Let’s face it, people – you can’t backstab a tentacle. So, in Patch 4.3, a Combat rogue’s obviously the way to go – all the dodging, none of the sneaking. If you want to learn how you can unleash your flurries of blades upon Deathwing’s unpronouncable hordes, read on for our Patch 4.3 guide to Combat talent specs, glyphs, gems, stats and reforging, changes in 4.3, and rotation / priority system.
Updated Nov 29th, 2011, for Patch 4.3
Combat Rogue Changes in Patch 4.3
There’s one HUGE detail all rogues need to be aware of in Patch 4.3, and that’s the Rogue Legendary quest line . Not only does it lead to the best damn daggers ever at the end, but if you follow it only a bit through – easy enough to do – you’ll get your hands on some of the best weapons – even for Combat – short of Heroic Deathwing drops.
Aside from that, Rogues get the 10% melee attack power buff and … nothing else. 4.3 is Real Damn Boring for rogues on that score.
The Tier 13 Set bonuses: if you have 2 pieces of T13, make sure to use Tricks of the Trade on cooldown.
Combat Rotation / Priorities
Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Combat Rogues don’t have a fixed rotation any more. Instead, we have a – very simple – priority system.
Make sure you’ve got Instant Poison on your mainhand weapon, Deadly Poison on your offhand, and Wound Poison on your throwing weapon.
Single Target: Open with Sinister Strike. Get Slice and Dice up. From then, use Sinister Strike, unless:
- Slice and Dice is about to go down and you have combo points – use Slice And Dice.
- You have 5 combo points and Slice and Dice won’t go down in the next 5 sec, in which case use Eviscerate.
- You have 4 combo points and don’t expect to have to refresh Slice and Dice soon, in which case use Revealing Strike.
Summary: Keep Slice and Dice up at all times. Use Eviscerate at 5 Combo Points. Use Revealing Strike before Eviscerate. DO NOT use Revealing Strike with 5 combo points.
Cooldowns: Use Adrenaline Rush as soon as possible, Killing Spree as soon as possible (when it’s safe), ideally when you have 30% Bandit’s Guile, and Blade Flurry when you’ll hit an additional target.
AOE: Use your single-target priorities with Blade Flurry unless there are at least 5 opponents, in which case spam Fan of Knives.
Advanced: If you’re finding you have plenty of CP spare, or are on a low-movement fight, it is a minor DPS increase to also use Rupture at 5 Combo Points. Don’t use Rupture with Blade Flurry, though, and don’t use it if you don’t have a feral druids, subtlety rogues or arms warrior in your group.
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Combat Talent Spec
Stats, reforging and gemming for Combat
Agility is the most important stat for Combat followed by Hit to the “Yellow” cap (241 – you probably have this already) Expertise to the cap (781 / 26), then Haste, then Hit to the Spell Hit Cap (1127), then Mastery. Hit over Spell Cap and Crit are your worst stat.
Reforging: Reforge to Hit until the yellow cap, if needed, then Expertise until the cap (it’s better to be slightly under than over at all), then reforge to Haste if an item doesn’t have Haste on it, and Hit if it does. Reforge from Crit first, then excess Expertise, then all other stats. Getting to Hit Cap is NOT vital for Combat Rogues.
Gems: Use a Delicate Inferno Ruby in a Red socket. Use Glinting Demonseye for blue sockets that provide 10 AGI or more, and Delicate Inferno Ruby otherwise. Use Deft Ember Topaz for yellow sockets that have any socket bonus, and Delicate Inferno Ruby otherwise.
Combat Rogue Enchants
Remember, your profession may provide a better enhancement option- check the stat priorities above!
|Head||Arcanum of the Ramkahen|
|Shoulders||Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal|
|Back||Enchant Cloak – Major Agility|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats|
|Wrist||Enchant Bracer – Agility|
|Hands||Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery or Enchant Gloves – Expertise if you are under expertise cap.|
|Belt||Ebonsteel Belt Buckle|
|Legs||Dragonscale Leg Armor|
|Feet||Enchant Boots – Major Agility or Enchant Boots – Assassin’s Step if you want run speed.|
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Landslide on both|
- Prime: Adrenaline Rush, Sinister Strike, Slice and Dice
- Major: Tricks of the Trade, Blade Flurry, and Feint.
- Minor: Safe Fall and your choice.
- Elitist Jerks Combat Rogue Guide – As always, EJ’s rogue guides are your first and best stop. Updated to 4.3
- Shadowpanther.net – great dedicated rogue site with really good equipment lists and more. Mostly updated to 4.3.
- Detailed discussion of Combat gemming from PvE Rogues.
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