Subtlety Rogue Guide

Welcome to the guide for Subtlety Rogue in 8.1. If you’re looking for a good introduction to playing Subtlety in Battle for Azeroth PvE, you’ve come to the right place.

8.1 does not bring too many changes to rogue. Subtlety gets hit with a small nerf to priority damage with the removal of Shuriken Combo and some minor trait rebalance.

Introduction

Subtlety is largely the same as it was in legion. The spec mainly lost some speed along the artifact weapon. It still offers great ability to feed multiple enemies into a priority target.

Talents

8.1 spices up the talent choises ever so slightly with the trait rebalance allowing us to try out talents we previously ignored.

Single Target

  • Level 15: Weapon Master or Find Weakness
  • Level 30: Nightstalker or Subterfuge or Shadow Focus
  • Level 45: Deeper Stratagem or Marked for Death
  • Level 60: Optional
  • Level 75: Optional
  • Level 90: Dark Shadow or Enveloping Shadows
  • Level 100: Master of Shadows

Multi Target(f.ex 5 man instances)

  • Level 15: Find Weakness
  • Level 30: Nightstalker or Shadow Focus
  • Level 45: Deeper Stratagem or Marked for Death
  • Level 60: Optional
  • Level 75: Optional
  • Level 90: Dark Shadow
  • Level 100: Secret Technique

You should always run a simulation of your character to check which talents are best for you.

Gearing & Stats

Gearing in Battle for Azeroth should be more straight forward. Blizzard is trying to make item level always be the deciding factor and limit your ways of obtaining loot by having only personal loot, and not allowing trading of all pieces. We still have our prefered stats, but they should not be as decisive as in legion.

“Stat Weights,” is a term you might have heard many times. What is actually being discussed, is scale factors, because they usually change the moment you change a piece of equipment. This is why we recommend that you sim your character to compare items rather than relying on weights.

For stats you should be aiming for the following:

Single Target

  • Agility
  • Critical Strike
  • Haste
  • Versatility
  • Mastery

Multi Target

  • Agility
  • Mastery
  • Critical Strike
  • Versatility
  • Haste

For your food buff while raiding you should use the primary stat Feast. If you’re unable to use a Feast, the food for the secondary stat that you’re scale factors says is highest.

For potions you should use Battle pot of Agility in all situations.

For your flask you should always use Flask of the currents.

For your ring enchants you should use the secondary stat that your scale factors says is highest.

For your weapon enchants you should use the two secondary stats that your scale factors says is highest rather than two of the same one.

Azerite Powers

These are some of the powers you want to aim for for the respected encounter styles. Take note that having at least one Uldir trait is more and more important the longer the tier goes on. At the same time said traits are not that impressive outside the raid due to their secondary effect only activating inside the raid instance.

Single Target

Outer Ring

  • The First Dance: Activating Shadow Dance grants you 2 Combo Points and increases your Haste for its duration.
  • Laser Matrix: Your spells and abilities have a chance to release a barrage of lasers, dealing Arcane damage split among all enemies and restoring health split among injured allies.
  • Inevitability: Backstab and Shadowstrike deal additional damage and extend the duration of your Symbols of Death by 0.5 sec.

Inner Ring

  • Heed My Call: Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Nature damage to your target, and to enemies within 3 yards of that target.
  • Overwhelming Power: Your damaging abilities have a chance to grant you 25 applications of Overwhelming Power. Each stack of Overwhelming Power grants Haste. An application of Overwhelming Power is removed every 1 sec or whenever you take damage.
  • Gutripper: Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Physical damage to the target. Gutripper occurs much more often against targets below 30% health.

Multi Target

Outer Ring

  • Night’s Vengeance: Nightblade increases the damage of your next Eviscerate within 8 sec.
  • The First Dance: Activating Shadow Dance grants you 2 Combo Points and increases your Haste for its duration.
  • Archive of the Titans: Your armor gathers and analyzes combat data every 5 sec, increasing your primary stat, stacking up to 20 times. The data decays while out of combat.

