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Assassination Rogue DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (BfA 8.0.1)

Last updated Today at 08:15 by GrayHound 16 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Assassination Rogues in World of Warcraft BfA 8.0.1. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Assassination Rogue guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Gray_Hound, a Rogue theorycrafter who raids in Strawberry Puppy Kisses. You can find him on Twitch and Twitter.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Master Poisoner Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning Elaborate Planning Blindside Blindside
30 Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Master Assassin ? Master Assassin
45 Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death ? Marked for Death
60 Leeching Poison ? Leeching Poison Cheat Death Cheat Death Elusiveness ? Elusiveness
75 Internal Bleeding Internal Bleeding Iron Wire ? Iron Wire Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak
90 Venom Rush ? Venom Rush Toxic Blade Toxic Blade Exsanguinate ? Exsanguinate
100 Poison Bomb Poison Bomb Hidden Blades ? Hidden Blades Crimson Tempest ? Crimson Tempest

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets for Assassination Rogue

2.1. Tier 21 4P/ T20 — 2P Poison Build

The build is the standard choice for most encounters, focusing on dealing high and sustained single target damage.

2.2. Tier 21 Poison Build

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Master Poisoner Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning Elaborate Planning Blindside Blindside
  • Master Poisoner Icon Master Poisoner increases your poisons' damage by 30% and their non-damaging effects by 20% (does not affect Poison Bomb Icon Poison Bomb or Envenom Icon Envenom).
  • Elaborate Planning Icon Elaborate Planning grants 10% damage for 4 seconds after using a finishing move.
  • Blindside Icon Blindside is an active ability that can only be used against targets that have 30% of less health. It costs 30 Energy and deals Physical damage. Using Mutilate Icon Mutilate has a 25% chance to make your next Blindside free of cost and usable regardless of target health.

Master Poisoner Icon Master Poisoner is the simplest choice, and able to compete for top stop in some builds.

Elaborate Planning Icon Elaborate Planning can be useful on AoE, as you get much higher uptime on it due to the increased frequency of finishers.

Blindside Icon Blindside is great if you need more execute damage than overall damage. It is also the most engaging talent, due to random procs (from Mutilate Icon Mutilate) that can make it free and usable above 30% health.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Master Assassin ? Master Assassin

Tier 2 talents improve your Stealth Icon Stealth functionality.

  • Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker increases movement speed by 20% and damage by 50% while Stealth Icon Stealth is active.
  • Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge allows abilities requiring Stealth to be used for an additional 3 seconds after Stealth breaks. Garrote Icon Garrote also has no cooldown when used from Stealth and deals 100% additional damage while Subterfuge or Stealth is active.
  • Master Assassin Icon Master Assassin grants you 50% increased Critical Strike chance for 3 seconds after breaking stealth.

Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker falls behind Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge in damage.

Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge is the best option for virtually all situations. Can be combined with Vanish Icon Vanish to quickly multi-DoT enemies with Garrote Icon Garrote.

Master Assassin Icon Master Assassin is great for AoE damage potential, and results in higher burst potential than Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death ? Marked for Death
  • Vigor Icon Vigor increases your maximum Energy by 50 and your Energy regeneration by 10%.
  • Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem increases your maximum Combo Points to 6, allows finishing moves to consume 6 Combo Points, and increases the damage of finishing moves by 5%.
  • Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death marks a target and instantly generates 5 Combo Points. The cooldown is reset if the marked target dies.

Vigor Icon Vigor is the best choice when using a default build and offers great ease and flexibility of play.

Deeper Stratagem Icon Deeper Stratagem can be very useful in sustained many targets AoE, as it reduces the waste of Combo Points, and makes each cast more efficient.

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death is useful for fights with a large number of short-lived adds, as it allows you to quickly get resets. It is also fairly useful if you need a bit more of very quick burst.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Leeching Poison ? Leeching Poison Cheat Death Cheat Death Elusiveness ? Elusiveness

Tier 4 talents improve your personal survivability.

  • Leeching Poison Icon Leeching Poison improves your Deadly Poison Icon Deadly Poison and Wound Poison Icon Wound Poison, causing them to also grant 10% leech to your damage.
  • Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death causes fatal damage to instead reduce you to 7% of your maximum health and grant 85% reduced damage taken for 3 seconds. Cheat Death cannot save you from damage greater than double your maximum health. It has a 6-minute cooldown.
  • Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness causes Feint Icon Feint to also grant 30% reduced damage taken from all sources.

Leeching Poison Icon Leeching Poison is great for daily content or leveling up, though it is not used at all in dungeons or raids (you can use Leeching Poison Icon Leeching Poison and Crippling Poison Icon Crippling Poison at the same time now).

Cheat Death Icon Cheat Death is the default choice for most encounters. The extra safety net will often be invaluable and can even be used to soak certain mechanics.

