Welcome to the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King PvP 2v2 arena team comp tier list! We will be ranking some of the strongest and most popular 2v2 arena team comps in the game, as well as explaining their position in the tier list.

We rate each comp by taking the following factors into consideration:

  • Overall Power: How strong the comp is in the broadest terms possible.
  • Counters: How many counters the comp has, along with how popular these counters are. For instance, a comp with a poor match-up against Arms Warrior / Holy Paladin, the most popular comp in the game, would be rated unfavourably.
  • Surprise Factor: How likely the comp is to sneak a few victories by surprising the enemy team, due to being an uncommon or unpredictable comp. Teams with a high surprise factor can win games when the enemy team doesn’t expect their gimmick, but they tend to do worse when you fight the same team over and over, as they adapt to your tricks.
  • Difficulty: How difficulty the comp is to pilot. Comps that do okay but take significant effort to play well will be rated slightly unfavourably.

Note that this Tier List covers classes and specs in their patch 3.3.5 state. This works just like in previous Classic expansions: although we’re doing content starting with the very first phase, our spells, talents, and equipment are already in their finalized states, which has great implications on the metagame.

Furthermore, this tier list ranks all the comps for their overall performance through the expansion’s duration — we do not rank them for 1 specific phase. Arms Warrior / Holy Paladin is typically considered to be stronger in latter phases and weaker in earlier phases, for example, which would change how it is placed slightly.

s tier dps rankings
Wow Warlock Icon icon - Elemental
icon - restoration
icon - mortal strikeicons - unholy presence
icon - holy
icon - mortal strikeicon - Elemental
icon - holy
icon - frost (mage)icon - shadow
icon - restoration (shaman)
Wow Warlock Iconicon - Elemental
icon - holy
Wow Warlock Iconicon - Elemental
icon - power word: shield
icons - unholy presenceicon - marksmanship
icon - holy
icon - retributionicon - marksmanship
icon - power word: shield
a tier dps rankings
icon - destructionicon - frost (mage)
icon - restoration (shaman)
icon - subtletyicon - frost (mage)
icon - power word: shield
Icon - Feral (Cat)icon - marksmanship
icon - power word: shield
icon - afflictionicon - shadow
icon - restoration (shaman)
icon - frost (mage)icon - shadow
icon - restoration
icons - unholy presenceicon - marksmanship
icon - power word: shield
icons - unholy presenceicon - shadow
icon - holy
Wow Warlock IconIcons - Balance
icon - restoration (shaman)
Icon - Protection Warrioricon - marksmanship
icon - holy
b tier dps rankings
icon - subtletyicon - shadow
icon - restoration
icons - unholy presenceicon - affliction
icon - holy
icon - beast masteryIcon - Enhancement
icon - holy
icons - unholy presenceicon - retribution
icon - power word: shield
icon - destructionicon - frost (mage)
icon - restoration
icon - subtletyicon - shadow
icon - restoration (shaman)
icon - mortal strikeIcon - Enhancement
icon - holy
icon - ElementalIcons - Balance
icon - holy
c tier dps rankings
icon - subtletyicon - marksmanship
icon - power word: shield
icon - mortal strikeIcon - Feral (Cat)
icon - holy
Icon - Feral (Cat)icon - frost (mage)
icon - power word: shield
Icon - PregIcon - Enhancement
icon - power word: shield
icon - subtletyIcons - Balance
icon - power word: shield
icon - subtletyicon - frost (mage)
icon - restoration
icon - mortal strikeWow Warlock Icon
icon - holy
icon - subtletyWow Warlock Icon
icon - restoration (shaman)
d tier dps rankings
icon - subtletyicon - retribution
icon - power word: shield
Icons - Balanceicon - Fire
icon - restoration (shaman)
icon - Elementalicon - shadow
icon - holy
icon - Elementalicon - frost (mage)
icon - holy
  1. S-Tier
    1. LSD: Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Elemental Shaman / Restoration Druid
    2. TSG: Arms Warrior / Unholy Death Knight / Holy Paladin
    3. Thunder Cleave: Arms Warrior / Elemental Shaman / Holy Paladin
    4. Shatterplay: Frost Mage / Shadow Priest / Restoration Shaman
    5. LSP: Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Elemental Shaman / Holy Paladin
    6. LSPriest: Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Elemental Shaman / Discipline Priest
    7. PHD: Unholy Death Knight / Marksmanship Hunter / Holy Paladin
    8. PHP / Cupid: Retribution Paladin / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest
  2. A-Tier
    1. MLS: Destruction Warlock / Frost Mage / Restoration Shaman
    2. RMP: Subtlety Rogue / Frost Mage / Discipline Priest
    3. Jungle Cleave: Feral Druid / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest
    4. Shadowplay: Affliction Warlock / Shadow Priest / Restoration Shaman
    5. God Comp: Frost Mage / Shadow Priest / Restoration Druid
    6. Priest HD: Unholy Death Knight / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest
    7. Unholyplay: Unholy Death Knight / Shadow Priest / Holy Paladin
    8. LSD 2: Destruction Warlock / Balance Druid / Restoration Shaman
    9. African Turtle Cleave: Protection Warrior / Marksmanship Hunter / Holy Paladin
  3. B-Tier
    1. RPD: Subtlety Rogue / Shadow Priest / Restoration Druid
    2. Shadowcleave: Unholy Death Knight / Affliction Warlock / Holy Paladin
    3. Beast Cleave: Beast Mastery Hunter / Enhancement Shaman / Holy Paladin
    4. Vanguards Cleave: Retribution Paladin / Unholy Death Knight / Discipline Priest
    5. MLD: Destruction Warlock / Frost Mage / Restoration Druid
    6. RPS: Subtlety Rogue / Shadow Priest / Restoration Shaman
    7. Turbo Cleave: Arms Warrior / Enhancement Shaman / Holy Paladin
    8. God Cleave: Elemental Shaman / Balance Druid / Holy Paladin
  4. C-Tier
    1. Thug Cleave: Subtlety Rogue / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest
    2. Kitty Cleave: Arms Warrior / Feral Druid / Holy Paladin
    3. FMP: Feral Druid / Frost Mage / Discipline Priest
    4. No MS / Preghancement: Preg Paladin / Enhancement Shaman / Discipline Priest
    5. RPD / Surprise Chicken Cleave: Subtlety Rogue / Balance Druid / Discipline Priest
    6. RMD: Subtlety Rogue / Frost Mage / Restoration Druid
    7. WLP: Arms Warrior / Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Holy Paladin
    8. RLS: Subtlety Rogue / Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Restoration Shaman
  5. D-Tier
    1. Ret Rogue / Scooby Doo Cleave: Subtlety Rogue / Retribution Paladin / Discipline Priest
    2. Spicy Chicken Cleave: Balance Druid / Fire Mage / Restoration Shaman
    3. PSP: Elemental Shaman / Shadow Priest / Holy Paladin
    4. Volcano Cleave: Elemental Shaman / Frost Mage / Holy Paladin

S-Tier

The S-tier represents the most powerful comps in the meta. These comps are extremely powerful and have few counters, typically only really having weaker match-ups against other S-tier comps. You will likely be fighting these comps, a variant of them or one of their counters, for the majority of your games.

