included). Since it's filled with
and avoid flooding it with minor characters. For their
- Action Girl: When female.
- An Adventurer Is You: There are 11 different classes to choose from, all with different strengths and weaknesses. One thing they have in common however, is that they're all Badass in their own way.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Through the PvP system, you can gain ranks from Private to Grand Marshal in the Alliance and Grunt to High Warlord in the Horde, depending on your number of victories in Rated Battlegrounds. It was even more so before, when to gain the highest ranks you had to have the largest amount of honor at the end of a week, and then you had to keep killing just so you could keep it.
- And then in Warlords of Draenor, you're made Commander of a garrison in Draenor. After the garrison is completely upgraded, you're promoted to the rank of General.
- Badass: You better believe it.
- Badass Bookworm: Mages, Warlocks and Priests.
- Badass Normal: Warriors, Rogues and Hunters use no magical abilities, and are still capable of fighting toe to toe with demons, undead and more.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Death Knights, who were implied to have been heroes of the Argent Dawn and died in the pre-Wrath of the Lich King event, were empowered with necromantic magic by the Scourge and gain their powers from their Runeblades.
- Badass Preacher: Priests and Paladins.
- Four-Star Badass: By the time your garrison is completely upgraded, Varian or Vol'jin promotes you to the rank of General.
- Bald of Awesome: There are several bald hairstyles for male player characters.
- Beware the Nice Ones: You can be a paragon of goodness who helps out orphaned children and helps out old men with mundane tasks, while being responsible for taking the names of some of the most powerful being in Azeroth.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: The adventurers don't often say much, other than a few dialogues. They're also part of the reason Azeroth still stands.
- The Big Guy: As part of the Alliance's Five-Man Band in Pandaria, being the combat expert compared to the rest of the SI:7 operatives.
- Admiral Taylor acts as The Leader and is in charge, giving the orders.
- Rell Nightwind acts as The Lancer, being in charge of the rest of the SI:7 Operatives and second in command of the team.
- Sully "The Pickle" Mcleary acts as The Smart Guy, being an explosives and machinery expert.
- Mishka takes the role of The Chick, being a Combat Medic and the more feminine of the two girls on the team.
- Amber Kearnen is The Sneaky Girl as the team Sniper.
- Little Lu, when he joins the team, becomes the Tagalong Kid, as well as the local guide.
- The Heart/The Chick: Of the Horde's Five-Man Band in Pandaria, choosing to ally with the local Hozen rather than fight them.
- The Chosen One: Questing involves the player fulfilling a variety of prophecies.
- Combat Pragmatist / Pragmatic Hero: While perhaps particularly applying to the Rogue class, several others involve decidedly unfair tactics, and quests can involve some rather unscrupulous methods to achieve victory.
- Commanding Coolness: The adventurer is made commander of a garrison in Draenor, in Shadowmoon Valley for the Alliance and in Frostfire Ridge for the Horde.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Occasionally crops up, though is sometimes more justified by facing off against a particularly powerful enemy.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Occasionally played straight as expansions go on, but mostly averted. At the beginning of the Northrend campaign your skills in battle are acknowledged by several NPCs. By the time you reach Mists of Pandaria you're personally sent to Pandaria as part of an elite team by your faction, and in Warlords of Draenor you're hand picked by Varian/Vol'jin to lead forces in Draenor, and are openly regarded as the best chance the Alliance/Horde have of defeating the Iron Horde.
- Famed In-Story: Lower down the levels your fame is typically smaller and more local in scope. As you progress up the levels and perform more epic feats, you become widely acknowledged as a hero.
- Frontline General: As Commander of your garrison in Warlords of Draenor, you spend a lot of time on the front lines crushing opponents while your garrison team work on supporting you. This doesn't change when you reach level 100 and get a promotion to General.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A heroic variant (Or anti-heroic, or villainous, depending on your RP preferences). All races and classes start as a small time apprentice, and as you quest you gain recognition and reputation. In low level zones, you're a mercenary or just a normal explorer, people don't know your name and sometimes even treat you like a nobody. At high levels, you're considered a champion of your faction, having seen a lifetime of warfare and felled many evils, and are heralded as a savior of Azeroth.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: The game treats Death Knights and Forsaken as Humanoids, since classing them as Undead would lead to an inherent disadvantage in PVP.
- Heroic Willpower: This is even an actual ability in certain quests and boss encounters.
- Hope Bringer: In some cases even your mere presence is enough.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: A common feature of questing, though sometimes it gets inverted with the player playing fairly minor roles, or being saved instead.
- Living Legend: Particularly by the end of Mists of Pandaria, where after having completed the legendary quest you even receive the title of Legend of Pandaria, and it's mentioned that your exploits will be recounted for generations.
- Magnetic Hero: Several quests even involve inspiring other NPCs using this.
- Mugging the Monster: Many of the NPCs you encounter will think they stand a chance against you. It doesn't usually work out well for them.
- Odd Friendship: There's a staggering variety of factions and NPCs you can befriend.
- One-Man Army: One of the reasons why the player's character eventually ends up gaining such respect is due to their ability to slaughter enemies that entire legions would struggle with. This is even more impressive when playing as a Badass Normal Rogue or Warrior with no magical abilities.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Particularly when other characters speak voiced dialogue, for obvious reasons. However, even in text you're still often referred to as hero, champion, adventurer, and so on.
- Player Character
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: The number of titles you can accrue borders on the somewhat insane. In fact, one of the titles you can get is actually The Insane.
"All that I am: anger, cruelty, vengeance - I bestow upon you, my chosen knight. I have granted you immortality so that you may herald in a new, dark age for the Scourge."
The Lich King's first words to a new death knight.
When the Lich King’s control of his Death Knights was broken, his former champions sought revenge for the horrors committed under his command. After their vengeance was won, the Death Knights found themselves without a cause and without a home. One by one they trickled into the land of the living in search of a new purpose.
