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Outlaw Rogue PvP Guide (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Jun 13, 2018 at 20:21 by Mysticall 19 comments

Table of Contents


This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Outlaw Rogue in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Outlaw Rogues

Outlaw Rogues have unmatched utility as a pure DPS class. With a ranged stun, blind, and countless other forms of crowd control, the Outlaw Rogue has some of the best control a spec can have. This Rogue specialization works great with other specs with strong single target damage.

1.1. Strengths of Outlaw Rogues

  • Great control
  • Decent mobility
  • Potential for strong burst and sustained damage

1.2. Weaknesses of Outlaw Rogues

  • Relies heavily on RNG for damage
  • Easy to swap to when in a stun
  • Very few defensive cooldowns

2. Talent Choices for Outlaw Rogues

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

2.1. Regular Talents for Outlaw Rogues

2.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Ghostly Strike Icon Ghostly Strike is the best talent in this tier. It benefits from your artifact ability and it is an overall substantial increase to damage.

2.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Grappling Hook Icon Grappling Hook is the best talent in this tier. This not only lets Rogues push into other teams or chase down targets, but it also allows us to get behind a pillar quickly if we are in trouble. It adds even more mobility to the Outlaw spec.

2.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

In this tier, Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem is the best choice. Having the ability to have Finishing Moves be affected as though with 6 Combo Points is a great talent. A few examples of what this synergises with are increasing the duration of Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes and the damage of Run Through Icon Run Through.

2.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is an all-around solid choice, and the best talent in this tier. Just make sure to keep applying it to yourself.

2.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

The best talent in this tier is Dirty Tricks Icon Dirty Tricks. This talent is strong because it makes crucial spells cost no energy and helps with controlling the enemy team easier.

2.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

We recommend taking Alacrity Icon Alacrity in this tier. This talent stacks up to 10 times, which will result in a total of 20% Haste. If this buff does not expire, this will help with overall sustained damage.

2.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

The best talent in this tier is Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death. This allows you to have a strong opener and also helps with getting your Finishing Moves off on the enemy.

2.2. Honor Talents for Outlaw Rogues

2.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

The best talent in this tier is Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, which provides a standard PvP trinket effect.

2.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

We recommend Reinforced Armor Icon Reinforced Armor in this tier. This improves the effect of Crimson Vial Icon Crimson Vial, making it a good all-around talent.

If you are playing against a team with two melee classes, Sparring Icon Sparring is the best choice in this tier. Rogues are weak to stuns and this could potentially save you.

2.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

Maneuverability Icon Maneuverability is the best choice in this tier. This gives you an on demand way to remove all movement-impairing effects. This increases your uptime on enemy players resulting in more damage output.

2.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

Thick as Thieves Icon Thick as Thieves is the best choice in this tier. This can result in a nice damage boost for you and an ally, so coordinate the buff for when you are going in for a kill.

2.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

We recommend taking Control is King Icon Control is King in this tier. This talent will ensure that you are not Energy-starved, and it works very well with the opener.

2.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

The best choice in this tier is Plunder Armor Icon Plunder Armor. Combined with Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade and Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak it will help deal a large amount of burst damage.

3. Racial Bonuses for Outlaw Rogues

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

3.1. Horde

Blood Elf is the best race for Outlaw Rogues, thanks to the Silence (Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent), which is very strong. This increases the spec's crowd control kit.

The passive Orc racial bonus (Hardiness Icon Hardiness) is also great if you find yourself being stunned a lot and having a hard time against melee classes.

3.2. Alliance

The Human racial bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns. This helps with survivability and when kiting away from players.

4. Playstyle for Outlaw Rogues

The Outlaw Rogue has two roles in PvP: shutting down casters/healers with relentless mobility and crowd control and having strong sustained damage outside of burst cooldowns. With high damage, high control and great sustained damage, this is the top PvP spec for Rogues.

To lock down healers, you will aim to push in and get crowd control on the healer (Sap Icon Sap, Blind Icon Blind when they do not have trinket, ranged stun).

The ability to deal sustained damage is what makes Outlaw Rogues so deadly. They have the ability to damage an enemy down to below 50% without using a single cooldown. It is at this point that they can stun you and use your burst rotation.

