Rogue: A Tank’s Best Friend
January 21, 2009 13 Comments
Tricks of the Trade is my new favorite rogue ability. It is available to all Rogues from the trainer at level 75. Its tooltip reads:
The current party or raid member becomes the target of your Tricks of the Trade. The threat caused by your next attack and actions taken 6 sec afterwards will be transferred to the target. In addition all damage caused by the target is increased by 15% during this time.
I think a lot of rogues, including myself, have overlooked this talent. It’s essentially the same thing as a Hunter’s misdirect, but becuase of how it works, and the other abilities we have, it’s actually better. Today, I’m going to discuss some good uses for this ability.
Before I get into that though, I want to thank Blizzard for removing the cooldown on Fan of Knives. I think that lowering the energy cost to 40 would help, as you can pull about 4 of them off in 6 seconds or so, but you’re completely drained of energy after that. Still, it’s nice to have a true AoE ability.
– Tricks of the Trade –
What exactly does this ability do?
The tooltip does a good job of explaining the ability. What it doesn’t explain is exactly how it works. When you use Tricks of the Trade, you have to either have a party member selected, or click on them after using the ability. This will give you a 30 second buff called Tricks of the Trade, and reset the 30 second cooldown on the ability.
Edit: If you do not attack anything while the buff is up, it will reset the 30 second cooldown on the ability anyway, so make sure you’re going to be attacking something in the next 30 seconds before you use Tricks of the Trade.
Here’s the tricky part. If in that 30 seconds you use an attack on a mob, the original buff goes away, and you get another buff called, you guessed it, Tricks of the Trade. This buff only lasts 6 seconds, and during this time, any threat you cause will be given to the target of your Tricks of the Trade ability. In addition your target gets a 15% damage buff while your buff is up.
How can I use this ability?
I’m glad you asked. There are a variety of uses for this ability, and with the short cooldown on the ability, you might get a chance to use them all in one instance.
1.) Personal Safety– With Patch 3.0.8 Ambush got a buff by adding 2 combo points instead of 1. It makes sense to use this ability as an opener (not that it didn’t before), as it can deal great damage, and now gives 2 combo points. The problem is, if you don’t wait for your tank to get enough aggro, and you have a 5k Ambush crit, you’re probably going to die.
Not anymore though, becuase you can use Tricks of the Trade. Now, your tank not only gets the threat from that 5k Ambush, but also all of your threat for the next 6 seconds. Not only are you still alive 10 seconds into the fight, but your tank is nearing a 20k threat lead on everyone in your party. I don’t know a lot of tanks that would complain about that.
2.) Healer Safety – Sometimes your healer is going to pull threat and your tank isn’t going to be able to see it. It happens, more often than you’d think. Instead of the tank moving, you can pop Sprint and Tricks of the Trade, wail on the mob for 6 seconds, and save your healer.
Sometimes you will be in a situation when adds have spawned, and they all go straight to the healer. If you pop Tricks of the Trade on your tank, and use Fan of Knives, they will leave your healer and head straight for your tank.
3. Pulls and Tank Threat – Tricks of the Trade really shines here. You can help your Tank with tricky pulls; just pop Tricks, stealth up to the group of mobs and use Fan of Knives until Tricks fades.
Do you have a tank that’s having trouble keeping threat on multiple mobs? Is Skadi’s gauntlet giving you trouble? Not any more. Just use Tricks of the trade with Fan of Knives, and your tank will have that extra threat they need on the mobs that would have gone running for your healer.
Tricks of the Trade is a very versatile ability, and it should be used often. If you’re a Rogue, and this isn’t on an action bar somewhere, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not using it.