Subtlety Rogue Class Changes in Patch 9.1 PTR Build 38394 - Guide Writer Analysis and Feedback
With the second
9.1 PTR build 38394
that arrived on April 21st, we asked our class writers to provide additional context on how these changes are likely to affect their specializations in Patch 9.1 Chains of Domination.
For Subtlety Rogues, Mystler gives his opinion on the adjustments to
Patch 9.1 PTR Build 38394 Spell ChangesPatch 9.1 PTR Official Patch Notes for April 21st
Our Guide Writers have given their thoughts on the Patch 9.1 PTR Class Changes and new Legendaries for Build 38394. Check out all of our released opinion articles for the build below.
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Stab the target, causing 41.106%49.3272% of Attack power) * ((max(0, min(Level - 10, 10)) * 11 + 260) / 370)] Physical damage. Damage increased by 20% when you are behind your target
Subtlety (Level 46)
and critical strikes apply Find Weakness for 6 sec
Awards 1 combo point.
Effect #1 Effect #2 School Damage
Value: 0 (AP mod: 0.411060.493272)
Finishing move that launches explosive Black Powder at up to 8 nearby targets dealing Physical damage.
Subtlety (Level 58)
Targets with your Find Weakness suffer an additional 50%40% damage as Shadow
1 point : 6%8% of Attack power) * 1] damage
2 points: 6%8% of Attack power) * 2] damage
3 points: 6%8% of Attack power) * 3] damage
4 points: 6%8% of Attack power) * 4] damage
5 points: 6%8% of Attack power) * 5] damage
6 points: 6%8% of Attack power) * 6] damage
Effect #1 School Damage
Value: 0 (AP mod: 0.060.08)
Shuriken Storm has an additional 15% chance to crit, and its critical strikes apply Find Weakness for 6 sec.
Punctures your target with your shadow-infused blade for (47.151%56.5812% of Attack power) Shadow damage, bypassing armor.
Subtlety (Level 46)
Critical strikes apply Find Weakness for 6 sec
Awards 1 combo point.
Effect #1 Effect #1 School Damage
Value: 0 (AP mod: 0.471510.565812)
Soulbind Conduits (1)
(Endurance Conduit) Entering Stealth cloaks you in shadows, absorbing 10.0% of your maximum health in damage reduced by 1% each second outside of Stealth.for 4 sec.
Performs an evasive maneuver, reducing damage taken from area-of-effect attacks by 40%
and all other damage taken by 0%
for 5 sec.6 sec.
Duration changed from 5 sec to 6 sec
Feint also reduces all damage you take from non-area-of-effect attacks by 30% for 56 sec.
Subtlety Rogue Guide Writer Perspective
About the Author
This guide is written and maintained by Mystler, an active Rogue theorycrafter who is also a developer on
. You can find him on the
Discord Server, or on
With the latest PTR build, Subtlety surprisingly got changes! But what exactly are we looking at? The simplest way to give Sub a simple nudge is by using the spec aura. Yup, that thing that affects damage and hasn't been touched since Patch 8.1 in years. This is not what happened though. Instead, we got an interesting roster of more specific changes.
Shuriken Storm (Rank 2) now also increases Shuriken Storm’s chance to critically strike by 15%.
Black Powder’s damage per combo point increased by 33%.
Black Powder (Rank 2) now causes targets with Find Weakness to suffer an additional 40% damage as Shadow (was 50%).
These three are a block that can essentially be described as an AoE buff for Subtlety Rogues.
does a third more damage on targets without
is up, the changes should still result in about a 20-25% buff. In addition to the
buff, the increased crit chance of
will not just lead to some more damage from Storm, but also to a faster rate of applying Find Weakness to targets in AoE, thus synergizing more with the
The AoE changes are certainly neat and I see little reason to complain. In AoE up to 5 targets, Outlaw will likely still be the more powerful spec but after that as we go up to the AoE cap of 8 targets for Subtlety, these changes make it pretty strong. A side effect of these changes is that preview sims now start showing
has somewhat lost its clearly defined purpose ever since the introduction of
as a baseline AoE finisher and could use a rework. (Maybe into something to fill the weak point Sub has in 2-3 target cleave situations?)
In any case, the question is how much high AoE situations like that really matter. Subtlety has great flexibility by being able to
for priority focus damage or
for AoE. I like the idea of this choice but it IS a choice you have to make where Outlaw can just continue with their normal rotation and do BOTH AoE damage and priority damage. On around 8 Targets, Subtlety might have around 30% higher AoE damage than Outlaw but at the cost of more than 30% lower priority damage with the AoE rotation. If going for the priority rotation, then there will be significant less AoE damage. A "problem" Outlaw does not have to deal with.
The main point Subtlety has always been trying to sell itself with is single target and funnel damage on a priority target. To make Sub a pick that people go for, especially in raids,
is the construction site that needs work. Let's have a look at more changes.
Backstab damage increased by 20%.
Gloomblade (Talent) damage increased by 20%.
Here are two single target changes. More damage for
(which replaces Backstab). Both of these are filler abilities outside of our regular and rotation-centric
. They are fairly weak, so a buff to them is nice in theory. Due to their little contribution (currently around 6% of a Sub Rogue's damage in single target situations), the buff won't be very impactful though. In fact, it will mostly flatten the damage profile even more, for a spec that many thought was supposed to be a bursty spec. In reality, it isn't very bursty anymore. The Gloomblade buff is obviously just to match the Backstab buff. I don't see it having any noteworthy impact on the talent row. There is one more change though.
Shadow Techniques now triggers more frequently.
How perfectly intransparent that is.
is already not explained very well in the game, so to give a quick recap: On current Live servers, every 4th Auto-Attack that is not a miss has a 50% chance to proc Shadow Techniques. If that roll fails the 5th Auto-Attack will guarantee the proc. Once the proc happens, the counter resets.
This PTR change seems to have changed the thresholds to have the 50% chance on the 3rd and the guarantee on the 4th auto-attack. This change is both great and disappointing at the same time. The good is that it is definitely a significant buff to Subtlety Rogue. The flipside is that, when
are touched anyway, it would have been cool to see some changes to streamline how predictable it is. Removing the random element and the fact that misses do not count would have helped to make
predictable and easier to track and, potentially, play around.
Overall, this adds up as a buff to Subtlety in general, even if done through somewhat unexpected means. In a very early preview simulation, Subtlety with the PTR changes manages to close in on Assassination again, for single target damage. The changes are not enough to bring it on par though, so the question of what Subtlety's main strength is and why you would bring it to the raid over Assassination or Outlaw remains open. For everyone who mains Subtlety though, these changes are still something to be happy about. It brings the spec up a bit again and boosts both single target and AoE with specific adjustments.
Ultimately, a few remarks on two remaining changes to the Rogue class as a whole.
The shield from Cloaked in Shadows (Conduit) is now 50% larger, lasts for 4 seconds (previously had no duration) and no longer decays while the Rogue is out of stealth.
Feint duration increased to 6 seconds (was 5 seconds).
duration is pretty good for the situations we can use it to reduce some damage taken (especially with
, which is buffed with this change as well).
conduit change is probably meant well, maybe to make it more reliable, but seemingly not working as intended on the current PTR. The shield is not larger in numbers and it starts counting the 4s as soon as you
Stealth where it should probably be tied to leaving it. This would simply make it a nerf.
Subtlety Rogue Guide
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