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Rogue PvE guide

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Things rogues want non-rogues to know

General

  • Don't make your character automatically follow a rogue (without letting the rogue know); sometimes they Stealth and sneak up on mobs.
  • Adrenaline Rush and Blade Flurry (available only to Combat Rogues) require that a rogue be standing within melee range of a mob. Please don't move a mob around or draw aggro from across the room when a rogue uses these abilities unless necessary.
  • Rogues can deal damage well but cannot take damage well, although they generally have a better chance to dodge or parry an attack than other classes. Rogues do not always need to be rescued from being attacked, especially when fighting caster mobs, since they can Kick them. Tough physical attacks can be avoided if they use Evasion. If things go downhill, Rogues can Vanish. In short, save someone else, preferably a healer, first!
  • Although Stealth is not Invisibility, it severely shortens mob aggro range, and can be used to skip rooms and even floors.
  • The rogue in your group has a name. Saying "rogue, Sap that" or "rogue, open this box" will not go over well with them.
  • Rouge is a type of makeup. Type R-O-G-U-E instead. Still... a rogue calling himself rouge is still priceless.
  • Concerning loot, respect and some sense of maturity are key. Some leather gear is exceptionally useful for rogues. Non-rogues that roll on leather gear while a rogue is in the group are considered rude if the gear in question is best suited for the rogue. Only classes which use leather armor (rogues, druids, and hunters and shaman below level 40) should roll on such gear at all.
  • Please don't complain when a rogue is Stealthed if you want to buff it. Click portraits when casting spells.
  • If a rogue is trying to solo or run away and Gouges an enemy, don't attack it. Ever

Emergencies

  • If the rogue gets feared into more mobs, it may be useless to attempt to help him as he may either die sooner than you can help him or hit Vanish and rejoin the group. It is usually easier on the group for the rogue to die, and a good rogue should know this ahead of time.
  • If you draw aggro and cannot handle it, do not run or Blink away from the rogue. The Rogue can almost always generate enough threat to attract the mob and then dump aggro (through Feint or Vanish) on the tank.
  • If a rogue with low health Gouges a mob that is attacking them, it's to save their own life - do not immediately remove the gouge. The same goes for Blind.

Utility

  • Sap cannot be used in combat. It takes time to walk over to a mob in order to Sap it.
  • Do not hit the Sapped mob. Unlike Polymorph, Sap cannot be used in combat, so it is important that Sap is the first action; after that, you can pull. If it is very important that the Sap succeeds, don't panic if it fails. The rogue will not break Stealth and can merely try again. This is only possible if you stay out of aggro range!
  • Sap no longer breaks early on NPCs and will last as long as Polymorph. There is no need to attack the Sapped mob as soon as possible.
  • Distract is not Sap! A rogue might distract mobs so that they can better position themselves for a Sap; do not assume the sap has happened. Wait for confirmation from the rogue or purple graphic over a mob's head (indicating the Sap effect).
  • If you want the rogue to fulfill a role other than damage-dealing, such as crowd control (through Sap) kiting (by Crippling Poison and Deadly Throw) or emergency tanking (through Preparation, Ghostly Strike and Evasion), ask beforehand if they can manage it. The rogue will have a good knowledge of what mobs they can and cannot handle by themselves or with minimal support.
  • If a CCed mob runs loose, do not put DoTs on it. Ever. If you see a mob that has been blinded, do not put DoTs on it.

Positioning

  • If you are the tank, please remember that many rogues do most of their damage from behind the mob. Therefore, remember two things about tanking while in a group with a rogue: pull the mob far enough into safety so that the rogue can get behind without drawing additional mobs, and stand still so the rogue can DPS instead of reposition every few seconds. Also don't stand tanking a mob with the mobs back to the wall, rogues will want to get behind their target, and the wall, well... gets in the way.

Concerning rogue services

  • Just because you have lockboxes in your inventory doesn't mean you should shove them into a rogue's face as soon as they zone in, even if you include a tip - it's rude. Ask politely and the rogue will (usually) open them.

