WoW Class:Rogue  

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RacesBlood Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Orc, Troll, Undead
Talent TreesCombat, Subtlety, Assassination


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The cat burglar. The street thug. The ruthless assassin. All of these people are united in that they often transgress the law to succeed, and by hook or crook, they will take what they need. Usually not one to engage in open confrontation, rogues do not fight a fair fight, and typically the first indication a rogue is nearby is from the dagger in your back.

Rogues are the shady and the under-handed of Azeroth. Always looking out for themselves, rogues will employ whatever dirty tricks they can to win a fight, often ambushing or gouging their opponents. Capable as thieves, agents, assassins, and thugs, rogues represent a large group of characters, none of whom is completely on the up-and-up.

Rogues are melee combatants that focus on their skills rather than their armor to keep them alive. Masters of moving in stealth, crafty rogues have skills for just about every situation, and without mana, they are generally only limited by their own endurance -- one only has the energy to do so much at once.

Rogues make for the best single-targest damage in the game, and this often brings them into groups, who might also want a rogue around to sneak ahead and scout or sap an opponent, or to pick the locks on doors and chests. This does require the rogue to be up front and possibly in the line of fire, however.

Available Races

Every class can play rogue except for Tauren and Draenei. Perhaps the best-known rogue was Garona, the half-orc assassin that murdered King Llane during the first war. Each class has different abilities that improve the gameplay of the rogue.

Dwarves Have racial traits Find Treasure and Stoneform. Find treasure allows the dwaves to locate lock boxes on the minimap which enable Lockpicking to be levelled much more easily. Stoneform clears poisons, disease and bleed effects. Can be extremely useful in PvP when battling a number of enemies that employ those attacks.
Gnomes As well as their small size making it tricky for them to be targeted they also posses the racial passive Escape Artist. This spell allows the gnome to escape from snare and root effects once every 1 min 45 seconds without having to use vanish.
Humans 5% increase in spirit as well as a 10% bonus to faction reputation gain. Also posses the racial ability Perception which greatly increases stealth detection for 20 seconds. This gives human rogues a great advantage when tackling other rogues in PvP.
Night Elves Increased dodge, increased stealth and the highest base agility in the game. Also have the racial ability Shadowmeld. This acts like a stationary version of stealth which can add a new dimension to rogue tactics.

Blood Elves New to the Burning Crusade expansion Blood Elves posses two racial abilities - Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent. Mana tap is used to drain the mana of an opponent, making them a formidable opponent to casters. Arcane Torrent has two uses, to cases an AoE silence as well as restoring 30 energy to the rogue. Blood elves also have +5 resistance to all school of magic.
Orcs have 2 racial abilities - Blood Fury and Hardiness. Blood Fury increases the Rogue's DPS for 15 seconds based on level but also decreases healing recieved by 50%. Hardiness increases the rogue's resistance to stun effects by 15%.
Undead have two racial abilities - Will of the Forsaken and Cannibalize. Will of the Forsaken allows the rogue to get rid of charm, fear and sleep effects, which makes them formiddable opponents to any priests, warlock and warriors in PvP. Cannibalise allows the rogue to regain health from humanoid or undead corpses, minimalising the downtime of the rogue. Undead also have the added bonus of being able to stay underwater for four times longer than other races. This adds a extra dimension to stealth and escape for undead rogues.
Trolls have the racials Regeneration and Berserking. Regeneration allows a Troll to maintain 10% of their health regeneration while in combat, increasing survivability and minimizing downtime. Berserking is an activated racial ability that increases attack speed relative to the amount of health remaining. Combined with Slice and Dice this can increase the rogue's attack speed to 45% - 55%. This increases the rogue's application of poisons and DPS by a great amount. Trolls also have a +1% critical strike bonus to bows and thrown skills.

Class capabilities

  • Tanking: poor
  • Healing: none
  • Damage: very high
  • Utility and support: moderate
  • Talent trees: Combat (Straightforward combat), Subtlety (Stealth skills and tactics), Assassination (Poisons and critical attacks)

Weapon proficiencies:

  • Dagger (starting weapon)
  • Sword
  • Mace
  • Fist Weapon
  • Bow
  • Crossbow
  • Gun
  • Thrown
  • Axes (new in WOTLK)

Armor proficiencies:

  • Cloth
  • Leather

Rogues use stealth to avoid detection by opponents so they can get the drop on them. Through the course of fighting, certain attacks will grant combo points to the rogue, which allows him to perform a finishing move that becomes stronger with an increasing number of combo points available.

