The Diversity of the Rogue – Part 2

March 27, 2011 - 3:06 pm No Comments

The Diversity of the Rogue

First things first, if you didn’t catch part 1 of this series, you can read all about Rogue tanking and ranged DPS options in Die by the Arrow at Tank Telara. Here in part 2, we will talk about the different styles of melee dps and the unique support roles that can be built with Rogue souls.

Die by the Blade

While the Rogue clearly excels beyond any class at ranged dps, the Rogue is equally at home with cold steel in its hands. With many different souls to choose from, there are different styles of fighting that the Rogue can take on. The Assassin, for example, wields big attacks from behind and poisons the enemy while a Blade Dancer is at home in front of the enemy with fast flashes of steel and quick parries that are especially suited to soloing. Choose your weapon.

Assassin Focus

The Assassin stalks its prey from the shadows, waiting for the moment to open an intense flurry of attacks that most enemies won’t survive. Think of the Assassin as a MAC truck – the enemy is left wondering if anyone got the license plate number. I have two Assassin builds, though both revolve around Blade Dancer. This one is for grouping, while this one is for leveling/soloing. You’ll see that the later build takes the healing talents of Riftstalker for self healing while soloing, while the former build focuses on mass damage. The grouping build focuses on damage from behind, making backstab the primary combo point builder, then uses the Blade Dancer finishers and reactives.
Nightblade Focus

Nightblade is a special type of build for Rogue, because it is one of the few souls that make it worth actually taking all 51 points in. A 51 point Nightblade build may not pull more dps than other Rogue builds, but it is arguably the most fun with its pinnacle 51 point talent turning the Rogue into a ball of flames! The final few root talents also give the Nightblade some excellent survivability talents for raiding. The Blade Dancer sub-soul in this build could be subbed for Assassin if you want poisons for soloing or additional crit rates if you are already hit capped through gear.

Alternatively, this 40 point Nightblade build maxes out dexterity from Saboteur and Blade Dancer souls, and then takes all the major damage bonuses. The bonus to this build is that there are six free points to play with – you can take Enkindle if you would like extra AoE damage, Flame Thrust and Twilight Force for more ranged options, or Dark Containment for an additional crowd control option. Improved Blazing Strike and Enkindle is the simple answer for adding a bit more dps, with Flame Thrust giving you an optional ranged finisher.

Blade Dancer Focus

The Blade Dancer excels at combat in front of the enemy, which gives it perfect synergy with the Riftstalker tanking build or any build designed for soloing. As a soloing soul, it matches well with Assassin or Nightblade. For build examples, see the Assassin section above. It is important to note that Blade Dancer has two very distinct build styles. On the one hand, you can take many of the talents that react to parries and dodges and on the other hand you focus on damage dealing talents. Obviously, the former is intended for tanking or soloing, while the latter will be best suited to grouping.

Saboteur and Bard Focus

Both Bards and Saboteurs are at home in both melee and ranged combat. Their talents do not have minimum ranged. To build a melee focused version of one of these souls, simply sub-soul it with your favorite melee-focus soul. A Saboteur-Bard-Assassin could be built to sneak up on an enemy, build up charges, then explode into melee combat. The supportive nature of the Bard soul can add a huge level of survivability and self-healing to any of the melee combat souls.

Unique and Support Builds

What makes the Rogue truly exceptional is the very unique builds that can be designed, especially when using the Bard soul. The Bard soul has the unique ability to transform many of the other souls. Used in combination with Riftstalker, you gain even more survivability for tanking or follow down the healing talents for a very capable support healer.

Healer Focus

The Bard is another rare exception to having a worthwhile 51 point build. This build is huge in a group, providing a ton of buffs as well as a very respectable amount of healing. The sub-souls are negligible, but Ranger brings some extra health and damage reduction, while Blade Dancer brings additional hit chance (which can again be subbed for Assassin in favor of crit chance). This build can still do a very decent amount of dps, but if the support is what is needed in the group, this Bard will find that the keyboard is going to get a lot of work… Keeping Motifs and Codas running nonstop will certainly be a challenge.

Unique: Movement Build

This is a build I created that has the unique ability for bypassing mobs. It’s a great scout build and just generally useful when you don’t want to have to kill a bunch of mobs to get where you want to go. It is entirely focused on using points to get escape and stealth abilities.This build goes to show that with Rogue souls, you can build even the most unconventional styles of play.

Breaking it down, Slip Away from the Assassin tree allows you to escape from agro if you get spotted and revealed. Verse of Fascination in the Bard soul allows you to get a lead on the enemy chasing you should Slip Away be on cooldown. Street Performer and Improved Anthem of Competence should ensure no enemy can catch you should stealth fail you. Finally, a talented Assassin will stay hidden through judicious use of Elusiveness and prudent movement around mobs.


As you can see, the Rogue is an exceptionally diverse calling. Healing, tanking, melee dps, ranged dps, even pet dps – the Rogue can do it all. There are a ton of absolutely viable builds to be made from the Rogue souls. There are certainly many talents that are must haves when you are focusing on a certain role, but with four roles to chose from, play around with different styles. Be creative. Be unique. This is Rogue 101.

Do you have a unique build to share? Can you out-dps the competition with your Marksman or Nightblade or whatever you favorite soul may be? Share it in the comments!

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