Here it is, the MMOC version of my PvE guide. Both this and the WoWHead one will be kept updated at the same time, since they are basically the same, only with a different format. Enjoy.
This is a rogue PvE Guide. I won't take on PvP aspects, apart if they have a direct repercussion on PvE enviroment.
I write this guide with the purpose to have a simple and reliable list of tips, easy to understand for both beginners and seasoned players.
Be aware: the guide needs to stay in a "guideline" format - so i often use the comments to deeper talk about updated/buffs/nerfs and new mechanics. Be sure to check them down below if you're interested in additional discussion!
Rogues wear leather armor and focus on agility as primary stat. Other important stats are hit rating, expertise (both have caps), haste and mastery. Crit is the worst stat we can have on gear for most specs.
Rogues are a pure damage class: we cannot cover other roles, so all our three talent trees are about damage dealing. So our purpose in endgame raiding is to maximize this damage.
Mechanics are based on energy as resource: we start with 100 (120 as Assassination), and spend it to use our abilities. Energy regens by itself at a standard rate of 1 per 0.1 seconds; haste modifies this rate, so the more haste you have, the faster energy regens. Combat passive ability Vitality boosts energy regen even more.
Abilities are divided into 2 categories: combo moves and finishers. Combo moves generate combo point on our target that can be used later for performing finishers. The basic rotation is:
determined # of combo points -> finisher
In the specs breakdown section there are detailed priority lists on which builders and finishers you should use.
We also have the ability to put poisons on our weapons, dealing additional damage. With the new poison system We can have 1 lethal (Deadly or Wound) and 1 non-lethal poison active at the same time, and both have a chance to proc from both weapons. More details in the dedicated section.
Rogues specs are: Assassination, focused on poison damage; Combat, focused on weapon damage and being toe-to-toe with enemies; Subtlety, focused on stealth and mobility. All three specs are capable of doing pretty much the same damage, differences are very little - on paper. When you choose a spec you'll get everything you need by leveling, talents are things you can get for enhancing various aspects non depending on the spec you play.
Do you like one spec? Take it and learn it through experience.
Leveling a Rogue
I feel that the leveling part needs a standalone section.
When you're leveling a rogue, you can choose pretty much the spec you prefer. With the 5.0.4 changes, every spec gets all the tools needed by leveling, so you don't have to worry much about mandatory glyphs/talents. Anyway, there are some overall good things to have like Leeching Poison and Glyph of Deadly Momentum, which both increase your survivability and makes easier to kill subsequent mobs, also given the fact the SnD now lasts a baseline of 36 seconds.
Some details and personal opinions about the specs for leveling:
- Assassination: probably the most effective right now due to the new execute move which doesn't have positional requirements and the very fast CP generation. Anyway plays really slow due to very low energy regen compared to other specs.
- Combat: same as it has always been, very solid, with the strongest cleave in game and the more "tanky" one. But it can be boring, since it will be a SS spam journey till 90; its cooldowns anyway are really string when they are up and they are often table-turning. Stealth isn't so useful, it will be faster to just run at mobs.
- Sublety: due to the semplification of the dps cycle (more info later on), it has become more performing in terms of leveling and it has the best burst due to the reliance on openings and ambush, with a great synergy with Subterfuge. Still it relies on Backstab, and the Hemorrage option isn't as good. A good move is to get this and open with Cheap Shot -> Rupture, to get all the debuffs you need in 2 gcd; if you cannot get the opener anyway it will take much longer to kill a mob.
Gear while leveling: the best stats are hands down AGI and STAM. AGI has an impact on every source of damage we have, STAM lets us live longer and thus stop less times to eat/bandage, other than sustain more blows from mobs. Also Recuperate works based on our max HP, so STAM is even more useful.
This doesn't mean anyway that you can roll on a leather helm with INT and call it an upgrade just because it has more STAM - get only proper gear.
As for secondary stats, hit and expertise are the best ones; it's highly unlikely that you will cap any of these with leveling gear, and as you level up the cap changes and rating becomes less and less effective. Anyway hitting more with your weapons is always good and represents the biggest damage increase.
