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Rogue Beginner Guide WoW – Overview & Builds for ALL Specs

Rogue Beginner Guide WoW – Overview & Builds for ALL Specs

Guide Written By: Dottz Gaming

Table of Contents

  1. Video
  2. Introduction
  3. Specializations
    1. Assassination
    2. Outlaw
    3. Subtlety
  4. Contact Info
  5. Update Log

Video

Introduction

Welcome to DottzGaming.com’s beginner guide for the Rogue class in World of Warcraft! This guide will give you a brief overview to what the class has to offer, its specializations and new player focused talent setups to get you going on your adventures through Azeroth! If you are brand new to WoW and are reading this guide, I also recommend checking out my WoW Complete Beginner Guide, which will teach you all non-class specific things you need to know to get yourself started in WoW.

The rogue class focuses on using attacks to build combo points, which are then spent on more powerful finishing moves on the target and the more combo points spent, the stronger the ability is, with the total number of combo points capping out at 5. Rogues are one of the few classes that have the ability to stealth, therefore rogues are capable of sneaking around undetected, dispatching their foe with a series of quick attacks and then vanishing from sight. Rogues bring a variety of poisons, bleeds, stuns, and other disabling effects to the table, and are great at dealing damage and controlling their opponents. Rogues are known for their elusiveness, having a number of defensive abilities that make them good at escaping combat, while having other abilities to crowd control their opponents so they can escape to safety.

Rogues are a pure damage dealing class, meaning that they do not have a tank or healing specialization. Assassination rogues focus on the poison aspect of the class, empowering their poisons on their daggers to add more potent damage over time effects to their arsenal of strong direct damage. Outlaw rogue’s are swashbucklers who utilize swords to deal high amounts of area of effect damage, rolling their dice for a random combat enhancement and utilizing their trusty pistol to also deal damage! Finally, Subtlety rogues embrace the shadows, striking from stealth with their daggers in high burst windows and controlling their enemies movements with incredibly strong crowd control.

In addition to the combo points I mentioned earlier, Rogue’s primary resource is called Energy which is that they use to cast their skills, and energy regenerates slowly over time but certain things can instantly restore it! In addition, rogue’s wear leather armor, they utilize Agility as their primary stat to deal damage, and wield daggers, one handed swords, maces, axes and fist weapons, depending on the specialization.

As I mentioned, Rogue’s have the innate ability to go into stealth, and they have certain skills that can only be used in stealth but offer a ton of additional power. When you play a Rogue and go into stealth, your main action bar will turn into your “stealth” bar, which is the skill bar you can utilize while your character is under the benefits of stealth or a passive that lets you use this skill bar (so its the perfect place to put these skills that can only be used in stealth).

Races that can play the Rogue class are as follows:

  • Blood Elf (Horde)
  • Dark Iron Dwarf (Alliance)
  • Dwarf (Alliance)
  • Gnome (Alliance)
  • Goblin (Horde)
  • Human (Alliance)
  • Kul Tiran (Alliance)
  • Mag’har Orc (Horde)
  • Mechagnome (Alliance)
  • Night Elf (Alliance)
  • Nightborne (Horde)
  • Orc (Horde)
  • Pandaren (Alliance/Horde)
  • Troll (Horde)
  • Undead (Horde)
  • Void Elf (Alliance)
  • Vulpera (Horde)
  • Worgen (Alliance)
  • Zandalari Troll (Horde)

Now that we have a brief summary of the class out of the way, let’s get into the specs and what they have to offer. The following builds are going to be tailored to new players, looking to make your rotation as easy and straightforward while adding as few additional skills to your action bars as possible. If you’re looking for something more advanced and focused on dealing as much damage as possible, I recommend checking out Icy-Veins or WoWhead for builds more tailored towards end game raids, mythic+ and rated PvP. Thankfully, these builds in the article don’t differentiate too much from the “advanced” versions.

