Assassination is currently one of the most popular Rogue specialisations, thanks to its consistent damage output and very reliable survivability. In our Assassination Rogue guide, we'll help you make sense of the specialisation’s assorted talents and abilities.
The Assassination Rogue thrives in particular in long fights, as a great deal of its damage output comes from damage over time (DoT) effects such as bleeds and poisons. This makes the specialisation a steallar choice for raid and dungeon bosses, and even trash fights on some of the higher difficulty dungeons. It's not just all about the end-game though - thanks to the excellent Marked for Death Tier 7 Talent, it's also a good specialisation for levelling from 100 to 110 with.
Assassination falls behind in multiple-target situations, as it has very few tools to deal with swarms. It's also subpar when fighting enemies that need to die quickly, as the poison / bleed damage is never truly maximised. But these flaws are minor in the overall scheme of things, and a good Assassination player will easily counter these sorts of shortcomings.
In this Assassination Rogue guide, we’re going to explain how to customize and play the specialisation to its maximum potential. We’ll start by laying out a recommended talent build with both levelling and end-game enjoyment in mind, and outline a rotation to go along with it.
In future updates, we’ll focus on the best path to take when levelling up your artifact weapon, and we’ll offer some suggestions on how to pick the optimal gear for your Assassination Rogue.
Just like the game itself, this guide is continuously grown and updated, so check back often to refresh your knowledge about the latest Assassination changes.
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Assassination Rogue talent build
These are our recommended talents for both levelling, questing and running dungeons with an Assassination Rogue. A very small tweak to the last talent tier choice will enable you to perform well in raids as well.
|Level||Talent Option||Reason for Choice|
|15||Elaborate Planning - Your finishing moves grant 15% increased damage dealt for 5 seconds.||A no-brainer here, and a flat passive damage increase to your finishers which you’ll be using a lot.|
|30||Night Stalker - While Stealth is active, you move 20% faster and your abilities deal 50% more damage.||At the very least your opener will have a little extra kick with this, but the true purpose behind this choice is to empower your Vanish cooldown.|
|45||Deeper Stratagem - A passive ability that increases your Combo Point limit to 6, allows finishing moves to use up to 6 combo points, and increases their damage by 10%.||Our most important ability is the finisher Rupture, so this added benefit is welcome and will give our rotation a considerable boost.|
|60||Cheat Death - Fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 seconds afterwards, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more than once per 2 minutes.||One of the best safety nets in the game, this will help you immensely while learning high-level fights, and embolden you to punch above your weight while levelling and questing.|
|75||Thuggee - Resets the remaining cooldown on Garrote when a target dies with your Garrote active.||Garrote makes for a decent amount of our damage output. When fighting several fast-dying targets in sequence, this talent allows us to keep it rolling.|
|90||Agonizing Poison - Coats your weapons with a Lethal Poison that lasts for 60 min. Each strike has a 20% chance to poison the enemy for 12 seconds, increasing all damage taken from your abilities by 4%, stacking up to 5 times.||A big, flat damage increase that you can maximise very quickly, this stands head and shoulders above the other options.|
|100||Marked for Death - Marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. Cooldown is reset if the target dies within 60 seconds.||A fantastic ability for levelling and running dungeons, as the shortish nature of most fights will ensure your combo meter is always topped up. Pick Venom Rush instead if you intend to raid.|
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Assassination Rogue rotation
Assassination thrives at pooling resources to use at the exact moment, so as you generate your main resources - Energy and Combo Points - keep an eye on your damage-increasing cooldowns and buffs to make sure you sync your resource spending with the largest damage-boosting window.
In this sense, the rotation we present below is merely a guideline. Your own sensibility and attention to your timers should dictate when you cast or refrain from casting your spells, and on a case-by-case basis.
So that you may keep track of both the buffs on yourself and the bleed / poison effects on your enemies, we recommend you enable floating health bars on Blizzard's default UI (press V). Your poison and bleed effects should be clearly visible on the enemy health bars once you've done so.
You should always have the same two poisons applied: Agonizing Poison and Crippling Poison. There is no specific multiple target rotation - you will simply bake Fan of Knives into the rotation if there are enough targets for it to hit.
|Action||Condition / Further Instructions|
|1||Open with Garrote.||From Stealth.|
|2||Mutilate||This will generate 2 combo points.|
|3||Rupture||At 2 combo points.|
|4||Marked for Death||At 0 combo points.|
|5||Mutilate||If Marked for Death is on cooldown. Repeat until you are at 5-6 combo points.|
|6||Vendetta + Vanish||At 5-6 combo points.|
|7||Rupture||At 5-6 combo points and if target has less that 7 seconds remaining on the previous Rupture. If there's more than one target, use Rupture on a secondary target.|
|9||Kingsbane (Artifact Weapon ability).||Only if at 5 or less combo points.|
|10||Envenom||If at 5-6 combo points and all targets have over 7 seconds remaining on Rupture.|
|11||Fan of Knives||If there are over 3 targets in range.|
|13||Repeat from 4|
This concludes the first edition of our Assassination Rogue guide. Be sure to tune in later for a walkthrough about how to update your artifact weapon, as well as suggestions on which stats to prioritize in gear to match your specialisation and its abilities.
In the meantime, we would love it if you used the comments section below to give us your feedback about where you think the guide should focus its attention next!