LSD: Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Elemental Shaman / Restoration Druid

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★★ (1/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (3/5)

If you have done any 3v3 arena at all in Wrath of the Lich King, chances are you’ve seen the incredibly powerful combination of Wow Warlock Icon Warlock / Wow Shaman Icon Ele Shaman / healer. The most common variety is with a WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid, commonly called LSD. This comp can work with an Wow Warlock Icon Affliction or Destruction Warlock, having similar gameplay.

Simply put, this comp does damage. Tons of it. The plan is simple: crowd control a healer with your multitude of different CC spells (Fear, Hex, Cyclone), stun a player with Shadowfury or Death Coil, and kill them in those 2-3 seconds with coordinated burst from Chaos Bolt, Conflagrate, Lava Burst and Elemental Mastery into Chain Lightning or Frost Shock. When timed correctly, this burst damage will kill just about anyone, and certain classes (WoW Paladin Icon Paladins, WoW Hunter Icon Hunters, icon - death knight Death Knights, etc) without low cooldown ways to avoid death or passive damage reduction are very susceptible to this simple strategy of CC => burst. Furthermore, this comp is incredibly difficult to crowd control: Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks make the entire team immune to Sap by sending their pet in at the start of the fight, and can dispel magic CC even when they are CCed themselves with Devour Magic; Wow Shaman Icon Shamans make it a pain to CC anything with their Grounding Totem & Wind Shear, and they can dispel Fear type effects off their entire team with Tremor Totem; WoW Druid Icon Druids are naturally immune to Polymorph type effects. This is a huge boon, and particularly so against caster cleave type comps, which typically rely heavily on CCing players in order to get kills.

This comp isn’t without its issues however, and it has a pretty major one: namely, melee cleaves. Both the Wow Warlock Icon Warlock & Wow Shaman Icon Ele Shaman are very vulnerable to being “trained”, meaning being focused down by both players for the entire game. Most of their spells have lengthy cast times and their mobility isn’t the best, so by having 2x melee “sitting” on them with their high damage and interrupts, they can be locked out of casting, just struggling to stay alive. This is a fairly substantial weakness, which is made worse by the fact that TSG is one of the most popular comps in the game, and will naturally counter you. The Wow Warlock Icon Affliction Warlock variety of this comp doesn’t have it as bad in this regard, but it’s still not a great match-up.

Thankfully however, this weakness isn’t completely devastating (as evidence by us being the #1 comped on this tier list), as there are very few meta-relevant melee cleaves, and TSG (the most prominent one) in specific doesn’t take off in popularity until seasons 7-8, with armor penetration gear and Shadowmourne becoming available. Meanwhile, this comp has a very good match-up against the rest of the metagame, and particularly so in seasons 5-6, where people typically have lower resilience amounts and are thus very susceptible to burst damage.

TSG: Arms Warrior / Unholy Death Knight / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★★★★ (2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★★★ (0/5)
Difficulty: ★★★ (1/5)
tsg
TSG, as seen by a Warlock player

This is the 2nd comp that you will likely know about if you’ve done any WotLK 3v3 arena — TSG, the melee cleave to surpass all melee cleaves.

This comp is the premium comp for people that like targeting a cloth user or a healer, and smacking them until they die — which usually doesn’t take very long, as they struggle to cast with 2 melee on them and thus just die. There are no fancy tricks or advanced stats here, you just go in, push your damage buttons and kill the healer. This strategy is extremely effective against WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priests and Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shamans, but the main strength of this comp lies in its ability to destroy Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks, a class found in many of the top-tier comps in WotLK. These classes all struggle big time to stay alive against your damage, and 1 mistake can cost them their lives, which can result in you getting a lot of easy wins within the first 20-30 seconds of the game.

This comp doesn’t have all that many counters. RMP and Shatterplay be surprisingly strong against you, as they have the power to kill any one of your players in the opener, but that just means you have to play slightly more carefully against them — it isn’t a “hard counter” per se. On the flipside, this comp doesn’t have many overwhelmingly positive match-ups either; it mostly has slightly favoured match-ups against most higher tier comps, hence its position on the 2nd spot of the S-tier.

It should be noted however that this comp is significantly weaker in seasons 5/6, the first 2 seasons of WotLK. It only reaches its potential as a top S-tier comp in seasons 7/8, when armor penetration gear from PvE content becomes more abundant, and overpowered PvE items like Shadowmourne and Deathbringer’s WIll.

Thunder Cleave: Arms Warrior / Elemental Shaman / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★★ (2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (1/5)
Difficulty: ★★★ (2/5)

This comp was somewhat popular back in OG WotLK, and exploded in popularity on private servers, so it remains to be seen if it will be as powerful or popular in WotLK Classic. However, everything points to that it will, at least in latter seasons when WoW Warrior Icon Warriors pick up steam.

WoW Warrior Icon Arms Warriors and Wow Shaman Icon Ele Shamans are 2 of the strongest specs in WotLK, and the good news is that they make a great pair too. Wow Shaman Icon Ele Shamans have great burst damage, but lack a healing reduction effect and are susceptible to being trained — WoW Warrior Icon Warriors patch that weakness with Mortal Strike and peeling enemies off the Wow Shaman Icon Shaman. WoW Warrior Icon Warriors meanwhile lack a reliable crowd control tool, so Shamans with their Hex fix that issue, giving this comp a natural opportunity to kill someone (called a “go” in PvP terms) every 45 seconds. Both players have extremely high damage, which is helped massively by this great synergy of the two damage dealers, with Purge being the cherry on top of the cake that is this comp. To make things even better for this comp, it’s one of few WoW Warrior Icon Warrior comps that work very well in earlier season, before your WoW Warrior Icon Warrior gets stacked in armor penetration gear, thanks to the Wow Shaman Icon Shaman’s considerable damage.

But the biggest strength of this comp is its lack of bad match-ups. Some train-happy comps, such as TSG, can be a bit annoying, as they can sit on your Wow Shaman Icon Shaman constantly, preventing them from casting for large parts of the game. Those will be harder to win against, but you don’t have any outright terrible match-ups. On the flipside however, you don’t have all that many great match-ups either, which some may actually see as a weakness. You always have about a 50/50 chance of winning against players of similar skill.

