The Manual of Rakes, Sneaks and Thugs (a.k.a. The Rogue Handbook)

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Open invitation: I don't plan to update this guide, so if anyone wants to write their own up-to-date Rogue guide, you're not gonna step on my toes. I've already got two other handbooks to keep up, not to mention that I might come up with a few builds here and there. That and I do have a life away from the CO boards, believe it or not. Plus, I just don't really like Rogues and don't feel as motivated to keep up with them as I do for the classes that I actually play.


You're likely looking at this manual because you believe that a dagger in the back, a garrote slicing a carotid, a bolt through the eye socket, a rapier through the gut or a mace blow in the back of the skull are the best answers to all life's problems. Well, you're probably right. And they just might make you rich and (in)famous, too. Of course, a little sweet-talking, show-off stunts, sneaking about, staring down or, if all else fails, strong-armed tactics never did you any harm, either, and might have even been a means to your ultimate solutions.

Key You know the drill by now: Red means you're dead. Purple is not as bad as red, but is situational at best, and just plain bad at worst. Black means you're not a greasespot for picking it, but try to do better. Blue is a useful thing to learn in our trade Sky Blue should be in just about any self-respecting ice-cold killer's arsenal. This manual will also use the following abbreviations. These denote the source from which races, powers, feats, paragon paths, epic destinies, etc., originate. Listings with no abbreviation next to them are from the first Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual: D xxx: Dragon Magazine No. xxx FRPG: Forgotten Realms Player's Guide AV: Adventurer's Vault MP: Martial Power AP: Arcane Power DP: Divine Power MOTP: Manual of the Planes PHB2: Player's Handbook 2 Credits If I use material from other threads, I'll link them here: Thanks to anyone that helps out in this thread. I'm bound to make a few oversights. Dagger vs. Rapier debate. Includes analyses w/ Daggermaster PP. Seems to conclude that Daggermaster is awesome, but if you don't take that PP you're (slightly) better off with a rapier. Rogue Crossbow Sniper by Faytte. Multiclassing to Ranger/Sharpshooter makes this work. Table of Contents: 1. About This Thing of Ours. 2. You've Got the Look. 3. What We're Looking For. 4. Choose Your Weapons. 5. Looking at Bloodlines. 6. Skills You Need to Know. 7. Signature Exploits. 8. Pertinent Feats. 9. Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies. 10. Cross-Training (a.k.a. Multiclassing). 11. Important Tools of Our Trade.
1. About This Thing of Ours.

Just a few things to consider before signing up for our circle of Martial Strikers:

Strive for precise, brutal, efficient hits: Leave the messy, imprecise, finesse-less evisceration of enemies to the Rangers. Rather than wasted movements (and ammunition) involved in hitting enemies multiple times, you focus on single, powerful, debilitating attacks. If your hit doesn't kill your mark outright, you'd do well to make sure he's gritting his teeth in pain so much he can't think, move or act. You'll be doing a lot of that. You'll get a few chances to stab the same mark twice, but those are few and far between. Cherish those moments.

Straight-up fights are a last resort: Sure, I know you can handle yourselves better than your past-edition predecessors, but they're still not your specialty. You want to dart in, hit and get out as often as you can, because plenty of things can and will grease you if you stay close too long. You may mock the Ranger's lack of finesse, but he does more pure damage than you and ergo can handle himself better in a man-to-man fight. And you can't take hits like a Fighter or Paladin.

Play off your Defenders and Leaders: Those guys are good at setting up combat advantage for you, which is vital for the way you go about your work (a.k.a. Sneak Attacks).

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2. You've Got the Look.

Brutal Scoundrels are the buff-looking guys. They specialize in twisting the dagger and ripping the flesh along with it, causing even more pain to their marks. They tend to be the most athletic of the bunch, and they master weapons the most easily, by far.

Artful Dodgers get around. I mean, really get around. They're such charmers, that they can protect their good looks from opportunistic blows to their pretty faces. But they can get really mean when they have to, and they tend to get their way when they do.

Ruthless Ruffians (MP) prefer the feel of a mace cracking a skull. Does its job just as well, and it tends to rattle enemies, too. They're somewhat charming, and fairly built. They also tend to be the most physically fit among us. Unfortunately, they also tend to be the most MAD (multi-attribute dependent) among us, as well. They need to be to do what they do.

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3. What We're Looking For.

Strength: Brutal Scoundrels should be lifting and throwing boulders every day (14-16+, boost every time). Ruthless Ruffians might be able to get away with it only every other day (12-14, boost as often as possible). Artful Dodgers vary. Some might want to do a few minutes of pushups a day to be strong enough for Light Blade Mastery (14 to start, 17 by Epic Tier), while others are either prospective Daggermasters or otherwise feel it's not worth it (10).

Constitution: We don't want total wimps who can't take a hit or run for more than a street block without gasping for air. But for our Brutal Scoundrels and Artful Dodgers, we're not expecting world-class sprinters, either. If you can pass a routine physical, you'll do OK (10-12). Ruthless Ruffians, on the other hand, need to run some wind sprints (14 to start, 17 by Paragon Tier for Hammer Rhythm, 19 by Epic Tier for Bludgeon Mastery).

Dexterity: If you ain't quick, you're gonna get whacked in our line of work. Simple as that. If you're as dexterous as you need to be, you're the one doing the whacking. And no matter how swift you think you are, you still need to work on it (16-20 to start, boost it every time).

Intelligence: Oh, you can read? Good for you. We don't care (8).

Wisdom: It helps to at least know what end of a dagger to grip (10-12). If you've got that part down, by extension you should have some sense of when some other sneaky bastard's trying to whack you. Brutal Scoundrels are actually likely to favor some extra common sense rather than what people think about them.

Charisma: Artful Dodgers are all about their personality. They've even been known to carry mirrors around to work on their expressions and speech (14-16+, boost every time). Ruthless Ruffians might look in their hideout mirror every once in a while (12-13). Brutal Scoundrels don't really care about image (10).

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Any Rogue is dependent on mostly two, and at worst, three stats, so they can aggressively go for those key stats at the expense of others:

18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8 (before racials) is a stat array that Rogues can actually get away with (for a potential natural 20 in Dexterity). Best for Brutal Scoundrels and Artful Dodgers that only plan to multiclass lightly, if at all, with anything other than archery-based Ranger powers and paragon paths. Offers the best chance to hit a target, as well as the best AC and Reflex defense.

18, 13, 13, 10, 10, 8 (before racials) is better for Ruthless Ruffians than the above array, as they need more positive modifiers (STR and CON) for their methods. They'll get Hammer Rhythm by upper Paragon Tier, but they unfortunately won't get Bludgeon Mastery. It's a good array for the other Rogues as well, and is preferable for any build that wants a tertiary stat. Same concept of optimizing for attack rating applies, and best for those who are only going to multiclass lightly, at most, with anything other than archery-based Ranger powers and paragon paths.

16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 8 (before racials) is for those in our line of work who plan to go after other class' powers and paragon paths, such as Artful Dodgers multiclassing with Warlock, or Brutal Scoundrels and Ruthless Ruffians with Two-Blade Ranger or Fighter. The two high stats go up every time when leveling, allowing two attack-caliber stats out of the deal, and the secondary also boosts the effects of certain Rogue exploits.

16, 14, 14, 13, 10, 8 (before racials) is mainly for Ruthless Ruffians going for Bludgeon Mastery in addition to Hammer Rhythm. It's also the way Artful Dodgers get Light Blade Mastery.
4. Choose Your Weapons.

Some classes can get away with only concerning themselves about weapon groups when selecting feats and powers. Not you. You only start off knowing how to use a few specific weapons, and those might be the only weapons you'll want to use, as they're the ones that you need for your exploits and to really hit where it hurts with Sneak Attack.

Default weapons
Dagger: Anyone entering this thing of ours really, really knows how to use this weapon. You hit with it better than anyone of any other class can (+1 to attack rolls). It's accurate, and it's versatile: you can stab with it or throw it, and you can wield it with your off hand. Even if you don't use it as your main weapon, you'll still want to carry one with you at all times. It comes in handy, trust me.

Short Sword: A trap. You hit more often enough with the dagger for the dagger to surpass it in damage per round. If you really want a higher damage die than the dagger, train up a superior weapon proficiency of some sort that'll actually make it worthwhile.

Shuriken: Trap. A devious trap, indeed. You even bump up its damage die by one size just for being a Rogue, but you can't hit with it as often as you do with a thrown dagger. That makes it ... a throwable short sword with one extra square worth of range. And that, paisan, is an infamia.

Hand crossbow: Fully twice the range of a thrown dagger, so unlike the shuriken, this ranged option does have something on which to hang its hat. And it's helped along greatly by several feats, including the very nice Two-Fisted Shooter.

Sling: Exact same properties as a hand crossbow, but unlike with the hand crossbow, you're not going to get any help from feats, which makes it an inferior choice.


All Rogues can wield the above weapons to start. Ruthless Ruffians can also wield the following to start and use them with powers (but not feats) that normally call for a light blade, and can also Sneak Attack with them:

Ruthless Ruffian weapons
Club: No reason to use this instead of a mace.

Mace: The weapon of choice for a Ruthless Ruffian (but still keep a dagger in the off-hand).


Some Rogues might want to spend a feat to get proficiency in one of the following weapons:

Other weapons
Rapier: Yes, it's been overshadowed by a certain weapon that has reared its ugly head that will be described shortly ... but if you'd rather be an honest rake (oxymoron, I know) or you have a decent sense of ... ahem ... style, this is as good as you'll get in terms of damage die with a light blade. For those who don't care about style, well ... the rapier still allows you to keep an off-hand dagger and the double sword doesn't.

Parrying dagger (AV): Prospective Artful Dodger Daggermasters who won't be strong enough for Light Shield Proficiency might want to train this up instead, although they're not gonna attack with it, being less accurate than a regular dagger and not throwable. Better if you can get a Mage's version.

