Topic Celinne/Spriestlol's Combat PvP Guide. [LONG]
Edited by Spriestlol on 3/26/11 3:32 AM (PDT)
Yes, it does work better than you think.
Take our Advice or leave it, we're just [edit: idiots, lolol] as far as ratings are concerned, but we've both been working extensively with the spec to prove it's viability.
In this guide, we'll be going over the following:
Also, feel free to ask questions ITT, we'll answer them as we can.
Note to self: These list items are inaccurate, and will be edited when the rest is posted.
Edited by Celinne on 4/11/11 11:50 AM (PDT)
Why, oh, why would you spec into lolCombat?
Well, unlike popular belief, it packs a lot of utility and control, possibly exceeding Sub’s control potential, while keeping decent mobility and ... well I won’t lie, the damage-dealing is a little problematic but I’ll get to that later.
Sometimes I wonder why they say Subtlety is the best control spec. Other than double smoke bomb and the versatility of Shadowdance, they don’t have much better than Combat. Combat has one very defining ability, 8.7 second kidney shots. This is the single most powerful stun in the game on a 20 second cooldown. It’s stronger than CC’s now that they have been reduced to an 8 second duration, won’t break on damage, can offer an OOC restealth or a great bursting opportunity on your defenseless target, and unlike the poor pally's HoJ, it's physical and NOT dispellable.
Then you have 6 second gouges for 15 energy. Such a low cost makes it practically useable at any time. It’s basically an in-combat Sap. But with a much more emphasized DR considering it's shared with Sap. It can also be used as a way to get some energy back while you wait for the gouge to wear off and get a very lightweight positioning reset in the fight. Obviously it’s a little shorter than sap, the cost of being able to use it in combat and out of stealth.
Now let’s not forget about silences. No, I’m not talking about Garrote, I’m talking about Improved Kick. An on-demand silence on a very short cooldown, allowing you to use it on several targets in a short time frame. Despite what you may think, even in today’s longer PvP fights and large health pools, 3 seconds can be very devastating, assuming you place them correctly. Add ranged interrupts into the mix and you have a great arsenal to control the battle field, especially casters.
Assassination rogues seem to think Combat have the same terrible mobility that they do, they’re wrong. They think it’s only improved sprint and underestimate it, but there’s more. Earlier I mentioned the versatility of Shadowdance, but Killing Spree has some versatility of it’s own. Aside from being a burst damage dealer, it can be used as a short range shadowstepx5 with a punch. Spriestlol will get into details about it later. The control tools also prevent enemy mobility, so while your personal mobility is increased, enemy mobility is reduced, mostly because of the 70% undispellable daze, but all the other tools to stop your target from escaping. What a better way to ruin a pally’s Hand of Freedom than by Gouging him and watching it being spent while he stands still? Or Gouge a mage as he Nova’s you, so both abilities end at the same time and you’re free to resume your fight, without being rooted.
Now we come to damage. Most people simply and bluntly say Combat’s damage sucks. These people are also simple and blunt in personality and mind. The real thing about the damage is that it is dependent on two things: Bandit’s Guile and your Offensive Cooldowns. If you have neither, you won’t be doing any threatening damage, if you have both, you will deal considerably large numbers. Bandit’s Guile is not really under the user’s control, which makes your damage dealing inconsistent, but your cooldowns are under your control, and it’s your job to manage them so you don’t waste them all and have nothing to pop to pew pew people with later. Realistically, in PvP encounters, enemies won’t always stand around patiently waiting for you to stack Bandit’s Guile up, so you might have to use it before its maxed. 20% is still an acceptable damage buff, but sometimes you’ll literally have to go without it.
Now, here comes the tricky part: Blade Flurry. This ability allows you to double your attacks onto a second target within melee range of you. This offers potential for even your minimal damage to have a great impact on enemy teams. It offers the possibility for a cleave spec, built to maximize damage and the use of BF. Punch out 100k damage on a healer, you’re also punching out 100k damage on the warrior next to you, keeping more pressure on the healer as he has to heal both himself and his partner while being focused by your team.
Edit: SEE POST 14 FOR IMPORTANT INFO ON BLADE FLURRY.
Edited by Spriestlol on 3/19/11 2:57 PM (PDT)
What talents are useful, why would you take them, are there any alternatives?
