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Subtlety Rogue 7.2.5 PvE Guide

 
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Stimulation

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Post Posted: 02-04-2019, 00:46:43 | Translate post to: ... (Click for more languages)




Contents of this guide:
1) Introduction
2) Preferred races
3) Talent choices
4) Stats
5) Enchants and consumables
6) Legendaries
7) Primary rotation


1. Introduction
Greetings everyone, or more precisely, fellow friends from the shadows. With the newly arrived patch, we received a pretty HUGE buff on our Subtlety spec, so I decided to make the following guide for you folks. I hope you find it useful, and I hope it lets you stab your enemies more efficiently.

2. Preferred Races
Almost all of the races can be played as a Rogue (except Draenei and Tauren). I will list all of them and I will say a few words why it's better to or not to choose the certain race.

Pandaren (Moderate choice):
- Bouncy - You take half falling damage.
- Epicurean - Your love of food allows you to receive double the stats from Well Fed effects.
- Gourmand - Your Cooking skill is increased by 15.
- Inner Peace - Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long as normal.
- Quaking Palm - Strikes the target with lightning speed, incapacitating them for 4 sec, and turns off your attack.
Pandas are cute, yes, but they're probably not the most suitable Rogues. Half falling damage is useless since we are immune to such as Subtlety Rogues. The only nice bonus is the Epicurean effect, which gives you double food buff, which is a nice stat buff. And Quaking Palm, it may occasionally get some breathing room for the healer/tank, or save your life, but it is more useful in PvP situations.

A) Alliance:

Dwarf (Bad Choice):
- Explorer - You find additional fragments when looting archaeological finds and you can survey faster than normal archaeologists.
- Frost Resistance - Reduces Frost damage taken by 1%.
- Might of the Mountain - Critical strike bonus damage and healing increased by 2%.
- Stoneform - Removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects and reduces all physical damage taken by 10% for 8 sec.
Generally a Dwarf would be a bad choice for a Rogue, however you may get a bit of (not that much) a damage increase due to the 2% critical damage increase. Also, the Stoneform racial also provides a cleanse effect on you, which would be more effective in PvP situations where you would need to Vanish and not have your Stealth removed, although in some cases where there is a debuff that deals damage and needs to be removed, you can also use Stoneform there.

Gnome (Bad Choice):
- Arcane Resistance - Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.
- Engineering Specialization - Engineering skill increased by 15.
- Escape Artist - Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
- Expansive Mind - Maximum resource increased by 5%.
- Nimble Fingers - Haste increased by 1%.
As a Gnome, again, you will not receive any kinds of pluses as a Rogue, since Rogues do not need Haste. If you're looking for an advantage, again there is a slight PvP bonus here with Escape Artist, and of course, certain PvE cases, giving you a bit of mobility. Maximum Energy increased by 5%? Why not, but there are way better alternatives than having 5 more Energy.

Human (Bad Choice):
- Diplomacy - Reputation gains increased by 10%.
- Every Man for Himself - Removes all Stun effects. Shares a 90 second cooldown with other similar effects.
- The Human Spirit - You gain 2% more of all secondary stats (Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, Versatility) from all sources.
As a Human, you can only benefit from the 2% increase in secondary stats, although it isn't that much. Every Man for Himself is pretty much useless, since it shares it's cooldown, however it may come in handy in certain PvE cases.

Night Elf (Moderate Choice):
- Nature Resistance - Reduces Nature damage taken by 1%.
- Wisp Spirit - Increases movement speed while dead by 75%.
- Quickness - Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 2%, and your movement speed by 2%.
- Shadowmeld - Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect.
- Touch of Elune - Increases your Haste by 1% during the night. Increases your Critical Strike by 1% during the day.
Night Elves are somewhat a decent choice for a Rogue, although not the best one. 2% dodge is welcome to have, along with a useless 2% movement speed increase. Shadowmeld is what really gives a good bonus to Rogues, since combined with Stealth, it basically gives you an additional Vanish, which is really nice. Touch of Elune is practically useless - Haste increase? Nah, and 1% Critical? Yeah, whatever.

