Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Patch 2.3.2: Back to Combat

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Patch 2.3.2 is here and with it, I've decided to go back to a Combat build of 11/43/7. It's fairly standard.

What am I losing?

  • Camouflage: 6% boost to movement when stealthed. 2 seconds off of Stealth cooldown. I found that I could actually reach my targets for a Sap and I could go Stealth after a Gouge or after most Fears.
  • Sleight of Hand: 2% crit reduction on ranged and melee. Kinda like 40 points of resilience against physical damage. I'm not sure how much I'll really miss this as I'm quickly getting gear to replace it.
  • Initiative: Chance to get another combo point when Garrote or Cheap Shot is used. I never really noticed this much, but I'm sure it contributed when I wanted to keep someone stunlocked, it was much easier to build up a 5-point Kidney Shot with this ability.
  • Ghostly Strike: A fairly useless attack because of its high cooldown (20 seconds) and high cost (40 energy). I would use this during Evasion to kick my Dodge up another 15%. I'll miss that.
  • Serrated Blades: Ignore 560 armor on targets. +30% Rupture damage. I'll miss this one as it will take most of my new arena gear to make up the Armor Penetration. The Rupture bonus was nice, but doesn't, in my opinion, come close to the damage given by a solid Combat build.
  • Hemorrhage: An instant attack with 125% weapons damage. Of course, today it's only 110% weapon damage. The damage debuff is nice for a large raid. I won't miss this all much honestly. Hemorrhage was fun, but it was the AR/Prep I loved, not the Hemorrhage.
  • Preparation: The ability to use Sprint, Vanish, Evasion and Adrenaline Rush a second time. But Adrenaline Rush has been removed. I will miss the second Sprint, Vanish and Evasion though. But with the other changes I can't see myself going this deep into Subtlety just get this one ability anymore.
  • Dirty Deeds: Reduced energy cost on Cheap Shot and Garrote. +20% damage on targets with less than 35% health. I'll really miss the bonus to targets with low health. As I played with my build during 2.3, I definitely noticed a difference when I did and did not have this ability with a Subtlety build.
  • Deadliness: 6% to Attack Power. With the 2% boost I'll receive from Vitality in the Combat tree. I'll only be losing 4% Attack Power. I can live without this one.
  • Lightning Reflexes: +3% Dodge. I can't see holding on to this if I can use the points elsewhere to bump up my damage. Besides it only takes 10 Expertise to render this useless. Might as well rely on my healers to heal me rather than expect to possibly dodge an enemy's attack.
  • Deflection: +5% Parry. See Lightning Reflexes. It was nice though because it bumped Parry up to 10% and combined with Riposte, it was very nice for PvP.
  • Riposte: Disarm opponent after you parry an attack. Probably one of the abilities I'll miss the most because I really felt it made a difference against melee opponents in my level of the Arena.

That seems like an awful lot of abilities. So, what am I gaining from my new build?

  • Improved Sinister Strike: Reduced energy cost on Sinister Strike. Yes, it's goodbye Hemorrhage, hello again Sinister Strike. With all the energy from a Combat build, Sinister Strike is just a GCD away at most moments.
  • Improved Slice and Dice: +45% duration to Slice and Dice. I honestly missed this a lot. Slice and Dice is a 30% speed increase, which is a 15% damage increase if you get 50% white damage. One point of Slice and Dice gives 13 seconds which is the equivalent of 2.5 combo points without Improved Slice and Dice.
  • Endurance: Reduces Evasion and Sprint cooldown by 1.5 minutes. Since I'm losing Preparation and sinking points in Combat, I'm going to try this as a poor substitute for Preparation. Though honestly, by reducing their cooldowns by 30%, it allows you to use them one less time than in about 11-12 minutes as you could before with Preparation. Preparation would simply allow you to choose the first two times rather than wait for the oooldowns.
  • Sword Specialization: +1%, for 5% total, chance to get an extra swing. I only had 4% before. This is minor, but figured I'd mention it anyway.
  • Aggression: +6% damage to Sinister Strike and Eviscerate. Combat is all about damage, so it was hard to pass this up.
  • Vitality: +4% Stamina, +2 Agility. I'm going to use this as an excuse to shift my gems in my PvP set from +Stamina to +AP or +Resil.
  • Combat Potency: 20% chance to regain 15 Energy from any off-hand attack. Energy equals damage. 'Nuff said.
  • Surprise Attacks: +10% damage to Sinister Strike, Shiv and Gouge and finishing moves can no longer be dodged. Icing on the cake and well worth 1 talent point for more than the +6% to Sinister Strike Aggression provides.
  • Malice: +5% Critical Strike. My critical strike is pretty low and I'm not really focusing on it as I believe Attack Power is more useful for Combat Rogues, but I needed to take something to get further into Assassination. ^_^.
  • Murder: +2% Damage to humanoids, dragonkin, giants and beasts. More damage for PvP.
  • Ruthlessness: 60% chance to regain a combo point after finishing move. Great replacement, in my opinion, for Initiative as it affects all of my finishing moves rather than openers.
  • Relentless Strikes: 20% chance per combo point used on a finishing move to regain 25 energy. Combat loves Energy.

Overall, I'm both excited and slightly disappointed to go back to Combat. The biggest thing I'm keeping from my old build is Dirty Tricks, which I mocked before. The added range to Sap is vital in PvP where I'm often able to get a Sap off just outside the range of Consecrates and before Warlocks or other stealth scouts can react.

Now that 2.3.2 is out, are you thinking of changing your build?

6 comments:

Megan said...

I'm testing out 8/12/41 and 0/20/41 for this week, if I can avoid going back to tried-and-true Combat, I'll be happy.

Valenna said...

Interesting. What are you picking up with your 12 Combat points in your first build? Just Precision and Improved Sprint?

Doomilias said...

just posted about it myself...19/42/0 for raiding...not sure if im going to switch each week for arena or not. right now my heart hurts too much from finally giving in to the combat sword typecast.

Megan said...

Yep, 12 in Combat for Imp. Sprint, cause Prep + normal Sprint = suck.

So far this build for BG's is fine. Arena not so hot.

Sprint aside, the other big issue is the Energy gain from 2x AR's was incredible in a short span, which now can only be replaced by 2x of something else that is powerful (Cold Blood) or Combat Potency. I'm probably thinking CB/Hemo (something like21/0/40 or 30/0/31) or back to full Combat for Arena.

Orshade said...

Well, posted on the wrong topic. >.>

Anyway, HARP is still the best pvp centric spec, theres no alternative for the mobility it gives.

11/43/7 will be the best pvp combat spec most likely, make sure you pick up blade twisting.

Valenna said...

@doomilias: Yeah, only being at the top of the melee damage meter lets me rest well at night.

@megan: Yeah, that was my opinion. We need Energy and a Subtlety build just doesn't provide it. =(

@orshade: a FF/Prep or SF/Prep as most are taking seems like it would provide quite a bit of mobility, but going down into Assassination takes Daggers IMO and I don't have ones on par with my Swords.

I did end up swapping Nerves of Steel for Blade Twisting. I haven't done Arena yet. I'll let you know how it goes.