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re: Rogue 6.2 HFC primer


In the vein of Care's recent Pally post I figured I would give a little bit on rogue-ing and tips for HFC.  Not that any of you who visit the site even play rogues, but whatever.  This is going to get real wall of text-y.  I'm not going to go over what abilities do for the most part, since you can find those anywhere else and just read them.  This is how to play rogue with some detail.


Some general information.  Icy-Veins, and Summonstone have rogue guides, laid out and less wall of text then this one will be.  BiS gear, trinket comparisons, and DPS comparisons for rogue specs can be found on MMO-Champ here.  If you have a rogue and you want to check your rogue profile and how changes in single gear choices will affect it you can use Shadowcraft to do that.

The real strength or playing a rogue is the toolkit you have to stay alive.  Feint, Vanish (though this is often used for more DPS), Evasion, Sprint, Smoke Bomb, and Cloak of Shadows.  Many rogue abilities can make certain parts of fights just mean nothing to them.  Talented and glyphed Feint makes you take 80% less AoE damage for 7 seconds which can make some mechanics just do very little to you.  Cloak of Shadows can negate entire mechanics.  Here is a list of things that you can negate or take less from in HFC.  Don't forget the other things a rogue can do.  Smoke Bomb is useful for gathering mobs, rogues have two different CCs from Sap and Blind, and an enrage remover in Shiv.


Combat will always be your go to AoE spec, and generally the cleave spec as well (though Assassination does well on low target cleave).  This is the spec you'll want to play for trash and any fight we're there are long lasting priority adds to kill.  In Hellfire Citadel this includes Hellfire Assault, Shadow-Lord Iskar, Xhul'horac, and Mannoroth sort of (and Kilrogg if you are going into a portal).  There are other fights you could play it as well, but generally Assassination is better single target and two target cleave.

Talents: Only certain tiers of talents matter for DPS.

Level 15: Shadow Focus gives you the most DPS, it allows you to essentially free cast Ambush on open and every vanish, leaving you with more energy for Sinister Strikes.

Level 90: This tier has some choices.  The highest DPS is Marked for Death, especially on fights that have adds that will die relatively quickly since they reset the cooldown of Marked for Death.  This takes more practice and micromanagement though.  Given that, and due to the extra Combo Points combat can get off Revealing Strike, most choose to play with Anticipation.

Level 100: Venom Rush is the best choice, Combat is highly reliant on energy, and Venom Rush helps with regenerating it.  Especially for AoE, which is what you should be using Combat for.

The rest of the talents are up to you, and you should switch them as needed.  Burst of Speed vs Shadowstep and Elusiveness vs Cheat Death.

Glyphs: Disappearance, and Energy are the only glyphs that increase your DPS, and by a very small amount, other than those two you should switch between Feint, Cloak of Shadows, or Smoke Bomb as needed.  The Kick glyph can reduce the cooldown on Kick if you are sure you're going to be the one interrupting.

Tier 18/Trinket: Combat set bonuses are built around Adrenaline Rush and Slice and Dice.  All the following information is not taking this into account, but it also doesn't change anything about the rotation.  2 piece gives you free Adrenaline Rush effects from time to time as long as you have Slice and Dice up, and the 4 piece increases the damage you do while Adrenaline Rush is active.  All this does it make it so Slice and Dice is more important to have up.  The Trinket just makes your Eviscerate do more damage and have a 20 yard range.

Maximizing your DPS: A lot of people will tell you Combat is an incredibly simple spec, and they're not wrong, but there are some things you should pay attention to in order to do the most you can.

General Play:  Combat benefits from Ruthlessness, which reduces your cooldowns on Killing Spree (KS)/Adrenaline Rush (AR)/Sprint by 2 secs per combo point used.  Because of this you want to use both KS and AR as soon as possible, and KS first because you will get a lot of combo points to use from AR and you want them to go towards reducing the cooldown on KS.

In addition to this the major component of Combat is Bandit's Guile, and Revealing Strike (RS).  As long as RS is up on your target your finishing moves are 35% stronger and Sinister Strike (SS) has a 25% chance to give you an extra combo point, so always keep RS up, refresh it as it's about to fall off.  Bandit's Guile increases your damage based on the number of SS you use.  Every 5 Sinister Strikes you will move up in damage.  From No Insight at 0-4 Strikes to Shallow Insight at 5-9 Strikes (10% increased damage), Moderate Insight 10-14 Strikes (20%), and finally Deep Insight (50% increased damage) for 15 seconds at 15 Strikes.  The key to maximizing your damage is taking advantage of Insight, Deep Insight is a whole 30% stronger than Moderate Insight and you want to squeeze as much as you can into this.

