The Mythic+ Meta Compositions in Shadowlands Season 1
With the Shadowlands expansion being about 2 months old at this point, there has been an obvious emerging trend in regards to what the meta compositions are in Mythic+ dungeons. In this article, we talk about the class diversity in Shadowlands Mythic+ dungeons so far and predict why the meta has formed this way.
Tank as a role has been really meta dependent for a while. Tanks facilitate the pulls you are able to do and typically strategies for dungeons are based around what tank is currently in the meta. Right now there is a fairly kite heavy meta where incoming damage on tanks is relatively high. That pushes Vengeance Demon Hunter as a very clear front runner. Vengeance's damage mitigation and kiting potential is some of the best in the game while their ability to maintain threat is also really high. A lot of Vengeance's defensive power comes from the
legendary and the
talent. This allows them to play a pseudo turtle build while still doing considerable amounts of damage due to
Out of the top 20 tanks, 18 of them are Vengeance Demon Hunters, 1 Brewmaster Monk, and 1 Guardian Druid. Brewmaster is definitely more of a glass cannon style of tank and while it does considerable amounts of damage, the damage intake on Brewmaster is higher than we have seen in a while. They do still have excellent kite potential though with abilities such as
. The other tank represented is Guardian Druid. Guardian's defensive power is the only other tank that can match Vengeance once you start to push to higher levels of keys. The downside of Guardian over Vengeance is threat and damage. Threat is still a really relevant thing this patch even after the increases and Guardian cannot keep up with some of the damage output while kiting.
Raider.io Tank Rankings
Healers have the most class diversity in recent memory. Currently in the top 20 healers, all 5 healer classes are represented in some fashion. The current breakdown are 10 Restoration Shamans, 4 Restoration Druids, 3 Holy Paladins, 2 Discipline Priests, and 1 Mistweaver Monk. Restoration Shaman definitely feels like a front runner with Mistweaver bringing up the rear, but the diversity feels relatively close as a whole. While the healing classes are fairly flexible, they do bring something that is really powerful which is covenant buffs.
Within the top 20 healers you have a breakdown of 9 Venthyr, 5 Necrolord, 3 Night Fae, and 3 Kyrian. As you can see, the healing role bring an abundance of the lower represented covenant buffs. Night Fae and Kyrian definitely have higher amounts of representation in DPS and Tank specs, so healers bringing Venthyr or Necrolord is really nice for the covenant buffs.
We have even began to see uncommon picks such as Venthyr Restoration Druid in order to make use of the powerful buffs in Sanguine Depths and Halls of Atonement. Restoration Druids are mostly Night Fae, but because that overlaps so heavily with DPS that can become problematic. Restoration Shamans have been going Necrolord for raid, but have recently been swapping to Venthyr due to the power of the buffs as well. Holy Paladins are split. Most Holy Pallies are still Kyrian while some have swapped to Venthyr for raid. Venthyr is not bad in dungeons and does a considerable amount of damage, but you do lose a lot of healing power to play it.
Raider.io Healer Rankings
For DPS specs, typically we have a larger amount of diversity, but this season we have about 5 specs that stand above the rest in terms of representation. Those are Fire Mage, Marksmanship Hunter, Windwalker Monk, Balance Druid, and Outlaw Rogue.
Fire Mage tends to be very strong again due to the power of
build for AOE damage that is not affected by the target cap. Fire has a "minute mage" build again that they like to run with
. This allows for Combustion to be up for virtually every pack and every prideful which is a nice cooldown to use on the prideful.
Marksmanship Hunter's power generally comes through their on demand AOE from
. Even though most of it is target capped, the just sheer burst profile and low cooldown of the damage itself is what really makes it valuable. MM Hunter also has some incredibly powerful utility in the form of
which both abilities are quite valuable to tanks.
Windwalker Monk has some of the highest 2-5 target damage in the game due to
. While they are fairly hampered by the target cap, their damage really does not start to fall off until the 10+ target range. On top of that there are a general lack of AOE stuns in compositions played this season so
is quite strong. In addition to that
for displacement or tank kiting is always nice to have.
Balance Druid is one of the best utility specs in the game, has incredible burst single target, and is one of the tankiest specs in the game. One of the premiere utility abilities for Balance is
as this allows the mobs to stay grouped up more frequently and tanks to have to kite significantly less. On top of that they have
. Their burst damage with
is enough to chunk mobs or trash packs in dungeons if available.
Outlaw Rogue is definitely less popular this season than in Battle for Azeroth, but we are still seeing a decent amount of them. The rogue utility suite is still fairly unmatched with things such as
among a bunch of other things as well. The real downside to rogue right now is the fact that outlaw's damage is hampered pretty bad by the target cap (significantly more than Windwalker and Marksmanship huner). With that even being the case Outlaw's damage with the
legendary is decent, but their value has moved from mandatory to not seen in every composition.
Raider.io DPS Rankings
For Tanks and DPS, this is one of the more narrow metas that I have seen emerge especially at the beginning of an expansion. I do generally believe a lot of stuff is playable, but it seems like Vengeance Demon Hunter and the 5 DPS I discussed are really above and beyond the rest. I think stuff like Unholy Death Knight and Enhancement Shaman are both quite strong, but will likely not see much play. For healers, it seems as if their role will be to flex covenants as all healers seem playable / strong in their own aspects. There has been an emerging trend with Restoration Shamans taking the lead, but not by enough to push the other healers out.
For covenants, it seems as if having a Venthyr is mandatory while having a Necrolord is nice but not required. The power of Venthyr's buffs in Halls of Atonement and Sanguine Depths really pushes that covenant into the forefront and has even pushed healers into taking a suboptimal approach to obtain those buffs. I suspect as the season plays out and progression raiding dies down then you will see more people playing suboptimal covenants to satiate the covenant buffs.
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