Combat Rogue for Warlords PvP
Updated for Warlords of Draenor
Even in Warlords of Draenor Combat isn’t really the optimal spec for PvP, bt with a little effort can do well. Subtlety is about bone-crushing burst and Combat is about sustained DPS. The changes to the talent system in Mists of Pandaria gave Combat more life in PvP.
Those 8 second Kidney Shots don’t hurt either. Well, they don’t hurt you.
In Warlords Combat is just fine and may even be “the best” PvP spec as Warlords Season 1 starts.
For all the Rogue changes in WoD, go here.
Other Rogue Pages
The PvP Combat Rogue, in Brief
Quick notes for the Combat Rogue. Most of this page assumes that you’re level 100. (If you’re not, then go here.) Lower level Rogues can still use much of the material here, so read on and grab what you need.
This section is a summary of Combat in PvP.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- + Good energy regen
- + Revealing Strike for stronger finishers and more Combo Points.
- + Adrenaline Rush for burst
- + Killing Spree for Burst, and you can’t be peeled while Spreeing.
- + 8 second duration Kidney Shot thanks to Revealing Strike
- + No positional requirement (such as you have with Sub’s Backstab)
- - No special damage coming out of stealth
- - Combo Point generation isn’t great
- - Weak bleeds, and you’ve lost Rupture and Deadly Poison (level 92+ perk changes it to Instant Poison.) You can take a talent and a weapon enchant, if you like bleeding opponents.
- Orc, for the Blood Fury racial and stun Resistance.
- Troll for “Berserking” and snare resistance.
- Human for the escape and Versatility, or Gnome for more energy, size, and escape.
- More about Race
Stats: For all roles: Agility before everything else, Mastery and crit are the weakest stats for DPS.
- Main Hand Wpn DPS > Agility > Haste
- Gem and enchant for Agility & Haste
- More about Stats
Builds & Glyphs
- Lethal: Use Wound, because of the heal debuff, otherwise Deadly (Note that a perk will change your Deadly into Instant.)
- Non-lethal: Crippling or Leeching
Basic Combat Rotations
- Try to keep Slice and Dice up at all times
- Use 5 pt Eviscerates or Kidney Shots.
- Blade Flurry is for only two or more mobs/players.
Gems: It’s worth matching socket bonuses, uses gems with Ag and Haste. There are no PvP gems slots in Warlords.
- Enchant for Agility & Haste
Combat Rogue PvP Talents
Talents are easily switched with a Tome of the Clear Mind. Switch ‘em around as necessary. For example, Burst of Speed will be better for flag running than shadowstep, but you might want S’step in other situations.
Descriptions are below the image and our picks are checked:
Tier 1, level 15: Stealth
- Nightstalker increases our movement speed and adds a nice boost to damage when attacking from stealth.
- Subterfuge allows you to stay stealthed for 3 seconds after receiving or dealing damage, ideal as it gives us enough time to ambush a target twice or Ambush & Cheap Shot or Cheap shot two different targets. Extended by Glyph of Vanish
- Shadow Focus gives us an almost energy free attack from stealth. Lets you just roll right into your next attacks.
Tier 2, level 30: Misc.
- Deadly Throw is unimportant most of the time unless for whatever reason you can’t reach your target for a while. If your team needs a ranged silence then this can be a decent pick and you have a few ways to get the necessary 5 combo points: Marked for Death, Premeditation, HAT.
- Nerve Strike keeps the opponent from breaking your head as soon as the stun breaks. Nice for peeling characters.
- Combat Readiness is very nice for duels and when you’re being trained for any length of time as it greatly improves your defense.
Tier 3, level 45: Survival, but no DPS value.
- Cheat Death does exactly what it says. Best used for fights where you need to live dangerously or have occasional damage burst coming in.
- Leeching Poison provides a constant, small, health increase from your attacks. Nice while leveling, not useful in PvP.
