***Please note: this guide is a work in progress and will change as we progress through beta. As MoP release nears, I expect to iron out all of the information found here and either edit this post or delete it and release a new guide. This guide is being posted in it’s “under-construction” draft version in order to get the information out there and allow for feedback. Please enjoy and comment.***
This is a guide for anyone planning to raid as a Combat Rogue in Mist of Pandaria. It is written from the perspective of a combat rogue and is intended to provide information for combat rogues only. While there is plenty of information that can be used in any spec, this information is specific to combat. This guide is written for anyone looking to obtain information about rogues in MoP. Many players may find the information elementary, but it was written for rogues at any and all levels of play, from hardcore raider to casual alt.
As MoP is still in Beta, any and all information listed here can become invalid as Blizzard changes/balances the game.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Talents and Glyphs
- New Abilities and Major Ability Changes
- Combat Damage and Rotation
- Stat Prioirty
- Useful Macros
- Useful Addons
- Additional Resources
1.) TALENTS AND GLYPHS:
Obviously, the talent system has been completely redesigned and there are a lot of options for you to choose from when spec’ing your rogue. I have included a screenshot of the “general” talent spec I will most likely be using. Below the image, I discuss why I chose the specific talents and provide my “favorite” alternatives to the talents I will most likely be using.
Shadow Focus: I chose shadow focus because it allows combat rogues to open without spending any energy. If you take this talent, you should always open in stealth (to take advantage of the zero energy opener). Whether or not garrote is worth using is up in the air. I would recommend using either Garrote or Revealing Strike from stealth.
Alternative: Nightstalker: This ability is really just for getting around while in stealth. It does speed up your normal runback if you hop into stealth though.
Combat Readiness: Rogues are currently built to have beast mode survivability and adding combat readiness to the arsenal can’t hurt.
Alternative: Deadly Throw:This ability provides rogues with a way to attack when they have to run away from a target. I have rarely ever used Deadly throw in my years of playing, but you never know when it might just come in handy.
Elusiveness: With this talent, feint goes from being really good to god-like and easily becomes one of the best damage reduction abilities in the game. While active, feint provides 65% damage reduction from AoE abilities and 30% reduction from non-AoE abilities.
Alternative: Cheat Death:There are sure to be fights in MoP where having this “save” ability will come in handy. If you know there is an ability on a fight that could easily kill you, consider picking this talent up.
Alternative: Leeching Poison:This non-lethal poison provides rogues with something similar to recuperate, passive healing. If you know you will be taking continuous damage, consider taking this talent to help your healers out.
Preparation: Have Cloak of Shadows, Sprint, Vanish, and Evasion is already strong, this talent lets you instantly reset the cooldown on those abilities and use them again. While all of the talents in the Lvl 60 tier are viable, I feel this talent provides the most valuable use on any and all fights.
Alternative: Shadowstep:If you are going to be running around every once and awhile, this talent will allow you to instantly jump back to the boss. Given that sprint is on such a short cooldown and that Killing Spree acts very similarly to shadowstep (with less range), I feel this may be the weakest talent.
Alternative: Burst of Speed:Who doesn’t like the idea of unlimited sprint. My problem with this talent is that is cost a lot of energy and we already have 1 sprint and killing spree, but if we take preparation, we get another sprint when we need it
For me, this is a filler tier that was designed specifically for PVP. I haven’t seen any viable use for any of these talents. Unless there are changes between now and live, just pick whichever is easiest to select. If you have the opportunity to stun/slow adds, Prey on the Weak or Paralytic Poison may be good options to consider.
Anticipation: I really think this talent is a no-brainer 99.9% of the time for combat rogues. Given that Shadow Blades and AR can be marco’ed together, this talent is basically a necessity, unless you are willing to lose A LOT of combo points. When AR/SB are used together, it almost feels like you are using a set of legendary daggers. It is extremely easy (between combo point procs and normal combo point gains) to go from 5 point to 5 point to 5 point.
Alternative: Versatility:If by chance there is a fight you will need to switch targets A LOT, you MAY want to consider taking this talent. I am hard pressed to find a fight I would be willing to give up Anticipation on, but you may feel differently.
