WoW Subtlety Rogue Guide: Shadowlands covenant, races, talents, stats

Rogue GuideBlizzard Entertainment

With their power to take anybody out from the shadows, Subtlety rogues are masters in sneaking in World of Warcraft. This makes them one of the most ideal classes when it comes to Dungeons and PvP as they’re quick and efficient with their abilities. That’s why we’ve created a guide on how to join this style of play.

Rogues are one of the original classes in the game. Packaged with World of Warcraft Vanilla back in 2004, the class, and all its specs, have been a fan-favorite due to its uniqueness, especially in PvP.

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As the only class that works with stealth—apart from Druids with their cat form and feral specialization—Rogues are some of the most unique DPS classes.

With their deep prowess in stealth, on-demand burst, powerful defensive cooldowns, and utility, Subtlety rogues are great for any dungeon or Arena group.


What is the Subtlety Rogue?

Rogues possess a wide range of skills that allow them to create advantages in any fight. From their ability to quickly strike or remain unseen, to finding the perfect flank, Rogues are truly some of the deadliest fighters in all of Azeroth.

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As masters of the subterfuge, no dark alley is safe from Rogues, especially when you have people to inquire about their services. They are typically made up of the dregs of society: cutthroats, pirates, robbers, and lowlifes.

The Rogue class is incredibly strong in both Dungeon and PvP settings as they have amazing capabilities in their singular CC, on-demand damage, and defensive cooldowns. On top of that, they have an uncanny amount of defensive cooldowns that not only work in both Dungeon and PvP but in Raids as well.

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Best Races for Subtlety Rogue in WoW

Although this class is usable by a handful of races in both the Horde and Alliance factions, like any other class, there are some races that are just better than others. That’s why we’ve figured out which races are the best for both Horde and Alliance.


  • Orc
  • Blood Elf

Staying on track with the classes’ favorability in both Dungeons and PvP, Subtlety Rogues greatly benefit from both the Orc and Blood Elves on the Horde side. It just depends on what you’re looking for.

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If you’re looking for a bit more damage in your bursts and some reduced effect when being CCed then Orcs are for you. As their Blood Fury, which is an increase of Attack Power by 52 for 15, is a nice little damage boost every two minutes that can be used with cooldowns. While their Racial Passive, Hardiness, which reduces the effect of stuns by 20%, is a great boon to have in not only PvP but in any combat setting in general.

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On the other hand, if you’re looking for a bit of energy gain or a way to remove an enemy’s friendly buff every two minutes, then Blood Elves is the other solid choice. With their Arcane Torrent Racial ability, which removes one beneficial effect from all enemies within eight yards and gives you 15 Energy, you can just keep adding on the offensive pressure.


  • Night Elf
  • Human

Night Elf is by far the best race on Alliance while Humans are the distant second-best choice.

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With one of the strongest, if not the strongest, Racial and Class synergies in the games, Night Elves’ Shadowmeld is a great boon for not just the Rogue class but its Subtlety spec as well. Not only can you use it to immune incoming CC or damage, but you can use it to drop out of combat and regain stealth. There’s also their racial passive, Quickness, which is just a nice cherry on top with its increased chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks and movement speed by 2%.

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As for Humans, although nowhere near as strong as Night Elves, they still have a couple of things up their sleeve. For starters, their Racial Ability, Will to Survive, allows you to break free of a stun once every 3 minutes. As a Rogue, you’re prone to dying in one stun, especially in PvP, so having this in your back pocket is great—especially since it allows you to not have to play with a Gladiator’s Medallion. On top of that, there’s The Human Spirit which makes it so you gain 2% more of all secondary stats.

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Orc RogueBlizzard Entertainment
Orcs are amongst the best two races for Subtlety Rogues.

Best Talents for Subtlety Rogue

As you progress through your WoW journey, you’ll quickly start acquiring new talents. In Blood Subtlety Rogue’s case, the talent path you’d be choosing can differ depending on the situation.

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This is what we’ve found to be the best talent path for Subtlety Rogues:

Talent Level Acquired Description
Premeditation 15 Abilities cost 20% less Energy while Stealth or Shadow Dance is active.
Nightstalker 25 While Stealth or Shadow Dance is active, you move 20% faster and your abilities deal 88% more damage
Marked for Death 30 Marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. Cooldown reset if the target dies within 60 sec.
Elusiveness 35 Feint also reduces all damage you take from non-area-of-effect attacks by (30 + 25% of Spell Power)% for 6 sec.
Prey on the Weak 40 Enemies disabled by your Cheap Shot or Kidney Shot take 10% increased damage from all sources for 6 sec.
Enveloping Shadows 45 Deeping Shadows reduces the remaining cooldown of Shadow Dance by an additional 0.5 sec per combo point spent.

