Poisons

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A blade drenched in poison.

Poisons are abilities that enables Assassination rogues to coat their weapons with poisons. When a poisoned weapon strikes an enemy it has a chance of applying a debuff that damages, slows, or otherwise hinders the enemy, depending on the poison applied. First available at level 2, poisons are a core part of the Assassination rogue and their use is required to maximize effectiveness in most situations.

Poisons are considered a temporary (1-hour) weapon enhancement. Poisons do not stack with other temporary weapon effects such as a Blacksmith's sharpening stones or weightstones or Alchemist's oils. Only one such temporary weapon enchantment can be active on a weapon at a time.[citation needed]

Some rogue abilities and specializations increases effectiveness of poisons.

Poisons

Poisons are learned automatically by the rogue as they level. A rogue can only have one Non-Lethal and one Lethal type of poison at the same time.

Non-Lethal
Lethal

Improvements

Night elf stabbed with a poison dagger.

The following abilities, talents, and items directly relate to Rogue poisons:

Weapon speed

Poison tearing apart a wight.

Faster weapons do not always increase the rate at which you apply a poison: unlike the other poisons (which have a fixed chance per hit), [Wound Poison] use PPM (proc-per-minute) mechanics. This means that even on a very slow weapon your Wound Poisons will add the same amount of DPS (damage per second) as on a fast weapon.

The argument for using slower weapons is this: based on your weapon speed and your poison's PPM, an average proc chance is calculated that will be used every melee swing. However, your special attacks (Sinister Strikes, Mutilates, etc.) can also deliver your poisons, and they use this very same calculated proc chance. So equipping a slow weapon results in an increased chance of applying poison with your special attacks, which, of course, are not restricted by your weapon speed. The difference in damage is rather minimal though, so people often just follow the "slow MH, fast OH" because they could always put Crippling/Deadly/Mind-Numbing on their OH without much reduced effect.

Historical

Prior to Patch 3.0.2, Rogues made their own poisons using a Poisons skill. Poison ingredients were purchased at Shady Dealers or reagent vendors, found in junkboxes obtained through Pickpocketing, or gathered with Herbalism. Once you had the Poisons skill, you had to level it like a profession. You had a skill level that you could increase by making poisons that still gave skill. Unlike professions, you did not need to purchase the ability to skill up beyond the 75, 150, 225, and 300 limits. Instead your current skill limit was simply five times your current level. There was no poisons trainer; instead you learned new poisons from the Rogue trainer, subject to meeting the level and skill prerequisites. Poisons did not count towards your two-profession limit, despite its similarities to other professions.

Previously Rogues could buy  [Anesthetic Poison], which was used to dispel enrage effects. In Patch 4.0.1 the ability to dispel enrage effects was built into [Shiv], making this poison obsolete. It is no longer sold by common vendors, although you can still buy a non-functional version from Jeeves (likely a bug).

Quests

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.

Formerly, the quest chains detailed below were required to access Poisons—this is no longer the case and the ability becomes available for purchase upon reaching level 10. The quests remain, however, as Rogue-only quests.

Alliance

Go to the Old Town in Stormwind. Master Mathias Shaw at SI:7 headquarters offers the first quest in the chain, A Rogue [20] Mathias and the Defias. The quest takes you to a tower on the southern border of Westfall near Stranglethorn Vale, along the river, and requires a skill level of 70 in Lockpicking to complete. After completing A Rogue [24] Klaven's Tower, the second quest in the chain, you will gain the ability to buy poisons.

Horde

Go to the Cleft of Shadow in Orgrimmar and complete H Rogue [20] The Shattered Salute. The Horde quest chain is difficult to solo at level 20, but two level-20 characters or a solo Rogue around level 23 should be able to complete it. The two main quests (including H Rogue [21] Mission: Possible But Not Probable which requires a skill level of 70 in Lockpicking to complete) in the chain take you to a tower in the northeast corner of the Barrens. When the quest objectives are completed, the Rogue will be poisoned with a very slow-acting poison debuff. After turning in the quest at the Cleft of Shadow, the Rogue travels to Tarren Mill in the Hillsbrad Foothills, where s/he will be cured of the poison debuff (though the poison is easily curable through a variety of other means as well) and gain the right to buy poisons.

Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Poisons are now exclusive to Assassination.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Poisons have been redesigned into separate abilities instead of items. Instant Poison removed.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Many class talents, spells, and abilities have been overhauled, added, or removed.
Rogues now learn Poisons at level 10 (down from level 20), Rogues can now poison their Ranged weapon, Anesthetic Poison has been removed ( [Shiv] now dispels Enrage effects), poisons no longer have multiple ranks and now scale with character level, several abilities and talents related to poisons have changed, Glyph of Poisons added.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Damaging poisons now scale with attack power. Poisons skill removed. All finished poisons are available on vendors rather than created by the rogue.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): All poisons will now enchant the weapon for 1 hour, increased from 30 minutes.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): Poisons: The difficulty of dispelling these is now based off the level of the player, not the level of the weapon the poison is applied to. Rogue poisons no longer have charges.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-20): Temporary item buffs (e.g. poisons, sharpening stones and shaman weapon buffs) will persist through zoning or logging out. A number of items have had their stacking limits increased including leather, enchanting dust/shards and rogue poisons/reagents among others.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): Applying Rogue poisons will no longer break Stealth.

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