Rogues are World of Warcraft's premiere melee damage dealer and especially effective in PvP. They have access to a wide range of special abilities, which depend on their constantly refilling pool of energy. Unlike other classes, such as the Hunter who has the ability to deal physical damage from a distance, Rogues must be in close.
The primary Rogue class advantage is their ability to stealth, preventing other players from seeing them unless the Rogue is very close and in a 180 degree arc in front of them or much lower level.
The primary Rogue attribute is agility. For PvP Rogues, stamina is needed for staying alive. For a rogue, agility is always preferable to strength. A rogue uses no mana, so intelligence and spirit are nearly useless. Spirit also contributes to health restoration, but even with spirit, you won't want to rely on just normal healing. Whichever method you use, food, bandages, potions, or a healer makes having a lot of spirit unnecessary.
At later levels, most Rogue-oriented gear will also include a lot of Attack Power. Other gear bonuses sought by rogues are Crit, Hit, Dodge, Haste, and Resilience. High Crit gives burst damage, high Dodge can make the rogue unhittable, high Hit increases chance to hit, mitigating dual wield penalty and enhancing dps, high Haste enhances an already high dps, and Resilience, which is almost only desirable for PvP, gives the rogue more ability to survive.
Rogues can only wear leather or cloth armor, are unable to use shields, and can only wield one-handed weapons (daggers, swords, maces, fist weapons and more recently, axes) and ranged weapons. At level 10, they can train dual wield, letting them equip two one-handed weapons. At level 20, they gain access to Poisons that can be purchased from poison vendors. It is no longer required to complete a quest to gain the use of poisons.
Rogues are best suited for players who like to sneak up on enemies and dish out large amounts of burst damage.
In Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, it is a rank you can achieve.
Rogues are Azeroth’s legerdemains. They possess a wide range of skills that allow them to accomplish feats from disarming traps to finding secret doors to smacking a magic item until it works. They are decent in a fight, and if they can strike quickly or unseen — or are flanking an enemy with the help of a thoughtful ally — they can be truly deadly. Of course, they also excel at stealth.
The rogues of Azeroth are the masters of subterfuge, skilled and cunning adversaries of those who dare not look into the shadows to see what lurks there. Roguery is a profession for those who seek the adventures of stalking and silent forests, dimly lit halls and heavily guarded strongholds. Using trickery in combat and able to vanish at the slightest distraction, the rogue is a welcome addition to any group of adventurers. Ideal spies, deadly to those they can catch unaware, rogues have no problem finding a place in the world. Deadly masters of stealth, rogues are the whispers in shadowy corners and the hooded figures crossing dark fields. Skilled with daggers and the art of silent death, these vagabonds and bandits skulk about Azeroth seeking targets and profit. A member of almost any race can learn the tricks necessary to become a skilled rogue. Still, for the tauren and draenei, such a profession is an alien concept and therefore rare (if not non-existent) among those peoples. Rogues can be found among all races on Azeroth. Whether they are diplomats, spies, thieves, scoundrels, entertainers, or simply adventurers, you can find them plying just about any trade from Mount Hyjal to Ratchet.
For as long as there were dark alleys and needs for dark services, there have been rogues, and thus they are one of the oldest professions in Azeroth. Rogues are a diverse class, and they are typically made up from the dredges of society — cutthroats, pirates, robbers, and low-lifes. The only code rogues live by is the contract, and their word is only as good as the money their services are bought for. The diverse aspects of their trade requires rogues to be well versed in lockpicking, toxicology, rudimentary alchemy and brawling. In combat, rogues rely on the element of surprise, and tactics which are regarded by most as vile and cowardly. They are rarely seen entering a fight without weapons laced in poisons and ample supplies of blinding powder. Their attacks concentrate on weak points in the body in an attempt to finish fights brutally and quickly. Rogues play prominent roles in every aspect of society — albeit, they will rarely be written in history books because their involvements will be largely unknown to the common person, but they are always there, greatly affecting the flow of events from the shadows.
From the high-contract assassin hired in secret by respected noblemen to the lowly street mugger, rogues are the ones called upon when maintaining the status quo requires a questionable solution — and by fulfilling it, are branded as outcasts by the very society that calls upon their service.
In Azeroth several rogues are free agents, though most prefer to join a guild for safety and ease of employment. Ravenholdt and the Syndicate are examples of said guilds. Other recognized rogue organizations include the Shattered Hand, the Deathstalkers and SI:7.
- Main article: Rogue races
The rogue class can be played by the following races:
All races, except the draenei and the tauren, can play a rogue with equal efficiency, but like any class in World of Warcraft, one should take a deeper look into the racial traits and how they affect the gameplay of a rogue.