Double sword (AV): I'll be blunt: This impractical-looking weapon will (a) make you look like a complete dork, and (b) be by far your most effective pure melee option. It's outright broken: falling under the heavy blade and the light blade categories (which allows for certain abuses with feats and powers), does as much damage as a rapier, and gives you an extra point of AC. If you want to use it, more power to you, but I'm gonna hate you for it.

Superior Crossbow (AV): A specialized option, but cold as they come if you gear yourself toward it. There are ways to get past the annoying load minor property, such as picking up the Speed Loader feat, using a Swiftshot version or taking the Cloaked Sniper paragon path.

Spiked Chain: This one is made a more-than-viable option with the training feat that makes it a light blade and a double weapon. Powerful indeed, but it also takes up your multiclass feat. If you weren't planning on multiclassing, or were only going to take a multiclass feat for the skill, then this one should definitely be up your alley.


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5. Looking at Bloodlines.

Races
Deva (PHB2): A wise guy, eh? And smart? Yeah, you're not gonna cut it, angel boy. Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes is ice-cold, I'll give you that much, but it only saves you from being completely inept.

Dragonborn: You're not as quick as we'd like, but being strong and personable will at least allow you to get by, particularly as a dual-attack stat Artful Dodger or Brutal Scoundrel. You tend to whack your marks better when bleeding, which helps.

Drow (FRPG): A natural-born-and-bred perfect Artful Dodger, swift of hand and silver of tongue, and on top of that packed with some inborn assassin's tools known as Lolthtouched powers. Considering your race prides itself on being a buncha sneaky, tricky, cruel bastards, I'm not surprised.

Dwarf: Stout and wise. Which means live longer, suck at your job longer. And to make things worse, you're a slowpoke. At least you can handle traps better than everyone else, but we're in this business to whack people.

Eladrin: You're quick, and we like that. Smart doesn't mean much by itself, but your education's gonna count for something. Plus, you can teleport. That's huge in our line of work.

Elf: Not only are you swift of hand, you're fleet of foot as well, and you shift through difficult terrain like it's nothing. Being wise helps a little with noticing when someone's coming up from behind to whack you. But what really makes you ice-cold is your ability every encounter to get it right the second time if you happen to slip up the first.

Genasi (FRPG): You're strong, so you could pass as a Brutal Scoundrel. Nifty racial powers, but not enough to make up for lack of fast twitches.

Gnome (PHB2): You're not as precise with your blows as we'd expect, but we can't exactly turn you down when you can turn invisible every encounter. And you're a charmer. Reactive Stealth and some free Wizard cantrips help, too.

Goliath (PHB2): You're tough to bring down, and you're also strong as a bull, so you'll do okay as a Brutal Scoundrel or a Ruthless Ruffian.

Half-Elf: You're good at winning friends and staying alive. You don't have the deft hands we're looking for, but you seem to be able to make up for it by picking up tricks from another trade much more easily than everyone else. Like eventually getting the key benefit of Paragon Multiclassing without ever actually having to go down that road. That can come in handy.

Halfling: Your hands are fast as lightning, and you can make offers they can't refuse. A perfect Artful Dodger. You avoid opportunistic attacks against your pretty self even better than other Artful Dodgers can hope to, and you're a natural thief, too. Weapon limitations because of your small stature are immaterial; you can wield a one-handed light blade of any sort as well as anyone else in our line of work.

Half-Orc (PHB2): You guys are every bit as natural-born Brutal Scoundrels as Drow and Halflings are as Artful Dodgers. Brute strength and lightning quickness, as well as that Furious Assault that inflicts even more pain for free every encounter, you're every bit as good a bone-breaking thug as your rep suggests. And if that weren't enough, getting roughed up only makes you tougher, and you can charge in the blink of an eye.

Human: You get to train anything you'd like, and for your sake it'd better be spent on honing those fast-twitch muscles. That bonus at-will is excellent for Rogues, who come packed with an expansive repertoire of at-will powers. Bonus feat, bonus class skill and extra defenses, it's all good.

Shifter, Longtooth (PHB2): Strength lets you pass for a Brutal Scoundrel, and your shifting power is good enough to somewhat make up for not being able to stick a dagger where it needs to be every time.

Shifter, Razorclaw (PHB2): Of the two Shifters, you're better suited to our line of work. You're more precise with attacks, and when pressed you can move faster and become harder to whack.

Tiefling: Kind of a trap, actually. You can win some friends, but as good as that is, it's still not quite as important as having the precision to drive your blade in the right spot. Cunning Ambusher actually attempts to make use of the fact you're smarter than most of us, but that's only going to happen once in an encounter, and the fact remains that you simply can't afford to be smart enough to use that racial feat's ability in a worthwhile fashion.

Warforged (D 364): Strong and sturdy. You'll do okay as a Brutal Scoundrel or Ruthless Ruffian.


Monster Manual Races for those who can use them

Bugbear: A natural Brutal Scoundrel with your strength and swiftness. Oversized and Predatory Eye both make you do what you do best even better: inflict pain by the truckloads.

Doppelganger: Deception is your MO. You're a charmer and you can change your shape at will. Unfortunately, you're not as precise as you should be when you get around to stabbing your mark.

Githyanki: Sturdy and smart. You get to postulate for a long time why you're so incompetent.

Githzerai: Nice twitches, and with some good sense as well. You also act quickly, which is a great asset in doing what we do. Iron Mind rounds out a solid recruit.

Gnoll: Fast feet, swift hands and durability. I like you. And when the going gets tough, you do the right thing by making them hurt more. Good Ruthless Ruffian, in particular.

Goblin: Quick hands and silver tongue. Just what every Artful Dodger needs. And if someone misses when they try to hit, they're only making it worse for themselves when you shift a square in response for an easier time flanking. You're small, but you're as good with a dagger as I've seen.

Hobgoblin: Personality and durability can only go so far.

Kobold: You scaly, shifty little bastards are almost too good at your jobs. Quick and precise, and also durable. And those minor action shifts mean you have no trouble flanking anything. Great as an Artful Dodger or Brutal Scoundrel, peerless as a Ruthless Ruffian.

Minotaur: You're not quite what we're looking for. Strength and little else.

Orc: Not interested.

Shadar-Kai: Sharp twitches and the ability to teleport. Solid candidate.


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6. Skills You Need to Know.

You come in already trained in Stealth and Thievery, so it doesn't matter what I think of those skills. You get to train four other skills from this list (five if you're human), so be wise about it:

Class skills
Acrobatics: Some of the best movement utility powers and feats you have require this skill. Also lets you slip out of bear hugs. Those aren't very nice, you know.

Athletics: Helps you jump and climb. Also lets you escape grabs, but doesn't belong to as many quality powers as Acrobatics. Still a good choice, though, particularly for Brutal Scoundrels.

Bluff: Used for several powers and skill challenges, ideal for Artful Dodgers. Don't mind the "Gain Combat Advantage" waste of a standard action, though (with one major exception involving a certain paragon path).

Dungeoneering: Eh.

Insight: If you're gonna be a tricky sleaze, it probably stands to reason that you don't want to fall for your own medicine.

Intimidate: Must train to take advantage of Rattling powers. Good for any Rogue, but the very reason for a Ruthless Ruffian's existence.

Perception: There's other sneaky bastards out there besides you. You might want to know how to spot them.

Streetwise: Best for Artful Dodgers, often used in skill challenges involved in gathering information.


Other skills to look at, via multiclassing or an Eladrin putting his education to use:

Non-class skills
Arcana: You're too slow in the head for this.

Diplomacy: Used often in skill challenges, best used by Artful Dodgers.

Endurance: Most effective for Ruthless Ruffians, it can help you get over diseases, endure harsh weather and swim, among other things. Quite useful.

Heal: Can be handy, but you're not as good at this as a Cleric or Paladin.

History: Book subjects? Hah, there's a reason you're not in school.

Nature: Eh, leave this one to Rangers and those of a Primal inclination.

Religion: You don't look like the type who would find the gods.
7. Signature Exploits.

Lv. 1 At-Will
Deft Strike: Good for anyone in our line of work wanting that extra movement to strike an otherwise out-of-reach enemy. Can be melee or ranged.

Piercing Strike: A staple of any self-respecting hitman's and swashbuckler's arsenal. Hits Reflex, a defense that, in most cases, is a few points lower than AC. Melee only.

Riposte Strike: This has a much narrower range of utility than the other at-wills, more or less limited to dual-attack-stat Brutal Scoundrels and Ruthless Ruffians, those who work on their brawn as much as their quickness. It's terrific in their hands, though, especially when they attack a target marked by a Defender. Melee only.

Sly Flourish: This is how Artful Dodgers bring the pain. Best used against enemies whose Reflex happens to not be much lower than AC, and also preferred when augmented by a Leader's attack buff. It can be used melee or ranged, so this is the technique to use when attacking from range.

Disheartening Strike (MP): The Ruthless Ruffian's bread-and-butter, and a fine choice in general for any Rogue trained in Intimidate. Anytime you whack 'em, their attack rolls are debuffed by -2. Superb. Can be used melee or ranged.


Lv. 1 Encounter
Dazing Strike: Just as its name says, you daze your target. Which at this level is really ice-cold.

King's Castle: Attack Reflex for decent damage and switch places with someone either to protect them or protect yourself. Pretty good, and it can be used melee or ranged.

Positioning Strike: The Artful Dodger's preferred technique here. Attack Will and take your victim for a nice ride wherever you want across the battlefield. Preferably off a cliff.

Torturous Strike: Only worth it at all for a Brutal Scoundrel, and questionable even for him.

Fox's Gambit (MP): Sort of Positioning Strike in reverse, where you shift instead of sliding your target and attack Reflex instead of Will. Shedding a mark is this move's real trump card.

