Updated for Warlords 6.2.2
Legion updates coming soon…
Subtlety has traditionally been the Rogue PvP spec of choice, mostly due to stuns, burst, Shadow Dance, and similar abilities.
Assassination, on the other hand, offers a good deal of flexibility and solid damage. You don’t open as hard as Sub, but you do better continuous damage. With some nice buffs in 6.1 you’re now hitting quite hard and are arguably the favorite PvP spec for Rogues.
You are now, also, the only Rogue with poisons or bleeds. So coat your blades with blue and purple gunk (lethal and crippling poisons) and get to work laying your DOTs around.
For more detail on Warlords changes see our post on the Rogue changes in Warlords.
Assassination PvP Contents:
Other Rogue Pages:
Assassination Rogue PvP Talents
Talents are easily switched, almost anytime and anywhere, so if you’re in a situation where one is better than another then go ahead and switch. All you need is to be in an area with “Rested XP,” such as an inn, big city, or your garrison.
You can switch specs any time that you’re out of combat.
Assassination PvP Glyphs
Glyphs are dead in Legion. Well, you do have some lesser glyphs, but they are entirely cosmetic and have no combat value at all. Glyph of Disguise might have some RP use, though.
- Glyph of Energy for +20 energy
- Glyph of Disappearance – This gives your Vanish a 1 min cooldown, down from 2 min, but it no longer automatically stealths you. You will generally be able to vanish to stealth, however.
- Garrote – an extra second of blessed silence from your target.
- Blind – removes all Damage over Time effects from your target when you apply Blind, including your Deadly Poison. Make Blind a lot more reliable.
- Feint – Increases the duration by 2 seconds, giving you that much more defense. Esp. with the Elusiveness talent.
- Glyph of Cloak of Shadows makes Cloak of Shadows useful against physical damage as well as spells. Very nice defensive cooldown.
- Glyph of Smoke Bomb extends you SB duration by 2 seconds, which can be pretty important.
- Recuperate – a significant improvement to your Recuperate ability. Take this if you don’t take the Blind glyph
- Glyph of Elusiveness – for more evasions. (Does this make you more like a politician?)
- Glyph of Energy Flows – Each evasion dodge gives you +10 energy.
- Glyph of Cheap Shot – Increases CS duration by .5 second for that much more control, works well with your Prey on the Weak and Nerve Strike talents. With the short duration change one can argue that this glyphs isn’t worth the effort.
- Glyph of Recovery – While your Recuperate is running you receive 20% more healing from your healers, potions, whatever. A nice match with Glyph of Feint if you’re being constantly pressured.
- Safe fall – Safer falling.
- Blurred speed – because running on water has some use. Does not work with the Burst of Speed talent.
- Poisons – faster poison swaps or re-applications.
Assassination Stat Priorities for PvP
Your Priorities: Agility > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Versatility = Multistrike
Warlords note: Your Hit, Expertise, Resilience, and Reforging are all gone. You still have the Dual Wield penalty, but there’s nothing you can do about that. Agility no longer adds any crit, but you get an extra 10% through your Critical Strikes ability. This gives you a base 15% chance to crit.
Legion Note: Multistrike is dead and so are your “attuned stats.” All the rest are the same as before and no new stats were added.
Agility increases the damage of everything you do, and is easily your best stat. If you have a choice between agility and any other stat go with the Agility.
Mastery increases the damage of your poisons and directly adds to your Envenom damage, making it the best secondary stat.
Haste speeds up everything you do, the speed of your poisons, and your energy regen. It’s not quite as good the the direct damage increase of Mastery, though.
Crit – Your Seal Fate awards an extra combo point when you crit. Crits do 150% damage in PvP as opposed to 200% in PvE.
Versatility adds to your damage, healing, and damage reduction (at half value.) It doesn’t add nearly the damage of the others, but it does have that defensive value.
Multistrike has a chance to add one additional strike (two chances in PvE,) at 30% effect, on any of your melee attacks. It does not proc off of Poison damage or DOTs, and that’s where a lot of your damage comes from, making it less valuable for you than for other specs and classes. As with Crit it is less effective in PvP then PvE, by about 50%.
Resilience and PvP Power are dead on warlords gear, but are still available on level 90 and lower gear.
Reforging is dead and gone in WoD. In order to stack stats you will have to use gems, enchants, and careful gear choices.
