Rogues in Cataclysm
Why should I pick a rogue?
Rogues are one of four pure dps classes. This means that we have no proper healing or tanking ability to speak of. We are also a purely melee dps class, carrying no real ranged damage attacks. So if you’re looking for a class who can significantly alter the way it plays then you should probably look elsewhere. However we do make up for this lack of versatility, rogues have always been one of the best PvE’rs in the game and to this day rogues are putting out numbers with the best of them. However PvE isn’t their only calling, with the ability to jump in and out of stealth and to lock down an opponent for large chunks of a fight with a variety of stuns, rogues are also one of the best PvP classes around.
What race should I choose?
None of these racial bonuses make much of a difference really. Unless you're a total min/maxer you should pick whatever race you like the look of best, because you're going to be staring at the back of his/her head for quite some time.
Undead- The Forsaken get Cannabilize which is a nice skill for getting health up quickly, however with new talents being brought in to help solo’ing rogues this is probably less useful than it was. They also get Will of the Forsaken which removes a charm, fear or sleep every two minutes it has a shared 30 second cooldown with similar pvp trinkets.
Orc- Axe specialization is very useful giving you an extra 3% expertise on both Axes and Fists. They also get Blood Fury (2970 Attack Power for 15 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown). Finally Hardiness also gives them a 15% reduction on stun durations.
Troll- Beserking will give you a 20% attack speed buff for 20 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. They can also reduce movement impairing effects with Da Voodoo Shuffle.
Blood Elves- Arcane Torrent will give you a 2 second, 8 yard radius AoE silence which also gives you 15 energy and all this is on a 2 minute cooldown. They are also more resistant to magic lowering your chance to get hit by spells by 2%.
Goblins- Goblins get a passive 1% attack speed buff which is nice, they also get a ranged AP modified nuke which is on a 2 minute cool down. They also have a rocket boost that functions somewhat similarly to the hunters disengage, which shares it's cool down with the nuke. Best Deals Anywhere is also handy because it'll lower the cost of your repairs.
Summary: Goblins and Orcs are the two strongest races in terms of PvE, with Undead being the weakest. PvPwise pretty much all classes have their different utilities so it doesn't really matter.
Humans- They have a mace/sword specialisation which gives them +3 expertise while wielding those weapons, so that's nice for combat rogues. Every Man for Himself is a nice PvP trinket and Diplomacy will make those rep grinds easier
Dwarves- Mace spec which works the same as humans, and they have stoneblood which works as a less effective Cloak of Shadows, but it's always nice to have another death saving cooldown.
Night Elves- They have a sort of vanish in shadowmeld except it doesn't drop threat or trigger Overkill. They have a -2% chance to get hit, but you shouldn't really be getting hit often enough for evasion to be off cooldown. They also have extra nature resistance.
Gnomes- Shortblade specialisation is nice with it's 3+ expertise to daggers and one handed swords. Escape artist is great for breaking snares and they also have a bonus to Arcane resistance.
Worgen- 1% passive increase to crit and another weaker form of sprint. They also have a resistence to both nature and shadow.
Summary: Worgen are the strongest race for PvE, with Night Elves being the weakest. Gnomes are the best for PvP.
So what’s the best way to level this stabber?
Your best bet is the Assassination tree while levelling at the beginning. While it is important to note that the other two trees are fine, Assassination will mean you almost never take damage and what hits you do let through will be easily covered by a permanent recuperate thanks to Deadly Momentum. Open from stealth with a cheap shot, Mutilate twice and then either Eviscerate if he’s about to die or Cheap shot again and repeat if the mob has health remaining. Once you go into the Cataclysm zones you'll want to switch to Combat as it offers better cooldowns and survivability to deal with the harder hitting mobs. Your levelling progression should go as follows.
10-13: 3/3 Lethality
15-17: 2/2 Deadly Momentum
19-21: 2/2 Quickening
23-27: 3/3 Puncturing Wounds
29: Cold Blood
31-35: Vile Poisons
37: 1/2 Deadly Brew. This helps with mobs that are running away, and you need the point anyway.
39-41: 2/2 Seal fate
43-47: 3/3 Coup de Grace
51: Master Poisoner
53-57: 3/3 Ruthlessness
59-63: 3/3 Cut to the Chase
65-67: 2/2 Venomous Wounds
71-73: 2/3 Precision
Then you should respec to combat and build your tree like this: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#fbZfGccRc0RGo Then put three points into Coup de Grace which will take you to 80. Then on the path to 85 put 2 points into Quickening and then put your last two points into Lethality which will take you to 85. Once you hit 85 get rid of your levelling spec and choose an endgame spec from below.
