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Cataclysm Subtlety Compendium

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I'm almost certain you can backstab during Feud, so this isn't an issue on normal. From what I understand of the heroic mechanics, though, it doesn't favor subtlety.

I can confirm that Chimaeron, durring the Feud you CAN backstab him from the front while grouped up. In fact you also can no longer backstab him from behind durring the Feud.

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It's lazy to say Rogues are not open to experimentation, but the fact is that some fights simply aren't conducive to Sub at all. Off the top of my head I can name at least four raid bosses that require stacking on the tank, for part or near full duration of the fight. Atramedes and Nefarian are prime examples of where Sub should excel, since the entirety of the fight (on normal at least) is spent at the flank or tail of the boss(es), minus P2 of Nef. Chimaeron is competitive, but your own parses show that stacking on the tank for feud allows Assassination to pull ahead.

This creates a gearing issue, as Sub values Crit over Mastery and vice-versa. No 'self-respecting Rogue' is going to put the raid on hold while they reforge/re-gem their gear unless there's an extreme call for it, such as heroic double-dragons. Because Assassination is simply more accommodating of raid boss mechanics, it will ultimately appeal to more players.

I never stated that Rogues are not open to experimentation. I said that there are no raiding Rogues that play Subtlety because there is the stigma that it is the lowest DPS spec in the entire game - and that's not a knock toward anyone. If I was doing 20% (or even 10%) less damage than I did as Assassination, I wouldn't be playing Subtlety either. I was simply explaining why there is a huge disparity in the number of Subtlety parses.

Here's some parses for some other fights:

Ala'kir (Subtlety): 20260 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Ala'kir (Assassination): 18921 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Cho'gall (Subtlety): 15942 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Cho'gall (Assassination): 15509 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Valiona (Subtlety): 20376 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Valiona (Assassination): 19836 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Council (Subtlety): 14831 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

Council (Assassination): 15723 (World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis)

I also mentioned it a few posts earlier, but one can switch between Subtlety and Combat without the need to reforge/regem since they have near identical stat priorities (assuming you have a slow mainhand). Switching between Assassination and another spec is far less forgiving.

I'm not sure if that is really that accurate. Looking at your gear, you have obviously made some choices that a sub rogue would make, and an assassination rogue would not. Of course, the same complaint can be levied at assassination rogues who say that subt is not competitive while hanging out in gear selected for mastery and as little crit as possible. The questions would be, would an assassination rogue who grabs more subt-friendly pieces and respecs sub do more or less damage than before? And of course, would you gain a benefit by switching to assassination after grabbing some more mastery/haste pieces over your sub ones?

Maybe, of course, you had a comparable gear set for assassination.

I made 3 gear changes switching from Assassination to Subtlety. I purchased the Tier Chest, replacing Sark of the Unwatched. I swapped out Belt of Nefarious Whispers for Dispersing Belt. And last I purchased the Vicious Expertise trinket to replace the JP neck. My gear was perfectly tuned for Assassination - slightly above the spell hit cap with everything reforged and gemmed to mastery. The trinkets, weapons, and other gear is identical in the parses I have shown.

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Well, as an example, I have been passing on Essence of the Cyclone, as the hunters value crit far more than assassination (or any rogue spec really). However, if you DO have that trinket, you are already "more geared for sub that ass" as while crit is a low priority stat for all rogues, it is substantially better for subtlety than assassination.

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I realize that the sample size for sub is really quite low, but when comparing individual parses between the two specs we need to keep in mind that dps is quite subject to RNG. Even though I haven't taken an exact look at the numbers I'd wager the variance within either spec is larger than the dps difference we see between specs in some of the linked parses.

That doesn't mean this work is useless or anything (it is not and I appreciate it), but for the people in these forums who aren't quite as versed in theorycrafting or analzying dps/parses, this is something that needs to be taken into account and why we use spreadsheets and sims in addition to what we see in logs.

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Here are a couple of my Chimaeron 25H parses to go with Omniwank's 10N ones. Importantly, I am wearing the same gear in both but I reforged appropriately for each week. I did this specifically to test Subtlety's viability on heroic modes.

Chimaeron 25H (Subtlety - 34 Caustic Slimes): 22012 DPS (Rank #1)

Chimaeron 25H (Assassination - 39 Caustic Slimes): 22288 DPS (Rank #150)

That was my first week playing Subtlety, and I wasn't aware of this thread until very recently, so I undoubtedly made many more mistakes in the Sub parse than the Mut parse. I've played Subtlety for other heroic-25 fights to varying degrees of success, and there are few (if any) where I see it pulling ahead of Assassination or Combat, but it's definitely viable for many fights (where "viable" = within ~5% of the other specs).

