Friday, March 18, 2011

So what is the best Rogue PvE Spec in Patch 4.0.6?

So whether it's guildies with rogue alts or low level rogues just starting out, people are always asking me what is the best rogue spec in the current 4.0.6 patch.

Well from Patch 4.0.1 through 4.0.3 the simple answer was Assassination, hands down. On paper Assassination came out at roughly 4% more DPS than Combat spec while in practice, taking in to account fight mechanics (the 'on paper' results didn't take in to account needing to move out of the fire so to speak), the difference was actually somewhere in the vicinity of 10-15% or even more on some boss fights.

Patch 4.0.6 went a long way to closing the gap between Assassination and Combat and while there are still fights that have mechanics that favor one spec over another the current answer to the 'which spec is better?' question can now be countered by two additional questions that should be the basis of your decision on which spec to play on your rogue:

1. Which spec do you enjoy playing the most? and
2. Which spec do you have the best weapons/gear for?

At this stage both spec's are so close to each other that it really does come down to which spec do you enjoy playing the most, and do you have at least 346 ilvl weapons suited to that spec? (the minimum ilvl I would recommend for raiding)

I think, at least for rogues at the moment, Blizzard have done a good job of balancing Assassination and Combat so that both are viable raiding specs, giving the player the choice of which to play rather than 'play this spec or be prepared to do sub-par DPS'...which is how it should most definitely should be!

Links to my current Patch 4.0.6 Combat and Assassination Spec Guides:



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Patch 4.1 - Daily Random Dungeon Changes

Well, something fantastic has been data mined from the latest build of Patch 4.1:

LFD_RANDOM_REWARD_EXPLANATION1 = "The first seven random dungeons of this tier that you complete each week will earn you:";

If you haven't guessed already it looks like instead of only being able to complete one random heroic dungeon per day for Valor Points you will be able to complete seven in one week in total, be that on the one day or over several instead of only one per day.

So that means for players such as myself who play only a few days a week, for long hours at a time, that we can do all if not most of the seven random 'daily' dungeons for Valor Points all at once! This change will make a lot of people like myself much happier, and will hopefully alleviate the problems with wait times for dungeon groups with more people running more dungeon's when most people are playing eg Friday night and weekends.

Blizzard is finally getting things right!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Patch 4.1 Changes

Just read the latest updates to the Patch 4.1 Patch notes and read something very interesting concerning the changes to the Atramedes fight outlined below:

Blackwing Descent
  • Searing Flames now causes a 6-second cooldown on Modulation.
  • Searing Flames no longer increases Sound on players.
The change to the cooldown on modulation is great, Searing Flame with a high ping can mean that 1 to 2 ticks can go out raid wide which is a lot of damage, that followed up shortly by Modulation has meant that there's been a few death's to this rather nasty chain of mechanics.

The last change to Atramedes is good too, Searing Flames is currently the only other ability apart from Modulation that causes unavoidable sound increases to the entire raid. The fight should be about avoiding abilities that increase your sound should be rewarded for playing well and avoiding sound increasing abilities, there shouldn't be 'no matter how good you are you're going to be penalized anyway' abilities in any boss fight in my opinion!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blackwind Descent - Chimaeron

Well after a short hiatus I'm back to blogging! My personal life got a bit crazy there for a while and my blogging took a backseat for a while but now real life has settled down the blog posts will start coming again and support for my followers as well!

 In my return post I'd like to ease back in to blogging talk about Chimaeron, one of the bosses in Blackwing Descent. Chimaeron, once learned, is quite an easy and straightforward fight. But this isn't a general strategy blog, this is for all the rogues out there!

So, what tips do I have for rogues?

The first is positioning, something that rogues, especially combat rogues, should be smart about. As everyone must be 6 yards apart during the 'normal' phase (the other being the 'Feud' phase) it is best to position yourself directly behind the boss away from any other melee and the off-tank. For combat this is the optimal position as when Killing Spree is used it will drop you in the middle of the boss at the back, when this happens I find it easier to back pedal while continuing to DPS is possible to manoeuvre in a different direction but I find my fingers get less tangled if I back pedal!

The second major tip concerns the use of Feint. Feinting is only really useful in the Feud phase. Use your first feint when his cast bar is at 20.5 seconds, then feint on CD and you will have feint up for all the ticks. This saves a lot of damage that needs to be healed in this very healing intensive phase...your healers will thank you for using Feint during Feud.