Specializations

Assassination

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Elaborate Planning – Your finishing moves, which are skills that consume combo points, increase your damage by 10% for 4 seconds after you use them!
  2. Subterfuge – Allows you to use your stealth bar for an additional 3 seconds after stealth breaks, allowing you to continue to use your strong stealth skills for a longer time in combat! In addition, this increases Garrote’s damage, one of your primary bleed skills, when used coming out of stealth!
  3. Vigor – This talent increases your maximum energy by 50, and increases your energy regeneration by 10%, giving you more resources to be able to use your skills!
  4. Cheat Death – A passive talent that gives you 85% damage reduction when you drop below 7% health, giving you time to escape to safety! This can only occur though once every 6 minutes.
  5. Prey on the Weak – You deal 10% increased damage to targets that are crowd controlled by your primary stuns, giving you the ability to deal heavy damage while your targets are unable to respond!
  6. Alacrity – This makes your finishing moves have a chance per combo point spent to grant you additional 2% additional haste for 20 seconds, with this effect being able to stack up to 5 times! This is a strong talent for assassination because it allows our damage over time skills to tick more frequently, in addition to allowing us to be able to attack faster and more often!
  7. Poison Bomb – A passive talent that gives you a small chance per combo point spent when you use them on Evenom (your primary instant damage finisher) or Rupture (your primary bleed finisher) to also smash a vial of poison at the target location that deals damage over time to any enemies standing in it!
  8. Maneuverability – A PvP talent that increases the strength of sprint, making it also suppress movement-impairing effects for 4 second after you use it!
  9. System Shock – This empowers your Evenom, making it so that when you use Evenom with 5 combo points on targets afflicted by all of your DoTs, you deal additional nature damage and reduce the target’s movement speed by 90% for 2 seconds!
  10. Smoke Bomb – Gives you a strong active skill that makes it so that when you drop the smoke bomb, enemies within the bomb cant be healed or targeted by their allies outside the bomb, nor can they target allies outside of the bomb, allowing you to isolate a single target target away from their team! This prevents enemies from targeting you and your allies who are inside the bomb as well!

Poison Choice: Deadly Poison for PvE, Wound Poison for PvP, choice of non-lethal poison.

Rotation

Dealing Damage

  • With Assassination, there is a high priority on maintaining your DoTs! So, your goal is to generate combo points with Mutilate, and then using those combo points, you’re always going to want to maintain Rupture (bleed finisher) at 4+ combo points, maintain Garrote (bleed combo point generator), and maintain Slice and Dice (attack speed buff finisher) with 4+ combo points. With your DoTs and Slice and Dice buff maintained, you’ll simply be generating combo points with Mutilate and spending them on Envenom when you are at 4+ combo points. Then, go back to maintaining your bleeds and Slice and Dice as they start to fall off! In an AoE situation with many enemies, your goal will be to maintain these DoTs on as many enemies as you can, but instead using Fan of Knives to generate your combo points (if there are 4 or more enemies).
  • One note about what to do when you come out of stealth: use Garrote on as many targets as possible within your 3 second Subterfuge window; this is because Garrote will deal 80% increased damage right out of stealth, giving you heavy initial bleed pressure on your targets!

Offense

  • Use Vendetta on your primary target whenever you want to deal big damage, as this offensive cooldown causes the target to take 30% more damage from you, while also restoring energy to you to allow you to unleash an onslaught of attacks!
  • Use Cheap Shot/Kidney shot on your primary target to have them take 10% extra damage from you for 6 seconds due to prey on the weak! Keep in mind, some monsters in the world cant be effected by stuns.

Defense

  • Use Cloak of Shadows to defend against magical attacks, as it removes all magical effects and makes you immune to them for 5 seconds!
  • If you are fighting a physical damage dealer and are in trouble, using Evasion will be helpful to allow you to dodge their attacks for 10 seconds!
  • Crimson Vial is your only real heal as a Rogue, so be sure to use it to recover some HP if you find yourself needing a heal in combat in a pinch!
  • Use Vanish to hop into stealth instantly while in combat so that your enemies cant track you, allowing you to escape! Keep in mind, after the short vanish window, any damage over time effects on you will break you out of regular stealth. Also, stealth cant be used in combat, so vanish is your only way to re-stealth mid-combat unless you run away to get your character out of combat.
  • Use Feint when you see yourself about to take damage from a big area of effect attack!

