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Jurugar

• Former Guide Author/Contributor
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About Jurugar

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    Glass Joe
  • Birthday 01/01/91

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  • Character Name Jurugar
  • Gender Male
  • Race Pandaren
  • Class Rogue
  • Realm Area 52
  • Realm Location United States
  • Guild Strawberry Puppy Kisses
  • Guild URL http://spk-guild.com/
  1. Warlords of Draenor rogue discussion

    "Premeditation is no longer an active ability. Instead your Garrote and Ambush always generate 2 additional combo points when used from Stealth. This affect does not apply while Shadow Dance is active." Anyone else notice that is subtlety perk is actually a nerf?
  2. As I wrote in the guide itself, there are times during FW when you dont reapply rupture, and times that you do. The case I gave in the guide for delaying rupture was if you had 5 anticipation charges, 5 combo points and rupture was falling off with 1 second left on Find Weakness - you can easily justify delaying rupture by 1 second to get the Eviscerate under the Find Weakness, because the damage lost from delaying rupture would be less than the boost from getting Eviscerate in. Again, as I wrote in the guide, a general rule of thumb is to reapply rupture during Find Weakness unless you would lose less than 3 ticks (i.e. 6 seconds). And that's even before you seriously consider having 10 extra energy. EDIT: Not to sound like a dick in the post, it's just frustrating seeing you guys circle around a point that I already clearly made in the guide.
  3. I meant 380k in general, I havent done Thok heroic but I assume it's a complicated fight - which is why I was surprised you had near 100% uptime. What you're saying now makes sense, but that's different than what you said before - "I just noticed Evis does more damage on the tooltip". The major point about rupture being more energy efficient gets diluted when you realize that Eviscerate is probably the best energy dump we have; however, while that 10 energy may or may not make up the gap of damage, it also adds 1/3 more combo point generation, which leads to more Eviscerates. However, it's important to remember that Find Weakness is not some rare proc or cooldown that we have - you can get 70%+ uptime on many fights. You can get into trouble by saying things like "I dont use rupture during Find Weakness" when that boils down to only using Rupture 30% of the possible times you would want to refresh it.
  4. Thok isn't the best fight for comparing logs, though it seems that you had very high uptime during the fight, so we can hand-wave that any target switching you did as being offset by the additional cleave damage you got from bats, seeing as how the jailer received only 16 backstabs out of a total of 200+ (from two subtlety rogues) - plus I'm sure your pretty absurd crit rate on auto attacks helped out. That being said, with all the perks of being in a 25 man (multiple crit banners, stormlash totem, receiving tricks of the trade on cooldown) you could easily be doing 380k+ in your gear. I'm not always right (for example, Hemo-> Ambush -> Ambush is probably the better non-garrote opener), but I have thought through what I wrote down. Tooltips do not take into account any armor mitigation your target might have - go try using eviscerate on a target dummy, and notice how your 120k tooltip eviscerates turn into 85k hits on the target, while your 100k rupture will do out 100k damage (not including crits) because it's a bleed. Replacing Rupture entirely during Find Weakness might give you a higher spike in damage if you're only looking at your meter as you do it, but your dps over the course of the fight will be lower - and even during FW, Rupture is still more damage per energy (as I explained in the guide).
  5. You want to prioritize Slice and Dice because Energetic Recovery is your main form of energy regeneration, and also losing out on a few auto attacks from losing the ~50% attack speed increase (especially with the spec's high uptime of Find Weakness, giving the auto attacks 100% armor penetration) can more than make up for losing a couple ticks of Rupture. Of course that's assuming you still have Sanguinary Vein up - if necessary, you can use a low CP slice and dice and just have to refresh it sooner. On an unrelated note, can someone who's good at the new website format help me figure out what's wrong with how I set up the table at the start? That huge blank space before the gear list shouldn't be there =/
  6. As I wrote in the guide, Shadow Blades is a much less significant cooldown than Shadow Dance is. If your only goal was to get the most benefit out of Shadow Blades, then you would wait/plan out a lull in your Find Weakness uptime and use it then - but that would mean waiting 1min+ before using it, effectively increasing its cooldown by upwards of 50% just to try and get the optimal usage out of it. The way you have it right now, you are actually delaying Shadow Dance during your highest DPS phase of the entire fight - the opening ~20-30 seconds, when you are virtually guaranteed a perfect storm of Bloodlust, double trinket procs, double weapon procs, and your pre-pot. Using Shadow Blades and Shadow Dance together in your opener will net you slightly fewer combo points in the aggregate, but the combo points you do get will all be fed into more supercharged Ruptures and Eviscerates because Ambush will give 2+1 combo points for 40 energy, vs Backstab giving 1+1 per 35 - your % increase in CP generation may be less, but your CP per GCD during this critial phase of the fight will be almost 50% higher, essentially leading to ~45%+ more finishers with all your bells and whistles (not quite 50% because Ambush is 40 energy vs Backstab 35). And that's not even taking into account how much more damage double trinket Ambushes do than double trinket Backstabs. In my opener I would wait for the Subterfuge buff to wear off before I would use Shadow Dance, so that I'm not wasting the use of any Ambushes from Subterfuge while still catching some of the Master of Subtlety buff on my Shadow Dance. You could argue that my opener I'm wasting Find Weakness using Shadow Dance then, but part of the complexity of Subtlety is that many of your decisions are situational; maximizing Find Weakness uptime is critically important, but a rotation that focuses solely on getting as high a % uptime on it as possible will lose to one that involves making dynamic decisions during the fight based on buffs and procs. I cant comment on how much damage you should be doing without getting a look at your gear and/or logs, although such a high Eviscerate crit chance is certainly unusual and probably bumped your DPS up by 20-30k at least. Reaching/beating your Shadowcraft simulated DPS is something you should be doing if you've mastered the spec anyway, depending on the fight, of course; I got several top 5 Subtlety ranks on the 3 patchwerk normals (Juggernaut, Malkorok, Siegecrafter) before my hiatus about a month ago despite being sub 560 ilvl, because I understood the spec fairly well at a time when it was just gaining popularity. As for Shadow Focus, Subterfuge is just across the board better. With Shadow Focus, you get 1 Ambush for a 45 energy discount. With Subterfuge, you get 3 extra seconds of Master of Subtlety during your opener/whenever you vanish, plus the additional Ambushes you can now cast out of stealth can extend Find Weakness by upwards of 6 seconds per vanish.
