WoW WotLK Classic Phase 4 ICC DPS Ranking & Tier List

9/1/2023 10:39:40 AM

What are the best DPS specs to play for the Icecrown Citadel raid in WoW Wrath of the Lich King Classic Phase 4? Let's sort out the WotLK ICC DPS Ranking and explain each spec's positions on the tier list.


WoW WotLK ICC DPS Ranking - Best DPS Specs for WotLK Classic Phase 4 Raids

The Icecrown Citadel (ICC) is the final major raid coming in the Wrath of the Lich King Classic Phase 4. It has twelve bosses spread across five different wings. The ICC PTR has opened for testing as of August 29th, 2023, and includes all five wings of the raid, available on both Normal and Heroic difficulties. When it comes to the ICC raid in Wrath of the Lich King Classic Phase 4, the best specs for each class vary. To determine the absolute top-tier DPS spec, it's important to compare and rank each spec and class individually. Let's explore and evaluate each class and spec to find out which one excels in the ICC raid.

Now for our rankings here, we're going to be considering the following: overall damage output in PvE situations, utility provided for the raid, and desirability of how many are going to be wanted in any given raid.

Related Read:

WotLK Classic Phase 4 Gearing Process Guide - Fastest Methods To Gear Up

1. Fury Warrior (S Tier)

In Wrath of the Lich King, the Warriors have the potential to excel with the Titan's Grip talent at the end of the Fury tree. This talent allows Warriors to dual-wield two-handed axes, maces, and swords with a penalty of reducing their physical damage by 10%. With Titan's Grip, Fury Warriors become one of the top DPS picks for the Icecrown Citadel raid. They excel in both single-target encounters, especially with the execute ability, and perform well in AoE situations involving more than two mobs.

2. Combat Rogues (S Tier)

Combat Rogues are highly valued in Icecrown Citadel (ICC) due to their exceptional performance. Their highest ranking is well deserved. Combat Rogues possess Killing Spree, an ability found at the end of the combat tree. Killing Spree allows them to swiftly move from enemy to enemy, attacking each within a 10-yard range every half second with both weapons. It can hit the same target multiple times and increases all damage done by 20% for the duration. With a two-minute cooldown, Killing Spree provides impressive burst damage. Additionally, Rogues' single-target output is significantly higher compared to The Burning Crusade (TBC) due to this ability. The introduction of Fan of Knives has also enhanced their AoE capabilities. Rogues bring utility to the raid with disarming traps, sapping enemies, and employing Tricks of the Trade for threat management. Keep in mind that Rogues heavily rely on gear, and better gear results in improved PvE performance.

3. Affliction Warlocks (S Tier)

Warlocks have received significant improvements to their abilities in Wrath of the Lich King Classic. In particular, the affliction specialization has been updated to offer better damage capabilities rather than primarily providing buffs or debuffs. Malediction, a talent in the affliction tree, no longer grants bonus curse effects but instead increases the warlock's own spell damage by 3% and enhances the critical strike chance of corruption and unstable affliction spells by 9%. This change transforms Malediction into a damage-enhancing talent. Affliction warlocks also gain access to a new talent called Improved Fel Hunter, which provides a unique buff called Fel Intelligence to the raid, granting party and raid members 48 intellect and 64 spirit. As a result, affliction warlocks now contribute significantly higher damage compared to TBC while still offering valuable utility to the raid. The affliction tree includes Haunt, a powerful new damage-over-time ability, and Death's Embrace, which further boosts warlock damage. Furthermore, warlocks now have an execute ability called Drain Soul, which deals substantial shadow damage over 15 seconds, with increased damage if the target is at or below 25% health. Drain Soul also has a chance to generate soul shards, enhancing resource generation for warlocks. Overall, these changes make affliction warlocks a potent choice for the ICC raid.

4. Retribution Paladin (S Tier)

Retribution Paladins in Wrath of the Lich King received several powerful abilities. Divine Storm is a versatile AoE ability that not only damages up to 4 targets but also heals three party or raid members, providing great utility. Aura Mastery is another valuable skill that enhances your concentration aura. It grants silence immunity and interrupt immunity to all players when using concentration aura, and it amplifies the effects of all auras by 100% on a 2-minute cooldown. Judgments of the Wise is a utility damaging judgment spell that has a 100% chance to grant the replenishment effect. This effect provides mana regeneration equal to 1% of the maximum mana per 5 seconds for up to 10 raid members, while also immediately returning 25% of the Paladin's base mana. It serves as a mana battery ability and contributes to the Paladin's mana regeneration. Swift Retribution is another beneficial skill that increases casting ranged and melee attack speeds by 3% when using auras. Retribution Paladins bring abundant utility to raids, and their damage has been significantly improved to be more impactful.

5. Fire Mage (S Tier)

Fire Mages excel with the Hot Streak and Living Bomb abilities. When you score two consecutive non-periodic spell criticals using Fireball, Fire Blast, Scorch, Living Bomb, or Frostfire Bolt, you have a 100% chance of casting the next Pyroblast as an instant cast within 10 seconds. This means that every time you crit twice in a row, you get a free instant cast Pyroblast, making Fire Mages extremely powerful. In addition to Hot Streak, they also have Living Bomb, which is an excellent AoE spell. It instantly turns the target into a Living Bomb, causing 1400 fire damage over 12 seconds. After 12 seconds or when the spell is dispelled, the target explodes, dealing 700 fire damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Another notable talent for mages in Wrath of the Lich King is Torment the Weak. It increases the damage of your Frostbolt, Fireball, Frostfire Bolt, Pyroblast, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Barrage abilities by 12% against snared or slowed targets.

6. Marksmanship Hunter (A Tier)

The Marksmanship Hunter has undergone significant changes, and the key addition to this specialization is Chimera Shot. It is an instant-cast shot with a 10-second cooldown that refreshes your current sting and triggers a different effect based on the sting on your target. If Serpent Sting is active, Chimera Shot instantly deals 40% of Serpent Sting's damage. Viper Sting instantly restores mana equal to 60% of the total amount drained by Viper Sting. Scorpion Sting disarms the target for 10 seconds, but this effect can only occur once per minute. Additionally, Marksmanship Hunters bring Trueshot Aura, which increases the attack power of the party and raid members within 100 yards by 10. This aura is beneficial for both melee and ranged physical damage-dealing classes. Marksmanship Hunters contributed consistent damage and exceptional sustainability to the raid.

7. Unholy Death Knight (A Tier)

The Death Knight is a powerful new hero class introduced in Wrath of the Lich King, and the Unholy specialization is particularly strong in PvE. Unholy Death Knights excel in both single-target and AoE damage. They have access to Pestilence, which deals shadow damage to the target and nearby targets while spreading any diseases from the initial target to the additional targets. This provides significant AoE potential. Furthermore, Unholy Death Knights bring valuable utility to the raid. The Ebon Plague talent allows you to transform Crypt Fever into Ebon Plague, increasing the target's magic damage taken by 13% and disease damage taken by 30%. This synergy can be utilized with Shadow Priests, as the Devouring Plague is also a disease. However, the Ebon Plague is beneficial for all casters, showcasing the utility of Unholy Death Knights in various raid scenarios.

8. Shadow Preist (A Tier)

In WotLK Classic, Priests have only one damage specialization, which is Shadow. Although Shadow Weaving has been nerfed and now only applies to the priest, the spec itself has received significant buffs. Shadow Priests have excellent single-target damage and decent AoE damage. One of the key benefits of playing a Shadow Priest is Vampiric Touch, which deals shadow damage over 15 seconds and allows up to 10 raid members to gain 1% of their maximum mana per 5 seconds when the priest deals damage with Mind Blast. Additionally, dispelling Vampiric Touch causes damage to the afflicted target. In PvE scenarios, dispelling Vampiric Touch is uncommon, making it a reliable mana battery. Dispersion, typically considered a PvP talent, also provides some benefit in PvE. It reduces all damage taken, which can be useful in Icecrown Citadel for soaking damage and supporting healers. Furthermore, Dispersion regenerates 6% of the priest's mana every 1 second for 6 seconds, effectively returning 36% of mana over 6 seconds. With these mechanics, Shadow Priests in Wrath of the Lich King shouldn't struggle much with mana and their damage output is buffed. Overall, it is a solid DPS specialization for Icecrown Citadel.

9. Arcane Mage (A Tier)

Arcane Mages in WotLK Classic are highly regarded for their exceptional abilities. One of their notable skills is Arcane Empowerment, a raid-wide ability. This empowerment enhances the damage of your arcane missile spell by 45% of your spell power and increases the damage of your arcane blast by 9% of your spell power. Additionally, it provides a 3% damage increase to all party and raid members within 100 yards. Compared to Ferocious Inspiration, Arcane Empowerment offers three times the benefit, making it a valuable raid-wide buff. The utility of Arcane Mages doesn't stop there; they also deliver significant damage output. With their versatile toolkit, Arcane Mages are a solid choice for any group or raid.

10. Balance Druid (A Tier)

Balance Druids in WotLK received significant enhancements, making them a formidable specialization. One of their standout abilities is Starfall, which unleashes a cascade of stars within a 30-yard radius, dealing 500 to 600 arcane damage to all targets. Additionally, it inflicts 100 arcane damage to nearby enemies within 5 yards, with a maximum of 20 stars lasting for 10 seconds. Balance Druids also bring the Earth and Moon buff to raids, granting a 100% chance for wrath and starfire spells to apply Earth and Moon. This buff increases spell damage taken by 13% for 12 seconds and boosts the Druid's spell damage by 6%. The utility of Balance Druids extends further with Improved Faerie Fire, increasing the chance of spell attacks hitting the target by 3% and amplifying the critical strike chance of damage spells on targets affected by Faerie Fire. In the context of the ICC raid, Boomkins (Balance Druids) contribute significantly with their substantial damage output and valuable utilities.

11. Demonology Warlocks (B Tier)

In the Burning Crusade, Demonology Warlocks shine due to their powerful spell power buff known as Demonic Pact. This buff provides a 10% increase to spell damage and ensures that critical strikes from the warlock's pets apply the Demonic Pact effect to party or raid members, making it a raid-wide benefit. Demonic Pact boosts spell power by 10% of the warlock's spell damage for 45 seconds, with a 20-second cooldown. However, it does not work on enslaved demons. This allows Demonology Warlocks to provide a significant spell power bonus to the entire raid, often making only one of them necessary. Although their damage output may not be the highest, their utility is highly sought after.

12. Frost Death Knight (B Tier)

Frost specialization in World of Warcraft offers decent options for raid utility. By choosing the Improved Icy Talons talent, Frost DPS characters can provide a valuable raid-wide utility. This talent increases the melee haste of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 20%. Additionally, Death Knights, the class associated with Frost specialization, bring damage and utility to a group or raid. Their combination of damage

13. Feral Druid (B Tier)

Feral Druids are indeed a strong specialization in WotLK. The Leader of the Pack ability provides excellent utility by increasing ranged and melee critical strike chance by 5% for party and raid members. Additionally, the Faerie Fire ability reduces the target's armor by 5%. This debuff is particularly valuable in raids that have a significant presence of physical damage-dealing classes, such as Warriors and Rogues. Overall, Feral Druids bring both utility and versatility to a raid in Wrath of the Lich King.

14. Arms Warriors (C Tier)

Arms Warriors face challenges in PvE content in WotLK. They often struggle to find groups and may not perform as well compared to other specs for PvE encounters. However, Arms Warriors can still contribute to raids by bringing the Trauma ability. This ability increases the effectiveness of bleed effects on the target by 30% for 1 minute when the Warrior lands a melee critical strike. While Arms Warriors may not be considered a top PvE specialization, they can still provide some utility in the form of enhanced bleed damage in raid scenarios.

