Hardcore Warrior Class Overview
Warriors are the melee-centered class. These characters are as tough as nails and masters of weaponry and tactics. The special abilities of the warrior are naturally combat-oriented.
This guide is specifically directed towards using Warrior on Hardcore servers.
Hardcore Classic Warrior Overview
Races for Warrior
In Classic World of Warcraft every race can be Warrior, though some are certainly stronger than others, each has its own unique strengths.
- Gnome — Gnome has some of the worst starting stats for a Warrior, but the Gnome racial, Escape Artist, removes root/slow effects and can get you out of an emergency situation you may not have forseen.
- Human — Human is the recommended race for Warrior due to their Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization racials which will increase your ability to hit enemies while leveling if using a Sword or Mace. Warrior's greatest weakness is their inability to hit consistently and generate their resource, Rage, so this helps alleviate the problem.
- Dwarf — Dwarf provides the unique racial Stoneform which causes immunity to bleeds, disease and poison effects while also granting 10% additional armor. This is a powerful defensive cooldown and can certainly help remove some of the peskier debuffs you will encounter in Classic.
- Night Elf — Night Elf has the greatest chance to avoid damage due to their Elusiveness racial and the ability to stealth out of combat with Shadowmeld. There's not much else in the way of combat benefits this race offers outside of Dodge rating.
- Orc — Orc has one of the strongest DPS racials in all of Classic with Blood Fury, as well as having Axe Specialization which increases your Axe skill, giving you a greater chance to hit while using an Axe. Hardiness cannot be underestimated as it increases your chance to resist any kind of stunning ability by 25%.
- Troll — Troll comes in a close second to Orc in regard to strongest DPS racial in Berserking and has its own strong set of complimentary racials to their main DPS cooldown. Regeneration allows you to continue to re-generate 10% of your total health while in combat.
- Tauren — Tauren is the tankiest of all possible starting races for Classic thanks to 5% increased health from Endurance. They also are the only race that comes with a built in AoE stun in form of War Stomp which can also act as a spell casting interrupt should you need it.
- Undead — Undead does not provide a ton of in the form of combat benefits other than some added Shadow Resistance and the added Fear/Charm break ability Will of the Forsaken.
The Stat priority that you will be following for Classic Hardcore is very similar to original Classic, but with a larger emphasis on Stamina, the added Health can at times be the difference between surviving an encounter with an enemy or not and is typically more reliable than gearing towards just damage. Even in a best case scenario gear wise you still have a significant chance of missing and leveling in Hardcore is all about removing variability.
For a more in-depth explanation of what stats you should be prioritizing and their benefits to your leveling experience checkout our Warrior leveling guide listed below, specifically the Warrior Gear section.
While it may be tempting to consider leveling as Protection, as it is the tankiest of the three possible specs, Arms is the perfect mix of kill speed and durability and the recommended spec. Arms utilizies two-handed weapons to help mitigate the hit penalty of using an off-hand weapon and in general will better optimize your rage spent per-damage.
For a detailed route on how to spend each of your talent points while leveling check out our Arms Warrior talent build guide specifically for leveling. This page also includes an Arms specifically priority list of how to deal maximum damage while leveling.
Professions are a huge part of Hardcore leveling as they can provide you with consumables that give considerable stat increases, items that can be used in case of emergencies or the ability to craft gear that will last you for countless levels. Below I will go in depth about the various professions combinations available in WoW Classic and their benefits specifically in a Hardcore context for Warrior.
Herbalism and Alchemy
Herbalism and Alchemy is a great pairing of professions as it will allow you to make consumable potions that not only give you a burst of health in an emergency situation but also offer considerable stat increases and the occasionally solution to a niche situation. Warrior specifically will benefit greatly from the Free Action Potion as it removes and makes you immune to all stunning/slowing effects for 30 seconds, slows being one of the Warriors greatest weaknesses. There are also countless potions that will offer buffs to give temporary stat increases that will smooth out the leveling process by making you much stronger than you otherwise would be. The only downside to this profession being the time you must invest to harvest your own materials via Herbalism.
Mining and Engineering
Engineering and Mining is a strong combo and while it offers less static increases than Alchemy and Herbalism it is still something you should consider as it offers quite a few extra buttons to get you out of a sticky situation. Target Dummy is a usable item that will instantly redirect threat to it, causing mobs to stop attacking you for either 15 seconds or until it dies. You will also have access to bombs that both deal AoE damage and incapacitate/stun whatever you are fighting which can sometimes be the difference in surviving an encounter.
Mining and Blacksmithing
Mining and Blacksmithing are also a great way to utilize your characters profession slots. Blacksmithing will allow you to create pieces of powerful armor and weapons while leveling. It can be difficult to plan around building a specific item as some items in Classic have rather hefty material requirements, but this can be used to plug in any holes in your gear that you may find as you progress through leveling.
If you are curious about the most efficient way to level your professions, or would like a list of many of the useful items you can craft, make sure to check out our Classic Profession guides listed below.
Warrior Specific tips for Hardcore
Warrior is one of the most gear reliant and inconsistent classes while leveling. This will lead to many situations where you are either just unlucky or have pulled more than you can handle, requiring you to always have a plan in mind for how to handle every possible situation.
Warrior should focus on killing mobs 1-2 levels below the Warrior, this allows you to avoid most leveling related hit penalties and will offer you a much more consistent experience fighting mobs so you are able to better gauge exactly how many you can kill between having to heal or even the possibility of pulling multiple mobs. You typically do not want to pull multiple mobs as a Warrior unless you have either Sweeping Strikes or Retaliation available. If at any point you pull three or more mobs your best choice is to run, your tools to escape are limited but they do exist and can be utilized to improve your odds of surviving. Hamstring should be used when attempting to disengage from a single mob that you have found is too powerful for you or if you're low health, Piercing Howl can be used in the same fashion but will impact multiple mobs. Intimidating Shout is your primary emergency button and using it will fear up to five enemies around you, just be sure that this won't pull more mobs that may further complicate your escape.
Utilizing thrown weapons to kite can be the difference in being able to kill an elite. This is a tactic that should only be used against extremely dangerous enemies that you must kill, like Cyclonian for your Whirlwind axe quest. What you should be trying to do is utilize items in the terrain, like a fence the player can jump over, but the mob cannot due to pathing constraint, since the mob has no available direct path to follow you it will take the shortest possible route which will cause them to run back and forth each time you jump across the object.
Warrior is also the most macro reliant class in the game due to their stances and the limitations on what abilities can be used in what stance. The major difference between a good and a great Warrior is their ability to utilize all three of their stances. Listed below is a guide on some of the most useful Macros that will greatly simplify using your classes abilities to their fullest extent.
Many people are enjoying Classic Hardcore by duo leveling. Warrior is a class that shines when paired with another class that can heal to allow Warriors to fully utilize their abilities, as Rage generation is much less of an issue when you are able to freely pull multiple mobs. Included below is a list of the most popular/effective class duos and their strengths/weaknesses!
General Hardcore Tips
And of course, if you are curious about more general hardcore tips that apply to not just Warrior checkout our Hardcore Classic hub that includes tips and tricks that will greatly increase your chances of surviving.
- 14 May 2023: Tier List added.
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