Guarded Attack (MP): A slightly upgraded Riposte Strike doesn't cut it.

Impact Shot (MP): Disrespectfully inferior.

Sly Lunge (MP): Brutal Scoundrels do decent damage and prolong combat advantage for another round.

Termination Threat (MP): Only worth it at all for a Ruthless Ruffian, for whom it's a decent follow-up from another Rattling exploit, such as the at-will Disheartening Strike.

Unbalancing Shot (MP): Decent ranged attack.


Lv. 1 Daily
Blinding Barrage: You blind a whole bunch of enemies for a few seconds, along with some decent damage. Good enough for this level.

Easy Target: Slow the target and make him give you combat advantage until he saves. Can be done melee or ranged. Decent.

Trick Strike: Good damage if it hits, and even if it doesn't, you send your mark anywhere you feel like for the rest of the scrap. Melee or ranged.

Checking Jab (MP): A melee-only Easy Target but with the Rattling keyword in exchange for a die's less worth of pain. A Ruthless Ruffian who can make up the difference in damage might look at this one.

Confounding Attack (MP): An interesting technique, but more of a gimmick than anything else.

Handspring Assault (MP): For those with Acrobatics training, it's Reliable and can be used as part of a charge. Decent.

Pommel Smash (MP): Good damage and you're guaranteed at least one round of a -2 attack debuff.

Precise Incision (MP): Some real nice pain for this level on a Reliable stab against Reflex.

Press the Advantage (MP): Free action follow-up attack when you draw blood on your victim. When it happens, it's awesome.


Lv. 2 Utility
Fleeting Ghost: Now this is how you do Stealth. Can be done at-will.

Great Leap: Those athletically-trained jump very well at any time. Has its uses.

Master of Deceit: Per-encounter reroll of a Bluff check for those so trained. Used mostly in skill challenges.

Quick Fingers: Per-encounter you get to be an even quicker thief.

Tumble: Per-encounter multi-square shift for trained acrobats, and it can be handy.

Adaptable Flanker (MP): Nothing's a substitute for a real flank, but every once in a while it's not possible. Like when your target takes up too much space to get around him easily.

Double Take (MP): Not bad for Artful Dodgers trained in Perception, actually. Make up for your average Wisdom once per encounter.

Hop Up (MP): Another solid per-encounter utility for trained acrobats among us. Outright lifesaving at times, actually.

Marked Escape (MP): Escape a mark every encounter. Useful against NPC Defenders and other enemies that mark, but that's not every battle.

Reap the Rattled (MP): This wouldn't be worth it as an encounter power. The fact you can only do this once a day makes me question if I should've hired you.

Sneak in the Attack (MP): This one's great in a flanking setup. You get to show a little leadership once per encounter and let your buddy lay on the same extra pain you're so infamous for.


Lv. 3 Encounter
Bait and Switch: Attack Will, pull a switcheroo and get outta dodge. Great for Artful Dodgers.

Setup Strike: Eh, you can do better.

Topple Over: Brutal Scoundrels use this to hit with keen precision and make the target kiss dirt.

Trickster's Blade: It can be done ranged as well, so Artful Dodgers looking for a ranged option may look at this one. Otherwise, Bait and Switch is better.

Blade Vault (MP): Can add up to double your STR modifier to the pain it deals, but the attack only starts out as powerful as a basic attack, so the end result isn't as sexy as you might think. Brutal Scoundrels still do better with Topple Over.

Defender's Cohort (MP): Ruthless Ruffians, especially with any sort of personality, can put a real smackdown on an enemy marked by a Defender with this Rattling attack.

Enforced Threat (MP): Ruthless Ruffians can get easy combat advantage with this attack, also a Rattling attack, but the damage potential isn't that of Defender's Cohort. However, unlike Defender's Cohort, this one can be used at range.

Flamboyant Strike (MP): Not that impressive.

Low Slash (MP): It's a minor action attack. That alone makes it arguably outclass everyone's "specialty" options at this level. The Reflex-attacking, sliding, slowing and extra flanking damage are just extra marinara.

Nasty Backswing (MP): A free-action follow-up of a missed attack. Has a few corner-case moments, but overall, Low Slash is the superior choice, by far.


Lv. 5 Daily
Clever Riposte: Meh.

Deep Cut: Brutal Scoundrels and Ruthless Ruffians are the best at doing the ongoing damage (assuming it hits). It's decent.

Walking Wounded: This can flat-out cripple an enemy that relies on mobility. Make sure you hit with it. Can be done melee or ranged.

Compel the Craven (MP): Geared toward Artful Dodgers, this attacks Will, which is good, but how useful it is depends on your party's makeup. If you've got some allies with strong opportunity attacks (such as Fighters and other STR-based attackers), it's pretty nice. You want to pull this attack off when you're surrounding an enemy along with at least a couple of your muscled companions. Note that this attack does you no good if the enemy never suffers fear.

Downward Spiral (MP): A Reflex-attacking Rattling whirlwind that makes all enemies eat dirt. Pretty good, especially for a Ruthless Ruffian.

Driving Assault (MP): Now we're talkin'. It's not too often you get to stab an enemy twice in a single action. If you hit your target both times he's also knocked on his ass.

Flashy Riposte (MP): Immediate-action counter, and it's Rattling to boot. Whether it hits or misses, you and your buddies all get a chance at some nice, cheap shots.

Staggering Assault (MP): Lots of slowing. Decent.

Surefooted Retort (MP): Another immediate-action counter, but altogether more corner-case than Flashy Riposte.


Lv. 6 Utility
Chameleon: An at-will that lets you stay hidden even when your cover or concealment is blown.

Ignoble Escape: The per-encounter shift your speed alone is beautiful. That you also end a marked condition is even better. Must be trained in Acrobatics.

Mob Mentality: Meh.

Nimble Climb: Has its uses, but you can do better.

Slippery Mind: It doesn't save you as often as it should, and it's only worth it at all for Artful Dodgers who have enough Will to make attacks "barely hit."

Ferret Out Frailty (MP): Free combat advantage for the insightful per encounter. Better as a follow-up to a Rattling attack. Decent.

Fortuitous Dodge (MP): Fairly inadequate.

Sidestep Stance (MP): Daily stance that lets you slip more attacks. Okay. Less valuable if a Leader comes packed with defense-boosting powers.

Threatening Glare (MP): Decent for Artful Dodgers to throw out every encounter before diving in and mixing it up.

Vault Position (MP): Meh.

Vexing Flanker (MP): Free flank per encounter as an immediate reaction to something so simple as a Defender doing what he always does. Bellissimo. Even more precious against marks that take up a lot of space.


Lv. 7 Encounter
Cloud of Steel: Not good for much else besides minion control, which isn't your job anyway.

Imperiling Strike: Brutal Scoundrels grab this and don't let go anytime soon. The follow-ups are close to guaranteed mayhem.

Rogue's Luck: This one's star has really fallen.

Sand in the Eyes: Attacks Reflex and blinds, which is pretty good.

Circling Predator (MP): Two stabs in a single action are precious moments to you. Anyone who's not a Brutal Scoundrel would do well to learn this move and keep it for quite some time.

Dismaying Slash (MP): Meh.

From the Shadows (MP): Great for Stealth-specialist Artful Dodgers. Serious shifting before and after the attack, and the Stealth check at the end is less restrictive than usual, only requiring regular cover or concealment. And it can be done melee or ranged.

Hectoring Strike (MP): Worthless.

Snap Shot (MP): This minor action ranged attack is beautiful with a dagger in hand, any hand. Throw it at your victim, then dart in and attack some more. Or do it in reverse and strike, move away and throw out a nice little parting shot. The possibilities are endless. Of course, it's also prime material for a crossbow sniper of any sort.

Spring the Trap (MP): Only worth it at all for a Ruthless Ruffian who can rattle surrounding victims with it.


Lv. 9 Daily
Crimson Edge: Deep Cut, but with the victim giving up combat advantage as well. Meh.

Deadly Positioning: A slightly upgraded version of Trick Strike. Learn something else.

Knockout: Now that's more like it. Knocking the fool unconscious is a perfect setup to grease him with a Coup De Grace. You may very well keep this for the rest of your career.

Agonizing Shot (MP): A ranged attack that slows the victim down and makes him bleed so much that he can only slow it down the first time. Not bad for a ranged option.

Burst Fire (MP): Worthless.

Into Harm's Way (MP): Not bad, but hardly spectacular.

Not It (MP): Meh.

Not Worth My Time (MP): Save-end immobilization if it hits, which is decent.

Rogue's Recovery (MP): Recovering an encounter power is actually pretty good, even if it ain't a Knockout.

Swift Strike (MP): Meh.

Vexing Escape (MP): Lots of shifting. Decent.

Vexing Sting (MP): Save-ends debuff to attack rolls. Okay.


Lv. 10 Utility
Certain Freedom: Brutal Scoundrels definitely don't need to look at this daily, and it's only marginally and occasionally useful for anyone else. Not enough to justify selecting, though.

Close Quarters: Ride 'em cowboy. Of course, with the additional twist of stabbing the big lug in the back. Sure, he can try to shake you off, but he wastes a standard action when he does. Acrobatics training required.

Dangerous Theft: Cool, but how often do you think you're gonna put this to use?

Shadow Stride: Another stealth enhancement at-will move, and a solid one at that. As long as you have places of cover along your route, you're good.

Brisk Stride (MP): A daily, and a corner-case one at that.

Combat Tumbleset (MP): Training in Acrobatics allows you to shift your speed and through enemies once per encounter. This is about as good as it gets, paisan.

Executioner's Mien (MP): Not a bad daily stance. Better for Ruthless Ruffians.

Gap in the Armor (MP): Daily power bonus to attacks against an enemy for the rest of the fight. Pretty good, since your Leader can't be everywhere.