4.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Rogue crowd control is powerful, but dealing any damage to the target and will break and waste it. Also, remember to enter Stealth Icon Stealth.

4.2. Offensive Rotation

Regarding Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones, it is worth mentioning that some buffs are better than others. If you get a buff that is not as good as the others, continue your rotation, but use Roll the Bones again when you can spare the Combo Points to get a better buff. Here is a list from best to worst for the Roll the Bones buffs.

  1. Shark Infested Waters Icon Shark Infested Waters
  2. Buried Treasure Icon Buried Treasure
  3. True Bearing Icon True Bearing
  4. Broadsides Icon Broadsides
  5. Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee
  6. Jolly Roger Icon Jolly Roger

4.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. Blind Icon Blind is one of the most devastating crowd control abilities in the game, with very few ways of getting out of it without having a trinket. Save Blind for when the enemy healer does not have their trinket.

If an enemy DPS uses their trinket, you can crowd control the healer and stun the DPS without a trinket. This means they can be burst down in a stun and possibly killed.

When opening, always try to Sap Icon Sap the enemy DPS player who is trying to bring you out of Stealth Icon Stealth,then Sap the healer. Then, use your burst rotation. After you are done with your burst rotation, perform your sustained damage rotation until your burst abilities are available again.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death.
  2. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones.
    • You now have a full duration of any combination of the buffs.
    • No matter what buffs you get, continue with the opener.
  3. Use Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot.
  4. Use Saber Slash Icon Saber Slash.
  5. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes.
  6. Use Run Through Icon Run Through if you have Combo Points and your target is stunned.

4.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Cast Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade your teammate that is bursting with you.
  2. Use Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.
  3. Use  Icon Curse of the Dreadblades.
  4. Use Plunder Armor Icon Plunder Armor.
  5. Use Ghostly Strike Icon Ghostly Strike.
  6. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes.
  7. Use Ghostly Strike Icon Ghostly Strike.
  8. Use Run Through Icon Run Through.
  9. Use Opportunity Icon Opportunity procs if you do not have enough Energy to Saber Slash Icon Saber Slash.

4.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Maintain the Ghostly Strike Icon Ghostly Strike debuff on the enemy.
  2. Maintain the Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones buffs. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones at 4-6 Combo Points.
  3. Use Saber Slash Icon Saber Slash to generate Combo Points.
  4. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones when there is downtime.
  5. Use Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc.
  6. Use Run Through Icon Run Through at 5+ Combo Points.
  7. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes for extra crowd control.

4.3. Defensive Techniques

Cloak of Shadows Icon Cloak of Shadows is a strong defensive cooldown when playing against casters. Use this when in trouble against caster teams and run to your healer or re-enter Stealth Icon Stealth.

Feint Icon Feint (with the Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness talent) grants you a flat 30% damage reduction from everything. This is a buff that should be active on you at all times. A Rogue is very weak against stuns, so having Feint up when stunned greatly increases your chance of surviving heavy damage from the enemy team.

The 100% parry chance from Riposte Icon Riposte is great against melee teams. Use this when you are in trouble and cannot get away from melee players.

Grappling Hook Icon Grappling Hook is very strong for kiting. It can be used when in trouble to get behind a pillar.

Crimson Vial Icon Crimson Vial is the trickiest, but most useful defensive ability a Rogue has. If you feel a hard swap onto you or you are about to be stunned, use Crimson Vial. Using this efficiently can enable you and your teammates to save your other cooldowns.

5. Best Team Compositions for Outlaw Rogues

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the Arena with your team. Outlaw Rogues have more crowd control than the other Rogue specs, with equally strong burst damage.

