Outlaw Rogue PvP Guide in Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.1)

Last updated on Dec 13, 2018 at 23:11 by Mysticall 19 comments

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, 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.

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. Stat Priority for Outlaw Rogues in PvP

The stat priority for Outlaw Rogues in PvP is as follows:

  1. Agility;
  2. Haste;
  3. Versatility;
  4. Critical Strike;
  5. Mastery.

Agility is the best stat in all situations. Haste is the strongest secondary stat at all times due to it reducing the Global Cooldown on abilities and increasing your attack speed. Versatility is also strong because it increases all of the damage you do while reducing the damage you take.

3. Azerite Traits for Outlaw Rogues

Azerite traits are unlocked in you helm, shoulders and chest. With each Azerite level in your neck, you get closer to unlocking the center trait in your gear. These traits vary from increasing damage of certain abilities to helping increase your survivability. Depending on what traits you use, it can completely alter your playstyle and what talents you should be using.

3.1. Outer Ring

Below are the best Outer Ring traits.

  1. Snake Eyes Icon Snake Eyes
  2. Deadshot Icon Deadshot
  3. Ace Up Your Sleeve Icon Ace Up Your Sleeve
  4. Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans

Outlaw Rogues want the trait Snake Eyes Icon Snake Eyes to be in all three of their Azerite pieces. You will be using Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones often and this trait is great for when you are about to use burst cooldowns. This is also great for increasing your sustained damage when your cooldowns are unavailable. Your other option is if you do not have the Snake Eyes trait in a lot of your gear. Instead, you can use 1-2 Snakes Eyes with the remaining pieces having Deadshot Icon Deadshot or Ace Up Your Sleeve Icon Ace Up Your Sleeve. Both of these traits are focused on Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes. Both of these trait builds are strong and increase your sustained damage. Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans increases your primary stat, Agility. This is an increase to your overall damage.

3.2. Middle Ring

Below are the best Middle Ring traits.

  1. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call
  2. Gutripper Icon Gutripper
  3. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power
  4. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl
  5. Earthlink Icon Earthlink

The Middle and Inner Rings are important for additional damage and stat bonuses. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call is the strongest Middle Ring trait. This will increase your sustained damage output by quite a bit. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl, Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power, and Earthlink Icon Earthlink give an increase to your stats. These are minor stat boosts, but still increase your damage. Gutripper Icon Gutripper will help increase both your single target and spread pressure.

3.3. Inner Ring

Below are the best Inner Ring traits.

  1. Longstrider Icon Longstrider
  2. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  3. Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage
  4. Shrouded Mantle Icon Shrouded Mantle

All of these traits give you additional ways of surviving. These are all passive, but are crucial to have.

4. Gear Recommendations

4.1. General Guidelines

In general, Outlaw Rogues want to get trinkets that line up well with Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree. These trinkets can have a passive or on-use effect. The stat you want to be increasing is Agility. The reason you want to increase Agility is because it drastically increases your overall damage output.

To be successful in 3v3 arena, you need to have all of the pieces of your gear to have the Snake Eyes Icon Snake Eyes trait. You will also want either Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call or Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power in the second tier.

Below, we list the items that have these traits.

4.1.1. Helms

4.1.2. Shoulders

4.1.3. Chest

4.2. Recommended Items

Dread Gladiator's Badge Icon Dread Gladiator's Badge is strong for the versatility and the on-use Agility effect. The 2-minute cooldown lines up well with Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree.

Darkmoon Deck: Fathoms Icon Darkmoon Deck: Fathoms is not an item you get from PvP. Instead, you will have to look at the auction house or find an someone with the Inscription profession. This trinket also gives a passive effect. You cannot control the proc, but the damage this trinket can do is substantial. You will quickly notice a large increase to your overall damage.

Dread Gladiator's Insignia Icon Dread Gladiator's Insignia has a good amount of Versatility on it and has a passive effect. This effect increases your Agility. This increases your sustained damage.

