Best DPS to Play in Cataclysm Classic

Looking to put up insane damage right from the start of Cataclysm? We've got you covered with your 10 best options.

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.

1. Unholy Death Knight

An unholy death knight commanding his minions of undead.

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

A survival hunter in the woods wielding a polearm.

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.

3. Fire Mage

A mage consumed with fire.

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

A demonology warlock with his summoned minions.

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.

5. Arms Warrior

Garrosh Hellscream leads his horde into battle while wielding Gorehowl.

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

A tauren elemental shaman holds a totem and casts a spell.

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.

7. Shadow Priest

A shadow priest surrounded by the horrors of the void.

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

 A frost death knight wields his blades.

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.

9. Affliction Warlock

An affliction warlock stands ready to fight.

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

An arcane mage riding a flying disc.

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.

Published |Modified
Ben Fitzsimmons