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DonVicious

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#3761244 Vishas and Hildegard's rogue guide - approved by Reckful

Posted WildeHilde on 06 September 2012 - 10:59 AM

3.) Gear

While I am working on a rogue pvp burst spreadsheet the work is not done, yet. Which means that many of the following statements are assumptions and not based on math. If you are experienced with theorycrafting and want to help - send me a message.

3.1 Hit and Expertise

Hit
3% Hit is 1020 Hit rating. Having more is not bad but stats that could be spent better. Try to reforge as close to 1020 rating as possible but always have at least 1020.

Expertise
Depends on choice. Monks, druids and paladins have about 3,5% chance to dodge, Priests and Shamans have 3% unless they have additional buffs.
3% Expertise is 1020 Expertise Rating
3,5% Expertise is 1190 Expertise Rating

If attacking from behind Expertise is only used for Gouge. So the value of the stat is up to preference, unlike Hit, which should always be capped.


3.2 Resilience vs. PvP Power

First of all read Eldacar's 5.2 Guide to PVP Power & Resilience. Resilience scales slower than in patch 5.1. Going from full resilience gems to matching socket bonusses and focus on PvP Power increases damage done by about 6.5% but also means the rogue takes 12% more damage.

A real answer can only be found in the arena and I will keep you updated on the choices the most succesful rogues out there take. Currently the most common choice by far is to use resilience gems and take the socket bonusses.

In the future agility might become a better stat than PvP Power.



3.3 Subtlety gems and secondary stats:

Sockets defensive choice
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond (source undetermined) or Agile Primal Diamond
For Orcs the Powerful Primal Diamond is a solid, but very defensive choice, too.
Blue Socket: Vivid Wild Jade
Yellow Socket: Mystic Sun's Radiance
Red Socket: Lucent Vermilion Onyx

Sockets offensive choice (not recommended):
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond (source undetermined) or Agile Primal Diamond
Red: Assassin's Imperial Amethyst
Yellow: Effulgent Wild Jade or Radiant Wild Jade
Blue: Stormy River's Heart

Secondary stats: Mastery = Crit > Haste

Subtlety Mastery vs. Crit
Based on early calculations in my rogue pvp dps spreadsheet crit is as strong as mastery for Subtlety rogues. Crit reduces the RNG during burst a bit while mastery makes the opener stronger but more RNG based. Subtlety burst depends on crits and we have a relatively low crit chance. Without numbers to back it up I think it‘s fair to say that both options are viable. If you want to play safe, take mastery as most top rogues do.


3.4 Assasination gems and secondary stats


Sockets defensive choice
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond (source undetermined) or Agile Primal Diamond
For Orcs the Powerful Primal Diamond is a solid, but very defensive choice, too.
Blue Socket: Vivid Wild Jade
Yellow Socket: Mystic Sun's Radiance
Red Socket: Lucent Vermilion Onyx

Sockets offensive choice (not recommended):
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond (source undetermined) or Agile Primal Diamond
Red: Assassin's Imperial Amethyst
Yellow: Effulgent Wild Jade
Blue: Stormy River's Heart

Secondary stats: Mastery > Crit = Haste


3.5 Combat gems and secondary stats

The information on combat might be outdated. I don‘t know of any high-rated rogue playing combat in patch 5.2 and cannot check many of the choices.


Sockets defensive choice
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond (source undetermined) or Agile Primal Diamond
For Orcs the Powerful Primal Diamond is a solid, but very defensive choice, too.
Blue Socket: Vivid Wild Jade
Yellow Socket: Mystic Sun's Radiance
Red Socket: Lucent Vermilion Onyx

Sockets offensive choice (not recommended):
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond (source undetermined) or Agile Primal Diamond
Red: Assassin's Imperial Amethyst
Yellow: Effulgent Wild Jade or Radiant Wild Jade
Blue: Stormy River's Heart

Secondary stats for combat
Based of PvE the secondary stats would be: Haste > Mastery > Crit
In my opinion however Mastery and Crit would be more benefitial for PvP, as Haste does not affect the strongest burst (Killing Spree) in a combat rogue‘s arsenal. Solid informations on combat are lacking so take this ranking not as a fact.



3.6 Enchants

Head: Does not have enchantments anymore
Shoulder: Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike
Chest:Enchant Chest: Super Resilience or Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats (not recommended)
Bracer: Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery
Belt: Living Steel Belt Buckle
Legs: Shadowleather Leg Armor
Boots: Enchant Boots - Blurred Speed
Mainhand weapon: Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel
Offhand weapon: Enchant Weapon - Glorious Tyranny or Living Steel Weapon Chain until you have full gear.

