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Assassination Rogue Guide

The Assassination Rogue PvE Page

The Assassination Rogue is the master of poisons and bleeds. At the start of Legion they were a bit behind Outlaw Rogues as top damage dealing Rogues, but a patch/hotfix will probably have changed that by the time you read this.

Assassination Contents

  1. Rogue Changes
  2. Assassination Talents
  3. Glyphs
  4. Your Stats
  5. Rotations
  6. Gems
  7. Enchants
  8. Consumables
  9. Professions
  10. Races
  11. Assassination Macros
  12. Leveling Quickly


Other Rogue Guides: 


A Few of the Rogue Changes over Time

Shadowlands is coming. There is a discussion in the WoW forums on Rogues.

In Battle for Azeroth there were quite a few changes, updates, talents slain and replaced, etc. Check out WoWhead for the list.

From earlier expansions:

Redirect is dead and your Combo Points stay with you. This makes things more consistent with other classes that have some form of points to build up and will make your target switching easier.

Agility no longer adds to crit, but all Rogues (and all Agility classes) get a bonus 10% to Crit.

Stats: Your Hit, Expertise are both gone, and so is Reforging. You will have to stack stats the old fashioned way, though gear choices, enchants, and gems. You also have two new stats, Versatility and Multistrike. The former improved everything you do (damage and defense) while the latter gives you more strikes (and more DPS) over time.

  • Shadow Blades is Sub only.
  • Garrote no longer triggers Venomous Wounds.
  • The Paralytic Poison talent is gone, replaced with Internal Bleeding. This will be a DPS add on anything that you can hit with your Kidney Shot.
  • New level 100 talents, perks, etc.


Assassination Rogue Talents

Your spec is easily changed. You get access to all three specs any time you’re out of combat. Want to do this fight as Assassination, the next one as Outlaw, and the one after than as Sub? Go for it. No reagents or trainers needed.

The actual talent picks can only be changed in a rested area (inn or big city) or by using a Tome of the Quiet Mind. Which will also allow you to adjust azerite essences.

For PvP see our Assassination PvP page or Skill-Capped.

CP = Combo Point, DPS = Damage Per Second, DOT = Damage over Time, Best talent = our pick.


Assassination DPS talents

Assassination Row 1, Level 15

  1. Master Poisoner – 30% more damage from your poisons and better effect from the non-lethal parts. Constant added pressure from your poisons without having to do anything fancy. The next talent is usually better for overall damage.
  2. Best talent Elaborate Planning – your finishers, any of your finishers, add 10% bonus damage to all strikes for the next 4 seconds. A passive ability that generally increases your damage.
  3. Blindside – Something like the Warrior’s Execute ability. This is a strong strike that requires the target to be at 35% health or less. +1 CP. Your Mutilate ability has a chance to give you a free Blindside that you can use on any target, even one at full health.

Row 2, level 30

  1. Nightstalker – In stealth you move 20% faster and do 50% more damage. That bonus will last for the duration of your poison application of your bleeds (eg: Rupture.) You can vanish and then apply the empowered Rupture. Best if you need the additional speed.
  2. Best talent Subterfuge – Use stealth abilities for 3 seconds after leaving stealth. Also adds 80% damage to your Garrote and removes the cooldown from that ability if used in stealth or in that 3 second window. Allows Garroting two (or three) opponents, time and energy permitting (Garrot’s CD is 15 seconds, otherwise.) It also keeps you from being immediately knocked out of stealth by certain effects, such as area damage. You will still have that 3 seconds to do your opener. Even better if you have the Shrouded azerite power.
  3. Master Assassin – +50% crit chance while coming out of stealth and for 3 seconds. Good for mudering single targets,, but Subterfuge is more versatile.

Row 3, level 45

  1. Best talent Vigor – Passive. 50 more energy and 15% faster energy regen. Nice for easier energy management. Best of the three for general use.
  2. Deeper Stratagem – Passive. You can now store and use up to 6 CPs on your finishers, plus those finishers do 5% bonus damage.
  3. Marked for Death – Marks a target and instantly generate 5 combo points. Great for any time when you need 5 Combo Points right now. Or use at any point in the fight where you need an additional 5pt Rupture or Envenom. Most useful in fights with multiple opponents when you can use it frequently (it resets when the target dies.)

