Assassination Rogue DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.1.5

Last updated on Jan 15, 2022 at 02:10 by Seliathan 39 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Assassination Rogue guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.5. Here, you will learn how to play as an Assassination Rogue in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic DPS Rogue guide.

1.

Assassination Rogue Overview

Assassination Rogues deal damage through the application and empowerment of poison and bleed effects. The damage toolkit of Assassination is somewhat limited, mainly focusing on dealing single target damage over a long period. As with the other Rogue specializations, Assassination sports phenomenal defensive abilities that allow them to soak and survive mechanics that most other classes cannot.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
X Weaknesses
  • -Lack of burst damage, since most abilities deal damage over time.
  • -No AoE cooldowns, with Vendetta Icon Vendetta only applying to a single target.
  • -Conduit choices force you to decide between AoE and single-target.
3.

Patch 9.2 Changes for Rogues

We are maintaining a list of changes for Rogues, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Assassination's specific changes for the upcoming patch, 9.2, to hear our thoughts on the new tier set bonuses that will be coming.

3.1.

Mage Tower Challenge

From Patch 9.1.5 onward, both Legion Timewalking and the Mage Tower have returned. As such we have created a separate guide detailing what you can expect from the Mage Tower challenge available to Assassination Rogues.

Patch 9.1.5 brings only one set of changes for Assassination Rogues. Both Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives as well as Crimson Tempest Icon Crimson Tempest are no longer capped to only dealing damage and applying debuffs to up to 8 targets per cast, but instead affect more targets while reducing the initial damage whenever they hit 9 or more targets.

This is a fairly significant change, as it allows for more consistent Combo Point generation on high target counts for Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives due to the way it generates additional Combo Points through Seal Fate Icon Seal Fate.

While both Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives and Crimson Tempest Icon Crimson Tempest will have lowered initial damage when striking more than 8 targets, it is still a significant damage gain due to the damage-over-time effects we apply in the process, whether it is Deadly Poison Icon Deadly Poison or the bleed effect caused by Crimson Tempest. These secondary damage sources, which make up a large part of our AoE damage, are not subject to the damage reduction when hitting more than 8 targets, and as such Assassination has gained a sizeable amount of DPS on uncapped AoE.

The Night Fae Covenant has received a few buffs, both to its Covenant-specific Legendary and its Conduit, but neither of them are meaningful enough to warrant choosing Night Fae over any other Covenant for performance reasons. It has, however, narrowed the gap between the other 3 Covenants and the Night Fae one.

4.

Leveling an Assassination Rogue

If you want to leveling a new Rogue in the Shadowlands you should check out our leveling guide to help you on your journey.

If at any point you feel like you would like to customize your user interface or have been wondering if there are any useful macros or addons that might further your enjoyment and performance on your Rogue, you should check out our Addon section.

5.

Basics of Assassination Rogue Gameplay

Assassination Rogue is a spec that utilizes a Combo Point system and spreads its damage over time effects to generate additional resources, while maintaining a couple of high-impact buffs and debuffs to deal strong sustained DPS.

Generating additional resources is core to the spec, so making sure to maintain both Garrote Icon Garrote and Rupture Icon Rupture at all times is of vital importance due to Venomous Vim Icon Venomous Vim. Combo Points are generated by using either Mutilate Icon Mutilate on single-target or Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives on AoE. Excess Combo Points that are not used on Rupture can be spent on Envenom Icon Envenom to increase the passive damage your poisons provide. Shiv Icon Shiv offers some minor burst-damage potential on a low cooldown.

For more information on the basics of the spec you can check out the Spell Summary to get a good idea of the abilities you will be using while playing Assassination. If you are completely new to playing Assassination Rogue, we suggest taking a look at the Easy Mode page below to get a general idea on how to setup your new character.

If you already have some experience playing a Rogue or have familiarized yourself with the basics of the Spec you can also read up more information on how to optimize your Rotation and the individual strengths of the different Talents.

6.

Assassination Rogue in Shadowlands

Shadowlands allows for extra customization by letting you choose one of four Covenants, craft a specific Legendary and pick from one of three Soulbinds, depending on Covenant.

Once you have chosen your Covenant you will gain access to two new abilities: one Covenant-specific one that improves either your survivability or mobility, as well as an active damaging ability. While this choice can be reverted and changed, doing so will require some catching-up so making an informed decision is highly recommended. You can find out more about the four Covenants and each of their benefits in our comprehensive Covenant section.

Once you have taken your first steps into the Shadowlands, you will also be able to craft multiple Legendary items that provide specific benefits to you. Some of these bonuses are specific to Assassination, while other work in all three specs. To find out more about which Legendaries we recommend for you, head over to our Legendary section of this guide.

7.

How to Gear Up as an Assassination Rogue

With all the different gearing options that are available to you, you might ask yourself what gear is worth chasing after. Since a lot of the decisions and variables depend on the gear that you are already wearing right now we strongly recommend "simming" yourself. You can find more information on how to do that, as well as a list of the current Best in Slot gear for newly-leveled characters and advice on Domination Sockets on our dedicated gearing page.

After gearing up your character, the next step is to apply the appropriate enchants and gems, as well as preparing the best potions, flasks and buff food. Which consumables are the best for you depends on your stat priority, which might change depending on your gear, talents and the type of content you are about to tackle. The following two sections of the guide address all questions about consumables as well as the shifting stat priorities for Assassination Rogues.

