Current state of melee rogues

During one of the Campfire chats Blizzard stated that they intend to shift the meta periodically, so that game feels fresh and you don’t have to build the same character over and over again. At the time melee rogues were much stronger than ranged, due to some bugged interaction and ranged builds being underpowered in general.
Now, Blizzard kept their word and shifted the meta. They buffed core ranged skills in general, added a ‘projectiles cast twice’ tempering affix, reworked Victimize and Precision key passives, added few QoL changes, et voila, ranged builds are strong now.
And you can see it in the game. Barrage is a solid skill for leveling and doing low-lvl content. Rapid fire coupled with Precision key passive and the new unique ring annihilates bosses and faring pretty well in the Pit. And Heartseeker-Victimize is probably the best way you can build your rogue at the moment, doing ridiculous amounts of damage to both groups of mobs and bosses.
What else Blizzard did? They fixed bugs, ‘hammering down’ the proverbial sticking nails, namely twisting blades interactions with Poison imbuement. The skill and the Bladedancer’s aspect remain unchanged, and poison-related glyphs received a buff of approximately 5%.
They also buffed Flurry in an attempt to make it a viable skill.
To sum it up: ranged builds are buffed severalfold, poison twisting blades fixed (=nerfed), physical twisting blades unchanged, Flurry slightly buffed – not enough to be viable for the endgame content.
Having said that, I cannot help but notice a trend.
In the earlier seasons, you’d be actively hurting yourself playing ranged.
In the current season, you’re actively hurting yourself playing melee.
‘What’s stopping you from playing melee?’, you’d ask.
Well, let’s see.

  1. Ranged builds have better multipliers with both Precision and Victimize, compared to Close Quarters Combat.
  2. Ranged skills have better tempering affixes: they literally can double the amount of projectiles, whereas flurry has increased size (but not damage) and twisting blades have faster return, which arguably makes them worse in certain situations, and, once again, doesn’t increase the damage dealt.
  3. High-end content is very punishing for melee builds. Having lost an easy access to damage reduction, trying to deal damage in melee is tantamount to suicide at higher tiers of the Pit.

So, the aforementioned meta shift only means that Blizzard, as per usual, pigeonholes us to play a certain way. In this case – ranged.
Haven’t devs said that they are up for build variety and power fantasy?
Some people enjoy bows and arrows, others like slice and dice action, and some prefer traps and poisons.
I’m glad to see and I don’t mind ranged builds taking the scene. But why can’t Blizzard make different playstyles of the same class perform equally well? This question remains unanswered for four seasons straight.

TL;DR: Different playsyles (ranged, melee, traps, poison, whatever) of the same class should be equally effective, with its own features and drawbacks. Such a gaping disparity should be fixed.


High risk no reward, melee are leagues behind ranged and that’s partly due to tempers (Bash doesn’t share a similar fate) and on Pit bosses, melee has to constantly stop dps to avoid shadow bosses. It makes no sense why. Plus momentum and exposure need to be looked at. If something doesn’t give a multiplier, it’s useless for endgame.


If I could like this post more I would! I whole-heartedly agree with every point of this post :slightly_smiling_face:

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I played only melee rogues on Eternal, played Flurry a lot. melee feels weak indeed now.
Flurry need Lucky Hit chance increase for sure and even the damage increase.

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I dont think Flurry will ever be anything other than utility, which imo is fine. It is a solid mob killer and attack speed booster in builds and if Sabatauer is considerably buffed it could have a viable grenade build.

Ranged builds can also use CQC via Dash and SS. Rangef builds can use every Ulatimate Passive if they so desire.

I play ranged as melee and its fine being close to enemies. Granted i have the ability to back up and play my build at 100%, and that is nice.

Puncture and Heartseeker are just too good. I would honestly move some of thier effects off of them and onto a cutthroat skill.

