Read: I've quit playing, so this won't be updated past 4.3.
- Hit cap
- Expertise cap
- HaT and you
So with Sub looking to be the must-be spec with Legendaries, I decided it's time to do another guide. This is intended for experienced Rogues looking to play Subtlety. If you find a flaw or have anything to add I'll edit it in if it's not silly. This isn't the be-all and end-all either, I'm very much aware that some stuff will be wrong blah blah you know the deal.
There's quite literally no filler points in the standard Subtlety DPS spec. However, if you want to put some points into Enveloping Shadows or something else (personally I drop one in), Initiative is the least DPS, followed by Elusiveness.
Listed in order of DPS; highest->lowest
Glyph of Backstab
Glyph of Hemorrhage
Glyph of Slice and Dice
Shadow Dance/Eviscerate was your third glyph (in the place of Hemo) up until recently. Hemo comes out ~100-200 DPS ahead of Slice and Dice and 400+ DPS ahead of ShD/Evis at the moment. It's viable to run without Hemo glyph, as it makes the (already tough) rotation easier. It's a relatively small loss in DPS to run without it.
Agi>>Yellow Hit>Haste>Expertise>=Crit (Without Legendary Daggers)
It's a toss-up between Crit and Expertise. As a rule of thumb, I think that if you're using T12 2pc, go for Crit, otherwise gear for Expertise. Expertise also improves cycle stability, so feel free to go for Expertise regardless, if you value cycle stability. The difference between the two stats is small anyway, and it could go either way depending on your gear.
Reforge to Haste after you get Yellow Hit cap, then go for Crit/Expertise. Reforge out of Mastery then Spell Hit.
Main hand - 1.8 Speed - Instant Poison
Off Hand - 1.4 Speed - Deadly Poison
Thrown - Wound Poison
In a straight single target fight, Instant is ~1% ahead of Wound in the main hand (relatively old figures but still mostly relevant). It's safe to assume that if you're going to be target switching much, Wound will be your best bet on Main Hand, though I'm not sure at what point Wound becomes better.
3.2 Hit cap
2/3 Precision - 481 (Yellow hit)
3.3 Expertise cap
- 781 (Gnomes - 691)
You should only ever go for a +20 Agi bonus, or so. I advise doing the EP math if it bothers you that much, but Agi is likely to be the best gem for most slots.
Head: 60 Agi/35 Haste (Ramkahen)
Shoulder: 50 Agi/25 Mastery (Therazane)
Cloak: 65 Crit (Slightly ahead of 22 Agi)
Chest: 20 all stats
Bracer: 50 Agi
Gloves: 20 Agi
Legs: 190AP/55 Crit
Feet: 35 Agi (25 Agi/Run Speed (Assassin's Step) for movement fights where ShS doesn't suffice)
Main Hand: Landslide
Off Hand: Landslide
Serrated Blades causes your 5CP Eviscerates to refresh your Rupture, it's assumed that you use Rupture once at the start and roll it throughout the fight. When you Rupture, it's 'power' is kept when it's refreshed, so if you have an AP/Crit buff when you Rupture, your Rupture will keep that damage as long as you keep it rolling with Serrated Blades.
- 5 Combo Points from healer crits -> Slice and Dice
- Premeditation->Shadow Step->Ambush
- Build to 3-4 CPs - Let Hat fill the rest->Recuperate
- Shadow Dance when Find Weakness is about to drop
- Vanish when Find Weakness is about to drop
- Prep right after you vanish
Buffed Rupture>Slice and Dice>Unbuffed Rupture>Recuperate
5pt Recuperates are ideal, and should be used always, unless going from 3pt to 5pt will cause Recuperate to be down for more than ~3 seconds. For example, if SnD (or Rupture) is at ~6 seconds left and Recuperate is about to drop, get Recuperate up with ~3 pts, then refresh SnD and continue.
