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Combat Guide for Cata [12/01/2011]


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#1 ieatpaperbag

ieatpaperbag

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 10:22 PM

Last Revised: 12/01/2011

The most recent changes are in blue.

Information that is probably out of date is in maroon.

This guide is specifically written for raiding Combat rogues 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.

I would like to thank Consider for letting me use his very well written DK guides as a guide to write this guide. I also thank everyone who put in the time and effort testing, calculating, and theorizing to provide the information that is present in this guide. I would also like to thank Aldriana again specifically for trudging through yet another guide for correctness and clarity.

=Abbreviations=
[TABLE="head"]Abbreviation | Meaning
Agi | Agility
AR | Adrenaline Rush
AoE | Area of Effect
AP | Attack Power
BF | Blade Flurry
BG | Bandit's Guile
Capping | Hitting Max Energy
CC | Crowd Control
CP | Combo Point
CoS | Cloak of Shadows
CR | Combat Readiness
DoT | Damage over Time
DP | Deadly Poison
EP | Equivalence Point
Evis | Eviscerate
FoK | Fan of Knives
GCD | Global Cooldown
KS | Killing Spree
MG | Main Gauche
MH | Main Hand/Main Hand Weapon
MS | Mortal Strike Effect (referring to all 25% reduce healing debuffs)
ICD | Internal Cooldown
IP | Instant Poison
OH | Off Hand/Off Hand Weapon
RB | Restless Blades
RvS | Revealing Strike
SnD | Slice and Dice
TotT | Tricks of the Trade
WP | Wound Poison[/TABLE]

 1[/hr]

=Specs and Glyphs=
==Spec==
7/31/3
The above link is a version of the recommended Combat spec, the 4 points in Blade Twisting and Improved Recuperate are filler points and can be moved to what suits you best.

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
  • [Individual's Choice]
  • [Individual's Choice]
  • [Individual's Choice]

The Adrenaline Rush and Sinister Strike glyphs are musts for Combat. The Slice and Dice glyph is next in line but and 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 or T13 2pc; 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 (refer to the Cataclysm 4.3.x Raid Mechanics Thread for various places Feint will work, older encounters are linked in the below resource section).

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 around and chose your major glyphs per encounter.

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

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=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. If you never use Rupture, consider moving a point from Lethality into Coup de Grace, filling out the latter talent.

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.

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=Stats and Gearing=
==Stat Weights==
Below are the current estimated EP values for stats in heroic T12 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. The T13 EP values have not been finalized but nextormento has provided some preliminary number for us to work with. The value of yellow hit and expertise will go up for rogues using the legendary daggers which should not change a Combat rogue's gearing priorities.

[table="head"]Stat | T11 EP | T12 EP | T13 EP
Agility | 2.7 | 2.8 | 2.83
Yellow Hit Rating | 1.9 | 2.15 | 2.43
Expertise Rating | 1.65 | 1.85 | 2.13
Haste Rating | 1.5 | 1.7 | 1.87
Spell Hit Rating | 1.4 | 1.5 | 1.68
Mastery Rating | 1.2 | 1.5 | 1.51
White Hit Rating | 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.35
Crit Rating | 0.9 | 1.25 | 1.18
MH DPS | 4.97 | 4.68 | 4.30
OH DPS | 1.15 | 1.47 | 1.38[/table]

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
[table="head"] | Yellow | Spell | White
3/3 Precision | 241 (2%) | 1127 (11%) | 2523 (21%)[/table]

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
[table="head"] | Expertise Cap
Racial | 691 (23)
No Racial | 781 (26)[/table]

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.

  • [Jaws of Retribution] Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Suffering, increasing your Agility by 2, stacking up to 50 times.
  • [Maw of Oblivion] Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Nightmare, increasing your Agility by 5, stacking up to 50 times.
  • [Fangs of the Father] Your melee attacks have a chance to grant Shadows of the Destroyer, increasing your Agility by 17, stacking up to 50 times. Each application past 30 grants an increasing chance to trigger Fury of the Destroyer. When triggered, this consumes all applications of Shadows of the Destroyer, immediately granting 5 combo points and cause your finishing moves to generate 5 combo points. Lasts 6 sec.


This is the progression of the set bonuses provided by the daggers leading up to the legendary dagger set completed in T13. The stacking Agility buff is pretty straight forward and lasts 30 seconds. In the case of Combat, during Fury of the Destroyer you absolutely want to perform six finishers; do not try to weave in RvS, you will likely cap out, and it is ok if you refresh SnD during the proc (Evis and Ruptures done during the buff are not any more special than ones without the buff). While normally you should not use a dagger in your MH, the MH daggers of these sets will provide Weighted Blades which is slightly more than the 44.44% needed to counteract the difference between a 2.6 speed and 1.8 speed weapon. However because of the higher base weapon speed and IP's ppm mechanic, you will have slightly less IP procs.