I’ve hit 85 what is the best spec for me?
With the new expansion specs and talent trees have gotten completely revamped. There are much less filler points and the idea is that every skill you choose will have a significant impact on your game. Assassination is currently the leader in terms of PvE dps, with Combat only a little behind. Subtlety trails with a 10% decrease in dps from Combat, since it's not a proper spec yet i'm going to focus mainly on Assassination and Combat.
Assassination: Blizz describes this path as “A deadly master of poisons who dispatches victims with vicious dagger strikes”. Slower dagger for the mainhand, about a speed of 1.8 and a fast on the offhand.
Floater points: The point in deadly Brew can be moved around, putting it into Precision if you don't want a snare is probably the best choice.
Prime Glyphs: Mutilate, Backstab, Rupture.
Rotation: Open from stealth with Mutilate, then use Slice and Dice. Mutilate untill you have 4 or more Combo Points and then use Rupture. From then on you want to keep using Mutilate untill you have 4+ combo points and then either refresh Rupture if it's going to expire, if not use envenom. Once the bosses health drops below 35% you want to use backstab instead of Mutilate and use your finishers at 5 combo points instead of 4.
Combat: Blizz describes this path as “A swashbuckler who uses agility and guile to stand toe-to-toe with enemies.” Combat is closer to a Fury warrior with leather than a rogue. Replacing the stabby stab stab stab approach of other rogues to a smashy smash smash chop motto. Combat rogues wield a slower sword/mace/axe in their mainhand and a fast weapon in their offhand. The thing is, the only decent fast weapons so far are daggers, so now Combat rogues will also be interested in fast daggers.
Floater points: Improved Sprint and Blade twisting. You can move these points anywhere you like really, Improved Kick can be handy for those interrupt fights or Improved Recuperate.
Prime Glyphs: Sinister Strike, Adrenaline Rush and Slice ‘n’Dice.
Rotation: Right, well you have a choice here. For the most complex rotation you have to keep S'n'D up while using sinister strikes to get you 4 combo points. You use Revealing Strike when you're at 4 combo points to give you the fifth. You then use those combo points for either Rupture if it's down or Eviscerate if Rupture has enough time on it. However, you can drop Revealing Strike and Rupture from your rotation at a dps loss of only 2%. In that case your only worry is to keep S'n'D up while using Eviscerate and 5 points.
Subtlety: Blizz describes this path as “A dark stalker who leaps from the shadows to ambush his unsuspecting prey.” Basically dagger wielding rogues who rely on rapid combo point generation to give them a lot more finishing moves. It seems to be everyone’s favourite spec even though it has been broken for quite a while. A lot of people are keen to branch in to subtlety with this patch so here is my advice, don't. Seriously if you want to be serious about end game raiding by choosing this spec you'll be nerfing your dps by a huge margin, and no serious team will have you.
Floater points: Enveloping Shadows, you can move this point to Elusiveness or Cheat Death if you’re feeling lucky.
Rotation: Keep SnD up, put Recuperate up if its down, and spam Eviscerate to roll Rupture. Backstab is your main attack, Hemo is a DPS loss. Vanish/Ambush on cooldown for Find Weakness, switch to Ambush spam during Shadow Dance.
Prime Glyphs: Backstab, Slice'n'Dice and either Eviscerate or Shadow Dance, because no one has modelled it enough to be sure which is better.
What’s this about poisons?
Poisons are one of the standout features that separates the rogue class from the other Dps’ers. We have the ability to add a poison onto our weapon that is a like a second enchant. You should never go without poison on your weapon once you’ve learned how to use them. They can be bought from vendors usually beside your trainers. Poison comes in many different types however and understanding them is key to being able to use them efficiently.
Some poisons work on a PPM (proc per minute) basis. PPM is based on the speed of the weapon so you will get the same number of procs on a fast weapon then you will on a slow one. The direct damage poisons (Instant and Wound) are PPM poisons while Deadly, Crippling and Mind-Numbing poisons are based on percentage based procs (i.e. the weapon speed does matter).
Instant Poison: This gives you a simple increase to your base damage.
