Classes and Starting Attributes
Gift of the Naaru (Instant cast, 3 minute cool down, 40 yard range)
Heal your target for 35 + (15 x Level) over 15 sec. The amount healed is increased based on the caster’s Spell Power or Attack Power, whichever is highest.
Heroic Presence (Passive)
Increases chance to hit by 1% for you and all party members within 30 yards.
5 point skill bonus to Jewelcrafting.
Shadow Resistance (Passive)
Reduces chance to 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.
One of the defining characteristics of the race is Gift of the Naaru, which is an instant cast Heal Over Time (HoT) spell that increases in power as your character does. This is the only racial ability that heals, and it is the only one that can be cast on someone else as well. When I think of the Draenei race, this is always the first ability that comes to mind for me. As far as leveling early on and getting a solid start this is the best of the Draenei racial abilities.
Another racial that you can’t go wrong with though is Heroic Presence. This is probably the defining racial for Draenei when it comes to end game. Having a higher chance to hit is great even at level 1, and while the 1% never gets higher this ability becomes stronger as you level.
If you feel like being a Jewelcrafter, then Gemcutting is a nice little boost for you. It’s only a +5 bonus as opposed to the larger bonuses that some of the other races receive, and I’m not really sure why that is to be honest, but every little bit helps. For a race that is heavily reliant on gems and crystals for energy and so forth I don’t see why their bonus should not be more like that of the Gnomes, or Tauren at the very least.
You do find a few mobs that use shadow magic throughout many zones in the game, so having Shadow Resistance can be helpful to you from time to time. Overall it isn’t much better than any of the other racial resistances of the other races, but there are certain zones in the game where shadow damage is fairly common.
Hunter: With 20 Agility, 21 Int, and 20 Stam the Draenei Hunter is pretty well rounded. You won’t be hitting quite as hard as other races will starting out, nor will you have as much mana or health as some of them. But, it’s still a solid choice with all of your appropriate stats starting out at, or above, 20. Gift of the Naaru can also be used on your pet in addition to your Mend Pet spell, so you have a good advantage in keeping your pets alive. Heroic Presence of course provides a nice bonus to your chance to hit as well, making the Draenei a solid choice for a Hunter.
Mage: With 24 Intellect, 19 Stamina, and 24 Spirit you have your starting attributes covered pretty well. As a class that is unable to heal itself (at least not without a glyph), the Gift of the Naaru is a great help and since a mage is going to stack Spell Power above all else that heal is going to be quite powerful, especially in lower levels where your health pool is small to begin with. A lot of the Mage’s survivability is also reliant on your spells hitting, so the racial bonus from Heroic Presence is great as well.
Paladin: As is usually the case, the Paladin has pretty well rounded stats for all builds with 23 Strength, 21 Stamina, and 21 Intellect. The Ret Paladin takes a bit of a loss with only 17 Agility so you won’t crit quite so often as other Paladins will starting off, but you aren’t all that far behind the curve really. All of your builds will have good Attack Power and/or Spell Power to boost your Gift of the Naaru even though it’s not quite so big a deal to a class that’s capable of healing as it is to one that’s not. And having your Taunts or Judgements miss is never a good thing so Prot/Ret Paladins will make good use of Heroic Presence.
Priest: With 23 Intellect, 25 Spirit, and 19 Stamina the Draenei present an excellent option for the Priest class. Gift of the Naaru isn’t quite so useful to you as it is to other classes that don’t have bubbles and heals, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not handy in a pinch. At the very least, it’s another healing spell and it comes with no mana cost at all.
Shaman: Similar to the Paladin the Shaman has a nice array of stats for his builds: 20 Strength, 22 Intellect, and 20 Stamina. Also like the Paladin, Enhancement Shamans take a slight hit by having only 17 Agility so they don’t crit as often, but with the versatility of the class that can pretty easily be overcome. While Shamans are capable of healing themselves with spells, their mana is better spent elsewhere if they are not healers, so having a free HoT everything three minutes can be a great benefit.
Warrior: The 24 Strength and 22 Stamina help give you a nice start on your two primary stats, though you do once again fall victim to the lower 17 Agility that takes away from your crit as well as your avoidance if you happen to spec into Protection. Another class without healing capabilities means another class benefiting from Gift of the Naaru.
Personally I prefer the Shaman as the class of choice for the Draenei because everything fits together so well for them. But, the race is a great choice for all of their available classes so you really can’t go wrong here. I would say Paladin, Priest, Mage, Hunter would follow next in line for my personal taste.