Glorious Tyranny is definitely better for the offhand than the Living Steel Weapon Chain. It is not better than Dancing Steel on the mainhand. For rogues with full S12 gear Glorious Tyranny is the biggest upgrade available until elite gear becomes available.


3.7 PvE vs. PvP gear

From the current looks of it PvE gear is still worse than PvP gear. If patch 5.3 introduces gear upgrades for PvE only this would change. If you want to be safe – start raiding.




4.) Racials

Over 90% of the best rogues in World of Warcraft play either Undead or Human. If you want to be safe take one of them. Other options are there but it's up to argument if they can compete.


4.1) Alliance racials

Human
The main argument for playing Human is the proc trinket that can be used instead of the Medallion. It's not as much about the passive amount of PvP Power (that gets weaker as gear progresses, currently it's about 1.5% - 2% more damage) but about the agility proc. Humans deal by far the highest burst damage in PvP and rogues are a burst class. They lack however the utility other racials bring to the table.

Night Elf
Shadowmeld works like Vanish did in previous expansions. You can shadowmeld not only enemy casts but also instants like stuns, Blind or Mortal Coil. It gives a free restealth. In addition Night Elves move faster while stealthed.

Gnomes
Gnomes are awesome! Ok, let's be realistic. Escape Artist is a good spell and can help sticking to a target and can keep a burst going that would otherwise be denied. The added Expertise with daggers comes in handy, too. But overall Gnomes are not on the same level as Humans or Undeads.


4.2) Horde Racials

Undead
The most iconic rogue race there is. The utility of Will of the Forsaken is huge. Touch of the Grave is a small DPS increase that might add around 6k damage to the rogue burst.

Orc
Before I said Humans have the biggest burst of all rogues but that is not entirely true. Currently using the proc trinket, Synapse springs and Blood Fury together is about the same damage as a Human with proc and onUse trinket active. The downside is the nature of procs, they are not reliable and the burst needs to be timed based on the internal trinket cooldowns.
Hardiness is very good for survival and can be combined with the Powerful Primal Diamond.




5.) Professions

The best professions for passive stats are Blacksmithing followed by Jewelcrafting. Other than most professions you can get resilience and PvP Power as perks, while Enchanting or Alchemy only provide agility.

Engineering gives access to the Synapse Springs glove enchant. You can use Synapse Springs in addition to other enchants. This gives a second onUse effect that is about 70% of the effect of the onUse trinket. The Incendiary Fireworks Launcher does not scale at all and cannot be used together with other onUse effects. The damage is probably too low to consider it, but it might be handy to keep someone in combat over a larger distance.



6.) Talents


Tier 1

Nightstalker
Affects the first ability used out of stealth. While the speed increase comes in handy the other choices in this tier are far superior.


Subterfuge
While Subterfuge is active the rogue has the stealth buff but is visible to nearby players. It works different than Shadow Dance, for example the increased damage from Master of Subtlety carries on for three more seconds.
Subterfuge is a strong option and makes openers a lot safer, as you are still able to open even if you get popped out of stealth. When comparing it to Shadow Focus one could say that Subterfuge makes openers safer while Shadow Focus makes them riskier but stronger if they work. The rogue community is divided on which talent is better.
The rogue remains invisible for the duration of Subterfuge, as can be seen in this video.
In combination with the glyph of Vanish the rogue remains stealthed for up to eight seconds unless he attacks.
If Shadow Dance is triggered less than 0.5 seconds after the opener Subterfuge bugs out. Blizzard promised to have a look at this bug.


Shadow Focus
Straight forward damage increase, allows for quick openers with Distract, Sapand Ambush/Garrote/Cheap Shot only costing 75% of the normal energy. Burst of Speed is also effected so a stealthed rogue can use it constantly.
When comparing it to Subterfuge one could say that Subterfuge makes openers safer while Shadow Focus makes them riskier but stronger if they work. The rogue community is divided on which talent is better.



Tier 2

Deadly Throw
The interrupt only works with three to five combo points and not like in TBC with any amount of them. This skill is extremely effective against classes that need to cast. It should only be taken in combination with the Tier 6 talent Shuriken Toss. Deadly Throw has a minimum range of 6 yards.

Nerve Strike
Excellent talent for peeling. As enemy team compositions are known prior to the start of the game a good choice if peeling is needed. Good synergy with Subterfuge to do the 3x Cheap Shot Neilyo style on the enemy team. With 5.2 probably the least taken choice in this tier.