Death Knights are World of Warcraft
's only Hero class, so far, meaning they have a unique starting experience and begin play at level 55. Death Knights engage their foes up-close, supplementing swings of their weapons with dark magic that renders enemies vulnerable or damages them with unholy power. They drag foes into one-on-one conflicts, compelling them to focus their attacks away from weaker companions. To prevent their enemies from fleeing their grasp, Death Knights must remain mindful of the power they call forth from runes, and pace their attacks appropriately.
Death Knights have 3 specializations. Blood Death Knights are tanks, who use the power of blood and vampiric magics to sustain themselves in the face of enemies, becoming unwavering juggernauts of fortitude. Frost Death Knights augment their strikes with the icy power of Runic magic and the coldest winters. Unholy Death Knights are masters of death and disease, raising undead minions and spreading infections to bring foes a slow, painful death. Death Knights have two unique resources. One is Runes - Death Knights have two Blood Runes, two Frost Runes, and two Unholy Runes, which they use to cast spells. Consuming Runes generates the other resource, Runic Power, which can be spent on lesser abilities, and aids in the regeneration of runes.
Any race besides the Pandaren can be a Death Knight.
"We are the preservers of the balance, now and forever, as Malfurion lies in the Dreaming. Never forget this."
Kal of Dolanaar
Druids harness the vast powers of nature to preserve balance and protect life. With experience, druids can unleash nature’s raw energy against their enemies, raining celestial fury on them from a great distance, binding them with enchanted vines, or ensnaring them in unrelenting cyclones.
As master shapeshifters, druids can take on the forms of a variety of beasts, morphing into a bear, cat, storm crow, or sea lion with ease. This flexibility allows them to fill different roles during their adventures, tearing enemies to shreds one minute and surveying the battlefield from the sky the next. These keepers of the natural order are among the most versatile heroes in Azeroth, and they must be prepared to adjust to new challenges on a moment’s notice.
Druids are unique in World of Warcraft
, as they are the only class with Four specialization choices, and resources based on those specs. Balance is a Druid spec centered around spellcasting, using the powers of the Sun and Moon to bring celestial havoc upon enemies. They transform into a Moonkin and use Mana as a resource, as well as special resources Solar and Lunar Power. A Feral Druid transforms into a great cat, like a panther or lion, to ambush foes from bushes and deal great damage with fang and claw. They use a Rogue's Energy resource. A Guardian Druid transforms into a Bear to take and keep a foes attention, using thick fur and muscles to tank hits for their party. They use a Warrior's Rage resource. Restoration Druids don't transform without a talent - When they do, they turn into a Treant. Restoration Druids use nature's power to heal friends, with an emphasis on healing over time spells. They use only Mana.
Druid races can be Night Elves, Tauren, Trolls, or Worgen.
- Animal Motifs: Can transform into many different animals. Not all are focused on combat.
- Bat out of Hell: Troll Druids are special - their Flight Form is a bat instead of a bird. Justified, as they draw their druidic powers from the Loa, rather than the Primal Gods of the Emerald Dream, and playable Trolls have a connection with the bat Loa Hir'eek.
- Big, Badass Bird of Prey: Three out of the four races' Flight Forms are avian, specifically the storm crow.
- Bears Are Bad News: Guardian (formerly Feral) Druids use Bear Form to channel the fiercely protective traits the beasts are famous for, becoming similar to Warriors.
- The Marvelous Deer: Travel Form, for zooming around the battlefield and travelling quickly across land, is by default a stag similar to the Ancient, Malorne.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The Moonkin Form of Balance specialization is otherwise known descriptively as the "owlbear", and is believed in-universe to be a literal mix-and-match by the goddess Elune. The form helps Balance spellcasting seemingly due to The Owl-Knowing One.
- Panthera Awesome: Feral Druids take on Cat Form to emulate Rogues, gaining agility, cunning and an aptitude for stealth. For the longest time Travel Form was a cheetah and it can be glyphed to change it back.
- Sea lions and orcas are both options for when a Druid needs to do some swimming.
- Elemental Powers: Druids have limited command over the elements, mostly based around naturally occurring phenomena to help distinguish them from Shaman.
- Green Thumb: Their healing abilities are based around the principles of plant growth, and they can summon vines from the earth to ensnare their foes or give people a protective shell of bark.
- Lunacy: Most Druid teachings originate from the night elves, who were really into the moon stuff.
- The Power of the Sun: Tauren didn't think the above was truly balanced, so Druids are now equal parts lunar and solar. They're more overt about this power than the tauren Sunwalkers are.
- Weather Manipulation: Through this they gain Blow You Away, Shock and Awe and a smidgen of Making a Splash.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: Druids are very versatile and bring a lot of group utility. While they specialize in one sole role, such as healing or tanking, Druids have cooldowns that allow them to fill other roles temporarily or in a supplementary way. For example, a Feral Druid, if need be, can shift into Bear form, giving him a limited tanking ability during an emergency, or a Balance Druid, with it's high Mana and Spellpower, can heal if the need arises.
- Druids got so good at this, especially the Feral tree being good for both Tanking as a bear, and DPS'ing as a cat (it wasn't uncommon in boss fights where tanks had to trade the boss back and forth to drop a debuff, for a bear tank to go to cat form for the duration, doing damage above and beyond a tank's and boosting the party's overall DPS), that Blizzard had to nerf them, making an unprecedented fourth tree, splitting Feral into Guardian for tanks, and Feral for cat-form DPS'ers.
- Morphic Resonance: Most of the Druid's important shapeshifts share traits with their humanoid form, such as hair color or tauren horns.
- Nature Hero
- Plant Person: Among their animal shapeshift forms, some also have the ability to become a Tree of Life which greatly augments their healing abilities.
- Weapon of Choice
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Their whole shtick. Three out of their four specializations involve spending most of combat shapeshifted.
- When Trees Attack: A talent lets them summon a handful of Treants to back them up.
"I have watched the other races... I have seen their squabbling, their ruthlessness. Their wars do nothing but scar the land, and drive the wild things to extinction. No, they cannot be trusted. Only beasts are above deceit."
