In our previous guides, we developed how energy works, how to build combo points, and how to use them with your finishing moves. In this guide, we’ll dive deeper in the last part of this series: the PVP rotation

As you know, rogue gameplay entirely relies on correctly managing both your energy and combo points, as well as your finishing moves. Using the correct finishing move is supposed to get your enemy closer to his death.
In some situations, you will apply a 5 combo Kidney Shot, in order to stun lock your enemy for 6 seconds (usually Kidney Shot comes after a Cheap shot which means that your target is stun locked for 4+6 seconds !
). But in a different situation, you will opt for Eviscerate to inflict direct damage to your enemy and eventually finish him off.

Now, let’s talk about the phase between the opener and a finishing move.
Depending on the situation, the goal of a rogue is usually one of these three.

– dealing damage
– keeping the pressure up (through damages, stuns, and more importantly poisons)
– controlling the enemies (to buy time for his teammates to recover or connect)

How to do damage as a rogue?

Doing damages as a rogue requires choosing the right abilities at any given time. On the Burning Crusade, the PVP rotation is quite simple, besides openers, you’re mostly using two abilities, and different finishers depending on your goals.

Auto attacks

Bear in mind that auto-attacks represent a large part of your damage output. For this reason, Slice and Dice should be part of your PVP rotation. It takes a bit of time to find the windows during which you could use this ability but hopefully, the examples detailed in the FAQ “How to use Slice and Dice” will help you.
Another example of Slice and Dice usage is the free combo proc you get when using a finishing move (thanks to
Ruthlessness). For example, when doing a 5 CP Kidney Shot, if you get a free combo (which should be 100% of the time), you can really think about using it for a Small Slice and Dice that will buff your attack speed during the Kidney. And the fun fact is that it can also proc another free combo, and even restore energy (thanks to relentless strikes) which would make it entirely free.

Doing damage and building combo points

On Burning Crusade Classic, doing damage as a rogue isn’t extremely complicated: you’ll be using two abilities most of the times:


Hemorrhage is your main damage source besides your auto-attacks. It has a low energy cost, fairly good damage (especially if you play with the right Shadowstep specialization), and also buffs your other melee attacks (causes the target to hemorrhage, increasing any Physical damage dealt to the target by up to 42.)

Shiv isn’t properly needed as a damage ability but correctly used (with Crippling Poison for example), it gives a better uptime on the enemy, meaning more auto attacks, and more opportunity to use Hemorrhage and so on. Besides that, Shiv is also an excellent combo builder (low energy cost).

You may include occasional Gouge and Ghostly Strike in your DPS rotation depending on the situation:
Gouge to buy time, and Ghostly Strike (offensively for 125% weapon damage, defensively for the 15% dodge during 7sec.)

Last but not least, a good way to deal more damage in a PVP rotation consists of using a Vanish + your desired opener. Nonetheless, you must pay attention to your diminishing returns (for Cheap Shot) if you intend to play aggressively with your Vanish. For example, Vanish+Garrote silences the enemy and brings one bleeding effect that you can easily chain with Rupture or Eviscerate for example.

Increase your damage by picking the correct finishing move

As explained, in our combo point guide, there are 7 different finishing moves, but you will be using mostly 3 or 4 of them:

Eviscerate to deal big instant damage and create/maintain pressure on the enemy. Usually good for cloth and leather armor players.
It becomes less efficient for higher armor targets on which you will prefer Rupture. It is interesting to use Eviscerate when you already have an active Expose Armor on the target. 

