Subtlety Rogue talents guide

Patch 10.0.5 Last Updated: 26th Jan, 2023
Pushnoir Subtlety Rogue Author
Pushnoir

Class Talents

The rogue class tree is probably one of the most rigid trees out of any class in Dragonflight season 1. There are very few connections between different “lanes” and it has few points to spare when it comes to the balance between damage nodes and utility.

Must haves

There are some very obvious ones, like Cloak of Shadows, Feint or Evasion.

Our main direction of the tree is that we will always go down to at least Seal Fate on the left side (assassination) of the tree. This is a really strong talent that adds more passive combo points to a spec that benefits a lot from that through cooldown reduction mechanics.

This also makes Deadly Precision (10% builder crit) and Vigor (50 more energy and 10% more energy regeneration) locked in.

Atrophic poison is a must-have if you’re the only rogue in your raid team. It’s a very cheap talent to take and it adds raid utility to a class that lately has been lacking in that department. What it does is that it reduces direct damage from your target by 3% (3.6% with Master Poisoner), this includes spells and mechanics used by a boss, so for raid survivability, it’s quite good (especially early on with bad gear).

The situation with Cheat Death versus damage has yet to be resolved. But for most players, I would suggest taking it anyway, especially on progress.

Alacrity and Deeper Stratagem are basically locked in. The extra combo point that you can add to finishers from Deeper Stratagem is very good and works well with Improved Ambush.

The current meta build includes Lethality and Cold Blood, these work really well with our kit in 10.0 as we build up our Danse Macabre stacks and can make good use of Cold Blood on Secret Technique.

Situational talents

Surprisingly, we have found that taking another charge of Shadow Dance is a DPS loss, but obviously a control gain, because you can bank charges for important adds or situations where you can’t hit the boss for a longer time.

The main issue is the 2-point cost for Find Weakness which doesn’t do anything for the spec because we get the effect from our spec tree.

Stuff like Shadowstep, Tricks of the Trade, Shadowrunner, Gouge, Nimble Fingers, Master Poisoner, Blackjack, Improved Sprint, Fleet Footed and Iron Stomach all have their place in the utility part of the tree. The other ones will be very hard to reach without giving up DPS.

Talent Builds

With all of these different talent trees, I will mainly focus on the biggest damage build. You can, however, play around with it and drop some damage for utility whenever needed or wanted. This is especially true for Mythic+ builds where you might want stuff like Gouge or Prey on the Weak or whatever it may be. I will return to this and update it whenever there’s a change in meta and potentially add utility-based talent trees, for Mythic+ in particular.

Single Target

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Danse Macabre + Dark Brew

For people that haven’t kept up with subtlety in Dragonflight it might seem weird to drop a Shadow Dance charge. But there are some issues with the class tree Shadow Dance, the points leading up to the Shadow Dance node are very weak. On top of that, 2 Shadow Dance charges itself is not that good and don't increase the CD uptime that much. Plus, we really like Cold Blood with this talent build and you can’t take both.

Essentially you want to get Thistle Tea,  Lethality, Cold Blood, Deeper Stratagem, and Improved Ambush from the class tree.

In the spec tree, you take the usual early ST talents and either Shadowstep or Improved Shuriken Storm. We take Improved Shuriken Storm so we can utilize Shuriken Storm guaranteed crits to get Find Weakness on any nearby target.

As for the spec tree capstone talents, you basically grab two lanes of talents, Danse Macabre and Dark Brew. You want to avoid the left side of the spec tree as much as possible; these talents are not very good for this build.

Some key talents:

  • Gloomblade, tons of shadow damage, synergizes with Dark Brew and the other shadow damage amplifications
  • Shadow Focus basically makes our Shadow Dance doable; without this talent, you would energy starve
  • Premeditation makes it possible to go from 0-1 combo points to 6 in just one Shadowstrike, which gives us more Danse Macabre synergy
  • Secret Technique, this finisher has great synergy with Danse Macabre as it adds another stack, and because of the delayed clone damage hit, you also gain 6% more damage on the clones if you instantly use another builder after pressing “Sectech”
  • The First Dance, sort of enables our Danse Macabre stack building by making it possible to reach max combo points with a unique builder like Gloomblade at the start of Shadow Dance
  • Improved Shadow Dance, this talent gives you 2 more seconds of Shadow Dance which kind of speaks for itself, it makes our Danse Macabre talent better, and just overall adds duration to our biggest damage window
  • Shadowed Finishers basically increase your Eviscerate damage by over 50%. This is incredibly good and should always be taken in any build you make for subtlety
  • Danse Macabre plays into our big Shadow Dance damage windows by making it even better and also adds an interesting gameplay loop to how we set up our Shadow Dance windows, overall just a great talent
  • Dark Brew, in Dragonflight, we will do way more damage with Rupture, and converting this damage into Shadow synergize with our kit because we have talents that increase Shadow damage by 31% in total. This also buffs our Gloomblade, Eviscerate, and Secret Technique damage
  • Silent Storm, this talent is not only taken to reach Secret Technique, it’s also quite decent with the 1-dance builds. Because we get a guaranteed Shuriken Storm crit every time we dance which helps with Find Weakness uptime.

Two Target Cleave

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Danse Macabre + Dark Brew

Basically the same build as the ST build except for a few talents. The idea behind the build is the same.

Some key talents:

  • Replicating Shadows, this talent is very good for cleave and AoE as it spreads Rupture to 1 more nearby target, doubling the value of Rupture casts

Three Target Cleave & AoE

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Danse Macabre + Dark Brew

It might seem like I’m just repeating myself, but this build is kind of universally good for everything. Which is both a good and bad thing. Good in the sense that we don’t give up much DPS in any other scenario to deal with another damage profile requirement. Bad in the sense that the variation of builds is very limited, there are a few builds that are just slightly worse and a little bit different, but ultimately this is a guide for how to min/max your damage in every situation.

Current bugs affecting talent choices:

Some key talents:

  • Replicating Shadows, this talent is very good for cleave and AoE as it spreads Rupture to 1 more nearby target, doubling the value of Rupture casts
  • Shuriken Tornado, an old favorite from BfA and Shadowlands, casts four Shuriken Storms back to back. This enables you to just finish four times in a short span of time, basically an AoE burst button
  • Black Powder, when we reach three target cleave we start to use Black Powder instead of Eviscerate as our main finisher. Black Powder also just gets better with each added target

    Mythic+

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    Danse Macabre + Dark Brew

    There are a few different m+ builds floating around, mostly changing up the utility nodes in the class tree. I will post my personal favorite which is without Cheat Death and with Acrobatic Strikes. I also keep Gloomblade by sacrificing Shadow Blades in the spec tree, the reason for that is that Gloomblade is much stronger on ST than Shadow Blades and the AoE gain from Shadow Blades is really minor.

    Some key talents:

    • Improved Shuriken Storm, this talent will make sure you have Find Weakness up in AoE and cleave situations.
    • Replicating Shadows, this talent is very good for cleave and AoE as it spreads Rupture to 1 more nearby target, doubling the value of Rupture casts
    • Shuriken Tornado, an old favorite from BfA and Shadowlands, casts four Shuriken Storms back to back. This enables you to just finish four times in a short span of time, basically an AoE burst button
    • Black Powder, when we reach three target cleave we start to use Black Powder instead of Eviscerate as our main finisher. Black Powder also just gets better with each added target