WoW Classic Class Guides for PvE

Last updated on Sep 21, 2019 at 18:35 by Blainie 1 comment

There are a total of 9 classes available to players in WoW Classic, with 2 faction-specific choices: Paladin for the Alliance and Shaman for the Horde.

Leveling one of these classes to Level 60 can be a huge time investment for most players, so it is important to choose the right one for you. We have put together viability sections for each class with a focus on PvE, so that you can make the right choice for your playstyle. If you want to read more about how they fare in PvP, you should check out our PvP viability guide.

1.

Available Classes in WoW Classic

The following classes are available in Classic, along with the roles that they can fill.

1.1.

Tanks

1.2.

Healers

1.3.

Ranged DPS

1.4.

Melee DPS

1.5.

Class Role Rankings

If you are interested in how these classes are ranked in their respective roles, you can read more about it in our Tank, Healer, and DPS class rankings.

2.

Druid

Druids are the most versatile class in the game, with their ability to fulfil every single role, including Ranged DPS (which Paladins cannot). Their use of animal forms allows them to change to suit almost every situation, but their versatility comes with a cost.

Specialisations Balance, Feral, Restoration
Armour Type Cloth, Leather
Races Night Elf, Tauren
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Skinning and Leatherworking
2.1.

Viability of Druids in PvE in WoW Classic

In every role they can fulfil, they are never the top choice for raids. They can tank, for example, but Warriors are almost always a better choice. They can heal and will have opportunities to raid, but their output not match up to other options, such as Priests.

Below, you can see what Impakt, our Druid guide writer, had to say about Druids and their ability to find a raid spot.

While Druids are viable, they are not exceptional in any role in PvE. Restoration is the most common spec played at Level 60, both in raids and PvP, but Feral is also sometimes seen in raids. Balance is the least common and least viable, suffering from massive Mana and damage problems at max level. While the number of raid spots for Druids is limited, they are also one of the least played classes in WoW Classic, which makes finding a raid spot relatively easy as Restoration.

3.

Hunter

Hunters are extremely strong solo players that bring solid damage output and utility to any group they choose to join. With their animal companion ready to tank at any moment, Hunters will find leveling one of the easiest and most enjoyable parts of Classic.

Specialisations Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, Survival
Armour Type Cloth, Leather, Mail (Level 40)
Races Dwarf, Night Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Skinning and Leatherworking
3.1.

Viability of Hunters in PvE in WoW Classic

With so much of their class built around the ability to level and farm solo, you may be surprised to know that Hunters actually have a fairly safe raid spot, especially early on when their damage is strong. You can read what Impakt, our Hunter guide writer, thinks below.

With a powerful animal companion, tracking abilities, traps, and deadly ranged attacks, Hunters are excellent at surviving alone in the world, both for farming and in PvP. These strong solo aspects also make Hunters exceptional levelers, both for speed and difficulty. In raids, Hunters are excellent damage dealers early on, but fall off in later tiers due to poor scaling. However, Hunters will always have a raid spot due to important utility abilities, such as Tranquilizing Shot Icon Tranquilizing Shot.

4.

Mage

Mages are the glass cannons of Classic, with extremely high damage potential, but very low survivability. They have a swathe of non-combat utility, such as the ability to conjure food and drinks for party members, as well as their variety of teleportation spells.

Mages also have one of the more unique paths of leveling available to them, known as AoE Grinding, which utilises their devastating AoE damage and combines it with an array of slowing and freezing effects to ensure their low survivability does not hinder them.

Specialisations Arcane, Fire, Frost
Armour Type Cloth
Races Human, Gnome, Troll, Undead
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Tailoring and Enchanting
4.1.

Viability of Mages in PvE in WoW Classic

Mages are one of the most desirable DPS classes in the game, as evidenced by the glowing testimony from our Mage guide writer, Seksixeny, found below.

Mages have great single-target damage and are very desirable in raiding and dungeons, as Frost in the first few raids due to the heavy Fire resistance of the enemies inside, and as Fire in the later raids, where their maximum damage potential is truly unlocked. They will generally be the highest ranged damage dealers in a raid group. Also, their ability to create water on the fly allows Mages to provide much needed support to their healers and other Mana users in the group.

5.

Paladin

Paladins are one of two faction-specific classes in Classic and, given the Alliance's widespread worship of the Light, it is no surprise that Paladins wield the power of the Light to vanquish their foes or heal and protect their allies, able to fulfil any of the three major roles of tanking, healing or DPSing.

