Top 10 Best DPS & Heal Abilities (Talents) in WoW Dragonflight

1/7/2023 11:31:55 AM

Here we go over the most powerful DPS abilities and Heal spells you need to be tracking in WoW Dragonflight, explaining how these broken talents work and what you can do to counter them. 

WOW Dragonflight Best Abilities - Top 10 DPS Talents & Heal Spells

WOW Dragonflight Best Abilities - Top 10 DPS Talents & Heal Spells

In this guide, we're going to cover some of the strongest spells in the meta explaining how they work and what you can do to counter them. So sit back as we simplify the new meta abilities that mix in some healer spells that are borderline busted in WoW Dragonflight Season 1. 

Top 1 - Emerald Communion

This ability is the Preservation evoker only and basically, divine him on steroids. It's a juiced-up AOE heel that can be used in different forms of CC. The tooltip says stuns fears or silences but it can even be used when in freezing trap or ring or frost which aren't even in those categories. This is just the beginning of how weird this spell actually is - the cast can't be normally interrupted but it can be stopped by some but not all incapacitates and disorients like Blinding Sleet,  Dragon's Breath, and Wealth Incapacitating Roar. For instance, the communion cast is canceled the moment the evoker gets fear, again it can be used while feared but it doesn't make the evoker immune to fear. Now the confusing part, it cannot be interrupted with gouges. It is gouged and incapacitated but for some unknown reason, the gouge is somehow classified as a stun. We are guessing that this spell is high on Blizzard's Nerf list or the very least will be fixed to be less buggy but whenever you play against an evoker always anticipate that at least one of your goes might get ruined by an emerald communion. If you play major Druid you're in luck because both Polymorph and Cyclone can prevent it from channeling, so rely on those and other in-cap DRS first to have a counter ready when needed.

Top 2 - Nullifying Shroud

This ability is available to both Evoker specs. Remember that good old Fastidious Resolve trinket from Shadowlands or what about pre-nerf Holy Ward, Nullifying Shroud is basically both of these at the same time but somehow even better that's because it provides immunity to three CC spells for 30 seconds. In the toolkit of a healer, this is incredibly strong since it means being able to immune crucial CC chains that would otherwise force out a PVP trinket. It can be cast right out of the gates for 30 seconds of CC immunity in the opener, or even in the middle of a game once its cooldown comes back up, together that means 60 seconds worth of partial CC immunity and under a two-minute window. 

How To Counter It: Luckily though there are some specific forms of counterplay, for one the Nullifying buff is Magic meaning it can actually be dispelled which should be your first line of counterplay if there's an offensive dispel on your team, especially spell steel since it will completely strip off all Buffs from the enemy of Evoker. If this isn't an option then the next best option is to use spammable CC to remove all three stacks here, spells like Cyclone, Polymorph, Fear and cheap shot are all great options if they are available. Obviously, it is very frustrating to have to sit there spamming three casts just to remove one buff. Finally, as a very Niche form of counterplay Rogues can actually sap off each stack at the start of the game, assuming the evoker doesn't get combat,  so sometimes they will cast double flying and then immediately deep breath in the center of the map to get combat, this will deal AOE damage and providing complete CC immunity while they're in the air. So just be careful not to get hit out of stealth and then just wait out the animation to Triple sap, having your team avoid a deep breath in order to prevent combat.

Top 3 - Nether Portal

We're sure you've encountered a few hurricanes of imps, dogs, and pit lords this season thanks to the demo warlock ability Nether Portal, it can be hard to notice this spell with 1 million nameplates on your screen and unfortunately, this ability can summon even more with every demon it spawns while active. In order to summon these demons, the Warlock has to spend Soul Shards which might require them to cast Hand of Gul'dan, this means you should definitely prioritize lining or interrupting this spell when the nether portal is active, especially since it locks them on both fire and shadow. The second reason this is important is that once the Nether Portal ends, it will summon a pit Lord who will run after you like a very angry Brock Lesnar ready to suplex half of your health bar. Fortunately, the pit Lord can be rooted which should be your first line of defense when flow charting your way around this ability, otherwise, you may need to simply kite with mobility cooldowns rely on other forms of micro CC, or be ready to trade a defensive if needed.

Top 4 - Serenity / Storm, Earth, and Fire

Here we have the two Windwalker Monk cooldowns with both Serenity and Storm, Earth and Fire. Now you won't be playing against both of these at the same time since they are exclusive to one another, but their purpose is exactly the same and that is to hit you so hard that you have no choice but to check your details Deathlok. 

How To Counter It: Both of these share one form of counter play and it involves trading a defensive cooldown. Seriously we should have all learned from Shadowlands that there's no point in being greedy, with a spec as explosive as Windwalker you need to trade defensives when you see these abilities no exceptions. Storm, Earth and Fire has a bit more nuanced in how you can play around it because it summons mirror images of the monk it means AOE CC is quite effective, this includes AOE Roots, Fears, End Caps or Stuns. Whatever multi-target CC you have it should be thrown into the Clones as soon as possible, in any case there is no reason to ever be greedy against a Windwalker Monk, CC the images or get ready to trade as soon as possible.

Top 5 - Stormkeeper

This is a damage ability shared by both Elemental and Resto Shaman's Stormkeeper. Even Resto shamans have a threatening damage ability, with Stormkeeper allowing them to hit over 100k with Lightning Bolt as a Healer. Anyway, Stormkeeper requires shamans to hard cast the spell and since it is on the nature school it is a high-value interrupt, locking them out of wind shear hex damage and healing. This is why better shamans will generally run out of Los to Precast Stormkeeper in order to go back into the fight with two instant lightning bolts that have a slew of modifiers including Sky Fury totem which makes the damage extra deadly if it crits.

