Subtlety Rogue PvP Guide (Shadowlands 9.2.5)

Last updated on Jul 28, 2022 at 14:29 by Shadenox 28 comments
General Information

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, PvP talents, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Rogue PvP guide.


Subtlety Rogues in the Current Meta

Subtlety Rogues have one of the best control toolkits in the game with Blind Icon Blind and Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, but most importantly with Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance, enabling them to access Sap Icon Sap and Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot at will. They also have the well-knwown Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb, recently buffed, as well as the unique ability Shadowy Duel Icon Shadowy Duel, making them true crowd control lord amongst the melee specializations. They also have strong on-demand burst damage, allowing them to score kills when the entire enemy team is in CC.


Noteworthy Shadowlands Changes


Patch 9.3 Changes

  • Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate damage reduced by 10% in PvP combat.
  • The Legendary Invigorating Shadowdust Icon Invigorating Shadowdust now reduced the cooldown of your other abilities by 10s in PvP combat (was 20s).

Patch 9.2 Changes


Patch 9.1 changes


Strengths of Subtlety Rogues

  • Great control
  • Strong burst
  • Decent mobility
  • Excellent utility

Weaknesses of Subtlety Rogues

  • No defensive abilities when stunned
  • Long cooldown on defensive abilities
  • Reliant on teammates to stay alive
  • Weaker when facing Orc/Human+Relentless enemies
  • Non-existant sustained damage

Content of the Guide

This guide ended up being very long, so we decided to split it in different pages.

  • On the Subtlety Rogue PvP Talents page, you will find an analysis of each PvE talent row to help you decide which talent to pick on each row, as well as an overview of the PvP talents, which advice on which ones to take and under which conditions.
  • On the Subtlety Rogue PvP Rotation and Playstyle page, you will learn how to use your spells, depending on the situation (dealing damage, surviving, controlling enemy players, etc.), and what is generally expected of your class and spec in PvP.
  • On the Subtlety Rogue PvP Covenants and Legendary Powers page, you will find advice on choosing the best Covenant, Soulbind, and Conduits as well as the best PvP Legendary Powers.
  • On the Subtlety Rogue PvP Stat Priority and Gear page, you will find the stat priority to follow in PvP, as well as advice for choosing your gear, particularly trinkets.
  • On the Subtlety Rogue PvP Best Races page, you will find lists of the Alliance and Horde races, ranked by how good they are for Subtlety Rogues in PvP, as well as explanations regarding why and how their racials benefit you.
  • On the Subtlety Rogue PvP Useful Macros page, you will find a collection of useful macros for PvP for Subtlety Rogues.
  • On the Subtlety Rogue Arena Composition page, you will find the list of the most powerful Arena compositions featuring Subtlety Rogues, in both 2v2 and 3v3 modes.


  • 28 Jul. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 01 Jul. 2022: Updated page structure.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 21 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
  • 10 Nov. 2021: Already up to date with Patch 9.1.5.
  • 04 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Mar. 2021: Rewritten by Shadenox and further updated for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 18 Mar. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 29 Nov. 2020: Removed old Azerite mentions and updated gear page.
  • 27 Nov. 2020: Added Covenant page.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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