Peripheral Concealment (MP): This daily is very useful in stealth missions when you aren't in the mood for combat and just want to stay out of sight. Much less useful in a fracas, however, since it uses a standard action.
Lv. 13 Encounter
Fool's Opportunity: Basic jujitsu, which is about turning the enemy's strength against him. Obviously, this is best against Brutes, and some Soldiers and Skirmishers. Tests the Will, which fails often. Decent overall.

Stunning Strike: You stun the poor fool. What more needs to be said?

Tornado Strike: Would be the prime choice for an Artful Dodger if Stunning Strike didn't exist. Send two enemies on a nice, long ride, and it can be used melee or ranged.

Unbalancing Attack: Not bad for a Brutal Scoundrel, but not Stunning Strike.

Bounding Escape (MP): Meh.

Cunning Cyclone (MP): More mediocrity.

Daunting Attack (MP): A Ruthless Ruffian should take this instead of Stunning Strike, as he does more damage with it while still stunning. Everyone else, ignore it.

Powerful Shot (MP): Not impressive.

Skip Shot (MP): Infinitely laughable.

Toppling Slash (MP): Not quite prime material.


Lv. 15 Daily
Bloody Path: Another one of those cool powers too corner-case for its own good.

Garrote Grip: Stylish as hell, and every bit as deadly. Easy to start (attacks Reflex and it's Reliable) and for those victims-to-be who look as if they're going to put up resistance (Brutes, Soldiers, Skirmishers), you follow up with an action point and use nice powers like Knockout or Stunning Strike to make sure they can do nothing about it. Against other enemy types, you probably won't even need to do that. Once the poor sap's unconscious, he'll be out until you Coup de Grace him or drag him to a cliff. You could build a career on this one.

Slaying Strike: Best used when the victim's already bleeding, which increases the chances of the attack really doing something nasty.

Bold Feint (MP): Only dual-attack-stat Artful Dodgers trained in Bluff need apply. This one uses your charisma to attack. It's Reliable and an immediate interrupt, and decent if you're surrounded by two strong enemies.

Finish It (MP): Like Slaying Strike, used on an enemy that's already bleeding. Not quite as effective, though, considering by this stage you should already be making suckas bleed with any one of your daily techniques.

Mind-Boggling Onslaught (MP): Rattling attack that applies the penalty even on a miss, and can be sustained with minor actions. Or ended with a daze. Decent.

Ripple Effect (MP): Decent. The attacks are against Reflex, so expect to hit often, at least. The secondary attack on the bowling ball effect is almost a bonus.

Vicious Cooperation (MP): Used in a flank with a STR-based attacker (Fighter, for example). It does no damage on a miss, which lowers its cred quite a bit. It sure is pretty if it does manage to hit, though.

Wounding Strike (MP): Meh.


Lv. 16 Utility
Foil the Lock: Not sure a daily power geared toward opening a lock is worth it.

Hide in Plain Sight: Invisibility for being hidden as an encounter technique. In places of concealment this is plain ice-cold. Flip the dagger, or load up the crossbow, and have fun.

Leaping Dodge: Decent for trained athletes.

Raise the Stakes: A daily that just doesn't have enough juice.

Anticipate Attack (MP): Some serious extra defense per encounter for the insightful in response to getting smacked around. Pretty good.

Defensive Roll (MP): They miss, you shift a long ways. Either to get the hell out of there, or to get around some big boy and set up an easy flank.

Denying Stance (MP): If they miss, they'll find it even harder to whack you as long as you're in this daily stance.

Grasshopper Leap (MP): Useful sometimes.

Magpie Filch (MP): A free successful pickpocket attempt per day after an attack.

Opportunistic Relocation (MP): Take Defensive Roll instead.

Vigilant Footwork (MP): Denying Stance is far better, not the least because that stance, unlike this one, won't conflict with your Leader's shtick.


Lv. 17 Encounter
Dragon Tail Strike: A Riposte Strike-type move that's considerably more powerful, enough so to be worth it. Can be used by any Rogue well enough, but Brutal Scoundrels get a nice bonus to hit with the immediate interrupt part, making it especially threatening. Better still, can be done ranged as well.

Hounding Strike: Attacks Will, can be done melee or ranged, does solid damage and gives you free combat advantage. Artful Dodgers also ensure that they can't get whacked in return.

Stab and Grab: Grab attack that can restrain. Back it up with something like Stunning Strike or Knockout if they look like they could put up resistance (i.e., the target's a Brute, Soldier or Skirmisher).

Audacious Strike (MP): A Deft Strike-like move with twice the movement before the attack and a shift after. Decent.

Blistering Outburst (MP): Whirlwind attack debuff. Alright.

Escape Artist's Gambit (MP): Pretty good for Artful Dodgers to negate immobilization or slow, or a grab, whack something and get outta dodge.

Guerilla Blitz (MP): For Brutal Scoundrels this is strictly better than Audacious Strike. Damage is comparable and you move two extra squares in comparison, and they'll have a tough time tagging you after.

No Escape (MP): So the sucka's trying to escape from that flank you worked so hard to get? Put him back in his place with an immediate flick of your dagger. Now that's just cold.

Stinging Squall (MP): Ruthless Ruffians get to play pseudo-Defender for a round.


Lv. 19 Daily
Feinting Flurry: Artful Dodgers take this to test the poor sap's Will, and even if it somehow doesn't hit, get up to two rounds' worth of unerring stabs to the kidneys. Bellissimo.

Flying Foe: Brutal Scoundrels give an enemy a good stab against Fortitude and a nice heave into some other poor sap. Make sure it hits.

Snake's Retreat: Not bad. The attack is strong if it hits, and regardless you avoid and shift away from attempts against your life.

Bloodbath Attack (MP): Best for Brutal Scoundrels who love to see blood spill for a whole fight. This can add up fast.

Blood Squall (MP): Inadequate.

Daunting Barrage (MP): Save-ends daze a small army in front of you. Pretty damn cold. And it rattles.

Marked Beating (MP): Let the Defender mark the fool and then strike his Reflex defense for some nice damage and some save-ends dazing. Pretty good.

Stolen Vitality (MP): Artful Dodgers should focus on their real jobs and stick with Feinting Flurry.

Strong-Arm Loyalty (MP): If you've worked on your intimidating demeanor, you dominate the weak-Willed sack of meat for a turn. Enough time to make him hurl himself off a cliff or waste one of his own friends.

Uncanny Ricochet (MP): Meh.


Lv. 22 Utility
Cloud Jump: A couple of really long or high jumps can get you almost anywhere you want per encounter. Must be suitably athletic.

Dazzling Acrobatics: Shift in the blink of an eye to anywhere you damn well please once an encounter. Must be a trained acrobat.

Hide from the Light: This daily's used for when you actually want to step slowly out of where you first hid and venture into broad daylight. So it's okay every once in a while, but for most in our line of work you got all the invisibility you needed with a certain encounter technique six levels ago.

Mountebank's Flight (MP): At this level, you'll be facing quite a few bounties that teleport, and this is exactly what you need to make it bite them in the ass. Can be done every encounter.

Scoundrel's Epiphany (MP): If you were trained in Streetwise, you probably knew it already without having to think about it some more.

Seize the Moment (MP): One encounter per day you get to beat everybody to the punch.

Thief of Fortune (MP): Meh.

Unnerving Footwork (MP): This daily stance requires intimidation training. Does a decent job at helping you live longer.

Wall Crawl (MP): Climb walls at full speed at-will. Eh, it's there if you need it.


Lv. 23 Encounter
Knave's Gambit: Meh.

Scorpion Strike: Immediate-action piling on of pain. Brutal Scoundrels go one better by shifting to a better spot after this.

Steel Entrapment: Stop a small army dead in its tracks for a round. That'll teach 'em.

Blindside (MP): A thousand derisive laughs against this one.

Crack Shot (MP): Doesn't peg the sheer numbers Steel Entrapment does, but it's got twice the range. A fair enough tradeoff for some of you.

Collapsing Riposte (MP): Artful Dodgers use this immediate reaction to make a sap REALLY pay for trying and failing to whack them. If the poor fool can't teleport, this is tantamount to a stun.

Death Dance (MP): Not impressive.

Felling Gash (MP): Ruthless Ruffians should snatch this Rattler up. Attacks Reflex, and again, prone and daze together are effectively a stun unless the target can teleport.

Fettering Shot (MP): Unless you feel the need to constantly shoot enemies near the maximum range of your crossbow, you're far better off with Steel Entrapment or even Crack Shot.


Lv. 25 Daily
Biting Assault: Bleeds and weakens. Can be used ranged.

Ghost on the Wind: Great damage (halved on a miss), invisibility, shift anywhere next to the target and a full round more of combat advantage. Doesn't get much better.

Hamstring: Bleeds and slows. Can be used ranged.

Acrobatic Assault (MP): Nothing special.

Cruel Pursuit (MP): Artful Dodgers looking for pure grease potential should look squarely this technique's way. Stabs the poor sap's Reflex, twice. And to top it off, between stabs you get to take him out for a little dance, preferably next to a Fighter, and set up an easy flank for the second stab.

Gory Slash (MP): This one can't even be used ranged. And there are so many superior melee options at this level I can't even laugh. Whoever takes this one is fired.

Magnetic Shot (MP): Very solid one-off damage against Reflex, and can be used ranged.

Rogue's Resurgence (MP): Rogue's Recovery, Mark II. Not a total waste, but by this level you should have other means to recover encounter powers.

Shocking Execution (MP): This Rattler tries hard but fails to see the light of day against the top-tier melee techniques at this level.

Visceral Strike (MP): Stuns the poor bastard if it hits, and once he saves and gets out of it, he's still weakened and slowed until he saves again. This one's as cold as any.


Lv. 27 Encounter
Dance of Death: Whack 'em all, and if they try to whack you back, they only whack themselves some more, instead. Artful Dodgers can really make sure their suicidal efforts hit home.

