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Subtlety Rogue PvP Guide [WotLK]

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Cryptex    1



Table of Contents:


  1. Introduction
  2. Talents
  3. Glyphs
  4. Stats
  5. Enchants 
  6. Gems
  7. Professions 
  8. Poisons
  9. Races
  10. Macros
  11. Play-style



While making this guide I was trying to create something universal. It should work not only if you have access to endgame content gear but for the previous WotLK PvP seasons aswell. Even though there are many things that are a "must-have", there also are things that solely depend on the player's play-style. Many things can be better in specific situations but worse in other situations. That's why in this guide I will leave a lot of room for YOUR personal customization and make it more interactive.






This is the build that I like the most. It's not a big deal if you change up a but stuff or two as long as you keep the main talents.

Assassination Talents -  12 point(s)

  • Improved Eviscerate - 3/3 - Boosting the damage of your main damaging finishing move.
  • Malice - 2/5 - Critical strike rating is good but not worth taking all the way.
  • Ruthlessness - 3/3 - More combo points, who doesn't want them?
  • Puncturing Wounds - 3/3 - Boosts your main combo point building ability when out of Stealth/Shadow Dance.
  • Vigor - 1/1 - 10 energy is always good for the moments when you burst.

Combat Talents -  3 point(s)

Subtlety Talents -  56 point(s)




Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Shadow Dance - That's a must-have glyph for a subtlety rogue. Not much to say about it, it's just very powerful for obvious reasons.
  • Glyph of Preparation - That's another very powerful glyph thats very high in my priority list. The double Kick is very strong against holy paladins and resto shamans. The glyph allows you to Dismantle warriors to bait out their Bladestorm and then Dismantle them again.
  • Glyph of Sprint - Even though people underestimate this glyph I find it very useful. The 70% speed you usually get from Sprint is easily negated by most of the slows in the game. Having 100% speed means that even if you get slowed you will be able to outrun your enemies.
  • Glyph of Gouge - Gouge is an ability that is used pretty much on cooldown in arenas, therefore being cheaper is a big deal.
  • Glyph of Tricks of the Trade - Very efficient glyph for arenas when playing with another DPS that you can use Tricks of the Trade on constantly.


Minor Glyphs




  • Hit Cap: 5% (164 hit rating) - This is pretty much the only stat you should pay a close attention to as a PvP rogue. Missing an ability in PvP can be the difference between winning or losing.
  • Resilience - It's hard to tell the perfect amount of resilience you should have considering that the amount obviously changes depending on the PvP season you are in but you shouldn't really drop below 700 resilience in Deadly gear (season 5) and below 900 resilience in Wrathful gear (season 8). While dueling or playing 2v2 with a healer you can go for a lower amount of resilience. You should go for more resilience while playing 3v3, 5v5 or a double dps 2v2 composition.
  • Attack Power - This is the go-to stat that you should gem after you've covered the other stats above. It's superior to gemming agility. It's very good for killing targets with low amounts of armor but not that good for killing targets with high amounts of armor.
  • Armor Penetration - This is a stat basically opposite to attack power. It's very good for killing targets with high amounts of armor but not that good for killing targets with low amounts of armor. Unfortunately, to be worth gemming you need to be able to reach atleast 40% armor penetration (including the gems) without sacrificing too much resilience in the process which is pretty much impossible without mixing your gear with PvE parts from ICC.




Not taking into consideration the profession self enchants and upgrades the best standart enchants are:





Obviously if you don't have access to epic gems you can always go for their rare equivalents.




It's hard to say which professions are the best, as it all depends on what you prioritize. Let's go over all the professions and see what each one of them gives only to it's owner. I'm going to put them into 2 categories - ones that give you rough constant stats and ones that give you activatable effects:

Professions with rough stats

  • Blacksmithing allows you to add extra socket slots into your gloves and wrists where we can afterwards put +40 Attack Power gems and get a total of +80 Attack Power (or x2 +20 Armor Penetration gems for a total of +40 Armor Penetration). Good thing about those extra socket slots is that you can put any color gem in them and not worry about ruining your socket bonuses.
  • Jewelcrafting lets you craft 3 unique gems. If you replace 3 standart Attack Power epic gems (+40 Attack Power) with those upgraded Attack Power gems (+68 Attack Power) you get a total of +84 Attack Power (68 - 40 = 28 x3 = 84) or you can replace the standart Armor Penetration epic gems (+20 Armor Penetration) with the upgraded Armor Penetration Gems (+34 Armor Penetration) and get a total of +42 Armor Penetration (34 - 20 = 14 x3 = 42). Jewelcrafting is even better if you don't have access to the epic gems as the upgrade from the rare gems is even higher (e.g 68 - 32 = 36 x3 = 108).
  • Enchanting allows you to enchant your both rings with Enchant Ring - Assault each for a total of +80 Attack Power. Even though you can say you get the same stats as Blacksmithing let's not forget that you are basically stuck with the Attack Power here and you can't potentially change to a more necessary stat. In other words Enchanting is very limited.
  • Inscription gets you a Master's Inscription of the Axe. If we ignore that compared to the standart enchant this one gives critical strike rating instead of resilience, you also get +80 Attack Power bonus. Just like enchanting it's not very flexible.
  • Leatherworking gives you an unique wrist enchant called Fur Lining - Attack Power which gives you +80 Attack Power more than your standart enchant. It's again very limited as you can't change the attack power to any other worthy stat.
  • Mining gives you Toughness. It can be good for a tank, however +60 Stamina is worth very little to a rogue.
  • Skinning gives you Master of Anatomy. +40 Critical Strike Rating is good for a rogue, however not as valuable as attack power or armor penetration.
  • Alchemy lets you make a flask that gives you +80 Attack Power for 1 hour. The flask can be reused so it basically acts like a passive with the exception that it's annoying and you have to use it every hour. It's usable in arenas. If you're outside of an arena you can use the regular flask that gives you +180 Attack Power that replaces this one and technically you get no extra stats as everyone can use the regular flasks.
  • Cooking teaches you how to make food with variable bonuses that however is usable by everyone, outside of the arenas, so you dont get any extra stats by having it.

Professions with activatable effects

  • Engineering is the most versatile profession as it not only gives you rough stats but useful effects aswell. You get three major upgrades:
  1. Nitro Boosts  - it's not worth taking over the standart feet enchant if you focus on arenas as it doesn't work in them. Other than that it's a very fun perk.
  2. Flexweave Underlay  - it's worth taking for the agility itself but the effect is not for arenas aswell.
  3. Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket  - it's the only engineering upgrade good in arenas. It's actually pretty good since it has a huge range and it can help you keep targets in combat, as well as it can be macro-ed with something like Eviscerate and help you do bigger bursts since it doesn't have a global cooldown.

Additionally, engineering gives you access to a big variety of bombs which again cannot be used in arenas. Overall it's hard to estimate the value of all those effects as they can be very useful or very useless depending on the situation. One thing is for sure and that's the fact that it's more of a battlegrounds/duels/world PvP profession and not that much of an arena profession.

  • Tailoring allows you to embroider your cloak with a Swordguard Embroidery. Unfortunately this effect procs randomly while attacking so it can be very useful if it activates while you burst a target or very useless if it activates while you are in a CC, kite or run away from an enemy. It has a 45 sec. cooldown which means it has 1/3 uptime if you are constantly fighting.
  • Herbalism lets you use Lifeblood. It can be used in arenas and cannot be dispelled. Taking herbalism helps with survivability but reduces your damage output since you could take a profession that provides combat stats on its place.
  • First Aid is a must-have profession for rogue as it's the only source of healing a rogue can provide itself with other than eating. Very useful when fighting 1v1 as you can Blind the target and heal yourself while waiting for reStealth. Sap into Heavy Frostweave Bandage into reStealth is also a good alternative. Usable in arenas.



Let's first start with the weapons. You need a dagger on main hand so you can use Backstab and Ambush. The slower the dagger is the better. The slowest dagger you can get is 1.8 attack speed. The off hand weapon, on the other side, must be as fast as possible. Even though there are daggers with 1.3 attack speed you shouldn't go for them since their stats are too low for it to be worth. Usually the best options are weapons with 1.4 attack speed. Weapons with 1.5 attack speed also work if you don't  have a better option.  It's not necessary for your off hand weapon to be a dagger since you would still be able to Backstab and Ambush if you have dagger on your main hand. A faster off hand weapon also makes your Shiv cost less energy.


There are two types of poisons when it comes to proc chances:

  1. The first type's proc is fixed (Crippling PoisonMind-numbing PoisonDeadly PoisonAnesthetic Poison) which means that it has the same chance to proc on both slow and fast weapons, therefore a fast weapon would work better.
  2. The second type's proc scales with the weapon speed (Wound PoisonInstant Poison) so it would be more logical to put it on a slow weapon so it has a higher chance to proc.

  Weapon Speed - Proc Chance

  • 1.3 - 46.43%
  • 1.4 - 50%
  • 1.5 - 53.57%
  • 1.6 - 57.14%
  • 1.7 - 60.71%
  • 1.8 - 64.29%

In conclusion:

  • Wound Poison is the poison you should go with on main hand.
  • Instant Poison can also be used on the main hand if you are sure your enemy has no heals (e.g when dueling rogues and hunters).
  • Crippling Poison is the best poison for your off hand since it gives you best control over your target.
  • Mind-numbing Poison is a very handy poison that you should keep on an extra off hand dagger in your inventory and swap with your Crippling Poison dagger when fighting casters.
  • Deadly Poison is not really useful. The only situation I can think of it being useful is if you are trying to kill a target as fast as possible, without caring about CC and having a friendly player slowing him for you.
  • Anesthetic Poison also has very few applications (e.g dispelling The Beast WithinSavage RoarBerserker Rage).