Well that’s it, short and sweet! My travels through this tier of content is such that my guild is at 10/12 now and so more updates on more bosses (that I've experienced firsthand) will be coming in the not too distant future.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Patch 4.1 - Rogue Changes

Well, it's like a dream saying this but it looks like Rogues are getting some more love in Patch 4.1! Here are the changes to rogues in Patch 4.1 so far:

  • Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
  • Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.
  • Tricks of the Trade now has a 100-yard range, up from 20.
  • Improved Recuperate now adds 0.5%/1% to the health restoration effect of Recuperate, down from 1%/2%.
  • Nightstalker now reduces the cooldown of Stealth by 2/4 seconds, and instead of negating the movement penalty from Stealth, it adds a 5/10% movement speed bonus (stacking with other effects) while Stealthed.
Apart from the Recuperate 'nerf' the other 'buffs' are a godsend. Tricks of the Trade having its range increased from 20 to 100 yards is so unbelievably awesome it's not funny! God it's a pain to have to Tricks the tank at the start of the fight and then get in to position! No more my friends, no more!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Magmaw - Off-Tank Add's Strat

Last weeks Magmaw kill for my guild was a little different than usual. Due to a few of our regular 10 man group being away the group that was formed was a not the normal lineup and more importantly, was a little melee heavy.

This led to an interesting discussion as we headed to Blackwing Descent and discussed how we were going to kill Magmaw effectively with the group we had. It was during this discussion that I remembered a strat I had read a few days earlier that was proposed and executed by another guild in the same situation and the strat posted online on the Tankspot Forums.

The strat for a 10man group was simply this. A Paladin off-tank would stand out away from the group while the rest of the raid, including healers and any ranged DPS, stood in melee range of the boss (most important!). Then what would happen is that the Paladin off-tank would always be targeted for Pillar of Flame and would be close to the Lava Parasites that spawned to easily pick them up, in fact the exact strat that was used was that as soon as Pillar of Flame was being cast and the spot for it marked the Paladin would drop a Consecrate so that he had aggro straight away as the adds spawned (the off-tank still moved out of the Pillar spawn point to avoid unnecessary damage).

This allowed the rest of the raid to concentrate DPS on the boss which brought about a very speedy kill indeed.

Now there are several things that you think might happen to the off-tank:

1. Adds overwhelm the tank - the adds only melee for roughly 12k damage per hit which was easily healed through by the healers

2. As there are no slowing effects on the adds and the off-tank is getting hit an insane amount of new Lava Parasites will spawn due to the off-tank being infected multiple times - not true, the infection debuff only stacks to 3 making the number of extra adds that spawn easily manageable

3. As more and more Pillars of Flame occur there will be too many adds for the off-tank to handle - not so, the Paladin off-tank was easily able to single-handedly DPS down most if not all Lava Parasites between each Pillar of Flame

So there you go, a good alternate strat to the one first proposed on most boss strat sites, and one that is much more effective than the original strat. Even if your group is not particularly melee heavy I recommend using this strat as it greatly shortens the fight overall and gives you more time to get stuck in to the other bosses in the instance!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mr. Robot - Gear Optimization Website

I'd like to let you all know about this little site that I've just stumbled upon:

Mr. Robot

On the site you are able to do several things. The two most exciting options are:

1. Load a character in to the site and check for upgrades to gear. The site will tell you the best upgrades to get for your gear and where they drop. It can also 'Optimize' your gear...changing enchants/gems and reforging gear to get the 'optimal' configuration for your gear set up...very handy if you're not 100% sure on things like reforging (which can be confusing at times)

2. You can pick a class/spec and it will give you the best-in-slot list for that class/spec. Handy if you simply want to know what best-in-slot is for you without worrying about your current gear.

The site also lets you choose what level of gear that it displays, underneath the gear list simply change the options to suit your circumstance. You can and should select your race and professions and if Archaeology and BoE items are available to be selected from.

There are also a few other things on the site that may be of interest to you, have a poke around and see. Overall an excellent site that I myself have found very useful!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blackwing Descent - Atramedes

My guild downed Atramedes for the first time last week and so I'd like to give out a few tips on how to, from a rogues perspective, make the encounter all that more easier for the entire raid.

Atramedes is one of those fights where taking a rogue along can make the whole encounter fairly trivial. Atramedes is a blind dragon (no spoilers as to why, there's a small in game 'event' that explains why just before the boss) that works on sound levels, the more sound you make the more he will target you for his special attacks.

Apart from the general tactics for the fight which can be found on Tankspot rogues have a unique role during Atramedes's air phases. During his air phase Atramedes will target the person with the highest sound level and cast Sonic Breath on them chasing them around the room, Sonic Breath's damage is quite severe and will almost always kill it's target should it catch up to them. This is where a rogue steps in.

