”One does not simply reroll in Vanilla World of Warcraft”. So picking the best class for Classic WoW that suits your playstyle is very important.
With World of Warcraft Classic just around the corner, millions of geeks are awaiting its arrival in uncontrollable anticipation.
And one question seems to be more common than any other out there;
What Class should you play in Classic World of Warcraft?
While there is no ”one correct answer” for anyone, we can help you with this in-depth overview of every class in World of Warcraft Classic.
In this guide, we will take a look at every class’ strength and weaknesses, as well as their cool quirks and niche abilities.
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Night Elf / Tauren
The druid is a formidable class with good healing ability, potent offensive spells, excellent buffs, and the unique ability to shapechange into different animal types. In its animal forms, the druid can adopt new roles, such as that of a warrior or rogue, giving it great versatility.
”Druid” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
The druid is the ultimate hybrid class of Classic WoW with the ability to shapeshift into various forms to fit almost any given situation. They are the jacks-of-all-trades but also the masters of none.
While druids can fill out every role in Classic Wow, they don’t really excel at any of them and often end up as a healer in most situations.
However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful. The druid has unique uses and abilities for every type of content with their ability to resurrect players in combat and give a significant boost to mana pools with innervate. They also have a lot of situational crowd control, and their different forms combined with healing makes them incredibly difficult to kill.
The Druid is the least popular class in the game, and due to their vast arsenal of forms and abilities, they have a very high skill-cap. This makes the druid a hard class to master for beginners but also allow great players to stand out.
Why you should play a Druid
- Very Fast leveler.
- Least played class in Classic Wow which makes it very easy to find groups.
- High skill ceiling makes great druids really stand out.
- Most mana efficient heal in the game(Rank 4 healing touch).
- Rebirth and innervate is among the best raid cooldowns in the game.
- Ton of useful utility with crowd controls, buffs and the ability to off tank if the tank dies.
- Shapeshifting makes them incredibly slippery in PvP
- Best flag carrier in Warsong Gulch by far.
- Feral druids are great tanks for dungeons, especially during leveling
- Very strong in PvP against classes with bad self-sustain.
Why you shouldn’t play a Druid
- Isn’t really the best at role.
- Usually forced into the healing role.
- The lack of a regular ressurect ability makes them the worst dungeon healer in the game.
- Feral takes a LOT of effort to be viable in PvE and is not good in PvP.
- Balance isn’t viable in PvE and requires very specific gear pieces to work in PvP.
- Hard to play well for new players.
In my opinion, druids are the most underrated class in Vanilla Wow. On a surface level they seem underpowered but they are useful in almost every situation due to their incredibly versatile toolkit.
Druids are extremely useful in both PvE and PvP content, and the low popularity makes it one of the most sought after classes in the game.
That said if you care a lot about being the best damage dealer, healer or tank then druids isn’t for you. It is also a tough class to play to its fullest, so if you want something simple, then I wouldn’t recommend it.
Druid - Balance Performance
Balance is a specialization that really struggles to shine in most content and is rarely a viable option due to poor mana efficiency and suboptimal damage. However, going deep into balance, combined with restoration with nature’s swiftness can work pretty well in PvP.
Balance struggles a lot in raids due to their suboptimal damage and poor mana efficiency. It can work decently well in dungeons since they offer a lot of off healing, potential off-tanking and some really powerful cooldowns with innervate and rebirth. Balance is a niche specialization that works in very few situations, but with proper gearing and no small amount of skills, it can work well in PvP.
They thrive against classes with no self-sustain, and even in unfavorable matchups, they can almost always escape the fight.
Druid - Feral Performance
Feral druids are incredible levelers(second only to hunters), good dungeon tanks and decent raid damage with proper itemization. However, they also struggle a lot in regular PvP but have key roles in battlegrounds that they excel at. Such as flag carrying and base defending.
Feral druids are either bad or suboptimal in most situations but definitely, have their moments to shine. Their low gear dependency, area-of-effect abilities, and powerful cooldowns make them excellent dungeon tanks. They are also incredible flag carriers in Warsong Gulch due to their slippery nature and high survivability.
Druid - Healer Performance
Restoration is generally speaking the highest performing druid specialization. They are great in raids due to having the most mana efficient healing ability out of any healer(Rank 4 healing touch) and providing the raid with excellent cooldowns with rebirth and innervate. They struggle a bit in 5 man content due to their lack of a regular resurrection ability and relatively low healing power compared to other healers.
They are also incredible in PvP due to their excellent mobility, crowd control, and high survivability, which makes them the most slippery PvP healer. Their shapeshifting and damage-over-time ability also mean that they can be a dangerous foe in duels or skirmishes for any class with low self sustain like mages or hunters.
Much like feral druids, deep restoration druids are also exceptional flag carriers and arguably even better due to having two instant heals.
Druid Specializations & Abilities
- Balance: A focus on offensive spellcasting and offensive abilities.
- Feral: Focuses on the wild nature of the druid and enhances the damage, mobility, and survivability of the druid in its various forms.
- Restoration: Improves and perfects the druids healing capabilities to become the ultimate healing-over-time support class of Vanilla WoW.
Min-maxers will likely always choose to go deep or partially deep into the Restoration tree. That said, there are a ton of viable talent choices for the more casual player, and every specialization has at least one viable build for either PvE or PvP. (Feral PvE, Balance PvP, Restoration PvP & PvE)
Iconic Druid Abilities
Lastly, let us take a look at some of the most iconic druid abilities.
- Travel Form: The most overpowered mobility ability in the entire game.
- Bear Form/Cat Form: The ability to swap between a spellcaster, a tank, and a melee damage dealer at will is incredible and the main reason they are good in PvP.
- Innervate: One of the most sought after abilities for healers as it can regenerate vast amounts of mana very quickly.
- Tranquility: A really powerful group-wide healing cooldown.
- Mark of the Wild: One of the best buffs in the game.
- Rebirth: Only ability in the game that can resurrect people in combat.
- Entangling Roots: Arguably the most annoying crowd control in the game if you ask any melee class.
- Moonfire: A cool instant cast damage ability.
