Subtlety PvP Talent Builds for Cataclysm

Updated pages are here: The Subtlety Rogue PvP Guide has the updated info for Mists of Pandaria and beyond. Also see our Rogues in M of P post, the Subtlety Rogue overview, and the Rogue leveling guide if you need to do some leveling.

The page below covers the Cataclysm builds for Subtlety Rogue PvP. These builds are obsolete for Mists of Pandaria, but if you’re playing on a system that has not upgraded to that expansion (eg: a private server) then they will be of use.

There’s a fair variation in talents to pick from here, depending on how you like to play. Do you do random or rated BGs, Arena (2s, 3s, 5s?) Do you want to be purely offensive or have more survivability?

  • Arena build – This ia a “damage comes first” build and  it assumes that you’re backstabbing a lot, which also means that you’re good at getting and staying behind your opponent(s.) (View here)

Subtlety (31 Points)

  1. Improved Ambush – Rank 3/3 – Increases the critical strike chance of your Ambush ability by 60% and its damage by 15%.
  2. Relentless Strikes – Rank 3/3 – Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to restore 25 Energy.
  3. Elusiveness – Rank 2/2 – Reduces the cooldown of your Vanish and Blind abilities by 60 sec, and your Cloak of Shadows and Combat Readiness abilities by 30 sec.
  4. Waylay – Rank 2/2 – Your Ambush and Backstab hits have a 100% chance to unbalance a target, increasing the time between their melee and ranged attacks by 20%, and reducing movement speed by 50% for 8 sec. This is an optional talent, since it overlaps somewhat with Crippling Poison
  5. Opportunity – Rank 3/3 – Increases the damage dealt with your Backstab, Mutilate, Garrote and Ambush abilities by 30%.
  6. Energetic Recovery – Rank 3/3 – Empowers your Recuperate ability, causing its periodic effect to also restore 12 Energy.
  7. Find Weakness – Rank 2/2 – Your Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot abilities reveal a flaw in your target’s defenses, causing all your attacks to bypass 70% of that enemy’s armor for 10 sec.
  8. Hemorrhage – Rank 1/1 – An instant strike that deals 155% weapon damage ((155 * 1.45)% if a dagger is equipped) and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from Bleed effects for 1 min. Awards 1 combo point.
  9. Honor Among Thieves – Rank 1/3 – Increases the critical strike chance of all party and raid members, including you, by 5%. When any player in your party or raid critically hits with a spell or ability, you have a 33% chance to gain a combo point on your current target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 4 seconds. One point gets that 5% crit bonus. The other two points are nice if you’re doing group PvP (eg: Battlegrounds.)
  10. Premeditation – Rank 1/1 When used, adds 2 combo points to your target. You must add to or use those combo points within 20 sec or the combo points are lost. Add this to a macro with your opener (eg: Ambush.)
  11. Cheat Death – Rank 3/3 – You have a 100% chance that an attack which would otherwise kill you will instead reduce you to 10% of your maximum health. In addition, all damage taken will be reduced by 80% for 3 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once per 90 seconds.
  12. Preparation – Rank 1/1 – When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on your Sprint, Vanish, and Shadowstep abilities.
  13. Sanguinary Vein – Rank 2/2 – Increases your damage dealt to targets with a Bleed effect on them by 16% and gives your Bleed effects a 100% chance to not break your Gouge.
  14. Slaughter from the Shadows – Rank 3/3 – Reduces the Energy cost of your Backstab and Ambush abilities by 20, and the Energy cost of your Hemorrhage and Fan of Knives abilities by 6.
  15. Shadow Dance – Rank 1/1 – Enter the Shadow Dance for 6 sec, allowing the use of Sap, Garrote, Ambush, Cheap Shot, Premeditation, Pick Pocket, and Disarm Trap regardless of being stealthed.