Haste, crit and later mastery are always a dps increase, just not as good as hit and exp. This changes a lot when you ding 85, read the next sections for the details.
Blizzard has put in game some handy items, which are Bind on Account, called Heirlooms; they are well itemized for the class they are meant to be used, and they grow with the player's level, becoming more and mroe powerful. For rogues, we have an entire set of armor plus weapons.
Heirlooms are good not only for the stats, but also for the bonus experience they provide, making the leveling process much faster. These bonuses stack with guild perks. Keep in mind that WotLK heirlooms (chest, spaulders and weapons) work only till level 80 - but you can upgrade the with justice points up to level 85. After you reach that, they simply won't grow anymore and don't give exp bonus, becoming quickly obsolete.
A personal advice: pick a spec you find fun. You can level slower but you need to be entertained. Otherwise you'll be bored at half the run.
I have leveled to 90, WAT DO?
A very important part of the game, is the transition from leveling to endgame. You don't level up anymore, and if you plan to PvE, you want to maximize certain aspects of your rogue. This section will give you the right tips to start gearing your rogue for raids.
- Your gear at level cap will be a mess, because you haven't focused still on the spec you've chosen. Look to the next table for details about your spec.
- Run dungeons! Pretty obvious one, you'll get better gear through them and through justice/valor points; but more important, you'll learn better how to play on real ground instead of hitting a log in your capital city. Training dummies don't do anything you need to pay attention to, and that's the more important thing about PvE.
- Run Scenarios! New addition that made its way in MoP - it's like a dungeon apart you don't get loot from bosses but only a few valor and a box at the end. Anyway it's much faster and the Heroic ones are a really good way to cap your weekly valor. In addition, you only need 3 people of any role, so queueing/finding a group is really easy. Worth mentioning is the Arena of Annihilation one, in which you are granted an ilvl 450 weapon the first run - nice boost for your fresh 90 rogue.
- Do dailies! Dailies now reward 5 valor points each and 2 tokens that can be exchaned 1 time/week wih 3 major ones (for 50 minor); when you kill a boss, you'll be prompted to use one of these, getting an additional loot roll! A great way (if you're lucky) to get good gear faster.
- Plan your buyings. Okay, you have chosen a spec and know pretty much how to play it. It's time to use a spreadsheet of some sort (link at the end of guide) and look at what are substantial gear upgrades. Don't waste points (and so time) in buying everything just because it costs less. Many times it is worse than other pieces you can drop; other times they give you a so little increase in dps that could be more smart to just wait and farm for better pieces.
- STAM becomes useless, apart from your dailies time. Every boss ability can one-shot you, and you're not meant to take hits from elite mobs. Having 2k more hp could be useful to resist unavoidable damage, but the HP you gain while leveling and with quest gear is more than enough to start, really.
- PvE gear is definitely better than PvP gear. With the 5.0.4 changes and the introduction of PvP power and PvP Resilience, pvP gear is baseline a lower ilvl than equivalent PvE gear, which means less base stats (and AGI is what's more important than everything else). Also the PvP stats don't have any effect on PvE mobs, ergo they count 0 towards your performance. Invest time in gathering proper PvE gear if you plan to do PvE.
Basic Raiding Survival Tips
After some suggestions i've got, here's a quick semi-advanced list of tips which have been proven to be uselful in any raiding enviroment. Basically i'm going to examine what you should generally pay attention to and what abilities that aren't directly related with nuking bosses are still useful to us.
- A dead rogue does zero DPS. Don't think to be too smart, pay attention at the enviroment. It's better to kill the boss and be #3 on Recount then die mid-fight and be the last one on damage done.
- Bring your consumables. Flask, potions and food (linked banquets are only some of the options) are all three a great way to improve your dps. While flask and food are no-brainers, the correct use of potions (and pre-pot) can make really a difference.
