Mythic+ 101: Know Your Ranged 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. 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 or even as a melee DPS looking to work better with ranged DPS players. This guide is about building synergy with your ranged DPS 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: Bansherz, Crims , Elbro, OkayMage, QueenXtine, Roflpyro, Sjele, Synybun, and Tarisant.

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



Table of Contents






Druid



  BALANCE

How to best use them: Balance Druids (Boomkins) have incredible DPS potential in both single-target and AoE situations. Their covenant choice really dictates how they get there, though: Night Fae Boomkins will have bigger burst compared to their Venthyr counterparts, but Venthyr Boomkins have a much higher DPS potential as long as the pack lives long enough for them to finish their ramp-up.

How to pull for them: Big pulls every 3 minutes in conjunction with their Celestial Alignment and their chosen covenant ability works best for Boomkins. As a tank, catering to your Boomkin is very worth it, and you would do well to align your defensives with their offensive cooldowns so you can pull big when they’re up.

What to look out for: Boomkins (especially Venthyr Boomkins) have an extremely long ramp-up time. Despite being very popular in high keys due to their strong damage profile, this is a weakness in low to mid-range keys where mobs die quickly. Their damage is fairly lackluster outside of their cooldowns, so unless mobs are going to be living long enough for their Damage Over Time spells (DoTs) and Starfall to get going, Boomkins won’t be contributing much DPS.

Utility:
InterruptSolar Beam1 minute cooldown - 8-yard diameter
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 to the tangled mobs, the spell will not put you in combat. Roots are also useful in preventing certain mobs from moving for an important fight mechanic. The best example of this is the first boss in Plaguefall: Mass Entanglement can stop all of the small slimes from getting to the boss, while Entangling Roots can get the bigger one.
  • Druids are one of the best classes for controlling mob positioning. 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.
  • As a tank, you’ll love bringing Boomkins along for their Force of Nature. This spell summons treants that take over your tanking duties for a while, acting as a pseudo (yet powerful) defensive. Treants are most useful when they can take debuffs for you — most notably this is great on Necrotic weeks as it gives you the chance to drop your stacks. If you are on voice comms with your Druid, this should be an ability you call for, as it can be dangerous for the group if it’s used against mobs that have a frontal attack (the treants just swarm the mobs when cast, so their positioning can’t be controlled very well).
  • Solar Beam is an incredibly strong AoE interrupt for caster-heavy packs. To utilize Solar Beam effectively, make sure that mobs are grouped together tightly, as the beam only has an 8-yard diameter. If you’re running a Boomkin with an all-ranged group, be prepared to get creative with interrupts, as the long 1-minute cooldown on this ability makes it difficult to create an interrupt rotation.

Defensive capability: Boomkins have the potential to survive periods of heavy damage intake by going into Bear Form at will; this does not have a real cooldown and they can move in and out of Bear Form at will but it sacrifices a lot of DPS to do so. This can also be paired with their personal cooldown of Barkskin for some extra damage reduction.

Covenant Choice: Most Boomkins are Venthyr, with some Night Fae doing comparable key levels. See their current standings here.

Venthyr Boomkins gain access to Ravenous Frenzy, which shares the same cooldown as their Celestial Alignment offensive cooldown. As discussed above, this causes Boomkins to have a 20+ second ramp up time before they reach their highest damage potential.

Night Fae Boomkins get the very unique Convoke the Spirits, which randomly casts a sequence of druid spells during its 4 second channel.
  • This ability also randomly chooses targets for each spell, which can make it inconsistent in AoE situations.
  • To make it an effective priority target nuke, the tank and Boomkin should coordinate to make sure the tank positions the mob with the highest priority separate from the other mobs.
  • The Boomkin can then stand as far away as possible so that the priority target is the only mob in range of them, making all of the spells focus on the one target..
  • Around 4-5 of the spells cast are usually heals, making this a good way to help out the healer in a pinch if needed.

See it in action: To really appreciate the burst power of Boomkins, look at the clip below from Tarisant. The inner ring trash pulls of De Other Side are notoriously dangerous, especially in this case at a +27 Fortified key level and bringing an additional Tormented Lieutenant into the pull. An early cast of solar beam locks down all of the casters in the pull while Tarisant begins his ramp. Notice that the other two DPS players (and even the tank) burst much higher on the initial pull, but by the time the Venthyr Boomkin ramp-up is done, he’s well in the lead, preventing the pull from dragging on too long once the healer and tank have run out of steam.





Hunter



  BEAST MASTERY

How to best use them: Beast Mastery (BM) Hunter’s main strength is their unparalleled mobility, so even on heavy movement encounters or affixes (like Volcanic or Storming), they can avoid mechanics without sacrificing their damage. While their single-target and AoE damage are not as bursty as other classes, BM is extremely reliable and will bring consistent damage to virtually every pull.

