Best Classes for World of Warcraft (WoW) Classic Hardcore

Which class should you pick in World of Warcraft: Classic Hardcore?

by Thomas Cunliffe
An orc Shaman stood in Orgrimmar next to the 'World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore' logo
Image: Attack of the Fanboy, Blizzard

Was the grueling grind from 1–60 not enough for you? Do you really want to add permadeath to the mix? Of course you do! WoW: Classic Hardcore is finally here, offering the grandiose challenge of leveling in Classic Worldnof Warcraft with permanent death enabled on official servers.

To avoid flushing hours of your life down a bone-decorated toilet in Orgrimmar, we’ve put together a guide on the best classes to use in WoW: Classic Hardcore. Whether they’re able to self-heal, as robust as a Titan’s cojones, or the most leisurely to use — these are the top Class choices for Hardcore mode in World of Warcraft: Classic

Best Classes for World of Warcraft: Classic Hardcore

Druid — Cat of All Trades

Image: Attack of the Fanboy, TheTiredLlama, Blizzard

Druids have the best mobility out of any class in Hardcore WoW. Travel Form is a blessing in a world (of Warcraft) where mounts are a luxury. Not to mention their capacity to escape tricky scenarios that would mean death for just about any other class.

They’re also one of the fastest classes in Hardcore, with very few time-outs needed once they’ve picked up enough skills. That being said, the first 1-20 Levels are painfully slow. It’s definitely worth the wait if you manage to survive, however.

Versatility is also a big plus for Druids, with options for healing, damage, and tanking. You can choose to buff other classes and make plenty of friends or hog all of your abilities and keep yourself nice and healthy.

If you choose Druid, keep an eye on your mana. There’s nothing worse than coming out of a shapeshift and seeing that you can’t cast a single spell to save your soul. Having three different power bars is both a blessing and a curse.

Related: How to Unlock Old Scholomance’s Entrance in WoW — Memory of Scholomance

Paladin — Safe and Sound

Image: Attack of the Fanboy, TheTiredLlama, Blizzard

Before the release of official dedicated Hardcore servers, thousands of players used and its AddOn to track their Hardcore runs. This gives us plenty of juicy data on classes with the highest success rate of reaching Level 60. Interestingly enough, Paladins are the most likely to reach max level without dying.

While Paladins may not be the leading choice for endgame activities, they are the safest option for Hardcore leveling. Their utility is fantastic for dealing with just about anything while leveling, especially for group content. Your friends will be thanking you for those life-saving heals and Auras.

Paladins also get a free mount at Level 40. While this might not sound exciting to retail players, mounts cost a pretty penny in WoW Classic, and movement contributes to the majority of your playtime. Things were different back then, okay?

Unless you’re focusing on Retribution, which is a risky choice, Paladin leveling in Hardcore will be reasonably slow. You also can’t use your notorious Bubble Hearth to get out of sticky situations, and, worst of all, you have to play Alliance. Lok’tar Ogar and all that.

If you don’t care about the speed or being forced to play a stinky Alliance character, picking a Paladin is a brilliant choice for an enjoyable and safe run — especially with a buddy or two.

Warrior — Ferocious Fun

Image: Attack of the Fanboy, TheTiredLlama, Blizzard

Warriors are among the most popular classes for Hardcore World of Warcraft. They have the second-highest success rate for leveling, perform well in endgame content, and can stand their ground in PvP for anyone brave enough to Mak’gora.

Despite their strengths, Warriors are extremely gear-reliant and completely lack self-sustaining abilities. First Aid and Cooking are mandatory if you want to get far, and you’ll find yourself constantly stopping for a quick snack break.

Warriors are far from the easiest class in Hardcore WoW but are among the most fun and in-demand for endgame activities.

Warriors are best utilized in group leveling and content, and thankfully, their utility means you’re more likely to be accepted when groupfinding. Paladin and Warrior duo-leveling is an extremely popular combination and may be your best bet for survival.

Priest — Healing Heaven

Image: Attack of the Fanboy, TheTiredLlama, Blizzard

Priests are synonymous with healing in WoW Classic — and topped-up health bars are always welcome when death is permanent. While their burst damage isn’t as good as most other classes, Spirit Tap and their healing spells level out the field and make it a somewhat speedy leveling experience despite being slower at killing mobs.

Psychic Scream is also fantastic for escaping dangerous situations, causing all enemies to flee for eight seconds. Plenty of time to top your health back up, pop Power Word: Shield, and get back into the fight.

Priests are always needed in dungeons and endgame content as long as you’re happy to heal. Unlike many other classes, Priests aren’t very dependent on gear, meaning you can level from 1 to 60 without worrying about drops.

No matter which class you choose in WoW: Classic Hardcore, remember to stock up on consumables, buy some bags, plan your escapes, and try to avoid caves. Happy leveling!

- This article was updated on August 26th, 2023

About The Author

Thomas has been a freelance writer since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 145,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat in 2015, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as AOTF, PC Invasion, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing every quest in World of Warcraft (yes, all of them), and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about various topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, and exploring the latest AAA and indie titles.