Some Fires Never Die

fierydmise on final boss episode 66

Fierydemise on Final Boss episode #66 discussing the rogue class in Warlords of Draenor.

When Fierydemise stashed his theoretical daggers in permanent storage last month, my first thought was: “Holy crap. How did it take him this long?”

A pillar of our rogue community for the past five years, FD has been a tireless defender of truth, justice and extensive mathematical rigor dating back to at least 2010, when in his very first official WoW forum post he assailed server faction balance as “absurd.” Trying to keep up with FD — or to top him in a theorycrafting debate — was like running a marathon: You had to be prepared to match him stride for stride until one of you dropped. And it was probably gonna be you who dropped.

My own history with FD began in September 2012, when he appeared in WoW’s official rogue forum out of the blue with a guide on how to play a combat rogue in Mists of Pandaria. Our exchange in that thread is pretty much how most of our conversations went back then: I questioned his sources, he defended his diligence, and we eventually worked out a compromise.

In the years since, I learned there’s no need to question FD’s sources. As he grew from rogue spec guide writer to all-around rogue class expert to one of the leading minds in WoW theorycrafting, what gave FD his strength (and his influence) was an unforgiving dedication to accuracy and rigor, and an unwavering desire to correct errors and ensure rogue players had the best information at their fingertips.

tamen and fierydemise at PAX Prime 2015

Fierydemise (right) with fellow Shadowcraft developer Tamen at PAX Prime in 2015. (Image via Tamen on Twitter)

All of that led him to team up with Haileaus, Paryah and me to create Ravenholdt back in 2014 — and for him to take the reins of Shadowcraft, the rogue class’s most venerable optimization tool, a little over a year later, following in the footsteps of Aldriana and Pathal. Fierydemise hasn’t just been a big part of the conversation among rogue players for years; he’s created the conversation, framed it, led it. Sometimes quite literally, as in the case of one of his greatest achievements, the establishment and growth of our Discord channel. He’s also, as it happens, just a genuinely good human being, with a level of empathy and personal connection that I think many folks tend to assume can’t exist in the deeply analytical mind of a theorycrafter. But it can. In most, it very much does. FD is a shining example.

But a person can’t volunteer their time and their energy to a passion forever, and for FD, the time finally came last month. That it took him this long to reach that point is a testament not just to his own sense of dedication, but also his commitment to the rogue class, the people who play it, and the people who help make our community thrive — not just the leaders you see writing guides or posting blogs or streaming or tweeting, but those who work quietly and behind the scenes as well. FD wouldn’t leave unless he was confident there were quality folks to carry the torch. That’s how quality he is.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Here are a few WoW (and rogue) community leaders, both past and present, who wanted to share their own thanks and recollections about one of WoW theorycrafting’s great minds, and one of the rogue class’s greatest, period. I’ll add to this collection as more submissions come in.

Aeriwen, longtime WoW rogue guide writer and theorycrafter

I can’t recall when I first met Fiery. The years have been so many. But with a bit of sleuthing, the earliest interaction that I’ve found between us seems to have been a debate. That seems appropriate. Fiery has been an invaluable leader in our community. His careful commitment to accuracy and due diligence has carried this community for a decade. He leaves big shoes to fill, but he laid behind him a well trodden path for others to follow. It has been a honor to work with him. He has been a wonderful friend and colleague these many years. I do not have to wish him the best because I am certain that he will succeed in his next endeavor. It is in his nature to excel.

Calligraphy, Wowhead developer and recovering monk theorycrafter

FieryDemise always asked me some pretty tough questions, and presented theorycrafting in a way I hadn’t really thought of. I tend to look at things from a more practical standpoint, whereas he really pushed things into a more theoretical standpoint. I’m not as involved with rogue, but I appreciate these types of challenging questions, and that he’s one of those very rare people who will listen to the “other” view without being condescending, even when he disagrees.

Celestalon, a.k.a. Chadd Nervig, Technical Game Designer, WoW

Thanks for all the contributions you made to the community, FD!

Mystler, rogue theorycrafter and Shadowcraft developer

With your “retirement” post offical, I just want to use the opportunity to thank you for all you’ve done. Personally, when I look back at the last few years, I’ve always been a silent listener in Ravenholdt IRC and later Discord. One who has mostly consumed information from trusted people in order to get better, with some “private TC” alongside. It was not until I read your ShadowCraft call for help that I woke up and finally decided to put my passion for the class to good use. I am so happy you welcomed me with open arms and got me started, which helped a lot to overcome my anxiety to work with and for the community.

I can understand your interests have shifted and with another “Thank you” I just want to wish you all the best! 🙂

original ravenholdt logo by fierydemise

The original (and most adorable) Ravenholdt logo, designed by Fierydemise.

Paryah, Ravenholdt co-founder and rogue journalist

Fierydemise. What can I say? Ebullient, brilliant, passionate. We share a love of rogues and classic science fiction. I have loved working with him and will miss him keenly. Salute, FD, you made this community what it is. Whoever gets to work with you in the future is truly fortunate. Best to you.

Pathal, a.k.a. Pins, former rogue theorcrafting leader and Shadowcraft wizard

Out of all the people I worked with on Shadowcraft, no one managed to put up with my shenanigans and idiocy like Fierydemise. He was my sounding board and filter to the rest of the community, and I know all too well how demanding both that position and designing the engine is. Lay back, crack open a beer, and take a breath. You’ve earned it.

