Classic Rogue PvP Guide
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Rogue in a PvP environment in WoW Classic, with a focus on Battlegrounds but also including World PvP and Dueling. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses.
Rogues are a very powerful choice for PvP due to the stealthiness and burst capabilities at its disposal. The best build for Rogue PvP is a combination of the Subtlety and Assassination trees.
Note that we do not cover gear on this page, which you can instead find in our PvP Best in Slot and Gear guide for Rogues below.
PvP Rogue Talent Build
This build uses Hemorrhage as a combo point builder and dumps them with Eviscerate, Kidney Shot, or Expose Armor. Early on, people will be fairly undergeared, which is when this build will truly shine. Players will have low health pools and Eviscerate has very high base damage, meaning your kill potential is fairly high in PvP scenarios. When you have high tier gear, the "non-hemo" build becomes more viable.
Notable Rogue PvP Talents
Improved Eviscerate is very useful, since your Eviscerate is a very hard hitting finisher and you are going to be using it in order to secure kills. You are also usually running Cold Blood, so with that in combination with Improved Eviscerate, you can get some very large hits on Eviscerate in your opener.
Ruthlessness will give your Kidney Shot, Rupture, and Eviscerate a 60% chance of adding a combo point to the target. This talent allows you to speed up your progress towards your next 5-combo-point Eviscerate or Kidney Shot.
Relentless Strikes procs off of your Kidney Shot, Eviscerate, and Rupture. You want to make sure to use these finishing moves at 5 combo points, as it gives you a 100% chance of proccing your Relentless Strikes, thus guaranteeing the 25 Energy after a finishing move.
Improved Expose Armor buffs a finishing move that you will not be using at 5 combo points. There are definitely instances where Expose Armor is useful in allowing you to burst down targets with a lot of armor. In those instances, you want to use Expose Armor with 2 or 3 combo points in order to get a huge armor reduction, allowing you to easily burst them down.
Lethality is great when combined with Improved Backstab, which will increase your critical strike chance on Backstab by 30%. This talent also increases the crit chance of Hemorrhage, which is your main combo point generator in PvP.
Cold Blood is a fantastic talent for your burst. You will usually use this when combined with a 5 combo point Eviscerate, which will guarantee a very hard hit on Eviscerate. You can also use the talent Preparation to reset the cooldown on Cold Blood in order to do your burst twice, helping you secure a kill or open on another target quickly.
Improved Gouge is very useful for allowing you the time to re-stealth in PvP. The extra 1.5 seconds can be the difference between getting back into stealth and not. It can also be used as a CC in order to escape or help your teammates, such as a flag carrier, by CCing someone off of them.
Improved Backstab is great when combined with Lethality, allowing you to have huge hits on your Backstab. If you are low on combo points and the target has low health, you can use Backstab in order to go for a kill and this talent helps you to secure the kill in that scenario.
Opportunity is a strong talent since you will be opening on your targets from stealth with Ambush. Also, in the scenarios where you are trying to secure a kill with Backstab, this talent will help you to do so.
Camouflage is a big movement speed increase while stealthed, capping out at an additional 15% when you have all 5 points in the talent. At Rank 3 Stealth, you will have 70% of your normal movement speed when stealthed. This talent increases that to 85% of your normal movement speed, which can help you sneak up on your targets.
Initiative helps speed up your burst combo, since you will be opening on your target with either Ambush or Cheap Shot. It caps out at a 75% chance, making it fairly likely that you will gain the additional combo point.
Ghostly Strike does more damage than Hemorrhage, however it does have a 20 second cooldown, meaning you cannot spam the ability. This ability is best used against other melee players, since it also increases your dodge chance.
Improved Ambush increases the critical strike chance of your Ambush by a significant amount. Rogue is a very burst heavy class and you will usually attempt to secure your kills quickly. This talent helps you work towards that goal, since you will be opening on targets with Ambush.
Serrated Blades helps you secure your kills on melee players, since classes like Warrior and Paladin will have a lot of armor. This also buffs your Rupture damage, which you will be using against the heavily armored melee players.
Hemorrhage is your main combo point generator in PvP. This generator applies a debuff to the target that increases the Physical damage they take for 15 seconds. Hemorrhage costs 35 Energy and generates 1 combo point; if you are running Lethality, then you will also receive a critical strike damage bonus to this ability.