8.

End-Game as an Assassination Rogue

The gameplay of your Assassination Rogue will change drastically once you start getting access to better and higher itemlevel gear. Once you feel that you are ready to tackle some of the most difficult content the game has to offer you should check out the dedicated pages for each type of content below. You will find helpful tips and tricks, recommendations on your talents and equipment as well as general information on mechanics and guidance on what to look out for as you make your way to the top.

9.

Improving as an Assassination Rogue

Once you have your gear in order and are looking to improve not just your character itself but also your gameplay, you can check out these helpful sections as a first step into analyzing your own performance in more detail.

10.

Changelog

  • 15 Jan. 2022 (Patch 9.2 Analysis): Page added with initial thoughts and information.
  • 14 Nov. 2021 (gear page): Added Lower Gear Level section for Domination Shards.
  • 07 Nov. 2021 (talents page): Added Marked for Death recommendation for Venthyr Rogues.
  • 07 Nov. 2021 (easy mode page): Added Theotar recommendation for Venthyr Rogues.
  • 07 Nov. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated Venthyr Soulbind recommendation to Theotar.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Added 9.1.5 changes.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated Domination Shard recommendation and recommended secondary stats.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added Covenant information for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added Legion Timewalking Affix, Infernal.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Updated Mythic difficulty tips.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (FAQ page): Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (this page): Added 9.1.5 target cap changes and Night Fae Covenant changes.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (stats page): Updated stat priorities for single-target.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (enchants page): Updated Domination Shard recommendation.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (simulations page): Updated the simulation overview.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (gear page): Updated Domination Shard recommendations.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated Toxic Onslaught description for Patch 9.1.5 and rephrased Legendary recommendations.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Nov. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 25 Aug. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Updated Talent recommendations.
  • 25 Aug. 2021 (talents page): Updated talent recommendations.
  • 25 Aug. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated to better reflect current Legendary rankings.
  • 06 Aug. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added Tormented Affix information.
  • 06 Aug. 2021 (enchants page): Added Shards of Domination information and link.
  • 06 Aug. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Added Mythic difficulty tips.
  • 06 Aug. 2021 (easy mode page): Added Shards of Domination section.
  • 06 Aug. 2021 (gear page): Updated Shards of Domination section to recommend Frost Set at higher gear and Critical Strike levels.
  • 15 Jul. 2021 (simulations page): Updated the Covenant and Soulbind simulation overview.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (talents page): Updated War Mode talent recommendations.
  • 13 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Added tips for Sylvanas and a few other bosses.
  • 08 Jul. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated Covenant recommendation to Venthyr.
  • 07 Jul. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added disclaimer for Obedience Legendary.
  • 07 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Page added.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (FAQ page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (simulations page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (spells page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Torghast): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (stats page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Page added.
  • 09 Apr. 2021 (rotation page): Updated Sample Openers.
  • 29 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added Shiv in Utility section.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Updated Anima Power recommendations.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Updated chest enchant.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Updated Slice and Dice and Venomous Wounds with Patch 9.0.5's changes; added Cut to the Chase.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Updated stat priorities for Mythic+.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (FAQ page): Updated Covenant and stat recommendations.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added Shadowlands Patch 9.0.5 disclaimer; updated Venthyr and Necrolord descriptions.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added Valor section and updated Legendary recommendation.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated single-target Legendary rankings for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (simulations page): Updated the simulations for Legendaries and Covenants.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Updated recommendation on most bosses to use Subterfuge instead of Master Assassin.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated Covenant recommendation, Mythic+ stat priority, and Legendary recommendations.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Updated Conduit and Talent suggestions for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 07 Mar. 2021 (addons page): Page has been reviewed for Shadowlands patch 9.0.5.
  • 13 Feb. 2021 (rotation page): Improved Poison section.
  • 15 Jan. 2021 (gear page): Rewrote gear disclaimer.
  • 15 Jan. 2021 (rotation page): Removed outdated disclaimer.
  • 15 Jan. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Added tips and tricks for most of the fights on Mythic Difficulty.
  • 24 Dec. 2020 (easy mode page): Added Poison recommendation.
  • 09 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Updated single-target priority list and sample Subterfuge opener.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added Talent and Legendary recommendations, as well as tips and tricks for individual encounters.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Added new trinket recommendation.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Added Legendary and Covenant sections.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (simulations page): Updated with newest simulations.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 26 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated with newest trinket simulation results.
  • 25 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with new Augment Runes.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release, with added links to Covenant, Legendary and Torghast pages.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release, added new Mythic+ affixes and opener sequence.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release, added Covenant ability to rotation.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated gem, enchant and consumable recommendations for the Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release, added Covenant, Legendary and Conduit recommendations.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release, added gear acquisition overview and dungeon BiS list.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands expansion release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Guide added.
  • 28 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority.
  • 28 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Updated gem and enchant recommendations.
  • 23 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands release; updated descriptions for new and upgraded abilities.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 14 Nov. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Removed disclaimer, updated talent and gameplay recommendations, added Mythic Zaqul section.
  • 15 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added tips for all bosses.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 08 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added further boss tips.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 23 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Minor updates.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Assassination Rogue advice for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 07 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added boss spec-specific tips.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added (placeholder for now).
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