Vigilate, veteran top-end rogue raider and PvE streamer

Fiery, I’m sad to see you quit. I remember the first time we chatted was back sometime in mid-late Cata. At the time, I was just looking for people to chat PvE Rogue stuff with, but I ended up finding something more as the past few years have folded out. I’ll always look fondly upon the “OG Ravenholdt” from the MoP days. It was a close knit community, and you were one of the people that made it great.

Responses on Twitter to Fierydemise’s Farewell Message

From Current and Former Community Leaders

Selections From WoW Players

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Sim Yourself

“Sim yourself.” More often than not, this is the reply that you’ll get when you ask about the best gear to equip or how stats scale for your character. But what does it mean to sim yourself? Why do we care? And, most importantly, how do we do it?

Because of the way that World of Warcraft is dealing with gear in Legion (e.g., a random chance that a new gear drop will be immediately upgraded in various ways), there are so many variables possible that in most cases there is no single Best in Slot. The gear and attributes that are best for you depend entirely on what else you have equipped and what content you are planning to take on. What this means is, if you are interested in optimizing your DPS for the content that you are playing, you will need a method for figuring out exactly how what you have interacts with any new gear that you might acquire so that you can pinpoint which setup will work best for you.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is by using a program called SimulationCraft, often abbreviated SimCraft or even SimC. It’s available as a downloadable program as well as an in-game add on. Once you get used to simming yourself, it’s not difficult – but it does take a little setting up. Another add on called Pawn is very handy for applying what you learned from your sim.

This is a quick and dirty guide to simming yourself to get the most out of your gear.

The first thing that you need to do is download and install SimulationCraft from its official website.

The next thing is to install and enable the SimulationCraft add on, which is available from Curse.

Note: If you don’t want to use the add on, SimCraft can import your data from the Armory. To do this, follow the instructions on SimulationCraft. Be aware that this is often a less optimal method because not only is the Armory occasionally out of date, but also you will need to log in and out of game to update it, which is less convenient than using the add on.

Open SimulationCraft and select the Simulate tab.

Open World of Warcraft, and make sure that your character’s spec, gear, and talents are set the way you want them. In your chat box type /simc.

This will open a box of highlighted code. On your keyboard, press C while holding down Ctrl to copy the code (if you are on a Mac, press while holding down ).

Return to SimulationCraft and paste (with Ctrl V, or ⌘ V on a Mac) the code into the Simulate window. Note: you can opt to either 1) paste your code after the code that is automatically in the box, or 2) delete the default code and replace it with your pasted code.

Select the Options tab and then the Scaling tab.

Check Enable Scaling.

We are rogues, so under Stats to Scale, select Agility, Crit Rating, Haste Rating, Mastery Rating, and Versatility Rating.

Click Simulate! in the bottom right corner.

It will probably take a little time for your simulation to run; the more powerful your computer, the quicker it’ll be. When it is done, you will see a screen that looks like this:

Scroll down a little. You will see your talents and artifact build along with a whole lot of other lovely data, but there are two things that are of immediate interest.

The first is your estimated DPS. This is just an estimate based on what you have equipped. Can you pull this number in a boss fight? Can you pull more? It doesn’t matter! The only reason that we care about this number is to use it as a baseline.

The second is your Scale Factors. This tells you your Scale Ranking, which is basically what stats are most important with your current build.

As you can see, according to this sim my stat priority at the moment is:

Agility >  Versatility > Crit ~=Mastery > Haste

Those priorities are completely customized to me. By comparison, if you look at a reputable rogue DPS guide like Stjern’s, it will tell you:

Agility > Mastery > Versatility > Crit > Haste

His stat priority is a place to start. With my gear and how I am optimized, my stat priority has now changed. This is exactly why no one can tell you what is best in slot for you without a sim.

When you get new gear, equip it, sim yourself again, and check out that estimated DPS. If it goes up, the new gear is probably an upgrade.

Pawn is an add on that works with your sim data to compare items in-game and give you an idea whether or not a piece of loot is an upgrade or not.

Install and enable Pawn, which is available on Curse.

Open World of Warcraft and you will see a Pawn button on your Character pane.

Now go back to your SimulationCraft results and find the Pawn string, which is right after your Stat Ranking. Highlight and copy the Pawn string, including the open and close parentheses and everything in between.

Back in game, click the Pawn button to open the Pawn window. Select the Scale tab.

 

Click Manual.

You should see a screen with more options. Click Import.

Paste the Pawn string from SimulationCraft into the text box and click Okay.

This will show you your new stat weights. Go back to the Scale tab and make sure that Show this scale in tooltips is checked.

Close the Pawn window. Now, when you look at gear in your bag, you can immediately tell whether or not it is an upgrade based on your sim.

Now you have the basics.

All of these tools, and the theories behind them, were created by the WoW theorycrafting community. Theorycrafters use math to analyze game mechanics. This can give us insight into the way the game works, which in turn allows development of these tools and best practices for playing your class and your spec.

And this SimCraft tutorial is just the beginning. If you want to learn how to hot-swap gear to compare sims, learn how to sim relics, or just learn more about SimCraft and theorycrafting, here are a few resources.

For quick simulations you can also use the Raidbots bot in the Ravenholdt Discord. Just type !sim -h in Discord for instructions. For an online solution, check out the Raidbots website.

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Tomb of Sargeras Tips & Tricks

 

Goroth:

  • CloS/Feint works on Infernal Burning
  • CloS/Feint works on Rain of Brimstone
    • Assassination: Crimson Vial (with artifact trait) + Feint can solo soak without Chead Death proccing

Demonic Inquisition:

Harjatan:

Mistress Sassz’ine:

Sisters of the Moon:

The Desolate Host:

Maiden of Vigilance:

Fallen Avatar:

Kil’Jaeden:

Once again, as we all experience more of the content (read: Mythic), this page will become more conclusive. Please comment anything you feel I may have unintentionally left out. I’ll work to update this page as frequently as possible—so check back!