– In different situations, you will opt for buffing your damage (as well as your partner’s) by using Expose Armor, especially if you play with another melee DPS such as Double Rogue, Feral Rogue, Hunter Rogue, in 2v2 arenas. For these team compositions, using the improved Expose Armor can be very interesting.
Expose Armor is extremely valuable against low armor targets (cloth casters and leather). The closer to 0 armor your enemy is, the more damage you’ll deal. That’s why you don’t necessarily use Expose against Paladin/Warriors/Rshamans
Besides that, even as a solo melee DPS you can think about using Expose for longer games. Since this debuff lasts 30 seconds, you are able to use several finishing moves during the Expose Armor. Let’s take an example: Premeditation + Cheapshot, into Expose Armor (5 combos) into Vanish, Garrote + Shiv (crippling) into Hemorrhage Eviscerate, etc.
Before the end of the Expose, you will probably be able to use at least one more finishing move. For example, 5 combo points Kidney Shot, and a 1-2 combo points Slice and Dice…

Examples of 1v1 PVP rotations

Cheapshot (adds +3 CP), Hemorrhage x2 (adds +2 CP), then you can use a finisher such as Kidney Shot, to keep doing damage when keeping him controlled. During Kidney Shot you’ll be using more hemorrhage, and eventually, think about using a Rupture (to prevent from Vanishing), or a Gouge then Rupture at the end of Kidney Shot (to buy some time until your next opener) and try to react on his Vanish by using your Vanish too, making him pop back (due to bleeding)!

You could go full aggressive and eventually think about using Vanish + Garrote and Rupture at the end of your Kidney Shot, and then kiting away, leaving the opposing rogue with no other options than trying to Shadowstep-Vanish-Cheap Shot on you (with the risk of getting his Vanish broken by those two bleeding effects)

During the Sap on the mage, you can Garrote (adds +2CP), Shiv Crippling (+1CP), Hemorrhage (+1CP), then you can use a finishing move such as Eviscerate (4CP) if you want to start building pressure.
Then your rotation will be about using hemorrhage, refreshing Crippling, eventually applying mind-numbing poison. Your energy is extremely important in this matchup because you need to be able to interrupt the mage’s cast such as Poly or Frotbolt, depending on his strategy.

(Sap) Premeditation (+2CP), Garrote (+2 CPS), then use a finishing move such as Rupture with 4CP.
With the correct angle, you’ll be able to apply those two bleeding effects over the Sap, without breaking it, then you will do a Shiv Crippling, and eventually, use Evasion while doing a bunch of Hemorrhage, or play more defensive, with the dead zone.

Against a Warrior, you don’t really want to use Kidney Shot (due to Second Wind), unless you’re in a bad position or want to force a PVP trinket. Same about the Expose Armor, unless you have too many combo points and the improved talent, eventually.
The rotation will mostly consist of refreshing Crippling poison, doing hemorrhage, kiting, using Shadowstep to Shiv, using Vanish Garrote, re-applying Rupture. You keep your stuns for a bad situation, but keep in mind that they can be resisted quite often, especially if facing an Orc.

This is the type of matchup that allows you to start with Cheapshot Kidney Shot rotation. Since they’re healers you want to make sure that you have Wound Poison applied on your main hand, and use Shiv to apply Wound Poison as well. During Cheap Shot, you can use two globals for Shiv to make sure you have 5 stacks of Wound Poison, and then Kidney Shot. If the opponent uses his PVP Trinket, he will have the wound stacks applied and you’ll be able to focus on keeping your poison applied (Wound, and Crippling) and doing damage (Hemorrhage).

Short Recap

To sum this up:

– You open with Cheap Shot into Kidney Shot for most targets except Mage because they can Blink, Warrior because your stuns heal them.
– You deal damage with Hemorrhage.
– You build combos with Hemorrhage as well as Shiv
– You spend your combos for Eviscerate if you look for direct damage, Rupture if it’s an high armor enemy.
– Expose is mostly interesting against cloth and leather armor players. but if you play double rogue you can apply it on every opponent
– You make sure not to waste your combo points left when swapping target by using Slice and Dice

Now that you know everything about combo point generation and usage, it’s time to talk about one more important topic: the rogue PVP rotation.

Read more about the rogue PVP mechanics