Subtlety PvP Guide: Ways of the Rogue (5.4.2)

(Sticky)

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Hello there fellow rogues! This is the more revised version of the guide I originally posted, and I am going to be more to the point and in-depth.

First off, I would like to say that I by no means claim, nor do I think, that I am the best rogue player out there. However I've done a fair amount of testing, theory crafting and research before posting this guide and I hope that it can be of help to the community as a collection of information. Secondly, not all of this information is coming straight from me. I will be using suggestions, tips and ideal gearing methods from various other guides as well as myself. I do not take full credit for all of the information presented here.

This guide is not just for this season alone, but rogue PvP in general, and I will keep it as up to date as possible. If you find anything that you believe may be out of date, please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to correct it.

My only request is that we keep this forum nice and clean. Constructive suggestions and discussion allows for much more positive response and results than coming in and drilling each other about how he/she is wrong about x/y. Now that all that is out of the way, I’ll jump straight in.

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~~~~~~~~~~ Table of Contents: Part One ~~~~~~~~~~
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Chapter One: Itemization and Stat Priority

Chapter Two: Gemming and Enchants

Chapter Three: Best PvP Professions

Chapter Four: Best PvP Races

Chapter Five: Preparing to deal damage

Chapter Six: MoP Vs Cata damage changes

Chapter Seven: Common burst killers you should avoid

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~~~~ Chapter One: Itemization and Stat Priority ~~~~
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This can be a tricky thing for some players, as the best and most ideal stats change frequently as various stats are buffed and nerfed. Currently the stat priority for Rogues in PvP as Subtlety spec is as followed:

Hit(3% Cap) > Agility > Expertise(3%) > Mastery > PvP Power > Crit > Expertise(6%) > Haste > PvP Resilience

Hit Rating: Obvious one here. You can't hit your target if you keep missing your abilities! The 3% hit cap assures that none of your special abilities will miss [I.E. Blind, Backstab]. However, white auto attack damage will still miss. The hit cap for white damage is extremely high and isn't worth going for in PvP. Note: Anything above 3% hit rating is a waste of rating and can be allocated into another stat!

Agility: Another obvious one here. Agility is our best PvP main stat. Agility gives both Attack power and Crit. The ratio is 1:2 Agility per Attack Power point. This is a very important stat as Subtlety as a large portion of our damage comes from achieving a critical strike. Subtlety also has the trait Sinister Calling, which increases your total agility by 30%. Agility is the best stat currently because gear in PvP is scaled to a specific item level. Any item level higher than the set number is scaled down. So, the only way to get more agility on a given piece of armor is to gem for it, and thus is our only way to increase our attack power when in best-in-slot equipment. PvP power is still of great use and benefit, but is now behind Agility.

Expertise: Expertise lowers the chance of an enemy player dodging or parrying your abilities. There is no 'cap' for Expertise, you can stack it as high as you want. But it isn't ideal to pour all of your rating from gemming and reforging into expertise. 3% is a good amount to have, 6% is ideal as it will assure that caster classes will never dodge you, pesky mages!

Mastery: Mastery has increased in popularity in MoP compared to Cata. Mastery vastly increases the power and effectiveness of our finishing moves. This effects all damaging finishing moves and Slice and Dice's haste improvement. With the improvement of Mastery in MoP, our hardest hitting move is now Eviscerate by a large margin (compared to Ambush in Cata).

PvP Power: PvP power scaling has been reduced slightly since the beginning of MoP. While it is still a very useful stat, you gain a good amount directly from your PvP gear. PvP power no longer takes priority over Agility for damage increasing. I wouldn't suggest gemming full PvP power as we used to, but instead going for purple Agil/PvP Power hybrid gems in blue sockets at most.

Crit: Critical Strike rating is very important as sub. A high crit chance assures effective pressure and high burst output during your offensive cool-down up-times. Currently, while critical strike is a powerful stat, the amount of crit % received from reforging is rather low. It is likely that as we go through the expansion we will gain enough crit from reforge allocation. I advise against gemming it in any form as mastery always takes priority over crit.

Haste: Haste increases energy regeneration speed and attack speed. While it does increase our damage output, it would require far too much allocation into the stat to make it any useful. In the current state, it is the least useful damage stat to Sub rogues. Some say "Well, it increases energy regeneration so I could attack more during a Sdance." Well, here is the thing. If you prioritize crit, you give yourself higher burst damage potential. Haste would give you more sustained damage, and in MoP sustained damage isn't the way you land kills(Was it ever, really?). Rogues are, and probably always will be, about burst damage. My personal opinion is that I would be surprised when I see the day Haste outweighs Mastery and Crit for damage stat priority.

PvP Resilience: Resilience reduces the amount of damage you take from other players and their pets in PvP. PvP Resilience is baseline at 72.00% for players now. Stacking Resilience in the current build isn't really necessary and is up to personal opinion and desire. I suggest against it, but to each their own. Having resilience gives a bit more cushion room, but with Rogues receiving a few survival buffs compared to their state in early MoP, resilience no longer takes priority over the traditional stats.

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~~~~~ Chapter Two: Gemming and Enchants ~~~~~
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Gemming:

There is room for personal play style or opinion here, however I will suggest what I believe and have found to be the most effective.

Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond > Agile Primal Diamond
Red:Delicate Primordial Ruby
Yellow:Adept Vermilion Onyx
Blue:Assassin's Imperial Amethyst
Belt Buckle And Blacksmithing Sockets:Delicate Primordial Ruby

I've seen people gem 100% full agility gems in everything, ignoring socket bonuses but that is up to personal opinion. I like socket bonuses. Agility trumps PvP Power, but PvP power still helps. Mastery increases our eviscerate damage output significantly as well.