Row 4, level 60

Which do you need?

  • Leeching Poison – this “poison” modifies your Wound and Deadly poisons to give you a 10% leech effect for their duration. Good for general use where you don’t have to worry about being crushed.
  • Best talent Cheat Death – And if you DO have to worry about being crushed? If you’re hit with a one shot kill you will instead be reduced to 7% health and take far less damage from all attacks for three seconds. Won’t happen more than once every 6 min. Best choice if there is a chance of you getting squished.
  • Elusiveness – Your Feint now works for all damage, reducing it by 30%. It still reduces area damage by 50%. This will be the choice for fights with unavoidable incoming damage. It does use energy (35) so will be a DPS loss.

Row 5, level 75

  1. Best talent Internal Bleeding – Your Kidney Shot also bleeds to opponent over the next 6 seconds. Note that it does nothing to targets that are not affected by your KS, such as bosses. It does a lot of additional damage otherwise. The bleed also triggers your Venomous Wounds ability and so restores Energy,  which becomes quite useful.
  2. Iron Wire – Great for silencing casters for 3 more seconds and reducing their damage by 15% for 8 seconds. Less useful if you are not fighting casters.
  3. Prey on the Weak –  Passive. After you use certain incapacitating strikes your opponent will take 10% more damage from all sources. Kidney shot, Cheap Shot, Sap. Doesn’t work if the target is immune to those abilities. Nice when you are all piling onto a stunnable opponent.

Row 6, level 90

  1. Venom Rush – your Mutilate ability grants 5 energy.  Not very interesting.
  2. Best talent Toxic Blade – In addition to the damage from this strike your poison damage is increased by 30% for 9 seconds. A useful improvement to overall damage.
  3. Exsanguinate – Your bleeds bleed out 100% faster. Nice for those times when you want more damage right now, and/or your opponents just won’t live that long.

Row 7, level 100

  1. Poison Bomb – Your Envenom and your Rupture have a 4% chance, per CP, to drop the bomb at the feet of your enemies, which then poisons them over 2 seconds. This is the best choice for single target and still good for groups.
  2. Hidden Blades  buffs your Fan of Blades. Not as generally useful as the bomb, above, but has its uses.
  3. Crimson Tempest – does not work with Venomous Wounds. Damages and bleeds all opponents within 10 yards. Does your tank like to pile up large groups of mobs? Then try this.



Assassination Glyphs:

Glyphs? What glyphs? In Legion and beyond the glyphs are pretty much dead. All you have left are some minor, cosmetic only, glyphs.

Maybe that will change with another expansion, but as of Battle for Azeroth it does not look like it. Here is what you can choose from now:


Assassination Stat Priorities for PvE/DPS

Blast to the Cap, with Zygor
Click Here to Get There

 Quick note: Once upon a time you had Hit, Expertise,Multistrike, and reforging. Now are all dead and gone. In their place you have Versatility.

  • Agility > Mastery* = Crit > Versatility > Haste
  • Note that forgetting to poison your weapons will be a far larger DPS loss than getting your stats “wrong.”

Agility is your best stat, adding to all damage.  Also, in most cases, when gearing a new item, the higher item level is better than somewhat better stats on a same level piece of gear.

For assassination the exact value of the stats will vary with your exact gear level and how many opponents you are fighting. For example:

  • Vs. one opponent, Haste is best,
  • for many, then Crit is best and Haste drops to last.
  • For PvP: Haste = Versatility > Mastery > Critical Strike

Generally the stats are pretty close in value, especially since you are likely to be in a variety of situations. So generally speaking, when fighting some singles and some groups…

  • Haste = Mastery = Critical Strike > Versatility

Haste speeds up everything you do, including energy regen, poison procs, etc.

Mastery adds to your poison damage.

Versatility: Increases damage, healing, and absorption done. Reduces damage taken. It’s a straight up bonus to any damage that you do, whether poison, bleed, strike, or whatever.

Crit – Your Seal Fate ability will give you an extra Combo Point whenever you crit. Crits do 150% damage in PvP, 200% everywhere else.




