Monday, April 13, 2009

Some Talent Specs for Patch 3.1

In case the patch hits tomorrow (I'm still saying next week, but many think we'll be seeing extended maintenance tomorrow), here are my speccing plans. I won't really cover the other rogue specs, except to go over the change to needed weapon speeds due to the change of Wound and Instant poison's proc chances to a proc per minute model. This change essentially equalizes the number of poison procs you get based on your weapon speed, so fast weapons are no longer the end-all-be-all for poison damage. Big bravo to Blizzard for that one, as rogue weapon speed has been a major problem this entire expansion cycle.

I now recommend a slow mainhand for HaT (optimizes poison procs off Evis), and weapon speed no longer matters as much for Mutilate. Mutilate rogues should start using their highest dps weapons, feeling free to mainhand a 1.8 speed weapon. Slower mainhands also become very important for Combat rogues, increasing the rate of poison procs off Sinister Strike and Eviscerate. All rogues still want a fast offhand for Deadly Poison, which was buffed this patch and was NOT converted to ppm, so it begs for a fast weapon.

Combat Rogue


If you happen to have 2 swords or maces that are better than your fist/dagger combo, just move those 5 points around to the other specialization.


Glyph of Sinister Strike
Glyph of Slice and Dice
Glyph of Rupture

(Advanced tip: Adrenaline Rush glyph is OK if you find that you can get a very good rotation going without the SnD glyph. However, NEVER remove the SS or Rupture glyphs)


What did I just say? In the rotation notation (c wut i did thar?), s stands for Slice And Dice, r for Rupture, and e for Eviscerate. Env would stand for Envenom if I were using it. The number before the letter symbolizes how many combo points you want to have before using the ability. The reason there are X's before s and e is because they vary based on your gear. If you are in all blues, 5s/5r/5e is probably what you should aim for. As your gear gets better, start reducing the number of combo points you put into Slice and Dice, and see how low you can get it without letting SnD drop and still doing a 5r and 5e. You can also be very effective if you drop to a 4e instead, if it allows you to remove a combo point from your SnD. Rules of thumb: NEVER let SnD drop, and don't plan a rotation with less than 5 points per Rupture. Cut combo points from Evis or add them to SnD instead to make your cycle fit your gear level.

If you are going into Ulduar on Tuesday, then you can probably comfortably go with a 3s/5r/5e rotation, occasionally only doing 4e if you get unlucky with energy and combo point procs.

Dual weapon specs (for instance fist/sword) are dead. I recommend the above for Ulduar, though 18/51/2 (Xs/5r/Xenv rotation) and 7/51/13 (drop SnD glyph, 4s/5r rotation) are also viable. The former is a bit unstable without full Relentless Strikes, and the latter requires more time on your target to get the most from Rupture, which won't be ideal based on what I know about Ulduar fights. All of these specs will put out similar DPS if you get the rotation right.

Unholy DPS Death Knight:


After your gear improves, you may get better dps from 0/10/61 because Black Ice got buffed to also effect shadow damage. However, keep in mind that you lose the threat reduction from Subversion, so you better have a great tank, or your gonna find your face will be the one tanking. The floor.

Yes, you will be tempted to deviate from my spec and take Dark Conviction because that 5% extra crit looks pretty on your character sheet. However, since many of your abilities don't care about your crit, it turns out that the math shows DC to be inferior to the points spent in Unholy. It may look like a good talent (and it's not bad) but you'll be giving up DPS if you take it.

Use a 2-hander, as the latest patch nerfed dual-wielding hard.
Look at DPS first, then speed (slower is better because it increases your Strike damage by a small amount), then stats.


Glyph of Scourge Strike
Glyph of The Ghoul
Glyph of Dark Death (new!)