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Nighthold Tips & Tricks

Hello! I’m Kistler, from Damage Networks-Stormrage, and welcome to NH-Tips & Tricks.

Ravenholdt.net used to house continuously updated, community-driven Tips & Tricks threads for each encounter within a raid tier, and I’ve personally rather missed having such guides as references. With the Rogue community as active and communicative as it is today, the time felt right to resume this practice for the Nighthold (and beyond!).

I have omitted several (not enough?) interactions I think trivial, to avoid cluttering this post, but if I have left anything out you think important, please let me know. This post will be regularly updated with further input from you all and as I further experience mythic encounters. Please comment any suggestions (“You FOOL! You forgot to mention xyz!), questions (Does insert racial ability here work on xyz?), or corrections.

Highlighted mechanics still need confirmation…halp!

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Kingsbane fix/nerf in latest 7.1.5 hotfix

In the most recent 7.1.5 hotfix applied on January 31, 2017 Blizzard has changed Kingsbane so that it no longer double dips from Agonizing Poison.

This was a bug that needed to be fixed but it also represents a sizable nerf to the damage of Kingsbane.

Depending on the amount of mastery that you had Kingsbane was doing anywhere from 9-16% of your overall damage on the fight.

(Pre Hotfix)

Kingsbane at 14.49% of overall damage

(Post Hotfix)

Kingsbane at 8.15% of overall damage

Because Kingsbane is no longer double-dipping from Agonizing Poison we can estimate an approximate 45-50% damage decrease. This was obtained by looking at some post-hotfix logs as well as using napkin math.

Using very rough napkin math we can estimate an overall 5-7.5% damage decrease.

Some quick takeaways:

  1. This increases the possibility of Exsanguinate becoming competitive
  2. Alacrity value also increases
  3. Despite an overall 5% damage nerf Assassination Rogues are still one of the best DPS specs in Nighthold.

Note: Estimates were obtained using very unsophisticated napkin math and looking at different logs. Please wait a few days until the theorycrafters are able to sim the changes and provide better data before making any changes to your gearing strategy

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Advanced Assassination guide for 7.1.5 / Nighthold Raid

This blog was originally posted on roguedpsguide.com by Yazuki

Introduction

Feb 3rd: Kingsbane double application bug has been fixed and we have been compensated with a 4% damage buff. Our DPS remains the same as before the bug fix for most people while Rogues with CoF+Boots might see a slight decrease.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a beginner guide, this is meant for people who already have a general understanding of how the spec works and want to further improve themselves

Message from the author

Hello, my name is Yazuki I currently raid for the US 8th guild Encore and plan on constantly updating this guide in order to help as many people out as I can. You may be wondering why I’m putting in the effort to write a guide when there’s already so many guides available, well that’s because most guides are outdated or what they’re saying is simply just incorrect. I’ve noticed this because a lot of people approach me asking for help and the first thing I usually notice is that they’re doing something wrong that they believed was correct because a guide said so or someone told them it was the optimal thing to do. This guide will assume you already know the basics of assassination like our toolkit, optimal way to level your artifact, etc. Instead it will go more in-depth into how it’s played at the competitive level. If you are new to the class or spec I urge you to follow the other great guides on our website like Stjern’s Rogue Legion overview guide. My goal is to provide a guide that if you follow correctly will give you the confidence to play your class to the fullest potential.

I only recently started taking raiding seriously on my Rogue for BRF in Warlords of Draenor and since the beginning of Legion, but I’m confident in how to play the class optimally because every tier I’m able to achieve rank 1 parses on multiple fights. Notably being #1 in the world for Emerald Nightmare and #2 in the world out of rogues for Trials of Valor. With the release of Heroic NH this past week I’ve gotten rank 1 on more than half the fights however logs are now private so refer to my stream vods if curious on how the fight is played out. This isn’t meant to brag but moreso to erase any doubts you have that this guide would provide any false or suboptimal advice.

If you wish to talk to me I am always answering questions and plan on streaming all of my Mythic progression over at twitch.tv/yazuki. Raid schedule is currently Mon-Thurs 9-12 EST so head on over during those times and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Spec Overview

Assassination is a spec that excels at single target damage over a long period of time with strong multi-target cleave on up to 3 targets as long as uptime on them is high. The most important part of playing this spec optimally is having your raid leader understand the pros and cons of the spec and taking full advantage of it. This means assigning other classes who excel at AoE to AoE and letting Sin rogues do what they excel at which is murdering the boss or priority adds.

Pros:

  • One of the best single target DPS specs in the game
  • Relatively short DPS cooldowns allow for control of damage on priority targets
  • Very strong multi-target cleave on up to 3 targets
  • One of the highest survivability classes along with mobility
  • DPS doesn’t suffer much from doing mechanics due to damage coming from bleeds

Cons:

  • Extremely poor target swapping due to the ramp up nature of AP
  • Has no reliable AoE due to having no control over Poison Bomb procs
  • Becomes heavily RNG reliant at the highest level of play due to Poison Bomb/Blood of the Assassinated procs

Important 7.1.5 Changes

  • Critical strike chance nerfed by 5%
  • Agonizing Poison proc rate buffed by 10% and base value nerfed by 0.5% per stack
  • Rupture damage normalized (Higher CP no longer increases the damage done only duration)
  • Kingsbane fixed to now scale with Vendetta (AP also applies 2 ticks of poison for KB, unsure if intended) [Hotfixed recently]
  • Elaborate Planning nerfed to 12% damage buff
  • Deeper Stratagem nerfed by 5% on finisher damage
  • Master Assassin Relics nerfed to 8/6/4 seconds Vendetta cooldown reduction
  • Alacrity reduced to 10 stacks max with each stack providing 2% haste instead of 1%

Talents

So with the changes in 7.1.5 there are several differences in what talent we consider to be optimal now, however the playstyle of the spec remains relatively the same if you played with Agonizing Poison before the patch.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

With the nerfs to Elaborate Planning it is no longer the optimal talent this tier. Instead Master Poisoner is now the superior talent in every situation. It is important however to understand why that’s the case because at a glance, 12% increased damage still sounds incredibly strong.

