Gear Check: Gearing your Rogue for Heroics and Raiding in Cataclysm, Part 1

Cataclysm has brought on a lot of changes for rogues. Subtlety may again see the light of day as a PvE spec, Hunger for Blood is replaced by Vendetta, and weapon specializations taken away from Combat just to name a few changes. This post will help you determine what gear you will want to go after in the endgame, and what you should be looking for while leveling.

The first thing you want to keep in mind are what stats you are going to want for heroics and raiding. While this doesn’t matter much for questing, if you are leveling in dungeons or preparing to do heroics, you should start looking to build your set while you are leveling.

Stat Weightings

With reforging, you can move some of your gear’s stats around. It’s important to know what stats you are looking for and reforge the stats that aren’t very good for you into better ones.

For Combat, this is what you are looking at:

Agility >> Hit (pre yellow cap) >> Expertise (pre cap) > Haste > Hit > Crit > Mastery

Basically, agility is way better than everything else, hit is way better than other things until the yellow cap, then hit and haste are about equal, but both better than crit and mastery.

Your hit information can be obtained by going into your character stats sheet. At level 85, here are the caps assuming you picked up 3/3 precision:

  • Yellow: 241 (2%)
  • Spell: 1127 (11%)
  • White: 2523 (21%)

Basically, hit rating is really good until the yellow cap, then its about as good as haste and expertise. It stays about that good up until the white hit cap, at which point it is useless. You won’t be anywhere near that number, so don’t worry about it too much. Expertise is capped at 781 for most races; if you have a racial that increases your expertise with your weapons (like Gnomes or Orcs), you are looking at 691.

A note on weapons: You are going to want a slow main hand and a fast offhand. The type of weapon doesn’t matter (unless you have a racial bonus), but the only fast offhands are daggers, so put a 1.4 speed dagger there.

Read on for the full list of gear you will want.

Assassination is looking at a similar list:

Agility>>Hit (yellow cap)>>Hit (spell cap)>Mastery>Haste>Expertise>Crit>Hit (white cap)

Assasination shares the expertise cap of 781/691, but hit is slightly different:

Yellow Spell White
3/3 Precision 241 (2%) 1127 (11%) 2523 (21%)
2/3 Precision 481 (4%) 1332 (13%) 2763 (23%)

Put a  1.8 speed dagger in your main hand and a 1.4 in your off.


While leveling to 85, you might want to keep reputation rewards in mind. Here are the things you are going to be looking out for:

Guardians of Hyjal: Get this rep by questing in Hyjal or by wearing their tabard in level 84-85 dungeons. If you only do quests, you will only get up to revered.

  • Honored: Sly Fox Jerkin – This vest is on par with drops from level 85 dungeons, has two sockets, and is easy to get at honored. You can wear this at level 83, too.
  • Revered: Acorn of the Daughter Tree – This is on par with necklaces you will be getting in heroics and is a great combination of stats for Assassination. I’m not sure if its worth grinding to revered for, but if you are questing in Hyjal anyway, why not?

Earthen Ring: You get this from questing in Vashj’ir, Deepholm, and the Twilight Highlands, or by wearing their tabard in 84-85 dungeons.

  • Revered: Softwind Cape – On par with other heroic capes, and identical to the one that drops in heroic Deadmines. This cape is the best available for Assassination Rogues at this item level.
  • Exalted: Signet of the Elder Council – This ring is on par with raiding epics and perfect for Assassination. Combat may want to pass this up for heroic rings due to the mastery, but definitely pick it up regardless if you are getting close to exalted.

Therazane: The new “Sons of Hodir” rep, you’ll want this rep to get the best shoulder enchants available. You get this from doing some Deepholm quests, daily quests, and wearing the tabard in level 84-85 dungeons.

Ramkahen: Quest in Uldum, do some dailies, or wear their tabard in dungeons.

  • Revered:
    • Arcanum of the Ramkahen – You want this. Its the best head enchant you can get.
    • Quicksand Belt – The crit on this belt isn’t great, but its a heroic quality belt. Pick it up with the head enchant.

Dragonmaw Clan/Wildhammer Clan: Quest in the Twilight Highlands, do some dailies, or wear their tabard in 84-85 dungeons.

While it all depends on your gear you have, I would work on factions in the following order:

  1. Therazane (unless you are a scribe, then skip it)
  2. Ramkahen to Revered
  3. Earthen Ring
  4. Dragonmaw/Wildhammer
  5. Guardians of Hyjal

Gear from dungeons comes in regular and heroic versions. The regular versions are of a level appropriate to the dungeon (eg, Throne of the Tides gear is good for level 80-82 players), but all of the heroic gear is of the same high quality (iLvl 342). As such, the recommendations are good for both regular and heroic, as the heroic versions have the same combination of stats, just in greater amounts.

Throne of the Tides (80-81 regular, 85 heroic):

  • Commander Ulthok: Caridean Epaulettes (heroic) – These gloves have a delicious red socket. Combat will like these a bit more than Assassination.
  • Lady Naz’jar: Lightning Whelk Axe (heroic) – Combat rogues get a decent axe. Throw it in your main hand.
  • Neptulon’s Cache: Nautilus Ring (heroic) – boring haste/crit ring. There are better.

Blackrock Caverns:


Vortex Pinnacle:

  • Asaad: Gloves of Haze (heroic): Boring gloves, terrible sockets. Skip out on running VP if you can.

Lost City of the Tol’vir:

Halls of Origination:

Grim Batol:

Heroic Deadmines:

Heroic Shadowfang Keep:

Continue to part 2


  1. I thought main gauche were held in the off-hand as “parry daggers” traditionally. Great list, I’ll be using it as a guide for my rogue as I level her to 85!

  2. Can you explain (maybe show a screen shot of the character page) what “yellow”, “white”, and all the cap colors you’re talking about mean?

    Also, what’s the reason for a 1.8 in main hand and a 1.4 in the off-hand?

    Finally, is part 2 out?

  3. Part 2 is here:

    Long story short, “yellow” means spell damage, specifically poison damage. White is melee attacks. It takes less hit rating to “cap” your hit rating on your poisons (meaning they will hit 100% of the time) than on melee. Thus, once you cap out on poison attacks, each point of hit rating isn’t quite as good as it was before the yellow cap.

    You want a 1.8 speed dagger in your MH because its the slowest dagger speed. If two daggers do the same DPS, the slower one will do more damage per hit. Some abilities are based on weapon damage, not DPS, so DPS being equal, you want the slower weapon in your MH.

    The 1.4 OH is usually for applying poisons as quickly as possible, but since poisons have been normalized (the same total number of poisons per minute are applied regardless of dagger speed), and there are no longer talents like Focused Attacks, you can probably get away with using a 1.8 in your OH. There are plenty of 1.8 daggers available though, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

  4. GOYARD??????????????????????GOYARD????????????????????????????????????GOYARD?????????????GOYARD????????????????GOYARD?????????????????

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