Rogue DPS: The Assassination Experiment
November 25, 2008 6 Comments
I have always been a Combat Rogue. Always. Swords were my weapon of choice, ever since the day my brother ran me through Deadmines and got me a Cruel Barb (next day I had 2). I only dabbled in fists with the 105 Badge Main hand before the expansion. But that was then….
….This is now.
A friend of mine has been leveling his blacksmithing, so I received a thrown weapon, and dagger in the mail. *Gasp* A Dagger?!?! Samuel does not use those puny half-swords! But I had been reading that Blizzard was trying to get daggers back into the hands of rogues, so I kept an open mind. When I hit 76, I checked the auction house for a main hand, Fully thinking that I wouldn’t want to pay the outrageous amount of gold it would cost. However, upon checking the ah, I found a main hand for 150g; since I had already made 200g in auctions, I went ahead and bought it.
At first I tried to use my Combat spec with the daggers. It was epic fail. While my attack speed was way up, Sinister Strike and Eviscerate are based on weapon damage, and don’t hit anywhere near as hard with daggers. So I looked for a cookie cutter Assassination spec on the Internet, and headed to respec. Normally, I read up on these things and study all of the talents in a tree before I make a sweeping change, but I decided that since I was leveling, I didn’t want to take the time to really read into it. This was not a smart idea.
At first I didn’t really like the spec. I felt that it was inferior to combat in every way. That was mainly becuase I didn’t know how to properly play it. Initially, I was opening with either Ambush or Cheap Shot, followed by Mutilate and eventually Eviscerate. There’s nothing really wrong with that plan, and as long as some other things are taken care of, that’s pretty much the quickest way to dispatch of a mob.
There’s a few things missing from the pattern though. Since I’ve never played as an Assassination Rogue, I’ve only worried about poison for raids, and maybe instances. I obviously didn’t catch the 40% Increase in damage mutilate gets on a poisoned target. I’ve since fixed that issue, and Mutilate is hitting much harder now. Another thing that I failed to see at first is that Hunger for Blood is not a 3% damage increase on a cooldown. It stacks 3 times, and it’s not only possible, but easy to keep it up at all times. Again, had I spent 10 minutes researching or looking at the tree, I would have seen this.
The best thing about the Assassination tree now is that your Eviscerates and Envenoms will refresh your Slice and Dice to its max 5 point length. As long as Slice and Dice is up, either of those moves will refresh it to 26 seconds, even if the finisher was only a 1 point move. Once you get Slice and Dice up, if you’re able to stay on the mob, you won’t have to worry about refreshing it. This is really cool while soloing.
– What I’ve learned –
Combat is a better soloing spec that Assassination, mainly because it allows you to hit multiple targets at the same time. Until fan of knives at 80, there’s no multi target ability for an Assassination Rogue.
Assassination is just as good, if not better than Combat on a single target.
Assassination requires more buttons to press than Combat, and feels more fun than spamming Sinister Strike.