Cloak & Dagger Compendium: Rogue Omnibus 4.3

90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
Heroic: Spine of Deathwing, A Subtle Perspective

(spec found here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2369743517#2 )

Notable Talent Changes:
0/2 Serrated Blades: You won't Rupture the Tendons during this fight given a 19s DPS duration and 100% Find Weakness up-time. These two points are diverted to filling out Initiative and a point in Enveloping Shadows.
2/2 Initiative: This will allow a 100% chance at 4CP Eviscerates after each Ambush.
1/3 Enveloping Shadows: This will help with the AE damage of the encounter and is the best place to put your 31st talent point as there are no DPS alternatives.
1/3 Precision: Given the special circumstance of reforges (see below) you will have an unusually high amount of potential Hit Rating. So long as you can maintain a minimum of 8% Hit (Special Hit Cap: 721 Hit Rating) a point may be safely diverted to Coup de Grace as a DPS increase.
3/3 Coup de Grace: An increase in your burst DPS due to the amount of CP generation during Tendon phase, and of particular worth due to the 100% FW up-time.

Notable Glyph Changes:
Hemorrhage: Unless there is no feral (or other source of a Bleed effect) there is not much room for a Hemorrhage in the tight rotation required by the Tendon phase but if you Premed the 2nd Ambush not the first (since you have 2/2 Initiative) you can use a single glyphed Hemo to put your first Eviscerate to 5CP. If there is no other bleed source, one rogue will glyph have to glyph Hemo to apply a Bleed effect to activate all rogue's Sanguinary Veins.
Shadow Dance: While a Bleed effect is present (or for all other rogues than the Hemo designate) Shadow Dance is a valuable alternative to increase the duration of FW.
Eviscerate: Glyph of Slice and Dice is not expressly necessary. With perfect timing the base duration is sufficient for the entire phase and Eviscerate would then therefore be a DPS increase. Left to individual discretion on personal latency and execution.
Tricks of the Trade: This Glyph is specifically omitted. Tricks will be used before the DPS burn begins, as such the energy cost is irrelevant. Therefore the additional 5% to target is worth significantly more.

Notable Gear Changes:
Kiroptyric Sigil: (Equip: Increases your Haste by 458 [3.58%] Use: Increases your Agility by 2290 for 15sec. [1:30min CD]) This trinket has both a CD and duration that almost exactly mirror the frequency and duration of the Tendon phase. For this reason the large amount of Agility afforded by it's on-use effect makes it the most valuable trinket available. Cataclysmic Gladiator's Badge of Conquest could be an alternative if insufficient VP is available to purchase the superior Sigil. Sigil is best paired with Wrath of Unchaining due to fast stacking and constant effect. Vial of Shadows or Starcatcher's Compass can be used but their ICDs must be stringently tracked to 'force' procs while the Tendon is exposed or significant DPS will be lost.

Notable Reforge Changes:
Tendons cannot dodge, as such reforging away from Expertise is of prime importance. This allows for higher than normal levels of Hit and Mastery. This excess Hit Rating can be sufficient to allow a Talent Point to be diverted from Precision to Coup de Grace for increased Eviscerate damage. 8% Melee Hit Chance must be maintained for this to be viable. As you can still miss the Tendons.
Edited by Caera on 4/27/2012 11:18 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
Tendon Phase DPS:
Recuperate and Slice and Dice need to both be up before the phase starts. To do this effectively, have five Combo Points on the Amalgamation as it is dragged through the Blood. Use Recuperate at 700k HP (approx.), then use Hemorrhage (for the lower energy cost & lack of positional req. interfering with quick CP generation) to build five more Combo Points as quickly as possible. This is aided by HAT.

As the Amalgamation is finishing its Nuclear Blast cast Cloak of Shadows (to negate all damage), Shadowstep (such that the increased Ambush buff is present on yourself & due to the chance of this ability to bug when cast on Tendons*, porting you to the middle of Deathwing's back), and Slice and Dice (your CP will disappear as soon as the cast is complete). Use Tricks of the Trade immediately after this, and before the Armour Plate exposes the Tendon and then Vanish.

*If you can ensure that you get off the Plate Zone within 3sec then you can instead use Shadowstep during Shadow Dance for slightly larger DPS gains. This can be accomplished with simply backpeddling, but you must clear the area fully. Else you will be ported to the middle of Deathwing's back and lose significant up-time. Again, discretion left to the individual on latency & execution.

