Season of Discovery Subtlety Rogue DPS Leveling

Last updated on Feb 10, 2024 at 10:00 by Sellin 1 comment

Welcome to our leveling guide for DPS Subtlety Rogue. Here, you will learn how to efficiently level your Rogue in Classic - Season of Discovery.


Subtlety Rogue Leveling Talents

The build we have recommended above focus primarily on maximizing your single target kill speed, while Subtlety does less damage than the other two Rogue specs you have tools such as Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness that reduces the cooldown of life saving abilities such as Vanish Icon Vanish and Blind Icon Blind.


Leveling Runes

  • Chest — Deadly Brew Icon Deadly Brew
  • Hands — Mutilate Icon Mutilate
  • Legs — Envenom Icon Envenom
  • Waist — Shadowstep Icon Shadowstep
  • Feet — Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety

Deadly Brew Icon Deadly Brew applies a stack of Deadly Poison Icon Deadly Poison any time another poison is applied to the target, allowing you to deal considerably more damage with your Mutilate Icon Mutilate and Envenom Icon Envenom abilities.

Mutilate Icon Mutilate synergizes incredibly with talents found in the Subtlety like Opportunity Icon Opportunity that provides an additional 4% damage per point spent in the talent. It also benefits greatly from the constant application of Deadly Poison Icon Deadly Poison from Deadly Brew Icon Deadly Brew.

Envenom Icon Envenom also pairs incredibly with Deadly Brew Icon Deadly Brew as it deals bonus damage to targets with multiple stacks of Deadly Poison Icon Deadly Poison.

Shadowstep Icon Shadowstep is one of the strongest mobility spells in the game instantly teleporting you behind your target and granting you 70% movement speed for 3 seconds. Paired with Preparation Icon Preparation you can cover a lot of distance very quickly.

Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety increases your damage by 10% for 6 seconds after leaving stealth, this is another great Rune due to how it synergizes with Preparation Icon Preparation and Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness.

If you are unsure where to find these Runes or are just curious what other options may be available, feel free to check out our Rogue Rune guide listed included below to get a better idea of how to plan this all out in your leveling journey.


Leveling Rotation

The weapon you are using can also play a major factor in what abilities you will be using, Subtlety at the current level band should be played with two Daggers with the highest damage one being held in the main-hand to best take advantage of Mutilate Icon Mutilates damage multiplier.

  1. If level 20, ensure you have Instant Poison Icon Instant Poison applied to your weapons before entering combat.
  2. Approach the mob in Stealth Icon Stealth to ensure Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety procs and open with Ambush Icon Ambush if possible.
  3. use Mutilate Icon Mutilate to build combo points.
  4. Maintain the Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice buff as often as possible, auto attacks will be your primary source of damage while leveling.
  5. use Envenom Icon Envenom at 5 combo points if Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice is already active.
  6. Use Kick Icon Kick if the mob is casting an ability that is able to be interrupted.
  7. Do not hesitate to use Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot to stun your target if they are dealing large amounts of damage or an important spell cast cannot be interrupted.
  8. Use Gouge Icon Gouge on cool down to minimize incoming damage and interrupt any spell casts.

Subtlety Rogue Leveling Stats

Stats while leveling your rogue as any specialization will grant you an identical increase to DPS and survivability so do not hesitate to switch specializations based off of the gear you currently have equipped. Agility is by far your best stat while leveling as it not only makes you deal more damage but increases the likelihood you'll be able to avoid incoming damage, listed below we have highlighted some of the other benefits that stats can provide while leveling your rogue.

  1. Agility;
  2. Spirit;
  3. Strength;
  4. Stamina.

Agility increases not only your Attack Power but your critical strike chance and dodge rating, Agility is the single largest damage increase per point of any stat and should be your primary focus as it greatly increases your damage output and even slightly helps your survivability thanks to the dodge chance.

Spirit is a powerful tool while leveling as it increases the amount of health you generate out of combat helping to limit the amount of time you spend out of combat regenerating.

Stamina increases your total health by 10 per point, while solo leveling you are consistently taking damage so this will allow you to pull more mobs before having to break to regenerate health, it also helps in group scenarios where unavoidable damage or threat issues may happen.

Strength is pure DPS stat, per point it provides less benefit than Agility as it does not provide the other benefits of increasing your critical strike chance or dodge rating. While this stat is certainly a DPS increase it should never be prioritized over Agility.


Rogue Quests and Weapons

At level 16 your class trainer will offer you a quest to unlock the Pick Lock Icon Pick Lock skill. In Season of Discovery this skill is required to unlock some Runes so it is important to get this as soon as you can.

Weapons are a massive part of your leveling journey as a Rogue, while playing Subtlety it is typical to expect that you will be using Daggers so constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to equip yourself with the highest DPS daggers you can find, the speed of the weapon is largely irrelevant though it is important to have the highest damage of your weapons in your main-hand to best benefit from the damage multiplier in Mutilate Icon Mutilate. At level 20 you will receive a quest from your class trainer to unlock the ability to create poisons, this is a massive damage increase and should be don as quickly as possible.



Leveling Professions while leveling can slow down your time if you are in a rush to max level however, working towards leveling them while you are out in the level appropriate zone will generally save you more time in the long run if you level as you go, this is especially true with Gathering professions such as Herbalism, Skinning and Mining. These can be used both to create supplies for the crafting profession of your choosing or simply to supplement your income by selling the material on the Auction House to help pay for things like new abilities and even a mount at level 40.

First Aid is crucial as a class that has no other self healing you can easily Vanish Icon Vanish or disengage in some other way and heal yourself up using bandages while leveling, this will greatly reduce the downtime you may have otherwise spent eating or possibly even running back to your body after dying.



  • 11 Feb. 2024: Updated for Phase 2.
  • 15 Dec. 2023: Guide updated.
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