Combat is about… Combat. You go in; you smash or slash face and kill them first before it goes the other way. But seriously, Combat is the tree meant for Rogues who don’t want to take the path of the Dagger. It also happens to be the tree with the highest energy regeneration to make up for its few damage-upgrading talents this tree has and improves on a number of your interrupt skills, granting them length or giving them interrupts, making this a suitable tree against casters, though it offers some support against melee classes.
Effect: Increases effect duration of Gouge by (0.5/1.0/1.5) seconds.
5 seconds is how long you need to avoid hitting and being hit to get out of combat and reenter stealth. Gouge only gives you 4 seconds. Improved Gouge is 5.5. That’s half a second or more to react and reenter stealth to get away or use another opening move. But only go for it if you have spare talent points.
Improved Sinister Strike
Effect: Reduces Sinister Strike’s energy use by (3/5) energy.
If you’re not going to get Hemorrhage, at least get this and cut the 45 energy cost of Sinister Strike.
Dual Wield Specialization
Effect: Increases damage caused by your offhand weapon by (10%/20%/30%/40%/50%).
With Dual Wield Spec moved into the first tier, the only reason you should skip this is because you put that many points into another tree. Get this ASAP and raise your damage potential because a Rogue using only one weapon better be doing it because of a broken arm.
Improved Slice and Dice
Effect: Increases duration of Slice and Dice ability by (25%/50%).
With Cut to the Chase or without Cut to the Chase, don’t even bother with this talent. There are better places to spend your talent points than on a skill that needs combo points to use, combo points that are better spent on the other finishing moves… like Kidney Shot.
Effect: Increases Parry chance by (2%/4%/6%).
This used to be 5 points, but reducing its cost makes it a better candidate for maxing out… Sink points into this if you want Riposte or sink points into this if you just want to reach the next tier.
Effect: Increases chance to hit with weapons and poisons by (1%/2%/3%/4%/5%).
It might take 5 points to get to, but if you’re not sunk deep into another tree, don’t pass this up. This talent cuts down everyone’s dodge rating by 1-5%, meaning less chances to miss with your finishers and any other offensive moves.
Effect: Reduces cooldown of Sprint and Evasion by (30/60) seconds. Increases total stamina by (2%/4%).
Even the stamina boost doesn’t save this talent from being mediocre. Your battles shouldn’t be long enough that you actually need to wait for another Sprint and Evasion. Go with Preparation if you need those two skills.
Prerequisite Talent: 3 points in Deflection
Effect: A strike that becomes active after parrying an attack. Deals 150% weapon damage and slows the target’s melee attack speed
by 20%. Awards 1 combo point.
Energy Required: 10
Slow Duration: 30 seconds
Cooldown: 6 seconds
Riposte used to disarm an opponent, but with the skill Dismantle, you disarm and render them completely naked. The transfer of that disable takes Riposte out of the disable chain, but exchanges that for a cheap way to get combo points. Seal Fate would be preferable, but this makes for a decent damage-dealing, point-generating, cheap substitute. But don’t rely on it for all your points.
This could be the last time you see a Warrior Riposted away from his weapon. Savor it, because in WotLK, you’re more likely to strip them to their undies.
Close Quarters Combat
Prerequisite Talent: 5 points in Dual Wield Specialization
Effect: Increases critical strike with daggers and fist weapons by (1%/2%/3%/4%/5%).
Dagger and Fist Specialization were merged for to make space for a new talent. Still, if you don’t have either of these weapons, keep your pointer off this talent.
Effect: Gives Kick a (50%/100%) chance to silence the target.
Silence Duration: 2 seconds
Kick is a wonderful skill to have, even more so if you have this. You don’t need to wait for someone to cast to disable that tree, but to maximize this talent’s use, you should still wait for that. Still, that’s 2 seconds where casters are utterly helpless.
Effect: Gives a (50%/100%) chance to remove all movement-impairing effects when Sprint is activated.
PvE escape? No, just no. PvP escape or chase? Yes, yes, yes. This won’t save you from stuns, though, but because there are so many
movement-impairing effects and movement-halting effects, an extra way to get out of them can help in the long run.
Improved Sprint didn’t seem that good before this happened.
Effect: Increases dodge chance by (1%/2%/3%/4%/5%).
Very basic and very important against monsters and players. The less times they hit you, the more chances you have to hit them.
The only problem is its depth in the Combat tree. If you’re deeply specialized anywhere else, don’t touch this.
Effect: Increases the damage of your Sinister Strike, Backstab, and Eviscerate by (3%/6%/9%/12%/15%).
Maxed out, that’s a lot of hurt. With the damage and other bonuses given by talents for Backstab and Eviscerate, that could be more than 30% damage in your Eviscerate or damage added to a Backstab with an insanely high critical rate.
Effect: Your mace attacks ignore up to (3%/6%/9%/12%/15%) of your opponent’s armor.
Miss your stun, Mace Rogues? I bet you do. The good news for this is that you can do a lot more damage, though comparing TBC and WotLK mace damage will depend on how long you can keep your target in melee range with WoW 3.0.
