Are Rogues the top AoE class now?

I was reading someone else’s blog (I don’t recall which one, but it was written by a caster) and he lamented how he was doing less dps than rogues on AoE trash pulls.

Rogues have always been the best single-target sustained dps class.  Trash has given us trouble because rapidly switching targets causes us to lose our combo points.  Now we have Fan of Knives spam.  Is that better than Blizzard and Rain of Fire?  Better than Consecrate and Mind Sear?

I can only speak from my personal experience.  In my guild’s runs, I can top the meters on AoE trash pulls… as long as they last six seconds or less.

If I start in stealth, I can toss out four Fan of Knives in quick succession.  After that, I have to wait for energy regeneration before I can do more, or switch to single-target dps.  So on any group trash that is over quickly, I can out-damage our mages, warlocks, paladins, and shadow priests.

However, if the trash takes more than six seconds to clear, like when we are chain pulling, then I can’t sustain that level of AoE damage and I fall behind the traditional AoE damage powerhouses.

Is anyone else seeing these kind of results on trash pulls?


14 Responses to “Are Rogues the top AoE class now?”

  1. May 12, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Fan of Knives is the only ability I use during trash pulls because of the quick damage bursts that it can do. For emergency situations, Adrenaline Rush + FoK really shines. So yeah, I’m seeing the same results.

  2. 2 Dangerla
    May 12, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Yeah Fan of Knives and Killing Spree always pop me on top for trash pulls.

  3. 3 Reigan
    May 12, 2009 at 11:18 am

    You are correct. That caster is probably making that statement based on trash with low health, like the arachnid and plague quarters in naxx. Raid buffed, my rogue’s AoE dps is insane. In Military and Construct (minus 3 pulls near Patches), its much more reasonable, with casters usually on top.

    The problem is, on a full naxx clear, if you run Arachnid & Plague first, the damage to the meters has already been done. 😉

  4. 4 Hamacus
    May 12, 2009 at 11:24 am

    True, True. Six seconds or less is about right. As a Shadow Priest I can attest to this fact. Our AoE “Mind Sear” is like a runaway freight train at the top of a hill. It takes a bit to get up to speed but over time it is insane.

    Trash pulls like the ones on the way to Heigan are a prime example of situations that are less than ideal. By the time MS gets going those with burst damage AoE, (Rogues for instance), have burned everything down. Another plus for FoK’s is that it is mobile AoE as opposed to Mind Sear which is channeled and therefore you must be stationary. If you have to move for any reason you take a big hit to your potential damge.

    Last week I tried a a new strat on a few pulls. First burst a single target with Shadow Word Death and Mind Blast as an opener, switch targets, MB/SWD, and Mind Flay at that point on the target with the most health. Works pretty well just have to watch threat and fade if needed.

    Being very careful not to overuse Mind Sear though. Don’t want people to start crying OP and calling for the nurf bat, (see Circle of Healing ), /sad face. I am in the camp that feels pure DPS classes should be at the top on the damage meters. That said it is nice to lay the smack down every now and then.

    On my Rogue I only do BG’s at the moment and depending on the situation Fan of Knives spam accounts for 15-20% of my damage I am usually in the top 5 and unfortunately #1 on many occasions. I say unfortunately because that means something has gone very wrong and we typically loose those matches. Hope to raid soon on my Rogue to see how Combat fairs in PvE.

  5. 5 nekoken
    May 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Yep, if there are a ton of low HP mobs then FoK will really bump up your DPS. But if the fight lasts longer than 9 seconds or so, casters will start to pass up a rogue.

  6. May 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    If you’re mutilate, you’ll be able to sustain fan spam much longer as the pack gets larger, because your energy return from Focused Attacks scales up with the number of targets you hit.

    For example, on the spider packs in Naxx, I can pretty much fan every second GCD for the entire pull.

    That said, yeah, I typically win aoe trash meters; especially if I have cooldowns up. I keep joking that if “dual spec” was “tri spec” I’d have a hybrid fa+bf+ar build with the fan of knives glyph and two slow daggers with double wound. Fun!

