The Ironsong Tribe

Full Version: The Unspoken Science: Poisoning
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Good mooooooooornin' tribe,

I know this lil post is a wee bit out of place, but it is something that I have come up to in very many situations (not in guild). The art of the apothecary sciences is something that all of us rogues have had since we were all of 20 ranks into our calling. Saddly, I have found it to be the least properly utilized tool in our arsenal. I will not proclaim to be the end all be all of skullduggers here, but some basic lessons and info might be helpful for all branches of our caste. We specialize in information and execution, and what better way to hone our edge by learning about both, eh?

In my first section I will go over the aspects of each poison individually. Yus, you can get a basic description from our catalog, but sometimes..its better to see it placed situationally.

Section two will be dedicated to the two new poison related skills, Shiv and envenom. We will chop down bit by bit what each skill does, and explain how best to utilize each. Here we will also touch on talents.

And finally, section three will be on specific situations (applying on the fly). This is a summation of knowing all about your poisons, and being able to make quick decisions when you see where group needs help. Here we go!

Section 1:The Bad Juju

Whether you call it bad juju, liquid doom or rogue juice, poisons are the tools we get to make our lives less hectic. Without your poisons applied correctly, your survival would be questionable. We've all had situations where we've had a runner flee uncrippled...and then dodge our kidneyshots. Or a healer starts casting a full heal and you can't stunlock or kick it...wounding would have saved you some downtime there. Or how about a mage with that big ol pyroblast charging while you were slowed...wouldn't have been nice to have a mind numbing on it to make sure you get there in time? Yes...we all have certain poisons for every situation in game, lets talk a lil bit about what each of them do, and my interpretation of their use.

Instant Poison-- The bread and butter damage poison for all rogues. It deals the highest direct of all our poisons, falling in second place for overall damage behind a fully stacked deadly. Claiming the title for the second most used poison, instant has been the gold standard of which all of us have been working since we started mixing. Its simple apply and forget style has really found alot of love in all aspects of a rogues life, but no more so then combat rogues. Straight damage with a chance to hit leads to more DPS in the long run, its as simple as that. Also, since it does not break crowd control effects (duh), it finds alot of use in solo situations and PvP.

Gholjan says: Yah! Its instant and it hurts...simple, quick. I don' use it as much as I used ta though.Ya swingy type rogues will love da damage dey give, but watch da eyes of you're enemy...

Crippling Poison-- The world would be a much more dangerous place without crippling. Sure, slowing effects are a dime a dozen, but none of them have the reliabilty of cold old crippling. Lets just explain how we come up to this. In a purely group situation, having the ability to put on a slowing effect without using rage or mana. Also since we do not have to worry about application in mose cases, if you have it placed correctly for your build, you should usually have it applied a second or two into the fight, and with application rate, you should not have to worry about it going off. Now..I should also abridge this saying that crippling is not an all the time poison either. As the world has progressed, we've started to watch more and more enemies become immune to either poison or movement slowing effects. This makes it better for generic trash clearing, soloing and PvP.

Gholjan says: If yah need tings to slow down, or if yah just need someting ta make sure da bad juju is flowin' tru its veins, cripplin' is da best choice. Just gots ta know when and whe'ah to use dis stuff. Dere are some situations whe'ah you will definately wan someting wit some damage to it.

Wounding Poison-- There is nothing more heartbreaking then fighting a priest or some other healy type person, and missing that vital kick. Wounding can make any long drawn out heal fight seem a lil shorter. For a long time, most people found only marginal use of this poison in a PvP environment. It was just not advantageous enough to place draw and apply in a PvE situation. When mutilate came out, this and crippling found alot of second thought placed on them. Experimentation led to reapplication, and now it finds a place as necessary in some fights. (IE. The Druid fight in Botanica). It is also important to know that as of 1.12, apparently no anti-healing effects stack. If you are using this as your must apply poison, then be aware of mortal strikers. The mortal strike debuff overwrites all but 5 applications of wounding.

Gholjan says: Da first ting you need to know about woundin' is yer enemy. Are dey more likely to let it stay or go? Are dey gonna stop and try ta heal t'rough it. Are dey gonna rely on a totem ta try ta cleanse it? Try ta see and learn what da peoples twitch like...learn from dat.

Mind-Numbing Poison-- This poison does not get much use now a days. The ability to slow down a persons casting is not as vital to your survival as interrupting them is. most cases, if they it is (caster boss fights), they are probably already immune to mind slowing effects OR poisoning. This poison, in my personal experience, has become a fight calling poison. If you can have control of the fight from the beginning, then you can choose to apply this to help with your interrupt timing. This type of situation most often occurs in Solo PvP.

