Outlaw Rogue DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 23, 2020 at 16:40 by Seliathan 11 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Outlaw Rogue in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Rogue rotation.


Outlaw Rogue Rotation

Welcome to our Rotation page for Outlaw Rogues. Here you will find out more about your rotational priorities in both single-target and multi-target situations which you will apply in both Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.


Easy Mode

If you are just starting out you might want to get more comfortable with your Outlaw Rogue by using a more simplified yet still effective build and rotation. You can find out more about it in our Easy Mode section.


Mythic+ Rotation

For information about Mythic+ as an Outlaw Rogue and the rotation you need to use in this game mode, please refer to our Mythic+ page.



The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.


Single Target Ability Priority List for Outlaw Rogue

We have provided rotation switches below that allow you to adjust the priority list based on your talent choices. Simply check the box if you plan to play with Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem or Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death, as well as Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree or Blade Rush Icon Blade Rush.

  • Deeper Stratagem
  • Marked for Death
  • Blade Rush
  • Killing Spree
  1. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones on cooldown unless you have any of the desired buffs (see dedicated Roll the Bones section for details).
  2. Activate Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.
  3. Use your Covenant ability.
  4. Cast Vanish Icon Vanish followed up by Ambush Icon Ambush.
  5. Cast Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to generate Combo Points.

Multi Target Ability Priority List for Outlaw Rogue

  1. Cast Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry if there are 2+ targets.
  2. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones on cooldown unless you get have any of the desired buffs (see dedicated Roll the Bones section for details).
  3. Activate Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.
  4. Use your Covenant ability.
  5. Cast Vanish Icon Vanish followed up by Ambush Icon Ambush.
  6. Cast Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to generate Combo Points.

Opener Sequence for Outlaw Rogue

Depending on your talents, there are a handful of abilities you will want to use before the pull actually happens. Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones should be used right before engaging the enemy. When talented into Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death, you will want to use it ~14 seconds before pulling and then use the Combo Points for Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes as the fight begins.


Single-target Opening Sequence

  1. Use Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death ~14seconds before pull if talented.
  2. Cast Stealth Icon Stealth.
  3. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones 1 second before pull.
  4. Cast Ambush Icon Ambush as well as Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.
  5. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes with 5+ Combo Points.
  6. Use your Covenant ability.

After using your Covenant ability you follow the aforementioned single-target priority list.


Important Notes for Outlaw Rogue


Roll the Bones

Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones is a cooldown that grants one or more random buffs. The duration of the Roll the Bones (and the buffs it gives you) is affected by Pandemic (meaning you can safely refresh when Roll the Bones has less than 30% of its duration remaining). There are 6 different buffs you can potentially receive, and it is possible to receive multiple buffs from a single cast, although the chance to receive extra buffs is lessened per extra buff. The buffs are as follows:

The chance of receiving multiple buffs is as follows:

Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones has significantly different gameplay implications than Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice had for Combat, or currently has for Outlaw.

Order of buff value for an extended encounter (raid boss):

  1. Broadside Icon Broadside;
  2. Ruthless Precision Icon Ruthless Precision;
  3. Skull and Crossbones Icon Skull and Crossbones;
  4. True Bearing Icon True Bearing.
  5. Buried Treasure Icon Buried Treasure;
  6. Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee.

The value of each buff fluctuates somewhat depending on the combination with other buffs and whether or not cooldowns are available, but this can be used as a rough reference.


Pro Tip: How to Roll the Bones

The basic rule to satisfy regarding Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones is to re-cast it and fish for different buffs if:

If any of these conditions are met, you will want to re-roll Roll the Bones for a different buff or group of buffs as it comes off cooldown.

This priority changes slightly when you are using Sleight of Hand Icon Sleight of Hand as your Potency Conduit. You will always re-roll for 2+ buffs in this case, and re-roll your 2-buff if it is Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee and Buried Treasure Icon Buried Treasure.


Vanish and Killing Spree/Blade Rush as DPS cooldowns

Vanish Icon Vanish is a useful DPS cooldown thanks to the Potency Conduit Count the Odds Icon Count the Odds. You should use it on cooldown for an Ambush Icon Ambush.

A key part of maximizing AoE DPS, will come from lining up Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree / Blade Rush Icon Blade Rush with time periods when they are able to hit the maximum number of targets, and making sure that you have Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry for those times. Since Blade Flurry does not have 100% uptime, it will need to be managed a lot more carefully, and sometimes you will need to miss out on some AoE/cleave, if it means you get better uptime on it, when there are more enemies.


Combo Points and Energy

As a Rogue, most of your abilities need Energy to be used. Your Energy bar has a capacity of 100 Energy (150 with Vigor Icon Vigor chosen as your Tier 3 talent and 200 during Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush) and refills at a rate of 10 Energy per second. Your Energy regeneration is increased by:

  • Melee haste (Haste + Haste-enhancing buffs);
  • the Combat Potency Icon Combat Potency passive, which causes your off-hand attacks to have a chance to generate 10 Energy;
  • your Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush cooldown, which temporarily increases your Energy regeneration by 60%;
  • Vigor Icon Vigor, if chosen as your Tier 3 talent.

The faster you regenerate Energy, the more finishers you can cast, which (via True Bearing Icon True Bearing and Restless Blades Icon Restless Blades) will result in higher Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush uptimes.

