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Cataclysm Subtlety Compendium


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#21 Omniwank

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:12 AM

Isn't Glyph of Shadow Dance better or at least comparable to Eviscerate?
It can reliably give you 4 ambushes and 2 finishers with 2 "free" gcds as well as longer Find Weakness uptime, and can allow 5 Ambushes/2 finishers with haste procs/Heroism.

If you pre-pot, it is obviously best to use Shadow Dance while potion buff is still up, clipping Find Weakness from initial Ambush, and using Master of Subtlety. Your "total" Find Weakness uptime shouldn't suffer from that because using ShDance earlier means having Find Weakness earlier when CD comes up again.

Also, durations of Recuperate/SnD when entering Shadow Dance are irrelevant, you just substitute Eviscerate with Recuperate/SnD as needed, and by using less energy get lower haste requirements for 5th Ambush with Shadow Dance glyph. You'll use Eviscerate outside of Shadow Dance while Find Weakness is still up anyway.


I removed the Glyph of Shadow Dance because there simply isn't enough energy returns/generation to support 4 Ambushes and 3 Eviscerates over 8 seconds. Also, substituting Eviscerate for Recuperate or SnD during Shadow Dance means forfeiting the Find Weakness debuff being applied to those Eviscerates.

#22 Probaton

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:34 AM

Am I the only one that gets the feeling that Hemorrhage is the elephant in the room here? Obviously I defer to your better judgment if you say it has no place in a max-dps rotation (which you seem to be implying by not mentioning it except as an alternate cp-generator) but isn't it at least noteworthy for it's bleed buff? Or would you require an all-dps-warrior cast for it to be significant?

ps. Kudos for doing what everyone else was too busy/scared to do by the way. Big thumbs up.

#23 Shalcker

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:47 AM

I removed the Glyph of Shadow Dance because there simply isn't enough energy returns/generation to support 4 Ambushes and 3 Eviscerates over 8 seconds.

You can support 4 Ambushes and 2 Eviscerates without any haste. There is never enough cp or energy for 3rd Eviscerate, true, and it is not needed either.
40 * 4 + 10 * 2 = 180 energy, base energy regen is 10 per second, and either 24 or 36 energy from Recuperate. Looking at worst case - 24 energy from Recuperate, 80 energy from base regen, you can do 4/2 if you enter Shadow Dance with 80+ energy pooled.

Best case is 36 energy from Recuperate, 80*1.1 (attack speed buff)*1.14(haste) = ~100 energy from regen, entering with 85+ energy you should be able to do 5 ambushes 2 eviscerates.

You can always do 5 Ambush/2 Evis during Heroism. Next tier will also has haste proc trinkets perfectly tuned for Shadow Dance.

Also, substituting Eviscerate for Recuperate or SnD during Shadow Dance means forfeiting the Find Weakness debuff being applied to those Eviscerates.

Your amount of Eviscerates during Find Weakness is largely static, even if you fit them all into Shadow Dance you will have to renew either SnD or Recuperate as next finisher while Find Weakness is still up, "losing" bonus. It's a bit false loss because SnD also benefits from Find Weakness and takes less energy, allowing you to backstab more while Find Weakness is still up. Same logic for Recuperate.

You should also probably note that you can refresh Recuperate with <3 seconds left (2 or less on blizzard timer) without losing any ticks.

#24 Omniwank

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:31 PM

You can support 4 Ambushes and 2 Eviscerates without any haste. There is never enough cp or energy for 3rd Eviscerate, true, and it is not needed either.
40 * 4 + 10 * 2 = 180 energy, base energy regen is 10 per second, and either 24 or 36 energy from Recuperate. Looking at worst case - 24 energy from Recuperate, 80 energy from base regen, you can do 4/2 if you enter Shadow Dance with 80+ energy pooled.

Best case is 36 energy from Recuperate, 80*1.1 (attack speed buff)*1.14(haste) = ~100 energy from regen, entering with 85+ energy you should be able to do 5 ambushes 2 eviscerates.

You can always do 5 Ambush/2 Evis during Heroism. Next tier will also has haste proc trinkets perfectly tuned for Shadow Dance.


The problem with this calculation is that in practice you will not have 5 CPs for every Eviscerate, meaning they will not always cost 10 energy from RS returns. The 2 second cooldown of HaT contributes to this problem, and since you are GCD locked during Shadow Dance there's no time to wait for HaT procs. Even if you Ambush twice to guarantee an RS return on an Eviscerate, you are likely to lose 2 CPs in the process.

