death skip, they will need to generate 30 Runic Power to cast it, so make sure the tank and healer are prepared to keep the DK safe while they hit a mob a few times first.

Defensive capability: Healers will find DKs to be fairly sturdy due to their passive health increase, and their ability to prevent the application of magic effects with Anti-Magic Shell (Bursting weeks really show off this strength). They also get free casts of Death Strike whenever they get the killing blow on an enemy, giving them access to some self-healing.

Covenant choice: Unholy DKs are primarily Necrolords with a few Venthyr thrown into the mix. There has also been experimentation with the Night Fae covenant since 9.1.5 for runs where large pulls are planned. See their current standings here.
  • Necrolord DKs have access to Abomination Limb, a 2-minute long AoE cooldown with a grip effect (tanks everywhere rejoice!)
  • Venthyr DKs get Swarming Mist, yet another 1-minute long cooldown that deals AoE damage (as if they don’t have enough to press already!)

See it in action: Taiga shows off a great pull in the inner ring of De Other Side, where Unholy DK can use its DPS and utility well. When mobs are pulled close together, Unholy DKs can spread their disease DoTs easily and allow their damage to ramp up. The already magic damage heavy pull is added onto with a Tormented Lieutenant, but DK utility comes to the rescue with an Anti-Magic Zone to reduce group damage and the 15-yard range interrupt allows him to still get it while dodging void zones and Storming tornadoes.





Demon Hunter



  HAVOC

How to best use them: Havoc Demon Hunters (Havoc DHs) thrive due to their consistent damage output. They have very few AoE caps on their abilities, so they can contribute large amounts of damage. Their high mobility allows them to easily dodge ground effects or other mechanics that force movement.

How to pull for them: Track their Metamorphosis and, when it’s up, give them a huge AoE pull. The remainder of their impactful DPS abilities have short cooldowns so they won’t be as essential to track as Meta.

It is also fairly standard to do a countdown prior to starting a keystone so that the Havoc DH can pop Metamorphosis before the key is activated, giving them some “free” cooldown time that carries over into the start of the key. Overall, Havoc DHs are a spec with consistent damage throughput that does not necessarily depend on Metamorphosis being available, though Metamorphosis provides a nice additional boost.

What to look out for: Their ability to do AoE damage is not particularly cooldown dependent. However, when their Metamorphosis and their shorter cooldowns are unavailable, their overall DPS will inevitably take a hit.

The Momentum talent also requires them to jump around the area with their Fel Rush and Vengeful Retreat abilities. Knowing this, try not to tank mobs too close to other packs, patrolling mobs, or cliff faces... We’ve all seen Demon Hunters fly off a cliff to their death at least a handful of times!

Utility:
InterruptDisrupt15 second cooldown - 10 yard range
StunChaos Nova1 minute cooldown - 8 yard AoE Stun
ImmunityNetherwalk3 minute cooldown (talent)
CCImprison45 second cooldown - demons, beasts, humanoids
PurgeConsume Magic10 second cooldown

  • A DH’s Imprison is considered one of the “best” CC abilities, as it does not aggro based on range. What this means is that, once a mob is affected by Imprison, the entire group can walk right up to the mob and combat will not be triggered. This makes it invaluable in facilitating skips, as well as regular CC capability.
  • Havoc DHs pair well with other DPS and tank specs that primarily deal magic damage due to their Chaos Brand, which gives all mobs touched by the DH a 5% magic damage taken increase.
  • Havoc DHs gain Fury (their main resource) by using their (Consume Magic) and their interrupt (Disrupt) so most experienced Demon Hunters will be looking for opportunities to use their toolkit as much as possible.
  • Darkness may not be the most amazing group utility spell but it still has its uses especially on Tyrannical weeks with unavoidable group damage (Margrave Stradama’s ability Infectious Rain in Plaguefall is a great example of this).

Defensive Capability: Havoc DHs are very sturdy due to a short personal defensive cooldown (Blur) and the commonly taken Soul Rending talent, which lets them constantly recharge their own health via leech during low damage periods.

Covenant Choice: Havoc DHs are most commonly Night Fae. However, Kyrian and Necrolord Havoc DHs have done comparable keys. (See their current standings here.).
  • Nightfae DHs get access to The Hunt, a targeted ability that improves their ST/Priority damage potential (with a small AoE component so it’s useful all dungeon long!)
  • Kyrian DHs get Elysian Decree, a bursty AoE cast on a short cooldown that really shines in AoE but loses a lot of value in single-target situations.
  • Necrolord DHs have Fodder to the Flame, which summons them a demon friend that they need to kill. Upon death, the demon will explode for AoE damage to mobs and heal the DH. This ability can be very good, but it has an RNG component on exactly when the demon spawns. This way, Necrolord isn’t as reliable as the other two options.

See it in action: The clip below from Revatha shows a Havoc DH in their happy place. Most of the time as a tank, doing the huge AoE pulls that DHs love is also extremely dangerous and requires some kiting. However, this is no problem for the hyper-mobile spec because their kit encourages them to zip around the pull for a DPS increase anyways. They can even help keep their tank safe by including their own AoE stun for some extra control.





