Outlaw Rogue PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight 10.2.7)

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Shadenox 9 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Outlaw Rogue, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Outlaw Rogue PvP Guide.

1.

Playstyle for Outlaw Rogues

Outlaw Rogues have two roles in PvP: controlling the enemy team with Sap Icon Sap, Blind Icon Blind, Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot, Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, Dismantle Icon Dismantle, and Gouge Icon Gouge, and dealing high sustained single-target damage. The extended control options the specialization offers allow you to force the enemies into 2v1 or even 3v1 situations, often putting the Rogue's team at a major advantage. The most powerful control option available to Outlaw is Blinding Powder Icon Blinding Powder. This will desync your Blind Icon Blind and the enemy healer's trinket, allowing you to have extremely long CC chains the enemy healer cannot get out of, allowing your team to land a kill. Outlaw also has some burst damage when talented into Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance, Crackshot Icon Crackshot and Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers to secure a kill when the enemy team is in CC.

1.1.

Before Gates Open

Discuss with your team to have a game plan. Outlaw Rogue is a specialization often played in setup comps. You and your team need to agree on who to control and who to kill before the game begins. You need to know who will use their offensive cooldowns first. Wasting an entire go because you did not plan and broke each other's crowd control can make you lose the game.

Apply Wound Poison Icon Wound Poison and Crippling Poison Icon Crippling Poison. Press Stealth Icon Stealth and you are good to go!

1.2.

Crowd Control

Outlaw Rogues have a lot of crowd control options. In the opener, since you have access to your Stealth-based abilities, you will aim to push in and initiate crowd control chains on the healer with a Sap Icon Sap. You will open on the kill target with Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot or without a stun and quickly build Combo Points for a Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, depending on the situation. In most cases, it is better to stun immediately to prevent the enemy from using their defensives before your stuns, but Outlaw is a spec that likes to have time to set up its damage, so it is okay if you take a few globals to set up a stronger go. After the opener, you will be able to use your Gouge Icon Gouge on the healer and your Kidney Shot on the kill target, enabling your healer to use Cyclone Icon Cyclone or Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream after your Gouge while you kill the DPS. In some scenarios, namely, when you play with another DPS with a stun, you may want to use your Kidney Shot on the enemy healer instead, and your teammate stuns the enemy DPS you want to kill. You can follow it with a Gouge or have your team follow up. You also have the ability Dismantle Icon Dismantle which is a form of crowd control, albeit a defensive one in most cases. Making good use of it can negate an enemy kill attempt. It can also be used offensively sometimes, for example, against an Arms Warrior, as it prevents them from using Die by the Sword Icon Die by the Sword, or against a Death Knight, as it prevents them from using Death Strike Icon Death Strike to heal.

2.

Offensive Rotation

2.1.

Generating and Spending Combo Points

Rogues have two resources to manage. The first, Energy, is relatively straightforward. Using a spell costs Energy, and it regenerates over time. The second resource is Combo Points. Some abilities generate Combo Points, and powerful skills called Finishing Moves consume them. To maximize your damage output and your Energy regeneration, you must use your Combo Points efficiently. You have several ways to generate Combo Points.

  • From Stealth Icon Stealth, there are two ways to generate Combo Points:
    • Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot stuns the target and generates 1 Combo Point.
    • Ambush Icon Ambush can only be used in Stealth as well. It deals damage and generates 2 Combo Points, 3 with Improved Ambush Icon Improved Ambush.
  • When not in Stealth, you generate Combo Points with the following:
    • Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike deals moderate damage and generates 1 Combo Point. It has a 35% chance to strike an additional time, granting a second Combo Point. That chance may be increased through Talents, Honor Talents, and Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones.
    • Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot generates 1 Combo Point. It will generate 2 Combo Points instead, if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, which you get when Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike hits an additional time and are playing the talent Quick Draw Icon Quick Draw.
    • Ambush Icon Ambush can be used from out of Stealth with Audacity Icon Audacity procs. It deals damage and generates 2 Combo Points, 3 with Improved Ambush Icon Improved Ambush.
    • Shiv Icon Shiv generates 1 Combo Point.
    • Ruthlessness Icon Ruthlessness has a 20% chance per Combo Point spent to grant 1 Combo Point. Using a Finishing Move with 5 Combo Points will, therefore, automatically grant 1 Combo Point. Be aware that using a Finishing Move with 6 Combo Points when playing with the Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem and/or Devious Stratagem Icon Devious Stratagem talents, has a 20% chance to grant 2 Combo Points if you had 6, and a 40% chance if you had 7.

