Posts Tagged ‘Rogue


Reputation Rewards for Rogues in Mists of Pandaria

**Edited to reflect that Justice Point gear had its reputation requirement removed in a hotfix after launch**

This post is based on what I know as of a week before launch.  I’ll update it if I learn more or if things change.

As you level, you’ll earn reputation with many of the available factions through the questing that you do.  Once you reach the level cap there will be a large number of repeatable quests with most factions to grind out rep.  Interestingly, none of the factions require you to reach Exalted to buy their armor.  You get the rare (blue quality) items at Honored, and then the epic (purple) items at Revered.  The reason to get to Exalted is for vanity gear like mounts.

Also keep in mind that you no longer earn reputation by wearing a tabard in dungeon runs.  In MoP, its all questing and dailies.

Here’s a rundown on what you’ll look for.

The Klaxxi

This faction is found in the Dread Wastes.  It provides a blue quality wrist item that you can get at HonoredCruel Mercy Bracers , a blue quality one-handed mace at Revered – Amber Sledge of Klaxi’vass -and a purple neck item at Revered – the Choker of the Klaxxi’va as well as a purple waist slot item, the Klaxxi Lash of the Borrower and a purple leg slot, the Dreadsworn Slayer Legs. It also has a lot of blacksmithing plans and a scorpion mount at exalted.  Oddly, there is also a blue quality dagger at Exalted – the Amber Slicer of Klaxxi’vess.

Golden Lotus

Located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.  From this group you can get a blue quality neck item at HonoredAmulet of Swirling Mists and a blue quality hand slot at HonoredSurehand Grips.  There is a mastery trinket at Honored also with an interesting ability (PvP?) – Mogu Rune of Paralysis.  They have a lot of leatherworking and tailoring patterns at Honored as well.  At Revered you can get an epic ring – Anji’s Keepsake, epic boots – Softfoot Silentwrap – and an epic shoulder – Imperion Spaulders.

You need to get to Revered with Golden Lotus to start dailies with the August Celestials and Shado-Pan.

The August Celestials

This group has a lot of stuff.  You’ll find their quest hub in the Krasarang Wilds, but you unlock them by getting to a certain rep with the Golden Lotus.  At Honored you can get a blue cloak (Bladesong Cloak) and a blue quality chest (Refurbished Zandalari Vestment).  At Revered you will find the purple Fingers of the Loneliest Monk for your hand slot, Tukka Tuk’s Hairy Boots for your feet, and Quillpaw Family Bracers for your wrist.  There are three enchanting recipes at Revered, and two mounts plus a tailoring recipe (28 slot bag!) at Exalted.


This faction – found in the Townlong Steppes and another follow-up after the Golden Lotus – has a few good rogue items.  At Honored you can buy the blue quality Mark of the Dancing Crane for your finger slot or the Tough Mushanhide Leggings for your legs.  Once you hit revered you have access to the epic Blackguard Cape, Red Smoke Bandana for your head, and Hawkmaster’s Talon trinket (look at all that agility!).  Plus they have some enchanting recipes and mounts.



Here are the reputation items available for the various slots:

Note the general lack of daggers and swords.  Other than quest rewards, you’ll have to run instances to find those, or watch the auction house and be prepared to pay big-time gold for the few BoE weapons around.

There are an absolute ton of daily quests for these factions that open up at level 90.  Blizzard has removed the cap on the number of daily quests you can do each day, so be prepared to get to work.


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.



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.


Rogue Hit caps in Cataclysm at level 85

This page was for the Cataclysm expansion.  It is out of date as of August 28, 2012

To see the hit caps for level 85 Rogues during patch 5.0.4 (pre-Mists) go here


This is an update of my post on hit rating from way back in 2008.  I’ve reworked the numbers to reflect the new figures at level 85 and the Cataclysm changes.  The discussion of the mechanics of hit rating is still the same.

If you read the mechanics post back in 2008, or if you just want the numbers, then scroll to the bottom where there is a chart.


When looking at relative weights of stats, the first priority for any rogue is to get to a point where their attacks will hit reliably.  Since we dual wield, we suffer a significant hit penalty.  We likely won’t get to a point where we never miss.  However, it is possible to get our stats so that our special attacks (e.g. sinister strike, mutilate) never miss and our poisons are never resisted.  That is vitally important, because our special attacks give us our combo points, crits, procs, and energy return, and poisons (especially for assassination rogues) are a huge portion of our dps.

