Leveling spec for Rogue (Swords or Daggers?)

Now that my priesty is 60 and got her epic mount, I’m working on my Rogue, and I was told to go sword spec by one friend, then dagger spec by another >_<

Is there a leveling build I can follow?

Icy veins and Wowhead both have leveling guides with multiple builds to choose from.


You want to level as combat swords.


Thank you!!

1 Like

I’ve been leveling sub with hemo… been a blast to pvp with and you just use whatever weapon you have that’s best.


Yep. Combat swords is the way to go all the way to 60 and beyond. Daggers are good in pvp and will only start to outshine swords in raiding once you get BiS, but suck for leveling. Also, there isn’t many good pre-raid options for daggers… sadly.

1 Like

Combat swords without question is the easiest way to level, any other spec and you’re making things more difficult for yourself for no reason.

Combat swords definitely. No movement issues and easy rotation.
Wing blade - WC quest
Sword of omen - SM quest
Vanquishers blade - don’t remember
Thrash blade - kill princess in maradon

You basically have a mainhand sword available to you the entire way. They are all good swords too.


I’m still using Thrash Blade and Vanquisher’s Sword because I haven’t gotten anything better from dungeons yet (not having much luck with drops).

Ive been using hemo build, opening with cheapshot. Maybe combat swords is faster but I weapon swap with macros to get the most out of swords and maces when using non dagger abilities and I get to use all the rogue like abilities like an improved stealth and speed. Ghostly strike has been great for survivability. I find it sub far more fun even for pve. Pvp is pretty hilarious as well. Keep an eye on the auction house, there are always those people that list a blue weapon for 5gold or less.

Keep thrash blade for now. You can either buy krols blade or try your luck at dal rends swords. My rogue got lucky and got both swords on back to back runs.

Yes, I want Dal Rends. I’ve only run UBRS once so far (full clear) and didn’t get a single useable drop for me.

Yea drops are hard to come by unfortunately. Especially so as a rogue. You have to compete against warriors, hunters, shamans, druids and other rogues for the same dps gear. Imagine having HOJ lost to a druid. Proc trinkets don’t work in animal forms in classic wow.

gonna be difficult here.
but i absolutely LOVE leveling ambush dagger.
Its hilarious.
And rewarding. and the crits make you giggle.
You can basically delete things 3 levels lower than you .

Ambush. 30-40% life gone.
wait half a second.
wait full duration and BACKSTAB last tick. ( down to 20% health)
kidney shot for 3 seconds.
move to their front.
Gouge at the last second on kidney shot.
Backstab Dead. repeat on next mob.

they dont even hit me.

1 Like

I just bought Hanzo Sword off the AH for 12g. OMG, what a difference having a proper off hand sword makes. Paired with Thrash Blade my arms are a literal blur. This was me in AV a few minutes ago.

If you plan to level through dungeons and/or with someone who can hold the mobs’ attention while you backstab, go daggers. Otherwise go sword.

1 Like

You dont want to level as daggers. You have to stealth to use ambush which is a self imposed snare. Your sinister strike is weaker and that is basically the only skill you will ever use solo leveling.

I play a dagger rogue and they are great in groups, but vastly weaker solo farming than combat sword.

1 Like

Best > Swords combat
Fun > Hemo sword (or any slow wep)
Worst > Daggers. It can work with some talents (100% ambush) but still slow af.

I level with hemo and was fine, combat is faster but I prefer the advantage in wpvp.

I get the resounding support for swords. I leveled a dagger rogue back in the day (combat) and only switched to fist/sword for C’thun, since he obviously didn’t have an identifiable “back”. It was fine.

I committed to daggers for classic because I feel like it’s the most authentic build and play style for the class. It’s slower to level and requires more effort and attention, but can be rewarding for the big crits. It’s true, there are more swords available throughout the leveling process that are ridiculously easy to get. Swords are easier to play. I’ll conclude by saying that I don’t think daggers should be completely discounted, i.e. labeling it the “worst”. It’s not.

I came here to say pretty much the same thing. Ambush, if spec’d into properly gives 100% crit chance and gibs a lot stuff.

If an ambush + SS and evisc doesn’t kill it, then an ambush + gouge + backstab + evisc will.

I had a blast insta gibbing most everything I came across as a hybrid sub build.

Note, I leveled in areas green to me to make it quicker and less downtime.