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    Neglected's Avatar Corporal
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    Rogue Assassination - Introduction to PvE Basics.

    I made this guide for my guild <Til It Goes Click>, but decided to post it here since I'm the only rogue in our guild at the moment x3
    Also note that this is a PvE perspective. If you want a PvP perspective, please see Jackie Moon's guide here.


    Hi everyone. I'm Hitswitch and today I shall be writing a very basic introduction guide to the rogue class in raiding. I'm not saying I'm a master of raiding but I know the basics to pass on.

    Contents
    • Talent Spec.
    • Rotation.
    • Weaponary.
    • AddOns.
    • Using your abilities tactically.
    • Stat Weights and how to use them.
    • Gems
    • Links for further (more in-depth) reading.



    Talent Spec
    I play assassination. I have no patience for either subtlety, nor combat.
    Now that that's out of the way, please allow me to note that I will not be going over Combat nor Subt., for the reasons that:
    • I hate the damned specs.
    • Assassination is the current Highest DPS spec at the moment.
    • I leveled from 1 to 85 in Assassination, so I am more experienced in it.

    When you select your Assassination spec, you will immediately gain 3 benefits. Mutilate - your bread and butter combo point builder; Improved Poisons - a passive bonus providing a gain in poison application; and Assassin's Resolve - A passive bonus granting 20 energy and 15% increased damage whilst wielding daggers.
    As Assassination you will always be wielding daggers. Other weapons belong in Subtlety or Combat. We'll go into weapons later on. Your Mastery is Potent Poisons, which gives you a flat 28% increase in poison damage and an extra 3.5% damage bonus per point of Mastery. Please note Mastery Rating is not Mastery. This Mastery will result in a huge amount of poison damage - Assassination's main source of damage output (at level 85, at least).

    The talent build I use is this. This is the standard talent build as per elitist jerks, however you do have room for movement of talents. You can, for example, move 2/3 Precision to 2/2 Elusiveness if you wish, although this will mean you will need to find 4% extra hit from somewhere - this could mean sacrificing Mastery for Yellow Hit, which might produce lower numbers on your screen. You can also move the point from Deadly Brew to Blackjack or Deadly Momentum, but personally, those two talents are worthless without being fully talented.

    You can also change some of the glyphs. I use Backstab, Rupture and Mutilate - these are the highest DPS Prime Glyphs, I recommend you do not change them. I also use Feint - so I can easily help the healers by reducing AoE damage taken (more on this later), Sprint to get behind mobs faster, and Tricks of the Trade to make Tricks of the Trade free. This is actually a DPS increase, although I won't supply the formula here. Minor glyphs are purely preference and have no effect on DPS, generally.

    Note that we pick up Venomous Wounds in this build. Venomous Wounds does a large amount of damage (it can and will crit for roughly 8,000, 8 times more than Rupture/Garotte crits for), and restores 10 energy when it procs. This is a DPS gain as it gives you more energy. This is the only reason we open with Garotte and keep Rupture up. We also pick up Murderous Intent, which will allow you to have an execute phase. Some people drop this for Improved Expose Armor and keep Expose Armor up constantly. I don't think Elitist Jerks have done simcraft on this so currently it is not known if IEA is better DPS than MI. However, we do know that MI makes things a lot easier in the execute phase.

