5 Best races and racial abilities in WoW WotLK
Your race choice makes a lot of difference in the WotLK expansion, as it is usually the case for WoW. So this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has ever had any experience with the game. Yet the meta keeps changing and you should be up to date with the changes that the latest update has brought. The best part about it for WotLK is that we already know how it's going to be – we have already played this expansion once, remember? Here we go again!
In this blog post we suggest taking a look at which races are good at which role in PvE and PvP. There are 10 races in the game at this point but we decided to cover only the better half and tell you about their prominent strengths and less prominent weaknesses. We'll rank them from the least awesome to the best one, the most versatile race of the game of the whole expansion. You'll soon learn who they are!
Solid midrange – Dwarf
Good at: melee DPS, tank
Alliance is a weird faction in WotLK (and in general): they have one race that really stands out and several others, some of which are somewhat alright and the rest goes beyond that and just sucks. Dwarves manage to maintain the almost perfect balance and remain somewhere in the middle. Not many people play them anyway because not everyone is attracted with bearded plumpy halflings with alcohol issues. Yet those few players who care about the meta and min-maxing, value dwarves for some things that they are good at. It's not much but it's honest work – this would be their best motto, we believe.
What makes them good tanks is their [Stoneform]. This active ability increases your armor by 10% for 8 sec. And not just that – it also dispels effects of poison, disease, and bleeding. Thus you get a great ultimate ability for boss fights and you can even find good use for it in PvP.
Melee DPS might enjoy the [Mace Specialization] ability that increases expertise by 5 when using – you guessed it – maces. The only problem here is that maces are not exactly numerous among the BIS-list items for melee DPS, so this won't give you too much advantage.
[Gun Specialization] favors guns but instead of expertise it adds 1% Crit Chance which is not really a lot but still might be a lovely bonus to hunters. [Frost Resistance] reduces the chance of being hit by frost-class magic by 2% and is quite good at lower-level PvP and some dungeons/raids (we have a pretty chilly aesthetics in this expansion, don't we?).
Finally, there's the [Find Treasure] ability that allows you to track chests on the mini map. Those chests don't usually contain outstanding items or something like that but they might be a nice additional source of some gold coins and mats.
All in all, dwarves are fine, play dwarves!
PvP star that sucks at PvE – Undead
Good at: PvP
Undeads are very popular in PvP in WotLK. But unfortunately they have little to no presence in PvE. Some enthusiasts enjoy playing them regardless of how good they are according to the meta, of course – but there's little reason to choose them over any other Horde race for raids except for aesthetics.
[Will of the Forsaken] is the undead's selling point. You instantly remove crowd-control effects from yourself including fear, charm, and sleep. Although it gets somewhat nerfed in WotLK, it still remains an important PvP advantage during all Wrath's seasons.
[Shadow Resistance] reduced the chance of being hit by shadow spells by 2%. Not a game-changer, unlike the previous ability, but a pleasant addition to the skill set. It will help you at battlegrounds, Wintergrasp, and lower arena ranks for sure.
Other than that, there's not much to tell you about. [Cannibalize] lets you, well, eat corpses of other players and restore your health with that. Hardly useful anywhere. [Underwater Breathing] is good for some exploring and questing but it's very, very niche and has no application in high-end content.
To conclude, the crowd-control remover is a hit that makes the undead one of the most popular PvP races. The rest varies from "not bad but meh" to "Jesus, how did they even think this would ever help anyone?".
Strong update – Troll
Good at: caster DPS, healer, physical DPS
Trolls are deemed to be freaks even for the Horde. They are unattractive, have huge dumb fangs, and a stupid nerdy posture. All those things make them unique and they definitely have their own small but mighty fan club. But the looks and aesthetics are not everything in WoW and troll-characters get a count boost in WotLK with several racial traits updates. Let's discuss them in detail.
[Berserking] is an active ability that increases attack- & casting speed by 20% for 10 sec. It's absolutely fantastic for DPS specs: you basically get a free damage boost every 3 min. Healers will also benefit from it since it can drastically improve their support capability.
[Bow Specialization] is another damage boost for DPS specs, mainly for hunters, of course. 1% crit chance increase is not much but it's passive and is better than nothing. There's also a similar passive trait [Throwing Specialization] that favors throwing weapons instead of bows, but who even uses throwing weapons for dealing damage? Rogues and warriors sometimes throw one or two knives at their targets for various reasons but hardly ever more than that. Hence this one is absolutely useless, although lore-friendly.
