With the upcoming release of World of Warcraft Burning Crusade Classic, many old and new players will be streaming into Outland, competing for resources, aiming to destroy powerful enemies in brand new dungeons and raids, or other players in Battlegrounds and Arenas.
Immediately, the following question arises: Which class/race combo will come out on top of the meta?
We covered an overview of all available race/class combos, but in this article, we will discover which is the World of Warcraft best class for Humans in Burning Crusade Classic (TBC). There are many variables to take into account, so we will be looking mainly at the overall strengths and racials of Humans, compare them to other expansions (such as BFA) and to other available races.
Overall Human Strengths in TBC
Humans are the core race of the Alliance, according to lore and gameplay alike. They are allied to every other race in the Alliance and have been a solid pick for players throughout WoW’s lifespan, from Vanilla and TBC, to Wotlk through BFA, and even now in Shadowlands.
Now, let’s check out why you would pick a Human:
- Prior to Burning Crusade, they were the race with the largest selection of possible classes. In TBC, they share this top spot with Draenei (6 classes each), so if you want the best race-class combo, Humans are often a top pick for Warrior, Paladin, Rogue, Priest, Mage and Warlock.
- Humans get 5 racials, compared to every other race, who only get 4. In addition, there is no “filler” (read: useless) racial. Every single racial can be used by some class in some way in some area of the game.
- Humans can fulfill every role in the MMO Holy Trinity: they have 2 options as Tank, 2 options as Healer, and 6 options as damage dealer, both melee and ranged. This impressive array of choices is only shared by the Draenei – no other race comes even close to having as many options!
- They are aesthetically pleasing and look great in every armor set.
- Their melee attack and casting animations are awesome for male Humans (though mediocre for female Humans).
- They are important for lore-reasons and have good RPG-value. The original Warcraft game was called Orcs & Humans, after all!
In Classic Burning Crusade, Humans get the following racials:
All reputation gains are increased by 10%.
This racial is not game-breaking, but is always a nice background-bonus. It is highly useful when you are grinding a specific reputation or would just like to get to Exalted as soon as possible.
Diplomacy will definitely come in handy during every reputation grind you’ll have to go through, especially if you are in a competitive guild:
- Early Dungeon Factions to Revered for the Heroic Key
- Grinds to Exalted with those Factions for Epics, recipes, and so on
- Karazhan (Violet Eye) and Mount Hyjal (Sands of Time) for the ring
- Shattered Sun Offensive for all kinds of goodies
This racial is useful and a bonus for every single Human class.
Dramatically increases stealth detection for 20 sec. On-use ability, 3 minute CD.
Largely useless for PVE. Can be game-changing in PVP if you catch a Rogue or Druid out of stealth.
The Human Spirit
Spirit increased by 10%.
Casters are really the only classes that benefit much from this. Melee has no use for it, but Priests especially love it.
Mace Specialization: Expertise with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 5.
Sword Specialization: Expertise with Swords and Two-Handed Swords increased by 5.
Expertise means opponents have a lower chance of parrying or dodging your attacks. Basically, you do more damage or more threat to them.
The opposite of the previous racial, extra Expertise is wasted on casters, but every single Melee class will be drawn to the Human race because of this.
But that doesn’t yet answer the question of which is the best class to play as a Human, so we’ll turn our attention there next, after a brief detour.
Racial Evolution (for Wotlk to BFA and Shadowlands)
Before we continue our foray into which class is best to play as a Human in Burning Crusade Classic, it is worth going over the changes Human racials have gone through over the years to see how they hold up. (Note: this concerns only normal Humans, not the allied races that come in later expansions)
- In Wrath of the Lich King, racials were overhauled for the benefit of the Alliance, which was up to that point the least played faction. Blizzard decided to do something about that, and they gave Humans the very OP racial Every Man for Himself: remove all crowd-control, 2 minute CD. This meant that Humans did not need a PVP trinket and could use any other trinket they wanted. Every serious PVP player went Human, and it was very useful in PVE as well.
