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Subtlety Noob

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OK, so I've got one 90 and have just started doing LFR raids. Single target, even with a fair amount of movement, I feel like I can do okay, if not well, but in add heavy fights (Horridon) I feel like I'm not pulling my weight AT ALL. I mean, I do my best to interrupt, spam Tricks, and use defensive CDs to stay alive, but wow.


I tried taking Marked for Death on this fight and... think I did even worse. How do you open on adds?

Also, I'm confused about using Shadow Blades in conjunction with Find Weakness. Yes, no, or gear dependent?


And are there any good videos of subtlety gameplay? Almost everything I can find seems to be Assassination.

Edited by AustinYun

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Well, I'll start by saying that you've chosen the hardest spec to play. Subtlety has more rotation challenges than the other two specs, and the cost for doing them wrong is much higher than the other specs. Take a look at the Subtlety Rogue section of the Icy Veins guides to make sure you aren't missing a major part of your rotation.


When it comes to target switching, Marked for Death is good if you use it properly, but if you're still shaky on Subtlety play I would stick to Anticipation. It makes the rotation much more forgiving and you don't have to pay as much attention to it to have it be effective.


The thing that is going to help you the most on target switching is to equip the Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins and open with Hemorrhage. This will apply the Sanguinary Vein debuff to your target and increase all of your damage by 35%. You will also need to pay close attention to your Slice and Dice; this is a major DPS increase that you might be losing track of in the madness of target switching.


As for Shadow Blades, it's best to not overlap it with Find Weakness. They are both armor ignoring cooldowns, and they reduce the effectiveness of each other when used together.


It's a good thing that you've focused on defensive awareness, there isn't enough of that in the PUG raiding world any more. That focus will be your gateway onto real raid teams once you've increased your skill level and get some luck on gear.


As for videos, I don't have anything for you. I can't imagine there would be a video detailing the actual rotation of a Subtlety Rogue that would be better than a written guide, though. Videos you find will give you perspectives on how a rogue moves around on a fight, but won't give you anything groundbreaking on play style.

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Here are two pretty basic guides for Sub PvE dps.

A couple things he leaves out, Glyph of Vanish is a dps boost as it extends your vanish to 5 seconds. Once this 5 seconds is over THEN your Subterfuse starts timing down. Which gives you an additional ambush or 2.

Also, never use ShadowBlades in conjuction with Find Weakness. Find weakness causes your attacks to ignore armor. ShadowBlades does the same thing by causing your attacks to deal as shadow damage. Stacking them is a waste. Space them out.

I'm sure other Sub rogues have much better suggestions. That's just my 2 copper.

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  1. What's the haste breakpoint where you can do premed > S&D > Garrote > Ambush > Ambush as an opener?

Just did LFR SoO for the first time, didn't get Assurance of Consequence, so I still have the Timeless trinket with a fairly large Mastery proc. Does S&D snapshot stats, and would it therefore be worth it to get the trinket proc, then use 5 pt S&D for 36 seconds of faster auto-attacks due to the mastery interaction?

Something I seem to struggle with: Say you have Rupture and S&D about to fall off in ~5-10 seconds, and Shadow Dance coming off CD around the same time. You've got a lot of combo points and 4 or 5 Anticipation stacks. It seems no matter what I do, I'm handling the situation wrong. I'm thinking the best thing to do would be keep the Anticipation stacks rolling until they're both about to fall off, then Rupture (triggers Anticipation), S&D, pool a bit of energy, then Shadow Dance.

What if S&D is about to fall off, like 2-3 seconds before Rupture?

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1. I'm afraid I'm not well versed in rogue math. It's something I'm working on, but for now I'll have to pass.


2. Same problem here. I am skeptical that this would be an overall net gain though, since you would not only have to delay the activation of S&D, but the application of Rupture as well.


3. That's a tough one. If they are really all going to intersect at the same time, your best option may be to delay using Shadow Dance for a couple of seconds until you get your combo points back. Ideally leading up to Rupture and S&D both timing out you'll have your 9 points with a bit of pooled energy, Rupture then S&D to refresh your buffs, but that leaves you with low energy and low points. The only way I can see to keep your buffs up and still use Shadow Dance immediately off cooldown would be to clip your Rupture, which would be more of a damage loss than just delaying Shadow Dance slightly.


4. In that situation, I would pool as much energy as possible at 5 or less combo points, refresh S&D, then use the extra energy quickly regain your combo points and reapply Rupture. 

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