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Druid Tanking Rotation and Tips

Posted on: Mar 03, 2011 | Author: Garona

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Tanking Rotation and Tips for BearsDruid Tanks work in a very similar way to Warrior tanks. When in Bear Form you will have a Rage bar that builds up rage during combat. Many of your abilities require rage t0 be used so it’s important you can build up rage quickly at the start of the encounter. If you struggle to generate rage at the beginning of an encounter there are a few things you can do to help:

  1. Use a [Great rage Potion] on the pull to instantly acquire rage.
  2. If there are lesser mobs before your main group pull use them to generate a small amount of rage before you pull by attacking them just before you pull.
  3. Use [Enrage] to generate instant rage on the pull. Only do this if you know for sure you can handle the extra damage from the group you are pulling as it increases your damage taken by 10%.

Why should I be in Bear Form?

Bear form not only allows you to use many of your tank specific abilities but it also provides you with a whole lot more benefits which make bear form absolutely essential for tanking. [Bear form] provides 10% extra stamina, 120% extra armor contribution from gear, causes Agility to provide you with Attack Power (generating much more threat), prevents you from being Polymorphed and therefore losing your adds and finally increases your threat generation significantly overall. A tank should never be out of Bear Form during an encounter with only two specific exceptions:

  • You are not currently tanking anything (and do not need to currently tank anything) and someone needs a battle res (preferrably someone important only such as a healer or another tank) and you have no other methods of ressing the player.
  • You are not currently tanking anything (and do not need to currently tank anything) and someone needs an Innervate (preferably only for a healer).

Removing Bear Form in any other situation is highly reckless and can result in you getting flattened and wiping your group.

Druid Bear Rotation for Single Targets

  • Use Mangle as soon as you have enough rage. Keep using it whenever it cools down.
  • Keep demoralizing roar up on your target.
  • Keep Faerie Fire up on your target at 3 stacks unless someone else in your raid is doing this for you.
  • Lacerate to 3 stacks.
  • Dump excess rage by using Maul.
  • If lacerate is at 3 stacks, debuffs are refreshed and mangle is unavailable, pulverise and re-apply lacerate to 3 stacks.

Druid Bear Rotation for Multiple Targets

  • Use Mangle on your primary target as soon as you have enough rage.
  • Use Swipe and Thrash on every cool down as soon as they become available.
  • Use Demoralizing Roar and keep it up throughout the encounter.
  • Start tab selecting through each mob and apply Lacerate and mangle as much much as possible in between using swipe and thrash.
  • Dump excess rage using Maul.

Why use Demoralizing Roar?

[Demoralizing Roar] is one of the most important aspects of your rotation and must be kept up at all times on both single and multiple target rotations. This ability reduces your incoming damage and if kept up at all time will basically mean you take 10% less damage overall constantly. Unlike other tanking cool down abilities that reduce damage, this one can be used at all times and will make healing you significantly easier. This is even more important considering the stage of the expansion we are currently in as gear means balancing mitigation and avoidance are a top priority for all tanks.

Why Apply Lacerate to other Mobs?

Using Swipe and Thrash on their own to hold threat on multiple mobs will nine times out of ten prove unsuccessful, particularly with over geared DPS players in your group or raid. Use mangle on your primary target (Skull) to ensure you keep threat but in the meantime while the DPS are nuking skull, it’s important to start building as much threat as possible on the other mobs ready for when the skull dies. This will prevent DPS from pulling mobs from you as soon as skull dies or as soon as they open up with AoE abilities. If you use Lacerate on each mob in the encounter in between using Mangles, Swipes and Thrashes you will get a very strong threat build up and 98% of DPS players will not be able to pull anything from you regardless of which creature they attack next.

Movement and Threat

Sometimes a particular boss or encounter will force you to move your tank and your targets constantly. Minor movements out of painful AoE’s are usually easy to handle but constant kiting (such as Throngus with his mace equipped in Grim Batol) can cause you to have threat problems as most of your abilities are short range. To help avoid this, make sure the target has a full 3 stacks of lacerate on them as well as 3 stacks of feral faerie fire, these will continue to tick and give you threat even when you are not close by to the target. Taunt the boss if you lose control and take a moment to stack up your abilities again before you continue kiting or you will only end up losing aggro almost immediately after your taunt.

Reduce your Damage During Movement

To prevent taking unnecessary damage while moving invest in a movement speed enchant on your boots. This will help you quickly get to your new location. In addition to this try not to turn your back to enemy creatures as you will take much more damage if they are behind you at any point. Try walking backwards to keep your targets in front of you and move out of harmful effects. If you are taking excessive damage try using your damage reduction abilities such as Barkskin, Frenzied regeneration and any Trinkets you may have. If you see a healing circle on the ground move into it and make sure the melee DPS can also stand in it when stood behind your target.


Patch 4.0.6 Upcoming Rogue Changes

Posted on: Jan 24, 2011 | Author: Garona

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Patch 4.0.6 has been announced and so since it is just around the corner here is your quick guide to the patch changes for a rogue. First of all you can view the full list of changes in patch 4.0.6 here. In the patch notes blue poster and community manager Zarhym details all the major updates that come with patch 4.0.6 that are currently being tested on the Public Test Realm (PTR) as we speak.

The latest changes on these patch notes include:

  • Combat Readiness now lasts for 20 seconds, down from 30 seconds, but the Combat Insight stacking buff lasts 10 seconds, up from 6 seconds.

