Thursday, December 22, 2005

What's Your Poison?

Recently, a guildmate and old friend of mine who recently rolled up a rogue and is now quickly leveling asked me what poisons I prefer on my weapons. He mentioned that sometimes he uses wounding poison to reduce opponent healing. I responded:

Up till recently, I always used instant poison on one weapon and crippling on the other. Actually, I still use that for pve.

Pvp, I now use double crippling. I hate the last second healing saves, too, but moreso I hate it when my target slows ME down and I can't slow my target down because they resist my poison (or my poison doesn't proc quickly enough). In BG, any type, it's vital to slow them down, for your sake and the sake of your comrades. It can also give you another route of escape. (hit them till crip procs, then gouge, then run away!... when gouge ends, they're still crippled, and chances are, you'll be long gone and maybe even get an opportunity to re-stealth before they get to you).

My friend also mentioned deadly poison. What most rogues will tell you is that using deadly poison actually works against most rogues because it will interrupt certain stuns (like gouge). Sure, some rogues use gouge just for the split second break it affords (I've saved teammate lives by gouging, giving that one tick of a second so a heal can finish), but most use it 1v1 and either bandage, re-stealth, escape, or use that few seconds to our great advantage. Deadly poison is a d.o.t. (damage over time) and ruins that. About the best thing it can be used for is against other rogues, since it will interrupt stealth. However, in battlegrounds and most pvp situations, other factors tend to be more important, like slowing your opponent down.

When I'm escorting lower level guildmates through lower level instances, I usually double up on instant poison to max out my dps. Depending on the instance and the level difference, I might coat one weapon with crippling just to keep the runners in check.


Anonymous Billodeth said...

Its me that you are talking about. Yep, I still favor wounding in any BG. I just dont seem to have a problem with my crippling procing.

I'm torn tho on deadly and instant poison. Yep, deadly breaks gouge. However, I seem to face alot of rogues in AB and it is invaluable in screwing them over when they go to vanish.

Lately, tho I've been using crippling on my main hand and wounding on my second weapon. I have done very well with this combo. Especially, when I'm 3 levels lower than the priest/warrior/rogue/huntere ect. I find myself going up against over and over.

During PvE, use either crippling/instant or 2 instants. I love how often 2 instant poisons proc, crushing mobs at an alarming rate. I really only use the former combo when I know I'll be going up against mobs that like to run in fear. It sucks bad when they run right to help. Tho, I will use crip/instant combo, many times when I'm in a contested area and I expect to run into to some horde victims.

Who knows tho, I may change my mind again in the future. I'm really liking the options rogues have to bring to bear in this game. I feel they are the most fleshed out class.

Monday, December 26, 2005 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Splinter said...

Hmm, maybe I'm silly, but in the last few weeks for battlegrounds I've been using crippling on main + mind numbing on secondary. Makes sense for me, as I'm so often finding myself targeting cloth-wearing spellcasters and getting feared, dotted, kited and burnt to a crisp.
I've been surprised by how effective this setup is. True, they still fear and dot, but the burning to a crisp part has been reduced dramatically!

Monday, January 02, 2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Valdesta said...

Coool, it'll be nice when I get to being able to make poisons with my Rogue character. Right now she's under lvl 10 however and can't do much ;)

BTW, wanna exhange links? I've added your site to my blog list for other WoW blogs :)

Zul'jin / Silvermoon
Troll Hunter / Night Elf Rogue

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Sure, Valdesta, I'll add your link to my site, since you asked so nicely.


Splinter, I might just try that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I'm finally trying to level up a rogue; it isn't the most intuitive class for me. And I'm just getting to the point where I'll be learning poisons soon, so this is very handy. Thanks. :)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 5:22:00 AM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Well, for a starter rogue just learning poisons, I strongly suggest crippling on one, instant or deadly on the other. Also, don't be afraid to experiment. Double instant, or double crippling. Heck, even double deadly. Go out with just one weapon poisoned, and then go out with just the offhand poisoned. Get to know how many times your poison will hit.

One of the things you'll discover quickly is that if you have, say, both weapons coated in instant, your main hand poison will wear off more quickly (as in, the charges will expire) because it's "proccing" more. This is important because if you plan on needing to cripple opponents more often, but want a crippling/instant combo, you might want to put crippling on your main weapon, instant on your offhand. That's what I do when I'm in battlegrounds, and I find I don't need to kite as much or chase runners, but I could do with a little bit of extra damage.

Hope you're enjoying learning the rogue. It's a fun class, and when you play any other (other than druid), you'll certainly miss being able to stealth!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Okay, I officially loooove poisons. They proc surprisingly often and work quite nicely. I'd been thinking before that I really needed a way to slow opponents when they tried to run, and crippling does the job beautifully.

Course, I found a blackfang blade cheap, which has a chance of poisoning over time, so now I have *three* poisons proccing, which is totally gratuitous. Not to mention fun. ;)

Friday, January 06, 2006 9:31:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Err, blackfang? Did I mention my memory has more holes in it than a... a... I forget what. Anyway, it was a something-venom blade. Whooo more memory problems. Not that it's particularly important, but it's like when I have to go back and correct my spelling... it's kind of compulsive. Anyway, at least I got my lockpicking up high enough to pick the locks on the lockboxes my priest and my husband's mage have started getting. :) And soon I'll be able to learn yet more poisons. Yay!

Monday, January 09, 2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Okay, I do have a rogue question for you. I hear some people talking about dagger rogues vs. mace rogues, etc., but haven't heard them say what exactly makes such a difference.

