Home World of Warcraft Classes Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Assassination Rogue in Shadowlands

Assassination Rogue mostly deals periodic type of damage both Physical and Nature. You will learn more about this spec in our guide.

The Rogue is a lightly armored class that specializes in melee damage and has 2 main resources: Energy and Combo Points (CP). Accordingly, there are abilities that spend these resources, or, vice versa, allow you to gain them. The correct use of these abilities and wise rotations are your keys to success.


  • Simple yet effective spec.
  • High damage to single targets, strong multi-target cleave due to bleed and poisons.
  • Great survivability, typical for this spec.
  • High mobility.


  • Main burst is focused on single targets.
  • Poor AoE damage.

The Author

The author of the guide is teyka, a raider of the Exorsus Guild. Visit my Twitch channel, where you can find lots of interesting things, including the Rogue gameplay in the most difficult game mods.

Main Abilities


General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Tranquil Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on CD, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it. 

Tier 1 Lvl 15 Talents that affect DPS.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Master Poisoner – increases the damage done by your weapon poisons by 30% and their non-damaging effects by 20%. This Talent deals low damage, but can be used in PvP or situationally, to empower your Non-Lethal poisons.

Elaborate Planning – your finishing moves grant 10% increased damage done for 4 sec.

It’s a very effective Talent, which works a bit worse on single targets. However, it grants a huge damage buff against several enemies. Use it in M+ and cleave fights. 

BlindsideMutilate has a 20% chance to make your next Ambush free and usable without Stealth. Chance increased to 40% if the target is under 35% health. This Talent has good mechanics and deals decent damage. It’s the best choice against single targets, but it’s weaker than Elaborate Planning in terms of AoE and cleave.

Tier 2 Lvl 25 DPS Talents that interact with Stealth.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Nightstalker – while Stealth is active, you move 20% faster and your abilities deal 50% more damage. Nice Talent if you want to enhance your movement speed and burst damage at the same time. Nevertheless, it’s inferior to other Talents in this tier.

Subterfuge – your abilities requiring Stealth can still be used for 3 sec after Stealth breaks. Also causes Garrote to deal 80% increased damage and have no cooldown when used from Stealth and for 3 sec after breaking Stealth. Silence effect is also applied. This is a very useful and effective Talent – depending on your gear, it may be slightly weaker on single targets, but in M+ and cleave fights it works just great.

Master Assassin – while Stealth is active and for 3 sec after breaking Stealth, your critical strike chance is increased by 50%. It’s kind of a nerfed Mark of the Master Assassin. Can be used on single targets.

Tier 3 Lvl 30 Talents that affect resources.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Vigor – increases your maximum Energy by 50 and your Energy regeneration by 10%. Standard Talent against single targets.

Deeper Stratagem – you may have a maximum of 6 combo points, and your finishing moves deal 5% increased damage. Good for long cleave fights. Bleed effects on several targets grant you regeneration from Venomous Wounds‘ passive, overall more regen than from Vigor.

Marked for Death – marks the target, instantly generating 5 combo points. CD 60 sec (dynamic), duration 60 sec.  Cooldown reset if the target dies within 1 min. Use it only if you can implement it frequently and effectively, for example, in M+.

Tier 4 Lvl 35 Defensive abilities.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Leeching Poison – adds a Leeching Poison effect to your Deadly Poison and Wound Poison, granting you 10% Leech. Can be used for solo-content or sometimes in raids where all the damage is predictable and you lack healing. In all other situations, this is not the best Talent.

Cheat Death – fatal attacks instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health. For 3 sec afterward, you take 85% reduced damage. Cannot trigger more often than once per 6 min. Always take this Talent, as there’s nothing better than a second life!

ElusivenessFeint also reduces all damage you take from non-area-of-effect attacks by 30% for 5 sec. Keep in mind that Feint costs 35 Energy and lasts only 5 sec (CD 15 sec), so maintaining its high uptime is quite impossible, while frequent use negatively affects your damage. Questionable Talent, as it’s very specific.

Tier 5 Lvl 40 Control tier.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Internal BleedingKidney Shot also deals Bleed damage over 6 sec, based on combo points spent. It’s mostly useful in PvP.

Iron Wire – increase the duration of Garrote‘s silence effect by 3 sec. Enemies silenced by Garrote deal 15% reduced damage for 8 sec. Take this Talent if you don’t need to stun anyone, it’s especially useful in M+.

