Rogue tank? What the hell is this? Calm down guys, please calm down! I
In this piece we are going to attempt an answer to one of our favorite questions as a PvE Rogue: Can I tank?
Spoiler alert: the answer is yes! But be warned, you will have to invest a lot in your character and find good teammates. Are you still up for it? Let’s go!

Avoidance: your most important stat

Tank rogue is one of these specs that you won’t meet every day in Shattrath. The reason is pretty simple: the class is not built to do that. Every guild is investing a lot to properly gear their tanks which are typically played by protection warriors, paladins, or feral druids.  

But… Once everyone has acquired optimal gear and the once most challenging goals are now routinely met, then you can sometimes encounter a few rogues tanking. That brings a new perspective with different ways of playing and different raid architecture. 

To summarize, a rogue tank has two major goals:

        • Stacking up avoidance to the maximum to take the minimum damage
        • Keeping the boss on him by generating maximum aggro.

Avoidance on the Burning Crusade, what’s that?

Avoidance is determined by the chances of being hit by an enemy. To calculate your avoidance score, you must combine your defensive stats:

Avoidance = Parry + Dodge + Enemy Miss Chance

If the sum of these 3 stats ≥ 101.8%, then your rogue shouldn’t be hit by a physical boss hit (an attack in front of you). Of course, this is the theory, but in practice, this may happen sometimes anyway.

To know your avoidance score you can use this script (macro):

/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("Need 101.8 combat table coverage. Currently at: "..string.format("%.2f", GetDodgeChance()+GetParryChance()+5)) 

How to be capped with avoidance?

This is where it gets complicated. At this point, you may have understood that the goal of a tank rogue is to reach the avoidance soft cap (101.8%) WITHOUT using cooldowns such as Evasion.

There are multiple optimizations for that :

          • Your build
          • Your stat optimization
          • Gearing & Enchants
          • Buffs and Debuffs

How to be a tank rogue on TBC?

The tank rogue build

Here is the listing of avoidance talents as a rogue

          • Lightning Reflexes (Combat): +1% Dodge per point (5% maxed)
          • Deflection (Combat): +1% Parry per point (5% maxed)
          • Vitality (Combat): +1% Agility per point (2% maxed)
          • Ghostly Strike (Subtlety): Strike that awards 15% to dodge for 7 seconds (20 sec cooldown)
          • Cheat Death (Subtlety): 33% chance to avoid a blow that would otherwise kill you per point (100% max, 1 min internal cooldown)
          • Sinister Calling (Subtlety): +3% Agility per point (15% total)

Your spec will consist of must-have talents from the combat and subtlety trees.

Here is the build used usually.

This build allows you to pick all the talents mentioned above except Vitality.

Two interesting talents to get are also:

          • Setup: high generation of combo points
          • Riposte: A good amount of threat for very little energy!

Of course, you may find some existing variations of this build. For example, some tank rogues might use Improved Kick for the blanket silence effect. Depending on the boss fight, you have to be flexible with your build.

The tank rogue stats

Let’s theorycraft. 
Here are some optimizations details that you have to keep in mind while preparing your tank rogue.

          • Parry Rating; 22.4 → 1% parry chance
          • Dodge Rating; 18.9 → 1% dodge chance
          • Defense Rating; 59.135 → 1% dodge, 1% parry, 1% to be missed (3% avoidance)
          • Agility; 20 → 1% dodge, modified by Sinister Calling and Blessing of Kings

Oh and if you play a Night Elf rogue you gain a 1% bonus to dodge! Admittedly it must feel good that your race finally makes a difference.

Experience has shown that the most efficient stat to stack is Agility. It provides Attack Power, Armor, and Dodge. What else do you want? This is the fastest way to maximize your avoidance score and threat generation.