- Faerie Fire: Decrease the target’s armor and make them unable to stealth for a long time. Great for making rogues’ life miserable or buff the physical damage of your party.
- Prowl: Being one of only two classes with stealth in the game is excellent. Having stealth is incredibly convenient and opens up a lot of possibilities in the open world.
- Hurricane: Creates a violent storm in an area to damage and reduce the attack speed of attackers. One of the coolest area-of-effect abilities in the game and the debuff makes it really useful in dungeons.
Classic WoW Druid Overview – By Platinum WoW
Night Elf / Dwarf / Orc / Tauren / Troll
The hunter is a unique class in World of Warcraft because it is primarily a ranged attacker. To support the hunter’s ranged attacks, this class has two main advantages: a loyal pet and a wide array of movement-restricting spells.
”Hunter” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
Hunters are the best leveling class in the game and are also an incredible solo class in general. Their pet and unmatched kiting capabilities allow them to take on foes that few others would dare face alone.
Hunters are the lowest-performing ”pure DPS class” over the course of Classic World of Warcraft but start out quite strong in the first two tiers. That said, every raid still wants a couple of hunters for their kiting ability, buffs and unique abilities like the tranquilizing shot ability.
In player-versus-player combat, hunters start to shine and can be absolute monsters in world PvP and battlegrounds. They have a longer base range than any other class and plenty of crowd control which allows hunters to keep players at a distance while wearing them down with their arrows and pet. Hunters are weak if someone manages to catch them in melee range, but they also have the tools to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Why you should play a Hunter
- Best leveling class in the game.
- Incredible at doing solo content such as farming elites or gold.
- Going out and taming your very own pet is really cool and unique.
- A ton of different pets to choose from which creates a lot of variety.
- The pet system has a lot of depth and is almost its very own meta game.
- Easy to learn, hard to master.
- A good hunter is a devastating foe in all types of PvP.
- Bring a lot of useful crowd controls, buffs and effects to the group.
- Has a unique class-specific quest at level 60 that rewards you with epic weapons and a quiver.
- Has a lot of depth to the class with pets, dead zone, stutter-stepping, etc.
Why you shouldn’t play a Hunter
- Arrows & food for your pet cost a lot of money in the long run.
- Arrows & bullets takes up a whole bag slot.
- Having to feed your pet to keep it loyal and happy can be quite annoying.
- Very weak at closer range due to the ‘dead zone'(Enemies too far away to melee attack and too close to ranged attack).
- The worst ”damage only class” in terms of raw damage in raids.
- Their damage doesn’t scale very well over the course of Vanilla.
Hunters might not be the best damage dealers in PvE or even the most feared in PvP but a good hunter can be absolutely top tier in PvP once you master the class and can take on almost any class in the game which is quite rare.
They are not the most sought after in PvE but does undoubtedly have a place in both raids and dungeons with their vast array of crowd control and kiting abilities.
Hunters are also the best solo class in the game which makes them excellent at farming gold, taking on elite foes and just survive in the open world in general.
Hunters are the kings of leveling and at the max level, they continue to excel at solo content.
Hunters start out really well and do good damage for the first tier but fall behind in the later phases as they don’t scale as well with gear. However, they do still bring some unique things to the table with unmatched kiting potential, traps, and their tranquilizing shot ability which makes them desirable all throughout Vanilla.
The difference between a good hunter and a bad hunter in a PvP setting is astronomical. Learning how to kite and use your pet correctly is essential if you want success in a PvP setting. However, a good hunter with enough space around them to kite their enemies is incredibly hard to deal with for almost every class. Their superior range makes them able to wear down melees and even other ranged classes. They do have a considerable weakness though with their dead zone, which is the main reason that bad hunters struggle so much in PvP.
The hunter is arguably one of the very strongest world PvP classes in the game. Track humanoids, hunters mark, and their unparalleled range make them almost impossible to deal with.
Hunter Specializations & Abilities
- Beast Mastery: Enhances the power of your pet companion as well as yourself to become a devastating 2-man army. You can even learn to send your pet into an unstoppable Bestial Wrath state to tear your enemies apart.
- Marksmanship: Improves the hunters own marksman abilities to become a master bowman and unleash death from afar with the devastating Aimed Shot ability.
- Survival: Focuses on improvements to the hunter’s traps, melee attacks, and crowd control in general. Even teaches the hunter to put enemies to sleep with the treacherous Wyvern Sting.
Iconic Hunter Abilities
Lastly, let us take a look at some cool niche abilities that hunters have
- Tame Beast: Being able to choose freely between a vast array of beasts with different skills and abilities to be your companion is really cool.
- Hunter’s Mark: Mark a target to increase their damage taken and make them unable to stealth. This ability has an absurd range and last for 2 minutes and is every rogues’ worst nightmare.
- Feign Death: Fake your death and instantly drop all aggro. Fantastic for aggro management in PvE and has different uses in PvP as people will drop target.
- Multi-Shot: A powerful cleave ability.
- Volley: Rain a volley of arrows upon your enemies.
- Tranquilizing Shot: Removes one enrage effect from your opponent. This is a unique ability and one of the main reasons they are needed in raids.
- Aspects: Hunters have an array of different aspects that benefits the party with anything from attack power to movement speed to resistances.
- Traps: The hunter can lay down a ton of different traps to either harm or hinder their enemies.
- Viper Sting: An instant attack that drains the targets mana and a huge reason why they can dominate in PvP.
- Wing Clip: A low-cost and no cooldown slow that allows the hunter to get away if anyone gets close.
Classic WoW Hunter Overview – By Platinum WoW
Human / Gnome / Undead / Troll
The Mage is a master of powerful mystic energies, able to use magic in the most spectacular and destructive ways. Mages are a fragile class, with little health and poor fighting ability. However, they make up for this physical weakness with their awesome spellcasting.
”Mage” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
Mages are the classic role-playing game wizard of Vanilla WoW, and it is everything you would expect it to be. Not exactly a physically strong class but it makes more than up for it with their powerful fire, arcane and frost spells that can freeze and destroy their foes.
