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Update: the Subtlety pre-patch guide is ready and you can check it out here:
Subtlety Rogue Shadowlands Guide
Subtlety Rogues didn't get a large number of changes in the pre-patch and Shadowlands, but they have been improved from their Battle for Azeroth days! Our own Ashine takes a look at the rather disappointing Covenant choices, some good baseline ability and mechanical changes, talents, as well as legendaries and conduits!
Exciting Changes for Subtlety Rogues in Shadowlands
One of the new features in Shadowlands is Covenants, which sadly do not impact Subtlety game play much, apart from most of them just feeling like Combo Point generators. The good news is that Subtlety is getting a bunch of mechanical changes in the expansion.
Find Weakness has been removed as a talent and is now a passive. Now causes Cheap Shot and Shadowstrike to apply the debuff when casted from Stealth. It also has interaction with Backstab and Shuriken Storm - Shuriken Storm critical strikes apply Find Weakness for 6 seconds and Backstabs have the same function except you have to be behind the target. Shadow Dance now has 1 charge baseline, the duration is increased from 5 to 8 seconds and it now increases the damage you do by 15%. Eviscerate now deals additional 50% shadow damage if the target has Find Weakness debuff. Nightblade has been removed and replaced by Rupture, which is for the most part the same button, except that you do not do increased damage to targets with your Rupture active. This is a very welcome change as target swapping as Subtlety Rogue always felt little bit awkward. Symbols of Death now also causes your next Combo Point generator to Critically strike.
Black Powder. Subtlety gets a new AoE Combo Point spender without cooldown and, like Eviscerate, it does additional Shadow damage if targets hit are affected by Find Weakness. Poisons. Subtlety now has access to Numbing Poison, Wound Poison, Instant Poison and Crippling Poison. Numbing Poison and Crippling poison are non-lethal poisons while Wound Poison and Instant poison are lethal. You can have one lethal and one non-lethal active. Slice and Dice makes its return. A Combo Point spender maintenance buff, which has interaction with the Shadow Techniques passive as Subtlety will now get more Combo Points due to increased attack speed. Rank 2 of Slice and Dice, which is unlocked at Level 56 also increases Energy regeneration by 10%. Shiv. Applies 70% slow to your target for 5 seconds.
New and Changed Talents
Find Weakness made into baseline passive and replaced by Premeditation which causes your Shadowstrikes cast from stealth grant up to 10 seconds of Slice and Dice and generate 2 additional Combo Points if Slice and Dice is active. Dark Shadow now increases your damage dealt while in Shadow Dance to 30%. Substantial nerf as Shadow Dance now increases your damage by 15%.
Venthyr Ability - Flagellation - 25 second CD
Lash the target with Anima 3 times, dealing Shadow damage. They remain tormented for 45 seconds, causing a lash for each Combo Point you spend, dealing Shadow damage.
Once the target has been lashed at least 25 times, reactivating Flagellation cleanses their torment, increasing your Mastery by 10% for 25 seconds.
An extra debuff and buff to keep track of which is nothing too exciting, however it has some synergy in AoE situations as it does scale with Combo Point generation. Can also be manipulated to use whenever you want slightly more burst which is nice.
Night Fae Ability - Sepsis - 1.5 min CD
Infect the target's blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer additional damage and you Vanish from sight. Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration.
On its own, the ability is fairly weak, as Vanish is a very minor DPS gain for Subtlety. However, Master Assassin's Mark and Deathly Shadows are new Legendaries in Shadowlands which have synergy with Vanish. This ability is also fairly annoying to use in open world content as Vanishing causes mobs on you to reset.
Kyrian Ability - Echoing Reprimand - 45 sec CD
Deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points.
Currently the strongest covenant ability for Subtlety Rogues. One of your Combo Points will become marked as Animacharged and the goal is to cast a finisher with that amount of Combo Points and, if possible, stack as many damage multipliers to get the most out of the 7 Combo Point finisher. This is one of the more interesting Rogue Covenant abilities, however you only do it once every 45 seconds which means it does not have too big of an impact on the rotation.
Necrolord Ability - Serrated Bone Spike - 30 sec recharge, 3 charges
Apply a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when target dies or is healed to full.
On single target this ability is fairly boring as you can basically just apply it and then forget about it. In cleave and AoE situations it becomes quite a bit more fun as your goal will be to apply it to as many targets as you can. Sadly this ability has absolutely no interactions with the Rogue toolkit apart from generating Combo Points.
There are more legendary effects available in Shadowlands, but below we have listed some of the better ones:
The Rotten - for 3 seconds after activating Symbols of Death, your next Shadowstrike and Backstab generate 4 additional Combo Points and deal 30% increased damage. One of the few legendaries that impacts how we play, and currently it is the best legendary for Single-Target, however does not scale well into AoE situations. Master Assassin's Mark is back from Legion, giving us 100% Critical strike for 4 seconds after leaving Stealth. Whilst it is not something you will notice in the gameplay, it can be satisfying to have massive burst damage. Deathly Shadows causes your Vanish to grant you 5 Combo Points and increase damage dealt by 15% for 12 seconds. Not much to say about this one, much like the Master Assassin's Mark it just increases our burst with minimal impact on gameplay. Finality causes your Combo Point finishers to empower your next finisher by 25%. Akaari's Soul Fragment causes your Shadowstrikes and Cheap Shots to cast an extra Shadowstrike at the target with 25% effectiveness. This does not generate extra Combo Points.