  • Smoke Bomb now lasts for 5 seconds, down from 10 seconds.

  • Talent Specializations

    • Combat

    • Main Gauche (Mastery) now provides a chance to deal an attack for 75% of main-hand damage. This attack can trigger Combat Potency.

    • Revealing Strike now increases finisher effectiveness by 35% (45% glyphed), up from 20% (30% glyphed).

These patch notes are being updated and changed regularly so keep an eye on them closely as this information could vary. It looks like combat rogues can still expect to see a good buffing in the next patch to help give higher value to their mastery and Revealing Strike ability. This should also make combat rogues slightly more powerful to bring them even closer to Mutilate specs in raiding which should be good news for those rogues out there that are currently struggling to keep their combat build in raids. Do not worry however, this is not the full list of changes pertaining to rogues, Subtlety rogues are also getting a big boost to their mastery and specialisations in the next patch.

All Rogue Changes in Patch 4.0.6

The full list of rogue specific changes are:

  • Blind now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Glyph of Garrote now increases the duration of Garrote by 1.5 seconds, down from 2.
  • Combat Readiness now lasts for 20 seconds, down from 30 seconds, but the Combat Insight stacking buff lasts 10 seconds, up from 6 seconds.
  • Crippling Poison now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Garrote now costs 45 Energy, down from 50.
  • Sap now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Smoke Bomb now lasts for 5 seconds, down from 10 seconds.
  • Stealth is no longer broken by enemies using Demoralizing Shout or Demoralizing Roar
  • Talent Specializations

 

Assassination

 

  • Deadly Momentum critical strike bonus now lasts for 15 seconds, up from 10.



    Combat

     

  • Blade Flurry is now a toggle that can be turned off by pressing the button again. In addition, this ability no longer has a fixed duration, but will go on cool down for 10 seconds after being canceled (similar to Stealth).

  • Main Gauche (Mastery) now provides a chance to deal an attack for 100% of main-hand damage. This attack can trigger Combat Potency.

  • Restless Blades now also reduces the cool down of Redirect.

  • Revealing Strike now increases finisher effectiveness by 35% (45% glyphed), up from 20% (30% glyphed).

  • Vitality now increases attack power by 25%, up from 20%.



    Subtlety

     

  • Elusiveness now reduces the cool down of Cloak of Shadows by 10/20 seconds, down from 15/30 seconds.

  • Executioner (Mastery) has been increased from 2% to 2.5% per point.

  • Find Weakness now grants 35/70% armor reduction, up from 25/50%.

  • Preparation no longer resets the cool down of Evasion.

  • Sanguinary Vein now gives a rogue a 50/100% chance for their own Bleed effects to not break their Gouge.

  • Shadowstep’s cool down has been increased to 24 seconds, up from 20 seconds.

  • Sinister Calling now grants 30% Agility, up from 25%, and increases Backstab and Hemorrhage damage by an additional 40%, up from 25%.

     

 

Glyphs

 

  • Glyph of Garrote now increases the duration of Garrote by 1.5 seconds, down from 2.

As you can see there are plenty of rogue changes to get your teeth stuck into and you can expect new EP values for both Combat and Subtlety builds when this patch is released. In addition, more DPS testing will need to be undertaken to re-determine the value of abilities and compare these raiding builds accurately once again. It looks like only Mutilate has been left relatively alone in this next patch as Blizzard seem to be very content with that build as it is for now. The Garrote ability and glyph however that many  Mutilate players favour has been modified to be slightly more beneficial.

Non-Rogue Specific Changes

A few non-rogue specific changes also caught my eye in the next patch 4.0.6 that could have an indirect affect on rogues. First of all sockets are being added to all crafted epic items that do not already have one. That means the [Belt of Nefarious Whispers] will get a much needed extra socket in the next patch (/cheer).

Most strikingly though is that changes to Meta Gems, not only are we seeing the Meta Gems finally get fixed in Patch 4.0.6 to requires 3 red gems instead of more blue gems than red making them wholly viable again to use but the Patch is also bringing a few entirely new meta gems with it. The Agile Shadowspirit Diamond will be the traditional blend of Agility and 3% increased critical strike damage making the perfect bed mate for rogues of all builds.

There are also 3 new enchants available, one of which increases Agility by 50 which is rumoured to be a bracer enchant so this could very well become the best bracer enchant in Patch 4.0.6 easily replacing 65 Haste.

Finally the [Left eye of Rajh] has had it’s chance to trigger increased meaning a higher up time and a higher EP value making it even more powerful than it was before. For combat rogues it was already very powerful but Mutilate rogues may see it rise slightly in their table above the Halfus trinket [Essence of the Cyclone].


Rogue Enchants, Gems and Consumables – 4.0.3a

Posted on: Jan 14, 2011 | Author: Garona

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Rogue Gems Enchants and Consumables

Maximising your DPS first starts with knowing your class inside out including talent builds, glyphs and reforging. In addition to this you may also wish to make sure you have the very best enchants and gems in your rogue’s gear as well as the best buff food and flasks at your disposal. All of these things add up to great DPS for your rogue if done correctly.