Enchants:

Head: Head enchants have been removed in MoP
Shoulder: Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
Cloak: Swordguard Embroidery > Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike
Chest: Enchant Chest - Super Resilience
Wrists: Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility
Hands: Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery
Waist: Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs: Shadowleather Leg Armor
Feet: Enchant Boots - Blurred Speed
Weapon(Main-Hand): Enchant Weapon - Bloody Dancing Steel > Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel
Weapon(Off-Hand): Enchant Weapon - Glorious Tyranny > Living Steel Weapon Chain

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~~~~~ Chapter Three: Best PvP Professions ~~~~~
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Tailoring: Ironically, Tailoring has risen to the top of PvP professions in 5.4. This is because of the item level change to PvP armor. Currently in structured PvP scenarios (I.E. Arena and Battlegrounds) the item level of PvP is scaled to a specific amount. Meaning the only way to get an increased amount of damage is by gemming or enchanting your equipment. With that said, the only way to get a significant damage or burst increase is by a Proc or use effect. The Swordguard Embroidery is simply amazing for this reason, and out-shines any "permanent" stat fortifications provided by other professions (I.E. Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting).

    [Swordguard Embroidery: Embroiders a magical pattern into your cloak, causing your damaging melee and ranged attacks to sometimes increase your attack power by 4000 for 15 sec.]

Engineering: This is hands down, no questions asked, one of the best and my personal favorite PvP professions. Setting the goofy stuff aside, Synapse Springs allows for a on-command burst trinket. This has grown even more in popularity as of the PvP item level scaling in 5.4. Many rogues now prioritize the proc PvP trinket over the use effect because it provides more agility. Having a use effect trinket on top of that, that you can use when you see your proc is amazing. There is a 10 second Internal Cool-down between the use of Synapse Springs and Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Conquest. They cannot be stacked, so keep this in mind and time your burst and cool-downs accordingly! As a side note. Nitro boots and Burst of Speed can stack, and every rogue with engineering should try it. It is probably one of the funniest things I've seen.

    [Synapse Springs: Increases Intellect, Agility or Strength by 1920 for 10 seconds. Highest stat always chosen. 1 minute cool-down.]

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~~~~~~~~ Chapter Four: Best PvP Races ~~~~~~~~
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Alliance:

Human: This is a very common choice for rogues in PvP because the human racial acting as a PvP trinket. This opens up a trinket slot for rogues to use for more itemization of various stats with either PvP or PvE trinkets. The common choice is to use double use effect trinkets and linking both to Shadow Dance, that way each shadow dance you do has a trinket boost for more damage!

Night Elf: Night elves are also a very strong race for Alliance rogues. Shadowmeld allows you to instantly drop combat and gives you a guaranteed restealth. Find Weakness adds a huge amount of damage, so shadowmelding into a stealth opener can increase your pressure significantly. You can also use shadowmeld to immune different forms of CC. “Veteran” rogues may remember that if you timed a vanish correctly, you would immune incoming damage, crowd control, etc. The new vanish doesn't allow for this, but shadowmeld still works! It takes some practice, but can be very clutch when going for a kill and you cannot stop the enemy from peeling you.

Horde:

Forsaken Undead: Undead are the most popular Horde race for rogues in PvP. Will of the Forsaken gives you another way out of Charm, Fear and Sleep effects. Sharing a 30 second internal cool-down with your main PvP trinket and resting on a 2 minute cool-down. This is very helpful for squeezing in an emergency trinket against all those fear teams out there, as it seems every team these days has a fear on it!

Orc: Orcs have been gaining a lot of popularity in MoP. With rogue survival being weaker than they were in Cata, the main way we die is to a hard switch or something involving a stun. The Orc racial lowers the duration of stun effects on you by 15% and provides a nice survival boost to rogues. Blood Fury also adds yet another cool-down to our burst-heavy class, granting an on-use attack power boost!

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~~~~ Chapter Five: Preparing to deal damage ~~~~
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This is one of the areas where rogues make the biggest mistakes. First off, the player needs to realize that rogues are burst-oriented. Many classes [I.E. Warriors and Death Knights] can pump out seemingly endless amounts of heavy damage without really needing to pop their offensive cool-downs, we rogues have to pick our kill window carefully and unload quickly using our heavy burst damage cool-downs. Here are some tips to help with this:

Sanguinary Vein: Sanguinary Vein increases our damage against the target when Rupture, Garrote or Crimson Tempest bleeds are applied to the target by 16%(soon to be 20% in 5.2). This is absolutely mandatory to have applied before you even consider bursting a target.

Note: Sanguinary Vein can be applied via Hemo ONLY if you get the glyph for it.

Slice and Dice: Slice and Dice increases our attack speed, which is also improved by the Sub mastery! As of MoP, Slice and Dice also gives the rogue the Energetic Recovery effect, increasing energy regeneration by 8 energy every 2 seconds while Slice and Dice is active. This is absolutely mandatory to have rolling before you begin bursting.

Find Weakness: I think this is where a lot of rogues make their mistakes in trying to deal damage. Find Weakness lowers the target's armor by 70% for 10 seconds, and is applied by using Ambush, Garrote or Cheap Shot. This is by far one of our most important ways to assure heavy burst.

Energy Pooling: As a famous rogue once said, "Energy is like mana. Except you don't hear mages going oom every couple seconds". That being said, pooling energy as a rogue is extremely important. Sure, it is important to damage your target, but doing all of your damage spread out because you spam Hemo or Backstab every time it lights up on your interface isn't going to get you far. However, if you save up all your energy at once and burst using a full bar of energy, your damage will be far more scary for the player and any healers near by! I've forced many cool-downs and trinkets by simply pooling energy and doing a basic burst, tricking teams into thinking I was going for a kill.

    Note: Your energy should ALWAYS be pooled to maximum or near maximum when going for burst with any of your offensive cool-downs. Energy pooling isn't something you should only do around burst attempts either. If you are constantly sitting at 10 energy spamming hemo or backstab as soon as you have enough energy, you won’t have enough energy to control, or counter an enemy player [I.E Gouge/Focus Kidney Shot]. Try and get into the habit of playing with some energy left in the tank constantly throughout a match. Damage is great, but rogues bring so much control and other utility to the table as well. Make sure you have enough yellow stuff to take advantage of it.

