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Sub Rogue advanced rotation discussion and more

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Given the logs i checked recently for all bosses in EN heroic and normal for almost all dps specs (not only rogue), it seems sub rogues lack about 40k+ dps on average compared to lets say unholy DKs for most of the fights so maximising dps is essential if someone of our specc would want to not be stepped on by other "op" speccs in mythic raiding .Since there are no real advanced guides yet for sub rogues I am making this post so people can see some advanced tips for sub rogues and at the same time receiving feedback if anyone thinks i am missing something or saying something wrong.


-1.1:The first point i would like to make here is that i think it is a dps gain if you refresh nightblade on 6 seconds if you got finality but not when you dont have it. So when i dont have finality i refresh it at ~=1 sec so i dont lose much dps

-1.2:Regarding how i do my rotation and plan out my combo points(without hero/Shadow blades), when i have lets say just got out of SD and have around 30-40 energy i mostly wait only autoattacking expecting to get 1 cp from autoattacks while pooling energy and then at around 100+energy i SD-SS-SS-Finisher-SS-SS-wait for 1 cp -Finisher, this way i get 2 finishers with a single shadow dance pretty fast and i almost never run out of shadow dance charges in most Single target situations

-1.3:Shadow blades: I would really like to know how shadow blades are supposed to be used. It doesnt give any extra damage and the +1 cp ,given the above rotation, will make little difference in dps. I mostly use it when i have pooled like 150 energy and have no SD charges just as a SD recharge mechanism using only backstab to build CP. This way i recharge 1.5-2 SD charges.Is it actually worth it popping it on hero? I would appreciate feedback on this from anyone who knows a more wise way to use it.

-1.4:For aoe situations: With the recent changes for Sub they are pretty decent in aoe. The question i have is on how many targets is it worth it to ShurinkenSTorm instead of SS (in shadow dance state) to build cp. What i do on 3+(long living) targets is using storm to get CP and focus on keeping up nightblade on all targets.

2)Regarding the talents i am always using 1-2-3-1-1-1-1 on all bosses currently in EN. I have seen that the only discussable talent change would be Deeper stratagem over VIgor. I prefer VIgor not only because it leaves for a bigger error window in the rotation but also because i cant see how Deeper stratagem is preferred by some people over Vigor. I mean according to logs i see many people on high % ranks with Deeper stratagem but me myself cant rly figure out how it plays out so good for them. So i have some questions

-2.1:Are you aiming always for 6 cp finishers?

-2.2:What happens if you want to refresh Symbols with only 100 max energy? For me it doesnt work out good because most times i lose like 1 second(or 1 shadowstrike) of SD from the lack of energy.Whereas with vigor it just fits perfect on the rotation as i have said above.If there is anyone using deeper stratagem and is really sure about his rotation give some feedback over it i would appreciate it 

I would appreciate any feedback on any of the topics. My logs are these https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/character/3156255/latest

Make sub rogues great again! :P

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I don't have all the answers, since I'm myself re-learning Sub, but here's what I think/do:

1.1 I'll test that tonight later on a dummy.

1.2 From my observation, I usually tend to not wait for the Shadow Techniques proc right now. It takes a good chunk of time, time I could have Backstabbed and pumped another Evisc/NB and reduced my Shadow Dance CD. I play myself with Deeper Strat, so I tend to throw an extra SS (which is a heavy hitter) during SD windows and throw away 1 CP (if Shadow Techniques proc).

1.3 Shadow Blades IS a DPS gain because it increases your CP gen AND makes your melee strikes shadow (i.e. ignore armor), thus making your damage increase. You should pop together with your Shadow Dance, which is a increased regen moment (given you took Master of Shadows talent). You should be Dancing during Hero too.

1.4 +3 targets, +2 if you have the Second Shuriken trait. If they're long living targets, pump some Nightblade on them. I don't think you can Nightblade back to back 3 times using Deeper Stratagem, so I'd throw 2 on the non-focused ones and pump Eviscs on the main party target.

2. In a raid environment, I don't see proper usage of Soothing Darkness over the versatility of Elusiveness. You won't last in stealth enough time to proc a decent heal compared to the damage you would avoid losing with Feint talented. Strike from the Shadows... Adding a stun component on a DPS tool that'll make your mob DR'd in 3 hits - not worth in my book. But then we got 10% OVERALL damage (raid damage) for a stunned mob... This would be more worth for me. Vigor is an okay talent - as you said, it gives you a wiggle room, whereas Deeper Strat is somewhat more punishing (me myself am wasting too many CPs due to not being able to control properly my dances).

