Roguedom Thread #2: The FA of Qs

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Rogues are a naturally curious bunch. Unfortunately, we have a nasty habit of killing the very things we'd otherwise like to get answers from.

Still, in a cutthroat business like ours, you're sure to have questions about your class -- how to play it, how to enjoy it, how to get the most out of it in PvE and PvP alike. And that's what this thread is for.

This is the second of two Roguedom threads; the first one features a guide to various rogue guides and other cool resources. This one gets into the nitty, and sometimes the gritty, on specific rogue-related questions.

That first thread also includes an all-encompassing, uber-super-awesome table of contents that I painstakingly pieced together, with my own blood, sweat and tears, over the course of millenia, give or take a few millenia. The ToC spans the breadth of both Roguedom threads, as well as a number of other informative and noteworthy threads. If you don't know where to turn next to get the answer to your questions, I recommend starting there:

Roguedom: Common PvE Rogue Qs & As
Introduction: In Which I Introduce Things Using Lots and Lots of Words

For the most part, there are two types of people who use this forum: People who have questions, and people who like to answer them. Generally, this is an ideal combination, like peanut butter and jelly, or peanut butter and chocolate, or peanuts and a machine that makes them into butter.

But over time, the combination can break down. The people with questions tend to ask many of the same ones over and over, sometimes without searching or browsing to see if they've already been answered. The people with answers tend to be patient about this at first, but burn out over time; their answers get shorter, more curt, more annoyed. Politeness can begin to break down. Tempers can flare. The jelly falls out the side of the sandwich and stains your shirt. The chocolate peanut butter cup becomes stale and gritty, and you already threw out the receipt so you can't exchange it for a fresher package.

Hopefully this thread can help all of the wonderful peanuts and jelly-fruits and chocolate bars in this forum live in the perfect harmony in which we were all meant to live. (OK, probably not, but it's worth a shot.) With your help, this will eventually become a collection of some of the most common questions people ask in this forum, along with either succinct answers to those questions, or links to other resources, posts and threads that will answer them in detail.

This thread is about providing answers to pretty specific questions having to do with rogues. It is not meant to replace any of the outstanding stickies at the top of this forum, or the many excellent resources I mention in my "Guide to Guides" sticky. If you're looking for more general advice on being a better rogue, you're much better off browsing the stickies than you are reading this thread.

I'll close up this novelette with a request: Please try *not* use this thread to yell at one another. Many of the questions below don't have easy answers, and in many cases people on different sides of an argument feel very passionately about their views. That's fine. And I'm going to do the best job I can of representing all sides in my answer. But if you want to debate the topic itself, please don't do it here. Do it within another thread in this forum -- preferably one of the threads I link to, so people who click on it seeking more information can develop a better understanding of all sides of the issue (and maybe come around to your view in the process).

Back to the table of contents:
PvE Below Level 90: Leveling, Questing and So Forth

FUN: Is it fun to level a rogue?
  • If it's fun for you, then it's fun. :)
  • Some people will say it's a blast, others will say it sucks. What they say doesn't matter. We're all different people with different ideas and goals for what we enjoy; the only way you'll know if leveling a rogue is fun is to try it for yourself.

SPEC: What's the best one to level with?
  • Any of them are fine.
  • Really. :)
  • Some people will insist that one is clearly superior, but they all have benefits and drawbacks, and you can do well and have fun with any of them.
  • When considering which spec to use, keep in mind the different playstyles and benefits of each one. Although all three are more similar in Mists than they've perhaps ever been, there are still important differences.
    • Assassination has very good single-target damage and, once you get Fan of Knives at level 66, tends to have the best AoE [area of effect] damage (for when you're facing a large number of enemies at once). It is regarded as the "slowest" spec, because the main combo point builder (Mutilate) uses a lot of energy, meaning you'll spend a lot of time waiting for your energy to regenerate for your next attack.
    • Combat has no equal when you need to deal damage to more than one (but less than six) target at once, thanks to Blade Flurry. It is regarded as the "fastest" spec, because it relies on low-energy abilities, which means you'll hit buttons more often.
    • Subtlety appears to be somewhere between the other two specs in almost every aspect.
    • For much, much more on leveling a rogue, be sure to read Aeriwen's sticky:

WEAPONS: What should I use?
  • Only use weapons with Agility on them -- if it's got Intellect, Strength or Spirit on it, drop it like it's hot.
  • Assassination requires one dagger in each hand -- especially after level 10, when you learn Mutilate, the main combo point builder for the spec.
  • Combat prefers a "slow weapon" -- an axe, fist weapon, mace or sword -- in the main hand, but pretty much anything is fine in the off-hand.
  • Subtlety can do fine with pretty much anything in either hand, though ideally you'll want a dagger in your off hand.
  • Leveling is designed to be pretty easy, so you shouldn't have much problem completing quests or killing mobs (a.k.a. creatures) with less-than-"ideal" weapons. Unless you use heirlooms, you'll also be replacing weapons pretty often as you level up, so don't go crazy trying to get the "perfect" weapons (or enchants, for that matter).

LOCKPICKING: How do I increase my skill level?
  • Your skill increases automatically as you level (by 5 points per level). There is no way to increase it more quickly.
  • To any of you who might be saying "Muh?": Yes, this is a change from how things were prior to the Cataclysm expansion, when we increased our lockpicking skill by actually picking billions and billions of locks.

GLYPH OF DETECTION: What the heck does it do?
  • Not much -- and yet oh so much!
  • The Glyph of Detection is a minor glyph introduced just before the Mists of Pandaria expansion launched. It's a throwback to the days of yore when 1) Blizzard commonly put hidden traps in the game and 2) rogues used to cast an ability called "Detect Traps" to find them. (The ability still exists, but it's now passive; we don't need to press any buttons to spot hidden traps.)
  • Whenever rogues would cast Detect Traps, it triggered a visual effect around the rogue that was fondly called "swirly ball." (See it in action here: This was removed from the game in June 2006. The new glyph gives you an ability called Detection that, when used, reproduces that visual effect.
  • Technically, using Detection *does* give you a small chance to see things that are invisible, such as mages who have cast Invisibility or players who have used a Invisibility Potion. (Note: We're talking about *invisbility* detection here, not stealth detection -- the glyph does nothing to help you see stealthed rogues/druids or camouflaged hunters.) But this is mostly just a cosmetic/fun glyph...
  • With one huge, amazing exception:

Back to the table of contents:
PvE at Level 90: The Basics

SPEC: Which one should I use?
  • In Blizzard’s simulations, all three specs have the ability to deal similar damage at max level. Unless you're doing competitive PvE (such as committed raiding or challenge-mode dungeons), you can pick any spec and do well with it.
  • Among top raiders, Assassination is by far the most popular spec. Neither Combat nor Subtlety are used very often by progression raiders. This may partly be an "I don't use them because other people don't use them" thing, but most raid fights in Mists *are* more "Mut-friendly" than they are Combat- or Sub-friendly. In other words, the mechanics of most raid fights play more to Mut's strengths and tend to highlight Combat's and Sub's weaknesses.
  • That said, the single most important part of doing good DPS with any spec is playing that spec well. If you're dealing crappy damage with your current spec, it may be that you're not playing in the way that will help you deal the most DPS with it.
  • When considering which spec to use, keep in mind the different playstyles and benefits of each one. Although all three are more similar in Mists than they perhaps have ever been, there are still important differences.
    • Assassination has very good single-target damage and tends to have the best AoE damage (for when you're facing a large number of enemies at once). It is regarded as the "slowest" spec, because the main combo point builder (Mutilate) uses a lot of energy, meaning you'll spend a lot of time waiting for your energy to regenerate for your next attack.
    • Combat deals strong damage when you're facing 2 to 5 targets, thanks to Blade Flurry. It is regarded as the "fastest" spec, because it relies on low-energy abilities. At high gear levels, this can mean that you're literally mashing an attack button every second (or even every half-second!).
    • Subtlety appears to be somewhere between the other two specs in almost every aspect. Its use tends to be limited, however, because its strongest combo-point builder (Backstab) requires that you be behind your target.