Let's expand on this a bit more. Combat is probably the most versatile of the three trees in the sense that although it's bloated, there's no real way to go wrong with how you spec. Some are better than others but not to a point where the not-so-great talents are worthless. For example as Subtlety, if a rogue takes the talent Enveloping Shadows to reduce the CD on Feint and take 30% less AoE damage, although I an see this working in PvE possibly, I can't really see it working for PvP at all, and the talent itself seems almost useless because of this.
Now lets compare that with one of the lesser appreciated talents of Combat in T1, Precision. This talent grants you Hit rating. By speccing into this we right off the bat do NOT have to worry about our PvP 5% hit cap, and since even in PvP blues 1% is enough to get, you won't be getting Night Elf'd as much (read: A blind missing a night elf resto druid due to their pesky little -2% racial. I'm glaring at you, Celinne.)
Going over each talent directly, here's how you should be looking at them:
Improved Recuperate: Pretty much a "Don't both swapping to me in arenas." Talent - Certainly worth a look at, especially for BGs and Soling groups of Melee, including duels. In 4.1 this is going to be nerfed but since we need 5 Points in T1 to advance to the next tier, lets just get hit capped with gear and skip precision, taking this instead.
Improved Sinister Strike: As you would know, Sinister Strike is your main Combo Point builder in this spec - and sadly, Combo Point generation is a well-known weakness of this spec in PvP. Certainly not worth passing up at all when you compare what else there is to advance to T2 talents.
Precision: As stated above, don't underestimate this, especially as Combat. It's quite well known that with Combat, the bulk of your damage will be white hits, not just those special abilities. And leaving room to reforge for more secondary stats if needed. For the most part though, this talent is considered a bloat and is skipped.
Improved Slice and Dice: Slice and Dice gives you 40% hast- .. I mean 40% MELEE SPEED. (Holding my rage back on the inside, pardon me.) As stated, white hits are a significant part of Combats damage output. Taking this talent is advised so you don't have to glyph for it; as SnD is fairly high on your Combo Point priorities list as Combat. And Combo Points are quite precious with this spec.
Improved Sprint: Another pesky comeback to them fraust mages/dr00ds. Whenever you get rooted or nova'd, using Sprint will remove the immobilize. THIS WORKS AGAINST HUNTER ENTRAPMENT! Hunters have a Talent which puts a root on you when you land in a trap - and although this root is dispellable, you cannot predicatively cloak out of it, or remove it afterward with cloak. Improved Sprint takes this off. It also takes off that pesky warrior Improved Hamstring effect. Not just roots, but also snares, including warrior Piercing Howl. This talent is STRONGLY recommended - one of the best in the tree.
Aggression: This is one of those talents that you really should be taking. I personally opt for it, and I also recommend picking up. It increases the damage output of your Combo Point generator and main damage finisher. (Don't even pay attention to Backstab, foo.) You also need one more point to go down to T3 Combat in the tree, so def. take this as well.
Improved Kick: Some, including myself, opt to not spec for this - But don't get me wrong, it's VERY tempting. There's nothing more frustrating than getting juked at gamebreaking moments. However the blanket silence has a DR (as it should - don't get me wrong. There are alot of melee interrupts atm; too much at that note.) The silence isn't that long but it's only 1 second shorter than if you DIDN'T get the cast. It should be noted that although this DRs with all blanket silences, it also does NOT blanket silence when you DO land the interrupt - a useful utility to help you see if you got juked or not.
Lightning Reflexes: Back in Season 8, 3.3.5, I was a hybrid between Combat and Subtlety. I took Setup which gave me a Combo Point when I dodged melee, and took Ghostly Strike for more dodge. Those, with the CP from Dodges, and also this, meant I had 65% passive dodge - 100% with evasion. Those days are gone and I sometimes wonder if this talent is worth it. If it offered 10% HASTE over 10% "Attack Speed" (more energy regen) then for sure I'd take it. But for now I opt to skip it. Some do, some don't. This is where speccing gets versatile. Take improved kick for utility, or take lightning reflexes for the offensive play style.
Edited by Celinne on 4/6/11 6:53 AM (PDT)
Revealing Strike: There is no reason not to take this. there really isn't... Same energy as Sinister Strike, makes your next finisher hit A LOT harder, kidneyshots last long enough for you to get OOC and land a sap... seriously. Just spec for it.
