World of Warcraft

WoW: Most popular classes in M+ - new meta with Guardian and Arcane incoming?

With the release of patch 9.1 on the live servers of WoW, the first Mythic-Plus-Season in Shadowlands ended and was replaced by the 2nd season. This brought with it a new seasonal affix (Tormented). At the same time, players were given a lot of class adjustments through the new patch, and some were equipped with new and even stronger Legendarys. All of this has shifted the class balance, in some cases significantly. Formerly ridiculed playstyles like the Arcane Mage or Destruction Warlock are suddenly high on the list and have become correspondingly more popular. And the meta in the mythic dungeons has changed a bit as well. If you want to play particularly high keystones, you currently have a little more choice than you did in Season 1.

Table of Contents

  1. 1Tanksin Mythic-Plus Dungeons
  2. 2Healersin Mythic-Plus Dungeons
  3. 3Melee fightersin Mythic Plus dungeons
  4. 4Ranged Fightersin Mythic-Plus Dungeons
  5. 5TheNew Meta

So today we're going to take a look at which classes are currently the most popular on keystones level 15 and higher. To do this, we'll be using data from raider.io, which pulls all the Mythic-Plus runs from the arsenal and compiles various statistics from them. We'll also take a look at which classes and playstyles are used in the highest of all keys, and thus can be considered a new meta in a sense. Although it should be noted here that this has little meaning for the vast majority of players.

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Tanks in Mythic-Plus Dungeons

In the first Season, the Demon Hunter was the undisputed king of tanks. Not only at very high levels, where hardly any group went without him, but also in the "normal" groups. However, that has changed with patch 9.1 and the start of the second season. While still popular, he has been replaced as the most used tank spec by the Druids. Thanks to strong tank perks as Night Fae and a choice of several extremely strong Legendarys, they not only deal high damage, but also require little healing and bring quite a bit of utility to the dungeons - resurrection in combat included.

  1. Guardian Druid -24.6% (Season 1: 17.8%)
  2. Vengeful Demon Hunter -23.1% (Season 1: 29.8%)
  3. Protective Paladin -17.8% (Season 1: 19.2%)
  4. Blood Death Knight -11.9% (Season 1: 11.1%)
  5. Brewmaster Monk -11.4% (Season 1: 12.2%)
  6. Protective Warrior -11.3% (Season 1: 9.8%)

Healers in Mythic-Plus Dungeons

Healers, on the other hand, have remained the same. Here and there the percentages have shifted a bit, but that doesn't change the order. Shamans are the most popular healers for most groups, as they can pack out quite a bit of healing and come with a few useful skills. As you level up, however, the pendulum swings more towards paladins. This is because they deal immense amounts of damage in addition to healing, which is very important at extremely high levels. It's also exciting to see that the Holy Priests are gradually outpacing their Diszi counterparts.

  1. Restoration Shaman -29.6% (Season 1: 28.0%)
  2. Holy Paladin -22.6% (Season 1: 21.4%)
  3. Restoration Druid -18.7% (Season 1: 21.2%)
  4. Holy Priest- 14.8% (Season 1: 12.3%)
  5. Discipline Priest - 7.6% (Season 1: 11.3%)
  6. Mistcaster Monk -7.0% (Season 1: 5.9%)

WoW: Most popular classes in M+ - new meta with Guardian and Arcane incoming? (2) Source: Blizzard

Melee Fighters in Mythic-Plus


With the removal of many Demon Hunter tanks, Devastators have become even more popular than they already were. The rest of the melee fighters have remained about the same in popularity. There are a few minor shifts here and there, but no major jumps. What is interesting to see, however, is that the differences between the specs of each class have shrunk. While there is still one playstyle each that is more popular than the others, the difference is smaller than in Season 1.

  1. Devastation Demon Hunter -19.1% (Season 1: 15.3%)
  2. Furor Warrior -13.9% (Season 1: 13.0%)
  3. Windrunner Monk -11.0% (Season 1: 12.8%)
  4. Unholy Death Knight -9.6% (Season 1: 12.5%)
  5. Outlaw Rogue -8.7% (Season 1: 10.7%)
  6. Retaliator-Paladin -8.2% (Season 1: 10.8%)
  7. Weapon Warrior -7.7% (Season 1: 6.1%)
  8. Deception Villains -5.2% (Season 1: 3.4%)
  9. Assassination Villains -5.1% (Season 1: 3.5%)
  10. Amplifier Shamans -4.3% (Season 1: 4.9%)
  11. Frost Death Knight -3.3% (Season 1: 3.9%)
  12. Fierceness Druid -2.2% (Season 1: 2.5%)
  13. Survival Hunter -1.6% (Season 1: 1.3%)

Ranged Fighters in Mythic-Plus Dungeons

The biggest shift in the ranged camp is with mages. Fire Mages, extremely popular in patch 9.0, are now the least popular mage spec and have even been overtaken by the stronger Arcane Mages. Destruction Warlock, Beastlord Hunter, and Elemental Shaman are also making a big jump up, while Owls remain the most popular, but now by a smaller margin - in part because many Druids have switched to Tank.

  1. Balance Druids -15.4% (Season 1: 19.2%)
  2. Frost Mage -13.7% (Season 1: 6.9%)
  3. Elemental Shamans -13.7% (Season 1: 10.6%)
  4. Marksmanship Hunter -13.2% (Season 1: 16.3%)
  5. Animal Domination Hunter -10.4% (Season 1: 7.3%)
  6. Destruction Warlock -10.3% (Season 1: 6.1%)
  7. Shadow Priest - 8.6% (Season 1: 8.9%)
  8. Arcane Mage -4.3% (Season 1: 2.1%)
  9. Fire Mage -3.7% (Season 1: 13.9%)
  10. Demonology Warlock -3.7% (Season 1: 2.2%)
  11. Affliction Warlock -2.9% (Season 1: 6.6%)

The New Meta

In patch 9.0.5, the battle lines had been drawn and everyone at high levels was on the same combination of classes - with very few exceptions. In addition to the Vengeful Demon Hunter as a tank and the Holy Paladin as a healer, there was almost always an Owl, a Fire Mage, and an Outlaw Rogue on board. That has now changed. However, it's still not clear which combination will be most beneficial in patch 9.1, as many groups are still playing around. Most of the top players are currently betting on the following team:

  • Guardian Druid
  • Holy Paladin
  • Frost- or Arcane Mage
  • Balance Druid
  • Lawlessness Rogue

Warlocks and Shamans also make appearances in the damage dealing ranks. On the tank side, many of the top groups are trying out the Death Knight tank, and you'll occasionally see Shamans and Discipline Priests among the healers. We'll have to wait until the upcoming MDI to see which combos perform best in the hands of the top players.

For the absolute majority of players, however, the meta is secondary anyway. For the vast majority of players it's "bring the player, not the class", because the differences are marginal and you'll usually get better results with your own class than with a supposedly better class that you play less often.

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