Shatterplay: Frost Mage / Shadow Priest / Restoration Shaman

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★★ (1/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

Wow Mage Icon Frost Mage / WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest is one of the strongest comps in 2v2, having an absolutely deadly opener, where a single mistake can cause you to die in less than 2 seconds. Add a Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman to the mix, a healer who can increase their spell casting speed by 30% for 40 seconds with Heroism / Bloodlust and interrupt spells from range every 6 seconds with Wind Shear, and you have one unbelievably punishing comp to face as a result.

This comp’s main strength lies in its ability to absolutely blow someone up. It largely works the same way as Wow Mage Icon Frost Mage / WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest does in 2v2; Polymorph one player, Silence the healer and blow up the last player in a Deep Freeze stun, without them being able to do anything if their PvP trinket is on cooldown — you will very frequently get kills in the first 30-40 seconds of the game in this manner. This comp has simply ridiculous damage, particularly in the opener thanks to Heroism / Bloodlust, but damage isn’t all it has, as your crowd control is also simply top notch. The synergy of these 3 classes is simply outstanding, with WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priests being the MVP, thanks to their ability to off-heal when the Wow Shaman Icon Shaman is in trouble or CCed, their ability to dispel CC off their team-mates, the ability to stop a WoW Warrior Icon Warrior’s Bladestorm which Psychic Horror, etc. Similar to our 2v2 cousin, the biggest strength of this comp is its ability to destroy WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins, the most popular healer in the game, as you can Mass Dispel their Divine Shield and kill them immediately afterwards.

The only obvious weakness of this comp is one that it shares with its 2v2 cousin; namely, that Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks can be extremely annoying to face. You can never truly crowd control them, as their Felhunter pet can always interrupt you with Spell Lock or dispel your CC with Devour Magic, even when the Wow Warlock Icon Warlock himself is crowd controlled. Wow Warlock Icon Destruction Warlocks are very hard to kill due to their incredibly annoying Nether Protection, which forces you to target someone else, making your game plan against them a lot more predictable. As Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks are one of the most popular classes, this weakness is very significant, but thankfully you have a very solid match-up against everything else, and your Wow Warlock Icon Warlock match-ups aren’t completely unwinnable either, just significantly in their favour.

LSP: Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Elemental Shaman / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★★ (1/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

This is a variant of LSD, featuring a WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladin instead of a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid.

Simply put, LSP trades away the WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid and their extra on-demand CC in Cyclone, for a WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladin and their life-saving Hand of Protection. This causes you to have a significantly better match-up against melee cleaves which aim to blow you up in the first 30 seconds of the game, such as your arch-nemesis, TSG. Given that such comps are LSD‘s #1 weakness, this can be a very sensible trade.

But losing Cyclone means you now suddenly have a harder time against other comps, such as caster cleaves and balanced cleaves (melee/ranged/healer comps), where that 3rd CC helped you secure games. Moreover, while WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins are generally more durable than WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid against most comps, they can be blown up by specific comps (such as Shatterplay and TSG), which is a weakness that you didn’t have before. Furthermore, while WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins have a magic dispel which helps them remove CC off your DPS players, they themselves are a lot more vulnerable to CC than WoW Druid Icon Resto Druids, which hurts your caster cleave match-up significantly.

Depending on how the meta shapes up, LSP might be a better comp than LSD. It will largely depend on how popular melee cleaves end up becoming. Moreover, this comp is likely to be stronger in the later seasons (season 7 & 8), where melee cleaves are at their strongest.

LSPriest: Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Elemental Shaman / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (2/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

This is a variant of LSD, featuring a WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priest instead of a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid.

Simply put, LSPriest trades away the WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid and their extra on-demand CC in Cyclone, for a WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priest and their double magic dispel in Dispel Magic, along with their great burst damage. This comp is essentially the opposite of LSP; you now have a much weaker match-up against melee cleaves, who can typically kill your WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priest much easier than any of the other healers, but you instead gain a noticeably better match-up against other comps, and caster cleaves that rely on magic CC in particular.

Depending on how the meta shapes up, LSPriest might be a better comp than LSD. It will largely depend on how popular melee cleaves end up becoming. Moreover, this comp is likely to be stronger in the earlier seasons (season 5 & 6), where caster cleaves are at their strongest.

PHD: Unholy Death Knight / Marksmanship Hunter / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (2/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

This comp is lethal, having the ability to pull a player out of line of sight with Death Grip and kill them very, very quickly, with the WoW Hunter Icon Hunter’s high burst damage and the DK’s consistently high damage. WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priests in particular are very easy prey for you, as you have the ability to kill them in a Strangulate, preventing them from ever using their defensive cooldowns in an effort to survive. But with a WoW Hunter Icon Hunter’s low cooldown on their burst damage & crowd control spells, everyone is a good target for you, not just WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priests — just trap one player, and burst the other. It’s a very simple strategy that’s surprisingly difficult to counter.

There is one class unfortunately that isn’t very susceptible to this strategy however, and can often ruin your plans: WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins. Unyielding Faith, Divine Sacrifice and Hand of Sacrifice make it a pain to trap them, while Improved Concentration Aura makes silencing them or anyone on their team significantly less effective. They are an extremely difficult target to kill thanks to their plate armor & Divine Shield, while their Hand of Protection can put a stop to your plans. They aren’t impossible to beat, just very annoying, but as they are the most popular healer that can result in some pretty annoying games overall. Moreover, some highly aggressive teams, particularly those with a WoW Priest Icon Priest (Shatterplay / RMP), can lock you down and kill your icon - death knight Death Knight or WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladin very quickly, meaning you have to play very carefully against those.

PHP / Cupid: Retribution Paladin / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

This comp fluctuates in power a lot, for reasons that will be explained in the next paragraph. At its best however, it has a lot of the strong points of its 2v2 cousin, WoW Paladin Icon Ret Paladin / WoW Hunter Icon MM Hunter; namely, some incredibly high burst damage, enhanced by the WoW Priest Icon Priest’s Dispel Magic and personal damage. It also has very long CC chains, with Scatter Shot > Freezing Arrow > Hammer of Justice > Psychic Scream > Repentance > Silencing Shot taking a player out of the game for a whopping 35 seconds. With most of these CC spells having a short 30-40 second cooldown, you can apply tremendous pressure on the enemy team throughout a game, and with damage this high, it only takes a brief CC chain sticking to get a kill.

This comp’s main weakness is a somewhat poor match-up against caster cleave type teams. None of the 3 players on this team have an interrupt effect, so you are unfortunately very prone to being crowd controlled out of the game. The WoW Paladin Icon Ret Paladin and WoW Priest Icon Priest can dispel each other, which helps somewhat, but caster cleave teams tend to have multiple different CC effects they can apply, which will make them very challenging to face. On the other hand though, you have a very decent match-up against balanced (melee/ranged/healer) teams and melee cleaves, so if the meta game isn’t filled with caster cleaves, this comp can certainly be very strong.

