Subtlety Rogue Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we go over the Essence system in Patch 8.3 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Subtlety Rogue, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.3 Essence Guide for more information about the new essences introduced in Patch 8.3 and to our Essence guide for more general information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Subtlety Rogues
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
For more information about essences, please check out the following:
- our Essence Guide, with all the essences and how to get them;
- our article on the new essences from Patch 8.3;
- our list of Patch 8.3 essence changes.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Picking a Major Essence for Subtlety Rogues
- Condensed Life-Force (Major: Guardian of Azeroth / Minor: Condensed Life-Force) is the recommended choice for most raid encounters where you have a lot of movement and can not utilize Worldvein Resonance fully.
- Worldvein Resonance (Major: Worldvein Resonance / Minor: Lifeblood) is the best single-target essence, and generally decent for cleave situations as well. The Minor power loses quite a lot of value on hectic movement fights, therefore other options might be better for certain situations.
- Essence of the Focusing Iris (Major: Focused Azerite Beam / Minor: Focused Energy) is the best major essence in heavy AoE situations, so you should consider using it in high AoE situations, like Mythic+. Even then, it is only really advisable if your group is doing constant large AoE pulls.
Picking Minor Essences for Subtlety Rogues
- Breath of the Dying ( Lethal Strikes) should always be used as a minor essence (rank 3+ only), since it is top 3 in terms of raw DPS, and it also provides Corruption resistance, allowing you to equip more corrupted items.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams ( Memory of Lucid Dreams) is the highest DPS minor essence on both single target and AoE due to increased resource gain.
- Your remaining Minor slot can be a multitude of Essences. Essence of the Focusing Iris ( Focused Energy) is a good choice if there are is no target swapping required while Conflict and Strife ( Strife) is solid for both single-target and AoE. Purification Protocol ( Purification Protocol) is a good option for AoE fights, such as Mythic+ or fights with constant adds.
Single-Target Essence DPS Ranking for Subtlety Rogues
Essence Comparison Simulations
As with all simulations provided in our guides, they only provide a very rough guideline, and you should not rely on them for making decisions on your own gear. Always use Raidbots.com to sim your own character.
Single-Target Essence Simulations for Subtlety Rogue
Major Essences for Subtlety Rogue
Minor Essences for Subtlety Rogue
AoE Essence Simulations for Subtlety Rogue
Major Essences for Subtlety Rogue
Minor Essences for Subtlety Rogue
Full Essence Descriptions for Subtlety Rogues
Breath of the Dying
Breath of the Dying is obtained from completing a quest given by Magni. You get rank 2 from combining 3 Breath of Everlasting Spirit, which you get from completing your first Visions of Darkness quest of the week. Rank 3 requires Exalted with Uldum Accord and be bought for 50 Corrupted Mementoss.
This Essence's Major Power, Reaping Flames, is an ability that deals heavy damage on a 45-second cooldown. If the target is below 20% or above 80%, the cooldown is reduced to 30 seconds. In addition, if you kill your target with the cast, the cooldown is lowered to 5 seconds and will deal 100% additional damage on the next cast.
This Essence's Minor Power, Lethal Strikes, gives your spells and abilities a chance to deal fire damage to your current target and healing you for 50% of the damage dealt. When the target is below 20% health, chance to trigger increased by 400%.
In addition this Essence gives passive 10 Corruption Resistance which makes very desirable because it allows you to equip more corrupted items.
The Crucible of Flame
The Crucible of Flame is the first Essence you unlock and you get Rank 1 as part of the questline of Nazjatar. You get Rank 2 via a quest when your Heart of Azeroth reaches Level 54. Rank 3 comes at Level 60.
This Essence's Major Power, Concentrated Flame, is an ability that deals heavy damage on a 30-second cooldown. At higher Ranks, it gains an additional charge. Use it on cooldown. When it gets a second charge, you can try and use it when you have a high Critical Strike chance from procs like Unstable Flames and more, just to squeeze a bit more damage out of each use.
This Essence's Minor Power, Ancient Flame, gives your spells a small chance to either deal a small amount of Fire damage to your target, or heal an ally.
Blood of the Enemy
Blood of the Enemy is an Essence unlocked by earning Honor through PvP content. The first Rank is unlocked by winning a PvP Island Expedition, a Normal Battleground, and an Epic Battleground. Rank 2 is unlocked by earning 15000 Honor through PvP and Rank 3 is unlocked with 50000.
