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Hello and welcome to Method forum!
Today I would like to share information regarding rogue class. I am going to focus on 4.3 patch and to be even more specific; Dragon Soul raid dungeon. The main subject of this article is to bring closer Dragon Soul encounters from rogue point of view as well as to show play style of Method rogues.
Rogues in 4.3 patch offer very high damage as well as great utility. On few encounters it feels almost essential to stack them up. If you want to prove yourself worthy, this is right time. Guild will definitely need you so stick around!
Ok then, what spec? Combat and Subtlety is my answer. How come? Lets go into details, shall we?
Recommended spec: Subtlety - Why? Elusiveness talent allows you to reset stacking debuff during AoE phase with your Cloak of Shadows on every phase, rather than on every second. This is huge dps gain because as subtlety you can stay on boss basically throughout whole fight. Enveloping Shadows improve your AoE damage taken reduction so it is even more cautious. Though this talent is optional and you should feel free to spend these points elsewhere. It should be up to you whether you wanna spend 0, 1, 2 or 3 points in this talent. If you decide to sacrifice a bit of your personal dps and go with 3 points then it is recommended to skip both Preparation and Premeditation. On top of that it is a good idea to assign rogue to soak double stomps. In order to do that you need to stay as close to current main tank as possible. Journal information is a bit misleading. Double stomp hits 2 targets indeed, but in fact it is tank and a person that is currently standing closest to him, not the boss himself. (note: it is possible to spec Elusiveness as combat and assassination but it is definitely less optimal)
- Feint works against Stomps (1.5sec cast time so be quick) as well as Black Blood of the Earth (aoe phase),
- Cloak of Shadows resets stacking debuff during aoe phase.
Aoe phase lasts 15 seconds, press your Feint as soon as boss starts channeling, then as soon as feint buff is off use your Cloak of Shadows and then use Feint as soon as it is up again.
Recommended spec: Combat - Why? Blade Flurry comes really handy on heroic mode where melee is usually assigned to Claw of Go'rath (big claw). You then approach it by following your tank (and boss at the same time naturally) and simply burn it down while keeping boss as your main target (extra damage taken on boss due to stacking debuff).
It is possible that your guild may need you to soak orbs on your own, it is possible via Cheat Death. You will need to spec Subtlety for this but in case you run low amount of fire mages and shadow priests then it is highly recommended.
In normal mode there is no other mobs than boss himself, therefore Blade Flurry has no use making combat less obvious choice, though all 3 specs are competitive in pure single target dps environment so it is still viable option. (note: it is possible to CoS immune orb, though timing it is not reliable so i would not recommend it)
- Cheat Death works against Void of the Unmaking (commonly known as orb/ball),
- Cloak of Shadows removes Disrupting Shadows debuff,
- Cloak of Shadows resist does not prevent you from taking orb explosion damage.
It is safe to remove your Disrupting Shadows debuff even in heroic mode. It will prevent knockback, both personal and aoe.
Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
Recommended spec: Combat if you stay on boss fulltime, Subtlety if you are assigned to deal with spawning globules. Why? Shadowstep help with logistics, Blade Flurry however, help SLIGHTLY with Forgotten Ones (adds which fixate on random players). This fight requires a little bit of AoE damage but quite frankly rogue is not meant for this and there are clearly better options. Therefore I recommend to skip Fan of Knives at all, unless you desperately need more AoE. In this case it is even possible to consider Assassination spec. Nevertheless, I really doubt this will be needed.
Recuperate does not trigger healing debuff, aka it is safe to use with Deep Corruption debuff on.
Hagara the Stormbinder
Recommended spec: Combat so that you can Blade Flurry ice tombs or Subtlety if you wanna make use of Shadowstep.
Overall this fight is pretty straight forward. The only thing worth mentioning is the fact that you can reset your stacks during Lightning Storm. Pay attention to end of transitions so that you can be on boss as soon as she is weakened for 15 seconds increasing all damage taken. Try to optimize your cooldowns around that.
- Cloak of Shadows resets stacking debuff during Lightning Storm,
- In heroic difficulty it is possible to remove Frostflake debuff with Cloak of Shadows as well as !!! Improved Sprint !!!
During Lightning Storm reset your debuffs right before you are about to chain conduit because you take most of the damage around that time.