Things non-rogues want rogues to know

  • Don't be impetuous. A rogue coordinating with their group is a valuable asset. But one who doesn't do what they want and doesn't wait for people to get ready will only cause their group to wipe out more often than not.
  • Most tanks do not want their target to get stunned, at least at the start of the fight. Warrior and druid tanks want the mob to hit them for more rage, and paladin tanks for more aggro from their reflective damage. Moreover, sometimes the tanks would like to pull the mob to a safer place, so stunning it at the beginning may mess thing up.
  • Rogues are not an inherently more valuable or credible class than hunters. Do not attempt to join a full group at the expense of a hunter, and do not enter the hunter class forum and make calls for the deletion of the class. In class terms, the primary source of trolls the hunter forum receives is the rogue. Don't do it.
  • If you're going to Stealth and sneak up on a mob or group of mobs then warn your party first.
  • If you are level 43 in an instance with level 46+ elites you might as well be screaming at the top of your lungs "HERE I AM!" for as good as stealth helps in that situation. Yes, Stealth is a great thing, but do NOT play around in stealth when lives other than your own are on the line.
  • Stealthed rogues can be hard to spot in darker instances or zones. Bring along a brightly colored pet (which will not aggro mobs) to help your teammates keep track of you.
  • Rogues aren't tanks. Sounds simple, but seemingly difficult for some to remember.
  • Don't screw around with mobs just because you can. Don't aggro the boss and then Vanish while waiting for your party to drink up.
  • Don't kill the paladin for giving you Salvation instead of Might. Usually, pallies are nice and will give you a chance. If you draw too much aggro with Might, you will get Salv. If that's the case, definitely don't go on Salvation strike and right-click it off until the pally gives you Might. (Since Blessing of Salvation has been removed from game in Patch 3.0.2 and replaced with Hand of Salvation, you can have both Blessing of Might and Hand of Salvation on yourself at the same time).
  • Bear druids love expose armor. It doesn't interfere with their abilities as it does with Sunder and makes it easier to hold aggro. The more the merrier.
  • Feral druids that use Cat Form need the EXACT same stats as you do. Don't start screaming at them for rolling on "rogue leather," since a druid in Cat Form is pretty much a (slightly) powered down rogue.
  • Unless nobody wants them to use, do NOT roll on two-handed weapons (particularly BoP). If you have Enchanting and no one wants it, offer to Disenchant it and let everyone roll on what you get from it. But do not try to get a two-handed weapon if someone else in the group can actually use it (and plan on equipping it).
  • Don't roll on cloth armor. You use leather. You need agility, strength, stamina, hit rating, and other melee bonuses. Even if a cloth piece drops that has any of these bonuses, leave it for the clothies.

Things rogues want new rogues to know

  • Learn about Stealth. If possible, have a friend stand still and look at his screen as you move around. Learn how close you can get before being detected. There are talents and items which improve your Stealth level.
  • While in Stealth, you may notice NPCs with a large blue sphere above their heads. These are stealth-detection NPCs, which can spot you from significantly farther away.
  • Use Slice and Dice. Slice and Dice is your best finisher in PvE. You shouldn't let it to drop.
  • Learn about Combo point cycles. Find out which cycle is best for you. Generally, a 1S3R (Slice and Dice with 1 Combo point followed by a 3 point Rupture) is a good cycle for dagger combat builds and 4S5R is a good cycle for non dagger combat builds. The length of the cycle depends heavily on your current gear and talents.
  • If your party contains 3/5 melee classes and no Warrior, use Expose Armor. Even 2 points will help.
  • Seriously, learn about Stealth. Taking a peek in the next room "real quick" doesn't help anybody if all the mobs in that room are coming back with you before the group is ready.
  • If your group contains a druid tank, take advantage of the druid's debuff and use Rupture and Garrote.
  • When people say "move out of the whirlwind", move out of the whirlwind.
  • Better yet, if you see an enemy mob, especially a boss, doing a whirlwind-style attack, don't wait for someone to say "move out of the whirlwind". If you don't move away immediately, you will probably be dead by the time someone does say it.
  • You are not a tank. Leather armor is only so much tougher than cloth, and Evasion doesn't last long. If you don't keep your threat in check or take on too much aggro, you will die as fast a clothie.
  • Learn about which stats you need for your build, and which weapons and armor are beneficial to you.
  • In general, daggers are good for burst damage and fights that last under 30 seconds. Swords are better for consistent damage and longer fights.
  • Always Pick Pocket mobs if you have the opportunity to do so. It will give you money or junk that can be sold to a vendor. These extra earnings will accumulate over time and give you substantial extra cash. You will sometimes even be able to steal items worth lots of gold, like minerals and gems.
  • Picking Pockets will often get you lockboxes. This in turn will let you train your Pick Lock ability so you can open locked chests or doors in instances you'd normally need a key for. It is very embarrassing for a rogue to be unable to open a lock of his level.
  • Lockboxes hold cash, poisons and junk items, giving you more loot in addition to what you Pick Pocket. They sometimes contain items of great worth, from minerals to high level items. For example, The Dusk Blade, Krol Cleaver, and Spineslicer can only be looted from Reinforced Junkboxes.