Blizzard has incorporated a lot of the damage altering glyphs of Cataclysm directly into the abilities. With that, most of the glyphs have become personal preference and situational in nature. Below are the glyphs I will be using.
Required: Adrenaline Rush Reduces GCD on SS, RS, Evisc, Rupture, and SnD by .2seconds
Optional: Feint: I will be using this one 99% of the time. Increases duration by 2 seconds.
Sprint: Will be using this most of the time as well. Increase Sprint speed by 30% (up to 100%)
Cloak of Shadows 40% less physical damage while CoS is active
Blade Flurry 30% higher chance to apply non-lethal poisons
Evasion Increase duration by 5seconds
Recuperate Increase recuperate healing by .5%
It appears these glyphs are not updated in the database and are linking the old versions.
All of the minor glyphs are personal preference.
Be careful with glyph of Killing Spree, there are many fights you may want to use Killing Spree while the boss is moving.
2.) NEW ABILITIES AND MAJOR ABILITY CHANGES:
A lot of skills that were previously obtained through talents have now become either passive abilities or have been built into other abilities. I am not going to go through all of the changes, but I will highlight the new abilities and highlight my favorite changes:
Shadow Blades:This ability is the rogue’s new and shiny toy. I must admit, at first I was unimpressed by it, but as soon as they added it to restless blades, holy cow did I begin to love this abilitiy. Basically, you deal additional shadow damage on melee swings AND you generate 2 combo points for every combo-point generating ability you use. Additionally, it can be macro’ed with Adrenaline Rush, and both can be used at the same time.
Crimson Tempest:This is our “fancy” new AoE ability. By itself, it isn’t all that impressive. It requires combo points to use, and really isn’t worth using unless you have a lot of combo points. Even then, the dot damage is minimal and the AoE damage adds up to be similar to that of a Blade Flurried Eviscerate (depending on the number of targets). However with the change to FoK, you can spam FoK to generate combo points and apply poisons to all of the mobs, and once you get 5 combo points, hit them all with a Crimson Tempest. There is a lot of ramp up to effectively doing this for a lot of damage, but once it gets rolling, you will see yourself near the top of AoE.
Shroud of Concealment:This is really just a “griefing” ability in my opinion, which is why I love it. You create a massive ring and all players/pets inside the ring become stealthed as well. I see a lot of value in using this in pvp/world bosses. Outside of that, I am not going to discuss my plans for this ability, but let you use your own imagination.
Major Ability Changes: (These may not display the new tooltips)
Revealing Strike:RS had a major change applied to it. It retained the modifier for finishers (35% increased effectiveness) , but it is now a debuff on the target. The debuff lasts for 18 seconds and gives you a 20% chance to proc an extra combo point with Sinister Strike (basically, they built the Sinister Strike Glyph into Revealing Strike as long as the target retains the debuff).
Feint:The cooldown and requirements of having a target and being close to that target have been removed. In otherwords, you can use feint whenever and wherever you want. You can no longer make Feint have zero energy cost, but you can increase the duration through the new glyph and increase the effectiveness through the new talent Elusiveness. Feint has always been one of my favorite abilities and it just moved up the list even more. The new version of Feint, in my honest opinion, is one of the most over powered abilities in the game (at least as far as defensive cooldowns go).
Fan of Knives:Basically the only change here is that it awards 1 combo point if it strikes your current target. Therefore, you want to make sure you are always targeting a mob (preferably the one with the most hp) when you are spamming this. The change, in and of itself, is not that impressive, but keep reading about Crimson Tempest to see why I like this change.
3.) DAMAGE AND ROTATION:
As a pure DPS class, Rogue damage is the most important thing we bring. Yes, Blizzard made it so that all rogues bring melee haste and nature damage, but for a rogue to really shine, they need to perform well on the DPS charts. At the time this guide was written, combat rogues were the strongest rogue spec and were one of the strongest dps classes. Mastering the rotation is not an overnight process for most players. If you find yourself producing numbers that you just aren’t happy with, then find a target dummy and practice your rotation. You should be able to perform the rotation without thinking so that you can spend your time focusing on boss mechanics. After all, a dead dps does no dps.
