Rogue Class Guide for World of Warcraft Classic



Rogue Class Guide for World of Warcraft Classic


As a part of our class guides series we have now stumbled upon the rogue class. In the game world of Vanilla WoW the rogue is one of the best DPS classes both for PvE and PvP. As we have already mentioned before, if you play Horde, you’ll benefit greatly from the shamans’ Windfury totem which will shoot you to the top of the damage meters together with all the DPS warriors out there. 

Furthermore, the rogue is OK-ish for solo levelling, in contrast with other melee DPS classes like the warrior. Yes, the rogue doesn’t have self sustain but with tools like Kidneyshot, Gouge and Evasion a rogue can block tons of damage. Furthermore, the class can easily skip trash by using Stealth. 

Lastly, the class performs extremely well in both open world PvP and battlegrounds; raid and dungeon groups; farming mobs alone or doing stealth runs, etc., etc. Without further due, let’s see in more depth what to do, how and when as a rogue. But first, let’s decide what kind of rogue you want to play. 

Races and Factions

Both the Alliance and the Horde have good choices for rogues, however they are good in different ways.

The Alliance rogues can be humans, gnomes, night elves and dwarves. Furthermore, they benefit from Blessing of Kings (BoK) and Blessing of Salvation (BoS) from their friendly paladins. The first one gives 10% to all stats, meaning not only 10% more HP but a bit more damage too, since your strength and agility increase by 10% too. 

Rogues receive 1 attack power for each point of strength and 1 for each point of agility. So for this class, BoK is extremely important, since it boost both stats that give you attack power. The increased agility increases your critical strike, armora and dodge too. 

The armor and the dodge are marginally useful for rogues but every 29 points of agility provides you with 1% increased chance to critically hit. BoS reduces all your threat by 30%, which is extremely useful for raid and dungeon encounters. As an Alliance rogue in raids you can just get rid of addons such as Omen, because by just using your damaging rotation, you will never overaggro due to BoS.

Of the Alliance races, the humans have their swords and maces skills increased by 5. This is not to be ignored by no means. 5 seems like a small number, but when you fight a level 61 mob at level 60 that 5 weapon skill increase increases your chance to hit by 3%. And the humans get it out of thin air, on the top of their Diplomacy racial (10% reputation bonus gain). 

The night elves have Shadowmeld. It decreases the chance you will be detected in stealth. The elves also receive 1% dodge and corpse run 50% faster. The dwarves got the Stoneform racial. It removes all bleeds, poisons and deseases and increases armor by 10%. While this is not bad for PvP, the uses in PvE are limited to a few encounters. The gnomes have Escape artist, which removes any movement impairing effects on a one minute cooldown. This, combined with the 15 increased skill in Engineering makes the gnome not-so-bad-at-all Alliance race for PvP rogues. This, of course is if you actually stand playing a gnome. 

The Horde also have some very interesting and some almost broken racials for rogues. Additionally, horde rogues greatly benefit from Windfury totem, especially if they play with the so called “combat swords” talent specialization. It has a chance to give you an extra attack on your next swing, which is extremely valuable for DPS increase.

Of the races, this faction’s rogues can be orcs, undead and trolls. We mean, imagine a stealthed tauren, a bit hunked over and wielding a pair of daggers. We almost can but obviously Bliizard Entertainment couldn’t. Anyhow, the undead have the Will of The Forsaken, which is essentially a free PvP trinket. 

On top of that they have Cannibalize, which can be useful while grinding to the level cap of 60. The most notable troll racial is the Berserking. When sued, it gives you somewhere between 10% and 30% increased attack speed, depending on your missing health on a 3 minutes cooldown. 

This, coupled with the Windfury totem effect world amazingly well, since the Berserking attack speed boost will essentially increase your chance to get an extra attack. Last but not least the orcs have Blood Fury. 

It increases your attack power by 25% for 15 seconds on a 2 minutes cooldown. This is probably the best physical damage racial in the game world so far. Couple it with Hardiness (25% chance to resist stuns) and the orcs become not only broken in PvE but in PvP too. 

We at will choose a human if we play an Alliance rogue and an orc if we go for a Horde one. 

Specializations, talents and rotations

The way the talents and specializations work nowadays in retail WoW was introduced in Cataclysm. It has worked the same way up to and including Battle for Azeroth and will continue in the new expansion World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. 

In WoW Classic however, you normally have three talent trees, where you can put your talent point into with a seemingly endless numbers of possibilities. However, we will offer you the best rogue builds, which are optimized for the different purpose they serve, completed with a comprehensive DPS rotation. 

