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WoW Classic DPS, Leveling, Classes, Professions Tier Lists

WoW Classic DPS, Leveling, Classes, Professions Tier Lists

WoW Classic's Tier Lists with in-depth analysis and explanation. DPS, Tank, Healer, Leveling Tier Lists, and more

Classes, Specializations, and Professions Breakdown
With Tier Lists
Druid Hunter Mage Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior

Alchemy Blacksmithing Enchanting Engineering Herbalism Leatherworking Mining Skinning Tailoring

Introduction

Choosing a Class is a difficult task, even more so if you realize that there is no such thing as "universally best" choice. This is because every Class in WoW Classic has its niche and a range of unique traits/abilities (unlike in the current version of WoW, where Classes are streamlined and it seems that every one of them can do almost everything with comparable efficiency). The uniqueness of Classes is what makes Classic great, but also rather unbalanced in terms of Class viability.  This is why we have come up with a range of Tier Lists that will help you compare all nine Classes and choose one best suited for you. Choosing perfect Professions is somewhat simpler, as there are much fewer things to consider, but it can still cause some confusion, so we have decided to cover Professions as well.

To make things clear and more casual, here are loose Tier descriptions:

  • The S Tier - Undeniably the best in a given category, often approaching "overpowered" territory.
  • Tier 1 - Above average choices that should provide you with a noticeable edge over an "average" pick.
  • Tier 2 - Average choices. These will get the job done, nothing more, nothing less.
  • Tier 3 - Below average choices that will put you at a considerable disadvantage, at least in a given category.

Classes and Specializations Breakdown

This section is divided into several categories to help flash out the strengths and weaknesses of all 9 Classes.

WoW Classic PvE DPS Tier List
The S Tier
  • WarriorWarrior
Tier 1
  • RogueRogue
  • HunterHunter
  • MageMage
Tier 2
  • WarlockWarlock
Tier 3
  • PriestPriest
  • DruidDruid
  • ShamanShaman
  • PaladinPaladin
If one was to look at DPS charts from back in the Vanilla days, he would clearly see that they are very Brown at the top. WarriorFury Warriors were and will be unmatched in Damage output (they just need to gear up a bit before they can start hitting things very hard with an Axe). RogueRogues are very solid performers when it comes to DPS, throughout all Classic content, and they usually are second only to Warriors. HunterHunters, while not the best at damage dealing, are essential in some encounters thanks to their traps and ability to kite some Bosses and Adds (keep in mind that Pets receive full damage from AoE attacks and are prone to dying). MageMages are the most consistent magic Damage dealers, as they do not rely on debuffs (and do not suffer from limited debuff slots on Bosses thanks to that). WarlockWarlocks suffer from a severe case of "The Most Boring Rotation In The Game"; their rotation consists of just 1 spell - Shadow Bolt. Other than that, they bring a lot of irreplaceable utility to any Raid with their Soul Stones, Health Stones, and Ritual of Summoning. PriestShadow Priests are mostly regarded as redundant, because they do not bring much utility, suffer from sustain problems, and deal mediocre DPS. There is usually just one slot for them, as 1 Spriest is enough to boost the damage of the group's Warlocks. DruidDruids are in a very bad position during early Raid tiers but get better in AQ, if they want to compete, however, they are forced to farm Manual Crowd Pummelers from Gnomeregan, and a Class that has to grind extensively to be marginally competitive can't be placed higher on the list (they might find a place in a Raid, however, thanks to their battle res). Both ShamanShaman DPS specs are lackluster and easily get overshadowed by other Damage Dealers. Moreover, their utility does not matter too much, as Shaman Healers already provide the most of the utility that Elemental and Enhancement Shamans would. PaladinRetribution Paladins deal pitiful damage even though they scale well and get progressively better, achieving their pick performance in Naxx. Their pick, however, is nothing to boast about, and if one manages to sneak into a Raid, he will be designated as Blessing Bot and will not have time to do Damage anyway.


Odealo is a player-to-player marketplace for World of Warcraft Classic Gold, Items, and Power Leveling. 