Hurricane of Blood: This one's near-certain hurt in a Brutal Scoundrel's employ.

Perfect Strike: This can be done at melee or range. It deals nice amounts of pain in any case and can stun. You really can't go wrong with it in any case.

Hurling Pounce (MP): Infamia.

Safe Bet (MP): It's in the Riposte Strike family, but has a lot of versatility. Both the painful initial attack and the potential interrupt can be melee or ranged. Only dual-attack-stat Brutal Scoundrels want to use a melee interrupt, but any Rogue can use a ranged interrupt with the usual accuracy.

Skirmishing Strike (MP): It's a minor action, which is good, especially for Artful Dodgers, but the penalty to attack keeps it from immortality.

Stunning Assist (MP): True, this tends to be an easier stun against Brutes than Perfect Strike, who often have Fortitude higher than AC. But Brutes aren't all you're going to whack, so overall Perfect Strike outclasses this one pretty handily.

Stupefying Violence (MP): Not any more damaging than anything else at this level, and all you get is a stinkin' slide. Ruthless Ruffians aren't likely to have the Charisma needed to make the slide worthwhile, either.


Lv. 29 Daily
Assassin's Point: The grease potential is undeniable. Unfortunately, it requires setting up a Coup De Grace or otherwise an auto-crit on a nigh-guaranteed hit to live up to said potential. Still has its place but is not the automatic take it used to be.

Immobilizing Strike: Wasn't that good to begin with, but now it's thoroughly outclassed.

Moving Target: Only dual-attack-caliber Artful Dodgers need apply. Decent immediate interrupt for dodging an enemy's attack and making him inflict his pain on one of his buddies.

Cagey Killer (MP): This'll shut 'em down for a while. Save-end stuns if it hits, and if they get out of that that, they're still dazed until they save again. Can be done melee or ranged and is the best melee option for anyone who's not an Artful Dodger.

Deathweaving Strike (MP): Artful Dodgers, this one's for you. Attacks Reflex, Reliable in case you miss and sends the poor bastard on a long, hazardous ride, careening past anyone you call paisan with a good basic attack of any sort (NOT restricted to melee) and piling on the damage by the truckloads. Who the hell needs Assassin's Point?

A Murder of One (MP): More like a murder of none.

Sight-Stealing Shot (MP): Arguably THE ranged option at this level. Save-ends blinding and dazing together is almost as good as Cagey Killer's stunning, and the attack is against Reflex so it hits more often.
8. Pertinent Feats.

Heroic Tier, General
Melee Training (PHB2): Any Rogue out there who isn't a dual-attack-stat Brutal Scoundrel has no excuse for not taking this one. Makes you dangerous with OAs and also makes your Warlord like you.

Weapon Expertise (PHB2): You may hate it, and I don't blame you, but this is an offer you can't refuse. Really, you can't refuse it. It's necessary, especially as your enemies get stronger.

Armor Proficiency (Hide): Ruthless Ruffians definitely want this. And eventually, so will any one of you who get strong and sturdy enough.

Backstabber (Rogue): Take, and don't ask any questions.

Defensive Mobility: Brutal Scoundrels and Ruthless Ruffians still have to get around, too, and this'll help them not get whacked. Artful Dodgers don't really need this.

Escape Artist: For trained acrobats to escape grabs as a minor action. Worth a look.

Far Shot: Necessary for crossbow snipers.

Far Throw: Prospective Daggermasters and Shock Troopers take and ask no questions. Others should at least think about it, as they're bound to toss a dagger or three at some point in their line of work.

Improved Initiative: You make your living off striking first. Best to ensure that you do it often.

Light Shield Proficiency: Worth a look for prospective Brutal Scoundrel Daggermasters, for whom it will be better than a parrying dagger.

Long Jumper: Worth a look if you're trained in Athletics.

Nimble Blade: Bonus to hit the sucka when you've got advantage with a light blade. Take Weapon Expertise first, but anyone who's not a Ruthless Ruffian or a dedicated crossbow sniper might want to look at taking this one as well (it stacks with Expertise).

Press the Advantage (Rogue): Prolong combat advantage for another round if you crit. Worth a couple of looks. Prospective Daggermasters retrain this one out once they get their paragon path.

Quick Draw: Might be worth a look from those using double weapons. Otherwise, it's better to dual-wield and save yourself the trouble, and instead take Improved Initiative.

Skill Training: Take a multiclass feat and train a skill that way before looking at this.

Surprise Knockdown (Rogue): For Brutal Scoundrels and Ruthless Ruffians, mainly. Make them kiss dirt on a crit. Not bad.

Toughness: You're more focused on trying to get the hell out of an intense fracas and not get popped, but sometimes it just can't be helped.

Two-Weapon Defense: Let your off-hand weapon become your light shield. Best for those with off-hand daggers and double weapons.

Two-Weapon Fighting: Mostly used to qualify for Two-Weapon Defense and, later on, Two-Weapon Opening, but the +1 to damage rolls ain't bad. Since melee specialists should still at least carry an off-hand dagger, this is worthwhile. Also worthwhile for double-weapon wielders.

Weapon Focus: Knocked down greatly in status by Weapon Expertise. If you have room for it, take it, but if not, don't sweat it.

Weapon Proficiency: Use it on a superior weapon of your choice, if going that route.

Wintertouched: Don't take until Paragon Tier when you have Lasting Frost. But when that happens, watch out.

Martial Alacrity (MP): Overall, Improved Initiative is simply better for you.

Martial Freedom (MP): Elves are most likely to get this one sometime in Paragon Tier. It helps keep you on the move, so its worth a look.

Aggressive Assault (MP): For Brutal Scoundrels to slide targets they strike first in the fracas. Worth a look, as it can do its part in stacking a battlefield.

Brutal Wound (MP): Not that great.

Dirty Fighting (MP): Meh.

Into the Fray (MP): You always want to get off to a good start.

Reckless Scramble (MP): Artful Dodgers are good at dodging opportunity attacks, so sometimes the extra movement is worth it. Not high priority, though.

Ruthless Injury (MP): A worthy option for Ruthless Ruffians. Saving throw penalties are nice.

Slaying Action (MP): Take it. Hold it. Love it.

Speedy Response (MP): Meh.

Street Thug (MP): If you REALLY wanted to wield a mace, you should've been a Ruthless Ruffian.

Surprising Charge (MP): Extra damage on a charge against an exposed victim. Decent.

Trap Sense (MP): Elves are most likely to qualify for this around Paragon Tier. Not bad.

Two-Fisted Shooter (MP): Hand crossbow specialists take this one without question, turning it into a great off-hand ranged option. And on a crit, inflict even more pain. Prospective Cloaked Snipers can retrain out of this once they get their PP.

Distant Advantage (PHB2): You guys who make your living with ranged attacks want this.

Speed Loader (PHB2): If you're using a superior crossbow for a living, take this and ask no questions about it. If you're going for Cloaked Sniper, you can retrain out of this once you get that PP.


Heroic Tier, Racial
Action Surge (Human): Hit more accurately when you use an action point. Booya. Only take it after Weapon Expertise, though.

Elven Precision (Elf): Lost its luster with the coming of Weapon Expertise.

Halfling Agility (Halfling): Make them more likely to miss you.

Human Perseverance (Human): +1 to all saves. Worth a look.

Lost in the Crowd (Halfling): Stand with the giants and be safe. Then stab them.

Clutch of Darkness (Drow) (FRPG): This one's as tricky as you. A mixed bag. The extra range on Darkfire is teriff, especially for you sniper types. On the other hand, the extra burst area on your Cloud of Darkness can be a liability as often as it is an asset. Might want to keep tabs on who you're hanging out with before considering this one.

Moon Elf Resilience (Eladrin) (FRPG): Heal yourself when you Fey Step. Solid.

Ruthless Hunter (Drow) (FRPG): Drow using a hand crossbow for a living take this one and ask no questions.

Scion of the Gods (Tiefling) (FRPG): You Tiefling types aren't the best suited for our line of work, but this defensive feat will help you better survive Heroic Tier.

Shield of Shadows (Drow) (FRPG): Not quite as high-priority as some of your other racial feats, but worth a gander.

Stubborn Survivor (Human) (FRPG): Makes you harder to take down if you have no action points left.

Sun Elf Grace (Eladrin) (FRPG): Extra defense when you teleport. Decent, but Moon Elf Resilience is probably better.

Wild Elf Luck (Elf) (FRPG): Weapon Expertise has really taken its toll on the appeal of this feat. It's still not a bad choice if you can fit it, but it's no longer a priority.

Wood Elf Agility (Elf) (FRPG): Benefits immensely from the Wild Elf's drop in relative status, and it's a huge boost for skills that just about any self-respecting Rogue will use often.

Ankle Cutter (Halfling) (MP): Not bad against foes that rely on mobility.

Brutal Teamwork (Dragonborn) (MP): Sort of a trap. When you're flanking someone, as you should be doing, you're usually not adjacent to an ally.

Cunning Ambusher (Tiefling) (MP): The feat that exemplifies what a trap it is to be a Tiefling.

Darkfire Targeting (Drow) (MP): This one's clearly for Rangers, who despite their lack of finesse have a lot more common sense than you.

Dwarf Trapsmith (Dwarf) (MP): You shouldn't be in this line of work, anyway, but if you're that eager (or stubborn) to prove yourself, at least make yourself useful and handle those traps in our way.

Group Rattling (Half-Elf) (MP): Half-Elves aren't the best at whacking suckas, but they can show some intimidating leadership here. A good feat for them.

Longsword Finesse (Eladrin) (MP): The advent of Melee Training has eliminated any reason at all to take this. Train a rapier, instead (or a double sword if you're one of those cheesy bastard types).

Lucky Skirmisher (Halfling) (MP): You really make sure they can't hit you when you zip by.

