PvE Subtlety : What's new?

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Hello roguely buddies, I've got some information I want to confirm about raiding Subtlety. I've been pulled out of raiding retirement by Akraen, and my knowledge of Subtlety mechanics dates back to Dragon Soul. From what I can tell not a lot has changed, however I just want to make sure.

If any of the following facts are wrong or there are facts missing, please point them out:

SnD: 100% uptime

Rupture: 100% uptime

Recuperate: No longer necessary for Energetic Recovery (that makes things easier)

Find Weakness: Maximum uptime possible, can't avoid clipping during shadow dance, but avoid clipping with extra cooldowns like vanish and prep-vanish.

Shadowstep: No longer ups Ambush damage, not a damage cooldown (that makes things easier)

These are things I'm less sure about:

Cooldown overlapping: Shadow Blades overlapping with Find Weakness seems like a waste to me. However, if I'm playing properly, Find Weakness should be up a lot of the time. Does that make it not matter when I hit Shadow Blades? Should I pair it with Shadow Dance or offset them?

Hemo Bleed: Is this something we still have to keep up 100% of the time? 

Stealth opener vs. vanish opener: My thinking is that the very beginning of the fight would start with a Garrote to get the bleed ticking right away, and vanish openers would use Ambush instead. Is this correct, or is it better to open the fight with Ambush?

Combo point ruptures: Is it more important to roll 5 point ruptures or to have 100% rupture uptime?

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got it for the most part. shadow blades use during find weakness increased shadow damage, just remember only works out of auto attack damage so dont use it during Shadow dance no point since your spamming Ambush. 100% uptime on rupture for energy regen, and 100% uptime on SND for faster hiting. Hemo bleed is easy to keep up. increases rupture dmg by 50% and the damage you deal to targets effected by rupture so yes 100% uptime is good. try and always 5 point ruptures. but if it is about to fall off, use whatever you have to keep it up. use weakauras to keep track of how long until it falls and prepare for the next one. pretty much is a simple rotation as long as you can keep almost 95% uptime behind the boss. also never open with garrote ambush only because rupture gives energy back and having both up does not do anything special, also starting with ambush gives the debuff along with more CP

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"It is a small DPS increase to keep the wow_icon_spell_shadow_lifedrain.jpg Hemorrhage bleed on your target, but you should wait until it has dropped from the target before refreshing it. It should also be noted that this bleed highly relies on the initial damage of Hemorrhage, so it may be better to delay it for a few seconds if you are about to gain wow_icon_ability_rogue_findweakness.jpg Find Weakness or another damage increase. For similar reasons, you can also refresh wow_icon_spell_shadow_lifedrain.jpg Hemorrhage early if you benefit from a large increase in your damage done."


Rupture: Sanguinary Vein is a passive ability that increases the damage of your wow_icon_ability_rogue_rupture.jpg Ruptureability by 50% and that causes you to deal 35% increased damage to enemies afflicted bywow_icon_ability_rogue_rupture.jpg Rupturewow_icon_ability_rogue_garrote.jpg Garrote, or wow_icon_inv_knife_1h_cataclysm_c_05.jpg Crimson Tempest (your AoE Finishing Move).

The most obvious implication of having this passive ability is that wow_icon_ability_rogue_rupture.jpg Rupture should always be on the target, so that you always deal 20% increased damage. If wow_icon_ability_rogue_garrote.jpg Garrote or wow_icon_inv_knife_1h_cataclysm_c_05.jpg Crimson Tempest are already on the target, then you do not need to apply wow_icon_ability_rogue_rupture.jpg Rupture.

Another, less obvious implication is that you can use wow_icon_ability_rogue_garrote.jpg Garrote for breaking out of Stealth at the pull. This will instantly grant you a 18-second duration on Sanguinary Vein (and during this time, you do not need to apply or refresh wow_icon_ability_rogue_rupture.jpg Rupture).


Note the line "Rupture should always be on the target". I guess 100% uptime is more important than 5 CP. Obviously 5 CP will mean you have to refresh it less often, but if you only have 3 CP and it's about to drop, refresh it.


And the last paragraph about opening with garrote.


Find Weakness + Shadow Blades:


As a general rule, avoid using wow_icon_inv_knife_1h_grimbatolraid_d_03 Shadow Blades when wow_icon_ability_rogue_findweakness.jpg Find Weakness is up. The reason for that is that part of wow_icon_inv_knife_1h_grimbatolraid_d_03 Shadow Blades will be wasted, as your auto-attacks bypass 100% of your enemy's armor during wow_icon_ability_rogue_findweakness.jpg Find Weakness (so them dealing pure Shadow damage would not be an improvement). As a result, you want to avoid casting Shadow Blades and wow_icon_ability_rogue_shadowdance.jpg Shadow Dance at the same time.

An exception to this rule is when casting Shadow Blades during Find Weakness would enable you cast Shadow Blades more times during the encounter.




  1. Cast wow_icon_ability_rogue_garrote.jpg Garrote.
  2. Cast wow_icon_ability_rogue_ambush.jpg Ambush as many times as possible (usually twice).
    • It should be possible thanks to Energetic Recovery and wow_icon_rogue_subterfuge.jpg Subterfuge.
    • Extra Combo Points will be stored, thanks to wow_icon_ability_rogue_slaughterfromthes Anticipation.
  3. Continue with your normal rotation...



This is after pre-pot and Tricks.


I highly recommend reading the guide on this site. It seems to answer all of your questions, and maybe more


I haven't played sub in a while, but I found the assassination and combat guides to be excellent. 


+1 for WeakAuras, too

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I have inclined to try sub for a while but tbh many posts here and IV guide put me off as it feels too much work. Perhaps because i'm not familiar with it..


I'm mostly gemming for agi+haste for my gear (combat) - is this also viable for sub ?

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As a quick experiment I loaded my character into ShC, set up a combat spec with my current gear, gemmed for haste, and auto-reforged. I have a slow main hand and fast dagger in the off-hand.


Switching to sub:


Using the same gems, reforges, and switching the weapons over: I'll call it 100 %, because the actual number I get isn't that important.


Asking ShC to auto-reforge actually doesn't change anything for me. My stat weightings for each spec are as follows



Haste 1.548
Mastery 1.331
Crit 1.290
Haste 1.627
Crit 1.561
Mastery 1.468


Mastery and crit are pretty close for both, but ShC doesn't touch anything when I change to sub.


Optimizing gems: changes them from agi+haste for red and pure haste for yellow, to pure agi and agi+haste. For a grand total of 100.7 %


Reforging with the new gems: ShC says to do nothing again.


You might like to try with your own combat gear, but if I were to play combat and wanted to switch to sub, I wouldn't bother changing gems for a 0.7 % difference.


Conversely, using the subtlety gems and switching to combat...


Base rating = 100 %

Switching to combat gems = 100.5 %


It seems that it would be better for me to use sub gems and suffer a smaller loss in combat, but I would be surprised if either difference was noticeable during actual gameplay.

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Hey thank you !

I will give it a go , perhaps not on our progress night but may be at LFR or Flex raid.


I have been playing combat for ages - as such i can play it with closed eyes and do still good dps (but would stand on fire ;P)

and we have good aoe dps in our team (spriest, warlock, ele shaman etc) so it would be beneficial to the raid overall given that i 'd play it to the full potential

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