So your rotation is going to look like this.  If you have Marked For Death, and you don't expect to use it on adds soon, get a 5 point SnD before the pull.  Pre-pot 1-2 seconds before the pull, open with Ambush and immediately SnD if you did not have Marked for Death.  Use Trinkets if you have them, and then Killing Spree, once done use Adrenaline Rush into Revealing Strike, and Sinister Strike your way to Deep Insight spending points on Eviscerate and keeping up SnD (only refresh SnD when it is under 10 seconds left), if you have Anticipation store up to 9 combo points before spending them if you're not in Deep Insight.  Ruthlessness gives you an extra combo point when you use a 5 point finisher, so do not store 10 combo points or one will be wasted.  Before entering Deep Insight make sure you will not need to refresh SnD for at least 15 seconds, and try to go into it with 9 total combo points so you can immediately use two Eviscerates.  This is when you want to use Vanish - Ambush - Preparation - Vanish - Ambush to get 4 cheap combo points and do more Ambush damage.

Cookie cutter opener: Ambush - SnD - Killing Spree - Adrenaline Rush - Revealing Strike - Sinister Strike to Deep Insight spending points on Eviscerate/SnD as need to not cap combo points ... Once in Deep Insight Vanish - Ambush - Preparation - Vanish - Ambush and Sinister Strike into Eviscerate as much as possible.  Refresh Revealing Strike as needed.

Because the cooldowns on your damage abilities are variable it is generally not worth it to save Killing Spree or Adrenaline Rush for Deep Insight, but if you know an add phase is coming soon you may save them a short amount of time though.  Also be sure to track the timers on them, for every 5 point finisher you use (other than SnD) you will reduce the cooldown on them by 10 seconds, you can use this to time when they will be back roughly.

AoEIf you need to AoE or Cleave toggle Blade Flurry on, that's it.  Blade Flurry is worth using on just two targets, so if you have more than one thing to hit, use Blade Flurry.  Crimson Tempest is not worth using as Combat unless you are going to leave a group of adds and you just want to get the DoT up before you leave.

Stat Priority: Combat is heavily reliant on having energy to use so Haste is the most important stat for Combat as it increases energy regen.  Followed by Multistrike and Mastery for damage.  However in heavy AoE situations (3+ targets) Multistrike pulls ahead of Haste as you hit more things and have more chances for Multistrke to trigger.

Single Target: Haste > Multistrike > Mastery > Versatility > Crit

AoE: Multistrike > Haste > Versatility > Crit > Mastery



Assassination is the current best single target and low target cleave spec to use in HFC.  This is not because it does more damage than Subtlety, it doesn't.  Sub will do more pure single target damage, but the fights in HFC include phases where 1 or more extra targets will be available or short lived adds spawn, or the target moves away from you for a while.  In all those cases Assassination is better since it leaves bleeds and poisons on the target to tick away, making it better to cleave since you can have both targets poisoned, and the lack of a positional requirement makes it better to kill fast spawning low health adds.  

Assassination is a poison and execute (<30% HP remaining) phase based class, more so this tier given the set bonuses and rogue trinket.  Because of the poison/DoT based gameplay it is a good choice to use on 2-3 target cleave fights, and the execute damage makes it good on those same type of fights since you will have multiple execute phases.  Fights like Hellfire High CouncilTyrant Velhari, Kilrogg (if not in a portal), Socrethar, and Archimonde.  It is also a good single target spec, although not as good as Subtlety is generally.


Level 15: Like Combat Shadow Focus will do the most damage, giving you very cheap Mutilates (which you use instead of Ambush) for every Vanish and opener.

Level 90: Anticipation is very good for Assassination, because Mutilate gives you two combo points, and Mutilate or Dispatch crits give you extra combo points.  Assassination works on a pooling system where you gain combo points and wait with them, and you will often have more combo points then you can spend, so Marked for Death is not as good.

