The Outlaw is the new and shiny Rogue specialisation that Blizzard committed to after scrapping the old Combat spec due to it being too bland compared to Assassination and Subtlety. This Outlaw Rogue guide will put you on the path to mastering this very kind of playstyle for the class.
Bringing something of a pirate flavor to the Rogue, the Outlaw features a sword-based playstyle coupled with a decent amount of crippling dirty tricks. Anyone playing this specialisation will find that it works pretty well in just about any situation, and shines in particular when taking on multiple targets - as a result it's become a firm favorite for clearing Mythic dungeons on a timer. It is also a fantastic specialisation for levelling up with and doing World Quests.
In this Outlaw Rogue guide, we’re going to lay down the foundations of how to build and play the specialisation to its maximum potential. We’ll start by laying out our recommended talent choices with levelling in mind, and a rotation to go along with them. Both of these are easily tweaked for end-game performance once you arrive at the level cap. We’ll also outline the best way to level up your Artifact Weapon, the Dreadblades.
In future updates, we’ll focus on other talent builds for specific situations, such as Mythic+ dungeon running, and we’ll also offer some suggestions on how to pick the optimal gear for your Outlaw Rogue.
This is a constantly updating, organically growing guide, much like World of Warcraft itself, so check back often to make sure you are up-to-date on the latest Outlaw changes.
Editor’s note: Update #1 - Patch 7.1 - Good tidings for Outlaw Rogues as they see some of their main rotational abilities buffed. In this Return to Karazhan patch, Blizzard has increased the damage output of Saber Slash, Pistol Shot, and Ghostly Strike by 10%, while boosting the Blunderbuss Artifact Weapon trait by the same amount. These are welcome buffs that make the specialisation as viable as ever, but are not by themselves reason to change our rotation and artifact weapon levelling recommendations. So carry on as you have so far, and enjoy your overall damage increase!
All articles in this series
Outlaw Rogue talents
So we can create a base from which to start from, here is an outline of all the talents that you can choose as an Outlaw Rogue.
|Level||Option 1||Option 2||Option 3|
|15||Ghostly Strike - Deals moderate damage and causes the target to take 10% increased damage from your abilities for 15 seconds.||Swordmaster - Upgrades Saber Slash, making it have a 10% extra chance to strike an additional time. (45% total)||Quick Draw - Upgrades Saber Slash, making the free uses of Pistol Shot it generates grant an extra Combo Point and deal 50% increased damage.|
|30||Grappling Hook - Lets you grapple across long distances.||Acrobatic Strikes - Gives your melee attacks a slightly bigger range.||Hit and Run - A constant passive 15% boost to your movement speed.|
|45||Deeper Stratagem - A passive ability that increases your Combo Point limit to 6, allows finishing moves to use up to 6 combo points, and increases their damage by 10%.||Elusiveness- Upgrades Feint, causing it to also reduce damage taken from non-area-of-effect sources by 30%.||Cheat Death - A passive ability that makes Fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 sec afterward, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more often than once per 2 min.|
|60||Iron Stomach - Increases the healing received from Crimson Vial, healing potions, and Healthstones by 30%.||Elusiveness - Upgrades Feint, causing it to also reduce damage taken from non-area-of-effect sources by 30%.||Cheat Death - A passive ability that makes Fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 sec afterward, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more often than once per 2 min.|
|75||Parley - A 5-minute stun on a 20-second cooldown, it is only usable on Dragonkin, Humanoids and Demons, and breaks with damage.||Prey on the Weak - A passive ability that has enemies disabled with your Blind, Gouge, Cheap Shot, or Sap take 10% increased damage from all sources.||Dirty Tricks - Gouge, Blind, Cheap Shot, and Sap no longer cost Energy.|
|90||Cannonball Barrage - An AoE that causes high damage to enemies in the targeted area over 2 seconds, and also slows them down by 50% for 1.5 seconds. Has a 60 second cooldown.||Alacrity - Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to grant 1% Haste for 20 sec, stacking up to 20 times.||Killing Spree - Activating this ability teleports you to your target and attacks 7 times over 3 seconds. If Blade Flurry is active, the attacks will be spilt by the enemies in the area.|
|100||Slice and Dice - Replaces Roll the Bones, granting a 90% increase in attack speed that lasts longer based on Combo Points spent.||Marked for Death - Marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. Cooldown is reset if the target dies within 60 sec.||Death From Above - This active ability is a two-part finishing move with a 20-second cooldown that ends with an automatic cast of a 50% stronger Run Through. It also looks quite nice.|
Outlaw Rogue talent build
These are our recommended talents for levelling an Outlaw Rogue. Our priorities here centre on crafting a build that has as little downtime as possible as well as some survivability buttons, through the Iron Stomach and Dirty Tricks talents. It also focuses on building up finishers as quickly as possible to deal massive damage through Deeper Stratagem and Marked for Death.
