It’s been over a decade and a half since the release of World of Warcraft and the game has changed drastically. After eight expansions, 15 new races, and four new classes, raiding has practically transformed.
The release of Classic has given players the opportunity to relive the heyday of WoW where 40-man raiding was the norm. The boss mechanics might not be as demanding as Shadowlands, but the competition is fiercer than ever.
Here’s our tier list for WoW Classic PvE from the best class to the worst.
Protection Warrior, Holy Priest, Fury Warrior, Combat Rogue
Protection Warriors are the go-to tanking class in Classic. With a large health pool, high threat, mitigation, and innate sustainability, they really have it all. Neither Feral Druids nor Protection Paladins come anywhere close to a Warrior’s ability to tank, lacking the fundamentals to thrive in a raiding environment.
Holy Priests are the counterpart to Prot Warriors. They’re by far the best healers in Classic, topping the meters and offering a range of essential raid buffs. Power Infusion, Power Word: Shield, Fortitude, Fear Ward, and Shadow Weaving are all invaluable to raiding. Priests are also flexible in their role, allowing for both steady and reliable tank healing, as well as effective raid healing.
Fury Warriors left much to be desired in Molton Core and Blackwing Lair, but now that a strong set of weapons is readily available in Naxxramas, they dish the highest damage per second in Classic.
Rogue sits side by side with Warrior as the top dog DPS in Classic. Their pure and unadulterated damage coupled with their utility, make them one of the best classes in Naxxramas.
Fire Mage, Affliction Warlock, and Holy Paladin
Fire mages are the best-ranged DPS class, convincingly beating out Warlocks. They were a little slow in the early stages of the game, having to rely on Frost in Molton Core, but that quickly changed in phase two. Once Fire spec came into play, they shot up the meters.
Warlocks might not be as powerful as Mages, but they do offer a range of vital debuffs and raid-wide utility. In addition to Soulstones, Healthstones, and Blood Pact, they have Curse of the Elements, Shadows, and Recklessness—each helping to improve the raid group’s DPS.
Alliance narrowly beats out Horde in raiding solely because of Holy Paladins. They offer a huge range of raid buffs, including some of the most powerful in the game. On top of Blessing of Kings, Might, Wisdom, Sanctuary, and Salvation, they have a set of useful passive auras to help protect the raid. They’re also one of the strongest single-target healers alongside Priests.
Restoration Shaman, Restoration Druid, and Hunter
Resto Shamans are the Horde’s counterpart to Paladins. They’re far worse single-target healers, but they make up for it with their raid-wide healing from Chain Heal. They also have a set of handy Totems that can be versatile in a raiding environment.
Druid offers raid utility in the form of Innervate and Rebirth. They’re the only class in Classic with combat resurrect, making them a necessity in high-end raiding groups. They also have Faerie Fire, helping buffer physical damage substantially. They’re far from the best healing class on the list, but they’re effective when it comes to sustaining the raid.
Hunters deal lower damage than Warriors, Rogues, and Mages, but they’re just as crucial for raiding. Tranquilizing Shot is absolutely necessary for bosses with enrage.
Feral Druid, Elemental Shaman, Enhancement Shaman, and Shadow Priest
Feral Druids are viable in both their DPS and tanking forms, despite their poor regard in Classic raiding. They’re decent off tanks, offering a critical strike buff, and their DPS is reasonably competitive.
Both Elemental and Enhancement Shamans offer the same reliable raid utility as Resto. They had real problems keeping up their mana in the early stages of the game, but in Naxxramas they’re far easier to handle.
Shadow Priests are a weaker version of Warlock. They offer little damage to a raid, but their Shadow Weaving ability shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s particularly important in high-end raiding groups to help buffer shadow damage.
Protection Paladin, Retribution Paladin, and Balance Druid
Protection Paladins lack the defensive capabilities of their tanking partners. They don’t have a taunt ability and they’re susceptible to death. For this reason, Prot Paladins shouldn’t be featured in high-end raiding groups.
Similar to Holy Paladins, Retribution offers a wide range of raid buffs. But that’s as far as it goes for the spec. Their damage is amongst the weakest in all Classic.
Balance Druids are notorious for running out of mana. Nicknamed Oomkins, they simply don’t maintain enough mana to be worth playing. They do a fair amount of damage, but in long fights, they’ll quickly fall to the bottom-of-the-tables.