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Picking a class in World of Warcraft (WoW)

Updated on February 28, 2013

Overview

There is a lot to think about when picking a WoW class. A few good questions to ask are

  • Do I want to be melee or ranged?
  • Would i like a pet?
  • Do i like doing my damage over time or in quick bursts?
  • Would I rather heal, tank, or deal damage?
  • Do I want to have a lot of utility?
  • Do I want a character that carries a huge sword or wields a trusty staff?
  • What is the backstory on my class?
  • Will this class fit my normal play style?
  • How well do i want to be able to CC?
  • And most importantly: Do i think this class will be fun to play?

You're gonna spend a lot of time with your character in Azeroth, so it's important that you pick a class you will be able to have fun with over long periods of time. Don't worry about being the best player in the game right away, any class has the potential to be amazing. Just play what you think will give you the best experience.



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Hunter

The hunter is widely known as one of the easiest classes for beginners. It is a ranged class that can use guns, bows, or crossbows to deal damage from afar. They can tame a wide variety of wild animals. These pets can be used as both tanks or damage dealers depending on how you choose to specialize them. Hunters also get a good amount of CC. They can set traps, tangle enemies in webs, slow movement speed, tether an enemy to a position, disorient, freeze, and stun. The long range mixed with the ability to keep enemies at bay and escape on the rare occasion that an enemy gets close makes the hunter a pretty formidable opponent. They may also activate aspects that give the hunter or his party certain bonuses until cancelled such as increasing movement speed. Its specs focus on pet damage or hunter damage and all 3 trees have some pretty useful abilities, it's really just a matter of preferrance. Overall the hunter is a strong class that can do just about whatever it needs to do in order to keep itself alive and take enemies down.

PvP

The hunter is a very solid pvp class. The main reason for this is its long list of crowd control abilities. If I had to make a hub about how to keep a skilled hunter in range as a melee class, I wouldn't be able to do it. Hunters are however susceptable to range damage so they have to watch out for spell casters and other hunters but at that point it is pretty much just an even fight.

PvE

Hunters also do great in pve.If your solo questing your pet can tank while you deal damage. When in dungeons hunters can usually put out large amounts of damage and at certain times may be called on for some CC. Hunters can also do one of my favorite things. Solo dungeons. At higher levels hunters can easily breeze through dungeons designed for 5 people by themselves with the help of their trusty pet.

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Rogues

The bane of almost every WoW player. Their stealth, stun, do massive amounts of damage, and then restealth tactics have earned them a rather poor reputation. But I say it's fair game. That is what the class was made for and it simply does its job well. The main points of a rogue are its ability to go invisible, stun for long periods of time, use poisons, and do a lot of damage. When out of stealth they also tend to have a high dodge chance making them harder to hit. They also have a couple abilities to get them out of trouble such as sprint which increases movement speed, cloak of shadows to remove any dispellable debuffs and damage over time spells, and vanish to instantly restealth themselves while in combat.

PvP

Most pvp rogues are very good at stunning enemies and keeping them stunned until it is practically too late. The most common strategy is to stealth, stun an enemy, do a lot of damage(abilities used will vary by spec), and once enough combo points are built up they will use a finishing move which deals massive damage. If someone manages to attack them they usually either disorient, sprint away, or use cloak of shadows and vanish to restealth. Rogues may sometimes have difficulty with opponents who have high armor or enemy spell casters and hunters. Hunters marks and damage over time spells can be a big problem if cloak of shadows is on cooldown and if an enemie's armor is too high it can greatly decrease damage dealt though there is expose armor which can aid this problem a bit..

PvE

Quite similar to pvp really. They may have a harder time with bigger enemies alone due to stun resistance, but rogues can take down most enemies without many problems. In groups their single target damage and stuns are where they shine.

