Patch 1.5: Rogue Revamp

September 29, 2011 - 12:43 pm 5 Comments

Playing Rogue: Builds

Patch 1.5 is here, and the news for Rogues is glorious. Nearly across the board, Rogues have seen an overall increase in DPS, utility, and tank capability. Like any major changes do, some of the current “best” builds have dropped off while others have remained strong. PVP implications aside, Marksman and Ranger have both seen vast improvements and with the addition of synergy crystals, Rogue ranged DPS has become absolutely raid ready.

After hours of testing on PTS and now hours spent testing on live, I’ve buttoned up several great ranged DPS specs focusing both on marksmanship and pets. Much has come out of my testing but I believe the best aspect is this: variety. There will of course be a top min/max build (which I will address), but more importantly there are several builds that are equally competitive in a raid environment. This opens up the opportunity for rogues to sport different builds on the raid to not only complement other classes, but each other as well. Read through the cut for the test results and first-look opinions of the 1.5 changes!

Riftstalker

First, let’s get a snapshot of the Riftstalker changes. While the general consensus is Rogues will still not be strong enough to tank Hammerknell, nearly ever other concern with Rogue tanking has been addressed. We now have a much easier time at holding AOE threat, thanks to the addition of the branch talent Planar Vortex. This new ability causes AOE weapon damage that does a high amount of threat for 8 seconds after using a planar shift ability. It allows us to Blitz into a pack for immediate aoe threat and gain additional threat over the next 8 seconds for doing nothing. If threat is still an issue or new adds are brought in, another planar shift will trigger 8 more seconds of AOE threat. Popping planar shifts around in a pack of mobs is going to be more then novelty now.

Additionally, to address mitigation issues, Riftstalker now has a branch talent called Shadow Guard. This couples to Phantom Blow to add additional mitigation for 20 seconds after the Blow. The damage mitigation starts at 5% and scales up an additional 1% for every 1000 armor. Phantom Blow itself has been changed to a no-stacks ability on a 10-second cooldown, meaning it can finally be macroed in with Planar Strike. The problem is the scaling is not quite enough for HK damage. Either the armor amount needs to be reduced, or the additional percent per needs to be increased for Rogues to finally become viable HK tanks.

Ranged DPS

Now, on to what people really care about – ranged DPS!

Marksman is the biggest benefactor when it comes to 1.5. Overall, the Marksman is comfortably at the top of the DPS chart when not moving. Ranger moves in on Marksman as soon as the Marksman has to start moving, but the Ranger has to maintain pet control to maintain DPS. The tradeoff is yours to decide on, but I suggest having one of each.

51 Marksman / 14 Ranger / 1 Riftstalker (Headshot Build)

(alternatively, take 15 in Ranger so you can use Infiltrator for Break Free)

Spam Macro:
#show Crippling Shot
suppressmacrofailures
cast Crippling Shot
cast Quick Shot
Finisher:
#show Rapid Fire Shot
suppressmacrofailures
cast Rapid Fire Shot
cast Bull’s Eye
cast Head Shot

This will be a top personal DPS build variation of the Marksman. The spam macro assumes you do not have the Marksman synergy crystal – I did not have one available to test to see if using Empowered Shot is worth it. I will investigate this as soon as I have the crystal.

The regular rotation is very simple:

spam x4 > finisher

The opening sequence will look like:

Shadow Fire > spam x3 > Head Shot > continue rotation until 10 stacks of Silver Tip Munitions > Strafe

Your burn rotation:

Shadow Fire (if needed) > spam x3 > Head Shot (if needed, otherwise RFS) > Bull’s Eye > Strafe > finisher (RFS) > Quick Reload > Bull’s Eye > Strafe > finisher (RFS) > spam x4 > finisher (HS)

51 Marksman / 14 Ranger / 1 Riftstalker (Exposure Build)

(alternatively, take 15 in Ranger so you can use Infiltrator for Break Free)

Spam Macro:
#show Crippling Shot
suppressmacrofailures
cast Crippling Shot
cast Piercing Shot
cast Quick Shot
Finisher:
#show Rapid Fire Shot
suppressmacrofailures
cast Rapid Fire Shot
cast Bull’s Eye
cast Deadeye Shot

This build takes a slight personal DPS loss to gain points in Exposure. This is still the most powerful armor debuff and will increase the DPS of your fellow raiders. Remember, anything short of a FULL 3 POINTS will net an overall DPS loss for the raid. Again, with the caveat that I didn’t have a crystal to test for Empowered Shot DPS.

