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talents Assassination Rogue: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Assassination Rogue guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Assassination Rogue rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Assassination Rogue Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

Main Changes

Assassination Rogues will notice two important changes in Mists of Pandaria. Both of them apply to all three Rogue specializations.

The first main change is related to Combo Point management. The three Rogue specialisations have mechanics that cause Combo Point generating abilities to sometimes generate an extra Combo Point. In the case of Assassination Rogues, ability_rogue_stayofexecution.jpgSeal Fate will generate an additional Combo Point every time you critically strike with a single-target Combo Point generating ability. Also, Rogues get a new DPS cooldown: inv_knife_1h_grimbatolraid_d_03.jpgShadow Blades, which temporarily causes your Combo Point generating abilities to generate an extra Combo Point. To prevent you from wasting Combo Points, Blizzard introduced a new, nigh-mandatory Tier 6 talent: ability_rogue_slaughterfromtheshadows.jpAnticipation. This talent enables you to have up to 10 Combo Points on a target. When you use a Finishing Move, it will consume up to 5 Combo Points. This means that if you have 8 Combo Points and cast ability_rogue_disembowel.jpgEnvenom, you will be left with 3 Combo Points.

The second main change will concern AoE damage. Previously, AoE damage for Assassination consisted in spamming ability_rogue_fanofknives.jpgFan of Knives. In Mists of Pandaria, Fan of Knives generates a Combo Point on your current target if it strikes it. To spend these Combo Points, you are given a new AoE ability called inv_knife_1h_cataclysm_c_05.jpgCrimson Tempest.

New Abilities

As mentioned above, inv_knife_1h_grimbatolraid_d_03.jpgShadow Blades is a new DPS cooldown that increases Combo Point generation and inv_knife_1h_cataclysm_c_05.jpgCrimson Tempest is a new AoE ability that you will use to consume the Combo Points built by ability_rogue_fanofknives.jpgFan of Knives. In addition, you gain the following new abilities:
  • ability_rogue_shroudofconcealment.jpgShroud of Concealment is a raid-wide Stealth. It works just like Illidan's concealment aura in the Well of Eternity dungeon.
  • ability_rogue_envelopingshadows.jpgShadow Walk temporarily increases the efficiency of Stealth.
  • ability_rogue_disembowel.jpgSwiftblade's Cunning is a passive ability that grants your party and raid members +10% melee and ranged attack speed.
  • ability_backstab.jpgDispatch is a new ability that replaces Backstab. It can only be used on targets below 35% health or when ability_rogue_focusedattacks.jpgBlindside procs (see below).
  • ability_rogue_focusedattacks.jpgBlindside is a new self-buff that has a 30% chance to proc every time you use ability_rogue_shadowstrikes.jpgMutilate. This self-buff grants you a single use of ability_backstab.jpgDispatch with no Energy cost and regardless of the target's health.

Removed Abilities

spell_shadow_ritualofsacrifice.jpgSinister Strike, ability_rogue_eviscerate.jpgEviscerate, and ability_backstab.jpgBackstab are no longer accessible to Assassination Rogues.

In addition, spell_ice_lament.jpgCold Blood, one of your DPS cooldowns, has been removed.

Finally, several core mechanics have been removed: ability_druid_disembowel.jpgRuthlessness, ability_rogue_feigndeath.jpgVile Poisons, and ability_hunter_rapidkilling.jpgOverkill.

Changed Abilities and Mechanics

As we mentioned in the introduction, ability_rogue_fanofknives.jpgFan of Knives now generates a Combo Point every time it is used. In addition to this, you will notice the following important changes.
  • ability_rogue_slicedice.jpgSlice and Dice now has a built-in duration of 36 seconds, which is 15 seconds longer than what you had in Cataclysm.
  • ability_rogue_rupture.jpgRupture now lasts 24 seconds (up from 20, with inv_glyph_primerogue.jpgGlyph of Rupture), which makes it easier to maintain.
  • ability_creature_poison_06.jpgMaster Poisoner causes targets afflicted by your poisons to take +5% increased spell damage (down from 8%). The other effects have been removed (causes your Envenom ability to no longer consume Deadly Poison, and reduces the duration of all Poison effects applied to you by 50%).
  • ability_rogue_deadliness.jpgVendetta now increases the damage you do on your target by 30% (up from 20%), but it only lasts 20 seconds (down from 30 seconds).