    Rotation
    We don't have a rotation really, rather a priority system like most classes. Our priority system consists of keeping finishing moves up. In order, it is
    Slice and Dice > Rupture > Envenom
    This means that if Slice and Dice is down, then you must put it up. Otherwise if Slice and Dice is up but Rupture is not, you use that. If both are up then you Envenom.
    We use 4+ combo point finishers. That is, we use a finisher when we have 4 combo points or higher. No earlier - except in the beginning of the rotation.
    When you open, you should open with Garotte (if the mob will drop within 10 seconds abandon the rotation and just do whatever you can, no point in doing our rotation in those cases since we have a ramp up time). After being brought out of stealth due to Garotte, you will have one Combo Point (provided you did not spec into Opportunity and instead specced into Precision like I did - otherwise you will have two). You should use this Combo Point on Slice and Dice. Then you should use Mutilate twice to generate 4/5 combo points and Envenom. This refreshes Slice and Dice to it's 5 combo point maximum (Thanks to Cut to the Chase). Then the cycle begins, where you keep a 4/5 point Rupture on the target and Envenoming whilst Rupture is on there. With ~12% haste (thanks to Hurricane procs), I can usually Envenom once or twice before having to refresh Rupture. This rotation should carry on until the target goes below 35%, at which point you should start using Backstab to generate combo points instead of Mutilate. Using Backstab instead of Mutilate, I can usually fit 3 or 4 Envenoms in between Rupture. That's your basic cycle.
    You will want to use Vendetta - unless you have a burn phase designated - when you have the Overkill buff on you to maximize DPS. If a boss lasts 5 minutes or more, then you should use Vendetta at the start whilst you have Overkill. This will free you up to use Vendetta near the end of the boss, which is usually the burn/execute phase. If you know you have a burn phase at the start of the fight, or at least, you have a burn phase before 2 minutes into the fight, then save your Vendetta for then. Try and keep Vendetta, Vanish and Potions ready for Lust/Time Warp. You should also prepot if you're facing a raid boss. This is basically using a potion before you enter combat so you can use a potion in combat later on. You should be using Flask of the Winds (12 Whiptail, 12 Azshara's Veil, 6 Volatile Life) as a flask and Potion of the Tol'Vir (1 Whiptail, 1 Azshara's Veil) as potions.

    Weaponary
    This will be a short note more than a whole paragraph but you should always try and use a slow dagger in your main hand and a fast dagger in your off hand. You should also put Deadly Poison on your off hand and Instant Poison on your main hand. What you put on your thrown weapon (yes, you should have a thrown weapon) is up to you. I personally use Deadly Poison.

    AddOns
    There aren't many AddOns that are required for a rogue. I'd recommend Pawn so you can decide which piece of gear is a better upgrade for you, Power Auras so you can track what your finishing moves are at and which one to use, and Deus Vox Encounters (or something similar. Note that as of this time of writing, Deadly Boss Mods bugs out on a few heroic bosses).

    Using your abilities tactically.
    There are a few abilities that players find are quite useless in PvE. I'd like to note that I have used nearly every ability in PvE at one point, with the exception of Expose Armor.

    Shiv - It can remove enrages. Not the enrage timer enrages, but most ones, such as Lockmaw's enrage in heroic mode. I always keep this bound so it is within easy reach.
    Smoke Bomb - Caster adds got you down? Ranged adds driving you crazy? Drop a smoke bomb on the person they are targeting and they will have to move to melee that person (at least for 10 seconds anyway). Great when LoS pulls aren't viable on mobs that cast.
    Redirect - If you're on a boss encounter with multiple mobs (ie, Omnitron Defense System), then using this will transfer all your existing combo points to your current target. Great ability on multimobbed encounters.
    Tricks of the Trade - This is primarily a threat dump, but if you have two Assassination Rogues in your raid group then it may be worth using Tricks of the Trade on each other so you get a 15% (glyphed: 10%) damage increase on you and you gain no net threat for 5 seconds.
    Disarm - Can, believe or not, be used on most Heroic bosses at least. Use it. It saves headaches.
    Fan of Knives (with Deadly Brew 1/2 and Deadly Poison) - You can, contrary to popular belief, kite thanks to this. It's a bit of a gamble since Deadly Brew only has a 50% chance to proc. Put Crippling Poison on your ranged weapon if in doubt and you will almost always Cripple the enemy.
    Distract - Can save group wipes. No, seriously. I have stopped groups wiping thanks to quickly breaking off from combat with Vanish and then Distracting patrolling mobs to face the other way. Distract makes the targets affected face the other way and stop moving for 10 seconds. Cannot be used whilst the mobs are in combat, however.
    Sap - For god sake, learn to use it. You can now sap Dragonkin, Beasts, Humanoids and Demons as opposed to just Humanoids in Wrath of the Lich King.
    Feint - Yes, it's a fairly shit threat dump. But there's a reason I picked it up. It reduces all AoE damage taken by 50% for 6 seconds. When you're taking heavy AoE damage, this will very likely save your life and a lot of healer's mana. Use it whenever it is off cooldown in AoE phases.