Worgen (Bad Choice):
- Aberration - Reduces Shadow and Nature damage taken by 1%.
- Darkflight - Activates your true form, increasing current movement speed by an additional 40% for 10 sec.
- Flayer - Skinning skill increased by 15 and allows you to skin faster.
- Viciousness - Increases critical strike chance by 1%.
In short, Worgens are a bad choice. Yeah, you get some additional mobility due to the mini-Sprint offered by Darkflight, and a 1% critical strike chance, but that's it.

B) Horde:

Blood Elf (Moderate Choice):
- Arcane Torrent - Silences and interrupts all enemies within 8 yards for 1.5 seconds and restore of your 15 Energy.
- Arcane Acuity - Increases critical strike chance by 1%.
- Arcane Affinity - Enchanting skill increased by 10.
- Arcane Resistance - Reduces Arcane damage taken by 1%.
So, 1% critical strike chance, yeah, whatever. The only good thing that you should consider here is the Arcane Torrent racial, which silences enemies near you, and also gives you a small Energy boost, which may result in a small damage burst. The silence effect is a nice interrupt addition.

Goblin (Bad Choice):
- Time is Money - Cash in on a 1% increase to Haste.
- Better Living Through Chemistry - Alchemy skill increased by 15.
- Rocket Barrage - Launches your belt rockets at an enemy, dealing (1 + Level * 2) fire damage.
- Rocket Jump - Activates your rocket belt to jump forward. Other effects which slow the rate of falling cannot be used within 10 sec after using this ability.
Probably the worst choice for Rogues. 1% Haste, nah. Useless damage ability, coupled with a small mobility ability with no serious pluses. In short - no.

Orc (Good Choice):
- Blood Fury - Increases melee and ranged attack power for 15 seconds.
- Hardiness - Duration of Stun effects reduced by an additional 20%.
This is probably the go-to when talking about Rogues. A 15-second damage buff, why yes sir. And a reduced duration on Stuns, not that it helps in PvE that much, but it is still a bonus.

Troll (Moderate Choice):
- Regeneration- Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
- Berserking - Increases your Haste by 15% for 10 sec.
- Da Voodoo Shuffle - Reduces the duration of all movement impairing effects by 20%. Trolls be flippin' out mon!
Now, here we wouldn't really want to go for Trolls, unless we will mainly play Outlaw, where the 15% Haste buff is welcome. A slight health regeneration increase, and a reduced movement reducing effects, why not, though not necessarily a game-breaker.

Undead (Good Choice):
- Cannibalize- When activated, regenerates 7% of total health and mana every 2 sec for 10 sec. Only works on Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yds. Any movement, action, or damage taken while Cannibalizing will cancel the effect.
- Shadow Resistance - Reduces Shadow damage taken by 1%.
- Touch of the Grave - Your attacks and damaging spells have a chance to drain the target, dealing 1932 to 2244 Shadow damage and healing you for the same amount.
- Will of the Forsaken - Removes any Charm, Fear and Sleep effect. This effect shares a 30 sec cooldown with other similar effects. Additionally, you can breathe underwater indefinitely.
Okay, here we do not really have much of a damage increase, but we do have survivability increase. Cannibalize is a really handy racial which gives you a self-heal ability, pretty decent when coupled with Crimson Vial and Bandages. Will of the Forsaken - removes Charm, Fear and Sleep effects, may really come in handy in certain situations. Touch of the Grave, well it's welcome to stay, although it is not really that much of a game-breaker.

In conclusion, I would go for Orcs, since they give a nice damage increase which really gives a decent burst. The other choice I would pick - Undeads, for that survivability increase, and if I had to choose a third race, that would be Pandas.

3) Talent choices

Tier level 15:



- Master of Subtlety - Attacks made while stealthed and for 5 seconds after breaking stealth cause an additional 10% damage.
- Weaponmaster - Your abilities have a 6% chance to hit the target twice each time they deal damage.
- Gloomblade - Punctures your target with your shadow-infused blade for 575 Shadow damage, bypassing armor.

Your go-to talent here is Master of Subtlety, because in the beginning, and more than 50% of the fight you'll be using either Stealth or Shadow Dance, so that means that you will basically have that 10% damage increase during half of the fight. Weaponmaster might be an alternative, but it is really random, so it is not very reliable. Gloomblade is not a good choice since we will mostly use Shadowstrike.

