Patch 3.3.3

Patch 3.3.3 is live as of today, so let’s take a look at the Rogue specific changes:


  • Rupture: The damage-over-time component of this ability can now produce critical strikes.


  • Filthy Tricks: Now Reduces the cooldown by 5/10 seconds and energy cost by 5/10 of Tricks of the Trade, Distract and Shadowstep abilities, and reduces the cooldown of Preparation by 1.5/3 minutes.
  • Ghostly Strike: If the rogue has a dagger equipped, this ability now deals 180% weapon damage instead of 125%.
  • Hemorrhage: If the rogue has a dagger equipped, this ability now deals 160% weapon damage instead of 110%.
  • Serrated Blades: This talent now allows the rogue to ignore up to 3/6/9% of the target’s armor, rather than a fixed amount of armor ignored per level of the rogue.
  • Slaughter from the Shadows: Now adds 1/2/3/4/5% damage to all attacks and reduces the energy cost of Backstab and Ambush by 4/8/12/16/20, up from 3/6/9/12/15.
  • Waylay: The debuff from this talent can now be caused by Backstab in addition to Ambush and can be triggered by all hits from these abilities rather than just critical strikes, but the snare component is now 50%, down from 70%.


  • Glyph of Deadly Throw: Now increases the slowing effect on Deadly Throw by 20%, up from 10%.
  • Glyph of Expose Armor: Now increases the duration of Expose Armor by 12 seconds, up from 10 seconds.
  • Glyph of Feint: Now reduces the energy cost of Feint by 20, up from 10.

Before I get too carried away with this post, I didn’t participate in the 3.3.3 PTR, so I haven’t seen the effect of these changes firsthand.  I’m excited to test them out, and I will be testing them for the remainder of the week, but take anything I say today with a grain of salt.

I’ll start with Rupture.

With this change to Rupture, it’s quite possible we’ll see Combat Rogues using it again.  Having looked at some of the modeling on the EJ upcoming changes thread, respeccing the from some form of 20/51/0 spec to 7/51/13 appears to be an overall loss of a few hundred DPS, but keeping 20/51/0 and using Rupture (glyphed) seemed to increase DPS by a few hundred.  If you’re into min/maxing, it might be time to do some research and retool your spec / glyphs /rotation.

If you think it’s too much to worry about to get from 11k DPS to 11.25k DPS, then don’t worry about it.  Either way, I haven’t seen any math to support Assassination Rogues taking up Rupture again, and despite the slight gain Combat will have in single target fights, Assassination should still come out on top, but it’s getting pretty close.  I’m planning on staying Mutilate, but for the duration of a whole raid, Combat’s utility and on demand burst make it slightly more attractive the Assassination in my opinion

Now for Subtlety…

Subtlety got some massive changes in this patch.  I don’t know that a lot of Rogues were utilizing the tree.  I wish I could find the post where Ghostcrawler explained Blizzard’s attitude toward having it be the Rogue’s high utility, lower damage tree.  Apparently Sub had to be made weaker because if it wasn’t every Rogue would spec into it.  Now, to a certain degree I can appreciate this viewpoint, but, PVE speaking, it really wasn’t comparable to the other two.  If Sub were the strongest tree, it would be my spec of choice.  I’m certainly not saying that’s the case here, but these buffs should allow it to be a very strong leveling and PvP tree, as well as somewhat closing the gap between it and the other two trees for endgame raiding.

The Filthy Tricks change has great synergy with the 2 piece T10 bonus.  If you were to attempt to raid as Subtlety, you’d be gaining an additional 15 energy per minute, as well as extending 6 more seconds of the damage buff to whomever you Tricks.  It’s not game changing for Sub Rogues, but it is a buff nonetheless.

Ghostly Strike and Hemo have both had their damage increased with Daggers, which is something I’ve been hoping would happen for a long time.  Neither of these abilities will hit as hard as a sword does, but they’re much closer than they were.  I’ll be doing a full write-up on the math behind this as my next post.