Druid



  FERAL

How to best use them: Feral Druids will rip through single-target bosses and priority targets with ease (pun intended). They have a daily short cooldown cycle meaning they will always have something up for lieutenants and scary mobs, and will often be able to pop their cooldowns multiple times during a boss fight.

How to pull for them: In AoE situations, Feral Druids thrive in large, long, and consistent pulls. You may find that most Feral Druids stay specced for single-target damage in dungeons (especially on Tyrannical weeks) and let their DPS counterparts do most of the general AoE while the Feral Druid focuses on priority targets, lieutenants, and bosses.

What to look out for: Don’t be surprised if you see your Feral Druid pretending to be a Boomkin periodically throughout the dungeon. Part of their “optimal” rotation is to jump into their Astral Form and cast some Boomkin spells with Balance Affinity.

Utility:
InterruptSkull Bash15 second cooldown - 13 yard range with a charge
StunMighty Bash1 minute cooldown (talent)
CCHibernateNo cooldown - beasts and dragonkin
SootheSoothe10 second cooldown
Battle RezRebirth2 second cast time


  • Entangling Roots (and the Mass Entanglement talent) are commonly used to stop patrols as long as no damage goes out on them, since these roots do put you in combat if you get too close to the mob(s). Additionally, roots are used to prevent certain mobs from moving in some cases. The best example of this is on Globgrog in Plaguefall. Mass Entanglement can stop all of the small slimes from reaching the boss, while Entangling Roots can root the bigger slime as well.
  • Depending on what affinity talent they choose, both Typhoon and Ursol’s Vortex bring immense flexibility for stopping casts, getting mobs out of Sanguine puddles, facilitating tank kiting, repositioning caster mobs, etc.

Defensive Capability: Feral Druids have the potential to survive periods of heavy damage intake by going into Bear Form; this does not have a cooldown, and they can shift in and out of Bear Form at will, but it sacrifices a lot of DPS to do so and it does take a global cooldown to shift forms. This can also be paired with their personal cooldown of Barkskin or Survival Instincts for some extra damage reduction. Their mobility is exceptional and they should be able to easily dodge ground effects. As an added bonus they get free instant heal cast heals after using their finisher so they can help healers out and increase their own survivability!

Covenant Choice: Feral Druids in Mythic+ are almost exclusively Night Fae, and they usually run the covenant legendary Celestial Spirits to double down further. See their current standings here.

Night Fae Feral Druids get the very unique Convoke the Spirits which randomly casts a sequence of druid spells during its 4 second channel.
  • While wearing their covenant legendary, Feral Druids can expect about 50% of their casts to be Feral Frenzy, increasing Convoke’s strength even further.
  • Since the covenant legendary also makes their Convoke only a 1 minute cooldown, you can justify them casting it outside of cat form to get more group healing in a pinch.

See it in action: Take a look at this clip from Psybearslat showing off Feral’s immense single target damage capabilities. By using his Convoke the Spirits covenant ability immediately on the boss, he can get a substantial lead on the other DPS and maintain that lead even when swapping to help out with the add management in the fight. This single-target burst gives the group a great head start on boss damage, and can completely annihilate priority targets with lower health such as lieutenants and minibosses.





Hunter



  SURVIVAL

How to best use them: Survival Hunters, while not as common as their ranged counterparts, have great burst capability and better-than-average single-target damage, allowing them to supplement DPS wherever needed based on the rest of the DPS comp they’re running with.

How to pull for them: In AoE, Survival loves pulls that are 5+ targets because it gives them cooldown reduction on Wildfire Bomb through Carve. They should have some sort of smaller cooldown up for every pack but feel free to track their Coordinated Assault to know when they’re ready for an even bigger pull.

What to look out for: Their single-target damage is above average, but with so many other specs that shine in this respect, their main focus will be bringing that strong AoE burst discussed above.

Utility:
InterruptMuzzle15 second cooldown
StunIntimidation1 minute cooldown - requires an active pet
ImmunityAspect of the Turtle3 minute cooldown
CCFreezing Trap

Scare Beast
30 second cooldown - no type restriction

30 second cooldown - beasts
SootheTranquilizing Shot10 second cooldown (is also their purge)
PurgeTranquilizing Shot10 second cooldown (is also their soothe)
BloodlustPrimal Ragerequires an active ferocity pet


  • As a tank, one of the most useful things your Hunter brings is an immense amount of mob control; the Hunter’s utility kit pairs exceptionally well with low-movement tanks that require additional assistance when kiting.
    • Binding Shot gives you the ability to kite away easily
    • They also have access to Tar Trap, which is another AoE slow

  • The main uses of Feign Death are to “cheese” mechanics more often than not. For example:
    • Hunters can use Feign Death to facilitate skips by pulling mobs away from their party and using Feign once their party is safely on the other side of the group. They also have Camouflage to stealth between mobs if needed.
    • They can also use it to drop some targeted abilities (for example, they can Feign when targeted by Castigate by Executor Tarvold in Sanguine Depths to make him stop channeling it on them).

