Nostalgia is a funny thing. Sometimes it isn’t because of a case of rosy retrospection. Some things from the past were just better. That’s why Metroidvania-style games are still thriving.
And this is also why so many gamers flocked to World of Warcraft Classic when it went live in 2019. It’s what made the World of Warcraft one of the best MMOs of all time. Leveling up in Vanilla WoW is such a long and arduous (but rewarding) grind, that you need to pick which class to main carefully.
This type of engrossing commitment is what still charms so many gamers. To help you commit to the right one and avoid any FOMO, your good friends at GG have decided to rank the WoW Classic best classes.
WoW Classic: Best Class (9 Classes Ranked)
Gamers have nine different classes to pick from. All with their own strengths and weaknesses. The class you ultimately pick needs to mould to your playstyle while conforming to your PvE and PvP aspirations.
In this guide, we’ll run through all nine classes while touching on their various specializations, strengths and weaknesses, how they handle in different environments, etc. Now, without further ado…
#1 Best Overall: Hunter
- Race(s): Night Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Tauren, Troll
- Available Weapons: Fist-based weapons, bows, crossbows, daggers, staves, thrown weapons, polearms, swords, axes, guns
- Available Armour: Leather, cloth, and mail (only from Lvl 40 and upwards)
In WoW’s mythos, hunters are an ancient and respected class. They’re reclusive and anti-social. How does this translate in the game? It makes them one of the best performers in open-world PvP as well as battlegrounds.
This is due to their ability to kite almost limitlessly. It also makes them very capable soloists, particularly in difficult group quests. With talents such as Hawk Eye, Multi-Shot and Aimed Shot, they’re a good class for players who prefer ranged attacks over melee combat.
Because of their best mastery hunters are seldom alone. This is why they’re one of the best solo PvE classes to play with. They’re essentially the game’s Pokemon masters. However, where their greatest strengths lie, also lies their greatest weakness.
As a hunter, you will be required to carry ammunition for your long-ranged attacks as well as food to feed your pet. Pet management is surprisingly complex. Neglect your pet (rhyme unintended) and you’re in danger of losing their loyalty. You may find yourself abandoned by it too. Carrying food and ammo takes up bag space, which leaves little space for other gear and items.
Nevertheless, you won’t have to buy a lot of gear for hunters anyway. This allows you to save a lot of gold over time. In addition to this, hunters have great farming potential. This is due to their tracking and excellent soloing capabilities.
It’s one aspect that makes hunters one of the best classes for cheapskates and in-game entrepreneurs. Because of their kiting abilities, you won’t find yourself dying a lot either.
Hunters can use Track Humanoids, Track Beasts, Track Demons, Track Giants, Track Elementals and Track Dragonkin to track mobs. Track Hidden can be used to track and find concealed flag-carriers in WSG.
Hunters have unrivalled mobility and speed. This is due to their aspects. Mainly Aspect of Monkey which increases their chance of dodging, Aspect of Cheetah which increases movement speed and Aspect of Pack which also increases movement speed, but for party members who are nearby.
This along with Track Hidden makes them indispensable during raids, despite not being the choice class for them. They deliver average performance in dungeons. Pet management can be a little distracting.
Despite it being needy, the pet is what makes the hunter one of the best classes to play with on WoW classic. Working with your pet in Vanilla WoW requires a little more skill than working with it in WoW Retail. Pets in WoW classic require more monitoring.
Nevertheless, hunters are extremely fun to play with. Feign Death and Tranquilizing Shot are great for crowd control. They are also awesome duellers and one of the biggest threats in battlegrounds. Due to their mobility, tracking and traps, they are nearly impossible to escape once they’re on the chase.
If you’re the loner type and you’re planning to play a lot of PvE, hunter is the best class for you.
#2 Most Versatile: Druid
- Races(s): Tauren, Night Elf
- Available Weapon(s): Mace, staff, fist-based weapons
- Available Armour: leather, cloth
Druids are arguably the most balanced class in WoW classic and yet, the most under-utilized. They excel well in raids and can be decent dungeon performers. They are above-average levellers. Of course, this depends on what skill tree you use.
Feral seems to be the best for levelling. In part, this is due to Cat Form. It allows them to output insanely high damage while retaining great mobility. What’s more, switching to Bear Form makes them excellent for dungeon tanking. However, you’d be better off using a warrior in this regard.
Resto druids are the only real druids who are in demand for raids. Except, they’re pretty lousy solo healers. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see a party run with a duet or trio of druids.
Resto druids aren’t very fun to play with. They lack what makes druids what they are. For instance shape-shifting. For instance, we’ve already mentioned how you can use a feral druid to switch between Cat Form and Bear Form on the fly.
At level 20, Cat form gives your druid rogue-like stealth capabilities while also increasing foot and attack speed. Cat From also makes feral druids exceptional farmers. Their increased mobility and stealth allows them to quickly and fluidly switch between targets.