4.3. Weapon Enchant

Enchant Weapon - Quick Navigation Icon Enchant Weapon - Quick Navigation and Enchant Weapon - Versatile Navigation Icon Enchant Weapon - Versatile Navigation are the best weapon enchants. You will be duel wielding weapons and having one of each of these enchants on your weapons. These enchants give you a strong Haste and Versatility buff that can be crucial in multiple ways. Both of these procs increase your damage output and are great if you can line it up with your burst.

5. Talent Choices for Outlaw Rogues

Level Choices
15 Weaponmaster Weaponmaster Quick Draw Quick Draw Ghostly Strike Ghostly Strike
30 Acrobatic Strikes Acrobatic Strikes Retractable Hook Retractable Hook Hit and Run Hit and Run
45 Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death Marked for Death
60 Iron Stomach Iron Stomach Cheat Death Cheat Death Elusiveness Elusiveness
75 Dirty Tricks Dirty Tricks Blinding Powder Blinding Powder Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak
90 Loaded Dice Loaded Dice Alacrity Alacrity Slice and Dice Slice and Dice
100 Dancing Steel Dancing Steel Blade Rush Blade Rush Killing Spree Killing Spree

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

5.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Quick Draw Icon Quick Draw is the best talent in this tier. That talent is strong for multiple reasons. It helps with generating additional Combo Points and for random bursts of damage. It also works great with the Deadshot Icon Deadshot Azerite trait.

5.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Retractable Hook Icon Retractable 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. However, if you do not plan on using Retractable Hook for crowd control or you will not be focused, Acrobatic Strikes Icon Acrobatic Strikes is the best choice. This will allow you to stay out of range of some melee AoE abilities or attack enemies even when rooted/slowed.

5.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

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 works well with are increasing the duration of Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes and the damage of Dispatch Icon Dispatch.

5.4. 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 using Feint Icon Feint when the enemy team is targeting you.

5.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

If your team's goal is to kill an enemy in a stun, Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak is the best choice in this tier. This talent is crucial if your team is not crowd control based and just focusing on targeting person.

If your team's goal is to relentlessly crowd control the enemy healer, Blinding Powder Icon Blinding Powder is the best choice. Blind Icon Blind will now have a 90 second cooldown. This means that even if the healer trinkets the first Blind, they will not have a trinket for the second.

5.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

We recommend taking Alacrity Icon Alacrity in this tier. This talent stacks up to 5 times, which will result in a total of 10% Haste. If this buff does not expire, this will help with overall sustained damage.

5.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree is the best choice in this tier. This is one of your strongest burst cooldowns.

6. PvP Talents for Outlaw Rogues

The first PvP talent tier is will give you a choice between Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion, Relentless Icon Relentless, and Adaptation Icon Adaptation. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is great for removing crowd control on you that your healer cannot dispel. Outlaw Rogues are also notorious for dying in stuns and this well help you trinket and kite incoming damage.

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents depending on your team's goal.

6.1. Mandatory PvP Talents for Outlaw Rogues

Control is King Icon Control is King is crucial for your sustained damage. If you are playing with a Mage and they Polymorph Icon Polymorph an enemy, you will have 3 seconds of Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush. This not only gives you additional damage, but it saves you from pressing an additional button while you are doing damage.

Thick as Thieves Icon Thick as Thieves is just a great damage increase for both you and your DPS partner.

6.2. Situational PvP Talents for Outlaw Rogues

Plunder Armor Icon Plunder Armor is another offensive cooldown that lines up well with your Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree. If your team's goal is solely based around killing an enemy as fast as possible in a stun, you will want to use this PvP talent.

Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb creates a cloud around you. Enemy players who are outside the cloud will not be able to target anyone inside of it. This talent is strong for multiple reasons. The first is to land a kill while your target is stunned without a trinket. The enemy healer will not be able to heal and you will easily secure a kill while Smoke Bomb is active. The second is to stop incoming spells. This is not done often, but you can use Smoke Bomb on your healer to prevent enemies from crowd controlling them. It all depends on the situation. You can replace Plunder Armor Icon Plunder Armor for this PvP talent.