  • Freezing Trap is a great hard CC that has no mob-type limitation (any mobs that are immune to CC are still immune to Freezing Tap). However, it is important to note that Freezing Trap does cause the mob to enter combat based on distance. While this criteria would normally disqualify it from being a usable CC for dungeon skips, Freezing Trap paired with the Hunter’s Feign Death can be used together to accomplish a skip.
  • While not useful very often, Flare is exceptional in Spires of Ascension to unstealth Forsworn Stealthclaws and Brood Ambushers or Stealthlings in Plaguefall.
  • Tanks will love Hunters for their Misdirection ability, which allows them to transfer threat to their tank. Keep in mind that any damage generated by the pet doesn’t get transferred with Misdirect, though.

Defensive Capability: Aspect of the Turtle helps a Hunter’s survivability, but Hunters are definitely not the most defensively-inclined DPS spec. They also have Exhilaration for a 30% heal and Survival of the Fittest when running with a tenacity pet. Healers should prioritize healing a Hunter if the other DPS specs in the group are a bit sturdier.

Covenant Choice: Survival Hunters are primarily Kyrian and a decent amount are Night Fae See their current standings here.
  • Night Fae Hunters receive Wild Spirits, a targeted ground effect that lines up with Coordinated Assault. When you see it go down, make sure you don’t move mobs out of it unless absolutely necessary!
  • Kyrian Hunters also receive a targeted AoE ground effect with Resonating Arrow and the same rules apply here — once it’s down, keep mobs in it as much as possible.

See it in action: Psybearslat demonstrates Survival Hunter’s AoE burst ability in the clip below. The last portion of Mists of Tirna Scithe is often the only place you have to make up time as most the dungeon is made up of long boss fights or structured trash pulls in the maze. This often makes the pulls at the end of the dungeon deceptively scary as tanks often feel the pressure to overpull. The addition of Survival’s AoE in this pull makes the pack melt and they are easily able to burst the group down quickly while keeping damage done on the pack relatively even to prevent the Spiteful Shades from being staggered.





Monk



  WINDWALKER

How to best use them: Windwalker Monks (WWs) almost need no explanation, as everyone has seen them shine in the current Mythic+ Meta. They are extremely reliable AoE damage dealers that will bring high damage to virtually every trash pull.

How to pull for them: Their AoE cooldowns are very short and, as a tank, you have to do very little to make a WW shine. They don’t require set up and will reliably do strong AoE damage in every single pack you pull. This gives you the flexibility to plan your pulls around your other damage dealers and let the WW adapt to their preferred pull patterns.

What to look out for: Despite Touch of Death and Xuen, their single-target damage is not as strong as other classes so they won’t be your hero on Tyrannical weeks, that being said their exceptional AoE will allow your other DPS to spec more into single-target damage without lagging behind on the trash portion of the dungeon.

Utility:
InterruptSpear Hand Strike15 second cooldown
StunLeg Sweep1 minute cooldown - AoE stun within 6 yards
Hard CCParalysis30 second cooldown - no mob type restriction
DispelDetoxPoison and Disease removal

  • WWs pair very well will other physical damage dealers due to their Mystic Touch passive.
  • Ring of Peace brings a huge amount of utility in virtually every single Mythic+ situation:
    • It can help tanks do some short range kiting when they need a breather or to drop necrotic stacks.
    • Placing it on the group during Spiteful weeks can keep the party safe from Spiteful Shades.
    • It makes mob repositioning a breeze on Sanguine weeks.
    • Need an extra interrupt when everyone else’s kicks are on cooldown? No problem — being bonked out of the way with a Ring of Peace will interrupt casts. However, this can only be used on mobs that are not immune to movement-impairing effects, and some casters will immediately recast the same spell until an actual interrupt is used.
    • Ring of Peace can even be used out of combat without aggroing mobs, either in conjunction with Paralysis to move a mob further to facilitate safe skips, or to stop patrols from joining a pull at an inopportune time.

  • Their passive Windwalking spell gives extra movement speed, which is always welcomed in Mythic+ for faster travel between packs or to get that extra boost when dodging mechanics.

Defensive Capability: They have Touch of Karma and Fortifying Brew, but lack the immunities and short defensive cooldowns that other melee classes have. This way, they may need some extra healer attention.

Covenant Choice: WWs are almost exclusively Necrolord. See their current standings here.
  • Bonedust Brew gives WWs even more consistent AoE on a short cooldown, further cementing them as the AoE king of your group in most situations.

See it in action: The clip below from Speed exemplifies why Windwalker Monks are so well-loved in keys. As soon as the pull starts, Speed is able to start popping off with high burst damage immediately. This allows the other DPS in the group to focus on priority targets or plan their cooldowns around important packs, while allowing the WW Monk to ensure that the group doesn’t fall behind on time.





Paladin



  RETRIBUTION

How to best use them: Retribution Paladins (Ret) have a very strong utility toolkit that allows them to help out the group in ways that don’t always show up on DPS meters. They can shine as an off healer to alleviate pressure from your primary healer or help correct mistakes in a pinch.

How to pull for them: They have a 1-minute burst DPS pattern and they will do big damage when popping their signature DPS cooldown of Avenging Wrath. They shine in key levels where the average pull length ranges between 1 min and 1:30 min so that they can either get a cooldown cycle up for every pack or get a second round of cooldowns going before the mobs die.