  7. Even without the Sanguinary Vein debuff, Rupture itself is one of the highest damage abilities you have, and is definitely the highest when it comes to damage per energy spent. As for Find Weakness, that depends on numerous factors, such as if you have an Assurance of Consequence (and what level it is) and if you have your 4pc, as well as factors like fight length and, of course, what fight it actually is - naturally, you'd have higher uptime on Malkorok than on Thok. On a patchwerk fight with decent gear you can easily break 60% uptime, and can even get 70%+ with good execution and/or some RNG (and/or having a really short fight time).
  8. You are correct, that was an oversight on my part.
  9. Normally I'd continue to just lurk on the forums, but since the spec is (relatively) young as far as this expansion goes, I thought I'd toss my HaT (get it?) into the ring and try to put all the correct information in one place, as well as some of my own insight. Gear [table] Slot Item Helm: Kor'Kron Elite Skullmask Neck: Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur Shoulders: Spaulders of the Barbed Assassin Cloak: Fen-Yu, Fury of XuenChest: Tunic of the Barbed Assassin Bracers: Bomber's Blackened Wristwatch Gloves: Gloves of the Barbed Assassin Belt: Cord of Black Dreams Legs: Legguards of the Barbed Assassin Feet: Pandaren Roofsprinters Ring 1: Kil'ruk's Band of Ascendancy Ring 2: Ring of Restless Energy Trinket 1: Assurance of Consequence Trinket 2: Haromm's Talisman Weapon MH: Hvitserk's Formidable Shanker Weapon OH: Hvitserk's Formidable Shanker[/table] Stat Weights [table] Stat | Weight Agility:| 4.010 Yellow Hit:| 3.301 Expertise:| 2.934 Haste:| 1.799 Crit:| 1.696 Mastery:| 1.680 White Hit:| 1.010 Mainhand Dps:| 4.666 Offhand Dps:| 0.806 [/table] T16 2pc: 3021.017 T16 4pc: 1471.888 Sims out at 436.7k DPS with Pandaren Racial and two static agility professions. Gear/Stat Weights are tentative, and note that the stat weights are for full BIS. For almost all gear levels, your focus should be first hitting the Yellow Hit and Expertise caps (7.5% each), then Haste > Mastery = Crit for secondary stats. Subtlety's Strengths/Weaknesses: Strengths: High(est) Single Target DPS When it comes down to it, the reason Subtlety has been generating more interest lately (5.4 onward) is that it has become our strongest single target dps specialization; BIS Subtlety sims 20k+ over BIS Combat, which itself is already 20k+ over BIS Assassination, and the difference is even greater at lower gear levels (i.e. 553, 560, etc). Smoother Damage Curve Compared with something like Assassination that has a sharp downward slope until the execute phase or Combat that rapidly alternates between high damage spikes and low troughs waiting for Restless Blades to work its magic, Subtlety's damage curve is relatively smooth over the course of the fight, in part because of the relatively short cooldown of Shadow Dance (especially with Assurance of Consequence, which is a must-have for every Rogue spec), but also because of the high uptime of the Find Weakness debuff you can maintain through use of your cooldowns and/or your luck with T16 4pc procs. "Rogue-like" Feel This one is more of a personal preference, but the playstyle definitely seems to lend itself more to the typical rogue archetype most might expect from the class - sneaking in and out of stealth to slip in high damage strikes that exploit your targets' vulnerability. Weaknesses: Difficulty Switching Targets One of the main drawbacks of Subtlety is that it loses its edge on fights that require a lot of target switching. This is in part due to the need to apply the Sanguinary Vein debuff to any new target you switch to (mitigated by Hemorrhaging Veins glyph), but is primarily because the main boon of the spec, Find Weakness, is a target specific debuff. And that's not even considering that Assassination can actually benefit from swapping (more Ruptures = more energy), and Combat can just cleave off the boss most of the time with Blade Flurry. Poor AOE Subtlety's AOE is fairly lacking compared with our other specs. Combat can cleave off the boss without any extra effort needed and can deal massive AOE spikes with Killing Spree using Blade Flurry, and Assassination can spread Deadly Poison to adds with Fan of Knives and gain extra energy regeneration through using Rupture on multiple targets. Subtlety also uses Fan of Knives as your CP builder for AOE (with Crimson Tempest as the finisher), but it doesnt benefit from Assassination's increased poison proc rate and damage, and Fan of Knives by itself does pretty lackluster damage. Higher Degree of Complexity This is technically a weakness, but is also part of the reason some are drawn to the spec - it's noticeably harder to play and master than our other specs. Abilities: Here's a list of the abilities/buffs/debuffs/passives you should be familiar with for playing specifically as Subtlety: Core Mechanics: Honor Among Thieves - Adds a combo point to your current target whenever a member of your raid crits with an ability, with an internal cooldown of 2 seconds. Will occur almost always on cooldown for reliable CP generation, though it has the potential to occasionally interfere with Anticipation charges transferring to your target after a finisher. Energetic Recovery - Subtlety's main form of energy regeneration. It is attached to Slice