The rotations remain the same as the Head Shot Marksman.

38 Marksman / 28 Ranger

(3 points in Sharpshooter can be moved around within the MM tree)

Spam Macro:
#show Crippling Shot
suppressmacrofailures
petcast Maul
petcast Bite
petcast Howl
cast Crippling Shot
cast Piercing Shot
cast Quick Shot
Finisher:
#show Rapid Fire Shot
suppressmacrofailures
cast Rapid Fire Shot
cast Bull’s Eye
cast Head Shot

This is a fabulous pet build. It is right on par with the new Sozu Ranger build in terms of DPS. It brings many of the benefits of Marksman, including a valuable interrupt, as well as increased AOE DPS. This should be one of – if not the best – Rogue AOE DPS build with the nerf to Saboteur. With the Predatory Soulstone and Blighted Ranger Crystal, this build actually does better single target and AOE DPS then the Marksman builds, but this will change once Silver Tip Munitions are buffed to 20 stacks (as on PTS).

Surprisingly, the rotation is identical to the 51 point Marksman builds.

35 Ranger / 17 Assassin / 14 Marksman (New Sozu)

 

Spam Macro:
#show Crippling Shot
suppressmacrofailures
petcast Rend
petcast Bloodied Blow
petcast Razor Lash
cast Expose Weakness
cast Crippling Shot
cast Piercing Shot
cast Quick Shot
Finisher:
#show Rapid Fire Shot
suppressmacrofailures
cast Expose Weakness
cast Rapid Fire Shot
cast Head Shot

Here is what will essentially be coined the “Sozu 1.5 Build.” It goes deeper into Ranger now for more bonus damage to Shadow Fire. The Assassin sub-soul is still just too powerful to pass up. DPS-wise, this build will be outstanding – just remember to keep your pet alive. Alternatively you can drop the point in Trick Shot (Rain of Arrows is now spammable) and put it somewhere else, like topping off Penetrating Shots.

The rotation… you guessed it, same as the old Sozu build. The macro simply adds Expose Weakness now because it is now an off-global ability.

Shadow Fire > spam x3 > Headshot > spam x4 > finisher (repeat last two until Shadow Fire drops).

Wrapping Up

These builds are by no means an exhaustive list of min/max specing. Like I said before, the changes to Marksman and Ranger make them very fluid. There are going to be a ton of builds put together that do within double digits of DPS. Build a ranged DPS build that suits your style and raid composition needs. The Rogue ranged DPS trees have a comfortable level of raw, viable DPS so play style can finally be a consideration in your build.

Personally, I’ve slotted the 38 MM build and the 51 MM-HS build.

5 Responses to “Patch 1.5: Rogue Revamp”

  1. Aalwein Says:

    Upon real-world testing the 38 MM / 26 RA build in GSB, it is not as good as it appeared to be. I will be looking in to a better Ranger option, so for now stick with the New Sozu if you want a pet.

    [Reply]

  2. Muthy Says:

    I just found this site from a Google search and I just wanted to say thanks for all the info!

    much easier then looking through the Rift forums

    [Reply]

    Aalwein Reply:

    No problem, I’m glad I can help. There’s a lot more coming as I test things in real raiding instead of just dummies.

    [Reply]

  3. Danen Says:

    Doesn’t Bull’s Eye require 20 points in the MM tree?

    In the 35Rng/17Asn/14MM (New Sozu)build you have it listed in the macros

    Finisher:
    #show Rapid Fire Shot
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Expose Weakness
    cast Rapid Fire Shot
    cast Bull’s Eye
    cast Head Shot

    [Reply]

    Aalwein Reply:

    Good catch… it in fact requires 21 points! I carried it over from a poorly chosen copy and paste! Thanks for the note.

    [Reply]

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