This Essence's Major Power, Blood of the Enemy, is an ability with a 1.5-minute cooldown that deals AoE damage around you and then increases your Critical Strike chance against them by 25% for 10 seconds. At higher Ranks, it also gives you a 5-second Critical Strike Damage buff. Use the Major Power on as many targets as possible and line it up with cooldowns like Symbols of Death.
This Essence's Minor Power, Blood-Soaked, causes your Critical strikes to stack a buff called Blood-Soaked, which increases your Critical Strike chance further by a small amount. When it reaches 40 stacks, it consumes all the stacks and gives you a large Haste proc for 8 seconds. At higher Ranks, it has a 25% chance of only consuming 30 stacks.
The Unbound Force
The Unbound Force is an Essence unlocked by earning Reputation with your faction's Nazjatar faction, either the Waveblade Ankoan for Alliance or The Unshackled for the Horde. Rank 1 is unlocked at Honored, Rank 2 at Revered, and Rank 3 at Exalted.
This Essence's Major Power, The Unbound Force, is an ability that deals a bit of damage on a 1-minute cooldown. The ability does 300% more damage if it crits. Higher Ranks lower the cooldown to 45 seconds and causes crits to make the ability hit more times.
This Essence's Minor Power, Reckless Force, has good synergy with the Major power. Whenever you do not Critical Strike, your spells have a chance to give you stacks of Reckless Force. It does nothing on its own, but when it reaches 20 stacks, it will give you a 4-second buff ( Reckless Force) that increases your Critical Strike chance by 70%.
You should be using the Major Power when you have this 4-second buff, to ensure it does 300% more damage every time.
Worldvein Resonance is an Essence unlocked by doing Island Expedition content. The first Rank is unlocked by doing a weekly Azerite cap. Rank 2 is unlocked by gathering 15 Fragment of Zem'lan's Lost Treasure Map items in Expeditions and doing the mission that it grants you with your Mission Table Followers. Rank 3 is unlocked by doing the same with 3 Worldvein Intelligence Reports items.
This Essence's Major Power, Worldvein Resonance, is an ability with a 1-minute cooldown that spawns Lifeblood Shards to erupt around you, which grants you and nearby allies using the same Essence a small primary stat bonus. You can benefit from 4 Shards at most at the same time. Use it when you are going to benefit from the Shards for a while and it is wise to have an idea of who else is using it in your raid, so that you can share each other's Lifeblood Shards.
This Essence's Minor Power, Lifeblood, gives your attacks a chance to spawn Lifeblood Shards with similar effects to the Major Power — this gives you and nearby allies with the same Essence a small primary stat bonus.
*The Worldvein Resonance Essence is only a good choice if there are at least 5 other raid members using the Worldvein Resonance Essence in the raid that you are able to share Lifeblood Shards with. If you are alone, or in Mythic+, it will be a lot worse.
Purification Protocol is an Essence unlocked by gaining reputation with the Mechagon faction, the Rustbolt Resistance. Rank 1 is unlocked at Honored, Rank 2 is unlocked at Revered, and Rank 3 is unlocked at Exalted.
This Essence's Major Power, Purifying Blast, is an ability with a 1-minute cooldown that lets you choose an area on the ground where a beam will blast down for 6 seconds, dealing heavy AoE damage to all enemies in the blast. At higher ranks, it has a chance to instantly kill enemies in this blast. Also, at higher ranks, if an enemy dies in the blast, you gain 10% damage done for 8 seconds. This Essence is well-suited for Mythic+ content, so while it is low on the list for single-target applications, you should not overlook this trait for dungeon content. Use it on large packs when there are targets in it that are within 6 seconds of dying.
This Essence's Minor Power, Purification Protocol, gives your attacks a chance to deal AoE fire damage. At higher ranks, it also heals you. This does 50% increased damage against Aberrations.
Vision of Perfection
Vision of Perfection is an Essence that drops from King Mechagon, the final boss in the Operation: Mechagon dungeon. Rank 2 can be crafted in the Mechagon Junkyard with items you earn from doing Mechagon Island content. Rank 3 is unlocked by killing King Mechagon multiple times to gather Progression Sprockets.
This Essence's Major Power, Vision of Perfection, gives your spells a chance to activate Shadow Blades for 25% of its normal duration, or 35% at higher Ranks. At higher Ranks, it also gives you and 2 allies a small Haste buff.
