We tried every class and made a Classic WoW Hardcore class tier list. A lot of us remember our Classic WoW experience back in the day, but this mode just takes everything to another level. Classic WoW Hardcore has been on a constant rise in the past several months. Naturally, a lot of things are viewed very differently, compared to the original Vanilla WoW. Spells like Sprint and Feign Death are now one of the best in the game, Potions are extremely useful, and every little thing that can save your life is very valuable. We discuss all these things in depth in our WoW Classic Hardcore Ultimate Survival Guide. Nevertheless, the thing that impacts your gameplay the most is the Class choice…and brain.
Pet Classes like Hunters, and Warlocks have a whole new angle to them, and they are regarded as one of the best Classes. Furthermore, Classes like Rogue, Warrior, and Shaman are not an optimal choice since you need to brawl a lot of the time, and keeping your distance is one of the key elements in surviving in WoW Hardcore. We will look into overall survivability, toolkit, and Class feel in order to get the best judgment. Here is our Classic WoW Hardcore Class Tier List.
While Hunters are generally considered a good leveling class, they are even more revered in the WoW Hardcore experience. Having a pet is extremely powerful. Combining it with kiting abilities and long-range damage makes your leveling smooth sailing. Without a doubt, the most powerful spell you will have is Feign Death, it will save you from a lot of situations. In practice, it’s even more powerful than Divine Shield. If you get yourself into a sticky situation, just dismiss the pet, or let it die, then cast Feign Death and the mobs will leave you alone. This all makes Hunter the safest pick and places it at the top of our WoW Classic Hardcore class tier list.
Probably the class with the most powerful AOE farming in the game. Frost Mages in particular have a lot of stuff going for them. You will be mainly casting Frost Bolt over and over again. It is much more fun than it sounds, the slow and damage of the Frost Bolt, combined with the Frost Shield will make you cut through mobs easily. Furthermore, you will have a lot of other utilities. Around levels 20-30, you will get a huge power spike and learn extremely useful spells like Blink, Cold Snap, Ice Block, Counterspell, Blizzard, Cone of Cold, etc. This all makes Mages really versatile in their ability to deal with nasty situations. In the right hands, this class is easily one of the best in WoW Hardcore.
We can all see from the start why would Warlock be a good choice in Hardcore WoW. Going Demonology spec and having a Voidwalker as your pet is extremely powerful when leveling. While going for this build you won’t have a lot of burst damage, the dots combined with your pet will keep you out of trouble most of the time. If you go further down the Demonology tree, you will learn Fel Domination, allowing you to summon another demon almost instantly in combat. Furthermore, this means that you can use Sacrifice twice or even more times, providing that you have enough mana. This is an extremely powerful defensive tool that Warlocks possess. It basically doubles your Health and allows you to cast any spells without interruption. There are downsides though. The biggest issue with Warlock is that it’s just not mobile enough. If you find yourself without a pet and with 3-4 mobs attacking you, there is no easy way out. Nevertheless, if you play it safe, it will be “hard” to die.
Paladins are generally regarded as a safe pick because they have (you guessed it) the most powerful defensive ability in the game – Divine Shield. While it is forbidden to use “Bubble” with Hearthstone, the 10-second invulnerability alone will save you from most situations. The most important thing to be aware of is to not be too confident in caves. While you have very good shields, the mobs can stack up pretty quickly, and even the Bubble won’t save you. For the offensive abilities, there is nothing special. You have weak AOE, and generally good farming capabilities, not the best, but sufficient enough.
Priests are a mixed bag. They have a lot of good heals, shields, and unique abilities (Shackle Undead, for example). When you hit 40, the Shadow Form really changes the game. You just become much more powerful overall. On top of that, you have Levitate which can save you from falls. Nevertheless, the main problem is that it doesn’t have a lot o mobility, well actually almost no mobility at all. So while fighting 2-3 mobs will not be dangerous, once you overpull (and it will happen), the only real escape you have is your AOE fear, which is still unreliable (you can pull more mobs with it). Things like Target Dummy and Swiftness Potion really benefit Priests, since they really need that 1 more ultimate defensive ability that is reliable in nasty situations. Overall, if played correctly, a really good class for WoW Hardcore Classic runs.
Druids have a lot going for them, they remain one of the most versatile classes in WoW. With a lot of heals, utility spells, CCs, and various ways of controlling the battle, they have a solid foundation for a good WoW Classic Hardcore experience. On the other hand, this class requires a lot of finesse. In the hands of an experienced player, the class is godlike, and in the hands of someone who isn’t fully aware of all the potential Druids possess, it can be underwhelming. The most important thing to note is that you have a Sprint in Cat Form, and Shapeshifting will break any roots. This is very useful cause we’ve seen some Druids just die from Frost Nova, or Net, which can be common spells that mobs possess. One other very important thing to note is that you don’t need a weapon in Cat or Bear From like Rogues do. This is the main reason why Druid is so high in our Classic WoW Hardcore Class Tier List.
This class is the definition of a double-edged sword. Rouges possess a lot of tools in their arsenal. The worst thing about Rouges is that it’s a melee class with no Heals. You will find that if you pull more than 2 mobs at the same time, you need to pop your CDs and do extra things in order to prevail. On the flip side, you have Sprint, which is arguably one of the best defensive in the game. Probably the biggest factor when playing a Rouge is your main hand weapon since it scales with your Sinister Strike. If you don’t want to do Dungeons at all, it will be way harder playing as a Rouge. It’s simple; if you have a bad main-hand weapon, you will deal a lot less damage. Playing a 20 Level Rogue with a rare weapon from Wailing Caverns feels like a totally different class than playing with some random Vendor sword. This isn’t true for all the classes, since casters don’t need a good weapon in order to do damage.
Don’t get us wrong, Shamans can be very powerful in the right hands, but they are not idiot-proof. Furthermore, there are a lot of classes that just have better farming potential, more reliable escape, and versatility. The main benefit of shaman is the Ghost Wolf spell, which lets you travel much faster, compared to other classes. Other than that, everything else is pretty standard. You have Lighting Bolt, Earth Shock, and Healing Wave as 3 main spells and a lot of situational Totems like Stoneskin. While this class is fun and by no means mundane, it lacks a good escape mechanism that a lot of other classes possess.
It’s been well-known that the Warriors are probably the worst leveling class in Vanilla WoW. Not only do they lack the proper escape mechanism (usually just involves Hamstring, Intimidating Shout, and running for your dear life), but they also need gear to be up to par with other classes. We all know gear is hard to come by in the Hardcore experience, hence you will always be on the lookout for a new two-hand weapon, which can be fun at the beginning, but annoying later on. Even if you find a good weapon, pulling 2-3 mobs will always make your heart rate go up, since you don’t know how much RNG (Parry, Miss, Dodge, Cirt, etc.) will be on your side, and you can’t escape the situation easily. This is why Warriror is at the bottom of our Classic WoW Hardcore Class Tier List. We recommend playing Warrior as an extra challenge, or in Duos. Warriors combined with a Paladin or a Shaman can be an extremely powerful combo. They just need a pocket healer and they are good to go.