Subtlety Rogue


After the recent changes I went from a steady 60/40 WR to 3 wins 21 losses this week. So, that’s probably me not being able to adjust for the most part, right. Well, how are other players adjusting to this? Because I can’t wrap my head around my role in arena anymore. I bait trinkets and set up CC to make a kill window only to not contribute nothing in it and keep skidding. So what’s the reason for the changes?

Subtlety has already been pushed towards more sustain although throughout the season I’ve been no where near to compete on the meters. That’s fine, if I have small windows of big burst. The Secret Technique has been the go-to talent for seemingly all except a few like Avidance. Compared to other bursts, this ability is incredibly easy to counter, as the damage is delayed and people play with arena helper to get a huge warning telling them to push a defensive. That’s a huge disadvantage for our only ability that has the potential to kill. All the while, rets have obliterated the arenas and still do in that they’re one crit away from a kill at any given time. My warrior can get to 180k Mortal Strikes in Spear with very little setup in Avatar blade storm (I wonder why MS seems two times stronger in BS btw). Destro can deliver a chain of ~120k Chaos Bolts very consistently with a little effort, demo can have +100k demon bolts that are difficult to stop for average players (like myself). I can go on and on about other’s burst potential.

So where do they want Subtlety? I can mash Gloomblade/Backstab and refresh Rupture all the time and not even grace the halfway point of other’s pressure on meters. As an undead rogue Rupture also triggers Touch of the Grave which breaks stealth. The rotation is not fun enough for this to be the direction Sub’s going either.
My idea was that Subtlety was about anticipation. Watching DR’s, planning the setup, kite just 10 more sec for another CD to come up etc., and then execute the plan and try to get the kill. The damage threat was enough that you at least forced minor cooldowns. Now people are sitting a full CC in Shadowy Duel ending up at about the 35-40% mark.

So, I tested how many stacks of Danse Macabre I needed to hit 100k Secret Techniques as I could do ~130-140k on dummies before the changes.
The rotation - Shadow Dance - Cheap Shot - Eviscerate - SoD/Badge - Shadowstrike - Backstab - DR Kidney(necessary) - Echoing Rep - Secret Technique. This puts up 7 stacks of Danse Macabre and hits avg 87k on dummy. Most I’ve gotten on dummy is 113k with Shadow Blades up. This is not a stealth opener either as you’d lose one stack of DM opening with stun. We also need to put kill target in the Kidney instead of a healer. So, to hit close to what we did before(and yet still less) we need a perfectly executed, uninterrupted sequence in a very tight window while not being able to set up on anyone but the kill target AND not hit a Shadow Technique in the Kidney if in Shadow Blades. These numbers do not translate to arena matches. My hardest crit in the last solo shuffle was 53k throughout all 6 games. It also bugs with Cold Blood now, at times hitting normal hits, which I thought could be an ability like amplified Curse of Weakness, but it happens on dummies aswell.

To end:
We used to have small windows of opportunity that forced CD’s and in the meantime between goes, the enemy team could literally chill about rogues. Now we don’t have anything unless team comm is on point. Which it never will be in solo shuffles.

  • We don’t have no where near the sustain of other classes
  • We are too squishy to brawl
  • We don’t have strong burst
  • We don’t force CD’s because of damage threat potential
  • We have very predictable burst
  • We don’t have oneshot potential
  • Check PvP is showing Sub is consistently skidding across the board aswell.
    Why were we nerfed when we had so little already? At the same time Retribution was buffed this hard aswell is a slap in the face.

Holy tl;dr

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rogue finaly balanced and instant cry on forum lmao


The issue with Sub (and other Rogue specs as well) isn’t necessarily the few nerfs, it’s the over abundance of Ret Pala. Ret Pala viable and popular, especially in that state, makes Rogue extremely bad.

A Ret wears plate himself, and has many defensives, so attacking him usually doesn’t net a kill. Attacking others lead to Sac (1min), Sanc so they can use their own defensives (45s), and in more extreme cases BoP. All that without the off-healing. And if you rely on your partner to CC while you do one go with decent damage, the Ret simply dispels said CC with JotP. In short, you are no longer allowed to have any setup whatsoever, and even simpler kills that aren’t a setup but simply “kidney damage” are also denied, or straight up insufficient. And because you die while they don’t when brawling, and they do a lot more damage than any Rogue spec when brawling, you can’t take them on that field either.

And so, you have no solutions. It isn’t Rogue being bad per se, although it’s very far from it’s early season state, but Ret Pala and the meta that came with them (there is always either an Arms, a BM or Demo alongside the Ret, three specs that are good into Rogue as a whole) make Rogues rather poor.


If more rets means there won’t be 2 rogues in every awc then I for one welcome our new overlords :joy:


Ah, yes, because gameplay such as this is so much better, so much more fun, so much more impressive, so much more of a skill display than players working for setups to land a kill.

Do not be such a clown.


Perhaps but it’s a nice change from the past 18 or so years.
Don’t pretend assa rogue was an impressive display of skill last time they played lol

u must be kidding.
facing overtuned rets every lobby is the worst the game ever was.
and ye its different… but certainly not nice in any way.