During the air phase hitting one of the gongs around the edge of the room will stun Atramedes for 5 seconds and interrupting Sonic Breath, but most significantly Atramedes now tracks the person who rang the gong and targets them for Sonic Breath instead.

So, after the stun wears off Atramedes is now not happy with you for ringing the gong and stunning him, not happy at all. He immediately fires a Sonic Breath beam in your direction tracking you to kill you. When this happens run away from the beam until it almost catches up to you and then use Sprint and/or any other speed boosts you may have to outrun the beam until air phase ends (40 seconds).

There are two scenario's that may happen during air phase, both are outlined below:

Scenario 1 - Atramedes targets another member of your raid first

In this scenario the above default action applies. Hit the gong when the beam is closing in on the raid member that Atramedes is targeting and then run away and use Sprint when it gets close. Almost always in this scenario the 40 second air phase will end before the beam reaches you, if not use Cloak of Shadows to extend your survival time

Scenario 2 - Atramedes targets you first

If it happens that you are the person with the highest sound level at the beginning of the air phase the strategy remains basically the same except you will have to ensure that when you are kiting the beam around the room that you are close enough to a gong so that you can hit it when the beam reaches you. After the gong has been struck then the default kiting strategy applies. Run until the beam is almost on you, Sprint and Cloak as needed until air phase is over.

I hope this post has been informative for you, whether you are a rogue or have a rogue in your group this information will make Atramedes cake if done properly!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A New Raiding Week Begins

A new raiding week begins, a new chance for more loot and to down some new bosses!

Look for my Subtlety PvE guide soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love is in the Air 2011

Well it's that time of the year again and whether you think Valentines Day is just another holiday thought up (or at least exploited by) chocolate makers, florists and restaurants it's still one day a year when you can show your significant other how much you really do care about them.

If you don't have a 'significant other' and have some time on your hands tonight or even if you do, here is a handy guide to the World of Warcraft 'Love is in the Air' event that is going on right now. Whether you love it or hate it the Love is in the Air event counts towards the What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been meta achievement which nets you a cool new mount and grants Master Riding for free (a saving of 4500g!) So if you're interesting in saving some money it's worth doing.

Click this link for a guide to the event.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

World of Warcraft Rogue PvE Specs Part 2 - Combat

Where as the Assassination rogue strikes from the shadows the Combat rogue is better equipped to go to-to-toe with his enemies and wears thicker armor (well, if you talent for it) and wields heavier weapons. The Combat rogue is the master of relentless, heavy hitting strikes and heavy burst damage. A combat rogues Mastery Talents are Vitality, Ambidexterity and Main Gauche

Combat Spec

The current (4.0.6) recommended combat spec is 7/31/3 with the major talents in this build being:

Combat Potency - A major major boost to a combat rogues DPS, with the energy generated from this talent a combat rogue is able to use his/her other abilities to unleash more pain upon their foes.

Bandits Guile - This talent has been the boon and bane of a combat rogues existence as on fights with multiple targets the benefit granted by Bandits Guile is gained on your current target and hasn't been easily transferable to other targets with Redirect having a static 1 minute cool down. Since Patch 4.0.6 however Restless Blades also affects the cool down of Redirect which has helped in transferring Bandits Guile from target to target greatly.

Restless Blades - You're going to be using finishing moves a lot and so this talent means that you will be able to use Adrenaline Rush, Killing Spree and Redirect more often per fight which increases DPS significantly.

Killing Spree - A combat rogues 'hit this button to increase DPS' talent. Best used when Bandits Guile is at max insight level

Blade Flurry - With this talent a combat rogue can deal massive amounts of damage on fights with multiple targets which makes their DPS in 5 man dungeons exceptional but unfortunately has limited use in raid environments.


The current recommended Prime Glyph's for a Combat rogue are:

Glyph of Adrenaline Rush - Extends Adrenaline Rush by 5 seconds, 5 extra seconds of insane energy'd be crazy not to get this Glyph!

Glyph of Sinister Strike - 20% may not seem like a high proc chance for just the one ability the combat rogue uses but considering the number of Sinister Strikes you will perform per fight it actually procs quite a lot and is an invaluable Glyph for increasing your DPS, a must have!

Glyph of Slice and Dice- Increases Slice and Dice's duration by 6 seconds which is in relative terms is a very long time. In 6 seconds you can build 5 combo points for a 5 point rupture or 5 point Eviscerate before needing to refresh Slice and Dice again.

