The author of the guide is teyka, a raider of the Exorsus Guild. Visit my Twitch channel, where you can find lots of interesting things, including the Rogue gameplay in the most difficult game mods.
Outlaw Rogue is a dynamic spec based on dealing instant Physical damage. It’s very flexible and versatile, suitable for any type of combat. You will learn more about this spec in our guide.
- Effective in any situation, has a nice AoE potential and decent damage to single targets
- Quite easy to play
- Great survivability, typical for this spec
- High mobility
- Rotations may be random, thus affecting your damage
- The lack of DoT results in poor DPS when you can’t attack the target
Basic information on the spec:
The Rogue is a lightly armored class that specializes in melee damage and has 2 main resources: Energy and Combo Points (CP). Accordingly, there are abilities that spend these resources, or, vice versa, allow you to gain them. The correct use of these abilities and wise rotations are your keys to success.
Ambush – requires Stealth, awards 2 CP, costs 50 Energy. Used after pull or after Vanish.
Sinister Strike – main combo generator, awards 1 CP and costs 45 Energy. 45% chance to strike twice and generate another CP. If you double-strike, you gain Opportunity for 10 sec, making your next Pistol Shot half cost and double damage.
Pistol Shot – the second main combo generator, awards 1 CP and costs 40 Energy. Slows enemy movement speed by 30% for 6 sec. Mostly used as you proc Opportunity.
Cheap Shot – isn’t often used in PvE, but we can’t fail to mention it. Requires Stealth, deals no damage, but stuns the target for 4 sec and awards 1 CP.
Slice and Dice – consumes combo points to increase attack speed by 50%. Lasts longer per combo point, up to 42 sec for 6 CP. Benefits from Pandemic and can be refreshed, providing a longer duration. Costs 25 Energy.
Dispatch – finishing move that dispatches the enemy, dealing damage per combo point. Costs 35 Energy.
Between the Eyes – finishing move that deals damage with your pistol, increasing your critical strike chance against the target by 20%. Critical strikes with this ability deal four times normal damage. Buff: critical strike chance taken from the Rogue increased by 20%. Duration depends on CP spent, up to 18 sec for 6 CP. Costs 25 Energy. CD 45 sec. It’s an important ability and it must be used on the initial target of your cleave.
Kidney Shot – finishing move that stuns the target. Lasts longer per combo point. up to 7 sec for 6 CP. Costs 25 Energy.
Poisons are learned automatically as you level. A Rogue can only have one Non-Lethal and one Lethal type of poison at the same time. Poisons are applied in advance and last for 1 hour. At any moment, you can change or refresh poisons if you need to.
Instant Poison – your attacks have a 30% chance to poison the enemy and instantly inflict Nature damage. Used by default.
Wound Poison – each strike has a 30% chance to poison the enemy, which instantly inflicts Nature damage and reduces all healing received by 8% for 12 sec, stacking up to 5 times. Mostly used in PvP.
Crippling Poison – your attacks have a 30% chance to poison the enemy, slowing movement speed by 30% for 12 sec.
Numbing Poison – each strike has a 50% chance of poisoning the enemy, clouding their mind and slowing their attack and casting speed by 15% for 10 sec.
Restless Blades – the spec’s passive. Finishing moves reduce the remaining cooldown of Adrenaline Rush, Between the Eyes, Blade Flurry, Grappling Hook, Roll the Bones, Sprint, Marked for Death, Killing Spree / Blade Rush, Ghostly Strike and Vanish by 1 sec per combo point spent.
Adrenaline Rush – increases your Energy regeneration rate by 60%, your maximum Energy by 50, and your attack speed by 20% for 20 sec. This is your main burst. CD 3 min.
Blade Flurry – strikes up to 5 nearby targets for Physical damage, and causes your single target attacks to also strike up to 4 nearby enemies for 45% of normal damage (also works with ranged attacks, such as Pistol Shot and Between the Eyes). Duration 15 sec, CD 30 sec, dynamically drops due to Restless Blades, making your cleave uptime nearly 100%.