Assassination Rogue In-Depth Rotation for PVE:


  • Deadly Poison (DP) should always be active as your Lethal Poison of choice. Make sure your  DP doesn’t fall off, it will be a huge DPS loss.
  • The level 90 talent Agonizing poison replaces your Deadly Poison.
  • If you took it then Leeching Poison is the recommended Non-Lethal Poison, otherwise use Crippling. The other non-lethal poisons have been removed from the game. For most situations it won’t matter which one you use.


  • Eat your breakfast: Sleeper Surprise: 100 Mastery
  • Take your flask: Greater Draenic Agility Flask: 250 Ag for an hour
  • Drink a potion immediately before combat, you’ll be able to use a second during combat. Draenic Agility Potion: +1,000 Ag for 25 seconds
  • At level 98+ your Slice and Dice is passive, due to a perk, hence it’s not mentioned in the rotation below.

As an Assassination Rogue your rotation primarily revolves around the use of Combo Point generating attacks followed by expending those Combo Points either to maintain buffs, deal immediate damage, or apply a debuff to your target. A very large portion of your damage will come from your Deadly poisons.

  • Mutilate is your primary combo point generating attack and first priority when a target is between 100-35% health. Your Seal Fate ability will give you extra CPs occasionally.

Getting to Work

  • Open with Mutilate (which will be nearly free since you took Shadow Focus.)
  • Rupture next (for the energy,) then Mutilate
  • Keep Rupture up on your target at all times, this will account for a lot of your Energy return, as well as added damage. In Warlords your Venomous Wounds only functions with Rupture, it no longer works with Garrote or any other bleed.
  • Use Envenom, preferably with 5 Combo Points, when Rupture is applied and Slice and Dice is active to deal damage and refresh Slice and Dice. The Envenom buff will also increase your poison damage.
  • With the Anticipation talent you should always use 5 pt Envenoms.
  • The Marked for Death talent can be used to get an extra finisher, especially when fighting several targets.

A of E: When facing targets numbering more than 6 begin using Fan of Knives as your primary attack ability.

Cooldowns and other abilities:

  1. Combo Points now stay with you, not the target, so when the target dies and you have x CPs available you can immediately put them to use on the next target. Redirect is no longer necessary and has been removed.
  2. Vendetta increases your damage done to a target by 30% for 20 seconds or 25% for 30 seconds if you use the glyph with a 2 minute cooldown either way. Use this ability as often as possible assuming you’ll be able to stick to the boss for the full duration.
  3. Rupture‘s damage is increased and has a 100% chance each time they tick on a target to restore 10 energy due to Venomous Wounds.
  4. Relentless Strikes gives your finishing moves a 20% chance per combo point to restore 25 energy.
  5. Feint, Cloak of Shadows and Evasion are all potent survivability tools which should be used when you feel the need.
  6. Feint will allow you to tank AoE effects to some extent.
  7. Cloak of Shadows lets you completely negate chunks of magical damage and can also be activated to drop particularly harmful debuffs.
  8. Evasion is only useful when facing attacks where you can benefit from the increased dodge, such as when fighting an add.
  9. Tricks of the Trade no longer provides any damage increase, it only transfers threat. Since it’s unlikely that you will be able to pull aggro from the tank you will find little use for this ability.



Gemming Assassination for PvE

Go here if you need more gold to buy gems and stuff. Your leather bonus adds to the agility numbers of any gems and enchants.

  • Gems sockets have a (small) random chance to appear on Raid and other gear, they are not as common as before. There are no meta gems or meta sockets, there are no socket bonuses, and all sockets are “prismatic,” which means that they will take any available gem.
  • The gem themselves are actually available. They are all prismatic, meaning they fit into any socket. None have Int, they all have secondary stats (Mastery, etc.)

Gem for Agility, then Haste. These are all unique equipped, so you can only use one of each.

Other “Gems” appear in Mechagon as Boss loot drops. For example:



Assassination DPS Enchants

In BFA there are enchants for rings, weapons, and…  not for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)

There ARE enchants for gloves and wrists, but the gloves are for profession bonuses and the wrists for hearthing. And the hearthing enchants can only be used by the enchanter.


