Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of this specialization:
The ability to provide these bursts in the right place at the right time.
Great survivability, typical for this spec.
Low damage, apart from bursts.
Average AoE potential.
BASIC INFORMATION ON THE SPEC:
The Rogue is a lightly armored class that specializes in melee damage and has 2 main resources: Energy and Combo Points (CP). Accordingly, there are abilities that spend these resources, or, vice versa, allow you to gain them. The correct use of these abilities and wise rotations are your keys to success.
Premeditation – after entering Stealth, your next Shadowstrike grants up to 10 sec of Мясорубка, and generates 2 additional combo points if Мясорубка is active. This Talent works better when additional targets appear, so it’s mostly used in M+, cleave combats and raids. Though, if you have Finality (Legendary), you can use it on single targets.
Gloomblade – replaces Backstab. It’s a non-target spell, which deals Shadow damage. It’s stronger than Backstab, but compared to the other two Talents, grants less DPS, as your primary damage is based on other abilities.
Tier 2 Lvl 25 DPS Talents that interact with Stealth.
Nightstalker – while Stealth is active, you move 20% faster and your abilities deal 12% more damage. Works with Shadow Dance. At the moment, its potential is very limited, the Talent is only useful for heavy AoE with 5+ targets.
Shadow Focus – abilities cost 20% less Energy while Stealth or Shadow Dance is active The best option in this tier, both for single targets and M+. Shadow Dance provides a greater part of our damage, so consuming less Energy during bursts is just what you need.
Vigor – increases your maximum Energy by 50 and your Energy regeneration by 10%.
Deeper Stratagem – you may have a maximum of 6 combo points, and your finishing moves deal 5% increased damage. In Subtlety, it’s your default Talent in any situation, as it grants a nice boost and prevents CP overcap issues.
Marked for Death – marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. CD 60 sec (dynamic), duration 60 sec. Cooldown reset if the target dies within 1 min.
Cheat Death – fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 sec afterward, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more often than once per 6 min. Always take this Talent, as there’s nothing better than a second life!
Elusiveness – Feint also reduces all damage you take from non-area-of-effect attacks by 30% for 5 sec. Keep in mind that Feint costs 35 Energy and lasts only 5 sec (CD 15 sec), so maintaining Feint high uptime is quite impossible, while frequent use negatively affects your damage. Questionable Talent, as it’s very specific.
Prey on the Weak – enemies disabled by one of your stuns take 10% increased damage from all sources for 6 sec. Sometimes it can be useful in raids.
Dark Shadow – Shadow Dance now increases damage by 30%. Significantly increases our burst damage, but overall grants a smaller boost than the other Talents. Can be used in rare situations, when rapid burst is more important than DPS.
Alacrity – your finishing moves have a 20+ % chance per combo point (up to 100% with 5 CP) to grant 2% Haste for 20 sec, stacking up to 5 times. This is a good Talent, but the next one is better.
Enveloping Shadows – Deepening Shadows reduces the remaining cooldown of Shadow Dance by an additional 0.5 sec per combo point spent. Shadow Dance gains 1 additional charge. Makes gameplay more comfortable, letting you use Shadow Dance when it’s more profitable. You can combine Shadow Dance with Symbols of Death more effectively or simply keep it for a certain moment in combat. At the moment, this Talent is the best choice.
Secret Technique – finishing move that creates shadow clones of yourself. You and your shadow clones each perform a piercing attack on up to 6 enemies near your target, dealing Physical damage to the primary target and reduced damage to other targets. CD 45 sec. It’s a standard choice for cleave-fights and M+.
Here are your common builds:
M+ / Cleave:
Below you can learn more about the abilities these Covenants provide.
Echoing Reprimand – deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Costs 30 Energy, CD 45 sec.
Sometimes hard to implement, but still grants a solid boost.
It may seem useless, but don’t underestimate the extra heal. It also removes all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects – very useful throughout the game.
Flagellation – lash the target 3 times, dealing Shadow damage and adding a stack of Flagellation for each lash. The target remains tormented for 20 sec, receiving an additional lash for each combo point you spend. Reactivating Flagellation cleanses their torment, increasing your Haste by 0.5% per stack, up to a maximum of 15% Haste for 20 sec. CD 1.5 min. Good DPS ability, but it can be fairly inconvenient when used against squishy targets.
Door of Shadows – castable blink.
Can be used to skip some enemies or shorten the distance, but overall this class is mobile enough even without it.
THE NIGHT FAE
Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration.
This ability has a nice synergy with Mark of the Master Assassin, but since this Legendary isn’t your priority at the moment, it shouldn’t affect your choice.
Soulshape – turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yards forward and increasing your movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few sec to teleport again. Lasts 12 sec, or indefinitely while in a rest area. When Soulshape is active, you can’t cast spells.
It’s a useful ability both for mobility out of combat and for quick repositioning in fights.
Serrated Bone Spike – embed a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when target dies or is healed to full. Costs 10 Energy, CD 30 sec.
Can be used on single or multiple targets.
Fleshcraft – form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 min. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. This is most effective against powerful enemies. Besides, the spell gives you a combat buff, depending on the race of the monster.
