What is the best PvE specialization for rogues in Vanilla WoW?





Rogues in Vanilla WoW are considered one of the best damage dealing classes. Early on, they are on par with the mages, since the warriors need a bit more gear to catch up and take the lead. 

In Classic WoW the rogues can use daggers, swords, maces and fist weapons. Of the ranged weapons, they can use thrown, guns, bows and crossbows. The class’ primary stat is agility, which should be spiced up with as much hit and critical chances as you can manage. 

The strengths of the rogues haven’t changed much since Vanilla: they have excellent sustained single target damage and can be extremely bursty in PvP too with the proper build. Furthermore, rogues can open locked doors. In Vanilla WoW many dungeons have their doors locked and oftentimes you need to complete a prequest in order to be able to open them. A rogue with adequate open lock skill can simply pick the locks. 

As everything else, rogues too have weakneses, albeit not many. The class is tied to its cooldowns and when you, as a rogue, lack a few it will certainly affect your damage dealing capabilities. Furthermore, rogues almost useless in an AoE heavy situation. In Vanilla all their combo point generators are single target skills and the same can be said about the spenders too. Also, the combo points are assigned to the target, rather than to the rogue himself, meaning that if you need to switch targets, you’ll lose some DPS for sure. 

What is the best PvE spec for rogues in Vanilla WoW?

Before deciding on which spec is the best, let us make a short overview of the three Classic rogue specializations.


Here you’ll specialize in applying poisons to your target, along with generating extra combo points via critical strikes with your daggers. We say daggers, because some of the most important talents from Assassination focus on backstabbing your target, which can be achieved solely by wielding daggers. The most enigmatic talent from this specialization is probably Seal Fate. 

This is how it works. Every time your combo point generating abilities critically hit, you generate another combo point to your target. Then at five combo points you’ll want to use Eviscerate as a finishing move. 

However, in order for this build to work properly, you’ll need a quite late game gear. This is so because you’ll need at least 30% critical chance and at least 9% hit chance for your combo point generators to critically hit most of the times. The 9% hit rating applies only to your (again) combo points generators. If you want to hit all the time with your auto attacks, you’ll of course need 100% hit chance, which we here at mboosting.com deem impossible. However, if you somehow manage to achieve 100% hit chance in Classic WoW, by all means let us know and we’ll send you a congratulatory card for your birthday, kappa.  

Therefore, we advise you not to use this spec until after you acquire gear from AQ 40 and Naxx. Furthermore, the gear that you get from there should be crit and hit heavy, in order for you to be effective as an assassination rogue. Furthermore, this spec requires more skill than the rest, so if you prefer spamming only a couple of buttons while half drunk or half asleep, do consider again. If you however are very attentive to your surroundings and your fingers on the keyboard move faster than your in-game daggers, by all means play assassination and show them combat swords mainstream punks! 


Speaking about combat swords, let us now discuss the combat tree. This specialization is the simplest one, while at the same time offers arguably the best output. Here you’ll rely primarily on the damage of your auto attack swings (white damage). Furthermore, in the combat tree you have two viable options for developing your character: sword specialization and dagger specialization. 

Swords specialization gives you a 5% chance to get an extra attack on your next swing. The best way to utilize this is to spend your combo points on Slice and Dice. Of course, use any other suitable finishing move if you have a surplus of combo points, usually Eviscerate. 

Dagger specialization gives you 5% critical strike chance with your daggers. Here, however, since you are wielding daggers, you’ll want to use Backstab as a combo point generator rather than Sinister Strike. Use the generated combo points on Eviscerate. 

All in all, both builds are viable, but if you can find a pair of good daggers and some critical strike chance, why not just play assassination?

The other option, commonly known as “combat swords” is far more simple and novice friendly. Its rotation is easy to manage and implement into your muscle memory. Its damage output is very good throughout all the stages of the game. The only stat that it requires is a high hit chance which is anyways present on most of the gear designed for rogues.


This is the one-shotting build. It focuses on attacking from stealth while using various cooldowns while also providing you with a new ability: Hemorrhage. Hemorrhage deals 160% weapon damage when a dagger is equipped. It furthermore slightly increases the physical damage your target takes. The rest of this build offers an amazing burst but is also heavily cooldown dependent. If you run out of cooldown, this build is nearly useless. 

The essence of this build is as many say: Cold Blood - Ambush – Vanish – Ambush. If they are still moving and slithering around, couple the above-mentioned rotation with Preparation. Or even better: find another victim. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the salt and pepper of the subtlety rogue.

At first glance this seems awesome. But consider that all this burst happens in only a couple of seconds. And the boss fights usually continue for a couple of minutes. And if you think about it, after using all your burst and without all the cooldowns your damage will be close to that of your raid’s shadow priests or if you play alliance to the DPS of your retribution paladin. 

After discussing all the specializations, lets see what the different races and factions have to offer 

The alliance as a faction can only supplement you with a Blessing of Salvation from a friendly paladin, which will reduce your threat generation and will enable you to go wild in your damage dealing.

The horde, however, has a few more interesting buffs. Firstly, Bloodlust. Of course, it will boost everyone’s performance. It, however, is particularly good for combat swords rogues and arms swords warriors. It enables you to attack faster, which will surely end up with more extra attacks from your sword specialization. Additionally, the horde has the extremely valuable Windfury Totem, which essentially gives you more chances to gain an extra auto attack. 

The most viable alliance race for a rogue is the human. As a human you get extra 5 weapon skill with swords and maces, which is extremely valuable since it gives you some free hit chance. 

Of the horde both orcs and trolls make up for good rogues. The orc’s racial Blood Fury essentially increases your physical attack damage by 25% and decreases the healing you receive by 50% for 25 seconds. The troll racial Berserking increases your attack speed depending on your missing health: minimum 10% and maximum 30%. The value of Berserking is probably a bit questionable, but it still provides you with some damage boost and this is the reason for the trolls to be included here. 


In Vanilla WoW the rogue is one of the pure DPS classes that fares pretty well in both PvP and PvE situations. For PvP you’ll most likely choose the one-shotting Subtlety specialization. 

For PvE, however, you have several options. 

If you can get your hands on a couple of high-quality late game daggers and combine them with decent critical chance gear by all means play Assassination. It is fun, requires focus and skill but is also very rewarding in terms of raw output. However, in order for your assassination rogue to be on par with the rest in the raid, you’ll need gear that is available at later stages of the game. 

On the other hand, you can also play Combat with daggers. It focuses on backstabbing your target and spending the combo points on eviscerate. It is way more simple than Assassination and uses a similar, albeit simplified play style. It also lacks the poison-oriented damage from Assassination.

The spec that we at mboosting.com recommend is the so-called combat swords. This is a Combat, swords specialized build. It is the simplest of them all, while at the same time it offers arguably the best output, especially early on and during the middle stages of the game. It doesn’t become bad in AQ 40 and Naxx. Simply some assassination rogues may start emerging in the damage meters and race you for the top DPS. 

So, pick two good swords, start lazily hitting a couple of buttons, and you’ll be one of the top DPSers in the game.

If you, however have problem with acquiring those swords, we here at mboosting.com can help you. We offer  both raids and dungeons boosting, completed in a timely fashion and by experienced and professional players.