WotLK Rogue Guide (Level 80)

WotLK Rogue Guide (Level 80)

Wrath Rogue Guide


  1. Stat caps
  2. Early Combat spec and play style
  3. Late Combat spec and play style
  4. BiS list
  5. Enchants
  6. FAQ & Tips
  7. Bug Section

CP – Combo Point
SS – Sinister Strike
FoK – Fan of Knives
SnD – Slice and Dice
Evi – Eviscerate
Rup – Rupture
AR – Adrenaline Rush
BF – Blade Flurry
KS – Killing Spree
TotT – Tricks of the Trade
IP – Instant Poison
DP – Deadly Poison
AoE – Area of Effect
Go# – Glyph of #

Stat Caps

Hit Rating. The most important thing about DPSing no matter what you do is getting Hit-capped. No other stat matters at all if you’re not Hit-capped. It does not matter if you crit for 10k Sinister Strike if that SS *misses*! Hit rating until the Hit-cap is the biggest DPS increase you will get. So, the Hit-cap for special melee abilities is 8%. You MUST always have it! No Sinister Strike misses, no finisher misses. The Hit-cap for spells (poisons) is 17%. You might want to have this as well, since poisons are a very big & important part of Rogue DPS. The Hit-cap for Dual Wield auto-attacks is 25%. It is NOT worth it reaching this cap.
Q: How do I reach the Hit-cap? – 5% from Precision, 1% from Heroic Presence (Draenei) and you got 2% left, which you will get without even trying. From there on it’s about gemming & gear choices.
Q: Should I aim for the spell-cap as Combat? – even though you don’t get nearly as much DPS from Poisons as Assassination, they still yield a lot of your DPS. So… you should, but it’s not your #1 priority.
Expertise comes second after Hit. When attacking from the front (happens in dynamic fights) it is twice as important as Hit. However, you get a good quantity of +Exp from Weapon Expertise & Racial Weapon Specializations, making the 21 Exp cap easily obtainable just from gear. Furthermore, Exp loses half of its value just by the fact that you’re attacking from behind (NPCs cannot Parry from behind, they can still Dodge) and then another big chunk from Surprise Attacks enabling your finishers to ALWAYS land when Hit-capped & attacking from behind.
Armor Penetration – this stat allows you to ignore an enemy’s armor. Generally speaking, bosses have around 30% mitigation from armor. ArP is your most important secondary DPS stat as Combat, as almost all of your damage is physical. There are 2 ArP caps – the soft and the hard cap. The hard cap is 1400 – it means you’ll (theoretically) ignore all of the target’s armor. It is obtainable somewhere between ICC10 and ICC25 gear. Before that point you should be aiming for the ArP soft cap, which is the amount of ArP you need to reach 1400 when your ArP trinket procs.
An ArP trinket is a <must-have> for anyone starting Combat. When it procs, it causes your attacks to almost fully ignore the opponent’s armor if you are already ArP-soft-capped. This is a list of the 3 pre-ICC ArP-proc trinkets:

Early Combat Spec and Play Style

This is the talent build you should be using as a Combat PvE in early gear levels (see below for more info)
5cp SnD + 5cp Rup is the basic Combat rotation. It will yield most of your DPS and make a mediocre Rogue out of you, but that’s not what you’re aiming I guess… 😉
In those times when you wait for either Rupture or SnD to fade, you should include an Eviscerate or two. You could spare some CPs from your SnD and take them into your Eviscerate filler.
In this case your rotation should be 3cpSnD + 5cpRup + 5cpEvis.
“So why should I use Rupture as Combat instead of just spamming Eviscerate?” – short answer: because you don’t have enough ArP yet to make Evi worth spamming. Until you get there, Rupture will be higher on your list.
Rupture is a very important finisher early-game for Combat Rogues. SnD + Rup has been the bread & butter for Rogues ever since this game exists. There are also a lot of Set bonuses which favor Rupture. Such is the T9 Set2 Bonus – you *should* stick with the early-game Rupture build & rotation as long as you have this Set bonus for obvious reasons.
The glyphs you should have are not set as mandatory except for one: Glyph of Sinister Strike – you *must* have this glyph no matter what the hell are you doing. Other glyphs you can use are GoAR(+5sec is +5sec), GoFoK(your only AoE, which is the second strongest AoE in-game after Blizzard), GoSnD(for more filler-damage), GoRup(for more filler-damage), GoEvi(for more filler-damage), GoKS(more usages in 1 boss-fight). You are absolutely free to pick whichever 2 from these that you want, but your 3rd glyph must always be GoSS!