5.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena you will be focusing on single target damage. If the enemy healer is playing Vim and Vigor Icon Vim and Vigor, you will want to focus on them so they do not get the additional healing when above 80% health. If they are not playing Vim and Vigor you can focus any target you can hit. Depending on what healer you are playing with, use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes on the enemy healer to setup crowd control. What makes this ability great is that it has a 20-yard range, so you do not have to use mobility to get to the healer. For example, if you are playing with a Restoration Druid, you should use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes on the enemy healer so your Druid can get close enough to use Cyclone Icon Cyclone. If the healer is out of range, you can use your Grappling Hook Icon Grappling Hook to get back to the kill target.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Outlaw Rogue + Holy Paladin
  • Outlaw Rogue + Restoration Druid
  • Outlaw Rogue + Restoration Shaman

5.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You will likely be focusing on maximizing your single target damage. If you are playing against a healer that is not mobile (Discipline Priest, Holy Paladin or Restoration Shaman), you can open on them and try to force a trinket or a major defensive cooldown. If the enemy healer trinkets, you can use Blind Icon Blind with your next setup. Your overall goal is to focus an enemy without a trinket. When you and your teammate have damage, use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes on the enemy healer. If you are playing with a healer that has a reliable stun, they can stun the healer and you can use Between the Eyes on the kill target. A great ability that Outlaw Rogues have is Gouge Icon Gouge. With such a short cooldown, it can be used in multiple ways. The first way is to use it to peel for you or your teammates. When the enemy team is using their burst rotation, use Gouge to stop them. The second way is to use it to set up crowd control. If Between the Eyes is on cooldown, use Gouge on the enemy healer to help your teammates.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • RMP (Outlaw Rogue + Frost Mage + Discipline Priest)
  • Outlaw Rogue + Elemental Shaman + Discipline Priest/Restoration Druid
  • Outlaw Rogue + Balance Druid + Holy Paladin
  • RLS (Outlaw Rogue + Destruction + Restoration Shaman)

Important note for both 2v2 and 3v3 Arena: knowing when to use your burst rotation is crucial. Because Outlaw Rogue damage can be random, you should not burst until you have the correct buffs. Although all the buffs are situational, some are better than others. Do not burst unless you have one or two of the following buffs:

6. Useful Macros for Outlaw Rogues

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Outlaw Rogues can benefit from.

6.1. Kick Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Polymorph
  • /cast [target=focus] Kick

Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Kick Icon Kick on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.2. Blind Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Blind
  • /cast [target=focus] Blind

Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Blind Icon Blind on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.3. Between the Eyes Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Between the Eyes
  • /cast [target=focus] Between the Eyes

Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.4. Sap Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Sap
  • /cast [target=focus] Sap

Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Sap Icon Sap on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.5. Gouge Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Gouge
  • /cast [target=focus] Gouge

Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Gouge Icon Gouge on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.6. Stealth Macro

  • #showtooltip Stealth
  • /cast !stealth

This makes it so when you use Stealth Icon Stealth it will not cancel if you click it a second time.

7. Gear for Outlaw Rogues

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

8. Artifact Traits for Outlaw Rogues

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Ghostly Shell and  Icon Deception) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

8.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you should go for is  Icon Greed. Aside from damage, this also helps with Outlaw survivability, especially when playing against classes like Death Knights and Hunters, who can have multiple pets.

  1. Take  Icon Cursed Edges.
  2. Take  Icon Fate's Thirst.
  3. Take  Icon Fatebringer.
  4. Take  Icon Ghostly Shell.

8.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to take  Icon Blunderbuss.

  1. Take  Icon Gunslinger.
  2. Take  Icon Deception.
  3. Take  Icon Fortune's Strike.

8.3. Remaining Traits

After taking  Icon Blunderbuss, start making your way to  Icon Blurred Time. Important traits to take while pathing into this Golden trait are  Icon Black Powder (this is good because when Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes lands a critical strike, it will deal a large amount of damage) and  Icon Fortune's Boon (the reduced cooldown on Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush helps with doing more sustained damage).

9. Relics for Outlaw Rogues

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

10. Changelog

  • 13 Jun. 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 24 Apr. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
  • 07 Feb. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 24 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2.
  • 23 Nov. 2017: Updated description for spec overview.
  • 15 Sep. 2017: No major changes were made for patch 7.3.
    • Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
  • 19 Jul. 2017: Changed recommended Tier 3 honor talent and updated opening rotation.
  • 05 Apr. 2017: Updated recommendations for Tier 1 talents. Updated burst and sustained damage rotations.
  • 04 Oct. 2016: Added Feint to the list of defensive abilities.
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