Gholjan says: If yah are trying to figure out whats da best ting to mind-numb..think of what yah really have trouble stoppin'. Don' tink of it as a damage prevention juju, use it as a control tool. If yah can' stop da chain' healin' paladin wit kicks in time..slow him down and try again. Mebbe you see what it like den. Tricky juju ta find a use fer doh...I ain' made alotta dis fer a some time.

Anesthetic Poison-- Instant poison v2.0. This lovely purple venom is quickly becoming a favorite for its lack of threat componant. Yes, you still get threat based on weapon swing, it doesn't remove that threat (yes, i've been asked about that once or twice). What this does do though is add about 5% DPS to a standard combat rogue who dual applies these poisons. This can grow with faster combat builds (fist/daggers). Though it has a high creation cost, it pays to keep a good supply of this on you.

Gholjan says: When da Bad Juju gets gets anesthetic. Dere really ain' to much extra to be said bout dis stuffs odda den it works wonders.

Deadly Poison-- The most damaging poison, and the most reviled of the poisons as well. Deadly has a love/hate relationship with most rogues Its application can be twitchy from time to time and its wanton disregard for crowd control effects often put this lovely stuff in the bag. In the hands of a rogue who knows how to control his application, this juju can become one of the most beneficial poisons in your catalog. With envenom being able to remove the applications, you can time it so that you always are apply and removing at near the same rate, without losing to much of the dot benefits of the poison. This turns poisoning off of simple debuffing to technical skill. We will discuss this later on

Gholjan says: Its deadly, to da enemy and yah both. Dis poison makes ya tink alot about how ya are gonna work around a fight, so prepare to watch what it do. If yah can't learn ta control yerself and yer weapons, den dis juju is gonna lead ta alot of hearbreak and disappointment...and da occasional convasation wit da Spirit Heala's.

Blinding Powder-- Yes, I know what you are thinking. This isn't a weapon poison, but blind another skill that I've seen start to make a steady decline its use. Its most common use is mid fight self protection IE. Blind->Bandaging. What most rogues forget is that this is still a valid form of CC in a tight pinch. What happens if your sap breaks and there are to many mobs for your tank to keep effective agro on? Blind it and wait. It may be only 10 seconds, but that is more then enough time for even a warrior to get solid lock of everything in the area.

Gholjan says: Like flash powdas, its best ta keep alot of dese on yah. I get nervous if ma stash gets below thirt'eh of dese tings...keep an eye on yer supplies.

Section 2: Skills and talents.

I'm sure every rogue has heard the whispers on the wind (or in my case, me whining and hoping it was heard somewhere) about rogues steadily losing their PvE viabilty. Our DPS was plummeting, and with the lack of suitable secondary effects that would make us more group friendly, we were doomed to being 2 shot ganksters. Many of them, myself included, had given up to the fact that this was an inevitablity. I lost hope before I even tried it, and that was my great downfall. What has changed since then, is a much higher understanding of what all of our abilities do. I watched the meters carefully, i've looked for where my damage was coming from, and I adjusted to attempt to suit the needs.

Though parts of this next section are not going to be applicable to all rogue specs, it is food for thought. Certain old terms that were used, such as Poison per Second parses are good to read up about for combat rogues. Ultimately though, when you mention improved poisons and vile poisons, mutilaters are going to be the ones who turn the eye the keenest. But i hope that this first part about Shiv and Envenom help understand the delicate balance in a poisoners situation.

Shiv: When you discuss shiv, there are two things you need to first remember about it. Firstly, its energy scaling is very dagger friendly. Even with using the slowest daggers (2.0 swing speed) you will not exceed the cost of 40. Because of this, there has been debates about this being better than Sinister Strike. In my opinion, yes it can be. Its damage->energy ratio is very decent, especially since it does gain benefits from Duel Wield specialization. Also, if you are alone in PvP or soloing, this becomes much better to get damage through certain hard to reach targets (Warriors and Feral Druids).

As many differences between everyones spec, there are differences in the benefits of shiving. As stated earlier, you can apply an direct damage poison to your offhand and use it as a new sinister strike. This method allows for more damage and more combo point generation of course. Now, while this is great, i've found that especially in the three variations of an assassination build, this does not always hold true. Most nonmutilate builds run on excepetionally fast offhand weapons. Now you don't need me to explain why this is, but suffice it benefits stack up. Lets crack it down like this:

Mr. Stabbums, our friendly neighborhood rogueling, is using a Latro's shifting sword in his offhand. He currently has ~1300AP and is using instant poison on his offhand. Now assuming he is swinging at paper, and the paper is poisonable with no sort of damage absorbing properties (we aren't using bounty or quilted soft). His damage to energy would look something similar to this
First, we have the Shiv energy formula is simple: 20 + (10xWeapon Speed)=Energy cost. This translates into 20 + (10 x 1.4)=34 energy to shiv.

