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    The way of the Rogue

    What is a rogue ?

    Basically a melee-based fighter [or DPS as is commonly used], one of the two possible promotions for the Thief class [the other being Assassin]. Both classes suffer similar strengths and weaknesses, and are typical of the 'glass hammer' idea - you hit hard, you break easy. Overall it comes down to personal preference, but yeah, this is a Rogue guide so I'll be covering mostly that :>

    Why use a rogue ?

    To cut things up ! Cut them many many many times, and hopefully live to tell the tale. Or at least give your team a fighting chance by taking out as big a chunk of the enemy's health as you can before falling down lifelessly. As stated above - you'll be hitting hard and fast, but be taking quite a pounding yourself. In terms of survivability; Rogues are a bit better compared to Assassins thanks to their healing skill. In terms of diversity in combat; there isn't really -all- that much. But the point is that the Rogue has core skills for dealing damage, and that's what it does best.

    Though the main drawcard for me was that being a Rogue lets you see your character. As opposed to Assassins [who I think actually have cooler looking armour], who end up looking like black+red werewolf-y clawed things pretty much ALL the time. Yeah I hate how Shadow Form looks :'D

    Stat distribution

    Generally speaking stats are a bit 'eh' in terms of 'what counts'. By this I mean at the end of the day [or week or month] when you hit level 50 [current cap] - by far and large the bulk of your stats will be coming from your equipment, then your cards, then what you've put in when you had levelled up. Not that you should defenestrate all due care in building up your character and pump up something useless like INT or WIS, but just a general word that you've got lots of leeway.

    STR +40
    AGI +40
    VIT +8

    STR +41
    AGI +41

    STR +50
    AGI +26
    VIT +2

    Option a is an even spread, dumping a few points in VIT for early-game [where it matters a lot more]
    Option b is another even spread, completely ignoring VIT which is fine really
    Option c is my current build, focusing on getting STR to max, putting the rest in AGI, then dumping the orphaned points into VIT since that's pretty much the only thing else that's worth anything.

    STR bumps up attack power and parry rate
    AGI bumps up crit rate and dodge
    VIT bumps up HP

    My main idea with focusing on STR above all else is that crit depends on how much damage you do, and while levelling up I'd rather hit harder most of the time than hit 'okay' and crit a tiny smidgen bit more often.


    There are quite a few solid builds floating around on other forums, and they do work. I've tried a couple of them and played around a bit [resetting a few times] until I've ended up with this build [which leaves 5 points for whatever you feel like]

    Thief Skills
    - Hiding 1/3 [currently using 3/3]
    Hiding is one of those utility skills. not much use out of battle, but I'd say it's fairly important in general mobbing thanks to the 2x attack bonus. Be aware that hiding makes you lose all current combo points - so you'll have to decide whether you want to keep your combo points or hide for that 2x bonus. Generally I use hiding on a new mob if the combo points are under 4.
    At level 1 hiding decreases your movement speed by 40%, 20% at level 2, and at level 3 you walk as normal.
    As indicated above I personally use level 3 since it makes walking around and getting into position easier. And it's fun to just explore new dungeons, walk up to a boss and dance in it's face, or do some mining in a map where you're 30 levels below general mob level

    - Double Attack 5/5
    Your basic attack. Throw away that other basic attack. Uses 1 SP [next to nothing], cooldown of 1s [faster than normal attack by 0.20], obtain 1 combo point [hooray].

    - Deadly Blow 5/5
    Your other basic attack. Double Attack + Deadly Blow are your bread and butter, your meat and potatoes, your [insert some other similar saying]. At level 5 it does the same base damage as Double Attack, but adds 7% more damage for each consumed combo point stocked to a maximum of 60% of your attack.

    - Combo Training 3/3
    Gives you a 5% chance per level [to the max of 15%] that an attack that generates combo points will generate an extra point. It's just that much faster to deadly blow

    - Dark Illusion 0/5
    Teleport move. Always applies as a critical hit, meaning when paired with hiding you'll always deal 4x whatever damage it was meant to do. Not a big fan since teleporting in on a mob tends to get you killed, and the skills that follow on from it aren't my cup of tea.

    - Dagger Throwing 1/4
    A ranged attack useful for pulling mobs. Damage isn't that great, cooldown isn't that great, but it works for pulling a mob away from a larger group, or hitting something far away while you try to close in the distance.