You should also probably note that you can refresh Recuperate with <3 seconds left (2 or less on blizzard timer) without losing any ticks.


Recuperate's final tick occurs as the buff wears off. The first tick also occurs 3 seconds after the buff is applied. If you are refreshing it with <3 seconds left, how are you not losing the final tick of the initial buff and delaying the next tick 3 more seconds?

#25 Shalcker

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:13 PM

The problem with this calculation is that in practice you will not have 5 CPs for every Eviscerate, meaning they will not always cost 10 energy from RS returns. The 2 second cooldown of HaT contributes to this problem, and since you are GCD locked during Shadow Dance there's no time to wait for HaT procs. Even if you Ambush twice to guarantee an RS return on an Eviscerate, you are likely to lose 2 CPs in the process.

You definitely can get 5CP for every Eviscerate during Shadow Dance, and HaT is reason why it's so reliable.

Double Ambush/Evis is slightly superior to single Ambush/Evis during Shadow Dance according to simulations, so, yes, you Ambush twice and take CP overflow if you spec into Initiative. Without Initiative you get exactly 5 CP for 2 Ambushes -> Ambush (2) + Ambush (2) + HaT (1) from any of those two Ambushes (with 90+% crit rate) or any other source, no wait needed.

You're also not GCD-locked if you take Shadow Dance glyph, though it gets pretty close if you aim for 5/2.

Recuperate's final tick occurs as the buff wears off. The first tick also occurs 3 seconds after the buff is applied. If you are refreshing it with <3 seconds left, how are you not losing the final tick of the initial buff and delaying the next tick 3 more seconds?

It works same way as refreshing any other DoTs/HoTs, if you refresh them before expiration, it gets extended by time remaining until next tick. So, you refresh at 2.99 seconds left, you get 32.99 second Recuperate, ticking 11 times. Really easy to test.

#26 Mézga

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:57 PM

I went Subtlety for one of our raid nights and was "shadowcraft engine" optimized...

I noticed that i had a couple instances where my rotation was going so smooth that I could envenom every once in a while instead of eviscerate and not affect my rotation (i.e. Recouperate, Rupture, & SnD were all up).

Also...Does the shadowcraft engine assume 1cp every 2secs (for Honor Among Thieves)?...I couldn't tell by the code.

#27 Shalcker

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 05:29 PM

I went Subtlety for one of our raid nights and was "shadowcraft engine" optimized...

I noticed that i had a couple instances where my rotation was going so smooth that I could envenom every once in a while instead of eviscerate and not affect my rotation (i.e. Recouperate, Rupture, & SnD were all up).

You really shouldn't Envenom as Subtlety. You're losing Deadly Poison mainhand poison procs that way, as well as Deadly Poison uptime. When you have everything up, you Eviscerate. If everything is still up when you get 5CP again, you Eviscerate again.

Also...Does the shadowcraft engine assume 1cp every 2secs (for Honor Among Thieves)?...I couldn't tell by the code.

It doesn't. It sets them from "test_cycle = settings.SubtletyCycle(5)" - where 5 is expected amount of raid crits per second, which is about 2.2 seconds per CP.

#28 Omniwank

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 07:06 PM

You definitely can get 5CP for every Eviscerate during Shadow Dance, and HaT is reason why it's so reliable.

Double Ambush/Evis is slightly superior to single Ambush/Evis during Shadow Dance according to simulations, so, yes, you Ambush twice and take CP overflow if you spec into Initiative. Without Initiative you get exactly 5 CP for 2 Ambushes -> Ambush (2) + Ambush (2) + HaT (1) from any of those two Ambushes (with 90+% crit rate) or any other source, no wait needed.

You're also not GCD-locked if you take Shadow Dance glyph, though it gets pretty close if you aim for 5/2.

It works same way as refreshing any other DoTs/HoTs, if you refresh them before expiration, it gets extended by time remaining until next tick. So, you refresh at 2.99 seconds left, you get 32.99 second Recuperate, ticking 11 times. Really easy to test.


I updated the Recuperate info. Double Ambush/Evis during Shadow Dance is only possible once due to energy restrictions, and that is assuming you are at full energy/Recuperate duration when you initiate it. On the same note, 4 Ambushes and 2 Eviscerates are achievable without the glyph - again with full energy and Recuperate up. As these are impractical, best-case scenarios, you basically need the stars to align to get anything out of those extra 2 seconds, and since the spec is already convoluted enough, it's difficult to recommend the glyph.

