Burning Crusade continues the WoW Classic journey with players advancing to Outland, alongside a new level cap and a ton of new spells, abilities, and content. Some of the biggest changes of the expansion come with classes, as both factions now have access to Shamans and Paladins, as well as a slew of balance changes.
Unlike Classic, almost every class and spec is at least somewhat viable in TBC and there’s a lot more variety in which classes can perform well in raids. If you want to know how your class matches up in TBC dungeons and raids, or are looking to pick a new class for the expansion then you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve created a definitive TBC Classic class tier list for PvE, ranking each class based on their performance in raids and thus their desirability. The list ranges from tier S (best) to tier D (worst).
- Restoration Shaman
Tier S classes are the best of the best - the highest performers throughout the entire expansion and classes that you just can’t go wrong with in PvE.
Hunters, Warlocks, and Resto Shamans are the cream of the crop in TBC Classic. Beast Mastery Hunters and Destruction Warlocks provide the highest overall damage in the Burning Crusade, while Resto Shamans provide the best healing and top-notch utility.
In Classic, we saw the best guilds bring a ton of warriors to maximize damage, and it will be the same with these three classes in TBC. This is especially true for Restoration Shamans, as their healing is incredibly strong and their totems provide some incredible buffs (like Windfury empowering melee attacks).
- Protection & Holy Paladin
- Protection Warrior
- Holy & Shadow Priest
- Enhancement & Elemental Shaman
Tier A features classes and specs that are very strong and you’d always want at least one in your group. These classes aren’t individually as powerful as tier S classes, but still fill vital roles, or provide necessary buffs or spells.
Mages are very strong damage dealers and while they are outshined by Hunters and Warlocks in pure damage, they do provide some necessary utility. This includes things like Arcane Intellect, Polymorph, and even the new ability Spellsteal that is a core mechanic in the Gruul’s Lair raid.
Protection Warrior and Paladin both play the vital tank role, with Warriors being single target experts and Paladins excelling in tanking large groups. However, you’d only ever need one of each, so the number of spots they fill are somewhat limited.
Priests also play a key role. They provide useful buffs, granting allies extra stamina and spirit, as well as being all-round utility tools. Shadow Priests are key as their spells provide mana regeneration for their group, while Holy Priests provide overall strong healing and shielding.
Both Enhancement and Elemental Shamans are also very strong for their good amount of damage and useful buffs. Overall, each Shaman spec is incredibly useful thanks to totems, which can benefit just about every group member. If you pick a Shaman, groups will love you and your totems.
Holy Paladins are very useful due to their utility, as well as base strengths. Holy Paladins provide very strong healing, but the majority of their use comes from their buffs. Paladin blessings give a huge increase of stats to party members and their aura’s are crucial for some fights, providing useful bonuses like extra armor or resistances.
- Feral (Bear) & Restoration Druid
- Retribution Paladin
- Arms Warrior
- Balance Druid
In tier B we start seeing classes with fewer uses, but still worthwhile ones. Feral (Bear) and Resto Druids are definitely at the top of tier B. Both provide a strong buff in Mark of the Wild and both have their uses. Feral bears are tough tanks and can be the best pick for some fights where armor is key, while Restoration Druids provide very strong raid healing with their multiple healing over time spells.
Meanwhile, Balance Druids play a very niche role. Their damage isn’t great and they run out of mana very fast, but they do provide a huge 5% critical strike buff to spellcasters, which is their main selling point.
Retribution Paladins play a similar role to Shadow Priests. Their damage isn’t huge, but they help the group by restoring others' mana when they attack. They also provide blessings, so have quite a few uses and can fit into a raid group.
Finally, we have Arms Warrior. This is another utility pick as, overall, Warriors don’t do a whole lot of damage. However, the Arms specialization does have a very useful talent named Blood Frenzy which increases all damage a target takes by 4% — a pretty sizable boost to give to a whole raid.
- Feral (Cat) Druid
Down in tier C, we have just one spec, the Feral Cat Druid. This spec is a damage dealer, but doesn't really excel at doing damage, with almost every other class being better. However, it’s still possible to find a spot in a group.
Cat Druids provide useful buffs like a 5% critical strike buff to melee classes, Mark of the Wild, and a combat resurrection. It’s definitely more on the niche side of TBC, but at least it's possible to be a mighty cat clawing at giant monsters.
- Fury Warrior
Rogue and Fury Warrior are our two final classes and find themselves at the bottom of the barrel. Both are melee damage dealers which neither have the highest damage, nor provide any useful buffs, and thus are the least useful choices.
However, they do still remain somewhat useful as they do actually gain strength over the course of the expansion. Most notably, both can use Illidan’s famous Warglaives, which are the most powerful weapons of the expansion.
While it’ll be tough to find a group as a Rogue or Fury Warrior early on, their damage does become good enough to feature in the final few raids, like the Black Temple or Sunwell Plateau.
Long time gamer, Warcraft nerd, sometimes fancy word writer.