WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel DPS Rankings / Tier List

Icecrown Citadel Phase 4 Lich King

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to our WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking / Tier List post. Here we will talk about which Classes are the best, which ones drop off and pop off in the last real Raid of WotLK. With the coming of Phase 4, we will be Introduced to the Icecrown Citadel. This Raid and the loot that you can get from it, makes quite an impact on the DPS Rankings and Tier List of the DPS Classes. The implementation of many Armor Penetration items makes certain Specs rise in Rank significantly while leaving others in the dust.

We will talk about DPS Rankings and Tier Lists as well as the parameters that are used to evaluate each Spec. We will also cover each of the Class Specializations in detail and explain their position better. This way you will have insight into what you can expect and what is to come for the Spec that you wish to play.

If you are interested in checking out what kind of Raid Icecrown Citadel is, then make sure to read our WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel Raid Guide, or on the other hand, if you don’t know how to obtain the Legendary Weapon, you can read our How to get Shadowmourne – Step by Step Guide.

Now lets move on with what you all came here for, and lets talk about where each Class and their Specs will be positioned with the coming of ICC in Phase 4 of WotLK Classic.

Which parameters are used for DPS Rankings / Tier List?

When it comes to how Classes and their Specializations are Ranked there are a couple of important important things to note. Some of the parameters that are used are not definitive of individual Spec qualities, but how well it synergizes with other Specs as well as how much of an impact it can have. The main parameters used are:

  • Stackability – this basically means what it says. How many of these Class we can stack in a Raid without affecting it’s performance, and diminishing returns. A good example of this would probably be the Warlock Class that can be stacked in case of Affliction Warlocks, but the same can’t be said about it’s Demonology counterpart. A Demonology Warlock might be powerful, but stacking this Spec in a Raid is not something that will benefit the Raid.
  • Utility – this obviously means the amount of buffs, bonuses, additions that the Class brings to the Raid. The best example would be Paladins, which greatly affect the WHOLE Raid since they have various buffs and auras that are beneficial. Some Raids choose to go with 3-4 Paladins on a regular basis just to have all of their buffs on each Raid member as well as having various different Auras active which affect the whole raid.
  • Overall Performance – this mostly refers to the actual Damage output that a Class Specialization can deal in various scenarios. When we talk about overall performance, it usually means that we want to calculate the impact of that Spec in single-target, burst, cleave and AoE situations.

Please Note that there might be some changes depending on what Blizzard chooses to do and if they decide to change how certain Classes work. A good example of this is the addition of the Trap Launcher for Hunters, which basically moves them a Tier above it’s usual position due to them not having to pre-set traps, lose time on moving around etc. Initially this ability was added in Cataclysm, but Blizzard decided to give Hunters this ability now and it obviously affects their Overall performance as well as their DPS Ranking.

Anyway, we will cover everything below and explain the position of each Class and their respective Specializations individually as well as talk about the Classes themselves with the coming of Icecrown Citadel in Phase 4 of WotLK Classic.

Class Specialization DPS Ranking / Tier List in WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel 

Class Ranking for WoW is done via Letter gradings. We talked about which parameters are used to evaluate a Class and it’s Specialization, but now we will talk about which Tiers can be given out and explain the differences between them.

  • S TIER – Specializations in this Tier represent the strongest DPS Class Specs in the game.
  • A TIER – This Tier is reserved for Specializations that are really strong, but lack in some areas which prevents them from being in the “S” Tier.
  • B TIER – The Specializations that are in the “B” Tier are those that can be brought to the Raid to provide Support and overall utility to bolster “A” and “S” Tier Specializations in most cases.
  • C TIER – This Tier is unfortunately set for those Specs that are used in rare situations, or if you really don’t have anything else to bring, then you can take these Class Specs to fill the roster.
  • D TIER – The lowest Tier of them all is reserved for specs which basically should have no place in your Raids and are mostly PvP oriented.

Now that we’ve sorted out the DPS Ranking parameters and explained the difference in Tiers, lets get into where each Class and their Specializations are positioned overall.

All Class Specs DPS Ranking and their Tier List position for WotLK Phase 4

WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel DPS Rankings / Tier List Phase 4

Firstly we’ll cover the position of each Class Specialization, and then we’ll go in depth and explain each of them individually!

S TIER

  1. Feral Druid
  2. Affliction Warlock
  3. Shadow Priest
  4. Balance Druid
  5. Fire Mage
  6. Fury Warrior
  7. Marksmanship Hunter
  8. Retribution Paladin

A TIER 

  1. Combat Rogue
  2. Demonology Warlock
  3. Unholy Death Knight
  4. Frost Death Knight
  5. Survival Hunter

B TIER

  1. Elemental Shaman
  2. Enhancement Shaman
  3. Destruction Warlock
  4. Assassination Rogue
  5. Arcane Mage

C TIER

  1. Blood Death Knight
  2. Beastmastery Hunter
  3. Arms Warrior

D TIER

  1. Subtlety Rogue
  2. Frost Mage

It is important to take a bit of time and turn towards what this really means and if these Rankings and Tiers are definite. There are many things that can affect positioning differently, and the above is the Ranking of Specializations when a Player is able to play it at it’s prime, without any disturbances or issues.

WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking / Tier List Explained

As we know so far in WoW Classic we’ve had phases and in Phase 4 of WotLK Classic, we are finally getting to the Icecrown Citadel. This Raid is highly regarded as one of the best if not the best Raids in any WoW expansion, and it eventually leads us to a direct confrontation with Arthas Menethil, the Lich King.

In this Phase we are reaching the peak in terms of gear optimizations, with many of the scaling DPS Classes reaching their final form. The Classes that gain the most out of the new itemization, gearing and optimization will be the Physical Damage dealing Classes, due to the Armor Penetration stat which can be found on almost every piece of gear and will get many Classes in a state where you’ll be deleting everything and everyone from the game.

The Raid itself is pretty well organized with various fights giving you a chance to shine in all DPS situations. Whether it’s single-target, AoE or Cleave you will find various Specializations showing off their qualities – depending on the scenario that you find yourself in.

When we talk about Phase 4, we can’t fail to mention that it’s very different when compared to previous Phases in WotLK Classic. With many classes reaching their peak and the overall damage popping off with each piece of gear that you obtain it’s pretty difficult to properly estimate the ranking since many of the Specializations can do similar damage. Considering that both Melee and Ranged/Caster DPS can deal incredible damage, it’s imperative to take into account the Human Error factor since it will most likely determine which of the top Specializations you’d want to have or stack in the Raid.

With the above in mind, the S to B Tier can swap around in most situations, but some S Tier Specializations are simply too good not to bring and utilize, we will go over all of this below.

Now that we’ve given a Tier position for each Specialization, and talked about what can influence the DPS Ranking and Tiers, we will go over each of them individually and talk about all the ups and downs, and why each of these DPS Specializations are Ranked where they are on the Tier List.

Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking / Tier List for each individual Class Specialization

When we talk about DPS Ranking / Tier List we must not avoid talking individually about each Class, their contribution, utility and quality of life that they can bring to the Raid. It’s important to distinguish why certain Specializations are where they are, and to go through all of them so that we can better understand the differences and why some are not viable while others are a must have.

Without further ado, lets get into it.

WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel Warrior DPS Ranking / Tier List

Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Warrior in WotLK Classic

 

Warriors have been useful and good overall, but they lacked the Damage compared to other Classes so they were mostly brought in Raids as Tanks or Mortal Strike bots. In some situations if you had really good gear, a Fury Warrior might be half decent, but other than that, there was no light that would shine upon this Class so far. All this changes with the coming of Icecrown Citadel!

Fury Warrior (S-TIER)

Fury Warriors finally get their time in the spotlight! With the release of Icecrown Citadel, and the huge item upgrades with Armor Penetration, you will be able to reach even the Hard-cap for Armor Penetration – 1400. This basically means that you ignore all of your opponents armor in a sense, and this makes your DPS skyrocket regardless of the situation. Whether it’s Single-target, Cleave or AoE – you will just be breaking the Damage Meter. Naturally, your Cleave damage will always be better than your Single-target.

Important thing to note is that in order for you to break the meters as a Fury Warrior, you will require an incredibly large amount of gear and if possible obtaining Shadowmourne will be your priority if you wish to destroy everything.

Until you acquire all the necessary gear and Shadowmourne, your DPS will be lower than that of a Feral Druid, Shadow Priest, Marksmanship Hunter and even a Retribution Paladin in many cases.

It takes a long time to get Shadowmourne, but until then, you are free to use the Glorenzelg, High-Blade of the Silver Hand, this Weapon can also be Dual-Wielded until you can find a Guild that can help you obtain Shadowmourne.

If by any chance you are unable to find a Guild, or obtain Shadowmourne on your own, we do offer the service for it here!

The Tier-10 for Warriors Ymirjar Lord’s Battlegear doesn’t grant bonuses that can rival those of other DPS Specializations. However, the 4-set bonus of this set does provide you with a massive boost to Execute. The 2-set bonus is good, but it’s proc rate leaves something to be desired, especially in Single-target situations since in most cases there are no adds that you can apply your Deep Wounds debuff to.

If the changes which were implemented for Phase 3 stay in Phase 4, then Fury Warriors will be able to keep their Glyph of Shattering Throw and it’s a powerful utility tool that can be used without any DPS loss. Also, by brining a Fury Warrior to the Raid you gain Rampage and Commanding Shout the latter being more important due to Feral Druids also having Leader of the Pack.
On the plus side, we also have Glyph of Sunder Armor, which basically allows you to apply Sunder Armor to another enemy and makes you better than a Rogue in this regard.

Arms Warrior (C-TIER)

Unfortunately, Arms Warriors will continue to be undesired throughout Phase 4. While they do benefit from the Armor Penetration same as the Fury Warrior, the Specialization is just far below it’s Fury counterpart. On top of that, their Mortal Strike and Trauma are replaced by Would Poison VII and Mangle (Cat) which provide the same effect.

Unlike the previous Phase, they are not completely useless due to the Armor Penetration, but this Spec is still considered a ‘meme’ spec and most Warriors will just go Fury since it has far better, more satisfying gameplay and a much higher Damage output.

WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel Retribution Paladin DPS Ranking / Tier List

Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Paladin in WotLK Classic

 

Paladins are generally quite good and useful throughout the entire expansion. This goes even more so for Phase 4 of WotLK Classic, since they will be able to obtain Shadowmourne, and various upgrades. Even if you are unable to acquire Shadowmourne, the Paladin’s only DPS Specialization – Retribution is definitely deserving of the “S” Tier spot.

Retribution Paladin (S-TIER)

Retribution Paladins are mandatory at this point. Even from the last Phase the amount of utility they bring to the Raid is a must have. Previously we’ve had Retribution Paladin’s lack in the Damage department, but from Icecrown Citadel Raid, this will be a thing of the past. The amount of items that scale well with this Spec is immense and gaining access to Shadowmourne is something that will definitely give them a massive Damage boost. Even if you are unable to acquire the Legendary Weapon, you will still have a plethora of options in terms of Weapons, so even without Shadowmourne you will be among the top DPS in both AoE and Single-target scenarios.

Considering Shadowmourne is really difficult to acquire, you will have Glorenzelg, High-Blade of the Silver Hand as well as Oathbinder, Charge of the Ranger-General to turn to and these are amazing Weapons.

Another incredible upgrade for Retribution Paladins is their Lightsworn Battlegear. The 2-set bonus from it is something that you should look out for, and try to obtain as soon as possible. It’s just simply a quality of life improvement as well as a high chance(40%) to reset your Divine Storm, after EACH PHYSICAL ATTACK. Tiny Abomination in a Jar is definitely a must have with the 2-set bonus and since the bonus can be procced by any Physical Damage, this also includes your major abilities, such as:

As a Retribution Paladin you will continue to benefit from the changes from Phase 2. Your Hand of Reckoning will continue to benefit from Glyph of Reckoning. This Glyph turns your Hand of Reckoning from a taunt ability to a pure damage ability. However, taking into consideration that you have the 2-set bonus, you will have to see which Glyph you will use because you want to reset your Divine Storm as much as possible!

When we talk about Retribution Paladins and Paladins in general, we can’t neglect the fact that they bring the most utility to a Raid. With various Auras such as Fire, Frost and Shadow Resistance, up to Hand of Salvation, Freedom as well as the Sanctified Retribution and Heart of the Crusader talent. Not to mention the huge Raid wide buffs such as Aura Mastery, Divine Sacrifice/Divine Guardian which are a must have for various encounters such as Lord Marrowgar, Festergut, Professor Putricide and even the Lich King encounter.

Icecrown Citadel Phase 4 DPS Ranking / Tier List Hunter

Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Hunter in WotLK Classic

Hunters are always near or at the top in PvE. Not to mention that they are always needed for their vast utility and pack management. The only thing that changes with the Phases is the Specialization that is at the top.

Marksmanship Hunter (S-TIER)

Marksmanship Hunters have reached a top-tier ranking due to several key factors. One major factor is the high availability of Armor Penetration in Icecrown Citadel. This marks a significant change from the previous phase, where Survival Hunters dominated the scene.

A crucial contributor to their success is the incredibly powerful Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter’s Battlegear. Both the 2-set and 4-set bonuses provide a substantial damage boosts for both Hunters and their pets. However, the T10 set’s drawback is its low proc chance, with the 4-piece bonus performing better in encounters that have multiple mobs, due to its increased chances when you have multiple Serpent Stings active.

Marksmanship Hunters offer two unique effects, with the latter being particularly versatile. The first unique effect is Trueshot Aura, which increases Attack Power by 10%. While useful, it can be replaced by similar effects like Unleashed Rage and Abomination’s Might. The second unique effect is Readiness, which has no substitute in the game.

Readiness can be used in two important ways:

  1. Resetting the cooldown of Misdirection for improved threat management
  2. Resetting your entire burst, with the most effective use being to reset Rapid Fire.

The first method is helpful when you’re the only Hunter in the raid or if your tank is struggling to maintain aggro and needs your help.

Survival Hunter (A-TIER)

Survival Hunters now find themselves in a less favorable position compared to the previous Phase. This is primarily due to the abundance of Armor Penetration in Icecrown Citadel, where Marksmanship Hunters outperform Survival Hunters by a significant margin. While Marksmanship benefits more from Armor Penetration, Survival Hunters still manage to maintain a solid position in the A-Tier. The practice of Trap Weaving has become standard for all Hunter specializations, but Survival Hunters excel in this aspect thanks to their special talents.

Another critical factor is the highly powerful Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter’s Battlegear. Both the 2-piece and 4-piece set bonuses provide substantial damage boosts for both Hunters and their pets. The drawback of the T10 set is its low proc chances, with the 4-piece bonus being more effective in group encounters rather than single-target situations. This is because the proc occurs more frequently when you have multiple Serpent Stings active.

While Survival Hunters do not bring any unique raid group effects, such as Replenishment or Misdirection, they are renowned for their exceptional survivability, thanks to their high stamina.

Beastmastery Hunter (C-TIER)

Compared to previous expansion phases, Beast Mastery Hunters have finally become viable in this phase. The increased availability of Armor Penetration significantly boosts their overall damage, and the T10 set greatly enhances their pet’s damage. However, when comparing their damage output to most other DPS specializations, they still fall short, with only Arms Warriors and Blood Death Knights being in a similar category.

The Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter’s Battlegear set can also boost your overall damage once you activate the 2-piece set bonus. However, your damage output will remain quite low until you achieve this activation.

Apart from the strong 2-piece bonus, Beast Mastery Hunters lack other unique advantages, as their utility is entirely overshadowed by other Hunter specializations. Their damage-enhancing buff, Ferocious Inspiration, is also replaced by the abilities of an Arcane Mage’s Arcane Empowerment and a Retribution Paladin’s Sanctified Retribution.

