Level 70 Subtlety Rogue Guide Table of contents: Introduction Character Build Gear, gems, enchants Talents Professions Macros General macros Arena macros Battleground macros IntroductionWelcome to the Battle for Azeroth version of my level 70 rogue guide, this time focusing on a single spec: Subtlety. I'm Dreams and I've played level 70 actively for almost 7 years. This guide, like the previous ones, is directed mainly at new rogue players. Its main goal is to try to answer all of the common questions people ask about the class. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments or by private message if you feel like anything should be changed or could be explained better. Character BuildThis section of the guide will address how to build your subtlety rogue. With Battle for Azeroth we're finally rid of the predetermined stat templates of Legion, which means we can once again choose our own stats through gear, enchants and gems. GearBefore you choose your gear it's important to realize how your spec works so you can build around it. Subtlety is a very control oriented spec that deals damage in short windows; during openers and shadow dances. Because of that it's very risky to use proc effects, as they are completely wasted if they proc outside of your damage windows. That's why we're using a build that emphasizes high base stats instead of relying on many proc effects. This list only includes gear, gems and enchants that are available right now. It also doesn't include the rare ilvl100 BoEs. If more than one item is listed, it means the choice is down to personal preference. Head: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34244/duplicitous-guise Neck: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34358/hard-khorium-choker http://www.wowhead.com/item=128553/enchant-neck-mark-of-the-hidden-satyr Shoulder: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34392/demontooth-shoulderpads http://www.wowhead.com/item=28888/greater-inscription-of-vengeance / http://www.wowhead.com/item=28910/greater-inscription-of-the-blade Back: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34241/cloak-of-unforgivable-sin https://www.wowhead.com/item=38893/enchant-cloak-stealth Chest: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34211/harness-of-carnal-instinct http://www.wowhead.com/item=74708/enchant-chest-glorious-stats Wrists: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34448/slayers-bracers http://www.wowhead.com/item=44815/enchant-bracer-greater-assault Hands: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34370/gloves-of-immortal-dusk http://www.wowhead.com/item=44458/enchant-gloves-crusher Waist: http://www.wowhead.com/item=30106/belt-of-one-hundred-deaths http://www.wowhead.com/item=41611/eternal-belt-buckle Legs: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34188/leggings-of-the-immortal-night http://www.wowhead.com/item=38371/jormungar-leg-armor / http://www.wowhead.com/item=38372/nerubian-leg-armor Feet: http://www.wowhead.com/item=32366/shadowmasters-boots http://www.wowhead.com/item=37603/enchant-boots-dexterity Ring 1: http://www.wowhead.com/item=44039/signet-of-bridenbrad http://www.wowhead.com/item=128544/enchant-ring-binding-of-versatility Ring 2: http://www.wowhead.com/item=42864/frozen-mood-ring http://www.wowhead.com/item=128544/enchant-ring-binding-of-versatility Trinkets: There are lots of good choices here, so I'll talk a bit about each trinket and in which situation they excel. http://www.wowhead.com/item=40767/sonic-booster is a very solid all-around trinket. It doesn't have the strongest attack power proc you can find, but its high stamina more than makes up for it. The 70 bracket is very fast paced and bursty, so whenever you can pick survivability without dropping too much damage, it's worth it. I recommend always running sonic booster in one of your slots. http://www.wowhead.com/item=23836/goblin-rocket-launcher is a 3 second ranged stun that doesn't DR other stuns. It also knocks you back when you fire it, effectively stunning you for ~1,5 seconds. This trinket is absolutely broken in coordinated pvp such as arenas. However it's seen as a somewhat cheesy trinket, so keep that in mind if you like to play "fair". http://www.wowhead.com/item=13515/ramsteins-lightning-bolts is the modern tazik shocker. Really good damage on use but the cooldown is pretty long. It's best in duels and arena. http://www.wowhead.com/item=29383/bloodlust-brooch is another really good all-around trinket. Its duration matches your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=121471/shadow-blades perfectly and the