The assassin is probably one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) dps class in the game to play. Most of our CA’s are positional and we need to be in stealth to use them. We are close to useless when using ranged attacks, so we need to stay in close and behind the mobs at all times to do any good. Having said that I must point out that I think the assassin is the most fun dps class to play since it is so challenging.
I will try to touch a little bit on most aspects of the assassin with this guide, everything from CA’s and gear to god abilities and poisons. I must stress one point thou… that this is just my way of playing the assassin, it does not mean it’s the “right way” or the only way. I only hope this will give some of you some new ideas and/or teach you something new about the assassin class.
(Most of this is general info you probably already know, but I’m going to add it just in case)
THE most important stat for an assassin is beyond doubt STR. So focus on getting this as high as possible. 700 is a nice STR to shoot for on raids.
Second place goes to INT. This stat is important as it sets the damage amount of your poisons. Get this as high as you can without sacrificing STR to do so.
Having said that it’s also important for an assassin to have high HP and good resists. This is because we stay close to the mobs and have to soak up quite a bit of damage from aoe’s and the like.
Make sure you have a haste item granting at least +20 haste, even if you have to sacrifice some STR to use one. This will really help boost your dps. The DPS stat is also nice to get as high as possible, but since we assassins have access to a very nice permanent DPS buff it isn’t that much of an issue.
Get as many proc items as you can get your hands on. There isn’t a lot of them out there for scouts, but keep your eyes peeled. Everyone should use at least Planar Orb of the Wanderer and pristine imbued acrylia band of agility. Also use the imbued ring of strength if you haven’t gotten the Ring of the Four Winds yet. I say YET since you should get your !@#$%^&* in gear and get that as soon as possible! Wink (One good reason for doing TnT is to get your hand on Ring of Tunarian Might btw.) For more information about proc gear look at the Xanadu website.
Get all your adornments. Focus on STR (chest, shoulders, leggings and wrists), power (hat and rings), DPS (neck and bow), INT (ears) and haste for your belt if you can afford it. For your weapons the power adornment might be a good idea for one of your weapons. If the skill for your chosen weapon is low, you might also consider getting a skill adornment .
For weapons you want the ones with 4 second delay. If you can’t get 4 sec, take 3 sec, if you can’t get that get 2,5 sec. etc. This is VERY important to scouts since you will get more procs off your weapon with the longer delays. Since our guild can kill Mayong, every assassin should get Soulfire for their main hand. For offhand you should shoot for Grinning Dirk of Horror, Bisected Sabre, Clearcutter Machete or Axe of Natural Order. Until you can get your hands on one of these just make sure you use the weapon with the highest possible delay.
Get the skill for your chosen weapons as close to the cap at 455 as possible. It doesn’t matter how good a player you are if your toon can’t hit the mobs.
+ crit items are good for you! Smiley So use those even at the expense of some STR.
The only way to go for an assassin in the Predator tree is STR/INT.
My preference is:
STR: 7-4-4-8-1 INT: 4-6-4-8-1
The Assassin tree is a bit more open ended. None of the aa trees really give any HUGHE advantages, so it’s all down to play style. But if you ask me, every assassin should at least have the Poison line. This is because you get the hemotoxin poison upgrade, ignorant bliss upgrade, apply poison upgrade, your debuff poisons become a lot more powerful and you get Frontload as the end ability. ALL GOOD STUFF!
For my second tree I went for Tricks line. I did this because you get a 20% increased defense reduction debuff on crippling strike (this will make doubly sure the mobs don’t get away from your backstab combo I will explain later), reuse of master strike is decreased by 40 secs (make sure you do all the L&L quests. I have a guide to L&L up on the forums) and Repeated Stabbing that I find to be just awesome and really fun to play with.
This is my exact setup:
Tricks: 5 cheap shot, 2 jugular, 3 constriction, 5 crippling strike, 5 sinister and 1 repeated stabbing.
Poisons: 3 enmesh, 5 hemotoxin, 5 ignorant bliss, 3 attribute poison, 5 apply poison and 1 frontload.
Another nice thing about this setup is the fact you now have 7 points left you can put in: 3 deadly focus and 4 exacting! Smiley
I’m guessing you already know this, but I’m telling you anyway since I have encountered ppl who didn’t know… you can use 3 POISONS AT THE SAME TIME as long as they are of different colors. So you can use 1 red, 1 purple and 1 blue at the same time. During raids I recommend you use Grandmaster’s Hemotoxin for damage (make sure you have the AA thou), and talk with the rest of the scouts on the raid about debuff poisons (the purple ones) since everyone should not be using the same one. And last but not least, the blue poison. On raids you should either use Grandmaster’s Ignorant Bliss (this you use if you are pulling agro) or Grandmaster’s Essence of Turgur if you don’t have agro problems (decreases the mobs attack speed).