The main problem is that there are a few fights where Assassination clearly pulls ahead or provides valuable utility (fights with AE or that benefit from AE slows: H-Maloriak, H-Tron), and there are a few fights where Combat clearly pulls ahead (fights with cleave: H-Magmaw, H-Halfus), but there is only one fight where Subtelty is the clear choice, and that fight requires a completely different Sub spec (H-V&T). With the exception of those fights, nearly all the fights in the current tier can be viably played by all specs as far as I'm concerned.

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Thanks for putting your time into making this compendium; it very much resembles my own experiences with the subtlety spec. Likewise, I have noticed that switching from assassination spec to subtlety gave me little to no dps loss. Sadly, I cannot provide suitable logs, which showcase a similar scenario (gear, raid set-up, etc.)

As far as your question goes concerning the possibility to shadowstep during the grounded Magmaw phase, I have not yet made a successful attempt. Somehow the ability always seems to lockdown during that time.

Even though I haven't taken an exact look at the numbers I'd wager the variance within either spec is larger than the dps difference we see between specs in some of the linked parses.

  • A quick gander at the World of log parses on several 10-man bosses shows that the gap between the other specs is getting smaller. I do have to admit that the parses do not prove that the subtlety spec is at a competitive edge as of yet.

  • Shadowcraft's output shows a similar dps output while switching between specs.

  • Concerning the risk of a higher variance presumed inherent with the subtlety spec, I can provide you my own logs during last month (Mostly February):
World of Log Parses

From my own analysis I came to the conclusion that I've managed to maintain a similar dps output per boss (taking into account scaling from gear upgrades).

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Edit: About the Unheeded Warning trinket, I imagine it's best in slot for subtlety, correct? I mean, it's BiS even over the 372s for ferals, and our attacks have higher modifiers (backstab is 367%, shred is 340%) plus we do more of them with energetic recovery. I know it's amazing in PvP gear. I can get 34k backstabs on a target dummy when it procs.

There's a good chance my EP values for it are from its earlier iteration. If anyone has its current EP for Subtlety I will update the trinket list.

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There's a good chance my EP values for it are from its earlier iteration. If anyone has its current EP for Subtlety I will update the trinket list.

It definitely is. It's under Prestor's normal on your list, which has the same agility but procs 15% haste. Just doing some napkin math, with a 359 mainhand and full 359 gear, the proc for Unheeded increases backstab and white damage by 20-25%. Has no effect on evis/poisons, but even if we say 15% haste = 15% damage unheeded should be higher. I realize that's a pretty shallow comparison, and in 372 weapons the proc is worth proportionally less, but unless I'm missing something major unheeded should at least be the best of the 359 trinkets.

I'm gonna update this with some more accurate numbers when I get home.

Edit: With 15668 AP (full 359s, kings + might buff, only AP buff missing was str/agi buff), I was getting 20-21.5k backstabs on a dummy. This range went up to 26k-28k when Unheeded Warning proc'd. White damage went up even more (damage range went from 2680-3014 to 3400-3735). That's more like a 30% increase. If poisons + rupture + eviscerate is 35% of a sub rogue's damage, then the proc increases 65% of the damage by 30%, or 19.5% increase for the duration. With 20% up time, you get .195 * .2 = 3.9% increase over time. If 15% haste is a 15% damage increase (it's probably less, but for the sake of argument let's say it is), then the Nef trinket would be .15 * .2 = 3% damage increase over time. Because it gives a flat weapon damage, the Unheeded trinket would be worth proportionally less damage with a 372 weapon, but it it shouldn't drop down enough to make Prestor's better. Also note that I didn't use Find Weakness in any of the above calculations but it should apply equally to either trinket.

No idea how to turn that into an EP value. Maybe if someone knew the EP value of 1 weapon damage it would be easier to calculate.

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Has no effect on evis/poisons

I'm assassination specced myself, but the tooltip values and actual dmg output of Evis go up while the proc is active (no other procs were messing with my stats).

