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Rogue Talent Builds

January 5, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

rogue_talent_buildsDetermining the best rogue talent build for you is no easy task. It takes time to determine which rogue talent build will work best for both your individual playstyle and your preferred game type (PvP, PvE, Leveling, Etc). Rarely will you find a rogue talent build that works well for all of these criteria, which is why I’ve split up my rogue talent builds into various sub categories based on game type.

Please note that these rogue talent builds and specs are all baseline specs. As I move forward with my talent build guides I’ll be expanding the complexity and number of talent specs listed on these pages. If you have any suggestions or comments regarding these specs or specs you’d like to see more of please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Rogue Talent Builds – PvP & Arena

Rogue Talent Builds – PvE & Raiding

Rogue Talent Builds – Leveling

WotLK Rogue Changes – Patch 3.0.3

October 21, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Nothing too game breaking for this round of rogue changes, though it’s certainly nice to get some clarification. Specifically regarding fan of knives, which has been somewhat of mystery for some time now. I like the idea of giving rogues more AoE potential, it could certainly create some new and exciting changes in both PvE and PvP. We’ll have to see exactly where blizzard puts the damage at in a couple of days when these changes go live on the PTR.

When will Shadow Dance fixed?
I think I said before that changing the bar won’t happen soon. It will be after Nov 13 and Lich King ships. The change to the cooldown on the openers should be in now on beta and very soon on live.

Balance Fan of Knives
We’d love to get rogue AE higher if we can do it where Fan is only used for AE and not as a general part of the single-target rotation. Also note that comparing anyone to a Ret paladin recently, and especially at 70, isn’t going to be a great comparison. Elemental isn’t designed to have an advantage over mage single-target dps, but rogues should have an advantage over warrior single-target dps.

Combat Potency and Fan of Knives Synergy
So it turns out the Combat Potency change to nerf Shiv also keeps Fan of Knives from generating Energy. Making the cooldown zero might do weird things to PvP when a rogue stands there and throws out knives to attempt break stealth. But we can probably lower it to 10 sec or so. That’s Thunderclap / Whirlwind range.

Hemorrhage vs. Sinister Strike
But the charges are the entire point. Hemo is supposed to be a debuff, not an alternative to Sinister Strike. It in fact yields better damage per energy than Sinister Strike untalented and it’s only the talents that prop up the latter ability. Adding more Hemo talents just gives you another high dps, spammable attack.

It is true that the rogue personally may not benefit a lot from Hemo when the charges get used up correctly. I think the attitude that that is “bad” just stems from the “winning the damage meters” mentality, not whether the ability helps you beat the boss. I’m not saying that looking at damage meters makes you shallow. I understand a nearsighted raid leader may not take you if your personal dps is low, but we’re also not sure what to do about that until we can come up with some kind of “raid contribution” measurement that includes your buffs and debuffs.

Rogue / Druid vs. Warrior / Druid 2v2 Arena Strategy

October 6, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Probably one of the most common match ups you are going to be facing in arena. Also, one of the more difficult teams. The strategy my team employs here is fairly simply, just train the druid. Any druid based 2v2 team’s success or failure will be largely determined by the ability of the druid. As the rogue your strategy is very easy.

Rogue’s Arena Tactics

You have one goal and one goal alone here, slay the druid. The druid and warrior are going to do everything they can to prevent you from getting to / staying on the druid. So there will be a carefully balanced dance between you and your druid to make certain…

  1. the warrior is crowd controlled as much as possible
  2. the druid is prevented from crowd controlling you

As the rogue you’ll be in charge of eliminating much of the CC. For this reason it’s important you do not turn and gouge or hemo the warrior (unless you have no CP on the druid anyway), you always want to try to maintain you combo points on the druid. Always having a few combo points on the druid will be a crucial element in your victory.

  • Deadly throw the druid to prevent entangling roots and cyclone
  • If the druid is attempting to run away and drink you can use slice and dice to bring them back into combat, even if you are a long ways away. This will only last for a few seconds though, so make sure you get to the druid quickly.

Druid’s Arena Tactics

The druid’s job here is incredibly more difficult than the rogues. For your rogue to have any success on the druid you absolutely must nail your crowd control rotations and healing / spell interrupts. These include:

  • Your cyclone, root, feral charge, bash combo will be essential in keeping the warrior off of your rogue. Learing to use this fluidly and throughout an arena match is a must.
  • A bit more on the advanced side of things, at least from the perspective of timing is concerned. You’ll want to always be watching for when you think you can get a kill on the druid. If your rogue just cannot catch the druid you may need to throw a cyclone on him to allow your rogue the time to catch up.
  • Consider using cyclone as a means to stop the druids CC rotation, druids heals, immune his HoTs if he’s fully HoT’d himself, interrupt heals with feral charge, etc.

