What’s the Best Race for a Rogue? A Comparison of Racials

With four races per faction available, anyone considering rolling a rogue has quite a lot of choices open to them. It’s quite common to see threads on forums as to what race makes the best rogue and I’m sure it will always remain a hot topic.

Luckily, all races offer rogues useful racials, so there’s no risk of getting to 80 then realising you can’t PVP because your race is gimped. Looking through the top #100 rogues from S6, there is representation from all races – any imbalances in numbers could even be put down to things like the visual appeal of the race (some people love the cute look of Gnomes, others roll Orcs for their buffness).

There’s always been heavy arguments about whether Humans or Forsaken make the best rogues. Personally I think the crown should probably go to the Forsaken, but that might be a case of the grass being greener on the other side as I’ve only played Human/Gnome/BloodElf.

All races have slightly different base stats, and they all give additional minor racials that I won’t go into (mostly minor spell avoidance). The racials to bear in mind when chosing a race for your rogue are as follows;

Alliance Races and Racials

Human

Every Man for Himself

This lets you take a purely DPS based trinket rather than a DPS+anti CC trinket. You can look at it as being a free half-trinket over a non-human rogue. While this was overpowered when anti-CC trinkets lacked decent secondary stats, it’s not as amazing now, but still pretty useful.

Perception

A shadow of its former glory (gone are the days when popping this would show up rogues on the other side of the map), Perception now provides slightly less stealth detection than two points in Heightened Senses. This is a nice way for human HfB rogues to come close to equalling Prep rogues, and a small advantage for human Prep rogues to spot other rogues. Having a greater chance of getting the opener against another rogue is a nice advantage, but nothing guarantees getting the jump.


Nightelf

Quickness

While decreasing your opponents chance to melee-hit you sounds like a very strong racial, it is worth while considering that this is something a large number of serious PVPers take into consideration (and aim for 7% hit rather than 5%).

Shadowmeld

Useful if you have a healer and are in serious trouble – this can mess up an opponents targeting and give you maybe a couple of seconds breathing space, hopefully letting the CDs on your other CC run out. More useful against a ranged opponent than a melee one, this decreases in usefulness as your opponents become more skilful.


Gnome

Escape Artist

The only racial a gnome has that is worth mentioning, this can be a valuable spell to have when being kited. The cooldown however is quite long (2minutes).

Being Small, Annoying and Hard to Target

Not a racial as such, but a gnome’s small size can make it tricky for a casual PVPer to target them. Perhaps you could argue that there’s a psychological advantage of appearing small and insignificant – I can remember reading about PVP hunters in vanilla WoW using spiders as pets to intimidate any arachnaphobes so heh why not!


Dwarf

Stoneform

Like Gnomes, Dwarves only have one racial that’s really worth considering. Being able to clear bleed effects instantly can be a god-send (incredibly useful for restealthing) and this racial is pretty much a second, more powerful CloS. Being able to run away from a fight to restealth can really give you the edge in a fight.


Horde Races and Racials

Forsaken

Will of the Forsaken

One hell of a racial – this is a ‘free’ trinket vs the following spells; Fear, Howl of Terror, Intimidating Shout, Mind Control, Psychic Scream, Seduction and Wyvern Sting. While initially this did not share a cooldown with PVP trinkets, it now will put them on a 45-second cooldown.

Cannibalize

Regens 35% health over 10seconds – this isn’t affected by having the bandage debuff so you there’s the chance of getting a large chunk of your health back if you combine both.


Orc

Blood Fury

At level80 this gives an aditional 322 attack power – not a massive amount, but can compliment a trinket/enchant proc very nicely.

Hardiness

A nice defensive stat that can stack with the -10% stun duration from a Persistent Earthsiege Diamond.


Blood Elf

Arcane Torrent

A single spell casting interrupt, very useful for the initial opening on a caster. Combining this with garrottes, kicks, stuns and gouges you can potentially lock down a caster for quite a long time.


Troll

Da Voodoo Shuffle

This passive racial stacks nicely with Fleet Footed and will help slightly against being kited.

Berserking

Ten seconds of improved haste, as good as it sounds really.


Summary (Tl;dr)

All races have a potential game-breaking ability if the conditions are right. In my opinion, Forsaken ‘win’ overall, closely followed by Humans, but there aren’t any losers as every race is potentially strong.

Forsaken – A second trinket usable against a large chunk of the CC you will be hit with in PVP.
Human – An extra half of a trinket, slight boost for spotting other rogues.
Gnome – 2 minute CD snare breaker
Orc – Spend less time stunned and gain 322 attack power for 15seconds.
Blood Elf – 2 minute CD AoE interrupt against spellcasters
Troll – Reduced snare duration and gain 20% haste for 10seconds.
Dwarf – 2 minute CD bleed/poison remover
Night Elf – Bonuses against both players without 7% hit and players who are confused by shadowmeld.

I’ve lost arena games where I’ve been feared/snared/stunned/bled to death by a player who was one mutilate away from death and I’ve lost games by being unable to interupt one specific heal. However I’ve also won games by being able to carry two DPS trinkets and by spotting other rogues. It’s all swings and roundabouts and in all fairness, Blizzard have done quite a good job of balancing it.

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.