Home World of Warcraft Classes Assassination Rogue 8.2

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
  • 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.
  • Short-duration and weak AoE

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.

Back to top


Back to top

Main abilities

Back to top


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

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • Master Poisoner increases the damage done by poisons by 30%, and their non-damage related effects – by 20%. Not good enough currently but could be used in PvP.
  • Elaborate Planning. After using finishing moves you get a 5 secs buff which increases any damage you do by 10%. It is used by default.
  • Blindside – A generating ability that grants you 1 combo point which could be used only after the target’s health  is below 35%. Also there is a 25% chance for 0 mana Blindside proc after using Mutilate.


Tier 2. Lvl 30

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • Nightstalker increases the running speed by 20% and the damage you do by 50% while Stealth is active. Doesn’t sound bad but other talents are better.
  • 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. Versatile choice, as for aoe and as for single target.
  • Master-Assassin – While Stealth is active and for  3 seconds after breaking Stealth, your critical strike chance is increased by 50%. Single target choice.


Tier 3. Lvl 45

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • Vigor increases the max Energy stock by 50 and increases its restoring speed by 10%. Great choice in any situation.
  • 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%.
  • 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. The talent is a bit worse than Vigor  but could be used on arena for example.



Tier 4. Lvl 60

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • Leeching Poison returns 10% of the damage you do (12% if you have the Master Poisoner on) in the form of healing.
  • 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.
  • Elusiveness. On top of the 40% 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 and in BfA has 15 seconds cooldown. You won’t be able to keep a high uptime with the Feint and do max damage at the same time.


Tier 5. Lvl 75

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • 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. The damage depends on the number of used combo points. If the enemy can be stunned this talent grants a good burst damage. It is a useful talent for arena.
  • Iron Wire –  increases the duration of Garrote’s silence  effect by 3 seconds and enemies silenced by Garrote deal by 15 reduced damage for 8 seconds.  
  • 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. This talent will grant more impactful damage in raid or a group than Internal bleeding.


Tier 6. Lvl 90

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • Venom Rush. Mutilate restores 5 energy points when used on a target affected by your poison. A pretty weak talent and barely used ever.
  • 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 30%. This is an extremely powerful talent on a single target. It’s a default choice.
  • Exsanguinate, for 25 Energy, reduces the rest periods between your bleed teaks by 100% 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. It is used by default in mythic keys for more convenient game against packs but could be used in 1v1 fight in raids also.


Tier 7. Lvl 100

Assassination Rogue 8.2

  • Poison bomb –  Envenom and Rupture have a 4% chance per combo spent to smash a vial of poison at the target’s location dealing AoE damage for 2 seconds. Best choice.
  • Hidden Blades –  Every 2 seconds, gain 20% increased damage for your Fan of Knives stacking up to 20 times. The talent is barely used.
  • Crimson Tempest – Finishing move that slashes at all enemies within 10 yards, dealing bleeding damage. This talent could be used for intensive AoE for example in Freehold Mythic mode or others.

To sum up we get a build for any situation:

  1. Elaborate planning
  2. Master-AssassinSubterfuge
  3. Vigor
  4. Cheat death
  5. Iron Wire
  6. Toxic blade
  7. Poison bomb


Back to top

Azerite traits

BfA introduced a new system of traits on items. Helmet, shoulders and chest are now special items improved by azerite. They have a few rings for  combat improvements such as traits.

There is no need to create a list of top traits since assassination has the traits you should try to obtain. One of the best traits to obtain is:

  • Suffocation. It is one of the best traits currently for AoE. It increases Garrote damage out of Stealth which is possible to perform 3 times using Subterfuge. It is a must have trait for mythic keys granting way more damage than any other trait because of short duration of fights and the gameplay based on leaving combat and possibility of  restealthing before attacking another pack.
  • Double dose – grants damage bonus when using Mutilate so it is a good trait for a single target fight or not more than a few mobs fight. But  when you choose what to equip for Mythic + mode you should chose something what grants damage bonus not depending on any skill, preferably a trait improving stats passively. This way you get damage bonus in AoE and boss fights also.
  • Nothing personal – poisoning target trait when using Vendetta. Also it grant a little bit of energy regeneration.  It is recommended to have 1 of such trait because after equipping other energy generating traits they won’t stack and the damage amount they grant is not that major.
  • Twist the Knife – good trait against single target. It is also good for stacking.
  • Echoing blades – together with Shrouded suffocation it is a great trait for mythic keys. It grants good AoE damage but unfortunately doesn’t grant any bonus for a single target fight. Anyway after collecting a few of such traits it is possible to deal great damage when fighting big packs in keys and to be top damager overall in dungeon.