Mages are also the best-ranged damage dealers in PvE content in Classic WoW and do significant damage all throughout the game. They also bring arguably the best array of crowd control out of any class with their signature ‘Sheep’ ability and a ton of slow from their frost spells. On top of that, they also bring a ton of useful utility with the ability to conjure food, water, and portals, making them one of the most useful and well-rounded classes in the game.
In PvP, they are equally strong and have a few different builds that allow them to crush their enemies. A good mage is feared by everyone and is one of the best for both battlegrounds, open-world, and dueling.
Why you should play a Mage
- Top tier damage dealers in both PvE and PvP.
- Is able to farm gold & level very well through Area-of-effect damage and slow abilities.
- Being able to make your own food and drinks is convenient and a huge money saver.
- Can conjure portals to capital cities which is really great with traveling being so slow in Classic WoW.
- All 3 specializations are viable.
- Brings a lot of crowd control and utility to the group.
- Can make extra money off of portals and drinks.
- High skill-ceiling in PvP that allows you to really stand out.
- Strong in every aspect of PvP and PvE.
Why you shouldn’t play a Mage
- Frost specilization is the only viable talent choice for the first two tiers.
- Low health & armor points makes them weak to surprise attacks.
- No self healing.
- A very popular class which makes gearing a pain.
- PvE rotation is very boring.
- Constantly crafting food & water for your group is a bit tedious.
Mages is a very overpopulated class but makes up for it by being an incredibly useful and well-rounded class which does well in all types of content. They have great single target, and area-of-effect damage and also have the most versatile crowd control ability in the game; sheep.
They are quite easy to kill once you get close to them, which makes it a bit tough for newer players to excel in PvP. But once you master this spell-weaving wizard, you can crush any class in PvP.
Mages are good levelers in general but have the potential to be great if you master the art of AoE farming.
Mages are the best-ranged damage dealers for PvE and bring a ton of damage as well as utility and control. They have unmatched AoE damage, the best crowd control in the game, great buffs and can even conjure food and water for the group. In other words, they are arguably the most useful class in the game and is highly sought after in all types of content.
In PvP, mages are the true glass canons of Classic WoW and the only thing that dies faster than the mage is whoever is fighting that mage. You can put out absurd one-shot combos with a combination of fire and arcane talents, or play a bit more defensively and make melee’s life hell with a more frost-focused build. Either way, mages are great in every aspect of PvP and a ton of fun to play.
Mage Talents & Specializations
- Arcane: This tree enhances the mage’s utility through buffs and powerful cooldowns. These cooldowns make it a fantastic hybrid specialization to mix together with either Fire or Frost.
- Fire: The ultimate glass canon specialization for mages. Enables the mage to dish out massive critical strikes with Combustion and Pyroblast but gaining little in terms of defense.
- Frost: Improves the mage’s control and survivability through powerful freezes, slows, Ice Block, and Ice Barrier. As well as improving the offensive effectiveness of the frost spells in general.
Iconic Mage Abilities
Mages have too many iconic abilities to list. Here are some of the most noteworthy.
- Polymorph: Arguably the most versatile crowd control ability in the game as it has no cooldown and works on both beasts and humanoids.
- Portals: With traveling taking so long in Classic Wow, being able to instantly teleport yourself or entire groups to any capital city of your faction is huge.
- Conjure Water/Food: Conjuring food and drinks are the ultimate lifehack in Classic WoW and not only convenient but a huge money saver.
- Frostbolt: The mage’ best and only friend during Molten Core.
- Frost Nova: Just one of the many reasons that melees hate fighting against mages.
- Fireball: What would a wizard be if he could not cast a ball of fire?
- Arcane Missiles: A channeled volley of arcane power.
- Blizzard: One of the best area-of-effect abilities in the game.
- Arcane Explosion: Yet another reason that mages dominate when it comes to cleaving and AoE.
- Evocation: A spell that any mana user is envious of. Being able to regenerate your mana at a 1500% rate is pretty neat.
- Presence of Mind(Arcane): The ability to instantly cast any spell in your arsenal is incredible.
- Pyroblast: Combine with the presence of mind ability, and you can do some ridiculous things.
Classic WoW Mage Overview – By Platinum WoW
Human / Dwarf
The paladin is a virtuous defender of the weak and a tireless enemy of the undead. Mixing elements of the warrior and the priest, the paladin is a tough melee fighter with great health, excellent protection and very strong buffs. It also has a useful mix of healing and defensive spells.
”Paladin” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
The Paladin is the stalwart defender of the light and righteous symbol of the Alliance. Equipped with plate armor and the strongest defensive cooldowns in the game, the paladin is the most resilient class in the game. And can be both on the frontline with a sword in hand or a support and healer class.
The Paladin can specialize in either protection, holy, or retribution and is one of only two classes that can fill every role in the game. However, both retribution and protection are nowhere near as powerful as holy in a PvE setting, and most paladins will end up as healers.
In PvP, you do have a bit more freedom than in PvE, but healing is still the default option for most paladins. They are incredibly hard to kill and can dish out the most potent single-target heals in the game. That said, retribution and even to a certain extent, protection, can be very hard to deal with in PvP, especially for other melee classes.
Paladins are known for their incredible healing, resilience, and unmatched buffing potential. Their playstyle is very much on the simple side, which makes them an excellent beginner class.
Why you should play a Paladin
- Fantastic healers in both PvE and PvP.
- Free mount at level 40 and a cheaper epic mount at 60 through an epic(though costly) class questline.
- Incredibly desired class due to their incredible buffs & support toolkit.
- Very resilient and hard to kill in PvP and PvE.
- Very easy to learn for beginners.
- 3 very different specilizations.
- Being faction specific is cool.
- Retribution can be great in PvP, especially versus melees.
- Protection makes for excellent tanks in dungeons if you know what you are doing.
Why you shouldn’t play a Paladin
- Very slow levelers.
- Very slow playstyle.
- Generally forced into the healer role.
- Low mobility.
- Protection and retribution isn’t very good in PvE.
