Assassination Rogue DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Assassination Rogue in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. 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 TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic DPS Rogue talents.
Talent Choices for Assassination Rogue
|15||? Master Poisoner||? Elaborate Planning||✓ Blindside|
|25||✗ Nightstalker||✓ Subterfuge||✓ Master Assassin|
|30||✓ Vigor||? Deeper Stratagem||? Marked for Death|
|35||? Leeching Poison||✓ Cheat Death||? Elusiveness|
|40||? Internal Bleeding||✓ Iron Wire||✗ Prey on the Weak|
|45||✗ Venom Rush||✓ Alacrity||✗ Exsanguinate|
|50||✓ Poison Bomb||✗ Hidden Blades||? 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 Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
Talent Cheat Sheets for Assassination Rogue
The build is the standard choice for most encounters, focusing on dealing high and sustained single-target damage.
- Level 15: Blindside
- Level 25: Master Assassin
- Level 30: Vigor or Deeper Stratagem
- Level 35: Cheat Death
- Level 40: Prey on the Weak
- Level 45: Alacrity
- Level 50: Poison Bomb
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.
- Level 15: Elaborate Planning or Master Poisoner if you are using Dashing Scoundrel or want a 60% movement speed slow.
- Level 25: Subterfuge
- Level 30: Vigor
- Level 35: Cheat Death
- Level 40: Iron Wire
- Level 45: Alacrity
- Level 50: Crimson Tempest
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.
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.
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.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|? Master Poisoner||? Elaborate Planning||✔ Blindside|
- Master Poisoner increases your weapon poisons' damage by 30% and their non-damaging effects by 20%.
- Elaborate Planning grants 10% damage for 4 seconds after using a finishing move.
- Blindside is a passive ability that allows you to use Ambush outside of stealth. You have a 20% after casting Mutilate to be allowed to cast one extra Ambush, and a 40% chance if the target is below 35% health.
Master Poisoner is mostly used in situations that require a strong slowing effect. This talent increases the snare of your Crippling Poison to 60%, but unfortunately it does not increase the potency of your Numbing Poison.
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 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.
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|✘ Nightstalker||✔ Subterfuge||✔ Master Assassin|
Tier 2 talents improve your Stealth functionality.
- Nightstalker increases movement speed by 20% and damage by 50% while Stealth is active.
- Subterfuge allows abilities requiring Stealth to be used for an additional 3 seconds after Stealth breaks. Garrote also has no cooldown and deals 80% additional damage if cast while Stealth or Subterfuge are active.
- Master Assassin grants your Rogue abilities 50% increased Critical Strike chance for 3 seconds after breaking Stealth.
Subterfuge is the highest DPS option for cleave and AoE. It allows you to quickly multi-DoT enemies with Garrote. This also means that you apply Garrote's silencing effect to up to 3 different targets.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|✔ Vigor||? Deeper Stratagem||? Marked for Death|
- Vigor increases your maximum Energy by 50 and your Energy regeneration by 10%.
- 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 marks a target and instantly generates 5 Combo Points. The cooldown is reset if the marked target dies.
Vigor is the best choice when using a default build and offers great ease and flexibility of play.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|? Leeching Poison||✔ Cheat Death||? Elusiveness|
Tier 4 talents improve your personal survivability.
- Leeching Poison improves your Deadly Poison and Wound Poison, causing them to also grant 10% leech to your damage.
- 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 causes Feint to also grant 30% reduced damage taken from all non-AoE sources.
Leeching Poison is great for daily content, leveling up or Torghast, but it is not recommended to play in dungeons or raids.
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.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|? Internal Bleeding||✔ Iron Wire||✘ 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 causes your Kidney Shot to also apply a strong bleed to your target.
- Iron Wire increases the duration of Garrote's silence effect, and causes enemies silenced by it to deal 15% reduced damage for 8 seconds.
- Prey on the Weak causes enemies disabled by Cheap Shot or Kidney Shot to take 10% increased damage from all sources for 6 seconds.
Internal Bleeding deals solid damage but it gets outperformed by Prey on the Weak when it comes to damage in group content. It generates Energy via Venomous Wounds which allows for more burst and is a very good pick for solo content.
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+.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|✘ Venom Rush||✔ Alacrity||✘ Exsanguinate|
Tier 6 talents alter your playstyle significantly.
- Venom Rush causes Mutilate to refund 8 Energy when used against a poisoned target.
- Alacrity grants increasing amounts of Haste after using a finishing move, allowing for a more fluid rotation.
- Exsanguinate causes your bleed effects to bleed out 100% faster when activated.
Alacrity is the go to choice. The additional Haste speeds up the rotation and Energy regeneration and improves the damage your bleeds deal.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Assassination Rogue
|✔ Poison Bomb||✘ Hidden Blades||? Crimson Tempest|
Tier 7 talents offer some additional damage utility.
- Poison Bomb causes your Envenom and 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 increases the damage of your next Fan of Knives by 20%, every 2 seconds, stacking up to 20 times.
- 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 number of Combo Points used increases both the initial damage as well as the duration of the bleeding effect.
Poison Bomb is the best choice on single-target, and easiest on AoE, as long as enemies are stacked together.
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.
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.
Assassination Rogue PvP Talents
- System Shock deals nature damage and slows enemy's movement speed by 90% for 2 seconds, when you use a 5 Combo Point Envenom on targets afflicted with your Garrote, 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.
- Flying Daggers causes 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 and Nightstalker, as it greatly increases your burst capabilities.
- 13 Jul. 2021: Updated War Mode talent recommendations.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands release.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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