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~~~ Chapter Six: MoP vs Cata damage changes ~~~
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The way rogues deal damage has changed quite a bit from Cata to MoP. Here I am going to explain a few ways you can take advantage of these changes and the ways you see rogue damage shine in MoP. If you are lacking in damage, this is the place to look!

In Cata, our heaviest hitting ability was Ambush by a long shot, this is no longer the case. Eviscerate, with the Sub Mastery, has become our hardest hitting ability. This is especially true when paired with Expose Armor. I am giving credit to Rugmouse from Skill-Capped.com for these burst scenarios, as this is borrowed from his guide.

Find Weakness + Shadow Blades – This is likely the ideal use of our new burst ability. The insane amount of combo points generated during Shadow Blades will result in several more Eviscerates hitting your target during the Find Weakness period. The additional damage from a Find Weakness Eviscerate over a typical Eviscerate is substantial.

Recommended for: Heavy burst openers, Vanish Swaps, Restealth opens

Shadow Dance – Still one of our most potent burst mechanics. This ability has been changed slightly in Mists of Pandaria and it actually plays a HUGE role in the effectiveness of our burst. Shadow Dance now reduces our Ambush ability’s energy cost from 60 -> 40. Back in Cataclysm, we were able to talent this energy reduction for Ambush, but now it is only activated while Dancing. Ambushing outside of Shadow Dance will leave you energy starved in a hurry. When going for a burst attempt, I highly recommend refraining from using Ambush outside of Dance.

Recommended for: Heavy burst attempts when Find Weakness is NOT already applied to a target

Subterfuge – This ability allows you to stay in stealth for 3 seconds after you perform an action or are attacked. Subterfuge can actually create ‘mini-burst’ windows with proper execution. A sizable chunk of your target's health pool will be gone before they even know there is a Rogue there! The effectiveness of the burst is highly dependent on proper usage of Premeditation. In my testing, I've found that using Premeditation in conjunction with Ambush creates the most fluid opener. The two most common Subterfuge burst openers I use are:

1. Garrote -> Premeditation Ambush -> Eviscerate
2. Cheap Shot -> 2 combo point Rupture -> Premeditation Ambush -> Eviscerate

In the second example, I like to pool energy and wait until Subterfuge is just about to expire prior to firing off my Premed Ambush. This ensures you can Eviscerate immediately after the Ambush lands, causing a noticeable quick-fire burst (especially if both crit). *Note – This is how I use Subterfuge as a burst ability. I will typically spend points on Slice & Dice somewhere during the duration when not going for a burst attempt.

Recommended for: Restealth openers, Light burst openers

Backstab + Eviscerate Spam – This is probably our least potent burst scenario, and should only be used when a target is low on health and CC has been applied to healer. Rogue damage outside of our burst cool-downs is pretty low in the current state of the game, so using energy spamming Backstab into a target won’t likely create much pressure. Find Weakness does increase the effectiveness of backstab + eviscerate spam by a decent margin, so if at all possible try and ensure this is up.

Recommended for: Restealth opens, low health enemies with CC on healer

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~ Chapter Seven: Common burst killers you should avoid~
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1) I do not recommend overlapping Shadow Dance and Shadow Blades! In terms of our burst damage, the appeal of Shadow Blades is the increased combo point generation. While Dancing, combo points are pouring in very quickly as it is. A typical Dance rotation with Shadow Blades activated will likely result in wasted combo points, even if you are running with the Anticipation talent.

    Note: This can be useful in some cases, however I would not suggest doing it, if at all, early in the match. A well placed CC from the enemy team could lock you out of both of your burst cool-downs! One is definitely enough to land kills or force cool-downs early on. ONLY use both at once if you absolutely know you will land the kill and/or your burst wont be interrupted by CC.

2) Ambush outside of Shadow Dance should be avoided unless running with the Shadow Focus talent. The energy cost is simply too high to be used effectively for a burst attempt. Cheap Shot or Garrote will proc Find Weakness and cost much less energy.

3) If you’re looking to open really hard on a target to start a match, I would recommend using the Shadow Blades + Find Weakness burst method rather than Shadow Dance. Find Weakness will be already be applied when you open from stealth. I find that having access to Shadow Dance opens up more versatility, in that you can be ready to burst whenever your teammate is ready.
Edited by Draeris on 12/27/2013 11:59 AM PST
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~~~~~~ Table of Contents: Part Two ~~~~~~
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    Chapter One: Talents

    Chapter Two: Glyphs

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~~~~~~~~ Chapter One: Talents ~~~~~~~~
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Talents:

You will find all the rogue talents and an explanation of their effectiveness in PvP here.

Level 15:

Nightstalker: Increases your movement speed while stealthed by 20%, and the damage of your abilities while stealthed by 50%.

This is the least common talent for PvP in this tier, as the damage bonus only effects your first ability out of stealth. The speed increase is nice, but is likely only able to truly shine while leveling, as we have other ways via shadow step/sprint/burst of speed/ect to move around an arena or battleground. I only suggest getting Nightstalker for Battleground fun at most, as the other two talents on this tier provide far more utility and damage potential. Even then, the damage bonus only applies to abilities used from stealth, and with the energy cost of ambush outside of Shadow Dance, this is a VERY lack luster talent.

Subterfuge: Your Stealth breaks 3 seconds after dealing or receiving hostile actions, rather than doing so immediately.

This talent is extremely powerful in arena, as it gives a 3 second protection time on your stealth. This means if you are broken out of stealth, you are protected for 3 seconds before actually fading out. This allows you an opportunity to still get off your opening move. However, this talent really shines in terms of utility. You can get two cheap shots off at once, and with the Glyph of Cheapshot adding one additional .5 seconds onto the stun, that is 4.5 second CC's on two targets before you even leave stealth! This is very good for peeling and controlling multiple targets quickly. This talent synergizes perfectly with Cloak and Dagger, which adds a 40 yard range shadow step onto all of your stealth openers. This is by far the best talent for Subtlety currently.

Shadow Focus: Abilities cost 75% less energy when in stealth.

