Archive for July, 2011


Rogue Assassination T12 gear list

At this point a lot of guilds are moving into the Firelands.  Lets look at the gear that Assassination rogues should be looking out for.  This list is for non-heroic Firelands raiding.


Your top item is the T12 Dark Phoenix Helmet.  That comes from a token that drops from Ragnaros.  While you work your way to Ragnaros you can get the Hood of Rampant Disdain from Lord Rhyolith.  Depending on your other gear, this may even be better than the T12 helm due to its red socket.  The best pre-Firelands item is the T11 Wind Dancer’s Helmet which comes from Nefarian in BWD.


The Choker of the Vanquished Lord is another Ragnaros drop.   Other than that, you can easily get the Necklace of Smoke Signals for the low, low price of 1250 Valor Points.  The top pre-Firlands choice is the Necklace of Strife from the double dragons in BoT.


The top item is the T12 Dark Phoenix Spaulders which you get from a token that comes from Majordomo Staghelm.  Also in the Firelands are the Shoulderpads of the Forgotten Gate which drop from Baleroc.  Your top pre-Firelands option are the Poison Protocol Pauldrons from the Omnotron Defense System in BWD.


The BiS right now is the Dreadfire Drape that comes from Lord Rhyolith.  After that is the Sleek Flamewrath Cloak which you get for being friendly with the Avengers of Hyjal faction –  basically two or three trash clears.  Everyone should have an epic cloak going into Firelands, because you can get the Mantle of Doubt just from doing the Thrall questline in Hyjal.


The top item in this slot is the Breastplate of the Incendiary Soul that drops from Baleroc.  It surpasses the T12 chest piece Dark Phoenix Tunic (bought with 2200 Valor Points) due to superior itemization for assassination spec.  Of course, you would take the T12 chest if it gave you the set bonus.  Your best pre-Firelands option is the T11 Wind Dancer’s Tunic which can now be purchased with Justice Points.


This slot is always tough to fill.  In the Firelands, Alysrazor drops randomly enchanted Flickering Wristband.  You are looking for Stormblast, Zephyr, Windstorm, or Windflurry.  Depending on your other gear, any of those four would likely be slightly better than the next wrist option which is the Flamebinder Bracers, bought for 1250 Valor Points.   Your best pre-Firelands item is the Parasitic Bands from Magmaw in BWD.


You can look around for the top item – the Clutches of Evil.  Good luck finding it.  It is a crafted leatherworking item made with a pattern that drops in the Firelands.  A lot of LW picked that up in the first week after patch 4.2 when the drop rate was sky-high.  The recipe does no good without the four Living Embers needed for the craft, and those have been very scarce.  Your next option is the Gloves of Dissolving Smoke from Shannox.  Those are slightly better than the T12 Dark Phoenix Gloves, bought with 1650 Valor Points, due to superior itemization.  If you’ve been doing your Molten Front quests you can get Aviana’s Grips once you unlock the Calling the Ancients.  The top pre-Firlands item is the T11 Wind Dancer’s Gloves, purchasable with Justice Points.


This is an easy one, even though there are not many options.  You can get the Flamebinding Girdle once you hit Honored with the Avengers of Hyjal faction, which should be after just a handful of Firelands runs even if you’re only killing trash.  If you’re extremely lucky or have a lot of gold, you can get the BoE Riplimb’s Lost Collar, which is a Firelands trash drop.  Other than those options, you would go back to the leatherworking crafted Belt of Nefarious Whispers.


Very early in Firelands you can get the Cinderweb Leggings from the red widow Beth’tilac. This are likely slightly better than the T12 Dark Phoenix Legguards due to their itemization.  If you don’t get the Beth’tilac drop, the tier legs can be bought with 2200 Valor Points.   That’s all at the T12 level.  The best pre-T12 item is the Wind Dancer’s Legguards, which can be bought using Justice Points.


Like the gloves, the best piece here is a crafted item that you will have a hard time finding.  The Treads of the Craft require four Living Embers and those are not easy to find.  After that,  look for the Sandals of Leaping Coals from Majordomo Staghelm.  Until your guild gets that far in the Firelands, there are not any options better than the old Storm Rider’s Boots from Halfus Wyrmbreaker in BoT.


When you eventually get to Exalted with the Avengers of Hyjal, you can get the best ring which is the Viridian Signet of the Avengers.  For most of us, that will take a long time to achieve.  Until then you can look for the Widow’s Kiss from Beth’tilac, or you can buy the Splintered Brimstone Seal for 1250 Valor Points.  Your other good rings will come from quests, so everyone  should get them.  You get Matoclaw’s Band from the Molten Front quests after only one day of questing.  You can also get the Band of Glittering Lights from finishing the Filling the Moonwell quest.  Those last two are not huge upgrades (if at all) over the previous tier’s epic rings, such as the Hornet Sting Band or the Signet of the Elder Council.