Combat Readiness
Lasts for 20 sec, but if 10 sec elapse without any incoming weapon strikes, this state will end.
As talent now on a different cooldown than Cloak of Shadows. Stacks only with Weapon Strikes, Hunter shots are counted. The best defensive choice against melee and hunter comps.




Tier 3

Cheat Death
Solid choice that eases the energy management unlike Elusiveness It prevents the Windwalker Monk execute Touch of Death (4set bonus) from killing the rogue. During our tests we had regular rogue deaths with Cheat Death barely helping. It seems to work about 80% of the time. Khuna is one of the rogues using this talent over Elusiveness.

Leeching Poison
From a first glimpse the talent looks decent, but the fact that it only works when it is not needed, meaning in stuns or generally when not attacking, makes it far less useful. The Shiv-effect heals for 5% of maximum health, which is about 18k in full gear. Also it prevents the usage of mind-numbing poison. Along with Nightstalker the worst PvP talent for rogues.

Elusiveness
Elusiveness reduces AoE damage multiplicative to a total of 65%. Rogues are pretty energy-starved, at least in the first season. But having a 20 energy Barkskin without cooldown is priceless. The downside is that Feint cannot be used while stunned. The Glyph of Feint increases the duration by 2 seconds.



Tier 4

Cloak and Dagger
Has a high synergy with Subterfuge and helps staying on your target, especially during Shadow Dance. Cloak and Dagger can be used for control. For example if a healer trinkets during a burst situation the rogue can use Focus Garrote/Cheap Shot on him and then use Ambush to go back on his target.
Opinions on Cloak and Dagger vs. Shadowstep are divided among the rogue community.

Shadowstep
Shadowstep now works on friendly targets as well, which is great for taking hunter traps for example. It offers not more or less but different utility than Cloak and Dagger.
Opinions on Cloak and Dagger vs. Shadowstep are divided among the rogue community.

Burst of Speed
Does not break roots anymore. A choice rarely seen by rogues, but has some uses, like the nearly free Sprint while stealthed when used with Shadow Focus. The only Tier 4 talent that does not add Z-Axis mobility. If some day rogue flag carriers become viable it might...



Tier 5

Prey on the Weak
Offers more burst for the whole team during stuns. Solid choice.

Paralytic Poison
Paralytic Poison is on the DR with uncontrolled stuns like Impact but not with Kidney Shot or Cheap Shot. The Shiv effect is Partial Paralysis rooting the target for four seconds. Highly effective for shutting enemies down.

Dirty Tricks
Blind removing DoTs is also caused by the Glyph of Blind. The glyph effect also removes dots from other players. The zero energy cost on Gouge is pretty good and this talent could be a viable choice for a defensive setup in which the rogue shuts down enemies. Gouge can be dodged and without the glyph Gouge is unreliable against any class using agility as main stat. Probably only used by Assasination rogues.


Tier 6

Shuriken Toss
This talent alters the rogue gameplay and causes mage tears. Especially in combination with Deadly Throw rogues can now pressure from range. It does not proc utlity poisons. The damage is pretty high and makes rogue actually deal damage in arena. Especially for Assasination this talent is very strong. Nearly every high-rated rogue chooses Shuriken Toss in Tier 6.

Marked for Death
The only reason to not take this talent is Shuriken Toss. Apart from that this talent is crazy good and offers rogues a vastly stronger burst than without it. Focus Kidney Shot without the global cooldown from Redirect is amazing, too. Marked for Death is not on the global cooldown.

Anticipation
This talent was good in 5.1 but Marked for Death is simply better for PvP and Shuriken Toss seems to outshine both of them.


#3761243 Vishas and Hildegard's rogue guide - approved by Reckful

Posted WildeHilde on 06 September 2012 - 10:58 AM

Content




NOTE: This guide is only partially updated for patch 5.2. The Assasination part is outdated, the macros do not include new talents and the rogue pvp burst spreadsheet is not finished, yet. Will keep updating the guide in the next weeks and am interested in your feedback.


1.) General Mechanics
  1.1  Changes in MoP
  1.2  Poisons
  1.3  Stealth and Vanish
  1.4  Combo Points and Finishers
  1.5  Abilities for all rogue specializations
  1.6  Diminishing Returns
2.) Specializations  
  2.1  Assassination
  2.2  Combat
  2.3  Subtlety
3.) Gear
  3.1 Hit and Expertise
  3.2 Socket calculator
  3.3 Calculation example
  3.4 Assassination stats
  3.5 Combat stats
  3.6 Subtlety stats
  3.7 Enchants
  3.8 PvE vs. PvP gear
  3.9 Formulas
4.) Racials
5.) Professions
6.) Talents
7.) Glyphs
8.) Macros
9.) Contributors