Gemming

The following is the general rule of thumb for gemming your rogue’s gear according to the socket colour:

Red Sockets: [Delicate Inferno Ruby] or [Delicate Chimera's Eye] (JC Only)
Yellow Sockets:
[Deft Ember Topaz] (Combat, Subtlety) or [Adept Ember Topaz] (Mutilate)
Blue Sockets:
[Glinting Demonseye]
Meta Socket: [Thundering Skyflare Diamond] (temporary) [Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond] (when fixed)

For any remaining hit or expertise required use reforging and gear to obtain these values. You may wish to ignore socket bonuses in some cases and use only [Delicate Inferno Ruby] instead in some of your gear items. To work out if this would be a benefit or a loss use the rogue EP values to determine the value of the gems with or without the socket bonus. Whether or not a socket bonus will be worth it is different with each individual gear item.

Consumables

Flasks[Flask of the Winds]
Make sure you always have a flask active on your rogue during raiding. They persist through death and provide the best stats in the game so even though they may seem expensive at the moment compared to elixirs they are definitely worth the cost. If you guild has the appropriate achievement you may be able to use a Cauldron for raids instead which will provide the same flask.

Food - [Skewered Eel]
Always bring your own food with you to raids and ensure it is 90 Agility and not 60. Even if your raid leader provides equivalent feasts, you may not always get the feast throughout your raid especially if you die on your own on trash.

Potions[Potion of the Tol'vir]
This potion can be used once during a raid encounter instead of a health potion. This potion will maximise your DPS during burn phases and should be timed with Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp wherever possible to get the most benefit.

Scrolls – None
Scrolls are weak compared to other buffs and do not stack with Kings/GotW. They therefore have no use in raids.

Drums[Drums of Forgotten Kings]
If your raid does not have a Druid or a Paladin present you may wish to consider using these drums to give your raid an extra buff. However, if a druid or paladin is present these drums should not be used at all as they are inferior to the actual class buffs.

Enchants

This is a full comprehensive list of the best enchants for a rogue given all the very best enchants in the game currently. Some of these may be more difficult to obtain than others.

Head: [Arcanum of Ramkahen] (Revered Ramkahen)
Shoulders: [Greater Inscription of Shattered Crystal] (Exalted Therazane)
Chest: [Peerless Stats]
Back: [Greater Critical Strike] (Mutilate, Combat) or [Major Agility] (Subtlety)
Wrists: [Greater Speed]
Hands: [Haste] (Combat, Subtlety) or [Greater Mastery] (Mutilate)
Waist: [Ebonsteel Belt Buckle]
Legs: [Dragonscale Leg Armor]
Feet: [Major Agility] or [Assassin's Step]
Weapon1: [Landslide]
Weapon2: [Landslide]

For those of you that cannot yet afford maelstrom crystals, you may wish to make the following substitutions for your enchants at the moment:

Chest: [Mighty Stats]
Back: [Major Agility]
Wrists: [Haste]
Weapon1: [Hurricane]
Weapon2: [Hurricane]

Some professions also have additional enchants that are superior to the ones shown here. Make sure you check what extra bonuses your professions give to your rogue and how you can use them to your advantage. Remember to compare EP values to find out which bonuses are worth using and which should be ignored.


Resto Druid Level 85 PVE Builds

Posted on: Dec 14, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Restoration Druid Builds

As a restoration druid you may already know very well how flexible a healers talent build can be. Many people adapt and play with their talents builds as restoration in order to fulfill their specific needs. This post will guide you few some of the build choices available and what they are used for.

Resto 10/0/31

This build concentrates on raid healing duties with some tank support. The main abilities this build boosts are Rejuvenation and Regrowth as well as heavily concentrating on mana regen. This build is a good choice when you are raid healing as a resto druid but may be considered a little weaker in heroics or for tank healing. It is also a good choice if you are having mana issues.

Resto 8/0/33

This build is more balanced between raid healing and tank healing but does not provide any mana regen. It is best to use this build if you do not suffer from mana issues in intensive encounters. If you are comfortable with your mana this build is excellent to provide an all round healing experience but does not include magic dispelling capabilities.

Resto 7/0/34

This build is also recommend for players who are not currently suffering mana issues. This build is balanced to provide both raid healing and tank healing abilities but with no personal mana regen. However, this build does include the raid mana regen buff Revitalise as well as adding Magic dispel to your remove corruption ability. This makes this build perfect for raids where the balance of classes is uncertain in every raid.

Resto 8/2/31

This build has a strong mana regen focus but sacrifices useful extra abilities such as magic dispel and Nature’s Swiftness.

Resto 8/2/31Recommended Starting Build

This build cuts back on some of the talents that have a smaller impact in order to create a build that provides aspects of raid healing, heroic healing, raid utility and some mana regen. It a great starting point if you are unsure what would be most suitable for your restoration druid yet and is an all round good build for most situations.

Which Build is Best?

None of these builds should be considered best of them all. Some people may prefer a slightly different arrangement of talent points to suit their healing style or their guild healing needs. If you are just starting out, I recommend you start off with the  Resto 8/2/31 build and then tweak it as you discover what you need out of your resto druid. Unlike DPS classes who have a clear set path for maximising damage, healing is much more complex and individual so don’t be afraid to test out your build and change a few point locations.


Hunter Level 85 PVE Builds

Posted on: Dec 06, 2010 | Author: Shambels

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Level 85 Hunter Builds

With the release of Cataclysm we are provided with 5 more talent points to spend within our talent trees. Below are outlined the current recommended level 85 raiding and levelling hunter builds devised by Frostheim from Hunters Union. You will notice that with the shortened talent trees in Cataclysm, Blizzard has given us less choice and flexibility with our builds and as a result there are really not that many options to choose from, making most of our choices obvious.