RAIDING: Am I ready?
Maybe. :)
  • There's no single measure of "readiness" for raiding. Different raid teams may set different DPS or average item level requirements for new raiders hoping to join the team, depending on how good the rest of the team is, how far they've progressed and so on.
  • Remember, DPS or average item level alone are not remotely enough to ensure success at raids. You need to know how each boss fight works, understand your role within those fights, and be part of a well-prepared raid team.
  • Hop down to the "Succeeding in Dungeons and Raids" section below for more:

Back to the table of contents:
PvE at Level 90: Stats

STATS: Which are most important?
This is *roughly* how stat importance shakes out for each spec at level 90 in full raid gear. I say “roughly” because stat values change as your stats (and your gear) change; some of these stats are so close in value that they can actually switch places in importance as you gear. As a loose rule of thumb, though:

  • 1) Hit, until you reach the cap (see below for more)
  • 2) Mastery
  • 3) Expertise, until you reach the cap (see below)
  • 4) Haste
  • 5) Crit

  • 1) Hit, until you reach the cap (see below for more)
  • 2) Expertise, until you reach the cap (see below)
  • 3) Haste
  • 4) Mastery
  • 5) Crit

  • 1) Hit, until you reach the cap (see below for more)
  • 2) Haste
  • 3) Expertise, until you reach the cap (see below)
  • 4) Mastery
  • 5) Crit

HIT CAP: What is it?
  • Some pieces of gear, enchants and gems have a stat called "hit rating" on them, which increases the chance that your attack will hit your target. The "hit cap" is the point at which our attacks are essentially guaranteed to hit.
  • In the past, you may have heard about three different types of hit caps -- "yellow" (or "special"), "spell" and "white" (or "melee"). In Mists, we now only have only one hit cap we need to worry about: 7.5%. That is our new raid boss hit cap for all specs, and it applies to our poisons as well as our special attacks.
  • For heroic dungeons, the hit cap is lower -- 6% instead of 7.5%.
  • Keep in mind that the Precision talent (which was in the first tier of the old Combat talent tree, and which provided up to 6% of free hit) was removed in Patch 5.0.4.

EXPERTISE: Is it important?
  • For Combat rogues, yes. For Mut and Sub, a little less so. (See the stat priorities listed above.)
  • In Mists, our expertise cap is 7.5% against raid bosses. For heroic dungeons, the expertise cap is 6%.

Back to the table of contents:
PvE at Level 90: Gear and Weapons

ENCHANTS: Which ones are best for each gear slot?

GEMS: Which ones should I use?

GEAR: How can I know what's an upgrade for me and what isn't?
  • Use Shadowcraft:

WEAPONS: Which types will kill stuff the best?
  • Assassination: A dagger in each hand. (There are no such thing as "fast" and "slow" daggers in Mists; all daggers are 1.8-speed.)
  • Combat: A "slow weapon," a.k.a. non-dagger (2.6-speed axe, fist weapon, mace or sword) in your main hand, and anything in your off hand, though an off-hand NON-dagger appears to do slightly more DPS than an off-hand dagger, assuming the two have otherwise similar stats.
  • Subtlety: A dagger in each hand is best. You can also do alright using a non-dagger in your main hand, but you'll need to use Hemorrhage instead of Backstab as your main combo point builder, and you'll usually sacrifice some DPS in the process.