How to pull for them: They have a short cooldown with Aspect of the Wild (2 minutes) and. Beast Cleave allows them to do some additional AoE damage while still dropping most of their damage on a priority target. Expect them to be focusing most of their damage into the scariest target of a pull.

What to look out for: Pets can be temperamental at the best of times — ensure you communicate skips and what mobs you want to avoid with your BM hunter so that they dismiss their pet ahead of time.

Utility:
InterruptCounter Shot24 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. Their 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, giving them access to another AoE slow

  • The main uses of Feign Death are usually for Hunters to “cheese” a mechanic.
    • They can use it 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 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 Trap). It does cause the mob to enter combat based on distance; normally this would make it not able to be used for skips, however when paired with the hunter’s Feign Death it can be used for most CC skips.
  • While not useful very often, Flare is exceptional in Spires of Ascension to unstealth Forsworn Stealthclaws and Brood Ambushers/Stealthlings in Plaguefall
  • Tanks will love Hunters for their Misdirection ability which allows them to transfer threat to their tank — keep in mind if your hunter is Beast Mastery specialization, this will be much weaker as pet threat generation does not transfer.

Defensive capability: Hunters have Aspect of the Turtle and Exhilaration for a 30% heal on a massive 2-minute long cooldown. Healers should prioritize them if their other DPS in the group are a bit sturdier. That being said, BMs can move while casting virtually all of their abilities, so while their defensive kit might not be amazing, they can (and should) be able to avoid most damage to keep themselves safe.

Covenant Choice: BM Hunters in keys are almost overwhelmingly Night Fae with a few Kyrian thrown into the mix. See their current standings here.
Night Fae Hunters receive Wild Spirits, a targeted ground effect that lines up with Aspect of the Wild. 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: Take a look at that clip below from Bansherz showing off BM’s strength as a hypermobile ranged DPS. He weaves through the orbs from Kin-Tara in Spires of Ascension with ease, while also being able to easily cleave onto both bosses by only casting one Multi-Shot to activate Beast Cleave.





  MARKSMANSHIP

How to best use them: Marksmanship Hunters have a great damage toolkit allowing them to deal with single-target/priority, AoE, and Cleave situations equally well. They do well on both long pulls and short pulls, making them a great addition to a dungeon group at any key level. They also have their range increased past the default 40 yards of most other ranged classes (scaling with their mastery); they can very easily Misdirect the tank and help gather mobs for any big pulls you have planned.

How to pull for them: Trueshot is a 2 minute cooldown but their other AoE-centric cooldowns (Double Tap, Explosive Shot, Volley) are short and they can adapt to virtually any pull pattern.

What to look out for: While MM Hunters are very mobile, do keep in mind that they are not quite at the same level of mobility as BM Hunters and still need to stand still for casts of Aimed Shot — try and keep void zones and frontal cones away from them so they don’t need to move as much.

Utility:
InterruptCounter Shot24 second cooldown
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; their utility kit pairs exceptionally well with low-movement tanks that require additional help to kite.
    • Binding Shot gives you the ability to kite away easily
    • Hunters can also self-activate the root themselves with Bursting Shot, or use it as another slow to help their tanks kite.
    • Because their kit was not slow-heavy enough, they also have access to Tar Trap, giving them access to another AoE slow

  • The main use cases of Feign Death almost always give hunters the ability to cheese something.
    • They can use it 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 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 Trap). It does cause the mob to enter combat based on distance; normally this would make it not able to be used for skips, however when paired with the hunter’s Feign Death it can be used for most CC skips.
  • While not useful very often, Flare is exceptional in Spires of Ascension to unstealth Forsworn Stealthclaws and Brood Ambushers/Stealthlings in Plaguefall
  • Tanks will love Hunters for their Misdirection ability which allows them to transfer threat to their tank — keep in mind if your hunter is Beast Mastery specialization, this will be much weaker as pet threat generation does not transfer.

Defensive capability: Aspect of the Turtle helps some but Hunters are definitely on the weaker side for survivability compared to other DPS. They also have Exhilaration for a 30% heal on a massive 2-minute long cooldown. Marksmanship Hunters get a little bit of an extra survival boost with Survival of the Fittest when they don’t have a pet out. Their increased range also means they can stand at max distance and avoid some AoE damage.

Covenant Choice: MM Hunters have very healthy Kyrian and Night Fae representation at every key level range. See their current standings here.

Night Fae Hunters receive Wild Spirits, a targeted ground effect that lines up with Trueshot. 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: In the clip below from Bansherz you can see the benefits of having a consistent damage dealer in your group. The Necropolis in Necrotic Wake is notoriously difficult for tanks and healers, so having a DPS that can bring strong damage on virtually every pull is extremely helpful.





