Choosing a main for 2020

So with raiding off the menu until at least 8.3, and little else left to do ATM, it has gotten to “that” time of the expansion: Levelling alts!

I recently levelled my Druid who had been languishing at 113 for months. I took advantage of the extra XP available as a part of the Anniversary event (+15%) as well as nearly full heirlooms (+50%) and a supply of Ten Lands pots (+10%).

I managed to get her levelled at a rate of about 1 level every 30 minutes or so by a combination of Island Expeditions (great XP per hour, especially when rested) and some Korrak’s Revenge (the current Anniversary PvP event).

It was quick, and therefore fun for me, as I hate the drudgery of levelling. This bit I’d covered in my last article on the Shadowlands reveal.

Next on the list is either a DK or Priest. Likely the Priest, as I’d like to have options when it comes to choosing a main, and at the moment I have a grand total of 1 cloth user: My Warlock who is still Horde side at 120.

What about my Hunter?

I love my Hunter, I really do. And in an ideal world I’d stick playing her as my main. However there have been several times in BfA where we’ve needed a geared tank or healer and haven’t had one available, and raids have had to be called off as a result.

So having the option, as a DPS player, to either tank or heal or both as an off-spec, rather than yet another DPS spec, would be a massive benefit.

I’m currently in the process of gearing up my Druid, which is a slow process without raids to help boost the item level. But since hitting 120 with her a couple of weeks ago she’s now sitting at 412 item level, which isn’t bad, but still a far cry from the 425 or so most pug raids require for Heroic Eternal Palace as a basic minimum…

Off-specs & alts in BFA are painful.

There’s no two ways about it. As much of a pain in the ass as Artifacts were for alts or off-specs in Legion, Azerite gear and essences are ten times worse. Especially for alts, where grinds for even the same general essences have to be done again and again. At least with off-specs you’d still have the basic essences (Crucible of Flame for example) already acquired for your main spec, and at the same rank as your main spec, ready to be used. But alts have to go through the entire acquisition process again, which in some cases is incredibly painful. Such as the one that requires raid drops, more-so if you don’t raid.

Thankfully Blizzard have finally heard the complaints and have stated that not only will levelling in general be faster in Shadowlands, by about 60-70% or so, but that alts will also have better catch-up mechanisms in place to boot.

Choosing that new main

So with the idea of a hybrid class, that means I have the following choices:

Class Tank Spec Healing Spec DPS Specs
Druid Guardian Resto Balance/Feral
Paladin Protection Holy Retribution
Monk Brewmaster Mistweaver Windwalker
Death Knight Blood Frost/Unholy
Warrior Protection Fury/Arms
Demon Hunter Vengeance Havoc
Priest Holy/Discipline Shadow
Shaman Restoration Elemental/Enhancement

Looking at that table, which obviously discounts the 4 pure DPS classes (Rogue, Mage, Warlock & Hunter), with the desire to cover both tanking and healing as much as possible, it boils down to a choice of 3 classes really as a new main:

Druid, Paladin or Monk

All 3 I currently have levelled to 120 and sitting at 400 iLevel as a minimum. However my monk is gathering dust Horde side, and would need transferred over to Alliance.

The thing is, I really enjoy playing all three classes.


I love my Druid, but she was the last one to get levelled, yet has the highest gear level of all three, however I don’t really enjoy playing either of the DPS specs. Resto Druid however is my favourite healing spec in the game bar none, and Guardian is always just a big dumb fun spec to play.


Paladins are really fun too, and I love playing Prot, even if it is fairly fragile in raids due to frequent Active Mitigation downtime. Ret is also a fun spec to play, but unfortunately Holy Pally I find a bit too vanilla and straightforward for my liking.

I do love the Paladin aesthetics though, with all the associated religious Warrior of the Light imagery. And my Paladin, after playing her for 8 years as my main will always be among the first alts I level every expansion, and certainly the first plate class.


Then we come to meme-tank.

Monk is stronk. There’s no two ways about it. Especially Brewmaster, which for 4 expansions now has consistently been among the strongest tanks in the game. The stagger mechanic, despite nerf after nerf, has proven to make Brewmasters the easiest tank to keep up as a healer. Mistweaver is a fun spec, albeit the spec I have least experience with overall. And Windwalker is a fun spec to play at any time, especially if you devote yourself to it and get good at it.

So with that short analysis, I’m left with the following specs I enjoy:

Druid: Guardian & Resto

Paladin: Protection & Retribution

Monk: Brewmaster, Windwalker & Mistweaver

So the choice is…?

I began writing this article convinced I’d be sitting here at this stage typing the words either Druid or Priest as a response to this question. However, after analysing the different specs I think I’ve come to a different conclusion.

Going with Druid leaves me with only 2 specs that I’d really enjoy, either Guardian or Resto. Neither of which I’d be prepared to use for say LFR or dungeons (because people are dicks essentially), as I enjoy neither Druid DPS spec.

Paladin gives me a DPS spec in Ret, and a Tank spec I enjoy in Prot, but means using a healing spec I get absolutely no joy from playing.

That leaves Monk.


Huh. Definitely not the outcome I was expecting. Weird when that happens.

I enjoy Brewmaster, and the constant ebb and flow of the Stagger mechanic. I enjoy Windwalker, and find it fun and versatile. I also enjoy Mistweaver when I’ve played it in the past, and would have no real objection to raid healing with it either.

Guess I’ll go grab my Horde monk and get her faction changed? Or maybe take 5 hours over the weekend and level my Void Elf Monk on Silvermoon from 110 while getting the Korrak’s Revenge mount grind done and save myself a faction change fee (grr)…

Still going to level that Priest & DK though!