While leveling, its nice to get some hit rating, but you don’t need to focus on it. Once you get to 85 and you are doing endgame heroics and raids, then you will want to find gear with hit rating. How much do you need?

Rather than just throw numbers at you, here is an explanation of how hit rating works, along with the numbers that we need to aim for.  (FYI – I am a teacher in RL.. I can’t help it)

Warning, some math to follow. Pass this point with caution.

There is no magic number. Some classes try to be hit-capped, meaning that they will never miss. For rogues (and fury warriors, ret paladins, and dual-wielding shamans) that’s out of reach for now. Get as much as you can without making huge sacrifices to Agility, Crit Rating, Haste, etc..  Lets look at the “caps” in our ratings.

There are three separate miss chances – one calculation for white damage, another for special attacks, and a third for poisons (treated as a spell).

Special Attacks

For special attacks, the chance to miss is 8% against tier 11 raid bosses.

White Damage

For regular attacks (white damage) at level 85, the chance to miss when dual wielding is

   23% + (mob level - your level)*.5%

Unless the opponent is more than two levels higher than you. If that is the case then the equation is

   21% + (mob level - your level)*2%

Translated to simple percentages, that will mean a 23% chance to miss against a level 85 foe, a 24% chance to miss against a level 87 boss (heroics) and a 27% chance to miss a level 88 T11 raid boss with your autoattacks (white damage). So, to be completely hit-capped you would have to have enough hit rating to reduce your chance to miss by 27%.


Poisons are treated as a spell.  The hit rating calculations are different.   At level 85, the chance to miss a level 88 tier 11 raid boss with a spell is 17%.

Pause, take a deep breath. More math coming.

The amount of +hit% that you get from hit rating changes with level. That’s one way that Blizzard scales the combat system. The numbers that you got used to pre-Cataclysm are no longer valid.

The conversion from hit rating to hit % is now this: For a level 85 character, 120.109 hit rating = 1% reduction in chance to miss for melee combat.  (compared to 30.7548=1% back in Wrath)

Here are the +hit numbers to look for:

  1. The first +hit milestone is to reduce your chance to miss by 8%. That will mean that your special attacks never miss on raid bosses. To do that you need  961 hit rating. However, many (if not all) rogues will take points in Precision. If so, it reduces that required hit rating.  One point in Precision brings it down to 721, Two points makes it 481, and three points makes it a very manageable 241.  We’ll have that much from leveling green gear, I’d guess.
  2. Next is the Poison cap. This means that your poisons will never miss (be resisted). You need 17% for that. However, this uses the hit rating conversion for spells rather than melee. That conversion is 102.446 hit rating = 1% at level 85. So we would need 1742 hit rating without anything in Precision, 1537 with 1/3 Precision, 1332 with 2/3 Precision, 1127 with 3/3 Precision.
  3. The next one is to never miss with auto-attacks (white damage). You would need 27% for that, which is a whopping 3243 hit rating if you have not taken any points in Precision. With 3/3 Precision talent factored in, it drops to a still-high value of 2523.  You could eat some +hit rating consumables to get that figure down, but you still aren’t going to be hit-capped any time soon.

Hit rating is immensely important up to the special attack cap (+8%).  That’s called a “soft cap” because you can still increase dps by going above it.  Hit rating is still extremely important up to the poisons cap (+17% spell hit).  That’s also a soft cap because you still gain dps if you exceed it.  However, any hit rating above the poisons cap only helps your white damage, so its not as important.

The white cap is called a “hard cap” because there is no benefit at all if you exceed it.

These numbers seem very high to us compared to what we are used to in Wrath.  A quick skim over some of the level 85 gear in the WoWhead database shows that some armor pieces have upwards of 180 hit rating on them per piece.  I think that the poison cap might be tough to reach at first, but the specials cap will not be a problem.

The best advice is make sure you are above the “special attacks” cap, and try to be as close to the “poison cap” if possible (especially for Mutilate rogues). After that, you’re probably going to want to work on agility, mastery, and haste rather than hit rating, because you don’t get as much benefit from stacking hit rating.


TL; DR Summary:

0/3 Precision 1/3 Precision 2/3 Precision 3/3 Precision
Specials Cap 961 721 481 241
Poisons Cap 1742 1537 1332 1127
White Cap 3243 3003 2763 2523

Note: In Burning Crusade and WotLK, we almost always had a Draenei in our group to give us a tasty 1% buff to hit. That racial ability has been changed to self-only, so rogues will no longer get that bonus hit.