Rash Sneak Attack (Human) (MP): Just not worth it.

Rattling Wrath (Tiefling) (MP): Meh.

Sneaky Accuracy (Elf) (MP): Don't let that second chance to whack someone go to waste if you screw it up.

Tunnel Stalker (Dwarf) (MP): Sorry, pudgy, this doesn't make you suck any less at what we do.

Wielder of Piercing Flame (Genasi) (MP): Decent.

Anger Unleashed (Half-Orc) (PHB2): Bonus to attack for a round when you get roughed up at first. Not very high in priority, but decent enough.

Blurring Claws (Shifter, Razorclaw) (PHB2): A little extra pain when you're using your racial power.

Fey Trickster (Gnome) (PHB2): More Wizard cantrips for you if you want them. Can be handy, but you already got the most important one.

Group Stealth (Gnome) (PHB2): Help your party sneak around along with you.

Markings of the Blessed (Goliath) (PHB2): Increases your chance the first time of shaking off something nasty.

Markings of the Victor (Goliath) (PHB2): Helps make sure you start off the fight the right way.

Savage Assault (Half-Orc) (PHB2): When you put on the pain the way only a Half-Orc can do, you make your follow-up hit even easier. Good to consider after the likes of Weapon Expertise and Nimble Blade.

Shadow Skulk (Gnome) (PHB2): Greatly improves your sniping abilities in Heroic Tier. Can be retrained out once you get things like Hide in Plain Sight, or if you go for the Cloaked Sniper PP.

Thirst for Battle (Half-Orc) (PHB2): Compared to Improved Initiative, you give up +1 bonus to initiative for an extra healing surge. That may or may not be worth it to you, but it's something to think about.

Wild Senses (Shifter) (PHB2): Compared to Improve Initiative, give up +1 bonus to initiative for better ability to track someone down. Something to consider.


Arena Fighting (D 368)
Arkhosian High Style: Piercing Strike debuffs AC on a crit. Pretty good.

Battle-Scarred Veteran: Makes your Deft Strike a little safer. Mostly for Ruthless Ruffians.

Catspaw Style: Artful Dodgers who crit with Sly Flourish let their buddy after them deal more pain.

Daring Performer: Makes setting up combat advantage with Bluff something you actually want to do in an encounter, via Deft Strike.

Deft Hurler Style: Only Halflings need apply. Use a ranged Sly Flourish as a free action after a successful Second Chance. Nice.

Fluttering Leaf Style: Easiest to get if you're an Elf. Extra range for your Deft Strike. Decent.

Grudge Style: Easiest to get for an Elf. Debuff on the riposte part of Riposte Strike. Pretty good.

Mocking Knave Style: Decent for Artful Dodgers, an attack debuff on a Sly Flourish crit.

Nerathi Vanguard Style: Eh, not that great. I'd rather take the immediate interrupt attack.

Starlight Duelist: This alternate on Riposte Strike actually is useful, possibly setting up an easy flank. Eladrin only.

Trickster's Blade Style: Shift a square after Deft Strike. Good.

True Arrow Style: With Sly Flourish, a great way to attack at far distance in Heroic Tier. Retrain this in Paragon Tier for Distant Shot.

Warborn Fury Style: Extra defense against the attack that triggered your Riposte.


Paragon Tier, General
Paragon Defenses (PHB2): Boosts all your non-AC defenses with a +1 feat bonus. Great for those of you who just can't be bothered with the +2 line of feats at this tier. Retrain this for Robust Defenses once you hit Epic Tier.

Reserve Maneuver (PHB2): Don't like your paragon path's encounter power? Put it in stowaway first time you take a breather and replace it with a Rogue power of your choice. Beautiful.

Armor Specialization (Hide): Ruthless Ruffians take it and love it.

Blood Thirst: If they bleed, kill them faster. Not bad.

Combat Anticipation: Paragon Defenses left this feat sleeping with the fishes.

Danger Sense: Anything that ensures you get the first say in the fracas is gold in my book.

Defensive Advantage: The poor disadvantaged sucka you're about to grease will have a tougher time hitting you back.

Devastating Critical: Shun this infamia.

Distant Shot: Now they really can't run from you. 12 squares with a dagger at the full attack rating ain't bad at all. Crossbow snipers, Daggermasters and Shock Troopers should definitely make room for this.

Evasion: Not necessary.

Fleet-Footed: Good one for your line of work, where you just have to get around.

Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes: Non-AC defense boost feats. Take if you can. Does not stack with Combat Anticipation.

Hammer Rhythm: Ruthless Ruffians head straight for this one.

Heavy Blade Opportunity: Dual-attack-stat Brutal Scoundrels cheesing it out with the double sword can easily take this one. And Rogue at-wills do make good OAs. Everyone else, though, doesn't exactly need to go out of their way to take it.

Lasting Frost: Grab a Frost weapon, grab the Wintertouched feat as well, and set up combat advantage whenever you want.

Light Blade Precision: The bigger they are, the more pain they feel from your light blade.

Mettle: Like Evasion, not necessary.

Point-Blank Shot: Flinging a dagger or crossbow bolt at trickier marks just got easier.

Secret Stride: Depends. If you'd rather hold on to Fleeting Ghost, you don't need it. If you don't have that power but still want full-speed stealth, this is worth a look.

Seize the Moment: Lasts both a surprise round and the first regular round, including against those who acted in the surprise round. Enough of an upgrade over the feature First Strike to consider it, and the situation happens often enough for this feat to be useful.

Steady Shooter: Ruthless Ruffians using a crossbow as a sidearm do well to take this.

Bleeding Backstab (MP): Make 'em bleed when you Sneak Attack with any one of your Rogue dailies. Try to get this if you can.

Cull the Weak (MP): Strictly worse than Blood Thirst. Only take it to stack with that feat if you're trying to squeeze out every ounce of pain you can muster.

Evasive Footwork (MP): Extra defense for Artful Dodgers when they shift.

Opportunistic Sneak Attack (MP): Not bad. Best for Brutal Scoundrels, and HBO-packing longsword-toting Eladrin and double sword wielders.

Rogue Weapon Mastery (MP): This may as well be an Epic Tier feat. Daggermasters and Shock Troopers should consider taking it then, but not before. In Paragon it's actually even weaker than Devastating Critical.

Roundabout Charge (MP): Decent. Can set up a flank on a charge.

Quick Recovery (PHB2): Some extra hit points when you take a breather. Decent.

Two-Weapon Opening (PHB2): Must have Two-Weapon Fighting. Put that off-hand weapon to good use when you crit and give your DPR a boost.

Vexing Flanker (PHB2): Make the whole party benefit from doing what you do best.


Paragon Tier, Racial
Versatile Master (Half-Elf) (PHB2): Takes Dilletante to a whole new level. You get Paragon Multiclassing's signature perk without having to even multiclass, and more importantly, eschew your paragon path.

Action Recovery (Human): Good for what ails ya.

Feywild Protection (Eladrin): Extra defense on a teleport. Solid.

Running Shot (Elf): If you do have to run, this'll help.

Underfoot (Halfling): Move right through the big lugs. Nice.

Master of Fire and Darkness (Drow) (FRPG): Now you can use both your natural-born-killer's tools in the same fight. Ice-cold.

Merciless Killer (Drow) (FRPG): If they bleed, this'll grease them a whole lot faster.

Shocking Flame (Genasi) (FRPG): More damage from firesoul or stormsoul. This helps.

Stormrider (Genasi) (FRPG): Hovering takes your flight to a whole new level.

Venomous Heritage (Drow) (FRPG): Not quite an automatic take, but it can't exactly hurt, either.

Bloody Tenacity (Human) (MP): Bonuses to defenses when you start bleeding. Not bad.

Dragonbreath Warrior (Dragonborn) (MP): Extra die of damage after your bad breath. Decent.

Avandra's Gift (Halfling) (MP): Combat advantage when your Second Chance makes them miss. Pretty good.

Darkjumper (Drow) (MP): Easy way to set up a flank when you use your Cloud of Darkness.

Fey Gambit (Eladrin) (MP): Combat advantage when you teleport next to something. No flanks required, pop who you want.

Group Flanking (Half-Elf) (MP): Another way to show a little leadership and make yourself useful.

Infernal Sneak Attack (Tiefling) (MP): Make the best out of your mediocrity.

Prime Slayer (Elf) (MP): Good against an isolated target if you have combat advantage. In a flank, this isn't gonna see any use. Okay, but not a priority.

Ascendant Lineage (Deva) (PHB2): If you screw up with your Memory, it doesn't go to waste. You need it to stand a chance in this profession, angel-boy.

Beasthide Shifting (Shifter) (PHB2): A little extra durability for using your racial power. Sure helps.

Fade Ally (Gnome) (PHB2): Now you can help someone else disappear, instead, if it would be better tactically.

Strength from Pain (Half-Orc) (PHB2): Extra damage when you get roughed up for the first time. Decent.

Surprising Disappearence (Gnome) (PHB2): Set up your buddies with free combat advantage when you vanish. Nice.

Unrelenting Assault (Half-Orc) (PHB2): Now you can deliver your race's trademark pain even when you don't hit. They're damage rolls, too, so certain static bonuses apply.

Unyielding Stone (Goliath) (PHB2): Tough guy race gets tougher.


Epic Tier, General
Light Blade Mastery: Daggermasters and Ruthless Ruffians ignore this one. But everyone else who can take it most definitely should.

Bludgeon Mastery: Ruthless Ruffians should take this one if they can.

Bow Mastery (PHB2): If you use a crossbow, you have no excuse for not taking this one.

Robust Defenses (PHB2): An upgrade over Paragon Defenses; retrain that feat for this one, a +2 feat bonus to all non-AC defenses. Your choice is between this feat, or feats of the Unyielding Fortitude/Opportune Reflexes/Indomitable Will series.

