Updated for Mists of Pandaria gems and enchants. Also, see our post covering Rogues in M of P.
Our notes for patch 5.2 rogues are here.
If you’re not yet 90 then the info on this page and the other Rogue pages won’t all work for you, so if you want to get your Rogue to the level cap as quickly as possible, then look into a leveling guide.
Note that this page covers general Rogue PvP stuff. For details on each spec, see the pages under Builds.
Currently the Subtlety spec is the “flavor of the month” spec for Rogue PvP. Subtlety just has more tools than the other for effective ganking.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t effectively PvP with Combat or Assassination, especially with the new Mists of Pandaria talents, just be aware that it will be a bit harder.
If you want a bigger challenge then go for it. Wouldn’t you love to see someone say, “That Combat Rogue is kicking our butts!!”
|Assassination||Lots of damage
Best poison skills
|Energy rec. requires bleeds|
|Combat||Great sustained DPS
Passive energy recovery
|Poor burst, Nothing out of stealth|
|Subtlety||Brutal burst out of Stealth
|More complex “rotations”
Energy rec based of Slice and Dice. (Energetic recovery.)
Rogue PvP Stats
- Hit: can’t kill what you can’t hit. 3% is required for same level targets, 6% for poisons.
- Expertise: Cuts down on opponents dodge. Doesn’t apply if you’re attacking from behind, which you will be doing, at least sometimes, so less valuable than hit. Go for 3%.
- PvP Power: this is a straight up damage add, like attack power, but PvP only. Since PvP Power gems are 320 points Vs Agility’s 160, the PvP Power are better.
- Resilience: Rogues are a bit fragile in patch 5.2, so you want as much as you can get.
- Sub: Crit > Mastery > Haste
- Cbt: Haste > Mastery > Crit
- Assas: Mastery > Haste > Crit
Sub. gets a 35% bonus to all Agility from the combination of the Leather bonus and Sinister Calling. This applies to any Ag. bonus from gear and any buffs (including food.) This is why Sub values Ag. more than PvP Power.
- PvP Power is the new M of P ability. Point for point Agility is still better, but in M of P PvP Power gems will at least be competitive, since they will have 320 PvP Power Vs. 160 Agility. PvP Power is also much better than any of the secondary stats.
- Visit Skill-Capped for lots of Rogue info. Not free, but $4/mo is pretty cheap.
Rogue gemming is easy. PvP Power gems all the way.
If a socket bonus is for a PvP stat (Power, res) or Ag then matching socket bonuses might be worthwhile. Try these:
- Red socket: Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst
- Yellow socket: Lucent Vermilion Onyx or Vivid Wild Jade
- Blue socket: Stormy River’s Heart or Assassin’s Imperial Amethys
|Meta||Agile Primal Diamond: 216 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 320 Resilience
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: 320 PvP power|
|Orange||Lucent Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Resilience
Deadly Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Crit
|Purple||Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst: 80 Ag, 160 PvP Power
|Green||Vivid Wild Jade: 160 Res, 160 PvP Power|
|Prismatic||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility|
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Precise Tinker’s Gear: 600 Expertise
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Note: Dancing Steel procs from separate weapons do stack with each other. Back to back procs from the same weapon do not stack.
Short on gold? Most of the enchants below have similar enchants available, of lesser value, for less cash. We’ve linked to a couple of these. Check with the rep vendor or the Auction House for others. If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about improving your situation.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
The chest item is the only Resilience enchant, there are no M of P level PvP Power enchants.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel: Sometimes add 1,650 Ag when striking.
Living Steel Weapon Chain- Reduces duration of disarm effects, 200 Expertise.
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Claw Inscription 520 Ag, 100 Crit, requires Inscription 575
Greater Tiger Claw Inscription: 200 Agility, 100 Crit
|Cloak||Swordguard Embroidery: Sometimes pops 4k AP for 15 sec. Requires Tailoring.
Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: 180 Crit rating
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: 200 Resilience
|Bracers||Fur Lining, Agility: 500 Agility, requires Leatherworking.
Enchant Bracer – Greater Agility: 180 Agility
Socket Bracer: Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice Agility gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: 170 Haste
Socket Gloves – Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice gem.
|Belt||Living Steel Belt Buckle: put a nice gem into this slot.|
|Leggings||Shadowleather Leg Armor: 285 Agility & 165 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Blurred Speed: 140 Agility and Slight run speed increase.
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Agility: 160 Agility, Requires Enchanting 550|
- Patch 5.2 will introduce more tiers of PvP gear.
Professions for Rogues
More or less in order of value, based on the burst. Changes in 5.2 will make leveling some of these easier.
- Engineering has the Gloves enchant (Synapse Springs,) which stacks with other enchants, and other useful items.
- Blacksmithing adds (self-only) gem sockets to bracer and gloves. Since these can be PvP Power or Resilience gems then the Blacksmithing profession might be the best, as far as profession perks are concerned.
- Alchemy gives you more benefit from your own potions than the other guys gets (Mixology.) Figure a 30% bonus and an extra hour duration from flasks and elixirs. This makes your #1 flask worth 1320 AG, plus any other bonuses.
- Herbalism adds a small heal and 20 seconds of 2,880 haste rating. Plus you get spirits every now and then as you pluck the M of P herbs.
- Leatherworking will allow you to make your own PvP gear and has a nice wrist enchant.
- Jewelcrafting allows socketing of two much nicer gems than otherwise available.
- Inscription has a killer shoulder enchant (520 Ag, 200Crit.)
- Enchanting can add +160 Agi. to each of your own rings
- Tailoring only has a cloak enchant, for 2k attack power on occasion.
- Skinning adds to Crit rating (480 at max skill.)
- Mining adds to Stam (480 at max skill.)
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour. Any Ag bonuses you have will add to these numbers.
- Flask of Spring Blossoms: 1,000 Ag for one hour
- Virmen’s Bite: 4k Ag for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before a long fight you will be able to pop another during the fight.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
Tips for Sneaking and Striking
1 - Know how to re-stealth
If you can’t re-stealth in combat, you are drastically reducing your survivability. The main techniques for acheiving this are:
- blind, move away, and wait to leave combat
- gouge/kidney shot your oppenent and run out
- get your oppenent crippled and sprint away
- Note: When running away (to re-stealth) it helps if you can break “line of sight” with a convenient building or object.
2 – Don’t blow all your energy
If you sit on a person and spam your main strike, you won’t have enough energy for legitamite burst.
- for example, get 5 combo points, wait for full energy, then KS (Kidney Shot) and you will be able to, assuming you are Assassination, mutiliate twice then eviserate/envenom.
- It’s more efficient burst than if you were to KS with 25 energy and maybe get 1 mutilate and some auto attacks in.
3 – Know the different playstyles and adapt
You don’t try and beat a warrior the same way you beat a priest do you? There are unique ways of handling each class. Generally though, the two main styles a rogue can play are burst and control.
- Burst: When you do a lot of damage in a short period of time. This usually involves getting back into stealth again multiple times to get max damage possible.
- Control: When you use all CC (Crowd Control) methods available to control an opponent and take them out of the game, so to speak. This means you have to always leave enough energy to gouge and be ready to kick the right school magic. Also blinding into a sap can be a game breaker when speaking in terms of arena.
- Defensive: A rogue who needs to be”defensive” would simply try and avoid as much damage as possible. This would include moves like evasion, vanish, blind, dismantle, gouge, and trying to re-stealth.
Like a Warrior – if you have a pocket healer then you will lay waste. Without one you will have to be somewhat careful about picking and choosing.
Otherwise, obviously, the best pvp build depends on who’s in your team, if you have one, and who the other guy is.
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