WoW Classic: Best Races for Every Class – Top Racial Abilities!

We're taking a look at all the best races for each class in both PvE and PvP in World of Warcraft: Classic!

Our WoW: Classic Best Race Guide has a detailed list of the best race choices for each class! If you're looking to find the best options for either PvE or PvP for your Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, or Warrior then this post should help you out.

The race you choose for your character in World of Warcraft: Classic is very important due to the unique racial abilities and passives that each one of them has. This is usually not the case in most game, but the advantages given by particular races in this game are fairly significant.

WoW Classic: Racial Abilities List

Each race you have to choose from has different abilities that can be passively applied or actively used. Here's a list of all of them, I've put stars next to the best ones, three stars are the best of the best.

Alliance

Dwarf

  • Find Treasure: Allows the dwarf to sense nearby treasure, making it appear on the minimap.
  • Frost Resistance: Increases Frost Resistance by 10.
  • *Gun Specialization: Guns skill increased by 5.
  • ***Stoneform: While active, grants immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increased by 10%. Lasts 8 sec.

Gnome

  • Arcane Resistance: Arcane Resistance increased.
  • *Expansive Mind: Intelligence increased by 5%.
  • Engineering Specialization: Engineering skill increased by 15.
  • ***Escape Artist: Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.

Human

  • Diplomacy: Reputation gains increased by 10%.
  • **Mace Specialization: Skill with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 5.
  • Perception: Dramatically increases stealth detection for 20 sec.
  • **Sword Specialization: Skill with Swords and Two-Handed Swords increased by 5.
  • The Human Spirit: Spirit increased by 5%.

Night Elf

  • Nature Resistance: Nature Resistance increased by 10.
  • Wisp Spirit: Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing movement speed by 50%.
  • **Quickness: Dodge chance increased by 1%.
  • *Shadowmeld: Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Night Elf Rogues and Druids with Shadowmeld are more difficult to detect while stealthed or prowling.

Horde

Orc

  • **Axe Specialization: Skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes increased by 5.
  • ***Blood Fury: Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec and reduces healing effects on you by 50% for 25 sec.
  • *Command: Damage dealt by Hunter and Warlock pets increased by 5%.
  • ***Hardiness: Chance to resist Stun effects increased by an additional 25%.

Tauren

  • Cultivation: Herbalism skill increased by 15.
  • **Endurance: Total Health increased by 5%.
  • Nature Resistance: Nature Resistance increased by 10.
  • ***War Stomp: Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yds for 2 sec.

Troll

  • ***Beast Slaying: Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.
  • ***Berserking: Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 30%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with a greater effect up to 30% if you are badly hurt when you activate Berserking. Lasts 10 sec.
  • **Bow Specialization: Skill with Bow Weapons increased by 5.
  • Regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
  • Throwing Specialization: Skill with Throwing Weapons increased by 5.

Undead

  • *Cannibalize: When activated, regenerates 7% of total health every 2 sec for 10 sec. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yds. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect.
  • Shadow Resistance: Shadow Resistance increased by 10.
  • Underwater Breathing: Underwater breath lasts 300% longer than normal.
  • ***Will of the Forsaken: Provides immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep while active. May also be used while already afflicted by Charm, Fear or Sleep. Lasts 5 sec.

WoW Classic: Best Race Choices by Class

Here's a look at every class and the best race for them by PvE (Player vs. Environment: Monsters, Dungeons, Raiding, etc.) and PvP (Player vs. Player). There's also a great video I referenced by Punkrat that goes into quite a bit of detail as well.

Druid

You can only go Night Elf for Alliance or Tauren for Horde as a Druid. The choice is whichever side you prefer to be on, however, we'll look at which one is better for the particular style of play.

PvE

  • Either
    • There's no real significant difference between the two. It comes down to whether or not you value the 1% dodge increase that Night Elf has, or the 5% boost in total health that the Tauren do.

PvP

  • Tauren
    • The race has both Endurance which gets you more health, and War Stomp which allows you to stun enemies for two seconds.

Hunter

PvE

  • Alliance: Dwarf or Night Elf
    • Both races don't really have a huge advantage over the other. Night Elf starts out with more Agility, and Dwarf has gun specialization. The problem is that the Agility is largely negligible, and there are no really good guns for late game Hunters.
  • Horde: Troll
    • It's not even close for Horde in PvE because Troll has three racials that are all good for Hunter: Beast Slaying, Berserking, and Bow Specialization.

PvP

  • Alliance: Dwarf or Night Elf
    • Stoneform on Dwarf is very strong, so if you think you'll use that a lot then go with Dwarf. Night Elf, however, have the Shadowmeld ability that can be very strong in World PvP for hiding out with a stealthed pet and waiting for a victim to arrive! Make your choice based on what type of play you will most likely engage in.
  • Horde: Orc
    • While Troll has some advantages, the fact that Orc has Hardiness puts them ahead. It makes you ridiculously powerful against Rogues in particular because you can get them out of stealth with Flare, and you can also resist their stuns. Orcs also have the Command passive that gets you an additional 5% damage on your pet.