Bear Form is mainly for tanking but it can also stun and taunt. There’s Moonkin Form for scoped spell casting. At level 30, you Travel Form which makes your druid 40% faster and protects you from polymorph attacks.
Druids also receive Aquatic Form which increases swim speed while also giving them the ability to breathe underwater. It’s not very good for fighting underwater because you can’t cast spells, however, it can be used strategically to refill your breath meter.
Hybrid resto druids can be extremely hard to kill, which makes them a formidable enemy in PvP. They’re great for flag carrying in WSG.
Once they hit level 10, druids can teleport to Moonglade. For the uninitiated, Moonglade is a druid hub that can be used as a second home where Northern Kalimdor can be accessed from.
Usually being a jack-of-all-trades, means you’re a master of none. This is also very true for druids. It’s one of the reasons they’re the most underutilized class in the game.
Which can be used to your advantage, because this means you won’t have to compete for gear. So you’ll be able to completely gear your druid up in no time. Because of the druid’s versatility, it’s perfect for players who have not yet cultivated a concrete playstyle – yet.
This means you’ll be able to experiment and decide where you want to fit into the world of Classic WoW.
#3 Best Healer Class: Priest
- Race(s): Human, Dwarf, Night Elf, Troll, Undead
- Available Weapon(s): Wands, staves, daggers
- Available Armour: Cloth
If you’re the altruistic type with real-world aspirations of becoming a doctor, then priests are definitely the best class for you.
They’re the choice healers for dungeons and raids. Especially after they reach level 60. Thanks to a diversity of spells that either heal over time and heal specific targets. One of the reasons where they’re the most in-demand spell casters and healers in the game.
Discipline priests not only can restore entire heal meters but they can manifest a shield to protect party members while healing them. The charity doesn’t only stop at healing. Power infusion builds can sacrifice their healing abilities by using Power Infusion to increase your highest-DPS caster ally’s performance.
Mental Strength also gives Power Infusion builds a 10% larger mana pool. Holy Priests are the best healers in the game. They’re such efficient healers that they can heal party members even after death through Spiritual Healing.
But not all Priest specialization are altruistic healers. The shadow priest is a DPS oriented specialization. They’re also one of the highest levellers in the game. We’re not suggesting that they’re useless in raids. They can use Shadow Weaving to debuff targets.
Shadow Priests generally have a low mana pool to work with, which can be a huge disadvantage. But there’s a workaround for this. They can use Spirit Tap to suck mana out of a felled enemy’s spirit (if it yields) like Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat.
Wand Specialization increases wand damage by 25%. Through some wanding mastery and pulling, you’ll reach level 60 in no time. If shadow priests had more mobility, they’d be better levellers than hunters.
Shadow priests are also exceptional PvP soloists, almost on par with Hunters. Abilities such as Mana Burn, Mind Flay, Mind Control and Psychic Scream make them one the most devastating damage dealers in WoW classic.
Shadow priests can also be surprisingly resilient. This is due to Shadowform, which increases Shadow damage by 15% while reducing Physical damage by 15%. This makes them dangerous and formidable 1v1 opponents.
As a priest, you can quest for an Epic Weapon that is influenced by the form you choose i.e. whether you are in healer or DPS form. When playing with priests, your race actually matters. You’ll be granted two unique abilities based on which race you choose.
Priests are extremely fun to play with, whether you want to play defensively as Holy or Discipline priest or offensively as a DPS Shadow Priest. It comes highly recommended from us.
#4 Best Tank: Warrior
- Race(s): Every race in Vanilla WoW
- Available Weapon(s): All except wands
- Available Armour: Mail, Plate (Lvl 40+), Cloth, leather
What’s a good MMO without a warrior class? Possibly, not good at all. In WoW classic, warriors are a social class. They basically function as cannon fodder in dungeons and raids.
As with most tank classes, warriors are inflexible. They lack general mobility and speed. In addition to this, they’re highly gear dependent. They also have long cooldown periods for some of their special abilities. These are only some of the reasons that make warriors extremely hard to level up.
Which means warriors are perfect for sadomasochists and fans of games like Dark Souls. As a warrior, you may find yourself dying a lot. Despite this, one of the advantages of playing as warrior is you have access to all races. Which gives you a slew of cosmetic customization options.
Human warriors are particularly suited to PvE raids. That’s why they’re the most popular race for the warrior class. This is due in part to sword and mace specialization. Sword specialization increases your skill with both single-handed and double-handed swords by 5. Mace Specialization offers similar benefits but with maces.
Orcs are the Horde equivalent to humans. They too, specialize in PvE and PvP raids.
