Shadowlands DPS Rankings in Season 3 Week 5 - Sepulcher of the First Ones
Today we will take a look at the DPS balance in Sepulcher of the First Ones during the week of March 29th of Shadowlands Season 3. For this analysis we will use data provided by
Warcraft Logs Heroic Sepulcher of the First Ones statistics
. Note that this data is a preview of Season 3 balance, as tier sets still aren't widely available to players.
Warcraft Logs' Sepulcher of the First Ones Statistics Page
Disclaimers and Source
The data for this article was taken from the
Sepulcher of the First Ones Statistics Page on Warcraft Logs
for Heroic difficulty in the week of March 29th. We will be looking at data for the 95th percentile, plus showing the overall results to paint a better picture.
The idea of this article is to give a perspective of the state of class balance for Season 3, before tier sets become widely available. meaning this is an
incomplete picture of season 3 balance, as tier set acquisition will drastically change these numbers week by week
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.
Position of specs for the 95th percentile might be skewed by alternative strategies and parse funneling. For that, we're including the chart showing the result for all percentiles to paint a better picture for all specs.
DPS Rankings in Season 3 - Heroic Sepulcher of the First Ones Week of March 29th
95th Percentile Statistics
Spec and Class
Frost Death Knight
Havoc Demon Hunter
Unholy Death Knight
Beast Mastery Hunter
Class Writer Commentary
To help understand better what the statistics mean currently, we invited our Unholy Death Knight, Frost Mage, and Fury Warrior class writers to talk more about the state of their specs in Season 3 and what the future holds for their specs in Sepulcher of the First Ones.
Before we begin, in
Mages have a lot of choices when it comes to which spec to play. I recommend as a Mage to be ready to play all three specs, as opposed to sticking with one. That being said, for folks starting the raid Frost Mage is a solid option.
There are three main reasons for Frost's current success: First,
tier bonuses are strong. Most of the damage comes from the 2p, so it is easy to access. Second,
provides a notable gain for those playing Necrolord, more-so than other mage specs.
is very strong, especially when paired with
in cleave. Frost was already is a decent position before these unlocks, which means that the percentage gained goes even further.
The last reason Frost is having a decent showing now is because it performs well in cleave and single target without downtime. Because of this, Frost performs very well on most of the earlier bosses in
). Forced downtime or other factors that make Frost underperform are only really a problem on a couple Heroic fights, most notably on
. This means that Frost performs the best of the Mage specs on a majority of fights, although this does not account for encounter difficulty (which is probably the better thing to look to when determining which spec to play). Thankfully, we are no longer locked to one covenant which means you can swap as you see fit!
Unholy Death Knight
The Unholy Death Knight currently sits in the middle of the pack in terms of overall rankings. Let's take a closer look at why Unholy does relatively well in Sepulcher of the First Ones, and why it has risen in ranks recently!
First of all, Unholy received a 5% damage buff two weeks ago. This buffed all of Unholy's damage, including pets. 5% might not sound like much, but it does have a significant impact overall. Specs are packed together tightly in the statistics, especially close to the middle, enabling a relatively small change like this to have a significant impact on the overall rankings.
Unholy does well in Sepulcher due to multiple reasons. First of all, the 4-set bonus
can be leveraged to great success on multiple bosses. Whenever there are adds, we can use
to proc our 4-set and gain a huge boost to our DPS! The adds that spawn on Dausegne fit very well with our opening burst. We have all our cooldowns running when we use
and gain a 50% damage boost to our pet damage! Anduin intermission phase provides both excellent add targets (the small ones that jump around) coupled with a huge damage boost gives us insane burst.
in the first intermission phase is just so much priority damage. Finally, Lords of Dread have an add that we can grip in and use
on. This generally aligns very well with the swarm phase, enabling huge amounts of funnel as the bosses take increased damage! The 4-set also does well on bosses with execute burns. Halondus and The Jailer are both great Unholy fights where a late
in conjunction with
sends Unholy towards the top of the meters!
is a pretty insane weapon for Unholy. Once used, an add is spawned that needs to be killed. This provides an excellent opportunity to leverage the 4-set by killing the add with
! The weapon itself is already really good with the buff it provides. Add on top of that a 50% pet-damage boost in our opener and you have an awesome combination! I believe this is another reason why Unholy has jumped up a bit in rankings. Killing the Jailer on Heroic isn't all that common but people are now starting to pick up the weapon!
