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1.0 Distract

Rogue Guide Abridged
Rogue Basics
Rogue Talent Calculator

When used distract makes mobs in the area turn and face a certain direction. The obvious use is to aid you when stealthed. However distract comes in handy when managing mob movement before a pull or when attempting to get to a chest or ground spawn near a pathing mob.

1.1 Distract to pause mobs
Use distract to momentarily pause (10 Seconds) a mob when it has pathed farthest from a resource node. This will give you enough time to unstealth harvest the node and restealth often with out having to engage the mob.

1.2 Distract to break up mob groups
Distact can also be used to break up mob groups that seem to be linked. For example the wandering ogre boss in Badlands and his thugs seem to be linked. However a well places distract will make just the boss pause for 10 seconds separating him just enough to be single pulled away from his guards. This also works when breaking up the wandering troll patrols in STV. Use distract to separate 1 troll from the pack and then pull it.

1.3 Distract to Catch PVP targets
Distract can be used in PVP situations as well. The target will not hear or see the effect of the distract spell itself but will be spun instantly to face the direction of your distract. While chasing a player down on mount dismount hit sprint and while in range use distract to make your opponent do a 180 degree turn. They will usually continue riding towards you for a second before they can react to having been spun around. In combination with crippling poison you can keep them from taking off again.

2.0 Vanish
Its been confirmed by Blizzard that Vanish does not work as intended , however they are currently unable to locate the cause of this in the code and are looking for some repeatable situations in which the skill does not work as intended. Regardless Vanish can still work to your advantage in its current form.

2.1 Using Sprint to improve Vanish
If you get to many mobs on a pull or a sudden add often the gut reaction is to mash your vanish hotkey as quickly as possible to save your ass. However this often results in the exact opposite happening. To improve your chances with vanish turn / sprint (5 yards) / Vanish. Even when vanish does break you will have enough distance between where you are when where the mobs original point was when you pulled it so that it cannot re-agro you. Several times I have used this method and had to sit in a corner for a few seconds to wait for stealth to finish cooling down before I could continue. Even though Vanish was broken by the mob, it did drop all agro.

2.2 Vanish Pulling
Vanish Pulling is an art… more like mystery. Lets say you have a group of 4 mobs ahead in a somewhat tight grouping. They are not linked but are close enough to pass proximity agro to each other. To use Vanish pull effectively target the closest mob to you in the group. Many groups are not keen on this method of pulling unless the rogue has demonstrated a mastery of this skill in the past. It was used predominately in Vanilla WoW the same way that a Hunters Feign-pull was used, which in the current release of the game is not important to worry about anymore since all tanks have one form of AoE threat or another. In fact, in current end-game content, Tricks of the Trade was added as a rogue skill that acts as a misdirect pull, while additionally giving the target of your MD a 15% damage boost for 6 seconds. Take this advice from someone who worked hard to master vanish-pulling "it's not worth the headache of perfecting it since nobody lets us do it anymore". :-)
There are several ways you can do this:
The first is to have you and the tank up front the rest of the group back safely out of agro range just in case you fail (approx 30-35 yards behind tank) . Pull the mob group. Vanish when the first mob is in agro range of the tank and the rest of the mobs are not. This takes a bit of guess work (based on mob/tank levels) but if done correctly when you hit vanish wiping yourself from the mobs agro lists all the mobs should return to their spawn points except the mob that was in agro range of the tank. This should only work in instances as the anti-training code of WoW makes mobs outside instances ignore all agro until they get back to their spawn.
Vanishing with the first mob on top of you sometimes works as he will reagro, if you're lucky, with most of the other mobs returning to spawn.
The other way this can work is that after you vanish all mobs start returning to their spawn point but don't return at the same time. If you are outdoors you may be able to hit the first mob to prevent his return to the spawn point, reagroing only him!

2.3 Run through your opponent
Hit Vanish and then run straight through your enemy. Unless the enemy is more than 3 levels higher than you, you won't be "proximity" detected for at least 1 second after vanishing. If you are behind them, the chances of being detected are much lower. The premise behind this is that vanish adds "about 3 levels" to your "invisible level" skill. This can be further buffed by putting points into the subtlety tree talent Master of Deception.

3.0 Stealth
The Basics of Stealth are covered in several places and most Rogues will not hesitate to enlighten you on how it and Shadowmeld (Night Elf racial ability) work. In short, stealth allows you to turn "invisible"and move around or eat (eat first, stealth second, you stay stealthed while continuing to eat) without being detected by mobs or opposing faction players/npcs.Your level is translated to a stealth level, which can be improved on with talents, or by using the vanish ability to gain a temporary "level buff". Shadowmeld is a nightelf racial ability that allows you to enter a form of stationary stealth. You cannot move or take any action while shadowmelded, but as a NE rogue, this gives you an extra tool in combat that people may not be able to distinguish from vanish - giving you 2 or 3 potential seconds of surprise damage which is usually enough to tip the scales in a close fight. During combat, shadowmeld will temporarily drop aggro, but 100% of your pre-meld aggro is returned when you take another action, where vanish drops the aggro completely..

3.1 Hiding in objects to improve Steath
As simple as it sounds. When your being chased and you vanish or stealth up sometimes the best idea is not to run in a straight line…. Instead change directions and find cover. Near Hemit Nesingwary's camp in STV there is a low lying bush near the river. I have sat in this bush while stealthed many times with higher level "skulls" running past me on both sides. These objects, usually plants, allow you to hide yourself more effectively. The only sign your opponent will receive as to where you are is the stealth / unstealth noise that plays assuming they have the sound on their client on. This works well in Ashenvale where you can stealth and hide in a bush while your pursuers pass by harmlessly. Granted this doesn't always work but it has worked enough to be worth noting here.

3.2 Restealth in PVP Combat with out Vanish
Some of a Rogue's most powerful moves are their opening moves. During PVP Combat it can turn the tide of a fight to be able to get an extra opening move on an opponent. To do this you cannot attack or be attacked for 5 seconds. Use Sprint / Gouge / Blind and Kidney Shot to create these opportunities. Kidney Shot is less desirable as you should be attacking your opponent while they are stunned but it is viable if you are just trying to escape after realizing the fight is not going in your favor.


Gouge and back off your opponent. You should be able to restealth a second or two after they are unstunned. You can also use Improved Gouge here allowing you to restealth before they are unstunned.

Sprint and run away behind a tree or in wide circles if you are dueling to avoid leaving the dueling area.

Blind your target then Bandage Macro you should be able to restealth just as blind breaks. You might have to cut your bandage short to get stealthed in time.

3.3 Using /Lay while Stealthed
When ever you do break stealth on a PvP server try to do so under as much cover as possible. If going AFK not only stealth but type /lay too making it even more difficult for people to find you-especially if you do it in a bush or what not. DO NOT use /LAY when being chased. As a couple of our posters noted that EMOTES to the person targeted or to the general area. BAD IDEA! Instead try hitting 'X' by default this is mapped to sit. It still lets you hide a bit better in cover with out telling the world your still around.

4.0 Improved Sap

NOTE: I am currently retesting some of the things in this section. Please use with caution as I am getting the feeling they are not working as I explained.

Improved sap was changed in the BC expansion - now all rogues have what used to be "improved" sap as default - that is, using sap does not break stealth. The current incarnation of improved sap increases the range at which you can sap a target. Sap lasts up to 1 minute un-glyphed at max level, and for 8-12 seconds in pvp. You cannot resap a target that has "entered" combat - even if they haven't taken a swing because they are sapped. This is a severe handicap to rogue CC that I hope blizzard fixes to ensure that sapped targets only enter combat "when they take damage, or the duration of sap ends and they aggro due to radius because the fight is still going on".

4.1 Sapped pick-pocketing
A little trick you can use when sapping groups of mobs is to sap one, stay at max range and pick his pocket. It is important to be as far away from the other mobs as you can since pickpocketing gives any mob in range a chance to detect you. Since sap no longer breaks stealth, it is possible (and recommended) to sap one guy, pick his pocket, then repeat this on all of his friends in the area before pulling the group. This will help make sure that your lockpicking is always at its max rank (level * 5), since the best rogue-specific ranged weapons for rogues in BC and LK content are found in lockboxes from picking pockets (and only found there). I'm not going to get into the "X or Y bow/gun is better for raids because of 1pt stat difference", your deadly throw skill doesn't work with bows/guns - only throwing weapons.

4.2 Separate 1 From Camp
Another Sap pull Go into heavily populated camps and sap one. Then move back out of agro range, but not so far that the mob won't come to you...then unstealth. Once sap breaks the MoB you sapped will come running at you alone, since you didn't cause any damage. Doesn't work so good with casters/ranged fighters since they can attack you from a distance and once they do they'll get help.

4.3 Gathering with Sap
Simply Sap the mob / Loot the Chest or Node / and Vanish or shadowmeld / wait 3 seconds / normal stealth to leave.

