Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide

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This Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE guide is specifically written to provide answers to the most common questions regarding how to play the Combat spec, properly gear and spec yourself, and questions that come up when making a character.

Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide

Abbreviations

Abbreviation Meaning 
AgiAgility
ARAdrenaline Rush
AoEArea of Effect
APAttack Power
BFBlade Flurry
BGBandit’s Guile
CappingHitting Max Energy
CCCrowd Control
CPCombo Point
CoSCloak of Shadows
CRCombat Readiness
DoTDamage over Time
DPDeadly Poison
EPEquivalence Point
EvisEviscerate
FoKFan of Knives
GCDGlobal Cooldown
KSKilling Spree
MGMain Gauche
MHMain Hand/Main Hand Weapon
MSMortal Strike Effect (referring to all 10% reduce healing debuffs)
ICDInternal Cooldown
IPInstant Poison
OHOff Hand/Off Hand Weapon
RBRestless Blades
RvSRevealing Strike
SnDSlice and Dice
TotTTricks of the Trade
WPWound Poison

Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide: Specs and Glyphs

Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide

Spec

Improved Recuperate: Healer mana is going to be much more tight in Cata than it was in WotLK. These two talent points increase the healing of your Recuperate by a third and reduces your damage intake by 6% while you have an active Recuperate. Despite possessing several abilities that allow you to avoid and/or reduce damage (CR, Feint, CoS, etc), this talent will help on healing intensive encounters and overall increase your survivability.

Improved Sprint: Encounters that included snares and/or roots are few and far between however; this talent in such an encounter would be quite useful given Sprint’s short cooldown (even shorter when considering RB).

Blade Twisting: This is Combat’s version of a slow, this is of course going to be useful on an encounter were one is needed and completely useless otherwise (bosses generally cannot be slowed). The reduction in speed and duration are identical to crippling poison.

Reinforced Leather: Doubling your armor from leather gives roughly 8.5% more damage reduction to physical attacks. It is very rare for rogues to take direct physical attacks in encounters because one, rogues come with several threat management abilities (Vanish, TotT, and Feint) and two, have a high dodge rate and tend to rely on that during mishaps. Overall, this is a poor talent for a raiding Combat rogue to spec into.

Throwing Specialization: Another relatively weak talent, the increased range on your Throw and Deadly Throw will generally be useless since rogues deal nearly no damage outside of melee range. The extra interrupt can certainly be useful in some cases however, two melee classes picked up 10 second CD interrupts in Cata and a third can now provide it without sacrificing DPS. Further, Arcane mages and Fury warriors are able to deal increased damage after successful interrupts and rogues will likely find themselves as backup interrupters for encounters requiring them.

Improved Kick: For similar reasons as Throwing Specialization coupled with that most bosses cannot be silenced, Improved Kick is relatively useless in a raid environment.

Improved Gouge: Most bosses cannot be incapacitated by players which makes Gouge nearly useless. In the case of adds, without the glyph, rogues will have to deal with parries to successfully land a Gouge and several other classes provide much more reliable ways to handle adds (Hammer of Justice, Chains of Ice, Shadowfury, Frost Trap, Frost Nova, etc).

Glyphs

Prime

Major

Minor

The Adrenaline Rush and Sinister Strike glyphs are musts for Combat. The Slice and Dice glyph is next in line but [Glyph of Rupture] and [Glyph of Revealing Strike] are alternatives that could be considered (50 DPS and 110 DPS behind SnD respectively).

The Tricks of the Trade glyph is a raid DPS increase regardless if you have another rogue to trade tricks with and is additionally a personal DPS increase if you are using T12 4pc; it’s recommended that you always have this. A glyphed TotT will provide your target with 2% more overall DPS (3% unglyphed at the cost of 30 energy per minute).

The BF glyph is recommended for any encounter were you are able to hit another target with BF (you will never use BF if you cannot hit another target).

Feint is a tremendously valuable ability for reducing damage taken from AoE abilities which increases your survivability and saves precious healer mana. For any encounter were you use Feint regularly, it is worth glyphing.