Gear and optimizations for tanking

Ready for two years of intensive farming? Just kidding! 
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of gear parts to help you find the best items or your tank set. We are well aware that some items are listed amongst our Rogue Best in Slots Gear Series and may be very difficult to obtain or will arrive late in your progress. This is why alternatives are suggested in the table below, some more accessible than others…

Head
Deathblow X11 Goggles
Grimgrin Faceguard
Slayer’s Helm

Chest
Slayer’s Chestguard
Auchenai Monk’s Tunic
Shadowprowler’s Chestguard 

Belt
Belt of Deep Shadow
Belt of One-Hundred Deaths

Necklace
Necklace of the Deep
The Darkener’s Grasp 

Bracers
Insidious Bands
Guardian’s Leather Bracers
Slayer’s Bracers 

Legs
Leggings of the Immortal Night
Skulker’s Greaves
Trousers of the Scryers’ Retainer 

Shoulders
Brutal Gladiator’s Leather Spaulders
Slayer’s Shoulderpads
Deathmantle Shoulderpads 

Gloves
Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation
Wastewalker Gloves 

Boots
Nimble-foot Treads
Shadowmaster’s Boots 

Cloak
Phoenix-Wing Cloak
Slikk’s Cloak of Placation
Cloak of Enduring Swiftness 

Rings
Delicate Eternium Ring
Ring of Sundered Souls
Elementium Band of the Sentry
Hard Khorium Band
Angelista’s Revenge 

Trinkets
Shadowmoon Insignia
Scarab of Displacement
Guardian’s Alchemist Stone
Figurine – Empyrean Tortoise
Moroes’ Lucky Pocket Watch

Weapons
Rage
Blade of Infamy
Talon of Azshara
Umbral Shiv
Messenger of Fate
Claw of the Phoenix 

Ranged Weapon
Barrel-Blade Longrifle
Twisted Blades of Zarak
Legionkiller
Arcanite Steam-Pistol 

 

The tank rogue buffs and debuffs

A Classic TBC tank rogue needs more than an optimized gear with correct gems and enchants. It also needs several buffs from consumables as well as party members.

1. Consumables that makes your tank rogue more efficient

These consumables are quite similar to what you want to use as a DPS raid member.

Do not forget to check out our guide about the best Consumables for PVE Rogue if you want more information.2. 

2. Party players buffs

Hunter: 

          • Scorpid Sting – Chance to be missed increased by 5%

Druid:

          • Imp. Mark of the Wild
          • Insect Swarm – Chance to be missed increased by 2%

Sham:

          • Improved Grace of Air Totem & Strength of Earth Totem
            The GoA totem increases the agility of party members within 20 yards by 77. Lasts 120 sec. Its improved version from talents increases its effects by 15% which means +11.55 agility

Paladin:

          • Blessing of Kings – All attributes +10%

Tips to become a good Tank rogue

          • Keep Slice and Dice active as well as Rupture, use Riposte whenever you can, Cloak of Shadows against magic abilities, and Evasion in difficult situations. You must keep your avoidance up at any cost! 
          • Don’t forget to optimize your cooldown/trinket rotation so you maximize your chances of success. 
          • Once you have reached your best avoidance score, you are (almost) untouchable. However, if the boss manages to hit you, your talent Cheat Death will save you. Its internal cooldown is 1min so react accordingly.
          • During the fight, ensure that you got all the Buffs on you (totems) and Debuffs on the Boss.
          • For Threat, I recommend having 2-3 Hunters with a Misdirection-Rotation.

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

👍 Very strong against physical damage bosses
👍 Requires less healers in raid than other tanks
👍 Makes you feel invincible.

👎 No taunt ability
👎 Lack of threat generation
👎 Really gear based
👎 Needs an entire raid setup according to the tank rogue’s needs
👎 Can’t tank all bosses.

OK, I’m ready, where do we go?

Congratulations if, after all this, you still want to be a rogue tank  Here are a few bosses you can practice on:

          • Attumen the Huntsman (Karazhan)
          • Maiden of Virtue (Karazhan)
          • Gruul the Dragonkiller
          • Morogrim Tidewalker (Serpentshrine Cavern)
          • Mother Shahraz (Black Temple)

…You will have to discover the rest by yourself!

Tank Rogue videos

Here some videos of nice TBC Rogue tanking.