Tauren and draenei races are the only races that do not have rogues because they believe that the methods of the rogues are "dishonorable," and it is difficult to be stealthy when you have hooves. However in the game files, both Draenei and Tauren both have stealthing animations, and as such, Eredar and Broken have such motions, some people believe the reason of this is because the item and/or GM command testing.
Although rogues excel at melee combat, they may only learn to use five types of melee weapons: daggers, fist weapons, one-handed maces, one-handed swords and one-handed axes. For ranged weapons, rogues may learn to use bows, crossbows, guns and throwing weapons.
As with warriors, a rogue's choice of weapon typically affects distribution of talent points, and vice versa. For example: since rogues may specialize in any of the five melee weapons available to them, a rogue who primarily or exclusively uses daggers/fist weapons is likely to spend talent points in Close Quarters Combat. Similarly, a rogue who relies on one-handed maces, swords, and axes will probably not spend points on Improved Ambush, since the Ambush ability requires use of a dagger in the rogue's main hand.
A rogue's most fundamental abilities, such as Sinister Strike, Mutilate and Backstab, are instant attacks which inflict damage based on the weapon damage of the rogue's main-hand weapon. Rogues therefore find it desirable to use a weapon with the best average damage to maximize their DPS.
Weapon speed does not affect the damage bonus provided by a rogue's attack power. Instead, damage is calculated according to the following formula:
- Normalized Damage = Base Weapon Damage + (Base Multiplier × Attack Power ÷ 14)
The "base multiplier" depends on weapon type: 1.7 for daggers, and 2.4 for fist weapons, swords and maces. Although weapon speed for normalized attacks does not contribute to the bonus damage from attack power, if you have 2 weapons of equal DPS, the slower weapon will have a higher base damage (average damage) and thus cause more damage overall. The exception to this rule involves Riposte and Ghostly Strike. Neither ability is normalized, meaning that slow weapons with high damage ranges will inflict greater overall damage than fast weapons with low damage ranges.
Weapons held in the off hand have only two instant attacks: Shiv and the off-hand component of Mutilate. Otherwise their damage contribution is reasonably straightforward. Off-hand attacks suffer a standard damage penalty. Fast off-hand weapons increase the application rate of poisons, since they will hit more frequently than a slow weapon and therefore increase the chances of applying poison to a target. Most players choose to use the same type of off-hand as the main hand in order to benefit from weapon specialization (if they are combat specced), but some prefer to use the fastest weapon available in order to quickly apply poisons and interrupt spellcasters. Faster weapons are also sometimes favored for by those rogues who rely heavily on Combat Potency, since that talent affords the opportunity to regain up to 15 energy on a successful off-hand hit.
Notable weapons Edit
See Rogue equipment
This section provides a brief overview of the abilities of the rogue. For more a detailed assessment of rogue abilities, see the "Rogue abilities" article.
- Main article: Stealth
Stealth is the first major class ability a rogue can get. They have the ability to stealth and become essentially invisible to their level and lower, while moving at slower speed. Stealthed rogues are detectable at close range, though will remain stealthed and appear translucent. Be aware that higher level characters and mobs can more easily see through your stealth, and it does not take many levels to make your stealth worthless.
Many rogue abilities require stealth, and others require being behind the target, which is often achievable (while solo) only in stealth. Other rogue abilities, notably Sprint and Distract, interact well with stealth, although some actions, like lockpicking, will break stealth.
Stealth opens up a range of tactics and roles for rogues. Groups often rely on a rogue's stealth ability to scout dungeons, and to use Sap for added crowd control. In PvP, stealth combined with burst damage gives an element of surprise that can be especially effective against cloth-wearers.
Stealth can be improved through talents, items, and enchantments, both to decrease the chance of being detected, and to increase movement speed.
Dual wield Edit
- Main article: Dual wield
A rogue can learn to dual wield at level 10. Dual wielding is a trade-off with an increased chance to miss with each weapon and reduced damage on the off-hand, but it is a good ability for a rogue. A rogue cannot use a two-handed weapon (which have bigger stat buffs), cannot carry a shield, and has few good offhand choices (offhand items tend to all have caster stats). A second wielded weapon is the only way to reliably get two hands worth of rogue stat buffs. Any weapon held in the offhand slot only deals 50% damage untalented. Also, dual wielding weapons incurs an additional 19% miss chance to balance the extra damage; so alongside a base miss chance of 5%, dual wielding results in a base miss chance of 24%.
Roughly, with no tweaking, dual wield grants .76 + (.5 x .76) = 1.14 damage.
