The best race and class combinations for your next WoW Classic character

“What’s the best WoW class?” isn’t just a question you’ll see asked on every WoW-related message board out there. There’s a version of it for practically every MMO new and old, suggesting MMOs aren’t built around the idea of balance. But back in 2004 when World of Warcraft Classic first launched, there were legitimate reasons why this view was subjective. Each character race had a unique set of abilities, and mixing them with the right class option meant a slightly stronger final product.

So with World of Warcraft Classic on the minds of the masses once more, we’re back to discussing which race and class combinations make the most sense. You should absolutely choose the race and class combination you want to play first and foremost, but if you don’t care about your in-game looks, it’s worth picking a race that’s more purpose-built to the class you want to play. Whether you just hit 60 with our quick-tips guide and are ready to reroll or are gunning to create your first WoW Classic character, here are the best race and class combinations for your next WoW Classic toon.

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Protection Paladin tank

Made of up Humans, Gnomes, Drawves and Night Elves at this point in Azeroth’s history, the Alliance is a collection of peoples both tall and short. Accustomed to cooler climes and embracing nature, they represent both spiritual and economical ways of life. If you’re looking to play on the traditional good side of this neverending story, here are which alliance races are best for each class.

Best WoW Classic race for: Warrior

Best: Human

Kicking things off nice and simple, Humans typically make the best Alliance Warriors. Their twin weapon specialization bonuses mean Warriors with either swords or maces in their hands will benefit from a naturally higher weapon skill cap. As mentioned in our example, this means more potential damage output, leading to higher Rage generation over time. Without strong natural heath regeneration, the Human Warrior can make us of their Human Spirit trait to regen HP just that little bit faster.

Runner-Up: Gnome

If you’re gunning for PvP, Gnomes are a fine choice. They have ways to negate powerful CC effects. Warriors need to stay on their toes, so being able to quell these game-changing crowd-control abilities can help Gnome Warriors avoid a cheap defeat. And their increased Engineering skill – a profession Warrior tanks can make good use of – is a nice added bonus.

Best WoW classic race for: Paladin

Best: Human

Just like the Warrior, the Paladin is destined to be a Human for the same few reasons: Higher base regen and a duo of increased weapon specializations. Paladins fight in a few different ways depending on the talent tree they head down, but most of these have clear benefits for sword and/or maces, making a Human’s natural specialization boost stand out that much more.

Runner-Up: Dwarf

Paladins and Warriors work in similar ways. If you’re looking to focus on PvP, the Dwarf’s Stoneform can prevent a death to Bleed, Poison, or Disease effects.

Best WoW Classic race for: Druid

Best WoW Druid race

Best: Night Elf

Well this is an easy one, isn’t it? By the lore invested in Classic WoW, only Night Elves may take up the mantle of Druid. This “rule” was loosened over time, but if you’re looking to ride a Druid in WoW Classic, you have to be this tall.

All jokes aside, the graceful Night Elf is a strong “choice” as a Druid. Their increased base dodge chance is one of the best things the Feral Druid could ask for. Bear tanks can avoid some extra damage, and Cat Druids can play with their prey just that little bit longer.

Best WoW Classic race for: Priest

Best: Human

Here’s where things start to get a little samey. Priests, known for their powerful heals and strong shadow spells, can greatly benefit from the extra Spirit being a Human affords them. That slightly increased regen works in favor of both damage and healing disciplines.

Runner-up: Dwarf

The Dwarf actually has a Priest-specific racial ability – Fear Ward. If you know what you’re looking for, the Dwarf Priest and negate a potentially deadly Fear effect on a party member before it even lands. You might run out of mana faster, but at least you can stop your tank from running into more mobs.

Best WoW Classic race for: Mage

Best: Gnome

There’s a reason I used to have vivid daydreams of an Gnome Mage army slow-falling from the Orgimmar sky channeling Blizzard on the ugly orcs below. Gnomes come with extra base Intellect, giving them a clear advantage over other races when it comes to casting spells.

Runner-Up: Human

It’s all about Spirit. We’ve been through this.

Best WoW Classic Race for: Rogue

Best: Human

Every human’s right to bear arms pays off yet again. Despite the focus on daggers late on in World of Warcraft’s life, WoW Classic encourages Rogues to stick with sword and maces. Just look at that Sap icon if you don’t believe me. It’s the case of extra damage once again.

Runner-Up: Gnome/Dwarf

Just like the Warrior, Gnomes and Dwarves have their benefits here if your primary focus is PvP. A good Rogue needs to stay nimble, and touch of the Gnome racial skill can get you back into the action. You can’t stealth if you’re taking DoT damage of any kind either, so popping Stoneform as a Drawf can help with a much-needed retreat or regroup effort.