We can all drool over the Matrix Restabilizer, but you’ll have to kill Ragnaros to have a shot at it.  And, like all trinkets, rings, and neck items, you’ll have to out-roll hunters and feral druids for it.  After that, our old friend Fluid Death still holds up as a top option for the trinket slot, and you can get it for Justice Points now.   Look for The Hungerer as your next-best option when you kill Majordomo Staghelm.  You can buy the Ancient Petrified Seed when you get to Revered with the Avengers of Hyjal faction, but that’s not too much of an upgrade over old favorites like heroic Tia’s Grace (from Lost City).

Main Hand Dagger

There aretwo slow daggers that drop in Firelands and they are pretty similar.  They are Avool’s Incendiary Dagger, which can drop from any Firelands boss, and Feeding Frenzy from Shannox.  If you’ve got some gold you can buy Brainsplinter, which is crafted by blacksmiths who have the pattern from Firelands trash.  It doesn’t require any hard-to-find mats so it won’t be outrageously expensive.  Your best pre-T12 option is the Organic Lifeform Inverter from Omnotron Defense System in BWD.

Off Hand Dagger

There are two good fast daggers that drop in the Firelands.  Alysra’s Razor (from Alysrazor) is the best due to its gem socket.  Also good is the Entrail Disgorger that drops from Lord Rhyolith.  Pre-Firelands, you can buy Scaleslicer from the auction house (it drops randomly from pickpocketing, so don’t try and farm it) or you can get Uhn’agh Fash, the Darkest Betrayal from Cho’gall in BoT.


For pure itemization, the bow Arathar, the Eye of Flame from Ragnaros is our top option.  However, its not a thrown weapon, and if you roll on that all the hunters in the world will come to your house and kill your cat.  What rogues are looking for is the Morningstar Shard, for only 700 Valor Points.  As an alternative, for a few thousand gold you can usually find Spinerender on the auction house.  Its a random drop from pickpocketing.


The Loot Gods are Toying With Me

Last week we killed Shannox and I was lucky enough to score Feeding Frenzy, which was a nice upgrade to my main hand dagger.

This week we killed Shannox again.  He dropped Avool’s Incendiary Shanker… another slow main hand dagger.

What?  Two slow daggers from the same boss?

It turns out that Feeding Frenzy is a Shannox drop, while Avool’s is a shared drop from any of the bosses in Firelands.

So now I have two nearly identical slow daggers.  I’ll end up dropping a few thousand gold on a Landslide enchant for my Shanker and reforging my gear to squeeze out maybe a 20 dps theoretical improvement (essentially no change).  Maybe I’ll find a place where weapon-swapping is useful again.

I could complain about poor loot distribution by the designers, but it just happens that my guild has only one raiding rogue so I ended up with both daggers.  Its weird to gripe about getting raid loot.  I got two drops in two weeks, but it feels like the loot gods are taunting me.


Making Gold

WoW has been getting a little routine of late.  The new Firelands raid is fun, but I’m through with running heroics and I have been looking to fill up my time with other pursuits.

At the end of Wrath, I discovered the wonders of Inscription.  Back then it was an unlimited gold mine.  I went from having a few thousand gold in my pocket to 100,000+ over the last couple of months of Wrath.

Once Cataclysm’s changes crushed the glyph market, I backed off my gold-making business.  I still make and sell glyphs, but only enough to break even with my expenses.  It has allowed me to buy some BoE epics and crafted gear, and gear up alts quickly, but I was no longer pushing to stockpile gold.

A couple of months ago I leveled a dwarf rogue to 85 for the Stay Classy guild achievement.  I made him an alchemist and jewelcrafter since I had never played a character with either of those professions.  Suddenly, I discovered another gold mine.  Transmuting gems with alchemy and then cutting and selling them through JC, the gold started to roll in again. I can happily sit in Stormwind and watch my gems sell almost as fast as I post them, with me restocking my auctions as they go.  The only limit on my profits is the amount of ore I can prospect, and the rate I can buy new cuts.

Maybe its just because of the gear influx after Patch 4.2.  Perhaps this gold rush won’t keep up.  I only started doing JC dailies a few weeks ago, but I’ve made nearly 50k from jewelcrafting.  It has replaced glyphs as my gold making industry.  (I still make glyphs, but they account for only about 1/5 of my gold income).

