Some Things You Should Know…

Hello readers! This is another Shared Topic From Blog Azeroth where Aos asks us to share what we know about the classes when considering them for building a group.

Before we start let me say that this is mostly a matter of opinion. While I tried to remember every little thing about each class I must admit that while I’ve tried them all, my experience with some are less then others. This is just a basic knowledge of what to look for when building your group. A standard ten man group is two tanks, two healers, a hybrid (say a shaman to dps but throw in the occasional heal) 3 CC and 2 sheer DPS.

Lets start with TANKING:


  • Has a decent amount of hitpoints
  • Has average armor
  • Has the best damage mitigation as far as tanks go
  • Has slower aggro build but sustains the longest
  • Has stances that can be changed to make him/her unfearable
  • Has limited party buffs

Warriors have for a long time been, THE standard tank. And with good cause. Though thier ability to tank multiple targets is limited, thats what we have Crowd Control (CC) for. This class does suffer a little bit as rage must be built, and they start with none, so some time must be given for your warrior to gain rage, and thus, aggro. Warriors have been given a good amount of hit pointsand damage absorption to make them quite hard to kill. Healing wise a few Heal Over Times (HoT) can do the trick for most trash. As long as your warrior has its 490 defense, is spec’d properly and in the case of higher content, is even uncrushable there is very little this class can’t take.


  • Has the lowest hit points of the three tank classes
  • Has average damage mitigation (relying heavily on block rating)
  • Has average armor
  • Has the ability to heal themselves or others should needs be
  • Has versatile party buffs
  • Has the ability to resurrect
  • Has instant aggro gains
  • Cannot sustain for too long without the aid of constant healing
  • Can tank multiple mobs with ease
  • Can sacrifice self to save a run back after a wipe

Paladins, though always able to tank, have really only recently been seen as a potential main tank on a run. Avengers Shield is their primary aggro gain and can and will hit three mobs in succession. Recently Blizzard also added the bonus that this will no longer break CC. Generally in a five man setting you will not need to bring other CC as your paladin tank is better off holding all the mobs as it is more mana efficient for them. Paladins do start with a full mana bar and go down from there, but their mana can be replenished easily with mana pots and with the aid of healers. Paladins will regen 10 percent of a heal back in mana. Obtaining uncrushable for a Paladin is harder then that of a warrior but still possible. They suffer from relying on the use of a libram and a spell called Holy Shield to achieve it though. A paladin’s strength also comes from having some spell damage because Avenger’s Shield and Concencrate, a Paladin’s heavy hitters, are scaled by thier Spell Damage. A paladin would not be ideal if you are in need of heavy CC. Healing wise Paladins are only sightly harder to heal then a warrior as they carry about the same mitigation but usually will have less hit points.


  • Has the most hit points
  • Has the most armor
  • Cannot block/does not have a shield
  • Has the least mitigation
  • Slower aggro gain
  • Decent party buff
  • Can heal when needed
  • Has an in-combat resurrect

Druids are, in my opinion, the MOST versatile hybrid class out there. When Feral for tanking druids definitely can hold their own. They have abilities like Feral Charge, Lacerate, and Maul to build aggro and they do so well. They are on a rage system similar to a warriors so will require some time to build up thier threat. However while in bear form a druid cannot use a pot or healthstone, so healers beware. Druids are interesting because they do not use a shield and instead have massive armor and hit points to make up for this difference. Druids cannot become uncrushable so spikes in their health will be common, and like a warrior are limited in the ability to tank several mobs at once.

So you pick your two tanks and we move on to the next must have, the HEALERS:


  • Has great mana regen
  • Has HoTs and regular heals
  • Has an aggro dump
  • Has great party buffs
  • Has the ability to throw in some DPS
  • Can group heal
  • Has the least armor and hit points
  • Has CC for undead mobs and humanoids
  • Has the ability to fear

Priests are the old school healer. When someone says healer this is the first thing that usually comes to mind, and for good reason! Priests have the ability to toss big heals, little heals, DPS and Heal at the same time, and heal the entire group in one shot. Priests, like all healers, are heavily gear dependant and can have amazing mana regen if they manage to get enough spirit into their gear. Also useful for limited CC with Shackle, Mind Control and Fear.