    Stat Weights and how to use them.
    According to Elitist Jerks, the stat weights for us Assassination rogues are the following:

    Agility: 2.6 per point.
    "Yellow" Hit Rating: 1.75 per point.
    Spell Hit Rating: 1.4 per point.
    Mastery Rating: 1.3 per point.
    Haste Rating: 1.2 per point.
    Expertise Rating: 1.1 per point.
    Crit Rating: 0.9 per point.
    White Hit Rating: 0.75 per point.

    Stat Weights are a point system and it tells you how much each point of each stat is "worth" compared to the other stats. As you can see here, Agility is worth 2.6 EP per point of Agility, making it our most valuable DPS increasing stat. Next down the food chain is so-called "Yellow" Hit Rating. Yellow Hit Rating is capped at 6% hit chance. This is the point at which none of your poisons will ever miss a level 88 mob (A raid boss). Since you took Precision, you only need 2% extra hit (241 hit rating) to reach the Yellow Hit Cap. Once you have reached the Yellow Hit Cap, then hit rating becomes worth 1.4EP instead of 1.75EP. This continues until you hit the Spell Hit Cap (Which is 17% hit rating; 13% or 1332 hit rating with precision). Basically, once you have 1332 hit rating, you are spell hit capped - now, none of your special abilities (Mutilate etc) will miss. Getting the hit caps is VERY important. It is a massive DPS loss if you are not capped.

    Reforging will help you reach your hit caps. When you reforge, you will likely have two reforgable stats on an item. Let's look at a few examples.. first of all, we'll look at Wind Dancer's Spaulders. This has two reforgable stats: +149 Crit Rating and +169 Haste Rating. As you can see from the above weight chart, both of these stats (Haste and Crit) are "weaker" than Mastery, Spell and Yellow Hit (Also weaker than Agility, but we can't reforge to agility). If you weren't Spell Hit Capped, you would take the stat that has the most and is "weaker" - that is, we have +149 Crit and +169 Haste. Both are weaker than Hit Rating, and since we have more haste than crit, we would reforge the Haste into Hit Rating. If both stats had the same value (ie, we had 150 Crit and 150 Haste), you would reforge the crit since Crit is weaker than Haste.

    Once you hit your hit caps, you should work on reforging all of your gear to higher stats. Here is a quick mock-up of what stats you should reforge to depending on what stats are already on the item.

    Below hit cap (Format: Stat1 + Stat2 = Reforge info)
    ?? + Hit = Reforge ?? to Mastery.
    ?? + ?? (not Hit) = Reforge the stat with the most to Hit.

    Above hit cap (Format: Stat1 + Stat2 = Reforge info)
    Haste + Mastery = Do not reforge.
    ?? (not Haste) + Mastery = Reforge ?? to Haste.
    ?? + ?? (not Master) = Reforge the stat with the most to Mastery.

    Note that these are very rough guidelines and your milage may vary. Certain circumstances are not taken into account here - for example, you could have an item with +71 mastery and +72 haste and +29 hit (reforged), taking you to the hit cap, as well as another item with +71 haste and +72 crit. In this case you would reforge the crit on the second item to +29 hit and restore the first item so that it was not reforged at all.

