Stab, slice, slice stab – what? Patch 5.2? Yep, Combat Rogues haven’t changed massively in Pandaria and WoW Patch 5.2 – but if you want to get up to speed, or you’re going Combat for the first time, here’s our quick-start guide, getting you going fast with new talents, glyphs, stat priorities, reforging, gemming, and ability rotations in MoP, so you can get right to slicing things up again.
Note: This is a quick-start guide, aimed at getting you up and running fast. If you want super-detailed Elitist Jerks-style guides, though, check the Links at the bottom!
Updated 5th March 2013 to World of Warcraft Patch 5.2
Combat Rogue changes in Patch 5.2
A number of nice but non-incredible changes:
- Preparation is now a cooldown for everyone, rather than a talent.
- There’s a new Level 90 talent, Marked For Death – still not as good as Anticipation, though, under most circumstances.
- Cloak of Shadows now has a 1-minute cooldown – hurrah.
- Blade Flurry now hits more targets for less additional damage.
- We’ve been buffed a bit.
Combat “Rotation” and Priorities
Open from Stealth. Use Ambush twice (if you have Subterfuge as your Tier 1 talent), and immediately start Slice and Dice. From there:
- If you don’t have any combo points: Use Sinister Strike unless your Bandit’s Guile buff is about to run out or isn’t up, in which case use Revealing Strike.
- If you have 1, 2 or 3 combo points: In priority order: if Slice and Dice is about to run out, use Slice and Dice. If Rupture is about to run out or has run out, use Rupture. Otherwise, use Sinister or Revealing Strike as above.
- If you have 4 or 5 combo points: In priority order: if Slice and Dice is about to run out, use Slice and Dice. If Rupture is about to run out, use Rupture. Otherwise, use Eviscerate.
Also – remember, you have Kick (interrupt) and Feint (AOE protection). Do use these! A dead rogue can’t do DPS.
If you’re fighting 3-5 opponents, use Blade Flurry, then run your normal rotation.
If you have 6 or more enemies nearby, spam Fan of Knives up to 5 Combo Points, then use Crimson Tempest. Repeat.
- Adrenaline Rush Use this as often as possible.
- Shadow Blades Use as often as possible.
- Killing Spree Use this as often as possible, but wait until you’re on low Energy. Also, don’t use it if there are things nearby you shouldn’t hit!
- Vanish Still a DPS cooldown, albeit a minor one. Use on cooldown followed by Ambush unless you expect to need it for survival.
- Cloak of Shadows Powerful magic damage reduction cooldown – particularly useful for getting rid of dangerous effects. Now works 100% of the time!
- Dismantle – Don’t forget about it! Any time a monster or boss can be disarmed, this is very powerful.
- Tricks of the Trade – Boosts damage and transfers threat. Use it on the tank at the pull, and whenever it’s available.
- Preparation – Resets a bunch of your other cooldowns. Most useful for chaining two Vanishes or two Sprints together.
You can also “Tricks Swap” with another rogue to boost both your DPS – but don’t do that without discussing it with your tank and raid leader first.
Use Deadly Poison on your weapons.
combat Rogue Talent Choices
As a PvE player, you’ll find a lot of Rogue talent choices a bit underwhelming. However, here is a good basic build. Once you’ve used it for a bit, try experimenting to find your own preferences!
- Tier 1: Subterfuge
- Tier 2: Combat Readiness – gives you another powerful defensive cooldown.
- Tier 3: Cheat Death
- Tier 4: Shadowstep – great mobility spell with a very short cooldown.
- Tier 5: Dirty Tricks
- Tier 6: Anticipation
Stats, reforging and gemming for combat Rogue
Not many changes here. Make sure you’re capped appropriately.
Priorities: Agility > Expertise and Hit to the caps (7.5% / 2550 rating) > Haste > Mastery > Critical Strike
Reforging: Reforge for Expertise and Hit to the caps, then reforge to Haste. Reforge from excess Hit and Expertise first, then Crit, then Mastery.
Gems: Delicate (Agility) gems in red sockets and sockets with a less than 10 Agi bonus. Deft (Haste/Agi) in yellow sockets and Glinting (Hit/Agi) in blue sockets otherwise.
Meta Gem: Agile meta gem.
Glyph of Adrenaline Rush is a must – the rest are pretty much user’s choice. Here’s a good general setup:
Major: Glyph of Adrenaline Rush, Glyph of Feint, Glyph of Cloak of Shadows
Minor: Glyph of Poisons and Glyph of Blurred Speed are both fun, but there’s no huge advantage to any Minor Glyph.
Combat Rogue enchants and item enhancements
You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant. You should also probably not buy anything until Mists! But in case you want to anyway:
- Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
- Cloak – Accuracy or Superior Critical Strike, depending on if you’re at hit cap.
- Chest – Glorious Stats
- Wrist – Greater Agility
- Hands – Superior Expertise
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
- Feet – Blurred Speed
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel
A few guides for more detail:
- Accession Guild has a well-written, easy to follow Combat Rogue Guide
- The Icy Veins combat Rogue guide is good and detailed. Ignore the Mists information, though.
- PvE Rogues has a guide to Rogue glyphs
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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