Next, we need to see how much damage the AP is adding: (APxSpeed)/14=Damage/hit. Soo. (1300x1.4)/14=130.
Directly adding that to the Latro's weapon damage, we have to take into account it being an offhand weapon. As Stabbums was able to pick up duel wield spec, he is hitting for 75% of the weapons maximum damage. That would mean, including the AP gain, the weapons damage range is ~182-228 a normal hit. Now we add can the poison damage, which is 146-194 (instant 7).
What that technical mumbo jumbo means is that for 34 energy, Mr. Stabbums has the ability to do upwards of 422 damage on a noncrit shiv (Or..up to 878 crit, very unlikely this high). In comparison, lets say Stabbums has the same AP, and is using an Edge of the Cosmos for his mainhand.

Extra AP with the Mainhand is: (1300x2.6)/14=241
SS10 adds 98 damage, so Each SS would be (371-484)+98.~469-582 a hit.(if he had
Instant 7 here, he would have a 20% chance to add its damage)

So to figure out the average DPE we take the average damage (low+high/2) and then divide it by its energy cost.

Shiv: (({182+228}/2) + ({146+194}/2) )/34= or (205 + 170)/34~ 12Damage/energy
SS(((371+484)+98)/2)/40=DPE or 426/40~ 12 D/energy.

This shows us you have about the same DPE for both Shiv and SS in this weapon setup. The CP generation though is much faster. 3 shivs to 2 SS. So stabbums would be able to get to that massive 5pt Evis faster if he swings shivs than SS. This leads to more damage in the long run, and a happier rogue. The paper though, isn't very cheerful.

Now..this is if we are instant shiving to build CPs. The other side of it is beating the poison proc rate. Shiving stackable poisons like Wounding or Deadly helps stack up the benefits faster obviously. This ends up necessary for some fights (High Botanist Freywind or Terestian Illhoof with wounding). Deadly stacking fast allows you to build up envenoms. Shiv also can be used as the start of a slow Dps cycle for raiding with a mutilate build. ((IE. Shiv, SnD, Mutilate, mutilate, evis/env)) This allows you to get the benefit of a poisons target and Find weakness quickly, and starts your DPS strong and controllably. Speaking of Stacking poisons, lets move on to our next poison ability

Envenom: Envenom is a finishing move that has been jeered at by rogues the world over. Though the damage in the tooltip is comparable to eviscerate, it is all nature damage. On high AC, high AP fights this means that you can actually (gasp) Do more damage per envenom! The beauty is often loss to the fact that most rogues are not able to wait, or patient enough to wait for the poison stack. Shiv ties hand in hand with envenom, making it more predictable and controlled.

The obvious downside of envenom is the reliance on the deadly poisons, which makes it near impossible to keep a 100% stunlock (unless you kill the target in 8 seconds). There are ways to control your poison stacking to allow for the KS->gouge transition, but generally you have to make that judgement on the fly. If you are fighting a warrior who is really heavily armored and has alot of HP, this becomes evident. ((unfinished

(I would like to have more information about Envenom here, but to do so, I need to include more damage parses dependant on certain bosses. I would love to have more input from everyone. is a lil extra work for rogues, but test it and come back here with it)

Section Three:How, Where, When and Why.

Now, knowing what all your poisons do doesn't mean you've mastered the art of poisoning yet. The most important thing to learn is to learn what poison to use in what sitaution. In most cases, you will know ahead of time when to switch poisons. Here are a few poison specific fights and an explanation of why you need to use what poison on them. (more fights will be put in here as they come up.)

High Botanist Freywind (The Botanica.)- During his tranquility, it often helps to have wounding stacked up to minimize the damage healed. (it will not last the full time of his tranquilty, but its a help)

Thorngrin the Tender (The Botanica.)- Wounding helps with the damage healed back from the sacrifice

Warp Splinter (The Botanica.)- Wounding helps when he eats his saplings.

Dalliah the Doomsayer (The Arcatraz.)- Though her heals are easily interuptable, it always help to wound her to cover up a missed interrupt.

Terestian Illhoof (Karazhan)> Wounding for the sacrifice again.

Grouping/raiding on a nonmutilate build: Deadly/Anes or Anes/Anes
Soloing on a nonmutilate build: Crippling/instant or Instant/Instant.
Grouping/raiding on a Mutilate build: Anes/deadly
Soloing on a mutilate build, Crippling/deadly or Instant/deadly
If you need to Wound (pre 70) double up, once you have shiv, off hand is sufficient. (this is very important if you don't have Imp Poisons.)
Mind-numbing/wounding may seem like it would make a healer nervous, but truth be makes you a liabilty (duels are different)
Arguably, Crippling/wounding is the best pvp poison setup. Crippling/deadly is also generally good in PvP (as long as you don't need to gouge)