Recommended spec: Combat - there is no alternative because it is impossible to backstab. This fight is pure dps/hps check so all you wanna do is stand still and maximize your dps. Apart from very high damage done, rogue can offer great utility in this encounter. First of all it is possible to resist entire Hour of Twilight damage via Cloak of Shadows. It is optimal to have rogues on 1st, 4th and 7th Hour of Twilight because 7th one is the hardest one to heal and we take 0 damage what makes it trivial. Other than that Feint decrease all passive damage taken in this fight, therefore whenever you don't risk energy capping use your Feint and help your healers! (note: it is impossible to avoid Looming Darkness debuff in heroic mode)
- It is safe to Killing Spree,
- Cloak of Shadows resist works against Hour of Twilight damage (full resist always),
- Feint decrease all passive damage taken throughout entire fight so use it whenever you don't risk energy capping.
Remember to delay usage of Heroic Will as much as possible so you lose only fraction of second of your dps time. Check your latency and adapt.
Recommended spec: Combat because of Blade Flurry. In phase 1 you will need to watch out for everything that is going out around you, especially in heroic mode where fire covers deck making spells less visible (especially charge!). Cleaves, charges, barrages - each one can be lethal. Good news though... we have Feint. It gives us better control but does not make anything trivial. You still want to avoid everything, it is just a life saver for 'oh shit' moments. Out of all Dragon Soul encounters this one is definitely the most intense one. Depends on your strategy, you might need to soak some of small barrages. Feint yet again comes handy. In phase 2 it gets much easier. In heroic mode you focus Goriona while you keep cleaving boss with Blade flurry. Put boss on focus target and pay attention to his Shockwave. Other than that use Feint in order to reduce his shout damage. Public addons have reliable timers by now.
- Feint works against cleave, charge, Twilight Onslaught, Twilight Barrage, shockwave and Disrupting Roar,
- In case your tactic involves solo soaking Twilight Onslaught you may consider speccing into Cheat Death, it works! (Subtlety),
- Try to maximize your Blade Flurry cleave uptime.
When things get messy and you have low hp, it is safer to stay on mobs side rather than behind in order to decrease chance of being charged (this depends on positioning but in most scenarios it should be truth).
Spine of Deathwing
Recommended spec: Subtlety - Why? This is quite complex and will apply mostly to heroic mode environment. While it is still viable in normal mode, it is not as crucial because dps requirements are nowhere near in comparison. Also this will apply mostly to 6 openings in total strategy. As we could see this is fight is doable with more than 6 but it gets harder and harder so for the sake of this argument lets stick to 6 openings strategy.
Before i jump into spec description I would like to mention few words about unusual mechanic we can see in this encounter. What is it? Burning Tendons cannot dodge/parry. This decrease value of expertise significantly. With 6 openings strategy dps on tendons is the most important part of this encounter, therefore we want to gear/reforge out of expertise. While damage on Amalgamations is still important, it is not crucial and lack of expertise will not change much. What about gear? Try to avoid proc trinkets, if you have access to 'on use' or pure agility trinkets then use them instead (valor points trinket is really good, as well as agility trinket from spine). What about tier bonuses? T13p2 bonus is extremely good for this encounter because we rely so much on Shadow Dance burst making 20% less energy spent during first 6 seconds excellent possibility. Other than that try to avoid items with expertise on it. Now what about spec? We dont need to spec into Serrated Blades because we simply wont have enough time to refresh rupture during tendon. As a matter of fact I would recommend to skip rupture completely in this fight. At least that's what we've done.
- Stats order: haste > crit > hit (until spell cap) > mastery > expertise,
- Feint works against bloods Burst as well as Amalgamations AoE,
- Cloak of Shadows works against Nuclear Blast,
- Drop Rupture from your rotation,
- It is better to use double wound poison for 20 seconds dps window,
- do NOT try to Shadowstep Burning Tendons.
