Even if you consider yourself a casual World of Warcraft player, you’ve almost undoubtedly heard at least a small amount of news regarding the new playable character races, known as “allied races,” which have been introduced over the course of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. There are currently eight allied races in total, four for each faction. This article is intended to be primarily targeted toward players who might be new to Battle for Azeroth, or perhaps new to World of Warcraft in general.

As such, for the benefit of those who find themselves curious about these races, I’ll discuss four aspects of each one: the requirements necessary to unlock them, the classes available to them, their racial traits, and a brief anecdote of my personal experiences playing as each race. Bear in mind that when you meet the requirements to unlock a race, you must then travel to your faction’s embassy (located in Stormwind and Orgimmar) in order to start the quest chain which officially unlocks each race. With all of that out of the way, let’s begin.

  1. Void Elves (Alliance)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted reputation with the Argussian Reach faction in Legion, as well as the achievement awarded for completing the Argus campaign, called “You Are Now Prepared!”

Available Classes: Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Warlock, Monk

Racial Traits: May tear a rift in space, then teleport through said rift by reactivating this ability. Incoming Shadow damage reduced by 1%. Using abilities may incur a 12-second buff which causes your damage and healing effects to deal an extra 5% as Shadowfrost. Your spell casts cannot be slowed by taking damage. You receive a 50% discount on transmogrification and void storage.

My Experiences: I honestly find myself rather disappointed by some of the racial traits possessed by Void Elves. I’ve never felt the need, or even the desire out of curiosity, to use their ability to teleport through a rift of their own creation. To counter that disappointment, however, I quite like the fact that my caster characters can’t have their spells delayed by taking damage.

The 12-second buff is occasionally useful, though I haven’t really bothered to experiment with its potency quite yet. On a purely cosmetic note, I also like the discount Void Elves receive on transmogrification services since I dislike the look of most sets of heirloom gear and would rather have different gear to look at while I quest.

  1. Lightforged Draenei (Alliance)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted reputation with the Army of the Light faction in Legion, as well as the achievement for completing the Argus campaign

Available Classes: Warrior, Paladin, Hunter, Priest, Mage

Racial Traits: May summon a Forge of Light once every fifteen minutes, allowing the crafting of items within the Blacksmithing profession. Your Blacksmithing skill is increased by 10. May summon a blast of holy energy once every 2.5 minutes, dealing significant damage to all enemies within five yards of you. Bonus 20% experience gained from killing demons. Incoming Holy damage reduced by 1%. Upon dying, you explode in a blast of pure holy energy, damaging all enemies within eight yards and healing nearby allies.

My Experiences: I readily admit that Blizzard knew exactly how to convince me to pre-order Battle for Azeroth on not one, but two accounts. All they had to do was tempt me with early access to what I consider the coolest allied race on the Alliance. As soon as I caught wind of the Lightforged and what they were capable of, I knew I needed to unlock them posthaste.

I’ve never used their Forge of Light ability, but their ability to call down a blast of holy energy has saved my characters’ lives countless times when I happen to attract more enemies than I could otherwise handle. I’m looking forward to leveling my Lightforged characters through Burning Crusade and Legion content; those expansions basically revolve around the idea of constantly killing demons, so I should be able to power level through those expansions in theory. I must admit that I’m somewhat disappointed by the lack of classes available to Lightforged characters, but I suppose their current allotment of classes makes more sense from a lore perspective.

  1. Dark Iron Dwarves (Alliance)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted reputation with the 7th Legion faction in Battle for Azeroth; the achievement “Ready for War,” which is awarded for completing the first portion of the Alliance war campaign

Available Classes: Warrior, Paladin, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage, Warlock, Monk

Racial Traits: Once every two minutes, you may instantly remove all poison, curse, magic, bleed, and disease effects from yourself; doing so increases your primary stat by a flat amount, plus another flat amount for each of these effects you remove. Once every thirty minutes, while outdoors, you may summon a mole machine which tunnels through the earth. While indoors, you move 4% faster. Incoming damage from physical attacks is reduced by 1%. Your Blacksmithing skill is increased by 5, and you craft Blacksmithing items 25% more quickly.

My Experiences: For me, the process of unlocking Dark Iron Dwarves was the most grueling and, at times, downright frustrating. I was extremely focused on unlocking them as quickly as I could, just to be able to say that I accomplished that feat. Not only did I have to grind quite often to raise my reputation with the 7th Legion, but even after I had finally completed the chore that is reaching Exalted, I felt that the quest chain which officially unlocks them was longer and more tedious than it had any right to be. Regardless, I’m glad that process is behind me and that I can play as Dark Irons as much as I please.

  1. Kul Tiran Humans (Alliance)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted reputation with the Proudmoore Admiralty faction in Battle for Azeroth. Complete both parts of the Alliance war campaign. Several achievements: “Tides of Vengeance,” “Loremaster of Kul Tiras,” “The Pride of Kul Tiras,” and “A Nation United.”

Available Classes: Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage, Monk, Druid

Racial Traits: Once every 2.5 minutes, you may throw a powerful punch at your target; this deals considerable damage, stuns the target for three seconds, and knocks the target back a certain distance. Your Versatility is increased by 1%; you also heal for 2% of all damage you take over a period of four seconds. You may hold your breath underwater for 50% longer and swim 10% faster than normal. Your skill level in all professions is increased by 5. Incoming Frost and Nature damage are reduced by 1%.