|15||Quick Draw- Upgrades Saber Slash, making the free uses of Pistol Shot it generates grant an extra Combo Point and deal 50% increased damage.||This streamlines your rotation and gives you a nice damage boost overall, as the chance for Pistol Shot to proc is quite high.|
|30||Grappling Hook - Lets you grapple across long distances.||This tier is almost entirely devoted to quality-of-life upgrades and mostly a matter of personal preference. Grappling Hook is very fun and will occasionally streamline the questing process.|
|45||Deeper Stratagem - A passive ability that increases your Combo Point limit to 6, allows finishing moves to use up to 6 combo points, and increases their damage by 10%.||Our build is based around quickly building up combo points and enabling the frequent use of finishing moves, so this helps us in every way possible.|
|60||Iron Stomach - Increases the healing received from Crimson Vial, healing potions, and Healthstones by 30%.||This is a good boost to your only healing ability, and will prove useful in a pinch, or as a pick-me-up between fights.|
|75||Dirty Tricks - Gouge, Blind, Cheap Shot, and Sap no longer cost Energy.||No energy cost for your utility abilities is too good a deal to pass up on. While they are too situational to include in our rotation, always be on the lookout for an opportunity to use them.|
|90||Cannonball Barrage - An AoE that causes high damage to enemies in the targeted area over 2 seconds, and also slows them down by 50% for 1.5 seconds. Has a 60 second cooldown.||This is a very good tool to use when fighting multiple enemies, on a very reasonable cooldown.|
|100||Marked for Death - Marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. Cooldown is reset if the target dies within 60 sec.||A fantastic ability for levelling up, as the shortish nature of most fights will ensure your combo meter is always topped up.|
Outlaw Rogue rotations
Unlike the other Rogue specialisations, which thrive in pooling resources in order to use them at just the right moment, the Outlaw Rogue generates its main resources - Energy and Combo Points - very intensely, so your main focus will be on spending them before they reach their limit.
Finally, the new finisher, Roll the Bones grants you a random buff whenever you use it, with its duration improved based on combo points spent. There’s a decent (35%ish) chance of it granting you a second buff, so it's useful to reroll until you get two buffs in end-game scenarios, but not really worth it while leveling.
As for the buffs, they add an extra layer of improvisation to the class. You need to take their effects into account and adapt accordingly in order to reap the maximum benefit. In practice, following a good rotation like the one below will work well with any of the buffs, but pay particular attention to Broadsides, as when you have it, it will increase your combo point generation, and you don’t want to waste them - so don't be afraid of spamming those finishers!
Outlaw Rogue - Single target rotation
The purpose of this rotation is to get you to five or six combo points as quickly as possible, at which point you’ll either cast Roll the Bones to buff up, or Run Through to deal damage. You should always use these finishers at five combo points, as waiting to get six means you will risk overgenerating combo points and thus wasting a resource..