Assassination Rogue Abilities
These are the unique abilities that you will have while practicing Assassination. Note that this spec demands daggers, so if you’re a sword user then go Combat.
Keep your weapons poisoned at all times or you will gimp your damage.
- Assassin’s Resolve – more energy and damage while using daggers.
- Improved Poisons – increases chance to apply lethal poisons.
- Mutilate – Your basic strike, awards 2 combo points. Your Seal Fate will give it 3 CPs on crits. Procs Blindside 30% of the time. High energy cost will drain your energy quickly.
- Venomous Wounds – Rupture (not Garrote) does more damage and returns energy.
- Cut to the Chase – Eviscerate/Envenom refreshes your Slice and Dice.
- Envenom – Replaces Eviscerate and delivers Instant Poison damage. Increases Poison Application chances for a brief time. Your Mastery stat directly increases Envenom damage.
- Seal Fate – more combo points from crits.
- Dispatch – Hard hitting, replaces Sinister Strike, usable when opponent is at 35% health. Does not have a positioning requirement, unlike Subtlety’s Backstab. Also Blindside procs free Dispatches.
- Blindside – Chance for free Dispatches.
- Rupture – Finishing strike adds a bleed.
- Relentless Strikes – chance to regain energy with your finishing strikes.
- Fan of Knives – Throw knives at everything nearby. Applies poisons, adds 1 CP.
- Mastery: Potent Poisons – increases all poison damage.
- Vendetta – Marks an enemy for death. More damage and they can’t hide.
- Master Poisoner (P) – +5% Mastery from all sources.
Perks are also dead in Legion.
- Empowered Envenom – 30% more damage with Mutilate and Dispatch
- Enhanced Crimson Tempest improves the poison damage on affected targets for a short time.
- Enhanced Vendetta gives your next Mutilate, Envenom, Dispatch, or Ambush a 100% Crit chance.
- Improved Slice and Dice is now an “always on” passive effect.
Poisons are applied from any of your main attacks, as well as auto-attacks. You get additional energy from your Venomous Wounds procs. Basically you very much want to have your weapons poisoned at all times. And in Legion you are the only Rogue spec using poisons.
Assassination Rogue PvP Gems:
In Legion there is little or no gemming, outside of artifact mods. This section is left here for the use of Rogues level 100 and lower who might have gear with gem sockets.
If you have a gem socket, then gem for Mastery. The best gem is: Immaculate Mastery Taladite: +75 Mastery
Note that gem sockets only appear on gear that’s won from the various boxes earned in Ashran and the BGs. They also sometimes appear on gear from your Gladiator’s Sanctum. They never appear on vendored gear, either PvP or Raid. This means that, with rare exceptions, none of your conquest gear will have sockets.
If you need the gold for gems, enchants, etc see our gold guide to get started with building your stash.
Gemming gear Under ilevel 600
Note that the Warlords stats squish has taken your Agility gems from 160 points to 10. Mastery gems from 320 to 20. Since everything else has been squished by a similar amount the gems values should have about the same overall effect as before.
Gems that used to have Hit now have Crit. Gems that had Expertise now have Haste. Ditto for Enchants.
Matching socket colors: You can use these gems:
- Meta: If you PvE the Capacitive Primal Diamond is pretty sweet, but only procs in World PvP, not in Arenas or BGs. Otherwise use Agile Primal Diamond until you can get Tyrannical Primal Diamond
- Red: Delicate Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Adept Vermilion Onyx (ag/mastery)
- Blue: Assassin’s Imperial Amethyst
- Belt Buckle and Blacksmithng slots: Delicate Primordial Ruby
Aw frag it: Just put a Delicate Primordial Ruby, or similar Agility gem, in all gem sockets and skip the others.
|Gems for Warlords of Draenor|
|Mists of Pandaria Gems, for gear under ilevel 600.|
|Meta||Capacitive Primal Diamond: +20 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Agile Primal Diamond: 14 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 10 Agility|
|Yellow||Fractured Sun’s Radiance: 20 Mastery|
|Blue||Lightning Wild Jade: +10 Haste and +10 Crit|
|Orange||Adept Vermilion Onyx: 5 Agility, 10 Mastery|
|Purple||Glinting Imperial Amethyst: 5 Ag, 10 Crit|
|Green||Sensei’s Wild Jade: +10 Crit and +10 Mastery
Lightning Wild Jade: +10 Haste and +10 Crit
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 38 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Precise Tinker’s Gear: 38 Haste
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 38 Mastery
Enchants for Assassination Rogue PvP
As with the gems, this section is left here for those Rogues who might be PvPing at level 100 or lower and have some gear they want to enchant.