Begin spamming the Ambush macro (see below), ensuring that you stand slightly to the side the Tendon will spawn on. Follow this with an Eviscerate.

From here, use Shadow Dance (and Shadowstep if not used already). Begin using Ambush and Eviscerating at 4-5 CP. Initiative will ensure every Eviscerate is a minimum of four Combo Points, with HAT filling in the fifth as able on ICD. After Shadow Dance ends use Backstab as your CP generator and Eviscerate at 5 CP as normal.

Tendons phases should be engaged 2:00min apart (allowing the raid access to their 2:00min CDs thus greatly increasing DPS effectiveness). Given this Preparation will be used to have Vanish available for Tendon 1-2, 2-2, 3-2 (Plate-Tendon Phase).


Encounter Specific Macros:

#showtooltip
/cast Shadowstep
/cast Slice and Dice

*Omit this if intend to use Shadowstep in conjunction with Shadow Dance

#showtooltip Shadow Dance
/use Kiroptyric Sigil
/cast Premeditation
/cast Shadowstep*
/cast Shadow Dance

*Omit this line if intend to use Shadowstep on the Amalgamation

#showtooltip Ambush
/tar boss2
/cast [@target, exists] Ambush


Encounter Specific Poisons:
Use Wound Poison on both your main-hand and your off-hand for this encounter. The standard setup of Instant Poison main-hand with Deadly Poison on the off-hand requires ~20-30sec. for ramp up and to begin pulling ahead. Wound Poison, although doing less damage per application, has a much higher proc rate and as such is superior to Instant Poison without Deadly Poison's mechanics in the limited DPS window given for Tendons.

Other CDs:
Feint: Can be used essentially on CD to provide maximum up-time agains AoE damage. Notable mechanics it needs to be ready on, and therefore should be delayed for if necessary, are when the Amalgamation is dragged through the blood and during Grasping Tendrils on barrel rolls.
Edited by Caera on 3/15/2012 7:01 AM PDT
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85 Undead Warlock
2515
Do my eyes deceive me? Caera in sub spec? You used to scream and yell at me for doing that. Now you come around ;)
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
03/02/2012 02:04 PMPosted by Octala
Do my eyes deceive me? Caera in sub spec? You used to scream and yell at me for doing that. Now you come around ;)
I didn't come around, the game came around. ;)

I screamed at a veritable chorus of people through T11 when Sub was one of, if not the lowest DPS spec in the game. Scaling and mechanics have brought it to the forefront of rogue raiding. I'm pretty happy with it. I always enjoyed it's mechanics and that's why I liked to use it as my PVP spec, but when it comes to competitive raiding I go where the mechanics take me. So far this xpac that's meant playing Assassination in T11, Combat in T12, and Sub and to a lesser extent Combat in T13. It's been a rollercoaster of a time.
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100 Night Elf Rogue
11190
C, I don't mean to put you on the spot (as if that were even possible), but can you flesh that out? I've made the argument, a couple times in the past week, that Subtlety has *always* been a viable spec in Cata, it's just that the perception of the spec was so overwhelmingly negative that it never had a chance to be properly tested or utilized.

In terms of notable patch changes this expansion that specifically applied to Subtlety's DPS potential (and only Sub -- so we're not counting the raid buff change that doubled the attack power bonus for melee specs), we only got these two:

-- Hemo base damage increased 40%
-- Sanguinary Vein damage increased ~60%

Both of those were implemented in 4.2 (Firelands), not 4.3 -- yet we hardly even saw a ghost of a movement toward greater use of Sub during 4.2. They're also not huge changes... are they? I mean, it's not like they buffed Sub's mastery, or increased the damage of Ambush or Backstab. Plus, they're not changes that made the rotation itself any less complicated to manage, a complaint that encapsulated the explanation many of us gave for why it wasn't worth taking seriously.

My argument in recent threads has been that Sub only took off in 4.3 because top PvE rogues finally took a serious look at the spec. And that the only reason those rogues did so was because Blizzard developers and CMs basically clubbed us over the head with repeated suggestions that Sub was far more viable than most of us were giving it credit for. That Sub was, essentially, the Cinderella spec of the expansion, and only recently have we come to appreciate it.

You referred to scaling and mechanics above, though; can you go into that in more depth? Do the greater kudos go to those two variables more than the fact that our perceptions themselves simply changed?
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85 Undead Warlock
2515
03/02/2012 08:06 PMPosted by Rfeann
C, I don't mean to put you on the spot (as if that were even possible), but can you flesh that out? I've made the argument, a couple times in the past week, that Subtlety has *always* been a viable spec in Cata, it's just that the perception of the spec was so overwhelmingly negative that it never had a chance to be properly tested or utilized.


