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Cataclysm Weapons and Poisons

Posted on 10 June, 2015

It’s high time I also updated this original post on weaponry and poisons to be fully geared towards patch 4.0.6. The basics remain the same but some of the reasons behind what we use for weaponry as rogues has changed slightly due to the massive overhaul of our rogue talent builds. Therefore I have decided to re-write it from scratch.

Assassination Rogues

First of all Assassination rogues can only use daggers in order to be able to use their key ability [Mutilate] and also their [Backstab] ability. This means Assassination rogues have a choice between a 1.8 Dagger and a 1.4 Dagger. Since the ability Mutilate deals much more damage with a slow main hand (as slow weapons have higher damage on them) we know we want our slowest weapon in the main hand. With daggers, the slowest weapon possible is a 1.8 speed dagger. In addition to this higher Mutilate damage, your instant poison will also proc much more frequently due to it’s PPM mechanic. This basically means your instant poison will do more damage on a slow weapon.

Thankfully this works very well for rogues to have Instant Poison on the Main Hand as Deadly Poison works much more effectively on a fast off hand weapon. The faster Deadly Poison stacks up to 5 the better and this provides much higher DPS than a slow weapon with deadly poison. Therefore Mutilate rogues will benefit form the fastest off hand weapon possible which is currently a 1.4 weapon speed dagger.

Combat Rogues

Combat rogues can use any weapon they can get their grubby little hands on but they are still restricted by weapon speeds just like Mutilate rogues. Combat rogues prefer a slow main hand weapon to yield more ability damage just like assassination rogues. However because Combat rogues are not limited to daggers they can deal much more powerful damage with a slow axe, sword, mace or fist weapon of weapon speed around 2.7.

It can be slightly more confusing for a combat rogue due to the new Mastery Specialisation [Main Gauche]. However, you will notice that Main Gauche not only has a chance to proc damage from your main hand swings but also delivers damage equal to that of your main hand. It therefore just so happens to work out that the extra damage you get from having a slow main hand weapon is greater than the extra procs you may get from a fast main hand weapon. Add to this the fact that Instant Poison deals more damage on a slow weapon and we have a match made in rogue heaven.

The off hand weapon, like assassination rogues needs to be fast to supply more deadly poison procs and get our stacks up to 5 as quickly as possible. In addition however, Combat rogues also get the talent [Combat Potency] which has a chance to refund energy with every off hand swing which makes it even more important to use a fast off hand to get more energy regen. This weapon can be anything you like so long as it’s the fastest one available which are currently 1.4 speed daggers.

Subtlety Rogues

Subtlety Rogues require daggers in order to utilise the ability [Backstab]. Just like Assassination rogues (see above), a slow main hand is preferred in order to yield better ability damage and coupled with Instant Poison for higher poison damage. A fast off hand weapon is ideal for a subtlety rogue in order to provide 5 stacks of Deadly Poison quickly and therefore provide higher poison damage again. If you are not using Backstab in your rotation, your off hand weapon does not necessarily need to be a dagger. However, a 1.4 speed dagger is currently the fastest weapon available and the most beneficial.


  • Instant Poison on the slow weapon for ALL talent builds (this will be your MH).
  • Deadly Poison on the fast weapon for ALL talent builds (this will be your OH).
  • 1.8 speed dagger for Assassination and Subtlety in the MH.
  • 1.4 Speed dagger for ALL builds in the OH.
  • Approx 2.7 speed weapon of any type for Combat in the MH.