Introduction to the Subtlety Rogue

Subtlety Rogues provide competitive single-target damage, but it now brings respectable AoE to the table as well. Furthermore, they can use multi-target situations to deal more damage to their current main target and, thus, are good to have for priority damage.

Compared to Assassination, Subtlety has it a bit harder to reach full potential and is hit more by downtimes. Compared to Outlaw, it does not match the AoE damage output. This is why the other specs often see more playtime, currently.

Below you will find a beginners guide to the Subtlety Rogue, you can click on highlighted abilities, for a more in depth description of them.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Subtlety Rogue


  • Cleave fuels additional single-target damage
  • Versatile, can specialize into single-target or AoE by changing talents
  • Phenomenal defensive capabilities


  • Mistakes in rotation punish Subtlety quite a bit
  • Subtlety does low damage compared to other Rogue specs


15Weaponmaster WeaponmasterFind Weakness Find WeaknessGloomblade Gloomblade
30Nightstalker NightstalkerSubterfuge SubterfugeShadow Focus Shadow Focus
45Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper StratagemMarked for Death Marked for Death
60Soothing Darkness Soothing DarknessCheat Death Cheat DeathElusiveness Elusiveness
75Shot in the Dark Shot in the DarkNight Terrors Night TerrorsPrey on the Weak Prey on the Weak
90Dark Shadow Dark ShadowAlacrity AlacrityEnveloping Shadows Enveloping Shadows
100Master of Shadows Master of ShadowsSecret Technique Secret TechniqueShuriken Tornado Shuriken Tornado

Rotation of the Subtlety Rogue

The basic rotation of the Subtlety Rogue:

  • If talented into Enveloping Shadows Icon Enveloping Shadows cast Shadow Dance twice every time Symbols of Death buff is up
  • Cast Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate to spend Combo Points with 4+
  • Use Backstab Icon Backstab (from behind the target if possible to gain 20% extra damage on it)


  • Shadow Dance IconShadow Dance is your main DPS cooldown. It allows you to shift into a state of Stealth IconStealth, accessing unique abilities
  • Symbols of Death IconSymbols of Death generates 40 Energy and increases damage done by 15% for 10 seconds
  • Shadow Blades IconShadow Blades is a powerful cooldown that causes your Combo Point-generating abilities to generate 1 additional Combo Point and deal 50 % additional damage as Shadow

Stat Priority

The stat priority for Subtlety Rogue is:

  1. Critical Strike
  2. Versatility
  3. Mastery
  4. Haste