In this guide we will be trying our very best to set you up for success in WoW Classic by helping you find the right class to main, a class that resonates with you not only from a class fantasy perspective but accomplishes your PvE and PvP goals and most importantly offers you a fun rewarding play style that you can enjoy for many years to come. We will accomplish this by providing a high-level overview of all nine classes in classic wow and compare them with regard to their performance when leveling, in dungeons and raids, in battlegrounds and in an open world PvP environment. Hopefully, if you can understand our rating on the classes, it will help you make a more informed decision. Let’s begin.
Availeble races: Human, Dwarf, Night elf, Gnome, Orc, Undead, Tauren, Troll.
Warriors are a phenomenal class to play throughout all aspects of group PvP and group PvE. Key emphasis on the word group – they struggle when solo and they struggle when they’re under geared. Pre 60 the warrior life is rough to say the least – they have the highest gear dependence in the game, lack sustain, you have low mobility and these factors make warrior easily the slowest class to level in classic, especially in a fresh realm environment where you can’t funnel gear or gold from a main; however the investment is worth, it if you can do it one of the coolest aspects of warriors that all three specializations are viable in PvE – protection Warriors were hands-down the de-facto tanks and anything past MC will almost certainly feature a warrior as the main tank, Fury Warriors are a tier 1 DPS and scale fantastically well especially moving into AQ and Naxx; arms warriors while often weak when solo or when under geared are unstoppable on battlegrounds and out in the open world when supported by dispels and heals. Overall warrior is a great class to play in classic, a lot of people think this was the era of the Warriors, they’re one of the most populated classes. If you’re looking for a challenge, if you’re looking for that that real hardcore leveling experience to prove that you’re a beast – play warrior.
Availeble races: Human, Dwarf, Night elf, Undead, Troll.
At level 60 priests were generally expected to heal in dungeons and raids but were overall the most versatile healers in the game. They have strong single target heals, decent healing over time spells, below average raid healing but also brought powerful shields to the table that could absorb damage. Priests usually topped the healing meters in a raid environment and many people consider them the premier choice as far as healers go in WoW classic. With regard to the leveling experience Shadow Priests accel their high sustain, coupled with a very efficient damage rotation and increased wand damage made them one of the smoothest most consistent levellers. All you would do is dot, mindflay a couple times, wand and rinse and repeat till 60. However priests did lack mobility and struggle dealing with multiple mobs at once so the leveling speed isn’t quite as competitive as a hunter or feral druid or warlock. In PvP all the specs were viable but holy and discs were pretty squishy and lacked the mobility to escape when being focused; shadow priests were monsters in PvP, especially Horde since you didn’t have to deal with Will of the Forsaken, and wow classic Shadow Priests built a reputation as face melters because they would dish out insane amounts of damage. With the main issue being managing menace they didn’t go home, priests were fantastic duelers, had very flavorful iconic abilities such as mana burn, mind-control, psychic scream and were pretty much great in every aspect of PvP. Highly recommend playing priests.
Availeble races: Human, Gnome, Undead, Troll.
Mages were one of the most unique inspired classes in WoW Classic with iconic abilities such as Polymorph, Pyroblast, Ice Barrier, Ice Block and more. Mages had a higher skill cap especially in pvp, offering a fun rewarding playstyle and performing in a tier 1 capacity across every aspect of the game. In PvE all three specs were viable, but some more than others. Mages scale very well with gear but unfortunately their gear visually looks pretty bad, at least in my opinion. Mages were decent levellers, with substantial downtime drinking but because they could grind mobs at higher levels they had an above average leveling speed. Overall AoE grinding wasn’t as efficient as people might think though and Mage only really pulls ahead as the best way to level when dealing with a super high population server and you aren’t able to complete quests fast enough due to zone congestion, mages where everyone’s best friend in classic – they could conjure food and water which was expensive and essential to have when leveling and transport their party around Azeroth through portals to capital cities, in a dungeon setting Mages brought a lot of utility, they had hard reliable CC in the form of Polymorph, control with frost Nova and blink and high single target or AoE damage. In PvP mages and rogues were the flashy all-stars of the battlegrounds, a skilled mage was the stuff of nightmares from melee, especially warriors, and they were great in duels being able to potentially one-shot people with pom pyro.
