Wednesday, 28 August 2013


My Gnome Combat Rogue "Greatboo" joined the max level Army of the Living, leaving just my sad and lonely level 86 Warlock not invited to the party.

I have previously stated that I am the world's worst Rogue, a title which the Grumpy Elf tried to claim for himself, but judging by the numbers he was rocking out in LFR, I am still the proud owner of that title. As bad as I am, there are some advantages to playing a class in a different way than the plate clad melee monsters. Rogues can be subtle and are the closest that WoW comes to a Ninja class, and whilst they often have to go toe-to-toe with opponents they can hide in the shadows and move around like the sneaky bastards that they are. Why get into combat when you can stealth in and stealth out, if you get caught you can stand and fight or simply vanish.

R earlier this month gave some advice about Rogues, when I claimed that they have too much down time between fights.

"Rogue - Take the Deadly Momentum glyph, get up a 5-stack of Recuperate which will refresh with every mob that's killed, use Leeching Poison (talent), those should generally keep you up and hit Shiv whenever you need a bit more healing."

I didn't totally heed of all R's comments but I did make good use of Leeching Poison and the occasional 5 stack of recuperate. The biggest issue was not having a glass jaw this time, it was the constant waiting for Sinister Strike to become available.

Now that I am max level, it was time to work out whether I was applying the correct rotation/priorities at the right time. I have discovered that Icy Veins is not always a good match for my own play style and in particular I have no desire to maximise abilities and Glyphs for raiding or PvE and purely need to be efficient in the undertaking of dailies. The priorities however are always a very good guide to rotations.

For single target the guideline is:

  • Combo Point builders (by order of priority)
    1. Cast Ambush Icon Ambush when you are in Stealth.
    2. Cast Revealing Strike Icon Revealing Strike only to keep its debuff up.
    3. Cast Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike.
  • Finishing Moves (by order of priority)
    1. Apply and maintain Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice, with 5 Combo Points preferably.
    2. Apply and maintain Rupture Icon Rupture with 5 Combo Points.
      • There are cases when you should not maintain Rupture (see our Rupture section).
    3. Use Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate with 5 Combo Points.
  • Dropping Rupture Icon Rupture from the rotation simplifies it, but it sacrifices about 1 or 2% of your DPS.

    The first issue I can see is the Revealing Strike and Sinister Strike, I was using either of these spells to build up Combo Points, and would alternate Slice and Dice with Rupture, without giving priority to Slice and Dice and only using 3 combo points because combat with a single mob rarely lasts much over 20 seconds.

    On Multiple targets I often found Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry  to be a pain to manage, in the same way that Aspect of the Fox and Aspect of the Hawk was for Hunters, somethings are just too damn fiddly with too much micro management.

    Another aspect that I picked up by accident was the application of Poisons. The old method was to apply to the weapon and the new system appears to have a choice of 1 lethal and 1 non-lethal. I wasted several levels running with only Leeching Poison.

    Previously on my Rogue I remember using Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush but never managed to work it into a rotation, it appears that the best use is to tie a macro up with Shadow Blades Icon Shadow Blades. This is the kind of spell bloat that Blizzard should be eradicating.

    Any options that are passive win the day for me, when I am playing an alt. The less buttons the better but we all know that procs are less effective than activating a spell at the correct time.

    I now need to get some better gear, but unfortunately I was unable to get my first piece of the Kor'kron set, before the weekly reset. This will mean I only have enough time left to get 2 pieces before the Barrens returns to be being the Barrens again. I have picked up the Self-Effacing boots, and can craft Hands and Chest, so will need to choose between Head, Shoulders and Legs for the 2 Kor'kron pieces. After that I expect my Rogue to remain unplayed until the next expansion.

    The Rogue class is not something I enjoy playing and my performance is tied in with my dislike. Ultimately if I wanted to play a Leather clad melee class, I would choose the Monk any day of the week. At least now I can open those 50 locked chests that had accumulated in my bank.



    1. I never expected to play my rogue much when I made him but I switched to him mid-Cat and found that when I played him as a *main* and spent some quality time on him, that changed in a hurry... turns out the (combat, at least) rotation is actually quite elegant, doesn't have a ton of buttons, doesn't have a ton of reactionary buttons and just allows you to go about your business. Folks who like procs to deal with (my ret pally's bar is lit up like a nightclub half the time) probably won't like playing a rogue but I find I prefer the rogue rotation overall.

      Your Blade Flurry comment surprises me... even before I started playing my rogue I often wished classes like warriors, paladins and hunters would have a "single target / aoe" swap button that would do things like turn Heroic Strike/Templar's Verdict/Crusader Strike/Arcane Shot into Cleave/Divine Storm/Hammer of the Righteous/Multi-Shot on the same button... seems silly to have two basically identical abilities that are completely segmented with one being only for single-target, one being only for multi-target. I don't use modifiers so I have to use two separate hotkeys for each of those situations and it annoys me, those are completely wasted buttons on entire fights at times. I know there are ways to have multiple action bars that you can flip between but that's a bit more than I'm looking to do.

      Combat rogues actually have that toggle button. Single target, leave Blade Flurry off. Multi-target, flip it on, when you're back to single target flip it off again. The rotation itself doesn't change*, you just push the same buttons, just a wee bit more slowly.

      (*doesn't change at all if you ignore Rupture, which isn't part of the AoE rotation... I don't use it anyway so for me the rotation is identical)

      Shadow Blades is available for all rogue specs, I believe, Adrenaline Rush is combat-only so that's likely why they're still separate buttons. Also, there are probably edge cases where you wouldn't want to trigger both at once (I'm thinking mostly heroism, you might be better off only hitting SB during hero since AR could just end up perma-capping energy). Wouldn't swear to that, though.

      I will agree that monks are generally better, I fell in significant like with my rogue before monks were available. If I'd gotten to know a monk first I might not have the same fondness for my rogue.

    2. Blade Flurry, is one of those annoying icons that I cannot work out if it is toggled on or not. The only sure way is check the list of debuffs, but it took a while to work this out.

      It is the concept of advanced preparation, in a Raid, Heroic or Scenario that you are familiar with then you can toggle before, but anything else is losing a GCD waiting for the next available button.

      Personally I just find it slightly clunky, but when you get used to it you miss it on other classes.

      The longer I play this game the harder it is to swap characters and be totally comfortable with them. This is the reason why I tend to stay with the same spec for most of my characters, except for dual spec on the healers.

      I felt embarassed doing 2 scenarios on my Rogue, my DPS was absolutely abysmal, but I was forced as part of the content.

      It is going to be a long process to do Battlefield:Barrens on my Rogue