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Haste
  2. Critical Strike
  3. Versatility
  4. Mastery

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of the Zoldyck Insignia

Outlaw

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Weaponmaster – This gives Sinister Strike, one of your primary combo point builders, a 10% chance to strike an additional time!
  2. Acrobatic Strikes – This talent increases the range of your melee attacks by 3 yards, making it easier for you to be able to continually attack your target even if they manage to gain a little bit of distance from you!
  3. Vigor – This talent increases your maximum energy by 50, and increases your energy regeneration by 10%, giving you more resources to be able to use your skills!
  4. Cheat Death – A passive talent that gives you 85% damage reduction when you drop below 7% health, giving you time to escape to safety! This can only occur though once every 6 minutes.
  5. Prey on the Weak – You deal 10% increased damage to targets that are crowd controlled by your primary stuns, giving you the ability to deal heavy damage while your targets are unable to respond!
  6. Alacrity – This makes your finishing moves have a chance per combo point spent to grant you additional 2% additional haste for 20 seconds, with this effect being able to stack up to 5 times!
  7. Killing Spree – This talent gives you an incredibly strong offensive cooldown, which teleports you to an enemy to deal massive damage over 2 seconds. If you also have Blade Flurry active, which is a skill that you can use to give your attacks the ability to strike additional targets, Killing Spree will hit additional targets near your primary target!
  8. Maneuverability – A PvP talent that increases the strength of sprint, making it also suppress movement-impairing effects for 4 second after you use it!
  9. Control is King – This gives you 3 seconds of Adrenaline Rush, one of your offensive cooldowns, when someone with in 40 yards of you is stunned, silence or polymorphed, giving you a strong burst of damage whenever you on an ally crowd controls your enemy!
  10. Smoke Bomb – Gives you a strong active skill that makes it so that when you drop the smoke bomb, enemies within the bomb cant be healed or targeted by their allies outside the bomb, nor can they target allies outside of the bomb, allowing you to isolate a single target target away from their team! This prevents enemies from targeting you and your allies who are inside the bomb as well!

Poison Choice: Instant Poison for PvE, Wound Poison for PvP, choice of non-lethal poison.

Rotation

Dealing Damage

  • Start off by using Roll the Bones to give yourself a buff, and be sure to refresh this buff on cooldown. After that, open up on your target with Ambush and start generating combo points using Sinister Strike to get Slice and Dice up (with 4+ combo points) on your character; you’ll be wanting to maintain this buff at all times. After that, keep using Sinister Strike to generate combo points and spend them on Between the Eyes at 4+ combo points. When Between the Eyes is on cooldown, spend them on Dispatch instead. Sinister Strike has a chance on its hits to make Pistol Shot cost half as much and deal double damage, so use Pistol Shot whenever those procs occur and you still need to generate combo points. When fighting a ton of different enemies, use the same rotation but just activate Blade Flurry so these attacks hit your enemies around your primary target!

Offense

  • Use Adrenaline Rush whenever you want to deal big damage, as this offensive cooldown makes you regenerate energy 60% quicker, gives you 50 additional max energy and increases your attack speed by 20% for 20 seconds!
  • Use Killing Spree while you have Blade Flurry active and you want to deal massive burst damage to a group of enemies!

Defense

  • Use Cloak of Shadows to defend against magical attacks, as it removes all magical effects and makes you immune to them for 5 seconds!
  • If you are fighting a physical damage dealer and are in trouble, using Evasion will be helpful to allow you to dodge their attacks for 10 seconds!
  • Crimson Vial is your only real heal as a Rogue, so be sure to use it to recover some HP if you find yourself needing a heal in combat in a pinch!
  • Use Vanish to hop into stealth instantly while in combat so that your enemies cant track you, allowing you to escape! Keep in mind, after the short vanish window, any damage over time effects on you will break you out of regular stealth. Also, stealth cant be used in combat, so vanish is your only way to re-stealth mid-combat unless you run away to get your character out of combat.
  • Use Feint when you see yourself about to take damage from a big area of effect attack!

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Haste
  2. Versatility
  3. Critical Strike
  4. Mastery

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of Celerity

Subtlety

Click here to view the talent calculator.