Please note that as with everything in this early stage of the expansion all builds are still subject to minor change.

 

Marksmanship Level 85 Raiding Build – 8/31/2

Level 85 Marksman Raiding Build

Arguably the highest dps build at the cost of the most challenging rotation.  It is recommended that if you struggle to master this rotation, then spec Survival as the easier Survival rotation will output more dps then a poorly executed MM rotation. Once we get to the bottom of the MM tree we see most benefit to our raiding build coming from the BM tree. Frenzy boosts our pet attack speed by 30% providing a nice contribution to our dps. We grab the somewhat lackluster talents One with Nature and Bestial Discipline to get down to Frenzy. 1 point is put into Resistance is Futile as the best dps filler option to keep going down the MM tree. Marked for Death although a purely situational talent is very handy in maintaining your Hunter’s Mark when target switching. While haste is proving to not be a great stat for MM hunters, Pathing seems to be the best option for your last two points, with possibly Bombardment being its only contender.

 

Survival Level 85 Raiding Build – 1/9/31

Level 85 Survival Raiding Build

Survival Hunters are looking very promising at level 85. Once we get to the bottom of the SV tree we see most benefit to our raiding build coming from the MM tree. Sic’EM looks to be a very desirable talent, as does Careful Aim with it’s 60% crit increase to Cobra Shot (which we will be using a fair bit). There is a degree of flexibitity with some of our Survival talents and that will come down to personal preference. For example some players may prefer grabbing Survival Tactics for the Disengage cooldown reduction instead of two points in Hunter vs Wild. Similarly some players may grab two points in Serpent Spread for the added effect on trash, removing the point out of Bestial Discipline which is a better single target choice.

 

Beast Mastery Level 85 Raiding Build – 31/9/1

Level 85 Beast Mastery Raiding Build

Beast Mastery Hunters remain as the pet spec focusing on Kill Command as its signature attack. Once we get to the bottom of the BM tree we see most benefit to our raiding build coming from the MM tree. In fact it’s the same MM talents taken in the SV build. It is still unknown how BM hunter’s will match up with the other builds, but hopefully Beast Mastery will prove to be a solid build at level 85.

 

Marksmanship Leveling Build – 7/31/3

Level 85 Marksman Leveling Build

 

In Cataclysm we see a new leveling build rise. Historically Beast Mastery has been the leveling spec of choice due to its pet enhancing talents. With Cataclysm and its smaller talent trees the pet difference is no longer as great. Furthermore with glyphs such as Glyph of Misdirection we do not have to worry about our pet’s ability to hold aggro anymore. The main advantages of the above MM leveling build over other builds is that you can pretty much DPS non stop, without having to worry about your focus, due to the instant focus regen provided by Rapid Recuperation. This build also provides the best survivability through Chimera Shot which is the largest self heal available to hunters, and the passive Spirit Bond talent.

Rotation for this build is very simple. You use -
Misdirection on your pet –>Chimera Shot or Arcane Shot –> dead.
Initially when you start leveling from 80 to 85 mobs will go down very fast (one-two shots) so there is probably no point in even using Misdirection until you get to the higher level mobs.


Rogue Level 85 PVE Builds

Posted on: Dec 06, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Rogue 85 Builds

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.

Combat Level 85 Build 7/31/3

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.

Mutilate Level 85 Build 31/2/8

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.

This build also has two points in [Nightstalker] which is another talent that does not affect DPS This is in order to progress further down the Subtlety Tree to the true goal of 3/3 [Opportunity].

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.

Subtlety Level 85 Build 0/10/31

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

Subtlety Level 85 Build 8/2/31

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.


Subtlety Rogue Guide 4.0.3+

Posted on: Nov 28, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Subtlety Rogue Guide 4.0.3

The Subtlety rogue has not always been considered in the past as a viable PVE talent build for rogues and usually only used in PVP situations where it is exceptionally strong. However, since patch 4.0.1 more and more rogues have been testing out Subtlety builds in PV situations and reporting great success. Since the 4.0.1 combat scare many combat rogues switched builds to subtlety too, so this guide should help you on your feet in this relatively new world of PVE DPS for rogues.

Talent Build

First of all you will need a talent build to get you started. At level 80 your talent build should look like this:

Subtlety Talent Build Level 80

If you are looking for level 85 talent builds these have not yet been decided upon but many rogues are leaning towards a Sub/Combat mix for level 85. A good place to start for a level 85 talent build is this:

Subtlety Talent Build Level 85

Rotation

The rotation for Subtlety is often seen by many rogues are the most complex rotation of all three builds. However, once mastered it is very powerful in PVE and particularly excels at single target “tank and spank” fights (i.e. Saurfang ICC).

1. premed/shadow step/ambush =  5 CP
2. SnD
3. hemo/backstab to 5 CP
5. rupture
6. shadow dance/premed/shadowstep/ambush
7. recuperate
8. ambush/backstab to 5 CP
9. eviscerate

It is thought you may want to leave Hemo out entirely except when target switching if you prefer. This is entirely up to you at the moment with the Subtlety rotation.