Rexxar, Champion of the Horde
From an early age the call of the wild draws some adventurers from the comfort of their homes into the unforgiving primal world outside. Those who endure become hunters. Masters of their environment, they are able to slip like ghosts through the trees and lay traps in the paths of their enemies. These expert marksmen drop foes dead in their tracks with flawless shots from a bow, crossbow or rifle.
The art of survival is central to the isolated life of a hunter. Hunters track beasts with ease and enhance their own abilities by attuning themselves to the feral aspects of various creatures. Hunters are known for the lifelong bonds they form with animals of the wild, training great hawks, cats, bears, and many other beasts to fight alongside them.
Hunter specializations focus on different "Ranger" themes. Beast Mastery Hunters focus on their pet, becoming a master handler who can command even the most savage and exotic of beasts. Marksmanship Hunters are snipers and sharpshooters, who work best when they can sit still, and line up the perfect killing shot. Survival Hunters are, well, survivalists
and trackers, who use everything at their disposal - traps, explosives, poisons, and more - to fell quarry. Hunters use Focus as a resource, which is a unique resource similar to a Rogue's energy, but slower to regenerate and with more ways to regain.
Hunters are available to all races except Gnomes.
- Abnormal Ammo: A lot of the Hunter's shots, most commonly, Arcane Shot, which is a round imbued with Arcane magic to deal magic damage. There are others too.
- Animal Motifs: Hunters have various Aspect abilities which grant them bonuses based on animals. Many aspects have been removed, however, and Blizzard is sort of phasing them out due to their lack of interesting gameplay opportunities. Aspect of the Hawk increased ranged attack power, which made it the aspect that Hunters use 99% of the time. Other aspects, like Monkey, which increased Dodge chance, Viper, which granted the Hunter Mana, and Fox, which let the Hunter use certain abilities while moving, were removed because, while they offered utility, they were very, very situational and were often forgotten in favor of Hawk (In the case of Viper, Hunters were changed to use Focus instead of Mana).
- Animal Eye Spy: A removed ability, Eyes of the Beast, let the Hunter control his pet directly for a short time. Many players were saddened by it's removal, as, while it had very little combat effectiveness, it was just fun to run around as your pet for a while. See Anti-Frustration Features, however.
- Anti-Frustration Features:
- Some less than desirable Hunters on PvP servers would uses Eyes of the Beast to fool and kill low level players. They would tame a beast, take it to it's zone of origin where there are other beasts that look like it, and give it the same name as those beasts, and use Eyes of the Beast to run with the wild mobs. When a low level player was doing a quest, they may accidentally attack the pet, thinking it to be a quest objective. This would result in them being killed by the much higher level Hunter pet, to the Hunter's amusement. For this reason, Eyes of the Beast was removed.
- Hunter pets used to have experience points, and they had to be leveled from whatever level they were tamed at. If you wanted something that could only be found at low levels for high-level PVP, for example, you were in for a massive time sink to get them up to speed. These days, all pets instantly become the same level as their taming hunter.
- Before Cataclysm, a Hunter's various trap spells were useless outside of PvP because the Hunter would set that trap at his feet, and any Hunter worth his salt was no where near an enemy. Come Cataclysm, Blizzard introduced Trap Launcher, which allows the Hunter to launch traps anywhere within 30 yards so they can actually be used.
- Also before Cataclysm, Hunters had to either buy or make ammunition (Either Arrows or Bullets, Arrows were used in Crossbows in lieu of Bolts) so they could shoot things. This became a rather expensive endeavor, and running out of ammo in the middle of a boss fight was as tragic as your weapon breaking. Blizzard, however, removed the need for ammunition, and ammunition items altogether.
- Annoying Arrows: The Hunter can shoot a lot of arrows really fast. It takes a lot to fell a single target.
- Archer Archetype: Can be.
- The Beastmaster: All Hunters have pets, but the Beast Mastery spec is the only one that improves the pet. If we listed tropes for every animal that Hunters could tame, this section would be oppressively long, but know that it extends passed the normal wolves, big cats, and raptors. Here's a list of the pet families.
- Fluffy Tamer: Beast Mastery Hunters can tame Exotic Beasts such as Devilsaurs, Core Hounds, and Spirit Beasts.
- Bottomless Magazines: Purposely invoked. Hunters used to use ammunition for their weapons, but Blizzard changed it because it got extremely expensive for Hunter players.
- Competitive Balance: In real life and in most other games, Bows, Guns, and Crossbows are very different things. In World of Warcraft, all of these weapons can only be fired from 40 yards away and can be loaded with the same type of ammunition. For obvious reasons, of course.
- Fragile Speedster: Actually more durable than a Rogue due to wearing Chain Mail armor, but that isn't saying much. Hunters have abilities that focus on their agility to keep them safe, like Disengage, which has the Hunter leap backwards, or ways to trick and misdirect their enemies, like Camouflage and Feign Death.
- Guile Hero: A lot of Hunter abilities focus on cunning tactics and survival instincts. Misdirection causes a target the Hunter attacks to believe something else (The target the Hunter used Misdirection on) attacked it instead. Feign Death fools a target into thinking the Hunter died, so it ignores him. Distracting Shot is a bright, flash bang shot that makes the target chase after the Hunter for a short time.
- The Gunslinger: Can be.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Mostly a game mechanic, but Hunter shots seem to pitch and yaw in midair to reach their targets. This is also a theme in some Hunter trick shots, like Aimed Shot and Kill Shot.
- Long-Range Fighter
- Multishot: The name of one of the Hunter's abilities, the mechanics of which can shoot a lot of shots from a single weapon to all targets in an area.
- No Arc in Archery
- Playing Possum: The ability Feign Death, which can trick enemies into ignoring you only for you to stand back up and shoot them in the face.
- Poisoned Weapons: Some shots feature venom tipped arrows or poisonous bullets.
