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IconLarge Rogue.gif Rogue
Edwin VanCleef TCG3.jpg
Edwin VanCleef, Kingpin of the Defias
Available to

Assassination Assassination (melee DPS)
Combat Combat (melee DPS)
Subtlety Subtlety (melee DPS)

Primary attribute
Weapon skills
Armor type

Leather; can also equip Cloth.

Signature abilities

Can apply various Poisons to their weapons, [Stealth], [Cheap Shot], [Sinister Strike], [Shadowstep]

Classes Death knight Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Starting a DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Tactics DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class races DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Quests DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Abilities DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
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Useful macros DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
As assassins and redistributors of wealth, rogues specialize in avoiding unpleasant confrontations.[1]

The rogue is a lightly armored class that specializes in melee damage. Rogue combat centers around using instant attacks to build combo points, which are used to unleash more powerful finishing moves on the target. With their distinctive [Stealth] ability, rogues are capable of sneaking through the shadows unnoticed, dispatching their foe in a whirl of attacks, then vanishing from sight. Rogues can also stifle their opponents with a variety of poisons, bleeds, stuns, and other disabling effects. Rogues are renowned for their elusiveness, having a number of defensive abilities that make them adept at escaping combat when the odds turn against them. Many of the rogue's abilities depend on their ever-replenishing pool of energy.

The primary rogue attributes are agility and stamina. Rogues are also interested in haste, critical strike, hit, and expertise. Rogues can wear only leather or cloth armor and are unable to use shields. They can wield only one-handed weapons (daggers, swords, axes, maces, and fist weapons) but are able to dual wield two one-handed weapons at a time.

Class overview

For rogues, the only code is the contract, and their honor is purchased in gold. Free from the constraints of a conscience, these mercenaries rely on brutal and efficient tactics. Lethal assassins and masters of stealth, they will approach their marks from behind, piercing a vital organ and vanishing into the shadows before the victim hits the ground. Rogues can dip their weapons in paralyzing toxins that render foes unable to defend themselves. These silent stalkers wear leather armor so they can move unencumbered, ensuring that they land the first strike.

With the rogue’s poisons and speed, the first strike is often the last step before the killing blow.[2]


The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Human rogue

Rogues are Azeroth's legerdemains. They possess a wide range of skills that allow them to accomplish feats from disarming traps to finding secret doors to smacking a magic item until it works. They are decent in a fight, and if they can strike quickly or unseen — or are flanking an enemy with the help of a thoughtful ally — they can be truly deadly. Of course, they also excel at stealth.[3]

The rogues of Azeroth are the masters of subterfuge, skilled and cunning adversaries of those who dare not look into the shadows to see what lurks there. Roguery is a profession for those who seek the adventures of stalking and silent forests, dimly lit halls and heavily guarded strongholds. Using trickery in combat and able to vanish at the slightest distraction, the rogue is a welcome addition to any group of adventurers. Ideal spies, deadly to those they can catch unaware, rogues have no problem finding a place in the world. Deadly masters of stealth, rogues are the whispers in shadowy corners and the hooded figures crossing dark fields. Skilled with daggers and the art of silent death, these vagabonds and bandits skulk about Azeroth seeking targets and profit. A member of almost any race can learn the tricks necessary to become a skilled rogue. Still, for the Tauren and Draenei, such a profession is an alien concept and therefore rare (if not non-existent) among those peoples.[4] Rogues can be found among all races on Azeroth. Whether they are diplomats, spies, thieves, scoundrels, entertainers, or simply adventurers, you can find them plying just about any trade from Mount Hyjal to Ratchet.[5]

Aesadonna Al'mere, a blood elf rogue.