This talent allows the rogue to open up with very heavy burst rather than waiting to pool energy after their opener. It can also allow a quicker opener, as you wont have to wait for energy after sapping a target. An opener with Shadow Focus is one of the strongest openers a rogue can do, but it also more risky than one with Subterfuge. This talent is only popular when you are 100% sure you will get your opener off and not be knocked out. It could be an option for teams where your partners use stun effects as their openers (I.E Feral druids, monks possibility with FoF). Subterfuge is still the better choice if you are going to pick Cloak and Dagger.

Level 30:

Deadly Throw: Finishing move that reduces the movement speed of the target by 50%. If performed with 3 combo points, also interrupts spell-casting and any spell in that school from being casted for a period of time.

Deadly Throw now interrupts based upon the amount of combo points used. The ratio for CP's used to interrupt duration is as followed.

3 Cp's -> 4 seconds, 4 Cp's -> 5 seconds, 5 Cp's -> 6 seconds.

This ability lost what little rep it had when Shuriken Toss received a huge nerf. It would be nice to see Deadly Throw have a place in arena, and it does to a point.. But only when you get Shuriken Toss, in no other way could this talent ever be considered. Unfortunately Shuriken Toss is not by any means a useful talent in PvP anymore because the energy cost is so unforgiving and the damage doesn't make up for the cost, either. I strongly suggest against getting this talent.

Nerve Strike: A successful Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot also reduces the damage dealt by the target by 50% and the healing done by the target by 10% for 6 seconds after the effect fades.

This talent is now the most popular in 5.4 and shines the most when peeling for your allies. It works very well with Subterfuge, where you can vanish and cheap shot two targets for stun control, and then damage reduction shortly after. You could use this against any team who will be focusing your partners over you, as the damage reduction will have a very high up-time while peeling. Nerve strike could be considered over Combat Readiness due to the two minute cool-down on Combat Readiness. In fact, unless you are going against an extremely bursty team, I often times keep Nerve Strike over Combat Readiness even when I am the focus target.

Combat Readiness: Enter into a state of heightened awareness, deflecting enemy weapon strikes with increasing effectiveness. Successive attacks will deal 10% less damage per application, stacking 5 times. Lasts for 20 sec, but if 10 sec elapse without any incoming weapon strikes, this state will end.

Many rogues make the mistake of using this ability when they are at low health, which is wrong! Combat Readiness can take some time to build up, and is most effectively used prior to actually needing it. Predicting your enemy team's momentum and when they will burst and using this ability just before stunned or switched to will greatly increase your chances of success and survival. Using this ability when you are already at 30% health will do little good, as by the time it stacks up you will likely be dead. This ability is only useful against melee/hunter teams or demonology warlocks, spells do not stack the damage reduction effect, but player pet melee attacks do (however most higher rated players are smart enough to pull their pet off of you when they see CR go up). It is very good against any melee that will tunnel you, especially when your healer is CCed. It should be noted that, as mentioned previously, Combat Readiness has a large cool-down and often times when CR falls off, teams will seek out a hard switch on the rogue. Whereas if you have Nerve Strike you will be able to continuously reduce the damage received by each DPS on their team by 50%.

Level 45:

Cheat Death: An attack that would otherwise be fatal will instead reduce you no lower than 10% of your maximum health, and damage taken will be reduced by 85% for 3 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once per 90 seconds.

The problem with Cheat Death is that it is a fail safe that sometimes fails. In some cases I have seen and actually killed rogues through the Cheat Death damage reduction effect, or locked them down long enough to land the kill. The 3 second cushion time is very helpful when going against heavy burst teams, and can be just long enough for your healer to get you out of the danger zone. However with the heavy 90 second cool-down, this talent is not worth getting over Elusiveness. I partner it with having the same level of uselessness as Leeching Poison. Some rogues would disagree, but I personally have had much better experience using a well timed Feint with Elusiveness to lower damage while I'm in a stun than relying on Cheat Death. I prefer not getting in the Cheat Death range to begin with.

Leeching Poison: Coats your weapons with a Non-Lethal Poison that lasts for 60 min. Your melee attacks have a 50% chance to poison the target, and all your subsequent weapon strikes against the poisoned target will heal you for 10% of damage dealt.

This talent is useless in PvP, as the life stealing only activates when dealing direct damage and does not proc from DoT effects. At first glance it can seem pretty powerful, however the healing is sub-par and it takes up your non-lethal poison which could be used towards something much more effective. This is the worst talent of this tier for PvP.

Elusiveness: Your Feint ability also reduces all damage taken by 30% for 5 sec.

This is by far one of my favorite rogue talents. This is a spam-able, low cost, pretty much free 30% damage reduction whenever you want. Often times I get a Feint off just before getting deep frozen, shock-waved or stunned and it provides a lot of relief for healers or partners trying to heal or peel off of you. When combined with the Glyph of Feint, this ability truly shines. Not only does it lower your damage taken, but from an outside perspective it helps a healer's mana management. The less damage you take, the better mana efficiency your healer will have! Although that does not mean you should keep 100% up-time of this ability, as it will take away from your available energy for peeling and bursting on demand. It is best used, and kept up as soon as you are hard switched to. Make sure this has full up-time when enemy teams use offensive cool-downs against you.

Level 60:

Cloak and Dagger: Your Ambush, Garrote and Cheap Shot abilities can now be used from 40 yards away, and will cause you to appear behind your target.

This teleport applies ONLY while Stealth, Subterfuge or Vanish. The best part is that it has no cool-down, the worst and very punishing part is that it does not apply to Shadow Dance. With that said, it is no longer better than Shadow Step or Burst of Speed.

Shadow Step: Step through the shadows and appear behind a target. Movement speed is increased by 70% for 2 sec afterward.

Shadow Step made its return in 5.4 with the small buff it received, which put its cool-down at 21 seconds. Being able to Shadow Step kick healers or Shadow Step to your own healer in a dangerous situation is absolutely priceless, and has been a stable in Rogue PvP since the birth of the ability. I would say that Shadow Step's potential puts it above Burst of Speed in 3v3 arenas.

Burst Of Speed: Increases movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds and removes any movement-slowing effects. Does not break stealth.

