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Introductory guide to fighting rogues, Part 3 continued

Zach Yonzon


Rogues also utilize a vastly different resource system from other classes by relying on a rapidly replenishing resource called Energy, which is fixed at a max value of 100 (120 with the Vigor talent and glyph and 130 with some gear bonus). For all the speed of rogue strikes, their biggest limitation is their rate of Energy regeneration, which is fixed at 1 per 1/10th of a second, or 10 Energy per second. That means the stun-lock scenario described above isn't actually as scary as it sounds because rogues will normally have 40 Energy left after opening with a Cheap Shot which costs 60 Energy. Although they can almost immediately hit with a Sinister Strike (it takes half a second to get back up to 45 Energy and some rogues pick up Improved Sinister Strike to drop the base cost to 40 Energy, anyway) right after the Cheap Shot, they will be left with 0 Energy and will have to wait another few seconds to apply another builder strike.

Now that's not so scary, anymore, is it? Most of the strikes that a rogue applies on you while you're stunned are actually auto-attacks, which don't generate any combo points. Sure, they'll hurt, but only because rogue auto-attacks are stupidly fast. This means any sort of reflective damage ability will totally demolish them, such as Thorns or Holy Shield. Now understand that in PvP, rogues will almost always try to keep an Energy reserve for abilities such as Kick and try to keep enough to be able to Gouge (45 Energy). Having an acute understanding of rogue Energy should also give you an idea of what strikes they'll be able to pull off.

The bad news is that rogues never run out of Energy. Never. It takes about 10 seconds to fill up an Energy bar to 100, so that's wickedly fast. The good news is that the best rogue strikes are extremely expensive, ranging from 45 to 60 Energy. So the best recourse when fighting a rogue? Hit them with your most powerful strikes while their Energy is low, basically the boxing equivalent of counter-punching. It's easier said than done, but keeping track of their Energy as well as when they unleash a finishing move is a good rule of thumb for your own attacks and counters.


These limitations should give you a fairly good idea of how a rogue operates in PvP. They are single target opponents who tend to focus on one target at a time, looking to build up their attacks before unleashing powerful ones. Because the class actually demands it of some abilities, a lot of rogues learn early on how important it is to be behind an opponent. That said, maneuvering behind an opponent is not a beginner's skill. It takes tremendous practice to execute, so take comfort in the fact that most rogues aren't capable of doing this at will in the chaos of the battlefield.

If you can manage it, always face the rogue you're fighting. This is where mouse movement versus keyboard turning becomes a decisive factor. It's easier and faster to turn with your mouse than it is to use they keyboard. Against a rogue, that's pretty critical. Take away her key strength of fighting behind you and you should take away a good part of her bite. While it's basic for melee classes to stay behind their targets, rogues get particular benefits from doing so. Don't let them. That's why Gouge is so important to them. It lets them re-establish their position. One of a rogue's greatest weapons in PvP isn't their abilities but their need to fight from behind an opponent. You can't hit what you can't see.

Rogues are melee glass cannons, which is why they absolutely need to use every bit of crowd control they have at their disposal. This is why they hit and run. This is why they attack from stealth and from behind an opponent. Catch them in a stun and they'll wither very quickly to attacks. The best way to handle a rogue is to turn the tables on them -- take away their openers, hamper their mobility, and surprise them with a burst of damage to force them to blow evasive cooldowns or escape.

Alright. Now we've gone through some rogue basics, such as their class mechanic and resource. In the next and final part of this introductory guide, we'll take a closer look at the three different rogue specs, their special abilities, and the subtle differences in rogue fighting styles as well as how to counter them. For now, have a good time out on the battlefield and always keep your eyes peeled and ears alert for that signature whoosh.

Zach delivers your weekly dose of Battlegrounds and world PvP in one crazy column. Read about how to defeat your most feared opponents, beginning with Death Knights, Druids, Hunters, Mages, Paladins and Priests. Heck, at the very least you can probably learn how they kicked your butt.

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