Classes and Starting Attributes
Arcane Torrent (Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown)
Silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds. In addition, you regain 6% of your mana. Death Knights and Rogues restore 15 runic power/energy instead.
Arcane Affinity (Passive)
10 point skill bonus to Enchanting Profession
Magic Resistance (Passive)
Reduces the chance to be hit by 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.
If you ask me, Arcane Torrent is clearly the winner for the Blood Elf’s racial traits. It’s good no matter what level you are. Every class relies on some form of energy (mana, energy, runic power, rage), and this ability gives you a percentage of that back instantly an for free. In addition to that it interrupts spell casting in an area around you. This is one of the few racial traits in the game that is beneficial to every class that is available for the race to play.
Having Arcane Affinity is great if you happen to be an enchanter, basically allowing you to level the skill up with fewer mats early on and then letting you get a little further ahead before having to get more expensive or harder to find materials later in your levels. Obviously situational as it does nothing at all for you if you do not have the profession, but it’s good if you do have it.
Out of all of racial resistances in the game, Magic Resistance is probably the best one all around as it affects every type of spell rather than a single type and is essentially a 2% Dodge versus spells. You will face casters more and more as you move up in your levels, so it plays a larger role later than it does early on, but it’s a nice passive bonus to have.
Mage: Your 27 Intellect puts you right in line with the Gnome with the two highest Int scores in the game starting out. The 18 Stam is still decent though it could be higher, but 21 Spirit will help with your regen. Enchanting is one of the most common professions for a mage, so if that happen to be the route you prefer to take then Arcane Affinity will be a nice bonus for you. And of course you have the mini-Evocation known as Arcane Torrent that will restore 6% of your mana when used.
Rogue: The 25 Agility helps make you a solid choice for a Rogue with 18 Strength and 19 Stam backing you up. The high agility makes up for the somewhat lower strength score, and Arcane Torrent allows you to not only shut down one of your worst opponents (spell casters), but also gives you a 15 point boost to your energy every 2 minutes.
Warlock: Just below the Mage at 26 Intellect you too will have a great start on your mana pool. The 19 Stam could certainly be higher for a class that sacrifices their hit points for more mana, but 19 is still a great start. The 21 Spirit will help with your regen early on and Warlocks are eventually able to convert Spirit into additional Spell Power to make their spells stronger as well. The extra mana from Arcane Torrent will help you just as well, allowing you to get mana back without having to lose your hit points as you do with Life Tap. Warlocks also frequently take Enchanting as one of their professions making you a bit more likely to make use of Arcane Affinity than some of the other classes.
Hunter: The 25 Agility sets you up with a strong base of ranged attack power and the Hunter is able to take advantage of the 24 Intellect you start with as well. Hunter damage falls way behind when there is no mana to back you up, so Arcane Torrent can be a real benefit to you.
Paladin: The 19 Strength starts you off a bit lower than the other choices for Paladin, but considering you are the only option for Horde until Cataclysm is released, that’s something you just have to deal with. Luckily you have 22 Agility to help with dodging and melee crits, a 20 Stamina to keep your hit points high, and 24 Intellect gives you the mana you need to keep on going. A Paladin without mana might as well be dead, so having not only a high base Int but also Arcane Torrent allows you to somewhat overcome that problem. Your biggest threat is spell casters, so being about to silence them with Arcane Torrent as well as being 2% harder to hit thanks to Magic Resistance .
Priest: Much like the other casters 26 Intellect along with 22 Spirit will help with your mana issues, and your 18 Stam is decent though it could use a boost. Again you can make excellent use of Arcane Torrent to get your mana back when you need it. And Priests also frequently take Enchanting as one of their professions if you want to make use of Arcane Affinity as well.
My personal preference for the Blood Elf is the Paladin. The benefits of this race cover the weaknesses of the Paladin class making it an almost perfect match. Following that I would go Mage, Rogue, and then all of the rest. Considering the racial traits offered by other Horde races, Hunter is not the best choice for you, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a BElf Hunter.