Level 100: Shadow Reflection is the best choice here, it lines up with your major DPS cooldown, Vendetta, and you can shove a lot of Envenoms and Mutilates into the Shadow Reflection window due to pooling.

The rest of the talents are up to you, and you should switch them as needed.  Burst of Speed vs Shadowstep and Elusiveness vs Cheat Death.

Glyphs: Vendetta is a must have glyph as it increases your damage on long lived bosses.  Disappearance, and Energy increase your DPS by a very small amount, energy by the smallest amount of DPS.  You should switch out Energy for Feint, Cloak of Shadows, or Smoke Bomb as needed.  The Kick glyph can reduce the cooldown on Kick if you are sure you're going to be the one interrupting.

Tier 18/Trinket: Assassination tier is very strong, and the trinket elevates Assassination by a huge amount.  2 piece increases the damage on your Dispatch by 25%, and the 4 piece makes Dispatch give you two extra combo points (for a total of three).  This makes your Dispatch a huge damage boost and combo point generator, so when a mob is below 30% health your execute damage is going to be much higher.  The trinket makes Mutilate and Dispatch crit MUCH more often as long as Envenom is active.  Assassination gets extra combo points when those abilities crit, so you generate a huge amount of combo points (4 per each Dispatch, 3 per Mutilate).  Allowing you to just pump out more and more Envenoms.

General Play: Assassination does not have a lot to do, it is a very simple spec to play, only made slightly more complicated by the resource pooling playstyle.  Assassination works by doing heavy damage via poisons.  Your Deadly Poison should always be active and is often your highest or close to highest damage done.  In addition to poison Assassination must maintain Rupture on as many targets as possible.  Rupture ticks do bleed damage AND cause a poison tick as well, in addiction Rupture ticks cause you to regen energy.  Other than rupture you want to have a high uptime on Envenom, the ability Assassination has instead of Eviscerate.  Envenom applies a buff to you that increases poison ticks by 30% and makes your Mutilate and Dispatch to 30% more damage.  A 5 point Envenom only lasts for 6 seconds, because of this you want to pool resources so you can fit as many Mutilates or Dispatches into that 6 seconds as possible.  Once you have 5 combo points you want to wait until you have roughly 2/3rds or more of your energy back before using Envenom, so that you can then spam out 3 Mutilates or a bunch of Dispatches, this will get you back 5+ combo points so you can pool again.  Remember that Mutilate can proc a free Dispatch and always use that before using Mutilate again, maintain Rupture and pool up for Envenom is all there is to Assassination. 

Cookie cutter opener: Pre-pot 1-2 seconds before the pull - Open with Mutilate as it does more damage than Ambush and can proc a free Dispatch - Rupture (this will only be a 2-3 point Rupture) - Mutilate up to 5 Combo points - Vendetta/Shadow Reflection - Envenom - Mutilate up to 5 - Envenom - Use Dispatch procs as they happen.  Once Shadow Reflection and Vendetta are done go into the pooling rotation of Mutilate to 5 points, and wait for 2/3rds energy while maintaining Rupture.  Do not use Mutilate if Envenom is not up unless you need to generate combo points.*

*It's worth noting that if you have 4 piece and the rogue trinket you will have so many combo points during execute phase that it can become worth it to use Crimson Tempest just for the poison damage buff, even on one target.

AoEFor 2-3 targets just maintain Deadly Poison and Rupture on all of them while continuing single target on the priority target.  You can use Fan of Knives to apply poison to off targets.  At 4+ targets use Crimson Tempest which also increases poison damage to targets by 1 sec per combo point, maintain that 5 seconds of extra poison damage.

Stat Priority:

Assassination gets extra combo points from crits on Mutilate and Dispatch, and because of these Crit is a very strong stat for Assassination, as is Mastery which increases poison damage.  However once you get 4 piece and the rogue trinket (or even just either one of those things) crit loses it's value as you get more combo points from the bonuses.

Pre 4 Piece/Trinket: Crit >= Mastery > Multistrike > Versatility > Haste

With 4 Piece/Trinket: Mastery > Multistrike > Versatility > Crit > Haste



Sub, the reigning single target spec, and also the hardest of the specs to play.  In my opinion one of the hardest to play in the whole game (along with Windwalker and maybe Feral if you're wondering).  Right now Sub is still the best single target spec, but factors in the HFC fights make it not as attractive to play, to much movement, adds, or downtime.  However if you want to focus on the boss, or have someone in the raid funneling damage into the priority target while others AoE stuff down, Sub is the spec to do that.  Even on fights with adds, Sub shines on single target damage, because the more target there are to hit, the more single target damage Sub can do.


