Subtlety Rogue PvP Talent And Rotation Build Guide For WoW Shadowlands

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2 Subtlety Rogues with Subtlety Icon


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Subtlety Rogues can be a pain in any PVP player’s experience. In World Of Warcaft: Shadowlands, Subtlety Rogues can dish out intense burst damage, stun enemies till they are nearly completely useless, and be a vital asset to any PVP Battlegrounds or Arenas. Subtlety Rogues are a class that will make any opponent groan, knowing what’s about to come.


RELATED: WoW: Shadowlands – How To Choose A Covenant

Subtlety Rogues are a valuable team player role and a great addition to any mode in PVP. Picking the right build for PVP can be tedious and confusing, so let’s look at how to make your Subtlety Rogue a deadly adversary in PVP.


Subtlety Rogue PVP Talent Tree

When you look at the Subtlety Rogue Talent Tree, you will want to choose talents that help your burst, save you from damaging onlookers, and increase your ability to evade possible death. These talent choices can make or break your PVP build, so let’s pick the best ones to make sure you can easily take out those other players.

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You will need PVP talents for PVP matches, so choose the following:

  • Smoke Bomb,
  • Dismantle
  • Shadowy Duel.

These will prevent enemies from attacking you from outside or inside the smoke circle, take away their weapons, so they cannot attack you, and also go into a 1-vs-1 with an opponent of your choice for a short period,

This also prevents others from seeing you both, giving you that window to burst them down without a healer or other damaging class’ help.

Class LevelTalent
Level 15You will go with Premeditation. This will make your next Shadowstrike out of stealth activate Slice and Dice for a period of time, and give you two additional Combo Points.


This is a must for high burst damage. In the next row, you will want to roll Nightstalker. This will grant you more movement speed and damage while Shadow Dance is active.

Level 25You will want to roll Nightstalker. This will grant you more movement speed and damage while Shadow Dance is active.
Level 30You can go with Deeper Stratagem or Marked for Death. The former will give you Six Combo Points total and increase your finishing moves’ damage.


The latter will Mark a target, instantly giving you Five Combo Points. The choice here depends on if you want a passive or active ability.

Level 35You can go with Cheat Death or Elusiveness. Both will save you from possibly dying, but Cheat Death will prevent a fatal attack from killing you once every six minutes.


Elusiveness will make your Feint ability decrease all incoming damage for a short time instead of just AoE damage.

Level 40You will choose Prey on the Weak. This will increase the percent of damage an enemy takes if they are affected by your Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, or Dismantle abilities.
Level 45You will pick Enveloping Shadows. This reduces the Cooldown of Shadow Dance per combo point spent; this is the obvious choice for this row.
Level 50You will want to go with Master of Shadows. This will grant you some good energy regeneration whenever you enter Stealth or Shadow Dance.

Covenant Build Tree

When it comes to choosing a Covenant for Subtlety Rogue, Venthyr is the choice. This Covenant will give you the highest burst damage, and alongside the class abilities, it is the best choice to take down enemies quickly in PVP. As far as a Soulbind goes, you will want to choose Theotar the Made Duke for this Covenant.

In Theotar’s Soulbind Tree, you will want to choose the following:

  • Soothing Shade
  • Leisurely Gait
  • Life of the Party
  • Wasteland Propriety
  • It’s Always Tea Time
  • Party Favors.

Soothing Shade is unpredictable in a situation like PVP, but if it manages to go off when you are in the middle of big damage output, it will increase your damage significantly.

The others will grant you a second charge of Door of Shadows, an increase of Versatility on the use of Flagellation, and some defensive increase.

Let’s take a look at the Conduit choices.

Conduit TypeConduits
Potency ConduitsYou will want to choose Lashing Scars and Deeper Daggers.


These will increase the damage of Flagellation and increase your Shadow damage with the use of Eviscerate and Black Powder.

Endurance ConduitsYou will want to fill it with Cloaked in Shadows.


This will absorb damage when you enter stealth for a short period of time.

Finesse ConduitsYou will want to go with Quick Decisions, Rushed Setup, and Prepared for All.


