The Art of Combat
Feel free to pm me if you find any mistakes, be it spelling or content.
Latest revision: Nov 28, 2012
I'd like to thank Aldriana and Pathal for their general support and also everyone who put effort into providing this thread with all the information it contains. Credit goes also to Therya for letting me use the layout of the talents section of the restoration shaman thread.
[top]Talents and Glyphs
For general purposes i'd recommend using this spec.
Check the encounter tips section for further advice.
[Glyph of Adrenaline Rush] - Helps to prevent energy capping during adrenaline rush.
[Glyph of Cloak of Shadows] - Any fights where you take physical damage.
[Glyph of Blade Flurry] - Helps to apply utility poisons.
[Glyph of Crippling Poison] - Helps to apply crippling poison.
[Glyph of Shiv] - More frequent applications of the improved utility poisons and/or enrage dispels.
[Glyph of Deadly Momentum] - Any fight with adds which can proc the glyph.
[Glyph of Feint] - Any fight with AoE raid damage. Also adds 2 seconds to the duration of the elusiveness talent.
[Glyph of Sprint] - Any fight with movement.
[Glyph of Kick] - Any fight where you have to interrupt.
[Glyph of Evasion] - Any fight where you have to tank adds or bosses.
[Glyph of Sap] - Any fight where you have to cc an add before the pull.
[Glyph of Expose Armor] - If you have to maintain your raids weakened armor debuff.
Check the encounter tips section for further advice on where to use them.
[top]Combat and Rotation
You can have one lethal and one non-lethal poison active at the same time. The usage of shiv activates a more powerful version of your current non-lethal poison.
Check the encounter tips section for further advice on where to use them.
Use ambush when stealthed(pre-pull or vanish).
Refresh SnD with whatever CP you have when less than two seconds are remaining.
Keep the RvS debuff up for every SS, eviscerate and rupture.
Prioritizing rupture over eviscerate results in a minor dps gain. Always use them with 5 CP.
If you didn't spec into anticipation and shadow blades is active, it might be better to finish with 4-5 CP instead(needs testing).
Clipping the last tick of rupture from a higher insight level won't affect your dps. The higher damage for the clipped tick will be added to the first tick of your new rupture. might result in a slight dps loss since the higher tick damage of insight is lost.
Energy pooling before RvS can boost DPS if you can't reach a higher insight level immediately.
Energy pooling when deep insight is about to fade and you can't weave in another finisher might increase your dps as well.
Activate blade flurry for 2 or more targets and keep on doing your single-target rotation, but don't use rupture now as blade flurry won't copy it.
When there are a lot of targets(exact number not yet determined) use fan of knives for CP generation and crimson tempest as your finisher instead. You could also weave in slice and dice to fetch energy restore procs via combat potency.
Blizzard: "Anticipation now generates the correct number of combo points when Crimson Tempest is used."
Taken from post #9 of this thread, credit goes to bural:
The Anticipation talent allows us to store up to 10 CP. When performing offensive finishing moves with anticipation charges, the finishing move will use up 5 CP and the number of anticipation charges will be granted as CP afterwards. Using Slice and Dice does not grant the CP, but you will keep the anticipation charges instead.
This mechanic can be used to delay your offensive finishers and reach higher insight levels(shallow, moderate, deep) for an increase in dps.
What you want to do is to keep using SS and RvS to reach a higher insight level whilst adding anticipation charges before you use a finisher. Keep in mind that your SS can generate up to 2 CP via the RvS debuff and up to 3 CP during shadow blades, so you want to either use your finisher or another RvS followed by your finisher when reaching four or three anticipation charges respectively to avoid losing a CP.
Addons like Bandits Guile Helper can help you track your current insight level.
[top]Stats and Caps
Agility increases our attack power and critical strike chance. 1 agility gives 2 attack power and roughly 1300 agility give an additional 1% chance to crit.
Hit Rating reduces the chance that our attacks and poisons will miss the target. 340 hit rating give an additional 1% chance to hit.
