You might have it in your soloing spec. Maybe it is in your tanking spec. It’s almost certainly one of your melee dps specs. Bladedancer has many strengths for all rogue roles but it’s capacity for damage is hard to beat. As well as offering several utilities for the rogue that are unique to the Bladedancer soul.
Being energy starved is one of the largest limitations for rogues. Combat Efficiency is the only talent or skill (other than Verse of Joy) that offers any energy return. Since every finisher will be used at five combo points, the return is always a max fifteen energy. Allowing for a forty energy skill to be used after every finisher without any wait.
Deadly Dance is one of the most powerful talents of any rogue soul. Its’ 105% increase to three skills is the highest of any rogue damage modifiers. Battle bards spam cadence and use deadly strike as their finisher, out healing all but Virtuoso spam. Saboteurs utilize it increasing the damage of all charges. It is an essential element to rogue damage currently. So much so that all but one top melee dps spec includes it.
As new tiers of content is released either through updates or expansions, expect to need more hit. Combat Expertise is the only talent that offers hit for rogues. As you gain hit through gear you can remove points from it as needed though there isn’t much else to spend 3 of the points on. This allows a Bladedancer heavy spec to have gear with more weight in the core dps stats with less hit.
With flash of steel a Bladedancer can quickly close the gap after avoiding an area effect spell or being hit by a knock back. This makes up for the lack of ranged attacks often found with melee specs. Sprint might not be used often but can be useful in a pinch. Vivacity is the only talent that increases a rogues maximum energy. Weapon Barrage is also a rogues only melee range (0-30m) interrupt. Having it off the global cool down ensures anything that can be interrupted will be.
With twenty-seven points into Bladedancer you gain everything needed for maximum damage without sacrificing essentials from other souls. Also you gain all of the unique benefits; hit, Sprint, Flash of Steel, and 20 extra power. Blade Tempo is one of the few cool downs which has no effect on your rotations.
Eighteen points into assassin gains you a majority of the damaging skills from the soul. While wasting no points on unneeded talents. The rank four talent Magnify Pain increases the effectiveness of deadly dances’ damage. Puncture being a dot scales very well in raids due to the warlord ability spotter’s order. Also Puncture is a two combo point skill. Backstab having a six second cool down with high damage makes it easily placed into any rotation.
Nightblade with twenty-one points actually gives less impact to damage per point than the 18 points in assassin. There is however no where better to spend the points since Fiery Spike is necessary currently. Dusk Strike being one of three two combo point skills is a welcomed bonus. Ebon Fury is a damage gain and deadly dance only makes it even more so. Heat retention when timed with Blade Tempo provides a significant increase to deadly strikes damage.
Macros: Remove weapon barrage from your 30e macro if interrupt is needed. Otherwise leave it for the off GCD damage.
cast Quick Strike
cast Keen Strike
cast Weapon Barrage
#show Dusk Strike
cast Precision Strike
cast Dusk Strike
Buffs and Cool Downs:
- Smoldering Blades: The highest damage weapon enhancement available to rogues.
- Hellfire Blades: Damage proc with +5% damage buff from Melted Skin talent.
- Blade Tempo: Damage cool down requiring no change in rotation.
- Ebon Fury: Deadly dance makes this cool down even better. Requires a change in rotation.
Initial Rotation: Conceal > Dark Malady > Fiery Spike x2 > 30e Macro > Deadly Strike
General Rotation: 40e Macro > Fiery Spike > 30e Macro x2 > Deadly Strike
Ebon Fury Rotation: Fiery Spike > Ebon Fury (during gcd) > 40e Macro x2 > Deadly strike > 40e Macro x3 > Deadly Strike
Notes: Depending on the fight you will use your cool downs as soon as possible allowing your tank to get enough hate first. If the encounter has an area effect or knock back you may want to wait til after the first one to ensure you are in melee during the entire duration. You also need to use Blade Tempo and Ebon Fury as close to the time they come off to get more uses per fight duration. The ebon fury rotation is generic; never go for a third Dusk Strike if it means Fiery Spike is going to drop.
Sprint is not “needed” for any encounter but if you some how mistimed moving from an area effect it can mean not dieing. Unfortunately the exhaustion effect can interfere with Blade Tempos’ use. Use flash of steel as soon as the area effect or knock back goes off.
Maximizing Fiery Spike with Deadly Dance buff is a must. If the encounter has an are effect try to time your Deadly Strike to hit before the next expected cast. This give you the ability to refresh Fiery Spike an additional two more times as needed with the Deadly Dance increase.