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Warrior

People often say the you can never go wrong with picking a warrior. Well, this is largely correct (unless your looking to be a healer). Warriors are good at what they do no matter what the roll. They can tank very well and can also do a lot of damage. The warrior isn't as flashy as other classes. They wear heavy armor and fight with melee weapons just like you would expect. They are normally pretty good at keeping ranged fighters in close and they have a couple stuns to throw in the mix as well. The warrior is an all around good class that does its job well if played right

PvP

Warriors are very well rounded in pvp. They are a nightmare for range characters due to there ability to keep players from escaping. They are very strong against melee classes due to there armor reducing debuff. And 9 out of 10 times they will resist a fear and they can break the near impenetrable bubble. Warriors are pretty scary to go up against. But if you can manage to keep them at around a thirty yard range and hit them with some magic damage then you may have a fairly easy time, just watch out for that spell reflect, It might not seem like it would be too important but a skilled warrior knows what spells to reflect to turn the tide of battle.

PvE

Warriors are often very suitable tanks. They don't have the flare that other classes have, but that's okay because they hold aggro and that's what matters. You may also see the rare warrior dps. It isn't the most common site but warriors can hold their own with any of the best dps classes in the game. When it comes to questiong and other solo content, warriors rarely have problems. Most warriors probably wont want to try soloing any dungeons but with the right gear and skill it is possible

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Druids

Druids are a very unique class. Their shapeshifting abilities are a dream come true for some and pure confusion to others. I'm not saying this class is exceptionally hard to play, but it definitely takes some getting used to due to it's very unique aspects. The druid can be either a ranged or melee damage dealer, a healer, or a tank. The cat form is reminiscent of a rogue while the bear form is similar to a warrior. The druid has a decent amount of CC and has several heals that are usable in all forms. They can also change forms to shed movement imairing effects which is incredibly useful

PvP

Druids are solid at pretty much whatever they do, they are viable pvp healers and can also serve as great ranged or melee damage dealers. Their melee style is similar to a rogue. Stealth then attack, the only real difference being that druids have bleeds instead of poisons. Their healing however is very different from most healing classes. They rely largely on healing over time spells. They have direct heal spells but they normally take a much longer time to cast and have a steeper mana cost.

PvE

Druids that deal damage are largely the same as pvp. They do good single target damage and can heal pretty well. In pve however they also serve as tanks. They keep aggro as well as any other class as long as they are specced right and are certainly a viable tank. Druids are valued pretty highly in dungeons due to there flexability. It never hurts to have someone who can both off tank and off heal. When it comes to questing druids should have no real problems as long as they don't use a resto spec for it.

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Shaman

Shamans are a pretty cool class. They have a lot of neat abilities that just make them feel fun. Unfortunately that does not make them easy to play. The complaint I hear most often is no matter how someone gears or what rotation they use they just can't seem to do an adequate amount of damage. But if you can get past that dilemma shamans are a really fun class. They can serve as range dps, melee dps, or a healer. They accel fairly well at all three but their damage and healing don't mix as well as some other classes. So don't expect to be a healing machine as an enhancement shaman. But as far as healing as a resto shaman goes, you can't do much better. They can heal so much at one time it is incredible and they also have several heal over time procs. A well played shaman is no slouch when it comes to damage either. They deal a decent amount of elemental damage as either elemental or enhancement. This is important because much of their damage will bypass armor. The shaman also has totems which now provide utility such as removing or causing movement impairing affects.

PvP

Shaman are definitely a force in pvp. Unfortunately not as much of a force as the should be. There are definitely some shaman who can do major damage or healing and be a huge asset to the team. But those shaman are few and far between. It is difficult to be especially successful in pvp as a shaman but it is doable. There is a lot of potential with the elemental damage capabilites of a shaman mixed with there limited but still useful CC. It may take some practice but shaman are definitely viable in pvp. And the ones who can play them well play them real well.

PvE

Shaman are incredible healers in any setting. As for damage, they also do good work here. They have the flexability to do either steady AoE or single target damage and that is a big plus. PvE is also where those totems really shine and can be used to full affect. And though dps specced shaman aren't the greatest healers, they are still useful for a good off heal now and again.

