Assassination Vs Subtlety DPS in 4.0

 Rogues  Comments Off on Assassination Vs Subtlety DPS in 4.0
Oct 172010

I ran a short test on the target dummies in Silvermoon. One build was Assassination, the other Subtlety, both 4.0. The Assassination build is ElitistJerk’s DPS build, and the Sub is more PvP oriented. Just a short test along the lines of getting the rust polished off.

Note that you need 31 points to grab talents from the other trees, but you do not need to have the top talent in whichever tree. Mastery happens at 80.

Sub. did about 24-2500 DPS on the 83 target dummy and Assassination was close to 4k.I’m not claiming to be an expert anything, but that’s a pretty big difference. I didn’t even have Vendetta up on the Assassination test, showing what a nub I am.  Before 4.0 it was about 2k DPS or so with an Assassination build and the same gear.

  • Mongoose on both daggers
  • Instant poison on the MH, Deadly on the OH
  • No other buffs
  • About 4562 Gearscore (I know, it sucks.)

Assassination build (4.0:)

  1. 3/3 Coup de Grace
  2. 3/3 Lethality
  3. 3/3 Ruthlessness
  4. 2/2 Quickening
  5. 3/3 Puncturing Wounds
  6. 1/2 Deadly Brew
  7. 1/1 Cold Blood
  8. 3/3 Vile Poisons
  9. 2/2 Seal Fate
  10. 2/2 Murderous Intent
  11. Overkill
  12. Master Poisoner
  13. 3/3 Cut to the Chase
  14. 2/2 Venomous Wounds
  15. Vendetta
  16. 2/3 Precision
  17. 3/3 Relentless Strikes

Prime glyphs: Mutilate, Backstab, Rupture

Major Glyphs: Feint, Garrote, Fan of Knives

Minor Glyphs: Whatever. I have Pick Lock, Poisons, Safe Fall

Subtlety Build for 4.0

  1. 2/2 Nightstalker
  2. 3/3 Improved Ambush
  3. 3/3 Relentless Strikes
  4. 1/3 Elusiveness
  5. 2/2 Waylay
  6. 3/3 Opportunity
  7. 2/2 Initiative
  8. 2/2 Find Weakness
  9. Hemorrhage
  10. 3/3 Honor Among Thieves (will probably lose this. Your group gets the extra crit rating, so it’s useful for group fights, but it seems to be bugged right now.)
  11. Premeditation
  12. 2/3 Cheat Death
  13. Preparation
  14. 2/2 Sanguinary Vein
  15. 3/3 Slaughter from the Shadows
  16. Shadowdance
  17. 3/3 Precision
  18. 1/3 Coup de Grace

More DPS?

  1. Drop Nightstalker and Elusiveness for 3/3 Energetic Recovery (more energy)
  2. Drop Cheat Death for 2/2 Serrated Blades


  • Prime: Hemo, Evisc, Backstab
  • Major: Ambush, Garrote, Cloak of Shadows
  • Minor: Safe Fall, Blurred Speed, Poisons


Opener macro, since I can never remember to hit that Premeditation button. The pickpocket is in there for when you’re not fighting players:

#showtooltip Ambush
/cast Pick Pocket
/cast Premeditation
/cast Ambush

#showtooltip Eviscerate (or change to Envenom)
/cast  Cold Blood
/cast Eviscerate (or change to Envenom)

Ambush is looking really brutal in PvP. Glyph for Ambush (adds range) and Eviscerate (adds crit chance to Ev.) Ambush gives 5 combo points with the above build, then Evisc/Rupture


At this moment in time all the trees are good for leveling. Combat has better consistent DPS than the others and Subtlety has the huge opener. I haven’t leveled Assassination yet, but it should be between the two, at first guess.

If you’re leveling a Rogue then take a glance at our Rogue leveling page.

4.0 & Cataclysm Mage & Druid Builds

 Druids, Mages  Comments Off on 4.0 & Cataclysm Mage & Druid Builds
Oct 072010

The 4.0 patch will likely hit on or about the 12th or October and, as you probably already know, it will change a lot of things. Talents, for one.