Letting your Energy reach its maximum is something you want to avoid. You should always try to spend your Energy by (literally) spamming your buttons. Unlike Subtlety and Assassination Rogues, Outlaw Rogues generally do not benefit from Energy pooling. There are many situations when you will generate more Energy than you can spend (Haste trinket procs, Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust / Heroism Icon Heroism / Time Warp Icon Time Warp, etc.) and you should spam your buttons even harder than usual during such times.

Combo Point generation is increased by a variety of factors, such as:

You should never waste Combo Points. Never cast a Combo Point-generating ability when you are at maximum Combo Points. Be aware of situations where you are guaranteed to generate 2 Combo Points with your generators, for example during Broadside Icon Broadside or when using Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot with an Opportunity proc.


Adrenaline Rush

Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush increases your Energy regeneration by 60%, maximum Energy by 50 and your attack speed by 20% for 20 seconds. It should be used on cooldown. Do not hesitate to stack it with Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust, Heroism Icon Heroism, or Time Warp Icon Time Warp as you will still benefit from the increased attack speed, though you will likely Energy cap (this is not a problem). Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush has a 3-minute cooldown, but this can be reduced by the True Bearing Icon True Bearing buff and Restless Blades Icon Restless Blades.


True Bearing Cooldown Reduction

True Bearing Icon True Bearing reduces the cooldowns of the following abilities by 2 seconds per Combo Point consumed by a finisher:


Blade Flurry

It is worth reiterating that the source of Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry cleave is you, not the target. Therefore, you can stand with one mob directly in front with another directly behind you, and your Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry will still cleave both, as the player is the source of the cleave.


Defensive Utility

All Rogues come ready made with a dizzying phalanx of defensive cooldowns, which make them the best candidate for soaking required mechanics and dealing with heavy incoming damage.

  • Feint Icon Feint reduces AoE damage taken by 40% for 5 seconds for only 35 Energy. When talented into Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness it also reduces all other damage by 30%. This is one of the most overpowered abilities in the game and a huge asset on fights with heavy raid damage. Do not forget about this button!
  • Cloak of Shadows Icon Cloak of Shadows provides magic immunity for a second, followed by 4 seconds where all spells will miss. This spell is mostly used for clearing debuffs that might otherwise force you out of melee range. Cloak of Shadows is also a fantastic tool for soaking abilities that do not pierce immunities.
  • Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death is a talent that allows you to escape lethal damage once every 6 minutes. The damage cannot exceed more than twice your maximum health. Cheat Death is great for soaking mechanics that pierce immunities and damage reductions, as it guarantees your survival. It is also great for encounters with bursty damage that might take you by surprise, as you get a get out of jail free card once every 6 minutes.
  • Crimson Vial Icon Crimson Vial provides a respectable amount of healing on a very short cooldown. Use this often in boss encounters.
  • Evasion Icon Evasion provides a 100% increased chance to dodge enemy attacks as long as you are facing them. This can sometimes be used to avoid physical spells as well.

Core Concepts for Outlaw Rogue

This specialization involves a lot of fast finger work, particularly during cooldown periods. Learning to focus on what is important and master the core concepts of a specialization is what leads to strong overall performances on the damage charts. Outlaw features 2 major concepts that form the central tenets of optimizing for success:

  1. practical usage of Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones;
  2. resource management.

Practical Usage of Roll the Bones

You will want to re-roll for new Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones buffs once your previous ones are about to run out. Any 2-buff or 5-buff should be kept until they have run their full duration, with the exception of Grand Melee in combination with Buried Treasure.


Resource Management

Unlike the other Rogue specialization, Energy management is incredibly easy for Outlaw Rogues as you have a very high rate of regeneration. It can be very easy, however, to overcap Combo Points if you are not careful. Pay close attention to your current Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones buffs along with your Combo Point tracker. Do not waste Opportunity Icon Opportunity procs when you are already capped on Combo Points.


Extended Outlaw Rotation

The fully inclusive rotation, is a lot more extensive than the one listed above, but gives only marginal gains at best, as such, it is included here (in raw simc format), but it does not need to be memorized.

# Currently not worth rerolling in SL in any known situation
# With multiple targets, this variable is checked to decide whether some CDs should be synced with Blade Flurry
# Finish at maximum CP. Substract one for each Broadside and Opportunity when Quick Draw is selected and MfD is not ready after the next second. Always max BtE with 2+ Ace.

# Builders
# Use Pistol Shot with Opportunity if below 45 energy, or when using Quick Draw and Wits is down.

# Cooldowns
# If adds are up, snipe the one with lowest TTD. Use when dying faster than CP deficit or without any CP.
# If no adds will die within the next 30s, use MfD on boss without any CP.
# Blade Flurry on 2+ enemies. ST with Ambidexterity if no adds in the next 10s.
# Using Vanish/Ambush is only a very tiny increase, so in reality, you're absolutely fine to use it as a utility spell.
# Very roughly rule of thumbified maths below: Use for Inkpod crit, otherwise with AR at 20+ stacks or 10+ with also Blood up.
# Default fallback for usable items.

# Essences
# Hold Reaping Flames for execute range or kill buffs, if possible. Always try to get the lowest cooldown based on available enemies.

# Finishers
# BtE on cooldown to keep the Crit debuff up

# Stealth


  • 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands release, updated Roll the Bones and rotational priorities, added rotational switches.
  • 24 Oct. 2020: Updated rotational and Roll the Bones priorities.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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