Paladins are the envy of the Horde as they bring a ton of unique and powerful tools to the dungeon and raids groups of the Alliance with their blessings, auras, and unparalleled single-target healing.
They are an excellent class for beginners or people who enjoy a simple playstyle but has a large enough toolkit to have a lot of depth still.
As a paladin, you will have no trouble getting into any content if you specialize in the holy talent tree. However, they struggle as damage dealers and tanks in particular.
Paladin - Retribution Performance
Retribution is the default leveling specialization for paladins. They are incredibly safe and steady levelers but not very engaging in terms of gameplay.
Retribution paladins have a tough time in raid content due to their suboptimal damage output and non-existent AoE. However, they do still bring incredible buffs and utility to the group by merely being a paladin. They can be extremely useful in dungeons as they can do decent enough damage and their vast toolkit and ability to both off-tank and off-heal is incredibly valuable.
PvP is another matter for the retribution paladin. While still not nearly as powerful as their holy comrades, they are still able to do really well in a lot of PvP scenarios. They have exceptional survivability due to their cooldowns and plate armor but can still dish out some serious damage with a bit of luck. They thrive in 1-versus-1 scenarios against melees and classes with no sustain or low mobility.
Paladin - Healing Performance
Paladins are fantastic healers from the get-go but also one of the healers that scale best with gear and will even challenge priests for the top spot in the later phases. They have amazing output and the best buffs in the entire game and only gets stronger over time.
Many would argue that the Paladin is the most powerful defensive healer in PvP. They are almost impossible to kill and have insane amounts of single-target healing and excellent cooldowns. However, they do lack offensive capabilities but can enable their teammates incredibly well with blessings and cooldowns.
Paladin - Protection Performance
Protection paladins have huge potential for AoE tanking, AoE farming, and in some cases, duels. However, their mana dependency and lack of a taunt make them by far the worst raid tanks and mediocre dungeon tanks at best.
It is an interesting specialization that can do some awesome things in solo PvE scenarios but rarely see any use in group play.
Paladin Talents & Specializations
- Holy: Here, the paladin can improve it’s healing and support power.
- Protection: A specialization that you will rarely want to go deep into, but it provides a lot of excellent survivability to the paladin that makes it a fantastic choice for hybrid builds.
- Retribution: Through this tree, the paladin can become a powerful damage dealer in its own right and become a foe to be reckoned with in PvP.
Iconic Paladin Abilities
Let us take a look at some of the stand-out abilities of the paladin
- Summon Warhorse: The value of getting a free mount at level 40 is hard to overstate and getting a cheaper, unique epic mount is also incredible.
- Lay on Hands: Being able to heal an ally or yourself instantly to full health sounds balanced, right?
- Divine Shield: Makes the paladin immune to all damage while still being able to cast spells and attack is one of the most overpowered abilities of Vanilla. Combine it with your hearthstone, and you never have to lose a fight again.
- Seals: The paladin has a ton of seals to choose from that empower their fighting abilities with holy power.
- Judgement: Unleash the holy power of whichever seal you have active.
- Hammer of Justice: A no-nonsense long stun on a short cooldown.
- Divine Intervention: Give your own life to save the raid group from a corpse run. Throw it on a priest, and your raid will appreciate the noble sacrifice.
- Blessings: This buff comes in various forms and makes the paladin the most versatile buffer in the game.
- Auras: Just being near you makes your party stronger and better, and you can choose between several beneficial effects.
- Hammer of Wrath: A powerful execution ability with a cool animation. What’s not to love?
- Consecration(Holy): Consecrate the land beneath the paladin. This entire world must be purged.
Classic WoW Paladin Overview – By Platinum WoW
Human / Dwarf / Night Elf / Troll / Undead
Priests harness the powers of light and shadow, healing allies and causing damage to their enemies. While only able to wear cloth armor, priests have a wide array of spells to keep themselves and their allies alive in the face of danger.
”Priest” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
Priests wield the powers of light and shadow to either heal their allies or incinerate their enemies.
Priests are the kings of healing in Classic WoW with their incredible output and the most versatile healing kit out of any class in Vanilla. They can do anything from shielding and healing-over-time to raw single-target healing and area-of-effect healing. This versatility makes them one of the most desired classes in Classic, and you won’t have trouble finding spots in any type of group content.
You can also cast away the holy light in favor of dark shadow magic and become one of the most destructive forces in PvP. Shadow Priests are incredibly hard to kill and even harder to survive against as they can ”melt” almost any class. Shadow can also work in PvE to a certain extent but are far less desirable than their holy and discipline counterparts due to substantial mana issues.
Why you should play a Priest
- Top tier healers in every type of PvE Content.
- Shadow is incredibly powerful in PvP, especially in one-on-one situations.
- Everyone wants a healer priest in their group.
- Priests have race-specific abilities that add a lot of nuances (see them in the ”Spells & Talents section”).
- Pretty effective levelers once you get a wand.
- Mind control is one of the most fun abilities in the game for world PvP.
- Priests get a cool class-specific quest that tests your skills as a priest and rewards you with an epic staff(Benediction/Anathema).
- Has by far the most healing/support abilities, making it the most engaging healer in PvE.
Why you shouldn’t play a Priest
- Are expected to heal in PvE in almost every situation.
- Shadow has big mana issues.
- Certain races are considered ”the best” moreso than with other classes due to race-specific abilities.
- No mobility, which can be troublesome in PvP.
Priests are phenomenal healers in both PvE and PvP content, and you will make a lot of friends as a healing priest. Shadow is not particularly good for PvE but is absolute gods in PvP that will make even rogues and warlocks think a second time before engaging.
They also have unique race-specific abilities that add a cool flavor to the class. They are not exactly balanced, but the priest is such a great class in on itself that even suboptimal races will have no issues finding groups.
Priest - Healer Performance
Priests are by far the most versatile healers in the game and in terms of raw healing output they are unmatched. At a time where most healers have only a few healing abilities, the priest has healing and abilities for every single situation imaginable. If you want to be the most useful you can be for your friends or guild, then a healing priest is an excellent choice.
In PvP, their healing output is equally amazing, but they struggle from poor mobility and survivability.
