You probably chose to play a rogue because you like the playstyle. In order to enjoy playing your character, you also need to find it aesthetically pleasing. Otherwise, you will invest a lot of time and energy into your character without really enjoying it. Fortunately, the undeads are both very cool-looking and well optimized for PvP (#UDrules), making them a widely popular choice, hehe. But before delving into the undead territory, we wanted to introduce you to the other races, because most of them have something unique to bring to the table.

In this guide, we will discuss the best races for PvE, PvP, and a mix of both for the two factions. The base stats for each race does not really matter so we chose to focus on the racial traits and specializations:
What Race to choose for my TBC Rogue?

Alliance races for rogue

Human

Human is one of the best races for a rogue. It is incredibly good for both PvE and PvP.

Racial ability
    • Perception: Activate to dramatically increase Stealth detection – Lasts 20 sec – 3 min cooldown.

Perception offers a considerable advantage against stealth classes (rogues and druids) and they are very common in TBC arenas and battlegrounds. In arenas, the opener is a game-changer, and if you think about playing a double DPS setup in the Alliance, then you have to pick the human race because perception becomes mandatory.

Warning : In Wrath of the Lich King, Perception became a passive racial. In TBC, this is an ability that you have to use strategically. Smart opponents have multiple ways to make you waste your perception such as: using pre-vanish opener, AoE (arcane explosion or Flare for example), Paranoia (Lock) or even…. waiting for your buff to fade out.

Specializations

The expertise with swords and maces is a nice bonus for PvP but more useful in PvE. It allows you to reach your expertise cap more easily. For more information about expertise and caps, have a look at our Theorycraft guide about Hit and Expertise as Rogue (soon).

Diplomacy is also quite useful for reputation grinding. As a rogue, you will be interested in Aldor and Hyjal reputations. Being able to grind Karazhan’s reputation faster with a fresh 70 character is also quite nice, the same goes for Heroic mode dungeons.

Gnome

Gnomes are a strong pick for PvP, mostly because of Escape Artist that makes them the most mobile of all the rogue races. Escape Artist allows them to get out of snares and roots more often than other races.

Racial ability
    • Escape Artist: Activate to break out of a Root or Snare effect – Instant – 1 min, 45 sec. cooldown.

Escape artist is a very strong tool to escape or maintain pressure. In long matchups, this racial reduces significantly the amount of CC taken which can be a game-changer. It also allows you to play more conservatively with your cooldowns because non-gnome rogues will have to burn through their abilities (Vanish, PvP trinket, or Cloak of Shadows) or wait for a friendly dispel to get out of snares and roots.

Specializations

The arcane resistance bonus is not extraordinary but not negligible in both PvP and PvE.
Another strong and not obvious advantage is your size. Female gnomes especially can reach spots that no other races can. Super useful in … a couple of situations. But, heh, it’s also difficult to click on you.
Gnomes are more of a PvP race than a PvE one and certainly not to laugh at.

Night Elf

Night Elves are meh in general. They occasionally do front flips when they jump… interesting right?

Racial ability
    • Shadowmeld: Activate while immobile and out of combat to enter Stealth mode – lasts until canceled – 10-sec cooldown.

Shadowmeld could be useful when the camouflage ability is under cooldown (but also being out of combat…), but you are unable to move so… This ability is mostly designed for other classes and not rogue. For example, healers that drink secretly 40 yards away in arenas!

Specializations

    • Quickness: +1% dodge chance.
    • Nature Resistance: +10 Nature Resistance
    • Spirit Wisp: Become a wisp when dead with a movement speed increase of 50% (25% faster than normal ghost)
    • Elusiveness: improves player’s Subtlety level by +5.
      You cannot find this trait in your spellbook, however, during patch 3.0.2, Blizzard confirmed the ability’s existence since release.

What can we say…? You run faster when you are dead! It is cool and all but having to die to get the most of your racial is kind of counterproductive. As a rogue, you would prefer having more tools to help you when you are still alive! Dodge and Nature Resistance! A slight increase in your survivability but far from being essential.
However, if you wish to be a Rogue tank (only working on melee boss fights). You are the only class that can have 100% dodge chances, and the Night Elf’s racial helps in that very specific case scenario.

Dwarf

Dwarf is also a great race for rogue and often underestimated.

Racial ability
    • Stoneform: While active, grants immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increases by 10%. Lasts 8 sec. – 3 min cooldown

The Stoneform racial is like having an 8 seconds Blessing of Freedom on top of a way to get rid of five stacks of Wound Poison, disease, or a Feral’s full bleeds. It is a relief for your healer, a super defensive cooldown. Combined to Vanish, it becomes a great advantage to reset a fight versus anything that applies bleedings. It is also a good defensive cooldown in PvE.