    - Mark of Genocide 5/5
    At level 5 this increases your party or raid's crit by 2%. Not a heck of a lot but it's the only group buff you've got, and 2% is better than nothing. Personally this was rather low priority [left maxing it out until last], but some people DO get nitpicky if you party with them and your buff is only at 0.40%

    - Meteor Assault 0/3
    An AoE [area of effect] skill, hitting up to 3 mobs. Uh. Not for me.

    - Cross Impact 1/5
    Didn't really bother with it and never really used it apart from to see what it looks like in combat, but it's a gateway skill to the Rogue tree so you have to take it :/

    - Poisoning Weapon 1/5 [4/5]
    Another gateway skill. It's a good extra, but nothing more than that really. Adds 7% of your attack power as DoT [damage over time] assuming the target gets poisoned. At level 4 this goes up to 13% which I think is decent enough. Though as I said, it's not that high of a priority, and you could actually leave it at level 1 and just put points elsewhere.

    Rogue Skills

    - Smoke Bomb 0/3
    Instantly stops combat state and puts you into hiding. An interesting skill but overall I found it not so great. With the high cooldown you're probably only really looking at pulling this off once during a boss battle [or twice if you Dirty Plan], but even then it would be either for one attack 2x damage, zoning in PvP, or to run away. In any case it wasn't all that great for me, but some people swear by it. With the 5 extra points in the build linked above, you could very well put a full 3 points into this [along with the 2 other gateway skills].

    - Combo Mastery 3/3
    At level 3 this gives you a 9% chance to generate a 10s buff that is basically 5 free combo points. This is awesome. It happens fairly often and can be a real lifesaver in some battles if you're waiting for combo points to heal up. The most I've gotten this to proc is 4 times in a row resulting in 5x 5-point deadly blows

    - Dirty Plan 5/5
    This skill resets all the cooldowns of your skills [though, really, it only matters for like 2 of them], gives you a full 5 combo points, and has a cooldown of 120s at level 5. This is one of those 'extras' or 'emergency' skills. Like just mentioned, there are only really two skills that have any sort of cooldown that matters - Mark of Death and Gangster Paradise. Maybe smoke bomb if you decide you want to put your skills into that. It's not crucial to have this maxed out ASAP [or even at all], but I've found it quite useful for tricky situations and it's better than any other options in terms of what to put skill points in.

    - Duel Stab 1/5
    Gateway skill. Obtain 2 combo points. 10s cooldown. Pretty much just defenestrate this like Cross Impact. Even at level 5 it's not all that much better than Double Attack

    - Gangster Paradise 5/5
    Hello survivability. 1 combo point required, recovers 12% HP every 2s, duration increased by 2s for every extra combo point consumed - to a max of about 60% hp recovery. This is your beverage of choice in the said meat and potatoes meal of Double Attack and Deadly Blow. I'll go over the general flow of mobbing later on, but just know that the sooner you max this out, the less potions you'll be using for healing while mobbing, and the healthier you'll be during tougher battles - which is always a good thing for the Priest in your group since they ought to be focusing on healing the Tank after all. At level 5 the cooldown goes down to 40s
    One BIG thing to remember is that this is not an instant healing skill, it's a regeneration skill. Don't use this at the last second like a potion, or you WILL die. When mobbing use it at about half life, and for bosses use it whenever you're expecting a couple of decent hits. This is the main skill I would use Dirty Plan for - it's basically your emergency healing.

    - Rolling Cutter 0/3
    AoE that can hit up to 10 enemies. Not for me.

    - Crescent Moon 1/5
    Gateway skill, though unlike the other two used in this guide, this one is useful now and again. Consumes 1 combo point to knock down the target, increasing the duration of the knockdown for 1s for every additional combo point consumed. At 5 combo points it's a fairly good knockdown. For general mobbing this is pretty good to throw in now and again to give you more breathing room on the elite mobs, or to just totally decimate something without them even being able to hit you [works great in tandem with a knight]. The main reason for not putting more points into this [which would decrease the cooldown so that you can use it more often] is that it doesn't work on bosses. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually do any damage.

