The flicker of a shadow against the wall, a whisper planted in one’s ear, and a blade sliding through the target’s back in the middle of the night. The threats that endanger the denizens of Azeroth are numerous and uncountable. Most prefer to flaunt their power and try to overwhelm their victims’ defenses. These are simple to understand and confront. The truly troublesome ones are those that work unseen. They manipulate and scheme behind the scenes, slowly crippling and poisoning our forces.
Unnoticed, untraceable, and unstoppable…if we didn’t have our own shadowy operatives. While many heroes on Azeroth prefer to tackle their foes head on, there are others who prefer more subtle means. Give them a task, and the Rogues will see it done. No warning, no trace, and no mercy.
Today, we’ll be going over the best races for rogues. We’ve got iconic rogue options for Horde and Alliance players and different types of gameplay.
Let’s get started!
Looking for more WoW tips and tricks? Click to view all our World of Warcraft guides.
Table of Contents
Best Race for PvE Rogues: Human/Orc
We never seem to get away from this pair, do we?
Humans continue to shine as one of the best PvE races for the Alliance. It’s incredibly difficult to get away from the 2% boost to all secondary stats from external sources. Having the get out of stun free card from Will to Survive is also fantastic for cheesing any raid/dungeon mechanic that requires getting stunned.
Orcs provide one of the strongest racial DPS buffs via Blood Fury. Popping this ability on top of all your other class cooldowns can let you absolutely nuke a target. Very few other racial abilities can match this damage steroid, and given how many attacks Rogues can churn out over its fifteen-second period…well, the damage and corpses speak for the results.
Best Race for PvP Rogues: Night Elf/Blood Elf
Another classic rivalry, but this time between the elven kind. The two races offer very unique racial abilities that can drastically turn the tide in a battle.
The Night Elves possess Shadowmeld, arguably the single strongest PvP ability in the game. Activating this allows the user to enter stealth as long as they stand still. While that might not sound great at first, quick players will be able to pop Shadowmeld and immediately re-enter conventional Stealth.
Having another stealth opener is huge, but the ability can also be used to cancel enemy spellcasts at the last moment by disappearing. The extra racials that grant 2% move speed and extra haste/crit (depending on time of day) are just the icing on the cake.
As for the Blood Elves, their main appeal is Arcane Torrent. Popping it will give you 15 energy immediately and, more importantly, strip a buff from all enemies within eight yards. Using this ability strategically can secure you a kill, as you can purge major defensive buffs such as Blessing of Protection. Anyone who has played a Rogue for a while will tell you that the most annoying thing is popping your offensive cooldowns, almost killing someone, and watching them become immune to damage for the next ten seconds or so. The extra crit chance is nice as well.
Best Race for Lore Rogues: Gnome/Goblin
One more rivalry for the books, this time between the two factions’ tiny tinkerers. Despite being often poked at for their height, both races make excellent Rogues — being small makes it much easier to be sneaky. Both races also have a long history with engineering, a profession greatly appreciated by Rogues for the various gadgets that can be crafted, though each race utilizes different (but equally catastrophic) blueprints.
Due to the nature of Rogues, being famous tends to mean you failed at your job. As players, however, we’re aware of a few Rogues who have made an impact in the background as allies. One of them is a Gnome by the name of Kelsey Steelspark. You most likely will recognize her from her role in the BfA campaign, serving as the Alliance’s go-to stealth operative. Her help was indispensable in crippling the Zandalari’s ship fleet and helping High Tinkerer Mekkatorque recover from his coma.
As for Goblins, few players will ever forget Marin Noggenfogger. Originally a quest giver in Tanaris, he would go on to create his famous Noggenfogger elixir with the player’s help. Players often bought these in the dozens, as the effects could stack and were incredibly amusing. Naturally, he became ludicrously wealthy and ended up as the baron of Gadgetzan. He would go on to assist Rogues during their campaign in Legion, managing the Crucible of the Uncrowned to empower our artifacts and providing us with useful class items.
Best Looking Race for Rogue: Undead/Void Elf
Few things are as iconic as the Undead Rogue. While their racials may no longer be as strong as they were in Vanilla, the Undead are still a very popular race for Rogues due to their animations and laugh. The sheer panic someone feels when a Rogue ganks them from stealth is satisfying, but the sheer rage someone feels after an Undead Rogue spams laugh after killing them is priceless. Plus there are few things more fitting than an undead corpse skulking around looking to kill more victims.
The Void Elves, on the other hand, exude power and elegance throughout their design. It helps that the void is all about shadowy magic, and that being able to shift into the void realm before reappearing behind your target is incredibly Rogue-like. They have all the cool animations that elves typically have and look incredibly stylish when using Rogues’ finishing moves.
Best Races for Rogues in Wow Classic: Human/Orc
Unsurprisingly, it’s Humans and Orcs who are your go-to race if you plan on playing a rogue in Classic.
As most Rogues end up using swords and going for the Combat specialization, Humans’ Sword Specialization goes a long way in helping you land your attacks consistently. Especially when you consider how heavily Rogues rely on auto attacks with their high attack speed.
Orcs are still overall considered the best Horde race for Rogues, as their Blood Fury ability gives such a considerable boost to attack power that it’s hard to choose any other race. Plus the stun resistance from Hardiness is always appreciated.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our guide on the best races for Rogues! We hope this guide gives you some insight on building your character. If you have a different opinion or want to share your thoughts, please subscribe and leave a comment below.