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How To Pvp With A Rogue
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How to Pvp With A Rogue

You've heard that Rogues rule in PvP, so you rolled one. You hop into the battlegrounds and try to pwn someone with your nice white blades. A few minutes later the game is over and you realize that you've spent most of that game either hiding or rezzing in the graveyard. You also wonder how that other Rogue can have five times your health and can one shot you, seemingly at will. And then there's the issue of always finding yourself in a sea of enemy players, no allies in sight, whenever you do try to engage. Where did they all go???

So Ok, let's see what we can do about this situation. The tips here won't make your Rogue into a lean, mean, ganking machine, but they'll help. The rest, as they say, is up to you (that is: lots of practice.) By the way, Rogues can be positively brutal in PvP, but it takes some skill to get there.

Now let's discuss these items:

  • Gear
  • Keybinding
  • Build
  • Join a guild
  • Tips


Regardless of what build or setup you have your basic gear will be the same. You will be in leather armor and you want gear with as much Stamina and Agility as you can get. No Intelligence, no Strength, no Spirit.

For leveling you can easily get by with pretty basic gear. PvP is another story. Buy, beg, borrow, steal or earn the best gear that you can get. You can get some from dungeon runs, some from PvP vendors, and sometimes find good stuff on the Auction House. Again, Agility and Stam are it. With your weapons you want to get the highest "DPS" number that you can. +1 DPS is even better than +1 agility.

Gems and enchants are available on the Auction House or from appropriate craftspeople. Starting around level 60 or so you will occasionally see gear with gem slots. Drop in the highest value "Delicate" red gem (these are +Agility gems) that you can.

Stamina enchants can be a big help, especially at low level, and are often cheap. At high level your gear will come with lots of Stam, but at low level you want as much as you can get. Get enchants for your chest, wrist, gloves, and boots. If you have plenty of gold you can find interesting enchants for your weapons as well. Some of the level 19 twinks are masters of this and will enter the battlegrounds with over 1500 health. That makes them rather hard to kill.

Resilience and PvP Power

PvP Power is the new stat in Mists of Pandaria. It's basically "attack power," but only in PvP. It's a straight up damage add, in that the more of it you have the more damage (or healing) you'll do to other players.

Resilience is your PvP only damage reduction. It does not interact directly with PvP Power, it simply reduces any incoming damage. Simply put, you want both.

While leveling don't worry too much about either of these stats unless you want to specialize in lower level (below the level cap) PvP. At level 90 you will want as much of both of these stats as possible.

For most classes their primary stat (Agility, etc.) is the most important stat to get more of, and it's generally a lot more important than stats such as Hit or Crit. PvP Power is generally almost as important as your primary stat, so get as much as you can through your gems and enchants.


Keybinding refers to using the keys on your keyboard to use abilities, rather than using the mouse to click them on your action bars. You will want to eventually map all of your most used abilities to keys and then learn them to the point where using them becomes automatic.

In game, if you hit the ESC key you will see that familiar menu. Go into keybindings and you will see where you can set keys for a huge number of functions. Let's start with a very simple set though, and you can add to it as you get used to it.

The WASD keys are used by most for moving forward, backward, and side to side. The Mouse is used for turning. In the keybindings section set W for forward, S for backwards, and the A and D keys are for strafing left and right, not turning. (Strafing is just moving side to side.)

You will be using a Subtlety build (see below) and one of your talented abilities will be Shadowstep. Map this ability to the middle mouse button (or pressing the scroll wheel.) Map F to your main strike (Hemorrhage at mid and higher levels, Sinister Strike before that.) Note that when you enter Stealth you will see a new action bar. Make sure your Ambush is in the same place as your strike. This way the F key works for both. Practice using these keys until you're comfortable with them, then assign other abilities to other keys, one at a time.

Macros are sets of commands that can be used to modify various tasks. For example, you can make a macro which can fire off your racial ability and/or trinket with your attack. Learn to make macros and attach them to keybinds. You'll find yourself becoming more efficient and deadlier with practice.

Your Build

You will be going with Subtlety. Face it, Shadowstep to Ambush is just way too cool to pass up. People do use Assassination and Combat in PvP, but an equally geared and skilled Subtlety Rogue will crush them.

As for your exact Subtlety PvP build, there's not enough room here to lay it out. Suffice to say that if someone pops in behind you and instantly kills you, then it was a Sub. Rogue.

Join a PvP Guide

Good guilds are very helpful and usually have people who will be happy to help you. Tell them where you are, what you want to do, and what you need in the way of help. If they're just too snarky then get another guild. They'll also help you with getting the right gear and everything else you need.


Endless practice is the #1 bit of advice here. Practice everything you do until you don't have to think about it. Learn how all of your abilities work and then learn how the other guy's abilities work (so you can counter them.)

The target dummies that you can find in all the big cities can be of use. You set up your keybinds and then practice them in a safe place. Practice your "rotations."

Know where your allies are at all times, whether you're in the Battleground or Arena. It's easy to get tunnel vision and see only your opponent while your allies are all killed or move away. Suddenly you see yourself alone in a sea of enemies. Don't go it alone, don't attack without some backup. Heroes going it alone are either very good or dead.

Talk with your team and coordinate what you're doing. Get a chat program (Ventrilo or Teamspeak) or a microphone and talk to each other.

Lastly, don't worry about it. PvP can be fun and frustrating. You'll die a lot and people complain a lot, then you get a few successes and it's all good.

Good luck!

Street Talk

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