Now that you know how to generate Combo Points, learning how to spend them is even more critical. As an Outlaw Rogue, you should always use your finishers with 5 Combo Points or more to be sure you will benefit from Ruthlessness Icon Ruthlessness. Here are the abilities you will be spending Combo Points on and what situations you will use them in:

  • Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot is your stun to set up a kill on your target.
  • Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes deals damage and applies a debuff to your target that lasts longer based on how many Combo Points you spend. While the debuff is on your target, your Critical Strike chance is increased by 20% against that target. Use this before your burst window to increase your damage output.
  • Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice increases your attack speed. Slice and Dice should almost have a 100% uptime during an arena match as auto-attacks and Mastery: Main Gauche Icon Mastery: Main Gauche procs are a significant part of your overall damage and energy regeneration. Be aware that the combat buff Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee will extend Slice and Dice, allowing you to spend your Combo Points on other abilities.
  • Dispatch Icon Dispatch is your primary damaging ability. This will deal more damage based on the Combo Points used for it.
2.2.

Roll the Bones

Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones is a core ability to Outlaw Rogues. When you use it, it will give you random combat buffs. There are 6 possible buffs. Most of the time, you will only get one; sometimes, you will get two, and extremely rarely, you will get five. The different buffs are the following, sorted from best to worst:

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

Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones has a cooldown, so you cannot reroll your buffs at will. However, the cooldown is reduced by Restless Blades Icon Restless Blades, so you should reroll if you do not have good buffs when the ability comes back off cooldown. You will never reroll a set of five buffs, as Outlaw is most likely the best spec in the entire game when under the effects of 5 buffs. You will rarely reroll a set of two buffs as having two buffs is very valuable unless the two buffs are Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee and Buried Treasure Icon Buried Treasure. Regarding single buffs, you want to try and have Ruthless Precision Icon Ruthless Precision before your burst as it increases your Critical Strike chance by a lot and paired with Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes will make you crit a lot of attacks. Broadside Icon Broadside is also good to burst down an enemy as it increases your damage and Combo Point generation, allowing you to use more attacks. It is especially good with Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers (if talented into it) as the Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot damage will be increased. True Bearing Icon True Bearing is great when you are not about to burst and need to reset important cooldowns. Skull and Crossbones Icon Skull and Crossbones used to be a bad buff, but with the Honor Talent Enduring Brawler Icon Enduring Brawler, you will be almost certain to make your Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike hit an additional time, giving you more Combo Points, more damage, and a lot of Opportunity Icon Opportunity procs, so more Audacity Icon Audacity procs, which also translates into more Combo Points and more damage.

2.3.

The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening CC chain and damage done as soon as you exit the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns. If the enemy healer or your kill target uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble.

The opener is a key part of the game as Rogue, even though it is a bit less important as Outlaw, as you do not have impactful burst damage to force as many cooldowns in the opener as other Rogue specializations. Stealth Icon Stealth gives you the advantage as you choose how the fight begins. Because people will not be in combat right after the gates open, you will be able to Sap Icon Sap a target, already providing your team with numerical superiority. With stuns on the other enemies, you can create a situation where your kill target is stunned for you and your team to deal damage without any external help.

If you forced a trinket in the opener, you are on the right track to winning the game. If the enemy healer used their trinket, you could go with a Blind Icon Blind on them, followed by a Sap Icon Sap or a Gouge Icon Gouge while you kill the enemy DPS. If the enemy DPS uses their trinket, you will be able to do a go on them with a Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot followed by a Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb if you play it to prevent the healer from helping, and hopefully kill the DPS in that stun. Even if you do not play Smoke Bomb, forcing the DPS trinket is excellent, as they will not be able to get out of your next Kidney Shot, during which you will use offensive cooldowns.

The opener as Outlaw is slightly different from the opener of other Rogue specs. You want to build up your damage before stunning your targets, as you need to get Combo Points before using Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, and need a few buffs to be a threat to your enemy. Below is an example :

  1. Use Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush, Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry and Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice as the gates open, then go in Stealth Icon Stealth. Thanks to the talent Underhanded Upper Hand Icon Underhanded Upper Hand your buffs will be frozen in time until you open.
  2. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones from Stealth.
  3. Use Sap Icon Sap on the kill target if possible.
  4. Use Ambush Icon Ambush on the other target, usually the healer (or Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot if the target could stop your opener).
  5. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until 5 Combo Points, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge, Underhanded Upper Hand Icon Underhanded Upper Hand or an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  6. Use Gouge Icon Gouge on the healer once you have 5 Combo Points or more to allow your healer to CC them, with Psychic Scream Icon Psychic Scream or Cyclone Icon Cyclone for example. You can skip this step if the healer isn't close enough for you to reach.
  7. Use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on the kill target now that you have 5 combo Points. The target should still be in a Sap and unable to defend themselves.
  8. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until 5 Combo Points or more, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  9. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes.
  10. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until 5 Combo Points or more, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  11. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  12. Repeat the last two steps.

You can decide to use your burst cooldowns with such an opener if your buffs are good enough. How to use them best is described in the Burst Damage section below.

2.4.

Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage. Of course, you want to have a buff from Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones up already, preferably a good one (or a combination of good ones), and you want to have Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice up as well before using your burst rotation. Keep in mind that Outlaw has a lot of different procs that empower different abilities, so the burst rotation ends up being able to utilize those procs the best way possible while having your cooldowns up. Make sure Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes is not on cooldown when you want to burst so that you can benefit from the talent Crackshot Icon Crackshot during your Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance.

