Articles and reports on the best and most popular classes in various WoW content can be found in abundance. We also regularly report on which classes are used the most in the Mythic-Plus dungeons of Shadowlands or in the current raid Castle Nathria or which ones can shine with the highest DpS. Today, however, we're going to take a look at whether or not balancing has an impact on low levels, and if so, what that impact is. I think we can all agree that any combination of a tank, a healer, and three damage dealers can be successful in mythic dungeons, at least up to a certain level. At the very highest levels, however, the very ambitious players who primarily run there naturally go for the classes, playstyles, and combinations that promise them the most success. Of course, this also has an impact on lower levels. Who hasn't experienced not being able to find a group even in level 5 dungeons because of a supposedly wrong class?
But are these particularly strong classes also so disproportionately represented there? We take a look at the class distribution and break it down by level to see if and how much the ratio changes as the keystones get harder. The data for this comes from the website raider.io, which pulls all Mythic-Plus runs from the arsenal.
Tanks in Mythic Plus Dungeons
Even at the low levels, you can see a few things. The Warrior, still the celebrated tank in Mythic dungeons in BfA, has completely lost its radiance and is not only weaker than it used to be, but also significantly less popular. This is evident even at the lower levels, where class choice has little impact on the outcome of the dungeon. Paladins, on the other hand, regardless of strength or weakness, are once again very popular with all kinds of players. It's only on the really tricky levels that their popularity continues to wane. This speaks to the fact that while they are popular to play, they are still not seen as particularly strong. The Demon Hunter, which is undoubtedly the best tanking class in Shadowlands at the very highest levels, is also quite popular at the lower levels. This is probably due in part to the many twinks. Those who choose a twink for tanking and dungeons probably choose the Demon Hunter more often because of its strength, which is also reflected in the pure numbers.
Healers in Mythic-Plus Dungeons
When it comes to healers, the switch from BfA to Legion hasn't shaken things up quite as much. Druids remain among the most popular healers in WoW (buy now €14.99 ). Monks remain the least popular and priests are halfway even for now. The latter changes dramatically as you level up. The higher it goes, the more priests use the discipline playstyle. The extra damage and hugely useful shields give it superiority over its saint counterparts. Other than that, it's interesting to see that the amount of Shamans increases as you level up - just like the Holy Paladins. They deal high damage and can also pump an incredible amount of healing in a short amount of time, which is gold in dungeons. At the very highest levels, only Holy Paladins are used to date, as they lose less healing to their damage compared to Shamans and have various useful support abilities.
Druids suffer from the fact that their playstyle is actually designed to provide constant healing to multiple targets. Mythic-plus dungeons, however, tend to require the ability to heal a lot in a short amount of time - the higher the level, the more important this becomes. Druids can do that in principle, but not as well as other classes. It also requires a completely different playstyle than raiding, which can be difficult for inexperienced players.
Damage Dealers in Mythic-Plus Dungeons
For the DpS classes, let's put the cart before the horse. At the very highest levels, three classes dominate: Fire Mage, Lawless Rogue, and Balance Druid. Along with Vengeful Demon Hunter and Holy Paladin, they make up all the teams that have successfully completed level 25 dungeons. And even at level 24 or 23, you hardly see any other matchups. This is primarily because there are relatively few and extremely ambitious groups out there. Of course, they're going for what they think is the optimal setup. These top players might be able to do it with other classes, but they're using the strongest available to them.
If you then go down a few levels, so that now the spectrum of groups is getting wider and wider, the use of different classes increases by leaps and bounds. Marksmanship Hunters and Monks are notable. They're very popular at very high levels because they deal a lot of damage to multiple targets and they have a lot of control effects. With the Hunter, this was to be expected, as it's a very popular class in general. Just how strong the Marksmanship Hunter is can be seen in the change in playstyles. The higher the stone, the less Beastmaster and the more MM Hunter. The harder it gets, the more players switch to the perceived better playstyle. The same in smaller numbers is the case with Warlocks, who gradually switch from Destruction to Affliction.
However, it shows quite well that at lower levels, the prevalence of a playstyle depends far more on the traditional popularity of the class than at higher levels. This is probably best demonstrated by specs like the Retribution Paladin, Frost Mage, or Destruction Sorcerer. Despite their obvious current weaknesses, they were and still are popular with many players and continue to be used frequently. It's only at very high levels that they become unavailable and are either rarely used, or players become more ambitious and use other playstyles of the class.