What to look out for: As a tank, the main thing you should be wary about is Ret’s ability to pull threat right on pull. Communicate with your Ret Paladin to make sure that you either have DPS cooldowns up as well, or that they wait a few seconds until you’ve established threat before they start unloading on the pack. Their damage outside of their cooldown window is significantly lower, so once their burst is done, Ret Paladins should be looking for opportunities to help their group with their utility kit.

Utility:
InterruptRebuke15 second cooldown
StunHammer of Justice1 minute cooldown (can be lowered with a talent
Hard CCTurn Evil15 second cooldown - undead, aberrations, and demons
ImmunityDivine Shield

Blessing of Protection
5 minute cooldown - self only

5 minute cooldown, physical immunity only - can be cast on another player
DispelCleanse ToxinsPoison and Disease removal


  • When they are the only Paladin in the group, Ret Paladins are able to bring Devotion Aura, reducing overall group damage.
  • Ret Paladins have an immense amount of utility with their toolkit that they can use on their other group members (or themselves):
    • Blessing of Sacrifice is an external that can be placed on DPS or healers if they are targeted by a boss or mob ability, or even on the tank for some extra help on a big pull. The main downside of this is that the Ret Paladin takes the damage for them, so they need to ensure their own safety before using it.
    • Word of Glory and Lay on Hands gives them the ability to heal themselves and off-heal the group to give the healer some breathing room during hard mechanics. A Ret Paladin with quick reactions can prevent deaths and save pulls from going sideways.
    • Blessing of Protection is a physical immunity that can be put on another party member. Paired with a cancelaura macro it can help Tanks remove Necrotic and other Bleed debuffs, or give immunity to other party members who may lack an immunity of their own.
  • Paladins also bring the longest stun in the game with Hammer of Justice clocking in at a whopping 6 seconds of stun duration (always let them be the first in a rotation to get a stun off to prevent diminishing returns from cutting it short).
  • They can also talent into Blinding Light or Repentance in lieu of a shorter cooldown for Hammer of Justice if the situation calls for it.

Defensive Capability: On top of their group utility, Ret Paladins bring an immunity with Divine Shield but most of their other defensive abilities are absorbs/healing so there is nothing they can do to flat reduce % of damage intake. While they will be able to help the healer out with off-healing, they will need some help in return on higher keys with external damage reductions.

Covenant Choice: Ret Paladins are almost always Kyrian. See their current standings here. Kyrian Ret Paladins gain Divine Toll which casts a Judgement (at double damage!) on up to 5 targets, gains them extra holy power, and makes their next finisher that hits these mobs take 25% more damage. It essentially doubles down on their 1 minute burst damage pattern.

See it in action: Watch below as Qrva shows off Ret’s burst potential in AoE situations. By bursting the mobs down quickly, it takes a lot of strain off the tank and healer as they don’t need to manage the increased damage intake from the boss and mob pack together for too long.





Rogue



  ASSASSINATION

How to best use them: Assassination Rogues are strong in longer pulls where they can sustain multi-dotting so they perform well in dungeons where packs usually live for a long time, or where chain pulling is possible to keep mob count high. If you’re already running an AoE heavy comp, Assassination Rogues can be very flexible and go into a more single-target build to take down bosses and prioirty targets instead, while still bringing their signature Rogue utility kit.

How to pull for them: Track their Vendetta as their main DPS cooldown. Their AoE damage is not very bursty and ramps up with time so big pulls with high health mobs make them happiest if Vendetta is up. Otherwise feel free to pull around your other DPS classes and your Assassination Rogue can support whereever the damage is needed!

What to look out for: Don’t worry about wasting kicks on pull if you have an Assassination rogue as they often open with Garrote. That being said, resealths aren’t as necessary as they used to be for Assassination so feel free to chain pull, especially if it bulks up the pull and allows them to spread their bleeds.

Utility:
InterruptKick15 second cooldown
StunCheap Shot

Kidney Shot
No cooldown

20 second cooldown - finishing move that requires combo points
Hard CCSap

Blind
requires stealth and limited to 1 target - humanoids, beasts, demons, and dragonkin

2 minute cooldown - disorient
ImmunityCloak of Shadows2 minute cooldown, magic immunity only
SootheShiv25 second cooldown

  • Perhaps the most iconic Rogue ability in Mythic+ dungeons is Shroud of Concealment, which allows for an insane variety of pathing and skips.
  • Distract is a form of utility unique to Rogues that can stop patrols and allows for stealthing around mobs with truesight. You can pair Distract with Shroud of Concealment to get your group around virtually any pack.
  • While normally used for a DPS gain, Vanish can also be used to facilitate additional skips or pulls.
  • Great news for tanks, Rogues bring Tricks of the Trade to redirect threat and help with initial aggro gain when pulling large packs. That being said, Assassination rogues don’t have much upfront burst, so expect this to be weaker than their Sub and Outlaw counterparts.
  • Both of their non-lethal poison choices bring great utility for tanks, and communicate with your rogue if you’d like them to choose a specific one. Numbing Poison should be the default for its ability to slow mob attack and casting speed, and Crippling Poison has a chance to slow mob movement speed by 50% to allow for easier kiting.
  • Their immense stun and control kit is listed in the table above, but the variety and sheer amount of mob control tools Rogues have at their disposal deserves reiteration. If a mob needs a stun, chances are your Rogue can do something about it.