Availeble races: Dwarf, Night elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll.
Hunters are a super fun class to play in classic wow, excelling primarily in PvP and solo PvE content. While they are easy to play competently, they are very difficult to master, sporting one of the highest skill ceilings in the game. This is due to how many moving pieces they have to manage such as an eight-yard dead zone pet positioning, whether to use the clipped or full version of their damage rotation cycle, all the while weaving their character’s movement and abilities between cooldowns and their auto shot timer. When it comes to leveling hunters are second to none – their high damage pets, low gear dependence and high mobility early on via Aspect of the Cheetah and Beastial Swiftness grant them virtually limitless uptime and the ability to solo hard group quests with ease – you don’t die a lot and you don’t buy a lot as a hunter so it’s pretty easy to save up the hundred gold you need for your mount at level 40 and when you hit 60 you have access to the best gold farming method in the game. Prior to Dire Maul being released this comes in the form of Princess runs in Maraudon. If you are hyper efficient you can run up to five an hour and quickly farm up that 1k gold you need for your epic mount. While hunters are mandatory in a raid environment for their tranq shot and kiting potential, out of all the pure dps classes they generally output the least damage, falling behind warlocks, warriors, mages, and rogues, however don’t fret – the Hunter play style is smooth, super flavorful and a blast to play! The class offers a whole other dimension to the game with the different pets you can tame and the variety of unique abilities they have. Hunters are awesome in PvP, they’re great duelers, the great out in the open world and they are monsters in battleground being almost impossible to run away from. As a damage dealer with huge range and a lot of control options on the table such as traps, Scatter Shot, Intimidation stun and Wind Clip you are often the choice defender for the flag and Warsong Gulch premades.
Availeble races: Human, Dwarf, Night elf, Gnome, Orc, Undead, Troll.
World of roguecraft was the meme of the era and rogues were undoubtedly one of the strongest classes in WoW Classic. they performed like champions in both PvE and PvP doing awe-inspiring DPS in dungeons and BGs and in the open world. Because of this they are one of the most populated classes. If you choose rogue as your main keep in mind that it might be difficult to find groups and gear up, because generally the gear you need is also what hunters, warriors and other rogues need. As well rogues are below average levelers but still level significantly faster than warriors and paladins due to having some movement speed abilities such as sprint and being able to stealth, vanish and gain effective HP through stun locking mobs to death. Rogues had reliable CC in the form of Sap which gave them solid dungeon utility and they output some of the highest damage in the game. An undead rogue was the stuff of nightmares for priests and warlocks as the Will of the Forsaken undead racial paired with the kit of the rogue made them almost impossible to deal with. Overall a very solid class and I’m sure you will have a good time if you choose.
Availeble races: Night elf, Tauren.
Druids are possibly the most underrated class in WoW Classic (Vanilla). While they are underrepresented they are underestimated, but in my opinion they have the potential to perform very well in both PvP and PvE. Feral druids are extremely good Levellers, only second to hunters. They have low gear dependence, high mobility, high damage, high sustain and the ability to finesse the stealth mechanic to their advantage being able to navigate through tricky areas and complete otherwise difficult quests. We have consistently seen over the years feral druids level to 60 in under four days played, sometimes even beating hunters, and when they get to 60 they’re usually the first there and they can tank dungeons well and even the early raids such as Molten Core and BWL. Highly recommend playing feral, however druids function primarily as healers at 60. While they don’t necessarily top the healing meters they offer the most efficient solo target healing in the game in the form of rank for healing touch. They also have fantastic raid healing through the variety of healing overtime spells and the two best raid utilities in the entire game hands down in the form of Rebirth and Innervate. Druid sometimes struggle as the solo healer in dungeons as they didn’t have regular resurrection abilities so they were best used alongside a DPS that could rez or as a tank. In PvP druids were fantastic – a hybrid feral/resto druid was extremely hard to lock down and kill making them the go-to flag carriers on Warsong Gulch; out in the open world being able to open from stealth and easily run away helped you get away from ganks and made you definitely a big threat. Highly recommend playing druid, they’re very fast to gear up as, well there’s not a lot of competition for gear and you can definitely make a name for yourself.
Availeble races: Human, Gnome, Orc, Undead.