 

WoW Classic Tank Tier List
The S Tier
  • WarriorWarrior
Tier 1
  • None
Tier 2
  • DruidDruid
Tier 3
  • PaladinPaladin
  • ShamanShaman (yes, Enhancement Shaman can Tank. Yes, he is rather bad at it)
WarriorProtection Warriors are a backbone of any Raiding guild. They are unmatched when it comes to resilience and their ability to keep Boss's attention is top tier. DruidFeral Druids, to the surprise of some players, can be competitive as Tanks, but just like Feral DPS's, they rely on Manual Crowd Pummelers for aggro generation (if Feral has a large enough supply, he can actually generate more aggro than Warrior). Moreover, they basically are damage sponges, as they can't use shields, which makes them less durable than Warriors. All in all, Druids can Tank, but they get overshadowed by Warriors in almost every aspect. PaladinProtection Paladin can withstand unbelievable amounts of punishment, but... they don't have a Taunt, which makes them rather bad, and unsuited for encounters very many encounters. They can Tank 5-mans very well, however. ShamanEnhancement Shamans are nowhere near as reliable as other Tanking specializations, but they are still capable of Tanking some 5-man dungeons (mostly low level) or off tanking Adds during some encounters, but "real" tanks will do it much better.

 

WoW Classic Healer Tier List
The S Tier
  • PriestPriest
Tier 1
  • PaladinPaladin
  • ShamanShaman
Tier 2
  • DruidDruid
Tier 3
  • None
PriestPriests are absolute best Healers during earlier Raid tiers (and throughout whole Content on the Horde side). They provide very powerful Stamina Buff and are able to keep Tanks topped off on Health even during damage-heavy encounters. Moreover, they do not suffer from sustain problems too much if they downrank their Spells properly. PaladinHoly Paladins are known mainly for two things, being Blessing Bots and topping Healing charts during later content patches thanks to their excellent scaling and Talents that allow them to regain mana after striking a Crit on a Healing Spell. However, a lot of their potential gets simply wasted, as there is no need for a very large Critical Heal on a wounded DPS if said DPS needs ~2k HP to be topped off. Overall, Paladins are great Tank Healers, but their HPS numbers are rather overblown. ShamanRestoration Shamans are the closest thing to designated Raid Healers the Classic has to offer, thanks to their Chain Heal Ability. On top of that, they bring a lot of utility in the form of various Totems (Windfury being the most notable). DruidRestoration Druids are a peculiar bunch. They can Heal Tanks but are not the best at it. They can Raid Heal with their HoTs, but again, they are not the best at it. They bring great Utility in the form of Mark of The Wild, Rebirth, and Innervate, but that is not enough to compensate for their problems. What they are the best at is filling gaps and doing the dirty work. They are the most versatile Healers in the game, but numbers just don't show it. Playing as a Resto Druid is a tough job for which you will, most likely, not get much recognition.

 

