Rogues are often the DPS class of choice. However, there are multiple problems with the Rogue. One of the most immediately imposing problems is that they are very delicate. Though not as vulnerable as a mage due to their ability to wear leather as well as cloth, they must always be in the front line with the warriors. A slight error in aggro can easily decimate a Rogue's hit points. Despite the fact that the Rogue can potentially do the most damage (an essential of fast leveling), they do not fare as well in PvE as hunters because of their inability to kite and lack of a pet or other aggro-diverting mechanism. Rogues must often party up to complete quests because of their fragility (even on certain yellow quests). Rogues have immediate access to thrown weapons (a possibility for kiting), but they have a much lower damage output than daggers and without a pet to aggro the enemy, it is only a temporary option (though even with a warrior distracting the enemies, it is still not worth doing). The main function of throwing weapons is getting aggro early, which is rarely useful.

Second, there are so many Rogues and other miscellaneous DPS, that they aren't in high demand for Raids or Instances and since they have no alternative talent tree to spec for or abilities to do any other job, they are stuck as another DPS class, which is a blessing and a curse. The true blessing of being a Rogue is how much fun PvP/Battlegrounds are. Since they have stealth abilities, they automatically get the upper hand in PvP and it can also very entertaining whenever you decide to duel someone, you activate stealth and they start jumping around like an idiot "trying" to avoid you. The curse is that its functionality in PvE is compromised, mainly because monsters, and other humanoids manage to always be able to detect you if you are too close to them and not facing their back. Despite stealth being relatively hard to use in PvE, what happens in PvP when you stealth, depending on how your enemy allocated their talent points, their equipment, and whether or not they have perception up, the Rogue is virtually invisible to the opposing eye and therefore virtually untargetable. Still with a cleverly placed AoE spell, you can reveal a Rogue. All in all, however the Rogue isn't the most veritable class, let alone the most unique class (you're not going to feel very unique when you see four other Rogues in your raid party), still they can be very fun to play in PvP and sometimes in PvE because they can deal massive amounts of damage with or without stealth attacks.

Each talent is listed with its maximum talent point investment; notes are included in the analysis where lesser investments are common or useful.

Talent Trees In GeneralEdit

In general, all of the talents for the Rogue increase damage, but there are many different types of damage (burst damage, constant damage, DoTs, or all three), and ways of dealing damage (whether you sneak up for extra damage or you just run up and spam Sinister Strike, them finish with Eviscerate (or Slice and Dice). Another thing that the Rogue excels in, is the ability to stun enemies. Each of these different specializations will help you in different combat situations (PvP, Raids, PvE, Battlegrounds, Instances, The Arena, duels, etc.).

Assassination is tree centered much on burst damage, improving your poisons, critical strike chances, or the bonuses you get from a critical strike for particular abilities or just in general. It also includes a few Passive Skill s that don't involve increasing burst DPS such as Deadened Nerves, or Quick Recovery.

The Combat tree is much like the Arms tree for a Warrior, in the sense that there are passive skills that increase your skill with weapons, or give you specific bonuses if you wield certain weapons. It also has a large collection of passive skills unrelated to weapon bonuses that vary in functionality. And though there are a few cast able skills (any skill you need to click, press a button, or key binding to use) and improvements on cast able skills, there isn't much of a difference in these skills from the assassination skills, except that they are more focused on constant damage. In general, a good tree for leveling and PvP.

Subtlety is based upon the idea of a Rogue remaining in the shadows and improving skills that are related to stealth. Though DPS is not fully forgotten on this tree and there are once again passive skills that complement your attacks, burst damage skills, and improvements upon these stealth-only burst damage/stun skills. It has a great deal of auxiliary talents, such as Cheat Death or Shadowstep. This tree is best suited for PvP, but it can never hurt to throw in some subtlety to augment your others skills, and dependent on your playstyle, Subtlety can be very enjoyable.


Ability rogue eviscerate Improved EviscerateEdit

3 points: Increases the damage done by your Eviscerate ability by 20%.

  • If you are going to use Eviscerate a lot, this talent is useful. However, dependent on situation, there might be better finishers available.
    • Solo Utility: See above- if you are using Eviscerate a lot, take it. If you plan on going deep in Assassination, Vile Poisons and Envenom might be a better choice.
    • Raid Utility: Though useful at low levels (like pre outland), at endgame you won't be using eviscerate very much if at all, since usually you will need the combo points to keep the Slice and Dice/Rupture rotation going.
    • PVP Utility: Still nothing special.
  • Bottom Line: might or might not be worth 3 points.