Also note: these numbers are only for the first tier of Cataclysm raiding.  As further tiers are added, the equivalent level of the bosses will increase, requiring even more hit rating on our gear to maintain the soft caps.


Rogues and damage meters, post patch 3.0.2

Almost every rogue I know has a love affair with damage meters. It goes with the fact that our one and only job is to do damage, so we had better be good at it. For me, if there is a run where I did not top the meters, then I feel like I didn’t perform at my best. I don’t post damage meters in chat – that’s e-peening at its worst. I don’t brag about my dps… damage is what I am supposed to do, so there is nothing to brag about. I use the damage meter as a check that I am doing my job.  (I use Recount for all the great graphs it provides)

The good news for rogues… in this post-patch world your damage meter totals should be beyond your wildest pre-patch imaginings.

The bad… so will everyone else’s, and maybe beyond yours.

For the next few weeks, I and a lot of rogues might be a little uncomfortable looking at our meters. Its not that the classes have all been buffed (although they have), but the fact that the way the game is played has changed, at least until November 13.

Since every tank can now do AoE threat and hold aggro on multiple mobs, raid mobs don’t hit as hard, and every healer can push through scads of healing, every pull can now be an AoE pull. In my three raids and two instances this weekend, we used almost zero crowd control. Ever. Almost every trash pull was a gather-em-up-and-nuke-em-down exercise.

That means that balance druids are in boomkin-heaven right now. Hurricane with no cooldown? Let ‘er rip. Warlocks, mages… their damage is going to be through the roof on group trash pulls.

Also, mobs are dying really, really fast. Rogues need a little time to build combo points and get into a rotation. There is little opportunity for that right now. So burst damage classes will excel on single-target trash pulls.

In our SSC run, our balance druid was posting the Recount charts in raid chat after almost every pull, until we asked him to stop. I understand that he was excited to be putting out such ridiculous damage totals. He had never been close to the top of the meters before. It didn’t bother me. I was happy for him.

Wait, who am I trying to kid? Of course it bothered me. I still have my own personal standard of performance, and I had to strive to meet it. At first I was a little frustrated with the hectic play style. Eventually I became numb to it. It was obvious that I could not keep up on most trash pulls.

Fortunately, we rogues can (and should) still be at the top on single-target boss fights. At the end of the SSC run I was the top damage overall, mostly because I nearly doubled the moonkin’s damage on the Tidewalker fight.

I expect that this should level off after the expansion. The instance mobs should hit harder in Northrend (I hope) and AoE tanking should not be the norm. If it is, then we rogues may have to get used to a new world order in damage charts.


Tricks of the Trade

One of the fun parts of leveling is gaining brand new abilites, rather than just higher ranks of old ones.  In the newest beta build, we have heard news of one for rogues… Tricks of the Trade

The current party or raid member becomes the target of your Tricks of the Trade. The threat caused by your next attack and all actions taken for 6 sec afterwards will be transferred to the target. In addition, all damage caused by the target is increased by 15% during this time. (from MMO-Insider via WoWInsider)

Its basically a misdirect-like effect for rogues.  We give extra threat to the tank from our damage, and also buff the tank for 6 sec to allow him to build his own initial threat faster.  Nice.  The story says that it has a short cooldown, so we won’t have to save it for bosses.

It also goes in line with Blizzard’s new philosophy that useful raid abilities will not be unique to any one class.  Hunters are getting a raid mana regen like shadow priests, druids are getting a group heal like shamans, and now rogues are getting a misdirect like hunters.

How will this effect rogue gameplay?  You know how, as a rogue or any dps class, how combat always begins.  THe tank grabs the mob and we dps-ers sit idly waiting for threat to build up.  No longer!  Now we can dive in there at the same moment as the tank, because all of our generated threat is helping the tank hold aggro rather than pulling it from him.

This indirectly will help our own damage output since we can start attacking faster.  It will also improve the damage of every other dps class because the tank will build good initial threat so no one has to hold back.

This is just the motivation I needed to get on the beta and try and level up.  I’d like to see this in action.


