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Outlaw Rogue in the Shadowlands: Class Recommendations and Spec Highlights

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Update: the Outlaw pre-patch guide is ready and you can check it out here:
Outlaw Rogue Shadowlands Guide

Rogues arrive on the scene in our Shadowlands and pre-patch highlights overviews, as Outlaw gets some welcome changes and a varied selection of legendaries and Conduits! We've asked our expert guide writer Seliathan tells us all about the gameplay changes to the spec, new abilities and talents, Covenants, legendaries and even some Conduits!

Exciting Changes for Outlaw Rogues in Shadowlands

It is time to take a look at Outlaw Rogue and what it will look and play like in the upcoming expansion (and pre-patch). Overall the Outlaw gameplay is not receiving a whole lot of adjustments, so if you're familiar with the way the spec currently plays you will feel right at home once you start your journey into the Shadowlands.
 

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Gameplay changes

  • Roll the Bones Roll the Bones no longer uses your Combo Points, and instead has a 45-second cooldown. Its cooldown is reduced like any other ability by both Restless Blades Restless Blades and True Bearing True Bearing You will most likely still re-roll bad buffs whenever the ability comes off cooldown again. 
  • Kidney Shot Kidney Shot and Between the Eyes Between the Eyes are separate abilities now. Depending on the situation this can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, since you will no longer have a stun on one of your damaging finishers that might lead to messed up Diminishing Returns for AoE stuns. However, this also means that you no longer provide a regular damage bonus by speccing into Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak.
  • Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush is no longer on the global cooldown.
  • Blade Flurry Blade Flurry has been changed. It is now a single-use cooldown with a 30-second CD. This CD is reduced by both Restless Blades Restless Blades and True Bearing True Bearing , allowing for almost 100% uptime on Blade Flurry.

New Abilities and Talents

  • Slice and Dice Slice and Dice is making its return as a maintenance finisher, increasing your attack speed by 50%. This will speed up your rotation by generating more energy due to its interaction with Combat Potency Combat Potency .
  • Poisons are back! Outlaw gains access to Wound Poison Wound PoisonInstant Poison Instant PoisonNumbing Poison Numbing Poison  and Crippling Poison Crippling PoisonYou are still limited to one lethal and one non-lethal poison each. 
  • Shiv Shiv is no longer a PvP talent and can instead be used by all rogue specs. When used it will apply a strong 70% movement speed slow.
  • Dreadblades Dreadblades  is a new talent that replaces Slice and Dice Slice and Dice. It is functionally the same as the artifact-weapon ability from Legion. While it is active, each of your combo point builders generates your maximum amount of combo points, at the cost of 5% of your current HP whenever you use a finisher. 90-second cooldown, 10-second duration. 
     

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Covenant Abilities

Kyrian Ability - Echoing Reprimand Echoing Reprimand

Deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Costs 30 energy. 45-second cooldown. 

After using Echoing Reprimand, your second, third or fourth combo point will be highlighted as the anima-charged combo point. When using a damaging finisher with this exact amount of combo points, it will scale as if it was being used with 7 combo points instead. This scales both the damage and the duration of any effects associated with the increased amount of combo points being used.

While interesting on paper, this ability sadly doesn't mesh very well with the nature of Outlaw's combo point generation. Your combo point builders generate an inconsistent amount of combo points, with procs and buffs changing how many CP you generate whenever you use them. Oftentimes you will skip over the amount of CP required to benefit from Echoing Reprimand, hoping you will eventually hit the required amount of CP. 

Necrolord Ability - Serrated Bone Spike Serrated Bone Spike

Apply a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when target dies or is healed to full. Costs 10 Energy. 30-second recharge, 3 maximum charges.

This ability feels very fun to use whenever there are multiple targets, due to its fracturing mechanic. You will always want to target less important targets first, and then get a huge spike of burst on your priority target on your third use. While the ability is fairly simple on single-target, it is currently (subject to change) the strongest covenant ability for Outlaw Rogues. 

Unfortunately it is also the one that interacts the least with the Outlaw toolkit, and can become the only button you press on AoE until you run out of charges.

Venthyr Ability -  Slaughter Slaughter

Slaughter the target, causing moderate Physical damage. The targets anima mixes with your lethal poison, coating your weapons for the next 5 minutes. Slaughter Poison deals Shadow Damage over 12 seconds and steals 15% of the healing done to the target. Costs 50 Energy.

This ability can only be used from stealth. While Outlaw gains more frequent uses of Vanish Vanish as a dps cooldown, it hits for the the same damage as Ambush Ambush. The Slaughter Poison Slaughter Poison is slightly stronger than your Instant Poison, and the associated Conduit Slaughter Scars Slaughter Scars greatly improves its potency, but it is still one of the weakest Covenant choices for Outlaw right now.

Night Fae Ability - Sepsis Sepsis

Infect the targets blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer additional damage and you Vanish from sight. Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration. 90-second cooldown. 

This covenant ability scales directly with the usefulness of Vanish Vanish as a dps cooldown, but Outlaw doesn't benefit much at all from the stealth-only abilities like Ambush Ambush. However, there are a few legendaries that can directly boost this Covenant ability's usefulness by providing additional benefits, based on the legendary you use. 
 

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Legendary Effects

There are quite a few legendary effects available in Shadowlands, so we have picked out some of the strongest ones for Outlaw rogues **(power level subject to change).** 

  • Master Assassin's Mark Master Assassin's Mark is back and provides a 100% increased crit-chance for 5 seconds after using Vanish. Using this makes the Night Fae ability Sepsis Sepsis quite a bit more powerful. 
  • Guile Charm Guile Charm is making a return, previously known as Bandit's Guile. Each cast of Sinister Strike Sinister Strike will gradually increase the amount of damage you deal, capping out at 30%. This can be delayed to line up better with your cooldowns by not using Sinister Strike for a while, and once you received the maximum benefits for a short duration the cycle starts anew.
  • Greenskin's Wickers Greenskin's Wickers will greatly boost the effectiveness of your Pistol Shot Pistol Shot. This can be combined with talenting into Quick Draw Quick Draw  for even more damage dealt by your Pistol Shots. 
  • Celerity Celerity will randomly grant you Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush for 4 seconds as long as you maintain Slice and Dice Slice and Dice .

There are plenty more legendaries with different power levels, these are just a few that currently perform strongest for Outlaw. We will keep you updated on the individual strength of each legendary once we get closer to release. 

Conduits in Shadowlands

There are many conduits coming in Shadowlands, so this is just a selection of some of them.

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Conclusion

Outlaw is shaping up to be in a solid spot for both raiding and Mythic+ content in Shadowlands. The changes to Roll the Bones Roll the Bones, Blade Flurry Blade Flurry, and the addition of Slice and Dice Slice and Dice to the base toolkit have given the spec quite a lot of additional maintenance. Having to maintain all three of these will take some getting used to, and re-rolling Roll the Bones buffs is still going to be of big importance. Coming from BfA, the cooldown on Roll the Bones feels a bit off-putting at first, and having to keep re-rolling into bad buffs feels a bit demoralizing. 

Legendaries and Conduits give quite a bit of choice and allow you to customize your gameplay by slightly shifting your rotational and re-rolling priorities. Most Legendaries and Conduits are fairly close in power right now **(subject to change)**, so you might be able to pick and choose the gameplay you prefer the most and still be very much viable in all types of content.
 

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Other Spec Highlights:

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