- Over the course of the following expansions, Blizzard nerfed it repeatedly, until in BFA it was made into a “Remove all stun effects”, on a 3 min CD and it shares a 90 second CD with other similar effects. Way more balanced.
- In Cataclysm, Perception was removed and in Warlords of Draenor, Mace/Sword Specialization were also shafted, leaving Humans with a measly 3 racials, while other races have up to 6. Not a great evolution for Humans in general, but at least Orcs suffered a similar fate.
Class Overview in Classic Burning Crusade
As mentioned earlier, as a Human you can choose between 6 classes. We’ll look into each class and see how useful the racials are for each spec, how they fare in PVP and PVE if played as Human, and compare them to other (Alliance) races.
Human Warrior in PVE
In PVE, when it comes to tanking, Warriors are no longer the premier Tank in TBC, having to share that privilege with Paladins and Druids, but you can bet that there will still be many Protection Warriors making the trip through the Dark Portal.
They are also no longer the Bloodthirst-y DPS juggernauts they once were, and are in fact falling severely behind most caster DPS — at least in early Burning Crusade. With Warglaives and Sunwell gear, the game changes in their favor. However, all 3 Warrior specs are definitely viable in PVE.
A very good case can be made that in World of Warcraft, the Warrior is the best class as a Human in PVE, mostly due to Mace and Sword Specializations. +5 Expertise is no joke, and having this as a racial bonus on Maces and Swords (most valuable weapons) allows Human Warriors to gem for other stats. This is as useful for Fury/Arms as it is for Protection.
10% extra Spirit is nearly completely useless for Warriors in PVE, as is Perception.
For DPS, Human Warriors are by a very large margin the best option for Alliance. No other race comes close. However, for tanking, Stoneform (+10% armor for 8 sec) offers Dwarf Warriors a neat little extra mitigation button. If you have the best gear available and Expertise is no longer an issue, then Stoneform would win out. But during progression, 90% of the PVE game, getting fewer parries and dodges on your attacks (and thus generating more threat) is more valuable, and thus Humans win out.
Human Warrior in PVP
Warriors are a highly viable class in PVP in Burning Crusade Classic, and you can expect to see many Arms Warriors tearing it up in Arenas. As a Human Warrior, the biggest advantage you have is +5 Expertise on Maces or Swords (the best specs) and Perception. Do not underestimate the game-winning power of getting a Rogue or Druid out of stealth and denying them the opener.
However, does this compete with the advantages of Escape Artist (Gnome) and Stoneform (Dwarf)? In our opinion, it depends. For solo-play, we would argue Gnomes are probably the better choice (getting out of snares and roots is invaluable, but you can always just use Free Action Potions). If you are playing with a healer who can dispel snares and roots (such as a Paladin), Humans are by far the superior option.
Human Rogue in PVE
Rogues have a difficult time in PVE at the beginning Tiers in Burning Crusade Classic. Their DPS generally lags behind that of Hunters and Warlocks, and they have little to no utility to bring to the table. However, once they enter Tier 6-levels, they will start to top damage meters once more.
Because a Rogue’s main (and arguably only) job in a PVE-environment is to do damage, and because Combat (the most effective spec most of the time) mainly uses Swords (or the Blacksmithing maces), you can already see where this is going: there is no better class for PVE Rogues than Human. +5 Expertise is just too good to pass on.
Human Rogue in PVP
However much they are lacking in PVE-usefulness in early Burning Crusade, Rogues more than make up for it in PVP. With the inclusion of Shadowstep and Cheat Death, they are one of the most prominent classes in both Battlegrounds and Arenas.