Defensive Capability: Rogues have access to Cloak of Shadows for magic damage, Evasion for physical damage, and Feint for area of effect damage. Crimson Vial can be used to heal in a pinch for a small energy sacrifice. In case something manages to kill them through all of that, virtually all rogues run the Cheat Death talent as a backup plan.

Covenant Choice: Assassination Rogues are split fairly evenly between Venthyr and Necrolord. See their current standings here.
  • Venthyr Rogues get access to Flagellation, a short single target damage ability that also gains them a haste buff, giving them better single-target/priority-target damage.
  • Necrolord Rogues gain Serrated Bone Spike, essentially allowing them to have permanent bleeds ticking on 3 targets plus some extra combo point generation. This isn’t as strong in single-target situations but really shines in AoE when they can have all 3 rolling.

See it in action: Seliathan shows off how well Assasination can do in chain pull environments and large pulls in the clip below. We start the clip at the end of a large pull in Theater of Pain, where the tank pulls in additional small mobs as the mob count starts to fall. This allows Assassination Rogues to respread their bleeds and keep their damage ramping up as the pull goes on, rather than dipping like bursty DPS specs.





  OUTLAW

How to best use them: Outlaw Rogue’s “AoE” rotation is essentially a single-target rotation with a charge of Blade Flurry which makes them exceptional at dealing high priority damage with cleave while using their utility to lock down scary mobs.

How to pull for them: Ideally pull other mobs onto bosses, minibosses, or lieutenants so their cleave capability isn’t wasted. Let combat drop between packs so they can restealth between pulls for a large gain in DPS but keep downtime under 20 seconds between pulls so they don’t lose their Alacrity stacks.

What to look out for: They have a certain degree of RNG in their damage output due to Roll the Bones. This means they run the risk of getting amazing damage on an inconsequential pack or lackluster damage on a priority, high-risk pull.

Utility:
InterruptKick15 second cooldown
StunGouge

Cheap Shot

Kidney Shot
15 second cooldown

No cooldown

20 second cooldown - finishing move that requires combo points
Hard CCSap

Blind
requires stealth and limited to 1 target - humanoids, beasts, demons, and dragonkin

2 minute cooldown - disorient
ImmunityCloak of Shadows2 minute cooldown, magic immunity only
SootheShiv25 second cooldown

  • Perhaps the most iconic Rogue ability in Mythic+ dungeons, Shroud of Concealment allows for an insane variety of pathing and skips.
  • Distract is a form of utility unique to Rogues that can stop pats and allows for stealthing around mobs with truesight (pair it with Shroud of Concealment to get your group around virtually any pack)
  • While normally used for a DPS gain, Vanish can also be used to facilitate additional skips or pulls.
  • Great news for tanks, Rogues bring Tricks of the Tradeto redirect threat and help with initial aggro gain when pulling large packs.
  • Both of their non-lethal poison choices bring great utility for tanks, and communicate with your rogue if you’d like them to choose a specific one. Numbing Poison should be the default for its ability to slow mob attack and casting speed, and Crippling Poison has a chance to slow mob movement speed by 50% to allow for easier kiting.
  • Their immense stun and control kit is listed in the table above, but the variety and sheer amount of mob control tools Rogues have at their disposal deserves reiteration. If a mob needs a stun, chances are your Rogue can do something about it.

Defensive Capability: Rogues have access to Cloak of Shadows for magic damage, Evasion for physical damage, and Feint for area of effect damage. Crimson Vial can be used to heal in a pinch for a small energy sacrifice. In case something manages to kill them through all of that, virtually all rogues run the Cheat Death talent as a backup plan. Outlaw also gains Acrobatic Strikes for a range increase on their attacks, giving them the ability to dodge out of the way of mechanics while staying in range to keep attacking.

Covenant Choice: Outlaw Rogues use a wide variety of covenants, split between Necrolord, Venthyr and Kyrian. See their current standings here.
  • Venthyr Rogues get access to Flagellation, a short single target damage ability that also gains them a haste buff, giving them better ST/Priority target damage. Keep in mind, Blade Flurry does not make this cleave.
  • Necrolord Rogues gain Serrated Bone Spike, essentially allowing them to have permanent bleeds ticking on 3 targets plus some extra combo point generation. This isn’t as strong in single-target situations but really shines in AoE when they can have all 3 rolling.
  • Kyrian Rogues have Echoing Reprimand, a short single-target burst cast. This ability does cleave with Blade Flurry so it gives AoE benefits as well!

See it in action: JPC demonstrates Outlaw Rogue’s ability to put priority damage into a target in the clip below. The adds on Domina in Plaguefall can get out of control if left alone but focusing on adds over the boss will slow down the fight unnecessarily. Thankfully, Outlaw Rogues don’t need to decide what to prioritize and can continue putting all of their damage into the boss while just cleaving onto the adds with Blade Flurry.





