Shadowlands Subtlety Rogue Guide

Give prominence to the SUBTLETY ROGUE. Here’s a guide to learn everything you need to play your character and perform well on raids and/or mythic plus. 

Subtlety Rogue in the Shadowlands: Spec Highlights and Class  Recommendations - News - Icy Veins

TALENTS (This is what the optimal talents look like:)

  1. Weapon master – Provides the best DPS output for a single target especially if combined with the right legendary, its value increases. It’s three percent better than premeditation on single target fights and it is also okay to pick this for mythic plus. However, premeditation is recommended for mythic plus since it provides more value with each pull. 
  2. Shadow focus – This is the best option for both situations because it makes our burst window with shadow dance a lot smoother. Provides the best output for sub rogue.
  3. Deeper stratagem – It helps out with over capping out combo points and also makes our combo points spenders hit more or less longer depending on which ability you choose. However if you are new to Subtlety Rogue, and you are having problems managing your energy, you can use Vigor until you get used to the spec and learn how to manage your energy. 
  4. Cheat death or Elusiveness – Both are good but if for raiding purposes Cheat Death is recommended because if you mess up the mechanics it may end up saving your life. In mythic plus, Elusiveness provides more value considering consistent incoming damage profile. 
  5. Prey on the weak – It is the only talent (on the fifth row) that provides DPS increase. 
  6. Enveloping shadows – Helps on decreasing the cooldown of the shadow dance a lot faster since it provides 0.5 seconds reduction on every combo point spent. And it gives you another charge of shadow dance which is the bread and butter of the spec. 
  7. Master of the shadows – This is the best pick for single target fights. It makes our burst windows a lot smoother with the energy it provides and can also be picked in mythic plus on tyrannical weeks for more single targets on bosses. However, if the dungeon has a lot of packs that have more than three mobs, Secret Technique will provide the best output.  


There are two good options when it comes to covenant choice for sub rogue– Night Fae and Kyrian. Keep in mind, the damage difference between soulbinds isn’t huge but there is a difference. When it comes to conduits, finesse and endurance conduits provide situational benefits for your character. So those picks will not affect your DPS directly. For finesse slots, quick decisions are a good choice for extra mobility. For endurance, the recuperator should do just fine for some extra healing to your character. 

Subtlety Rogue in Shadowlands - DPS Strengths, Best Covenants, Soulbinds  and Legendaries - Wowhead News


When it comes to Stat Priority, the general idea is to get crit and versatility gear in your character as much as you can. While mastery and haste are rather the weaker options. For best results, always sim your character. Agility is the best stat you can get right now. The higher level item gear will almost always be better than what you have no matter which stats you have on it. Also, a big chunk of our damage comes from weapons and auto attacks right now so try to get your weapons as fast as possible. Overall the stat priority should look like this:

  1. Weapon damage
  2. Agility
  3. Stat priority
  • Crit
  • Versa
  • Mastery / Haste
How to Play Subtlety Rogue in the Shadowlands Pre-Patch - Guides - Wowhead


For Enchants, use Crit or Versatility on your ring depending on what your sym is saying. For your weapons, you will be using sinful revelation and celestial guidance but price difference is way too much so it is up to you. You will also use shaded sharpening stone on your weapons to get more attack power. For your boots, you can use eternal agility and lastly eternal stats for your chest. When it comes to Consumables, you can use a potion of phantom fire or potion of agility. And as a flask, spectral flask of power is the way to go. 

What enchants should you have in WoW Shadowlands?


There are three legendaries which are performing really well right now depending on the given situation. Best overall legendary is Finality in almost any scenario that is not a single target. If you are a mythic plus player, this should be your choice. When it comes to a single target, Akaari’s soul fragment is strong and this is also recommended if you are planning to do raids. Lastly, where you need huge burst damage, Mark of the master assassin comes in handy but compared to the other ones this is rather situational. 

Rogue Legendary Powers and Armor in Shadowlands - World of Warcraft - Icy  Veins


Main idea of rotation is to always keep our buffs up and not overcapping on our combo points by using the right finishers we have. Also do not forget to apply your instant poison and begin the fights while on stealth to use the shadow strike. On a single target, always maintain your slice and dice on yourself and rupture on the main target. Do not try to apply rupture during your burst window, as a finisher, make use of eviscerate with 5 or 6 combo points. And as a combo point generator, use shadow strike or backstab. In situations with more than three targets, always use the Shuriken storm as a generator and black powder as a finisher. Use your secret technique on cooldown with 5 to 6 combo points. Also if you just have three targets, try to maintain rupture on all of them, but this time use eviscerate as a finisher (instead of black powder) but if there’s more targets stop using eviscerate and rupture and go on with Shuriken storm and black powder duo. In our burst windows, which is when we deal our damage, activate your shadow blades, use shadow dance and symbols of death immediately. There is a macro to activate both at the same time, then continue with the rotation. 

The opener for a single target is as follows:

From the stealth, use shadow strike to teleport back to your target, apply sepsis (if you are Night Fae) and apply slice and dice. After that, use shadow blades, activate symbols of death and shadow dance and then start hitting with shadow strike. When you have 5 or 6 combo points, use eviscerate and continue doing the same. Whenever you have shadow blades active, use the second charge of shadow dance as well. When you are nearly at the end of your burst window, now you can apply rupture to your target and start maintaining it from there. 

The opener for AOE pulls: 

Activate symbols of death and shadow dance at the same time and use Shuriken storm to apply fine weakness to all of the targets. Then use secret technique and after that it is all about spamming Shuriken storm and black powder. Also during this spam, your shadow dance will be available again since you are spending a lot of combo points in a short time so do not forget to use it again when it is ready. When you use symbols of death, shadow strike and Shuriken storm will apply fine weakness to all targets that have been hit hundred percent so it is very important that you don’t miss it. 

Hope this guide serves you well as you play your character and improve your gameplay!

Video chapters:

0:01 Intro 

0:56 Talents 

4:30 Conduits and Soulbinds 

6:00 Stat Priority

6:50 Consumables and Enchants

7:43 Legendaries 

8:27 Rotations


Leave a Comment