Reinforced Leather: Some take this, I for one don't know why. Think of this as the Enveloping Shadows of Subtlety. How many times do you die from an AoE? Not much. Casters go through armor of course, Shamans deal large amounts of nature damage, Feral druids are bleed based, bleeds go through armor, rogue poisons as well. Subtlety and Warriors have large amounts of ArP (70% when 4.1 hits) - I prefer to leave this one out. Props to Blizz for trying something to make this a toe-to-toe spec, though!
Improved Gouge: Finally, a gouge that doesn't take a huge chunk of your energy bar. It lasts 6 seconds, costs 15 Energy. Time it right and you can get OOC to land another opener on somebody else. Be well aware of your DRs though, as you should know this shares a DR with sap. So landing a gouge into a sap isn't as strong as a Sap into a Gouge. Definitely take this.
Combat Potency: The reason that Combat's Combo Point Generation falls behind the other specs, is Mutilate giving 2 CPs, and Subtlety having HaT, which - in a 3s Match, proccs like crazy. With the Glyph of Sinister Strike only slightly making up for this, you will find that despite combat's faster energy generation, if you funnel all energy into Sinister Strike, you'll go OOE rather quickly. This certainly helps - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE 1.4 DAGGER FOR THIS.
Blade Twisting: At first I thought of it as on-par with Crippling Poison but I now see how much more often it proccs - Seriously. Despite with the Tool-tips say, this proccs about three times as much as that other RNG excuse of a snare. Certainly worth taking, as being deadzoned just outside of melee range can be frustrating. The only downside is that you can't shiv the daze onto your target to quickly snare it to prevent it from getting away, you're at the mercy of your own luck. See post 14.
From here on out, I usually just spec for it all - in fact, if you spec the way I prefer to, you have to, in order to get 30 points in to unlock Killing Spree as your 31st.
Throwing Specialization: Makes it easier to keep that pesky feral in combat, preventing a re-stealth, same for a rogue. But beware this also keeps you combat as well. But the neater part of this, is the interrupt attached to it. If you're in a nova and see a poly going for a healer, don't be afraid to throw it. this has no CD, but of course requires CPs to interrupt, and you must be 5 yards away to utilize DThrow.
Adrenaline Rush: THIS HAS BEEN MERGED WITH THE OLD BLADE FLURRY! Or at least, the 20% attack speed part of it has been moved into here. But this also makes for even more CP generation and finishers - again. Just shaddap and specc for this.
Savage Combat: This is also a nice boost to your baseline attack power that I'd recommend speccing for, especially if you run with a melee partner. The bonus to your own attack power plus the increased physical damage of course stack additively, so this is nice on paper, especially if you are speccing for all-out damage instead of utility.
Bandit's Guile: Now here's one that's quite deceptive on the tool-tip. It claims that your Revealing/Sinister Strike give you an evolving insight - They do. But the 100% chance means that actually you have to land a combination of four combination of Sinister Strikes of Revealing Strikes before you move up an insight level. Thanks to Celinne for clearing that up. Damn Tool-tips.
Restless Blades: It's really a love/hate relationship with this mechanic. I would NEVER skip it obviously, however it doesn't procc off of the Finisher I find myself using the most: KIDNEY SHAWT. I'd love to see a Glyph implemented to make this procc off of all finishers, but sadly this likely won't happen.
And finally, here we are to the grand daddy; Killing Spree: This is your main damage buster. I like it because of the situational awareness it can promote: in order for it to be most effective, you've got to isolate your target from any of his allies to have it land on the single target you want it to: This can include baiting your target to LoS others, etc. This ability can be used on demand offensive-defensively, if you catch my drift. During Killing Spree's buff duration you a re immune to CCs. Yes - Even Cheapshot, disarms, fears, everything. Including Blinds. This ability is one that you can both use one demand defensively, or one that you can sit and wait for the stars to line up with. As Celinne has said, sometimes lining up your buffs, you can land 100k+ damage on a zero-resi target.
Edited by Spriestlol on 3/19/11 3:13 PM (PDT)
Glyph of Revealing Strike: This Glyph is the most important one of all, it’s what allows you to dish out those powerful 8.7 second stuns, not to mention the increase on all your other offensive finishing moves. In my opinion, every Combat PvP rogue should absolutely have this glyph.