  • Has average hit points
  • Has average mana regen
  • Has the ability to self resurrect in the middle of battle or out
  • Has the ability to group heal
  • Can add DPS
  • Does not have HoTs (Except Gift of the Naaru)
  • No aggro dump (Well except for dying :P)
  • Did I mention TOTEMS?

Shaman are THE group buffer to have. Their totems add to everyone and are an excellent resource to any raid. The shaman shine for raid healing and group healing with their spell, Chain heal. They also have the ability to resurrect themselves, in or out of combat. (This only works on the shaman). I admit my knowledge on shaman is limited but are equally useful as a healer in a raid or to solo heal a five man.


  • Can spam heals like a crazy person
  • Has an aggro dump
  • Has versatile party buffs
  • Has the best chance to survive pulling aggro
  • Can have crazy mana regen
  • Can crit lots and lots
  • Single target healer
  • Does not have HoTs (Unless they are Draenai)

Paladins are spam central. They can cast their smaller heal, Flash of Light, over and over again without running out of mana, and should their aggro begin to climb, a bubble will surely take it down. Paladins seem to be split into two though, the Mp5 Paladin and the Crit Paladin. When it boils down to it though, both end up looking at the mana regen so I wouldn’t trouble yourself over that. Paladins lack the ability to heal multiple people at the same time and are best to have focus on a tank. Thier ability to add in damage is limited to Holy Shock and the occasional Hammer of Wrath at the end of a fight. They have no ability to CC.


  • Has a special form just for healing
  • Lots of HoTs, Powerful ones
  • Usually wont die in one shot
  • Does not have an aggro dump
  • Has a limited use CC (Outdoors Only)
  • Has a decent party buff
  • Has great mana regen
  • Can summon up some tree buddies
  • Has the ability to resurrect in combat
  • Not considered a rezing class

Druids have really come into the spotlight in recent months. Despite the lack of a resurrect ability, druids are in high demand for their HoTs. Druids are great for these as their HoTs can stack and be equally as powerful as a full regular heal, only they are mostly instant cast. They also have a heavy AoE heal that is quite the relief after a raid takes a heavy hit all the way around. For these reasons Druids are best suited to raid heal and to keep HoTs up on the tank.

**Whew this post is getting long. Lets have an intermission. Ima have a smoke, AFK**

**Ok back, still with me? Good**

Alright we’ve got our healers, we’ve got our tanks, the rest of the raid goes to DPS. Lets start with CC DPS


  • Have (usually) very little hit points
  • Have little mana regen
  • Ranged DPS
  • Carry some huge pew pew
  • Has the ability to make Mana Biscuts
  • Can port you to any major city
  • Has the ability to CC using Sheep and Frost Nova
  • Has an aggro dump
  • Has a decent party buff
  • Has great AOE ability

Mages have become the must have for raids, unfortunately this is mostly for their mana biscuts, but they also have the awesome ability to CC. Sheep and frost nova are must haves for any group looking for an easy run. Mages also have the buff of AI and can add easy to a tank’s job by using Counterspell to bring a caster in closer for the kill. Mages can also add buffs to themselves by using Spell Steal. Also adding to the already large package mages can AoE damage using arcane or frost spells, this is really handy when using an aoe paladin tank. Overall mages are heavy hitters in cloth armor so they must watch their threat and can dump it at any time using Ice Block, which is available to any spec mage nowadays.


  • Has a pet companion that can really help in a tight spot
  • Have the ability to CC
  • Has an aggro dump
  • Has limited party buffs
  • Has sustainable DPS
  • Can Kite
  • Has decent hit points/can take a hit
  • Has the ability to track

Hunters seem to be a fairly common class played but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to play them well. A great hunter can add substantial DPS to your group and also provide reliable CC. A hunter who has taken the time to learn can also trap multiple mobs at a time, really making their class shine. Though a hunter has very little to offer his other mates in his party, his aspect can and does help here and there. Hunters are also very viable for kiting mobs. His AoE damage ability is limited but it is there. Though a straightforward and easy class hunters are still considered highly valuable to have around.