Specializations

As far as the frost resistance is concerned, it is the most optimal resistance to have in PvP to hopefully counter Mages’s primary form of control.

Horde races for rogue

Undead

Thanks to their racial abilities that are among the best for PvP, and their amazing looks (I might be a little biased…), undeads are easily the most popular pick for serious PvP’ers.

Racial ability
    • Will of the Forsaken: Activate to become immune to Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects. Can also be used while already afflicted by Fear or Sleep – lasts 5 sec – 2 min cooldown
    • Cannibalize: Activate to regenerate 7% of total health every 2 sec. by consuming Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yds – lasts 10 sec – 2 min cooldown

Both racials are strong in PvP. Fear effects are one of the most common forms of crowd control in PvP. Being able to save your PvP trinket for another CC such as a stun that would mean your death is invaluable. This makes undead rogues strong against Warriors, Priests, and Warlocks (fear and Seduction) but also Survival hunters (Wyvern sting).
On top of that, being able to heal yourself up to 35% of your health is amazing in duels. Every undead knows that the gnome tastes very good.

Specializations

Blood Elf

 
Racial ability
    • Arcane Torrent: Silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 sec. In addition, you gain 10 Energy for each Mana Tap charge currently affecting you – Instant – 2 min cooldown.
    • Mana Tap: Reduces target’s mana by 51 and charges you with Arcane energy for 10 min. This effect stacks up to 3 times. The amount of mana reduced is 50 + 1/Level – 30 yd range – Instant – 30-sec cooldown.

 

The combination of Arcane Torrent and Mana Tap can be decisive in PvP when used correctly. It can be argued, however, that rogues are already very disruptive against casters. Arcane torrent negates the ability of an opponent (such as a Druid) to perform instant casts but with a small twist because unlike garrote it is an AoE! The Energy returned is very noticeable, and it boosts damage while draining a small portion of mana at the same time. Interesting as you can see, but mechanically more advanced.
This ability really shines in 5v5 and 3v3 arena where the possibility to Silence several targets at the same time exists. This also allows you to interrupt casters without switching targets, and it has a greater range than a focus kick.

 Specializations

Blood Elves have some of the weaker racials on a rogue perspective. Arcane Torrent could theoretically be very effective due to its short cooldown that allows frequent use. However, in reality, it is rarely necessary to use. Silencing an entire 5v5 team would be amazing, but the perfect situation for it to happen only has a rare chance to occur.
Note that Kick has to be prioritized over Arcane Torrent (5sec silence over 2sec).
The Energy boost from Mana Tap is nice, but difficult to exploit in a chaotic PvP situation and is better suited to 1v1. Blood Elves, overall, have a set of racial traits that are potentially effective, but in my opinion, too situational to be considered as top tier.

Orc

Undeads may be the best race for PvP in Horde but Orcs are not far behind. If you are looking for a race that does great in both PvE and PvP then Orc is the right choice for you, LOK’TAR OGAR!

Racial ability
    • Blood Fury: Increases Attack Power by (Level*4)+2 per character level (282 at 70), but reduces healing effects on you 50%. Lasts 15 sec.

Blood Fury is outrageously good in both PvP and PvE. It is basically a second AP trinket but you need to use it with caution because it affects how efficiently you can be healed. It is the perfect tool for an offensive playstyle.

Specializations

Hardiness racial is especially good in PvP situations when fighting against rogues, warriors, and paladins.

Troll

Trolls are the best Horde race for PvE, not much else can be said about them.

Racial ability
    • Berserking: Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 30%.

At full health, the speed increase is 10% with a greater effect up to 30% if you are badly hurt when you activate Berserking. Lasts 10 sec.

Specializations

Trolls are unsurprisingly the best choice for PvE because Haste is stronger than Attack Power for PvE rogues. The other racials are negligible.

What is the best TBC Rogue Race?

Alliance

      • PvE : Human > Dwarf > Gnome > Night Elf
      • PvP : Human > Gnome > Dwarf > Night Elf
      • PvE & PvP: Human

Horde

      • PvE: Troll > Orc > Undead > Blood Elf
      • PvP: Undead > Orc > Blood Elf > Troll
      • PvE & PvP: Orc (but if you aim to do competitive PvP as a Horde player, you need to pick Undead, especially for RMP, RP, RM combos)

 

You know pretty much everything about the races on Classic The Burning Crusade on a rogue perspective. So now you can select your favorite one and start leveling your character !