Subtlety Rogue Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Subtlety Rogue. This page's purpose is to help you pick the right options according to the content you intend to do in Shadowlands.
This page assumes that you are already familiar with Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits. If that is not the case, we have a number of pages that can help you get up to speed:
- Covenants Guide, which explains what Covenants are, what perks they bring, and how you can join one;
- Rogue Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Rogues gain by joining each Covenant;
- How To Change Covenant?, which tells you how you can switch Covenant (rejoining a former Covenant will require you to perform a number of tasks to regain their trusts);
- General Soulbind Guide, which explains what Soulbinds are and how you can pledge yourself to them to open up their Soulbind tree;
- Rogue Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Rogues.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
|Raiding/Single-Target||Venthyr||Nadjia the Mistblade||Subtlety Rogue Venthyr single-target (before 54 Renown) tree|
|Mythic+/Torghast/Multi-Target||Venthyr||Theotar the Mad Duke||Subtlety Rogue Venthyr multi-target (and single-target after 54 Renown) tree|
Recommended Covenant for Subtlety Rogues
All of the Covenant abilities for Subtlety Rogues are so close to each other — a couple percent differences at most — that ultimately it does not matter much which one you pick.
That being said, our recommended Covenant for Subtlety Rogues is Venthyr due to a couple of reasons:
- It is good for both AoE and single-target.
- Venthyr is also the best Covenant for Assassination, which makes swapping specializations easier.
- Slightly higher burst, which is often important in Raid encounters.
If your main focus in the game is Mythic+, you might want to consider Necrolord as it is the best Covenant for AoE damage, especially if you swap into Outlaw.
For more specific information about Subtlety Rogue Covenants, make sure to check out our Covenants and Soulbinds analysis section at the end of this page.
Best Conduits for Subtlety Rogues
We will list below a summary of our best Conduits, by type. If you are interested in the full details, continue reading through the next section of the guide. Please refer to our Rogue Conduits list if you want to see all Rogue Conduits.
- Best Potency Conduits: Planned Execution, Stiletto Staccato, Deeper Daggers, and Lashing Scars.
- Best Finesse Conduits: Quick Decisions is the only Finesse Conduit that provides benefits for raid encounters. Fade to Nothing is a good pick for solo-content such as Torghast.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Recuperator is going to be the default choice for most situations as the sustain it offers is fairly solid. Nimble Fingers is the only DPS increasing Endurance Conduit especially on encounters where you are constantly using Feint.
All Subtlety Rogue Conduits
Regardless of which Covenant you pick, you will be able to gather and use the same Conduits, with the notable exception of the Potency Conduit that enhances your Covenant class ability.
The Conduits will be listed in order from best to worst, with an explanation if certain Conduits are better for specific situations.
Subtlety Rogue Potency Conduits
- Lashing Scars is the best conduit for Venthyr Rogues.
- Stiletto Staccato reduces the cooldown of Shadow Blades every time you proc Shadow Techniques.
- Deeper Daggers excels in situations where you have multiple targets to help with Combo Point generation such as Mythic+ and some Raiding encounters.
- Planned Execution is a solid choice for all situations.
- Perforated Veins is good in single-target situations, but as soon as you start casting Shuriken Storm, it falls off heavily.
- Reverberation is a good option for Kyrian Rogues for multi-target situations.
- The remaining Covenant-specific Conduits, Septic Shock and Sudden Fractures are weaker than the other options and thus not worth using.
Subtlety Rogue Endurance Conduits
The best Endurance Conduit depends quite a bit on the situation and thus ranking them by power is quite difficult.
- Recuperator gives us extra sustain which is especially helpful in solo content.
- Nimble Fingers reduces the Energy cost of Feint and Crimson Vial which effectively means that it is the only DPS increase Endurance Conduit, especially on encounters where you are frequently using Feint.
- Cloaked in Shadows is generally speaking worse than the other two and it does not work with Shadow Dance.
Subtlety Rogue Finesse Conduits
Finesse Conduits are also very situational much like Endurance Conduits, making them hard to rank by power.
- Quick Decisions reduces cooldown and increases the range of Shadowstep making it the default choice for group content such as Raids and Mythic+.
- Fade to Nothing gives us a small movement speed buff when casting Stealth, Vanish or Shroud of Concealment. This Conduit is nice for solo content such as Torghast if you wish to get through it as fast as possible.
- Rushed Setup reduces the energy cost of Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, Sap and Distract. These abilities are not often used in Raid scenarios, but are quite useful in Mythic+. Reduced Energy on Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot equals a small DPS boost.
- Prepared for All causes your successful dodges to reduce the cooldown of Evasion and successful interrupts with Kick reduce the cooldown of Cloak of Shadows. This Conduit is ranked the lowest as it is incredibly niche, however it has potential in scenarios where you are using Kick often and need the cooldown reduction on Cloak of Shadows.
In-depth Covenant Analysis
As stated earlier on this page, all four Covenants are incredibly close to each other for Subtlety Rogues in terms of power.