  SUBTLETY

How to best use them: Subtlety is the most consistent of the Rogue specs and will bring exceptional single target and priority damage to the group, while still being able to do reasonable AoE damage.

How to pull for them: They do well when there can consistently be 5-6 mobs in each pull, especially if there is a priority target as they can use their Shuriken Storm to generate combo points to funnel damage into it. Track their Shadow Blades cooldown and try to time it around pulling a pack along with Tormented Lieutenants or other minibosses to get the most out of it.

What to look out for: Don’t mistake them for their Assassination and Outlaw counterparts, they aren’t reliant on restealths so feel free to chain pull!

Utility:
InterruptKick15 second cooldown
StunCheap Shot

Kidney Shot
No cooldown

20 second cooldown - finishing move that requires combo points
Hard CCSap

Blind
requires stealth and limited to 1 target - humanoids, beasts, demons, and dragonkin

2 minute cooldown - disorient
ImmunityCloak of Shadows2 minute cooldown, magic immunity only
SootheShiv25 second cooldown

  • Perhaps the most iconic Rogue ability in Mythic+ dungeons, Shroud of Concealment allows for an insane variety of pathing and skips.
  • Distract is a form of utility unique to Rogues that can stop pats and allows for stealthing around mobs with truesight (pair it with Shroud of Concealment to get your group around virtually any pack)
  • While normally used for a DPS gain, Vanish can also be used to facilitate additional skips or pulls.
  • Great news for tanks, Rogues bring Tricks of the Trade to redirect threat and help with initial aggro gain when pulling large packs.
  • Both of their non-lethal poison choices bring great utility for tanks, and communicate with your rogue if you’d like them to choose a specific one. Numbing Poisonshould be the default for its ability to slow mob attack and casting speed, and Crippling Poison has a chance to slow mob movement speed by 50% to allow for easier kiting.
  • Their immense stun and control kit is listed in the table above, but the variety and sheer amount of mob control tools Rogues have at their disposal deserves reiteration. If a mob needs a stun, chances are your Rogue can do something about it.

Defensive Capability: Rogues have access to Cloak of Shadows for magic damage, Evasion for physical damage, and Feint for area of effect damage. Crimson Vial can be used to heal in a pinch for a small energy sacrifice. In case something manages to kill them through all of that, virtually all rogues run the Cheat Death talent as a backup plan.

Covenant Choice: Subtlety Rogues are almost exclusively Venthyr. See their current standings here.
  • Venthyr Rogues get access to Flagellation, a short single target damage ability that also gains them a haste buff, giving them better ST/Priority target damage, doubling down on Sub’s existing strengths.

See it in action: In the clip below. you can see JPC doing what Sub does best and funneling all of his damage into the Zolramus Necromancer in Necrotic Wake. When this mob dies, all of his summoned Skeletons die as well so AoE is normally wasted, however Subtlety can use these mobs to farm combo points using Shuriken Storm and dumping all of his finishers into the Necromancer.





Shaman



  ENHANCEMENT

How to best use them: Enhancement Shaman is great at funneling damage into a boss or priority target primarily through their Crash Lightning. They work best when paired with other DPS who do consistent AoE so that they can focus their efforts into the scariest mob in the pull.

How to pull for them: Their main AoE cooldown comes from Doom Winds on a quick 1 minute cycle so they should have it up for most pulls. Track their Ascendance as their main cooldown to pull around. As stated above, you really want to ensure that you drag mobs into the pull with priority targets to give the ability to gain Crash Lightning buffs.

What to look out for: Their general AoE is not as strong as other classes, but a good Enhance Shaman will forgo trying to evenly spread their damage and instead will double down on filling their role of being one of the best classes for funnel damage.

Utility:
InterruptWind Shear12 second cooldown
StunCapacitor Totem1 minute cooldown - AoE stun that goes off 2 seconds after placing
Hard CCHex20 second cooldown - humanoids and beasts
Battle RezReincarnation30 minute cooldown - self only and doesn't consume a dungeon brez charge
PurgePurgesingle target purge
DispelCleanse Spirit

Tremor Totem
Curse removal

Fear, Charm, and Sleep removal
BloodlustBloodlust/Heroism


  • Enhance Shamans bring their quintessential Windfury Totem to the group, making them an amazing addition to melee heavy groups. Arms Warriors and Rogues pair exceptionally well with them because of this due to their melee heavy damage profiles.
  • Tanks in particular will benefit from their Earth Elemental, which will taunt mobs and take some of the pressure off high-intensity pulls, or help with resetting Necrotic Stacks.
  • Tremor Totem has become more useful in the current Season as it removes the fear effect from Executioner Varruth’s Wave of Terror -- anyone who has done keys on Quaking weeks has felt the pain of having that ability coincide with a Quaking circle.
  • Enhance Shamans are exceptional emergency healers that can top up party members in a pinch. They’re limited by their small mana pool but in life or death situations, they can cast up to 4 Healing Surges on party members.
  • It’s important to mention that they bring the shortest interrupt of all classes with Wind Shear at only 12 seconds, so they can get interrupts far more often than any of their melee counterparts, and can usually solo lock down mobs.