  • Has the ability to make healthstones
  • Has high hitpoints
  • Has various pets to help in different situation
  • Has the ability to CC (Though Limited)
  • Has the ability to make healthstones
  • Has heavy DPS
  • Is restricted by Soul Shards
  • Has an aggro dump
  • Has limited party buffs
  • Has the ability to sustain mana

Warlocks are not usually classified as a CC but I’m gonna go ahead and put them here anyways. Warlocks rely heavily on the use of soul shards so you’ll want to make sure yours has some. Warlocks have the ability to banish demons, fear humanoids, seduce humanoids, see invisibility and stealth, and fear bounce. For these reasons I’ve classified them as a CC. They are also heavy AoE’ers using Rain of Fire and Seed of Corruption as their primary spells for such a cause. Warlocks also can sustain themselves and using a Felguard or Voidwalker, called “Drain Tanking” (Using the pet as a temporary tank and slowly draining my own life into it to keep it alive). Warlocks also have instant cast DoTs (Damage over Time Spells) that can be put up on all the mobs to help them die quickly. With the addition in recent months of Soul Shatter warlocks also now have a way to dump their aggro, making them an awesome DPS to have.

Shadow Priest

  • Has average hit points
  • Has no aggro dump
  • Regens Mana and Health for self and group
  • Has decent party buffs
  • Has the ability to CC (Limited)
  • Can heal if the situation should call for it
  • Has the ability to resurrect

Shadow priests are becoming more and more common. Their ability to regenerate mana and health for their party makes a healers life much easier. (Pally tanks love em too!). They also carry the same buffing ability as their healing counterpart so if this is your soul reason for them I’d think again. They also carry the same CC abilities as thier healing copies, so again, if you have a holy priest an Spriest would simply duplicate these things. They are average DPSers, though.


  • Has average hit points
  • Heavy DPS
  • Moonkin form adds an extra party buff
  • Has the ability to CC (Limited)
  • Does not have an aggro dump
  • Has a decent party buff
  • Can heal if necessary
  • Has limited ability to AoE
  • Can stealth

Moonkin druids are crit heavy and can and do pull aggro easily and have no way to dump it. Make sure your tank is prepared to tank against this extremely heavy hitter. A feral druid is not so bad, and while in cat form (I believe) can cower, this only lessens the threat and does not completely dump it. In a Feral spec DPS is decent and sustainable, and is fairly similar to that of a rogue. Overall a Druid can be a great addition, but has many of the same abilities of a healer druid as well.


  • Has average hit points
  • Has sustainable DPS
  • Cannot AoE
  • Has the ability to CC (Limited)
  • Can Stealth
  • Has an aggro dump
  • Can “Evasion Tank” for a short period of time
  • Can pick locks

People tend to see rogues as the bitch of the group. They are often seen as giving nothing and taking all. But this is not true. While their CC Sap is limited to humanoids for the most part, Rogues still have much to offer their group and raid. Since little is spent elsewhere their DPS is huge and can hold out the entire fight. They have the ability to get out of a sticky situation using sprint, they can open locked doors and chests, and can Vanish out of a bad sap attempt. They also have the use of Kidney Shot, Blind, and Gouge to very shortly control a mob. And of course if a tank goes down in the last few precious moments of a fight, a rogue can be there, evasion tanking you to a win.



  • Can self resurrect
  • Can toss a heal
  • TOTEMS! (Deja vu huh?)
  • Does not have CC
  • Can Resurrect
  • Does not have an aggro dump
  • Powerful party buffer

Ok shaman I admit it. I’m in love with your totems, which are attached to you so I guess I can accept you as well :P. Enchantment Shaman bring a big boost to your melee with Windfury. Elemental Shaman are a favorite for your casters, either way, on their own shaman are still a viable DPS, and while they will not likely top a rogue or a warlock, they’ll be closely riding their tails. Shaman are more of a boost the party class then a class that tries to help itself. You should always try to have a shaman in your raid.