A-Tier

The A-Tier represents very powerful comps with high meta relevance. These comps tend to be slightly less well-rounded their S-tier counterparts, typically having some very strong match-ups and some very weak match-ups, and are thus more highly dependent on the current state of the meta. You should expect to see these comps very often, so be prepared.

MLS: Destruction Warlock / Frost Mage / Restoration Shaman

Power: ★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★★ (4/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (2/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (2/5)

While LSD and Shatterplay are slightly stronger comps overall, this comp can be characterized as the archetypal caster cleave comp. It features immense control, with 2 different spammable 8 second CCs in Fear and Polymorph, 3 different interrupts in Spell Lock, Counterspell and Wind Shear, and some truly insane burst damage coming from the Wow Warlock Icon Warlock + Wow Mage Icon Mage combined when hasted by Heroism / Bloodlust. The burst damage and CC that this comp can put out is so ridiculous that it could be said that it doesn’t have any true “hard counters”, since any team is susceptible to randomly being blown up in 2 seconds due to a very slight misplay, or being forced into multiple CC chains that they can’t recover from.

Having said that, there is one very real counter to this comp, and the main reason why it cannot really be up there in the S-tier with the big boys. That would be comps with multiple immunities and high burst damage, such as Beast Cleave, but most prominently the incredibly popular TSG. These types of comps can typically blow all of their cooldowns and kill your Wow Shaman Icon Shaman in the first 10-15 seconds of the game, while your Wow Warlock Icon Warlock & Wow Mage Icon Mage cannot really do anything to stop it, besides spam their damage spells and pray they manage to blow up someone before your Wow Shaman Icon Shaman inevitably dies. It is truly a polarizing match-up, that isn’t a big problem in early seasons while melee cleaves aren’t that strong, but only gets worse over time as TSG gains popularity.

RMP: Subtlety Rogue / Frost Mage / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★ (2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (2/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

RMP has historically been one of the most popular comps in the game thanks to the incredible synergy between these 3 classes. WotLK is no exception; though the comp faced a lot of nerfs over the duration of OG WotLK due to its over-performance in tournaments, it’s still an incredibly solid, meta-relevant comp. With its traditionally incredible CC, the unpredictable on-demand burst of WoW Rogue Icon Rogues & Wow Mage Icon Mages, and the ability to kill WoW Paladin Icon Paladins very easily thanks to Mass Dispel, RMP can be a very scary comp to face, with no player on a team being completely safe from a swap by the RMP. While you don’t have many extremely favoured match-ups, you have good 50/50 match-ups against most other meta-relevant comps.

There is one exception to this rule however; those dastardly Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks. They can send their pet in to get their team in combat, making it impossible for you to Sap them and thus making your openers significantly trickier. Moreover, they can use their Demonic Circle: Teleport to counter your cooldown-based burst at any point, which makes them a really bad target to go for, most of the time. For that reason, Wow Warlock Icon Warlock teams are very annoying for you to face, and the super-popular LSD in specific will really test your patience, despite not being an extremely unfavourable match-up for you.

Jungle Cleave: Feral Druid / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

The beasts are unleashed! This comp is very similar to PHP / Cupid, in that it’s a very setup focused comp that relies on crowd controlling the healer and getting a kill. It has an easier time doing that than PHP, thanks to a Cyclone being much more frequently usable than Hammer of Justice & Repentance. This gives this comp a very decent win rate against balanced comps. Moreover, the WoW Druid Icon Feral’s immunity to root & slow effects, along with a temporary immunity to fear effects with Berserk, allows you to absolutely shred some of the more vulnerable caster cleave comps, particularly those with a Wow Mage Icon Mage, who this comp completely destroys.

It’s not all sunshines and rainbows for our animal-loving friends, however. This comp has a significant weakness, in its inability to kill WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins, the most popular healer. This in turn causes you to be forced to target other players on the enemy team, making your strategy a lot more predictable. Moreover, a lack of a powerful support option like the WoW Paladin Icon Ret’s Hand of Protection in PHP, means that many teams can just target your WoW Priest Icon Priest, pop all of their cooldowns, and kill them in the first 10-15 seconds of a game, while the rest of your team scramble to somehow protect them. This is a particularly obvious issue against TSG, a comp you have a very unfavourable match-up against due to these 2 issues.

Shadowplay: Affliction Warlock / Shadow Priest / Restoration Shaman

Power: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★★ (1/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

This comp is the father of all “cancer” or “rot” comps. Its idea is very simple: stack two specs with damage-over-time spells, spread them on the entire enemy team, and watch all of them squirm as they die helplessly. Damage is one thing has in spades, particularly during the first 40 seconds of the game, where Heroism / Bloodlust causes your damage to be truly terrifying. With 2 classes possessing offensive dispels, it’s very difficult for any healer to keep up with your damage. WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins are particularly vulnerable to this strategy, as they struggle to heal 3 targets at a time.

Having said that, this comp has 1 very obvious weakness that prevents it from being as terrifying, as, say, Shatterplay. Namely, your only on-demand CC is Fear, with Psychic Scream being on the same diminishing return category, leaving Hex as your only other CC. This means that it’s generally very hard to “set up” kills, and you instead have to nearly always rely on rotting the enemy team to death. This strategy is pretty reliable overall, but there’s some comps it won’t work against; namely, comps that can just become invulnerable to damage & CC for long periods of time and just kill one of you — which is usually the Wow Shaman Icon Shaman, as the most vulnerable player in your team. The most obvious example in this category is TSG, which will unfortunately be a very hard comp for you to beat.

God Comp: Frost Mage / Shadow Priest / Restoration Druid

Power: ★★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (2/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

This is a variant of Shatterplay, featuring a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid instead of a Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman.

This comp was named “God Comp” due to its seeming inability to die. Simply put, WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druids supported by a WoW Priest Icon Priest dispelling them and healing them when necessary are really, really hard to kill — particularly so when they have Wow Mage Icon Mage peeling for them when things get rough. This comp has an amazing ability to stay in the game for an extremely long time, resetting the fight when necessary.

There are several reasons why this comp isn’t S-tier like its cousin Shatterplay and its foreboding name would imply though. While the additionon an extra CC in Cyclone makes setting up kills even easier, losing the Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman means you also lose Wind Shear, a low cooldown interrupt, and a major source of control for your team. Furthermore, losing Heroism / Bloodlust means you also lose those absolutely terrifying 40 seconds of jaw-dropping damage that Shatterplay enjoys.