and Dice, so you shouldn't have to worry about it much, since you should always keep Slice and Dice up anyway. Sanguinary Vein - A passive effect that boosts your Rupture damage by 50% and causes you to deal 35% (tooltip is out of date) increased damage to targets affected by your Rupture, Garrote, Crimson Tempest or Hemorrhage (with the appropriate glyph). The effect is technically a passive buff on yourself, but it acts more like a debuff because it is only active with one of the specified bleeds on the target. Find Weakness - A debuff that is applied whenever you use Ambush or Garrote, causing your attacks to completely ignore the target's armor for 10 seconds. Note that it only requires the use of a stealth-based attack, but not for you to necessarily be in stealth - i.e. an Ambush used during Shadow Dance will still apply the debuff, even though you are not technically in stealth. Master of Subtlety - A buff that gives you 10% damage bonus during and after breaking stealth for the next 6 seconds. As opposed to Find Weakness, Master of Subtlety actually requires you to be stealthed to activate - i.e. an Ambush during Shadow Dance wont proc the ability, but an Ambush after using Vanish will. Combo Point Builders: Backstab - 35 energy, adds 1 combo point to the target. Requires you to be behind your target. Hemorrhage - 30 energy, adds 1 combo point to the target, and a bleed that deals 50% of the initial strike's damage over 24 seconds and triggers Sanguinary Vein. Ticks every 3 seconds. Ambush - 60 energy, adds 2 combo points. Requires you to be behind the target and in stealth/Shadow Dance. Applies Find Weakness debuff. Fan of Knives - 35 energy, adds 1 combo point to the target (or an enemy with lingering combo points hit by it if one exists). Deals weak AOE damage, but has a chance to proc poisons on all targets hit. Finishers: Eviscerate - 35 energy, high physical damage. Use between reapplying Slice and Dice/Rupture i.e. most of your combo points will go into using Eviscerate. Rupture - 25 energy, high damage bleed mostly due to Sanguinary Vein passive, which it also happens to trigger. Ticks every 2 seconds. Slice and Dice - 25 energy. Increases your attack speed drastically, and procs Energetic Recovery. Crimson Tempest - 35 energy, AOE physical damage + bleed for 240% of initial damage over 12 seconds that triggers Sanguinary Vein on all targets hit. Cooldowns: Shadow Dance - 1 minute cooldown (reduced by Assurance of Consequence), off GCD, 8 second duration. Allows use of Ambush/Garrote/Cheap Shot out of stealth, and reduces the energy cost of Ambush by 20 for the duration. Shadow Blades - 3 minute cooldown (reduced by Assurance of Consequence), off GCD, 12 second duration. Causes your auto attacks to deal shadow damage in lieu of physical damage, and causes your combo point generating abilities to generate one additional combo point. Less important for Subtlety than it is for other specs because the Find Weakness debuff makes the auto attack component less potent. Vanish - 2 minute cooldown (reduced by Assurance of Consequence), off GCD. Causes instant activation of stealth. Contrasted with Shadow Blades, Vanish is significantly more important for Subtlety than it is for other specs, as it allows additional casts of Ambush to maintain the Find Weakness debuff as well as is the only way to apply the Subterfuge/Master of Subtlety buffs during combat. Premeditation - 20 second cooldown, off GCD. Adds two combo points to the target (which disappear if not used within 18 seconds). Can only be used in stealth/Shadow Dance Preparation - 5 minute cooldown, on GCD. Resets the cooldown of Vanish (as well as Sprint, Evasion and Dismantle). Poisons: I almost didn't include this just from its overwhelming obviousness, but your lethal poison should be Deadly Poison. Use whatever non-lethal poison you feel like. Talents: T1: Subterfuge T2: Combat Readiness (optional) T3: Elusiveness (optional but very strongly recommended) T4: Shadowstep (optional but very very strongly recommended) T5: Prey on the Weak (optional) T6: Anticipation The only really mandatory ones are Subterfuge in T1 and Anticipation in T6. Subterfuge because it allows you additional ambushes after breaking stealth to extend the Find Weakness debuff and also extends your Master of Subtlety buff for the duration, and Anticipation because it allows you to capture combo points from Honor Among Thieves that would normally go to waste, and also pool combo points for when Find Weakness is up for additional Eviscerates. For the other tiers, you can pick what you want, but Elusiveness in T3 is very strong for general fight survival (especially when combined with Glyph of Feint), and Shadowstep in T4 is a staple for most rogues, but T2-T5 come down to playstyle if you strongly prefer one to another. Glyphs: Glyph of Vanish Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins Glyph of Feint/Redirect/Smoke Bomb Glyph of Vanish and Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins are the only ones that are actually important to your damage. Glyph of Vanish extends your Subterfuge by an additional 3 seconds (though it doesnt extend your Master of Subtlety buff further), and Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins allows you leniency with not being required to maintain 100% rupture uptime during the fight for the Sanguinary Vein debuff, which