Poison Changes

Poisons are now spells so you no longer need to buy reagents from vendors. Also, a poison is always applied to both your weapons, so you can no longer have different poisons on your two weapons. Finally, all your poisons now have a set chance to be applied by each strike of your weapon; this means that slower weapons will have a smaller chance of applying poisons than faster weapons.

Poisons are now either Lethal or Non-Lethal. Lethal Poisons are your damaging poisons while Non-Lethal Poisons provide crowd control and utility.

ability_rogue_dualweild.jpgDeadly Poison and inv_misc_herb_16.jpgWound Poison are your Lethal Poisons. ability_poisons.jpgInstant Poison has been removed from the game, so the slightly redesigned Deadly Poison will be your poison of choice. Wound Poison will only be used when you need the healing reduction that it provides.

Your Non-Lethal Poisons are listed below. Using inv_throwingknife_04.jpgShiv when a Non-Lethal Poison is active on a target will apply a concentrated version of the poison effect.

Rotation

With the addition of ability_rogue_focusedattacks.jpgBlindside and ability_backstab.jpgDispatch, your rotation changes slightly.

To build Combo Points, use the priority list below.

To spend Combo Points, use the priority list below.Note that you should still start the fight in Stealth and use ability_rogue_garrote.jpgGarrote to break it, so as to benefit from ability_rogue_venomouswounds.jpgVenomous Wounds as early in the fight as possible.

Cooldowns

The removal of ability_hunter_rapidkilling.jpgOverkill means that Stealth no longer plays a role in your play style. As a result, ability_vanish.jpgVanish is no longer considered a DPS cooldown for Assassination Rogues.

spell_ice_lament.jpgCold Blood has not made it to Mists of Pandaria, so the only DPS cooldown that you get to keep is ability_rogue_deadliness.jpgVendetta, which should be used exactly as it was in Cataclysm.

In addition, you gain inv_knife_1h_grimbatolraid_d_03.jpgShadow Blades, which increases your Combo Point regeneration and should be on cooldown. When Shadow Blades and Vendetta are both off cooldowns, do not hesitate to combine them. This will rarely happen, as these two abilities have different cooldowns.

Multiple-Target Rotation

Just as in Cataclysm, AoE damage for Assassination Rogues will consist in spamming ability_rogue_fanofknives.jpgFan of Knives. Since this ability now generates Combo Points on your Combo Point target, you will have to weave in inv_knife_1h_cataclysm_c_05.jpgCrimson Tempest, your new AoE ability, in order to consume the Combo Point built by Fan of Knives.

Preliminary tests show that you will be able to give up on your single-target DPS when there are 7-8 enemies or more.

Talents

Tier 1 talents improve Stealth, which is no longer useful to Assassination Rogues. You have the choice between:
  • ability_stealth.jpgNightstalker, which increases your damage by 25% while stealthed;
  • rogue_subterfuge.jpgSubterfuge, which makes your Stealth break 3 seconds after taking or dealing damage;
  • rogue_shadowfocus.jpgShadow Focus, which removes the Energy cost of your abilities while you are in Stealth.
Shadow Focus seems to be the best choice here, as it removes the Energy cost of ability_rogue_garrote.jpgGarrote when you use it to get early uptime on ability_rogue_venomouswounds.jpgVenomous Wounds.

Tier 2 talents provide you with survival and crowd control abilities. Whichever you take should make very little difference on your performance as a raider. You have the choice between inv_throwingknife_06.jpgDeadly Throw (interrupts and slows movement), rogue_nerve-_strike.jpgNerve Strike (damage reduction), and ability_rogue_combatreadiness.jpgCombat Readiness. Deadly Throw will be largely useless in PvE while the other two can be useful in fights where you take direct damage from an add.

