Cataclysm is set to tear Azeroth apart, and with new danger comes a new breed of adventurers ready to take on Deathwing, and many other world-ending bosses in WoW's third expansion.
On the Alliance side, there are five new race-class combinations aside from those of the Worgen. Each combination has its own incentives and challenges to play.
Humans will now be able to tame pets and deal major damage from afar using bows and guns. Human hunters can use their racial trait Every Man for Himself to break free from snares and crowd control spells. This combat mobility is crucial especially in PVP against harder-hitting melee DPS such as rogues and warriors.
Battlegrounds and arena veterans will also welcome the additional trinket slot usually reserved for Insignia of the Alliance, which can be replaced with Agility or Stamina buff trinkets.
The 3% spirit boost will also be useful, since it is widely expected to become the definitive health and energy regeneration stat in Cataclysm. The latter though won't impact human hunters due to the conversion of their energy resource to a focus resource, similar to what the rogue class.
In Cataclysm, even the stoic dwarves of Ironforge are forced to expand their repertoire of classes.
One of these is the hybrid shaman class that can branch specialize as caster DPS, melee DPS or healer. The racial trait Stoneform increases the survivability of dwarf shamans who choose the elemental and restoration paths, especially in PVP where plate-wearing classes can pummel them in close range.
Elemental dwarf shamans, on the other hand, will benefit most from the 5 point expertise bonus using one-hand and two-handed maces, making it less likely for opponents to dodge or parry their attacks. The one-hand mace bonus is more appealing to enhancement shamans whose dual wield ability allows them to strike foes with one-hand maces in both hand slots.
Dwarves can now spec into frost, fire or arcane as full-fledged mages. The racial trait Stoneform acts as an additional defensive button for dwarf mages against afflictions (poison, disease, bleed) and armor buff every two minutes.
The dwarf mage also heralds the first ranged caster class for this Alliance race, so it would be interesting to see them throw massive spells alongside their common human and gnome mages in the Cataclysm expansion.
Night Elf Mage
Speaking of mages, Cataclysm will also usher in the night elf mages. Originally limited to druid hybrid and priest caster classes, night elves can now rain down powerful AoE spells.
Escaping from dangerous situations will be easier for night elf mages due to their Shadowmeld racial trait, which makes them invisible. But it hasn't been determined yet whether the mage class will benefit from the Elusiveness racial trait that reduces the chance for enemies to detect their Shadowmeld and stealth.
Leveling mages who can be prone to deaths when cornered to melee can look forward to shorter trips from the graveyard with the cool Wisp Spirit racial trait of the night elves.
Last but not the least are the new gnome priests, inspired by the battle medics present in Gnomeregan. Gnome priests have access to 5% increased intellect through the racial trait Expansive Mind. The priest class uses intellect as one of its main stats, so the significant increase will translate to more effective heals and a larger energy pool.
Gnome priests will have increased resistance against immobilization or movement reduction through Escape Artist, useful for snares and slow trap effects. Their innate 2% arcane resistance also means arcane mages will have a harder time defeating gnome priests in Cataclysm PVP.
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