These conduits will reduce the cooldown of Shadowstep and increase its range, reduce the energy cost of Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, Sap and Distract, and lastly, reduce the cooldown of Evasion and Cloak of Shadows with successful dodges and landing the Kick ability.

Stats, Gear, And Legendaries

Agility is the primary stat for Rogues; this is followed by Versatility in PVP builds. Versatility will increase your damage output while decreasing the damage taken, and it is a must for any PVP Rogue.

Stat priority from here down is Mastery, Critical Strike, and then Haste. Mastery will increase the damage of your finishing moves, while critical strike will make sure those big damaging numbers happen more often, and Haste will allow you to attack faster.

With these stat priorities in order, picking gear from the PVP equipment vendors in Oribos should be an easy choice. You can purchase and upgrade the PVP gear from these vendors with Honor and Conquest currencies.

If you are new to PVP doing unrated Battlegrounds, Epic Battlegrounds, Solo Shuffle, and Skirmishes are a great way to hone your skills and rack up those currencies to get better gear. In PVP, gear is half the battle.

The Eternal Gladiator’s set will be your goal for PVP gear, but with Conquest being a currency mostly earned in Rated PVP modes, you may have to start with Eternal Aspirant’s gear. The Eternal Aspirant’s gear is still great and will get your foot in the door to win more PVP matches and even Rated ones. The best part about the PVP gear is it is upgradeable and levels up in PVP matches.

You will also want to have the PVP trinkets Eternal Gladiator’s Medallion and Eternal Gladiator’s Badge of Ferocity (or the Eternal Aspirant counterparts); these will allow you to break stuns and increase overall damage output.

Alongside your PVP gear, whether Eternal Gladiator’s or Eternal Aspirant’s, you will want to have your two Legendary items. Namely, Unity and Finality.

These will grant you Obedience and Finality memories, increasing Versatility with each combo point while Flagellation is active, as well as increasing the damage of Rupture, Eviscerate, and Black Powder significantly.

You can get your Unity legendary with Obedience by finishing the Zereth Mortis Campaign.

You can craft your Finality Legendary by purchasing Missives and the Chest piece from the Auction House before crafting it with the Runecarver using 2,000 Cosmic Flux, 5,150 Soul Ash, and 1,650 Soul Cinders.

Rotation And Strategy

Before the match starts, you will want to apply Crippling Poison with either Instant Poison or Wound Poison, depending if you want more damage output or decreased healing on the opponents. This choice may come down to your play style.

One of the main roles of the Rogue in PVP is Crowd Control, and this means making great use of your Sap, Blind, Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot, and Dismantle abilities.

It is encouraged, especially in Arenas, to do your best to Crowd Control one enemy while bursting down the other, even if this means building up Combo Points on the main target to use Kidney Shot on the one you wish to stun.

Do everything you can to ensure one target can’t help the other when dealing with small groups in Battlegrounds or in Arena matches.

Now that Rogue’s importance in Crowd Control is covered let’s look at your rotation on offense.

Stealth>Marked for Death (if talented)>Shadow Blades> Symbols of Death>Trinkets and Racials> Cheap Shot or Shadowstrike>Shadow Dance> Shadowstrike>Eviscerate/Kidney Shot>Shadowstrike till you have full combo points then Eviscerate or Rupture.
You will follow this up with another Shadow Dance>Shadowstrike till full-on combo points>Eviscerate combo. When not in Stealth or Shadow Dance, use Backstab and Shiv to generate combo points to get off what finishing move is appropriate at that time.

Your burst windows will come from your Shadow Blades, Symbols of Death, Trinkets, and Shadow Dance, so do your best to use these when appropriate.

PVP rotation is such a circumstantial situation, but with this basic outline, you should have everything you need to Crowd Control and burst down the target of your choice.

Fine-tuning really comes down to practice and finding what is appropriate and when to DPS or Crowd Control. With some practice in Battlegrounds, you should be ready to move into Arenas and be that high damage annoying stun Rogue that no one wants to play against.

NEXT: WoW: Shadowlands – Covenant Adventures Guide



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