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World of Warcraft Classes Rogue «Assassination»

Assassin Rogue PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

A Rogue specializing in Assassination leans upon doing damage both physical and poison-inflicted (Powers of Nature). One way or another, the spec’s talents influence different shares of damage.



Let’s take a closer look at the spec’s main advantages and disadvantages:


  • Strong continuous damage on a single target.
  • Due to supported bleeding and using poisons on secondary long-living targets, it allows to increase the damage done to the main target, due to additional generation of Energy.
  • The highest survivability out of all the Rogue specs.
  • High mobility is provided by the 15% passive bonus to the running speed, Sprint and Shadowstep.
  • Nice variety of dps legendarys with approximately equal characteristics.
  • All in all, this quite a simple spec but at the same time, it’s very effective.


  • Dps strongly depends on the cooldowns.
  • Main burst is target-dependent.
  • A weak AoE (to put it in simple words, there’s none).

Basic information on the spec:

Assassination, like any other specialization of this class, has 2 main resources: Energy and Combo Points (hereinafter referred to as CP). Consequently, there are abilities that spend these resources, and those allowing, on the contrary, to build those resources up. They can also interact with both resources at the same time. The correct usage of these abilities in accordance with the priority list is the basis for every spec of this class.

As it was mentioned before, Assassins rely on poisons. There are two types of poisons: deadly (affecting your dps directly) and non-deadly or auxiliary. The latter do not affect the damage done but rather just provide a bonus – decreasing the target’s running speed or healing from the damage you’re doing.

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Main abilities

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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.

Tier 1. Lvl 15

Master Poisoner increases the damage done by poisons by 30%, and their non-damage related effects – by 20%. It’s a default talent if you have enough mastery.

Elaborate Planning. After using finishing moves you get a 5 secs buff which increases any damage you do by 12%. This is an alternative to the first talent until you get enough mastery.

Hemorrhage while held on the target, increases the damage done to that target by your Garrote and Rupture by 25% for 20 secs. At the moment, it’s the weakest talent in the Tier, so it’s never used. 


Tier 2. Lvl 30

Nightstalker increases the running speed by 20% and the damage you do by 50% while Stealth is active. Your best choice if you don’t have Tier 20 set in 4 pieces.

Subterfuge. After Stealth is over, it allows you, for 3 more second, to use abilities requiring Stealth. During the active period of Stealth and for those 3 secs, it also increases the damage done by your Garrote by 125%. The Garrote has instant CD. Its numbness effect is still on, too. With the 4 pieces of t20 set, it’s the most powerful in the tier.

Shadow Focus makes all your abilities consume 75% less energy on Stealth. This is the weakest talent in the Tier in any situation.


Tier 3. Lvl 45

Deeper Stratagem increases the quantity of CP up to 6; all the abilities for which the power depends on the CP spent can spend up to 6 CP, and the damage they do increases by 5%.

Anticipation increases the CP count up to 10 but you can still spend no more than 5.

Vigor increases the max Energy stock by 50 and increases its restoring speed by 10%. Great choice in any situation.


Tier 4. Lvl 60

Leeching Poison returns 10% of the damage you do (12% if you have the Master Poisoner on) in the form of healing.

Elusiveness. On top of the 50% of the attacks in the AoE, it now decreases the damage received in any attack outside AoE by 30%. Sometimes it can be useful. Just listen to the Healers of your group/raid. But keep in mind that the Feint demands 35 Energy and is on for only 5 secs. You won’t be able to keep a high uptime with the Feint and do max damage at the same time.

Cheat Death prevents a fatal attack from killing you and enables the following effects: for 3 secs you receive 85% less damage, your health level can’t go lower than 7% of the max; you also get a debuff for 6 mins to remind you that Cheat Death won’t save you from the next fatal attack during this period. Death terminates this effect. This is a choice by default as nothing’s better than a new life, even with a cooldown this long.


Tier 5. Lvl 75

Thuggee. Garrote restores instantly if the target dies during its action. This is a default choice. Great for frequent target changing.

