Leveling a Rogue: Baby Rogue – Levels 1-10


I may be short, but I’m strong!

If you’ve been following the guide, you’ve decided to roll a rogue and learned about the basic mechanics of the class.  If not, welcome!

Today we’re going to discuss how to level from 1 to 10 and any issues that you might encounter along the way.  Pure speculation here, but I think that most players make up their mind about whether or not they like a class in the first 10 levels.  This is unfortunate for the Rogue class, as we get very few skills at the beginning that have that Roguish feel to them.

Baby Rogue: Levels 1-10

When you get control of your character, you’ve got a few basic skills: 

  • Attack
  • Sinister Strike
  • Eviscerate
  • Throw

Attack and Throw are base abilities that do not require any energy to use.  Attack simply toggles your auto attack on or off, and throw is a ranged attack with, you guessed it, a thrown weapon.  Sinister Strike and Eviscerate consume energy, and as they are going to be staples of your skill rotations while leveling, I’ll spend a bit more time on them.

Sinister Strike is, by far, the best Combo Move a Combat Rogue wielding swords or fist weapons can use to generate combo points.  It won’t hit near as hard with daggers, but at the beginning of the game, it’s all you’ve got to gain combo points.  Sinister Strike uses 45 energy, so it isn’t exceptionally cheap, but it does a fair amount of physical damage (weapon damage + 3 initially).

Eviscerate is a Finisher that deals physical damage.  How much damage it does depends on two factors, your attack power and the number of Combo Points that were built up before its use.  For example at level 1 it would hit for 6 to 7 damage with one Combo point, and approximately 28-32 with five Combo Points.

Now that we’ve got the basic skills down, how about we actually get some leveling done…


Level 1

You’ve got you’re initial quest and you’re off to kill some level 1 and 2 mobs.  You’re going to be using Sinister Strike (SS) and Eviscerate (EV) to kill them.  Here’s two examples:

SS only:  SS -> SS -> SS 

SS / EV:  SS -> SS – > EV(2pt)

 Choose whichever you like, but the second is closer to what you’ll be using in a few levels.


Levels 2 and 3

You can (and should, if able) purchase Stealth from the trainer.  When in Stealth, you are harder to detect, but move much slower as a penalty.  Also, remember that it’s Stealth, not Invisibility; if you walk in front of something hostile, it will likely see you. 

Stealth doesn’t have a whole lot of use until level 4, so just note that when active, your normal action bar will be replaced with Stealth action bar.  We’ll put an ability here in a few levels.

The Mobs start to get a little more HP at this point, so you may want to try something like this:

SS -> SS -> SS -> EV(3pt)

Also, you should begin to run into hostile (red) mobs at this point.  It is important to avoid fighting more than one mob at a time.  This will change in time, but as the mobs get stronger, if you end up pulling more than one and it looks sketchy, just run away.


Level 4 and 5

Available at the trainer are two new abilities, Pick Pocket and Backstab.  Pick pocket is only usable while in Stealth, so you’ll want to go into Stealth to put it on the Stealth action bar I mentioned previously.  Backstab is another Combo Move, but it has two requirements.  First, it is only usable behind a target, and second, it requires the use of a dagger in your main hand.  Backstab deals physical damage (150% weapon damage + 15), costs and expensive 60 energy and generates 1 combo point. 

Even though Backstab isn’t an Opener, we’re going to use it in that capacity until we get one.  Unfortunately, It’s not really usable in any other way at the moment.  To use Backstab as an Opener, simply position yourself behind the mob and use Backstab.  If the mob is hostile, you’ll have to use Stealth.  Here’s an example of a rotation using Backstab as an opener:

BS -> SS -> SS -> EV (3pt)


Levels 6 and 7

 A new rank of Sinister Strike is ready for you at the trainer, as well as a new ability called Gouge.  Gouge is another physical attack, but it causes weak damage at best.  However, it does incapacitate the target for 4 seconds.  To use gouge the mob must be facing you.  It costs 45 energy and awards 1 Combo Point. 

There are a variety of uses for the Gouge ability, but here are a two you may find useful.  First, if your situation is looking grim and you need to run, you can use Gouge to buy yourself a 4 second head start.  Second, if you want to use Backstab in a rotation, simply use Gouge (Gg):

SS -> Gg -> BS -> SS -> EV(4pt)

It isn’t necessary to use a rotation like this, and if I use backstab at this point in the game, it’s usually as a psedo-Opener.


Levels 8 and 9

You are getting very close to reaching level 10, and you’re about to get a very helpful survival tool.  Available for training is a new rank of Eviscerate, and Evasion.  Evasion increases your dodge chance by 50% for 15 seconds.  Don’t hesitate to use this ability if you’ve pulled two mobs or you feel that you won’t make it through a fight.

Enemies tend to be packed closer together at this point, and sometimes it feels like you can attract a mob’s attention from miles away.If you come across multiple mobs and you’re unsure if you’ll pull them both, use your Throw ability to pull them one at a time.. 

Around these levels you may also begin to run into ranged mobs and casters.  If they are alone you can simply stealth up to them and begin your attack.  If, however, they are near other mobs, you’ll need to perform a Line of Sight (LoS) pull.  This is accomplished by first grabbing the mobs attention with your throw ability, and then hiding out of sight.  If done properly, this will cause the mob to move close enough to see you.  Please note that you generally can’t use objects to LoS, just buildings and terrain.  You can check Line of Sight yourself by targeting the mob and hiding.  If you’re in range of the mob and your thrown ability can’t be used, then it’s a good spot for a LoS pull.

Making it from level 8 to level 10 can be more difficult than making in from 1 to 8.  The mobs can hit harder, are more tightly packed, and include ranged mobs.  Also, you don’t have a lot of survival tools at your disposal to cover any mistakes.  These mistakes can be fatal.

If you do die, don’t feel bad; it happens.  I had a few bad pulls using Samueltempus on Borean Tundra.  There’s a cave of Trolls in northwest Dun Murogh that is down right evil to solo as a level 8 Rogue.  The mobs respawn quickly, are tightly packed and the space is pretty cramped.  Stealth can’t save you and it’s ridiculously easy to pull 3 mobs if you don’t take the time to think about which mobs to pull first and how to pull them. 


Ding level 10!

Congratulations, you’ve made it to level 10, and you’ve got your first talent point.  At this point the Leveling a  Rogue guide is going to split into three parts: Assassination, Combat and Subtlety.   Good luck in whichever path you choose.

Happy Leveling,


3 Responses to Leveling a Rogue: Baby Rogue – Levels 1-10

  1. EJ says:

    Wish this guide had been around when I first started leveling my rogue. I’m looking forward to reading the next installments.

  2. JPSG says:

    Hmm I think I will use this to dust off my dormant level 7 rogue pugfan and follow the guide as it expands as for a start I’ve learnt more about combo points and how to build them then any other sources ive tried.

    Great site Sam 🙂 Super writing.


  3. pallynoob says:

    Thank you,

    great post. I will start my little rogue project soon. And I think I will visit your page more often in the future. As I come to the point where it will get more importan (reached the level)

    It is good to have the information what’s a good path to skill. I think I will try out combat first, since you suggested that.

    Thanks again

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