WotLK Rogue

Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Rogue in WotLK Classic

Rogues are always welcome in Raids, at least one out of their three specializations will always be viable in a Raid environment. However, one is certain, Subtlety was never one of them in WotLK.

Combat Rogue (A-TIER)

Combat Rogues maintain their A-Tier status and can potentially reach the S-Tier if played skillfully. Their A-Tier position is mainly due to the overall balanced damage output among DPS specializations. While there are specializations with higher damage potential, Combat Rogues are like the last S-Tier class due to a unique effect that few other classes can provide. They bring the Savage Combat debuff, increasing Physical Damage taken by 4%, a debuff only shared with Arms Warriors. Most raids prefer to avoid bringing Arms Warriors, so Combat Rogues almost always secure a raid spot.

Their damage excels in both Single-Target and AoE situations, thanks to their access to significant Armor Penetration, with the best setup offering around 90% Armor Penetration. They outperform Assassination Rogues, especially in AoE encounters, where Fan of Knives, Killing Spree, and Blade Flurry are their standout abilities.

Unfortunately, their T10 Shadowblade’s Battlegear set bonuses are somewhat lackluster compared to other DPS specializations. The main issue is the low proc chance of the 4-piece bonus compared to other specializations, making it heavily reliant on RNG and resulting in slightly lower damage output.

In addition to Savage Combat, Combat Rogues offer valuable utility with Tricks of the Trade, Distract, and Expose Armor. They also possess numerous Crowd-Control abilities, which come in handy for controlling trash mobs or specific adds during boss encounters.

Assassination Rogue (B-TIER)

Assassination Rogues face a less favorable position compared to earlier phases of the expansion. As Armor Penetration becomes more prevalent, their overall damage output decreases compared to their counterparts and many other physical damage dealers. However, it’s essential to note that their damage output is still quite strong, often ranking high on the damage meters, especially when equipped with unique items like the Tiny Abomination in a Jar.

In terms of AoE damage, they lag behind Combat Rogues. This is primarily because Fan of Knives heavily relies on Armor Penetration, as it deals direct damage based on your Weapon Damage.

Their utility is limited, with only three raid tools in Tricks of the Trade, Distract, and Expose Armor. Their primary utility comes from their Crowd-Control abilities, many of which are effective against adds. For instance, they excel at controlling trash mobs before facing Blood-Queen Lana’thel.

Subtlety Rogue (D-TIER)

Subtlety Rogue is primarily tailored for PvP content, as it lacks significant sustained Single-Target damage and lacks any form of Cleave Damage. While some might argue that Subtlety Rogues can achieve decent damage with the potent Icecrown Citadel items, their overall damage output remains below average.

Shadow Priest

Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Priest in WotLK Classic

 

Priests are overall one of the best if not the best Class in WotLK overall. The same can be said about each of their Specializations since they have various utility that they bring and they cannot be replaced, especially if played well. Since we are talking about Icecrown Citadel DPS Ranking, we cannot avoid talking about Shadow Priest.

Shadow Priest (S-TIER)

Shadow Priests have risen to the S-Tier with their exceptional Single Target Damage and impressive Cleave Damage potential, nearly matching Affliction Warlocks and Balance Druids. Thanks to the T10 Crimson Acolyte’s Regalia‘s 4-set bonus, their Single Target rotation now centers on Mind Flay spam, effectively replacing the use of Mind Blast.

In terms of AoE Damage, they excel at multi-DoT-ting with Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain. However, their AoE Damage depends on the position of adds relative to the boss because Mind Sear has limited range. In Icecrown Citadel, where adds tend to move, Multi-Dotting becomes the primary source of AoE damage, especially during Boss Encounters. The Phylactery of the Nameless Lich trinket significantly boosts both Single-Target and Cleave Damage, as it allows consistent application of DoTs in both situations.

Shadow Priests also bring a wealth of Utility and are nearly essential for any raid composition. They provide a Spell Hit boost, shared with Balance Druids, and offer substantial damage mitigation through Dispersion. Additionally, they can contribute significantly to the raid’s mana pool using Vampiric Touch and Hymn of Hope.

Dispersion is especially valuable for the Lich King encounter, where Shadow Priests are relied upon to soak up damage from the spirits in the final phase of the fight.

WotLK ShamanIcecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Shaman in WotLK Classic

Shamans are fairly decent and one or two are always needed in any Raid. However, they start lacking behind a bit compared to other Classes, but they can pop off if played well and compete with even the best Specializations out there.

Elemental Shaman (B-TIER)

Elemental Shamans have shown consistent improvement compared to the previous Phases, moving up to the top of the B Tier. Their damage output can now surpass that of an Enhancement Shaman, although by a small margin. They maintain most of the bonuses from previous Phases, including the ability to reset Fire Elemental Totem after each encounter. This is primarily due to the exceptional item-set bonuses they receive from their T10 Frost Witch’s Regalia. The 4-set bonus synergizes exceptionally well with the Phylactery of the Nameless Lich, allowing them to achieve damage levels that allow them to outshine their Enhancement counterparts.

However, it’s worth noting that this performance is highly dependent on obtaining the Best-in-Slot gear. Without the proper gear setup from Icecrown Citadel, the overall damage remains mediocre, with trinkets and the T10 set playing the most important role in boosting the damage output.