[Glyph of Fan of Knives] is not listed simply because as a Combat rogue, Fan of Knives does not do very much damage and a very large number of targets need to be in your vicinity for its use to be worth it. Though, it can be argued that you can hit more targets with glyph.

Glyph of Sprint allows you to move at ground mount speed (100%) with Sprint up which can be helpful for target swaps were you need to move to get in range and for various boss mechanics. In short, carry [Dust of Disappearance] around and chose your major glyphs per encounter.

None of the minor glyphs directly impact your DPS and can be chosen to your preference. [Glyph of Safe Fall] will increase your survivability for some encounters.

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Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide: Combat and Rotation

Poisons

Currently, as a Combat rogue you should put IP on your MH and DP on your OH. For most fights where you need to use FoK, you will want WP on your throwing (you cannot poison other ranged weapons or use FoK with them) because it takes “roughly” 30+ seconds for DP to be worth using. If a slow is needed, consider specing into Blade Twisting (explained above) instead of actually putting Crippling Poison on your weapon. It is reasonable (about a 1% DPS loss) for a Combat rogue to provide MS with WP on their MH though, several specs can provide the same debuff at no sacrifice (Shadow Priests for example). Remember, Anesthetic Poison no longer exists and is baked into your Shiv.

Single-Target

Opening
Combat rogues do not gain any sort of buff from opening from stealth the way Subtlety or Assassination rogues do however, you are able to get closer to a boss before an encounter starts if you are in stealth and ultimately reduce the time it takes for you to get into melee range once an encounter begins. Once combat starts, you want to immediately get SnD up.

Cycle/Priority
The priority of finishers is as follows: SnD > Rupture > Eviscerate

The recommended cycle is to always keep SnD up and then always do 5 point finishers, Rupture if it’s not up and Evis otherwise. SnD does not need to be done with 5 combo points only and should always last long enough for you to build up the combo points for another SnD with at least a one finisher in between. It is competitive (loss of 1% overall DPS) to not use rupture at all simplifying your rotation to 2 finishers. Similarly, if a bleed debuff (Mangle, Hemorrhage, Blood Frenzy, or Hunter pet) is not provided by your raid, you should not use Rupture.

Using RvS
RvS increases the effectiveness of offensive finishers by 35% (45% glyphed). RvS should only be used when you have 4 combo points and are about to do a Rupture or Evis (it has no effect on SnD). To increase the chance you enhance a Rupture or Evis, you can use RvS when you are about to SnD and have 4 combo points such that the RvS debuff is present on your target for your next Rupture or Evis. You must remember to not use RvS again if that next Rupture or Evis is 4 combo points or it will be a DPS loss. Not using RvS at all will be a 400 DPS loss and is not recommended.

Bandit’s Guile
This talent gives Combat a four stage cycle to its DPS (0%, 10%, 20%, and 30%). To progress from one stage to another you must land any combination of four SS and/or RvS until you reach 30% which will last for 15 seconds regardless of how many SS and RvS you do. If you SS or RvS a different target at any point, you lose your BG buff and will return to 0% unless you use Redirect which will “transfer” your current BG state to a different target along with any unused combo points you previously had; without Redirect, BG can make swapping targets difficult for a Combat rogue. All of your DoTs will update as your BG state changes, for example if you rupture while at 10%, your rupture will tick for 20% once you reach that stage.

Expose Armor
In the unlikely situation where you are the only source of the 12% armor reduction debuff (Expose Armor) it is a personal DPS gain depending on the encounter (mainly how much time you will spend on your Expose Armor target) and raid DPS gain depend on its composition for you to provide it. Again, this is an uncommon situation because any spec of druids and warriors can provide the same debuff for little or no sacrifice.