How does the Human race fare against the other options Rogues have, Gnome and Dwarf? Middling, we would say. Expertise is always useful, and Perception equally so in Rogue vs Rogue (or druid) match-ups, but Escape Artist and Stoneform have to be taken into account. Escape Artist would be of vital importance, were it not for a Rogue’s many ways to avoid or break roots. Stoneform, on the other hand, removes Bleeds, which gives Dwarf Rogues a massive advantage against Warriors, Ferals or other Rogues.
For PVP, Human Rogue comes in (close) second place, after Dwarf.
Human Warlock in PVE
Warlocks are top-tier DPS in The Burning Crusade, but they are probably the class that gets the least amount of utility from being Human. 10% Spirit can give you a slight boost in Spell power, but only if you have a Priest’s Improved Divine Spirit buff.
The only other option for Alliance Warlocks is Gnome, however, and the only real advantage they offer in PVE is 5% more intellect. This gives you slightly more Mana (negligible due to Life Tap) and Critical Hit. If we add Diplomacy to the Human Warlock’s balance, we can say that for all intents and purposes, Human and Gnome Warlock are roughly equal and it comes down to your preference.
Human Warlock in PVP
Warlocks are as strong in PVP as they are in PVE, if not stronger. In Burning Crusade, we are introduced to the dreaded SL/SL spec (Siphon Life/Soul Link).
If you want to play a Warlock on the Alliance side, you’ve got 1 thing to consider: Do you want Perception as a Human, or Escape Artist and a slightly higher Engineering skill as a Gnome (in addition to being less conspicuous due to their diminutive size)?
Keep in mind that by far the most popular Warlock pet is the Felhunter, which comes with its own passive Perception (Paranoia), and it becomes clear that for PVP, Human is inferior to Gnome.
Human Mage in PVE
Mages are generally comparable to Warlocks, in both PVE and PVP. In addition, Mages get Draenei as another option to choose from. Draenei Mages bring a strong 1% group-wide extra chance to hit and a self-heal.
Unfortunately, this makes Humans the worst choice when it comes to Mages. More Intellect (Gnome) and 1% extra hit (Draenei) are severely better in the long run than 10% spirit and extra reputation.
Human Mage in PVP
Lacking the Warlock’s Felhunter’s Paranoia, Human Mages get a good boost in usefulness. Gnome’s Escape Artist remains the best option for PVP, but because Blink clears snares and roots anyway, you can make a good case for Human Mages being as viable as Gnomes in PVP.
When we’re discussing the Priest, we cannot just look at the Racials each Race brings to the table, we also have to take Race-specific Priest spells into account:
- Human: Desperate Prayer (instant heal, 10 min CD), Feedback (a shield you can put on yourself, and every spell cast against you will burn the attacker’s Mana, dealing shadow damage as well)
- Dwarf: Desperate Prayer, Chastise (instant cast, doing Holy damage and Incapacitating a humanoid target for 2 seconds)
- Draenei: Symbol of Hope (restores Mana to party members, 5 minute CD), Chastise
- Night Elf: Elune’s Grace (gives you 20% melee and ranged attack avoidance for 15 sec), Starshards (arcane DoT)
Now, depending on which version of Burning Crusade Blizzard decides to go with, Draenei and Dwarf Priests might also be the only ones to get Fear Ward, which would give them a massive advantage.
Human Priest in PVE
For any spec of the Priest class, 10% spirit is a great deal. Holy especially will love it, and if you are a full-PVE healer, Human is the clear-cut choice. Desperate Prayer gives you an oh-s%^$ button to boot. Draenei might be slightly useful as well, but as a healer it is not your job to provide Mana to your party.
If you decide to go Shadow, it could be argued that an extra DoT in the form of Starshards is a big advantage, but we feel that you are better off casting another Mind Flay and sticking to Shadow spells instead. Symbol of Hope might find some use, but again you are better off casting Vampiric Touch and more Shadow spells to provide Mana to the party that way.
And so, Human is the best choice for Priests in PVE, for every spec.