As you can see from the basic structure of this rotation the idea is to use your ShS/ShD/Ambush where ever possible and fill the remaining time with backstabs to generate combo points. In terms of finishers Subtlety rogues need to keep three main finishers up at all times:

  • Slice and Dice
  • Rupture
  • Recuperate

You may find the inclusion of Recuperate odd as a non damage dealing buff, however coupled with the talent [Energetic Recovery] every time your recuperate ticks you will gain extra energy making recuperate highly valuable. It may seem like a lot to keep up at first but Subtlety rogues also have the talent point [Serrated Blades] which refreshes your rupture every time you use eviscerate.

Therefore once you have all three finishers active you can keep them going by rotating Slice and Dice, Eviscerate and Recuperate finishers. This can be tricky at first so it’s recommended you get as much practice in as possible on a target dummy and in dungeons beforehand.

Glyphs

Glyphs for a subtlety rogue can be tricky to decide upon especially with the major glyphs. Make sure you have a good stock of all the glyphs your sub rogue could use as you may find them very situationally handy.

Major Glyphs

[Glyph of Backstab]

[Glyph of Slice and Dice]

Then one of the following:

[Glyph of Hemorrhage] – Remember that Hemo is worthless without this glyph.
[Glyph of Rupture] – If not using Hemo this will help keep your rotation smooth.

Major Glyphs

[Glyph of Sprint] (Improves Damage Uptime).

Then any other two major glyphs. Good examples are:
[Glyph of Premeditation]
[Glyph of Ambush]

Minor Glyphs

[Glyph of Poisons] (Optional)

[Glyph of Safe Fall] (Highly Recommended)

Then any one other minor glyph.

Weapons

Subtlety Weapon choices are at the moment the same as Mutilate rogues. Sub rogues need to use daggers in order to use Backstab in their rotation and the preferred weapon speed type is 1.8 in the main hand and 1.4 in the off hand.

Stats Priorities

This is the order of priority you should place your stats in when considering reforging and gemming. It is essentially the same as a Combat rogue which mean reforging crit for mastery when poison hit capped is not a good idea in general.

Agility >> Expertise > Spell Hit = Haste > Crit >> White Hit > Mastery > AP.

This means when considering other aspects of Subtlety rogues such as Consumables, Enchants and Reforging looking at combat rogue choices is a good place to start. You can find more information on these here:

Gemming for Rogues

Reforging for Rogues

Enchants and Consumables


Resto Druid Rotation Patch 4.0.1

Posted on: Nov 20, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Resto Druid Rotation and Spells

Firstly there usually isn’t a considered “rotation” for resto druids like you see with DPS classes. Healing will depend on the situation and requirements of your raid in most situations. However, this guide can help you through the process of picking and choosing spells in an encounter and hopefully stop those pesky DPS classes from dieing too much.

Resto Druid Role

Nothing much has changed in Patch 4.0.1 with regards to resto druid roles. You can adapt your talent build and glyphs to some extent to tailor your role in a raid but for the most part resto druid are designed to be strong supportive raid healers and extra hands on tanks. Most of the resto druid abilities are Heal over Time spells which means we will be mostly dealing with preemptive healing rather than reactive healing. This also means you will not be as strong as other classes when it comes to keeping up tanks or fast on the spot healing in general although good players can be quite competent in these roles.

If you are new to the life of a resto druid it’s a good idea to start with the basics, to master your rotation and spell priority and then start practicing more complex factors to your rotation as you become more comfortable with your druid.

Main Healing Spells or Abilities

[Rejuvenation] This is the resto druid’s main spell in raids. If you are operating correctly in a raid you should expect to see Rejuvenation as the most commonly used spell on the meters. This spell should be aimed firstly at tanks then on anyone taking damage or due to take damage especially if dot based and finally anyone expected to take damage within the raid for example melee DPS. If you have any spare time during a raid, throw Rejuvenations at anyone who doesn’t have one yet.

[Wild Growth] This is our group heal and our main way of coping with group damage in a raid. It has a very short cooldown so for heavy damage encounters it can be used almost constantly on every CD. It is often also used a reactive group heal and for topping up a group. Wild growth automatically targets the 5-6 people with the lowest HP but they must also be within range of the druid so make sure you are in a central location to those that need the heal the most. This often means melee clusters or centrally in the ranged area. You can now target the heal onto another player to set up a new radius for the heal around that person instead of yourself.

[Nourish] This is a cheap but slow heal mainly used if you’re in a tight spot and need a reactive heal without using up too much mana. However, with our large mana pools at level 80 it’s not likely you will need to use this heal.

[Regrowth] The better version of Nourish. This heal will complete a very quick reactive heal on your target especially useful if they are near death or a HoT won’t cut it. It then applies a HoT afterwards to ensure that pesky DPS stays alive. Regrowth is used on tanks coupled with Rejuvenation and also as a reactive and protective heal throughout the raid.

[Healing Touch] This spell is generally not used on it’s own as it’s very slow to cast and uses up a lot of mana. However it is a very powerful heal and very useful when used in conjunction with Nature’s Swiftness (NS) which makes it an instant cast. This heal is best used on tanks that are taking too much damage such as from soft enrages or general infrequent abilities. It can also be used to heal others in trouble but without Nature’s Swiftness you’ll find other healers beat you to the punch. NS has a 3 minutes cool down so it’s a good idea to save it for tanks and sticky situations.

[Lifebloom] This spell places a small heal over time on the target and gives them a small heal when it is removed or finished. This HoT becomes particularly powerful when stacked (up to 3 times) making it a very strong HoT which is especially useful for tank healing. When used in conjunction with rejuvenation and regrowth on the tank resto druids become very powerful tank support healers.