Multi-Target

Despite having Ambidexterity, Combat is not an especially strong spec for AoE damage with FoK. It is not yet known how many targets need to be in your vicinity for FoK to be worth using but it’s probably a relatively large number. Combat is however, very strong for cleaving with BF. While BF no longer has any affect on FoK, it has an unlimited duration and 10 second cooldown to reactivate (think Stealth) and generally going to be up when you need it (you never want to use it when there isn’t anything to cleave). While BF is active, you should not use Rupture since BF does not transfer its damage and instead only maintain your SnD and use Evis otherwise. Once your secondary target dies you should toggle your BF off (no longer requiring a cancelaura macro) since BF only reduces your energy regen if you are not hitting anything with it.

Cooldowns

Combat rogues have four important cooldowns.

Adrenaline Rush: AR “doubles” your energy regen (it’s additive with Vitality and multiplicative with haste on your gear) and increases your attack speed by 20%. Its base cooldown is 3 minutes but is much lower in practice because of RB. AR is a powerful cooldown to use in combination with other DPS enhancing buffs (weapon and trinket procs, bloodlust, potions, etc). You do not want to use this at the same time as KS since you are unable to perform any actions during KS and will likely cap out. Keep in mind that as you get more haste in your gear, AR will have a greater effect on your energy regen and it may become more difficult to keep from capping out during AR. A few things you can do to alleviate this is, to hit AR when you are at nearly 0 energy and to consider what other haste buffs you have active before you hit AR. It is not yet known if it is best to hit AR the moment it is up or if you should wait till you are at a certain stage of BG to use it (late 10%/early 20% if you’re using the glyph).

Killing Spree: KS provides Combat rogues excellent burst damage on a relatively short cooldown when considering RB. This is another cooldown you want to stack other cooldowns with. Currently, it is slightly better to use KS with 30% BG. As mentioned earlier, you cannot perform any actions while in KS except for FoK (using FoK during KS to prevent capping is a last resort) and should not use it at the same time as AR and should try to be at 0 energy just before you hit it. KS also places you “behind” your target which generally means inside your target and some bosses turn to target raid members for various abilities which can land you right on top of your tanks. In both cases, if you are not careful you can be hit by a boss’ frontal attacks. Additionally, if you know a boss is about to do something you normally need to run away from, keep in mind that KS won’t let you leave your target for 2.5 seconds. KS can still be used to your advantage, while you are in KS you are immune to CC and you can use it to keep up with a boss moving faster than run speed, and it can trivialize various boss mechanics.

Blade Flurry: As mentioned earlier, Blade Flurry (now a toggled ability with an unlimited duration and 10 second cooldown) is only a DPS cooldown if you can hit another target with it. Blade Flurry will only transfer melee attacks (white and yellow, including KS) and will not transfer or apply poisons or DoTs such as Rupture.

Redirect: While this is not a direct DPS cooldown, it is an important ability for a Combat rogue to utilize to maintain DPS during target swaps which are quite common in the current tier of content. Redirect as mentioned earlier, will transfer your current state of insight, progress into that stage (completed SS and/or RvS out of four), and any combo points you have to a different target. Depending on the situation, you should consider using Redirect even if you have no insight but have done a few SS because as well as when you are in Deep Insight (30% stage) to prevent it from being canceled upon attacking a new target. Redirect has a base cooldown of 1 minute that is reduced by RB; if needed you can have both Sprint and Redirect up for target swapping since they share the same base cooldown and are both affected by RB.

Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide: Stats and Gearing

Stat Weights

Below are the current estimated EP values for stats in heroic gear and full raid buffs (1 EP = 1 AP). As a special note for T12 stats, mastery, haste, and crit are somewhat higher with 4pc then without, it is best to check with Shadowcraft.

Stat T11 EP T12 EP 
Agility2.72.8
Yellow Hit Rating1.92.15
Expertise Rating1.651.85
Haste Rating1.51.7
Spell Hit Rating1.41.5
Mastery Rating1.21.5
Crit Rating0.91.25
White Hit Rating1.11.2
MH DPS4.974.68
OH DPS1.151.47

Agility
Agility is by far your strongest stat simply because each point provides 2 AP and some crit, because you get an extra 5% more Agility for wearing leather via the rogue version of Leather Specialization, and because of Vitality. Agility has such a lead on all other stats, it will likely be the main determinant as to what is an upgrade.