  7. 7 Grux
    May 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Yes, i definately do alot more AOE dmg on trash pulls by spamming fan of knives. I am a mutilate rogue with Vigor and Overkill. I think the initial large energy pool and cheaper moves following stealth allow to spam FoK 3 times in as many secs. After 6 secs this burst is over and again i do less AOE dmg then the Mage and Lock.

  8. May 13, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Less than six seconds definitely gives the best results (still have a screenshot of 30k dps on the trash before faerlina), but in Naxx in tended to fall off quickly after that.
    With 2/5 T8 however, you can sustain FoK spam for much longer periods as long as there are enough targets present (though you do lose some dps by having IP/DP instead of IP/IP).
    Focused attacks has a similar effect, but the set bonus lowers the amount of targets needed significantly.
    This is especially valuable on Thorim, where all I do during the arena phase is TotT+FoK the adds, and still never really run out of energy.

    Just a suggestion, but I would consider dropping vigor. It is a pretty useless PvE talent, since you’ll never go past 60 energy during a fight anyways, so it basically gives you 10 more energy once…

  9. 9 Saniel
    May 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I’ve actually been having a lot of fun on trash pulls in Cat form. I’m still learning how to DPS properly in raids, but every week I get to I learn some new tricks.

    In 3.1, cats got their own version of Swipe that works similar to a bear’s. I don’t get a bonus for being in stealth when combat starts, but on most trash pulls I can go in, hit Swipe twice, pop Tiger’s Fury if it’s off cooldown (which also gives me an additional 60 energy because of King of the Jungle) and then Swipe twice more. And usually in that time period, I’ve gotten at least one OOC proc for a free Swipe.

    One thing I learned last week was to toss out a quick Rake for a single combo point and then pop Savage Roar. For that one combo point, I get 14 seconds of 30% increased damage. It’s a balancing game to judge how long the pull is going to last and if it’s worth the energy usage to do that. On the small spider packs and the casters right before Faerlina, not so much. But on the packs like those leading up to Patchwerk, a little more so.

  10. 10 Sah
    May 19, 2009 at 6:36 am

    I see exactly those kind of results with swipe in cat form, wich feels kind of similar to FoK. I can generally get in 5 of them as a initial burst and if the pack dies just after that I’m easily on top, but every second after that I fall down the list.

  11. May 25, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    @ TheReaper: The justification I’ve seen for Vigor is in regard to energy pooling. With a glyphed Vigor talent, you can pool to 120 Energy before an Envenom, and bash out 3/4 instead of 2/3 Mutilates within the Envenom period. That’s an extra Mutilate getting the benefit of Envenom’s increased poison proc rate damage buff each time, with a wee bit more time spent pooling. Combine with a trinket proc/on-use, and there is definitely a case.

    Not, I should point out, that I necessarily agree that it is worth giving up a talent point + glyph for this. Just that this is the usual justification for Vigor.

    More generally: when twinking lower level toons through instances with FoK, I presume that an Assassination rogue with 5/5 Improved Poisons should definitely go dual Instant? And I’m also guessing that 1.8 daggers in both hands would be better, given the nature of low level trash, than the usual 1.8/1.3?

  12. July 23, 2009 at 3:23 am

    I’ve had this discussion with the rogues in my guild who believe that FoK is the top AOE in-game. So I shut them up by out dps-ing them in Naxx, week after week (in which every trash pull is an AOE pull).

  13. July 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Well that will obviously vary based on gear. No one can say that one class will always out-dps another. There are many variables involved. I was talking in general about the class’ abilities.

    In my guild the shadow priest was never really a contender for the top AoE dps. Mages, warlocks, rogues, and if its a very quick fight feral druids were always near the top.

    In fact, based on your damage meter I’d still claim that FoK is the top AoE ability. Yes, you may have the top spot with Mind Sear, but rogues are #2, 3, and 4. Without looking at gear levels, that’s a pretty good case for the rogue AoE being overall stronger, while your toon outgears them or you just outplay them.

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