Human Priest in PVP
10% Spirit is still incredibly good in PVP, where matches often become games of attrition. Mana regen is a vital aspect of the game, and Humans get an advantage in that regards. They also have a reasonably powerful, instant-cast oh-s*(# button with Desperate Prayer, and a stealth detection tool with Perception. Not to mention Feedback, which can be used to drain opposing spellcasters’ Mana.
If there were no other factors to consider, that would render Humans definitely the best choice here.
Unfortunately, they have to compete with Dwarf Priests, who also get Desperate Prayer. In addition, Dwarves have Stoneform (when you’re being trained by Rogues or Warriors, you will use this often) and Chastise, a spell which can allow you to get away from Melee, Line-of-Sight someone and get a quick Flash Heal off.
And if Blizzard goes with progressive Burning Crusade, then Dwarves and Draenei will be the only ones that have access to the very powerful Fear Ward for a large part of the expansion. This is really the deciding factor. If Fear Ward is available for every Race, Humans are probably the best PVP option versus other casters, but Dwarf Discipline Priests always take the cake versus Melee.
And if you consider the fact that Melee are the bane of your existence as a Healing priest, you can understand why we would say that Dwarves are in general a better choice.
For Shadow, Human wins out, due to the fact that you cannot use Chastise in Shadowform and you have excellent damage reduction versus Melee already.
The final class that Humans have access to is the one that has changed the most in the transition from Classic to Classic TBC. Not only does the Horde have access to them as well now, every Paladin spec is viable to some degree. No longer are you forced to spam Flash of Light all night long if you want to raid!
Paladins can be Tank (Protection), Healer (Holy) and DPS (Retribution). The other Races to consider if you want to play a Paladin are Dwarf and Draenei.
Human Paladin in PVE
Let’s start with Holy. Human Paladins really have no clear advantages here (apart from Diplomacy), because Spirit is virtually useless and you won’t be melee’ing anything. If you want to play a Holy Paladin in PVE, Draenei bring 1% hit to their party, get a HOT and some extra Jewelcrafting skill, so they are the best option.
For Protection and Retribution that 1% hit remains very useful, but arguably less so than 5 expertise, because you can get +hit way easier than you can get +expertise. For Protection, Dwarf Stoneform is always good to have if you’re tanking 10+ mobs (with bleeds and poisons). But again, always having +5 expertise trumps this slightly niche ability.
If you want to play Ret or Prot, Humans are generally better, apart from some special situations.
Human Paladin in PVP
Looking at Holy Paladins in PVP, there is really 1 thing to consider: Perception or Stoneform. A chance to detect stealthed opponents every 3 minutes, or a bleed/poison/disease removal with +10% armor, also once every 3 minutes. We feel that Stoneform brings the most utility, and thus Human is not the best choice here.
For Retribution however, it is. Extra expertise coupled with the stealth detection beats the more defensive Stoneform. Retribution is all about big hits, and getting dodged or parried is detrimental and can really screw up a match. Human Retribution Paladins are the best option in PVP.
So What is the Best Class for Humans?
That was quite a lot of information, but all of it was necessary for the apotheosis of this article: What is the best class for Humans in World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade Classic?
Let’s recap with an overview, allowing for every spec in every area of the game:
|Best PVE Race||Human||Human||Human/Gnome||Gnome/Draenei||Human||Draenei|
|Best PVP Race||Human||Dwarf||Gnome||Human/Gnome||Dwarf||Dwarf|
Humans have a good representation and are very often a top pick for many classes, but if we look at the overview, it becomes clear that the Warrior is the World of Warcraft best class for Humans in Classic Burning Crusade!
If you are adamant in playing a Human in the upcoming Burning Crusade Classic, Warrior is by far the best option, because they gain the most from being Human – perhaps in more than one sense of the word!
For those who feel being a Human isn’t to your taste, then consider being a Blood Elf. Yes, we’ve got the Blood Elves covered! Or if you’re unsure, check out our overall review of all race/class combo available in World of Warcraft!
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