It should also be noted that rogues activate their abilities using energy rather than mana. The rogue's energy bar always has a maximum of 100 points (excluding any bonuses,) and they recover 10 energy every second. Abilities cost anywhere from 10 to 60 energy, meaning the rogue will never be left helpless for long, but they may have to wait a moment to catch a second wind.

Rogues primarily fight by dual wielding one-handed weapons.

The three areas of focus for rogues are Combat, Assassination, and Subtlety. Combat is the preferred talent tree for rogues who like a (sort of) fair fight, and use brute force to get the job done. Assassination is for brutally slaughtering opponents, using whatever techniques you are able to, often through the use of stealth and finishing moves. Subtlety is the aspect of the rogue class that avoids detection and does not actively attempt to engage in battle, much like a thief would.

Rogues also have the unique ability of being able to utilise poisons. There are a wide range of poisons available to rogues to use in a variety of situations. Deadly, Instant and Anesthetic poisons are used to add to the Rogue's damage output. Deadly poison is a DoT effect whereas Instant and Anesthetic poisons are instant effect. Crippling poison can slow the enemy down by 70% which makes it very useful for PvP. Mind numbing Poison increases the enemy's casting time and Wound poison reduces the effect that heals have on the target.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Rogues are capable of dealing large amounts of damage over long periods of time. Because they don't run out of mana, length of battle is rarely an issue so long as they haven't died. Obviously, stealth plays a big part in the strength of a rogue, and they gain the ability to Vanish from combat if they are in trouble.

However, rogues are primarily a short-range class. If they are detected from a distance, they may have difficulty dealing with a ranged attacker such as a hunter or mage. Additionally, many rogue abilities are on a cooldown of 5 minutes, making it difficult to use all advantages at once on a routine basis.

  • Rogue Ability List
  • Strengths
    • Able to sneak past danger, or sneak up behind their kills. Also has the ability to reach areas that others cannot, without being seen.
    • Excellent at dealing damage in a hurry
    • Able to pick locks other classes have no way of opening
    • Abilities to respond to mostly any situation
  • Weaknesses
    • Fights in melee range but gets no better than leather armor
    • Many abilities have reagents or cooldowns
    • No range on primary abilities until the high level finishing move

Group roles and expectations

Rogues are expected to deal damage, plain and simple. It is possible the group may ask the rogue to be the main assist or to sap a target at the beginning of combat, but the primary purpose for bringing a rogue to a party is to hurt things. Rogues can also pick locks on chests and doors. Rogues play an important and often vital role in fights where the enemy has healing abilities. Kick, Gouge and Kidney Shot are vital to prevent heals and spells going off possibly saving your party from an untimely death!

Class Quests

Every rogue is offered a few early quests from their trainers. At level 10, rogues have the ability to learn lockpicking. At level 16, there's the ability to learn about the use of poisons. After that, there is virtually nothing.

For a complete list of Rogue quests, look here.

Damage Efficiency in Raids

The most standard and common build for a raiding rogue is a "Combat Swords" build. Combat swords focuses on the use of a slow main-hand with high damage and a faster off-hand to make use of the Combat Potency talent. The sword specialization talent gives a chance for a sword weapon to strike an additional time, there is a five percent chance of this talent occurring at 5/5 maxed. The purpose of using a fast off-hand weapon is to maximize the procs from Combat Potency which will provide 15 energy at a 20 percent chance of occurring at 5/5 maxed, so the more the off-hand attacks the greater the chance of gaining energy.

1s/5r is a fairly common term used to describe how combo points will be spent while in a raid or group. The "s" stands for Slice and Dice while the "r" stands for Rupture. Slice and dice is usually improved by talents and/or the rogue tier four set Netherblade 2 piece set bonus which increases the duration of Slice and Dice by three seconds. So one combo point is to be spent on casting Slice and Dice while five combo points are gained to cast the Rupture ability. This use of combo points is a very good way of maximizing DPS on bleed-able mobs.

This page last modified 2009-10-06 14:12:02.