Prey on the Weak – enemies disabled by one of your stuns take 10% increased damage from all sources for 6 sec. Sometimes it can be useful in raids.

Tier 6 lvl 45 Talents that affect DPS.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Venom Rush – Mutilate refunds 8 Energy when used against a poisoned target. Weak talent, never used.

Alacrity – your finishing moves have a 20+ % chance per combo point (up to 100% with 5 CP) to grant 2% Haste for 20 sec, stacking up to 5 times. It is the best choice in any situation, as 10% Haste is a very good buff.

Exsanguinate – twist your blades into the target’s wounds, causing your Bleed effects on them to bleed out 100% faster. At the moment, Alacrity is a better Talent, while Exsanguinate becomes relevant over time and requires some serious gear.

Tier 7 Lvl 50 Talents that affect DPS.Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide

Poison BombEnvenom and Rupture have a 4% chance per combo point spent to smash a vial of poison at the target’s location, creating a pool of acidic death that deals Nature damage over 2 sec to all enemies within it. This Talent works passively and suits most situations.

Hidden Blades – every 2 sec, gain 20% increased damage for your next Fan of Knives, stacking up to 20 times. Grants average damage and can be used in M+ or AoE situations only if you have Potency Conduit Poisoned Katar of a high rank. 

Crimson Tempest – finishing move that slashes at up to 8 enemies within 10 yards, dealing instant damage and causing victims to bleed for additional damage. Lasts longer per combo point. Costs 35 Energy.

Beneficial for long massive AoE. In M+ Poison Bomb is usually more effective, as it can be used on single targets. In general, this is a situational Talent.

Here are your common builds:

Single Target:



Master Assassin / Subterfuge


Cheat Death

Iron Wire


Poison Bomb



Elaborate Planning


Marked for Death / Vigor

Cheat Death

Iron Wire


Poison Bomb / Hidden Blades (with Conduit Poisoned Katar, high rank) / Crimson Tempest (very specific, for huge AoE)


When you join a Covenant, you get 2 abilities: one of them directly affects your DPS, while another – grants either a defensive feature or increases your mobility.

Below you can learn more about the abilities these Covenants provide.

The Kyrian

Echoing Reprimand – deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Costs 30 Energy, CD 45 sec.

Sometimes hard to implement, but still grants a solid boost.

Summon Steward – call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity. CD 4 min.

It may seem useless, but don’t underestimate the extra heal. It also removes all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects – very useful throughout the game.

The Venthyr 

Flagellation – lash the target 3 times, dealing Shadow damage and adding a stack of Flagellation for each lash. The target remains tormented for 20 sec, receiving an additional lash for each combo point you spend. Reactivating Flagellation cleanses their torment, increasing your Haste by 0.5% per stack, up to a maximum of 15% Haste for 20 sec. CD 1.5 min. Good DPS ability, but it can be fairly inconvenient when used against squishy targets.

Door of Shadows – castable blink.

Can be used to skip some enemies or shorten the distance, but overall a Rogue is mobile enough even without it.

The Night Fae 

Sepsis – infect the target’s blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer an additional damage and you Vanish from sight. 

Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration.

This ability has a nice synergy with Mark of the Master Assassin, but since this Legendary isn’t your priority at the moment, it shouldn’t affect your choice.

Soulshape – turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yards forward and increasing your movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few sec to teleport again. Lasts 12 sec, or indefinitely while in a rest area. When Soulshape is active, you can’t cast spells.

It’s a useful ability both for mobility out of combat and for quick repositioning in fights.

The Necrolords

Serrated Bone Spike – embed a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when the target dies or is healed to full. Costs 10 Energy, CD 30 sec.

Can be used on single or multiple targets.

Fleshcraft – form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 sec that absorbs damage equal to 20% of your maximum health for 2 min. Channeling near a corpse claims their essence to grow the shield, up to 50% of your maximum health. This is most effective against powerful enemies. Besides, the spell gives you a combat buff, depending on the race of the monster. 

It’s a pretty good utility ability, but it’s channeled, so you can’t always use it in fights.

