The new glyph system has brought with it some fantastic changes to WoW, including buffs to several very important rogue abilities. Here’s a quick rundown on the main decisions to make when glyphing for Assassination PVP.
There are two essential choices for Assassination prime glyphs, two strong choices and a fifth option that can be worth considering with the correct talents.
For some reason I really hate taking this glyph, but every time I try and find an excuse not to, I can’t. It’s a reliable 5-energy discount on your main combo builder, which should be more beneficial this season than previously (thanks to longer combat duration).
Even though rupture causes pretty embarrasing damage, it is still very useful for generating procs from Venomous Wounds and a longer duration will definitely be beneficial.
For a third prime glyph, the choice is pretty much down to either improving or Slice and Dice. I’m opting for Slice and Dice at this stage, as I’m yet to have a 30second Vendetta run out without either my target or myself dying, or the opportunity for a kill being wasted completely. An extra six seconds isn’t too game breaking when it’s often unnecessary. Increasing the duration of Slice and Dice, if only by three seconds, gives greater opportunity to turn a single point of S’n’D into a full-blown one.
The final option worth looking at is Glyph of Backstab. The only reason you should ever use Backstab (apart from spamming it through a hunter’s deterrence) is if you have chosen to take the talent Murderous Intent. I’m yet to fully experiment with this (due to holidays I haven’t even had the chance to get our 3v3 team rolling), but it could be a pretty sweet boost to an attack that already out-damages mutilate by roughly 50%. Assuming your target is below 35% health and you’re standing behind them…
This is by far my favorite glyph of all. Diminishing returns on our stuns have really weakened the potential of Cheap Shot as an opener, but a glyphed garrote can now lock down a caster for a full second longer than a Cheap Shot. It even has advantages when used against Death Knights and Warriors, as several of their abilites are restricted through silencing effects.
This is another very useful glyph, especially when combined with trigger-happy warlock team-mates in rated Battlegrounds. Using a glyph slot for this should help prevent targetting mistakes – there’s not much worse then throwing a spur-of-the-moment emergency blind onto someone, just as a SW:Pain lands. I’d like to experment more in 3v3 and 5v5 before declaring this as an essential glyph, but I’m guessing it will open up more chances of being able to make target switches without making it too apparent that we’re letting dots run out on our fake target.
With mobility being such an issue for Assassination rogues, anything that can boost your movement speed should be valued. The extra 30% from this Glyph will help you close gaps even faster than before, hopefully before you’re hit by yet another Frost Nova type effect…
Other interesting choices for major glyphs are Glyph of Fan of Knives (nice in large-scale PVP when combined with Vile Poisons), Glyph of Tricks of the Trade (for boosting partner damage at the cost of just a GCD), and Glyph of Gouge. The gouge glyph is a strange one – I’ve been in a couple of situations where it may have been nice (rooted in place next to a Paladin with Aura Mastery up), but I’ve not generally had many problems with the positional requirement of gouge. Useful, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on the sprint Glyph to get it.
Glyph of Kick may be nice at low ratings, but any competent healer will be juking your kicks – being locked out of kick for an extra four seconds is not going to make you popular with your team mates.
In WotLK the only minor glyph of any use to rated PVP was Glyph of Distract. With the arrival of rated Battlegrounds (and hopefully an increase in World PVP*), the two other minor glyphs are definitely worth the potentially extortionate price they sell for.
While Distract may not seem to be a terribly useful PVP ability, it’s not one I’d risk playing without. I’ll happily admit that I played from the opening of AQ40 to the last boss of Tempest Keep without realising Distract can be used outside of stealth – I used to think I was so pro blowing vanish and running off to distract the incoming patrol, until I saw another rogue doing the same without using vanish.
Distract has three uses in PVP. As well as being able to briefly stop a running/mounted target, it can also be used to interupt drinking healers. The third use is something I found last season, but always forget to use. If your target is out of combat and starts casting on you, you have a small window of opportunity to drop a distract behind them, spinning them around before the spell completes (at which point the target will enter combat). Very situational, but potentially game breaking.
Being knocked off high ground (like the cliffs at the Lumber Mill) is sometimes unavoidable – the fall isn’t likely to kill you, but taking this minor glyph can heavily reduce the damage you take.
While not as useful as a DK’s Path of Frost, this glyph still comes in useful in many Battlegrounds.
I’m currently using Glyph of Poisons, but this is down to constantly forgetting to check the auction house for Safe Fall glyphs. This glyph can reduce the aggro you’ll generate from team mates if your poisons run out, but if you’re that forgetful (and believe me, I am), it’s easier to use the Cyanide Poison Reminder addon I wrote.
*I’m hoping lots of people read the post Akrios made at roguerogue.com before retiring and are looking at World PVP with the consideration it deserves!