Night Fae Rogue Covenant Abilities
Sepsis is a 90-second cooldown damaging ability that applies damage over time effect. If your target dies while still being affected by the DoT, its cooldown is reduced by 30-seconds. If the target is still alive when the DoT finishes ticking, you will be able to use a single ability that requires Stealth. As a Subtlety Rogue, you should use Shadowstrike. It is important to know that when the Sepsis DoT ends, your action bar will switch from the normal one, similarly to how Shadow Dance works, thus it is recommended to track the duration of the Sepsis DoT so you will know when the swap is happening.
Soulshape is one of the best signature Covenant abilities. It turns you into a Vulpin, teleports you 15 yards forward and increases your movement speed by 50%. While transformed, you can not cast any other spells than Flicker, which is a 4-second cooldown spell that teleports you forward again. Soulshape can be quite significant DPS increase depending on the situation, as it can allow you to have more uptime on your target or you can simply use it to blink across a dangerous void zone on the ground.
Night Fae Subtlety Rogue Soulbinds
- Niya is the best option for Raiding due to strength of Niya's Tools: Burrs.
- Korayn is strong in Mythic+ and on encounters where you get frequent add spawns due to First Strike.
- Dreamweaver is weaker than the other two options in every scenario, however Podtender can have value in some situations.
Necrolord Rogue Covenant Abilities
Serrated Bone Spike is a 30-second cooldown Combo Point generator that has up to 3 charges, deals moderate instant damage and applies a DoT on your target that remains until your target dies or gets healed to full Health. When a target that was affected by Serrated Bone Spike dies, it refunds one charge.
Fleshcraft is the Signature Ability for Necrolords. It is a 3-second channeled cast that grants you a shield for up to 40% of your maximum Health if channeled fully along with 20% damage reduction while channeling. It has a 2-minute cooldown, reduced by moving near enemy corpses at 1 second per corpse; the buff also lasts for 2 minutes if not consumed.
Necrolord Subtlety Rogue Soulbinds
- Bonesmith Heirmir is the best option for Necrolord Rogues.
- Emeni excels in situations where you can get higher Lead by Example uptime from getting Serrated Bone Spike resets, such as encounters with frequent add spawns. Simulations do not account for the raid DPS gained from Lead by Example.
- Plague Deviser Marileth is weaker than the other two options in every scenario.
Venthyr Rogue Covenant Abilities
Flagellation is a 90-second cooldown ability that applies a debuff to the target that lasts 12 seconds. Any Combo Point spent during this time will deal additional damage to the target and grant you 1% Haste per Combo Point. After the initial debuff falls off, you will keep the extra Haste for an additional 12 seconds.
Flagellation is one of the best Covenant abilities for Subtlety Rogues. During Shadow Blades and in AoE situations in general, we generate more Combo Points with Shuriken Storm, making it quite easy to reach a high number of stacks. However, the damage of Flagellation is purely single-target and Haste is the worst stat for Subtlety Rogues, making the ability fairly one-dimensional.
Door of Shadows is the Venthyr signature ability. It allows you to teleport to a target location within range after casting this ability for 1.5 seconds. Much like the Night Fae signature ability Soulshape, it allows us to get over dangerous void zones which can mean significantly more DPS uptime.
Venthyr Subtlety Rogue Soulbinds
- Nadjia the Mistblade is the strongest single-target option.
- Theotar the Mad Duke is little bit better on AoE than Nadjia the Mistblade.
- General Draven is weaker than the other two options in every scenario.
Kyrian Rogue Covenant Abilities
Echoing Reprimand is a 45-second cooldown ability that deals arcane damage, generates 2 Combo Points and Animacharges one of your Combo Points. Only the second, third, or fourth Combo Point can become Animacharged, which means that sometimes because of our Shadow Techniques passive, it requires a bit more planning to hit the exact amount of Combo Points. When you cast a finisher with the exact amount of Combo Points as the Animacharge, it will be a 7 Combo Point finisher, boosting its damage or duration in the case of Rupture.
Kyrian's signature ability is Summon Steward whom you can talk to receive a Phial of Serenity. The phial has 3 uses and its own 3-minute cooldown, which is not shared with Healthstone. This is one of the strongest signature abilities as the Phial removes all diseases, poisons, curses and bleeds affecting you as well as restoring 20% of your Health.
Kyrian Subtlety Rogue Soulbinds
- Pelagos is the strongest DPS option for Kyrians due to the strength of Combat Meditation.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos becomes the strongest option after you reach high enough Renown to unlock all of the traits.
- Kleia is weaker than the other two options.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 18 May 2021: Added recommended Soulbind trees.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated recommended Covenant in Patch 9.0.5
- 15 Jan. 2021: Small updates to Necrolord soulbinds.
- 05 Jan. 2021: Mostly wording updates.
- 07 Dec. 2020: Updated Niyas optimal Soulbind tree and paragraph regarding spec-specific conduits.
- 04 Dec. 2020: Updated Combat Meditation description and highlighted that Kyrian is slightly ahead in DPS at lower Renown levels.
- 03 Dec. 2020: Updated paragraph regarding Night Fae Soulbinds.
- 01 Dec. 2020: Added paragraph talking about simulations for Kyrian and Necrolord.
- 21 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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