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Made some calculations based on shadowcraft spread sheet for unheeded warning:

Mainhand Ep : about 6.7

Offhand Ep: about 1.19

Proc: [ (680/1,8) * 6,73 + (680/1,4) * 1,19] * 0,2 = 623,551 Ep

Agi: 321 * 3,64 = 1168,440 Ep

Together: 1791,99 Ep

Please correct me if i am wrong, but it seems unheeded warning is a pretty good trinket for subtlety rogues.

with best regards

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Made some calculations based on shadowcraft spread sheet for unheeded warning:

Mainhand Ep : about 6.7

Offhand Ep: about 1.19

Proc: [ (680/1,8) * 6,73 + (680/1,4) * 1,19] * 0,2 = 623,551 Ep

Agi: 321 * 3,64 = 1168,440 Ep

Together: 1791,99 Ep

Please correct me if i am wrong, but it seems unheeded warning is a pretty good trinket for subtlety rogues.

with best regards

That's about what I thought it would be. About the same as H Cyclone (actually a little better by your estimate), better than Fluid Death, worse than H Prestor's.

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I've been playing Sub for a few months now, and although it's Sub optimal in a lot of situations, there are a few fights where Shadow Step and other utility abilities really shine to make Sub a very very good spec. One of those fights is Omnotron. I have a log from a few weeks back (I have since taken a break from raiding), that really shows Subtlety's potential, as it's very good at target switching (Bested by Combat only due to Redirect affecting BG).

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

Uptimes were lower than I generally like to have (90-95%), but any movement fight will cause that.

One thing that I really love about Subtlety, however, is that you never have too little energy to be able to kick, due to Backstab Glyph and Recuperate energy ticks, along with high amounts of Haste, which (Contrary to what many would like to believe) makes interrupting quite an easy job as Subtlety, provided you put kick in your ShD/Vanish bars.

Overall I think it's a situational spec which shines on some fights but falls on it's face on others due to Backstab, and since it's gear setup fits almost perfectly with Combat, it's not so much of a burden if you would like to be able to provide the extra damage that Combat would give.

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Found something very interresting:

World of Logs - Real Time Raid Analysis

31k Dps on Chogall 25 NHC with a 0/10/31 spec ??

Has anyone else tried this out?

Oh hey, he let his Corruption stack to 100 and used cooldowns to stay alive without heals for the rest of the fight while doing double damage.

While that's certainly viable, if your raid is going to go to the trouble of rolling cooldowns on somone for a gimmick like this.... well, mages are a much better choice, as their cooldowns are better suited for the specific difficulties you run into doing this, and, perhaps more importantly, they benefit not only from the double damage, but from all of their spells - notably, Pyroblast - being made instant cast, and thus, spammable.

Edit: Also, if you are intent on doing something like this to pad meters, there's absolutely nothing subtlety specific. See: Heroic records for assassination, and the top two normal mode Mut parses as well

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Oh hey, he let his Corruption stack to 100 and used cooldowns to stay alive without heals for the rest of the fight while doing double damage.

While that's certainly viable, if your raid is going to go to the trouble of rolling cooldowns on somone for a gimmick like this.... well, mages are a much better choice, as their cooldowns are better suited for the specific difficulties you run into doing this, and, perhaps more importantly, they benefit not only from the double damage, but from all of their spells - notably, Pyroblast - being made instant cast, and thus, spammable.

Thank you. Didn´t thought about that.

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Hello - I'm not a regular here, however I've been playing Subtelty for the past few weeks. I've noticed that Ambush does nowhere enar the damage of a backstab and the gap between has been increasingly larger with gear. Is this normal?

The only benefit I can see to using ambush is for find weakness and additional combo points.

Garrote also provides the same if I am not mistaken, I've been using garrote over ambush now, apart from shadowdances, where I apply a garrote last, and it appears to be a slight increase over the extra ambushes.

I'm not good with the maths behind it, but the damage of garrote over it's duration is roughly 2k more than my average Ambush which is 17k (Critical)

I would have expected ambush to scale the same, if not better than backstabs - but the difference in ambush crits has been 2k, where backstabs have gone from 14k-29k.

I don't doubt that I may be missing something here - never the less, Garrote is worth a look, it's working for me.

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Ambush is better than backstab because it has a 30% higher crit chance. It's the same situation with hunters who use aimed shot instead of chimera over 80%; even though it has a longer cast, its crit chance is so much higher it more than makes up for it. You also have to consider using ambush adds another 10 seconds to find weakness, which is pretty important for overall DPS. Backstab crits are higher than ambush because of lethality, tho.

I could see garrote being a good option for putting up the first find weakness, but once find weakness actually is up, ambush should be hitting a lot harder than garrote. You can't overwrite a garrote anyways, so it's not like you have a choice.

