Monday, January 24, 2011

Best goblin class for solo-ing BC and WotLK content?

I was pleased to receive an email today from a reader who wanted an answer to the following dilemma:

I love your Wow Alone blog, and as I've been mulling this question over, I couldn't think of anyone better to contact.  I've played a human mage for a good number of years now, but am looking to dip my toes into the Horde waters, and so want to make an alt (Goblin, preferably).  On this alt I'm going to focus on seeing as much of the Horde side as possible and doing as much Horde stuff as possible - achievements, exploration, dungeons, questions.  The majority of this will be solo.

My question then is this: at this point in Cataclysm from what you know, what classes would be able to solo BC raids/heroics and (if possible) WotLK normals, heroics, even maybe some 10 man raids?  Because I want to see as much of the game as possible as I go, Death Knights are out, and would like it to be a goblin, so non-druid and paladin if possible.  How would an enhancement shaman be for this?  Protection warrior?  Warlock?  Hunter?  All/none?  (Would love something with the option to heal or tank in an occasional group as a change of pace from my mage, but the main goal is to be able to solo hard stuff for fun and rep.)

I appreciate your time, and keep up the GREAT work on the blog!

(I'm leaving his name out in case he wishes to remain anonymous)

Well my friend, the answer isn't that simple but I will try nonetheless. First, I can't say I like goblins a lot. Second, I haven't played a lot on the Horde side, though I have taken an orc shaman to level 66 or hereabouts.

In what follows, I'll try to analyze each available class for goblins and try to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are for solo-ing Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King content. I will assume that my friend would like to try solo-ing these dungeons at level 85, for best results. Personally I wouldn't try any lower and not until I've gotten some nice Cataclysm gear. Burning Crusade dungeons are easy for most classes at level 80 or even lower but since he wishes to solo Wrath content as well, it's safer to be level 85, in my opinion. It's true that people have solo-ed level Wrath dungeons at level 80 but these fellows are experts and have probably agonized endlessly about tactics and what-not.


My experience with mages ends at level 79 because that's how far I managed to take my human mage. Having said that, I don't think mages are particularly well suited for solo-ing content. They hit hard but can't take more than a couple of hard blows and they also can't heal themselves.


To me, priests are in the same category as mages. Healing priests obviously won't be able to kill anything, while shadow priests might have more of a chance but I still doubt they will get very far with some of the more powerful bosses of Wrath.


Rogues have been known to solo content due not in small part to their stealth. A rogue can sneak through the whole dungeon right to the bosses. Rogues hit hard and they have very good avoidance. I've heard that there are "rogue tank" builds and people have actually used rogues to tank instances so I'm sure it can be done. Overall I'd say that rogues have more potential than both mages and priests. Personally I dislike rogues and I've delegated my level 76 rogue to bank alt duty.


Here's where things are starting to look up. I'm sure that a good demonology build could be used to solo a lot of the older dungeons. I have very little experience at playing a demonology warlock though so I can't comment beyond this but I do have a personal example of how a demonology warlock can solo an elite. One of the main strengths of a warlock is that they can heal their pet while keeping dots on the target.


I've never played a warrior beyond level 20 so I have no idea how they operate at higher levels. Therefore, warriors are definitely not my first choice for solo-ing content.


Shamans, and enhancement shamans in particular, are interesting. I'm sure that with the right equipment they can solo a pretty large chunk of content. That's because the enhancement shaman has access to Ghost Wolves which are both a huge burst of damage and a source of constant healing while they're active, meaning that bosses can be brought down quickly with minimal damage to the shaman. Enhancement also has the awesome Maelstrom Weapon and he can use the procs to heal himself if needed. Despite this, I'm not positive that they'll be able to solo all Wrath bosses. Once the Spirit Wolves expire, the shaman is on his own.


Hunters are probably THE class for solo-ing all kinds of content. The reason is simple: they are the best pet class in the game. A max level hunter with powerful gear will devastate any Burning Crusade dungeon (in fact this was valid even at level 80) and I'm sure he'd be able to solo most, if not all of Wrath content. I would imagine that most hardcore solo hunters spec into Beast Mastery but gear and choice of pet also counts. From what I've heard, it is important to have gear with lots of stamina and to spec the pet into lots of avoidance and mitigation (dodge, armor, etc).

