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The Rogue is primarily a melee damage dealer. This section lists common Assassination, Combat and Subtlety builds. Talent builders can be used to test different builds or slight variants on the ones listed below, and links as well as details can be found on the Rogue talent page.
- 1 Level 80 Builds
- 2 Assassination
- 3 Combat
- 4 Subtlety
- 5 Unverified Level 80 Builds (Needs Cleanup)
- 5.1 Mutilate/Envenom/Rupture (33/2/3)
- 5.2 Pepelianka's PvE build  (14/0/57)
- 5.3 Mutilation Bleedation (53/5/13)
- 5.4 PvE Assassination SS (51/15/5)
- 5.5 Arena Sub Spec (7/13/51)
- 5.6 Dagger/Fist Builds
- 5.7 Fist/Sword/Mace Builds
- 5.8 Rogue Builds for Dual Talent Specialization: plate, clothes, rogueVSrogue
- 6 Old Level 70 Builds
- 7 Old Level 60 builds
- 8 Leveling to 80
- 9 External links
Level 80 Builds
Builds in this section are the result of extensive community discussion, testing, and consensus. Sources may be found at the bottom of the page. If you have a personal build you would like to submit, please add it to the unverified section below.
For raiding, Assassination is slightly ahead of Combat, with Subtlety far behind.
Assassination rogues specialize in using both daggers and Mutilate to deal high damage to enemies while gaining large amounts of combo points.
Mutilate Daggers 4.0.3 (31/2/8)
Combat rogues specialize in using Sinister Strike combined with a slow mainhand weapon to maximize physical damage to a target, while maintaining great burst with spells such as Adrenaline Rush, Killing Spree and Blade Flurry.
Hack and Slash (20/51/0)
Fist and Dagger (20/51/0)
Utilizes all of the DPS increasing talents in the combat tree, and the most popular and highest damage combination of the 20 points remaining in assassination. The choice between 1/4 Vile/Improved Poisons and 2/3 Vile/Improved poisons is highly gear-dependant, but generally 1/4 is the favored combination.
Sixsixx’s Subtlety Crits Build (20/0/51)
|Purpose||Subtlety Build for PvP and Arena|
Utilizes large amounts of burst damage, the most successful rotation for this build is Premediation->ShadowStep>Ambush->Kydney Shot>Shadow Dance->Ambush->Cheap Shot->Gouge->Ambush->Backstab->Eviscerate->Stealth(If required perform a Hemorrhage->Gouge->Blind->Ambush->Eviscerate/Kidney Shot (Kidney Shot if an escape is required) NOTE: Preparation may also be used for a re-do of the rotation. This build is currently the largest tested single-target burst damage build in the game. The build provides incredible damage, whilst also giving survivability and Hemorrhage for face-to-face combat. The build revolves around constant critical strikes and fast Combo Point generation, with the incorporation of Shadow Dance for continued Ambushes.
Honor Among Thieves (8/20/43)
Honor Among Thieves (Or HAT) is an interesting build centering around (and named after) the talent Honor Among Thieves. Combo points are built by your partymates' critical attacks, rather than Sinister Strike or Mutilate. Sample play includes maintaining 3-5pt Slice and Dice, while using as many 3-5pt Eviscerates as possible.
Formerly viable for raiding, but nerfed terribly with 3.2.
HaT Backstabber (16/0/55)
High burst combined with Honor Among Thieves to improve building cp. Used Relentless Strikes since sub specced rogues doesn't have any talent that improves energy regeneration like Vitality (rogue talent) in Combat tree or Overkill in Assassination tree. This build let's you take down cloth wearers easliy while not making you defenseless with heavy armored opponents. This is Battleground pvp build and should not be used in arenas.
Unverified Level 80 Builds (Needs Cleanup)
The builds in this section are submitted by individuals and are (for the most part) not the result of community discussion or consensus. They are included here because some of them may be very effective situationally or may show promise with further testing.
The main focus of this build is for high energy regen to help maximize dps output; to do this effectively we use the talent point Venomous Wounds which has a chance to regain 10 energy whilst having the extra damage of a bleed effect on our target. Also keeping SnD up is fairly easy with this build and also helps to get those extra vital hits on the target to keep our dps high.