Defensive Capability: They only have Astral Shift as a baseline defensive but can talent into Earth Shield and Nature’s Guardian for some extra self-sustain. As stated above, their ability to off-heal can help them to keep themselves and their party members safe if the healer is overwhelmed.

Covenant Choice: Enhancement Shamans have a lot of variety in their covenant choices with most being Night Fae in high keys, but with strong Venthyr and Kyrian representation as well. See their current standings here.
  • Night Fae Enhance Shamans gain Fae Transfusion which requires a channel in exchange for burst damage (this can be very spooky for a melee, so make extra certain you’re not cleaving them with frontals during this). Once they’re done they’ll radiate healing damage to their allies based on the damage done so this might be a good one for healers to track if you regularly run with a NF Shaman
  • Venthyr gets them access to Chain Harvest, a great AoE burst ability with a bonus healing effect to any party members it bounces to! This is especially good in melee-heavy comps where this heal can benefit more people.
  • Continuing on with the theme of DPS/healing hybrid abilities, Kyrian Shamans get Vesper Totem which deals AoE damage or heals nearby party members depending on what the Shaman casts (to really take advantage of its healing, they can pair this with a Healing Stream Totem to both proc its healing effect and add to their hps even more).

See it in action: Every group knows the dangers inherent in the gauntlet of Sanguine Depths; pushing the right amount of damage onto General Kaal to get through it quickly while still dealing with mobs is a tough balance. Elbro shows off how Enhance’s ability to funnel damage really shines in these types of situations. By using the adds to gain Crash Lightning buffs, he can bring the General down quickly and move through the gauntlet before the healer’s mana and tank’s cooldowns start running low.





Warrior



  ARMS

How to best use them: Arms Warriors have fantastic burst that shines in 2 target cleave situations. On Tyrannical weeks their strong Execute can shred through bosses.

How to pull for them: When possible make sure you position bosses next to at least one other mob or add for them to cleave onto as they can do it for “free” with Sweeping Strikes. Their cooldowns are relatively short -- their biggest burst window is every 1.5 minutes with Avatar, Warbreaker, and Bladestorm.

What to look out for: They need bosses to stay in Execute range for quite a while to really show off their strength, so high Tyrannical keys cater to their strengths well. Their AoE damage can be extremely bursty so communicate with your Warrior to make sure that you either have DPS cooldowns up as well, or that they wait a few seconds until you’ve established threat before they start unloading on the pack.

Utility:
InterruptPummel15 second cooldown
StunStorm Bolt30 second cooldown (talent)
ImmunitiesSpell ReflectionPseduo spell immunity on targeted spells


  • Warriors pair very well with other physical damage DPS and tanks by providing Battle Shout for a 5% Attack Power boost.
  • Spell Reflection is such a powerful defensive ability that it’s often considered an integral part of Warrior’s utility. Any spell reflected is immuned in its entirety and it is off GCD with a 25 second recharge time. This can also do huge damage to the mob casting the spell; for example on Oryphion in Spires of Ascension this lets the warrior jump into other people’s Purifying Blast circles and deflect damage back to him every 25 seconds for free.
  • Warriors also bring a group-wide cooldown in the form of Rallying Cry; the 15% temporary health is especially useful to prevent one shots during heavy burst damage. A great example of this is in Sanguine Depths during Grand Proctor Beryllia’s Rite of Supremacy cast.


Defensive Capability: In addition to the default Warrior defensives, Arms Warriors get access to Die by the Sword. While parry doesn’t seem immediately useful for a non-tank, they can use it to pull off some interesting tricks while also giving their tank some extra breathing room.
  • It can be used to gain a damage increase, for example by taunting Mordretha in Theater of Pain to Spell Reflect the magic portion of her Reaping Scythe while parrying the physical portion.
  • Die by the Sword can also be combined with Intervene on the tank to act as a defensive, or to reset Necrotic Stacks (if you do this, the tank will need to kite for 3 seconds afterwards as Intervene doesn’t quite last long enough).

They can also shift into Defensive Stance for a DPS loss but for 20% damage reduction that lasts an infinite amount of time with only a 6 second cooldown.

Covenant Choice: Most Arms Warriors are Kyrian however, some higher keys have also been done with Night Fae. See their current standings here.
  • Kyrian Warriors gain access to Spear of Bastion, a 1 minute AoE cooldown that doubles down on their AoE damage to 5 targets. This has the added benefit of also tethering mobs in place, mitigating Fury’s biggest weakness of losing DPS when mobs are spread out.
  • The Night Fae Warrior ability is Ancient Aftershock, another short cooldown AoE that (surprise, surprise) is best at 5 targets. It also has a micro-stun component, making it great for pulls with lots of casters.

See it in action: In the clip below you can see Biz demonstrating why Arms Warriors are so good at both Tyrannical and 2 target cleave during a +27 Tyrannical Surgeon Stitchflesh fight in Necrotic Wake. This fight has almost constant cleave potential with multiple targets getting into execute range. Notice how after most of the other DPS players in the group drop off after their cooldowns drop off, Arms Warriors stay consistently high, even increasing once the adds start getting into execute range.





  FURY

How to best use them: Fury Warriors bring great cleave with Whirlwind without sacrificing their priority target damage. Despite being melee, they are exceptionally mobile and can zip around the battlefield as needed to stick to mobs or bosses.