Glyph of Sinister Strike: This glyph provides a small boost to the slow combo point generation and is considered to be one of the most important and useful glyphs for a combat rogue. Sinister Strike being your main Combo Point generation ability, it should come in handy quite often.
Glyph of Adrenaline Rush: Due to Killing Spree’s diminished burst damage in Cataclysm, Adrenaline Rush becomes your primary source for burst damage, increasing its duration by 5 seconds is 5 seconds more of pure awesomeness. Very worth it, considering you only get to use Adrush once every 3 minutes, Restless Blades not included, so might as well use it as much as possible for each 3 minutes.
Also, it's likely people may try to CC you when you pop Adrush, so increasing it's duration will limit the penalty from being CC'd for a portion of it's duration.
The three prime glyphs mentioned above are the recommended prime glyphs for a PvP build, although there are alternatives depending on preference:
Glyph of Slice and Dice: If you decided to pick up the Improved Slice and Dice talent, then this Glyph might also interest you since it will also be increased by 50% due to the talent. Glyph and talent counted, a 5-point SnD will last 41 seconds, twice its regular duration, this means you can slip in two extra finishing moves before you have to refresh it, like eviscerate for once. (Celinne this sounds downright clunky, but if you say so.)
Glyph of Killing Spree: A 10% damage increase to Killing Spree, quite a good glyph depending on how you use Kspree. Consider that it’s a 10% damage increase that only comes in once every two minutes for 2.5 seconds. While it can add up to 10k extra damage on an 85 target dummy, armor and resilience could reduce it to 2-4k, which is not much considering it’s taking up one of your Prime glyph slots. Also take into consideration that Kspree is a very situational ability to use optimaly.
Glyph of Eviscerate: Seeing as how Combat rogues have relatively low crit % these days, this glyph is not highly recommended. Also keep in mind that you won’t be using eviscerate all that much either. Not recommended unless you’re going for the all-out damage / cleave spec possibility.
Edited by Celinne on 3/19/11 3:11 PM (PDT)
Glyph of Sprint: That extra 30% speed helps you close gaps faster with Improved Sprint, reduces the chances that you get re-rooted or snared before you reach your target. Also, it’s just plain fun to zoom zoom around, especially with the coming stealth speed boost.
Glyph of Blade Flurry: Considering Blade Flurry’s current awesome incarnation, this glyph can be extremely useful if you’re a heavy user of the ability. At the time I wrote this, I did not have it glyphed because I did not find myself using BF much outside of multi-target Kspree or random world PvP brawls, so I tried other glyphs to see if any would benefit me better. It’s still highly recommended, even if you’re not going for a damage / cleave spec, you never know when you might need to cleave a bit.
Glyph of Blind: Unlike the other two rogue specs, Combat rogues don’t need to use DoT’s of any kind, in fact, they would rather avoid them like the plague to allow better use of Improved Gouge. However, there are times when DoT’s are necessary, like to keep those pesky rogues from restealthing, or if you happen to be rolling with a partner who likes to DoT up his targets. Very useful, but not just to Combat rogues, this is just one of those glyphs that’s good for all.
Glyph of Gouge: Gouge being as strong as it is to a Combat rogue, glyphing for it makes sense. Gouging from behind can be very useful sometimes, however, I consider this glyph to be an extravagance. Gouging from the front is not that hard, unlike backstabbing from behind, because your target will most likely always be facing you. It reduces the chance for your gouge to be blocked / parried / dodged. Useful, but if you think another glyph might help you more, I suggest replacing this one.
Glyph of Cloak of Shadows: Another one of those good-for-all glyphs. 40% physical damage reduction when Cloak of Shadows is active. You don’t use it often to mitigate physical damage, but when you do, it feels good.
Glyph of Garrote: Extends the silence offered by Garrote. Useful, however, if you open on garrote, chances are that you intend on following with a 9s kidney shot, so you might as well just use Improved Kick after the garrote’s silence and you’ll get a 4.5 second silence either way. Of course the glyph is easier and costs 5 energy less if you don’t need to kick, but if you need a glyph spot, consider this alternative.
Glyph of Blurred Speed, Glyph of Safe Fall, Glyph of Poisons. There aren’t really any alternatives... maybe glyph of distract if making people ride off the bridge in AV gives you the jollies.
Offtree Examples: Mut or Sub to finish off?