Talents

  1. Weaponmaster – This gives Shadowstrike and Backstab, two of your primary combo point builders, a 15% chance to strike an additional time!
  2. Nightstalker – Gives you a speed and damage boost while you are in stealth or using Shadow Dance, which is a burst cooldown that lets you use your stealth skill bar to deal damage and increases their damage too!
  3. Deeper Stratagem – Gives you the ability to use 6 combo points instead of 5, and allowing your finishers to also consume up to 6 combo points, making them more effective! In addition, your finishing moves will also deal 5% more damage.
  4. Cheat Death – A passive talent that gives you 85% damage reduction when you drop below 7% health, giving you time to escape to safety! This can only occur though once every 6 minutes.
  5. Prey on the Weak – You deal 10% increased damage to targets that are crowd controlled by your primary stuns, giving you the ability to deal heavy damage while your targets are unable to respond!
  6. Enveloping Shadows – Gives your Deepening Shadows passive, a passive that lowers the cooldown of Shadow Dance as you consume combo points, the ability to reduce the cooldown by an additional 0.5 seconds per combo point spent. It also gives Shadow Dance 2 charges; this gives you a significantly higher uptime on one of your strongest skills!
  7. Master of Shadows – Gain 25 energy over 3 seconds when you enter stealth or activate shadow dance, giving you a rush of energy to quickly use on your strong stealth-bar skills!
  8. Maneuverability – A PvP talent that increases the strength of sprint, making it also suppress movement-impairing effects for 4 second after you use it!
  9. Dagger in the Dark – Each second that stealth is active, nearby enemies take an additional 10% damage from your next shadowstrike for 10 seconds, stacking up to 10 times! This means by waiting in stealth, you’re going to deal HIGH amounts of pressure for 10 seconds when you spring on your enemies from the shadows!
  10. Smoke Bomb – Gives you a strong active skill that makes it so that when you drop the smoke bomb, enemies within the bomb cant be healed or targeted by their allies outside the bomb, nor can they target allies outside of the bomb, allowing you to isolate a single target target away from their team! This prevents enemies from targeting you and your allies who are inside the bomb as well!

Poison Choice: Instant Poison for PvE, Wound Poison for PvP, choice of non-lethal poison.

Rotation

In my opinion, Sub has a bit of a more difficult rotation than the other two specializations, but if you want a challenge, then this will be a good spec for you!

Dealing Damage

  • Start off by using Shadowstrike from stealth to deal instant damage and teleport you behind your target, and then use Slice and Dice immediately to get that attack speed buff rolling on your character. You then want to use Symbols of Death for a boost of energy and to increase your damage done by 15% for 10 seconds and making it so that your next combo point generator automatically critically hits. In combination with this, you’ll also use Shadow Dance to enter your heightened state to allow you to use your stealth abilities outside of stealth. You’ll then use Shadowstrike to generate combo points, spending them on Rupture to maintain the bleed (at 5+ combo points), and then afterwards spending them on Eviscerate whenever you are at 5+ while also being sure to maintain Slice and Dice. When you are outside of Shadow Dance, use Backstab to generate combo points instead.
  • When outnumbered by a lot of enemies, be sure to try and maintain rupture on as many targets as you can. Also, when you get to the part of your rotation during shadow dance where you are generating combo points, you’ll be replacing this with Shuriken Storm, which sprays shurikens at up to 8 targets within 10 yards of you.

Offense

  • Use Shadow Blades whenever you want to deal big damage, as this offensive cooldown makes you generate more combo points and deal 50% increased damage as shadow damage!

Defense

  • Use Cloak of Shadows to defend against magical attacks, as it removes all magical effects and makes you immune to them for 5 seconds!
  • If you are fighting a physical damage dealer and are in trouble, using Evasion will be helpful to allow you to dodge their attacks for 10 seconds!
  • Crimson Vial is your only real heal as a Rogue, so be sure to use it to recover some HP if you find yourself needing a heal in combat in a pinch!
  • Use Vanish to hop into stealth instantly while in combat so that your enemies cant track you, allowing you to escape! Keep in mind, after the short vanish window, any damage over time effects on you will break you out of regular stealth. Also, stealth cant be used in combat, so vanish is your only way to re-stealth mid-combat unless you run away to get your character out of combat.
  • Use Feint when you see yourself about to take damage from a big area of effect attack!

Secondary Stat Priority

  1. Versatility
  2. Critical Strike
  3. Mastery
  4. Haste

Shadowlands Specific Information

Recommended Covenant: Kyrian

Recommended Legendary: Memory of Akaari’s Soul Fragment

Contact

If you have any questions about the build, join our discord server and ask @Dottz about the build in the #wow-general channel!

Update Log

11/27/2020 – Guide created