Subtlety Rogue Pre-Patch Guide for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Aug 30, 2022 at 12:15 by Simonize and Sellin 2 comments

The Pre-Patch period of Wrath of the Lich King Classic is a time to allow players to level or gear up characters while experiencing some of the class changes of the coming expansion before its official launch. Here you will find recommended talents, gear, and some rotation tips for a Subtlety Rogue when you can only reach a maximum level of 70.



Rogues in general have some amazing changes coming their way in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, but 2 of the 3 most important changes only take effect after the expansion releases. For the pre-patch, all Rogue specs can enjoy the implementation of their poisons now scaling with Attack Power.

While Subtlety does bring the Hemorrhage IconHemorrhage debuff to the raid, they really do not perform as well as Combat or Assassination in PvE. You can still raid as one if you choose to and enjoy it, it simply is not considered "competitive" when compared with the other specs.


Talent Build

The talent tree listed above uses the points available at Level 70 to get as many of the desired talents as possible, but it still falls short. The Subtlety tree has a lot of "filler" talents in it, which means that they do not contribute to your damage output, but are instead only taken to get deeper into the tree.



At Level 70, you will only have access to 2 of your 3 major glyph slots.

For your major slots, you will want to use the Hemorrhage and Slice and Dice glyphs.


Stat Priority

  1. Hit Rating to cap;
  2. Expertise;
  3. Agility.

For Subtlety Rogues, the majority of secondary stats are fairly similar in their priority, with Hit, Expertise, and Agility taking priority over the others. Point-for-point, these 3 are the strongest stats for Subtlety in the pre-patch.



The rotation as a Subtlety Rogue is slightly more complicated than that of Assassination, but there is far less reliance on a proper opener. It is almost entirely based on the uptime of your Slice and Dice IconSlice and Dice, Rupture IconRupture, and, if there are no Warriors in your group, Expose Armor IconExpose Armor.

You should aim to only use your finishing moves with 4 or 5 combo points, however there may be instances when you have to refresh a buff with fewer.


Rotation without Expose Armor

  1. Maintain Slice and Dice IconSlice and Dice;
  2. Maintain Rupture IconRupture;
  3. If you have spare combo points, you can use these on Eviscerate IconEviscerate. This will happen often during Shadow Dance IconShadow Dance.

Rotation with Expose Armor

If you are applying Expose Armor IconExpose Armor, you should not expect to have full uptime on Rupture IconRupture.

  1. Maintain Expose Armor IconExpose Armor*;
  2. Maintain Slice and Dice IconSlice and Dice;
  3. If you have spare combo points, you can use these on Rupture IconRupture.

*If you have the Expose Armor glyph, you will only need to use Expose Armor IconExpose Armor with 1 or 2 combo points. If you do not, you will need to use it with 4 or 5 combo points.


Gearing in the Wrath of the Lich King Classic Pre-Patch

Slot Item Source

Weapons for Subtlety Rogue

The best weapon for Subtlety is the legendary Warglaive of Azzinoth Icon Warglaive of Azzinoth, despite this not allowing you to use Ambush during Shadow Dance IconShadow Dance.

If you do not have the Warglaives, then you should use a slow mainhand dagger, such as Crux of the Apocalypse Icon Crux of the Apocalypse or Shiv of Exsanguination Icon Shiv of Exsanguination.

For your offhand, if you do not have the Warglaives, you want a fast, high DPS weapon of any type. You should aim to use one with a speed of 1.3-1.5, such as Fang of Kalecgos Icon Fang of Kalecgos or Blade of Savagery Icon Blade of Savagery if you are a Human.


Gems for Subtlety Rogue

The gems you choose to use will depend on the gear you have, but for the most part, you should aim to fill the slots with the following:

You should only aim to use purple gems to activate your meta gem, which requires a minimum of 2 slotted.

The gems you choose to use should never "waste" Hit Rating by overcapping you.



For your enchants, you should use the following:

Slot Enchantment
Head Arcanum of Ferocity Icon Arcanum of Ferocity
Shoulders Might of the Scourge Icon Might of the Scourge
Back Enchant Cloak - Greater Agility Icon Enchant Cloak - Greater Agility
Chest Enchant Chest - Exceptional Stats Icon Enchant Chest - Exceptional Stats
Bracers Enchant Bracer - Assault IconEnchant Bracer - Assault
Gloves Enchant Gloves - Superior Agility IconEnchant Gloves - Superior Agility
Legs Nethercobra Leg Armor Icon Nethercobra Leg Armor
Feet Enchant Boots - Cat's Swiftness Icon Enchant Boots - Cat's Swiftness
Ring Enchant Ring - Striking Icon Enchant Ring - Striking
Melee Weapon Enchant Weapon - Mongoose Icon Enchant Weapon - Mongoose


Spicy Hot Talbuk Icon Spicy Hot Talbuk is your best well-fed buff if you are not hit-capped, Grilled Mudfish Icon Grilled Mudfish if you are hit capped, to give you as much Agility as possible.

Flask of Relentless Assault Icon Flask of Relentless Assault is your typical go-to flask of choice.

Elixir of Major Agility Icon Elixir of Major Agility is our best choice for your in-fight potion.



  • 30 Aug. 2022: Gem recommendations adjusted, as well as glyphs.
  • 29 Aug. 2022: Guide added.
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