Image via Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft Classic: Class Tier List

Melt some faces.

World of Warcraft has gone through many iterations in its nearly 20 years of life. While some people enjoy simply playing whatever class they feel is the coolest, most players want to know where their class or specialization ranks in terms of usefulness to a group — be it through high DPS, strong survivability, or proficient healing. If you’re looking to get into World of Warcraft Classic, you’ll likely want to know the Class Tier List and see what’s popular.

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Note: This list takes into account end-game content, primarily raiding. Outside of raids, all classes are viable and can clear quests or be useful in PvP in some way (though some more than others.) Play what you enjoy, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

WoW Classic Class Tier List

S Tier

Warrior – Aside from being the strongest tank in the game due to their heavy damage mitigation, Warriors also rank highest in DPS for high-end raiding. This is mostly due to the bosses being “solved” problems. These bosses are ancient history in real-time, and extensive research has been done on them, causing overall kill-time to be significantly lower than it was in actual Vanilla WoW (when players were still figuring them out.) With sub-one minute kill times, a Warriors burst window features the highest DPS of any class or spec in the game, mostly due to abilities like Recklessness, which grants automatic critical hits for 15 seconds — 25% of the boss fight length.

A Tier

Priest – The White Mage of World of Warcraft, Priest’s healing kits are the most fleshed out of all the healers in the game, with excellent options including burst healing (Prayer of Healing,) healing-over-time (Renew,) and mitigation tools (Power Word: Shield.) While most Priests will end up healing, you may see a Shadow Priest in a raid, usually for the bonus Shadow Damage they inflict on the boss for other Shadow-based DPS such as Warlocks.

Mage – Frost Mages are kings of AoE damage, necessary for clearing the myriad trash enemies in-between bosses as well as add spawns during specific fights. Starting with Ahn’Qiraj 40, however, gear starts to scale a little better for Spell Power users, and Fire Mages begin to become viable.

Warlock – If you’ve ever wanted to do so much damage that you start to pull threat from your tanks, Warlock is the class for you. Paired with a Shadow Priest in raids, Warlocks really start to burn through health bars with their patented Shadow Bolt spam. While featuring less AoE damage than Mages, you can expect to be welcome to most groups as a Warlock.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

B Tier

Paladin – If you play Paladin in Classic WoW at a high level, you are playing Holy. Retribution and Protection both have unfortunate problems that lead them to being not very useful, but Holydins have fantastic utility with Aura stacking and significant healing throughput. However, there is a limit — at most, you will see about four Paladins in a raid, as there are only really four useful Auras that can be deployed depending on the content being ran.

Rogue – Rogues are masters at single-target damage, and on certain longer fights, can compete with Warriors. Why are they at the B-Tier then? Rogues, unfortunately, do not carry any utility aside from high single-target damage. They lack in AoE and Cleave damage as well. Furthermore, there are not a lot of lengthier fights in WoW classic, and so they can’t compete as often with Warriors, Mages, or Warlocks. Don’t get us wrong though, they still will deal massive amounts of damage.

Hunter – While posting middling damage in a raid setting, you will still see Hunters being recruited into teams. Hunters bring some utility such as Trueshot Aura, which grants a passive 50 Attack Power to the group. If you enjoy the idea of pet classes, but don’t mind being in the middle of the pack, Hunter is a solid choice.

Shaman – Much like the Paladin, if you are playing a Shaman in Classic WoW at a high level, you are playing Restoration. Enhancement and Elemental bring nothing of value to a raid team that Resto can’t also bring. Resto comes equipped with one of the most powerful healing tools in Chain Heal, alongside passive buffs in Totems. You will likely see a handful of Resto Shamans in any raid group.

C Tier

Druid – If you’re a Druid, you likely already know that your class is considered the “jack-of-all-trades” class. You do not excel at any one thing, but instead can do a variety of things reasonably well. This doesn’t lend any weight towards a raid spot, unfortunately. Restoration Druids do occasionally pop up in raid teams due to Mark of the Wild and Innervate buffs, but because most fights are sub-one minute in length, healing-over-time spells see less value. Feral Druids do occasionally spring up as off-tanks or off-DPS roles, but it isn’t very common. If you want to play Balance in end-game content, know that you face a very difficult uphill battle due to low damage output.

That’s our tier list for WoW Classic Classes. While this list is subjective, know that if you really want to shine as a Balance Druid, Retribution Paladin, or Enhancement Shaman, there is nothing stopping you. Just be aware that you definitely have some hurdles to jump to be the best at what you do.


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