Ability backstab.png
  • Backstab
  • Level 14 Subtlety rogue ability
  • Replaces [Sinister Strike]
  • Melee range
  • 35 Energy
  • Instant
  • Requires Daggers
  • Stab the target, causing X Physical damage. Damage increased by 20% when you are behind your target

    Awards 1 combo point.
  • Rank 2: When you are behind your target, Backstab critical strikes now also expose a flaw in their defenses, applying Find Weakness for 6 sec.
Usable by
Class Rogue
School Physical
Cooldown None/Global Cooldown
Other information
Level learned 14
Rank levels 46 (rank 2)
In the war between the Horde and the Alliance, grudges are taken to the hilt.[1]

In the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game.

Backstab is a level 14 Subtlety rogue ability. It is a hard-hitting move that only works with a dagger in the main hand, and deals additional damage if standing behind the target.

Tips and tactics

Icon-time.svg This section contains information that is out-of-date.
  • 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.
  • If you want to use the Gouge-Backstab combo in the middle of a fight, be sure that your energy is full: combined they use more energy than you have. If you start the combo with less than 100 energy, you'll have to wait to regenerate some more; by that time the effect of Gouge will have worn off.
    • With the standard energy regeneration rate of 10 per second, it is viable to Gouge-Backstab starting with ~70 energy. The 4 second duration of standard Gouge should give ample time to get into position and regenerate the minimal 60 energy required for backstab. Though this may be technically possible starting with 65 energy, taking into consideration latency and user reaction, 70 is a safe bet.
  • When grouped, you can get at a mob's back or side fairly easily. However, if you Backstab whenever you can, you are likely to gain aggro, so use with some care. Consider using [Feint] or [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!


The base damage of Backstab is calculated as follows:

Levels 14-20:
Damage = (49.3272% of Attack power) * ((Level - 10) * 11 + 260) / 370

Levels 21+:
Damage = (49.3272% of Attack power)


  • Backstab is a basic Rogue spell in Hearthstone. The flavor text reads: "It's funny how often yelling "Look over there!" gets your opponent to turn around."

Patch changes

  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Damage increased by 20%.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Now has an additional effect – When you are behind your target, Backstab now also exposes a flaw in their defenses, applying Find Weakness for 6 seconds.
  • Legion Patch 7.2.5 (2017-06-13):
    • Backstab base damage increased by 35%.
    • Backstab damage bonus from being behind the target reduced to 20% (was 30%).
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Damage increased by 47%, and deals 30% more damage if behind the target.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.0 (2015-06-23): Now deals 20% more damage.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-12-15): Backstab's damage has increased by 20%.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Backstab can now be used on either side of the target, in addition to behind the target. (See also: facing requirements)
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Now deals 380% weapon damage (up from 275%).
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Now a Subtlety specialization ability. Energy cost reduced from 60 to 35 Energy. Weapon damage increased from 200% to 275%.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Now uses normalized attack power.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.4.0 (2005-04-19): Backstab now properly increases the attack power contribution by the percent modifier.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): Backstab will automatically target the nearest enemy if no target is selected.
  • Test-inline.png Patch 0.10 (2004-09-18): You can backstab fleeing creatures again.
  • Test-inline.png Patch 0.7 (2004-06-15): Damage increased.

See also


External links

Rank 1 Rank 2