Analysis of Shadowlands DPS in Mythic Castle Nathria - January 19th Week
Today we will take a look at the DPS balance in Castle Nathria during the Week of January 19th. For this analysis we will use data provided by
Warcraft Logs Mythic Castle Nathria statistics
Warcraft Logs' Castle Nathria Statistics Page
Disclaimers and Source
The data for this article was taken from the
Castle Nathria Statistics Page on Warcraft Logs
under the Shadowlands Season 1 partition at the 95th percentile for Mythic difficulty in the window.
The idea of this article is to give a perspective of the state of class balance for Castle Nathria in Shadowlands Season 1 as more players get deeper in Mythic difficulty. As the meta for Mythic Castle Nathria is settling down, today we will look at the specs that are currently leading the race in Shadowlands' first raid.
We say perspective, as there are inherent biases in looking at the data this way.
Specs that are considered underpowered are generally played less and tend to appear weaker than they actually are.
This happens as many performance-oriented players will tend to play the strongest spec or class, increasing even further the gap between top and bottom specs.
The balance between specs is very delicate and will likely change throughout Season 1, as player acquire more gear, different classes and specs tend to perform better with more secondaries.
For more information on specs in the Shadowlands Season 1, check out our Class Guides!
Blood DKFrost DKUnholy DK
Havoc DHVengeance DH
Guardian DruidFeral DruidBalance DruidRestoration Druid
Beast Mastery HunterMarksmanship HunterSurvival Hunter
Arcane MageFire MageFrost Mage
Brewmaster MonkMistweaver MonkWindwalker Monk
Holy PaladinProtection PaladinRetribution Paladin
Discipline PriestHoly PriestShadow Priest
Assassination RogueOutlaw RogueSubtlety Rogue
Elemental ShamanEnhancement ShamanRestoration Shaman
Affliction WarlockDemonology WarlockDestruction Warlock
Arms WarriorFury WarriorProtection Warrior
DPS Rankings in Shadowlands Season 1 - Mythic Castle Nathria Jan 19th Week
Spec and Class
Change from Mythic Week 4
Unholy Death Knight
Frost Death Knight
Havoc Demon Hunter
Beast Mastery Hunter
Spec Analysis for January 19th Week
In the data above, most specs retained their position or moved slightly. In virtue of that, for this week, we've spoken with our class writers for specs that are currently leading the pack, Balance Druid, Affliction Warlock, Fire Mage, Windwalker Monk, and Shadow Priest, and asked how is the outlook for their spec for the final fights in Castle Nathria.
Balance Druid right now is incredibly potent at 3 things: Living versus physical damage, burst single target, and sustained AOE. Thus Balance's strength in Castle Nathria is shown pretty heavily in 3 of the final 5 fights in this instance. Those 3 fights are Council of Blood, Sludgefist, and Sire Denathrius. Council of Blood has a lot of single target boss damage focus that moonkin does not excel at necessarily since convoke does not work well on that encounter, but the strengths are apparent when you need to target swap to dutiful attendants and AOE waiters with starfall. Balance excels heavily at doing their jobs well and having a balanced composition to help push the bosses HP on council while the moonkins do their job is important. For Sludgefist, Balance is probably one of if not the most important DPS on this encounter. Their ability to survive chain soaks seamlessly with increased armor from Moonkin form is unmatched. On top of this, Convoke + Celestial Alignment + Double on use trinket burst is very incredible for pillar burn phases. Finally, Denathrius is an encounter that balance is able to play to the sustained AOE strengths while not losing much single target damage. It is one of the few specs that can be mostly flexibile like this, and it allows Balance really to shine in phases 1 and 2 while being pretty high on the single target boss damage burn of phase 3.
Affliction has already been a well scaling spec for the first few bosses in Castle Nathria, but it's proficiency definitely scales up once you get to the last few bosses in the raid. On pure single target, it's middle to upper pack, so it isn't necessarily that strong for a mechanic intensive single target fight like Artificier Xy'mox, but once you get past that 6/10 wall that many guilds are starting to get to, affliction starts showing its strengths.
For Council of Blood, having access to multiple targets to multidot increases your focused single target damage on bosses by a lot, in addition to being one of only two classes (the other being moonkins) able to effectively cleave damage on to waiters throughout phase 2 and 3 of the fight. For sludgefist, you have the ability to have cooldowns and damage for essentially every single damage amplification of the fight, and is by far the strongest damage and progression class for the fight, outside of a moonkin getting some lucky crits during their convokes. For Stone Legion Generals, the usefulness in damage profiles pales in comparison to some of the more aoe burst specs, but warlock is still necessary for the fight in the form of a pet taunt for tank bleeds, as well as a demonic gateway for dunking orbs in the intermission phase. And for the final boss, sire denathrius himself, warlock is one of the most damage efficient specs in the game whenever there are multiple targets available for extended periods of time, making them a must-have for boss damage pushes in phase 2 onwards.
