As mentioned in this post leveling as a duo is a lot of fun. But not all duos are created equal. I am going to talk for the next few posts about each class and what they bring (or don’t bring) to a leveling pair.
Warriors are one of the two classes, with death knights, that every race can be. This makes them a sort of default or baseline. It is not too complicated a class for a new player to learn, hence it is one certainly worth considering in a duo.
As we all no doubt know a Warrior is a melee mail/plate wearer. They are also one of the four tank classes. I mean of course end game tank classes. Several other classes are viable for leveling tanking.
The warrior brings several things to a duo.
Solid Sustained DPS
The Warrior runs off of rage. Because of these they never have to stop to drink and recharge. In fact, since rage drains away over time, they do better by simply charging fight to fight with reckless abandon. This helps a duo by keeping your dps from dropping to zero (as might happen when a dual caster pair goes OOM).
Even if not tank specced a warrior is pretty rugged. By changing to their defensive stance and equipping a shield they can trade dps for durability. Also, as a tanking class, they have several ‘oh crap’ cooldowns that make them even more durable for a short period of time. These features bring to a duo the ability to survive situations that might kill a softer pair.
Taunts & threat control
Even when not specced as a pure tank, warriors have abilities to generate extra threat on command. They can also perform taunts which instantly put them at the top of a mob’s threat list. This is very handy in a duo to pull beasties off the softer classes.
Warriors have no real crowd control but they do have a few abilities that that can stun or slow a target. This is sometimes handy for stopping a runner, or lowering the incoming damage.
Charge and light duty pulling
Warriors have several abilities that charge at a target at high speed. They also have the ability to shoot ranged weapons. This gives them a few options for starting fights or getting into them fast. Many classes have similar things but this is something that they add to a leveling pair so it is worth mentioning.
So what do all those things mean when combined with specific other classes? Let’s run down them.
Rogue + Warrior
The rogue warrior combo puts out plenty of damage. The pair has very high DPS on singles targets but is very limited on AOE. They have good ability to control when and where a fight takes place and a moderate ability to survive an ‘oh crap’ situation. ‘Oh Crap’ can be anything from someone getting aggro who did not plan to, someone going OOM, someone dying suddenly, or accidentally aggroing extra mobs.
Because this pair IS going to take some damage and has no healing at all it is highly recommended that one or both partners level their cooking and first aid. Having one be an alchemist might be a good idea too.
Hunter + Warrior
This group also has high damage. They also have two options for tanking. There are other things the hunter brings but I will cover those in a ‘hunter pairs’ post later. This group will have moderate AOE and very high single target damage. This group has a lot of aggro control and very good ability to survive ‘oh crap’ situations.
They still have no healing, unless the pet is doing all the tanking, which is viable. But it is still recommended that one or both do cooking or first aid.
Mage + Warrior
Very high damage until the mage is out of mana. The warrior’s presence, if they know how to tank, allows the mage to go hog wild with dps. This means this group has good burst damage but their sustained damage is a bit less. This is a very complimentary pair as the mage brings a lot of tricks and the warrior lets him survive (hopefully) using those tricks. This group has a lot of good options in ‘of crap’ situations.
Still no healing but the mage brings magic food so that helps offset the damage the warrior is tanking and keeps you grinding longer. The mage has to drink a lot so the warrior might get bored but the Warrior can protect a mage that is OOM.
Warlock + Warrior
This combo is similar to the mage and hunter combos. Good DPS, other tanking options, and extra tricks for certain situations. There is also decent AOE at higher levels. I know less about ‘locks than other classes so I can’t elaborate much here.
Food/healing is still a problem so one of you needs to take cooking or first aid.
Priest + Warrior
Heals! A healer + warrior combo can outlast a lot of situations. Durability with this pair is very high. Bubbles and dual fears also mean it can survive a lot of ‘oh crap’ situations. However, based on spec the better the heals and tanking the lower the dps, and mana eventually runs out. So, while this pair can survive a lot, when they over reach and go down, they go down hard. This pair will have to die a few times to learn their limitations. The warrior will have to learn to pace things so they don’t die when the priest runs dry.
This group will have lower DPS than other groups. Offsetting this drawback will be instance running. Having a dedicated tank and healer means this pair can get into an instance any time and be almost guaranteed a successful run (once the two players learn effective tanking and healing).
Shaman + Warrior
This is a pretty solid combo. The Shammy brings a nice spread of buffs, many that are good for melee combat, and totems that can be adapted for the situation at hand. This plus healing gives the pair very good ability to survive unexpected situations. This is a pair that can be either specced for extreme durability or solid damage output, depending on play style.
Druid + Warrior
This pair is much like the Shaman/Warrior one. Very good damage, high adaptability, and some nice buffs. Differences in spec can also make this group range from a dual dps pair to a tank/healer pair, or some hybrid in between.
Pally + Warrior
This pair is again, like the previous two. Lots of tankability with some heals. Many options, especially at 40 with dual spec. Nice buffs and the potential for either aoe or burst damage.
NOTE: for all three of these pairs you should consider if you want the warrior or the pally/druid/sham to ‘tank’. Also with all three pairs figuring out how much you plan to level through LFG will play a big role in how you want to spec them out.
Warrior + Warrior
This pair is somewhat more limited. Specced right this can be a very high single, or few, target dps pair. Very high single dps, and with dual charges you could go mob to mob at an insane rate. However with no healing this group can’t do the ‘round them up and kill them 10 at a time’ tactics that groups with a lot of AOE can. However, since a warrior is not that great with AOE threat you might not want to do that with any warrior pairing anyway.
If one of you specs tanking you could level with a lot of LFG. Alternately, quest grinding, once you get your pacing down, will go pretty fast. Bring a lot of food, and learn First Aid!
In later installments I will go through each of the other classes and what they bring to a pairing. Naturally I have not tried most of these pairs! Please chime in with your own experiences.