- we have a lot of utility poisons which can be used together with Deadly; among all of them i found that Paralytic is the best one. Obviously useless on boss, but decent for any adds which are not stun immune. It doesn't suffer DR even from itself, can be used as a root with shiv and can be applied aoe via FoK (while this requires some time, anyway going to be buffed for 5.4 requiring it to stack 4 times). In any case it's a passive stun proc which makes your tanks take less damage. Crippling is good for when you absolutely need a slow; Leeching is very lackluster unfortunately, Elusiveness beats it a thousand times.
- Talking about Elusiveness, this is the best survivability talent we can get. Feint is already an incredible way to mitigate damage, halving the aoe dmg we take and having no cooldown it can be kept up as much as needed - with Elusiveness we can use it to make the aoe damage trivial (30% dmg reduction on top of a 50% less aoe) and it can even be used to reduce direct incoming damage. In phases like the Lightning Storm of Jin'Rohk, where there is a lot of aoe raid damage and everyone needs to move around, making your healer's job more difficult, rolling Feint maybe coupled with a Recuperate will make that phase a lot easier both for you and your healers. Last tip, Elusiveness can make the difference in situations like the need to move away from a boss to a void a huge aoe - everyone remembers Emalon, where everyone needed to run away while rogues could just hit Feint and stay on the boss dpsing.
- Tricks of the Trade is another good tool we have. It doesn't require much thoughtful use - apart the initial pull, just use it on your best damage dealer (or the second one if you're the first ) to get the best dps increase out of it. Yes, it's a personal dps loss but a raid dps gain. Don't be selfish.
- With 5.2, Smoke Bomb isn't anymore a PvP-only tool but it has become a pretty good raid cooldown. It provides a 20% damage reduction for everyone in it, so it shines when you have huge raid damage phases and people needs to stack up. Less effective if you have to spread around, but can be used also as personal damage reduction if there is no better occasion. The LoS effect can be useful sometimes for particular pulls against caster mobs, but it's unlikely you need to do something like this in raids.
- Evasion is another good survivability tool, if it happens that you need to tank something for some time (like initial adds on Dark animus). Useless against casters, will be buffed for 5.4 to be more reliable than it is now (100% dodge chance). Also the most remembered ability when you are the last guy alive and tank the last 1% of the boss grating a kill for your guild.
- Cloak of Shadows is another very very important tool. It grants a 5 seconds immunity to spells and can dispell most of the magic/disease/curse debuffs we can be affected. First good use of it is obviously to avoid direct damage - a dot is cast on you, cloak it away to negate completely its damage. Anyway, there are a lot of spells in raids which are made different specifically to avoid Cloak dispell; in these cases, it's a good thing that you learn for every fight what you can you Cloak-dispell and Cloak-immune, or you cannot Cloak at all, since they change from fight to fight and even between difficulties in some cases. Entering in more details, Cloak-dispell means that you can remove the debuff AFTER it has been casted on you, Cloak-immune means that you need to use Cloak BEFORE to avoid the debuff completely at the moment it's cast (think at Jin'Rokh Ionization). Other than negating damage, Cloak can potentially you trivialize some fight mechanics: always about Ionization, if you manage to cloak-immune all of them, this means that you don't need to move out of the water pool, don't lose uptime and damage buff thus you end doing more damage. Study well the various boss abilities, and try to understand when it's better for you to use it.
Last thing: Cloak doesn't avoid/negate additional effect tied to specific debuffs. Example are the Burning Cinders in Megara fight - you can cloak the debuff but doing so will make the fire patch appear directly under your foot. So, you cannot simply cloak and ignore it, you still need to move away from melee so the fire patch spawns in a safe place (anyway dispelling yourself with cloak is still good, since it saves some of your healers mana).
As said before, we want to maximize our damage. This means that there isn't a "best spec". There is a proper spec for every fight, and there is the spec you can play best. Pick the one that suits you best.
With 5.0.4 the concept of specs is not more tied to talent trees, but it's a proper specialization you can choose at level 10 with your rogue. Talents have nearly nothing to do with it in terms of dps cycles and spec usage; the needed tools for your spec are automatically given while you level up, while Talents are now a separate way to enhance your playstyle and are mostly about utility (apart some rare case).
