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See Specializations for just a summary of class info and listings of specific abilities.
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Upon the release of Patch 5.0.4 (the main pre-patch before the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria expansion), specialization turned certain class spells exclusive under a specific class specialization. With the major revision of the talent system, most of the existing talents that are learned previously by spending talent points have been incorporated as specialization abilities and are learned automatically at a designated character level.

Specialization selection still happens upon reaching level 10. Each point of Mastery bonus (not rating) obtained from gear and other sources will increase specialization Mastery by 12.5% or one-eighth of the base value.[citation needed]

In Legion

World of Warcraft: Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

All characters have max-spec potential; i.e. demon hunters can dual-spec, druids can quad-spec, and the remainder of the classes can tri-spec.[1] Characters can now change between any of their specializations while out of combat. Action bar configurations and talent loadouts are saved for each specialization.

In Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

All specializations now receive a 5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources. This bonus is granted through new passive abilities or additional effects added to existing passive abilities.

Critical Strike Haste Mastery Multistrike
Feral Druid Druid
Marksmanship Hunter Hunter
Fire Mage Mage
Brewmaster Monk Monk
Holy (Paladin) Paladin Paladin
Discipline Priest Priest
Destruction Warlock Warlock
Fury Warrior Warrior
Frost (Death Knight) Death Knight Death Knight
Restoration (Druid) Druid Druid
Protection (Paladin) Paladin Paladin
Shadow Priest Priest
Combat Rogue Rogue
Enhancement Shaman Shaman
Affliction Warlock Warlock
Balance Druid Druid
Guardian Druid Druid
Beast Mastery Hunter Hunter
Arcane Mage Mage
Retribution Paladin Paladin
Assassination Rogue Rogue
Restoration (Shaman) Shaman Shaman
Demonology Warlock Warlock
Arms Warrior Warrior
Protection (Warrior) Warrior Warrior
Blood Death Knight Death Knight
Unholy Death Knight Death Knight
Survival Hunter Hunter
Frost (Mage) Mage Mage
Mistweaver Monk Monk
Windwalker Monk Monk
Holy (Priest) Priest Priest
Subtlety Rogue Rogue
Elemental Shaman Shaman

In Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

"Specialization" referred to the concept of choosing a talent tree introduced in the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm expansion. A character is asked choose a specialization at level 10 before spending their first talent point. Making that choice gave the character some passive bonuses they need to effective in their chosen role, as well as a signature ability of their tree.

Each tree had its own Mastery. You learned Mastery from your trainer at level 80. This is still true as of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria.

For hybrid classes, selecting a specialization would determine the role (healing, tanking, melee DPS or ranged DPS) that the character is optimized for.

For hybrid classes (excluding Priests) a character's specialization determined the attribute increased by the armor specialization bonus. The armor specialization bonus is a 5% increase of your primary attribute while wearing your correct armor class (plate, mail, leather or cloth) in all slots.[citation needed] For hybrids, the primary attribute depends on the specialization chosen.

Primary attributes

The Vengeance mechanic

The April 2010 class preview introduced the Vengeance mechanic.

Cataclysm Class Preview: Warrior | 2010-04-08 16:01 | Bornakk
Vengeance: This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will give them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's un-buffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Protection tree. These values will be smaller at lower levels. Remember, you only get this bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Protection tree, so you won't see Arms or Fury warriors running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to make tank gear more or less the way we do today – there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but overall the goal is for all four tanks do about the same damage when tanking.

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Class specializations

As of World of Warcraft: Legion Legion, many previous core abilities were moved to specialization abilities.

In World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria, a few abilities and passive bonuses were obtained just for selecting a specialization, but many abilities and passives are gained while leveling, usually starting from level 11 to 20.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Cataclysm several abilities and passive bonuses were obtained just for selecting a talent tree and do not cost a single talent point. In fact they are obtained before the first talent point is spent. Damage and Healing numbers given for abilities reflected maximum rank (level 85 at the time).

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.0.3 (19-Jul-2016): Characters can now change between any of their specializations while out of combat. Action bar configurations and talent loadouts are saved for each specialization.
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (28-August-2012): Updated in preparation for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Mists of Pandaria.
  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): Added.


  1. ^ BlizzCon 2015 Q&A Panel

See also

External links