For as long as there were dark alleys and needs for dark services, there have been rogues, and thus they are one of the oldest professions in Azeroth. Rogues are a diverse class, and they are typically made up from the dregs of society — cutthroats, pirates, robbers, and low-lifes. The only code rogues live by is the contract, and their word is only as good as the money their services are bought for. The diverse aspects of their trade requires rogues to be well versed in lockpicking, toxicology, rudimentary alchemy and brawling. In combat, rogues rely on the element of surprise, and tactics which are regarded by most as vile and cowardly. They are rarely seen entering a fight without weapons laced in poisons and ample supplies of everything from bombs to elixirs in their backpacks. Their attacks concentrate on weak points in the body in an attempt to finish fights brutally and quickly. Rogues play prominent roles in every aspect of society — albeit, they will rarely be written in history books because their involvements will be largely unknown to the common person, but they are always there, greatly affecting the flow of events from the shadows.

Ya'mon, a troll rogue.

From the high-contract assassin hired in secret by respected noblemen to the lowly street mugger, rogues are the ones called upon when maintaining the status quo requires a questionable solution — and by fulfilling it, are branded as outcasts by the very society that calls upon their service.

In Azeroth several rogues are free agents, though most prefer to join a guild for safety and ease of employment. Ravenholdt and the Syndicate are examples of said guilds. Other recognized rogue organizations include the Shattered Hand, the Deathstalkers and SI:7.

Notable rogues

Main article: List of rogues
Name Role Status Location
HordeIconSmall Garona.gif Garona Halforcen Gul'dan's personal spy and assassin Alive Bloodgulch,Twilight Highlands
NeutralIconSmall Zul'jin.gif Zul'jin Leader of the Amani Trolls Deceased Zul'Aman,The Ghostlands
NeutralIconSmall Illidan.gif Illidan Stormrage Lord of Outland Deceased Black Temple,Shadowmoon Valley
NeutralIconSmall Valeera.gif Valeera Sanguinar Companion of Varian Wrynn Alive Stormwind Harbor
NeutralIconSmall Warden.gif Maiev Shadowsong Warden Alive Warden's Cage, Shadowmoon Valley
AllianceIconSmall Human Male.gif Mathias Shaw Leader of SI:7 Alive SI:7, Stormwind City
NeutralIconSmall EdwinVanCleef.gif Edwin VanCleef Leader of the Defias Brotherhood Deceased Ironclad Cove, The Deadmines
NeutralIconSmall Vanessa.gif Vanessa VanCleef Leader of the Defias Brotherhood Killable Westfall


A male undead rogue.
Main article: Rogue races

The following races can play the rogue class:

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health
Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf 26 19 22 19 19 38 65
Alliance GnomeGnome Gnome 16 25 21 24 20 50 55
Alliance HumanHuman Human 21 23 21 20 20 46 55
Alliance Night elfNight elf Night elf 17 27 21 20 20 54 55
Alliance WorgenWorgen Worgen Cataclysm 23 25 21 16 19 50 55
Alliance/Horde PandarenPandaren Pandaren MoP 21 21 22 19 22 37 123
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf TBC 18 25 21 23 18 50 55
Horde ForsakenForsaken Forsaken 20 21 21 18 25 42 55
Horde GoblinGoblin Goblin Cataclysm 18 25 21 23 18 49 55
Horde OrcOrc Orc 24 20 22 17 22 40 65
Horde TrollTroll Troll 22 25 21 16 21 50 55

All races except draenei and tauren can play as rogues. The cloven hooves possessed by both these races may well serve as an impediment to the rogue's stealthy ways, although members of these races may choose not to embrace the shadowy path of the rogue for more philosophical reasons. The mythical tauren rogue is a persistent joke.


A forsaken rogue about to finish a night elf warrior.

Rogues depend on the following primary attributes:

  • Agility - Increases attack power, critical strike, and dodge. Agility is often a rogue's best stat.
  • Stamina - Increases health. While not a priority for rogues compared to other stats, stamina is necessary to stay alive. Most rogue gear pairs agility with stamina.

Rogues also desire the following secondary attributes:

Strength is not a good stat for rogues; while it does increase melee attack power (1 AP per point of strength), agility does that and more. Rogues use no mana, so intellect, spirit, and related caster stats are completely useless. Items containing dodge, parry, or extra armor are usually tanking items that rogues should avoid.


