In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Subtlety Rogues thrive in single-target DPS situations. That is not to say that they can't be of benefit in big mob pulls, but a single target is where their shadows become a force to be reckoned with. With an easy rotation to master and numerous tools to keep yourself alive, Subtlety Rogue is a lot of fun to play and can be a great role to have in Mythic+ dungeons.
They bring high burst damage and mobility to your party, and can make yourself and your party invisible for possible skips. Mythic+ can seem daunting to some, but with a little help building a Subtlety Rogue, you will be able to quickly take down those bosses and tame that Mythic dungeon.
Subtlety Talent Tree
Talents are so important for making sure your damage is coming out on top. With a wide variety to choose from, it's hard to know what to pick. Since PvP Talents are only usable in PvP Modes, we won't worry about those.
In the first row, Weaponmaster or Premeditation are great choices. If you want the possibility of more damage, go with Weaponmaster. If making sure your rotation is one move less, roll with Premeditation. For the level 25 talent row, you can choose Nightstalker for some extra burst damage, or you can choose Shadow Focus to use less energy. Both are great choices depending on your play style. Deeper Stratagem is the obvious choice to fill out the level 30 row. This gives you six combo points total, and your finishing moves deal five percent more damage.
Cheat Death is a must for the level 35 talent. It will save you from death once every six minutes, giving you enough time to use those Crimson Vials and get back in the fight. Night Terrors is a solid pick for the level 40 talent, as it will allow you to AoE more efficiently during big mob pulls. Slowing your enemies with Shuriken Storm, your teammates may even thank you for keeping the enemy from running away. Prey on the Weak is a great choice as well, for more single-target damage output.
For the level 45 row, we are going to run with Enveloping Shadows. This will allow you to get more Shadow Dances off during the fight by using combo points to reduce its cooldown, feeding off the previous Shadow Dance-benefiting talents. You could also go with Dark Shadow for more burst damage. Lastly, Master of Shadows is a deadly choice. When you enter Stealth or use Shadow Dance, you'll benefit from 25 energy over the following three seconds — allowing you to get more hits off while Shadow Dance is active.
Covenant Build Tree
While choosing the Kyrian Covenant is a good choice for a single target, choosing Venthyr is an ideal choice for both AoE and single-target fights. Since Subtlety Rogue focuses on windows of burst, the Venthyr Covenant is the way to go. You will want to pick Nadjia the Mistblade as your Soulbind. As the highest single-target DPS option, and with only slightly less AoE than Theotar the Mad Duke, Nadjia will be the best pick for Mythic+ runs. The Venthyr ability Flagellation will prove useful, and Door of Shadows is a great extra movement skill to have.
For Nadjia's Soulbind tree you will want to choose Thrill Seeker, Agent of Chaos, Friends in Low Places, Dauntless Duelist, Sinful Preservation, and Fatal Flaw. This Soulbind path will increase your haste, grant you more damage, give you a shield when using potions or Healthstones, and even disorient enemies. With such a well-rounded edge to bring to the table, Nadjia the Mistblade is the best of all worlds.
Good choices for the two Potency Conduit slots are Planned Execution and Lashing Scars. These will increase your Symbols of Death critical strike chance by six percent, and increase the damage and number of hits of Flagellation. Recuperator will fill your only Endurance Conduit slot. Healing you for up to 18 percent over 36 seconds during Slice and Dice, your healer will thank you for helping keep yourself alive. Lastly, your Finesse Conduits will be Fade to Nothing, Prepared for All, and Quick Decisions. These will give you more movement speed when stealthed, reduced cooldown times for Evasion and Cloak of Shadows by dodging or landing a Kick, a ten percent reduced cooldown on Shadowstep, and significantly increased range.
Stats And Legendaries
Agility is the main stat of any Rogue. From there you can either go Critical Strike or Versatility as your first or second priority stat, followed by Mastery and then Haste. This will ensure high damage output when you critical strike, increased overall damage, less damage taken, and your finishing moves have that extra punch they need.
Alongside your Unity Legendary, which will grant you Obedience if you are Venthyr, you will want your Subtely Rogue to have the Finality Legendary. You can obtain the Memory of Finality needed to craft the legendary either by defeating Sire Denathrius or by purchasing it from Rendle in Zereth Mortis for 600 Soul Cinders, 1,500 Cosmic Flux, 25 Grateful Offerings, or 2,500 Cataloged Research.
These two Legendaries together make a great team, and will show in your damage output. Obedience allows Flagellation to increase your Versatility by 0.5 percent, and each combo point spent will decrease its cooldown by one second. Finality will increase the damage of your next finishing move after using Eviscerate, Rupture, or Black Powder by 25 percent.
Single Target And AoE Rotation
Your single-target rotation will roughly start as follows:
- Stealth > Shadowstrike > Slice and Dice (Backstab beforehand if you want extra time on Slice and Dice) > Shadowblade > Symbols of Death.
This is where your burst window really opens up. After Symbols of Death, use any DPS Trinkets you have, then go into Shadowdance, then Shadowstrike until you have full combo points. Follow this with Flagellation and Eviscerate, then Shadowstrike until you can get a full combo point Rupture off. Then possibly add another Eviscerate.
By this time Shadowdance may be over, so refresh and go back at it with more Shadowstrikes, Flagellation, and Eviscerates. Note that you will want to pop Symbols of Death, Shadowblades, Shadow Dance, and Flagellation sequentially before Eviscerate when they are up, to make room for your burst windows.
Use Backstab to keep your Slice and Dice, and possibly Rupture, up when Shadowdance is on cooldown. From there, repeat from your first Shadowblade onwards, if your cooldowns have reset.
AoE rotation is fairly straightforward. When big mobs are pulled, deal AoE damage with Shuriken Storm to rack up those combo points and either use Black Powder to deal damage to those nearby, or use any other finishing move you feel is useful on either the healer of the mob or a high-damage enemy.
With that, you should have everything you need to tame those Mythic+ dungeons as a Subtlety Rogue.