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Utolsó módosítás programmer, ekkor: 2014.06.27.
In this article, we list your Subtlety Rogue (WoW 4.3) core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation). We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that playing a Subtlety Rogue will face you with. The other articles of our Subtlety Rogue guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.
1. Single Target Rotation↑top
As a Subtlety Rogue, your rotation is split in two alternating phases. First, you need to build up 5 Combo Points. Then, you spend these 5 Combo Points on a Finishing Move, before building 5 Combo Points again and so on.
The ability priority for building up Combo Points is the following:
Note that the bleed effect from Hemorrhage lasts 24 seconds. Do not mistake it for the 1-minute debuff that Hemorrhage also applies on the target and that makes it take increased damage from bleed effects.
Once at 5 Combo Points, your Finishing Move priority is the following:
Subtlety is a very complex specialisation and the priorities presented here for building up and spending your Combo Points can be modified under various circumstances that we detail in subsequent sections of this article. Therefore, we advise you to keep reading.
For more information about the optimal opening sequence, refer to our dedicated section.
2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top
Subtlety is arguably the worst specialisation in the game when it comes to AoE damage. The best advice we can give you is to switch to a different specialisation (Assassination or Combat) when heavy AoE damage is crucial to your raid's success in a fight.
If you cannot/do not want to switch to a different specialisation, the only ability that you have is Fan of Knives, which deals a ridiculously low amount of damage. So you need about 10 enemies in the same area before you should give up your single-target rotation and switch to Fan of Knives. Moreover, you need a Thrown weapon in your ranged weapon slot to use this ability.
If there are not enough enemies, stick to your single-target rotation on one of them. If the enemies die too quickly and you need to frequently switch target, then stop using Rupture and only keep Slice and Dice and Recuperate up (as well as Hemorrhage).
If you are using Fan of Knives for doing AoE damage, then use Wound Poison on your Thrown Weapon. You can also use Deadly Poison with great success, if the enemies will stay alive long enough that Deadly Poison can stack up to 5 times on some of the targets.
Refer to our Poisons and Weapons section for detailed explanations about poisons and the way they influence your choices of weapons.
As a Subtlety Rogue, you have the following cooldowns: Shadow Dance, Vanish, Premeditation, Preparation, and Shadowstep. Each of these cooldowns is related to your Ambush ability, which is of paramount importance because it applies the Find Weakness debuff on your target. While this debuff is active you deal increased damage to your target.
5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Subtlety Rogue↑top
The Subtlety specialisation is very hard to play. Even though the information given above will yield good results, there is much more you need to understand before you can play your Subtlety Rogue to its full potential.
In particular, you need to understand how your rotation is influenced by your gear (your Haste especially) and how the synergy between your abilities works (especially regarding Find Weakness).
5.1. Combo Points and Energy
As a rogue, most of your abilities need Energy to be used. Your Energy bar has a capacity of 100 Energy and refills at a rate of 10 Energy per second. Your energy regeneration is increased by:
The faster you regenerate Energy, the more casts of Eviscerate you can fit in your rotation.
Some abilities add one or several Combo Points on your target, up to a maximum of 5 Combo Points. Other abilities, called Finishing Moves, consume the Combo Points on your target. The more Combo Points a Finishing Move consumes, the more powerful its effect is. Your Combo Point generation is increased by:
5.2. Poisons and Weapons
As a Subtlety Rogue, you will mostly use these three poisons: Deadly Poison, Instant Poison, and Wound Poison. In this section, we will explain how these poisons are applied and how they influence your weapons of choice.
5.2.1. Poison Application
While the tooltip for Deadly Poison clearly mentions how often the poison is applied, the tooltips for Instant Poison and Wound Poison do not. For these two poisons, the number of applications per minute is fixed (between 9 and 10 for Instant Poison and about 24 for Wound Poison).
These numbers never change, regardless of your weapon speed, your melee haste, and the various haste buffs from which you are benefiting. For example, if you can perform 48 normal melee attacks in a minute with a Wound Poison imbued weapon, then each of the attacks will have a 50% chance to apply the poison. If you can only perform 24 normal melee attacks, then each attack will have a 100% chance to apply the poison.
The one thing to remember is that a slow weapon is associated a higher chance to apply a poison (be it Instant Poison or Wound Poison) than a faster weapon. This is important because the per minute limit only affects poison applications from normal melee attacks. It does not affect poison applications from special melee attacks, which have a chance to apply the poison equal to the chance associated with their corresponding weapon.
Understanding this is important, as it determines (partly) your choice of poison for your weapons as well as your choice of weapons.