Warlocks are another underrepresented, underestimated class but don’t be fooled – in WoW Classic (Vanilla) are incredibly strong in both PvE and PvP. Warlocks are a pet class and are an absolute joy to level, they can fight three, four, even five plus mobs at once, they have high sustain, low gear dependence, they can heal with healthstones and self resurrect with soulstones. Why aren’t they the fastest Levellers you ask? Well they suffer from low mobility compared to hunters and druids who have spells like Aspect of the Cheetah or improved cat form which is why it’s more rare to see a server first level 60 warlock. In PvE warlocks scale incredibly well with gear especially from ZG onward when they can start stacking huge spell damage, hit and crit through the Bloodvine set. If you want to raid as a warlock rest assured you are going to be a competitive tier 1 DPS choice. The downsides of playing a warlock in PvE is that they don’t have any threat reduction so if you do want to raid I recommend going Alliance so you can get Blessing of Salvation. If you want to PvP mainly however I recommend going horde. Warlocks are better on Horde PvP because you don’t have to deal with Forsaken and fear was not dispelled by trinket. WoW Classic while out in the open world the Voidwalker shield you get by sacking your pet gives you huge survivability and you’re almost unkillable 1v1. Overall Warlock is a great class to play, a lot of fun. There’s a really diehard community of warlocks out there and you will not regret rolling one.
Availeble races: Human, Dwarf.
Paladin’s were an Alliance only class in WoW Classic that primarily healed at 60. They offered an incredibly efficient single target healing, the strongest buffs in the game such as Blessing of Salvation, Blessing of Kings and unique raid utility in the form of Divine Intervention which would kill the Paladin that prevent wipes. The paladin’s other specs, Protection and Retribution were clunky but surprisingly more solid than people give them credit for. Unfortunately both Prot and Ret had some serious pitfalls that held them back, for example protection pallies were amazing AoE tanks however they didn’t have a hard talk and spell tank plate gear didn’t exist so they would go out of mana after nearly every pull, they also didn’t have the ability to get out of fears like warriors and lots of bosses feared in vanilla such as Onyxia and Nefarian. Retribution paladins did solid damage in PvE but produced way too much threat, however that spec was pretty solid in PvP and excelled in duels and 1v1 encounters with skills such as bubble and Lay on Hands. Holy paladin’s were in the excellent form as well as they were a tanky plate wearing healer and you could play them very strong if you played defensively, whereas priests were generally played offensively. Levelling as a paladin was slow, steady, consistent and a pretty damn boring. To be honest Paladin doesn’t really have any active abilities so you kind of just stand there auto attacking mobs to death. You get a free mount at 40 and 60, some of the coolest armor sets in the game and overall it’s pretty fun class to play it in classic.
Availeble races: Orc, Tauren, Troll.
Shamans were horde only in classic and in many people’s minds were the most desired healers in a horde raid. They weren’t very man efficient, they weren’t likely to top the meters until later in the game but totems, especially Windfury were a must have. It wasn’t uncommon for a horde raid to run five, six or more resto shamans so that every melee has access to windfury 90% of the time. As a shaman you will be spamming different ranks of chain heal with the occasional healing wave if people are spread out, but a party healing barely existed in classic and shamans were unique in that they had the really only real form of it with Chain Heal. Shaman is also the only class that can formulate a spec that’s good enough to heal in PvE while also having very serious offensive capabilities in PvP – the 30/0/21 elemental/resto hybrid spec was popular with people who liked to heal in raids but didn’t want to be a helpless healer out in the world. Shamans are pretty much middle-of-the-pack levellers, not terrible but not great either. The key to leveling them is mana efficiency, regardless if you are leveling enhance or elemental or resto your general plan is to front-load your spell damage then finish off mobs with melee while you regen mana obeying that five-second rule. Shamans gain mobility increase in the form of Ghost Wolf at level 20 which gives them a nice increase to their leveling speed as well and also helps them escape an untimely death from bad pulls. One downside is that they had a lack of powerful on-demand cooldowns unlike paladin so it was pretty difficult to solo hard quests. Overall a very fun class to play, playing them enhance with the two-hander is kind of the dream getting all those Windfury procs but it can also be very boring but I think you’ll have a great time if you choose shaman.