In terms of utility, Elemental Shamans face similar issues as in previous phases. Most of their utility effects can be replicated by other specializations. Elemental Oath doesn’t stack with a Balance Druid’s Moonkin Aura, and Totem of Wrath is overwritten by Demonic Pact. However, Demonic Pact benefits from Totem of Wrath before activation, providing some utility.

Beyond these non-stacking effects, the rest of their utility abilities can be covered by either a Restoration Shaman or an Enhancement Shaman. Consequently, Elemental Shamans don’t bring unique benefits to raid compositions. Raid groups often prefer to include Enhancement Shamans or Restoration Shamans.

One reason raid compositions might choose an Elemental Shaman over an Enhancement Shaman is their higher survivability, mostly due to having a shield so they have more armor, but that’s negligible.

Enhancement Shaman (B-TIER)

Enhancement Shamans experience a decline in their performance compared to the previous Phase of the expansion, although it’s essential to clarify that their damage output is not the issue. With the standardization of damage output across various specializations, many previously average classes have unexpectedly risen in effectiveness. This has resulted in numerous DPS specializations performing exceptionally well while demanding less skill than Enhancement Shamans.

Enhancement Shamans and Spellhance Shamans have indeed received substantial damage boosts from previous Phase changes. However, their low survivability and high skill requirements have remained significant challenges, causing fluctuations in their DPS Tier ranking. While they have the potential to outperform more popular specializations like Combat Rogues or Frost Death Knights, achieving this requires extra effort and a substantial amount of gear.

One notable strength of Enhancement Shamans lies in the powerful item-set bonuses of their T10 Frost Witch’s Battlegear. Both the 2-set and 4-set bonuses offer substantial damage-enhancing effects, with the 4-piece bonus providing a significant Attack Power buff when the Maelstrom Weapon procs consistently.

In addition to their damage output, Enhancement Shamans provide two valuable buffs to raid compositions: Windfury Totem and Unleashed Rage. These buffs are not unique to Enhancement, as Windfury Totem can be replaced by a Blood/Frost Death Knight’s Improved Icy Talons, and Unleashed Rage can be substituted with Abomination’s Might and Trueshot Aura. However, Enhancement Shamans are favored by top guilds because they can cover multiple raid spots with these buffs.

Regarding their other utility effects, the most impactful is Bloodlust/Heroism, followed by Nature Resistance Totem and Wrath of Air Totem.

WotLK Fire MageIcecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Mage in WotLK Classic

Not much to say when it comes to Mages, they always have one or two specs that are in the top. They are always needed and even multiple of them, if the Raid composition allows it. The only variation is which of the Specs is broken depending on the expansion.

Fire Mage (S-TIER)

Fire Mages have truly reached their peak in this phase of the expansion, even surpassing the formidable Affliction Warlocks. This achievement is largely attributed to the immensely powerful Icecrown Citadel items and, more importantly, their incredible T10 set bonuses. Although there haven’t been any significant class changes, Blizzard has hinted at addressing the Ignite Munching mechanic. Regardless, Fire Mages are expected to deliver exceptional damage in both Single-Target and Cleave scenarios. While they perform admirably in both situations, their Single-Target damage output notably outshines their Cleave damage output, with other specializations like Balance Druids, Fury Warriors, Retribution Paladins, and Affliction Warlocks excelling in AoE situations.

The standout feature of this phase is the T10 set, Bloodmage’s Regalia, which provides access to two potent effects. The 2-set bonus is particularly remarkable, granting a 12% Spell Haste boost each time Hot Streak procs and you cast Pyroblast. This practically means that Fire Mages can enjoy a permanent Haste bonus as long as they keep proccing Hot Streak.

Furthermore, the T10 set enhances the Mirror Image spell, granting an additional offensive cooldown. After casting Mirror Image, Fire Mages receive an 18% overall damage boost for 30 seconds.

Even without knowledge of potential changes during Phase 4 PTR, it’s confidently anticipated that Fire Mages will consistently top the DPS meters in every fight. Even if the class undergoes substantial nerfs, they are likely to remain among the top 5 damage dealers during the fourth phase of the expansion.

Arcane Mage (B-TIER)

The Arcane Mage specialization finds itself in a peculiar position compared to earlier Phases. It boasts a high damage output potential, capable of outshining even S-Tier specializations. However, it grapples with mobility issues and struggles with mana management. The biggest problem lies in its ability to unleash substantial damage in quick bursts but quickly runs out of mana (approximately 20-30 seconds in an encounter). Despite having tools like Evocation and Conjure Mana Gems, the specialization struggles to maintain sustainability over extended fights. Additionally, its lack of mobility affects the damage output in encounters where mobility is crucial.

In addition to inconsistent Single-Target Damage, Arcane Mages face challenges in AoE encounters. Their reliable AoE option is limited to Arcane Explosion, which generates a significant amount of threat and makes them vulnerable to one-shot attacks due to its short range, forcing them to be in close proximity to mobs.

Although they benefit from the T10 set, Bloodmage’s Regalia‘s item-set bonuses, their 2-piece bonus is notably weaker than that of Fire Mages. This discrepancy arises from the inherent rotation of the specialization, even though Arcane Mages benefit more from Haste Rating than Fire Mages.

