By Dinaer

In Cataclysm, it seems that all three rogue specs are viable.  Subtlety is 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 expansion.

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 sword 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 both 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.  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

11 Responses to “Rogue Raid Preparation – Cataclysm Version”

  1. December 28, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Thank you very much this is a HUGE help. (:

  2. 3 Roflpwn
    January 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    “Subtlety is looking a little rough for two reasons:

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

    For number 1 did you mean combat and assassination? I mean it’s pretty obvious you did, but just to clarify.

  3. 6 Furrycane
    March 11, 2011 at 2:46 am

    “Subtlety is looking a little rough…”

    But +30% Agility is so sexy for a rogue! My unbuffed attack power is over 13k!
    I know, I know; Assassination and Combat get great bonuses too. But nothing funner than tons of agi, Shadowstep, and the new 4.1 version of Nightstalker!

    • March 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

      I agree that Blizzard is doing everything in their power to make subtlety look attractive. However, the attack rotation is still very punishing on anything other than single target fights. For soloing, PvP, and fights like Argaloth its definitely worth trying.

  4. 8 Furrycane
    March 17, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Check out this (relatively) new Elitest Jerks thread on raiding as Subtlety:

    The author claims to actually be getting slightly better dps as sub than as assassination in heroic Cataclysm raids, although he is getting 18-20k either way. He does agree that Subtlety is more demanding, but offers a whole list of advantages, including some that run counter to traditional thinking (e.g., Sub’s shadow step and burst damage makes it good for switching targets).

    I am not doing heroic raids yet (still working to clear normals), but will add that I find it easy to top damage meters as sub vs. Magmaw: Shadow Dance + Exposed Head = insane dps. You can even Shadow Step once the head is securely down (doing so any other time in this fight puts you in the lava).

  5. April 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering
    which blog platform are you using for this website?

    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  6. April 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  7. January 25, 2014 at 10:45 am

    “Rogue Raid Preparation – Cataclysm Version | Forever a Noob – A WoW Rogue Blog” in
    reality got myself hooked on ur blog! I personallywill be back
    considerably more normally. With thanks -Finley

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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)
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