Specialisations Holy, Protection, Retribution
Armour Type Cloth, Leather, Mail, Plate (Level 40)
Races Human, Dwarf
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering
5.1.

Viability of Paladins in PvE in WoW Classic

Just as with the other hybrids, just because Paladins can play as any role does not mean they have a spot in raids as every role. Their healing specialization, Holy, is by far their strongest in terms of raid viability and is the one you will most commonly find a raid spot as.

It is worth noting that Paladin tanks can struggle to tank in raids as they do not have a taunt spell, meaning they cannot instantly take aggro for tank swaps, instead having to gradually overtake the other tank in threat. In dungeons, this does not matter, as tank swaps are not required.

Impakt, our Paladin guide writer, explains this in more detail below.

Paladins can tank, heal, and DPS, but are by far the best at healing out of these roles. Holy Paladins are powerful healers, and most raids will bring 4 or more. Retribution and Protection are not nearly as common, but some raids will bring a single Retribution Paladin. Protection can be good for dungeons and farming, but has severe Mana and utility issues that make them non-viable for raids.

Paladins are mainly known for their extremely powerful raid buffs and auras, which are a big reason as to why many guilds choose to go Alliance.

6.

Priest

Just as Paladins can use the light to smite their foes and heal their allies, Priests have found a balance within the delicate intertwining of Light and Shadow magic. They are one of the best output healers in the game both in dungeons and raids.

Specialisations Discipline, Holy, Shadow
Armour Type Cloth
Races Human, Dwarf, Night Elf, Troll, Undead
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Herbalism and Alchemy, Tailoring
6.1.

Viability of Priests in PvE in WoW Classic

Priests are absolutely brilliant choices to heal in PvE, given their exceptional levels of output in the Holy tree and their party-buffing potential when moving into their Discipline tree. When looking at the class as a whole, as well as the talents available to them in Holy and Discipline, Blizzard essentially created the ideal and most "complete" healer for PvE.

Sadly, this does not extend to Shadow as a DPS, as evidenced by what our guide writer Impakt says below.

Priests are the iconic healing class of WoW Classic and are the only class with two distinct healing specializations in the game. With Power Word: Shield Icon Power Word: Shield, Renew Icon Renew, and Prayer of Healing Icon Prayer of Healing, Priests have the most complete healing toolkit in the game, enabling them to react to any situation. While other classes are brought to raids for buffs and utility, Priests are brought for their top tier healing throughput. As a healing Priest, you will never need to worry about finding a raid spot in WoW Classic.

While Priests specialize in healing, they also have a damage specialization as Shadow. Shadow Priests are not nearly as strong as their healing counterparts and will have difficulty finding a raid spot. Most of a Shadow Priest's damage comes from their spells that take up a debuff slot, such as Shadow Word: Pain Icon Shadow Word: Pain and Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay. This is a problem, since enemies can only have 16 debuffs at once, and Shadow Priests do not do enough damage to warrant using those slots for themselves. They also have some glaring Mana sustainability issues. Most raids will choose to bring exactly one Shadow Priest for Shadow Weaving Icon Shadow Weaving, which will buff the damage of Warlocks in your raid. For your rotation, however, you will be relegated to only using Mind Flay Icon Mind Flay and Mind Blast Icon Mind Blast, so do not expect to be topping meters.

7.

Rogue

The denizens of the shadows, Rogues are your main stealth class for Classic and they can pull off some real feats of brilliance. They have excellent damage potential and, despite a somewhat challenging leveling path, are brilliant choices for PvE.

Specialisations Assassination, Combat, Subtlety
Armour Type Cloth, Leather
Races All except Tauren
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Skinning and Leatherworking
7.1.

Viability of Rogues in PvE in WoW Classic

Although they may not be the best at surviving direct damage, Rogues can unleash a barrage of attacks when someone else is taking the aggro for them that results in some fairly exceptional DPS numbers. Our Rogue guide writer, Abyssalwave, definitely thinks they have a raid spot, as evidenced by his quote below.

Rogue is one of the best DPS classes in WoW Classic, having incredibly high single-target burst. Through the ability Vanish Icon Vanish, they are able to reset their threat, allowing them to continue DPSing where other classes would have to hold their DPS. Rogues are a highly requested DPS in a raid group, even though their leveling is a bit slower than other classes.

8.