Talents have now a dedicated section (just after the specs one). Stat priorities are values through the single stat EP - that's why AGI it's always the best stat, use it basically for the comparisons between secondary stats.
Every spec has its strengths and flaws, but we have also lots of abilities that lets us do things that other classes cannot do, think about HM V&T.
- General tips
- We are one of the best sustained damage classes. If we get enough time on the boss, we can dish out impressive numbers.
- Most of our damage comes from passive sources (autoattacks and poisons). Anyway this doesn't means we don't have control; all of this damage comes form correct buff/debuff management, so it's recommended to use a buff/debuff addon to keep track of them.
- Despite wearing leather, we are the most survivable class in raid enviroment. We have lots of abilities to mitigate incoming damage (Feint, Cloak of Shadows), aggro dump and reset (Vanish) and some self heal if needed with Recuperate.
- Rogues' damage depends a lot from cooldowns. Learn to manage them well and don't just spam them on CD.
- If a fight requeres a lot of target switching, it's suggested to take Marked for Death as lvl 90 talent, since every kill will reset his CD and will grant you 5 free CP to make the ramp-up time much shorter.[
- In current raiding enviroment, we are often chosen to do some different tasks apart doing dps. It's your responsibility to take the correct spec and do the things that are needed. Being #1 on Recount doesn't count much when you wipe.
- Glyphs are items that lets us enhance some of our abilites and they are divided in 2 categories, Major and Minor. There are nearly no mandatory ones anymore, apart some rare cases - they will be mentioned in the relative spec part.
- Stats breakdown
- Agility (AGI): the best stat for rogues for every spec. It gives 2 attack power per point, crit% and dodge%. With leather specialization we get a passive 5% boost to it.
- Hit rating: the strongest and mandatory secondary stat to a certain cap, it affects the chance to hit of all our attacks and poisons. We absolutely want our special attacks to always hit - for this purpose the cap for raiding bosses is 7.5%, which will bring also the hit cap for poisons. More hit rating will make our auto-attacks land more often, but it's not worth it at all due to the insane requirement to cap for it and the minimal damage increase it grants.
- Expertise: our attacks can be dodged/parried other than miss. Expertise reduces this chance. Since we attack from behind the boss, we must worry only about dodges. Expertise cap is 7.5%, different races have expertise bonuses with some kind of weapons.
- Crit rating: simple as that, all our attacks have a chance to deal more damage, this chance is the crit%. Crit rating increases this chance, but it's a weak stat overall due to rogue mechanics not favoring attack crits.
- Haste: increases attack speed, aswell as energy regeneration.
- Mastery: new stat introduced with Cataclysm. Its effect changes depending on the spec, and can be very powerful in some cases, while very lackluster in some others. You can learn it at level 80 from class trainers.
Focused on poisons damage. Need to use double daggers due to Mutilate / Dispatch used as primary CP generating moves.
Stat priority without RPPM : Agility > Hit(7.5%) > Mastery > Expertise(7.5%) > Haste > Crit
Stat priority with RPPM trinkets/meta/legendary cloak: Agility > Hit(7.5%) > Expertise(7.5%) > Depends on gear
At this point, there is no short version. The RPPM mechanics and T16 set bonus change the EP values of mastery, haste and crit to the point they become nearly the same when you get your hands on enough gear. Fierydemise has made a really good analysis in his blog, i suggest everyone to read that (the link is at the bottom of the guide)
- open from Stealth, cast Mutilate (cheap because of Shadow Focus, can proc Dispatch)
- use Mutilate as CP builder, when the boss gets to 35% HP switch to Dispatch instead
- when Blindside procs, try to use it soon but better if Envenom buff is up
- put up Slice and Dice at whatever CP you get
- keep up 4+ CP Rupture
- use 4+ CP Envenom
Maximizing Rupture uptime is fundamental due to Venomous Wounds, and try to not clip the Envenom buff by pooling energy. Slice and Dice is refreshed by Envenom spamming, thanks to Cut to the Chase; so, apart the initial application, you shouldn't worry about it through the fight.
