It is common to come across rogues in Shattrath with different weapons. Some use two swords while others equip a fist weapon on their main hand and a dagger as an off-hand. Others, with a combat spec, use two maces.
What is the rationale behind these choices? Do weapons make a difference? Are there weapons better suited for PvE and others for PvP? Let us demystify.

On The Burning Crusade, the rogue’s choice of weapons is essential. A type of weapon can sometimes determine whether or not a technique can be used. For example, this is the case for ambush or backstab which requires the use of a dagger. In PvE, a weapon specialization allows you to optimize their effectiveness in combat. Therefore, you will have to choose. But how?

Before going further, it is necessary to establish a fact:

For two weapons yielding the same DPS, a fast weapon will have a lower damage range than a slower weapon. In other words, a hit with a slow weapon does more damage than a hit with a fast weapon. Insofar as DPS is concerned, there are no comparative advantages between the two.

Before choosing your rogue’s weapons, consider the following 4 criteria : 

– The stat bonus provided by the weapon
Attack speed (green)
Damage range and damage per second (red)
Type of weapon (blue)

➔ The stat bonus provided by the weapon
As a rogue, you don’t need to get a dagger with spell damage or spell penetration (designed for casters). You are looking for a bonus relevant to physical damage dealers (attack power, agility, hit, etc).

➔ Attack speed
You need a fast weapon for your off-hand (~1.5s) and a slower weapon for your main hand (~2.6s).

➔ Damage range and damage per second
The damage range and DPS helps you to determine whether a weapon is better than another. Read this carefully and in conjunction with the weapon’s equip bonus.

➔ Type of weapon
Can be useful in case you need a specific weapon type for a weapon specialization (required by your PvE template for example)

The rogue Off-Hand weapon

The role of your Off-Hand weapon in PvE

In PvE, a rogue rarely uses Shiv to refresh Deadly Poison which is reapplied automatically by white hits. For Off-Hand weapons, only DPS is a relevant consideration. Fast weapons are also preferred to maximize poison procs and Combat Potency talent procs. Note also that the faster the weapon is, the less energy Shiv costs.

How energy works with Shiv

The formula to calculate the amount of energy consumed by Shiv is, therefore:
20 + (10 * weapon speed) = Energy consumption 

If we apply this formula, we undertake a cost of 35 energy for a shiv with a 1.5s attack speed weapon, which is the most common. Similarly, for each 0.1s off a weapon’s speed, Shiv costs 1 less energy point.

Characteristics of a good Off-Hand weapon for a PvE rogue

– A fast weapon, around 1.5s attack speed, or less ideally.
Preferably a sword, to take advantage of the sword specialization.

The role of your Off-Hand weapon in PvP

In PvP, subtlety rogues often play with a dagger because the dagger awarded from PvP is 0.1s faster than other off-hands with a speed of 1.4s precisely. Since the Shadowstep PVP spec does not require any weapon specialization, the type of weapon is immaterial…

In addition, it is strongly recommended to use several off-hand weapons, regardless of their quality, in order to be able to switch weapons in combat to apply different poisons with shivs (or rng white hits).

For example, a weapon swap may be very much necessary to apply mind-numbing poison on a mage or a priest or quickly refresh a wound poison stack which is about to expire.

For example, in his videos, Sbkzor uses several left-hand weapons : 

– Dagger (1.4s) for wound poison
– Mace (1.5s) for crippling poison
– Fist weapon (1.5s) for mind-numbing poison
– Sword (1.5s) for a deadly poison.

For this purpose, we recommend using the weapon swapping macros.

PVP Off-hands and Poisons Management on The Burning Crusade

The rogue Main-Hand weapon

The role of your Main Hand weapon in PvE

Given that the main ability used in PvE is Sinister Strike and that it inflicts weapon damage + a fixed amount of damage, you have to choose the main hand weapon with a wide damage range. This will naturally direct you towards rather slow weapons. Ideally, this weapon will have an attack speed of 2.6s and will be a sword, as mentioned in the first part of this guide.
For example, the Warglaive of Azzinoth has an attack speed of 2.8s, which is yet another reason why this weapon is perfect.

The role of your Main Hand weapon in PvP

In PvP, the rogues playing with the classic subtlety specialization (Hemorrhage / Shadowstep) are not limited by a weapon spec.

There are however 2 schools:

– Those who prefer the maces and/or fist weapons
And those who prefer swords.

PvP maces and fist weapons have a wider damage range compared to swords. Therefore, swords offer more consistent damage, while maces and fist weapons deal more variant damage. In the end, the choice between the two schools depends on your risk appetite and reliance on RNG. 

You know pretty much every detail to choose your weapons on Classic The Burning Crusade. So now you can pick your favorite and enjoy!