Prey on the Weak. After a Kidney Shot, Cheap Shot or Sap, the target receives 10% more damage from any damage source over the active period of the aforementioned effects. In some combats, you’ll have to use Stun or your group/raid may need max damage done to a particular target (one you can stun, for sure). In the second case, it is most effective to use Kidney Shot with max CP.

Internal Bleeding. More Bleeds! With Kidney Shot, does average damage to the target. The damage depends on the amount of CP spent. In situations when you can stall your enemy, and you need damage on that target, Prey on the Weak works better. If you can’t, then getting this talent for mere damage is simply impractical as those CPs are better spent on other strong finishing moves.

Control Tier. Has no influence on dps. Pick whatever you like best or something specific if that’s what your encounter demands.


Tier 6. Lvl 90

Toxic Blade does instant poison-inflicted damage, generates 1 CP, demands 20 Energy. CD 25 secs. Tags the target with a debuff for 9 secs which increases the poison damage you do to that target by 35%. This is an extremely powerful talent on a single target. It’s a default choice.

Alacrity provides a probability of 20% per CP spent (so 5 CP make for 100%) that your running speed increases by 2% for 20 secs. The effect can be added up up to 10 times. It’s good for combats with frequent target changing.

Exsanguinate, for 25 Energy, reduces the rest periods between your bleed teaks by 150% thus reducing their overall duration. This is a burst talent specializing on bleeds. CD 45 secs. This one is god for one very particular build. IRL, it’s rarely used.


Tier 7. Lvl 100

Venom Rash makes your passive ability of Venomous Wounds restore 3 Energy per each teak. This talent is the only undebatable choice in the current tier.

Marked for Death is a talent that allows you to mark your enemy for death and gives you 5 (6 with the Deeper Stratagem on) CP. CD 40 secs, on the target, it stays for 60 secs. If the target dies during debuff, your Marked for Death gets instantly restored. This one is only suitable for questing in the open world.

Death from Above is a finishing move. It is actuated in two stages. After the first stage you instantly damage all the enemies within the 8 m range and then you rocket up in the sky. The second stage is the landing during which you use Envenom with 50% increased strength. You can’t be pushed anywhere during this acrobatic trick which provides you with a great opportunity to evade any pushing mechanics. CD 20 secs. Looks very weak as compared to Venom Rash.


This all brings us to the main build:

  1. Master Poisoner
  2. Subterfuge
  3. Vigor
  4. Toxic blade
  5. Venom Rash


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Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.


Assassins use 1 shadow relic, 1 Iron and 1 Blood. There’s a whole bunch of competition for those relics. The ilvl is not the most important part as all for the main abilities, damage is calculated based on the attack strength. The weapon’s dps which grows significantly with the growth of the weapon’s ilvl does not influence the ability level. This makes the trait that the relic gives become more important than its lvl.

  1. Master Assassin ~10
    You should avoid of using 2 relics with this trait – this is bad combo. Only 1 or 3 in a same time.
  2. Master Alchemist 7.6
  3. Balanced Blades 5.5
  4. Toxic Blades 3.8
  5. Gushing Wound 2.6
  6. StranglerSerrated Edge 2.6

If you are not sure if you should get relic A with worse traits but higher ilvl instead of the one you have at the moment, we recommend you use simcraft or a very convenient web-site raidbots.com with an in-built relic comparing interface.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. In this Tier you face your first important choice between Light and Shadow as you not only have to pick the strongest trait on the Tier, but it would alse indicate which trait on Tier 3 you have to direct yourself to. General principle: choose the way with the highest +ilvl sum. Here, the same comparison system is used as in the Relic section above:

  1. Master of shadows 10.1
  2. Shocklight 9.7
  3. Murderous Intent 8.7
  4. Torment the weak 8.4
  5. Shadowbind 7.8
  6. Light infusion 7.7
  7. Secure in the light 7.6
  8. Chaotic darkness 6.7
  9. Light speed 5.6
  10. Dark sorrow 3.5

Tier 3. These traits’ values coincide completely with those in the Relic section.