15. Elemental Shaman (C Tier)

Elemental Shamans are known for their strength in WotLK PvP, but they struggle to keep up with other spell casters in PvE content. While they bring the Totem of Wrath to the raid, which was highly sought after in The Burning Crusade, it is now shared with the Moonkin Aura, making it less essential. Overall, Elemental Shamans can be a good choice, especially if a Balance Druid is not available, as their totems provide valuable benefits. However, in the context of the ICC raid, Elemental Shaman is not necessarily the most sought-after specialization.

16. Enhancement Shamans (C Tier)

Enhancement Shamans face similar challenges as Elemental Shamans in WotLK. While they can deal significant damage, their rotation can be difficult to manage. Additionally, the gearing process for Enhancement Shamans is not always straightforward, making it less optimal for ICC raids where more min-maxing classes may be preferred. Although they bring the Unleashed Rage ability, which provides a nice attack power bonus, Enhancement Shamans are not considered the top choice for DPS. Overall, their effectiveness and suitability for ICC raids may be outshined by other classes that offer more straightforward rotations and gearing processes.

17. Destruction Warlocks (C Tier)

Destruction Warlocks were indeed the best specialization in The Burning Crusade. However, in WotLK, a couple of changes occurred. Shadow Weaving, a talent for Priests that caused the target to take bonus shadow damage, was nerfed. Fire Destruction Warlock did not receive the same level of attention as Affliction and Demonology Specializations. As a result, Destruction Warlock in WotLK does not offer anything particularly special and may struggle to keep up with other specializations. Overall, Destruction Warlock lost some of its prominence and effectiveness compared to its status in The Burning Crusade.

18. Survival Hunter (C Tier)

In The Burning Crusade (TBC), Survival Hunters were sought after in raids for their Expose Weakness ability, which granted increased attack power for all attackers against a target based on the Hunter's agility. However, in Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK), Expose Weakness was changed, and it only granted the attack power bonus to the Hunter themselves. As a result, Survival Hunters in WotLK do not offer the same utility and are not considered the best PvE specialization. Marksmanship specialization is generally preferred for Hunters in ICC raids in WotLK.

19. Beast Mastery Hunter (D Tier)

Beast Mastery Hunters were indeed a powerhouse in The Burning Crusade, but they are not considered one of the best PvE specializations in Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). Although they bring utility to the raid through Ferocious Inspiration, which increases raid-wide damage by 1%, this ability is obsolete in WotLK. The presence of an Arcane Mage in the raid, who brings Arcane Empowerment that provides a superior damage increase, eliminates the need for a Beast Mastery Hunter. Therefore, if an Arcane Mage, which is a stronger PvE specialization, is already present, there is no significant reason to bring a Beast Mastery Hunter. However, it's worth mentioning that Beast Mastery Hunters may still have their strengths in PvP situations.

20. Assassination Rogue (D Tier)

Assassination Rogue is not considered the optimal PvE specialization in WotLK Classic raids. While Tricks of the Trade is available to Assassination Rogues, it is actually an ability that is accessible to all Rogues, not exclusive to the Assassination specialization. Tricks of the Trade is a powerful ability that allows the Rogue to transfer their threat and increase the target's damage for a duration. It is one of the newest additions to the Rogue class in Wrath of the Lich King and is often regarded as an incredible addition. However, in terms of PvE specialization, Assassination Rogue may not be the top choice in WotLK Classic raids.

21. Subtlety Rogue (D Tier)

Subtlety Rogue is indeed more focused on PvP rather than PvE specialization. It doesn't bring significant advantages to raid scenarios, and overall, it is not considered incredible for PvE. Subtlety Rogue tends to have a lower ranking when it comes to PvE scenarios.

22. Frost Mage (D Tier)

Frost Mage is commonly regarded as a specialization more suited for PvP rather than PvE. In a PvE setting, Fire and Arcane specializations tend to perform better compared to Frost. Frost Mage doesn't bring as much utility to raids as Fire or Arcane, and it may not be as effective in PvE scenarios.

As you can see, the top DPS specs for ICC are all ranged classes. This is because ranged classes have a much easier time dealing damage to the bosses in ICC, which are all spread out. Additionally, ranged classes are less susceptible to mechanics that can interrupt or damage them.