Mage



  ARCANE

How to best use them: Arcane Mages are able to put out fantastic Burst damage that is up almost every pack — Touch of the Magi, Rune of Power, and Radiant Spark all have extremely low cooldowns and you can reliably expect them to have them up almost every single pull.

How to pull for them: Track their Arcane Power if you want. Their priority target damage improves significantly when there are additional mobs to get procs off of. Whenever possible, pull additional mobs (ideally 3-4) onto a boss or lieutenant to give them the power to really funnel DPS into the priority target.

What to look out for: Arcane Mages live off a mana cycle of burn/conserve, so if at all possible, sharing your path or making a quick game plan for large pulls will allow them to plan ahead. Their Rune of Power also encourages them to stay in a very small area, so other teammates should be aware of giving them some space so that no void zones get baited into their Rune area.

Utility:

InterruptCounterspell24 second cooldown
Hard CCPolymorphNo cooldown but limit of 1 target - beasts, humanoids, and critters
ImmunityIce Block4 minute cooldown
PurgeSpellstealNo cooldown and the mage gains the effect of the buff they steal
DispelRemove CurseCurse removal
BloodlustTime Warp


  • Mages pair well with other casters and provide a boost to healers through their Arcane Intellect buff.
  • All mages have access to a slew of abilities that help with mob control including Frost Nova and Slow.
  • Greater Invisibility gives them the ability to drop threat, which can be used in the following ways:
    • In conjunction with Polymorph to skip packs — by using Polymorph first and letting the Mage pass by and get aggro, the rest of the group can follow closely behind while the Mages use Greater Invisibility to drop threat once everyone is through.
    • They can pull groups to the side and use their Ice Block and Blink abilities to keep themselves safe while their group passes, then Greater Invisibility allows them to drop combat and rejoin their party.
    • Can be used to stop some targeted boss and mob abilities like Castigate by Executor Tarvold in Sanguine Depths

  • All mages have access to a slew of abilities that help with mob control including Frost Nova and Slow. Arcane also has access to Chrono Shift or Ring of Frost depending on their talent choices.
  • Spellsteal gives Mages a very unique purge, allowing them to remove a buff from a mob and gain it themselves. This can sometimes mean that it’s advantageous to let some interruptible casts go through so that the Mage can get a damage bonus. Examples of this are the Wonder Grow cast from Fungalmancers in Plaguefall, or the Death’s Embrace casts from Death Speakers in De Other Side.

Defensive capability: Mages have an amazing defensive utility kit with Alter Time, Ice Block, Mirror Images, Greater Invisibility, and Prismatic Barrier — most of it requires preemptive planning so it is up to them to know the pull and plan for surviving it.

Covenant Choice: Arcane Mages are overwhelmingly Kyrian. See their current standings here

Kyrian Mages gain even more priority target damage (something Arcane already excels at) with Radiant Spark on a quick 30-second cooldown. It slots in very well to their existing rotation and synergizes exceptionally with Arcane Harmony.

See it in action: In the clip below, Synybun shows how well Arcane’s ability to funnel damage can absolutely annihilate priority targets with the correct set up from the tank. By pulling the Tormented Lieutenant with another pack, Syny is able to use them to ramp up his burst damage to the point that the priority target disappears within 10 seconds.





  FIRE

How to best use them: A great addition to any team, Fire Mages are flexible DPS that can do exceptional burst AoE and single-target damage in their cooldown windows. When their cooldowns are up they will do a lot of front-loaded damage, but try combining them with a consistent DPS that can clean up the rest of the pack on the back end of the pull.

How to pull for them: Combustion is on a 2 minute cooldown, and they usually run Kindling, reducing its length even more — their sustained AoE is done with Flamestrike and Flame Patch. That being said they are very cooldown dependent and don’t expect much from them outside of Combustion, so track it and pull around it whenever possible.

What to look out for: Dragging mobs out of their Flamepatch is very bad especially on huge pulls as it’s uncapped, as a tank, work alongside your fire mage to plan for slows/roots if Flame Patch is down and you need to kite — consider using a WeakAura like this one to track it. Their Rune of Power also encourages them to stay in a very small area, so other teammates should be aware of giving them some space so that no void zones get baited into their Rune area.

Utility:

InterruptCounterspell24 second cooldown
Hard CCPolymorphNo cooldown but limit of 1 target - beasts, humanoids, and critters
ImmunityIce Block4 minute cooldown
PurgeSpellstealNo cooldown and the Mage gains the effect of the buff they steal
DispelRemove CurseCurse removal
BloodlustTime Warp


  • Mages pair well with other casters and provide a boost to healers through their Arcane Intellect buff.
  • All mages have access to a slew of abilities that help with mob control including Frost Nova and Slow.
  • Greater Invisibility gives them the ability to drop threat, which can be used in the following ways:
    • In conjunction with Polymorph to skip packs — by using Polymorph first and letting the Mage pass by and get aggro, the rest of the group can follow closely behind while the Mages use Greater Invisibility to drop threat once everyone is through.
    • They can pull groups to the side and use their Ice Block and Blink abilities to keep themselves safe while their group passes, then Greater Invisibility allows them to drop combat and rejoin their party.
    • Can be used to stop some targeted boss and mob abilities like Castigate by Executor Tarvold in Sanguine Depths