Why make gold?  One – it gives me something to do other than Molten Front dailies when I’m not raiding.  Two –  my wife just started playing again and she discovered the existence of the Vial of the Sands.  She’s set her sights on that, and that means she’ll be asking me for about 29k to buy the mats.  My original goal was just to make the gold she needed for that, but its coming in so easily now that I’m hooked.  I’m not going for the gold cap – just having fun.



Rogue Gear from Unlockable Firelands Vendors

If you’ve been doing your Firelands dailies religiously, then sometime this week you will have your 125 Marks of the World Tree, and you will have the choice of which quest to turn in first.  There is Additional Armaments, Filling the Moonwell, or Calling the Ancients.  Turning in one of those quests at the Sanctuary of Malorne will open up a vendor in the Molten Front.  Each quest opens a different vendor.  Which one to choose?

Available rogue gear:

From Additional Armaments, you will have access to Ricket’s Magnetic Fireball.   The trinket has lots of agility, which is great.  However, crit is generally a weak stat for all rogue specs, and since the crit is from an “on use” ability we can’t reforge it.  Its not bad if you’re still sporting a blue trinket, but even some of the heroic 5-man trinkets will outfperform this.

Also, completing Additional Armaments opens up a lot of new blacksmithing patterns and some engineering patterns (including Flintlocke’s Woodchucker), if you have one of those professions.

From Filling the Moonwell, you’ll be able to buy the Band of Glittering Lights.  Its a small upgrade from the 359 rings.  This vendor also sells a tailoring and two leatherworking patterns for new gathering bags.

From Calling the Ancients you can get Aviana’s Grips.  The mastery on them looks good for assassination rogues.  These are a very small upgrade from the T11 gloves, and there are better ones that drop from Shannox in Firelands if you are progressing there.

If you have been raiding T11 content, then none of these items will blow you away.  If you are still in pre-raid gear then pick the best upgrade.

All three vendors have a minipet for sale.  All three have some sort of vanity item as well.  One other difference is that Call of the Ancients can get you an additional 3 Marks each day from a new daily quest.  Additional Armaments can get you 2 extra marks per day.  Filling the Moonwell gets you no marks as it does not open any new dailies.

You will eventually get all of them if you keep doing dailies and unlocking vendors, so none of the choices is irrevocable.



A Rogue in Firelands – Shannox

This post describes rogue tactics for a boss fight in the Firelands raid. The focus is on the 10-man version of the fights, since that’s what most people will be running. If you have suggestions for alternate strategies, or if I say something that you disagree with, please put it in the comments.

This is not meant to be a full raid strategy guide. It are written to describe the role of rogues (or other melee dps) during the encounters. For full strategy guides refer to Raid Boss Strategies or WoWpedia.


This is the first boss in the Firelands raid.  You’ll need to clear a lot of trash to get him to spawn.  As you clear trash, you’ll get alerts that his horn is sounding.  When he actually spawns, he yells an emote letting you know that he is near.  He will path around the road in the central trash area, and he moves pretty quickly.

There is a bit of target-switching in this fight, which is inconvenient for rogues when trying to keep our various abilities up.  You get enough single-target- focus time that its not too terribly frustrating.  And there are traps! (but you probably won’t disarm them)
Shannox is a hunter and he has two hellhounds with him, imaginatively named Riplimb and Rageface (probably named by Shannox’ 5-year old demonic kid).  There are various strategies for the dps order, so pay close attention to your raid leader’s instructions.


Rageface repeatedly wipes his aggro table and cannot be tanked.  He will jump around the raid, alternately attacking various people.  He doesn’t hit terribly hard.  If he attacks you (his regular attack, not his special attack) then you can use Evasion to avoid much of the damage.

Periodically he uses his special attack, called Face Rage.  When he does that, he leaps and pins someone down and does a flurry of attacks on that person.  If its you, then you are stunned and can’t do anything, so Vanish and Evasion won’t help you unless you can somehow pop one of them preemptively (not sure if that can be done).

If he is going all Rage-Face on someone else, they only way to make him stop is to hit him with a single attack of over 30k damage.  For any rogue spec at this gear level, a 5-point Eviscerate or Envenom crit should do the trick. Mutilate rogues can pop their Cold Blood to assure a crit, especially if he’s raging on a healer.
Tip: You’ll want to check your Recount/Skada logs after the fight.  Look to make sure that your finisher crits are exceeding 30k.  If not, then you could use some more gear or enchants or something.

My raid burned down Rageface first because he is a nuisance.  When he dies, Shannox gets a damage buff, but its not unhealable.