Overall, warrior is a great class to play in Classic WoW. A lot of people consider this to be the era of the warrior. They’re one of the most popular classes. Hardiness allows them to resist stun effects by an increase of 25%. This makes it easier to resist crowd control.
There’s also Axe Specialization which works like Sword Specialization in humans. Troll warriors are some of the most fun to play with. Berserking makes them one of the most threatening tanks on the field. It generates up to 30% increase in attack speed.
If you’re a social gamer who likes to feel needed, then warrior is the best Classic WoW class for you. They’re a challenging class to play with. It really takes a warrior to play with a warrior.
#5 Best Solo PvE Class: Warlock
- Race(s): Human, Gnome, Orc, Undead
- Available Weapons: Wands, staves, daggers, swords
- Available Armor: Cloth
Strangely, Warlocks don’t attract more players. They’re one of the most enjoyable classes to play within the entire game. They’re a great alternative to hunters since they’re a pet class.
Warlocks have four different specializations. There’s Affliction, Demonology, Destruction, and Hybrid. As soon as you reach level 10, you’ll be able to conjure up a demonic slave. This is what makes them great in PvE environments. As a matter of fact, warlocks are great in nearly every aspect of the game.
They have excellent levelling speed, they’re great in dungeons, raids, open-world and battlegrounds. They can pwn multiple groups at once, thanks to their demon slave. This makes farming a breeze. In addition to this, if you play as a Warlock, you have your choice of different demon slaves. Each demon has a unique ability which can help you diversify your strategy against different opposition.
Healthstone allows warlocks to restore 500 points to their health. This health can be shared with fellow party members. Warlocks also have the power to summon or call upon party members.
Warlocks also can resurrect players through Soulstones. These Soulstones are actually created by the warlocks themselves. This makes them exceptional in PvE raid environments.
Once again, their greatest strengths can be their greatest weaknesses. All these artifacts and items require bag space.
They’re not the fastest travellers, which can hamper their levelling speed. But luckily, just like hunters, they get a mount when they reach level 40.
They can dig into their health to replenish their mana and then use Life Tap to drain their opponents of their health to replenish their own. This can introduce some very risky but fun play.
That’s why warlocks are perfect for gamers who like to gamble.
#6 Best Damage Dealer: Mage
- Race(s): Gnome, Human, Troll, Undead
- Available Weapon(s): Staves, wands, daggers, swords
- Available Armour: Cloth
Mages are one of the highest damage dealers in WoW Classic. Chaining together magical attacks is a blast (no pun intended). Mages have three specs; Arcane, Fire and Frost. Most notably, the Arcane spec gives you Arcane Power which increases the damage your spells cause by 30%. It also takes 30% more of your mana and lasts for 15 seconds.
Fire has Combustion and Ignite which increase the devastation of your fire spells. Frost is our favourite spec. It has defensive abilities such as Ice Block and Ice Barrier. Both serve to increase your Mage’s survivability.
Mages are an incredibly well-rounded class. They’re an essential character of any PvE raid. They’re also perfect in open-world 1v1 situations and absolute monsters in battlegrounds. They’re only just above average levellers. The best way to farm experience is by grouping enemies and knocking them down with a single blast.
A key reason as to why mages are so beloved by other classes and players is because of their ability to manifest food and drink. This is done through Conjure Food which allows your mage to manifest 20 loaves of bread for himself/herself and his/her allies.
Best professions for mages include tailoring, engineering and enchanting. There’s no party without a mage. They’re very high in demand in group raids and dungeons. This is mostly due to how devastating their damage output is.
Mages have powerful crowd control in the form of Polymorph. This spell turns an enemy into a sheep, rendering them harmless for twenty seconds. The spell only works on critters, humanoids and beasts.
Mages are notorious for being ‘squishy’. As you’re getting used to their playstyle, you’re liable to suffer a lot of deaths. As Thanos once said: “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be”.
Mages can deal a lot of damage out quite quickly but they can’t take it very well.
#7 Most Popular Class: Rogue
- Race(s): Undead, Human, Dwarf, Gnome, Orc, Troll, Night Elf
- Available Weapon(s): Daggers, maces, fist weapons, thrown, bows, crossbows and guns
- Available Armour: Cloth, leather
Rogues are undoubtedly one of the strongest classes in Vanilla WoW and possibly, one of the reasons WoW has caused so much video game addiction. Once upon a time, they were the most culturally relevant classes in WoW. They were so popular that they inspired memes because of how saturated the WoW was with rogues.
One of the biggest down-sides of this popularity is gear competition. A rogue is not rare, so you’ll find it pretty hard to find a party to join for group raids and dungeons. Not only will you have to compete against other rogues for gear but you’ll have to compete with warriors and hunters too.
Rogues are the best open-world performers in WoW Classic. They’re duelists who can dish out earth-shattering damage, bringing opponents to their knees. Abilities like Sap, Gouge and Kidney Shot can be crucial for crowd control. This can make them essential to raids and dungeons. Once again, raid demand may be low because of how many rogues are in the game.
