Rogue changes in 3.3.3

Just when everyone was settling into their no-Rupture cycles… patch 3.3.3 brings it all back.

Or does it?

Rupture: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes.

If Rupture can crit, then combat rogues will likely use it over Eviscerate as their finisher for sustained-dps fights.

For Mutilate, its not so cut-and-dry.  The goal of Mutilate cycles these days is to maximize the uptime of the Envenom debuff on the target.  While adding Rupture as a finisher shounds nice, even with crits it may not be worth the loss of poison damage when you skip an Envenom.  We’ll have to see how this plays out.  It may end up not really changing the way Mutilate works.

Its also possible that this will push Combat back above Mutilate as the raid spec of choice for top-geared rogues.  Again, we’ll have to see how this pans out on the PTR.

Another issue: if rogues are going to bring Rupture back for the crits, there is going to be a push for more crit rating.  That may warrant using Agility gems instead of AP gems again.  Gah!  Regemming is expensive!

If you gem for agility/crit and you’re in a lot of T10 gear, you’re going to have to watch out for the crit cap. Be warned.

That one change will have a lot of impact on the direction raiding rogues will go.



  • Filthy Tricks: Now Reduces the cooldown by 5/10 seconds and energy cost by 5/10 of Tricks of the Trade, Distract and Shadowstep abilities, and reduces the cooldown of Preparation by 1.5/3 minutes.
  • Ghostly Strike: If the rogue has a dagger equipped, this ability now deals 180% weapon damage instead of 125%.
  • Hemorrhage: If the rogue has a dagger equipped, this ability now deals 160% weapon damage instead of 110%.
  • Slaughter from the Shadows: Now adds 1/2/3/4/5% damage to all attacks in addition to its current effects.
  • Waylay: The debuff from this talent can now be caused by Backstab in addition to Ambush.

So you don’t have to go and look up the current versions of these talents: Shadowstep added to the Filthy Tricks talent. Damage buff added to Slaughter from the Shadows (the talent currently reduces energy cost of Ambush, Backstab, and Hemo).  Backstab added to Waylay.  Ghostly Strike and Hemo buffed for daggers.

Blizzard has tried before to make Subtlety a viable spec for rogues.  Through it all, Sub has novered on the fringes as the “pvp spec” (other than the brief glory days of  HaT spec). Recently its not even that, as most pvp rogues I see are full Assassination or in a Mut/Sub build that doesn’t get as deep into Sub as the listed talents.  On the WoWpopular site, the top Subtlety build is 28th on the rogue talent list.

These changes still won’t bring Sub up to the level of Combat or Mutilate as a PvE spec.  It does make it more appealing for PvP, and the changes to Ghostly Strike, Hemo, and Waylay make it possible to play it with daggers, which is a long-awaited change.

I haven’t had a subtlety spec since I was leveling in vanilla WoW.  Since Blizz is going to such effort to make it more appealing, I may try it after the patch drops and give it a test drive.


10 Responses to “Rogue changes in 3.3.3”

  1. 1 Mobius
    February 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Ok a few points.

    Im hack and slash right now, I think im going to try 5 combo point rupture alternating with a 5 point Evisc. My early numbers say that it will be top lvl dps now. I sure did have a good time using mut spec. My second spec will be Sub/pvp now, it provides a cool new look at rogues.

  2. February 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    If the two specs are close, I’ll stick with Mutilate. I enjoy that play style much more than combat and I can do the attack rotation in my sleep.

    That said, I’ve had enough practice with combat these days to give it a go. I have no idea how to use Sub so it might be fun just to give it a shot, but I can’t imagine sticking with it since I don’t pvp regularly.

  3. 3 Stonedrake
    February 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Since I hit 70, Stone’s been a Mutilate rogue (and I’ve loved it). His secondary spec is still Combat, though, and I probably ought to give it a try sometime. I’m just afraid I’ve forgotten how to play Combat!

    Maybe I’ll get my blue axes out of the bank and queue for some random normal dungeons just to practice. 😀

  4. 4 Thimble
    February 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

    The big problem with swapping to combat is it’s not just as simple as respeccing. If I wanted to keep up similar DPS, I’d have to regear and regem extensively, since I’m actively avoiding armor pen gear now, and I’d want to maximize armor pen for a switch. It seems like if things stay close at all, I’ll stick with mutilate.

  5. 5 mobius
    February 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    the theory on gemming causes me distress. CBT need ArP and AP. Mut need agi. I just dont switch my gear. I keep it all AP AP/haste gems. I just change the spec and weps. I still do very nice dps As long as i keep it between 6 and 7 k im ok with it and can sleep just fine at night.


  6. 6 Strikyn
    February 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Does the Waylay debuff work on Heroic/Raid bosses? or are they all “immune” to the -20% attack speed.

  7. 7 Thimble
    February 25, 2010 at 11:02 am

    While I can’t say for sure, I’d imagine the -20% attack speed works, but is already being applied by the tank in the form of thunderclap/judgments of the just/frost fever/infected wounds, so it won’t really add anything to the raid.

  8. 8 Strikyn
    February 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Thanks Thimble! In that case I’ll just put those two talent points elsewhere.

  9. 9 Acalith
    July 8, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I’ve been playing a rogue since vanilla wow dropped. Rocking Sub spec for pvp and either swords-axes or fist-dagger combat spec for pve. Raid buffed for pve I’m over 50% crit and do up to 10k dps. As sub spec the only time I cheap shot is to buy time against plate. Ambush-backstab-evicerate-deadly throw-bleeds are my main offensive attacks. Speed is the key as well. With the sub talents that make me faster+movment speed gem or enchant+ glyph of sprint and minor glyph of vanish+shadowstep for the leap and extra speed boost turns this sub spec rogue into a nightmare on the bg field. Waylay+deadly throw+crippling poisons make the rogue seem even quicker to the target. Shadowstep is so versatile. It can be used to intercept targets or confuse ur enemy to escape death. Engineering glyphs – rocket boot and the projectile rockets + cobalt grenades for your own frost nova on top of sub spec talents give a high survival rating.

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Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
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