DPS Warriors

  • Can take some massive hits
  • Can sustain long term damage
  • Can offtank as needed
  • Cannot heal
  • Cannot Resurrect
  • Has limited party buffs

DPS warriors are an interesting lot. Mostly seen as a PvP item they too can hold up in PvE. DPS warriors can and do sometimes end up tanking here and there, but without no mana bar to worry about, once their rage is built up can sustain their DPS until the fight is over. For the most part this class has no other use then DPS so make sure your CC is all filled in before bringing in a DPS warrior. (Sorry guys, but I ❤ you still)

Retribution Paladin

  • Has all the same buffs and abilities as thier Healing and Tanking buddies

(LOL gimme a break you should only have to say the same thing so many times :P) Anyways, Retribution Paladins are much like the DPS warrior. They hold very little means outside of sheer DPS. They can and do occasionally hold up in PvE but honestly my experience with them outside of PvP is extremely limited and I cannot say much for them. While thier buffs are just as good as those of the Tankadin and the Healadin, this is one of those “Filler” roles.

So there ya have it. A lot of this is my opinion, and the basis I use to build any raid or group I may be doing. I certainly hope someone out there in the interwebs gets some use out of this 😛 I also do note that I did not include the Disc Priest spec in my post. This is because in my three or so years of playing I truely and honestly have NEVER SEEN ONE!


8 thoughts on “Some Things You Should Know…

  1. While I’d agree with your list of things about Shaman – I don’t think I’d advertise them as an “outstanding 5-man healer” without the caveat to avoid heroics and situations where they are less geared than the rest of the group (whereas a priest can heal “higher level” instances without too much hardship). Is it possible for a shaman to solo-heal a 5 man group at level? yes, but my experience is that the shaman will have a more difficult time than a priest or a paladin (my druid is not leveled enough to be able to compare there) due to the mana inefficiency that is built into single target shaman heals. Raid healing with a shaman, however, is *FANTASTIC*. (And I think you’ll see a lot of the Lich King changes to resto shamans are there to make them more viable as 5-man healers).

    Shaman generally need to stack mp/5 (and use water shield) – much like a paladin, we gain extra healing from intellect rather than spirit, and so rely more on a huge mana pool. Shaman heals are MUCH less efficient than paladin heals, but neither class is often/ever outside the 5 second rule.

    In short, shaman healing shines in raids, but can be a little more tricksy in 5 man groups 🙂 Totems are still pretty awesome though!

  2. I’d feel I’d have to agree with you Anna. Shaman are far better off in a raid situation when it comes to thier healing roles. Have in my tanking experience though run across a few AWESOME solo shaman healers and I guess based on thier performances have become biased. I will have to make sure in the future I note what you’ve said. My experience playing a shaman is limited as its one class I simply cant get excited about enough to level.

  3. Some things I would say / alter in this overview, overall very nice.

    Paladin Tanks:
    * Has the lowest hit points of the three tank classes – only at low gear levels, they scale better than warriors so have higher hit points than even a Tauren Warrior at high gear levels. 16% scaling on stamina vs 5% for a warrior, or 5% + 5% health for a Tauren.
    * Has average damage mitigation (relying heavily on block rating) – Paladins do not stack block rating, and typically can / do stack more avoidance than a similarly geared warrior, armour is largely a function of gear level and as such has very little difference between the Warrior and Paladin.
    * Has average armor – See above
    * Has the ability to heal themselves or others should needs be – not in combat no, while tanking there is Lay on Hands, other than that a casteable heal is going to get pushed back as there is essentially no pushback protection.
    * Has instant aggro gains – Aggro is basically on an 8-10s cycle with spikes, instant aggro only if you hit a spike period.
    * Cannot sustain for too long without the aid of constant healing – A non-issue really, if its not hitting hard enough to sustain threat Paladins can / do sit in combat to force critical strikes, constant healing on a tank is expected.

    * Has various pets to help in different situation – Typically in a raid situation no Warlock actually has a pet at the moment. Though the possibility exists its likely to be sacrificed for raw dps.
    * Has the ability to CC (Though Limited) – Warlocks if managed correctly are incredible cc, Banish, Seduce and Fear Juggle (apply fear, use curse of recklessness / another curse to make it wander in a small area) are all possible, but the Seduce is the most fragile cc, banish is the best cc in the game, and fear juggling is very concentration intensive to keep the mob in a small place.
    * Has the ability to sustain mana – only with constant healing, and it drops damage severely. Warlocks benefit from a Shaman / Shadow Priest as much as a mage does as the use of lifetap can be lethal in many situations and consumes upto 17% of dps unless the warlock is forced to move during the fight.