- Stealth Expert: A master of camouflage and stealth, but not to the extent of the Rogue. They have a Camouflage ability that makes them untargetable by ranged attacks, with a glyph that makes it true stealth at a movement speed penalty.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The ability Glaive Toss, which has the Hunter throw a pair of boomerang glaives at the target which strike and return. This talent was conceived by Blizzard in response to Hunters who wanted to wield the late Throwing Weapons, which were ranged weapons made for Rogues and Warriors but were removed from the game. Hunter players could never use Throwing Weapons effectively with their shots, but Blizzard said the programming was impossible despite their efforts, so they made Glaive Toss instead.
- Trap Master: Has access to many traps, like an Explosive Trap akin to a mine, a Frost Trap that covers an area in slippery ice, and a Snake Trap that spawns a bunch of snakes to ambush and envenom a target.
- Weapon of Choice: Hunters can wield all weapons except Wands, but they only really use:
"This is not for idle hands, nor prying eyes. Information must not be lost. But it must not be used unwisely. Stay your hand, friend, or proceed—if you know the way."
Students gifted with a keen intellect and unwavering discipline may walk the path of the mage. The arcane magic available to magi is both great and dangerous, and thus is revealed only to the most devoted practitioners. To avoid interference with their spellcasting, magi wear only cloth armor, but arcane shields and enchantments give them additional protection. To keep enemies at bay, magi can summon bursts of fire to incinerate distant targets and cause entire areas to erupt, setting groups of foes ablaze. Masters of ice can command blizzards that tear into flesh and limit movement. Should enemies manage to survive this assault, the mage can shrink them into harmless sheep in the blink of an eye. Powerful magi can even generate enhancements and portals, assisting allies by sharpening their minds and transporting them instantly across the world.
Mage specializations focus on different schools of magic. Arcane magic is Pure Energy
, simple as that, and the source of all Mage magic in the end. Fire magic focuses on conjuring blazes and explosions, even dragon fire, to burn enemies. Ice magic involves freezing foes in place, and shattering them with magical blows. All Mages use Mana.
Mages are available to every race, except Tauren.
- An Ice Person: Frost specialization mages use Frost magic to freeze enemies in place. They're the best at controlling the battlefield, with multiple roots, slows, and stuns.
- The Beastmaster: Frost Mages gain access to a Water Elemental companion, although it's implied to be something of a Construct or a Familiar, rather than a true Elemental.
- Kill It with Ice
- Bad Powers, Good People: Although this potentially applies to any class that uses Black Magic, mages have a higher proportion of Good People than the others.
- Baleful Polymorph: The Polymorph ability turns an enemy into a harmless sheep. This ability can be glyphed for other critter animals, like monkeys and bear cubs.
- Invisibility: The titular mage spell.
- Last Stand: Cauterize, a Fire spell that will restore some of the Mage's health if they die, but will drain away and kill them for real unless they are healed in time.
- The Magocracy: As an Alliance player, since both you and Khadgar are mages in charge of Alliance forces in Draenor.
- Mana: All spellcasters wield Mana, but Mana as a resource is only truly connected to Mages in the lore. They can also conjure a Mana Crystal to have a store of mana to draw from later if they need be.
- Miracle Food: They can summon mana cakes or a magic buffet.
- Playing with Fire: Fire mages use different firey spells to set foes aflame.
- Portal Door: Capable of summoning these.
- Pure Energy: How Arcane magic manifests in its purest form. It takes the shape of purple energy.
- Teleport Spam: Possible with the Blink spell. Mages can also teleport themselves to major locations.
- Weapon of Choice
"Why do we fight? To protect home and family. To preserve balance and bring harmony. For my kind, the true question is, what is worth fighting for?"
When the pandaren were subjugated by the mogu centuries ago, it was the monks that brought hope to a seemingly dim future. Restricted from using weapons by their slave masters, these pandaren instead focused on harnessing their chi and learning weaponless combat. When the opportunity for revolution struck, they were well-trained to throw off the yoke of oppression.
Masters of bare-handed combat, monks never rely solely on the need to have a weapon in their hands to defend against their enemies. Although most widely known to the outside world for their fearsome jabs and flying kicks, they refuse to limit themselves to a single method of combat. Many monks prefer instead to “soak it up” and seem to revel in the intoxicating effect of absorbing blow after blow while their companions press the attack. Other monks specialize in calling upon the restorative power of the mists to balance the good and bad energy within people, returning them to good health and fortune.
Monk specializations involve different martial arts styles. Windwalker Monks are peerless martial artists who pummel foes with fists and feet, doing massive damage. Brewmaster Monks are tanks, who focus on the power of specially brewed alcohols to fortify themselves and shrug off pain. Mistwalker Monks use harmonious martial arts combined with medicinal herbs and teas, as well as the healing powers of Mists, to keep friends healthy. Monks use Energy, and have a unique Chi resource they build over time to use on powerful Chi abilities.
All races except for the Goblins and Worgen can be monks, due to their time-instanced starting zone.
- Animal Motifs: As per Pandaren culture, a lot of a Monk's abilities are inspired by the August Celestials and the animals they take the form of. Every specialization, has a different animal-themed fighting stance. Windwalker has Stance of the Fierce Tiger. Brewmaster has Stance of the Sturdy Ox. Mistweaver has two - Stance of the Wise Serpent and Stance of the Spirited Crane, each of which promote two different healing styles.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: While Monks wield weapons for gameplay purposes, they never actually use them in combat. All of their abilities make use of their hands (Tiger Palm, Fists of Fury, Touch of Death) or feet (Blackout Kick, Rising Sun Kick, Spinning Crane Kick). Their only ability that makes use of their weapon is Jab, and even then, it can be glyphed so that it too uses only your hands. Making your weapons merely a Stat Sticks
- Combat Medic: Mistweaver Monks get closest to this trope. With the Crane Style Stance, they can heal allies in addition to pummeling foes.
- Drunken Master: Brewmaster Monks, although all specs have sorts of brews and teas they can drink.
- Ki Attacks: Monks use Chi as a resource, in addition to Energy. They build up Chi to use on extra powerful attacks.
- Supernatural Martial Arts: A lot of attacks are accompanied by energy effects, such as Blackout Kick being a kick with black energy trailing behind the foot.
