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Ability rogue ambush
  • Ambush
  • 5 yd  range
  • None cooldown
  • 60 Energy
  • Instant
  • Daggers
    Requires Stealth
  • Ambush the target, causing 275% weapon damage plus X to the target. Must be stealthed and behind the target. Requires a dagger in the main hand. Awards 2 combo points.
Usable by
See below
Other information
Requires Stealth

Among every ability a rogue has at his disposal, Ambush is without a doubt the hardest hitting rogue ability. Ambush is learned at level 18, and becomes one of the dagger rogue's best friends.

As confirmed by information released by Blizzard about class changes in Cataclysm this ability will become usable with all weapon types a rogue can wield. Weapons other than daggers will have a lower percentage damage bonus.

Rank table

Rank Damage Level Cost
1 77 18 26Silver 10Copper
2 110 26 54Silver
3 137.5 34 1Gold 26Silver
4 203.5 42 2Gold 43Silver
5 253 50 3Gold 15Silver
6 319 58 4Gold 68Silver
7 368.5 66 7Gold 20Silver Bc icon
8 508.75 70 14Gold Bc icon
9 770 75 30Gold Wrath-Logo-Small
10 907.5 80 30Gold Wrath-Logo-Small
  • Note that damage listed is in addition to the innate 275%
    weapon damage bonus that comes with using Ambush.

Cataclysm table

Level Damage Damage with dagger
8 36 52
9 36 52


  • Remorseless Attacks gives your next Ambush a 20% or 40% increased chance to crit after killing an opponent that yields honor or experience. The improved crit chance lasts for 20 seconds. (Stacks with Improved Ambush)
  • Opportunity increases the damage of your Ambush by 10 or 20%.
  • Initiative gives you a 33, 66, or 100% chance to add an additional combo point to your target when using your Ambush ability.
  • Improved Ambush increases the critical strike chance of Ambush by 25 or 50%. (Stacks with Remorseless Attacks)
  • Master of Subtlety increases damage by 4, 7 or 10% during stealth and for 6 seconds afterward.
  • Seal Fate 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100% chance to add an additional combo point when ambush crits.
  • Shadowstep increases the damage of your next Ambush within 10 seconds by 20%.
  • Slaughter from the Shadows decreases the energy cost of Ambush by 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 energy.
  • Shadow Dance allows you to perform Ambush out of stealth for 6 seconds.
  • Glyph of Ambush increases its range by 5 yards.

Damage Calculation Formula

The basic damage formula for ambush

Opportunity = 1 + (0.1 * Opportunity Rank)
Master of Subtlety = 1 + (0.03 * Master of Subtlety Rank + 0.01)
Modifier = (Attack Power / 14) * 1.7
Damage = [(Weapon Damage + Modifier) * 2.75 + Rank Bonus Damage] * Opportunity * Master of Subtlety


  • Very effective in taking out cloth-wearing targets quickly.
  • Ambush really begins to shine with the Improved Ambush Talent which, with 2 talent points spent, increases the critical strike chance of Ambush by 50%.
  • Ambush is arguably preferable over Cheap Shot in PvP as an opener against mages, as a mage's Blink ability is usable while under a stun effect.
  • A critical hit with an Ambush followed by an Improved Sinister Strike (or a well-timed Backstab) can put an enemy at a severe health disadvantage from the beginning of the fight, in addition to starting you off with 2-3 Combo Points.
  • Use Distract in PvE if you are having trouble getting behind a target to line up an Ambush.
  • The improved crit chance derived from the Remorseless Attacks talent stacks with that from the Improved Ambush talent, making it possible for a rogue with 10% or more base crit chance to obtain a 100% Ambush crit chance during the Remorseless effect.
  • A quickly-executed "Ambush -> Vanish -> Ambush" combo attack can inflict severe damage on any single target with the correct enhancing talents.

Patch changes

  • Wrath-Logo-Small/Cataclysm-Logo-Small Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): Available at level 8. No longer requires a dagger, but a dagger gives more Ambush damage than an other melee weapon.
  • WoW Icon 16x16 Patch 1.8.0 (10-Oct-2005): Now uses normalized attack power.
  • WoW Icon 16x16 Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05):
    • Fixed a bug where combo points were not always being applied to the target when using Ambush.
    • Ambush now properly increases the attack power contribution by the percent modifier.

External links

Facts about "Ambush"RDF feed
Patch date12 October 2010 +, 10 October 2005 + and 5 May 2005 +

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