Shadow Dance gains 1 additional charge.

Master of Shadows 50 Gain 25 Energy over 3 sec when you enter Stealth or activate Shadow Dance.

Subtlety Rogues have a couple of talents they can swap out, mainly at levels 15, 25, 40, and 50.

To start off, Premeditation can be swapped out for Weaponmaster if you feel like you aren’t able to get in stealth as often, like in Raids. After that, Nightstalker can be swapped out for Shadow Focus if you feel like you aren’t as fluid with your attacks; Energy starved. At 40, you can go with any of the other two options, Shot in the Dark or Night Terrors, it’s preference-based. And lastly, Master of Shadows can be swapped for Shuriken Tornado if you’re looking for more AoE damage.

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Subtlety Rogues: Best Stats to level

As you keep progressing as a Subtlety Rogue you’ll inevitably get stronger. Part of this comes from the gear you acquire along the way.

When it comes to Subtlety Rogues, the stats you’d be focusing on would be Agility above all else as it’s your main stat, then from there, you’d be looking for Versatility, Critical Strike, Mastery, and Haste.

Agility is the main stat you’d be looking for as not only does it increase Attack Power, but it also increases your Dodge, which is important for a squishy class like Rogue.

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After that it’s pretty self-explanatory, Versatility increases damage done and reduces damage taken flat-out. For Critical Strike, as a Subtlety Rogue, you’re always looking to crit, especially since you’re aiming to hit your targets from behind, the more damage the merrier.

Lastly, would be Haste and Mastery. Haste is not as strong compared to the other two stats as due to having Slice and Dice, it just feels overboard. On the other hand, Mastery is terrific. Rogue’s Mastery makes it so your damage done by your finishing moves is increased by 19.6%. As a class that’s looking to kill its targets in short burst windows, you’d need this.

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Subtlety Rogue: best Covenant in WoW Shadowlands

Kyrian Covenant RogueBlizzard Entertainment
Kyrian is a great choice for Subtlety Rogues.

Shadowlands release signified the joining of the Covenant system, the expansion’s power. Each class is forced to select one out of the game’s four different choices with each giving their own benefits and abilities.

For Subtlety Rogues, you’d be looking to join the Kyrian Covenant with Necrolord as another second option.

  • Kyrian Subtlety Rogue ability: Echoing Reprimand – Deal (110% of Attack Power) Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting anima to Animacharge a combo point for 45 sec. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge function as they consumed 7 combo points. Awards 2 combo point.
  • Necrolord Subtlety Rogue ability: Serrated Bone Spike – Embed a bone spike in the target, dealing (120% of Attack Power) Physical damage and (10% of Attack Power) Physical damage and (10% of Attack Power) Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die or leave combat. Refunds a charge when target dies. Awards 1 combo point plus 1 additional per active bone spike.

Both the Kyrian and Necrolord Covenants are incredibly solid choices for a Subtlety Rogue, it just a matter of preference.

If you’re looking for more bang for your buck in bursts, then Kyrian is the way to go as with Echoing Reprimand mostly every burst is gonna be dangerous. There’s also the fact you get Phial of Serenity, which not only Restores 20% health but removes all diseases, poisons, curses, and bleeds affecting you as well.

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On the other hand, Necrolord is more of an overtime effect when it comes to damage. Although not as bursty as Kyrian, Necrolord’s Serrated Bone Spike still deals tons of damage. And similar to Kyrian, its other ability, Fleshcraft is great. Having the ability to gain a shield that absorbs damage equal to 40% of your maximum health every two minutes is great. Also, you can cast it prior to starting an Arena match or a boss fight.

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That’s our Subtlety Rogue guide! If you’re looking for a unique perspective on damage dealers, attacking from the shadows, then this is for you.

For more tips and tricks to help you in the rest of your WoW career, check out our other class guides:

Elemental Shaman guide | Resto Druid guide | Shadow Priest guide | Fire Mage guide | Havoc Demon Hunter guide | Enhancement Shaman guide | Blood Death Knight guide

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