Rotation IF STEALTHED: 1. Garrote 2. Mutilate 3. SnD 4. Mutilate (till 4 or 5 combos) 5. Envenom 6. Mutilate (4 or 5 combos) 7. Rupture ; After this all you need to do is keep refreshing your Rupture to 4 or 5 combos and do an Envenom at 4 or 5 combos inbetween which will automaticly refresh SnD.Also remember Vendetta on bosses once your rotation has started.
Rotation IF NOT STEALTHED: 1. Mutilate (till 4 combos) 2. SnD 3. Mutilate (till 4 combos) 4. Rupture 5. Mutilate (2 or 4 combos depending on the timer of SnD)6. Envenom ;then just follow the prioty of keeping rupture up and a Envenom inbetween.
If this build is played correctly by keeping up SnD and Rupture you can pull Atleast above 8kdps in HIGH END GEAR. Note you can get much higher dps than this depending on the players skill and gear. 8k dps is just a figure; this is the minimun you should get in high end gear!
Also note that in this build there are a few different talent options: you could put 3 points in Precision and 2 points Relentless Strikes, and the 1 point in Deadly Brew can be put in any of the other four optional talents depending on personall preference.
Pepelianka's PvE build  (14/0/57)
|Purpose||Subtlety PvP build for blonds ("PvE" is not a typo although it is PvP build)|
"As long as rogue’s natural environment consist mainly of players of the opposite faction, I consider myself a PvE player and my subtlety build a PvE build". (Pepelianka)
Mutilation Bleedation (53/5/13)
Claimed to be the highest possible dps build since 3.3 release, but without references. Strategy: Keep Slice and Dice + Rupture + Hunger for Blood up at all time, use Vanish every cooldown and Mutilate to 4-5 CP then Envenom ( wait until your Envenom buff is gone before you Envenom! ) - Poisons: MH-Instant OH-Deadly - build has been tested and is by far better than all other mutilation specs.
PvE Assassination SS (51/15/5)
This is an assassination build that uses a fist/dagger weapon choice, using SS as the primary combo point builder. Start with Garrote > HfB > SnD > SS > Envenom and then go into a "3-5 rupture > 3-5 envenom > 3-5 envenom" rotation, using HfB whenever needed to keep it up. Problems with this build: NEED to have high hit and expertise This build can pull the same DPS as the conventional PvE mutilate build, if not more.
Arena Sub Spec (7/13/51)
|Tested patch||not yet tested|
This spec relies on cooldowns like evasion and shadowdance to beat the other 2v2 team. You go into stealth, premeditate, Shadowstep behind the enemy, then ambush, evasion, sprint, ghostly strike, shadowdance, and then keep using ambush until shadowdance is done, then backstab the target until evasion is done, then vanish, ambush, and then keep backstabbing until dead (1 rogue), preperation (I don't know if you can use in arenas yet), vanish, shadowstep (other target if only 1 rogue is in the group), premeditate, ambush (instant crit for 1 rogue groups only), evasion, sprint, ghostly strike, and then backstabbing the enemy until dead. Also, make sure you use cloak of shadows or stoneform (for dwarves) if you have DoTs on you before you use vanish. Use eviscerate once you get 5 cp. Also can be used when both players are rogues, just get rid of remorseless attacks and put it in one more point in lethality and both rogues attack different targets and stay on your target for the whole time instead of switching over once you use vanish the 2nd time. It might seem confusing, so I would try it on a dummy first.