- Elusiveness boosts Feint’s damage reduction, ideal for encounters where you need to mitigate damage (all of them.) Goes very well with Glyph of Feint. Spam this ability especially if you’re about to be stunned.
Tier 4, level 60: Movement. Three good choices, which one to take depends on what you need to do. Effective movement keeps you in the fight and is, therefore, a DPS add.
- Cloak and Dagger – Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot now have a 40-yard range, and will cause the Rogue to teleport behind the target. It’s a good choice if you don’t need Shadowstep’s flexibility. It’s best use is while questing and attacking certain mobs which are hard to get to otherwise.
- Shadowstep is best used for fights that demand quick target switching/rapid movement. It’s more versatile than C&D since you can teleport to an ally (such as a healer) or NPC and don’t necessarily have to attack. It’s also more “Rogue-like” than Burst of speed. A decently short cooddown lets you use if fairly often. It also places you behind the opponent (avoiding his dodge) for that 8 second Kidney Shot. Shadowstep to kick, or sap, or to change levels.
- Burst of Speed is effectively constant fast movement, usable while stealthed, stacks with Nightstalker, and lets get you around the place very quickly. It’s fairly cheap, has no cooldown, and gets you out of the occasional snare. You can sprint with a flag all the way to your base.
Tier 5, level 75: Crowd Control.
- Prey on the Weak will be a small overall DPS add against you opponents, more if others are attacking the same opponent. Works well with Killing Spree. Stun him and then Spree him with the damage bonus.
- Internal Bleeding adds a bleed to your Kidney shot. 100% of the bleed will be within the duration of a full Kidney Shot.
- Dirty Tricks is redundant with Glyph of Blind, so skip it, especially since it doesn’t wipe DOTs that the other guy put on your opponent. Useful if you’re dueling a lot, but that’s about it.
Tier 6, level 90: Combo Point abilities. All have their uses, but Anticipation is the easiest to use and Marked the most flexible.
- Shuriken Toss is only useful if you expect to be out of Melee range for extended periods of time, such as when fighting hunters. Otherwise either Marked for Death or Anticipation is superior.
- Marked for Death lets you add an immediate 5 CPs to the target for an instant finisher, such as that 8 second Kidney Shot right now. Or you can start the fight with a full Slice and Dice or Recuperate, and then open.
- Anticipation is more useful in all situations to avoid wasting combo points. It allows you to do two finishers in a row.
Tier 7, level 100: More damage.
- Venom Rush: Increases max energy and increases energy regeneration for each enemy poisoned, up to three. With Blade Flurry and Killing Spree you should be able to keep a couple of targets poisoned. The added energy will give you that much extra damage over time.
- Shadow Reflection summons a shadow that “memorizes” what you do for the next 8 seconds, then replays those strikes on the target. You have to be able to stick to the target for the initial 8 seconds and then long enough for the reflection’s damage (another 8 seconds.) Not so easy in a PvP setting. Now, if you had this going to mirror your Kidney shot…
- Death From Above empowers your weapons with Shadow Energy. This is a finishing strike (damage is based on your combo points used) which lets you attack all nearby enemies and then leap up and crash down on the main target for Eviscerate + 50% damage. This also acts as a short range teleport if the opponent moves or knocks you off a way or something.
Combat Rogue PvP Glyphs
Only the first two, Blind and Garrote, are “generally recommended,” the rest depend on the situation. Keep a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind handy for switching glyphs.
- Glyph of Blind – About as mandatory as any Rogue glyph. Your Blind removes all Damage over Time effects from the target, even those left by your team. Make Blind a lot more reliable.
- Glyph of Garrote – Also strongly recommended. Increases the silence duration by 1 second.
- Glyph of Feint – Increases your Feint duration by 2 seconds. With your Elusiveness talent this can give you a lot of extra damage reduction.
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows – Physical damage reduction, for when those pesky melee show up.