Tier 3 talents provide you with powerful survival abilities.

  • ability_rogue_cheatdeath.jpgCheat Death, which used to be only accessible to Subtlety Rogues, works in a similar way as it did in Cataclysm. We believe that this will be the preferred choice.
  • rogue_leeching_poison.jpgLeeching Poison provides you with a self-healing poison that will be useful in situations such as the Twilight Realm against Valiona and Theralion in Bastion of Twilight.
  • ability_rogue_turnthetables.jpgElusiveness grants ability_rogue_feint.jpgFeint a 30% damage reduction, which can be very useful if you often need to mitigate the damage you take.
Tier 4 talents provide you with survival and mobility abilities.
  • ability_rogue_preparation.jpgPreparation is an improvement over the old ability of the same name that was previously only available to Subtlety Rogues. It resets the cooldown of several survival and defensive abilities. This will most likely be the default choice for every specialisation.
  • ability_rogue_shadowstep.jpgShadowstep used to be a Subtlety-only ability. It teleports you behind your target and can be useful on fights where you often have to move away from the boss.
  • rogue_burstofspeed.jpgBurst of Speed is a very powerful movement-speed-increasing ability that has a 4-second duration. While active, It also removes movement-impairing effects and prevents their re-application. It has no cooldown and costs 60 Energy to cast. We believe that this talent will be extremely powerful in PvP and while questing. It might also be punctually useful in raids, but that will depend on encounter mechanics.
Tier 5 talents give various boosts to your poisons (mostly to the Non-Lethal Poisons) and will have almost no implication in PvE. You have the choice between ability_rogue_deadlybrew.jpgDeadly Brew, rogue_paralytic_poison.jpgParalytic Poison, and ability_rogue_dirtydeeds.jpgDirty Tricks.

Tier 6 talents deal with Combo Point management. ability_rogue_slaughterfromtheshadows.jpAnticipation is so appealing that it will be nigh-mandatory for raiding. It basically allows you to store extra Combo Points so they don't go to waste if you happen to generate more than 5. ability_rogue_versatility.jpgVersatility, which removes the cooldown of ability_rogue_redirect.jpgRedirect, and inv_throwingknife_07.jpgShuriken Toss, which allows you to generate Combo Points on a remote target, might be useful, but that will depend on encounter mechanics.

Glyphs

The only major glyph that has an incidence on your DPS will be inv_glyph_primerogue.jpgGlyph of Vendetta, which increases the duration of ability_rogue_deadliness.jpgVendetta by 10 seconds and only reduces its damage bonus by 5%.

All the other major glyphs provide either utility, more survival, or more mobility, and your choice of glyph will largely depend on the encounter. Those that will come in handy are:

Regarding minor glyphs, it is worth noting that inv_glyph_majorrogue.jpgGlyph of Tricks of the Trade has been changed. While this glyph still removes the Energy cost of Tricks of the Trade, it also causes your ability_rogue_tricksofthetrade.jpgTricks of the Trade ability to no longer increase the damage of your target. Therefore, you will usually not use this glyph, meaning that using Tricks of the Trade on a fellow raid member will have a much higher penalty than before on the Rogue's DPS.

Other than that, we believe that the two following minor glyphs will be used by almost everyone: inv_glyph_minorrogue.jpgGlyph of Safe Fall and inv_glyph_minorrogue.jpgGlyph of Poisons.

Finally, inv_glyph_minorrogue.jpgGlyph of Blurred Speed can be useful for dealing with particular encounter mechanics.

This concludes our Assassination Rogue preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!

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Wow, Assassination is looking super easy. I always enjoyed Assass better than Combat, well, until Tier 13.

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This is regarding the suggestion to use 5 combo points on Slice and Dice. When on my rogue, from stealth I would open with garrote with a slice and dice right after. The reason being is 5 combo points can be generated fast enough for Envenom to refresh slice and dice with the Cut to the Chase, as mentioned in this guide, before the original duration of Slice and Dice falls off. This also gets Envenom up faster as well as Rupture and so forth. Even when changing targets, Slice and Dice can likely be refreshed yet again with some fast combo points. Therefore, it is likely we will only need one combo point to initiate and maintain Slice and Dice.

