Classes and Starting Attributes
Will of the Forsaken (Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown)
Activate to remove any fear, sleep, and charm effects.
Cannibalize (Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown)
Activate to regenerate 7% of total health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Only works on Humanoid or
Undead corpses within 5 yards.
Underwater Breathing (Passive)
Underwater breath lasts 233% longer than normal.
Shadow Resistance (Passive)
Reduces the chance you will be hit by Shadow spells by 2%.
Here I go over each class with an analysis based purely on stats. A lot of people on forums like to ask what race their should pick for a certain class, and the answer they receive is always the same, “go for whichever race appeals to you most visibly”. But these people aren’t asking which race looks the prettiest, they are asking which one will help them the most with the character. The answer they receive is pretty valid, it really doesn’t matter. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t help as well.
While your race does not make a huge difference in the overall scheme of how powerful your character will be at end game, it can impact how well you do early on. Oftentimes a player will start a character and then decide within the first 10 levels whether or not they like the character. So, it’s important to start off with a solid race/class combination if you’re not one for sticking it out for a while to really give the character a chance.
If you ignore the long term and start out looking just at the base starting attributes then I find the following.
The Undead racial abilities do not really have any impact on the class that you take. Rather than having racials geared towards class the undead are geared more towards general gameplay. Will of the Forsaken is one of the most useful racials in the game, especially in PvP, with the human’s Every Man for Himself being the only one that can outclass it. Even though it is a spectacular ability in PvP, it does still have a lot of uses in PvE as well as mobs that are able to fear/sleep/charm you appear throughout the game.
Cannibalize is probably the most defining feature of the race and it’s one I absolutely love. It’s suited best for classes that are unable to heal themselves, so a Priest will not get quite as much use out of it as a Rogue for instance. But, free healing is free healing no matter which way you look at it. Overall it heals you for 35% of your total health if you are not interrupted while using it. Side Note: There’s an addon that you can get if you like to have a some extra fun called Comix, which plays special sound effects when you activate certain abilities, score critical hits, etc. When you activate Cannibalism is plays a track from the Cookie Monster, “And now, me eat cookies! Omnomnomnomnomnom.”
Underwater Breathing isn’t as spectacular as it used to be. Back in the day if you went underwater with a non-Undead you kept your eye on that breath bar and made sure you didn’t get any closer than absolutely necessary. A few patches back though they increased everyone’s breathing timer to 3 minutes so that any race can pretty well stay under as long as they need to. Undead can stay under for significantly longer, but you probably will not have much need to do so.
Shadow Resistance is good for every character, especially when you get up around level 50 or so. It’s decent for PvP even at low levels when fighting Warlocks and Priests, but it’s not exceptional. Overall it’s a good thing to have and will help keep you alive in some cases, but it’s not spectacular either.
Mage: From a cosmetic standpoint, I think that Undead make the coolest looking casters in the game whether they be Mages, Priests, or Warlocks. That’s not a huge thing for most people, but I’m throwing it out there anyway. With a 21 Int the Undead gets a strong start on the class’s primary stat, and backed with a 21 Stam and a huge 27 Spirit, this race was built to cast. I would like to have a higher Int with the Undead, but 20 is still a solid start. The higher Stam and exceptional Spirit really helps to keep you on your feet though.
Priest: With 28 Spirit the Undead make for some of the best Priests in the game. Having 20 Int sets you up with a good mana pool right off the bat and 21 Stam also helps with your squishiness. What the Priest needs, the Undead has, and it has it in a good supply.
Rogue: Undead Rogues are somewhat iconic and nothing beats one-shotting your target with an Ambush and then Cannibalizing their corpse. With 21 Agility the Undead Rogue gets a good start on their primary stat, and they follow that with excellent scores in their other attributes as well: 20 Str, 22 Stam, 25 Spirit. Rogues are always looking to stack Agility to help them hit harder and crit more often, but they also need Stamina to keep them alive. Even though a Rogue can destroy their target in a matter of seconds they are also fairly squishy themselves with only Leather Armor to protect them. While Rogues do not stack Spriit for any reason it does help you to regenerate your health more if you happen to be in a hostile area and cannot risk sitting to eat or have run out of bandages/potions.
Warlock: Undead Warlocks have a lot of things going for them. While they don’t have the huge mana pools of other classes or races, a 20 Int is still a strong start on it. Key to a Warlock’s mana issues though is his Health as Life Tap can be used to trade in your life for mana instead. With a 22 Stam, 27 Spirit, and the Cannibalize racial ability the Undead fill that need perfectly. The Stamina will give you a larger health pool to Life Tap from to begin with, and the high Spirit helps you regenerate both of those pools while your demon and your DoT spells wittle your targets down into piles of loot.
Warrior: Undead have a slightly smaller Agility (18) than most Warriors would prefer, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker. With 22 Str and 23 Stam Undead Warriors fit their bill nicely, and 25 Spirit helps with regen to reduce downtime as well. As another class without heals, Cannibalism again shines through as a great method of restoring a decent amount of your health.
My personal preference for Undead is to be a caster. They work great for all of the other classes as well, but they really excell at casting. I tend more towards Mage than Warlock or Priest, but I do have an Undead Priest that is nearly indestructable. I really like the whole look and feel of an Undead Rogue, and they are a solid choice for it. Much like the Human, Undead are designed to serve well in any function you assign them to. It’s hard for me to pick a single class for my personal preference, but if I had to choose then it would probably be Mage or Warlock on a personal level, or Priest and Warlock as far as best race/class combination.