5.2.2. Why Wound Poison on Thrown Weapon
Wound Poison is a more potent poison than Instant Poison. Even if it does much less damage than Instant Poison, Wound Poison can be applied many more times per minute, leading to higher damage. To convince yourself, you can try spamming Fan of Knives on a dummy with your Thrown Weapon imbued by Wound Poison. Repeat with your Thrown Weapon imbued by Instant Poison. Wound Poison will be a clear winner.
5.2.3. Why Instant Poison and Deadly Poison on Melee Weapons
Deadly Poison is your most potent poison. It deals a sizeable amount of damage by stacking a DoT on your target, up to 5 stacks. Once at 5 stacks, each new application refreshes the DoT and applies, with a 100% chance, the poison of your other weapon.
Deadly Poison must be applied on your fastest weapon, so that you maximise the number of applications of Deadly Poison. The benefits are two-fold:
As seen in the previous section, Instant Poison is less potent than Wound Poison. The experiment we described can be repeated by imbuing both melee weapons with Instant Poison and Wound Poison, and performing only normal melee attacks on a dummy. Wound Poison will be the clear winner.
The only reason why one of your weapons should be imbued with Instant Poison is because there is Deadly Poison on the other weapon. Indeed, the guaranteed chance to apply Instant Poison with each application of Deadly Poison more than makes up for the damage penalty of using it instead of Wound Poison.
Instant Poison must be applied on your slowest weapon, so that the chances to apply it with your special melee attacks are maximised.
5.2.4. Weapon Choice
Your choices of weapons are influenced by several constraints. First of all, your poisons dictate that:
Your abilities dictate that your Main-hand Weapon should be as slow as possible, in order to increase the damage done by each cast of Ambush, Backstab, and Hemorrhage. Because of Backstab and Ambush, you should only be using Daggers. Therefore, you should equip:
Note that Direbrew's Bloodied Shanker is a very rare 2.0 Agility Dagger. This very particular speed makes this weapon more desirable than many 1.8 Agility Daggers of higher item level.
5.2.5. Honor Among Thieves
The most important aspect of your resource management is to learn how to rely on procs from Honor Among Thieves. This talent grants you a Combo Point every time a party or raid member critically hits or heals (with a limit of 1 Combo Point every 2 seconds). Use these guidelines to properly take Honor Among Thieves into account in your resource management:
5.3. Find Weakness and Master of Subtlety
Find Weakness is an important mechanics when playing a Subtlety Rogue. This temporary damage increase is only available after using Ambush, something that happens on the pull and every time you use Shadow Dance and Vanish (the cooldown of which can be reset with Preparation).
Master of Subtlety is a proficiency you get from choosing the Subtlety specialisation. It grants you 10% increased damage after you break out of Stealth or after dealing damage in Stealth (typically while using Ambush). Note that Master of Subtlety will not proc during Shadow Dance.
As you can see, Rupture does not benefit from Find Weakness, but it does benefit from Master of Subtlety. It should, therefore, be applied while Master of Subtlety is active. Note that Eviscerate refreshes Rupture to its original duration and damage, regardless of whether Master of Subtlety is up.
You should always time your Shadow Dance and Vanish cooldowns in such a way that you do not have to refresh Slice and Dice or Recuperate. This way, you will be able to maximise the damage you will do with melee attacks, Backstab, Hemorrhage, and Eviscerate, while Find Weakness and Master of Subtlety are active.
For increased effect, you should also try to have Find Weakness and Master of Subtlety up when raid DPS cooldowns are being used (for example, Bloodlust, Heroism, or Time Warp), when you use your Potion of the Tol'vir and on-use trinkets, and when the boss takes increased damage.
5.4. More on Your Finishing Moves
First of all, of your 4 Finishing Moves, only Slice and Dice and Recuperate should ever be used with fewer than 5 Combo Points. Rupture and Eviscerate should always be used with 5 Combo Points, as it increases the damage that they deal.
This cycle can be hard to maintain, especially at lower gear level. As there is no real alternative, you are left with no choice but practice until you can maintain the cycle.
Because of the global cooldown, it takes you a minimum of 3 or 4 seconds (taking into account Honor Among Thieves) to build 5 Combo Points on a target and another second to consume these Combo Points with a Finishing Move. This means that, with infinite Energy regeneration, you would spend 4 or 5 seconds on each Finishing Move. In reality, it is closer to between 5 and 8 seconds, depending on your gear and Energy management.
5.4.1. Clipping Slice and Dice or Recuperate
Clipping refers to the action of refreshing a buff or a DoT before its duration is over. It is usually not advised to do so because you do not get the full benefit of the buff or DoT that you are refreshing (and you could have done something more useful and refreshed the buff or DoT later).