This means that some of your weaker matchups are slightly better now, particularly against TSG and various Wow Warlock Icon Warlock comps, while at the same time your match-up against other teams that you normally do well against is unfortunately a good chunk weaker. Whether that is worth it or not will depend entirely on how the meta-game shapes up, but for the biggest part, Shatterplay will probably be a better comp for a Wow Mage Icon Frost Mage / WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest duo.

Priest HD: Unholy Death Knight / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (3/5)

This is a variant of PHD, featuring a WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priest instead of a WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladin.

The idea of this comp is simple; by trading away the WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladin you lose their very powerful defensive cooldowns, and gain a lot of extra offensive pressure thanks to the WoW Priest Icon Priest’s damage & offensive dispels. This results in you having an easier time against teams that rely on buffs, such as Wow Mage Icon Mage teams, which now absolutely dread to fight you. You also finally have a way of killing WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins, thanks to Mass Dispel.

But as with many of these variant comps, this comes at a price. In our case, WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priests are unfortunately significantly more fragile than WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins. This is particularly obvious when facing melee cleaves, which can run your WoW Priest Icon Priest over like roadkill on the highway, an issue you just didn’t have with a beefy WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladin watching your back. Thus, this comp’s performance will largely depend on how big melee cleaves end up being, as they typically gain popularity in latter seasons.

Unholyplay: Unholy Death Knight / Shadow Priest / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★ (3/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

This comp is very interesting, having some unique strengths and weaknesses. At first glance, it seems like it’s a pretty standard “rot” type comp, which would rely on spreading damage-over-time spells on the enemy team and killing them all slowly. There’s more to that though; with 2 low-ish cooldown silence effects lasting 5 seconds (Strangulate & Silence) and the icon - death knight Death Knight’s powerful Summon Gargoyle cooldown, you can get kills very suddenly, with any member on the enemy team hovering in the ~50% HP range being at risk of immediate death. This is particularly true when facing teams with a Discipline Priest healer, who typically struggle to heal multiple targets at once and thus there’s usually a few targets on low HP.

But this team has a really obvious downside: your only healing reduction effect is Improved Mind Blast, which is… not great, to say the least. Thus means that WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druids, with their strong AoE healing, and WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins, with their strong spot healing, will generally make it hard for you to kill stuff. As a result, this comp will generally tend to have pretty long games before you can finally wither someone down to the point where you can get a kill. This in turn means that comps that have strong starts, such as TSG, RMP etc can put you in a spot where you’re always on the defensive and trying to survive, while your damage-over-time spells slowly do their damage.

LSD 2: Destruction Warlock / Balance Druid / Restoration Shaman

Power: ★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★★ (3/5)
Surprise Factor: (5/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

Sometimes you’ll see a Wow Warlock Icon Warlock, Wow Shaman Icon Shaman and WoW Druid Icon Druid on the enemy team, and assume that you’re facing LSD. That’d be a reasonable assumption, were it not for the fact that the WoW Druid Icon Druid is a god damn DOOM CHICKEN OF DEATH and proceeds to blast your face off out of seemingly nowhere!

In all seriousness, this comp is aptly named LSD 2 because it plays very similarly to good ol’ LSD, with many of the same strengths & same weaknesses. WoW Druid Icon Boomkins do a lot of burst damage, and the surprise factor that this comp has is massive, thanks to the fact that the enemy team won’t know your team’s specs if your Wow Shaman Icon Shaman doesn’t use Earth Shield before you get in combat. This allows your WoW Druid Icon Druid to come out of stealth with a massive Starfall, possibly getting you a quick & easy kill on a very confused enemy, within the first few seconds of the game.

Before you merrily go off on a magical chicken adventure however, it should be noted that this comp has some notable weaknesses. While WoW Druid Icon Boomkin burst damage is indeed great, it is mostly tied to Starfall, which has a 1-minute cooldown. This means that if you fail to get a kill with it, you have to awkwardly play defensively for the next minute, doing anything you can to survive until your next kill opportunity. This is particularly bad against classes that have strong defensive cooldowns to survive your very predictable damage, such as icon - death knight Death Knights and their 45 second cooldown Anti-Magic Shell. Furthermore, melee cleave teams (such as the always-present TSG) can just sit on your WoW Druid Icon Boomkin for the entirety of the game, making it impossible for them to cast damaging spells or Cyclone, instead relying always completely on your Starfall kill windows. All in all, this means that your odds of victory go down significantly if you fail to get a kill in the opener, against teams that know how to play against you.

African Turtle Cleave: Protection Warrior / Marksmanship Hunter / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★★★ (4/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (5/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (2/5)

Anyone who has ever faced this comp is probably reading this excerpt with a look of utter disgust on their face. They can’t be blamed; if there’s a comp that makes you feel dirty, this would be it. It’s simply so annoying to face a WoW Warrior Icon Protection Warrior as a caster; they completely lock you out from playing the game, by stunning you for many seconds at a time, silencing you, and reflecting your spells back at you when you finally manage to get a cast off. All the while, they’re doing some truly ridiculous damage — this comp is truly the caster killer, in many senses.

Thankfully, with great power come great weaknesses. Namely, for the WoW Warrior Icon Protection Warrior to do the amount of damage they’re famous for, they need to be decked out in PvE armor penetration gear, from top to bottom. This means that they’ll generally have next to no resilience, so if you finally get a chance to attack them, they’ll die very, very quickly — ironic given that they’re a tank specialization. Thus comps with powerful openers, such as TSG, RMP, PHD, etc will generally have an easy time killing you — they just need to survive that initial, admittedly extremely annoying stunlock from the WoW Warrior Icon Warrior.

B-Tier

The B-tier represents some very solid comps that can hold their own in the meta. These comps tend to have a specific thing they excel at, which unfortunately usually comes with a fairly major drawback. Some of these comps are also a “budget” version of a higher-tier comp, though they’re still powerful enough that they shouldn’t be written off. You won’t run into these comps as often as S-tier or A-tier comps, but they’re fairly common regardless.

RPD: Subtlety Rogue / Shadow Priest / Restoration Druid

Power: ★★ (3/5)
Counters: ★★ (3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (3/5)

WoW Rogue Icon Rogue / WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest is one of the strongest 2v2 comps in the game, so you’d think that WoW Rogue Icon Rogue / WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest / healer would also be one of the strongest 3v3 comps as well. Unfortunately, that’s not true, for a variety of reasons we’ll go over below.

In much the same way as its 2v2 cousin, this comp has very, very strong openers, with lengthy CC chains that can be deadly. The addition of Cyclone as an extra CC from the WoW Druid Icon Druid only makes this comp stronger in that area. If you manage to get a Sap on a key player on the opponent team and follow it up with a chain of CC, you can very easily get a kill early, or force the enemy team in a constant defensive position, where they must do all they can to stay alive, failing to get any meaningful momentum of their own.