Vanish – can be used to cast Ambush on recharge to increase your DPS. Besides, Vanish is combined with some Legendaries, namely Mark of the Master Assassin.
Mastery: Main Gauche – your main-hand attacks have a 30% chance to trigger an attack with your off-hand that deals Physical damage. Can activate Combat Potency.
Combat Potency – your off-hand attacks have a 75% chance to generate 10 Energy. Increases your Energy regeneration rate by 35%.
Roll the Bones – finishing move that rolls the dice of fate, providing a random combat enhancement (there are 6 of them). Lasts longer per combo point. You can get 1, 2 or 5 possible buffs (5 buffs – 1% chance, 2 buffs – 20% chance). In Shadowlands, Roll the Bones costs 25 Energy, CD 45 sec.
You’ll find more about rerolls at the end of the guide.
Feint – performs an evasive maneuver, reducing damage taken from area-of-effect attacks by 40% for 5 sec. Costs 35 Energy, CD 15 sec. Since in raids and dungeons most of the damage you take is AoE, this is a Rogue’s iconic ability. It also allows you to simplify some raid mechanics, helping your raid.
Cloak of Shadows – another ace up your sleeve. Provides a moment of magic immunity, instantly removing all harmful spell effects. The cloak lingers, causing you to resist harmful spells for 5 sec. CD 2 min.
Crimson Vial – drink an alchemical concoction that heals you for 20% of your maximum health over 4 sec. CD 30 sec.
Evasion – increases your dodge chance by 100% for 10 sec. CD 2 min.
Grappling Hook – launch a grappling hook and pull yourself to the target location. 40 yd range. CD 30 sec (dynamic).
Shroud of Concealment – massive Stealth for party and raid members within 15 yards. CD 6 min.
Sprint – increases your movement speed by 70% for 8 sec. CD 60 sec.
Distract – throws a distraction, attracting the attention of all nearby monsters for 10 seconds. CD 30 sec. Usable while stealthed.
Tricks of the Trade – redirects all threat you cause to the targeted party or raid member, beginning with your next damaging attack within the next 30 sec and lasting 6 sec.
Sap – incapacitates a target not in combat for 1 min. Only works on Humanoids, Beasts, Demons, and Dragonkin. Requires Stealth. Damage will revive the target.
Blind – blinds the target, causing it to wander disoriented for 1 min. Damage will interrupt the effect. CD 2 min.
Gouge – gouges the eyes of an enemy target, incapacitating for 4 sec. Must be in front of your target. Damage will interrupt the effect. Costs 25 Energy and awards 1 CP. CD 15 sec. Very useful in M+.
Kick – a quick kick that interrupts spellcasting and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 5 sec. CD 15 sec.
Shiv – deals Physical damage and applies a concentrated form of your active Non-Lethal poison. Costs 20 Energy, CD 25 sec.
General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Tranquil Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on CD, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it.
Tier 1 Lvl 15 Talents that affect DPS.
Weaponmaster – Sinister Strike has a 10% increased chance to strike an additional time.
Quick Draw – half-cost uses of Pistol Shot granted by Opportunity now generate 1 additional combo point, and deal 50% additional damage. Good Talent for any situation, standard choice in M+ and cleave fights. Has a good synergy with some of our Legendaries.
Ghostly Strike – strikes an enemy, dealing Physical damage and causing the target to take 10% increased damage from your abilities for 10 sec. Dynamic CD 35 sec due to Restless Blades. At the moment, this Talent grants slightly more damage to single targets than the second Talent in this tier, but over time its relevance will drop. Also, if you have any additional targets, the use of this Talent no longer makes sense.
Tier 2 Lvl 25 Talents that affect mobility.
Acrobatic Strikes – increases the range on all your melee attacks by 3 yards. Your choice by default, as it covers a huge zone for AoE damage and grants a long range.
Retractable Hook – reduces the cooldown of Grappling Hook by 15 sec, and increases its retraction speed.
Hit and Run – increases your movement speed at all times by 15%.
Tier 3 Lvl 30 Talents that affect resources.
