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One of the most frequent questions to come up on the WoW forums is “which class is the best for soloing?" There are many answers to this question, but in my personal experience I’ve found four classes that absolutely excel at solo play. Anyone who likes to be able to play alone and still level at a decent speed while earning some gold and being able to check out a lot of what World of Warcraft has to offer would do well to check out any of these classes.
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Hunters tend to be a solitary lot. They’re not typically much desired for groups and tend to finish quests and level up much faster on their own. The secret to a hunter’s success is the faithful companion that follows them wherever they go, their pet.
A hunter takes his group with him wherever he goes. His tank is right there at his heels, ready to throw itself into a fight with a group of higher-level mobs on his master’s whim. As a hunter, your loyal buddy soaks up all the damage while you stay back and pick off targets with your gun or bow.
Downtime is practically a non-issue for a hunter. Yes, a hunter’s attacks do require mana, but rarely enough to cause him to have to sit down and drink between fights. A hunter’s pet will need some healing from time to time as well, but between Mend Pet and First Aid, pet downtime is very minimal as well.
Leveling quickly is definitely awesome, but the problem with playing a hunter is that once you hit max level, you’re going to find it difficult to get into groups. Other DPS classes are far more desirable so unless you’re part of a good guild that likes you, you can plan on soloing for pretty much all of your WoW character’s life.
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Like a hunter, a warlock’s pet makes soloing a lot easier, but not for the same reasons. At lower levels, a warlock can use his pet similarly to a hunter pet, soaking up damage and holding mobs’ attention while he throws DOTs and life drains from afar. After level 40, however, an Affliction warlock’s pet becomes a fast-replenishing mana battery thanks to Dark Pact.
Warlocks are all-around great soloers, but those who spec Affliction will find their downtime reduced to practically nothing with Dark Pact. Pet mana regenerates at an incredibly fast pace, and with this ability you can simply transfer mana from your pet to yourself at any time.
Of course, a warlock of any spec has the advantage of Life Tap, as well. For a warlock in World of Warcraft, health is mana. As long as you’re alive, you can keep casting spells. With life tap, you simply convert your remaining health into mana and keep right on casting spells. When your health gets low, you can use Drain Life on a mob to replenish it.
Thanks to these amazing mana replenishing abilities, downtime becomes a non-issue. Add in the fact that warlocks do an amazing amount of damage with their damage over time spells and can typically Drain Life faster than mobs can damage them, and you’ve got the makings of one outstanding solo class.
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In cat form, a druid is nearly as effective as a rogue at rapidly dealing melee DPS. The advantage to a druid, however, is that afterward you can simply pop back into caster form, fire off a couple HOTs on yourself, then shift back into cat, stealth, and go right on killing. Add in the fact that as a druid you also have the ability to buff your own stats and throw up a damage shield, and you’re pretty much an unstoppable killing machine.
The survivability of a druid is amazing, as well. Accidentally pull more mobs than you intended? Simply shift into bear form and tank them nearly as well as a warrior, only with the option of quickly shifting form and healing yourself. If you’re still in over your head, you can always shift into cat form and sprint away.
Feral spec is the way to go for soloing, though with the recent addition of dual specializations to World of Warcraft, you can always maintain a secondary resto spec for healing duties.
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The Death Knight
My personal favorite solo class is only available to those who have already reached level 55 with at least one character, but the death knight is just about the most versatile solo class in the game. Any class would be hard pressed to match the death knight’s leveling speed from level 55 to level 80.
A death knight is a plate-wearing, self-healing, non mana-dependent, pet class. Basically, a DK regens energy to use abilities like a rogue, can absorb damage like a warrior, heals himself almost as well as a druid while in combat, and has a pet capable of off-tanking large pulls. Oh, and I nearly forgot, an unholy DK can AoE groups of mobs quite effectively, as well. All of this wrapped up in one single character.
It’s no wonder DKs are called a hero class. They are very difficult to stop. My DK is especially good at running lower-level instances. Strat Baron runs typically take somewhere around 10 minutes, even with the occasional over pull or accidental aggro.
Anyone with a character over level 55 interested in becoming an unstoppable solo machine should definitely look into creating a death knight. They are a ton of fun and incredibly capable in all sorts of PvE and PvP situations.
Players are always looking for the so-called “best" solo class in World of Warcraft. While I personally feel that there is no one class that excels in every possible situation, any player who wants to be a competent solo artist would do well to create a hunter, warlock, druid, or death knight.