Best raid composition for 10 man progression
So what would be the best 10 man raid team come WotLK? I realize the new skills are in alpha, but assuming basic class roles don’t change, what is the best way to go? I’ve seen discussions over 25 man setups, but never one about 10 man raids…with 10 mans getting full progression in the expansion, I thought this merits some discussion. My guild has had issues getting 25 mans going (getting 25 people together is hard enough, much less 25 who are dedicated and know how to play), and will likely focus on 10 mans, so I was thinking we might do some re-rolling before the expansion hits.
A simple way to go might be just 1 of each class. However, this limits stacking buffs from some classes…there are certain things I see that are talked about as critical for 25 man raids (in the consolidating raid utility thread), such as 3 pally buffs, 2 warlocks (though is only 1 critical now with the change to the debuff curse?), multiple shaman, etc. Even if you do one of each class, what specs/roles for each class?
Clearly some 10 man setups will be better for certain bosses (this is true for 25 mans as well), but I’m looking for something that would be more general…like if you were going to get 10 people together all in lvl 70 blues to start in kara with an aim to finish ZA with the same group, what classes would you take? How much changes when you can’t rely on being fully buffed? Are rogues/warlocks still top DPS without full buffs/class synergies? It seems to me in a 10 man hybrids become far more valuable, especially if you are sticking with the same 10 people (no benching the rogue for another healer), as they can fill another role with a respec or even fill 2 roles in the same fight.
My gut feeling:
At least 1 pally. Salv for dps, wisdom for healers, kings for tanks, seems too good to pass up. But as healer or tank? Probably not viable as MT for progression, and as offtank not a very good healer when only 1 tank needed. So holy? Added benefit of not wasting drops (healing plate)
Priest. Fort buff is huge for progression, and solid healing (don’t think a spriest is worth it?)
That’s 2 healers…take 3? From what I understand, new talents should make elemental shammys and boomkin capable healers, but is their dps in a 10 man worth considering?
So for tanks…warrior MT and DK offtank? I would be very surprised if encounters didn’t take advantage of the new DK abilities, so having one in the raid is a must. Is there good reason for any class but warrior for MT? Not that other classes can’t do it, but warrior is best for progression…I think? Or pally offtank, which gives 2 pally buffs, or 1 pally buff and swap out pally healer for another class.
Mage I would think for CC (and everyone loves tables)
Warlock for more CCand debuffs (how useful are his debuffs with smaller raid sizes?)
Hunter (tranquil shot will no doubt be needed somewhere, I know we have never downed Lynx without it in ZA)
Leaving 2 more dps slots. I love my rogue, but I just feel that it’s not optimal…other than DPS rogues bring very little to the raid…maybe bring an enhancement shammy to boost dps? Maybe have the melee group as warrior tank, DK off tank/DPS, enhancement shammy, rogue, hunter…then healing group as paladin, priest, mage, warlock, elemental shaman (off healer).
That leaves out druids, and BR can be a lifesaver in raids…feral druid instead of rogue?
I’m sure there is no best setup, but I’m interested to see what people come up with, and which group buffs/synergies are seen as most powerful/necessary for 10 man progression raiding.
In WotLK if having lightening fast 10m progression is the goal it may be better to create a raid based on itemization instead of exact class roles. Especially if all cloth wearers are going to have a reasonable claim on all cloth items.
- DPS (physical)
- DPS (physical)
- DPS (magic) / Healing
- DPS (physical)
- DPS (magic) / Healing
- DPS (magic) / Healing
If you had 9 other players who would be experts at what ever class you choose for them, you'd want as little overlap as possible.
I want to say there's a saying in military circles: "Plan for the next war, and not to re-fight the last war." So we could speculate, but it'd all be based on BC boss encounters... which doesn't really tell us a whole lot about Wrath boss encounters.
Also, one of the things I like about 10s that's fundamentally different from 25s is that, generally speaking, in 10s, you're always lacking something that you probably have in 25s. In 25s, I want to say it's fairly rare that you're missing some buff/debuff, whereas in 10s, I feel like it's all about the tradeoffs.