- Glyph of Cheap Shot – Increases CS duration by .5 second for that much more control, works well with your Prey on the Weak and Nerve Strike talents. With the short duration change one can argue that this glyphs isn’t worth the effort. Easily replaced with…
- Gyph of Recovery – While your Recuperate is running you receive 20% more healing from your healers, potions, whatever. A nice match with Glyph of Feint if you’re being constantly pressured.
- Glyph of Shiv – Reduces the cooldown, for more Shivs.
- Glyph of Blade Flurry – Better chance to apply your non-lethal poison (Crippling poison) while using Blade Flurry.
- Glyph of Poisons – Change poisons faster, to better adapt to changing situations.
- Glyph of Safe Fall – Increases falling distance, for all oh you cliff jumpers out there.
- Glyph of Blurred Speed – Running on water has some occasional use.
- Glyph of Decoy – Might make your Vanish a bit more interesting by confusing an opponent.
Combat Stat Priority
Warlords of Draenor note: Hit, Expertise, Resilience and Reforging have all been removed from the game. You have a base 15% chance to hit with your new Critical Strikes ability (that Warrior only has 5%.) Blizzard has decided that all specs of all classes get an “Attuned” stat. This stat is supposed to best increase your “throughput,” which in your case is damage. Your Attuned stat is Haste and you get a 5% bonus from all Haste gear and effects, via your Combat Potency ability.
New stats Versatility and Multistrike replace the stats you lost. Multistrike gives you a chance at two more strikes at 30% effectiveness and looks like it might go very well with your Mastery, which, after all, gives you a chance for additional strikes. Your Blade Flurry, Killing Spree, Slice and Dice, and Adrenaline Rush will also proc Multistrikes. Versatility improves your damage and defense, so everything you do will hit that much harder.
- Agility > Haste > Mastery > Versatility > Multistrike = Crit
- Note: Haste, Mastery, & Crit are all pretty close in value. Their exact value will depend on your exact gear.
- Note #2: If you switch between Rogue specs and what to keep the same gear then go with Mastery, as that’s good for all three specs.
Agility is easily your #1 damage stat.
Haste speeds up everything you do, in addition to your energy regen. It’s your “Attuned” stat and your Combat Potency ability, which provides the bonus, also provides more energy regen from your off-hand strikes.
Multistrike gives you a chance to hit for one additional strike, at 30% effect, any time you strike with any ability. Multistrikes can crit and can proc poisons. (In PvE it’s two chances for the extra strike.) The tooltip in your character pane does not show this (the one strike.)
Crit gives all of your strikes a chance for 150% (200% in PvE) extra damage. A high Crit rating can add a fair amount of added pressure. The main reason that Mastery is better is because 1) you have nothing that procs off of Crit and 2) a given number of Mastery points will give you a lot more Mastery than the same number of points will give you in Crit rating.
Mastery provides you additional off-hand attacks. It applies to your main hand auto attacks as well as all of your other strikes.
Versatility adds to damage (and healing) and your damage reduction.
Reforging is dead, so your stat stacking will be through gear choices, gems, and enchants. Fortunately there will be ring and neck enchants to help out.
Gems for the Combat Rogue
In Warlords there are no gem socket on PvP gear. Se just below for more.
If you can’t afford the gems then see our gold guide for tips on making a bit more gold.
Gemming Around Level 90
This set of recommended gems is for Haste and matches socket bonuses. Matching is recommended, because while Ag is better than the other stats it isn’t wildly better. Perfect gems have exactly the same stats as the gems shown below, but the prices might be very different. Get whichever is cheaper.
Note that the Warlords stat squish is in and the gem value are much smaller than before, though since everything else is also squished their relative value will be similar. Gems that used to provide Hit are now Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.