- Weapon of Choice: Monks can wield all melee weapons, except two handed swords, maces, and axes.
"Vengeance cannot be a part of what we must do. If we allow our passions to turn to bloodlust, then we will become as vile as the orcs."
Uther the Lightbringer
This is the call of the paladin: to protect the weak, to bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world. These holy warriors are equipped with plate armor so they can confront the toughest of foes, and the blessing of the Light allows them to heal wounds and, in some cases, even restore life to the dead. Ready to serve, paladins can defend their allies with sword and shield, or they can wield massive two-handed weapons against their enemies. The Light grants paladins additional power against the undead and demons, ensuring that these profane beings corrupt the world no longer.
Paladins are not only zealots, but also guardians of the righteous, and they bestow blessings on those the Light would shine upon. The Light radiates from paladins, and worthy allies who stand near them are emboldened by its power.
Paladins can choose between three different specializations to bring justice to the world. Protection Paladins wields the Light as a Shield, protecting themselves and their allies. Retribution Paladins wield the Light as a Sword, bringing divine justice to villainy across the world. Holy Paladins wield the Light as a Bandage, using holy prayers and channeling the light to heal themselves and friends from terrible wounds. They use Mana, and a unique ability called Holy Power.
Paladins are available to Humans, Dwarves, Draenei, Blood Elves, and Tauren.
- Barrier Warrior: Has a number of protective shields to protect themselves and others; the most notable is Divine Shield, which makes the Paladin completely immune to damage for a period of time.
- Healing Hands: All Paladins can heal, but Holy Paladins are specialized in it.
- Holy Hand Grenade: All offensive abilities that deal holy damage to foes qualify.
- Light 'em Up: Most Paladins gain their power from the Holy Light of Creation, with one exception below.
- Magic Knight: The Paladin is primarily a melee class, but makes heavy use of holy spells in combat.
- The Paladin: It's right there in the class name. Blood Elf Paladins initially subverted the trope in lore, but after Kael'thas' betrayal they play it straight.
- The Power of the Sun: Tauren Paladins, called Sunwalkers, are unique in that they get their power from their Sun God, An'she, rather than the Light. Though, if Velen is right about Elune, then this could be subverted.
- Power Gives You Wings: Avenging Wrath increases a Paladin's damage and healing abilities, while also giving them a nice pair of non-functional wings.
- Status Buff: Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings, which increase the Mastery stat and Strength/Agility/Intellect respectively.
- Throwing Your Shield Always Works: Protection Paladins have access to the ability Avenger's Shield, which throws your shield at an enemy. The shield then bounces between three enemies before coming back to you.
- Slight aversion in that you aren't actually throwing your shield, just a light-based construct in the shape of a shield.
- Weapon of Choice
"Where faith dwells, hope is never lost."
Velen, Prophet of the Naaru
Priests are devoted to the spiritual, and express their unwavering faith by serving the people. For millennia they have left behind the confines of their temples and the comfort of their shrines so they can support their allies in war-torn lands. In the midst of terrible conflict, no hero questions the value of the priestly orders. These masters of the healing arts keep their companions fighting far beyond their normal capacities with an array of restorative powers and blessings. The divine forces at the priest’s command can also be turned against foes, smiting them with holy fury.
As light cannot exist without darkness, and darkness without light, some priests tap into shadow to better understand their own abilities, as well as the abilities of those who threaten them.
Priests are the only class to have two specializations dedicated to healing. The first of these, Holy, is centered around casting healing spells, and a special mechanic called Chakra, which changes the nature of a Priest's spells. The second is Discipline, which focuses less on direct healing, and more on making magical, damage absorbing shields to prevent damage in the first place. Lastly, the Priest has one damage spec - Shadow, which focuses on using the powers of darkness and the Void to rend a target's mind with psychic power. They use Mana. Shadow priests also make use of a second resource called Shadow Orbs.
Every race except Orcs can be Priests.
- Barrier Warrior: A fantasy somewhat filled by Discipline. They focus on damage absorbing shields. For an example, Power Word: Shield is a core Discipline spell that places a shield around a target ally.
- The Beastmaster: Very minor, but Priests have access to a Shadowfiend minion every so often that restores Mana as it attacks.
- Casting a Shadow: A Shadow Priest has many dark themed spells, and access to Shadowform, a unique stance that locks the Priest's body in an eternal shadow, and increases the effectiveness of their shadow spells.
- Combat Medic: Discipline Priests have a passive skill called Atonement, that causes their damaging spells to heal nearby players for a portion of the damage dealt; this became a growing trend throughout Mists and became an entirely unique healing build in its own right.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Unlike Paladins who almost universally center around the Holy Light, the Priest class covers a number of different religions, from the Holy Light, to the Forgotten Shadow, to the Primal Loa, to the Sun God, and even Elune. The Priest class blankets for any religion in the game.
- Finishing Move: Shadow Word: Death, which unlike a Warrior's Execute, can be used at any time, but will damage the user if it doesn't kill the target.
- Heroic Willpower: Discipline is said to give this to allies, explaining some of it's abilities like Pain Suppression.
- Light 'em Up: Holy and Discipline priests can easily put out enough damage for solo questing, but it takes a lot more work to make them viable damage dealers in dungeons or raids; consequently most players who want to DPS as priests use the Shadow specialization.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: One ability, Psychic Scream, which lets out a bloodcurdling scream that makes nearby enemies run away in fear. Also doubles as an Emotion Bomb.
- Mind Rape: The Shadow spells often come off this way, especially Mind Flay.
- People Puppets: Mind Control is one of the most central spells available to a Priest.
- Power Floats: Can be invoked via the Levitate spell, however just 1HP of damage from any source will cancel the spell. It's really used for floating across water or slowing your falling speed to prevent damage when you land.
- Psychic Powers: A lot of Shadow's abilities are focused around this.
- Weapon of Choice
"I heard you coming a mile away."
