WoW Legion Rogue class preview

The final Legion class preview is here, and it’s a doozy. Rogues may not be switching resource types or moving from melee to ranged, but the class will see a lot of changes to give each spec a unique identity. For Assassination and Subtlety, this means doubling down on the existing spec fantasy — but for Combat, well, Blizzard says it best:

Combat
GONE!

Combat has drifted off to the Twisting Nether to be replaced by Outlaw, a new spec that builds on some of Combat’s thematic abilities while giving it more definition than “Rogues who don’t use daggers.” Now, let’s dig in to what these redesigned specs have to offer.

Assassination

Assassins begin their work stealthily, choosing their targets and methods of engagement carefully

Assassination will be focused on poisons and bleeds — and, in fact, it will be the only Rogue spec with access to either, giving it a very specific gameplay niche within the Rogue’s playbook. Because of this, an Assassin’s damage is likely to be weak up-front, but build over time as poisons, bleeds, and combos start to kick in. Many familiar abilities remain, like Garrote, Mutilate, Envenom, and Rupture, with some redesigned to better work with this new spec, like Seal Fate (which can now trigger from both hands with Mutilate) and Venomous Wounds (which now simply gives 10 energy every time you bleed a poisoned target).

Outlaw

To survive in such a world, outlaws must become master swordsmen in toe-to-toe combat—and they can’t shy away from fighting dirty

While you will find some old favorites from Combat here, like Adrenaline Rush, Blade Flurry, and Slice and Dice, Outlaw seems to have a lot of all-new abilities — and certainly a new focus. Though Outlaws will still have Stealth for utility, it will be de-emphasized in combat (as it already was, somewhat, for Combat), with Ambush being their only opening move (though with it being the typical opener for Combat anyway, this probably isn’t a big gameplay change).

New abilities focus on the swashbuckler fantasy and throw in a couple of ranged skills — no, the Outlaw isn’t a ranged class, but it has options for finishing runners beyond hitting the Sprint hotkey. Core to the idea that an Outlaw isn’t above fighting dirty is Pistol Shot, a new ranged ability (20 yards) in which you draw a concealed pistol to shoot your target, causing moderate physical damage and slowing it. This ties in with what seems likely to be Outlaw’s primary attack: Saber Slash which causes moderate physical damage, generates one combo point, and has a 35% chance to deal increased damage, grant an extra combo point, and make your next Pistol Shot free. Another (slightly) ranged new ability is Run Through (8 yards), a finishing move that will cause damage depending on the number of combo points used and, again, likely a good way to finish off runners.

Subtlety

The subtlety rogue’s acumen on the battlefield and ability to hide in plain sight are unrivaled

It’s no surprise that Subtlety will be focusing on Stealth gameplay, with Blizzard aiming to make Stealth a primary combat mechanic for the spec. Shadowstrike looks like it’s merged with Shadowstep (which isn’t mentioned in the preview and may be gone): it will now move you instantly behind your target to deal strong physical damage. Focusing further on stealth, the new Shadow Dance passive will give your finishing moves a 20% chance to drop you into Stealth per combo point used — and if you enter Stealth in this way it will not break when you autoattack or take damage, and a Shadow Decoy will appear nearby, confusing your enemies. Then there’s more focus on Subtlety’s connection to the shadowy arts with new ability Nightblade, a finishing move that does shadow damage over time.


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And, finally, while Subtlety’s Mastery isn’t changing in name — none of the class’s Masteries are — it is losing its improvement to Slice and Dice. If we had to guess, we’d say Slice and Dice is likely to be Outlaw only.

You can read the full Rogue class preview on the WoW official site. And, while Rogue is our last Legion class preview for the week, you can catch up on the rest by reading our previous class preview blogs here on Blizzard Watch — and expect an in-depth look at Rogues soon.

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