Assassination; Pro’s and Cons
October 6, 2009 23 Comments
After a week and a half of playing Assassination again, I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with it. When I can stand and wail on something, I’m in love with the huge numbers that I see, but I’m really missing Combat in just about every other scenario.
- Great Single Target DPS. In a Patchwerk style fight with everyone being equally geared, you should be on the top of the DPS
- Relatively Simple Rotation. After you get started, the rotation really consists of 3 moves, in a simple pattern. Mastering the rotation by knowing when to throw in extra envenoms or when to hold off on a finisher for some energy regen does take time though.
- Big Numbers. In addition to having great sustained DPS, the largest numbers you can see as a Rogue come from Envenoms while being Assassination. It’s not uncommon to top 10k on a single hit, and depending on the fight and your buffs, 20k+ in a 10 man isn’t out of the question.
- Lack of Cooldowns. I’ve touched on this before, but Assassination doesn’t have the calibre of cooldowns that Combat has. Cold Blood guarantees a crit, but in this day of 50%+ chance to crit on your Finishers, you almost feel like you’re wasting it every time you cast it, as it’s likely you didn’t need to use it to achieve the same effect. The beauty of Combat is in the cooldown management, which allows the Rogue to pump out extra DPS on demand. Assassination would likely need nerfs to key abilities to get something similar.
- Target Switching. Having to switch mid fight to another target to burst it down is much harder Assassination than it is Combat. Fighting the twins in 10 man ToC really illustrates this point. Having to switch to the other target hampers your DPS as you re-establish your poison stacks. If you’re unlucky it can take what seems like an eternity for that first poison stack to proc. While you can substitute an Eviscerate to keep using up your combo points, you’ll likely drop Slice and Dice in the process your overall DPS will take a bit of a dip while you re-establish your DPS on the new target.
- Multi Target DPS is Low. Your only real option for multi target DPS is Fan of Knives, which just received a significant nerf. The problem with the FoK nerf is that it affects Assassination far more than it does Combat. Combat has both Blade Flurry and Killing Spree in addition to FoK. Don’t get me wrong, FoK needed a nerf for Combat, and to a smaller degree Assassination. That being said, the loss of DPS is really hurts and is quite evident in a heroic group, especially when Assassination.
All things considered, I’m generally in favor of Assassination over Combat. I love the big numbers and the high single target DPS, but I loathe Heroics and my significantly lower trash DPS. Assassination could use better cooldowns, but I think as long as Mutilate / Prep is the dominant PvP spec, that it’s not likely to happen.