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Now that WoW Dragonflight has finally been released, fans can get their first full taste of the expansion that some hope will “save World of Warcraft.” It remains to be seen if the expansion will live up to the hype, but the early changes the update offers already have players scrambling for the best class builds.
Since Dragonflight utilizes a dynamic talent tree rather than a (mostly) set path of available talents, building classes in WoW is as complicated as it’s been since the game’s earliest days. That new talent tree system does its job by introducing a wide variety of build options, but it may leave some players (especially new and returning players) suffering from too many options. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to look for help when you’re at least trying to grow the roots of your talent tree.
Before we dive into that, though, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Dragonflight‘s talent tree system means that you’re able to more easily customizes your characters to fit a variety of situations. The builds below are generally considered to be ideal for raid environments, though you can customize them if you need to speedrun other content.
- These builds are for Level 70 Dragonflight characters.
- These builds are considered ideal for PvE content, though you can certainly use them as a jumping-off point for PvP content as well if you’re looking to dive into those waters.
Finally, you’ll find a link under each build for the Wowhead or Icy Veins sources for these builds. Those are two of the absolute best World of Warcraft resources available today, and I highly recommend checking them out if you’re looking for a detailed breakdown of any class or build. For now, here’s what you need to know to get started.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Death Knight Builds
Death Knights are looking pretty strong at the start of the Dragonflight expansion. While Frost is arguably the odd man out of the DK bunch at the moment (they just lag slightly behind more obviously powerful options), Unholy DKs are an overall excellent melee DPS option while Blood DKs offer top-tier tanking abilities. Anyone already familiar with the class should be able to jump right into them in Dragonflight, though all DKs benefit from some fascinating talent tree options that really enhance so many of the things they already did so well.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Blood Death Knight Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Frost Death Knight Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Unholy Death Knight Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Demon Hunter Builds
Demon Hunters are in an interesting place at the start of Dragonflight. Havoc DHs are still a top-tier melee DPS option, but Dragonflight did nerf some of their key abilities. Other abilities got a slight buff, though, so it seems to have all evened out in their favor. Vengeance DHs also got hit with the nerf hammer in Dragonflight, though they are still a fantastic AOE tank option that sometimes suffers from their general lack of durability. Still, Vengeance fans will love some of the new build options this expansion offers.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Havoc Demon Hunter Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Vengeance Demon Hunter Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Druid Builds
Druids’ nearly unrivaled versatility has long made them one of WoW’s most desirable classes. That dynamic doesn’t change in Dragonflight. If anything, Druid’s new skill tree paths give them even more options than they’ve had in the past.
Feral Druid and Restoration Druid are probably the best overall options for prospective Druid players. Feral Druids look to be a potentially very powerful DPS choice, while Restoration Druids offer the best complete healing package in the game at this time.
Balance and Guardian are slightly less viable options in their particular areas, but both are still certainly capable of holding their own. Balance Druids bring quite a lot of raw damage to the table, while Guardian Druids offer some best-in-class AoE tanking abilities.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Balance Druid Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Feral Druid Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Guardian Druid Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Restoration Druid Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Evoker Builds
Historically, new races and classes introduced by WoW expansions tend to be pretty overpowered. While Dragonflight‘s Evokers are certainly capable, neither Evoker spec is dominating the game at the moment.
That said, Preservation Evokers are unique and capable healers who will work their way into a lot of groups by virtue of their damage capabilities and strong burst healing windows. Devastation Evokers are kind of looking for a home in the DPS scene, though their unique close-to-midrange combat style could prove to be quite potent if a couple of their key abilities end up getting buffed.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Preservation Evoker Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Devastation Evoker Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Hunter Builds
Hunters haven’t really changed a lot since Shadowlands, which is both good and bad. The upshot is that they’re still pure damage nightmares that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has spent time with them in recent expansions. The bad news is that they’re basically DPS booty calls that don’t bring much more to the party than big damage numbers.
Beast Mastery Hunter seems to be leading the Hunter DPS groups at the moment, though it’s honestly a little behind some similar options in that area. If you’re interested in doing some pretty crazy DPS numbers, pick Hunters with confidence and figure out your favorite subclass from there as the expansion goes on.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Beast Mastery Hunter Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Marksmanship Hunter Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Survival Hunter Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Mage Builds
Mages are arguably one of the biggest beneficiaries of Dragonflight‘s new skill tree system. Arcane and Frost mages, in particular, now have access to a wider array of survival skills and DPS procs than they had in recent expansions. They both feel much better than before and are no longer quite as reliant on the same few skills.
Fire Mages are a bit of a wildcard at the moment. They lost a few key abilities, and they don’t seem to be able to compensate for those losses quite as easily as the other two specs. They can be powerful in the right hands/situation, though there are generally better options.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Arcane Mage Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Fire Mage Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Frost Mage Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Monk Builds
It’s obviously still early, but Monks are shaping up to be one of Dragonflight’s best overall classes. They clearly benefit from the additional options that the talent tree system affords them.
Windwalkers are simply one of the best overall DPS specs in the game at the moment. Their survivability and AoE damage potential are both top-tier. Mistweavers, meanwhile, offer an aggressive healing option that will only get better as the expansion goes on. Windwalker is kind of the odd Monk out at the moment, though they will still be very popular outside of raid environments.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Brewmaster Monk Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Mistweaver Monk Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Windwalker Monk Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Paladin Builds
While Paladins are currently dominating the WOTLK classic scene, they’re a bit more of a wildcard in the early days of the Dragonflight experience.