Instead of 71 talent points at 80 you’ll have 41 at 85.

Instead of putting a few points her and a few there, you will be locked into one tree until you buy the top tier talent. Those 41 points will buy every talent in any one specialization, but you can go 31/5/5 or 31/10 or 39/2 or something like that. Obviously this means that your Pally will be Protection or Holy or Retribution.

That nice 31/20/20 build of yours? Poof! It’s gone!

Each specialization will automatically get certain abilities. For example, all Subtlety rogues will get Shadowstep. These aren’t optional abilities. The top tier ability is Mastery, which is trainable. Mastery gives a bonus to some defining characteristic of your builds. Fire mages, for example, get increased periodic damage. Mastery rating will be on gear and can be stacked.

Whether you will want to stack it depends on all the usual things. Some on the forums are saying that you do not want to stack Warrior Mastery, but on other classes it’s great.

I expect there will be a lot of tuning for awhile.

Abilities have changed, too. You no longer get them every other level and you no longer have to get levels in the ability. Instead of Shiftypoke1 through 12, you just get Shiftypoke once and it scales with your level. I’m sure there will be plenty of forum remarks regarding that change, in addition to all the others.

Glyphs? There will be a made rush for glyphs on patch day. 85s will have 9 glyphs that they can slot (prime, major, minor, 3 of each) but every class can learn all the glyphs to their class and swap them as they like. Kinda like if you have several gear sets which you swap depending on that you’re doing. If you class has 20 glyphs you just buy all of then and then figure out which is the best set. Once you’ve bought the set you’ll never have to buy them again.

Mad rush on patch day? I think so. My inscription is 450 so I’ll be ready.

Oh yeah, the builds.

I’ve taken a shot at putting up 4.0 leveling builds for Druids and mages. Check them out if you like and tell me here if they’re good, bad, or ugly. I have not leveled anything 1-85 in the beta (though Zygor has) so it’s quite possible that an “interesting” error will creep in.

 Posted by at 12:07 pm

The Gold Run and a 4.0 Rogue Guide

 Get the Gold, Rogues  Comments Off on The Gold Run and a 4.0 Rogue Guide
Sep 252010

A few weeks ago I made about starting from scratch and trying to hit 1k gold in 30 days. I’ve been documenting this on GotWarcraft.

  • Broke 1k gold on day 7, 2k on day 13, and 3k on day 18

This is on a new server, no 80s, no rich friends, no gold buying, no transfers, and the highest character so far is a 31 Rogue. Stop scoffing, I’m slow, Ok?

So when people are yammering about their money woes in trade or guild chat, I’m scratching my head and says, “WTF???” I used to offer suggestions, but no one is interested, so I just read the stuff and smile (or sigh.) Someone’s buying those three man mounts and nice raid purples (for 6-10k) on the AH and it ain’t them (don’t have the mount, but I’ve bought some of those purples.)

In the off chance that you are interested, I’ve been doing a day by day accounting of what I’m doing, here: 1k Gold in 30 Says, from Scratch

I’ve been reading the blueprint forums where people logged their speed run results. This little pocket change stuff I’m doing is silly low. No wonder no one’s interested. Ah well, it’s fun for me.


The 4.0 patch, as you all know, is bringing major changes to the talent system and a few other areas, as well. That patch will be released before Cataclysm hits. I don’t have an exact date, but I’m sure everyone’s seen the “…downloading data…” note on the launcher.

You can see the test realm patch notes here.

I’ve put up a 4.0 Rogue guide and will have the others up as soon as I can get my act in gear. The rogue guide includes remarks on Mastery, leveling builds, and a few other things. Let me know what you think.

 Posted by at 9:02 am
Sep 032009

I’ve posted an article the the GotWarcraft blog on the Top Three Rogue PvP Tips.

