As CC is now supposed to be important in Cataclysm, (I say supposed to due to the fact that I ran two normal 5 mans yesterday and didn’t need to use sap once. It was just a case of Wrath revisited with tanks charging in and us sprinting to catch up, but people say the heroics are different so I’m writing this post hoping it doesn’t turn out to be a waste of time), I feel that a lot of our stabby brothers and sisters may not know how to use sap in a 5 man or even a raid environment due to them being products of the Wrath world. So here are some pointers for you.
The very first thing you do on entering the instance is to tell the party which symbol you use for sap. I like to use the Star symbol, but I have known some rogues who like the green one. Never ask to use the moon as mages will get very upset with you. They may even turn you into a sheep just to spite you, and I can assure you that it is no fun being a sheep, (ask my dinner last night what he thought of being a sheep.) You may even want to, horror of horros, bind your chosen symbol to a handy key so that you can easily mark your mob to be sapped instead of leaving it up to someone else! Although to be fair, a lot of tanks prefer to mark everything themselves, which is their perogative, (control freaks).
So we have our symbol, so the next part of our lesson is which mob to mark for the sap. If you were thinking the big ugly one in the middle with the sword then you would be thinking badly. When we sap we want to pick a mob that is off to the side and safely out of the way. We do this for two simple reasons; we have to actually get to the mob in order to sap them, and if a sap is broken once the rogue is in combat it cannot be reapplied. So you want someone who is safely out of the way. Lets assume that all 3 DPS in the 5 man can crowd control. The sapped mob should be the first one to be taken down after the initial targets have been eliminated, due to the fact that sap cannot be reapplied. But, due to that same fact, if our sapped mob is knocked out of sap during the initial fight, (perhaps due to some individual throwing a lovely AoE attack around like a complete loser), then our mob will be in the fight, while other mobs can be re-sheeped etc and kept in crowd control. So you want to sap a mob who will not devestate your party if suddenly brought into the fight due to negligence. I prefer a caster for one simple reason: usually nobody else but the rogue will notice that a sapped mob is suddenly in the fight. So for at least the first 5-10 seconds or so, you are going to be solely responsible for locking down that mob. Which is why a squishy caster type that spends most of their timne trying to cast a very long fireball spell only to have you kick them at the last moment is the perfect solution. If you have to instead lock down the big burly guy who spins around very fast with a very large axe, then you could be in for a world of pain.
So you’ve chosen your mob. Now how to sap him. You need two abilities: sap and distract. Some rogues think that distract is for losers. They don’t need distract to do their job. You however are not one of those rogues. You are a good rogue who uses distract due to the fact that it can save your party from a bad pull. Lets assume there are 5 mobs standing in front of you with your mob with the Star on the far left. Slide out and to the left, (I really hope that you’re not keyboard turning at this point), and press your button where you have keybound distract, (I use ‘A’). The green target will come up, and as you are moving forward position your distract just behind the big ugly mob standing in the middle with the Skull marked above his head. When you’re within a few meters of your target, hit distract. All of the 5 mobs wil turn around behind them to see what the fuck is going on as you slide in and hit sap. Why do it like this? Because it will be very obvious to your party that the sap has gone off. They will have seen all the mobs turn and then you hit sap. If you just go in and sap the mob, your party members may not even realise that you have done so. Which results in you standing there off to the side wondering when the hell they are going to pull as the sap timer runs out.
I have sap keybound to the scrolling wheel on the middle of my mouse. All I have to do is click down on that and the mob is sapped. I don’t even have to lift a finger to do it and I don’t have to stop moving. This is known as a damn sexy sap. You will want to do this as well.
For other players who do a run with a rogue, please take all this into consideration also. The sap has a timer; so when you see the rogue has sapped, pull immediately. Get as much use out of it as you can. And the very next mob to be taken down must always be the sapped one. If you finish the initial mobs and then go for the little sheep you will be fighting two mobs very soon as the sap is about to wear off.