Vanilla WoW Wiki
Ability rogue ambush.png
  • Ambush
  • 5 yd  range
  • None cooldown
  • 60 Energy
  • Instant
  • Daggers
    Requires Stealth
  • Ambush the target, causing 275% weapon damage plus X to the target. Must be stealthed and behind the target. Requires a dagger in the main hand. Awards 2 combo points.
Usable by
See below
Other information
Requires Stealth

Among every ability a rogue has at his disposal, Ambush is without a doubt the hardest hitting rogue ability. Ambush is learned at level 18, and becomes one of the dagger rogue's best friends.

Rank table

Rank Damage Level Cost
1 77 18 26s 10c
2 110 26 54s
3 137.5 34 1g 26s
4 203.5 42 2g 43s
5 253 50 3g 15s
6 319 58 4g 68s
  • Note that damage listed is in addition to the innate 275%
    weapon damage bonus that comes with using Ambush.

Cataclysm table

Level Damage Damage with dagger
8 36 52
9 36 52


  • Remorseless Attacks gives your next Ambush a 20% or 40% increased chance to crit after killing an opponent that yields honor or experience. The improved crit chance lasts for 20 seconds. (Stacks with Improved Ambush)
  • Opportunity increases the damage of your Ambush by 10 or 20%.
  • Initiative gives you a 33, 66, or 100% chance to add an additional combo point to your target when using your Ambush ability.
  • Improved Ambush increases the critical strike chance of Ambush by 25 or 50%. (Stacks with Remorseless Attacks)
  • Master of Subtlety increases damage by 4, 7 or 10% during stealth and for 6 seconds afterward.
  • Seal Fate 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100% chance to add an additional combo point when ambush crits.
  • Shadowstep increases the damage of your next Ambush within 10 seconds by 20%.
  • Slaughter from the Shadows decreases the energy cost of Ambush by 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 energy.
  • Shadow Dance allows you to perform Ambush out of stealth for 6 seconds.
  • Glyph of Ambush increases its range by 5 yards.

Damage Calculation Formula

The basic damage formula for ambush

Opportunity = 1 + (0.1 * Opportunity Rank)
Master of Subtlety = 1 + (0.03 * Master of Subtlety Rank + 0.01)
Modifier = (Attack Power / 14) * 1.7
Damage = [(Weapon Damage + Modifier) * 2.75 + Rank Bonus Damage] * Opportunity * Master of Subtlety


  • Very effective in taking out cloth-wearing targets quickly.
  • Ambush really begins to shine with the Improved Ambush Talent which, with 2 talent points spent, increases the critical strike chance of Ambush by 50%.
  • Ambush is arguably preferable over Cheap Shot in PvP as an opener against mages, as a mage's Blink ability is usable while under a stun effect.
  • A critical hit with an Ambush followed by an Improved Sinister Strike (or a well-timed Backstab) can put an enemy at a severe health disadvantage from the beginning of the fight, in addition to starting you off with 2-3 Combo Points.
  • Use Distract in PvE if you are having trouble getting behind a target to line up an Ambush.
  • The improved crit chance derived from the Remorseless Attacks talent stacks with that from the Improved Ambush talent, making it possible for a rogue with 10% or more base crit chance to obtain a 100% Ambush crit chance during the Remorseless effect.
  • A quickly-executed "Ambush -> Vanish -> Ambush" combo attack can inflict severe damage on any single target with the correct enhancing talents.

Patch changes

  • Template:Patch 4.0.1
  • Patch 1.8.0 (patch date:2005-10-10): Now uses normalized attack power. 
  • Patch 1.4.0 (patch date:2005-05-05):
    • Fixed a bug where combo points were not always being applied to the target when using Ambush.
    • Ambush now properly increases the attack power contribution by the percent modifier. 

External links