Another week of Mythic means more bosses reach the 50 public kills needed to show up on the statistics page. Thanks to this, we are getting a clearer picture of where each spec stacks up in Castle Nathria.
Fire has solidified one of the top 5 specs in statistics thanks to the inclusion of the later bosses and the power-creep of scaling via renown. In the previous update I noted that the inclusion of Sludgefist would help Fire. It looks like this was true, but the biggest gain for Fire comes with Sun King's Salvation. I expect Fire to continue to ramp in the coming weeks thanks to more soulbind options for Night Fae and new Shadow Priest simulations showing promising results for
when paired with Fire Mages.
The last 5 fights for in Castle Nathria are all fights that play very well to a Windwalker's strengths. Lady Inerva is primarily a single target fight, but with adds every minute or so, which align well with Windwalker's burst damage, as well as providing low health targets to use Touch of Death on multiple times in the fight. Windwalkers are able to put out a TON of damage onto the adds without losing much, if any, damage on the boss, whereas some specs have to choose between boss damage or add damage. Council of Blood is one that doesn't particularly favor Windwalker beyond being able to keep up Mark of the Crane on multiple targets for a small gain to Spinning Crane Kick damage. Most of the important damage on Council is single target, so much of Windwalker's cleave kit is wasted on less meaningful pad damage.
Sludgefist is a fight that works out perfectly for Windwalkers because of the timing. Since the fight has an enrage time after the 4th pillar, and the pillars are exactly one minute apart, it allows Windwalkers to use their cooldowns on the opener, and have them available for the 2nd and 4th pillar, which is when most progression groups will lust. This takes Windwalkers already considerable burst damage, and funnels into the 100% increased damage window. Windwalker's high level of movement is largely neutralized by the mechanics of the fight, but the damage more than makes up for it. Stone Legion generals plays well to Windwalker's strengths due to the large number of targets that are rife for Touch of Death, as well as consistent cleave and AOE. Windwalker deals very well with new targets and switching to them, so Stone Legion is another fight where Windwalker can shine.
Lastly Sire Denathrius is a strong fight for Windwalkers for a combination of the reasons from Sludgefist and Stone Legion Generals. Denathrius has copious targets for Touch of Death, timings that allow Windwalker to line up big cooldowns for massive AOE like Whirling Dragon Punch on the small adds in P1, and consistent multiple targets for cleave and AOE abilities to shine. Historically Windwalker has been a spec that does well with the later fights in a tier, but rarely do the collection of final bosses so well reflect Windwalker's strengths, as well as having that happen at a time where the spec itself is very strong.
Shadow’s performance in the latter half of Castle Nathria is very similar to its experience on the earlier bosses, strong for boss focused or single target damage, and weaker when multiple adds or targets are involved. The rework Shadow received in Shadowlands has shifted the spec away from spread target and more towards somewhat cooldown focused priority damage. While Shadow struggles on average to keep up its impressive overall performance of the first few weeks, it’s still a strong choice because of that priority damage.
The past week has also seen the rise of both the Night Fae covenant and Talbadar’s Stratagem legendary. The three reasons for this are access to their second potency conduit, new data suggesting the increased value of Shadow’s mastery, and Mythic Sire Denathrius, who’s second and third phases lend themselves well to the cooldown reduction provided by fae guardians. This shift has increased Shadow’s single target damage even further, something we’re seeing in the rise of Shadow on encounters such as Xymox.
Shadow’s other major strength, Power Infusion, continues to be a valuable raid cooldown for Mythic progression that does not show up on logs. Power Infusion provides excellent burst damage to teammates on Sludgefist for pillar breaks, and allows hunters to clear out massive numbers of adds during their cooldowns on Mythic Generals. Despite this, Mythic Generals is easily Shadow’s worst fight in Castle Nathria due to its focus on movement and multi target.
Shadow’s popularity has fallen off a lot compared to the earlier bosses, this is due to the value of stacked cleave, mobility, raid damage mitigation, and the tendency for top guilds to field the best setup possible for difficult progression encounters. The spec is no worse at the things it was good at early on in Castle Nathria, but it’s not something guilds are fielding in multiples as they progress higher.
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