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Paladin

Paladins are the jack off all trades and masters of all. They do everything with incredible efficiency. Their heals are spectacular, their CC is top notch, they are great at tanking, and their damage is on par with the best damage classes in the game. If that isn't enough, they also have two lives. Yep, you can just go invincible for a while, heal yourself to full health, and vuala, you are ready for battle once more. As much as people say that the paladin is a noob class, it actually isn't as easy as it seems. The spells and abilities can get pretty confusing and can easily overwhelm. But a lot of people seem to get it with a bit of practice and some may argue the learning curve isn't especially steep. But regardless the paladin is a very solid class if you want to do a little bit of everything.

PvP

Paladins are nearly unstoppable in pvp. And it is for this reason why they are much despised. They can efficiently heal in any spec and if they are healing specced they are nearly unkillable. But the main source of people's anger is bubbling. Paladins can go invincible for ten seconds and can heal or run or really do whatever they want. But it is for these reasons, combined with their heavy armor, solid damage, and good list of stuns and slows that make the paladin such a strong pvp class.

PvE

Like I mentioned above, paladins will have success in whatever they wish to do in pve. If they want to que as a healer then the tank isn't gonna fall. If they want to que as a tank then aggro will not be lost. If they want to que as dps then enemies will drop like flies. They are also one of the best classes for solo play and can even solo 5 man dungeons with ease due to their resilience, access to healing abilities, and ability to bring enemies down quickly.

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Priest

A class with two great healing specs and a pretty amazing damage spec. The priest may not wear heavy armor or solo the lich king but they are certainly a forced to be reckoned with. They heal very effieciently and also have so damage absorbtion effects to make their job a little easier. Their heals are mostly direct and have a medium length cast time. They are susceptable to interrupts but it doesn't take many priest heals to turn the tide of a battle. And as for the damage of a shadow priest, you better watch out. They have some pretty nasty damage over time spells and their crowd control is so good that it's frustrating, particularly for melee classes. Not only that but shadow priests also have damage mitigation abilities and can survive long fights extremely well

PvP

Priests do amazing in pvp, both healing and dealing damage. Healers throughout some great direct heals and have several abilities that cause numerous targets to be healed at once. They are unique in the fact that they can provide solid absorption effects which can be useful while they switch over to heal another target. Shadow priests are pretty abundant in pvp. And its quite obvious why. They deal amazing amounts of damage and keep attackers at bay while they do it. They are like caster hunters minus a pet.

PvE

Priests tend to be the healers of choice for most people. It is a pretty common belief that if a priest is healing your group your not gonna die. Well that is pretty close to accurate, unless the damage being dealt is unfathomable then a priest will probably manage to heal through it. Shadow priests are also welcome. They may not be the most useful class for trash due to a lot of their real damage being dealt over time, but they are invaluable when it comes to bosses due to their powerful damage over time spells that deal significant damage to a bosses huge bar of hp.

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Mage

Mages have one role, dealing damage. And oh man do they do it well. They dish out incredible amounts of direct damage and have amazing crowd control to go along with it. They deal magic damage so that pesky armor doesn't get in the way and most classes aren't gonna be able to do much to keep a mage in range. The fire mage differs slightly from arcane and frost mage giving up a little CC for a couple dots and huge crits. If the mage didn't sound promising enough already, they aren't exceptionally hard to play. It may take a little practice deciding when to use certain abilities but once you get it it is a pretty smooth flowing rotation. Or in the case of some arcane mages, you only have to press a single button.

PvP

If you hear a discussion about the best pvp classes, then its pretty likely you heard mages being mentioned as one of the best possible choices. Well I have to agree. Their high amount of damage and their ability to keep enemies at a safe distance makes them pretty high up there on the top pvp classes list. They also have an iceblock ability which allows them to wipe all debuffs and dots and be invincibe for a period of time. And if you do manage to get in close to a mage they can just blink twenty yards away.

