Spine as Sub…
Well, ran sub for the first time on something other than a stand still tank and spank fight or pvp. What a giant pain in the ass, I was secretly hoping to wipe a time or two just so I could get a feel for it but nnnooooooo we had to one-shot it last night with me still sorting out some keybinds between exposes and trying like hell to get the right balance to somehow have Recup and SnD running with enough juice to make it through the full expose. The rotation and number of macros and keybinds specifically needed for this tiny window of DPS is ridiculous and will take practice to perfect.
This is a pretty in depth guide to what you need to do to play Sub effectively on Spine, it’s not mine, it was written up by a very knowledgable and visible member of the rogue community named Caera. This is a prime example of why I believe the rogue community is one of the most helpful and thorough to the point of obsessive of all the classes.
“Heroic: Spine of Deathwing, A Subtle Perspective
(spec found here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2369743517#2 )
Notable Talent Changes: 0/2 Serrated Blades: You won’t Rupture the Tendons during this fight given a 19s DPS duration and 100% Find Weakness up-time. These two points are diverted to filling out Initiative and a point in Enveloping Shadows. 2/2 Initiative: This will allow a 100% chance at 4CP Eviscerates after each Ambush. 1/3 Enveloping Shadows: This will help with the AE damage of the encounter and is the best place to put your 31st talent point as there are no DPS alternatives. 1/3 Precision: Given the special circumstance of reforges (see below) you will have an unusually high amount of potential Hit Rating. So long as you can maintain a minimum of 8% Hit (Special Hit Cap: 721 Hit Rating) a point may be safely diverted to Coup de Grace as a DPS increase. 3/3 Coup de Grace: An increase in your burst DPS due to the amount of CP generation during Tendon phase, and of particular worth due to the 100% FW up-time.
Notable Glyph Changes: Hemorrhage: Unless there is no feral (or other source of a Bleed effect) there is not much room for a Hemorrhage in the tight rotation required by the Tendon phase but if you Premed the 2nd Ambush not the first (since you have 2/2 Initiative) you can use a single glyphed Hemo to put your first Eviscerate to 5CP. If there is no other bleed source, one rogue will glyph have to glyph Hemo to apply a Bleed effect to activate all rogue’s Sanguinary Veins. Shadow Dance: While a Bleed effect is present (or for all other rogues than the Hemo designate) Shadow Dance is a valuable alternative to increase the duration of FW. Eviscerate: Glyph of Slice and Dice is not expressly necessary. With perfect timing the base duration is sufficient for the entire phase and Eviscerate would then therefore be a DPS increase. Left to individual discretion on personal latency and execution. Tricks of the Trade: This Glyph is specifically omitted. Tricks will be used before the DPS burn begins, as such the energy cost is irrelevant. Therefore the additional 5% to target is worth significantly more.
Notable Gear Changes: Kiroptyric Sigil: (Equip: Increases your Haste by 458 [3.58%] Use: Increases your Agility by 2290 for 15sec. [1:30min CD]) This trinket has both a CD and duration that almost exactly mirror the frequency and duration of the Tendon phase. For this reason the large amount of Agility afforded by it’s on-use effect makes it the most valuable trinket available. Cataclysmic Gladiator’s Badge of Conquest could be an alternative if insufficient VP is available to purchase the superior Sigil. Sigil is best paired with Wrath of Unchaining due to fast stacking and constant effect. Vial of Shadows or Starcatcher’s Compass can be used but their ICDs must be stringently tracked to ‘force’ procs while the Tendon is exposed or significant DPS will be lost.
Notable Reforge Changes: Tendons cannot dodge, as such reforging away from Expertise is of prime importance. This allows for higher than normal levels of Hit and Mastery. This excess Hit Rating can be sufficient to allow a Talent Point to be diverted from Precision to Coup de Grace for increased Eviscerate damage. 8% Melee Hit Chance must be maintained for this to be viable. As you can still miss the Tendons.
Tendon Phase DPS: Recuperate and Slice and Dice need to both be up before the phase starts. To do this effectively, have five Combo Points on the Amalgamation as it is dragged through the Blood. Use Recuperate at 700k HP (approx.), then use Hemorrhage (for the lower energy cost & lack of positional req. interfering with quick CP generation) to build five more Combo Points as quickly as possible. This is aided by HAT. As the Amalgamation is finishing its Nuclear Blast cast Cloak of Shadows (to negate all damage), Shadowstep (such that the increased Ambush buff is present on yourself & due to the chance of this ability to bug when cast on Tendons*, porting you to the middle of Deathwing’s back), and Slice and Dice (your CP will disappear as soon as the cast is complete). Use Tricks of the Trade immediately after this, and before the Armour Plate exposes the Tendon and then Vanish.
*If you can ensure that you get off the Plate Zone within 3sec then you can instead use Shadowstep during Shadow Dance for slightly larger DPS gains. This can be accomplished with simply backpeddling, but you must clear the area fully. Else you will be ported to the middle of Deathwing’s back and lose significant up-time. Again, discretion left to the individual on latency & execution. Begin spamming the Ambush macro (see below), ensuring that you stand slightly to the side the Tendon will spawn on. Follow this with an Eviscerate.
From here, use Shadow Dance (and Shadowstep if not used already). Begin using Ambush and Eviscerating at 4-5 CP. Initiative will ensure every Eviscerate is a minimum of four Combo Points, with HAT filling in the fifth as able on ICD. After Shadow Dance ends use Backstab as your CP generator and Eviscerate at 5 CP as normal.
Tendons phases should be engaged 2:00min apart (allowing the raid access to their 2:00min CDs thus greatly increasing DPS effectiveness). Given this Preparation will be used to have Vanish available for Tendon 1-2, 2-2, 3-2 (Plate-Tendon Phase).
Encounter Specific Macros:
#showtooltip /cast Shadowstep /cast Slice and Dice *Omit this if intend to use Shadowstep in conjunction with Shadow Dance
#showtooltip Shadow Dance /use Kiroptyric Sigil /cast Premeditation /cast Shadowstep* /cast Shadow Dance *Omit this line if intend to use Shadowstep on the Amalgamation
#showtooltip Ambush /tar boss2 /cast [@target, exists] Ambush"
So you can see there's a ton to get used to and learn to pull this off effectively and with the awesome one-shot I got next to no practice so I guess more dummy time for me. I think if I clean up some macros and adjust a few keybindings I'll crank out considerably more damage than I did this week. The problem is once the shit starts flying my fingers automatically start doing what's familiar by simple muscle memory so it's going to take a lot of dummy time to get this down. Good fun!!
On a completely unrelated note our shadow priest Renella has a smokin' hot body!!! Just thought that was worth mentioning.
PS: HI LIRIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!