With the release of World of Warcraft: Classic, many players may be eyeing the Orc race to select in their trip down memory lane. As with all races, there is a certain amount of lore that one may enjoy having as part of their character's backstory, while others may enjoy having access to a specific type of mount, racial abilities, and of course, access to a specific class.
Orcs, alongside Humans, were among the first playable races in the original Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. As such, they have extensive lore as the conflict between the two has been at the core of many chapters in the World of Warcraft universe.
The Orcs originally resided on the world of Draenor and were driven to an unquenchable bloodlust after being corrupted by the Burning Legion, who later worked to grant them access to Azeroth through the Dark Portal. The Orcs were corrupted by the daemonic blood of Mannoroth the Destructor and set loose upon both the Draenei and the people of Azeroth. In the First War, their savageness and the element of surprise made it possible to shatter much of the Human way of life.
However, the Orcs soon found themselves unable to cope with the Alliance and their powerful counterattack. Losing the Second War, the Orcs were finally able to break away from the bounds of their demonic corruption, and slowly returned to their shamanistic roots. As we have seen in the events of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Thrall arrived in Kalimdoor to establish the Horde’s main city.
For those interested in role-playing their new characters, Orcs are often driven by the need to show strength and maintain honor. As such, Orc Warriors can be fierce combatants or loyal protectors, while Orc Shamans look to the past and revere the elders. Although most Orcs favor physical combat, there is still access to Magic, though in ways that are more taboo than excepted in Orc culture.
All classes have perks in terms of passive and active abilities. Orcs have access to the following:
- Axe Specialization — Your skill with Axes is increased by 5
- Blood Fury — This powerful skill increases your base melee attack power by 25% for 15 seconds, but reduces the healing received by 50% for 25 seconds. It has a 2-minute cooldown, and is outstanding for long fights.
- Command — This passively increases the damage your pet deals by 5%.
- Hardiness — This increases your chance to fully resist stuns by 25%.
All of these passives can make certain classes shine and are overall quite useful. More on that below with regards to Class selection.
In World of Warcraft: Classic, the selection of races per class is more limited. Here, Orcs can select the following classes, with some benefits afforded to them with the points from above:
- Hunter — Orc Hunters are a strong choice for PvE content, since the Command ability allows their pets to do more damage. Hardiness will always be a strong bonus as well in PvP to avoid being stun locked.
- Rogue — Orc Rogues are one of the best class choices in the game. This is because Blood Fury is an outstanding DPS boost to any Rogue, while Hardiness can be one of the most beneficial passives to avoid becoming stunned.
- Shaman — Orc Shamans can be a good choice for PvP again thanks to their passive Hardiness. Enhancement Shamans will further benefit from both the Axe Specialization and Blood Fury.
- Warlock — Orc Warlocks can be decent for PvP. Hardiness we have explained already, and Command can also be useful to pets with a Demonology build.
- Warrior — Orc Warriors are excellent in both PvE and PvP thanks to Axe Specialization and Blood Fury, and thanks to Hardiness.
Sticking to the lore from Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, fierce Wolf mounts are available for the Orcs. The six mounts that can be purchased are:
- Horn of the Brown Wolf — 80 gold, 72 with reputation discount
- Horn of the Dire Wolf — 80 gold, 72 with reputation discount
- Horn of the Timber Wolf — 80 gold, 72 with reputation discount
- Horn of the Swift Brown Wolf — 1000 gold, 900 with reputation discount
- Horn of the Swift Gray Wolf — 1000 gold, 900 with reputation discount
- Horn of the Swift Timber Wolf — 1000 gold, 900 with reputation discount
As always, personal preference often trumps these small bonuses, since only the absolute top players in the world need to worry about maximizing every possible detail of their race and class combinations. Luckily, Orcs are quite good at being a number of classes listed above, so it is hard to go wrong.