Since the pre-Cataclysm patch is imminent, I think that it’s safe to treat the talent trees as fairly complete. There should only be tweaks from here on out, rather than wholesale changes. That means that its time to start looking at talent builds.
There are three talent builds that I’m looking at.
- Playing/raiding in the post patch 4.0 Wrath world, before Cataclysm. For these two months, I’ll still be raiding in an environment that stresses mass-tanking, AoE damage, and little to no crowd control.
- Leveling 80-85 after Cataclysm is released. This has to emphasize soloability and survivability, and mob control over sustained dps.
- Heroics and raids once I reach level 85. Its hard to say how this build should look since I haven’t experienced that game environment. From beta reports, it seems like survivability is still key and CC will be used. I’m guessing that large health pools will emphasize sustained dps rather than burst.
The other thing to consider is that, ideally, all three talent trees will be playable. With the current talent system, it should be possible to tweak the specs so that they all have similar damage output.
Even though I usually play Mutilate, my off-spec has always been Combat. Here’s what I’m looking at in the near future.
Part 1: the last two months of Wrath
Here’s what I expect to spec into once the patch hits.
- 3/3 Sinister Strike
- 3/3 Precision
- 2/2 Imp SnD
- 3/3 Aggression
- 3/3 Lightning Reflexes
- 1/1 Revealing Strike (new attack!)
- 3/3 Combat Potency
- 2/2 Blade Twisting
- 1/1 Adrenaline Rush
- 2/2 Savage Combat
- need 2 more points spent to open up the next tier, so I’ll go back and get 2/2 Imp Sprint
- 3/3 Bandit’s Guile
- 2/2 Restless Blades
- 1/1 Killing Spree
That opens up the other trees for me. I only have 5 points left to spend. So I’ll divide my points between 2/3 Lethality and 3/3 Relentless Strikes. In the end it looks like this. This will play somewhat differently than Combat plays now due to the addition of Revealing Strike and the change in Blade Flurry. However, it will still be based mostly on keeping SnD up and using Rupture or Eviscerate as finishers.
Part 2: Leveling 80-85
Once I start leveling after December 7th, I’ll need to change my priorities. I need to be able to take or avoid damage as I solo mobs while questing. I’m not trying to min/max my dps.
- There is no immediate need to respec once Cataclysm opens up. One thing that I might change is to drop points in Precision and move them to Imp Recuperate. That depends on how Recuperate feels without the talented version. In any case, since I’m not min/maxing my damage while soloing the points in Precision aren’t as vital.
- At level 81 and 82 I’ll take 2/2 in Deadly Momentum. Between Blade Flurry and Killing Spree and Improved Recuperate, I picture Combat rogues being able to move quickly from mob to mob and take on entire groups. Thus, Deadly Momentum’s refresh of SnD and Recuperate will be awesome while leveling.
- The obvious use for my points at level 83 and 84 is for Coup de Grace for harder hitting Eviscerates.
- Once I hit 85 I’ll be respeccing to start running instances, so that last talent point at 85 is immaterial.
Part 3: Instancing at level 85
If the stories are true, and crown control is back, then my instancing/raiding assassination spec will need to be changed to include some attention to that. Also, to help my healers preserve their mana, I’ll want to avoid damage as much as possible.
- I’ll drop the points in Deadly Momentum and move them to fill up 3/3 Precision.
- I’ll have two free points. 2/3 Ruthlessness looks appealing, since combo point generation has always been the throttle on combat dps. Its either than or Imp Recuperate to help out my healers. I’ll have to see how the damage looks at level 85 instances.
- That becomes a 7/31/3 build
All this is subject to change as new theorycrafting reveals nice synergies between talents. Or myabe I’ll just change my mind.