An Assassin’s Guide to 5.0.4

On August 28th, Blizzard will release the pre-Mists of Pandaria content patch, 5.0.4. The changes rolled into this patch set the stage for Mists, including a revamp of talents and glyphs. If you’re raiding that week, things get could a bit bumpy as everyone adapts to those changes. While rogues are not the most affected class by any means, my goal with this post is to help other stabby types prepare for the changes coming and be ready to roll next Tuesday.

This guide will be focused on Assassination rogues for the most part. For the Combat perspective, check out Sinnaabun of Accession Guild’s guide.


First, let’s look at things to do to prepare:

Sell (or Buy!) Poisons. These won’t be needed come 5.0.4, so you’ll save some bag space. You may want to buy some, however, for nostalgia purposes (thanks to Perculia for tweeting this tip).

Reforge. You will want 7.5% in hit and 7.5% in expertise (~ 769 in each) since poisons are being moved to the melee hit table. It’s hard to say how the top-to-bottom stat priority will shake out, so for now, I’d aim for hitting those caps and then sticking with the current stat priorities (mastery, haste, crit, white hit).


Next let’s look at spec changes, specifically for Dragon Soul fights:

Level 15: Shadow Focus will be the usual choice here for the free Tricks of the Trade then opener.

Level 30: Deadly Throw for Morchok to attack from afar, Combat Readiness otherwise. Maybe Nerve Strike if you’re on Bloods on Heroic Spine.

Level 45: Cheat Death if you’re worried about spike damage killing you (this will allow you to solo soak on Heroic Zon’ozz, although you’ll probably want to be on the boss), Elusiveness if there are heavy outgoing damage phases, Leeching Poison otherwise.

Level 60: Preparation is a very minor DPS cooldown because of the extra Vanish it gives you every five minutes. A reset of Cloak of Shadows, Evasion, and Dismantle are also potentially handy. Shadowstep will be nice on fights like Blackhorn and Madness where there is a lot of target switching.

Level 75: Prey on the Weak has its occasional uses.

Level 90: You won’t have this on Tuesday, but for the mental exercise: Shuriken Toss for Morchok, Anticipation for all other bosses.

All told, there are very few “interesting choices.” Color me underwhelmed.


Next, glyph changes:

Major Glyphs:

Glyph of Vendetta is mandatory, if you’ll have 25+ seconds uninterrupted on your target.

Glyph of Sprint and Glyph of Feint are likely my two other choices here, unless something situational is called for. Glyph of Expose Armor could be useful depending on your raid comp (note: Expose Armor is now a combo point builder rather than a finisher, so although it’s still a DPS loss, it isn’t nearly as bad in Mists).

Minor Glyphs:

Glyph of Blurred Speed, Glyph of Safe Fall, and Glyph of Poisons are my choices here. Avoid Glyph of Tricks of the Trade in a raid setting. Your personal DPS loss is more than made up for by the DPS boost you give your tricks target.


Finally, rotation changes:

The rotation for Assassination has a few changes, but nothing too radical. Since this is a guide for level 85 characters, I won’t go into Shadow Blades or the Anticipation talent.

This could change and there are a number of conflicting opinions on this, but for now, open with Mutilate from stealth. With Shadow Focus, this will be free.

Get a 4-5 point Rupture up. Get a 4-5 point Slice and Dice up.

Use Dispatch (our new replacement for Backstab execute, without the positional requirement – finally, execute on Ultraxion!) when below 35% or whenever you get a Blindside proc.

Tricks on cooldown; Feint when necessary (don’t spam). Note that both of these cost energy now. Tricks will still be a raid DPS boost; Feint will still help your healers. Be a good teammate and use them. One other note about Feint: it doesn’t require a target now, which is very helpful.

Vanish is now only a minor DPS cooldown, and only then if you use Shadow Focus for the free opener. When you “reopen,” I’m guessing a simple free Mutilate or Dispatch will be the best here, but Ambush may be better.

Cold Blood has gone away, which I’m perfectly okay with. Abilities you /macro and forget are pretty dumb, in my opinion. So take that out of your macros.

For AoE: Fan of Knives with a target selected. This now builds combo points! Spend those combo points at 5 by using Crimson Tempest.

If you have any tips to share, or are doing something different, please post your take below!

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About Tikari

I'm a rogue who likes to raid, guilded with Apotheosis on Eldre'Thalas. If you think I may have pumpkin headed you, it was actually @kurnmogh.

3 Responses to An Assassin’s Guide to 5.0.4

  1. Pingback: Warcraft Patch 5.0.4 - Class Overview Compilation | Variant Avatar

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  3. Pingback: 5.0.4 and You – All Classes Edition | Cannot be Tamed

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