Subtlety Rogue DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 26, 2020 at 16:40 by Ashine 10 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Subtlety Rogue guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. Here, you will learn how to play as a Subtlety Rogue in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Rogue guide.

1.

Subtlety Rogue Overview

Subtlety Rogues revolve around burst damage windows by combining Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Danceand Symbols of Death Icon Symbols of Death whenever possible for maximum burst, however this means that damage outside of these cooldowns is very mediocre at best. Like other Rogue specializations, Subtlety has one of the best defensives in the game.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
X Weaknesses
3.

Changes for Subtlety Rogues

Subtlety is receiving quite a lot of mechanical changes in Shadowlands, however the playstyle will still feel very similar to how it played out in Battle for Azeroth.

The largest rotational change is introduction of new spell Black Powder Icon Black Powder, which is a Combo Point finisher that deals damage up to 8 enemies, which means that Subtlety will have a spammable AoE damage ability.

Shadowlands has three exciting major features, Torghast, Legendary Powers, and Covenants. Check out the links to see our recommended Covenant and Legendaries for Subtlety Rogues as well as some tips for Torghast further down on the page.

For the full list of changes for Rogues for Shadowlands, please use the link below.

4.

Leveling a Subtlety Rogue

If you are planning on leveling a Rogue, make sure to check out our Leveling page below for tips regarding talents and more.

Addons make it easier to track important buffs and debuffs which is why we recommend that you get used to them while leveling, so check out our addons page below. You can also find few useful macros there.

5.

Basics of Subtlety Rogue Gameplay

Subtlety Rogue is a spec that deals with multiple different resources and bunch of cooldowns, which may seem daunting to a new player trying to pick up the spec. Understanding the core concept of the specialization makes it quite a bit simpler, which is that the goal is to stack as many cooldowns as possible to deal massive burst damage.

Cast Shadow Blades Icon Shadow Blades, Symbols of Death Icon Symbols of Death and Vanish Icon Vanish on cooldown.

Aim to align Shadow Dance with Symbols of Death Icon Symbols of Death whenever possible.

Maintain Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice and Rupture Icon Rupture, cast Backstab Icon Backstab, Shuriken Storm Icon Shuriken Storm or Shadowstrike Icon Shadowstrike to generate Combo Points. Spend Combo Points on Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate unless Slice and Dice or Rupture are about to fall off.

Outside of Shadow Dance, cast Shuriken Storm on 2+ targets. When Shadow Dance is active, cast it on 3+ targets.

If you are an absolute beginner to the spec, but would like to learn the basic fundamentals of the class, recommend looking through the Spell Summary first, as well as the Easy Mode page linked below.

If you have previous experience with Rogues, you can head straight to the Talents and Rotation pages to jump right into the more complicated information regarding rotation and talents.

6.

How to Gear Up as a Subtlety Rogue

Since the game offers so many routes of gearing now, be it through Mythic+, PvP or raiding, it is very difficult list exact best in slot items, as these often change for every character depending on what gear they are already wearing. Keep in mind that the best way to find out upgrades is by simulating your character, however we will have Best in Slot items listed below from the current raid tier.

Important part of the gearing process is to make sure that you try to aim for gear that has good stats for Subtlety along with proper gems, enchants and other consumables as these provide you with decent amount of DPS. Check out our dedicated stats page, as well as enchants and gems page to find out what to use as Subtlety Rogue.

7.

Subtlety Rogue in Shadowlands

Shadowlands brings us a ton of customization options with the introduction of Covenants, Soulbinds and Legendaries.

Choosing a Covenant gives you a new class specific ability along with miniature talent trees in the form of soulbinds that you can customize depending on the content you are planning on doing. On top of that, we have access to bunch of legendaries that are a mix of old set bonuses, legion legendaries and new powers to enhance our gameplay. We have detailed pages ready to tell you what Covenants, soulbinds and Legendaries excel in certain scenarios and more below:

8.

End-Game as a Subtlety Rogue

Once you feel like you have the basics down and are ready to take the step into end-game content, whether it is PvP, Torghast, Mythic+ or Raiding, we have pages that are ready to tell you optimal talents, tips and tricks and more below.

9.

Improving as a Subtlety Rogue

If you feel like your performance is subpar, but do not really know why, giving the pages below a read might help you or answer some questions you have regarding Subtlety.

10.

Changelog

  • 26 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Clarified usage of 2 Shadow Dances whenever Shadow Blades is up.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Removed mentions of Azerite armor and updated the page accordingly for release of Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Page updated with mentions of Covenants, Soulbinds and Legendaries for release of Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (simulations page): Removed Azerite trait simulations.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated page for Shadowlands release with gearing recommendations.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Added couple of useful Macros and updated page for release of Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated with new consumables for release of Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Stat priorities updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Added legendary recommendations for Mythic+ for release of Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Added openers for each covenant and updated page in general for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Talent recommendations updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Added new spells that are coming in Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for Shadowlands and added recommended Legendary and Covenant.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Page has been revised for release of Shadowlands.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 04 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Removed potions from opener and added separate paragraph.
  • 22 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Updated Major Essence recommendation for N'Zoth.
  • 22 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Added mention of Essences in opener.
  • 14 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated with new Essence recommendations for bosses.
  • 14 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Updated recommended weapon enchants.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 10 Sep. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page updated with some tips and talent choices.
  • 12 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added tips to most of the bosses.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Crucible of Storms and no changes are necessary.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Page added.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 25 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added talent recommendations for Mythic.
  • 10 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Small updates because of changes made to the bosses.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Changed formatting on the page.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page updated with short description of bosses and recommended Talents.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added (empty for now).
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