  • Fire mages also get access to Dragon’s Breath which they use rotationally. If you require this disorient for something specific, communicate with your Mage, but otherwise enjoy the free breather that it gives you as a tank!
  • All mages have access to a slew of abilities that help with mob control including Frost Nova and Slow, with Fire also getting access to Ring of Frost through talent choices if needed.
  • Spellsteal gives Mages a very unique purge, allowing them to remove a buff from a mob and gain it themselves. This can sometimes mean that it’s advantageous to let some interruptible casts go through so that the Mage can get a damage bonus. Examples of this are the Wonder Grow cast from Fungalmancers in Plaguefall, or the Death’s Embrace casts from Death Speakers in De Other Side.

Defensive capability: Mages have an amazing defensive utility kit with Alter Time, Ice Block, Mirror Images, Greater Invisibility, and Blazing Barrier — most of it requires preemptive planning so it is up to them to know the pull and plan for surviving it. Fire gets an additional defensive in the form of Cauterize that acts as a pseudo cheat death. Healers should track Cauterize since it means the Mage needs healing ASAP, as it leaves them at very low health.

Covenant Choice: Fire Mages are virtually all Night Fae. See their current standings here.

Night Fae Mages gain Shifting Power which gives Fire Mages faster access to their Combustion and other AoE abilities. Given how cooldown dependant this class is, it should be no surprise that shorter cooldowns = drastically higher DPS.

See it in action: Crims demonstrates Fire Mage’s exceptional AoE bust capacity in the clip below. The tank keeps the mobs tightly stacked under Flame Patch and even does the curse dispel so that every GCD Crims spends can be focused into doing as much damage as possible in his Combustion window.





  FROST

How to best use them: Frost Mages are amazing at providing consistent AoE throughout the pull and using other mobs to funnel DPS into a priority target or boss. They have powerful slowing utility which can be used to allow a tank to kite, and to help cluster enemies into a tighter group for more efficient AOE and cleave.

How to pull for them: Track their Icy Veins to know when you can do a bigger pull for them but they can get some pretty significant uptime on it due to the Thermal Void talent and the Icy Propulsion conduit. In single-target situations try and bring in a few extra low-damage mobs so they can farm them for procs to increase their priority damage.

What to look out for: Their burst is lower than their Arcane and Fire counterparts but their damage stays consistent for longer. They are dependent on Frost Orb so try not to kite out of it or move it out of the way — consider using a WeakAura like this one to track it. Their Rune of Power also encourages them to stay in a very small area, so other teammates should be aware of giving them some space so that no void zones get baited into their Rune area.

Utility:

InterruptCounterspell24 second cooldown
Hard CCPolymorphNo cooldown but limit of 1 target - beasts, humanoids, and critters
ImmunityIce Block4 minute cooldown - can get a second use every 5 minutes with Cold Snap
PurgeSpellstealNo cooldown and the Mage gains the effect of the buff they steal
DispelRemove CurseCurse removal
BloodlustTime Warp


  • Mages pair well with other casters and provide a boost to healers through their Arcane Intellect buff.
  • All mages have access to a slew of abilities that help with mob control including Frost Nova and Slow.
  • Greater Invisibility gives them the ability to drop threat, which can be used in the following ways:
    • In conjunction with Polymorph to skip packs — by using Polymorph first and letting the Mage pass by and get aggro, the rest of the group can follow closely behind while the Mages use Greater Invisibility to drop threat once everyone is through.
    • They can pull groups to the side and use their Ice Block and Blink abilities to keep themselves safe while their group passes, then Greater Invisibility allows them to drop combat and rejoin their party.
    • Can be used to stop some targeted boss and mob abilities like Castigate by Executor Tarvold in Sanguine Depths


  • All mages have access to a slew of abilities that help with mob control including Frost Nova and Slow and Frost Mages double down on this strength with a few more tricks:
    • Most of Frost Mages’ damage toolkit also comes with built-in slows, such as Cone of Cold, Flurry, and Frostbolt. This is great news for tanks as it facilitates kiting or making small movements without mobs overcorrecting.
    • Depending on their talent choices, Frost Mages also have access to Frigid Winds for more slow potential or Ring of Frost for an incapacitate with, you guessed it, another slow!

  • Spellsteal gives Mages a very unique purge, allowing them to remove a buff from a mob and gain it themselves. This can sometimes mean that it’s advantageous to let some interruptible casts go through so that the Mage can get a damage bonus. Examples of this are the Wonder Grow cast from Fungalmancers in Plaguefall, or the Death’s Embrace casts from Death Speakers in De Other Side.