1 –  Know how to re-stealth
If you can’t re-stealth in combat, you are drastically reducing your survivability. The main techniques for acheiving this are to
  1. blind and wait to leave combat
  2. gouge/kidney shot your oppenent and run out
  3. get your oppenent crippled and sprint away
  4. vanish

Here’s the rest: Top 3 Rogue PvP Tips

 Posted by at 5:50 pm
Apr 082009

I’ll state this upfront – I’m a newb when it comes to raiding. I finally joined a guild (with my 80 Rogue) which does some raiding (mostly PUGs) and when asked,”Hey, ya wanna join us for (some raid abreviation)” my answer is typically, “What’s that?”

So I prodded a friend, who does raid a lot, into writing an article on Rogue Raid DPS which I found quite useful. Now it’s time to start playing around with some of this stuff and see what I can come up with and see if I can get to the point where my Rogue is useful.

My first raid was 25 Man OS (no drakes) and I beat most of the healers for DPS output. I was running a PvP mutilate build and had no clue so didn’t respec.

More browsing brought me to the Roguecraft Spreadsheet which factors in a huge amount of stuff. It includes a Mutilate build and various defaults for maximum DPS.

I specced into that build and hit 2k DPS on the Orgrimmar practice dummies, so maybe there’s hope for cracking the top 20 of a 25 man raid?

Anyway, here’s what I’m working with for now:

Mutilate Build Details

Here’s the build on WoWhead

Note: this is a dagger build and assumes use of instant and/or deadly poisons. Lev 80 (non elite) mobs go down real fast with this build.


  1. 5/5 Malice – more crit chance
  2. 3/3 Ruthlessness – more combo points
  3. 2/2 Blood Splatter – Adds to your DoTs
  4. 3/3 Puncuring Wounds – +15% Mut crit, +30% Backstab crit
  5. 5/5 Lethality
  6. 3/3 Vile Poisons – Greater chance to actually apply poisons
  7. 2/2 Fleet footed – Moved faster while stealthed and spend less time being rooted
  8. 1 Cold Blood – add this into a macro with your favorite strike. I add mine to Eviscerate.
  9. 5/5 Seal fate – Use less energy
  10. 3/3 Focused attacks – gain energy from crits
  11. 3/3 Find Weakness – All damage increased by 6%
  12. 1 Mutilate – Your bread and butter attack
  13. 3/3 Turn the tables – Adds 6% crit chance to bread and butter attacks. lots of arguing going on over whether to choose this or 3/3 Master Poisoner. Comments?
  14. 5/5 Cut to the chance – lets you keep Slice and Dice up permanently.
  15. 1 Hunger for Blood – More damage, Rarr! Edit: Will be changed (improved?) when the 3.1 patch hits.


  1. 5/5 Dual Weild Specialization – More DPS
  2. 5/5 Precision – Your Dual Weild gives a major “to hit” penalty. This compensates somewhat.
  3. 3/5 Close Quarters cbt. – More crit chance


  1. 5/5 Relentless Strikes – Restores energy
  2. 2/2 Opportunity – +20% damage to your bread and butter strikes.

Weapons I’m using right now. Both drop off the Auction House.

  1. Main – Titansteel Shanker
  2. Off hand – Librarian’s Paper Cutter


  • Exceptional Agility (+26 ag) on Main hand
  • Titanium wpn chain on off hand (+28 hit rating)

I’ll be playing with some weapon choices, poison combos, gems, etc. to see what I can do to boost DPS.  Your comments? Thoughts? Changes? What do you have to say?

Edit 4/9: Joined a PUG into 10 man OS. Hit almost 2400 dps on the trash (#2 on the DPS list,) but the group disintigrated before the first drake. No one died, but people suddenly realized they had to wash their socks, so poof. All of a sudden I’m raid leader with two people in the raid.

The Recount addon said I had a miss rate of almost 15%, so I guess I need to look for more Hit ratng. Might try the Titanium Weapon Chain on the main hand as a start and swap an Ag gem for a Hit gem.

Changed off-hand to Namlak’s Supernumerary Sticker

Mongoose provides better DPS than Exceptional Agility and Berserking is better still, but Mongoose is over 400 gold (and Berserking is a lot more.) I’ll see if I can get better weapons before blowing that much cash on Berserking.