WoW Classic PvP Tier List
The S Tier
  • RogueRogue
  • MageMage
Tier 1
  • WarlockWarlock
  • PaladinPaladin (Holy)
  • PriestPriest
  • WarriorWarrior
Tier 2
  • DruidDruid (Restoration/Feral)
  • ShamanShaman (Elemental)
  • HunterHunter
Tier 3
  • ShamanShaman (Restoration/Enhancement)
  • DruidDruid (Balance)
  • PaladinPaladin (Retribution)
If there is one sound that triggers PTSD attacks in Veteran Classic PvPers it is definitely the sound of a Stealthed RogueRogue appearing at the edge of the detection range for a brief moment before Cheap Shot lands. Rogue's toolkit is designed to give him an unfair advantage if he manages to engage in a fight on his own terms (and he most often does). His CC is unmatched by other Classes, his Burst Damage potential is very scary and his survivability kit is good enough to allow him to deliver said Burst Damage before dying. MageMage is the most annoying Class to deal with in PvP, thanks to his Freeze mechanic. Experienced Mage can make any melee (and a Hunter) player look very silly in a duel. His CC is unbelievably strong, his Burst Damage is among the highest and his survivability kit is among the best in the game. Overall, in expert hands, Mage is the deadliest (and the most infuriating) Class in PvP, and that's saying something when Rogues are around. WarlockWarlock is deceptively deadly in PvP. One might even think that he is winning against a Lock but after a while DoTs start to add up, Fears and Seductions start to come in, and the situation rapidly changes. Fear is one of the strongest forms of Crowd Control in the game and Warlock is the king of Fear. And Damage over Time. PaladinHoly Paladin, thanks to his solid defenses and very strong single-target heals is regarded as the best PvP Healer. He can keep his allies healthy and buff them to boot (and there is always the Bubble Hearth strategy if a situation gets out of hand...). PriestPriest excels as a DPS and as a Healer. Shadow Priest is widely known as "face melter" in PvP, thanks to his ability to literally melt one's HP in a matter of seconds. He is also very strong in Duels but suffers from quite severe sustain problems. Holy and Discipline Priests are great as PvP Healers, but they are not as durable nor as versatile as Holy Paladins. WarriorWarrior (Arms especially) while not the best 1v1 is a class that benefits the most from Healer assistance (which makes Warriors subpar in Duels). Fury Warrior with a Paladin/Priest at his back turns into a PvP Juggernaut who can't be stopped for as long as his Healer is alive. Moreover, his Rage mechanic allows him to rampage through the battlefield constantly, as he will not be resource-starved at all. Resto and Feral DruidDruids shine in Warsong Gulch premade groups, as they are the best flag carriers thanks to their unbelievably good mobility, immunity to polymorph effects, the ability to break other forms of CC by simply switching between Shapeshift forms, and high HP pool in Bear form combined with solid self-heal abilities. ShamanElemental Shaman packs a solid punch and combines it with a great mixture of Healing and Utility spells (Rank 1 Earth Shock is the best interrupt in the game). In expert hands, Ele is a force to be reckoned with. HunterHunter is a king of Open World PvP, especially at lower levels, but suffers because of the Dead Zone (distance in which a player cannot do any useful action against a hostile target; between 5 and 8 yards from a Hunter). He supports solid DPS, great Crowd Control options, an annoying Pet, and the highest range in the game. Overall, Hunter is an ultimate newbie killing machine that gets much worse when faced by experienced enemies. ShamanEnhancement Shamans are RNG-based, which makes them unreliable, but fun in PvP. ShamanRestoration Shamans suffer from mobility issues and a rather long Cast Times that are prone to interrupts. However, being Shamans, they remain the best interrupting specs on the battlefield. DruidBalance Druid has good damage output... if he has mana, and he doesn't have it most of the time (even Innervate doesn't help that much). PaladinRetribution Paladin is a weird case. On one hand, he is one of the most durable PvP DPS specs, as he must be "killed" three times to stay dead, if he has his cooldowns of course (Bubble and Lay on Hands often give him second and third wind). On the other hand, he is very gear-dependant (Paladin's attacks tickle if he doesn't have a good weapon) and suffers from severe mobility issues that make him prone to being kited to a miserable death.

 