Unyielding Fortitude (PHB2): +2 feat bonus to Fortitude (no stacking with Robust Defenses) and also to death saving throws.

Opportune Reflexes (PHB2): +2 feat bonus to Reflex and also saving throws against ongoing damage. No stacking with Robust Defenses.

Indomitable Will (PHB2): +2 feat bonus to Will and also saving throws against some nasty conditions. Again, no stacking with Robust Defenses.

Epic Fortitude/Reflexes/Will (PHB2): +4 bonuses to the defense in question. Note that these bonuses are untyped and thus stack with the likes of either Robust Defenses, or the Unyielding/Opportune/Indomitable series.

Blind-Fight: Protect yourself from concealed and invisible enemies.

Epic Resurgence: Regain an encounter power for fun and profit on a crit. Take Martial Mastery before this one, but of course it doesn't hurt to take both. Demigods retrain this out close to Lv. 30.

Flanking Maneuver: Moving through wall corners and through enemy spaces is teriff. Requires Acrobatics training.

Triumphant Attack: Debuff to attack rolls and defense on crits. Pretty damn cool.

Unfettered Stride: Walk through difficult terrain as if it was nothing. Nice. Also requires Acrobatics training.

Artful Provocation (MP) Now this is great for Artful Dodgers. This one flat out encourages you to move instead of shift and turn the tables on those trying to whack you.

Brutal Advantage (MP): For Brutal Scoundrels. This one's value goes way up when you procure plenty of extra attacks you can throw out over a few or more rounds.

Lasting Advantage (MP): Daggermasters ignore this one, because you've already got this ability. Everyone else might want to take a look at what the Daggermaster's got, and definitely retrain out Press the Advantage for this, if applicable.

One With Shadow (MP): Okay for stealth specialists.

Ruthless Terror (MP): Decent for Ruthless Ruffians.

Whirlwind Sneak Attack (MP): Inflict the pain on everyone. Use with nice things like Steel Entrapment and Dance of Death.

Invigorating Exploit (MP): Ruthless Ruffians might want to take this one.

Martial Mastery (MP): Regain an encounter technique when you spend an action point. Beautiful. Demigods retrain this out at Lv. 30.

Rattling Exploit (MP): Make your own Rattling power. Ruthless Ruffians might give this a look.


Epic Tier, Racial
Double Manifestation (Genasi) (FRPG): The best feat a Genasi can take.

Darkfire Warrior (Drow) (MP): Get your Darkfire back when you grease something. Very, very nice.

Feywild Warrior (Eladrin) (MP): Teriff. Teleport your victim right into a flank, or hold him over a square of certain doom.

Fortune's Warrior (Halfling) (MP): Combat Advantage from Second Chance. Nice.

Timely Revival (Human) (MP): Decent.

Ancient Stone (Goliath) (PHB2): Still another upgrade to the Goliath's staying power.

Burst of Savagery (Shifter) (PHB2): If you're up for some healing that would end your racial power, use this to inflict some extra pain and get some temporary hit points as well. Can be useful.

Ferocious Critical (Half-Orc) (PHB2): If you crit, things get a lot easier in the following round. Daggermasters in particular will have some fun.

Transcendent Lineage (Deva) (PHB2): Earlier feats boosted the Deva's Memory to the point that this one's mostly diminishing returns.

Vanishing Act (Gnome) (PHB2): And the Gnome gets his teleport. Nice.
9. Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies.

Paragon Paths
Cat Burglar: A good encounter power, but the rest of it is rather underwhelming.

Daggermaster: The features turn your dagger from a very good weapon into a true instrument of death. The utility power, Meditation of the Blade, takes the damage to even greater heights for one fracas in a day. The attack powers are somewhat underwhelming, but it's a small price to pay.

Master Infiltrator: Focuses on stealth. It's a mixed bag, though. Invisible Infiltrator is a great feature, and Impossible to Catch is a terrific utility (free invisibility per encounter), but the rest is fairly average.

Shadow Assassin: Solid path all around. The features are all effective at dealing lots of death and punishing those trying to whack you in return. Both of the attack powers attack Reflex, with the encounter Killer's Eye being a good first move. Bad Idea, Friend is practically a free miss against you per day with some decent free damage attached.

Cloaked Sniper (MP): A solid PP for crossbow specialists. Crossbow Savant is basically both Two-Fisted Shooter and Speed Loader for free (you can retrain the applicable feat you had earlier for something else). Versatile Combatant lets you shoot in the middle of a fracas with impunity. The attack powers are only average, but the utility, Unseen Shot, lets you cover your ass when sniping from stealth and can be done at-will.

Daring Acrobat (MP): A very good daily in Dramatic Finish, but the rest of this path is pretty inadequate.

Death Dealer (MP): This is for you high-risk, high-reward hitmen. No Respite is the cornerstone of this PP, which gives your save-ends daily powers more bite but also forces you to stay in the thick of the fracas for longer than most Rogues would. Fortunately, this PP lets you get away with doing just that, especially with its Lv. 16 feature Unfair Advantage. The encounter power Sizing Strike and the utility power Gruesome Kill, an at-will, also help you stay alive.

Dread Fang (MP): It's supposed to be for Drow specializing in blade-and-crossbow style, but except for a fairly good encounter power this one is pretty worthless. Cloaked Sniper is better by an Underdark mile.

Flying-Blade Adept (MP): Looks like a trap, smells like a trap, by golly, it is a trap! No reason whatsoever to take this one over Daggermaster.

Guildmaster Thief (MP): Allows Artful Dodgers to play Leader, and actually do it pretty well. Guildmaster's Action is quite versatile, and both the Thick as Thieves feature and the Guild Beatdown encounter power make for pretty brutal teamwork with flanking allies. And Biting Repositioning is an excellent daily that rivals what a Warlord can do in rearranging a battle map.

Halfling Quickblade (MP): Ultimate Quickblade all but ensures Halfling Artful Dodgers will go first in every single encounter. Slash and Dash, the encounter power, is two attacks against possibly the same enemy in a standard action for some very nice damage potential. The utility and daily are pretty solid mobility powers.

Master Spy (MP): Turns the Bluff combat action from a devious trap into something that's *gasp* actually useful. Double Agent and Quick Change come in handy quite often. Both attack powers target Will for easy hits, and Spymaster's Edge makes sure they're not gonna whack you easily while you dog their every move. Pretty solid.

Rakish Swashbuckler (MP): It tries to be a lot of things but doesn't quite hit the mark for any of them. Vexing Foe is very nice when a Defender's mark benefits you, but the other application is pretty irrelevant and compromises your Striker role for a minor Leader-esque benefit that doesn't help you. Compares poorly to the Guildmaster Thief who can imitate a Leader better than you without compromising the Striker role. And the powers are rather weak.

Raven Herald (MP): An undead specialist, mainly, as noted by features like Radiant Striker. It specializes almost as much in finishing off bloodied targets, as evidenced by Unraveling Blow and Herald the End. A decent path, but not spectacular.

Strong-Arm Enforcer (MP): This PP sounds like it's something a Ruthless Ruffian would aspire to, but in reality, unless the Ruffian somehow plans to sacrifice strength and/or constitution for charisma, an Artful Dodger makes much better use of it. The features that relate to Rattling powers are pretty solid, but the powers are weak, so overall, a mixed bag.

Tiefling Hellstalker (MP): Gloom Wrath makes your Infernal Wrath relevant to your line of work. And the attack powers both confer invisibility. A somewhat valiant effort to make a subpar race for this thing of ours relevant.

Gatecrasher (MotP): Add a little warp magic to your arsenal. You'll need to train in Arcana to go down this road. The features are situational, but the powers make up for that by being arcanely lethal, just the way you need them. Striker's Gate is essentially a Fey Gambit-ed Step for everyone once per encounter (and you Eladrin, congratulations, that means you get to do the same thing twice). Trickster's Gate, the daily utility, gets you there quicker so you can start the killing sooner. And Boltportal Strike, the daily attack, is a high-damage, arcane, flank-from-anywhere deal.


Forgotten Realms PPs accessible without multiclassing (FRPG)
Drow Wanderer: For Drow, requires Dungeoneering training. Firemotes is awesome, but the other features are too situational. The utility is self-healing, and the daily, Darkblade, allows you to sustain a Cloud of Darkness and move it. Those are solid, but the encounter power isn't that impressive. Overall, a mixed bag.

Elemental Tempest: Genasi aren't the best suited for our line of work to begin with, and this PP does absolutely nothing to make up for it.

Ghost of Eventide: Requires you to hail from certain regions in Faerun. The features' excellent effects work only when concealment is around, but battles under those conditions happen pretty often, so they're hardly a waste. The powers, on the other hand, are useful all the time. Shadow Hand Attack is likely to hit in at least some capacity and can often really bring the pain. Twilight Escape lets you get the hell out of dodge. Robed in Shadow is an ice-cold daily that allows you to flicker invisible in melee for a whole encounter. Very solid PP overall.

Sword Coast Corsair: This one is way too specialized, and overall pretty underwhelming.

Whirlwind Genasi: Windsoul Genasi take this PP to enhance their flying capabilities. Solid utility power and features geared toward that purpose, but the attack powers are nothing special.

Wildfire Genasi: Meh.


Epic Destinies
Deadly Trickster: Three d20 rerolls a day, a chance to keep your encounter or daily powers, a nice little trump card in Trickster's Disposition and a great power in Epic Trick make for a solid destiny.

Demigod: Divine Miracle at Lv. 30 is full of shenanigans. But even that aside, a +2 to two stats of your choice and a daily power that gives insane amounts of regeneration are wonderful.

Eternal Seeker: This one's basically Epic Tier cherry-pick multiclassing, and it has infinite room to grow as the list of epic destinies and Epic Tier powers expands. Eternal Action is also a very solid feature.

