First of all, I believe in World of Warcraft Cataclysm there is only one viable Rogue PvP spec - subtlety or dubbed Sub for short. It offers superb mobility and excellent survivability making it hands down best build available at the moment. While many will disagree and some will say that mutilate or mute rogues are good, I have tried out both and still come back to Sub build just because I live longer and move faster while DPS burst is basically same with both specs.
Alright, done with introductions, lets get to the business at hand. I will walk through my Rogue PvP Spec step by step explaining decision on one or another talent point spent. All and all, I have refined this build for some time and have come to conclusion that at this current moment (4.3.3 patch) it is superb:
As you can see, it may be slightly different than cookie cutting, but this is what works best for me and my game play style and I can only recommend it for trying out.
- Nightstalker – obvious choice to reduce your Stealth cooldown and improve stealthed movement speed
- Improved ambush – also obvious because it is one of the best opening moves you can think of
- Relentless strikes – good choice because energy is usually in short supply and this allows to get some back
- Elusiveness – a must have choice that will greatly improve your survivability
- Opportunity – major dps boost, must have
- Energetic Recovery – live long and prosper in stealth, also must have choice because it greatly increases your sirvivability
- Find Weakness – another dps burst improvement, especially when opening combat
- Hemorrhage – also an obvious choice since this will be one of your main bleeders
- Honor Among Thieves – I spent all 3 points there because I dropped Initiative and Premeditation talents, usually have my 5 combo in seconds
- Cheat Death – I spent only 2/3 points there and, to be honest, I am still bit dubious about usefulness of this talent, will explain in one of my posts later
- Preparation – a must have, nothing like having 2 vanishes, too bad it does not reset the cooldown of Cloak of Shadows as well
- Sanguinary Vein – also an obvious choice combined with Hemorrhage
- Slaughter from the Shadows – great opener
- Shadow Dance – well, if you glypth for it, it is really nice
- Improved Recuperate – combined with Energetic Recovery this is fantastic boost to your survivability
- Coup de Grace – I went for these because I use Eviscerate occasionally, but it can be swapped to Deadly Momentum which is great if you play a lot of battlegrounds, in Arena Eviscerate is more useful in my opinion
- Lethality – great choice to make sure your abilities will crit for more damage, must have
- Quickening – besides the obvious 20% increase self healing combined with both Combat and Sub tree talents makes your Recuperate tick for more. Another reason is movement speed increase which, in my opinion, is major advance – having being able to move at 126% speed while stealthed is not a small thing to sneeze at, if you sprint, you keep on with epic mounts for 8 seconds and if your sprint is glyphed, you are a cannonball – makes great choice for fast getaway.
- Puncturing Wounds – I spent 1 talent point there just to add another 10% crit chance to backstab. In theory, you can try swapping one point out of Quickening increasing your backstab crit chance by 20%, however 10% boost is enough in my opinion
Variations in Subtlety Tree:
- You may want to consider investing one point from the Cheat Death or Honor Among The Thieves into the Premeditation which will allow you to add 2 combo points and start Recuperate ability right away. If you use Hurricane enchantment for your off-hand it may trigger it and that would be nice addition to the opening move!
The talent points I left out and why:
- Waylay got left out of Sub tree because its usefulness is dubious, having your speed increase from both 2xAss and Sub tree, no flag carrier will outrun you, especially if you are using crippling poison. As for increased mele and ranged attack time – use Dismantle instead, 10 seconds chicken run is way more fun!
- Initiative got left out of of Sub tree just because Honor among Thieves provides same thing. Although, you can try variation – putting 1 point in Honor among Thieves and filling out Initiative – perhaps it work out better for your play style
- Deadly Momentum – well, this is optional and can be swapped out for Coup de Grace, perhaps it works better with your play style and can benefit more
- Ruthlessness – got left out in favor of Quickening. In my opinion, having more speed and better heal is more important than 1 combo point.
- Blackjack – got left out of 2xAss talent because while it does look very appealing, its practically pointless in PvP encounters in my opinion. Situations where you will be able to attack target just as sap fades – only thing that comes in mind is when you defend flag in WSG/Twin Peaks and sap mele. But, keep in mind that sap cannot be used in combat hence narrowing down Blackjack’s window of opportunity even more.
Glyps to go along:
- Glyph of Hemorrhage – this is a must have for Sub build because it will actually apply bleed to your Hemo ability, without it using Hemo is pointless.
- Glyph of Shadow Dance – increases its lenght. It is very nice to have those 2 extra seconds just because sometimes energy could be in short demand and trust me, being able to silence or stun target just like stealthed once every minute is great treat!
- Glyph of Backstab – useful together with talents in Assassination tree – Puncturing Wounds, practical use where you can really notice how it works is in Strand of the Ancients – when people run after Demo’s and you run after them – stabbing away
- Glyph of Ambush – yes, it is very important, especially on runaway flag carriers/etc and gives your “more room” so to speak
- Glyph of Garrote – a must have, because silenced caster is almost dead caster
- Glyph of Gauge – also nice treat allowing you to use gauge from behind.. or side, or whatever position you are in when you feel like doint it!
- Glyph of blurried Speed – be stealthed Jesus, run on a water. Nice to have in most battlegrounds
- Glyph of Safe Fall – definite YES
- last one is still empty for me as they are costly on my realm and I cba to shell out 500g for reduced poison casting time ^^
Happy stabbing and if you have any questions – feel free to ask!