#29 Shalcker

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:48 PM

I updated the Recuperate info. Double Ambush/Evis during Shadow Dance is only possible once due to energy restrictions, and that is assuming you are at full energy/Recuperate duration when you initiate it. On the same note, 4 Ambushes and 2 Eviscerates are achievable without the glyph - again with full energy and Recuperate up. As these are impractical, best-case scenarios, you basically need the stars to align to get anything out of those extra 2 seconds, and since the spec is already convoluted enough, it's difficult to recommend the glyph.

You're getting to 80-90 energy in about 4-5 seconds in most practical scenarios as Subtlety. I don't think asking for 5 second foresight before using your major DPS cooldown is too much. You don't need full duration on Recuperate, all you need is for it to be up when you are entering Shadow Dance, which should be true most of the time.

Your "margin of error" with glyph during Shadow Dance increases to 2-3 seconds instead of 1 without it, so glyph makes it much easier to use, and you can even fit Tricks or Feint into it without breaking last Ambush.

Let's see how 5/2 happens in "normal" rotation:
[TABLE="head"]t | Ability | -E | Base | Recup | RS | +E | Net | Energy
x | | | | | | | | 100
0 | Ambush* | -40 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | -16 | 84
1 | Evis | -35 | 12 | 0 | 25 | 37 | 2 | 86
2 | Ambush | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 58
3 | Ambush | -40 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | -16 | 42
4 | Evis | -35 | 12 | 0 | 25 | 37 | 2 | 44
5 | Ambush** | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 16
6 | wait | 0 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | 24 | 40
7 | Ambush | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 22
[/TABLE]
* - Either entering with 2+ CPs, or using Premeditation here.
** - Non-glyphed Shadow Dance ends here.

So far differences aren't that big... you still get one extra Ambush.
But let's extend timeline toward end of Find Weakness:
[TABLE="head"]t | Ability | -E | Base | Recup | RS | +E | Net | Energy
07 | Ambush | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 22
08 | SnD | -25 | 12 | 0 | 25 | 37 | 12 | 34
09 | wait | 0 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | 24 | 48
10 | BS+HaT | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 20
11 | wait | 0 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | 12 | 32
12 | HaT | 0 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | 24 | 56
13 | BS | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 28
14 | HaT | 0 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | 12 | 40
15 | Evis | -35 | 12 | 12 | 25 | 49 | 13 | 53
16 | BS | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 25
17 | wait* | 0 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | 12 | 37
* - Find Weakness ends here
We're easily fitting next Eviscerate and 3 Backstabs into Find Weakness, with a few seconds to spare.


How it goes with non-glyphed Shadow Dance?
[TABLE="head"]t | Ability | -E | Base | Recup | RS | +E | Net | Energy
05 | Ambush | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 16
06 | wait | 0 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | 24 | 40
07 | HaT | 0 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | 12 | 52
08 | BS | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 24
09 | HaT* | 0 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | 24 | 48
10 | SnD | -25 | 12 | 0 | 25 | 37 | 12 | 56
11 | HaT | 0 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | 12 | 68
12 | BS | -40 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 24 | -16 | 52
13 | HaT | 0 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | 12 | 64
14 | BS | -40 | 12 | 0 | 0 | 12 | -28 | 36
15 | HaT+Evis** | -35 | 12 | 12 | 25 | 49 | 13 | 49
[/Table]
* - Potential wasted HaT Combopoint; you're getting dangerously close to capping energy if you delay backstabs
** - Find Weakness ends here
We're barely getting last 5CP Eviscerate by getting HaT every 2 seconds, and in practical scenarios you might only get 4 CP there as Find Weakness ends...

So, by NOT using Shadow Dance glyph you're forcing people to use much more strict and a lot less forgiving rotation...
Why wouldn't you take easier rotation vs +10% crit on one finisher, considering that they are comparable dps? :)

#30 Omniwank

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 12:03 AM

I have spent some time testing both, and I am unable to perform the fifth Ambush before Shadow Dance wears off (it's about 1-1.5 seconds short). This is with 100 energy and timing Recuperate to tick as it does in your chart, and that is being very lenient considering in most cases you will Shadow Dance with slightly less energy to prevent capping and wasting Recup ticks. It would help if anyone else can test glyphed SD to see if they can achieve 5 Ambushes and 2 Eviscerates using the rotation above.