How to Help A...

Rogue

The ability to stunlock a target with two rogues is extremely helpful to a group, or if you're just duo-ing. Most stunlocks start off with both rogues stealthed. One rogue opens up with Cheap Shot. Once the Cheap Shot wears off the other rogue does Cheap Shot. By this time the first rogue should have 5 Combo points, which he uses with Kidney Shot (5 second stun). When this Kidney Shot wears off, the second rogue does Kidney Shot. (The timing on these stuns can be greatly helped by either of the StunWatch or CCWatch add-ons) By this time the target is... hopefully dead. Note that many (almost all) bosses are immune to stun, and likely poisons as well.

Warrior

  • If you are in a group with a warrior, Feint is helpful with keeping the warrior taking the most damage. Some rogues like to show off their ability to do more damage than the warrior and therefore take the aggro away from the warrior (if he isn't using his shouts properly), but good rogues know that Feint is a very important ability that the rogue should utilize in order to make the group more efficient. Healers hate healing classes that shouldn't be taking damage (waste of mana), and rogues shouldn't take damage unless it's from AoE. If you do manage to take Aggro, hit feint if it's not on cooldown, then Gouge to disengage from doing more damage. If all else fails, hit Vanish and you'll be fully cleared off the aggro list.
  • It also might be a good idea to refrain from using your Expose Armor, since warriors use Sunder Armor as a cheap, yet effective way to (re-)gain aggro from mobs. Since a rogue's "Expose Armor" is the stronger debuff, the warrior debuff will not work and someone in your group might easily die because the warrior can't regain the aggro.
    • Also, while a single Sunder Armor doesn't lower the armor rating of the target as much as Expose Armor, Sunder Armor will actually provide a higher armor reduction when it's been stacked 5 times.

Priest

  • If you are grouped up with a priest, make sure the priest is "safe". Some mobs or players will go straight for the priest if you don't have enough aggro, and healing effectively decreases by 75% if the priest is getting hit by a mob.

If a priest (or other cloth caster) suddenly gains aggro in a group fight, they can go down in seconds - especially in high-level instances. A good way of saving your groups priest, and therefore the group, can be to stunlock the mob. Use the Vanish ability, and immediately use your Cheap Shot followed by a Sinister Strike - netting 3 Combo points, and then immediately as the mob loses the stun, strike again with Kidney Shot, by this time, a warrior should have been able to regain aggro by sundering or taunting, or at least the mob should aggro you, saving the priest for the moment.

Warlock

  • Try to get a Healthstone off of them, but be nice about it and don't ask if they have already said that they are low on shards
  • As with all casters, try to grab aggro from them if they accidentally get too much (they are squishier than you).

Mage

  • As of patch 2.1, the rogue stays in Stealth after Sapping a mob. Therefore, it's no longer necessary for rogues and mages to coordinate timing when one Saps and the other sheeps. Rather, the rogue should Sap first, which won't start the fight. Then the mage should coordinate with the tank/puller for the best time to begin casting polymorph.
  • Since sheeped mobs have a bad habit of wandering about aimlessly in the thick of a fight, Combat-specced rogues with Blade Flurry should avoid using that when a sheep is nearby.
  • Although Sap now lasts its full duration on NPCs, once it wears off the mob can't be resapped. However, since mages can repeatedly resheep their mobs, it's often preferable to kill the sapped mob before the sheep. If the sheeped mob needs to be attacked first, experienced mages will know to sheep the Sapped mob when it revives (although this might be hard if the mobs haven't been assigned target icons).