  1. Use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on your kill target.
  2. Use Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush. Keep in mind that with Improved Adrenaline Rush Icon Improved Adrenaline Rush, this gives you full Combo Points.
  3. Use Ghostly Strike Icon Ghostly Strike.
  4. Use Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance.
  5. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes. It will also cast Dispatch Icon Dispatch thanks to Crackshot Icon Crackshot.
  6. Use Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have both the Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers buff and an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, else use Ambush Icon Ambush until 5 Combo Points or more.
  7. Repeat the last two steps as long as Shadow Dance lasts .
  8. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes if it is available and you don't have the Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers buff, else use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  9. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until 5 Combo Points or more, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  10. Repeat the last two steps.

Your powerful burst cooldowns will not always be available. However, you can still have less potent burst windows every Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, thanks to the talent Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers that allows your Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes to greatly empower a Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot. It would look like the following:

  1. Use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on your kill target.
  2. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until 5 Combo Points or more, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  3. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes if it is available and you don't have the Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers buff, else use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  4. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike until 5 Combo Points or more, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  5. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  6. Repeat the last two steps.

You may have some offensive cooldowns back, but not all of them. Using only one of them in your Kidney Shot is okay to have lethal damage.

2.5.

Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available, and when your enemies cannot be crowd-controlled because of diminishing returns. Outlaw Rogues have very great sustained damage so unless you need to retreat because you are under pressure or because you know the enemy is about to set up a kill of their own you will want to keep doing damage to make sure the kill target is low on health before your next Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot. The spells you will use during your sustained damage window needs to follow the priority list set below:

  1. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones if it is about to fade or if you want to reroll your buff.
  2. Use Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice if you have 5 Combo Points or more and it is about to fade.
  3. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes if you do not have the buff.
  4. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch with 5 Combo Points or more.
  5. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to generate Combo Points, Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc, or Ambush Icon Ambush if you have an Audacity Icon Audacity proc.
  6. Be sure to maximize your melee uptime, as an important part of your sustained damage comes from your auto attacks.

Make sure to use Blade Flurry Icon Blade Flurry if multiple enemies are close and you want to do cleave damage. Be mindful however, as Blade Flurry breaks CC. You will need to cancel it if you want to use Gouge Icon Gouge or Blind Icon Blind.

3.

Defensive Techniques

Vanish Icon Vanish is one of your main defensive cooldowns. Use Vanish to avoid damage and get away from the enemy team. You can also use it to land crowd control with Sap Icon Sap or Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot.

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 safety. You can also use it to mitigate incoming magic crowd control abilities, such as Mortal Coil Icon Mortal Coil or Hammer of Justice Icon Hammer of Justice. Note that with the honor talent Veil of Midnight Icon Veil of Midnight you can use Cloak of Shadows to get rid of physical debuffs and to dodge attacks.

Evasion Icon Evasion is a strong defensive cooldown when playing against melees and Hunters. Use this when the enemy team is using offensive cooldowns on you. You can also use it to dodge incoming Physical crowd-control abilities, such as Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot or Mighty Bash Icon Mighty Bash. You may pick the talent Float Like a Butterfly Icon Float Like a Butterfly to reduce its cooldown when facing melee-heavy teams.

Feint Icon Feint (with the Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness talent) is the trickiest but most useful defensive ability a Rogue has. It grants you a flat 30% damage reduction from everything for 6 seconds on a 15-second cooldown. This is a potent tool to mitigate incoming damage. A Rogue is weak against stuns, so preemptively using Feint when a stun is coming your way greatly increases your chance of surviving heavy damage from the enemy team. Of course, it can be used when the enemy team is using cooldowns on you, even if there is no stun.

Crimson Vial Icon Crimson Vial is a small heal-over-time effect. You can use it the same way as Feint Icon Feint, either when you are about to get stunned or when the enemy is using cooldowns on you, and your healer needs extra help.

4.

Macros

It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.

5.

Changelog

  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Updqted for Dragonflight Season 4.
  • 18 Mar. 2024: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.6.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.5.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.2.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.7.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.5.
  • 30 Apr. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.
  • 21 Mar. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7.
  • 25 Jan. 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
  • 28 Jul. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 01 Jul. 2022: Added Ghostly Strike to the rotation.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 23 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
  • 10 Nov. 2021: Already up to date with Patch 9.1.5.
  • 25 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 27 Mar. 2021: No updates needed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 16 Dec. 2020: Updated Burst and Sustained Damage rotations.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Rotations to include Covenant Ability.
  • 29 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
  • 04 Nov. 2020: Added Generating and Spending Combo Points section.
    • Updated all Damage Rotations.
  • 16 Feb. 2020: Updated Burst and Sustained Damage rotations.
  • 20 Jan. 2020: This page was checked for Patch 8.3 and no update was deemed necessary.
  • 05 Jan. 2020: Page added.
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