Apart from their damage, Arcane Mages do not provide any utility to raid groups. Their only buff is a damage-enhancing effect called Arcane Empowerment, which unfortunately does not stack with Retribution Paladins’ Sanctified Retribution. Since Retribution Paladins are highly valuable in the expansion, Arcane Empowerment becomes redundant unless all Retribution Paladins are unavailable.

We might witness an increase in the popularity of Arcane Mage specialization if Blizzard addresses its mana issues during the PTR of Phase 4. Until then, its performance will largely depend on the Player’s skill and luck with RNG.

Frost Mage (D-TIER)

Unfortunately, similar to the previous Phases in WotLK Classes. There is just no place for Frost Mages in Icecrown Citadel. It’s simply due to other Specializations of Mage outshining it and it being mainly a PvP Spec(like Subtlety for a Rogue). There have been several attempts by Mages to make the Spec viable in any way, but the damage is too low compared to Fire or Arcane. This Spec can only be played as a ‘meme’ or if you are playing the game for fun and like Frost.

WarlockIcecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Warlock in WotLK Classic

Warlocks are standardly great survivability, utility, DPS no matter how you want to look at it, there’s at least 1 spec that is broken and others that are decent or at least viable in any given Raid Tier. Same can be said about them for Icecrown Citadel since they pretty much can be any spec they want, however Affliction and Demonology are preferred.

Affliction Warlock (S-TIER)

Affliction Warlocks may find themselves in a slightly less dominant position compared to earlier Phases of the expansion when stacked against other top-tier specializations. However, they maintain their cemented S-Tier status as one of the most potent DPS specializations throughout the expansion. The core gameplay mechanics of Affliction Warlocks have largely remained unchanged, reflecting a well-balanced specialization.

Affliction Warlocks still possess their powerful execution tool, Drain Soul, and maintain their Multi-DoT/Cleave capabilities. Their Multi-Dotting is particularly advantageous in Icecrown Citadel, where most encounters involve adds that move around. They also enjoy exceptional survivability in encounters featuring adds, thanks to Siphon Life proccing with each Corruption tick.

Multi-Dotting becomes even more impactful for Affliction Warlocks with the T10 Dark Coven’s Regalia‘s 4-set bonus. While the 2-set bonus is respectable, the 4-set bonus is exceptionally potent, offering a 10% overall damage increase tied to the damage ticks of Unstable Affliction. This bonus directly correlates with their Multi-Dot mechanic, encouraging them to afflict more targets with the debuff to maximize its frequency.

Beyond their damage output and crowd control abilities, Warlocks provide an abundance of class-specific utility spells, including Ritual of Souls, Create Soulstone, and Ritual of Summoning.

Demonology Warlock (A-TIER)

Demonology Warlocks continue to occupy a similar position as they have throughout the majority of the expansion. Like in previous phases, their damage output remains lower than that of Affliction Warlocks, particularly as they serve a primarily supportive role due to Demonic Pact. Phase 4 marks the moment when Demonic Pact truly shines, becoming essential for heavy caster compositions. Demonology Warlocks are crucial even in heavy melee compositions, as their buff also benefits healers.

Nevertheless, their overall damage is formidable, comparable to Combat Rogues, and can even surpass them in certain scenarios, especially when their execution damage comes into play. This specialization heavily relies on individual player skill for the majority of an encounter’s duration but becomes a “One-Button Wonder” once a fight enters the execution phase. They demonstrate strong potential in both Single-Target and AoE situations.

Although they lack the Multi-DoT capabilities of their Affliction specialization counterpart, they compensate with short bursts of heavy AoE damage from abilities like Metamorphosis and Immolation Aura. They also have Seed of Corruption, although it generally falls short compared to Affliction. Metamorphosis plays a significant role in Single-Target encounters, particularly in situations like Festergut and Rotface, where burst damage is crucial.

Similar to Affliction and Destruction Warlocks, they can benefit from Dark Coven’s Regalia by Multi-Dotting any visible enemy to trigger the set bonus faster.

Beyond their damage and crowd control capabilities, Warlocks provide a range of class-specific utility spells, including Ritual of Souls, Create Soulstone, and Ritual of Summoning. Ideally, Affliction Warlocks should be handling Summons and Healthstones, as Demonology Warlocks do not generate Soul Shards with their standard rotation.

Destruction Warlock (B-TIER)

Destruction Warlock finds itself in a good position, especially considering its reputation for having weak overall damage output. Thanks to the powerful caster items from Icecrown Citadel, Destruction Warlocks now have comparable damage to Elemental Shamans and Enhancement Shamans. With the standardization of damage output across various specializations, Destruction Warlocks have emerged with strong Single-Target and Cleave damage. However, a notable drawback when compared to other Warlock specializations is the absence of an execution tool, which can result in their damage falling short when compared to S-Tier and A-Tier specializations.

Similar to Affliction Warlocks and Demonology Warlocks, they can maximize the benefits of Dark Coven’s Regalia by Multi-Dotting any visible enemy to trigger the set bonus faster.

They retain the same utility spells (Ritual of Souls, Create Soulstone, and Ritual of Summoning) and crowd control abilities as the other two Warlock specializations. Fear remains a valuable tool, particularly against specific trash mobs. In addition to Fear, they can use Shadowfury, a potent crowd control tool, in encounters like Deathbringer Saurfang. Shadowfury may also come in handy during multiple Cleave situations when clearing trash mobs, although its impact can be limited. Apart from providing Replenishment and Shadowfury, Destruction Warlocks do not bring any unique effects, making them the weakest of the three Warlock specializations.