Burst of Speed is an amazing ability in 5.4 due to the 15 energy cost. The cheap energy cost allows for nearly 100% up-time of this ability, making the rogue extremely hard to catch and a very annoying target to burst as melee. In fact, I've used this ability extensively and found that the only class that has any chance of catching up is a monk. I've used this over Shadow Step purely because I find the ability to run away and back into the fight for rapid re-stealth openers can be fairly game breaking. Also, when it falls down to a 1v1 match you are able to beat just about any class out there with hit and run tactics. On a side note, a neat little trick. Burst of Speed and Nitro boots stack, and is arguably the fastest movement speed in the game. Try it!

Level 75:

Prey on the Weak: When you disable an enemy with Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, Gouge, Sap, or Blind, they suffer 10% increased damage from all sources for the duration of the effect.

This tier I probably change regularly in arena matches based upon what I am fighting. This 10% damage increase can be extremely powerful when hard switching, and does not only apply to the rogue, but to anyone who attacks the target as well!

Paralytic Poison: Coats your weapons with a Non-Lethal Poison that lasts for 60 min. Each strike has a 20% chance of poisoning the enemy for 15 sec. Stacks up to 4 times on a single target, and upon a fifth application, the enemy will be stunned for 4 seconds.

Paralytic Poison stun is on the DR with Uncontrollable stuns like Impact, but does not DR with Kidney Shot and Cheap shot. The shiv root effect is on DRs with other roots, like Frost nova. Lining up a Kidney Shot after your Paralytic stun can be extremely deadly. The shiv effect roots players, which is a very effective way to land kills in smoke bombs, or peel an enemy chasing your allies. It should be noted that the root effect does not break on damage done to the target. I love Paralytic Poison, but the unfortunate truth about it is that it is easily cleansed by good healers, making it somewhat annoying to get the stun off unless you are playing with another DPS that heavily DoTs (I.E Death Knight or Warlock).

Dirty Tricks: Your Gouge and Blind no longer have an Energy cost, and no longer break from damage dealt by your Poison and Bleed effects.

This talent counter-acts the Glyph of Blind. However, this is likely the worst talent for rogues in Arena, and should only ever be considered for dueling reasons. The reason for this is that while it does prevent gouge and blind breaking from your poisons and bleeds, it does NOT prevent them from breaking by other DoT effects from other players. As I said in the beginning, Glyph of Blind removes DoT effects from players and should not be used when using this talent. This talent would not work unless you are playing with a class that does not have any DoT effects, which really don't exist.

Level 90:

Shuriken Toss: A ranged attack that deals Physical damage to an enemy target. If the enemy is farther than 10 yards away, this damage is doubled and your auto-attacks will be replaced with ranged Shuriken for up to 10 seconds, granting them a 30 yard range. Shurikens are coated with your Lethal poisons. Awards 1 combo points. Replaces Throw.

This ability breaks the rules a bit, and allows rogues to keep decent pressure up from afar. It should be noted, the ranged auto-attack effect does 75% of the damage of your normal autos, and is replaced by your normal autos once you enter melee range. Unfortunately this ability lost all PvP usefulness when it received a heavy nerf, pushing the energy cost up to 40. Shuriken Toss should only ever be taken if you desire Deadly Throw, which isn't a very good talent either. I strongly suggest against getting this ability.

Marked For Death: Mark the target, instantly generating 5 combo points on them. If the target dies within 1 min Marked For Death's cool-down is reset.

Interesting talent, and is fairly strong in Bgs if you can land quick, consecutive kills. Originally I doubted this talent, but with the nerf of Shuriken Toss it has taken the front row. Marked For Death gives such an extreme amount of burst potential, immediately giving you 5 combo points to pump out another Eviscerate for some very scary damage. This is the cookie cutter talent for Rogues currently and I wouldn't consider getting anything else.

Anticipation: When one of your attacks generates a combo point on a target that already has 5 combo points, you gain an Anticipation charge, up to a maximum of 5. When you perform an offensive finishing move on an enemy, any Anticipation charges are consumed to grant you an equal number of combo points on that target.

This talent is basically a drawn out version of Marked for Death, however, it does not give the unpredictability that Marked for Death does. Having to build up to 10 Combo points to do your heavy burst loses out when you can do it on-demand with Marked for Death. This talent has potential when used with Shadow Blades, but I don't think that reason alone is enough to take it over Marked for Death.

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~~~~~~~~~ Chapter Two: Glyphs ~~~~~~~~~
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Chapter Two: Glyphs

Major:

Glyph of Blind - Mandatory. Unless you are 100% positive you will never be blinding a dotted target, which is very unlikely and situational, use this glyph. All classes in the game have DoT effects, this glyph makes it possible to get a clean blind off without it breaking from DoTs. The only time this glyph should not be taken is if you are using Dirty Tricks for whatever reason.

Glyph of Cheap Shot - Strongly Recommended. Allows for stronger CC chains, especially against melee, which allow for a larger burst window. Remember, DRs initiate at the start of a CC effect, not at the end, so this glyph is very strong!

Glyph of Garrote - Strongly Recommended. Allows for strong control against casters and healers, and is also effective against Death Knights and Enhancement Shaman, as DKs cannot icebound and Enhancement Shaman cannot drop totems or use stormstrike when silenced!

Glyph of Feint - Recommended for Defensive purposes. Only used when accompanied by the Elusiveness talent(which you should be using anyway!). This glyph allows for some nice damage reduction during long CC burst chains on you, like being stun locked for a lifetime. Take this if you are taking the Recovery glyph, as they work very well together.

Glyph of Recovery - Recommended for Defensive purposes. This glyph is really nice when you are consistently the focus target in arenas. It can provide a lot of cushion room, when used with the Feint glyph, for your healers. Unless you have a healer on your team this glyph doesn't shine the same, and so I wouldn't get it for 2v2's or Battlegrounds.

Glyph of Recuperate - Recommended for Defensive purposes. Recuperate received a little buff, and having this glyph puts it at a 6% heal. It can be very noticeable when doing 1v1, 2v2 or battlegrounds. I like it, and I've been using it fairly often for 2v2's, but other glyphs are better for a more serious level of play.