Defensive capability: Mages have an amazing defensive utility kit with Alter Time, Ice Block, Mirror Images, Greater Invisibility, and Ice Barrier — most of it requires preemptive planning so it is up to them to know the pull and plan for surviving it. Frost also gets Cold Snap, giving them more access to Ice Block. This can be useful for groups that need additional immunity soaking, or to help alleviate the burden from a healer during intense group damage.

Covenant choice: Frost Mages are primarily Night Fae with a few Venthyr sprinkled in. See their current standings here.

Night Fae Mages gain Shifting Power which synergizes well with Frost’s AoE damage toolkit, giving them faster access to their Frozen Orb and Blizzard. This gives them a short-duration cooldown that is up every pull, which is a welcome addition given Icy Vein’s 3 minute long duration.

Venthyr gives Mages Mirrors of Torment which improves their single/priority target damage. Its relatively short cooldown means it will be up for virtually every lieutenant, boss, and even some scary trash mobs in between.

See it in action: The clip below from OkayMage shows exactly how a tank can pull around a Frost Mage’s Icy Veins. As soon as the previous pull ends, the tank doesn’t waste any time getting straight to the next pull (even pressing Stampeding Roar to get everyone there faster) so that she is able to get as much Icy Veins time as possible while in combat.

OkayMage has also given us a bonus clip which you can watch here, where she talks about some of the things tanks can do to make things easier for their DPS players.





Priest



  SHADOW

How to best use them: Shadow Priests have exceptional single-target damage and are great specialists on Tyrannical weeks, or on Fortified keys where they can focus down priority targets (bye-bye lieutenants!). They pair best with other DPS that can be relied on for AoE damage.

How to pull for them: Their Power Infusion and Void Eruption are their 2 main offensive cooldowns; track them if you like but for the most part you can pull around other party member’s cooldowns as Shadow Priests’ main focus will be doing single-target damage.

What to look out for: Their AoE damage is dependent on a fairly complex rotation that takes a while to get going; if packs are dying quickly they won’t really be able to show off their AoE damage but their unique utility and single-target/priority damage will more than makeup for that.

Utility:
InterruptSilence45 second cooldown
StunPsychic Scream1 minute cooldown - disorients up to 5 mobs within 8 yards
Hard CCMind Control

Shackle Undead
Psuedo CC, the priest takes control of the mob

Can only be used on undead
PurgeDispel Magic

Mass Dispel
Single-target purge

45 second cooldown - AoE purge for up to 5 mobs
DispelPurify Disease

Mass Dispel
Disease removal

45 second cooldown - magic debuff removal for up to 5 targets


  • If you’ve ever played with a Shadow Priest, you know about their controversial Power Infusion buff. They can place it on themselves or others to give a huge haste buff (like a personal bloodlust). While most Shadow Priests cast it on themselves, in a coordinated group, you can plan around them giving it to the party member who would benefit from the extra haste the most. Keep in mind that classes with 3 minute long cooldowns would benefit from getting every OTHER Power Infusion buff, so there is also the option to share it among 2 players, alternating back and forth.
  • Shadow’s Vampiric Embrace gives them the unique ability to off- heal low party members without sacrificing DPS. This should be used in periods of heavy damage or to supplement healer cooldowns when preplanned.
  • Mind Control shouldn’t be used as a true CC as the Priest takes control of the mob and can’t control their own character at the same time. That being said it has a few unique quirks that can benefit the group in different ways. For example, in Plaguefall, Priests can Mind Control Fungalmancers and apply their Wonder Grow buff to the party.
  • Power Word: Fortitude increases the entire group’s health pool and gives a great cushion in higher keys for the increased damage intake.
  • Mind Soothe allows Priests to become pseudo-Rogues in terms of facilitating group skips. Since it can be cast on more than one target at a time, Priests can Mind Soothe an entire group of enemies to get their party around them safely (as long as the mobs are humanoids or dragonkins).
  • Mass Dispel makes Shadow Priests extremely strong when played in conjunction with healers that lack strong dispels (like Restoration Shamans). This is a very strong tool on Bursting weeks or in dispel heavy situations such as Margrave Stradama’s Infectious Rain cast in Plaguefall.

Defensive capability: They have Dispersion for a 75% damage reduction and can help keep themselves up during periods of high damage with Power Word: Shield and Desperate Prayer to help out healers.

Covenant choice: Shadow Priests are primarily Necrolord or, less commonly Night Fae. See their current standings here.

Necrolord Priests gain a nice single-targeted AoE boost with a short cooldown in the form of Unholy Nova, which they can cast on a higher health mob (to ensure it lives the full 15 seconds) and gain some passive AoE to all other mobs in range. It will also do some healing to the group as a nice byproduct.