In Warlords you can enchant your rings, cloak, neck piece, and weapons. Enchant for Mastery in all cases, though you might want to consider the bleed enchant for at least one weapon.
There are no other high level enchants, though all the lower level enchants are still available for gear under item level 600.
For you twinks: All the enchants can be added to level 1 gear, such as your heirlooms, including the Draenor enchants.
Short on gold? Most of the enchants below have similar enchants available, of lesser value, for less cash. We’ve linked to a couple of these. Check with the rep vendor or the Auction House for others. If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about improving your situation.
mian and off hands
Note: Procs from separate weapons do stack with each other. Back to back procs from the same weapon do not stack, but they do refresh the duration of the effect.
Assassination Consumables and Gear for PvP
All of your potions, flasks, and other chemicals and buffs are fine in World PvP and most are fine in regular Battlegrounds. There are restrictions in what you can use in the Rated BGs and Arenas.
Assuming that you’re not in rated PvP then the consumables will add a bonus to your stats.
- Sleeper Sushi: +125 Mastery
- Sleeper Surprise: 100 Mastery
- Sea Mist Rice Noodles: 34 Ag
- Valley Stir Fry: 31 Ag
- Greater Draenic Agility Flask: 250 Ag for an hour
- Draenic Agility Flask: 200 Ag for an hour
- Flask of Spring Blossoms: 114 Ag for one hour
- Draenic Agility Potion: +1,000 Ag for 25 seconds
- Virmen’s Bite: 456 Ag for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Draenic Rejuvenation Potion: Heals ~68k HP
- Darkwater Potion: When 15 seconds of faster running/swimming might be useful.
- Draenic Swiftness Potion: +70% movement or +200% swim speed for 8 seconds.
- Hyper Augment Rune: +50 Agility for one hour. Occasionally drops from WoD bosses (in Raid Finder mode) and is also rarely found as mission rewards from your Garrison. Stacks with flasks and other buffs.
- Oralius’ Whispering Crystal: +100 to Int and Stam. It does stack with the runes and does not stack with your flasks. This is a reward from one of your Garrison’s Inn quests: Oralius’ Adventure.
- Crystal of Insanity: +57 to all stats. Stacks with Runes, but not flasks. Drops (10% chance) from Sulik’shor, in the Valley of the Four Winds, in Pandaria.
- Tents: (not usable in raids or arenas) These account bound items are available through your leatherworking hut, from the follower that you assigned to that hut. All the tents do the same thing, which is to add 10% to all stats for an hour. Very nice if you’re doing anything outside of the raid.
Gear: See our Rogue PvP Gear page for info on gearing up.
Assassination Rogue Race Choice
In Warlords of Draenor all racial abilities that had to do with Hit or Expertise are gone. Most of them have been replaced with other abilities (but not for Orcs.) This gives all races some ability that adds to their damage.
- Can be either Horde or Alliance
- Take less falling damage, which has occasional use.
- Better buffs from food buffs.
- Can stun melee opponents for four seconds. This is effectively a Gouge.
- +1% Increased Haste is a small DPS increase in all situations.
- Rocket jump is much like the Mage’s “Blink,” and has definite escape use in PvP and certain PvE situations. It breaks stealth, so it’s not a cheap “Shadowstep.”
- Improved alchemy will help you get into those nice potions that much sooner.
- Blood Fury is a very good pvp ability since it’s a cooldown.
- Resistance to stuns has definite PvP use.
- A decent DPS cooldown, Berserking, provides 15% Haste every 3 minutes
- Trolls also have reduced snare/root duration which is useful.
- “Beast slaying” gives the leveling Rogue additional XP for killing beasts.
- Blood Elf
- Arcane Torrent generates some energy every 2 mins. and does an AoE silence (also interrupts non-player targets.) This gives it both PvP and PvE use.
- +1% Crit rating
- Will of the Forsaken is a useful escape.
- Touch of the Grave drains life and heals for the same amount.
- Indefinite Underwater Breathing might have some PvP use.
- Worgen –
- +1% add to crit rating
- The run speed special is nice.