Glyph of Hemorraghing Veins - Recommended. This glyph can be very helpful if you are having trouble keeping Rupture up. It also shines really well in 2v2's and Battlegrounds, giving you the extra combo points to use for Eviscerates. Rupture damage can help, but it really is sub-par and I wouldn't knock down anyone who got this glyph for that reason. However, Cheap Shot, Garrote and Blind glyphs are all better, and it should be carefully considered when removing one for this glyph. Often times, it will depend upon what team make up you are fighting, or what you would rather have an edge on in battlegrounds.

Glyph of Cloak of Shadows - Strong defensive Glyph against melee, especially hybrid damage melee(Ie. Dks, Enhance, Rets) who deal more than just Physical damage. The short duration make this glyph fairly situational. It is a good option if you keep fighting the same team and you are the focus target, or if you are going for more of a tanky style of play.

Glyph of Feint - Only used when accompanied by the Elusiveness talent(which you should be using anyway!). This glyph allows for some nice damage reduction during long CC burst chains on you, like being stun locked for a lifetime.

Glyph of Shadow Walk - Extremely situational glyph. It is extremely effective against other rogue teams in 2v2s, especially since the stealth level of Shroud of Concealment is very low. Getting the opener in a 2v2 match with shroud of concealment against another rogue team can be extremely powerful. Outside of Duels and 2v2s, don't get this glyph.

Glyph of Vanish - Useful against cleave teams which focus you often. Accompanied by the Subterfuge talent, it allows for 5 seconds from vanish and 3 seconds from Subterfuge. That is 8 seconds to remain in stealth without being broken out!

Glyph of Sprint - Useful for running flags in bgs, but with the addition of Shroud of Concealment, this isn't needed in arena play. Before some rogues felt rushed to get a sap or opener off before enemy teams engaged, now that we can stealth allies, this is not as much of a problem. Outside of bgs, I wouldn't suggest using this glyph.

Glyph of Smoke Bomb - Potentially useful glyph if enemy teams focus you or allies heavily. As Smoke Bomb now reduces damage taken by you and allies within the effect by 20%, this would provide a longer duration for that damage reduction. However, this glyph would then only be useful on a defensive smoke bomb. Offensively, previously recommended glyphs are more useful.

Minor:

Glyph of Poisons - Recommended. Allows quick application to poisons if a change is needed mid arena match!

Glyph of Hemorrhage - Recommended. I suggest this glyph only because I personally like it. It allows for me to use hemo for quick combo point builders and then lead into a gouge or sap cc soon after should I need it without worrying about the long hemo dot. The only time the long hemo dot is useful is when fighting other rogues anyway, to prevent re-stealth.

Glyph of Distract - Recommended. Distract seems to be buggy in MoP, as often times latency comes into play when trying to use distract on another player. Having a longer range can prevent this from happening because you can 'lead' your target a bit.

Glyph of Blurred Speed - Useful in Battlegrounds and world PvP to chase or escape enemies. Has no effect in arena, as there is no water in the arena maps.

Glyph of Safe Fall - Good in battlegrounds and world pvp for obvious reasons.

Glyph of Decoy - Believe it or not, this glyph can actually trick players. It doesn't happen often, but it is funny when it does.

Glyph of Disguise - Funny glyph to use on PvP servers. Just pickpocket a nearby creature, and begin walking around when flagged. A unknowing little lowbie will run up and activate your trap card! I'd like to hear success stories if anyone goes out and tries this!
Edited by Draeris on 12/25/2013 9:48 AM PST
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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~ Table of Contents: Part Three ~~~~~~~~~~
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chapter One: Recommended Macros

    Chapter Two: Optional Macros

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~~~~~~ Chapter One: Recommended Macros ~~~~~~
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Macros work very well and tie directly into Key-binding. Proper key-binding depends entirely upon the player and what is most effective and comfortable for their hand. For example, some macros use Modifiers. Which modifier you use(Ctrl, alt, shift or so forth) depends upon what key-binding is connected to the macro. For example, for me personally it is uncomfortable for me to press "Alt" as a modifier for my "V" key-binding, so I use Shift instead. Finding out what works best for you will take time. The best way to trial and error is set up a key-binding and macro combination and then try it out in a battleground. If you find that you are having trouble with it or that it feels awkward, try something different.

Note: All of the modifiers listed in the macros are what I personally use for that given macro. They are completely changeable to fit something more comfortable for you.

Modifier Macros:

A modifier macro is one which allows the player to press a key-binding to perform an action, and when pressing a modifier(I.E. Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Shift), it performs a different action. This type of macro can save a lot of space on your interface. For example, it would allow you to take key-bindings such as "D" and "Shift - D" which would normally be on two separate action bar slots and condense it into one slot. Modifier macros can also help with stances, which I will get into later. Here is an example of a simple modifier macro.

#showtooltip [mod:shift] Feint; Evasion
/cast [mod:shift] Feint; Evasion

Focus Macros:

A focus macro is one that allows you to perform an action towards your target, and when you press a modifier, it directs the action to your focus target instead. These macros are crucial to effective rogue game play. They can allow for unpredictable CC on healers without making you re-target the person to do so. I recommend making a focus macro for Kidney Shot, Blind, Kick, Gouge, Shiv, and Dismantle. Here is an example of a simple focus macro. In this macro I also use a modifier to allow me to use Arcane Torrent for a silence when I play as a blood elf.

#showtooltip [mod:ctrl] Arcane Torrent; Kick
/cast [mod:ctrl] Arcane Torrent
/cast [nomodifier] Kick
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Kick

Set Focus Macro:

This is a PvP must have. This macro, when mousing over a target, will set it as your focus target. If you aren't mousing over anything, it will set your current target as your focus target. Lastly, if you have no current target and are not mousing over a target, it will clear your focus. This can be extremely helpful for switching targets or focus targets quickly in arena. Here is the macro.