Shannox, Traps, and Flaming Spears

While this is going on, Shannox is throwing traps around (stupid hunters).  Some are immolation traps, which do fire damage and put a fire DoT and increase fire damage.  The DoT and damage increase debuff can be Cloaked if you happen to step on one.  The best course, obviously, is to maneuver around the traps and avoid them.  Its not too hard.

He also places Crystal Prison trap.  These encase you in a prison that has to be dps’ed down to break a player out.  And they have a lot of health, so its no small task to break one.  Make extra sure that you don’t step on these, and prioritize breaking a healer out if they get trapped.

Now, any good rogue is currently saying to himself, “Traps? Can I disarm them?”  The answer is yes.  However, that’s time that you are not doing any damage, or maintaining any of your buffs/debuffs on your target.  I don’t think there is a good reason to spend time disarming traps rather than attacking.

The dogs can step on the traps, too.  This is a useful strategy if you can maneuver them.

In addition, Shannox throws his spear frequently during the fight.  Where it lands, it makes a spirally pattern of fire around itself.  You should step out of the fire eruptions, or Cloak if you cannot get out.  They won’t kill you, but they will do enough damage that you’re susceptible to quick death from a trap or Face Rage.


The other dog is Riplimb.  He gets off-tanked.  He will run and fetch Shannox’s spear whenever it is thrown.  This time is crucial, because both tanks can drop their debuffs while Riplimb is playing fetch.  Its important that Riplimb take as long as possible to run back and forth.  You can help with that by putting Crippling Poison on your thrown weapon and hitting Riplimb with a FoK as he goes by (or use DP with Deadly Brew).

If your raid has enough ranged dps, then you might not get assigned to dps Riplimb.  If you do have to attack him, its a hassle because he runs back and forth a lot playing fetch with Shannox’s spear.  During that time its hard to keep on target.  Also, while you are chasing him you have to avoid the traps which are littering the ground.  Other than that, he’s simple to dps.

Both dogs need to die before Shannox reaches 30% health.  Typically, strategies call for one dog to be killed (usually Rageface) and the health of the other dog and Shannox balanced so that the second dog (usually Riplimb) dies when Shannox is very close to 30%.

Final Push

When the second dog dies, its all-out dps on Shannox for his final 30%.  There will be traps thrown everywhere and the tank will be kiting the boss around to avoid them.  If you’re following behind the boss its hard to see the traps, so I like to stand off to his side as he is moved around the area.  Note that Shannox is untauntable, so if you pull aggro you’re in trouble.  I’ve heard that Vanish is not dropping threat like its supposed to, so be careful.

If you manage to take him down, assassination rogues are looking for Feeding Frenzy as their new main hand dagger.  Others are hoping for the Gloves of Dissolving Smoke (with a load of mastery, so also preferred by assassination rogues).


Coming Up…

I haven’t been posting here because I’ve been busy playing.  This happens at the start of every summer.  I throw all my free time into the game at first, and then I slow down and I can catch up on other things like blogging.  Also the patch has kept me bust with dailies on three characters, plus trying to make gold with multiple professions.

Coming up soon:

  • I never finished writing rogue guides for the T11 content.  Now that its been nerfed, a lot more people will be running it, and often on alts.  I’ll post rogue guides for all the T11 bosses.
  • We start on T12 this week (hopefully).  I’ll try to post rogue guides for the T12 stuff while it is current.
  • New rogue gear.
  • Updated rogue resources.



This Seems Familiar

On my server, its Horde that griefs.  I’m sure that there are Alliance players that act this way as well, but in overwhelming numbers its Horde.  (I am on a PvE server)  I am equally sure than on other servers its the Alliance that does most of the griefing.

The first day of patch 4.2, and the new Thrall questline opened up.  Here we are killing lots of elementals to move forward in the quests.  As we do this, we’re surrounded by Horde who are flagged PvP.  If we use any AoE or multi-target abilities, we might hit them and get flagged ourselves, and then we get dog-piled.  Corpse run time…

It was the same situation in the new Firelands daily quest zone.

This reminds me very much of the Isle of Quel’Danas.  I did a post about the PvP impact on Quel’Danas progress  way back in March of 2008.  It was clear at that time that players on PvP servers made slower progress through the gated content than on PvE servers.  The obvious conclusion is that all the mutual ganking made the dailies either impossible to complete, or made people put them off until the online population was low.  Or, if a sever has an imbalanced horde vs alliance population, then one faction simply can’t do the dailies at all.

I can envision a PvP server where one faction is dominant, and its all but impossible for the other faction to do the Firelands dailies except in the middle of the night.

Is that happening now?  Can anyone on a PvP server comment?


Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
July 2011
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