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This is regarding the suggestion to use 5 combo points on Slice and Dice. When on my rogue, from stealth I would open with garrote with a slice and dice right after. The reason being is 5 combo points can be generated fast enough for Envenom to refresh slice and dice with the Cut to the Chase, as mentioned in this guide, before the original duration of Slice and Dice falls off. This also gets Envenom up faster as well as Rupture and so forth. Even when changing targets, Slice and Dice can likely be refreshed yet again with some fast combo points. Therefore, it is likely we will only need one combo point to initiate and maintain Slice and Dice.

Thank you for this suggestion. You can be sure that it will be included in our Mists of Pandaria guide for Assassination Rogues. This is just a preview, so we tried to keep things simple ;)

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You state that Eviscerate is not available for Assassination rogues, then recommend Glyph of Debilitation (which buffs Eviscerate). I assume this was just left in because of your Combat preview.

Which spec comes out on top for rogues in MOP in your view (raiding)?

Edited by lobesforit

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it should say envenom and not eviscerate. still a viable option just linked wrong spell for the reasoning

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Which spec comes out on top for rogues in MOP in your view (raiding)?

http://simulationcra.../Raid_T14H.html

This changes with every build, but it is a good early estimate. Of course these were done with the level of player skill at maximum efficiency. Even though sub is ahead of assass, I think the sub rotation will prove to be too volatile as it has been in the past for PvE. My opinion is that Assassination will be the way to go for the first tier of MoP. I have no access to the beta, so I have nothing other than what I have read here on IV and a few simcraft models.

Edited by kodjin

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You state that Eviscerate is not available for Assassination rogues, then recommend Glyph of Debilitation (which buffs Eviscerate). I assume this was just left in because of your Combat preview.

Which spec comes out on top for rogues in MOP in your view (raiding)?

As Ethren pointed out, there was an error in the link. The glyph you are mentioning also works with ability_rogue_disembowel.jpgEnvenom, so the text should have read Envenom and not Eviscerate. This has been corrected :)

As kodjin said, you can find early simulation results at http://simulationcraft.org. At the moment, simulation tools are the best way of figuring out stat priorities and the respective DPS numbers for all classes. We, testers, can't afford to spend hours in front of the new dummies when everything changes with every new beta build.

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      Tier 6: Cloudburst Totem. Not really debatable best talent in this tier for most of fights - saves a lot of mana accumulating not only your healing but overhealing too and releasing the stored power to actually injured targets.
      Bottomless Depths are useless because 1) Resurgence returns a miserable amount of mana and 2) Proccing Resurgence is our very last concern when raid drops below 60%.
      Echo of the Elements should be considered for the fights with constant movement where it's hard to maintain full amount of CBT and charge the totem properly.
      Tier 7: High Tide for most fights.
      The concerns we had before Legion went live about mana management are gone - resto shamans are in a really good place right now mana wise. There's no particular problem with spamming CH when needed so High Tide is still a good to go talent.
      Ascendance may be nice for fights where you can't make a good use of CH (heavy ST damage) or when you raid is short of healing CDs.
      Wellspring underperforms in raids. It just does less healing than High Tide or Ascendance.
       
      What trinkets are our BiS?
      It's hard to say really because of this new implemented system where every item may be upgraded to somewhat between 840-895 ilvl and to have (or not) a socket.
      A more or less general agreement for now (Emerald Nightmare) is that Vial of Nightmare Fog and Heightened Senses are very good. 
      Chrono Shard and An'she's Infusion of Light with Mastery are worth considering same as Unstable Arcanocrystal. Horn of Cenarius is considered a bad choice and it's better not to use Cocoon of Enforced Solitude if you have something with good secondaries.
      Crafted trinkets (both with mana saving and crit) are worth considering if you don't mind the price and didn't have any luck with raid drops.
    • By Cirrem
      Hey All, 
      I was blessed the bracer drop early on and have been wondering if its ever a good idea to spec Epidemic. My thoughts are in most cases PP comes close in AOE especially if you can have DnD up on most pulls.
      Has anyone done testing on how many units you need for an epidemic to be more damage vs X number of wounds with BS. When does that change when you put DnD in the mix? Does value change based on rune usage (for example the time wasted building stacks, though that must be done in all pulls that lasts longer than 3 epidemics) and how much does PP and IC do to fix that?
      Any thoughts or evidence would be greatly appreciated. 
       
