Roguedom: Common Rogue Q's & A's


90 Night Elf Rogue
(Last updated Sept. 15, 2013.)

Whether you're new to the class or a grizzled veteran, there's always more to learn about playing a rogue. Are you looking for a single place you can turn for answers to all of your questions about the class?

Well, too bad. You're screwed. You'll never be any good.

Oh! Sorry; force of forum habit -- I meant the opposite of that.

In this sticky, I’ll do my best to answer commonly asked questions on a wide range of topics relevant to every level and breed of rogue. At present I'm keeping this thread to PvE questions only; I'll fill in PvP gaps in the future.

If you've got any suggestions, Q's you'd like to see A'd, corrections or general death threats, feel free to flip me the bird at @SvelteKumquat, spam my blog at or Gharass me at I look forward to completely ignoring your messages.

==Current Issues & Patch Changes ==

==PvE: Basic Questions & Answers==

==Noteworthy Class Resources==
Edited by Rfeann on 9/15/2013 7:44 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Current Issues & Guides

What’s changed for rogues in Patch 5.4?

What are the latest things that Blizzard has said about rogues?
Edited by Rfeann on 9/15/2013 3:45 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
PvE: Basic Questions and Answers

What’s the best way to level my rogue?

What weapons are best to use?
  • Assassination: +Agility dagger in each hand
  • Combat: +Agility non-dagger (one-handed axe, fist, mace or sword) in main hand, +Agility dagger OR non-dagger in off hand
  • Subtlety: +Agility dagger in each hand

What poisons are best?
  • lethal: Deadly Poison
  • non-lethal: Usually doesn’t matter. When it does, it’ll vary by situation.

What spec is best for raids?
  • Unless you’re in a highly competitive group that’s really straining for DPS, you don’t need to worry about it. All three specs are pretty close to one another.

OK, but really, what’s the best spec?
  • It varies from fight to fight, but generally, Assassination is the go-to spec for single-target fights and Combat is best in fights where Blade Flurry comes in handy. Subtlety can do well on single-target fights if you’re good at it, but it’s harder to play well than Assassination.

What are the best talents, glyphs and DPS rotations for each spec?

Once I hit level 90, what’s the quickest way to gear up for raids?
  • Head to the Timeless Isle. Scattered around are chests and elite mobs that drop “Timeless” armor tokens which will turn into iLevel 496 armor items -- or i535 if you upgrade it with a Burden of Eternity. A couple hours of farming the island can potentially net you a full set of gear (minus weapons).
  • You can also buy i522 armor with Valor points, which you can get from heroic dungeons, daily quests, pet battles and other sources.
  • Good weapons are harder to come by. Best bet is to get PvP weapons or queue up for Raid Finder in the previous raid tier (Throne of Thunder).
  • Once your gear has an average iLevel of 496, you’ll be able to queue for the Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Finder, which drops i522 gear.

What are my stat priorities for gems, enchants and reforging?
  • Use ShadowCraft (; a video tutorial by Aeriwen is here:

OK, but I just want to know what the hit cap is and whether mastery is better than--
  • Seriously. Use ShadowCraft. It’s easily the most accurate tool we have for optimizing our gear, and it’s constantly being maintained and improved by some of our brightest theorycrafters.

C’mon. Just tell me what the hit cap is.
  • Fine. We want to be at 7.5% for raids, 6% for heroic dungeons. (Same for expertise.) But really, use ShadowCraft to ensure you optimize your gear as much as possible.

But I don’t trust ShadowCraft when it’s telling me to reforge to one stat instead of another.
  • Too bad. It’s probably correct. Just accept it and move on. Heck, even if ShadowCraft is slightly off, it’s going to be by a tiny amount. Stop obsessing over incredibly minor gear optimizations and focus on the more important stuff, like learning raid fights.

How do I know whether a piece of gear is a good upgrade or not?
  • ShadowCraft.

If you love ShadowCraft so much, why don’t you just marry it?
  • Because that would be illegal. And really weird. And I’m just not into it that way.

What’s the most important part of doing good DPS?
  • Playing your spec well. Then learning raid fights and executing your role properly. Then getting gear upgrades (especially weapons). Then optimizing your gear.