- Meta: Agile Primal Diamond until you can earn a Tyrannical Primal Diamond
- Red: Delicate Primordial Ruby
- yellow: Deft Vermilion Onyx (Ag + Haste) or Quick Sun’s Radiance (all Haste)
- blue: Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst
- Belt buckle slots: Delicate Primordial Ruby
Gemming at level 100
This section assumes that PvP gemming will become available at some point. If you’re using PvE gear, that has sockets, the continue. Otherwise skip this section and head down to enchants.
- Gem sockets are not actually available on PvP gear, but perhaps they will be as the expansion progresses. They have a (small) random chance to appear on Raid gear, so perhaps they’ll also appear on PvP gear and other items as well. Also, there are no meta gems or sockets, there are no socket bonuses, and all sockets are “prismatic,” which means that they will take any available gem.
- The gem themselves are actually available. They are all prismatic, meaning they fit into any socket. None have Int, they all have secondary stats (Mastery, etc.) Apparently there are no Meta sockets or gems.
- Older (Mists of Pandaria) gems work until item level 600, but the item squish cut them down a bit. What used to be 160 Int is now 10, for example. The new Prismatic gems are 50 points of Mastery or whatever.
- Older gems (Mists of Pandaria and lower) that used to code for Hit now do Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.
Assuming sockets become available, gem for Haste.
|Gems for Warlords of Draenor|
|Mists of Pandaria Gems, for gear under ilevel 600.|
|Meta||Capacitive Primal Diamond: +20 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Agile Primal Diamond: 14 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 10 Agility
Precise Primordial Ruby: 20 Haste
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: 20 Haste|
|Blue||Lightning Wild Jade: +10 Haste and +10 Crit|
|Orange||Deft Vermilion Onyx: 5 Agility, 10 Haste|
|Purple||Accurate Imperial Amethyst: 10 Haste, 10 Crit|
|Green||Lightning Wild Jade: +10 Haste and +10 Crit|
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 38 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Precise Tinker’s Gear: 38 Haste
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 38 Mastery
Enchants for the PvP Combat Rogue
Head enchants are gone, the Shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession. In Warlords there are enchants for your rings and neck pieces.
Note that these enchants can be added to low level items, in case you’re PvP leveling. Even Dancing Steel can be added to an Heirloom or other low level item.
Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under items level 600. There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings. Not for any other pieces.
As before, the highest level enchants can be added to the lowest level items, such as your level 1 heirlooms.
If you want to hit 100 faster, go here.
Main and off hands
|Other enchants, for gear under item level 600.|
Gearing Combat for PvP
if you are a raider then check out the Assurance of Consequence trinket, with its cooldown reduction and Ag procs. (This is the raid finder version, it scales to ilevel 572 and 47% reduction.) Note that this only gets max effect in world PvP, it’s scaled way down in Arena and the BGs. For organized PvP the PvP trinket pair is probably better.
This section covers the gear quickly, there is a lot more detail in our Rogue PvP gear guide.
Not yet 100?
- Up to level 70 just get the best gear you can find or use your heirlooms. Remember that they can be enchanted with any high level enchants.
- At 70 get the Brutal Gladiator set from the legacy arena vendors in Dalaran or Gadgetzan. It’ll cost a bit less than 2k honor for the full set. Somewhere around 76 you’ll put the heirlooms back on.
- at 77 we used to recommend putting on Cataclysm gear (item level 272 Vs 172 for the “Wrath” gear,) but with the stat squish the difference is now trivial. Skip it.
- At 81 start searching the AH for the blue Mists of Pandaria gear, starting at about item level 415.
- 85+ You should be able to get find item level 450 gear on the AH, which will be better than any level 85 PvP gear or any green gear you’ll find. Even at level 90.
- at 90 you can but the Crafted Malevolent PvP set or put on the Timeless Isle gear or look for Warlords gear on the Auction House.
- At 100 (Congratulations!) but the Crafted PvP set and start grinding your honor gear.
- Some people like to stick with lower level PvP, which is cool. If you want to get to 100 faster then ever then check out this page.