This comp’s main weakness is that unfortunately, the addition of a 3rd player makes stopping your damage a lot easier. By having 2 players attack your WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest and constantly interrupt them, it can be very hard for them to get any casts off, which greatly reduces their damage output — particularly if they aren’t allowed to apply their Vampiric Touch, making the rest of their damage-over-time spells trivially easy to dispel. This makes this comp suffer greatly against melee cleaves. Even against non melee cleave teams however, if you fail to keep your momentum going in the opener, you will quickly run out of steam, and it’s hard for this comp to make a comeback — you’re essentially forced to keep trying to reset in this scenario, which isn’t easy against many comps.

Shadowcleave: Unholy Death Knight / Affliction Warlock / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (3/5)

This comp is the smaller cousin of Shadowplay and Unholyplay — being a lot closer to the latter than the former. The idea here is similar to Unholyplay: spread your damage-over-time effects on the entire team and rot them down. When someone starts dipping to a lower HP threshold, Strangulate the healer and go in for the kill. It’s very easy for this comp to get unexpected kills, specially against healers who struggle with healing multiple targets — your DoTs are both undispellable and very, very powerful.

This comp has a good chunk more damage than Unholyplay, as Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks just hit harder, and even has Fear as a spammable crowd control ability, thus offering better control. However, it also has some major weaknesses; specifically, without a WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest dispelling them, your healer will sit in crowd control effects much, much more often. You lose the offensive dispel as well, which means it’s harder to apply pressure against shield based teams, despite your superior damage. Furthermore, without a disarm ability of any kind, WoW Warrior Icon Warriors can just sit on your Wow Warlock Icon Warlock non-stop, preventing them from casting, which can be a huge issue against some of the stronger meta comps that feature a WoW Warrior Icon Warrior, such as the omni-present TSG.

Beast Cleave: Enhancement Shaman / Beast Mastery Hunter / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(4/5)
Surprise Factor: (5/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (0/5)

If there are 3 comps that WotLK veterans remember from “back then”, it’s probably TSG, LSD and Beast Cleave. This comp made an explosive entrance during early MLG tournaments (when WoW used to be an actual eSport!), getting some very, very sudden kills. Blizzard subsequently nerfed it, causing it to drop off in strength and popularity, but it can still be a very potent comp, with a very useful purpose in the meta.

In the briefest terms possible, this is the quintessential 20-second comp. You either win in 20 seconds, or you lose in 20 seconds — there’s not really an alternative scenario where the game goes on much longer than that. The Wow Shaman Icon Shaman and the WoW Hunter Icon Hunter go in, pop all their cooldowns, and hopefully kill someone. If that someone is a cloth user, such as a Wow Mage Icon Mage, WoW Priest Icon Priest or Wow Warlock Icon Warlock, you can blow them up before they even have a chance to react, as shown in the legendary clip above. For that reason, this comp enjoys a very decent win rate against caster cleaves, which make up a very large part of the meta.

On the other hand however this comp has a crippling weakness: WoW Paladin Icon Paladins, regardless of their spec, destroy you. The Beast Within lasts 10 seconds, and their Divine Shield lasts 12, so you essentially cannot ever attack them. They can use Hand of Protection to save an ally, and misdirect a lot of incoming damage to themselves, thus making it very hard for you to kill anything. Moreover, they often group up with other plate-wearers, like WoW Warrior Icon Warriors, who you already really struggle to kill. Comps like TSG will be a very, very uphill battle for you as a result, and as it is a very common comp, you’ll be locked in a situation where you blow up caster cleaves, only to get blown up by TSG, forevermore.

Vanguards Cleave: Retribution Paladin / Unholy Death Knight / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

Named after noted Retribution player Vanguards, this comp is the quintessential melee cleave, featuring tons and tons of damage. Its main strength is obvious — you can blow up players very quickly with the combined burst of a WoW Paladin Icon Ret Paladin and an icon - death knight Unholy DK. You also have some very decent CC chains in Repentance > Psychic Scream > Hammer of Justice > Strangulate, which can net you some very surprising kills. As a result, this comp thrives against balanced team comps, and even melee cleaves. Above all, it does extremely well against comps that rely on their strong openers, as WoW Paladin Icon Ret Paladins can make those significantly harder to pull off successfully.

On the flipside, this comp also has a very glaring weakness: none of the players in the team have a healing reduction effect a la Mortal Strike, and thus games against healers with strong burst healing (namely, WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins) can be very long and painful if they’re good at interrupting your CC chains, as you cannot really kill anything without CCing the healer. Furthermore, despite having 2 defensive dispels, with the WoW Paladin Icon Ret being capable of dispelling the WoW Priest Icon Priest when they get CCed, this comp struggles somewhat vs caster cleaves. The reason is simple: without a healing reduction effect, you don’t really apply enough pressure for the enemy team to play defensively, and thus they’re free to CC you. This will be particularly obvious against Wow Warlock Icon Warlock teams, as their Felhunter pet can dispel all of your CC with its Devour Magic, forcing you to kill the pet or likely lose the game.

MLD: Destruction Warlock / Frost Mage / Restoration Druid

Power: ★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★★ (4/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (2/5)

This is a variant of MLS, featuring a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid instead of a Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman.

This comp takes inspiration from LSD, exchanging the Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman for a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid and their extra CC in Cyclone. Unfortunately for the comp however, this isn’t the greatest trade. The comp already had more than enough CC with Fear and Polymorph, so the lack of Heroism / Bloodlust really hurts its ability to get surprising kills in the opener thanks to Wow Warlock Icon Warlock & Wow Mage Icon Mage’s insane burst damage. Paired with the loss of Wind Shear and the Wow Shaman Icon Shaman’s offensive dispel, Purge, and you are unfortunately largely worse off. It should be said that this comp does have a slightly better match-up against melee cleaves like TSG, which is one of MLS‘ biggest weaknesses, but it unfortunately does noticeably worse against everything else.

RPS: Subtlety Rogue / Shadow Priest / Restoration Shaman

Power: ★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★ (3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: (4/5)

This is a variant of RPD, featuring a Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman instead of a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid.

In the simplest terms possible, this comp trades lasting power & crowd control (Cyclone) for a much, much stronger opener (Heroism / Bloodlust). The 2 comps play mostly the same — get a strong opener and either kill someone, or force the enemy team into a position where they’re fighting for their lives. While Heroism / Bloodlust obviously make your opener a lot more lethal, your lasting power also drops drastically; if you fail to get a kill early, you have likely lost the game, as the Wow Shaman Icon Restoration Shaman is prone to dying to melee cleaves or running out of mana in protracted games. If the meta shapes-up to be much more caster cleave focused, this comp could prove to be superior to RPD; if there are lots of melee cleaves running around though — particularly in seasons 7 & 8 — this comp might seriously struggle.