The first tier rogue talent, Dual Wield Specialization removes the off-hand damage penalty in increments of 10%. Note that this is multiplicative, not additive, so at maximum rank (5/5) it grants 50% increased damage. So, 50% increased by 50% = 75% damage for offhand weapons.
So, with Dual Wield Specialization maxed, dual wield grants .76 + (.75 x .76) = 1.33 damage.
Real results, with a weapon chosen for good benefits, will be better.
Bottom line is, in spite of the to-hit penalty, as a rogue you will want to dual wield.
- Main article: Poisons
The Alliance's poison quest can be obtained at level 20 in Westfall from Agent Kearnen called  ; if you drop by S1:7 in Stormwind, Master Mathias will send you to Kearnen when the time is right by giving you the  quest.
The Horde's version is in Orgrimmar from Shenthul called  ; which sends you to The Barrens to talk to Taskmaster Fizzule for a quest called  .
The poisons skills allows the Rogue to use poisons, which can then be applied to their weapons. Poisons generally either cause damage to the target (either instantly or as damage over time) or cause other effects (slowing the target, removing the effectiveness of healing on the target, etc.). The ability to use each type of poison and level of the type of poison is a separate rogue skill. Different weapons can have different poisons applied, and faster weapons cause the poison to proc more often.
All poisons have a timer, which formerly lasted 30 minutes but as of patch 2.3.0 was raised to 60 minutes. As of patch 2.1.0 a Rogue's poisons no longer have multiple charges; each now has one charge and stacks up to 20 units. The poison timer is displayed on the weapons properties when you mouse over the weapon. As of patch 1.10.0 applying poison will not break stealth or shadowmeld; previously to this, applying poisons would break these states. As of Patch 2.0.1, poisons remain on weapons through zoning between continents or into instances.
Prior to patch 3.0.2 and Wrath of the Lich King, the Poisons skill, the ability to brew poisons from ingredients, was a secondary skill, similar to Cooking or First Aid, but available only to Rogues. As of the 3.0.2 patch and Wrath of the Lich King, the Poisons skill is no longer available in the game. Poisons may still be used by rogues, but are no longer brewed. Poisons can now be purchased from any Poison Vendor or Shady Dealer. Different ranks of Mind-numbing Poison have also been removed as of this patch.
- Main article: Lockpicking
Rogues have the ability to obtain the important skill Lockpicking. This ability allows them to open locked chests, lockboxes, and doors, depending on the Rogue's skill in lockpicking and the level of the locked object (note that blacksmiths can create keys to open locked chests and engineers can manufacture explosive charges that can open locked doors, in the case that a skilled Rogue is unavailable.) Lockboxes can be pickpocketed from mobs or found as loot and are essential to Rogues trying to level their lockpicking skill—their color (grey - red) represents the skill necessary to open them (red means the Rogue's lockpicking skill is too low to open the object and must increase his/her skill level before attempting again.) Your lockpicking increases at the same rate as weapon skills (5 * Level) to a maximum skill of 400 at level 80.
Early training in lockpicking for Alliance rogues can be obtained at level 16 by completing the Alther's Mill quest, obtained from Lucius, who skulks around the docks of Lakeshore in the Redridge Mountains; Keryn Silvius in the Goldshire Inn will send you to see Renzik at SI:7 in Stormwind who will send you to see Lucius (however, you can probably go direct to Lucius...)
Some high-level dungeons (like the Arcatraz in Tempest Keep or the Shattered Halls in Hellfire Citadel) can be opened by a Rogue with a skill level of 350 in lockpicking. This can be a real time-saver for a group since the alternative to picking the locks to these dungeons is to complete several long quest chains resulting in a key reward.
Stuns, incapacitates, and/or disorientsEdit
Stuns a target for 4 seconds and awards 2 combo points for use on a finishing move. This is a very useful opener that requires stealth and usually allows the Rogue to get 1 or 2 instant attacks off in addition to auto-attacks before an opponent can recover.
Kidney shot is an excellent finishing move which stuns for up to 6 seconds depending on skill rank and number of combo points. It can keep a PvP opponent stunned long enough for you to kill them (especially if you master stun-locking). But in PvE it's also a great ability to help keep your group mates alive or to interrupt a spell being cast.
Gouge is not a stun, but is a very important skill that incapacitates your target. This is used frequently to stall an opponent allowing you time to regenerate energy and get behind your opponent to allow a backstab. Since it is considered an incapacitating effect, any damage caused afterwards breaks the gouge. This ability turns off auto-attack when used. Also, speccing in Improved Gouge will add .5 seconds per point up to a maximum of 1.5 seconds to your gouge. This adds just enough time for you to gouge someone and get out of combat to restealth.