Ability fiegndead Remorseless AttacksEdit

2 points: After killing an opponent that yields experience or honor, gives you a 40% increased critical strike chance on your next Sinister Strike, Hemorrhage, Backstab, Mutilate, Ambush, or Ghostly Strike. Lasts 20 sec.

  • Generally considered to not be useful enough. Yes, +40% crit-chance is good, but it only applies to your next attack, and only lasts 20 seconds. Might be better for Combat specs, since they can take on several enemies at once, but on the other hand they don't profit as much from crits as other specs do. Not worth the points in my opinion.
    • Solo Utility: Useful if you are grinding lots of mobs that are close together.
    • Raid Utility: Rather useless, since it's a waste of points against bosses.
    • PvP Utility: Rather useless, you will hardly see this trigger.
  • Bottom Line: Not worth the points. Skip it.

Ability racial bloodrage MaliceEdit

5 points: Increases your critical strike chance by 5%.

  • + 5% critical strikes? yes please!
    • Solo Utility: The faster you kill mobs, the less damage they do to you.
    • Raid Utility: A 5% crit chance bonus is pretty much a 5% DPS bonus.
    • PvP Utility: Crits are major in PvP. More crits means faster kills.
  • Bottom Line: Take it. It's the one talent every single rogue should have.

Ability druid disembowel RuthlessnessEdit

3 points: Gives your finishing moves a 60% chance to add a Combo Point to your target. Requires 5 points in the Assassination tree.

  • This talent gives you a nice change to give you a head start after using a finisher. Faster Combo Point generation is the big strength of the subtlety tree, and it starts with this talent.
    • Solo Utility: nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: in PvP, fast kills are even more important, and this talent helps.
  • Bottom Line: Take it. It is well worth 3 points.

Spell shadow deathscream MurderEdit

2 points: Increases all damage caused against Humanoid, Giant, Beast and Dragonkin by 2%. Requires 5 points in the Assassination tree.

  • A flat out damage increase against most types of targets. If you plan on taking Mutilate, you should rather spec into Puncturing Wounds, otherwise this talent is absolutely viable.
    • Solo Utility: nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: nothing special.
  • Bottom Line: Decent talent, take it if you don't plan to take Mutilate.

Ability backstab Puncturing WoundsEdit

3 points: Increases the critical strike chance of your Backstab ability by 30% and the critical strike chance of your Mutilate ability by 15%. Requires 5 points in the Assassination tree.

  • A significant boost to any Mutilate spec, otherwise useless.
    • Solo Utility: nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: crits are more useful in PvP, otherwise nothing special.
  • Bottom Line: Take it if you want to take Mutilate, otherwise go for Murder instead.

Ability warrior decisivestrike Relentless StrikesEdit

1 point: Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to restore 25 energy. Requires 10 points in the Assassination tree.

  • Basically, this greatly reduces the cost of all your finishing moves. If you get this far into Assassination, you really should take this.
    • Solo Utility: nothing special.
    • Raid Utility: nothing special.
    • PvP Utility: nothing special.
  • Bottom Line: Take this talent, no excuses.

Ability warrior riposte Improved Expose ArmorEdit

2 points: Increases the effect of your Expose Armor Ability by 50%. Requires 10 points in the Assassination tree.

  • This talent gives a significant boost to Expose Armor, however that skill is highly situational, mainly because it disallows the use of Sunder Armor.
    • Solo Utility: probably not worth it, most mobs die so quick that you are better of with using a different finisher.
    • Raid Utility: no. You can't use Expose Armor in a Raid without causing serious trouble for your tanks.
    • PvP Utility: this talent is probably most useful in PvP, but it still is quite situational.
  • Bottom Line: probably not worth it, Expose Armor just has too few uses.

Ability criticalstrike LethalityEdit

5 points: Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Sinister Strike, Gouge, Backstab, Ghostly Strike, Mutilate, Shiv, and Hemorrhage abilities by 30%. Requires 10 points in the Assassination tree and 5 points in Malice.

  • Makes your crits from most attacks hit even harder. It is worth 5 points, if only to get to the next tier.
    • Solo utility: nothing special.
    • Raid utility: nothing special.
    • PvP utility: in a way this negates the critdamage-reduction from Resilience.
  • Bottom Line: Somewhat an overrated talent, but there is no real alternative.



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