In this part we'll get in to the differences between how to spend those other 10 extra points if you follow a 0-31-0 skeleton spec. From here on out is where you decide HOW you play. Don't be afraid to stash away some extra Dust of Disappearence and Gold for respeccing and reglyphing as you work out your synergy with teammates and discover the play style that suits you the best.
You have two offtrees to go into. A damage one, very toe-to-toe with your opponents, and a slippy stealthy control/utility packed spec, full of methods of controlling opponents more than damage dealing. First off, lets assume you took this barebones build:
If you want to have a control-based style, consider throwing in on-demand silences w/ Improved Kick. Throw in Nightstalker to lush in the 4.1 changes to stealth, and Relentless Strikes for quick energy refund to bounce back into another form of control out of say, a kidney. The next one you'd want to pick up is of course Elusiveness. With the shorter CD on blind, this can assure you have a way of matching somebodies Trinket Timer, a way to keep them down for opponents to CC them. A shorter CD on vanish as a defensive -or offensive- mechanic to get another opener off if needed. You've now got one point left, and what the hell, Combat CP generation is iffy. I can handle the RNG personally so I'll take Initiative.
Through that, we end up with this kind of a spec, very aggressive and lockdown-esque.
Or if you feel like really getting out there and keeping Blade Flurry up at all times, we can go ahead and start boosting our crit damage - but we only need five points in T1 Assassination. So I prefer only 20% crit bonus damage, and full-on with Coup De Grace. Next up, to be able to stick on our target and tank their pressure, I take quickening. I'd consider taking Ruthlessness for the better CP generation, but it's my personal preference to get Relentless Strikes for the energy return. We then end up with a very pve-offtree looking spec.
As always with this spec, do NOT be afraid to poke around and see what suits you. If you like Improved Kick, take it over Relentless Strikes. It's all up to you.
Edited by Celinne on 3/20/11 7:23 AM (PDT)
What do you do to make things not alive no more?
Note that you cannot become good at combat simply by reading about it. You have not only to read, but to understand what it is you’re reading, and be able to adapt it to your current situation. Just because I say X ability is good to use in this situation does not mean it will always be good to use in that situation because of variations brought in by the fact that your opponents are human players and their actions cannot always be predicted accurately. This applies to all PvP, there is no pre-set rotation for any class to fight every other class. (Except maybe warriors and DK’s, they seem to be facerolling just fine nowadays) With that in mind, I can begin to throw out tips of how to fight:
You may have noticed so far that you have three things to keep in mind:
You have a 9 second stun waiting to be used on some poor bastard.
You have Offensive Cooldowns
You have a rotating 0-10-20-30% damage bonus over time.
Logically, you would try to time these so they coincide at the same moment, preferably at the 30% bonus damage mark. So what do you do until then?
Well... consider getting Recuperate rolling, as well as SnD to increase the damage output during the 30% phase.
If you have extra combo points then you can go for Expose Armor, buffed with Revealing Strike it will last well over a minute and if you’re not too busy with that, concentrate on the fight so something horrible doesn’t happen to you.
However, if you’re trying to control the fight, you’re gonna have to switch targets often, probably losing your Bandit’s Guile progress, or some classes simply won’t let you set up your burst, like mages. In these cases, it will be hard for you to achieve your maximum damage, which is why this spec, in 2’s, is not optimal to be playing with a healer. In 2’s, you are better off double DPS, preferably something that doesn’t stick DoTs on everything it touches so you can profit of those sweet, sweet gouges, like a Frost mage for example.
Just making it clear: DO NOT PLAY 2'S WITH A COMBAT ROGUE / HEALER COMP.
In larger teams, just make sure people are not depending on you as the main source of DPS and everything will be fine.
An important thing to note, if I have not mentioned this before, is NOT to blow all offensive cooldowns at once. Unless you are 150% sure that the blowing of all your cooldowns will achieve victory, because if it doesn’t, you’re gonna be doing about as much damage to your enemies as Deadly Throw once your cooldowns are done and until they come back.
Being able to reach both Elusiveness and Restless Blades, the Combat tree has the potential to have the overall shortest cooldowns, which makes sense because cooldown management is an important aspect of all trees nowadays. Not only cooldowns, but also Diminishing Returns. With so many useful abilities on short cooldowns, you need to be able to tell when you can use it and when you can’t, because you wouldn’t want your target to be immune to a gouge when you were planning on using it to escape, or have DR’s on stuns when you hit that sweet sweet 9 second Kidney shot and lose half of it.