Short on gold? 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.


Consumables for Raiding

Pandarens get double food buffs.

There are no high level foods that add primary stats (Ag, Int, etc.) Food buffs go away after an hour or if you’re killed, so remember to refresh.


Agility Foods






Remarks on Race for the Assassination Rogue

Warlords did away with any racials having to do with Hit or Expertise. Most of those were replaced (not for Orcs) and all races now have an ability which adds at least a bit to DPS.

Gnome Assassination Rogue
Dangerous things in small packages


  • Can be either Horde or Alliance, you choose when you leave the starting area.
  • Melee range stun (4 seconds) is a nice ability.
  • Better buffs from food, for more Agility from that last meal.
  • They take less falling damage, which has very limited use in PvE.
  • Good with Cooking.


  • Goblin
    • Increased Haste, which is a decent stat for you.
    • Rocket jump is much like the Mage’s “Blink,” and has definite escape use in PvP and certain PvE situations. It breaks stealth and can be a useful gap closer.
  • Orcs
    • Blood Fury is a very useful DPS ability since it’s a cooldown.
    • Resistance to stuns has very occasional PvE use.
  • Trolls
    • A decent DPS cooldown, Berserking, provides 20% attack speed every 3 minutes.
    • Trolls also have reduced snare/root duration which has PvP and occasional PvE use.
    • If you’re leveling then you might like to know that the trolls get extra 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. Useful when fighting caster trash.
    • Good with Enchanting.
    • +1% to Crit chance.
  • Forsaken
    • Touch of the Grave is a passive Drain Life ability which heals you for the amount that it drains. This is a small DPS add.
    • Will of the Forsaken could allow you to deal some extra PvE damage by washing away applicable boss mechanics.
    • Indefinite Underwater Breathing probably has zero PvE value.


  • Worgen –
    • the 1% add to crit rating is the best of the Alliance DPS racials and has some PvP utility.
    • The run speed special has situational PvE use and greater mobility is always nice in PvP.
    • Good with Skinning, but the Crit bonus from skinning is a weak stat for you.
  • Gnome –
    • +5% to Energy
    • Escape artist has definite PvP use and situational PvE use.
    • Good with Engineering.
  • Night Elf
    • A bit harder to hit is of little value since you’re not the tank.
    • Shadowmeld will drop aggro when things get tight and might allow hiding from patrols in dungeons if Stealth is not available.
    • Increased speed while stealthed is a nice ability.
    • 2% faster run speed
    • +1% Haste by night and +1% Crit by day.
  • Human
    • The Human Spirit adds to your Versatility.
    • “Every man for himself” has definite PvP use and occasional PvE use.
    • Increased rep gain is nice for all that faction grinding that you’ll be doing.
  • Dwarf
    • +2% greater Crit effect.
    • Stoneform decreases damage by 10% and washes away bleeds, but this wont be of much use in most PvE content.


Professions for Assassination

Warlords did away with all profession bonuses, so there is no longer any gain to any given professions other than toys, gear, or gold making. You can make some of your starting raid gear, which is cool.

Blacksmithing for the weapons, leatherworking for the armor,  and Engineering for the toys might be “the best” picks.

You can equip three crafted items, weapons or armor. As these items are ilevel 630 and 640 respectively, and can be used at 91, they’re rather nice for Draenor leveling and starting your raiding career. You can also create items to reroll the stats on any crafted gear and you can also upgrade the items, at a much greater cost than what it took to make them.

Need even more cash? Go here.

  • Leatherworking – Make your own gear, give it to alts, or sell it.
  • Blacksmithing – Make weapons to use, give, or sell.
  • Jewelcrafting – Gems and jewelry.
  • Alchemy – Chemistry for the improved lifestyle. Very nice trinket.
  • Enchanting – Enchanters can now enchant rings and neck pieces.
  • Inscription – Glyphs, shoulder enchants for everyone, items for our caster pals, fortune cards.
  • Tailoring – You can make a nice flying carpet.
  • Engineering – All kinds of toys, bombs, mounts, and nitro boosts.
  • Herbalism, Skinning, and Mining are just for feeding other professions or making some gold.