  • [T13 2P] After triggering Tricks of the Trade, your abilities cost 20% less energy for 6 sec. (773 EP)
  • [T13 4P] Increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 sec, Adrenaline Rush by 3 sec, and Vendetta by 9 sec. (441 EP)


The 2pc will make using TotT on cooldown necessary to maximize your personal DPS similar to the T12 4pc. Keep in mind what cooldowns you use in combination with the buff to avoid capping but do not delay anything so much you lose a usage of it during an encounter. The 4pc is fairly straight forward and extends your AR to a 23 second duration assuming you are using the AR glyph.


  • [T12 2P] Your melee critical strikes deal 6% additional damage as Fire over 4 sec. (500 EP)
  • [T12 4P] Your Tricks of the Trade ability also causes you to gain a 25% increase to one of your combat ratings at random for 30 sec. (439 EP)


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.

  • [T11 2P] Increases the critical strike chance of your Backstab Mutilate, and Sinister Strike abilities by 5%. (~200 EP)
  • [T11 4P] Each of your melee autoattacks has a 1% chance to activate Deadly Scheme for 15 sec, increasing the critical strike chance on your next Eviscerate or Envenom by 100%. (~200 EP)


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. With exception of the dagger sets mentioned above you will want to use a slow MH, slower will generally be better if the stats are the same. Below is an incomplete and estimated BiS list of gear based on T12 EP values and will be completed later.

Best in Slot Gear
[table="head"]Slot | Item | Gems | Reforge
Helm | | | NYI
Neck | NYI | NYI | NYI
Shoulders | | | NYI
Back | NYI | NYI | NYI
Chest | | | NYI
Wrists | | | NYI
Gloves | | | NYI
Belt | | | NYI
Legs | | | NYI
Boots | | | NYI
Ring 1 | | | NYI
Ring 2 | | | NYI
Trinket 1 | | None | None
Trinket 2 | | None | NYI
MH | | | NYI
OH | * | | NYI
Ranged | | None | NYI[/table]
*If you only have the first stage of the legendary daggers, use in your OH (There is no MH recommendation yet).

Trinkets with T13 Gear
[table="head"]Name | EP
| 2754.22
| 2529.19
* | 2482.04
| 2421.90
| 2237.94
| 2230.87
* | 2205.46
| 2145.50
| 2011.98
| 1976.35
* | 1954.34
| 1927.54
| 1901.28
| 1780.21
| 1765.57
| 1658.2
| 1572.9
| 1495.4
| 1468.4
| 1386.6
| 1362.0
| 1333.7
| 1324.0
| 1313.8
| 1313.8
| 1238.38
| 1204.4
| 1178.88
| 1164.0[/table]
* Modeled with an unconfirmed 115 second ICD

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=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 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). Epic-quality gems are always superior to their blue-quality counterparts however, since the epic-quality gems are not readily available the blue-quality ones are listed. The EP values are based on heroic T12 gear.

Red Sockets
[table="head"]Name | Stats | EP
| 50 Agility | 141.5
| 50 Expertise Rating | 106.5
| 40 Agility | 113.2
| 40 Expertise Rating | 85.2[/table]

Yellow Sockets
[table="head"]Name | Stats | EP
| 25 Agility/25 Haste Rating | 117.5
| 20 Agility/20 Haste Rating | 94.0[/table]

Blue Sockets
[table="head"]Name | Stats | EP
| 25 Agility/25 Hit Rating | 112.8*
| 25 Agility/25 Hit Rating | 104.5**
| 20 Agility/20 Hit Rating | 90.2*
| 20 Agility/20 Hit Rating | 83.6**[/table]
*below spell hit cap
**above spell hit cap


You generally will want to match all of your Agility bonuses ( in yellow sockets and in blue sockets) and put all into sockets for non-Agility bonuses or gear with no red sockets. To be sure, you may want to calculate the EP value yourself. Using as an example, there is a yellow and blue socket for a 20 Agility bonus. Putting a and in gives a total of 25+25+20=70 Agility, 25 Haste Rating, and 25 Hit Rating. Below the spell hit cap, the total EP value is calculated as follows.

[TABLE]Matching Sockets
70(2.83) + 25(1.87) + 25(1.68) = 286.9 EP[/TABLE]

What if we decided to put in two instead? This gives a total of 50+50=100 Agility (no socket bonus).