Dismantle Icon Dismantle disarms an enemy for 6 seconds. This is a defensive PvP talent and works well in situations where you can disarm an enemy while they are using their burst cooldowns. For example, you can use Dismantle on an Enhancement Shaman after they used Heroism/Bloodlust. You can also use this on a Demon Hunter that is in Metamorphosis. You can replace Plunder Armor Icon Plunder Armor for this PvP talent.

7. Racial Bonuses for Outlaw Rogues

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

7.1. Horde

Orc is the best race for Outlaw Rogues, thanks to the racial bonus (Hardiness Icon Hardiness). This is great if you find yourself being stunned a lot and having a hard time against melee classes.

7.2. 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.

If you do not what to play Human, the Dark Iron Dwarf racial (Fireblood Icon Fireblood) is a great defensive that can also help increase your burst damage.

8. 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, Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes).

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.

8.1. 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.

8.2. 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. Each time you use Roll the Bones, you can get 1,2 or 5 of the following buffs. Here is a list from best to worst for the Roll the Bones buffs.

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

8.2.1. 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. You will often use Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb as once they are stunned with no trinket.

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 Sap Icon Sap on the enemy healer.
  2. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike and Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot to generate Combo Points.
  3. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones.
  4. Use Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot.
  5. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to 6 Combo Points.
  6. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes to stun your kill target.
  7. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until you have 2-4 Combo Points and then use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.

8.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage. You also want to make sure you have at least 1 good buff from Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones. However, this may not always be possible.

  1. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to get to 6 Combo Points.
  2. Use Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade on your teammate that is bursting with you.
  3. Use Plunder Armor Icon Plunder Armor.
  4. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes.
  5. Use Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc.
  6. Use Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree.
  7. Use Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.

For the remainder of your burst, you will want to use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to generate Combo Points and use them on Dispatch Icon Dispatch. Use Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot, especially when you get an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc. Also, depending on your buffs, Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes might come off cooldown. Use it immediately for an additional stun and a large amount of damage. If your kill target trinketed, you should use Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb next time you have Killing Spree Icon Killing Spree.

8.2.3. Sustained damage

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

  1. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike and Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot to generate Combo Points.
  2. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones.
  3. Spend Combo Points on Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes to stun your kill target or to crowd control the enemy healer.
  4. Spend Combo Points on Dispatch Icon Dispatch to deal single target damage.

A quick note about an important passive you have, Restless Blades Icon Restless Blades. This passive makes Finishing Moves (Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes, Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones, Dispatch Icon Dispatch) reduce the cooldown of multiple important abilities by 1 second for each Combo Point used. For example, if you use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to generate 6 Combo Points followed by a Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones or Dispatch Icon Dispatch, it will reduce the cooldown of certain abilities by 6 seconds. This is what makes Outlaw Rogues so powerful.

8.3. 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.

Retractable Hook Icon Retractable 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.

9. 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.

9.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena you will be focusing on single target damage. 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 Retractable Hook Icon Retractable 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

9.2. 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 + Fire/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:

10. 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.

10.1. Kick Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Kick
  • /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.

10.2. 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.

10.3. 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.

10.4. 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.

10.5. 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.

10.6. 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.

11. Changelog

  • 13 Dec. 2018: Updated Azerite traits section.
  • 12 Dec. 2018: No major changes needed for Patch 8.1.
  • 07 Dec. 2018: Added Gear Recommendations section.
  • 21 Oct. 2018: Updated guide for Patch 8.0.1.
    • Added stat priority, Azerite traits sections and talent able.
    • Updated all talent sections.
    • Updated Racial Bonuses section.
    • Updated Burst Damage and Sustained damage sections.
    • Removed Gear section.
    • Removed Artifact and Relics sections.
  • 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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