Vigor – increases your maximum Energy by 50 and your Energy regeneration by 10%. Your optimal Talent in most situations both for single targets and in cleave fights.
Deeper Stratagem – you may have a maximum of 6 combo points, your finishing moves consume up to 6 combo points, and your finishing moves deal 5% increased damage.
Marked for Death – marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. CD 60 sec (dynamic), duration 60 sec. Cooldown reset if the target dies within 1 min. Due to its cooldown mechanics, this Talent can be very useful in M+ if you know how to use it properly.
Tier 4 Lvl 35 Defensive abilities.
Iron Stomach – increases the healing you receive from Crimson Vial, healing potions, and healthstones by 30%. Mediocre Talent, but can be used in solo-content.
Cheat Death – fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 sec afterward, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more often than once per 6 min. Always take this Talent, as there’s nothing better than a second life!
Elusiveness – Feint also reduces all damage you take from non-area-of-effect attacks by 30% for 5 sec. Keep in mind that Feint costs 35 Energy and lasts only 5 sec (CD 15 sec), so maintaining its high uptime is quite impossible, while frequent use negatively affects your damage. Questionable Talent, as it’s very specific.
Tier 5 Lvl 40 Control tier.
Dirty Tricks – your control abilities no longer cost Energy.
Blinding Powder – reduces the cooldown of Blind by 30 sec and increases its range by 15 yards.
Prey on the Weak – enemies disabled by one of your stuns take 10% increased damage from all sources for 6 sec.
This is the most frequent choice in this tier, as sometimes you have to use stuns in raids and in M+.
Tier 6 lvl 45 Talents that affect DPS.
Loaded Dice – activating Adrenaline Rush causes your next Roll the Bones to grant at least two matches. Not the best choice at the moment.
Alacrity – your finishing moves have a 20+ % chance per combo point (up to 100% with 5 CP) to grant 2% Haste for 20 sec, stacking up to 5 times. It is the best choice in any situation, as 10% Haste is a very good buff. In raids, the buff rarely goes off, while in M+ you have to keep an eye on it, maintaining the buff between fights, for example, by casting Slice and Dice a few seconds before Alacrity ends.
Dreadblades – this new Talent is similar to Pirate artifact weapon in WoW:Legion. Strike at an enemy, dealing Physical damage and empowering your weapons for 10 sec, causing your next combo generator to fill your combo points, but your finishing moves consume 5% of your current health. Sounds interesting, but in practice it’s not as effective as, say, Alacrity.
Tier 7 Lvl 50 Talents that affect DPS.
Dancing Steel – increases the duration of Blade Flurry by 3 sec and its damage by 5%. At the moment, this Talent isn’t relevant, as cleave uptime in Shadowlands is already extremely high, while other options grant more damage.
Blade Rush – charge to your target with your blades out, dealing Physical damage to the target and to all other nearby enemies. While Blade Flurry is active, damage to non-primary targets is increased by 100%. Generates 25 Energy over 5 sec. CD 45 sec. This is the best option in this tier, good for single targets and in M+.
Killing Spree – teleport to an enemy within 10 yards, attacking with both weapons for Physical damage over 2 sec. While Blade Flurry is active, also hits up to 4 nearby enemies for 100% damage. In Shadowlands, this Talent isn’t as bad as it was at the end of BfA, however, Blade Rush is still better in most cases.
Here are your common builds
- Ghostly Strike
- Acrobatic Strikes
- Cheat Death
- Prey on the Weak
- Blade Rush
- Quick Draw
- Acrobatic Strikes
- Cheat Death
- Prey on the Weak
- Blade Rush
- Quick Draw
- Acrobatic Strikes
- Marked for Death
- Cheat Death
- Prey on the Weak
- Blade Rush
When you join a Covenant, you get 2 abilities: one of them directly affects your DPS, while another – grants either a defensive feature or increases your mobility.
The Covenants that suit Outlaw best are the following:
The Kyrian > the Night Fae >= the Necrolords >= the Venthyr
Below you can learn more about the abilities these Covenants provide.