[Da Voodoo Shuffle] helps you cope with slowing & immobilizing effects by shortening them by 15%. It's a lovely PvP-friendly touch that makes trolls more valuable at BGs and arena but it's also a good thing in raids for all roles.
[Beast Slaying] increases damage against animals by 5%. Not exactly vegan-friendly and hardly helpful in raids and arena, so we'd say this one almost doesn't matter. During questing it might be of more use though.
[Regeneration] obviously increases your health regeneration: by 10% when you're not in combat and by 10% of your regular regeneration rate when you are. That means that when you're fighting someone, your health restores at 1/10 rate to your out-of-combat regen speed. It's not much but it's still something that might be of use during long boss fights.
All that said, trolls are a solid choice for casters and fighters of all kinds. It might easily be your best choice for some roles if you prefer Horde. However, there's one more race there that really deserves attention...
Horde's most versatile option – Orc
Good at: tank, physical DPS, PvP, caster DPS
Orcs are the big green poppa of the Horde. Not only they are the essential part of the faction that draws many players to it, but also they have some of the best racial abilities in the game. Let's take a look at what they were so lucky to get.
[Blood Fury] is what springs to mind first. It's an active ability that increases your attack or/and spell power for 15 sec. The amount of the power increased changes with level but it remains quite decent. While most classes receive just one power up with this ability, shamans get both – isn't that a cheat now! Anyway, you get a great ultimate ability to use every 2 min for damage burst. It's a great advantage.
[Command] is another source of extra damage but it is more niche: it mainly applies to Hunters and Warlocks, and to lesser extent to Death Knights. What it does is it increases your pet's damage by 5%. That alone won't take your pet to the top-1 place in the DPS recounter report but it's still a good bonus.
As if it wasn't enough, [Axe Specialization] increases your expertise by 5 when you use axes or, weirdly enough, fist weapons. No one knows why they added the latter but nonetheless it's a very good bonus. Axes are numerous in BIS lists and the best 2-handed melee weapon of the expansion is also an axe (Shadowmourne).
And to make sure that there's no better race in the Horde, Blizzard also gave orcs [Hardiness]: it shortens stuns by 15%. A very nice touch for your PvP skill set. In fact, tanks and DPS will enjoy it in raids too, so why not embrace it in PvE as well!
So as you can see, orcs are real deal. No fillers, just cool traits. Why don't Blizzard give others something similar? God only knows. But if you think that orcs' skill set is unfair, you should check out our number 1 on this list, which is...
Game's best option – Human
Good at: literally everything
Humans are impressively versatile and their racial skill set helps them with literally any role in the game. You can probably find a better match for some class for some particular specialization but on average humans are very good at everything. Let's see what makes them that special.
[Every Man for Himself] is the feared counter to crowd-control effects. You can use it every 2 min to break free from another stun or fear, or charm, or whatever. Your PvP trinket's CD won't be affected too, which is quite unique. Obviously, this active ability makes humans a great PvP option but it's also very valuable during boss fights for all roles in PvE.
[The Human Spirit] is a caster class' delight. It increases your spirit by 3% and serves greatly to healers who need mana regeneration badly. Mana-based DPS will benefit greatly from it too, so mages, warlock, and shadow priests have a good bonus with it as well.
[Sword Specialization] and [Mace Specialization] increase your expertise by 3 when you hold swords or maces, respectively. Good swords are easier to find than good maces, and +3 expertise for them is a great bonus, although most other races get a +5 bonus of this kind. This is still a decent improvement, especially considering how wide-spread swords are.
[Perception] helps you detect stealthed opponents easier. It's very helpful in PvP, especially if you play rogue yourself: thus your stealth becomes superior to that of your enemies and you get more control of any rogue-vs-rogue or rogue-vs-druid fight.
[Diplomacy] is not a combat helper, it's more about making your reputation grind slightly more tolerable. Not a bad trait but not a game changer either.
So that was our take on the best races in WoW WotLK. Some races that we haven't included here can be pretty good too, especially when it comes to rare classes like druids: only night elves and taurens can be them and you will just have no other options to choose from. The same applies to shamans (orcs, trolls, taurens, draenei) and paladins (humans, dwarves, blood elves). Gnomes would make pretty good rogues, taurens are decent tanks, and so on. You should always make some research before making up your mind about which combination to go with.
But don't overthink it! WoW is a game and it must be fun for you! If you just want to play as a night elf, go for it! You can always level up another character of some other race later! And we can help you with that, if you want it done fast! You can also always contact us to ask questions about races and leveling up new characters.