Jan 062009

Ok, This is Why Rogues Are Cool

Rogues, Stormwind, Nobility pwning their lessers…

Actually, what this really is is an awesome video. The creator says he’s a professional animator and this is his first real, personal, piece.

This is only the second personal creative work I’ve ever posted so I’m a bit nervous about it. The first being an image I painted years ago which…um… we don’t talk about. 🙂 It’s a bit nerve-wracking to post creative work for others to judge.

With over 500 comments , all along the lines of, “Dude, this is Awesome!” I don’t think he has anything to worry about.

This will probably spoil you for other WoW videos and you really need to see it in High Def, which is why I’m not posting the YouTube version here. Check it out, now:

Update: 8/24/12: Found it again, it was apparently accidentally deleted. See it here.

The Craft of War: BLIND

Credit where credit is due, I found this on Jame’s Blog.

The woman with the staff is here

update 8/31/10: Above link was broken. Click here for the HD YouTube vid.

 Posted by at 9:45 am
Dec 312008

Currently my Rogue is level 78.5 and is helping the Argent Crusade to kill Alliance the scourge. I’ve respected into a shadowstep dagger build and grabbed the Shadowdance talent.

The daggers I’m using (which dropped off the AH at a decent price) are:

  1. Saronite Ambusher
  2. Saronite Shiv

To make the best use of that talent you might want to have some Thistle Tea on hand, a Glyph of Vigor, and gear that adds energy, such as the Gladiator set.

Ok, here’s the (dagger) build and I’m using it to level. Feel free to comment. I don’t claim to be any great shakes at PvP, the 3.0 patch killed any thoughts of competence that I might have been having. I’m sure that experienced PvPers will roll their eyes at some of my choices here:

  • 5 points Malice: Gotta love the crits.
  • 5 points Dual Weild
  • 5 points Precision: More hits = more DPS
  • 5 points Relentless Strikes
  • 3 points Master of Deception: Great for PvP
  • 2 points Opportunity
  • 2 in Dirty Tricks: The extra range is surprisingly useful, especially since you can now sap almost anything living.
  • Ghostly Strike: Instant strike, more damage, more dodge, and a combo point to bot. What more could you want?
  • 3 pts in Serrated Blades: Lead-in to Hemorrhage
  • 3 pts in Setup: If you have a decent dodge skill this will add a useful number of combo points.
  • 3 pts in Initiative: More combo points.
  • 2 in Improved Ambush: +50% to crit. ’nuff said.
  • Preparation: Kindof the “Get out of Jail Free” card.
  • 2 in Dirty Deeds
  • Hemorrhage
  • 3 pts in Master of Subtlety: More damage attacking from stealth.
  • 5 pts in Deadliness
  • Premeditation: I stick this in a macro with my openers, so I get those 2 points a lot.
  • 5 points in Sinister Calling:+15% Agility, yummy.
  • 2 pts in Waylay: More for PvP
  • 5 points in Slaughter from the Shadows: I Ambush and Hemo alot, so this is good.
  • Shadowdance
  • 2 pts to spend elsewhere (at lev 79 & 80,) which I may stick into Improved Eviscerate.

Here’s the full level 80 build on WoWhead.

If you open with Ambush (or Cheap Shot or Garrote) you will,much more often than not, see an immediate 5 combo points ready to go. So you do Opener and Finisher, bang bang, such as Ambush + Eviscerate. Get a couple of crits there and you open with some nice damage.

If you use Eviscerate then check out a Glyph of Eviscerate.

Here’s what I’ve been experimenting with:

  1. Ambush + Eviscerate
  2. Shadow Dance
  3. Cheap Shot and move behind
  4. Ambush
  5. Eviscerate
  6. gouge and move behind…

Fighting more than one mob?

  1. Sap one
  2. Cheap Shot another
  3. Blind the 3rd
  4. Shadowdance
  5. Gouge one and move behind
  6. Ambush
  7. etc.