It seems to my amateur eyes that it would be necessary to have a dagger in one's main hand because of those abilities that require it (although I assume you could use a mod like WeaponQuickSwap or StanceSets to switch out), and I'm not sure what benefits one weapon would have over another in the off-hand.

I have a couple of guesses, but they're such wild guesses I'm assuming I'm probably pretty off-base. Maybe maces are slower and do more damage so your crits will be more effective? Maybe daggers are faster and so poisons will proc more often? But where do swords fit in...?

I have my rogue to 27 and am finally starting to consider these things. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Psyae said...

Heather, that's the most common rogue question: what spec should I be?

And, honestly, it's one that if I respond in one way or another, I'm sure to get negative comments either way. But that's okay. I like comments.

However, it doesn't seem that you're asking which is "best," as most do. You're asking "what's the difference?" A much better question, as "best" is subjective, and you can make your own mind up about which to choose based on how you perceive the differences.

There are generally three flavors of rogues, with a few variations to each. I'll give you the mains.

There are: dagger, sword, and mace rogues. They are most common in that order.

Mace and sword rogues tend to rely heavily on the combat talent tree, which gives them boosts to their sinister strike capability, the damage of which is determined by the damage range of the weapon. Since most swords and maces have a higher range than daggers, each sinister strike as well as non-skill hit from one of these rogues tends to do more damage than the same sinister strike and non-skill hit from a dagger rogue.

What dagger rogues do is place their talent points in skills that give high burst damage. That's what you see when a rogue sneaks up behind a mage, for instance, and ambushes, taking half the mage's health points (or more) in one hit. Generally, sword and mace rogues can't do this, or else they'll swap.

Sword/mace rogues tend to open with cheap shot, which allows a few seconds of stun time for the rogue to build up combo points, and then either try to stun lock with a kidney shot, or burst damage with an eviscerate. What many rogues are mistaken about is that eviscerate damage is not at all based on your weapon choice. As many experienced rogues will tell you, an eviscerate with a butter knife in your main hand will do the same damage as the best weapon in the game. The skill is an "instant cast" that ignores pretty much everything but the talent points you've added to it, plus the defensive possibilities of your opponent and your personal buffs.

Nearly everyone agrees that a rogue's offhand weapon should have two primary components: the highest offhand DPS you can find, plus the best stat boosts you can find. Players like to add agility enchantments to the offhand weapon and damage enchantments to the main hand weapon, mainly because of the fact that you hit more often with the main hand (i.e., you open with main hand) and depending on your talent selection, may not have taken dual wield, which grants more offhand damage.

You ask where swords come into play. It's mostly that they're faster than maces, but do more damage per hit than daggers. Combat spec rogues tend to favor dual swords, or a sword/dagger combo.

Mace spec rogues tend to think a bit differently. There are "mace rogues" as well as "mace spec rogues." The difference is that there's actually a talent called mace specialization, which grants the rogue the random ability to stun an opponent for three seconds if using a mace. Supposedly, a dual-mace wielding rogue doubles that chance. (and if you believe the talent, it adds up to 12% chance per double hit to stun, which isn't really bad... if it's true).

There was a time when most <60 rogues avoided daggers because there weren't enough decent daggers in the game to excel in a dagger spec. However, with some recent patches, Blizzard has added a number of new rogue-friendly weapons, including daggers and maces.

Ultimately, I believe each style of rogue is best played by someone who is in tune with that particular style. I really don't think one is absolutely better than another. The main point is whether it's frustrating to play or whether it's fun to play.

I have a great deal of fun playing a combat, mace-specced rogue. However, I find it frustrating playing any type of dagger rogue. I plan on trying it again anyway, but I found my niche. I started as daggers, and disliked it. So, expect some hurdles along your path to find your own niche.

Let me also suggest to you an excellent rogue website that has a variety of rogue guides that many rogues have found very helpful:

Take a look, and do some research online to see what others think about these different varieties of rogue, and let me know what you end up with.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:45:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Wow, lots to think about. Thank you! I'll let you know what I eventually end up doing. Of late I've been doing dagger in main, mace in off, but I'll need to consider my options and try some things out. Again, thanks!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 8:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... Stopping runners....

I will often hold off on using some of my combo points when the mob gets a little low on health, so that I can get a kidney shot off. This should give you enough time to finish the mob off without allowing the mob to run.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 1:04:00 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi Psyae,

You sound as if you have the Rogue class pretty well sussed, which is more than I can claim.

I have recently started playing WoW with an Undead rogue character. I've managed to level her up to 30 whilst lerning most of the WoW play basics, but using poison has defeated me.

My understanding is that I should be able to train in poisons after elevel 20, but so far I have not found a rogue trainer or other NPC which offers me this option. Am I lookinging in the wrong place? Any suggestions gratefully received.



Tuesday, June 05, 2007 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Psyae said...

There's a quest you get for poisons.

Try this out:

also see:

btw, my main site now is

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Alynei - Twisting Nether said...

Great to finally meet a new mace/combat rogue. On Twisting Nether, too! I used to keenly follow Slanty (EU server) til he went and rolled a Drood >_<

I am currently trialling a Subtlety/Assassination build but I'm lamenting the slow energy regen. Combat Potency ftw.

Much love, good luck and I look forward to meeting you on the battlefield!

- Alynei, BE Mace Rogue, Twisting Nether

Thursday, August 30, 2007 10:38:00 PM  
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Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:14:00 PM  
Blogger hou said...

Its me that you are talking about. Yep, I still favor wounding in any BG. I just dont seem to have a problem with my crippling procing.

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Monday, October 26, 2015 2:30:00 AM  

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