Druid

  • As a healer, basically the same as the priest. Yet unlike a priest, druids wear leather, so they're a bit more resilient to damage. Druids can also use Bear Form to increase their armor. Druids have no way to lose aggro outside of Cat Form. This is both very mana-consuming and ineffective on more than one or two mobs as Cower only works on one at a time and requires energy, so a druid will most likely choose to go Bear because of its stamina and armor than Cat + Cower, which may fail, or not be enough to shake the mob off. Also be aware that Gouge will be less effective, as druids rely often on one or two DoTs. Moonfire, and for Balance druids insect swarms.
  • If the druid is in Moonkin Form, let them tank the damage. In this form they have much higher armor than you, and although it does slow down their casting time, they don't need you protecting them.
  • In Bear Form, treat as you would a warrior, except expose armor is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged.
  • In Cat Form, you can make use of some of the same tactics as another rogue, but remember they can't stun opponents outside of the initial pounce, so most of the stunlock is up to you. Cats can maim to apply a Gouge-like stun that breaks on non-DoT damage, but this requires Combo points.

Hunter

If you party with a hunter:

The hunter prefers to do the pull, especially if they have been playing a while. If you are doing standard mobs, short fights, the best way is for the hunter to make the pull and then when the mob is on its way towards the hunter the rogues use Cheap Shot to freeze the mob. Hunters can then perform Rapid Shots or Aimed Shots.

If you have to take a group of mobs, rogues should start with Sap and the hunter can use Freezing Trap, which has the same effect as Sap, but (depending on hunter build) usually lasts shorter then Sap. So when first mob is down, always go for the one that's frozen, since it unlocks earlier. This also applies to hunters with Wyvern Sting (which also is dependable on hunter's build), a 12 second CC shot.

If you party with a hunter to take elites, you should not use any DoTs until the last Freezing Trap has been used in a fight. But as it is with all special mobs you better have a pretty good agreement on how to take them down. Here's what the setup should be:

Hunter - Hunters Mark - Aimed Shot - Concussive Shot - Multi Shot - Freezing Trap -> Backing up full distance -> Aimed Shot - Rogue Cheap Shot - Both Hunter and Rogue use Dots and any movement impairing effects - Hunter can now use Fear Beast and then the Devilsaur should be quite dead or at least a cakewalk.

These setups work very well, but if a rogue gets in a DoT (damage over time), it will break any Freezing Trap the hunter might wish to use. But there should be no trouble using dots after the initial freezing trap has been used and the battle starts.

Paladin

Ask for Blessing of Salvation because this is usually the buff that increases your DPS most. Sometimes during boss fights, a combination of a well-timed Vanish and Blessing of Might may provide slightly better overall DPS than Salvation. However, this is only true if the threat of your DPS is much lower than threat generation of your tank, so Salvation whenever you are uncertain.

NOTE: Blessing of Salvation has been renamed to Hand of Salvation as of patch 3.0.2, so you can have Blessing of Might and Hand of Salvation.

Other tips may change depending on the paladin's spec, but is in general a good questing/grouping/grinding partner.

Protection

  • With protection paladins, let them use their amazing multi-tanking abilities while you deliver damage. Use Slice and Dice and Blade Flurry (if you have it). Protection paladins have a lot easier time handling more than one mob than the other tanks, as most of their tanking and aggro-generating abilities are reactive, so don't be scared if the paladin has 3 or 4 mobs pounding him. No need to "help" him by pulling a mob from him. Always DPS the tankadin's target so that you are less likely to draw aggro.
  • Protection tanks, however, do not have a mana pool as large as holy paladins, so don't expect them to heal you. Ask the group healers for healing, or use your own food, if needed, at the end of the fight; it will reduce downtime for both of you.

Retribution

  • Most Retribution paladins will use Sanctity Aura, as it will give them +10% holy damage, and will give you both +2% damage increase, so don't snub it. Ask only for an aura change in elemental-heavy damage fights. (Sanctity Aura has been removed in Patch 3.0.2 too.)

Holy

  • Holy paladins act as healers, so if the mob is not hard hitting expect to tank yourself. Ask for Judgement of Light so you can heal while hitting. The paladin may throw Hammer of Justice and a Consecration and Judgement or two, but expect most damage coming from you.
  • If the paladin is in mostly plate (i.e. has not abused cloth and leather items) and has some skill he may be able to "heal-tank" an elite for as long as his/her mana lasts, while you dish out as much damage as possible. Use this tactic only in emergency or carefully planned situations, as a healing paladin will have no block or parry, and is not properly geared (nor has the spec) to tank.
  • At the end of each fight most holy paladins will heal you to full health, but let them drink back their mana.

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