Master Poisoner scales with:

What this means for us is that just keeping 5 stacks of Agonizing Poison on the target alone gives us a permanent 6-7% increased damage buff with our current mastery levels which is further increased by Surge of Toxins. Along with the fixes to Kingsbane making it an important ability in our rotation, this talent is by far the superior choice.

Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Nightstalker is the best talent in this tier because the first spell cast from Stealth deals 50% more damage. What this means is that on the opener and every 2 minutes afterwards you’re able to Vanish-> Rupture to take advantage of it.

Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

With the 7.1.5 changes to Deeper Stratagem and Rupture on top of losing 5% Critical strike chance, it no longer makes sense to take it. Instead we take Vigor as it is an overall better dps gain.

Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Entirely fight dependent but the clear choices here is either Elusiveness or Cheat Death. Leeching Poison is strong on fights where healers struggle with throughput and there is little burst damage but that is extremely rare nowadays.

Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Thuggee is the only talent that’s useful this tier in a raid situation, as it resets the cooldown of Garrote if the effected target dies. The other two talents require you to stun the target and in most raid encounters, mobs are immune to stun so they aren’t useful.

Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Taking all the important 7.1.5 changes into consideration Agonizing Poison is the optimal talent to take in practically all cases despite being nerfed by 0.5% per stack. Some people will argue that Exsanguinate is still better but the truth is all the changes hurt the spec meanwhile Agonizing Poison benefits greatly from it. We can compare how the two fare with 7.1.5 changes to see why this is the case.

Agonizing Poison:

  • Favors stacking Mastery which is further encouraged because of Master Poisoner synergy
  • Rupture normalization along with increased application rate alleviates the main issue with AP build which was its rather poor target swapping
  • Kingsbane is now an important DPS cooldown which is made even stronger because each application of Agonizing Poison currently increases stacks by 2 instead of 1 like Deadly Poison or Wound Poison would [Hotfixed recently]
  • The 5% Critical Strike nerf isn’t as important due to Master Poisoner and Vigor being our optimal talents now which relies less on Combo Point generation via Seal Fate
  • Largely unaffected by the 0.5% nerf per stack

Exsanguinate:

  • Favors stacking Critical Strike and Versatility which doesn’t synergize well with Master Poisoner despite it being superior to Elaborate Planning
  • Deeper Stratagem nerf hurts the playstyle of having a huge empowered Rupture go off for quick burst windows
  • Has rather weak scaling as it can’t take advantage of the new and improved Kingsbane
  • 5% Critical Strike nerf is a huge nerf to the spec because most of the damage came from bleeds which doesn’t scale with our Mastery: Potent Poisons.

After comparing the two you can see why Agonizing Poison is the superior talent choice this tier. With Exsanguinate the only way to scale bleed damage is through Elaborate Planning and Deeper Stratagem which are now inferior talents. So while the spec may be good for players who recently hit 100, the spec suffers greatly due to poor scaling and is the main reason why it is no longer taken for raids.

Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Until they make any further changes to the other two talents, Venom Rush is the only viable talent this tier.

Playing the spec

In order to play Assassination optimally the first thing you need to understand is the spec isn’t one where you just spam all your abilities off the GCD. Instead of the fast paced play-style of Outlaw, Assassination requires you to think ahead and pre-plan everything if you want to achieve optimal dps. This is largely due to the fact that we have a limited energy pool which can’t keep up with the rate at which we can spam abilities.

Abilities

Understanding how our abilities work and interact with eachother is extremely important because once you understand the fundamentals of the spec, everything else will eventually fall into place and you’ll understand things easily like why some talents work while others don’t or why you use this opener instead of that opener.

Vendetta : Our most important DPS cooldown which is used almost every time on CD unless there is a priority add or burst phase coming up soon. With the combination of Master Assassin relics and Convergence of Fates, your CD is on average 1 minute which lines up nicely with Vanish.

Surge of Toxins : The trait which determines when we use our finishers and the amount of CP you should use them at. Despite what the tooltip says this trait actually scales with CP at 2% each meaning it’ll increase poison damage by 2% at 1 CP and 10% at 5 CP which means it is important to use your finishers at high CP to take advantage of this. It is important to note that Surge of Toxins does indeed scale with Agonizing Poison and it’s effects is further increased by Master Poisoner making it a vital part of our rotation.

Rupture / Garrote : our two bleeds which should have near 100% uptime. These make up a huge portion of our damage and every time the bleed ticks it’ll refund energy through Venomous Wounds. It should be noted that while these abilities get snapshotted by the Nightstalker buff meaning the damage buff stays throughout the duration regardless of you leaving stealth, everything else is updated dynamically. This means that your bleeds will do increased damage when you activate Vendetta and then return to their normal damage after it expires.