gives you the freedom to use other finishers as you see fit. The third Glyph is a preference call. I use Glyph of Feint because Feint is great, and therefore extending it by 2 seconds is even better. You can swap in Glyph of Smoke Bomb if your raid is hurting for mitigation cooldowns or Glyph of Redirect if you need to target swap often, though subtlety is not the best at target swapping fights because Find Weakness is a target-specific debuff. In the end, your setup should look something like this: Mists of Pandaria - Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft Rotation: As for rotation, lot of people are getting the precombat part wrong, so let me start there: Pre-Combat: ~15 seconds before pull (get as close to 18 as you can without going over, minimum of 7 seconds so you have enough time to restealth before pull): Premeditation (from stealth) -> Unstealth -> Wait 1-2 seconds before pull -> Prepot + cast Slice and Dice -> Restealth -> Open It's a little involved, but you'll want to cast Premeditation from stealth before pull to get Slice and Dice up, and you'll also need to be out of stealth to prepot, so you have to duck in/out/in of stealth. Note that casting Slice and Dice uses a GCD, so you'll want to do it before you actually open. Opener: There are two options for openers, and which one you use depends on your gear and/or the particular fight: a Garrote opener, and an Ambush opener. Garrote Opener: Garrote -> Ambush -> Ambush Ambush Opener: Ambush -> Hemorrhage -> Ambush The Garrote opener costs 15 more energy, which makes it more difficult to pull off two Ambushes within the 3 second Subterfuge window (with 12,000+ haste I can't reliably pull it off on the target dummy, even with some involved micro with Energetic Recovery procs). However, it has the benefit of immediately applying the Sanguinary Vein and Find Weakness debuffs, meaning both of your Ambushes benefit from both buffs, instead of your first benefiting from neither. In addition, the Hemorrhage you use to put up Sanguinary Vein in the Ambush opener would also not benefit from the Sanguinary Vein buff, meaning you would either have a mediocre Hemorrhage dot or would have to spend more energy applying the correct one (which also effectively wastes the first one). So basically, use the Garrote opener if you can (i.e. if you're going to use bloodlust on pull, or are very well geared with a lot of haste). In Combat: Things get a little dicey here, so I'll go into a general idea of what your mindset should be instead of a step-by-step list of what to do. Your main combo point builder should be Backstab whenever possible (i.e. you can get behind your target), with Hemorrhage as your backup if you cant. You should use Hemorrhage to keep its bleed effect up, ideally during Find Weakness, because the bleed is based on the initial damage of the Hemorrhage it came from, which itself benefits from the armor penetration. During Shadow Dance, Backstab is replaced with Ambush, and it is higher DPS to delay reapplying Hemorrhage in favor of performing additional casts of Ambush during the cooldown; you can reapply Hemorrhage after the cooldown wears off and still get it under Find Weakness. For finishers, keep Slice and Dice up at all times, and keep Rupture up as much as possible, with Eviscerate as your finisher spam (obviously). Try to avoid reapplying Slice and Dice/Rupture during Find Weakness if timing allows, but do it anyway if they are falling off, with a lesser priority on Rupture. To make that a little more clear - it's worth it to push back Shadow Dance/Vanish by a few seconds to first reapply Slice and Dice/Rupture before applying the Find Weakness debuff; however, if the debuff is already out and Slice and Dice/Rupture is about to fall off, you should reapply it anyway. You can reapply Rupture during the last 2 seconds and not lose the last tick - it will be added on to the new Rupture application, using the new Rupture's snapshotted stats (the same can be said of Hemorrhage, though for that it's the last 3 seconds instead). Rupture vs Eviscerate during Find Weakness requires a bit of finesse. Without Find Weakness, Rupture is the clear winner - it does 80-85% as much damage as Eviscerate (before cutting Eviscerate by an additional 25%+ because of armor mitigation) for 40% less energy. Even during Find Weakness, Rupture has a higher damage per energy spent...but then things get more complicated when the discussion shifts from removing Rupture entirely to simply delaying it during Find Weakness. There are times when you should delay Rupture - an extreme example is if you have Rupture falling off and 5 CPs and 5 Anticipation charges with 1 second left on Find Weakness, then you can easily justify bumping the Rupture back a few seconds to snag the tail end of the debuff for the Eviscerate. However, what if that turns into 5 CPs +2 charges and 3 seconds left on Find Weakness? 