Outlaw Rogue PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / Patch 9.1)

Last updated on Jul 25, 2021 at 07:42 by Shadenox 4 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, very 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 Dreadblades Icon Dreadblades and/or when using the Legendary Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers to secure a kill when the enemy team is in CC.

There are currently two slightly different ways to play Outlaw Rogue. The first one is to play with an offensive Legendary power, such as Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers or Concealed Blunderbuss Icon Concealed Blunderbuss. You will also play the talent Quick Draw Icon Quick Draw on the first talent row. Playing like this will give you the basic Outlaw toolkit with burst spikes when you use your Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot with either Legendary buff active. This way of playing is seen as slightly superior to the other, and answer more situations. The second way is to play with the Legendary power Invigorating Shadowdust Icon Invigorating Shadowdust, allowing your Vanish Icon Vanish to reduce all your cooldowns by 20s. Since you have the talent Blinding Powder Icon Blinding Powder your Blind Icon Blind will be on a very short cooldown. Also, since you can reduce the cooldown of Vanish with Restless Blades Icon Restless Blades you will get a lot of value out of your Legendary. This way of playing is particularly successful against melee specializations in 2v2 as you will also play the talent Float Like a Butterfly Icon Float Like a Butterfly, and thus will have an extremely short cooldown on your Evasion Icon Evasion. You will be extremely difficult to take down while having a lot of crowd control for the enemy healer and while dealing a lot of sustained damage to the enemy DPS, allowing you to eventually win the game thanks to the the sheer value of using your cooldowns so often.

1.1.

Before Gates Open

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

Apply Wound Poison Icon Wound Poison and Crippling Poison Icon Crippling Poison. Your Poisons will be removed after every arena match, so do not forget to reapply them everytime you enter a new match.

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. If you are not playing Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death you will then 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 burst. Outlaw is a spec that likes to have time to setup its damage so it is not an issue if your opener is not very explosive. 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 who also has a stun, you may want to use your 7s Kidney Shot on the enemy healer instead while your teammate stuns the enemy DPS you want to kill. You can follow it with a Gouge or a Sap, or have your team follow up. On top of all of that you have access to Blind Icon Blind on a 90s cooldown thanks to Blinding Powder Icon Blinding Powder which is an extremely powerful tool to setup a kill as the enemy healer's trinket is on a 120s cooldown. You also have the ability Dismantle Icon Dismantle which counts as 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 use 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 quite straightforward. Using a spell costs Energy, and it regenerates over time. The second resource is Combo Points. Some abilities generate Combo Points, and powerful abilities called Finishing Moves consume them. In order to maximize your damage output as well as your Energy regeneration you need to use your Combo Points efficiently. You have several ways to generate Combo Points.

  • From Stealth Icon Stealth there are 2 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.
  • 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.
    • Shiv Icon Shiv generates 1 Combo Point.
    • Ruthlessness Icon Ruthlessness has 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 talent has a 20% chance to grant 2 Combo Points.
    • Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death instantly generates 5 Combo Points. This can be used for Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot to setup crowd control, or for an additional Dispatch Icon Dispatch during a kill attempt. It should never be used to deal damage in between two setups.

Now that you know how to generate Combo Points, knowing how to spend them is even more important. As an Outlaw Rogue you should always use your finishers with 5 Combo Points or more to be certain 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 setup 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 spent. 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 autoattacks and Mastery: Main Gauche Icon Mastery: Main Gauche procs are a significant part of your overall damage and your 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 amount of 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 if you do not have good buffs when the ability comes back off cooldown, you should reroll. 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 almost never 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 when running Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers or Concealed Blunderbuss Icon Concealed Blunderbuss 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 new 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 which also translates into more Combo Points and more damage. This is especially good when running Concealed Blunderbuss as well as the Triple Threat Icon Triple Threat Conduit.

2.3.

The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening CC 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 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 get to 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 win the game. If the enemy healer used their trinket then you will be able to do a go with a Blind Icon Blind on them, followed by a Sap Icon Sap 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 great 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 very straightforward as your only way to CC your kill target from Stealth is to use Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot. If you play Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death then you can use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot instead. Below is an example of the opener; Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush is included but you do not have to use it:

  1. Use Roll the Bones Icon Roll the Bones from Stealth.
  2. Use Sap Icon Sap on the enemy healer.
  3. Use Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot on the kill target.
  4. Use Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.
  5. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike.
  6. Use Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc.
  7. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  8. Repeat the last three steps.

Because your stun is not very long in the opener you usually do not want to use powerful abilities that the enemies will counter once your Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot ends. It is better to wait for a Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot so that they have to use trinket on top of their defensives.

2.4.

Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you 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, and you want to have Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice up as well before using your burst rotation. It is assumed in the following burst rotation that you do have them before you pull the trigger.

  1. Use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on your kill target.
  2. Use Adrenaline Rush Icon Adrenaline Rush.
  3. Use Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade on your ally if you play the Honor Talent Thick as Thieves Icon Thick as Thieves.
  4. Use Sepsis Icon Sepsis, Flagellation Icon Flagellation, or Echoing Reprimand Icon Echoing Reprimand if you have these abilities. If you know you are not going to be stopped because the enemy has no CC for you or no defensives available then you may use these abilities before Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot to gain one GCD.
  5. Use Dreadblades Icon Dreadblades. If you know you are not going to be stopped because the enemy has no CC for you or no defensives available then you may use that ability before Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot to gain one GCD.
  6. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike. Even if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc you do not want to use it here if you play Greenskin's Wickers Icon Greenskin's Wickers as you want to save it for after your Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes, which is the next GCD.
  7. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes.
  8. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike or Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot depending on whether or not you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc.
  9. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  10. Repeat the last two steps.

Players often fail to react to Outlaw offensive cooldowns due to how rare it was to face one during the last seasons. Sometimes you will land a kill because people are unaware of how much damage you can really do.

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 your Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes. It would look like the following:

  1. Use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on your kill target.
  2. Use Tricks of the Trade Icon Tricks of the Trade on your ally if you play the Honor Talent Thick as Thieves Icon Thick as Thieves.
  3. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike or Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot depending on whether or not you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc until you have 5 Combo Points or more.
  4. Use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes.
  5. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike or Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot depending on whether or not you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc until you have 5 Combo Points or more.
  6. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch.
  7. Repeat the last two steps.
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 high sustained damage so unless you need to retreat because you are under pressure or because you know the enemy is about to setup 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 need 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. You can use it with less Combo Points if your current buff is Grand Melee Icon Grand Melee.
  3. Use Dispatch Icon Dispatch with 5 Combo Points or more.
  4. Use Sinister Strike Icon Sinister Strike to generate Combo Points, or Pistol Shot Icon Pistol Shot if you have an Opportunity Icon Opportunity proc. Weave in some Serrated Bone Spike Icon Serrated Bone Spike if you have it and are about to be capped on charges, or if the enemy is kiting you.
  5. Be sure to maximize your melee uptime as an important part of your sustained damage comes from your autoattacks

Never use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes or Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death (if you play it) outside of a Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot window. Some targets do not need to be stunned before being bursted down, in that case you will use the Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on the healer instead, but you will still wait for that window to use Between the Eyes Icon Between the Eyes or Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death.

3.

Defensive Techniques

Vanish Icon Vanish is one of your main defensive cooldowns. Use Vanish when you want to avoid damage and get away from the enemy team. It can also be used 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.

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 very powerful tool to mitigate incoming damage. A Rogue is very 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. It can be used 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 to 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

  • 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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