1.) General Mechanics

1.1  Changes in MoP

This is a short list with mechanic changes in MoP, most of the points are explained in detail later on.
  • Smoke Bomb Smoke does not break stealth anymore. Neither for the rogue nor for the enemy team.
  • Kick does not have an energy cost anymore
  • Gouge creates no combo points and no longer deals damage
  • Sap has 10 yard range, the former increase from Dirty Tricks is now baseline
  • Blind has a 2 min cooldown, not dodgeable anymore and does not break stealth
  • All ranged attacks are dodgeable now
  • Crimson Tempest - new AoE finishing move
  • Garrote now works from the front as well
  • Rupture has an increased run time
  • Feint has no cooldown and works without a target
  • Shiv can now be dodged and parried, it also has a secondary effect, see point 1.2 for more information
  • Fan of Knives gives a combo point if it hits your target
  • Poisons got many changes, see point 1.2 for more information
  • Ambush got its damage increased damage but has no additional crit chance anymore
  • Backstab and Mutilate no longer have additional crit chance
  • Hemorrhage no longer triggers Sanguinary Vein, but Rupture, Garrote and Crimson Tempest do
  • Shadowstep has no energy cost and can be used on friendly targets
  • Cloak of Shadows now has a one minute cooldown
  • Shadow Walk - new ability to increase your stealth level for six seconds
  • Shadow Dance reduces the energy cost of Ambush now by 20
  • Shadow Blades - new burst ability
  • Expose Armor - is now a combo point builder instead of a finishing move
  • Master Poisoner - debuff applied by all poisons, baseline for all specs
  • Swiftblade's Cunning - our new buff
  • The 5% crit from Honor among Thieves is gone
  • Relentless Strikes is a passive for all specs
  • Fleet Footed does no longer increase healing taken, but 15% movement speed increase is now baseline
1.2  Poisons

No longer are poisons attached to weapons. They are now an undispelable buff. There are two categories of poisons. Damage poisons (Wound Poison and Deadly Poison) and utility poisons (Crippling Poison, Mind Numbing Poison, Leeching Poison and Paralytic Poison). Rogues can choose one damaging and one utility poison, but not two of the same category. Weapon switches will not change the poisons. Changing poisons is a 1.5 second cast when glyphed.

All utility poisons have an additional Shiv-effect. The rogue pvp 4-set bonus applies Crippling Poison in addition to another utility poison. Since patch 5.1 there is no delay in the poison application anymore.


1.3  Stealth and Vanish

Rogues have the ability to stealth themselves. This opens up the usage of additional abilities: Cheap Shot, Garrote, Ambush, Sap, Disarm Trap, Shadow Walk and Shroud of Concealment, as well as Premeditation for Subtlety only. Rogues are invisible to enemy players while staying at a distance or behind the enemy. Every class has skills that can pop a rogue out of stealth and prevent openers. Absorb effects the priests Power Word: Shield can prevent some of the skills to kick the rogue out of stealth. Ground effects like Death and Decay or Consecration pop the rogue on their initial cast when standing in the area even with a shield, but once they are cast a rogue can walk over them without being unstealthed due to the absorb.
Stealth can only be activated outside of combat (drops 5.5 seconds after the last action that keeps a rogue in combat) or with Vanish. The Vanish skill has an additional effect: It keeps the rogue in stealth for three seconds even while taking damage, unless the rogue uses a ability that breaks stealth. Also noteable: Vanish removes the Vendetta debuff.
We created a video showing the distances at which rogues are seen and can be seen in stealth, including Shadow Walk and the Glyph of Shadow Walk


1.4  Combo Points and Finishers

Rogues have combo-point-builders like Sinister Strike, Mutilate, Backstab and some more. You can build up to five combo-points (except when using Anticipation). Finishers are abilities that spend combo-points: Slice and Dice, Rupture, Recuperate, Kidney Shot, Crimson Tempest and depending on specialization Eviscerate (combat, subtlety) or Envenom (mutilate). Depending on specialization some of the finishers are vital to be effective. Subtlety needs Slice and Dice up and Rupture, Crimson Tempest or Garrote on the target, Mutilate needs Rupture on the target, Envenom for increased poison procs and refreshing Slice and Dice. All finishers have 20% chance per combo point used to restore 25 energy by Relentless Strikes. This means that all but three finishers (Envenom, Eviscerate, Crimson Tempest) are energy-neutral when used with five combo-points. Energy neutral means you get all energy back after the finisher, they still cost 25 energy to cast.