    - Mark of Death 5/5
    Increases damage from Rogue attacks by 10% at level 5. There is a bit of a question mark with this skill in terms of the debuff-ness of it. Some people have said that it actually affects ALL damage done to the target while the debuff is on, other say it really is just Rogue damage, others still say it's Rogues and Assassins. In any case it debuffs a target for 60s increasing your damage by 10% at the very least. If it increases damage taken from other sources, even better
    This is the other skill I would use Dirty Plan to reset the cooldown of, though it's generally a case of tossing up between debuffing something again so that it dies faster, or if I want to keep the reset for an emergency Gangster Paradise.

    - Dancing of Moonlight 0/5
    Consumes 5 combo points to continuously attack a target for 84% at level 1, to a maximum of 110% at level 5
    Ahhh Dancing, we've had some good times. Some people swear by this skill, much like I did until a few days ago. Though after my most recent skill reset, I've said goodbye to Dancing of Moonlight. As cool as it looks, it's not all that great.
    The main thing is that the continuous attacks go for 3s, and you can't move. Early on, not being able to move isn't such a big deal, but when you get to later bosses that have those 'watch out I'm about to use my super awesome attack on you/near you/the area where you are right now', and you can't move away since you're in the middle of Dancing, well, it's kinda sucky.
    The next thing is that in terms of damage over time, it's actually tied with two Double Attacks [25% + 25%] and one 5-combo point Deadly Blow [60%]. Plus you can move around, plus if you had 5 combo points at the time it would be Deadly Blow > Double Attack > Double Attack which would net you at least 2 more combo points if not more.
    Another thing is that for most mobbing, it's just overkill and you'd be using Deadly Blow with <5 combo points to just kill them faster really.
    Though admittedly you CAN do massive amounts of damage over those 3s. If you proc a Combo Mastery buff, then go into hiding, you can hit a mob for 220% damage [assuming you don't miss]. Mind you, this is base damage not counting the crits that you'd be getting

    - Unstable Doping 5/5
    At level 5 this gives you a 20% chance of getting a buff while using an attack skill, that either raises Attack Power or Critical Rate by 20% for 30s. Also, whenever you heal with a potion it gives you the Adrenalin Rush buff for 3 minutes, adding 10% of the health healed by that potion to your Attack power, to a maximum of a 30% buff to your Attack Power.
    This. This is the coolest buff ever. Being able to get either a 20% crit or attack boost is awesome enough as it is [50% crit rate ? hello <3], but the Adrenalin Rush buff is amazingly awesome.
    There are two downsides to Adrenalin Rush though:
    a/ it's a gradual buff to your attack power that relies on potions [red or purple]. Basically this means you'll be building up the buff over time as you pot, and oft times you'll be potting when your HP is already full. This might seem like a bit of a waste, but the attack power buff is hefty and worth it. Though being a gradual boost, fighting in the Colosseum for example is a bit of a disadvantage since you have to pot your way up to that 30% boost.
    b/ it only lasts 3 minutes. This means you'll be more than deserving of that 'Potion Addict' title since you'll likely be consuming potions constantly. My advice would be to only build up and maintain the Adrenalin Rush buff when you're in a dungeon, or right before bosses. Lastly, I'd recommend purchasing a lot of level 1 Red Potions [17r a pot, stacks in 20 per slot] to keep your buff going. That's probably the most efficient way to maintain your buff without costing you a truckload in money.

    And that's it for the skills. I'd recommend getting Gangster Paradise up to max ASAP, as it'll help a lot with your general mobbing, as well as be a big help in boss fights. I'd even recommend holding off a few points until level 25 so that as soon as you can change jobs, you can max out Gangster Paradise. The other high priority skill is Unstable Doping, as it increases your damage output quite a bit, though you don't have to max it out straight away. Double Attack, Deadly Blow, Combo Mastery, and Combo Training are the other things you should max ASAP too.
    General Flow - mobbing
    If you've decided to go with the suggested skill build above, here's a basic outline of the combat flow.

    Basically you'll want to start off each mob with a Double Attack from Hiding, and keep doing Double Attack until you either hit 5 combo points, or proc the Combo Mastery buff. When that happens use Deadly Blow. Rinse and repeat until the mob is dead, re-hide, pick up any loot, and move on to the next mob. Once your HP hits about half, you should use a 5-combo point Gangster Paradise the next chance you get.

    Depending on your pacing [and you should be taking out mobs one at a time as much as possible if you're soloing], you shouldn't have to use any potions for your general mobbing. By the time your HP hits about half again, your Gangster Paradise should be recharged, and the cycle continues.