This Essence's Minor Power, Strive for Perfection, reduces the cooldown of Shadow Blades by 15%, and this percentage is increased at higher Ranks. At higher Ranks, it also grants you a passive Versatility bonus and gives you a 5% self-heal when you activate Shadow Blades.
Memory of Lucid Dreams
Memory of Lucid Dreams is an Essence unlocked early on by doing the initial quest line to the Nazjatar zone. The higher ranks are unlocked by gaining Experience with certain NPCs.
This Essence's Major Power, Memory of Lucid Dreams, is an ability on a 2-minute cooldown that increases your Energy regeneration rate by 100% for 12 seconds. At higher Ranks, this lasts for 15 seconds, and it also gives you a bit of Leech.
This Essence's Minor Power, Lucid Dreams, causes your abilities to have a chance to refund 50% of their Energy cost, and also heal you for a small amount. At higher ranks, it also gives you a small amount of passive Versatility.
Condensed Life Force
This Essence's Major Power, Guardian of Azeroth summons a powerful Guardian of Azeroth for 30 seconds on a 3-minute cooldown. At rank 2, the Guardian gains an AoE ability. At rank 3, you gain 2% Haste whenever the Guardian casts a spell, stacking up to 5 times and lasts while the Guardian is up.
This Essence's Minor Power, Condensed Life-Force causes your spells and abilities have a chance to cast an Azerite Spike at your target. Rank 2 increases the damage of the spikes and Rank 3 causes the spikes to apply a debuff to your target which makes it take 5% extra damage.
Essence of the Focusing Iris
Essence of the Focusing Iris is unlocked via completing a 4 or higher Mythic+ dungeon in Season 3 and looting the chest. Rank 2 is obtained from 7 or higher and Rank 3 by combining 15 Focused Life Anima which you get from your weekly Mythic+ cache.
This Essence's Major Power, Focused Azerite Beam is burst AoE spell with a 1.75-second cast, 3-second channel with a 1.5-minute cooldown. Rank 2 reduces cast time to 1.25 seconds and Rank 3 allows you to cast and move while channeling the ability.
This Essence's Minor Power, Focused Energy causes your spells and abilities to give you a Haste buff for 4 seconds, stacking up to 10 times. If you switch targets, your stacks will reset to 0. Rank 2 increases the Haste granted by 50% and Rank 3 causes you to instantly gain 3 stacks when switching targets.
Conflict and Strife
Conflict and Strife is unlocked via various things related to Rated PvP. Rank 1 is obtained by acquiring 500 Conquest in Season 3, Rank 2 from getting 1000 Rating and opening your next weekly PvP cache and Rank 3 will be unlocked by combining 15 Burgeoning Battlefield Furor which you will get from your weekly PvP Cache.
This Essence's Major Power, Conflict allows you to use the PvP Talent Maneuverability in PvE situations. Rank 2 doubles the damage reduction effect of your Versatility when stunned and Rank 3 causes your Crowd Control and Interrupt abilities to grant you a stack of the minor power Strife and doubles the Versatility gained for 5 seconds.
This Essence's Minor Power, Strife causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to grant Versatility for 8 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Being Crowd Controlled always gives you a stack. Rank 2 increases the duration of the buff to 14 seconds and Rank 3 increases the maximum number of stacks to 8.
Ripple in Space
Ripple in Space is obtained by completing a quest in Nazjatar which requires you to kill 25 players of the opposing faction. Rank 2 is obtained from completing Fighting on Two Fronts achievement and Rank 3 is acquired via combining Call to Arms Distinction which you get from completing weekly world PvP Call to Arms quests.
This Essence's Major Power, Ripple in Space spawns an Azerite Beacon at the targeted location and after 4 seconds you get teleported to it and deal damage to all nearby enemies. It has 1-minute cooldown and 25-yard range. Rank 2 reduces activation time to 2 seconds and Rank 3 causes you to take 10% less damage for 10 seconds after teleporting.
This Essence's Minor Power, Reality Shift grants you Agility for 15 seconds whenever you move more than 25 yards within 4 seconds. This proc has a 30-second cooldown. Rank 2 increases the duration of the buff to 20 seconds and Rank 3 grants you 5% movement speed at all times.
- 14 Apr. 2020: Page updated.
- 13 Jan. 2020: Page updated for Patch 8.3.
- 17 Sep. 2019: Added simulations.
- 08 Jul. 2019: Page updated with Essence rankings and added descriptions.
- 24 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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