An Ex-Gnome Tank's World

DPS, How Not to Do It, #3 (Rogues)

July 5th, 2008 Posted in Class Discussion

And so I turn my attention to a melee class. My first character was a rogue, so a lot of the newbie mistakes I’ll be discussing will be ones that I’ve made. I’m not perfect, but I know now what I was doing wrong and have an idea of what can be done to fix it at least. So, if I were to go back in time to the days when I was a dps class (can’t imagine enjoying dps nowadays – I find it rather dull), this would be it:


If you’re going to be using Sap, always open up with Distract. Even if you have the (wasteful in PvE) talents to increase your stealth level, there’s still a godd chance you’ll be seen and splatted before I can do anything about it, leaving the rest of the group to cope with the pull without one of the mobs crowd controlled and with a good chunk of the group’s DPS out of action. It takes two extra seconds, but those two seconds are a life saver, and a time saver too

Blade Flurry

One for all the combat rogues, don’t use blade flurry when I’m tanking multiple things that hit me hard. I’m thinking in particular about Abominations and Infernals in Mount Hyjal here, but it applies equally well to anything in content from heroics upwards. Save blade flurry until you’re sure I’ve got aggro on multiple targets, or you may well end up dead.


Unlike Hunters’ Feign Death, Mages’ Invisibility and Warlocks’ Soul Shatter, you don’t have the benefit of range, so make sure that you’re not going to just dump aggro on the next melee dpos when you do use it. It’s far better to use Feint regularly than to have to use Vanish at all. Most of the time this won’t be a problem, but if you find yourslef without a Paladin giving Blessing of Salvation and you’re used to it (as too many people are), make sure to put feint into your rotation that little bit more often. A dead rogue does no dps.

Expose Armor

Most people already know this, but this finisher is a big no-no. It prevents me from adding the Sunder Armor debuff to a boss, so my threat output is going to be rather lower as a result. Do us both a favour and remove it from your bars if you’re primarily working with a warrior tank. Slice and Dice (especially with the tier 4 set piece bonus) is a far better move for your dps and for my threat.

Again, any rogues who have anything to add, positive or negative, please do so. All constructive criticism welcome! I know for a start you’re all begging for Battle Shout, and if it’s safe and sensible to do so (ie I don’t need the 1k health from Commanding Shout), I already aim to keep it up as much as possible.

  1. 3 Responses to “DPS, How Not to Do It, #3 (Rogues)”

  2. By gnomeaggedon on Jul 7, 2008

    Just thought I would say that I have been enjoying your series on “How not to do it”. Keep up the good work.

  3. By Aurik on Jul 9, 2008

    Vanish – A good rogue will find it hard to take aggro if they use vanish early on in a fight – it’s much better, in my opinion, than feinting constantly as that will eat into your dps cycles horribly. I used to use feint in this manner and had a terribly bad reputation for pulling aggro. Happily, I’ve changed my ways ;)

    I have a tendency to (after aggro is established) blow my first round of cooldowns, vanish, then come back out and start my normal dps cycle. This does two things – on long fights my extended cooldowns are available again before the end of the fight and I essentially ‘start over’ aggro wise as though I’d only begun dps over half a minute after the tank first took aggro.

    I have never caught up to a tank again in aggro when doing this except on bosses with aggro resets / tank rotations and even then it’s not usually too much of an issue :)

    I think the biggest problem some rogues have is leaving their vanish until *after* they get aggro – this is a definite no-no – aggro resets should be used when they become available.

    Also, yes, dps is so dull compared to tanking / healing sometimes…

  4. By Tankette on Jul 9, 2008

    I don’t pretend to understand the moves Rogues have. I do know that the good ones realize that stun moves on a mob that is hitting me means I get rage starved so the avoid that.

    I have grouped with some that do way too much threat before I get going on a mob and they die an early death. The more experienced ones wait a little longer into the fight before busting out their big moves.

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