Subtlety Rogue PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / 9.0.5)

Last updated on Mar 28, 2021 at 15:18 by Shadenox 23 comments

Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as a Subtlety Rogue and gives you the best combinations you can take.

This page is part of our Subtlety Rogue PvP Guide.

1.

Regular Talents for Subtlety Rogues

Level Choices
15 Weaponmaster Weaponmaster Premeditation Premeditation Gloomblade Gloomblade
25 Nightstalker ? Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Shadow Focus Shadow Focus
30 Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death Marked for Death
35 Soothing Darkness ? Soothing Darkness Cheat Death Cheat Death Elusiveness Elusiveness
40 Shot in the Dark Shot in the Dark Night Terrors Night Terrors Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak
45 Dark Shadow Dark Shadow Alacrity Alacrity Enveloping Shadows Enveloping Shadows
50 Master of Shadows Master of Shadows Secret Technique Secret Technique Shuriken Tornado Shuriken Tornado

While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.

1.1.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Premeditation Icon Premeditation is the best choice in this tier. This will give you more time to do more damage, rather than having to spend Combo Points on Slice and Dice Icon Slice and Dice. Also, if you already have Slice and Dice at the beginning of a go, you will get 4 Combo Points from your first Shadowstrike. This will allow you to use Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate sooner.

1.2.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents

Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge is the best choice in this tier. This talent will allow you to crowd control the entire enemy team every time you come out of stealth and you do not have Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance available, or if you know that you will get crowd controlled and therefore do not want to use it. It is particularly powerful in 3v3, as there are more enemies to crowd control. If you are playing 2v2 with another DPS, or even with a healer, you can choose to talent into Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker to have more damage on your setups, as you do not need the extra utility Subterfuge provides you as much as you do in 3v3.

1.3.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death is the best choice in this tier. This can be used in two different ways. You can use Marked For Death and get a full Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on a target you need to crowd control when you do not have time to generate Combo Points. You can also use it aggressively for Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate during your burst window.

1.4.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents

Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is the best choice in this tier as long as you are playing with a healer. Rogues do not have a lot of damage mitigation, so this spell is essential to your survival. You want to time this ability right before being hit by a powerful spell such as Chaos Bolt Icon Chaos Bolt or Divine Toll Icon Divine Toll. Also, you want to try and time it before being stunned. Pre-Feinting a Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso, a Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, or a Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt often makes the difference between living and dying. If you are playing 2v2 with another DPS, you want to talent into Soothing Darkness Icon Soothing Darkness. Since your gameplay then will be hit-and-run, this will provide you with passive healing when you have gone away from the fight and are waiting for the diminishing returns to fall off.

1.5.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents

Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak is the best choice in this tier. This is a damage increase to you and your teammates. Because your kill target will most likely be stunned, this is an important damage increase to have when securing a kill.

1.6.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents

Enveloping Shadows Icon Enveloping Shadows is the best choice in this tier. This makes it so you can not only reduce the cooldown of Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance faster, but you get a second charge of it as well. This is crucial to maximizing your control and damage throughout an arena match, as you will be able to have a Shadow Dance ready every time the stun diminishing returns have fallen off.

1.7.

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents

Master of Shadows Icon Master of Shadows is the best choice in this tier. This will allow you to regenerate Energy quicker while you are in Stealth or while Shadow Dance is activated, increasing your sustained damage.

2.

PvP Talents for Subtlety Rogues

You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain strategies than others. The top three choices are the most useful, but can be replaced with other PvP talents depending on your team's goal.

2.1.

Mandatory PvP Talents

Cold Blood Icon Cold Blood instantly deals 10% of the enemy players health when you use Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot or Shadowstrike Icon Shadowstrike. This is a good offensive cooldown and a great ability when using your burst rotation.

Smoke Bomb Icon Smoke Bomb creates a smoke cloud around you. Enemy players who are outside the cloud will not be able to target anyone inside of it. This talent is mandatory for multiple reasons. Firstly, it can help you land a kill by stunning a target when they have no trinket. By using Smoke Bomb right after the stun you will prevent the healer from saving their teammate. Secondly, you can use it defensively to save yourself or an ally from a lethal cast that is about to go off, such as Greater Pyroblast Icon Greater Pyroblast. And lastly, you can use it to prevent incoming crowd control on you or your team if such crowd control would result in you losing a game, such as a Polymorph Icon Polymorph or Repentance Icon Repentance on your healer when they have no trinket and you are low on health. As you can see, this talent is helpful in many different situations, which is why it is so powerful.

Shadowy Duel Icon Shadowy Duel places you and the enemy you cast this on in a duel. Both of you can only interact with each other and no one else for 6 seconds. This talent is extremely powerful. You can use it on an enemy at low health to prevent the enemy healer from saving them while you finish them off. If you do not have the damage to do so you, can instead use it on the enemy healer to give time to your teammates to finish off your kill target. You can also use it on an enemy who is killing one of your teammates. Since they will be locked in the Duel with you, they can no longer attack your allies. You can also use it on an enemy who is casting an important spell on one of your allies. Since you will phase them in the Duel with you the spell will never be cast. One thing worth knowing is that inside a Shadowy Duel everyone has Truesight, which means that both you and your enemy will see through Stealth or other invisibility spells. The consequence is that if you try to Duel an enemy to save an ally, and then Vanish to be safe yourself, the enemy will still be able to see you, and kill you. In the same way, if you Duel a Rogue and he uses Vanish, you will be able to see him, Sap him, or kill him.

2.2.

Situational PvP Talents

Maneuverability Icon Maneuverability is a very strong PvP talent versus teams with multiple slows. This can be taken so you can maximize your uptime on your target. Most of the time the 3 talents shown above are so powerful that you will not select this talent even when facing a team with a lot of slows.

3.

Changelog

  • 28 Mar. 2021: Rewritten by Shadenox and updated for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 18 Mar. 2021: No Updates Made for Patch 9.0.5
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Talent Table.
    • Updated Tier 6 Regular Talent.
  • 27 Oct. 2020: Updated Talent Table.
    • Updated Tier 2 Regular Talent.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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