Subtlety Rogue PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / 9.0.2)

Last updated on Oct 27, 2020 at 11:03 by Mysticall 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.


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.


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.


Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents

Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker is the best choice in this tier. This talent will make Shadow Dance Icon Shadow Dance an even stronger cooldown. The increased damage and control you have while Shadow Dance is active make Subtlety Rogues very powerful.


Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death is the best choice in this tier. This can be used in many different ways. You can use Marked For Death and get a full Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot on your kill target or for crowd control. You can also use it aggressively for Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate on an enemy with low health.


Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents

Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is an all-around solid choice, and the best talent in this tier. Just make sure to use Feint Icon Feint when you are the focus for the enemy team. You want to try to time it so you use Feint right before a stun on you.


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.


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, but you get a second charge of it as well. This is crucial to maximizing your control and damage throughout an arena match.


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 active, increasing your sustained damage.


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.


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 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. The first is to land a kill while your target is stunned without a trinket. The enemy healer will not be able to heal and you will easily secure a kill while Smoke Bomb is active. The second is to stop incoming spells. This is not done often, but you can use Smoke Bomb on your healer to prevent enemies from crowd controlling them. It all depends on the situation, which is why this PvP talent is so good.

Shadowy Duel Icon Shadowy Duel places you and the enemy you cast this on in a duel. You can only interact with each other and no one else for 8 seconds. This talent should be chosen if you want additional crowd control.


Situational PvP Talents

Maneuverability Icon Maneuverability is a very strong PvP talent versus teams with multiple slows. This should be taken so you can maximize your uptime on your target. You can replace Shadowy Duel Icon Shadowy Duel with this PvP talent.



  • 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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