Back to the table of contents:
PvE at Level 90: Succeeding in Dungeons and Raids

DPS: How do I do more of it?
  • There are three pieces to this puzzle: 1) optimizing your gear, 2) mastering your rotation and 3) learning the fight.
  • Shadowcraft ( is the best resource around for help with enchanting, gemming and reforging rogue gear. (Yes, better than Ask Mr. Robot — mostly because Shadowcraft is designed and maintained by brilliant rogue theorycrafters and made specifically for rogues.)
  • The PvE sticky in the WoW rogue forum ( and the class-specific threads on Elitist Jerks ( are easily some of the best resources out there to help you master your spec.
  • For specific tips on individual raid fights, visit this Elitist Jerks page:
  • Remember that watching tutorial videos and reading fight strategies is a huge part of improving DPS, since the better you know the fight, the less time you'll spend messing up due to confusion. My favorite guides are made by:
    • Learn to Raid (video):
    • Icy Veins (written):
    • OMFGCata (video):
    • Tankspot (video):

POISONS: Which should I use?
  • In most boss fights, you'll want Deadly as your lethal poison and Leeching as your non-lethal poison.
  • That said, there's a ton of flexibility in your choice of non-lethal poisons; for the most part you can go with whatever you feel (or that your party/raid leader feels) will provide the most good for your group.
  • For much more on how poisons have changed in Mists of Pandaria, I've whipped up this quick primer for you:

PROFESSIONS: Which will help me gain the most DPS?
  • You most likely will not see a difference in your DPS based on your profession choice, unless we're talking about choosing two crafting professions vs. two gathering professions.
  • The boost provided by each of the crafting professions (alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, inscription, jewelcrafting, leatherworking and tailoring) pretty much evens out.
  • None of the gathering professions (herbalism, mining and skinning) boost your DPS by as much as a crafting profession. Herbalism (with its haste-boosting cooldown) is considered the strongest for DPS.

Back to the table of contents:
Daddy’s Dentures, or, Legendary Laniaries (a.k.a. Fangs of the Father, the Legendary Daggers)

BASICS: How, what, where, who --
  • OK, OK, calm down there, buddy. The first-ever single-class legendaries are definitely exciting, and parts of the quest line to get them are truly awesome. But if you choke to death on your own spittle, your path to obtaining them will become significantly more challenging.
  • All of the basic things you need to know about these daggers, and how to get them, I summarize here:

COMBAT ROGUES: Are any of the Dragon Soul axe/mace/sword drops better than the mainhand dagger?
Before Patch 5.0.4, here’s how the number-crunching worked out, very roughly, from "best" to "worst":
  • Keep in mind that these were all rough estimates when they were first made, and that at any rate they may no longer be accurate now that Patch 5.0.4 has launched.

GILNEAS: I’m having an impossible time avoiding detection!
  • It can definitely be frustrating (and even a little buggy) in parts, depending on the route you take. And yes, the “stealth bubble” you see on the ground is only a rough estimate; some NPCs can “see” better than others. But you *can* do it!
  • My personal recommendation is not to go around the perimeter; you can pop out of stealth suddenly and without warning, which is infuriating. Instead, I’d stealth right in via the main entrance; then go roughly counterclockwise around the square before continuing down the stairs and toward Creed. Remember: Just like in PvP, enemies detect you a *lot* more easily when they’re facing you, so using Distract is absolutely key. And Sap, of course, is a requirement. As is patience and a good sense of timing.
  • This very long forum thrilled is filled with assorted additional advice, some more useful than others:

KILLING CREED: It’s so hard! Got tips?
  • Think PvP for this fight, not PvE. If you concentrate on maximum damage, you will die. If you concentrate on staying alive and using a wider range of rogue abilities, you will (likely) win, even if you’re not raid-geared.
  • For a much more detailed set of tips, I recommend this post by Fenrir:

RAID FINDER: Can I use it to complete any part of the process, like pickpocketing Hagara?
  • No. You can’t even *get* the first quest within the Raid Finder version of Dragon Soul; you must be in the regular or heroic version.

TRACKING THE PROC: Can anything help me do it?
  • This add-on is made specifically to help rogues with the final-stage legendary daggers see their Shadows of the Destroyer stacks, as well as see a notification when the proc itself goes off:
  • You can also customize existing add-ons (such as Power Auras). If you go this route, note that with the legendary weapons, the stacking +Agility self-buff is called "Shadows of the Destroyer" and the proc itself is called "Fury of the Destroyer." With the first-stage daggers, the stacking self-buff is called "Suffering." With the second-stage daggers, it's called "Nightmare."

