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World of Warcraft: Classic Class Picking Guide for WoW Classic

Greetings, travelers! With WoW Classic being right around the corner, we continue to talk about different game aspects. Our main topic for today is the first fateful decision you will make on your WoW journey – picking a class for your character. This article will help you learn all the available classes for different races, their roles in WoW Classic, and then to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Early Character Creation

Due to players concerns about character names, Blizzard decided to open a Character Creation for WoW Classic two weeks before the game release. If you have an active subscription during this window, you will be able to create and customize three characters per World of Warcraft account. Character creation will start on Tuesday, August 13. This worldwide Classic release schedule shows the local time, but instead of August 26/27th, it will be August 12/13th respectively for a character creation window.

WoW Classic release time

Choose Your Faction

The first decision you will have to make is what faction you want to play. Do you want to join the barbaric Horde, looking for its place in this world? Or do you want to fight in the ranks of the Alliance military machine?

Horde

wow classic horde

With the help of the Tauren, both the orcs led by Warchief Thrall, who has made lasting bonds with the Tauren chief Cairne Bloodhoof, and the troll tribes led by Shadowhunter Vol’jin, have established in Kalimdor. Later on, the Forsaken have chosen to join the Horde. The members of the Horde value honor above all else.

Available Races

  • The Orcs. Led by Warchief Thrall, they are attempting to embrace their once honorable ways and control the corruption of demonic magic. Capital is Orgrimmar in Durotar.

Racials:
Blood Fury: Instant. Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 Seconds and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 Seconds.

Hardiness: Passive. Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%.

Command: Passive. Damage dealt by Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5%.

Axe Specialization: Passive. Skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 5.

  • The Trolls. Led by Shadowhunter Vol’jin, they share capital with the orcs in Orgrimmar. Trolls are indebted to the orcs for saving their tribe and giving them a home.

Racials:

Regeneration: Passive. Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.

Beast Slaying: Passive. Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.

Berserking: Instant, 3 Minute Cooldown. Increases your attack speed by 10 to 30%. At full health, the speed increase is 10 to 30% with a greater effect up to 10 to 30% if you are badly hurt when you activate Berserking. Lasts 10 Seconds.

Bow Specialization: Passive. Skill with Bow Weapons increased by 5.

Throwing Specialization: Passive. Skill with Throwing Weapons increased by 5.

  • The Tauren. Led by Grand Chief Cairne Bloodhoof, they are a noble race who offered spiritual guidance to the orcs in exchange for the military aid. Capital is Thunder Bluff in Mulgore.

Racials:

Cultivation: Passive. Herbalism skill increased by 15.

Endurance: Passive. Total Health increased by 5%.

Nature Resistance: Passive. Nature Resistance increased by 10.

War Stomp: Active, has 2 Minute Cooldown. Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 Seconds.

  • The Undead. Led by Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, a group of undead released from the control of the Lich King, who have chosen due to their lack of other options to affiliate with the horde. Capital is the Undercity in Tirisfal Glades.

Racials:

Cannibalize: Instant, has 2 Minute Cooldown. When activated, regenerates 7% of total health every 2 Seconds for 10 Seconds. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yards. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect.

Shadow Resistance: Passive. Shadow Resistance increased by 10.

Underwater Breathing: Passive. Underwater breath lasts 300% longer than normal.

Will of the Forsaken: Instant, has 2 Minute Cooldown. Provides immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep while active. May also be used while already afflicted by Charm, Fear or Sleep. Lasts 5 Seconds.

Best Class/Race Combinations

Class/Race combinations for the Horde are the following (Shaman is the Horde unique class in WoW Classic):

 

Druid Hunter Mage Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Orc X X X X X
Tauren X X X X
Troll X X X X X X
Undead X X X X X

Druid – Tauren are the only option.

Hunter – Trolls in PvE due to Berserking and Bow Specialization. Orcs are preferred in PvP due to Hardiness.

Mage – Troll in PvE due to the very strong Berserking DPS cooldown. Undead in PvP due to Will of the Forsaken.

Priest – Troll in PvE due to the powerful Berserking cooldown which increases cast speed. Undead in PvP due to Will of the Forsaken.

Rogue – Orcs are the best race for Rogues due to the DPS cooldown Blood Fury, followed by Trolls which also have the strong DPS racial Berserking and situational PvE racial Beast Slaying. Undead in PvP due to Will of the Forsaken.

