Rogue: Dagger Speed and Poison

In the process of gathering comparison data for 3.0.9, which is now live as of this morning, I decided to take a look at dagger speed, and how it affects overall DPS.

I’ll be the first to admit that my stats aren’t all that hot.  It seems like when I bring my rogue to our guild raids no loot drops, but if I have to heal on my Paladin, the rogue loot drops all the time.  I am, however, hit capped for poison, so my tests should still be valid. 


I have an 1.3 speed dagger (111.1 DPS) and a 1.8 speed dagger (130 DPS).  I decided to experiment on my own as to the best place to use the daggers, and which dagger to apply which poison to.

 I tested both combinations, 1.8/1.3 and 1.3/1.8, once with Deadly/Instant, and then with Instant/Deadly on target dummies.  The only buffs I used were Hunger for Blood, and the poisons.  Each test was conducted for exactly 10 minutes, to lessen the effects of the RNG on the results.  Speaking of the results, here they are:

1.3 Deadly / 1.8 Instant


1.8 Instant / 1.3 Deadly*


1.8 Deadly / 1.3 Instant


1.3 Instant / 1.8 Deadly


* Something isn’t right with these numbers; it looks like my timer went long on this test.  I’ll retest this tonight with the 3.0.9 data.  If in fact the problem was a timer issue, then the DPS should still be accurate.

The clear winner in this test is the 1.3 Instant / 1.8 Deadly.  As proof of the consistency of the tests, check the number of melee hits on each of the tests.  Three out of four were within 2 hits (1085, 1086, 1087)  and the other one was test that I want to redo.

Why was the DPS so much higher with 1.3 Instant / 1.8 Deadly?  Instant poison was applied more times.  It was 30-60k boost in damage over 10 minutes, or 50-100 DPS.  Instant poison actually out damaged mutilate in the test.  Because of the way that Envenom works, I’m not having any issues re-applying deadly with the slower dagger.

Based on what I saw out of these tests, all DPS being equal I’d say that faster daggers are better for Assassination, as a good chunk 40-50% of your damage is linked directly to poison.  But if you have a fast and a slow dagger, it’s better to have the faster dagger in the main hand, even if it’s DPS isn’t as high.  Instant poison should be on your fastest weapon, and Deadly on your slower.

– Sam

3 Responses to Rogue: Dagger Speed and Poison

  1. Nelson says:

    Hi Sam
    I’ve been reading your posts recently and although I alrady knew somethings I learned quite alot from your blog.
    I am kinda of average geared (T8 T9) fallow all the right rotations and love my rogue to bits!
    I have a black knight’s rondel in my (1.8) MH and a steel braker (1.4) also from toc but 25 mode in my OH.
    Funny enough I’ve tested them before i seen this post and i cant remember the results properly but i was doing something like 3250 dps in the dummy and when i swaped them around 1.4 MH 1.8 OH i lost nearly 300 dps..
    I’m not poisen capped and dnt know what else to do to reach the cap 😦
    Do you think if was poisen cap my dps would be even higher?
    Also if you want to take a look at my gear and suggest something I would be very greatfull. name: Destiffmast Server: ravenholdt.

    Thanks 🙂

    P.s- sorry for spelling mistakes english is my third language.

  2. Nelson says:

    never mind got myself a new trinket in TOC24 my poison cap is now sorted and was doin somethink like 7k dps but for some reason i still think thats not enough…

  3. samueltempus says:


    Glad to hear that your DPS is going well.

    This information is well outdated at this point. Blizzard changed how instant poison worked, so it’s no longer advisable to use a fast weapon for your main hand. Go with the hardest hitting dagger you can for the main hand, and you’ll be golden.

    – Sam

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