Even after selecting your class, you have further options to customize your character in World of Warcraft: Classic. Unfortunately, some options are better than others — and if your primary goal in World of Warcraft is to do end-game content, you’ll definitely need to know the best and worst specializations. We break down why some specs work and others don’t down below.
Note: This article assumes you are interested in end-game play — primarily raiding. All specializations have their quirks and can clear quest content or participate in PVP (though some perform better than others.) Please draw your own conclusions based on personal preference and additional research.
World of Warcraft Classic: Best and Worst Specializations
Poor Druids. If you’re already a Druid and reading this, you likely know that you’re considered the “jack-of-all-trades” class. You do nothing spectacularly well, but instead, do everything moderately okay. If you’re interested in end-game content, you will likely play Restoration Druid, as you bring significant buffs to a raid team alongside some okay healing. You could also try Feral, as off-tanking or doing sub-optimal DPS is often worth a slot due to your utility buffs. However, you will likely never see a raid slot as Balance, owing to a very low DPS output combined with high mana costs, and a utility buff that isn’t very versatile.
We’ll be honest, if you’re planning on raiding as a Hunter, know that the DPS meters will, assuming equal level of play from other classes, place you solidly in the middle of the pack. Teams bring Hunters for utility buffs such as Trueshot Aura to beef up their Warrior damage output and Tranquilizing Shot to deal with certain raid mechanics.
Mages are the kings and queens of AoE damage. Frost is very good at topping the meters with their AoE-focused kit, but if you’re not interested in Frost, you’ll be happy to know that Fire Mages put out solid single-target DPS. Arcane, unfortunately, doesn’t bring much to the table.
Sorry to say this, Paladins, but if you want to raid, you’ll need to play Holy. Holy brings utility with Aura stacking combined with solid throughput on heals. Protection does not tank in general due to threat generation issues combined with low survivability (aside from bubble, of course.) Retribution has low DPS, but does bring a unique Aura that boosts Holy damage — but only other Retadins can take advantage of it, making it markedly useless.
Much like Paladins, if you want to raid as a Priest, you will likely be healing. While the vast majority of raid Priests will end up as Holy, you will still see at least one Discipline Priest for one reason and one reason alone — Power Infusion. This is an incredibly beneficial DPS cooldown that can boost a middling caster DPS in the rankings significantly. Shadow Priest also sees a slot or two in a raid group due to Shadow Weaving, which can boost Warlock damage output, but their own DPS is nothing special.
Rogues are the masters of single-target damage (in general.) While most fights in WoW Classic are short enough that they still get overshadowed by Warriors, certain fights drag on just long enough for Rogues to eke out a lead in simulations. However, note that outside of those specific instances, Rogues do not bring anything to a raid team aside from single-target damage. Rogue AoE is not great aside from Blade Flurry windows. If you are aiming to raid, you will likely go Combat with some points in Assassination. Subtlety is aimed more at PvP, though you can still do middling DPS with it if you so choose.
Warlocks are in a weird spot in WoW Classic. Warlocks are primarily masters of debuffing due to the sheer volume of debuffs, but in WoW Classic, only 16 debuffs can be placed on a target at any given time. Individually, each of these debuffs are not as potent as other choices in a raid team, so Warlocks are typically delegated to using Shadow Bolt. You can choose to go Demonology and sacrifice your pet for 15% bonus Shadow Damage (Demonic Sacrifice), or you can choose to go Affliction and grab Shadow Mastery for 10% bonus Shadow Damage (but without sacrificing your pet.)
Like swinging around big weapons and yelling a lot? You’ll be happy to know that Warriors are the absolute best class in World of Warcraft: Classic. Protection Warriors are the strongest tanks in the game, while Fury Warriors do the highest damage in simulations (if specializing into dual-wield.) Two-handed Fury still does fantastic numbers, just simply a little bit short of dual-wield.
Much like Paladins and Priests, if you’re planning to raid as a Shaman, you will most likely play Restoration. Resto Shamans get the single best healing spell in the game in Chain Heal, and when combined with their passive totem support, will almost always be welcome in any raid group. Unfortunately, Enhancement and Elemental do not bring anything unique that a Resto Shaman can’t also bring, so you will not see them as often due to middle to low DPS.
That’s it for our breakdown of World of Warcraft: Classic’s specializations. Again, this is aimed at end-game performance — if that isn’t your bag, play whatever you like! Every specialization does unique things, even if they’re not highest damage or healing, and the most important thing is to find something you enjoy playing.