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Ability backstab.png
  • Backstab
  • Melee   range
  • 35 Energy
  • Instant
  • Requires Daggers
  • Backstab the target, causing 252% Physical damage. Must not be in front of the target. Awards 1 combo point.
Usable by
Casting timeInstant
Cooldown (GCD 1 sec)
Level required40
Other information
RequirementsRequires Daggers
TCG image
In the war between the Horde and the Alliance, grudges are taken to the hilt.

Backstab is a rogue ability learned at level 40 for those with the Subtlety specialization. It is a hard-hitting move that is performed from behind the enemy. It deals 252% physical damage while awarding a single combo point. It only works with a dagger in the main hand.

Modified by

Subtlety Subtlety abilities


  • When soloing, use [Gouge] to move behind the mob and then Backstab. This earns two Combo points off the bat! At higher levels it also combines well with [Cheap Shot] and [Kidney Shot].
  • Humanoid mobs will often attempt to flee when they are low on health. When a mob does so, it will also often turn its back to you and keep running even though you are behind it, giving you the chance to perform multiple backstabs before the mob decides to fight you again.
  • When grouped, you can get at a mob's back fairly easily. However, if you backstab whenever you can, you are likely to gain aggro, so use with some care. Consider using [Vanish] to keep your threat level down.
  • In PvP, a common method of moving behind another character is to jump forward through them, hold your right mouse button and rotate in mid-air to complete a 180 degree turn. You will land right behind and facing your opponent ready to follow up with a quick backstab!

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.0 (23-Jun-2015): Backstab now deals 20% more damage.
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (14-October-2014): Backstab can now be used on either side of the target, in addition to behind the target.
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (10-Sep-2013): Backstab now deals 380% weapon damage (up from 275%).
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (08-Dec-2009): The tooltip on this ability will now update properly from talents which increase its damage by a percentage.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.8.0 (10-Oct-2005): Now uses normalized attack power.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Backstab now properly increases the attack power contribution by the percent modifier.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.2.0 (18-Dec-2004): Backstab will automatically target the nearest enemy if no target is selected.

External links