My Experiences: When I first learned that Kul Tirans would finally become unlockable as of the most recent significant patch, I was so burned out on World of Warcraft as a whole that I felt very little desire to jump through the hoops necessary to unlock them. Strangely, that very process of unlocking Kul Tirans played a considerable part in once again rekindling my desire to play the game.

I didn’t consider the process of unlocking Kul Tirans nearly as frustrating or tedious as I felt about the process of unlocking Dark Irons despite the required reputation farming. As far as their racial traits are concerned, I haven’t found the opportunity to gauge their usefulness quite yet. I must admit that I’m very much looking forward to sneaking up on an enemy player and using the Haymaker racial to send them flying off a cliff, however.

  1. Nightborne (Horde)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted reputation with the Nightfallen faction in Legion; the achievement for completing the main Suramar story quests, called “Insurrection”

Available Classes: Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Warlock, Monk

Racial Traits: Once every three minutes, you may release a pulse of arcane energy which damages nearby targets and halves their movement speed for twelve seconds. Once every ten minutes, you may summon a grimoire which allows you access to your mail for 1.5 minutes. Incoming magic damage is reduced by 1%. Magic damage you deal is increased by 1%.

My Experiences: I have yet to find a worthwhile use for any racial traits possessed by my Nightborne characters. Sure, the slightly-buffed magic damage and slowing arcane pulse might come in handy for PvP encounters, but as you’ll know if you’ve read my previous editorials about WoW, I tend to avoid all forms of PvP combat at all costs. Thus, I have no way to gauge the effectiveness of these racial traits unless I’m in the mood to be repeatedly slain by an enemy player upon whom I’m trying to test them.

  1. Highmountain Tauren (Horde)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted with the Highmountain Tribes faction in Legion; the achievement awarded for completing all story quests in Highmountain, called “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

Available Classes: Warrior, Hunter, Shaman, Monk, Druid

Racial Traits: Once every two minutes, you may charge forward for one second, which knocks down and stuns any enemies hit for 1.5 seconds. Your Versatility is increased by 1%. Your Mining skill is increased by 15, and you also mine more quickly than other races. Damage you take is reduced by a flat amount. You have a chance, in appropriate circumstances, to loot additional fish and meat.

My Experiences: Though it’s somewhat similar to the War Stomp racial given to non-Highmountain Tauren, the Bull Rush ability has actually proven quite useful in my experience. Granted, I only say that because it has allowed me to stun any nearby bloodthirsty Alliance players long enough for me to shapeshift into travel form and flee for my life. Still, any way I can reduce the number of times I’m slain by enemy players is welcome, as far as I’m concerned.

  1. Mag’har Orc (Horde)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted with The Honorbound faction in Battle for Azeroth; the “Ready for War” achievement for completing the first portion of the Horde war campaign

Available Classes: Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage, Monk

Racial Traits: Once every two minutes, you may “invoke the spirits of your ancestors,” which provides a random buff for fifteen seconds. Your movement speed while mounted is increased by 10%. Your pet’s health is passively increased by 10%. All poison, disease, and curse effects cast on you have their duration reduced by 10%.

My Experiences: While I do enjoy playing my Mag’har characters, their allotment of racial traits seems odd to me. I must say that the majority of them are at least occasionally useful. My main Mag’har character is a hunter, which means he benefits from the passive increase to pet health. I admit that this trait proves useful more often than not considering I rely on my pets to deal the majority of damage in a fight.

The bonus movement speed while mounted is a nice touch as well, especially considering how often I find myself needing to flee from enemy players. I’m still quite unsure about this whole “invoke the spirits of your ancestors” thing, but I have a feeling it might come in handy if I ever find the time and the desire to experiment with it.

  1. Zandalari Troll (Horde)

Unlock Requirements: Exalted with the Zandalari Empire faction in Battle for Azeroth. Complete both parts of the Horde war campaign. Complete all story quests within the three zones in Zandalar.

Available Classes: Warrior, Paladin, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage, Monk, Druid

Racial Traits: You may pray to your chosen Loa, granting you a buff for a period of time, based on your chosen Loa. Once every fifteen minutes, you may slow your falling speed for a two-minute period. Once every 2.5 minutes, you may channel for six seconds in order to regenerate 100% of your maximum health unless you take damage during channeling. You receive 2% bonus gold from looting creatures.

My Experiences: At the time of writing, I haven’t actually unlocked access to playable Zandalari trolls yet. That’s mainly because I’m honestly not very excited about jumping through the necessary hoops right now. I was never all that hyped when the Zandalari were announced as a playable allied race. Additionally, I feel that their racial traits are rather lackluster, with the exception of their ability to fully heal themselves within six seconds provided they don’t sustain any damage. That particular trait honestly seems rather overpowered to me, but I’m sure it’ll come in quite handy in scenarios like raids.

Well, there you have it, folks! I hope this article has helped you decide which allied race(s) you’d like to work toward unlocking and playing. In my experience, although you do have to jump through quite a few hoops to unlock allied races, they tend to be worth the trouble in the long run.

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David Sanders

David Sanders

David Sanders is a content creator, part-time YouTube personality, and all-around complete and total nerd from somewhere in Nevada. He greatly enjoys most MOBA games, several RPGs, and turn-based strategy games (especially Sid Meier's Civilization with a healthy amount of mods). When he's not helping to build or plan computers for friends, he can usually be found gaming on his personal machine or recording footage of a game for a project he has in mind.

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