Subtlety Guide

This guide will give you the basic tools for playing Subtlety in Legion.

For more advanced guides, check the More Guides tab.


Tier 15 talents

  • Master of Subtlety is usually the best option in this tier
  • Gloomblade can be an option depending on your setup. Especially likely if you are going for LOTR build


Tier 30 talents

  • If you are using T20 4 p, Nightstalker is the best option most of the time
  • If you are using T21 4 p, you might want to simulate Shadow Focus


Tier 45 talents

Tier 60 talents

  • The best choice for this tier is situational


Tier 75 talents

  • The best choice for this tier is situational

Tier 90 talents

Tier 100 talents

Like the other rogue specs, Subtlety’s “rotation” is a priority system based on generating and spending Combo Points. There are various factors that influence when to build and when to spend, including cooldown availability and buff time, which legendaries you are using, and how many targets you are facing. Subtlety is very reliant on precise timing, understanding how your abilities synergize, and the ability to plan your approach to the fight to optimize use of all abilities.

Using a few ability macros will go a long way towards optimizing your timing (see Macros section) and a good understanding of the DfA Combo (see Combo Point Spenders section) is key to achieving the best from your Subtlety rogue.

If you are using the The First of the Dead legendary gloves, your Combo Point generation will be affected to a great degree. You will notice that the Opener and Rotation sections are divided to accommodate this.



Combo Point Generators

Outside Shadow Dance

Inside Shadow Dance

Combo Point Spenders

In general you want to finish at 5+ while Shadow Blades is up and at 6 when Shadow Blades is down.


Death from Above:

DfA Combo: use Death from Above and then spam Shadow Dance while you are in the air. The idea is to have the Eviscerate part of Death from Above benefit from Shadow Dance.

Save Death from Above for when Symbols of Death comes off cooldown. Have at least 1 charge of Shadow Dance available.

Shadow Dance can be used prior to Death from Above if there are 5 or more targets around you and your goal is do maximize area damage and not focus on a single target.



Then following up with Death from Above



Shadow Dance + Shadowstrike

 /cast Shadow Dance
 /cast Shadowstrike

Shadow Dance + Shuriken Storm

 /cast Shadow Dance
 /cast Shuriken Storm

Burst AoE:

#showtooltip Vanish
 /cast Shadow Dance
 /cast Vanish
 /cast Symbols of Death

Follow this with Shuriken Storm.


As a baseline, you can use the following stat priority :

  1. Agility
  2. Versatility
  3. Mastery
  4. Critical Strike
  5. Haste

Stat weights are very dependent on your gear. Go to Raidbots to find the stats that are best for you. There are no soft or hard caps for stats for Subtlety.

Tier Sets

Aim for tier pieces that have no haste on them. Also depending on your talents you might want to use different combinations of T20 and T21 such as 2+2, 2+4 or 0+4


The most used build:

If you need to do more AoE, replace The First of the Dead with one of the following:

There is also a combination called Lord of the Rings that involves two pieces from T20, four pieces from T21 and legendaries as follows:

Relics and Trinkets

Always simulate yourself to figure out which relics and trinkets work best for you.

For the latest class sims, check out Hero Damage.

The CrucibleWeights addon is very convenient for helping you optimize your relics. Hero Damage provides an import string for the addon.

Bloodytrinkets also has trinket sims which you may find useful.



Neck enchant:

Rings enchants:

  • Sim yourself and pick the enchant for your best secondary stat

Cloak enchant:

How Does Finality Work?

When you use Eviscerate or Nightblade, if you do not have a Finality buff for that finisher you will gain a Finality buff that will increase the damage of the same finisher next time to use it.

The damage percentage of the buff depends on how many combo points were spent on the finisher. It is 4% increased damage per combo point. So for a 5 combo point finisher you would generate a 20% increased damage Finality buff, or if you’re talented into Deeper Stratagem and finish with 6 combo points you would generate a 24% increased damage buff.

For advanced play or a different perspective, check out these guides:


1/12/2018: General update

12/22/2017: Replaced Openers and Rotation with Dealing Damage thanks to input from fuu and skwiggle

12/15/2017: Removed Quick-Start, added More Guides

12/14/2017: rewritten by Paryah