4 CPs and 7 seconds left on Find Weakness? The answer is dynamic based on your combo points + charges, energy, time left on Find Weakness, and how many ticks of Rupture you'd lose. As a general rule of thumb, if you would lose 3 or more ticks of Rupture to use Eviscerate during Find Weakness, then it's probably not worth it. Cooldowns can be another murky area. Shadow Dance is on a relatively low cooldown (especially with an Assurance of Consequence) and should be used virtually on cooldown to maintain high uptime of the Find Weakness debuff. It also replaces Backstab with a reduced-cost Ambush (-20 energy, to 40 energy cost). Because you have such high uptime of the Find Weakness buff, Shadow Blades loses some of its usefulness in overlap (with 100% armor penetration already on the target, the benefit of having shadow damage auto attacks is practically wiped out). However, the working assumption that is initially supported by Shadowcraft is that waiting to find an opening to use Shadow Blades is not worth the delayed usage of the CD, and that you should actually use it during Shadow Dance to increase your CP generation for more Eviscerate spam. Your primary goal with your cooldowns is to maximize the uptime of your Find Weakness debuff, and you should plan out your Vanish usages in between Shadow Dances to that end. For both Shadow Dance and Vanish, you should make sure to save enough energy to use one final Ambush at the end of the buff's duration (40 energy for Shadow Dance, 60 for Vanish). The purpose of this is, again, to maximize your Find Weakness uptime; two Ambushes back to back only causes 11 combined seconds of Find Weakness, but two Ambushes 5 second apart causes 15 seconds. Assuming you took Glyph of Vanish (which you should), your Subterfuge buff will actually last 6 seconds instead of 3 (it will reapply itself after the first 3 second one runs out), which will usually allow you an additional Ambush per Vanish usage. Ambushing while the Find Weakness buff is still up will give the Ambush the extra damage of having been cast during the previous buff, so dont wait for the buff to fall off entirely before reappying it with another Ambush - ideally, you'd want to wait until As mentioned earlier, try to time your CDs out so that your Rupture and Slice and Dice are refreshed going into them, but dont avoid refreshing them should you need to. Additionally, you should be pooling energy/CPs for Shadow Dance and Vanish (and T16 4pc bonus procs when you get it) to get as many Ambushes/Eviscerates during the Find Weakness buff as possible, especially after a Vanish because your Master of Subtlety buff will be back up. You can also use Preparation to reset the cooldown of your Vanish, but don't be in a huge hurry to do so - most fights only last long enough to use a single Preparation (5min CD), so saving it for later isnt a waste of the CD. Premeditation is best used on its own and not macroed into something else if you can manage it, but it is one more thing to manage in what is already the most complicated Rogue spec by a decent margin. The reason for this is Premeditation will not add to your Anticipation charges if used at 4+ combo points, so having it macroed in means you run the risk of losing those combo points (although if it's between macroing it in and not using it at all, macroing it in is obviously the better choice). I'll add more as more info becomes available/uncovered Macros A few useful macros that I use, feel free to ignore/improve/steal them (as I did with the Backstab one =D)
  10. Normally I'd continue to just lurk on the forums, but since the spec is (relatively) young as far as this expansion goes, I thought I'd toss my HaT (get it?) into the ring and try to put all the correct information in one place, as well as some of my own insight. Gear [table] Slot Item Helm: Kor'Kron Elite Skullmask Neck: Gleaming Eye of the Devilsaur Shoulders: Spaulders of the Barbed Assassin Cloak: Fen-Yu, Fury of XuenChest: Tunic of the Barbed Assassin Bracers: Bomber's Blackened Wristwatch Gloves: Gloves of the Barbed Assassin Belt: Cord of Black Dreams Legs: Legguards of the Barbed Assassin Feet: Pandaren Roofsprinters Ring 1: Kil'ruk's Band of Ascendancy Ring 2: Ring of Restless Energy Trinket 1: Assurance of Consequence Trinket 2: Haromm's Talisman Weapon MH: Hvitserk's Formidable Shanker Weapon OH: Hvitserk's Formidable Shanker[/table] Stat Weights [table] Stat | Weight Agility:| 4.010 Yellow Hit:| 3.301 Expertise:| 2.934 Haste:| 1.799 Crit:| 1.696 Mastery:| 1.680 White Hit:| 1.010 Mainhand Dps:| 4.666 Offhand Dps:| 0.806 [/table] T16 2pc: 3021.017 T16 4pc: 1471.888 Sims out at 436.7k DPS with Pandaren Racial and two static agility professions. Gear/Stat Weights are tentative, and note that the stat weights are for full BIS. For almost all gear levels, your focus should be first hitting the Yellow Hit and Expertise caps (7.5% each), then Haste > Mastery = Crit for secondary stats. Subtlety's Strengths/Weaknesses: Strengths: High(est) Single Target DPS When it comes down to it, the reason Subtlety has been generating more interest lately (5.4 onward) is that it has become our strongest single target dps specialization; BIS Subtlety sims 20k+ over BIS Combat, which itself is already 20k+ over BIS Assassination, and the difference is even greater at lower gear levels (i.e. 553, 560, etc). Smoother Damage Curve Compared with something like Assassination that has a sharp downward slope until the execute phase or Combat that rapidly alternates between high damage spikes and low troughs waiting for Restless Blades to work its magic, Subtlety's damage curve is relatively smooth over the course of the fight, in part because of the relatively short cooldown of Shadow Dance (especially with Assurance of Consequence, which is a must-have for every Rogue spec), but also because of the