Encrypted Text: Macro guide for rogues

Chase Christian
C. Christian|09.30.09

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Encrypted Text: Macro guide for rogues

Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about a few of the most common rogue macros in use today.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had the opportunity to play my rogue quite a bit more than I am typically able to. Brewfest and Onyxia have had me busy every night, helping my guild mates slay Coren Direbrew over and over again. I was able to pick up a Direbrew's Shanker 2.0, although it won't see much use, it's still nice to see one in my bank beside the previous versions.

I captured this bit of a World of Logs parse from one of the Onyxia attempts, where I was able to my AoE combination macro: it's a very deadly combination. Looking at numbers like these make me wonder if perhaps the great FoK nerf of 3.2.2 wasn't as heavy-handed as it was made up to be. With a Vanish fix on the horizon for patch 3.3 (who's PTR is coming "soon") and the red-hot topic of 'weapon swapping', I decided to do a bit of housecleaning and tidy up my macros and addons in anticipation.

I've tried about ten different Vanish macros, hoping each would give me a more reliable escape than the last. Unfortunately, I was never able to get one that worked 100% of the time. During the process I learned a lot about macro making, and I'd like to share some of my favorite macros. For those of you who are short on bar space or key bindings, you can utilize a macro to save yourself space.


/cast Vanish

This is the Vanish macro that I'm currently using, and I get much better results (especially in PvP) when using this macro rather than using Vanish by itself. It stops all my auto-attacks while also ensuring that I have no possible target in order to prevent me from bringing myself out of Stealth. I'm hoping that the fix Blizzard is planning truly resolves the issue of Vanish failures once and for all. I'm willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to get it working properly.

Auto-attack automatically:

/cast Mutilate or Sinister Strike or Hemorrhage or Fan of Knives

I build the '/startattack' command into any one of my offensive spammable moves, particularly combo point generators. It automatically starts your auto-attacks, making sure you're not missing any damage. When I'm rapidly switching targets, I'll always be attacking whatever my target is. This is particularly useful for Fan of Knives, as often we forget about our single target DPS while trying to AoE. I heard reports that this macro had been broken right after 3.2.2 and that it was using Rank 1 of many abilities, but I was unable to reproduce this effect.

Tricks of the Trade:

/cast [help] [target=focus, help] Tricks of the Trade
/cast [help] [target=targettarget, help] Tricks of the Trade

These are the two most common macros I use to keep Tricks of the Trade active. If I need to redirect new mobs (such as spawning adds) to the right person, I set them as my focus and use the first macro. If I am just trying to give the current tank a threat boost, I'll use the second. The second macro works no matter who is tanking the mob you have targeted, which means you don't have to worry about getting it on the right person. It's perfect for using right before you pop your cooldowns. If you do want it to go to someone special, you can always use a 'regular' copy of Tricks of the Trade to assign it to a particular person. If you're trading tricks with another rogue, you can also use [target=PLAYERNAME] to give them TotT directly.

AoE domination:

/equipslot 17 [Slow OH weapon name] (like /equipslot 18 Razorscale Talon)
/castsequence Blade Flurry, Adrenaline Rush

As I mentioned in my Fan of Knives article, Blade Flurry and Fan of Knives share a very powerful synergy. Blade Flurry will actually add more than 50% damage to your Fan of Knives, bringing it up to its pre-3.2.2 damage levels. Put on a slow offhand weapon to maximize poison procs, and start spamming Fan of Knives once both Blade Flurry and Adrenaline Rush are active. You'll be able to completely destroy any AoE group, doing DPS that will still have the mages and warlocks wondering why rogues are still the true AoE kings.

Weapon swap:

/equipslot 17 [DP Dagger]
/equipslot [modifier:shift] 17 [IP Dagger]

I picked up this macro from a post by Sotea on Elitist Jerks. It's an easy way to set up a weapon swap macro, allowing you to quickly switch between offhand weapons. A new tactic for Mutilate PvE involves using Deadly Poison on your offhand as usual, but once you have built up a 5-stack of Deadly Poison, you swap to a different OH weapon with Instant Poison on it. You then get the added damage from Instant Poison, and you quickly swap back to Deadly Poison to refresh your 5-stack before it expires. This is only possible after the recent change that allows Deadly Poison stacks to remain on your target after an Envenom.

In order for this to be effective, you need to make sure you maintain your 5-stack of Deadly Poison as efficiently as possible. You also need to have low latency and quick reaction times, as it gives you an additional timer to watch closely. If you're able to ride the line and swap back and forth between weapons and poisons properly, it can offer a pretty serious DPS boost from the bonus Instant Poison procs.

Kill shot:

/cast Cold Blood
/cast Eviscerate
/use Gnomish Lightning Generator / Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket

I use this macro to finish off any target I'm able to get to half health. It guarantees an Eviscerate crit, while also adding on extra damage from the Engineering perks. Macro'ing Cold Blood to one of your abilities makes it far easier to use effectively, as having to push two buttons in order to first activate Cold Blood and then to use your finisher takes up too much time and effort in a fast-paced situation. It also saves me a crucial key binding.


If you have any other favorite macros to share, please post them in the comments. There's a lot of different ways to accomplish some very cool things using macros, and I will be covering some more PvP-centric tips, macros, and addons in next week's Encrypted Text!
Are you a Rogue looking to up your game? Check back every Wednesday for the latest strategies in Encrypted Text! And for the raiding Rogue, get ready for Trial of the Crusader with Ready Check and our Trial of the Crusader guide for Rogues, part 1, part 2, and part 3. Heard about the Rogue Q&A? Get the highlights from Encrypted Text!

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