Hit

 Yellow Spell White 
3/3 Precision241 (2%)1127 (11%)2523 (21%)

The above table gives the amount of hit rating required to reach yellow (specials like SS, Rupture, Evis, etc.), spell (your poisons), and white (autoattacks) hit cap for raid bosses. As you add hit rating to your gear, you reduce the chance to miss yellow, spell, and white attacks until you reach the yellow hit cap of 8% at which point you can no longer miss specials on raid bosses. If you are looking at your character sheet in-game, this is found under “Melee”, hit rating converts to melee and spell hit chance at different rates (remember 6% comes from Precision). Additional hit rating will only reduce your chance to miss spells and white attacks until you reach the spell hit cap of 17% (under “Spell” on your character sheet) where your poisons will no longer miss raid bosses. From here, hit rating will only reduce your chance to miss white attacks until you reach 27% (under “Melee” on your character sheet).

Combat’s damage break down is predominately physical which is part of the reason spell hit cap is some what behind other secondary stats. It is quite likely you will not reach spell hit cap and instead focus on capping expertise and then stacking haste first.

Expertise

Expertise Cap 
Racial691 (23)
No Racial781 (26)

The table above gives the amount of expertise rating required to reach the expertise cap for dodge. Despite what your character sheet displays, expertise is not truncated and each point of expertise rating reduces your chance to be dodged until you hit cap. When a combo point generating ability (Sinister Strike, Revealing Strike, etc.) or finisher is dodged, you are refunded 80% of the cost. Keep in mind what weapon types your racial applies to. If you reach the expertise cap with only one hand because of an expertise racial, the value of expertise drops below or equal to white hit rating (1.2 EP for the MH and 0.65 EP for the OH) meaning it will not be worth capping the other hand.

Mastery
Mastery is one of combat’s weaker stats and acts on MG which baseline gives you an 16% chance for your MH attacks to cause you to do an extra MH attack, increased by 2% for every point of mastery you have (179.28 rating). MH attacks include both autoattacks and specials. The MG attack is considered a yellow attack that is normalized and can proc Combat Potency. Similar to expertise, mastery is also not truncated and each point of mastery rating will increase your chance to proc MG.

Haste
Haste in addition to reducing your weapon swing timers, increases the rate at which you regenerate energy (baseline as combat is 12.5 energy per second). At the moment, haste is a relatively strong secondary stat. Combat already has an increased baseline energy regen rate through Vitality, this in combination with AR and Combat Potency can potentially lead to some energy problems at higher gear levels.

Crit
Crit is one of Combat’s weaker stats and will be the primary candidate to be forged out of. Using T12 2pc will certainly increase the value of crit slightly however it will remain one of your worst secondary stats.

Set Bonuses

This section is for covering the relative value of set bonuses and to discuss changes in play style if they produce any.

As mentioned above, 2pc will increase the value of crit slightly however it will remain one of your worst secondary stats. The debuff applied works very similar to Ignite in that an existing DoT will update and add in new crits and decrease as old crits expire; in short all of your crits will get their full DoT damage in. The 4pc will pick either Mastery, Haste, or Crit and will never pick the same one twice in a row. You will of course want to use TotT on cooldown to get the full benefit of this set bonus and you should continue to gear normally.

Both of these set bonuses are quite passive in that you will play the same way you would without them. While you generally don’t have to think about it, there is a limited duration on the 4 piece bonus and you will want to get an Evis off before it expires. An additional note, while the 2 piece T10 bonus is very good, you will not want to sacrifice two pieces of current gear to retain this bonus in the same way we did with T6 during the first tier of WotLK.

Gear

A note about weapons, there are no fast 1-handed Agility weapons in Cata and you will almost always want a 1.4 speed dagger in your OH. You will want to use a slow MH, if the stats are equal the slower will generally be better.