high uptime of the Find Weakness debuff you can maintain through use of your cooldowns and/or your luck with T16 4pc procs. "Rogue-like" Feel This one is more of a personal preference, but the playstyle definitely seems to lend itself more to the typical rogue archetype most might expect from the class - sneaking in and out of stealth to slip in high damage strikes that exploit your targets' vulnerability. Weaknesses: Difficulty Switching Targets One of the main drawbacks of Subtlety is that it loses its edge on fights that require a lot of target switching. This is in part due to the need to apply the Sanguinary Vein debuff to any new target you switch to (mitigated by Hemorrhaging Veins glyph), but is primarily because the main boon of the spec, Find Weakness, is a target specific debuff. And that's not even considering that Assassination can actually benefit from swapping (more Ruptures = more energy), and Combat can just cleave off the boss most of the time with Blade Flurry. Poor AOE Subtlety's AOE is fairly lacking compared with our other specs. Combat can cleave off the boss without any extra effort needed and can deal massive AOE spikes with Killing Spree using Blade Flurry, and Assassination can spread Deadly Poison to adds with Fan of Knives and gain extra energy regeneration through using Rupture on multiple targets. Subtlety also uses Fan of Knives as your CP builder for AOE (with Crimson Tempest as the finisher), but it doesnt benefit from Assassination's increased poison proc rate and damage, and Fan of Knives by itself does pretty lackluster damage. Higher Degree of Complexity This is technically a weakness, but is also part of the reason some are drawn to the spec - it's noticeably harder to play and master than our other specs. Abilities: Here's a list of the abilities/buffs/debuffs/passives you should be familiar with for playing specifically as Subtlety: Core Mechanics: Honor Among Thieves - Adds a combo point to your current target whenever a member of your raid crits with an ability, with an internal cooldown of 2 seconds. Will occur almost always on cooldown for reliable CP generation, though it has the potential to occasionally interfere with Anticipation charges transferring to your target after a finisher. Energetic Recovery - Subtlety's main form of energy regeneration. It is attached to Slice and Dice, so you shouldn't have to worry about it much, since you should always keep Slice and Dice up anyway. Sanguinary Vein - A passive effect that boosts your Rupture damage by 50% and causes you to deal 35% (tooltip is out of date) increased damage to targets affected by your Rupture, Garrote, Crimson Tempest or Hemorrhage (with the appropriate glyph). The effect is technically a passive buff on yourself, but it acts more like a debuff because it is only active with one of the specified bleeds on the target. Find Weakness - A debuff that is applied whenever you use Ambush or Garrote, causing your attacks to completely ignore the target's armor for 10 seconds. Note that it only requires the use of a stealth-based attack, but not for you to necessarily be in stealth - i.e. an Ambush used during Shadow Dance will still apply the debuff, even though you are not technically in stealth. Master of Subtlety - A buff that gives you 10% damage bonus during and after breaking stealth for the next 6 seconds. As opposed to Find Weakness, Master of Subtlety actually requires you to be stealthed to activate - i.e. an Ambush during Shadow Dance wont proc the ability, but an Ambush after using Vanish will. Combo Point Builders: Backstab - 35 energy, adds 1 combo point to the target. Requires you to be behind your target. Hemorrhage - 30 energy, adds 1 combo point to the target, and a bleed that deals 50% of the initial strike's damage over 24 seconds and triggers Sanguinary Vein. Ticks every 3 seconds. Ambush - 60 energy, adds 2 combo points. Requires you to be behind the target and in stealth/Shadow Dance. Applies Find Weakness debuff. Fan of Knives - 35 energy, adds 1 combo point to the target (or an enemy with lingering combo points hit by it if one exists). Deals weak AOE damage, but has a chance to proc poisons on all targets hit. Finishers: Eviscerate - 35 energy, high physical damage. Use between reapplying Slice and Dice/Rupture i.e. most of your combo points will go into using Eviscerate. Rupture - 25 energy, high damage bleed mostly due to Sanguinary Vein passive, which it also happens to trigger. Ticks every 2 seconds. Slice and Dice - 25 energy. Increases your attack speed drastically, and procs Energetic Recovery. Crimson Tempest - 35 energy, AOE physical damage + bleed for 240% of initial damage over 12 seconds that triggers Sanguinary Vein on all targets hit. Cooldowns: Shadow Dance - 1 minute cooldown (reduced by Assurance of Consequence), off GCD, 8 second duration. Allows use of Ambush/Garrote/Cheap Shot out of stealth, and reduces the energy cost of Ambush by 20 for the duration. Shadow Blades - 3 minute cooldown (reduced by Assurance of Consequence), off GCD, 12 second duration. Causes your auto attacks to deal shadow damage in lieu of physical damage, and causes your combo point generating abilities to generate one additional combo point. Less important for Subtlety than it is for other specs because the Find Weakness debuff makes the auto attack component less potent. Vanish - 2 minute cooldown (reduced by Assurance of Consequence), off GCD. Causes instant activation of stealth. Contrasted with Shadow Blades, Vanish is significantly more important for Subtlety than it is for other specs, as it allows additional casts of Ambush to maintain the Find Weakness debuff as well as is the only way to apply the Subterfuge/Master of Subtlety buffs during combat. Premeditation - 20 second cooldown, off GCD. Adds two combo points to the target (which disappear if not used within 18 seconds). Can only be used in stealth/Shadow Dance Preparation - 5 minute cooldown, on GCD. Resets the cooldown of Vanish (as well as Sprint, Evasion and Dismantle). Poisons: I almost didn't include this just from its overwhelming obviousness, but your lethal poison should be Deadly Poison. Use whatever non-lethal poison you feel like. Talents: T1: Subterfuge T2: Combat Readiness (optional) T3: Elusiveness (optional but very strongly recommended) T4: Shadowstep (optional but very very strongly recommended) T5: Prey on the Weak (optional) T6: Anticipation The only really mandatory ones are Subterfuge in T1 and Anticipation in T6. Subterfuge because it allows you additional ambushes after breaking stealth to extend the Find Weakness debuff and also extends your Master of Subtlety buff for the duration, and Anticipation because it allows you to capture combo points from Honor Among Thieves that would normally go to waste, and also pool combo points for when Find Weakness is up for additional Eviscerates. For the other tiers, you can pick what you want, but Elusiveness in T3 is very strong for general fight survival (especially when combined with Glyph of Feint), and Shadowstep in T4 is a staple for most rogues, but T2-T5 come down to playstyle if you strongly prefer one to another. Glyphs: Glyph of Vanish Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins Glyph of Feint/Redirect/Smoke Bomb Glyph of Vanish and Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins are the only ones that are actually important to your damage. Glyph of Vanish extends your Subterfuge by an additional 3 seconds (though it doesnt extend your Master of Subtlety buff further), and Glyph of Hemorrhaging Veins allows you leniency with not being required to maintain 100% rupture uptime during the fight for the Sanguinary Vein debuff, which gives you the freedom to use other finishers as you see fit. The third Glyph is a preference call. I use Glyph of Feint because Feint is great, and therefore extending it by 2 seconds is even better. You can swap in Glyph of Smoke Bomb if your raid is hurting for mitigation cooldowns or Glyph of Redirect if you need to target swap often, though subtlety is not the best at target swapping fights because Find Weakness is a target-specific debuff. In the end, your setup should look something like this: Mists of Pandaria - Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft Rotation: As for rotation, lot of people are getting the precombat part wrong, so let me start there: Pre-Combat: ~15 seconds before pull (get as close to 18 as you can without going over, minimum of 7 seconds so you have enough time to restealth before pull): Premeditation (from stealth) -> Unstealth -> Wait 1-2 seconds before pull -> Prepot + cast Slice and Dice -> Restealth -> Open It's a little involved, but you'll want to cast Premeditation from stealth before pull to get Slice and Dice up, and you'll also need to be out of stealth to prepot, so you have to duck in/out/in of stealth. Note that casting Slice and Dice uses a GCD, so you'll want to do it before you actually open. Opener: There are two options for openers, and which one you use depends on your gear and/or the particular fight: a Garrote opener, and an Ambush opener. Garrote Opener: Garrote -> Ambush -> Ambush Ambush Opener: Ambush -> Hemorrhage -> Ambush The Garrote opener costs 15 more energy, which makes it more difficult to pull off two Ambushes within the 3 second Subterfuge window (with 12,000+ haste I can't reliably pull it off on the target dummy, even with some involved micro with Energetic Recovery procs). However, it has the benefit of immediately applying the Sanguinary Vein and Find Weakness debuffs, meaning both of your Ambushes benefit from both buffs, instead of your first benefiting from neither. In addition, the Hemorrhage you use to put up Sanguinary Vein in the Ambush opener would also not benefit from the Sanguinary Vein buff, meaning you would either have a mediocre Hemorrhage dot or would have to spend more energy applying the correct one (which also effectively wastes the first one). So basically, use the Garrote opener if you can (i.e. if you're going to use bloodlust on pull, or are very well geared with a lot of haste). In Combat: Things get a little dicey here, so I'll go into a general idea of what your mindset should be instead of a step-by-step list of what to do. Your main combo point builder should be Backstab whenever possible (i.e. you can get behind your target), with Hemorrhage as your backup if you cant. You should use Hemorrhage to keep its bleed effect up, ideally during Find Weakness, because the bleed is based on the initial damage of the Hemorrhage it came from, which itself benefits from the armor penetration. During Shadow Dance, Backstab is replaced with Ambush, and it is higher DPS to delay reapplying Hemorrhage in favor of performing additional casts