This is NOT an easy combo for rogue druid, not by any stretch. If we are able to go 50 and 50 against high rated teams then we’re feeling pretty good. The warrior’s mobility and overall damage output are much higher than the rogues, but the rogue can level the playing field through well timed use of crowd controls.

Above all, do not panic. This is a very slow and methodical match. You probably are not going to bomb the druid down in a KS, you’ll likely just need to beat him out of mana and keep the pressure up until you’ve slowly one of the match. Stay focused, stay on the druid and nail your CCs. if you can remember these few points you’ll be well on your way to victory.

Looking for more rogue / druid strats? Check out the complete Rogue / Druid 2v2 Arena Strategy!

WotLK Rogue Changes – Beta Build 9038

October 3, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Pretty minor changes this time around for rogues. I don’t recall even seeing the nerf to blade twisting, which had it remained 4 seconds, would be completely unjustifiable. It’s good to see they are changing it back to a full 8 seconds. What worries me about these changes, especially considering how late they are coming during the PTR process, is the fact that they are quite minor.

Let’s face it, combat and subtlety are a far cry from mutilate. Mutilate is without question the best PvP spec, and will be very competitive against combat for PvE purposes (potentially better). Unless we see some major improvements to the other rogue trees I think there will be a complete swing to mutilate builds when patch 3.0.2 goes live.



  • Blade Twisting – Your damaging melee attacks have a 10% chance to Daze the target for 8 sec. Up from 4 sec.


  • Enveloping Shadows – Reduces the damage taken by area of effect attacks by 10/20/30%. Up from 5/10/15%.

Rogue Opportunity Changes – Build 8982

September 24, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

There’s been some pretty big changes to the rogue class during this wotlk beta, none larger than the change to mutilate and positional attacks, but blizzard just tossed out yet another curve ball…take a look at the rogue changes for beta build 8992.


  • Focused Attacks changed to : Your melee critical strikes have a 33/66% chance to give you 1 energy. (Old – 100%/100% , wasn’t implemented)
  • Find Weakness damage increased reduced to 2/4/6%. (Old – 3/6/9%)


  • Killing Spree cannot hit invisible or stealthed targets anymore.


  • Opportunity now works all the time. (Old – Only increased the damage of attacks from behind)

Not quite as major as taking the positional requirement off mutilate, but certainly close. With this change mutilate and backstab rogues will enjoy the benefit of both opportunity and dual wield spec 100% of the time. This is a pretty huge change as it firmly places mutilate at the top of all rogue specs in my opinion, certainly for PvP purposes.

Combat still may , and in all likelihood will, remain a narrow first as far as PvE DPS is concerned, but considering all the buffs mutilate is receiving it won’t be far behind. It’s great to see a virtually unused rogue talent build such as mutilate getting some love for expansion, but I can’t help but wonder if they’ve taken it to the other extreme.

What do you think about the mutilate changes? Too much too quickly or just a generally bad build getting some much needed improvements?

Mutilate Rogue / Shadow Priest 2v2 Video – Tuska 4

September 18, 2008 by · 5 Comments 

My initial impression of this video was just wow…I’ve been playing World of Warcraft and watching PvP videos for years now and in all that time I’ve never seen a 2v2 video that even comes close to this. This video features a mutilate rogue / shadow priest 2v2 combo from Doom Squad on EU. It’s filmed in the 2100-2350 bracket and features some of Europe’s best teams and players.

The video offers a strategy break down for each different match up they fight and points out some of the subtle strategic decisions they make throughout the fight in order to secure a win. All the strategies are sound and executed to perfection.

On top of being an excellent tutorial video it’s also an incredibly entertaining and enjoyable movie. The editing and music fit very nicely together and the whole package just comes out looking beautifully. 5 / 5 stars.

Talent Specs
Rogue – 54/0/7
Priest – 20/0/41

Music used:
P.O.D. – The Messenjah
Papa Roach – Getting away with murder
Static-X – Burn to burn
The Offspring – Hammerhead
P.O.D. – Satellite

Xperl Unitframes
Morganti’s Buffbars
Telo’s Bottom Bar
Second Bottom Bar

Rogue / Priest Strategy: Position Discussion Audio

September 15, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the most important, yet most overlooked aspect of playing rogue / priest 2v2…or for that matter any arena team comp, is without a doubt positioning. Too often I think players and teams get so caught up in the ideas 100 other factors that they completely forget about their positioning.

Being in the right place at the right time isn’t an accident, in many ways it’s the only true strategy in arena. Knowing the type of strategy your opponents are going to attempt will allow you to develop a strategy to appropriately counter your opponents.

