Rogues are doing pretty well damage-wise in the grand scheme of things. On the day that some classes (ahem… paladins) are getting a nerf I think some people will be annoyed to see rogues getting buffed.
- Blade Flurry is now a toggle that can be turned off by pressing the button again. In addition, this ability no longer has a fixed duration, but will go on cooldown for 10 seconds after being canceled (similar to Stealth). In addition, Blade Flurry now reduces energy generation by 30% while active, up from 20%.
- Main Gauche (Mastery) now provides a chance to deal an attack for 100% of main-hand damage. This attack can trigger Combat Potency.
- Restless Blades now also reduces the cooldown of Redirect.
- Revealing Strike now increases finisher effectiveness by 35% (45% glyphed), up from 20% (30% glyphed).
- Vitality now increases attack power by 25%, up from 20%.
The Vitality change is a straight damage increase.
The buff to Revealing Strike is Blizzard saying “we want you to use this.” Many rogues were simply ignoring it in their rotations. Now it is probably too useful to ignore.
The change to Main Gauche is a nice tweak. The complaint about the Mastery for Combat is that it procced off-hand attacks. Since our off-hand is a fast, light-hitting weapon that made the Mastery relatively ineffective. By changing it to proc an extra main hand attack, the value of the Mastery stat will go up for combat rogues. According to Elitist Jerks, Mastery will be more valuable than crit for combat rogues after the patch.
The Blade Flurry change is interesting. A semi-permanent cleave effect is good for fights with multiple adds. I expect that I will actually use my combat off-spec in a number of situations in raids. The catch – once you are no longer attacking multiple targets, you have to remember to toggle it off, since your energy regeneration is reduced while it is on if it is not hitting anything.
Here’s what is coming for Subtlety:
- Elusiveness now reduces the cooldown of Cloak of Shadows by 10/20 seconds, down from 15/30 seconds.
- Executioner (Mastery) has been increased from 2% to 2.5% per point.
- Find Weakness now grants 35/70% armor reduction, up from 25/50%.
- Preparation no longer resets the cooldown of Evasion.
- Sanguinary Vein now gives a rogue a 50/100% chance for their own Bleed effects to not break their Gouge.
- Shadowstep’s cooldown has been increased to 24 seconds, up from 20 seconds.
- Sinister Calling now grants 30% Agility, up from 25%, and increases Backstab and Hemorrhage damage by an additional 40%, up from 25%.
Straight buffs across the board (except the couple of token cooldown tweaks to Preparation, Elusiveness, and Shadowstep). Since subtlety is the single least-played spec of any class in the game, I think its time to take desperate measures.
However, the rotation is still too complicated, given the movement and target switching that current raiding requires. The buffs are nice, but not as helpful if you can’t keep all your finishers going. If anyone plays this spec, let me know how it does after the patch.