[TABLE]Straight Agility
100(2.83) = 283 EP[/TABLE]

So in this case, it is slightly better to use two Agility gems which agrees with the earlier statement that we should put all Agility gems in for gear with no red sockets. Using the same piece of gear with blue-quality gems gives 240.8 EP compared to 226.4 EP meaning it would be better to match your socket bonuses.

==Meta-Gems==
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==
[table="head"]Slot | Enchant | Comments
Head | 60 Agi/30 Haste | (Revered with Ramkahen)
Cape | 65 Crit | (From Enchanting) With T12 4pc this comes out better than check with Shadowcraft without the 4pc.
Shoulder | 50 Agility/25 Mastery | (Exalted with Therazane)
Chest | 20 Stats | (From Enchanting)
Bracers | 50 Agility | (From Enchanting)
Gloves | 50 Expertise or 65 Mastery | or if you are over expertise cap (both from Enchanting).
Legs | 190 AP / 55 Crit | (From Leatherworking)
Feet | 35 Agility or 25 Agility + Run Speed | or (From Enchanting) This depends on how much you value run speed, combat does have an especially short Sprint cooldown via RB.
Belt | Extra Socket | (From Blacksmithing), put a in the socket
MH | 1000 AP proc | (From Enchanting)*
OH | 1000 AP proc | (From Enchanting)*[/table]
*Since is currently quite expensive; a reasonable alternative is to use double . Since haste is a relatively strong stat for Combat compared to Assassination, is not competitive for Combat the way it is for Assassination.

 1[/hr]

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

Flask:
Potion:
Food: / /


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 (211.55 EP) which is overall the weakest stat for Combat but still is more EP than 3 expertise for both hands (191.87 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 or if you are using the legendary daggers. If you are using both, the racial gives about 191.87 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
Night Elves do not have much going for them in the way of racials for a Combat rogue. While they do have the highest base Agility, this is of minimal value at 85. Shadowmeld will put you into stealth and allow you to use an opener however Combat rogues do not have any DPS openers worth using. Shadowmeld also drops 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===
Troll
Trolls are one of the strongest races for the horde with Berserking, which provides 20% attack speed and energy regen (haste) 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 Beth'tilac and Chimaeron, Trolls are the clear dominate race for DPS because of Beast Slaying.

Orc
Orcs, are also a strong Horde race for Combat rogues if you are using an Axe or Fist because of Axe Specialization which will only apply to your MH (108.10 EP). Orc additionally 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, have a passive 1% increased attack speed (this is not the same as haste which would include increased energy regen) from Time is Money. 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.

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==
Blacksmithing
Blacksmithing gains you two additional sockets (Socket Bracers and Socket Gloves) which you should put two in for 100 more Agility, 20 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 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 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 and place two cogwheel gems into them which puts the helm on par itemization-wise with any ilvl 359 helm though it's obsolete to current content.

Alchemy
Alchemists have a passive Mixology buff which will increase the effect of 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 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 . 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 71.0 Agility.

Jewelcrafting
Allows you to replace three with three which nets you 51 Agility, 29 less Agility than the rest of the craft professions (excluding blacksmithing).

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.

 1[/hr]

=Basic Combat Mechanics=

  • Partial resists no longer occur against bosses.
  • Glancing blows happen when white attacking equal or higher level NPCs and deal 25% reduced damage. For bosses this has a 24% chance to happen for all of your white attacks.
  • When attacking a NPC target from behind you cannot be parried but can still be dodged.
  • All melee classes suffer a 4.8% crit suppression vs bosses when using melee attacks.
  • All spell attacks have a 2.1% crit suppression vs bosses.


 1[/hr]

=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.

[TABLE]#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Sinister Strike[/TABLE]

[TABLE]#showtooltip
/startattack
/cast Revealing Strike[/TABLE]

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.

[TABLE]#showtooltip
/cast [@focus] Tricks of the Trade[/TABLE]
This lets you hit your focus target with TotT.

[TABLE]#showtooltip
/cast [@targettarget] Tricks of the Trade[/TABLE]
This lets you hit your target's target with TotT (hopefully a tank, though bosses often target other players for their abilities).

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

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

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

 1[/hr]

=Resources=
ShadowCraft
This is a webapp designed by several rogues (notably Aldriana and Adrine) that can download your gear from the Armory and make suggestions about gearing, gemming, and reforging. The tool will also allow you to see the effect of changing talents, buffs/debuffs, rotation priorities, etc. It is recommended you use an updated browser, preferably Chrome or Safari 5. Further discussion can be found here.