A great role in the spec is covered by Dispatch: it is out execute-type move, triggering at 35% and should be used instead of Mutilate. Also you need to pay attention to Blindside procs, which grant you a free Dispatch use regardless of target HP - you should aim to use it asap, and without wasting CP (which can be difficult sometimes due to Seal Fate). If you are at 4 CP, it should best to delay the Blindside proc after the finisher.
If you take Anticipation as lvl 90 talent (which is in most of the cases), the rotation changes to always 5CP finishers; you don't worry anymore about wasting combo, when you go over 5 they will be stored by Anticipation charges.
Mastery: Assassination spec has Potent Poisons. It's a very strong mastery, it affects a great part of the spec damage. That's the reason mastery stat is so valuable for assassination rogues.
This spec has a very good sustained damage, aswell as being the less penalized in target switching (DP doesn't stack anymore, you need only rupture on target and it can be easy if you keep Redirect for this).
Assassination has also a good "cleave mechanic": you can switch targets and keep rupture up on 2+ targets. The damage gain is sensible and the rotation is faster due top multiple Rupture proccing more Venomous Wounds and thus granting us more energy regen. Managing the cycle and Rupture on multiple targets can be difficult sometimes, but it definitely pays off.
When you need sustained AoE (4+ targets), just use FoK as combo builder, and throw up Rupture on target, then switch. Don't use Crimson Tempest as finisher: use it only if you need to burn excess combo points.
The only Assassination-only glyph is Glyph of Vendetta, which trades some damage bonus for more duration. It is a dps increase, but be aware that you will need a longer time window to not waste the cooldown.
Other glyphs are all utility-related, but glyph of Smoke Bomb is nearly mandatory, and the new glyph of Redirect make the ability actually usable in a raid enviroment.
- Vendetta: major dps CD, but requires to have a 20 second window to focus on boss; ideally to use it on CD and aligned wth bloodlust/heroism and/or procs.
- Shadow Blades: the new class-wide CD, basically it should be always on CD and possibly coupled with Vendetta. Beware on the "grants 1 more CP" part which basically means that a single Mutilate can award you 4 CP. During Shadow Blades, don't worry about clipping Envenoms and use it as soon you have 5 combo points.
Focused on weapon damage. We use Sinister Strike as combo move and it's one of the biggest sources of damage of the spec, thus a slow MH is required (sword/axe/fist/mace). With the normalization of Combat Potency, a slow OH now is completely viable.
Stat priority: Agility > Hit(7.5%) > Expertise (7.5%) > Haste > Mastery > Crit
The spec is built around SS damage and finishers always hitting to get maximum advantage from Restless Blades. After that, haste is the favorite stat since more haste = more energy = more SS spam (and faster Bandit's Guile transitions, etc.)
There is no fixed rotation, more of a priority system. Keep SnD up 100% of the time, then dish 5 point finishers.
- put up Slice and Dice with whatever CP#
- put and keep up Revealing Strike buff
- use 5CP Rupture
- use 5CP Eviscerates
Now Bandit's Guile stacks on the rogue - so target switching won't reset the stacks anymore, a good buff to combat since Restless Blades lowers the CD of Redirect.
Revealing Strike is a debuff that lasts 18 seconds on the target - while you want it always active for your SS spam, it's not good to refresh it as soon as it expires. It's better to pool energy so as soon you use RvS you can dish out a subsequent SS, to use the less energy possible on it and the most possible on Sinister Strikes.
Aim to have the highest uptime possible on Rupture.
If Blade Flurry is on, don't use Rupture at all.
About cleave/AoE: Blade Flurry has been nerfed with 5.2, because it was basically a "double damage" button and was too strong for a cleaving enviroment. Now BF has changed to hit up to 4 additional targets, for 40% of the damage on the main target. This means that our two-target cleave has been nerfed a lot, but when we get 3 to 5 targets, it will become stronger and stronger. Also, it's a nice buff to our AoE damage, while Assassination or Subtlety are still better options (especially Assassination).
In 5.4, Blade Flurry has interaction with Killing Spree - if BF is active, KS will jump around additional targets; if BF isn't up, KS will hit only your current target. Still, Blade Flurry won't spread the Killing Spree damage to other targets.
