Saboteur is back with a vengeance, doing very nice AOE damage in 1.8. The catch is it has the most pain-in-the-ass rotation that we’ve ever had to do, because you must target a different mob and use abilities with janky cooldown differences.
Pros: High AOE damage, high mobility, good single-target damage
Cons: Complex rotations, no utility, indiscriminate damage
The theory behind Sab AOE is getting all your DoTs going ASAP and keeping them rolling. These are Caltrop charge, High Explosives and to a lesser extent, Chemical Bomb and Shrapnel Charge.
High Explosives has been changed so that it is now a stacking DoT applied by Frag Bomb and Time Bomb. It lasts 10 seconds, which is also the cooldown on Frag Bomb, so you can’t rely on Frag Bomb to keep it active, because of travel time. This is where Time Bomb comes in. It’s important to always keep Time Bomb rolling, but not clip it. Frag Bomb also detonates your charges now.
I recommend basically the rotation posted by Beckmann for AOE DPS. He’s contributed the most to Saboteurs over the course of testing in 1.8.
Simple AOE rotation
Rapid Setup>Caltrop Charge then Time > Frag > Chem > Shrap > Det
Afterwards: Time > Frag > Chem > Caltropx5 > > Det > Shrapnel
Use Carpet Bombing on cooldown to spam Fragmentation Bomb (gives an extra tick of HE with every toss) and use Rapid Setup to make Shrapnel x5 every 3rd rotation.
Even the simple rotation isn’t that simple, because of cooldowns and dependencies. Since Time Bomb is an AOE, there’s no need to apply it to the same target as your charges . In fact, nothing needs to hit the same target in your rotation except your charge sets, as long as the mobs are grouped up. This lets you use a more advanced rotation, that is more of a pain, because it requires hitting multiple targets.
Advanced AOE rotation
Rapid > Caltrop > Time(a) > Frag > Chem > Time(b) > Caltropx2 > Time(c) > Caltrop x3
Afterwards: Time(a) > Frag > Chem > Time(b) > Caltrop x2 > Time(c) > Caltrop x3
w/ Carpet: (with Caltropx5) > Time(a) > Annihilation > Chem > Carpet > Annihilation x3 > Chem > Time(b) > Caltrop x2 > Time(c) > Caltrop x3
w/ Rapid: Time(a) > Frag > Chem > Time(b) > Rapid > Caltrop > Det > Time(c) > Shrap x2
(a)(b)(c) don’t have to be the same target each time, but they must be different from each other. A macro to help you throw Time Bombs is:
cast @mouseover Time Bomb
cast Time Bomb
This will throw Time Bomb at your mouseover target (if you have one) and otherwise throw it at your current target. Its a pain, but its easier than setting a focus for your charges and then tabbing (at least imo).
Single Target Rotation
Time > Frag > Spike x5 > Det > Caltrop x2
w/ Carpet: Time > Frag > Spike x5 > Time > Carpet > Frag x3
These rotations really won’t be possible to stick perfectly in many encounters because of the need to move, change targets, change priorities, etc. The important thing is to always keep HE up, by always using Time before Frag.
Hopefully the spec will get some more refinement soon, or we’ll find a better way to do things!