- Gnome –
- +5% Energy
- +1% Haste
- Escape artist is a nice ability
- The small size is useful in that it makes it a bit harder for some to target you.
- Night Elf
- A bit more Agility and a bit harder to hit both have some value.
- Shadowmeld has some situational use, especially since it’s usable in combat. it can also break spells coming your way if your timing is just right (you meld at just the right moment.)
- Increased speed while stealthed has its uses.
- +2% Run speed
- +1% Haste by night and +1% Crit by Day.
- “The Human Spirit” adds to your Versatility.
- “Every man for himself” has definite PvP use in that it lets you equip two DPS trinkets by giving you an “escape trinket” for free.
- Stoneform washes away various effects and reduces damage a bit.
- 2% increased crit damage.
How To: Assassination in Warlords
AKA: Assassination PvP Rotations, tips, and suggestions.
The Assassination spec brings some pros and cons to the PvP game, as compared to Subtlety and Combat, so here’s a quick overview of the strengths and Weaknesses:
- Far better use of poisons. They do a lot of damage and will account for a lot of your continuous damage, pressure, energy return, and so on. You’ll know when your poisons fall off, your damage will suddenly suck.
- Vendetta is a terrific ability when training (sticking to) your target.
- Note that, with your perk, when you fire off Vendetta your next attack is a Crit.
- Much better general damage, when not bursting, than Sub. and about as good as Combat
- Envenom buff is a really nice boost to your poison damage, in addition to its base damage. It also refreshes your Slice & Dice. You can see that it’s pretty valuable, even though it doesn’t necessarily hit so hard. Note that your Mastery rating directly improves your Envenom damage.
- Both Assass. & Sub. favor Mastery, so a gear reforging is not necessary if you’re switching back and forth.
- Better at spreading damage around through good poison use.
- Weaker burst (no Find Weakness, for example,) though Vendetta is pretty sweet.
- Nothing akin to Shadow Dance.
- Have to stick to the target for maximum effect (Vendetta.)
Stuns and CC: Sap, Blind, Gouge, Cheap Shot, Kidney Shot, Crippling Poison, Distract, Kick, sometimes Smoke Bomb.
Stealth and Defenses: Smoke Bomb, Evasion, Feint, Cloak of Shadows, Vanish, Shroud of Concealment
DoTs/Bleeds: Garrote, Rupture, Internal Bleeding talent, Deadly Poison
Area Damage: Fan of Knives, Crimson Tempest.
Healing: Recuperate, leeching Poison, Shiv Leaching poison.
Party Favors: Swiftblade’s Cunning (+5% Haste and Multistrike to entire party.)
- You always want Slice and Dice running. Remember that your Envenoms refresh it. It’s extra white damage and extra poison procs, a nice two for one. One of your perks will make it passive, which will free up combo points for other things.
- You always want to have Rupture up, for the energy return in addition to the damage.
- Mutilate is your main Combo Point builder, but see Dispatch.
- Use Dispatch whenever it procs and when the enemy is 35% health or lower.
- Envenom refreshes your Slice and dice (if youi don’t yet have the perk,) hits hard, and adds a buff that gives you a much better chance to apply your poisons. If possible try the get your main strikes in during that buff, which may mean pooling some energy before you Envenom.
- Poisons must always be active. You take a huge damage loss without them.
- Vendetta and Shadow Reflection (talent) play well together. You can put them into a macro, with SR first, and start blasting away.
- If your team is coordinating buffs, such as Bloodlust/Heroism, then try to use your Vendetta during that buff.
- As much as you can you are going to sit on your target, to get all those additional poison procs.
Remember that once you have the perk you can take Slice & Dice out of the rotation.
You only need one combo point to get Slice and Dice started, since your next Envenom will refresh it to it’s full duration. You shouldn’t need to refresh it again until the fight is over. Pool energy before you Envenom, if possible, so that you can get your main strikes in during the Envenom buff.
- Cheap Shot or Garrote > Mutilate to 5CP > Rupture > Mutilate to 5CP > Kidney Shot > M4D > Envenom
- Vanish > Garrote/Cheap Shot
Assassination PVP Video
A nice intro to Assassination basics in the first half and PvP in the second half.
Professions for Assassination
In Warlords all of the profession enchants/bonuses have been removed. No more sockets from Blacksmithing or Synapse Springs from Engineering.
