Vanilla WoW Wiki
Vanilla WoW Wiki
Ability gouge.png
  • Gouge
  • 5 yd range
  • 10 sec cooldown
  • 45 energy
  • Instant
  • Target must be facing you.
  • Causes X damage, incapacitating the opponent for 4 sec, and turns off your attack. Target must be facing you. Any damage caused will revive the target. Awards 1 combo point.
Usable by
TypeOffensive, Defensive
Cooldown10 sec
Improved Gouge
Other information
RequirementsTarget must be facing you.
Related debuff
Ability gouge.png
  • Gouge
  • Incapacitated.
  • Duration: 4 sec
"Every being has vulnerable spots; Make it your business to know them all."
The Assassin's Creed, Chapter 2

Gouge is a useful Rogue ability that causes damage, adds a combo point and incapacitates the target for a short period of time. Gouge costs 45 Energy and can first be acquired at level 6. Once a successful Gouge has been made, any damage will negate its incapacitation effect. Note that using Gouge will turn off auto attacks.

Rank table

Rank Level Cost
1 6 1s


Damage caused by Gouge is calculated as follows:

Damage = (Attack Power * 0.21) + 1


A rogue with Gouge having 1000 attack power will inflict:

(1000 * 0.21) + 1 = 211 damage.


  • Gouge's short stun is the main reason for using the ability, allowing one to get into position for utilizing Backstab, performing a quick bandage, or getting a few seconds to distance yourself and get out of combat.
  • Gouge's effect breaks upon receiving damage; this means that it does not work well with Garrote or Rupture, or in group combat unless well-coordinated. However, in all situations Gouge is useful as an interrupt. If Kick is on cooldown, Gouge can be used just for the purpose of interrupting a spellcast.
  • Without Improved Gouge using this to *only* recover energy is not viable, since the effect lasts 4 seconds and the ability costs 45 energy. Rogues regenerate 10 energy per second, so you end up -5 energy less than you started with. With Improved Gouge the effect will last for 5.5 seconds, which means that you regenerate 55 energy, ending up with a net gain of 10 more energy. having the combat talent vitality will increase the energy regained, upto a maximum of 50 energy (without improved gouge) and 68.75 energy with improve gouge, or even more if the target is only melee, the player can step a distance away meaning in the time it takes to get close enough to attack, the rogue will have more energy.

Talent improvement

The only talent that specifically improves Gouge is Improved Gouge. Some other Rogue talents do improve Gouge, however.

  • Improved Gouge increases the duration of Gouge by X seconds.
  • Lethality increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Gouge by X%.
  • Blade Twisting gives your Gouge an X% chance to daze your target for 8 seconds.
  • Surprise Attacks increases the damage of Gouge by X%.

Tips and tactics

  • Backstab is a great skill for dealing burst damage, but you must be behind the Mob to use it. Gouge first, then move behind the mob to enable you to Backstab. You've got two combo points off the bat! (And if you are Seal Fate/Vigor spec and it crits, you'll have three combo points!)
  • Gouge gives you an opportunity to apply a bandage, recover energy, or plan a quick escape. Also note that during those 4-5.5 seconds one can recover up to 40-60 energy, so it can be seen as a free combo point anyway.
  • Facing multiple enemies can be quite difficult. Simply gouge one. This will give you time to finish one of them. This will greatly reduce the amount of incoming damage.
  • In PvP, Improved Gouge gives you a good chance (barring diminishing returns) to leave combat and re-enter stealth without using vanish, and gives you more time to recover energy.
  • In end-game raiding, Gouge has proven useful in interrupting caster enemies if they are immune to stunning with Cheap Shot or silencing with Kick. It may be expensive energy wise, but it will at least buy time and prevent extra damage to your fellow raid members.

Patch changes

  • Template:Patch 3.0.2
  • Patch 1.7.0 (patch date:2005-09-22): The fire damage from the Blazefury Medallion and the Gutgore Ripper's effect should no longer immediately break Gouge. 
  • Patch 1.4.0 (patch date:2005-05-05): If using Gouge triggers the Stormshroud Armor lightning effect, the Gouge effect will no longer be instantly interrupted.