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Subtlety Rogue DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated on Aug 29, 2016 at 14:34 by Furty 108 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Subtlety Rogues in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. 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.

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 is the default choice for all situations, as it results in a predictable and consistent increase in damage during all important windows of burst. Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster is very close behind, but falls just a little short. 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.

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. Vigor Icon Vigor is not far behind, and can be useful for situations where AoE is a factor (where finishers are less important).

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. I personally prefer Strike from the Shadows Icon Strike from the Shadows as it combines damage output with crowd control which allows to you instantly burst on important targets such as Infernals on Archimonde 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 the strongest choice right now as you will be casting a lot of Shadowstrike Icon Shadowstrikes when using this talent build. Alacrity Icon Alacrity is not far behind, and can be valuable in situations with heavy AoE, as you will be casting more Shuriken Storm Icon Shuriken Storms instead of Shadowstrike Icon Shadowstrikes.

Enveloping Shadows Icon Enveloping Shadows is a little lacklustre as Combo Points typically are not a major limitation of Subtlety. For every 5 Combo Point Enveloping Shadows, you gain 10 Combo Points over 30 seconds (which results in only +5 Combo Points). When you compare 5 Combo Points over 30 seconds with the extra combo points from Premeditation Icon Premeditation or the 20% passive Haste from Alacrity Icon Alacrity it is easy to see why this ability is very weak currently.

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.

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death is currently the best choice for single target and cleave. This ability shines best in situations where you can take full advantage of the reset mechanic. On heavy and sustained AoE, Death from Above Icon Death from Above is a little better, but when in doubt always go with Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death. Master of Shadows Icon Master of Shadows is not a terrible choice, but it is not as strong as the other options currently.

10. ChangeLog

  • 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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