Night Fae Priests gain three little fairies with Fae Guardians that give out buffs depending on where the Priest directs them with their own spells, and 2 of them can even be placed on allies. This can be very nice in a coordinated group and might be useful for healers to track as one of the fairies gives a 20% damage reduction buff that can help in high damage situations on party members.

See it in action: QueenXtine is showing off just how strong Shadow Priest’s single-target and utility can be in the clip below. The Ingra Maloch in Mists of Tirna Scithe is an incredibly long boss even on the best of days. Shadow Priest’s ability to take advantage of burn windows while also sustaining a lot of single-target damage during Droman Oulfarren’s phase speeds up the boss tremendously. You can also see her pop Vampire Embrace to turn all of that high single-target damage into healing to take pressure off the healer and allow them to DPS a bit more as well.





Shaman



  ELEMENTAL

How to best use them: Elemental Shamans are best known for their ability to put out consistent AoE. While their single-target damage potential isn’t bad, especially if they have their cooldowns up for it, they’ll do heavy lifting in the dungeon as a sustained AoE damage dealer.

How to pull for them: Track their Storm Elemental cooldown to know when they’re ready to put out bigger AoE DPS. Their other cooldown, Stormkeeper is a 1 minute talent so assume that will be up consistently and don’t worry about tracking it too much.

What to look out for: They’re fairly limited in terms of mobility outside of Spiritwalker’s Grace so it’s best for them to be able to turret as they have some long cast times — the group should be careful to avoid baiting void zones onto them so they don’t need to stop DPSing as often.

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


  • 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.
  • Elemental Shamans can top up party members in a pinch. While they are limited by their small mana pool, in dire situations, they can cast up to 4 Healing Surges on themselves or other party members, and place down a Healing Stream Totem.
  • It’s important to mention that they bring the shortest interrupt of all classes with Wind Shear being only 12 seconds, so they can get interrupts far more often than any of their ranged counterparts, and can usually solo lock down mobs.

Defensive capability: They have Astral Shift as a true defensive but can talent into Nature’s Guardian for some extra self-sustain or use Harden Skin when their Earth Elemental is up. 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: You’ll see most Elemental Shamans as either Night Fae or Necrolord. See their current standings here.

Night Fae Elemental Shamans gain Fae Transfusion, which requires a channel in exchange for burst damage. Once they’re done channeling the ability, they’ll radiate healing damage to their allies based on the damage done, so this might be a good ability for healers to track if you regularly run with a Night Fae Shaman.
Necrolord Shamans will get Primordial Wave, a nice, shorter cooldown that fits into their rotation pretty seamlessly and gives a boost to both single-targeted AoE damage depending on what they need in the moment.

See it in action: In the clip below, you can see Elbro wait to really start his rotation until the tank has everything in position for him — for Elemental Shamans this means mobs stacked together as tightly as possible for Earthquake and Chain Lightning. As the pull goes on, you can see his DPS rise up higher and higher; this is great news as a tank because you don’t need to worry about a pull going on for too long after everyone has finished their burst damage.





Warlock



  AFFLICTION

How to best use them: Affliction Warlock has exceptional AoE potential and pairs very well with other specs that can handle most of the priority and single-target damage, allowing the Affliction Warlock to spec and gear fully towards AoE damage.

How to pull for them: Affliction has amazing AoE capability that takes about 5-10 seconds to really amp up, and then bursts for about 8 seconds in their Decaying Soul Satchel window. They have one major 2-minute cooldown with Summon Darkglare which is usually paired with Dark Soul: Misery but they are not reliant on either to do great AoE damage.

What to look out for: Especially when fully specced into their Sow the Seeds build, their single-target damage is going to be lackluster but their ability to funnel damage into one mob is strong. If you need them to do well on bosses or lieutenants, pull some extra mobs into the pull to allow them to multidot.

Utility:
InterruptSpell Lock24 second cooldown - pet ability that requires Fel Hunter
StunFear

Mortal Coil
Pseudo stun - fears the target for 20 seconds

45 second cooldown (talent)
Hard CCBanish

Subjugate Demon
Limit of 1 target - demon, aberration, and elemental

Pseudo CC, replaces warlock's pet with the mob for 5 minutes
PurgeDevour Magic15 second cooldown - pet ability that requires Fel Hunter
Battle RezSoulstoneCan be precast on a player - lasts for 10 minutes when precast

  • Warlocks bring a very unique group movement ability with Demonic Gateways; this can facilitate skips, make mechanics easier to dodge, and gives tanks a faster getaway to start kiting.
  • Probably one of the most iconic Warlock utility spells is the ability to create a Soulwell and distribute Healthstones. This provides the entire group with an on-demand 25% heal that recharges 1 minute after dropping combat (as opposed to health potions, which have a 5 minute cooldown). Use your Healthstones liberally and communicate with your Warlock to acquire more whenever you run out, as this takes a huge burden off of healers.
  • Warlocks get access to 3 curses, which can be used on bosses or scary trash mobs to significantly reduce damage taken:
    • Curse of Exhaustion is a slow that will only affect mobs that can be slowed by other means
    • Curse of Weakness is a favorite for tanks, increases anything’s melee swing timer by 20% (including bosses!)
    • Curse of Tongues is a great niche spell if you are running a low interrupt group as it increases the cast time of any kickable cast by 30% (this does not affect uninterruptible casts).