Envenom : Our standard finisher and the main ability used to keep Surge of Toxins uptime high. The buff it provides increases poison application rate by 30% which is essential to stacking Kingsbane very high. With our 4 pc set bonus Envenom is able to compete with Rupture for overall damage contribution. It is important to note that Envenom scales with our Mastery: Potent Poisons and Agonizing Poison but is unaffected by Master Poisonerand Zoldyck Family Training Shackles despite it being poison damage.

Kingsbane : Our artifact weapon ability which becomes a big portion of our damage contribution with the fixes introduced in 7.1.5 along with the current bug(?) where Agonizing Poison applies 2 stacks of Kingsbane per application rather than 1 stack like Deadly Poison or Wound Poison does. Having near 100% Envenom buff uptime during Kingsbane is essential.

Bag of Tricks : AKA Poison Bomb is one of the main reasons why Assassination damage can be so streaky especially during fights with multiple targets. This ability hits incredibly hard and scales with basically everything that amplifies our damage as it counts as a poison, however it’s potential is gated behind an RPPM system. The proc rate of this trait is approximately [1 + Haste] procs per minute and there aren’t really any ways to control when it procs so there’s no reason to try to play around it.

Blood of the Assassinated : The 2nd most RNG trait providing huge bursts of damage as it essentially doubles your Rupture damage for 10 seconds on the target with a 35% chance to proc. As of now there is currently no benefits to try and “fish” for Blood of the Assassinated procs so there’s no reason to try and play around it when it does proc.

Rotations

Opener

Pre-pot during pull timer -> Garrote -> Mutilate -> Rupture -> Mutilate to 5 CP -> Vanish -> Rupture -> Vendetta -> Mutilate -> Kingsbane -> Immediately Envenom for the buff

  • The main reason for casting Rupture twice is because you always want to take advantage of the Pandemic effect which carries over up to 30% of the dot’s max duration onto the next application for Nightstalker empowered Rupture.
  • Envenom is immediately cast after Kingsbane and Mutilate in order to take advantage of the poison application buff.

Single target rotation

Maintain Rupture and Garrote on the target with near 100% uptime. Cast Mutilate as your CP generator. If Rupture has less than 6 seconds remaining on the duration then reapply the debuff, otherwise cast Envenom. (Important note: Do NOT overwrite a Nightstalker buffed Rupture or Garrote, the buffed damage doesn’t carry over. Wait until the last tick to refresh it.) Every finisher you use will apply the Surge of Toxins debuff scaling higher with more CP usage. Ideally all finishers will be used with 4 or more CP to take advantage of the Surge of Toxins debuff.

Your main goal will be to clip your Surge of Toxins debuff with every Envenom cast, this means casting Envenom at the last possible second before Surge of Toxins runs out so that Envenom is boosted. Envenom isn’t directly effected by Surge of Toxins, but by the buffed up Agonizing Poison effect so it’s very important that you clip it every single time. If you’re familiar with the Elaborate Planning playstyle it’s very similar, you’re just replacing tracking the Elaborate Planning buff with the Surge of Toxins debuff.

Anytime you’re energy starved and unable to consistently clip your debuff with a 4+ CP Envenom, just let it fall off and pool your energy until 150+ and then rinse and repeat the cycle. It’s better to let it drop off and pool your energy than to constantly struggle to clip the debuff and potentially miss out on a lot of extra damage. Rupture re-applications don’t follow the same rule as Envenom does for clipping because the damage from dots is updated dynamically instead of snapshotting so don’t worry about it too much.

Cooldown usage

Vanish should be used on cooldown to empower your Rupture and preferably lined up with Vendetta. There are certain scenarios where delaying Vanish to be used with Vendetta is worth it:

Vendetta is almost always used on cooldown as well, especially if you have Duskwalker’s Footpads or Convergence of Fates because every second you delay it is wasting them. There are a few exceptions to this similar to Vanish:

  • You have Zoldyck Family Training Shackles and you know the boss won’t live for another round of Vendetta so you delay use until sub 30%
  • There is a huge window of burst where it is worth holding onto
  • Kingsbane is on CD for 10 seconds (Important: Vendetta has a 20s duration while Kingsbane is 14s so you can cast it while Kingsbane has 6 seconds on CD and still get the full benefit)

Kingsbane is mostly used on CD and in the most ideal scenarios lined up with Vendetta and a full energy bar. Keep in mind because of its relatively short CD you can very easily lose out on extra casts of it throughout the fight because of delaying which makes it not worth it. The only times worth delaying Kingsbane is:

  • Vendetta is coming off cooldown in the next 10 seconds

Multi target rotation

Important to note: Surge of Toxins is a debuff therefore it applies to only one target. Make sure to always choose one main target to cast and clip your Envenom on if you have limited energy. I recommend using Garrote to keep track of your main target.

Two targets

Very similar to your single target rotation, just maintain bleeds and poisons on both targets. It’s fine to use a 3+ CP Rupture as your initial one.

Three targets

Mutilate is now replaced with Fan of Knives as your CP generator. Maintain bleeds and poisons on all 3 targets, same thing as two target cleave.

More than three targets

Same as before with three target cleave, but instead of maintaining Rupture on every single target you just want to have enough bleeds going that you don’t run out of energy spamming your Fan of Knives and Envenom. At this point you just pray for Poison Bomb procs because that is where all your AoE damage is going to come from.

Stat weights / Enchants+Gems+Consumables

Stat weights

Agility > Mastery > Crit=~Versatility > Haste

  • Keep in mind there are no longer any special breakpoints especially for Crit because MP/Vigor/AP build is a lot less reliant on CP generation.