Priest - Shadow Performance
Shadow priests have a very high damage output but also have the poorest mana efficiency out of any spell caster in the game. This means that they have a hard time competing with mages, warlocks, and hunters in raids and dungeons but still have a spot in raids due to shadow weaving.
PvP is another story, though. While shadow priests still have poor mana efficiency, they also have incredible burst and very high survivability due to shields and shadow form. Shadow priests are a top tier PvP class and arguably the best dueling and one-on-one class in the game.
Priest Talents & Specializations
These are the three priest specializations. You will often see priests pick a hybrid between holy and discipline to become the ultimate healer or go deep shadow for damage.
- Discipline: The most support focused priest specialization with a focus on resource management and buffs.
- Holy: Holy is mostly focused on raw healing output.
- Shadow: Forego your holy powers in favor of destructive shadow magic. Here you learn to enter a form of pure shadow that reduces physical damage taken and empowers damage.
Iconic Priest Abilities
Let us take a look at some of the cool, unique, priest abilities.
- Flash Heal/Greater Heal/Prayer of Healing: The priest has healing for every situation.
- Renew: The priest healing-over-time ability, as if they didn’t have enough already.
- Power Word: Shield: A big chunky shield that adds to their supporting toolkit.
- Psychic Scream: An instant cast fear that hits multiple targets.
- Mind Blast: A fast but hard-hitting ability.
- Shadow Word: Pain: A powerful damage-over-time ability.
- Mind Control: One of the most fun and useful PvP abilities in the game, and it also has cool uses in PvE.
- Mana Burn: Being able to burn away your enemies mana is not only efficient but one of the most infuriating abilities to be the victim of.
- Holy Nova: AoE healing & damage in the same ability is really unique.
- Power Word: Fortitude: A significant increase to your own and allies health. Yet another reason that everyone loves to have a priest in their group.
- Race Specific Spells: See below.
Classic WoW Priest Overview – By Platinum WoW
Race Specific Priest Abilities
One of the coolest things about priests in Classic Wow is that each race has a set of unique abilities that sets them apart from other priests.
- Desperate Prayer – Instantly heals the caster.
- Feedback – The priest becomes surrounded with anti-magic energy. Any successful spell cast against the priest will burn 105 of the attacker’s Mana, causing 1 Shadow damage for each point of Mana burned. Lasts 15 sec.
- Fearward – Wards the friendly target against Fear. The next Fear effect used against the target will fail, using up the ward. Lasts 10 min.
- Desperate Prayer – Instantly heals the caster.
- Starshards – Rains starshards down on the enemy target’s head, causing 936 Arcane damage over 6 sec.
- Elune’s Grace – Reduces ranged damage taken by 95 and increases chance to dodge by 10% for 15 sec.
- Hex of Weakness – Weakens the target enemy, reducing damage caused by 20 for 2 min.
- Shadowguard – The caster is surrounded by shadows. When a spell, melee or ranged attack hits the caster, the attacker will be struck for (26.7% of Spell power) Shadow damage. Attackers can only be damaged once every few seconds. This damage causes no threat. 3 charges. Lasts 10 min.
- Touch of Weakness – The next melee attack on the caster will cause (10.7% of Spell power) Shadow damage and reduce the damage caused by the attacker by 20 for 2 min.
- Devouring Plague – Afflicts the target with a disease that causes 896 Shadow damage over 24 sec. Damage caused by the Devouring Plague heals the caster.
Human / Dwarf / Night Elf / Gnome / Orc / Troll / Undead
The rogue is one of the most lethal character classes in the game, able to deal out immense damage in a short period of time. Yet, for all their fast-hitting power, rogues are not very durable, relying on quickness and stealth for protection instead of armor and high health.
”Rogue” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
Rogues are the scoundrels of Vanilla that strikes from the shadow with sword and dagger to eliminate their enemies. They have a huge toolkit of powerful cooldowns, stealth and crowd control that makes them a dominant force in PvP and few can survive an encounter with a well-prepared rogue.
In PvE, they are the absolute best damage dealers alongside warriors and stay consistently powerful throughout the entirety of Vanilla. They also bring useful utility outside of their damage with reasonable crowd control and ability to lockpick doors that would otherwise require a key.
Rogues are perhaps the most deadly world PvP class in the entire game due to their powerful cooldowns, crowd control, and ability to choose when to pick a fight. They can beat any class in the game but is also very reliant on getting the opener and having cooldowns ready.
Why you should play a Rogue
- S tier in both PvE and PvP.
- Best world PvP class in the game.
- Stealth is incredibly useful and a big advantage over other classes.
- Incredibly powerful cooldowns.
- Useful utility with sap, blind, and even the ability to temporarily tank with evasion.
- Pretty easy to play well but has a high skill cap.
- Able to open up locked doors that would otherwise require a key.
- Scale really well with gear but isn’t weak without it.
Why you shouldn’t play a Rogue
- Very cooldown dependent.
- Overpopulated class.
- Very squishy.
- Poor area-of-effect damage.
- Leveling up the class-specific professions, lockpicking and poisons, can be very tedious.
Rogues are one of the most popular classes in Classic WoW and it is not hard to see why. They are at the top of the charts in both PvE and PvP and their ability to stealth opens up a lot of interesting options.
Their biggest, and perhaps the only weakness is their reliance on cooldowns. There is a huge difference between facing off against a rogue with cooldowns and without.
Rogues are among the worst levelers in the game due to their dependency on stealth, cooldowns, and lack of self sustain.
Rogues are the best damage dealers in raids alongside warriors and can put out an insane amount of single target damage and have more ways to drop aggro than any other class. While not as good in dungeons due to a lack of area-of-effect damage, they do bring useful utility with sap, lockpicking, and excellent cooldowns and are still very sought after. Their popularity will make initial gearing difficult though.
Rogues are death incarnate in PvP, and their absurd combination of burst damage, crowd control, and stealth makes them excellent in all types of PvP. A well-prepared rogue with cooldowns ready is almost impossible to deal with, even for the likes of Shadow Priests and Warlocks.
