I’ve had a lot of requests for an expose armor breakdown guide, in particular a guide for using it in AQ 40. The problem is I don’t usually play expose armor for my raid in AQ 40.
Thankfully Simonize (the rogue behind the Simonize dps spreadsheet) does play expose armor quite often in AQ 40 and he helped whip up this guide (along with the video footage he sent me).
Video version of this guide:
What is Expose Armor?
Expose Armor is a oft-forgotten finishing move that rogues have. Expose Armor competes with Sunder Armor for the same debuff – you cannot have both. With the Improved Expose Armor talent 2/2, a 5 point Expose Armor reduces armor by 300 more than 5 stacks of Sunder Armor.
Why Expose Armor?
Most bosses in Classic WoW have 3731 armor. With 5 stacks of Sunder, Curse of Recklessness, and Faerie Fire they are reduced to 336 armor.That much armor makes the boss have 5.75% physical mitigation.
If you apply Expose Amor to replace Sunder, the boss will only have 36 armor which is 0.65% physical mitigation. This is a substantial boost to any physical damage dealers in the raid.
The rogue who applies Expose Armor will take a significant hit to their personal DPS, but in almost every raid it is absolutely an overall raid DPS increase. How much DPS the rogue loses depends on a few factors and is due to lost Eviscerate damage and lost Slice and Dice uptime. It is safe to say that if you raid has at least 2,000 total physical DPS, it is a total raid DPS gain to have a rogue use Expose Armor.
Just like Warlocks are expected to use Curse of Recklessness to improve raid DPS at the cost of personal DPS, it should be a normal thing for a rogue to apply Expose Armor.
How to apply Expose Armor for your raid?
Preparation: Talent Spec & Gear
Be sure to talk with your tanks – don’t just show up to raid and start using Expose Armor. The tanks need to know because they will not be able to use Sunder Armor when Expose Armor is applied. If your tanks use Sunder Armor as part of their rotation they will need to adapt.
Having Renataki’s Charm of Trickery is very important for applying Expose Armor. The instant energy restore is very helpful in quickly applying the initial Expose Armor, and helpful for maintaining more Slice and Dice uptime afterwards. Using Darkmantle 4 piece bonus is also nice – any extra energy you can get is helpful, but this isn’t as necessary as having Renataki’s.
You’ll need to take a spec that can generate combo points efficiently to be able to use more finishing moves. Combat Swords or Combat Fists with 2 points moved into Improved Expose Armor build are good choices. You can also use Seal Fate variations depending on the circumstances, but Combat is the safe bet. If you have no options other than daggers, you will need to use Seal Fate.
Expose Armor Talent Builds:
- Combat Swords – https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/rogue/005303125-0233052000050150231
- Combat Fists – https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/rogue/005303125-0233052000050105231
- Seal Fate – https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/rogue/30530312502105-0233052000050
You want to apply the first Expose Armor as quickly as possible. You should burn a Thistle Tea or Renataki’s activation so that you can hit an ability every GCD until the first Expose is applied. It is important that warriors still get 5 stacks of Sunder Armor up right away – it will take you 6-7 seconds to apply the initial Expose Armor.
After Expose is applied, you need to estimate if you are going to need to refresh the debuff or if the boss will be dead before it expires. If you don’t need to refresh, great, hit some abilities and deal damage normally. Usually you will need to refresh once or twice.
If you need to refresh, you should build some combo points up (use another energy cooldown if you have on available) until about 23ish seconds left on Expose.
At this point, dump all your energy, hit a Slice and Dice, and start building for the next Expose Armor cast.
It is very important that you do not let Expose Armor fall off. Even just a few seconds without any armor debuff throws away all the benefit you would have gained from using Expose Armor instead of Sunder Armor. If you find yourself in a spot where you will not be able to refresh, you need to communicate with your raid to let the warriors know to get Sunder back on the boss.
Be sure to have an addon that tracks debuff durations. I use Nugrunning addon and it works great, but there are plenty of options that let you clearly see debuff durations. You need to plan your ability usage and energy management based on the duration remaining on Expose Armor.
(ps – Hi, sno here, just FYI the rogue weakauras in the rogue ui guide section have expose armor added already too, so if you’re using the debuff weakaura you don’t need to add anything else)
This guide was written by Simonize, you can check him out here:
ps – his rogue dps spreadsheet, the simonize dps spreadsheet is here too: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14bmOiIIj7pMueT5ROE5qVIAPvlu04Ug0xz6CMCJSqiY/edit?usp=sharing