Beginner’s Guide to Assassination Rogue Glyphs

This refers to pre-Cataclysm content. The latest version for patch 4.0.1 onwards can be found here – Rogue PVP Glyphs for Cataclysm

With so many options when picking rogue glyphs, how do you choose the ones that will maximise your performance in PVP? Like many aspects of WoW, there isn’t a magic combination that you can just copy and profit from. If you look through the armory pages of the season’s leading rogues, you will see many different sets of glyphs, each one reflecting the rogue’s talents, teams and playing style.

For Assassination rogues, there are six major glyphs worth considering;


Most beneficial for opening burst and when you’re being kited/CC’d. If you’re not able to spend much time on your target, your energy will probably be topping out quite a lot. However, any time you have less than full energy, this glyph isn’t giving you an advantage.

Howto fix Vanish in Cataclysm

Which Glyphs for PVP?

Cloak of Shadows

Giving five seconds of reduced melee damage, this glyph can really help against being burst down. It can be useful for handling Bladestorm (when combined with feint), Killing Spree and any hard nuke from two or more enemies. If you find that your team mates get focused rather than you, it’s not the most useful of glyphs, but it is a nice safety net (one that I’m a bit scared to drop myself).


Notably used for back to back dismantles, although it is on diminishing returns. Dismantle can be blocked/parried/etc so it’s not a guarenteed breathing space vs melee, and you way wish to use a glyphed CoS to gain a similar reduction in incoming damage. As for back to back kicks, being able to reset the cooldown on a 10second ability seems quite situational. However, if you’re aggresively using your first vanish/sprint, and aren’t being forced to use prep just to stay alive (“oh **** vanish broke, PREP PREP PREP”), a double kick can be very powerful when timed correctly.
With Bladestorm now being vulnerable to dismantle, this glyph is a lot more tempting that it initially was as you can dismantle offensively and still have the chance of breaking their bladestorm.


For fast saps and easier escapes, this glyph will give you upto 170% sprint speed while stealthed*. This is beginning to feel like a very powerful glyph – getting an opening sap seems much easier, once you get used to moving so fast (accidentally running into AoE two games in a row was pretty embarrasing).

Tricks of the Trade

Whereas this used to give an extra 10% dmg increase (lethal with improved cheap shot and a pet mage), this now just increases the length of the buff. Still quite nice in a double-dps setup, especially when you time your TotT with good CC (best not to macro it).


Nice for Battlegrounds where you can pick on clothies with 120 resilience, but not much use vs anything with armor. Against plate I’d rather rupture or S’n’D than turn 5 combo points into a 50% chance of a 2k eviscerate crit, but your mileage may vary. If you’re playing with Master Poisoner, this glyph is really not worth it, especially when patch 3.3 arrives.


A saving of 5 energy per mutilate doesn’t sound like much, and I was really hoping I could argue against using it. But.. I can’t. The energy saving does add up -it effectively knocks 0.5seconds off your mutilates ‘cooldown’ – not massive, but a reliable increase in DPS. I got bored looking for good assassination rogues without this glyph, and unless Blizzard come out with a new glyph (not likely until Cataclysm) I can’t imagine I’ll find one (someone prove me wrong please!).

All in all, there’s only one major glyph that’s pretty much essential (Mutilate), and the others can be happily mixed and matched to match your preferences, your team/talent weaknesses or in a worse case scenario, even your budget.


One glyph I haven’t mentioned (that really should be in a post about Assassination rogues) is the Hunger for Blood glyph. Totally essential for any rogue playing HfB, this is a flat increase of all damage by 3%.

* with Camouflage talent

About Dcruize

Rogue addict, PVP junkie, insomniac. I started playing WoW in 2006 and, after being told that 'nobody wants a rogue', tried to level a priest. I quickly realized that love and approval were a poor alternative to stealth and ambush and have been backstabbing away quite happily ever since.