4.3 Cooldown use
Subtlety's damage output is very much reliant on cooldown use. Not so much for their raw damage, but for Find Weakness. Maximizing Find Weakness uptime will quite literally make or break your DPS. Thus, you should always focus on maximizing FW uptime, and not efficient use of ShS/Premeditation.
Shadowstep should be used on the second (or later) Ambush in a Shadow Dance. It's also a very valuable mobility cooldown. Don't be forced to save it for DPS - While it is a DPS increase, maximizing time on the boss is FAR more important.
Shadow Dance should be used when you are near full energy. Ideally you will refresh both Slice and Dice and Recuperate during Shadow Dance to maximize energy during the 6s window, and Eviscerate later while Find Weakness is still up.
Preparation should be used right after you Vanish/Ambush.
HaT and you
Honor among Thieves is a staple talent in the Subtlety tree, giving you a Combo Point every time someone in your raid crits, with an internal cooldown (ICD) of 2 seconds. It is a very dynamic mechanic, and mastering it is one of the more difficult things in the Subtlety playstyle. In a raid setting (which is assumed) it gives you 1 Combo Point every ~2.2 seconds. Because of this, you always want to be at or above 35 energy when you hit 5 Combo Points, so you don't waste any Combo Points. There's a couple of laws that you can apply to this idea:
It's hard to give a set of rules to follow when working with HaT, but as a rule of thumb, you should always try to be a position such that once you hit 5 Combo Points you can use your finisher before HaT is due to proc again. It may be worth considering Find Weakness when deciding whether or not to Backstab; if you're sitting at 3CP and 40 energy with Find Weakness about to drop, it's probably worth it to Backstab your 4th and HaT the 5th and try to Eviscerate before Find Weakness falls.
- When at 3 Combo Points and below 40 energy, pool energy and let HaT fill your last two Combo Points.
- When at 3 Combo Points and above 50 energy, Backstab for your 4th point and let HaT fill your last Combo Point.
- If HaT has just procced your 4th point and you're above 50 energy, Backstab your 5th.
To Always Use Premed When Available
Not a huge fan of Premed macros, personally. It can often lead to wasting your Premed, unless you have Ambush bound somewhere else (and that undermines the point of the macro in the first place).
#showtooltip Cheap Shot
/cast Cheap Shot
/cast Shadow Step
Various Tricks Macros
#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [target=focus] Tricks of the Trade
#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [target=PlayerName] Tricks of the Trade
#showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
/cast [target=targettarget] Tricks of the Trade
#showtooltip Trick of the trade
/cast [help][target=mouseover, exists, help][target=focus, help][target=targettarget, help] Trick of the trade
([@targettarget]/[@focus]/[@playername] also works, to my knowledge(?))
Shadow Dance anti-bar lag
#showtooltip Shadow dance
/cast shadow dance
This will cast Ambush as soon as you pop Shadow Dance, allowing you to pool higher at a lower risk of capping, and essentially removes the issue of bar lag (ie. popping Shadow Dance and having to wait a second for your bar to change to the Shadow Dance bar).
To burn Sprint if you are using Preparation
It's advised that you add /startattack to all your offensive abilities that you use when moving to a new target to make sure you are auto attacking. Also, adding /cast pickpocket to your stealth openers is handy for picking up lockboxes/random junk.
24/09/11 - Typos, edited talents link.
06/10/11 - Added Index, tidied up a few things, changed Recuperate usage point.
12/10/11 - Added HaT tips.
11/12/11 - Changed the stat priority and changed subsequent parts. Re-worded some parts.
05/01/12 - Changed the stat priority a little to suit people keeping T12 2pc.
Drop me a PM or post here if you have any questions/want to see logs/whatever.
Credit to EJ/Omniwank/Shadowcraft for the values that this is based on and a compendium which helped write this.
Credit to Nextormento for Hemo glyph value.
Credit to steale, Dalarius and Nilmar for macros.
EJ Discussion: http://elitistjerks.com/f78/t119013-...ty_compendium/