Class Representation in MoP

Posted: by Arth

I talked about class representation recently on the Hunting Party Podcast, and I wanted to put some of the numbers up here on the WHU as well.

Basically, with the changes to the class (and others), I wanted to see how we’re doing.  Are we being left out of high-level raids?  Did the changes to minimum range affect our PvP viability?  These questions and more.

In a nutshell, everything is fine.  Hunters are well-represented in some areas, middle of the road or slightly below average in others.  So there’s no cause for alarm.  But let’s take a look at the specifics.  Most of this data was taken from World of Wargraphs, while some anecdotes were pulled from WoW Insider posts that datamined this information.


Here’s the list (level 90 only):

  • Paladins – 11.8%
  • Hunters – 11.3
  • Druids – 10.7
  • Death Knights – 10.4
  • Warriors – 9.8
  • Priests – 9.7
  • Mages – 9.2
  • Shamans – 8.2
  • Warlocks – 7.4
  • Rogues – 6.0
  • Monks – 5.6

We can see from this that hunters are very well-represented at level 90.  This doesn’t differentiate between PvE, PvP, gear, etc.  It includes all level 90s and paladins followed by hunters is a pretty historically consistent representation.  We’ve been a historically popular spec, and that shows no signs of stopping.

The big change between Cataclysm and MoP was with Rogues, who experienced a big drop in numbers.  A popular theory for this is the rise of Arms Warriors in PvP.  Rogues have traditionally been a strong PvP class with many PvPers choosing to play Rogue.  The theory is that they’re following the trends, and going with the stronger class at the moment.

Interestingly, we’re one of only three classes that have a higher percentage of representation than we did at this point in Cataclysm (we would expect most to go down slightly because of the introduction of Monks).  The other two are Warlocks and Warriors.


Let me say first that total raiders (i.e. those with ANY boss kill) are pretty predictable.  There’s no big outliers, and the percentages tend to loosely follow the overall numbers above.  But the worry isn’t being left out of casual raids, but progression raiding.  As such, this list is raiders who have downed two or more heroic level bosses.  This will give us an idea of what the top players are gravitating toward.

The top spec for each class is included in brackets:

  • Priests – 12.1% (Shadow, #1 overall)
  • Paladins – 12.0 (Holy, though more than any class, Pallys have very equal distribution of all three specs)
  • Druids – 11.6 (Restoration)
  • Shamans – 10.3 (Elemental, #2 overall)
  • Mages – 8.7 (Arcane)
  • Warriors – 8.7 (Fury)
  • Death Knights – 8.6 (Blood)
  • Hunters – 8.1 (Beastmastery)
  • Warlocks – 7.7 (Affliction)
  • Rogues – 6.1 (Assassination)
  • Monks – 6.0 (Windwalker)

Relative to their overall numbers, the top performers seem to be Priests and Shamans.  No single class can say they’re in dire need of more representation (given total # of 90s for each class).  Hunters can’t really complain, but I’d also expect our numbers to be higher given the fact that we’re the “bring ALL the buffs” class.  It’s hard to justify this as proof that we need a buff, but given what we know about class dps at the moment, I think it’s safe to say a small bump couldn’t hurt us.

BM and SV are near each other in distribution.  MM is the lowest single spec of any class, with almost no representation whatsoever (0.1%)


There’s good and bad news here.  The bad is that our total representation is fairly low.  The good is that hunters are in a LOT of the top 3v3 comps in arena, which we wouldn’t expect given our total percentage.  Meaning, we have great synergy with certain other classes/specs, but might lag a little behind overall.

Only includes players with 2200 arena rating or higher:

  • Warriors – 15.4% (Arms, easily the #1 spec overall)
  • Paladin – 11.7 (Holy)
  • Druids – 11.7 (Restoration)
  • Mages – 10.1 (Frost)
  • Priests – 9.7 (Shadow)
  • Shamans – 9.7 (Restoration)
  • Death Knights – 9.5 (Frost)
  • Warlocks – 7.7 (Destruction)
  • Hunters – 7.2 (Beastmastery)
  • Rogues – 4.8 (Subtlety)
  • Monks – 2.7 (Windwalker)

The big winner here is Warriors.  They’re everywhere in top arena comps.  However, the #1 3v3 comp is Arms/Holy Pally/BM Hunter, and the gap between it and the #2 comp isn’t even close (it’s seriously absurd…if anyone knows why this comp is so damn effective, let me know in the comments).  So Hunters have something going for them.  But it looks like, overall, we’re not well-represented, which means in a “random” comp we’re not going to be as effective as many classes.  This is driven home when our presence in the top comps at 3v3 completely disappears when you look at 2v2 and 5v5.

The hidden winners are Holy Paladins and Restoration Shamans.  The overall numbers don’t show it, because arena numbers are heavily biased toward 3v3, but in 2v2, the BIG winners are Holy Pally and Resto Shaman.