Assassination (10 Points)

  1. Coup de Grace – Rank 2/3 – Increases the damage done by your Eviscerate and Envenom abilities by 14%.
  2. Lethality – Rank 3/3 – Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Sinister Strike, Backstab, Mutilate and Hemorrhage abilities by 30%.
  3. Quickening – Rank 2/2 – All healing effects on you are increased by 20% and your movement speed is increased by 15%. This does not stack with most other movement speed increasing effects.
  4. Puncturing Wounds – Rank 3/3 – Increases the critical strike chance of your Backstab ability by 30%, and the critical strike chance of your Mutilate ability by 15%. Optional – if you don’t Backstab then spend these points elsewhere.

Glyphs

These are the generally recommended glyphs. There are other glyphs which might be better for certain situations. Buy all the appropriate glyphs and swap them as necessary. In order to swap glyphs you will need:

Prime

  1. Glyph of Backstab – Your Backstab critical strikes grant you 5 Energy. Optional – if you don’t Backstab then spend these points elsewhere, such as EviscerateorSlice and Dice.
  2. Glyph of Hemorrhage – Your Hemorrhage ability also causes the target to bleed, dealing 40% of the direct strike’s damage over 24 sec. This is especially useful Vs other Rogues and Ferals (stealthers.)
  3. Glyph of Shadow Dance – Increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 sec.

Major

  1. Glyph of Preparation – Your Preparation ability also instantly resets the cooldown of Kick, Dismantle, and Smoke Bomb.
  2. Glyph of Blind – Your Blind ability also removes all damage over time effects from the target, including your DoT effects, such as Hemo, Rupture, Garrote. The intent is to keep the DoTs from breaking your Blind.
  3. Glyph of Garrote – Increases the duration of your Garrote ability’s silence effect by 1.5 sec.

Minor

  1. Glyph of Poisons – You apply poisons to your weapons 50% faster.
  2. Glyph of Blurred Speed – Enables you to walk on water while your Sprint ability is active.
  3. Glyph of Distract – Increases the range of your Distract ability by 5 yards.

 

Mists of Pandaria note: Prime glyphs are going away, you will have only Major and Minor glyphs, six total glyphs at level 90.

Talents will be completely overhauled, as well. Also, many of the Cata talents will be rolled into the abilities list and some of these will be unique to each spec. See our Sub in MoP page for more.

Get Leveled Faster

 

Survival Subtlety PvP Build

Differences from the above build are in red. Glyphs are the same as above. You can see the full build here.

Subtlety (31 Points)

  1. Nightstalker – Rank 1/2 – Increases your speed while stealthed by 5% and reduces the cooldown of your Stealth ability by 2 sec.
  2. Improved Ambush – Rank 3/3 – Increases the critical strike chance of your Ambush ability by 60% and its damage by 15%.
  3. Relentless Strikes – Rank 3/3 – Your finishing moves have a 20% chance per combo point to restore 25 Energy.
  4. Elusiveness – Rank 2/2 – Reduces the cooldown of your Vanish and Blind abilities by 60 sec, and your Cloak of Shadows and Combat Readiness abilities by 30 sec.
  5. Opportunity – Rank 3/3 – Increases the damage dealt with your Backstab, Mutilate, Garrote and Ambush abilities by 30%.
  6. Energetic Recovery – Rank 3/3 – Empowers your Recuperate ability, causing its periodic effect to also restore 12 Energy.
  7. Find Weakness – Rank 2/2 – Your Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot abilities reveal a flaw in your target’s defenses, causing all your attacks to bypass 70% of that enemy’s armor for 10 sec.
  8. Hemorrhage – Rank 1/1 – An instant strike that deals 155% weapon damage ((155 * 1.45)% if a dagger is equipped) and causes the target to take 30% additional damage from Bleed effects for 1 min. Awards 1 combo point.
  9. Honor Among Thieves – Rank 2/3 – Increases the critical strike chance of all party and raid members by 5%. When any player in your party or raid critically hits with a spell or ability, you have a 66% chance to gain a combo point on your current target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 3 seconds.
  10. Premeditation – Rank 1/1 – When used, adds 2 combo points to your target. You must add to or use those combo points within 20 sec or the combo points are lost.
  11. Cheat Death – Rank 3/3 – You have a 100% chance that an attack which would otherwise kill you will instead reduce you to 10% of your maximum health. In addition, all damage taken will be reduced by 80% for 3 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once per 90 seconds. Dropped 2pts in Waylay and 1pt in in Honor Among Thieves
  12. Preparation – Rank 1/1 – When activated, this ability immediately finishes the cooldown on your Sprint, Vanish, and Shadowstep abilities.
  13. Sanguinary Vein – Rank 2/2 – Increases your damage dealt to targets with a Bleed effect on them by 16% and gives your Bleed effects a 100% chance to not break your Gouge.
  14. Slaughter from the Shadows – Rank 3/3 – Reduces the Energy cost of your Backstab and Ambush abilities by 20, and the Energy cost of your Hemorrhage and Fan of Knives abilities by 6.
  15. Shadow Dance – Rank 1/1 – Enter the Shadow Dance for 6 sec, allowing the use of Sap, Garrote, Ambush, Cheap Shot, Premeditation, Pick Pocket, and Disarm Trap regardless of being stealthed.

