WoW Patch 5.4 Combat Rogue Quick-Start – Rotation, Glyphs, Build, Stat Priority, more

Stab, slice, slice stab – what? Patch [patchnumber]? Yep, Combat Rogues haven’t changed massively in Pandaria and WoW Patch [patchnumber] – 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.

Updated [guideupdated] to World of Warcraft Patch [patchnumber]

Combat Rogue changes in Patch [patchnumber]

No huge changes.

Combat “Rotation” and Priorities

Single-target DPS

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

From here:

  • 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. Skip Rupture in this case.

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.
  • Redirect – Remember to use this to transfer Combo Points to a fresh target in multi-target fights.

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 and the Non-Lethal poison of your choice, as appropriate to the encounter.

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: 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

Consider Elusiveness (Tier 3) if you’re using a lot of Feints.

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. Deft (Haste/Agi) in yellow sockets and Glinting (Hit/Agi) in blue sockets otherwise.

Meta Gem: Agile meta gem.

Combat Glyphs

Glyph of Adrenaline Rush is a must – the rest are pretty much user’s choice. Here’s a good general setup:

Major: Glyph of Redirect, 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. Glyph of Expose Armour is useful if you need to maintain this debuff.

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

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WoW Patch 4.3 Combat Rogue Guide – Glyphs, Talent Spec, Gems and Reforging, Priorities and Rotations

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.


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.

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