Cheat Death is a passive rogue talent available at level 45. Its main purpose is to increase survivability in PVP situations, oftentimes allowing a healer just enough time to land a crucial heal.
Patch 5.4.0 (10-Sep-2013): Cheat Death now reduces damage taken by 85% after activating (up from 80%).
Patch 4.1.0 (26-Apr-2011): Cheat Death now reduces damage taken by 80% while in effect, down from 90%. Its internal cooldown has been raised to 90 seconds, up from 60.
Patch 4.0.6 (8-Feb-2011): Cheat Death was activating by a warlock’s Chaos Bolt but not working. Chaos Bolt will still trigger Cheat Death, but will not kill the rogue.
Patch 2.4.3 (2008-07-15): Cheat Death received a large change to it's mechanics. "Killing blows are no longer 100% absorbed. If the Rogue is below 10% health, the killing blow is still completely absorbed; if the Rogue is over 10% health, enough damage will be absorbed to reduce the Rogue’s health down to 10%. For the following 3 seconds, damage is not always reduced by 90%; it is now reduced by a maximum of 90%, depending on how much resilience the Rogue has. The damage reduction will be four times the damage reduction resilience causes against critical strikes." The resilience required to reach the 90% damage reduction cap is 22.5% critical strike damage reduction, or 444 resilience.
Patch 2.4.0 (25-Mar-2008): A combat log message will now show when this ability activates and now has an animation.. It will now almost always be accurate in displaying the amount of damage done to a rogue when under the effects of Cheat Death.
Patch 2.3.2 (2008-01-08): When multiple attacks land simultaneously, all those resolved after the attack which triggered Cheat Death will now have their damage reduced by 90% as intended. However, the combat log will still report them doing full damage.
Patch 2.3.0 (13-Nov-2007): The chances of avoiding damage were increased to 33/66/100% from 10/20/30%.
Patch 2.1.0 (22-May-2007): Added a visual, sound, and combat log message when the Cheat Death talent saves the rogue from death.