For rogues, the only code is the contract, and their honor is purchased in gold. Free from the constraints of a conscience, these mercenaries rely on brutal and efficient tactics. Lethal assassins and masters of stealth, they will approach their marks from behind, piercing a vital organ and vanishing into the shadows before the victim hits the ground. Rogues can dip their weapons in paralyzing toxins that render foes unable to defend themselves. These silent stalkers wear leather armor so they can move unencumbered, ensuring that they land the first strike.
With the rogue’s poisons and speed, the first strike is often the last step before the killing blow.
Rogues are a pure damage class whose specializations focus on the underhanded tactics of an assassin or duelist. The first, Assassination, focuses on using poisons and a swift dagger to dispatch an enemy as quickly as possible. The second, Combat, focuses on swashbuckling and blade mastery, becoming a duelist who can hack a target to pieces with repeated slashes and stabs. The last, Subtlety, improves how well the Rogue can stay undetected as he stalks his target, before ambushing for a clean, quiet kill. Rogues use Energy, and build Combo Points by using abilities repeatedly.
Every race except Tauren and Draenei can be Rogues. Something about hooves being too loud.
- Combat Pragmatist: Some abilities have this theme. For example, Blind, which has the Rogue throw dirt in a target's eyes.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Subverted with the Subtlety passive Honor Among Thieves, which grants the Rogue combo points when his allies get critical strikes.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Fan of Knives, crossed with Area of Effect; the Rogue spins around and throws knives in all directions.
- Flash Step: The Level 60 talent Cloak and Dagger, the Combat ability Killing Spree, and the Shadowstep talent work like this.
- Fragile Speedster: Rogues are the most mobile class in the game, with abilities like Sprint and Shadowstep to keep them beside an enemy, but they are also very fragile and can be blown over by a stiff wind. Rogues have some abilities to help them survive, and they focus on a Rogue's agility, like Evasion, which increases a Rogue's dodge chance for a short time.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Some of the Rogue tier armor comes off this way. For a class who exemplifies stealth, a lot of their armor is very colorful and even glows.
- Master Swordsman: Combat Rogues.
- Ninja: Some Rogue abilities are meant to feel Ninja-esque, like Shuriken Toss.
- Ninja Log: A glyph can make your Vanish ability leave behind a decoy for a few seconds.
- Poisoned Weapons: A central theme of the class, a Rogue can coat his weapons in a number of poisons that have different effects. Assassination Rogues specialize in it.
- Shadow Walker: A few Rogue abilities, like Shadowstep, convey this fantasy.
- Smoke Out: Some Rogue abilities use smoke bombs. Vanish has the Rogue disappear in a cloud of smoke. Smoke Bomb throws a bomb of blinding smoke that blocks targeted abilities.
- Stealth Expert: The class that uses Stealth to it's greatest effectiveness. Stealth, as a mechanic, is pretty straightforward - while you're in Stealth mode, you're completely invisible, even in plain sight. Then there are abilities like Vanish which allows the Rogue to disappear.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Rogues have access to Deadly Throw, which has them throw their weapon at an enemy for extra damage and a silence.
- Weapon of Choice: Rogues can wield ranged weapons, but cannot use them effectively like:
"You must listen, to the land."
Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements - fire, water, earth, and air. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos. Acting as moderators among earth, fire, water, and air, shaman summon totems that focus the elements to support the shaman’s allies or punish those who threaten them.
These masters of the elements can also call upon elemental forces directly, unleashing torrents of lava and bolts of lightning against foes. The elements can create, destroy, support, and hinder. The experienced shaman balances the vast spectrum of these primordial forces into an array of diverse abilities, making shaman versatile heroes and valued members of any group.
Shaman have a variety of specializations to choose from, none of them similar. Elemental Shaman are spellcasters first and foremost, who wield elemental power to summon lightning and molten rock to bring death to foes from afar. Enhancement Shaman are totemic warriors who imbue their weapons with wind and flame, tapping into their primal ferocity to strike their opponents down. Restoration Shaman use the cleansing power of water and the guidance of the holy ancestors to heal allies. They use Mana.
Shamans are available to Orcs, Trolls, Tauren, Goblins, Pandaren, Draenei, and Dwarves.
- Balance of Power: Shamans seek to maintain a balance between the elements. Elementals have as much potential for good or evil as mortals but they are often at war with one another, and this usually causes a lot of collateral damage.
- Baleful Polymorph: The Hex ability can turn a target into a harmless Frog (Or Compsognathus with a glyph).
- Dual Wielding: An Enhancement specialization since the release of Burning Crusade. Before this, enhancement shamans would use two-handed axes and maces, which some enhancement players are nostalgic for.
- Elemental Powers: The core theme of the class is their command over primal elemental spirits.
- An Ice Person: Just a little bit, mostly from the iconic Frost Shock.
- Blow You Away: Surprisingly sparse, limited to buffeting foes to throw off their spellcasting. Most of their Air elemental power comes in the form of lightning. Enhancement Shamans gain a bit more in their Ascended form, where their melee attacks become ranged wind slashes.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Shaman can blast foes with concussive force and shake the ground beneath their enemies' feet.
- Extra Ore Dinary: Not so much in gameplay, but in lore Shamans can bend and wield metal. Some Shaman bosses have these effects, like summoning metal shrapnel.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: Skilled Shaman can become an Ascendant, giving their very bodies over to the elemental forces to enhance their abilities.
- Green Thumb: Earth Shield blurs the line between this and Dishing Out Dirt, evoking the idea of fertile soil instead of stubborn rock.
- Light 'em Up: Only one spell, Chain Heal. It's not clear how it fits in with the rest of the Shaman kit.
- Magma Man: Elemental shaman can hurl bursts of molten lava, and Enhancement can invoke lava onto their weapon.
- Making a Splash: All of their Water spells have to do with healing and restoration.
- Playing with Fire: Enhancement weapons are empowered with Fire, and all Shaman can sear enemies and leave burns that are exploited by their other abilities.
- Shock and Awe: Courtesy of the Air element, the Shaman's offensive power is dominated by electricity regardless of specialization.
- Soul Power: Spirits are a big focus in the Shaman class.
- Weather Manipulation: In a sort of reverse of Druids, who invoke weather to access the elements, Shaman may add elements to an environment that could affect the weather.
- Magic Knight: Enhancement Shaman fight in melee, empowered by elemental forces and casting spells only in quick bursts.
- Savage Wolves - Noble Wolves: Orcish (And later Tauren) Shaman have a noted kinship with the wolf, which embodies the primal cunning and ferocity that they respect. Shaman can take the form of a wolf spirit to move faster, and Enhancement can call upon the aid of spirit wolves in battle.
- Raptor Attack: A glyph can change the Spirit Wolves into Spirit Raptors, which reflects the similar relationship Trolls have with dinosaurs.
- Spirit Advisor: Shaman can speak to the spirits of their ancestors for guidance and assistance. They can also speak to the spirits of animals and plants, and the spirits of the elements are what give them their Elemental Powers.
- Status Buff: Shamans formerly bestowed a large number of buffs to party members via totems before buff spells/passive effects were revamped and spread throughout the classes, and totems were redesigned. These included granting attack power, spell power, and elemental resistance. One spell that still remains and was at one time exclusive to the shaman class is Bloodlust/Heroism, which increases attack and casting speed for all party members by 30% for 40 seconds. Later, mages and hunters (via Core Hound pets) were granted a similar ability.
- Summon Magic: They can call an Earth or Fire elemental to aid them in combat, and Shaman specializing in Enhancement can summon spirit wolves. As this isn't their specialty (see Warlocks for more dedicated summoners), the spells have a short duration and a long cooldown, though they are still useful.
- Weapon of Choice
"Those who would command man'ari did not seek balance or harmony with their power; they sought dominance. Just as Kil’jaeden and Archimonde had."
In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. These voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way. Warlocks can ignite distant enemies in searing flame, send them fleeing in terror and pain, or afflict them with corrupting diseases and curses that steal the victim’s vitality.
These practitioners of the profane are feared across Azeroth, and many who have felt their wrath now prefer to fight alongside a warlock than against one.
Warlocks are a pure damage class that focus on unbridled destruction and death. Their first spec, Affliction, focuses on using shadow curses and twilight magics to slowly and painfully kill enemies. They have Soul Shards as a secondary resource. Demonology focuses on domination over demonic forces, with the Warlock himself gaining a demon form. They use Demonic Fury as a secondary resource. Destruction focuses on raining evil fire from the skies onto a foe, wielding the powers of chaos and...destruction. They use Burning Embers as a secondary resource. They all use Mana.
Warlocks are available to every race except Tauren, Draenei, Pandaren, and Night Elves.
- Anti-Hero: Almost by definition.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Heroic Warlocks are this by definition. Warlocks explicitly only use magics that are inherently corrupting or evil in nature.
- The Beastmaster: All Warlocks have a demon minion (Unless they take the Grimoire of Sacrifice talent). The talent, Grimoire of Supremacy, greatly improves their demon.
- The Imp: The first demon they have is an Imp, which is a small, fireball throwing coward who complains about serving a warlock. He can also dispel magical debuffs away from the Warlock and allies. With the Supremacy talent, it becomes a Fel Imp, who is much more happy to serve a Warlock, and gets an area effect version of the magic dispel.
- Power of the Void: The Voidwalker is a bulky demon made for tanking hits and taking great punishment. While he acts like The Eeyore, he nonetheless taunts and tanks enemies for his master. With the Supremacy talent, it becomes a Void Lord, which is a more Affably Evil version of the Voidwalker who wears armor, and has a strong shield to help tank hits.
- Horny Devils: The Succubus is a crowd control focused demon who attacks with a whip. She is hopelessly in love with and obsessed with her master, and does whatever he asks. She has a Seduce ability, which enthralls an enemy, no matter the gender, for a short time. Supremacy turns her into a Shivarra, a much less friendly but no less fanservicy (Or fan-diservicy?) demon who wields vicious swords.
- Hellhound: The Felhunter is a dog-like demon beast who is adept and sniffing out and consuming magic. While evil and demonic, they're just puppies to their warlock master, and have the ability to silence and dispel spellcasters. With Supremacy, the Felhunter changes to an Observer, a demon that looks like a floating octopus with a giant eye who can see magic in the air, and is drawn to it.
- Demonology Warlocks have access to a special demon - the Felguard. This axe-wielding juggernaut is a savage killer who has only one purpose: To cause as much death and destruction as possible. Supremacy turns him into a Wrathguard, an Eredar offshoot race of demons who are similar to Felguards, except they dual wield.
- Warlocks have two final demonic minions linked to long cooldown abilities: The Doomguard, which Supremacy turns into a Terrorguard, focuses on single target damage by casting shadow spells on the target, and the Infernal, which Supremacy turns into an Abyssal, who arrives from a demonic meteor from the sky and focuses on area of effect damage.
- Casting a Shadow: Primarily the Affliction and Demonology specializations. Destruction focuses more on fire magic.
- Curse: Warlocks have lots of debilitating curses and hexes.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: While Warlocks started as solely demonic spellcasters, they have expanded. Warlocks are now a class that focuses on wielding any sort of corrupting or evil magic, with heroic Warlocks being Anti-Heroes who have the willpower to resist the corruption. Their magics have expanded to the Twilight, to the chaotic fires of Ragnaros and Deathwing, and the corrupting powers of the Sha of Pandaria and the Old Gods.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: The use of fel magic is feared and reviled throughout the world of the game, but quest givers have no problem trusting warlock players.
- Heroic RROD: A lot of Warlock spells operate this way. Some convert health into mana and others, like Hellfire, deal heavy damage at the cost of damaging the user.
- Heroic Willpower: Said to be how good Warlocks resist corruption from the dark powers they command.
- Incendiary Exponent: Destruction Warlocks have a unique resource in Burning Embers. The more the Warlock casts fire spells, the more his figure becomes wreathed in demonic flames, which the Warlock can focus into powerful spells.
- Mana: Similar to Mages, Warlocks have a lot of Arcane knowledge, so they would be one of the classes that actually uses Mana in the lore. Many Warlocks are former Mages, while some are former Shaman.