WoW Classic Leveling Tier List
The S Tier
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
HunterHunter is indisputable king of fast leveling. He has great mobility that lets him relocate between quest hubs and objectives quickly, he is gear-independent and deals good damage, even with subpar weapons, and he has a personal Tank at his side. Moreover, his utility kit is a great asset for leveling, and he is able to solo elite quests. In right hands, DruidDruid is a leveling machine. His mobility is second to none, his sustain is insane, and his damage, while not the highest, is good enough and does not depend on Gear which is a great asset. At first glance, WarlockWarlock might seem like a shadowy version of Hunter, but it's not that simple. His demon pets are not as reliable as Hunter's but still provide a visible edge over other classes, his damage output and survivability are at the highest level, and he is a beast in Open-World PvP. So far so good... but there is one thing that lets the Warlock down, and it is mobility, or lack of it to be specific. MageMage is a very solid leveler that is able to eliminate Targets quickly without taking any damage in return, as long as he has mana... and he runs out of it rather quickly which slows him down a lot. Mage without sustain problems would be definitely Tier 1. Contrary to popular opinion, PriestPriest is a strong leveler in Classic - his Wand Specialization and Spirit Tap talents are responsible for that. A Priest does not run out of mana, but his kill times are quite long and his mobility is among the lowest. Overall, he is slow but steady at earlier levels and beastly after getting Shadow Form and mount at level 40. ShamanShaman has great mobility, ability to self-heal and good utility (the best interrupt in the game, among other things), but often doesn't have mana to use his abilities. "Managing resources" is a name of the game for leveling Shamans. RogueRogue is a lightly armored melee DPS with limited PvE defensive options. He runs out of Health very quickly, his DPS depends on his gear, and outside of Blade Flurry every 2 minutes he can't deal with multiple Targets efficiently. Leveling a Rogue is a pain - some even say that it is worse than leveling a Warrior (sic!). PaladinPaladin seems good on paper because he is heavily armored and can heal himself. But... his DPS is pitiful and gear-dependant, his mobility is rather low (outside of a single Talent, he has nothing), his sustain is bad, and he gets destroyed by ranged Classes in Open-World PvP. WarriorWarrior is the best End-Game and the worst Leveling Class in the game. He has close to zero mobility (charge and intercept do not really count), his sustain is as low as Rogue's, his repair bills are massive, and his DPS greatly depends on his current weapon. Overall, leveling a Warrior is a painful experience, but the reward is worth it.

 

WoW Classic Raid Utility/Versatility Tier List
Tier 1
  • DruidDruid
  • WarlockWarlock
  • PaladinPaladin
Tier 2
  • PriestPriest
  • WarriorWarrior
  • MageMage
  • ShamanShaman
  • HunterHunter
Tier 3
  • RogueRogue
Finally, a category where DruidDruid shines. He is a jack of all trades and master of none, able to fill the gaps and support roleplayers, but not able find his own niche, sadly - this is the price of versatility. WarlockWarlock might seem like a weird choice for Tier 1... until you get summoned directly to a Raid entrance and given a tasty Health Stone. Also, Soul Stone serves as a great Raid recovery tool. Let's face it - Warlock is your best Raid buddy. PaladinPaladin provides some of the strongest buffs in the game, can potentially fill in multiple Raid roles (just not as well as Druid), and has access to a great Raid-recovery tool in a form of the Divine Intervention (interestingly, this also removes Paladin's on-death Gear damage penalty). PriestPriest provides solid buffs and can potentially increase one's effective Health pool with Power Word: Shield. WarriorWarrior doesn't have much utility abilities per se, but he can off-tank adds in a DPS spec as long as he has a Shield equipped, which makes him a great Raid asset (and he deals the highest DPS if he is geared well enough). MageMage can kite adds thanks to his Freeze mechanic and provides free refreshments for the team. Walking Vending Machine with a fast cooling option - that's what Mage is. ShamanShaman is able to interrupt Bosses every 6 seconds and provides various buffs and utilities with his Totems. Also, every Shaman is capable of supporting Healers and, to a lesser extent, Tanks. HunterHunter brings some interesting CC/Kiting options to the table, which is enough to secure him a Tier 2 spot. RogueRogue doesn't have any utility whatsoever, but he deals good damage at least.


Profession Breakdown

We have decided to divide this section into two separate categories, one regarding the profession's gold-making potential and the second based around End-Game (Raid/PvP) viability.