Best in Slot Gear

Slot Item Gems Reforge 
Helm[Dark Phoenix Helmet][Agile Shadowspirit Diamond] [Deft Ember Topaz]NYI
Neck[Choker of the Vanquished Lord]NoneNYI
Shoulders[Dark Phoenix Spaulders][Delicate Inferno Ruby]NYI
Back[Dreadfire Drape][Delicate Inferno Ruby] [Delicate Inferno Ruby]NYI
Chest[Breastplate of the Incendiary Soul][Delicate Inferno Ruby] [Delicate Inferno Ruby]NYI
Wrists[Flickering Wristbands]NoneNYI
Gloves[Dark Phoenix Gloves][Delicate Inferno Ruby]NYI
Belt[Flamebinding Girdle][Glinting Demonseye]NYI
Legs[Dark Phoenix Legguards][Delicate Inferno Ruby] [Glinting Demonseye]NYI
Boots[Sandals of Leaping Coals][Delicate Inferno Ruby]NYI
Ring 1[Viridian Signet of the Avengers][Delicate Inferno Ruby]NYI
Ring 2[Widow’s Kiss]NoneNYI
Trinket 1[Matrix Restabilizer]NoneNone
Trinket 2[Hungerer]NoneNone
MH[Shatterskull Bonecrusher]*NoneNYI
OH[Alysra’s Razor][Deft Ember Topaz]NYI
Ranged[Morningstar Shard]NoneNYI

* [Gatecrasher] is better for Orcs

T11 and Heroics Trinkets

Name EP 
[Matrix Restabilizer]2122.59
[Hungerer]2052.69
[Matrix Restabilizer]1880.91
[Hungerer]1816.51
[Ancient Petrified Seed]1658.2
[Prestor’s Talisman of Machination]1572.9
[Fluid Death]1495.4
[Ancient Petrified Seed]1468.4
[Prestor’s Talisman of Machination]1386.6
[Essence of the Cyclone]1362.0
[Darkmoon Card: Hurricane]1333.7
[Left Eye of Rajh]1324.0
[Key to the Endless Chamber]1313.8
[Tia’s Grace]1313.8
[Unheeded Warning]1238.38
[Essence of the Cyclone]1204.4
[Quicksilver Alchemist Stone]1178.88
[Unsolvable Riddle]1164.0

Reforging, Gemming, and Enchanting

Reforging

Reforging is used to reduce a secondary stat by 40% (always round down) and add that amount as another stat that is not already on that piece of gear. This makes it possible to tune your gear to focus on your best stats and avoid “wasting” stats by exceeding caps.

As a general strategy, you’ll want to reduce the weakest stat and add more of a better stat that isn’t already present on that piece of gear. Using [Wind Dancer’s Legguards] as an example, between crit and mastery, crit is the weakest of the two. If you are below the expertise cap, you will want to add expertise and if you are above it, you will want to add haste rating instead.

Yellow hit cap should be quite easy to reach, the next most valuable and reforgable stat is expertise. You basically want to first go to your pieces of gear that have crit (your least valuable stat) and do no have already have expertise on them and reforge crit into expertise. Since expertise has a cap, you may want to reforge different pieces of gear until you get as close to the cap as possible without going too far over. Once at the expertise cap, you want to reforge weaker stats into haste rating (the next best stat).

Gemming

Below are some of the gems an Combat rogue may consider for their gear (some are there for reference and are generally not recommended). The EP values are based on heroic T11 gear.

Red Sockets

Name Stats EP 
[Delicate Inferno Ruby]40 Agility112
[Precise Inferno Ruby]40 Expertise Rating74

Yellow Sockets

Name Stats EP 
[Deft Ember Topaz]20 Agility/20 Haste Rating90

Blue Sockets

Name Stats EP 
[Glinting Demonseye]20 Agility/20 Hit Rating86*
[Glinting Demonseye]20 Agility/20 Hit Rating78**

*below spell hit cap
**above spell hit cap

You generally will want to match all of your Agility bonuses ([Deft Ember Topaz] in yellow sockets and [Glinting Demonseye] in blue sockets) and put all [Delicate Inferno Ruby] into sockets for non-Agility bonuses. To be sure, you may want to calculate the EP value yourself. Using [Wind Dancer’s Legguards] as an example, there is a yellow and blue socket for a 20 Agility bonus. Putting a [Deft Ember Topaz] and [Glinting Demonseye] in gives a total of 20+20+20=60 Agility, 20 Haste Rating, and 20 Hit Rating. Below the spell hit cap, the total EP value is calculated as follows.