As always stat weights are never set in stone and always changing depending on your gear. It is strongly recommended that you sim yourself after every upgrade in order to get the most accurate results. If you are unsure how to sim yourself there are plenty of detailed guides on how to properly sim yourself.

This is an example of what you should expect your stat weights to look like in Mythic gear with NH 4 piece set. For anyone interested in the Pawn string to import for their own use, ( Pawn: v1: “Yazuki”: Agility=17.81, CritRating=13.31, HasteRating=7.84, MasteryRating=15.20, Versatility=12.51 )

Enchants and Gems

Keeping in mind our stat weights, we want the following enchants

Neck: Mark of the Hidden Satyr (Mark of the Trained Soldier may sound great here because it’s 600 Mastery but through sims it’s shown to be a lot worse.)
Cloak: Binding of Agility
Ring: Binding of Mastery

Gems: One Saber’s Eye of Agility with the rest being Masterful Shadowruby

Consumables

Flask: Flask of the Seventh Demon

Potion: Potion of the Old War or Potion of Prolonged Power

Food: Nightborne Delicacy Platter with Barracuda Mrglgagh being a cheaper alternative.

BiS List for Nighthold w/ Relics

Relics

Despite the nerf to Master Assassin relics, our relic priority remains largely unchanged. This is due to the fact that Convergence of Fates introduced in Nighthold and Master Assassin has amazing synergy when paired together.

The dps sims will look like something like this for relics:

4 pc + CoF:

  1. Master Assassin
  2. Toxic Blades
  3. Gushing Wound

CoF only

  1. Master Assassin
  2. Gushing Wound
  3. Toxic Blades

4 pc only

  1. Toxic Blades
  2. Gushing Wound
  3. Master Assassin

No 4 pc or CoF

  1. Gushing Wound
  2. Master Assassin
  3. Toxic Blades

Things to take note of:

  • Toxic Blades is a purely single target trait and despite it simming well, is going to always be the worst trait due to the nature of raids and progression never being about pure single target dps.
  • Gushing Wound excels in multi target cleave fights as you’ll be able to keep Rupture up 100% of the time
  • Master Assassin allows more casts of Vendetta which is essential to raids during progression as there are a lot of priority adds which usually require burst.

Taking everything into consideration Master Assassin remains the best choice even without a Convergence of Fates. It is also the easiest relic to aquire as of 7.1.5 because 2 drop in Nighthold and the 3rd drops in Trials of Valor meanwhile, there are only 2 Toxic Blades relics and 1 Gushing Wound relic that drops from Nighthold and Trials of Valor.

If you are lucky enough to loot Duskwalker’s Footpads it is recommended that you use 2 Master Assassin 1 Gushing Wound with Convergence of Fates so you can easily line up your Vendetta with Kingsbane With the latest hotfixes nerfing Kingsbane double application, I recommend using 3 Master Assassin relics instead and just using Vendetta on CD while still following the rules for delaying Kingsbane.

BiS list for Nighthold

Keep in mind that there is never going to be a 100% correct BiS list due to the RNG nature of warforging along with the Legendary system. This list is mostly used to give you a rough idea of what bosses you want to spend coins rolling loot on.

Shadow Relic: Breath of Dusk drops off High Botanist Tel’arn
Iron Relic: Infused Chitin Fragment drops off Skorpyron
Blood Relic: Phylactery of Unwilling Servitude drops off Helya
Helmet: Doomblade Cowl drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Necklace: Zealous Timestone Pendant drops off Chronomatic Anomaly
Shoulder: Mantle of the Torn Sky drops off Star Augur Etraeus
Cloak: Doomblade Shadowwrap drops off Trilliax
Chest: Doomblade Tunic drops off Krosus
Bracers: Bracers of Impossible Choices drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Gloves: Gloves of Synchronus Elements drops off Spellblade Aluriel
Belt: High Shadow Councilor’s Wrap drops off Gul’dan
Pants: Doomblade Pants drops off Gul’dan
Boots: Grove-Tender’s Moccasins drops off High Botanist Tel’arn
Ring 1: Spellblade’s Gemmed Signet drops off Spellblade Aluriel
Ring 2: Ring of Exclusive Servitude drops off Tichondrius
Trinket 1: Convergence of Fates drops off Grand Magistrix Elisande
Trinket 2: Draught of Souls drops off Gul’dan

Tier pieces would be ranked Helm > Cloak > Pants > Chest > Shoulder > Gloves.

Thank You

If you’ve made it this far in the guide I really appreciate you taking the time to look over it as this is my first guide and I want to be as thorough as possible with it. Any suggestions for future guides are greatly appreciated, just leave a comment below or message me whenever I’m streaming at twitch.tv/yazuki.

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Patch 7.1.5 Preliminary Talent Builds

This blog was originally posted on roguedpsguide.com by Akshay Dev

Legion Patch 7.1.5 has just been deployed across all regions. We have created the optimal preliminary talent builds for single target DPS. This gear set includes pre-Nighthold gear.

These are the talent builds that you will use for Nighthold progression. We expect the builds to change once set bonuses come in to play.

More detailed information can be found in the guides.

