Assassination Rogue DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 23, 2020 at 16:40 by Seliathan 1 comment
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Assassination Rogue in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Rogue talents.

1.

Talent Choices for Assassination Rogue

Level Choices
15 Master Poisoner ? Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning ? Elaborate Planning Blindside Blindside
25 Nightstalker Nightstalker Subterfuge Subterfuge Master Assassin Master Assassin
30 Vigor Vigor Deeper Stratagem Deeper Stratagem Marked for Death ? Marked for Death
35 Leeching Poison ? Leeching Poison Cheat Death Cheat Death Elusiveness ? Elusiveness
40 Internal Bleeding ? Internal Bleeding Iron Wire Iron Wire Prey on the Weak Prey on the Weak
45 Venom Rush Venom Rush Alacrity Alacrity Exsanguinate Exsanguinate
50 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.

Single Target

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

2.2.

AoE/Cleave

The build is specifically used in any content that requires prolonged AoE damage like Mythic+ dungeons or encounters with a lot of add spawns throughout the encounter.

2.3.

Raiding

The two builds suggested above are generalized versions that do not account for individual encounters in the current raid tier. We have a boss-by-boss breakdown of talent choices as well as tips and tricks only Assassination can pull off on our dedicated Raid page.

2.4.

Mythic+

Mythic+ oftentimes requires a very specific talent setup that mixes single-target and AoE to perform well on both bosses and trash. If you want advice that is specific to Mythic+, you can find more information in our Mythic+ section.

2.5.

How To Use Assassination Rogue Talents

Once you have selected all your talents you might wonder how some of these change your rotation or when best to use certain cooldowns. Answers to these questions can be found by heading over the our section that is specifically addressing all questions regarding your DPS rotation.

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 weapon poisons' damage by 30% and their non-damaging effects by 20%.
  • Elaborate Planning Icon Elaborate Planning grants 10% damage for 4 seconds after using a finishing move.
  • Blindside Icon Blindside is a passive ability that allows you to use Ambush Icon Ambush outside of stealth. You have a 20% after casting Mutilate Icon Mutilate to be allowed to cast one extra Ambush, and a 40% chance if the target is below 35% health.

Master Poisoner Icon Master Poisoner is mostly used in situations that require a strong slowing effect. This talent boosts the slow of your Crippling Poison Icon Crippling Poison to 60%.

Elaborate Planning Icon Elaborate Planning is a solid choice for cleave and AoE fights, due to having a higher uptime when we get to generate more Combo Points.

Blindside Icon Blindside is a fun talent and speeds up the rotation due to getting more Combo Points as well as providing good execute damage. For pure single-target this is the best choice.

4.

Tier 2 (Level 25) 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 and deals 80% additional damage if cast while Stealth or Subterfuge are active.
  • Master Assassin Icon Master Assassin grants your Rogue abilities 50% increased Critical Strike chance for 3 seconds after breaking Stealth.

Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker falls behind Master Assassin Icon Master Assassin in damage.

Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge is the highest DPS option for cleave and AoE. It allows you to quickly multi-DoT enemies with Garrote Icon Garrote. This also means that you apply Garrote's silencing effect to up to 3 different targets.

Master Assassin Icon Master Assassin allows for higher burst than Subterfuge Icon Subterfuge and is slightly stronger on pure single-target.

5.

Tier 3 (Level 30) 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 perform very well at higher gear-levels but ultimately falls behind Vigor Icon Vigor in every category.

Marked for Death Icon Marked for Death is very competitive at low gear levels. If you expect to get frequent cooldown resets, it is a solid alternative to Vigor.

6.

Tier 4 (Level 35) 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 non-AoE sources.

Leeching Poison Icon Leeching Poison is great for daily content, leveling up or Torghast, but it is not recommended to play in dungeons or raids.

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 a strong damage reduction to all types of damage at the cost of 35 energy. However, Feint Icon Feint has a cooldown, and thus cannot simply be spammed for constant damage mitigation.

7.

Tier 5 (Level 40) 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. All three talents only take effect when your target can be afflicted with the associated stun or silence.

Internal Bleeding Icon Internal Bleeding deals solid damage but it gets outperformed by Prey on the Weak Icon Prey on the Weak when it comes to damage in group content. It generates energy via Venomous Wounds Icon Venomous Wounds which allows for more burst and is a very good pick for solo 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. It is also the best choice for m+.

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. The duration of the damage increase is not related to the duration of your Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot

8.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Assassination Rogue

Venom Rush Venom Rush Alacrity Alacrity Exsanguinate Exsanguinate

Tier 6 talents alter your playstyle significantly.

  • Venom Rush Icon Venom Rush causes Mutilate Icon Mutilate to refund 8 Energy when used against a poisoned target.
  • Alacrity Icon Alacrity grants increasing amounts of Haste after using a finishing move, allowing for a more fluid rotation.
  • Exsanguinate Icon Exsanguinate causes your bleed effects to bleed out 100% faster when activated.

Venom Rush Icon Venom Rush is the worst option in this tier and performs much worse than both Alacrity Icon Alacrity and Exsanguinate Icon Exsanguinate.

Alacrity Icon Alacrity is the go to choice. The additional Haste speeds up the rotation and energy regeneration and improves the damage your bleeds deal.

Exsanguinate Icon Exsanguinate is currently weaker than Alacrity Icon Alacrity since it does not increase the damage of the bleeds, but instead just allows you to re-apply them faster once the sped up bleeds ran out.

9.

Tier 7 (Level 50) 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 to 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 of 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. The amount of CP used increases both the initial damage as well as the duration of the bleeding effect.

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

Hidden Blades Icon Hidden Blades can provide decent AoE burst when it has reached max-stacks. However, even with heavy investment it performs worse than Crimson Tempest Icon Crimson Tempest.

Crimson Tempest Icon Crimson Tempest is good in sustained AoE situations at the cost of spending fewer Combo Points on Envenom Icon Envenom, lowering your damage to the main target. It is not used at all when fighting a single enemy.

10.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

In Shadowlands, 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.

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 a 5 Combo Point 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 Hidden Blades Icon Hidden Blades and Nightstalker Icon Nightstalker, as it greatly increases your burst capabilities.
11.

Changelog

  • 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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