Do you want the Honor gear? Up to you, but it will be a boost if you’re going into RBGs or Arena. It’s definitely better for PvP than the timeless or crafted gear. Order of acquisition, gemming, and enchanting is the same as for the Conquest gear, below.
The Combat Rogue’s PvP Gear
This is a good order in which to pick up your gear, as it will give you most of the major stats first. Gem and enchant as shown above.
Crafted Gear: There is no crafted PvP gear, but you can wear three pieces of pretty decent PvE gear that you make with your Leatherworking skill (or buy off the Auction House.) Actually, you should drop one of those and grab the crafted main-hand weapons. Call it chest, legs, and weapon. Stats on crafted weapons/armor can be rerolled to get what you like. The pieces can also be upgraded at a material cost greater than the original making. Weapons are 630 and armor bits are 640.
You PvP gear will be much better in a PvP setting, but the crafted bit will get you started. Of course, it helps is the rest of your gear is halfway decent, too.
Honor/Conquest Gear: Your PvP items have two stats, one for PvE, the other for PvP. Honor gear is 620/675 and Conquest gear is 660/690. In the dungeons use the first number, in any form of PvP use the second.
Honor weapons do not have any special requirement to buy, Conquest weapons do. You will need to earn 7,250 Conquest points to be able to buy those weapons.
Two pieces of each gear type (eg: Boots) are available, so you can have some control over your stats.
- Honor: Buy your weapons first
- Gloves and any one from Head, Shoulders, Chest, or Legs. For the 2 piece set bonus.
- Switch the above order for Conquest.
- “On Use” damage trinket
- Two from the remaining big pieces, for the 4 piece set bonus
- The last big piece
- Rings, neck, and cloak because they can all be enchanted.
- Boots and bracers
- Escape trinket.
Combat PvP Abilities and Rotations
Warlords note: Rupture is gone (for you, Sub. and Assass. still have it) ditto Fan of Knives. Shadow Blades is gone, as are Expose Armor and Dismantle. You have bleeds available via the Internal Bleeding talent, a weapon enchant, and your Crimson Tempest ability.
Tricks of the Trade no longer adds damage to your partner, so is now useless for PvP.
- Deadly Poison and Crippling poison. (One of your level 92+ perks will make Instant poison out of your Deadly poison.)
- All other non-lethal poisons are gone, other than Leeching.
- Keep yoiur weapons poisoned at all times, it’s a significant damage increase.
- Marked for Death to a 5pt Slice and dice (or Recuperate) to your opener.
- Garrote, for the bleed and the silence
- Cheap Shot for the stun
- (Ambush costs too much energy and doesn’t give you enough. )
- Kidney Shot – 8 seconds with Revealing Strike, 6 without
- Slice & Dice – a nice add to DPS, does more damage with Revealing Strike.
- Recuperate,- A big plus to survivability, does not help with damage.
- Eviscerate – The old standby. Eviscerate just doesn’t hit that hard, but you can use it to dump CPs when you don’t need to refresh the other finishers, such as when you have Adrenaline Rush up.
- Death from Above – Talent, an improved Eviscerate
Cooldowns and Useful Abilities
- Revealing Strike for stronger finishers and more Combo Points and 8 second Kidney Shot. Keep RS up at all times.
- Adrenaline Rush for the burst
- Killing Spree for the Burst
- Bandit’s Guile is why Combat takes some time to “ramp up” before the real damage begins. With your perk your Deep Insight does +50% damage. If you can line Deep Insight up with trinket procs and cooldowns then you will do some major damage.
- Blade Flurry for multiple opponents.
Keep Revealing Strike and Slice and Dice up at all times. Sinister Strike & Revealing strike to build CPs, Eviscerate or Death from Above when you don’t need to refresh Slice and Dice.
If you can time your Killing Spree with your trinket and/or Dancing steel (or Glory of the Frostwolf) procs then you’ll do that much more damage.
