We're continuing our World of Warcraft Beginner's Guide with an in-depth look at the Horde faction and races. Included is a quick overview of how the Horde came to be and a little about each playable race.

world of warcraft horde vs alliance battle orcs wow Horde Faction and Races

The Horde

A Short History of the Horde

First came the Orcs, the warring clans united under the Warlock Gul’dan and empowered by the tainted blood of the demon Mannoroth. They invaded Azeroth with the aid of the corrupted guardian Medivh and sought war with the Alliance of Humans and Dwarfs. While at first winning, they were eventually driven back to their home world of Draenor by a legion of the Alliance's strongest warriors, and with the destruction of the dark portal their homeworld was shattered.

But not all Orcs escaped to the now broken world dubbed Outland; many were left trapped on Azeroth and were quickly rounded up and put into concentration camps by the victorious humans. One such Orc, son of chieftain of the Frostwolf clan Durotan and his fierce mate Draka, was saved by his parents before they could be assassinated by rival clans. Found and raised by humans as a tool of war, Thrall eventually escaped his captors and broke the remaining Orcs from their bondage in order to start a new, peaceful existence away from the humans who hated them so deeply.

Acting on a vision granted to him by the redeemed spirit of Medivh, Thrall traveled across the oceans to the land of Kalimdor saving and recruiting the powerful allies of the Darkspear Trolls, one of the oldest races on Azeroth, and the Tauren, a spiritual and peaceful race of mighty bipedal cow creatures with an intense link to nature. They soon defeated the armies of the Burning Legion in the Third War after allying themselves with the Alliance, but this would be short-lived as the decades of mistrust and a litany of war crimes committed by both sides would be too large a hurdle to pass.

In years, from their base in the desert land of Durotar (named after Thrall's father) they were joined by the Undead, magically raised zombies whose minds were powerful enough to regain their free will from their once masters, the Blood Elves, a race of Elves who after losing their life-giving well of arcane power were abandoned by the Alliance, and lastly the Bilgewater Goblins who lost their homeland and were given a place to live and conduct their “experiments” (read; blow stuff up) by Thrall.

The Horde is no collection of mindless monsters, they are a mix of ancient and powerful cultures. They have been through many horrors, and committed many themselves, but they will do everything in their power to protect their own. Lok'tar Ogar, FOR THE HORDE!



The First Race of the Horde, they hail from the alien world of Draenor, brought here to fight a war they lost. They seek to redeem themselves of their past and forge a new way for their race. A deeply shamanistic culture.

Leader: High Overlord Saurfang

Home City: Orgrimmar

Classes: Warrior, Death Knight, Monk, Shaman, Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Hunter

Mounts: Wolves

Special Abilities:

Blood Fury
Increases attack power and your spell power. Lasts 15 seconds.

Duration of Stun effects reduced by an additional 15%.

Damage dealt by Death Knight, Hunter, Shaman, Mage, and Warlock pets increased by 1%.



Trolls are as old as the land itself. The Darkspear tribe of Trolls were on the verge of annihilation at the hands of the Naga, but they were saved by Thrall and his group of Orcish travelers and swore a blood debt to fight alongside them. A shamanistic and formerly cannibalistic culture, they have shown in their actions great moral fortitude in their part in overthrowing the former crazed warchief of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream.

Leader: Vol’jin

Home City: Sen'jin Village

Classes: Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Death knight , Druid, Warlock, Monk

Mounts: Raptors

Special Abilities:

Activate to increase attack and casting speed by 15% for 10 seconds.

Increase health regeneration bonus by 10%. Also allows 10% of normal health regenerate during combat.

Beast Slaying
Increases experience gained from killing Beasts by 20%.

Da Voodoo Shuffle
Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 15%.



The Tauren are a massive but peaceful race of bipedal cows with a strong connection to nature and their goddess the Earth Mother. After being saved by Thrall they swore a blood oath to protect him and his Horde to their dying breath. They are the heart and conscience of the Horde, stopping at nothing to prevent the other races from reverting to their old twisted ways. They also have the honor of being the most trusted of the Horde races by the Alliance, even being given the honor of serving as equals within the once Night Elf-exclusive Cenarion Circle. Do not let their peaceful exterior fool you, they are some of the most powerful and feared warriors of Azeroth. Moo.

Leader: Baine Bloodhoof

Home City: Thunder Bluff

Classes: Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk

Mount: Kodo

Special Abilities:
War Stomp
Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds.

Increases your Stamina

Critical strike bonus damage and healing increased by 2%.

Herbalism skill increased by 15 and you gather herbs faster than normal herbalists.

Nature Resistance
Reduces Nature damage taken by 1%.

WOW GUIDE undead


When Prince Arthas fell to evil he needed an army to fight for him. With the power in his sword Frostmourne, he raised the bodies of his victims into their twisted undead forms, but some proved too strong of will to be controlled. The High Elven Ranger Sylvanas Windrunner was the first to gain back her freedom and seek revenge against the now Lich King. Abandoned by their former allies, the Forsaken joined the Horde for protection against the Alliance seeking to reclaim their lost lands. Their hearts no longer beat, they have no concept of mercy. They will protect their own by any means necessary. Fear the walking dead.

Leader: Sylvanas Windrunner

Home City: The Undercity

Classes: Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, Death Knight, Hunter, Monk

Mount: Skeletal Horses

Special Abilities:

Will of the Forsaken
Removes any Charm, Fear and Sleep effect.

When activated, restores 8 to 9% of total health and mana every 2 seconds for 10 seconds

Touch of the Grave
Attacks and damaging spells have a chance to drain the target, dealing Shadow damage and healing for the same amount.

Shadow Resistance
Reduces Shadow damage taken by 1%

WOW GUIDE bloodelve

Blood Elves

When their source of power was destroyed by the Lich King, the Sindorei soon fell to hunger and withdrawal from arcane magic. Treated like insects by Alliance generals, they turned to fel magics in order to feed their hunger and turned their backs on their once allies. The Blood Elves, at the behest of their former ranger general and now leader of the Undead, Sylvanas Windrunner, joined the Horde and acted as their experts on the ways of the arcane. They are the only Horde race who can be Demon Hunters.

Leader: Lord Lor'themar Theron

Home City: Silvermoon City

Classes: Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Death Knight, Warrior, Monk, Demon Hunter

Mount: Hawkstrider

Special Abilities:

Arcane Torrent
Silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 sec

Arcane Affinity
Enchanting skill increased by 10

Arcane Resistance - Passive
Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.

Arcane Acuity - Passive
Increases critical strike chance by 1%.

WOW GUIDE goblin


Do you like explosions? If no, skip to the Gnomes you pink haired baboon. Goblins are the undisputed kings and queens of blowing the hell out of things, artisans of bangs. Saved from their dying world by Thrall (he sure does that a lot) they decided to join the Horde in order to fulfill their love of gold, exploding things, more gold, and gold being protected by explosions. Their dislikes are short jokes, Gnomes, doing anything for free and worst of all Gnomish Engineering. They are the engineering and mechanical backbone of the Horde.

Leader: Jastor Gallywix

Home City: Orgrimmar

Classes: Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior

Mount: Mechanical Trike

Special Abilities:

Rocket Jump
Activates your rocket belt to jump forward.

Rocket Barrage
Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing X-Y fire damage (24-30 at level 1; 1654-2020 at level 80). This ability is off the global cooldown.

Time is Money
Cash in on a 1% increase to attack and casting speed.

Best Deals Anywhere
Always receive the best discount regardless of faction standing.

Pack Hobgoblin
Calls in your friend, Gobber, allowing you bank access for 1 min.

Better Living Through Chemistry
Alchemy skill increased by 15.

Make sure to check out the continuation of this World of Warcraft Beginner's Guide with a look at servers and the races of the Alliance faction, which includes a bonus Horde race in the form of the neutral Pandaren!