The Assassination tree focuses on applying poisons while most of the time wielding daggers. The Combat tree offers maximum PvP damage, where the rogue doesn’t even need to use stealth but can simply attack similar to a warrior. The Subtlety tree focuses mainly on PvP talents with some extremely powerful cooldown with a one-shotting potential. All the talent trees and the combinations between them have their merits. Let’s see now which you should use, when and how. 

Combat Swords PvE (19/32/0)

This build is viable through the whole game content of WoW Classic. It revolves around the 5% chance to get an extra attack with a sword from the Swords Specialization talent. With these talents you will be viable in raids and will be also able to farm alone at a decent pace. 

Rotation: Start with Cheap shot. Immediately use Slice and Dice, since its duration will be increased by 45% with the Improved Slice and Dice talent. Spam Sinister strikes. At 5 combo points use Slice and Dice again. Continue with spamming Sinister strikes. 

Use Eviscerate. Then rotate Slice and Dice and Eviscerate in this manner at every 5 combo points. A note on the opener. With this build it is almost useless to be honest. Your damage comes mainly from you white auto attack swings. So you can just run to your target even without stealthing and start your rotation immediately. 

Combat Daggers PvE (15/31/5)

 This build is similar to the Combat Swords one. The DPS between the two varies depending on the weapons equipped and on the player’s personal skill. If you cannot get your paws on a decent pair of swords but can find a nice set of daggers, by all means use them. The playstyle is similar with some slight alterations in your DPS rotation.

Rotation: Stealth and open with an Ambush. Use Slice and Dice. Get behind your target and build combo points with Backstab. At 5 combo points use Eviscerate. Build up combo point again and use Slice and Dice with a full duration. Continue Backstabbing and using Eviscerate. 

Seal Fate Daggers PvE (30/16/5)

This build becomes viable in the later game phases and namely after AQ40 and onwards. The reason is that you simply need a better gear for this build to work properly. This is so because you will need approximately 30% critical rating and 9% hit rating to get the full benefit of the Seal Fate talent. It gives you and extra combo point for each time your generators critically hit. 

For them not to miss you need the 9% hit. However, if you manage to acquire two good daggers and the rest of the crit and hit gear, the Seal Fate build becomes a contestant for the best PvE raiding build for rogues. 

Furthermore, if you play Horde, we recommend that you drop 3 of the talent points from Improved Poisons and put them into Improved Eviscerate. This is so, because as a Horde rogue you will benefit from the Windfury totem on your main hand weapon and consequently you cannot use any poisons there. 

Rotation: The same as with the Combat Daggers build but with more abundant combo points due to Seal Fate. 

Cold Blood / Preparation PvP (21/3/27)

Here you will have both Cold Blood and Preparation. The first one will make your next Ambush, Backstab, Sinister Strike or Eviscerate critically hit when used on a 3 minutes cooldown. The second one refreshes all your cooldowns, including Cold Blood, Vanish, Blind, etc. 

You can already see where this is going. With these talents you can just burst someone down before they even know what is happening. Furthermore, the Improved Sap talent works almost as another Vanish. You also get access to a new combo points generator: Hemorrhage.     

Rotation: Stealth. On a cloth user simply use Cold Blood and Ambush. Then Vanish. Then Ambush again. If they still breathe, Eviscerate them. Another way for approaching a fight is by opening with a Cheap Shot then Kidney Shot then use Hemo. 

With 5 combo points use Cold Blood and Eviscerate. Use Preparation when needed. There are so many ways you can use this build. We mentioned some of them and leave it to your imagination and your fingers on the keyboard to find new ones. 

Improved Kick PvP (11/17/23)

This build use Preparation as in the 21/3/27 build above but without having Hemorrhage. However, it focuses on different things. Here you will have Improved Sprint, Improved Evasion and Improved Kick. These help you survivability and to better stick to your target or run away. The improved kick adds a 2 seconds of silence, similar to the mage’s Improved Counterspell talent. 

Rotation: Similar to the 21/3/27 but you will use Backstab as a combo point generator. 

Levelling Builds

As a rogue, we recommend you to use either Combat Swords or the Hemorrhage build. The first one is easier to use, scales well, due to the many nice swords quest rewards and you can just continue raiding with it without changing your talents. 

The second build is for the open world PvP maniacs out there. You will progress slower with it but its PvP potential is considerable. So if you don’t keep particularly warm feelings for the opposite faction and if you play on a PvP game server, by all means use the Hemo build. 

Rogue Class Quests

Like every class the rogue has some class quests while levelling up. Unlike most of the classes, though the rogue cannot skip any of these quests. They are for getting access to poisons and being bale to craft Thistle Tea. 