Shaman – Trolls are preferable for healers and ranged DPS as Berserking increases cast and attack speed. for Melee, Orcs are preferable for the Blood Fury cooldown.

Warlock – Both Orc and Forsaken have strong PvP racials. The Orc racial Command also has its use in solo and dungeon situations where you do not need to sacrifice your pet.

Warriors – Each race shines in different situations. Orcs are great DPS warriors due to Blood Fury and Axe Specialization. Taurens have the powerful AoE stun via War Stomp, which is useful in dungeons. Trolls, due to the synergy of Berserking with Heroic Strike allowing efficient rage to threat conversion, are solid tanks in the end game. Undead are very strong in PvP due to Will of the Forsaken.

 

Alliance

classic wow alliance

Modern Alliance is the successor to the Alliance of Lordaeron, which was created at the behest of King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron and Lord Anduin Lothar of the kingdom of Stormwind following the First War. Five years after the reckoning, human, dwarf, gnome and high elf races allied to fight off the orcish Horde together.

Available Races

  • The Humans of Stormwind. Led by the child king Anduin Wrynn with Highlord Bolvar Fordragon serving as regent, they survived an invasion by the savage orcs during the First War. Noble humans of Stormwind are a proud and tenacious race who bravely fought the orcish Horde for generations as the patrons of the Grand Alliance. Capital is Stormwind in Elwynn Forest.

Racials:

Diplomacy: Passive. Reputation gains increased by 10%.

Perception: Instant, has 3 Minute Cooldown. Dramatically increases stealth detection for 20 Seconds.

The Human Spirit: Passive. Spirit increased by 5%.

Mace Specialization: Passive. Skill with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 5.

Sword Specialization: Passive. Skill with Swords and Two-Handed Swords increased by 5.

 

  • The Night Elves. Led by High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, alongside Fandral Staghelm, who fights for power over Tyrande. The night elves, or Kaldorei, which means «Children of the Stars» are among the oldest known races in Azeroth. Capital is Darnassus, on the new World Tree of Teldrassil in northern Kalimdor.

 

Racials:

Nature Resistance: Passive. Nature Resistance increased by 10.

Wisp Spirit: Passive. Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing movement speed by 50%.

Quickness: Passive. Dodge chance increased by 1%.

Shadowmeld: Instant, has 10 Second Cooldown. Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until canceled or upon moving. Night Elf Rogues and Druids with Shadowmeld are more difficult to detect while in stealth or prowling.

 

  • The Dwarves of Khaz Modan. Led by King Magni Bronzebeard. Dwarves derive from the earthen, a humanoid race created by the Titans in order to help shape Azeroth after the Titans were gone. Dwarves like drinking, mining and finding treasures, and when the situation calls for it, they rise up to defend their friends and allies with unmatched courage and valor. Capital is Ironforge in Dun Morogh.

 

Racials:

Find Treasure: Active. Allows the dwarf to sense nearby treasure, making it appear on the minimap. Lasts until canceled.

Frost Resistance: Passive. Frost resistance increased by 10.

Gun Specialization: Passive. Guns skill increased by 5.

Stoneform: Instant, has 3 Minute Cooldown. While active, grants immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increased by 10%. Lasts 8 Seconds.

 

  • The Gnomes of Gnomeregan. Led by High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, ingenious gnomes are masters of technology, famous for their machines and vehicles. Great mechanics and inventors, former denizens of Gnomeregan now live with the Ironforge dwarves who took them in after the fall of Gnomeregan.

 

Racials:

Arcane Resistance: Passive. Arcane Resistance increased by 10.

Engineering Specialization: Passive. Engineering skill increased by 15.

Escape Artist: Active, has 1 Minute Cooldown. Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.

Expansive Mind: Passive. Intelligence increased by 5%.

 

Best Class/Race Combinations

Class/Race combinations for the Alliance are the following (Paladin is the Alliance unique class in WoW Classic):

Druid Hunter Mage Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Dwarf X X X X X
Gnome X X X X
Human X X X X X X
Night Elf X X X X X

Druid – Night Elves are the only option.

Hunter – Night Elves are preferred for their higher base agility.

Mage – Human and Gnome are both strong.

Paladin – Human is preferable, especially for Protection and Retribution.

Priest – Human is strong due to The Human Spirit, Dwarves are strong due to Fear Ward.

Rogue – Human is best due to Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization.