Matching Sockets: 60(2.8) + 20(1.7) + 20(1.5) = 232 EP

What if we decided to put in two [Delicate Inferno Ruby] instead? This gives a total of 40+40=80 Agility (no socket bonus).

Straight Agility: 80(2.8) = 224 EP

So in this case, it is slightly better to match the sockets. If we recalculate for a situation where the socket bonus is haste instead of agility, matching the socket bonuses would only give 210 EP, less than just putting all [Delicate Inferno Ruby] in. While these both confirm the general statement above, you may want to just check to be sure.

Meta-Gems

[Agile Shadowspirit Diamond] is the preferred meta-gem and requires three red gems to be equipped in your gear (this counts your orange and purple gems in addition to your red gems).

Enchants

Slot Enchant Comments 
Head60 Agi/30 Haste[Arcanum of the Ramkahen] (Revered with Ramkahen)
Cape65 Crit[Enchant Cloak – Greater Critical Strike] (From Enchanting) With T12 4pc this comes out better than [Scroll of Enchant Cloak – Major Agility] check with Shadowcraft without the 4pc.
Shoulder50 Agility/25 Mastery[Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal] (Exalted with Therazane)
Chest20 Stats[Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats] (From Enchanting)
Bracers50 Agility[Enchant Bracer – Agility] (From Enchanting)
Gloves50 Expertise or 65 Mastery[Enchant Gloves – Greater Expertise] or [Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery] if you are over expertise cap (both from Enchanting).
Legs190 AP / 55 Crit[Dragonscale Leg Armor] (From Leatherworking)
Feet35 Agility or 25 Agility + Run Speed[Enchant Boots – Major Agility] or [Enchant Boots – Assassin’s Step] (From Enchanting) This depends on how much you value run speed, combat does have an especially short Sprint cooldown via RB.
BeltExtra Socket[Ebonsteel Belt Buckle] (From Blacksmithing), put a [Delicate Inferno Ruby] in the socket
MH1000 AP proc[Enchant Weapon – Landslide] (From Enchanting)*
OH1000 AP proc[Enchant Weapon – Landslide] (From Enchanting)*

*Since [Enchant Weapon – Landslide] is currently quite expensive; a reasonable alternative is to use double [Enchant Weapon – Hurricane]. Since haste is a relatively strong stat for Combat compared to Assassination, [Enchant Weapon – Avalanche] is not competitive for Combat the way it is for Assassination.

Cataclysm Classic Combat Rogue PvE Guide: Consumables

These are generally the consumables you will use in a raid.

Flask: [Flask of the Winds]
Potion: [Potion of the Tol’vir]
Food: [Skewered Eel] / [Fortune Cookie] / [Seafood Magnifique Feast]

The new feast now give you exactly the same benefit Agility food does (90 Agility) instead of general AP so, you can enjoy someone else’s hard work now.

One note about Potion of Tol’vir (and most current potions) is that they last 25 seconds instead of 15 seconds. You will want to consider if you have a 25 second window to DPS to use the full duration of the buff in addition to stacking it with procs and other various DPS enhancements.

For those that are not familiar, prepotting is using a potion just before you enter combat such that you are able to use two for an encounter. Keep in mind that you want to do this as close to when you enter combat as possible to maximize the buff of your first potion.

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Races and Professions

Races

Alliance

Worgen: The newest race to the alliance also has the strongest racial bonus for Alliance Combat rogues. Visciousness gives 1% crit (224.10 EP) which is overall the weakest stat for Combat but still is more EP than 3 expertise for both hands (166.65 EP) from Gnomes using a sword and dagger. Given that rogues are a melee class, Darkflight (40% speed sprint every 2 minutes) provides some utility though; rogues already come with a 70% (100% glyphed) speed boost every 1 minute base (less with RB) that does not stack with Darkflight.

