Killing Spree is one of those abilities that seems simple. It’s a major DPS cooldown for Combat. You want to line it up with damage-enhancing procs to squeeze out every last ounce of damage. In that vein, tons of Combat Rogue guides out there advise only using Killing Spree with Deep Insight. But is that really true?

Last raid I was chatting in our melee channel, and the topic of cooldowns came up. Vuez, our resident awesome-at-ALL-THE-THINGS Rogue, said something I’d never heard before: “Just use Killing Spree on cooldown.” Apparently, he saw Killars from <vodka> use Killing Spree as soon as it came up and adopted the mindset.

Then I came across a Rogue thread with experienced players citing Killing Spree on cooldown is better than sitting on it.

DM;HKS (Doesn’t Matter; Have Killing Spree)

The evidence suggests that Killing Spree- regardless of Insight level, trinket availability, procs, etc.- is best used immediately. The only exception to this rule is when Adrenaline Rush is active or you’re at high energy.

This makes sense. Deciding to wait usually keeps me from using Killing Spree for a good 10 seconds. If you consider that effect across the entirety of a fight, you’re potentially missing out on using it again at the end. There’ll be times in fights where I peel off the boss- Yor’sahj especially- and just let it sit unused in the hopes I’ll Redirect, stack Insight a little higher, and get off a massive DPS burst. But while I cunningly planned my damage, I failed to recognize Killing Spree was unused for 15 seconds.

Now this advice isn’t all-encompassing. If you know you’re coming up to a stars-align-and-angels-sing moment where Deep Insight, class racials, Tol’vir potions, and raid DPS cooldowns all come up at once, obviously save Killing Spree for that. So long as that magical moment is coming up soon, it’s fine to wait. For the curious, “soon” is approximately 8 seconds (the time it takes to stack combo points for a finisher).

So the logic is this: if you don’t see something awesome coming before your next Eviscerate, just use the cooldown. If you’re using Restless Blades correctly, Eviscerates lower your cooldowns by 10 seconds. That extra 10% damage from waiting for higher Insight will not outdo an additional cooldown later in the fight.

In Practice

Here’s how I’d use Killing Spree for Dragon Soul’s Heroic bosses, considering the tips above:

  • Morchok – Irrelevant since you should be running Subtlety. But if you’re Combat, use on cooldown.
  • Yor’sahj – Use on cooldown, especially if you can cleave off Black Ooze adds.
  • Zon’ozz – Use on cooldown, especially when Zon’ozz is near claw and towards the end when damage taken is highest.
  • Hagara – Use on cooldown, especially when near Ice Tombs (but be careful about getting stuck).
  • Ultraxion – Use on cooldown, but there should be a stars-align moment around the 60% mark that Deep Insight, Killing Spree, Orc (and other class?) racials, and your Agility potion align. Save KS for this.
  • Blackhorn – Use on cooldown, especially if adds are clumped up and can be cleaved.
  • Spine of Deathwing – Irrelevant since you should be running Subtlety.
  • Madness of Deathwing – Use on cooldown. This fight’s all kinds of messed up for Killing Spree and incorrect target swapping. Aim for using it against solo targets.


There’s a lot of depth to this seemingly simple ability. But hopefully this will ease your mind if you’re the type that just uses abilities as they pop up. You’re inadvertently optimizing DPS by executing more cooldowns overall, you unintentional genius!

And to those of you waiting for that planets-align moment, reconsider your approach. Much like love prospects, it’s better to make a move than wait for the perfect moment. Inaction can be fatal.


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