Here’s the opener macro that I use, which I found on Arena Junkies (lotta macros there.)

#show premeditation
/cast Premeditation
/cast Pick Pocket
/cast Cheap Shot

Swap Cheap Shot for Ambush or whichever opener that you use. The Pick Pocket will keep you in healing potions and lockboxes as you level.

It might be a good idea to put your Shadow Dance hotkeys on a second action bar, and swap it in when you do the dance. Here’s a macro to switch action bars when you do just that, also taken from Arena Junkies.

Set up bar 2 to be your main bar with Sap on it, Ambush instead of Backstab, Cheap Shot instead of Kidney Shot, and Garrote over Rupture. Hit the Shadow Dance macro once to activate, and a second time to swap your bar back to normal.

/cast Shadow Dance
/swapactionbar 1 2

Comments? Besides the obvious ones about my newbishness.

 Posted by at 4:00 pm

Death Knight Rune Management

 Death Knight  Comments Off on Death Knight Rune Management
Dec 162008

All of you Death Knights out there might be interested in this: It’s a Rune Management addon which, well, I’ll let the author describe it:

Runevolution is a small rune tracking addon. The intent is to provide a “stack” of your ready runes, so they pile up on your screen in the order you used them. This means your rotation is reflected in the rune positions on your screen.

Cooldowns are tracked by moving the runes towards the “stack” of ready runes. Therefore the order that runes will be ready is also available on the screen.

Here’s the movie and the download link: Death Knight Runevolution

 Posted by at 12:20 pm
Dec 102008

The Stoppable Force has a good post for new [tag-tec]Death Knights[/tag-tec]. First on he admits to only being level 63, but by listening to what others are saying saying and doing he’s realized that he has some good stuff to offer.

His posts covers attack rotations for each tree (blood, frost, unholy) and why you want to use them. Good stuff. Some good stuff in the comments, too.

TSF Teaches You How To Start Playing Your Death Knight

Something that will be a great help in building an attack rotation, for your DK or for any character, is your keybindings. Don’t click your powers, bind them to hot keys. All other things being equal a key-binder will always outplay a clicker, because the bindings are so much faster to use.

Here’s a nice tutorial on the How and Why of keybindings, by While it’s a Warlock post I think most people will be able to use the info and adapt it to their Death Knights or any other class.

It’s the notorious topic, the eternal struggle between clickers and the rest (let’s call them pressers due to lack of terms). Many articles were published about keybinding, some good some bad, but most of them agree on one thing: binding your keys is the way to excel at this game. Here’s the rest: WoW Keybindings

More death Knight Goodness

Frost isn’t just for tanking. This wag has been doing just fine by going against convention and using a Frost Build for his Death Knight.

Pastor Playz» Blog Archive » Frosty the Deathknight was a jolly … – When the mention of the Death Knight class was introduced by blizzard I was one who . . well . . .I did not care really. To me it sounded dark and foreboding, nothing like any of the characters I like to play. …

A great overview of the Death Knight, what it’s like to play, and so on.

The Death Knight, Azeroth’s Overpowered Hero « Bird’s Sweet Blahg – You also receieve your talent points, so by the end of the quest line, you will be able to fully build your character’s spec. Let’s talk perks. For one, you get an epic riding mount from the get go for free, and it’s a Death Knight …

There be some changes comin’…  Here’s what’s currently on the test server, scroll down to see the list of possible DK changes. Of course, since it’s on the test server any given change may or may not make it to the live servers.

3.0.8 PTR Patch Notes Now Available | – PTR Patch notes where released today so I would expect to see them hit the PTR just about any time now. One thing to note, you can now create Death Knight on any server once you hit 55!

And for those of you who think that Death Knights might be underpowered…

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King | Wrath | Wotlk: Death … – Felblood, the Death Knight who recently soloed Zul’Gurub, sent us news of a new accomplishment: he’s finished off most of AQ20 as well. Kurinaxx’s Mortal Strike-like debuff apparently didn’t affect Death Strike, so he just had to dodge …