Mutilate / Assassination Rogue Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 29, 2012

It’s patch time! And this time there’s something to really look forward to for us Assassination Rogues: stabbing Garrosh! We’ll get you up to speed with the new glyphs and talents, your stats, reforging and gems, and your new rotation in MoP / WoW Patch 5.4, so you can get back to stabbing things ASAP – no walls of text required!

Updated 17th September 2013 to World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Assassination Rogue changes in 5.4

No significant PvE changes.

Assassination / Mutilate “Rotation” and Priorities

Our rotation has gotten a bit simpler, but not much has changed. Biggest change – we no longer have to be behind anything to use our below-35% ability, Dispatch!

Single-target DPS as Assassination

Open from Stealth. Use Mutilate, and immediately start Slice and Dice. From there:

From here:

  • If you don’t have any combo points: Use Mutilate unless the target is below 35% or unless the Blindside buff has become active, in which case use Dispatch.
  • If you have 1, 2 or 3 combo points: In priority order: if Slice and Dice is about to run out, use Envenom to refresh it. If Rupture is about to run out, use Rupture. Otherwise, use Mutilate or Dispatch as above.
  • If you have 5 combo points: In priority order: if Slice and Dice is about to run out, use Envenom. If Rupture is about to run out, use Rupture. Otherwise, use Envenom.

NEVER allow your Energy to hit 100 (always use an ability before then).

Also – remember, you have Kick (interrupt) and Feint (AOE protection). Do use these! A dead rogue can’t do DPS.

AOE DPS as Assassination

Don’t use this rotation unless there are at least 4 enemies close at hand.

Spam Fan of Knives up to 5 Combo Points, then use Rupture on one of them that doesn’t already have Rupture running. Repeat.


  • Vendetta Use this on cooldown unless you expect to have to stop attacking in the next 30 seconds.
  • Shadow Blades Use on cooldown.
  • Vanish Still a DPS cooldown, albeit a minor one. Use on cooldown followed by Mutilate unless you expect to need it for survival.
  • Redirect Use it to move combo points to a new foe when needed.
  • Cloak of Shadows Powerful magic damage reduction cooldown – particularly useful for getting rid of dangerous effects. Now works 100% of the time!
  • Dismantle – Situationally useful, but 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.
  • Evasion – powerful defensive cooldown. You can reliably tank adds with this for about 10 sec if their abilites can be dodged.

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 and an appropriate non-lethal poison for the encounter.

Assassination Rogue Talent Choices

Most Rogue talents are PvP focussed, to be completely honest. However, here is a good basic build. Experiment to find your own preferences, though, particularly on Tier 4!

  • Tier 1: Shadow Focus
  • 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: Paralytic Poison
  • Tier 6: Anticipation

On Tier 3, consider Elusiveness if you’re using Feint a lot.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Assassination Rogue

Our Hit priorities have changed – poisons are now off melee hit – but other than that, not much has altered.

Priorities: Agility > Expertise and Hit to the caps (7.5% / 2550 rating) > Mastery > Haste > Critical Strike

Reforging: Reforge for Expertise and Hit to the caps, then reforge everything else to Mastery. Reforge from excess Hit and Expertise first, then Crit, then Haste.
Gems: Delicate (Agility) gems in red sockets and yellow sockets with a less than 60 Agi bonus. Adept (Mastery/Agi) in yellow sockets and Glinting (Hit/Agi) in blue sockets otherwise.
Meta Gem: Agile meta gem.

Mutilate / Assassination Glyphs

Glyphs are much more situational now, so choose your favourites, although Glyph of Vendetta is a must. Here’s a good basic setup:

Major: Glyph of Vendetta, Glyph of Cloak of Shadows, Glyph of Feint
Minor: Whatever you like. Glyph of Poisons and Glyph of Blurred Speed are both nice.

Assassination Rogue enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • 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


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mingo January 16, 2013 at 4:51 am

My main has been my rogue since vanilla, and this is an absolutely excellent guide for new rogues. I hope that every new rogue that reads this appreciates the time you took to compile this guide. :)

Talent choices now, however, are really about the style you want to play… I like what Blizzard did there… :)


Yvyuw February 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I think Preparation in tier 4 will be the default choice, as it resets the cooldown of Vanish (which you can use to grant yourself a cast Mutilate with no Energy cost) and of several survival cooldowns.

I realy like your guides.


shawn slate August 29, 2013 at 11:39 pm

do you have to use daggers for this spec cuz i have fist weapons and i would like to try this spec any info would be nice ty


fixxlezz October 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm

What about Ambush? Do you seriously open from stealthed mode with Mutilate? What about Crimson Temptest — isn’t it actually much stronger than Rupture or Garrote? Not to mention the fact that it applies Deadly Poison to all nearby enemies in addition to the Crimson DoT.


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