Dark Wanderer (MP): A mixed bag. Never at a Loss is strictly worse than Epic Trick, and Not My Destiny is pointless. On the other hand, Dark Road is great for getting where you need to hassle-free, and the capstone Long Walk Back means you simply don't die. That latter one's worth a few points by itself.

Godhunter (MP): The features are good if you're constantly fighting enemies of a higher level than you. How often that happens is the question. Interesting note about Deicidal Eye: it doesn't have a set time limit on how long it lasts. You can use it on an enemy, retreat to fight another day, and the enemy will still be affected.

Martial Archetype (MP): Mostly just gain extra martial powers with a few bells and whistles. Not impressive. Except for Reliable Warrior, which makes all your single-target encounter powers with no miss effect Reliable. It's the Lv. 24 feature, and it's not a bad idea for Eternal Seekers to take that as their Seeking Destiny capstone.

Perfect Assassin (MP): Is hardly perfect. Just underwhelming, really.
res 8
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last reservation
Thank the gods, Litigation has come to save us all! :D

Seriously, though, thanks for stepping up to the plate; an up-to-date Rogue Handbook was a sorely needed feature here in CharOp, and the fact that you're the one behind the wheel inspires even more confidence in me.
Just a request from someone who drops by:

While by now the Dagger vs. Rapier damage figures are common knowledge to us CO vets, it'd help if someone got me a link to that thread that I could put in the "Credits" for the newbies.

Thanks in advance.
Got something even better for you, Litigation: this thread has evidence that the Double Sword is weaker than dual-wielding for anyone who uses Bloodclaw and/or Reckless weapons. So the Rapier has made a bit of a comeback...

BTW, I'm totally stealing your "write down the sourcebook" idea.
Very good so far! Looking forward to the updates.
Awesome to see someone finally doing an updated rogue handbook. I fondly remember contributing to the old rogue handbook, and would like to offer my services again for feats and powers. Should I start posting a breakdown of them?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
How in the world can rapier be a blue weapon? It is at -1 to hit against a dagger, it has only +2 avg damage and costs a feat. It is no match for a parryng dagger (+1 to hit and +1 AC vs. +2 avg. damage), either, so it should be black at most.
I think the tertiary stat for ruthless ruffians is actually con, not cha. Cha really doesn't net you very much aside from higher intimidate checks, whereas con qualifies you for hammer rhythm and bludgeon mastery.
I agree re: Constitution being more important than Charisma for Ruffians. Hammer Rhythm is just too good.

That being said, the above poster is certainly mistaken - Charisma is a rider on almost every single rogue rattling attack, especially through the early levels.

Also, it's a bit silly, but a Belt of the Brawler lets a Ruthless Ruffian do some fun things with improvised weapons and, more importantly, spiked gauntlets
Good point about CON and Ruthless Ruffians, although it took me a while to visualize how you'd fit in Hammer Rhythm and Bludgeon Mastery in a playable fashion.
That being said, the above poster is certainly mistaken - Charisma is a rider on almost every single rogue rattling attack, especially through the early levels.

Charisma is a rider on 5 rattling rogue powers and two rattling paragon path powers. Out of the five rogue powers it is on, 3 of them are simple cha-mod damage, at which point str is unequivocally better (as it affects a much larger suite of powers) and con is probably better as well (since, while it only happens on a miss, it affects ALL your powers). I don't think investing much in cha is worthwhile just to boost those two powers which get a non-damage benefit from it.
Why is the kukri (AV) not listed among "other weapons"? 1d6 with brutal 1 and off-hand that gains the bonuses from rouge weapon talent seems like a pretty good weapon to me...
Why is the kukri (AV) not listed among "other weapons"? 1d6 with brutal 1 and off-hand that gains the bonuses from rouge weapon talent seems like a pretty good weapon to me...

Kukris are strictly worse than rapiers; even with rogue weapon talent they are a +3/4 average damage weapon compared to the rapier's +3/4.5 average damage.

Edit: unless you want to wield a shuriken and melee weapon at the same time.
Kukris are strictly worse than rapiers; even with rogue weapon talent they are a +3/4 average damage weapon compared to the rapier's +3/4.5 average damage.

Right, and that additional .5 damage is really going to make a big enough difference to warrant superiority over kukris.
Why is the kukri (AV) not listed among "other weapons"? 1d6 with brutal 1 and off-hand that gains the bonuses from rouge weapon talent seems like a pretty good weapon to me...

As Molecule said, it's strictly worse than the rapier's 1d8. It's also only a +2 proficiency weapon, so even with the talent it doesn't hit any more often than a rapier.

Incidentally, I also screwed up on the parrying dagger earlier. It's also only a +2 proficiency weapon, so it's not in any case an automatic replacement for a regular dagger, either, and got downgraded to black.
Actually, yes. When you have a completely superior option, the other one is red. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I also finally found the dagger vs. rapier thread and put it in the credits. More of the guide will be filled out later in the day when I have books in front of me.
Finished skills, races and the at-wills.
Finished skills, races and the at-wills.

Ah, the rakes progress... ;)

(For the Hoi polloi, that's a semi-obscure cultural reference.)
A question, and a suggestion.

What do you think of a 17, 14, 14, 10, 10, 8 array?
I think it's similar to 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8.
For 3-4 levels you'll lag by 1 Dex mod and be equal at the other levels, but if you go Dex/Cha/Con, you get one to two higher Fort depending on tier, a piddly 3 HP more, and 1-2 surges more (depending on tier). Worth it?

Someone else suggested this, but a Mage's Weapon Parrying Dagger is essentially a +1 AC that doesn't cost a feat. Cheap as a level 2 item, worth grabbing if you have the spare cash and hand.
Eladrin make better rogues than you give them credit for. Fey gambit is the win. Should be light blue.
I agree that the Eladrin makes a sick rogue (one of my absolute favorite builds is the Eladrin charge rogue), but I'm not sure I agree that it should be light blue.

The drow, human, halfling and elf all beat it out without question. It's probably the best choice you can get for the "Aerial Assault" style rogue suggested in MP, but that is a build that doesn't actually have a ton of support.
I am really looking forward to this handbook being completed. I just began playing 4th Edition at the end of December '08. There are a lot of things I wish I'd have put into consideration when creating my character, but I was too unfamiliar with this editions system to think that far ahead for my character. I expect this handbook will help me avoid future mistakes. Currently playin' a fourth lvl Eladrin Rogue (str 10, con 13, dex 21, int 10, wis 10, cha 14). I think I'd have gone for a brutal scoundrel vs. the artful dodger to take advantage of the fey gambit and fey charge build, I really like the Nightcrawler (x-men) aspect this lends.
I'm glad to see another handbook by Litigation--I loved his Paladin one. This'll be useful when I recreate my 3.5 human rogue, Roland. I've been debating how to do it, since he was originally a Dex/Int/Cha rogue (admittedly, the game had a huge point buy), the smooth-talking planner of the group. Thus, even though Int doesn't do 4e rogues a lick of good, I don't feel I can completely dump it and stay true to the character.

So let me pose this as a question. Let's say you have a rogue who for some reason (rolled, RP, +Int race, or just unoptimized point buy), has a decent Int, 13 or so, enough to qualify for feats and multiclassing. How do you make use of that Intelligence, without gimping him in other areas?

I'd definitely take the Wizard Multiclass if I could get a cantrip rather than an attack spell I have no chance of hitting with. Roland could do all kinds of mischief with mage hand (I sincerely hope access to a cantrip or two is what WotC does for their second wizard multiclass feat in Arcane Power). Right now, I'm thinking Jack of All Trades would be good, as that was kind of Roland's thing anyway--the all-purpose problem solver.
That Int of 13 would open up the Linguist feat, which is very, very useful for a socially-focused Artful Dodger.

Cheers,

Pryor
Int 13 also nets you Jack of All Trades, easily the game's best feat if you have a lot of skill challenges.
Got up to Lv. 5 dailies. Damn, Rogues have a lot of powers.
As Molecule said, it's strictly worse than the rapier's 1d8. It's also only a +2 proficiency weapon, so even with the talent it doesn't hit any more often than a rapier.

There are a couple of cases where an off-hand weapon gets a boost other weapons don't, for example Shock Trooper. A Shock Trooper could prefer a Kukri or a Katar to a Rapier, and Quicker Death seems like a strong feature for a Rogue.
There are a couple of cases where an off-hand weapon gets a boost other weapons don't, for example Shock Trooper. A Shock Trooper could prefer a Kukri or a Katar to a Rapier, and Quicker Death seems like a strong feature for a Rogue.

Except a Rogue -> Shock Trooper would prefer regular daggers to any of the above. And that's been an ongoing problem with the kukri and katar. They just aren't optimal in any given build. You either want the regular dagger, or you want the double sword (or, yes, the rapier if you prefer).
Except a Rogue -> Shock Trooper would prefer regular daggers to any of the above.

Could you go into a little more detail on this? You summarized the dagger vs rapier debate saying rapier>dagger for non-daggermasters. I would expect that if rapier>dagger and katar/kukri>rapier, katar/kukri>dagger. Why do you say the dagger is stronger in this case? If you don't think rapiers are stronger than daggers for non-daggermasters, the way you summarized the debate on that issue is a little confusing.

Edit: Thought about it a little more and realized you are now trading off between high crit or brutal 1 and one die size versus one accuracy rather than two die sizes versus one accuracy which is the normal rapier vs dagger case, so it makes sense that the dagger could be preferred. So nevermind.
Well, that debate took place close to when 4e first came out, although I linked it because many of its concepts are still the same.

But with Martial Power, we got a second PP that does something with daggers but not with rapiers: the Shock Trooper.

Yes, katar/kukri w/ ST > rapier. But as Shock Trooper also improves the dagger as well, and the dagger was always better for a Rogue than the kukri and katar, it becomes: dagger w/ ST > katar/kukri w/ ST > rapier.