In this section I would allso like mention Grandmaster’s Elixir of Tactics. You should always use these on raids when you can.
Rallos Zek is an awesome god for assassins. The pet he gives you increases STR and his cloak has a damage proc.
These god spells are awesome for raids:
Battlerage: +15 DPS and +10 crit for 10 mins.
Furor: 20% double attack, 20% multiple target and +100 crit for 1 min.
Devastation: Massive 10 target AOE that does 5,5k – 8k damage (this is insane when it crits).
(Probably what you have been waiting to see. lol)
It takes a lot of practice to dps well on an assassin. So make sure you practice a lot and don’t change tactics for combat every 5 minutes as that will probably only make your dps go down. Find something good and stick with it! Wink
This is what I do (divided into general, solo target and multiple targets):
Listen to the tank when he counts in a pull. Time your temp buffs, reapplying of poisons etc. so you don’t end up buffing during the fight. The fight is only for CA’s and auto attacks! Wink
Always start the fights in stealth. This way you can engage the enemy every fight with Cloaked Assault (be careful of getting agro from other mobs thou since this is a blue AOE).
Hit any temp buffs you have up before the fight as I explained above. ALLWAYS make sure Intoxication is up and running BEFORE the fight. If you are going to fight a single mob and you know the mob after it will be a grouped encounter, you might want to save your Frontload temp buff for the grouped encounter. I will explain why below.
Debuffs are IMPORTANT! Always use your debuffs (Constriction, Enmesh and Poison Combination) first thing after engaging the mob. Keep hitting the debuffs every time they refresh. Also remember that Sinister Strike has a very nice debuff. That’s why you should always use it at the start of the fight with the other debuffs if you can.
If you know the fight is going to last longer than 45 seconds or you have Exacting up and running, launch Finishing Blow after debuffs so it’s back up again for when the mob is below 20% health.
If during a long fight you find yourself waiting a lot for timers to come back up, take a few steps back and launch your ranged CA’s (also make sure you wait an extra second after the CA’s to get one bow auto attack before going back into melee).
If you don’t pick Repeated Stabbing AA you might want to memorize your casting timers so you can time when to take a break in a CA chain to allow for an auto attack.
If you are fighting a mob you need to joust, use Contrived Weapon when coming back in from ranged. This will add to your dps and make sure you have switched to a melee weapon by the time you get back to the mob.
As I said above, start with buffs etc. before pull. Then stealth before you engage with Cloaked Assault. Launch your debuffs (Constriction, Enmesh and Poison Combination) and sinister strike if possible. If the fight is longer then 45 secs or you have Exacting running, use Finishing Blow (otherwise save it for when mob is below 20% health). Now go Malignant Mark -> Bladed Opening -> Scraping Blow -> Deadly Wound -> Flowing Wound -> Freezing Strike (you might want to take a small 1 sec break to allow for an auto attack between Flowing Wound and Freezing Strike if you don’t have Repeated Stabbing).
Now comes the time to set up a backstab combo. Hopefully the brig has dispatched by now so you will get some bang for your backstabs. First do Concealment then Crippling Strike to trigger Concealment and debuff your targets defense so it can’t avoid your backstabs (these two are also both on 45 sec timers, so you can always start your backstab combos with them). Now hit all your backstabs while concealment is running: Puncture Blade -> Jugular -> Eviscerate -> Killing Blade -> Decapitate (if it’s up). You will still be in stealth after this, so I usually hit Slaugthersault and Contrived Weapon at this point.
Keep hitting your CA’s as they come back up. Remember to reapply debuffs when you can. It’s very important to use Puncture Blade and Cloaked Assault at every opportunity. You do this by using Masked Attack before every Puncture Blade (they are on same length timers) and you can use Surveillance to get Cloaked Assault off.
Buffs before pull as mentioned above. Would like to add one extra buff here thou. Frontload is excellent for use on grouped encounters. It will make everything you have (even item procs) proc twice as often on ALL targets in the encounter (when used with AOE’s ofc). Frontload will also add damage to your purple and blue poisons (and extra damage to the red ones). All of this makes it just awesome for fighting groups since you can trigger multiple procs and poisons on every mob in the encounter! Smiley
Stealth, and open with Cloaked Assault and Slaughtersault (this is where you get TONS of procs with Frontload). Now you continue with debuffs and the rest of the CA’s exactly as described under Single target fights. Only difference here is you should also remember to use Slaughtersault multiple times during the fight for the extra AOE damage you get if possible. Thou on short fights you might only get it off once. If you don’t have a agro problem you should also put your dots (Scraping Blow, Deadly Wound and Flowing Wound) on the other members of the group encounter (this might trigger additional hemotoxin procs on these mobs).
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