The quest chains start at level 20 from the respective trainers in Orgrimmar and Stormwind. However, for the Horde chain quest, you will probably need to advance a couple of levels in order to complete it, since it requires you to fight an elite mob. The Alliance rogues can complete the chain by just using stealth. Those Blizzard devs! The gall! While doing these quests you will also need a Lockpicking skill of at least 75. 

Horde quests

  1. The Shattered Salute. It start from Shenthul in the Cleft of Shadows in Orgrimmar. Simply wait for him to /salute you and return the favor.

  2. Deep Cover. Shenthul will send you to the Barrens and provide you with a Flare Gun. Go to the Venture Co. Tower. When you come closer shoot twice with the gun. Then go to Taskmaster Fizzule and /salute him. If you did everything in the right order the NPC will become friendly. If not he will attack you. 

  3. Mission: Possible but not probable. The taskmaster will task you (surprise there!) with killing 2 Mutated Venture Co. Drones, 2 Lookouts and 2 Patrollers. After having those killed Find Foreman Silixiz and pick his pockets. It you are prompted with the message that this poor fellow’s pockets are empty, kill him and wait him to respawn. Pickpocketing him will grant you the Silixiz’s Tower Key. Grand Foreman Puzik Gallywix’s head is the next item you’ll need. Kill him and loot it. Behind him is the lockbox. Opening it will put a debuff on you which reduces your agility and increases the chance you will get detected in stealth. Simply heartstone to Ogrimmar and hand in the quest to Shenthul. The reward is the Thistle Tea recipe. What this commodity does is it restores 100 energy upon drinking it on a 5 minutes cooldown. The materials required to make it are a Swifthistle and Refreshing Spring Water.

  4. Hinott’s Assistance. Shenthul will now send you to Hillsbrad Foothills in search for Serge Hinott. He is llocated in Tarren Mill. The NPC will remove the poison from the lockbox and will give you another task.

  5. Hinott’s Assistance (second part). He will give you Hinott’s Oil and you;ll have to use it on your weapons. Upon completion of the quest, you will learn the skill Poisons. 


Alliane Quests

  1. Mathias and the Defias. At level 20 the rogue trainer Master Mathias Shaw in Stormwind will give you your first quest. Shaw is located in the Old Town. He sends you to Westfall to speak with Agent Kearnen. The Agent is located in the south-east part of the zone, close to the tower. He is stealthed.

  2. Klaven’s Tower. Kearnen asks you to get the Defias Tower Key and Klaven Mortwake’s Journal. To obtain the key, you’ll have to Pick Pocket the Malformed Defias Drones. Afterwards, you’ll have to stealth and go inside the tower. Don’t kill anything – there’s no need to. Upon reaching Klaven Mortwake, simply sap him and loot his journal from the chest behind him. Looting it will put a poison on you, reducing your agility and increasing the chance you’ll get detected while in stealth. Go back to Shaw in Stormwind. Upon completion he will reward you with the Thistle Tea recipe. 

  3. The Touch of Zanzil. Mathias Shaw will send you downstairs to speak with Doc MIxilpixil. To get the next part from him, you’ll need to /lay and be examined. Afterwards he will give you the follow up quest.

  4. The Touch of Zanzil (second part). The doctor then sends you to bring him several items. Simple Wildflowers are found in Fragrant Flowers shop in Stormwind (64,61). Spool of Light Chartreuse Silk Thread is found in the Finest Thread Shop (40,46). It is a lootable item, that’s on the floor near the counter. Bronze tube is sold in limited quantities by the engineering trainers or you can simply buy it off the Auction House. Leaded Vial is sold by any alchemy supplies vendor. Upon completing this quest you’ll receive your Poisons skill. 

Rogue Tier Sets and Gear

Let’s now take a look at the dungeon and raid gear sets for rogues. As with other classes, these tier sets are rarely BiS for rogues. However, there is an interesting twist with the rogue tiers and we’ll discuss it further on. 

  1. Tier 0

Shadowcraft Armor. Its only useful bonus is the 6 pieces one. It gives your attacks a chance to restore 35 energy and it can also proc from the extra attacks from your Sword Specialization talent. However, you can replace those 6 set pieces and still deal more damage.

  1. Tier 0.5

Darkmantle armor. It becomes available in phase 5 of the game and transforms your T 0 into T 0.5 after a long and complicated quest chain. However, the order of the set bonuses is reversed, meaning that for you to get the 35 energy restoring bonus, you’ll need only 3 pieces of the Darkmantle set. This means that in an AQ40 raid you can sacrifice 3 of your items in terms of stats just to get that set bonus. 