      P.S. does anyone bring epidemic to il'gynoth to inflate those numbers? I want to bring that and DA next week to see if I can do any better. 
    • By NotYetRated
      Hey all,
       
      Loooong time lurker here, I just had to make a post about the various talent combo's you can take as an Assassination Rogue. Bleed/Poison, EP or MP or things like Exsang or Agonizing.
       
      I'm currently:        39% crit / 14% Haste / 90% Mastery. I know that haste is like almost useless on Sin rogue but I'm just gearing up (854ilvl).
      Now the thing is, I'm currently running MP and Exsang and can get around 275k-290k steady DPS (on dummies that is). While I've tried the recommended EP and Agonizing build I get to around 300k for like 15 secs and then it dips into 265k to 250k.
      Now for my opener and rotation:
       
      Stealth > Garrote > Rupture > 2x Mutilate > Vendetta > Mutilate to 6 when not > Vanish > Rupture > Mutilate2x > Exsang > Envenom at 5/6 > Kingsbane.
      I refresh my Garrote and Rupture when they've run out for the Exsang to do it's thing. Otherwise I refresh them around 4 or so seconds. I use my CD's as soon as they come up except for Vendetta, I usually dump my energy fast and then Vendetta.
       
      How come I perform better with a supposedly worse build?
      Idk anything about posting logs and all that but my character is named Xinshi on VentureCo.
    • By Kalaskotten
      Warning this turned out pretty long but it's all constructive feedback so bear with me :D
       
      Ok first of I want to say that I really like the new Disc Priest. I never played priest before and the main reason I even got Legion was to play Priest and go Disc because it seemed cool and reminded me of other games that have had similar DPS heal transfer typ healers.
       
      I really enjoy the hectic play-style and high skill cap of the specc, mixed with doing damage, changing targets constantly etc, instead of the classic "Health bar Whacka-mole" game the other healers play.
       
      With that said I feel there are some major issues with the specc and some of the design. Contrary to what most other threads on here whining about Disc Priest I actually don't care to much if it's the "Best" or the "Worst" healer or generally how it compares to the other classes or speccs.
      I think it's kinda fine where it is in terms of overall power atm. I have been able to complete the things I've tried (for example +4 bolstering VoW almost getting the 3 chests, +6 bolstering Maw etc, at an iLvL of 840 with random pugs) so It's definitely not as terrible as some people claim, I haven't played any other healer in Legion yet (never even tried speccing Holy yet) so I don't really know if it's waaaay easier for them or not.
       
      So why am I whining then?
       
      Because a lot of, in my opinion "stupid" design things make Disc a lot less fun to play than it should be, and it doesn't have to be that way. It feels like they made a cool idea and plan for a specc and then never really finished it or thought through all the details of it.
      (Now a lot of this is mainly aimed towards Mythic+ but applies to raiding to some degree as well)
      It's supposed to be the DPS healer, this is what differentiates it from all the other healers and makes it unique, yet to be effective and actually succeed in healing Mythic+ you pretty much have to play the Shadowmend + Shield health-bar spam game (yes I know this may be different in raids) throwing in a penance when time allows.
      If it's supposed to be a niche role then make it at least decent at that role. Now I don't mind spot healing every now and then, that's completely fine, I understand Disc aren't supposed to be great Tank healers but Spot Healing shouldn't be the majority of the healing giving us no time to actually DPS, which is IMO what Disc should be doing most of the time. A holy paladin can pretty much out DPS a Disc priest in Mythic+.
       