Expertise Rating reduces the chance that our attacks will be dodged(and parried). 340 expertise rating reduce the dodge chance of our target by 1%.
Mastery rating increases our chance to proc Main Gauche. 300 mastery rating give an additional 1% chance to proc.
Haste rating increases our attack speed and energy regeneration. 425 haste rating give an additional 1% haste.
Critical strike rating increases our chance to critically hit. 600 crit rating give an additional 1% crit chance.
These are sample stats weights for T14 BiS according to Shadowcraft (commit 07a9119d9e042e4d3044f6a4c54ab7fba0cc73e9, Oct 20). The current script may require further optimizations which could sway data.
This leaves us with the following stat priority:
Agility > 7.5% Expertise = 7.5% Hit > Haste > Mastery > Crit
The yellow hit cap is 7.5% against bosses and requires 2550 hit rating to be reached. Hit rating is still useful afterwards for our white-hits until a hit percentage of 26.5%, but heavily loses on EP value(see above).
The dodge cap is 7.5% against bosses and requires 2550(2210 with racials) expertise rating to be reached. Expertise rating is usually useless afterwards, unless you hit bosses from the front, but you should avoid doing that at all times. Note that you still want to reach your expertise cap for your MH if you got it for your OH already with a racial. If you got your MH expertise with a racial already, you can ignore the OH expertise afterwards.
Always use a slow(2.6s speed) mainhand.
OFFHAND ONLY: 1.8s daggers, and 2.6s axe/fist/sword/mace are exceptionally close in performance. However, 2.6s weapons appear to have a fraction of a % of an advantage. Try to keep a 1.8s dagger around for when you can't use Killing Spree optimally. Because of their racial passive, orc rogues should always use a 2.6s offhand if it's a fist weapon or axe and they also use a fist weapon or axe as their mainhand.
[top]Best in Slot
This may change in the future as we better understand any changes to EP weights.
Best in Slot Gear
*Heroic version of [Pheromone-Coated Choker].
**[Claws of Shek'zeer] for orc rogues.
[T14 2P] - Increases the damage done by your Venomous Wounds ability by 20%, increases the damage done by your Sinister Strike ability by 15%, and increases the damage done by your Backstab ability by 10%(NYD EP).
[T14 4P] - Increases the duration of your Shadow Blades ability by 12 sec for assassination and subtlety and by 6 sec for combat(NYD EP).
All EPs are calculated with t14 BiS values from Shadowcraft, as seen above.
Reforging allows you to remove 40% of a secondary stat present on an item and increase the value of another secondary stat not already present on that item by the same amount. Your general goal when reforging is to lose as much as possible from your worse stats and increase your good stats instead.
As a rule of thumb you should aim for haste > mastery > crit as present stats on your gear, while maintaining both your hit and expertise cap.
You can also use tools like wowreforge to further optimize your reforge.
At some point your gear will reach a level where two haste rating is higher valued than one agility and you should start gemming towards haste. Exact calculations are not yet done, but initial tests showed that this happens around item level 480-490. It's best to check one's individual weights using tools like SimC or Shadowcraft and gem accordingly.
Currently there are no known socket bonuses worth skipping, unless they are expertise and you have a hard time not overcapping after reforging.
As a jewelcrafter you should always use two [Delicate Serpent's Eye] in two of your red sockets.
*Tooltip shows +170 agi, but the added ingame value is +180 agi.
When using dancing steel on both weapons, each enchant procs and refreshes itself individually, so you can have up to two buffs active at the same time.
Flask: [Flask of Spring Blossoms] - Adds 1000 agility(1320 for alchemists) for 1 hour(2 hours for alchemists). Persists through death.
Food: [Sea Mist Rice Noodles] - Adds 300 agility(600 for Pandaren) for 1 hour. Disappears on death.
Potion: [Virmen's Bite] - Adds 4000 agility for 25 seconds. Can be used once per fight and also once before the pull(Pre-pot).