The big losers are Rogues, a traditionally strong PvP class, and Monks, who have a horribly low percentage even given their relatively low overall numbers.


  • Hunters are doing ok, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for small buffs to both PvE and PvP (based solely on representation numbers).
  • BM Hunters have amazing synergy with particular 3v3 arena comps.  Especially, but not limited to, Arms Warrior/Holy Paladin/BM Hunter in 3v3.
  • Shadow Priests have not had a “bad” tier or expansion that I can remember (dating back to the beginning of Wrath).  I love my hunter, and I know you all do too, but I really believe S-Priests have had less “bad times” to deal with historically than literally any other spec.  Lucky bastards.
  • If you’re an Arms Warrior in PvP, expect a nerf bat.  I don’t read up on other classes to know whether or not it’s coming in 5.2, but their utter domination of the top arena comps is probably going to take a hit at some point in the near future.  The same might be said of Holy Paladins and Resto Shamans, whose dominance in 2v2 dwarfs even Arms in 3v3.
  • We remain one of the most popular classes overall.  Which makes sense; we’re awesome!
Facebook Twitter Snailmail
  1. bahzob says:

    Blizzard screwed up PVP big time in MOP. The 2 most fundamental issues are:
    – non DRing CC especially stuns
    – Burst DPS outpacing healing

    Arms warriors had the benefit of both. Shockwave is an utterly stupid ability that does an AOE 4sec stun + big damage on a 20s cd. To add insult to injury they also have a stun charge that does not DR with this.

    On top of that they have some massive stacking dps cds. So all they need to do is force trinket,, stun target, pop cds and win. (They are also unkillable, forget all the benefits we got from dropping aspect of the fox, warrior can play in def stance all the time without noticeable DPS loss + get ridiculous self heals if health drops below 30%)

    Thats basically why KFC is such a winning comp. Hunters have 2 tricks
    – probably the best solo cc chain in the game thanks to Readiness
    – massive burst on demand

    So they work very well with warrior, you only need to cc healer for a short while and pop CDs with warriors to score. But games are not exactly fun. If they are honest everyone involved knows they are winning because the game is screwed up not because they are playing better.

    The best PVP hunters acknowledge this and hope against hope that MM will match BM again.

    FWIW warriors are getting some nerfs in 5.2 shockwave is on longer cd and OMG they may need to change out of def stance to do some DSP but its too little too late.

    It just sucks.

    • Arth says:

      Too little too late is a relative term. It’s too late for the current arena season and/or tier of gear. But may help balance things moving forward. Giant swings aren’t favorable – Blizzard doesn’t want to suddenly push Arms well below average – but if the percentages clump together a bit more, they’ll be on the right track.

      If it’s any consolation, usually runs as the undisputed top spec are short-lived, in either PvE or PvP. Blizzard tends to target the top 2-3 at either end and bring them closer to the middle.

      The Arms/Holy/BM comp isn’t the only 3’s comp where hunters seem to excel, though, so I think the positive is that hunters do have a way to the “top” so to speak.

      Representation numbers don’t get into the “why” of the numbers, so it’s hard say this is proof of needed buffs/nerfs. More data is needed to justify it. But it’s also not an outlandish assumption, especially given the ubiquity of a spec like Arms in PvP. So we’re in agreement there.

  2. Shae says:

    Eerie. I was looking at those numbers just a few weeks ago for response to a forum post. Apparently my post has now been peer reviewed. :P

  3. Linken Lam says:

    I agree with the fact that hunters have it pretty good in PvP. It might be hard if you can’t find a good comp to play but if you have a warrior and a holy pally, you’re pretty much set. KFC is so good because of how strong the opener is. Even without popping cds, it’s very easy to catch a healer unaware and drop one of the DPS really low at the start, forcing defensive cds/trinket. I’ve played 2s matches with my warrior where he has globaled DPS by himself while I cc the healer. Some matches, he just globals even if the healer isn’t cced! It’s much harder in 3s but it means that after forcing the healer’s trinket (and their bubble if it’s a hpally), we can often get the kill very quickly just by popping cds. Other viable comps as a hunter include playing with a spriest or a dk, though it still won’t be as good as KFC.

  4. starzein says:

    Interesting that in the most represented classes only one pure, hunters makes the top 50% given we are not the top dps class atm it shows players stick with fun rather than just go for the recount topping fotm .
    Not so with rogues though they stop being on top with no legendaries and people stop playing the class.

  5. Wotfan2 says:

    Another thought on the matter about the hunters numbers in PVP, how long has it been since we felt any love in that arena? I know I tried PVP several times before MOP and not once did I feel like it was a viable alternative to PVE. So currently I have not tried it again, bt I am slowly gathering gear to make a run, maybe others are also putting their toes back in the fire.