Don Jose’s Rogue Leveling Advice

Ahoy! I am Don Jose#9643, one of the moderators of the Ravenholdt Discord community. With the release of allied races and the revamp of the level-up experience (increased mob hp, zone scaling, higher xp requirements to level, etc.) we’ve been fielding a lot of questions about the level-up experience for rogues. This document is a TL;DR “guide” of 1-90. Bear in mind this content is purely my opinion.

During the level-up experience rogues lack real AoE tools until level 63 and are strongest in 1v1 situations. You want to use Sap, Blind, Cheap Shot, and Gouge to try and even the odds if you find yourself facing a 2 or 3 pull. Even at level 63, your energy regeneration might not be enough to solidly sustain AoE. Begin combat from Stealth whenever possible, and remember that you won’t get Vanish until level 48. Bummer.

My pick for a leveling spec:

  1. #1: Subtlety
  2. #2: Outlaw (at level 22 w/Ambush)
  3. I would not level as Assassination.

 

Talents
15: Gloomblade or Master of Subtlety (see Advice below)
30: Nightstalker
45: Vigor
60: Soothing Darkness
75: Strike from the Shadows
90: Dark Shadow (burst) usually, or Enveloping Shadows (tough mobs)

Pluses
Fantastic burst
Great passive self-heals and healing between pulls
Superior mobility
Fast play
Against 2+ mobs, Shadow Dance gives you another burst/stealth phase.
At level 42 Shadowstrike ports you to your target – great mobility!

Minuses
Against mighty mobs, might fall behind Assassination or Outlaw
Backstab is often weak while soloing unless you waste time stunning/controlling mobs

Advice
In my opinion, Subtlety is the most versatile and fun leveling spec. It has great burst and mobility. If mobs survive your initial burst, Gloomblade will be the best option, as you likely won’t be able to Backstab them without juggling CCs-all of which is a waste of time if you could just kill them with a Gloomblade.

Talents
15: Quick Draw
30: Hit and Run. Grappling Hook has a lot of pathing issues, but if you’re in flat areas it’s probably more useful.
45: Vigor
60: Iron Stomach
75: Any, but I preferred Dirty Tricks
90: Killing Spree for solo, Cannonball Barrage for dungeons

Pluses
Great at slowing runners (Pistol Shot, Between the Eyes)
Ranged stun with Between the Eyes
Sustained damage
Superior ranged if necessary (Pistol Shot/Between the Eyes)
Grappling Hook is solid mobility if pathing issues don’t occur (flat terrain)
Bribe is awesome if it works

Minuses
Overall inferior mobility – Outlaw rogues have to talent Grappling Hook – Assassination and Subtlety get Shadowstep baseline
Crimson Vial is a reliable on-demand heal, but costs energy. All three specs have Crimson Vial, but the other two have additional healing options (Leeching Poison/Soothing Darkness)
Inferior burst to Subtlety
Generally “slow” play until Roll the Bones at level 40, and then play becomes RNG-based

Advice
You want to be sure to Ambush from stealth and use Saber Slash to get to a 5 combo point Run Through. Only use Pistol Shot for its slow or on Opportunity procs (free use). Use Between the Eyes as a stun or a ranged hit. Use/abuse Bribe at level 54; this can actually be a mighty tool! Once you unlock Roll the Bones, maintain a buff as much as possible, but don’t waste energy re-rolling.

Talents
15: Master Poisoner – this boosts Leeching Poison (see level 60)
30: Nightstalker for speed or 1v1 or Subterfuge for strong mobs and 1v2/3
45: Vigor
60: Leeching Poison
75: Any, depending on your playstyle
90: Toxic Blade

Pluses
Heavy DoT damage can serve as prolonged AoE
Has decent mobility with Shadowstep
Can DoT from ranged

Minuses
Too much damage is reliant on DoTs
Energy regeneration is reliant on DoTs
No Envenom until level 36
Mutilate starves you for energy at lower levels

Advice
If you insist on leveling as Assassination, wait until level 36 for Envenom.

A note about Dungeons:
At the time of writing this, I haven’t tried low level dungeons since the changes hit, but I’ve heard that they now take longer and yield less XP than questing, on average. If you opt to run dungeons, know that your trash damage is going to be less than many other specs. As Assassination you can experiment with multi-dotting mobs, but overall you will probably just do better focusing on one target at a time. Your time to shine is against bosses. At level 63 this may pick up significantly. If you have experience with the 63-100 level range let me know!