One issue in versatility of builds is that for survivability, Melee HAS to run a ranged attack skill or run Dark Shroud on the bar. If TB cooldown reduction gets buffed this may be less of an issue. Ironically, melee lovers should WANT a ranged mobility skill to be introduced in the expansion as it could passively help with things like umbrous and CQC.

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It’s balanced around its ability to get insane attack speed, it being aoe, and the fact it does four hits.

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A skill shouldn’t be balanced around combo points. That’s 1/3 of the class design. Flurry needs more damage and probably some form of DR incorporated onto it. Siphoning strikes needs to be looked at for melee too.

If the unique ring actually did damage, probably wouldn’t care much but flurry is in a sad state at the moment.

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It’s hard not to be pessimistic about the state of melee rogues. They weren’t great in season 3 and season 4 has arguably made the gap between ranged and melee even worse. Something I’m considering when updating my feedback about Rogues to Blizzard.


You could say maybe don’t have 45 attack speed combo point spec because it’s hard to balance, but you can’t say to not balance with the idea that combo points exists as an option. You can’t put any prominent feature in the game and just not include it in balancing.

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I think you meant to say “not” in there, and I agree. I don’t, however, think it’s intrinsic to the melee skills themselves. It’s more the issues melee has in general and just overall Rogue issues amplifying things. TB Aand Flurry both got the weak end of temperings, imo.

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Yes sorry, I meant hard not to be pessimistic.

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I know, but still lucky hit feel too low for Flurry. now is 11%, maybe even 13% could help.

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Flurry has 10% lucky hit chance for each hit afaik. So, 1 full cast of Flurry has 1-(1-10/100)⁴, which is about 34,4%.
For reference, TB has 33%, and it’s 2 hits (4 with the aspect), which is 55,11% for 2 hits and 79,8% for 4 hits.
But I might be dead wrong with my napkin math and the assumption that lucky hit chance applies for each hit :sweat_smile:
The only person who can actually confirm this is Ava from the Sanctuary discord server.

But I digress. Imo, what flurry needs is more base damage and an increase of hits per combo point.
Another idea comes from a certain MOBA game. Let Flurry apply a stacking debuff, so that each consecutive Flurry deals, say, 5% more damage up to 40.

thatcould helpforsingle target , flurry is very bad to single target.
or do something like: if flurry hits max 3 target ot does 3x damage.

Any chance melee has hope in upcoming patch? I honestly wish they would address some of the useless legendary paragon nodes and buff grenades. Not sure why they saw a nerf compared to everything else that is going on.

My number one issue coming into this season was the paragon boards. Bizarrely, they didn’t really get touched when itemization has such major interactions with them.

Paragon probably needs close to the overhaul items got, across all classes. The game has changed a lot since launch and some of the design principles in the paragon system need updating.

They could definitely stand to be buffed even more, but was there a nerf other than the lucky hit chance on the unique ring? I’d like to see the aspects damage normalized, too, so it’s not just stealth generation.

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Generally size of skills is capped at 100%, which oddly impacted grenades the most since they hardly can hit a boss at times. They need to make the current max size the standard and then let us make those bigger. Felt like this was a substantial nerf to damage too due to more missing.

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Wtf how is that fine? It’s a core skill. It should deal as much damage as any other core skill. How would the community react if they nerfed Twisting Blades down (even more) to Flurry’s current utility-tier as well?

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Because its a mobbing skill and I don’t think the devs and what they want it to do will ever have it do solid single dps. Thus, I think its just going to be regulated to support or a grenade generator. If Flurry Grenades are solid, TW is buffed, and/or the expansion provides a new melee skill, I don’t see it as being a big deal.

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On eternal with my 100 rogue with glyphs maxed and full legacy gear I have no issues clearing nmd100 using level 1 flurry and blade shift. Grenades do so much damage now it’s stupid. Literally 1 million damage per Grenade when going stealth, and it happens again breaking stealth. Not to mention it’s a cluster of grenades each time and the four other ways to create stun grenades make the game very easy for me right now.

Bosses stagger once at around 3/4 health then drop to 1/4 or dead…

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