Combat Daggers?

I spent some time this weekend at the practice dummy working on my Combat Daggers dps.

“What?” you say.  “Everyone knows that Combat Daggers is crap!  Not raid-viable!  Low dps!”

Well, that’s true.  My dps dropped by about 400-500 by switching from Assassination to Combat Daggers.  Keep in mind, though, that I was still using Mutilate glyphs, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.  If I re-glyphed I might have bumped that up a bit, although not to where my full Assassination spec was.

Here’s the rub, though.  With Combat spec, I would get points in Savage Combat.  That provides a 4% increase in physical damage for the whole raid.

That debuff can also be applied by Arms Warriors with the Blood Frenzy talent.  Unfortunately, our guild doesn’t have an Arms warrior.

So here’s the decision – I can switch to Combat, and since I don’t have any good swords, I’d go with Daggers.  My personal dps would take a hit, probably dropping me from #1 dps in the guild to #3 or 4 behind the hunter, mage, and warlock who are nipping at my heels.  However, by doing so, I increase the damage of all of the feral druids, hunters, enhancement shamans, death knights, and warriors doing physical damage.

In a typical 25-man raid we have 2-3 hunters, 1-2 warriors, and 1-2 DKs.  If they do a combined 13,000 dps, for example, then my 4% buff would be a raid-wide increase of 520 dps.  That more than makes up for the decrease in my personal dps, so out total raid damage would benefit from that change.  And if I can grab a nice sword or fist weapon along the way I can probably get close to what my dps was in Assassination.

In 10-man raids, we bring fewer physical dps classes, so I don’t think that it would balance out there. In that case, I’d be better off in Assassination maximizing my own damage.

That said, I hesitate to do this.  Why?

My thinking is twofold, and both reasons are somewhat selfish.

#1 – I like doing a lot of damage.  Its what rogues do.  Sacrificing my own performance to benefit the guild is nice in principle, but it will decrease my personal enjoyment of the game.

#2 – More importantly, I find fighting in Combat spec to be dull.  Its very repetitive, without the careful rotation management that Assassination requires.  Again, that would decrease my personal enjoyment of the game.

So I’m thinking about it.  I may try it in a Naxx run this weekend to see how it goes.  Or I may stall and see if I can’t cajole a warrior into switching to Arms…


12 Responses to “Combat Daggers?”

  1. 1 azande
    May 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

    For the boring part unfortunately I don’t have any suggestion, that’s the way Combat Spec is. As for damage, you’d be better off running CoT and Obsidian Sanctum for the MH fist, which are quicker to farm than Naxx. Now that they reduced dagger and fist specs into one talent, you can easily run Fist/Dagger which is a lot more competitive than daggers.

  2. May 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I agree with Azande. I’m running with dual fists at the moment, and toping the DPS isn’t hard at all. My main had is the one from CoT, and it’s good dps. The offhand i’m using drops off of 10 man Leviathan, so it’s not particularly hard to come by either.

    Another point I’d make is that you’d be trading that raidwide 4% damage increase for the 3% Crit from Master Poisoner. I couldn’t tell you which is the better buff without doing the math, but I’d guess that if Savage Combat is the better buff, it isn’t by much.

    If you’ve seen my lastest post comparing the two, you’ll note that the Combat and Assassination are very close at the moment, so both are equally viable. The best would be to have one Combat and one Assassination Rogue imho.

    As far as running being boring, having used both specs I agree that Assassination is more interesting, but after geting used to it, and the change to HfB it’s really not that complicated either. No real suggestion there. I will say that two Fans, Blade flurry, Killing spree, and more fans = win.

    – Sam

  3. 3 Hamacus
    May 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I volunteer to go on my Rogue. Especially since my Shadow Priest does such lousy damage. : )

  4. May 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I always swore I wouldn’t use anything else but daggers. To me, dagger=rogue. End of story. From level 1-80, I have never used any weapon but a dagger. So switching to a fist is, in a way, a really big decision.

    So there is more at work here than just pure numbers.

  5. May 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm


    Ret pallies give the crit chance buff too. We always have a ret pally with us, so we’re not losing anything there.

  6. May 19, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    It seems like you’re a bit conflicted – on one hand you want to min-max your raid, but on the other hand you want to stay true to your dagger roots for roleplaying reasons. You’re going to have to pick one or the other :[

    One important thing to keep in mind is that the buff is “physical” damage which does not affect rogue poisons, enhancement shaman maelstrom, DK strikes, explosive shot, etc etc.

    That said, it might be fun to go combat just for a change!

  7. 7 TJ
    May 19, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Arms Warrior > Fury Warrior atm. Tell one of them to swap because thats better then you swapping.

  8. May 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    @Chronic – I am conflicted. The never ending debate between playing for fun vs playing for numbers. I think rogues have that problem as bad as anyone.

  9. May 20, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Going combat actually makes sense for many Ulduar encounters where you have to deal with multiple adds (Razorscale, Kologarn, Freya, Thorim).
    On Thorim, even mutilate specc rogues will spam FoK, but the synergy of AR/FoK/2xT8 is even more amazing.
    I currently use my dual specc to switch between Combat and Mut, depending on the encounter, using Dashal’s Bite/Webbed Death for mut, Calamity’s Grasp/Webbed Death for combat.
    The other rogue in my raid stays mut, so we get the benefit of both buffs on the fights where I go combat.
    I would steer clear of combat daggers though, the dps hit you take is too severe in my opinion.
    Especially on single target encounters I find my dps lagging behind by alot (even with more optimal weapons than you would have), though I do have to say I am much more experienced with mutilate than I am with combat.

  10. 10 azande
    May 20, 2009 at 5:37 am

    It looks to me a bit of a contraddiction then… you want to go combat to give the bonus to the raid but you want to keep using daggers, therefore gimp your damage by a big chunk, which probably ends up negating the bonus you are providing by switching to combat.

  11. May 20, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    It certainly is a contradiction. My post was me umusing out loud about the issue. Numerically speaking, in a 25 man raid with a bunch of physical dps, the gain from the raid buff far outweighs my personal loss of dps. On paper, its really not even close. But I’ve never really been a dedicated min/maxer, so I am hesitant.

    I don’t have an answer. I’m just thinking out loud.

  12. May 21, 2009 at 2:37 am

    I’m actually interested in the numbers for this. Is the 500 personal dps loss you quoted from an actual raid, or a dummy? I don’t think there are any up-to-date spreadsheets that model combat daggers properly (correct me if I’m wrong!) so I’m curious how you arrived at that total.

    Assuming the 500 dps loss is accurate, your raid (not including yourself) would need to be putting out more than 12.5k physical dps to make the swap worth it. Do you have a recent-ish WWS we could use to determine whether this is the case?

    Like I said, it’s a bit more complicated than adding up the totals since most classes have many non-physical abilities as well as physical ones.

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