Rogue is a melee damage dealer class whose gameplay relies on two unique aspects: Energy & Combo points. These features are the key mechanics of the rogue class, alongside poisons, and properly understanding them will help you improve your gameplay, especially in a PVP environment. This first guide will focus on Energy and develop how it regenerates and why pooling energy is important, especially in arenas or 1vX situations.

Energy: the rogue’s primary resource

Unlike the other classes who need either rage (warriors) or mana (casters), the rogue class works around a different source of power: Energy.
Energy is consumed by rogues (and feral druids) when using abilities and regenerates automatically over time.
On Burning Crusade Classic, your default energy cap is set at 100 points.
Then, each rogue ability has an energy cost that roughly varies between 10 points (Shadowstep) and 60 points (Ambush). Auto attacks on the other hand aren’t depending on it.

On Burning Crusade Classic, there are different ways to increase the maximum amount of energy of your rogue:

– with your talent tree: Vigor (Assassination tree) increases your maximum energy by +10
– with your gear: The 4 parts PVP Set bonus increases your maximum energy by +10.

This means that a Shadowstep PVP geared rogue will have 110 energy, and a Mutilate PVP geared rogue will be able to reach 120 energy.

Energy regeneration

The rogue base energy regeneration is managed by ticking every 1.3 seconds.
Being in or out of combat does not affect your energy regeneration speed (unlike casters with mana) and each ticking regenerates +20 energy

Besides this, different talents allow generating more energy:

Combat Potency, a must-have PVE talent that gives your successful off-hand melee attacks a 20% chance to generate 15 Energy (5/5).
Adrenaline Rush another must-have ability for PVE players, which is also the key talent of Combat HARP specialization
Relentless Strike, which is extremely important for PVP rogues because that means that a 5 combo points finishing move has a 100% chance to restore +25 energy.

You can also make good use of:

–  Consumables: Thistle Tea instantly restores 40 energy (instead of 100 on Classic era. This is one of the numerous rogue’s changes from Classic to TBC). Note that this consumable cannot be used in arenas.
– Racial ability (if you are playing a Blood Elf): They can use Arcane Torrent to silence all enemies within 8 yards for 2 seconds and gain 10 energy for each Mana Tap charge they are buffed with.

Playing a rogue requires managing your energy in order to perform your abilities (damage or controls) without going out of it. With time and experience, you will be able to play without constantly checking at it, and in a later stage, pool your energy to make sure you have the resource to perform a Kick or a Vanish Sap on a second target in the middle of your damage rotation. On the other hand, if you’re not paying attention, you’ll be low energy and desperately looking for ticks, which is, ultimately, going to affect your efficiency, and win conditions.
Important tip: Do not blindly spam hemorrhage.

Energy pooling

Pooling energy consists of managing your energy tickings (or saving them up) in order to use it later and make sure you will have enough energy to chain multiple abilities whenever you want them to be doable for specific situations. Pooling is a way to push your effectiveness and can translate to preparing your next plays.

Energy pooling in PVP

With a good reaction time, pooling your energy while consistently dealing damage on your target will allow you to Shadowstep-Kick an enemy caster for example without waiting for the energy to come back. If you’re not pooling enough energy for this situation, reacting with a Shadowstep+Kick without checking at your energy might result in an error message “Not enough energy” when trying to Kick the opponent. At high rates, this could help the enemy to stop cast and juke your Kick. For this reason, we’d recommend pooling between 20 and 35 energy when playing to make sure to have enough for unplanned step-kicks for example.

Energy pooling is essential when preparing an offensive Kidney Shot for example.
If you use Shadowstep + Kidney shot on your enemy with almost no energy left, your damage during this stun will probably be low because you won’t be able to use your abilities effectively (such as Hemorrhage) in the next 6 seconds
But, if you wait for your energy to come back to full before using Shadowstep + Kidney Shot, your pressure will be way more impactful for the enemy player during that stun. You will be able to use efficiently all your energy to deal damage, which could force the opponent to use his PVP Trinket.

– Tip 1: Pooling your energy does not mean that you have to wait until the cap. Otherwise, the energy regenerated over your cap (100/110/120) would be wasted. So make sure to always use some abilities when you’re near the maximum energy cap. There are many options: you can refresh or stack a poison, use Hemorrhage, or even Slice and Dice if you are preparing a Vanish+Cheapshot+KidneyShot for example, that is completely up to you.

– Tip 2: A great way to manage your energy properly is with no doubt to use an addon that tracks your energy ticking. Back in the day, players would be using EnergyWatch. On Classic BC there are several weak auras to do the job. We’ll share links sooner.

Read more about the rogue PVP mechanics