[Swiftmend] is now a Restoration specialisation. This spell provides a small instant heal on players that already have one of your HoT’s on them. Since you should be popping HoT’s left right and center this shouldn’t be a problem. Coupled with the glyph that allows you to use swiftmend without consuming the HoT buff this is a very good reactive heal for tight spots. It has a 15 second cool down so can be used frequently throughout the encounter on anyone with low health.

Tree of Life

[Tree of Life Form] replaces our ability to shape-shift into trees as standard during an encounter and is now a 30 second duration spell with a 3 minutes cool down. This cool down improves our healing in general as well as improve a few select healing spells in a specific way:

Lifebloom – Now cast-able on any number of targets.
Wild Growth – Now affects up to 2 additional people.
Regrowth: Now instant cast.

This means Tree of Life form is particularly useful when the entire group starts taking insane damage, when tanks start getting flattened or just in general when healing is tight. You will only be able to use this once or twice during an encounter so it’s best to save this spell for when you need it. If you know the encounter should have no need for it, you can pop it at the start of the fight and lifebloom your little wooden heart out and then again when it’s cooled down.

Tank Rotation

If the tanks are taking a lot of damage in general or if you are on tank duty use predictive heals:

Keep all HoT’s active on the tank at all times. You may also wish to throw some HoT’s on the off tank in your spare time.

For serious tank damage use reactive heals in addition to your predictive heals:

Group Healing

General rule of thumb:

  • [Rejuvenation] on all targets taking damage especially DoT based damage.
  • [Rejuvenation] on all targets you expect to take damage soon.
  • [Regrowth] on targets with low health and possibly taking damage.
  • [Swiftmend] on anyone with low health or in need of a top up on every cool down.
  • [Wild Growth] as necessary or when you predict group damage.

For intensive healing:

  • Same as above but with [Wild Growth] on almost every cool down with intensive HoT placement in between.
  • Use [Tree of Life Form] for emergencies.
  • Use Tranquility in emergencies.

Adapting your Rotation

The above rotations are just general guidelines for you to follow. Do not be afraid to adapt your rotation as necessary, this can be on a per fight basis or even mid-flow. As you progress with your druid healing skills you will learn to adapt and tailor your druid healing experience in your own way to fully develop as a raiding healer and become a valuable asset to anyone’s team. Remember that while your mana supply is copious at Level 80 this will all change at Level 85 in Cataclysm so be prepared for future mana management.

Tree Healing Calculator

To help you get to grips with your tree and your healing capabilities you may wish to try out one of the many Druid Healing calculators. Tree Calcs displays estimated HPS for a variety of standard rotations, estimated OOM time and mana regen expenditure and requirements. This can help you see how minor changes to your druid could affect your healing throughput and more. More information on this useful tool can be found at TreeBarkJacket.


Concise Resto Druid Guide in Patch 4.0.1

Posted on: Nov 13, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Resto Druid Guide 4.0.1As some of you may know I usually talk about rogues, but I do have a resto and tanking druid I am very fond of and today I want to share with you all the basics you need to know to get your resto druid up to date with patch 4.0.1 as a healer.

Talent Build

As a healer, talent trees can be subject to opinion on a variety of specific talents so do not be alarmed if you see variations of this talent build in WoW. If the idea of healing in patch 4.0.1 seems a little daunting, this talent build is good place to start, the build is recommended by Elitist Jerks and provides a good basic starting ground for any healer.

Resto Druid Build 2/0/34

Remember that this build is not set in stone and you can play with some of the talent points to tailor the build to your own druid needs. If you are looking for some level 85 talent builds to aim for a brief look at the RestoDude’s Druid Guide can help to offer you some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of various homemade talent build varieties.

Healers have alot more freedom with thier build than DPS classes, so slight tweaks to your build can help you to improve mana regeneration, strengthen group healing, tank healing or much more. Start with the above recommended build and see how it feels for you.

Glyphs

Prime Glyphs:
[Glyph of Rejuvination]
[Glyph of Lifebloom]
[Glyph of Swiftmend]

These glyphs are quite obvious, there isn’t much choice for healer druids in terms of healing glyphs. The only other option is [Glyph of Regrowth] which so far has shown to be quite weak overall however it could be considered as a situational tool.

Major Glyphs:
[Glyph of Wild Growth]
[Glyph of Innervate]
[Glyph of Rebirth]

Again there isn’t that much to choose from with healing glyphs for the Major slot either. Other options include [Glyph of Thorns], [Glyph of Barksin] or [Glyph of Healing Touch] but these are very situational dependant. Thanks to the new glyphs system however you’ll be able to switch out glyphs on a per fight basis so make sure you learn these for later use when needed. Ideally you do not want to replace your [Glyph of Wild Growth] with these options so swap out either your Innervate glyph if you are comfortable with mana or your Rebirth glyph.

Minor Glyphs:
[Glyph of the Wild] – To reduce mana spent when casting re-buffs mid battle on ressed targets.
[Glyph of Unburdened Rebirth] – So you are never caught without when your BR is needed and saves you a few pennies and bag slots too.
[Glyph of Dash] – When you need to be somewhere in a hurry.