How to pull for them: They’re happiest doing 5+ target pulls and have great AoE potential when mobs are grouped up together. Their AoE cooldowns are all in the 1-1.5 minute range, meaning they thrive in chain pulling situations and will almost always have their cooldowns up.

What to look out for: Their single-target damage really only ramps up once the boss gets into execute range so don’t expect their burst to be too high right on pull. They also need mobs to be grouped together quite tightly so kiting mobs without slows or roots to keep them together can cripple their DPS (with communication, they can do this themselves with Piercing Howl).

Utility:
InterruptPummel15 second cooldown
StunStorm Bolt30 second cooldown (talent)
ImmunitiesBerserker Rage

Spell Reflection
Fear, Sap & Incapacitate immunity

Pseduo spell immunity on targeted spells


  • Warriors pair very well with other physical damage DPS and tanks by providing Battle Shout for a 5% Attack Power boost.
  • Spell Reflection is such a powerful defensive ability that it’s often considered an integral part of Warrior’s utility. Any spell reflected is immuned in its entirety and it is off GCD with a 25 second recharge time. This can also do huge damage to the mob casting the spell; for example on Oryphion in Spires of Ascension this lets the warrior jump into other people’s Purifying Blast circles and deflect damage back to him every 25 seconds for free.
  • Warriors also bring a group-wide cooldown in the form of Rallying Cry; the 15% temporary health is especially useful to prevent one shots during heavy burst damage. A great example of this is in Sanguine Depths during Grand Proctor Beryllia’s Rite of Supremacy cast.

Defensive Capability: Fury warriors have a lot of defensive options. Between Warpaint, Enraged Regeneration, Bloodthirst, Victory Rush, and Ignore Pain, you can expect that an experienced player will be able to self-sustain through a lot of unavoidable damage, in addition to Spell Reflection mentioned above.

Covenant Choice: Fury Warriors are primarily Kryiran and to a lesser degree, Night Fae. See their current standings here.
  • Kyrian Warriors gain access to Spear of Bastion, a 1 minute AoE cooldown that doubles down on their AoE damage to 5 targets. This has the added benefit of also tethering mobs in place, mitigating Fury’s biggest weakness of losing DPS when mobs are spread out.
  • The Night Fae Warrior ability is Ancient Aftershock, another short cooldown AoE that (surprise, surprise) is best at 5 targets. It also has a micro-stun component, making it great for pulls with lots of casters.

See it in action: Take a look at the clip from Biz showing off Fury’s AoE potential in Theater of Pain. This dungeon is the epitome of a great warrior dungeon with numerous small pulls and bosses with cleave options. You can see Biz combine his Recklessness and Kyrian Spear of Bastion on the pull, which increases his damage and keeps the very mobile mobs from jumping away outside of his range.





Links




About the Author


Sessa currently mains a Protection Paladin (get your jokes in now, it’s okay, I’ve heard them all before) and is a moderator for the Hammer of Wrath Paladin Class Discord. She also writes Mythic+ Dungeon guides for TankNotes and likes to unwind by finding new ways to frustrate her group with “experiments” when running keys.


Contributors



Equinox mains Brewmaster Monk and has been playing WoW since Vanilla. As one of the top-ranked Mythic+ tanks over the past two expansions, Equinox enjoys helping players improve their knowledge and skills in Mythic+ through his Brewmaster Guide and interacting with his stream community. Outside of pushing keys, Equinox raids with his guild Denial of Service and likes to sneak around on Rogue.


Mandl currently maintains the Blood Death Knight guides for Icy-Veins and Wowhead, and actively helps guides others to improve across all tank specs. Additionally, he has a hand in some generalized content, regularly shows up in MarcelianOnline videos and content, and is just generally out there to help people get better.


MarianasTrench (Mari/Marinara) is an MMO veteran who has played most classes in Mythic+ and Mythic raiding. He is a staff member at the Mythic+ Friends Discord. While he loves Mythic raiding and higher Mythic+ content, he also enjoys helping other players get involved and expanding the Mythic+ community through the Mythic+ Academy at Mythic+ Friends.


VitaminP (VP) is the Lead Editor & Assistant Producer of Raider.IO, and is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration. Although VP is currently focused on IRL, she specializes in tanking classes and loves competitive Mythic+. She is a Discord Partner and partnered Twitch streamer, but mostly you can find her editing, doing homework, cooking, playing with her dogs, and catching Pokémon.



Thank you so much to all of our contributors and streamers for allowing us to use their clips and expertise when writing this article. If you’d like to learn more about any of the melee DPS specs, be sure to check out their streams!

Biz - Arms and Fury Warrior
Elbro - Enhance Shaman
JPC - Outlaw and Subtlety Rogue
Muffin - Frost Death Knight
ProjectU - Havoc Demon Hunter
Psybearslat - Survival Hunter and Feral Druid
Qrva - Retribution Paladin
Seliathan - Assassination Rogue
Speed - Windwalker Monk
Taiga - Unholy Death Knight

An additional thank you to Mandl from the Acherus DK Discord for encouraging me to write this article in the first place and for providing feedback along the way.