If you are looking for a detailed WoW Classic professions Guide, click HERE

WoW Classic End-Game Professions Tier List
The S Tier
  • EngineeringEngineering
Tier 1
  • AlchemyAlchemy
  • BlacksmithingBlacksmithing
Tier 2
  • TailoringTailoring
  • EnchantingEnchanting
  • LeatherworkingLeatherworking
Tier 3
  • SkinningSkinning
  • MiningMining
  • HerbalismHerbalism
EngineeringEngineering is second to none in both End-Game PvP and End-Game PvE. Engi gadgets allow you to gain an edge over your opponents, and things like Saper Charges allow you to deal extra AoE Damage on demand (they can also be used by Tanks to generate extra aggro on multiple targets). AlchemyAlchemy provides you with various powerful consumables that you would otherwise have to buy, and the power of consumables is undeniable in Classic. With BlacksmithingBlacksmithing, you can create various gear pieces, most notably ones with Resistanes (and Resistances are essential for some Raid encounters). If you are a Mage, Priest, or a Warlock, TailoringTailoring lets you Craft yourself a Bind on Pickup Epic Robe that will most likely last you until AQ. Moreover, there are some Resistance Gear Tailoring recipes that come in really handy. EnchantingEnchanting is a good choice if you have access to powerful End-Game recipes that will allow you to make a decent profit and empower your equipment. LeatherworkingLeatherworking is great for melee DPS Classes as it allows them to craft an early Devilsaur Set that is a part of pre-raid BiS gear. All three gathering professions (SkinningSkinning, MiningMining, and HerbalismHerbalism) are lackluster in both PvP and PvE situations but can provide you with a solid income, if you have time to spare on resource grinding.

 

WoW Classic Gold-Making Professions Tier List
The S Tier
  • SkinningSkinning
Tier 1
  • HerbalismHerbalism
  • MiningMining
  • AlchemyAlchemy
Tier 2
  • TailoringTailoring
  • EnchantingEnchanting
  • LeatherworkingLeatherworking
  • BlacksmithingBlacksmithing
Tier 3
  • EngineeringEngineering
SkinningSkinning lands on the very top, not because it provides the highest income, but because it is the most convenient when it comes to making an extra profit. With Skinning, every time you kill a skinnable enemy, additional Gold will simply appear in your inventory (not in a literal sense, of course, but the end result is additional Gold); all you need to do is click on a corpse). Both HerbalismHerbalism and MiningMining are great choices for gold-making, as they let you convert Time into Gold without any need for an initial investment. Just remember to pick one or the other, and not both of them at once, as you can't track two kinds of resources on your minimap at the same time (this can be bypassed by addons to some extent, however). AlchemyAlchemy makes the most money out of crafting professions thanks to the power of consumables and the fact that herbs are relatively cheap and quite easy to farm (with a notable exception of Black Lotus). With TailoringTailoring you can craft and sell BoE Cloth Gear and Mooncloths. Moreover, Tailo allows you to craft bags, and those are constantly in high demand. The profitability of EnchantingEnchanting depends on a number of recipes that you have access to. If you are a member of strong Raiding guild and obtaining Raid Recipes is not a problem for you, Enchanting will prove to be a source of considerable profits. LeatherworkingLeatherworking profitability largely depends on the chosen specialization. The most profitable of the three is by far Tribal Leatherworking because it gives you access to Devilsaur Set Recipes that are in high demand. However, Devilsaur Leather can be hard to come by, as Devilsaur spawns are very contested. BlacksmithingBlacksmithing allows you to make End-Game resistance gear and some Epic Weapons, but demand for those is not that high. You can also make some gold on selling Skeleton Keys and Rods. The main problem with EngineeringEngineering is the fact that almost all of the valuable Crafts require Engi Skill to use, which makes them almost unsellable, with a notable exception of some Gnomish/Goblin Engineering items that require Specialization to Craft but not to be used (which means that you can sell some Goblin Engi items to a Gnomish Engineer and vice versa).

 

END NOTE

Please remember that every in-game decision should be based on your preference, as fun is the most important aspect of the game. You should not base your Class choice on raw statistics unless you are a true hardcore player focused on speed-clearing end-game content or achieving high PvP rank, as choosing a strong Class that uses mechanics which you don't like will kill all your enjoyment of the game. Profession choice should be based on the same principles - pick up what you like unless you are focused on a specific goal (Helping your Guild, Moneymaking, PvP/PvE, etc. ).

We hope that you have found this guide useful and informative.  If we have missed a piece of information that is important to you, please let us know! 

Please do note that this is an early version of our guide, and we will be happy to receive constructive criticism, that will help us improve it, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.