Icecrown Citadel Druid DPS Ranking / Tier ListIcecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Druid in WotLK Classic

Druid has been one of those Classes that can cover anything, DPS, Healing, Tanking and overall providing buffs, auras and utility as well as the Combat Ress which is essential for any Raid composition. Naturally, this means that Druids historically always had, have and will have a spot in any Raid environment. When it comes to their DPS Ranking, they are probably the Class which popped off the most and has become a power house in terms of destroying the Damage meters, especially Feral, but Balance(Boomkin) is not lagging too far behind and has it’s own perks.

Feral Druid (S-TIER)

Lets take a moment and bow down to the absolute winner most likely in terms of overall DPS Rankings as well as usefulness inside a Raid. This Specialization is definitely at the top of the Tier List if played correctly. If Armor Penetration was a luxury in the previous phase of the expansion, Icecrown Citadel brings TONS of it, securing the top spot for Feral Druids! Furthermore, if we don’t see any changes to Faerie Fire (Feral) and the Glyph of Omen of Clarity, we can expect Feral Druids to lead the damage meters in most fights. To explain these changes, Feral Druids received a massive buff to their Faerie Fire (Feral) through the Glyph of Omen of Clarity, which will now consistently grant the Omen of Clarity effect!

In addition to the significant buff they received in the previous Phase of the expansion, Feral Druids also get a massive boost when they activate the Lasherweave Battlegear‘s 4-piece set bonus. This T10 set bonus allows Rake‘s periodic ticks to deal critical strikes, which will further increase the overall damage!

Feral Druids excel in Single-Target damage output when played skillfully, but the class has a steep learning curve and can be lacking in Cleave Damage. The primary challenge is that using Swipe(Cat) can reduce your Single-Target damage without offering impressive AoE damage. Unfortunately, due to how Combo Points work, Swipe(Cat) is often the only viable choice for AoE damage.

Despite their limitations in AoE damage, Druids bring invaluable buffs to the Raid group. Innervate and Rebirth are among the most powerful mechanics in the entire expansion, making them truly irreplacable. These two spells are available to every other Druid specialization, meaning that you don’t necessarily need a Feral Druid for those. Fortunately, you can stack multiple Druids to cast more Innervates and Rebirths per encounter!

Feral Druids provide two raid buffs, which are also shared with Warriors. The first is an increased Bleed damage debuff with Mangle(Cat). The second is a 5% Critical Strike Chance increase through Leader of the Pack. These two raid-wide buffs have similar effects to Trauma and Rampage, but they are mutually exclusive.

Balance Druid  (S-TIER)

Balance Druids find themselves among the best DPS Specializations in the Phase 4 of the expansion, although this assessment is based on current data and may change during PTR testing. In theory, they exhibit incredible Single-Target and AoE Damage potential once they acquire most of their Best in Slot (BiS) gear from Icecrown Citadel. Depending on any potential changes that might occur during PTR testing, they are expected to consistently excel in AoE encounters by utilizing Starfall, and they are likely to secure top spots on the damage meters in Single-Target encounters.

While Balance Druids don’t benefit from the Glyph of Omen of Clarity like Feral Druids, they receive a substantial boost from their Lasherweave Regalia‘s item-set bonuses whenever Omen of Clarity procs. Furthermore, Balance Druids gain a new Damage over Time (DoT) effect thanks to the 4-piece set bonus, which synergizes well with the Phylactery of the Nameless Lich trinket.

Their Moonkin Form not only enhances their survivability but also provides increased Critical Strike Chance and Haste to any raid members nearby. They can also offer a Spell Hit Debuff in the form of Improved Faerie Fire, which enhances the Hit Rating of all other casters.

In addition to these effects, they possess the same class-wide utility abilities such as Innervate and Rebirth, which are essential for any solid raid composition. By stacking multiple Druids, raid groups can maximize the use of these two effects and reduce the risk of a Raid wipe, or play around mechanics that require a sacrifice of a Raid member etc.

DK SpecializationsIcecrown Citadel DPS Ranking for Death Knight in WotLK Classic

Last but not least, we have the Death Knight. This Class has labeled the whole Expansion and it became available since WotLK launch. It has lived up to it’s Hero-Class expectation in more than one occasion through all of the expansion and it’s Phases. When it comes to it’s DPS Ranking it is somewhat dropping lower than where it used to be in previous Phases, but it doesn’t mean that with good cooldown management and gear you can’t compete with the best Classes in Icecrown Citadel. This also depends on which Specialization you’ll be playing, so lets see how DK’s are doing.

Unholy Death Knight (A-TIER)

Unholy Death Knights face a drop in Single-Target Damage during the fourth phase of the expansion, but they maintain their exceptional worth in AoE encounters. Their performance is highly dependent on the Player’s skill and whether they have obtained Shadowmourne. With proper play, they can reclaim their place in the S-Tier, especially in fights that involve multiple targets.

While their Single-Target damage is comparable to Frost Death Knights, Unholy Death Knights truly shine in Cleave encounters, consistently outperforming Frost Death Knights thanks to their Wandering Plague ability.

A significant change for Unholy Death Knights in Phase 4 is the shift from the Dual-Wield Unholy build to the standard 2-Handed Unholy build. This transition is mainly driven by the presence of Shadowmourne and the requirement to use Scourge Strike to trigger its proc.