2.1 Yes.

2.2 Why would you want to refresh only @ 100 energy? Sometimes you won't be able to fit 4 SS in a Dance (and I believe you aren't able to do so right now due to haste levels in gear) because you're using one "GCD" worth of energy to rebuff. Normally I can fit 3 SS, and I pop SD on 60 energy, because MoS would fill the rest and the GCD used would be the time to Shadowstrike and avoid capping.


I took like 4 hours to write this because I'm @ work and I haven't had enough opportunities to check the whole, but I'll give a look @ them later. xD


Quick edit:

There isn't exactly an opener because we got some RNG involved on it (Energetic Stabbing and Shadow Techniques). But for early pointers, basically you're supposed to keep your buff/debuffs up, DO NOT pop Shadow Dance before Subterfuge ends, pop Vanish early (so it can refresh earlier) and pop Goremaw's Bite early on low energy AND with Shadow Blades active, to get an extra CP. It's a bit of feeling, but you'll get it.


Sub Rogues ARE great. It's just that you didn't see them yet. :P

Edited by lipsinch

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I appreciate your reply and here are my thoughts about the topics:

1.1: I have tested it and it works, the refreshed Nightblade with finality at 5-6 sec actually gives 21-22 sec Nightblade with +20% dmg 

1.2: How are you doing with SD uptime?It seems pretty unforgiving and unless the raid has a really solid tactic and you know exactly when and what you are doing then it might be a loss

1.3: Oh i see,i didnt notice that :P

1.4: I agree on that

2:Regarding talents i totally agree about soothing darkness i didnt even notice it :P. I am mostly using Cheat Death on bosses that dont have single target damage mechanics for dps eg. Il'gynoth and feint on fights like ursoc in case i get charge on me or Nythendra for rot. Also strike from the shadows is pretty decent in fights like Xavius because you can passively stun the little adds that approach him.

2.2:I have tested what you said and i think the best case scenario that you want to pursue is this.

-Have atleast 2 CP and 60 energy before popping SD

-SS->SS->Finisher->SS->SS(?). If the finisher is nightblade then you can cast 4 SS in a single shadow dance and generate a total of 8 CP without depending on energetic stabbing which is really good, but if the finisher is Eviscerate then you are dependant on energetic stabbing procc in order to get that 4th SS.I tested this with 852ilvl and only 4% haste

-It seems that you will do the same thing with vigor and will actually benefit from the +10% finisher so i guess for ST fights that you can control rotation almost perfectly it may aswell be better for higher skillcaps. So i guess at some haste breakpoint it will be possible to make it completely independent of energetic stabbing.

3: About sub rogues being great compare this https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/10#boss=1853&class=Rogue&spec=Subtlety

to this https://www.warcraftlogs.com/rankings/10#boss=1853&class=Druid or any other meele dps spec for that matter :P , You will see we are undertuned atleast for low ilvls but i believe we will scale pretty well with gear

Any other tips are appreciated :P

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The extra combo point is like increasing your base damage on your finishers, which gets multiplied by all your stats( attack power, mastery, crit). the 10% energy regeneration is all vigor is just another multiplier, and being able to pool to 150 isn't some massive dps increase. It's an extra shadwostrike every other dance basically with longer pool time. What works for me on the target dummy is usually what I end up going with...

Another thing that's nice about Deeper strat is that it's also kind of a poor mans anticipation, meaning you can still do 5 combo point finishers and get energy refunded energy by relentless strikes. Lots of times i've used a finisher at 5 combo points and watch it fill up to 6 mid animation/key press. With vigor, I don't like how you don't have any efficient options during dance with 4 combo points, the only thing you can do is make sure that you never have 4 combo points during dance by premeditating every dance with 1 combo point. Which also means every dance you're going to be losing your shadow technique combo points during that execution.

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On 29/09/2016 at 10:28 PM, Ysondrae said:

1.2: How are you doing with SD uptime?It seems pretty unforgiving and unless the raid has a really solid tactic and you know exactly when and what you are doing then it might be a loss

Shadowstrike is a teleport, which makes it a lot easier to hit even while the boss is moving

You aren't meant to have SD running all the time, you want to prioritise it for either important adds or burst damage windows. You don't want it to cap, however, which is why we recommend using it when you're about to reach 3 charges

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Adding up on Carrn's info, you should spend a charge to maintain Symbols of Death whenever it's going to fall. Watch for when bursting to end up without a charge and unable to refresh due to lack of CDs.

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What i meant about SD uptime wasnt ofc to have it up all the time because that is a dps loss, what i meant was having it frequent enough without depleting the charges. With my rotation as i described i can almost always SD like 5-6 sec after the previous SD has ended(which is perfect with Master of Subtlety  talent almost having 100% uptime) and keeping up the rotation and SD charges for the full encounter, ofc referring to encounters like ursoc or nytherndra which are ST. :p

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