As for unglyphed SD, I can repeat the 4 Ambushes, but that is while GCD locked and with only 0.5 seconds left on Shadow Dance. That leaves zero room for error and also being lenient with 100 starting energy. It is probably safe to assume the average player is going to do 3 Ambushes unglyphed and 4 glyphed, neither rotation being more difficult.

#31 Cyberium

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 06:58 PM

Am I the only one that gets the feeling that Hemorrhage is the elephant in the room here? Obviously I defer to your better judgment if you say it has no place in a max-dps rotation (which you seem to be implying by not mentioning it except as an alternate cp-generator) but isn't it at least noteworthy for it's bleed buff? Or would you require an all-dps-warrior cast for it to be significant?

ps. Kudos for doing what everyone else was too busy/scared to do by the way. Big thumbs up.


I second that question. How does Hemo fit into the rotation here? OP mentioned that Hemo is used when you're in front of the boss and there's no more mentioning of it. It does give 30% buff to bleed, no? Do we just squeeze it in when we have spare energy or is the usage of that energy better spent on an upcoming Backstab?

#32 Jankage

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 07:57 PM

It does give +30% bleed damage, but so does mangle from a feral druid which is a much more likely/efficient source of this debuff. Arms warriors can also provide this debuff with blood frenzy.

#33 Shalcker

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:53 PM

I have spent some time testing both, and I am unable to perform the fifth Ambush before Shadow Dance wears off (it's about 1-1.5 seconds short). This is with 100 energy and timing Recuperate to tick as it does in your chart, and that is being very lenient considering in most cases you will Shadow Dance with slightly less energy to prevent capping and wasting Recup ticks. It would help if anyone else can test glyphed SD to see if they can achieve 5 Ambushes and 2 Eviscerates using the rotation above.

I did a few tries on target dummy, and could reproduce 5/2 with double hurricane proc (one after first eviscerate, one after next ambush) on my rogue. Which suggests it should be possible as long as you have attack speed buff for energy regen, with extra gear haste/haste procs lowering "minimum energy for shadow dance" threshold.

#34 Omniwank

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 09:28 PM

I second that question. How does Hemo fit into the rotation here? OP mentioned that Hemo is used when you're in front of the boss and there's no more mentioning of it. It does give 30% buff to bleed, no? Do we just squeeze it in when we have spare energy or is the usage of that energy better spent on an upcoming Backstab?


I haven't had enough time to model it. Rupture is typically around 5% of your damage, so the Hemo debuff is roughly a 1.5% damage increase. The question is whether the damage difference between a Backstab and Hemo is more than 1.5% of your damage in a minute, crit chance and energy costs considered.

#35 Istaril

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:25 PM

Quick napkin math based on a parse or two of subtlety rogues puts it at "close".

Off a parse like this one, I put the cost of using a hemo instead of a backstab at 9425 damage. The gain from using a hemo on your rupture is 14580d/min. That's 86 dps gained (less than 0.5% of DPS).

The worse your crit is, since backstab benefits from it more than Hemo does, or the better your rupture uptime is, the more you'll favour the Hemo over not.

I suspect as a general rule we'll find that using Hemo 1/min is optimal for most Subtlety rogues, but not by enough that you need be terribly worried about it.

Edit: Before people ask, yes, this includes the backstab glyph (but not the Hemo glyph).

#36 Omniwank

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 05:51 AM

I did a few tries on target dummy, and could reproduce 5/2 with double hurricane proc (one after first eviscerate, one after next ambush) on my rogue. Which suggests it should be possible as long as you have attack speed buff for energy regen, with extra gear haste/haste procs lowering "minimum energy for shadow dance" threshold.


While Haste is Subtlety's strongest substat after Yellow Hit, Landslide is still significantly ahead of Hurricane and raiding Rogues should have it on both weapons. However, it should be noted that the Deadly Scheme proc from 4pc T11 is going to reduce the effectiveness of the Eviscerate glyph to a degree. Although there is still insufficient modeling, Rogues utilizing the 4pc bonus will likely get more mileage out of the Shadow Dance glyph.

#37 Istaril

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 04:30 PM

I would recommend the guide say "As a rule of thumb, sockets that do not provide a 20agi bonus per non-red gem can safely be ignored". The next best, 30 haste (Helm) is a Deft Ember Topaz (20+30 haste vs 20 agi), and all current Subtlety EP valuations put the agi ahead.