TRANSFERRING MY CHARACTER: If I switch servers or factions, will I lose my clusters/gems and have to start over?
  • No. Shadowy Gem and Elementium Gem Cluster stay in your bags when you transfer.
  • If you change factions, your quest log will be wiped out, but you can re-start whatever quest in the legendary chain you were on by going back to the NPC who gave you the quest -- Wrathion at Ravenholdt, in the case of the collection quests -- and accepting it again.
  • Be sure to re-start the quest *before* you begin raiding again with your newly transferred character, or the bosses won't drop clusters!

Back to the table of contents:
PvP at All Levels: The Fundamentals

(Please note: This section has *not* been updated for Patch 5.0.4, and likely won't be updated before Mists launches. Special super-awesome guest co-author for this section: Sheevah)

  • Shyeah, like you need your precious questions answered, with your two-shot kills and your overpowered Ambushes. Get off my lawn, you filthy kids!
  • Honestly, there’s not a lot to low-level PvP. Things are so horribly imbalanced that you should only do it for fun, or if you’re just out to kill some time.
  • Although there's no "right" way to do it, the most effective manner to play PvP at low levels is to spec into Subtlety and use Shadowstep => Ambush => Eviscerate. Most enemy players will be dead at that point.
  • Just don't get used to it, because things change a great deal by the time you reach 85, where the real PvP begins.

STEALTH (AND VANISH): Why doesn't it work right?

There are many possible reasons:

  • Latency can cause you to be visible to another player when it looks like you're completely stealthed on your own screen. It can also cause them to see the direction you're headed as you go into stealth.
  • If you Vanish within line-of-sight of another person, they will be able to see you until you move out of their immediate field of vision. If you're headed the direction they are, or if they're turning to where you'd stay in sight, you never completely stealth to them. They can pick you out easily.
  • DoTs (damage-over-time spells). Seems pretty basic, but a lot of people forget about DoTs. If you don't have Cloak of Shadows available, or if the DoT is a bleed and you don't have Stoneform (the dwarf racial), you can easily be knocked right back out of stealth.
  • Hunters: They can use Track Hidden, Flare, and Hunter's Mark/Marked for Death.
  • The "target of target" workaround. (Example: A player on your side targets you for a heal. An enemy player targets your healer, sees that you're the target of the healer, and uses a "target of target" command to retarget you in stealth.) Supposedly this was fixed, and I've not had problems with it, but there are still people that claim it's there.
  • Macros. You know how we have spammable target-nearest-enemy-and-Sap macros? Every class has a "rogue finder" type macro that they can run around spamming if they think a rogue is near. Sometimes you hit a target before you ever see them because of the macro.
  • If you're not at max level, remember that other players will see you more easily if their level is higher. The greater the level difference, the greater the chance they'll see you.
  • Certain gear (e.g., Hyper-Vision Goggles) or potions (e.g., Elixir of the Searching Eye) increase a player’s ability to spot you in stealth (though they’re unusable in arenas and rated battlegrounds). See Tanto’s ganking sticky for more:
  • Plain old lucky guesses from other players. It's our natural reaction to look for a technological reason as to why we get hit out of stealth, but sometimes, the reality is just that someone took an educated guess. I've talked to people that just hit an AoE ability in spots they're used to seeing rogues take or spots they take on their own stealthy character.
  • The cruel hand of fate. The simple fact is, stealth is not invisibility. There is *always* a mathematical chance that you will be spotted while in stealth. That chance decreases the farther you are from a player, as well as the farther you are outside the "cone of vision" in the direction they're facing. But there's always a chance.

Sometimes it can feel like you're being spotted all the time, and that stealth or Vanish are somehow bugged as a result -- or someone has figured out how to break the game. But the vast, vast majority of the time, if you use stealth and Vanish correctly, you will not be seen. You won't remember those times, because we don't remember when things work as they should. The times we're spotted are the ones that stick in our mind, making us believe -- wrongly -- that it's happening a lot more often than it actually is.

