With the launch of Cataclysm you will no doubt want to get your rogue up to Level 85 straight away to start on the new Cataclysm content and experience all new heroic dungeons and raids. There are three main talent builds you may wish to consider using at Level 85 and each depends on your play style and requirements.Each talent build is subject to change in the future as we discover more about how rogues perform at Level 85 in Level 85 gear. However, this is a good starting point for any rogue who wants to maximise their DPS at Level 85.
Combat Max DPS Build
Combat rogues do not use stealth in combat, they are exceptionally good at multiple targets and fights that require a lot of target switching and can easily switch rotations to suit the fight needs.
This build has 4 changeable talent points that must remain in the Combat section of the tree in order to progress further down it. These talent points are currently in [Reinforced Leather] and [Improved Recuperate] to improve survivability which is also beneficial whilst leveling your rogue from 80 to 85. This build focuses on more Eviscerate Damage as opposed to more combo point generation and keeps the original 3/3 [Relentless Strikes] for energy regains.
Assassination Max DPS Build
Assassination rogues open up combat with stealth and rely heavily on poison damage. Assassination rogues excel particularly well at single target fights.
You will notice this talent build has only 2/3 [Precision]. This is particularly useful when you first hit Level 85 and your main activity is grinding heroic dungeons where less hit is needed. However, this does mean that once you start raiding you will need to keep a closer eye on your hit levels than other rogues because you start out with much less. This build also places 2 of the 3 changeable talent points into 2/2 [Quickening] on the basis that is will help improve damage up time instead of DPS and it also leaves Mutilate rogues free to skip out on speed enchants in favour of more DPS beneficial ones.
Subtlety – Rotation Help Build
Subtlety Rogues use quite a complex rotation in PVE with a long ramp up time. This means they are better suited to single target fights. They also use Stealth and a wide variety of abilities.
This build focuses on perfecting the Subtlety Rotation by obtaining [Improved Slice and Dice] in order to make the rotation more manageable. Unlike the Level 80 build this talent build focuses entirely on the Combat Tree once the Subtlety tree is completed in order to obtain 3/3 [Aggression] and keep 3/3 [Precision] to make raiding hit easier to obtain. This build is one of the more flexible and debated builds within the rogue community.
Subtlety Max DPS Build
This build almost entirely ignores the Combat Tree in favour of my direct DPS enhancing talent points in Assassination. However it does still maintain 2/3 [Precision] to allow you to more easily reach (or close in on) the poison hit cap. This is the build for raiding subtlety rogues who are very comfortable with their rotation.
Which Build is the Best?
When your target mob is above 35% health Combat rogues are the top DPS build. However once the target mob falls below 35% Mutilate rogues have a significant upper hand by 15% damage. This evens out to roughly make Mutilate the top DPS Build with Combat and extremely close second. However, because Combat is more suitable to tricky raid situations than Mutilate is, Combat will usually be stronger in these fights and you will often see these two builds switching places throughout the raid. This means both Combat and Mutilate are viable raid PVE builds at level 85. Subtlety rogues however fall below both Mutilate and Combat rogues as well as having a unique and difficult rotation with a lengthy ramp up time. This means Subtlety, while much better now in PVE is still not a reasonable raiding choice for maximising DPS.
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