Preparation resets the cooldown on all your other abilities. This ability should be used after you have used all your other cooldowns to maximize the amount of cooldowns reset. This cooldown allows you to either reopen on a target or open on a different target.
Poisons for Rogues in PvP
Poisons are a key part of playing as a Rogue, especially in PvP. In PvP, some of the non-DPS poisons are incredibly useful, such as Crippling Poison and Wound Poison. The poisons you use are specific to your role, and what classes are on the other team.
Crippling Poison is a very strong utility poison in battlegrounds. As a Rogue, you will usually be on the flag carrier and this poison helps you to keep them from escaping. This poison also helps to slow enemies so your own teammates can catch up and help you out in battlegrounds. In general, it keeps your target from escaping, which is a very powerful effect.
Wound Poison is another poison that is useful for attacking the flag carrier, since they will usually have a pocket healer that is just spamming them with heals. In duels, this poison can be useful against certain classes that have strong self-healing, such as Druid, Paladin, Priest, and Shaman. Overall, this is just a very powerful poison since, as a Rogue, you will be depending on bursting people down and this poison prevents them from recovering as well. This is commonly using in conjunction with Crippling Poison.
Mind-numbing Poison is a situational poison that is very useful against healers in Battlegrounds. It can also be useful against Warlocks and Mages, since they have cast times; despite this, you will usually want to use the damage dealing poisons against caster DPS players, since you will want to kill them as quickly as possible.
Deadly Poison does apply a DoT, meaning you usually want to avoid using it in PvP, since it will break your Gouge and Blind.
Instant Poison can be useful against some of the heavier armor classes, such as Warriors and Paladins. The choice to run this poison over a strong utility poison, such as Crippling or Wound, is completely dependent on the other team's composition. Usually, the utility poisons will be much more effective in PvP.
Consumables for Rogues in PvP
In WoW Classic, consumables are very important, especially in PvP. You want to be smart about your consumable usage ,since they are very expensive and difficult to get.
Bandages have a cooldown of 60 seconds and that is shared across all your different bandage types. Bandaging is a channel effect, meaning if you move, it will cancel the effect. Taking damage from either a direct attack or a DoT will interrupt the channel as well.
- Linen Bandage heals 66 health over 6 seconds.
- Heavy Linen Bandage heals 114 health over 6 seconds.
- Wool Bandage heals 161 health over 7 seconds.
- Heavy Wool Bandage heals 301 health over 7 seconds.
- Silk Bandage heals 400 health over 8 seconds.
- Heavy Silk Bandage heals 640 health over 8 seconds.
- Mageweave Bandage heals 800 health over 8 seconds.
- Heavy Mageweave Bandage heals 1104 health over 8 seconds.
- Runecloth Bandage heals 1306 health over 8 seconds.
- Heavy Runecloth Bandage heals 2000 health over 9 seconds.
All of the potions below share a 2-minute cooldown, meaning that if you use 1 of the them, then you cannot use another for 2 minutes.
- Major Healing Potion is useful since you have no self healing as a Rogue.
- Free Action Potion is useful in PvP since most classes have very impactful movement impairing effects and some classes, including a mirror-Rogue, can kill you while you are stunned. This potion allows you to engage certain encounters without that worry.
- Living Action Potion is a great potion for getting out of situations where you did not use your Free Action Potion before getting stunned or getting your movement impaired.
- Limited Invulnerability Potion is useful when encountering other melee classes since, as a Rogue, you do not have a lot of armor. Classes like Warriors have a lot of burst making this potion useful for those encounters.
- Clutch of Foresight drops from Maleki the Pallid in Stratholme and is very rare, meaning you only want to use it in extreme emergencies.
- Thistle Tea is a Rogue-exclusive item that restores 100 Energy on a 5-minute cooldown. Use this item only when you have 0 Energy to maximize the Energy gain that it provides.
Engineering is an all-round useful profession in WoW Classic. The trinkets and consumables are very useful in certain scenarios. The explosives that Engineering provides all share a 1 minute cooldown.
- Goblin Sapper Charge also deals damage to you, so be careful when using it (5-minute cooldown).
- Dense Dynamite.
- Thorium Grenade also stuns targets for 3 seconds.
- Arcanite Dragonling is a trinket that has a 1-hour cooldown.
- 10 Dec. 2019: Added link to PvP BiS page.
- 20 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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