Inner Ring

  • Heed My Call: Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Nature damage to your target, and to enemies within 3 yards of that target.
  • Azerite Globules: Your damaging abilities have a chance to implant an Azerite Globule on your enemies. When an enemy collects 3 Azerite Globules, they explode, dealing Fire damage to nearby enemies.
  • Gutripper: Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Physical damage to the target. Gutripper occurs much more often against targets below 30% health.

For more information you can check out Herodamage for more traits or run a simulation for your character and the item(s) in question.

Rotation

Pre-Pull

  • 18 seconds on the pull timer, Marked for Death when talented
  • Potion
  • Shadow Blades

Pull

  • Shadowstrike
  • Nightblade
  • Shadow Dance
  • Symbols of Death
  • Shadowstrike until 4+ Combo Points(5+ with Deeper Stratagem)
  • Secret Technique when talented
  • Eviscerate when not talented into Secret Technique
  • Shadowstrike until 4+ Combo Points(5+ with Deeper Stratagem)
  • Eviscerate
  • Shadow Dance repeat
  • Vanish to refresh Find Weakness

Cool Downs

  • Symbols of Death on cool down
  • Vanish to refresh Find Weakness
  • Shadowblades on cool down
  • Secret Technique on cool down, preferably inside Shadow Dance
  • Marked for Death on cool down outside stealth at low combo points unless you can quickly reset it via a dying mob.

At 4-5 Combo Points or 5-6 Combo Points with Deeper Stratagem

  • Nightblade, refresh with 5.4 seconds remaining at 6 combo points, or 4.8 seconds remaining at 5 combo points, or 4.2 seconds remaining at 4 combo points
  • Secret Technique
  • Eviscerate

Builders Outside Shadow Dance

  • Shuriken Storm, if there are 2 or more targets
  • Backstab

Builders During Shadow Dance

  • Shuriken Storm, if there are 3 or more targets
  • Shadowstrike

Stealth and Shadow Dance Priorities

  • Vanish, when you need to refresh Find Weakness
  • Shadow Dance together with symbols of death, or when you are about to cap your charges

Cleave

  • Apply Nightblade to main target
  • Apply Find Weakness to main target, if it has high priority
  • Apply nightblade to remaining targets, if the they will live long enough
  • Eviscerate main target

AddOns & Macros

There isn’t really any hard requirements for AddOns you should use. You should look into using Weak Auras and/or an energy bar AddOn.

Weak Auras

You can find a number of Weak Auras available on wago.io.

Macros

There are a number of macros to help with Shadow Dance and abilities used with it.

Shadow Dance → Shadowstrike

#showtooltip
/cast Shadow Dance
/cast Shadowstrike

Shadow Dance → Shuriken Storm

#showtooltip
/cast Shadow Dance
/cast Shuriken Storm

You can also create copies that use /cast Vanish instead of Shadow Dance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do we do with Shadow dance?

  • The core idea of Shadow Dance is to maximise combo point generation. All forms of stealth allow you to cast Shadowstrike instead of Backstab which means you want to maximise the amount of Shadowstrikes during Shadow Dance without wasting combo points. This also means you do not want to enter Shadow Dance at high combo points or use Marked for Death during it.

Do I spam all my Shadow Dance charges on opener?

  • No and yes. You should use two of your Shadow Dance charges on the pull, which means using both charges for Dark Shadow build and leaving one charge for Enveloping Shadows build. After the opener you are looking to use a Shadow Dance every time Symbols of Death is up or to avoid capping your Shadow Dance charges.

Changelog

I’ll make a note of any changes to the guide and the date it was updated here if you want to come back in the future to check for changes.

Last updated: Wednesday, 11th Decembet 2018 – F for Shuriken Combo

Author

This guide has been written and is maintained by wEak. wEak has played rogue for over 10 years and is currently raiding with Memento. As well as maintaining this guide, wEak maintains the Ravenholdt Assassination guide and helps upkeep rogue profiles in simulationcraft.

If you have questions, please visit Ravenholdt Discord.