Wound Poison: Similar to instant poison however it deals less damage but with a greater PPM. It also reduces all healing effects used on that target by 25%.
Deadly Poison: This poison applies a damage over time (DoT) debuff that will stack up to 5 times. Once you’ve gone past that limit further applications will instead proc the poison on your other weapon.
Crippling Poison: Slows your target by 70% for 12 seconds, its proc rate is 50%.
Mind-Numbing Poison: This will slow your targets casting speed by 30%. Again its proc rate is 50%.
Summary: For PvE Instant on your Mainhand and Deadly on your OH and throwing weapon.
PvP is a bit more varied. Wound poison despite its nerf will still be the mainhand poison of choice. The offhand comes down to your spec.
Assassination : Crippling poison isn't needed thanks to Deadly Brew, so use Deadly on the off hand for envenoms.
Combat: The improved Blade Twisting can be used as a substitute for Crippling, so combat rogues can use either Wound on their off hand aswell or Mind-Numbing to deal with caster. Ideally have two weapons with both poisons in your bag ready to swap depending on who you come up against.
Subtlety : Would have to use Waylay as it’s crippling poison alternative and since trying to land a positional based attack on an enemy when they don’t have a snare is so difficult Crippling poison on the offhand is a much easier approach.
How should I equip myself?
Rogues are a leather armour based class, there is no reason a rogue should ever have to equip cloth. You get a 5% bonus to agility if you wear leather in all slots. Just be careful on choosing the right type of leather, druid casters will also wear leather but the stats they’ll be looking for is spell power, spirit, intellect etc.
The weapons you’ll be using is determined on which spec you decide to go for. Assassination and Subtlety specs will want to use two daggers. Your main hand should have a slower attack speed, (something like 1.8) and your main hand will need to be faster, (anything below 1.4). Combat will want a slow mainhand (about 2.6) and a fast offhand, currently the only fast offhands in the game are daggers so now all rogues will be looking for daggers. When gearing yourself especially for the endgame it’s important to learn to avoid the item level and determine it’s worth on the stats it carries. So this leads me nicely into the next section.
What Stats are important for me?
While Deathwing brings chaos and panic throughout Azeroth the big nasty dragon has actually simplified much of the Rogues more complicated mathsy bits. Nasty things like Attack power and Armour Penetration are being shoved aside for the more easily deduced stats of Agility and Haste. It must be said however that rogues are still an extremely math oriented class, so much so that every single guide that takes itself seriously will tell you to use a spreadsheet in order to work out the more complicated decisions. Rogues do not tell you to get a spreadsheet to sound elitist, it is just simply because some of the more advanced gemming or gearing problems require such intricate maths that it is much simpler to get a computer to do it. EP= equvilance point and it's a number that helps put into numerical terms the damage gained from one point of a particular stat. Here are the Ep values of the stats so far.
Stat Assassination Combat Subtlety
Agi 2.6 2.7 3.5
Yellow Hit 1.75 1.9 1.4
Spell Hit 1.4 1.4 1.05
Mastery 1.3 0.9 0.7
Haste 1.2 1.5 1.3
Expertise 1.1 1.6 1.15
Crit 0.9 0.95 1.1
White Hit 0.75 1.1 0.8
Summary: Pretty obvious really,
Assassination Agility > Spell Hit > Mastery > everything else.
Combat Agility > Yellow Hit > Expertise (to cap) > everything else.
Subtlety Agility >> Yellow Hit > Haste > Everything else.
A few Caveats here especially for Assassination rogues. Capping expertise (which is still 26) is no longer required as other stats like spell hit and mastery take preference. This means that some of your attacks are not going to land. One thing to look out for is missing with envenom, you'll still apply the debuff but it won't refresh your S'n'D so keep an eye out for that.
In terms of hit caps, with 2/3 precision the yellow cap is 481 and with 3/3 its 241. The spell hit cap which is what assassination rogues will be looking for is 1332 with 2/3 and 1127 with 3/3. This however shouldn't be looked at as cap to get to. Look at it instead as something like agility or mastery where the more you have of it the more damage you'll do but it's not something you have to strive to cap before you can raid or anything like that.
So what gems should I use?
Gemming is extremely complicated when it comes to rogues. It is impossible for me to tell you outright what gem you should be using so you need to consult your spreadsheet. But in general:
Red sockets: Delicate Inferno Ruby
Yellow sockets: Adept Ember Topaz for Assassination or Deft Ember Topaz for combat and subtlety.