    Gems
    Oops, almost forgot this section! Your standard gem is the straight +40 agility Delicate Inferno Ruby (red). You should always use this gem unless the socket bonus matches one of the following, in which case you should gem for the socket bonus.
    Red Gem: Delicate Inferno Ruby (+40 agility)
    Blue Gem: Glinting Demonseye (+20 agility +20 hit)
    Yellow Gem: Adept Ember Topaz (+20 agility +20 mastery)

    If the socket is a single yellow or single blue gem, then socket to the gem colour only if the socket bonus is at least:
    • 10+ agility
    • 20+ hit
    • 29+ crit
    • 24+ expertise
    • 22+ haste
    • 20+ mastery
    • 26+ ap



    If the socket is a two yellow or two blue gems, then socket to the gem colour only if the socket bonus is at least:
    • 20+ agility
    • 40+ hit
    • 58+ crit
    • 48+ expertise
    • 44+ haste
    • 40+ mastery
    • 52+ ap



    If the socket is one red and one yellow or one red and one blue, then socket to the gem colour only if the socket bonus is at least:
    • 10+ agility
    • 20+ hit
    • 29+ crit
    • 24+ expertise
    • 22+ haste
    • 20+ mastery
    • 26+ ap


    If the socket is one yellow and one blue or one red, one blue and one yellow, then socket to the gem colour only if the socket bonus is at least:
    • 20+ agility
    • 40+ hit
    • 58+ crit
    • 48+ expertise
    • 44+ haste
    • 40+ mastery
    • 52+ ap


    Otherwise, do NOT match the socket bonus and always socket for Delicate Inferno Ruby.
    Can't tell you about meta gems yet. :x Keep your eyes peeled on EJ for that.

    Links
    Assassination Guide for Cata - Elitist Jerks



    Yours,
    Hitswitch.


    ---------- Post added at 11:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:59 PM ----------

    Oh, and, since last time I made a guide it ended up on some google-crawling website and then people dubbed mine a copy pasta, this was posted on MMOwned at 11:01pm and can also be found on both my harddrive and my guild website. So, up yours, googlebots..
    Last edited by Neglected; 12-23-2010 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Gems & Contents

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  2. #2
    Reflection's Avatar Legendary
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    Great information and content, though I find that it could use some work on the layout. Images would be extremely handy to slice up the chunk of text that it is currently. Nevertheless, a great contribution and I'm sure people will find great use of it +8

    Freelance Digital Artist
    https://reflectionartwork.deviantart.com
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    My brothers in arms


  3. #3
    Neglected's Avatar Corporal
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    Thank you, Reflection, I shall consider adding images sooner (or later). Off to enjoy what's left of my 16th birthday atm though ^^

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    kongmarius's Avatar Corporal
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    Originally Posted by Neglected View Post
    Sap - For god sake, learn to use it. You can now sap Dragonkin, Beasts, Humanoids and Demons as opposed to just Humanoids in Wrath of the Lich King.
    Might not be that important, but I'd like to point out that this change came with WotLK, not Cataclysm

    Other than that, nice guide, might bookmark it for future reference +rep

  5. #5
    Neglected's Avatar Corporal
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    Originally Posted by kongmarius View Post
    Might not be that important, but I'd like to point out that this change came with WotLK, not Cataclysm

    Other than that, nice guide, might bookmark it for future reference +rep
    Eh, I made a rogue in Cataclysm. I had one back in 3.2 but I never really used sap much but I can't remember it ever working on beasts.
    Eh well. ^^

  6. #6
    Methodus's Avatar Master Sergeant

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    Nice guide, although I personally find it better to open with Mutilate instead of Garrote

  7. #7
    Neglected's Avatar Corporal
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    Originally Posted by Methodus View Post
    Nice guide, although I personally find it better to open with Mutilate instead of Garrote
    Elitist Jerks have said they don't know what's better. Personally, since I have low haste, I prefer Garrote for the energy regen and Venomous Wounds proc, but with enough haste I imagine you could regen energy just as quickly and do more through put with Mut.
    That, and Garrote gives a 1.5sec (or is 1sec? I always mix up) window to get poisons on the target so you can get the 20% dmg bonus from Mut.

    It's just personal preference imo.

    EDIT: Also I just find things flow easier opening with Garrote.
    Last edited by Neglected; 12-23-2010 at 07:56 PM.

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