(51/18/2)Lightning Mutilate PVE Here i have skipped Turn the Tables for Lightning reflexes(10% haste) which should give a nice increase in white damage, but also increase your ability dps via Focused attacks. Go with fast daggers.. Slow ones can also be used, but fast is recommended for Focused attacks. Deadly on MainH - Insta on OffH. Open with garrote -> HfB -> Slice n'dice -> Envenom (and for easy understanding) use Mutilate -> Mutilate -> Rupture/Envenom rinse'repeat (Genez, Earthren Ring)
(21/3/47)BACKSTAB SHADOWSTEP PVP 3.1 untested shadowstep backstab spec purely for pvp, Premed + Shadowstep -> ambush -> finishing move, use BS as combo builder always. EDIT, Fixed talents to the better, Removed Blood Spatter for Vigor and Cold Blood.
wh(54/10/7) *New* Mutilate Daggers 3.1 Pretty much the same as the official mutilate raiding build. But with the poison changes in 3.1 and the Master Poisoner change they did, instead of glyph of envenom. This can be the way to go in 3.1 (Hsdirr, Kazzak)
(51/13/7) Alternate Mutilate Daggers Using this build you should open up with Ambush and build up combo with Mutilate and use Eviscrate to spend those points. Try to get two daggers with high damage (usually slow ones) to maximise Mutilate. For raiding go for Cut to the Chase instead of Improved Poisons and have your S&D up all the time. Try to have Hunger For Blood up at all times!
(42/5/24) Mutilate Pvp Stunlock Build. CS, Mut, KS, Mut, Mut, Then split off depending on situation, if they're almost dead, use Eviscerate, if you're almost dead, use Gouge and vanish, then repeat. Use instant poison on MH and wound on OH. If you know your going against caster used wound on MH and mind numbing on OH. (Xaar, Kael'thas, Alliance)
(12/34/25) Fist - Adrenaline Rush/Hemo (Defiance of Crushridge, Alliance)
(32/5/34) Overkill + Premiditation (Graceland, Runetotem, Alliance.)
(19/0/52) Shadowdance ambush spam! PvP burst damage build, alternative lose master of subtlety and elusiveness for relentless strikes. Bladedemon aerie peak
(51/13/7) Mutilate Eviscerate/Rupture Build Perfect for both farming, questing, and 5 mans
(46/15/10) Mutilate + Poisoning with Crit focus (ßladetusk of Earthen Ring)
(49/17/5) Combat/Assassination with Relentless Strikes (Ksara of Ysondre)
(51/15/5) Mutilate Close Quarters (Noordiana of Fenris)
(20/17/41) Casual all-around tri-spec with fist main hand Based on Hemo/Rupture/S&D for DPS
(50/0/21) Mutilate/Ambush + Prep spec (high DPS) (Skizzelz of SwC)
(51/13/7) Eviscerate raid build. Paired with a Glyph of Evisceration and Instant Poison on both weapons, this build utilises best in slot gear and assumes a raid makeup including a retribution paladin (for 3% crit to raid buff, replacing master poisoner) and a hunter using poisonous shots (or another rogue with deadly or wound poison). (Torps of Dreadmaul)
(41/21/9) Mutilate + Survivability (Leveling) (Demonazz of Fizzcrank)
(15/51/5) Combat Backstab Raiding - Glyphs: Rupture, Slice and Dice,Adrenaline Rush - Rotation: BSx2, SnD, BSx5, SnD, BSx5, Rupt, BSx3 SnD. This rotation changes depending on procs of Relentless Strikes and Combat Potency, but the jist is: Spam BS, Keep SnD up AT ALL TIMES, and use rupture when you have max CP's and SnD is not below 10 seconds left.Very effective for DPS in Raids. PS. For Patch 3.1.0, switch Glyph of Adrenaline Rush with Glyph of Backstab, and change talent setup to This (Kildrazien @ Boulderfist)
(34/0/37) Pure PVP w/o Lvl 60 Abls Sure you lose out on the lvl 60 fun rogue abilities, but if played right, this will own in pvp =D, must have Glyph of Vigor, Glyph of Hemmorage, Glyph of Garrote. Used best for PVP and using Wound Poison VII for Deadly Brew (Rank 2). Have also set up a specific macro, http://www.wowwiki.com/Useful_macros_for_rogues#One_Button_PvP, that hopefully, crossing my fingers, works the way it should as a Casting Sequence. IF, thats a big if, the macro works like it should, it should either kill any reg caster, minus Druid and Pally, and take any other player down to about 1/2 health in a few seconds.
Note: Must remove first Cold Blood from the macro if using Glyphs listed.