5.0 Blind
If you're not a rogue chances are you hate blind. If you are a rogue you like it. Undoubtedly you have used blind to escape or bandage up many times as you have leveled your rogue. However there are some benefits to blind that are not in the tool tip.

5.1 No LoS Check
Blind had no Line of Sight check or it may not have a /face check. Either way this works to your advantage. Every time I have used blind the mob has been in my face or I have turned to face the mob. However this is not necessary. Blind is perfect to use while running away. Just throw it over your shoulder and hope it lands. You may argue that turning around does not take but more then a second. However if two players or mobs are chasing you why give them an extra fraction of a second to catch up. Blind has a very long range compared to most of our abilities so it can also be used way before the opponent gets into melee range. Or if you are running at a caster trying to interrupt a cast use blind instead of kick. Blind will hit from father away possibly giving you the extra second you needed to move into melee range, restealth and unleash your full potential on them.

6.0 Items
Every leveling rogue should have a couple of items with effects to aid them. It is important to update these items with level-appropriate gear since rogue survivability and damage output are directly related to the gear we have on.

6.1 Azure Silk Belt
One of the most useful items a low-level player can have. This belt grants 15% to swim speed. You could argue that there are potions that do better. But many players run into the water to escape because they know that everyone save for the druid will not be able to catch them with out a potion or two. This belt however increases your speed noticeably and allows you to leave your pursuers in the dust or keep your target in range. It also allows for time-saving by crossing watery areas instead of running around them to get from point A --> B.

6.2 Green Welp Armor
Green Whelp Armor was one of my favorites way back in the day. It's defining feature is that it has a 5% chance to put an attacker to sleep when upon being struck. Great for those caves in low level areas where you get hounded by people from you-dont-know-where while fighting. This at least gives you a chance to CC some of them without much effort.

6.3 Fiery-weapon enchant
This beautiful enchant gives every hit (including your builders and finishers) a chance to proc a free fireball. I don't know what the internal cooldown is on the enchant, but it's not very long because this used to be going off constantly while I was leveling.

6.4 Glyphs
The new "enchant" - these are character enchants that buff your abilities. Picking up whatever glyphs are most viable for your level (and keeping them updated as you level/learn new skills) will be essential to new rogues leveling in LK content. More information on the glyph system can be found on the WoW Wiki Site.

6.5 Target Dummy
The single best low-level engineered item for a rogue, it's a manequin you drop down that has an AE taunt that goes off every 3 seconds or so. Have a group of mobs? Drop a targetting dummy and you'll be backstabbing for the next 60 seconds. They have limited hps and are destroyed after a single use, but you can loot the corpse for parts to assist with making new ones. They can take punishment from similar level mobs and are fairly cheap to make if you're a miner.

6.6 Goblin Jumper Cables
CLEAR!!! And you just saved your entire raid from wiping. These add to a Rogues functionality more then anyone else's (except a Hunter) because we have vanish. What they are is an item that sits in your backpack (and if you're smart, on your Gnomish Army Knife) that gives you a chance of ressurecting your target. You can use it once every 30 minutes. In my 2+ years experience with the cables, the chance of use increases or decreases based on the comparison level of the engineer's skill and the level of the target to be resurrected. A level 450 engineer could (based on my calculations) have roughly a 40% chance to resurrect a level 90 player, and a 65% chance to ressurect a level 80 player. While there is always a chance of failure, I have come to the conclusion that your best odds are on players lower than your engineering level. (a level 225 engineer has about a 5% chance to work on a level 80 player), while my tests seem to cap out at around 70-75% as the highest chance you can have on a target. It's entirely possible that my calculations are way off-base and it's a flat percentage, where I was luckier in certain situations than others, but I have only ever raised a person higher than my engineering/level ration once, and that person was only 1 level higher than the equivalent skill of my engineering.

6.7 Gnomish Army Knife
EVERY player should have one of these in their backpack. It has a mining pick, skinning knife, flint & steel for starting campfires, jumper cables, arclight spanner, a gyromatic micro adjuster, a blacksmith hammer and a spork....wait, scratch the spork, that's a regular army knife has that. Still, even though this army knife is spork-less, it should still be in every adventurer's backpack.

