World of Warcraft Classic offers nine classes. Paladin is exclusive to the Alliance faction, with Shamans exclusive to the Horde faction. The other seven are available to everyone.
If you’re a modern World of Warcraft player or it’s been years since you’ve played, you may need a refresher on the Classic classes. Over the years, a lot has changed, and now it’s back to where it started. Do you want to be a healer? A tank? A range or melee damage character (DPS)? There’s a lot to know before you pick.
Here’s a brief rundown of each class in World of Warcraft Classic.
Thanks to the WoWHead and IcyVeins guides for specifically detailing each class and build. This guide was written specifically for PvE. If you’re interested in primarily playing PvP in Classic, check out guides linked below.
Healer, tank, ranged, and melee DPS
Druids have the ability to change into different animals at will. They can perform many different roles in World of Warcraft Classic and are a great utility class. But while they have the ability to do it all, that doesn’t mean they should.
Balance ranged damage Druids are the worst PvE damage class in the game, and use only one spell over and over again. You probably don’t want to play Druid for this.
Feral melee DPS Druids don’t deal great damage but are significantly better than Balance druids. They have a lot of versatility and can swap between tanking and dealing damage very easily. Their actual spell rotation is fairly limited, but takes a lot of timing to perform correctly — making it more engaging than Balance.
The Feral melee DPS tree is the same as the Druid tank tree, meaning you can swap between the two mid-fight, depending on what your team needs. While they generate a lot of threat from bosses, their low damage mitigation still makes them a hard sell for raid teams.
Restoration healer Druids are stellar, and they should probably be your end goal if you choose this class. They don’t heal nearly as much as other healers, but their different kinds of healing (spells that heal slowly over time) make them a powerful raid healer. They also have a few instant-cast spells that help them cast on the go.
Hunters are high-damage, long-range combatants. They’re great for solo players who like doing things on their own (or just with a pet). They can even weave melee attacks into their rotation if they’re careful. It’s worth noting that Hunters have a lot of weird, annoying busywork to deal with like keeping arrows in their bag or feeding their pets.
If you don’t mind the annoying hassle, Hunters can be very powerful damage tools in any raid. Pick it up if you like dealing damage with bows from afar.
Mages are very powerful. They have three different disciplines with Arcane, Fire, and Frost. They’re also a class heavily influenced by player skill, and the best players have a lot of chances to show off. In the final raids of Classic, Mages will even beat out Hunters for top ranged damage — but are far less mobile.
Mages have very little health, and die easily. Players need to stay on their toes if they don’t want to die. Despite their squishy nature, every raid needs Mages to fill out their damage rosters. If you want to deal damage from afar without having to fight for a spot, Mage is a good class to pick up.
Rogues are melee damage dealers who use powerful poisons and debuffs to attack their targets. They’re best in smaller groups like dungeons, and have some very powerful utility tools. When specialized correctly for raids, they also have the most powerful armor debuff in World of Warcraft Classic.
Rogues are of course known for being monsters in PvP, and have lots of abilities for dealing with other players. They also have two different builds depending on if you’re using daggers or swords. Rogues have a fairly complex ability rotation compared to other melee DPS.
If you want to deal damage up close while slinking around in stealth, the Rogue is for you.
Healer, tank, melee DPS
Paladins are a powerful, Alliance-only class with the ability to play all three roles.
Paladin healers are very powerful in World of Warcraft Classic. They offer strong heals and can hand out several different buffs to allies. Their main weakness is their inability to heal multiple targets at once.
Paladin tanks aren’t nearly as powerful as their healer brethren. Without an ability to taunt, they have no way to grab threat from other tanks in the group. This makes them nearly impossible to raid with. But they are still very useful in dungeons.
Like tanks, Retribution melee DPS Paladins aren’t the best at what they do. But Retribution Paladins are good enough to warrant a spot in most raids. Their damage is low, but they provide powerful buffs to nearby allies. They act as a hybrid damage and support character in larger groups, and are very difficult to kill.
If you’re looking for a good hybrid melee DPS and healer class, Paladin is your best choice.
Healer, ranged DPS
Priests can deal damage and heal, although players just looking to deal damage should look elsewhere.
Ranged damage Shadow Priests are great at PvP and provide a powerful boss debuff in raids. But most raid groups will only use a single Shadow Priest, since players can only apply the debuff once. If you know there aren’t many Shadow Priests vying for a slot in your raid team, you stand a good chance of coming along. But Shadow Priests don’t bring enough power to a group to warrant more than one per raid.
Unlike Shadow, healing Priests are one of the best classes in the game. Their healing in raids and dungeons make them a top pick for any group. Their only drawbacks are their low health and inability to move around the battlefield quickly. Otherwise, this is a great class to gravitate toward if you’re interested in becoming a healer.
Healer, ranged and melee DPS
Shamans are a Horde-only class with powerful utility and the ability to heal and play melee or ranged DPS.
Shamans are powerful healers — so powerful, in fact, that most damage-dealing Shamans will end up healing in World of Warcraft Classic’s raids. Because of their abilities like Chain Heal, they offer very powerful group healing in all activities. Like all Shamans, they can drop useful Totems to buff allies.
Just because Shamans are traditionally healers doesn’t mean they can’t deal damage. Ranged DPS Elemental Shamans aren’t able to keep up in longer fights, but can deal a large amount of damage in a short period of time. They can also double as healers in a pinch, throwing out useful spells as they fight.
Melee DPS Enhancement Shamans fall off similarly to Elemental Shamans. They’re damage dealers but take a support role above all else. They have high burst damage with high mana costs, but their main job is to keep their allies buffed and healthy.
If you’re mainly interested in playing a support class — with a little damage on the side — the Shaman is a great pick for Horde players.
Warlocks deal decent damage and provide each raid group with powerful support tools. They’re harder to kill than other low health classes like Mage, which make them a bit more forgiving to play. While their primary attack does have a low hit rating and some bosses can resist it, Warlocks primarily appear in raids for their powerful curses against bosses.
If you like the idea of playing a Mage but want to be more supportive in groups and also be more metal, consider playing a Warlock.
Tank, melee DPS
Warriors will probably be a popular class in World of Warcraft Classic, just as they were in vanilla World of Warcraft 15 years ago. They can be tanks or melee damage dealers.
Melee DPS Warriors have some of the highest damage potential in the game. After their very difficult leveling phase, their ability to debuff enemy armor and scale beautifully off of gear make them a must have in most raid groups. But as Warriors are very popular, players will like have trouble competing for gear. Keep in mind that raid leaders may ask their DPS Warriors to tank or off-tank.
Tank Warriors are the best tanks in World of Warcraft Classic. They have powerful mitigation tools and can generate threat very easily, holding a boss’ attention for a long time. They can stand their ground against bosses and shrug off big hits that would likely kill other tanks. They run into the same gearing problems as other Warriors, but most groups favor gearing their tanks over their damage dealers.
If you want to tank or deal melee damage in World of Warcraft Classic, this is the class you’re looking for.