1.5  Abilities for all rogue specializations

Blind
Instant control on range. Is no longer dodgeable. It can be used out of stealth. So a rogue is able to control three enemy targets with Sap, Blind and a stun or Garrote.

Cloak of Shadows
Very strong cooldown against magic damage. Can be used to avoid magic based crowd control like Polymorph or Fear.

Crimson Tempest
Pretty strong AoE finishing move. Subtlety can use it to spread Sanguary Vein's damage increase prior to a switch.  It breaks crowd control within eight yards of the target.

Detect Trap and Disarm Trap
Rogues are the only class that detect hunter traps from a distance. Rogues are able to disarm them while stealthed or during Shadow Dance, even while out of line of sight.

Dismantle
Disarms prevent the usage of abilities that require weapons and shields. A disarmed warrior cannot use Shield Wall but he can use Bladestorm.

Distract
A targeting circle appears when pressing this ability. If enemy players are within the circles their view is turned towards the circle center point if they are not in combat. Useful when trying to prevent enemy teams from rushing behind pillars in the Dalaran Arena or for skill-moves like turning a vanishing rogue 180 degrees around, so he cannot sap immediately.

Evasion
Strong defensive cooldown against melees and hunters. Dodge does not work from behind, which is why you need to face your opponent for it to be effective.

Expose Armor
The new Expose Armor ability awards one combo point instead of consuming them. It becomes a solid choice if you can stick to your target for a longer time. The debuff stacks up three times, but with the Glyph of Expose Armor all three stacks are applied at once. Probably only useful with the glyph.

Fan of Knives
Gives combo points if the target is hit. Used often to keep enemies in combat, break them out of stealth or snare multiple opponents.

Feint
Now Feint no longer needs a target and has no cooldown, so you can set it up whenever you want but be careful it breaks stealth. With Elusiveness and the Glyph of Feint you take 30% less damage for seven seconds, which is pretty decent for 20 energy. Elusiveness reduces AoE damage multiplicative to a total of 65%.

Gouge
Good control ability, especially when combined with Dirty Tricks and the Glyph of Gouge. Can be put on a different target without losing your combo points.

Kick
Together with many interrupts the cooldown of Kick is increased to 15sec. Interrupting means that spells of the interrupted school cannot be cast for five seconds. Most casters try to fake-cast, which means stopping the cast to bait the rogue to use Kick without interrupting anything. It is best to kick either early or late in the cast but not in the middle and to alternate this behavior to not be predictable.
An interesting called "Ghost Kick" is turning to the enemy caster so he will assume you are about to kick him, he will stop casting and start again. It is possible to force some players to not finish a cast as they only stop faking once they see kick on cooldown with addons like Interrupt Bar.

Preparation
Less abilities are reset but since patch 5.2 a baseline skill. This ability gives rogues additional defenses with a reset on Vanish and Evasion, as well as Dismantle and Sprint.

Redirect
Good to use prior to target switches or to use Kidney Shot on a different target. Anticipation charges are a buff on the rogue, means they are not affected by Redirect.

Sap
For a good opener Sap is decisive. It is either used to control a second target or to keep the primary target in place for an opener. Sap can be used on enemies out of combat. At the start of the match enemy teams will try to get in combat in order to avoid being sapped. Also abilities like Hand of Sacrifice or Unholy Frenzy might be used to break Sap. Enemies that are controlled for more than 5.5 seconds leave combat and may be sapped to follow up the control chain.

Shadow Blades
Rogues new burst. Shadow Blades does good damage and is great to get combo points. While Shadow Blades is active, all white hits are transformed into yellow hits and therefore do not miss if hit-capped for styles. It's very important to have Slice and Dice up before using Shadow Blades. This ability does not break stealth and works on the opener. Shadow Blades is not on the global cooldown.

Shadow Walk
Shadow Walk increases stealth by a lot. You can nearly stand on top of an enemy and not be detected. We created a video showing the distances at which rogues are seen and can be seen in stealth, including Shadow Walk and the Glyph of Shadow Walk

Shiv is used to apply utility poisons at once and dispel enrage effects from enemies. It enhances the effects of the poison. See Point 1.2) for details. Shiv can be dodged and parried unlike in former expansions.

Shroud of Concealment
You can stealth your whole team for an opener. Your party or raid members can ride in stealth while in the circle.
When they perform any action they will pop out of stealth but be stealthed again shortly after.

Smoke Bomb
The infamous Smoke Bomb is perhaps the most important ability in the rogue's arsenal. It is impossible for enemies (not for your team) to target spells into or out of the Smoke Bomb. Area of effect abilities work however. Can be used to deny healing during burst phases or prevent ranged damage dealers to kill you or a team mate. Smoke does not break stealth anymore. Neither for the rogue nor for the enemy team.  

