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Subtlety Rogue DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.3)

Last updated on Sep 10, 2017 at 13:05 by Furty 326 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Subtlety Rogues in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Subtlety Rogue guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Future. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by impĂ˝, a Subtlety Rogue who raids in The Unnamed, a top German guild.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Master of Subtlety Master of Subtlety Weaponmaster Weaponmaster Gloomblade Gloomblade
30 Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge ? Subterfuge Shadow Focus Shadow Focus
45 Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Anticipation ? Anticipation Vigor Vigor
60 Soothing Darkness ? Soothing Darkness Elusiveness Elusiveness Cheat Death Cheat Death
75 Strike from the Shadows ? Strike from the Shadows Prey on the Weak ? Prey on the Weak Tangled Shadow ? Tangled Shadow
90 Dark Shadow Dark Shadow Alacrity ? Alacrity Enveloping Shadows ? Enveloping Shadows
100 Master of Shadows ? Master of Shadows Marked for Death ? Marked for Death Death from Above Death from Above

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. Raid Encounters

2.2. For General Use

This build is an excellent starting point for questing and general purpose usage.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Master of Subtlety Master of Subtlety Weaponmaster Weaponmaster Gloomblade Gloomblade

Tier 1 talents augment existing abilities with minor damage increases.

  • Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety causes attacks made from Stealth Icon Stealth and for 5 seconds after it breaks to deal 10% increased damage.
  • Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster grants your abilities a 6% chance to strike twice per target hit.
  • Gloomblade Icon Gloomblade replaces your Backstab Icon Backstab, deals shadow damage and is unaffected by facing.

Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster has rough parity with Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety on a single target, and pulls definitively into the lead once 2 targets are present (once you are using Shuriken Storm Icon Shuriken Storm). This is our go-to talent for virtually all situations.

Master of Subtlety Icon Master of Subtlety is slightly behind Weaponmaster Icon Weaponmaster, providing increased consistency in damage output, on a single target, at the cost of a slight average DPS loss.

Gloomblade Icon Gloomblade is noticeably behind both other options in normal scenarios.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge ? Subterfuge Shadow Focus Shadow Focus

Tier 2 talents augment your Stealth Icon Stealth ability to provide a damage increase.

Shadow Focus Icon Shadow Focus is a great option for sustained damage, and makes the spec significantly more forgiving.

Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker is the best option for large bursts of damage, and generally our go-to in combination with the other recommended talents.

Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge is a stable option for any situation, but noticeably weaker than the other options.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Anticipation ? Anticipation Vigor Vigor

Tier 3 talents augment your resource systems.

  • Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem increases maximum Combo Points to 6, allows finishing moves to consume 6 combo points, and increases the damage of finishing moves by 5%.
  • Anticipation Icon Anticipation increases maximum Combo Points to 10, but finishing moves still consume 5 combo points.
  • Vigor Icon Vigor increases your maximum Energy by 50 and increases Energy regeneration by 10%.

Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem is currently the best choice in all situations (even while using Denial of the Half-Giants Icon Denial of the Half-Giants). If you are a less seasoned player and struggle with Combo Point management, you should instead use Anticipation Icon Anticipation.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Soothing Darkness ? Soothing Darkness Elusiveness Elusiveness Cheat Death Cheat Death

Tier 4 talents improve your personal survivability.

  • Soothing Darkness Icon Soothing Darkness allows you to regenerate 3% of your maximum life per second while Stealth Icon Stealth is active.
  • Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness causes Feint Icon Feint to also grant 30% reduced damage taken from all sources.
  • Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death causes fatal damage to instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health and grant 85% reduced damage taken for 3 seconds. Cheat Death cannot save you from damage great that double your maximum health. It has a 6-minute cooldown.

Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death is a good choice for players in a raid environment, as it is entirely passive and great for soaking raid mechanics when needed. Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is technically the best talent in most situations, but requires you to be extremely proficient with Feint Icon Feint usage and very aware of incoming damage. Generally, Cheat Death is best for learning encounters and soaking high damage mechanics, whereas Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is great for sustained incoming damage, or soaking frequently occurring mechanics (such as Blood Ritual on Iron Maidens). Soothing Darkness Icon Soothing Darkness is a useful talent for questing and world content, but has no use in a practical environment.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Strike from the Shadows ? Strike from the Shadows Prey on the Weak ? Prey on the Weak Tangled Shadow ? Tangled Shadow

Tier 5 talents improve your crowd control utility.

Either Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak or Strike from the Shadows Icon Strike from the Shadows is fine here. As a rule of thumb, Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak is the superior choice when the entire group is focusing one target, as everyone in the group benefits from the damage bonus. Strike from the Shadows Icon Strike from the Shadows is a better choice when the damage is a little more split, or the focused damage is less important, as it combines damage output with crowd control. This allows to you instantly burst on important targets, such as Inconceivable Horrors on Xavius, without wasting a global cooldown. Prey is the recommended default choice as you do not want to stun targets unless you intend to.

Tangled Shadow Icon Tangled Shadow could be useful for dealing with an add that the tank needs to kite, as it would result in a permanent 70% slow as long as you are attacking the target and Nightblade Icon Nightblade is active.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Dark Shadow Dark Shadow Alacrity ? Alacrity Enveloping Shadows ? Enveloping Shadows

Tier 6 talents involve potent passives and a new finisher.

Dark Shadow Icon Dark Shadow offers unparalleled burst and is an extremely strong option in any situation, be it single-target or cleave. Should be picked in virtually all scenarios in current gear.

Enveloping Shadows Icon Enveloping Shadows is a good option for stable and sustained damage output.

Alacrity Icon Alacrity is a good option for sustained AoE but will generally fall behind Dark Shadow Icon Dark Shadow even in said situations.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Master of Shadows ? Master of Shadows Marked for Death ? Marked for Death Death from Above Death from Above

Tier 7 talents focus on resource utility and a powerful finishing move.

Death from Above Icon Death from Above is currently the best option for virtually all situations.

Master of Shadows Icon Master of Shadows is a good option for single-target damage but will often fall just short of Death from Above Icon Death from Above in current gear. A good option for newer and less experienced players.

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death can be a strong option when the reset can be constantly taken advantage of, though currently it does not seem to be quite as strong as the other options.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 10 Sep. 2017: Updated T5 talent descriptions.
  • 31 Aug. 2017: Removed mention of Weaponmaster bugs, as they have been fixed.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: No changes needed for Patch 7.3.
  • 28 Jun. 2017: Updated several talents.
  • 24 Jun. 2017: Added Marked for Death as General Use level 100 talent.
  • 15 Jun. 2017: Updated to provide a more definitive answer on which talents are our go-to in 7.2.5.
  • 14 Jun. 2017: Updated Tier 2, 6, and 7 talent discussions.
  • 03 Apr. 2017: Slight update to the discussion between Master of Subtlety and Weaponmaster.
  • 23 Jan. 2017: Added a section explaining the Finality bug for Anticipation.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Updated for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 06 Dec. 2016: Updated T1 talents (Weaponmaster>=MoS) and added a note about situational uses of Alacrity and Death From Above.
  • 11 Oct. 2016: Updated talent build and descriptions.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Updated Level 45, 75, 90, and 100 talent recommendations.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Tweaked Level 30 talent recommendations.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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