WoW Guides: Rogue Poisons


This article is out of date. Click here to return back to the Rogue Guide to find newer articles. This one is from WoTLK, some of the information may be useful but overall is very dated.

From level 20 onward we have the ability to apply lethal poisons to our weapons.  These poisons have come a long way since their inception, and gone are the days of having to level up the poison brewing skill.  Also gone are the days of finding random components for these poisons in the pockets of bandits.  Patch 3.1 has brought a lot of changes to the field, and we'll break down what the Rogue uses for what, in what build.

Poison PVE Use PVP Use
Instant PvE DPS, Main Hand Mutilate Only for high burst damage
Wound None. Almost always main hand
Deadly Fast Off Hand, all builds Mutilate Only, needed for Envenom
Crippling None. Off hand if not Deadly Brew Spec
Mind Numb Next to none. Not worth losing damage/slowing poisons for.

Instant Poison

The label - Single target instant application, no lasting effects.  No time to see a doctor upon drinking.
The typical rate of application on a 1.4 speed weapon - 20%, 2.8 speed - 40%.
May be part of a Deadly Brew mix to cripple victims as well.  Use only as directed.

The Fine Print - Instant Poison has fallen a long way since Wound Poison was greatly buffed to provide an instant damage boost, no longer require stacking, and vastly increased the rate of application on attack.  This will primarily be used by Mutilate Rogues due to their synergy with Instant Poison.  In PvE, all builds use this as their primary damage poison.  While this can be used in combination with Deadly Brew to provide a potent cripple to your instant burst, Wound Poison is more or less essential in PVP to enable you to actually kill those discipline priests and tree druids.

The reality - Used on 1.8 speed main hand daggers, with Improved Poisons in mutilate builds.  Expect about a ~40% proc rate with envenom down, and ~68-70% with envenom buff active.  This can lead to a lot of big yellow numbers when you envenom, and I'm not talking about the envenom hit itself!

Wound Poison

The Label - Tends to leave a bad taste in the target's mouth, reducing their ability to consume food, potions, and incoming mending.  As such, take on a full stomach.
Procs 50% of the time on a 1.4 speed weapon, and 93-100% of the time on a 2.6-2.8 speed weapon.  Buyer testimony confirms that as long as you are forcing your fist down their throat, they will drink your medicine.
May be part of a Deadly Brew mix to cripple victims as well.  Side effects are generally mild and may include death.

The Fine Print - For killing Night Elves (or insert your most hated enemy here), it's more or less essential.  We rogues don't have a lot of staying power once our cooldowns are used, and we need that enemy down before backup arrives or they fall asleep from being able to outheal our barrage of stabbing.  From the moment you cheap shot, all heals will be reduced by 25% and you'll have a fighting chance of killing those healing classes, especially with Priests being able to Penance themselves.

The Reality - Should be applied to one of your weapons in PvP. Always. 

Deadly Poison

The Label - Pop up to 5 in your mouth at any given time.  Chew slowly.  Maximum strength even when you're forced to turn away for a few moments or be out of range of your loved ones.  We guarantee at least a 40% success rate!

The Fine Print - It's 100% essential if you ever plan on pressing Envenom.  This poison excels in mobility fights or any fight that might have you otherwise unable to attack for a few seconds. 

The Reality - An easy offhand choice in PvE for all builds.  It's a harder choice in PvP since there are a lot of times you might not be able to attack your target at all times, so you might not hit 5 stacks to begin with (which is when this poison's damage makes it worthwhile) and even then it may fall off with movement, stuns, or fears of course.  This does make for a great Abolish fodder stack though, as you can actually get this applying faster than anyone in the game can cleanse it with Master Poisoner and a quick envenom hit every now and then. Due to the DoT breaking Gouge, and Blind it's not optimal in PvP for any build but Mutilate.

Crippling Poison

The Label - Clinically proven to be the strongest sedative that doesn't stop you.  Has a great chance of working to boot!  Use today to make sure your PvP date never gets away!

The Fine Print - We cannot stab what we cannot reach.  If we do not take Fleet Footed, we aren't catching most people in PvP at full run and will be forced to blow sprint or mount in order to close the gap, and even then it's going to be a stretch or a stun upon reaching them.  It has a standard 50% rate of application and can be Glyphed to 70%.  Automatically applied with the Deadly Brew talent, making it one of the best PvP talents in the game and can be further enhanced with Throwing Specialization to make us an AoE Interrupt Slowing Mortal Strike DOT annoyance.  Damn, that's a lot of debuffs.

The Reality
-  Fighting a Rogue without this is just like fighting a paladin.  If you want to survive, just turn around and press forward.  You can't do a darn thing to them without blowing cooldowns.  Don't be that rogue that is laughed at as a frost mage kites you around harmlessly.  Be that rogue that causes the flag carrier to move at the rate of diseased livestock.

Mind Numbing Poison

The Label - Experience true ectasy upon injection.  Lose track of your thoughts and journey with Bill and Ted to an excellent adventure.  You will need a spotter to translate as you mumble about 30% slower when under the effects of this.

The Fine Print - Slows casters down, yay.  Sadly, it has very little use in PvE since anyone you'd want to use it on can be kicked or stunned out of it and prevent it entirely.

The Reality - It's a 70% snare. Enough said. You must use this for PvP at all times unless you are Assassination specced with Deadly Brew.

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