Well that's the argument we always used to have on here. I raided as sub and did great dps. The problem is that the stigma the spec had coming out of Wrath turned off a lot of the Rogues in the guilds that send in logs and stuff so the results came out very skewed because there just weren't enough Sub parses to get a fair and accurate reading.

So when it came to State of DPS and such which people thought was some kind of holy sacred parchment that can never be challenged, Mut and Combat always came out miles ahead, because they had 99% of the parses. Blizzard itself even admitted that they didn't make any dps related changes to the spec or mess with it very much at all until 4.2 because they just didn't have any information on how it was performing in PvE because nobody was playing it.

There were a few of us who did play it though, and played it well. If all of the parses had reflect our performance and experience with the spec, it would have definitely been considered viable and a lot more people would have given it a chance and had as much fun as we did.

EDIT: And I'll still maintain the only change that spec needed from 4.0 until now was a buff to Glyph of Backstab. Give 15 energy instead of 5. That really would have fixed everything that was wrong with it, in my opinion.
Edited by Octala on 3/3/2012 10:51 AM PST
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
Now that I'm home from work, and I can take that time to give this question the answer it deserves, as it's a bit lengthy.

First let's look at encounter mechanics. T11 was particularly punishing on melee as a general rule. There was just no place where melee really got to shine through and were clearly to be favoured by... anything. You had fights like Atramedes with significant portions of the fight where melee couldn't even DPS the boss (outside of the pitance of Throw), you had AoE fights like Maloriak or Halfus, fights where you spent significant time (during significant burn phases) in front of your target like Al'Akir, frequent target-swap fights like ODS or Cho'gall or Ascendant Council, movement heavy fights again like Ascendant Council. Practically every fight had something going on that made life harder on melee. This is not to even consider Sub's mechanics and how detrimental these things are to it.

Which brings up the next point. Sub has incredibly restrictive mechanics. A large number of buffs & debuffs - with very small windows to maintain them all simultaneously - that need to be fed a constant stream of Combo Points else they will start to fall off one after another in rapid succession that come with an exorbitant cost if allowed to fall off, it has multiple abilities core to its rotation with positional requirements, multiple abilities core to its rotation with state-based requirements, it has no cleave or AoE capability whatever, and although it scales well with gear and stats did pathetic damage in T11. Subtlety rivaled Frost mage as the lowest DPS spec in the entire game.

What Sub requires is a single target that it has high to unbroken up-time on and can poor itself into, less even one buff or debuff drops that causes a ripple of lost damage potential that incurs a heavy penalty. Any target swapping is almost assuredly going to end up resulting in lost buffs.

Assassination with it's relatively less reliance on gear and scaling for its damage at the start of the xpac (although, because it scales so poorly inevitably fell by the way side) and rather the relative power of poison damage (at the time), coupled with AoE capability that neither Combat nor Subtlety can match made it the default rogue raiding spec, as it was punished the least (although it was still punished) by the mechanics prevalent to the tier. And was rewarded due to there being AoE situations.

Even Combat did not do well in T11, with the exception of rare cleave opportunities like Halfus and/or H Magmaw.

Into T12, AoE situations declined and Combat and Sub out-scaled Assassination. To where Combat became the dominant raiding spec do to its extreme versatility (compared to restrictive positional mechanics Assassination/Sub have) and it's higher yield single-target DPS, not to mention that cleaves became possible in a number of raid situations as AoE had the tier previous. So Combat went from a narrow purpose spec on fights like Magmaw to take over as top spot. And Sub moved into its vacant former position with Baleroc as one of the most ideal fights Sub has seen mechanically this entire xpac. Assassination although starting to age poorly, was still pulling it's weight (except for fights like Majordomo which made the spec feel impotent).

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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
Although scaling and buffs to key abilities made Sub better, the mechanics, and specifically the prevalence of cleave potential on so many fights still held it down. Except of course with the notable exception of Baleroc, which is (especially on normal) as close to Patchwerk as we seem to see these days.

So while Sub theoretically had surpassed Assassination and Combat both in terms of straight single-target damage potential, there just did not exist any opportunities for it to exercise its potential. T12 had significant cleave, positionally restrictive, and add fights enough that there was only the one place where it could shine.