Turbo Cleave: Arms Warrior / Enhancement Shaman / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★ (5/5)
Counters: ★★(4/5)
Surprise Factor: (5/5)
Difficulty: ★★★★ (0/5)

A WoW Warrior Icon Warrior player somewhere thought long and hard about Beast Cleave and how successful it used to be. After decades (or more likely, seconds) of meditation, a light bulb went off in their head; “hold on a second — WoW Hunter Icon Hunters are a physical damage dealer with a Mortal Strike effect and strong offensive cooldowns… could there be another physical damage dealing class with a Mortal Strike and strong offensive cooldowns?!” — and so, Turbo Cleave was born.

As the name implies, this comp goes fast, and it goes hard. It plays very similarly to Beast Cleave; go in, pop your offensive cooldowns, and kill something. This is a slightly less effective strategy than it is for Beast Cleave unfortunately, as unlike The Beast Within, Bladestorm can be stopped by any disarm effect. On the other hand, WoW Warrior Icon Warriors aren’t as reliant on their cooldowns as WoW Hunter Icon BM Hunters are, so you don’t automatically lose the moment your cooldowns are over — you can still gain momentum and kill something.

However, if we’re being real, the majority of your kills will come in the first 40 seconds of the game, during Heroism / Bloodlust. The comp overall has some of the main strengths (countering caster cleaves) and some of the same weaknesses (getting walled by WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins) as Beast Cleave. Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks and Wow Mage Icon Mages will start screaming for their mommies they moment they see you, and then proceed to give you free rating, but WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins will make you feel the way you did against the bully at school when you were a kid, always stealing your hard-earned pocket money.

God Cleave: Elemental Shaman / Balance Druid / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★★ (3/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★★ (5/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

This comp was dubbed God Cleave on retail, but its name on WotLK should be Oh My God Cleave, because your enemies will be yelling “oh my god what the hell is this?!” when they run into you. Badum-tish. Please don’t flame me, I’m just trying to earn a living here!

This comp is one of the most unique and peculiar comps out there. On first look it’s a caster cleave, so naturally it has burst damage in spades, with some CC peppered in. Sure, that’s partially true, but that’s doing the comp a disservice. The overall strategy is of course to set up kills with a Cyclone or Hex on the healer, followed by offensive cooldowns — mainly revolving around the WoW Druid Icon Moonkin’s incredibly powerful Starfall cooldown. If you fail, you switch to playing defensively — which is very easy, given that all 3 of your players have the ability to heal — for a minute, until Starfall is ready again. Simple, yet effective.

The main strength of this comp is that it has no incredibly strong, nor any incredibly weak match-ups. Instead, it has good maps and bad maps. This is true for most comps of course, but this comp takes it to a brand new level. Thanks to both DPS players having a knock-back ability (Thunderstorm & Typhoon) this comp is very strong (and very annoying to face!) on the 2 maps that feature a Y-axis elevation (Blade’s Edge Arena & Dalaran Sewers) — particularly against melee cleaves, that struggle to ever get a chance to attack you. Maps with no Y-axis elevation on the other hand, such as Nagrand & Ruins of Lordaeron, will be much harder to play on. As a result, you will have a decent chance of beating most comps — even some comps that can be said to counter you!

C-Tier

The C-tier is the a bit of a “limbo” tier. The teams on this tier are by no means bad; you can probably get a Gladiator title if you are an good player. However, in all honesty the comps here are just a straight-up weaker version of a comp in a higher tier, which means that you’re unnecessarily making your life harder by deciding to play these comps, if a Gladiator title is what you’re after. If you don’t care about titles, these comps can be very fun to play, however.

Thug Cleave: Subtlety Rogue / Marksmanship Hunter / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(4/5)
Surprise Factor: (4/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (3/5)

An experienced WoW player will look at this comp and think that it’s a “budget RMP“. Unfortunately, they’d be somewhat correct — as with any WoW Rogue Icon Rogue / ranged / healer comp, this comp relies pretty heavily on getting a Sap off and doing heavy burst damage, controlling enemies as necessary. WoW Hunter Icon Hunters have very strong burst damage, and very decent crowd control on a low cooldown, but they tend to be a lot more finnicky than Wow Mage Icon Mages, who can deal incredible burst damage on-demand, and keep multiple enemies crowd controlled for a decent chunk of time.

Thanks to having 2 physical damage dealers, this comp can absolutely murder cloth-using casters — including RMP‘s nemesis, Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks — but that comes at a cost of struggling significantly against WoW Paladin Icon Holy Paladins and other plate users, which will unfortunately make up a sizeable portion of your games.

Kitty Cleave: Arms Warrior / Feral Druid / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★(4/5)
Surprise Factor: (4/5)
Difficulty: ★★★ (2/5)

Once upon a time, someone got sick of losing to Wow Mage Icon Mages. “I hate this freaking class!”, they thought to themselves, and begun a crusade to create the most anti-Mage team possible. The result: Kitty Cleave! With the WoW Druid Icon Feral’s natural immunity to slows and roots thanks to their shapeshifting, paired with the WoW Warrior Icon Warrior’s incredible mobility & damage, and great boon of being able to remove Ice Block with Shattering Throw, you have a team that eats Wow Mage Icon Mages for breakfast. Wow Warlock Icon Warlocks and other squishy cloth or leather wearers are similarly in a world of pain if both your DPS players manage to connect.

This comp shares a weakness with many other hyper-aggressive melee comps: WoW Paladin Icon Paladin teams can be hard to beat, as they can shut down your aggression at any point with their Hand of Protection. And given that this comp doesn’t have as many interrupts or control options as, say, TSG or Turbo Cleave, once you lose momentum it can be very hard to recover, so a lot of your games really rely on that early aggression.

FMP: Feral Druid / Frost Mage / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★★ (2/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

This comp gained a meteoric rise in popularity in OG WotLK for good reason; it’s a lot of fun to play. In many ways it can be seen as a budget version of RMP, featuring slightly less initial control while having more versatility, thanks to the WoW Druid Icon Feral’s ability to Cyclone things at will, with Cyclone not sharing a diminishing return category with Psychic Scream, allowing you to set up CC chains very easily. It is a textbook balanced (melee / ranged / healer) comp, revolving around setting up kills with CC chains, swapping to targets that use their trinkets, etc.

But in the end of the day this is indeed a budget version of RMP. A WoW Druid Icon Feral simply cannot stun people for as long as a WoW Rogue Icon Rogue can, nor can they disarm WoW Warrior Icon Warriors and WoW Hunter Icon Hunters to prevent them from using their defensive cooldowns altogether, allowing you to get some very “cheesy” surprise kills right at the start of the game. This comp has alright match-ups across the board, so without these “cheesy” kills, you have a lot of long, and some would say unnecessarily stressful games.