Tier level 30:



- Nightstalker - While Stealth or Shadow Dance is active you move 20% faster and your abilities deal 12% more damage.
- Subterfuge - Your abilities requiring Stealth can still be used for 3 seconds after Stealth breaks. Also increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 1 sec.
- Shadow Focus - Abilities cost 25% less Energy while Stealth or Shadow Dance is active.

Here again you basically have one choice only, and that is Nightstalker, since it increases damage during Shadow Dance, meaning more Eviscerate and Shadowstrike damage, and more damage on your opener. However, you may prefer to choose Subterfuge for a larger opener, but then again, overall damage is less. Shadow Focus, not going to comment that, just don't choose it.

Tier level 45:



- Deeper Stratagem - You may have a maximum of 6 combo points, your finishing moves consume up to 6 combo points, and your finishing moves deal 5% increased damage.
- Anticipation - You may have a maximum of 10 combo points. Finishers still consume a maximum of 5 combo points.
- Vigor - Increases your maximum Energy by 50 and your Energy regeneration by 10%.

Yet again, another tier where you have one choice, Deeper Stratagem. Since your main damaging ability will be Eviscerate, a combo points finisher, you would want it boosted as much as possible. Anticipation, well not really a good choice, as it really messes up rotation and Energy management. You might go with Vigor, but as I've said, you would want that finisher damage increase.

Tier level 60:



- Soothing Darkness - You heal 3% of your maximum life every 1 sec while Stealth or Shadow Dance is active.
- Elusiveness- Feint also reduces all damage you take from non-area-of-effect attacks by 30% for 5 seconds.
- Cheat Death - Fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 seconds afterward, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more often than once per 6 minutes.

Here it's all up to you. Soothing Darkness, a self-heal while in Stealth, basically you will not be in Stealth at all during encounters, so it's practically useless. Elusiveness, this is a nice addition to some AoE damage reduction, as it gives you some survivability in fights where you have a damage-over-time ability on you. Cheat Death I would say is the best one here as it can save you from getting one-shotted should you mess up mechanics.

Tier level 75:



- Strike from the Shadows - Shadowstrike also stuns your target for 2 seconds. Players are Dazed for 5 seconds instead.
- Prey on the Weak - Enemies disabled with your Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, or Sap take 10% increased damage from all sources.
- Tangled Shadow - Nightblade now decreases the target's movement speed by an additional 20%.

Here it's all up to you again, however I would say Prey on the Weak would be the best choice, as it speeds up clearing adds in Mythic+ dungeons. Strike from the Shadows is nice for an interrupt, but assuming that a large portion of the adds are immune to stun, and you won't be available to Shadowstrike that often, I wouldn't pick it. Same for Tangled Shadow, practically useless, unless you're in a situation where kiting is necessary.

Tier level 90:



- Dark Shadow - While Shadow Dance is active, all damage you deal is increased by 30%.
- Alacrity - Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to grant 2% Haste for 20 seconds, stacking up to 10 times.
- Enveloping Shadows - Deepening Shadows reduces the remaining cooldown of Shadow Dance by an additional 1.0 sec per combo point spent. Shadow Dance gains 1 additional charge.

This is a no-brainer - Dark Shadow. 30% increase, almost all the time. Considering that you will be having Shadow Dance up for more than 50% of the time, that means that you will have a 30% damage increase more than 50% of the time. Pretty neat, huh? Alacrity = Haste = useless. Enveloping Shadows, more frequent Shadow Dances, why not, but again, why not pick the 30% damage buff?

Tier level 100:



- Master of Shadows - Gain 25 Energy over 3 seconds when you enter Stealth or activate Shadow Dance.
- Marked for Death - Marks the target, instantly generating 5(6 if specced into Deeper Stratagem) combo points. Cooldown is reset if the target dies within 1 minute.
- Death from Above - Finishing move that empowers your weapons with shadow energy and performs a devastating two-part attack. You whirl around, dealing up to (440% AP) damage to all enemies within 8 yds, then leap into the air and Eviscerate your target on the way back down, with such force that it has a 50% stronger effect.

