Ability gouge.png
  • Gouge
  • Melee   range
  • 10 sec cooldown
  • 45 Energy
  • Instant
  • Requires Melee Weapon
  • Gouges the eyes of an enemy target, incapacitating the opponent for 4 sec. Target must be facing you. Any subsequent damage will cause the target to recover immediately.
Usable by
TypeOffensive, Defensive
Casting timeInstant
Cooldown10 sec (GCD 1 sec)
Level required22
Other information
RequirementsRequires Melee Weapon
Related debuff
Ability gouge.png
  • Gouge
  • Incapacitated.
  • Duration: 4 sec
TCG image
Every being has vulnerable spots; Make it your business to know them all.

Gouge is a core rogue ability learned at level 22. It is a useful ability that incapacitates the target for a short period of time. Once a successful Gouge has been made, any damage will negate its incapacitation effect. Note that using Gouge will turn off auto attacks.

Modified by



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  • Gouge's short stun is the main reason for using the ability, allowing one to get into position for utilizing [Backstab] (if subtlety spec), performing a quick bandage, or getting a few seconds to distance yourself and get out of combat.
  • Gouge's effect breaks upon receiving damage; this means that it does not work well with [Garrote] or [Rupture], or in group combat unless well-coordinated. However, in all situations Gouge is useful as an interrupt. If [Kick] is on cooldown, Gouge can be used just for the purpose of interrupting a spellcast.


  • [Backstab] (subtlety spec) is a great skill for dealing burst damage, but you must be behind the mob to use it. Gouge first, then move behind the mob to enable you to Backstab.
  • Facing multiple enemies can be quite difficult. Simply gouge one. This will give you time to finish one of them. This will greatly reduce the amount of incoming damage.
  • In end-game raiding, Gouge has proven useful in interrupting caster enemies if they are immune to stunning with [Cheap Shot] or silencing with [Kick]. It may be expensive energy wise, but it will at least buy time and prevent extra damage to your fellow raid members.

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade/ World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008): Gouge is now only 1 rank and causes damage based on attack power.
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Patch 2.1.0 (22-May-2007): This ability will no longer trigger poisons (and thus break itself).
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.7.0 (13-Sep-2005): The fire damage from the Blazefury Medallion and the Gutgore Ripper's effect should no longer immediately break Gouge.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): If using Gouge triggers the Stormshroud Armor lightning effect, the Gouge effect will no longer be instantly interrupted.

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