- For the classes in the Warcraft RPG, see RPG Classes. For a short description on class lore, see Class lore.
A class is the primary adventuring style of a player character. A character's class determines the abilities, powers, skills, and spells they will gain throughout their adventures, and consequently the styles of play available to the character. It determines the types of weapons and armor they can use, which attributes they will value (and how those attributes function), as well as what combat roles the character is suitable for. Class also reflects a significant choice of path for a character: whether they have chosen to pursue the dark arts of the warlock or the Holy Light of the paladin; the bloody honor of the warrior or the arcane knowledge of the mage.
Be aware that the choice of which class to play is constrained by the choice of race; each race has a different group of available classes to choose from.
Each class has three specializations (druids have four). Each specialization represents a very different approach to playing the class, offering numerous new abilities and often changing the combat role the character is most suitable for. Each class can then be considered to have three (or four) major variants, each with its own skill-set, strengths and playing-style.
Collecting class sets is one way players can improve a character when they have reached the level cap. Most dungeon, raid and pvp sets are made up of armor items designed specifically for the class; however, faction rewards sets also include trinkets and neck pieces. When players collect more pieces of the set, they can receive set bonuses.
Always remember that it doesn't matter what class you chose as long as you are willing to stand by it and don't give up. If your class gets nerfed (or made less powerful by Blizzard) always remember that nerfs and buffs are like a pendulum, sooner or later the pendulum is going to swing to your advantage.
Brief summary of each class
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There are currently eleven playable classes in-game.
- Roles: Tank, Melee Physical/Magic Damage Dealer
- The Death Knight combines martial prowess with dark, necromantic energies. Blood DKs are able tanks using disease DoTs, Death and Decay, and . Frost and Unholy Death Knights are melee dps classes. They can raise undead minions. Although they will have minions, only those who focus on the Unholy tree are a true pet class, where as Frost and Blood Death Knights merely use some of their mechanics. They are the only class to use the rune resource system.
- Death Knights are the first and currently only hero class, and consequently start at level 55 in Ebon Hold in the Eastern Plaguelands. Having a non-hero-class character at level 55 or above is the only prerequisite to create a Death Knight.
- Roles: Ranged Spell-Casting Damage Dealer, Melee Physical Damage Dealer, Tank, Healer
- Druids are versatile hybrids shape-shifting into different forms to fulfill their role. In , druids are good tanks with high armor and use rage like a warrior; in , stealth, fight in melee, and use energy like a rogue; in they give ranged magic damage; or heal in humanoid form with Tree Form as a temporary buff. Talent trees include Balance for caster damage, Feral for melee damage and tanking, and Restoration for healing. They also bring certain additional utility, such as battle resurrection with , , and . With roughly equivalent gear, proper talents, and utilized by a skilled player, druids can are as effective as any class in a specific role.
- Roles: Ranged Physical Damage Dealer
- Hunters use focus to deliver ranged weapon damage (bows, guns, and crossbows) as the primary source of damage. Hunters tame many varieties of beasts to serve as combat pets causing damage and giving raid buffs. Very adept at kiting, they have plenty of tools to allow them to avoid melee combat, which is a weakness. The Hunter's array of scouting, tracking, and survival abilities along with mail armor make them excellent solo characters. Hunter talent specializations are Marksmanship, Beast Mastery, and Survival.
- Roles: Ranged Spell-Casting Damage Dealer
- Mages are ranged magic damage dealers with very powerful direct and area effect damage spells. Mages feature a variety of utility spells, including crowd control (), raid buff of mana and spell power, teleportation and group portals to capital cities, and ability to conjure food and water. Because of spells with good burst damage and snare abilities, they are often effective at PvP even with their relatively low armor and health. Mage talent trees are Fire, Frost, and Arcane, each specializing in different spells and abilities.
- Roles: Melee Physical Damage Dealer, Tank, Healer
- Monks utilize ancient martial arts taught by Pandaren masters. Brewmaster monks are tanks, employing drunken brawling tactics inspired by their Warcraft III counterpart. Mistweaver monks are able healers, often working within melee range and dealing small amounts of melee damage. Windwalker monks are melee damage dealers.
