The best part of being a rogue is that no matter what build you go for, you’ll be able to hold your head up high in both PVP and PVE. Unlike other classes whose builds alter your playing style immensely (just look at any healer class), the rogue will simply look into a build to maximize his goals: high DPS for raids or high burst damage for PVP. Before firing off this guide, let me start with a short introduction to the three talent trees..
The assasination tree is based on burst damage and critical hits and it excels in its finishing moves. Mutilate is an awesome 41 talent if you’re willing to invest that far in Assasination and the bonus burst damage comes great in PVP and PVE alike. In some builds, especially the ones based on Mutilate, poisons gain a crucial goal, so if you’re the type of rogue that doesn’t care much about his poisons, this build might not be for you. Otherwise, Improved Poison is a must.
Combat is a very versatile talent tree and although many PVE raiders, but it does have some very useful PVP talents as well. With talents that reduce energy cost, or increase its gain, it’s a good tree for sustained DPS, over the huge burst damage of Mutilate builds. Combat is a tree best going into if you already know what kind of weapons you’ll be using, since the specialization talents can truly make a difference.
Subtlety is a great burst damage talent tree for rogues and it also features several talents that make it easier to position yourself however you want in relation to your enemies. Moving quickly around your enemy in stealth and the fast combo point adding makes this a great build for World PVP, Battlegrounds and Arenas. It’s also the tree you want to go up through if you want some improved crowd controlling on your rogue, especially through improved Sap and Blind. Due to the high burst, quick combo point racking up and talents such as Preparation, Premeditation or Shadowstep, Subtlety can also be turned into a great all-round PVP tree.
Remember, the following builds are personal preferences of the author and they fit in well with my playing style, prefered weapons and gear. Therefore you shouldn’t take this as an “end-all” rogue talent guide, since all of the above mentioned factors might differ from yours. If you want to create your own talent builds, try out our Rogue Talent Calculator
World of Warcraft Rogue Leveling Build – Combat Swords
Combat is a tree that many rogues prefer to level with and I won’t go into the dagger versus sword debate with this build, I’ll just assume you use swords. If you intend to use a mace or fist weapons, just pick the mace or fist specialization instead of Swords Specialization and you’ll be fine.
Your main targets should be Blade Flurry, Aggression and Adrenaline Rush. Once you get these you can either go for the level 41 talent, Surprise Attacks, or build up in Assasination, whichever you prefer really, since both are viable Combat rogue leveling options.
If you don’t want to go so deep into Combat and take Surprise Attacks, you may want to stop at Adrenaline Rush and build up in the Assasination tree, as at that level crits will count big and you’ll also improve your main damage abilities, Sinister Strike and Eviscerate. If you have the points to go up to Seal Fate in Assasination, go for it. Otherwise, if you do aim for Surprise Attacks, put the remaining 19 points in the Assasination tree, namely in Improved Eviscerate, Malice, Ruthlessness, Murder, Relentless Strike and Lethality. Here’s how the final build should look like: Combat Rogue Swords Leveling Build
World of Warcraft Rogue Leveling Build – Assasination Daggers
Assasination has some extremely nifty talents that will make leveling a breeze. You’ll get a lot of crit and burst damage to help you get single targets down fast.
We’ll also be getting energy efficient talents such as Vigor later on or Quick Recovery earlier, which will prove invaluable when speed-grinding your way through the levels.
Although this is a deep assasination build, it’s advisable to start with 2 points in Combat and get Improved Sinister Strike, since it will be one of your most important abilities while leveling.
Levels 10-11 – Improved Sinister Strike(2/2) Levels 12-14 – Improved Eviscerate (3/3)
Since this is a dagger build, you’ll probably go for Dagger Specialization in Combat, after or before you’ve taken Mutilate. In my final build, you’ll notice I skipped Deflection and Riposte, which are two talents a lot of leveling rogues like. With the burst damage this build provides though, you’ll get targets down fast and you won’t be able to benefit from the Parry bonus they give you, so I took 3/5 Lightning Reflexes (3% Dodge chance) and Endurance instead. Sprint is useful while leveling to get between groups of mobs or escape a situation that has gone wrong, so the lower cooldown won’t hurt. Another talent that I skipped, Ruthlessness might come in handy sometimes, but since most mobs won’t have too much life after your first finishing move on them, the extra combo points from Ruthlessness will go in vain. Still a good filler talent if there’s no other place you really need to spend talents in (and there is). Here’s the build: Assasination Daggers Build
World of Warcraft Rogue – Level 70 Builds World of Warcraft Level 70 PVE Rogue Builds – Mutilate Daggers
(41 Assasination / 20 Combat)
Some will argue that in PVE swords are king, but this Mutilate daggers build will dish out some nice DPS through the short bursts and poisons from Assasination and the high hit ratio, bonus offhand damage talents from Combat.
Don’t go for Dagger Specialization over Dual Wield, since in the long run, with the bonus hit from Precision, your offhand white damage will get more DPS than some crits. Here’s the build: Assasination/Combat Daggers PVE
World of Warcraft Level 70 PVE Rogue Builds – Combat Swords
(17 Assasination / 44 Combat)
This is a favorite amongst PVE raiders and although it’s usually build around swords, you can simply switch the Sword Specialization talent with Mace or Fist specialization if you have those kind of weapons.
Improved Slice and Dice, combined with Relentless Strike in Assasination is an awesome combo in long fights. Here’s the build: Combat Swords PVE Build
World of Warcraft Level 70 PVE Rogue Builds – Combat Daggers
(15 Assasination / 41 Combat / 5 Subtlety)
This is a dagger alternative for the Combat Swords build and is the follow-up to the pre-TBC combat daggers build that dished out the highest amount of damage, although in The Burning Crusade combat swords and combat daggers are both viable alternatives in end-game PVE.
You’ll be using Backstab as your main attack, so mind your positioning. The build may have some small alterations from rogue to rogue, but in general this is how it should look: Combat Daggers PVE Build
World of Warcraft Level 70 PVP Rogue Builds – Shadowstep
(20 Assasination / 41 Subtlety)
This build makes the most of Subtlety’s burst damage talent and is one of the best for PVP and especially in World PVP and Arenas, where you have a good chance of starting the combat from Stealth.
Having the Assasination tree for support talents gives this build just the extra push in power it needs to be one of the best for all-round player versus player. Here’s the spec: Shadowstep/Assasination Daggers PVP Build
World of Warcraft Level 70 PVP Rogue Builds – Hemo Stunlock
(27 Assasination / 3 Combat / 31 Subtlety)
This build emphasizes on getting the burst damage out of Subtlety, while not gimping your stunlock ability. Therefore you lose the 41 talent in any tree, but you do get the Cold Blood and Premeditation combo, as well as Improved Kidney Strike in Assasination for better and deadlier stuns.
If you take this build, you’re better off using slower weapons rather than daggers. The build: Hemo/Stunlock PVP Build
World of Warcraft Level 70 PVP Rogue Builds – Mutilate PVP
(44 Assasination / 17 Subtlety)
This build takes the best PVP talents from Assasination and mixes them up with some stun and burst damage improving ones from Assasination, for an awesome combo.
Since Mutilate replaces Backstab, you shouldn’t spend any points in Improved Backstab. With Seal Fate, you’ll be able to get a lot of finishers in and the yellow numbers will be flying: Mutilate PVP Build