Deadly poison is the poison of choice as a lethal poison.
Non-Lethal poisons do not directly impact the majority of the fights. These poisons should be interchanged, depending on boss mechanics and specific needs.
In MoP, poisons will be on the melee hit table, rather than spell hit table, and will require the same hit rating as specials.
Opener and Rotations:
1.) Prepot then Stealth
2.) Open on target (Garrote or Revealing Strike – See below for more information)
3.) Sinister Strike to build 3-5 Combo Points (You should be in a Shallow insight)
4.) Killing Spree (Wait until you are in a shallow insight to initiate)
5.) Use combo points on Slice and Dice
6.) Sinister strike 1-2 times to get out of energy capped
7.) Pop macro for Adrenaline Rush/ Shadow Blades
8.) Set into rotation depending on style of damage needed (see below)
Sinister Strike and Revealing Strike are your main combo point building abilities. Revealing strike should only be used once every 15-18 seconds. When you Revealing Strike, it places a debuff on the boss that lasts for 18 seconds, increasing finisher effectiveness by 35% and providing Sinister Strike a 20% change to grant an additional combo point. Revealing strike should have an uptime as close to 100% as possible.
Use Sinister Strike to build combo points when you have more than 2-3 seconds left on Revealing Strike’s debuff. If the Revealing Strike debuff is about to expire, you should use Revealing Strike once to reapply the debuff, then continue with Sinister Strike. Once you obtain 5 combo points, proceed through to a finisher, based on the following priority list:
1.) Slice and Dice – Should have as close to 100% uptime as possible
2.) Rupture – Optional, read below for more information
3.) Eviscerate – Use if all other finishers are up and have plenty of time left
Ideally, all of your finishers will be 5 combo point moves. If your Slice and Dice is about to fall, you should use whatever amount of combo points you have to refresh it, then continue with the rotation.
There really isn’t a rotation to AoE damage.
If there are only a few targets, you should toggle Blade Flurry on, and continue with the single target rotation.
However, if there are many mobs (5+), you should consider using a combination of FoK and Crimson Tempest. First, target one of the mobs you will be hitting during your FoK spam. Preferably, you will target the boss or the add with the highest health. Spam FoK until you obtain 5 combo points and then use Crimson Tempest. If you see that the majority of the adds are about to die, consider using a lesser combo point Crimson Tempest, or reverting to the single target rotation with Blade Flurry activated.
More on Rupture/Garrote:
It has been long debated whether Rupture and Garrote should be used in the rotation. Dropping rupture from your rotation simplifies it and allows you to focus on other things. It has historically been a marginal DPS gain at best. However, SimCraft (see additional resources) was performed with Rupture and it performed well. If you decide to use rupture in your rotation, you should note that it does not currently scale up as you progress through insight. If you start rupture in a moderate insight, you will need to reapply it during a deep insight in order to gain the additional effectiveness of a deep insight. Garrote is really only used when coming out of stealth. If you chose to garrote, you will need to use Revealing Strike as your first ability out of stealth.
Combat rogues rely heavily on properly timed cooldowns to sustain high damage. Below is some general information about all combat rogue cooldowns. These are not hard and fast rules you must live by, rather, they are generally accepted principles to consider when using your cooldowns. A number of mechanics and environmental factors will play a part in your decision whether or not to use the ability directly off cooldown. You will need to consider things like: Will you be moving off the boss soon? Will you be out of range soon? Is there a phase coming up where you will need extreme burst? Properly deciding when to most effectively use your cooldowns will play a major role in determining your damage.
Killing spree should be very used early and off CD. It is best to use when you are in a deep insight (30% bandit’s guile), but if it is going to take a long time to get into a deep, just go ahead and use it. Killing spree causes you to jump behind the boss, attacking 7 times, and one attack every .5 second. The entire effect last 3.5 seconds and you will not be able to perform other abilities during this time. If you are heading into a high damage phase, consider using a defensive cooldown before you begin the killing spree. Additionally, you will not be able to use energy during this period so you should try to cast Killing spree when you are at very low energy levels. The base cooldown is 2 minutes, but the cooldown is reduced by relentless blades. Do not use this ability if you have Adrenaline Rush or Shadow Blades up.
