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Shadow Panther's Powerleveling Guide for Rogues

Zodar's Rogue Leveling Tips

Quicklinks to Sections Listed Below
Leveling Specs Ideal Weapons Heirloom Gear Leveling Poisons
Ideal Races Ideal Professions AoE Options Leveling Gear


Rogues can level effectively with pretty much any talent spec, so the key is knowing which spec will best fit your particular playstyle.

Assassination Spec

Assassination, which relies solely on daggers, provides you with a nice mix of burst and consistency, so it's good for both PVP and PVE. Generally, Assassination excels in 1-on-1 encounters, but it can hold its own against groups of enemies.

Combat Spec

Combat is best known for its nice, consistent damage, handling multiple enemies with ease thanks to Blade Flurry. Combat doesn't rely on stealth or positional attacks and is as good at solo PVE farming/grinding as it is at running 5-man dungeons. The only situation where Combat tends to be lackluster is PVP because it lacks the burst damage and control offered by the other two specs.

Subtlety Spec

Subtlety is almost the exact opposite of Combat, using stealth and positional attacks to deal a lot of frontloaded burst damage at the expense of being vulnerable when caught out of stealth. This spec can be very effective in PVP and even solo leveling, as long as you stick to 1-on-1 encounters out in the open battlefield. Subtlety is lackluster when it comes to sustained damage and isn't very effective for dungeon leveling. You can use daggers or non-daggers with Subtlety, but daggers will give you a bit more damage and flexibility.


Regardless of your weapons or talent spec, you should get a slow, high DPS, hard hitting main hand weapon with high average damage for increased special attack damage. For your offhand weapon, look for a fast weapon with good stats and high DPS.

Ideal Weapons in each Level Range
MH Venerable Dal'Rend's Sacred Charge, Venerable Mass of McGowan, Balanced Heartseeker
OH Sharpened Scarlet Kris
19-24 MH Guillotine Axe, Skeletal Club, Diamond Hammer, Wicked Dagger
OH Harpy Skinner, Brackclaw, Evocator's Blade, Doomspike, Blackfang
25-34 MH Zealot Blade, Windstorm Hammer, The Butcher, Vibroblade, Outlaw Sabre, Bangalash's Claw
OH Vendetta, Cross Dagger of the Monkey, Honed Stiletto of the Monkey, Doomspike
35-44 MH Vanquisher's Sword, Shovelphlange's Mining Axe, Ebony Boneclub, Stalvan's Reaper, Stonevault Shiv
OH Dazzling Longsword, Knightly Longsword, Battlecaster's Edge, Steelclaw Reaver
45-50 MH Bloodrazor, Thrash Blade, Ribsplitter, Gryphon Rider's Stormhammer, Belgrom's Hammer, Widowmaker
OH Flurry Axe, Dazzling Longsword, Rune Sword of the Monkey/Tiger/Bear/Power, Mug O' Hurt
51-59 MH Krol Blade, Axe of the Deep Woods, Baron Charr's Sceptre, The Shadowfoot Stabber
OH Flurry Axe, Hanzo Sword, Shadowblade, Julie's Dagger
60-64 MH 60 PVP Weapon, Fist of Reckoning, Shadowrend Longblade, Warden's Hammer, Akuno's Blade
OH Hanzo Sword, Dimensional Blade, Hellfire Skiver, Madman's Blade, Blood-Guided Knife
65-69 MH 60 PVP Weapon, Mag'hari Fury Brand, Axe of the Legion, Ceremonial Warmaul Blood-blade
OH Void-Talon, Whistling Sword, Pulse Dagger, Vibro Shanker, Hungering Bone Cudgel
70-74 MH Nifflevar Bearded Axe, Borean Smasher, Edge of the Tuskarr, Fang of the Desolate Soul, Keen Woodland Shank
OH Shocking Claws, Grom'tor's Charge, Fiery Prod, Rod of Poacher Punishment, Ice-Rimed Dagger
75-79 MH Crimson Cranium Crusher, Borean Smasher, Savage Cobalt Slicer, Wodin's Second-Best Shanker
OH Saronite Shiv, Shocking Claws, Serrated Cold-Iron Slicer, Time-Bending Smasher
80-85 MH Carnelian Spikes, Heavy Geode Mace, Decapitator's Razor, Dimension Spike, Cold-Forged Shank
OH Quicksilver Blade, Toxidunk Dagger, Trek's Shiv, Gilnean Slicer, Goblin Shanker
86-90 MH Fist of Fate, Porter's Tooth-Marked Mace, Wind-Reaver's Dagger of Quick Strikes, Lhakaz's Missing Ribspreader
OH Wind-Reaver's Dagger of Quick Strikes, Lhakaz's Missing Ribspreader, Sharpened Multi-Prong Dagger


As more and more players get access to Bind on Account (BoA) Heirloom items, they often ask which items are the best choices for leveling as a Rogue. This can be a tricky question, since your choice of spec could change as you get to higher levels. Your best options for non-dagger main hand weapons include Venerable Dal'Rend's Sacred Charge and Venerable Mass of McGowan. Balanced Heartseeker is the best choice for a main hand dagger. As far as an offhand weapon is concerned, Sharpened Scarlet Kris is a good, all-around fast offhand weapon.

When it comes to enchantments, the only real disadvantage to heirloom weapons is that you can't upgrade their enchants as you're leveling, although the weapons themselves increase in power with each level. For heirloom weapon enchantments, your best choices are usually going to be Crusader or Agility. Crusader can provide more burst damage (and healing), but then again, you can also waste a lot of that burst damage potential in between enemies. Agility, on the other hand, is always on and always useful.

After selecting your heirloom weapons, the next most important BoA items you'll want to get are the armor items that provide an experience bonus. After that, go pick up a pair of heirloom trinkets to put that finishing touch on your heirloom leveling set.


Poisons are a big part of a Rogue's DPS and utility, so keep them applied to your weapons at all times. Deadly Poison is the first poison available to you at level 10. Deadly Poison deals damage over time, and additional attacks will have a chance to instantly deal extra poison damage. One application of poisons will coat both weapons. Once you get Crippling Poison at level 20, you can also apply a 2nd Non-Lethal Poison to each of your weapons.


Each race has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages for PVP/PVE. You can find comparisons of each here:

Rogue Races Chart


When it comes to leveling professions, I recommend Skinning/Mining. Send all of the mats to an alt, then you'll have just about everything you need for many of the crafting professions. Once you reach 90, drop one or both gathering professions to pick up your crafting professions. You can find PVP and PVE comparisons of each profession here:

Rogue Professions Chart


Players who are used to playing classes where AoE damage is plentiful often find it difficult to transition to a Rogue, a class that doesn't offer much in the way of AoE-style damage other than Blade Flurry and eventually Fan of Knives at level 66. Here are some AoE options available to non-Engineer Rogues as you're leveling:

AoE Options for Non-Engineers
Levels 10-29 Levels 30-46 Levels 47-90
Ez-Thro Dynamite Ez-Thro Dynamite II Crystal Charge


When picking up gear, you'll want to use "of the Monkey" or equivalent items that contain both Agility and Stamina. Other stats like AP, Crit Rating & Hit Rating are also good to have. Strength, on the other hand, is a fairly mediocre stat for Rogues, because it only gives 1 AP, whereas Agility provides 2 AP in addition to Crit Rating and Dodge. After reaching level 57, look for "of the Bandit" items which have three useful stats, and then after level 77 keep an eye out for "of the Stormblast/Galeburst/Windflurry" gear with four useful stats.

Whether you're twinking or leveling, you can find the best gear listed in my Rogue Twink charts:

Twink Armor Charts Twink Weapons Charts
10-49 51-60 61-70 71-80 80-84 81-85 85-89 10-49 51-60 61-70 71-80 80-84 81-85 85-89


For a list of optimized quest circuits, I highly recommend Jame's Leveling Guides. They're free and well-designed.

For more leveling guides and information, check out my Rogue Links page.