#38 Omniwank

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 04:11 AM

A couple interesting notes/tricks about raiding as Subtlety:

- Contrary to prior thought, Subtlety is actually well suited for Al'akir. Due to Recuperate, it is never necessary for a Subtlety Rogue to be in range of healers. This means you will never need to parry him, and can Backstab/Ambush/Shadow Dance in every phase. The reduction to the CoS cooldown is also very useful for the P2 debuff and lightning rods in phase 3, further negating the need to be in range of healers.

- While Al'akir is on the platform, you can also use Shadow Step freely. It will teleport you onto him, and you will slowly bounce backwards to the platform while still being able to DPS. This means you can maintain 100% uptime since you can Shadow Step tornadoes that do not have openings near the front.

- On Atramedes and Nefarian's air phases, you can combine Shadow Step with an Engineer's Flexweave Underlay - Spell - World of Warcraft to DPS them in the air. You can also have a Priest or Mage cast Levitate and Slowfall on you for the same effect.

- On Nefarian, you can Shadow Step to the adds on the pillars to completely avoid any time in the lava.

- Backstab is particularly devastating on Cho'gall P3 and Toxitron adds.

- As an Engineer, if your Nitro Boosts fail you can immediately Shadow Step to a mob to avoid losing any DPS.

- As an Engineer, Synapse Springs can be macro'd to your Shadow Dance so they are always aligned with each other.

A couple things I have not yet tested:

- Is it possible to Shadow Step while Magmaw's head is grounded? His hit box changes, but I do not know if Shadow Step will still drop you into the lava behind him. (I tested it, and you Shadow Step safely while his head is grounded.)

- Is it possible to Shadow Step on Ala'kir phase 3? I am going to assume it follows the same behavior as KS, placing you at the bottom of his hit box in the lightning clouds, which isn't a good thing. (Edit: I have been told that it does in fact follow this behavior, so Shadow Step should not be used in this phase.)

#39 Hachi

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 06:48 PM

I don't think I saw Glyph of Rupture mentioned anywhere.

I would love to try sub out, but I'm worried about the potential complexity of the rotation. Now, I know you have been discussing the potential advantages of Glyph of Shadow Dance v. Glyph of Evisc, but shouldn't rupture be part of the discussion as well?

In my experience raiding as sub (which is admittedly limited) the primary headache was the rotation, and ensuring that I got a 5 cp rupture and 5 cp evisc off frequenlty enough. It seems like glyph of Rupture would help alleviate the razor thin margin on CP generation that sub has. Instead of 16 seconds to build 5 cps and ensure that rupture doesn't fall off you have 20 seconds.

I suppose the fact is that with perfect play, you shouldn't need it as it would provide no dps boost, but it seems like we're splitting hairs with the damage benefits of evisc glyph and shadow dance glyph anyhow.



One final question is whether it's really viable on heroic fights. Fights like maloriak heroic or halfus heroic, where you need some extremely high aoe numbers to finish the fight, isn't sub just a pure liablity with its lack of cleave and modest aoe damage?

I can see it being useful on a fight like Chim heroic, V&T heroic, maybe nef,

#40 Omniwank

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:54 PM

I don't think I saw Glyph of Rupture mentioned anywhere.

In my experience raiding as sub (which is admittedly limited) the primary headache was the rotation, and ensuring that I got a 5 cp rupture and 5 cp evisc off frequenlty enough. It seems like glyph of Rupture would help alleviate the razor thin margin on CP generation that sub has. Instead of 16 seconds to build 5 cps and ensure that rupture doesn't fall off you have 20 seconds.

I suppose the fact is that with perfect play, you shouldn't need it as it would provide no dps boost, but it seems like we're splitting hairs with the damage benefits of evisc glyph and shadow dance glyph anyhow.


I mentioned it earlier, but if you are just trying to learn the rotation you can sub in the Rupture glyph for Eviscerate/SD until you are comfortable. With practice you'll find it isn't necessary.

One final question is whether it's really viable on heroic fights. Fights like maloriak heroic or halfus heroic, where you need some extremely high aoe numbers to finish the fight, isn't sub just a pure liablity with its lack of cleave and modest aoe damage?

I can see it being useful on a fight like Chim heroic, V&T heroic, maybe nef,


I have done Heroic Halfus as Subtlety, and I wouldn't consider it a liability. As I stated in the original post, there are pros and cons that you have to weigh with your raid in mind. The 5% crit buff is a significant boost to raid DPS and healers at this point in the game. Heroic Halfus also does significant raid damage and is healer intensive, and Recuperate helps with that. Whether these factors make up for the lack of area of effect damage will depend on your raid comp and strategy.




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