Summary of Rogue changes in patch 4.0

I’ve made a few posts about various changes that we’re seeing in the patch.  However, judging by the search terms that people are using to find the site, what is really needed is one overall summary.

So here that is…



What has not changed for Rogues in Patch 4.0…

In practical terms, there are not a whole heck of a lot of big changes.  We still use energy as our resource.  We still attack from behind.  We still use poisons.  We still want to be over the poison hit cap, and preferably expertise-capped.  I expect that playing a rogue will feel pretty similar to the way it did before the patch.

That’s because we were already perfect.

Combat rogues are still going to use their swords, manage their cooldowns (Blade Flurry, Adrenaline Rush, and Killing Spree).  Most of their attacks will be Sinister Strike and Eviscerate.

Mutilate rogues are still going to use Mutilate and Envenom more than anything else.

There still won’t be enough Subtlety rogues out there.



What has changed for Rogues in Patch 4.0…

We will have slightly different attack rotations.  Rupture will be used by all three specs.

We might want to get used to using Recuperate in our rotation.  While you may not need it now, it will be very useful once the Cataclysm happens.

New specs, of course.  Making a new spec is easy.  Go through your talent tree of choice, taking all of the talents that have an obvious impact on a damage ability that you use often.  Once or twice you will get stuck having too few points to go to the next tier.  When that happens, go back and add a couple of filler points that you like.  When you have 31 points in your tree, put the rest in either Lethality, Precision, or Relentless Strikes (whichever two don’t already have points).

Armor penetration is gone, as is Attack Power as a stat on our gear.  Agility is our big stat now.



Be More Specific!

Assassination rogues

Try this spec on for size.

Attack rotation: Get combo points and start SnD.  Mutilate until you have either 4 or 5 combo points.  Rupture.  If there is already Rupture and its not about to run out, then Envenom.  Repeat.  Switch to Backstab when the target is below 35% health.  Pop Vendetta during heroism or with Potion of Speed for a damage boost.

You probably want the glyphs of Mutilate, Backstab, and maybe Rupture or Vendetta.



Combat Rogues

Try this spec.

Attack rotation:  Get combo points and start SnD.  Sinister Strike to build combo points.  Rupture is your priority finisher, or Eviscerate if Rupture is up and still has enough duration remaining.  Use Revealing Strike as your last combo point builder right before your finisher to give a 20% boost to the damage of the finisher.  Combine cooldowns to get burst dps.  Keep in mind that Blade Flurry no longer gives haste, so it is useless on single-target fights.

Most likely useful glyphs are Sinister Strike, Rupture, and maybe Adrenaline Rush.



Subtlety Rogues

Try this spec.  Use daggers.

Attack rotation: Use Hemo once to get the debuff going.  Make sure you use it once every minute to keep the debuff up.  Start SnD.  You will be getting combo points from Honor Among Thieves.  Use Backstab to generate more combo points if you are not getting enough.  Keep SnD up.  Keep Recuperate up for the energy return.  Get Rupture going, and then hit lots of Eviscerates to refresh Rupture with Serrated Blades.  (yes, that’s three finishers – SnD, Recuperate, Evisc – that you have to rotate through).  Use Shadow Dance and spam Ambush for a damage boost when you have trinket procs or other +AP effects.

Glyphs are probably Backstab, Rupture, and maybe Shadow Dance or SnD



What else is important to know?

Hit rating conversions have changed.  See this post for new caps.

Reforging allows you to tweak your gear.  Haste is probably better than crit for all specs.  Socket gems with agi/haste and agi/hit, making sure to match socket bonuses.

Mastery is nice, but don’t go crazy reforging all your stuff to get Mastery Rating just because its new and shiny.  The conversion at level 80 is 45.906 Mastery Rating = 1 point of Mastery. So you have to get a bunch of Mastery Rating to see a significant effect.

  • Assassination Mastery is Potent Poisons:  Increases the damage done by your poisons by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.5%.
  • Combat Mastery is Main Gauche: Your main hand attacks have a 10% chance to grant you an extra off hand attack. Each point of Mastery increases the chance by an additional 1.25%.
  • Subtlety Mastery is Executioner: Increases the damage done by all your finishing moves by 20%. Each point of Mastery increases damage by an additional 2.5%.

That’s about it for rogue-specific changes.  Now go forth and dominate the meters again!


4 Responses to “Summary of Rogue changes in patch 4.0”

  1. October 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Since they nuked wep. specializations in Combat spec (giving that no one does thrown), does that mean daggers are viable? I’m wondering b/c heartpiece has been sitting matchless in my bag for my mut spec, but I haven’t seen another dagger to use since. Frustrating. Maybe not; I wouldn’t swap it for my axe with such a stat loss, but i haven’t seen what the proc is actualy like with Heartpeice since I haven’t used it at all yet…

  2. October 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I’ve heard that there are people out there who are playing Combat with daggers – particularly offhand daggers, since there are no more weapon specializations.

    I have to think that the dagger will decrease the effectiveness of your Main Gauche procs. And you certainly don’t want a dagger in main hand if your using Sinister Strike as your combo point builder.

    When combat daggers was in its prime, backstab was the combo builder of choice. If you try that now then you are not getting any benefit from Bandit’s Guile. So overall I’d say at first glance that you could probably get away with a fast offhand dagger, but not main hand.

  3. 3 Fink
    November 1, 2010 at 10:00 am

    As far as heartpierce is concerned ive found the proc fairly low so I dont use it Flesh carving scalpel is nice as is the dagger from blood queen

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