Best WoW Classic race for: Hunter

Best: Dwarf

The whole focus on shooting thine enemy as a Hunter means only the dwarf can make real sense here. Similar to how humans make a near-perfect Warrior, having access to the Gun Specialization bonus makes the dwarf an excellent Hunter.

Runner-Up: Human

A lot of early Hunter kills revolve favor melee strikes to finish off your target. You can’t kite them with your gun forever. Because of this, humans make their mark as Hunters if you make us their sword/axe weapon specialization bonuses.


Troll Shaman

If you see yourself as a misunderstood baddie or someone who likes to use actions over words to get your point across, then you’re probably after a Horde character. Horde races sometimes struggle to synergize well with particular classes. Just like how the Human reigns supreme with most Alliance classes, the Troll stands above the rest of the Horde with a single powerful ability – Berserker. Then the Undead come in to take the PvP crown.

Best WoW Classic race for: Warrior

Best: Orc

While completely up for debate, Orc Warriors have two major racial skills working in their favor: Blood Fury and Axe Specialization. Of course, this might drop to one if your strongest weapon ends up being a sword or mace, but it can help. Blood Fury is a concrete 25% base melee damage increase for 15 seconds every two minutes. Rage starved no longer!

Runner-Up: Troll

You’ll hear me talk about this a lot going forward, but the Troll’s Berserking skill (a 10-30% attack speed increase based on missing health) can give any class a big boost in potential in a pinch. It’s great not only for rage generation on Warriors, but can help them spend excess Rage with Heroic Strike faster, too.

Best WoW Classic race for: Priest

Best: Troll

The tusk-laded Troll wins out again purely for Berserking. Any increase in speed can help with both damage and healing. You’ll certainly burn through your mana faster with it active, but if that means keeping your tank alive versus letting them die and wipe the group, there’s nothing to complain about. Though you might want to ask your tank to chill out with the big pulls.

Runner-up: Undead

Will of the Forsaken can bust you out of Charm, Sleep, and Fear effects, making it incredibly powerful in PvP if that’s your cup of tea.

Best WoW Classic race for: Warlock

Best: Orc

Orcs have this rather unique trait that increases outgoing pet damage. It’s easy to see how this would benefit the Warlock, who can build entire specs around their incredibly versatile range of creatures. Blood Fury might not get a ton of use this way, but if things get too close, you can bash them back with a bit of extra damage.

Runner-Up: Undead

Will of the Forsaken, yet again, makes the Undead a force to be reckoned with in PvP. Removing or negating Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects can utterly destroy an assailant’s strategy, giving you an instant upper-hand.

Best WoW Classic race for: Shaman

Best race Horde shaman

Best: Troll/Orc

The Horde’s answer to the Alliance’s Paladin. As a hybrid class, the race you pick for this depends on your primary role. Melee Shamans should roll Orc for the base melee damage increase of Blood Fury, whereas healers and ranged DPS Shamans will be better served by a Troll’s Berserking skill.

Runner-Up: Tauren

There’s a bit of guesswork with this recommendation, but War Stomp and Endurance could greatly help out both tank and healer Shamans in a pinch. Cultivation can help with making the money needed to keep on top of totem regents. It’s also the only other combination option on the table.

Best WoW Classic race for: Mage

Best: Troll

The Troll wins the ranged game yet again with Berserker. Just like the Priest, this speed-increasing ability allows the Mage to rattle off its incredibly powerful spells that much faster. It’s an easy way to run the mana meter down, but a great way to push a target into an early grave.

Runner-up: Undead

You better believe its time to scream from the rooftops about the benefits of Will of the Forsaken. Crowd-control can make or break for the cloth-clad Mage. Better nip that threat in the bud.

Best WoW Classic race for: Rogue

Best: Orc

Rogues pride themselves on killing before they themselves are killed, making a base attack increase like Blood Fury an easily palatable option. Anything to decrease the figurative time-to-kill timer.

Runner-up: Undead

While the might Troll can make help rescue a Rogue from demise, the prevalence of the Rogue in PvP makes the Undead a far more popular option. Will of the Forsaken, again, plays a vital role in surprising players who think their CC efforts will net them a quick kill.

Best WoW Classic race for: Hunter

Best: Troll

Berserking proves it worth one final time here, but there’s more to the Troll Hunter (not that kind) than just this one trait. Trolls also bring Bow Specialization into the mix, helping them become the Horde’s answer to the Alliance’s Dwarf Hunter (again, not that kind).

Runner-Up: Orc

Orc’s make decent Hunters in PvP purely through their Hardiness trait. It’s a relatively trivial skill for anything other than tanks in PvE, but the 25% extra Stun resistance can help shrug off things like a Warrior’s Charge skill.

Best WoW Classic race for: Druid

Best: Tauren

Just like the Night Elf Druid, only Tauren can shapeshift and throw out the beams of the trees. If you’re looking to play a Horde Druid, you’ll have to return to nature and apply to bovine university in sunny Durotar.

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