No MS / Preghancement: Preg OR Retribution Paladin / Enhancement Shaman / Discipline Priest

Power: (2/5)
Counters: ★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

This is another really strange little comp. In many ways it plays similarly to Vanguards, relying on burst damage to get kills and using the fact that both the WoW Paladin Icon Paladin and WoW Priest Icon Priest have a defensive dispel to great benefit. Repentance and Hex unfortunately are on the same dimishing return category, so your CC chains cannot be as potent, but therein kicks a hidden ace up this comp’s sleeve: the Wow Shaman Icon Shaman can also heal; in fact, all 3 players in this team can!

This makes this comp extremely resilient — particularly when the WoW Paladin Icon Paladin switches to the “Preg” spec in latter seasons, which can do a lot of healing. Thus this comp’s gameplan becomes somewhat unconventional; you now focus on outlasting the enemy team. The WoW Paladin Icon Paladin & Wow Shaman Icon Shaman connecting on a single target can result in very high, unexpected burst damage, catching someone by surprise and netting you an easy kill; but even failing that, against many other teams, you can simply keep pushing the game to the point where the enemy healer runs out of mana, and then kill someone.

This all means that this comp actually has decent match-ups against most comps in the game. It doesn’t outright counter anything (though it does very, very well against comps that try to get kills early, thanks to aforementioned triple healing power), but it also doesn’t have any super negative match-ups. It has long games, which can be frustrating or boring for some, but if you tough it out, it’s absolutely a comp you can climb with.

RDP / Surprise Chicken Cleave: Subtlety Rogue / Balance Druid / Discipline Priest

Power: ★★★ (3/5)
Counters: ★★★★(2/5)
Surprise Factor: (5/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (4/5)

You run into an enemy team with a WoW Priest Icon Priest and 2 invisible players. Some players would imagine it is RMP with a currently-invisible Wow Mage Icon Mage, while more experienced players may surmise that they’re up against RPD, WoW Rogue Icon Rogue / WoW Priest Icon Shadow Priest / WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid. That’d be almost right, as suddenly a DOOM CHICKEN OF DEATH comes out of stealth, blasting you to smithereens.

Yes, you’re probably thinking it and it’s true; this comp is a dollar store version of RMP. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but WoW Druid Icon Moonkins are unfortunately just straight up worse than Wow Mage Icon Frost Mages, with their burst damage being heavily tied to Starfall, on a 1-minute cooldown, and their main CC spell (Cyclone) being worse than Polymorph in most ways that are relevant to RMP. This comp can do a lot of the same stuff that RMP do (kill someone in the opener!) but… worse. But damn it, it’s a lot of fun to play!

RMD: Subtlety Rogue / Frost Mage / Restoration Druid

Power: ★★★ (3/5)
Counters: ★★ (2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: ★★ (5/5)

This is a variant of RMP, featuring a WoW Druid Icon Restoration Druid instead of a WoW Priest Icon Discipline Priest.

Keen-eyed readers may have noticed by now that the C-tier is comprised of a lot of RMP knock-offs, and unfortunately this comp is one of them. This comp was originally popularized in TBC as an alternative to RMP which focused less on getting early kills, and more on lasting power, with the WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid’s significantly better mana efficiency. WotLK wasn’t kind to it, sadly; WoW Druid Icon Resto Druids received multiple nerfs, while other classes (including WoW Priest Icon Disc Priests) got a lot of buffs, so naturally this comp is weaker by comparison.

This comp isn’t awful by any stretch, and it has a lot of the same strengths & weaknesses as RMP — namely a very powerful opener. With the addition of Cyclone, your opener becomes even more punishing than before, as one wrong trinket timing from the enemy team can cause them to lose. However, losing the WoW Priest Icon Priest means losing one of RMP‘s strengths: the ability to kill WoW Paladin Icon Paladins by Mass Dispeling their Divine Shield. This makes that match-up significantly harder. What’s worse, the loss of a defensive dispel means that you have to be extremely careful when playing this comp; you cannot trinket the wrong thing, else you may just get CCed and killed in the opener yourself. A very small mistake will lead to a loss for you, so this comp is one of the hardest to pilot, and is thus certainly not recommended to arena beginners.

WLP: Arms Warrior / Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Holy Paladin

Power: ★★★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★ (2/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: (4/5)

Players who did a lot of PvP in TBC Classic may be surprised to not see WLD (WoW Warrior Icon Warrior / Wow Warlock Icon Warlock / WoW Druid Icon Resto Druid) anywhere on this list, as it used to be one of the most popular comps around. The TL;DR is that significant nerfs to WoW Druid Icon Resto Druids effectively ruined that comp, and this is its successor… and not a very successful one, if we’re being honest.

This comp is the archetypal balanced (melee / ranged / healer) comp. It applies pressure on a single target, crowd controls another, and swaps to a target that dropped to low health or used a trinket. The Wow Warlock Icon Destruction version of this comp is better at swapping and getting surprise kills, while the Wow Warlock Icon Affliction version is better at playing the long game, by applying great pressure on everyone on the enemy team thanks to Mortal Strike.

However, it simply doesn’t really specialize at anything, which is ultimately its downfall. It is not better at rotting players down than some of the rot-centered comps like Shadowplay or Shadowcleave, nor is it as good at swapping to someone and blowing them up as a good old fashioned caster cleave circa MLS is. It’s a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of situation. As a result, you have a bunch of okay match-ups, but you’re never really very favoured to win. You can absolutely get Gladiator with this comp, but you’ll have to play significantly better than your opponents to get wins a lot of the time.

RLS: Subtlety Rogue / Affliction OR Destruction Warlock / Restoration Shaman

Power: ★★ (4/5)
Counters: ★★ (3/5)
Surprise Factor: ★★ (3/5)
Difficulty: (4/5)

RLS, and its cousin RLD, were very big comps in TBC, so TBC veterans may be surprised to see it this low on the tier list. The unfortunate reality is that this comp just isn’t what it used to be; the meta change has changed very significantly, with a much larger emphasis on specializing in burst damage, control or rotting people down, and this comp doesn’t really specialize at anything.

The Wow Warlock Icon Affliction version of this comp plays very similarly to RPS, while the Wow Warlock Icon Destruction version is more of an odd-ball, playing similar to RMP, with a heavy focus on blowing someone up in the first 20-30 seconds of the game, while Heroism / Bloodlust is up. After that fades however, the Wow Warlock Icon Warlock casts far too slow to be able to consistently gets casts off vs melee cleave type teams, and thus you will likely lose. This comp ‘s main weakness overall is that all 3 of your players are very easy to kill, so if you don’t manage to get a surprise kill in the opener — which isn’t too difficult, granted — you’re in trouble.

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