Elusiveness Icon Elusiveness is situational, however it can offer unparalleled damage reduction on the right encounters. However, Feint Icon Feint has a cooldown, and thus cannot simply be spammed for constant damage reduction.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Internal Bleeding Internal Bleeding Iron Wire ? Iron Wire Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak

Tier 5 talents improve your crowd control utility.

Internal Bleeding Icon Internal Bleeding is fairly weak, as it gets outperformed by Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak when it comes to damage in group content.

Iron Wire Icon Iron Wire is very situational, but can be helpful in reducing the tank's damage taken when fighting mobs that can be silenced.

Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak is the best choice if your raid needs to incapacitate and eliminate a priority add quickly.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Venom Rush ? Venom Rush Toxic Blade Toxic Blade Exsanguinate ? Exsanguinate

Tier 6 talents alter your playstyle significantly.

  • Venom Rush Icon Venom Rush causes Mutilate Icon Mutilate to refunds 5 Energy when used against a poisoned target.
  • Toxic Blade Icon Toxic Blade stabs the enemy, dealing heavy Nature damage and increasing the damage your poisons do against the target by 30% for 9 seconds. Generates 1 Combo Point.
  • Exsanguinate Icon Exsanguinate causes your bleed effects to bleed out 100% faster when activated.

Venom Rush Icon Venom Rush greatly loses its effectiveness if you are fighting more than one enemy. Furthermore, it has a negative synergy with Blindside Icon Blindside, as you do not use Mutilate Icon Mutilate when Blindside is available.

Toxic Blade Icon Toxic Blade is the go to choice, due to increasing all poison damage (it affects Poison Bomb Icon Poison Bomb and Envenom Icon Envenom), and generally providing consistent damage, letting you get at least two Envenoms into each window.

Exsanguinate Icon Exsanguinate results in slightly higher burst than Toxic Blade Icon Toxic Blade, and helps with Energy regeneration. It is useful if there are priority adds that need to die quickly.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Poison Bomb Poison Bomb Hidden Blades ? Hidden Blades Crimson Tempest ? Crimson Tempest

Tier 7 talents offer some additional damage utility.

  • Poison Bomb Icon Poison Bomb causes your Envenom Icon Envenom and Rupture Icon Rupture have a 4% chance per Combo Point spent to smash a vial of poison at the target's location, creating a pool of acidic death that deals Nature damage over 2 seconds to all enemies within it.
  • Hidden Blades Icon Hidden Blades increases the damage for your next Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives by 20%, every 2 seconds, stacking up to 20 times.
  • Crimson Tempest Icon Crimson Tempest is a finishing move that slashes at all enemies within 10 yards, dealing instant damage and causing victims to bleed for additional damage; bleed duration scales with the number of Combo Points used.

Poison Bomb Icon Poison Bomb is the best choice in on single target, and easiest on AoE, as long as enemies are stacked together.

Hidden Blades Icon Hidden Blades@ has good synergy with Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker when it comes to reliable AoE burst. Due to taking 40 seconds to get maximum stacks, it does not perform as well in long-term sustained AoE.

Crimson Tempest Icon Crimson Tempest is good in spread out sustained AoE (given that Poison Bomb Icon Poison Bomb will not hit all the targets), but it does not proc Venomous Wounds Icon Venomous Wounds.

10. PvP Talents (War Mode)

In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

10.1. Assassination Rogue War Mode Talents

In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Assassination Rogue-specific PvE talents.

10.1.1. General PvP Talents

  1. Adaptation Icon Adaptation is likely your most passive choice since it will automatically remove loss of control effects over 5 seconds. It is recommended for leveling to take this PvP talent.
  2. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects.
  3. Relentless Icon Relentless is also a passive ability but it does not automatically remove crowd control abilities, but instead reduces the duration.

10.1.2. Assassination Rogue PvP Talents

  1. System Shock Icon System Shock deals nature damage and slows enemy's movement speed by 90% for 2 seconds, when you use Envenom Icon Envenom on targets afflicted with your Garrote Icon Garrote, Rupture Icon Rupture, and Lethal Poison . It is fairly good as it is a passive damage gain, and can be useful if you need to run away, without having other crowd-control options available.
  2. Creeping Venom Icon Creeping Venom adds a 4-second Nature damage DoT to Envenom Icon Envenom casts, the duration of which is refreshed when the target moves. It is another good talent, as it also passively boosts damage, and can be easily refreshed by simply side stepping.
  3. Flying Daggers Icon Flying Daggers causes Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives to have 50% greater radius and damage, when it hits 3 or more enemies. This can be very effective when combined with Fan of Knives Icon Fan of Knives and Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker, as it greatly increases your burst capabilities.

11. ChangeLog

  • 22 Jul. 2018: Split talents based on gear build (T21 4p vs T21 4p, T20 2p).
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