  • Human - Gives you Every Man for Himself that acts as a PvP trinket which allows you to equip an extra trinket instead of it as they share cooldown. Arguably the best race for PvP in WotLK. However by not having a PvP trinket you sacrifice a little bit of extra resilience.
  • Dwarf - Gives you Stoneform. It can be very useful against enemies like warriors, ferals, hunters and other rogues and not really useful against classes like mage, shaman and paladin. 
  • Gnome - Gives you Escape Artist. It basically serves as a mini PvP trinket that removes only soft CC like roots, novas and slows. It doesn't share cooldown with the PvP trinket which means you can get out of 2 different CCs in a very short window of time that can surprise your enemies.
  • Night Elf - Gives you Shadowmeld. It can be paired with Stealth to basically get you an improvised Vanish. Additionally, night elves get Quickness.



  • Undead - Gives you Will of the Forsaken. It doesn't share it's entire cooldown with the PvP trinket but when used they each put the other on 45 sec. cooldown. This means you can use both of them but with a 45 sec. period inbetween the uses and that makes it good for long fights rather than short skirmishes. Undeads also get Cannibalize that can be useful in battlegrounds and world PvP.
  • Orc - Gives you Blood Fury. It's a nice little bonus that can be macro-ed with you Shadow Dance for extra burst. Additionally, orc gets Hardiness which can be useful when fighting other rogues for example.
  • Troll - Gives you Berserking. It can be used similarly as the orc racial for bursting. Additionally, trolls get Da Voodoo Shuffle that can be handy.
  • Blood Elf - Gives you Arcane Torrent. Obviously useful against casters and not that useful against melees. Additionally, blood elves get Magic Resistance. Overall blood elves seem better for fighting casters.



This first type of macros is pretty straightforward. You press the macro -> casts the ability at your target, you press the macro while holding shift -> casts the ability at your focus target. I use this type of macros for my Blind, KickSapDismantle and Shadowstep.


/cast [nomod] *ability name here*

/cast [mod:shift, target=focus] *same ability name here*


I call this other type of macros "Dual Ability Macro" since it casts an ability when pressed, and casts a different ability when pressed while holding shift. I use this type of macros to pair together Eviscerate + Rupture, Hemorrhage + Backstab and Cheap Shot + Ambush.


/cast [nomod] *ability name here*

/cast [mod:shift, target=focus] *different ability name here*


This is probably my most complicated macro. Even though it's weird for many people, I can't play without it. When you press it out of combat it just Stealths you, if you press it while in combat it will use Shadow Dance, if you press it while holding shift and being in combat it will Vanish you, if you press it while holding shift but being out of combat it will just Stealth you. The last row is pretty much for making sure you don't press it in the very moment when you get out of combat and waste Vanish when you could of just Stealthed. It will also not unStealth you if you spam it after getting in Stealth.

/cancelaura *your flying mount name here*
/cast [nomod, nocombat] !Stealth
/cast [nomod, combat] Shadow Dance
/cast [mod:shift, combat] Vanish
/cast [mod:shift, nocombat] !Stealth


And here's the traditional "Spam Sap macro" copy-pasted from internet.

 #showtooltip Sap
/console targetNearestDistance 5.000000
/targetenemy [noharm][dead]
/console targetNearestDistance 10.000000
/cast [harm][nodead] Sap


This is the "Preparation macro" that will pretty much make sure you waste your abilities (if you haven't) before it resets their cooldown.

#showtooltip Preparation
/cast Sprint
/cast [nostealth] Evasion
/cast Preparation


You can also make this simple "Tricks of the Trade macro" to make sure you don't worry about who you cast it on.

/cast [target=*insert the name of the person you want to use it on here*] Tricks of the Trade


This macro Kidney Shots the target and makes you stop attacking it. When you stun the target for 6 seconds and stop attacking, you get out of combat after 5 seconds and are able to reStealth before they get out of the stun.

/cast Kidney Shot


Finally, I got an universal macro upgrade. You need to add 3 more rows to your macro which will make it stop giving voice and text errors (e.g when you are too far away, when you dont have enough Energy etc.). Thats great for the macros you are constantly spamming.

/console Sound_EnableSFX 0

*your standart macro here*

/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

The "showtooltip" row must always be first. Let's give an example. You have this standart macro:


/cast [nomod] Blind

/cast [mod:shift, target=focus] Blind

When you put those extra rows inside it will look like this:


/console Sound_EnableSFX 0

/cast [nomod] Blind

/cast [mod:shift, target=focus] Blind

/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()



To be continued ...


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Haunterik    1

Pro tip: Buy 1.3 speed weapons from AH, put each poison on it and you can switch poisons during combat. I recomend to do macro for a switch + use shiv,

For examle u can switch + shiv to apply +50% cast speed to caster or to healer, then swap to % healing reduction and continue.

PS: I dont know if it works on this server since I havent played PvP since AT merged with retarded Molten

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