  1. Tier 1

Nightslayer. It is acquired from Molten Core. Despite it being a raid set, the set bonuses are purely designed for PvP. They reduce the Vanish cooldown and the 8 pieces set bonus heals you for 500 each time you vanish. With the Preparation PvP talent, you can heal for 1k while vanishing two times. Other than that, the stats are OK-ish without being neither overpowered nor bad.

  1. Tier 2

Bloodfang. Apart from looking awesome, it actually does what it is supposed to do: increasing your viability in raids. The helmet is dropped from Onyxia and the pants from Ragnaros. The 3 pieces set bonus gives 5% increased chance to apply poisons. 

This is very nice especially for Alliance rogues, since they will have poisons on bothe their weapons while the Horde rogues will have only on their off-hand due to the Windfury totem. The 8 pieces bonus is also very good. It gives you a chance to deal extra damage with your attacks and heal yourself, making it very useful in long raid fights. 

  1. Tier 2.5

Deathdealer. It drops from AQ40 and is quite good if only for the stats themselves. The 3 pieces set bonus reduces your Evasion cooldown by 1 minute. The 5 pieces boost the damage of your Eviscerate by 15%. These bonuses make the set extremely viable in PvP, especially if you use the 21/3/27 build. The total 30% bonus damage on your Eviscerate, combined with Cold Blood is a force to be reckoned with. 

  1. Tier 3

Bonescythe. This is actually the most insane set with overpowered set bonuses. Because of those bonuses the 30/16/5 Seal Fate Daggers build is viable in Naxx and can actually outperform the Combat Swords. The 4 set bonus regenerated 5 energy back after a critical strike with a Backstab, Sinister Strike or Hemorrhage. Now couple these 4 pieces with the 3 piece bonus from the Darkmantle set and you’ll see where this is going – endless energy and extremely high DPS with almost no downtime. 

  1. Weapons

For the current game world the two bests swords are Vis’Kag the Bloodletter in your main hand and Brutality Blade in your off-hand. The first one drops from Onyxia and the second one from Garr in Molten Core. The BiS daggers are Perdition’s Blade in your main hand and Core Hound Tooth in your off-hand. The blade is dropped by Ragnaros and the tooth from Majordomo Executus in MC. 


The purpose of the professions is to be able to make gold from them. The best gold making combination is perhaps Alchemy + Enchanting. However, levelling two crafting professions without having a gathering one to support them can be very expensive. 

However, after getting all the lucrative recipes, e.g. Crusader on weapon, Flask of Distilled Wisdom or Fire Protection potion the money will start flowing back. However, we recommend that you get, at least in the beginning, one crafting and one gathering profession to support it. 

  1. Skinning + Leatherworking

The leatherworking has three path for development: Elemental, Tribal and Dragonscale. If you pick the Tribal specialization, you’ll be able to make the Devilsaur set, which is sought after by all the physical damage dealers and is very good, especially in the initial phases of the game. Additionally, you’ll make Hide of the Wild, which is a cape with tons of healing that all the healers need. It will be replaced probably in AQ40, which makes the time value of the recipe very high. 

  1. Herbalism + Alchemy

This is probably the most common profession for making gold and it is viable throughout the whole game content. People will always need flasks and potions. 

  1. Mining + Engineering

This is primarily to boost your damage in both PvP and PvE via throwing grenades on your enemies. Making gold, however, isn’t the top priority of the engineers, since the only items they can craft that sell well are the scopes for ranged weapons.

  1. Enchanting + any gathering profession

This is not a bad combination, especially while levelling. The gathered materials, e.g. ores, leathers, herbs, can be sold in the AH and the useless quest rewards can be disenchanted. However, disenchanting the useless stuff that you loot won’t be enough to fuel your enchanting. And this is why you have a money making gathering profession.

  1. Two gathering professions

In contrast to retail, having two of these is actually a pain in the arse. For you to be able to detect two different types of nodes, you’ll need a special macro that rotates the two detects. Furthermore, your eyes will be fixed on the minimap  most of the time and that’s exactly what the opposite faction members want. 


Yes the rogue is fun to play. The class has many different paths for development, despite it being a pure DPS. Of course, all those paths revolve around the “kill stuff” paradigm, however the Cold Blood / Preparation is totally different playstyle than the Combat Swords for example. 

The class has also a not-so-bad levelling experience and the end-game damage dealing capabilities are strong for both PvP and PvE, as we have already mentioned it in some other guides of ours.

If you need help levelling your rogue and reaching the level cap of 60, do not hesitate to contact us here at We can also aid you in other endeavors, such as: gold, raid boosting, PvP and many more. Our services are provided by professional World of Warcraft players and are always completed in time.