Follow this in order to maximize dps on Burning Tendons: ensure you have 5 combo points when Amalgamation is about to gain 9th stack and start casting Nuclear Blast, then as soon as it happens do 5cp Recuperate, then 1 second into cast (4 seconds left) pop your Cloak of Shadows, meanwhile build up to 4 or 5 combo points (make sure you end up with full energy when plate opens) and right before Amalgamation dies and disappear pop 4-5cp Slice and Dice. On top of that try to squeeze in Shadowstep so that you have buff up when Tendons is up. What now? Plate is about to open, both Slice and Dice and Recuperate have 20+ seconds duration, you are free to spam ambush/backstab and eviscerate only! To begin with I recommend following macro:
Make sure you have nothing on your target, then start smashing this macro until Burning Tendons appear. It will target them immediately and cast Premeditation + Ambush instantly giving you 5cp right away. Then pop Eviscerate. Tier13 bonus should be up and you can start this madness! Pop your Shadow Dance -> Ambush -> 4cp Eviscerate (yes 4cp is more viable in this scenario) -> Ambush -> 4cp Eviscerate -> Ambush -> 4cp Eviscerate... continue until Shadow Dance is off, then continue with Backstab and 5cp Eviscerates (yes this time 5cp). That's it! Good luck. [our video with rogue PoV in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0WF_ZpYHhQ - check it out]/targetexact Burning Tendons
/cast [target=target, exists] Premeditation
/cast [target=target, exists] Ambush
edit#1: Time between each tendon allows us to pop Vanish 5 times over the fight so it covers almost every tendon burst phase. In order to do that you need to pop your Preparation twice. First time before second opening on first tendon and second time before second opening on third tendon. Below you can find exact timers from our last kill:
[23:00:19.521] [+00min00sec] 1st open: Vanish,
[23:01:57.168] [+01min38sec] 2nd open: Preparation -> Vanish,
[23:04:03.995] [+02min06sec] 3rd open: Vanish,
[23:05:41.465] [+01min38sec] 4th open: Neither Preparation nor Vanish is ready,
[23:07:57.590] [+02min16sec] 5th open: Vanish,
[23:09:45.335] [+01min48sec] 6th open: Preparation -> Vanish.
Madness of Deathwing
Recommended spec: Combat - Why? Because yet again Blade Flurry comes handy. There is nothing extraordinary about spec, standard 7/31/3 is just fine. What about fight mechanics? Same as on Spine it is a bit different than it is usually. How come? Deathwing's Tentacles (all 4 of them) as well as his head cannot be missed by melee hits. Also they cannot dodge/parry. What does it mean? Should we drop hit and expertise completely in a way we dropped expertise on Spine? Answer to this question is not as simple as it was on Spine. Damage on Mutated Corruptions is much more important than damage on Amalgamations used to be on Spine. After all we decided to drop expertise and hit all together. Mutated Corruption dps was in right place so we found this as best solution. Furthermore there is another mechanic in this encounter that complicates things even more, Kalecgos spellweaving buff. Should we keep cleaving rather than single target dps? Should we Fan of Knives rather than single target dps? Our internal tests seemed to favor single target dps combined with Blade Flurry cleave, though it is not the case for all classes.
- Stats order: haste > mastery > crit > hit > expertise,
- Feint works against pretty much everything in this fight, including Crush,
- In heroic mode Cloak of Shadows spawn your parasite immediately, it is recommended to wait until debuff expires on its own,
- Cloak of Shadows works against Elementium Bolt explosion,
- It is safe to use Killing Spree, when you attempt to Killing Spree Mutated Corruption however, you will end up with error message (but it is still better than instadeath isn't it?:))
On first two platforms it is really easy because we have all offensive buffs provided by Aspects. It gets a bit harder on 3rd platform and reach culmination point on 4th one. [check out our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWp5S6ak5Hg - yet again rogue PoV is there].
What about 3rd platform then? We no longer have help from Alexstrasza, and thus have to handle Blistering Tentacles and Parasites ourselves. Parasites are not a problem because Nozdormu is still with us, 15 seconds dps uptime is more than enough to have only ranged dps on it, therefore rogues didn't have to bother. What about Blistering Tentacles? They are immune to cleaves and all kind of AoE effects. Does it mean we can't Blade Flurry? No, we still can do that, but in order to do that we need to target Blistering Tentacle and then cleave its damage onto Deathwing's tentacle. How about 4th platform? Same deal with Blistering Tentacles, Parasites however require extra attention because right now we have only 10 seconds. They are main prio in this phase. Depends on your strategy, ensure that they die in time.
In last phase you should consider putting Crippling Poison onto your thrown weapon in order to slow Congealing Bloods. As long as they're slowed they are no danger so damage poison is definitely not needed. Kalecgos buff make Fan of Knives viable option so whenever Bloods are up simply spam FoK them. Other than that keep Deathwing as your main target and cleave off near adds.
I hope you enjoyed your read and found this guide helpful. In case you have questions feel free to post them and we will respond gladly.
Noxe & rest of rogue crew!