      The play-style of Disc should IMO be much more rewarding when playing the proper "atonement up-time flawless DPS rotation weaving in a Shield or Shadowmend here and there to burst up someone and apply Atonement" rather than regular spot healing. If I wanted to spot heal I would be playing Holy Priest right? And maybe I'm stupid for playing Disc when Holy might just be strictly better, but I want to play the one I find challenging and enjoyable.
       
      So get more Mastery to make your Atonement heal more when you DPS you say?
      Well no because Mastery sucks. I can already increase my Atonement healing by just doing more DPS with Haste and Crit which also actually benefits all the Shadowmend and Shielding I have to do anyway. Why is Mastery so useless? I don't think even if it increased ALL healing done it would be worth it.
       
      And this is where we come to my main issue with the whole Disc priest and why I feel it's not "Finished" or "Polished" as a whole. Why are there so many things about it that just feel completely useless, uninteresting and boring, like Mastery.
       
      First of we have the Talents. Here I feel like there's very little choice or really anything interesting to choose, and they just overall feel really bland.
       
      Tier 1: Castigation really is the only choice here. The penitent is just plain terrible and further pushes the "Spot healing" theme which we are not supposed to be doing. Wasting our only good DPS ability to single target heal someone instead is just wtf in the theme of the specc. Schism of course has some sort of use and maybe if the DPS healing was stronger this could fit sometime.
       
      Tier 2: Utility stuff that's really up to personal preference. Even though I feel this tier is boring it may actually be the best designed one IMO, since really all of them feel like something I would choose in various situations. None of them feel useless compared to the others, GJ.
       
      Tier 3: Again a fairly poorly designed tier where it feels like Psychic Voice is always the answer. Shining Force can of course be good sometimes, especially in PvP and I'll admit I've never even tried Dominant Mind.
       
      Tier 4: Both good and bad I feel. The talents are all somewhat interesting and would be nice to pick but the problem is that Mindbender is just crazy strong making the others useless.
       
      Tier 5: Here we have an actual choice to make, Power Infusion or Twist of Fate?
      Power Infusion being the more fun and generally useful pick. I don't like the design of things such as Twist of Fate that really just "rewards or compensates" you for bad play. I'd rather have something that buffs you if you manage to keep your team UP, performing your role well. This also suits Disc play-style better since the main goal is pretty much to keep your team healthy and avoid panic situations where you're forced into Spot heal spam, this talent just promotes that "non disc play-style" again, similar to The Penitent on tier 1.
      Contrition is just bad, if it had a longer duration it could maybe be useful but it also feels like a boring choice that only serves to lower the skill needed to play Disc.
       
      Tier 6: This one feels pretty boring overall. Halo is useful in Raids, Divine Star is not really that useful in general but it's our only AoE choice, would be cool if atonement at least healed part of AoE DMG and not just the first hit. Clarity of Will I guess is considered garbage by most. I've actually tried it in Mythic+ and found it to work pretty well but really it's just a slower Shadow Mend and again it just forces you even closer to being a Spot healer like the others.
       
      Tier 7: Now this is where you have your first and only real choice to make it feels like.
      Do you go Purge the Wicked or Grace? You want both! That's great this is what choosing a talent should feel like!
      However, Grace again is another talent that just pushes you even closer to the Spot healing play style and away from what Disc was supposed to be! Why isn't this giving +30% healing through atonement healing instead? (must ofc not be +30%) to promote our intended play style?
      Purge the Wicked is probably the coolest talent Disc has together with Power Infusion. It promotes the DPS healing play style, has synergy with our main DPS ability Penance, rewards multi-dotting active play style, takes some skill to keep up on many targets and at all times, Good Stuff!
      Unfortunately Grace is almost always better (not in raids maybe) since Spot healing is pushed so hard.
      And then we have Shadow Covenant... Yea this just sucks in every way. Even if it didn't have the heal absorb drawback it still probably wouldn't be picked because it replaces Power Word Radiance, our only AoE Heal and Atonement applier, Wtf? Shadow Covenant should at the very least apply Atonement to everyone it hits, letting you heal them 6 sec later with Penance or something, creating some sort of strategy for using it and actually promoting the Atonement DPS play style rather than a crappy AoE Spot Heal.
       