Warlock – Gnomes are strong due to Expansive Mind.

Warriors – Humans are best due to the Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization racials.

 

Class Overviews

Now that you have picked a side, let’s get into more details about each class and learn their roles in the game and discuss their pros and cons.

wow classic races & classes

Warrior

Leveling: Prepare yourself for the life of misery. There is just no other way around it. Try to fight multiple enemies at once and you are dead. You will have to bandage/eat after a few mobs, so you should find a mage friend to create some food and tip him with some silver, it is going to be cheaper than buying food. Your damage and survivability are both extremely gear dependent. If you have a healer friend who will pocket heal you through the leveling, your life quality is instantly improved. Playing in a group is what you are supposed to do, solo gameplay is a nightmare. However, hard work will be rewarded.

Leveling Difficulty: 10/10

Endgame, PvE: If you made it to level 60 as a Warrior, you are a war hero already. Now the real game begins. Warrior Tank is the only spec considered to be viable in the endgame. Mention that you are a tank looking for a group in chat, and it will take a few seconds before someone invites you for a dungeon run. In good teams, gear will always go to the warrior tank first, and if you are a capable tank – all doors will open in front of you. But do not be fooled – tanking is not easy, so you should learn encounters and your abilities very well. Perform well, find a good guild and your life in classic is golden.

As a DPS role, at higher tiers, your DPS goes through the roof right into the next expansion. So, these are the reasons why so many players choose to play warriors in WoW Classic.

Endgame, PvP: Find pocket healers, charge into the battle, dominate PvP. Nuff said.

Conclusion: This class is your solution for both problems with finding parties and your god complex. If you have what it takes to grind for hours and hours for repair bills, respect costs, buying flasks, potions, farming world buffs, items, you will become a legend. Just don’t get carried away, because Warrior is not only hard to master, but also incredibly time-consuming. The difference between an okay Warrior and a great performing Warrior is crystal clear.

Notable Items: Whirlwind Axe the most iconic warrior weapon. Quest is available at level 30, but you will need help from level 40 players due to the final boss. Kang the Decapitator is a beast 2H weapon, but it can sell for a really high price on AH since it’s the best for the 40-49 twinks. Edgemaster’s Handguards BiS for fury warriors in PvE, including Naxxramas drops. For tanks, Boots of Avoidance or Stockade Pauldrons will last you well into your first raid or two.

Druid

Leveling: Boring at low levels. Cast spells, melee stuff, repeat. Bear form unlocks at level 10, and cat at 20. Once you get the Cat Form, you lightspeed through the content. You also get travel form which will help you get to places easier. Stealth in Cat Form helps you avoid danger. You can tank leveling dungeons in bear form, and if you have a caster gear, healing does not really require re-spec. Balance druid is terrible for leveling. The versatility of druid is great in dungeons. Need to tank something, pop bear form. Need to help out a healer, swap out of cat form and throw in some heals.

Leveling Difficulty: 2/10. Very easy to level.

Endgame, PvE: Tanking dungeons is just fine, but when it comes to raids, you are not going to be main tanking. Offtanking is possible on many bosses. Feral DPS is not competitive, but also not that terrible, unlike Balance. Healing does the job fairly well. Druids have the Innervate and the only Battle Res in the game, and a very strong buff, so finding a raid spot should not be difficult.

Endgame, PvP: Carrying the flag in WSG 24/7. Near immunity to CC due to many forms, stealth, druids are super hard to kill and they are great PvP healers.

Conclusion: A versatile class, easy to be the hero in dungeons and raids for that clutch battle res/innervate/swapping to tank or healer mode to save the day.

Notable items: Wolfshead Helm for Ferals, Warden Staff for tanks. Second Wind is an amazing healer trinket.

Hunter

Leveling: The one class that has zero trouble leveling. Just kite mobs until you get your first pet at level 10 and then hop in on the train to level 60. Keep in mind that Pets in WoW Classic need to be looked after! You need to feed them regularly, or they will literally run away. Do this simple task and they will be loyal to you, taking any of your enemies head-on. You can also track many different enemy types, have access to Aspects (buffs that affect you/your party) and one of them allows you to run faster. To be a good hunter you should remember some tips: turn off the Cheetah Aspect in dungeons – no one likes to get dazed! Also, turn off the Growl ability and tanks won’t have to be angry about losing an aggro. Dismiss your pet before you jump. And now you are good to go!