- Necromancer: Moreso in lore than in gameplay, Orcish Warlocks were also Warcraft's first necromancers.
- One-Winged Angel: Demonology's Demon Form gives off this vibe.
- Our Demons Are Different: Demons in Warcraft are actually alien species from different planets conquered by the Burning Legion and corrupted by Fel magic.
- Playing with Fire: The Destruction specialization uses fire magic for its primary damage-dealing spells.
- Soul Jar: Affliction Warlocks have access to Soul Shards, which are their victims souls kept in crystals. They use these to empower some of their spells. All Warlocks also have Soulstones, which can lock an allies soul in a crystal so they can be resurrected if they die.
- Squishy Wizard: Subverted. Warlocks are squishy since they wear Cloth armor, like their Mage brethren. However, Warlocks are renown for having a lot of Stamina (and subsequently, health), and Demonology Warlocks can really take a beating before going down.
- Summon Magic: The best class at it, they have a wide variety of demonic summons. Demonology Warlocks in particular summon swarms of imps by casting spells in combat.
- Technicolor Fire: If Warlocks complete the class quest introduced in Mists of Pandaria's 5.2 content patch, they can drain the banished Kanrethad Ebonlocke to drink deep of his fel essence, turning their fire sickly fel-green.
- Weapon of Choice
- Wreathed in Flames: Destruction Warlocks can become this, the more Burning Embers they build up.
"Honor, young heroes. No matter how dire the battle. Never forsake it!"
High Overlord Saurfang
For as long as war has raged, heroes from every race have aimed to master the art of battle. Warriors combine strength, leadership, and a vast knowledge of arms and armor to wreak havoc in glorious combat. Some protect from the front lines with shields, locking down enemies while allies support the warrior from behind with spell and bow. Others forgo the shield and unleash their rage at the closest threat with a variety of deadly weapons. The warrior’s battle cries embolden friends and leave foes cowering in fear. With legendary precision, warriors target the smallest gaps in armor and slice at hamstrings in a blur of steel.
The ways of magic confuse the warrior. Gods and spirits do not answer his call. And yet, every dragon slain, corrupted tyrant toppled, and demon banished from Azeroth has trembled in the face of these lords of war.
Warriors have two very different damage specializations, and one tanking one. The latter, Protection, improves the Warrior's resolve and willpower, using a shield to protect himself and allies. The other two are different themes for a damage warrior. The Arms Warrior is the seasoned veteran who wields a single weapon, is the one who names all of his weapons and can wield all of them with unmatched skill, becoming a storm of blades on the battlefield. The Fury Warrior is the raging barbarian, who shows up to the fight drunk and half naked, wielding two weapons in a berserker's fury and leaving a trail of bodies in his angry wake. They use Rage as a resource.
All races can be a Warrior. Anyone can learn to wield a sword.
- The Ace: Arms Warriors, who are the pinnacle of martial skill.
- Badass Normal: No powers. No magic. Just a lone fighter and his loyal weapon.
- The Berserker: Fury Warriors in particular, but all Warriors use Rage as a resource for their abilities.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Who needs that magic stuff when you're pissed off and well-armed?
- Dual Wielding: Fury Warriors take this Up to Eleven, and are capable of dual wielding two two-handed weapons at the same time with their Titan's Grip ability.
- Dynamic Entry: Charge and Heroic Leap.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Two abilities - Whirlwind, which makes the Warrior spin in a blur of steel and deal damage to everyone around him, and Bladestorm, which is like Whirlwind Up to Eleven, and causes the Warrior to become a spinning tornado of blades.
- Finishing Move: Execute, which can only be used on a low health target, helps the Warrior dispatch a wounded foe.
- Heroic Second Wind: With the "Second Wind" talent, Warriors gain Leech at low health, which makes them heal for a percentage of damage they deal. Also the ability Victory Rush can fit this theme, an ability which activates after the Warrior gets a killing blow and deals damage to a different target while healing the Warrior.
- Heroic Willpower: A lot of Warrior abilities focus on this. How else would they stand beside spellcasters and slice them to bits?
- In a Single Bound: Heroic Leap.
- Incendiary Exponent: Some Warrior glyphs add fiery effects to Warrior abilities.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Warriors have access to an ability call Dragon Roar, where they let out a ferocious roar louder than a dragon's that damages nearby foes.
- I Shall Taunt You: Their "Taunt" ability grabs a foe's attention and makes them focus their attacks on the warrior instead of others. Some other classes have variations on this.
- Last Stand: The appropriately-named "Last Stand" ability adds 30% of your maximum health to your health pool for 20 seconds.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not only are they hard hitting; Warriors have multiple abilities to zip around the battlefield - Charge, which roots a target as the Warrior dashes to them, Intervene, which has a Warrior run to the aid of a nearby ally, and Heroic Leap, where the Warrior jumps in the air and crashes at a target location, damaging foes nearby.
- Made of Iron: Some classes heal themselves with actual healing magic. Warriors just tank the damage head on and their adrenaline and bloodlust help them ignore it.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Warriors have access to a number of Shout abilities to inspire allies or disrupt foes. One talent is a roar so mighty the sheer force causes physical damage.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: Weapons in Warcraft are ridiculous just by default. Fury Warriors take it a step further by Dual Wielding a pair of weapons that are each ludicrous enough to normally require both hands.
- Screaming Warrior: If a Warrior ability doesn't involve swinging a weapon, there's a good chance it involves yelling.
- Shield Bash: The Protection ability Shield Slam, which interrupts the target's casting.
- Shockwave Stomp: A few abilities like Thunderclap and Shockwave.
- Spin Attack: See Everything Is Better With Spinning.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Warriors have access to different abilities that have them throw their weapon.
- Unstoppable Rage: Unstoppable is right—Warriors can effectively heal their wounds and ignore crowd control effects by focusing their anger.
- Weapon of Choice: Warriors can wield every weapon in the game, except wands. They can wield ranged weapons, but do not use them well.