Personally, I feel that stacking a class is generally weaker than class diversity, but I don't have any hard data to point at, so that's a mostly worthless anecdote. :)
I'm also looking forward to only doing 10s content, and my assumption is that the ideal setup would be
1 OT/DPS hybrid
1 healer/dps hybrid
2 melee dps
3 ranged dps.
Offhand, that's 4 classes for 2 tanking slots, 4 for 3 healer slots, 4 for 2 melee slots, and a million billion for 3 ranged slots. So I think it's more a question of, "what is your group used to?" and perhaps "what would individuals like to do?". I assume Blizzard will imperfectly balance things, but we won't know that until we try raiding.
You're going to need 2 tanks. I would make sure 1 of them was a paladin to simplify add fights, since you can probably expect a couple during 10 man progression. This also ensures at least 1 blessing for the raid. The second tank could probably be any one of the other 3 tank classes. Druids would provide BR, Innervate, and dps during single tank encounters, while warriors might be more suited to main tanking difficult bosses. It's impossible to say what the death knight's advantages will be, but supposedly they will be the magic damage tanks. Which all brings me back to the original point: any 1 of those 3 will have strengths and weaknesses, and would probably be a fine partner for the pally. One other point that may favor a druid is that they won't share gear with any of the other tanks (which may be scarce, depending on exactly how itemization and gear homogenization pan out).
If you're going with 3 healers I would ensure that one is a shaman for totems. A second paladin for another blessing and single target healing would probably be a good idea. I would make the third a druid if you bring a shadow priest for dps, or a priest if not.
For dps you definitely want a hunter, if for no other reason than to shard fewer mail armor drops. I would also favor a rogue for single target dps, interrupts, and stuns, mages for aoe, sheep, and spellsteal, and warlocks for imp, healthstones, soulstones, and summoning. That leaves 1 dps spot for a shadow priest or plate dps. If you have no healing priest I'd say bring a shadow priest, or a dps warrior or death knight if you do have a healing priest.
In the end, my raid would probably look like this:
This gives you 3 plate classes, 2 mail classes, 2 leather classes, and 3 cloth classes. You also get MotW, Fortitude, 2 blessings, and totems.
One of every class.
Warrior - Protection
Druid - Restoration
Paladin - Protection
Death Knight - DPS
Mage - DPS
Warlock - DPS
Shaman - Elemental or Enhancement
Rogue - DPS
Hunter - DPS
Priest - Holy / Disc
You get 2.5 Tanks (Prot Paladin, Prot Warrior, DK Tank), 2.5 Healers (Resto Druid, Holy Priest, EleShm / Boomkin) and 5.5 DPS (counting the EleShm / Boomkin).
Optimized, you have One Single Target Tank, the best AoE Tank, and a spell casting tank (that either could respecc for fights or tank anyways depending on the base spellcasting tank ability of the DK). You have two dedicated healers (and Resto Druids could theoretically Lifebloom half the raid), and the ability for the hybrid class to offheal if more healing is needed. You also have the most DPS potential by having 5 Dedicated DPS, and two potential DPS if not needed for off tanking or healing.
And CC wise, you have all CC options available.
What I would like see happen is maybe something like
Feral Druid (MT)
Arms/Fury Warrior (DPS)
Enh Shaman (DPS)
Shadow Priest (DPS)
Resto Shaman (Heals)
Holy Paladin (Heals)
You get 2 heroisms, chain heal, pretty balanced synergies for melee/caster groups, battle rez, AOE tank (holy paladins with tank gear should be able to tank most aoe encounters - at least in tbc), pretty much all the buffs you'd need (motw, fort, shadow prot, AI, pally buffs)
The only weakness is your feral druid is MT so you don't get shield wall et al, but you could easily respec your dps warrior to prot for certain encounters if its viable.
Shrug, looks like a good set up for me.
It seems to me like you basically just need a good variety of classes, and to ensure that you have 2 tanks, 3 healers, and 5 dps.
You can narrow it down a little now, but ultimately we'll need to see how each stacks up once the expansion is finalized.
When my guild was running Karazhan, waiting on other guildies to level and key themselves, I noticed that between a mage, shadow priest, and warlock, there was too much fighting over DPS caster loot. WotLK might fix that with caster/healer homogenization, but if not, I'd probably count on the Priest being Holy just to make sure everyone gears up fastest.