Late Combat Spec and Play Style

This is the talent build you should be using after you get hard-capped.
The Combat part of the build, as you can see, stays the same. However, there are changes in the Assassination part, the effects of which change the play-style of your Rogue from this point on. Instead of striving to keep Rupture up and include an Eviscerate from time to time, you are now going to spam Eviscerate. So the fight will basically be a 5cpSnD and then just spam Evisc and refresh SnD when you see it’s going to fade.
The glyphs you are going to use. Again GoSS and also GoEvisc, since it is now a big chunk of your DPS. You are free to get whichever glyph you like from the others – GoAR, GoSnD,GoFoK, GoTotT, GoKS.
The energy needed to perform those moves comes from Vitality & Combat Potency. Because of that second talent, you must ALWAYS have a fast weapon in your OffHand (and a slow one in your MainHand for hard-hitting Sinister Strikes, ofcourse). Choosing 5/5 Rele Strikes over improving your poisons will also help you in this direction.

BiS List

The below contains the Best in Slot list for Combat Rogues. Clarifications are found under the list.
This gear will net you 1070 ArP. The remaining 330 of your ArP will come from your red gems and your favorite food.
Details about DBW: The trinket procs 3 random stats, depending on the class. The duration is 30 seconds and the ICD of the trinket is 105 seconds. For Rogues these are the procs:
1) Agility of the Vrykul – 700 Agility
2) Speed of the Vrykul – 700 Haste
3) Power of the Taunka – 1400 AP
What you should ALWAYS keep in mind when upgrading and changing gear is stats balance – never lose your Hit & Exp cap and try not to sacrifice ArP unless the upgrade is too big. The reason I am saying this is because you can easily get ArP capped before BiS, but a lot of people make the mistake of sacrificing crucial stats in order to do so, and then come here asking why their DPS is so low. Always balance your stats!


Weapons: hScroll of Enchant Weapon – Berserking on both MH and OH
Since KotEB and SoH reputations tend to not work, the PvP enchants are also an option, as well as the Inscription enchants, of course.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) So which is better for PvE – Combat or Assassination? – In the general case, in a motionless tank’n’spank fight Assassination will always outperform Combat (considering same gear & skill levels). However, a lot of raid fights require movement, target switching & interacting. This is how it is supposed to be – otherwise it would be boring. This is where Assassination’s flaw is – changing targets, losing the 5xDP stacks and the Envenom buff results in a massive DPS drop for Assassination. And this is where Combat shines – it does not rely on DP as much as Assassination, it doesn’t have a short-time buff to keep up, so everything you have to do in a dynamic fight is just to make sure you have SnD up & continue spamming SS… And then, of course, we have personal preferences – if you like Combat more than Assassination, don’t ask which of the 2 you should play if you already have the answer in your head 🙂
2) What kind of weapons should I use and which poison goes to which weapon? – Ideally, a slow sword/axe in your main hand and a fast sword/axe in your off-hand. IP should go to the slow weapon and DP should go to the fast weapon. The reason is that after DP gets 5 stacks it starts proccing the other poison when it is refreshed.
Killing Spree
KSpree is your highest burst ability and Combat’s signature move. Be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when using Killing Spree as it can easily kill you and it can even wipe the whole raid group on certain bosses like Thaddius. Yes, it was funny, but my friend’s Guild Officers didn’t think so… You can use KSpree in conjunction with TotT to help your tank with a massive aggro boost. You should watch your Proc trinket and any crucial debuffs on your target too and then use your trinket and KSpree for maximum effect. Watch to have 5xDP on your target before you perform this – KSpree can and will proc poisons.
Blade Flurry
BF is a short-cd (2min) skill which increases your attack speed by 20% and grants you the same effect as Sweeping Strikes, allowing your attacks to strike a nearby target in Melee range as well. Activating BF means you get a short DPS boost right away since Auto Attacks are Combat’s main source of damage. However, there are some smart ways to use BF. The skill works very good in conjunction with KSpree and Fan of Knives. Combined with KSpree when attacking 2 nearby targets in Melee range will result in doubling the effect of KSpree. Combine BF with FoK and activate Adrenaline Rush before that and you will get the most insane AoE damage in the whole game for the duration of BF and AR.
Weapon Specialization
Weapon Spec in PvE is an issue that a lot of Rogues hate. Basically because they have to respec every time they get a cool new weapon. This is the reason why it got removed on Cataclysm. Having said that, weapon specialization depends mainly on what type are your current best weapons in possession. Of course, there are some general things that should be mentioned about Weapon Specialization.
  • Mace Spec – good if you are in a hurry to reach the ArP hard-cap.
  • CQC – crit is always nice, but not as nice as H&S
  • H&S – the general talent of choice, H&S is unrelated to ArP or crit – it just grants you an extra hit… which can proc poisons & crit. I think this makes it clear why H&S is the best choice.