      So to summarize the talents: Boring and no real though in what you choose. Almost nothing to customize according to personal preference. To many things that just encourages you to NOT play Disc priest the way it's supposedly intended and those that do are just to weak (Schism, Solace, Contrition, Divine Star).
      I would much like to see a talent that gives you a buff to place on someone increasing Atonement healing that person takes by say 100% to use on tanks or someone about to die, rather than crap like Grace that just makes you wonder why you're not playing Holy if you're going to play that type of healer anyway.
       
      And now for the even more boring choices; The Artifact Traits!
       
      What the hell is this? Does anyone find these interesting at all? The only trait in the entire tree that is fun is Power of the Dark Side, this is a good one. It makes something happen to react to, it promotes multi-doting, it promotes DPS heal via Penance and it's actually useful! Nice. Borrowed time is also a good one for pretty much the same reasons.
      Then we have the big one, Sins of the Many... This is a pretty strong trait, don't get me wrong but it has a major flaw. This is supposed to be pretty much the ultimate trait for Disc yet it kinda sucks at all times except for Raiding. Getting a buff of +1-5% damage when in a group or solo is pathetic and you can pretty much ignore the effects of it, putting Atonement on someone who doesn't need it at that moment isn't worth it, casting another smite or whatever is a better use of that time and mana.
      Why doesn't this work like some of the other healers abilities where it's power is increased in non raid situations, like Tranquility with it's 100% increased healing when not in raids. It could give at least +3-5% damage per Atonment when not in raids, making it about as potent outside of raids as inside. Also promotes keeping Atonment up on your group for the DPS increase if your mana allows it.
      Apart from these traits the rest are just completely uninteresting and only serve to take you the fastest way to get these 3. Since Power of the Dark side is on the Right side, this side is really the only path you would ever take in your Artifact tree. There is pretty much zero choice or customization involved regarding the Artifact. The Shadow Artifact traits feel a lot more interesting since there are some actual play-style defining alternatives to choose from and you actually want all of them but have to choose :).
       
      So to sum the Artifact traits up:
      Super boring, no real choices to make, nothing that defines or changes the way you play at all. Biggest trait is pretty much "raid only".
       
      This of course brings us to the inevitable complaints about the Artifact ability itself.
      I've seen plenty of fighting about this on the forums already and I have to agree with both sides. It is Not a super weak ability as most claim.
      It is however a super boring ability with a way to long cooldown that, again is really only good in raids! At the very least this should also go from a +10%/Atonement to a 30-50%/Atonement buff when not in raids, just like like Sins of the Many.
      Using the Artifact in a 5-man or when solo deals damage like a Penance but slow and clunky and Heals less than a Shadowmend if you want to burst the Tank up or something.
      I would personally much rather see this ability reworked completely to give it some interesting mechanic in line with the Shadow version, that one is cool. Right now it's just a Slow, Long CD, Immobile, Raid Specific, Mediocre damage and Mediocre heal when not in raids (or if you don't have sins of the many in a raid). It is basically a Shadow Bolt from Vanilla wow but with 90sec CD.
      Give it something special, something that promotes the Atonement play-style, something fun and interactive.
      Some example could be "When used refresh the duration of all your Applied Atonements" or "Increase the Duration of all Applied Atonements by 10 sec" or "Debuff the target for 5 sec giving everyone who attacks it Atonement" or "Increases healing done via Atonement by 100% for 10 sec" Just something that doesn't make it feel like I'm casting a Shadow Bolt in vanilla wow when I'm using my "ultimate" ability. A shorter Cooldown would definitely be preferred but that would of course have to depend on how strong it is. Anyway make it FUN to use not, Meh guess I may as well use this once in a while.
       
      Ok Sorry that was a very long Rant :) but the summary of it all is:
      I really like the new Disc priest and I just wish they would push the active good DPS heal, new play-style it was intended to have rather than make every choice an option to revert back to the usual type of healing making you wonder why you would't just play Holy instead. All in all it feels like a great concept for a fun and different healer experience that unfortunately seems to have been forgotten along the way.