Besides of these prioritized traits there are other not less important traits. Some of them are common and not attached to specific class or skills. In case of debating what is best option we recommend you to use herodamage.com or to see difference yourself on raidbots.com.

For those who is still using AzeritePowerWeights addon there is a command with approximate number of strength of any trait:

( AzeritePowerWeights:2:"herodamage.com - Stacks_1T_T24":4:259: 193=10, 575=9.85, 136=9.83, 249=9.52, 522=9.29, 526=9.26, 196=9.17, 82=8.76, 562=8.66, 181=7.17, 501=7.00, 479=6.44, 494=6.35, 488=6.35, 504=6.28, 157=6.08, 492=6.04, 486=6.04, 483=5.95, 505=5.95, 478=5.84, 521=5.69, 30=5.64, 481=5.59, 192=5.51, 480=5.50, 195=5.49, 485=5.44, 495=5.33, 489=5.33, 482=5.13, 523=5.04, 194=4.97, 561=4.69, 576=4.13, 498=4.00, 406=3.89, 459=3.57, 156=3.55, 487=3.16, 493=3.16, 500=3.15, 31=3.05, 21=3.03, 560=3.00, 22=2.57, 499=2.43, 18=2.33, 497=2.06, 491=2.06, 541=1.98, 490=1.93, 496=1.93, 461=1.84, 462=1.67, 407=-0.01, 408=-0.29: )

Besides of major traits there are minor traits that increase stats a little bit or just some damage. The best trait in Assassination is Overwhelming power – when it procs it grants a lot of haste bonus which is your top stat. Another good variant is Gutripper because of increased chance for execution pro. This trait can be very useful on Mythic boss fights where the last phases are the the most difficult.

Back to top


These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.





Let’s first look at various options on combat startings

Before pull:

Drink prepot – or Battle potion of agility or Potion of Bursting blood


Wit Toxic blade talent:

  1. Garrote
  2. Rupture
  3. Garrote
  4. Vendetta
  5. Toxic blade
  6. Envenom
  7. Mutilate up to 4+ combo points
  8. Envenom
  9. Vanish when Garrote is gone from the target
  10. Garrote twice

With Exsanguinate talent:

  1. Garrote
  2. Rupture
  3. Garrote
  4. Vendetta
  5. Mutilate
  6. Exsanguinate
  7. Mutilate up to 4+ combo points
  8. Envenom
  9. Mutilate up to 4+ combo points
  10. Envenom
  11. Vanish when Garrote is gone from the target
  12. Garrote twice

With Toxic blade and Master-Assassin talents:

  1. Garrote
  2. Mutilate
  3. Rupture
  4. Vendetta
  5. Toxic blade
  6. Mutilate up to 4+ combo points
  7. Envenom
  8. Mutilate up to 4+ combo points
  9. Envenom

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.
  • Garrote. Has to be kept up on a target all the time, on packs in dungeons we put 3 Garrotes with Subterfuge. It refreshes in between from 0 to 5.4 seconds depending on pandemia.
  • Envenom. Use this finishing move when Rupture is already on a target, trying to apply it in the last seconds of Elaborate planning or Envenom buff on us. It will be more effective than spamming abilities without thinking.
  • Mutilate. Stack up combo points with this ability, using finishing move on 4 or more CP. Since Mutilate can grant from 2 to 4 combo points with passive talent Seal fate, there is no use in getting cap of CP because you don’t want possible decrease of other stats.
  • Vendetta is also used as often as possible but you should reduce the Energy down to at least 80 before you press it.


  • Fan of Knives should be used against 3+ targets
  • Keep up Rupture on 3-4 long-lived enemies
  • Also use Garrote on targets that will live the duration of the ability.
  • All other CP spent on Envenom

Back to top


Basic characteristics’ value is as follows:

Single target: Haste > Crit > Mastery > Versatility >Agility

AoE: Crit > Versatility => Mastery > Haste > Agility

With the change of equipment and essences the values of characteristics may change. 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
  1. Enchantments
  1. Food
  1. Flasks and pots:


Back to top




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


Back to top

What’s next?


  1. Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best  option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
  2. Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
  3. Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.
  4. Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.

Related items