Cataclysm 4.3.x Raid Mechanics
This is a discussion on T13 encounters focused on the numerous places in boss encounters where your non-DPS abilities such as Feint, CoS, Dismantle, racials, engineering tinkers, etc. excel along with some suggestions about how you should approach various boss mechanics.

Cataclysm 4.2.x Raid Mechanics
This is a discussion maintained by Fnar that also discusses how to use your non-DPS abilities but for T12 bosses.

Cataclysm 4.0.3 Raid Mechanics
This discussion maintained by Zulkeir, is similar to the ones above except it is for T11 bosses.

 1[/hr]

=Thread Change Log=
[12/20/2010] Post created
[12/21/2010] Added comments regarding Expose Armor
[12/22/2010] Added info regarding 1-Handed Expertise
[12/30/2010] Alternative weapon enchants
[02/08/2011] Patch 4.0.6 (a few links will be broken or link to the wrong items until wowhead updates)
[02/09/2011] Updated stat EP values to match FAQ to keep consistency in discussions (keeping 02/08 stuff blue)
[02/11/2011] Updated 1-Handed Expertise EP values (keeping patch 4.0.6 stuff blue)
[03/25/2011] Updated Shadowcraft Link, Trinket EP values, and WP penalty; added BiS list
[04/04/2011] Corrected EP value for in the trinket list
[04/26/2011] Patch 4.1.0
[05/04/2011] Update to BiS list with new Al'akir gear
[05/19/2011] Note about bleed debuffs and Rupture and more detail about hit rating
[06/28/2011] Patch 4.2.0 (I'll update the BiS and Trinkets once the armory updates and syncs with Shadowcraft)
[10/24/2011] Updated Shadowmeld and corrected belt BiS (sorry)
[11/07/2011] Corrected Berserking and Time is Money to include energy regen
[11/29/2011] Patch 4.3.0 (sorry, a lot of broken links until wowhead updates)
[12/01/2011] Corrected minor errors and updated trinket EP values

 1[/hr]
  • missoneshut likes this
Most rogues are unaware of the fact that when they cast killing spree, they are an eligible victim of the killing spree.

#2 Dracen

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for putting in the effort to get these guides up. They're looking solid.

Just one correction for the moment:

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 as an example, between crit and haste, 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.


While you want to reforge expertise to cap, and then haste, the sample item used already has haste on it which prevents you from reforging to haste. Hit might be an option (it's better than crit), but assuming you want to stick to the basics of exp > haste you're going to want another example.

#3 ieatpaperbag

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:51 PM

While you want to reforge expertise to cap, and then haste, the sample item used already has haste on it which prevents you from reforging to haste. Hit might be an option (it's better than crit), but assuming you want to stick to the basics of exp > haste you're going to want another example.


Good catch, I've changed the example piece of gear.

#4 Quackers

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:05 AM

Nice guide, very thorough and well written.

Just a small point, but I'd suggest including Glyph of Safe Fall as a "Recommended" minor glyph over the others. It has slightly more combat-potential in certain fights to save your healers some mana than the others.

#5 sp00n

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:16 AM

An addition to KS: you can use FoK while performing Killing Spree. While it's not optimal, it's certainly better than capping out on energy.

Stopped Playing


#6 Jagiya

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 01:15 AM

Thank you very much for this (and the Assassination guide), very informative and helpful.

#7 Matl1

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:28 AM

Great guide! One note, the blue sockets under your gemming sections have the same two gems in it. I'm sur it is a mistake. Also I can't wait for your pre-raid gear list.

#8 ieatpaperbag

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:33 PM

Great guide! One note, the blue sockets under your gemming sections have the same two gems in it. I'm sur it is a mistake. Also I can't wait for your pre-raid gear list.


Thanks, I have placed twice to show its EP value above and below spell hit cap though, it can be argued since most combat rogues will not go for spell hit cap that the latter is irrelevant.

#9 Fogkin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 02:58 PM

Is that the correct EP value for ? I just did a quick calculation using the EP values listed and I only get 1174.5, but seeing that it will take a few seconds to build up to the 340 agility wouldn't that make the EP lower than 1174.5? Which would be a lot less than the value you have listed for it. Also how did you come to the EP value for ? Just curious. I picked that up last night and noticed a huge dps increase when I swapped out Tia's Grace for it.

#10 ieatpaperbag

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:16 PM

Is that the correct EP value for ? I just did a quick calculation using the EP values listed and I only get 1174.5, but seeing that it will take a few seconds to build up to the 340 agility wouldn't that make the EP lower than 1174.5? Which would be a lot less than the value you have listed for it. Also how did you come to the EP value for ? Just curious. I picked that up last night and noticed a huge dps increase when I swapped out Tia's Grace for it.


The values come from a table that Aldiana posted here http://elitistjerks....p4/#post1819366. I get the same values when calculating by hand so I suspect that it was either calculated differently or perhaps an error. Generally, trinkets are given a calculated average EP value and observed changes in DPS during an encounter are not helpful.

#11 Fogkin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:24 PM

The values come from a table that Aldiana posted here http://elitistjerks....p4/#post1819366. I get the same values when calculating by hand so I suspect that it was either calculated differently or perhaps an error. Generally, trinkets are given a calculated average EP value and observed changes in DPS during an encounter are not helpful.


Yes, but those EP values are going to be different for combat.

Tia's Grace has what 285 mastery which 285 * 0.9 = 256.5 EP and at full 10 stacks has 340 agil which 340 * 2.7 = 918 EP which combined = 1174.5. Unless I am not calculating that properly I don't see how using combat EP values that it is at 1244.26 EP

Sorry if I'm missing something in my calculation, I'm just trying to figure this out.

#12 Kinajo

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:26 PM

might be a DPS loss in single-target scenarios. I did a quick test between heroics on it and it seems to reset the swing timer (Log, naked except 2.7 MH + 1.4 OH). It still should be viable while moving or for large-scale AoE, just keep that in mind when using it for single-target DPS.

#13 ieatpaperbag

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:29 PM

Yes, but those EP values are going to be different for combat.


Did you click on the link at all? There are two tables, one for Assassination and one for Combat.

might be a DPS loss in single-target scenarios. I did a quick test between heroics on it and it seems to reset the swing timer (Log, naked except 2.7 MH + 1.4 OH). It still should be viable while moving or for large-scale AoE, just keep that in mind when using it for single-target DPS.


I've noticed the same thing but haven't spent the time to check, given the damage it does, it probably is a DPS loss if it does reset swing timers.

#14 Fogkin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:39 PM

Did you click on the link at all? There are two tables, one for Assassination and one for Combat.


Yes, and I still fail to see where that EP value is coming from. Going by the EP values you posted at the top of this thread there is no way to get anywhere close to the EP value Aldriana has listed for the trinket. Why I'm saying there is a calculation error somewhere or Aldriana used a different set of EP values than you have posted.

#15 Baerbel

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:47 PM

Yes, but those EP values are going to be different for combat.

Tia's Grace has what 285 mastery which 285 * 0.9 = 256.5 EP and at full 10 stacks has 340 agil which 340 * 2.7 = 918 EP which combined = 1174.5. Unless I am not calculating that properly I don't see how using combat EP values that it is at 1244.26 EP

Sorry if I'm missing something in my calculation, I'm just trying to figure this out.



You did not calculate that stats on items can be reforged, for example 40%? of that mastery into haste or expertise if needed.

#16 Aldriana

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:54 PM

I reforged it to haste before calculating EP. Much like you should do before using it as Combat.

#17 Fogkin

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:09 PM

I reforged it to haste before calculating EP. Much like you should do before using it as Combat.


Ok, now this makes more sense and I'm getting the same numbers now. Thanks for the clarification.

#18 Dyz

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 07:18 PM

Great work on the guide! I have one suggestion. You put up some very generic Tricks of the Trade macros. I had all those macros at one point on different buttons so that I could easily ToT multiple targets. I found this macro after scouring the internet:

#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [help] [target=focus, help] [target=targettarget, help] Tricks of the Trade

It does three things. It allows me to set a focus to use during the fight and be able to ToT my focus without "clicking" them. Even if you have a focus, you can still ToT a target by targeting them. Typically I use this when first starting the fight. From then on, I can just hit the macro and it will ToT my focus.

If nothing is selected and you have no focus, it will ToT the Target of Target. Which is typically what I use in 5 Man Dungeons.

#19 Malthrax

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:11 PM

I see no mention of Expose Armor, so I have to ask...

Assuming the group/raid has no other source of the 12% armor reduction debuff:
- should Combat be maintaining Expose Armor?
- Is it a pDPS gain? Or is the pDPS loss sufficiently offset by the rDPS gain?

#20 Tinwhisker

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 08:26 PM

I see no mention of Expose Armor, so I have to ask...

Assuming the group/raid has no other source of the 12% armor reduction debuff:
- should Combat be maintaining Expose Armor?
- Is it a pDPS gain? Or is the pDPS loss sufficiently offset by the rDPS gain?


If there is no other source of the 12% armor debuff in the raid, you should be doing it. Warriors, feral druids, hunters w/pet and assassination rogues (with spec) are better choices though. It is a personal gain but in 5man situations depending on fight length and complexity it may or may not be advisable.




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