Crimson Tempest has been proven to be useful: in any enviroment with more than 2 adds, use CT instead of Eviscerate.
Mastery: combat has Main Gauche, which is a remnant of the old sword specialization (the strongest weapon spec we had in past days). It procs additional free attacks, and it's become even better than Cataclysm implementation. Anyway, haste remains a better stat for combat.
Similar to Assassination, Combat has a good sustained damage, and recent buffs brought the single target damage on par with Assassination. Has a better burst than Assassination with Killing Spree. Restless Blades lowers our CDs, so keep an eye on them.
The old Glyph of Adrenaline Rush doesn't exist anymore and it's baked into AR ityself. Two slots should be taken by the Smoke Bomb one and Redirect (Combat already reduces a lot Redirect cooldown by itself, but with the glyph it will become nearly zero); the other one can be any of the utility glyphs.
- Adrenaline Rush: double energy regen ratio and faster attack speed for 15 sec. Use it on CD, but never with KS; also try to dump your energy to 0 before triggering it to avoid energy capping. It's very likely you'll cap energy during AR if you need to move away from the boss, so try to use it when you're sure to get full effect from it.
- Killing Spree: a rush of 7 attacks. Use it on CD and don't delay it too much, but dump your energy to avoid capping. Try to use it when you're sure that there aren't any other mobs in range if you want to use it for burst and not aoe. Works with Blade Flurry.
- Shadow Blades: the new class-wide CD; Since it has the same cooldown of Adrenaline Rush and is affected by Restless Blades, the most effective way to use it is actually macroing it with AR. They both don't use a GCD, and they will be always be up at the same time. Also, since AR boosts attack speed, this means even more autoattacks making Shadow Blades more effective.
Focuses on fun. Really, if you like it, there is no other spec that screams "ROGUE!" more; than this.
Stat priority with no RPPM-based items: Agility > Hit(7.5%) > Expertise(7.5%) > Mastery (Minimal)> Haste > Crit > Hit
Stat priority with RPPM trinkets/meta/cloak: Agility > Hit(7.5%) > Expertise(7.5%) > Haste > Mastery = Crit > Hit
As a side note, AGI for sublety is even more powerful than standard, due to Sinister Calling. Since the new rotation is extremely similar to combat and revolves over Backstab damage and having 100% Rupture uptime, expertise has become better.
- open from stealth with Premeditation/Garrote because of Sanguinary Vein
- keep up 5CP Slice and Dice
- keep up 5CP Rupture
- keep up Hemorrage
- use 5CP Eviscerates
Honor among Thieves has changed from Cataclysm (cannot proc if you're out of combat), and we cannot pool combo points before entering combat for a preemptive SnD like we used to do. Given this, best way to open is with Garrote.
In addition, you should take Subterfuge as lvl15 talent due to the synergy it has with Find Weakness; if you decide to also take Prey on the Weak and the mob is stunnable, throw in the opening rotation a Cheap Shot for additional damage.
The strongest point of the spec is to maximize Find Weakness uptime through Vanish and Shadowdance. Don't delay much time waiting for cooldowns, Vanish-Ambush and just after the debuff has expired throw in Shadow Dance. Use Preparation to reset Vanish cooldown as soon as possible.
With HaT we have a constant flow of CP to let us manage all the finishers; we can use also Premeditation to get a fast 2CP on our target. Managing the CP flow can be someway difficult, and there aren't strict rules about it since it can vary from time to time.
The managing of HaT procs has become much easier with Anticipation, since it guarantees to save every CP proc. If for some reason you don't take it, pool energy if you're low and wait for HaT procs when you are at 4CP - kee in mind that this is a generic tip, it all depends on the situation.
The last hotfixes brought a good buff to Sub spec, to the point it is on par (if not actually better) on single-target damage with the other specs. Anyway keep in mind that Sub still suffers from the positional requirement of Backstab and it doesn't bring particularly good debuffs/cleave AoE, so many people just stay Assa of Combat for the additional utility (more valuable sometimes than raw damage).