Leveling Difficulty: 1/10. The easiest class to level up.

Endgame, PvE: Hunters start off strong in raids, but their damage falls off in later raid tiers. However, hunters will be mandatory for their Tranquilizing Shot.

Endgame, PvP: Great in BG, even more so at lower levels. One thing to know about hunters is that they have a dead zone where an enemy is too close to shoot your arrow/bow, but just a bit away for you to melee them. That will be used against you.

Conclusion: Feed your pet and keep its happiness at a high level and in return, your pet will make the world bow before you.

Notable items: Bow of Searing Arrows Slow attack speed is great for Marksmanship, and it will proc quite a lot. The opposite is Hurricane with extremely fast attack speed and still a very good proc chance. The fastest weapon is Precisely Calibrated Boomstick, which offers a great deal of agility but no procs. At lower levels, Venomstrike from Wailing Caverns is a godsend, and Nightstalker Bow if you are lucky enough to find the rare boss in Razorfen Kraul.

Mage

Leveling: Quite easy to level, but mage is a glass cannon. Enemy mobs can resist spells, and the higher their level, the higher the chance. Two resists most likely will be your undoing. King of the crowd control and AoE. Able to conjure free food and drinks, which will save you quite some money, which you will use to buy reagents to teleport or make portals. Teleports also help you travel around much faster, and running around takes a LOT of time in WoW classic. Be nice, provide people in dungeons with food and drinks and everyone will love you.

Leveling Difficulty: 3/10. Being a squishy mage means that you will have to actively think while leveling, but the fast leveling is worth it.

Endgame, PvE: Excellent DPS, ability to Decurse will be expected on some boss fights. Everyone will need food and drinks.

Endgame, PvP: Squishy, but great in PvP, left unchecked, mage can demolish enemies. Good against Warriors and Rogues but should be worried about Hunters.

Conclusion: Teleporting to places, helping out others with food and portals, watching things burn – mage is a great caster DPS, you will have plenty of fun and people will love you.

Notable items: Crescent Staff from Wailing Caverns questline is the best weapon until level 25-30. Staff of Jordan will last you from level 35 to 60. Eye of Flame is amazing for fire mages, but the prices would be really high since mages will be very common in Classic. Similar with Freezing Band.

Paladin

Leveling: To be honest, leveling as Paladin will most likely bore you to death. It is very slow – a single mob will take a lot of time to kill because mainly you will just auto attack. On the bright side of things, you have useful buffs, free mount at level 40, and an epic quest for your epic mount at level 60, which is going to be cheaper than 1000 gold for other classes. As a Paladin, you have many buttons for the «Oh Shit» moments, such as Bubble, Lay on Hands or Divine Intervention.

Leveling Difficulty: 5/10. You can auto attack an enemy and go drink some tea while it lasts. Slow, but not difficult.

Endgame, PvE: Can tank dungeons during leveling, but once it comes to raids, you can forget about tanking due to lack of taunt and mana regeneration. Retribution paladin DPS leaves much to be desired, so you’re left with the option to chain cast low rank heals most of the time and re-buffing raiders every 5 minutes.

Endgame, PvP: One of the best healers for PvP due to plate armor, blessings, and buffs. Killing a well-geared paladin is near-impossible. Combined with other damage dealers on your team makes a paladin great support.

Conclusion: a great class fantasy, champion of light was the reason many players switched from the Horde to the Alliance back in the days. Ability to clutch both PvP and PvE situations on par with being one of the iconic classes in WoW makes Paladin a great choice.

Notable items: Second Wind is an amazing healer trinket. The Green Tower is decent for AoE grinding as a protection paladin until you get a Skullflame Shield.

Priest

Leveling: Not much variation in leveling, DoT a mob, shield yourself, wand the mob to death. Once you unlock Shadowform at level 40 it helps with survivability and damage, but you can not use healing spells in Shadowform. As a healer, you will find a spot for dungeons easily. And speaking of healing, you should understand that you will be expected to heal at some point of your priest career, so if you do not like that idea, maybe you should skip on a priest.

Leveling Difficulty: 5/10. Mediocre, not bad.

Endgame, PvE: Best healer for raids, Nuff said. You will be welcomed in the raid groups. Shadowpriest on the over hand is a bit different, their DPS is not that great and raids will often have just one shadowpriest to buff warlocks DPS.

