How to play a Rogue in WoW dungeons

Struggling to understand how to get by as a new WoW player? We’ve got a great list of basic tips for newer players, which should help you learn how to play a rogue in WoW.

I keep dying!

Use your abilities to get monsters to stop attacking you.

If a monster attacks you, use Vanish or if that’s not available, feint, to make them go away, usually to the tank. When you start attacking a monster, use Tricks of the Trade on the tank beforehand to make it attack the tank, not you.

Don’t stand in front of the monster

Many monsters have attacks that hit anyone in front of them. As a rogue, you should always be behind the monster, stabbing it in the back.

My teammates say I am a “ninja”

Don’t roll need on armor that is not leather.

Rogues need to wear Leather – they can’t wear mail or plate, and won’t get benefit from using cloth. What’s more, you’ll receive a hefty bonus when all of your armor is leather, granting you an additional 5% Agility. Cloth armor, plate armor and mail armor are all intended for players of other classes, and they will get annoyed if you roll need on those armour types.

Even if the armor is leather, it may not be suitable for you. If the armor gives a bonus to your Parry or Dodge it’s probably intended for a tank player rather than a DPS player. If the armor gives a bonus to Intellect, it’s intended for Druids, not Rogues. Your primary stat is Agility, and you should be trying to increase this whenever possible.

Don’t roll need on weapons other than Agility daggers, or Agility maces, swords or axes if you’re combat.

Don’t roll need on any weapon other than a dagger or a thrown weapon with Agility if you’re Assassination or Subtlety – some daggers have intellect and are intended for spellcasters. If you are a Combat rogue, roll need only on daggers, swords, axes, maces and thrown weapons with agility on them.

Do not ever roll Need on a weapon without Agility on it, or a two-handed weapon or shield. You can’t use them and other people may actually need them.

My tank is annoyed with me or other people say I am tanking.

Make sure you use Tricks of the Trade on your tank before you attack a monster, and use Vanish or Feint if a monster starts to attack you. If there is a monster marked with a Skull, attack that one.

My teammates say my damage sucks

Make sure you have poisons on your weapons.

Poisons form a lot of a rogue’s damage. You should be using the following poisons:

  • Instant Poison on your main hand weapon
  • Deadly Poison on your off-hand and thrown weapon if you have one.

Use a thrown weapon as your ranged weapon once you get past level 80.

At level 80 you get the Area Of Effect ability Fan of Knives. This does a lot of damage to groups of monsters, but you need to be using a thrown weapon to use it.

Use the right abilities.

There are specific abilities that will do a lot more damage than others. Here are some very basic ways to make sure you’re doing reasonable damage:

  • Assassination: Start a fight in stealth. Attack the monster with Mutilate, then use Slice and Dice. Attack with Mutilate again, then use Envenom. From then on, use Envenom when you have 4 or 5 Combo Points, and Mutilate otherwise, whenever you can.
  • Combat: Use Sinister Strike unless you have 5 combo points. If you have 5 combo points and you don’t have the Slice and Dice buff, use Slice and Dice. Use Eviscerate if you have 5 combo points and do have Slice and Dice.
  • Subtlety: Use Backstab unless you have 5 Combo points. If you have 5 Combo Points, use Slice and Dice.

If you are not high enough level to have some of those abilities: Ignore the abilities you don’t have yet and just use the others.

Make sure you have spent your talent points.

Talent Points are additional powers you get as you level up. To see them, press “N”.

Make sure you have spent all your talent points. It doesn’t matter too much where you have spent them in your talent “tree” until you are reasonably far advanced in the game, but do make sure you spend them!

Make sure you have glyphs.

You can find Glyphs from the bottom of your Talent window (press “N” and look for the Glyphs tab at the bottom). Most glyphs are not that important, but you need to have the following Prime glyphs – fill up as many Prime Glyph slots as you currently have:

  • Assassination Glyph of Mutilate, Glyph of Backstab, and Glyph of Rupture
  • Combat Glyph of Sinister Strike, Glyph of Adrenaline Rush, Glyph of Slice and Dice
  • Subtlety Glyph of Backstab, Glyph of Slice and Dice, Glyph of Shadow Dance.

You buy glyphs from the Auction House. Some may be very expensive – it’s worth saving up for them, or ask your guild if someone can make one for you. (LINK AH Guide LINK)

Consider not choosing “Subtlety” as your main talent tree.

Subtlety is a very difficult talent spec to play well, and does less damage than the other specs. If you want to do more damage, you may want to change to Combat or Assassination. However, if you like Subtlety and want to stick with it, don’t let anyone bully you into changing it – it’ll still do enough damage for any situation short of expert raiding!

My teammates say my gear is bad

Make sure you’re wearing all leather gear with Agility on it.

Rogues only get any benefit from leather gear with Agility on it. If you’re using cloth or leather without Agility ANYWHERE, it will make your damage a lot worse, and will also look like you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you cannot find leather with agility for a particular item type, check the Auction House (LINK AH Guide LINK)

Make sure you are using two weapons, and two daggers if you are Assassination or Subtlety.

Rogues always use two weapons. If you are Assassination, you need to use two daggers. If you are Subtlety, you more-or-less need to use two daggers! Buy a dagger from the Auction House if you don’t find one on a quest or in a dungeon. (see our guide to making enough money to buy things on the Auction House)


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