Player Spotlight: Ashine

“In general, the hardest part about Mythic+ is having good awareness of your surroundings while doing optimal DPS.”

VitaminP: First off, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Ashine: Hey, my name is Lari and I’m currently living in Finland among the polar bears. I’m 24 years old and I’ve been playing WoW for more than a decade, although I only started getting into PvE during Warlords of Draenor. The first Mythic Dungeon Invitational sparked my interest towards Mythic+, so I’ve been pushing keys ever since then.

VitaminP: What is one thing you learned from winning the 2018 MDI with your team exceL’s Angels (formerly called Kjell’s Angels)? Did anything surprise you about the experience?

Ashine: There were two things that I already knew about, but became even more apparent after playing every day with the same people for multiple months in a stressful scenario (mainly the 2018 MDI Time Trials). I learned that the most important traits of a successful team are that the members respect and enjoy playing with each other along with having good attitudes, since everyone has to be able to give and take criticism. When you need to practice for multiple hours every single day, if the people in the team hate each other, it's most likely not gonna work out at all.

VitaminP: What challenges have you faced this expansion in maintaining all three Rogue specs for high Mythic+? Which is your favorite of the three specs and why?

Ashine: The main difficulty this expansion has been trying to figure out the optimal spec, talent build, and Azerite gear setup for any given dungeon. It also doesn’t help that different affixes highlight certain specializations strength and weaknesses in combination with the three Infested patterns. For example, during Necrotic weeks, Subtlety loses a lot of value, even more now than in Legion since Protection Paladin is the only tank that has a reliable way of resetting Necrotic stacks. Thankfully though, swapping between all three specs has been fairly easy in Battle for Azeroth (although costly with all the Azerite reforges).

I enjoy playing both Subtlety and Assassination, but sadly they are quite bland compared to the way they were in Legion. If I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Subtlety because of the sheer impact you can make in your group. The only Rogue spec I really dislike is Outlaw due to Roll the Bones variance.

These are my go-to talents and Azerite traits for Subtlety and Assassination in Mythic+ dungeons:

Base talents:

Talent changes for heavy AOE dungeons:
(Where every pull / boss +5 targets pretty much)
Talent changes for ToS / KR:
(Helps mitigate Galvazzt’s ticking damage, The Golden Serpent’s Spit Gold and Kula the Butcher’s Whirling Axes)
Azerite traits:
then stat proc traits like:

Base talents:
(Assumes at least one trait in Shrouded Suffocation)
Talent changes for heavy AOE dungeons:

Talent changes for ToS / KR:
(Helps mitigate Galvazzt’s ticking damage, The Golden Serpent’s Spit Gold and Kula the Butcher’s Whirling Axes)
Azerite traits:
then stat proc traits like:

VitaminP: What other melee DPS classes do you play? Given the importance of Rogue in what seems like every key so far on live servers, do you foresee yourself having to play anything else for the next MDI?

Ashine: I’m currently playing Death Knight and Demon Hunter as my alts. I tend to gravitate towards the flavor of the month specs as my alts, since I mostly care about the performance of a spec rather than the playstyle. I think it is bit too early to speculate on what will be the meta for the next MDI, but due to how versatile Rogue is with the three specs, I think it is very likely that Rogue will be a top pick. Obviously if some other class is better than Rogue by then, I will happily play it for the tournament.

VitaminP: Do you have any funny moments from keys this expansion to share with us?

Ashine: One of the funniest things that has happened was one of the reasons why Blizzard nerfed Shuriken Combo. Our mage, Drjay, got mind controlled on an M+22 Tyrannical Waycrest key during the Heartsbane Triad fight and Shuriken Combo was so strong that it straight-up deleted him. I basically one-shot him from about 70% health, which was the day we learned that the mind control doesn’t break if the initial hit is enough to overkill (normally it breaks on any hit below 50% health).

VitaminP: What’s the hardest thing about playing a Rogue in high keys? What kind of responsibilities fall on your shoulders?

Ashine: I can’t really think of anything that is specifically hard for Rogues, but in general, the hardest part about Mythic+ is having good awareness of your surroundings while doing optimal DPS. As a Rogue, you will often have minor responsibilities such as making sure you have Vanish and Blind ready incase your group needs them for a skip, Sapping and Distracting the correct mobs when using Shroud of Concealment and often pulling mobs for the tank using Tricks of the Trade.

The Tol Dagor cannons are always a Rogue responsibility due to how you can have 100% uptime on threat generation with Tricks for the tank while still DPSing with the cannon. The way this works is that you have 30 seconds of Tricks uptime while it’s still redirecting threat, but this changes to a 6 second window once you actually start attacking mobs. However, the 6 second window doesn’t get triggered when you’re in the cannon since its damage doesn’t count as a Rogue ability. Therefore, the threat you generate with the cannon lasts for the full 30 second duration, which is really great given how easily a tank normally loses aggro to the cannon.

VitaminP: Are there any other Rogue tricks that you can share with us that most people might not know or think about?

Ashine: One cool thing I like to do is use a toy that you can place in a certain location and then Shadowstep over to it. I’ve been using this one since Mists of Pandaria and it still works. In this clip, you see a typical Atal’Dazar skip, but the toy makes it safer and quicker because, when I pull the mobs away from my team, I can Shadowstep to it and Vanish right away in order to start the fight without getting my teammates in combat.

Racing Flag target macro:
/target Race Flag
/cast Shadowstep

“The biggest piece of advice I have for any DPS player in Mythic+ is to get used to having focus macros.”

VitaminP: What advice do you have for people wanting to main Rogue? What importance would you put on maintaining other melee alts for someone hoping to make it to the tournament realm?

Ashine: The biggest piece of advice I have for any DPS player in Mythic+ is to get used to having focus macros. As a DPS, you will most likely be assigned to interrupt a target on most of the trash pulls, so setting that target to focus at the start of the pull and having focus interrupts and focus disrupts ready will make you a lot more efficient and reliable. I often see DPS players only targeting the mob they are assigned to interrupt, which is very inefficient when going for maximum speed. Unless the trash pack has extremely dangerous mobs that have to be focused down, you want to aim to kill everything at the same time.

Secondly, you must learn to understand what kind of damage is important in Mythic+ and what is not. As a general rule of the thumb, if there are small mobs that will die to passive AoE and cleave, is it really going to be worth pressing that Crimson Tempest instead of Envenom when it’s all going to die so quickly already? Most people seem to be very fixated on overall damage in dungeons when you can often go faster just by doing more focused damage.

Being able to play multiple specs is definitely a huge advantage since it allows for more options in team composition. If you want to play multiple classes or specs, make sure that they have different strengths to complement each other; for example, rather than playing two classes/specs that are very good at AoE damage but lack in other areas, the other one should probably be strong on single target instead. Ultimately, I think the importance of alts comes down to how much time you and your team will dedicate for the MDI and with what kind of goals you have. A lot of people tend to underestimate the difficulty of playing multiple specs at the highest level, especially when combined with playing MDI matches where nerves are almost certainly going to be a factor. This is where being on a comfort pick makes a massive difference.


About the Author

Vitaminpee mains a Brewmaster and loves to do competitive Mythic+. She is the Social Media Manager for Big Dumb Gaming and a partnered Twitch streamer who plays all tanks at max level and is excited to have more time now to push for the next MDI with her team: Synecdoche, Oddy, Sham, and Comfykins.