Back to the table of contents:
PvP at Level 85: All Specs

(Please note: This section has *not* been updated for Patch 5.0.4, and likely won't be updated before Mists launches. Much of the wisdom below is written by our special super-awesome guest author, Sheevah.)

GUIDES: How do I learn how to murder?
  • Unfortunately, at this late point in Cataclysm, most PvP guides have become pretty outdated. Here's a list of some of the best resources:
  • But keep in mind that when you're just starting out at level 85, the going can get very tough. Just hang in there and keep at it.
  • If you have any specific questions, be sure to create a new thread in this forum so that you may receive a specific answer to help you out as you're trudging through the trenches of roguehood.

RACE: Which is best?
  • In my opinion, the relative value of racials in the current game can be summarized as follows:
            Alliance: Human > Night Elf > Gnome >= Dwarf >= Worgen
            Horde: Undead > Blood Elf >= Goblin >= Orc > Troll
  • Humans are often considered the strongest in high-end PvP, thanks to the racial ability Every Man for Himself, which performs exactly like a Vicious Gladiator's Medallion of Tenacity (or any of the similar snare-breaking trinkets). As a result, you could use that trinket slot for something that would help improve your damage instead.
  • That said, all races have their own special benefits, and each can have situational value. For instance, blood elves get an AoE silence with Arcane Torrent; dwarves can shake off bleeds with Stoneform; gnomes can break snares with Escape Artist; goblins get an extra gap closer with Rocket Jump; night elves get an extra in-combat stealth via Shadowmeld; undead get an extra fear/sleep breaker with Will of the Forsaken.

SPEC: What's best?
  • Subtlety is, hands down, the best available spec for PvP. It is extremely well-rounded, providing you and your team with a great deal of control, mobility, damage, and synergy with other classes. For a current guide to Subtlety, go here:
  • For competitive play (higher ratings in arena and rated battlegrounds), you don’t have a lot of options. So, be prepared to get asked to respec into Subtlety if you don’t play it already.
  • If you’re playing for fun, don’t let the Subtlety fans pressure you into a playing a spec or style you don’t enjoy. After all, WoW is a game, and the main focus for most players is to have fun. Simply take the time to learn the ins and outs of your spec, if that’s what you enjoy. You can find a moderate amount of success using any spec that you have access to if you’re willing to put in the time to practice.

STRATEGIES: What are the best abilities to use, and in what order should I use them?
There is no "rotation" for PvP the way there is for PvE. Your strategy in any given PvP situation depends on a huge number of factors, not the least of which are the class and skill level of the players you're up against, as well as the type of PvP you're doing (arena, rated battlegrounds, unrated battlegrounds, duels, world PvP). The best way to prepare yourself for success is:
  • Know your abilities, cooldowns and talents like the back of your hand.
  • Understand other classes' abilities, cooldowns and talents, and learn when they are most likely to use them.
  • Know your role in the fight. (Control? Damage? Harassing the healer? Peeling the DPS?)
  • Be aware of your surroundings and think on your feet. Don't make assumptions. Be adaptable.
  • Be prepared to fail. A lot, especially at first. Take deep breaths, and learn from those failures.
  • For more detailed PvP guides:

VIDEOS: What are some great PvP tutorials to watch?
  • People can get... a little intense... when they talk about which PvP rogues are the "best," so take she-rules-he-sucks arguments with a grain of salt. This thread includes several recommendations:
  • Another awesome way to learn a thing or two about rogues is to watch livestreams. Often, there are some really amazing rogues that stream while they play and are willing to answer questions as they do it. Original, Iblazen and Neilyo are just a few examples of rogues who stream periodically. Most of the streams I've seen are on, which is 100% free (you don't even have to sign up for anything).

(Continued on next post)
PvP at Level 85: All Specs Continued

(Please note: This section has *not* been updated for Patch 5.0.4, and likely won't be updated before Mists launches. Much of the wisdom below is written by our special super-awesome guest author, Sheevah.)