Rogue Talents & Specializations
Although all three rogue trees are damage specializations, they all bring something different and useful to the table.
- Assassination: Here, you focus mainly on improving poisons and better resource acquirement. You learn the vigor skill that increases your maximum energy and cold blood that guarantees a critical strike on your next ability.
- Combat: This tree focuses more on raw damage output than any other rogue specialization. Here you can learn blade furry, which give the rogue some AoE potential as well as adrenaline rush which significantly increase energy regeneration for a short time.
- Subtlety: Subtlety is all about improving the sneaking abilities of the rogue. You greatly enhance the effectiveness of your stealth and the skills you can use in stealth. It also has some incredibly powerful cooldowns in preparation and premeditation.
Iconic Rogue Abilities
The rogue has one of the most iconic toolkits in Classic Wow.
- Stealth: Perhaps the most useful ability in the game for both PvE and PvP.
- Vanish: One of the few classes that can reset or flee from a fight at will.
- Pick Lock: The only class in the game that can open up locked doors and chests without the required key.
- Ambush: The definition of what it means to be a rogue, the bane of cloth users.
- Sprint: One of the best mobility tools in the game.
- Sap: The rogue’s primary crowd control ability.
- Poisons: Another rogue-only mechanic. Craft an array of useful toxins that you can attach to your weapons.
- Evasion: Takes the rogue from being squishy to unkillable for physical damage dealers.
- Cheap shot + Kidney shot + Gouge: While these are by no means the rogue’s only crowd control, these three abilities provide the rogue with more control in PvP than any other class.
- Blind: Another in-combat crowd control ability that the rogue has at its disposal.
Classic WoW Rogue Overview – By Platinum WoW
Orc / Tauren / Troll
The shaman is a versatile and flexible class that fulfills many roles in an adventuring party. While other classes are pure fighters or spellcasters, the shaman enjoys a happy medium in between. The shaman is an effective spellcaster, but can also fight extremely well with mace and staff.
”Shaman” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
The shaman is the symbol of the Horde and the envy of the Alliance. They use the forces of the elements to conjure useful totems, cast powerful spells, and even enhance their physical fighting abilities.
The shaman is one of the only classes to have three useful talent specializations. They can be great healers with restoration, powerful spellcasters with elemental and deadly warriors through the enhancement tree. While they usually end up as healers in PvE, there is a niche place for enhancement shamans in raids as well. Luckily, restoration shamans are incredibly useful in both raids and dungeons due to their powerful healing and an unparalleled amount of buffs and utility through their totems.
PvP is another matter though, here every single specialization is excellent in its own right. Elemental is one of the most bursty spell casters in the game, and enhancement can be the most overpowered melees with a bit of luck. It is the only class to provide three very different specializations for PvP that is all very viable.
Why you should play a Shaman
- Fantastic area-of-effect healers due to chain heal and totems.
- Ghost wolf at level 20 really helps speed up leveling & traversing in general.
- Only class with a ranged DPS, melee DPS and a healer specialization that are all viable in PvP.
- Both elemental & enhancement shamans can do some ridiculous things in PvP with their insane burst.
- Good levelers.
- Brings an insane amount of buffs and utility to a group with their totems.
- Being faction-specific is cool.
- Windfury & windfury totem is one of the most fun buffs in the game.
- Have almost no competition on gear.
Why you shouldn’t play a Shaman
- The huge amount of totems can be hard to keep track off.
- Enhancements, and elemental in particular, is not very good in PvE.
- Enhancement is very reliant on luck due to windfury.
The shaman is a phenomenal support and hybrid class which any group will be happy to have in any type of content. They have several unique buffs that make them a must-have in any raid group and very sought after in 5-man content.
They are also powerful in PvP and a feared class among the Alliance. It is a class with very few weaknesses and a lot of strengths. They are not at the top of the healing or damage meters, but what they lack in raw output they make up for with their totems and varied toolkit.
Shaman - Elemental Performance
Elemental shamans suffer from the same issues as balance druids and shadow priests with mana inefficiency and poor aggro management. They don’t work well in raids but is decent enough in dungeons since they still bring a lot of utility with totems and off healing.
In PvP, however, they are absolute monsters. The elemental shaman has an absurd amount of burst, good survivability, and a broad toolkit in general that makes them very hard to deal with. They are the nightmare of casters in particular due to having interrupts with almost no cooldown and grounding totem than absorbs the next ability thrown at the shaman.
The elemental shaman will usually go decently far into the restoration tree. So you will likely be able to heal most PvE content in phase 1 without any problems.
Shaman - Enhancement Performance
Much like their elemental brothers, the enhancement shamans can put out insane amounts of burst damage with two-handed windfury weapon and a bit of luck. However, the random nature of windfury also means that they are a lot less consistent than elemental shamans. Enhancement shaman is not very sought after in raids and is generally only brought by serious guilds if they own the Nightfall axe to increase spell damage taken on the boss.
If you don’t mind relying on a bit of luck, then enhancement shaman can be incredibly fun in PvP. With a bit of luck, you will be able to blow people up, but more often than not, you will suffer from inconsistency and struggle against most classes. They can do incredible things in PvP with good gear and a stroke of luck but usually won’t be as strong as their elemental counterparts.
Shaman - Healer Performance
Restoration shamans are some of the best PvE healers and highly sought after in both raids and dungeons due to their incredible area-of-effect healing with chain heal and powerful group buffs with totems. It is not uncommon to see 6-8 shamans in a raid group since totem effects are only applied to the party.
In PvP, they are powerful offensive healers and excel in bigger fights and their totems such as grounding totem, tremor totem, and windfury totem is invaluable.
Shaman Talents & Specializations
- Elemental: Focuses on spellcasting and increasing overall damage of your spells and offensive totems.
- Enhancement: A focus on physical power and expertise with melee weapons. Learn to use 2-handed weapons and stormstrike, which gives you an additional powerful attack.
- Restoration: Use the restorative powers of the world to regenerate your allies and increase the power of your supporting totems. Learn to summon a powerful mana regeneration totem and even instant cast nature spells with nature’s swiftness.
