Yesterday, I sat at my iMac, rubbed my temples, held my breath, and hit that “Resubscribe” button on Battle.net. It’s Expansion Pack time again, and I couldn’t help but drool over the new content in World of Warcraft’s new expansion – Legion. One of my favorite parts about the expansion, as a lifelong rogue (IRL and in-game), is the new Rogue spec called “Outlaw”, which changes up a lot of the tried and somewhat true Combat spec mechanics, while finally giving the spec a distinct flavor and flair it had previously lacked since Vanilla. Outlaw can get a little crazy sometimes, and definitely has its quirks, so I decided to throw together a quick-start guide for the new Spec, as well as a recommended rotation for everyday questing and LFR raids.
We’ll start by answering a pretty big question – what is the Outlaw Rogue, and how is it different from Combat?
It’s Kinda Like Under Pressure and Ice Ice Baby.
If you didn’t know already – Outlaw is really similar to the spec it replaced – Combat – in a number of different ways. It isn’t the prettiest girl at the Single Target DPS prom, but lord knows when that line dance comes on and its time to hit multiple people at once, she’s outshining both of her target-monogamous sisters. And if that’s not the best WoW spec metaphor you’ve ever heard, I just don’t know what to tell you.
Anyway, Outlaw is dope because you’re getting some heavy cleave and AoE utility, which is something Mut and Sub spec Rogues fucking suck at when it comes to massive trash pulls or AoE on bosses. Outlaw also is pretty good in piling on (and keeping on) damage and pressure to all targets, because out of the three Rogue specs – it has the least cooldowns to rely on.
Amazing Great Good Acceptable For Raiding!
Pretty much everything I’ve read so far on these here internet street is that Outlaw is not the ideal Rogue spec for raiding as of 7.0.3. This is probably accurate, considering Mut has been on the up-and-up lately, and has obscene burst damage in the current patch. Personally, the flavor of Outlaw Rogue itself is enough for me to keep playing it, and I’m sure that once future patches roll out we’ll see more balance between the three. So no, Outlaw doesn’t have the single-target or burst power that Sub and Mut have, but Outlaw is the only Rogue spec that isn’t as useless as a concrete parachute when it comes to AoE, so Blizz is going to have to give Outlaw some good good lovin’ sooner or later, lest it becomes doomed to become solely a leveling spec for people who want to RP as a pirate.
Roll For Initiative!
The most confusing (and sometimes frustrating) part of the Outlaw Rogue spec is the somewhat-signature pseudo-finisher known as Roll the Bones. Roll the Bones is a finisher that grants 1-6 random buffs, some of which are shit – and some of which are incredibly helpful. Just like Slice and Dice, RtB’s duration is dependent on how many Combo Points you pop it with, but you also have a better chance of gaining more buffs at once if you build those Combo Points as well. RtB’s buffs last anywhere from 12 to 42 seconds from 1 to 6 Combo Points, the sixth of which is granted by having Deeper Stratagem selected as a talent. So, go do that. Here are the six different buffs you can gain from Roll the Bones, in order of highest effectiveness to lowest.
True Bearing causes finishing moves to reduce the remaining cooldown of some of your abilities (*cough* Adrenaline Rush) by 2 seconds per Combo Point. This is the one you want. TB directly impacts your Adrenaline Rush cooldown, meaning you can cast significantly more finishers with both of these active. If you have True Bearing active during Adrenaline Rush, you’ll be looking at a 1-minute(ish) cooldown on AR by the time True Bearing ends.
Broadsides causes all Combo Point-generating abilities to generate 1 additional Combo Point. If you can get this buff at the same time as Shark Infested Waters (which increases your Critical Strike chance by 40%) you’re in the money. These are both incredible buffs for burst damage.
Jolly Roger is also a great companion to the above pairing of buffs, because it’s gonna give your Saber Slash an additional 40% chance to strike again. Again, AoE utility. It’s what in these days, or so I hear…
Buried Treasure, otherwise known as Diet Caffeine Free Adrenaline Rush, increases your Energy regen by 40%. But to be honest, you’d be better with True Bearing, because you can pop the real Adrenaline Rush (which increases Energy regen by 100% with a little boost to attack speed), and get a real good buzz going.
Grand Melee increases your attack speed by 40% and your Leech by 20%. This is incredibly mediocre compared to the others, so if you see this or Buried Treasure pop up – roll your bones again as soon as you build up enough combo points.
I know what you’re thinking. This is fucking involved. Who wants to track all this shit? There’s no add-ons that currently make RtB any easier to understand, but Roll the Bones isn’t that bad once you get used to it and start to recognize the buff icons. More often than not, you’ll end up with a few solid buffs at once, and you won’t have to re-roll.
Rotation, Rotation, Rotation
Here’s the Outlaw rotation I’ve been using, so far.
0.) Blade Flurry if you’re in a multi-target situation. Leave it off if you’re in dealing with singular targets, since you’re sacrificing 20% Energy regen whenever this ability is active.
3.) Adrenaline Rush.
4.) Saber Slash your way to six Combo Points.
8.) Rinse, and repeat.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re seriously into being an Outlaw, you’ve gotta know when to wrap it up. So here’s the deal. I like Outlaw. It’s flavorful, fun, and random enough to induce just the right amount of unpredictability and chance that should come packed into a Rogue’s lifespan. Will you always get the results you want from Roll the Bones? No. Will you significantly out-AoE your other Rogue cousins? Yep. Are you gonna love the new sounds and animations that come with Pistol Shot and Saber Slash? I hope so, because they’re awesome.