MACROS: How can they help me?
  • Macros allow us to perform actions and use abilities in a manner that is more efficient than what we could do on our own. Instead of using two or more buttons to achieve a goal (such as targeting an enemy and Sapping it), macros can streamline the process in a manner that requires only one press of a button.
  • Macros can make aspects of the game easier, but they can't make decisions for you. The game is designed to prevent you from making such macros (for instance, a macro that makes you use Hemorrhage from the front or Backstab from behind).
  • There are many macro recommendations in various threads on the forum. Here is an example:

PETS: Do they stealth with us?
  • I have over 100 pets, and I have yet to find one that won't stealth with me. That doesn't mean they all do, but it does seem safe to assume that the majority of the time they would. In the middle of battle, I have yet to be knocked out of stealth because of a pet, and I have never knocked someone (excluding hunters) out of stealth because of a pet.
  • Now, when latency wants to be a jerk, the pets don't always stealth at the same time as us. They usually stealth a split second or more after us, which is why I don't play with a pet out.

POISONS: Which should I use?
Recommended Subtlety poisons are explained further in the next post, but generally speaking for each spec:
  • Assassination: Instant on main-hand; Deadly on off-hand; Deadly on thrown
  • Combat: Wound on main-hand; Wound on off-hand; Crippling on thrown
  • Subtlety: Wound on main-hand; Crippling on off-hand; Crippling on thrown
  • Against heavy caster groups (or when soloing healers) without reliable interrupts, Assassination may put Mind-Numbing on the thrown; Combat may put it on the off-hand; and Sub may put it on the main-hand.

PROFESSIONS: Which are best?
  • For *competitive* PvP only: Blacksmithing > Leatherworking > Alchemy = Enchanting = Tailoring > Inscription = Jewelcrafting = Engineering. Anything I didn't mention has little to no value.
  • I explain my profession rankings further in this post:

SHIV: Which of my enemies' abilities can it dispel?
  • Here's a breakdown:

DRUIDS: Is Feral stealth "stealthier" than ours?

Back to the table of contents:
PvP at 85: Subtlety, Spec of the Rogue-Gods

(Please note: This section has *not* been updated for Patch 5.0.4, and likely won't be updated before Mists launches. All of the wisdom below is written by our special super-awesome guest author, Sheevah.)

Since Subtlety is the only spec used for competitive play, the following questions will go into depth on Sub issues specifically.

STATS: What's important?
  • Stat Priority: 5% Hit (601 rating) > 20 Expertise (601 rating) > Agility > Crit
  • To learn why each stat matters, read:
  • Spell penetration is also an option if you want to avoid people resisting your poisons.
  • If you have mastery or haste on your gear, reforge out of as much as possible.

ENCHANTS: Which should I use?

GEMS: Which should I use?
  • Most rogues gem nothing but pure +agility (outside of the meta in the helmet, which should be an Agile Shadowspirit Diamond). I recommend that route in most cases.
  • If you want to match socket bonuses, gem pure +agility for red sockets, +resilience/+agility for yellow and +hit/+agility (or spell pen, if desired) for blue.
  • Gemming pure +agility offers maximum damage output, and seems to be what most people do these days. However, matching the sockets (red/yellow moreso than blue) still happens quite a bit. The overall impact between taking one way over the other is so small that it has no material impact, and is up to the player.

GLYPHS: Which should I use?
Any of these glyphs can come in handy, depending on what your role is:
  • Prime: Shadow Dance (mandatory), Hemorrhage (mandatory), Slice and Dice (optional), Eviscerate (optional), Backstab (optional for Backstab build only)
  • Major: Preparation, Garrote, Blind
  • Minor: Distract, Safe Fall, Poisons. For battlegrounds, you can substitute Blurred Speed for Poisons.