Defensive capability: Warlocks have a lot of survivability between their multiple defensive options and a passive health increase with Demonic Embrace. They also have a baseline damage cooldown with Unending Resolve,passive leech with Soul Leech, and most Warlocks talent into Dark Pact. Additionally, providing Healthstones to the entire party can take a lot of strain off healers so their overall defensive contribution to the group is fairly strong.

Covenant choice: Affliction Warlocks are overwhelmingly Night Fae. See their current standings here.

Night Fae gives Warlocks Soul Rot, a nice short cooldown that gives both single-target and some cleave benefits. They also pair this with their covenant-specific legendary, Decaying Soul Satchel to gain a haste and crit stat boost when they cast it.

See it in action: Sjele demonstrates how good Afflication’s AoE ramp up is if set up properly with mobs that can live for a while. Notice how he doesn’t do much damage at all on pull while he’s setting up his DoTs, but once he’s able to get going he skyrockets past the other DPS. This becomes more and more important in higher keys as mobs take a while to die and as a tank your cooldowns will start to run out near the tail end of pulls.





  DEMONOLOGY

How to best use them: Demonology Warlocks excel in heavy single-target damage when they can set up and utilize their Demonic Tyrant to its fullest potential. They are great on Tyrannical weeks or Fortified weeks in single-target heavy dungeons where bosses pose a threat like Mists of Tirna Scithe, Plaguefall, and Spires.

How to pull for them: Their AoE damage is not very cooldown dependent, allowing you to pull around your other DPS players’ cooldown timings. Track their Summon Demonic Tyrant for bosses or particularly scary minibosses. While it should mostly be up to the Warlock to make sure their Demonic Tyrant is ready for bosses, squeezing in an extra trash pack if you happen to arrive ahead of schedule will make a big difference for them.

What to look out for: Their AoE damage is consistent and not very bursty, so consider pairing them with other DPS classes that can bring burst AoE so that Demo Warlock can focus on bringing bosses down. Health increase effects like Rallying Cry from Warriors or Ancestral Vigor from Restoration Shamans actually give Demo a DPS increase, so if it’s not planned out defensively, give either of these cooldowns to your Demo Warlock on pull!

Utility:
InterruptSpell Lock24 second cooldown - pet ability that requires Fel Hunter
StunAxe Toss

Fear

Mortal Coil
30 second cooldown -pet stun requires Felguard

Pseudo stun - fears the target for 20 seconds

45 second cooldown (talent)
Hard CCBanish

Subjugate Demon
Limit of 1 target - demon, aberration, and elemental

Pseudo CC, replaces Warlock's pet with the mob for 5 minutes
PurgeDevour Magic15 second cooldown - pet ability that requires Fel Hunter
Battle RezSoulstoneCan be precast on a player - lasts for 10 minutes when precast

  • Warlocks bring a very unique group movement ability with Demonic Gateways; this can facilitate skips, make mechanics easier to dodge, and gives tanks a faster getaway to start kiting.
  • Probably one of the most iconic Warlock utility spells is the ability to create a Soulwell and distribute Healthstones. This provides the entire group with an on-demand 25% heal that recharges 1 minute after dropping combat (as opposed to health potions, which have a 5 minute cooldown). Use your Healthstones liberally and communicate with your Warlock to acquire more whenever you run out, as this takes a huge burden off of healers.
  • Warlocks get access to 3 curses, which can be used on bosses or scary trash mobs to significantly reduce damage taken:
    • Curse of Exhaustion is a slow that will only affect mobs that can be slowed by other means
    • Curse of Weakness is a favorite for tanks, increases anything’s melee swing timer by 20% (including bosses!)
    • Curse of Tongues is a great niche spell if you are running a low interrupt group as it increases the cast time of any kickable cast by 30% (this does not affect uninterruptible casts).


Defensive capability: Warlocks have a lot of survivability between their multiple defensive options and a passive health increase with Demonic Embrace. They also have a baseline damage cooldown with Unending Resolve,passive leech with Soul Leech, and most Warlocks talent into Dark Pact. Demo gets an additional passive with Soul Link that reduces their damage taken even further and gives them another way to self-heal. Additionally, providing Healthstones to the entire party can take a lot of strain off healers so their overall defensive contribution to the group is fairly strong.