I agree it’s not nice!
But neither is the god class rogue meta

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agreed with the ret and all that but man its been literal years of rogue/mage meta. I will take any meta over rogue/mage they are very tactical classes and i for one like a bit of we dont need tacs right now we just need damage (Not to the extent that it is at right now) but somthing more exting than just landing some cc after we get trinket and then we auto win

Without rogue/mage meta many other specs become viable in pvp.

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Ah, so you do like the previously displayed gameplay. It’s “nice”. It’s “better”.

Nothing more to say from my end! Have a nice evening, I will not pursue this topic further.

Subtlety rogue will never be allowed real damage as the excuse was “we have too much cc” kind of ironic that in this meta CC means so little anyway and then next patch they are also removing most of it anyway so I’m wondering what the excuse will be now.

This spec is just out-dated for the direction the game is going, it’s favouring the specs that pad dps meters and is quickly turning into a MDI race on who can do the most damage.

Burst is the only way this spec thrives and it’s just not there right now, secret technique is just so poorly designed and most people have a WA for it now so you can’t even cheese one shot people like most specs can. Ontop of that the only way it DOES actual damage is when you combine it with 4-5 different modifiers and it doesn’t hit anywhere near as much as it should compared to the 140k+ hits most specs can hit for on their core spells. (Secret has a 1min cd which you combine with Cold Blood which is on a 45 sec cd, so essentially you can do like 140k-180k or sometimes even less depending on what armor type you’re hitting every 45 seconds roughly as “burst” not really ideal when as I say it’s a dps race. Most of that damage is going into some force of defensive anyway such as a Pain supp or any other damage reduction, or just simply gets offhealed by a 150k+ Word of Glory :joy: )

Just remove this awful Secret Technique spell from being viable, buff evis’ damage, make shadow evis’ 50% instead of 40% again. That’s just my two cents on the matter but yeah Subtlety just feels really bad.


i dunno man
it kinda seems to be more fun than chilling for 20 seconds or more in RMP CC

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Just wait till patch releases mate! Then crit and cc gets nerfed as well lmao. I swear I think I will be sitting laughing every game when I play sublety.

Are you serious? What are these arguments?
“I don’t like playing tactical”
“I don’t like having to setup a kill”
“I wanna zug zug without getting punished!”


Great to get feedback from some high level rogues here, thanks for contributing.

Cheers, your channel is great and I watched your Assassination vids during Shadowlands to progress. It’s very concerning that there are near insoluble situations against Rets in high brackets. I refuse to credit Rets in the 1800-2200 with always rotating CD’s that well though and the problem persists in other matchups too. The post is not only about being hard-countered by the Ret meta, as the nerfs affect Subtlety beyond that, to the extent that I think the spec is in fact bad per se at the minute.

And this is the exact issue, in my opinion. Our core abilites are too weak and do not feel good at the minute and this forces us into a single ability-centered spec in Secret Technique. So it’s actually every 1 min you have a window to potentially deal 140k-180k, and in my case even less more often than not. But I love playing Subtlety, and it was what we had and now it’s nerfed too much. More and more players are sitting a full KS/CS - ST cycle without pressing a single defensive too because it doesn’t necessarily net a kill anymore. I agree completely, buff Evis’ damage and likely Shadowstrike too. Let those chunk more, at least when we land CC and Shadow Dance is up.

Our “one-shot” Secret Technique sequence isn’t necessarily easy for below to average players either, especially to continue when interrupted. Imagine the skill level a new Sub player needs to reach to land kills, it’s way too high now. Why bother learning a class/spec which gives so little feedback to well executed gameplay?

Funny, like this win condition suddenly doesn’t exist with Ret Pala blind into 6 sec HoJ or like most CC in the game? They have the damage to independently make this small sequence super scary too.

These recent Subtlety changes doesn’t affect that aspect of RMP, though. To anyone mentioning RMP, if they bothered you previously, little have changed as Mage damage can carry in well-coordinated CC. The game is more than that, however, and a spec shouldn’t lose its kill potential because of one existing comp. There’s the no-comm bracket in solo shuffle to consider now aswell, and our only contribution to wins shouldn’t exclusively be tracking team CD’s and landing CC for another player to burst freely.

It has nothing to do with that though, Sub and Assa would’ve been countered by Rets regardless of their own nerfs. We didn’t have to be punished like this for you to see less rogues in AWC. We should all advocate for as many as possible if not all specs to be viable and rewarding when played well. Go try Subtlety, put effort into learning the rotation and then see how little feedback you get even though you did everything right. It’s so dissatisfying.

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This I think(hope) we can all agree on!

yes but by that same logic, it should not be considered weak because one existing comp
ret/arms is pretty harsh on sub right now.

and in SS, deleting someone in a second kidney duel if they used the trink in the first was not that fun for the other guy.

they playstyle is still there
the tricksy oneshot is not there anymore

and they are rather weak cause other melee are better.
fw/arms/ret and a rogue will not do very well in SS

Rss should never be a point where blizz is doing the balancing

yes it should noone care about awc nerds

rogue for once not the best class in pvp in 18 years

blizzerd buffff pleasee xdd

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