Planning my Upgrades

I’m accumulating Badges of Justice (up to 97 now), running Karazhan and Gruul’s Lair regularly, and hoping to get to Magtheridon soon. We don’t do full clears of Kara because we don’t always have someone in the raid who can summon Nightbane, and we have enough trouble with Netherspite that we leave him until last “if we have time”, and then run out of time. I am getting somewhere around 20-25 Badges a week even without running any heroics. Time to think about upgrades…

Main Hand weapon:

  • Currently using Emerald Ripper
  • Next upgrade: Blade of Serration. This is what I have been saving my Badges of Justice for. I should have the 105 Badges for it sometime next week. Of all the badge rewards I can get, I think this gives me the largest immediate increase in my damage output.

Off-Hand Weapon:

  • Currently using Swift Blade of Uncertainty
  • Next upgrade: None on the horizon. While the Edge of Oppression from heroic MgT may be a small upgrade due to its 1.3 speed and haste rating, and despite its lower dps, I don’t have any real drive to get it.


  • Currently wearing Mask of the Deceiver
  • Next upgrade: Netherblade Facemask. This is not much of an upgrade, but I need a 2nd piece of the T4 armor to get the 2-piece set bonus. The gloves from Curator are inferior to what I have, and there is a lot of competition in a 25 man raid for the T4 leggings from Gruul. In Karazhan there is not as much competition for drops, so I expect to get this the next time it drops from Prince.  Edit:  I got the Netherblade Facemask last night.  As soon as I get the Glyph for it I’ll equip it.



  • Currently wearing Bladed Shoulderpads of the Merciless
  • Next upgrade: Netherblade Shoulderpads, which are already sitting in my bank. Straight up this is not really an upgrade, but once I have a second piece of the T4 set the set bonus will help a lot. Also, I have been saving up gold so if I ever see the Swiftstrike Shoulders LW pattern on the AH I will be able to buy it, and switch this out for a different T4 piece.  Edit:  I got the T4 helm last night, so as soon as I get the proper glyphs on them I will be equipping my two T4 pieces for the set bonus.


  • Currently wearing Primalstrike Vest
  • Next upgrade: None on the horizon. The Badge gear is too small an upgrade to justify spending 100 Badges. A strongly doubt I will see the Sunwell BoE LW pattern on the AH anytime soon.



  • Currently wearing Gloves of Dextrous Manipulation
  • Next upgrade: Is Trickster’s Stickyfingers enough of an upgrade to be worth 60 Badges? If I get some other haste rating gear I would get these to stack haste. Otherwise… only if I have enough Badges after new dagger, pants, and a ring…



  • Currently wearing Fel Leather Leggings, and I have been wearing these !^$%# things since level 69, for crying out loud. These are nice pants, but also my most glaring need for an upgrade, I think.
  • Next upgrade: While it would be good to get the Netherblade Breeches from Gruul, I think that I will likely not have the DKP to get them from the other two rogues in our raid group. I hope to get the Skulker’s Greaves from Netherspite. Another option is some Badge gear. The Trousers of the Scryer’s Retainer (100 Badges of Justice) or the Shallow-Grave Trousers (75 Badges) would both be nice upgrades. Unfortunately, buying either of those now would prevent me from getting my new main-hand weapon (see above). I think the Blade of Serration will have a bigger impact on my dps, so I’m going to hope for the Greaves to drop. Badge pants rank third after the dagger and ring, so that would be a ways off. I should get a drop by then.


  • Currently wearing Edgewalker Longboots
  • Next upgrade: There are pretty good Badge boots available, but there is no way I’ll get enough Badges for a dagger, pants, ring, and boots before WotLK. So my only upgrade option right now is the Sunrage Treads from normal MgT, and that’s not much of an upgrade.



  • Currently using Hourglass of the Unraveller and Darkmoon Card: Crusade
  • Next upgrades: Ideally – the Dragonspine Trophy. However, I think that all of the rogues and hunters in my raid group are hoarding their DKP for this, so I don’t expect to get it anytime soon. I may have to suck it up and go into the wipefest that is heroic MgT for the Shard of Contempt. I expect it will cost me 70g or more in repair bills, but its a nice trinket.

The Plan…

  1. 105 Badges for Blade of Serration
  2. Skulker’s Greaves from Netherspite (hopefully soon)
  3. T4 helm from Prince combined with T4 shoulders that I already have in the bank Done!
  4. 60 Badges for Angelista’s Revenge
  5. Maybe try MgT for Sunrage Treads and/or heroic MgT for Shard of Contempt
  6. Keep an eye open for Swiftstrike LW patterns on the AH


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)
June 2018
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