The only real glyph you must have here is [Glyph of the Wild] for healing purposes as it reduces mana spent when getting someone back up into the fray as quickly as possible. The others can be considered optional but since there isn’t much else to choose from with the minor glyphs it’s a good selection to go for. You may wish to store [Glyph of Aquatic Form] for those times when you need to get around water faster but at the moment that’s not necessary or helpful for raiding.

Gems

Gemming as a resto druid in patch 4.0.1 remains quite simple. First of all the gemming rule of thumb is:

Red Sockets[Brilliant Cardinal Ruby] (Red Gem)
Yellow Sockets[Reckless Ametrine] until haste capped (Orange Gem)
Blue Sockets – 1 x [Nightmare Tear] (Prismatic) if your meta gem requires it otherwise use [Brilliant Cardinal Ruby] (Red Gem)

For meta gems use either [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond] if you have mana issues or [Revitalising Skyflare Diamond] for more throughput if your mana is fine. If you are using the [Insightful Earthsiege Diamond] and you need to use a [Nightmare Tear] to activate the blue socket bonus, make sure it is in the highest blue socket bonuses you have available.

Haste Cap and Reforging

The haste cap for druids is now 1016 haste rating. You will need to make sure you continue to gem [Reckless Ametrine] in yellow sockets until you reach this value. You may also need to reforge your gear to add some extra haste to reach this value. You will likely not have many mana issues anymore so reforging spirit is probably your best bet. You can also reforge spirit to Mastery depending on your rotation play style. If you continue with a rejuv heavy method you should consider giving Mastery a miss overall for now.

Consumables

Continue using [Flask of the Frost Wyrm] for flasks, [Runic Mana Potions] during mana intensive encounters and spellpower buff food such as [Firecracker Salmon] or your raid fish feasts.

Enchants

The current accepted best enchants for a druid healer are:

Tier 11

One final note to leave you with is the new Tier 11 set design that has recently been introduced to us. The Male Druid and Female Druid tier 11 sets have been revealed to us and yes, they have wings! Finally a druid set I can love. Also it seems we will be reverting back to class based tier sets so no more sharing our tier with rogues. So something to look forward to there (as if Cataclysm wasn’t enough!). These sneak previews originate from the wonderful folks over at MMO Champion.

Next Week: Rotations and Healing Calculators!


Combat Rogues in the Future of WoW

Posted on: Nov 06, 2010 | Author: Garona

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Survive as a Combat rogue in patch 4.0.1

Since patch 4.0.1 combat rogues have taken a very nasty blow to their DPS. Many people are struggling to cope with the changes and thinking of retiring as a combat rogue entirely. This post will hopefully provide some useful information about these problems as well as provide help for the combat rogues out there that haven’t yet given up hope.

In terms of how each build stacks up against the other the current rumours are that Mutilate and Subtlety are the new PVE kings leaving combat in the dust. While this may be true to some extent it’s not quite time to hang up your combat axes just yet.

First of all I’d like to bring your attention to the first post in the EJ Patch 4.0.1 rogue thread which provides a brief summary of what we know so far:

Okay, which of those is best?
Good question. We don’t know.

But…
We don’t know. Stop asking.

 Quoted from Elitist Jerks Forums

With this in mind remember that Blizzard are indeed thinking about this problem as well. With raiding coming to a close in Wrath and Cataclysm a mere weeks away now it’s up to us to perfect our combat rogues and embrace the changes. It is a very real threat that we combat rogues may have to switch to Mutilate or Sub but I wouldn’t jump into action just yet.

It seems Blizzard is aware of the problems facing combat rogues at the moment and are starting to attempt to fix things slowly. Many combat rogue abilities have been buffed along with mastery values already. You can also expect many more changes to come in the future too so do not despair quite yet, let’s give them a chance to fix things first.

Mastery

Both Combat rogues and Mutilate rogues saw a boost in mastery but only Mutilate rogues seem to have benefited from the boost. Mastery EP values for Mutilate have increased to 1.9 up from 1.7 which now makes it a reforge-able stat for them in place of white hit. This means Mutilate rogues can now reforge crit into mastery on gear that already has haste on it, once they are above the poison cap. Unfortunately, combat rogues have not seen this beloved change and remain at an EP value of 0.6 meaning Mastery is still very much worthless.

This is a massive problem for combat rogues and leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths. The promises of 400% mastery rating effectiveness now even out at about 60% and still the stat is sub-standard as a reforging option. Not exactly the diamond studded stat we were hoping for.

Macros

The humble combat rogue now has plenty of macros to juggle for seamless game play. With the introduction of Revealing Strike and the strong favour of rupture rotations it seems we will need macros more so than ever now to improve our rotation accuracy. For many of you hardcore raiding rogues out there with Engineering this can seem very daunting and more than a bit of a headache.

For engineers they should already have something like this for their macros:

/Cast Sinister Strike
/Cast Saronite Bomb

This macro allows the user to activate their Saronite Bombs whenever they do not have enough energy to perform a Sinister Strike. This allows them to click the aoe symbol on the location they want to throw the bomb whenever the bomb has cooled down without needing to keep an eye on the item during the encounter.

/Use Aldriana’s Gloves of Secrecy

This macro uses the rogue gloves with the engineering enchant Hyperspeed Accelerators on it. The glove name will change depending on your own gloves of course.

You may also wish to add another macro which rotates between Sprint and Rocket Boots on a single key to cut down on extra key space.

