Stealth and trickery are the tools of the rogue in player versus player and player versus environment combat. The branches of the rogue talent tree help a World of Warcraft player decide what areas his player excels in, but this choice affects how he will play his rogue in player versus environment and player versus player combat.
The goal of the rogue in PvP is the same as the goal of the rogue in PvE to do as much damage as his opponent to possible. While there are differences between rogue PvE and rogue PvP combat in World of Warcraft, these differences are not as large for the casting classes. A rogue relies on trickery and stealth in both situations to surprise his opponents.
Rogue PvP Strategies Depend on the Talent Tree
Assassination rogues have a much larger advantage over the other two branches in the talent tree as they can sneak up behind an opponent, use sap and quickly build up combo points, but this works only if the rogue's PvP opponents do not see through stealth. Because there are hunters and potions that allow other players to detect invisible opponents, stealth is not foolproof. This branch does allow for one-shot kills and is considered to be the best branch of the rogue talent tree.
Combat rogues face a different problem. Their talents are designed so that they can hit as often as possible with fast weapons. Many other classes go for larger attacks that easily get through the leather armor and other defenses of rogues. The key remains being undetected, but the best idea is to go into battlegrounds or arenas as a group and either use spring and speed boosts to kite the enemy away from the rogue's PvP group or get behind the major threat, usually a healer.
Subtlety rogues are often used to take out the opposing teams healer's undetected. The stealth abilities and the talent point combinations in the subtlety branch of the rogue talent tree make it easer for a subtlety rogue to accomplish this task, although all rogues should know how to use these abilities well in both PvE and PvP combat in World of Warcraft, as rogues are often expected to watch out for priests in battlegrounds and arenas.
Rogue PvP Disadvantages
Rogues suffer from two disadvantages in PvP. They wear the second weakest armor type in World of Warcraft and do not have any innate healing abilities. There are ways to compensate for this, notably band-aids and potions. Regeneration potions can help offset this problem, but they do not give the quick heal that can make a difference in a battle.
Abilities like evasion should not be used against certain classes and other rogue abilities, like counterstrike, depending on the PvP situation in which the rogue finds himself.
Because PvP takes place under constantly changing conditions and mmorpgs are updated on a regular basis, any guide will eventually fall out of date, regardless of how useful the guide was when first published. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive guide, but rather to give players a start on developing their own strategies. Corrections, comments, or additions can be added using the discussion areas.