|Action||Conditions / Further Instructions|
|1.||Open with Ambush||This should be used from Stealth. Awards 2 combo points.|
|2.||Saber Slash||This will generate 1 combo point.|
|3.||Pistol Shot||This awards 1-2 combo points.|
|4.||Saber Slash||If under 5 combo points.|
|5.||Pistol Shot||If free from a previous Saber Slash and under 5 combo points.|
|6.||Roll the Bones or Run Through||Only cast Roll the Bones if it’s not present or close to falling off, otherwise cast Run Through.|
|7.||Marked for Death|
|8.||Roll the Bones or Run Through||Only cast Roll the Bones if it’s not present or close to falling off, otherwise cast Run Through.|
|9.||Adrenaline Rush||You will want to combo this as much as possible with Curse of the Dreadblades.|
|10.||Curse of the Dreadblades (Ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)||This will make your combo point generators fill up your combo points with each strike.|
|11.||Saber Slash||If Curse is active, and no combo points.|
|12.||Roll the Bones or Run Through||If Curse is active. Cast Roll the Bones if it’s not present or close to falling off, otherwise cast Run Through.|
|13.||Repeat 11 - 12||Until Curse of the Dreadblades runs out.|
|14.||Restart from 2|
Outlaw Rogue - Multiple target rotation
An unique aspect of the Outlaw Rogue is that all of its attacks have the potential to hit multiple targets, so long as you activate Blade Flurry, an ability that stays activated until you turn it off and - at the expense of your Energy regeneration - makes your attacks hit surrounding enemies for 35% damage.
So there is no specific rotation for multiple targets. Just activate Blade Flurry whenever you are facing more than one target - ideally before starting the fight, but do it in the middle of the fight if additional enemies show up. Use the single target rotation while casting Cannonball Barrage whenever its cooldown is over.
More WOW class guides:
Other WOW guides:
Outlaw Rogue Artifact and Relics
The Dreadblades are the artifact weapon for the Outlaw spec Rogue, and they introduce a risk-reward dynamic to the playstyle. Activating the weapons' ability will allow you to chain several finishers with only one combo-point generating attack between them, but doing so will sacrifice your health. Proper use of this Curse of the Dreadblades ability becomes central to your rotation, and was explained in the previous section.
The Dreadblades have one of the most complex trait trees, and since resetting your Artifact Power is extremely costly, we advise you to follow the recommendations below closely, as they will guide you to the maximum damage increase in the least amount of time. Unlike most classes and specs, Outlaw Rogues shouldn't race to get the three golden / major traits as quickly as possible, because some minor traits end up providing a bigger impact to your overall performance.
Also - unlike many specialisations and classes - some relic traits take priority over increasing your overall artifact item level. You should always equip relics that increase the traits listed below, unless the item level difference is huge (at least 30 relic item levels). For any other relics, go for the one with the highest item level, regardless of trait.
Priority Relic Traits:
- Fate's Thirst
- Fortune Strikes
- Fortune's Strike
|1||Fate's Thirst||Our main damaging finisher is Run Through, and starting here will grant it a considerable boost.|
|2||Fatebringer||This will help you save a decent amount of energy and leave you relying less on Adrenaline Rush to smooth out your Dreadblades' finisher chains.|
|3||Ghostly Shell||This is a niche increase in survivability, but we need to get it in order to grab the fist major trait.|
|4||Greed||A chance to significantly boost the value of your Run Through, which is already your default finisher.|
|5||Hidden Blade||This boosts your combo point generation, and very much warrants you taking the long path to the next major trait.|
|6||Blade Dancer||A considerable boost to your cleave damage against multiple targets.|
|7||Fortune Strikes||Now that we've gotten our main damage increases, it's time to grab some increased energy generation.|
|8||Gunslinger||A passive damage increase to your rotation.|
|9||Deception||A pretty weak, mostly utilitarian survival trait, but we need to get it on the way to the second major trait.|
|10||Fortune's Strike||Yet another passive damage increase.|
|11||Blunderbuss||Your second major gives your Pistol Shot a nice boost, 33% of the time.|
|12||Fortune's Boon||Adrenaline Rush is one of your best tools and a central part of your rotation, so decreasing its cooldown is a big deal.|
|13||Black Powder||Between the Eyes was never your preferred finisher - and this doesn't change that - but it's a decent damage boost for when you want to get a stun in.|
|14||Blurred Time||Your final major trait sits firmly in the territory of "nice to have", giving you access to your cooldowns slightly more often.|
|15||Blademaster||This upgrade to Riposte turns it into a good combo point generator, but it's not a priority because the results are not completely predictable, and would likely lead to wasted combo points.|
This is it for the second version of our Outlaw Rogue guide. Be sure to check in later for additional info covering alternative end-game talent choices, PVP and gear selection.
In the meantime, we would love it if you took to the comment section down below to offer your feedback and tell us where you think the guide should turn its attention to next!