of Ambush during the cooldown; you can reapply Hemorrhage after the cooldown wears off and still get it under Find Weakness. For finishers, keep Slice and Dice up at all times, and keep Rupture up as much as possible, with Eviscerate as your finisher spam (obviously). Try to avoid reapplying Slice and Dice/Rupture during Find Weakness if timing allows, but do it anyway if they are falling off, with a lesser priority on Rupture. To make that a little more clear - it's worth it to push back Shadow Dance/Vanish by a few seconds to first reapply Slice and Dice/Rupture before applying the Find Weakness debuff; however, if the debuff is already out and Slice and Dice/Rupture is about to fall off, you should reapply it anyway. You can reapply Rupture during the last 2 seconds and not lose the last tick - it will be added on to the new Rupture application, using the new Rupture's snapshotted stats (the same can be said of Hemorrhage, though for that it's the last 3 seconds instead). Rupture vs Eviscerate during Find Weakness requires a bit of finesse. Without Find Weakness, Rupture is the clear winner - it does 80-85% as much damage as Eviscerate (before cutting Eviscerate by an additional 25%+ because of armor mitigation) for 40% less energy. Even during Find Weakness, Rupture has a higher damage per energy spent...but then things get more complicated when the discussion shifts from removing Rupture entirely to simply delaying it during Find Weakness. There are times when you should delay Rupture - an extreme example is if you have Rupture falling off and 5 CPs and 5 Anticipation charges with 1 second left on Find Weakness, then you can easily justify bumping the Rupture back a few seconds to snag the tail end of the debuff for the Eviscerate. However, what if that turns into 5 CPs +2 charges and 3 seconds left on Find Weakness? 4 CPs and 7 seconds left on Find Weakness? The answer is dynamic based on your combo points + charges, energy, time left on Find Weakness, and how many ticks of Rupture you'd lose. As a general rule of thumb, if you would lose 3 or more ticks of Rupture to use Eviscerate during Find Weakness, then it's probably not worth it. Cooldowns can be another murky area. Shadow Dance is on a relatively low cooldown (especially with an Assurance of Consequence) and should be used virtually on cooldown to maintain high uptime of the Find Weakness debuff. It also replaces Backstab with a reduced-cost Ambush (-20 energy, to 40 energy cost). Because you have such high uptime of the Find Weakness buff, Shadow Blades loses some of its usefulness in overlap (with 100% armor penetration already on the target, the benefit of having shadow damage auto attacks is practically wiped out). However, the working assumption that is initially supported by Shadowcraft is that waiting to find an opening to use Shadow Blades is not worth the delayed usage of the CD, and that you should actually use it during Shadow Dance to increase your CP generation for more Eviscerate spam. Your primary goal with your cooldowns is to maximize the uptime of your Find Weakness debuff, and you should plan out your Vanish usages in between Shadow Dances to that end. For both Shadow Dance and Vanish, you should make sure to save enough energy to use one final Ambush at the end of the buff's duration (40 energy for Shadow Dance, 60 for Vanish). The purpose of this is, again, to maximize your Find Weakness uptime; two Ambushes back to back only causes 11 combined seconds of Find Weakness, but two Ambushes 5 second apart causes 15 seconds. Assuming you took Glyph of Vanish (which you should), your Subterfuge buff will actually last 6 seconds instead of 3 (it will reapply itself after the first 3 second one runs out), which will usually allow you an additional Ambush per Vanish usage. Ambushing while the Find Weakness buff is still up will give the Ambush the extra damage of having been cast during the previous buff, so dont wait for the buff to fall off entirely before reappying it with another Ambush - ideally, you'd want to wait until As mentioned earlier, try to time your CDs out so that your Rupture and Slice and Dice are refreshed going into them, but dont avoid refreshing them should you need to. Additionally, you should be pooling energy/CPs for Shadow Dance and Vanish (and T16 4pc bonus procs when you get it) to get as many Ambushes/Eviscerates during the Find Weakness buff as possible, especially after a Vanish because your Master of Subtlety buff will be back up. You can also use Preparation to reset the cooldown of your Vanish, but don't be in a huge hurry to do so - most fights only last long enough to use a single Preparation (5min CD), so saving it for later isnt a waste of the CD. Premeditation is best used on its own and not macroed into something else if you can manage it, but it is one more thing to manage in what is already the most complicated Rogue spec by a decent margin. The reason for this is Premeditation will not add to your Anticipation charges if used at 4+ combo points, so having it macroed in means you run the risk of losing those combo points (although if it's between macroing it in and not using it at all, macroing it in is obviously the better choice). I'll add more as more info becomes available/uncovered Macros A few useful macros that I use, feel free to ignore/improve/steal them (as I did with the Backstab one =D)