COMBO-POINT BUILDER: Is it better to use Backstab or Hemorrhage?
  • The overall damage output of both specs is close enough that you will not hinder yourself by choosing one over the other.
  • Backstab builds are typically used in bursty comps/playstyles. They trade a bit of survivability for more on-demand burst damage. They cram more damage into one global by taking talents that buff Backstab. They have lower combo-point generation, making the proper use of combo points more important. They also rely more heavily on positioning, due to the need to be behind a target for a majority of their damage.
  • Hemo builds are typically used in playstyles/comps that prefer to wear opponents down over time. They trade on-demand damage (outside of Shadow Dance) in favor of higher combo-point generation and extra survivability. Rather than front-loading a lot of damage, they gradually pour on the damage over the course of multiple globals.

POISONS: Which should I use?
  • Main Hand: Wound (In rare instances, when soloing a healer or facing caster-heavy groups where you or your team can't reliably interrupt, you might want to use Mind-Numbing on your main-hand.)
  • Off Hand: Crippling
  • Thrown: Crippling

MAIN-HAND WEAPONS: Slow Axe/Fist/Mace/Sword or a Dagger?
  • Let’s face it, some Subtlety rogues don’t enjoy using a dagger all the time, and prefer to use a slower main-hand, such as a sword or mace. There’s nothing wrong with that. The only real downfall to using a slow main-hand weapon is that you can’t swap back and forth to a Backstab build and use the same weapon.
  • Slower main-hand weapons provide less weapon damage, but Wound poison procs a lot more, so the overall damage in a Hemo build works out to be about the same as using a dagger.
  • Daggers provide more weapon damage, but less poison damage. They allow you to use a Backstab build whenever you want, without needing to find a new weapon. They also will provide a better proc rate for Mind-Numbing Poison if you ever need to use it.
  • Also worth mentioning: You should always be using a 1.4-speed off-hand dagger, regardless of your choice in a main-hand.
Past, Present and Future Rogue Changes


PATCH 4.3:

PATCHES 4.1/4.2:

PATCHES OF YESTERYEAR: Zodar of Shadow Panther has been compiling a list of rogue-relevant changes for... basically ever:

Back to the table of contents:
Transmogrification: It’s Not Just for Frankenstein Anymore

GEAR SETS: Is there a full listing of all sets of matching (or awesome-looking) rogue gear?
  • Here's Wowhead's full listing of rogue-specific sets:
  • Wowhead also has a smaller list of currently obtainable raid sets (listed by color) and PvP sets:
  • Disciplinary Action features this "illustrated" gallery (using a blood elf female model) of a wide range of matching leather gear that goes well beyond raid/PvP sets:
  • The "Transmog Fashion" site on Tumblr features a number of pictures of rogues showing off their unique looks:

MIRROR, MIRROR: Is there anywhere I can go to easily see what different rogue gear items and sets look like?
  • Icy Veins maintains an absolutely awesome item listing for every gear slot and every weapon type, sorted by the similarity of their designs:
  • There's an add-on called MogIt ( that you can use in-game to "try on" items (even if you don't have them yet) and see how they'd look. The add-on features a massive catalog of transmoggable items (sortable by color!) and lets you preview them on your toon, and includes notes on where you can get each item.
  • Many pieces of gear that are searchable in Wowhead include user-submitted image galleries that let you see what they look like in-game.

BACK-SHEATHED WEAPONS: Got a list of ‘em?
There’s three pretty good lists I know of. Not sure any are comprehensive, and they have a lot of overlap, but:

INVISIBLE ENCHANTS: Which weapons won’t display Landslide?
Many one-handed weapons have a native glow on them that can’t be “overwritten” by an enchant such as Landslide. A couple of dedicated rogues have compiled lists of these weapons:

Back to the table of contents:
04/14/2011 12:40 PMPosted by Madian
Lawl, I like how someone that has not completed any pve content past or present, and doesnt pvp is trying to write another guide of all guides based on facts taken from other people....noob

I don't see you rushing to help the other players on this forum.

I'd also be willing to bet that Rfeann can supply more accurate and detailed descriptions on the questions that players will have about our class than you can.

At the very least, if Rfeann can't answer it, you'll be pointed in the right direction.


Also, thank you for the taking the time to put together another thread full of information and sources, Rfeann.

I requested it for sticky.

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