How To Counter It: If you see this buff after a shaman is run loss to Stormkeeper get ready for some damage, since you can't dispel the buff your best course of action is to either run to a pillar to avoid the shaman or trade a damage reduction cooldown if you absolutely cannot avoid the incoming damage. Remember that Elemental shamans have an increased crit modifier and with a one-minute cooldown on Stormkeeper, it means efficient one-minute CDs like Roar of sacrifice are usually more than enough to survive its damage. Again though just like Windwalker cooldowns, Stormkeeper is definitely something you should respect even against Resto shamans.

Top 6 - Deathmark / Shiv

Speaking of trading as early as possible, you will need to do that with Deathmark and Shiv. In case you missed it, Vendetta is gone so it's time to make a custom cooldown tracker for Deathmark which you can do with omnibar and the spell ID on screen now. Deathmark will duplicate all bleeds and poisons which means Assassination Rogues can have two stacks of improved Garretts and even 10 total stacks of wound poison, this makes class-specific counter play like mending bandage cauterizing flame or even blessing and protection good trades into this ability. But also the reason why many pro players will probably be Dwarf in upcoming tournaments since Stoneform also completely counters this ability. As far as Shiv is concerned this is a spell that you should already be familiar with from Shadowlands. Shiv applies hemotoxin reducing all healing taken by 35%. 

How To Counter It: What is equally important is knowing that this ability is almost always combined with kidney shot meaning if you see the Shiv debuff on yourself, you have a very small window to pre-use an ability like Bladestorm, Port, Bearform or basically anything that can avoid the follow-up kidney shot or increase your bulk.

Top 7 - Arcane Surge

This is the new Mage cooldown that replaced Arcane power. Like other wizard cooldowns on our list, so far this ability has a cast time and will represent the start of the Arcane mage's burst sequence. If you want to understand what this ability feels like from the Mages perspective it is something like this. Anyway because it can be interrupted any kick should be your first line of defense when Los isn't readily available. Remember that locking a mage on Arcane is super high value since it shuts down most of their damage CC and utility. Otherwise, if the cast is allowed to channel, it will generally be followed by some other cooldowns, including touching the Radiant Spark and Presence of Mind. When all of these are combined together, the Mage will deal huge damage, radiant spark should also be interrupted as well as the Arcane missiles cast that are usually thrown into this burst sequence. Again interrupting any Arcane spell during this time will be important as it will prevent lots of Downstream damage. 

How To Counter It: Avoiding follow-up damage is important since you never want to find yourself low against an Arcane Mage, this is due to the slew of Arcane barrage modifiers which essentially turns the spell into an execute. If you see 10 stacks of Arcane Harmony and are below 35 HP you are basically dead, this simply means you need to do whatever you can to prevent dropping into execute range.

Top 8 - Dark Ascension / Mindbender / Psyfiend

On the topic of getting executed, we have some Shadow Priest cooldowns worth respecting. These days most priests are playing the new Dark Ascension talent instead of Voidform. Dark Ascension is a true burst cooldown increasing all the non-dot damage they deal while active, this means Mind Blast, Mind Spike, and Mindgames which can all be interrupted. But also includes Shadow Word: Death which can now be used to deal execute-level damage regardless of the target's HP, if the Shadow Priest has the Deathspeaker buff. Dark Ascension will also buff Shadowfiend or Mindbender damage too. Luckily though both of these minions can be CC and AOE roots are exceptionally good at stopping some of their pressure. 

How To Counter It: While a combination of any of these abilities is happening, the priest might commit SCI fiend which isn't scary for the damage deals but instead for the healing reduction it applies. Luckily though ciphene can be killed and has a relatively small amount of HP making it an easy threat to take out for most specs, better priests will use Power Word: Shield instantly on sciphing, so a quick dispel might also be needed to quickly take it down.

Top 9 - Primal Wrath

We have a low-key feral ability that is worth playing around if you want to help your healer out. It's called Primal Wrath and it's simply an AOE finisher that will apply rip to all targets within 8 yards, on its surface this might not seem like a big deal until you actually take a look at details and see how much damage this single ability is able to do.

How To Counter It: Now you don't need to go around trading cooldowns just to deal with some bleed damage, but what you should do is spread out whenever possible and avoid stacking against any Feral Druid team, since you will be feeding them free damage.

Top 10 - Tranquility / Cenarion Ward

Here we have two distinct Resto Druid abilities that you definitely need to play around with, especially in Solo Shuffle. The first is Tranquility, by now you should already know that trank is basically a bubble thanks to the Keeper of the Grove talent, this means the Druid will be immune to all incoming damage in CC while it's channeling. Some knockback effects including Ring Of Peace are actually able to interrupt the channel. Unless the Druid is playing with the appropriately named Inner Peace talent, in any case, if the Resto Druid has a combination of trinket and Tranquility ready, you should really avoid over-committing offensive CDs to try and kill them since a simple trinket track will block your kill instantly. Finally, we need to cover Cenarian Ward since a lot of DPS don't seem to notice this buff, especially in Solo Shuffle. When this buff is rolling with a full set of Hots and Adaptive Swarm, it is incredibly unlikely that you will kill through the combined healing. 

How To Counter It: Remember that Resto Druids have some of the best single Target HPS in the game but can struggle to deal with multi-target pressure and swaps, so if you see sen Ward on a Target just swap off there's no need to try and truck through its healing unless you really have a lot of damage.

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