One ‘new’ WoW Dragonflight spec is still the game’s most popular option in Mythic+ season 2
The meta is consistently developing, but one spec remains ever-present.
Dragonflight is one of WoW’s fastest-evolving expansions ever. Image via Blizzard Entertainment
The second season of WoW Dragonflight is well underway, and with enough of a sample size to determine how the season’s meta is unfolding, it’s clear the Dragonflight season two landscape is starting to look a bit different than that of season one—especially in the DPS department.
Six weeks through season two, it’s clear the most popular spec in Mythic+ dungeon runs is the fresh and newly reworked version of Retribution Paladin. And it’s not even close.
Retribution Paladin is the most-played spec this season in the game among all roles—DPS, Tank, and Healer—but when the data is specifically looked at with only DPS, it’s a clear frontrunner. This season, 157,000 Retribution Paladins have been present in Mythic+ runs so far, according to WoW stats site Raider.io. That translates to over 10 percent of the game’s population, meaning that one in every 10 Mythic+ runs in Dragonflight season two have featured a Retribution Paladin.
The spec was reworked extensively in Patch 10.0.5, and as a result of that rework, it shot up the charts. In terms of both overall power and relative popularity, Retribution Paladin became an unlikely favorite among the WoW player base thanks to the changes it received earlier this year.
Related: Mythic+ dungeon runs are down in WoW Dragonflight season 2—and players think they know why
The next-most-popular DPS spec after Retribution Paladin is Shadow Priest, which has a lot more of a presence among the game’s top players. While Retribution Paladin is more accessible and ___ for the general player base, Shadow Priest—which has a presence rate of 7.7 percent, according to Raider.io—is more popular among the game’s highest keypushers. In fact, a Shadow Priest has been featured in 99 of the top 100 keys pushed so far this season, while Retribution Paladins were only used in 11 such runs.
Ret Paladins are expected to receive another round of changes with the launch of Dragonflight Patch 10.1.5, including nerfs to their mana regeneration, but a buff to all ability damage. Patch 10.1.5 will launch on July 11.
About the author
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike’s been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.