In the next post, Spriestlol is working miracles trying to avoid speaking of a Cheap Shot / Improved Kick macro to open on mages, preventing them from moving and blinking.
Edited by Spriestlol on 3/19/11 3:22 PM (PDT)
- How to make stuff not alive no more part 2/2:
I have no idea how to organize this so from here on out, I’ll be throwing around random pointers about usable tricks against certain classes:
A neat trick if you think a mage will fall for it and blink out of your Cheapshot, is to kick him shortly after the Cheapshot, if you specced for the blanket silence. He can't blink out of it for a while now.
When you land a long Kidneyshot on a mage, don't be afraid to kick the Mage SHORTLY after, as his GCD ends. Either he will blink out of it and be silenced, or if you time it right, it'll blanket-silence him, preventing him from blinking out for the 3s.
Some might panic and trinket/Iceblock out of it. Others will think clearly and use pet nova on you as the CS/KS is about to end. Right there, use GOUGE.
If he Iceblocked, keep your eye on the debuff. AS SOON as it vanishes (most good mages cancel it, rather than wait for it to end so their actions arent as easily predicted), gouge him out of it. Timed right, you can have the Mage in a gouge as he blinked away.
If you have not sapped the Mage before opening, which you probably shouldn’t as combat, both Gouge and Nova will elapse and fall off at the same time. You should probably use the combo points you made up to the gouge on Recupe, but make sure you have at least one on him before he blinks to be able to interrupt anything he casts with Throwing Specialization. This is pretty much the same on all Mages, all the time, but from here on out, you improvise. It won't always go that way.
Killing Spree can be used to resist many things. If a druid happens to pop Nature’s Grasp to attempt an escape, Killing Spree will break you out of the roots and get rid of all the stacks on the druid, while applying a daze on him, (very likely) allowing you to keep beating on his head.
You can use it to immune a warrior’s Throw-down, they usually do it right after Cheap Shot is over so you can do it then. Obviously it breaks you out of a Mage’s nova’s and probably breaks his little shield (forcing Shattered Barrier and resisting it at once). It hits from behind, so any defensive abilities like Evasion or blocking/parrying cooldowns do not affect it.
Edited by Celinne on 3/25/11 3:56 PM (PDT)
SUB ROGUES: Hard match up, both Combat and Sub fight in a similar manner, that of setting up a burst timed with a Kidney shot. What’s the difference? Sub sets it up faster and can deliver more damage over a shorter amount of time via Shadowdance, which also has a shorter cooldown than either Kspree or Adrush. What’s this mean for short? They can set it up faster, use it more often, and it’s more forgiving. Combat rogues are at a disadvantage in this matchup. Good sub rogues would normally beat a Combat rogue easily. I fought some good ones and they just chewed me up, I never even got a chance to go on the offensive.
MUT ROGUES: Don’t try to out-tank them... they do more damage than you, you won’t win that way. Use your better mobility and control to keep your distance and don’t let them get all their finisher debuffs on you. Pop Cloak when you get 5 stacks of Deadly up of course, and if needed, vanish to drop Vendetta off of you.
Most people don’t know about 9 second kidney shots or don’t realize how dangerous it is, you can force a trinket with blind so you can stun them without fear of wasting your offensive cooldowns to a trinket counter attack. Kidney Shot > Blind
Warlocks, uhm, spam gouge, spam kick, piss them right the !!%# off? Last I checked, warlocks were not particulary hard for rogues to kill? Throwing Spec comes in handy when they teleport / Hand of Guldan and try to cast other such spells. I’m not sure if it was just a bug or if it can happen more often, but I once piggy-backed in a warlock’s teleport because he used it as I Killing Spree’d onto him. Ownt. Speaking of Kspree, it can be used to immune fears, if CoS and trinket are down. Always handy to be able to do that.
Healers: just don’t bother, you’re not gonna bring any decently geared and skilled healer down by yourself. If you have a partner though, your 9s stun and 3s silence will be the death of him.
Hunters: Good hunters who know how to kite and not back-pedal usually beat me. But then again, hunters were practically designed to kill rogues, so it’s no surprise. There is no specific tactic used by combat rogues that would differ from other rogues to fight hunters, except maybe hitting gouge a lot go keep him in place as much as possible.