/clearfocus
/focus [@mouseover,nodead,exists]; [@target,exists]

Ultimate Trinket macro:

I love this macro, and while it doesn't often shine, when it does it is amazing. This macro allows you to stealth immediately while trinketing if you are out of combat. It will allow you to avoid along chained CC and take advantage of when your enemies let you leave combat while you are controlled. It's also equipped with an undead racial modifier. Here is the macro. Note: 13 is the top trinket slot.

#showtooltip [mod:shift] Will of the Forsaken; 13
/cast [mod:shift] Will of the Forsaken
/use [nomodifier] 13
/cast !stealth

Mash-able Stealth Macro:

This macro allows you to, as expected, mash stealth without the risk of accidentally kicking yourself out of it. It also contains a modifier for vanish, and one to come out of stealth if you desire to do so. /stopattack and /stopcasting are in there at the beginning to avoid auto attacks bugging out and triggering you into combat which can lead you to being kicked out of stealth as well. Here is the macro.

#showtooltip [mod:shift] Vanish; Stealth
/stopattack
/stopcasting
/cast !Stealth
/cast [mod:shift] Vanish
/cast [mod:alt] Stealth

Tricks of the Trade Macro:

This is a pretty basic macro, and it simply casts TotT at a target you specify in the macro itself. Using TotT on allies during burst can make a huge difference in the amount of damage output they can do. This is especially true if you are teaming with an Enhancement Shaman or Warrior. I recommend using TotT every time it comes off cool-down for maximum free damage increase. Here is the macro. "targetsname" can be replaced with the name of the player you want to cast TotT on.

/cast [target=targetsname] Tricks of the Trade

Shadow Dance burst Macro:

This is the closest thing to a "One shot macro" for a rogue. The only other thing you could add to it is Shadow Blades, which I strongly advise against doing. I'll explain what this macro does in order. Firstly, it cancels Subterfuge, which can bug Shadow Dance and cause shadow dance to blatantly fall off/be removed. Afterwards, it will cast Shadow Dance and then immediately use Premeditation(if it is off cool-down), then use Cheap Shot or Garrote depending on whether or not you are using a modifier. Doing this will allow you to save a global cool-down and use an ability immediately even though the global will be displayed and the bar will be paging. /use 14 and /use 10 uses your bottom slot trinket if it is off cool-down(or a use effect trinket), and if it isn't available, it will use slot 10 for the engineering glove use effect. /startattack is there just in case your auto attacks get a hiccup and don't trigger right away which can cause people to "jump" your garrote and avoid Crippling poison procs. This used to happen with Cheap shot as well, but stuns can no longer be jumped. Finally, here is the macro.

#showtooltip Shadow Dance
/cancelaura Subterfuge
/cast Shadow Dance
/cast Premeditation
/cast [mod:shift] Garrote; Cheap Shot
/use 14
/use 10
/startattack
Edited by Draeris on 1/9/2014 12:32 PM PST
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90 Undead Rogue
10525
02/24/2013 11:51 AMPosted by Draeris
The ideal amount of crit to shoot for is between 19-22%, at which point Mastery can become a better stat to allocate rating into.

Interested in where you got this number from. Sounds like you're pulling it out of your !@#.

Find Weakness + Shadow Blades – This is likely the ideal use of our new burst ability. The insane amount of combo points generated during Shadow Blades will result in several more Eviscerates hitting your target during the Find Weakness period. The additional damage from a Find Weakness Eviscerate over a typical Eviscerate is substantial.

I have an issue with this one.

You're putting full reliance into Evis during FW, but you're not accounting for SBlade's damage. Using SBlades during FW pretty much wastes the cooldown because SBlades ignores armor all together. It's far more efficient to use Dance, get up FW, burst through that for CD's, then SBlades after the enemy team's CD's are spent. It's likely you'll get CC'ed on your Dance to get FW going, so when you SBlade you'll be DR'ed and have the ability to get good uptime to just autoattack to victory.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
11285
Greetings,

We humbly request the cease and desist of this thread using the title "Tricks of the Trade". This is too similar to our general chat posts titled "Tricks of our Trade" and could be confusing to some. Because of this we of the Rouge Legion ask that if this post remains on our forum list that the title be modified to something less likely to be mistaken for our thread as we have maintained the use of the title name for more than a year. Any variation of our title for use to be considered vaild will need to have a minimum difference of at least 30%

Thanks,

Aedrik
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02/24/2013 01:07 PMPosted by Backstabi
You're putting full reliance into Evis during FW, but you're not accounting for SBlade's damage. Using SBlades during FW pretty much wastes the cooldown because SBlades ignores armor all together. It's far more efficient to use Dance, get up FW, burst through that for CD's, then SBlades after the enemy team's CD's are spent.


Shadow blades only converts your white attack damage into shadow damage, not your special abilities too. With that said, it only adds to the potency of the ability and does not diminish it. Shadow damage from auto attacks with a 70% armor pen on your abilities is an extremely powerful and effective way to burst. Besides, as I have said, the effective way rogues deal damage is via burst. Our heaviest hitting ability is Eviscerate. Shadow blades opens the window to pump out more eviscerates. Using Shadow Blades without Find Weakness on the target so all the eviscerates you can use during the abilities uptime is a waste of Shadow Blades, Energy and Combo points. Just as Shadow Blades can be used after enemy cooldowns are spent, it can be used to force enemy cooldowns when paired with Find Weakness. Which is what I have found other rogues to suggest and myself.

02/24/2013 01:07 PMPosted by Backstabi
It's likely you'll get CC'ed on your Dance to get FW going, so when you SBlade you'll be DR'ed and have the ability to get good uptime to just autoattack to victory.