(14/12/45)Sword Raid Spec(Fast Combo Points for Snd, Rupture, Evis, worked well until HaT bug fixed)
(27/0/44) Fast combo point, poison base Snd, Rupture, envemon with hemorrage, use gylphs of snd, rupture and hemo. Requires good hit rating (bladedemon aerie peak) Edit since HaT nurf this build doesn't outperform other raiding builds.
(7/51/13) Sword Raid Spec(Elitest Jerks)
(18/51/2) shiv spec Wound poison main hand instant offhand, Substitute shiv for SS and play as any other combat build, gives better dps for fast-fast weapon combination
(20/51/0) Combat Swords/Assassination (Nalice of Khaz'goroth)
(16/0/55) Subtlety Swords/ Assassination (Vonaviles) PvP Build
(13/51/7) Combat Fists PvE Raid Spec - Glyph of Vigor needed to increase energy pool to 120
(15/51/5) DUNGEON Spec (Combat Swords) (Detolin of Aggramar) - This Spec is designed for lvl 80 Dungeons, Heroics, and Solo/Questing. It grabs Vigor coupled with Glyph of Vigor for a stronger opener for solo/trash mobs. As of Patch 3.1.1 the best Poison combo for this build is MH-Wound Poison, OH-Deadly Poison. In Dungeons/Heroics use Garrote(Opener), Slice&Dice(Finisher), "Rupture(Finisher) on bosses" and "Eviscerate(Finisher) on Trash".
(18/51/2) Combat Sword/Axe PvE Raid Spec Wound MH / Deadly OH - Standard Combat rotation with increased Poison damage by 20%. (Krizzone of Akama formerly of Anub'arak)
Rogue Builds for Dual Talent Specialization: plate, clothes, rogueVSrogue
Common basic Mutilate Spec 41/5/25
Common, for the cycle
Sap > Cheap Shot > Mutilate > Kidney Shot > Mutilate 2x > Cold Blood + Eviscerate or Rupture *NOTE2
then Blind or CoS+Vanish wait for CS to finish his cool down, and all this again. Link Wow Armory (3.3)
Wowwiki's one .. Link Wowhead (3.3)
NOTE: Many ppl forget to put 5 tp in Dual Wield Specialization (rogue talent): this talent is really important for every Mutilate spec.
Mutilate against Locks, Priest, Clothes, Rogues 42/5/24
A stun-lock one, with fast combo point generation and fast energy gains. Link Wow Armory (3.3)
NOTE: Against mages you should use a different strategy: Sap > Sprint (*) > Garrote (**) > Mutilate > Rupture and then, Mutilate Kidney Shot to the end. Just preserve Cloak of Shadows/Vanish for emergences and against Mage's Blink
(*) always have Sprint on! Never wasted if used immediately! It can decide the result of the duel
(**) silences them
Mutilate vs Plates
Totally different one: An unusual but appealing one, based on Setup.
All talents put to improve Rupture (+60%, talents stacks), Garrote, and melee combo point generation. Poisons are fundamental, use Evasion/Prep from the beginning, Sprint and KILL!
Get 5CP and first of all Rupture, Envenom, do not care about cp generation, Setup will do this for you, just keep an eye on Ghostly Strike's cooldown and remember to always have it on, use Evasion, always prep after Evasion.
You can use a totaly diffent strategy: you can begin the stun lock cycle, then Gouge the enemy, wait the 5 sec to get out of combat, stealth and immediately sap the opponent, thanks to the Improved Gouge talent. Not a really clever strategy, but can give you a great versatility.
Shadowstep, Shadowdance (clothes: Ambush ed Eviscerate)
Nice against ranged classes, sometimes slow but with the best crit percentage available. Shadowstep does the dirty work, and it's +20% damage is a nice buff. Rarely used in PVP servers, but worth a try. 2-3 points on Honor Among Thieves could be interesting for battlegrounds, but is fairly useless in 1 on 1 combat.
Old Level 70 Builds
Please see Rogue builds/Level 70
Old Level 60 builds
Please see Rogue builds/Level 60
Leveling to 80
Please see Starting_a_rogue#Leveling_to_80