With the re-release of the first ever expansion in World of Warcraft's history coming up in the form of The Burning Crusade Classic, it's time to see what classes are a cut above the rest, and what classes may be a little harder to get around.
S Tier - Best of the Bunch
Hunter - A class that once struggled in Classic WoW will now be shining with access to some pretty great gear as well as arguably the strongest DPS spec with Beast Mastery. The Beast Lord Armor set gives Hunters access to some pretty crazy DPS early on, and it's a set you can get before any raid comes out, meaning Hunters have access to some high-quality gear before some of the more challenging content is released.
Shaman - Another class that is leveling up big time with some new tools given to Shamans this expansion. With the advent of the very powerful spell Bloodlust/Heroism, Shamans give the entire party or raid a 30% haste increase for 40 seconds. Bloodlust/Heroism went on to define not only the class of Shaman itself but also creates specific windows for every boss encounter where that spell should be popped, dramatically changing the outcome of any fight. Elemental Shamans also now have access to the powerful Totem of Wrath, increasing spell power and crit chance for the entire party or raid.
Warlock - While specializing in Affliction is not uncommon, and Demonology Warlocks can perform really well when you stay on top of managing your pets, it is with the Destruction Warlock that this class becomes completely bonkers. Destruction Warlocks can often put out the most DPS in a raid when paired with the aforementioned Bloodlust/Heroism haste buff the Shamans provide. Destruction also gets the talent "Improved Shadow Bolt," improving the Warlock's next few Shadow Bolts once they crit with one. With how much that spell is spammed, Destruction Warlock's can expect to hit like a truck - expect to see many Warlocks stacked in any given raid.
Priest - Everything that made Priests such an auto-inclusion in Classic mostly remains the same coming into TBC Classic. On healing alone, Holy Priests have the most consistent output in terms of numbers in both AoE healing and single target for the tanks. Staples such as Fear Ward, as well as the crazy value from raid-wide Stamina and Spirit buffs in the form of Power Word: Fortitude and Prayer of Spirit continue to keep Priest on top. More flavor is added to the class with some of the bonuses Shadow Priests give to the group. Shadow-weaving increases shadow damage done on the target by 15%, meaning all of your Warlock brethren spamming Shadowbolts will be very happy to see a Shadow Priest in their group.
A Tier - Excellent Picks
Mage - Mage stood out as an invaluable class among any other, and is the single class that defined the meta of Classic WoW. The AoE damage this class was able to output in Classic was unrivaled, leading to a meta where spellcleaving and clearing rooms of mobs in dungeons become the uncontested best way to level up, meaning everyone needed a mage in their group. TBC is where Mages tone it down a bit, and don't take center stage like they once did. Their AoE is still stands unmatched, free food and drink, intellect buff, and old reliable nature is still there - they have just fallen down a peg.
Warrior - Protection Warrior remains the strongest main tank in TBC Classic with super valuable personal cooldowns like Shield Wall and Last Stand. When it comes to Fury Warrior, there are certainly better options for DPS, and unless your raid is funneling your gear constantly, Fury Warriors will continue to fall behind in DPS. Arms on the other hand is a spec where you may see some raids bring along a couple of Arms Warriors to make sure those beefy two-handed weapons don't go to waste. Once Arms Warriors start to get situated with gear and have access to a strong raid-tier weapon, their DPS juices up big-time.
Druid - Druid has heaps of utility in all of their specs, starting with Balance Druids giving a raid-wide 5% spell crit boost for the casters, hit chance increase for the melee groups, Innervate to keep the healers topped off on mana, as well as the battle rez. Guardian Druids are another excellent tank with the added bonus of being able to hop into Feral form and deal some burst damage to the boss, a luxury the two other tanks in the game do not have. Just as Balance Druids increase spell crit, Feral druids provide a similar 5% bonus to melee crit. Restoration Druids also remain a solid healer, although options like Resto Shamans and Holy Priests slightly outperform the healing Druid.
B Tier - Great Picks, Some Weaknesses
Rogue - Rogue is a very interesting case, while they are on the lowest tier on this list, they are by no means a bad class. Rogues continue to shine in open-world PvP as well as Battlegrounds, being one of the best classes to PvP with. Cloak of Shadows gives Rogues their biggest change, a powerful cooldown that instantly removes all existing harmful spell effects while also increasing your chance to resist all spells by 90% for 5 seconds. Cloak of Shadows is an insanely valuable anti-magic tool, preventing CC like Fear and Polymorph, instantly removing roots like Frost Nova - just about any magic or debuff is cleansed from the Rogue with this spell. Rogue only starts to struggle when it comes to PvE content, but even then a skilled Rogue player could see themselves high on the DPS charts. Rogue is no class to scoff at, and still should be feared when you spot a Rogue of the opposite faction, assuming they're not a bot. It's also worth mentioning that Rogues are going to see a huge spike in power once more start getting their hands on the incredibly powerful Warglaives of Azzinoth, dropped by the infamous Illidan Stormrage in The Black Temple raid.
Paladin - Just as the case with Rogue, Paladin is by no means a weak class with a spot in the B tier. Paladin is still a titan in the buff game, and if a raid were to min/max their Paladins and their buffs, a group would want to bring three Paladins so each can have their own unique seal activated. Even without this, one Holy Paladin in a group with a clutch Lay on Hands play can save an entire fight. Even niche spells like Turn Evil can prove useful in certain fights where you have to CC mobs. Protection remains another very strong tank, likely the best all-around tank from the three choices. With Holy Shield up, Paladins can maintain over 100% mitigation, fully negating crushing blows, something a Protection Warrior may struggle with in some fights. Retribution Paladins are very useful, but you don't want to stack them like some other DPS classes. Ret Paladins with Seal of Light brings Aoe Healing, Seal of Wisdom with AoE mana regen, and then Seal of the Crusader, giving every DPS in the raid (caster or melee) 3% crit.
Whatever class you decide to pick up in your journey into the Outland, World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade Classic is expected to drop in the early summer season.