Death Knight

I'm not very good at death knights but I've heard people using them to solo powerful dungeons so I know that it can be done. Death Knights seem better equipped to handle this kind of work than warriors because they can heal themselves to a certain extent. Before Blizzard destroyed the Blood spec and morphed it into a tanking spec, I would have sworn that Blood was the way to go, but now I'm not so sure anymore. This still seems to be the case but I don't know anything about this spec anymore.

This has been a brief article and unfortunately I wasn't able to get into more detail but my final advice (and personal preference) for my reader would be to pick a hunter. Yes, I am biased towards hunters but few can deny that they are a damn good solo-ing class, perhaps the best in the game. While it is possible to solo powerful dungeons with other classes, no other class seems as straightforward as hunters, at least to my mind. So I would say this: pick a hunter and enjoy the convenience of having your very own tank that you can also heal in between dealing damage. Hunter pets are powerful and they can get you out of many sticky situations. Hunters are fun and... hell, everyone should level at least one!


Echo said...

A level 85 HUNTER can easily run WOTLK heroics. I ran all of them in normal mode for the Lunar Festival, then I ran 3 in heroic for some achievements. Absolutely doable, just avoid pulling entire packs of mobs.

I did that while MM specced (BM would be a lot better) with gear ilevel 347.

Echo said...

Example: I just soloed "Chaos Theory" achievement (The Nexus heroic). MM specced, using a bear, level 85 and average iLevel 347.

Redbeard said...

I'd imagine that a Pally specced Prot would be able to do it. Ret would have some big issues staying alive for the Wrath bosses, but Prot ought to be able to do it.

I took my Ret Main through the BC content at L80, so I know that Ret could handle BC normal stuff. MgT Heroic was way too much, though.

Joar said...

A demonology spec'd warlock can definitely do it, as can an affliction spec'd warlock. The self healing from affliction makes a big difference.

Enhancement shaman in good Cataclysm gear hit really hard and have lots of good self healing options - using Maelstrom Weapon procs to knock out an instant Greater Healing Wave. I would think they could handle it as well.

Overall though, I think Hunter would likely be the easiest of those classes. Any of the three specs would be workable. Survival has great crowd control for mob packs, MM has the self healing ability and you can't beat the added strength to your pet that comes with Beast Mastery.

Echo said...

> MM has the self healing

It's a 5% heal on a Chimera cooldown, 10% if you pop Readiness, so you don't save your back if you accidentally pull too many adds :). It helps, yes, but nothing really useful.

Unknown said...

Blood Deathknight (especially stacking mastery)
Demonology Warlock
Protection Paladin (cant be a goblin tho)
Beastmaster Hunter

Top 4 Easy Mode Soloing Classes

Djactionman said...

Glad I found this site, just came across it. And I didn't even find a group until level 65, haha.

Hunter would be the first option- I've used my hunter to solo dungeons to learn them before tanking them with my Paladin.

Demonology Warlock for sure, plus they are really powerful right now.

DKs are still super powerful right now, plus there is plenty of evidence for a long time of Raegwyn soloing big dungeons with his DK.

Prot Paladin should be able to, but I haven't tried it too much, but intend to.

It is certainly more about being a good player than your gear, and timing and knowing the fights makes more difference than anything.

Djactionman said...

I should have added that the others are obvious for pet reasons, and DKs healing and health on top of that.
Paladins make the list for me a lot because of Word of Glory. You can keep converting those Holy points into life.

koalabear said...

I am going to throw my hand in on the Affliction warlock. Yes you don't have the big demon, but frankly the sheer amount of self healing that you can do as Affliction makes up for being stuck with the Void Walker.

I have soloed several BC dungeons as affliction. Depending on how you spec it, you can easily become a "goddess of death" (all credit to the name goes to Cynwise) and basically just grind large groups of mobs and still come out at full health and mana.

With some of the new warlock spells we have even more abilities to heal ourselves (and come back from the dead).

Anonymous said...

I would suggest the Hunter is you are sticking with a Goblin and you dont want to roll a Death Knight.

I like the Goblins a lot. They have great animations and their models have a lot of detail. Mine is very craggy looking and I love it.

Darth Solo said...

Wow thanks for the responses guys. It looks almost unanimous: hunters are the preferred class for solo-ing stuff.

Affliction warlocks would also work, I agree, but with the Voidwalker as a pet.

I would have definitely said Prot or even Ret paladins with Word of Glory self-healing but that doesn't apply to goblins. You can always roll a tauren instead :)

Djactionman said...

Yeah, for sure.
Only Raegwyn the crazyman makes me really consider DKs, his stuff is bonkers.
Hunters are raiding right now with their pets tanking for their group, so clearly that's a good bet. Plus the next patch will be improving BM a bunch when it hits.

Druzel said...

I have a level 80 Demonology Warlock (orc) and am currently building up a Death Knight (goblin, dual spec Blood and Unholy) - level 72 - to see how the DK plays in Cataclysm.

Both excel at soloing anything. The lock sends in the Felguard, dots and heals the pet. Any extra cycles can be used for additional damage spells.

The DK switches to Blood which provides a lot of stamina and protection. In addition, you can send in your ghoul for 30 secs (to increase damage). The self-healing works very well. For maximum survivability, spec into Frost and get Lichborne. Then you can also use Death Coil to heal yourself.

Lots of fun. Enjoy the game!

Druzel said...

Forgot to mention that I prefer a warlock over a hunter for several reasons, including the fact that my lock can bring the pet (Felguard) back instantly with full health after it dies (even during a fight). It's like having a pet with double the HP.

Darth Solo said...

Good call Druzel, thanks! You have a good point about the warlock bringing back the pet. The hunter does have a similar skill though, Heart of the Phoenix but with a 8 min cooldown and it's only for Ferocity pets.

Anonymous said...

Do not discount Rogues in this any longer. #1 You can bypass every trash pack in every dungeon. #2 When you get to the boss, blowing Evasion and Cloak of Shadows will make you nearly invincible for the time they are up. #3 You can now convert your energy into life, and spec into combat to make it even more effective. Would likely be able to easily handle all but the top-flight Wrath Heroics.

Darth Solo said...

Oh but I did mention that rogues are better than clothies such as mages and priests. With the correct spec and gear they can be a force to be reckoned with. And yes, one of their main advantages is the ability to skip trash mobs.

Alan F said...

In the case of a new toon its a big +1 to rogues and Feral Cat Druids for the same reasons. Stealth can't be beat when a quest line sends you into a situation where hours are needed to kill your way in and back. In those cases stealth gets you in and gone in 30 minutes and without having to worry about bad re-spawns! Add to that for a Goblin rogue there's a set of jet boots to get some distance... oh yeah! Not to mention avoiding trash in instances, scouting ahead in parties and all the other covert situations in the game (if you look for them), stealth is uber fun to those bored with standup fighting and the same old same old.

Darth Solo said...

If stealth is important than rogues are the only option for goblins.

Anonymous said...

Warriors have been an exciting, solid soloing class (if the player was willing to fiddle with chants/gear & make specific potions) since mid-Wrath, but now we get ~30k Victory Rush heals for every mob killed in Wrath heroics and higher, and 60% total health pool enraged regeneration. Fury can handle most content below that, maybe throw on some tank gear if Rag is causing trouble.

Because warriors are one of the (if not the most) gear dependent classes, they tend to get stronger as content is released in an xpac, then they're nerfed a bit for new content. If you want to solo with a warrior, start leveling one now so you have one around later in Cata's content release cycle.

Aenesthesia said...

Locks can definitely say something about soloing instances. I tried Kharazan last week, as affli, and cleaned everything till the chess boss, where I gave up (after 4 very unsuccessful tries). But then, high on my partial success, I went to the Eye (you know, that forgotten 25 man instance from TBC) and got miserably killed by the first pull. I then respecced to demo, and boy what a difference did it make! I was wrong thinking that the voidwalker would hold aggro better than the felguard. With the felguard, you don’t need to worry about it aggroing the adds. It just obliterates the adds with the Felstorm. You can heal yourself better with affli, but you don’t have the burst to get rid of some annoying adds. Next, I am going to try Serpentshrine Cavern. I’ve never been there before, and I want those black gloves….

Darth Solo said...

Affliction was a blast to level. I went from 1 to 80 as Affliction. Later I dual-specced into Demo. What I loved about Affliction is that I could load the target with dots and then wait for it to die, perhaps throw a Fear on it.