Endgame, PvP: Get a warrior friend and wreak havoc together in any PvP. Shadowpriest is one of the strongest PvP specs and a force to be reckoned with. With the right gear, you can just DoT people and watch them melt, drain mana users and Mind Control people to throw them off the cliffs and edges.

Conclusion: Great support class with awesome Benediction/Anathema questline that gives you the best looking weapon. Playing a priest comes with benefits and lots of fun!

Notable items: Second Wind – healing trinket. Staff of Jordan for level 35 to 60. Crescent Staff from Wailing Caverns questline is the best weapon until level 25-30. Witching Stave – bonus damage on shadow spells. A similar one is Underworld Band.

Rogue

Leveling: Rogues are very fragile. Extra mob or two and you are dead if your cooldowns are not up yet. But thanks to poisons and lockpicking, you will have a very colorful leveling experience. On PvP realms, it is by far the safest class to level due to stealth.

Leveling Difficulty: 5/10.

Endgame, PvE: While you top the DPS meters in the raid, remember to check aggro levels, otherwise you will be dead before you realize what hit you. You can sap enemies, open locked chests and doors, on par with their high DPS, a rogue is a welcome addition to the dungeon group.

Endgame, PvP: Stunlocking and Vanishing. It is deadly and you are hated for this.

Conclusion: Strong class with useful utility. If you are looking for a pirate life, want to find some lockboxes and make poisons – you are a rogue in heart!

Notable items: Wingblade from Wailing Caverns questline or Stinging Viper for your main hand. If you somehow end up finding a Shadowfang, it is by far the best 19 twink weapon that can sell really really well. As for epics, Dazzling Longsword is actually a really nice weapon that can last you for a while, and Shadowblade can last you well in your first raid or so.

Shaman

Leveling: Shaman is one of the best leveling experiences in WoW Classic. You can do so many different things – totems can heal you and your party, taunt enemies, misdirect spells, restore mana and increase the attack damage, resistance, armor, etc. You have plenty of spells in your arsenal, self buffs, weapon buffs, heals and a self resurrection. Quests to get totems are interesting, filled with lore. At level 20 you get a Ghost Wolf, which makes you run 40% faster and that makes leveling SO much faster. Enhancement is great for leveling, especially once you get Windfury.

Leveling Difficulty: 3/10.

Endgame, PvE: Shamans are expected to heal, chain healing is one of the higher healing per second abilities in raiding. That is sort of a problem of all hybrid classes when healing spec comes out to be the only one viable in PvE.

Endgame, PvP: If you collect a good set of Enhancement gear, you can one-shot people with Windfury procs every once in a while.

Conclusion: Shamans are extremely fun to level and to play at max level. Very self-sufficient, have strong lore behind them.

Notable items: Second Wind is an amazing healer trinket.

Warlock

Leveling: Warlocks are the second easiest and fastest to level class in WoW Classic, slightly behind Hunters. Pets are holding aggro, warlock drains health and able to convert health into mana. If you pulled an unwanted enemy, they can be feared off, dot everyone around you and drain health. Similar to Paladins, you get a free mount at 40 and an expensive and long quest for the epic mount at 60, which is still cheaper than 1000 gold.

Leveling Difficulty: 1/10.

Endgame, PvE: People will praise you for the summons, healthstones, and soulstones. A healer would love you even more for a soulstone which enables them to resurrect after a party wipe. The con here is that you need to farm Soul Shards needed to perform all these spells and many others for about 20 minutes before every raid.

Endgame, PvP: Endless fears, dots, health drains – all that comes from a single warlock. Fear is not dispelled by the PvP trinkets.

Conclusion: Great class quests, free mounts, and many tools to handle different situations, not to mention enslaving demons. That alone sounds like a very fun class to play!

Notable items: Crescent Staff from Wailing Caverns questline is the best weapon until level 25-30. Staff of Jordan will last you from level 35 to 60. Witching Stave provides bonus damage on shadow spells. A similar one is Underworld Band.

Conclusion

No matter what your game is, there is a class out there that will be a perfect fit for you. Now that we have covered all nine classes available in WoW Classic, it is up to you to decide which way you want to go. Just make sure that you have fun playing a chosen class and have a great time during your adventure in Azeroth! See you around!

WoW: Classic is going to use the same subscription as Battle for Azeroth. It means, that you still can buy your playing time with WoW Tokens. Please, check our gold stocks at Overgear.