Ret pallies: A dismantled ret pally with wings up is a mad pally. A dismantled / gouged / silenced pally with wings up is an infuriated pally. Try not to waste both Adrush and Kspree before he bubbles / LoH’s because if you do, you’ll have nothing left to burn him down with on his second HP bar. Gouge when he Hand of Freedom’s, always fun. Not going anywhere, pal.
Boomkins: Gouge barksin, and then tear him appart? You can Killing Spree the typhoon. Once again, Throwing Spec comes in handy in this matchup.
Death Knights: If they’re Blood, do like all other Melee and walk away. Frost / Unholy, set up the kidney shot burst normally while watching the battle to make sure you don’t die before you get to the kidney shot. They might use Icebound Fortitude to remove the Kidney Shot, if you have already popped Adrush, I suggest you just keep hitting him, possibly pop Evasion or Dismantle to keep him from hitting you too hard. Death Knights should be relatively easy because they will let you set up your Bandit's Guile burst perfectly and won't be able to do much to prevent you.
Spriest, a bit like warlocks, be careful of the fears and watch Dispersion, gouge it if possible. Aside from the fears, he won’t have much to keep you off him to set up the Bandit’s Guile burst properly.
Have I forgotten a class? I might add more later if I remember more.
Edited by Spriestlol on 3/19/11 3:29 PM (PDT)
GEARING, oh how I hate you, gearing.
I really do hate thinking about gearing. I hate farming rep to get enchants, I hate having to do raids to get BiS things. I’ll just go right to stats, but I hate that as well.
Main stat is obviously Agility, after you got your 5% hit chance for PvP. After that, for secondary stats, I see two options.
Haste. Simple enough, increases attack speed and energy regeneration (Raw energy regen and more procs from Combat Potency thanks to increased attack speed)
Mastery. Gives you some extra swings, which sort of equals to a faster attack speed, and regenerates energy since it can proc Combat Potency.
Your crit chance as Combat is rather low, but that doesn't mean it isn't a considerable stat. (See: lethalitylol)
If we compare the two on these terms, Haste comes ahead for attack speed and energy regeneration, but Mastery has an extra bonus.
During Killing Spree, your mastery has a chance to proc up to an extra 5 main hand swings. This adds up to an extra 750% weapon damage (Assuming you used Kspree at 30% bonus damage from Bandit’s Guile, 800% if you happen to have Kspree glyphed too) which can go anywhere between 15 to 30k extra damage. That’s, at maximum, 800% Main hand weapon damage, 800% off hand weapon damage, and another 800% main hand weapon damage from Main Gauche.
Also, the sound Main Gauche makes is cool, it’s the same sound as ambush, so you can actually pretend you’re hitting hard and maybe your enemies will fear you because they keep hearing ambush go off. <-- fun factor.
I personally went for Mastery, for the reasons mentioned above. I’m constantly considering switching to haste and keeping mastery.
Edited by Celinne on 3/19/11 3:20 PM (PDT)
First things first: SLOW MAIN HAND. Slow being 2.6, not 1.8, meaning NOT A DAGGER. Combat daggers existed once, but it’s gone now, forget about it.
You require a non-dagger weapon, so a Sword, Axe, Fist Weapon or Mace, with Agility, not Strength (I’m looking at you McStab).
The reason behind this is that your main combo point generators, Sinister Strike and Revealing Strike deal a large amount of weapon damage, and unlike Hemorrage or Ambush, they possess no damage bonus for using daggers. What’s this mean for the not-so-bright people? It means that if you’re using a dagger, you will be doing less damage with nothing in return.
Sub rogues get to Backstab with big numbers, mut rogues NEED daggers to use mutilate.
Combat rogues do not NEED daggers for anything, nor do they benefit from using them in any way.
For offhand however, you need a fast offhand, 1.4, so yes, a dagger. There was a time when there existed 1.5 speed non-dagger offhands for Combat rogues, but they are no longer available at level 85, so daggers it is.
Reason? Combat Potency, procs from offhand attacks to regenerate 15 energy. The faster your offhand hits, the more often you get 15 energy back. More energy = good for you, and bad for your enemies.