Echoing Reprimand – deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Costs 30 Energy, CD 45 sec.
Sometimes hard to implement, but still grants a solid boost.
Summon Steward – call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity. CD 4 min.
It may seem useless, but don’t underestimate the extra heal. It also removes all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects – very useful throughout the game.
Flagellation – lash the target 3 times, dealing Shadow damage and adding a stack of Flagellation for each lash. The target remains tormented for 20 sec, receiving an additional lash for each combo point you spend. Reactivating Flagellation cleanses their torment, increasing your Haste by 0.5% per stack, up to a maximum of 15% Haste for 20 sec.
Good DPS ability, but it can be fairly inconvenient when used against squishy targets.
Door of Shadows – castable blink.
Can be used to skip some enemies or shorten the distance, but overall a Rogue is mobile enough even without it.
The Night Fae
Sepsis – infect the target’s blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer an additional damage and you Vanish from sight.
Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration.
This ability has a nice synergy with Mark of the Master Assassin, but since this Legendary isn’t your priority at the moment, it shouldn’t affect your choice.
Soulshape – turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yards forward and increasing your movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few sec to teleport again. Lasts 12 sec, or indefinitely while in a rest area. When Soulshape is active, you can’t cast spells.
It’s a useful ability both for mobility out of combat and for quick repositioning in fights.
Serrated Bone Spike – embed a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when the target dies or is healed to full. Costs 10 Energy, CD 30 sec.
Can be used on single or multiple targets.
Fleshcraft – form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 min. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. The spell is most effective against powerful enemies. Besides, it gives you a combat buff, depending on the race of the monster.
It’s a pretty good utility ability, but it’s channeled, so you can’t always use it in fights.
In this spec, we have the following Potency Conduits:
Count the Odds – Ambush and Dispatch have a 15% chance to grant you a Roll the Bones combat enhancement buff you do not already have for 5 sec. Duration and chance tripled while Stealthed.
Triple Threat – Sinister Strike has a 20% chance to strike with both weapons after it strikes an additional time.
Sleight of Hand – Roll the Bones has a 10% chance to give you a few buffs..
Ambidexterity – Main Gauche has an additional 3% chance to strike while Blade Flurry is active.
The current rating of Potency Conduits:
Count the Odds > Triple Threat >= Sleight of Hand > Covenant Conduit > Ambidexterity
When upgrading your Soulbind, the most beneficial option is to take 2 slots for Potency Conduits and use the Conduits according to their rating above. However, in some situations, you can take 1 Potency Conduit, if a particular Soulbind has a strong DPS Talent that leads to a Conduit of another type.
The image below shows the optimal builds for the Soulbinds. The red border also indicates the best Soulbind out of three. The orange border indicates one of the possible options in M+.
Overall, the Outlaw Rogue has 8 available Legendary Items: 4 general and 4 spec Powers.
Let’s have a look at the most useful of them:
For single targets:
Celerity > Concealed Blunderbuss > Greenskin’s Wickers
Celerity >= Mark of the Master Assassin > Greenskin’s Wickers
Also, the choice of Legendary Item Effects can be affected by your Covenants, Talents and equipment.
- Keep Slice and Dice active all the time.
- Maintain Roll the Bones buffs on yourself. If Roll the Bones is ready to use, while its buff is still active, you can refresh it a few seconds before it goes off – the buffs’ duration will sum up, and if you manage to get 2 or 5 bonus buffs, you will gain a few extra seconds of their uptime.
- Use Adrenaline Rush, Blade Rush / Killing Spree (if you have it) on recharge and don’t let your Energy cap.
- Cast Vanish -> Ambush on recharge if you have Count the Odds or active Mark of the Master Assassin. If you have neither of these, using Vanish is unnecessary.
- Cast Blade Flurry as soon as it’s up if you have Ambidexterity, even on single targets.
- Use Ghostly Strike on recharge, gain Energy in advance to deal more damage while it’s active (if you have the Talent). Make sure that you don’t have to refresh Slice and Dice while this spell is active.