PvE

Mages are a good choice for pve as well. They do great damage and are a valuable asset if a group is looking to take down down enemies quickly. As for solo questing they don't have too many problems, but they often take a little more time due to the fact they can't take a hit too well and must continuously CC to keep enemies at bay

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Death Knight

Death knights are the class that everyone loves to complain about. Anywhere you go you will hear people crying about how overpowered dks are. But I haven't seen a time in WoW where this was true and I believe they are just a fun and different class. They use runes and runic power rather than mana or energy which means their abilities are normally on cool down a little more than most classes. However they do very good damage and are very good at getting enemies in close and keeping them their. They have pretty good self healing if blood specced and can keep themselves up for a pretty good amount of time. They also have diseases which deal damage over time and can have other affects based on spec. Unholy death knights may have a ghoul pet which does adequit damage and has a stun ability. Death knights also have damage and cc mitigation abilities which come in handy quite often.

PvP

Death knights are good in pvp, but not nearly good enough to deserve all the grief they get. They do solid melee and magic damage and have good cc and survivability. They definitely have a good amount of tools at their disposal and if played well can be one of the top pvp classes in the game. They can draw people in and keep them there which is a big plus for a melee class. They also have some decent aoe damage capabilities which make them a threat

PvE

Death knights are both good tanks and damage dealers. Tanking as a dk is a little more confusing than tanking as other classes but it is very fun considering you have some heals to keep yourself up and some of them are passive. It is a different experience but dks can tank as well as any class out there. As for damage they have good single target and aoe damage. They can spread their diseases to all enemies within range and then start to focus on one enemy at a time until they are down. As far as soling goes dks are considered one of the very best classes for it. They can easily go through a 5 man dungeon and complete it unscathed.

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Warlock

Sort of a mix between a shadow priest and hunter. They are known for damage over time and having one of several demon minions which all have some fairly useful abilities. Though they are known for damage over time, destruction warlocks do extremely high direct burst damage. Demonology focuses on making your minion stronger and gives you a demon form in which you do increased damage. Affliction increases damage over time capabilities. The warlock is a pure damage class but like the hunter they can have their pets tank when necessary. Warlock's main source of CC are fears, while they also have ways to get away if an enemy gets too close for comfort.

PvP

Warlocks perform fairly well in pvp. They are hated for their fear ability but that is just another example of people complaining too much. All warlock specs are viable in pvp and are good at dealing pretty high amounts of damage. Affliction warlocks do very well in long drawn out fights where their dots can do their damage while the warlock tries to avoid melee range. Demonology and destruction are both centered around shorter fights with more burst but demonology warlocks can have success in longer fights too. Regardless of spec pets are always a huge part of a warlocks success and can make or break a fight.

PvE

Warlocks are known for their ability to teleport group members who currently are far away to the groups location. When in a group they normally deal pretty solid damage though affliction warlocks can have some trouble as sometimes enemies die before the dots can do much damage. When it comes to soloing warlocks are similar to hunters, their pets provide solid tanks while they deal high damage from afar.

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Monk

I wont pretend to be an expert on the monk, I haven't played with or against too many monks and haven't been able to examine them much. But from what I have seen monks have incredible mobility abilities. A lot of monk abilities increase movement speed to either get out of or into combat. Monks can fill any of the three combat roles though I have not yet seen a monk tank. They also possess some CC abilities such as paralysis.

PvP

Their speed can be devasting in a pvp environment. They are both hard to get away from and hard to keep in close. A good stun or fear will work wonders against a monk as their lighter armor makes them a little more squishy then most. However when they are on the offensive they can do insane amounts of burst damage. Monks are also great healers. They can keep a player up extremely well and can also summon statues to provide heals for a short time.

PvE

Unfortunately I have never encountered a monk tank so I can't say anything for or against them. However, similarly to pvp, the monk can dish out great damage in a short amount of time and can heal fairly well from what I've seen. I shall update this section as I gain more experience with this class

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