Here things get interesting. Master of Shadows - 25 Energy gain on Shadow Dances, meaning that it's a nice Energy boost, coupled with Symbols of Death, gives you a nice burst. Marked for Death, I wouldn't say that it has much of a purpose, maybe if you need a quick Eviscerate or a Nightblade refresh, but generally, not that much of a use. Death from Above - a nice AoE attack with another 50% (!!) damage increase on your main finisher - Eviscerate. Now that sounds like a good one.

So our final build will look something like this:




4) Stats
Stats-wise, you would want to go for Mastery and Critical Strike, and then Versatility. I would say that as much Mastery as possible, however if you're around 100%, you should be fine. Critical Strike, 25-30% will be fine for you. And once you hit those ranges, you go for Versatility. Mastery increases our finishers damage, Critical Strike increases your abilities damage, and Versatility increases our damage, so yeah, sounds logical enough.
Currently, my stats look like this, however I do not have a best-in-slot item in every slot:



5) Enchants and Consumables

A) Enchants:
Rings - here you can go for either Versatility or Mastery, or even Critical, depending on what you're lacking the most, so either +150 of any of those.
Neck - Mark of the Trained Soldier - +600 Mastery is basically the best neck enchant
Cloak - Binding of Agility - +200 Agility. Enough said.

B) Consumables:
Food - Nightborne Delicacy Platter - 375 Mastery, The Hungry Magister - 375 Critical, Seed-Battered Fish Platter - 375 Versatility. Like the enchants, pick the one you're lacking the most, or you wish to boost further.
Flask - Flask of the Seventh Demon - +1300 Agility
Potion - Potion of Prolonged Power - +2500 to all stats for a minute.


6) Legendaries

The best Legendaries for a Subtlety Rogue are:
- Mantle of the Master Assassin - Increases Critical Strike chance by 100% while in Stealth and for 6 seconds after breaking Stealth. Basically your opener will deal tons of damage, and you will get a bonus 6 seconds whenever you Vanish, so time your Vanishes with a Shadow Dance charge for maximum output.
- Shadow Satyr's Walk - Shadowstrike restores 3 Energy plus an additional 1 Energy for every 3 yd/yds between you and your target. This is not the best one, but it is a nice one to have until you get your second best-in-slot legendary.
- Denial of the Half Giants - Your finishing moves extend the duration of Shadow Blades by 0.3 sec for each combo point spent. This is your other best-in-slot legendary item. Basically Shadow Blades increases your combo points generated, which in turn lets you do more finishers, which in turn increases your Shadow Blades duration. Really nice.


7) Primary Rotation

Okay. Your rotation will consist mostly of Shadowstrikes/Backstabs and Eviscerates/Death from Above.
You will open with Shadow Blades > Shadowstrike > Backstab (until you reach 5 or 6 CPs, unless you haven't already) > Nightblade.
Once you've made your opener, you will start with your basic rotation, which is going to be Shadow Dance > Shadowstrike > Shadowstrike > Eviscerate > Shadowstrike. Now if you have the Tier 19 2-piece bonus, you can use Symbols of Death on the second Shadowstrike, to get a damage increase for the next phase, which will be your empowered Eviscerate.
The last phase, which will be done when you have a charge of Shadow Dance, Death from Above and Symbols of Death ready, will be like this: Make sure you have Nightblade up > Pop Death from Above > On the way down, use Shadow Dance + Symbols of Death + Vanish(for the Critical increase). This will lead to a massive Eviscerate damage hit, since you have 12% damage from Stealth, 30% damage from Dark Shadow, 15% from Symbols of Death, 15% from Nightblade, and 50% from Death from Above. Do the maths and that sums up to a MASSIVE Eviscerate.
At first it looks tricky to get used to, but once you do, you will find it really nice hitting bosses for tons of damage.
Hint: Make a macro for Shadow Dance, Symbols of Death, and Vanish, so that once you pop Death from Above, you will have those 3 up in one click.

For AoE situations it's simple - Shuriken Storm until you have maximum CPs and then Eviscerate. Rinse and repeat.


I hope you liked this guide, and I sure hope that it will help you like the gameplay of Subtlety Rogues and really boost your damage in these pesky encounters.



Subtlety Rogue Guide


Last edited by Stimulation on 02-04-2019, 15:12:04; edited 15 times in total
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