IT>PS>BS>BS>SS --rune dump [edit: I meant Runic Power dump, not rune dump]
SS>SS>SS --rune dump

Keep spamming SS (Scourge Strike) until your diseases drop. Hopefully, you get lucky on Glyph of SS procs and don't have to recast IT (Icy Touch) and PS (Plague Strike) very often. Generally, use Blood Runes for BS (Blood Strike). When Bone Shield needs a refresh or the Ghoul needs a heal from Ghoul Frenzy, I tend to Blood Tap one of the Blood runes and use that, because it hurts my rotation the least. For your rune dump, put up UB (Unholy Blight) if it has dropped, otherwise Death Coil.

Keep your Ghoul alive and resummon if he dies, and pop the Gargoyle in time with your trinkets and other temporary buffs, as he takes a "snapshot" of your stats when he is summoned, allowing him to benefit from your trinket buffs for his entire 30-second duration.


I'm pretty excited to try out these new specs on Live. Combat rogues were just plain buffed, while Unholy DKs still look very strong, and actually gained a bit of fun and an improved talent tree layout with more real, viable choices, in exchange for a few nerfs and the loss of the ability to come back from the dead as a ghoul and/or buff the entire raid group with run speed. I'm not sure if it's an overall buff or not, but it looks like an improvement to the design, so either way I'm pretty happy. Class balance seems to be going so well even as the design team seems to be getting 10- vs. 25-man raiding so wrong.


Stabs said...

I'm going for a slightly wierd DK Unholy spec:

It is a tanking high threat spec. So it dips into Blood for many of the passive stat boosts and skips most of the pet talents (gargoyle and ghoul).

Hopefully I can keep aggro with this, got some crazy dpsers in my guild.

On that note I'd really advise against skipping Subversion. If you have such good gear that you are better dps doing 0/10/61 you're almost certainly going to rip aggro.

Mosrojket said...


I've enjoyed playing Mutilate for the last few months - I've been lucky with drops (I grabbed 2 webbed death when the other two rogues still wanted swords, and calamity as a free-dkp off spec).

This has put me in a prime position to jump back into combat. Your three combat specs are very helpful, but I was wondering what you thought of something like this:

(although i'll probably end up using one of your three)

Is there a reason why no more than 51 points should be spent on one tree?

I removed the Weapon Expertise from the build, as it seems pretty easy (hmm, for end gamers only I guess) to get to the Exp Cap...

That made way for extra energy via Vigor, and larger Evis damage via Imp. Evis.

I look forward to reading your first impressions of the expansion!


Mosrojket, Dath'Remar US
(well, Australia, but damn we don't have a server in Australia, so we play on Californian (?) servers... so we get 350ms latency minimum and our asses handed to us by Americans in PvP - easy picking if you wanna wake up early 'cos of the time difference... peace and stabbies)

Hatch said...

Mosrojket, sorrty it took me so long to get back to you. Was going to respond in a post, then Ulduar came out and messed that up.

Anyway, I understand the impulse to grab Vigor and Imp Evis in a raiding build. It's very commmon, but unfortunately they just don't provide much damage in a raid compared to other talents you could get. You should almost never cap out on energy, so adding 10 to your cap only gives you anything at the very beginning of the fight, and otherwise is a wasted point. Meanwhile, the other points I take in my example builds in the assassination tree give more dps per point than Imp. Evis. I'd also keep the weapon expertise, as there isn't really a good place elsewhere in the tree to gain dps. Only reason to skip it is if you are already over the expertise cap (6.5%) and dont' expect to be gaining upgrades that would raise your other stats but drop your expertise.

For Combat, there is no reason to go over 51 points because the 20 points you can spend in the other trees will always give more dps than a second weapon spec or the utility talents in Combat.

Best of luck with your rogueing!

Hatch said...

And Stabs, I'm with you on Subversion. IMO, some of the DK community is just so excited about giant SS crits that they are willfully pretending that they don't need the threat reduction. Without Subversion, it gets way to easy to pull aggro (and my tanks can put out 7k or more threat on a boss).