- Use Marked for Death on recharge (if you have it).
- Cast Between the Eyes on recharge with a maximum amount of CP to maximize its damage.
- Use Dispatch at 4-5 CP, avoid overcap, especially with active Broadside and Skull and Crossbones buffs.
- When you proc Opportunity, use Pistol Shot to generate CP.
- In all other cases, use Sinister Strike to generate CP.
In fact, you have no specific priorities, just use Blade Flurry in fights with 2+ targets, sticking to your standard rotation.
In M+, try to use Roll the Bones before fighting a pack to have time to restore Energy. Keep in mind that Blade Rush and Killing Spree deal increased AoE damage if Blade Flurry is active, so use this ability in advance.
Echoing Reprimand – used on recharge. The buff itself lasts for 45 sec and has the same CD. It means that there is enough time to implement the ability. In Outlaw, you can cast the buff with Dispatch on the target affected by Between the Eyes.
Flagellation – used on recharge and recast at 30 stacks, or before the buff goes off. No point to synergize it with bursts, we just want to minimize its downtime.
The Night Fae
Sepsis – used on recharge. If the target survives its full duration, Vanish from sight and follow your standard rotation.
Serrated Bone Spike – minimize its downtime and if you have 3 Spike charges, embed at least one of them in any target.
When fighting single targets, just use Spike charges whenever you can, for example, to cap your CP.
In M+ or in cleave fights, keep this ability active on as many enemies as possible. Try to use Serrated Bone Spike on targets that are most likely to die first to gain some extra charges.
Choosing a race
For a Rogue, your race doesn’t really matter, as the damage boost you get does not exceed 1.5%. Nevertheless, here’s a chart:
Alliance: Mechagnome, Dwarf.
Horde: Orc, Zandalar (Bwonsamdi), Blood Elf
Your basic stats priority is the following:
Agility> Crit = Versatility > Mastery > Haste
Your priority stats are Crit and Versatility, to a lesser extent Mastery. As for Haste, it depends on the amount you have at a particular moment.
To maximize your stats, use raidbots.com (-> Stat Weights) and import this information into the game with Pawn (addon) for further convenience.
Based on the above-mentioned characteristics and your own simulation results, let’s move on to Gems, Enchants and Consumables.
Deadly Jewel Cluster (crit) / Versatile Jewel Cluster (Versatility)
BiS Gear & Trinkets
Tricks of the Trade multi-macros
/cast [@mouseover, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade
/cast [@focus, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade
/cast [@targettarget, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade
Tricks of the Trade macros for M+ (pull to the leader, usually a tank)
/cast [@party1] Tricks of the Trade
Blade Rush / Killing Spree depending on your Talent
/cast [talent:7/2] Blade Rush; [talent:7/3] Killing Spree;
Marked for Death at the cursor position (mouseover macro)
/cast [@mouseover] Marked for Death
Grappling Hook at the cursor position
/cast [@cursor] Grappling Hook
WeakAuras is probably the most important addon in modern WoW. It allows you to customize almost anything, and on wago.io you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec, for example, check out this link.
BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods – addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately.
nugComboBar – an addon for displaying combo points in an aesthetic form.
ElvUI is an all-in-one global build for fans of a neat and concise interface. Replaces several addons at once. On wago.io you can find a large number of different customized profiles for ElvUI.
Details! Damage Meter is the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment.
Plater Nameplates – an addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io – what else do you need?
Dominos is a customizable panel addon.
Basic Chat Mods – addon for chat customization.
Deja Character stats – adds more information about the character.
Shadowed unit frames – an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.
Since Roll the Bones now has a cooldown and costs 25 Energy, your rerolls are limited.
Nevertheless, if Roll the Bones is up, and you have one of these buffs – Skull and Crossbones / Grand Melee / Buried Treasure – you should reroll it. This works both for single-target and AoE damage.
That’s it, guys! We hope you have no more questions and are ready to get down to practice. Thanks for tuning in! Best of luck in the world of Azeroth!