Disorients an opponent for 10 seconds, making them unable to act. More than enough time to bandage and restealth in pvp. Any damage will remove the blind effect.
Sap is one of the most underused rogue abilities. This move must be performed while stealthed and your opponent cannot be in combat. However sapping will allow you 1 minute (or 10 secconds on a pvp target) of freedom. Feel free to use this to bandage AND return back to stealth. Please note that sap and gouge do share the same diminishing return timer.
Diminishing returns Edit
Please note that diminishing returns apply to all effects that cause players to lose control of their character (stun, incapacitate, fear, etc.). The abilities of a rogue end up in five different categories of diminishing returns. Cheap Shot is in a separate category from Kidney Shot and therefore both can be used to stun an opponent for full ten seconds. Sap and Gouge are on the same diminishing returns, while Blind and Disarm are each on their own.
Passive threat reductionEdit
All rogues generate reduced threat, compared to most classes. While attacks from most classes generate 1.0x threat per damage, Rogues generate 0.71x threat per damage.
Unlike a caster's magic attacks, a rogue's melee attacks are reduced by the target's armor. The rogue has a few tricks to mitigate the armor.
Poisons, mentioned above, bypass armor.
The Improved Expose Armor talent increases the duration of Expose Armor.
Also, the talent Serrated Blades under the subtletly tree causes your attacks to ignore 640 armor (rank 3 and at level 80).
Rogues are adept at running away.
Sprint allows a rogue a temporary running speed boost.
Vanish allows a rogue to disappear from combat and enter stealth mode.
Rogue talents are split into 3 categories:
Some builds to consider are :
Mutilate with DW specialization
Mutilate with some subtlety
Cold Blood/Prep/Seal Fate (AKA CB/Prep)
ShadowStep with Assassination
These are just general outlines. Please see the Rogue builds section for a little more in depth explanation.
See the Rogue talents page for further details.
Suggested professions Edit
Leatherworking and Skinning Edit
Leatherworking and Skinning are always a good choice. The items crafted tend to be better than other items you can loot at the same level. This is a very balanced profession choice for performance and money. It is reccomended that you go Elemental Specialization because the gear is more suited for Rogues and Feral Druids as it provides Agility and Stamina.
Herbalism and Alchemy Edit
- Alchemy also opens up the ability to craft an , which adds a decent amount of attack power in addition to the 40% bonus to healing potions.
- Note that this profession is not only beneficial to the rogue in performance, it can be an excellent money maker.
- Herbalism is also a very good way to obtain Swiftthistle, which is needed to make Thistle Tea.
- Mixology became available with Patch 3.0.2 which doubled the duration of Elixirs and Flasks for the Alchemist who learns the skill. This is beneficial in a raid.
Engineering and Mining Edit
Engineering is arguably the best (and most fun) profession for a rogue (with Mining being the most beneficial complementary profession). It allows for a very distinct edge in combat. It can, however, be expensive, for while you usually only have to craft items once in engineering, the items tend to be a bit expensive at times. There are a few engineering items that require components crafted by other professions, from blacksmiths to tailors to alchemists. Picking up mining with Engineering will save you a lot of money indeed, however, still be prepared to spend a solid amount of gold. Also, don't expect to be able to compensate you're money with this profession, as Engineers make little to no money from their profession and still spend crazy money on items we still use at end game.
Some very notable items would be:
- & - Can allow for an easy long range silence or just to stop someone from fleeing.
- - Knock-down power at the cost of some of your own health.
- - To ease sheaking from above and save your life once in a while.
- - These give you a very distinct advantage against other rogues.
- , , and eventually provide 50%, 70% and 300% run speed increase (respectively).
- - Great for keeping a group from having to rez. Vanish from a losing fight and then rez the rezzer. And this is good for every profession.
- - One of the best headpieces in the game for a rogue. Not to be underestimated.
- is great for raiders. Sometimes a place to repair isn't close. In those cases, drop one of these and have the raid restock on reagents and repair gear. And also gives the engineer bank acces to deposit newly got gear or materials.
With the release of WotLK, some engineering item enhancements were added (These are only useable by engineers):
- - ~1800 fire damage once every 45seconds. This item does not trigger Global Cooldown. Can be used in arenas.
- - Allows you to throw one grenade every 6 minutes and incapitate targets for 3 seconds, also deals about 700 damage. Can not be used in arenas.
- - Grants you a 30 second parachute effect once a minute. Also adds 23 agility to your cloak. Useable in arenas but without much use.