Assassination (8 Points)

  1. Coup de Grace – Rank 2/3 – Increases the damage done by your Eviscerate and Envenom abilities by 14%.
  2. Lethality – Rank 3/3 – Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Sinister Strike, Backstab, Mutilate and Hemorrhage abilities by 30%.
  3. Quickening – Rank 2/2 -All healing effects on you are increased by 20% and your movement speed is increased by 15%. This does not stack with most other movement speed increasing effects.
  4. Puncturing Wounds – Rank 1/3 – Increases the critical strike chance of your Backstab ability by 10%, and the critical strike chance of your Mutilate ability by 5%.

Combat (2 Points)

  1. Improved Recuperate – Rank 2/2 – Causes your Recuperate ability to restore an additional 1% of your maximum health and reduces all damage taken by 6% while your Recuperate ability is active. Dropped 2 pts in Puncturing Wounds to take this.

Glyphs

These are the recommended glyphs for DK tanking. There are other glyphs which might be better for certain situations. Buy all the appropriate glyphs and swap them as necessary. You will need:

Prime

  1. Glyph of Backstab – Your Backstab critical strikes grant you 5 Energy. Optional – if you don’t Backstab then spend these points elsewhere, such as EviscerateorSlice and Dice.
  2. Glyph of Hemorrhage – Your Hemorrhage ability also causes the target to bleed, dealing 40% of the direct strike’s damage over 24 sec. This is especially useful Vs other Rogues and Ferals (stealthers.)
  3. Glyph of Shadow Dance – Increases the duration of Shadow Dance by 2 sec.

Major

  1. Glyph of Preparation – Your Preparation ability also instantly resets the cooldown of Kick, Dismantle, and Smoke Bomb.
  2. Glyph of Blind – Your Blind ability also removes all damage over time effects from the target, including your DoT effects, such as Hemo, Rupture, Garrote. The intent is to keep the DoTs from breaking your Blind.
  3. Glyph of Garrote – Increases the duration of your Garrote ability’s silence effect by 1.5 sec.

Minor

  1. Glyph of Poisons – You apply poisons to your weapons 50% faster.
  2. Glyph of Blurred Speed – Enables you to walk on water while your Sprint ability is active.
  3. Glyph of Distract – Increases the range of your Distract ability by 5 yards.

 

Mists of Pandaria note: Prime glyphs are going away, you will have only Major and Minor glyphs, six total glyphs at level 90.

Talents will be completely overhauled, as well. Also, many of the Cata talents will be rolled into the abilities list and some of these will be unique to each spec. See our Sub in MoP page for more.

Get Leveled Faster

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