Now, Killing Spree deals a % of weapon damage from both weapons, so to maximise its damage, so you would want a slow offhand for that particular ability, but using a slow offhand the rest of the time is bad.
Solution? Weapon swap macro. Attached to killing spree, create a macro to equip a slow weapon to your offhand, possibly enchanted / reforged to offensive stats to further increase your damage during this time.
Create a second macro, attached to Sinister strike or Revealing Strike to re-equip your fast offhand, so you reequip it right way when Kspree is over and you resume your button mashing.
#Showtooltip Killing Spree
/equipslot 17 <name of slow weapon>
/y SUPER TURBO TURKEY PUNCHER 3!!!
/cast Killing Spree
#Showtooltip Sinister strike
/equipslot 17 <name of fast weapon>
/cast Sinister Strike
Edited by Spriestlol on 3/21/11 3:00 AM (PDT)
Blade twisting eliminates the need for Crippling poison, allowing you to equip a utility poison in its place on your offhand.
Recommended for the control spec would be Wound Poison on main hand, Mind-Numbing poison on offhand, to pressure casters and increase your efficiency with Improved Kick and Weaponry cont'd.
Throwing Specialization. Finally, Crippling on your thrown weapon, in case your target happens to slip away from your dazes.
Double wound poison could also work for more damage.
In no case should you use Deadly Poison, for the same reasons you should avoid Rupture and Garrote as much as possible, to make better use of Improved Gouge.
On your extra slow offhand, for Killing Spree, you could use Wound Poison or Instant Poison. Instant poison has a greater damage potential but wound poison has a higher proc rate. Math person once told me, with some pretty numbers, that wound poison still had the upper hand over instant poison even in these conditions, so it seems Wound poison on slow offhand is best.
As far as enchants go,
Get a DPS enchant on your MH
it ranks Ava < Hurr < Land
If you use a weapon-swap for KS, consider a double dps enchant for the swapped slow OH.
On your 1.4 OH keep a weapon chain on it. Make sure to NEVER be out in the open without your weapon chain and as SOON as KS fades, swap back to your 1.4s Dagger.
Edited by Celinne on 4/11/11 11:53 AM (PDT)
Credits to myself, Spriestlol, and the Combat PvP rogue community for encouraging and supporting us into writing this guide.
BLADE TWISTING: Additionnal info.
Blade Twisting has some advantages and some disadvantages when compared to Crippling Poison:
1- It applies at a much higher rate since it procs of any and all damaging melee attacks.
2- It's undispellable.
3- Opens up your offhand for another poison.
1- It's a physical effect that can only be applied if you deal damage to your target, meaning if your hits are absorbed by a priest's shield, or mage, or other, then you can't apply the daze until the shield is broken.
2- It can't be shived onto your target for instant application to ensure your target dosen't run out of range.
For the absorption shields, get your partner to help you break them ASAP so you can apply the daze faster. If not, then you should have crippling poison on your thrown weapon and can use Fan of Knives to apply it onto your target. This is also useful for that shiving problem.
But the best thing you can do if you're getting kited because you can't get that snare is to use deadly throw. It deals enough damage, thanks to Ambidextry and Revealing Strike, and combined with Restless Blades, it's not something you should feel bad about using your combo points on. 6 seconds should be more than enough to get a daze or a kidney shot on your target.
Combat rogues possess now way to ignore or bypass their target's armor, other than Expose Armor, despite most of their damage being purely physical. However, we actually have the best kind of armor ignore, in certain situations, out of all classes.
That would be Blade Flurry. This ability allows all of your attacks to hit a second target within melee range of you. What is not mentionned in the ability, however, is that the damage dealt onto your second target by Blade Flurry is not modified by armor or resilience.
Long story's short: Crit a clothie for 20k eviscerate, and you also crit the 3500 resil plate-wearing DK next to him for 20k, meaning if you're planning on doing a lot of cleave, always target the ennemy that takes the most damage from your attacks: lowest armor type, lowest resil.
Edited by Celinne on 3/19/11 4:19 PM (PDT)
If you're not yet 85 and plan on PvP'ing with this spec, there's a simple rotation that will kill pretty much anything while not even giving them a chance to strike back:
Cheap shot > Sinister Strike > Revealing Strike > Gouge ( Wait for gouge to end ) > Eviscerate.
This will work until about 70+
If your target survives the rotation, improvise ^_^