Rogues have fair farming potential. They may be incapable of taking down a mob on their own due to a lack of AoE. But their stealthy playstyle allows them to sneak into mines or get to special plants without alerting nearby enemies. You can put yourself in a perilous situation if you’re caught using Stealth, so you need to be careful if you plan on going this route.
Nevertheless, they’re proficient with a large variety of weapons, although you’ll need to be mindful of where your dagger is held. Many significant attacks can only be executed when the dagger is held in the main hand.
They also have awesome cooldown abilities like Blind and Vanish. Blind causes your enemy to go temporarily blind while Vanish makes your rogues disappear completely. Both cooldowns last for 10 seconds.
The rogue is one of the most well-rounded classes in Vanilla WoW. When paired with a great MMO gaming mouse, they guarantee a good time for anyone who chooses them.
A very solid class and one of the best in WoW Classic.
#8 Best for Alliance Raids: Paladin
- Race(s): Human (Alliance-only), Dwarf
- Available Weapon(s): Axes, maces, shields, swords, polearms
- Available Armour: Plate, mail, leather, cloth
Paladins are one of the weakest levellers in the game. Which makes them least desirable for gamers who plan on playing solo. The best way to level a paladin is through group-play in dungeons.
Since you can only pick two alliance races for paladin; dwarf and human, they’re an alliance only class. Another con is that they’ve very gear-dependent. They deliver above-average performances in raids and dungeons. But they have little demand as primary tanks due to their low threat generation.
There are three paladin spec; Holy, Protection and Retribution. Level 60 holy paladins are generally used as healers in PvE dungeons and raids. And thus, there is more demand for them than there is for Protection or Retribution paladins.
Retribution paladins can be great tanks if used right. Reckoning gives the paladin a 100% chance of earning an additional attack after being hit with a critical strike. However, a lack of tank gear, such as a specialized chest plate makes them skippable.
Like most melee-combat based classes, paladins are very dependent on gear (like body-builders). They have no ranged attacks at all. Nevertheless, they’re one of the only melee classes that can self-heal as well as self-buff.
They’re not very mobile but at least WoW softens this struggle slightly. To increase travel, paladins get a free mount (Summon Warhorse) when they reach level 40. Paladins lack area of effect abilities which makes them terrible farmers. They’re strictly for close-quarter combat.
Remember, if you’re going to go with paladin make sure that you’ll be spending most of your time on raids and dungeons.
The Holy Shield build is the best build to play with. It gives you Improved Concentration Aura, which improves your concentration aura by 15%. It also gives you Blessing of Sanctuary. This reduces damage dealt to a targeted ally (from all sources) for 5 minutes.
#9 Best for Horde Raids: Shaman
- Race(s): Orc, Tauren, Troll
- Available Weapon(s): Daggers, axes, maces, staves, fist weapons, shields
- Available Armour: Leather, cloth, mail
Shaman are weak weak levellers, poor in the open world but average in the battlegrounds. Just like their Alliance counterparts, they’re not very good in solo play. However, they’re one of the most efficient spell casters in the game.
They’re a support class with AoE healing. They’re also a nightmare for melee-based classes. This makes them the natural enemy of paladins. Shaman have three specializations. Restoration, enhancement and elemental.
Restoration Shamans are the most mana efficient of the bunch. They specialize in healing – both single targets and AoE. Enhancement Shaman heighten elemental effects and weapons. For instance totem buffs. They can also debuff utilize debuffs such Annihilator (reduces an enemy’s armour by 200) and Nightfall (increases spell damage by 15%)
Shamans who reach level 20 get Ghost Wolf, an ability that morphs a Shaman into a ghost wolf and increases their speed (outdoor only) by 40%. Ghost Wolf makes farming with Shamans easier. It allows for fast travel to destinations and you don’t have to transform back into normal form to pick loot up.
Playing as a shaman can get quite tedious in PvE. You’ll spend the majority of the time chain-healing. You’ll also support them through abilities such as Windfury Totem and Grace of Air Totem.
Shamans allow you to harness the power of all four elements. They’re lousy tanks and they have middle of the road levelling but they’re great support classes with decent DPS output.
And with that, we’re all done. We’ve overviewed all nine classes in WoW classic to help you determine which one is the best. Remember, that not all of this is the objective truth of the game. It’s really up to you to decide which class you ultimately main with. Nonetheless, we do hope that this guide can provide you with enough information to help you make an informed decision.
If you like what you see here, you might also be interested in reading through our list of World of Warcraft expansions, where we’ve compiled a database of all official WoW expansions. Also, make sure to check out the best World of Warcraft Classic addons. As always, thank you for reading and happy gaming.