Subtlety Rogue Leveling Guide From 1 to 70 for TBC Classic

Last updated on May 22, 2021 at 11:57 by Sellin 5 comments

On this page, you will find our Subtlety Rogue leveling guide for TBC Classic, with tips on talents, rotation, and everything else you may need to know about the leveling process.

For those of you that wish to level with another specialisation, you can always check out our Combat Leveling guide instead.

Make sure to use the slider to adapt the guide to your current level.


Your first talent point unlocks at Level 10. From here on out, this guide will give you an overview on recommended talent point spending for leveling, as well as some alternatives depending on gameplay preference.

Your first set of talents introduce nothing too gamebreaking. Master of Deception IconMaster of Deception is a wonderful talent for stealthing past mobs safely and Dirty Tricks IconDirty Tricks is incredible for securing safe saps on targets from a range. From here, you put in a few points to Camouflage IconCamouflage, in order to get you to the next tier of talents.

Ghostly Strike IconGhostly Strike becomes an option instead of Sinister Strike in this level range. It is a wonderful ability to use as it does heavy damage to the target, as well as grants you 15% bonus dodge for 7 seconds after. Next, we go into Initiative IconInitiative for that extra strong opening burst. Setup IconSetup is another powerful leveling talent, as you will be able to get a lot of extra combo points from simply dodging attacks. From there, we go into Serrated Blades IconSerrated Blades in order to get Hemorrhage IconHemorrhage later.

Here is where you get two of your core abilities as a Subtlety Rogue. Hemorrhage IconHemorrhage is a replacement for Sinister Strike IconSinister Strike as your combo point builder. It is a cheap and powerful instant weapon strike that deals 110% of your weapon damage and increases Physical damage done to the target. Next, you also get Preparation IconPreparation, which is a powerful cooldown that resets the cooldowns of your Evasion IconEvasion, Sprint IconSprint, Vanish IconVanish, Cold Blood IconCold Blood, Shadowstep IconShadowstep, and Premeditation IconPremeditation abilities.

Here, you will get Premeditation IconPremeditation, which is a powerful ability you can use to add 2 combo points to your current target (must be stealthed). You also get quite possibly one of the most annoying talents for opposing classes mdash; Cheat Death IconCheat Death. This will give you a 100% chance when a lethal blow is dealt to you to reduce your HP to 10% of your maximum health and give you a buff that reduces damage taken by 90% for up to 3 seconds. This effect can occur once a minute. This buffer can give you plenty of time to escape from a fatal encounter.

In this level range, you get one of the most fun abilities as a Rogue mdash; Shadowstep IconShadowstep. This is a wonderful gap closer that provides you with movement speed, as well as increasing the damage done by your next ability. From here on out, you will put points into the Assasination tree for Malice IconMalice, Ruthlessness IconRuthlessness, and Murder IconMurder.

Your most notable talents here are Relentless Strikes IconRelentless Strikes and Lethality IconLethality. Relentless Strikes IconRelentless Strikes is very useful for every time you use a finishing move. Lethality IconLethality is just a nice overall damage increase.


Standard Rotation

  1. Cheap Shot IconCheap Shot
  2. 2 combo point Slice and Dice IconSlice and Dice
  3. Hemorrhage IconHemorrhage or Ghostly Strike IconGhostly Strike to build combo points.
  4. Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot if you do not want the mob to run away or if it deals high damage. Eviscerate IconEviscerate if the mob is expected to die quickly. Rupture IconRupture should only be used leveling on high HP mobs that are expected to live for a long time.
  5. Feel free to use Shadowstep IconShadowstep before a 5 combo point Eviscerate IconEviscerate to increase its damage by 20%, but only if you expect to not need Shadowstep IconShadowstep for anything else.
  6. If mobs are dying fast or if you are going for a more sustained build, feel free to drop Slice and Dice IconSlice and Dice from your rotation and instead rely on a stunlock into Eviscerate IconEviscerate for a quick kill.

Elite Mob Soloing

  1. Cheap Shot IconCheap Shot
  2. Hemorrhage IconHemorrhage to stack combo points
  3. 5 combo point Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot
  4. After Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot ends activate Evasion IconEvasion. During this time, continue to stack combo points with Hemorrhage IconHemorrhage and use Eviscerate IconEviscerate or Rupture IconRupture as your finishers. Use Rupture IconRupture if you will not need to Gouge or Blind the target.
  5. Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot again after Evasion runs out. Activate Preparation IconPreparation at any point before this.
  6. Once your second Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot finishes, activate Evasion IconEvasion.
  7. After this, if your target still is not dead, you can Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot again, followed by Blind IconBlind and Gouge IconGouge to buy time for your next Kidney Shot IconKidney Shot. When the mob is blinded, you can bandage yourself.

Notable New Abilities in TBC Classic for Combat Rogues

  • Level 61Garrote IconGarrote - At Level 61, Garrote IconGarrote finally gains more utility. It silences the target for 3 seconds, making it a very powerful opener against Mages in PvP so they cannot Blink or against spellcasting mobs.
  • Level 62Envenom IconEnvenom - This ability hits much harder than Eviscerate, but should only be used with heavy stacks of Deadly Poison and if the mob you are fighting is near death.
  • Level 66Cloak of Shadows IconCloak of Shadows - Cloak of Shadows is one of your strongest defensive abilities. It clears all magic debuffs from you and provides a 90% chance to resist all spells for 5 seconds.
  • Level 70Shiv IconShiv - This ability instantly strikes, applying a poison with your off-hand. It is useful for keeping up Deadly stacks to 5 if it is about to fall off or in PvP, when you need to stack Wound or apply Crippling Poison to a target quickly.

You might also want to check out our full class guides, which teach you how to play your class at the new Level 70 cap!



  • 22 May 2021: Page added.
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