Assassination (Poison)

For Single Target, Master Poisoner is now the more optimal level 15 tier talent to choose. This is due to a nerf to Elaborate Planning from 15% to 12%. Mastery will also be more valued with the scaling of this build. Although EP buff maintenance is no longer a part of the play-style with this build, the artifact trait Surge of Toxins has the same duration and plays roughly the same, it is triggered by envenom; its duration is a static 5 seconds like EP, however its effect’s strength scales with the number of Combo Points spent on the envenom.
Gear build used for sims

Assassination (Bleed)

For Single Target, the change from the live standard Exsanguinate build is the selection of Vigor over Deeper Stratagem. This is primarily due to the Deeper Stratagem nerf from 10% additional finisher damage to 5%, as well as the change in Rupture’s scaling design; the DoT value of Rupture has been standardized and no longer scales with CP, hence negating the additional potency of a 6cp Rupture from live over a lower-cp funded one. Increased combo point expenditure on Rupture now only makes it last longer, with the average damage done over it’s duration remaining unchanged.
Gear build used for sims

Outlaw

For Single Target, the standard build still applies, with Ghostly Strike still being the best level 15 tier talent, however Quick Draw is still the optimal tier talent over Ghostly Strike for Greenskin’s Waterlogged Wristcuffs wearers.
Gear build used for sims

Subtlety

The talents for subtlety remain largely unchanged for single target. For the level 15 tier of talents, however, Weaponmaster is now the go-to. The reason for this being a DPS gain over Master of Subtlety is due to the extra energy regen from WM procs counteracting the Master of Shadows nerf from 30 to 25 energy.
Gear build used for sims

Note: The 60 talent tier is just personal preference. None of the talents provide any DPS increase

DISCLAIMER: The geared is not 100% optimal

All of these results are derived from Aethys’ simulations on his spreadsheet and are updated for patch 7.1.5.

Simulations provide a good example of how a spec plays over the course of a patchwerk fight, however in-game experience has additional factors such as mechanics affecting uptime, and ability RNG (Especially with abilities like Roll The Bones) may vary from the ideal situations that sims present.

A range of data from in-game testing as well as logs on various fights on Warcraft Logs can reflect the realistic execution of the ideal situation that simulations present.

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Master Assassin (MA) trait and relics stealth nerfed in 7.1.5!

by FrozenSoviet

This article is up to date for 7.1.5 as of 1/26/2017 and if any further tuning happens, I will try to update it asap.

In 7.1.0, each rank of the Master Assassin trait decreased the cooldown of Vendetta by 10 seconds.
In 7.1.5, has changed the last three levels. They now are each decreased by 2 seconds.

  • 7.1.0 with 6 levels: 10/10/10/10/10/10 (total 60s reduction)
  • 7.1.5 with 6 levels: 10/10/10/8/6/4 (total 48s reduction)

Let’s go ahead and talk about the changes and how it will affect your relic choices. First, here is some terminology:

Some questions that keep popping up include:

  • Are GW relics better than MA?
  • Are 3 MA relics still BiS?
  • If I have the legendary boots how many MA relics should I choose?
  • How good are envenom relics with rogue 4pc? Do they beat GW or MA?

We’ve done some preliminary simulations and there are some interesting results. In general, the value of MA relics compared to GW relics increases if you have the Convergence of Fates trinket or the Duskwalker’s Footpads boots legendary. Additionally, Envenom relics value increases once you get the rogue 4pc. Below are some simulations for those interested in looking at the data.

TL;DR: The gap between relics has closed significantly with the change and the relics are almost equal now, so higher ilvl upgrades of either relic type are much better than before, even though certain relic combinations do pull ahead slightly if all relics are equal ilvl.

All sims are done using Nighthold mythic gear, with 4pc and CoF equipped.

  • No legendary boots or CoF: 3xGW is BIS.
  • No legendary Boots: 3xMA is BIS.
  • With legendary boots: 3xMA or 2xMA 1xGW relics are BiS.

Note, TB relics are slightly stronger than GW relics when playing poison build with 4pc, but only on pure single target. GW relics are better overall because they are almost identical single target while being better multitarget.

Without Legendary boots

With Legendary boots

Note these are single target simulations only, as you add more targets, gushing wound pulls ahead of MA relics in most cases as rupture can affect multiple targets but Vendetta only affects one.

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Greenskins Nerfed again!? and why it’s going to be okay

Greenskin’s Waterlogged Wristcuffs
Greenskin’s has undergone a series of nerfs on the PTR builds for patch 7.1.5. First from 400% to 300% and now from 300% all the way down to 200%.

 

Now, I can empathize why you would be upset if you had this legendary and were concerned about your DPS decreasing drastically…..but the simple fact is that these bracers were too strong.

Let me tell you why this change was needed

Greenskin’s is an often misunderstood legendary. Many don’t realize it’s potential. But, it’s actually the legendary with the biggest single target damage increase for all of the rogue specs.

Before the nerfs Greenskin’s was adding at least a 25% increase in ST Damage. Whereas, most other legendaries are around a ~10% damage increase.

Short Guide for using Greenskin’s Waterlogged Wristcuffs

Greenskin’s changes the rotation for Outlaws. Here’s some tips:

  • Firstly, you take the Quick Draw talent instead of Ghostly Strike.
  • True Bearing becomes your most valuable buff by a large margin.
  • Use Between the Eyes on cooldown give that you have consumed the previous buffs.
  • If you have a Blunderbuss proc and Between the Eyes is off cooldown, you save it until you reach 5CP. Then BtE to ensure the Blunderbuss proc is being enhanced.
  • If you don’t have a Pistol Shot proc and your BtE buff is about to run out, you use a regular pistol shot to consume the buff.

Here’s an example of why it is such priority to use as many BtE buffs as possible:

So, all that being said even though Greenskin’s is getting nerfed from 400% to 200% it’s still going to be the best ST legendary for Outlaw.

No legendary should be much more powerful than the others. A nerf was justified and it’s still going be a BiS legendary.

So quit yer cryin!

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Log analysis – How do I do it?

Babysteps to rank 1.