Another point worth to mention is the large amount of damage that
can put out. The covenant spell was buffed significantly in 9.2, both directly through a damage buff, but also indirectly through
buffs. It enables the Unholy death knight to both bring great utility, gripping in targets on bosses like Anduin and Artificer, as well as providing a huge amount of AoE burst every 2 minutes. This can be leveraged especially well on Artificer, Anduin and Lords of Dread!
Unholy is overall a good spec in Sepulcher, having received recent buffs and scaling well with items in the raid. I expect it to hold strong and potentially see more play as the diversity of the guilds progressing more difficult bosses increases. As a notable example, Tegu was topping the meters on a recent Jailer Mythic kill, having the ability to leverage the unusually long execute phase to their advantage!
Fury Warriors have had a tumultuous time so far in Sepulcher of the First Ones, although anticipated to be a dominant force with the hugely hyped Necrolord build, last minute nerfs completely undermined that possibility, resulting in a severe decline in the single target damage profiles which have largely dominated this tier. While Warriors started off strong and saw a lot of use in the Race to World First, the majority of that was before acquiring double legendaries and represented a much different state of the game than we are seeing now. Fury's tier set is very good however, and much stronger than a tier set really
be, though the same can be said for many other specializations, and Fury's second legendary doesn't add nearly as much as some of the other classes which have skyrocketed over the last few weeks. Warriors also tend to be prioritized more at the beginning of a tier, where AoE and
phases last the longest and survivability checks require as many cooldowns as possible to safely survive.
Saying Warriors are not overly impressive right now may be somewhat contradictory though, as although statistics all indicate that Warriors are only middle of the pack - if that - in terms of damage in Sepulcher of the First Ones, Fury is still one of the highest represented specializations this tier. Part of that may be due to the original anticipation or simply because Fury has been a particularly well received spec since it was redesigned in
Battle for Azeroth
, but it's also true that DPS Warriors have always been very popular, and bring useful utility in the form of
, so there will almost always be a place for them in raid groups even if they still aren't the star of this particular show.
As it now stands, Fury's biggest strength in AoE has already been well established in Mythic+; anytime they can burst down a set of adds with
, particularly when there are several sets recurring throughout the encounter - such as Xy'mox, Anduin, and Vigilant Guardian, although even in those fights, their faltering single target results keeps them from the top of the charts, particularly in lower difficulties where these phases are either getting skipped or the adds are dying so quickly that Warriors don't have 15-25 seconds to pull off their full rotation. In single target though, Fury is very middling, only
barely breaking into the middle of the pack
outside of a few encounters -
being the notable exception, due to the encounter's length and near constant uptime on the boss.
Another issue is covenants, as Warriors are encouraged to change covenants on almost every single encounter if they truly want to optimize, but because of the annoyances in doing so, many simply don't bother - therefore, we see a lot of Kyrian and Night Fae parses, even on single target encounters where Necrolord or Venthyr would be slightly better - simply because the gain is now so small (in the range of 2-3%) that it's hardly worth the effort. This even trickles down into conduits, as Korayn's
is an excellent soulbind ability which pairs well with
on fights like Anduin, but the same soulbind is ideally used with different conduits on Rygelon. These are mostly just annoyances though; the true heart of the matter is that both Arms and Fury are in strong need of a moderate single target buff either baseline or bringing one of their "single target" covenants back to the point of usefulness, else their current standings are unlikely to improve.
Class Guides for Sepulcher of the First Ones
For more information on specs in Season, check out our Sepulcher of the First Ones Class Guides!
Blood DKFrost DKUnholy DK
Havoc DHVengeance DH
Balance DruidFeral DruidGuardian 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
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