Sprint
You move very fast with sprint, however snares and roots are not removed or immuned by this ability. The usage of Sprint does not break stealth.

Throw
If not specced into Shuriken Toss or Deadly Throw the only ability to do ranged damage. As Throw does not proc poisons it cannot be used as a ranged snare like in earlier expansions.

Vanish
Keeps the rogue in stealth for three seconds even while taking damage, unless the rogue uses a ability that breaks stealth. Vanish removes the Vendetta debuff but cannot be cast while afflicted by Faerie Fire.

Passives for all rogue specializations
Fleet Footed, Master Poisoner, Relentless Strikes, Swiftblade's Cunning


1.6  Diminishing Returns

Diminishing Returns means that crowd control effects are diminished on each subsequent application. The first application goes through fully, the second has half duration, the third one only 25% of the original duration and any further applications have not effect. 15-20 seconds after the end of the control effect Diminishing Returns are reset. Due to the random reset timer most addons use 20 seconds as timer. Diminishing returns have different categories. You can see the whole list on the AJ thread, I included the categories with rogue abilities here.

[CR] = Controlled Root [CS] = Controlled Stun [DA] = Disarm [DO] = Disorient [F] = Fear [RS] = Random Stun [S] = Silence 2.) Specializations

Unlike former seasons all of the the three rogue specializations are viable for PvP and the choices will be based on comps and brackets, possibly enemy teams.


2.1  Assassination

has the highest sustained damage when using Deadly Poison, especially against targets with high armor. As the damage is based on Deadly Poison a team-partner has to bring the MS (healing reduction, see Wound Poison) effect. Mastery gear is needed to keep the damage high, so Assassination does not have enough regeneration to use Burst of Speed effectively. Dispatch feels rather weak as execute and goes from 20-30k on a pvp geared warrior. Assassination needs four finishers (Rupture for energy regeneration through Venomous Wounds, Slice and Dice and Envenom for poison application and Kidney Shot) to be effective, but Slice and Dice is kept up by using Envenom. One finisher less and the best combo point generation of all specs allows the usage of Recuperate more frequently than Subtlety.

Abilities
  • Dispatch - Execute use below 35% of the target, Mutilate can proc Blindside
  • Envenom - Main finishing move, keeps Slice and Dice up through Cut to the Chase
  • Mutilate - Main combo point generator
  • Vendetta - Burst cooldown, also good to chase stealth classes. Rogues can remove the Vendetta debuff with Vanish. Mages Invisibility and Shadowmeld do not remove Vendetta. Ice Block and Divine Shield work however.
Passives
Assasins's Resolve, Blindside, Cut to the Chase, Improved Poisons, Mastery: Potent Poisons, Seal Fate, Venomous Wounds

Burst
Rupture on the target, Slice and Dice up, have five combo points and a full energy bar. Wait for the Dancing Steel and the proc trinket if possible, use Vendetta, fire the onUse trinket, use Kidney Shot, use Shadow Blades, use Mutilate until you reach 4-5 CP, use Envenom, keep on using Mutilate or Dispatch if the target is low enough, use your CP for Envenom if the target is nearly dead, otherwise make sure your Rupture is not running out, if not use Envenom for more pressure.
Make sure to always use your Blindside proc for free Dispatches before you use Mutilate again because every Mutilate has a 30% chance to give you a new Blindside proc.
Blindside procs allow you to use a Dispatch for zero energy on the target even above 35% HP.

Talent and Glyph setup
Damage focussed Assasination build - use Deadly Poison, Mind Numbing Poison and reforge gear to mastery. Use daggers as weapons.
More defensive/peeling based build - use Deadly Poison, Mind Numbing Poison and reforge gear to mastery. Use daggers as weapons.

Note: Talent and Glyph choices depend on your team setup and the enemy team setup. These are only ideas not "the best" setups. You will change glyphs and talents regulary during the preparation phase, as you can see the enemy team's setup once all of your team members are in the arena.


2.2  Combat

Surprisingly strong burst damage with Killing Spree as well as with Shadow Blades and Adrenaline Rush. The eight second duration Kidney Shot speaks for itself. Also combat does not need Rupture on the target to be effective, which makes room for the usage of Recuperate. Due to the new poison mechanics and combat's double slow weapons the poison application is pretty bad compared to the other specs.

Abilities Passives
Ambidexterity, Bandit's Guile, Combat Potency, Mastery: Main Gauche, Restless Blades, Vitality

Burst variant one
Build up five combo points, Revealing Strike on target, make sure your target is far enough away from other enemy pets or players, wait for Dancing Steel and the proc trinket if possible, fire the onUse trinket, use Killing Spree.

