Draenei vs. Dwarf: The Smackdown

Today is THE day!  Patch 4.0.3a is dropping and Blizzard has retracted their “No race changes with 4.0.3a” stance.  So I’m interested…

For Alliance shaman, there has always only been one choice (and before The Burning Crusade, there wasn’t a choice!):  Draenei.  This patch, however, add dwarf to that list! 

Disclaimer: I’m not a theorycrafter. That’s best left up to the guys at Elitist Jerks. The following is just a simple discussion of base stats and racial abilities for comparison purposes.

Base Stats

Both races seem to be somewhat similar in their stats. Aside from Strength and Stamina, Draenei have more of each (more-important-to-shaman) stat than Dwarves.  Given the necessity to be more sturdy in Cataclysm, I would say the +4 Stamina points the Dwarves have over the Draenei is nothing to sneeze at, but I’m not sure it is equivalent to the +3 Spirit points and +2 Intellect points Draenei have.

Stat Breakdown

Stat Base Draenei Dwarf




















I would say Draenei are still the better choice if you want to play a Restoration or Elemental shaman.  Dwarves may be excellent Enhancement shaman, though, when considering their racial abilities.

Racial Abilities

Sometimes the racial abilities make a big difference. Like Every Man for Himself (I wish Blizzard would change the name to “You’re On Your Own” or something, but I digress…) Sometimes I couldn’t give a crap. Draenei have some pretty compelling abilities with Gift of the Naaru and Heroic Presence.  Self-heal is awesome.  I could seriously take or leave +1% hit – I’ve been trying my hardest to fall below 422 hit for a long time and I doubt there will be a shortage of +hit items in Cataclysm (and there’s always gems Winking smile).  Dwarves, on the other hand, have Stoneform and Mace Specialization.  Stoneform is pretty nice, even if it is more useful in PVP.  I would guess that dwarves may find themselves pressing that button a lot more in Cataclysm.  For Enhancement shaman, +expertise is a great thing. 


Racial Abilities Breakdown

Draenei Dwarf

Gift of the Naaru (3 min cooldown)

Heals the target of X damage over 15 sec. The amount healed is increased based on the caster’s Spell Power or Attack Power, whichever is higher.

Stoneform – Instant – 2 min cooldown

Removes Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increases by 10%. Lasts 8 seconds.

Heroic Presence (passive)

Increases chance to hit with all spells and attacks by 1%.

Gun Specialization – passive

Your chance to critically hit with Guns is increased by 1%.

Gemcutting (passive)

Jewelcrafting skill increased by 5.

Frost Resistance – passive

Reduces the chance you will be hit by Frost spells by 2%.

Shadow Resistance (passive)

Reduces chance to be hit by Shadow spells by 2%.

Explorer – passive

You find additional fragments when looting archaeological finds and you can survey faster than normal archaeologists.


Mace Specialization – passive

Expertise with One-Handed Maces and Two-Handed Maces increases by 3.



Will I race-change my draenei to dwarf?  I’m seriously thinking about it.  I’m no theorycrafter nor do I do any true min-maxing.  I play WoW to have fun.  And dwarves are seriously more fun than draenei.

Decisions, decisions!


3 thoughts on “Draenei vs. Dwarf: The Smackdown

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