This FAQ is intended to answer the common questions I’ve seen on forums and twitter over the past few weeks. This post is not intended to be a replacement for our theorycrafting tools rather a quick way to get up to speed on patch 6.2.
The analysis in this post is based on ilvl 700 T17 gear sets that should be broadly reflective of current gear on patch day but do not necessarily generalize as you gear up in T18 gear and change stat allocations. For numbers accurate for your gear consult SimC/ShC.
Any major tuning changes?
All three rogue specs received buffs, assassination received an almost 10% dps increase while sub and combat received buffs in the 3-5% range. None of these buffs have a major impact on play style but you will be doing more damage when 6.2 launches.
I see Mutilate got huge buffs, is Dispatch still worth using?
Until you get the set bonuses which help prop up Dispatch the answer is yes but barely. With T17H/M level gear, Dispatch is ~1.5% better than Mutilate sub-35%. Once you add T18 2pc that gap grows to ~11% and T18 2pc and 4pc take the gap up to ~25%, much larger than it has been at any point during this expansion.
Are there any changes to default talent spec?
If you are still playing Anticipation as combat you probably aren’t switching to MfD but you should consider it. The higher gear level will increase CP waste somewhat however both T17 2pc and 4pc bonuses propped up the value of Anticipation beyond what it will be in T18 so MfD is the better choice in all situations.
You should also consider switching to Subterfuge as subtlety if you haven’t already done that. Properly managing the vanish based bonuses of the subtlety 2pc and 4pc is much easier with Subterfuge and the Glyph of Vanish.
ShadowCraft also suggests that the much-maligned Death from Above may be the best T100 talent for subtlety with the T18 2pc and 4pc bonuses. This is a very preliminary finding and there has been limited effort to explore possible rotations in SimC but proper DfA usage may yield up to a 5% dps increase if we can find a proper rotation. One possible rotation approach may be to time DfA with Ambush to stack damage multipliers, this could work well since Vanish‘s cooldown with the set bonus is close to two times the DfA cooldown. If you want to explore this idea in more detail there is a thread on the forums.
So what are these set bonuses you keep talking about and are they any good?
Assassination 2pc: Your Dispatch deals 25% additional damage as Nature damage.
Assassination 4pc: Your Dispatch now generates 2 additional Combo Point.
As should be clear from the text the 4pc bonus is the stronger of the two however both bonuses clearly outstrip their T17 counterparts. T18 2pc is also stronger than T17 4pc so downgrading ilvl to get 2pc/2pc while gearing is a viable option.
Combat 2pc: You have a chance while Slice and Dice is active to gain the Adrenaline Rush effect for 4 sec.
Combat 4pc: Increases your damage while Adrenaline Rush is active by 15%.
The 2pc wording doesn’t tell you much so let me fill in the blanks, the AR has a chance to proc on SnD internal ticks which occur every 2 seconds with an 8% proc chance. And yes the procced ARs count toward the 4pc bonus; set bonus synergy is a big theme this tier. The 2pc is the strong bonus here, passing the 4pc from last tier. Again, breaking T17 4pc for T18 2pc will be a net dps increase.
Subtlety 2pc: Your Vanish now awards 5 Combo Points when used and increases all damage done by 30% for 10 sec.
Subtlety 4pc: Your Eviscerate and Rupture reduce the cooldown of your Vanish by 1 sec per Combo Point used.
Again with the bonus synergy, both the subtlety bonuses are stronger than their T17 counterparts so upgrading tier, even at an ilvl downgrade is likely to be a dps increase.
Some of those set bonuses look like a big deal, do any of them change our rotations?
As far as we know now, not really but there are some potential avenues to be explored. Current SimC APLs suggest that using Vanish as part of your opener for subtlety is a dps increase. While you do waste some potential Find Weakness uptime, the additional 30% damage during your opener as well as getting Vanish on cooldown immediately out weigh the loss. Other than that it appears Vanish should be used basically on cooldown and, as with combat, you should avoid using finishers while Vanish is off cooldown.
