Assassination Rogue Patch 9.2 Changes Analysis and Tier Set Thoughts
On this page, we tell you how the Patch 9.2 changes for Assassination Rogue affect the spec and what the current state of theorycrafting is.
Assassination Rogue in Patch 9.2: Eternity's End
Patch 9.2, Eternity's End, will be the final content patch for the Shadowlands Expansion, and will have major effects on how you play your Assassination Rogue, as it will allow for using two Legendaries and hails the return of set bonuses for each specialization. This page will not only detail the changes and improvements made to the Spec, but also go into detail about how these changes affect our choices when it comes to picking our Covenants, Legendaries, or affecting our rotational gameplay.
If you are interested in a more comprehensive list of changes for Rogue or the game in general, you can check out our 9.2 Overview Pages as well.
Base Spec Changes for Patch 9.2
As it stands, Assassination Rogue's core tool kit has not been changed at all.
Assassination Rogue Talent Changes in Patch 9.2
There have been no changes to any Assassination Rogue talents either. It is very likely that the ability to run two Legendaries and the new set bonuses, as well as having a new set of raid encounters and a fresh Mythic+ seasonal affix might change our talent choice as we tackle the new content of Eternity's End.
Assassination Rogue Tier Set in Patch 9.2
The new raid, Sepulcher of the First Ones, will finally see a return of class- and specialization-based set bonuses. These are 5 pieces of equipment you can acquire, which will grant additional bonuses once you wear at least 2 of them at the same time. For Assassination Rogue, these bonuses currently are:
- Assassination Rogue 2-Piece — Shiv causes enemies within 15 yards to take 40% increased damage from your Poisons and Bleeds for 9 seconds.
- Assassination Rogue 4-Piece — Vendetta causes Poisons and Bleeds on your target to expire 100% faster.
Assassination Rogue Tier Set Thoughts
Both bonuses focus on the core class fantasy of Assassination Rogue being a damage-over-time class that focuses on sustained damage with short periods of burst, while maintaining a high sustained DPS on both single-target and AoE. Seeing a bigger emphasis on damage-over-time again is certainly a step into the right direction, and hopefully this direction will be kept after 9.2 and Shadowlands ends.
The 2-piece bonus greatly enhances our ability to deal high sustained AoE damage, and synergizes well with some of our Legendaries as well as talents like Subterfuge and Crimson Tempest. It suffers from the same issue as Legendaries like Zoldyck Insignia though, as it uses a whitelisting system of which abilities are affected by it. As we have seen over the last few years, there are some inconsistencies as to what is considered a Bleed or a Poison.
Numbers-wise the bonus is very solid, although it is unclear whether it is enough to offset the loss of DPS when we can no longer make use of Domination Sockets. As we are looking at a loss of about 15-20% DPS once the Shards and the set are no longer functioning, the new set bonuses will have to make up for some of that or Assassination might struggle to compete on single-target.
The 4-piece bonus is still a bit wonky, as there are some snapshotting issues where refreshing your bleeds right before it ends will allow them to benefit from the 4-piece bonus even after Vendetta expires. This behavior is intended, however, so we will have to keep this in mind once we acquire this set-bonus. Since your bleeds will run out faster, you will have to refresh them more regularly during Vendetta, leaving less room for casting Envenom. We will most likely overcap a lot of Energy during Vendetta, with no way to spend the extra Energy generated through Venomous Wounds. While this is somewhat unavoidable and not a DPS loss, both of the aforementioned issues lead to a bit of a weird feeling when using your burst cooldown, while "wasting" resources and not casting direct damaging spells as much. The DPS benefit is significant enough to make this is a decent set bonus, although this is largely due to other factors that are related to how the set bonus interacts with one specific Legendary, Duskwalker's Patch.
The combination of both bonuses allows for particularly strong burst, as your empowered or powerful Bleeds and Poisons will not only deal damage twice as fast, but when Shiv is cast they also deal a lot of extra damage. Setting up these burst windows correctly will require some adaptation in our rotational gameplay, in particular when it comes to refreshing Bleeds during Vendetta.
Covenant Changes in Patch 9.2 for Assassination Rogue
So far there have been no Covenant Changes for Assassination Rogues. With both the set bonuses as well as the ability to run two Legendaries, with one of them needing to be the one affecting your covenant ability, the Night Fae Covenant makes its return as one of the strongest single-target Covenants.
While Conduits will be unlocking their final few ranks, this will not alter gameplay in any substantial way. As the full release for Patch 9.2 gets closer we will of course update our Covenant page accordingly.
Legendary Changes in Patch 9.2 for Assassination Rogue
In Patch 9.1 every class received a new Legendary that altered or improved the functionality of the class-specific Covenant abilities in some way. The individual benefits of each of them is outlined on our Legendary Page:
In Patch 9.2, Eternity's End, you will be able to equip your Covenant-specific Legendary as well as another Legendary of your choosing. Once you acquire your 4-piece bonus and unlock the ability to use these double Legendaries, you gain another layer of power that affects your gearing and Covenant choices.
This change to our gearing choices comes at a cost, however, in particular for Necrolord Rogues. As the Deathspike Legendary Power has almost no benefit at all on single-target, it is unlikely it will be viable for single-target in its current state. So far, all Covenants were very close to each other in raw performance on single-target for most of Shadowlands, but unless a change is being made to Deathspike, Necrolord will be almost unplayable in any pure single-target environment.
Double Legendary/Covenant Combinations
With the 4-piece set bonus improving the power of Vendetta, Duskwalker's Patch is an obvious new choice as the new best Legendary. The cooldown reduction greatly increases the uptime of the 4-piece bonus, especially since the benefits can be extended beyond Vendetta's duration when snapshotting Bleed debuffs before it ends. This will allow us to almost halve the cooldown of Vendetta.
Combining this greatly-reduced cooldown of Vendetta with the Venthyr Legendary Obedience will allow us to use both cooldowns together throughout the entire fight, further boosting our damage inside Vendetta by increasing our Haste and Versatility.
Another useful combination would be to switch to the Night Fae Covenant. While Toxic Onslaught is not a very powerful Legendary, Sepsis benefits from both set bonuses, making it a very hard-hitting, short-duration damage-over-time effect.
- 15 Jan. 2022: Page added with initial thoughts and information.
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