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Group Roles

Leader Leader

Primary Function

Tank Tank
Healer Healer
Damage dealer Damage dealer

Secondary Function

Crowd control Crowd control
Main assist Main assist
Puller Puller
Rezzer Rezzer
Scout Scout


Hybrid classes
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Hybrid classes are classes which can fill more than one of the core PvE roles: tank, healer, or damage dealer (DPS). Realistically, no character can tank, heal, and dps at the same time, but hybrids are frequently flexible enough to serve in one role or another (no matter what spec they have) if they have collected the gear required to serve that function. ALL classes have at lease one method of fulfilling the DPS role, non-hybrid classes are sometime referred to as “Dedicated DPS” classes.

Definition of a hybrid

Hybrid Spec RoundIcon.png There are different views on how many possible functions are needed to consider a class a "hybrid". The most limited definition here would be any class that can fill any of the three roles, given the correct talent spec and/or gear. This definition would only consider Paladin paladins, Druid druids and Monk monks as hybrids. Blizzard consider hybrids to be any class that has two or more functions that they can spec for. If the definition is widened in this manner then Shaman shamans, Warrior warriors, Death Knight death knights, and Priest priests are added to the list of hybrids.

3-way hybrids

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These classes are considered the truest "hybrids", as each of them can cover the three roles of tanking, damage, and healing.


The Druid Druid is a hybrid of a tank, healer, and DPS. Druids are the only class with four distinct play styles because they can DPS both melee (in Cat form) and ranged spells (enhanced by Moonkin form).

  • Good innate healing abilities, and often quite effective even when not restoration specced. Feral druids inherently have an expanded mana pool but no mana regeneration enhancements. Balance druids have an expanded mana pool and enhancements to both damage and healing, but less mana regeneration than a restoration druid.
  • Shapeshift ability allows druid to serve as a tank (Bear/Dire Bear form) and increases survivability if drawing aggro by accident, can scout (Cat form), and will render a druid immune to [Polymorph]. The act of shifting will also remove any host of root and snare effects from the character.
  • Tree of Life Form likely has the most mana efficient heals in the game, and is specifically geared to raid healing.
  • Tank abilities viable for raids, optimal for single targets; sub-optimal for a very large number of targets.
  • High-level talents in each tree provide a raid healing or DPS aura.
  • [Rebirth] is the only resurrect which can be cast in combat.
  • Lightly armored in caster gear, just a little tougher than a cloth wearer in humanoid form. However, [Barkskin] combined with [Dire Bear Form] or [Moonkin Form] may provide enough damage mitigation (and time) for a main tank to re-acquire a mob. If you are in PvP combat, this same switch will often cause players (especially melee dps) to switch targets out of frustration with the greatly increased armor and hit points.
  • Druid crowd control is generally weak. Entangling roots affects all types of enemy, but does not prevent enemies from attacking with ranged abilities. [Hibernate] is only usable on beasts and dragonkin. [Cyclone] is almost universally effective but only lasts a short time.


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The Monk Monk is a hybrid of a tank, healer, and DPS.

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The Paladin Paladin is often incorrectly thought of as a hybrid of a warrior and a priest, but actually a paladin's healing style differs greatly from a priest, and their tanking style from a warrior. Paladin tanks rely on magical Holy Holy damage as the primary source of threat, and functions by the threat "multiplier" of [Righteous Fury] rather than added threat effects like [Sunder Armor]. A paladin heals by spamming efficient direct heals, and not by using HoTs or group heals.

  • Armored in plate, paladins can take a lot of damage, and are widely regarded as the single hardest class to kill.
  • Long-lasting, efficient single-target healers.
  • Wide variety of important blessings for all classes.
  • Several auras with various beneficial effects for the party.
  • One of 3 classes capable of allowing quick recovery from a wipe with their [Divine Intervention] (the other being warlocks and shaman).
  • Able to use [Divine Protection] and [Divine Shield] to protect themselves from incoming damage or cast [Hand of Protection] to protect other players from physical damage.
  • Very little in the way of ranged attacks.
  • Have relatively few protection against casters, especially those that can silence or use Mana Burn.

2-way hybrids

Five classes, Shaman Shaman, Warrior Warrior, Death Knight Death KnightPriest Priest, and Demon Hunter Demon Hunter, can perform two of the three roles in instance group with the right gear and spec.


The Shaman Shaman is a hybrid of healer, melee and ranged damage dealer. They can also tank at early levels, but not very effectively.

  • A wide variety of totems can be used to buff party members and debuff opponents
  • Ability to heal, resurrect and self-resurrect makes them very useful to a party.
  • Powerful, instant-cast direct damage Shock spells with secondary effects (movement speed decrease, damage over time, and attack speed decrease)
  • Only class capable of solo-recovering a raid via Reincarnation, albeit only once per hour.
  • Arguably, one of the best multi-target healing spells in the game, [Chain Heal].
  • Jack-of-all-trades, but frequently overshadowed by other classes in "pure" roles.
  • Not as Mana efficient as non hybrids.


The Priest Priest has the ability to spec and gear for flexible healing through the Holy tree; priests can also spec into DPS through the shadow tree. The Discipline tree, while focused on healing, offers some bonuses to damage dealing abilities as well, and many talents in this tree will encourage the priest to do damage (mainly with [Smite]) to incease their healing and even passively heal.



The Warrior Warrior can spec into tanking mostly through the Protection tree or into DPS through the Arms and Fury trees.

  • Can tank well in most encounters, and arguably are the best off-spec tank.
  • Have numerous life-saving abilities when tanking.
  • Good countering abilities against fear.
  • Highly gear dependent in order to have good performance.
  • No effective ranged attack. (Though they have several abilities to help them get in range of the enemy.)
  • Vulnerable to snare effects.

Death knight

The Death Knight Death Knight can tank or DPS. Death knights spec for tanking by picking specific talents in their tree of choice, and viable tank specs exist in all three of the death knight talent trees.

See also

External links