Assassination Macros:


Fill in the name of the party member who will be the focus of your T of T. Fire it off, he gets the benefit, and you don’t have to fuss with target picking or focus changing. This macro will not deselect your current target. Note that this will allow you to attack a target a few seconds before the tank, and the tank gets the aggro.

  • #showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
  • /cast [target=YourPartyMemberHere] Tricks of the Trade

This one will target your mouseover target.

  • #showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
  • /cast [@mouseover] Tricks of the Trade

This one will look for your mouseover target and cast tricks on it. If you have no mouseover then it will look for your focus target. If that fails then it will cast it on the target of your target, which is probably the tank and hopefully not you.

  • #showtooltip Tricks of the Trade
  • /cast [@mouseover, help] [@focus, help] [@targettarget, help] Tricks of the Trade

Gouge, then Bandage

Gouges your opponent then starts bandaging you. It will work even if you have  no opponent. Change the bandage name to the one you’re using. You can also use Blind with this macro.

  • /cast Gouge
  • /stopcasting
  • /use [target=player] Dense Embersilk Bandage


Any attack that you will use to start a fight should be used with this macro. It ensures that your auto attack is actually running, even though you might not have the energy for the main attack. Useful for target switching. The [nostealth] command removes certain bar lag issues.

Replace abilityname with your attack, such as Mutilate, Shiv, etc.

  • #showtooltip
  • /startattack [nostealth]
  • /cast [nostealth] abilityname


  • #showtooltip
  • /startattack [nostealth]
  • /cast [nostealth] Mutilate



Faster Rogue Leveling

Let's go!

Now you’re all ready to start assassinating the opposition, but you’re not yet high enough level to raid. To get there 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?

Sure, you can boost a character to 90, but you still have to hit those last ten levels.

Dugi’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 90. 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.

Dugi’s shows you what to do and where to go every step of the way, all the way, to level 110.

Like to level in the dungeons and battlegrounds, as well as through questing? No problem! Dugi’s guide has been gemming 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.

Allways updated for the latest patches and expansions, Dugi’s is like having and expert looking over your shoulder, pointing out the fastest way to the level cap. Get yours here and level fast.

Like this page? How about recommending it and/or commenting?

Other Rogue Stuff:

  • Outlaw DPS – Pistols, swashbuckling, and piracy, what’s not to like?
  • Subtlety DPS – Even more subtle and shadowy than before.
  • Assassination PvP – Yep, Assassins can murder players just fine, thanks.
  • Outlaws in PvP – We’ll have to see about this one, but they have the tools.
  • Subtlety – A brutal burst and Shadow Dance makes Sub the traditional PvP spec.
  • PvP Gear for Rogues.
  • Rogue overview – An overview of Rogue in general. See the above pages for more detail.
  • Rogue Leveling – TIps and builds to level your Rogue faster.
  • Other Rogue Posts – Our Rogue blog posts.

4 thoughts on “Assassination Rogue Guide”

  1. I wish you would have gone into a little more depth as to why you think mastery is over versatility. Icy vines and noxxic have the same stat priority except that versatility and mastery are swapped. I’m curious as to how you came to this conclusion.

    1. Mostly because at the last update of the page I hadn’t quite updated that section.

      A couple of reasons. (BTW – Ravenholt shows a 30% buff to Deadly Poison in late Sept. )
      1)Historically your poisons have been a pretty good chunk of your damage so any poison buffage increases the value of your Mastery, and…
      2)it’s easier to stack a large chunk of Mastery than it is Versatility. I just did a little item swapping on an Assass. Rogue. X amount of Mastery points gives you a lot more than than same points in Vers. Check it on yours.

      10% of each and I’d say go for Vers. If, for example, Mastery is half the damage value of Vers, 1% vs 1%, but you get 5x the Mastery for every point allocated, I’d say go with Mastery.

      Make sense?

      edit: More comments in the stats box above.

  2. Pingback: The Patch 5.4 Rogue Changes -

  3. This page was extremly helpfull and full of information. I have tried a couple other websites for rogues and this one is the best that i found by far. Thanks for the info.

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