Conduits in Shadowlands
There are many conduits coming in Shadowlands, but below we will list a couple of interesting ones:
Deeper Daggers causes Shadow Vault and Eviscerate to increase your Shadow damage dealt by 30% for 5 seconds. Stiletto Staccato now makes yourShadow Techniques also reduce the cooldown of Shadow Blades by 1 second everytime it procs.
After being left in the shadows for almost the whole of Battle for Azeroth, the small changes made to Subtlety definitely make the spec feel better. For the most part, the spec still feels very similar to how it plays out in BfA and the longer Shadow Dance and the option to actually do AoE damage with Black Powder feel great, especially since AoE has been something Subtlety has historically been very weak at. The only real disappointment is the Covenant abilities and lack of interaction with the class.
Other Spec Highlights:
Frost Death Knight Unholy Death Knight Vengeance Demon Hunter Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Marksmanship Hunter Arcane Mage Frost Mage Assassination Rogue Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Holy Paladin Shadow Priest Affliction Warlock Arms Warrior Protection Warrior
Hallow's End is underway in WoW, and what appears to be a multiboxer has formed a pumpkin pattern out of bones in Goldshire that he maintained for 24 hours.
The fun things always happen on Moon Guard. A player has formed a pumpkin pattern out of bones at the Goldshire crossroads, and it was maintained for 24 hours after the event started.
Look at how precisely the bones and corpses are aligned!
With the new 6-month subscription transmog option becoming available today, some players have found ways to make it a little less colorful and more... ominous. Rotoyo1003 points out that two items can actually accomplish the same goal, as the Heartsbane Grimoire toy and Irradiated Undercoat item get you looking slightly more Batman-y and less Joker-y. The Undercoat is only usable on Mechagon island, so you're better off using the toy, which you can get in a Runebound Chest in Drustvar.
The Eye of N'Zoth is a nice little addition there. And in case you were wondering, here's what the wings look like in Shadow Form:
Here come more of the daily hotfixes for the pre-patch, and we have another big batch! From achievements to many more class tweaks, BC gems having their numbers tweaked and more!
October 20 (source)
The Will of the Emperor encounter special ability, Opportunistic Strike, is obtainable once again for completing the achievement Show Me Your Moves! . Classes
Death Knight Unholy The additional Shadow damage from Soul Reaper’s (Talent) explosion is now correctly affected by Mastery. Druid Balance Damage caused by Starfall will break the caster out of stealth. Mage General Vision of Perfection (Azerite Essence) no longer procs Rune of Power (Talent). Frost The Water Elemental pet now learns Freeze at level 23. Priest General Priests on the quest “Blade in Twilight” can now use the Tirisfal Camp Scroll again to get back to the Whispering Forest if they leave the area. Warlock General Unstable Affliction’s damage dealt when it is dispelled has been reduced by 35%. Items and Rewards
Many Burning Crusade gems have had their stats updated to the correct numbers. Pet Battles
The Sun Darter Hatchling is obtainable once again. Happy hunting! Player versus Player
Fixed an issue where some Gladiator mounts were not accessible across the account. The Conquest limit has been increased and players can once again progress on their Weekly Conquest reward. Quests
Players who are eligible to visit Nazjatar will no longer be prompted upon log in to start the quests, “The Warchief’s Order” or “The Wolf’s Offensive”. Instead, players can begin their journey to Nazjatar by starting the quest, “Send the Fleet”, by speaking to Nathanos or Genn Greymane. Reduced the difficulty of the enemies in the Alliance quest “Fairwind’s “Friends”’. World Events
The Hallow’s End Candy Bucket located in The Veiled Stair now appears in all phases.
Update: Well that didn't last long! It seems Blizzard have already patched the Heart of Azeroth with a minimum equip level of 40, as noted by the XPOff forums, where the low-level equip trick originated!
It seems players that have already gotten the neck at lower levels still have it equipped, but it doesn't give them any stats, nor do any Azerite powers on pieces they have work.
Here we are in another edition of "Exploit or clever use of game mechanics"! It seems some twink-oriented communities have found a way to get a very powerful item on their characters very early on, as players have been spotting chars with the Heart of Azeroth as early as level 10!
The trick is pretty simple, but it might be considered an exploit so maybe don't necessarily try it for yourself. All you need is a max level friend to accompany you into a dungeon, get an Azerite item to drop and trade it to you. After a relog this will trigger the HoA quest where you get the level 50 neck, and since it auto-equips, there you have it, an item level 55 piece as early as level 10!
This is quite an advantage in PvP for the lower brackets (especially for twinks who lock their levels), not to mention a very nice boost to general leveling speeds, and Blizzard will probably/hopefully hotfix it pretty soon. It remains to be seen if players who already have their HoA on low levels will get to keep it, and if there will perhaps be actions on the accounts that did this, since the line between exploit and clever use is and always have been pretty arbitrary when it comes to actual suspensions/warnings.
Source 1, 2.