Adrenaline Rush provides the rogue double energy regen and 20% increase attack speed. The effect last for 15 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown, which is reduced by relentless blades. Adrenaline rush should be macro’ed with Shadowblades and used off cooldown. Try to use Killing Spree before you cast Adrenaline Rush, as the high energy regen and combo points generated will cause Killing Spree to come off cooldown much quicker.
This is the latest cooldown added to the rogue cooldown arsenal. It provides double combo points from combo point generating abilities and provides additional shadow damage. It is most effectively used when macro’ed with Adrenaline Rush. It has a 3 minute cooldown which is reduced by Relentless Strikes meaning it will always be off cooldown when Adrenaline Rush comes off cooldown
Rogues have been given a set of tools which, in my opinion, gives them some of the highest survivability tactics in the game. Effectively using these defensive cooldowns will allow rogues to survive longer while taking less damage. Learning to use these abilities correctly will allow your healers to spend more time focused on other players who lack the damage reduction that rogues have.
This is rogue’s go to ability to protect against magic damage. It instantly removes all existing harmful spell effects and grants a brief moment of immunity against magical damage. Additionally, you resist all spells for 5 seconds. However, Cloak of Shadows does not work for every ability. Blizzard has designed some abilities to ignore Cloak of Shadows. You should be aware of the abilities that are not mitigated by cloak before using it. Depending on whether you took preparation as a talent, you will also want to be very cautious about wasting cloak. Being aware of boss mechanics will allow you to more effectively decide whether or not cloak should be used at certain points in a fight. Refer to the mechanics guide found on Elitist Jerks for more information about what it does and does not work for.
This is the all-around most useful and powerful rogue mitigation tool. When glyphed, it provides 7 seconds of 50% reduced damage from AoE sources. If you take elusiveness as a talent, it provides 30% damage reduction from all sources and increase the AoE damage reduction to 65%. It does not have a cooldown and can be spammed without having to target anything. This ability can single handedly allow a rogue to survive through a number of bad situations/heavy damage abilities.
The ability grants 50% increase dodge for 15 seconds. If you find yourself with an add or boss hitting you, you should pop evasion to help reduce the chance of dying. It does not provide a guarantee that you will survive the assault, but greatly increases the odds. Using Preperation resets the cooldown on Evasion.
This ability is a good fall back to remove movement imparing abilities and an effective way to reset threat. If you have taken Shadow Focus, it also allows you to use it offensively for an additional free energy ability.
(Optional Talent): If you are going to get hit, this ability will help reduce the damage you will take. It provides 10% damage reduction, stacking 5 times, for up to 50% damage reduction. It is generally triggered by direct damage, but in MoP, there are currently a lot of other abilities that trigger the stacking effect.
5.) STAT PRIORITY:
Currently, there are no “hard and true” values nor has a true stat priority list been created by the major theorycrafting rogues. However, it is my belief that the stat priority list will remain the same for combat rogues. I do think the value for mastery and crit will come up some, so I have made a little bit of a change in that regard.
2.) Yellow Hit
6.) Crit = White Hit
The new hit/expertise caps that you will want to obtain are 7.5%. This takes 2550 Hit and 2550 Expertise rating to obtain.
(this section is still under construction and will be added later via edit or in a separate post)
7.) USEFUL MACROS:
This is a very useful macro to use to combine Adrenaline Rush and Shadow Blades. This macro is HIGHLY recommended, as they should be used together.
#showtooltip Adrenaline Rush
/Cast Adrenaline Rush
/Cast Shadow Blades
This is a start attack assist macro, designed to ensure you begin attack even when you have too little energy to cast your ability.
#showtooltip Sinister Strike
/Cast Sinister Strike
This is a very handy tricks of the trade macro, designed to cast tricks at your focus target without having to actually target them. All you need to do is set a focus target and then press this macro.
#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [@focus] Tricks of the Trade
7.) USEFUL ADDONS:
Sinnaabun’s UI – Here is a link to download the UI I was using in Cataclysm. This is a custom build ui. When MoP goes live, many of these addons will need to be updated.