Gnome: Gnomes have Shortblade Specialization which gives you 3 expertise to your OH dagger and MH if you are using a sword. If you are using both, the racial gives about 166.65 EP. If you are not using a sword, the value of the racial drops to 58.55 EP. Gnomes also have Escape Artist which will remove any snares and/or roots every 90 seconds which can be useful for encounters involving those types of debuffs.

Human: Humans have 3 expertise to swords and maces from Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization respectively which will apply to only your MH if you are using either weapon and will be worth less than expertise from gear since it only applies to your MH (108.10 EP). Every Man for Himself is a 2 minute PvP trinket and it is conceivable that for certain boss encounters it will allow you to dish out more damage or trivialize a boss mechanic.

Dwarf: Dwarfs only have Mace Specilization which again is worth less than normal expertise because it will only apply to your MH given you are using a mace (108.10 EP). Stoneform removes poison, disease, and/or bleeds and reduces all damage taken by 10% every two minutes which won’t do more than increase your survivability trivialize some boss mechanics.

Night Elf: Apart from having the highest base Agility, night elves do not have much going for them in the way of racials for a Combat rogue. Shadowmeld will drop you off the threat table until you break stealth however, between TotT, Vanish, and even Feint, threat is very unlikely to be an issue. Quickness will of course give you some survivability though most of the time, nothing life threatening should be swinging at you.

Horde

Orc: Orcs, one of the strongest races for Combat rogues (strongest if you have an Axe or Fist because of Axe Specialization which will only apply to your MH (108.10 EP). Additionally, orcs have Blood Fury, a relatively strong DPS cooldown providing 1170 AP (at 85) every 2 minutes which can be used in conjunction with KS or AR. Unfortunately, the other racials that are relatively strong for other classes are completely useless for Combat rogues.

Goblin: Goblins, the new Horde race, are also one of the stronger races for Horde. Passively, Goblins have a relatively ok 1% increased attack speed from Time is Money (not haste which would give you more energy regen). Additionally Goblins have a shared cooldown ability that will either deal some fire damage to a target (Rocket Barrage) or launch you forward (Rocket Jump) which can be quite useful as a melee class since some encounters require some movement to avoid boss mechanics or change targets.

Troll: Trolls also come with a decent DPS cooldown, Berserking, providing 20% attack speed (again not haste which would give you more energy regen) every 3 minutes. Trolls also have reduced snare/root duration from Da Voodoo Shuffle which could help if a boss had these mechanics. For bosses classified as beasts, such as Chimaeron, Trolls are the clear dominate race for DPS because of Beast Slaying.

Blood Elf: Blood Elves have a DPS cooldown as well, Arcane Torrent, which generates 15 energy every 2 mins. and does an AoE silence (also interrupts non-player targets). Blood Elves’ small increase in survivability with Magic Resistance was changed to Arcane resistance only and is much less useful.

Forsaken: Forsaken racials do not have a direct impact on DPS and are overall the weakest Horde race for Combat rogues. Will of the Forsaken breaks fear, charm, and/or sleep effects every 2 minutes which similar to humans, could allow you to deal some extra damage or trivialize a mechanic for some bosses.

Professions

Jewelcrafting: Allows you to replace three [Delicate Inferno Ruby] with three [Delicate Chimera’s Eye] which nets you 81 Agility, 1 more Agility than the rest of the craft professions.

Leatherworking: Leatherworking replaces the 50 Agility to bracers enchant with Draconic Embossment – Agility which provides 80 more Agility. Leatherworkers can additionally use Dragonbone Leg Reinforcements on their legs instead of [Dragonscale Leg Armor] for exactly the same stats for much cheaper materials.

