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Subtlety Rogue DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.1)

Last updated Today at 05:30 by Furty 216 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Subtlety Rogues in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Subtlety Rogue guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Furty who raids in Serenity, one of the top World of Warcraft guilds. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Kiwifruit one of the top parsing Subtlety Rogues.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Master of Subtlety ? Master of Subtlety Weaponmaster Weaponmaster Gloomblade Gloomblade
30 Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Shadow Focus Shadow Focus
45 Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Anticipation Anticipation Vigor Vigor
60 Soothing Darkness ? Soothing Darkness Elusiveness Elusiveness Cheat Death Cheat Death
75 Strike from the Shadows Strike from the Shadows Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak Tangled Shadow Tangled Shadow
90 Premeditation Premeditation Alacrity Alacrity Enveloping Shadows Enveloping Shadows
100 Master of Shadows Master of Shadows Marked for Death ? Marked for Death Death from Above ? Death from Above

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. Raid Encounters

This build is an excellent starting point as a standard raid setup.

2.1.1. Heavy Cleave & AoE

2.2. For General Use

This build is an excellent starting point for questing and general purpose usage.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Master of Subtlety ? Master of Subtlety Weaponmaster Weaponmaster Gloomblade Gloomblade

Tier 1 talents augment existing abilities with minor damage increases.

Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety has rough parity with Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster on pure single target. It may pull very slightly ahead in such situations, but as such fights are currently very limited it is generally better to play with Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster in most situations.

Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster has rough parity with Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety on a single target, and pulls definitively into the lead once 2 targets are present (once you are using Shuriken Storm Icon Shuriken Storm). This is our go-to talent on this tier as it excels in all scenarios and offers great flexibility.

Gloomblade Icon Gloomblade is actually a DPS loss on low armour targets if you can guarantee that the majority of your Backstab Icon Backstabs will come from behind the target. This talent is to be avoided.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Shadow Focus Shadow Focus

Tier 2 talents augment your Stealth Icon Stealth ability to provide a damage increase.

Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge is currently the only competitive option on this tier.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Anticipation Anticipation Vigor Vigor

Tier 3 talents augment your resource systems.

  • Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem increases maximum Combo Points to 6, allows finishing moves to consume 6 combo points, and increases the damage of finishing moves by 10%.
  • Anticipation Icon Anticipation increases maximum Combo Points to 8, but finishing moves still consume 5 combo points.
  • Vigor Icon Vigor increases your maximum Energy by 50 and increases Energy regeneration by 10%.

Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem is currently the best choice in all situations.

If you are a less seasoned Subtlety player, you may have an easier time learning to play the specialization using the Vigor Icon Vigor talent, as it reduces the impact of Energy pooling and allows you to focus on the rotational priorities. Once you've mastered the fundamentals you can swap over to Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Soothing Darkness ? Soothing Darkness Elusiveness Elusiveness Cheat Death Cheat Death

Tier 4 talents improve your personal survivability.

  • Soothing Darkness Icon Soothing Darkness allows you to regenerate 3% of your maximum life per second while Stealth Icon Stealth is active.
  • Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness causes Feint Icon Feint to also grant 30% reduced damage taken from all sources.
  • Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death causes fatal damage to instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health and grant 85% reduced damage taken for 3 seconds. Cheat Death cannot save you from damage great that double your maximum health.

Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death is a good choice for players in a raid environment, as it is entirely passive and great for soaking raid mechanics when needed. Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is technically the best talent in most situations, but requires you to be extremely proficient with Feint Icon Feint usage and very aware of incoming damage. Generally, Cheat Death is best for learning encounters and soaking high damage mechanics, whereas Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is great for sustained incoming damage, or soaking frequently occurring mechanics (such as Blood Ritual on Iron Maidens). Soothing Darkness Icon Soothing Darkness is a useful talent for questing and world content, but has no use in a practical environment.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Strike from the Shadows Strike from the Shadows Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak Tangled Shadow Tangled Shadow

Tier 5 talents improve your crowd control utility.

Either Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak or Strike from the Shadows Icon Strike from the Shadows is fine here. As a rule of thumb, Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak is the superior choice when the entire group is focusing one target, as everyone in the group benefits from the damage bonus. Strike from the Shadows Icon Strike from the Shadows is a better choice when the damage is a little more split, or the focused damage is less important, as it combines damage output with crowd control. This allows to you instantly burst on important targets, such as Inconceivable Horrors on Xavius, without wasting a global cooldown.

Tangled Shadow Icon Tangled Shadow could be useful for dealing with an add that the tank needs to kite, as it would result in a permanent 70% slow as long as you are attacking the target and Nightblade Icon Nightblade is active. There are no situations currently where this can be put into practice, however, and therefore this talent is to be avoided.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Premeditation Premeditation Alacrity Alacrity Enveloping Shadows Enveloping Shadows

Tier 6 talents involve potent passives and a new finisher.

Premeditation Icon Premeditation is a strong choice right now for most boss encounters as you will be casting a lot of Shadowstrike Icon Shadowstrikes. This is the go-to talent for encounters with 1-2 primary targets.

Alacrity Icon Alacrity is the best option for any sustained 3+ target cleave. A good choice for heavy cleave and/or Mythic+ dungeons.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Master of Shadows Master of Shadows Marked for Death ? Marked for Death Death from Above ? Death from Above

Tier 7 talents focus on resource utility and a powerful finishing move.

Master of Shadows Icon Master of Shadows is currently the best option for 1-4 target situations. It's important to ensure you avoid casting Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance or Vanish Icon Vanish with more than 70 Energy while playing with this talent, as this results in resource munching. Even with 5+ targets present this is the best option for focusing on the primary target while still dealing solid cleave damage.

Death from Above Icon Death from Above is the best option on sustained 5+ target cleave. It's important to note that this talent is a single target loss, so if the targets are not of equal priority it may be best to stick with Master of Shadows Icon Master of Shadows to focus the damage where it counts.

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death pulls ahead of the other options when there are several targets and opportunities to consistently exploit the reset mechanic. A good example of this is the Skorpyron encounter in Nighthold. This is also a good choice in Mythic+ dungeons.

10. ChangeLog

  • 06 Dec. 2016: Updated T1 talents (Weaponmaster>=MoS) and added a note about situational uses of Alacrity and Death From Above.
  • 11 Oct. 2016: Updated talent build and descriptions.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Updated Level 45, 75, 90, and 100 talent recommendations.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Tweaked Level 30 talent recommendations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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