Burst variant two
Put Slice and Dice up, Revealing Strike on target, build up five combo points, wait for Dancing Steel and the proc trinket if possible, use Kidney Shot, fire the onUse trinket, use Adrenaline Rush, use Shadow Blades, use Sinister Strike to build up combo points, make sure to apply the Revealing Strike debuff, use Eviscerate, repeat
Anticipation could be useful to take advantage of the combo points you may over-cap here

Blade Flurry Cleave
Sometimes you have two targets which stay together. Use Blade Flurry to burst both but make sure that the second target is not running away. This works best with pets, if the second target is a player, snare, root or stun him. Warlocks with Soul Link share their taken damage and healing with the pet, so Blade Flurry is highly effective, if you can hit both of them.

Talent, Gear and Glyph setup
Damage focussed Combat build - use Wound Poison, Mind Numbing Poison and reforge gear to haste. You use a slow mainhand and a fast offand and switch to a slow offhand for Killing Spree.

Note: Talent and Glyph choices depend on your team setup and the enemy team setup. These are only ideas not "the best" setups. You will change glyphs and talents regulary during the preparation phase, as you can see the enemy team's setup once all of your team members are in the arena.


2.3  Subtlety

The only spec that gives burst on every restealth opener through Find Weakness. Shadow Dance has a lot of utility and Premeditation is good for getting Slice and Dice up early. With Energetic Recovery Subtlety has the best energy regeneration while off the target and is therefore able to use Burst of Speed when using haste gear. It's possible to use Burst of Speed without haste gear, but it's not comfortable. The main issue with Subtlety is the need for many finishers. Slice and Dice gives Energetic Recovery, Rupture gives 16% increased damage on the target (Hemorrhage does not), Kidney Shot offers 10% increased damage from all sources with Prey on the Weak and Eviscerate does decent damage due to the high amount of mastery present. Recuperate is close to impossible to keep up, while keeping the damage high. Also Shadow Dance reduces the energy cost of Ambush now by 20

Abilities
  • Backstab doesn´t have any talents that increase the crit chance anymore, but its energy cost was decreased by 5, probably due to the loss of the "Glyph of Backstab". Overall our much loved skill feels very weak, with its new 275% weapon damage compared to 364% during Cataclysm. It still hits harder than Hemorrhage. Backstab remains as the best ability to burst outside of Shadow Dance with a full energy bar.
  • Hemorrhage received a lot of changes in MoP. It now hits for 76% less weapon damage with slow weapons and 110% less weapon damage with a dagger compared to Cataclysm. The DoT is now 50% of the direct strike´s damage over 24 seconds, that's an increase of 10%. It no longer applies a debuff that increases bleed damage and even more important the Hemorrhage bleed does not trigger Sanguary Vein's damage increase.
    Hemorrhage is a good ability to generate fast combo points. It´s much easier to prepare things like: get SnD up, get 5 (or 10 with Anticipation) combo points, pool energy and swap to another target. It's still a good idea to just use Hemorrhage if you can't reach the back of your target.
    Hemorrhage should be kept up for the bleed. The damage per energy is very good if only used once for the bleed. During burst situations Backstab is the better choice DPS wise however.
  • Premeditation is good to put up Slice and Dice before the opener and can be used during Shadow Dance
  • Shadow Dance is the defining ability of Subtlety. It allows the use of abilities, that require Stealth in combat. It's not only useful, but also for sapping enemies without being stealthed or controlling multiple enemies with Cheap Shot and Garrote. Shadow Dance reduces the energy cost of Ambush now by 20
Passives
Energetic Recovery, Find Weakness, Honor among Thieves, Master of Subtlety, Mastery: Executioner, Sanguary Vein, Sinister Calling

Burst with Shadowfocus out of stealth
Premeditation for two combo points, Slice and Dice, open with Garrote, cast Shadow Dance. If you need a stun cast Cheap Shot if not wait until the silence fades. Fire the onUse trinket, Ambush (see the macro section to use it automatically with Ambush), Kidney Shot when the stun fades. Ambush two times and use your combo points for Eviscerate.
The idea behind this burst is to stack plus damage modifiers. Garrote gives 20% damage through Sanguary Vein, the stuns give 10% if specced into Prey on the Weak, the first Ambush is getting 10% through Master of Subtlety and the 70% armor penetration from Find Weakness are up, too. You only need stealth as preparation.