A gnome rogue from the WoW TCG.
See also: Rogue sets

Rogues can use five types of melee weapons: daggers, fist weapons, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, and one-handed axes. They dual wield, which means they can equip a weapon in each hand when most classes can equip only one; the trade-off, however, is an increased chance to miss with each weapon and reduced damage from the off-hand. Rogues cannot equip two-handed weapons or shields. A rogue's choice of weapon typically reflects their talent specialization: the Assassination and Subtlety trees favor the use of daggers, while the Combat tree favors the use of swords, axes, maces, and fist weapons. In order to optimize damage, rogues must pay attention to the weapon speed and damage per second of the weapon in each hand.

Rogues wear leather armor. Leather is weaker than the mail and plate worn by other melee classes, making rogues more "squishy." To compensate for this, rogues have an array of defensive abilities to improve their survivability, including [Evasion], [Sprint], [Vanish], [Cloak of Shadows] and [Combat Readiness]. Rogues can also wear cloth, but this is not recommended, as virtually all cloth items are intended for casters. Rogues also benefit from [Leather Specialization] when wearing only leather.


Main article: Rogue abilities

Melee combat

Energy is represented as a yellow bar under the rogue's health.
Combo points are represented as red dots on the enemy's portrait.

Rogues specialize in melee combat. A large portion of a rogue's damage comes from auto-attacks and poisons, but they can increase their damage using a variety of offensive abilities. Many abilities require energy, a resource with a fixed capacity that is spent quickly and regenerates quickly. Certain abilities are instant attacks that add up to five combo points to the target ("builders"); these combo points can then be used to execute finishing moves that last longer or are more powerful per combo point ("finishers"). Rogues also have powerful opening moves that can only be used from [Stealth] ("openers"), as well as cooldown-restricted abilities that greatly increase damage for a short period of time ("cooldowns"). The following are examples of offensive rogue abilities categorized according to this terminology:


Main article: Stealth
Mustang Sally, a forsaken rogue

Rogues have the ability to [Stealth], which makes them essentially invisible to enemies their level and lower. Stealthed rogues are detectable at close range, though will remain stealthed and appear translucent. Many rogue abilities require stealth, and others require being behind the target, which is often achievable only in stealth. Some abilities, notably [Sprint] and [Distract], interact well with stealth, but normally using any ability or performing any action will break stealth.

Stealth opens up a range of tactics and roles for rogues. Groups may rely on a rogue's stealth ability to scout dungeons, and to use [Sap] for added crowd control. In PvP, stealth combined with burst damage gives an element of surprise that can be especially effective against cloth-wearers. Stealth also enables rogues to bypass mobs that other classes would be forced to engage, which is useful for solo play.

In addition to stealth, rogues have a number of other "sneaky" abilities, such as the ability to detect and disarm traps, pickpocket mobs, and pick locks (breaks stealth).


A gnome rogue using [Envenom]
Zazel the Greedy, a goblin rogue
Main article: Poisons

Rogues are the only class that can coat their weapons with poisons. Poisons are purchased from poison vendors and are applied to the weapon as a 60 minute buff that does not stack with similar enhancements (such as sharpening stones). Poisons generally either cause damage to the target (either instantly or as damage over time) or other hindering effects (slowing the target, reducing the effectiveness of healing on the target). Each weapon, including thrown weapons, can have different poisons applied to it, and faster weapons will cause the poison to proc more often. Poisons are a core aspect of the rogue class and should be used whenever possible. Poisons can be enhanced with talents, the majority of which are found within the Assassination tree.

MoP Poisons are now no longer items, but individual buffs that can be applied to the weapons by the rogue. Also poison vendors no longer sell poisons.

Disabling effects

Rogues have a number of ways to harm their enemies aside from raw damage. Note that diminishing returns apply to all effects that cause players to lose control of their character (stun, incapacitate, fear, etc.).


Rogues are adept at running away. [Sprint] increases running speed by 70% for 8 seconds, increased by 30% with  [Glyph of Sprint], while  [Glyph of Blurred Speed] allows a Sprinting rogue to run across water. [Vanish] allows a rogue to disappear from combat and enter an unbreakable stealth mode for 3 seconds, during which time damaging effects will not remove the rogue from stealth.  [Glyph of Vanish] grants 2 extra seconds of unbreakable stealth.