*Note: I am not going into details what each spell does, if you are curious as to how each spell work. Then check the actual guide here.

You’ve been wondering for quite a while, what am I doing wrong?
Well, instead of asking other people, then I will give you the resources that you need, the find out yourself!

Practically, I’d like to give you an introduction on how to read your own logs, to see where you either waste resources in form of energy, combo points or where you’ve just made a common mistake in your rotation or something a like.


Assassination

Step 1 – Buffs and debuffs

1.1 – Elaborate Planning
Elaborate Planning is one of the buffs that we want high uptime on.

Elaborate Planning

This is a better example of good uptime of Elaborate Planning. In general you will never be able to get 100% uptime, as you will have to drop the buff for rotation reasons or because mechanics prevent it. In general aim for 80% and above.

1.2 – Rupture
Rupture is our main bleed, and due to that, we want an uptime as close to 100%.

Rupture

This is what a proper uptime on Rupture looks like. If you have around 98% and above, then you’re doing just fine. But remember only to refresh it during the Pandemic effect period.

1.3 – Garrote
Garrote is a filler bleed, which we want as high uptime on as possible. Note: When you play Exsanguinate, then the uptime on is usually lower

Garrote

This example is from an Exsanguinate log, so it means that you should atleast have 83% or above on average. Most people actually manage to have +85% with Exsanguinate,

Step 2 – Resource waste
Resource capping comes in two ways mainly as rogue. In form of combo points and energy waste.

2.1 – Combo point waste Combo Point

Combo point capping is literally a DPS loss. Therefore we want as close to 0 combo points wasted for each individual spell. On the logs shown above, the person wasted 1 combo point on Kingsbane and 25 combo points from Seal Fate. This means that he lost out on a lot of potentional DPS.
Keep wasted as close to 0 as possible! Seal Fate can be tricky to work with!

2.2 – Energy waste Energy

When you can either analyze the numbers as shown under combo points or look at the graph. In general, you are never allowed to energy cap, as it is a DPS loss. Always keep your energy level beneath your cap!
Note: You will always cap at some points, no matter how well you perform. Due to the Urge to Kill.


Outlaw

Step 1 – Buffs and debuffs

1.1 – Roll the Bones
Roll the Bones is Outlaws version of the old Slice n’ Dice.

Roll the Bones

Roll the Bones is your main buff, this should be as high as your uptime on the boss and even closer to 100% than any other buff, as it’s easy to refresh with such a long duration. Plan ahead!

1.2 – Ghostly Strikes
Practically the only debuff worth noting. Keep this as high as your boss uptime or +99%, but remember only to refresh it during the Pandemic effect period.

Ghostly Strikes

Not much to note. Just keep this as high as your boss uptime or +99%.

Step 2 – Resource waste

2.1 – Combo point waste Combo points
Combo point capping is literally a DPS loss. Therefore we want as close to 0 combo points wasted for each individual spell. On the logs shown above, the person wasted a lot of combo points on different spells. The only spells that is excused here is Marked for Death and Curse of the Dreadblades.
Keep wasted as close to 0 as possible!
Note: Curse of the Dreadblades will always be very high on wasted combo points

2.2 – Energy waste Energy

When you can either analyze the numbers as shown under combo points or look at the graph. In general, you are never allowed to energy cap, as it is a DPS loss. Always keep your energy level beneath your cap!


Subtlety

Step 1 – Buffs and debuffs

1.1 – Symbols of Death
Symbols of Death is a flat damage amplifer, and therefore we want 100% uptime. There’s no excuse to not have 100% uptime. Symbols of Death

This is a perfect played subtlety rogue. Let this be a prime example on Symbols of Death uptime. 100% uptime is not impressive if you cast it with 30 seconds remaining, remember to only refresh it during the Pandemic effect period.

1.2 – Nightblade
Subtletys version of Rupture.
Nightblade

This is a close to perfectly played subtlety rogue. This log is from Graum, however Nightblade fades during the stampede. The player also makes a minor mistake at the end, but despite that the uptime is still a good example what to aim for. Go for +90%! Keep in mind that using fx. 4 combo points Nightblades will not be worth it DPS wise, so plan ahead!

Step 2 – Resource waste

2.1 – Combo point waste Combo points

Combo point capping is literally a DPS loss. Therefore we want as close to 0 combo points wasted for each individual spell. On the logs shown above, the player played almost perfectly as a minimum of Shadow Techniques combo points were wasted.
Keep wasted as close to 0 as possible!

2.2 – Energy waste energy

When you can either analyse the numbers as shown under combo points or look at the graph. In general, you are never allowed to energy cap, as it is a DPS loss. Always keep your energy level beneath your cap!
Note: If you proc Energetic Stabbing a lot, you might energy cap.


I’m doing it all right… But I still can’t rank like others.

Legendaries:
If you don’t have BiS legendaries, then you can’t compete with people who have. So sadly, if you want to play competetive, then you need to obtain a BiS legendary.

RNG:
Debuffs like Blood of the Assassinated also has a giant impact on ranking. Same with combo points from Shadow Techniques. If you don’t believe in RNGesus, then you won’t rank.

Titanforged
Your gear will never be on par with someone elses. It is not the old times where everyone was close to equal. Someone will always have way better gear than you.

Padding
You might simply not be padding the meters enough… However, I do not advise risking your raids performance just to get a rank. Bosses dead > Ranks.


Want to go even further into details?

If you wish to go even further into details, knowing that your damage on x spell is good. Then I would recommend comparing your damage to the APL or even sim your own character and compare it to the sim. If your sim has 25 M more damage on Rupture, then you might be doing something wrong.

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