[top]Races and Professions
*Since the T14-content offers no maces or swords with agility, those racials currently don't have any value. The 1% expertise for gnomes using OH daggers can also be overlooked, since you want to cap your MH expertise regardless.
*As expertise loses some of it's worth once you can cap easily, this racials effective EP might change to the value of haste or even mastery(less likely with current gear available).
Full value using two axes/fist weapons: 826.2 EP
Full value using a MH axe/fist weapon: 625.6 EP
Haste-tuned value using two axes/fist weapons: 510 EP
Haste-tuned value using a MH axe/fist weapon: 309.4 EP
In this section i will give some hints on talents, glyphs and poisons that might be useful. Choosing between talents also often depends on your raid composition and/or personal performance/preference, so spec accordingly. (Glyphed) Feint in general is really useful in many fights to help out your healers. Elusiveness is more useful on fights with heavy burst damage and leeching poison is more useful on fights with low/mid sustained damage.
Please refer to Mists of Pandaria 5.0.x Raid Mechanics for even more information.
The Stone Guard
- Elusiveness for unmitigated overloads.
Feng the Accursed
- Elusiveness for epicenter, draw flame, and arcane velocity.
Gara'jal the Spiritbinder
- Glyph of Deadly Momentum for the adds.
- Elusiveness for when you are targeted by voodoo dolls.
The Spirit Kings
- Glyph of Kick if your raid lacks interrupts.
- Combat Readiness for massive attacks.
- Shadowstep to move through flanking orders(can target allies as well).
- Shadowstep/Burst of Speed to alternate with sprint when resetting stacks.
- Versatily for target swaps.
Will of the Emperor
- Prey on the Weak when stunning the small adds.
- Nerve Strike when stunning the small adds.
- Shuriken Toss or Versatility if you swap/move often.
- Shadowstep or Burst of Speed if you move a lot.
- Elusiveness for devastating arc if can't always dodge it.
- Crippling poison (+ shiv) is recommended for this fight.
Heart of Fear:
Imperial Vizier Zor'lok
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows for Force and Verve.
- Elusiveness for Force and Verve.
- Burst of Speed for movement speed when switching platforms.
- Glyph of Sprint for movement speed when switching platforms.
Blade Lord Ta'yak
- Combat Readiness for unseen strike.
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows for unseen strike.
- Elusiveness for unseen strike, wind step and phase two if you're energy capped while moving.
- Burst of Speed/Shadowstep for phase 2.
- Glyph of Sprint for phase 2.
- Elusiveness for crush(and for furious swipe if you have to "tank" the boss).
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows for crush.
Wind Lord Mel'jarak
- Glyph of Sap for add control.
- Elusiveness for whirling blade and rain of blades.
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows for whirling blade and rain of blades.
- Mind-numbing poison (+shiv) for the healer adds.
- Glyph of Kick for the healer adds, though probably highly unnecessary.
- Avoid using additional stuns/blind/gouge as this might cause the boss to dispel all cc's from the adds.
- Versatility for target swaps.
- Shadowstep after massive stomp.
- Preparation to remove another Parasitic Growth debuff via Cloak of Shadows.
Grand Empress Shek'zeer
- Glyph of Evasion if you have to tank an add.
- Elusiveness for several encounter mechanics and/or if you have to tank an add.
- Combat Readiness if you have to tank an add.
Terrace of Endless Springs:
This is a useful macro for target swapping, especially when you have enabled the "Stop Auto Attack" option in your combat settings. You can also replace Sinister Strike by any other skill like Revealing Strike or Fan of Knives.
The following macros will help using TotT without clicking around in your raid interface.
Uses TotT on your focus target.
Uses TotT on your mouseover target.
Uses TotT on the player whos name you entered, e.g. "/cast [@Kirtar] Tricks of the Trade".
Uses TotT on your focus target if it exists, otherwise it will target your target's target. If you have a friendly target selected, it will ignore the conditions and use TotT on that target instead.
This uses your offensive cooldowns together. You can also add on-use trinkets, items and/or racials.