    General Flow - bosses
    There isn't all that much of a difference in the flow of combat, but there are a few things to note. The first thing would be to use Mark of Death after your initial Hiding > Double Attack. From there it varies greatly depending on if you feel you're going to need your Dirty Plan for an emergency heal, or to recast Mark of Death to beat that boss down faster.

    Depending on how your party is built and how confident each of the members are, as a melee DPS you'll be doing the bulk of the damage. As such you'll want to concentrate on the boss as much as possible, keeping your HP up with potions and Gangster Paradise, saving the latter for impending AoE or powerful attacks.

    Be aware of any spawned mobs/summons that the boss brings out - again, this depends on your party setup. Most times a ranged DPS [ranger, sorcerer, wizard] will be fine with dealing with these, while other times you'll have to break off from the boss to take care of them. Keep an eye on the health of your party's healer and tank, and give them some help if they're in danger. Otherwise just focus on taking down the boss, since, the sooner it's down, the quicker the battle ends for everyone.

    Other - Equipment, Cards, Buff Foods, Buff Potions, Boost Potions, & other boosters

    As stated at the beginning of the guide, the stat allocation during levelling up is a bit 'eh'. Equipment will provide the bulk of your stat points - so be sure to try to get the best gear you can for your level as you level up.

    Also keep in mind that Blue grade gear [mostly from map bosses, dungeon bosses, map dungeon statue trade cats/guranyang, random drops in the general area] are generally worth more than the next map area's green gear. The base stats [attack for weapons, defense for other equipment] will be a bit lower, but generally the added stat points [STR, AGI, VIT] as well as the bonuses to Vigor Rate [improves cooldown time] will be better for you. You can pretty much ignore Haste Rate [improves casting time] since ALL the Rogue skills are instant-cast.

    In terms of cards, you'll want to either focus on cards that have mainly STR or mainly AGI, depending on whether you want to further boost your STR, or 'cover' a bit of your AGI if you've decided to prioritise STR. Try to keep it balanced. VIT is always just a bonus; the later cards with high STR and high AGI naturally have decent VIT attached anyway.

    In terms of buff foods and buff potions, it really depends on what you've got available. Try to focus on STR buffs, or AGI buffs if you haven't got access to those. You could always go for some crit or def, but I'd only recommend those if you've got nothing else to go on, you've picked up some from loot and don't want to use the STR or AGI buffs, or feel like you're a little lacking in whatever area.

    For the boost potions, again, I'd recommend STR or AGI boosts. I'd say it really depends on how your team is faring, and you may not even need them if you're holding out for an 'emergency situation'. Generally try to hold out on a STR boost potion until the last few % of a bosses HP [usually when they start going crazy since you want that thing dead ASAP], or use an AGI boost potion right before you know a boss is going to use a big attack. It might do absolutely nothing and you'll still get hit, but then again it might just give you enough dodge for the attack to completely miss.

    Lastly, for the other buffy/boosty things - the refining whetstones, tiger embroidery, bear embroidery - use those sparingly if you can, if not exclusively for tough bosses. Some of the later bosses have a sort of minimum HP requirement - they'll generally have some sort of AoE or random-target attack that does a certain amount of damage, and you'll want to be over that or you'll be on the ground. Though, of course, this is no guarantee. Having 5k hp means you'll survive a 4.5k attack, but only if you happen to have over 4.5k hp on you at the time after all.

    PvP notes

    With the Colosseum out in full swing, it's every man, woman, cat, and fox for themselves really. I'll be honest - Rogues aren't great in the Colosseum or PvP in general. You could even say Rogues suck.

    The main thing is the above build is for general PvE use, and like most classes a PvP-focused build would be quite different. Though in terms of skill points and such, even if you had a PvP build, Rogues are mediocre at best in PvP and the Colosseum especially.

    I'll add more on this later if the need arises, but just know it's generally an uphill battle. No solid ranged attack, no solid AoE, limited knockdown capability - the only thing you've got going for you really is the healing, and even that is over time so you can find yourself dead even if you use it at 5 combo points. And of course, once you respawn, your Adrenalin Rush is gone so you'll have to rebuild it again.


    So anyway, that's my [rather long] guide to Rogues. Hopefully it'll help anyone who needs a point in the right direction for their build, or maybe even just some insight on the class, or maybe something to discuss. Cheers !

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