Into T13 Subtlety again gained the boon of greater scaling. and finally very friendly fight mechanics. Morchok is a fight that is almost specifically tailored to Sub. Spine is another fight that feels almost like it was designed with Sub in mind. Madness of Deathwing, even with its AoE requirements does the work entirely for you with Spellweaving - just add FoK. While a couple of the other fights have AoE or cleave opportunities, they also benefit having at least one or two exceptional single-target DPS with a narrower focus assisting with primary target DPS and allowing designated cleaveers deal with those elements (Hagara, Yor'sahj, Zon'ozz). Ultraxion would have been far, far too suitable a fight for Subtlety, and a raid stacked with Sub rogues would have made its heroic version nothing short of a joke. It was broken on this fight for a clear, definitive, and entirely justifiable reason. It was best for the game that it was done; I support it fully. Blackhorn has so much cleaving and those opportunities are so integral to the fight that Combat is just the default for this fight. You are truly handicapped without the ability to do so, and your raid handicapped by extension of your inability to do so.

So while both Combat and Subtlety gained ground over Assassination, Assassination has held on enough that it can be still played without being nearly as far behind as Subtlety was in T11. Combat is still a strong choice and depending on group comp and strategy having the improved multi-target and target switching of the spec can be better than the exceptional single-target power of Sub. Which is used on what fight can be seen as an intelligent decision that takes a number of variables into consideration and makes the choice between them not clear cut at all, and therefore as long as a spec is chosen with care to those considerations neither is ever wrong on many fights. Just as neither can be called categorically 'the best' on any of those fights.

03/03/2012 10:44 AMPosted by Octala
I raided as sub and did great dps
The problem with this statement is that it's an anecdote and entirely subjective. If you were happy with your DPS then that's all well and good. But it means absolutely nothing as to how the spec performed as a whole. It's personal validation only, it cannot be applied to a spec-to-spec comparison within those tiers.

03/03/2012 10:44 AMPosted by Octala
he problem is that the stigma the spec had coming out of Wrath
The problem was the performance just wasn't there, especially considering the added rotational complexities and restrictions. Which, it wasn't. You could easily outperform it with Assassination with far less headache. Which meant far greater room for situational awareness and devoting just that much more mental acuity to any number of other concerns.

03/03/2012 10:44 AMPosted by Octala
So when it came to State of DPS and such which people thought was some kind of holy sacred parchment that can never be challenged, Mut and Combat always came out miles ahead
Although there were many who abused resources like this, there were just as many that abused and abuse things like gear score and recount. Irresponsible use does not constitute a bad resource. If it did, motor vehicles would have been outright banned decades ago. Even when allowances were made, and extenuating circumstances were factored in, Sub was still simply not pulling numbers competitive with Assassination, nor even Combat in realistic scenarios.

03/03/2012 10:44 AMPosted by Octala
There were a few of us who did play it though, and played it well
There were a few that played Frost mage in PVE (I witnessed it with mine own eyes). There are always people who play any and every spec in any and every facet of the game. Personal spec preference says nothing of viability or a spec's overall performance, it merely confirms that there are always people who will play, or do, whatever they feel happiest with regardless the outcome. Nothing wrong with personal enjoyment, but it's no a liberty to claim you can walk on water, or transmute alcoholic beverages just because you enjoy wading around the sandbar at the local beach. What people find most fun does not necessarily equate most (or even at all) viable. What people need to come to terms with is: That's ok.

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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
EDIT: And I'll still maintain the only change that spec needed from 4.0 until now was a buff to Glyph of Backstab. Give 15 energy instead of 5. That really would have fixed everything that was wrong with it, in my opinion.
This would have been, and remains entirely over-powered and broken, 15 energy per BS crit when you have talents boosting it's crit chance by 30% above an already fair to high crit chance, coupled with talents that grant an ever flowing supply of Combo Points would and remains far more than the spec would need. Ever.

Sub had its place in people's hearts and they had fun and found success enough to meet their specific goals. But as a progressive minded player's raid spec, it just did not hold up and offer sufficient value to overcome it's complexity and restrictive mechanics, until now. Any claims to other are just some combination of personal bias and rose coloured glasses of a time that didn't exist.
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100 Night Elf Rogue
11190
I should go take these glasses back.

Thanks heartfeltedly, C.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
You're welcome. That ended up a little (two posts) longer than I had actually intended it. Words get away from me. Sometimes... All the times.
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100 Night Elf Rogue
11190
You? Verbose? NEVER.