The current recommended Major Glyph's that a Combat rogue should use are:

Glyph of Tricks of the Trade - Removes the energy cost of your Tricks of the Trade. Tricks of the trade is a handy ability in any environment, whether it be giving a tank an aggro boost at the start of a fight or increasing the DPS of a fellow raid member it should always be on your bar/mapped to a hotkey.

Glyph of Feint - In the current Tier of raids in Cataclysm (Tier 11) you will be amazed at how often Feint should and will be used to not only save the healers some mana but save your life. By removing the energy cost of feint this greatly improves the opportunities you get to use Feint (it's still on the global cool down) in any given situation.

Glyph of Blade Flurry -With Blade Flurry now being a toggle on, toggle off ability it's up time is going to be a lot greater than it was before Patch 4.0.6 because of it's value on multi-target fights. Blade Flurry's standard 30% energy regeneration reduction while Blade Flurry is active is quite harsh and so reducing that penalty by 50% is definitely needed and that is what makes this Glyph invaluable.


Combat rogues do not gain any benefit from opening from stealth the way Subtlety or Assassination rogues do. However, you are able to get closer to a boss before an encounter starts if you are in stealth and ultimately reduce the time it takes for you to get into melee range once an encounter begins. Once combat starts, you want to immediately get Slice and Dice up.

The priority of finishers is as follows. 

Slice and Dice > Rupture > Eviscerate

The recommended cycle is to always keep Slice and Dice up and then always do 5 point finishers, Rupture if it's not up and Eviscerate otherwise. Slice and Dice does not need to be done with 5 combo points only and should always last long enough for you to build up the combo points for another Slice and Dice with at least a one finisher in between.

Using Revealing Strike
Revealing Strike increases the effectiveness of offensive finishers by 35% (45% glyphed). Revealing Strike should only be used when you have 4 combo points and are about to do a Rupture or Eviscerate (it has no effect on Slice and Dice). Using Revealing Strike before you have 4 combo points or not using Revealing Strike at all is a DPS loss and is not recommended.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Halfus Wyrmbreaker and Valiona & Theralion

Stepped in to the Bastion of Twilight Raid for the first time since Patch 4.0.6 and lets just say - wow, combat rogue DPS on Halfus Wyrmbreaker is insane. I left Blade Flurry on for most of the fight and with the drakes positioned just right i did 39k DPS for the whole fight, a bit of a jump from the 25k of previous weeks. Was lovin being No#1 on the DPS charts!

Learned something new for Valiona & Theralion too, that being that both Twilight Meteorite and Blackout can be Cloaked for no damage (but the spell still does damage to those around you). So if you are targeted with these two abilities you can run out away from the raid, cloak to stop the damage to yourself and as you are not standing near one else takes any damage. Adds a lot of extra DPS time on the boss as when I am targeted no one else has to move and saves the healers a lot of raid damage that needs to be healed. The whole raid was actually hoping that I got targeted which in this case wasn't because they don't like me but because it made the fight just that little bit easier (not that it's hard really, but all helps!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Patch 4.0.6 - First Impressions

Well lets just say that I'm impressed with Patch 4.0.6!

As a combat rogue myself there was a LOT of good stuff in the latest patch for us. The changes to our major Mastery Talent were very very much needed (main hand strike instead of offhand) and while combat rogues should still not gem or reforge their gear to increase their Mastery I did notice a significant improvement in the damage coming from Main Gauche while fighting Magmaw, the Omnotron Defence System, Atramedes and Malorik.

Overall I saw an average DPS increase of 2k per fight which was also helped along by the increase to Attack Power granted by Vitality (increased from 20% to 25%), the changes to Main Gauche and the changes to Synapse Springs

It feels good to be a few more places up the DPS charts, Rogues are a pure DPS class...we should be at the top!

My post on Combat rogue spec and rotations is in the works, I've had to make some modifications to it due to Patch 4.0.6, look for it in the coming days.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

World of Warcraft Patch 4.0.6 Now Live!

Patch 4.0.6 is finally live on all US realms. This patch fixes a lot of in game bugs, has many improvements to the game including making Engineering useful again in PvE.

One of the major reason's I am happy that Patch 4.0.6 is now live is because Blizzard have made some major changes to Combat rogues (my preferred Spec) to help improve their DPS to bring it more on par with Assassination (time will tell how much closer the two specs are)

Click the link for the Official World of Warcraft Patch 4.0.6 patch notes

Monday, February 7, 2011

World of Warcraft Rogue PvE Specs Part 1 - Assassination

The Assassination rogue is the master of Poisons with their Mastery Talents being Improved Posions, Assassins Resolve and their major Mastery Talent - Potent Poisons.

