The popularity of WoW Classic in recent years has led to a resurgence in the community, with Blizzard’s continued support of the recreated version of the game running concurrently with the main retail edition of World of Warcraft. While that return to the state of the MMO prior to the changes of its expansions has drawn the attention of many players, future updates to the proper World of Warcraft also seem to be some of the most promising in years. As The War Within and its set of changes approach, the context surrounding the game’s set of races is set to shift once again.
With several major features that seem to be intended for the core gameplay of modern WoW, The War Within has earned a positive reception so far following its reveal in November of last year. Between additions like what is set to be more unique gameplay opportunities in Delves and the alternate character quality of life improvements of Warbands, this latest content update is set to move the world of Azeroth forward when it launches at some point this year. WoW The War Within’s Earthen race will shake up the balance of the game’s character options as previous additions have, making now the perfect time to start reevaluating where they all stand in terms of ranking.
World of Warcraft Class Tier List Ahead of The War Within
With Dragonflight all but wrapped up, the 13 classes of World of Warcraft have plenty of things that can be worked on going into The War Within.
The Humans of Stormwind might be the most basic race available in the fantasy world of Azeroth, but they have an undeniable level of effectiveness. The Racial Trait “Will to Survive” has made them one of the most popular choices around.
A quintessential choice of race since the beginning of WoW, the Night Elves have an inherent advantage as classes like Rogue. With Racial Traits like “Elusiveness” and “Shadowmeld” specifically geared towards stealthier gameplay, there are some seriously tangible rewards for playing a Night Elf.
Ever since their introduction in WoW‘s Legion expansion, Void Elves have stood alongside Night Elves as a valid option in terms of beneficial Racial Traits. The utility of “Entropic Embrace” and “Spatial Rift” make this an appealing option alone, but these elves haven’t found as much popularity as their counterparts.
As stout and robust as they are in other fantasy canons, WoW‘s Dwarves are a defining part of the world’s culture. Apart from the feeling of roleplaying one, the powerful Racial Trait “Stoneform” makes choosing a Dwarf a solid option for a tankier character.
Dark Iron Dwarf
While Racial Traits like “Fireblood” and “Mole Machine” may seem to make Dark Iron Dwarves a superior version of the regular variety, the difference in their respective stat bonuses set them apart. As DIDs have better damage reduction as opposed to output, they are a better option for defensive play.
The face of the Horde, Orcs have been a key part of WoW since its inception and maintained a sizable chunk of the game’s population. Oriented towards the use of Pets alongside traditional melee attacks with the Racial Traits “Command” and “Blood Fury”, orcs are somewhat limited in scope despite their effectiveness.
Regular Gnomes get some decent traits, but the Racials of World of Warcraft‘s Mechagnomes have the potential to be some of the most useful in WoW. From the healing of “Emergency Failsafe” to the convenience of “Mastercraft”, these cyborgs can bring a lot to the table in the hands of a deliberate player.
With the ability to use “Cannibalize” on corpses to sustain themselves, and the passive “Touch of the Grave” having a consistent benefit in combat, the Forsaken, or Undead, are icons of WoW for a reason.
Since their introduction, Battle for Azeroth’s Zandalari Trolls have presented an alternative to the regular Trolls that can surpass them with the trait “Regeneratin'”.
As a massively popular choice of race among WoW’s community, there’s no shortage of Blood Elves present throughout Azeroth. Their relatively mild Racial Traits don’t quite match up to their general appeal, however, with Arcane Acuity 1% increase to critical strike chance being one of their main benefits.
With the inherent appeal of their beastly transformation and movement as fast as a Mount, the Worgen have been a solid pick since their debut in WoW‘s Cataclysm expansion.
With a buff like “Berserking” and the utility of “Da Voodoo Shuffle”, the Racial Traits of Trolls perfectly match their rough sense of charm. They may have become less popular in recent years, but Trolls can offer a lot of character to players drawn to their distinct appearance.
What to Expect From World of Warcraft in 2024
2024 will mark the World of Warcraft’s 20th year, and Blizzard seems to have a lot of plans to make this year one of the game’s best yet.
The current Dragonflight expansion’s Dracthyr are a controversial race due to being limited to only the Evoker class. Their unique flight abilities are incredibly novel, but they lack versatility when compared to other choices.
Undeniably one of the game’s mascots, the Tauren can achieve some lasting presence in battle through the traits “War Stomp” and “Endurance, but they are ultimately somewhat basic in terms of options.
A variation of Human that came with Battle for Azeroth, the Kul Tirans are island people with some substantial Racials in the form of “Brush it Off” and “Child of the Sea” that support their hardy reputation.
Making up for their stature with Racials such as “Expansive Mind” and “Escape Artist”, Gnomes are a race with a surprising amount of utility.
Blasting around with “Rocket Jump” and “Rock Barrage” since their introduction in Cataclysm, Goblins provide the Horde with its own, much more gold-inclined, race of smaller people.
Completely separate from Night Elves despite their similarites, the Nightborne exist as much more magically-focused through offensive Racials such as “Arcane Pulse” and “Magical Affinity”.
While “Savage Blood” and “Sympathetic Vigor” evoke the effectiveness that normal Orcs have in melee and with Pets, the Orcs of the Mag’har clan have a more defensive take on similar Racials that can make them a more specialized choice.
The typical Monk of WoW since Mists of Pandaria, the Pandaren primarily thrive within that class with “Quaking Palm”, as other Racials, like “Gourmand” and “Epicurean” are more oriented towards the Cooking skill than combat power.
Another variant that debuted in Legion, the Highmountain Tauren can be a tough sell to players who aren’t specifically interested in being even tankier through “Rugged Tenacity”, or catching more meat and fish with “Waste Not, Want Not”.
A unique race of fox people from the desert, Battle for Azeroth’s Vulpera have established themselves as a solid pick for more niche gameplay through options like their signature “Bag of Tricks” Racial.
They may offer some meaningful differences from their regular counterparts, but the Lightforged Draenei struggle with the confusing fact that one of their strongest Racials, “Light’s Reckoning”, only triggers upon the player’s death.
While they might be seen as one of the coolest WoW races in terms of roleplaying and lore, the relatively weak nature of “Shadow Resistance” and “Gift of the Naaru” ultimately makes the Draenei of WoW‘s Burning Crusade underwhelming when compared to their peers.
World of Warcraft
- November 23, 2004
- Online Multiplayer
- Unreal Engine
- T for Teen: Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence (online interactions not rated)
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic