- For other uses, see Subtlety (disambiguation).
Can apply various Poisons to their weapons, , , ,
- “You're gonna find a number of outfits that covet our skills, <name>. Adventurers, SI:7... heck, even the disorganized rabble wouldn't mind a spy or two inside Stormwind. But you remember this: You're your own man. Don't let nobody bully you into doing something you don't wanna do! Besides, we hold all the cards... at least, we do before the game's done.”
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 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 rogue's primary attributes are agility and stamina, but also place great value in their secondary stats (haste, critical strike, mastery, and versatility). Rogues can wear only leather or cloth armor and are unable to use shields. They can only wield one-handed weapons (daggers, swords, axes, maces, and fist weapons), but are able to dual wield two of these weapons at a time.
- 1 Class overview
- 2 Background
- 3 Notable rogues
- 4 Races
- 5 Attributes
- 6 Equipment
- 7 Abilities
- 8 Specializations
- 9 General role in raids and dungeons
- 10 Notes & trivia
- 11 Videos
- 12 See also
- 13 Patch changes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Rogues fend for themselves, looking for fights in which they dictate the terms. They’re the shadows in the night that remain unseen until the right moment comes to strike—then they dispatch an opponent with quick blade work or a deadly toxin snuck acutely into the bloodstream. Rogues are opportunistic thieves, bandits, and assassins, but there’s an unparalleled art to what they do.
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.
Creation screen description
- Rogues often serve as assassins or scouts, though many are lone wolves. Rogues can often sneak around enemies or attack an opponent from behind to try and finish them off quickly.
This section contains information that needs to be cleaned up. Reason: Separate RPG info from canon
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
- Main article: List of rogues
- Main article: Rogue races
The following races can play the rogue class:
All races except draenei and tauren, as well as their allied race offshoots, Lightforged draenei and Highmountain tauren, can play as rogues. The cloven hooves possessed by 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.
Rogues depend on the following primary attributes:
- Agility - Increases attack power, critical strike, and dodge. Agility is a rogue's most important 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:
- Attack power - Increases the damage per second of melee weapons. This is mainly derived from agility (2 AP), but is sometimes found on items as a raw stat.
- Haste - Increases attack speed and makes energy recover more quickly.
- Critical strike - Improves the chance that attacks do extra damage.
- Versatility - Increases overall damage done and decreases damage taken for increased survivability.
- Mastery - Improves mastery ability (, , or , depending on spec).
- 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 Outlaw 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 , , , , and . Rogues can also wear cloth, but this is not recommended, as virtually all cloth items are intended for casters. Rogues also benefit from when wearing only leather.
- Main article: Rogue abilities
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 ("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
Rogues have the ability to enter , 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 and , 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 for added crowd control. In PvP, stealth combined with disables and 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.
- Main article: Poisons
Rogues are the only class that can coat their weapons with poisons. 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). They are applied as a buff to the player, lasting for one hour before they need to be reapplied; one Lethal and one Non-Lethal poison can be applied at the same time, and faster attacks (through faster weapon speed and attack speed, higher haste, and greater energy regeneration) will cause the poison to proc more often. Poisons are a core component of the Assassination spec and should always be used.
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.), as well as to status effects applied to NPCs.
Mobility, elusiveness and survivability
Rogues are characterized by their high mobility as well as their adeptness at quickly engaging, disengaging or outright escaping from a skirmish. These two elements form a significant part of the rogue's core playstyle across all three specs, enabling them to use the battleground to their advantage, strike at an opportune moment and utilize their speed and abilities not only to attack from an advantageous position and stick to their targets, but also to evade pursuers, dodge targeted attacks, and mitigate ground effects and area of effect damage.
The rogue's use of stealth and their ability to vanish in the middle of combat aid in their ability to stay alive and oftentimes escape from a dire situation, but they also open up a number of offensive tools; for example, attacks that are only usable from such as or deal high damage, which can be increased further by adding the talent . is also utilized as a means of increasing damage output in the middle of a fight, most notably for Assassination and Subtlety rogues, as this enables them to use their stealth-only abilities and proc the damage increase from .
Mobility and elusiveness are among the rogue's most important tools, as vital as their ability to deal heavy damage in a small window of time and quickly dispatch their targets. Numerous talents and abilities fall under one or the other of these traits; they are listed as follows:
- increases running speed by 70% for 8 seconds (60-second cooldown). It is usable both in and out of .
- Worgen rogues are also able to use their racial ability, , which increases movement speed by 40% for 10 seconds and can be treated as a longer but slower additional . The two abilities do not stack on top of each other, meaning that you will only receive the 70% movement speed bonus from if both abilities are active at the same time.
- allows a rogue to disappear from combat and enter stealth instantly (2-minute cooldown). Stealth cannot be broken by enemy attacks or other harmful effects for 3 seconds after triggering , and movement-impairing effects that were applied to your character will be removed. In a dungeon or raid setting, casting can be utilized as part of an offensive rotation, as well as to drop aggro if you come under attack.
- is meant for use in dungeons, raids or other PvE groups, and will redirect any threat that you generate, applying it to a selected friendly player; when cast, the player will be marked for 30 seconds, and the spell will trigger after your first attack, with the effects lasting for 6 seconds. This ability is best-utilized proactively instead of reactively, as you may not immediately lose aggro from enemy NPCs if you use it when you are already under attack.
- is a class-wide passive trait that increases movement speed by 15%.
- is a level 30 passive talent for Outlaw rogues that increases movement speed by an additional 15%.
- is a level 30 passive talent for Assassination and Subtlety rogues, with different effects for each:
- is a level 30 talent for Outlaw rogues that allows you to quickly grapple to a targeted location within 40 yards of your character (30-second cooldown). It can be used in mid-air to limit or avoid fall damage, and can also be used to pull your character to areas that are higher or lower in elevation, but can sometimes not be used on sloped or bumpy terrain and as such, is most reliable on flat ground.
- can be used by Subtlety and Assassination rogues to quickly teleport behind a selected target within 20 yards and can be utilized while in or out of stealth (30-second cooldown). Movement speed is also increased by 20% for 2 seconds after the teleport.
- allows Subtlety rogues to attack from and teleport behind their target; it has a range of 15 yards and consumes 40 energy, generating 1 combo point (2 with ).
- removes all harmful spell effects, as well as granting immunity from these effects for 5 seconds (90-second cooldown).
- is a powerful damage mitigation tool that reduces area-of-effect damage by 50% for 5 seconds; consumes 20 energy.
- restores 30% of your maximum health over 6 seconds, costing 30 energy (30-second cooldown).
- is a level 60 passive talent for all specs that causes fatal attacks to instead lower you to 7% of your maximum health; once triggered, you will take 85% reduced damage for 3 seconds and cannot trigger it again for 2 minutes. will not activate if you are hit by an attack that deals damage greater than 200% of your maximum health; as an example, if your maximum health is 200,000, then the spell will not trigger if you are hit by an attack that deals more than 400,000 damage.
- A pair of cooldowns can help rogues to temporarily tank NPCs in an emergency situation or to weather an attack from multiple targets or single, dangerous targets:
- increases your dodge chance by 100% for 10 seconds, available to Assassination and Subtlety rogues (2-minute cooldown).
- increases your parry chance by 100% for 10 seconds, available to Outlaw rogues; when active, every attack that you parry will return damage to the attacker, no more than once per second (2-minute cooldown).
- Major glyphs have been removed. is no longer available for all specs and can only be used by Assassination or Subtlety rogues; Outlaw rogues are the only spec that can utilize .
- has been removed, and is now effectively replaced by .
- For a full list of specialization abilities, see Rogue abilities
A deadly master of poisons who dispatches victims with vicious dagger strikes.
Much of an Assassination rogue's toolkit is based on heavy damage over time through poison effects, rapid auto-attacks (assassination rogues require daggers in both hands to utilize many of their abilities), and abilities that cause bleed damage. Combat centers upon maintaining and managing bleed effects on your targets, focusing on the amount of time left on each bleed and maximizing your damage output by ensuring that they are constantly in effect. The use of poisons is exclusive and central to the assassination spec, forming a significant part of its damage output in unison with , and . 
As their name suggests, Assassination rogues are themed around assassins: One of the favorite tools of the assassin is a pair of daggers coated with vicious poisons. The damage they inflict is deceiving at first—the initial wounds often seem survivable, even superficial. Then the toxins set about their business. Wounds don’t close, and blood loss continues unabated. Assassins begin their work stealthily, choosing their targets and methods of engagement carefully—but once committed to a course of action, they stick to their target until the job is done rather than disappearing into the shadows to avoid their quarry’s blows.
Signature Abilities & Talents
A swashbuckler who uses agility and guile to stand toe-to-toe with enemies.
Outlaw rogues focus on consistent weapon (auto-attack) damage and cleave damage in multi-target situations via 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, building combo points with and while maintaining personal buffs through the use of ; these enhancements are random and will either augment the characteristics of some of your abilities, reduce your cooldown times, or boost your secondary stats. As such, Outlaw 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.