  1. Master Assassin ~10
    You should avoid of using 2 relics with this trait – this is bad combo. Only 1 or 3 in a same time.
  2. Master Alchemist 7.6
  3. Balanced Blades 5.5
  4. Toxic Blades 3.8
  5. Gushing Wound 2.6
  6. StranglerSerrated Edge 2.6

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:

Mantle of the Master Assassin + Zoldyck Family Training Shackles:

cruweight^128870^ilvl^1^252799^9.46^252922^3.33^252875^7.37^192349^8.05 6:-0.07 7:17.46^192315^1.64 6:2.39 7:1.34^192310^3.57 6:5.27 7:3.96^253093^7.76^192318^8.12 6:7.64 7:7.82^192326^4.87 6:5.64 7:4.89^252088^6.2^238066^1.58 6:1.58 7:1.64^192329^2.58 6:2.96 7:2.07^252191^8.77^252888^7.03^252091^9.85^252906^8.32^253070^7.96^end


Zoldyck Family Training ShacklesDuskwalker’s Footpads:

cruweight^128870^ilvl^1^252799^12.27^252922^3.66^252875^8.35^192349^17.71 6:5.38 7:6.3^192315^2.19 6:2.42 7:2.29^192310^3.98 6:5.58 7:3.62^253093^8.59^192318^8.91 6:9.22 7:9.19^192326^6.48 6:7.07 7:6.24^252088^6.6^238066^1.15 6:2.04 7:2.22^192329^2.4 6:3.68 7:2.86^252191^9.16^252888^7.35^252091^10.95^252906^9.23^253070^8.49^end


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This specialization of Rogues uses a total of 14 Legendarys

Assassination has several nice Legendarys which can be cocktailed in an interesting way depending on the objective of the encounter. On top of all that, if in your, say, shoulder slot you have nice tier or off-set shoulders, there’s a high probability that it would be efficient that you wear them instead of Legendary.

Mantle of the Master Assassin. 100% crit for 5 secs after the termination of Stealth, and after using Vanish, respectively. This is a nice Legendary in its basic form. Has a stable sim higher than others. Is of extreme use in encounters where you need to give a powerful burst to a single target from time to time.

Zoldyck Family Training Shackles. One of the Top 2-3 Legendarys depending on the gear and the combat type. Its power grows depending on the execute-phase length.

Empty Crown. On single target, you sometimes lack Energy. The head is perfect to solve this problem. Just like the Zoldyck Family Training Shackles, it is simmed as one of the top 2-3. Above all that, it has wonderful secondary characteristics. And, well, it’s the head. The head always has a bunch of stats, right?

Duskwalker’s Footpads. More Vendetta! Bursts are good. Frequent bursts are good-er. It’s usually simmed slightly lower than the previous ones but, again, it all depends on your equipment. If you have stocked 3 relics that reduce the Vendetta CD, in some situations, this one might play out better than the head and the wrists.

The Dreadlord’s Deceit is an AoE Legendary that is useful for you only with mythic+.

Other Legendarys have either defensive action, or have the dps bonus significantly lower than that of the ones listed above.

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Let’s first look at various options on combat startings

Mantle of the Master Assassin + Nightstalker

  1. Prepot in1-2 secs before pull
  2. Garrote
  3. Multilate
  4. Rupture
  5. Vendetta + Toxic Blade
  6. Kingsbane
  7. Vanish (make sure your 100% crit buff is off the pool)
  8. Envenom
  9. Multilate
  10. If Subterfuge is taken – Garrote, if not – Envenom
  11. Then comes a combo: MultilateEnvenom until the Mantle’s buff is over

No Mantle of the Master Assassin

  1. Prepotin 1-2 secs before pull
  2. Garrote
  3. Multilate until 4-5 CP
  4. Rupture
  5. VendettaToxic Blade
  6. Kingsbane
  7. Multilate until 4-5 CP
  8. Envenom
  9. Repeating cycle of Mutilate until 4-5 CP and Envenom
  10. Vanish + Rupture with Nightstalker, or Garrote with Subterfuge at pandemic window (read below about this timings)

Let’s see what the main priorities for a more ability conscious gaming are.