cooldown isn't too punishing. It's good for arenas and is the best choice for capture the flag battlegrounds as well as kot'mogu. https://www.wowhead.com/item=35702/figurine-shadowsong-panther is very similar to bloodlust brooch. It trades duration for cooldown. However, keep in mind that using your trinket on cooldown is rarely a good choice. Ideally you want to line up your trinket with other offense cooldowns as well as CC when you're killing a priority target. Shadowsong panther is a decent choice in battlegrounds that force you to fight often such as gilneas and silvershard mines. https://www.wowhead.com/item=127474/vestige-of-haldor is the best trinket for consistent damage, meaning you'll get the most out of it if you're constantly fighting. Just keep in mind that subtlety isn't great for that purpose. Good choice if you're going to be locked in long fights against multiple twink healers. https://www.wowhead.com/item=47214/banner-of-victory&bonus=4136 is the glass cannon version of sonic booster; higher damage and less survivability. I know some players prefer these kinds of builds but I personally wouldn't recommend it. Conclusion: You should carry most of these trinkets and swap them depending on what you're doing. However, if you're lazy or don't have the time to farm all of them, you can never go wrong with the https://www.wowhead.com/item=40767/sonic-booster + https://www.wowhead.com/item=29383/bloodlust-brooch combo. Main hand: http://www.wowhead.com/item=34329/crux-of-the-apocalypse http://www.wowhead.com/item=74726/enchant-weapon-dancing-steel Off hand: http://www.wowhead.com/item=28572/blade-of-the-unrequited http://www.wowhead.com/item=74726/enchant-weapon-dancing-steel GemsGet one http://www.wowhead.com/item=41398/relentless-earthsiege-diamond and one https://www.wowhead.com/item=28361/delicate-blood-garnet. Fill the rest of your sockets with http://www.wowhead.com/item=28363/deadly-ornate-topaz. TalentsLevel 15 Tier: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=193537/weaponmaster ✓ https://www.wowhead.com/spell=91023/find-weakness ✗ https://www.wowhead.com/spell=200758/gloomblade ? The best choice at level 120 is usually find weakness but there are a couple of factors that make weaponmaster the best choice by far at level 70: Level 70 characters get significantly less damage reduction from their armor when compared to level 120 characters. Subtlety mastery increases damage from finishing moves and shifts the majority of your damage from shadowstrikes to eviscerates. Level 70 rogues get most of their damage from shadowstrikes by far because they don't have mastery. Gloomblade offers very situational utility against physical immunity. Level 30 Tier: https://www.wowhead.com/spell=14062/nightstalker ? http://www.wowhead.com/spell=108208/subterfuge ✓ https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108209/shadow-focus ✗ Subterfuge provides an insane amount of utility and extends your burst windows. Good for both damage and control. Nightstalker is a situational all-out damage option that can be considered for very short 2v2 games. Level 45 Tier: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=14983/vigor ✓ https://www.wowhead.com/spell=193531/deeper-stratagem ✗ http://www.wowhead.com/spell=137619/marked-for-death ✓ The choice comes down to difference in playstyle as well as the role you're playing on your team. Vigor provides more energy for crowd control and rewards energy pooling and restealths. Marked for death allows for scarier openers and gives you more burst when it matters. Level 60 Tier: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=200759/soothing-darkness ✗ https://www.wowhead.com/spell=31230/cheat-death ✓ http://www.wowhead.com/spell=79008/elusiveness ✓ Choose elusiveness if you will consistently have a healer nearby, such as in 3v3 arena or when queuing premade battlegrounds with healers. It will allow you to more consistently outlive crowd control on your healers and is very powerful if you successfully predict stuns on yourself. Cheat death will save your life often because of how bursty the bracket is. The cooldown makes it a weak choice for 3v3 arena but it's very good in 2v2, duels and random battlegrounds. PvP TalentsBattle for Azeroth has finally given lower level players access to the PvP talents. At level 70 we get the trinket slot and 2 additional choices. Trinket Tier: Go with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=208683/gladiators-medallion, unless you're playing human in which case you can choose to play with either http://www.wowhead.com/spell=214027/adaptation or http://www.wowhead.com/spell=196029/relentless. PvP Talents: https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198952/veil-of-midnight ✗ Way too weak to be considered. Maybe if it worked off shadowstep like in Legion it would be decent. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=213981/cold-blood ✓ Really good burst option. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212081/thiefs-bargain ✗ The vanish cooldown reduction is decent for battlegrounds, but the price is way too steep in an already fast paced bracket. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=216883/phantom-assassin ✓ The value of this talent is lessened a bit by all the crit we already have from gear. Nevertheless it's a solid damage pick that will make a significant difference in your burst windows. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=207736/shadowy-duel ? The mechanics of shadowy duel are not immediately obvious after reading the tooltip. It places you and your target in another 'phase' where neither of you can see anyone except each other. Your allies can still see you, but the targets allies can no longer see them. That means you can still get healed freely while your target can only be helped by AoE mechanics such as SLT and barrier. In practice this talent functions a lot like a smoke bomb - it's main strength is isolating one target from their healer(s). It costs a global and a lot of energy, so don't expect to do massive damage when using it. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198675/dagger-in-the-dark ? Not a good choice for battlegrounds or arenas, but it can be a good damage option for duels. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=197899/silhouette ✗ Cool effect but unfortunately never worth replacing another talent for. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212182/smoke-bomb ✓ Excellent choice for both arenas and battlegrounds with twink healers in them. It's strongest when used in combinations with stuns on an out-of-position target. It can also be used as a peel or to stop CC, but because of its long cooldown you really want to be scoring kills with it. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=197000/maneuverability ✗ It's not terrible, but subtlety already has really good mobility which means this talent is never worth a slot. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=248744/shiv ? Shiv is a defensive option with lots of niche uses. It's excellent for kiting in 1v1 situations, even against rogues and warriors using evasion/parry, as it goes through all avoidance. It can also be used to keep someone in a smoke bomb after they trinketed a stun. Its only problem is that it can be hard to justify giving up a damage talent for it. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198032/honor-among-thieves ✗ Not strong enough to be considered for a slot. If only it didn't have a cooldown, it would be really good in big battleground fights. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=269513/death-from-above ? A viable choice for duels. Never use it to do damage, as you lose more damage from the animation time than you gain from the slightly harder hitting eviscerate. Instead, use it to try immune CC from your opponent by predicting when they're going to use it. ProfessionsChoosing the right professions is not as significant as it once was, but doing so can still give you some decent bonuses that are worth considering. Jewelcrafting is a must as it unlocks your BiS necklace http://www.wowhead.com/item=34358/hard-khorium-choker If you do happen to have a grandfathered http://www.wowhead.com/item=35135/guardians-pendant-of-triumph you can leave this slot open. Choose Engineering if you're planning on using http://www.wowhead.com/item=40767/sonic-booster or http://www.wowhead.com/item=23836/goblin-rocket-launcher. I recommend them both for their insanely high stamina and their effects. Engineering also provides a number of utilities that work in battlegrounds, which is the reason a lot of people pick it. If you still have an open slot you can go for Tailoring in order to make bandages. MacrosMacros are essential to any class and rogue is no exception. Their goal should always be to simplify your gameplay as much as possible without limiting you. In this section I'll share every macro that I use on my rogue in 3 different categories: General, Arenas and Battlegrounds. General Macros: Code: #showtooltip Kick /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Kick /cast [nomod,@target]Kick Kick macro with focus modifier. Code: #showtooltip Blind /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Blind /cast [nomod,@target]Blind Blind macro with focus modifier. Code: #showtooltip Kidney Shot /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Kidney Shot /cast [nomod,@target]Kidney Shot Kidney Shot macro with focus modifier. Code: #showtooltip Shiv /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Shiv /cast [nomod,@target]Shiv Shiv macro with focus modifier. Code: #showtooltip Shadowy Duel /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Shadowy Duel /cast [nomod,@target]Shadowy Duel Shadowy Duel macro with focus modifier. Code: #showtooltip Sap /targetenemy /cast Sap Spam sap macro for duels against stealthers. Code: #showtooltip ShadowStep /cast [@mouseover]Shadowstep /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Shadowstep /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Kick /cast [nomod,@target]Shadowstep /cast [mod:alt,@party1]Shadowstep Shadowstep macro. It has shift modifier for focus that can be double tapped for a quick step-kick. It also has an alt modifier for stepping party1, which is handy for 2v2 arena. The mouseover line is just for getting around quicker in cities and whatnot. You'll never accidentally use it in combat because your mouse is always held down to move. Code: /use [nostealth]Bloodlust Brooch On-use trinket macro. All it does is make sure you don't accidentally break stealth by using it too early. Stealth/Shadow Dance Macros: These are macros that I use for every ability that requires stealth or shadow dance. This is the base structure that they are all built on: Code: /cast !Stealth /cast [combat,nostealth,stance:0]Shadow Dance; [stealth]Cheap Shot; [stance:2]Cheap Shot /cast Cheap Shot The example above is a Cheap Shot macro. It may look confusing but here is what it does: If you are already stealthed or shadow dancing it will just cast Cheap Shot. If you are out of combat and not stealthed or dancing it will Stealth → Cheap Shot. If you are in combat and not dancing it will Shadow Dance → Cheap Shot. Basically no matter the situation you are in, it will do whatever is necessary for you to Cheap Shot, and then Cheap Shot. This concept can be applied to every stealth ability: Code: #showtooltip Cheap Shot /cast !Stealth /cast [combat,nostealth,stance:0]Shadow Dance; [stealth]Cheap Shot; [stance:2]Cheap Shot /cast Cheap Shot Cheap Shot target. Code: #showtooltip Cheap Shot /cast !Stealth /cast [combat,nostealth,stance:0]Shadow Dance; [stealth,@focus]Cheap Shot; [stance:2,@focus]Cheap Shot /cast [@focus]Cheap Shot Cheap Shot focus. Code: #showtooltip Sap /cast !Stealth /cast [combat,nostealth,stance:0]Shadow Dance; [stealth]Sap; [stance:2]Sap /cast Sap Sap target. Code: #showtooltip Sap /cast !Stealth /cast [combat,nostealth,stance:0]Shadow Dance; [stealth,@focus]Sap; [stance:2,@focus]Sap /cast [@focus]Sap Sap focus. Code: #showtooltip shadowstrike /cast !Stealth /cast [combat,nostealth,stance:0]Shadow Dance; [stealth]Shadowstrike; [stance:2]Shadowstrike /cast Shadowstrike Shadowstrike target. Arena Macros: Code: /target arena1 Code: /target arena2 Code: /target arena3 Code: /focus arena1 Code: /focus arena2 Code: /focus arena3 These are targeting macros for arena. Getting used to these is one of the biggest improvements you can make to your gameplay if you aren't already using them. They also work for targeting flag/orb carriers in battlegrounds. Code: /cast [@arena1]Sap Code: /cast [@arena2]Sap Code: /cast [@arena3]Sap Arena target sap macros. I find these to be quicker than a traditional /targetenemy macro when looking for stealthers in arena. You'll also want to bind cheap shot, kidney shot, shadowstep, and kick arena target macros using the same formula. Alternatively, if you're running low on available keybinds, you can skip some of them and rely on focus targeting instead for the rest of your abilities. Battleground Macros: Code: #showtooltip Stealth /cancelaura Shadow Dance /cancelaura Shadow Dance /cancelaura Horde Flag /cancelaura Alliance Flag /cast !Stealth Stealth macro. Automatically drops WSG flag in case you need to CC a pursuer or whatever. The !Stealth line means you can't cancel stealth by pressing the macro again. It's optimal to bind this to something easily spammable such as your mousewheel, in case you only get a fraction of a second out of combat. Code: #showtooltip /cancelaura Horde Flag /cancelaura Alliance Flag /cast Vanish Vanish macro that automatically drops flags. Code: /focus [@mouseover] Code: /clearfocus Mouseover focus macro and focus clear macro. Useful in battlegrounds when you need to control or keep track of multiple people.