Subtlety Rogue guide

Notice: Shadowlands is in active development. This means information provided by this Guide are subject to change.

Quick note about the pre patch:

What does not work in the pre patch:
Corruption will get disabled in pre patch.
Black Powder, Black Powder Rank 2 (rank 2) and Shuriken Storm Rank 2 (rank 2) are not available because of the level requirements.

Azerite and Essence choices:
It is likely that we opt into using one or more The First Dance traits, one Inevitability and fill the rest with generic ones .

Essences could also potentially change. Crucible of Flame could become a strong contender and take a place in a major but more likely minor Essence slot, Lucid Dreams will remain a strong minor Essence pick. Raidbots is updated with the changes and allows you to simulate the best combination.


Single target:
Note: Nightstalker will remain the stronger choice in the pre patch because of Lucid Dreams.

Single Target Talents

Mythic+ / Cleave:

M+ Talents

AoE (5+ targets):

AoE Talents

Gameplay Loop and Opener:

The gameplay revolves around stacking damage amplifiers. The main cooldown is Shadow Dance. It allows you to replace the weak builder Backstab with Shadow Strike. In practice this means you will try to use Symbols of Death on cooldown and align Shadow Dance to it.
Combo point generators follow the following order:

Shadowstrike during Shadow Dance, Stealth or Vanish.
Backstab if you are outside of Shadow Dance.
Use Shuriken Storm instead of Backstab if you have 2 or more targets.
Use Shuriken Storm instead of Shadowstrike if you have 3 or more targets. (4 if the Premeditation buff up or if you use the Akaaris Soul Fragment Legendary Power in combination with higher Deeper Dagger ranks)
Note: Use Shadowstrike to apply Find Weakness to additional targets in 2 or 3 target cleave situations.

Use a finishing move if you hit 5(4 if talented in VigorMarked for Death or on exactly 4 targets) or more Combo Points. Finishing move split into two categories. maintenance and direct damage finishers. You usually want to keep your maintenance buffs/dots up 100% of the time while shifting the use of your maintenance spells outside of Symbols of Death..
This means you will use your finishing moves under the following conditions:

Use Slice and Dice if its not up or you are within pandemic.
Use Rupture if Slice and Dice is up, if there is no Rupture on the target, Rupture can be refreshed and if the target survive at least 15 seconds.
Use Rupture if Symbols of Death comes off cooldown soon and the remaining duration is to low to cover the entire cooldown duration.
Use Eviscerate if Slice and Dice and Rupture are up.
Use Secret Technique instead of Eviscerate if you are talented into it and  if its not on cooldown.
Use Black Powder instead of Eviscerate if Secret Technique is on cooldown or if you have 3 or more targets.
Stop using(drop) Rupture and  Slice and Dice if you have 6 or more targets.

Cooldown Usage:
Use Symbols of Death On Cooldown
Use Shadow Dance during Symbols of Death with low Combo Points or if you are about to cap on charges.
Use Vanish on cooldown.
Use Shadow Blades on cooldown.
Have Instant Poison applied at all times.

With Premeditation:
Shadow Strike -> Rupture -> Shadow Blades + Symbols of DeathSchadow Dance -> Shadow Strike -> …

Without Premeditation:
Shadow Strike -> Slice and Dice -> Shadow Blades + Symbols of Death + Shadow Dance -> Shadow Strike -> Shadow Strike -> Rupture -> …


Kyrian is currently our strongest pick with Night Fae and Necrolord slightly behind but fairly close to each other. Venthyr is currently not working.

Bone SpikeApply Bone Spike to every target as soon as possible if the target survives for at least 20 seconds. Use Bone Spike else if you are about to cap on charges. Use Bone Spike right after applying Slice and Dice (after the initial Shadow Strike with Premeditation) in the opener sequence.
SepsisUse Sepsis on cooldown. Right after Symbols of Death in the opener sequence.
FlagellationUse Flagellation on cooldown. Reactivate it on 30 stacks or if the debuff is about to run out. Apply it right after using Slice and Dice in the opener.
Echoing ReprimandUse Echoing Reprimand on cooldown. During Shadow Dance in the opener sequence.

Covenant Conduits:
The Covenant Conduits don’t seem to compete with the stronger Potency Conduits.

Night Fae – Sepsis ShockThe impact of this is rather low.
Necrolord – Sudden FracturesBone spike can not Critical Strike. This Conduit in essence does allow it to do so but has far to low numbers to make it relevant.
Venthyr – Slaughter ScarsOnly works on the initial hit currently what is likely a bug but makes it not desirable.
Kyrian – ReverberationIs the Strongest of the conduit choices but is still behind  Stiletto

Potency Conduits:
The majority of our Potency Conduits are passive. The only one with a potential rotational impact is Perforated Veins.

The priority is:
Planed ExecutionStiletto >= Perforated Veins >= Deeper Dagger

Deeper DaggerEviscerate benefit from it always because the buff triggers before the Find Weakness shadow damage part. The Conduit currently increases all shadow damage what is likely unintended.
Perforated VeinsIt becomes better to consume the buff once you hit 3 stacks during Shadow Dance on higher Conduit ranks if you talent into Gloomblade.
Planed ExecutionProbably loses value if you use the Mark of the Master Assassin legendary power.
StilettoIs a decent choice but can’t compete with Deeper Dagger or Planed Execution.


Legendary Items:
Akaaris is the best pick on single target fights. Finality becomes stronger in m+/cleave situations and Mark of the Master Assassin is the best pick for Mythic plus.

Akaaris Soul FragmentIs a solid choice on single target fights.
Mark of the Master AssassinGains a lot of value in Mythic+ because you can use Stealth between pulls to get a higher uptime. You want to use Vanish during Symbols of Death when using this Legendary Power. Don’t use Vanish if the Mark of the Master Assassin buff is up. Is probably less desirable with 2 sec uptime.
FinalityBecomes the better choice in Cleave situations and is very strong in AoE. Premeditation becomes the better talent choice even on single target when playing with this Legendary power.
The RottenIs competitive with Finality on single target but does not work well in Cleave or AoE
Deathly ShadowsCompete with Mark of the Master Assassin . You want to use Vanish during Symbols of Death when using this Legendary Power.
Essence of BloodfangIs currently not tuned high enough to compete
Invigorating ShadowdustIs a interesting alternative to Mark of the Master Assassin in combination with the Night Fae Covenant

Secondary Stat Prioritization:
Versatility > Critical Strike > Mastery > Haste

Secondary Stat Plot (no Legendary Power, no Soulbinds, no Covenants):
Single target:



Shadow Dance + Shadowstrike: Use this macro if you use one key bind for Shadow Strike and Backstab.
#showtooltip Shadow Dance
/cast [stance:0] Shadow Dance
/cast Shadowstrike

Shadow Strike/Backstab:
#showtooltip Shadowstrike
/cast [bonusbar:1] Shadowstrike; Backstab; Gloomblade

Secret Technique/Tornado:
/cast [talent:7/2] Secret Technique
/cast [talent:7/3] Shuriken Tornado

#showtooltip Sap
/cast Pick Pocket
/cast [combat] Kidney Shot
/cast Sap

Can i pick Premeditation instead of Weaponmaster on Single Target?
The different is usually low enough to pick Premeditation as a more consistent choice. Legendary powers like Akaaris Soul Fragment or The Rotten will make the difference more noticeable and should make Premeditation the obvious weaker pick.

I am Fuu(fuu#7750), Rogue Theorycrafter since Legion. If you got additional questions, found mistakes or want to have something covered in the guide send me a DM on discord. You can do this by clicking on this link.