- Roles: Melee Physical/Magic Damage Dealer, Tank, Healer
- Paladins, guardians of the Holy Light, wear heavy plate armor, use mana, have strong group buffs (blessings and auras), and can heal, tank or melee damage. Holy paladins have carved a niche as tank healers due to efficient single target heals coupled with , but also have effective AoE heals. Protection paladins excel at area effect, multiple target, tanking with and . Retribution pallies deal both holy and white damage, splash damage, and procs like to mix up the rotation. Paladins provide great utility with abilities like and .
- Roles: Ranged Spell-Casting Damage Dealer, Healer
- Priests, masters of healing and preservation, are a versatile healing class while having the ability to specialize in damage. Priests can be powerful in healing a single character or many allies at once. Priests have a variety of utility spells such as , , and , Mind Control, and . Discipline priests gain and receive buffs to shields, single target and raid damage reduction, and increased healing to the most recent target; making great tank healers and are effective in PvP. Holy priests get improvements to AoE heals, Chakra states, reduced cast times, and mana savings; making effective raid healers. Shadow priests specialize in offensive shadow magic, do much damage through DoTs, gain and some more shadow spells as well as .
- Roles: Melee Physical Damage Dealer
- Rogues deal massive melee damage using a flurry of dual wield poisoned weapons. Rogues utilize energy to power special attacks that build combo points used to execute finishing moves. Masters of and assassination rogues excel in PvP situations also. With the ability to incapacitate foes, high burst damage, many spell interrupt/lockout abilities, plus spell/physical reduction abilities rogues are formidable and even feared. Other notable abilities include , , and lockpicking. Rogue talent trees consist of Assassination, Combat, and Subtlety.
- Roles: Ranged Spell-Casting Damage Dealer, Melee Physical/Magic Damage Dealer, Healer
- Shamans are spiritual leaders, masters of the elements, using spells and totems to heal and enhance raid members. This versatile mail wearing class can fill the roles of caster, healer, and melee damage. Shamans provide excellent raid buffs such as , stationary totems giving Windfury and Wrath of Air. High burst damage make them effective in PvP. Restoration shamans use direct heals, splash healing, and HoTs as effective raid healers. Elemental shamans use lightning and fire to melt foes. Enhancement shaman are melee dps and unleash , and . All shaman can provide wipe recovery by and have .
- Roles: Ranged Spell-Casting Damage Dealer
- Warlocks enslave demons and call upon dark magic and curses to dominate and destroy their foes. Locks are primarily ranged magic damage dealers and employ summoned demons as combat pets. Affliction warlocks focus on damage over time spells, Destruction locks buff nukes, and Demonology talents improve survivability. In PvP the use of spells give them a variety of tactical options. Raid utility spells and abilities, including summoning party members and creating healthstones and soulstones, make the Warlock a valuable addition to any raid.
- Roles: Melee Physical Damage Dealer, Tank
- Warriors are plate-clad close-combat fighters able to fill the role of tank or melee dps. Warrior abilities use rage which is generated by dealing and taking damage, but decays over time while not in combat. Protection warriors use and and have the unique ability to and . They also are great as the main tank or keeping threat on a group of mobs. Fury warriors have , , and . Arms warriors are excellent in PvP and are decent as PvE dps.
Class, race and class roles
- TBC: These races were added in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
- WotLK: These class combinations were added in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
- Cata: These races/class combinations were added in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
- MoP: These race/class combinations were added in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
- Tank: Effective at holding aggro and soaking up damage.
- Healer: Effective at healing.
- DPS: Effective at dealing damage.
- X: Can effectively fill the designated role.
|Death Knight||196||31||59||0.77||0.12||0.23||#C41F3B||Red †|
† The Death Knight class color closely matches the "redlink" color (dead local link or missing page color) on most wikis, including Wowpedia.
*The text color shown does not match the color code to allow for readability on all skins.