What else do I need to know about raiding as a rogue in Patch 5.4?
  • There’s a great guide by Fierydemise here:
Edited by Rfeann on 9/15/2013 7:56 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Noteworthy Class Resources

Community/Forums (besides this one):
  • MMO-Champion rogue forum (for general discussion):
  • ArenaJunkies rogue forum (for PvP):
  • Elitist Jerks rogue forum (for PvE raiding):

Active Blogs:
  • Rogue Chat (theorycrafting; by Fierydemise):
  • LastRogue (PvP; by Dcruize):
  • Red-Hatted Rogue Reporter (news; by me):
Edited by Rfeann on 9/15/2013 7:43 PM PDT
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85 Night Elf Rogue
I looked and thought: "Another rogue has my name?"

In other news, this is a really great and very useful thread, Rfeann. Thanks for starting and maintaining it.
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85 Night Elf Rogue
Voted for sticky.
Verelyse describes state of rogue QQ:
Lol. XD
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Tossed in a couple more links from my super-secret list and tweaked the formatting a bit. Please reply with any and all forum threads and outside resources you feel are worth letting other rogues know about; I hope this can ultimately grow into a useful reference tool for advice-seekers and advice-givers alike. (Or it can be met with utter disgust and fall completely flat. Whichever.)
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90 Night Elf Rogue
02/19/2011 2:46 PMPosted by Firstwind
Thanks for starting and maintaining it.

Oh. Crap. I'm supposed to maintain it? I'll need way more money, then.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Thanks for starting and maintaining it.

Oh. Crap. I'm supposed to maintain it? I'll need way more money, then.

I have good news and bad news:

We're willing to increase your wages by 5% on top of your already 1G.

The bad news, we're going to have to increase your taxes by 4.78%.

But it comes with a free frogurt!
Edited by Caera on 2/19/2011 10:07 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
That's good!
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Added a few outside links (Shadow Panther, Encrypted Text), as well as Aeriwen's leveling FAQ (so sorry, Aeriwen -- I forgot about your freaking *sticky*!) and Gerwulf's subtlety PvE videos. Also did another formatting pass to make the lists more readable.

Pretty light on Combat-related stuff at the moment, so if y'all have threads or outside resources to recommend... please do. :) I'm also considering adding a section that links to thoughtful, constructive threads or individual posts that discuss controversial/ongoing issues in rogueness, such as the value of expertise as Assassination or the places where Sap doesn't work quite right. If you remember any specific posts that explained or discussed these issues especially well, please pass 'em along!
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Added a link to WoWWiki's rogue macro page, which is one of the most complete lists I've been able to find. If anybody knows of better, though -- or wants to start a thread that's even betterer -- that would be swell.

Also, a repeat call for the stuff I mentioned just above: more Combat resources you know of, as well as threads/posts on these forums in which people talk to each other in a normal, human, productive, non-abusive manner about debate-worthy rogue issues or about bugs/difficulties affecting our class.
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85 Goblin Rogue
Voted for sticky

Thanks Rfeann!
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Update time!

I've added another two links to the Sub PvE section (Pikawho's guide and Synek's overview in the EU forums), along with a note about why I've got so many links related to a spec that isn't even considered raid-viable. Any sub PvE rogues out there have feelings on which of the four guides I list is better or worse from a helpfulness/accuracy standpoint?

I've also added Ten Ton Hammer's broad overview of the entire rogue class. It's one of few umbrella-type looks at rogueness as a whole, and while it may be out of date in spots, it's still a great first step for anybody who's new to the class, considering rolling a rogue, or brushing off their rogues after a long hiatus.

Please reply with link recommendations or criticisms! This thread is still very light on Combat stuff.

p.s.: Truewann, quit changing the name of your PvP guide every other day. :P
Edited by Rfeann on 2/22/2011 10:27 AM PST
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90 Night Elf Rogue
Ha! Thanks. Yeah, since I'm not cool enough to make the news (or start the great forum threads), I figure I might as well just report on it. :)

Hey Tru, I'm considering adding this still-new thread to the mix:

Combat?! PVP viable?

I figure that since Combat PvP tends to suffer from the same knowledge gap as Subtlety PvE, it helps to provide folks with a link to good discussions even if they're not comprehensive guides. But I also don't know Combat from a hole in the ground. In your opinion, is the info in that thread mostly helpful so far? (Celinne, if you're out there, I'd love your take as well.)
Edited by Rfeann on 2/22/2011 12:35 PM PST
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