Bandit's Guile

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Bandit's Guile
Ability rogue preyontheweak.png
  • Bandit's Guile
  • Level 60 Combat rogue ability
  • Passive
  • Take advantage of the natural ebb and flow of combat, causing your Sinister Strike to gradually increase your damage dealt by up to 30%. This maximum effect will last for 15 sec before fading and beginning the cycle anew.
Usable by
Class Rogue
Other information
Level learned 60
Affects [Sinister Strike]
Related buffs
Inv bijou green.png
  • Shallow Insight
  • Damage dealt increased by 10%.
  • Duration: 15 sec

Inv bijou yellow.png
  • Moderate Insight
  • Damage dealt increased by 20%.
  • Duration: 15 sec

Inv bijou red.png
  • Deep Insight
  • Damage dealt increased by 30%.
  • Duration: 15 sec

Bandit's Guile is a passive specialization ability for Combat rogues, available at level 60. It increases overall damage output by imposing a cycle onto every fight where the rogue's damage slowly ramps up from normal damage to a +30% bonus, before dropping back to normal again and repeating, all governed by the repeated use of [Sinister Strike].



A hidden counter keeps track of the number of uses of [Sinister Strike]. As soon as four Strikes are made, the next level of Insight will be granted, from none to Shallow to Moderate and finally Deep Insight.

Deep Insight will always end after 15 seconds, but the durations of Shallow and Moderate Insight are refreshed to 15 seconds with every new Strike made. Once a buff expires, the cycle will start over with no Insight. The timer is at work even with no Insight; after 15 seconds without a Strike, any accumulated strikes toward Shallow Insight will be lost.

Tips and tactics

As long as the rogue maintains a fairly regular series of attacks, Insight is not likely to fall off before reaching the +30% bonus, but at that point the rogue will want to pack as much damage as possible into Deep Insight's duration.

If a gap in combat is approaching (for instance, all targets becoming invulnerable or leaving melee range), it may be wise to try to Strike right before the gap, refreshing the current Insight level to its maximum duration. This may allow the rogue to continue the Insight cycle from its current level once a target is again within reach, instead of letting the Insight buff expire and starting over with no Insight.

When considering use of offensive trinkets and cooldowns such as [Killing Spree], there is a tradeoff between using them as often as possible, and getting a higher damage bonus by waiting for the next level of Insight to occur. Generally, the longer it will be before reaching the next level of Insight, the better it is to go ahead and use high-damage abilities so that their cooldowns can start resetting as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the player believes the very next Strike will trigger a higher level of Insight, it may be worth it to waste a couple seconds of the ability's cooldown in order to make the strike, trigger the next Insight level, and thereby give the ability 10% more effectiveness.

Obviously, if the rogue has reached Deep Insight, available high-damage abilities should be used as soon as possible. This is true even when Deep Insight would expire in the middle of their use, since the opportunity cost of waiting for high Insight to come back around would be far too severe.

The [Anticipation] talent is helpful for "saving" combo points for use once the rogue has Deep Insight. Using a simplified scenario in which Sinister Strike and [Eviscerate] are used, an attack sequence might normally go:

(+0%) Strike x4, (+10%) Strike, Eviscerate, Strike x3, (+20%) Strike x2, Eviscerate, Strike x2, (+30%) Strike x3, Eviscerate.

With Anticipation, it could go:

(+0%) Strike x4, (+10%) Strike x4, (+20%) Eviscerate, Strike x4, (+30%) Eviscerate, Strike x3, Eviscerate.

In both cases, 4 Strikes are made at each of the lower Insight levels (as they must be), but with Anticipation, a Shallow Insight Eviscerate was "moved" to Deep Insight because the combo points did not need to be used immediately.

Similarly, it may be advantageous to pool energy to near full before making a Strike that will trigger Deep Insight. This extra energy available at the start of Deep Insight's 15 second window may allow for a couple additional ability uses before the buff expires. Note that pooling energy is not desired before the Deep Insight threshold, because those Insight levels are not a fixed duration; the pooled energy would've been better used simply activating higher insight earlier.

Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Removed.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Reworked. See Combat changes.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Changed to continue increasing from strikes on any enemy instead of resetting upon striking a new target. Damage bonus changed to apply to all targets instead of the struck enemy.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Damage bonus increased to 10/20/30% as the rogue gains greater insight, up from 5/10/15%.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Added.

External links