Paladins aren’t at the top of any particular category at the moment, though Holy and Protection Paladins are both viable options. Holy Paladins will probably be the most popular choice for those looking for Pally buffs/aura abilities, though Protection Paladins still bring unique immunity skills to the table that make them great tanks in tough moments.
While Retribution Paladins aren’t threatening to reach a top DPS spot anytime soon, they actually benefit quite a lot from Dragonflight‘s skill tree system. If you know and love the class/spec, you’ll get a lot more out of them than you have in recent expansions.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Holy Paladin Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Protection Paladin Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Retribution Paladin Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Priest Builds
Priests are in about the same place they were at the end of Shadowlands, which is either good news or no news at all depending on your preferences, skill, and needs.
For instance, Shadow Priest remains a potentially powerful DPS option that still has to be piloted perfectly in order to keep up with some of the other incredible DPS options in Dragonflight. If you feel confident in your ability to keep up with their old and new DoT abilities, though, they can do a lot of damage in some key fights.
Holy Priest appears to be the better overall healing option at the moment, though there is something to be said for the ways that Discipline Priests can protect against big bursts of incoming damage and generally take a more proactive approach to group content. I suspect Holy Priests will be the more desirable, pure healing option for early group content, though that may change as that content is “solved” a bit more and Discipline Priests are able to perfect their encounter timing.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Discipline Priest Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Holy Priest Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Shadow Priest Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Rogue Builds
Historically, the WoW team has sometimes struggled to balance every Rogue subclass and make them feel equally viable. Dragonflight doesn’t completely solve that problem, though Rogues do feature some of the most versatile and complex skill tree options.
At the moment, Outlaw Rogue appears to lead the pack in terms of PvE options. They took a slight hit to their single-target damage capabilities, but they compensate for that weakness thanks to their expanded, small-pack AoE options. Assassination Rogues are still single-target masters, though their lack of obvious AoE options is a bit of a problem at the moment. Finally, Subtlety Rogues tend to rely on a complex series of skills that you really need to master if you’re going to keep up with the other Rogue options.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Assassination Rogue Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Outlaw Rogue Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Subtlety Rogue Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Shaman Builds
While Shamans may not be one of the biggest overall beneficiaries of the Dragonflight class updates, they are arguably the class that showcases why the new talent tree system is such a fascinating tool. There are just times when you’ll want different things from your Shamans, and the new skill trees allow Shamans to tune themselves slightly to meet those needs.
Restoration Shamans are the best example of those new customization options. While Restoration Shamans still excel in situations where their chain heal abilities are called for, they can also now spec into some single-target healing boosts when needed. That makes them a solid healing option with some tremendous upside.
Enhancement Shamans seem to be the better DPS option at the moment, though that is obviously subject to change once future updates hit. Enhancement Shamans just excel at bouncing between single-target and AoE opportunities, whereas Elemental Shamans are more straightforward range damage dealers whose viability can often depend on perfectly timed critical strikes and proper cooldown management.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Elemental Shaman Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Enhancement Shaman Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Restoration Shaman Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Warlock Builds
Historically, Warlocks have been at their best when they’ve been straight-up broken. In other words, Warlocks really shine in situations where someone messes up the numbers and accidentally gives them access to some absurd single-target and AoE abilities.
At the moment, Warlocks don’t appear to be broken in Dragonflight, which means you’ve really got to weigh your options when it comes to getting the most out of the class. Destruction Warlocks, for instance, seem to offer the most DPS potential, but the straightforward nature of their kit means that they’re best thought of as pure damage dealers (even with the new skill tree options)
Affliction Warlocks, meanwhile, really shine in single-target situations, though the jury is still very much out on how well they’ll be able to compete with other single-target classes as well as other classes that offer a more versatile set of damage skills. Finally, Demonology Warlocks offer the most diverse Warlock kit in the game, which makes them a desirable option for a lot of group content even if they won’t top the charts as often as the other two Warlock options.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Affliction Warlock Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Demonology Warlock Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Destruction Warlock Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Warrior Builds
Warriors have historically been a pretty straightforward WoW class, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that there isn’t a ton of debate about the best Warrior talents at the moment. However, that doesn’t mean that the Dragonflight expansion hasn’t been good for the class.
Actually, Protection Warriors may be the biggest subclass beneficiary of the entire expansion. Widely considered to be the best tank in Dragonflight by some distance. They’re just absurdly tough tanks that sacrifice little to no mobility as they laugh off the majority of incoming damage. They’re also capable of dealing a surprising amount of damage compared to other Dragonflight tanks.
Arms Warriors and Fury Warriors both suffer from needing to give up one kind of form of damage in order to excel in other areas. Arms Warriors seem to be better off sticking to single-target and small-pack target damage, though that does mean that they have to ignore some of the group damage talents they would otherwise have access to. Fury Warriors, meanwhile, are burst damage artists who shine in longer fights that extend those burst windows. They also bring some excellent AoE damage to the table, which really helps boos their numbers during certain encounters.
WoW Dragonflight: Best Arms Warrior Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Fury Warrior Build
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WoW Dragonflight: Best Protection Warrior Build
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