Surprised to see us again so soon? Well, with 2.4 hitting today (Elune willing), it's time to see what there is out there for rogues in the new patch -- at least gear-wise, since rogues don't have many mechanic changes on the PTR right now. This new gear is available as badge rewards, drops from Magister's Terrace, and even crafted loot! (Sorry -- since the Sunwell isn't going to be open at first, loot from the 25-man raid has been left out of this one, and we talked about the Shattered Sun rep rewards already.)
Badge of Justice Loot
The first things you'll probably be staring at in the new badge vendor's inventory are the new daggers. The Blade of Serration, Swift Blade of Uncertainity, and the Mutilator clearly have a lot in common -- all three have the same 103.1 DPS and stam/hit/AP stats. However, the Blade of Serration is 1.8 speed, one-handed, and costs 105 Badges of Justice, while the identical Mutilator is off-hand only and costs only 45 Badges. The Swift Balde, intended as an off-hand for combat dagger rogues, boasts a speed of 1.5 and the same discount off-hand price of 45 Badges. Since these daggers clock in as the fourth-best daggers in the game DPS-wise, they're a must-have for all small-group dagger rogues.
Combat fist spec rogues can also enjoy some hot new weapons. (Sorry, swords and maces, but no new pointies/blunties for you.) Vanir's Right (and left) Fist of Brutality and Vanir's Left Fist of Savagery forgo the hit rating and stam of the daggers in exchange for agi and haste rating. They share the same 105/45 badge price as the daggers, so you can pick up the whole set for 150 Badges of Justice. Drawbacks include that the models look like rejected monsters from AQ40.
Once you've picked up your new weapons, it's time to look at the available armor. The two best choices for rogues are the Trousers of the Scryer's Retainer and the Tunic of the Dark Hour. They may not have any fancy bells and whistles like haste rating, armor bypassing or expertise, but they're chock-full of solid rogue stats -- hit, AP, stam and agi -- in giant amounts. The stam is particularly nice for rogues who might want a dual-purpose outfit for PVE and PVP combined.
If you've got a surplus of Badges, you might want to check out the Crossbow of Relentless Strikes. Sure, rogues are supposed to go for throwing weapons now, but come on! It's even named after a rogue ability! But since it costs 150 Badges of Justice, I'd wait until you've bought everything else you need before blowing the cash on this bow. Angelista's Revenge combines stam, agi, AP and the relatively uncommon armor-ignoring stat to make quite a nice ring for 60 badges. And the Belt of the Silent Path, which costs 100 Badges, is second only to a belt from Vashj in its suitability for rogues.
Magister's Terrace, non-heroic
While the real prizes of this instance can be found on Heroic mode (and on Kael'thas), there are some okay blues out there for new-to-70 rogues. Selin Fireheart, the very first boss, gives up the Leggings of the Betrayed, which feature a small but significant amount of haste rating. They're a little worse than some of the Kara legs, but they should be good enough for your rogue alt.
The second boss, Mr. Vexallus, drops two nice items for you; the Cloak of the Coming Night, one of many decent blue rogue cloaks out there, and Latro's Dancing Blade, which complements the popular off-hand Latro's Shifting Sword. In fact, the two swords are now part of a set, which together grant you an extra 30 AP. Note that these are the huge Dal'rend-type swords that always make rogues look stupid. The Nightstrike throwing weapons, which drop off Priestess Delrissa, have expertise, hit and stamina. Decent stats for rogues who are lacking in those areas, but prepare to fight off a swarm of tanking warriors to get them.
Now on to the big bad, Kael'thas Sunstrider. In an unusual turn for a 5-man boss, Kael drops some epics on normal mode and ... better epics on Heroic. I guess he saved up the epics from his big fake-out after the raiders "killed" him in The Eye. In normal mode, rogues will be looking for the Band of Celerity, hereby known as the Band of Celery. Honestly, while I like the haste and AP, I'd trade in a lot of these stamina-heavy items for some more agi. And if you're very lucky -- and don't have leather-swiping enhancement shammies in your group -- you might get to pick up the Sunrage Treads, which outstrip Nyn'jah's Tabi Boots for rogues who have reached the hit cap. If you're still in desperate need of hit, however, it might be better to leave these boots for the feral druids and go pick up the Tabi boots with your badges.
Magister's Terrace, heroic
So, you're ready for hard mode (or at least what will pass for hard mode until your server opens up Sunwell Plateau)? Be prepared to reap great rewards! Fireheart can drop the Distracting Blades, considered by Shadowpanther to be the third best rogue thrown weapon available. If you're really into Deadly Throw, they might be worth farming, particularly since they have haste rating. Vexallus continues his string of okay rogue drops with the Edge of Oppression, which falls between the Feltooth Eviscerator and the Gladiator's Shiv for combat dagger rogue offhands, in case there are any other combat dagger rogues out there besides me.
Priestess Delrissa only drops trinkets for her epics, but her melee DPS trinket -- the Shard of Contempt -- is worth farming for. The chance on hit proc is pretty meh, but the 44 expertise rating alone makes this worth the time, as increased expertise decreases the amount of time you have to spend behind a mob. Nevertheless, expect to fight the tanks for this. But if they take it, you can get your revenge by claiming the Commendation of Kael'thas for your own. If the tanks don't kill you for rolling, the Commendation can be excellent for PvP. But they'll probably kill you. Wait until no one in the group needs it for PVE.
Revisiting Kael'thas, the former prince of the blood elves drops two epics for rogues on heroic. First off, if you're a small-group player looking to upgrade that Latro's Shifting Sword that we just talked about, you have a shot at the Quickening Blade of the Prince. While it's not quite as good as its ZA equivalent, this sword's itemization is so limited that you should pretty much only be competing with DPS warriors. If you ARE a raider or PvPer, you can still grab a good item -- the Shoulderpads of the Silvermoon Retainer are roughly equal to Vengeful Gladiator's and Tier 5 in pure PVE DPS potential.
Arts and crafts
A few new items are available for rogues in three professions. Engineers, still basking in their beautiful Deathblow X11 goggles, can upgrade their goggles to the Quad Deathblow X11. No one seems to be sure where exactly the pattern drops. Info on Wowhead points to Sunwell Plateau trash, but speculation is that the plans are BOE and can be traded in the AH.
Leatherworkers are in a similar situation. They have two new wonderful pieces, but both require Sunwell recipe drops, and no one's quite sure what's BOE and BOP. If they follow tradition, the recipe for the BOE Gloves of Immortal Dusk should be a BOP recipe drop. However, if you can get your hands on the recipe (or the gloves themselves), be prepared to make a ton of money from ... pretty much every physical DPS class. It's unknown whether the pattern for the Carapace of Sun and Shadow is BOP, but once again, do everything you can if you have a chance to get this piece, which is widely considered to be superior to T6 and even the token drop in Sunwell Plateau.
Finally, we come to jewelcrafting. Once again, these patterns drop in Sunwell, and we're not sure of the BOP- or BOE-ness of it all. But feast your eyes on the Hard Khorium Choker and the Hard Khorium Band. And yes, that ring is BOE, so you can pick one up on the AH for some extravagant amount of gold in, like, seven months. JCs who want to steer clear of the Sunwell Plateau can still pick up something new, however -- the recipe for Figurine: Shadowsong Panther is available at Revered with Shattered Sun Offensive. You'll still have to shell out cash for the Shadowsong Amethysts if you're a non-raider, though.
Well, we're through! What's on your gear to-do list for 2.4?