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Encrypted Text: Rogue questions, rogue answers


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

Why don't our poisons last forever, like death knight weapon runeforging?

New rogues have no idea how easy they have it. Back in my day, rogues had to hike uphill in the snow to a special poison vendor hidden deep in the bowels of the capital cities. Once there, we had to look at our shopping list of obscure reagents to figure out what to buy and in what quantities. Rogues had to combine these ingredients in vials, creating one poison dose that faded every time we zoned. Vanish also consumed a vendor reagent, and we had to farm up Blindweed Fadeleaf ourselves in order to use Blind at all. Once you've died because you didn't have any Blinding Powder in your bags, you see class reagents differently.

The fact that poisons no longer consume bag space in Mists of Pandaria was considered to be a boon. Poisons are easier now than they've ever been before.

Why aren't there any epic swords in tier 14 raids?

Because shamans can't use swords. No, really. There are 3 dual-wielding agility classes, and swords are the only weapon that can't be used by all 3. Monks, rogues, and shamans can all use maces, fist weapons, and axes. Our rogue-only daggers already clutter up the loot table, and adding swords to the mix would only serve to exacerbate the issue. When it comes down to it, rogues should start asking the developers to allow shamans to use swords. That's probably our only chance of ever being able to wield swords again.

Why isn't Shadowstep baseline already?

actually is a baseline rogue ability. Don't believe me? Look at the talent statistics. Something like 90% of rogues are picking up Shadowstep for their level 60 talent. Mobility is too valuable in both PvE and PvP to pass up for an extra Vanish. Preparation only makes its way onto my action bars on the rare occasion that I need two Cloaks in a particular raid encounter. I thought the prep vs step debate would've been much more balanced. It's clear that Shadowstep won that battle. Stop asking for Shadowstep to be baseline and start asking for Preparation to be moved to a different tier.

Should I be using Tricks of the Trade?

Unlike in many previous raid tiers, your personal DPS will go down if you use Tricks of the Trade. You have to spend energy to use it, and you receive no tangible benefit. Your target, however, will receive a damage boost. On average, you will increase your raid's overall DPS by using Tricks of the Trade on cooldown. If you're trying to meet a tight enrage timer, make sure you're still using TotT as often as possible. Rogues have to sacrifice a bit of their DPS to do what's right for the raid.

Speaking of, I have felt really useful in this raid tier. Combat's cleave capabilities with Blade Flurry have been invaluable on encounters like the Stone Guards and Garalon. We get to use our Kick to interrupt spells, and I've used Smoke Bomb to help my raid avoid a few enemy attacks. There are bombs for us to disarm in Mogu'shan Vaults, and I even use Shroud of Concealment to help my raid get in position to face the Spirit Kings.

Why aren't more rogues using the Glyph of Blade Flurry? I use it all the time with Leeching Poison.

Rogues have 4 non-lethal poisons: Crippling, Leeching, Mind-numbing, and Paralytic. The first 3 poisons are all fire-and-forget poisons, as they are 100% effective after the first application. Even though the Glyph of Blade Flurry increases the proc rate of these poisons, they don't provide any benefit after the first application. Leeching Poison doesn't heal us every time it procs, we simply receive 10% of our damage as healing once it is already active on our target. Blade Flurry itself also doesn't spread our poisons, so it's not as if we need the increased proc rate.

The Glyph of Blade Flurry is nearly worthless for any rogue using Crippling, Leeching, or Mind-numbing Poison. The one exception is that it can be useful for rogues trying to quickly stack Paralytic Poison on their opponent. I would bet that the DPS loss of having Blade Flurry active against a single target would more than offset any minor gain you were trying to achieve. The glyph is awful, and serves no real purpose. Many rogues get it confused with the old Blade Flurry glyph that was actually useful.

Sneak in every Wednesday for our Molten Front ganking guide, a deep-dive into the world of playing a subtlety rogue -- and of course, all the basics in our guide to the latest rogue gear.

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