I'd be surprised to see a geared and skilled healer to die from Shadow Blade's auto attack damage alone, even if they have no cooldowns. Having and playing a Holy Paladin myself, the only time I ever feel pressure from a rogue in arena is when he is poping all of his cooldowns and has find weakness up with them. I rarely have to pop cooldowns to heal through anything outside of said burst.
Edited by Draeris on 2/24/2013 1:53 PM PST
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Greetings,

We humbly request the cease and desist of this thread using the title "Tricks of the Trade". This is too similar to our general chat posts titled "Tricks of our Trade" and could be confusing to some. Because of this we of the Rouge Legion ask that if this post remains on our forum list that the title be modified to something less likely to be mistaken for our thread as we have maintained the use of the title name for more than a year. Any variation of our title for use to be considered vaild will need to have a minimum difference of at least 30%

Thanks,

Aedrik


Understandable. I have no problem changing it.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
11285
02/24/2013 01:46 PMPosted by Draeris
Understandable. I have no problem changing it.


You sir are a real gentlemans ;)
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Bump.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
8900
A bit helpful, I'd reccomend other Rogues reading it. I did most of this stuff on my own through trial and error to begin with. Most people argued with me that it was 'the thing' to pop both your SBlades + Dance. If anything I'll save my Blades for hard pressure or for a vanish/restealth opener and use my synapse springs and blades. With a CCed healer I can usually get them down a decent chunk. I'm in no means, at the moment anyways, a 2200 player, but I'm learning all the ins and outs.
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90 Undead Rogue
10525
02/24/2013 01:45 PMPosted by Draeris
You're putting full reliance into Evis during FW, but you're not accounting for SBlade's damage. Using SBlades during FW pretty much wastes the cooldown because SBlades ignores armor all together. It's far more efficient to use Dance, get up FW, burst through that for CD's, then SBlades after the enemy team's CD's are spent.


Shadow blades only converts your white attack damage into shadow damage, not your special abilities too. With that said, it only adds to the potency of the ability and does not diminish it. Shadow damage from auto attacks with a 70% armor pen on your abilities is an extremely powerful and effective way to burst. Besides, as I have said, the effective way rogues deal damage is via burst. Our heaviest hitting ability is Eviscerate. Shadow blades opens the window to pump out more eviscerates. Using Shadow Blades without Find Weakness on the target so all the eviscerates you can use during the abilities uptime is a waste of Shadow Blades, Energy and Combo points. Just as Shadow Blades can be used after enemy cooldowns are spent, it can be used to force enemy cooldowns when paired with Find Weakness. Which is what I have found other rogues to suggest and myself.

It's likely you'll get CC'ed on your Dance to get FW going, so when you SBlade you'll be DR'ed and have the ability to get good uptime to just autoattack to victory.


I'd be surprised to see a geared and skilled healer to die from Shadow Blade's auto attack damage alone, even if they have no cooldowns. Having and playing a Holy Paladin myself, the only time I ever feel pressure from a rogue in arena is when he is poping all of his cooldowns and has find weakness up with them. I rarely have to pop cooldowns to heal through anything outside of said burst.

I had a second run-through, and found the section on not overlapping Dance with Blades. At first I thought when you were saying use Blades on top of FW, that you meant combine Dance and Blades.

I understand it'll result in it being said twice, but you might want to clarify that a bit, as it almost appears as a conflict between the two sections.
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02/24/2013 04:42 PMPosted by Backstabi


Shadow blades only converts your white attack damage into shadow damage, not your special abilities too. With that said, it only adds to the potency of the ability and does not diminish it. Shadow damage from auto attacks with a 70% armor pen on your abilities is an extremely powerful and effective way to burst. Besides, as I have said, the effective way rogues deal damage is via burst. Our heaviest hitting ability is Eviscerate. Shadow blades opens the window to pump out more eviscerates. Using Shadow Blades without Find Weakness on the target so all the eviscerates you can use during the abilities uptime is a waste of Shadow Blades, Energy and Combo points. Just as Shadow Blades can be used after enemy cooldowns are spent, it can be used to force enemy cooldowns when paired with Find Weakness. Which is what I have found other rogues to suggest and myself.



I'd be surprised to see a geared and skilled healer to die from Shadow Blade's auto attack damage alone, even if they have no cooldowns. Having and playing a Holy Paladin myself, the only time I ever feel pressure from a rogue in arena is when he is poping all of his cooldowns and has find weakness up with them. I rarely have to pop cooldowns to heal through anything outside of said burst.

I had a second run-through, and found the section on not overlapping Dance with Blades. At first I thought when you were saying use Blades on top of FW, that you meant combine Dance and Blades.

I understand it'll result in it being said twice, but you might want to clarify that a bit, as it almost appears as a conflict between the two sections.


I'll look over it to see if I can re-word it in a more clear way. Sorry for any confusion, and thank you for the constructive suggestion. I want to encourage a lot of friendly discussion about rogue play on this thread.
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90 Undead Priest
3495
So helpful, thank you!
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Bumped.
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Bumping.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
10420
I needed this. SO MUCH.

Thank you, Lefice! Reported for Sticky!
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90 Undead Rogue
16380
Garrote -> Premeditation Ambush -> Eviscerate
2. Cheap Shot -> 2 combo point Rupture -> Premeditation Ambush -> Eviscerate


Are you assuming that SnD is running? If not, isn't it more effective for the rogue to use the 2 CPs from premed into Snd and then use any of the two suggested openers?
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90 Undead Rogue
16380
02/24/2013 11:51 AMPosted by Draeris
Shadow Power talent.


Do you mean Shadow Focus?
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Garrote -> Premeditation Ambush -> Eviscerate
2. Cheap Shot -> 2 combo point Rupture -> Premeditation Ambush -> Eviscerate


Are you assuming that SnD is running? If not, isn't it more effective for the rogue to use the 2 CPs from premed into Snd and then use any of the two suggested openers?


This opener is for quick burst, and would only last the length of an opener. It can trick people into thinking you are focusing a target you don't intend on focusing, and if Eviscerate crits it can land a pretty heavy hit to force some trinkets and such. So SnD wouldn't be absolutely needed, and the reason you rupture is to get your damage increase up immediately for the Eviscerate, and have it rolling long enough to get your SnD up to a full stack after the initial opener.

02/28/2013 07:42 AMPosted by Vallagard
Shadow Power talent.


Do you mean Shadow Focus?


Yes, thank you for finding the typo.
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Hey combat rogues! Do it for combat too!!! And no, combat isn't a bad spec for pvp!
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