7.0 Crafting Professions

7.1 Engineering
This is the profession that I took since it gives access to a bunch of fun gadgets, combat (and non-combat) pets, bombs, guns, parachutes, teleporters and mounts, in addition to some great glove/belt utilities in the 375+ skill range. Having explosives for aoe damage (with a stun) was incredibly useful while leveling, my parachute cloak was equipped almost constantly since I could save lots of time by just jumping off of places and parachuting to avoid death instead of taking the long way down. The goggles that are craftable are arguably the best in-game head gear for a rogue at present time (3.0.9).

7.2 Leatherworking
Leatherworking provides access to a lot of craftable armor while you level and some armor kits with tons of agility and stam/crit strike at higher levels in addition to some gear-enchants on your own gear.

7.3 Blacksmithing
In the LK expansion, end-game blacksmithing does not have the same draw that it did in the BC expansion since there are no more craftable/upgradable BoP epic items. There are a few craftable epics, but they're BoE, so simply knowing a blacksmith and having access to the raw mats (or money for the AH) is all you need. You gain the ability to add sockets to gear, but that is not as vital for rogues since the majority if the crafted items are plate. My recommendation is to steer clear of this unless/until Blizz puts some BoP epics back in the LK expansion that are on par with raid content. (even then, it's probably still not worth it for rogues).

7.4 Enchanting
Enchanting has "something for everybody". It is expensive to level, and "naturally" fits with tailoring since it does not require a gathering skill.

7.5 Tailoring
While the gear you can make from this skill will be useless for a rogue, you can make yourself some bags as you go along and eventually a flying carpet mount (great for RPers that want to play a rich noble).

7.6 Jewelcrafting
Lots of trinkets here and later on some JC-only gems that blow everything else out of the water - but with a limit of 3 equipped in your gear at a time. Some great trinkets that add to agility/stam/stealth and have "summon combat pet on use" effects.

7.7 Alchemy
Lots of great buff potions here, and in LK content the effect of potions "you are able to make" is doubled. 2x the life healed or 2x the duration on raid flasks (4 hour buff, persists through death!). Definately a great addition to any group and if you have the mats, 4 hours of grinding with a flask will help things go a lot faster!

8.0 Gathering Professions

8.1 Mining
Works with Blacksmithing, Jewelcrafting and Engineering for the gathering profession that feeds those skills. As a side-benefit in the LK expansion, Blizzard added a +stamina buff to miners since we're so rugged and tough from beating on stone all day.
8.2 Skinning
Works with leatherworking as the gathering profession that provides your materials. As a side-benefit in the LK expansion Blizzard added a +critical strike bonus to skinners since you spend so much time pulling back the skin of the animals and seeing where the vital organs are located.

8.3 Herbalism Works with Alchemy as the gathering profession that provides your materials. As a side-benefit in the LK expansion, Blizzard gave herbalists the ability to commune with nature - summoning a flowering field that acts as a heal-over-time, usuable every 2 minutes.

9.0 Secondary Professions


9.1 Cooking
Having +stat food has become a requirement in most end-game content (including heroic 5-man runs if you are not in purple gear). Many of the best stat buff foods can only be acquired through tokens from doing the Dalaran daily cooking quests. On the plus side, most of these are able to be cooked with a skill of 400-430, so no need to drive yourself crazy trying to grind your skill from 435-450 on yellow/green recipes to get access to the "good" recipes.

9.2 First Aid
While not as essential as cooking, being able to bandage yourself in raids makes the healers life a lot easier, and a happy healer is a healer that is going to throw a heal your way more often when they get the chance.

9.3 Fishing
Required to make the best cooking feasts if you don't want to spend tons of money at the AH for no reason. Additionally, there are several great-for-level daggers available to rogue fishermen willing to put in the time, including a 119 dps dagger in Northrend that you can get a full 3 levels earlier from fishing than any other way. Also, having a Platinum Seal of Dalarn that you casually flip just shows how non-chalant you are about the fact that the group just wiped and you avoided sharing their fate by vanishing at the right time. Heads you live, tails they die!

10 Macros

There are a lot of really incredible macros that have been designed, refined and perfected by the rogue community over the years. WoW Wiki has a large selection of specific macros that you can use and modify to your own liking.

11 UI Add-ons
There are too many add-ons that modify the game to get into listing them here, and quite frankly i don't like half of the ones i've tried, despite the fact that many other rogues loved them. All I will put here for now is a link to Curse Gaming and advise you to take a look at their list of macros. The ones that I have preferred keeping are the pickpocket and poison mods. For the longest time I had a hard job keeping poisons on my weapons (stupid x dose usage) - thankfully blizzard fixed this with a timed duration which made the poison add-on more of an "easy mode" addon then a "required" addon.


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