Level 15: Unlike the other two specs Sub wants to use Subterfuge, because it allows you to get off more Ambushes.

Level 90: Sub generally swims in combo points, getting more combo points everytime someone in the raid crits, and you don't want to waste those, so Anticipation is the go to.

Level 100: Like Assassination, Shadow Reflection lines up with all of Sub's cooldowns, so it is the best choice here.

Glyphs: You want to use Vanish, as it lets you use more Ambushes in the Vanish timeframe, it is mandatory.  Hemorrhaging Veins helps you make sure you always have your 25% damage boost, but Rupture does this and it's not often needed, Energy is a solid damage boost.  Use Feint, Cloak of Shadows, or Smoke Bomb as needed over Hemorrhaging Veins.

Tier 18/Trinket: The Sub set bonuses are based around Vanish, and do actually change the way you play a little.  2 piece makes vanish give you 5 combo points and increases damage done by 10%, and 4 piece makes Eviscerate and Rupture reduce the cooldown on Vanish by 1 sec per combo point.  Because of this you want to use Vanish as soon as possible for the damage boost during your opener and in order to start reducing the cooldown.  The trinket increases the damage of your Ambush and Garrote by a lot, it recently got buffed a bit which is why Sub stays as higher single target damage than Assassination.

General Play: Sub is based on bleeds, Ambush and the Find Weakness debuff.  As long as a target is affected by Rupture/Garrote/Crimson Tempest (or glyphed Hemo) you do 25% more damage to it, so it is critical to always have one of those up, generally Rupture.  Find Weakness is a debuff that allows you to ignore all armor on the target which significantly increases the damage you do, this is only applied by Ambush or Garrote.  This makes it important to use your Vanish, Prep-Vanish, and Shadow Dance abilities to get more Find Weakness uptime.  You can also use Shadowmeld if you're a NElf, stand still, and have 60 energy to get an Ambush off.  In addition to this you need to keep up Slice and Dice, as the Sub mastery makes it even faster than normal.  Sinister Calling also makes your bleeds tick everytime you get a multistrike, this makes it harder to track how long they'll stay on and you need to keep and eye on it as you need to keep up Rupture for the 25% damage boost.

Cookie cutter openerPremeditation and Slice and Dice 2-3 seconds before the pull, pre-pot 1-2 seconds before the pull.  Open with Garrote (this does less damage but applies the 25% damage boost for your next Ambush) - Ambush, Ambush - Shadow Dance/Shadow Reflection/Trinkets once you can't Ambush anymore - Ambush as much as you can spending points on Eviscerate/Rupture/SnD as needed - Backstab once Ambush is gone- Vanish when there is about 2 seconds left on Find Weakness - Ambush, Ambush, Ambush, Backstab once Ambush is gone - Preparation - Vanish again when there is about 2 seconds on Find Weakness - Ambush more, Backstab more.  Throughout all off this maintain SnD and Rupture since multistrikes will make Rupture expire sooner.  Once you can no longer get into stealth or apply Find Weakness in some way you start using Backstab and maintaining the Hemo debuff.  Hemo is not worth using until then.  Remember to use Premeditation when you Vanish or Shadow Dance for 2 free combo points.

AoEWhen you use Fan of Knives as Sub it will generate a combo point for every enemy it hits.  This allows you to Fan of Knives and get 5 combo points if it hits 5 things, which then allows you to Eviscerate your main target and Fan of Knives again.  You should do this to burn down a priority target during AoE.  If you have to actually AoE down adds you shouldn't play Sub, but you can Fan of Knives, Crimson Tempest, and then go about using your mass amount of Combo Points to start Rupturing/Eviscerating each add.

Stat Priority:

Multistike makes all your bleeds advance a tick, making it your best stat by a good margin, mastery makes your finishing moves do more and makes your Slice and Dice better, putting it second.

Multistrike > Mastery > Crit > Haste > Versatility.


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re: Rogue 6.2 HFC primer


Woot, ima trend setter.

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