We asked this Mace Rogue what he thinks about this talent.
Effect: Increases attack speed by 20% and attacks strike a nearby opponent.
Energy Required: 25
Skill Duration: 15 seconds
Cooldown: 2 minutes
The only AoE attack a Rogue will have. Haste Rogues could consider using this to bump up their attack speed and deal with more than one pesky target. Unfortunately, if you need Weapon Expertise and don’t care about speed, you still have to go through this first.
Effect: Gives you a (1%/2%/3%/4%/5%) chance to get an extra attack on the same target after hitting it with a sword.
This is one reason why you should get swords. Swords deal a lot of damage, but a lot of that damage comes with slow attack speeds. However, if this activates with those slow swords, that’s one extra, painful shot.
When this triggers, it’s the main-hand weapon that gets the bonus attack, so don’t count on an extra hit with your off-hand sword, but it CAN trigger another bonus attack with your main hand. Maximize utilization with a fast off-hand.
Prerequisite Talent: 1 point in Blade Flurry
Effect: Increases your expertise by (5/10).
What can expertise do for you? Now, for just two talent points, you can reduce the enemy’s chance to dodge or parry your attack by 1.25% or 2.5%. Couple this with Precision and watch the enemy’s feeble attempts to avoid your attacks.
Effect: Sinister Strike and Backstab damage increased by (5%/10%). Your damaging melee attacks that damage have a 10%chance
to Daze the target.
Daze Duration: (4/8) seconds
And here’s Deadly Brew’s little brother. With a fast off-hand, you’re very likely to slow the enemy down if you didn’t select Crippling Poison. With the extra damage, this gives the skill much more worth. Take it if you can for PvE or PvP.
Effect: Increases energy regeneration rate by (8%/16%/25%).
You regenerate 20 energy per tick. With this talent maxed out, you take 25 energy per tick. That’s a Kick with one tick. Get this talent when you can.
Effect: Increases energy regeneration rate by 100%.
Skill Duration: 15 seconds
Cooldown: 5 minutes
If you can lock down your enemy long enough to fully utilize this skill, you’re golden. As long as you don’t let too much of the energy regenerated by this talent go to waste, take Adrenaline Rush.
Nerves of Steel
Effect: Reduces damage taken during Stun and Fear effects by (15%/30%).
Try as you might, Stun and Fear will eventually happen, but what matters is how frequently you let that happen to you. If you don’t have any way to prevent the Stun and Fear from getting to you, consider maxing this out until you can afford those anti-stun and anti-fear effects.
Effect: Increases range of Throw and Deadly Throw by (2/4) yards. Deadly Throw and Fan of Knives have a (50%/100%) chance to
interrupt the target.
Interrupt Duration: 3 seconds
Get this skill. It’s essentially a long-range Kick. Very useful against caster classes that prefer to stay very far away from you.
Effect: Successful off-hand melee attacks have a 20% chance to generate (3/6/9/12/15) energy.
If you rely on slow off-hands, don’t get this. If not, get it. That’s a one-in-five chance to get energy with each off-hand strike and it’s considerably better compared to the other weapon-based energy-generating talents, Adrenaline Rush excluded.
Effect: Whenever you dodge an attack, you counterattack with (50%/100%) of your main hand weapon’s damage. This effect cannot occur more than once per second.
You hit back every time you dodge? Making dodge an offensive ability gives this talent extreme worth. Put two points into it, pronto.
Prerequisite Talent: 1 point in Adrenaline Rush
Effect: Your finishing moves cannot be dodged. Sinister Strike, Backstab, Shiv, Hemmorhage and Gouge deal 10% extra damage.
Get this for both boosts, of course. With a boosted hit rating, Eviscerate and other damage-dealing finishers will nearly be guaranteed to hit. Misses suck, but having your finisher miss or be dodged sucks more.
Effect: Increases total attack power by (2%/4%). All physical damage caused to enemies you have poisoned is increased by (1%/2%).
Considering your attack power at the later levels can exceed 2,000 and 14 points of attack power equals 1 extra damage-per-second, that 2-4% puts punch in this talent in the late game. With the poisons, that punch becomes an uppercut. 2 points isn’t too bad for this.
Prey on the Weak
Effect: Your critical strike damage is increased by (4%/8%/12%/16%/20%) against targets that have a lower health percentage than you.
This talent rewards the skilled, but it also rewards ganking. If you end up losing more HP, then you’re in deeper doo than a gnome in Tauren country. To the skilled: Get this talent. To the gank-happy: Be sure what you’re getting into. To anyone who loses tons of HP in the battle: Stay away until you can improve your damage reduction.
Effect: Step through the shadows from enemy to enemy, attacking them every .5 seconds with both weapons. Can hit the same target multiple times. Cannot hit invisible or stealthed targets.
Range: 10 yards
Duration: 5 assaults
Cooldown: 2 minutes
Get it. That’s invulnerability for a few seconds and if you’re fighting a single target, that’s 10 total hits on them. Utter pain. If there are too many targets, lay off using this skill until you can thin their numbers.