Roguedom: Common Rogue Q's & A's

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(Last updated March 22, 2018.)

Raiding. Gear. Stats. Secrecy. Poison. Murder. Deceit. There's so much to know about being a rogue! What's a pirate-spy-ninja-sassin to do?

Nothing. You're screwed. You'll never be any good.

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

Whether you're new to the class or a grizzled veteran, there's always more to learn about playing a rogue. In this thread, I’ll do my best to answer commonly asked questions on a range of rogue topics. At present I'm keeping this thread focused on end-game PvE questions only (i.e., primarily raid-relevant stuff).

If you've got any suggestions, Q's you'd like to see A'd, corrections or general death threats, feel free to post in this thread, flip me the bird at @SvelteKumquat or email me at I look forward to completely ignoring your heartfelt messages.
PvE at Level 110: Basic Questions and Answers

I still plan on adding to this collection for Legion, but here are some of the big'uns:

How are rogues looking in end-game PvE?

    In raids, they're looking solid, with several standout fights -- far more standouts than the few fights in which they're not looking so hot. From roughly March 8 through March 22 in the Antorus raid, here is where the top-performing rogue spec ranked relative to the top-performing spec of all 12 DPS classes. (I've left out Mythic ranks for the last few fights, since there's still a pretty small number of folks who've gotten through them.)

    • Garothi: #2 on Normal, #1 on Heroic, #1 on Mythic
    • Felhounds: #4 on Normal, #3 on Heroic, #2 on Mythic
    • High Command: #10 on Normal, #11 on Heroic, #11 on Mythic
    • Eonar: #10 on Normal, #11 on Heroic, #12 on Mythic
    • Hasabel: #6 on Normal, #3 on Heroic, #10 on Mythic
    • Imonar: #1 on Normal, #1 on Heroic, #1 on Mythic
    • Kin'garoth: #2 on Normal, #2 on Heroic, #2 on Mythic
    • Varimathras: #3 on Normal, #2 on Heroic, #8 on Mythic
    • Coven: #4 on Normal, #4 on Heroic, #4 on Mythic
    • Aggramar: #3 on Normal, #1 on Heroic
    • Argus: #1 on Normal, #1 on Heroic

    Those ranks are based on the average DPS amount (50th percentile) among raid logs made public on WarcraftLogs. Many rogues do better than average, and many do worse. Remember that from raid to raid, and from fight to fight, you personally may do extremely well or extremely badly depending on a whole host of factors, including how well you're geared, how well you play, what your raid group's strategy is, how much experience you have on that raid fight, what spec you choose, and so on.

What's the best spec for raiding (in terms of DPS)?

    All three specs are close to one another in terms of their overall DPS potential. At the moment, if you look at rankings like those at WarcraftLogs, Assassination will look like a clear winner, with Outlaw and Subtlety lagging well behind. But keep in mind that Assassination is also by far the most popular rogue raiding spec right now (making up about two-thirds all rogue raid logs in normal difficulty, and about 80% in heroic), and when far more people play one spec than the others, that tends to skew DPS numbers further in favor of the popular spec.

    Bottom line: no matter what difficulty of raid you're in, you'll have the potential to deal solid DPS (maybe even meter-topping DPS) regardless of which spec you choose, as long as you play that spec well. This may be more of a challenge with Outlaw than the other specs, but it's still doable.

How about dungeons?

    If it doesn't matter for raids, it sure as heck ain't gonna matter for dungeons. :) Every spec can be an asset in a dungeon, regardless of whether it's normal or mythic.

What if I'm just questing or killing stuff by myself?

    Go with what you enjoy. Gone are the days when one spec was clearly best for attacking or defending against multiple targets at once; all three specs have decent baseline damage, toolkits and AoE (multi-target) capabilities.

What stats do I care about?

    I'm not gonna give you the simple answer you're looking for. :) If anyone claims to have it, they're wrong.

    Agility is, of course, by far your most valuable stat. Among the secondary stats -- critical strike (crit), haste, mastery, and versatility -- all of them are good, but some are better than others depending on your spec, the gear your rogue is wearing, the type of encounter you're in (e.g., you vs. the boss, you vs. several enemies, you vs. another player), even your playstyle and how well you play your rogue. This is why you should take definitive-looking "stat weight" charts with a grain of salt: Stat values are never set in stone.

    My recommendation: First and most important, don't worry too much about what stats are best. Playing your rogue well is far more important for DPS than aiming for certain stats over others. Much of the time, stats are so close together in value that making a mistake and choosing the "third best" over the "best" for your gems and enchants will have no noticeable effect on your DPS.

    With all that said: If you're playing as Subtlety, use ShadowCraft -- -- to find out which stats are currently the most important for your rogue. It calculates your stat weights based on your current gear choices and item level, and shows you how those stat weights (and their relative DPS value) shift as you swap out different pieces of gear.

    If you're playing as Assassination, ShadowCraft's stat weights are a little less reliable. (According to one of its main developers, it's not placing as much value in mastery as it should.) And it's not accurate at all for Outlaw at the moment. Ask Mr. Robot's Gear Simulator ( can be reasonably helpful as an alternative.

    One of the best resources for calculating your stat weights is SimulationCraft, but using it properly can get a little complicated. If you'd like to give it a go, check out Wowhead's starter's guide:

Where can I get more information?

    The Ravenholdt Discord channel is superneat and filled with useful bits of info, links to outside resources (including theorycrafting) and community discussion. You'll need a Discord account to access it, but it's super-easy to register; here are invite links for some of the key channels:

    • Resources and FAQ:
    • Basic Questions:
    • Assassination:
    • Outlaw:
    • Subtlety:
I accidentally deleted whatever used to be here. That is most unfortunate.
Once the "Basic Questions" section above begins to fill up, I'll start adding more specific, nitty-gritty type questions and answers here. Or maybe not. The world is a magical and unpredictable place!
I looked and thought: "Another rogue has my name?"

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

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

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

I have good news and bad news:

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

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

But it comes with a free frogurt!
That's good!
Added a few outside links (Shadow Panther, Encrypted Text), as well as Aeriwen's leveling FAQ (so sorry, Aeriwen -- I forgot about your freaking *sticky*!) and Gerwulf's subtlety PvE videos. Also did another formatting pass to make the lists more readable.

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

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

Thanks Rfeann!
Update time!

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

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

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

p.s.: Truewann, quit changing the name of your PvP guide every other day. :P
Ha! Thanks. Yeah, since I'm not cool enough to make the news (or start the great forum threads), I figure I might as well just report on it. :)

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

Combat?! PVP viable?

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

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