Stacking melee with the shaman seems best, as Death Knights will probably be as Windfury dependent as anyone else. Feral Druid can go DPS on low-healing fights, and Prot paladin can heal on high-healing, one-tank fights. 2-tank fights with high healing requirements could see the Warrior strap on some tanking gear.
Regardless, I doubt we'll see too many responses saying to skip one class. We're all hoping the classes are balanced and useful. Players would be right pissed at Blizzard if their class was so bad that they couldn't justify a slot in a 10-man.
Here's my take:
Prot Pally (tank)
Enhance Shaman (DPS)
Arms/fury war (DPS)
Balance Druid (DPS)
Resto Shaman (Heals)
Holy Priest (Heals)
I'm expecting there to be at least two or three setups within a few percent of each other, depending on encounter demands and scaling, with each class appearing at least once and preferably twice among them, plus a few single-class swaps of those being within a few more percent. Thematically, they're mostly going to break down by whether you have a tank/melee group and a caster/healer group, or a tank/healer(+warlock) group and a homogenous DPS group. Also, if the encounters are varied enough, expect hybridity to be a big bonus. Feral druids and prot paladins will be the offtanks of choice, most likely.
EDIT: Although a caster/healer+pally tank group with a DPS+offtank group might be an interesting raid.
I think we need to wait for paladin talents (and I guess hunter), and the rest of the new skills, to come out before we can get more definitive than that, and waiting for the talents to settle wouldn't hurt.
I think for WOLK you're going to want a Death Knight, Paladin, and Priest in an optimal setup (at least for the first few months). The Death Knight is their new toy for the expansion, so I expect it to be somewhat overpowered for a while and for Blizzard to put in fight mechanics that use Death Knight abilities. Because the expansion is undead-themed and Naxx-10 is the first dungeon, I'd expect lots of undead mobs, which are vulnerable to priest and paladins special abilities. I certainly wouldn't be suprised if holy damage ends up being really handy somewhere too.
A lot our bear runs have featured the protadin in the healer group and the feral OT in a stacked melee group. This is a melee-stacked format and works well in ZA where only the eagle boss penalizes melee stacking at all (and even then not too badly). Alternately, as Garak mentions, you can stack ranged with a healers-and-tanks group and then a stacked ranged group.
The strongest for 10 people to complete the entire game is probably one of each class, since that gives you access to absolutely anything you might need. Respeccing is easy, so while you can pick a "main" spec for everyone to gear up first, you'll quickly acquire alternate gear sets which will allow you to go to four healers when that's favoured, 3 tanks when that's favoured, 2 healers-1 tank-7 DPS when that's the best setup, and so on. One of each class simply grants the most flexibility, since if you completely lack any class and an encounter crops up that's is made considerably easier by a class-specific ability (I know Blizz will try to avoid this but there will undoubtedly be something like Dragonhawk - very possible without a protadin, but simpler with one), you may face the prospect of having to do it the hard way.
Of course, we have to wait for more leaks from alpha to really determine anything. Blizzard will probably try to make it so that a diverse setup of classes will be able to finish it.
Not specific to group composition, but more of a "guild composition" thing, hopefully still relevant to the discussion...
For a 10-man guild that wants to be out near the front of the progression curve, I'm thinking that there is going to be elevated value to having hybrids that really know how to raid well in any of their potential specs. Obviously this is already true to some extent for 25-man guilds but it seems like it's just going to be amplified when you have a lot fewer total people to work with.
In a 25-man you can afford to have full time prot/holy/ret paladins (for example), but let's say you have 4 paladins total on your raiding team right now. If you scale that down, you're looking at 2 paladins on your raiding team. There's great value then in being able to pick which 2 paladin specs would be most valuable that night and not having to worry about them performing poorly. They both should have experience raiding in all 3 specs. The gear/stat homogenization should make it easier to keep their gear up to date as well.
On a related note, assuming all your members attend regularly, how many people do you think it's reasonable to include on your core team? 12-ish? If so, I think Anedris has a point that having at least 1 of every class makes sense and then for your remaining 2-3 spots do you just add the classes that have the most potential stacking benefit?
Well, the DK and possibly the war can offtank in my comp if necessary.
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