- Marked for Death to Slice & Dice
- Open with Garrot (caster) or Cheap Shot (everyone else)
Some macros for your amusement.
Killing Spree RAPE Macro:
/use 13 and /use 14 are your trinket slots, so you can adjust the macro below accordingly. Virmen’s Bite is a +456 Agility potion.
Test this macro so that you know exactly how it works and how many clicks it needs.
- /cast killing spree
- /use 14
- /use Virmen’s Bite
Tricks of the Trade
Use this for your TofT button. Fill in the name of the party member who will be the focus of your T of T. Fire it off, he gets the benefit, and you don’t have to fuss with target picking or focus changing. This macro will not deselect your current target:
Note that since Tricks no longer adds to your team member’s damage, in Warlords, it’s a useless ability for PvP.
- #showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
- /cast [target=YourTeamMemberName] Tricks of the Trade
Another option, if you change T of T targets, is to do it with a mouseover. If there is no mousever target then it will do your current target.
- #showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
- /cast [@mouseover,exists] Tricks of the Trade
Mouseover a target and hit the Blind button. If there’s no target under your mouse then it will blind your current target.
- /cast [target=mouseover, exists] Blind; blind
Gouge + Bandage
Cast gouge and immediately start bandaging. Works just fine when out of combat. Replace the name of the bandage with the one you’re currently using.
- /cast Gouge
- /use [target=player] Windwool Bandage
This one will dismount and stealth you, then cast Sap. Keep mashing it if you suspect there’s a Rogue/Druid nearby. It will only target sappable enemies and won’t target dead ones.
- #show Stealth
- /cast [stance:0] !Stealth
- /targetenemy [harm][nodead]
- /cast Sap
This makes sure that your autoattack starts, even if you don’t have the energy to actually use SS. You can also add /startattack to any macro that you might use when switching targets.
- /cast Sinister Strike
In Warlords of Draenor all of the profession bonuses are gone. Professions are now only for gear, toys/mounts, or gold making.
Best for cash, but still being useful? Pick two from Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining.
Professions for the Combat Rogue
- Tailoring – pretty useless for you, unless you want a flying carpet.
- Leatherworking – Can make some nice gear and your starting PvP set.
- Jewelcrafting – Gems, rings, neck pieces, gemmed panther mounts.
- Enchanting – Make everyone’s enchants, plus enchants for rins and neck items.
- Inscription – glyphs, fortune cards, caster items, shoulder enchants.
- Alchemy – better living through chemistry and transmutation
- Engineering – Interesting toys, a glider, nitro boosts, mounts.
- Blacksmithing – Some nice weapons.
- Skinning, Herbalism, Mining – for the gold or to supply one of the qabove professions.
Race Choice for Combat Rogues
The best? Orcs and Humans.
In Warlords all racials dealing with Hit and Expertise are gone. except for the Orc expertise all others were replaced with new abilities. All races now bring some kind of damage ability to the table.
Draenei: Bzzzt! No rogues here.
Tauren: Bzzzt! No rogues here.
The Fastest Rogue Leveling Guide
Dugi’s guide is like having an expert helping you every step of the way. Regardless of your starting level you just pick your starting point and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically pointing you in the correct direction, and includes all the important quest info.
Even though WoW’s in-game quest guide is superior to what it was previously it still doesn’t give you the right path for the fastest leveling or keep your from tackling things that are way to high or too low. With Dugi’s you’ll never have that problem or wonder about where to go or what to do.
Even if you take a break to do some PvP leveling or some other quests that aren’t in the guide it’s not a problem. The guide will pick up from where you left off, adjust for your new levels, clean up your old quests, and you’ll go from there.
Dugi’s is always fully updated for all the latest patches and expansion, including Warlords of Draenor, and has some extra goodies, such as the ability to work for the LoreMaster achievements. Get your copy now and blast to the level cap