Engineering: Engineers are able to enchant their gloves with Synapse Springs which provides 480 Agility on use every minute (averaging 80 Agility), this does not overwrite your standard glove enchant. The [High-Powered Bolt Gun] which fires bolts similar to bombs every 2 minutes at a targeted area also resets your swing timer making it a DPS loss to use in melee range for single target. Engineers can choose a utility enchant for their belt, the two that stand out are Nitro Boosts which gives you increased movement speed every 3 minutes and Ground Plasma Shield, which absorbs a respectable amount of damage every 5 minutes. Both have a reasonable chance to fail in a raid now (nitro boosts can blast you into the air or cause Rocket Fuel Leak and the plasma shield can AoE taunt via Painful Shock); this should be considered for critical boss mechanics. Engineers are also able to make [Agile Bio-Optic Killshades] and place two cogwheel gems into them which puts the helm on par itemization-wise with any ilvl 359 helm and makes it obsolete when heroic gear becomes available us.

Blacksmithing: Blacksmithing gains you two additional sockets (Socket Bracers and Socket Gloves) which you should put [Delicate Inferno Ruby] in for 80 more Agility, right on par with the rest of the craft professions.

Alchemy: Alchemists have a passive Mixology buff which will increase the effect of [Flask of the Winds] by 80 Agility. Additionally, the buff will double the duration of flasks potentially saving you a good deal of gold. For content where you do not flask, alchemists are able to create a [Flask of Enhancement] which gives you 80 Agility and has an unlimited number of uses.

Enchanting: Enchanters are able to enchant their rings which are normally not enchanted with Enchant Ring – Agility which gives a total of 80 Agility.

Inscription: Scribes are able to put Swiftsteel Inscription on their shoulders which is exactly 80 more Agility than [Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal]. This also makes raising your reputation with Therazane to exalted not necessary but ultimately Scribes are on par with most craft professions.

Tailoring: Tailors are able to enchant their cloaks with Swordguard Embroidery which works similar to a typical trinket in that it procs a 15 second long buff (1000 AP) that has a tested 55 second ICD (26.3% uptime considering its 15% proc chance). Overall, this gives an average of 263 AP. This however does not stack with a typical cloak enchant (65 crit in our case) and comes out closer to 201 AP which is about the value of 74.5 Agility.

Herbalism: Herbalists have Lifeblood which in addition to a heal over time, will grant you 480 haste rating (increased attack speed and energy regen) which is about 80 haste rating on average. This is clearly the best among the three gathering profession for Combat rogues but inferior to all of the crafting professions.

Skinning: Skinners gain Master of Anatomy which gives a passive 80 crit rating, again crit is the weakest stat for Combat rogues making skinning a very weak profession.

Mining: Miners have 120 stamina from Toughness which provides no DPS gain other than additional survivability.

Basic Combat Mechanics

Macros

You will want to macro /startattack to the melee abilities you use most which will ensure you are autoattacking your target even if you do not have the energy to perform an ability that would normally start your autoattack. A couple of examples.

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Sinister Strike

#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Revealing Strike

Almost all rogues find it easier to use a TotT macro instead of targeting someone to use it such that you can keep attacking your target.

#showtooltip
/cast [@focus] Tricks of the Trade

This lets you hit your focus target with TotT.

#showtooltip
/cast [@targettarget] Tricks of the Trade

This lets you hit your target’s target with TotT (hopefully a tank, though bosses often target other players for their abilities).

#showtooltip
/cast [@<player's name>] Tricks of the Trade

This will let you hit a specific player with TotT.

FoK requires a throwing weapon to be equipped however rogues are still able to use other ranged weapons and may have a ranged weapon that is better for single target DPS than their throwing weapon. In this case, it may be convenient to make a macro to swap weapons depending on if you need to AoE or deal single-target DPS. Just as a warning, these macros invoke a GCD and can cause you to cap out and they reset your swing timer (delayed/lost auto attacks). FYI, you can Shift + Right Click on items in your bag to automatically enter the name of your weapon when making these macros.

#showtooltip Fan of Knives
/startattack
/equip <name of your throwing weapon>
/cast Fan of Knives

#showtooltip Sinister Strike
/startattack
/equip <name of your better ranged weapon>
/cast Sinister Strike

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