- - Five second speed increase(150%), can be used every 3 minutes. It also adds +24 critical strike rating. This can not be used in arenas.
Jewelcrafting and Mining Edit
Jewelcrafting is a very good profession for a rogue.
- Crafted rings and necklaces. (every level, stating at 10)
- Stone statues, an extra self-heal that works in combat:
- Ability to cut gems for sockets for high level gear.
Enchanting is a very profitable profession if you know how to use it. As a rogue it's possible to solo run some lower level dungeons and head straight for the boss of each then disenchant their loot. At level 70 Scholomance, Blackrock Depths, UBRS, Dire maul and even Stratholme are very doable and most certainly profitable. Enchanting provides no utility or combat usage for PvP or PvE whatsoever other than the self-only invaluble ring enchants.
Inscription is a new profession introduced with the 3.0.2 Patch. This profession is easy to learn, quick to level, and can be very profitable. It utilizes Pigments from milled herbs and allows the rogue to make Glyphs for themselves and others. See Rogue glyphs for a list of glyphs the Scribe could make for themselves. Herbalism complements this profession. Inscription, much like Enchanting, is mainly only picked up for money; this is because Glyphs are not replaced or changed often if at all, once you have you're glyphs thats usually set and done, so it is preffered by many to just buy the Glyphs. The money making aspect such as making cards and glyphs for others though is quite appealing to the rogue who doesn't want any extra combat utility that other profession could offer.
In short, each profession has different benefits. You have to decide what you want. Would you prefer making some desent cash over combat and survivability utilities in PvP and PvE that is offered by Engineering and Alchemy. Or would you prefer to have some profits comming out of you're profession with less personal combat benefits such as Enchanting, Inscription, and possibly blacksmithing (not reccomended for rogues as they cannot use ANY of the gear made, and there are no WotLK weapons out there for any of the specializations.
While some people personally like engineering, be prepared to drop a lot of money on the profession, as it's not a strong money-making profession.
None of this makes any one profession the "right answer." Experiment with the different professions to find the one you enjoy, it's a compromise between what you want (profit or utility) and you're budget. Play around with you're choices and try to find where that line is and how fine it is.
Useful Add-ons Edit
This section lists some of the more helpful mods specifically for the rogue class.
- EnergyWatch v2
- Displays a progress bar that fills, empties, and refills in time with your energy recharge tick. This can be extremely useful for timing that Cheapshot or Ambush so you tick immediately and have extra energy for a Gouge etc. This may be considered obsolete now that a Rogue's energy is now constantly refilling, as opposed to ticking up.
- An all in one addon that keeps track of energy ticks, combo points, AND total energy. As much as I loved EnergyWatch, this is a much better addon.
- This mod allows for extremely easy application of poisons. It creates a small minimap icon that can be hovered over to display all the poisons you currently have. Just left click the desired poison to apply to the main hand weapon, or right click to apply to the offhand.
- Natur Enemy Cast Bars (NECB)
- Notifies the player when someone begins to cast a spell. This is great since it lets you know when to kick, blind or stun the opponent; quite handy if you prefer not to be polymorphed.
End-game expectations Edit
Your main priority in raiding is maximizing melee DPS, while staying alive. Put your threat reducing abilities (namely, Feint, Vanish and Tricks of the Trade) to good use, use them before overaggroing. As with all melee DPS classes, rogues are expected to come to raids with ample supplies of Flasks, Potion of Speeds, food, poisons and bandages. Depending on particular situation, rogues may not get many heals. If that's the case, rogues should use potions or health stones or bandages.
Since the release of the Burning Crusade expansion, most raid instances were built to accommodate rogue poisons and the immunity to them has all but been removed. All WotLK bosses are susceptible to Rogue poisons.
- Pick Lock and Disarm Trap no longer require Thieves' Tools.
- Vanish no longer requires the reagent Flash Powder.
- Poisons are no longer created from ingredients by rogue. The vendors that sold poison ingredients now sell ready to use poisons.
- Mace Specialization no longer gives a chance to stun the target, instead bypasses armor.
Wrath of the Lich King Changes Edit
Sap now works on more targets, humanoids, beasts, dragonkins, demons. "Anything with a skull and a brain inside of it".
See also Edit
- Lockpicking - Guide to getting that lockpicking skill up.
- Rogue Sets - Discussion of set items for rogues.
- Rogue Gear Guide - Information about choice of rogue equipment.
- Stealth Run - Solo or duo-able dungeons.
- Stealth Chests - Soloable chests in instances.
- List of rogues - List of important NPC rogues and rogues from lore.