The Covenants that suit Assassination best are the following:

The Night Fae > The Kyrian > = the Necrolords > the Venthyr


In Assassination, we have the following Potency Conduits:

Well-Placed SteelShiv increases your Nature damage by 10%.

Lethal Poisons – increases the non-periodic damage of your lethal poisons by 10%.

Maim, MangleGarrote increases the damage of your Mutilate on the target by 9%.

Poisoned KatarFan of Knives damage increased by 7%, and has a 5% increased critical strike chance.

The current rating of Potency Conduits:

Well-Placed Steel > Lethal Poisons > Covenant Conduit > Maim, Mangle > Poisoned Katar

In M+, Poisoned Katar and Lethal Poisons are slightly buffed, but everything depends on specific instances and how preferable AoE damage is.


When upgrading your Soulbind, the most beneficial option is to take 2 slots for Potency Conduits and use the Conduits according to their rating above. However, in some situations, you can take 1 Potency Conduit, if a particular Soulbind has a strong DPS Talent that leads to a Conduit of another type.

The image below shows the optimal builds for the Soulbinds. The red border also indicates the best Soulbind out of three. The orange border indicates one of the possible options in M+.

Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 GuideAssassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide


Overall, the Assassination Rogue has 8 available Legendary Items: 4 general and 4 spec Powers.

Let’s have a look at the most useful of them:

For single targets:

Zoldyck Insignia >= Dashing Scoundrel >= Doomblade > Mark of the Master Assassin

For Mythic+:

Zoldyck Insignia > Mark of the Master Assassin

Pay attention that Zoldyck Insignia not only amplifies your damage but also enhances your execute, which can be very useful. This feature works great against bosses.

Also, the choice of Legendary Item Effects can be affected by your Covenants, Talents and equipment.


Key priorities:

Use finishers at 4-5 CP, or at 5-6 if you have Deeper Stratagem. Try not to lose CP, don’t forget your passive Seal Fate

  1. Maintain Slice and Dice on yourself 24/7.
  2. Maintain Garrote and Rupture on your target all the time.
  3. Use your main burst (Vendetta) on recharge.
  4. Use Vanish -> Garrote if you have Subterfuge, or Vanish -> Ambush if you have Master Assassin. On recharge, refresh regular Garrote with empowered one (due to Subterfuge) 5.4 sec before the effect goes off.
  5. Cast Shiv as often as possible, gain Energy in advance. Make sure that you don’t have to refresh Slice and Dice and Rupture while Shiv is active.
  6. Use Envenom as your main finisher considering your other priorities.
  7. Proc Blindside by pressing Ambush (if you have Blindside).
  8. In a standard situation collect CP with Mutilate.

AoE priorities:

In AoE situations, use Fan of Knives instead of Mutilate on 3+ targets. 

Keep Rupture active on 3+ targets if they can live long enough. Next, you can spend CP on Envenom.

Use Garrote on additional targets that can last a greater part of its duration. There’s no point to DoT targets that will die in a few seconds.

Keep in mind that if an enemy dies while afflicted by your Rupture, you regain energy based on its remaining duration.

Covenant abilities and their impact on your priorities:

The Kyrian

Echoing Reprimand – used on recharge. The buff itself lasts for 45 sec and has the same CD. It means that it can be easily implemented with other useful buffs, say, to enhance Envenom while Shiv is active. 

The Venthyr

Flagellation – used on recharge and recast at 30 stacks, or before the buff goes off. No point to synergize it with bursts, we just want to minimize its downtime.

The Night Fae

Sepsis – used on recharge. If the target survives its full duration, Vanish from sight and follow your standard rotation.

The Necrolords

Serrated Bone Spike – minimize its downtime and if you have 3 Spike charges, embed at least one of them in any target.

When fighting single targets, just use Spike charges whenever you can, for example, to cap your CP.

In M+ or in cleave fights, keep this ability active on as many enemies as possible. Try to use Serrated Bone Spike on targets that are most likely to die first to gain some extra charges.

Choosing a race

For a Rogue, your race doesn’t really matter, as the damage boost you get does not exceed 1.5%. Nevertheless, here’s a chart:Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide


Your basic stats priority is the following:

Finesse > Haste > Crit = Versatility = Mastery

In Assassination, your priority is Haste. The other stats are approximately equal. However, massive AoE reduces the significance of Haste due to a huge Energy flow.