Nathressa Darkstrider, a night elf rogue.
For a full list of specialization abilities, see Rogue abilities

At level 10 rogues may choose a specialization. All rogue specializations primarily fulfil a melee damage role:


Ability rogue eviscerate.png

A deadly master of poisons who dispatches victims with vicious dagger strikes.

This specialization is based on large amounts of burst damage, in contrast to the sustained DPS dealt by Combat rogues. It makes your poisons less resistible and enables you to rack up more combo points in combat, allowing you to unleash more finishing moves. It's very effective at end game in both instances and PvP due to larger, more frequent crits and more effective poison applications.


Ability backstab.png

A swashbuckler who uses agility and guile to stand toe-to-toe with enemies.

Whereas the other two specs tend to focus on openers and high burst damage, Combat rogues focus on consistent white (auto-attack) damage to provide sustained DPS. Rather than requiring stealth and relying on powerful openers, you can simply run up to most targets and quickly hack away at them. As such, Combat tends to be the best spec for fast leveling, since you can move quickly from one enemy to the next with very little downtime instead of trying to sneak up on enemies.


Ability stealth.png

A dark stalker who leaps from the shadows to ambush his or her unsuspecting prey.

Subtlety rogues like to stay in the shadows. This spec is based on moving fast and staying hidden while racking up as many combo points in the opening move as possible, and providing more options for escape when things go wrong.

Subtlety is the archetypal (and infamous) PvP rogue spec; appearing from nowhere to overwhelm and defeat a player in a matter of seconds using a combination of incapacitating abilities and deadly damage. Subtlety rogues try to avoid a straight fight, with their greatest strength their ability to catch their prey by surprise, and if they are unable to defeat the opponent in their initial burst will often slip back into the shadows before their opponent is able to rally.

End-game expectations

Your main priority in raiding is maximizing melee DPS, while staying alive. Put your threat reducing abilities (namely, [Feint], [Vanish] and [Tricks of the Trade]) to good use, use them before you gain aggro. Rogues are also wanted as interrupters at some bosses such as Kel'Thuzad and General Vezax, and can be asked to [Dismantle] in instances like Onyxia's Lair. As with all melee DPS classes, rogues are expected to come to raids with ample supplies of flasks, potions, food and bandages. Depending on the particular situation, rogues may not get many heals. If that's the case, rogues should use [Recuperate], potions,  [Healthstone]'s, or bandages.


See also

  • Rouge - A common (and often intentional) misspelling of the word 'rogue', arguably a sub-class in itself.
  • Rogue professions - Discussion of professions as they relate to the rogue class.

Patch changes

  • WoD Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
    • Combo Points are now shared across all enemies; you can swap targets and you won't lose your Combo Points.
  • MoP Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
    • Ranged slot has been removed. Rogues will now throw their main hand item for their [Throw] ability.
    • Poisons are now Spellbook abilities (instead of items) that affect both weapons at once. Poisons are divided into two categories, Lethal (Deadly or [Wound Poison]) and Non-Lethal (the rest), and you may have one poison of each type active at once.
    • Dagger speeds have been normalized such that the niche of the "fast dagger" intended for the off-hand no longer exists. Any dagger should be fine to equip in either hand.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):
    • Lockpicking is no longer a manually-leveled skill. Your ability to open more difficult lockboxes will increase automatically as you level.
    • Poisons no longer have levels and scale as abilities do. Old poisons still work, but will not combine with new poisons into stacks in inventory.
  • WotLK Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): After much quiet contemplation, rogues now possess the ability to learn how to use one-handed axes.
  • WotLK Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Poisons skill removed. All finished poisons are available on vendors rather than created by the rogue.
  • TBC Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09):
    • Combo points added to a target should not be reset until you add a combo point to a different target.
    • When stealthed, there is now an indicator above the heads of mobs that can see through stealth.


External links