With regards to your rotation you should consider a sequence macro to rotate a single button between your finisher of choice and Revealing Strike. This will help to prevent you from pressing RvS at the wrong time or forgetting it and missing it entirely. This button should then follow a slightly different rotation method to accommodate for this.

A cast sequence macro is very simple and should look something like this:

/castsequence reset=2 Revealing Strike, Eviscerate

This will rotate between Revealing Strike and Eviscerate once pressed. You will need to follow something similar to this rotation to use this properly:

1. SS x 3
2. SnD
3. SS x 3
4. EvisMacro
5. if combo points = 5 then Evis Macro, if combo points = 4 then SS x 1 then Evis Macro

You should also include rupture into this rotation if properly glyphed etc particularly for tank and spank fights. Rupture will also need to follow the same rules with an RVS/Rupture cast sequence macro.

However, you can also use the macro constantly at 4 points and then use an alternative evis only button at 5 combo points to be even more accurate. This is because it is unavoidable to waste combo points as a combat rogue but RvS decreases your dps if used after 5 CP. This is what makes combat rotations and abilities so much more confusing and hard to master. Do not expect to perfect this rotation overnight no matter how skilled you are. If you are having troubles with your new macros or rotation then spend long periods of time on the training dummies! Hours, weeks, months if you have to to make sure you perfect the rotation as much as possible.

Gear Scaling

This is also a major problem for combat rogues. Mutilate always had the upper hand for raiding builds until combat started reaching new levels of gear scaling that mutilate could not hope to achieve. With the removal of Armor Penetration from the game it looks like combat rogues in current gear are suffering tremendously. No longer able to take advantage of crazy gear scaling our dps has actually taken a blow overall from pre-patch dps as opposed to Mutilate rogues who have seen an increase to dps. This is where many rogues have started crying into their pillows at night. It was supposed that Mastery when boosted might fix some of these problems for us but as of yet we’ve seen no beneficial changes overall.

Weapons

Okay okay enough bad news already! Notice this post from WoW Insider about weapons for combat rogues:

Combat rogues can use any main-hand weapon, as long as it’s slow.

If I’m using an axe in my main hand, as I often do, I want to be using an axe in my off hand. It’s just that simple. However, with Combat Potency and Deadly Poison emphasizing the importance of a quick off-hand weapon, daggers are going to yield better DPS

Quoted from WoW Insider

Sounds like bad news to many who like symmetrical weaponry (myself included) but think about this for a moment… at least we can start stealing all those tasty daggers from the Mutilate rogues in earnest now. No longer will we have to wait for a lucky drop of say umm 2 axes or so from ICC that fit the bill. Now we can roll on those daggers too unashamedly and that gives us all a much better chance of getting a decent level of gear from those with unlucky weapon drops. Not to mention [Heaven's Fall, Kryss of a Thousand Lies] we were previously unable to roll on. Okay so it’s not enough to make us a raiding viable build but it brings a quiet smile to some. Of course do not forget our optimal weapon speed for an Off-Hand dagger is 1.4 unlike the Heaven’s Fall.

It’s also worth mentioning that our AoE ability Fan of Knives now requires us to have a thrown weapon in our offhand. This means bows and guns are now pretty sub standard for rogues and should be left for other classes to fight over.

Cool downs

Many of our favourite staple cool downs have changed and the mechanics that affect them have also changed. Make sure you are familiar with these changes thoroughly, one of your DPS problems could actually stem from a poor cool down management. For example, you can now use abilities during Killing Spree! So do not wait for the teleporting to finish anymore, keep bashing your rotation out throughout it.

In addition do not ever touch Blade Flurry on a boss! The haste benefit from Blade Flurry is now on Adrenaline Rush instead and Blade Flurry also comes with a significant energy decrease while active. This means using Blade Flurry for any single target mob will always decrease your DPS.

Try to time Killing Spree with your passive proc Bandits Guile to maximise KS damage.

Remember many cool downs are now much shorter and also can be further reduced by finishers. With this in mind keep an eye on your cool downs and make sure they are popped on every cool down as much as possible.

It will definitely take time to sort out your cool downs, macros and rotations so they feel natural to you again. Take some time on the practice dummies and also jump into heroics to practice your cool downs and multiple mob techniques.

Gear Sets

If you were the type of rogue to horde side grades or to partake in an alternative PVE Mutilate spec then now is the time to go through your bags and bank and sort out all your gear. Perhaps there are some secret upgrades you have stored away that could be of use to you? Since the stat changes and particularly the Arp removal from the game many of your old gear alternatives may suddenly become better options for your gear. Play around with your gear set, enter in EP values if you have to to sort out which ones may be more beneficial to you. What was BiS for you pre-patch 4.0.1 may not be so great for you anymore.

What to Do

  • Practice on the training dummy until your fingers bleed
  • Await a nice new spreadsheet preferably from Aldriana!
  • Play with macros to make your rotation easier.
  • Play with your cool downs in heroics.
  • Roll on daggers for your offhand.
  • Make sure your rogue is fully up to date with gems, enchants, reforging.
  • Play with your gear sets.
  • Make sure your Ranged weapon is a thrown in order to use FoK.

Doing all of this won’t suddenly grant you insane combat powers and allow you to beat those pesky mutilate rogues, but it can mean you hold your own against them to a reasonable standard while you wait out the storm. Don’t give up your combat rogue just yet if combat is what you truly love to play. We can wait a little longer while we find out how things are going to develop for combat rogues.