Raid Readiness for Rogues

In Cataclysm, it seems that all three rogue specs are viable.  Assassination and combat play very similarly to the way the did in Wrath.  Subtlety has changed quite a bit and its in a better place than it was in Wrath, but its still looking a little rough for two reasons:

  1. its maximum damage potential seems a little lower than combat and assassination
  2. it has a very complicated rotation in order to achieve that damage output

For those reasons, I think we’ll see most rogues raiding as combat or assassination, the way it has been for the past two expansions.

The old advice was that rogues should let their weapon determine their spec.  If you scored a sweet sword drop, then you went combat.  If you found an awesome dagger, then you went assassination.  That’s still mostly true to this day, although weapon upgrades are a bit more common.  If you really prefer to play combat, you can probably go out and find a good sword or fist weapon that will work for you.

Also, the differences are no longer so severe.  It used to be that combat rogues definitely wanted to dual-wield swords for the Sword Specialization proc.  Nowadays, the off-hand weapon is all about speed so all specs are using 1.4 daggers as off-hands.  Armor penetration was removed, and both specs prioritize agility over everything else.  That means that the main difference between the two specs is the main hand weapon.

There are other smaller differences.  For assassination, mastery is a great secondary stat, while for combat it’s not.

Here’s what is true for all three specs:

  • All three specs benefit from using a fast off-hand weapon.  Right now, that means off-hand daggers for all three
  • All three specs benefit from a slower main hand.  For assassination and subtlety that means a slower (1.8) dagger.  For combat it means a slow sword/mace/axe/fist.
  • With the current mechanics, all three specs should use Instant Poison on main hand and Deadly Poison on off hand.

Still, its great that rogues can raid on any spec they choose.  Here I’ve made three guides for preparing your rogue to raid.  It goes through enchants, gems, reforging, spec, and rotation.  Honestly, they are pretty similar.  The main differences are the specs, of course, and some specific enchants and reforging advice that one spec might prefer over another.  I hope that they help.

Assassination Spec

Combat Spec

Subtlety Spec

As always, thanks to the folks at Elitist Jerks for working out a lot of the mechanics.


6 Responses to “Raid Readiness for Rogues”

  1. 1 Kit
    December 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’m loving all this roguey goodness! I’m having a great time playing a sub spec, even with the tricky rotation. Here’s a question: if OH is all about speed, am I better off with a 1.3 Wrath dagger, or should I upgrade to a shinier, but slower, 1.4 Cata one? Or is this really a spreadsheet question?

    • December 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Since Agility is the end-all of rogue stats, the Cata dagger will almost certainly have much more agility on it. It will also have a higher dps. Without seeing the specific daggers that you’re comparing, the Cata dagger will almost certainly be the better option.

  2. December 18, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Awesome work here, Dinaer. Thanks for doing this for us.

  3. 4 Steve
    December 18, 2010 at 4:35 am

    I was under the impression that since only Assassination had access to the IP buffing talents, the better proc rate of WP was the MH option for Combat/Sub. Did this change?

  4. December 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hey there,

    Just a quickie: “its maximum damage potential seems a little lower than combat and subtlety” did you maybe mean to write combat and mutilate here instead? since you’re talking about sub in this i think. 🙂

    great short sweet post nice to see other rogue blogs keeping up the good work, many have fallen ill to a lack of updates =(

    in answer to steve – yep it changed… again lol. its now back to instant on top.

    • December 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks for that catch. Fixed the error.

      It is sad that so many rogue blogs went by the wayside. I think a lot of blogs went away period during the doldrums at the end of Wrath.

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Dinaer - 100 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Derence - 92 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 91 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 100 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 100 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
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