The redesign to Serrated Blades should allow more armor pen on high armor targets, however, it is likely a nerf against low armor targets.   Call this one what you will, but this change isn’t huge either way.  It might (again haven’t tested this) be slightly more helpful to the leveling Sub Rogue than its current incarnation.

The changes to Slaughter from the Shadows are a flat buff.  5% for all attacks is like a unglyphed Hunger for Blood that you don’t have to apply, plus the reduced energy cost will allow for more attacks in less time.  It’s hard for me to say without testing it directly, but I’d wager that this is the biggest buff of the patch as far as damage is concerned.

I like the change to Waylay.  Sure the snare effect was reduced by 20%, but anyone trying to turn and run from you in PvP is going to have a hard time getting away.  This makes me want to try some Subtlety PvP and I think with the expected rise in battleground activity due to that system’s changes, I probably will give it a test.

As for the three glyphs, Deadly Throw’s glyph will make gap closing a little easier.  I wanted some love for Expose Armor, and I guess 12 seconds is better than 10.  The last glyph, Feint makes me curious.  There was a recent blue post about making DPS more responsible for their health pools, and I have to wonder if this change is something to that effect.  I doubt that I’ll glyph it, but Feint is an ability I use quite often when raiding ICC, mainly for the AoE Reduction (This works on Saurfang’s Mark if you didn’t know).  Still, I’d rather have my glyphs be used for offensive rather than defensive purposes.


This is a good patch for Rogues.  It doesn’t directly buff Assassination, but then again, did Assassination really need buffing?  Combat gets a small boost, and Subtlety is a little less subtle in the damage output.  I’m quite looking forward to leveling my SAN-US Samuel this evening, as I’m about to start picking up the good stuff to test, like Hemo.  It should be a lot of fun.

– Sam

2 Responses to Patch 3.3.3

  1. JoJa says:


    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and wanted to thank you for the great info. In regards to the Hemorrhage changes, according to some number crunching by Chase Christian over at, the numbers seem to indicate that the changes pretty much make for almost identical damage between a dagger and a sword. Here’s a copy of his conclusions:

    “These two changes prove to me that Blizzard’s on the top of the math game, because they basically make using Hemo or Ghostly Strike with a dagger equivalent to using a very slow sword or axe. Here’s the preliminary numbers, using a Bloodvenom Blade as the example sword and a Heartpierce as the example dagger:

    Hemorrhage: Sword – 648, Dagger – 653
    Ghostly Strike: Sword – 736, Dagger – 734
    Ghostly Strike w/ Glyph: Sword – 1031, Dagger – 1028”

    The post is here:

    I am interested in seeing what you come up with when you run your own tests now that the changes are live. I have been leveling my Rogue as Subtlety for about three weeks now using your guide. She just hit 52 last night, and the journey has been some of the most fun I’ve had leveling a toon in WoW, so thanks!

    Also, I have a question about the possibility of a mace combat/sub spec for PvP in 3.3.3. I thought I would ask here because I didn’t want to get laughed off the EJ forums, and you seem to be much more level headed when it comes to reader comments. With mace specialization, and speccing deep enough in Sub to get the improved serrated blades, a mace rogue would have a passive 24 percent Armor pen from talents. Due to the lack of Arp on PvP gear, would this make it possible for such a spec to match an envenom spec if you stacked Arp from gems and some pve gear? It seems that a glyphed Killing Spree with close to 50 percent Arp would make for devastating burst in PvP, but I’m sure I’m overlooking something.

    Anyway, sorry for the giant wall-o’-text for my first comment on your blog. Thanks again for your superb site and please keep it up.

  2. Groendell says:

    Should make for some interesting testing on my rogue! A more effective hemorrhage with daggers might help but I am sure it probably still lacks the damage vs other mut or combat builds. I have only dabbled in subt builds in wrath.

    @Joja – The only problem I see with a combat/subt spec is that you have no points for Lethality in Assassination and so will lack burst. Especially if you go maces. Unless I am forgetting a talent in Subt that mimics Lethality. 30% bonus to crits is no joke!

    I do miss the BC days of subt roguery!

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