Assassination Spec

The current (4.0.6) recommended spec is 31/2/8 with the major talents in this build being:

Vile Poisons - This talent combined with the Assassination rogue talent Master Poisoner (see below) and their major Mastery Talent - Potent Poisons, this talent will help push an Assassination rogues poison damage to the top the breakdown list of damage sources for any given fight.

Master Poisoner - Increases poison (spell) damage to the poisoned target and more importantly stops Deadly Poison being consumed by Envenom, vital for increasing an Assassination rogues DPS as 5 stacks on Deadly Poison will always be on your main target ensuring hard hitting Envenoms

Venomous Wounds - The main reason an Assassination rogue should always keep Rupture up on their target. While the increased damage in nice the main selling point of this talent is the energy regeneration the talent can potentially give. Increased energy means more energy per 'fight' increasing the amount abilities can be used therefore increasing overall DPS.

Vendetta - Assassination’s 31 point talent. A good flat overall DPS increase, not a very inspiring or interesting talent overall. Activate Vendetta whenever it is off cooldown = increased DPS, that's it.


The current recommended Prime Glyph's for an Assassination rogue are:

Glyph of Mutilate - a no brainer, less energy required for Mutilate the more energy you have for other talents/abilities.

Glyph of Rupture - Increasing the time Rupture ticks for means more potential energy gains from Venomous Wounds and allows energy to be spent on other talents/abilites

Glyph of Backstab - Once your target reaches =<35% health Backstab will replace Mutilate as an Assassination rogues combo point generator (seel Rotation below). This glyph will help an Assassination rogue gain additional energy for other talents/abilities or for additional Backstab strikes.

The current recommended four Major Glyph's that an Assassination rogue can choose (three) from are:

Glyph of Tricks of the Trade - Removes the energy cost of your Tricks of the Trade. Tricks of the trade is a handy ability in any environment, whether it be giving a tank an aggro boost at the start of a fight or increasing the DPS of a fellow raid member it should always be on your bar/mapped to a hotkey.

Glyph of Feint - In the current Tier of raids in Cataclysm (Tier 11) you will be amazed at how often Feint should and will be used to not only save the healers some mana but save your life. By removing the energy cost of feint this greatly improves the opportunities you get to use Feint (it's still on the Global Cooldown) in any given situation.

Glyph of Fan of Knives - Increases the radius of Fan of Knives by 50%, handy for large trash packs and/or bosses with multiple adds that need to be DPS'ed down.

Glyph of Sprint - Increases your sprint speed increase by 30%. Handy, not optional.


You will always want to open from stealth such that you get as much of your 20 seconds of Overkill as possible. It is better to open a fight with Garrotte rather than Mutilate to maximise the energy returns from Venomous Wounds. Once in combat, there are various sequences of abilities that work but ultimately you will want to get Rupture and Slice n Dice both up as quickly as possible, 1 to 2 combo points is ok at the start.

100% to 35% target HP

The priority of finishers is as follows. 

Slice n Dice > Rupture > Envenom

At this point, you will use Mutilate as your combo point generator and maximize your rupture uptime then maximize your Envenom uptime. To maximize your Envenom uptime, you should try to not overlap the Envenom buff when possible.

The best idea is to pool ~90 energy just before using Envenom such that when you Mutilate after, you have an increased chance to proc your poisons. Your rotation will be 1+ Rupture and 4+ Envenom; meaning if your Rupture is falling off, put whatever combo points you have into a new one otherwise do 4 or 5 combo point Envenoms.

35% or less target HP

Once your target reaches 35% HP, you will stop using Mutilate and instead use Backstab to generate combo points. You will still follow the same priority order and maximize your Rupture uptime and then Envenoms and pool before using Envenom. You will want to do 1+ Rupture and 5 Envenom instead.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Welcome to the World of Warcraft Rogues Gallery

Hello and welcome to the World of Warcraft Rogues Gallery!

I have been playing a Rogue in World of Warcraft since mid 2005, in that time I have experienced high end raiding from the venerable Molten Core to the current Tier of Content in Patch 4.0.3

In this blog I will discuss my personal experience, thoughts and give advice on being a Rogue in the World of Warcraft up to and including the current expansion Cataclysm. This includes tips and tricks and how to use your Rogue's current and upcoming Rogue abilities to the fullest in end game raids.

The site is just taking shape, new posts will start flowing in the coming days!