Since it looks like Nightblade is going to be a more commonly used spec in ID than we had previously supposed I decided it’s time for there to be an actual guide for it (aside from Hoko’s super outdated one). Once 1.8 releases this guide will be updated for any changes or adjustments that are needed.
So Bloodstalker is higher ST DPS, and BD is higher AoE DPS, why would I even carry a Nightblade build to a raid?
Nightblade has all kinds of nifty little goodies that make it absolutely worth carrying. Ranged attacks (something seriously lacking in BD), AoE’s that hit 9 mobs rather than 5, and personal survivability CD’s make Nightblade probably the most versatile DPS spec we have. Also it does put up pretty competitive ST and AoE DPS numbers. If you are one of those rogues that usually only runs MM, but you are thinking about picking up a melee spec, this is definitely your best choice. It's easy to learn, it does very good DPS, and has the survivability to allow you to learn melee mechanics without getting smoked.
Aside from slightly lower DPS than more specialized specs are there any other drawbacks to Nightblade one should know about?
Yes, the typical NB spec does not have an interrupt, gap closer, or AoE finisher. If you need those things there is a NB spec that can be used, or in reality you are probably better off looking here Gyle’s Advanced Guide to 51 Bladedancer.
http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M....iItRhqgRss.-5 (49NB/17sin)- This is THE spec. There is no Nightblade spec that I am aware of that even comes close to the ST DPS of this build. If you have a PVE Nightblade spec, this is what it should be.
http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M...ItRGqgRss.c.-5 (51NB/12BD/3RS)- This is a spec that I and a few others have been playing around with for a while. It has a gap closer, an interrupt, and it actually does more AoE dps than both BD and 49NB. The drawback is that it is not as high ST. I play around with this build, but if I actually care what my numbers are I run 49NB every time.
#show Dusk to Dawn
/cast dusk to dawn
/cast dusk strike
/cast twilight force
/cast Fiery Chains
/cast primal strike
/cast Fiery Spike
/cast Expose Weakness
#show Ebon Fury
/cast Dusk Strike
/cast Ebon Fury
/cast Twilight Force
#show Scourge of Darkness
/cast Scourge of Darkness
/cast Blazing Strike
/cast Flame Thrust
#show Fiery Chains
/cast Fiery Chains
/cast Weapon Flare
Note: For the finisher macro, if you are at range hitting the button just once wont activate flame thrust for some reason, just spam the crap out of it till you see yourself chuck a flaming axe.
Ideally a fight should start off with Dark Malady >Fiery Spike > Spamx1 > Blazing Strike > Spam X2 > SoD.
In general there is no actual “Rotation” for NB. Spam your macro, finish at 5 CP’s, use SoD whenever it is up while making sure to always have 5/5 Heat Retention up when you use it. Lingering Flame will keep Fiery Spike up without having to reapply.
For weapon enchantments, you want Hellfire blades for sure. Smoldering is higher DPS than Assassin's Lethal Poison, but if you are the only melee rogue using Lethal will result in higher raid DPS.
For AoE keep Fiery Spike up on one mob, spam your AoE macro to 5CP’s then finish with Blazing Strike on your Fiery Spike target. Use SoD on CD as well, keeping in mind to only use it with 5/5 HR.
Gyle’s Tips and Tricks:
Some people don’t macro SoD into their finisher macro. This is because using SoD at 5/5 HR is a significant DPS boost, so some like to be able to more easily control when they use it. The way i handle SoD timing is to put an extra Blazing Strike button on my bar and use it in lieu of the macro when I don’t want to activate SoD yet.
Most of the time when you go to activate SoD you will already be at 5/5, if not you will probably be at 4/5, in that case just toss in a Fiery Spike. It will keep you from having to worry about refreshing it after SoD.
You DO NOT have to refresh FS manually after SoD. If you get even one extra CP you should be able to use Blazing Strike before it drops off. In fact, even if you do not get that extra CP using Blazing Strike at 4cp’s to refresh it is better than using FS THEN Blazing Strike at 5CP’s.
Your raid leader may not agree, but one nice thing about NB is that you can usually run with less resists than you can in other specs, since you have two defensive CD’s. One good example is Inwar. There is no reason to use any WR at all, just pop a CD when he casts Darktide.
Dummy parses for NB are NOT accurate, remember that. NB picks up a significant amount of DPS when a mobs HP falls below 30%.
You *SHOULD* be using a tablet with this spec. It is every bit as energy starved as Bloodstalker, especially if you put Expose Weakness in your spam macro.