It’s a pretty good utility ability, but it’s channeled, so you can’t always use it in fights.
The Covenants that suit Subtlety best are the following:
the Kyrian > the Venthyr >= the Night Fae >= the Necrolords
The current rating of Potency Conduits:
Let’s have a look at the most useful of them:
For single targets:
Also, the choice of Legendary Item Effects can be affected by your Covenants, Talents and equipment.
Try to use finishing moves at 5-6 CP, avoiding overcap, including Shadow Techniques procs.
- Keep Slice and Dice active throughout the whole fight, trying to refresh the buff without Symbols of Death and Shadow Dance.
- Maintain Rupture on your target, refreshing it between bursts.
- Use Shadow Blades on recharge.
- Shadow Dance is used with Symbols of Death once the latter is up, or if the number of Shadow Dance stacks is close to 2.
- Use Vanish on recharge, combine it with Shadowstrike, but not with Shadow Dance.
- (if you have Secret Technique) use Secret Technique on recharge, or with AoE / Symbols of Death if necessary.
- Eviscerate is your main finisher at 5-6 CP.
- Use Shadowstrike to gain CP in Stealth or during Shadow Dance.
- Out of Shadow Dance, use Backstab to generate CP only if you’re close to Energy overcap, and save Energy before bursts.
Black Powder is used on 3+ enemies.
Rupture can be active on all targets that can survive most of its duration, but don’t use it for short-term AoE. Besides, don’t use Rupture on 6+ targets, just like Slice and Dice – better go for Shuriken Storm -> Black Powder.
Covenant abilities and their impact on your priorities:
Echoing Reprimand – used on recharge. The buff itself lasts for 45 sec and has the same CD. It means that it can be easily implemented with other useful buffs, say, to enhance Eviscerate during Shadow Dance, while Symbols of Death is active.
Flagellation – used on recharge and recast at 30 stacks, or before the buff goes off. No point to synergize it with bursts, we just want to minimize its downtime.
The Night Fae
Serrated Bone Spike – minimize its downtime and if you have 3 Spike charges, embed at least one of them in any target.
When fighting single targets, just use Serrated Bone Spike charges whenever you can, for example, to cap your CP.
In M+ or in cleave fights, keep this ability active on as many enemies as possible. Try to use Serrated Bone Spike on targets that are most likely to die first to gain some extra charges.
CHOOSING A RACE
Finesse > Crit = Versatility > Mastery > Haste
Versatility and Crit are your main priorities. Mastery is a bit more important for AoE, while Haste loses its significance in this case.
To maximize your stats, use raidbots.com (-> Stat Weights) and import this information to the game with Pawn (addon) for further convenience.
Based on the above-mentioned characteristics and your own simulation results, let’s move on to Gems, Enchants and Consumables.
Stones:Shaded Sharpening Stone
Heal pots:Spiritual Healing Potion
Armor kits:Heavy Desolate Armor Kit
BIS GEAR & TRINKETS
Neck –Noble’s Birthstone Pendant – The Council of Blood
Shoulder –Wicked Flanker’s Gorget – General Kaal
Cloak –Crest of the Legionnaire General – General Kaal
Chest –Corset of the Deft Duelist – The Council of Blood
Wrist –Precisely Calibrated Chronometer – Artificer Xy’mox
Hands –Bleakwing Assassin’s Grips – Kael’thas Sunstrider
Waist-Spell-Woven Tourniquet – Huntsman Altimor
Legs –Chiropteran Leggings – Shriekwing
Feet –Enchanted Toe-Tappers – The Council of Blood
Ring #1 –Hyperlight Band – Lady Inerva Venaoscura
Ring #2 –Most Regal Signet of Sire Denathrius – Sire Denathrius
Trinket #1 –Macabre Sheet Music – The Council of Blood
Trinket #2 –Stone Legion Heraldry – Stone Legion Generals
Weapon #1 –Zenith Anima Spherule – Sire Denathrius
Weapon #2 –Zenith Anima Spherule – Sire Denathrius
/cast [@mouseover, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade
/cast [@focus, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade
/cast [@targettarget, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade
Tricks of the Trade macros for M+ (pull to the leader, usually a tank)
/cast [@party1] Tricks of the Trade
Kick on your focus or current target
/cast [@focus , exists, harm] Kick;Kick
/cast [talent:7/2] Secret Technique;Shuriken Tornado
Marked for Death at the cursor position (mouseover macro)
/cast [@mouseover] Marked for Death
Shadowstep at the cursor position (mouseover macro)
/cast [@mouseover] Shadowstep
BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods – addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately.
nugComboBar – an addon for displaying combo points in an aesthetic form.
ElvUI is an all-in-one global build for fans of a neat and concise interface. Replaces several addons at once. On wago.io you can find a large number of different customized profiles for ElvUI.
Details! Damage Meter is the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment.
Plater Nameplates – an addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io – what else do you need?
Dominos is a customizable panel addon.
Basic Chat Mods – addon for chat customization.
Deja Character stats – adds more information about the character.
Shadowed unit frames – an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.