The following macro can be used for the Wind Lord Mel'jarak encounter in Heart of Fear. It will throw the impaling spear on your focus target, which should be your designated stun target and will re-target your main dps target immediately afterwards.
Bandits Guile Helper - Provides information about insight level and bandit's guile stacks.
SliceAdmiral - Highly configurable box for buff/debuff timers, CP, energy, sound warnings and more.
[top]Thread Change Log
[Nov 11, 2012] Fixes: Single rotation and BiS list.
[Nov 5, 2012] Minor fixes. More macros.
[Nov 3, 2012] Minor fixes. Added reforging and macros. Reworked the talents section.
[Nov 2, 2012] Initial Post.
How much value does expertise loose after offhand cap, with a weapon with racial bonus in offhand?
I was curious about this as well. I"m capped in my MH with Orc racial, but not offhand which has traditionally been the way to go. However, with the increase in raw melee damage, poison damage, Killing Spree offhand, and Shadow Blades offhand, I can't help but wonder if the 400 Haste I can gain would be quickly overshadowed by one or all of these factors.
In Cata it was generally the case that the value of expertise was split about 50/50 between hands. I can't guarantee that that's still true in Mists, but I don't know of any reason why it would have changed drastically. So at a guess, I'd expect 1-handed expertise to still be a decent stat, but likely inferior to haste.
You could load your character with 7.50%+ expertise with either the main- or offhand into simC and let it calculate your expertise weight using positive deltas only. This should give you a clue.
I just tried it with my rogue, switching my fist to a dagger of the same ilvl, so i had exactly 7.50%/6.50% expertise and according to simC my expertise value dropped from 2.93 to 0.33.
When swapping around to 6.50%/7.50% i got 0.68 for expertise, so the exact values are definitively inaccurate, but 0.68 vs 0.33 might give a clue of the relation of mainhand expertise compared to offhand expertise.
My advice is to keep it 7.50%/6.50% for the first case, but push it to 7.50%/8.50% for the latter case as mainhand expertise is way to important.
Here we go:
After rebalancing my settings i got the following values:
MH + OH expertise: 2.94
MH only expertise: 2.00
OH only expertise: 1.00
This of course specifically counts for my gearset, but here is how you can do it for yourself:
Open simC, import your character, set iterations to 10000+, use positive deltas only, analyze expertise rating and make sure to set the delta for expertise to less than your missing rating to the cap(<340, i used 200) by adding the "scale_expertise_rating=200" command line to your simulation profile.
For general purposes you might just use the MH:OH ratio from my results which is about 2:1.
Upon examination, the 50-50 split I was remembering dated to this post, which was made back when Main Gauche was an OH hit. The switch MH Main Gauche hits tipped the balance and means that more of the benefit comes from the MH - and you see that when looking at, for instance, the end-Cata numbers in the Cata combat guide.
In terms of current numbers, this is what ShadowCraft gives for BIS:
MH Expertise: 1.84
OH Expertise: 0.59
That said: the Combat DPS numbers seem a bit low relative to what's being seen in game, so we're still tweaking and testing the model, so its probably worth taking the specific numbers with a grain of salt. However, the overall point - that MH Expertise is probably worth it, but OH Expertise is not - likely remains valid.
Looks like MH expertise is 3/4 and OH 1/4 as a rough rule of thumb
I remember seeing that for combat spec the 4 set shadow blades increases its duration by six sec for combat and 12 for sub and assassination. I think it shows when you switch between spec while looking at the set bonuses.
Regarding the quoted section and choice of finisher:
Crimson Tempest: (32000*0,1375+(((297+889)/2)+593*5))*1,3 = 10345 or 3448dmg/cp on one target
Eviscerate: ((370+((980 * 5) + 32000 * 0,8)*1)+(1108+((980 * 5) + 32000 * 0,8)*1))/2 = 31239. Reduced by boss armor that comes out to some 31239*(1- (0,88*24835/(0,88*24835 + 4037,5*90 - 317117,5))) = 21242 or 4248dmg/cp on one target.