It’s worth noting that obtaining Shadowmourne is a formidable task, often requiring an entire Guild’s dedication to create this Legendary weapon.

One drawback for Unholy Death Knights in this phase is the relatively underwhelming set bonuses from their T10 Scourgelord’s Battlegear. They receive a mere 10% damage increase for Scourge Strike and a modest 3% damage increase when all their runes are depleted. These bonuses pale in comparison to the game-changing damage-enhancing buffs offered to many other DPS specializations.

Summon Gargoyle no longer relies on an initial Haste Rating snapshot but rather adjusts its performance with each of the Gargoyle’s attacks based on the current Haste Rating. This means that Snapshotting remains less significant even in Phase 4, unless changes are introduced during the PTR period.

Wandering Plague, in combination with Pestilence, remains the most potent AoE tool in the Unholy Death Knight’s arsenal, making them dominant in Cleave situations. Their overall AoE capabilities are on par with other specializations like Balance Druids, Retribution Paladins, Combat Rogues, Fire Mages, and Affliction Warlocks.

In addition to their impressive damage output, Unholy Death Knights continue to provide valuable utility through abilities like Ebon Plaguebringer and Death Grip, making them an asset to raid groups.

Frost Death Knight (A-TIER)

Frost Death Knights maintain a similar position to the previous phase, with one significant distinction. Current simulations suggest that Frost Death Knights have higher single-target DPS than Unholy Death Knights, but they lag behind in Cleave situations, mainly due to the absence of tools like Unholy’s Wandering Plague, which contributes to substantial damage.

Their Single-Target damage potential is formidable once they acquire the best-in-slot items. However, Frost Death Knights face the challenge of having damage output comparable to many other A-Tier and S-Tier specializations. This lack of distinctiveness means their primary benefit is providing Improved Icy Talons, a valuable buff, especially when Enhancement Shamans are not present in the raid, as it doesn’t stack with Windfury Totem.

Similar to Unholy Death Knights, Frost Death Knights contend with underwhelming item-set bonuses from their T10 Scourgelord’s Battlegear. They receive a modest 10% damage increase for Obliterate and a meager 3% damage increase when all their runes are depleted. These bonuses are just bad compared to what other Classes are getting, and even though you’d want to have a DK in your Raid, you most likely wouldn’t want it to be a Frost Death Knight – unless necessary.

Blood Death Knight (C-TIER)

Blood Death Knights find themselves in a familiar position in the fourth phase of the expansion, but they will gain access to substantial amounts of Armor Penetration. Assuming they retain their buffs to Dancing Rune Weapon from the previous phase, current simulations suggest their damage output could be considered high C-Tier, potentially even reaching low-end B-Tier if they manage to accumulate enough Armor Penetration.

Like other Death Knight specializations, Blood Death Knights face underwhelming item-set bonuses from their T10 Scourgelord’s Battlegear. They only receive a 10% damage increase for Scourge Strike and a meager 3% damage increase when all their runes are depleted. These bonuses pale in comparison to the potent damage-enhancing buffs received by many other DPS Specializations.

One of the primary challenges Blood Death Knights encounter, similar to the previous phase, is their limited utility buffs. Abomination’s Might, their first buff, can be easily replaced by Trueshot Aura or Unleashed Rage. Since most raid compositions prefer Enhancement Shamans or Marksmanship Hunters, finding a raid spot can be challenging. The second buff, Hysteria, is unique and cannot be provided by any other class. However, it typically requires sacrificing a DPS spot for a potential damage increase for the main Physical DPS. This often places Blood Death Knights in a more supportive role, chosen primarily for this effect. Additionally, the same effect can be obtained from a Blood Death Knight Tank with some build adjustments.

CONCLUSION

After reviewing all of these Classes and Specializations we’re anxious to see how Players will actually perform once ICC is out. Bear in mind that everything that is written here is based solely on the information that was gathered so far from PTR and by some comparison to the changes that were implemented Blizzard. If a Specialization was listed under “S-TIER” it doesn’t mean that everyone will play it on that level, it means that the Spec only has the POTENTIAL to be at the top if played perfectly and under perfect conditions.

The biggest difference will always come down to the individual Player. If you’re able to get the maximum out of your Class, it can be “S-TIER” even if we listed it under “B-TIER” in this post, for example.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our WotLK Classic: Icecrown Citadel DPS Rankings / Tier List post. We hope that it will help you decide what you will play when Icecrown Citadel comes out in Phase 4 of WotLK Classic and we hope that you’ll have success in defeating all the bosses and smashing those damage meters.

If you do not have time, or need help with Raids, Gearing, Dungeons, Powerleveling, Farming or if you wish to get an Account or a Character, don’t hesitate to check our site, contact our LiveChat & Discord Support, we’re available 24/7! Alternatively, you can send a Service Request if we don’t offer something that you’re interested in!

Also, make sure that you check out our Shadowmourne Guide, or service! As well as the Icecrown Citadel Guide, or service!

As always, we will provide you with a nice Video on the same topic to close off the post. The following video is focused more on how the DPS Rankings / Tier List will look like in the progression stages and compared to the current Rankings in TOC.

Wotlk Classic: Icecrown Citadel DPS Rankings / Tier List during ICC progression(Video)