Burst with Shadowfocus and Prey on the Weak out of stealth - Cheap Shot first
Premeditation for two combo points, Slice and Dice, open with Cheap Shot, finish a two combo point Rupture. Cast Shadow Dance, fire the onUse trinket, Ambush two times. You need a crit from Honor among Thieves and then use a full Kidney Shot, keep casting Ambush to five combo point then use Eviscerate.
From a pure DPS point of view it is better to use the Rupture because the additional damage from Sanguary Vein is also boosting white attacks and poisons. Reckful has a different opinion here and chooses not to use Rupture.


Dance with Shadow Blades, Shadowfocus and Prey on the Weak - no preparation
Premeditation for two combo points in stealth, Slice and Dice, use Shadow Blades, open with Cheap Shot or open with Cheap Shot and use Shadow Blades. If you use Shadow Blades first your Cheap Shot will award a third combo point. Make sure to open at once with Shadow Blades to waste its run time. Now use Rupture, cast Shadow Dance, fire the onUse trinket, Ambush two times, Kidney Shot when the stun fades and finish with Eviscerate on four to five combo points. Ambush crits give up to four combo points with Shadow Blades and a Honor among Thieves proc. Best case scenario is you can go for Ambush and a four combo point Eviscerate, if you only got three Ambush again.

On a good prepared target (Rupture/Garrote on it, 5cp on it, Slice and Dice on you, full energy) it's for you to decide if you want to Vanish to max out the power of your bust or just Kidney Shot and start Shadow Dance with or without Shadow Blades.

If you decide to Vanish open with Cheap Shot, start Shadow Dance with onUse trinket, use Ambush until 5cp in to Kidney Shot, keep on spamming Ambush until 4-5cp (if you use Anticipation you can alway go for 5cp because you can not waste combo points by using Ambush on a 4cp Target) and use Eviscerate.
If you want to use Shadow Blades, pop it after you opened with Cheap Shot.

If you decided to not Vanish, use Kidney Shot, pop Shadow Dance and onUse trinket (and Shadow Blades if you want maximum burst), start to use Ambush until 4-5cp (you still know what to do if you have Anticipation or not), use Eviscerate and repeat.

You can also make your stunlock longer by using Cheap Shot during your Shadow Dance when Kidney Shot is running out. That means use Kidney Shot on the target,pop Shadow Dance and onUse trinket and maybe Shadow Blades, use Ambush until 4-5cp, use Eviscerate, use Cheap Shot when Kidney Shot is running out, keep on using Ambush until 4-5cp and use Eviscerate again. You don't need Shadow Focus if you choose this option.


Subterfuge Opener with Cheap Shot no Shadow Danc
Premeditation, Slice and Dice and then Cheap Shot. Use the 2 combo points on Rupture. If you are specced into Marked for Death, use Marked for Death and Eviscerate. Then use Ambush, Backstab and if you got an Honor among Thieves proc you can use a 4 point Eviscerate while Master of Subtlety and (if specced into) Prey on the Weak is still active.

Subterfuge Opener with Garrote no Shadow Dance

Premeditation, Slice and Dice, wait for about 1.8 seconds after the Slice and Dice to open in order to get the 8 energy from Energetic Recovery. Garrote, if you are an Engineer use your Synapse Springs, Ambush two times and then Eviscerate. This opener requires precise timing with your Slice and Dice. If the Energetic Recovery tick comes after about 0.3 seconds (depending on your haste) into the opener the Eviscerate will land after the (glyphed) Garrote silence fades.

Subterfuge opener with glyphed Garrote, Shadow Dance and Shadow Blades
Premeditation, Slice and Dice, Garrote, wait for at least 0.5 seconds or Subterfuge bugs out, trigger Shadow Damce, Shadowblades and your onUse trinket, Ambush, Eviscerate, if you are specced into Marked for Death, use it and Eviscerate again. Cheap Shot to keep the control up, use Ambush two times and Eviscerate again. This opener has Master of Subtlety and and Prey on the Weak (if specced into) up for the whole chain and is the strongest possible burst when playing Subterfuge.

Talent and Glyph setup
Standard Subtley build Use Wound Poison and Mind Numbing Poison. Use daggers as weapons.
Subterfuge build Use Wound Poison and Paralytic Poison. Use daggers as weapons.

Currently nearly every high-rated rogue uses Shuriken Toss and the Glyph of Cheap Shot and Blind. The other choices vary from player to player and from enemy comp to enemy comp.

Note: Talent and Glyph choices depend on your team setup and the enemy team setup. These are only ideas not "the best" setups. You will change glyphs and talents regulary during the preparation phase, as you can see the enemy team's setup once all of your team members are in the arena.


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