How to Play DPS in Dragonflight

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

The DPS role is the most sought-after role in World of Warcraft Dragonflight. To be fair, it has been that way since vanilla WoW, and it will continue to be that way until the franchise hangs up the gloves.

DPS roles are just heavily needed in the way the game is designed. You want multiple DPS, along with a few tanks and healers, to complete dungeons, raids, and even PvP.

Since there will be a lot of you who will be playing different DPS classes, it will be hard to have a complete guide on how to play DPS in Dragonflight.

So, this guide will focus mainly on showing you tips and tricks on how to be a successful DPS using any class.

These tips will involve things like understanding what the role of a DPS does, preparing for content, and general rules you need to follow.

All of these will help increase your DPS and become more successful with whatever content you are finishing.

What is the Role of a DPS?

DPS stands for “damage per second,” which is a bit weird to name a role out of a phrase that calculates damage, but here we are.

The DPS’s role is to be the main source of damage in a group or if you are playing solo, your class, build, or specialization focuses on dealing damage.

Since this is a general guide, we won’t be diving that much into the details of how each class and specialization can deal maximum damage.

Instead, we will help you be a better DPS player and become more successful at the role itself. Maybe you can even parse above the 95 percentile on heroic or mythic difficulty raids after reading and practicing everything in this guide and combining it with a few specific class guides.

Here are some of our DPS class guides you can check out.

Other than dealing damage, you need to understand what kind of content you are running and what kind of team composition you have in running that same content.

For example, you are going into a dungeon as a fire mage. Your weaknesses among other DPS classes are your long interrupt cooldowns, average 2-3 mob pull damage, and low mobility on fights that require a lot of mobility.

Your strength is bringing Heroism or Bloodlust, a mage buff, insane single target damage, and insane 5+ mob pull damage.

Obviously, with some class patches, it could all change, but the fact is you need to know all of this information.

If you see your group is lacking in some areas, you can try to form a group that can help cover your weaknesses or be aware of what you need and try to compensate.

Get a healer who can constantly interrupt to help. Get a tank with decent AoE dps. Get another DPS with good 2-3 targets damage output.

As for the mechanics, it is different with each fight. Special mechanics like bringing the eggs to the back (Artificer Xy’mox), doing belts in the Siegecrafter Blackfuse fight, or being a runner in the G’huun fight are usually done by the DPS role.

If your group is lacking damage for the fight, you can even have a healer do some of the mechanics.

Every unique mechanic makes each fight different, which means that each role can be different as well.

General Rules for DPS Roles

Don’t pull mobs

As a DPS, you want to leave the pulling to the tanks unless told otherwise. All tanks have a ranged skill that can pull enemies from a distance, and they can even use their taunt skill as a pull.

In some occasions, there are ‘acceptable’ scenarios where a DPS pulling a ton of mobs can be justifiable.

For example, if the DPS wants to pull a big pack because he or she wants to use DPS cooldowns and burn them down quickly, you can make sure the tank and healer are ready for it as well.

Again, this is much easier with communication, such as the in-game voice chat or Discord.

Interrupt enemies

As a DPS, you want to focus on interrupting hard-hitting or crown-control abilities from enemies.

In dungeons and raids, these are more prevalent, but you can usually read these in the in-game dungeon/raid adventure guides.

However, when you are solo leveling, like doing quests or fighting elite mobs, you can apply the same rule.

Follow mechanics and calls

If a fight calls for focusing adds, you focus the adds. If a fight calls for ignoring the adds, you ignore the adds and focus on the boss.

An "add" means that there is an additional mob that is being added to the fight with you

These are usually called for by the raid leader, and it is meant for all the DPS in the group.

There are also mechanics where you need to move around and do something instead of doing DPS. You have to do these for the sake of finishing the fight.

However, the mechanic that can be specific to the DPS is pushing through phases.

For example, in the Sire Denathrius fight (Castle Nathria’s last boss), the first phase is actually a DPS-check, where you need to push to the second phase before you run out of space in the arena.

A "DPS-check" means that it is a fight that calls extensively for the dps to do more to either finish the fight or phase, or else a mechanic will trigger and wipe the group.

This means that you need the DPS to push through the phase fast by maximizing damage as efficiently as possible.

Avoid bursting mobs that aren’t focused by the tank at the start

When you are doing a lot of damage, and the tank can’t keep up, you might end up getting the aggro of one of the mobs.

This rarely happens, but when a DPS pops his cooldown on a mob pull, you will see it happen. You need to wait for a little while before the tank can build up some AoE aggro on a big pull before popping off.

Tips & Tricks for All DPS Roles

Maximize cooldowns

All DPS classes have “DPS” cooldowns, where they have an insane burst of damage for a short period of time during a fight. The burst damage output and duration can be different for each class, but here are the tips you should know.

Always think ahead of what is about to come. Raids and dungeons are mostly the same every time.

Once you pick up on the timings, you will know how long it gets from fight A to fight B – all the way to fight Z.

During all those fights, you want to maximize your DPS cooldowns to as many uses as you can.

Most players just use their cooldowns on boss fights in M+ dungeons. If you can use a DPS cooldown on a mob pull and have it ready for the next boss, even if you are going to use it towards the end of the boss fight, it will be more efficient than just using it on just every boss fight.

To put it into perspective, let’s say that you are doing a 30-minute dungeon with 4 bosses. If you use your cooldown on every boss, you will only use it 4 times.

If your DPS cooldown is at every 3 minutes, you can use it 9 to 10 times. Just following this tip can carry you to M+10 dungeons every week.

Obviously, using your cooldowns efficiently 9 to 10 times is the best-case scenario because you will likely be holding your cooldowns for specific parts of the run.

For raid bosses, you can use the same logic. However, you usually want to use cooldowns at parts where you need to do burst damage.

Without any mechanics to look out for, you want to pair your cooldown on Heroism and Bloodlust. Otherwise, most raid fight bosses will be different each time so we won’t cover that part extensively.

Always bring potions

As a DPS, you want to bring 3 types of potions all the time.

  • Healing potion
  • DPS potion
  • Utility potion (movement and invisibility)

Healing potions are a must-have for almost every situation – leveling, questing, dungeons, and raids. In group settings, it helps the healers a lot by just using them at crucial moments in the fight.

DPS potions amplify your damage for a short period of time. It might be minimal, but it actually matters a lot on raid progressions or pushing for high M+ dungeon keys.

You use these DPS potions when you are about to use your DPS cooldown. Since most DPS potions increase your primary stat for a short period of time, the boost you will receive while doing your quick DPS burst will be more significant.

There are other DPS potions that can be used, but it differs per expansion or update.

For utility potions, invisibility potions will help you skip mobs because not all classes have invisibility.

Movement potions are just good overall, so you can kite and survive when you get aggro or when you are leveling.

Macro trinkets to DPS cooldowns

There are DPS trinkets you might get that are activatable or usable. Since trinkets aren’t on GCD, you can make a macro that activates your trinkets and DPS cooldowns at the same time.

GCD or global cooldown means that using any skill or item that has a GCD will trigger a short cooldown before you can use another skill or item. The length of a GCD is 1.5s, and it becomes shorter with more haste stats. 

It helps a lot if you are trying to save space on your hotbar or trying to min-max DPS.

If you have two DPS trinkets, it will be more useful as you can actually use 2 trinkets and ability in just one button.

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