Subtlety Rogue Shadowlands Leveling Guide From 1 to 60
When leveling up, it is always better to equip the higher item level pieces. The only exception to this rule is if you have a Ring or Necklace with a slightly lower item level, but 2 secondary stats on it instead of 1.
Level by Level Rotation and Talents
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Subtlety Rogue Talents as you level up
Talents can be either passives that enhance your gameplay in some way or active completely different abilities.
Your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.
Here are our recommended talents.
- Level 15: Weaponmaster
- Level 25: Subterfuge
- Level 30: Marked for Death
- Level 35: Soothing Darkness
- Level 40: Night Terrors
- Level 45: Enveloping Shadows
- Level 50: Secret Technique
Rotation to Level Up as an Subtlety Rogue
Cast Stealth whenever you are looking for a quest objective but do not need to fight any enemies.
Starting at Level 1, you only have one main attack ability: Sinister Strike.
- Cast Eviscerate once you have 4+ Combo Points to spend them.
- Use Sinister Strike to build up Combo Points.
- Make sure you always have Instant Poison applied.
- Use Shadow Blades on bosses or elite enemies.
- Use Marked for Death on enemies. If you are fighting multiple targets at once, make sure to finish the one Marked for Death first, and then re-cast it. A good way to deal with mobs is to cast two Shadowstrikes into an Eviscerate, then casting Marked for Death into another Eviscerate.
- Use Combo Points to keep up Slice and Dice at all times. You can use this ability while Stealthed.
- Cast Shadowstrike once from Stealth.
- Cast Shadowstrike from Stealth and whenever you have Shadow Dance active and you are low on Combo Points.
- Cast Shadowstrike from Stealth and whenever you have either Subterfuge or Shadow Dance active and you are low on Combo Points.
- Cast Symbols of Death on cooldown when fighting enemies.
- Use Eviscerate to spend excess Combo Points.
- Use Secret Technique on cooldown instead of Eviscerate.
- Use Black Powder instead of Eviscerate when fighting 6 or more targets.
- Use Black Powder instead of Eviscerate when fighting 3 or more targets.
- Use Sinister Strike unless you have 4+ Combo Points.
- Use Backstab unless you have 4+ Combo Points.
- Use Backstab when you do not have Shadow Dance available to you and you are low on Combo Points.
- Use Shuriken Storm when fighting 2 or more targets instead of Backstab and Shadowstrike.
Subtlety Rogue Defensive Abilities while Leveling
Subtlety Rogues have a ton of tools available to them that makes fighting multiple enemies at once easier, or just simply getting away from a sticky situation.
- Kick allows you to interrupt an enemy that is casting a spell. Use this whenever possible to interrupt enemies to take less damage while leveling.
- Crimson Vial lets you heal 20% of your max Health over 4 seconds. Use this is if your Health is dropping low or between mob pulls.
- Sap lets you control any Humanoid, Beast, Demon or Dragon for up to 60 seconds. Use this to keep a single enemy from joining the fight before you open on a group of enemies from stealth. This crowd control breaks when the enemy takes damage. To avoid breaking your Sap either lure the other enemies away or do not use any AoE spells.
- Kidney Shot can be used to stun a single opponent for up to 6 seconds. Use this to interrupt a dangerous cast or to simply not take damage from an enemy. Some NPCs might be immune to stuns.
- Evasion increases your chance to dodge incoming melee and ranged attacks by 100% for 10 seconds. Use this to your advantage by doing larger pulls whenever Evasion is ready. Note that you can only dodge if you are facing the enemy.
- Vanish removes you from sight. This resets combat with everything that you were currently fighting, making it a strong cooldown when leveling. Whether it is just to escape certain death or to get rid of pesky enemies that you do not want to deal with, make sure to use Vanish to your advantage.
- Blind allows you to control an enemy for up to 60 seconds. This can be used from stealth or outside of it. The crowd- control breaks when you deal damage like Sap does, so make sure to lure enemies away or avoid using area-of-effect abilities.
- Cloak of Shadows removes and makes you immune to magical effects for 5 seconds. This allows you to potentially remove damage over time effects that could break your Stealth, allow you to take less damage or simply avoid certain crowd control or damaging effects.
Subtlety Rogue War Mode Talents for Leveling
In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of Subtlety Rogue-specific PvE talents.
Subtlety Rogue PvP Talents for Leveling
- Dagger in the Dark — Whenever Stealth is active, you apply a debuff to a nearby enemies that causes them to take additional 10% damage from your next Shadowstrike. Stacks up to 10 times. This is nothing special but still a slight damage boost.
- Thief's Bargain — Reduces the cooldown of your Vanish, Shadow Blades, and Feint by 33%, but using one reduces your damage by 10% for 6 seconds.
- Death From Above — Finishing move that leaps you up in the air and casts an Eviscerate that deals 10% more damage.
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 05 May 2022: Updated recommended Honor Talents.
- 25 Feb. 2022: Updated Thief's Bargain's description.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 04 Nov. 2020: Shifted order of Honor Talents due to level requirements.
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