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There's a few reasons to use Ambush over Garrote at the start. Garrote only awards one combo point while Ambush gives two. An Ambush crit also procs HaT at the start, so it normally gives 3 CPs, 5 when combined with Premeditation. The best Garrote can give at the start is 4, and that's with both Premeditation and an Initiative proc. Last, Garrote costs 5 more energy than Ambush. Since your first 5 cps should be dumped into Rupture, you won't be gaining the SV bonus any faster using Garrote.

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I can confirm that Chimaeron, durring the Feud you CAN backstab him from the front while grouped up. In fact you also can no longer backstab him from behind durring the Feud.

This is not true. I tested it multiple times from different angles last night on Heroic difficulty and you cannot Backstab during Feud while he is facing you.

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This is not true. I tested it multiple times from different angles last night on Heroic difficulty and you cannot Backstab during Feud while he is facing you.

I'm guessing when that happened to him it was on normal and there is a mechanic in place that while Chimaeron's heads are fighting his front is his back, so because you did it on heroic it didn't work. But I could be wrong and he was just mistaken about the frontal backstab in the first place.

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I'm guessing when that happened to him it was on normal and there is a mechanic in place that while Chimaeron's heads are fighting his front is his back, so because you did it on heroic it didn't work. But I could be wrong and he was just mistaken about the frontal backstab in the first place.

I did this encounter on hard mode this past Tuesday; you can backstab him from the front while the cast bar for feud is visible. Once the cast bar disappears (this does not happen on normal mode), you will not be able to backstab him from the front.

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I did this encounter on hard mode this past Tuesday; you can backstab him from the front while the cast bar for feud is visible. Once the cast bar disappears (this does not happen on normal mode), you will not be able to backstab him from the front.

That makes sense if there is there is only a short window to Backstab at the start of the cast, however on Normal when we stack on his tail for Feud I had no issue using Backstab while he was facing the opposite direction, which is still at odds with what Previn reported. I also know that at the start of Feud (Heroic) I was still able to Backstab him from behind while the tanks were moving to the raid to stack, which shouldn't be possible either if Feud reverses his hit box.

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I'm almost certain you can backstab during Feud, so this isn't an issue on normal. From what I understand of the heroic mechanics, though, it doesn't favor subtlety.
I apologize for not being more clear: parry mechanics still apply during the feud, which gives a clear advantage to Assassination given the primary sources of damage.

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I used the following options extracted from the shadowcraft engine for reforging into sublety:

<want_reforge>

	hit = hst,exp,crit

	mst = hst,exp,hit,crit

	exp = hst,hit,crit

	cri = hst,hit

</want_reforge>


<ep_values>

	hit=1.21  # yellow hit

	hst=1.16

	cri=1.04

	exp=0.99

	mst=0.70

</ep_values>


<caps>

    exp = 781

    hit = 481

</caps>


# EP values for capped stats after the cap.

<ep_values_post>

	exp = 0

#	hit = 0.63  # Mutilate white hit after spell hit

#	hit = 0.99  # Combat white hit after spell hit

	hit = 0.9   # Sublety spell hit after yellow hit

</ep_values_post>
Resulting in
Suggested reforge options (only those that you need to change): 

mst -> hst  	(Head)  Tsanga's Helm

--- no ---  	(Neck)  Amulet of Dull Dreaming

hit -> hst  	(Shoulder)  Embrace of the Night

mst -> hst  	(Chest)  Sark of the Unwatched

mst -> hst  	(Waist)  Belt of Nefarious Whispers

--- no ---  	(Legs)  Aberration's Leggings

--- no ---  	(Feet)  Treads of Fleeting Joy

hit -> cri  	(Wrist)  Poison Fang Bracers

mst -> hst  	(Hands)  Double Attack Handguards

mst -> cri  	(Finger)  Signet of the Elder Council

hit -> hst  	(Finger)  Lightning Conductor Band

hit -> hst  	(Trinket)  Fluid Death

mst -> hst  	(Trinket)  Tia's Grace

--- no ---  	(Ranged)  Lightningflash

mst -> hst  	(Back)  Razor-Edged Cloak

cri -> hst  	(MH)  Vicious Gladiator's Shanker

hit -> hst  	(OH)  Scaleslicer

===============

 Resulting stats:

hit: 719 

mst: 844 

hst: 1589 

exp: 246 

cri: 1587 

Resulting EP: 5124.27, 942.83 gained

So the only difference to the OP is, that for my gear crit comes out better than expertise. So it's safe to assume to just dump everything into the main stat haste, and the rest into whatever comes next. Hit cap will be no issue I figure, there is plenty hit on all equip.

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