Iconic Shaman Abilities
Shamans have a ton of unique abilities in their toolkit.
- Ghost Wolf: One of the only permanent speed increase abilities in the game. Especially useful because you learn it well before you get your first mount.
- Windfury Weapon: A chance for your attacks to swing additional times. This can lead to some absurd damage if you are lucky enough, especially since your windfury swings can proc more windfury swings.
- Reincarnation: The shaman can resurrect themselves once an hour, provided they have an ankh in their bags.
- Lightning Shield: A shield of lighting surrounds the caster than deals damage when struck.
- Chain lightning: A powerful hitting spell that spreads to multiple targets.
- Chain Healing: One of the few good area-of-effect healing abilities of Classic WoW.
- Totems: Shamans have a vast array of different totems where you can have one of each elemental type active at a time. These give just about any beneficial effect that the situation calls for and can even share the windfury effect with the group.
- Shocks: A hard-hitting instant cast spell that comes in either a frost, earth, or fire version, all with different effects.
Classic WoW Shaman Overview – By Platinum WoW
Human / Gnome / Orc / Undead
These spellcasters can summon demons to serve them, and they also cast many painful spells that slowly eat at the life of enemies. Warlocks are a physically weak class, but they compensate for this deficiency with their potent array of spell and their demonic pets.
”Warlock” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
Warlocks are powerful spellcasters that study the forbidden arts of dark magic, to summon demons and unleash painful spells and curses upon their foes.
They are one of the fastest levelers in the game since their demonic companions can tank mobs and they can sustain themselves with drain abilities. This ability to handle solo content also translates to the max level where warlocks are one of the best solo classes in the game.
In raids and dungeons, they also do well, especially in dungeons. Their damage is not the best in raids due to the unique debuff limit mechanic of Vanilla, but in the later phases, they become a top tier DPS regardless. They bring so many valuable things to the group that they are still more than welcome in raids in the early phases with their soulstones, healthstones, and most importantly, ability to summon allies.
PvP is where the warlock really starts to take off. Warlocks are very hard to kill despite wearing cloth and have a vast array of crowd control and self-sustaining abilities that makes them even harder to deal with. A well-played warlock can beat any class in the game and are excellent in both battlegrounds, world PvP, and duels.
Why you should play a Warlock
- Absolute monsters in PvP with multiple viable specializations.
- Excellent levelers.
- Free mount at level 40 and a cheaper epic mount at 60 through an epic class questline.
- Brings some of the most useful utility in the game with soulstones, healthstones, and summons.
- Incredibly tough to kill, despite wearing cloth.
- A vast array of cool demons to control.
- Scales really well over the phases and becomes one of the best DPS’ers later in Vanilla, despite of the debuff limit.
- All three specializations are pretty different from one another, despite all being damage focused.
- Some of the most fun niche abilities with ritual of doom, inferno, etc..
Why you shouldn’t play a Warlock
- Debuff limit is holding their DPS back in raids.
- Managing soulshards for demons and abilities takes up a lot of bagspace.
- Farming soulshards is very tedious.
- Very reliant on gear.
- Boring PvE rotation.
- Alliance warlocks is at an disadvantage as undeads can break their most prominent crowd control(Fear).
The Warlock is decent in the first raid tier but grows stronger and stronger as the Classic phases roll out. They are held back in raids by the debuff limit on bosses but are still wanted for their curses and utility. They scale very well though and will become a top tier DPS later on.
In PvP, they are absolute juggernauts and at the top of the food chain. They are incredibly hard to kill, deal a ton of damage and have fear, which is arguably the best PvP crowd-control in the game.
Warlocks are one of the best levelers in the game and behind only to druids and hunters. In terms of ease of leveling, I would argue that the warlock is on par with the hunter due to incredible resource management and the voidwalker being such a good tank.
Warlocks are essential to any raid group due to their ability to summon people, conjure healthstones, soulstones, and cast powerful curses. However, their damage is not great in the early phases, but as the patches roll out, the warlock becomes a lot stronger and end up as a top tier damage dealer. In dungeons, they do a bit better as they are freer to use the curses they prefer and have good area-of-effect damage.
This is where the warlock goes from good to straight up overpowered. The combination of fear, damage-over-time, and hard-hitting spells makes them a force to be reckoned with. They are also extremely durable compared to other cloth wearing classes due to having a huge array of defensive and self-sustain abilities. They are one of those classes that can crush just about any other class if you outplay your opponent. Exceptional in one-on-one scenarios and world PvP but also very good in battlegrounds with their only real weakness being poor mobility.
Warlock Talents & Specializations
- Affliction: A focus on curses, siphoning, and damage-over-time in general.
- Demonology: A focus on making the warlock’s demons stronger and survivability in general. Teaches you to link the soul between you and your pet to divide damage among you.
- Destruction: A more direct approach to damage as you focus on hard-hitting spells like shadow bolt and soul fire instead of damage over time abilities.
Iconic Warlock Abilities
The warlock has too many iconic abilities to list them all, but here are some of the most class-defining.
- Base Demons: This includes your Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, and Felhunter. Each with unique abilities for specific situations.
- Inferno: Summon a massive infernal to obey your commands for 5 minutes, after which you must enslave it to maintain control.
- Doomguard: This demon is so powerful that it requires a life of another player even to summon, be it friend or foe through either the ritual of doom or the curse of doom.
- Summon Dreadsteed: Unique class-specific mount with a fantastic questline to unlock it.
- Ritual of Summoning: In a huge world such as Azeroth it is incredibly useful being able to summon allies to your location.
- Fear: One of the most infuriating crowd controls in the game, send your enemies running while you continue to kill them.
- Curses: Whether you want to slow your enemies, hinder their spellcasting, or just downright kill them, the warlock has a curse for it.
- Drain Life/Mana/Soul: Draining the lifeforce from their adversaries is one of the warlocks favorite thing to do.
- Shadow Bolt: The warlocks primary damaging spell that packs quite a punch once you have some gear.
- Soul Fire: One of the hardest hitting abilities in the game that can incinerate your foes.
- Create Soulstone: The life insurance of World of Warcraft. Enables the warlock or a party member to come back from the dead.
