Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (2024)

With phase 1 of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Classic going live recently, many players may be looking to get back into the fray with a highly desired dps spec so they'll have no issues finding raid groups. In this article, we'll discuss the ten best dps specs to play in Cataclysm Classic right now.

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (1)

Death Knights are eating good in Cataclysm with Blood DK being an incredibly powerful tank and both DPS specs ranking in the top ten to start. Unholy DK is particularly strong because of its ability to produce massive AoE burst and sustained single-target damage. They are great at dungeon farming and there are no raid encounters they won't excel at. The ability that contributes most to their power is the insanely strong Summon Gargoyle. Unholy death knight is the best dps spec for phase 1 of Cataclysm Classic.

2. Survival Hunter

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (2)

Survival hunters biggest strength is that they don't require a ton of gear to be useful. They still get better with better gear, obviously, but they'll start doing great damage before more gear dependent specs will. With great damage and access to the powerful utility hunters as (such as Misdirection, for example), you can't go wrong with having a couple hunters in the raid and one of them should definitely be a survival hunter. They also boast the best instant burst AoE damage in the game.

Fire mage gets access to its iconic Combustion spell in Cataclysm Classic. This takes the spec to entirely new heights. Through good play with proper setup and a bit of luck, fire mage can put up numbers that no ther spec can get close to in many scenarios. As mentioned, it does require a bit of luck to do the best dps possible. This RNG element doesn't take away too much from how great it is but can be frustrating for some players and worth staying away from.

4. Demonology Warlock

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (4)

Demonology warlock had started going through reworks since Wrath and in Cataclysm it all comes together in the beginning. They provide incredible burst for both AoE situations and single target encounters. Being warlocks, they also still provide tons of great utility and group cooldowns. Phase 1 of Cataclysm Classic is a phenomenal time to play a demonology warlock.

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (5)

Arms warrior is incredibly strong in Cataclysm and stays as an S-tier spec for the entire expansion. They have amazing and sustainable single-target damage and great burst windows with short cooldowns as well. If you're looking for a spec that is not only good now, but will be great and highly desired for the entire duration of Cataclysm, there is probably no better pick than Arms warrior.

6. Elemental Shaman

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (6)

Elemental shamans lack the burst damage of the specs above them but still boast great on demand AoE damage and sustained single-target damage. Being shamans, they also bring a ton of valuable raid buffs to the group making them a great inclusion into any raid comp.

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (7)

Shadow priest has solid damage in both single-target and AoE scenarios but are far behind the likes of the specs above them. What makes shadow priest incredibly powerful this tier, is the incredible utility that they bring to the raid. Some encounters even outright require priest utility. You can't go wrong with having a shadow priest in your raid group, which makes them a solid pick for anyone this tier.

8. Frost Death Knight

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (8)

Death knights really are enjoying life right now in Cataclysm Classic. Similar to unholy in some ways, frost differs in how it deals its damage. While unholy focuses on summoning minions and applying DoTs, frost is all about just hitting enemies hard over and over again with strong hitting abilities and passive procs with short burst windows. Frost also falls off in AoE when compared to unholy. Even though it's definitely worse than unholy, it's still a great spec and vastly superior to most other dps specs in the game, at the moment.

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (9)

One of the three classes with multiple specs in the top ten, it's fair to say warlocks should be almost as happy as death knights are. Affliction warlocks offer great AoE damage through spreading their DoTs around and bring all the great utility you'd expect from the warlock class. They do however lack in sustained single target damage.

10. Arcane Mage

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (10)

The final of the three classes with multiple top tier specs, mages must also be grinning right now. Arcane mage is similar to frost dk in that it's a strong spec with great utility and single target damage but there is another spec for its class that offers all those same benefits but with vastly superior AoE damage. For frost dk that was unholy and, in this case for arcane mage, it's fire. Arcane mage is a solid choice but will be noticeable behind a similarly skilled fire mage.

Top 10 DPS Specs for Cataclysm Classic Phase 1 (2024)


What is the best DPS spec in Cata Classic? ›

Fire Mage. Possibly the best DPS class spec in Cataclysm, Fire Mages have it all. With a wide array of damage tools, utility, and even a buff, you are guaranteed a spot if you run this spec in raids.

What is the best DPS raid in Cataclysm? ›

Cataclysm Classic Best DPS Rankings
  • 28642 DPS. Unholy Death Knight. Unholy Death Knight.
  • 28340 DPS. Fire Mage. Fire Mage.
  • 27267 DPS. Elemental Shaman. Elemental Shaman.
  • 27168 DPS. Survival Hunter. Survival Hunter.
  • 27102 DPS. Arms Warrior. Arms Warrior.
  • 26791 DPS. Affliction Warlock. ...
  • 26721 DPS. Combat Rogue. ...
  • 26606 DPS. Shadow Priest.

What is the best tank in Cataclysm? ›

Main Tank Survivability: Blood Death Knights are the chosen main tank for almost every single situation in Cataclysm, with exceptional self-healing via Death Strike, strong damage mitigation with their Mastery ( Blood Shield), even going as far as allowing well-geared raid groups the privilege of dropping healers due ...

What is the best profession for tanks in Cataclysm Classic? ›

Overall, Engineering is the best WoW Cataclysm Classic profession. It offers significant benefits for tanks and DPS, especially those without on-use trinkets. To level up Engineering faster and take advantage of all the benefits of this profession, contact our professionals for help.

Which class for cataclysm classic? ›

Classic Cataclysm Overall Tier List Rankings
S-TierPaladin, Priest, Death Knight
A-TierDruid, Warlock
B-TierRogue, Mage, Shaman
C-TierHunter, Warrior
Jun 5, 2024

What is the best race for Hunter in Cataclysm Classic? ›

For Horde, the best option will be Orc or Troll. For Alliance, Worgen or Draenei are the best.

What is the best DPS spec Hunter WoW classic? ›

The best Hunter spec for early PvE is Marksmanship. With a MM/SV 2/31/18 Talent Build build, you deal solid DPS and provide your party with Trueshot Aura.

What is the best DPS spec for rogue in Classic WoW? ›

Combat Rogues are the best spec for Rogues in the early phases of Classic WoW. They will choose between Combat Swords (19/32) or Combat Daggers (15/31/5), depending on what are the best weapons available. Many Rogues will stick with Daggers, but it largely depends on which weapons you can actually get your hands on.

Which Hunter spec has the highest DPS? ›

Best boss DPS (in realistic settings)

Beast Mastery Hunter achieved 4.76% more maximum boss DPS than Marksmanship Hunter when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.

What is the best DPS spec Warlock Classic WoW? ›

Affliction is the best Warlock spec for early Classic WoW, as players will use a Shadow Mastery / Ruin (30/0/21) for maximum performance. It has the benefit of being well-performing in solo content, cleave damage, fights with forced movement, and holds its own in PvP.

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