As we have seen above, clipping Slice and Dice or Recuperate will only be a concern after you have mastered managing your resources. Until then, your efforts will rather focus on refreshing these two buffs in time.
Note that clipping Slice and Dice simply refreshes it to its original duration and any remaining ticks is lost. Clipping Recuperate, on the other hand, refreshes Recuperate with a 33-second duration (instead of 30) and 11 ticks (instead of 10), at 5 Combo Points.
There are several reasons why you would want to clip Slice and Dice or Recuperate. The main reason is that it makes the rotation easier to manage. Trying to plan your finishing moves in such a way that you minimise clipping Slice and Dice or Recuperate is difficult and very prone to errors. Another reason is when you want to refresh Rupture on the boss before a prolonged period of downtime; in this case, you might need to reorder your Finishing Moves in such a way that Eviscerate is the last Finishing Move you use on the boss before the downtime.
5.5. Building Combo Points during Shadow Dance
This also means that you can use Shadow Dance (and the increased Combo Point generation) to help you put your rotation back on track, if you had been struggling to maintain Slice and Dice, Recuperate and Rupture up.
5.6. Using Redirect
Redirect is a very convenient ability for Rogues, especially for Subtlety Rogues because Combo Point management is very important.
This ability transfers your existing Combo Points to your current target. Note that when you kill an enemy, your unused Combo Points remain on it, which means that they can be transferred through Redirect. Moreover, your Combo Points on a dead enemy are removed when another enemy dies with unused Combo Points.
Redirect is very useful in two situations:
5.7. Opening Sequence
5.8. Tricks of the Trade
Tricks of the Trade was originally designed to be cast on tanks in order to help them keep aggro. With the changes that threat generation has undergone in WOTLK and Cataclysm, it is now more beneficial to your raid if you use Tricks of the Trade on one of the best DPS players in order to increase their damage done.
Note that you can (and most often should) cast Tricks of the Trade on the tank at the pull, before switching to a different target when refreshing it.
Tricks of the Trade costs you a Global Cooldown to cast (but no Energy, thanks to Glyph of Tricks of the Trade). The best time to refresh it is at 3 or 4 Combo Points, while you are waiting for Honor Among Thieves to grant you the last Combo Point(s).
5.9. Tier 12 & 13 Sets
As a Subtlety Rogue, you should not use 4 pieces of the Tier 13 set, but rather 2 pieces of the Tier 12 set and at least 2 pieces of the Tier 13 set. This will provide you with the most DPS.
In this gear configuration, you will benefit from the Rogue Tier 13 Set 2-piece Bonus. To make good use of this set bonus, you need to line up your cooldowns in such a way that the Energy cost reduction granted by Tricks of the Trade always coincides with Find Weakness uptime.
5.10. I Find the Rotation Overwhelming
The rotation of a Subtlety Rogue can be overwhelming at first, especially when you come from a class that is, seemingly, easier to play (Arcane Mage, for example). This is even truer if you have low level gear.
This is normal, and you should learn the rotation step by step, practicing a simpler version of it and slowly adding all the elements.
For example, you can start without using cooldowns and by keeping Recuperate and Rupture up. When you feel comfortable with your Energy management, you can add Slice and Dice and practice some more until you manage to keep everything up. After that, you can begin using Tricks of the Trade on cooldown. Finally, you can start planning for your cooldowns so that you make good use of Find Weakness.
Eventually, as is the case for every class, the rotation will feel natural.
5.11. Defensive Cooldowns
As a Rogue, you have 4 defensive cooldowns that will often come in handy.
5.12. Issues at Lower Gear Levels
At lower gear levels, Subtlety Rogues usually find it hard to properly maintain their rotation. This is explained by the following factors:
These factors will prevent you from practicing efficiently on a Training Dummy, as you will have a lower Energy and Combo Point generation than if you were raiding.
5.13. Bosses That Cannot Be Attacked From Behind
Certain bosses cannot be attacked from behind, for example Ultraxion in Dragon Soul. This means that you need to use Hemorrhage, instead of Backstab, to build Combo Points. You should also use a specific talent build (as we advise in our Build article) where you drop all the talents and glyphs that boost Backstab and replace them with talents and glyphs that boost Hemorrhage and Eviscerate.
If you have not acquired the Legendary Daggers yet, you can boost your DPS by equipping a 2.6 Agility Axe or Mace as your Main-hand weapon. Since you are unable to use Ambush and Backstab, there is no reason to stick with a Main-hand dagger.