  • Rupture. This one should always be there on your main target as well as on your secondary ones (3-5) as it is a great asset in terms of dps itself, and it also has the passive of Venomous Wounds. The more energy the less time lost. Considering the Pandemic, the Rupture can be renewed with 5 CP at 7.8 secs and less (if you have Deeper Stratgem, you can do it at 8.4 secs with no loss). The Pandemic allows to renew the periodic effects with the account of the active time of the previous used effect. If the effect has the basic duration of 10 secs, and you decide to renew it right away, the duration of the new effect will be 13 secs, and in case you renew it 2 secs before it’s over, the new effect’s duration will be 12 secs. Hence, it’s quite clear that Pandemic saves 30% of the previous effect’s duration. With Exsanguinate, you should refresh the Rupture right before using it despite the Rupture’s current duration. Empowered by Nightstalker, Rupture is not renewed until it’s over.
  • Surge of Toxins is a very important trait of your Artifact. Its effect is applied to the target that has just been hit with a finishing move. The duration of the effect does not depend on the amount of CP spent. With Vendetta active on the target, you should try and reach 100% uptime on this debuff. Ourside Vendetta, to create a series of debuffs like this, you should save Energy. Meaning once you’ve got 4-5 CP, it makes sense that you stand by and wait until your Energy meter is close to max, after it you discharge your Envenom, earn another 4-5 CP, and discharge again the last second (if your ping allows it, discharge in the last 0.5 secs). Each time, the Energy will decrease, which means you’ll have to go back to saving Energy. It is recommended you refresh your Toxins at 4-5 CP. If you have no opportunity to gain more CP, and the buff is about to drop, it is acceptable that you refresh it with 3 CP.
  • Envenom is used in a way quite similar to that of Surge of Toxins, and if you follow the guidelines above, you’ll find the Envenom’s uptime really nice on its own. The only thing is, Toxins can be renewed by Rupture, too, and you need to consider it before using Kingsbane during which the Envenom’s uptime is crucial.
  • Kingsbane is to be used as often as possible, with minimal stalls which is basically what you should do with every short CD. Like we mentioned before, this one demands max Envenom uptime, so it is recommended you actuate Envenom right before you use Kingsbane.
  • Vendetta is also used as often as possible but you should reduce the Energy down to at least 80 before you press it.
  • Toxic Blade is also for frequent use. The perfect use is over the last 9 secs of your Kingsbane but this is not something that works out every single time. Never hold on to the Toxic Blade – it’s a waste of dps. It is recommended you sync it up with your Vendetta, Vanish with the Mantle of the Master Assassin, and the Kingsbane but only if you don’t have to hold it.

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Basic characteristics’ value is as follows:

Mastery > Versatility > Crit >> Agility >>> Haste

With the change of equipment, the values of characteristics may change. For example, with Mantle of the Master Assassin in stock, the value of crit becomes significantly lower. That’s why, in order to keep your character in shape, you should consult SimulationCraft or a remote user-friendly web-site raidbots.com after receiving a new item of gear.

Among the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

1 Gems.

2 Chants

3 Food

4 Flasks and Potions


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Set bonuses


  • 2 pieces: Mutilate causes the target to bleed which does extra 20% damage within 8 secs
  • 4 pieces: Envenom does extra 7% damage per each bleed effect on your target.


  • 2 pieces: Garrote costs 25 Energy less, the CD is down by 12 secs.
  • 4 pieces: Garrote’s damage is up by 60%.


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Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

/cast [mod:shift,@focus][]Kick


Throwing a Poisoned Knife to where the cursor is to refresh the poison on the target without breaking the current auto-attack on the main target

/cast [target=mouseover] Poisoned Knife