However, Blade Flurry does not dublicate Crimson Tempest on a secondary target as it does Eviscerate. Hence, Eviscerate remains favorable on 2 targets. Once 3 targets are in range, however, Crimson tempest comes out ahead by a decent margin assuming you take advantage of the Anticipation bug. Moreover, outside of raid encounters it's unlikely Weakened Armor will be up on much more than your main target, which will further favor Crimson Tempest.
Wouldn't the [Bonebreaker Gauntlets] be the superior offset piece for Combat? It's itemized better than the tier gloves.
Substituting in the well itemized [Legguards of the Thousandfold Blades], you give up a socket from the offset legs, yet gain one on the gloves for a net 60 Haste/60 Agility in socket bonuses which should be superior to the straight 120 Agility of the offset legs. Not to mention you get to avoid the Crit on the Tier Gloves.
Unless I'm missing excess hit maybe?
Edit: Disregard, I misread the socket bonuses. >.<
Bonuses are non-tier gloves + tier legs = 60agi and 60haste
non-tier legs + tier gloves = 120agi
So even with bonuses non-tier gloves + tier legs should be beter option.
Keep in mind that the non-tier legs are an Elite item, and as such are half a tier above other items. The item level difference likely makes up for the less than optimal stats.
A couple points to note:
1: Elusiveness is extended to 7 seconds if you glyph feint. The talent extends the feint functionality--it does not create its own buff. The in-game tooltip reflects a 7 second elusiveness duration if feint is glyphed. I have not tested to confirm that the tooltip coincides with actual behavior.
2: Prey on the weak is a raid dps gain on stunnable mobs, but it is generally not a personal dps gain. The damage you gain from prey on the weak is less than the damage of the eviscerate or rupture that kidney shot replaced (or the ambush that cheap shot replaced).
Using the simulationcraft T14H Combat BiS profile to pull numbers from, the DPE of eviscerate is 120,681. Divide that over 8 seconds and you'd need a bonus 15k dps from prey on the weak, meaning you'd have to be doing 150k dps for prey on the weak to actually be a gain. This rogue simulation is at just over 114k dps. With cooldowns prey on the weak might be a gain, but without cooldowns, it is certainly a personal dps loss compared to someone else performing the stun. Prey on the weak is definitely a raid dps gain so it's worth using when needed, regardless. If a stunnable mob needs to be stunned and killed, A rogue of any spec (and a combat rogue in particular if the target lives longer than 6 seconds) should probably be the one to stun.
For the second statement i rewrote it to "might be a personal dps gain" for now until we can get better numbers to argue with. Please keep in mind that insight levels play a huge rule in evis' DPE every time and that simC's action priority list and gear currently is way below max dps. It still favors agi gems over haste gems and similar things resulting in a higher evis DPE compared to overall DPS.
I will concede your point. Let's refine the prey on the weak estimate.
I'm going to make some ad hoc best-case assumptions here.
The assumption is that you cast kidney shot at no insight, immediately before advancing bandit's guile to shallow insight on the next global. The reason I choose no insight to shallow insight is that the marginal damage gain is highest with this BG advancement (10% gain over previous, moderate to deep is only an 8.3% gain).
First some preamble. Based on the insight uptimes, the BG cycle is 39.2 seconds and it takes 8.2 seconds to advance through shallow insight, meaning that without adrenaline rush, you will not advance to moderate insight during the stun. Correcting the DPE of eviscerate for the average 17.6% damage coming from BG, the no-insight eviscerate would have been 102k damage. This means the dps gained from prey on the weak would only need to be 12.8k, or 128k baseline dps. The dps at no insight corrects to 97k and shallow insight brings it up to 106.7k.
Conclusion is that it's still not a personal dps gain given the opportunity cost of a finisher even if you advance BG during the stun without cooldowns (based on present modeling, of course). If someone would like to estimate the effect of shadow blades/adrenaline rush, feel free. My intuition tells me that using SB/AR during a stun from prey on the weak WILL be a personal gain in damage over the finisher that the stun replaced.
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