  4. I wrote this guide with five and ten mans in mind, perhaps I should have been more specific. However the stuff on the Paladin is a matter of opinion really. I really did stack block rating over any other avoidance on my tank set, as blocking caused more threat generation. You are correct though, in terms of mitigation a Warrior and a Paladin can be identical. I however don’t think thats how it should be, as if I wanted to be a warrior I would have. Paladins have the ability to focus on some spell damage instead of avoidance purely, allowing them faster and better threat generation. As for healing in combat, I always managed to toss myself a quick heal or five should the need arise with little or no problem. The mitigation helps with that.

    As for the warlock, its been a long while since I’ve really played mine. Personally I always used my pets in raids and in five mans if only for the imp buff, as the buff to the raid was greater then the little bit of extra DPS it would grant me. And I labeled a warlocks CC as limited because it takes a certain kind of mob or an extremely cleared place to be able to really use thier CC at all, making it a great choice for only select places.

    While I can and do see your point of view I do stand by what I orginally said about these two classes. Thank you for reading though.

  5. 5 mans atm you stack block value (and go oom :P) because the mobs hit for nothing, in 10mans (well ZA, Kara can be a block instance since its damage is on par with heroics) avoidance tends to work better. We have the ability to stack more avoidance than a warrior without suffering threat reductions due to the availability of external sources of mana, stacking spell damage tends to give us block rating pieces as well which is a negative thing since its extra damage we didn’t need to take.

    High spell damage is nice, howeber survivability tends to be much more important, the dps can slow down, a dead tank can’t sustain threat. The faster threat generation doesn’t last into T6 content / gear really and it becomes more about snap aggro / front loading than about raw threat as Warriors and Bears easily keep up or supass us. While its possible to stack spell damage a lot we scale worse than the dps’s threat making it a lot harder to hold, combined with our gear increases reducing damage input we start to go oom on small pulls. High avoidance and the x key tends to work better in most instances as a mana regen / threat technique.

    Healing in combat should not normally be possible, you can’t dodge parry or block while doing so so you are relying on a static miss chance, if you are keeping enough mobs on you to sustain mana then the interruptions caused by their hits will tend to cancel or force a cooldown on your holy spells. If you are only tanking a single mob its fine (I heal myself in SSC or cast shields in combat vs bosses) however in general with more mobs on you the loss of white damage / seals makes this a much worse choice.

    In terms of warlocks, thats the point, a good warlock can keep a mob feared in about the same wander area as a sheep, fear juggling is something good warlocks can do and it makes the cc far more reliable, it is intensive to do it in terms of gcd’s so is a last resort, but if you need the cc in an enclosed space a warlock can do 2-3 mobs at once (basically taking them out of the fight, but ccing a lot of mobs).

    I only disagree with you as I spend way too long playing my tankadin, there are many tricks to it, but we are not low avoidance block tanks in most content but rather high avoidance tanks since it reduces the spike chance that typically kills a tank.

  6. Your disagreement is a good thing, helpful and insightful. I feel like I have gained some other sides to the Paladin tank. I appreciate your input and am thrilled to be able to have a civil discussion on such things. I hope I can learn some more from you in the future! I have not had the opportunity to take higher content as our need for a healer became great and being a hybrid I obliged. So in discussing T6 gear I have no experience there and must therefore take your word as truth. But I shall add your blog, and keep tabs on your ongoings, and see what you have to offer me ^.^

  7. Retribution Paladins also bring 2% party damage bonus and 3% raidwide crit as well as refreshing judgements for everyone (so Wisdom, Crusader and Light can all be kept up).

    Discipline priests rock in many fights, Pain Suppression really helps in things like Kael’thas and Bloodboil (well to the extent of making you lol your way through the fight, 2 disc priests in these and you do actually just laugh at the bosses).

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