To maximize your stats, use raidbots.com (-> Stat Weights) and import this information into the game with Pawn (addon) for further convenience.

Based on the above-mentioned characteristics and your own simulation results, let’s move on to Gems, Enchants and Consumables.


Quick Jewel Cluster (Haste)


Boots: Eternal Agility

Chest: Eternal Skirmish / Eternal Stats

Cloak: Soul Vitality / Fortified Leech

Ring: Tenet of Haste

Weapons: Celestial Guidance + Sinful Revelation / Lightless Force (AoE) x 2


Stones: Shaded Sharpening Stone

Flasks: Eternal Cauldron / Spectral Flask of Power

Potions: Potion of Spectral Agility / Potion of Phantom Fire / АоЕ: Potion of Empowered Exorcisms

Heal pots: Spiritual Healing Potion

Food: Feast of Gluttonous Hedonism (+20 Agility) / Tenebrous Crown Roast Aspic (+30 Haste)

Armor kits: Heavy Desolate Armor Kit

BiS Gear & Trinkets

Head – Sadist’s Sinister Mask – Sire Denathrius

Neck – Noble’s Birthstone Pendant – The Council of Blood

Shoulder – Wicked Flanker’s Gorget – General Kaal

Cloak – Crest of the Legionnaire General – General Kaal

Chest – Corset of the Deft Duelist – The Council of Blood

Wrist – Precisely Calibrated Chronometer – Artificer Xy’mox

Hands – Bleakwing Assassin’s Grips – Kael’thas Sunstrider

Waist- Spell-Woven Tourniquet –  Huntsman Altimor

Legs – Chiropteran Leggings – Shriekwing

Feet – Enchanted Toe-Tappers – The Council of Blood

Ring #1 – Hyperlight Band – Lady Inerva Venaoscura

Ring #2 – Most Regal Signet of Sire Denathrius – Sire Denathrius

Trinket #1 – Nathria Trinket – The Council of Blood

Trinket #2 – Stone Legion Heraldry – Stone Legion Generals

Weapon #1 – Zenith Anima Spherule – Sire Denathrius

Weapon #2 – Zenith Anima Spherule – Sire Denathrius

Top list of trinkets in Shadowlands:Assassination Rogue 9.0.5 Guide


Tricks of the Trade multi-macros


/cast [@mouseover, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade

/cast [@focus, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade

/cast [@targettarget, help, exists] Tricks of the Trade

Tricks of the Trade macros for M+ (pull to the leader, usually a tank)


/cast [@party1] Tricks of the Trade

Kick on your focus or current target


/cast [@focus , exists, harm] Kick;Kick

Marked for Death at the cursor position (mouseover macro)


/cast [@mouseover] Marked for Death

Shadowstep at the cursor position (mouseover macro)


/cast [@mouseover] Shadowstep


WeakAuras is probably the most important addon in modern WoW. It allows you to customize almost anything, and on wago.io you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec, for example, check out this link.

BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods – addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately.

nugComboBar – an addon for displaying combo points in an aesthetic form.

ElvUI is an all-in-one global build for fans of a neat and concise interface. Replaces several addons at once. On wago.io you can find a large number of different customized profiles for ElvUI.

Details! Damage Meter is the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment.

Plater Nameplates – an addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io – what else do you need?

Dominos is a customizable panel addon.

Basic Chat Mods – addon for chat customization.

Deja Character stats – adds more information about the character.

Shadowed unit frames – an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.

PRO Tips

  • Assassination isn’t the hardest spec. You will deal decent DPS if you follow basic priorities without focusing on something specific. Refresh DoT’s and Slice and Dice in time; avoid losing CP by using finishers at 4-5 CP, or at 5-6 CP if you have Deeper Stratagem.
  • Another important point – utilize your cooldowns. Don’t keep your Shiv to generate Energy – it can be profitable only if Vendetta is about to recharge. In other cases, gain Energy in advance. In the end, a more frequent use of burst abilities gives a greater increase than effective but rare casts.
  • If you find yourself in M+, try to keep up Alacrity between pack pulls, stacking combo points for the kills, for example, to refresh Slice and Dice. You can also use Marked for Death on this purpose.

That’s it, guys! We hope you have no more questions and are ready to get down to practice. Thanks for tuning in! Best of luck in the world of Azeroth!


Related items