Subtlety Rogue DPS Spell Summary — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as a Subtlety Rogue in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic DPS Rogue spells.
Subtlety Rogue Spell Summary
If you are new to Subtlety, it is recommended you read this before proceeding! In this section we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialization, and how they interact with important cooldowns. If you have played this spec before or have already achieved a level of comfort playing this spec in a practical environment, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.
Main Resources for Subtlety Rogue
Energy is the main resource of Subtlety Rogues. Energy is generated passively, the rate of which can be increased by Haste, active abilities, talents, and procs.
Combo Points are another primary resource utilized by Subtlety Rogues. Some of your abilities generate Combo Points, while finishing moves spend them, dealing increased damage per Combo Point.
Cooldowns such as Shadow Dance and Vanish also function as rotational "resources" for Subtlety, as they enable you to use unique abilities that can only be activated in Stealth. Keeping careful track of these abilities, which will be discussed at greater length later in the guide, is just as important as managing your Energy and Combo Points.
This page lists spells that are used in our rotation, if you are interested in finding out more detailed information such as when you unlock these spells, make sure to check out the Rogue leveling page.
Basic Abilities for Subtlety Rogue
These abilities are available no matter what talents you chose, and form the bread and butter of this specialization.
Backstab is your main filler and Combo Point generator. It generates a single Combo Point per cast and deals 20% extra damage if you are behind your target.
Eviscerate is your main finisher, and deals increased damage per Combo Point consumed.
Black Powder is your AoE damage finisher, which you should use instead of Eviscerate on 3+ targets.
Rupture is a finishing move that applies a damage over time effect that deals Physical damage, and lasts longer per Combo Point consumed. This should be maintained on your primary target at all times.
Shuriken Storm deals damage to all targets within 10 yards, and generates 1 Combo Point per enemy hit. Shuriken Storm critical strikes apply Find Weakness. You should use this as your primary Combo Point generator on 2 or more targets, and only on 3 or more targets in Shadow Dance.
Slice and Dice is a finishing move that grants you 50% increased attack speed and lasts longer per Combo Point spent. Maintain Slice and Dice at all times.
Stealth Exclusive Abilities
To find out how these abilities interact with each other in our rotation, visit the rotation page below.
Shadow Techniques grants your successful auto attacks to have a 50% chance on your third and 100% on the fourth to proc Shadow Techniques. After it procs, the cycle starts over from 0.
Relentless Strikes guarantees an Energy refund of 6 Energy per Combo Point spent on finishers.
DPS Cooldowns for Subtlety Rogue
Shadow Dance is your main DPS cooldown. It allows you to shift into a state of Stealth, accessing unique abilities. It has 1 charge (or 2 when talented into Enveloping Shadows) with a 60-second recharge time which is reduced by the amount of Combo Points you spend. This ability is used strategically with Symbols of Death to maximize damage output. You should keep careful track of your Energy and Combo Points before entering Shadow Dance so you can maximize the short time available to you.
Symbols of Death generates 40 Energy and increases damage done by 15% for 10 seconds, on a 30-second cooldown. This is one of our primary cooldowns, and we like to pair it with a Shadow Dance when possible.
Shadow Blades is a powerful cooldown that causes your Combo Point-generating abilities to generate 1 additional Combo Point and deal 50 % additional damage as Shadow. This lasts for 20 seconds, and has a lengthy 3-minute cooldown. This ability does not need to be thought about too much and can safely be used on cooldown.
Crimson Vial heals you for 20% of your maximum Health over 4 seconds. Costs 20 Energy and has a 30-second cooldown.
Feint reduces damage taken from AoE abilities by 40% for 5 seconds. Costs 35 energy and has a 15-second cooldown.
Evasion increases your dodge chance by 100% for 10 seconds. Has a 2-minute cooldown.
Cloak of Shadows removes all harmful spell effects and causes you to resist all spells for 5-seconds. Cloak of Shadows costs nothing, is not on the GCD, and has a 2-minute cooldown.
Blind causes your target to be crowd controlled for 1-minute, but it breaks on damage. Can be useful to CC mobs in Mythic+ or just to use it as an "interrupt" for a dangerous cast.
Talented DPS Abilities of Subtlety Rogue
Marked for Death marks your current target, generating 5 Combo Points. If the target dies while it has the debuff, the cooldown is reset. 30-second cooldown.
Secret Technique is a Combo Point finisher that deals AoE damage. It has 45-second cooldown and gets reduced by 1 second for every Combo Point you spend.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Added new spells that are coming in Shadowlands.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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