- Create Healthstone: The warlock can conjure, what is essentially a health potion, at the cost of a soul shard.
- Rain of Fire: The warlock’s go-to area-of-effect ability.
Classic WoW Warlock Overview – By Platinum WoW
Human / Dwarf / Gnome / Night Elf / Orc / Tauren / Troll / Undead
The warrior is the toughest of all classes in World of Warcraft. They have the highest health of any class, can use the best weapons, can wear the heaviest armor, and can also deal an excellent amount of damage.
”Warrior” as described in the Original World of Warcraft 2004 Manual
Warriors are your archetypical fighter class that wears big plate armor and skillfully wield just about any weapon in the game. They can be terrifying beserkers or resilient tanks.
In PvE, the warrior is by far the best tank in Classic WoW and just about the only one you will see in serious raid groups. They are also incredible as damage dealers and are considered the best in the game alongside rogues for raid content. Warriors are sought after in all types of group content but struggle when it comes to solo content due to their lack of self-sustain. This is also why they are the toughest and slowest class to level, but they do well as duo levelers.
In PvP, the warrior is the most feared on the battlefield when it comes to battlegrounds and large-scale PvP. They are nearly unstoppable if they have a healer backing them up and can turn an entire battleground in their favor. That said, they are much weaker in dueling scenarios as they have no self-sustain and are pretty easy to kite. However, their exceptional damage does still make them scary to fight against.
Why you should play a Warrior
- Exceptional damage dealers in all types of content.
- Unstoppable in PvP with a healer behind them.(almost)
- By far the best tanks in the game, especially in raids.
- Can wield all the coolest weapons in the game.
- Very high skill cap due to their unique ‘stance’ mechanic.
- Very sought after in all types of group content, both PvE and PvP.
- 3 viable specializations.
Why you shouldn’t play a Warrior
- Worst levelers in the game.
- No self-sustain.
- Very gear reliant.
- Overpopulated class.
- Weak in solo content, be it PvE or PvP.
Warriors are the most popular class in Classic WoW due to them being the best damage dealers as well as tanks. Their performance in both PvP and PvE is unmatched in group content, but they struggle when they are on their own.
Both as a tank and a damage dealer, the warrior, is the alpha of Vanilla World of Warcraft, which makes it one of the most sought after classes for group content. However, as strong as the warrior is in group content, just as weak they are in solo content. Their heavy reliance on gear and lack of sustain makes both leveling and farming a challenge.
Warrior - DPS Performance
Warriors struggle in solo content, both in PvE and PvP. They are the worst levelers in the game and don’t do particularly well with farming either. That said, they are fantastic duo levelers if you have a friend who plays a healer class since they have infinite resources.
Fury warriors are a top tier DPS in both raids and dungeons, and you will almost always see a warrior at the top of the damage meter. Both their single-target and area-of-effect damage is fantastic and is highly sought after all types of PvE content. This makes a bit up for the fact that they are by far the most popular class.
Just like in PvE, the warrior is an absolute juggernaut in PvP with a group to support and offset the warrior’s lack of sustain. But once you remove the healer from the warrior, he starts to struggle and has a tough time against classes that can sustain themselves or kite well. The warrior does still have some potential in solo PvP due to its exceptional damage output.
If you enjoy leading the charge and group content in general, then the warrior is an excellent choice.
Warrior - Tank Performance
The warrior is THE tank in Classic World of Warcraft, and no other class can compete with the mitigation and threat generation of the warrior tank. In raids, in particular, they are miles ahead of their paladin and druid counterparts, but in dungeons, there is a bit more flexibility.
The only downside to playing a warrior tank is how weak they are in solo content since they have no sustain and poor damage.
In PvP, they don’t see much use but can work as flag carriers in Warsong Gulch but is still inferior to druids.
Warrior Talents & Specializations
- Arms: A focus on weapon expertise and fighting abilities. Here you learn the Mortal Strike ability, which does devastating damage and reduces the healing received of your target.
- Fury: The best defense is a good offense. Fury is all about enraged damage and bloodthirst.
- Protection: Here, you specialize in defensive capabilities to shield your allies from harm.
Iconic Warrior Abilities
Let us take a look at some of the most iconic warrior abilities.
- Stances: The warrior can swap between three stances; Defensive, Battle, and Beserker. Each having unique benefit and abilities.
- Taunt: Take instant aggro from your target. This is one of the abilities that make the warrior such a powerful tank.
- Sunder Armor: The best threat generating ability in the game.
- Battle Shout: Empower your party with improved fighting power.
- Charge: The warrior is always the first to charge into battle.
- Execute: Potentially the most lethal physical ability in the game which can only be used on a low-health target.
- Hamstring: The warrior is almost unstoppable once he is in range of his target. Hamstring makes it difficult for the prey to escape.
- Shield Wall/Retaliation/Recklessness: These very powerful cooldowns allow the tank to become a literal god every 30 minutes.
- Mortal Strike/Bloodthirst/Shield Slam: Each of the warriors three specializations have really cool and iconic abilities at the end.
Classic WoW Warrior Overview – By Platinum WoW
Poll – What Class Will You Play?
What Class Will You Play in World of Warcraft Classic?
- Warrior (16%, 639 Votes)
- Warlock (15%, 609 Votes)
- Priest (12%, 455 Votes)
- Mage (11%, 426 Votes)
- Druid (9%, 367 Votes)
- Shaman (9%, 364 Votes)
- Rogue (9%, 363 Votes)
- Hunter (8%, 304 Votes)
- Undecided (5%, 216 Votes)
- Paladin (5%, 208 Votes)
Total Voters: 3,951
Leveling Tier List
This is my personal leveling tier list for World of Warcraft Classic. However, some things, like mage AoE farming, could increase or decrease certain classes ranking.
Other Great Class Picking Guides for Classic Wow
If you still can’t decide on what to play in Classic World of Warcraft, here are some fantastic videos guides on the subject.
Special Thanks to:
eldaanzari for putting out a pack of open-source Classic WoW Icons
All the artists for their wonderful artwork. (See links below each image)