No, I really appreciate it, because I needed the logical walkthrough. I'm obviously not one of the deeper rogue minds in existence, but I'm still disappointed that I managed to miss the extent to which boss fight design itself played a key role in Sub's ascendance. I truly felt it was a case of collective, intentional ignorance on the part of the rogue community that we essentially refused to give the spec a chance. I should have known better; while many of us do often have knee-jerk reactions unsupported by data, people like Aldriana do not, and if the numbers really were there before now, it's awfully likely he would've seen it.
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90 Human Rogue
9105
Thanks for the guide Caera. Lots of good information and formatted very nicely. If only you were Alliance so I actually had someone to talk Subtlety with :D
Edited by Xibu on 3/4/2012 12:39 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
Thanks kindly Xibu, hit me up with an in-game mail and I'll give you my realid if you want it.
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90 Human Rogue
9105
Sounds like a plan!
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I just wanted to say thank you for the great, all-inclusive guide. This helped me out a lot since I'm new to pve.
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100 Troll Rogue
11020
Caera, about Heroic Spine strat; I think you forgot to say when to use the trinket :(. I've read it should be used with vanish but I'm not sure about that, can you clarify that please?

In relation to the stat weights for this fight, I've been pretty much shadowcraft dependant since it was released but... this fight is kind unique on spec terms, should I only focus on 8% hit and then just stack haste > crit?

Thanks for your help!
Edited by Kromos on 3/13/2012 2:25 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
03/13/2012 02:07 PMPosted by Kromos
Caera, about Heroic Spine strat; I think you forgot to say when to use the trinket :(. I've read it should be used with vanish but I'm not sure about that, can you clarify that please?
It's macro'd into Shadow Dance in the suggested macro section. The proc is 15sec and Shadow Dance extends FW lasting 16 after activation. This keeps Sigil's activation wholy within FW. Whereas using it on Vanish means the first few seconds would be sans FW, and before you've even begun auto-attacking. Although the overall difference would be minimal. I also keep a separate keybind just for the Sigil such that on the second Tendon phase of a given plate I can activate it early and therefore have it up the 'full' phase regardless of other buffs since I know the Tendon won't survive 15sec anyway. It's not required, since again, the Tendon won't survive the full phase. But it does maximize my Tendon damage.

03/13/2012 02:07 PMPosted by Kromos
In relation to the stat weights for this fight, I've been pretty much shadowcraft dependant since it was released but... this fight is kind unique on spec terms, should I only focus on 8% hit and then just stack haste > crit?
Focus on 8% Hit (accounting for the shift from 2/3 Precision to 1/3 Precision) and drop Expertise to your lowest value stat (Tendon cannot parry/dodge). The latter concern is negotiable, it maximizes damage on Tendon but reduces that which you do to Amalgamations and/or Bloods. Admittedly, as a Sub rogue your personal Amalg DPS should still be more than sufficient and you're a horrid choice for Blood duty. But just know that depending on exact responsibility the value of Expertise could be variable. Beyond Hit Cap, yes, Haste followed by Crit are your most beneficial stats as normal.
Edited by Caera on 3/13/2012 4:14 PM PDT
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100 Worgen Rogue
13250
Is it okay that i am a worgen sub rogue? does > mean better or worse? I thought it ment better(100>10), but just checking. Oh, and btw, nice gear/daggers.
Also, is my gear good enough? or no?
Edited by Easton on 3/17/2012 11:48 AM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
Vex
0
Holy bombardment, Batman! Ok, Worgen are one of the best alliance races for a PVE rogue. Technically Night Elf is better, but only if you're given the opportunity and can properly utilize an extra stealth opener from Shadowmeld.

Your gear is good, but your gemming is in need of immediate attention as next to none of it is correct. Your enchanting is in a similar state, and your spec is off in a few critical spots. Not filling out Energetic Recovery is a mistake. Not filling out Energetic Recovery so you can put an extra point in Initiative is a huge mistake. Initiative is a filler talent - at best. It has little to no actual DPS value, whereas ER carries considerable DPS benefits. Not filling out Puncturing Wounds to fill out Coup de Grace is similarly wrong. So you should move those talents around.

Is your gear good enough for... what? You have sufficient ilevel to queue for all 5mans via LFD, as well as LFR. You're not going to be getting much better gear outside of at the least Normal mode raiding.
Edited by Caera on 3/18/2012 8:45 AM PDT
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