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Hand me Downs: Rogue

July 27, 2010

Welcome to the fifth instalment of my 10 part series on how to best prepare for levelling a new character of a given class. This time, we look at the devious, sneaky class, the Rogue! This guide will cover levelling specs, heirlooms and professions. It also assumes you have access to a level 80 character and a reasonable amount of gold.

Understanding a Rogue

Rogue is a pure melee DPS class, whose main class skill or identifier is their ability to stealth. Stealth is not invisibility; it is an ability that allows you to move around at a slower rate, unseen by mobs and players whilst at a certain distance from them. Stealth does not work on some mobs. Any damage taken can and will take you out of stealth for the world to see. All three talent trees are devoted to DPS, the first focuses on the use of daggers and being able to escape in tight corners, the second is a more toe-to-toe tree that is powerful, if slightly dull, and the third is heavy PvP slanted ‘never be seen’ build. As a rule, there is no preferred tree to level a Rogue as. Combat has a powerful shine at lower levels, but is overtaken at 50 by the other two, where the trees really start to diversify. I have recommended Assassination, so that you don’t have to swap out heirlooms and can work towards the same spec through leveling.


You should fill up the Assassination tree before moving on to Combat, and then Subtlety. While leveling to 50, you should focus on matching your major glyph with the spec of your choice. Assassination will be using the Eviscerate glyph to start with, as it has great synergy with Improved Eviscerate. Once you receive Mutilate at level 50, grabbing the Mutilate glyph is a no-brainer. The last is to augment the powerful 51pt talent, Hunger for blood. Rogues only have to bare in mind the duration of their poisons. You can first start purchasing poisons at level 20 and applying them to your weapons, they last an hour. While you’re in stealth, you can also use your other new ability you receive at 22: Distract. It used to see more use in the past where rogues were able to sneak past bosses and mobs in instances, but is almost unused in today’s environments. I suggest using it a few times on mobs and players and observing their reactions. Rogues also receive Safe Fall at level 40, which allows a rogue to fall from higher distances without taking damage. Now that you can take fall damage and remain in stealth, it’s less important to know “exactly” how high you can drop without hurting yourself, but be sure to test this thoroughly and learn your falling limits! Rogues receive Blind at level 34. It’s a core CC ability, usable in combat, no longer requires a rare and expensive reagent, and is on a measly 3 minute cooldown. It’s awesome for situations where you pull an extra mob or a player is trying to interfere with your levelling. Blind them, Vanish, and get out of there! You can also use a macro to use Blind and then use a bandage, allowing you to safely heal while engaged in combat. Your basic rotation should look something like this:

Open from Stealth with Cheap shot, Backstab repeatedly till the mob is facing you, Sinister strike if needed to build up combo points, Eviscerate with 4+ combo points as a finisher

Later on in their lifetime, Rogues receive Tricks of the Trade which acts as a threat transfer for as long as the target you buffed it with has it. This is very useful, seeing as Rogues are one of the higher- threat output classes. At 80, they receive their one true AoE, Fan of Knives, a spammable localised aoe that is fired in a radius from the Rogue.

Heirlooms & gearing for Rogues

Weapon: Balanced Heartseeker x2, both Enchanted with Enchant Weapon – Agility
Ranged Weapon: Charmed Ancient Bone Bow Enchanted with a Standard Scope
Shoulders: Stained Shadowcraft Spaulders
Chest: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic Enchanted with Enchant Chest – Greater Stats
Trinket: Swift Hand of Justice x2
The enchants are not vital, the main part you need is the Shoulders and the Chest for the experience bonus. The other items are just for optimum speed and levelling. You want to be looking out for Leather Gear with the following stats on it: Agility, Crit, Attack power.

Professions for Rogues

The main recommended profession for Rogues is Leatherworking – you will be able to craft lots of gear for yourself to wear, all the way from 1-80, and in Northrend levels you will be able to add Fur Linings to your bracers for insane boosts to Attack power, and very cheap leg enchants. Recommended Secondary profession is Skinning to support it, or Enchanting for the extra Attack power in Northrend, but that one is more up to you.


So there you have it! I hope this guide is most useful to you. Watch this space for the next class to be covered, and happy levelling!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cthulhu permalink
    July 29, 2010 11:26 pm

    I’m currently levelling a rogue using a subtlety spec which I call “Spambush”, as its main purpose is to get as strong an opener as possible. It works best after level 28, as the main point is to take two points in assassination for Remorseless Attacks (+40% crit after a kill) and Improved Ambush (+50% ambush crit) for a guaranteed opening ambush crit, but it gets better the more points you can spend in subtlety. It does some fairly fantastic burst damage. You can place points later in subtlety to make it more PvE or PvP oriented. Once you have Premeditation, this can ambush crit then get a 5-point eviscerate immediately.

    It works well for soloing, puts out competitive rogue damage in instances (face it, with no AoE you’re not going to top trash meters, but this can do alright against bosses) and lets you be a roving deathmachine in battlegrounds. What’s more, as you open from stealth and shadowstep all over the place, you feel like a rogue.


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