Rogue Leveling GuideRogue Leveling Guide


  1. Introduction
  2. Why you need to use swords
  3. What talent build to choose
  4. General Rogue leveling tips

This Rogue leveling guide will tell you all you need to know about leveling a rogue in world of warcraft. Including Swords v.s. Daggers, how to spec your talents and other tips.

Powerful and hated, the rogue is a unique and refreshing class which has no equal at 1 vs 1 combat. With all your cooldowns ready and providing you can play the class, you should make short work of any opponent who you get the jump on.

 In PvP, The element of surprise is a rogue's most powerful weapon. In PvE however, surprise has no effect and so the rogue instantly loses one of his most devastating tools. Despite this the rogue is still one of the fastest levelers in the game. I've yet to play a class which matched a rogues raw burst damage on mobs.

 If you play your rogue right, you're in for a very easy ride to 70. Be warned however that straight grinding is no match for questing if you want to level in the shortest time possible. If you take the right path using a leveling guide, the average Elite WoW Guides reader found their leveling speed had increased by as much as 40%.

 Side note: You can read my reviews of all the most popular leveling guides here.

Drop the Daggers

Take a deep breath and lets look at why swords are better for leveling...

 Drop those daggers and pick up those swords. Backstab is not an efficient way to level and it will slow you down considerably, using gouge then waiting for energy to get that BS in really wastes time. Sustained damage is well known to be the fastest way to level and to DPS in end game raids. Because of that rule you're much better off using 2 swords/maces and using sinister strike and eviscerate. Kidney shot (Once you get it at level 30) becomes more useful when you start to get in the late 50's and pick up some powerful weapons. It only makes sense to use kidney shot if the damage you do in that time will equal the damage you would have done with an eviscerate.

 Slower is better. Firstly let me explain how sinister strike works: It takes the damage your weapon does each hit (NOT the damage per second) and then adds on some extra damage and unleashes it in an instant strike. This is why we use swords, a weapon with a slow 2.8 speed will do more damage per hit than one with the same DPS that hits every 1.6 seconds. For your offhand the opposite applies. You'll want a fast offhand weapon so that it's more likely to proc your poisons and so it interrupts spells more often, very useful vs caster mobs.

Choosing your Talent BuildNight elf wow rogue

 In this section of our Rogue leveling guide we will look at talents. As with every classes leveling build you're aiming to maximise your sustained DPS. The subtlety tree is more of a pvp talent tree featuring lots of utility type abilities but not ones which will necessarily help your sustained damage. This leaves you with both Assassination and combat. Both are viable options but most will spec combat after level 40, when you can use Adrenaline rush and blade flurry to do some seriously fast killing every once in a while.

 When I was leveling my rogue Vanish, a long time ago now, I took little consideration of what talent build I should follow and regularly respecced to find what build gave me the most damage. No single dominant talent build really exists for rogues unlike other classes as all of a Rogues talents will increase their damage in one way or another. It becomes not so much about how fast you want to level but what style you'd prefer to do it in. I personally didn't use the popular Garrotte as my opening move and always used cheap shot for example. There are some talents though, which are crucial, no matter how you decide to go about your leveling:

  •  Improved Sinister Strike: I can't stress just how powerful the 5 energy it saves you is. This move will be your bread and butter and so any talent that directly improves it should be treated as an important one.
  •  Malice: 5% more critical strike chance, one of the most important stats for a rogue. You NEED this talent.
  •  Blade Flurry: Invaluable in solo PvE, after getting this you'll be hoping to pull 2 mobs at once because it'll give you double the exp for no more time.

General Rogue Leveling Tips

 Since I already covered gearing your rogue in terms of weapons I thought I'd add a brief section on some of the more valuable tips I've picked up along my 1 - 70 journey in WoW.

  •  Use bandages when you can, eating food really slows you down. You should be able to afford them at the auction house but if you're still worried about your gold then maybe you should buy a gold making guide.
  •  Grind on caster mobs. You can sometimes level twice as fast depending on what mob type your grinding. Casters are easy for rogues because they have little armor and their spells can be kicked/stunned.
  •  Use Swords! You're probably sick of hearing it by now but don't forget the rule just because you got a new dagger from an instance or something.
  •  Quest! All this talk of grinding when I don't even do any. I can't tell you how much faster questing is than flat out grinding and more interesting too.
  •  Get a higher level friend to help you with your level 20 poison quests because they're a real pain in the a**.
  •  Stack agility and +Attack power gear. Forget +Strength as it's nearly useless to rogues. You only get 0.5 Attack power for ever 1 strength, that's it!

Finally, if you want to spend the least time leveling possible make sure you check out my Leveling Guide Reviews. They really will shave days off of the playtime of each character you level.

So there you have it, my definitive rogue leveling guide. I hope you found the information useful and that it will help you get the most out of your world of warcraft experience.