Mastery: subtlety spec has Executioner, which boosts our finisher damage and SnD attack speed bonus. Since finisher damage is a good amount in the total damage, Mastery is actually quite good as a secondary stat. RPPM mechanics shift the EP weights toward haste, so using Shadowcraft is recommended.
There are no Sublety-only related glyphs which can be treaduced into a dps increase - you can choose them based around their utility in a determined fight.
- Vanish: with Master of Subtlety and Find Weakness, it becomes a good burst CD.
- Shadow Dance: iconic CD of sublety,it lets you to Ambush spam for a big burst moment and high damage due to Premeditation and Find Weakness. Use it when needed or on CD and in conjunction with Bloodlust/Heroism. it's a good choice to pool energy before Shadow Dance.
- Shadow Blades: the new class-wide CD; since it makes our autoattacks ignore armor, it's not a good choice to use it during Find Weakness buff. try to use it during Find Weakness downtime.
The new 5.0.4 system introduced a new Talents tree. It is completely independent from specs, so you can freely choose the build that you prefer and it eill change in some way the playstyle of any spec you play, in a a different manner.
The first thing i'm pointing is if there is a dps increase, direct or indirect, for choosing that talent and how affects our gameplay (if it does). For some others there is only an explanation or why you should choose them and in which situation.
- Level 15
- Nightstalker: better speed in stealth and a more powerful opener; anyway Shadow focus is generally better.
- Subterfuge: 3 openers instead of one, the only spec that can make a full use of this is Sublety due to more Find Weakness uptime. You should take this if you play Sub.
- Shadow Focus: reduces the cost of abilities in stealth by 75%; the nerf has brought it basically on par with the other two talents.
- Level 30
- Deadly Throw: a ranged finisher with an interrupt if perfomred at 5CP - only useful in a gimmick fight coupled with Shuriken Throw if there are substantially long flying phases - still we won't be comparable with ranged dps.
- Nerve Strike: more for leveling and PvP, since stuns have a very small part in PvE enviroment.
- Combat Readiness: a "tank" CD, which requires enemies to hit you - probably best use is for soloing elites, apart the PvP implications.
- Level 45
- Cheat Death: a second "free life" which can make trivial some fight mechanics - it has its niche.
- Leeching Poison: a passive and sustained free hp regen, unfortunately it works only on physical damage and its healing is very little compared to the damage we usually take, resulting too many times in useless ioverhealing. Decent for any solo environments like leveling and soloing old raids.
- Elusiveness: great damage reduction on demand, the best option to reduce damage income when there are predictable huge raid damage phases (which means a lot of situations).
- Level 60
- Cloak and Dagger: it basically bakes with our openers a shadowstep. While it sounds cool, mobility-wise Shadowstep is still better in a generic raid enviroment. If you play Subtlety, with Shadow Dance you can make a greater use of it, so it's better to reconsider what to take (it will make much easier to make full use of Shadow Dance).
- Shadowstep: a great mobility tool, and now you can use it over friendly targets. Can reduce a lot the downtime if used correctly.
- Burst of Speed:if you need to dispel a snare, this is the choice for you. Totally dependant on the fight mechanics - it costs energy but useful if you are far from the target and you are at risk of capping energy.
- Level 75
- Prey on the Weak: a good buff on stunned enemies useful for leveling and PvP, but of very limited use in PvE raiding.
- Paralytic Poison: all bosses are stun-immune, anyway it can be useful in certain fights to control adds.
- Dirty Tricks: if stuns aren't used much in PvE, Gouge and Blind are even less used.
- Level 90
- Shuriken Toss: a ranged CP builder which has a great synergy with Deadly Throw, but that is actually useful only if you cannot stay in melee range of your target for a long time. Very likely to have its niche of uses, but requires a gimmick fight. Also, the fact it doesn't provide that much of dps, it still can be behind also in that kind of fights.
- Marked for death: it has taken the place of Versatility (fortunately) and it grants you istant 5CP, plus debuffing your target so if it dies in a minute, the CD of MfD is reset. Extremely valuable for PvP and any kind of solo play, still worse than Anticipation in a pure sustained damage enviroment. But it still has a great power for any kind of add fight, and the CD reset thing is really, really huge.
- Anticipation: the only siginficant dps increase we have with talents. Anticipation simply makes excess CP not wasted, hence you can roll with all 5CP finisher (and you actually need to change the dps rotation). Great for pretty much every fight, it will be THE talent choice for lvl 90, apart form gimmick fights in which turns out that one of the other options is better (which will be very unlikely).
Gemming your Gear
With MoP, gems have changed a lot. The most noticeable thing is that secondary stat gems are immensely stronger than before, because they have double the amount of rating compared to primary gem stats. This brings them actually very close if not better than pure Agi gems.
Given the points above, it's clear that aiming to match socket colors to get the bonus is something generally worth to, but still the best way to proceed is to calculate EP wights for the stat and go for the highest EP combination.
Example: a colorless single-socket item with no bonus - taking EJ combat EPs
Agi 2.77 EP * 160 (gem) = 443.2
Haste 1.6345 EP * 320 (gem) = 532.04
It's clear that Haste wins over it. But what if the socket was red, and the bonus is 60 agi? Let's see:
Agi 2.77 EP * 160 (gem) + 2.77 * 60 (bonus) = 609.4
Haste 1.6345 EP * 320 (gem) = 532.04
Now an AGI gem becomes better.
There is no easy/fast solution - you can use one of the many software/sites to get the calculations done, but the optimal way is no more than this: math.
A gem list that can be useful for us rogues, sorted by colour:
- Red: Delicate Primordial Ruby and Precise Primordial Ruby[/li]
- Orange:Deft Vermilion Onyx and Adept Vermilion Onyx
- Yellow:Quick Sun's Radiance and Fractured Sun's Radiance
- Green: Lightning Wild Jade and Sensei's Wild Jade[/li]
- Blue: Rigid River's Heart
- Purple: Glinting Imperial Amethyst and Accurate Imperial Amethyst
- Meta: Agile Primal Diamond or if you've done the legendary quest, Capacitive Primal Diamond
Critical strike rating gems are also available, but with crit being usually low in EP values, they are a sub-optimal solution.
Enchanting your gear
Not much to discuss in this section, since enchants are static bonuses some enchant are just the best compared to others. Sometimes there are cheaper options for the same slot, but you can do that at the price of lower dps. Following is the list of best enchants for available slots.
- Head: head enchants have been removed from the game
- Shoulder: Greater Tiger Claw Inscription, crafted with Inscription
- Back: Superior Critical Strike
- Chest: Glorious Stats
- Wrist: Greater Agility
- Hands: Superior Mastery or Greater Haste, depending on spec
- Waist: Living Steel Belt Buckle, crafted by blacksmiths; it allows you to put another gem on your belt
- Legs: Shadowleather Leg Armor, crafted by leatherworkers; if you are a LW yourself, you can use Primal Leg Reinforcements for the same bonus but much cheaper
- Boots: Blurred Speed
- Weapons: Dancing Steel is the best enchant, followed by Windsong
- Rings (if enchanter): Greater Agility x 2
The new feature introduced with Cataclysm, this lets you to have some degree of customization on you gear. Basic rules are:
Put that, reforging simple follows the stat priority defined per spec. It's recommended to use a calculator of some sort, since getting the nearest possible the stat caps can be tricky sometimes and other times the common sense doesn't give the optimal solution. So i'll give only the baselines, optimal reforgings varies between sets of gear.
- you take away 40% of a secondary stat (hit, crit, haste, expertise, mastery) or Spirit, and put it into another secondary stat or Spirit
- you cannot reforge into a stat that is already on the item (example: hit to mastery if it is already present)
- try to reforge the worst stat on the item to the best one for the maximum gain.
Last tip, when you reach a stat cap, obviously that stat becomes the better to reforge out.
Shadowcraft is the best tool for rogues around - is basically manages everything about our class. A must.
Fierydemise's PvE Rogue Blog - a very valid source for more deep discussion on the rogue class, which integrates this guide with an attitude oriented to high-progression and minmaxing.