Mage

PvE

  • Alliance: Gnome
    • Pretty easy choice for the Alliance with the Expansive Mind racial that gives an Intelligence increase of 5%.
  • Horde: Troll
    • You can get some additional damage on certain mobs with the Beast Slaying racial, but you also can take advantage of Berserking which increases the speed in which you can use spells.

PvP

  • Alliance: Gnome
    • Expansive Mind is good in PvP as well, but you also get access to Escape Artist which is really good when fighting against players.
  • Horde: Undead
    • Slightly better racials than Troll has for going against other players, although Troll is still a fine option.

Paladin

PvE

  • Alliance: Human or Dwarf
    • If you're going Holy then either choice is fine and there's not much difference between the two. If you're going Retribution, however, then Human is the best choice with the Mace and Sword Specilizations.

PvP

  • Alliance: Dwarf
    • Stoneform carries Dwarf again and makes it the best race for Alliance Paladins who want to PvP.

Priest

PvE

  • Alliance: Dwarf
    • Priests get some unique spells based on your race, and Dwarf Priest happens to have one of the most sought after spells in Fear Ward. This ward prevents a friendly target from being feared, which is huge against certain bosses.
  • Horde: Troll
    • Berserking and Beast Slaying carry Troll to another easy victory for the Horde.

PvP

  • Alliance: Dwarf
    • Fear Ward and Stoneform are powerful abilities in PvP and make Dwarf the best choice for Alliance.
  • Horde: Undead
    • Will of the Forsaken is very strong and carries Undead as the better of the options for Horde. However, if you plan on going Shadow Priest, then Troll does offers some interesting options. The Shadowguard spell which reflects melee hits back onto the attacker. You've also got Berserking which helps you cast spells much faster, and you have Hex of Weakness which reduces the effectiveness of healing by 20%.

Rogue

PvE

  • Alliance: Human
    • You'll be using a lot of Swords as a Rogue and Human's have that ever helpful specialization that makes more of your swings land more frequently which increases your DPS. You can also buff your swords further with the Rogue talent.
  • Horde: Orc
    • Great racial ability for more damage with Blood Fury. If you want your character to be good in both PvE and PvP, then Orc is hands down the best choice.

PvP

  • Alliance: Gnome
    • They have one of the best racials for PvP with Escape Artist. It's especially important as a melee character to be able to get out of stuns and slow down effects.
  • Horde: Orc
    • Has two great racial abilities with the Hardiness passive that keeps you from getting stunned as often as other races, and the Blood Fury is good for additional damage.
      • Undead is also a decent choice because of the Will of the Forsaken ability that removes Charm, Fear and Sleep effects. However, Orc is just too powerful to deny.

Shaman

PvE

  • Horde: Troll
    • Berserking makes your ability to cast spells extremely fast, and when you pair this with something like Chain Heal it becomes very powerful.

PvP

  • Horde: Orc
    • Orc triumphs again for Horde in PvP due to the power of Hardiness. However, there is something to be said about Tauren and how they can use War Stomp to give them some additional time to cast a spell without it being interrupted.

Warlock

PvE

  • Alliance: Gnome
    • Pretty easy choice for the Alliance with the Expansive Mind racial that gives an Intelligence increase of 5%.
  • Horde: Orc or Undead
    • Orc has the Command racial that ups the damage of the Warlock pet by 5% which is not too bad. Undead has Will of the Forsaken which is relevant against bosses who use charms and fears.

PvP

  • Alliance: Gnome
    • Expansive Mind is good in PvP as well, but you also get access to Escape Artist which is really good when fighting against players.
  • Horde: Orc or Undead
    • Orc might lean a bit stronger due to the Hardiness passive that gets Warlock's some resistance to stuns and the Command passive that gets them some more pet damage. Undead still has Will of the Forsaken, so that is very solid as well.

Warrior

PvE: Fury Warrior

  • Alliance: Human
    • The Sword Specialization helps Human out quite a bit with landing more blows, and a lot of the top dungeon weapons in the game happen to be swords.
  • Horde: Orc
    • Both of Orc's racials help in terms of DPS. You've got the Axe Specialization which ups your ability to hit your attacks, and Blood Fury which gives you an attack power buff.

PvE: Tanking

  • Alliance: Human or Dwarf
    • Humans have both the Sword and Mace Specializations that will help you hit all of your swings which will continually generate you more threat.
    • Dwarves have Stoneform which grants you the immunity from some DOT effects, and gives you an additional 10% armor.
  • Horde: Orc or Troll
    • Again, Orcs have a big advantage due to the Axe Specialization that will help them create more threat and hold aggro on enemies.
    • Trolls have a pretty good racial in Beast Slaying that helps them gain extra threat on specific bosses. Berserking is also very valuable as a tank, your life is constantly fluctuating, so you should be getting some quality boost to your attack speed by using this ability.

PvP

  • Alliance: Gnome
    • Great racial ability with Escape Artist that gets you out of an immobilization or speed reduction effect.
  • Horde: Orc
    • Hardiness is one of the better PvP racials that gives you a 25% chance to resist Stun effects which are pervasive in PvP. Blood Fury is also very strong, increase attack power gives you more damage which is what you want against other players.

About the Author

Evident is a lifelong gamer and creator of websites. He mostly focuses on shooters, but has been known to dabble in the occasional card game as well. You can find him binge watching TV shows in his downtime.

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