Assassination has some potential optimizations that have not been fully explored. The 4pc set bonus, especially when combined with the Archimonde spec trinket creates very high Envenom uptime, higher than you can actually use for Envenom alone. There is a possibility of weaving Crimson Tempests into the rotation on single target and even more likely on low target cleave. If you want to look at this possibility check out the thread on the forum.
Speaking of trinkets which are the best ones?
For assassination it’s all about the Archimonde spec trinket, Bleeding Hollow Toxin Vessel. It is the highest ilvl trinket available and it has tremendous synergy with the assassination 2pc; that trinket almost single handedly makes the spec. Beyond that, rankings mostly follow ilvl, Soul Capacitor comes out slightly ahead of the other options but not substantially and in general follow ilvl. It is also worth noting here that the BRF trinket, Beating Heart of the Mountain, especially mythic due to its synergy with Vendetta, remains competitive with heroic Citadel trinkets.
Combat prefers Mirror of the Blademaster and Soul Capacitor, however the Bleeding Hollow Toxin Vessel is quite competitive. All of these trinkets are strong AoE options as well, which matches combat’s major strengths.
For sub, again Soul Capacitor and Mirror of the Blademaster appear to be the best options. The Bleeding Hollow Toxin Vessel may become stronger later in the tier, especially once the legendary ring becomes available, encouraging stacking even more damage into burst windows. But in current gear the trinket appears quite lackluster. As with assassination, Beating Heart of the Mountain, particularly the mythic version, is competitive with all but thee top tier mythic trinkets.
The two more boring trinkets, Malicious Censer and Fel-spring Coil, are not top trinkets for any spec. However, generally speaking, the heroic versions are better than their mythic (and normal vs BRF heroic) BRF counterparts with the exception of Beating Heart for assassination and subtlety.
That Soul Capacitor trinket seems kinda weird, it is actually any good?
It seems very likely that Soul Capacitor ends up much better in theory than it does in practice. The RPPM trinket design means that sometimes the trinket will nicely line up with your cooldowns and sometimes it’ll proc when it isn’t needed or, since it cannot be canceled, at an actively detrimental time such as during a movement phase. Soul Capacitor is one of the top two trinkets for all three rogue specs however all specs have a decent third choice trinket that may be better in practice.
What about stat weights, any major changes there?
T18+Toxin Vessel: Mastery>MS>Vers>Crit=Haste
Assassination experiences the greatest shifts in stat value due to set bonuses and the Archimonde trinket. The increase in Envenom uptime plus the 2pc dispatch bonus scaling with mastery, dramatically increases the value of mastery for assassination in T18 gear while the higher CP generation lowers the value of crit. Bleeding Hollow Toxin Vessel provides a substantial amount of crit, depressing the value of crit even outside of softcap scenarios and inflating the value of MS, but mastery still reigns supreme.
Combat remains incredibly boring with stats. Combat likes haste. As in 6.0 and 6.1 the value of MS increases on AoE encounters past the value of mastery and overtaking haste in the 4-5 target range.
Subtlety is also somewhat boring this tier with MS being the strongest stat across a variety of gear levels with slight shifting going on below that.
Is there a convenient stat that works for all specs like MS last tier?
Not really. Either multistike or mastery may fit the bill depending on what you are more concerned about. On low target cleave and single target encounters mastery will work reasonably for all specs, however it is not ideal for combat AoE. Multistrike will optimize a bit more for combat AoE and subtlety single target at the expense of assassination. Realistically your best option is to gem for the spec you are playing on the current fight and not worry about being 100% optimal for farm because it’s farm.
What spec should I play?
When the patch goes live, dps balance will be closer than on live currently. However subtlety for single target and combat for AoE remain the best options. Assassination does appear to pass subtlety on single target with tier and Bleeding Hollow Toxin Vessel. Assassination is also somewhat better than subtlety at low target cleave and potentially competitive with combat if we can find a good CT weaving cleave rotation. Similarly if DfA for subtlety does pan out, that may make subtlety even with, if not past assassination on single target, albeit with a more difficult rotation.
What is BiS?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
Have other questions, let me know on the forums.