Outlaw rogues are mainly themed around pirates: Outlaw rogues are the unscrupulous scoundrels of Azeroth. Operating outside the law, they bend the rules and distort the truth to get what they need. While they share plenty in common with other rogues, these outlaws have little use for tact or discretion, happy to engage in a tavern brawl or spontaneous duel, rarely patient enough to wait in stealth for the opportune time to engage. To survive in such a world, outlaws must become master swordsmen in toe-to-toe combat—and they can’t shy away from fighting dirty. If blade fails to cut too deeply, the outlaw takes advantage of a concealed pistol, catching the enemy by surprise with a quick blast.
Signature Abilities & Talents
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 quickly and staying hidden, choosing to strike at the most advantageous moment. Once they have initiated their attack, a subtlety rogue focuses on accumulating as many combo points as possible in a short amount of time, relying on high burst damage at the beginning of combat and pooling energy to maximize damage during phases of as a fight progresses. 
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; their greatest strength is centered on their ability to catch their prey by surprise, and if they are unable to defeat the opponent in their initial burst, then they will often slip back into the shadows before their opponent is able to rally.
Subtlety rogues are mainly themed around ninjas: Subtlety rogues are the masters of the shadows, and they strike unseen. They don’t have the lethal poison-tipped daggers of the assassin or the brawling prowess of the outlaw, but their acumen on the battlefield and ability to hide in plain sight are unrivaled. Some claim the art of subtlety looks like malevolent shadow magic—but no matter from where their power is derived, these rogues are capable of performing devastating assaults on their enemies, slipping away unharmed to strike again without detection. Most rogues train their entire lives to learn how to walk in the shadows—subtlety rogues were born there.
Signature Abilities & Talents
General role in raids and dungeons
As with all damage-dealers, the rogue's main priority in raiding and PvE group settings is to maximize DPS while staying alive. In dungeons, rogues may be asked to preemptively disable certain enemies with , or before the party enters combat. More frequently, rogues may also be tasked with interrupting important spells during some encounters, notably against bosses such as Xhul'horac, Kel'Thuzad and General Vezax. General raid etiquette will also require you to handle any other responsibilities that your raid leader may ask of you, as well as to provide your own flasks, food, potions and other supplies to maximize your buffs.
In general, rogues should not expect to be healed on a regular basis, meaning that you must oftentimes fend for yourself and rely on your mobility, positioning, and prudent use of abilities such as , , , and to quickly move away from targeted attacks and ground effects and to minimize incoming damage. Utilize , potions and healthstones as needed, and especially in encounters with a large number of enemies, be sure to use to transfer threat to one of your tanks and reduce the chances of taking aggro. If you come under attack, drop aggro with , or mitigate damage by using or . As a melee class, rogues will almost always find themselves in the middle of the action, usually alongside tanks, and will need to be wary of area of effect attacks and damaging auras; you can expect to come under fire from multiple directions, and must strike a balance between avoiding attacks while maintaining your own attacks and remaining close enough to your targets to deal as much damage as possible.
Notes & trivia
- 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 7.0.3 (2016-07-19):
- All three specializations (Assassination, Subtlety, Outlaw) have been retooled.
- The former Combat specialization has been changed to the Outlaw spec and now utilizes several new abilities, but retains much of the core gameplay that characterized the Combat spec.
- Major glyphs and many minor glyphs have been removed, with some effects from minor glyphs (such as increased lockpicking speed from ) incorporated into your abilities.
- 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.
- Several of the Rogues abilities have been pruned down or become baseline in other abilities.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
- Ranged slot has been removed. Rogues will now throw their main hand item for their ability.
- Poisons are now Spellbook abilities (instead of items) that affect both weapons at once. Poisons are divided into two categories, Lethal (Deadly or ) 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.
- 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.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): After much quiet contemplation, rogues now possess the ability to learn how to use one-handed axes.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Poisons skill removed. All finished poisons are available on vendors rather than created by the rogue.
- 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.
- ^ Watcher Dev on Twitter
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ a b c d Legion Class Preview Series: Rogue
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/class/rogue
- ^ Dark Factions, 30
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 54, 80
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 56
- ^ http://www.icy-veins.com/wow/assassination-rogue-pve-dps-rotation-cooldowns-abilities
- ^ http://www.icy-veins.com/wow/subtlety-rogue-pve-dps-rotation-cooldowns-abilities