Shaman

Shamans, masters of the elements, are one of two faction-specific classes and can only be played by Horde players. They act as a counterpart to the Alliance-specific Paladin class and can reliably heal and DPS, as well as tank under certain circumstances, despite not having a traditional tanking talent tree.

Just as the Paladins act as excellent supports through their vast amount of utility blessings and auras, Shamans do the same through their totems.

Specialisations Elemental, Enhancement, Restoration
Armour Type Cloth, Leather, Mail (Level 40)
Races Orc, Tauren, Troll
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Tailoring, Herbalism and Alchemy
8.1.

Viability of Shamans in PvE in WoW Classic

Shamans are similar to Druids in that, although they can fulfil many roles, they have to deal with the hybrid tax, meaning they are rarely the best choice for that role in terms of pure output. The exception here is healing, in which they are very much viable and are actually very useful to a group. Our Shaman guide writer, Seksixeny, goes into more detail about their viability below.

Shamans are one of the best support classes in the game, with their myriad of totems which have unique effects for all types of situations. They also have great support spells, such as Purge Icon Purge, a ranged interrupt in Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock, and the best area of effect heal in the game, Chain Heal Icon Chain Heal.

Any group will be very happy to have at least one Shaman for their totems and ability to heal (or off-heal, in the case of Enhancement and Elemental), and this applies to PvP and raid groups alike. In raids, as Restoration, you will be excepted to provide totems and steady healing, mostly through Rank 1 Chain Heal Icon Chain Heals. Enhancement can sometimes be found applying Nightfall Icon Nightfall's debuff to bosses, while Elemental is a rare sight..

9.

Warlock

Warlocks are masters of demons and dark magic, using curses and other afflictions to either reign down destruction on their foes or to rot them out. Warlocks are one of the top tier damage dealers in WoW Classic, while also being vital to any raid because of their unique utility spells, such as Ritual of Summoning Icon Ritual of Summoning.

Specialisations Affliction, Demonology, Destruction
Armour Type Cloth
Races Human, Gnome, Orc, Undead
Recommended Professions Mining and Engineering, Tailoring
9.1.

Viability of Warlocks in PvE in WoW Classic

Warlocks have the potential to deal huge amounts of damage, but they are limited in raid environments due to the debuff cap, which prevents them from using their wide array of damage-over-time spells. They have two viable builds in raids and the one you choose to play will depend on whether or not you are one of the Warlocks that is allowed to cast Corruption Icon Corruption.

Impakt, our resident Warlock guide writer, had this to say on their viability in PvE.

Warlocks are in the top tier of damage dealers in WoW Classic and are a vital part of any raid group. In addition to strong damage, Warlocks bring unique utility spells that no one else in the game has, specifically Ritual of Summoning Icon Ritual of Summoning and Soulstone Icon Soulstone. Perhaps most importantly though, Warlocks have powerful curses that are strong in both PvE and PvP, letting them make an enemy weaker in several different ways.

10.

Warrior

Warriors are, for most scenarios, considered as one of the best overall classes in WoW Classic, given their incredible ability to both act as the best tank in the game, as well as top damage meters throughout PvE instances.

Specialisations Arms, Fury, Protection
Armour Type Cloth, Leather, Mail, Plate (Level 40)
Races All
Recommended Professions Mining and Blacksmithing
10.1.

Viability of Warriors in PvE in WoW Classic

Warriors excel in almost every scenario you could place them in within the sphere of PvE. Especially as DPS, they are one of the classes that benefits most from better gear, entering a cycle in which their better gear ends up benefiting from their better gear through rage generation and gear damage modifiers.

Seksixeny, our Warrior guide writer, had this to say on Warriors in PvE.

Warrior is the best tank in WoW Classic, being the only class that receives tanking bonuses from their set items. The Protection Tree provides strong defensive abilities, such as Improved Shield Block Icon Improved Shield Block, which turn Shield Block Icon Shield Block into a tanking powerhouse, capable of warding off damage that would smash other tanks into the ground.

Warriors are also one of the best melee DPS classes in WoW Classic, having plenty of Fury and Arms builds designed to crush every type of PvE content the game has to offer, through powerful talents like Flurry Icon Flurry and Impale Icon Impale.

You can count on seeing at least one Warrior in every group, and several while raiding. Their solo leveling ability is weak, but if you manage to group up (for example, with a healer), speed goes way higher.

11.

Changelog

  • 21 Sep. 2019: Guide added.
Show more
Show less