Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rogue openers in the Arena

Since I haven't been able to find anything discussing in details how to open a fight as a Rogue in the Arena, I thought I'd post a few thoughts on the subject.

As an AR/Prep/Hemo Rogue, I basically have a choice between three (most of the time, two) openers: 1) Sap, 2) Ambush, 3) Garrote and 4) Cheap Shot.


Sap seems to be the best way to open because you remain stealthed and it disables your opponent for a few seconds. When sapped, a good player will first try to assess the situation of his other teammates, and if the fight hasn't started yet, they are better off just "eating" the sap (not doing anything about it) than trinketing out of it (a good way to see if the player is experienced is to see if they trinket out of it right away). With the Dirty Trick talent, the Sap range is greatly extended so it's definitely worth a shot.

The best use of Sap in my experience is when you happen to walk past a stealthed target. Since he's most likely seeing you as well then, you have to be faster and sap him as soon as you hear the "swooshing sound" of a stealthed target walking near you. You absolutely need to resist the urge to Cheap Shot and hit Sap instead, so while you are stealthed, you should always keep your fingers on both keys and be ready to hit the right one (they are mapped to 1 and 2 on my Bongos bars).

Unfortunately, Sap is not an option most of the time since your opponents will be in combat, which leads me to your second option.


Ambush deals some reasonable damage and I've seen it crit in the 1700-1900 range with my current gear. However, it requires you to be behind your target and to have a dagger in main hand, so I configured Outfitter to switch to Malchazeen when I'm stealthed but back to Merciless swords otherwise.

Overall, the only times I've ever used Ambush on a target is when they were very low on health, but it's a very rare occurrence (how often do you happen to be stealthed and one of your opponents is almost dead?). And even so, I still think that Cheap Shot is a safer move since you can probably deal the same amount of damage on a Cheap Shot target with your regular attacks (especially if the rest of your team is also focus firing them).

(Update: Since switching weapons triggers the global cooldown and that Ambush doesn't seem to be very useful in the Arena, I'll probably get rid of the weapon switching, stick to swords everywhere and never use Ambush in the Arena again. Garrote seems to be a better alternative)


Garrote is probably better than Ambush as an opener because it will silence casters for a few seconds and it also scales with AP. With a few well-timed Garrote/CheapShot/Kick and Gouge, you can silence a casters for quite a while.

Cheap Shot

This leaves us with Cheap Shot, which is, I believe, what you should be using most of the time as your opener. Crowd control is extremely important in the Arena, more so than the burst damage that you can gain with Ambush. On top of that, Cheap Shot grants you two combo points and doesn't have any positional requirements.

In the next post, I'll discuss the next phase of the fight: what rotation you should use in order to inflict as much burst damage on your target as possible in the early phase of the fight.

1 comment:

Cedric said...

A few comments on this post on the WoW forums: