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Enter The World Of Shadows

Author: inwowgold Source:

This week, we finish a discussion of 51 point talents. We'll be covering Shadow Dance, the final talent in Subtlety. With the nefarious Patch Tuesday behind us, we now have available to us a plethora of new talents. Other classes received their 51 point talent trees as well, and balance is but a faint whisper of what it once was. I killed a Warrior earlier tonight in a full stunlock, and I saw a Retribution Paladin throw a Holy Light for over 7,000. What sets Rogues apart is the true uniqueness of the new abilities. They are very different from anything we have ever seen before, and this can cause confusion and makes them harder to evaluate in terms of usefulness. I have been able to test Shadow Dance first hand, find my full report after the cut.

Shadow Dance, how I wish thee were how I once knew you. This talent was drastically rebalanced from essentially 4 consecutive Vanishes to 4 consecutive openers. While any and every Rogue can see that 4 Vanishes was the more powerful version, it looks like we're stuck with the current opener flavor. In addition, since the Rogue will no longer Vanish, your target will almost ALWAYS be in combat (any smart target will put themselves in combat when fighting a Rogue), so I would write off the ability to Sap completely. It does however add the ability to use the recently buffed Premeditation during the Dance, which is another buff to the previously neglected 31 pt Sub talent. With Ambush being 45 energy, Cheap Shot being 40 energy, and Garrote costing 30 energy (assuming you picked up Dirty Deeds and Slaughter From The Shadows) using the 4-5 possible openers would cost a ton of energy.

If somehow you had 5 targets to Garrote all within 2 seconds of each other, you would need 50 energy going into the Shadow Dance and you would leave it with 0 energy. If you wanted to Ambush 5 times, it would cost 225 energy, making it literally impossible to pull off considering Rogues can only have 120 energy at a maximum and with the removal of energy ticks it would be impossible to "time", as you will only gain 100 energy during the duration of the Shadow Dance.

The reason that most Rogues give me when I ask them about Shadow Dance is easily summed up: "5 Improved Ambushes bro!" With a fairly geared Rogue capable of getting Ambush to a nearly 90% critical strike chance, and the ability to use Ambush 3 times in 3 seconds (the first before Shadow Dance, then two immediately after), that could add up to some serious damage. I have seen my own Ambushes crit for well over 3k against cloth-wearing targets. 3 Ambushes in a row could put over 9,000 damage into a Mage!

Attempting to use the full 10 second Shadow Dance duration is very difficult. A 5 Ambush combo over 10 seconds (hard to do considering that targets move, though Waylay helps slightly) that requires you to start with full energy and leave you completely energy bankrupt doesn't sound like a great use of energy or time to me. It can be useful in PvE, where enemies typically don't team up on the player. In PvP however, during the Shadow Dance duration there is plenty of time to heal up your target, which makes the extended burst capability almost nonexistent. [wow gold]

The 2 second cooldown on abilities means all healers could cast a quick heal in between ambushes, or even CC you for the duration. In addition, if you try to spread your Shadow Dance across multiple targets, you will be losing your combo points on the previous targets. I did discover that it basically negates the Hunter's spell Flare and the Druid's Faerie Fire which would previously stop us from even Vanishing, so it does help us against those classes. The only possible viability of all 5 openers that I see is to either: A) Cheap Shot an entire group, though not all at the same time. If you caught a group of 3-4 players or mobs clumped together, you could Cheap Shot each of them, providing a huge amount of CC in a very short time, allowing your team to coordinate cooldowns to shift momentum in a fight very quickly.


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