This is the very essence of arena position strategies, but believe me, learning how to do this is no easy task. It takes a lot of experience and practice, but by simply being aware you’ll have a keen eye for areas where you can exploit your opponents position and quickly take advantage of their mistakes.

I say all of this in preparation for the very first Zug Gaming audio strategy discussion. A few weeks ago I had a brief conversion (relatively speaking!) with a member of the Zug Gaming community. He had a some questions regarding different strategic aspects of rogue / priest as well as overall positional awareness factors in arena.

The following recording includes:

  • Priest / Rogue strategy discussion
  • Positional strategy points
  • Healer / DPS movement factors of arena
  • Among other points

Rogue / Priest Strategy: Audio Discussion

I’ll try to get an actual player up later this evening.

Rogue / Druid 2v2 and Zuggy 3!

September 14, 2008 by · 7 Comments 

As some of you may already know I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus this season as far as arena has been concerned. Part of this is due to all of my partners retiring / breaking till expansion at the end of S3 and partly due to just flat our boredom. After a couple of months without any serious arena I’m finally starting to get back into the swing of things and I’ve found myself a new partner.

Rogue / Restokin Druid Is Here!

My new 2v2 team, which will be my primary arena focus, is a rogue / restokin druid (that’s him to the right!). So far we’ve played 2 nights and quickly made it to 2055 rating. It’s a very interesting combo to play and truly unlike anything I’ve ever played before. More than anything else this combo requires a much higher level of communication. The more and more we play the more I really am starting to understand the absolute important of continual communication, target switching and well timed crowd control. It’s a great experience and I can’t wait to see how far we can take this team.

I’ve been hinting at Zuggy 3 for sometime, and I feel like I’ve finally got the right setup I’ve been looking for this video.

What Will Be In Zuggy 3?

  • Rogue / Restokin Druid 2v2 Arena Matches
  • High level strategy discussion and comp breakdown
  • Detailed strategy write up to go along with the video
  • Audio explanations of all fights

Coming to a near you soon!

Mage / Rogue vs. Warlock / Priest 2v2 Arena Strategy

September 4, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

mage rogue 2v2Rogue Arena Tactics

The strategy for the rogue is pretty basic here. If at all possible you want to sap the priest. This will allow you to get a solid start on the warlock and in many cases fill him outright. If you must use shadowstep to pull off the sap, it’s crucial you get it off quickly and cleanly.

Once you’re on the lock you need to be very watchful for fears. The mage cannot afford to burn his CS on the lock, so it’s up to you to kick / kidney shot any single target fear or howl of terror. Additionally, be ready to use your blind on the priest to assist the mage in his crowd control rotation.

I highly suggest using a focus blind macro to make this cc transition as seamless as possible. In an ideal game your rotation might look something like this. Sap –> Sheep –> Trinkets the sheep. Blind –> Sap –> CS — Sheep. While this always isn’t going to work out perfectly like this knowing your CC rotation from the beginning will be a huge aid to your success.

Mage Arena Tactics

While the mage is certainly going to be adding damage your primary role is still to crowd control the healer. Most mages are very confident in their own sheep / CS rotation, but don’t forget the fact you have a rogue. It will be very important for you and your rogue to successfully communicate through the match to maximize your collective crowd control.

Just like with the rogue’s blind, using focus sheep or focus CS macros can be very helpful. Not only do they allow you to quickly pull off your various forms of CS, but many times they can catch your opponents off guard. Many players watch for you as the mage to target them, often this is a dead give away to an incoming sheep or blind. Using focus macros you never actually have to target them, so they have zero idea what’s coming!

Looking for more strategies? Check out the complete rogue / mage 2v2 arena strategy guide!

Mage / Rogue Vs. Paladin / Warrior 2v2 Arena Strategy

September 4, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Much like most warrior / healer teams, your opponents will probably have to try harder than you.


Get a sap on the warrior and open on the paladin going full out dps to force his bubblmage rogue 2v2 strategye. Once he bubbles reset the fight via vanish. If you and your partner are having trouble CC’ing the warrior while forcing the paladin to bubble pop Evasion and Ghostly Strike as needed to avoid unwanted bleed effect when resetting the fight. Kill the paladin, and get away from the warrior if you have to.


Crowd control the warrior as best as possible with sheeps, frost novas, Rank 1 Frost Bolts(to Frost Bite snare him). These are all able to be cleansed by the pally, so tell your rogue to dodge it up if you’re having trouble controlling the warrior. Assist dps, and once the pally bubbles hit iceblock to reset the fight and wait it out. You decide when you want your rogue to blind, but I recommend while going for a kill on the pally or after killing the pally one of you has to get away.

Looking for more strategies? Check out the complete rogue / mage 2v2 arena strategy guide!

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