Blue sockets: Glinting Demonseye
Match the correct colours if the socket bonus is agility, otherwise just stack straight agility with the Delicate Inferno Rubies. This could vary depending on where you are to the spell hit cap, which is why spreadsheets are crucial.
Meta's are messy at the moment. Currently the requirements on the best metas to activate the bonus is to have more blue gems than red which is just stupid. So untill they correct that you should be using Fleet shadowspirit diamond. Once they correct it you'll be using either Chaotic ShadowSpirit Diamond or Relentless Earthsiege Diamond.
Ok but what about these enchants? -
Head: 60 Agi/35 Haste - Ramkahen revered.
Cloak: Greater Critical Strike
Shoulder: 50 Agi/25 Mastery - Therazane exalted.
Chest: Peerless Stats
Bracers: Greater Speed
Gloves: Greater Mastery
Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor
Feet: Major Agility if you’re assassination, otherwise Assassin’s Step.
Belt: Ebonsteel Belt Buckle with an Agility gem in it.
Right, then there's Glyphs
The Prime Glyphs have been gone over when we talked about specs. In regards to Major Glyphs, Tricks of the Trade and Feint are important then either Sprint or Blade Flurry depending on your preference.
Oh god what’s reforging?!
Reforging is a new addition to WoW and is essentially another way you can nitpick at your gear to give you the best results possible. Basically reforging is something you can use on a piece of gear you have. It will let you choose a stat on it and take half of that stat off and put it into a different stat of your choosing. There are rules however, you cannot reforge stamina or agility, and you can only reforge a stat into resilience but you cannot reforge resilience into a different stat.You also cannot reforge into a stat that is already in that item.
Assassination: If you're above the spell hit cap then take points from Hit, then Crit and then expertise. Put them into hit if you're below the spell hit cap, then Mastery then Haste
Combat: Take points from Mastery, Crit or Hit if you're above the spell hit cap. Put them into expertise, haste or hit if you're below the spell hit cap.
Subtlety: Take points from Mastery or Hit if you're above the yellow hit cap. Put them into Haste, Expertise or Crit.
http://www.wowwiki.com/Making_a_macro : Very handy guide on how to make Macros. Rogues aren’t the only class who benefit from having some nice Macros.
http://www.wowwiki.com/Hit_rating#Calculating_miss_rate : An indepth explanation of Hit Rating.
http://wow.filltheglass.org/crit_cap.php : A crit cap calculator
http://elitistjerks.com/forums.php : Pretty complicated and maths based so really only use it as a resource when you’re comfortable with the basics. But the best rogue theorycrafters are found here. The best advice is gained from this website.
Reserved for any editing.
Thanks so much for this Zaev! I can't comment on any of it yet as I haven't had time to get my filthy paws on things properly, but will trust in your expertise and see if I can add anything in the fullness of time.
No problem Ross! Right, bit of an update. From what i've gathered reading around, Combat is seriously nerfed. Not so much as anything to do with the spec itself but more because Rogues are really suffering from the nerfing of raid buffs. We do way more unbuffed but in a raiding envoirment we really fall behind. All specs are suffering from this but mostly Combat, so much so that Assassination are ranking 3-4k dps above them. Also Combat is no longer the add switching fiend it used to be, and has turned into a tank and spank spec so ill have to amend the OP to reflect this.
Subtlety is bugged to all hell, when you glyph Hemorrhage for the bleed dot, a Mangle or Trauma will wipe both the original debuff and the dot. Also if someone crits on a target other than the one you're currently on you will lose your combo points. So avoid Subtlety untill this gets fixed.
Onto brighter news, Rogue solo'ing is now extremely good. With skills like Deadned Nerves, Deadly Momentum, Reinforced leather and Improved Recuperate (Oh my god Imp Recuperate) Rogues are posting clears of ZG, Kara up to the stage event AQ 20 etc.
Combat dps is low, just like Fury Warrior and Feral cat dps is low
The reason is simple:
Arp, and the removal thereof.
Arp was inflating physical dps to a LUDICROUS degree, and now that it has gone, the classes which relied on it are feeling the pinch.
Blizzard has said they will be buffing combat dps iirc.
And nerfing mages qq
If anyone can de-sticky the old rogue guide and sticky this one instead i'd be grateful. Thanks.
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