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.