Covenant choice: Demo Warlocks are primarily Night Fae and less commonly can also be Necrolord. See their current standings here

Night Fae gives Warlocks Soul Rot, a nice short cooldown that gives both single-target and some cleave benefits. Demo primarily chooses Nightfae for its strong soulbind options.

Necrolord Warlocks get Decimating Bolt, a single-target cast with a fairly short cooldown that is best used at the end of a pack or as a pseudo-execute. This gives them even stronger single-target capability and should be no surprise that it synergizes well with their existing damage profile.

See it in action: In the clip below, watch Sjele melt a +27 Tyrannical boss using Demo’s exceptional single-target burst combined with a Rapid Infection puddle. Notice how the tank gives him Blessing of Protection during the first stomp so that he doesn’t need to disrupt his rotation — if there is anything you can do as a tank to set up your DPS to do more damage you should; bosses do much less damage when they’re dead than when they’re alive!





  DESTRUCTION

How to best use them: Destruction Warlocks can be played in 2 main ways: either a sustained single-target and cleave build, or an extremely bursty AoE build (this is the one you see most commonly in MDI). While it doesn’t arise too often in Mythic+, their 2 target cleave is exceptional due to Havoc and inversely, their single-target damage is less bursty and more consistent.

How to pull for them: Their main cooldown is Summon Infernal clocking in at a 3-minute cooldown. It is extremely strong on AoE pulls so try to track it and pull big for them when it’s up. Infernal isn’t very strong on single-targets, so don’t worry about timing your bosses around this cooldown. However, if a Destruction Warlock does have Infernal up for the start of a boss fight, consider pulling some mobs into the boss to make better use of it.

What to look out for: Their AoE damage outside of Summon Infernal can be quite low, so don’t expect them to do amazing damage on every pull.

Utility:
InterruptSpell Lock24 second cooldown - pet ability that requires Fel Hunter
StunFear

Mortal Coil
Pseudo stun - fears the target for 20 seconds

45 second cooldown (talent)
Hard CCBanish

Subjugate Demon
Limit of 1 target - demon, aberration, and elemental

Pseudo CC, replaces Warlock's pet with the mob for 5 minutes
PurgeDevour Magic15 second cooldown - pet ability that requires Fel Hunter
Battle RezSoulstoneCan be precast on a player - lasts for 10 minutes when precast

  • Warlocks bring a very unique group movement ability with Demonic Gateways; this can facilitate skips, make mechanics easier to dodge, and gives tanks a faster getaway to start kiting.
  • Probably one of the most iconic Warlock utility spells is the ability to create a Soulwell and distribute Healthstones to party members. This provides the entire group with an on-demand 25% heal that recharges 1 minute after dropping combat (as opposed to health potions, which have a 5 minute cooldown). Use your Healthstones liberally and communicate with your Warlock to get more whenever you run out, as this takes a huge burden off of healers.
  • Warlocks get access to 3 curses, which can be used on bosses or scary trash mobs to significantly reduce damage taken:
    • Curse of Exhaustion is a slow that will only affect mobs that can be slowed by other means
    • Curse of Weakness is a favorite for tanks, as it increases the time between any enemy’s melee swing timer by 20% (including bosses!)
    • Curse of Tongues is a great niche spell if you are running a low interrupt group as it increases the cast time of any kickable cast by 30% (this does not affect uninterruptible casts)


Defensive capability: Warlocks have a lot of survivability between their multiple defensive options and a passive health increase with Demonic Embrace. They also have a baseline damage cooldown with Unending Resolve, passive leech with Soul Leech, and most Warlocks talent into Dark Pact. Additionally, providing Healthstones to the entire party can take a lot of strain off healers so their overall defensive contribution to the group is fairly strong.

Covenant choice: Destruction Warlocks are mainly Night Fae, with some Necrolord as well. See their current standings here.

Night Fae gives Warlocks Soul Rot, a nice short cooldown that gives both single-target and some cleave benefits. They have a few soulbind options in the NF tree that give them great damage increases.

Necrolord Warlocks get Decimating Bolt, a single-target cast with a fairly short cooldown that is best used at the end of a pack or as a pseudo-execute. While not as strong in AoE, it gives them great single-target and 2 target cleave potential.

See it in action: Watch Roflpyro in the clip below, showing off some burst AoE in a large pull. He is able to very quickly get damage out on the entire pack with his Infernal while staying in close range to melee to make sure that even the mobs that jump around stay inside his Rain of Fire radius.





Links




About the Author


Sessa currently mains a Protection Paladin 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 ranged DPS specs, be sure to check out their streams!

Bansherz - Beast Mastery and Marksmanship Hunter
Crims - Fire Mage
Elbro - Elemental Shaman
OkayMage - Frost Mage
QueenXtine - Shadow Priest
Roflpyro - Destruction Warlock
Sjele - Affliction and Demonology Warlock
Synybun - Arcane Mage
Tarisant - Balance Druid