Engineering still has a number of useful toys which can be used in World PvP and the BGs, not to mention the mounts. Leatherworking will let you make some nice starting raid gear that you can wear at level 91. Blacksmithing is for the weapons.
Gathering is just for the gold or to supply other professions.
|Tailoring||Cloth armor, flying carpet, murlock chew toy and allows you to make nets (Embersilk Net) and battle standards (such as: Fearsome Battle Standard)|
|Leatherworking||will let you make entry level armor for raids (ilevel 640.) You can also make the items to reroll the stats and also to upgrade the items to 665, at a cost far exceeding that of the original piece. You can also make Drums of Fury for a Heroism type buff (25% Haste for 40 sec.) Through the Leatherworking hut in your Garrison you can make single use tents that will increase all of your stats by 10% for an hour, though not in raids or rated PvP. These tents are account bound, so you can mail them to all of your alts.|
|Jewelcrafting||Useful (ilevel 640) rings and neck items, the bits to reroll their stats and boost them to 715, pretty gems, gemmed mounts, some fun toys.|
|Enchanting||Enchant all those items and you can cast illusionary enchants. These are basically transmogs for your current enchant. Want your current enchant to look like an older one? Then this is for you. To do this you’ll need a level 2 Enchanter’s hut in your garrison and a follower working it.|
|Inscription||Glyphs, some trinkets, staves and caster weapons and the ability to reroll the stats and boost those items to 705, fortune & Darkmoon cards, trinkets (and the bits to boost them to 715,) and more. Your follower will let you create merchant orders. Combine any two and then sell the result to any vendor for 75-250 gold.|
|Alchemy||Chemistry is fun, unfortunately you can’t make acids or bombs. You can make flasks and potions to boost stats and cause other interesting effects. You can also make a very nice DPS trinket: Draenic Philosopher’s Stone, requires Alchemy 500. This item is upgradable to 715 in 6.2.|
|Engineering||will let you create a number of useful items, such as rockets, shields, a stealth device, etc. These cannot be used in rated PvP, but that can be used elsewhere, such as World PvP or in Highmaul Coliseum. Your follower will sell you a Walter (two uses) for a very low price. This gives you bank access and everyone else repairs and awful food.|
|Blacksmithing||Mail and Plate armor (640) and weapons (630) and the items to both reroll stats and boost the items to 715 for the armor and 705 for the weapons. Keys for locks, though not Draenor locks. Your garrison follower can give you two nice buffs:|
|Skinning||Just for the gold or to supply Leatherworking.|
|Herbalism||Just for the gold or to supply Inscription and Alchemy.|
|Mining||Just for the gold or to supply Blacksmithing.|
Assassination Rogue Leveling Guide
Now you’re all ready to start assassinating the opposition, but you’re not yet 100. Or you’re leveling another alt. Either way, to get to 100 all you have to do first is complete thousands of quests and kill a bazillion mobs of all sorts. Just in case you don’t already have the entire leveling path memorized might we suggest a full blown Rogue leveling guide?
Zygor’s Guide is the solution. What it does is show you where to go and what to do for you entire leveling path, whether you’re starting from level 1 or 79. Quests and tasks are automatically updated as you complete them and not only will you never again wonder where you have to go you will not have to look up any of there “what do I need to do here…” stuff, it’s all in the guide. Zygor’s shows you what to do and where to go every step of the way.
Like to level in the dungeons and battlegrounds, as well as through questing? No problem, Zygor’s guide has gemmed for Int and is smart enough to always point you where you need to go next, regardless of how many levels you gained in the dungeons or by killing players. It’ll even clean up your obsolete quests.
Zygor’s is always quickly updated for all patches and expansions, including Warlords of Draenor, and comes with some nice extras, but you’ll have to check their home page to see those. You can get the full details on Zygor’s Guide, and grab your own copy here, or read our review. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again.
Other Rogue Pages to check out:
- An overview of the Rogue
- Rogue PvP Gear – Just the gear, please.
- Rogue Leveling – tips, help, “how to,” and more to get leveled faster.
- Assassination DPS – Not just for PvP.
- Combat DPS – How to get more DPS in PvE from your Combat Rogue
- Combat PvP – Yes, Combat does PvP and is pretty good at it.
- Subtlety DPS for PvE – Yes, Sub does PvE and can do quite well. Here’s how.
- Subtlety PvP – Lost a bit of ground in Warlords, but still very capable.
- Rogue blog posts – More Rogue goodness.