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Melee is a form of physical combat that requires the attacker to be relatively close (arm plus weapon length) to the target as opposed to a ranged attack. Sometimes also called "hand-to-hand" or "close combat". Pronounced mɛˈleɪ / meh-lay.
World of Warcraft typically defines 'Melee Range' as 5 yards or closer, measured from center to center; see hitbox for the exceptions.
Typical melee weapons
Typical melee weapons used:
Melee ability comparison by class
NOTE: This is only a comparison of overall melee DPS ability (it does not include mitigation). Spellcasting or at least spellcasting specialized classes will have poor melee DPS, while the pure melee or melee specialized classes will have high melee DPS.
Excellent: These classes have the highest potential for melee DPS, even without specialization.
- Warrior (Arms or Fury spec providing highest DPS)
- Rogue (Openers, stuns, other skills, and finishers)
- Death knight
Fair: These classes can comfortably hold their own in melee, but unless specialized in it will be inferior to a warrior or rogue. With equal level of gearing, talents, and playing ability they can meet or exceed said classes' melee DPS.
- Paladin (Auras and Seals/Judgments)
- Shaman (Totems, Weapon Enchants, AP Buffs, Dual Wield, etc)
- Druid (Feral spec (cat form), rogue-like dps, Leader of the Pack aura)
Poor: These classes cannot cope in melee, and should avoid it as much as possible.
- Hunter ( can be used to gain range/kite)
- Priest (Power Word Shield gives mitigation, but should Fear and run away to cast better spells)
- Mage (Use Frost Nova and Sheep crowd control, back off and nuke.)
- Warlock (Defend with and /, but should use the pet to handle melee. Warlock should instead DoT/Nuke [depending on spec] from a distance)